Why Fall Break Left Some Students Stressed

By: Mary Smith

Mary-Smith@Mocs.UTC.edu

With fall break officially over, some students are feeling more stressed out. Read more to find out why.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/TheLoop) –With midterms finally out of the way, students were able to attempt to take a break from the stress of college life and relax during fall break.

Photograph taken by Aimee Irwin

Student Aimee Irwin and Macal Sheree enjoy a trip to the boardwalk in San Diego

Long distance travels can often times be stressful or leave travelers feeling rushed. This was not the case for UTC senior Aimee Irwin. Irwin, a senior from Dickson, Tenn., journeyed to Temecula, California to visit a childhood friend. “The best part of my trip was just being at my friend’s house; it was really relaxing.” During her trip to Temecula, Irwin enjoyed visiting Huntington Beach, a pumpkin patch, and carving pumpkins. “It was good cause there were no expectations; I got to relax and didn’t have to do anything.”

Rachel Hawkins, a sophomore from Knoxville, Tenn., traveled with a family member to Brooklyn, New York, to visit her brother. Hawkins spent her vacation shopping, touring Times Square, and spending quality time with her family. Hawkins said, “Whenever I go home I feel like I have to hang out with my friends; this time I got to hang out with my mom and my brother.” Hawkins said the vacation was very different than the other times she had visited New York because they did not visit many tourist attractions. “I just feel like it was so chill, and I didn’t have a tight schedule.”

Plane Ticket

Hawkins awaiting her departure to New York.

Surprisingly, most students who stayed in Chattanooga or who went home said they did not come back to school feeling refreshed. Time restraints and other responsibilities kept most students either in Chattanooga or homeward bound. Kate Marler, a senior from Chattanooga, spent her vacation planning her December wedding, working, and celebrating her upcoming wedding. “I had a lingerie shower and a bridal shower,” said Marler. Although her weekend was full of wedding bliss, Marler said she did not return to school feeling rejuvenated.

Vikki Hampstead, a junior from Chattanooga, used the break to study and work. When asked if she felt relaxed after the break Hampstead replied, “absolutely not.” When asked if professors gave too much work over the weekend Hampstead said, “Instead of letting it be a break, professors make it a point to make tests due that week.” She said the best part of her vacation was getting to sleep in on Monday and Tuesday.

Many students who traveled to other places than home were able to experience a temporary breach from reality. Hawkins said, “I feel like it was so much better to not go home.” Responsibilities and reminders of other priorities surrounded the students who went home or stayed on campus.

Fortunately for students who are still stressed, another opportunity to go on an adventure is lurking around the corner. Winter break is rapidly approaching as this semester comes to a close, and there will be time for yet another voyage.

Photo Taken From FreeFoto.com

It's almost time for another vacation. Bon Voyage!

Charter School Leads Double Life As a NightClub

PHILADELPHIA (UTC/AP) — Who knew a school cafeteria could be so much fun?

A space where hundreds of Philadelphia charter school students have been eating their lunches during mundane weekdays has been doubling in its off-hours as nightclub, offering dancing and drinking despite an expired liquor license.

City and school officials are not happy about the arrangement between Club Damani and the Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School, which serves about 450 children in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Superintendent Arlene Ackerman said in a letter to Harambee on Monday that “a school and a nightclub cannot coexist in the same space and (the arrangement) must cease immediately,” according to a school district statement.

As a charter school, Harambee receives about $3.5 million annually in public funds but operates independently of the district. Officials at Harambee, which is on spring break this week, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

A statement on the school’s Web site said recent media reports contain “slanderous and inaccurate allegations.”

“This attack on Harambee Charter School is a biased depiction of the true success story that Harambee truly is,” it said.

Officers with the state Bureau of Liquor Enforcement visited Club Damani on Saturday, a day after WPVI-TV first aired a report on the building’s double-life. The segment included footage of liquor bottles and a YouTube video promoting the club in which a man refers to marijuana use.

No alcohol was being served when authorities arrived, bureau Sgt. William La Torre said Tuesday. However, club officials told officers that alcohol had been served in the past and that they thought their license was current, La Torre said.

Club officials denied any drug use on the premises and said the YouTube video was part of a standup comedy routine, La Torre said. Still, officers urged them to be cautious about their clientele, he said.

“Basically, we said we need you to do what’s right for the kids,” La Torre said.

Liquor licenses can be denied to establishments within 300 feet of a school. In this case, the school moved into a building that already was licensed, state Liquor Control Board spokeswoman Francesca Chapman said Tuesday.

Harambee’s facility in West Philadelphia was once an Italian-American social club that had held a liquor license since 1936, Chapman said. The club transferred the license to the school-affiliated Harambee Institute in 2002, but Chapman said it expired in 2008.

Neighbors also are upset about the situation, said city Controller Alan Butkovitz. He said he has received complaints about discarded drug packaging and liquor bottles near the club.

Butkovitz revealed Tuesday that Harambee is one of 13 charter schools under investigation by his office for questionable financial practices.

La Torre said the enforcement bureau last received a complaint — which was noise related — about Club Damani in January 2008, when it was still licensed to serve alcohol.

The city’s Department of Licenses & Inspections cited the club in February for lacking three necessary business permits, said Maura Kennedy, a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office. The club has until April 10 to comply or it will be shut down, she said.