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September 12, 2012

inthisissue News

LEAP BEGINS SERVICE SATURDAYS IN COMMUNITY Mercer’s Local Engagement Against Poverty (LEAP) group has begun their Service Saturday projects throughout Macon. Members volunteer at organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Macon. Full story on Page 4A


The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings performed their first annual free concert for the community titled, “McDuffie Loves Macon,” on Aug. 30. The performance was given by the center’s musical faculty and conservatory-level students. Full story on Page 6A

Entertainment RETRO REVIEW OF ALANIS MORISSETTE’S ALBUM Morissette’s album, “Jagged Little Pill,” was influential and featured alternative, postgrunge rock. Full story on Page 2B


Mercer University

Volume XCV

Issue 3

Campus to be revitalized By Kaitlin Marrin News Editor

In the upcoming months, Mercer University will see a drastic change to the center of its campus in an innovative revamping project headed by the President’s Office. The plan was made possible by a significant donation from one of Mercer’s trustees, Milton L. Cruz, in the spring. Cruz addressed the problem of the closed road that runs through campus from Greek Village to the end of Tarver Library. “We ended up hiring a landscape architect firm to help us plan. The president said that this is not the only place that we need to make changes to and [we need to] look at a master plan of the interior of campus,” said Dr. James S. Netherton, executive vice president for Administration and Finance at Mercer University. Currently, the plan is to completely redo Porter Patch, from the Connell Student Center, Tarver Library, the University Center, Sherwood and Mercer Hall Residences. Current concepts include taking out the street roads and putting in place transportation footpaths that would meet all students, faculty and staff needs for travelling across campus. A freeform shape that would present the buildings in the area would connect the paths. The plaza would also lead off into intimate areas with surrounding water features. The plan will maintain the large trees already on campus and include more greenery and garden space. The bear statue that sits along the stairway to the University Center is also set to move to the plaza. The goal is to have the bear in a more prominent area where people would like to go, as the plaza would be the new center of campus. “One of the things you want to try

Mercer University

Mercer is currently planning and discussing revitalization options similar to this computer generated image. to do on a college campus is create spaces where students will want to linger, so you can sit down, you can visit with other students, hold outdoor classes and group meetings, and hopefully in the center of campus, accommodate special programs,” explains Dr. Netherton. The Stetson School of Business building and Jack Tarver Library will see significant impact in the redesign. The plans call to create a plaza right in front of Stetson that will square up with the library on the second floor so that it is easily accessible. “If we ever decide to have an outdoor graduation or outdoor convocation in the center of campus, the plaza out in front of Stetson would be the stage and the space in the middle would be where you could put up chairs,” said

Dr. Netherton on the spaces future involvement on campus activities. In recognition of Cruz’s donation the project is presently titled, “Cruz Plaza,” but is subject to change as proceedings continue. The Plaza’s beginnings are still being worked out by a collaborative effort between President Underwood and members of his staff, the construction partner, and the architect. “We’ve developed conceptual plans for really transforming the center of campus by making it more functional, more attractive and more in keeping with the rest of the campus,” said Dr. Netherton. As for when the construction will begin, it is still undecided. “That kind of work is going to really tear the campus up. It’s going to take

Follow our step-by-step instructions on what to do when faced with a flat tire in college. Learn what each gadget does and how to quickly get back on the road. Full story on Page 4B

Sports MEN’S SOCCER SUCCEEDS IN PAST FOUR MATCHES Mercer Men’s Soccer has won 3, tied 1, in their last four games. The team continues on towards their goal of winning a conference championship. Full story on Page 5B

a long time and we want to minimize the impact on the students and what we’ve got going on,” said Dr. Netherton. The plan at present has the construction timeline beginning at the end of fall semester, which would roll over into spring, and finish up through the summer. The project is estimated to take eight months to complete, though which year the plaza will commence is up for discussion. At present, only computer generated images display what could be the new plaza, but no topographical surveys of the land have been completed to verify the plans. “I don’t think we are going to be in a position to start it this December. That’s still a little bit up in the air, but it looks unlikely. If so, our plan would be to start construction in 2013 and have it finished in August of 2014,” explains Dr. Netherton. Mercer’s campus has been adding and improving buildings and programs over the last few years and this plaza will contribute. The construction is an effort to make the campus more functional for students and to appeal to potential undergraduates. Dr. Netherton hopes that this will transform experiences on the interior of campus. “A different kind of learning goes on outside the classroom and I’ve always been a big believer in creating spaces where students and faculty can do things and where visitors of campus can interact with students and faculty. Sometimes in a totally unplanned way, really nice things happen. But those happen to a great degree based on whether or not you provide the space and the opportunity for those things to happen.”

Mercer University

Mercer receives grant to benefit chemistry lab experience By Katherine Manson Editor-in-Chief

Mercer University was recently awarded a grant of $174,574 from The National Science Foundation to benefit the University’s Chemistry Department and improve the undergraduate chemistry lab experience. The funds will primarily provide six students the opportunity to work as researchers using the studio lab approach. The National Science Foundation awarded the grant to the department through its program Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, and Engineering and Mathematics. Chemistry Professors Dr. Dale Moore, Dr. David Goode, and Dr. Caryn Seney will lead the project. The two-year grant is titled, “Going Further: An Integrative Approach to a more Research Oriented, Exploratory Junior-Level Lab.” “What we hope to accomplish through this grant is a collaborative in-depth exploratory junior level laboratory plan that in its primary em-

phasis acts as our junior-level chain of engagement for recruitment and retention of students and in its secondary emphasis as an opportunity to facilitate such interactions at other primarily undergraduate institutions,” said Dr. Seney. “The impetus for running the laboratories in this way is to have a guided inquiry that will further prepare students to perform research independently. Thus, faculty members scheduled to teach this laboratory mentor the students by giving them a springboard research/lab idea with some background information in order to facilitate an initial start on the student laboratory project.” The funds will be used for a variety of projects including new instruments for the junior-level Exploratory Laboratory classes (CHM 371 and CHM 372) in addition to instruments within the research laboratories and classes. Specific instruments include: an Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) Instrument, a microplate Spectrophotometer, a refrigerated Centrifuge and a Shaking Incubator. “We want to incorporate one indepth student laboratory project per project mentor, strengthening not

“This process should lead to a more confident research-independent student with strong communication skills because they were able to see a full student laboratory project to completion inside the structure of a peer group.” Dr. Caryn Seney, Professor

only the mentor-mentee relationship but also the peer group interactions, while also allowing the students to go further in their exploration,” said Dr. Seney. “This process should lead to a more confident research-independent student with strong communication skills because they were able to see a full student laboratory project to com-

pletion inside the structure of a peer group.” The grant will also aid in funding summer research students, including their stipend and housing costs in addition to faculty salaries to work with the summer research students. Also configured into the grant plans include travel costs for the department

to attend regional and national conferences and a consultant to evaluate and assess what the department will be doing within the studio-style laboratory. “This grant provides the opportunity to increase the department’s instrumentation holdings and allows students the access to the ITC to address challenging interdisciplinary questions,” said Dr. Kevin Bucholtz, associate professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and director of undergraduate research. “The ITC is a state of the instrumentation that is usually only seen at larger research-focused institutions, but students at Mercer will get to use it as part of their undergraduate experience. For students participating in undergraduate research, these types of grants enrich the research environment and allow for deeper and more cutting edge research to be conducted.” “All of the research projects have utility in the real world,” Dr. Seney said. “Our students will learn a holistic approach to research as a result of this award.”

The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012 - Page 2A

Opinions Editor Cecilia Villagomez


September 12 September 26 October 10 October 24 November 14 January 9 January 23 February 6 February 20 March 6 March 27 April 10 **All story meetings are held at 10 a.m. in the Cluster office on the third floor of Connell Student Center

clustereditors Editor-in-Chief Katherine Manson

Opinions Cecilia Villagomez opinions@mercercluster. com

Local Danielle D’Auria

News Kaitlin Marrin

Entertainment Brittani Howell


Features Emily Farlow

Sports Bryson Jones

features@mercercluster. com

Photography Noah Maier

Copy Editor Erica O’Neal


Business Manager Kaitlyn Schmitt

Online Editor Jessica Walker


Design Editor Patrick Hobbs

Adviser Lee Greenway

editorialpolicy Editorial opinions in this paper only reflect the opinion of the writer, not the opinion of The Cluster or Mercer University. Writers are encouraged to keep letters to the editor around 300 words. The Cluster reserves the right to edit letters for length. Questions regarding editorials or letters to the editor should be sent to:


Trending: Chic to be geek By Cecilia Villagomez Opinions Editor

Honestly, I had absolutely no idea that NASA had been planning to send the rover called Curiosity to Mars. Perhaps I was perpetually in the dark on the subject, or I had other (more important) things to tend to. Curiosity landed on Mars on August 6th. Unfortunately -- or fortunately, depending on how you look at it -- an epic soccer match was in progress. The United States Women’s National Soccer Team was playing their last send off match against Canada before the Olympic games in London. For those of you interested, we won 4-3 in a hard fought game. The only reason I was even aware that something happened on Mars was because of all the memes that started popping up on my newsfeed during the soccer game. I have a tendency to ‘live blog’ during soccer games so I was on Facebook making ridiculous statuses that normally annoy any of my ‘friends’ who do not follow soccer. On this day, my statuses were interrupted by the mars and mohawk related memes. I wasn’t upset, by any means, but I was curious. Ha, curious -- Curiosity. Get it? ...just me? Yeah, ok that was lame. I apologize. Back to business! The memes that kept popping up on my news feed mostly included how a guy with a mohawk and stars shaved into the side of his head had become an internet sensation over the course of the landing. The man in question is known to the internet and President Obama as Mohawk Guy. To NASA, he’s Bobak Ferdowsi, a flight director for the Mars rover, Curiosity. Apparently he’s changing the public face of NASA and taking geek chic to a whole new level. Mohawk Guy has been ap-

The Big Bang Theory and NASA merged when The Big Bang Theory cast welcomed special guests, the team of Mars Curious, as they visited the set of The Big Bang Theory. propriately named since he has been known to have a hair cut that resembles something space related while incorporating a mohawk in some form or fashion. At one point, he donned a rocket plume -- utilizing red, orange, and gold dye in his hair. When interviewed by Los Angeles Times, Ferdowsi acknowledged that his haircut might be “a little bit of a shock” since most people still think of the serious, button-downed Apollo 13 NASA crew. Ferdowsi also mentions how the environment he works in is very laid back. So in his office, the style Ferdowsi has is not unusual. Some engineers come to work in Hawaiian shirts, shorts, and flip-flops. Others sport hippie hairstyles. His division of NASA, tends to embrace the university-like atmosphere -just about anything goes as long as you’re wearing clothes. Speaking of university-like atmosphere, the introduction of the hit TV show, Big Bang Theory has definitely allowed those who used to be consid-

ered ‘abnormal’ to be part of the ‘normal’ crowd. At least there has been a definitive shift in what is considered normal now. People like Sheldon Cooper or Howard Wolowitz would have not been embraced the way they are now about ten years ago. Sheldon’s erratic and obsessive behavior would not be generally accepted. Howard would not be considered even remotley normal if one were to notice his level of intellect, the way he dresses, and the jokes he makes. However, now that more and more people are getting a college education, more and more people are becoming aware that people like Sheldon Cooper exist in the world and people like Howard Wolowitz are kind of normal in comparison. Real world characters of Big Bang Theory, like Ferdowsi aka Mohawk Guy, definitely show that being educated and embracing your eccentricities is acceptable and actually encouraged. The differences between those considered to be “nor-

mal” and the “geeks” are fading and becoming one in the same. If anything, hipsters are starting to look more and more like the quintessential geek. It’s kind of cool to be hipster, but about 10 - 15 years ago it was not cool to be Steve Urkel. Take a look at pictures of Steve Urkel and compare them to pictures of hipsters. It’s amazing how many similarities exist between the two. Who knew that Steve Urkel was a hipster before hipsters knew what hipsters were? Try to say that ten times fast. Personally, this merge of two completely opposite cultures, Normal and Geek, is something to be excited about. I’ve always felt somewhere between the two groups, now I exist in an acceptable borderline mainstream group. Although, no matter what style of dress comes out of this new group, I will never give up my hoodies -- NEVER.

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Organic produce, is it worth the effort? Organic produce is pricier with same nutritional value as general produce By Cecilia Villagomez Opinions Editor

As a senior college student l who lives off campus, grocery shopp shopping and healthy eating is pretty much left up to me. I’m on a bbudget and have to make smart and healthy decisions. I kn know that eating in the cafeteria isn’t always ideal, but at least a salad bar was offered along alongside the ever constant pizza and french fry combo. Now Nowadays, without a meal plan, my diet mostly consists of S Starbucks’ coffee, Oreos with milk, cereal (sometimes dry), granola bars, and yogurt with the occasional meal at Marg Margaritas, Francars, or something I’m craving off campus. I’m kind of ashamed by what I eat, but what I choose to buy and eeat is easy to make, keeps well dduring those days when I forget to eat due to all of my comm commitments, and is a lot cheap cheaper than the healthier options available to me. I love lo fresh fruits and vegetable etables, and I especially love gettin getting the organic stuff that tastes like it just came out of a gard garden. Un Unfortunately, organic food costs so much and a trip home for the th ‘good stuff’ is not at all practical. I’ve never been one to subscribe to the idea that organic food is healthier for you, but that idea has been one that is argued time and time again. Sure, the way organic food is prepared cuts out a lot of the long-term, harmful elements of mass produced food. However, Stanford University did a study that proved that organic food is no more nutritious than conventionally produced food. The cost doesn’t really count when it comes to vitamins and minerals. So, the question becomes, for the college student

Cecilia Villagomez/Opinions Editor

Organic vegetables are accessible at local grocery stores. Home grown vegetables are also right in Mercer’s backyard. on a budget -- or anyone really, if the health benefits aren’t any different, is the extra price really worth the potential benefits of organic food? Stanford doesn’t really lean one way or the other when it comes to whether or not the

consumption of organic food is worth the price and benefits, but they do want people to be more conscientious about what they are putting in their bodies. Personally, the taste of organic food trumps any sort of

health benefit that organic food may have. The straight-from-the-garden taste really makes a difference. Last year, on Wednesdays, the community put together a market where all of the local farmers could come and sell their produce. Talk about some good food! Plus, right behind Centenary Methodist Church, there is a community garden. If you help out on Saturday mornings when they are tending to the garden, anything that grows out there is free for your consumption. The garden relies on the give and take rule. You give your time, you take the product. Fair enough, and cheap. As the example of the garden shows, the relationship consumers have with their food does not just have to be a monotonous, put-food-in-mouth, chew, swallow, repeat process. Eating can be and is a very sensory driven process. Organic food allows the consumer to share in the relationship with the producer of the food. That closeness produces something special, and to me, tangible. I like looking at my funny shaped carrots, enjoying the different colors and nutty flavors of heirloom tomatoes, eating grass fed beef, and fruit that was not exposed to whatever it is mass produced fruits and vegetables are exposed to. In my experience, organic food just tastes better! I may not have the means to buy organic food right at this very moment, but as soon as my next pay check comes in, you can bet your bottom dollar that the first thing I’m doing is going grocery shopping for some good food, and by good I mean organic.

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The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012- Page 3A


Path to prosperity prevails GA school board bans prayer By Salim Ali Contributing Writer

Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential pick, Paul Ryan, was crucial in drafting the Republican Party’s budget proposal for 2012. Paul Ryan is so important that the Path to Prosperity is also referred to as the Ryan plan. The plan passed the U.S. House of Representatives due to almost full Republican support even though no Democrats voted for it. The plan failed in the Senate because the Senate is under Democratic control. The plan was designed to change Medicare, Medicaid and repeal ObamaCare among other things. The changes to Medicare are all about privatization. This is a very important detail because it highlights what Republicans believe. They believe that in many but not all industries, a private system would always yield better results than a government controlled system. Better results would come in the form of lower prices and higher quality. The first

proposed change to medicare would be to raise the age of eligibility in 2022 by two months per year until the age eligibility hit 67 in 2033. After 2022 the program would also be replaced with a voucher system for buying private health insurance. The government would also create a Medicare exchange program which basically shows you which insurers are competing for vouchers. There are more changes to the system but the voucher and exchange system is the most relevant. Young people like you and I probably are not going to spend much time thinking about this Medicare, but what is important is the underlying principle behind the change. On the surface it seems that this plan expands your options. Insurers would compete for your vouchers by offering better deals than their competition until they get to the point of offering the best deal they can possibly get away with. I would really like to see this plan put into motion just to see if it works. Opponents of the plan say that in reality, the plan would actually raise costs by

as much as $6,000. The value of the voucher would be equivilant to the cost of the second cheapest plan available on the exchange. When comparing the costs of Medicare’s current form to the hypothetical cost if Ryan’s plan had been implemented, shows the cost is initially higher. But it is an experiment worth pursuing because in any new market the first generation is always more expensive and more clunky. It is only over time that new ways to improve quality and lower costs are found. The difference though, between a government-run program and a mostly privately run program is this: in an atmosphere where a company’s survival is based on its ability to adapt quickly to profit a private run business, changes and improvements will occur much more quickly than in a government-run system which could easily rely on accumulating debt and raising taxes to finance itself.

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Bill Nye, the close-minded science guy By Holly Burrell Contributing Writer

Bill Nye, affectionately known as “The Science Guy,” has recently put out a video on YouTube through BigThink titled “Creationism is Not Appropriate For Children.” The video begins with Bill Nye’s belief in evolutionary theory, which is not surprising. This theory is extremely popular and held to be true in the scientific world. However, as the video continues, Bill Nye proceeds to scold parents for relating their own “inconsistent” beliefs to their children because “we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future…we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.” My first thought, of course, is, “What?” Suddenly, because individuals may have some belief

system that involves an intelligent Creator, they are not scientifically literate and have no hope of ever becoming a scientist or an effective voter and taxpayer. As someone who has spent three years in the Chemistry department, I would call myself an amateur scientist. I am also someone who believes in a mixture of Creationism with evolution. While this certainly puts me at odds with the many people studying the formations of the world, I do not believe that this has any effect on my ability to study quantum dots or any other topic I have chosen to study. My grades have not yet been affected by my belief in a Creator and neither has my science. Bill Nye seems to think that I automatically think in an irrational manner and have a hindered ability to solve problems due to my belief in Creationism, and I would argue that that is sim-

ply not true. Additionally, a belief in a created universe does not affect a person’s scientific literacy; with a little practice, anyone can critically read an article documenting an experiment. I do not believe that we necessarily need to all hold the same beliefs as a society. There is a reason that this country was created with the freedom of both religion and speech. I do not, in any way, fault Bill Nye, the science guy, for his personal beliefs about evolutionary theory versus Creationism. However, it is personally offensive and close-minded to think that an individual cannot effectively contribute to society based on his or her belief system.

Comments on this opinion can be sent to holly.burrell@live.mercer. edu

The dangers of being a pedestrian By Cecilia Villagomez Opinions Editor

I remember driving to campus one summer about two years ago, and seeing the ‘share rows’ painted on the ground. I recognized these bikes on the road as part of the new College Corridor campaign to get more people off of cars and onto bikes. The growing Bear Bikes program also gives a positive outlook on the direction the campaign’s initiative is heading. Unfortunately, the bike riding initiative has proved to be a little lackluster. The signs on the ground are fading. Plus, with all of the new construction happening around town, the roads are just dangerous. I got a road bike a little over a year ago and have been itching to have a place to ride it. With the slew of bikes that were stolen last year, I left my bike at home. Now that I live off campus, my fears are singing a different tune. I’m no longer afraid of bringing my bike to campus, I’m afraid of riding my bike. I’ve never raced competitively, but I am fairly skilled on a bike, can ride at a fairly fast speed even though my cadence could use a little work, and I’m confident in my ability to avoid running into things. However, I am definitely afraid of getting hit by a car. Who wouldn’t be, right? Cars are big and if something big like a car hits something smaller like a person, it’s going to hurt. But, my fear of getting hit kind of goes a little farther than being hit by a car. I’m terrified of intersections. When I was in eighth grade, my class took a trip from Warner Robins to Chattanooga. It was a fun trip, but on the way

home we stopped by a McDonald’s. A small group of us didn’t want McDonald’s and decided to take a chaperone and walk across an eight lane intersection to go to Burger King across the street (they have better fries). We crossed the street successfully on the way to BK, but on the way back it was a totally different story! Our group walked through the first four lanes without a hitch.

The chaperone was freaking out and apologized for my pain. I ended up laughing as I limped across the final four lanes. Our entire group had one heck of a story to tell, but that night solidified my fear of intersections. That being said, the north entrance of campus, the one with the Alumni House on one corner and the Centenary on the other absolutely terrifies me. Maybe my fear is a little irrational, but walking across that street is one thing, and riding your bike is a completely different story. The walk/don’t walk signal on the corner only works when it wants to, so you kind of have to just walk at your earliest convenience and hope no one hits you. There also doesn’t seem to be a pedestrian law around here that accommodates bike riders and is regularly enforced by the police. Plus, as much as I respect what Mercer Police does for Mercer, the area right around Mercer kind of becomes a jurisdiction nightmare. Accident reports involving pedestrians often become a befuddled mess, especially when they involve golf carts. I guess the whole golf carts thing is going to have to wait for a different issue. As things stand right now, Cecilia Villagomez/Opinions Editor I’d love to bring my bike to campus, but I don’t feel We were standing in the medicomfortable with the state of an, waiting for the walk signal the roads, the crazy intersecagain, when, unbeknownst to tions, and the amount of car vs me, I managed to get my foot bike related accidents to ride tangled in some sort of cable my bike to and from campus or that was on the road. elsewhere. When the signal changed, I Hopefully, with the increased took a step forward and landed interest in bike riding that has straight on my face. I was in happened lately on campus, the back of the pack so it took a the current state of things will few seconds before anyone nohave to change to accommoticed what had happened. By date the transortation interests the time I stood up, the traffic and safety of our student body. light turned green. Cars started moving and I was a bloody Comments on this opinion mess. I’m pretty sure my life can be sent to flashed before my eyes as the cars started accelerating again.

By Cecilia Villagomez Opinions Editor

Recently, a Wisconsinbased organization prompted a Georgia school district to ban school sanctioned prayer before sporting events. The Wisconsin-based organization, The Freedom From Religion Foundation, told the school board that sanctioned prayers violate students’ First Amendment Rights. Instead of arguing against the organization, the school board pulled the act of prayer out of their pre-game ritual. Despite the ban, hundreds turned out Friday night, Sep. 7, to pray together before the Haralson County High School football team took the field for the first time this season. Instead of having a formal prayer before the game over the speaker system, the students and parents held their own prayer circles before the game. The participants in prayer also wore t-shirts that supported prayer. Some t-shirts read, “Rebels Pray Before We Play,” while others said, “Proud to be a Rebel and I Still Pray.” Ironically, Rebels are Haralson’s team mascot. In an interview after the game, Connie Locklear, one pro-prayer supporter who helped organize the creation of the t-shirts said, “Everybody has their rights, but so do I, and it’s not right for

one person to say that I can’t pray.” My response to this news is simple, those who are proprayer are still able to pray so no one really loses in this situation. The title of the article from FoxNews where I pulled this information is called “First Amendment Prayer Fight Splits Georgia Town.” I can see why the town split into two groups, but at the same time I think the argument is silly. The Freedom From Religion Foundation may have acted drastically, to an extent, but the school board’s reaction was appropriate to the situation they were put in. There was nothing the school board could really do without creating an even larger conflict. Looking at this argument from a neutral perspective, the Freedom From Religion Foundation may have felt violated by being asked to listen to the prayer, but generally those prayers before games aren’t forcing anyone to do something they don’t feel comfortable with. The one doing the praying over the speaker system isn’t trying to convert anyone. Typically, the one doing the praying is just asking that the players are safe on the field and no one gets hurt. How could anyone argue with that? I understand that it isn’t fair that the prayer is usually said by someone from a small pool of denomi-

nations, but at the same time this is the South--the bible belt. Having a small pool of denominations that one pulls from is the expectation. No harm, apparently a foul. The pro-prayer people are the ones that feel targeted, and the article definitely catered to their perspective. I’m by no means saying that prayer is bad. But if they are still able to pray before the games in any way they choose -- with the exception of the speaker system, I don’t understand why this new ban is such a big deal. Then again, this argument is very similar to the debate that took place when people were talking about removing “under God” from the pledge of allegiance. I still don’t know what resulted from that argument, but in the case of this current conversation, the town may be split, but people are still praying at school events. I could definitely understand the reaction of the group if they weren’t allowed to pray on the grounds of where the sporting event took place. But overall, I think the reaction of the pro-prayer people is a little ridiculous. Maybe it isn’t ideal, but prayer still counts if you aren’t saying it over a speaker system.

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The perks of being stressed out By Curtis Intravia Contributing Writer curtis.brandon.intravia

I am so stressed. I am a broke college student trying to fit into a new world here in Macon while trying to maintain good grades in a Biomedical Engineering major, and on top of that I have to worry about becoming a valuable candidate for graduate school. I am more stressed then my Grandma Johnson’s fat, juicy chicken who cannot lay eggs. Go ahead, ask me: “How many stomach ulcers do you create?” Well, interestingly enough I would answer, “None!” Believe you me; stress is an important aspect for a better life. The cost of gas, healthcare, tuition and books, a jar of Nutella blah, blah, blah. Whatever your situation, money being the root to most, stress is virtually universal. I know this because I am a freshman in college and already a couple thousand dollars in debt due to loans. Three weeks ago, adjusting to the broke college student customs, like only having two cents in my bank account

because I withdrew the last dollar to buy a cheeseburger at McDonalds, was not only embarrassing when speaking to the bank teller, but also very hard and stressful. Because of this stress, I have learned necessary life lessons. I now know how to apply that once-thought unnecessary “Opportunity Cost” lesson from my Economics class into the real world. Stress due to money makes people understand the necessities and sacrifices as well as money conservation. In this sense, stress can definitely become like that old obnoxious person who badgers you all the time that you will one day reflect upon and thank. I do not know about you Liberal Arts majors, but engineering is not a piece of cake. Juggling calculus, chemistry and programming in one semester creates a plethora of stress! This stress is good for us, however, because it shows that we care about our education and makes us strive to do our best. And come on, who out there does not like to brag about how much work they have to do or how much work they already did?

I hear all the time, “Girl! You will not believe I spent FOUR hours on that webassign homework last night!” Everyone knows that transformation of stress to relief that occurs from accomplishing a hard homework problem or difficult lab report inquiry. This stress makes finishing our school work a pleasure, and in turn makes us work more diligently and ambitiously. In this view, I believe stress due to the pressure of gaining a good education becomes our catalyst to learning. Being a broke college student with a voluminous load of school work is a great start to a great life. With every expense and every book, stress grabs a hold of us. It guides us to make better consumer choices and to perform more studiously. With this said, I believe stress is a good and healthy aspect for our character, not a demeaning emotion that causes stomach ulcers. Believe you me; stress is great!

Comments on this opinion can be sent to curtis.brandon.intravia@live.

This or That: Velveeta or Easy Mac It’s about that time of the semester when the glamour of the Caf begins to wear out and you’re taking laps around the Caf only to find yourself settling for the unappetizing slop of food on your plate become a common occurance. The food you have back in your dorm room is looking better and better, especially when you’re too far away from the UC to walk and your car is parked in one of two places: a really good parking spot that you don’t want to lose, or in the middle of nowhere, i.e. the baseball field parking lot. Of course, choosing to live off of microwaveable food does not a healthy person make, but this is college and in college, just about anything goes. I was actually talking with some friends, over dinner, about the available options for microwaveable meals when you have limited refrigeration. The immediate response was ramen, but there were things like Chef Boyardee, and other kid-friendly, microwavable foods. However, this was just a discussion. I told my friends that I’m writing a ‘this or that’ piece, so I needed something a little more controversial. My friends thought for a minute, took a bite of the macaroni and cheese on their plate, and nonchalantly brought up Easy Mac. As soon as Easy Mac in the bowl was mentioned, the conversation quickly became heated. Someone mentioned Velveeta as their microwave mac of choice and the basis of my article was formed.

Personally, I prefer Velveeta. I’m a diehard “blue box” fan and I will rarely eat any mac and cheese that isn’t from the “blue box.” However, Easy Mac is just gross, to me. Albeit, convenient, it’s still gross. Sophomore year, my roommate introduced me to Velveeta’s version and I was hooked. Now, I’m also lactose intolerant, so having cheese is not normally a pleasant experience for me. That’s why I only eat Kraft Mac and Cheese because it’s worth the resulting stomachache. I was hesitant to eat Velveeta and it took me a while to find a day when I was feeling more tolerant. Velveeta is obviously not ‘real’ cheese and Kraft is known for it’s nearly synthetic cheese, so with that similarity they’re almost the same. I don’t know what it is about the microwavable Kraft, but the texture is all gritty and the taste seems to be missing something creating an experience that just isn’t worth it. Velveeta on the other hand provides a nice silky macaroni and cheese while remaining flavorful. Plus, those little pasta shells are just too cute to pass up! So whenever the craving for some good ol’ mac and cheese comes up, and an oven isn’t available, the first thing I reach for is the yellow bowl with the even brighter yellow cheese.

Comments on this opinion can be sent to


The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012 - Page 4A

News Editor Kaitlin Marrin

SGA holds first meeting of the fall semester By Katey Skelton Contributing Writer

Six new senators were sworn into office at the beginning of Student Government Association’s first meeting of the 2012-2013 academic year, on Monday, Sept. 10 in the Connell Student Center. “I’m really excited about our new senators and student correspondents who will be serving with us this year,” said Davis, after the meeting ended. The senate voted to make a new student organization called The Interfaith Alliance official during new business. The organization’s goal is to provide a platform for students to discuss religion and democracy as well as promote religious freedom and tolerance. Plans for Pilgrimage to Penfield were also discussed dur-

ing the meeting. The event will be held on Oct. 19 and students can sign up for the trip on SGA’s home page. The new administration was very enthusiastic about all of the new initiatives that are currently being put into place including Paint the Town Orange, the PAW Points Incentive Program, and a Senior Gift program. Davis commented about the upcoming year, “We hope to increase our services to students through our new initiatives like Paint the Town Orange and the PAW Points Incentive Program.” The PAW Points Incentive Program seems to be the most popular new initiative among the senators right now. The objective of this incentive program is to increase school spirit among students using a positive points system for attendance at games. “We are looking into ex-

“I firmly support the message of efficiency that has become pervasive in the senate and the new ideology represented by my fellow senators. SGA is a fresh experience to me still, but I believe this administration brings both experience and novel perspective to the issues of the student body this year. Long story short, I think everyone remains excited for the promise of the coming year.” Grey Newll, Junior Class Senator

panding the athletics initiative program already through the PAW points program, and I myself have been encouraged to participate at a greater level in athletics due to the at-

mosphere of school spirit and genuine connection present in SGA this year,” said Senator Grey Newell. Even the newly sworn in senators are anticipating great

success from this incentive program. One of the newest senators, Josh Soave said, “I am most excited about the PAW Points Athletic Incentive Program because I would love to see a higher student turnout at athletic events. Mercer’s athletes put in so much time and effort into their respective sports and they all deserve the support of the student body at their games.” Another exciting new initiative that is being discussed at the moment is the possibility of changing the way that the senior gift has traditionally been done in the past. When discussing the program, Senator Khoi Le said “This year, the senior gift committee is considering an initiative that would encourage senior Mercerians to contribute a friendly amount to a department or a student organization of their choice. This brand new initia-

tive will offer us seniors a way to give back to Mercer and to commemorate our final year in a meaningful and practical way. As the senior class president, I’m quite excited to get input from my fellow seniors and see how the planning and implementation unfolds.” Overall the senators were very optimistic about the goals they hope to accomplish this year. Junior Class Senator Grey Newell said, “I firmly support the message of efficiency that has become pervasive in the senate and the new ideology represented by my fellow senators. SGA is a fresh experience to me still, but I believe this administration brings both experience and novel perspective to the issues of the student body this year. Long story short, I think everyone remains excited for the promise of the coming year.”

LEAP begins Service Saturdays in Macon By Joshua Glasscock Contributing Writer

Mercer’s Local Engagement Against Poverty (LEAP) group held its first Service Day of the semester on Saturday, Sept. 8. LEAP is a service group led by Mercer students that deals with the issues of those living in poverty in Macon’s community. On Service Days, members of LEAP work on various projects such as landscaping and painting to help Macon’s community. Organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Macon work with LEAP in deciding which projects they work on. On their first Service Day, three of LEAP’s projects were with Rebuilding Macon. Service Days usually involve volunteers from LEAP working on a couple of projects. Members of LEAP divide into groups on Service Days, and each group goes to work on a specific project. Usually, LEAP has two to three groups depending on the number of volunteers signed up for the day. However, due to the large number of volunteers who signed up for the first day, LEAP had four groups of vol-

Bailee Kitchens/ Cluster Staff

Mercer’s Local Engagement Against Poverty (LEAP) is a service group that works in the Macon community. Saturday, Sept. 8 was its first Service Day of the semester.

Mercer’s Law School initiates new program in Master of Laws By Bailee Kitchens Contributing Writer

As of Aug. 20 2012, Mercer University Law School now offers the Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in Federal Criminal Practice and Procedure. The first of its kind in the nation, this program focuses on both prosecution and defense on a federal level. An LL.M. is a degree offered to students who already possess their Juris Doctor and aim to further their education in a specified field. Federal Criminal Practice and Procedure will allow students to examine federal crimes such as “white collar” crimes, narcotics and terrorism. This program is unique because it is the only program in the nation to examine both sides of the law, and students will take one year to complete the course and gain their LL.M. A group of eight lawyers compose this inaugural class, including recent graduates of Mercer Law School and other students from as far as Texas. One student served as a JAG

officer with the marines and another owns his own public accounting company. The students offer a wide variety of experience and perspectives that will benefit the program greatly in its initial year. It is the hope of the law school that the program will grow to eventually include between 20 and 30 students per year, which is the usual size for this type of program. Because the LL.M. only received accreditation this spring, recruitment for the initial class was short. The program hopes to grow over the next few years as they have a full year to attract prospective students. The program developed because the law school wanted to have an LL.M. program in order to enhance their function as a law school and expand the education offered by the university. Federal Criminal Practice and Procedure became the focus as it became clear that the experience held by the faculty involved focused in that area. In addition to utilizing law school staff, the school has turned to local experts in order to create such a diverse program. The professors will employ many

unique practices for the class, including a clinical field placement and simulation exercises along with more traditional methods such as writing assignments and lectures. Another exciting addition to the program is the newly renovated space that will be used by the students and faculty. Initially a laboratory for the medical school, the third floor of the south wing now contains classrooms for the LL.M. program. The law school gave a space of 5,500 square feet for the program, and the wing includes a modern moot courtroom for the program to utilize in order to prepare its students for the entire process of trial and appeals. Students within this program have an exciting opportunity to work with a well-prepared staff. The program has seen national recognition and the school itself is affiliated with the National Criminal Defense College. Upon graduation, these eight students have the skills and education needed to seek employment on a federal level, as they could have jobs as a prosecutor, Federal Defender, or a private defense counsel.

unteers working at different sites. Rebecca Hutcheson, a member of LEAP’s board of directors, led one such group. Her group worked on painting the house of a local resident in Macon. Hutcheson mentioned that some projects require multiple Service Days to complete, depending on the amount of work they require. Hutcheson also mentioned that their work ranges from painting houses, to landscaping, and even something as simple as cleaning up a yard. Other organizations also work with LEAP to help the community. One example given was LEAP’s work with a local church called Strong Tower, which runs a children’s program on Saturdays. Volunteers from LEAP played with the children in the morning, gave them lunch, and tutored them. Mercer students from every grade level make the bulk of LEAP’s volunteers. Volunteers can be members of other student organizations such as fraternity’s that choose to sign up for Service Days. Members from other student organizations tend to work together on projects when they sign up for Service Days. In the past, LEAP has organized events to raise awareness about poverty. One such event

was the LEAP Conference, held in the spring of 2011. Mercer Service Scholars organized the LEAP Conference as a way to bring awareness to Mercer students of the problems surrounding those who live below the poverty line. The conference included a poverty simulation, a staged production of the book “Nickeled and Dimed: Not Getting By in America” by Barbara Ehrenreich which details the life of someone living on minimum wage, and a speech by Dr. David Gushee, Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer. According to LEAP’s Director of Marketing, Bailee Kitchens, the Conference marked when LEAP’s activities really started to pick up. A group of five directors and one head director led LEAP in its projects. Groups such as Mercer Service Scholars, Quadworks, the Student Government Association, Division of Student Affairs, and other groups act as sponsors or help assist LEAP. Any student wishing to find more information on when LEAP’s upcoming Service Days are scheduled and how they can sign up should look up LEAP on Mercer’s homepage, or go to LEAP’s page on Facebook.

Resume Review Workshop offers valuable tips for Mercer students By Sameera Yusuf Contributing Writer

Last Thursday, Bonnie Brucato of Career Services hosted a Resume Workshop, in the Connell Student Center, to show students the necessity of a proper resume for their success. The workshop lasted twenty minutes, but it made a huge impact on the students in attendance. Each student received several examples of professional resumes, and Ms. Leige walked through each example and gave tips to make a resume just as qualified. Several students were under the impression that resumes were supposed to be extremely long and detailed, but they were quickly proven wrong. Students learned that all resumes should never be longer than one page, instead of using Times New Roman font, one should use Calibri font, and an objective is not necessary. Brucato even said, “I have turned in dozens of resumes, and I have never written an objective.” When putting together the sections of a resume, one must remember to only include the things that relate to the interested field. The main sections may include: Contact, experience, education, and employ-

ment. Some subcategories one may want to include are leadership, volunteer activities, and training. Engineers should use a summary section to include all projects and special research. The only time it is appropriate to include an academic section is if it applies to the field or if you need to take up more space- basically it is not really necessary. If one chooses to include an academic section, only report the grade point average, if it is above a 3.2. If you are struggling to decide what should go on the one page reflection of yourself, keep in mind that the most prestigious of all achievements, on a resume, is an internship. Even though most students do not begin to work on resumes until senior year, it is beneficial to start on them well in advance. There are many opportunities for students of all ages, and a good resume will help achieve those set goals. Freshman can include information from high school, but starting sophomore year, only university level achievements should be included. Mary Catherine West, an eager freshman, was in attendance. West was upset to find that she had to throw away all of her hard work from high school, but she was eager to attend this event. “I was shocked to find that resumes should only be a page; I

always thought that the longer the resume, the better!” West discussed with Ms. Brucato, after the event. Some of the other main tips included the use of references and templates. Never include the phrase “references upon request” on any part of your resume. Ms. Brucato stated, “that is the one thing that will get someone to dismiss your resume…if references are needed, the company will get them”. Templates are another off limit area when using resumes. Templates are often confusing, and each person needs to make their resume based on their own specialties. If you are specializing in an area, be sure to research specific job descriptions and use that companies wording to develop your resume. Robbie Wilkins, a second year engineer student, commented, “having a bad resume is asking for trouble. Employers will see you as unprofessional.” With that statement, keep in mind that it is never too early to start preparing for your future. If you are interested in learning more about resume development or learning about how to develop yourself for your future career, stop by Career Services in the Connell Student Center, or look out for the many future events that will be hosted by Career Services.

The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012 - Page 5A


Hardman Hall currently showcasing Faculty Art Exhibit to the public By Amber Coleman Contributing Writer

The faculty of Harman Hall are currently showcasing their artwork to the public from now until Sept. 14. At the beginning of this school year, the faculty of Hardman Hall opened with an art exhibit to showcase their recent artwork, which is open to the public on the weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until September 14. The exhibit has been a tradi-

tion for many years. Harman Hall gallery has served as the host for the past five years. The gallery currently showcases a number of works created by faculty that vary from photography, to paintings, to drawings. Dr. Gary Blackburn, the chair of the Art Department, has three recent pieces of his experimental landscape photography on display in his 25th faculty art show. He teaches photography in the department along with Dr. Craig Coleman. Along with these three pieces, Mr. Sam Hutto contributed three paintings, Ms. Judy Tucker has two paint-

ings, Dr. Craig Coleman added three photographs and Dr. Beth Stewart brought a drawing and a print to the exhibit. Dr. Beth Stewart, who teaches printmaking and art history, brings to her 26th faculty art show new works from her inspiring research this past summer. Dr. Stewart traveled to Italy for three weeks to do research on the works of Leonardo Da Vinci. Her drawing is entitled “Eighteen Views of Verrocchio’s Putto in Florence, Italy” and her print is titled, “I’m Thinking of You, Leonardo.” The latter was inspired by what she read in Da

Vinci’s notebooks. Ms. Judy Tucker adds her pieces to the faculty art exhibit while taking over some of Mr. Hutto’s classes this semester since he is on leave. Ms. Tucker, who also has her own studio, is teaching painting, watercolor and life drawing this semester as an adjunct professor. She has been an adjunct professor at Mercer since 2000 and has participated in the faculty art show whenever she has taught here. Her works are entitled “Relic,” an acrylic painting on canvas, and “Evolution,” which is made from the use of soft pastel

sticks. Ms. Tucker remarks that the way she paints is inspired by how she played as a child. She uses her memories or the things around her as subjects for her works. “Relic” comes from her memory of her trip to the Ocumulgee Indian Mounds as a child. She remembers the relics she saw at the grave sites in the 1950s. The graves had been dug up and she saw the skeletons, some of which were displayed at the museum there. On the other hand, “Evolution” was created from the use of rags and acrylic paint during the springtime. She found inspi-

ration from the Poplar leaves and the things around her. She remarks that her ideas originate mostly from when she was young and played in the woods. She uses these memories from her life and the thought of how things evolve over time like nature. Everything evolves and that sentiment can be seen within her work. The faculty art show gives a great look into the creative abilities and various talents of the professors at Mercer University. They get to share their recent work with the Mercer community and the general public.

Mercer students celebrate IFC Bid Day in Greek Village

Noah Maier / Cluster Staf

IFC Bid Day occurred on Sept. 1 with fraternities welcoming new members as they ran up the hilll outside the University Center. After a two-week long recruitment process, freshmen received bids to their desired fraternity.

By Marin Guta and Cecilia Villagomez Cluster Staff

On Sept. 1, Mercer University’s Greek community marked the ushering in of the new pledge classes for the Interfraternity Council. According to Mercer University’s Interfraternity Council webpage, “The Mercer University Interfraternity Council (IFC) promotes scholastic achievement among fraternity chapters at Mercer, provides for social recreational, and civic activities for Mercer fraternity members, and promotes the interaction and cooperation of all fraternities at Mercer.” Members of each of the IFC affiliated fraternities celebrated the annual initiation event, more commonly known as Bid

Day. In the Greek Life handbook Mercer University provides, the handbook explains that “a bid is an official invitation to join a fraternity as a new member.” As Recruitment week goes on, potential members are encouraged to go to informal events with each of the chapters to determine which group of brothers he feels he fits in best with. All formal IFC events are mandatory for potential members to attend. “Generally, the more brothers [he meets], the better the fraternity is able to decide if [he] would be a good fit. Bids are given out on Saturday, Sept. 1st.” Recruitment spans two weeks culminating in the Mercer tradition of running up the hill on Greek row to the fraternity they received a bid from.

During the two weeks, the fraternities host a range of activities that range from simple games of corn hole to a day at the lake. Compared to sorority recruitment, “[IFC recruitment] is very laid back, but it’s a good way for the boys to get to know each other,” says sophomore Hillary Hendley. Freshman pledge, Jaleel Menifee, added, “The recruitment process is very long.” Despite the length of recruitment, the two-week span of time determining if the new pledges will fit in with the current brothers creates an air of suspense among those who received bids. Alumni Garret McDowell says, “[The new pledges] are probably incredibly nervous” before running up the hill. One advantage of the traditional running up the hill is

Noah Maier/ Cluster Staff

the sense of community that forms. McDowell emphasizes the point that, “it’s nice to interact with everyone. “The freshman class has a great opportunity by going Greek. There are many opportunities for them to make connections here,” at Mercer. The sense of community as well as community involvement is an attribute that

is emphasized in the IFC. “Throughout the year, the IFC…coordinates community service projects and educational workshops,” to ensure that the IFC is making an impact on the community of Macon, states the Mercer IFC webpage. Menifee, one of the new pledges reflected on his experience of running up the Hill.

He said, “I first started walking up the hill and told myself that I wouldn’t run, but everyone around me started running. The peer pressure set in, so I decided to run up the hill.” Later, Menifee added – somewhat winded from running up the hill, “It feels very surreal” to be an official pledge of a fraternity.

Noah Maier/ Cluster Staff


The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012 - Page 6A

Local Editor Danielle D’Auria

McDuffie pulls Macon’s heartstrings By Brittani Howell Entertainment Editor

The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings broke from its traditional Labor Day festival to conduct its first annual free concert for the community: “McDuffie Loves Macon,” which took place on Aug. 30. Members from the Macon and Mercer communities gathered to watch a lively and engaging performance by the center’s renowned musical faculty and conservatory-level students. The event, held at the Grand Opera House at 7 p.m., completely packed out the sizable venue. McDuffie, the center’s founder, said that the event was a great success and that the center as a whole “had a great time.” “We were really fortunate and happy to see that it was packed,” McDuffie said. “They actually had to turn a lot of people away—which was not that fortunate, but it shows that a lot of people in Macon know what’s going on at Mercer with music, and that’s exciting.” The event took the place

The Grand Opera House

Robert McDuffie Center for Strings performs for the Mercer and Macon communities at the Grand Opera House. The title of the event was “McDuffie Loves Macon.” of the Labor Day Festival of Strings, a recruiting event the center has held each year since its founding. In the past the center invited

high school musicians for a weekend of study with its faculty of top strings musicians, all of whom travel and perform with famous conductors and

Polar Bears crashing into Macon Museum By Bailee Kitchens Contributing Writer

Babysitting any little bears? Take them to the museum for a morning of reading, crafts and fun exhibits. The Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences hosted the Polar Bear Den, a reading and crafts event for children from age two to five, on Sept. 4. The Polar Bear Den occurs the first week of every month and includes fun activities for young children to enjoy. This month, the children read a book about fall in the Polar Bear’s Den, a room of the museum dedicated to a stuffed polar bear. Afterward, they moved to the art room and parents helped their children make stained glass leaves out of tissue paper and contact paper. Every month, museum coordinator Amanda DePriest picks an appropriate book and finds a simple craft that the children can enjoy with a little help from the adult who brings them to the museum. DePriest recently revived this event as a means of reaching younger children. DePriest coordinates programs involving nature and the natural sciences for the museum. The Polar Bear Den was a regular event many years ago,

“It is often hard to get this age group involved in a museum. Dinosaurs are easy for toddlers, but things like art exhibits are a lot harder.” Amanda DePriest, Museum Coordinator but because of changes in the museum the event phased out of the scheduled events. DePriest decided to revive the Polar Bear Den so that the museum would offer something for the young age group. “It is often hard to get this age group involved in a museum. Dinosaurs are easy for toddlers, but things like art exhibits are a lot harder,” DePriest said. Though the event had not been put on for several years, DePriest revived the Polar Bear Den in February of this year and has held one the first week of every month since. It is her hope that the Polar Bear Den offers experiences

that includes this young age group. Many of the parents admitted it was their first trip to the Polar Bear Den. Sara Wilson, mother of two-year-old Yates, heard about the event in the previous week. “It would be something fun for just the two of us while his sister is at school,” Wilson stated. Though initially shy and fascinated by the adult scissors that he was not old enough to use, Yates grew attentive to adult discussion and excited at the mention of the exhibits in the museum, especially the exhibit containing dinosaurs. Though Wilson and her son had already visited the exhibits of the museum before the beginning of the Polar Bear Den, they planned on revisiting some of their favorites on the way out as well. Other families agreed that they enjoyed being able to visit the museum and see the exhibits, even if not all of them engaged the children. Megan Burnam, mother of four-year-old Aubrey, thought the Polar Bear Den would be something fun to do with her daughter and their friend’s son Robby. They enjoy the opportunity to try out new things around Macon. The Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences offers many opportunities for all age groups, including those as young as two years old.

symphonies around the world. The event was meant to expose talented high school musicians to the center’s many assets so that they might apply to

Mercer and join the center. However, the center is currently doing so well that McDuffie said they had no need of a recruiting event of that magnitude this year. “Now we’ve grown to a critical mass,” McDuffie said. “Our limit is 26 kids in the center, so we don’t need to have that big high school push anymore. But we’d have concerts at that time, and the community loved coming, so we didn’t want to shut them out.” Jessica Pickersgill, a viola player in her junior year at the Center for Strings, said that the center’s students had a week and a half to learn the music for the concert, rehearsing almost every day with McDuffie and violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti. Students from the center have a limited amount of time to learn the required pieces. They put in hours of work in order to perfect their skills for the large crowds that they will be performing for. “I had no idea that more than 900 people would be showing up,” Pickersgill said. “That was a shock, for sure, but that made it really fun.” The music for the night featured what McDuffie called a

“hodge-podge of fun, American music.” The program included “Hoedown” from Aaron Copeland’s “Rodeo Suite,” an adagio by Samuel Barber, and the “StarSpangled Banner” in addition to the tangos and sambas played in smaller chamber groups. “It was a real eclectic night,” McDuffie said. “It wasn’t the kind of music that anyone would look at and think, ‘I’m intimidated by that.’” McDuffie has been quite pleased with the performance. He hopes to educate people on how beautiful classical music can be. He added, “We wanted to show how far we’d come but also how accessible classical music could be… not the elite, intimidating art form that some people think it is.” McDuffie plans to make the free concert an annual event for the community. He encourages Mercer students and the Macon community to participate in the event. He has already playfully dubbed next year’s concert “McDuffie Loves Macon, The Sequel.”

Macon ponders Bo at local music venues and parks By Danielle D’Auria Local Editor

The friends of Macon’s Arthur “Bo” Ponder hosted a three-day music celebration in his honor on Aug. 29, Aug. 31, and Sept. 2. This three-day music celebration consisted of different events for the Macon community to enjoy. At 7 p.m. on Aug. 29, there was a Meet and Greet session with Bo Ponder at JD’s Drama Theater. Guests were invited to meet Ponder and socialize with him as well as with other Ponder friends and fans. On Aug. 31 beginning at 7 p.m., two bands called Big Mike and Just Friends prepared live entertainment at Grant’s Lounge. While the bands were performing, a fish and grits dinner was provided for the guests. On Sep. 2, there was live music at Gateway Park’s “Rhythm & Jazz on the Docks” in honor of Ponder. Arthur “Bo” Ponder is a black R&B singer who was very popular during the 1970’s and 1980’s. One of his most famous songs is: “Dr. Strangelove.” He recorded this single in the early 1970’s. Ponder was previously a part of an R&B group, Soul


Sky Hawk was Arthur “Bo” Ponder’s most famous album. Survivors. He later became a part of another band named the Pinetoppers. Ponder traveled to many different states to perform with his bands. Ponder spent a great amount of time in Macon, Ga. Years ago, Ponder spent many hours rehearsing in the building that is currently known as the Robert E. Lee Building, on Mulberry Street. This was previously the home to Phil Walden Artists & Promotions and the WIBB studio. Ponder went on tour throughout the United States at a time when racial segregation was an issue in America. Consequently, this was not the easiest time for a group of African American musicians to tour the country.

However, Ponder’s band chose to not let this stop them from performing the music they loved. His most recent performance was a tribute to James Brown in the Douglass Theatre. He also preformed at the 2012 Cherry Blossom Festival. Through the years, Ponder’s eyesight has become a struggle. His eyesight has been slowly deteriorating and he is now legally blind. Although he is not as healthy as he once was, Ponder will not let that stop him from performing the music that touches the souls of all R&B fans. Many Macon locals came out to support Bo Ponder during the three-day music celebration.

Mid-life crises take the stage in“Becky’s New Car” By Braedon Orr Contributing Writer

There is a certain buzz backstage at Theatre Macon as the cast and crew prepares for their latest production, “Becky’s New Car.” Written by Steven Dietz, this comedy tells the tale of a middle-aged woman who experiences a mid-life crisis and ponders what she is doing with her life. “[Becky] is in some ways a typical middle-aged woman,” explains actress and professor at Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music, Martha Malone. “She has a grown child, a lengthy marriage, and she is bored with her life. She is wondering what is next in her life.” Of course, mid-life crises are nothing new to the theatre, television, or movies, but this play has several unique elements that not only make it stand out, but also make it more enjoyable to partake in. Just ask Matt Roche, a Mercer

alumni who plays Steve, a man who lost his wife in a hiking accident. “In media, we tend to see men buy a new convertible or run off with their secretary,” says Roche. “You reach a certain age and you start to feel invisible.” Gender role reversal is not the only thing that makes the play more interesting, however. “Dietz often breaks the fourth wall. Becky will bring people on stage and help with her costume changes. It is really a ride!” says Roche. A “ride” is perhaps the best way to describe the play, as that is how every actor referred to it. One of the biggest reasons is the unique characters. Just ask veteran actor Tom Morris, who’s performance in “Becky’s New Car” as millionaire Walter Flood marks his 52nd production with Theatre Macon. “It’s surprisingly investive. You get invested in these characters in everyday life,” says Morris. “Walter is a widower. [His wife] gave him stabil-

ity and took care of the trivial things like buying gifts. He is lost without her.” “Steve suffers from disphoria and is absolutely crazy,” laughs Roche when asked about his character. “He wears business casual, but wears hiking boots. He hasn’t taken them off since his wife died in a bizarre hiking accident. The last time something caught him off guard, his wife fell off a mountain” Despite the play being about a middle-aged woman experiencing a mid-life crisis, Morris and the rest of the cast believes that there is a lot to be enjoyed by all audiences, especially college students. “Every character in the play changes by the end,” explains Morris. “The age that a young man or woman transitions from living with their parents to living away from home is a big change. You are going through a big transition.” Just because there are lessons to be learned, however, does not mean the play is not a fun one to watch. “It’s a fun date play. See

it with a group of people so you can laugh when one of your friends gets pulled up on stage!” remarks Roche. “This is the funniest play I have been in. I’ve never heard [the audience] laughing so much,” says Morris. Considering the first night ran 30 minutes longer than the final dress rehearsal solely from waiting for the audience to stop laughing, Morris is probably not exaggerating. Theatre Macon’s dedication to putting on great shows is what makes it different than most community theaters around the country. This is especially important when considering the theatre’s collaboration with the artistic sections of Macon and the city’s colleges “It’s just a wonderful collaboration with groups like Young Actors’ Company,” explains Malone. “[Director] Jim Crisp is so generous, as is the theatre. It’s more than what you see tonight. It’s a big force in the artistic market of Macon.”

Theatre Macon

The two main characters of “Becky’s New Car” are Martha and Tom.

The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012 - Page 7A


Paul Greunberg’s miniature rooms exhibit

featuring a collection of scale models of antique furniture By Patrick Hobbs Design Editor

A display collection of Paul Gruenberg’s miniature rooms recently opened on Aug. 22 at the Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences. The collection was donated by Gruenberg’s daughter, Paula McGlamery. Before the Industrial Revolution, furniture was custom made and very expensive to produce. Furniture stores could not afford to keep inventory nor could they keep display pieces because of floor space limitations. Compensating for the lack of space, retailers used scale models of furniture pieces to give customers an idea of what they were ordering. Traveling salesmen easily carried the models to show during door-to-door sales. Paul Gruenberg owned and operated a rubber stamp busi-

Patrick Hobbs/ Cluster Staff

This room serves as the parlor. In the eighteenth century, this room was only used on special occasions and was intended for entertaining guests. ness. His family lived on the floor above the storefront, and his workshop was located in the basement. He was inspired to start making scale models of furniture

after being presented with an old cabinet maker’s sample by his daughter. In 1967 Paul Gruenberg started making miniature pieces of furniture in his basement workshop.

Royal Burundi drummers and dancers perform at the Grand Opera House By Brittani Howell Entertainment Editor

On Sept. 18, the Grand Opera House will bring foreign flair and African beats to Macon with the Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi, the group that— according to the Grand’s press release—inspired the first Word of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) celebration back in the 80s. Drawing on a rich tradition of tribal heritage, the Burundi dancers’ percussion ensemble performs dances that have been associated with important community ceremonies: births, deaths, the rise of monarchs and the coming of age. None of the music is written down; like stories in an oral culture, the art has been handed down through the centuries from fathers to sons by rote. According to the group’s biography, “the drums are sacred and represent, along with the king, the powers of fertility and regeneration.” The group has been touring around the world since the 1960s, thrilling audiences with their energy and seemingly effortless performances. The New York Times gave the dancers a glowing review, calling the performance “a celebration of ability, the sheer pleasure of competitive creativity, and…more virtuosic than sentimental.” During the show the dancers focus their energies on their large drums, which were carved from the D’umuvugangoma tree—a name that translates to “the tree that makes the drums

“We provide the same level of programming that you would find in any metropolitan area and we’re able to have that right at our back door.” Betsy Fitzgerald, Executive Director speak”, according to the program the Burundi dancers gave to Columbia Arts Management, Inc. The drums become the center of the performance as the dancers perform their percussion pieces while dancing around the stage. Executive Director Betsy Fitzgerald said that the event is kicking off two new series at the Grand Opera House: a variety series and GrandKids, an educational program geared toward schoolchildren to expose them to cultural events to which they might not otherwise have access. “For many of them, it’s the only time—if ever— that some of these kids will walk into the opera house,” Fitzgerald said. In addition to the Tuesday night performance, the Burundi dancers will perform for the GrandKids program on Wednesday and Thursday, dancing in two performances each day at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. for schoolchildren from elementary to high school. The two morning performances, which are targeted toward students from Macon’s elementary, middle and high schools, are the first of many future events of the same nature. Fitzgerald said that the GrandKids program aims to

be more than just a school outing; it is meant to complement what they are learning about in school. “They attend the performance, but the education doesn’t stop there,” Fitzgerald said. “We prepare and provide lesson plans and worksheets according to standard curriculum to make the experience go beyond just going on a field trip.” In addition to the two new programs, Fitzgerald hinted that other opportunities might arise for high school and college students to get involved with the Grand. She gave few details other than to say that the potential program will be a sort of “ambassador” position and will provide “a wonderful way to build [the students’] resumes with community involvement” by working with a quality venue like the Grand Opera House. “We provide the same level of programming that you would find in any metropolitan area, and we’re able to have that right at our backdoor,” Fitzgerald said. According to the website, tickets for the Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi performance are $9 for college students.


Gruenberg’s first miniature was modeled after an antique hunt board, which is a type of high-rise buffet that he kept in his house. “It struck a cord with him,”

said Paula McGlamery. Gruenberg handmade all of his furniture and most are replications of actual furniture that he observed. “We would have dinner at home every evening above my father’s rubber stamp business in downtown Memphis. Later my siblings and I would do our homework upstairs while our father would work on pieces in his shop in the basement where his tools were located,” said McGlamery. After successfully modeling his hunt board, Paul Gruenberg began to recreate other pieces of furniture. Paul and his wife, Lu Gruenberg, collected many antiques during their marriage. In fact, many of the pieces Paul Gruenberg manufactured were replicas of furniture in his home. Interestingly, Paul Gruenberg made most of his miniatures from the scrap wood of furniture donated by family friends. This allowed Paul Gruenberg to replicate antique furniture down to the type of wood con-

tained in the modeler’s subject. As Paul Gruenberg’s collection of miniature furniture grew, Lu Gruenberg channeled her husband’s passion into creating complete interior dioramas to display his furniture. She designed the upholstery, needlework, and wallpaper of the rooms. She even coordinated the curtains, drapes, wallpaper, and rugs of the rooms with similar patterns. Paula McGlamery donated five miniature rooms to The Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences. The collection includes a Parlor, a Formal Eating Room, a Family Eating Room, a Sleeping Room, and a Keeping Room. The Paul Gruenberg Miniature Rooms exhibition, was previously installed for 25 years at the Art Museum at the University of Memphis. It is now on display in the Elam Alexander Gallery at the Museum of Arts and Sciences until Oct. 28, 2012.

The Story of Apollo exhibit comes to Macon By Patrick Hobbs Design Editor

The Story of Apollo exhibit is on display at the Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences in the Newberry Hall Science Gallery. Mercer University Alumnus Rob Sumowski loaned about 25 pieces from his personal collection of prints signed by Apollo era astronauts. “I was sitting in Dr. Walter Shurden’s Christianity 108 class in Knight Hall on a morning January 1986 when a fellow student burst though the door and announced the space shuttle Challenger had just exploded a few minutes before,” said Sumowski, “Dr. Shurden held class anyway, but afterward we all raced to my room202 Sherwood- to watch the breaking news on a little 12 inch black and white TV I had there.” Sumowski is a professor of education at Georgia College and State University. He began collecting autographed space memorabilia in 1996. “The exhibit at the museum is maybe one tenth of my collection,” said Sumowski. Sumowski was too young to see the Apollo 11 moon landing on TV, but grew up during the progress of the following missions. “My whole youth, we wanted to be astronauts,” said Sumowski. In the early 1990’s many of the Apollo astronauts were just starting to retire. Most of them were writing books about their experiences and many still responded well to the public spotlight. “These guys were accessible,” said Sumowski, “You can still write to John Glen and get a response.” Sumowski has met most of the “gentlemen” who walked on the moon. He has also met many of the still living Mercury and Gemini astronauts. Much of Sumowski’s collection comes from simply sending the retired astronauts large

Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. He landed on the moon in Apollo 11. print photos. The astronauts would usually return the prints signed. Alan Bean of Apollo12, the fourth person to walk on the moon, is an avid painter. In his correspondence with Bean, Sumowski helped Bean locate obscure lunar photos in NASA’s online archive. Bean would use the photos as referenced for his oil painting, valued at $50,000. They’re engineers, but have a lot of personality,” said Sumowski. According to Sumowski, the smallest subset of the human species are the 12 men who walked on the moon. He says that even the rarest disease has affected more people. Unfortunately for collectors like Sumowski, the rarity of astronauts’ autographs is ever increasing. Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin will not sign anything unless paid upwards of $500. Frustrated by the capitalistic exploits of people selling his autographs as soon as they are signed, the late Neil Armstrong stopped signing memorabilia in 1994. In 2004, President George W. Bush mandated a return to the moon by 2020 which manifested into the Constellation program. Though President

Obama originally supported the program in 2008, he let the program wallow by not approving NASA’s budget. “[The cancellation] broke my heart. For the first time, we don’t have a manned space program,” said Sumowski, “who would want to be an astronaut when there’s nothing to fly?” NASA currently spends $22 million a seat to send astronauts to the International Space Station on Russian Soyuz capsules. China is most likely going to be the next country to send a manned mission to the moon. “I think the Chinese are going to wax our butt in [space exploration], and I hate to say it.” Currently, NASA is focusing on sending a mission to an asteroid and to Mars. However, missions are not planned until the 2030’s. “Imagine if we went to the new world and said ‘well that was great’,” said Sumowski, “How can you just stop?” The Story of Apollo will be on display until September 30. “I just want other people to know that this was an amazing period in history,” said Sumowski, “I don’t want the next generation to not know about that”


Erica O’Neal/ Cluster Staff

On Sunday, Sept. 9 the College Hill Alliance hosted their popular Second Sunday Brunch event at Washington Park.The event featured a live performance by The Vespers.

September 13: Study Abroad Fair Connell Student Center 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.

September 22: Fall Fest Mercer Village 6 p.m - 11 p.m.

September 16: Knitting/Crochet Class Michael’s 10 a.m.

September 21-23: Family Weekend Mercer University

The Cluster - Sept. p 12,, 2012- Page g 8A

Design Editor Patrick Hobbs

The Bulletin

courtesy of Mercer Police

Safety First

Midnight Movie Friday, September 14 Amstar Theater on Zebulon Road $2 for Mercer Students

The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012 - Page 1B

Entertainment Editor Brittani Howell


The Brothers are back: New music from Avetts By Michelle Meredith Contributing Writer

The punk-infused bluegrass group from Concord, N.C. is Southern simplicity and frenetic energy all shaken up in a Mason jar. The Avett Brothers’ sixth studio album, “The Carpenter”, illustrates how these musical qualities have developed with the band’s lyrical dedication to progress, hard work and introspection. Since their first studio album in 2002, original members Seth and Scott Avett and Bob Crawford have learned how to incorporate the more classical sounds of Joe Kwon’s cello and the versatile rhythm of Joe Edwards’ drums without abandoning the intricate banjo and guitar that make their sound unique. “The Carpenter” tends to focus on a softer piano and a gentler use of electric instruments than their earlier albums, even in their plaintively soulful “Pretty Girl From Michigan”, the newest installment of their “Pretty Girl From (Place)” collection of songs. Vocal harmonies don’t stray from the melody as often as in the earlier, more rebellious tracks of their previous albums. Yet the uplifting and easy vocals still manage to foster that youthful enthusiasm in songs like “Live and Die” and “I Never Knew You.” And while The Avetts include their personal acoustic sadness in songs like “Winter in my Heart” and “Through My Prayers,” they never forget to throw a surprise hook preventing their sadness from set-

tling too comfortably. Lyrically, “The Carpenter” still deals with the introspection and regret of earlier Avetts’ albums like the 2006 release “Four Thieves Gone” and the 2007 release “Emotionalism”. But they follow each mention of hopelessness with a declaration of purpose in tracks like “Down with the Shine”. And while earlier songs illustrate love and affection, “A Father’s First Spring” matures these emotions in a beautiful

reflection of the experience of new life and parenthood. One of the few songs that deal with the promise of life in their newest album, this track brings the Avetts away from introspective worries about shame and regret and into selfless devotion. It is punctuated perfectly by the heavy, grunge rock “Paul Newman vs. the Demons” where the Avetts answer the question “How many times must I / live through the past again?” by screaming “no

more.” Yet they remind us throughout the album of the important task of returning to the past— not abandoning it, but using it to move forward and look to the future. The title track, “The Once and Future Carpenter,” reminisces on past experiences of working and traveling, promising “Forever I will move / like the world that turns beneath me.” It concludes with the conviction that “If I live the life I’m given / I won’t be

scared to die.” This emphasis on living with purpose and working with past regrets to grow in the future comes full circle in the final track, “Life,” which opens with the promise that “we’re not on this world for long” and calls the audience to action with the command to “keep it, use it / build it, move it.” “The Carpenter” draws lyrically on the progress of life and the importance of an active perspective that remembers

the past while going towards the future. These themes accommodate The Avett Brothers’ ever-improving musical precision that becomes a clearer, more disciplined vehicle for their invaluable and passionate energy. Their latest album illustrates the simple dedication that has brought them this far, and promises a continual progression as they move into the future.

Mercer Players’ new season brings the Bard to the Backdoor Theatre By Dana Nicolazzi Contributing Writer

‘ParaNorman’: Dark, funny and clever, a childrens’ movie for a college crowd By Brittani Howell Entertainment Editor

The studio behind “Coraline” brings another darkly charming children’s fable to life. “ParaNorman” tells the story of a little boy with a big problem: he can talk to ghosts. As the only person in his town with this gift, Norman becomes the only person standing in the way of the destruction of his town at the spectral hands of a witch’s vengeful spirit. From the very beginning, this offbeat film makes the viewers feel like they have been plopped down in events that have long been set in motion. Norman is already familiar with his gift (or curse) of speaking to the dead and has resigned himself to his peers’ and his family’s response to it. The witch’s curse over the town of Blythe Hollow has been going on for three centuries—so long, in fact, that the town has worked its lore into a touristtrap industry that trickles down even to the school play. The only person who knows the danger of the curse is Norman’s creepy estranged uncle, Mr. Prendergast, who needs Norman to take up the mantle of keeping the ghost at bay.

From here the plot clips along with an energetic pace and a predictable story line until a sudden twist causes the audience to reevaluate their understanding of the film. Part of the fun of “ParaNorman” is the way it simultaneously teases and pays homage to the rich tradition of horror and thriller movies on which it draws. For the horror movie aficionado, the Easter eggs abound from the very first scene. The main group of oddball protagonists is made up of one classic trope after another—the clever but misunderstood hero; his hapless sidekick; his conceited, blonde older sister; the dumb jock and the dumber school bully—but, wonderfully, the movie turns each one on its head (except for Norman, who remains the classic hero). Far from making the movie flat or relying on the tropes for cheap humor, the parodied characters add another layer to the movie’s message that things are always more complex than they seem. However, the movie is surprisingly dark, especially for having been advertised as a children’s movie. While some parts might be too macabre or scary for children, it keeps things interesting for a college crowd. The twist (I won’t give it away) is downright horrify-

ing no matter what age you are, and throws the entire movie into a new light. But just as the morbidity serves to elevate the fear factor, it also becomes the butt of many a joke. Most of the slapstick and physical humor is accomplished through the dead, whether it’s the zombies or Norman’s dead uncle or the ghosts with whom he interacts. There is a sequence in which Norman tries to wrest the book he needs from his dead uncle’s stiff hands, which— while disturbing—manages to be morbidly funny. When I viewed the movie, the kids in the audience were cracking up, completely oblivious as to just how disturbing the scene really was. The animation rises to the next level for stop-motion films. It becomes oddly geometric at times (such as Norman’s eyes, which are octagonal rather than round), which contrasts with the smooth curves we have come to expect from animation thanks to Pixar and DreamWorks. However, the oddity of the animation fits well with the more bizarre elements of the film. Animators employ CGI backgrounds for compelling scene changes to portray how Norman sees “through the veil,” combining the two animation styles in a beautiful way.

As for plot and characterization, there is no denying that “ParaNorman” is a simple film. None of the characters go through dynamic growth; even Norman himself is more of a static good. However, Norman’s static good makes him the catalyst for growth in other people and brings about the reconciliation of several important relationships. The other characters, particularly in Norman’s oddball group, are interesting because of the way they subvert their archetypes rather than because of any dynamic progression in their characters. Speaking of subverting the archetypes, spoiler alert: one of the stock characters casually comes out at the end of the film. While it could be argued that this was done, again, to turn the stereotype on its head, this was a surprisingly bold and progressive move for an animated children’s movie. It has its flaws, and it is certainly targeted to a younger audience, but ParaNorman is clever enough and dark enough to make it a fun and enjoyable movie for a college crowd. Its examination of the way the sins of the past haunt the people of the present is just mature enough to leave you thinking.

The Mercer Players are gearing up for another fabulous season and first up is Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”, which Broadway’s Best Shows describes as a tragic comedy “rich with love and betrayal, forgiveness and revenge.” The Players are not wasting any time, already jumping into rehearsals for the show which will run from Sept. 27Oct. 7. “We have an exciting cast of 20 for Merchant of Venice, and they’re delving into it with great enthusiasm and energy,” director Scot Mann said. Senior Julie Allen has been cast as Leonardo in The Merchant of Venice and is looking forward to the experience. “This is my first role in a Mercer production,” Allen said. “It’s fun to see how things are done and to be learning from the talented people involved.” Senior Suzanne Stroup, President of the Mercer Players, , will be playing the role of Portia: a wealthy heiress who is bound by a clause in her father’s will to marry whichever suitor chooses correctly among three caskets. “I’ve never done Shakespeare before, so I really thought that the memorization would come along slower than in contemporary English,” Stroup said. “But when you understand the meaning, the point really comes across to an audience and the mechanics of memorization come as well.” Performing Shakespeare certainly poses additional challenges for the Players. Senior Harley Maddox said, “I’ve had to change the way that I naturally speak, mostly the things that are a part of my natural accent.” However, as an actor, conquering the Bard also proves to be immensely rewarding. “I think people learn more about the craft from performing Shakespeare than any other playwright,” Mann

said, “so I think it’s important that we do Shakespeare often.” The second show for this semester will be “Independence”, by Lee Blessing, and will run from November 1118. The play, set in 1983, is described as a gripping and humorous rollercoaster ride of the lives of three grown daughters and their offbeat mother. The 2013 spring semester will start off with Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull”, a black comedy that will run February 7-17. “I’m really looking forward to The Seagull,” Stroup said. “Chekhov is my favorite playwright, and this particular play is my favorite of his works.” Last but not least, wrapping up the season will be Karen Zacarias’ “The Legacy of Light”, “a time-traveling comedy about Emilie du Chatalet (lover to famous novelist Voltaire) and a present-day scientist whose worlds collide.” “The Legacy of Light” is scheduled to run April 12-21. “I think we’ve picked out a lot of great shows that will allow all of us actors good opportunities to be diverse, and that’s always exciting,” Maddox said. “As an actor you want to take on as many different roles as possible because it helps you get better.” All of the productions will be, as usual, in Mercer’s Backdoor Theatre, in the lower level of Willingham. “It’s a very intimate space, the audience is right there and the actors get a lot of feedback from that,” Mann stated. The Backdoor Theatre really makes each production a unique experience. Like Mann stated, it helps the actors as well as the audience feel as if they are a part of each show. If you have not yet seen a show by the Mercer Players, what are you waiting for? Come experience the wealth of talent that Mercer Theatre has to offer this season! Tickets for the shows are $5.00. For reservations and ticket information, call 478-3012974.

The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012 - Page 2B

Entertainment Editor Brittani Howell


Get acquainted with the Water Liars By Michelle Meredith Concert Connoisseur

Last Wednesday, Macon’s Hummingbird Stage and Taproom received a humble portion of bluesy, southern authenticity from Water Liars’ frontman Justin Kinkel-Schuster. Called “Pete” by most people, Kinkel-Schuster and his feather-adorned guitar took the stage with an open and welcoming presence. Even without band member Andrew Bryant, he managed to give a great display of the raw, blunt simplicity that makes Water Liars’ sound so powerful. Their name comes from a Barry Hannah short story, and their music is densely infused with literary references. Like a dark hymn, Kinkel-Schuster’s voice is a cleansing breath that demands reverence. After leaving Macon, he took some time to visit Flannery

O’Connor’s house in Milledgeville before continuing the tour up to Charleston. A few days later, KinkelSchuster took some more time to let me get an interview from the road. MM: How long have you been writing music? KS: I’m pretty sure that as soon as I got my first guitar, at around age 12 or 13, I just started writing songs. So I’ve been trying to write things pretty much as long as I’ve been playing—I guess approximately 15 years. MM: What influences your writing? KS: Life. I mean, I’m sure a lot of people would say that too, but really, it’s the things that happen to me and what I do and see and hear that make up the lion’s share of what inspires me to write. It’s mostly just living life, and what I soak up from everything that happens. MM: So how has life been for you lately? When did you start touring?

KS: (laughs) Well, I’ve been touring forever. But with Water Liars, we started the tour at the beginning of March. It’s been going great so far. MM: You’ve been in other bands before, but Water Liars formed in 2011. What made that happen? KS: Andrew and I have been friends forever, but we’ve only been playing together as a band for about nine months. MM: Wow. So you played together for the first time when you made the album? KS: Yeah, I just went up to his house for a long weekend and that was actually the first time we ever worked or played together. We knocked it out in about three days over a long weekend. We were just planning on recording some songs that I had but we weren’t planning on cranking out a fully formed record. It was kind of accidental. As soon as we started working on it we both felt it. Immediately it just felt really good and felt like something

we needed to work on and do whatever we could with. MM: And the name comes from a short story. Tell me about that. KS: We chose that because we are both Barry Hannah nerds and love Hannah’s writing. It’s the first story from that book of short stories, and it sounded like a good name for a band, so—two birds, one stone. We needed a band name, and we both like the story. Seemed like a good way to knock ‘em both out. MM: Andrew wasn’t with you when you came to Macon. Will he be back to join you later? KS: He did all of the first long tour when the record came out, and most of the spring, but he’s been working a lot during the summer. I don’t know what he’s going to be able to do in the future. I’m planning on just doing, you know, everything, but he’s welcome at any time. MM: How much longer will you be on tour? KS: Well I’ll head back to

Oxford at the end of November, then I’ll break for a couple weeks before starting again in December and do it again. MM: What have been some of your favorite places so far? KS: I don’t know—Durham, North Carolina the other night. Charleston was really good. It’s hard to answer that question when I’m on the road because everything and every day just blurs together. I’m playing in Norfolk, Virginia tonight, but then I head to Baltimore. I’m really excited about playing in Baltimore tomorrow; I have some friends there and it’s always a lot of fun. MM: Do you have a favorite song to play live? KS: A favorite song? I’m not going to answer that. (laughs) It’s just funny to me to think of sitting around and picking out favorite things that I wrote. There are definitely things I feel are better or worse than others, but it’s sort of like talking about your kids. You say you love them all the same even though you don’t always,

and they’re all a pain in the ass sometimes. MM: What other music influences you? KS: I mostly listen to a lot of old music, old soul and R&B and blues. Generally I have an attraction, a love affair, with old things from the past. I guess I like the way the music sounds with old equipment; the way it’s played sounds warmer and more real and live to me. Which doesn’t make sense because it’s old, but that’s just the way it is to me. MM: ‘Phantom Limb’ came out recently and sounds great. Will you record again soon? KS: Yes. We are going to record again and make an album, and hopefully it’ll be alright. ‘Phantom Limb,’ the Water Liars’ debut album, was released last February. Music and merchandise from the Water Liars can be found at or the website of the band’s producer, Misra Records at www.

Retro Reviews: Alanis Morissette sings about her ‘Jagged Little Pill’ By Bryson Jones Sports Editor

Don’t blink: The Doctor returns By Dana Nicolazzi Contributing Writer

Almost a year later, the Doctor is in again. Season seven of Doctor Who kicked off recently with the much anticipated episode “Asylum of the Daleks”, which most certainly did not disappoint, even if it was a tad confusing at times. The opening title sequence was subtly revamped and Amy’s annoying voice-over narration was removed, something that can be considered an improvement. But let’s get down to the episode in question. The premiere opened in the not-so-distant future from the time season six ended, but enough time has passed that married companions Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) are now going through a divorce and the Daleks seemed to have not only regrown most of their

species back to a formidable population but have also developed a new twist to them. The episode certainly brings back more of the creepy factor behind the Doctor’s famously resilient enemies: Daleks can now disguise themselves as human. Amy, Rory and The Doctor himself (Matt Smith) are kidnapped and brought to the Asylum, the planet where all of the insane Daleks go. What’s surprising is the reason they are brought there: the Daleks are requesting the Doctor’s help to infiltrate and destroy the Asylum because they are too scared to do the job themselves. But why bring along Amy and Rory? Well, apparently even the Daleks know that the Doctor works best with his companions. And with that, the trio becomes involved in a race against time to infiltrate the Asylum, get out alive and save Amy and Rory’s crumbling relationship. Mostly things were pretty on

par with the last two seasons. Matt Smith is still excellent as our charming and quirky Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond continues as her usual headstrong and sassy self and Rory is, as always, the underrated and comedic hero of the group. Smith, Gillan and Darvill have such great chemistry on screen and it shows, especially in the scene where Amy and Rory confront their personal issues (even if the reasoning behind those issues is a bit weak). However, Jenna- Louise Coleman steals the show from the trio as the witty and sharp Owsin Oswald, a young woman onboard a ship that crashes into the Asylum. Coleman has been announced as the next companion and it will be interesting to see how she is introduced again after seeing her character’s involvement in this episode. Regardless of how the new companion is introduced, Coleman proves in this episode that she is more than qualified to take

over when Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill leave this holiday season. Overall, the episode was well paced and humorous, a solid debut for “Doctor Who”. Show runner Steven Moffat, who also writes “Sherlock”, definitely knows how to write compelling and emotionally driven television. A man who loves plots with some twists and turns, as demonstrated in “Asylum of the Daleks”, Moffat has certainly kept Doctor Who fresh and engaging. The premiere only proves that Doctor Who still maintains the style, creativity and personality that continuously draw in so many loyal fans. Although there will only be five new episodes this fall, the preview of what’s to come is exciting enough to keep viewers satisfied for the time being. With dinosaurs on a spaceship and weeping angels taking over Manhattan, “Doctor Who” is clearly back with a vengeance.

“Jagged Little Pill” is a very different album for Alanis Morissette who, before the album’s release, had sung dancepop music. This album reached more genres of rock music, including post-grunge, rock, alternative rock and even acoustic rock music. Lyrically, most of the songs were written by Morissette and Glen Ballard. She sings about broken relationships, hurt, rage and confusion from a feminine perspective. Neither of Morissette’s first two albums (“Alanis” and “Now is the Time”) achieved much success outside of Canada. In 1993, after leaving MCA Records Canada, Morissette moved from her hometown of Ottawa to Toronto. Living alone for the first time in her life, she met with a large number of talented songwriters; the results, however, frustrated her. A visit to Nashville a few months later also left her with negative results. Morissette began making trips to Los Angeles and working with as many musicians as possible, seeking a talented collaborator with whom she worked well. During this time, she met producer and songwriter Glen Ballard. According to Ballard, the connection was “instant”, and within 30 minutes of meeting each other they had begun experimenting with different sounds in Ballard’s home studio in San Fernando Valley, Calif. Ballard and Morissette penned their first song together, called “The Bottom Line”. The turning point in their sessions was the song “Perfect”, which was written and recorded in 20 minutes. Morissette improvised the lyrics on the spot, and Ballard played guitar. The version of

the song that appears on “Jagged Little Pill” is the only take that the pair recorded. Morissette later revealed that during her stay in Los Angeles, she was robbed at gunpoint on a deserted street. After the robbery, Morissette developed an intense angst and suffered from daily panic attacks. She was hospitalized and attended psychotherapy sessions, but it didn’t improve her emotional condition. As Morissette later revealed in interviews, she focused all her inner problems on the album’s soul-baring lyrics for her own health. According to Morissette, Ballard was the first collaborator who encouraged her to express her emotions. “Jagged Little Pill” peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and certificated 16x Platinum for shipments of 16 million copies, actually selling over 15 million in the United States. The album was nominated for six Grammy Awards in 1996, and Morissette won “Best Female Rock Vocal Performance”, “Best Rock Song”, “Best Rock Album” and “Album of the Year.” Until 2010 she held the record for being the youngest person to receive the “Album of the Year” award at age 21. Later that year she embarked on an 18-month world tour, beginning in small clubs and ending in large venues. In 1997, she was nominated for two more Grammy Awards: “Record of the Year” and “Best Music Video, Short Form” for “Ironic”. The video “Jagged Little Pill, Live”, which chronicled the bulk of the tour, won a 1998 Grammy Award for “Best Long Form Music Video”. In 1998, “Q” magazine readers voted “Jagged Little Pill” the 19th greatest album of all time. In 2003, the album was ranked number 327 on “Rolling Stone” magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

‘North’ goes South: New Matchbox Twenty album disappoints By Brittani Howell Entertainment Editor

After a 10-year hiatus, 90s alternative band Matchbox Twenty has released their fourth album. Critics and fans are scratching their heads over what to make of “North”, which—though it has its moments—lacks direction and cohesion to the point where fans are no longer sure what genre they are listening to. The clear and wistful strains of “Parade” are reminiscent of some of Matchbox Twenty’s best material, including lead singer Rob Thomas’s signature songwriting. The following track, “She’s So Mean,” continues the trend with a poppy

tune featuring sing-able (if not terribly original) lyrics. However, after the third track (“Overjoyed”) the album veers sharply from its alternativerock history to model more contemporary music. While there’s nothing wrong with a band trying to branch out and experiment with new styles, it helps if the band is versatile enough to produce quality material. Here Matchbox Twenty drops the ball: “Our Song” is fun and bouncy, but it falls short of the kind of songwriting one expects from Thomas, and “Put Your Hands Up” could not possibly get any more generic. As if the heavy beat and synthetic additions to the instrumentals do not convey the clear message that this is a dance number, asinine lyrics such as “Put your hands up

/ it’s all right / singing ohh-ohh / until the sunrise” should get the job done. The softer songs, including “Overjoyed” and “I Will,” have simple but sweet lyrics and gentle chords. “I Will,” particularly, is a solid track with its lovely incorporation of a piano and subtle strings in the background. While “Overjoyed” is a pretty valentine, “I Will” is more like a lullaby and fits well with the first three tracks. However, any cohesion the album might have claimed to have falls apart again after “English Town.” “How Long” matches the band’s lyrical quality but not its music, and “Radio” comes completely out of left field with an opening that places the song squarely in the era of early rock and roll (as in, I’m pretty sure I’ve

heard an Elvis song with that opening). Things don’t get any better with “The Way” or “Like Sugar,” the latter of which sounds more like one of Thomas’s solo efforts than a song produced by the band as a whole. Past hits including “3 A.M.”, “Unwell” and “If You’re Gone” featured painfully beautiful lyrics with several layers of meaning. While “3 A.M.” can easily be interpreted as being about a deteriorating relationship, Thomas has said that it was written about the time in his childhood when his mother had discovered she had cancer. None of the songs on “North” have the same power to tug at the heartstrings. While “Overjoyed” and “I Will” strike a more tender tone, none of the other tracks come close to the

same raw emotion that characterizes the band’s earlier and arguably stronger music. The tracks of the past explore the human psyche, mental illness and human relationships. There is a depth of subject material that is sorely lacking in “North”. Also missing are the soaring guitars and winning acoustics of the earlier days, replaced by heavy percussion that reappears often in the album. Listen to “She’s So Mean” and you’ll notice that the drum beat repeats itself in other tracks. Perhaps the band was trying to give the album a unifying factor in the percussion; certainly that is the only element that might. The album has enjoyable aspects, don’t get me wrong. I was raised on Matchbox

Twenty, so I’m predisposed to like their music as the anthem of my childhood. Maybe my nostalgia for their older work is born out of an attachment to “Yourself or Someone Like You”. However, I don’t believe that I am the only critic who found that the album fell short of expectations. While I can enjoy “She’s So Mean” for what it is, there is no denying that as a Matchbox Twenty song, it— like the other tracks—is more fluff than substance. Perhaps some listeners will come to associate “North” with what they think of as Matchbox Twenty’s best. As for me, I’ll stick with my albums from the 90s. In some cases, you really just can’t beat the classics.

The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012 - Page 3B

Features Editor Emily Farlow


Just because you can, Mercer Memories: doesn’t mean you should Dr. Charlotte Thomas The dark side of pinterest, other craft sites By Ayana Graham Contributing Writer

Have you ever wondered how to make a prom dress out of neck ties? Have you ever had the burning desire to accentuate your coffee cups with real locks of hair? Have you been looking to knit a sweater for your new bike? If so, there are hosts of internet sites begging for your attention, but if you think like most people these days, some of these ideas just do not seem practical or necessary. Pinterest has become the craft idea guru and the go-to site for DIY projects, but there are just some crafts that, while they can be done, do not necessarily need to be done. For example, Pinterest users now offer directions on completely covering high heels with googly eyes. Now, besides a googly eye themed wedding or Halloween dress-up day at the office, to what occasions would one wear these heels? On another note, it would be quite interesting to know what inspired this idea. Was there a surplus of googly eyes on

clearance at Michael’s? We no longer need eyes in the back of our heads when we can just glue them to our shoes. Another interesting Pinterest idea includes knitting a sweater for a bike. It is uncertain when or why bikes began needing sweaters, but if there is yarn just lying around, why not? We just cannot take chances when it comes to the weather and germs nowadays. It would just be downright devastating if a bike were to run a fever. An extra positive is the style points a hand-knit sweater adds to an already chic bike. A lesser known site titled offers a virtual marketplace where new and experienced artists can sell their own crafts online. It is quite surprising what people make these days, but even more shocking are the items other people buy. One artist offers handmade ceramic espresso coffee cups with style. How can someone make coffee cups stylish, one might ask? Easy: add a few locks of her hair. Now, there are two pressing questions when it comes to mixing hair and coffee cups. Number one: which is more stylish: blonde or brunette

hair accents? Number two: $50 plus shipping and handling seems a bit on the cheap side. Is this really a good deal? Okay, but in all seriousness, how does one drink from this cup without ingesting strands of hair (do the hairs produce added flavor)? Secondly: just how sanitary is this? This is by no means meant to discourage crafting. Feel free to be as creative and crafty as possible. Pinterest and other craft sites similar to it usually offer some of the most intriguing and innovative projects out there. Consider the melted crayon project, for instance. This one is easy and looks great anywhere. I even attempted this one (of course I melted wax onto my foot and the crayons stopped melting halfway down the page. It still came out great!) and I found it to be both reasonable and tasteful. Just keep one thing in mind when your creative juices are flowing: just because you can, does not always mean you should. Also, as an added tip, if you have to ask if your craft is legal, dangerous, or sanitary, you might consider making something else. Happy crafting!


Mac-Town Breakers

Erica O’Neal / Cluster Staff

The Mac-Town Breakers meet every Wednesday and Friday in the Aerobics Room from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

By Braeden Orr Contributing Writer

The Mac-Town Breakers, Mercer University’s very own breakdancing club, prides itself on its freestyle form, not just in the way the members dance, but also in how they conduct their meetings. Rather than teaching people how to break dance through a regimented system of instruction, the officers and veteran dancers teach anyone willing to learn at his or her own individual pace. The Mac-Town Breakers, or MTB as they refer to themselves as, was founded by Mercer Alum John Smith. Although Smith graduated two years ago, former President and current Vice President of MTB, Kenny Tang, has helped keep the group’s legacy going over his five years as a student at Mercer. Tang is hoping to encourage a much looser, freeform style of learning this year and all years to come. “We teach the basics or what anyone wants to learn. We try not to be organized. We want to get a crew together and have fun,” said Tang.

Because dancing is an expression of oneself, MTB feels the way breakdancing is taught within the group should allow similar expression. “We’re teaching them the basics and then tell them to just go at it. Maybe make their own style,” explained MacTown Breakers President, Carl Arquino. “We cover the three basic foundations: standing top rocking, floor work, and freezes and power moves.” With no set schedule for learning certain moves or routines, not only can anyone join at any time and not be left behind, but the organization encourages the entire student body to attend their meetings, even if they have no intention of taking part in later choreographed performances. “If you miss the first half of the semester, that’s okay. We will get you up to speed. We take everybody and anybody,” said Arquino. MTB has a high level of commitment to this laid back approach, as it seems the group exists solely to have fun and express feelings through a stylish form of dancing. Even Freshmen like Avery Lavuz, who has only been on campus for a few weeks now, fits right

in with the rest of the crew thanks to the club’s attitude towards their fellow classmates. “It doesn’t matter how good you are. Just have fun,” said Lavuz, explaining the enjoyable nature of MTB’s meetings. “It also helps build cardio and strength.” Perhaps more importantly than the Mac-Town Breaker’s fun, open, and expressive meetings is the group’s willingness and desire to spread goodwill through dance with other organizations not only on campus, but off as well. “D3 [Dating, Desserts, & Dancing]; We do it every year now. We try to target all the dancing groups around Macon to raise money for charity,” explains Tang. “We even had a group come all the way from Tennessee,” Arquino boasted with an admirable sense of pride. The Mac-Town Breakers meet every Wednesday and Friday from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Aerobics Room of the University Center. Anyone interested in attending these meetings are more than welcome to show up, learn a few moves and as Arquino puts it, “just dance.”

By Caley Anderson Contributing Writer

You may know Dr. Charlotte Thomas as the philosophy professor or the Great Books teacher at Mercer, but she was once here as a student - roaming the campus, attending Greek mixers, and questioning her major just like us. Originally from St. Pete, Florida, Dr. Thomas found Mercer and immediately felt a connection. From 1985 to 1989, she lived here as a student, and after four years of living in Atlanta to complete graduate school at Emory University, she returned as a professor in 1994. As a Mercer alumni and a current professor, Dr. Thomas has plenty to share about Mercer, past and present. Cluster: As a student, what made you choose Mercer? Dr. Thomas: When I came to Mercer, it was a bit different than it is now. Around 35-40% of Mercer’s student body was from Florida. When I was still living in Florida, my Sunday school teacher, Jean Kinlin who happened to be the first female to serve as SGA President at Mercer when she attended in the late 70s - looked at me and said that I should go to Mercer. I had been accepted to several other colleges, including Cornell and Vanderbilt, but I wanted to check Mercer out. Jean Kinlin drove me up for the weekend to tour the campus. I felt an instant connection. During this time, we stayed at the Alumni house, went to the Rookery, and had dinner with the Registrar. Later in the year, I went with my mom on a college tour all around the Southeast. We didn’t plan on visiting Mercer at this time, but since it was on the way, I wanted to stop by and check it out again. As soon as I stepped on campus, it just felt like home to me. Cluster: Where did you live while you were at Mercer? Dr. Thomas: I lived in a corner room of Porter’s third floor for my first two years at Mercer. There was no air conditioning in the building when I lived there, so we had a huge box fan sitting in the window. I can’t remember the heat ever being a problem, though. It might be because we didn’t start school until September. Cluster: Do you have a favorite professor or story about a professor from your time as a student? Did anyone inspire you to become a professor? Dr. Thomas: Well, when I started at Mercer, we had FSP (a precursor of FYS and INT) for the first two quarters of freshman year. Afterward, we could choose whether or not we wanted to go down the

Great Books track. I was in the third group of students ever to go through Great Books at Mercer. In my first Great Books class, my professor was Mike Cass. He was one of those people who did and said whatever came to his mind. If students ever began relying on him too much for conversation in class, he would actually sit under the table to get the students to talk to each other. When I was in that class, it was like I could see light coming out of the book when he opened it – you could feel the power of the book. It felt like real and important things were happening. Cluster: How did you decide the major you wanted to pursue? Dr. Thomas: I came here with no idea what my major would be. At first, I thought I might be a math or computer science major, but I changed my mind quite a bit. I didn’t even take a philosophy class until my junior year. I didn’t really think about philosophy, until several of my general education professors recommended that I talk to Tom Trimble, who was in charge of the philosophy department. So I had to overload on classes, but I still graduated on time. Cluster: While here as a student, were you involved in any Mercer organizations, such as Greek life, religious organizations or campus leadership? Dr. Thomas: Oh yes. I pledged Phi Mu as a sophomore, served as Chief Justice of the Honor Council and was News Editor of The Cluster during my time as an undergrad. I was also involved in an on-campus religious group called the Glad River Congregation. This group was created in the 60s by professors who had become unhappy with conventional religion. There weren’t a lot of people who attended regularly, but a good number of those who did were some of the best professors Mercer has seen, including Dr. Trimble. I have had the unique opportunity of learning from some of these great professors as a student and then as a fellow teacher. Apprenticing under these people helped me become the teacher I am today. Cluster: Do you have any interesting Mercer Memories to share? Dr. Thomas: My time at Mercer as a student was a very eventful time campus-wide. Firstly, the Georgia Baptist Convention came down hard on Mercer, and then-current President, Kirby Godsey defended Mercer’s academic freedom. Soon after, I attended the GBC in Savannah, and there was such a show of Mercer pride. It was great to see. Then, around the same time (specifically 1987), Playboy

Caley Anderson

announced Mercer University as the #9 party school in the nation, featuring racy photos of Mercer students ‘partying.’ Of course the GBC did not appreciate this. Possibly the most outrageous scandal of this time, however, was the accusation that Kirby Godsey was misappropriating funds. After this, his image of the hero of academic freedom changed a bit. In fact, Mercer staff members marched in protest against him. So, I had a lot to cover as News Editor. Cluster: How does coming to Mercer every day as a professor differ from doing so as a student? Dr. Thomas: Since I was a philosophy major and now I’m a philosophy professor, I go down the same halls I did as a student – therefore it seems familiar. But I’ve gotten into my routine as a teacher here, so I don’t think about it very often. If any friends from my days as a student visit me, that’s when I really start to remember. Cluster: Is there anything that has drastically changed on Mercer’s campus since you graduated? Dr. Thomas: Overall, I’d say the student body is smarter, with more ambition. It’s developed into a really wonderful place – it’s better. The campus itself is even more beautiful. I am still nostalgic for my mentors and the spirit they brought to this place. My professors were very serious about education, but fun and playful, too. They balanced a focus on ethics, faith and excellence with a mindset that was not so interested in professionalism and bureaucracy. We may have lost a little of that as a faculty. But I think today’s students will certainly be more prepared to work in the professional world. Cluster: Did you always plan to work at Mercer? Dr. Thomas: I went to grad school wanting to teach somewhere like Mercer. Actually, I was the first person to be hired in the Mercer Philosophy Department in 20+ years, and the first woman ever to be hired in the department. This was definitely my dream job. I almost didn’t even dare to dream it.

Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 By Sara Cuevas Gallardo Contributing Writer

Each year, Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins Sept. 15, celebrates the many ways Hispanic Americans have influenced and enriched life in the United States. Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. The Hispanic Heritage Celebration was created by President Lyndon Johnson to recognize and honor the contributions, heritage and culture of Hispanic Americans to the United States. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan extended the celebration to cover a 30day period. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988 and the White House established the National Hispanic Heritage

Awards in 1987 in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanics are the nation’s largest ethnic minority at 50 million people. The Hispanic presence was and still is evident in all aspects of the development of this country. Hispanics were involved in exploring the Americas and helped the colonists obtain their liberty from England. Hispanics have served their country valiantly in the armed forces since the Revolutionary War and through the present time. This year’s theme is “Many Backgrounds, Many Stories… One American Spirit.” America celebrates the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Each state has different kinds of celebrations that include festivals, carnivals, art shows, cultural activities, concerts, and lots of Latin American food! Every Hispanic community is in charge of organizing these events. It is a great time to celebrate a family legacy and

remember their culture. The Georgian community in particular is getting ready to kick off the 5th annual Fiesta Georgia which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 23 at the Georgia International Horse Park. Fiesta Georgia is Georgia’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, featuring a daylong celebration of Latino culture with nonstop live musical performances on two stages by international, national and local recording artists. Mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing, helicopter rides, youth soccer clinics, interactive sponsor displays with many free product samples, arts and crafts and authentic foods from several Latin-American countries all bring Fiestas Patrias to life at Fiesta Georgia. Each year, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, it’s a time to reflect on the past, stand tall in the present and look forward to the future of Latinos in America. Latinos and Americans of Latino heritage look forward to Hispanic Heritage month to show their pride in their heritage and look to the past for strength to help build a common future.

The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012 - Page 4B

Features Editor Emily Farlow


Life Lessons with Emily: Change a flat tire By Emily Farlow Features Editor

Chances are, at some point in your life you’ll be cruising down the interstate, an important class, meeting or interview to get to, when all of a sudden you feel the telltale “thumpthump” that signifies a flat tire. Who knows where you’ll be. You could be alone, with help umpteen miles away. Knowing how to change a flat tire is invaluable for college students, especially. Mom and Dad and Mercer Police won’t always be able to come to your rescue. Hopefully these easy-to-follow steps are, in fact, easy-tofollow, and will get you out of a tight situation in the future. What you need: A flat tire A spare tire, which is usually located under your car, under your floor mat or is mounted

on the back of the tailgate. An air pressure gauge to check the air pressure of the spare tire. If your spare tire is flat too, you really are stuck. A block to prevent your car from rolling away. A jack to raise your car off the ground A tire iron/lug wrench, which is the L-shaped bar that fits over the wheel’s lug nuts. Brute strength What you need to do: Pull off onto a flat strip of road. Make sure you are far enough away from oncoming traffic. You already have a flat tire. Getting hit by a car will only amplify your problems. You also need to make sure you have enough room to change the tire. If you’re by a parking lot, this would be a great place to pull into. Locate your spare tire, but don’t reach for it yet. Remove the hubcap. This is the shiny covering that hides

the ugliness that is your actual wheel. Using your tire iron, loosen (but don’t remove) the lug nuts on the wheel by turning counterclockwise. Here is where your brute strength will come in handy, as the lug nuts are most likely very tight. Place the jack under your car. Check your owner’s manual to see where it should go. Turn the jack clockwise until it touches the car, and continue turning until the wheel is far enough off the ground for you to change the tire. Now remove the lug nuts from the wheel. Your hubcap is a good place to put them for now. Take the flat tire off and lay in on the ground. Preferably flat, as you don’t want it rolling into oncoming traffic. Remove your spare tire, and put in on the wheel, lining the holes up with the wheel studs. When it fits correctly, put your

lug nuts back on and tighten them with your fingers. Turning the jack counterclockwise, lower your car. Now, using your tire iron and brute strength once more, tighten the lug nuts until they can’t possibly be tightened any more. They should be tightened in a crisscross pattern. Check your owner’s manual to see the correct sequence. Remove the jack and store your flat tire and various tirechanging accoutrements in your trunk. Drive carefully away, congratulating yourself on a job well done. Remember, your spare tire isn’t durable like a normal tire, so now is not the time to drag race back to campus. Get a new tire or fix your flat tire as soon as possible, because you don’t need to drive on the spare for too long.

Tire-Changing Essentials: Spare Tire Air Pressure Gauge Tire Block Jack Tire Iron Strength

Impress your teachers without the hard work By Richard Hawkins Contributing Writer

By this point in the semester, many students are beginning to take the first tests of the school year. Upperclassmen are quite familiar with this routine by now, but what of our new freshmen? Around this time, they are starting to realize that it may have not been a good idea to skip those 9:00 AM classes. Perhaps they should have stayed at home and studied for Chemistry instead of going to that awesome party last week. While it is true that social interaction is a

great thing during your college career, you must remember to take time to prepare for your actual courses. Upon receiving less than stellar marks on papers and tests, a student may begin to ponder how to get into their professor’s good graces. One option is to show up to class and do your work, but that does not necessarily suit every student at Mercer. For some it may be too late, or they could have a horrible aversion or allergy to studying. There are cases of that, you know. Some students pass out fast asleep at the sight of a Dickens novel. They can’t help it. It’s a medical condition. These people are unable to study and must therefore

seek out their teacher’s approval in another manner. This presents a problem. There are several possible solutions to this inability to study problem, and they will be offered here in their full detail. The first method to get into a professor’s good graces is to appear gracious. Professors love it when students are extremely gracious and complimentary. Always compliment them. Always speak in a polite manner. Always work to stay on their good side. The technical term for this is “Brown-Nosing.” Basically, if you can find out what they like, do it. The second method is to be helpful. Teachers love it when

students volunteer to help with various things. Offer to help with extracurricular activities, help clean up the classroom. Never volunteer to answer questions though, the entire point of this after all is that you are trying to succeed while not studying. The third thing to remember is that professors love to be showered with gifts. Don’t worry about how much it will cost. Go all out on buying the gift because, chances are, they will not be able to accept the gift. Don’t worry, it’s not because you upset them or picked a bad gift, unless you did pick a bad gift in which case shame on you. The reason that they cannot accept the gift is that

they possess something known as scruples. Scruples are part of a strange thing known as “morality” and should be of no concern to you save that they can be used to your advantage. If you succeed in these endeavors, good for you, you have an easy semester ahead. If you failed in these attempts, and are suspended or expelled, better luck next time. Sure, these methods involve a lot of time and effort, but the rewards far outweigh the costs. Of course, if this seems like a bit much, you could always just study. Teachers seem to like it when students actually pay attention in class. For some strange reason, they actually like it when

you respond to the material with insightful comments and questions. If you are able to engage the reading and show that you put forth an actual effort to study, they will usually respond in a positive manner. If they know that you are honestly trying in the class, they may even work with you and help you in your studies. Teachers appreciate diligence in their students. Of course, this whole studying business isn’t for everyone. However, it has a higher success rate than the alternatives that I have described. It’s also more legal than some of the others.

Homemade in the Microwave: Hummus By Rachel Snapp Contributing Writer

When preparing to venture out into college, one of many essentials on a student’s packing list is a microwave oven. An appliance fated for the use of popcorn during late night study sessions, or heating up a bowl of Kraft in place of dinner at the cafeteria. While those are yummy picks, it’s fun to use your microwave to its maximum potential and spice up your day with a clever homemade snack. One of the current baking

fads is “Microwave Brownie in a Mug.” Gentlemen, this recipe is most likely already on your girlfriend’s Pinterest board. (I admit…it is on mine.) So in an attempt at originality, I searched the web for a new treat to create on study breaks or in between classes. A recipe found its way to the top of my search engine that made my mouth water: Coffee Pecan Mug Cake. I tried my hand at this sweet confection and, as it turns out, my cooking skills are not suited for such tasty treats. A 10 minute recipe turned into 45 minutes of frustration and failure. However, don’t let this discourage you. Such things

may come naturally to you. If so, I would encourage you to look up the recipe on www. everylunchtime.wordpress. com and try it out for yourself. The ingredients are easy to get ahold of; in fact, you can find most of the ingredients at Bear Necessities. After my failed attempt, my microwave seemed forlorn and I was determined to create a scrumptious treat by the end of the day. In my determination, I continued to look through the web page for another recipe, and found out that this blog was created by a college student, for college students, with easy recipes to make in a dorm room. The “Gourmet Dormet”,

as she calls herself, shares how to make a variety of foods. To my excitement, I found another recipe that seemed to be a potential candidate: Homemade Hummus. This microwavecooking attempt ended with great success. I would highly recommend that other hummus aficionados try it out as well: The process was very simple and took about 5 minutes to prepare. The ingredients were not as readily available on campus, but now you have an excuse to make another late night Walmart run with your friends or sneak some extra garbanzo beans from the cafeteria if you are feeling frugal. To make this you will need the following ingredients: 3/4 cup of canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 1/8 teaspoon of paprika 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder Pinch of salt Pinch of pepper Extra virgin (amount varies)



1 to 2 tablespoons of water Your choice of mashing instrument. In a microwavable bowl, put your garbanzo beans, spices, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil together and mix (do not mash.) Cover the bowl and microwave your ingredients for 2 minutes. Next, take your chosen mashing instrument. Mash the garbanzo beans until they reach your preferred texture. The mixture will be dry so add a drizzle of olive oil. Mash and stir. When it dries out again, mix it with water and continue to stir. You may need to add more olive oil. Taste your mixture, decide if it needs more spices, grab your favorite dipping food and enjoy your snack!

Microwave Hummus Recipe 3/4 cup of canned chickpeas(garbanzo beans) 1/8 teaspoon of paprika 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder Pinch of salt Pinch of pepper Extra virgin olive oil (amount varies) 1 to 2 tablespoons of water Your choice of mashing instrument.


The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012 - Page 5B

Sports Editor Bryson Jones

Volleyball 2-5 with conference play looming By Bryson Jones Sports Editor

After one of their best starts in nearly a decade, the Mercer women’s volleyball team saw a short-lived win streak before dropping four straight contests. The Bears are now 2-5 on the year and are looking to improve in upcoming games to better their record before entering into an important and competitive conference schedule. The first weekend saw the Bears travel to Charleston, South Carolina for the Charleston Southern Tournament hosted by Charleston Southern University. In their first match-up under Head Coach Damian Elder, the volleyball team lost a four set heartbreaker to a talented Furman University squad. In the first set, the Bears came out to play defeating the Paladins of Furman by just two points 25-23. Despite coming out on fire, Elder’s squad dropped the next three sets (21-25, 22-25, 16-25). Statistics were incomplete because of a technical issue during the match, but based on the reported statistics freshman Molly Locke led the team with nine kills in the loss. Not only did Locke lead the team in kills, but she also led the team in digs recording 12 on the afternoon. Senior Codi Schepp and junior Emily Rochefort each were able to accumulate 10 digs in the losing effort. After video review, full statistics from this match up will be available at a later date. Despite losing the first match of the year, the team would not let this deter them from gaining their first win of the year and the first program victory under Damian Elder’s leadership against a formidable op-

ponent from Canisius College. The Orange and Black dropped the first set (18-25) but were able to take control of the next three (25-19, 25-22, 25-20) in a rousing fashion. The Bears were once again led by freshman Molly Locke. Locke registered an astounding team-leading 16 kills in the first win of the season. The College Grove, Tennessee native was also able to contribute nine digs. Locke was also able to contribute four block assists to a team block total of 10. Senior captain Charlayna Braxton also registered four block assists as well as a solo block, while senior teammates Jenn Katona and Monica Sanchez each con-

tributed three block assists. Sanchez narrowly missed her first double-double of the year and dished out 33 assists and contributed nine digs. Rochefort, junior libero, had a teamhigh 20 digs and added six assists of her own. The final match of the Charleston Southern Tournament was against the hosts from Charleston Southern. The Bears won the match convincingly in three sets (25-19, 31-29, 25-19). Yet again, freshman Molly Locke led the offensive charge for the Bears, knocking down 14 kills. Locke earned her first double-double of the year by amassing 14 digs. Monica Sanchez was able to dish out 35 assists, and libero Emily Roche-

fort tallied 20 digs to help the team get their second straight win. After the tournament ended both Locke and Sanchez were honored with All-Tournament honors. Leaving the tournament with an impressive 2-1 record in their first weekend of play, the team headed to a nonconference tilt against in-state rival, Georgia Southern. The Bears lost a hard fought match against the Eagles of Georgia Southern in three sets (25-22, 25-18, 25-21). Senior captain Jamie Duffy had a game-high 21 digs along with seven kills to pace the Bears in the losing effort. Freshman Molly Locke also

tallied seven kills to go along with 10 digs, two assists, a service ace and a block. Senior Monica Sanchez had her fourth-straight game with 20 or more assists, dishing out 23 helpers while also adding six digs, two block assists, a kill and a service ace. Coach Elder and his team then headed to the Georgia State Invitational where they dropped all three matches in one weekend, losing to South Alabama University, Georgia State University and Samford University. Against South Alabama, the Bears lost a well battled fourset match. After losing the first two sets (22-25, 18-25), the team rallied back and won

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Sophomore Caroline Carlton and junior Emily Rochefort set their feet and prepare for an oncoming serve during a match.

the third set 25-19. Despite the momentum swing, they were unable to pull out a win and lost the fourth and final set 2225. Senior Jamie Duffy earned a double-double by hammering out 11 kills as well as collecting 22 dig. Freshman Molly Locke also posted a doubledouble with a match-high 15 kills and 13 digs. Senior Monica Sanchez recorded a match-high 43 assists in the loss, while junior Emily Rochefort notched a team-high 24 digs. Senior Jenn Katona was credited with seven block assists, contributing to Mercer’s 8-5.5 team block advantage. The team then took on Georgia State losing three sets to one. The Bears won the first set 25-18 but then lost the next three (23-25, 15-25, 21-25). Mercer freshman Molly Locke led the way with an impressive 17-kill, 17-dig doubledouble effort. Senior Monica Sanchez also contributed a double-double against the Panthers on the strength of 40 assists and 11 digs. The team then went to face Samford, a 2011 NCAA tournament team. They lost all three sets to the Bulldogs (1625, 22-25, 31-33). Duffy led the way for Mercer with 10 kills and only two errors. The Bears split time at the setter position, with Carly Iannarino and Sanchez combining for 31 kills. For her performance at the Georgia State Invitational, Jamie Duffy earned All-Tournament team honors. The next stop for the Bears is the Winthrop Classic where the team will take on Winthrop University, Western Carolina University, and North Carolina A&T. The matches will take place on Sept. 14 and 15. After that, the team will head back to Mercer for their home opener against ETSU on Sept. 18.

Coaching Spotlight: Brad Ruzzo By Brad Almand Contributing Writer

The Mercer men’s soccer team began their season on Aug. 24 and have been playing hard from the start. They have faced many difficult opponents since the season started and have played strong in all of their games. In order get a better idea of how the team is looking this year, Head Coach Brad Ruzzo took the time to give us an interview concerning the team and his coaching philosophy. The Cluster: How did you first become interested in soccer? Ruzzo: I have two older brothers and they always played soccer. Being the youngest I followed in their footsteps and took up soccer. It’s the only sport I have ever really played besides a little bit of tennis and I ended up being the best in the family at soccer. TC: What did you originally want your profession to be? R: Originally I was attending the University of Cincinnati to be a high school math teacher and coach soccer at the high school level. I did not realize at the time that you could make a living off of being a head soccer coach at the college level. Once I figured that out I changed my mind.

After graduating from college, I went right into coaching college soccer. I started off at the age of 21 and I have been in it ever since. TC: Where did you coach before coming to Mercer? R: I started off my coaching career as an assistant at Xavier University for one year and then after that I went on to becoming the Associate Head Coach for Bradley University for eight years. From there I came to Mercer and I have been here for five years now. TC: What interested you in coming to Mercer? R: I always wanted to stay in division-one college soccer and when the Mercer job opened up I was very interested in the position. We are in a great league and play a lot of good competition which is something that I really enjoy. Mercer also had a very good history with its soccer program. They were consistently good every year and I felt that I could help contribute to keeping the program on a successful course. TC: What is your overall coaching philosophy? R: I take it as more of a program approach. My job here in my opinion is to make sure all these guys are the very best students and athletes that they can be. I believe that will help transition them to being the best employees, fathers, and husbands that they can be as well. I look to judge ourselves on those areas. Obviously, we want to win and win as many

championships as we can and get to the NCAA tournament, but I believe it is important to take a look at the overall program and focus and all those specific areas. TC: What have you thought of the team so far this season? R: I think we are doing pretty well right now overall. Currently we are 1-2-1 but we have played two tough nationally ranked opponents and have been competitive in each game. We just recently came back from a successful road trip where we won the Bradley Tournament. We are entering into a stretch of games that are very winnable for us and we like playing the higher competition because it keeps us sharp. We have also been dealing with some injuries to some very key players so once everyone is back and healthy I think we will be in a very good position. TC: What separates your coaching style from other coaches? R: I tell my players all the time that I wake up every morning and tell myself that there are a million coaches out there that are better than me and ask myself what are a couple of things that I am going to do today to make our program better and to make myself better. I think that if the players and the coaching staff take that approach then all of those things together can turn into something really positive. I also stress the importance of

outworking the opponent to our guys and personally I am always trying to outwork another coaching staff. Whether that is in recruiting, scouting, preparation with the team, or strong practices. TC: What does a typical day of practice look like for the team? R: Well we just came back from a long road trip and because of that we have to adjust the practices accordingly. The first practice after a long road trip is hard because you are trying to get the guys who haven’t played a lot of minutes up to that fitness level and sharpness level while trying to rejuvenate the guys who played the majority of the minutes during the road trip. Some days can be harder than others and I try to break them up into groups to help the process. Once the season starts you just don’t have a lot of time to train. So we just have to be aware of the guys who are logging heavy minutes in the games because you can’t ask them to log heavy minutes in practice as well because they have to get their bodies right for the next game. The men’s soccer team will look to improve on their record when they face Presbyterian, Georgia Southern, and Georgia State in their next upcoming games. The team still has many home games left to play so come cheer on the team as they take on their upcoming opponents.

Fall Sports Upcoming Games Men’s soccer Sept. 16 @ Georgia State 7 p.m.

Women’s soccer Sept. 14 @ Jacksonville State 7 p.m.

Volleyball Sept. 14 @ Winthrop 7 p.m.

Softball Sept. 22 vs. Middle Georgia

Women’s golf Sept. 22-24 @ Eat-A-Peach Collegiate

Cross country Mercer Marketing

Sept. 15 @ Mercer Invitational


The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012 - Page 6B

Sports Editor Bryson Jones

Mercer Football: Bear-ly a year away By Ayana Graham Contributing Writer

The Mercer University football team is less than a year away from beginning their season after a 70 year hiatus. The players are already working hard every morning to get in shape for official football practice. The new Tony and Nancy Moye Family Football and Lacrosse Complex turf field is withstanding the pressure of over 100 dedicated young men who wake up for conditioning by 7:30 a.m. every morning. Although conditioning starts very early, many players are glad that Macon is cool enough

in the morning to do strenuous activity without risking heatinduced health problems. Several members of the football team are anxious to head into team practice within the next few months. “Right now we’re just conditioning and getting ready for regular practice,” explains freshman Chase Orr, a member of Mercer’s defensive line. “Hopefully we’ll be getting into the new football complex and practicing in shoulder pads soon,” says freshman offensive lineman, Matt Chastain. “Conditioning is tough, but we might as well grind through it. Coaches are pushing us, but it’s good,” mentioned fellow freshman outside linebacker, Tosin Aguebor.

Many of the players support their coaches and embrace the challenges given to them. “The coaches push us hard, but they only ask for the best out of us,” says Kirby Southard, a freshman center. The Bears recently hosted the first ever “Meet the Bears” event on Sept. 6, during which the players and coaches allowed fans the opportunity to meet them, receive autographs, view the season schedule and lay eyes on the new uniforms. The field and the Homer and Ruth Drake Field House was abuzz with a multitude of fans exploring Mercer University’s newest additions. While the stadium seats are not finished yet, the Drake Field House was open for com-

Noah Maier / Cluster Staff

Mercer football player Mark Fairbanks signs posters for fans at Mercer football’s “Meet the Bears” event held at the Tony and Nancy Moye Football and Lacrosse Complex.

munity members, students, faculty and staff to tour for the first time.The tour included an inside look at the Bears’ newly designed locker rooms. During the “Meet the Bears” event, the audience heard from both Football Head Coach Bobby Lamb and President Underwood, who made a number of exciting announcements. Coach Lamb commended the 104 eager football players while President Underwood spoke of the progress of the stadium. “The Tony and Nancy Moye Family Football and Lacrosse Complex will be the nicest facility in the state of Georgia. Not the largest, but the nicest,” said President Underwood. He later went on to confirm what many have suspected: the football stadium will be expanded to accommodate more fans. The current capacity of the stadium will hold about 6,000 people. In a year, the stadium will be expanded to seat about 10,200 fans. The planned expansion of the stadium is partly due the the fact that even though ticket sales have not been advertised, over 2,500 season tickets have been sold. The excitement of the upcoming football season continues to build as the Bears plan to host an “Orange versus Black” scrimmage to allow for a festive homecoming celebration in November. While we get to see the Bears in action, the actual season is set to begin next August. Until then, Mercer continues to support and help prepare the hard working team that has been undefeated since 1942.

Noah Maier / Cluster Staff

Tony Moye eagerly talks to members of Mercer’s football team. The stadium is named after Moye and his wife Nancy.

A day in the life: Lauren Gassie Men’s, women’s cross country races well in first two meets By Marin Guta Contributing Writer

On Sept. 5, at 9:53 a.m., Mercer soccer player, Lauren Gassie prepared for her Organic Chemistry test in the ARC, laying her organic chemistry book on the desk in front of her. Earlier that morning, Gassie’s roommate, Stephanie Giangiuli, left Gassie an encouraging note on top of her organic book that read, “If you believe in yourself you can do it. Good luck with your O-Chem test. I wish I could help.” For a second Gassie looked like a normal college student, but the starting sophomore player, who scored three goals, two game winning, this season, has one of the busiest schedules on campus. After sleeping from 3 to 8:30 a.m., she showered and headed to the ARC. “I’m a big studier,” admitted Gassie with a shy smile. Later, Gassie ran from the ARC to her first class, which lasted from 11:00 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. Right after class,

Gassie changed for soccer in the locker room. Then, she sat through another class from 2:00 to 2:50 p.m. After her second class, Gassie went straight to organic class and took her chemistry test from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. Upon finishing her test, Gassie immediately hurried to a film meeting at 4:15 p.m., where the coach critiqued the team’s game. After the film meeting, Gassie practiced from 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. During practice Gassie set aside her worries about organic chemistry to focus on the task at hand. “You have to be constantly focused on what you’re doing at the time,” emphasized the soccer star. “My job right then is to perform on the field, so I need to get that done and out of the way.” Right after practice Gassie weight lifted from 7:00 p.m. to around 8:00 p.m. At 8:00 p.m., the worn out soccer player took a shower and crammed some dinner in before studying and doing homework. “I’ll go to the library and study until 2 a.m. in the morning…I guess that’s just how it’s flipped with ath-

letes,” explained Gassie. “We do our studying during the night rather than the day because you kind of have to.” This soccer player and time management expert called her team her support system. “I work with other athletes and we study because we basically have the same schedule… we basically try to get through it together,” said Gassie. Despite the sophomore’s hectic soccer schedule, she still supports her fellow athletes. “All the athletes hang out together so when we have games we’ll go out and support each other…we always go and support other teams because they are our friends on and off the field,” added Gassie. It’s easy to imagine how someone with such a busy schedule would maybe have second thoughts about playing at Division 1 level; however Lauren Gassie proves to be an exception. When asked what she would decide if she had the choice of not committing to play soccer in her freshman year, Gassie simply replied, “No, I wouldn’t do it any other way.”

Statistics Goals 5

Assists 2 Cecilia Villagomez / Cluster Staff

By Carly Iannarino Contributing Writer

To start off the season, both Mercer men’s and women’s cross country teams each had a strong showing in the University of Georgia Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 1. Overall, Mercer finished third. For the men, Saturday was an improvement on last year’s fourth pace finish in the same 8k race, while the women moved up three spots from their finish in the 5k last year. Both Kacie Niemann and Katlyn Will had top-10 finishes for Mercer women. Will, an off-season transfer from Alabama, secured the eighth overall position with a 5K time of 17:39.69. Continuing her success from last season, Niemann finished the race with a time of 17:21.54, a near personal record that had her finishing fourth overall. On Wednesday after the race, Niemann was named Atlantic Sun Conference Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week. With her impressive 5K time, she finished fourth out of a possible 63 runners. Niemann commented on how she was going to continue her success for the duration of her senior season. “Coach Bailey’s training has never failed me, so the plan for the rest of the season is to do exactly what he says, keep my mileage up, feed off the awesome work ethic of my new training partner, Katlyn Will, and give God the glory no matter what happens.” The remainder of the women’s team had a good showing as well. For their first race with the program, freshmen Kami Orrender and Jenna Gipperich each ran their 5k in under 20 minutes, aiding Mercer in finishing ahead of former A-Sun rival Campbell in the race. As a team, the women finished with a race average of 18:32.10. Finishing first for the Mercer men was senior Jacob Law, who finished 14th overall with a time of 27:10.69. Transfer student Lukas Steinheber, who ran last year in Germany, appeared as though he would finish first for Mercer as he actually led the race early on. Unfortunately he was not able

to keep the pace of his ardent start and finished 19th overall with a time of 27:20.30 The Bears’ freshmen Davis Trexler and Hunter Honeycutt, along with juniors Sony Prosper and Kasib Abdullah each finished within 10 seconds of one another to achieve a team score of 85. When asked what her thoughts were on the first meet of the season, Kacie Niemann responded by saying, “I was very excited about how the team performed, especially

The Alabama transfer, Katlyn Will also finished well with a sixth overall position and a time of 14:53.2. Both Will and Niemann led the Bears and finished among the top 10 runners in the first two races of the season. Junior Lena Hamvas and freshmen Kami Orrender and Lia Sewell were the Bears’ top five finishers in the race. Their times were 15:42.7, 16:41.1, and 16:51.8 respectively. All seven of the Mercer men’s team finished within one min-

“Coach Bailey’s training has never failed me, so the plan for the rest of the season is to do exactly what he says, keep my mileage up, feed off the awesome work ethic of my new training partner, Katlyn Will, and give God the glory no matter what happens.” Kacie Niemann, captain of Mercer Women’s Cross Country since two freshmen and a transfer were in the scoring top five. Everyone has been working really hard, so it wasn’t really a big surprise.” To follow up their strong start to the season, the Mercer men’s and women’s cross country teams came out with another impressive performance at the Auburn Invitational on Friday, Sept. 7. The men’s team took home third place among eight teams with 72 points, while the women finished fourth out of 11 teams with 119 points. Besides the strong team finish, there were several impressive individual performances on the day as well. Kacie Niemann had another successful race bringing home a third place finish. She ran the 4k route with a time of 14:34.9, only four seconds behind the second-place runner and 10 seconds faster than her next closest competitor.

ute of each other, resulting in a third place finish for the team. Junior Sony Prosper and freshman Lukas Steinheber led the way for the Bears. Prosper finished in 11th place with a time of 19:51.7 in the 6k race while Steinheber finished just behind him in 12th place with a time of 19:56.9 in just his second collegiate race. Freshman Davis Trexler finished the 6k with a time of 20:07.8 and only a couple of seconds behind him was senior Jacob Law who with finished with a 20:09.9 time. Trexler and Law took 15th and 16th place respectively. Freshman Hunter Honeycutt was not far behind them in 18th place with a time of 20:12.6 in his second collegiate race. Junior Kasib Abdullah rounded out the Bears’ finishers with a time of 20:35.2. The Bears will return to action on Sept. 29 at the Greater Louisville Classic in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012 - Page 7B


Men’s soccer on 4-game undefeated streak By Cecilia Villagomez Opinions Editor

The Mercer men’s soccer team is now 3-2-1 after going unbeaten in their last four matches. On Aug. 31, Mercer men’s soccer secured the first win of the Hotels at Grand Prairie Classic at Shea Stadium during the opening game against Nebraska-Omaha. The 2-0 result came out of two set piece goals and a fierce defensive line. In the 31st minute, the Bears earned a crucial set piece in Nebraska’s end of the field. Junior, Joey Heavner bent a free kick into the box where Ryan King was waiting. King headed into the back of the net to give the Orange and Black a 1-0 lead. Head Coach, Brad Ruzzo, stated, “[The success of set pieces] starts with [our team’s ability] to earn those set pieces in their end which was great.” Also commenting on the importance of set pieces, Will Betts says, “Set pieces are a massive part of any game. Over half of all goals scored at the professional level are done so within three passes of the initial ball on a restart. Our ability to score on set pieces this year is going to go a long way in dictating our success, and this weekend was proof of how important they are.” Ruzzo, in his post game interview added, “The balls that Joey Heavner played today were just phenomenal on their service….We probably could have had a couple more goals and set pieces early in the first half, but obviously, we’ve been stressing that and I’m certainly happy to see that come to fruition.” Heavner’s playmaking ability stands out, but a few other players stand out. According to Betts, “Carl Oscar is a phenomenal playmaker and plays clinical through balls and opens the field up for us. He’s continuing to prove himself as an elite player. Ryan King is also a huge workhorse for us on both sides of the ball. He wins the ball for us in critical areas and allows us to take

advantage of opponents being out of shape defensively.” Play slowed down at the start of the second half due to the Bears’ more conservative game play having entered the half with a 1-0 lead over Nebraska. Game play picked up in the 62nd minute when freshman David Murtaugh fired a shot wide of the goal. Two minutes later, the Bears earned another set piece, allowing another chance to score a goal. Off of a free kick service, Heavner provided senior Will Betts an opportunity to slide the ball past the keeper and into the goal to give Mercer a 2-0 lead. When asked what changed about the team’s dynamics in this game compared to the loss in the season opener games, Will Betts says, “We got back to our roots as a team and defended tenaciously from front to back and that was ultimately the key to our games. The locker room felt a lot more comfortable when we knew that we could do the necessary things to get wins.” Ruzzo, in response to the result of the game, stated, “We’re happy with the result, obviously. Anytime you can score two goals and get a clean sheet on the road, we’re certainly happy with it. The guys just worked and ground this one out today.” On Sept. 2, the Bears engaged in a hard fought battle for 110 minutes to earn a 2-2 result against Hartwick and eventually win the Hotels at Grand Prairie Classic Tournament title on Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Mercer finished the tournament with 1-0-1 record for the event. Junior Ryan King was named Tournament MVP, while seniors Joey Heavner and Will Betts and sophomore Ashani Samuels were also voted onto the All-Tournament team. According to Ryan King, Tournament MVP, “tournament games have more energy to them. We always try to win, obviously, but there was a sense of urgency that was lacking in the first weekend [of our season], and in the tournament that urgency came back. We had to win. [Winning} is always in our minds, but

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Senior forward Richie Edmonson has tallied two goals and one assist so far this season. He scored the only goal against N.C State and the game winner versus in-state rival Georgia Southern with a header from a Carl-Oscar Andersson cross.. this time we had something to prove and we all wanted this championship.” Will Betts, voted onto the AllTournament team added, “A tournament always adds some extra incentive because you have a tangible reward on the line and [the tangible reward] helps you keep the two games in perspective. We were able to use it as a motivator to give us the urgency and focus that we needed to get two results.” In response to the individual recognition that members of the team were awarded, King said, “I didn’t even know there were awards for tournament MVP. All I wanted was to win and I did whatever I could to make that a reality.” Betts

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Senior defender Joey Heavner has managed to gather one goal and five assists so far this season. He currently leads the Atlantic-Sun Conference in assists and is second in points.

commented, “We had 11 guys on the field at any given time that turned in all-tournament performances. I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to tuck two goals away, but as long as we’re getting goals and keeping the ball out of our net, it makes no difference to any of us who it is that’s scoring.” In an interview after the Hartwick game, Ruzzo commented on Mercer’s performance throughout the tournament. Ruzzo said, “I think at this point we’re satisfied. We wanted to come [out of the tournament] 2-0….We go home 1-01 and we learned some lessons but we did it without losing this weekend.” However, “I felt we let the [Hartwick] game slip away from us a little bit in the beginning of the second half, but if you look at the box score, I think we had 8 shots in overtime. I felt we were the aggressive team trying to go for the win,” says Ruzzo. Just over a minute into the Hartwick match, Mercer struck first courtesy of another well placed set piece. Freshman Juan Jose Morales fired the corner kick set piece into the mixer where senior Will Betts redirected the ball past Hartwick goalkeeper and into the back of the net to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. The Bears had a quality chance in the 42nd minute when senior Richie Edmondson sent in a cross that freshman David Murtaugh headed just over the bar to keep the score 1-0 in favor of Mercer. Hartwick redeemed themselves at the start of the second half with a counter attack goal in the 56th minute to tie the game at 1-1. The Hawks took advantage of the momentum generated by their recent goal and scored another goal in the 65th minute to give Hartwick a 2-1 lead. Wasting no time, the Bears used a shot from Heavner that deflected off a Hartwick defender into the back of the net in the 71st minute to tie the game back up at 2-2. Ruzzo commented that the Bears walked into the game wanting to “make sure we were the aggressive team. That we were going after [the ball] and not on our heels. We did that, I felt, through the entire first half and I just felt like we got a little complacent in the first 20 minutes of the second half where [Hartwick] ended up scoring their two goals. After they scored their second goal and were up 2-1, I felt like we took over the game a little bit then really pushed and got our second goal. So it was certainly a plan of ours to try and go after it today.” At the 90th minute of game play, the score remained at 2-2. The game went into overtime where neither team was able to secure a definitive win. Ruzzo, after the game, said, “We had a lot of chances. It’s just hard to score three goals

in a college soccer game, so it was unfortunate, a bit, for us to not get the third goal, the winning goal. But I’m proud of our team for fighting back, for playing the Hartwick team, which I think is a pretty good team, well-organized.” When asked how the Mercer men’s soccer team was planning on utilizing the momentum of the first successful weekend in future games. King said, “This success obviously gave us a lot to build upon in terms of momentum. Now that we have momentum, we are playing with a confidence about us that says we truly believe we are going to beat whoever we play. Whenever offense falters, great teams have a way of manufacturing goals. In our case, when our offense falters, we have set pieces that helped us win giving us 3 goals in two games.” Betts added, “We got a great glimpse of what it takes to win games. Great team defending and taking care of our chances in front of the goal are imperative to our success year in and year out. We’re looking to build on doing things the right way to ensure results from our remaining games.” Coming out of a successful tournament the previous weekend, the Mercer men’s soccer team exploded offensively to secure a 4-0 victory over Presbyterian in its 2012 home opener on Saturday evening at Bear Field. In the 9th minute of play, Mercer scored the first goal of the game. Multiple players were involved in the effort. Senior Joey Heavner played a well placed ball to Richie Edmondson who made a great run into the box and set up the final ball to senior Sharpe Sablon who slid the ball past Presbyterian goalkeeper to make the score 1-0. In the post-game interview, Ruzzo said, “[Sharpe Sablon] has been a kid that’s been with us from day one and bought into this program. He probably hasn’t gotten the minutes he’s wanted, through his three years, but now he’s become a quality player for us and he’s started here in the last six games. I’m happy he got our first goal for us.” The Orange and Black kept the game moving and doubled their advantage in the 30th minute thanks to a set piece. Senior Josh Shutter took the free kick from about 30 yards away and pummeled the ball into the upper left hand corner of the goal to take a 2-0 lead. Commenting on the progression of the game, Ruzzo said, “the guys were resilient tonight and trying, after that first goal, to get that second goal. At half time, we really talked about getting that third goal within the first 15, 20 minutes so we could put the game out of reach.” Mercer came out of halftime fired up, and dominated play for the remainder of the game.

Both Will Betts and David Murtaugh scored goals to insure the game was out of reach for Presbyterian. After the game, Ruzzo commented, “I felt that we deserved this win. Certainly we had some sloppy moments, but the guys were resilient. I think [our perormance] came down to working hard, and being fresh. We had six days to prepare for this game and certainly we were trained hard but then we tailed off about Thursday and Friday [leading up to game day] to be fresh and ready to go.” Leading into the Mercer versus Georgia Southern game, Head Coach Ruzzo anticipated this to be a difficult game. “Georgia Southern doesn’t have lights on their facility so it’s going to be at 4 p.m. so heat will be a factor, I’m sure.” The goal for the Bears, going into the game, was to “recover, rejuvenate, get our bodies and our legs underneath us and go. It’s always a one goal game with Georgia Southern. It’s an instate rival and there will be a quality side.” As Ruzzo predicted, the Mercer men’s soccer team secured it’s fourth result in a row with a well-deserved 1-0 shutout victory over Georgia Southern on Monday afternoon at Eagle Field. Both teams were evenly matched and prevented each other from generating much effort offensively throughout most of the first half. The best chance of the half for Mercer came in the 27th minute. Sophomore Ashani Samuels headed a corner kick service on the net. The ball was almost immediately corralled by Georgia Southern goalkeeper to keep the score tied at 0-0 going into halftime. Georgia Southern had the first promising chance of the game at the start of the second half. The Eagles fired a shot from about 35 yards away. Mercer goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh made a diving save to keep the contest nulled in the 50th minute. Mercer continued to dominate offensively with frequent forward runs. In the 78th minute, these forward runs paid off. Sophomore Carl-Oscar Andersson collected a stray ball and played a cross into the box. Senior Richie Edmondson was ready and waiting. Edmondson headed the ball into the back of the net to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. Mercer goalkeeper, Ranjitsingh maintained the 1-0 lead for Mercer by making a season-high of six saves to achieve his 10th career shutout. Mercer returns home and looks to continue their winning streak this Sunday when it welcomes in-state rival Georgia State into town. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Bear Field.


The Cluster - Sept. 12, 2012 - Page 8B

Sports Editor Bryson Jones

Women’s Soccer wins two, drops two

Bryson Jones / Cluster Staff

By Carly Iannarino Contributing Writer

With a 2-1-1 start to their season, the Mercer women’s soccer team was looking to continue adding wins to the board in the game against Alabama A&M on Friday, Aug. 31. They did just that with a shutout win of 6-0. The pace and play of the game was dominated by the Bears as they outshot the Lady Bulldogs 32-2 on the night. The Bears’ 32 shots were most in nearly a year when they had 34 against Alabama St. last season. Sophomore Lauren Gassie continued to be a standout player by scoring a free kick just outside of the Lady Bulldogs’ box in the seventh minute. This goal would be Gassie’s third of the season, making her the Bears’ current leading scorer. Alabama A&M’s goalkeeper was under high pressure while the Bears’ aggressive offense fired seven shots in the first 15 minutes of play. To jump out to a 2-0 lead, a long cross from Gassie was deflected off an Alabama A&M defender into their own net, resulting in a goal in the 30th minute. For the duration of the first half, the Bears had a couple of close opportunities missed, ending the half with a 2-0 lead. Throughout the second half,

the Bears were able to overcome their struggle to find the scoring touch by taking control and scoring four more goals in the second half. With 17 shots in the period, the Bears finished looking much more confident and poised. Going into the second half, the Bears looked to capitalize their lead. In the 65th minute, Sophomore MacKenzie Stewart scored her first goal of the season with a long shot over the keeper’s head after stealing the ball from an Alabama A&M player. Not too long after extending the lead to 3-0, another goal was put on the board when Sophomore Rachel Buffalo found the back of the net with a chest pass assist from Senior Danielle Hesse. A mere three minutes after Buffalo’s goal, Danielle Hesse crossed the ball into the box for Freshman Sydney Brogden to jump up and head passed the keeper into the goal. This would extend the Bears lead to an impressive score of 5-0. Finally to finish the game in the 89th minute, Freshman Marissa Hartert stole the ball in the box, passed it up to classmate Kailey Bryan to shoot the final goal of the game. During the game, 15 different Bears recorded a shot and all four of the Bears that scored in the second half garnered their first career goal. Limiting only two shots total, the Bears’ defense came

out looking very strong. Junior Nikki Atkinson started in the goal, but freshman Maggie Cropp finished out the second half. Two days following the shutout win against Alabama A&M, the Bears traveled to Alabama where they had trouble finding the back of the net, leading to an unfortunate loss to the Crimson Tide with a score of 3-0. Alabama outshot the Bears 30-10, even with the Bears offensive momentum coming off of the impressive 6-0 shutout against Alabama A&M. The Bears’ offense started off looking pretty good when just 3 1/2 minutes in, Junior Casey Barrett took a shot forcing Alabama’s keeper, Shelby Church to make a save. Unfortunately, the Crimson Tide responded, and just over two minutes later, buried on into the back of the net. Alabama’s Thersea Diederich forced a turnover in the Bears’ zone and put a nice touch on the ball that sailed over the outstretched arms of Nikki Atkinson making the score 1-0. Less than 10 minutes later, the Crimson Tide would capitalize again. In the 15th minute, Alabama’s Pia Rijsdijk took a nice feed from the corner to shoot the ball into the back-post, extending the Crimson Tide lead to 2-0. After this goal, the Bears got off only one more shot to finish the half.

Mercer’s offensive chances were limited as Alabama continued to play an aggressive defense for the duration of the second half. This would be the first time this season that the Bears failed to secure a corner kick in a game. So far this season, the Bears have held a 40-4 advantage in corner kicks over their opponent. In this match-up, Alabama had the advantage, 8-0. Alabama continued to capitalize their lead in the 66th minute when Rijsdijk scored her second of the match. After getting a nice cross from outside the box, Rijsdijk was able to head the ball to the goal after deflecting off of Mercer’s keeper, freshman Maggie Crop. The final score of the day was an unfortunate 3-0, putting the Bears at a 3-2-1 start for the season. The Bears’ losing streak continued on Friday, Sept. 7, against an in-state rival, Georgia State. The Panthers scored a goal in the 10th minute of Friday’s contest, and after a furious comeback attempt, the Bears fell just short to lose the match 1-0. Although the final score doesn’t reflect their efforts, the Bears put up a tough fight against GSU. Mercer actually outshot the Panthers 12-5 on Friday, with 11 different players recording shots in the game, but just could not find the back of the net. The Bears fell behind early

in the first half when Georgia State’s Jordan Young put one in the goal off an assist by teammate Whitney Ravan. It was a nice shot from eight yards out into the upper near post and forced Mercer to play from behind from the start. The Bears forced pressure on GSU’s defense by cranking out five shots in the period, however they walked into halftime trailing behind at 1-0. The Bears were provided an opportunity to get back into the game with seven second half shots, five total corner kicks and 10 Georgia State penalties but GSU’s goalkeeper Rebecca Toler was able to make four saves and keep the Bears at a distance. Ending the game with a loss of 1-0, the Bears knew that going into the next game, they would have to overcome their offensive struggles and find the back of the net on their home turf to add another win to their record. “Despite these two losses, we still competed with our opponent. They were both solid teams and these games are only going to better prepare us for our more important conference games,” said Sophomore Washida Blackman. “Once we can minimize our mental errors and execute, we’ll be able to turn what would be losses into wins and finish our season successfully,” Blackman added. The Mercer women’s soc-

cer team scored early which helped lead them to a 7-0 win over Alcorn State just two days after their unfortunate loss to Georgia State. The Bears’ seven goals is the most they have scored in a single game since downing South Carolina State 12-0 in 2004. Little time was wasted as junior Nicole Young ran onto a loose ball and fired a shot from 40 yards away just under the crossbar and past the Alcorn State goalkeeper just three minutes into the game. Two minutes later, sophomore Brianna Stampler had a long strike of her own to put the Bears at a lead of 2-0. Sophomore Lauren Gassie found the back of the net from a cross pass from junior Jordan Sink which extended the lead 3-0. In the final three minutes of the period, the Bears stepped up their offensive pressure by tallying three more goals. Sophomore MacKenzie Stewart along with sophomore Tess Patton and freshman Sydney Brogden all contributed to the Bears’ halftime lead of 6-0. Lauren Gassie tallied her second goal of the day and teamleading fifth of the season in the second half with a shot to the lower left corner, assisted by Washida Blackman. This extended the lead to 7-0. The Bears look to keep up this momentum in an away game against Jacksonville State on Friday, Sept. 14th.

Bear Facts: Top Performers Men’s Soccer

Women’s Soccer

Will Betts

Lauren Gassie



Leads team with four goals on four shots.

Leads team with five goals and two assists.

Women’s Volleyball

Monica Sanchez

Molly Locke

Jamie Duffy




Has dished out 217 assists so far in her senior campaign as setter.

Leads team with 87 kills in six matches in first season for the Bears.

Earned AllTournament honors at Georgia State Invititational.

Mercer Cluster, Issue 3, 2012  
Mercer Cluster, Issue 3, 2012  

Third issue of The Cluster, fall 2012.