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The Roar-Ala New Student Magazine 2017

UNA’s best kept secret p. 20

How to stay healthy in college p. 34

Living on campus p. 42

Welcome to UNA The FlorAla


Staff Members of the current and previous The Flor-Ala staff gather for a selfie at the Student Publication Building. The building is home to The Flor-Ala and the Diorama, the school yearbook.

MONDAY SANDERSON Editor-in-Chief Coming to college, whether as a firsttime freshman, transfer or returning student, can be a huge milestone. Not only are you starting a new adventure, but you are also gaining the opportunity to learn from professionals in their field and making new friends. While the beginning may be filled with nervous energy, the rewards are well worth it.


The staff at The Flor-Ala, UNA’s campus newspaper, is here to make the transition to your new adventure easier. The staff, composed entirely of students, has created The Roar-Ala, a magazine to help new students become acquainted with UNA. Whether you want to learn about studying abroad (14), campus safety (19) or some of the best places to visit (51), The Roar-Ala has this information and more . Not only does The Flor-Ala staff provide this information now, but we will continue to do so throughout the 2017-18 school year. We will cover campus and local events within our news, life and sports sections in our biweekly newspaper and on our website. We will also have special sections throughout the year, such as readers’ choice and Halloween. Finally, our culture blog allows us to represent our diverse student body. However, the stories seen within The Flor-Ala does not just come from the staff, but also from the students. Our

tag line is “You speak. We write.” We are always looking for new information. So, if there is a rumor you want us to debunk, a movie you want us to review or an issue you want us to cover, let us know. If there is a topic you feel like we are not addressing, feel free to email me at Not only do we accept suggestions, but we also allow students the chance to participate in creating the content. We have many positions available for student writers, photographers, designers and ad representatives, so if any of these areas interest you, you can contact me or join us for our first event of the year, Pizza and the Paper, in the Student Publications Building (check your welcome week calendar for more details, or follow us on social media). So, as you begin your journey at UNA, remember, The Flor-Ala is here to keep you informed and be the voice for the students. Hopefully, this guide will help you make your first step on your new path a rewarding one.

JASMINE FLEMING | Senior Staff Writer DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer


Monday Sanderson Editor-in-Chief

Hannah Zimmer Managing Editor

Jacob Cole Sports Editor

David San Miguel Graphic Designer

Kara Duckett Business Manager

Ciera Golliver News Editor

Ashlee Carter Social Media Coordinator

Tyler Hargett Life Editor

Dylan Baker Graphic Designer

Melanie Hodges Chief Photographer

Sierra Hill Videographer

Senior Staff Writers

Staff Photographers

Student Writers

Student Photographers

Jasmine Fleming Mike Ezekiel

Jessica Livingston Karina Meza Hillary Taylor Kira Morrow

DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer

Hillary Taylor Andrea Belk

Caleb Cole Connor Hutchins


Table of Contents People of UNA

Letter from the President ......................................................................................................................... 7 SOAR Leaders ........................................................................................................................................ 8 Who Should You Know? .......................................................................................................................... 10 SGA President & Freshman Forum ......................................................................................................... 12

Resources Magellian Exchange ................................................................................................................................ 14 On-Campus Services .............................................................................................................................. 17 SNAP & Safety ........................................................................................................................................ 19 Women’s Center ...................................................................................................................................... 20

News Campus Expansion ................................................................................................................................. 23

Mane Feature Division 1 ................................................................................................................................................. 26

Athletics Meet the Coaches ................................................................................................................................... 29 Athletics Recap........................................................................................................................................ 30 Student Section ....................................................................................................................................... 32 How to Stay Healthy ................................................................................................................................ 34

Campus Life Step Show & Sing.................................................................................................................................... 36 Greek Life ................................................................................................................................................ 37 Spring Concert......................................................................................................................................... 38 Outdoor Adventure Center....................................................................................................................... 41 Living on Campus .................................................................................................................................... 42 Historic Buildings ..................................................................................................................................... 43 Most Popular Majors................................................................................................................................ 44

Off-Campus W.C. Handy ............................................................................................................................................. 48 Off-Campus Places ................................................................................................................................. 51 Fiesta Review .......................................................................................................................................... 52

Dear students, It is my pleasure to welcome you as a new student to the University of North Alabama. You’ve made a great decision in selecting UNA as your college home, and my hope is that you’ll be very happy here. College is fun. Really, it is – and it should be. In fact, most alumni look back at their time in college as being among the best years of their lives. That’s not surprising. There are friends to make, games to attend, performances to enjoy and clubs to join. You can travel to an exotic place or indulge a hobby or interest like never before. It is a time to try new things. When I have the opportunity to speak to incoming students, I always make the point that college is not a spectator sport, so get on the field and play! At UNA, you will enjoy these experiences on one of the most beautiful and historic campuses in the country. And to top it off, we have those amazing lions. From my home next to the mascot habitat or from my office in Bibb Graves Hall, I can hear Leo III and Una roaring at different times throughout the day. You’ll hear them, too, when you’re walking to class or enjoying Harrison Plaza. What other college students can say that? Of course, the primary reason you are here is to continue your education. Never forget that. Our faculty will teach you well. Our staff will enhance your learning experience in ways large and small. That being said, you must be prepared to do your part. Even in the fast-paced, technology-heavy world of 2017, this commitment still reduces to the same simple equation that has presented itself to generations of students before you: time plus effort equals success. You will have to block out time each day to study. You will have to read and write a lot. You will have to show the self-discipline necessary to make it to your classes and labs on time, every day, and to stay on schedule with assignments and projects. Because of new demands on your time, you will also need to learn to pace yourself. Remind yourself that

The Flor-Ala file photo DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer

college is a marathon, not a sprint. The good news is that you are enrolling at an institution that will assist you in these pursuits and return your investment many times over. So, come to class prepared, throw yourself into your studies, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Get to know your professors. Make use of the many resources that we offer to help you succeed. If you do these things, you’ll have an extraordinary experience at this extraordinary place. You’ll also graduate on time and join the long line of proud UNA alumni who are leading full lives, experiencing career success, and providing leadership in their communities. At UNA, we use this simple motto to describe our purple pride: “It’s our time to ROAR.” Now it’s your time to ROAR with us, and we’re glad that you are here. Welcome to the University of North Alabama.

Letter from the


Ken Kitts President


Meet Your 2017 “Enjoy the little things, take nothing for granted and get involved. College can fly by, so take it slow. Welcome to the pride!” - Head Counselor Aidan Cavanah

“Make the best of (these college years) by going out of your comfort zone and join organizations you never thought you would.” - Marissa Deal

“Use this first year of college to find out who you truly are and remember that the four best years of your life are ahead of you!” - Ashton Haralson

“UNA is an outstanding campus with so many opportunities, so seize the day and don’t let anyone downgrade your dreams!” - Madison McElyea

“I can’t wait to meet the new students coming in this summer! I remember when I was a freshman. (It) seems like ages ago.” - Josh Williams

“I cannot wait to meet all of my SOARees, and I hope you guys make the most out of SOAR, UNA, and life in general.” - Grace Sambula

“SOAR is amazing, and if you thought of ‘Breaking Free’ from High School Musical when you first heard it, then you’re not alone.” - Jake Williams

“I couldn’t be more thankful for all the opportunities UNA gave me! You have these same opportunities; take advantage of them from day one!” - Emily Rogers

“I am so excited for the new class of freshmen! Remember that college is what you make it, so study hard, make new friends, and get involved!” - Chris Gorbatoff


DYLAN BAKER | Graphic Designer

SOAR Counselors “You are about to be a student at the greatest university on earth. College is about stepping out of your comfort zone, finding out who you are, and of course, having fun.” - Katie Spillman

“Take in every moment, make the most of every opportunity, and you’ll surprise yourself how far you’ve come at the end of your journey! Get ready for the greatest years of your life!“ - Erin Hill

“We are so excited to have you at our wonderful university! College is all about having fun, meeting new people and preparing for the future! Live it up!” - Nikki Matthews

“The transition from high school to college can be one of the most interesting times for a student. The rest of the SOAR team and I hope we can make that as fun and easy as possible.” - Matthew Balch

“When it comes to being a Lion, there is nothing better! The next four years of your life are going to be a great ride here at UNA. Don’t take it for granted!” - Nic Smith

“Smile at everyone you see because we don’t realize how much a smile can impact someone’s day! College is what you make it, so have fun! The best chapter of your life is about to begin!” - Claire Kiel

“‘But we also know that only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.’ – Robert Kennedy.” - Sam Mashburn

“This school has so much to offer to all of its students. Please get involved in as much as possible!” -Katie Moses

“You’ll want to sleep in a lot, but remember, this is the beginning of your future so set plenty of alarms!” - Holly Luttrell

Courtesy of Jackson Townsend


Who Should You Know on Campus?


Kevin Gillilan Chief of Police Gillilan directs all police and safety activity on campus. He enforces parking and security for students and faculty, and also responds to emergency situations.

Bethany Green Assistant Director of Student Engagement Green strives to help students become involved with volunteer opportunities on campus and in the community.

Tammy Jacques Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs/Title IX Coordinator Jacques is in charge of supervising all aspects relative to UNA’s Title IX policy in education, development, training and implementation.

Kenneth Kitts President Kitts is the public face of the university, as well as a political science professor. He acts as the chief executive officer and is responsible for managing UNA’s daily operations.

Derek Malone Instructional Services Librarian Malone is available to students for information about library resources. He helps familiarize students with resources for homework, research and projects.

Melissa Medlin Director of Career Planning and Development Medlin and her staff offer tips on résumé and cover letter writing, as well as career planning meetings and mock interviews.

Monday Sanderson Editor-in-Chief The Flor-Ala Sanderson oversees all operations of The Flor-Ala. She determines each week’s print and online content, and she acts as the public representative of the campus newspaper.

Tyler Thompson Director of Student Engagement Thompson advises the Student Government Association and supervises registered student organizations, volunteerism and Greek life.

Courtesy of the University of North Alabama

DYLAN BAKER| Graphic Designer

Meet the 2017-18 SGA PresiDante JESSICA LIVINGSTON SGA Beat Writer In the 2017 Student Government Association elections, 790 votes ensured Hugo Dante the opportunity to “Make the Shoals Roar” as the 2017-18 SGA president. Dante is a native of the Shoals area. He said his experience in the Shoals inspired him to set career plans for UNA students out in the local Shoals businesses. “While I have always had this incredible university in my backyard, I never truly felt connected and invested in UNA until I set foot on campus as a freshman,” Dante said. Dante said he wants to use UNA’s already established relationships with community leaders to benefit both the university and community. “We as students have more power than ever,” Dante said. “By utilizing the relationship that we can form with our local governments, the voice of the students will reach even further.” Dante said he wants to see all areas of the Shoals embrace UNA. He hopes to see the Shoals area covered in purple and gold the same way larger universities embrace

SGA President Hugo Dante smiles for his campaign photo. His platform for his presidency is “Make the Shoals Roar.” their colors. “I have a vision in which no matter where someone might be in the Shoals, Purple and Gold reigns supreme and the roar of this university and community becomes inescapable,” Dante said. Dante plans to livestream every SGA meeting he attends on Facebook, to ensure the students have an insight to what goes on in these government meetings. Dante said he wants to see the international community at UNA

flourish. He plans to sponsor events to encourage student growth culturally and academically. Sophomore Sam Mashburn said he recognized Dante as a leader from his first Senate meeting. “I firmly believe (Dante) will be able to accomplish this goal and unite the community around the university,” Mashburn said. To learn more about Dante’s qualifications, visit

Freshman Forum gives voice to incoming students JESSICA LIVINGSTON SGA Beat Writer Looking for leadership in a college experience? Do not miss out on Freshman Forum, an entry level legislative leadership opportunity the University of North Alabama provides. Freshman Forum is the entry-level branch of the Student Government Association. The branch gives a voice to the freshman class. Marissa Deal, former University Council Freshman Forum Adviser, said over 150 students apply for Freshman Forum each year, but SGA executives only select 40.


“Even though the application can be daunting, we have an incredibly relaxed interview where we are trying to learn (the best things) about you,” Deal said. “Freshman Forum gives incoming freshman skills that will help them transition from high school leaders into college leaders.” Freshman Forum meets every Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Freshman Forum advisers for the 201718 year are senior Jonathan Barnett and sophomore Trent Trammel. SGA Senate and University Program Council members selected the advisers to ensure students have advisers with a range of experience. Trammel was in Freshman Forum last year, and this will be his second year in SGA.

This will be Barnett’s fifth year in SGA. He said he wanted to be an adviser to leave students with knowledge from all his years at UNA. Members plan campus-wide events and make decisions about how different committees will spend a portion of the university’s money. Former Senate Freshman Forum adviser Mollie Schaefer said Freshman Forum is what got her adjusted to her first year in college. “My advice is don’t be scared,” Schaefer said. “Just be yourself. I think I came in really fearful about joining. I thought, ‘I’m not an SGA person. That’s not who I am.’ So, it’s a really great place to test yourself as person.”

Courtesy of Hugo Danteʼs Facebook

DYLAN BAKER | Graphic Designer

Magellan offers study abroad program for students MONDAY SANDERSON Editor-In-Chief While most students take the opportunity to study away from their hometown, each year, thousands of students take the chance to study away from their home country. The Magellan Exchange program allows students to study one or two semesters at a university abroad for the price of tuition at UNA, according to the Magellan Exchange website. Craig Christy, director of the center for global engagement, said employers look for people who have experience with study abroad. “Employers value experiential learning higher nowadays than they do GPA,” he said. “Experiential learning can be an internship, studying abroad or service learning. It shows that you (have) gotten your hands dirty and that you actually worked in the real world. An employer is not interested in hiring someone who got a 4.0 GPA, but they don’t know which way is up.” Alumna Kaitlyn Kutz said she studied abroad in Tasmania, Australia. “I think that having study abroad experience on my resume will help me stand out,” she said. Christy said studying abroad has become more popular over the years. “I get parents coming up to me every

summer asking about studying abroad,” he said. “They want to know more. They come because they’ve read all of these stories about employers wanting experiential learning and diversity learning.” Senior Marley McDaniel said she was able to study in South Korea because of the Magellan Exchange program. “I wanted to learn the Korean language, but it isn’t offered at UNA. So, I was going to go somewhere else to learn it,” she said. “I spent a year abroad in South Korea with UNA’s participation in the Magellan Exchange program. My tuition was still paid to UNA, so I was able to use my financial aid. My housing was half of what I pay to UNA, so I was able to put that money to help buy my plane ticket.” Christy said studying abroad offers more than experience for work. “An important part of studying abroad is finding who you are,” he said. “As long as you’re ‘swimming in the fish bowl,’ you don’t really pay much attention to the fact it’s just your existence. It’s an opportunity to mature. You’re handling a lot of difficult situations, often by yourself. You’re going to make friends abroad who come from different backgrounds from across the world. Most times, these friends are for life.” Kutz said she recommends students study abroad when they have the chance.

Studying abroad is an incredible way to experience new places, learn about other cultures and make lifelong friends. Kaitlyn Kutz| Alumna


Courtesy of Alexandria Buttgereit

“Studying abroad is an incredible way to experience new places, learn about other cultures and make lifelong friends,” she said. “Having never traveled outside of the country prior to studying in Australia, I was scared and unsure. (However) that quickly went away as I started to get involved abroad and make new friends from all over the world.” To learn more about studying abroad, contact the Office of International Affairs at 256-765-4626 or Christy, director of the Center for Global Engagement, at

Alumna Alexandria Buttgereit eats a slice of pizza in front of the Eiffel Tower. The Magellan Exchange program allowed her to visit Paris.

DYLAN BAKER | Graphic Designer

Four resources every student should know about JASMINE FLEMING Senior Staff Writer Even the greatest high school student can have difficulty when transitioning to college, but The FlorAla is here to help. The university has many resources in place for students to take advantage of to increase success from freshman to senior year. 1. University Success Center If a general education course is proving difficult, students do not have to figure it out alone. Instead, the University Success Center is the place to go. The center, on the second floor of The Commons, has tutors for any general education courses, and it also houses the Center for Writing Excellence, UNA’s own writing center. Students who need help with any writing assignment, from research papers to resumes, can go there for assistance by walk-in or appointment. The success center also houses the Mathematics Learning Center for help with mathematics principles and concepts. Students can make appointments at Students can also visit the success center for advising questions or to learn more about First-Year Experience, a program for new freshmen to get involved with the Florence community, develop study skills and explore possible majors, according to the website below. To set an appointment with the center, visit 2. Disability Support Services This office is equipped to assist students with learning, physical and psychological disabilities, according to its web page. These services can include working with a student’s teacher to make sure the classroom is accessible, offering alternative testing methods and giving academic guidance and study skills sessions. Any student who would like to learn

DYLAN BAKER | Graphic Designer

more or take advantage of these options and more can contact the office at 256765-4214 or The office is located on the first floor of the Guillot University Center across from the Lion’s Den Game Room. 3. Career Center Whether students are looking for a part-time job now or full-time work in the future, the Career Center has the resources. One service the centers offers is Lion Jobs, which is an online job board of open positions. Students can access it via the Career Center’s home page at When students are ready for an interview, they can also check out the Career Closet, a free service that lets students borrow professional clothing for interviews. No appointment is necessary, and students can stop by GUC room 202 to use the service. The office also offers regular mock interviews, career fairs, etiquette dinners and more. To see when these services are available, follow @UNA_ Career on Twitter or contact them at 256-765-4276 or 4. Student Engagement Center This center, near the mail room on the first floor of the GUC, offers a

variety of resources for students from food assistance to a place to speak their voices. The Feeding the Pride food pantry offers food to any currently enrolled student with a valid Mane Card. They can stop by Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., and the service is confidential. For anyone looking to donate, the pantry has a list of recommended items along with an address for sending checks at The center is also home to the Student Government Association, whose officers have regular office hours, including President Hugo Dante. Students can also attend SGA Senate and University Program Council meetings there (check The Flor-Ala’s calendar for details). The center will also have more information on Alternative Breaks, a service organization that visits areas in the U.S. and abroad, and Miss UNA, a preliminary pageant for the Miss Alabama Pageant. To keep up with these resources and any new ones at UNA, make sure to stick with The Flor-Ala on Facebook and Twitter @UnaFlorAla.


SNAP program provides safety through ʻbuddy systemʼ

CIERA GOLLIVER News Editor Students should always exercise caution when walking on a college campus, and the UNA Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol is here to ensure campus safety through the “buddy system.” The SNAP program provides escorts to university students, staff, faculty and visitors. A person may contact SNAP via telephone at 256-765-4357, the last four digits spell HELP, according to “SNAP is a great program, and we are happy to offer it,” said Deputy Chief of Police Mark Parker. “It is something you use just so you do not have to worry.” The program operates between the hours of 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. but is usually open longer when events are happening on campus, Parker said. When someone contacts the SNAP workers, dispatchers at the UNA police station asks the caller’s current location and destination to determine the best way to escort them. This can be on foot or in the SNAP golf cart. Then, the dispatcher contacts the SNAP workers with instructions for picking up the caller.

DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer

Two or more SNAP workers will escort anyone using the SNAP services to ensure safety. Students at UNA work in the SNAP program. The UNA police perform a thorough background check, analyze driving history and require several references before hiring students to work under their branch. Freshman Christian said he always has a good experience using the SNAP program. “They are very fast and efficient,” Lichtenauer said. “I use them all the time as a way across campus.” The SNAP program does have limitations. Golf carts are not legally allowed to cross big streets, such as Pine Street, Parker said. Parker said students should keep in mind the SNAP program is not intended as protection from danger. Anyone in trouble, in an uncomfortable situation or needing to report anything suspicious on campus should call the UNA police. SNAP workers are used to monitor campus at night, but UNA police tells them not to become involved in situations on campus. Parker said students should not be afraid to call the SNAP program. Most students use the program for a ride to their dorm after a long night studying at the library.

Freshman Kat Hall said she has not personally used the SNAP program, but she thinks it is good to have across campus. She said it is better to be cautious. “Especially smaller females really need to be careful about what they do at night,” Hall said. “This is a good way to assure everyone is safe.”

SNAP CONTACT A person may contact SNAP at 256-765-4357 between the hours of 8 p.m. and 2 a.m.


Campus Secret: The Center for Womenʼs Studies KIRA MORROW Student Writer The Center for Women’s Studies is often referred to as UNA’s best-kept secret on campus, as there are many students on campus that have never visited before. Emily Kelley, coordinator of the center, said the main focus of the establishment is educating and informing students on women’s issues, including violence and non-equal pay between men and women. “Women’s rights have been ignored for centuries,” Kelley said. “We need a women’s center because women need a place where they can go and be themselves, feel comfortable and get support.” Despite this, the center is not restricted to women visitors only. Instead, it serves as a gender-inclusive facility that students may go to for a judgment-free zone or to get involved in the many events hosted during the year. Some of the events hosted include “These Hands Don’t Hurt,” which takes place during the spring and encourages

students and faculty to take a pledge against violence by making handprints on a banner, and the breast cancer awareness tree, which goes on display in October. Students and faculty can write the name of someone they know who has or had breast cancer on a paper pink ribbon and hang it on the tree. The center also offers the senior seminar class for Women’s Studies minors in the spring semester. Lynne Rieff, director of the center, said the center also tries to be a link between UNA and the local community through inviting speakers to campus and partnering with organizations, such as Safe Place and Shoals Crisis, and is always open to new ideas. “If anybody has an idea that they would like to share or a potential speaker, program or exhibit they would like to see on campus that’s related to women or gender issues, we would love to hear them,” Rieff said. Rieff and now-retired English professor Anna Lott started the center in 2004 inside a single room in Bennett Infirmary. They moved fall of the same year to their present

location on North Wood Avenue, which was originally occupied by International Affairs. Senior Anna Luttrell, a former student worker at the center, said she describes the Women’s Center as a safe haven for her, the campus and the community. “It is a home away from home,” Luttrell said. “Most days when the intern and some of the volunteers are here, you can hear giggling and talking. It’s just such a sweet time.” Luttrell said she encourages students to use the tools available inside the building. These include free printing, coffee and water, a small library and the Pride’s Pantry, which offers free toiletries. The center is open to anyone who wants to volunteer in helping out with the center’s events. Choosing to help out serves as a way to get involved on campus and support the community. The center is in front of Wesleyan Hall and across the street from the Baptist Student Center. For more information, you may contact the center at 256-765-4380 or Lynn Rieff at

The Center for Women’s Studies is located on North Wood Avenue across the street from the Baptist Student Center. It offers a variety of events and resources for students and the community.


Caleb Cole | Student Photographer DYLAN BAKER | Graphic Designer

Construction continues to add campus options

Above is a drawing of the plans for the new home of the Anderson College of Nursing, Laura M. Harrison hall. The Anderson College of Nursing is set to move into the building after its’ completetion in fall 2018. CIERA GOLLIVER News Editor Even though most classes stop for the summer, projects at UNA continue to evolve to meet student needs. Over the break, UNA Dining will add additional seating, new flooring, lighting and other aesthetic features to Mane Market, the residential dining hall. It will also reorganize the setup of serving lines, said UNA Dining Marketing Manager Daishu McGriff. Mane Market will also receive an “enhanced salad-eating experience” with the addition of a cook-to-order protein station for students to customize their salads. Students can also expect Mane Market to receive frozen yogurt and a daily pasta bar. McGriff said students can expect to see more renovations to UNA’s dining options in the future. Mane Market is looking into adding a loft eating space for students, but this project would occur at a later time. “Overall, our students should expect the dining experience to evolve with the

Courtesy of Anderson College of Nursing DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer

campus,” McGriff said. “UNA will grow each day, creating a better dining experience for tomorrow.” UNA Dining will also spend the summer completing projects to add additional dining options, such as Panda Express in the Guillot University Center. Construction for Panda Express began in March, and McGriff said they hope to complete this project at the end of May. McGriff said UNA Dining will add a dining option to the new nursing building. UNA Dining will release details of this project when construction of the nursing building begins. Michael Gautney, assistant vice president of Facilities Administration and Planning, said he expects the new nursing building to open fall 2018. Gautney said construction will block Circular Road off for part of the project, but the road should remain open most of the time. The nursing building will include 10 study rooms, eight simulation rooms to emulate a hospital setting and a basic skills lab with 16 hospital beds. The building will also include two

computer labs and four classrooms each holding 72 students, said College Development Gift Officer Barbie Terry. Freshman Jose Alba said the building will bring new life to the program. “It will be great to have the additional space,” Alba said. “I know nursing is very popular on campus.” Hugo Dante Sr., who was the architect for The Commons, is also the architect for the nursing building. UNA made sure Dante designed the building to compliment the campus’s current architecture, Terry said. Dante designed the building differently than Floyd Science Building, but it is in the original layout, Terry said. Gautney said Collier Library will receive a new roof over the summer due to the old roof leaking. The roof should be finished in time for school to start in the fall. Senior Ashleigh Shumake said correcting problems on campus will improve the atmosphere. “It is a good thing to improve the appearance of a lot of places on campus,” Shumake said. “Most people judge things based off of the appearance.”


Lions ready for

UNA cheerleaders and Leo rile up the crowd during a football game against Shorter Oct. 15 for football which will join the Big South Conference in 2019. JACOB COLE Sports Editor

With North Alabama joining the ASUN Dec. 6, 2016, the Lions will move to Division I starting in the 2018-19 season. One year remains before the Division I move, and the Lions will look to finish their Gulf South Conference playing days the right way. With the move imminent to UNA, here are some tidbits about the change. While the jump will have some early


effects on students, professors and other community members, the move to Division I will also add revenue for local business with more opportunities as well. More students and locals will add to local businesses’ foot traffic. Another hot button issue is how this will change the school and what effects this will have on students. Attendance and tuition will raise due to the move, but the opportunities will grow in staggering numbers once the move is complete. New programs will be offered to UNA students and improvements will be on the way for the

MELANIE HODGES | Chief Photographer

school and community. Junior Lionette Destiny Izaguirre is proud to show the band’s talents after moving to Division I “The Pride of Dixie has such a longstanding tradition, just like UNA has, and I think that the move to Division I will help the Pride of Dixie and UNA continue in that tradition,” Izaguirre said. With the band ready to step up to the challenge, infrastructure concerns will be on the forefront of UNA officials’ minds. With the new nursing building being built in the coming years, UNA will undergo

Division I move

5, 2016. All athletics will be Division I in 2018-19 season except other changes as well. Flowers Hall will receive upgrades to the floor, bleachers and donor areas. Braly Stadium will have small upgrades and other projects are in the works for the campus. Shoals sports fans will have a lot to look forward to in the coming years with the Lions transitioning to Division I. Here are some things to consider when watching the Lions play in the coming years. With the ASUN not sponsoring football, the Lions football team will participate in the Big South conference. UNA will join Charleston Southern, Liberty University,

and four other teams in the Big South conference. The Lions will not be able to compete in the Big South Conference. Another major storyline to look for once the Lions move to Division I is the rivalry with in-state Jacksonville State. The Lions and Gamecocks played an annual rivalry until JSU moved to Division I. With the Lions move to Division I, the rivalry with JSU can continue. The ASUN conference hosts a multitude of sports and has teams like Florida Gulf Coast, Lipscomb and six other schools. Some big names out of the ASUN

conference include Florida Gulf Coast. FGCU has made the NCAA Basketball Tournament three years (2013, 2016, 2017). The Eagles turned March Madness on its head in 2013 when the Eagles went to the sweet sixteen. FGCU goes by the name “Dunk City” after its electric dunks in upset wins in the 2013 tourney. This means the Lions can make the NCAA tournament. Before UNA can make the tournament, the Lions will go through a four-year period in which the Lions are not allowed to participate in postseason play. This four-year postseason ban is to get the Lions acclimated to the Division I landscape. During this fouryear period the Lions can compete for ASUN conference titles in all sports. Once the four years are over, UNA will have the opportunity to compete in all postseason play. UNA athletics will add more scholarships as well once the Division I move is final. Athletic Director Mark Linder outlined women’s basketball as an example of the scholarship opportunities UNA will receive when the move is final. “For example, in women’s basketball at the Division II level we get 10 scholarships, but at the Division I level we get 15 scholarships,” Linder said. “Basically, there is a whole other team that is sitting on the bench.” Other storylines to watch out for could be the possibility for UNA to play Division I Football Bowl Series teams. FBS teams are teams in one of the five Power Five conferences that include the SEC, ACC, Pac12, Big Ten and Big 12. SEC powerhouses Alabama and Auburn classify as FBS opponents. All sports will look to play larger opponents once the move is finalized. Playing high profile games gains recognition and a big payday for the UNA football team. Playing tougher FBS opponents will let UNA receive payouts for coming to play these FBS teams. To continue reading about UNA moving to Division I visit

Logo courtesy of ASUN Conference DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer


Meet the Coaches Baseball Mike Keehn 2009-present Keehn served as an assistant coach for UNA for 20 years before becoming the head coach.

Men’s Basketball Bobby Champagne 2003-present The Lions have reached the GSC tournament in every year Champagne has been the head coach.

Women’s Basketball Missy Tiber 2013-present Tiber owns a 255-227 career record as a head coach during her career posting a 54-47 record as UNA’s head coach.

Cross County/Track Heath White 2017 White will take over as head coach for the Lions’ cross country/track team after Scott Trimble resigned.

Football Chris Willis 2017 Willis was the defensive coordinator during the 2016 runner up finish in the National Championship.

Golf Jason Vaughn 2013-present Vaughn led the Lions to a top ten ranking in this past year’s national poll.

Soccer Chris Walker 2013-present Walker earned 2014 GSC Coach of the Year honors by other league coaches.

Softball Ashley Cozart 2013-present Under Cozart, the Lions broke or tied 30 records during the 2016 Championship year.

Tennis Brice Bishop 2010-present Bishop is an inductee of the UNA Hall of Fame in 2001 for Tennis.

Volleyball Stephanie Radecki 2004-present Radecki has won five GSC Championships as head coach of the Lions in 2004-06 and 2015-16.

Information compiled by Sports Editor Jacob Cole

Courtesy of University of North Alabama

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Lions enjoy record athletic year in 2016-17 JACOB COLE Sports Editor Football: The Lions had plenty to smile about in 2016 with an impressive season. The Lions finished the 2016 season 11-2 while finishing runner-up in the DII National Championship game in head coach Bobby Wallace’s last year. After losing one regular season game (Division I Jacksonville State) the Lions rattled off 11 wins in a row to advance to the DII National Championship game. Lions’ senior quarterback Jacob Tucker finished third in the Harlon Hill Trophy voting, and UNA had two players, senior offensive tackle Stephen Evans and senior cornerback Philbert Martial, on the AllAmerican list voted on by the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association. Volleyball: The UNA volleyball team repeated as Gulf South Conference Champions for the second year in a row in 2016. The Lions beat West Florida in five sets to win the GSC Championship. The team finished the season with an

Senior quarterback Jacob Tucker looks to throw the ball in the National Championship game Dec. 16, 2016. The Lions lost, capping an 11-2 season in Wallace’s last year as head coach. impressive 29-6 record including NCAA tournament bid. Senior Natasha Fomina led the Lions in the 2016 campaign. Fomina earned D2CCA Regional Player of the Year honors, All-GSC selection and also the rare Double All-American (athletic and academic).

Women’s Soccer: Lions fell short of the GSC tournament in 2016. The Lions stayed in the hunt for a GSC tournament berth all the way to the regular season finale finishing the season 8-8 overall. To continue reading about the 2016-17 athletics visit

Athletics look ahead to 2017-18 season MIKE EZEKIEL Senior Staff Writer

Football: After making a national championship appearance in 2016, the North Alabama football team seems hungry for a similar success. The Lions lost a number of seniors, including quarterback and Harlon Hill trophy runner-up Jacob Tucker, All-American offensive Stephen Evans and All-Gulf South Conference defensive back Philbert Martial. First year head coach Chris Willis, who has been with the program as an assistant for 15 seasons, will return All-GSC performers Dre Hall and Freddie Reed next season. Volleyball: Coming off a 2016 Gulf South Conference tournament


championship, the Lions hope to reciprocate last year’s success with a strong senior core returning. UNA returns dynamic hitters in seniors Jessica Austin and Lexie Bradley. Bradley, an AllAmerican honorable mention, was second on the team with 344 kills. Soccer: The women’s soccer team lost six seniors in 2016, but will hope to find its way back into GSC prominence in 2017 after missing the conference tournament last season. Head coach Chris Walker added nine signees to join a veteran core led by All-South Region picks Margarida Sousa and Beatriz Fernandes, who will play the midfield with senior Kristen Sinden. Cross Country/Track: Both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams will enter 2017 under new leadership, as former

head coach Scott Trimble resigned after 14 years on the coaching staff. The men’s side returns four seniors including Braxton Linder, Justin Watson, Tate Carden and Ramon Quiroz. The women’s crosscountry and track teams had no seniors last season and will return seniors Laura Bennett, Sarah Harper, Sabrina Hudgins, Shelley King and Alexandra Pidcock. Golf: After achieving a number of accolades in the 2016-17 golf season, the UNA golf team hopes to maintain its spot among the top 10 teams in the nation heading into the fall. Head coach Jason Vaughn loses four seniors in Will Bragwell, Patrick Twesme, Forrest Knight and Austin Sparks, but will return one upcoming senior in Paul Bloodworth. To continue reading about the future of athletics visit

MELANIE HODGES | Chief Photographer DYLAN BAKER | Graphic Designer

Students cause problems for opponents JACOB COLE Sports Editor A loud crowd can cause a disturbance, but a loud student section can cause problems for opposing teams, and the Roar Zone is trying to do just that. A student section organizes cheers, jeers and everything in between to get in the head of opposing teams. North Alabama’s student section, the Roar Zone, holds its own as a fierce student section. Students can take advantage of free items when they attend home events on special occasions in the student section, such as football, basketball and other sporting events. Items include free T-shirts, tumbler cups and more. Along with exclusive items, students can attend home games for free with a valid Mane card and participating in the student section is fun for any student. The Roar Zone sits on both the visitors’ bleachers for football games at Braly Stadium and on the lower level behind the bench at Flowers Hall. It makes an impact on football games with noisemakers and other means to distract the opponent. The Roar Zone can cause problems for visiting football teams due to it being right behind their team’s sidelines. Braly Stadium is normally packed on Saturdays during football season, but the addition of a loud student section can inspire and pump up players. Cheering on the Lions in the student section has become a new way to enjoy the game. Both basketball teams feed off of the energy the student section provides during a game. This impact can help the UNA basketball teams feel supported and also give the team a sense of community while they play. The Roar Zone can make an impact in the enclosed space during a basketball game at Flowers Hall. Women’s basketball head coach Missy Tiber said she thought the crowd


created a better atmosphere for Flowers Hall. The Lions used the home support to help win games. “I felt our crowds this year for women’s basketball were much improved,” Tiber said. “Playing in front of a supportive home crowd helps tremendously.” With the inclusion of the Roar Zone in 2016-17, Flowers Hall has become a troubling environment for any opponents entering. This environment causes communication problems and can frustrate visiting teams. It knows when to get loud, but also when to stay quiet for the Lions to get plays off. Tiber said she does not just want the Roar Zone to be the best student section in the GSC, but she wants it to be one of the most feared student sections in the country. “I’d like nothing more than for our student section to create an identity for itself as the rowdiest and best sixth man in the league,” Tiber said. Not only does the student section mess with opponents’ game plans, but it also inspires the home team and excites the players throughout the game. Men’s basketball head coach Bobby Champagne said he thinks the student section can be the deciding factor for games at Flowers Hall. “A rowdy student section is a very important part of college basketball games,” Champagne said. “The players definitely get excited and feed off of the crowd. You can definitely tell the

difference when a student section is into a game and is loud.” The student section effects the games in ways normal crowds can not, Champagne said. A general crowd helps cheer on the Lions, but a student section causes problems throughout the game because of the intensity of the students. When the students are loud, Flowers Hall becomes a crazy environment compared to no other in the country, Champagne said. Tiber said it is exciting to play in front of a loud home crowd, and the players enjoy the student section’s support throughout the year. “It’s awesome to play in front of your peers, and when they are rowdy, our players feed off of it,” Tiber said. “When the student section is pumped, it inspires our players to perform at a higher level.”

DYLAN BAKER | Graphic Designer

A student at UNA lifts weights at the Student Recreation Center. The SRC offers weightlifting, aerobic classes and treadmills along with having basketball courts for students at UNA.

How to stay fit as a college student JACOB COLE Sports Editor Staying fit is a struggle. It takes dedication and hard work to keep the extra pounds off, but for a college student, it takes more to stay fit. The struggle increases when class and work interferes, but here are some tips to stay fit during college life. Tip #1: Use the Student Recreation Center One of UNA’s greatest secrets is the Student Recreation Center. With weights, treadmills and classes to help any college student stay fit, the SRC is helpful in the pursuit to maintain fitness. The SRC offers fitness equipment orientation for beginners to learn the machines and what will benefit the person the most. The SRC has personal and nutritional consultants to aid college students. The personal consultant will help develop fitness goals and also aid students in


creating a fitness program that best suits the student. With the nutritional consultant, students will receive help to assess dietary habits and set goals for personal needs. Follow up sessions are also an option. The SRC offers multiple classes to attend to work out and stretch students to their limits. Classes such as cardio hiphop and hip-hop rage combine dancing and working out into a fun time. Beach body, X-fit and power pump make each student dig deep to complete these highintensity workouts. Also offered are the classics such as cycling and yoga . Tip #2: Stay away from fast food. One problem with living away from home includes the fact mom and dad are not there to cook anymore. Some students cook, but many students choose the easy option to grab a burger and fries at a fast food restaurant. Sometimes there is a limit to what can be fixed for a meal, but fast food needs to be a last option for any college student trying to stay fit. When fast food is the

only option, eat in moderation. Instead of ordering a triple-decker cheeseburger, large fries and a large soft drink, try to make the order a smaller portion. Fruit makes for a great snack throughout the day, and smoothies (no sugar added) are a solid option for a snack. Veggies are a must when eating healthy at college. Avoid sugary drinks and try to stick to water. Tip #3: Make a daily schedule and stick to it. College is hard, but making a schedule can help keep everything in line, including making time to work out. Making time can be difficult, but exercise is too important to skip. Whether it is 30 minutes a day running or walking, an hour lifting weights or attending a class at the SRC, exercising should be in everyone’s daily schedule. Organization is key so each student can fit working out in between class, work and the many activities offered at UNA.

SIERRA HILL | Videographer DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer

Lions call campus home

Leo III lounges during a sunny day at UNA. voted Leo III and Una the No. 1 spot of the 25 best real animal mascots in college football in 2012. KARINA MEZA Student Writer It is not uncommon for a roar to interrupt a class at UNA as Leo III and Una make their presence known on campus. Leo III and Una are 14-year-old African lions who have lived on campus

DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer Courtesy of the University of North Alabama

since 2002. The lions live in the George H. Carroll Lion Habitat and carry on the 40-year tradition of live lions on campus, according to “(The lions) are in extremely good health,” said Anne Howard, caretaker of the lions. “They eat food that is only made for lions. We clean out their den with cleaner that is safe, and they have check-ups every year.”

She said she has cared for the lions since they arrived at UNA. “I actually kept them with me for a little while because they had to be bottle fed,” Howard said. Leo III and Una are the first lions Howard took care of. Howard said Leo III and Una are intelligent animals, and they deserve appreciation. The UNA Lagrange Society takes up money to feed the lions at football games. Donations pay for the rest of expenses for the lions. Football fans can view the lions in their portable cage in the north end zone of every home football game. Senior Jose Figueroa-Cifuentes said he is glad UNA has real lions on campus. “I love the lions,” FigueroaCifuentes said. “They are a symbol of what this university is fearless, strong, stunning and family. I am blessed to say that I can see our lions increase everyday spirit and make the university the most unique campus in the state, if not the country.” The tradition of live lions on campus began July 22, 1974 when former UNA president, Robert M. Guillot, brought a 35-pound lion cub to campus. People do not know what motivated Guillot to bring lions on campus, but when Leo I died in 1988, the Florence community loved the idea of keeping the tradition of lions on campus. Leo III and UNA are the only live lions on a college campus in the U.S. In 2012, voted Leo III and UNA the No. 1 spot of the 25 best real animal mascots in college football. Anyone not on campus can watch the lions through the Lion Cam at lioncam. The Lion Cam provides access to the lions’ cage any time of the day. Freshman Lily Malone said she loves to have them on campus. “Going to visit them is a fun way to take a break between classes,” Malone said. “Hearing them roar from my history class in Bibb Graves never fails to make me smile.”


Students give back with Step Show/Step Sing HILLARY TAYLOR

Entertainment Beat Writer

Each year, organizations from the University of North Alabama put their best foot forward to perform in the annual Step Show and Step Sing in Norton Auditorium. Step Show, which occurs every fall, is a showcase of organizations performing dances to popular songs. Step Sing takes place in the spring and is a full theatrical experience featuring dance, song and vocal performances. The money ticket sales raise at each performance is donated to United Way of the Shoals and the on-campus food pantry, the Pride Pantry. The donations are then used to support nonprofit organizations in the Shoals community, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Healing Place and the Boys and Girls Club. Service Chair of the University Program Council Rebecca Bush said it is the perfect chance for organizations to give back to the community while doing something fun.

ATO members Drake Vaccaro and Matthew Balch participate in Step Sing. ATO tied for first place.


The Music Department celebrates their tie for first place with the boys of Alpha Tau Omega in the 2017 Step Sing. The Music Department performed a Star Wars themed show. “It is important to have this show because it’s an opportunity for the entire campus to join together, compete and have fun, all while benefiting their campus and community,” Bush said. Nichole Morris, senior and member of Alpha Delta Pi, has participated in two Step Sing performances and one Step Show performance. She said it is a creative way to be involved both on campus and in the community. “It’s really a lot of fun,” Morris said. “You’re making a difference, and you get to see the contribution you’re making in your own community. It’s a good way to give back.” In the past, the majority of participants have been in sororities and fraternities, but all organizations are encouraged to take part in raising money for a good cause. “Anyone is eligible to participate,” Bush said. “The only criteria groups

need to meet is the required participant numbers (10-40). Any RSO, department or Greek organization is welcome-individuals can even make up their own group and perform if they wish.” Morris said the best time to participate is during students’ freshman and sophomore year while their schedule is still open. It is the perfect time to build relationships with other members of the on-campus community. “While it is a competition, it’s never been about trophies,” Morris said. “It’s about helping the Florence community and getting to know the members of your organization better.” Bush said while the event is for charity, students should have fun participating. “It’s an awesome opportunity to get your organization or group to be creative, bond and have fun,” Bush said.

ANDREA BELK | Staff Photographer DYLAN BAKER | Graphic Designer


National Panhellenic Conference 1. Alpha Delta Pi 2. Alpha Gamma Delta 3. Phi Mu 4. Zeta Tau Alpha

Interfraternity Council 1. Alpha Tau Omega Courtesy of UNA IFC Instagram

2. Delta Chi 3. Kappa Sigma 4. Phi Gamma Delta 5. Pi Kappa Alpha 6. Sigma Alpha Epsilon 7. Sigma Chi

Independent Greek Council 1. Alpha Delta Chi 2. Alpha Mu Lambda 3. Lambda Sigma Phi 4. Nu Alpha

Courtesy of UNA CPH Instagram

5. Phi Mu Alpha

National Pan-Hellenic Council 1. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity 2. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority 3. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity 4. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority 5. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity 6. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Courtesy of UNA Omega Psi Phi Instagram

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Students end school year with Spring Concert HANNAH ZIMMER Managing Editor Students end the academic year at UNA with music in their ears after the Spring Concert. In past years, UNA has successfully recruited famous artists to perform on campus before summer. Performers such as Phillip Phillips, Maroon 5, T.I. and Ludacris entertained UNA students in recent years at Flowers Hall. Last year, Panic! At The Disco sang for community members and students. Each year, the Student Government Association announces the headliner at the Singing River Music Festival in the Mane Room. The 2017 Spring Concert featured pop artist Jon Bellion April 29. The University Program Council also recruited hip-hop artists Niykee Heaton and Rob Stone to open the concert. The Live Acts Committee worked closely with an entertainment industry agent to recruit Bellion for the concert this year, said Vice President of UPC Nic Smith. Smith said he wanted performers to add variety to the roster of performers who came to UNA over the years. “With Spring Concert this year, we really wanted to make sure that we represented more students,” Smith said in a previous Flor-Ala article. “Since Jon Bellion is a pop person, we wanted to make sure we got a rap person and maybe a hip-hop person as well. We are just trying to cover more genres to represent more of our students.” The Spring Concert is always free to UNA students who have their Mane Cards. Although community members must pay a small entrance fee, SGA encourages them to attend the event.


HILLARY TAYLOR | Staff Photographer

Jon Bellion entertains the crowd by singing his most played song “All Time Low” April 29 at the 2017 Spring Concert. Other performers at the event included hip-hop artists Niykee Heaton and Rob Stone. For community members, tickets are $35 online or $45 at the door. Smith said SGA members strive to make the Spring Concert fun for students every year. “This is a time for students and community members to come and enjoy some live music from several different genres of music,” Smith said. “The Spring Concert is one of my top 10 things I love about UNA.” At the 2016 Spring Concert, a long line of students and community members waited for workers to grant them entrance to see Panic! At the Disco. Smith said Panic! At The Disco was his favorite act. “Panic! (At The Disco) has been my favorite concert just because I was in love with them when I was younger,” Smith said.

with them when I was younger,” Smith said. The UPC branch of SGA spearheads the Spring Concert. The SGA Executive branch designates members of SGA to work on the Live Acts Committee, which works to book artists for the concert. Bella Martinez, SGA member, said the Spring Concert serves as incentive for students to participate in SGA. “I know several SGA members that got to meet famous artists because of the Spring Concert,” Martinez said. “It’s a really cool opportunity.”

DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer

OAC offers outdoor adventures for students

UNA students set up Eno hammocks during “Camping on Campus” day sponsored by the Outdoor Adventure Center in Sept. 7, 2016. The OAC offers free rentals of kayaks, tents, Eno hammocks and camp cookery to UNA students with a valid Mane card. HANNAH ZIMMER Managing Editor UNA students can embrace an adventurous spirit at the Outdoor Adventure Center on campus. Located across the street from Norton Auditorium, the OAC is heaven to not only avid outdoorsmen, but also beginners. Patrick Shremshock, coordinator for the OAC, said the OAC has nearly everything students could need to camp. “Students just need to bring their Mane Cards and driver’s licenses the first time they come (to check out equipment) and just their Mane Cards after that,” Shremshock said. “We have all kinds of camping gear, tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, sleeping pads and camp cookery.” Shremshock said the most popular items checked out from the OAC are the Eno hammocks and kayaks, especially during the spring. Hammocks are rented out for four consecutive days. Kayak rentals can be kept for 24 hours and come

with a paddle and life jacket. Every year, the OAC hosts many events on and off campus. One of the most successful events is “Camping On Campus.” In the fall semester, the OAC checks out camping equipment to students so they can sleep outdoors for the evening. The event includes music, games and giveaways. Shremshock said the OAC will host “Camping On Campus” again this fall but they will introduce new events, as well. “Every semester, our schedule changes a bit, but we post our schedule online,” Shremshock said. “All events are free to students. They just need to come in (the OAC) and sign up.” Shremshock said the OAC events schedule is on the organization’s website, Facebook and Instagram. Other events that the OAC hosted in the past were whiffle golf, a survival clinic and a trip to Florence’s trampoline arena, Sky Zone. David Atkins, student leader at the OAC, said the OAC is a stress reliever for students.

DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer CONNOR HUTCHINS | Student Photographer

“We provide a great outlet to relieve some of the stress that can happen while in college,” Atkins said. Shremshock said the activities at the OAC are beginner level, therefore anyone can participate. He said the point of the events is to introduce new hobbies to students and help them make friends in the process. “Some of the activities may be something (students) have wanted to try to do before but didn’t have the means or the knowledge of how to do it,” Atkins said. The OAC is also home to the Outdoor Club, a “catch-all sports club,” according to the OAC’s website. The website stated the club is for those interested in competing in collegiate tournaments, including ultimate Frisbee, archery and rock climbing/bouldering. Shremshock said he is searching for leadership within the club and new members can apply through Orgsync. “I tell students that they should at least come check us out and take a look at our scheduled events,” Atkins said.


Freshmen dorms bring ʻhome away from homeʼ

Freshmen Tommy Brown (left) and Deion Gatewood watch television and do homework in the lounge of Mattielou Hall. Both freshmen dorms, Mattielou and Olive, opened for the first time in the 2015-16 school year. CIERA GOLLIVER News Editor Most freshmen encounter living away from their parents in college, but the Department of Housing and Residence Life works to ensure students have a smooth first year experience. Olive and Mattielou are the two freshman dorms on campus. The Department of Housing and Residence Life added both of the dormitories in the 2015-16 school year. Move-in day in fall 2017 for freshmen is Aug. 18-19. Students will check in at their resident hall in a time slot they sign up for, said Director of University Residences Kevin Jacques. When students move in, Residence Life offers programs to teach basic skills, such as laundry, stress relief, time management and eating healthy on a college campus, Jacques said.


Mattielou Resident Adviser Jordan Cooper said RAs try to help students become accustomed to living away from home. Cooper said Residence Life has students take a survey to match them with a roommate with similarities. Students can also request a specific roommate. Students start the year by setting up a roommate agreement with information like agreed quiet hours and agreements regarding visitors in the room to help the year run smoothly, Cooper said. Jacques said he recommends students find a group at UNA to be like their family. “The students we see who have a lot of success are the ones who really view UNA as their home away from home,” Jacques said. Jacques said one of the best parts of living on campus is experiencing diversity. UNA has different races, cultures, religions and sexual orientations. “That’s one of the beautiful things about

living on campus,” Jacques said. “We have such a melting pot that we really have the ability to expose people. Freshman Sabrina Gilliam said she enjoyed living in the freshman dorms last year. “I love being around so many people,” Gilliam said. “The diversity of having girls and guys on the same floor really helped me find my friends.” Both dorms offer single and double rooms. Students can find layouts at Parents’ answers to commonly asked questions are located on the website as well. Students can find all policies for the dormitories online and in the student handbook, including quiet hours. Sophomore Lionel Wright said the freshman dorms are the best on campus. He said he misses his freshman experience. “It’s obvious how much work everyone puts into making sure freshman have the best experience on campus,” Wright said.

HILLARY TAYLOR | Staff Photographer DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer

Looking Back: 3 historic buildings on campus TYLER HARGETT Life Editor Every building on the UNA campus has a story. To better appreciate their rich history, it is best to look back through time to see what each building was before becoming part of the university. Here are three of the oldest and most historical buildings on campus. Coby Hall Coby Hall is the location of the Office of Admissions headquarters, and is also available to use for receptions, dinners and weddings. However, when it was built in 1843, it served as the new home of John Simpson, who later became one of Florence’s leading merchants. A few years before the start of the Civil War, George Foster, architect of Rogers Hall, acquired the house for both his daughter, Virginia, and her husband, James Irvine, son of the architect of neighboring Hickory Place. The home eventually ended up in the hands of Irvine’s descendant, Harriet King, who helped her husband, Madding, refurbish the old house in 1948. After Edward Robbins III later purchased it, the building, then known as Irvine Place, housed offices

for Intervinyls, Inc. UNA acquired the house in 1990, renaming it Coby Hall in memory of Florence native Coby Brubaker, whose husband, David, made a considerate contribution in her name. Rogers Hall Beside the Commons lies Rogers Hall, known as “Courtview” for its location at the end of Court Street. It houses the Offices of Communications and Marketing, Alumni Relations and University Advancement, as well as the UNA Foundation, a non-profit program to collect external funding for the university. Built between 1854 and 1855 to be a mansion, wealthy planter George Foster received permission to block the north end of the street by the Alabama legislature. After Foster passed away in 1878, house ownership passed on to his daughter, Sarah Independence Foster. She and her family lived there until 1900, when Florence attorney Emmet O’Neal purchased it. He would later serve as Governor of Alabama from 1911 to 1915. After the end of his term, Courtview became a boarding house. Florence merchant Thomas Rogers, Sr. soon purchased the house after O’Neal’s death in 1922. Rogers remodeled the building, and eventually sold it to UNA (then Florence State College) in 1948.

Wesleyan Hall Finally, behind Collier Library lies Wesleyan Hall, which contains the Departments of Geography, Foreign Languages and Psychology and the Freddie Wood Geographic Research Center. It also serves as the building on campus that started it all. When UNA started in 1830, it was LaGrange College, a Methodist institution located in Colbert County. However, because of ongoing financial problems, the college later moved to Florence. The institution held its classes in the downtown Masonic Hall until construction of Wesleyan finished. After moving into the new structure in 1856, the college became Florence Wesleyan University (both the building and college’s name comes from the founder of Methodism, John Wesley). However, after the start of the Civil War, the university suspended its classes, allowing both Confederate and Union soldiers to occupy the building during the war. After the Methodist Church realized they would be unable to reopen the college, they gave the building and the campus’s 13 acres of land to the State Board of Education in 1872 for further use as a college. The institution continued expanding into what is now UNA, though Wesleyan remains.


1843 Coby Hall constructed by John Simpson to serve as his new home

Wesleyan Hall finished in time for LaGrange students to move in

Rogers Hall built as a mansion at the end of Court Street

1854-1855 DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer

ANDREA BELK | Staff Photographer

Information from UNA Collier Library


Most Popular Majors of Fall 2016


822 students


358 students




296 students




258 students 234 students

DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer Information compiled by TYLER HARGETT | Life Editor

W.C. Handy Festival provides experience for students

Jazz musician W.C. Handy plays the trumpet. The W.C. Handy Festival will be held July 21 - July 31 in Florence. HILLARY TAYLOR Entertainment Beat Writer The W. C. Handy Festival is looking to include artists from the University of North Alabama to attract “college-aged adults” to this year’s festivities in Florence. The festival, which will take place July 21- 31, will include over 300 events across northwest Alabama. Senior Alyson Bergner, a previous festival volunteer, said the festival is an important event for the Shoals area. “I love the Handy Fest and that time of year because it’s so important for us,” she said. “This area does have such a rich history in music and in entertainment. I think it’s great that they showcase that during that week. It’s fun for everyone.” The Music Preservation Society oversees the festival and is hoping to have more involvement from UNA students as volunteers, interns and audience members. “We love having UNA students involved,” said Tori Bailey, chair of the


W. C. Handy Music Festival and presidentelect of the Music Preservation Society. “The festival will continue to have close ties to the university, and I hope to see more students participate this year.” One way students can participate is by earning college credit and gaining experience as interns. The event has opportunities for students in marketing, communications and other areas. The students helping can even be in charge of certain events put on during this festival. “It’s an opportunity, not only to learn marketing and sales and promotion, but to learn public relations and how to be ambassadors for The Shoals,” Bailey said. “No matter what your major is, we have a job for everybody.” Students can also earn volunteer hours by delivering brochures, setting up stages, directing guests and handing out water during the events. Bergner said she has enjoyed her experience helping in the festival. “I’m always trying to find ways to volunteer,” she said. “On any resume, volunteer work is a huge portion,

especially for college kids that are looking to go to grad school.” Festivities lined up for this year include an opening ceremony at the Handy home, Riverside Jazz in McFarland Park and the play “Determined” about the life of W.C. Handy. In the hopes of drawing young adults to the audience, the Music Preservation Society is offering the opportunity for students to take initiative and plan their own events. “We encourage students at UNA to put together their own event,” Bailey said. “The thing that I don’t see enough of when I go to events is college-aged adults, and we need to make sure that happens.” Anyone who would like to plan an event can choose from a list of performers, or the festival will work with event-planners to try bringing in performers. They will also work to provide a location for the event as well as other commodities that might be needed, such as a stage and electricity. “As long as the event is family-friendly, if your idea of what we should be doing is different from what you see us doing, then please, do it,” Bailey said.

Courtesy of W.C. Handy Music Festivalʼs Facebook DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer

Five Places to Visit Off-Campus TYLER HARGETT Life Editor

Feel the need to explore Florence? Then get ready for some variety, as the city has several things to do and see. To get started, here is a list of five places to check out. After visiting each of the sites, be sure to check them off in the boxes provided.

(whether they be friends or strangers) and have to work together in order to find the way out. To do this, players must find clues and solve puzzles before the one-hour time limit runs out. Two new games are coming soon, so be sure to try out these two to get caught up. Location: 108 South Pine Street

The Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts features annual and rotating exhibits for all ages. Despite the focus on art, it also serves as a center for cultural groups in the area. Among the events it hosts are concerts, lectures, workshops and Arts Alive, an annual fine arts and crafts festival that takes place both at the center and Wilson Park. Location: 217 East Tuscaloosa Street

Anyone who knows enough about the Shoals remembers the “Father of the Blues,” W.C. Handy, was born in Florence. Today, his original birthplace, a wooden cabin with a brick chimney, serves as a museum. The W.C. Handy Birthplace, Museum & Library contains a collection of artifacts and memorabilia. Notable artifacts include his trumpet, pieces of original sheet music and the iconic piano he used to create “St. Louis Blues.” Location: 620 West College Street

Feeling like some fresh air? Check out Deibert Park, a 70-acre area that is fun for both adults and children. Dr. Kirk Deibert and his wife Lillian donated the land, once part of an antebellum plantation, to Florence.. For those who like to take a nice walk, there are paths going around large ponds and several trails to explore. Pets can even join in on the fun as long as they are on a leash. A playground is also available for kids. Whether finding a way out of a seemingly-alive cabin in the woods or escaping a holding cell before KGB agents come back for interrogation, visitors choose their fate in two different escape games at the Florence Escape Room. Players are put with one to seven others

SIERRA HILL| Videographer DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer

Take a step back in time with a 43foot mound created by Native Americans and a museum filled with Indian artifacts dating back to over 10,000 years ago. The Florence Indian Mound and Museum brings the past to life by allowing visitors to climb an ancient mound and see a large exhibit of Native American tools, pipes, pottery, jewelry and rare arrowheads. Location: 1028 South Court Street

Location: 2801 Hermitage Drive

For art connoisseurs or just those who want to see some art, traveling elsewhere is not needed to find some great pieces.


Fiesta voted best Mexican restaurant JASMINE FLEMING Senior Staff Writer In the April 20 issue of The FlorAla, readers voted Fiesta Mexican Restaurant best Mexican restaurant in Florence, so I undertook the task of reviewing it. The restaurant, which won 28.3 percent of the votes, beat Rosie’s Mexican Cantina’s 25 percent and Casa Mexicana Restaurant’s 20 percent. Others in consideration were El Pollito Loco and Taqueria Juarez Restaurant. Seniors Savannah Thompson and Jared Collier, along with Photographer Andrea Belk, joined me on the expedition to the Seven Points Shopping Center. We arrived around noon, and there were not many patrons, which left the restaurant spacious and comfortable. Our waiter brought us chips and salsa to start, and being the cheap college students we are, we all ordered water. Collier and Belk, who enjoy mild food, loved the salsa, with Collier saying it was “not too hot, not too cold — like Goldilocks.” Thompson and I like our salsa a little spicier, however.


Collier, who ordered more salsa as his meal, said he would have liked it a little thicker, but he did enjoy the smoothness. As we waited for our meals, we admired the creative décor, which consists of animated characters such as Shrek, Wile E. Coyote, Garfield and Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. These seem to speak to the childrenfriendly vibe the restaurant has. Thompson and I, the only to order entrees, selected pollo con arroz (chicken and rice smothered in melted cheese) and the chimichanga fiesta, which has shrimp, steak and chicken chimichangas. The service was much quicker than I anticipated, and when the food came, it was obvious that aesthetics were important to the chef, as the plating of the food was beautiful. The cheese-drizzled chimichangas came with refried beans, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, lettuce and sour cream, and it tasted better than I ever could have hoped. I was apprehensive about the initial bite because in my last experience there, all my food was extremely salty, and I ended up throwing most of it away. That was not the case this time.

I first tried the rice, which was soft and fluffy, and the refried beans, which were the most flavorful I have ever eaten. Then came the guac and pico de gallo, which both had a freshlyprepared taste. Lastly, the chimichangas were the best part. Nothing makes me feel fancier than an affordable meal that includes shrimp. All three chimichangas were well-seasoned with the steak and chicken sliced into smaller pieces, which also made the chimichangas easier to cut and eat. Thompson and I both enjoyed our meals with food to spare, which made for delicious leftovers. Mine totaled less than $12, which I had no problem paying with the amount and quality of the food. In addition to being prompt, our service from the many employees we interacted with was also polite, even when I needed another menu at the end to order a to-go meal for a friend. All in all, it was a spectacular meal for a fair price, and it’s easy to see why the restaurant won the honor of best Mexican restaurant in Florence. Editor’s Note: This review was originally published in the April 20 issue of The Flor-Ala.

ANDREA BELK | Staff Photographer DAVID SAN MIGUEL | Graphic Designer

The Roar-Ala 2017  
The Roar-Ala 2017