Heavy Problems for Chattanooga’s Young and Old

By: Sid Sadler

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) – There’s a heavier problem on students nowadays when it comes to textbooks, and it’s not necessarily the cost.

It’s no secret that the high cost of textbooks, has been hampering students from all over the country. Currently, students are scrambling to find a website or place to buy back their textbooks. A problem that hasn’t really been addressed though, is the health problems that can occur carrying all those textbooks around.

Currently there is not a lot of academic literature on the effects of heavy backpacks on college students. However there have been numerous studies on children, and the health effects heavy backpacks have on them.

A New York Times Article on heavy backpack usage, found that, ” The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission calculated that carrying a 12-pound backpack to and from school and lifting it 10 times a day for an entire school year puts a cumulative load on youngsters’ bodies of 21,600 pounds — the equivalent of six mid-sized cars.”

Dr. Horne, Professor of Political Science at UTC said, ” I had to give my 5th grader my backpack to fit all their textbooks in.”

Other studies have found that teens carry, “10-15%” their body weight. Junior Emily Andrews, who is an exercise science major said, ” While cost is always important, it’s also important to look at the overall health effects that heavy books have on the body.”

Possible eBooks could ease the burden of heavy textbooks.

Possible eBooks could ease the burden of heavy textbooks.

These findings are obviously a little troublesome, but with any type of electronic book, there must be a way of getting the book in the first place. This can lead to another trouble, which is being able to afford a device that can display an electronic textbook in the first place.

Mitchell Frame sophomore at UTC said, ” Forcing students to get an iPad or a Kindle could be costly for students, if the teacher went the route of going all electronic for books.”

Another issue that arises is what happens if the book disappears from the online data base. Dr. Horne also said, “Professors really have no incentive to go online, because books could disappear.”

If for some reason a book disappears online, or is discontinued, then the professor will have definite issues when it comes to conducting class. The professor would have to either find another book, or simply adjust their teaching style. This could ultimately effect not only the professor, but the students in the class as well.

Another issue that could come up by using online textbooks, is the problem of online piracy. Online piracy is a big problem with the internet currently, and it would be hard to walk the line between pirated material and non-pirated material.


  • Easier to carry
  • Less overall cost
  • Searching through content is made easier on student
  • It’s a ‘green’ investment


  • Online Piracy
  • Screen glares
  • Risk of power outages

Either way you weigh it, there is much to be said about the topic of textbooks. There are various arguments out there supporting lowering costs for textbooks. However, health reasons might ultimately bring the downfall of the textbook as we know it today.

For other coverage about textbooks go to:



Let us Know How Heavy is Your Backpack?








UTC Student Creates Parking Petition

General parking lot with numerous pot holes and poor maintenance.

General parking lot with numerous pot holes due to poor maintenance

By: Ashley Broockman

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – It is nothing new to hear student complaints about parking on campus, but one student has created an online petition asking for a reform of the parking rules, regulations and lot maintenance.

Junior Patrick Wagner recently created the petition, which details some of the troubles he and others have experienced with UTC’s parking services. Wagner says he created the petition after an incident with the parking administration pushed him over the edge.

“They gave me a parking ticket for a car that I didn’t own, or had ever owned. It was never owned by any of my family either. I couldn’t register for classes or anything because I had a hold on my account. The parking services wouldn’t let me appeal the ticket until my dad, who is a lawyer, talked to them.”

Wagner says he shared the petition on Facebook and with his fraternity brothers after creating it, and overnight it was a hit.

“Overnight it got about 70 signatures, which was kind of shocking. I didn’t expect it to really spread at all at first.”

Sophomore Stevi Boling said, “The petition is a great idea. It gives students a place to come together and talk about their experiences and think of ways to fix these problems. I signed the petition as soon as I saw it on Facebook.”

Petition Issues Addressed

  • Faulty parking tickets
  • Not enough spaces
  • Separation of reserved and general lots
  • Decal prices
  • Poor lot maintenance                                   

Wagner pushes for lower decal prices, and also brings up the idea of having no separate lot decals but one decal so that students can park anywhere. He also addresses the poor maintenance of the lots including the general lots that are gravel with numerous potholes (as pictured above). Wagner says all lots should be paved to give equal parking to everyone. He also thinks there should be a reform of the appeals process, because there are so many students who have received faulty tickets without being able to appeal them.

Parking Committee’s Response

However, according to the minutes from a recent parking authority committee meeting in February, the committee “discussed rate increases” and also “decided that a parking rate increase was needed along with a new transportation fee.”

With a steady increase in parking space to student ratio, the parking committee has addressed that expanding parking is a priority. There has been discussion of rate increases, event parking increases, etc. so that UTC can pay the massive amounts it will take in order to buy new land, add new lots, or even add a new parking garage.


Overcrowded general parking lot on UTC’s campus


According to data found from Reed Constructions, the average costs of adding new, smaller paved lots costs around 4 thousand dollars per parking space.  This adds up to about 200 thousand dollars for a small lot that holds only fifty cars.

Depending on the type and size of a full parking garage, the averaging cost is around 3 million to 5 million dollars.

With the costs of these endeavors averaging from the hundred thousands to millions mark, these and other issues addressed in Wagner’s petition will not be able to be addressed for another several years.

There is still something to be done about the faulty parking tickets, appeals process, and other non-construction based issues included in Wagner’s petition. You can view and sign the parking petition using this link – UTC PARKING PETITION.


This story also featured on UTC’s campus broadcast station Mocs News.





Brown to Step Down Earlier as UTC Chancellor

Chattanooga, TN (UTC/The Loop) — UTC Chancellor Roger Brown will step down sooner that first announced and Dr. Grady Bogue will take over as interim chancellor.

In June, Brown had said he would retire in spring 2013 or when his replacement was found. Now Brown says the loss of his wife took a greater toll than he first realized and he will step down September 20th to make way for an interim chancellor.

In an email, UT President Joe DiPietro announced that retired UT professor Dr Grady Bogue will temporarily take Dr. Brown’s place. Dr. Bogue was a professor of leadership and policy studies at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville from 1991 until his retirement earlier this year.

Here is the letter released to UTC staff:

Dear Colleagues, As many of you know, this has been a particularly difficult year for me personally. The death of my wife Carolyn was a severe blow. I now realize that my emotional and physical health demand that I take some time to heal, reflect, and prepare for the next challenge in my life.  Therefore, I have decided to retire earlier than I previously announced. My last day on the staff of UTC will be September 30, but I will welcome the Interim Chancellor and be on administrative leave as of September 20.


This decision has not been made lightly. It has been a privilege to serve as Chancellor of this campus, and I will miss the interactions with all of you, faculty, staff, and students. No one knows better than I what we have at UTC—a tremendous group of talented and dedicated people who work very hard to make this campus great. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this blue and gold family.


I have been fortunate to receive comfort and support from so many of you. Words cannot express my sincere gratitude. The friendships and the experiences that I have enjoyed here will be with me forever. My best wishes to each of you.  

  Sincerely, Roger G. Brown

UT President Reacts to UTC Chancellor’s Retirement

Update June 8 3:30pm

University leaders are reacting to news that UTC Chancellor Roger Brown has decided to retire.

Here is the release from UT President Joe DiPietro:

After a successful career in higher education including a dynamic and productive seven years at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chancellor Roger Brown informed me earlier today of his plans to retire.

I have enjoyed working with him since 2006, when he and I both were chancellors. As chancellor, Roger has done an excellent job leading UT Chattanooga and ensuring its success in fulfilling a mission that is vital to the city, the region, and the state.

He is a proud UT alumnus, and his rapport with the community has established a solid foundation for future opportunities. I know community leadership will join us – both in reluctance to see him go and in wishing Roger the very best going forward.

June 8 1:30pm

Here is the information released by email to UTC staff Friday afternoon:

Dear Campus Colleagues,


As all of you know, this has been a tremendously difficult year for me personally, and yet, throughout all of the ups and downs, Carolyn and I received so much love and support from our campus and community families. You will never know how important this has been for me.


And that is why I wanted to make sure you received this announcement from me personally as soon as I was able to let you know that I have decided to retire from the position of Chancellor of this wonderful campus.


It has truly been a privilege to work at UTC and to be welcomed in the hearts of so many. From the beginning, Carolyn and I felt the friendship and warmth from both the campus and the community. As many of you know, we had already begun to make arrangements to retire and make Chattanooga our home, and I certainly plan to still do so.


With the search for a new provost already in the hatching stage, this year already promised to be a busy one. After talking to President DiPietro, we have agreed that the search for a new chancellor should take precedence so that the new leader can have input into the selection of a new provost. With that idea in mind, I anticipate that President DiPietro will name a chancellor search committee soon with the hope of having a new chancellor in place in spring 2013. I have agreed to remain in place until a new chancellor can be sworn in or until March 31, 2013.


Given this timetable, I suspect that a provost search for this campus will begin a little later than earlier reported, perhaps mid-fall semester, with the thought being that final provost candidates could be identified soon after a new chancellor is selected. This would allow for President DiPietro’s wish that the new chancellor be involved in the provost selection.


I realize that this announcement comes while many of you are away for the summer, and I wish I could tell each of you individually, but that is just not possible.


In closing, there is still much to be done this year. All indications point to another record enrollment this fall. Construction projects are spread across campus. Our retention rates are improving. New academic programs have launched and others are in the works.


I appreciate all you do for our students and I pledge to do everything in my power to keep the Chattanooga spirit of achievement strong as I prepare to relinquish the reins to a new leader in the spring.


We shall achieve!



Roger Brown





UTC Teacher Fights to Protect TN Mountains

By Christina Stafford

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) – One UTC teacher’s passion for protecting Tennessee mountains and valleys has helped keep the issue in front of the public.

Jeannie Hacker-Cerulean has been an advocate to help stop the removal of mountain tops for coal mining since 2004.  “I care about the water and I want to protect the clean water cycle,” she said. “When I heard the about mountain top removal and how it pollutes the water with heavy metals, I decided to become a mountain justice worker,” the UTC faculty member said.

Cerulean and others who work for an end to mountain top removal have been to Nashville to lobby the State Senate. “I am personal correspondents with some of the senators,” Cerulean said. She said she makes mailing labels to give out to people to write the senators to express what they think about the issue. She said she also puts posters up with the labels on them all around the Chattanooga area to raise awareness.

“Mrs. Cerulean brought a student advocate from MTSU to talk about the mining to my advocacy and debate class she teaches.” Alyssah Martin, Soddy Daisy junior, said. “The whole class could tell this is something she is truly passionate about.”

College students can get involved in the cause to end mountain top removal. “Universities in Tennessee, including UTC’s EDGE (Ecological Decisions for a Global Environment) group, are getting involved and contribute greatly to the cause,” Cerulean said.

Students have protested by sitting in trees to stop them from being cut down and cleaning tree sitting as well as helping to clean up the communities that are affected by coal mining.  Students are also involved by talking about the issue in their schools and hometowns, Cerulean said.

Some students believe it is a worthy cause. “It’s good to know there are opportunities out there for college students to take action on something so important,” Tiffany Reed, Cookeville sophomore, said.

If passed, the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection bill will end mountain top removal of ridges over 2000 feet in Tennessee, Cerulean said. She said she thinks state senators are listening about the issue.

More than 1,000 mountains have been destroyed since the 1970s in Appalachian Mountains states. These mountains are being targeted for coal mining that results in more job opportunities in small communities “Though the new jobs in the communities are a great thing, people’s health and the environment are at risk,” Cerulean said.

The stream buffer zone rule was set in 1983. This rule says that coal-mining companies cannot operate within 100 feet of streams. “Mining companies still dump the waste in streams,” Cerulean said.

In 2009, a new buffer zone rule was set in motion requiring mining companies to not dump the waste in the valleys, Cerulean said.

Sexual Assault Warning on Campus

Chattanooga, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) — UTC officials issued a warning about a sexual assault on campus.

Here are the details:

UTC Police responded to a report of a sexual assault in the 5th Street parking garage earlier this evening, Thursday, December 1.  The campus is urged to be on the lookout for a white male, college-age, between 6′ and 6’2″, shaggy sandy hair, scraggly beard, slender, athletic build, wearing a North Face style all-weather red jacket.  He escaped on foot.

If anyone has any information on this suspect, please contact UTC Police at 425-4357.

Members of the campus community are urged to use caution and be aware of your surroundings while walking on campus.  Try not to walk alone, especially at night.


Fashion Police Hit UTC Campus

By: Stefanie Wittler


Chattanooga, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – – The fashion police have hit UTC’s campus. I spoke with students and a faculty member on their opinion of how people dress when they come to campus. Do students take pride in how they dress, or do they just do the “sniff test”?

As you walk around campus, you will see all types of fashion. Some students really dress up for class and others are just casual. So what really is the motive behind the choice of student’s clothing?

UTC Fashion Police

Communication major, Jordan Cox stood out today in his bright turquoise shirt and matching tie. Cox said, “My mom always told me to look the best I can when I leave the house, so this is an everyday look for me.” Cox also went on to say that he doesn’t have a problem with students who dress causal for class.


To get a different perspective of campus attire, UTC Fine Art Center Box Office supervisor Sue Carroll said that she thinks the students should dress casual. “I would like to see the professors dress a little more professional. Sometimes its hard to tell them from the students”, said Carroll.

So when it really comes down to it, choice of campus attire is all about personal preference. Whether you’re rocking shorts and a tee, or making a fashion statement in a three piece suit, the main factor is that you’re showing up for class and that’s what really matters.


Bookstore Changes Things for Fall

By Sarah Waugh

The bookstore on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will have the help of new technology to tackle the crowds this fall.

Cheryl Buckles, Assistant Manager of the store, said they’ve had a “mini remodel.”

“We have updated our clothing area with new displays,” she said. “We’ve added some new technology with computers for sale.” Buckles also said the store will replace their old cash registers with new ones that are much faster.

Jackie Dudley, the Textbook Supervisor, said the new room for online orders will now have a window for the employees to work at instead of a counter. The boxed orders will be neatly organized there, and will no longer have to be among the trade books that were in that space before the remodel. Dudley said the boxes will be “shelved quite nicely and orderly so that hopefully the whole process is streamlined.”

Staff member Amanda Martin was enthusiastic about the new changes. The best part for her was the improved stock selection. “We have all kinds of new patterns and colors and designs,” she said.

With student enrollment remaining high, new students and returning students alike will find the quicker service at the bookstore a relief. We will all see in the fall if the predictions for speedier shopping trips are accurate.

Costly Fire Alarms Add Up

By Justin Gibson

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) —

Apartment buildings on UTC’s South Campus with activated fire alarms have cost the local taxpayers $31,500-$42,000 since Jan. 10.

“Every time the (fire) department rolls out, it costs about $1,500-$2,000 for taxpayers.” Shellie Thorne, Assistant Fire Marshal of Hamilton County, said. “Only if the call is considered malicious then that person would be charged with the fine.”

South Campus residents, who are divided up into five different buildings, have seen the fire department report to the campus 21 different times this semester according to Bruce Garner, Public Information Director for Chattanooga Fire Department.

Lisa Gladden, the safety inspector supervisor at UTC, says that most of these calls are when students are not paying attention to their cooking or are smoking in the building. The smoke gets into the detectors and sets off the local alarm.

“The fire department must report to every call, and always expect to fight a fire.” Thorne said.

“Any time the fire department is called out it puts the firefighters and the community in danger,” Gladden said, “Basically people need to be educated as to what they are doing.”

This is exactly what the fire safety meeting on campus is designed to do. Gladden and Thorne have this meeting in order to inform students of the potential dangers of their carelessness and the endangerment of the firefighters and others.


“The individual is held liable,” Thorne said, “If an alarm were set off and someone got hurt, not only would that person be responsible for the fine, and the reckless endangerment charge but any felony charges and the criminal record as well.”

Gladden said that she would like to see the fire and safety program worked into the freshman orientation in some way but is hesitant to try and make it mandatory.

Gladden and Thorne already have door prizes at the meeting that range anywhere from I-pods, to televisions, to DVDs for any student who shows up.

Gladden said that she is open to ideas for incentives for the students and she hopes that meeting attendance will increase in the future.


Update: UTC Student Dies While Traveling Overseas

June 21st

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) — We have more on the life of Brooke Winslett. She’s the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga student who died while on a trip overseas.

Here are the details released by the Soddy-Daisy funeral home handling the arrangements:

Brooke Winslett, a UTC student, passed away in Athens, Greece, on Saturday, June 18, during a trip to Rome and Greece.

Rebecca Brooke Winslett was born on March 28, 1981.  She was preceded in death by her grandfathers, Gene Winslett and William R. “Bob” Griffith.  She is survived by her parents, Joe and Belinda Griffith Winslett; sister, Ali Jo, brother, Joey; grandmother, Rebecca “Betty Jo” Boyd Griffith; all of Chattanooga; and grandmother, Dot Winslett of Hueytown, Alabama.  She is also survived by uncles Wendell McQuirk of Murfreesboro; Tim Winslett of Bristol, Virginia; and Shane Winslett of Hueytown; and aunts, Cynthia Garcia of Whiteside, Tennessee; Sharon Prayter of Hueytown; Barbara Griffith Moffett of Fort Worth, TX and Tracy Griffith Longobardi of Chattanooga; and a host of cousins and friends who drew inspiration from her life and joy from her presence.

Brooke was a lifelong learner and an avid student of history, literature and genealogy.  She was knowledgeable about British royalty, World War II and the impact of the Holocaust.  She had an encyclopedic knowledge of her family’s 250-year history as pioneers in Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia.  With family and friends, she traveled to the Badlands of South Dakota and to the Caribbean.   Last year she toured the British Isles and even kissed the Blarney Stone.  She had anticipated this trip with the greatest of joy and, upon arriving in Rome, said she finally understood why author Augusta Evans compared the view from Lookout Mountain to the view from the hills of Rome.  She was a tireless advocate for the “handicapable” and counted as the highlights of her life her work as a docent and student speaker during a 2007 exhibit on the Holocaust and her meetings with Academy Award winning actress Marlee Matlin and reality TV star Amy Roloff and others who spoke up for human rights.  Brooke attended Soddy-Daisy High School, where she won the Trojan Award for her determination to succeed, and Chattanooga State, before transferring to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  She loved UTC with an intensity and devotion, calling it her “true home.”  She was proud to be a student there and felt she had accomplished one of her life’s goals by becoming a UTC student.

Funeral arrangements are pending by Legacy Funeral Home and Cremation Center, Soddy-Daisy, TN 843-2525 Share your memories, stories and photos at www.legacyfuneralhome.com.


June 20th noon

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) – Students and faculty at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga are mourning the passing of Brooke Winslett, a student who inspired others with her lifelong joy of learning and her determination to overcome physical challenges.

Brooke was part of a group of UTC students touring Rome and Greece, when she became ill and suddenly died.  Her mother is in Greece now working with authorities who are investigating the cause of her death.

Her companions on the trip are devastated by her passing. They held an impromptu memorial service on the beach at Glyfada, spelling out her name in stones and putting candles inside the name.  They held hands and spoke of her wonderful qualities, then tossed the stones into the Aegean Sea.

Brooke Winslett

June 20th 12:20am

By the Loop staff

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/TheLoop) – Officials with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga confirm that a student traveling abroad has died.

Here is the information released by University Relations:


Dear Members of the Campus Community,
The University mourns the death of Brooke Winslett, one of a group of UTC students touring Italy and Greece. Brooke died from unexpected medical conditions while in Greece. An autopsy is being conducted by authorities in Athens.

Brooke’s mother is traveling to Greece to work with authorities who are investigating the cause of her death. UTC officials remain in close communication with the family, and Dr. Nancy Badger will remain in Athens to assist the family.

Before preparing to return to Chattanooga on Monday, Brooke’s companions on the trip held an impromptu memorial service on the beach at Glyfada, lighting candles and remembering her wonderful qualities.

The UTC Counseling Center is offering grief counseling to those in need. Visit the Counseling Center in the University Center during office hours this week.

Details for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.


Please keep Brooke and her many family members and friends in your thoughts.