Page 1

August 14, 2013 Volume XCVI Issue I

In this issue OPINIONS

Erica O’Neal tells freshmen about ideal study places Page 3


Get the lowdown on the new Cruz Plaza Page 6

2017 Welcome class of


Find out about must-go-to places downtown Page 7


There are at least five events freshmen should attend this week: don’t miss them! Page 11

ENTERTAINMENT Mercer Arts has a lot to offer this year: Galleries, concerts, shows and more Page 13


The football team is ready for their first season. Are you? Page 14

Erica O'Neal - Opinions Editor -

August 14, 2013 - Page 2

Opinions clustereditors Editor in Chief Emily Farlow

Managing Editor Patrick Hobbs

Opinions Erica O’Neal

News Josh Glasscock



Local Molly Wilkins

Features Marin Guta



Entertainment Rachel Snapp

Sports Carly Iannarino

Copy Editor Katey Skelton

Photography Trey Smith





Online Editor Business Manager Conner Wood Kelsey Jones



Adviser Lee Greenway

Letter From The Editor

By Emily Farlow Editor in Chief

The new face of The Cluster.

“Whenever I hear The Cluster, I think of cluster... ‘eff...’” People say that to us a lot. Hopefully it’s because clusterf*** is a phrase that sticks in people’s minds, and not because The Cluster is a clusterf***. Even though we’re used to it and we don’t mind much, here’s the real origin of The Cluster, Mercer University’s student newspaper: According to “Why Mercer Student Publications Have Their Names,” by Bert Struby, “The Cluster of Spiritual Songs, Divine Hymns and Sacred Poems” was the name of a book of hymns edited by Mercer University founder Jesse Mercer in 1835. In 1920, when The Cluster first began publishing, it was named in honor of the baptist minister’s book of songs. In fact, if you give the Jesse Mercer statue by the quad a visit, you’ll see a book called The Cluster forever memorialized in his hand. The Cluster is a lot different now than it was back in the 1800s when it was first conceived by Jesse Mercer.

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:

Emily Farlow

tures a silhouette of the Jesse Mercer statue, complete with The Cluster on his lap. Patrick (Managing Editor of The Cluster) and I chose that design because, despite all of the changes, we wanted to make sure we remembered where The Cluster came from: A book of hymns based on the convictions and beliefs of a baptist minister who valued education and hard work. Our conviction and belief is that news is important, and we will work hard this year to give Mercer the news it deserves. Welcome back, Mercerians!

“Macon” Summer Memories: How will you make Macon part of your year? By Kelsey Jones Business Manager


The most obvious difference is that we don’t publish songs about Jesus. That’s not really the purpose of a newspaper. (Though it is the purpose of The Dulcimer, Mercer’s literary magazine. You can submit all your songs, poems, short stories and art to them!) As a newspaper, The Cluster is also different now than it was when it began in 1920. The Cluster is even different than it was last year. The newspaper is smaller in size now, though we can still publish the same amount of news. The layout looks different, and you’ll notice more color in each issue. We are also going to work hard to update our website with videos, photos and breaking news. Our goal is to keep the students of Mercer interested and concerned about the news happening around them. If The Cluster wants to keep up with the ways journalism and news are changing, then The Cluster has to change, and I hope you will like what we have done and what we will do. Let us know what you think of our new look, and please email any ideas or suggestions you may have to me. You’ll notice that our new masthead fea-

Last January, I made one resolution before returning to school and that was: to not live at home the upcoming summer. I weighed my options, and though they were numerous I am sure, I already had my heart set on staying in Macon. Why, you may ask? For one, it was financially responsible. The first job I committed to for the summer was as a camp assistant for Residence Life. The biggest perk of the job description was free housing for the summer, an offer that seemed to hop off the page and into my loving arms. The job turned out to be awesome, and no, Residence Life is not paying me to say that! I met new people, learned how to “pull keys”--sometimes for an entire building at one time--, and saved a few camp kiddos from lock-outs. The job was not too demanding as far as time and energy and was well worth the experience it provided. The staff in Residence Life really are great people, and I would definitely recommend you get to know them. I took on a second job and a third job almost within the same day--the first being with the College Hill Alliance and the second as a nursery worker at First Baptist Church of Christ (FBCX). At College Hill, I had some typical office duties, but I also had some pretty neat opportunities within the community. If you are looking for a job this semester that impacts the community and is fun, I would look no further than an internship with College Hill. In May, I saw the largest gathering we have ever seen at a Second Sunday, and I finished my last

Break some of the stigmas you may have heard about Macon and instead, make it your own. It is your community to play in, to grow up in, to make friends in, and I think this is a perfect year to put your stamp on it.

Second Sunday in July with a ride down a homemade slip-n-slide in Washington Park. At FBCX, keeping one year olds every Sunday morning proved to be a whole different line of work. I would argue that most days there is no greater joy than those little ones, and I always leave the nursery feeling so much more positive.

After taking into account the job and housing situation, another reason I needed to work in Macon for the summer was to fulfill my senior project requirement for the Mercer Service Scholars program. In addition to these jobs, I helped write a few grants for the Methodist Home for Children and Youth. It was a good experience that I am proud to call my culminating work for the Mercer Service Scholars program. My third, and probably the most important, reason for staying in Macon was and still is that I love this city. I wanted to spend one summer in the city I affectionately call a second home before I graduate.I knew there would be a lot to soak up in Macon’s summer rays, and I wholeheartedly think I did. From celebrating my 21st birthday at the Hummingbird on a Saturday night to watching the fireflys dance on the back roads in North Macon, I think I had a special summer. I would not have traded this summer in Macon to have been anywhere else. I say all of this not to divulge to you the details of my summer, but moreso to challenge you to likewise make Macon a part of your year. There are numerous opportunities-- going to Second Sunday or Mulberry Street Market, visiting a church, eating downtown and in Mercer Village, going for a run through a nearby neighborhood--and they are only waiting for you. Break some of the stigmas you may have heard about Macon and instead, make it your own. It is your community to play in, to grow up in, to make friends in, and I think this is a perfect year to put your stamp on it.

August 14, 2013 - Page 3


Best study spaces on campus By Erica O’Neal Opinions Editor

Welcome to Mercer freshmeat! I mean... freshmen! You’ve made a successful leap from high school bores to college adventures! Now while you’re making new friends, and settling into your new dorm, it’s important to explore campus and find potential study places. Trust me, you will get a boat-load of school work, you will realize quickly that your bed is NOT a good place for productivity and you will be searching for a new study spot. No worries! Here you will find a list of study spaces that have certainly helped me: 1. The Co-op. I just call this the coop (like a chicken coop). I’m sure it’s already been pointed out to you, but just so you know, the coop is located in the Connell Student Center outside Bear Necessities (you have to go through the coop to get there). I love to study in the upstairs part of the coop on the wooden benches and tables. It’s very focus-friendly up there, and I can usually find a table to myself to spread out my laptop and books. The coop is also very useful for studying in a group. Piece of advice: Be sure your laptop is fully charged before you go study here because unfortunately there are no power outlets (or just bring an extra long extension chord to plug in downstairs). 2. Study Rooms in Tarver Library. Study rooms are excellent places for

concentrating on your work. They are quiet, brightly lit and there’s a dry erase board in each room. You can also choose which level of the library you want to study in based on whether you want background noise. I know I can’t focus on writing unless I’m listening to music. If you’re the type that needs absolute silence, than go to the third floor and you can practically hear your blood flowing. 3. Jittery Joe’s. This is a fantastic place to study and get absorbed in a focus bubble. Grab a coffee, choose a table and hit the books! Usually you can find a table to work on your own or with a group of friends. However, it can be difficult to study here sometimes because it’s a high traffic area for students. You’re bound to get caught up talking to some friends who stopped by for coffee. Just be careful you actually study while you’re there. 4.Engineering Building. Yes,

Study where? 1. The Co-op

Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

Jittery Joe’s in Mercer Village.

Cozy couches in the co-op. even if you’re not an engineer, you can still take advantage of the empty classrooms available. The big dry erase boards and large rooms are perfect for studying in a group. It’s also quiet enough to study on your own. 5. University Center. The UC has plenty of cozy couches and tables to sit and study. I enjoy sitting on the couches overlooking the pool. It’s also very convenient for getting meals while you’re studying. Chick-Fil-A, Subway and Burger Studio provide a variety of food for you to choose from. The UC stays open until midnight every night so you can study late. So now you have an idea of where to study and do work on campus. Time to flutter your wings little chickadees and explore all the great spots off campus in Macon! Flip to the local section for a guide on your off campus adventures. Have fun!

because of that school, and the town has used that knowledge to flourish; many shops and restaurants use the Gator image as a marketing technique. It is a direct impact on society, both financially, and towards the image. Does Macon boast a similar story? In many ways, it does. When Mercer University moved to Macon, Georgia in 1871, the town was naturally much different than it is today. It was a growing town, and the campus helped to move that along. Today we see that still – one example being the Mercer Village expansion, just a few years ago. That movement alone brought a lot of business to this side of town, and offered many more reasons for non-students to be on this side of town.

While Mercer does offer its mix of activities open to the general public, the new campus will most often be barren of visitors, and will therefore remain almost exclusive to Mercer students. This is a shame because many students are going to prefer campus to Tatnall Square Park, across the street. Non-students are going to prefer Tatnall. This was similar to previous years, but with the nicer campus, there’s going to be even less motivation to visit the city park, and the rift will be even more apparent. The campus changes are a long time coming, and are extremely welcome by all. It is going to lead to a great improvement on the image of both Mercer University, and Macon itself. Like a ripple, the quality of

Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

2. Tarver Library

3. Jittery Joe’s 4. Engineering Building 5. University Center

Mercer’s student perspective: Cruz Plaza By Jacob Missall Contributing Writer

It really is spectacular just how much of a difference these last six months have made to the school. From the fountains, to the renovated Porter Patch, the modifications make a striking impression on anybody who looks at them. To somebody who knows nothing about Mercer University, the new campus would make it obvious that great things are done here, and a visitor would immediately recognize this as a high-class institute that puts a strong emphasis on education and quality of life. The focus on the appearance of campus reflects a high importance of student life, and one would gather a great idea of what it’s like to be a student here. What about the image of Macon? Do the changes to the campus affect the community as a whole, or does it affect nothing further than the borders of the campus itself? Would a visitor to the town see it as a nice change to campus, or a nice change to the town itself? Overall, schools do make up a large part of the communities around them. Whether by student involvement, or by citizen interaction with campus, schools and cities are very much linked to each other. In some places, cities are built around the schools in them. Gainesville, Florida is very well-known as a college town. It is, of course, Gator country – Home of the University of Florida. Many people all over the country know that town solely

Erica O’Neal / Cluster Staff

Mercer University campus during construction.

campus is going to raise the quality of the surrounding areas and eventually the entire town. However, I just don’t see a direct influence to the people of Macon. There is an invisible wall around campus in the form of train tracks and overpasses, and it really puts a damper on human interaction. People only grow when they interact with unlike-minded people, and I just don’t see these offering that. Is that a bad thing? Of course not; that was not the purpose of the changes. They were meant to make campus a relaxing place for students to learn and study, and they do a wonderful job of that. We just need to remember that we have an obligation to the people around us. We are scholars, students, and good neighbors, and we can’t forget that.

Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

Mercer campus as it looks today.

Joshua Glasscock - News Editor -


Mercer alumni receive recognition

August 14, 2013 - Page 4

Mercer campus doctor recieves national award By Joshua Glasscock News Editor

Mercer Marketing and Communications

The Georgia Asian Times named Mercer Alumni Bryan Ramos, and Sharon Lim as Harle, and Farooq Mughal as three of the top 25 most influential Asian Americans in Georgia.

By Joshua Glasscock News Editor

The Georgia Asian Times has published a list of the ‘Top 25 Most Influential AsianAmericans in Georgia.’ The list includes Farooq Mughal, Sharon Lim Harle, and Bryan Ramos, each Mercer University alumni. Mughal said he was “humbled and honored for receiving the award.” Both Ramos and Harle expressed similar attitudes towards their awards. “Honored, very honored. Really did not know I was considered,” said Harle. Each of the three Mercer Alumni have been active following their graduation from Mercer University. Since his graduation in 2000, Mughal has become a managing partner of MS Global Partners. His expertise mainly lies in government relations, political affairs, international trade, negotiation, and global public affairs. In May of 2013, Mughal met with Vice President Joe Biden to speak with him about immigration reform. According to him, about 40 leaders from the AsianAmerican community received an invitation to the meeting. “I give all the credit to my university; I give all the credit to my professors,” said Mughal. Mughal also wanted to give a special thanks to Dr. Leona Kanter, his advisor whom he credits for pushing him to work so hard to get this far. Harle said she originally came to Mercer as an international student, and that she is “glad to be part of the community.” Since she graduated from Mercer’s Atlanta campus with a BBA in 1996 and an MBA in 2000 from the Stetson School of Business and Economics, she has worked with Mercer Alumni services University Special Events, including Commencements, alumni reunions, and various academic Boards and ceremonies. She also continues her work with international students on campus, and stays in contact with international alumni.

“I give all the credit to my university; I give all the credit to my professors” Farooq Mughal, Governmental and Political Advisor for MS Global Apart from her work with Mercer University, Harle has also done extensive work outside of Mercer. She helped set up Atlanta Asian Film Festival, which premiered in 2000. She was also involved with the Atlanta Centennial Olympics in 1996 by hosting the Malaysian contingent as well as the Malaysian Royal family. In 2007, the annual Who’s Who In Asian American Communities honored Harle. Ramos graduated from Mercer’s Law School in 1999, and this is his third time winning this award. He mainly works as a worker compensation lawyer. After his graduation, he worked as a clerk for a law firm in Atlanta for several years before founding the Ramos Law Firm in 2005, of which he is the current President. “If I’m going to work this hard, I’m going to work for myself,” said Ramos, referring to his decision to found his own law firm. Apart from his work with his, law firm, Ramos is also very active in the Asian community and the Democratic Party. He attended both inaugurations of President Obama, and he spoke at the White House earlier in the year about fiscal policy. Each of the alumni seemed to be proud of their time at Mercer and happy that they were part of its community. “It gave me a good feeling, that out of 25, you had 3 that went to Mercer,” said Ramos. The awards were humbling to all of them, and they are dedicated to continuing their work. “Nice to be recognized, but it’s not what it’s all about,” said Ramos.

The National Medical Association has awarded the 2013 Practitioner of the Year Award to Dr. Warren Hutchings, Director of the Student Health Center and on the Macon Campus of Mercer University. This year is the first time Dr. Hutchings has won the Practitioner of the Year Award. “I felt great, I mean that was one of the most wonderful experiences,” said Dr. Hutchings, referring to how he felt when he learned the news. He went on to say he was surprised when he received the award. The National Medical Association awards one physician each year with the Practitioner of the Year Award. The National Medical Association usually considers around 5o,ooo physicians for the award each year, according to Dr. Hutchings. Dr. Hutchings also mentioned that winning the award is usually a onetime event; physicians do not typically win the award more than once. He has also won several other awards such as the Dr. George A. Johnston Sr. Community service Award, and the MGMS Outstanding Leadership Award. When asked how one would become eligible for winning Practitioner of the Year, he said, “You’re nominated by one of your peers.” Dr. Hutchings received his nomination from Dr. Millard Collier Jr. the Presi-

“I felt great, I mean that was one of the most wonderful experiences.” Dr. Warren Hutchings, Director of Student Health Center at Mercer University dent of the Georgia State Medical Association (GSMA). Dr. Hutchings is the current board chair for GSMA and was the president for 2011-2012 year. He is also the CEO and founder of the Middle Georgia Medical Society (MGMS) and served as its president for several years. Dr. Hutchings has been working at Mercer University for seven years. He started working at Mercer University in 2006 when he joined the Family Health Department. Dr. Hutchings had already been working in Macon since 1996 at that point. “I’m part time/part time,” said Dr.

Mercer Marketing and Communications

Dr. Warren Hutchings, Director of the Student Health Center at Mercer University’s Macon Campus.

Hutchings, describing what it is like for him to work in two departments. As of now, Dr. Hutchings spends half of his time at the Student Health Center and he spends the other half of his time with Mercer’s Family Medicine department. Apart from his work at the Student Health Center and Family Health Center, he also works with Mercer Athletic Department as one of the family medical physicians. “It’s been excellent,” said Dr. Hutchings, describing the time he spent working at Mercer University. “I’ve been able to maintain my practice and my presence,” said Dr. Hutchings, referring to the fact that his work with Mercer University’s Student Health Center does not prevent him from working with family health. As for the award itself, Dr. Hutchings said that it “was a wonderful opportunity to showcase Mercer,” referring chiefly to Mercer’s School of Medicine. Dr. Hutchings went on to say, “Mercer has shown consistent community involvement” and he says he was glad he was able to highlight that by winning this award. The National Medical Association holds an annual Convention and Scientific Assembly. This year is the Association’s 112th assembly. This year’s assembly is in Toronto, Canada, and it is there that Dr. Hutchings will accept his award.

SGA strive strives to make the students students’ voices heard and to uphold Mercer’s vibrant and academically enriched environment. If you are interested in acting as a liaison between students and campus administrators, SGA is the perfect organization with which YOU could be involved! For questions and more information, contact the Elections Marshal Min Oh at!

8/28 : Sign-Ups & Qualifications @ CSC 9/3-4 : Polls Open

Every year, the Heritage Life Committee of SGA hosts three main events! Join us in celebrating Mercer’s traditions and founders.

10/18 : Pilgrimage to Penfield 12/5 : Christmas Tree Lighting 2/5 : Founders’  Day

Let SGA help you get ready for tailgating and football games! Check out our brand new canopy tents, coolers, and folding arm chairs. Stop by the SGA office or email us at for more information!

Joshua Glasscock - News Editor -

August 14, 2013 - Page 6


Cruz Plaza: Mercer’s new setup

Mercer University’s newly completed Cruz Plaza is located at the center of the school’s campus located in Macon. the video, Cruz felt that there needed to be Brumley, they are going to finish the project by the time freshman move in. a central place on campus for students to By Joshua Glasscock gather. Mercer also chose to expand the project News Editor during Cruz Plaza’s construction. AdminMercer University hired the Atlanta based landscaping and architecture company istrator Brumley said that throughout the HGOR to handle the design of Cruz Plaza. project, they found new opportunities for improvement during construction and they HGOR has had history of handling projects Groundbreaking for the new Cruz Plaza on college campuses. Their past projects felt it was the best time to add those imtook place on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2013. include handling the designs of colleges provements in. Mercer trustee Milton L Cruz, a graduate such as Emory University, Georgia InstiWhen describing the effect the Cruz Plaza of Mercer University’s College of Liberal tute of Technology, and Wesleyan School. will have on Mercer’s campus, AdminisArts, provided the lead gift for the contrator Brumley said that it “creates a park The original deadline for the project’s struction of the plaza. His wife Aileen completion was in July, but there were like environment” for the students and that Rosso, his father Juan Cruz Rosario, and some delays due to the unusually heavy he expects the plaza will be “heavily used sister Zorida Cruz Torres are also Mercer amounts of rainfall in the spring. Accordby students, faculty and staff”. graduates and contributed to the gift alonging to Larry Brumley, senior vice president Some of the plaza’s amenities mentioned side him. for marketing, communications, and chief included fountains, tables, and chairs by In a video news release by Mercer UniConnell Student Center, as well as benchof staff at Mercer University, there were versity, Dr. James Netherton, executive only a few delays in the project due to the es all around the plaza, electrical outlets, vice president of administration and firain. and new lighting. One other change to the nance at Mercer, Cruz wanted to improve campus is that the Mercer Bear statue that The construction crew did what he dethe campus by removing the abandoned scribed as an “amazing” job of working used to be by the University Center was street Edgewood Avenue. According to relocated during construction and is now around the rain. According to administrator

Patrick Hobbes / Cluster Staff

located in Cruz Plaza. Administrator Brumley mentioned that the plaza is a great place to host some of Mercer University’s formal events. One example he gave was that they could hold outdoor commencement services, which could allow them to have more room for the families of Mercer University students that are attending the event. When asked how he believes the students will react, Administrator Brumley says that he believes that students who last saw the campus in early May, while it was still in the earlier stages of construction will find it to be a “real jaw dropper”. According to him, they have already heard “real exclamations of surprise” from students who have seen the completed plaza for the first time.

Construction for Phase III of the Lofts is underway By Patrick Hobbs Managing Editor

Mercer University is expanding its student housing portfolio on the North side of campus. Sierra Development broke ground this summer in the construction of the third phase of the Lofts at Mercer Village. Jim Daws, president of Sierra Development, is looking forward to transforming the College Street entrance of Mercer University. Daws estimates that the building will cost $8 to $9 million and should be completed in a year. “I’m hoping to have the same wow impact,” as the first two loft apartment buildings, said Daws. The new residential building will have 111 bedrooms; a necessity due to larger class enrollments and University imposed restrictions on off-campus housing. Starting in Fall 2014, all students must live on campus for their first three years at Mercer. Larry Brumley, senior vice president for marketing communications, said that dis-

cussions regarding student housing beyond the third phase of the lofts is already underway. Jim Daws hopes that he can expand the Mercer lofts all the way through the College Corridor into downtown Macon. Sierra Development is adding more amenities to the new building because of its distance from restaurant-oriented Mercer Village. Daws said the completed building will include a Wi-Fi cafe, coffee bar, tv lounge, game room, and study rooms will

Patrick Hobbes / Cluster Staff

Phase III of the Lofts at Mercer Village are currently under construction.

dot the floors of the building. Daws said the coffee bar will most likely be managed by employee of Sierra development, but he is considering reaching out the Jittery Joes in Mercer Village. Daws said Sierra Development is hiring a interior decorator out of Atlanta to design the rooms in the post-modern style of new apartments in New York City. At the very least, the apartments will feature bamboo flooring and stainless-steel appliances. The lofts are being constructed on property owned by Mercer University, between Alexander II Magnet School and 1268 College St., the derelict yet historic Jordan Apartments building. The Jordan Apartments building was originally slated for demolition to make room for an outdoor pavilion at the lofts said Daws. However, the Historic Macon Foundation raised the funds necessary to rehabilitate the Jordan Apartments building and convert it into four two-bedroom student apartments. Sierra Development will assist Historic Macon in securing the supplies necessary to restore the 1940s era building to its original condition.

Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

A yellow house is being moved to make room for the new lofts. Sierra Development hired AmericanLowe to move another historic structure, a yellow house at 1256 College St., onto Mercer’s campus next to the Tift Alumnae House. Mercer will oversee the restoration of the yellow house, but has no concrete plans for its use. Josh Rogers said the the restoration of the yellow house on Mercer’s campus should be relatively easy. “The house is architecturally unique. Once it’s gone, it’s gone” said Josh Rogers, executive director of Historic Macon.

Molly Wilkins - Local Editor -


August 14, 2013 - Page 7

Your downtown Macon guide By Molly McWilliams Wilkins Local Editor

Being new to any town can be difficult, most especially as a student. Along with navigating new classes, activities, meeting new people there is also learning the town itself. The Cluster will bring you a series of articles focusing on different hotspots in Macon according to their geography and service category. In this issue, our Opinions Editor, Erica O’Neal, covered places within Mercer Village that one can usehere we present to you just some of the must know places of Downtown Macon. Food: Rookery- A Macon Tradition since 1976, this local eatery was visited by Harrison Ford and other stars of the movie “42”. They are best known for their various hamburgers with everything from their signature black angus Rookery Burger to the Jimmy Carter Burger with peanut butter and applewood smoked bacon to even the Widespread Diner Burger: double stacked patties, American cheese, sautéed onions, bread and butter pickles topped with mustard and Coca Cola ketchup. Bearfoot Tavern- This is one of the Hotplates Restaurant Group locations, also including Tic Toc Room, Ginger, and Kashmir; Bearfoot features personal TVs in each booth as well as large high definition TVs. Their tacos are a local favorite along with the large selection of draft and bottled beers. Roasted- This downtown establishment has you covered for coffee, food and nightlife. Stop in anytime for your caffeine fix or come in for their Grown Up PB&J featuring peanut butter and jelly in between three waffles. Owner Nick Rizkalla is also

NewTown Macon / Special to The Cliuster

This map of downtown Macon provided by NewTown Macon highlights portions of the downtown area. a Mercer graduate. For entertainment, which was where Gregg Allman proposed erything from art lessons to music events Roasted has been known to host imprompto Cher. and even hosts New City Church. Those tu afternoon d.j. sessions featuring the likes Entertainment: looking to start a new business can even of Macon’s own Shawty Slim- tour d.j. for The Hummingbird Stage and Taproomtake advantage of their business incubator B.o.B. Roasted has also covered everything “The Bird”, as locals and those here long with discounted office spaces and mentorfrom bluegrass bands to karaoke nights. enough alike call it, has been home to live ing programs. Downtown Grill- For an evening out with music and entertainment since opening in Worship: friends or a date, class it up at Downtown 2005. Weekly specials and events include: Many times Macon is referred to as the Grill. This restaurant has been home to $1 well drinks on Mondays, Team Trivia “buckle of the Bible Belt” due to the abuntwo previous restaurants including Leo’s, every Wednesday, $8 bottomless mugs on dance of churches available. Downtown Thursdays as well as all you drink PBR and Macon covers nearly every denomination High Life, and live music each weekend. with St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Christ The Hummingbird is closed on Sundays Church and St. Paul’s Episcopal Churches, except for private events. Mulberry Methodist, First Presbyterian The Crazy Bull- This new entertainment Church, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox, First facility will be opening in the near future Baptist, Centenary Methodist, and more. on Second Street. Boasting three levels Outside of the Christian faith two Jewish upon completion, The Crazy Bull will feasynagogues can also be found downtown: ture mostly country music with some rock Temple Beth Israel on Cherry Street and and roll acts. It will even be available for Congregation Sha’arey Israel on First private rentals. Rizkalla said, “we have it Street. all! From coffee and sandwiches to live For those who do not wish to walk downbands and karaoke!” town or do not have their own vehicle, Cox Capitol Theatre- The Capitol TheMercer has partnered with NewTown Maatre opened in 1916 as the premier theater con to provide a trolley program in the evefor Macon, but was close in 1976 and left nings. You can find the trolley operating in disrepair until renovation began in 2003. hours here: It would reopen in 2006 as the Cox Capitol Another draw for student to come downTheatre and is available for use now as an town is First Friday, and even that takes event facility as well as for various perforplace every first Friday of the month. mances. Edwin McCain will perform here Many businesses stay open late with some on Oct. 24. restaurants event hosting live bands on Grand Opera House- The Grand Opera their patios. Macon Arts Alliance’s ComHouse has had the likes of Harry Houdini munications Director Jonathan Dye states on its stage as well as the Macon Sympho“Mercer students know about First Friday. ny Orchestra. The opera house also stages They come downtown for lots of great a yearly performance of the Nutcracker events, and Macon Arts Alliance should be and past Broadway shows. This year’s the place to start on First Friday. Our openschedule includes Memphis, Bring It On: ing receptions are held from 5 (p.m.) until The Musical, The Ten Tenors: On Broad8 (p.m.). They’re fun and they’re free. Visway and many more. iting the gallery is the perfect way to start a Macon Arts Alliance- The Macon Arts Friday date night, or just to begin the eveEmily Farlow / Cluster Staff Alliance’s Gallery is located on First ning with a group of friends to walk around Street. Each First Friday their latest show and check out downtown. With original art Woolfolk performs at The 567 Center for Renewal during the 2013 Bragg Jam is launched with a preview party. by local artists, there’s no place like it, and music festival. The 567 Center for Renewal- This space it’s uniquely Macon.” on Cherry Street in downtown offers ev-

Molly Wilkins - Local Editor -

August 14, 2013 - Page 8


Macon’s signature summer music festival: Bragg Jam

Patrick Hobbs/ Cluster Staff

Macon and Cochran based band, Back City Woods, performs during Bragg Jam at The Cox Capitol Theatre. The alternative country rock band drew a large crowd.

By Molly McWilliams Wilkins Local Editor

Macon does not die during the summer. Mercer students who remain in town are aware of this, however for those who go home they may not be aware that one of the largest music events Macon hosts each year takes place during July. Bragg Jam started off as an informal jam session between friends to honor the lives of Brax and Tate Bragg, brothers who were killed in a car crash in 1999. Bragg Jam has grown in several years to host numerous bands all over the city of Macon with stages ranging from down-

“ We look forward to watching Bragg Jam and the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail continue to grow and are honored that we can help keep the memory of Tate and Brax Bragg alive.” Laura Schofield, Vice President of NewTown Macon

town to North Macon as far as Bass Road. The 2013 Bragg Jam even saw the closing of a portion of Cherry Street for the first time. Everett Verner, Bragg Jam’s marketing chair said, “we expect that over 3750 were in attendance”. The music festival is also a benefit for the Friends of the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, and Verner states that they are still calculating how much will be donated to the charity. Past Bragg Jam’s have donated over $150,000 in revenue to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail. “NewTown has been thrilled to watch Bragg Jam grow into such a successful event. We ‘incubated’ Bragg Jam in the early years helping with the funding needed to get an event of this magnitude off the ground,” said NewTown Macon Executive Vice President Laura Schofield. “The family and friends of the Bragg brothers decided that donating proceeds to Ocmulgee Heritage Trail would be a fitting legacy, and over the years almost $100,000 has been donated to help extend the Trail to the over 11 miles that it is today. In fact, the most recent gift of $12,000 from the 2012 proceeds helped to close a funding gap on the trail extension through Riverside Cemetery.” Schofield continued to say “We look forward to watching Bragg Jam and the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail continue to grow and are honored that we can help keep the memory of Tate and Brax Bragg alive.” This year’s Bragg Jam grew to feature over 50 bands on 15 stages. The acts featured ranged from up and coming hip hop artist Elhae to the established Floco Torres, who gave an electrifying performance which roused the crowds, to rising country star Jason Ashley whose father in law has opened the new country bar “The Crazy Bull” on Second Street. That venue opened especially for Bragg Jam and will finish its construction in the coming weeks. Also performing were other regular acts to Macon such as Megan Jean and the KFB, who sang their own songs such as

“These Bones” and even did their own version of Salt n Peppa’s “Shoop”, which you can find on YouTube. Board member Leila Regan-Porter stated “this year every band at Grant’s Lounge has a member related to a Capricorn Records band. Lamar Williams Jr. is the son of second Allman Brother Band bassist Lamar Williams, and his band is comprised of Macon’s Scott Rainwater and Pat Yoe, who have been playing in Macon bands for years.” Thomas and The Believers will be returning to Macon to perform for Weaver’s Weekend at The Crazy Bull on Aug. 24. Another act you can catch again is Mercer’s own Burgess Brown is one of the members of the band Woolfolk, which performed to a standing room only crowd at The 567. Woolfolk’s Facebook page describes their style as “neo designer folk rock”. Bragg Jam is not just about the evening music performances, there are also events during the day of the concerts. Bragg Jam Arts @ The Park opened up the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Kids of all ages could experience booths with paintings, balloon animals, as well as an instrument petting zoo with members of the Macon Youth Orchestra. Atlanta based King of Pops also made an appearance with their all-natural popsicles. The night before the event showcased the Bragg Jam Patron’s Party at The Armory Ballroom with catering by The Moonhanger Group. Live music was provided by 80’s cover band Electric Avenue. Bragg Jam is a chance to check out a wide variety of bands at once at multiple venues across town. Trolleys are even provided to reach stages outside of the downtown area. Jessica Walden, Director of Communications at College Hill Alliance, said “Bragg Jam has grown from a small club crawl to a bonafide, citywide, signature summer music festival. This year saw the highest attendance and ticket sales yet. It was especially exciting to see students return for the summer - or never leave - just to expe-

rience the festival,” said Walden. “The festival stretched from north Macon to lower Bibb County. Downtown remained the hub with venues covering Cherry, Poplar and Second Streets. In addition to more venues and bands than ever before, the vibrancy of the event was at an all-time height with the closing of Cherry Street during the festival. For the students who missed out, this is your reason to come back to Macon every summer. Better yet, this is your reason to stay,” said Walden.

Patrick Hobbs/Cluster Staff

Lamar Williams, Jr. performs at Grant’s Lounge.


M ercer Again! Join us to learn about a host of outstanding graduate program offerings that may be ideal for you. There are a number of benefits available for undergraduates to continue on to graduate studies at Mercer that include: s7!)6%$!00,)#!4)/.&%%3 s45)4)/."%.%&)43 !.$ s'5!2!.4%%$!$-)33)/.3/00/245.)4)%3&/23%,%#402/'2!-3 Graduate programs are conveniently offered at one of our seven locations, with flexible class schedules and delivery methods. This event will feature an opportunity to meet with deans, faculty and admissions staff from our different colleges. We are certain you will find a program that supports your personal and professional goals!

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August 14, 2013 - Page 10

Marin Guta - Features Editor -

FeaturesAvoid the freshman 15

Freshman memories with SGA VP Melina Hettiaratchi

Patrick Hobs / Cluster Staff

Melina Hettiaratchi is a Junior and SGA’s Vice President.

By Marin Guta Features Editor

When SGA Vice President Melina Hettiaratchi reminisced about her freshman year, she conceded that she is a different person, now. In August 2011, Hettiaratchi left her home in Alabama to join Mercer’s class of 2015. After arriving on Mercer’s campus, Hettiaratchi realized her biggest fear was everyone. Eventually, the newly minted freshman learned to embrace the experience and take in every moment – even the not so good ones. After Hettiaratchi won a spot in senate of SGA, she realized she could mobilize change on campus. Now, as junior and SGA’s new vice president, Hettiaratchi has ambitious goals for making Mercer more green friendly and creating new campus traditions. What is your favorite memory from Freshman year? Hettiaratchi: My favorite academic memory is from Wilderness Weekend, because I really bonded with my class and it was a really cool time for us to get to know each other outside of the classroom in a completely new environment. Another favorite memory is when my roommate and I decided the night before that we wanted to go to Six Flags on a Saturday and we just got up and left. We prepared everything and we let our parents know where we were going but we didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission. It was a cool thing we did on our own. As a Freshman, what was your biggest fear? Hettiaratchi: Probably everyone else. This is really embarrassing, but the night of Freshman Frenzy I left and went back to my room and cried. I didn’t want to be there and I wanted to see my friends at home and my mom. I cried myself to sleep. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to make friends,

with these tips

“It’s a small enough school to where I can walk around between classes and see people I know. I don’t have to be afraid about waving to them. It’s so friendly here. I just feel at home at Mercer.” Melina Hettiaratchi, SGA Vice President but I already had my best friend. I was just really afraid of not having friends and being always in my room and alone. My O-group was phenomenal with helping me get through my freshman year. I hung out with them a lot and went to the cafeteria and events with them. How did Mercer impact your Freshman experience? Hettiaratchi: It’s a small enough school to where I can walk around between classes and see people I know. I don’t have to be afraid about waving to them. It’s so friendly here. I just feel at home at Mercer. Even though I’ve missed home so much, Mercer very quickly became my new home. I now rarely go home because Mercer is my home. What was a life lesson you learned from Freshman year? Hettiaratchi: The time I learned to never to pull an all-nighter! It’s important to learn time management because all nighters are not for everyone. I was writing my final 12-page paper for FYS (Freshman Year Experience) and I was finishing it up the night before and pulled an all nighter. I literally did not sleep all day or night. After I turned in my paper, I called my mom and told her I turned it in and started crying in the middle of the Quad. I felt awful! My body was shutting down on me. She told me that I should probably skip my classes for that day, so I did. It was pretty bad. Any advice for the incoming Freshmen class? Hettiaratchi: Everyone will tell you these are the best years of your life, but I think I got to a point during my second semester when I asked, ‘What am I doing with my life? I’m already in college and I haven’t accomplished anything.’ I felt like I hadn’t contributed anything, but when I visited some old high school teachers they said, “You’ve made it through your first year of being an adult in a college setting and that’s an accomplishment in itself.”

Patrick Hobs / Cluster Staff

Tyler Wright, a second year medicial student, lifts weights at Mercer’s gym.

By Marin Guta Features Editor

Freshman entering college have probably already heard a precautionary warning from their parents: Don’t gain the Freshman 15. According to a study published in Social Science Quarterly, freshmen gain only 2.53.5 pounds during their first year of college. Is the Freshman 15 a myth? Maybe. However, gaining two to three pounds can easily grow into a couple more if you don’t take precautionary health steps. The best advice is to eat right and exercise, but here are a few helpful hints on how to avoid gaining the Freshman 15: Don’t Stress Eat “Stress, anxiety and homesickness can all lead to overeating,” warns registered dietitian nutritionist Kristi King, spokeswoman with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Before snacking, make sure to ask yourself why you are eating. Instead of snacking, make sure to take a study break at the gym or chat with friends. Don’t associate food as a reward for hard work. Smart Snacks A lot of college students claim they get the munchies at ungodly hours of the night. Their cravings ultimately lead to midnight snack runs to greasy fast food restaurants. Instead of joining in on the high cholesterol escapade, stock your dorm refrigerator with healthy snacks to avoid being tempted. Eat Breakfast “Breakfast wakes up the metabolism and provides energy to the brain and muscles for the day’s activities,” says King. “People who eat breakfast tend to eat less through-

out the day.” For breakfast, make sure to eat some carbohydrates along with some protein. A hard-boiled egg along with a piece of toast will do the trick. Cafeteria Catastrophes Although the cafeteria is full of tempting high-calorie foods, there are some healthy options to consider. Opt for foods that are baked, broiled, steamed, roasted or grilled instead of that fried southern food. In order to avoid getting bored with eating veggies, try adding some pepper or hot sauce on vegetables. Another trick is to drink some water between bites of food. This will help fill your stomach more quickly. Go to the Gym Regular exercise helps keep weight in control and gives you an extra endorphin boost that improves your mood and controls stress. The hike up the stairs to Mercer’s University Center is a great pre-workout in itself. The university fitness center is fully equipped with weights, cardio equipment, and an inside track. Before entering into the first week of school, establish a gym schedule that is flexible and attainable. Get a Workout Buddy According to a study done by the Stanford University of Medicine, 80 percent of people who try to lose weight tend to stick to their routine when they exercise with a friend rather than trying it alone. Also, a study done by the University of Pittsburg showed that women were more likely to lose a third more weight than those who exercised alone. It’s important to have a support system and someone who will hold you accountable for mistakes. Try to find a friend who makes working out and staying healthy a priority and make a gym schedule together.

August 14, 2013 - Page 11


College room decor Don’t miss out this week Freshmen and upperclassmen alike won’t want to miss these five important events By Marin Guta

Features Editor

By Marin Guta Features Editor

One of the most challenging feats a college student can undertake is transforming their dorm room into a cozy living space. Cramming your life into a tiny living area takes organization and talent. No matter how daunting the task appears, it is achievable. Here are a few affordable ideas on how to organize and personalize your college dorm room: Almost every college student brings in this staple item on move-in day: a plastic storage drawer. A plastic storage drawer is useful because it is compact and portable, but many plastic storage bins can easily overwhelm a dorm room. To avoid crowding your dorm room with plastic containers, try lofting your bed. Lofting your bed allows a little extra storage space to stow away those plastic containers. Some college students even decorate the plastic containers by decoupaging the inside of the container with fabric. This helps add a unique touch to the room and personalize the living space. One essential piece of dorm room furniture, which many incoming freshman overlook, is a desk hutch. A desk hutch is something you can use all four years at college and is a great way to organize your desk place. Furniture stores like IKEA, P.B. Teen or Staples most likely carry a hutch that can fit over your desk. Feeling the need to be crafty? Try channeling those crafty inspiration juices into creating a picture frame chalkboard. A picture frame chalkboard is useful to write down funny messages or quick assignment reminders. This is one of the easiest homemade crafts for a dorm room. All you need is a glass picture frame, paint, a paintbrush, chalk and a can of chalkboard spray paint. Take the glass out of the picture frame and paint the frame the color of your choice. While the paint is drying on your frame, take the can of chalkboard spray paint and spray the glass from the picture frame. After both the picture frame and glass are done drying, place the glass back into the frame, and it’s finished! Write fun messages for your friends to see or homework reminders on your picture frame chalkboard. Decorating your dorm room with acces-

Marin Guta / Cluster Staff

Top to Bottom: Senior Emma Grose utilzes wall decor in her dorm room. Audrey Hepburn takes the stage in Grose’s room. Sophomore Marin Guta organizes her desk with a desk hutch. sories or jewelry is also a good way to personalize your space. Draping necklaces on a small mannequin not only organizes your jewelry, but it also gives off a subtle French vibe. Another option to showcase jewelry is on your own homemade wall-mounted coat rack. Just buy a plank of wood, sand it and then stain it. Browse the isles of Lowe’s to gather a collection of eclectic knobs. Using a screwdriver, screw in the cabinet knobs into the plank and it’s finished. Searching for more ideas? Try browsing a local thrift store or scrolling through Pinterest to get more inspiration.

A freshman entering college can easily be overwhelmed by the chaotic frenzy of events happening on campus. In order to organize a chaotic week, The Cluster has made a list of the top five activities and events freshman should not miss out on. The first event is Bear Fair on Monday, Aug. 19 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Not only do students learn more about student organizations on campus, restaurants, and the city of Macon, but students also get loads of free stuff. Students usually leave Bear Fair with bags full of T-shirts, candy, stickers, cups and a bunch of other goodies. Bear Fair is an opportune time to mingle with other students and meet new people. Another event on our Top 5 list is the Block Party, which will take place on the intramural courts in the University Center. “One big thing that we’re doing as a part of Bear Beginnings this year is a street party. It got rained out last year but this year we are doing it on the IM courts so that we don’t have to cancel it,” said James Hullet, a member of the Orientation Leadership Team. “We’re doing that from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and then showing the movie Accepted at 9 (p.m.) and serving pizza.” Explore Greek Recruitment is an event aimed at freshman students, as well as upperclassmen, to learn more about Greek life on Mercer’s campus. “Greek recruitment is valuable for freshmen because it gives them the opportunity to join an organization that will be their home and family here at Mercer. You make friends with your classmates as well as many upperclassmen within your first few days of school,” said Emily Minch, president of Mercer’s Panhellenic Community. A major part of Mercer’s student culture is volunteering, which is why the “Volunteer Fair” is on the Top five list. Mercer’s volunteer organizations, such as LEAP (Local Engagement Against Poverty) have a strong local presence within the Macon community and are dedicated to addressing the needs of those living below the poverty line. The event takes place on Aug. 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Number four on the list is not an official event, but a visit to the Academic Resource Center is highly recommended for incoming students. The ARC is devoted to five disciplines: multi-discipline tutoring, supplemental instruction, college study skills courses and academic advising. The ARC is equipped with experienced tutors who can proofread class papers or help with mathematics homework. Many students also utilize the ARC’s quiet office area to study and catch up on homework. The last but certainly not least event

on the list is Ice Cream with the Underwood’s and Movie Under the Stars. Ice cream will be served, and students will have the opportunity to interact with Mercer President Bill Underwood. Make sure to mark down each one of these on your calendar. Hopefully, this will help diminish some of the chaos. Remember not to get too overwhelmed. Enjoy each moment, because freshman year only happens once.

Patrick Hobs / Cluster Staff

Debbie Harris and Minwoo Kim dance at Mercer’s Bearfair in the University Center.

Don’t Miss Out On... 1. Bear Fair 2. Block Party 3. Explore Greek Recruitment 4. Academic Resource Center 5. Ice Cream with the Underwoods

Rachel Snapp - Entertainment Editor -

August 14, 2013 - Page 12


Culture war: art in America and France By Rachel Snapp Entertainment Editor

Patisseries, espressos, mimes, outdoor markets, beautiful countryside and historical architecture: all things that I imagined when looking forward to my six-week summer study abroad experience in Perigueux, France. In anticipation for complete French cultural immersion, I expected the locals to throw open their windows, baguette in hand, and burst into the French rendition of the song “Belle” from “Beauty and the Beast.” While that is a bit exaggerated, it was a twisted culture shock that not even two hours into my stay, I heard Katy Perry over the radio at the supermarket. Let’s not forget Lady Gaga in the flower shop, and of course Michael Jackson in the café. Tricky France, playing with my expectations. My expectations were to experience a completely new palate of French cuisine, find myself thrown into a completely new set of social protocols and to be completely immersed in the French language. These things happened; believe me they happened. My failed attempts at French conversation could fill an entire page all on their own. But as an American music performance student, coming to France to study music abroad, I anticipated discovering the French artistic culture and expanding my iTunes library with my new found knowledge. I wasn’t quite ready to hear “I Kissed A Girl” so soon after leaving the States. It intrigued me that a country so rich with its own traditions and history favored music with English lyrics. I started to pay more attention to the popular media around town and found that the cinema was showing mostly American-made movies such as Man of Steel, Despicable Me 2 and Monster’s University. The bookstores also carried a good number of American literature translated into French: The Hunger Games, Twilight, Eragon and more.

It’s a hard business for French musicians, because the market for French lyrics is not as promising as one for English lyrics. The English language is more international than French, therefore English music can reach larger global audiences.

I sat down with one of my new French friends, Lydie Szymaszek, a vocal performer and music teacher from ClermontFerrand, France, to help me identify the connections between American and French popular culture. Szymaszek shared that it’s a hard business for French musicians, because the market for French lyrics is not as promising as one for English lyrics. The English language is more international than French, therefore English music can reach larger global audiences. “A lot of music, like rock, just doesn’t sound as good in French. It’s harder for a French band to book a gig if their music is in French,” said Szymaszek. There are a number of French musicians who have succeeded in France with French lyrics, such as Stromae, Grand Corps Malade, and -M-, but they have not reached as many international audiences as French artists David Guetta or Daft Punk, whose music is in English, and whose renown extends beyond French borders. Despite this marketing phenomenon, France has made efforts to preserve and support its local artists. French radio stations are required to broadcast a minimum number of French songs, and the French government provides monetary support to art in all its forms. After all of these discoveries, I was left with the question: What does a country’s entertainment and artistic culture say about who they are as a nation? There is a definite difference in the style of expression in the arts between the United States and France. The United States focuses on the consumerism of the industry, following the philosophy that the bigger the show/spectacle/ special effects, the better. French artists seem to approach their craft through the bare essentials, focusing on the intimacy of emotion and the reality of everyday life. One thing that does not translate well to French culture is a good amount of American humor. “It’s not exactly our thing,” said Szymaszek. “French comedy is it’s own style, but often movies and such can be more intellectual than humorous, which is why a lot of the cinema can be boring.” France favors private, diverse and independent music and maintains a culture that produces ideas that go beyond a strict commercial value. American arts are often mainstream, as the industry revolves around making profits. As a visiting classical musician this summer, I noticed that overall, the French culture appreciates the fine arts and supports the individual artist, whether they are dancers, painters or musicians. France places value in the art and the artist for what they are, whether or not their creations reach the globe (or even the next village). While American music and entertainment appear to impact the globe, it wouldn’t hurt the United States entertainment industries to learn a thing or two about raw appreciation of the arts from the French.

Rachel Snapp

August 14, 2013 - Page 13


Keep up with Mercer Arts this year Mercer Singers

Mercer Opera

Sept. 22: Family Weekend Concert 2 p.m.

Aug. 27: Faculty Concert 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 24: Thanksgiving Song

Guest Concert and Master Class Series Sept. 16-17: Timothy LeFebvre Oct. 15-16: Rebecca Lanning Feb. 27-28: Mandy Spivak

Dec. 7: Lessons and Carols St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

Mercer Art Department Aug. 20-Sept.13: Faculty Exhibit Sept. 16-Oct. 11: Laura Mongiove Exhibit Oct. 14-Nov. 8: Pat Hickey Exhibit

Jan. 13-14: The Magic Flute, Jr. 5:30 p.m. Jan. 16-19: The Magic Flute Thu.-Fri.: 7:30 p.m. Sat.: 2:30 p.m.


Mercer Players

Sept. 2: Robert McDuffie and Friends Labor Day Festival for Strings 3:00 p.m.

Sept. 19-29: Tartuffe by Molière

Center for Strings

Sept. 16: McDuffie Student Solo Performances 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1 & Nov. 5: Mercer University Orchestra Oct. 14 & Nov. 25: McDuffie Student Chamber Ensemble Concert 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 14-24: Love Kills by Vladimir Volkoff Feb. 13-23: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard April 3-13: Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Steve Martin

April 3-5 The Charm of Chamber Opera 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 18-Dec. 6: Student Exhibit - Michelle Anderson Jan. 6-31: Steve Simmerman Exhibit - Graphic Design Feb. 3-28 Glue: Contemporary Collage

Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

Many Mercer Arts performances will be in Fickling Hall this year. Fickling Hall is a performance venue in the McCorkle Music Building.

Mercer Marketing and Communications

The McDuffie Center for strings will perform several concerts this year.

Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

Shows by the Mercer Players will be held in the Back Door Theater. Tickets are $5 general admission.

Carly Iannarino - Sports Editor -

August 14, 2013 - Page 14


After a year, football ready to compete By Carly Iannarino Sports Editor

On Wednesday, July 31, the Mercer football team reported for preseason camp for the first time in 70 years. After a full year of practice and no competition, the Bears are looking forward to their first game on Aug. 31. “There’s a sense of excitement and urgency on both sides, coaches and players, to get to this game because it’s a pretty long year of just practice,” said Mercer football head coach Bobby Lamb. Lamb also explained that he is impressed with the players coming back from last year and how they have developed as leaders on the field. “Even though they’re redshirt freshmen, we call them upperclassmen. They’ve been through our program for over a year, and I’m starting to sense that we do have leaders in the group,” said Lamb. This season, the Bears will be competing in the 12-team Pioneer Football League. In the 2013 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Mercer football team was picked to finish 11th, one spot ahead of Stetson, another start-up program, and just 12 points behind Valparaiso for the No. 10 spot. Although wins are important to this competitive squad, Lamb explained that the wins and losses are not the main focus this season. With a team full of freshmen and sophomores, Lamb realizes that it is going to be very difficult to match up against other teams with more experienced players, but that will not prevent them from having what he considers a successful season. “This year is a foundation year,” said Lamb. “We’re going to develop a founda-

Head Coach Bobby Lamb led his team out of the locker room for a scrimmage last spring. tion that we can build on for years to come. The wins are going to come down the road once we get the foundation established.” Fans as well as players are eager for the season to start. Season tickets sales eclipsed 5,000 and single game tickets sold out in 27 minutes for the Bears season-opener. Many fans came out to the Meet the Bears

Mercer Athletics

event held on Aug. 2 in front of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Macon residents and Mercer University students could meet and get autographs from the members of the football team and Coach Lamb. Eight-year-old Sam Whitely said that he is so excited about the season, that he and his brother attended a practice.

“It was really fun,” said Sam. “It was like a mini game.” The Bears play their first game against Reinhardt on Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. at the Moye Family Football Complex.

ETSU is the 2012 Atlantic Sun Conference champion, and Florida Gulf Coast is a Mercer rival, said Rochefort. The Mercer volleyball team will compete against ETSU for the first time on Sept. 20 in Mercer’s very own Hawkins Arena. Rochefort did not seem too worried, though. “Our coaching staff will most definitely have us prepared and ready for a challenging schedule,” she said. The team will also compete against Florida Gulf Coast on Oct. 25 in Hawkins Arena. Last year, the team had a somewhat disappointing record of 11-18. In conference, they won 7-11. Under new head coach Damian Elder, the Bears were able to make strides in the 2012 season. This year they hope to be far more successful. “We continue to push each other forward,” said Rochefort, “the athleticism and intensity in the gym has increased so significantly from previous years.” Last season, Rochefort, along with outside hitter Molly Locke received Atlantic Sun honors. Rochefort made the All-Conference second team while Locke landed

the All-Freshman team selection. During the regular 2012 season, Rochefort led the conference in digs per set and ended the season just 46 digs shy of tying Claire Tucker’s record set in 2008. Locke ended the 2012 regular season leading the A-Sun freshmen in kills per set and ranked sixth overall in the conference. Although these are great honors and accomplishments, Rochefort says that the main goal this season is to win the A-Sun Championship. “This year’s team is full of great athletes that are capable of achieving any award, but we need to work as a team if we want to get the wins. We’ve been doing a great job of that so far in practice, and I know we’ll be able to do it in games.” Rochefort said much of the increased athleticism and intensity is due to the talented new freshmen. Avery Hoven, Ellie James, Gretja Otten and Tori Penrod and Kaitlyn Rice are the five freshmen that Elder recently added to the squad.

— Editor Emily Farlow contributed to this report.

Bar set higher for volleyball this season By Emily Farlow Editor in Chief

Mercer Athletics

Junior Caroline Carlton jumps for a kill.

With ten returning players and five new freshmen, the Mercer University volleyball team is looking forward to an exciting and challenging year. Senior Captain Emily Rochefort said the returning team members are talented leaders and players, and the new freshmen are strong volleyball players too. The team has practiced almost every day since moving back to Mercer on Aug. 5. “Throughout preseason, the competition in the gym has been inspiring as we continue to push each other forward,” said Rochefort. Rochefort and her teammates will face off against the University of Alabama for their first game on Aug. 30 as part of the Alabama Birmingham Invitational. The two teams everyone is looking forward to competing against, though, are East Tennessee State University and Florida Gulf Coast University.

— Sports Editor Carly Iannarino contributed to this report.

August 14, 2013 - Page 15


Men’s soccer prepares for another successful season By Caroline Carlton Contributing Writer

The Mercer men’s soccer team embarks on their season this fall as players begin reporting for preseason camp on Tuesday. Mercer hosts both Winthrop and Georgia Southern respectively for their own preseason tournaments Sept. 13 and 15. The 2013 season will include 20 games, six of which are against top-100 teams. After last season, the Bears finished with their best record in almost 10 years. Although ending last season in a devastating championship loss, the Bears are looking to bounce back strong this season. The toughness of their schedule is evident and will prove challenging as the Bears face many 2012 NCAA tournament participants. With seven strong returners taking the field, the Bears are predicted to have another successful season this fall. Despite the challenges of the schedule for this 2013 season, the Mercer men’s soccer team appears eager and ready. During the 2012 season, the Bears were heavily watched and received high regional rankings several times. During the week of Oct. 2, the Bears ranked sixth in the region, a program high. The Bears were ranked among the NSCAA South regional poll during five weeks in the 2012 season. Senior Brady O’Brien expressed his growing excitement for the upcoming season. “We’re all very anxious to get the season underway headed into preseason with a strong group of returning players com-

ing back and the addition of our upcoming freshman class,” said O’Brien. O’Brien explains that he and his teammates have very strong expectations for this 2013 season. O’Brien was a key player in the strong defense of the Bears that only allowed 18 goals scored all last season. By appearing in every contest of the 2012 season, O’Brien proved to be a strong leader for the team. O’Brien totaled four points last season off of one goal against in-state rival Georgia State and two assists versus UNC Ashville and Lipscomb. Fifth year senior Joey Heavner is another notable player for the Mercer team who has had great success. Due to injury, Heavner was forced to red shirt last season, but will rejoin the Bears for the 2013 season. During his junior season in 2011, Heavner received such honors as A-Sun player of the week, A-Sun All Tournament Team, A-Sun 2nd team All-Conference, All-Academic, as well as being named NSCAA Scholar All-South Region honorable mention group. Having Heavner back on the field will have the Bears back in full force for the 2013 season. Heavner explained that he is ecstatic for his return to the field. “I am unbelievably excited just thinking about getting to play again,” he said. After spending the whole summer rehabilitating, he believes that he is ready to compete again with the same goals. “The goal for us is always a conference championship and to play in the NCAA tournament,” said Heavner. Other notable returners include junior goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh who was named A-Sun Conference Defensive

Player of the Week three times in the 2013 season as well as A-Sun second team AllConference. Senior Ryan King will be another key contributor to the upcoming season. Last year, King received such honors as, the ASun All-Conference second team, A-Sun Conference All-Academic team, NSCAA Scholar All-South Region second team and an A-Sun All-Academic Honoree. This year the team is approaching pre-

season differently and going to Jekyll Island for their preseason camp. “We’re excited for preseason at Jekyll island. It’ll be a great opportunity to bond and train hard in preparation for the season,” said Heavner. The team appears to be full of great talent, and should have another great season this fall. The Bears begin competition on Sunday, Aug. 18, in an exhibition match at University of South Carolina.

Junior Greg Ranjitsingh celebrates after a big save.

Mercer Athletics

Women’s soccer settling for no less than a championship win By Jordan Gollon Contributing Writer

Mercer Athletics

Junior Lauren Gassie was voted to the preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team for the 2013 season.

Following their fifth consecutive appearance in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament in the 2012 season, the Mercer women’s soccer team started the 2013 season Wednesday, Aug. 7. Since then, this year’s newly compiled team has been preparing for not only a repeat appearance in the Atlantic Sun conference title game, but to leave victorious. Coach Tony Economopoulos has recruited eight freshmen to join the returning Bears, including nine strong starters, for the 2013 season. Senior Nadja Kolliesuah confirmed the Bears’ ever-improving confidence in the team’s potential this season. “Last year we lost two very good seniors, but we have good transfers and freshmen coming in this season, giving us a deep bench with a lot of talent. We are ready for any challenge and any competition.” After establishing a 13 win, record-breaking previous season, the Mercer women’s soccer team has been striving to improve in all aspects of the game. Kolliesuah commented on their quick and aggressive style of play that they are striving for this season: “We start strong and want to end the same

way. We love to move the ball forward out of our back line and out run the other team,” said Kolliesuah. “We hold each other accountable at practice to go hard in every tackle or 50/50 ball.” This preseason, the Bears have been focusing on all components of the game. Their emphasis has not only been on the field, but off the field as well. Returning junior and team captain Washida Blackman talked about the importance of team chemistry. “Our strong points include our work rate and the depth of the team. We train really hard and it translates onto the field. If starters get tired or injured, there’s always someone to step up and perform,” said Blackman. “Another strong point is our team chemistry. We always have fun with each other and that definitely makes it easier to deal with the hardships of being an athlete.” The Bears are listed in this year’s preseason poll to finish third in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Once again chosen to end up first is Florida Gulf Coast, who previously defeated the Bears in the 2012 season title game. She was recently voted into the A-sun Conference All Academic team, as well as named an A-Sun All-Academic Honoree, junior Lauren Gassie returns this season with a vengeance. “I expect us to make it to conference finals again, but this year we hope to win

the title. Losing in overtime to FGCU the past two years was tough. This year we are aiming to leave the conference on a high note—grabbing the trophy and running with it,” Gassie said. Using this as motivation to finish first, Blackman added, “We are aiming to win the conference championship and to carry that momentum into next year’s transfer into the Southern Conference.” Gassie firmly agreed with classmate Blackman by stating that Economopoulos has brought in a very talented and hardworking group of freshmen along with a junior transfer, Sarah Daane, who will be great additions to the team. Through fitness testing and preseason training, this group of student-athletes has proven to the team why they were brought here to compete. “We feel confident as a whole and can’t wait to prove the A-Sun preseason polls wrong,” said Gassie. Kolliesuah finished by saying that their goal this season is to get two rings: one in the regular season and the other in the tournament. The Bears will kick-off their 2013 competitive season when they take on Eastern Kentucky in a home exhibition match. The match will be held at Bear Field on Aug. 13 at 4:00 p.m.

August 14, 2013 - Page 16


Godsey Administration Building Knight Hall Willingham Hall Newton Hall President’s Home McCorkle Music Building Hardman Fine Arts Building Ryals Hall Langdale Hall Roberts Hall Groover Hall Ware Hall Wiggs Hall Computer Science Building Connell Student Center Penfield Hall (Bookstore) University Commons Mercer Hall Shorter Hall Soccer Field Sherwood Hall Jesse Mercer Plaza Sikes Softball Field Mercer Police University Center Stetson Building Tarver Library Willett Science Center Environmental Science Building Peddy Tennis Center Intramural Field Batting Cages Claude Smith Baseball Field Science & Engineering Building Engineering School Medical School Patterson Building Religious Life Center Plunkett Hall Plunkett Pool Admissions Welcome House Mary Erin Porter Hall Dowell Hall Linden House Boone Hall W.G. Lee Alumni House Tift College Alumnae House Corporate Services Benefits/Payroll Human Resources/CTA Physical Plant/Central Receiving Auxiliary Services Building Technology Support Services Mercer Village Georgia Public Broadcasting Educational Opportunity Center Lambda Chi Alpha ΛΧΑ Alpha Phi Alpha ΑΦΑ Kappa Sigma ΚΣ Alpha Gamma Delta ΑΓΔ Alpha Tau Omega ΑΤΩ Zeta Phi Beta ΖΦΒ Panhellenic House Sigma Alpha Epsilon ΣΑΕ Delta Sigma Theta ΔΣΘ Alpha Delta Pi ΑΔΠ Kappa Alpha ΚΑ Phi Delta Theta ΦΔΘ Phi Mu ΦΜ Sigma Nu ΣΝ IFC House Pi Kappa Phi ΠΚΦ Kappa Alpha Psi ΚΑΨ Chi Omega ΧΩ Mercer Garden One Mercer Garden Two Mercer Garden Three 1974 Winship 1810 Winship Macon Townhouse One 1884 Winship 1892 Winship 1934 Winship 1962 Winship 1975 Adams 1923 Adams Macon Townhouse Three 1821 Adams Macon Townhouse Two 1711 Adams

1711 Adams ................................................. 89 1810 Winship............................................... 78 1821 Adams ................................................. 87 1884 Winship............................................... 80 1892 Winship............................................... 81 1923 Adams ................................................. 85 1934 Winship............................................... 82 1962 Winship............................................... 83 1974 Winship............................................... 77 1975 Adams ................................................. 84 Admissions Welcome House ................. 40 Alpha Delta Pi ΑΔΠ ................................... 65 Alpha Gamma Delta ΑΓΔ ........................ 59 Alpha Phi Alpha ΑΦΑ ............................... 57 Alpha Tau Omega ΑΤΩ............................. 60 Auxiliary Services Building ..................... 51 Batting Cages .............................................. 31 Benefits/Payroll .......................................... 48 Boone Hall .................................................... 44 Chi Omega ΧΩ ............................................ 73 Claude Smith Baseball Field .................. 32 Computer Science Building ................... 14 Connell Student Center........................... 15 Corporate Services .................................... 47 Delta Sigma Theta ΔΣΘ ........................... 64 Dowell Hall ................................................... 42 Educational Opportunity Center ......... 55 Engineering School .................................. 34 Environmental Science Building .......... 28 Godsey Administration Building.......... 1 Groover Hall................................................. 11 Hardman Fine Arts Building .................. 7 Human Resources/CTA ............................ 49 IFC House ..................................................... 70 Intramural Field .......................................... 30 Jesse Mercer Plaza..................................... 21 Kappa Alpha ΚΑ ......................................... 66 Kappa Alpha Psi ΚΑΨ ............................... 72 Kappa Sigma ΚΣ ......................................... 58 Knight Hall ................................................... 2 Lambda Chi Alpha ΛΧΑ ........................... 56 Langdale Hall .............................................. 9 Linden House .............................................. 43 Macon Townhouse One .......................... 79 Macon Townhouse Three........................ 86 Macon Townhouse Two........................... 88 Mary Erin Porter Hall ................................ 41 McCorkle Music Building ........................ 6 Medical School ........................................... 35 Mercer Garden One .................................. 74 Mercer Garden Three ............................... 76 Mercer Garden Two................................... 75 Mercer Hall ................................................... 17 Mercer Police............................................... 23 Mercer Village ............................................. 53 Georgia Public Broadcasting ................. 54 Newton Hall ................................................. 4 Panhellenic House..................................... 62 Patterson Building..................................... 36 Peddy Tennis Center ................................. 29 Penfield Hall (Bookstore) ........................ 16 Phi Delta Theta ΦΔΘ................................. 67 Phi Mu ΦΜ ................................................... 68 Physical Plant/Central Receiving ......... 50 Pi Kappa Phi ΠΚΦ....................................... 71 Plunkett Hall ................................................ 38 Plunkett Pool ............................................... 39 President’s Home ....................................... 5 Religious Life Center................................. 37 Roberts Hall ................................................. 10 Ryals Hall ...................................................... 8 Science & Engineering Building ........... 33 Sherwood Hall ............................................ 20 Shorter Hall .................................................. 18 Sigma Alpha Epsilon ΣΑΕ ....................... 63 Sigma Nu ΣΝ ............................................... 69 Sikes Softball Field .................................... 22 Soccer Field.................................................. 19 Stetson Building......................................... 25 Tarver Library .............................................. 26 Technology Support Services ............... 52 Tift College Alumnae House .................. 46 University Center ....................................... 24 University Commons................................ 16A W.G. Lee Alumni House ........................... 45 Ware Hall....................................................... 12 Wiggs Hall .................................................... 13 Willett Science Center .............................. 27 Willingham Hall .......................................... 3 Zeta Phi Beta ΖΦΒ ..................................... 61

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