Fall 2020 brings many changes to campus


Cassie Labay/The JTAC

Yoseline Hernandez, Jessica Vaden, Justin Montalbo, Hailey Campbell and Zugelly Idaly Espinosa launching their ducks into the Nursing Building reflecting pool on Oct. 13, 2020 during TSU Spirit week.

As the fall semester comes to a close, so does the cursed year of 2020. Looking back, we’ve been thrown many curve balls, but we continue to persevere through it all. During our first semester back on campus, after COVID-19, Tarleton shown that its students can find some sort of normalcy again, even if it means wearing facemasks and social distancing.

Although it may be difficult to see the many successes of this semester; we as a campus community have had many. Here are some of the semester’s highlights.

Kickstarting the semester Tarleton welcomed the class of 2024. After a successful move in day, the incoming Freshman participated in Transition Week. There, the students participated in fun events that encouraged getting more involved on campus and learning more about Tarleton’s traditions and history. Finally, at the end of the week, the students lit their candle signifying that they will always be a Tarleton Texan.

A week later, on Aug. 28 Tarleton hosted the Unity Walk to commemorate the 57th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream,” speech. Dr. King’s speech was first heard in 1963 during the march on Washington. The speech brought hope to minorities that someday they will have the same and equal rights as every person in the U.S. Tarleton student leaders recited excerpts from Dr. King’s speeches and their call to action to renew our commitment to the dream.

The fight for racial equality didn’t stop there. During Hispanic Heritage Month, Tarleton’s Office of Diversity Inclusion and International Programs (ODIIP) held the Hispanic Culture Gallery. The goal of the Hispanic Culture Gallery was to educate Tarleton students on the fears, insecurities and experiences of their Hispanic peers on campus. This was not the only goal, though.

Narda Roman Delgado, the Vice President of Tarleton’s Organization of Latinx American Students (OLAS) expressed her hope that when people see the gallery they see themselves in the people featured in the gallery.

“I hope when people see the pictures, they not only see us, but they see themselves in us as well. You know, we might be different in our backgrounds, but there will always be things in common between us,” Roman Delgado said. “I think people from all different backgrounds can relate to the insecurity of being exposed. So, this is not only a depiction or exposure of vulnerability, this is a commonality between the viewer and the people represented in the gallery.”

The new ring monument on campus is also bringing hope to Tarleton students. The ring,
being funded by Tarleton Alumni Association and the university’s partner Josten is located between Honors Hall and the Lamar Johnson Science Building. With some help from Josten, the
Tarleton Alumni Association had raised the money through their annual golf tournament. The design of the ring was created by a committee of Tarleton Alumni who wanted to bring a unique and meaningful presence to campus.

Creating something new seems to be the trend on campus this semester. Tarleton’s Kinesiology department is the perfect example of taking something old and making it brand new. A group of four kinesiology students and graduate assistants decided to revamp the departments “Frontrunners Podcast,” by aiming to reach a new audience. These students are Frontrunners Podcast’s Director and Producer Lane Senn, and the podcast’s Social Media Coordinators Kaity Burris, Sydney Shippey and Josh Willis.

Originally the podcast was created as an educational kinesiology program to help kinesiology students, staff and alumni further their education outside of the classroom. Now, these four kinesiology students are trying to grab the attention of students from all majors. Frontrunners Podcast’s new goal is to bring a kinesiology take to all majors, careers and hobbies.

A new development that could be featured on the podcast is the new Aquatics Center that will be built as a new addition to the Recreation Center. The Aquatics Center is a $12 million project that will feature a 15,000 foot leisure pool and an Olympic size, NCAA regulation pool. The Aquatics Center should be finished during the Fall semester of 2021. The plans to add a pool to the Recreation Center has been talked about for six years now and is part of a goal to recruit new students.

Tarleton’s first Midnight Madness as a Division I program took place on Wednesday, Oct. 28. Capacity inside Wisdom Gym is limited to a maximum of 50%, per Governor Abbott’s Executive
Order. Athletes and students were excited to return to Wisdom gym after having to say goodbye so quickly into the season due to COVID-19.

With all the exciting things that are happening around us, it’s easy to lose track of time. For so
many of us the semester flew by so quickly we barely realized we had finished midterms. After the pandemic started, we all tried to find some sort of comfort, and for many of us that meant wanting to see a change. The changes don’t have to stop in 2020 though.

2021 opens the door to many new opportunities. Keep your eyes open next spring for the many ways you can make a change.