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Adrianna Velazquez

Adrianna is a 20-year-old college student attending Wayne State University majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Journalism. With a passion for music and photography she spends most of her time at concerts photographing and interviewing musicians. She also enjoys baseball and coffee, lots of it!

Country Music Artist Tucker Beathard Interview

“Rock On” singer Tucker Beathard is fighting like hell to make a name for himself in Music City

Country music artist Tucker Beathard has taken radio airwaves by storm with his gritty debut single, “Rock On”. The song is about a troubled guy pondering an ex who has long moved on, wishing her the best but regretting not putting a “rock” on. The 21-year-old Nashville native’s troubled track record extends beyond the lyrics of his songs. Tucker, the son of award-winning songwriter Casey Beathard and brother of University of Iowa starting quarterback, C.J. Beathard coins himself a “troublemaker”. The country music artist’s rebellious nature has paved a foundation for penning relatable songs like “Rock On” and “Momma and Jesus” both featured on his recently released debut EP, Fight Like Hell.

I recently sat down with Tucker in Ann Arbor before wrapping up his national headlining tour in support of the EP. Tucked away in the back lounge of a shiny tour bus I was greeted by the country music artist who was dressed in ripped jeans, a white t-shirt, brown untied boots, a beat up old baseball cap and painted with tattoos on his left arm—an instant indication of his bad-boy persona. We shook hands and sat down to talk about his fight like hell to make a name for himself amongst family men who have already blazed the path he now finds himself on. 

College News: Just out of curiosity how often do people mispronounce your last name?
Tucker Beathard: [laughs] It’s really rare when people get it right honestly.

CN: I was watching a video interview you did and the guy interviewing you mispronounced your last name when he introduced you.
Oh my, he asked me right before and he still pronounced it wrong.

CN: Oh my goodness, and he still messed it up. So at what age did you discover you had a passion for music?
I think ever since I was born I was just drawn to it, had a knack for it and started playing drums. It wasn’t until I was about 15 or 16 when I really realized it. When I started writing songs and picked up the guitar that I realized this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

CN: So you and your brothers were in a band when you were younger. Was it a country band?
I guess technically—it’s tough to explain—because even now, me writing my own stuff, I never really did shoot for a certain genre. We just wrote music that sounded good, that felt good to us. When it came to songwriting, growing up around my dad who’s a songwriter in country music it was kinda what we just did. Musically, it came from a lot of different influences.

CN: Awesome. You were originally going to go to Middle Tennessee State University to pursue baseball. What made you have a sudden change of heart and put it all out on the line for a music career instead?
I think when you find your passion—I don’t know, I always felt like I was never really understood. It’s tough to explain. Internally, I just felt like I didn’t fit in with people. I have a lot of friends and what not but I never really felt like I did and when I found the passion for music it was just so relaxing and I felt like I figured out my identity. When I got the taste of that and had the opportunity to not do school I just had to do what made me happy. I would rather be broke on the streets doing what I love.

CN: Do you feel like if you had done baseball you wouldn’t have had time for music?
For sure. I mean I still would have done it but I wanted to do it full-time.
CN: Who would you say is your favorite baseball player?
TB: Pete Rose or Dustin Pedroia They just play the game so hard, they play with passion and bust their ass.

CN: Tucker Beathard, I know you grew up in Nashville but was there ever a time throughout your career that you didn’t want to do country music and wanted to try another genre? Because I feel like your music is more on the rebellious side of country music—more like artists such as Eric Church.
Yeah, it’s tough. I just like making music and now it falls into country music which can be tough because there’s a lot of songs that nobody has ever heard before that are some of my favorites but they’re too abstract for country which is frustrating to be put in a certain box. Not that I don’t want to make country music but I just want to make music.
CN: Exactly, and I think that’s what’s so challenging. A lot of artists I’ve talked to have said the same thing. There’s music people haven’t heard and probably never will just because it doesn’t align with the genre they’re considered to fall under.
TB: Yeah and I hate it as an artist being constrained to one thing.

CN: What are some of your favorite genres outside of country music that you think influence your work?
More than anything: rock. 70s rock at the beginning for sure and then I got into some punk-rock like Blink-182—they’re more pop-punk. That’s one of my favorite bands of all-time. That kinda got me into playing guitar.

CN: Your dad Casey is an award-winning country music songwriter. In what ways has he influenced you as a musician?
I think just by watching and growing up around him and how he takes so much pride in his lyrics and he really pours his heart into his songs and you can tell that. When I got into songwriting I realized that’s how you do it, that’s what it’s all about.

CN: You both have very different styles. Do you think you’ve influenced him to any degree?
I think so. For sure. We both are different in so many ways that he’s like ‘Man, that’s cool. I never thought about that.’ We feed off of each other really well like that and I think definitely more with edgier guitar stuff. We don’t play guitar the same. He plays the chords and I don’t know how, I just put my fingers down until something sounds good.

CN: That’s awesome. So your EP, “Fight Like Hell” released last month. Has the reaction been what you expected?
I really didn’t know what to expect, honestly. I knew I was relieved to have more music out and not be represented by one song and for people to see more of what I’m trying to do. I didn’t expect radio to be so welcoming to me in the first place. I know “Rock On” is the most mainstream song I’ve got but I didn’t expect them to eat it up like they did.

CN: What is your favorite song off the EP?
“Fight Like Hell”. I think sonically it represents me the best. Lyrically it’s simple, universal and kind of a motivational anthem that feels good. It’s probably my favorite.

CN: Walk me through your songwriting process, Tucker Beathard, what’s it like? Is it more structured or spontaneous?
It’s pretty spontaneous. I don’t like the idea of just going into a room and just trying to pound out a song. I like to mess around with different things whether it’s guitar effects or whatever it is and try to get inspired by it. There’s a lot of different ways that songs come about whether it’s something you saw, something you read or whatever. You get inspired and just jot ideas down.

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CN: Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you overcome it?
[laughs] Yeah, definitely. Writer’s block is a mother. I guess I just try to overcome it by realizing that if you’re not inspired that day to write something it’s all good, just wait for something to come around. I think as a songwriter you need to always keep your radar on and read and look into the deep meaning of things you come across.

CN: What would you say is the hardest part about being on the road?
Staying healthy. There’s a lot of temptations and stuff. Being on the road is weird. You’ll be out for a while and get mentally drained and start to go crazy and want to go home but then you go home for a day and you’re like ‘Dang, I need to go back out on the road.’

CN: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Yeah, me and the band get into a circle, pray and take a tequila shot.

CN: How do you manage to keep each show interesting and make it not seem like a replay of the last show and keep fans engaged?
Because it’s not. Nothing is really scripted or planned other than set-lists and those usually change in the middle of the show. I’ll decided I’m doing something else. Every crowd is different so just don’t go into the show expecting anything, just go with the flow.

CN: What does the future look like in terms of a full-length debut album?
Hopefully as soon as possible. I’m ready and I can’t wait to get it out. I’m assuming it’s going to be sometime early next year but I don’t know. I’m on the road a lot.

Look out for country music artist Tucker Beathard’s EP on sale now.

Into alternative music? You’ll enjoy: Megadeth Close Dystopia Tour

TEDxDetroit: CN talks with Lungiswa Moore about #MyGirlSquad

Meet the boss behind #MyGirlSquad, a social media movement that fosters women empowerment

Zimbabwe-born, Detroit based Lungiswa Moore is the creator of the #MyGirlSquad movement, a website dedicated to highlighting amazing women across the globe who embrace their curls. Moore started #MyGirlSquad to foster positive connections for women of color and establish a platform that showcases their stories of struggle, triumphs and sacrifice to achieve goals in the face of adversity. College News spoke with Moore at TEDxDetroit, October 6 2016.

College News: What first inspired you to begin #MyGirlSquad?

Lungiswa Moore: A lot of things; my life in general. Being a woman of color and being misrepresented in the media and on TV, online and everywhere. Not having my story and women of color stories being told the right way or in some cases our history being excluded, it’s an issue that we have now. I felt it was really important for women of color to have the opportunity to tell their stories, to share their stories without judgment, without stereotypes and that was really the main inspiration. Also having my children—because I have two daughters—having my children have the opportunity to be able to share their stories, be who they are without misconceptions. It really gives women of color a platform to be able to express themselves without judgment, share their stories, inspire and communicate.

CN: Did you expect that it would take off the way that it had?

LM: Honestly, I had no idea. I honestly had no idea how powerful the platform [#MyGirlSquad] was in such a short time for people to gravitate so much to it. It made me realize how bad the issue really was. A lot of women, not just black women, Hispanics, Asian women, women in different parts of the globe have stories that have been told for them and about them. But they have not been able to authentically tell their stories and fully express themselves the way they should. Even just to give them a happy place to say: we’re not all bad, we’re not angry, we’re not sassy, we’re wonderful women and we collaborate, we do amazing things. I had no idea.

It was just something I thought, well you know what, let me try and do something. We always talk about how we want to do something but it’s always best to see the change and do the change yourself. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t catch on, it doesn’t matter if the majority of the people don’t feel like it’s a necessity. All that matters, is having their story told for somebody else to listen, for somebody else to be educated by or even for a single person to be inspired by it.

Read: Under the Radar’s 2016 Election Protest Issue


CN: How old are your daughters?

LM: My daughter just turned six in July. My second-born is about to be three.

CN: Do you feel that your six year-old takes after you in the sense of wanting to be a leader?

LM: It’s funny that you say that. My daughter is such an amazing soul. She has such a strong sense of perception. It’s things that I do that make her feel like, ‘I can do that too.’ Something as simple as wearing my hair like this, it’s not really accepted [Moore wears her hair wild, with a headband]. It’s almost like a statement to a lot of people. To some people it’s ugly, in some places it’s unprofessional. So for my daughter to see that mom can wear her hair like this and other women can wear their hair like this then it must be okay.

Children learn not by what we say, but by what we do. My daughter has become so perceptive and I feel like it’s very important to continue those types of healthy habits of showing and expressing yourself the way you are. You don’t have to be skinny. You don’t have to have the longest hair. You don’t have to have the perfect face. Just be you.

CN: How do you stay involved in your community?

LM: I try to give back to a lot of women entrepreneurs. Specifically women of color, because we already have a hard time in this society. So the more I give them a platform to show that they are entrepreneurs. To show that they’re craftsmen, that they’re designers, that they’re writers, helps me be inspired as well. So giving back to the community by sharing stories of women and promoting them on my site and just taking the beauty out of every single culture, whether it’s from Detroit, whether it’s from Canada or from Mexico—wherever. So I feel like being able to share their triumphs, their goals, their aspirations; it goes a long way.

CN: In what ways do you think bringing the TED initiative to Detroit sparks innovation and engagement?

LM: I’ve always been inspired by TED. Just the amount of ideas and the manifestation of those ideas. There’s a lot of people that are here that woke up with the idea that they are going to try something. To be able to speak to a crowd like this is a huge platform that inspires people. TEDx is an amazing platform that also brings people of different backgrounds together to share that same hungry denominator of innovation. Everybody is here to be inspired and receive information.

CN: How important to do you think it is for students to be involved in this event?

LM: They are the future. Young minds are shaping what Detroit is going to look like.

For more on the #MyGirlSquad movement click here.

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4 Must-Have Apps That Make Life Easier

We live in a world where technology has become integrated into our daily lives. It’s where we turn to communicate, read the news and find entertainment. With an overwhelming number of new apps hitting the market everyday here are 4 of the must-have apps today that will make life a little bit easier for college students. 

Go Commando
Managing a regular day job while attending school full-time is difficult near impossible. Go Commando takes making money to a whole new level with it’s convenience and brilliance. The app connects students with brands that post tasks which students accept and complete on their own time. It’s brand ambassadors redefined. Tasks vary per brand and students are able to make their own schedule while earning extra money along the way without the commitment of a regular day job. Students are paid within 48 hours of completing a task and payment is deposited directly to their bank account.

When it comes to managing money, Mint helps student manages their finances by creating a budget based on their spending habits and sending alerts for when your balance is low or you’ve over spent. The app also allows users to set their desired budgets and savings goals.

Google Drive
Chances are you’ve already become very familiar with Google Docs and rely on the life-saving brilliance of the Google Drive feature in Gmail to access your files from anywhere in the world at any time. Need to access your files or edit them but don’t have access to a computer or wifi? Simply download the application to your mobile device, problem solved!

Save a fortune on textbooks by using the Chegg app to hunt down textbooks and avoid trips to the bookstore and standing in long lines. Chegg is free, simple and easy to navigate.

Unsuccessful People vs. Successful People:

5 habits that make the difference between being successful vs unsuccessful.

There’s no secret formula to being successful and it certainly doesn’t ‘just happen.’ Success requires hard work, dedication and desire.

The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people comes down to habits. Simply changing your habits and integrating them into your daily life can be the difference between success and failure.

Check out these 5 habits that are the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people.

Want other people to fail vs. want other people to succeed
Unsuccessful people envy those that are successful and hope others fail. They view successful people as a threat to their own success and view them as competition. On the other hand, successful people seek the best in everyone and hope for others to succeed. They enjoy helping others thrive and watching them grow.

Blame others for your failures vs. accepting responsibility for your failures
Unsuccessful people are fast to point the finger and they blame their failures on others while successful people take responsibility. Unsuccessful people look for excuses opposed to considering what they could have done better. Successful people view failures as learning opportunities.

Talk about people vs. talk about ideas
Unsuccessful people love to gossip. They spend their time talking about people while successful people understand talking about people will not improve their own situation. Successful people love talking about and sharing ideas.

Resist change vs. accept change
Unsuccessful people fear change. As long as their basic needs are met they resist change in fear of losing consistency. Successful people accept change and are willing to make sacrifices.

Waste time vs. value time
Unsuccessful people love to procrastinate. They often let unimportant things get in the way of the important things. Successful people value their time and don’t let their time go to waste.

Convenient Summer Jobs

6 Convenient Summer Jobs for College Students

Summer vacation gives college students a chance to get a step ahead of the competition by exploring jobs to build experience and learn a few things along the way. Here is a list of six employment options that can help you get the experience you need and put a few extra bucks in your pocket.

  1. Internship
    Although many internships are unpaid, enough research will lead you to discover some paid internships with companies in your respective field. The extra cash over the summer is nice, but don’t pass up an unpaid internship because they too offer something valuable.
  2. Server
    It isn’t the easiest job, but it can be rewarding. Dealing with patrons can be a challenging task but the benefits of becoming a server include some of the benefits are cash tips,  learning to work well under pressure and improving your memory skills.
  3. Freelance Writer
    Working as a freelance writer over the summer is a great option if you love writing. As a freelance writer you will gain valuable experience, learn to narrow your focus, and write concise copy. It’s convenient and often times you can do it from the comfort of your own home!
  4. Nanny
    There’s no better time to become a nanny than when school’s out and parents are faced with the challenge of finding a reliable nanny to look after their little ones. If you demonstrate creativity and responsibility then consider becoming a nanny.
  5. Tutor
    Have you always been a top performing student in school? Why not use your knowledge to help other students excel? Becoming a tutor is a great way to make extra money and looks great on your résumé.
  6. Brand Ambassador
    From tailgating events to college promotions and music festivals, brand ambassador jobs usually pay well and offer work schedules that are convenient with most work taking place on the weekends.

Why This Summer is the Summer for Road Trips

With the steady gas prices that have been relatively low this summer is the perfect opportunity to break out those maps and travel cross country.

According to MSN.com, has prices are approximately $1 lower per gallon this year in comparison to only being 25% lower last year. Lower gas prices means traveling just became more affordable again.

Consider spending some of your summer vacation traveling to see some of the best cities in the U.S. or embark on a National Parks tour.

According to AAA, traffic for Memorial Day is expected to be up by 5.3% which means nearly 33 million people on the road this holiday season; the most drivers traveling for Memorial Day in a decade.

Although some drivers may be reluctant to hit the road with fear that gas prices will increase over the summer, that doesn’t seem to be the case. According to the Energy Department, it is expected that gas prices will hover above $2.50 per gallon through September.

If you’ve ever wanted to take a road trip now is the time. Don’t forget to utilize rewards from credit cards that typically offer generous travel rewards, discounts on travel accommodations or gas rewards.

Need some ideas on where to go?

Click here for a guide to five must-see destinations to help get you started. 

Top 5 Road Trip Destinations to Visit

With low gas prices, there’s never been a better time for a road trip. Check out these 5 must-visit destinations.

With low gas prices, this summer is the perfect opportunity to take a road trip and discover the beauty in cities across the country, but with so many amazing places to visit, where do you start?

Here are 5 of the most popular road trip destinations worth visiting this summer.

1. Grand Canyon, Arizona
Want adventure? The Grand Canyon won’t sell you short of adventure this summer. It’s one of the natural wonders of the world and the granddaddy of road trip destinations with amazing views. Plan a trip to visit this phenomenal landscape whether you decide to hike, experience a rafting tour or visit the rims, this destination is sure to leave you in awe and make you want to visit again.

2. New York City
What isn’t there to love about New York City? That’s right, nothing. NYC is a trip you’ll have to take more than once just to experience all the great things the city has to offer. Visiting the city can be more overwhelming than enjoyable at first when trying to figure out what sights to see that’s why planning before making this trip is vital to having a great time. I highly recommend visiting the Brooklyn Bridge and making it a top priority. I didn’t experience the view from the bridge until the end of my second trip to NYC and wished I hadn’t waited so long to experience it, it’s hands down one of my favorite sights. Other places worth visiting during your trip are Times Square at night, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty as well as Chinatown and Little Italy for some amazing food.

3. Disney World
Remember spending every summer watching Disney movies and being captivated by your favorite shows? If you haven’t visited the perfect world of Disney yet then now is the time to do it. Disney World is an unforgettable and magical place where you can splurge and have the time of your life. It’s a great place to visit as you get older that will take you back to the happiest moments of your childhood.

4. Chicago, Illinois
If you want to immerse yourself in a city of diverse cultures, Chicago is one of the best places to visit. Immerse yourself into a number of different cultures by taking on all of the museums Chicago has to offer. If you love music, experience a show at one of the city’s famous venues or learn and hear for yourself some of the best Blues music there is to offer by visiting a Blues club. Take a walk along Lake Michigan or enjoy the skyline view from the Sears Tower Skydeck or John Hancock Observatory.

5. Colorado
For those of you that love the outdoors, Colorado is a great place to visit any time of year. In the summertime you can enjoy a number of outdoor activities ranging from hiking, ski lifts to take in the amazing scenery, swim in lakes, mountain-bike, go fishing or enjoy an adventure whitewater rafting or kayaking. If you have the time, catch a show at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre or a spend a day at the museum.

Regardless of where you go this summer, be sure to take advantage of low gas prices and explore new places.

5 Things Every College Student Should Do This Summer

5 tips that will help students stay a step ahead of the competition.

We’ve all survived another year of final exams and lengthy term papers. We’ve spent our nights in the library, in our dorm or bedrooms relying on coffee and energy drinks to get us through night after night of little to no sleep. As grades are posted to your student account, all those nights spent studying have finally paid off and you’ve earned three months of freedom.

Not so fast.

Before you kick back and get too comfortable keep your momentum going by considering these five things you should spend time doing this summer. Taking advantage of these tips will keep you a step ahead of the game and make the transition back to school this fall even easier.

1. Gain Industry Experience
Now that you’ve got some free time, what better opportunity than to build industry experience through a coveted internship? Even if you didn’t land your dream internship, don’t stress because volunteering at an organization or charity is also a great way to gain valuable experience. Use this time to build experience and expand your network of professional contacts that can potentially give your résumé the glow it needs.

2. Start Saving
There’s no doubt you’re eager to do some traveling and hangout with friends but don’t let fun get the best of your finances this summer. Take charge of your finances by creating a budget and start saving. Doing so now will give you an advantage when it comes to paying for school or materials or even taking it a step further by considering a post-graduation savings account that will make paying off loans in the future that much easier.

3. Stay on Top of Deadlines
It’s officially summer vacation but it’s still business as usual on campus. Don’t miss out on deadlines and be sure to submit any time-sensitive material for financial aid, scholarships, housing and registration. Getting these things out of the way in a timely manner will prevent all the hassle next semester.

4. Polish Your Profile
More employers turning to social media to find the right candidates to fill positions so it’s important that you are aware of your appearance online. Spend some time to clean up any negative content displayed on your accounts and don’t forget to to keep a professional and positive presence because you never know who is watching. Your image online could be the difference between getting the job and not.

5. Take Time Off
While it’s important to stay on top of deadlines and build experience, don’t forget to take some time for yourself this summer to recharge before the fall semester kicks off. According to experts, students that take time off to recharge often express more productivity during the next semester.

RECAP: Taylor Swift Dominates Billboard Music Awards, One Direction Thanks Zayn

Taylor Swift led the Billboard Music Awards with eight awards followed by Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea and Pharrell.

The 2015 Billboard Music Awards hosted by Chrissy Teigen and  Ludacris provided a night full of honors and entertainment at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas with some amazing collaborations from Chris Brown and Pitbull, Faith Hill and Little Big Town, as well as Wiz Khalifa and Fall Out Boy who will be heading out on the Boys of Zummer tour this summer.

Perhaps one of the most noteworthy collaborative performances of the night was Nicki Minaj and David Guetta. Nicki first performed her song “The Night Is Still Young”  before joining the French DJ and delivering a remarkable performance of their latest hit “Hey Mama.”

Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea delivered their TV debut of their song “Pretty Girls” while Tori Kelly stole the spotlight with a buzzworthy performance of her rising single, “Nobody Love” as Kia’s One to Watch artist. Kelly’s performance earned praise and recognition from John Legend who claimed her delivery the best vocal performance of the night. Kelly also received praise from none other than Ed Sheeran who

Taylor Swift swept the award show with eight awards by the end of the night including top artist, top Billboard 200 artist, top Hot 100 artists and top streaming song. Following Swift was Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea and Pharrell who each took home three awards. One Direction, Jason Aldean, Enrique Iglesias and John Legend wrapped up the night with two awards each.

Swift delivered an acceptance speech for top female artist and thanked all the fans she talks to on the Internet whom she praised for keeping her up to date on teen slang. Swift also debuted her star-studded music video for “Bad Blood” and confirmed Calvin Harris dating rumors with several embraces throughout the night.

Despite the online drama following Zayn Malik’s departure from One Direction, the quartet took the stage to accept two awards including top duo/group and top touring artist. The guys thanked Directioners and ex-bandmate Zayn during their acceptance speech.

Sam Smith was unable to perform due to a vocal hemorrhage but gracefully accepted his awards with cue cards.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner took the stage to introduce Kanye West before delivering a heavily censored performance of “All Day” where he was hidden behind smoke and pyrotechnics. Kendall and Kylie were faced with loud boos from the crowd which continued following West’s silenced performance.

For a full list of winners from the 2015 Billboard Music Awards click here.

Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver and Ed Sheeran Team Up for #FoodRevolutionDay

Jamie Oliver and Ed Sheeran created a rap video promoting Oliver’s #FoodRevolutionDay campaign.

Ed Sheeran and Jamie Oliver teamed up for a good cause, Food Revolution Day.

It’s a petition and campaign organized by Oliver who is pushing for new food education in schools across the world. Oliver hopes his message will inspire governments to take action to educate kids about food and making healthier choices that translate to healthier lifestyles for the long haul.

“We’re currently facing a global obesity epidemic, with 42 million children under the age of five either overweight or obese across the world,” Oliver noted in his petition. “The bottom line is the next generation will live shorter lives than their parents if nothing is done to rectify these alarming stats.”

“Ed just came in to do a little bit of filming for me to support Food Revolution Day,” said Oliver. “I start telling him a few things, writing a few things down, and then he only went and wrote an anthem.”

What transpired from their collaborative effort? A rap featuring not only Sheeran and Oliver, but also the help of their friends Paul McCartney, Hugh Jackman, Alesha Dixon, Us the Duo and Professor Green.

“My name is Jamie Oliver / I’m here to say / I wanna talk about Food Revolution Day / Half the world is starving with too little to eat and the other half die for being obese,” spits Oliver.

Jackman didn’t lend his rapping skills to the video but he did offer some spoken word and some dancing.

Check out the video here and be sure to sign the #FoodRevolutionDay petition here. The special day takes place tomorrow.