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CHANGES COMING

BAD DITCHES ONLY

RAP MAP

ROB LANIER

Students returning next fall may find the campus almost entirely under construction.

Don’t show up to class? Fail. No GSU professor is going to give you a free pass.

View where many popular hip-hop tracks are set on a map of Atlanta.

The assistant coach from Tennessee takes over the men’s basketball program.

NEWS

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OPINIONS

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A&L

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SPORTS PAGE 18

VOL. 86 | NO. 27

APRIL 16 - APRIL 23, 2019

patterson tells all

SGA PRESIDENT FRANKLIN PATTERSON SITS DOWN FOR AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE SIGNAL. IN IT, HE SHARES THE BRIDGES HE’S BURNED AND THE SECRETS HE’S KEPT.

PHOTO BY DANIEL VARITEK | THE SIGNAL

@gsusignal

georgiastatesignal.com


NEWS TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

www.georgiastatesignal.com/news

From the president’s perspective

An exclusive interview with the outgoing SGA president, Franklin Patterson ADA WOOD & WILL SOLOMONS Associate News Editor & News Editor

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s the elections have come to a close and finals week approaches, Student Government Association University-wide President Franklin Patterson has his eyes on his graduation and the transition to the next SGA administration. He sat down with The Signal for an exclusive interview, where he detailed the struggles of navigating the university and its administrators. This is Patterson’s tell-all interview as he exits his position – and Georgia State – once and for all.

WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES

“We protest behind the scenes. We don’t protest like other students, we have to be strategic,” Patterson said. “Some bridges we cannot afford to burn publicly.” This behind-the-scenes protesting was defined by Patterson as having students work on SGA’s behalf. But how and when does this occur? For Patterson, he was forced to hit the ground running. Just three days after he was sworn in, Georgia State drew the ire of many graduates after cutting a graduation ceremony short due to inclement weather. The unfortunate event resulted in statewide media attention and hundreds of angry grads-to-be. Six days later, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Sara Rosen announced there

would be a rescheduled ceremony. But, according to Patterson, there was much more that took place during that time — and SGA was a critical component to the story. Patterson conceded he originally thought the event wasn’t his concern. But after seeing the controversy balloon in size, he immediately began work with Atlanta Executive Vice President Ayesha Iqbal on drafting a proposal for Georgia State University President Mark Becker. When Becker was unavailable to hold a meeting with the two, Patterson staked out the lobby of Centennial Hall, waiting for Becker to leave his office. And when he finally did, Patterson said the president walked right past him. “President Becker, we have a couple of questions,” Patterson then called out to him. Upon delivery of SGA’s proposal to reschedule the ceremony, Patterson was met with his first challenge: that it would be “impossible” to do. A student later reached out to Patterson and asked if there was anything she could do, and he told her yes: leak it local news sources and start a protest. Within days, the new ceremony date was announced.

ADVISERS

Working with senior university administration wasn’t the only challenge Patterson faced while president. Patterson holds firm a belief he said some SGA members are hesitant to recognize that the SGA body is equal in power and importance to its advisers. No, not academic advisers; Boyd Beckwith, university-wide SGA adviser, and Gail Sutton, Atlanta SGA adviser, both play a role in guiding the SGA from one administration to the next, all while working alongside the Perimeter SGA advisers. “What we wanted to do was switch it up to where it was more student-run,” Patterson said. “That was the first bridge we had to burn.” This bridge was burned the summer of 2018, when Patterson realized SGA needed to hold a private meeting — without advisers — to discuss some of the changes they needed to make. Before he was elected, the consensus to Patterson was that SGA was slowly dying. He believes many students voted for him because he vowed to regain control of SGA and take it back from the university’s authority figures. Prior to his presidency, most of the emails that addressed SGA and student concerns were coming from advisers. Patterson shifted this to where those emails came from himself instead — part of what he sees as a larger effort to balance the power between student officers and university officials. “It is called student government for a reason,” Patterson said. “I think it might be lost that their role is to advise and not to give their opinion.” Despite this, he acknowledges that the advisers play a valuable role in sharing their perspective on issues that may have arisen in the past, but in the beginning, “there was just way too much influence coming from the advisers.”

NAVIGATING UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION

When it comes to making changes to the university, there can be quite a lot of bureaucracy. But to navigate all of that red tape, Patterson attributes his success to one person: President Becker. Regardless of his connection to Becker, he still sees a huge disconnect between administration and students. For example, Patterson recalls a meeting in which a university administrator had no idea Georgia State no longer used OrgSync. Patterson corrected the administrator,

Student Government Association University-wide President Franklin Patterson has just three weeks remaining in his position.

noting that the student body had moved to the Panther Involvement Network, generally known as PIN. Patterson said he then received pushback and a subsequent argument from this administrator who wasn’t aware at all of the change. He said this is part of a larger problem: that the higher you climb the administrative ladder, the more you’ll hear about how the university continues to make the top of rankings, and the less you’ll hear about individual student problems. “When you come in with the reality that some students are still struggling to get their financial aid, they don’t say, ‘Tell me about that, I’ll fix that,’” he said. “They are caught in so much disbelief that they are wrong about their university and that it’s not as great as the people below them are making it seem.” However, Patterson said he can’t imagine the amount of pressure these administrators are under to succeed. “If I worked beneath someone and I was just trying to do my best to keep the noise down and to make sure it’s successful, I wouldn’t tell my boss about all of my problems. I would tell them about my successes,” he said. But he still finds it frustrating that he must always approach administration first and that they never come to students themselves. He thinks Georgia State needs a big public relations push, as most students don’t even know who President Becker is. (Weeks after this interview with Patterson, Georgia State announced its first podcast, hosted by Becker.) “Sometimes you need to know everyone’s boss,” he said. Becker’s boss is the chancellor of the Board of Regents, and the chancellor’s boss is the governor of Georgia. “You get to the governor, then you can make something happen,” Patterson said. “Because I think there are some issues that are just universal issues; they are a problem of the system and not a problem of the university.” But this doesn’t come without its trials as well. From Patterson’s view, depending upon the governor and their desire to invest in higher education, this can change the extent to which students will see change on campus.

GRADING SGA’S PERFORMANCE

Patterson didn’t stop his critique at just the university administration and advisers. He also looked internally, grading SGA’s performance and targeting areas of improvement. “Overall, I would say that the 89th has been one of the most  — hell, we sparked the flame this year, I’ll say that,” Patterson said. But how does he rate his administration to its predecessors? For Patterson, the 89th administration gets a “B+,” the 87th a “C-,” and the 86th an “A” – considering it was the first year after consolidation between Georgia State and Georgia Perimeter. Patterson gives this year’s Senate a “B-.” As for his own grade, he self-assigned a “B.” “The way SGA is structured is not to be efficient. It’s to make sure everything makes its way through checks and balances first,” he said. “And because of that, when you want to move quickly on something, all of that momentum you start off with – just getting through the first couple of days – that momentum dies, and by the time it reaches the top, everyone is just tired.” One of his points of struggle was that the president of the previous administration, Cory Gray, hadn’t left behind a transition binder – a duty required by nearly every position in SGA, including president, as outlined in the constitution. Patterson said that whoever would be taking on his role – who at the time of this interview had not yet been announced, but who we now know to be Jazmin Mejia – would be much more prepared than he was. “It’s selfish to not want the person after you to be better than you were,” he said. Although Patterson’s term is coming to a close alongside the rest of the 89th administration, he knows the fight for the student body never ends. “We knocked down a bunch of walls this year, a bunch of walls people didn’t even know existed,” he said. “It’s going to be up to next year’s administration to make sure they don’t get built back up.”

PHOTO BY DANIEL VARITEK | THE SIGNAL


NEWS

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GEORGIASTATESIGNAL.COM

Your campus construction questions answered The latest updates as the spring semester ends ADA WOOD

Associate News Editor

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efore some current Georgia State students graduate, the home and heart of campus, across the entirety of Library Plaza and beyond, could be replaced with bulldozers, cranes and the lovely sound of construction. As a reward for their patience, Georgia State’s urban space will be replaced with more green than students have ever seen before on campus, transforming the brick of the plaza into grass. This is the goal of the 2013 Master Plan – the long-term overhaul and redesign to Georgia State’s Atlanta campus. Slated to renovate Library Plaza, demolish Kell Hall and rebuild the entrance to Library North, students can expect a myriad of construction and development in the semesters to come – possibly even returning in the fall to the main campus entirely under development. But where are all of these projects currently, and when can we see results and how much it will cost?

LIBRARY PLAZA

The Master Plan outlines Georgia State’s aspirations to introduce a greenway at the center of campus, in part of what they call the core district: Library Plaza. The only problem with this is that it will result in the complete demolition of what many students would call the prime study and hangout spot on campus. Last fall semester, Ramesh Vakamudi, vice president for Facilities Management, said that demolition could begin in February or March 2019. But as of now, the plaza remains untouched. So, what happened? According to Vakamudi, “[The] project got delayed as we have to get Board or Regents approval for budget modification.” This budget modification was the result of the estimated cost of the project doubling from $5 million to $10 million. The first estimate was provided by Georgia State Facilities Management while the second estimated was developed by a design consultant based on detailed drawings and several factors. “Factors [included] the increase in construction cost from when the project was originally priced, the increase in the

scope of the work which originally included a smaller portion of the plaza being demolished, the addition of a monumental stair from the remaining plaza to the new greenway and enhanced landscaping for the greenway which was originally planned as a later phase,” Vakamudi said. The final approved budget is $9,950,000. The project has been divided into two phases. Phase One includes the work on creating a greenway to replace the entire plaza. Then, in Phase Two, a new entrance would be developed to access Library North from the greenway.

design work will begin right away, but all dates are subject to change. No definite date for construction has been decided yet, as this is contingent on the availability of funding. During Phase One, Steely said, students will be able to access the library through a strip of Library Plaza – from Langdale Plaza to the exterior elevator, next to Courtland Street. As for Phase Two, no plan for access has been made, but it should be included once a design has been finalized, he noted.

KELL HALL

LIBRARY NORTH

In March, the university interviewed four finalists for the firm that will design the additions to Library North. Dean of Libraries Jeff Steely said that these additions will serve two purposes. The first is the obvious need for an entrance to the Library from the newly renovated plaza and green space. The second is what he calls the true priority, based on student needs, the creation of more space for students to occupy and study. “The likely approach will be an extension on the north (greenway) side of Library North that includes stairs and an elevator. We hope this small expansion will also provide a little programmatic space,” Steely said. “The architects had some interesting ideas in [recent] interviews.” The university was granted $5 million dollars by the Georgia Legislature in the 2018 session for Phase Two, but Steely isn’t sure just how much this will fund. “The university has received direction from the Board of Regents staff that the project scope needs to be limited to the [$5 million] allocation,” Steely said. “In today’s market, that will not go very far.” He said because of the restrictions placed on the project, the development of space will have to be in a separate phrase, rather than a part of the same phase while building the entrance. “What we are able to achieve in this phase will be ironed out as the university works with the architects on design of the space,” Steely said. “Obviously, at a minimum, it has to provide access to the library. Beyond that, I hope for an attractive entrance that lays the groundwork for future projects. Any usable space we can gain would be a bonus.” As for the timeline on these developments, Steely said the plans for the entrance are due by July from the firms and that

Just like Library North is a crucial element in the bigger plan for complete renovation of Library Plaza, another building has a special role: Kell Hall and it’s much-anticipated demolition. The Signal first reported on Kell Hall’s piece of the project in October 2017, when the University System of Georgia Board of Regents granted approval for the demolition of Kell Hall, spurring a four-phase plan for demolition, which would begin in December 2018. But as students started spring semester, Kell Hall remained. The Signal reported, in January, that there were still several missing links to move the project forward: an environmental effects report, the approval of Governor Brian Kemp and a historical survey. Ramesh Vakamudi, vice president for Facilities Management, has an update for all three roadblocks. The environmental effects report was submitted to the Environmental Protection Division and was approved; Gov. Kemp gave his stamp of approval March 5; and the historical survey was sent to the State Historic Preservation Office. The final mitigation report will be completed by August, 2019, but the demolition of Kell Hall is not contingent on or held up by the approval of this final report. During this, unsuitable soil, containing buried construction debris and other contaminants, was encountered when trenching for the relocation of a chilled water line was taking place. The soil was tested, hauled from the sit and replaced with fresh, clean dirt. According to Vakamudi, the process of cleaning out Kell Hall and asbestos abatement are still ongoing and will be complete by mid-May 2019. The current tentative start date for the demolition of Kell Hall is May 20 – a process Vakamudi said could take two to three months to complete. Editor’s Note: Craig Schultz II contributed to this story. K

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A 2018 rendering of the greenway renovation to Library Plaza from Pond, the firm Georgia State chose for the project.

COPYRIGHT @ 2018 BY POND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO COPYING OR DUPLICATION OF THESE DOCUMENTS IS ALLOWED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF POND.

ILLUSTRATION COURTESTY OF POND & COMPANY


NEWS

TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

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NEWS BRIEFS LOCAL E. coli outbreak in Georgia

Five s states are currently experiencing an E. coli outbreak, according to the Washington Post: Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 96 cases but no deaths have been reported yet. In Georgia, 17 people have become infected. No specific food item has been identified as the culprit but officials recommend hand washing, cooking meats thoroughly and washing all fruits and vegetables. Protesters came out on Tuesday, April 2 at the Georgia State Capitol in protest of the HB 481 bill.

PHOTO BY BRIA SUGGS | THE SIGNAL

The heartbeat heard across the country A controversial bill that will undoubtedly impact students BRIA SUGGS Staff Reporter

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he women of Georgia will soon be forced to make tough decisions, in only six weeks or less. In a poll of Georgia State freshman, 3% supported House Bill 481, officially known as the Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act. The overwhelming majority, 86%, wasn’t in favor of the bill, while 11% identified as not informed enough to vote. So, what is HB481? It’s a controversial bill that’s already passed through Georgia’s legislature and now simply awaits Governor Brian Kemp’s signature. According to the bill, “No abortion is authorized or shall be performed if an unborn child has been determined in accordance with … have[ing] a detectable human heartbeat … As early as six weeks gestation, an unborn child may have a detectable heartbeat.” Now that the bill is in the Governor’s hands what are all the factors that should be considered regarding the abortion process? HB481 is a considerable change from Georgia’s previous abortion laws, where abortions were legal up to 20 weeks. It earned the nickname of the “Heartbeat Bill’ due to the fact that the bill would outlaw abortions once a heartbeat is detected via ultrasound. Based on one study on pregnancy symptoms, 50% of women first experienced pregnancy symptoms by the time they were five weeks pregnant. The study describes the symptoms of the first eight weeks of pregnancy. At two weeks after their last menstruation, a woman is ovulating and most likely about to conceive. At three weeks, a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus. At four weeks, a woman most likely notices that her period is late. Some women experience symptoms such as nausea and sore breasts at four weeks, while some don’t experience any symptoms at all. If a large portion of women don’t notice that they’re pregnant until around four or five weeks of pregnancy, that gives them one to two weeks to plan whether or not an abortion is the right choice

for them, and if so, when and where the abortion will take place, along with one of the biggest factors: how the procedure will be paid for. Carafem is a reproductive health clinic located in downtown Atlanta. For the abortion pill, they charge $475, and for a surgical abortion they charge $550. According to the Guttmacher Institute, abortion pills can cost as much as $800, and surgical abortions can cost up to $1,500 in the first trimester. Health clinics such as Carafem and Planned Parenthood expect payment at the time of service. According to Planned Parenthood, “Abortion services may be covered by your insurance.” Not all insurance providers cover abortion procedures, so often women have to pay for the service out of pocket. Daniel Franklin, one of Georgia State’s American politics and political science professors, offered some backstory on HB481. Franklin explained that this bill was able to pass both the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate despite Democrats picking up seats in the last election because the seats that they regained were held by moderate Republicans, meaning that the Republicans that are left are typically more conservative. But Franklin doesn’t think the effects of the bill will ever be felt by Georgians. “The minute the governor signs it, somebody will go to court, and there will be an injunction over it’s enforcement. The whole intent of this bill is that it’s Supreme Court bait,” Franklin said. “They’re going to send the bill all the way to the Supreme Court, now that there’s a conservative majority. The conservative majority might be willing to overturn Roe v. Wade. Nobody actually expects it to be enforced until the Supreme Court decides on it.” Roe v. Wade was the 1973 Supreme Court case where the Supreme Court of the U.S. decided that a women’s right to an abortion fell under the right to privacy, as protected by the 14th amendment. “Roe v. Wade has two parts,” Franklin said. “The first part invalidates the Texas law. The second part considers what kind of abortions can be legal. Once the fetus is viable outside of the womb, then the state can have an interest in that fetus as it were a person. That was around the end of the second trimester.” However, Franklin notes that today, technology

has changed the argument behind the Roe v. Wade decision – including that some say “We can basically raise embryos inside of test tubes, and so there shouldn’t be abortions.” Lauren McIvor Thompson is a professor on the Alpharetta campus. Her current research focuses on the intersections of medical authority, women’s health and public health policy in the birth control and reproductive health movements. “HB481 will become the strictest abortion law in the country if signed by Governor Kemp,” McIvor Thompson said. “The bill is similar to others that have passed or are in the process of being passed in places like Mississippi and Ohio, and criminalizes physicians who perform abortions and women who seek abortions.” McIvor Thompson, unlike Franklin, forsees a possible chain reaction if HB481 becomes Georgia law. “There will be huge impacts for public health (including maternal and infant mortality rates) and for Georgia’s medical professionals if the bill is ultimately signed by Governor Kemp. Most women do not know they are pregnant at six weeks gestational age nor do many physicians officially schedule ultrasounds with patients to confirm pregnancies until eight weeks gestational age,” McIvor Thompson said. She warns that it will make it illegal for students and other women to be able to get an abortion no matter the circumstances. “Students need to be aware that abortion would be made illegal in the state even in some cases of rape or incest … and will make women who suffer miscarriages subject to extra scrutiny to determine that they were not deliberately caused,” McIvor Thompson said. Additionally, the bill could impact overall medical care in Georgia, according to Mclvor Thompson. Half of the counties in Georgia have no practicing OBGYN currently which she thinks could only be made worse. Another possible repercussion of this bill is that several members of Hollywood such as actress Alyssa Milano are threatening to boycott Georgia, damaging the $9.5 billion film industry under Georgia’s economy. HB481 has been on Governor Kemp’s desk since April 2. Kemp has until May 12 to sign or veto the bill.

NATIONAL Measles in Brooklyn

New York City declared a public health emergency in regards to a measles outbreak in Brooklyn. Parents in the neighborhood of Williamsburg refused to vaccinate their children for years. Now, with the outbreak spreading, the mayor is now requiring unvaccinated people to be vaccinated or face a $1,000 fine. The mayor stands by his decision, saying that he doesn’t think it’s an unalienable right to transmit a fatal disease. The outbreak isn’t just isolated to Brooklyn. There’s also one in Madagascar, with the death toll reaching more than 1,200 people.

GLOBAL Scientists capture first ever picture of a black hole From the project of The Event Horizon Telescope – a group of eight telescopes scattered internationally across the globe – a groundbreaking image for astrophysics has been developed: one of a black hole. Before this, the black hole was thought to be unseeable and now this provides the first direct evidence that they do in fact exist. The subject of the photo was a supermassive black hole 6.5 billion times the mass of the Sun, in the M87 galaxy, 55 million light-years from Earth. The data was downloaded onto hard drives that were then transported by plane since that was faster than transmitting them over email.


NEWS

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GEORGIASTATESIGNAL.COM

The Steakburger vs. the Impossible Burger Two new campus burgers on opposite ends of animal rights DEREK ESCRIBANO Staff Reporter

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lant-based items are one of the fastest growing markets in the food industry. According to Nielsen, the plant-based food market has grown 8.1% from 2017 to 2018. With a growing number of vegan students on campus, Georgia State was bound to introduce more plant-based options. On April 1, Georgia State held a taste test for vegan students to decide which vegan options should be added as a permanent item in the dining halls. Students were asked to taste a few vegan meats and fill a survey sheet ranking them from best to worst. With options such as vegan chicken, vegan beef and three different plant-based burger patties, the competition was stiff. In the end, the Impossible Burger was chosen by the vegan students in a landslide victory. The Impossible Burger, created in 2016, is a plant-based alternative to ground beef. According to their website, their mission is “To save meat. And earth.” The patty has ingredients such as soy protein, coconut oil and sunflower oil, but omits any animal products, making it completely vegan. On the other hand, another burger is also coming to Georgia State’s campus: the Steakburger. Georgia State plans to open up a Steak ‘n Shake in Student Center East, providing another fast-food option for students. With over 550 locations in 28 states, Steak ‘n Shake is one of the most popular restaurants in America, so this location is sure to garner some foot traffic from Georgia State students. But is this in students’ best interest? “Fast-food and quick-service restaurants are part of the food landscape in America. While we encourage students to incorporate more at home cooking whenever possible, convenience food restaurants [are] still commonly enjoyed my many,” Leslie Knapp, the nutritionist at Georgia State, said. Nino Vo, a member of the People for the End of Animal Cruelty and Exploitation, or PEACE club at Georgia State, believes that introducing both of these burgers at the same time is problematic. “I didn’t know that they were going to do the Impossible Burger, because that’s at the top,” Vo said. “It’s the number one vegan meat.” Vo also believes that Georgia State should move toward these healthier options, specifically for commuter students. Hannah Jones, the president of PEACE club, believes that the

From left, Burger Fi’s “100% Plant-Based Beyond Burger” and Steak n’ Shake’s “Double Steakburger with cheese.” Viewing a cross section of both, it’s hard to tell which one is real meat.

Impossible Burger may not be vegan at all. “The company has been accused with animal testing,” Jones said. On the other hand, Jones also said, “It’s the closest thing to meat you can get, so I think it’s a good thing.” As for Steak ‘n Shake? “I think that it’s disappointing, but people are going to go where the demand is,” Jones said. From a health standpoint, Knapp said, “Educating students

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY CHRIS GARCIA | THE SIGNAL

on how to navigate menus for healthier options, eat mindfully and order a more balanced, portion controlled meal are helpful concepts to keep on track with an overall healthy lifestyle, no matter where you eat!“ At the end of the day, it is up to students and their own beliefs to decide which of these options they will choose. Knapp explained that if students are interested in learning about how they can implement healthy lifestyle change, they can meet with a registered dietician from Nutrition Services.

Using GoFundMe to address student homelessness Raising awareness and money to help fellow students BEN COLETTA Staff Reporter

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tudent homelessness: It’s an issue that’s been in the spotlight on campus, with Student Government Association candidates using it as a part of their platforms. But, there’s only one problem: it’s near impossible to collect data on it. There is a high level of stigma surrounding homelessness in general, and many homeless students feel that pressure as well. Josh Krivanek is trying to change all that. Krivanek is a freshman social entrepreneurship major who got involved with student homelessness after a friend of his needed a place to stay. “I actually had a student come and stay with me in my room and that was when I started to learn a lot about what the issues are and from there it just happened,” Krivanek said. Krivanek started working with students and faculty side-byside to figure out how to make what Georgia State offers more accessible on campus. “There was a faculty group that started working on this at

the same time, and I got plugged in with them and it’s been snowballing from there,” he said. Krivanek noted the lack of resources and manpower available to students experiencing homelessness at Georgia State. On campus, the main resource for homeless students is the Embark Network. Under this office is the Panther’s Pantry, which provides free food for students in need. “[The Embark Network has] a branch here that works out of the Dean of Students Office,” Krivanek said. “But, there’s not dedicated staff for that. So, there are two members of the Dean of Students Office that work it in addition to their regular responsibilities. Part of that is the Embark Office has no operating budget.” Krivanek started a GoFundMe to raise money for the struggling Embark office in attempt to hire permanent staff as well as provide more and better services to students in need. To date, Krivanek says that his GoFundMe has raised $3,500 out of his goal amount of $25,000 — the amount Embark said would fund them for one year. Panther Pantry will provide food to in-need students at Georgia State. According to the Panther Pantry website, “Any current Georgia State student may come by to pick up food from the Pantry once per week, and need only bring their Student ID in order to participate.”

The Panther Pantry has been a service offered to Georgia State students since 2015 and served 314 students in March of this year alone. One of the most crucial issues about student homelessness is the lack of accurate metrics on who is homeless within the student body. Krivanek and his team are working on ways Georgia State can better assess how many homeless students there are at Georgia State and what the university can do to help them. According to Krivanek, he is in the early stages of designing a study to measure student homelessness at Georgia State, but he says this will only be possible if a question, “have you ever experienced this [student homelessness] or have you had these difficulties while you were here,” was added to the exit survey seniors take before graduation. Last week on Monday, Krivanek organized a sleepout to raise awareness of the issue of student homelessness. Krivanek and five others attempted to sleep outside in Unity Plaza. The event began at 8:00 p.m., and by 11:30 p.m. the students were forced out of the plaza by university personnel and GSUPD. According to Krivanek, GSUPD told them if they didn’t have anywhere to go they could go to the Gateway Shelter nearby. However, the shelter stops admission at 6:00 p.m.


OPINIONS TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

www.georgiastatesignal.com/opinions

MARTA has an elevator problem Let’s have some equal access JIMMY FREELS Staff Columnist

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ow many students use elevators at Georgia State every day? We constantly use elevators all over campus. For some of us, even getting to campus requires an

elevator. I take MARTA to get to Georgia State, but if the one MARTA elevator is broken, I’m stuck, I’m in a wheelchair. I can’t get to class. For a disabled person like myself, there’s just one point of access, the one elevator. MARTA should have more elevators, like Georgia State. Georgia State always has multiple elevators in every building, just about. Every MARTA station has at least seven points of access for all walking people. There’s an up escalator, a down escalator, four sets of stairs, and one elevator. When the elevator is out at the Georgia State MARTA

station, I have to go to the Five Points station and use the elevator there to get back up to street level. There are 37 stations in the MARTA system, but only Five Points has two elevators you could use the second elevator if the first one is broken. Sometimes, the single MARTA elevator doesn’t work, and if it does work, it smells like pee. Nobody ever pees in a Georgia State elevator. Equal access under ADA should require MARTA to build six more elevators per station, but I’ll settle for just one more per station. MARTA can build extra bathrooms instead. MARTA should take a lesson from Georgia State, how thoughtful it is to provide extra elevators, just in case the one doesn’t work. Take the Library for example-- there are three elevators. In Classroom South, four elevators. In Langdale Hall, there are eight. Even the 75 Piedmont Building has four. Now, Sparks Hall has just the one, but it always works, and there’s no human body waste. There is human body waste in the Five Points elevators, despite the signs that say, “Armed with Urine Detection Device.

Public Urination - Don’t Do It!” To get to the second elevator at Five Points, you first have to risk your life, well, maybe not your life, but certainly your final destination. The two Five Points elevators are located on opposite ends of the opposite tracks, but Five Points has a middle platform between the tracks; however to get to the opposite side and the opposite elevator, you first have to run through the Westbound train when it briefly stops to pick up passengers, then wait for its inner-platform doors to open and then run out onto the middle platform. Once in the middle platform, you have to wait for an eastbound train to stop, then wait for its inner-platform doors to open, run into the eastbound train and hope you can run all the way through before the doors close and it takes off again. In other words, you have to run through two almost-moving trains, coming from two opposite directions, to use the second Five Points elevator on the eastbound side. If the second Five Points elevator’s not working, maybe somebody can pee on it to get it going again.

ILLUSTRATION BY EVAN STAMPS | THE SIGNAL

Should black students attend an HBCU or a PWI? An important decision on the minds of many MYA GRANT Staff Columnist

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hen selecting colleges, it’s always best to make sure the college fits you and not the other way around. For black students, these choices may include looking into historically black colleges and universities as an option that will help them experience their culture while earning their degree. HBCUs were founded on the basis of ensuring black students receive just as good as an education as their white counterparts. These universities hold so much culture and history, you can feel it right when you walk on campus. Many black students gravitate to these aspects of a HBCU, and other students don’t take that factor into consideration when looking at prospective colleges. There have been commentary amongst students on social media about black students attending HBCUs versus black students attending predominantly white institutions and the commentary can just get ugly. Students who attend HBCUs and students who attend PWIs can sometimes feel like there is a division amongst them; some take attending one or the other

more serious than others. Most PWIs are good with diversity and inclusion and Georgia State has a widely diverse student population, including international students, and let’s not forget the main campus is directly in the center of downtown Atlanta. But, with a mixture of different cultures and people, some black students don’t always feel like they’re gaining the same experiences. Jazmine Simpson, a Georgia State freshman, grew up with a mother who’s an HBCU alumni and was introduced to HBCU experiences at a young age. Simpson says that she’s faced negative comments from students that attend HBCUs because they felt that HBCUs are better in terms of being around people who look like her and can relate more to her. Although she attends Georgia State, Simpson has always wanted to attend an HBCU, but the cost of attendance would have been too much for her. Although education is the number one reason why many of us go to school, the college experience is probably the number two factor. For black students, being around other black students and interacting with black culture can impact the way they experience college and for students who attend – or want to attend – HBCUs, the answer is all the same: They want to be in an environment where they feel included and related to. Natache Seals, a sophomore at Fayetteville State University, is a visual arts major who says that she has access to opportunities

and programs that are helping her succeed that she wouldn’t get at a PWI. Although the distinction between HBCU and PWI didn’t matter to her while she was applying, she feels like she didn’t make a wrong choice. “I get to meet creatives of color in my community to engage and network with,” Seals said. “And learn about AfricanAmerican artists that I have never heard of or knew even existed.” Seals also says that she’s never witnessed or encountered any negative comments about students who choose to go to a PWI and the quality of someone’s education is no more or less than anyone else’s; whichever environment you feel most comfortable in should be the environment you choose. I, personally, didn’t want to attend an HBCU because I felt like the ones I looked into weren’t going to benefit me. When considering colleges, I wasn’t concerned with the name and accolades that came along with a university – because the higher prestige, the higher tuition – I was more concerned with what I can get out of the university and what opportunities would be available for me after graduation. At the end of the day, we’re all getting a higher education and that should be an accomplishment no matter where it’s from. So, when considering schools, or even a job position or anything that involves your hard work and dedication, make sure it fits you.


OPINIONS

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GEORGIASTATESIGNAL.COM

Absence policy set in stone

Sorry, grandma — you can’t die till after finals JANIYA HARRISON Staff Columnist

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f you’ve ever hit snooze one too many times in the morning, then you’re probably accustomed to the feeling of pure panic upon realizing that you’ve overslept for class… again. The only feeling worse than that is also realizing that you missed an exam or deadline for an important assignment. Almost every college student has experienced some type of unexpected misfortune or tragedy that kept them from attending a class or turning in an assignment on time. Cars break down, babysitters cancel, children get sick and there’s no way to take them to the doctor – all understandable circumstances, right? Wrong, according to many Georgia State professors. If you’ve ever been in one of these situations, then you’re likely familiar with the strict make-up policy that most professors have adopted. If you’re unable to produce some form of official documentation (i.e. a doctor’s note, traffic report or ticket or police report), you can no longer turn in the missed assignment or get an extension. It’s understandable, considering we all know students that skip classes and blow off assignments all semester, only to beg their professor for extra credit just before the end of term. “Towards the end of the semester, every year, grandparents suddenly start dying left and right,” Rick

Diguetts, a retired English professor at the Dunwoody campus, said. It’s true. Students have a history of inventing the most ridiculous and tragic excuses to avoid the dreaded zero that will undoubtedly drag down their GPA. But what happens when a genuine series of unfortunate events occur and it’s impossible to turn in that essay by midnight? When asked about his make-up policy and if he allows any exceptions, Diguette said, “If presented with a verifiable excuse, such as an official doctor’s note, I will consider granting an extension on an assignment – no exceptions. However, and I believe most professors will agree, you have to take these on a case-by-case basis.” It may seem a little harsh, sure, but when you’ve had twelve grandparents and a puppy suddenly die the week before finals, you’d be a skeptic too. Diguette’s advice for students that come forward expressing personal problems that kept them from class was to check class policies first. “Well, it’s happened often,” he said. “And I would remind them of the policies laid out in the syllabus. An absence is an absence, and I can’t treat one student any differently than another. In the very rare case that the student has consistently

shown initiative and care for their grades, and then there is a sudden change in behavior or effort, then something could possibly be worked out.” Don’t despair just yet! In the age of technology, whatever the situation may be, chances are that you can get some form of verifiable proof for it. Get a receipt for that new tire, it’ll have the date and time of purchase on it. Print out a screenshot of your babysitter canceling on you at the last minute. Even if you become ill, get checked out by a nurse in the Student Health Center and they can provide you with an excuse note. And if these aren’t proof enough, well… there’s always Rate My Professor.

As senators in the Student Government Association, our job has always been to advocate for all of our fellow students, not just the ones who look like us or think like us. Whether you are black, white, brown, gay, straight, religious, secular, progressive or conservative, we advocated for you over the past year, and we plan to continue advocating for you while serving as President and Vice President of the Student Government Association next year. Our opposition to the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange is rooted in our advocacy for our fellow students. Based here at Georgia State University, the GILEE program arranges for American police officers to travel overseas, train with foreign governments and learn various topics, including “counterterrorism” and “urban policing.” We object to Georgia State University’s participation in GILEE for several reasons. First, the program is run by Dr. Robert Friedmann, who has made numerous false, bigoted and politically extreme remarks, particularly about the Arab and Muslim communities. The GILEE director has repeatedly claimed that no Muslim leader ever unequivocally condemned the 9/11 attack (“I would say that to date, for example, from within Islamic sources, and I’m talking about the leadership, varied as it is, there has not been a single unequivocal condemnation of September 11th”) or other terrorist attacks (“The ‘silent majority’ of Muslims and their various advocacy groups have not yet broken their silence about terrorism, jihad and their attitude to the West.”). He has claimed that “Arab-American advocacy groups” here in the United States “support terror.” He allegedly told an audience, “The problem is, because of the First Amendment, the FBI won’t go into mosques.” He reportedly dismissed the very existence of

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letter to the editor anti-Muslim bigotry in a foreign country, saying, “There is no Islamophobia. There is knifeophobia.” He has formed official partnerships between GILEE and foreign organizations like the International Counter-Terrorism Academic Community, whose members include Sebastian Gorka, a notorious anti-Muslim extremist. Dr. Friedmann also uses the official GILEE website to engage in extreme political commentary, from supporting the Iraq War to attacking figures like former President Jimmy Carter: calling the Georgia native “one of the worst presidents in U.S. history,” arguing that he should have never received a Nobel Peace Prize, describing him and other anti-Iraq War activists as “appeasers,” and calling for him to be labeled a “supporter of genocide.” Without doubt, GILEE’s bigoted extremism impacts officers who participate in the program. When discussing what he learned from GILEE, a prominent Georgia law enforcement officer once told an audience that the program taught him that “the primary threat to democratic countries was terrorism by radical Islam.” This is false, statistically speaking. The biggest threat to “the West” is white supremacist terrorism. White supremacists and other farright extremists have killed far more people than Muslim extremists since Sept.11, 2001. The Anti-Defamation League reported that 71% of extremist-related fatalities in the States between 2008 and 2017 were committed by members of the far-right or white supremacist movements, not the Arabs or Muslims who receive so much of GILEE’s attention. Make no mistake: GILEE is not only dangerous for Arab and Muslim students. It is dangerous for women, LGBTQ people, and religious and racial minorities. On its website, GILEE states that it has conducted executive law enforcement training with law enforcement agencies from China, Egypt, Hungary, and Israel. GILEE also reports that it has given public safety briefings to Hungary, Kazakhstan and

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ILLUSTRATION BY EVAN STAMPS | THE SIGNAL

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Uzbekistan. Egyptian authorities have performed “virginity tests” on female activists arrested for protesting. Hungary’s xenophobic, anti-Semitic, and Islamophobic government is moving toward authoritarianism. China currently imprisons one million of its Uighur minority in concentration camps. The Israeli government has committed various human rights violations, including violence against civilians and the construction of settlements that are illegal under international law. Uzbekistan persecutes religious minorities, particularly Christians, and has performed “rectal exams” on men accused of being gay. The fact that the GILEE program brags about collaborating with these human rights violators is horrific. The fact that Georgia State University continues to maintain a relationship with GILEE is just as disgraceful. It is also a slap to the face to both of us as minority students, especially to Senator Rahman, who is a practicing Muslim. Let us be very clear. We oppose GILEE because of its collaboration with human rights violators, as well as its history of bigotry. We do not oppose GILEE because of the Boycott, Divest & Sanctions movement. Neither of us has advocated for BDS at Georgia State. For us, this is a matter of principle. The Georgia State University Police Department officers who serve our diverse and welcoming campus should not train with foreign governments that violate human rights, nor should our officers participate in a program that teaches bigotry and political extremism. We therefore ask students of all backgrounds to come out and support our opinion resolution this Thursday, April 18, at the University-wide Senate. No Hate at State, Sen. and President-Elect Jazmin Mejia, Junior, Political Science Sen. and Atlanta EVP-Elect Hamza Rahman, Junior, Political Science

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ARTS & LIVING TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

www.georgiastatesignal.com/artsandliving

An Album 88 DJ queues up his setlist in the WRAS studio booth on Friday, April 12.

PHOTO BY DANIEL VARITEK | THE SIGNAL

Music shows specific to your unique tastes

From J-pop to female vocalists, there’s something for everyone on Album 88 GUILLERMO RIVERA & SYDNEY BLOEME Staff Reporter & Arts & Living Editor

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eorgia State’s student DJ-run radio station WRAS, also known as Album 88, redefines radio by its use of vastly diverse radio shows. Depending on the day and time, students can explore interesting niches of music including math rock to hearing samples side by side with the popular track. Jeff Walker, retired and rehired station advisor since the 1980s, gives much of the credit to the vast amount of specialty shows to the early expansion of music in the ‘80s and the ease of music sharing on the internet. “In the ‘70s all we had was rock and jazz – Hip hop hadn’t been invented yet. There weren’t as many categories in music. That stayed the same until the ‘80s,” Walker said. “The internet changed everything because people now could listen to exactly what they want instead of relying on the radio station.” Walker gives credit to the changing attitudes of the student body for the diversity of specialty shows. And because the radio station is run by student music directors, he said that they are able to really know what the changing attitudes of students are. “The commercial stations could never do it like WRAS could because the WRAS music directors were always in the late teens, early twenties demographic. You keep the door open to specialty shows coming and going because students’ interests change,” Walker said. “Music tastes change so quickly.” Underground Japanese Music: Moshi Moshi Josh P. runs the show Moshi Moshi every Thursday from 8-10 p.m. He describes the set as “Japanese Music,” but it’s more than just J-pop. “I try to focus on underground music and underground sound from Japan only. Sometimes there is J-pop but it’s very early in the popular sense. Like indie rock and indie electronic and underground hip hop,” he said. P. has been doing the show for two or three years, and while he didn’t create it, he enjoys running it every week and

discovering new music for it. “I’ve always liked Japanese music. I’ve been three times now and gotten really in touch with the music there,” he said. P. learned Japanese in high school and uses that to his advantage when finding new music on Japanese review sites and forums. Artists played include Shintaro Sakamoto, Kaoru Akimoto Inu and Tirolean Tape, among others. Soundtracks and film scores: VideoDrone Katie Leaman runs VideoDrone, a specialty show every Sunday from 8-10 p.m. covering soundtracks, scores and audio clips from film, theatre, TV, video games and other visual audio. Leaman said she enjoys the process she has to go through to find the tracks to play every week. “The show forces me to dig deeper into my craft and into the various outlets and positions required to make these tracks happen, and at just the right moments in cinema,” Leaman said. “Moments that us music nerds live for.” Leamnan said that VideoDrone is the only show on the radio providing that kind of content, and she said she receives a lot of fan praise and engagement because of that. “I think the first run I ever did of Videodrone live on the radio is my favorite moment,” Leaman said. “I was live DJing, and I could barely change to the next song while I was trying to answer multiple lines. Everyone was so excited to have cinematic music and these nostalgic tunes on the radio, and people all over the country called us. No one is doing what we do on the radio in this state. It’s exhilarating to provide this kind of musical service.” VideoDrone has featured some of the most exclusive interviews with people such as Atlanta voice actor Bob Carter, writer and director-choreographer of Camino Real Helen Pickett and composer Peter Salem. “Album 88 gets the best underground hookups [because] we are non-commercial. It’s all about the music, and that’s rare,” Leaman said. Highlighting samples used in popular music: Sample Platter

Xavier Adams is the curator of Sample Platter, playing every Friday from 12-2 a.m. He uses Sample Platter to showcase the sampled song used in popular hits from the past. “This week I’m doing OutKast and one of the OutKast songs samples a James Brown song. So, first I’ll be playing the OutKast song, then I’ll play the James Brown song it samples right after,” Adams said. One of Adams’ first sample example was “Toxic” by Britney Spears. “I played ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears, then I played the song it sampled which was some Indian songs from the ‘80s or ‘90s. It was awesome because you could hear the violins as they came in, and you can get a sample of what it was,” he said. Adams uses Sample Platter to give recognition to many artists whose work is known, but not separate from their own songs. “I just want to give recognition to artists because there’s a lot of artists whose music by themselves is not very well known, but once you hear the song sampled in the Sample Platter you’ll get to know them a lot more,” Adams said. “There’s this one lady, I forgot her name but it’s something like Wendy Renae, and one of her songs is called ‘After Laughter Comes Tears’ and it was sampled by the Wu-Tang Clan in the ‘90s. Then it was sampled by Ariana Grande for her last album.” Female Vocals: Mighty Aphrodite: Mighty Aphrodite is a 14-year-old specialty show featuring all female vocals. Today, the show is run by Espy White every Thursday from 10 p.m. to12 a.m. While the specifics of the show being solely female vocals seems narrowing, White enjoys exploring different genres of music within the show. “It’s all female vocals but each show host puts a spin on it,” White said. “The only genre I haven’t hit heavily into was country. I’ve done it briefly but it wasn’t really for me.” White said that while most shows die out, Mighty Aphrodite has been on air for the past 14 or so years. “It’s always been a part of Album 88,” she said.

Shows to check out and their play times Thursday

Friday

Sunday

- Moshi Moshi 8-10 p.m.

- Sample Platter 12-2 a.m.

- VideoDrone 8-10 p.m.

- Mighty Aphrodite 10 p.m. -12 a.m.


EUGENE RUBINCHIK & SYDNEY BLOEME Staff Reporter & Arts & Living Editor

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ong gone are the days of cutting and sewing as a means of everyday life, Modern day textile Picassos are taking to reforming clothes as a form of expression. This growing number of young adults taking to customizing clothing may be a means of competing with retail store prices, but there’s more to the craft than saving some money. Customizing clothing has long been a form of self expression. During the Great Depression, women saved their used printed flour bags and began cutting them apart and reusing the fabric for clothing. Because resources were scarce, they were able to avoid buying new garments and were able to use what they already had. Today, people attempt to customize everything, with people spending weeks meticulously painting and designing a pair of shoes. Corporate America took note of this, and Nike attempted to simplify the process in 2000, with the creation of NIKEiD. This feature allowed consumers to select specific selections of Nike shoes and create their own color schemes. Numerous companies have since introduced similar customization features, but creation came at a cost. Customizable Nike shoes would run you well over regular retail price, and customization was limited to colors and a few designs. To many, this was adequate and rarely questioned. To the overwhelming majority of kids who could not convince their parents to make such an investment, they grew up to be the thrifty designers that we see today. Because retail stores often limit creative expression, making pieces of clothing intended to fit a common demographic, the DIY scene on social media has allowed niche groups of fashion fanatics to break trend restrictions and flourish more than previously allowed through word of mouth. And today, constructing innovative outfits and redesigning existing pieces has become a part-time job.


CUSTOMIZED CLOTHING SPEAKS MORE THAN CREATIVITY SIERRA REECE: GRADUATION CAPS WITH PERSONALITY

Sierra Reece started designing custom graduation caps when she was a sophomore at Georgia State. “I’ve always been into like arts and crafts and painting and drawing as like a hobby, so I just started offering it up to people,” Reece said. “Then the next semester a friend asked me to do theirs so I just did it anyway … then that one just took off, and more and more people kept asking, and then this semester I just blew up, like I had to stop taking orders [because] it was just way too many people who wanted caps from me.”

“I’ve always been into like arts and crafts and painting and drawing as like a hobby, so I just started offering it up to people” She starts by asking the client what they want or if they don’t have an idea, she brainstorms with them. She said that most things people want are pretty tame, and she hasn’t gotten any requests too crazy. “I’ve done some album tributes like Kanye’s Graduation or J Cole’s KOD. I do [a lot] of portraits of like people who want themselves or like a person on the cap,” she said. “One cap I did this week she wanted me to draw her dog on it with her.” Reece makes around three to four caps a week and charges around $35 for each cap. While she knows she could charge more, she understands that graduation is expensive and wants to make it easy for people to express themselves.

CEQUOIA WALKER: UTILIZING SAFETY PINS AND TEARS

Rag-O-Rama employee Cequoia Walker brings a unique twist to wearing vintage t-shirts. Whereas normal t-shirt sleeves are stitched on to the body of the shirt, Walker uses safety pins to connect the pieces of fabric on vintage racing or motorcycle t-shirts. She also lines the collars of her shirts with safety pins and tears numerous horizontal cuts throughout the shirt.

“I like customizing clothing because I feel that it’s a way to express myself and get out emotions” “I like customizing clothing because I feel that it’s a way to express myself and get out emotions. This is my favorite piece because whenever I would get a new idea I would just add to it and it turned into its own thing,” Walker said.

SOPHIA DREWRY: DENIM TEA HOLDERS AND AFFORDABLE ALTERATIONS

Georgia State sophomore Sophia Drewry works to reduce her environmental impact by recycling old jeans into wallets, cup holders and even adding flair to pre-existing clothes. “While saving a lot of money is definitely a perk in itself,

JORDAN YOUNG: BANDANA BELTS

Scrolling through Instagram graced Georgia State student Jordan Young with the inspiration to recycle belts out of bandanas. “I saw someone on Instagram that made a shirt out of a bandana, and then I saw another person make a jacket out of one. Then I thought about making bandana belts,” Young said.

“As far as fashion, I just want to show the world my designs and hopefully they will like them” Ranging in color from black to red to yellow and beyond, the belts add a dash of streetwear to any outfit. Young additionally has a line of bleached, distressed, and outright repurposed flannels that you can see or purchase off his Instagra. “As far as fashion, I just want to show the world my designs and hopefully they will like them. I was to become a manufacturer and help other people start their own clothing line,” Young said.

“I started getting into embroidery and to practice, I ended up embroidering words on all of my underwear” I enjoy customizing because there is no limit to how I can express myself through clothing,” Drewry said. For Drewry, what started out of necessity became a hobby. “I got into sewing mainly because I received a lot of hand-me-downs and my mom did not want me to shop at Abercrombie. Since then I have always made my own patterns to sew and customize clothes,” Drewry said. With Drewry’s experience altering her old hand-me-downs, she became confident altering clothes for other bodies and started exploring alternative means for clothing. “I guess you can say my passion for sewing is inherited. My grandmother was a seamstress in Germany and left me all her sewing equipment at a young age. In high school, I started getting into embroidery and to practice, I ended up embroidering words on all of my underwear,” Drewry said.

CUSTOMIZATION SPEAKS FURTHER THAN CLOUT STATUS:

Local designs can speak larger messages other than just self expression. Instagram designer Sean Barrera is well known for his role in mass producing jeans for fellow designer Asspizza. The duo even filmed a short mockumentary showing off the cramped garage where sewing machines, screen printing machines and a wholesome number of work hours were used to create clothing. The jeans included Hardees logos, the words “follow your dreams” and Squidward. Since parting with Asspizza after an internet scuffle, Barrera has been hard at work producing his own line of expressive garments. His brand, Odelkiss, is stocked up with screen printed “Satan is a Punk” t-shirts, screen printed gloves and pants with cow spot threading. Barrera is a strong advocate for animal rights, so selling cow pants using strictly vegan products and the motto “Tested on Humans” is his way of giving back to the animals. “Clothing has patterns and once you figure out what patterns work for you, it seems like you can figure out different patterns in your own life,” Barrera said. University of Georgia fashion merchandising student Dan Diener has a strong connection with the ground under his feet when it comes to his bigger picture. Diener, who initially studied environmentalism in college, attempts to use sustainable fabrics in every piece he creates. Such is the truth with a recent pair of pants he created made out of muslin. Diener’s signature white rose is also a common theme among his clothing. Standing for hidden beauty and individuality, the rose is commonly screen printed on much of his creations. “I was always a weird kid with contrasting tastes to many around me,” Diener said. “I found a way to connect with others through fashion and music though. My first experience customizing clothing was in the eighth grade where I made a business selling tye-dyed socks. I just want people to be able to express themselves.”

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PAFE DESIGN BY DEVIN PHILLIPS | THE SIGNAL


ARTS & LIVING

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GEORGIASTATESIGNAL.COM

Classic hip-hop speaks about Atlanta

Meet the creators behind the famous Atlanta Rap Map DANIELLA BOIK Staff Reporter

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wo Georgia State Ph.D. students and computer science engineers, Brennan Collins and Adnan Rasool, are the creators of the Rap Map, an online map visually documenting notable tracks mentioning or located in Atlanta. While they don’t wear gold chains, swag out in Supreme or bump 2 Chainz in the “Rari’,” they do know their Atlanta hip-hop. And while the Rap Map might seem like a fun way to view music, it’s about a message much deeper: gentrification. This message is displayed clearly in Childish Gambino’s multipart song “Dream/Southern Hospitality/Partna Dem.” Gambino raps, “I’d reopen 112 and Jazzy T’s. I’d bring back Turner Field and fire all the cops in Cobb County.” “Gambino is rapping about all these places he wish would reopen in the community he grew up in,” Rasool said. “But because of gentrification and how the city is changing, it’s affected the parts of Atlanta he calls home.” Rasool and Collins are fascinated with how the city has been gentrified, and the Rap Map shows the understanding of what things have changed and what things have stayed the same. “Atlanta now has all these million dollar condos popping up, but it’s killing the culture in areas like East Point and West End where these rappers call home,” Rasool said. “Atlanta’s hip hop scene is a culture within its own. They almost have a whole different language, and communities are coming in and pushing people out like the rappers that grew up here and created this music,” Collins said.

ATLANTA-BASED SONGS AND THEIR LOCATIONS Ludacris “Call Up The Homies”: 2008 Lenox Mall Ludacris “Coming to America”: 2001 Martin Luther King Memorial

The goal Rasool and Collins want to achieve with the Rap Map is for users to have fun seeing famous rappers reference their usual hangout spots, but more so to show the cultural demographic shifts that are happening in Atlanta. “Gentrification isn’t all bad though,” Rasool said. “Change has to happen, and these rappers talk about the problems in their area such as crime, police killings, etc., but instead of communities pushing them out they need to find a solution.” Through long days of studying the rapper’s lyrics and finding where to place the pinpoints, Rasool and Collins realized these rappers are saying much more than we think they are. Drug deals gone wrong and neighborhood shootings sound like big issues, but not every song referencing the southside talks about this. “When rapping about where most of them grew up like the southside parts of Atlanta, it can be seen as dangerous or lots of crime but it’s not all negative. The lyrics suggest it’s home and their space where they’ve come from,” Collins said. On the other hand, with trap music coming out of Atlanta topping national charts, more rappers are coming from other parts of the city, not just the southside. “There seems to be more rappers coming from the north part of Atlanta, like Migos who are from Lawrenceville,” Collins said. “It’s interesting to see what that says about how the city and greater Atlanta is changing.” While more artists may be coming from all over, some parts of the demographics are still the same. “Through the map and the analysis of the lyrics we’ve seen, the higher up the pinpoints the more aspirational that place is,” Collins said. “So many rappers talk about Buckhead or Lenox Mall, and they’re buying jewelry for their girl, and that means you made it and like you’re finally a huge deal.”

2 Chainz “Hot Wingz”: 2018 Mercedes-Benz Stadium 2 Chainz “Money Machine”: 2012 Magic City Childish Gambino “U Don't Have to Call”: 2014 Atlantic Station Childish Gambino “Dream / Southern

However, there seems to be mixed feelings various rappers have about north Atlanta. Not all want the glitz and glam of Buckhead. Pinpointed right in the Buckhead neighborhood, in Gambino’s song Real Estate he says, ‘Shout out to Eastside, Shout out to Southside and Westside and f*ck the Northside, man them n*ggas out there be testin.’” As for now, the Rap Map features Childish Gambino, OutKast, Ludacris and 2 Chainz, but Rasool and Collins have several ideas on how they wish to expand their project. “For the future of the Rap Map, I would obviously love to expand and potentially represent one rapper from each decade,” Rasool said. “I would love to map out artists like Killer Mike and T.I. that have been around for awhile and see how their earlier albums compare to the later ones,” Collins said. “T.I. used to get in a lot of trouble, and now he’s so active in helping out his city, and I would love to see how his music and lyrics when talking about Atlanta show up on the map go from partying to political.” Fans of the Rap Map are just waiting for more and according to Rasool, the demand and popularity is skyrocketing. “There’s been a lot of positive press with random blogs covering it and even SkyMall magazine,” he said. “OutKast even responded back to us saying they saw the map from a fellow designer at SIF. Everyone loves it we just need more of it.” However, with Rasool and Collins having lives outside of the Rap Map, it’s difficult to devote all their attention toward it. They’re very open to having other students contribute their ideas by joining Georgia State’s Student Innovation Fellowship, which is where the creation of the Rap Map happened. Not only does the Rap Map highlight the cultural and economic demographics of the city, but it’s a great way for students and users to learn mapping skills and the history of places in Atlanta itself.

Hospitality / Partna Dem”: 2014 Turner Field OutKast “We Luv Deez Hoez”: 2000 Cafe Intermezzo OutKast “Slum Beautiful”: 2000 Walter’s


TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

ARTS & LIVING

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ILLUSTRATION BY AMBER KIRLEW | THE SIGNAL

How music collectives are taking over Garden Ave and Neila World quickly gain popularity GUILLERMO RIVERA Staff Reporter

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hile bigger collectives like YBN, YSL and Odd Future have broken into the mainstream, many of them influencing media are still underground. Groups like Neilaworld and Garden Ave have been growing in the SoundCloud world, collaborating with artists such as Bones, Lil B, and wifisfuneral. These collectives consist of both producers and artists working together, collaborating with other artists in and out of the group. Garden Ave has worked with many big artists such as Wicca Phase, Boyfriendz, and SosMula. However, the collective started just so friends could collaborate on music.

CREATING A COLLECTIVE

Taylor Morgan, one of the creators of Garden Ave, made the collective alongside 4evr, another artist on the roster. “4evr and I were both wanting to make a collective around the same time, and he’s one of my closest friends on here, so we just got together and got all our friends together to make it,” Morgan said. “We both just wanted to make more music with our friends so that’s pretty much the reason we started. It’s so fun for all 14 of us.” Neilaworld is another growing collective in the SoundCloud world created by FadedBlackid, also known as FBK. The collective was made for the same reason, just so friends could make something out of music. “My senior year in high school, me and these other creatives were the only ones in my city on the underground stuff, and we already were making music together, so we decided to click up and start a movement,” FBK said. “Originally it was like 8-9 of us, and these were all locals at the time. Eventually, once some of us graduated high school we ended branching off into

different avenues, and that’s when I brought Neila back at the end of 2017.” So far, the collectives have grown significantly in size. The groups contain artists, producers, and engineers, and they all use the collective to create and grow together as musicians.

ADVANTAGES OF BEING IN A COLLECTIVE

A music collective is not only a mutualistic space for many artists to work with each other. It also provides many advantages to artists in the collective. A music group can be a place for artists to grow their musical talents and help each other in doing so. Musicians can learn from each other inside a helpful environment. “If you are in a good collective the advantages are having a family group within music. Also, it’s cooler to work with others than alone all the time. Whatever your weakness is it could become someone else’s strength so that helps us out a lot,” FBK said. “You also need a collective that you can vibe with and actually have normal interactions with not just in music. With Neila, whenever we link it’s not always just music. We chill like normal humans.” Collectives can also produce unique sounds by mashing styles and techniques. Artists can combine different modes of music to make a particular sound that you can’t get from anyone else, growing the collective and their sound. “Having a lot of minds developing a sound can really help create genres and scenes. Like GBC for instance, there were 10plus of them doing what they do. It really makes their impact a lot larger,” Morgan said. A collective allows artists to work alongside others from their collectives, but it also gives them connections to other artists not pertaining to the collective and can help them network with other influencers in the music world. “Being in a collective music wise is really cool for being productive and working with a group of talented people and it can also help with exposure. Especially in Atlanta, being in a

collective is cool because another member of Neilaworld is also here, and we meet up and work a lot. I wouldn’t have gotten to know him if I didn’t join Neila,” Glasear, a recent member and producer of Neilaworld, said. Members of Garden Ave especially have been allowed the opportunity to work with some big names. This has helped solidify their name in the underground music scene and grow as an overall collective. “Obviously connections and stuff like that are huge. We’ve all worked with big artists like Bones, Lil B, Wicca Phase, Boyfriendz, SosMula, CHXPO, wifisfuneral and many more. That gives us a big reputation and helps us make our mark better,” Morgan said. Music collectives can gain a lot of connections and exposure, propelling the musicians to underground stardom and allowing them to work alongside some of the bigger artists in the genre.

A FAMILY OF ARTISTS

A collective allows for artists to help each other grow from their weaknesses and strengths, and it also helps give them exposure and build their connections. Collectives give a lot of advantages to the musicians, but it also serves as a second family. “Neila is 100% a family to me. I would literally take a bullet for anyone in Neila and I’ve already met around twenty out of our thirty members, and all of us feel like a family and work as a factory,” Glasear said. “All of us are like best friends, and we look out for each other not only musically but also mentally, and pretty much everything else. Joining Neilaworld is probably one of the best things to happen to me, and I’m thankful for having a family like that.” Pertaining to a collective is like living within a little music family where everyone is passionate about what they do. The artists in collectives help each other grow and flourish as musicians to make the best music they can, and will furthermore make an impact on the music industry.


ARTS & LIVING

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Master composters in Newnan Carnegie Library reveal the secrets to maintaining the rich topsoil your gardens and plants desire. It’s more than just a hole in the ground, it’s a way of living waste (and guilt) free!

Sponsored by some of Atlanta’s bravest horseback heroes, Mounted Patrol, the spring festival is here to showcase the finemaned and hardy horses that provide our mounted patrol with their namesake.

Legendary Athens brewers Creature Comforts celebrate the 5th year of introducing exciting and delicious beers, from fruit sours to delicious IPAs.

More poignant than ever, reminisce about a time where the world was slowly being burnt to a crisp by shareholder intentions and cutthroat bottom-line economic policy at the 2019 Georgia Tech Earth Day Festival!

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SPORTS TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

www.georgiastatesignal.com/sports

American Alliance of Football ceases operations AAF personnel talk about the short-lived league JULIAN HARDEN Staff Reporter

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n April 2, the Alliance of American Football suspended all football operations and officially folded. This surprised fans, casual observers and those who were working in league, such as the players and staff. Players who thought they were still on the road to one day play in the NFL and employees of the teams are both now jobless and left with questions. The reason behind the shutdown was that the biggest investor, Tom Dundon, pulled out due to the NFL not loaning practice squad players to play on AAF rosters. “If the players union is not going to give us young players, we can’t be a development league,” Dundun told USA Today in February. “We are looking at all options including dissolving the league.” Whatever the reason, players, staff and fans were saddened and shocked to see the league not only dissolve, but leave its inaugural season incomplete. Ending after only eight weeks of football operations, the Alliance is the shortest football league in recent history. The United States Football League lasted two full seasons, the XFL lasted a full season and the United Football League in 2009 lasted for two full seasons. One of those affected was team president of the Orlando Apollos, Michael Waddell. Before the league made the decision to cease all operations, the Apollos were by far the best team in the Alliance, posting a league best seven wins and one loss through eight games. The Apollos recently would’ve been the top seed when the postseason began, but alas this will not come to fruition. The team looked like a surefire pick to win the league championship, which would’ve taken place in the Ford Center in Dallas. “What should’ve been our ninth game night our extraordinary group of professionals came together for one last hurrah,” Waddell said. “The culture and love amongst our group is incredible, thank you Orlando.” The season itself was set to only run 10 weeks, making the sudden ending even more shocking to fans. With the league one week away from the postseason, and players still trying to prove their worth, many find the league’s dissolution simply heartbreaking. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as some players from the AAF were signed onto NFL rosters. A couple came from Waddell’s team, the Apollos. The Apollos starting quarterback, Garrett Gilbert, was recently signed by the Cleveland Browns. Apollos and AAF leading receiver Charles Johnson also was recently signed to the Philadelphia Eagles. In total 45 players have gone on to sign onto NFL rosters since the AAF ceased operations. There have still been players

ILLUSTRATION BY AMBER KIRLEW | THE SIGNAL

signed that haven’t yet to have been paid. Some players, however, are taking legal action against the Alliance. The players, whose identities aren’t public, are filing a class action lawsuit against the league that alleges the league hid its poor financial status from the players. However, many don’t believe the lawsuit by the players will change anything. Former NFL and AAF quarterback Johnny Manziel affirmed this in a post on Twitter. “No lawsuit or anything else will get your bread,” Manziel tweeted. “Save your money and keep your heads up it’s the only chance at this point,” Manziel said. To make matters worse the league may also not be able to pay the leases for some of the stadiums they played in. The AAF still owes Central Florida over $1 million according to their contractual agreement. AAF players from all teams, while being caught off guard by the league’s end, we’re thankful for the opportunity to play professional football again. Khalil Bass, the starting linebacker for the Legends during the shortened season, came into his own during the season. “It was a short ride, but I loved every second,” Bass said. “First year playing American ball since 2012 the goal was to improve each week and I did that.” Tavaris Barnes, who also played for the Legends, shared similar sentiments about his playing time in the AAF. Barnes is a defensive end and was undrafted out of Clemson in 2015 NFL draft. “I won’t bash the AAF, they gave me a chance to get back on my feet mentally, spiritually and financially,” Barnes said. The AAF really wanted to be seen as a league to give players another opportunity to pursue their dreams of playing in the NFL. Players such as Trent Richardson, who were seen as a bust in the NFL, had the opportunity to get back into the NFL. The Legends themselves could be seen as a symbol the league’s dysfunction. The team, like the league itself, started with a promise from famed Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick as offensive coordinator and former NFL head coach Brad Childress.

Without warning, both were not on the staff before the season began without clear reasonings for their departures. The Legends through eight weeks of the season went 2-6 as they struggled after the unexpected and sudden departures of their head coach and offensive coordinator. While the Legends were not the best team in the league, quite a few big name players played for the team. Legends players such as former Georgia Bulldog quarterback Aaron Murray and former Georgia Southern kicker Younghoe Koo were some of the most well-known players on the roster. While the time in AAF was short-lived, both the players and staff alike appreciated the opportunity to get a chance to start something new. They got the opportunity to either restart their careers or be in new positions they’ve never held before. The league may have been short-lived, but the impact it made on fans and it’s will players will be long-lasting.

THE AAF IN SHORT Football operations lasted just eight weeks Didn’t make it to the postseason Players and teams’ staff found out about the fold when news broke to the rest of the world The primary investor for the league, Tom Dundon, pulled back his commitment


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Defense shows out, wins spring game 54-33 Panthers display plenty of promise on both sides of the ball ESPEN INDRISANO Staff Reporter

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oming off of a dismal 2-10 season in 2018, the Georgia State Panthers looked to showcase their talents as they took to the turf in Saturday’s Blue-White spring football

game. “We forgot about last year,” senior quarterback Dan Ellington said. “Our focus right now is on Tennessee. Don’t be shocked when we beat them.” At the final whistle, it was the defense that stood the tallest, as it defeated Dan Ellington and the Blue team 54-33. Both sides of the ball showed plenty of promise, though.

KEY MOMENTS AND SCORES

The game started out with a massive scare, as Ellington limped off two plays into the game with what appeared to be a knee injury. He would return but sat out the entire second half. “It is good,” Ellington said. “It is a little sore right now. We’ll just put some ice on it and it will be fine.” Redshirt sophomore Jack Walker replaced Ellington for the remainder of the drive, which ended in a missed field goal by Brandon Wright. The Blue team got on the board with a 36-yard touchdown pass from Swift Lyle to Bryson Duckworth. Barry Brown missed the extra point, but the Blue team took its first and only lead of the game, 6-4. After Ellington returned for the next drive and was held to a three-and-out, redshirt freshman Nick Iannone was intercepted by Jabari Aiken to make the score 11-6 in favor of the defense. Ellington was sent back out, but struggled to get the ball moving. The defense added a sack on third down to the threeand-out and pushed their lead to 15-6. One of the highlight plays of the day came on the next drive. Jack Walker found Christian Owens along the sideline for an 83-yard touchdown. Owens made an incredible one-handed catch through contact on his way to the endzone, but the play would be canceled out by an offensive holding penalty. With 7:37 left in the first half, Darius Stubbs broke off an 82-yard touchdown run. Wright made the extra point to keep team Blue within striking distance (13-19). Jack Walker later found Terrance Dixon for a 75 yard catchand-run touchdown pass to make the score 24-20 in favor of the defense. The White team put together a strong close, scoring a handful of sacks, tackles for losses and one three-and-out to take a 29-20 lead into halftime. In the second half, the defense really began to cement their lead and had a 51-20 lead at the end of the third quarter. The offense finally got on the board with 9:33 left in the fourth quarter. Lyle found Dixon from five yards out for Dixon’s second touchdown of the game. On the final play of the game, Lyle added another touchdown to his statsheet when he found Herman McCray for a 15-yard score. The final whistle blew soon after, with the score at 54-33.

STANDOUT PLAYERS

10 - Jack Walker: While Ellington will undoubtedly be the Panthers’ starting quarterback this season, Walker put together a solid showing. “I think Walker has improved,” head coach Shawn Elliott said. “I think when he delivers the ball down field, he does a fine job.” Ellington also spoke highly of Walker and the competition the quarterbacks have going into the 2019 season. “I thought we had a really good spring as quarterbacks,” Ellington said. “We have a really good friendship.” 27 - Terrance Dixon: Without Penny Hart, who declared for the NFL Draft after last season, the Panthers will need their receiving core to step up their game. Dixon was the standout on the day, as the redshirt sophomore hauled in two touchdowns and over 100 receiving yards. His speed was on full display, especially during his 75yard catch-and-run score in the first half. The Defensive Line: From start to finish, the entire defensive line was on fire throughout the game. “I was very, very pleased,” Elliott said. “Every single day, other than maybe one day out of the spring, our defense really brought it. That is something we had to have happen.” The defensive line was able to get consistent pressure on

Brandon Wright, punter for Georgia State’s football team, kicks off the new season at the annual Spring Game at the Georgia State Stadium.

the quarterbacks and racked up a ton of sacks and tackles for losses. Coming off a season where the defense was picked apart all over the field, this was a promising showing. 23 - Darius Stubbs: While senior running back Tra Barnett was relatively quiet, Stubbs took full advantage of his extended playtime. The redshirt junior broke open an electric 83-yard touchdown run in the first half.

OUTLOOK FOR 2019

While the spring game has confirmed a few truths about this team, there is still a lot of time left until the Panthers take on the Tennessee Volunteers on August 31. “Spring ended up really well,” Elliott said. “Now the real work starts. We have a good group of guys, and we are headed in the right direction.” On the offensive side of the ball, this team should be exciting to watch next season. Coach Elliott will continue to run nohuddle and keep things at a high tempo. Ellington, who will be working with new offensive

PHOTO BY MICHAEL PASCALE | THE SIGNAL

coordinator Brad Glenn, is looking to build on last season and become the best quarterback in the Sun Belt Conference. “My personal goal is to be the best quarterback in the conference,” Ellington said. “I honestly think I can be.” On the defensive side of the ball, things will be much improved if the spring game is any indication. Last season was tough – The Panthers were picked to pieces, especially in the secondary. At worst, though, this secondary unit has another year under their belts and are ready to prove themselves. They recorded a couple of interceptions on the day and looked much better in coverage. The defensive line looks strong. Last season, the Panthers run defense was ineffective, but this season, there will be a definite emphasis on getting to the quarterback. While nobody would blame a fan for keeping expectations to a minimum this season, this team is hungry to erase its 2018 season woes and try to get into a bowl game. “I have never been to a postseason in my life,” Ellington said. “I just want to get to a bowl game.”


SPORTS

TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

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Softball drops series 1-2 to South Alabama Panthers end a 12-game losing streak

he 2019 season has been a forgettable one for the Georgia State softball team. After seeing their 12-year streak of at least 30 wins snapped, the Panthers sit at a lowly 6-37 on the season. Despite the low win total, the team fights in every matchup, and they never give up— something that head coach Roger Kincaid loves to see when wins are hard to come by. “Our kids showed a lot of resiliency by battling back,” Kincaid said. “And that’s the thing when you have a season that is not one of your best, and you can keep kids battling, and they’re still engaged, they’re still trying to win games – that’s a good thing. It says a lot about their character and how hard they want to win.” Kincaid hasn’t been able to point a single reason why the Panthers have struggled to win this season. He feels that they are never able to get on the same page when it comes to the three phases of the game: pitching, hitting and defense. Additionally, there aren’t many power hitters on the team, if any. Going into the season, the Panthers hoped to use their speed to play small ball, but they have to play from behind often. It’s hard to use small ball to their advantage when trailing because the Panthers are batting a Sun Belt Conference worst .212. The Panthers played a three-game set with South Alabama over the weekend. Saturday was a doubleheader to the threat of inclement weather coming into the area on Sunday. Georgia State dropped the series 2-1. Here’s how it played out.

Panther infielder Skylar Mosel’s hit a home run over, clearing the left centerfield wall to make the score 8-4. The next three batters reached bases, and senior Reagan Morgan entered the batter’s box with bases loaded. Georgia State hadn’t been in this good of an offensive situation all game, and the Panthers cashed in. Morgan drew a walk, bringing Alyssa Ward home. A wild pitch allowed Kristin Hawkins to steal home and Georgia State made the score 8-6. With two outs remaining and the game-tying runner on base, Georgia State’s next two batters struck out making their comeback tougher in the seventh inning. South Alabama practically ended the comeback in the top of seventh. The Jaguars scored six runs on five hits and one error. Georgia State scored two runs in the bottom half on the inning and lost 14-8. “We just gave up too many runs, errors and not making plays not making good pitches,” Kincaid said. “It just kind of snowballed on us a little bit.” Georgia State scored two runs in the first inning, including an RBI from Alyssa Brumelow. Right-handed starting pitcher Emily Soles lasted just 1.1 innings after the Jaguars scored five runs while she was on the mound. Right-hander Savannah Freeman replaced Soles. Freeman didn’t allow any runs until the sixth inning – it wasn’t without a test. She and the defense managed to get Georgia State out of bases-loaded situations in both the third and fourth innings. The hits caught up to Freeman in the sixth inning when she allowed three earned runs on four hits. Skylar Mosel and Jess Meadow hit their second and third home runs of the season, respectively, for Georgia State late in the game.

GAME 1, L, 14-8

GAME 2, W, 5-2

CHRISTIAN CRITTENDEN & JERELL RUSHIN Staff Reporter & Sports Editor

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Playing from behind mostly on Friday evening against South Alabama, Georgia State’s bats found a smooth rhythm in the sixth inning.

Emily Soles, a sophomore, pitches against Southern Alabama on April 12.

This game was important for the Panthers to start strong and set the tone for the day. Arden Jobe did just that with a two-run double in the bottom of the second inning.

South Alabama would tie the game in the top of the third before Caitlin Ray hit a two-run double in the bottom of the fourth to give the Panthers a 4-2 lead. The double is her 12th of the season, which leads the Sun Belt Conference Four runs were plenty for starter Emily Soles, who went the distance. Soles was terrific in the game, scattering eight hits over seven innings. She only allowed two runs, while striking out two and not walking a batter. “I told the team that the first game was the most important one because I knew if we lost the first game, then the second game would be really tough on us,” Kincaid said. “I feel like they went out there with the mindset that they would win the game and they did.”

GAME 3, L, 14-6

In the last game of the series, the Panthers made several mental errors that costedthe team. In the first inning, shortstop Skylar Mosel and left fielder Reagan Morgan misplayed a pop fly allowing a runner to score, giving South Alabama a 1-0 lead. Georgia State responded in the bottom half of the inning when Mosel hit an RBI double and, later, scored herself on a South Alabama throwing error. The third inning was ultimately the Panthers undoing when they gave up six runs making it a 7-2 ball game. Georgia State battled back in the bottom of the fifth scoring three runs to make it 8-5. They would threaten in the bottom of the sixth, putting two runners on base, but an egregious call by the home plate umpire, which should have been ball four ended the inning. In the top of the seventh, South Alabama added five runs including a 3-run home run to seal the deal. “We just didn’t make enough plays in the field, and we didn’t pitch well enough,” Kincaid said. “Things kind of snowballed on us in a couple of innings, it’s okay to give up one run, but you can’t give up crooked numbers. When you start giving up multi-run innings, and they start piling up in a game it makes it extremely difficult to come back.” The Panthers are off until Wednesday when they travel to Kennesaw State to face the Owls.

PHOTO BY CLARA-ANN HAMMEL | THE SIGNAL


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Georgia State men’s basketball taps Rob Lanier New head coach comes in with big plans for the program DANIEL RICHARDSON Staff Reporter

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n the aftermath of the departure of Ron Hunter, a coach who led the Georgia State men’s basketball program to highest heights – the search began for a coach who could take the baton. At his introductory press conference, new head coach Rob Lanier made clear he knows what is expected in his new role. Georgia State athletic director Charlie Cobb, when introducing Lanier, highlighted the former Tennessee Volunteer associate head coach’s understanding of where the Panthers currently sit. “[Lanier] understands success, he understands total player development and he’s committed to providing a first class transformational environment for our kids,” Cobb said. “I think that, among itself, is really clearly the defining point as we went through this process. We did a lot of background and we did a lot of interviewing, and we’re really excited about how Rob shared a vision with us in what he thinks our basketball program is about. I think it’s a collective vision, frankly, that everybody in this room understands and appreciates.” The 50-year-old Lanier has been in coaching for over two decades, getting his first head coaching job at Sienna in 2001. In 2005, he left Sienna and landed at Virginia as an assistant. He also spent four years under Billy Donovan from 2007 to 2011, winning two National Championships. Lanier has been around winning programs for much of his career. In his last season with the Volunteers the team finished with a 31-6 record, lost to Auburn in the SEC championship game and made it the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament before losing to Purdue. Leaving Tennessee required an opportunity that Lanier could absolutely not pass up. In Georgia State, he found exactly that. “People have always said to me, ‘Do you want to be a head coach again?’ and ‘What would it take for you to leave Tennessee?’’” Lanier said. “And in my effort to describe that, the best I could come up with is I’m going to know it when I see it. On that Monday, within 15 minutes of sitting down with Charlie [Cobb] and Dr. Becker, I saw what I was looking for. I saw an energy, a progressiveness and a vision that matched my own. I know we’re in a great conference I know we got a winning program, but I want more.” When it was announced on April 6 that Lanier would be announced as the new Panther head coach, he said that he received an enumerate amount of texts from friends showing their support for the move. It was Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes, however, that offered Lanier the endorsement he needed.

From left, Georgia State Athletics Director Charlie Cobb welcomes new men’s basketball head coach Rob Lanier to Georgia State.

“His thing was ‘man that’s great for you,’” Lanier said. “That city, that university – and his question was if you think you can have a great relationship with that AD and that President and you think you can finish your career there, then you gotta go do it.” As an outside observer of Georgia State, Lanier said he always felt that the program under Hunter and the university had positive energy and that was confirmed when he visited the campus for the first time. Lanier also has a history with former assistant coach Ray McCallum. “Ray McCallum taught me a lesson in recruiting,” Lanier said. “And I’ve been dealing with this because my son is a Division I prospect. Ray’s son was a great player and we recruited him

PHOTO BY UNIQUE RODRIGUEZ | THE SIGNAL

at the University of Florida. He said that he wasn’t going to go play for [his dad], and that we had a great shot to get him. Then he went to go play for him. So, I’ve learned not to trust that nonsense.” Of the many lessons learned by Lanier over the course of his career, and since the first time he was a head coach, he says he’s learned that those opportunities don’t come around that often, and he plans to take advantage of this new chance. “…The NBA is 85% African-American,” Lanier said. “The head coaching industry is not in Division I. So, there’s only 353 or so Division I head coaches in the world, and these people are giving me a second chance to do it. They’re definitely are gonna get my best because I do have a clearer perspective on the pool of opportunity that exists in this profession.”

New leaders emerging for Georgia State football Senior transfer Christian Owens keeps the team “afloat” ANFERNEE PATTERSON Staff Reporter

S

everal players stood out during the annual spring game at Georgia State Stadium, including wide receiver Terrance Dixon with two touchdown passes from redshirt sophomore quarterback Jack Walker. Not to mention there were impressive performances from redshirt junior running back Darius Stubbs with an 83-yard touchdown run. Redshirt freshman quarterback Swift Lyle tossed a 37-yard touchdown pass to tight end Bryson Duckworth. However, there was a player who stood out - a few plays earlier in the second quarter. That player is redshirt senior wide receiver Christian Owens. Early in the second quarter, Owens caught a difficult pass over a defender and ran for an 83-yard touchdown. While this was exciting, it was, unfortunately for him, called back because of an

offensive holding call. The wide receiver caught another pass for a 16-yard touchdown from Jack Walker. Owens is a redshirt senior who transferred from South Carolina to play for his hometown team in August 2017. His reason for choosing Georgia State was family oriented, as the wide receiver wanted the opportunity to play in front of his family and current coach. While it took some time to adjust, Owens has gotten into a more leadership role on the team. “I’m currently the oldest in the receiver group,” he said, “I’m one of the old heads. My teammates call me Papa O.” Christian explained his role as “keeping guys afloat on and off the field.” After the game, Owens explained his growth during his time at Georgia State. “One thing I have and continued to improve on is transitioning in and out of routes,” Owens said. Additionally, he views his size as a valuable skill to the offense, standing at 6’4 and 215 pounds. “I can add a deep threat to the team,” Owens said.

Owens credits his fellow wide receivers for being the aggressors on the field as well. Continuing about his growth as a player and person, Owens praises his coaches for teaching him how to master his craft. He has grown as an individual through certain team rituals since head coach Shawn Elliott took over before the 2017 season. “Before we start a meeting, we start with a thought of the day,” Owens said of the uplifting discussion. “Everybody brings something positive to say or simply something to think about.” Owens has seen significant growth in his teammates from the final game of the 2018 season to spring ball, including Terrance Dixon, a redshirt sophomore wide receiver. “He’s been performing well all spring,” Owens said. As for what to expect from the Panthers in the coming season, Owens believes it will be something truly special. “Get ready to see what we have been working on in the offseason,” Owens said. “I have faith whether I’m on the field or not. All of my teammates and I are going to get the job done.” Stay tuned for next season, as the Panthers will take on Tennessee on August 31 in Knoxville, Tennessee.


SPORTS

TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

SPORTS BRIEFS Beach Volleyball •

• • •

The Panthers enter the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association Conference Championship after sweeping each opponent 5-0 at the Austin Peay Tournament Georgia State defeated Lincoln Memorial, CarsonNewman and Austin Peay last Saturday during the tournament 15 Panthers earned a win during the regular season finale event Becky Treshman and Mattie Johnson were perfect on the day Ashley Bauchert and Georgia Johnson clinched the win over CarsonNewman The CCSA Conference Championship is at the Lake Point Sports Center in Emerson, Georgia from April 19-21

Men’s Tennis •

• •

• •

Georgia State won the regular season Sun Belt Conference title with a 4-1 road victory over Georgia Southern The title is the first ever Sun Belt regular season championship for Georgia State The win ended a one-game losing streak to Georgia Southern The win also put the Panthers on a two-game winning streak heading into the Sun Belt Conference Championship They ended the regular 6-1 in conference and 14-9 overall The team has won six of its past seven matches

Baseball • • • • • •

• •

Split the week 2-2 Lost the weekend series 2-1 to Troy at the GSU Baseball Complex Started the week with a 4-2 home victory over Mercer The pitching staff allowed two runs and six hits against the Bears Georgia State scored all four runs during the fourth inning In the 10-6 Friday loss to Troy, Hunter Gaddis allowed five earned runs and struck out nine batters Sophomore infielder Griffin Cheney hit his first home run at Georgia State during a 12-5 win over Troy on Saturday Cheney also had three RBIs on in the game Georgia State was less successful during the second game of the Saturday doubleheader and lost 10-5 The Panthers will face Savannah State at home on Wednesday and South Alabama on the road on the weekend

19

SPORTS CALENDAR BASEBALL

GOLF

SOFTBALL

APRIL 16

APRIL 16 men’s golf

SAVANNAH STATE

SHOAL CREEK INVITATIONAL

Shoal Creek, Alabama

ALL DAY

GSU Baseball Complex

APRIL 17 5 P.M.

APRIL 18

APRIL 21-24

SOUTH ALABAMA

Mobile, Alabama

men’s golf SUN BELT CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

ALL DAY

Miramar Beach, Florida

SOUTH ALABAMA

APRIL 16-17 women’s golf SUN BELT CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

ALL DAY

SOUTH ALABAMA

7:30 P.M.

women’s tennis TBA

COASTAL COLLEGIATE SPORTS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

2 P.M.

TBA

Emerson, Georgia

Peachtree City, Georgia

LOUISIANA

Lafayette, Louisiana

LOUISIANA

Lafayette, Louisiana

men’s tennis SUN BELT CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

Peachtree City, Georgia

TBA

APRIL 19-20 GEORGIA TECH

Atlanta, Georgia

TBA

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GEORGIASTATESIGNAL.COM/JOIN

7 P.M.

2 P.M.

SCAN HERE TO JOIN US!

TRACK AND FIELD

APRIL 19-21

8 P.M.

APRIL 20

APRIL 19-21

APRIL 18-20

LOUISIANA

Lafayette, Louisiana

APRIL 19

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

TENNIS

SUN BELT CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

7:30 P.M.

APRIL 20 Mobile, Alabama

Daytona Beach, Florida

6 P.M.

APRIL 18

APRIL 19 Mobile, Alabama

KENNESAW STATE

Kennesaw, Georgia


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