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New, returning MTSU student vets invited to Jan. 19 newcomers event

New and returning MTSU student veterans and their families are welcome to attend a “newcomers briefing” provided by the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center.

The event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building, 628 Alma Mater Drive. To find the location and parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Zachary Lopez, left, and MTSU freshman biology major Rafael Lopez of Readyville, Tennessee, learn about Health Services and Health Promotions from Rick Chapman, right, and Lisa Schrader at the August 2016 newcomer briefing held by the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center near the Military Memorial site outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Zachary Lopez, left, and MTSU freshman biology major Rafael Lopez of Readyville, Tennessee, learn about Health Services and Health Promotions from Rick Chapman, right, and Lisa Schrader at the August 2016 newcomer briefing held by the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center near the Military Memorial site outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

The briefing is to ensure veterans and their families are up to speed on campus resources, said Dr. Hilary Miller, center director.

Dr. Hilary Miller

Dr. Hilary Miller

Miller and her staff are targeting new-to-MTSU student veterans and family members, but it is open to all military-connected students, she said.

“Our goal is to make sure they have on-campus contacts for all offices that can help them be successful,” Miller said.

“In addition, we want them to know the center staff, be connected to us and know other student veterans.”

The agenda includes:

  • Dinner from 5 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Welcome, introduction of staff and center’s mission, led by Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives and retired U.S. Army lieutenant general.
  • Veterans’ introductions.
  • Current center programs and fall semester events, led by Miller.
  • MTSU and the veterans’ relationship, led by Dr. Derek Frisby, a veteran, MTSU alumnus and faculty member in the Global Studies and Cultural Geography program in the College of Liberal Arts.
  • Discovering campus resources (includes tours and information about G.I. Bill, VetSuccess on Campus, tutoring and more).
  • College challenge from Miller, emphasizing graduation and employment expectations.

Student veterans can RSVP for the event by emailing Jennifer Brown at Jennifer.Brown@mtsu.edu or call 615-904-8347.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

newcomers-briefing72

MTSU closes Jan. 16 for MLK holiday; spring classes begin Jan. 17

MTSU will be closed Monday, Jan. 16, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday.

The university will reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, with all business offices and departments open regular hours.

Students and faculty, who have been on winter break, return to begin spring semester classes Jan. 17.MTSU Wordmark

Monday night starting at 6 in the Student Union Ballroom, the MTSU Office of Intercultural & Diversity Affairs will hold a vigil, hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, in celebration of King’s work. More details about the event are available here.

During the holiday weekend:

  • The James E. Walker Library will be closed Saturday, Jan. 14, open from 2 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, and closed Jan. 16.
  • The Student Union will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Jan. 14, closed Jan. 15 and open from noon to 9 p.m. Jan. 16.
  • Campus Recreation Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 14, open from noon to 6 p.m. Jan. 15 and closed Jan. 16.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU will test tornado sirens across campus this Wednesday

MTSU plans to test its tornado sirens on campus and at the Miller Coliseum Complex this Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 11:15 a.m.

This will be a brief, routine test of the system, and no safety actions will be required.

If harsh weather is in the area around the time of the scheduled testing, the test will be canceled.

MTSU notifies the campus and surrounding neighborhoods before these tests each month. Tests are conducted on alternating Tuesdays and Wednesdays to minimize distractions for classes and neighbors.

MTSU is currently between semesters and no classes are underway, but offices are operating on regular schedules. The university’s spring 2017 semester begins Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Members of the campus community can prepare for emergency weather situations anytime by checking MTSU’s list of recommended shelter locations at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUTornadoShelters. You also can make note of the siren-testing schedule by visiting www.mtsunews.com/tornado-siren-testing. Bookmark both sites!

Remember that, in the event of a weather emergency, all students, faculty and staff automatically receive a Rave alert at their MTSU email addresses. If you’re not already receiving text and/or voice alerts too, visit www.mtsunews.com/weather and use the “click here and log in” link to make those notification changes.

MTSU enhances security with active shooter guides, more cameras

Middle Tennessee State University has created and distributed an active shooter guide as well as increasing video surveillance and planning to reintroduce emergency call stations to the campus.

With the recent Ohio State University attack as the latest example of the security concerns facing campuses throughout the nation, MTSU’s Division of Student Affairs and University Police Department have been working throughout the semester to update emergency response information located on the university’s “Alert4U” page at http://mtsu.edu/alert4u and share more specific guidelines for active shooter responses.

Chief Buddy Peaster

Chief Buddy Peaster

Dr. Debra Sells

Dr. Debra Sells

Recently ranked among the Top 50 safest large universities in the nation by the website collegechoice.net, MTSU has developed pocket-sized active shooter cards that summarize the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “Run-Hide-Fight” guidelines that have been increasingly embraced by universities around the country, including Ohio State.

MTSU Alert graphic“It helps us provide some really important information to people before an incident so that hopefully in the throes of something serious happening, they will think about what they’ve (seen) and they will have foundational knowledge to make good decisions and keep them safer,” University Police Chief Buddy Peaster said in announcing the effort Dec. 1.

The active shooter cards provide brief summaries of basic steps to take under each phase of the “Run-Hide-Fight” protocol, such as having an escape route in mind when preparing to “run,” blocking entry and locking doors when you “hide” and only “fight” as a last resort and when your life is imminent danger.

Dr. Deb Sells, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment and academic services, said the cards will be available while supplies last at key locations around campus such as the MT One Stop, Student Union, University Police Department and others for students, faculty and staff. The guidelines and an instructional video are also always available on the university’s website at www.mtsu.edu/alert4u/active-shooter.php.

You can view the video below:

“We want to direct students to the cards that they can carry as a reminder, but more importantly to the website where they can view the videos and read (the guidelines) in more detail,” said Sells, noting that such guidelines are not only applicable for college campuses, but for many other public spaces such as malls and other venues.

Starting next year, the cards will be given to all new freshmen during the CUSTOMS student orientation sessions held in summer before the start of classes. All new students are required to attend a CUSTOMS session.

This photo shows the front and back of the MTSU active shooter guide. The pocket-sized guide contains general guidelines for what to do in the event of a shooting incident. The guides are now available at various campus locations and will be distributed to all incoming freshmen students. (MTSU photo)

This photo shows the front and back of the MTSU active shooter guide. The pocket-sized guide contains general guidelines for what to do in the event of a shooting incident. The guides are now available at various campus locations and will be distributed to all incoming freshmen students. (MTSU photo)

At MTSU, alerts for an active shooter situation and other emergencies are sent via the university’s Critical Notification System, which is operated by Rave Mobile Safety and has almost 27,000 registered users. Emergency messages are distributed via texts, emails and phone calls as well as posted to the university’s website and social media accounts.

While students, faculty and staff are automatically registered to receive Rave email alerts, only those who’ve added phone numbers to their notification preferences will also receive a text message and/or recorded phone call. All current MTSU students, faculty and staff can verify and update their Rave notification preferences by using their PipelineMT usernames and passwords at www.getrave.com/login/mtsu.

The campus community can also download the Rave Guardian app on their smartphones. The app includes a panic button feature that connects directly to police as well as a timer feature that allows users to designate police and/or family and friends as “guardians” who can remotely check on their status if traveling alone.

Full details are available at www.mtsu.edu/alert4u/guardian.php.

Sells said the university will continue to reminds students, particularly incoming freshmen, that life on a college campus is much different than high school. That means, among other things, that students should take time to familiarize themselves with emergency protocols found on the university’s website and check their Rave registrations and preferences to ensure they receive emergency messages quickly.

Increased video surveillance

Meanwhile, the University Police Department has partnered with the university’s Information Technology Division, Campus Planning and the Facilities Services Department to expand video surveillance throughout campus to assist police investigations.

So far primarily involving exterior cameras, the multi-year project represents a $1.1 million investment that will allow police to better investigate incidents captured on video as well as better respond to situations in real time.

“We tried to focus on areas where we’ve had serious incidents before or where our statistical information has shown we’ve had a number of incidents,” Peaster said, noting that exterior cameras will soon be installed around Murphy Center, Floyd Stadium and Womack Lane Apartments.

MTSU Police Lt. Kim Rednour, seated, explains the features of the university’s upgraded video surveillance system Thursday, Dec. 1, at the campus police department’s precinct inside the Miller Education Center on Bell Street. From top left are Andrew Oppmann, MTSU vice president of marketing and communications, University Police Chief Buddy Peaster and Bruce Petryshak, vice president for information technology. (MTSU photo by Kimi Conro)

MTSU Police Lt. Kim Rednour, seated, explains the features of the university’s upgraded video surveillance system Thursday, Dec. 1, at the campus police department’s precinct inside the Miller Education Center on Bell Street. From top left are Andrew Oppmann, MTSU vice president of marketing and communications, University Police Chief Buddy Peaster and Bruce Petryshak, vice president for information technology. (MTSU photo by Kimi Conro)

Tom Wallace, associate vice president for information technology, has overseen the camera project, which has already resulted in close to 400 camera installations around campus.

The next phase will add up to 100 exterior additional cameras, he said. Interior cameras are also planned for certain locations, such as the Science Building.

“This is just an extension of enhancing the security on campus,” said Bruce Petryshak, vice president for information technology and chief information officer at MTSU. His Information Technology Division manages the centralized surveillance system, which is accessible anytime by authorized University Police personnel. The long-term plan is to have all campus entrances and exits covered.

Bruce Petryshak

Bruce Petryshak

Installing emergency call stations will be an additional security measure, Petryshak said. Mounted on clearly marked poles, the call stations will not only allow people to make emergency calls directly to police, they will also have multiple cameras attached as well as speaker capabilities for emergency announcements.

The first such station will be installed at a bus stop near Womack Lane, with plans to install several other stations throughout campus.

The University Police Department is an independent law enforcement agency recognized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the state of Tennessee. The department currently consists of 44 commissioned police officers, six full-time dispatchers, approximately 25 part-time student workers, plus full-time administrative staff. MTSU’s police department operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is located at 1412 E. Main St.

Members of Raider Patrol, which is made up of part-time, student employees, provide safety escorts and check and secure doors and windows of university buildings. They also assist and support police personnel with parking for events and other special assignments as needed.

For more information, visit http://mtsu.edu/police. MTSU Police can be reached at 615-898-2424.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Security cameras such as this one mounted on MTSU’s Walker Library are among those that have been installed around campus to enhance security. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Security cameras, such as this one mounted on MTSU’s Walker Library, are among those that have been installed around campus to enhance security. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

MTSU closes Dec. 23-Jan. 2 for holiday break; campus reopens Jan. 3

MTSU will be closed from Friday, Dec. 23, through Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Except for Public Safety, Facilities Services and other essential personnel, all university offices and departments will be closed during this time.

Holiday-closing1-300x153Closures will include the Cope Administration Building; James E. Walker Library; Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center; Health Services and Campus Pharmacy; Student Union; Keathley University Center; MT Dining food services; James Union Building; and all academic buildings.

The university will reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3. Normal business hours are 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The Campus Recreation Center reopens Jan. 3 at 6 a.m.

To schedule a daily campus tour starting Jan. 3, call 615-898-5670, email tours@mtsu.edu or visit http://www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/daily-campus-visits.php.

Murphy Center will be the site for the Lady Raiders 6 p.m. Dec. 28 basketball game against Central Michigan and the Blue Raiders 3 p.m. Jan. 1 Conference USA game against UAB. The Lady Raiders visit UAB at 2 p.m. Jan. 1.

Spring 2017 classes will resume for students and faculty Tuesday, Jan. 17.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Will inclement weather affect MTSU’s schedule? Find out here!

If inclement weather forecasts have you wondering if MTSU classes and events will be delayed or canceled, bookmark this page, mtsunews.com/weather, to keep track of the latest updates!

When inclement weather affects university operations, MTSU will always inform the campus and surrounding community via:

  • direct communication with students, faculty and staff through alerts from MTSU’s Critical Notification System;
  • local radio and television stations (see list below);
  • the “Alert Updates” web page at www.mtsu.edu/alertupdates;
  • a note on the MTSU home page at www.mtsu.edu;
  • the university’s Twitter feed, @mtsunewsand
  • the MTSU hotline (615-898-2000).

 

All current  MTSU students, faculty and staff automatically receive email alerts from the university about weather-related emergencies, delays and cancellations.
MTSU students, faculty and staff who also want to receive text and/or voice alerts may add those preferences by clicking here and logging in with a PipelineMT username and password.

(Campus Alert FAQs, including adding or changing contact information, are available here.)

If MTSU classes are canceled or delayed, the announcement applies to all classes, credit and noncredit. All university offices will be open unless the weather announcement specifically says they’ll be closed. Overnight decisions will be announced by 6 a.m. the following day.

Radio Stations
TV Stations

Student class attendance during inclement weather when the university remains open is addressed in MTSU’s 2016-17 “Blue Raider Planner and Handbook .” It explains that

… students will be allowed to use their own discretion when snow and icy conditions exist — they will be given the opportunity to make up missed classes should they decide not to attend. (page 25)

The Ann Campbell Early Learning Center, MTSU’s early intervention preschool, also has updated its inclement-weather closing policy and follows the university’s closure decisions. You can read the policy here and also check the ACE Learning Center’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AnnCampbellEarlyLearningCenter for more information.

MTSU tests its tornado sirens monthly to ensure proper operation during tornado warnings and other emergency alerts. A schedule of the monthly tests is available at mtsunews.com/tornado-siren-testing. That page also includes a link to recommended tornado shelter locations on campus.

The MTSU Alert4U emergency weather information page at http://mtsu.edu/alert4u/tornado.php also includes tips on preparing for tornado weather and a “Frequently Asked Questions” link to MTSU-specific information for tornado warnings.

MTSU Secret Santas and real Santa support 43 ‘Little Raiders’

MTSU again spread holiday cheer to local families recently at its annual Little Raiders Christmas Party.

With the help of Santa (aka Rich Kershaw, director of MTSU Student Programming), the University supplied gifts to 43 “Little Raiders” and a great night of fun and fellowship for their families, which included MTSU students and some local residents who are being assisted by the local Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program.

This year, the University Police Department, MTSU Campus Recreation Center, MTSU Student Health Services, the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the Golden Key Honor Society, and MT Lambda jointly sponsored the campaign.

Members of the campus community adopted a Little Raider by picking a numbered paper ornament hanging on three Christmas trees across campus. The ornaments listed a needy child’s age, gender, clothing size and wish list.

Santa Claus (aka Rich Kershaw, director of MTSU Student Programming) presents gifts to an excited Little Raider at this year’s annual Christmas Party. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Santa Claus (aka Rich Kershaw, director of MTSU Student Programming) presents gifts to an excited Little Raider at this year’s annual Christmas Party. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Dressed as one of Santa’s elves, MTSU Police Officer Sarah Blair, left, helps Old Saint Nick (aka Rich Kershaw of MTSU Student Programming) distribute gifts to one of the 43 children at the recent Little Raiders Christmas Party. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

Dressed as one of Santa’s elves, MTSU Police Officer Sarah Blair, left, helps Old Saint Nick (aka Rich Kershaw of MTSU Student Programming) distribute gifts to one of the 43 children at the recent Little Raiders Christmas Party. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

An MTSU Little Raider takes his gifts from Santa at the recent Christmas celebration for the annual gift-giving campaign. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

An MTSU Little Raider takes his gifts from Santa at the recent Christmas celebration for the annual gift-giving campaign. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

An elated MTSU Little Raider admires her doll from Santa at the recent Christmas celebration for the annual gift-giving campaign. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

An elated MTSU Little Raider admires her doll from Santa at the recent Christmas celebration for the annual gift-giving campaign. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Santa Claus (aka Rich Kershaw, director of MTSU Student Programming) makes his entrance at this year’s annual Little Raiders Christmas Party. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Santa Claus (aka Rich Kershaw, director of MTSU Student Programming) makes his entrance at this year’s annual Little Raiders Christmas Party. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

 


MTSU again seeks Secret Santas for ‘Little Raiders’ gift-giving drive

Nov. 16, 2016

Middle Tennessee State University is again calling out to all True Blue Secret Santas for this year’s Little Raiders gift-giving campaign.

A group of Little Raiders pose for a photo during the annual Little Raiders Christmas Party held Dec. 11 at MTSU. The event benefits area families needing a helping hand at Christmas, including families from the local domestic violence program. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

In this 2015 file photo, a group of Little Raiders pose for a photo during the annual Little Raiders Christmas Party at MTSU. The event benefits area families needing a helping hand at Christmas, including families from the local domestic violence program. (MTSU file photo by Jimmy Hart)

The annual event seeks to bring some holiday cheer to needy children and youth in the Blue Raider community.

Until Dec. 2, members of the campus community can “adopt” a Little Raider by picking a numbered paper ornament hanging on three Christmas trees across campus. The ornaments will list a needy child’s age, gender, clothing size and wish list.

This year, the University Police Department, MTSU Campus Recreation Center, MTSU Student Health Services, the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the Golden Key Honor Society, and MT Lambda are jointly sponsoring the campaign.

The effort targets the children of low-income MTSU students as well as the children of parents receiving assistance from the local Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program.

This Little Raiders ornament is among those hanging on three trees across campus supporting the Little Raiders gift-giving campaign. Secret Santas can pick an ornament to "adopt" a local child's Christmas wish list. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

These Little Raiders paper ornaments are available on three trees across campus. (MTSU file photo)

Secret Santa participants are asked to pick an ornament from a tree at one of the following three locations and to please register as a Secret Santa at that location.

  • MTSU University Police Department Lobby, 1412 E. Main St.
  • June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students on the third floor of the Student Union, 1768 MTSU Blvd.
  • MTSU Student Health Services lobby, 1848 Blue Raider Drive

Donated items should be dropped off to the University Police Department no later than Monday, Dec. 5.

For more information about the campaign, contact University Police Sgt. Vergena Forbes at 615 898-2424.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

In this 2015 file photo, plenty of gifts and stockings awaited eager "Little Raiders" during the annual Little Raiders Christmas Party at MTSU. The event benefits area families needing a helping hand at Christmas, including families from the local domestic violence program. (MTSU file photo by Jimmy Hart)

In this 2015 file photo, plenty of gifts and stockings awaited eager “Little Raiders” during the annual Little Raiders Christmas Party at MTSU. The event benefits area families needing a helping hand at Christmas, including families from the local domestic violence program. (MTSU file photo by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU ranked among top schools nationally for entrepreneurship offerings

Middle Tennessee State University is ranked among the nation’s top 50 schools for its support of aspiring entrepreneurs, according to a new report released by LendEDU, an online marketplace for student loans and student loan refinance.

lendedu-best-undergrad-entre-graphic

Click the image to see the complete rankings.

MTSU is ranked No. 17 in the “Top Colleges for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Report” by LendEDU.com, which crafted its rankings by looking at more than 100 colleges offering entrepreneurship courses and programs to undergraduates.

Joined by Belmont University (No. 30) as the only Tennessee universities on the list, MTSU also outranked schools such as Penn State, Duke, USC, Ohio State and Johns Hopkins.

Dr. David Urban

Dr. David Urban

To determine the rankings, colleges were assigned an overall score based on the number of entrepreneurship courses offered, average tuition and fees, and entrepreneurship resources available at the institutions. The complete ranking can be found here.

“This recognition is additional evidence of the excellent regional and national reputation that the Jones College continues to build,” said David Urban, dean of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business at MTSU. “Through the hard work of faculty, staff and students, Jones College programs are rightfully being recognized as among the very best, anywhere. Prospective students who want a world-class business education need look no farther than MTSU.”

Dr. Bill McDowell

Dr. Bill McDowell

The website noted MTSU’s 13 entrepreneurship course offerings, its entrepreneurship internship program, as well as its ongoing annual Business Plan Competition and support by the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, which is headquartered at MTSU.

Urban praised the work of entrepreneurship faculty, including Bill McDowell, Pat Geho, Ralph Williams, John Mullane, Josh Aaron and Kristen Shanine.

“We have invested a great deal of time and effort into developing our entrepreneurial program, and I believe that this ranking will help us as we strive to grow the reach and impact of the entrepreneurial culture on campus and in the community,” said McDowell, who holds the Pam Wright Chair of Entrepreneurship.Jones College of Business logo-updated

Launched by McDowell in 2014, the Business Plan Competition allows aspiring entrepreneurs from across the university as well as alumni to develop formal business plans and receive coaching on how to bring their innovative ideas to market. The competition contains a screening round, followed by a trade show/elevator pitch round, and ending with a final presentation round where top winners earn cash prizes to put toward their startups.

“Entrepreneurs are vital to the success of our country. They have the capability to alter the way we live and work. It is clear that Middle Tennessee State University has created an environment for future entrepreneurs to flourish,” said Nate Matherson, co-founder and CEO of LendEDU.com.

For more information about MTSU’s entrepreneurship program, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/programs/entrepreneurship/.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

In this April 2016 file photo, MTSU student Chris Crockett, founder of the roadside service app Hükd, begins his presentation before a panel of judges at the Jennings A. Jones College of Business’ 2016 Business Plan Competition Finals held inside the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

In this April 2016 file photo, MTSU student Chris Crockett, founder of the roadside service app Hükd, begins his presentation before a panel of judges at the Jennings A. Jones College of Business’ 2016 Business Plan Competition Finals held inside the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU survey: Trump’s victory boosts outlook of Tenn. consumers

The most recent Tennessee Consumer Outlook Survey indicates consumers across the state are feeling much more optimistic about the economy during this holiday shopping season.

The Tennessee Consumer Outlook Index soared to 113 from 47 in September, according to the latest statewide snapshot of consumers by Middle Tennessee State University’s Office of Consumer Research. The quarterly survey consists of a series of questions that measure areas such as how consumers feel about the local, state and national economies as well as their personal financial situations and the job market.

Dr. Tim Graeff

Dr. Tim Graeff

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

“This pattern of improving outlook was consistent across all three regions of the state,” said Tim Graeff, director of the Office of Consumer Research in MTSU’s Jones College of Business. “Additionally, Tennessee consumers feel optimistic about the potential effects of Donald Trump’s election to president on the overall American economy.”

The current survey of 630 Tennessee consumers was conducted between Dec. 1 and Dec. 8, with a margin of error of 4 percent. A copy of the full report and previous report are available at www.mtsu.edu/consumer/tnoutlookreports.php.

When asked about the possible effects of the recent presidential election on the economy, the majority of Tennessee consumers expect that Trump’s victory will have a positive effect on the future of the overall American economy.

“Even though there were minor differences in response to the recent election across the three regions of the state, the general pattern of positive expectations is consistent across the state,” Graeff noted. “The anticipation of decreased business regulation, favorable tax policies, construction spending for infrastructure improvements, and a more business-friendly climate might explain such positive views.”

This chart shows results of the overall Tennessee Consumer Outlook Index and sub-indices since September 2015. The index is measured quarterly. (Courtesy of the MTSU Office of Consumer Research)

This chart shows results of the overall Tennessee Consumer Outlook Index and sub-indices since September 2015. The index is measured quarterly. (Courtesy of the MTSU Office of Consumer Research)

In addition to tracking an overall index, the outlook survey also includes sub-indices that measure consumers’ outlook on their current financial situations, their future expectations and their purchasing plans.

Overall, Tennessee consumers feel much more optimistic about the future of the economy, Graeff noted, with the Future Expectations Index rising significantly from 28 to 80.

“In general, Tennessee consumers have found renewed optimism regarding the future of the overall American economy, the state’s economy, the job market, their personal financial situation, the stock market, and the value of their savings and investments,” Graeff said.

“Taken together, this is exactly the type of good news retailers want to hear heading into the Christmas and holiday shopping season.”

Consumers were also asked specifically about their shopping and spending plans for the Christmas and holiday season. When asked if they did any shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend (including Cyber Monday), most consumers either made purchases online (40 percent) or went to big box retailers such as Walmart or Target (37 percent). Three in 10 (30 percent) did not do any shopping during the traditional Thanksgiving weekend shopping days.

Improving optimism regarding the job market and personal finances means consumers may be more willing “to open up their wallets and spend money” in the future, Graeff said.

For more information, contact Graeff at 615-898-5124 or Tim.Graeff@mtsu.edu. Or visit www.mtsu.edu/consumer.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Consumers in the latest Tennessee Consumer Outlook Survey were also asked to identify the one word that came to mind when they thought about the future of the overall U.S. economy. The word clouds in this graphic show the 20 most frequently mentioned words, by region of the state. The larger the word, the more frequently it was mentioned. This can provide clues about the thoughts on consumers’ minds as they responded to the survey. These word clouds show that the result from the recent presidential election was on the minds of many consumers. (Courtesy of the MTSU Office of Consumer Research)

Consumers in the latest Tennessee Consumer Outlook Survey were also asked to identify the one word that came to mind when they thought about the future of the overall U.S. economy. The word clouds in this graphic show the 20 most frequently mentioned words, by region of the state. The larger the word, the more frequently it was mentioned. This can provide clues about the thoughts on consumers’ minds as they responded to the survey. These word clouds show that the result from the recent presidential election was on the minds of many consumers. (Courtesy of the MTSU Office of Consumer Research)

Brief tornado-siren testing planned for MTSU campus Tuesday

MTSU plans to test its tornado sirens on campus and at the Miller Coliseum Complex Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 12:20 p.m.

This will be a brief, routine test of the system, and no safety actions will be required.

If harsh weather is in the area around the time of the scheduled testing, the test will be canceled.

MTSU notifies the campus and surrounding neighborhoods before these tests each month. Tests are conducted on alternating Tuesdays and Wednesdays to minimize distractions for the campus and for neighbors.

The university will be between semesters Dec. 13 and no classes are underway, but offices are operating on regular schedules.

MTSU will close for winter break Friday, Dec. 23, and offices will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 3. Students and faculty will return for spring 2017 classes on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Members of the campus community can prepare for emergency weather situations anytime by checking MTSU’s list of recommended shelter locations at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUTornadoShelters. You also can make note of the siren-testing schedule by visiting www.mtsunews.com/tornado-siren-testing. Bookmark both sites!

Remember that, in the event of a weather emergency, all students, faculty and staff automatically receive a Rave alert at their MTSU email addresses. If you’re not already receiving text and/or voice alerts too, visit www.mtsunews.com/weather and use the “click here and log in” link to make those notification changes.

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