Author Archives: chelseablane

Accessibility is a Necessity

by Chelsea Harris

This year, Piedmont College installed ramps on campus grounds

for accessibility to those in wheelchairs and those with physical disabilities.

This is a great step in the right direction, but accessibility is still limited in

other areas on campus. For current and future students, we have to make all

areas on campus easily accessible.

There are currently two students who use electrical wheelchairs as a

means of getting from place to place. Yet, there are still places on campus

that do not allow easy access to these members of our school.

These places include both the entrance to the back of the Swanson Center after

crossing the bridge and the bottom floor of the library.

The bridge to Swanson is accessible in itself, but there is no way for a wheelchair to

get up the steps leading to the glass doors at the back of Swanson. The front entrance is

fine, but students in wheelchairs must either take the long way up to Swanson or have access

to a personal van that can transport wheelchairs. We could make it better for students to

take a quicker and easier route to their classes without assistance if we installed a few more

accessibility points and ramps in this area.

The library is also an issue for students in wheelchairs if they were to need access to

the bottom floor. Students are not allowed to have the code to the bottom floor entrance

from the outside. It is simple enough for students who can enter through the ground floor

and take the stairs down. However, the elevator does not travel all the way down to the bottom

floor. If a student in a wheelchair needed access to this floor, how would they get it?

It isn’t right for any one student to have difficulty getting where they need to go in

order to receive optimal education. While the college has made a step in the right direction,

we should be reaching further. Our campus should be accessible to everyone in search

of an education, and Piedmont may have many students in the future who need to be able to either travel across campus without a personal van or gain access to the bottom floor of the library. Not everyone is going to have someone who can help do these things for them.

Piedmont is always looking for ways to improve for its students. How about this one:

We make every access point for every building accessible for everyone. Every student—regardless of physical abilities—deserves access to all places on campus.

How I Became Toxic

By Chelsea Harris

I don’t think anyone wakes up in the morning and thinks,

“I’m going to hurt the people I love today.”

The mindset isn’t pre-set to encounter unexpected situations.

We just react to the climate and deal with the consequences.

The problem is that consequences live outside of the world of context.

The consequences can seem endless when they are attached

to your name. Without context of all perspectives, a name can

be ruined. It can become bile in the throats

of enemies, spewing out to greet your friends and acquaintances.

Take a person out of their context and all that is left is a description

of the person—their attitude and their mannerisms—all at the mercy of

one perspective.

What if they did do those things you heard about? What if they did

react that way and say those things? Do you know why?

I don’t know everyone’s reasons…but I will tell you mine.

The longest relationship I have been in lasted for

two years, and everything was relatively fine up until the last few months.

That was when the constant fighting started. For a long time, I couldn’t

even tell why we were fighting. It just felt like every time I turned

around there was something else to dispute.

He felt like he was walking on eggshells. I felt like I couldn’t be heard.

All at once, it felt like I wasn’t in a relationship. It felt like I was at war.

Every disgruntled face, every sentence said with attitude, every judgement passed

would start a new fight. And I couldn’t run for cover because the one person

who used to be my stronghold was now on the other side of the fortress.

“I don’t know what to do”: I’d say that more than a few times.

And every time I would try to communicate that I felt attacked

or hurt, he’d say something along the lines of: “You just assumed that I meant

that” or “That’s not what happened” or “I didn’t say that”—to the point where

I actually felt like a crazy girlfriend who had a bunch of problems for no reason.

Gas-lighting—that’s a term that I learned later.

But guess what? I don’t think he was doing it on purpose.

I think it was self-defense in a time where he felt like the

ground was crumbling beneath him.

He became toxic for me…but I also became toxic for him.

Part of our arguments came from not seeing eye to eye on certain subjects.

And there were things that I needed in a relationship that he

couldn’t emotionally or spiritually provide.

It’s not that he was a bad person or that he became a disappointment to me.

I became disappointed in myself for trying to save something that was

supposed to die. If I had noticed the things that were not going to work

between the two of us before we had started dating, I might have been able

to save something from dying at all.

Instead, I expected things from him that were never there to begin with.

He may learn those things eventually—communication, spiritual leadership,

humble love—but if he doesn’t, it’s not up to me to say whether he should

have those traits or not.

It is only up to me that I should want those things, but I don’t have

to have those things with him. And he didn’t need to change for me.

That is why, even if my name has burned like acid leaving his tongue,

I won’t do the same with his.

This is Caleb Rogers

By Chelsea Harris

A Student Emmy Award winner has come to Piedmont with the hopes of starting something new.

Caleb Rogers, 20, has led quite an interesting life, and this isn’t recent news. Yes, he has achieved a lot within the last couple of years alone; but he has always been used to feeling a little different.

When Caleb was 6 months old, his parents adopted him from Russia. From there, they moved to Richmond, Virginia where they lived for 10 years. Because of his father’s job, however, he had to move around a lot over the next decade—from Farmville, Virginia to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to Chatham, Virginia. During this last phase of moving, Caleb attended high school at Hargrave Military Academy for 4 years, which was different from any private or public school he had ever attended. Ironically, in the strictest school he attended, Caleb found his love for art and ended up helping their school develop an art program.

“But I’ve always been interested in film,” Caleb says. “I started off doing drawing and painting because I was really artistic, but film has always been different for me. I’ve always had this dream of being an actor, even though it would never happen because I don’t like being in front of the camera very much. I’d rather be behind the camera creating things.”

He worked really hard in high school to develop his portfolio and ended up getting accepted into three prestigious art schools: Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and The University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Caleb attended the SCAD summer program in his junior year of high school, and one of his professors actually worked for Ariana Grande. This was Caleb’s “in”— he was chosen to be one of the directors for his course. At SCAD, he ended up doing a lot of short films and a live show with students there. This is when his team won a Student Emmy Award.

“The best time I had there was being a part of the Savannah Film Festival,” Caleb says. “One of my really good friends was head of the journalism committee, and he said, ‘You have a really good presence, and you’re good at talking to people. Do you want to help interview celebrities?’ So I had the opportunity to meet and get to know Hugh Jackman, John Krasinsky, Emily Blunt, and a lot of producers and directs and other actors.”

After these first major accomplishments, Caleb was invited to work on three different music videos for Ariana Grande: “Thank You, Next,” “Seven Rings,” and “Boyfriend.” During November of 2018, he left SCAD and was solely working on these film projects in Atlanta. “Being able to be trained by Ariana’s videographers and getting to know her was really cool. When they asked me to do this, I was like ‘Oh, I’m not going to see her.’ But there were times when it was just me, her and her manager in a room.”

After “Thank You, Next,” Caleb worked on a few other music videos with artists such as J Cole, Chance the Rapper and 21 Savage. “Out of the people that I got to work with, I definitely know J Cole the best, and I got along with him well, too, because he’s actually from North Carolina. So we could relate and he knows a lot of the places I know.”

Caleb worked on music videos all the way up to this past summer (2019), and then decided to cool down on those for a little bit. He started working on a feature film in which his roommate at SCAD was acting. The feature film was The Conjuring 3, and he became a production assistant for the movie, working on it from August through October of 2019 as he was coming into Piedmont.

Between SCAD and Piedmont, Caleb had to decide whether to keep working on these film projects or to get a degree before continuing. “If I really want to get where I want to go, which is owning my own production company and directing big movies, then I’m going to need a degree in film.”

Caleb’s parents ended up moving their family to Clarkesville, Georgia in June of 2019 when his dad, Craig Rogers, became the Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Piedmont. “We’re actually trying to develop a film program here, and things are being pushed in a really good direction.”

“When I came to Piedmont,” Caleb says, “I was only going to stay here for a year and then transfer because Piedmont doesn’t have a film program. But I ended up falling in love with Piedmont, and I thought, ‘I’m going to try to help build a film program.’”

Caleb has been involved with meetings for a film program that Piedmont may consider implementing in the near future. The outlook is positive.  The film industry is thriving in Georgia, especially in Atlanta. This makes it easier to justify bringing in a film program for the school, a fact that Caleb communicated with members of Piedmont College’s administration and mass communications department chair Joe Dennis.

“He came to me during the first week of classes and told me he wanted to help build a film program at Piedmont,” Dennis says. “His determination and desire is inspiring, and I’m hoping we can help him see his vision become a reality.”

They have a long road ahead, but the way things are looking, it seems almost definite that Piedmont will be looking at a fantastic addition to its Fine Arts Programs. Caleb said he is committed to helping see this project through. “It’s been amazing to be a part of this thing and to push this program for Piedmont.”