Number Seven

Kaepernick kneeling
Kaepernick and teammates kneeling during National Anthem

I remember in elementary school when every morning, we were told to stand for the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance. As children, we never really asked why we did that, nor did we care much to know, but we would eventually learn that we stood as a sign of respect and nationalism for our country—The United States of America. Every day, we did this, ignorant and benighted to the actual meaning behind the words we recited with such false confidence. My time in elementary school was plenty of years ago, and at the time, what child would have thought that someday, there would be someone disobeying the ‘rules’ of standing for America’s theme song? 


Former San Francisco 49er, Colin Kaepernick grabbed all headlines and blew up social media when he courageously took a road less traveled. On August 26th, 2016, number seven awed the crowd not by his astonishing athletic abilities, but by an extraordinary decision to kneel as the stadium stood for the National Anthem. Kaepernick has explained that his reason is to protest racial injustice and police brutality in the United States. He refused to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. Since Kaepernick first did it, many other professional football players, high school athletes, and professional athletes in other sports have also refused to stand for the national anthem. These protests have brought about lots of controversy and has sparked public conversation about the protesters’ messages and how they’ve chosen to deliver them. 

There are many people who agree with Kaepernick’s actions and have grown to become more loyal fans to him than ever before. After his kneeling debut in August, his jersey sales shot up like missiles. While some people burned his jersey, many others bought and wore it proudly. 

Of course, varieties of opinions flutter around Kaepernick’s decisions, including my own, so I decided to ask around. I asked a Reinhardt University student, who chose to remain anonymous, about her thoughts on the situation. First, I made sure to ask if she was educated enough on the subject to give a worthy opinion. Then I asked her to share how she felt about Colin Kaepernick’s choice to kneel during the Star Spangled Banner. She immediately made the point to me that she had family members who had served in the United States military. “It is disrespectful to our soldiers who have and who are fighting for this country we are all blessed enough to call home. These soldiers courageously put their own lives at risk for us, and he doesn’t even respect them enough to simply stand for the National Anthem,” she explained. Just as many other reasons people continue to give for disagreeing with Kaepernick, her points were very military-based. Having military veterans a part of her family, it is what she relates to most and what means the most to her. 

“It’s his right,” says another Reinhardt student-athlete, Xavier Carter. “But, I believe now, people [NFL athletes] are kneeling more because of the way Donald Trump feels about it than the original reason. They are against Trump and that’s what they are expressing.” 

I am completely for Colin Kaepernick’s movement. I agree that it is his right to do what he’s doing, and he should be able to exercise that freely. Racial injustice is and has always been a huge issue in America. We need leaders, like Kaepernick, to take initiative for hopeful results. If we do nothing, things won’t change. Some say that his NFL platform isn’t the right one to use, but I think it only makes sense to use this platform. Part of this movement is to spread awareness, and what better place is there to do this than a stadium filled with thousands of people. I have the utmost respect for anyone who stands up, or kneels, for what they believe in. As I mentioned, it is courageous what Kaepernick has done. It is bold, and I believe it to be very honorable. Number seven is an inspirational man, and I am a fan. 

Written by: Devin Francois

Blessed and Beyond



Devin first article picture
“My brother, friends, and me posing with our new Hungarian friends.”



A few years ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Budapest, Hungary located in central Europe. The flight was a total of sixteen hours, which felt more like sixteen days instead, considering it was my very first time being above the many buildings I saw rather often—just from a view much closer to swaying daises and tulips. After finding my seat and straining to find at least a little source of comfort, the hardest thing for me was the takeoff. The plane made a long roaring noise getting louder and louder as it pushed against the wind with more and more force. And just like that, we were away from the rocks and neighboring with the clouds.  

It’s possible that I was being over dramatic, but when I stepped foot on the Hungarian grounds, I had already felt the pure difference in this foreign space and the environment I was most familiar with back home. The smell was different—the air, colors, and the sounds. There was a lot that was different to me, but what was different to these natives was me. I looked so different from what they were used to seeing, so I stood out everywhere. I’d come to Hungary with my church for a mission trip. I, and about six other members from my church, including my brother, ran an American football camp for a few Hungarian football teams. We taught them different drills, gave them tips to help them fundamentally, and taught them a few different schemes as well. They loved us. The Hungarian football players treated us as if we were celebrities. They gave us the utmost respect and took our words as if they were jewels. They were sure to thank us and show us how appreciative of us they were whenever they got the chance to do so.  

For the week we were there, we lived in an apartment complex—or something like it. At night, we had to prop open doors and windows to let some air in, because otherwise, each of us would end up lying in our own puddle of sweat. Unfortunately, leaving these doors and windows ajar was a welcome to the largest mosquitos I had ever seen in my life. They were huge! Some of them were even albino, which I never knew existed until I flew into this experience. In the place we stayed, the refrigerator was broken. That following morning was my first time having cereal with warm milk. No, it wasn’t the greatest, but I didn’t want to complain.   

Traveling to Budapest on this mission trip was an eye-opening experience for me. It made me realize how blessed I am, and how much easier I have it than a lot of other people do. There are people in this world who are struggling everyday—struggling and hoping for things that we may take for granted. Things like air conditioning and a nice meal in the morning are things that are taken for granted, but one would be surprised at the amount of people who aren’t able to have these things. At the camp we ran, the football players praised us just because we were American football players. It was as if we were playing in the NFL! This made me realize that there are so many people who wish they could be in the exact same spot that you are in. I am an African American male born and raised in a crime-common city, and I am on track to graduate college in less than two years. That isn’t something that should be considered ordinary! It’s a blessing, and there are so many people who wish they could say the same. We must always count our blessings, and never take things for granted—not even a breath. We must always remember that no matter our circumstances, and no matter what we may go through, things could always be worse. You are blessed to be in the exact spot you are in your life, so always be thankful!  

Written by: Devin Francois



Community Gathering with Mr. Matthew Thomas

Mr. Matthew Thomas. Photo credit: Taylor Clark


The Reinhardt Community welcomed Mr. Matthew Thomas, the Economic Development Director of the city of Canton, in its newly renovated Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center Community Room on the afternoon of Oct. 18. Mr. Thomas, who is now 28 years old, has made history by being the youngest person to attain the job title of Economic Development Director in the state of Georgia.


Dr. Mark Roberts, provost of Reinhardt University, introduced Mr. Thomas at the Community Gathering. Thomas talked about what is happening in the city of Canton, and how the economy builds the community. Mr. Thomas wanted the Reinhardt Community to gain knowledge of the city of Canton after attending his speech. Mr. Thomas stated in his speech that Reinhardt University has contributed greatly to Cherokee County.


Mr. Thomas defined economic development as, “a program or a group of policies that simply work to improve the quality of life and the economic life of citizens and businesses in the community.” During his speech, Mr. Thomas largely focused on the reasons why economic development is important. The following points were featured in his presentation on why economic development is important and what the results are from it: the creation of jobs, the increase of the tax base for the city, business retention, economic diversification, the improvement of quality of life and leakage, where people and their money leave the community to go elsewhere.


Canton is the county seat of Cherokee County, and at one-point Canton was the fastest growing city in the state of GA. Canton started off as a rural city, and has since progressed into a busy city. Something exciting to look forward to is the building of Panera Bread in downtown Canton. This will be the very first Panera Bread to exist in a historic town in the state of GA. Construction of Panera Bread is planned to start this month, with the grand opening planned by March of 2018.


The city of Canton has also had film opportunities that took productive use of property in the city. Two current movies that were filmed in Canton are The Founder and Hidden Figures. To view the current and future plan of Canton, please click here.


The Eagle Eye team had the chance to sit down and interview Mr. Matthew Thomas, after his speech on economic development, at the Community Gathering. We found out how Mr. Thomas became interested in his economic development job with Canton, and how important Reinhardt University is to the city of Canton.


Members of the Cherokee County News Team, Taylor Clark and Kelly Kipfer, with Mr. Matthew Thomas. Photo credit: Angie Gayton


Mr. Matthew Thomas attended the University of West Georgia. He has held his current job title, the Director of Economic Development in the city in Canton, for four years now. Mr. Thomas comes from the town of Dalton, GA, and he discovered the city of Canton after being lost driving home from his internship at the time. Mr. Thomas states, “I’m glad I found Canton.” At the time of his being lost, Mr. Thomas was driving though a town unknown to him, this town ended up being Canton. What motivated Mr. Thomas to become involved with the economic development of Canton was the Great Recession, where many families lost their jobs. Mr. Thomas discovered that economic development works to restore the jobs lost to those families.


When asked how does it feel to be the youngest Economic Development Director in the city of Canton, Mr. Thomas said, “It feels great, because it allows me to stay in tune with the current generation and the future generation.” In addition to knowing the wants and the needs of all generations that make up the community, Mr. Thomas would like to give back to the city of Canton.


Reinhardt students can become involved with the economic development of the city of Canton by attending events that are currently happening in Canton and supporting existing businesses in the city. Canton is only ten minutes away from Reinhardt’s campus, which makes it a lively location where students can shop, dine and work. Reinhardt students are encouraged to contact Mr. Matthew Thomas if there is something they want to see in the city of Canton.


Reinhardt University plays a huge part in the economic development of the city of Canton. According to Mr. Thomas, “Reinhardt creates leaders.” Many Reinhardt graduates have contributed to Canton and Cherokee County by staying in town after graduating, and getting a job in Canton. The following is the vision that Mr. Thomas has for the economic development of the city of Canton, “I want Canton to be a vibrant place that welcomes people of multiple generations, a variety of preferences, a variety of lifestyles, of needs and wants. I want Canton to be that place, while we maintain our character and preserve our history.” Mr. Matthew Thomas can be contacted here.


Written by: Kelly Kipfer

Discover the Tastiness of Donuts 




donuts 1

Photo credit: Cameron Verona


In the city of Canton there are many hidden businesses, but one that stands out to the local community is a mom and pop shop called “Tasty Donuts”. Here at Tasty Donuts are sweet treats that include many flavors, as well as even creating your own. The Cherokee County News team decided that we would go and check out the hidden gem located in the frequented Bridge Mill plaza. We even spoke with the owner himself, Arturo Howard. We found out more about the local business in the interview.


The business started in Chattanooga, TN and made its way to Canton in the year of 2015. When asked why they decided to open a “Tasty Donuts” shop here in Canton, opposed to opening a shop within a chain donut company, the owner answered, “Well, we wanted to do something different. We cook our donuts here every night, fresh.” “Tasty Donuts” has been opened for two years now, as they opened in December of 2015.


Howard talked about the amount of business “Tasty Donuts” receives stating, “The community is supportive, we keep growing little by little.” The owner also said the donut shop gets good traffic from Reinhardt. Currently, there aren’t any special discounts for Reinhardt students and faculty, but “Tasty Donuts does offer a special to every customer. Any customer who purchases a dozen donuts only has to pay for ten of them, getting two donuts free. A rewards program is also offered here for any customer who wants to receive benefits. All you do is provide your phone number and name at the time of purchase, and you become a part of the “Tasty Donuts” rewards program. The more you spend, the more points you earn, which eventually equals into earning free donuts or drinks.


“Tasty Donuts” offers a very welcoming atmosphere for their customers. The owner describes the atmosphere as such, “We try to make it a homey place. A place where you can come do your homework and have a donut and some coffee. It’s not a loud or extremely busy place.” Howard goes on to say, “It’s a place where you can concentrate on what you’re doing. I can describe it as your mom and pop shop, a place where everybody is welcome.” “Tasty Donuts” also offers free Wi-Fi to their customers, and has a TV, fireplace, and some comfortable furniture for customers to relax with, while indulging in a tasty donut.

donuts 3

Pictured above is part of the inside of “Tasty Donuts,” which offers a cozy atmosphere.

Photo credit: Kelly Kipfer



“Tasty Donuts” is a special donut shop compared to others, because the donuts they offer are creative and can be personalized. The owner explains, “I give my employees the freedom to create the donuts. So, every day the girls come up a new idea to test and if their creation is successful, then it goes up on the shelf to be sold to customers.” “Tasty Donuts” can use this creative freedom to give back to the community. Recently, the owner made a special troll donut for a five-year-old girl, who was a fan of the Trolls movie.

donuts 2

Here are the donuts we tried. The names of them are listen in the following paragraph.           Photo credit: Cameron Verona



We tried quite a few of their donuts by partaking in their special, buy a dozen donuts, and get two free. We tried a bite or more of the following donuts: coconut crème pie, jimmy buffet, fruity pebbles, m&m, maple bacon, devil’s food cake, apple cinnamon and the chocolate glaze with sprinkles. We asked the owner what the fan favorite donut was and he replied, “The most popular one is the maple bacon donut. We leave it all by itself on two full trays, and each tray contains around 40 donuts. We have to refill the tray a few times a day.” The owner said that his personal favorites are the coconut crème pie and the blueberry cream cheese pie.




We recommend “Tasty Donuts” for anyone who wants a place to grab breakfast with friends, wants a relaxing place to study, or for anyone who might have a sweet tooth. “Tasty Donuts” is about 20 minutes away from Reinhardt’s campus, located at the following address: 10511 Bells Ferry Rd, Canton, GA 30114. Their hours are six a.m. to seven p.m. on Mondays

through Saturdays, and on Sundays their hours are seven thirty a.m. to two thirty p.m. Their Facebook page is


Written by: Cameron Verona, Kelly Kipfer, and Taylor Clark.

Club Spotlight: R.U. C.A.R.E.S.


R.U. C.A.R.E.S., Reinhardt University Cares for Animal Rights and Environmental Sustainability, is a club at Reinhardt University that stands for the health, legal support and sustainability of Earth’s other inhabitants and their homes.

R.U. C.A.R.E.S. started about two years ago after Marianella Lopez, president and founder of R.U. C.A.R.E.S., noticed that there was not a group on campus that spoke out on behalf of animals and environmental well-fare.

“One thing that we are really proud of is our involvement outside of the Reinhardt Community. Our members have volunteered in many off campus advocacy events, such as marching with PETA at the Pride Parade, volunteering at VEGFEST, and other volunteering opportunities, representing Reinhardt as a compassionate, and active advocating University,” Marianella Lopez states.

The organization is a part of the Georgia Collegiate Animal Rights Advocacy Group. This group was started a year ago by college students all over Georgia, who wanted to connect with each other to support number and activity growth throughout the state. R.U. C.A.R.E.S. is also associated with several Animal Rights groups, including national groups such as: The Humane League, PETA, Mercy for Animals and local groups such as GARP (Georgia Animal Rights Protection).

R.U. C.A.R.E.S. advocates by showing two movie screenings a year. One of the movies shows how our diets and food choices affect the environment, and the other movie shows how our diets and food choices affect our health and animal well-fare.

The organization holds different campus outreach events, such as the annual “Cruelty Free Hot Cocoa-Cocoa” event, where the club hands out free plant based (almond, soy, cashew milk) hot-chocolate and warm cookies at their annual Spring Day booth event.

“Our outreach event allows us to reach out to the Reinhardt Community, informing them about the club, and providing literature (pamphlets) that inform the reader about the benefits of a plant-based diet,” Lopez goes on to say.

Students can get involved by joining R.U. C.A.R.E.S. Facebook group and by attending monthly meetings. R.U. C.A.R.E.S. meets on Monday’s each month at 8:30 p.m. at the Hasty Student Life Center.

Written By: Kelly Kipfer