Monthly Archives: April 2018

QEP on Campus

by Alyssa Gibson

QEP is a popular buzzword on Piedmont College’s campus, yet with it comes a growing problem: most students can’t identify what it is.

QEP, or Quality Enhancement Plan, is a five-year accreditation process that focuses on student involvement and bettering its undergraduates. “We are in our first year of the SACS accreditation process, and we’ve chosen to focus on undergraduate research and creative inquiry, global learning and leadership and community engagement,” said Julia Schmitz, director of QEP. “Our main goal is to improve student learning and get students more involved on campus. Studies have shown that the more students are involved the more likely they are to succeed through college, graduate on time, and get a job.”

With student success being their main goal, QEP channels their efforts in different ways. “We’ve had a Leadership Symposium, a T-shirt event, and a Maymester showcase. We were able to bring Maymester participation up from about 21 students last year to over 75 students now,” said Andrea Guillen, QEP student fellow for the Demorest campus. “We’ve had around 250 students participate in our sponsored events and we’re excited to see that turnout.”

Despite the success that it has had on campus, QEP is still seemingly unrecognizable by most students on campus.

“QEP has something to do with involvement on campus,” said Christian Castro, a residential student. “I really don’t know what it is or what it does, I’ve just heard the QEP is HIP lingo around campus.”

“I know it puts on events like QEP week, but I couldn’t tell you what it is,” said commuter London Cochran.

One theory Dr. Schmitz has for the unfamiliarity among students is the program is still relatively new. “We’re trying to make students understand what they’re working for, but because we are in our first year we can’t expect results overnight,” Schmitz said. “We have some events lined up in the future that will hopefully make the name and the goal more recognizable around campus.”

Although it isn’t universally recognized around campus, QEP is still dedicated to its original founding goals of bettering students. “The reason why it was created is to continue raising awareness for what we’re trying to do and the change that we’re trying to create so that it proves to other institutions and accreditors that we are working hard,” said Kanler Cumbass, an SGA President and representative on the QEP Steering Committee.

“It proves that we are engaged, that our students are learning outside the classroom, that the experiences as a college student don’t just affect you once you leave Daniel or Stewart Hall, that you’re gaining experiences in the global and local world as well as you’re gaining experience through service learning and undergraduate research. We’re working for our students, even if they don’t realize it yet.”

Tornado strikes Piedmont campus, injuries nearly 100

by Alyssa Gibson

Editor’s Note: This was written as a breaking news story covering a simulated disaster drill at Piedmont College. The event served as a training opportunity for the college’s nursing students.

Piedmont College was a chaotic wasteland after a tornado ripped through a crowd of unsuspecting students on Wednesday morning.

Students were found strewn along the sidewalk as the tornado swept through the Piedmont amphitheater, flinging branches and debris and causing near-toxic amounts of smoke to blanket the Swanson Center.

Habersham Police, Habersham County Emergency Services Department, Homeland Security and Public Health were all present at the scene as well as 70 Piedmont nursing students who were enlisted to help with injuries. “Around 97 students are in need of medical attention,” said Karen Greilich, coordinator of the on-scene disaster relief efforts. “We have Habersham search and rescue dogs on the scene looking for any other victims that may be lost in the woods and drones overhead surveying the scene.”

Students were being treated while many deceased victims had to be left behind. Friends and family were separated from each other as victims were being escorted to safe zones by the Piedmont nursing students. “I just watched my baby die,” said Marianne Smart, a junior at Piedmont. “She was 2 and they wouldn’t let me go back for her. It was horrifying.”

Deceased victims were categorized as black using the standard nursing triage system and left where they were lying. Nursing students were encouraged to leave terminal victims classified as black or gray and focus on those with a higher chance of surviving.

“We never do CPR. If a person isn’t breathing or doesn’t have a pulse you move on. You can’t use all of your resources on one victim.” Greilich said. “It’s the greatest good for the greatest number. That’s the bottom line.”

Nursing students and EMS focused their attention on victims in need of immediate attention by administering bandages, medicine and thermal blankets. “We went in in teams of four and escorted as many people as we could out of there,” nursing student Chelsea Thomas said. My team picked up the red or most critical patients according to the triage system and gave them the necessary bandages and medicine we could provide on the scene before they were taken to the hospital in an ambulance.”

Rev. Tim Garvin-Leighton was also on the scene providing comfort to those in need. “I’m trying to keep people calm. That’s my main responsibility,” he said. I’ve been helping escort people to the safe zones as I can. It’s very crazy, but we’ve been able to rescue a lot of people. All we can do is wait and provide peace where we can.”