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Volleyball conference win p. 11 Pizza place coming soon? p.2 Holidays p. 6 - 9 Football advances forward p. 10 December 1, 2016 Vol. 85, Issue 8


Pizza place becomes possibility KAITLYN DAVIS News Editor


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As the university considers turning Stone Lodge into a pizza place, registered student organizations that meet there are considering alternative locations. Several RSOs meet in Stone Lodge, and the restaurant might take away a meeting place. UNA might not make a decision on whether or not to construct the restaurant until spring or summer of 2017, said Director of Dining Susan Breer. If the university decides to take the project on, construction will take place during the summer or fall of 2017, said Vice President of Student Affairs David Shields in an email. “Brick oven pizza and root beer on tap will be served (at the restaurant),” said SGA President Sarah Green in an email, who received the information from the Food Service Shared Governance Committee. The restaurant could take up both floors of Stone Lodge, depending on the design, Shields said. “If both floors are used, we will certainly need to find some additional space or have some current spaces open later at night,” Shields said. “We would work with the (Student Government Association) to develop a plan to support our RSOs.” Shields asked SGA to discuss and provide feedback on the layout of the potential restaurant, Green said. “The overall consensus of the branches was to make the (Stone Lodge) a two-level pizza venue,”

SIERRA HILL| Staff Photographer

Students walk past Stone Lodge on UNA’s campus Nov. 17. The university is considering turning the building into a pizza restaurant. Green said. The old SGA office in the Guillot University Center is an alternative space for RSOs to meet, Green said. But Hispanic Cultural Organization President Mai Curott said the old SGA office space is not an ideal location. “I know SGA says we can use those offices, but I just don’t think it’ll be the same,” Curott said. “I’m worried people will have a hard time finding it. The Stone Lodge is so central to campus, and it has a nice, private atmosphere.” Stone Lodge has the perfect setup,

she said. “It has plenty of tables, chairs, a big screen projector, and we can easily bring outside food without Chartwells’ interference,” Curott said. “That’s going to be hard to find.” To junior Alex Jones, pizza for students to eat trumps places for students to meet. “(The pizza restaurant) sounds awesome,” Jones said. “We need a good pizza place on campus. As far as RSOs, there are plenty of places to meet on campus.”


Club allows students to voice opinions CIERA GOLLIVER Associate News Editor The Philosophy Club is a new registered student organization at UNA that meets biweekly to bring students in all fields together to discuss broad topics in philosophy. Philosophy is useful for everyone because it provides a chance to form beliefs on various topics, said Philosophy Club President Christopher Jackson. “You learn to exercise your own argument,” he said. The club started meeting spring 2016, but they were not an official university RSO until fall 2016, Jackson said. The club covers topics from eternal life to capitalism, Jackson said. The group meets every other Tuesday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Room 200 of the Guillot University Center, Jackson said. The club will continue to meet at

the same time and place when school resumes in the spring semester. The final meeting before Christmas Break will be Dec. 6. Having a place for students to discuss difficult topics is a good idea, said freshman Kat Hall. “As long as everyone feels like their opinions are appreciated, I think it’s great,” Hall said. A background in philosophy is not necessary to contribute to discussions, Jackson said. The club tries to avoid terms only those with philosophy knowledge would understand. “All you need is an opinion,” he said. At the end of every meeting, members suggest topics for the next, Jackson said. Members vote on topics after professors help them turn the topic into a question. One feature setting the Philosophy Club apart from other RSOs is how involved the professors are, Jackson said. “They really just (give) us tips on

what to do to keep the group going,” Jackson said. “They have been very supportive.” Associate Professor of Philosophy Matthew Fitzsimmons said the group provides students with a chance to voice their opinions. “The Philosophy Club is a great opportunity for students to come together and have a spirited and thought-provoking discussion about issues relevant to their lives,” Fitzsimmons said. The club began when philosophy students started meeting after class to discuss various topics, he said. In the past, it was only available to those pursuing a philosophy minor, but now any student can join, Jackson said. The Philosophy Club hopes having biweekly discussions will encourage more students to become involved in philosophy. They hope this leads to the department eventually offering a major in philosophy, Jackson said.

CLUB | 5


MELANIE HODGES| Chief Photographer

Junior Patrick Callaway raises his hand during a discussion for a Student Government Association Senate meeting Nov. 10 in the Student Engagement Center. SGA outlined their goals for the 2016-17 school year.

SGA reflects on year’s goals KAITLYN DAVIS News Editor The Student Government Association outlined the goals they hope to adhere to and accomplish throughout the 2016-17 school year. The goals are to connect students to campus resources, increase school spirit and student involvement, be good stewards of financial resources and enhance campus beautification. “We set (the goals) at the SGA retreat,” said SGA President Sarah Green. “We kind of did a couple of brainstorming sessions as to what was important to SGA.” The group considered what each executive officer campaigned for and whether or not the goals were specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. “Our main focus this year in setting our goals was that we wanted our goals to be something that if any student on this campus were to ask us what they meant, they would be able to understand it,” Green said. As the semester comes to an end, the organization reflects on their performance with the goals this semester.


To Connect Students to Campus Resources

SGA tried to connecting students

accomplish to campus

resources through events like Take Back the Night, which connected students to the Title IX Office and the Veterans Day Ceremony which connected students with the Military and Veteran Service Center, Green said. Although SGA is connecting students to resources on campus, students should know those resources might not completely solve their issues, said senior Jackson Wynn. “Saying that you have this resource to go to if something bad happened to you doesn’t fix the problem,” Wynn said. At the monthly president’s cabinet, a meeting SGA holds between registered student organization presidents, sometimes SGA invites people from different campus resources to speak. At the last meeting, Director of Athletics Mark Linder attended and discussed UNA Athletics Connect 1 campaign, an initiative encouraging students to make more fact-to-face interactions with each other instead of relying on their phones. SGA also plans to provide students with information on a campus resource each week on their social media accounts, Green said.


To Increase School Spirit and Student Involvement

SGA has accomplished several tasks to increase school spirit, Green

said. “The former SGA president (and I) met with Mark Linder, and we got the student section moved to the home side of the football stadium,” Green said. “I think that’s really helped this year with school spirit. We have the new tailgate location, and tailgates have been really good this year with SGA.” Junior Kati Roberts said SGA could increase school spirit and student involvement at the games. “I think they should offer more incentive for students to go to the game so more will come,” Roberts said. Green said she thinks the organization is seeing more student involvement from a more diverse student population with events like giving away tickets to Arx Mortis and People Loving and Nurturing Their School, an event that allowed students to plant their own herbs. “We’ve had a lot of unique events this year in (the University Program Council) — things that we’ve never seen in the past in SGA,” she said.

To be Good Stewards of 3 Financial Resources

“SGA has done good with the events and entertainment on campus and the other ways they have spent money,” said senior Chao Ma. Students need to hold SGA accountable for this goal, Green said.

“We want students to know that we do have a great responsibility,” she said. Healthy debate over when to spend money and educating themselves on where exactly the money comes from helps SGA members make strong decisions about when to spend it, she said. “My favorite thing to hear whenever we’re talking about money is, ‘Is this something the students actually want?’” Green said.

To Enhance 4 Beautification


“When running for Vice President of Senate, campus beautification was one of my areas of focus,” said SGA Vice President Tyler Delano. SGA is working with Facilities Administration and Planning to possibly obtain new seating and drainage systems at Memorial Amphitheater and an area behind the Guillot University Center, Delano said. “It seems like a good idea to do the seating and drainage systems at the amphitheater,” said senior Orrin Huntley. “It could really use it, and that would be a great use of funds. I have no issues with what they have done so far. “ SGA is researching and ranking areas on campus for future projects that could use sprucing up, Green said.



SGA hopes to start new tradition KAITLYN DAVIS News Editor The Student Government Association is considering providing a new outlet for students to exercise their creativity and show their school spirit through the addition of a new statue on campus. The statue would be a paw print students can decorate for registered student organization events, said SGA Student Welfare Committee Chair Jordan Cooper in an email. “SGA hasn’t officially decided to put the paw print on campus,” Cooper said. “However, the (Student Welfare Committee) is still researching into the possibility, and the paw print is our main option currently.” SGA’s current idea for the paw print is for it to lay flat on the side of a hill so it will be easily visible and accessible, he said. The committee would like to obtain the statue sometime before the summer 2017 SOAR sessions, Cooper said. The exact location and price of the statue is not known yet, but some suggested locations are in between the Stone Lodge and Memorial Amphitheater and near the residence halls. SGA also surveyed students to gather their opinions on the paw print and will continue to do so, Cooper said. The surveys suggest students would like to see the paw print by the residence halls. The next step in obtaining the statue is discussing the location and price with Michael Gautney, assistant vice president for Facilities Administration and Planning, Cooper said. “(SGA has) not spent any money yet,” said SGA President Sarah Green in an email. “We are still looking into the pricing and how/ who will pay for it.” Vice President of Student Affairs David Shields said he is helping

connect SGA to the right campus resources for this project. He said the paw print could create a new tradition at UNA. Students could also paint the statue for other reasons besides RSO events, Cooper said.

paw print as their favorite, Cooper said. The committee considered a boulder similar to the University of Tennessee’s Pride Rock and a lion statue like Lipscomb University’s bison statue, he said.

I believe the paw print (statue) will bring a sense of pride and tradition to our campus. Jordan Cooper | SGA Student Welfare Comittee Chair

“One idea is to have it be a tradition at SOAR to put your handprint on the paw print to say that you are now part of ‘the pride,’” he said. “By doing so, alumni will be able to come back 20 years from now, and underneath all of the paint their handprint will still be there, and they will know that they are still part of ‘the pride.’” Senior Charles Wilson said he would like to see the statue built in honor or commemoration of someone deserving of recognition. The statue will bring more than a splash of color to campus, Cooper said. “I believe that the paw print will bring a sense of pride and tradition for our campus,” he said. “We have different traditions on campus, but this brings something unique that is more hands on for the students to do. I also believe that it will help increase spirit and RSO participation.” “RSOs will be able to sign up for particular periods of time that they want to paint the paw print,” he said. The Student Welfare Committee looked into other ideas for a new statue on campus before naming the

“The paw print is the more appealing option because it is more unique, what students have wanted and the best option when it comes to pricing because the other two options are far more expensive compared to the paw print,” Cooper said. Another deciding factor in the paw print was the memory of an earlier UNA tradition, Cooper said. “Not only is the paw print unique, it is also bringing back an old tradition that used to be at UNA,” he said. “Before the brick pathways that run through campus were put in, there was an intersection of sidewalks that formed a star close to the Amphitheater. RSOs would paint the star and advertise for events. So, our idea is very similar.” Senior Alex Beaver said she thinks the statue would increase student involvement on campus. “(The statue would) kind of show the spirit of UNA,” Beaver said. If students would like to share their input on the statue, they can visit the SGA offices in the Student Engagement Center, Cooper said.

see the number of students minoring in philosophy to double, perhaps even triple, before a major could be a viable option.” The Philosophy Department

currently consists of 10 to 12 students pursuing a philosophy minor and two professors. The department is like a family because of their small numbers, Jackson said.

right now, Shields said. UNA would not be alone in this endeavor as the University of Alabama in Huntsville serves alcohol on its campus, Shields said. “We would have to have a lot of discussions and good plans before we would move forward with this idea,” Shields said.

Junior Austin Hogue said he thinks serving beer on campus would be convenient for students. “I think many students would like a pizza and beer restaurant, especially one that is on campus,” Hogue said. “That way no one has to drive downtown or elsewhere to get a drink or some food.”

University moves forward with court case JASMINE FLEMING Editor-in-Chief Both the plaintiff and defendant in Audrey Mitchell v. the University of North Alabama have decided to continue with the case. Mitchell, director of Environmental Services and Housing Facilities Management, along with the university’s representation, submitted consent to turn the case over to a U.S. magistrate judge. In doing so, the judge will conduct all further proceedings in the case, including trial and entry of final judgment. Mitchell’s claims in the case include race-based employment discrimination and harassment from fellow university employees. Mitchell began reporting claims of harassment and discrimination in 2010, according to the lawsuit. In an Oct. 11 response, UNA “denies it discriminated against, retaliated against or harassed (Mitchell).” Mitchell submitted her paperwork of consent Oct. 18, and the university did so Nov. 16. Both parties had until Nov. 21. Both parties received an order Nov. 17 outlining next steps. If they have not already, the plaintiff and defendant must have a Rule 26(f) conference within 21 days of the order to discuss case topics such as the nature and basis of the claims and the possibility of a settlement. Within 14 days, both parties must file a report of the conference. Editor’s Note: Stick with The FlorAla for updates on the case.


CLUB, continued from page 2 “The biggest hurdle to getting a philosophy major on campus is the number of students enrolled in the program (for the minor),” Fitzsimmons said. “We would have to

PIZZA, continued from page 2 Green said there is still much SGA is discussing regarding the pizza restaurant such as whether or not one floor of the Stone Lodge is large enough for a restaurant and if the venue will eventually serve beer. Serving craft beer at the restaurant has been a suggestion, but the university is not pursuing the idea

The university could go to trial in a court case concerning employee discrimination. The university denies the accusations.


MICHAEL MEIGS | Graphic Designer

Musicians work together to ʻAuthors Crawlʼ provides celebrate ʻTuba Christmasʼ affordable entertainment HANNAH ZIMMER Staff Writer Florence will have the opportunity to experience the Shoals’ first “Tuba Christmas,” a performance of holiday music, at First Friday Dec. 2. Jason Sulliman, low brass instructor for the Pride of Dixie, is the orchestrator of the event. “The music is performed for free, and participants each donate to the Harvey Philips Tuba Foundation by registering for the event, which supports future ‘Tuba Christmas’ events,” Sulliman said. The tuba ensemble will set up on the corner of Court and Tuscaloosa Streets in the First Friday area. The ensemble will play as early as 4:30 p.m. to utilize the daylight. They will play for approximately an hour. Tuba and euphonium players from many locations will participate in the event. The goal of the Harvey Philips Foundation is to develop, expand and preserve the music arts, Sulliman said. The Foundation focuses special attention on musical instruments not ordinarily the object of other support. Tuba player Harvey Phillips created “Tuba Christmas” in 1974. He held the first event at Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink in New York City. Since then, hundreds of cities,

nationally and internationally, have hosted the event. “One of the exciting things for us will be seeing how far people will travel to participate, as ‘Tuba Christmas’ events tend to attract tuba and euphonium players from great distances,” Sulliman said. “Sometimes, musicians travel hundreds of miles to join the fun.” UNA students will participate in “Tuba Christmas” as well. “Several music majors and nonmusic majors will be participating in the ‘Tuba Christmas’ event,” Sulliman said. “These students represent all of the instrumental ensembles at UNA, and we appreciate relying on them to be the ‘backbone’ of the ensemble. The students at UNA take great pride in playing well and encouraging others to perform, which is what ‘Tuba Christmas’ is all about.” Freshman Taylor Parker said it is great that the community is finding ways to celebrate local talent. “I think it’s awesome for students to have the opportunity to show off the talent they work so hard on,” she said. “Creating new experiences for students is important to expand their musical skills.” Sulliman said he invites community members to play in the event. To learn more about how to participate, go to

Sometimes, musicians travel hundreds of miles to join the fun (of Tuba Christmas). Jason Sulliman | Low Brass Instructor

BREANNA LITTRELL Associate News Editor The Shoals Writers Guild is presenting its first ever “Christmas in the Renaissance City Authors Crawl.” This weekend-long event will start Friday, Dec. 2, and will be in conjunction with “Old Fashioned Christmas” on First Fridays. Authors, editors and illustrators will be inside businesses in downtown Florence. The participating businesses will have a poster announcing the author and the time they will be present. The Crawl will take place Dec. 2 from 3:30 - 7:30 p.m., Dec. 3 from 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 from 11a.m. - 5 p.m. Joy Willow, founder and chair of The Shoals Writer Guild, said this event will be their fundraiser. “The purpose of collaborating with First Fridays’ ‘Old Fashioned Christmas’ is to get people to come inside the stores and boost sales, as well as give the authors exposure,” she said. Willow said she will show her movie “The Orchard Baby” at the event at Court Street Market for the three days. Willow said Amazon best seller Howard Wiggins, from Nashville, will be at Court Street Market on Sunday. He wrote the interior design book “What Were You Thinking? (Recognizing costly mistakes that everyone makes).” “I think it would be interesting to go to, especially because it is close to campus,” said freshman Rikki Clark. “It’s good for the authors’ exposure. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for the book lover.” People will have motivation to visit all participating businesses, she said. “Each day at the end of the crawl, a basket of autographed books will be

given away at Court Street Market,” she said. “Drawings will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday.” To be eligible to win, participants must stop by each of the crawl stops on that day and obtain a sticker, Willow said. They must give their completed crawl attendance guides to Saint Nicholas at the ANCO Building on the corner of Mobile Plaza and Court Street. Participants do not have to be present to win. In conjunction with First Fridays Dec. 2, the Shoals Writers Guild is sponsoring a foot parade called the “St. Nicholas March.” “The parade will start promptly at 5:15 p.m,” Willow said. “Formation will start at 5 p.m. outside of Fred’s on Court Street for anyone who would like to join.” The Madrigal Singers will perform in the parade and will invite people to sing with them, Willow said. “We would prefer full costumes, at least a scarf and boots, but (we) encourage anyone who would like to carol to join in,” she said. The parade will end at the intersection of Court and Mobile Streets. Saint Nicholas will remain there for the duration of the crawl for children to visit. People interested in going can buy tickets for $5. The ticket is good for all three days of the event and 10 percent off purchases from both the author and certain hosting businesses. “The tickets are cheap, so people are likely to go,” said junior Kayla Collier. “The 10 percent discount is also a great deal.” Anyone who plans to attend the crawl can purchase a ticket from The Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts until Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. If the weather permits, the organization will sell tickets at the event. To see a complete list of the authors at the event, go to

7 Gaming tournament awakens competitive spirit MONDAY SANDERSON Life Editor This holiday season, the Lion’s Den will host three gaming tournaments. They are free for all students to watch and participate in. Students will compete in the ping pong tournament Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. and the pool and Mortal Kombat tournaments Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. Students asked for these tournaments, said Gigi Broadway, senior administrative assistant of University Events. “At the beginning of the semester, students (began) asking (for the tournaments),” she said. “I promised them that we would get them in this semester.” These tournaments grant those wishes and provide some holiday cheer, Broadway said. “It’s not really a Christmas or Hanukkah tournament, she said. “It’s just a collaboration of everybody having fun. It’s not going to be dedicated to the holidays, but there will be some decorations and maybe some cookies.” Broadway said since there are many people signed up, the tournaments will all be single elimination. If a student wins first place in any of the tournaments, they will receive a $20 gift card to Walmart, Broadway said. Second place winners will receive a $10 gift card. Senior Cody McCrary won the previous pool tournament. He said he will compete again to defend his title. “I originally competed because I’m competitive,” he said. “Generally, everyone comes in here just to have fun and to burn time in between classes. On the tournament night, it becomes much more serious. I have my pride to maintain with this tournament.” Broadway said the pool tournament is the most popular. Junior Kris Dewberry said his friends convinced him to sign up for the ping pong tournament. “I’m not a very competitive person,” he said. “A group of us normally play in the game room, and we have informal brackets. I play the game to have fun and unwind.” Dewberry said he will compete in another tournament if this one goes well.

The Flor-Ala File Photo

Students compete against each other in the Lion’s Den Game Room. “At the beginning of the semester, students start asking (for the tournaments),” said Gigi Broadway, senior administrative assistant of University Events. McCrary said he is shocked the game room has not offered Smash Bros. as an option for a tournament. Broadway said while this is one of the most requested games, they do not have the room. “There are so many people who want to play this,” she said. “They want to do the eight player version, and I don’t know if we can accommodate that. If we’re ever able to get another game system in the near future, I’m sure that is one game we’ll have in tournament form.” Broadway said anyone is welcome to join. McCary said students and their guests should visit the game room before coming to the tournament. “It’s going to be packed and chaotic that night,” he said. “They can have great fun without being overwhelmed (by the competition).” The deadline to sign up for the Dec. 5 tournaments is Friday. The deadline for the Dec. 1 tournament has passed.

It’s not really a Christmas or Hanukkah tournament. It’s just a collaboration of everybody having fun. Gigi Broadway | Senior Administrative Assistant JACKIE WILLIS | Graphic Designer


JACKIE WILLIS| Graphic Designer


5 tips for gift givers this season have more meaning than anything a store can sell. English majors, or students who like to write, can create poems or short stories for family. Those with a knack for photography can take portraits. There are many options for homemade gifts that can mean even more to those who receive them. If students need inspiration, Pinterest has many do-it-yourself gifts.

2. Take notes JASMINE FLEMING Editor-in-Chief Shopping for the holidays can be daunting, especially when everyone else seems to be in the stores at the same time. However, there are many ways to make buying gifts for family and friends a little easier. With these tips, students can be ready to take on the gift-giving season.

1. Think things through This tip may be cheating, but before stepping into a store, consider whether purchasing gifts is necessary. Students who have a creative outlet may be able to make gifts that

Can’t think of the perfect gift? Chances are the recipient has already said what they want. Listen to loved ones when they mention a product they think is cool but that they might not purchase for themselves. Alternatively, if someone has a need they cannot meet, try meeting or helping them meet it. Lastly, for those who say they do not like receiving gifts, consider donating to their favorite charity in their name.

3. Set a budget While family and friends are important, they cannot be the recipients of all income during December (unless there are no bills to pay – then by all means, splurge on them!). Set an amount for gifts, and do not exceed it. The best way to achieve

this is to plan gifts ahead of time and tier them. For example, should third cousin Junebug receive the same level of gift as Grandma? Maybe not.

4. Shop online Even though Cyber Monday has passed, shopping online is still a great option for comparing prices. If there is already a specific gift in mind, search for it at multiple retailers to find the best deal. Online shopping will deliver the items through mail or allow for in-store pickup. This will also cut down on having to deal with snippy holiday shoppers.

5. Purchase gift sets Although a lotion set from Walmart doesn’t scream “thoughtful,” it is a perfect gift for acquaintances. It is never required to buy someone a gift, and it can seem like overkill if the person isn’t close, but a gift set is an easy way to show a new acquaintance or work friend consideration. An extra tip for buying gift sets is to purchase them after Christmas to have on hand for the next year as a last-minute gift. They’re always marked down during this time.

MICHAEL MEIGS | Graphic Designer

Top 4 ‘must-see’ classic Christmas movies KAITLYN DAVIS News Editor

1. Polar Express A young boy discovers the magic of Christmas when he boards a train headed for the North Pole. On the journey, he befriends other children on the locomotive, and together, they embark on an adventure to meet Santa. This movie is an exciting, heartwarming tale, and every time I watch this delightful animated film, I find myself wanting to believe in Santa all over again.

Photos courtesy of Amazon

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

3. Santa Claus is Cominʼ to Town

Although many prefer the Jim Carrey rendition, I cannot help but enjoy the animated version. The Grinch, who lives as a bitter hermit atop a snowy mountain, plans to steal Christmas from the Whos in the town below called Whoville. However, his scheme does not unfold as he expected. This film was a childhood favorite of mine and is a must-see in my house every year.

This film tells the story of how an orphaned child named Kris Kringle grew up to become Santa Claus. Kringle faces many challenges before he becomes Santa, including facing an evil dictator who bans toys in his hometown and creating an unlikely alliance with the intimidating Winter Warlock. With a catchy score and unforgettable characters, this movie is a classic.

4. A Christmas Story “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Students who do not recognize that line must watch this timeless, iconic movie during the holiday break. During A Christmas Story, viewers watch as they story of Ralphie and his obsession with a Red Ryder gun unfolds. The narrator, an older Ralphie, describes the thoughts and feelings of his younger self in an interesting, hilarious way.


Football team prepares for rematch


Oct.24 - Nov. 26 Football

Nov. 26 vs. UNC-Pembroke

Win, 41-17



GSC Tournament Nov. 15 vs. Valdosta St. Win, 3-0 Nov. 19 at Shorter Win, 3-0 Championship Match Nov. 20 at West Fla. Win, 3-2

said. “But there is going to be a game at some point in time where (mistakes) are going to cost us the game.” Wallace said this year’s team is one of the best he has ever coached, which made it unusual to see it slip up in critical situations. “This is still a complete team,” Wallace said. “We just made a few mistakes that we don’t think is our character to do. I think the only thing is there was a little frustration that we were making our own mistakes, but I don’t think there was ever a doubt in the game.” Having a first round bye gave the Lions two weeks to prepare for UNCPembroke and recover from injuries, but also caused a little rust, said junior receiver Dre Hall. “When we got back to our regular selves and got back into a rhythm, you could tell we were rusty at first,” Hall said. “But after that, everything started to flow really good.”

Next up for the North Alabama football team’s quest for the 2016 national title features a rematch against the North Greenville Crusaders at Braly Stadium Dec. 3 in the third round of the playoffs. The Lions (9-1, 7-0 Gulf South Conference) handled the Crusaders (9-4, 0-0 Division-II Independent) with ease in their Oct. 22 regular season matchup, defeating them 52-21. But that was a different game, and North Greenville has had over a month to improve since then. UNA has also had to time to improve since then. “I always talk about intangibles,” said UNA head coach Bobby Wallace. “But, it really takes a combination of three things: talent, good coaching and those intangibles.” Philosophically, North Greenville continues to utilize a strong rushing attack behind a stable of talented running backs. True freshman Tracy Scott leads the team in virtually every rushing statistic with 1,067-yards and 15 touchdowns, which is tied for 19th most in the nation. Senior Ashton Heard provides the Crusaders with a change-of-pace back who is talented in his own right. Heard has 714-yards and four touchdowns this season. Both players have appeared in all 13 games this season. The passing game starts with redshirt sophomore quarterback Will Hunter who has thrown only four interceptions all season. Hunter has 2,940-yards passing and 23 touchdowns through the air. North Greenville has a trio of receivers with over 500-yards receiving this season in juniors Javon Smith and Mason Sanders and sophomore Demjiay Rooks. The defense will be tasked with slowing down the Crusader passing game without first team All-GSC and four-year starter senior cornerback Levi Fell, who is out for the season with a knee injury. Junior safety Dorsey Norris said facing an efficient offense like North Greenville takes extra preparation, especially with the loss of Fell.



Women’s Basketball Nov. 17 vs. Oakwood Win, 101-48 Nov. 23 vs. Fisk Win, 88-42 Nov. 26 vs. Trevecca Naz. Win, 72-43

Men’s Basketball

Nov. 19 vs. Cumberland Win, 82-77 Nov. 26 vs. Lane Loss, 82-78


Oct. 24-25 Matt Dyas Inv. Team: T-3rd Forrest Knight: T-8th Austin Sparks: T-12th Games continued at

MELANIE HODGES | Chief Photographer

Senior defensive back Philbert Martial returns a punt in North Alabama’s 41-17 playoff victory over North CarolinaPembroke at home. The Lions advance to the quarterfinal round for the first time since 2013 with the win.

Lions seek improvement heading into quarterfinal round MIKE EZEKIEL Managing Editor Despite a lopsided 41-17 win in the second round of the playoffs over fifth seeded North Carolina-Pembroke last week, the North Alabama football team is not completely satisfied. The top-seeded Lions (9-1) have not trailed in the majority of its games this season, but were behind 17-10 midway through the second quarter. UNA would then pull off a late surge, scoring 31 unanswered points en route to victory. The team had to overcome its own mistakes, including four turnovers and a 2-8 third down conversion rate. Although UNA head coach Bobby Wallace said he was happy to advance to the next round, he was quick to acknowledge the slow start. “I’m very proud we were able to win the game, but obviously this was our worst game of the year,” Wallace

SPORTS 11 Women’s basketball continues hot start


MELANIE HODGES | Chief Photographer

North Alabama volleyball players Lexie Bradley (12) and Jayden Davila-McClary celebrate a kill in the team’s Gulf South Conference tournament game against Valdosta State. The Lions set the tone for what would become a second straight GSC title in the 3-0 victory.

Volleyball team wins conference, advances to playoffs MIKE EZEKIEL Managing Editor “Déjà vu” seemed to be the key phrase during the Gulf South Conference volleyball tournament championship Nov. 20 in Pensacola, Florida. For the second straight season, North Alabama pulled off a 15-13 win in the fifth and final set against topseeded West Florida to win the GSC championship and advance to the NCAA tournament. “It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” said UNA coach Stephanie Radecki. “It was crazy, and I think everyone knew going into it that it was going to be an intense, high-level competition. We had prepared ourselves for that.” UNA advanced to the conference tournament semifinals in Pensacola as the No. 3 seed after a 3-0 sweep against Valdosta State Nov. 15 before sweeping No. 2 Shorter Nov. 19. After dropping the previous two matchups in the regular season to the Argos, the Lions knew it would be a challenge to repeat as conference champions, but stayed resilient. “We really had all the odds against us,” said senior Peyton Lang, the GSC tournament MVP. “But when were

tied 13-13, it just kind of took me back to last year. We were down 9-6 in this game. Then, we came back and tied it up.” UNA pulled off a 25-23 win in the first set to gain momentum, but West Florida would respond by dominating the second set, 25-11. “The first five points doesn’t determine the match,” Radecki said. “One set doesn’t determine the match. We just continued to talk about that, and I think the girls really understood that and made the changes they needed to slowly get back into the groove.” The Lions came back in the third set, but ultimately dropped it 25-22. Despite West Florida winning the swing set, UNA leveled the game back to a 2-2 contest with a momentumshifting 25-13 win in the fourth set. Trailing 9-6 in the fifth set, senior Natasha Fomina, the conference’s leader in kills, drilled two into the ground. Then, UWF had two attack errors to re-tie the game 10-10. Each team would then trade scores to make it 13-13. With the game and the championship on the line, Lang had two consecutive kills to seal the win for UNA at 15-13. “It was tied at 13, and I think (Radecki) called a timeout,” Lang said.

“We decided what we wanted to run, then I got the first kill. After that, I was like, ‘Alright, let’s go, we’re going to get this next point.’ It felt really good.” Joining Lang on the All-GSC tournament team from UNA was Fomina and junior libero Ashtyn Kapovich. Lang had a match-high 17 kills and added 13 digs for the double-double against the Argos. Fomina added 13 kills, while Kapovich finished the game with a match-high 16 digs. “I give credit to my teammates,” Kapovich said. “Win or lose, we always are on the bus acting like a team. We are just one big family.” Two days removed from winning the conference for a second consecutive season, the team turned its attention to the playoffs during the NCAA selection show presentation at 306 Barbeque in downtown Florence Nov. 21. UNA will travel to West Palm Beach to face West Florida for the fourth time this season, but this time in the first round of the playoffs beginning Dec. 1. “It’s always hard to play at team back-to-back, especially four times,” Radecki said. “It makes it a little more difficult, but easier to scout. It’s a team we know really well, and we’re ready for the NCAA tournament.”

The North Alabama women’s basketball team looks to continue their undefeated start to the season headed into conference play, coming off a 7243 victory over the Trevecca Nazarene Trojans at home. The Lions hold a 5-0 record and are averaging 79.6 points per game. “I think the big thing for us is to keep getting better every single day,” said head coach Missy Tiber. “(Whether it is) practice, games or whatever, that’s our approach. If you’re willing to embrace the process, which is the process of building, then ultimately the end result will be winning games.” But the Lion’s are not just winning games, they are dominating. UNA’s average margin of victory thus far is 28.4 points, which leads the Gulf South Conference. Offensively, the Lions put up the necessary numbers to put teams away, averaging 28.6 fieldgoals made per game and seven three point field goals a game, compared to opponents 19 field goals and 2.8 three pointers. The Lions are also playing efficiently, as they average 15.6 assists per game and 17.4 turnovers per game, while opposing teams average 23.8 turnovers against the Lions. UNA also maintains their possessions, allowing 7.6 steals per game, while averaging a conference-high 14.6 steals. During the game against Trevecca Nazarene, the Lions held the Trojans to 43 points and never allowed the Trojans to lead or tie the score. “We played extremely hard,” Tiber said. “We had to grind some things out in the first half because they played a lot of zone, but we made the adjustments at halftime.” Tiber said it was a good experience facing a primarily zone defense team after playing against mostly man defenses thus far. “They limited us from doing what we wanted to do, and we had to work harder than we usually do offensively,” she said. “I thought we had an excellent third quarter. I think overall as a team, we picked up our defensive intensity and pressure in the second half, so I was happy with us.” UNA opens Gulf South Conference play when archrival AlabamaHuntsville visits Florence in the latest edition of the “Battle for Highway 72.” To read more about the upcoming UAH game, visit


Lions look to rebound after first loss of season ANDREW FULMER Sports Editor The North Alabama men’s basketball team looks to bounce back from an overtime loss at Flowers Hall Nov. 26 against Lane with Gulf South Conference play looming around the corner. The Lions led Lane 82-78 with less than three minutes to go in regulation, only to allow the Dragons to make a last minute surge to tie the score at 65-65 and force overtime. Lane outscored UNA 17-13 in the overtime period to secure the Lion’s first loss of the season. Lions head coach Bobby Champagne said issues with free throws hurt the team and ultimately sealed their fate. “The guys practice free throws on their own, and we shoot some at practice,” Champagne said. “That’s a skill (players) can work on their own. Maybe we didn’t pay as much attention to that as we needed to, especially with Thanksgiving week.” The Lions shot 14-27 on free throws. UNA’s field goal scoring percentages suffered as well. The team shot 39.4 percent on two-point field goals and 32 percent on three-point tries. Champagne said the team must learn from its missed scoring woes and correct them moving forward. “We need to finish the game and make the easy shots,” said junior guard Jeff Hodge Jr. “We need to improve all of the little stuff that caused us to lose, and we need to play harder.” Senior forward Austin Timms was a bright spot for the Lions. Timms recorded a double-double with a team leading 25 points and 10 total rebounds. Hodge was the team’s second leading scorer with 20 points.

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Senior guard Dimario Jackson drives for a layup in North Alabama’s game against Lane Nov. 26 at Flowers Hall. The Lions led by as many as 13 during the game, only to lose in overtime 82-72. Defensively, the Lions struggled to slow down the Dragon’s offensive possessions and to match their rebounds. “I feel like we could’ve changed the defensive side of the game,” said junior center Sharwyn McGee. “We didn’t rebound as much. I felt like we could have boxed out better as a team. I think our

FOOTBALL, continued from page 10 Hall finished the game with nine catches, 136 receiving yards and a touchdown, accounting for almost half of quarterback Jacob Tucker’s 284 passing yards. Tucker said the defensive effort made up for the offense’s four turnovers with key stops and maintaining good field position. “Defense has been our backbone all year, and they’ve done a great job,” Tucker said. “That’s the reason we’re able to sit out a lot of second halves and fourth quarters because the defense does such a good job of containing people and holding them.” Joining key seniors Levi Fell and Kamarine King on the injury list is starting center Lance Herrod, who had an apparent foot injury on the first drive in last week’s game. Wallace said he is unsure if Herrod will play in the quarterfinals. Awaiting the Lions in the quarterfinal round is North Greenville, a team UNA defeated 52-21 earlier this season. The sixth seeded Crusaders upset Florida Tech

in the opening round before defeating Tuskegee last week to advance to the Super Region 2 final. “We have to be careful how we approach this game and not be overconfident,” Wallace said. This will be the first time since 2013 the Lions have advanced to the third round, where UNA fell to the eventual runner-up Lenior Rhyne 4239. The winner will advance to the semifinal round of the playoffs, somewhere Wallace has not been since his first stint at UNA in the 1990’s when his team won three consecutive national championships. “I haven’t been that far in a long time, and these guys haven’t been that far,” Wallace said. “It’s a great accomplishment. We’ve had a great season, and I’m very proud of them. But we want to move on, and I think (North Greenville) wants to move on. We have to correct our mistakes and go from there.” Kickoff from Braly Stadium is set for noon Dec. 3.

defense was really hurting us.” UNA had 48 total rebounds during the game, compared to 56 from Lane. After facing Miles at home in nonconference action Nov. 29, UNA opens GSC play Dec. 4 when in-state rival Alabama-Huntsville visits Flowers Hall. The Lions hold a 34-24 all-time record

against the Chargers dating back to their first meeting in 1985. The “Battle for Highway 72” has become a highly contested rivalry due to the campuses twohour proximity to each other. Over the past two seasons, the Lions and Chargers have split regular season matchups 2-2 with each team finding victory at home.

PREVIEW, continued from page 10 “We’ve been preparing more mentally,” Norris said. “We’ve already begun watching film on them. The difference between the team we are playing Saturday versus the one we played (in Oct.) is they’ve found their rhythm. They’re not really doing anything different, they’ve just found what works and have improved on that. We’ve got to be ready, as a defense, for their game plan.” The Crusaders defense has allowed 5,022-yards to opposing offenses this season, averaging about 386 yards per game. The Crusader rushing defense could be exploited as they are averaging 172.2 yards allowed, including 269 yards in the Oct. 22 meeting. “(From the films we have watched) I have seen a little bit different shifts in their defense,” said senior offensive lineman Stephen Evans. “They’re obviously going to change up their looks, but we know their players and know what they are capable of.” Follow us on Twitter @FlorAlaSports for live game coverage and post game reactions.

NGU BY THE NUMBERS Passing offense: Yards-3,050 Touchdowns-24 Interceptions-4 Rushing offense: Yards-2,239 Touchdowns-29 Fun fact: NGU was founded in 1892 as North Greenville High School


Citizens should become aware of white privilege

ANDREW FULMER Sports Editor During the 2016 Presidential election, I found myself in a state of disbelief. How could the American public allow a xenophobic, misogynistic and highly unqualified man to be elected to this great nation’s highest position? The answer is simple: by

influencing straight white people to believe they are the victims. Sure, President-elect Donald Trump won the white vote by approximately the same margin as Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential election, according to data compiled by the Pew Research Center, but that’s beside the point. I want to focus on how Trump and his team were able to pluck at the heartstrings of white voters in crucial swing states and traditional left-wing states to win the election, despite losing the popular vote. The Trump team did an exemplary job of targeting people who felt some of President Barack Obama’s policies and legislation, like the Affordable Healthcare Act and his pushes for gun control, impeded on their way of life. They targeted people who may have felt recent LGBTQ legislation like the landmark decision to legalize same-sex marriage imposed upon their religious beliefs. They targeted people who thought current environmental laws such as the Obama administration’s push to move away from fossil fuels,

made it harder for them to make an honest day’s pay. To put it bluntly, they targeted people who are afraid of folks who are different from them, thanks to ignorance and taught hatred. Trump took these people and made them feel like they were the minority, like they were the ones that have suffered and are the victims. But, when one views this from an objective viewpoint, this remains false. People who share my skin tone have an unfair advantage in life solely based on race. We have more access to anything from education, to healthcare, to employment. The easy way out is to dismiss such notions as problems of the past or proclaim minority issues died during the 1960s. A brief glance at the statistics shows this is not the case. African-Americans make up 13 percent of the nation’s population and account for 14 percent of recreational drug users, yet African-Americans comprise 37 percent of arrests for drug related offenses. Even in sports, fair skinned people have a massively unfair advantage.

Out of 32 teams in the NFL, only four teams have black head coaches despite approximately 67 percent of the leagues players being African-American. The NFL passed a rule in 2003 commonly known as the “Rooney Rule” which states that when an NFL team hires a new head coach or senior staff member, the team must interview minority candidates. Despite this rule, only 12.5 percent of head coaches are black. The truly sad takeaway from this is that a rule had to be made to require minority interviews when this should be a no-brainer in the 21st century. The point is fair-skinned people are hardly the victims in this country, and we should realize how privileged we have been. We need to realize that the world is a large place and that we are a global nation. Many people from different ethnicities and countries make up this great nation and always have. We must make a conscious effort to realize minorities are still oppressed in this country, and we must change for the betterment of our society for all.

Undergraduates must recognize value of degree

MADI WINKLER Social Media Coordinator Education is a privilege, not a right, and sometimes college students take that opportunity for granted. Many people all over the United States have a strong desire for a solid education

but do not have the means to obtain it. About 45 percent of Americans hold an associates degree or higher, 36 percent hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and only nine percent hold a master’s degree or higher, according to The U.S. Department of Education. That is a little over 114 million of degree-holders out of 318.9 million in the U.S. population, according to the United States Census Bureau. Think about it. The other 64 percent of the population does not have access to the resources students in a higher education environment have. For example, people outside the college environment might not have access to guidance from seasoned professors or the opportunity to gain first-hand experience from an internship. While college is worthwhile, it is understood that college is stressful. Pending deadlines, endless hours of

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studying, difficult exams and piles of homework can leave even the most prepared student stumped. But where there is stress, there is learning opportunity. The college experience builds character, and this is something to be thankful for because it will remain long after classes dismiss. While college is not always sunshine and roses, the experience is invaluable. Higher education teaches students the meaning of hard work and dedication. It teaches the ability to juggle tasks, to persevere, and it teaches the meaning of responsibility. Institutions of higher education provide students with important life skills, and it puts students in a position to achieve great things. Sixty-two percent of college graduates said their years in college helped them grow intellectually and

personally, according to Pew Research Center. While the typical reason for going to college is simply to gain a better understanding of the career field one wishes to pursue, this personal growth can be the driving force behind a life well-lived. This is an aspect college students do not typically think about, and it is a gift that should not be forgotten. Students may think about the assignments right under their nose but often neglect to think about how what they do affects their career and personal well-being. As finals approach and stress accumulates, remember this time as a chance to grow. Embrace this learning opportunity, and use this privilege as a chance to broaden horizons. Students should make the most of their time in college because the time spent can never be regained.

Letters Policy Letters to the editor should be emailed to or mailed to: The Flor-Ala, UNA Box 5300 Florence, AL 35632 Letters must include name and telephone number for verification. Please limit letters to 400 words. The editor reserves the right to edit or refuse to publish a letter.


the Christmas spirit

Holiday Season Christmas lights surround both sides of a street in downtown Tuscumbia. The city also puts on a light show closer to Christmas at Spring Park. SIERRA HILL Staff Photographer As the Thanksgiving holiday is now in the past and students prepare for final exams, the sound of Christmas music lingers over the airwaves, indicating it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Lights and decorations cover the houses and streets. Love and romance fills the air as mistletoe is hung everywhere. Many know the sappy Hallmark Christmas movies also play a part in the romantic feelings. Children around the world wait impatiently for the big man in the red suit to visit. People put traditions of all kinds into practice. Hot Chocolate flies off the shelves, and sometimes, elves do, too. The holidays are a time to enjoy not only festivities, but time spent with others. Although gifts are a great way for someone to show people they care, nothing could ever exceed spending time with them. People should help Mom put up the Christmas tree and laugh at the ornaments they made as children that

the parents still hang up. Help dad hang up the Christmas lights on the house because he’s terrified he is going to fall off the roof. Bake cookies with Grandma and lick the spoon. Listen to old stories of Christmases long ago from Grandpa and Uncle Joe. Listen to Great Aunt Linda read “The Night Before Christmas.” To help students get in the Christmas spirit, I wrote a poem similar to “The Night Before Christmas” with a UNA twist: ‘Twas the night before finals, And all through Flo-Town, Every student was studying In spite of the Wi-Fi being down. Students dreamed of a break, While coffee was consumed, But even after their hard work, They knew they were doomed. They’ll wake up in the morning, And send a prayer to the sky, This exam is gonna end them, They’ll kiss their GPA goodbye. But alas, do not worry, For parking should be fine, At least you’ll have that positivity, So keep studying, it’s almost time.

Ready for gifts Stockings hang above a fireplace with gift bags scattered neatly below. Many fill stockings with candy and other goodies for a pleasant Christmas surprise.

Keeping the tradition A black ornament dressed in gold glitter hangs from a Christmas tree. It is traditional for many to hang ornaments from their tree, specifically homemade ornaments.

It’s lit A Christmas tree is decorated with lighting for the holiday season in downtown Tuscumbia. A Christmas tree can represent various household traditions for different families.

CALENDAR 15 Thurs., Dec. 1 What: Trumbauer Festival When: 8 a.m.- 10 p.m. Where: George S. Lindsey Theatre What: SGA Senate Meeting When: 3 p.m. Where: Office of Student Engagement

Fri., Dec. 2 What: Tuba Christmas When: 5 p.m. Where: First Fridays in Downtown Florence What: Trumbauer Festival When: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Where: George S. Lindsey Theatre

Sat., Dec. 3 What: Composition Studio Recital When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Music Building Recital Hall

Sun., Dec. 4 What: Senior Recital, Heather Olson, violin When: 2 p.m. Where: Music Building Recital Hall What: Women’s Basketball vs. UAH When: 2 p.m.

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Junior KeKe Gunter looks to pass during the Nov. 4 exhibition against Alabama A&M. The team faces UAH Sunday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m. in Flowers Hall.

Where: Flowers Hall What: Mens Basketball vs. UAH

What: Departmental Recital

When: 4 p.m.

When: noon

Where: Flowers Hall

Where: Music Building Recital Hall

What: The Flor-Ala potluck When: 3 p.m. Where: Student Publications Building

Mon., Dec. 5

What: Honors Student Organization Dye Before Dead Day When: 6 - 8 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 11

Fri., Dec. 16

What: Shoals Symphony at UNA: Home for the Holidays

What: International Graduation Reception When: 6 - 7:30 p.m.

When: 3p.m. Where: Norton Auditorium

Mon., Dec. 12 What: Semester Examinations

Tues., Dec. 13

What: UPC Meeting

What: Alpha Kappa Alpha Study Break

When: 3:30 - 5 p.m.

When: 6 - 10 p.m.

Where: Office of Student Engagement

Where: Stone Lodge Upper Level

Wed., Dec. 14

Thur., Dec. 8

What: Semester Examinations

What: Study Day

Thurs., Dec. 15

Fri., Dec. 9

What: Women’s Basketball vs. West Alabama

Tues., Dec. 6 What: Senior Recital, Kasumi Ida, piano When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Music Building Choral

What: Semester Examinations

What: Semester Examinations

When: 2 p.m.


Sat., Dec. 10

Where: Flowers Hall

Wed., Dec. 7

What: Men’s Basketball vs.

What: Men’s Basketball vs. West Alabama When: 8 p.m. Where: Flowers Hall

What: College of Arts and Sciences Ambassadors Bake Sale When: 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Where: GUC Atrium

Huntingdon When: 3 p.m. Where: Flowers Hall

Where: GUC Banquet Halls C, D and E

Sat., Dec. 17 What: Midyear Commencement Program When: Ceremony One - 10 a.m. Ceremony Two - 2 p.m. Where: Flowers Hall

Sun., Dec. 18 What: Bliss Atkinson Recital When: noon Where: Music Building 209

Mon., Dec. 19 What: Women’s Basketball vs. West Georgia When: 1 p.m. Where: Flowers Hall What: Men’s Basketball vs. West Georgia When: 3 p.m. Where: Flowers Hall