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Mercer University

December 8, 2011


“The announcement [about whether the prosecution will pursue the death penalty] has to be made prior to arraignment to the Court and his [McDaniel’s] attorney. Right now we do not have a time or date set for arraignment.”


Mercer recently announced four new degree programs that will begin in Walter F. George School of Law, Townsend School of Music, the College of Liberal Arts and the Stetson School of Business and Economics in Fall 2011. Full story on Page 4


On Nov. 15, 2011, a Bibb County grand jury indicted Stephen Mark McDaniel on one count of murder and 30 counts of child sexual exploitation. The indictments were released by the Bibb County Clerk’s Office just after noon. McDaniel is formally charged with the alleged murder of Lauren Giddings, a member of the 2011 graduating class of the Walter F. George School of Law. On June 30, 2011, officers found Giddings’ dismembered body in a trashcan outside of her Georgia Avenue apartment, which is located directly across from the law school. McDaniel was Giddings’ neighbor and fellow student. Since Giddings’ body was found within the city limits of Macon, the Macon Police Department is the lead

Greg Winters, Disrict Attorney of the Macon Judicial Circuit

investigatory office on the case. McDaniel was originally arrested on charges of burglary and has been held in jail since the first week of July. He had a master key to every apartment in the building. The arrest warrant taken out against McDaniel for the charge of murder said that a hacksaw was found in a storage closet at the apartment com-

By Kaitlin Marrin Staff Writer

Full story on Page 4


After more than a century-long ban, Macon residents can purchase alcohol on Sundays. Voters approved the referendum 6,782-4,210 on Nov. 8th and it went into effect on Dec. 4, 2011. According to the Georgia Food Industry Association, 128 cities had an opportunity to change the law last month and 105 of those cities approved it. While Atlanta residents won’t be able to buy alcohol on Sundays until Jan. 1, 2012, after a vote by city council, notable cities near the city center including Roswell, Woodstock and Sandy Springs did approve the sales. Cities and counties were free to vote on the decision after lawmakers were unable to garner enough votes to repeal the ban over the whole state of Georgia. Bibb County commissioners unanimously passed the ordinance, which was the final stepping-stone into Sun-

POLICE SPENDING REPORTS CRITICIZED Macon Police Chief Mike Burns reported to the Appropriations Committee that the police department spent over $18,000 in confiscated funds over a two-year period. Full story on Page 10

Sports Garret Mcdowell / Cluster Staff

Mercer volleyball coach Noelle Rooke resigned after a tough season for the team. Rooke coached at Mercer for eight years before stepping down. Full story on Page 15

Columns Lessons in Etiquette - Pg. 6 Kill Your Idols - Pg. 8 Popham Culture - Pg. 9 Check, Please! - Pg. 11 Behind the Jersey - Pg. 12 It Is What It Is - Pg. 13 Viva la Sport! - Pg. 14 Sudoku Page 16

plex. The hacksaw had traces of Giddings’ DNA on it. Packaging material for the same brand of hacksaw was found in his apartment. The indictment charges that the murder occurred sometime between June 25 and June 30, 2011. However, the exact date of the murder is unknown. Later in the investigations, a flash drive containing child pornography

was allegedly found in his apartment. According to a report from 13WMAZ, more than 200 items were collected and sent to the FBI Crime Lab. see

MCDANIEL, continued on page 10

Macon voters approve Sunday alcohol sales

On Jan. 1, 2012, Dr. D. Scott Davis, senior vice provost for research and dean of graduate studies, will succeed Dr. Wallace Daniel as provost.


Issue 8

Grand jury indicts McDaniel in Giddings case By Rebecca Payne Local Editor


Volume XCIV

Mercer students participate in a LEAP Service Saturday. LEAP is now more than halfway towards its goal of 10,000 service hours.

On November 19, the student organization called Local Engagement Against Poverty, better known as LEAP, jumped past 5,000 hours of service by the student body since its inception. When asked why he attends LEAP service days, sophomore Peer Advisor Kevin Jiles said, “[LEAP] has been a great tool for Mercer students to get involved, give back, and help the community of Macon.” It is this kind of thought that has caused LEAP to thrive on the growing campus of Mercer, as it passes 8,300 students for the first time in school history. LEAP’s ultimate goal of 10,000 hours service is within striking distance, especially due to a healthy involvement from the student organizations on campus. Student Government Association has routinely had its elected officials attend the various Saturday service days, held every two weeks and open to

the general student body. SGA has definitely lived up to their billing as the leaders of the campus by coming out every weekend. Alpha Tau Omega, last year’s winner of Mercer’s Grant Hendricks Award for Community Service, given to the organization that put together the best philanthropic efforts that school year, has also had a large number of brothers attending service days. Junior James Hedgis has helped out because he “wants to do lots of good things for the community, and [he] enjoys the experience and fellowship.” By and large, these are not the only two organizations that have put together regular contingents to attend service days. Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Sigma, Mercer Service Scholars, Alpha Phi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Mercer’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity, ROTC, several FYS sections, and some residence halls have all gotten in on the events. see


ALCOHOL continued on

page 10


LEAP tops 5,000 volunteer hours By Garret McDowell Staff Writer

day’s historic kick-off. Georgia is the last Southern state to still implement this law. Northern holdouts of the Sunday sales include Indiana and Connecticut. Georgia’s ban has a long history, beginning with its initial prohibition of alcohol in 1908. After prohibition’s inevitable defeat, the Georgia Legislature passed the Sunday sales ban in 1937. It was passed to adhere to what many believe as a day of worship. The new bill does come with a price. Many municipalities are preparing to make stores that remain open sevendays-a-week pay a fee. Dunwoody plans on charging an annual fee of $1,100 while Auburn will require $125. The transition to Sunday sales will not require much effort to those businesses that are already open, such as convenience and grocery stores. The local Kroger needed only to remove

Liz Bibb/ Cluster Staff

Seniors Matt Hickman and Kristen Blackwell, both SGA senators, decorate the Christmas tree on the Quad in preparation for SGA’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. The event will be held Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. on the Historic Quad and will feature carols, a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” by Mercer professor Dr. Gary Richardson and a Christmas message from Dr. Craig McMahan.

LEAP, continued on page 4

weekendweather weekend

Low around 36 Tonight

High around 58 Friday

Low around 55 Friday night

High near 56 Saturday

Low around 30 Saturday night

High near 56 Sunday

Low near 36 Sunday night

Weather information provided by the National Weather Service Front Page Issue 8 COPY EDITED.indd 1

12/7/11 12:18:58 AM


The Cluster - Dec. 8, 2011 - Page 2

Opinions Editor Brittany Dant

chiefobservations I try to be modest and not consider myself thoroughly accomplished at many things, but I will say that a skill I seem to be blessed with is giving good gifts. If I have given a gift to someone reading this who disagrees, please disabuse me of this notion, but be kind. With that in mind, I thought I’d take my self-confidence in giftgiving a step further and publish some gift suggestions for different people on your Christmas list. Someone you don’t know that well but still want to gift, like a co-worker or professor Both Christmas knick-knacks and gift cards are appropriate here. Christmas knick-knacks (like mugs, ornaments, etc.) are accepted because this person does not expect you to spend a great amount of time or money on their present. It truly is the thought that counts in this situation. For a gift card, stick to something like Starbucks or Panera that suits most tastes. A friend In this case, you should know better what the person would want, so go with that if you know something specific. If not, pick something that matches their personality. Try to stay away from clothes, though. No matter how well you know someone, it is still presumptuous to think that you know how this person wants to dress. Accessories are okay, though. Also, a trip to pick out a gift together is not a bad idea because it has the added bonus of time together. The downside to this is the awkwardness of obviously discussing price in front of your friend. A parent Parents generally present an interesting combination of attitudes that is beneficial to the gift-giver. At this point in their lives, parents have everything they need for the most part, and a lot of things they want in most cases. Therefore, it falls upon you as you get older to try to imagine what your older and wiser parents might want. Fortunately, as your parents, they will either genuinely love whatever you give them or pretend like hell that they do. So go crazy. A significant other This gift should certainly be very well thought out. The best bet is to go with something that has significance to the two of you. If you give something that brings up a fond memory, you can’t go wrong. You also presumably spend a lot of time with this person, so start paying attention to things he or she wants or needs. The fact that you paid that much attention will be an extra gift. Finally, don’t get any of the traditionally expensive or nice gifts just for the sake of getting them. Pay attention to what kind of jewelry the person wears before buying a random piece of jewelry. Does your significant other wear perfume/cologne? No? Then maybe don’t buy it.

clustereditors Editor-in-Chief Liz Bibb

Opinions Brittany Dant opinions@mercercluster. com

Features Alicia Landrum features@mercercluster. com

Entertainment Eric Brown entertainment@

Local Rebecca Payne

News Kaleigh Manson

Sports Samir Moussawel sports@mercercluster. com

Photography Noah Maier photography@

Copy Editor Ashley Mann

Marketing Coordinator Mary Cate Prendergast advertising@

Online Editor Emily Garrott online@mercercluster. com

Christmas focus should be family

Brittany Dant Opinions Editor The holiday season is now upon us. Meaning, as if life was not stressful enough already, you have presents to buy, food to consume, traffic to contend with and potential News Year’s resolutions to make. While winter is not exactly my favorite time of year, I like being warm rather than freezing certain body parts off when I walk to class. Christmas is also one of my favorite holidays. Yes, it might have a lot to do with presents, but that is not the only factor that makes Christmas number one on my

holiday countdown chart. When I was younger, I admit, it was hard to look past the mountains of presents under the tree and the hankering to know exactly how Santa got down the chimney. I was jaded. Christmas was not about family to me, it was about how many cool new toys I got to play with or show off to my friends, and how many toys in the Toys R Us Big Book that my parents did not buy me. It was not until my freshman year at Mercer that I realized what Christmas should, and now does, mean to me. I realized that all the time I lived at home I took my family for granted. We have arguments like every family; my siblings get on my every last nerve, and sometimes I just wanted to scream because I was so annoyed. Life was truly awful. After moving away from that and going back home I started to notice that the fighting did not matter all that much anymore, and that my siblings magically seemed to be okay. I figured it was just because I had not seen them in so long,

letters to the editor

To the community of Macon and Mercer University, I would be amiss if I did not take the time to write to commend your women’s basketball team. I was doing volunteer service at the men’s homeless shelter in High Point, NC. Lo and behold your women showed up to serve these men and the community for a Thanksgiving meal. These girls who were away from family and friends chose to be in the presence of people on the fringes to show their love for people. My only hope is that they enjoyed the experience as much as the men and women who were uplifted by their presence. Not only did these women serve, they also blessed us with their singing. It seemed as if God sent his angels to serenade our spirits and souls. With young ladies like this, I can surely say that our future is in good hands. Your ballers displayed the character that is so needed in our society today. I would like to thank Coach Gardner, her staff and Ms. Kenetta Kelly for giving us a Thanksgiving that will never be forgotten. Thank you so much for allowing us to be guests at your game against High Point University. It just added to the exhilaration left over from the meal. To the Mercer administration that made the decision to hire Coach Gardner, I trust she is planting the seeds that are going to bear fruits of an NCAA tournament appearance in the near future. Let it suffice to say that I’m now a Mercer Bears fan for life. Last but not least, let me say “GO HARD BEARS!” Sincerely, Thurman Hobbs

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:


Have a voice! Looking for freelance photographers and writers. Story meeting to be held Wednesday Jan. 11 at 10 a.m. in the Cluster office, upstairs CSC. E-mail for additional information.

who is grateful just to have me come back home every year for Christmas. That is truly what Christmas is all about. Not the gifts, but the togetherness and the love that flows throughout the holiday. So this year, and I know it will be hard, do not pick fights with your brothers or sisters. Know that your family’s main priority is not to drive you crazy with their bickering. Know that your parents are not trying to make your life miserable, and realize that what you have many others would give anything to have. Your friends and romantic interests can come and go. Presents can shrink, break or get lost, but your family is bonded to you for life. So try to look past the material things this Christmas and focus on the things that truly matter.

Comments, concerns, questions and criticisms of this column can be sent to opinions@

Lady Gaga-inspired fashion trends should not overpower music By Olivia Brayan Staff Writer

Dear Editor,

Adviser Lee Greenway

that those feelings would come back. Alas, they did not and it took me a little while to figure out why but during that time I realized that my family is my family and I need to not take them for granted. Yes I still cared about getting what I asked for on Christmas, but then I looked at my parents who were sitting there watching us. I realized something in that moment. My parents did not care if I got them a present. They did not care at all if they got anything from any of us, they cared most that they had their entire family back together again for Christmas. They were smiling not because they liked watching us open our presents, but because they were grateful we were all there. I realized coming home that Christmas is not about presents, it is about so much more than that. I do not care if my parents cannot get me exactly what I want anymore, because I know that I am lucky enough to have a family that loves me and


“Just dance. Gonna be okay. Da-doo-doo-doo. Just dance.” These lyrics were stuck in my head for weeks after a dance at my high school. Some mysterious new artist kept spinning around in my head with her odd electronic beats and warm poppy voice. Lady Gaga hit the stage running with her first singles in 2008; “Just Dance” and “Poker Face.” At first I was mesmerized by the new sound, slick dance moves, glittering looks and yet disturbed at the same time. Despite her four years in the spot light, Lady Gaga has managed to demand and continue demanding the same amount of attention as some other music stars that have been in the music industry for decades. With her sugary-tart mix of innovative style and creative strangeness she has kept her “little monsters,” as she affectionately calls the fans, guessing as to what will be next on the agenda. Lady Gaga’s odd fashion sense has also kept the media after her, thus giving her a helping hand into the spotlight. From her boyish impression of her alter-ego, Jo Calderone, to her 2010 MTV Video Music Awards “meat dress” outfit. She manages to make things, which would otherwise be weird, intriguing and innovative. Since Lady Gaga’s appearance on the scene there has been a strange occurrence as far as stage fashion is concerned in the music industry. The other night I was watching the American Music Awards, and noticed an odd fad in the costumes. They were a bit…out there I suppose one could say. Justin Bieber was in an awkward leather suit which I can imagine was squeaking horribly, and that also seemed to be a size too big. Jennifer Lopez channeled a little bit of her inner Britney Spears as she stepped into a sparkly, furry, skin toned suit. Katy Perry was in a spaceman kind of fifties glam, pink shaded dress. Yet, perhaps the strangest of all was Nicki Minaj with her metal body suit. There really is no other way to describe it other than odd. As far as I am concerned when it comes to music, I love something different as much as the next guy, but all of this was a bit much. The music itself was amazing and it was great to see the artists performing, but I feel that this odd call for extreme show performances detracts from the overall affect of the music. Instead of listening to the artist’s music, I am stuck in this awkward position where I’m just

“Despite her four years in the spotlight, Lady Gaga has managed to demand and continue demanding the same amount of attention as some other music stars that have been in the music industry for decades. With her sugary tart mix of innovative style and creative strangeness she has kept her “little monsters,” as she affectionately calls the fans, guessing as to what will be next on the agenda.”

trying to figure out what they are wearing and why. Lady Gaga has certainly moved the bar as far as performances go, but is it in the wrong direction? If one looking to be entertained, I suppose that this is the avenue to pursue. Yet this is not where I want to be. I would rather be impressed by someone’s skill than entertained by their looks and style. The odd thing is Lady Gaga does this. She has an amazing range of musical style and skill. She has this odd mix of liberating, pop sort of style that remains the same, but changes at the same time. When I listen to her music I get caught up in the wave of insanity, it is such a letdown when a song is over. Lady Gaga has most defiantly changed the way we all view stage performance. Is this good or bad? Only time can tell. Yet as far as I am concerned, as long as artists focus on their music first and performances second, I have no problem with the strange outfits and out of this world concepts. As long as the music can keep up.

Comments, criticisms or questions about this opinion can be sent to olivia.jasmine.brayan@

The Cluster - Dec. 8, 2011- Page 3


American media coverage needs to change

Garret McDowell Columnist I really had a struggle with what to write about this week. It took a while to see what I felt was something that I felt called to write about. In fact, it took some struggling to find something that I felt deserved attention. Crap like Kim Kardashian’s ridiculously short marriage is a disgrace to the institution of marriage, the international community’s opinion of this country and the media. The media should not have even covered this crap. Hence, it set me on this point to just look at how much this nation has been ignoring important events internationally in favor of the lives of immature Hol-

lywood starlets who need a stark reality check. In the past few weeks, Liberia held open elections again, seeing incumbent female leader, and recent Nobel Peace Prize winner, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf retain her seat in another divisive election. This is a woman who is attempting to bring the country together and into the future after years of civil war and previous government oppression. For some reason, more Americans care about the lives of Kim Kardashian than Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. I don’t see Kim Kardashian putting her life in danger for something she cares about. Yes, she has come out in support of the campaign to stop LGBT discrimination and for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, but a blog post about something online can be done by anyone. Egypt’s government that came out of the Arab Spring has experienced a return of protesting by the same individuals that overturned Mubarak one year ago. Syria continues to have civil unrest as Syrians rise up against a dictator that has long gone unchallenged significantly.

Libya continues to change following the fall of Qaddafi. More Americans are caring about elections that are still a year away as opposed to elections, while not in this country, that are going to change the course of history. This is what matters, not the latest in Hollywood. The one year anniversary of Wikileaks happened recently. Most people hate Wikileaks since it showed the rest of the world just how corrupt and evil the U.S. can be at times to the international community. Personally, while I hate that our country’s intelligence network was compromised, I was supportive of Wikileaks. The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of the press, and I feel that most people forget that. If we’re going to live in a country so great and full of opportunity, then you have to realize that there are going to be some parts of it that you don’t like. I do, but I’m not about to infringe on someone else’s rights because of it. In essence, I think the media needs to get better. American media disguises the real issues

by showing us crap about celebrities that really is not necessary. It’s a waste. All of the money and financing generated in that sector could be better spent elsewhere. The media’s unhealthy obsession with these people is due to society and what the American populace care about. So why am I writing this? This is an open claim to people everywhere to stop caring so much about celebrities who don’t matter. When you’re declining viewership and lack of interest in these buffoons is found, media outlets will change what they cover. That is the most important thing for our society to achieve. Maybe then, we will see a focus on different things in the media. It is a step in the right direction for a nation that needs to care about the world a little bit more. A globally conscious individual will be something valuable in the globalized economy we have transformed into. Comments, questions and criticisms of this column can be sent to garret.mcdowell@

Garret McDowell / Cluster Staff

American media’s focus on celebrities instead of hard-hitting news is a ploy that disguises the real issues that should be shown. This waste of media coverage needs to change.

Modern Christmas practices go against Christian teachings By Ross Tripi Columnist

As a Christian, I find the celebration of Christmas abhorrent. When considering the holiday’s pagan roots and practices it can hardly be considered Christian. The modern celebration of the holiday encourages greed and a sense of entitlement to material goods, both of which are antithetical to Christian teaching. The obligation to try and experience joy at this time of year causes it to be the most stressful season and consequently has more suicide incidents than any other part of the year. For some people, Christmas is the only day they attend church, debasing the practice of church attendance to ritual status, which strips it of its value and purpose. Consider the trappings that are associated with Christmas: putting an evergreen tree in one’s house, the holiday’s association with the Santa Claus icon, even the date on which Christmas is set. There is no obvious connection between these and the birth of Christ. Still, those who assert that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Messiah seem attached to these traditions. Ironically, they are non-Christian in origin. Pagans used to, and in some cases still, take trees into their homes and decorate them during the time of the winter

solstice, which falls approximately between the 21st and 23rd of December. Similarly, ancient Romans used to bring clippings of evergreens into their homes for the celebration of Saturnalia, the holiday that honored the god Saturn, which ran from December 17th to the 23rd. Recognizing these origins, many early American Puritans actually banned the practice of bringing a tree into one’s home as part of the celebration of Christ’s birth. Though St. Nicholas’ origins are not heathen in nature, the bastardization of his name and image for commercial purposes, particularly by Coca-Cola, detract from his message of charitable giving. The iconography of Christmas, though purported as a holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ, seems to focus on St. Nicholas. The very date that Christmas is set upon is a reaction to heathen traditions. The Roman Catholic Church decided to add two more days to the celebration of Saturnalia under the guise of celebrating Christ’s birth. In reality, they were just trying to attract those who celebrated the Saturnalia into the church. It should be noted that the weeklong Saturnalia was comprised of lewd acts and debauchery; something the church should have distanced itself from rather than embracing. Apart from the moral issues associated with the origins of

Christmas, the obligation to give gifts puts unnecessary stress on people who may be financially strained. This is made worse if they have kids who feel entitled to gifts during the holiday season. Entitlement is not easily shaken, and it breeds a prolonged attitude of being malcontent. It is my belief that gifts should not be expected, but given either out of affection or because the recipient has earned them. Christmas teaches children that regardless of their conduct, they will receive presents. Maybe it would do them some good if they actually received lumps of coal. For many, December 25th is the only day of the year, with the possible exception of Easter that they attend church. Personally, I don’t even like the phrase “attend church.” Church isn’t a spectacle to be observed so much as it is a group with which to be actively involved. Only going to church one day a year is the complete opposite of active involvement. If the purpose of a church is for instruction and moral accountability, how can that possibly be achieved without regular attendance? I think it would be wise of churches to forego Christmas services so as to discourage the ritualization of church involvement. Comments, questions and criticisms of this column can be sent to rosstripi@gmail. com.

Children’s television content too vulgar, bring back the old standards By Vernon Scott Guest Writer

Have you seen any of your old favorite cartoon channels lately? For example, have you by chance taken a look at Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon? In my opinion, these channels have seriously gone off the deep end. Compared to the shows back in my younger days, the shows now are somewhat vulgar. I remember the days when it was a television sin to use the word suck on T.V. For example, this sucks, your outfit sucks or other usage in that context was inappropriate. Now, using phrases like that has become commonplace. Can you remember the show “Johnny Bravo?” That show was in some way vulgar, but it was a very low level in vulgar-

ity. Johnny was a huge flirt in every sense of the word. Though he hit on every grown woman in his sights, he never actually got a chance to be in a relationship with them nor even got a kiss from them. But when it comes to shows that are on now, they make out, date and even cuddle. I remember the first time I saw Cartoon Network’s show, “Adventure Time.” Within the first 10 minutes I noticed that the show made at least two sexual innuendoes. At first, I honestly thought that it was funny, but after assaying the situation for a while, I thought that the show was very inappropriate for kids of a younger age. Sure they may not understand what it means now, but who’s to say that they won’t learn? Many people hadn’t paid any attention to the fact that adult swim comes on at a much earlier time than it used to.

I remember staying up until 12:00 a.m. just to watch Inuyasha or Case Closed because it was on adult swim. That was quite an accomplishment for an 8 to 10 year old. But now adult swim has been pushed forward, so now it comes on at 9:00 p.m. which is a time that just about anyone can stay up for, before feeling slightly sleepy. Before long, this change in what television stations would allow will begin to affect children’s shows as well. Next thing you know, instead of Dora asking, “Do you see the mountain?” she’s going to ask “Do you see the damn mountain.” And whenever poor little Swiper comes on the scene, the chant will be, “Swiper, no f**king swiping” in which Swiper will respond with a “goddamn.” Why can’t we go back to the way it used to be? Comments or criticisms of this opinion can be sent to

Cecilia Villagomez / Cluster Staff

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after are two of the busiest days to travel during the year. Be sure to plan for delays when traveling on either of these days.

Holiday travelers beware, traffic jams a given this holiday season By Cecilia Villagomez Staff Writer

I don’t have very many extended family members that live nearby. If I want to visit with my relatives, I have to travel to the other side of the country. My grandparents were in California visiting from the Philippines this Thanksgiving, and my mom wanted to take a trip out to see them. The stay in California was great, but the traffic was ridiculous. Our flight was early in the morning on Thanksgiving Day, so traffic getting to the airport from Macon wasn’t so bad. Even once we landed, traffic getting from the airport to where we were going to stay was tolerable. Black Friday was a different story. You either love Black Friday or you hate it. The Macon area can be pretty busy, but I was not prepared for what I was getting myself into in Sacramento and San Francisco. The traffic and the masses of people on the sidewalks was enough to deter me from wanting to step foot out of the car. I should probably tell you that I have a thing with crowds. I don’t mind looking at them, but I don’t like to be in the middle. I get claustrophobic and while a funny image, having to physically claw my way out to get some air, is quite primal. My family was going to walk the streets of Fisherman’s Wharf to do some sightseeing and maybe buy some famous

“I’m sure with Christmas coming around the corner, holiday traffic is sure to be a hassle. So I pass onto you the wisdom of my Groome Shuttle driver. Plan accordingly. Make some phone calls. See what days are normally the busiest days for travel and try to avoid them. ” San Francisco sourdough bread. The streets are rather crowded on a normal basis. But because of Black Friday, it seemed like the entire state of California was walking that three mile or so stretch. Just getting through the toll roads took about 15 minutes. I’m definitely not a big city kind of person. Fast forwarding to Sunday, the day we flew back to Georgia, my family planned on taking a Groome Shuttle back to Macon. Despite our plan, we weren’t

prepared for how busy it was going to be. We landed at 7:00 p.m. and we finally got on a shuttle at 8:30 p.m. According to our driver, there was about three charter buses worth of UGA students trying to get back to their campus. Groome had to divert some of their Macon shuttles to accommodate the flood of students. Not only did it take an hour and a half for us to get on a shuttle, there was so much holiday traffic trying to get back to Macon. It normally takes about an hour and a half to get to Macon. Unfortunately, it took us about three hours. Ridiculous, right? Our driver was rather talkative and she apologized for the delay, but that we should be forewarned for the future. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are the busiest days of the year for holiday travel. She wasn’t kidding. On that Sunday, Groome had dispatched every single one of their drivers to accommodate the holiday travelers. I’m sure with Christmas coming around the corner, holiday traffic is sure to be a hassle. So I pass onto you the wisdom of my Groome Shuttle driver. Plan accordingly. Make some phone calls. See what days are normally the busiest days for travel and try to avoid them. I think this will make notw only your stress level go down, but also make your trip more enjoyable.

Comments, questions and critcisms of this opinion can be sent to cecilia.villagomez@


The Cluster - Dec. 8, 2011 - Page 4

News Editor Katherine Manson

Mercer welcomes new provost, Dr. D. Scott Davis By Mallory Dyal Staff Writer

Mercer University’s current provost, Dr. Wallace Daniel, announced on Nov. 11 that he will be stepping down from his current position and rejoining Mercer’s faculty at the end of this year. On Jan. 1, 2012, Dr. D. Scott Davis, senior vice provost for research and dean of graduate studies, will succeed Dr. Daniel as provost. Dr. Daniel will be named Distinguished University Profes-

sor of History. He received a degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also received his Ph.D., specializing in Russia. Before he returns to teaching Dr. Daniel will write a biography about Aleksandr Men, a Russian priest. Dr. Daniel spent more than 30 years at Baylor University, where he served as a history professor, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the chair of the history department and the director of the honors program. Dr. Daniel began his career as Mercer’s provost on July 1, 2008. Four of Mercer’s six

Ph.D. programs were established under Dr. Daniel’s leadership as provost, in addition to two of Mercer’s six professional doctoral programs. Undergraduate research has increased greatly and Mercer began publishing it’s undergraduate research journal, Spires. Seven new interdisciplinary programs have been created, as well as the Office of national and International Scholarships. During Dr. Daniel’s term six of Mercer’s 11 academic deans were appointed. Dr. Davis came to Mercer in 1991, serving as an assistant professor of chemistry. In

1996 he became an associate professor and he served as the department chair from 2000 to 2002. From 2003 to 2006 Dr. Davis served as associate executive vice president, when he was named senior vice provost for research and dean of graduate studies. Dr. Davis holds the rank of professor of chemistry and he also currently serves as the dean of Mercer’s Eugene W. Stetson school of Business and Economics. He will continue to hold this position until a permanent dean for the business school is appointed. As senior vice provost for research and dean of gradu-

ate studies, Dr. Davis has furthered Mercer’s reputation as a research institution. Externally funded research has grown by 33 percent, and the number of students in Mercer’s Ph.D. programs has increased from 33 to 241. Enrollment in Mercer’s graduate and professional programs has increased by 34 percent. In 2006 Mercer had approximately 2,840 students in these programs; there were more than 3,800 enrolled this fall. Mercer had its first scientists funded as Eminent Scholars by the Georgia Cancer Coalition during Dr. Davis’ term in the Provost’s Office.

Dr. Davis is a native of South Carolina and he received a B.S. degree from Erskine College and a Ph.D. from Emory University. He is a member of the American Chemical Society- Organic Division, Pi Alpha Chemical Fraternity, the Council on Undergraduate Research- Chemistry Division, the American Chemical Society- Division of Chemical Education and the American Council of Academic Deans. He is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi Scientific Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Society and Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society.

Mercer announces four academic programs to be available Fall 2012 By Cecilia Villagomez Staff Writer cecilia.villagomez@live.mercer. edu

Patrick Hobbs/ Cluster Staff

Dr. Gordon S. Wood, award-winning historian and author, lectured about rebuilding democracy as part of Lyceum. The lecture was focused on the founding fathers of the U.S.

Award-winning historian lectures By Salim Ali Staff Writer

The Center for the Teaching of America’s Western Foundations sponsored a lecture by the award-winning historian and author Dr. Gordon S. Wood. The theme of the lecture was rebuilding democracy and is part of Mercer Lyceum which is the universities initiative on this theme. Dr. Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University, and the recipient of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for History and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize for his book, The Radicalism of the American Revolution. He has written, cowritten or edited 20 books on history over his career. The lecture was focused on the founding fathers of the United States. Dr. Wood said of current Americans that, “we have a special relationship with the founding fathers that’s unique.” Dr. Wood discussed the different fathers and what they might have thought about today’s issues.

“What would Thomas Jefferson say about affirmative action?” said Dr. Wood as he discussed their views on slavery. The consensus was that most were against, but realized that slaves were too important to the emerging economy. Dr. Wood said, “we Americans are destined to look back at our fathers,” and that “our founding fathers have become the gold standard of which current politicians are measured against.” Dr. Wood was careful to emphasize that the founders had their flaws like anybody else. “[The founders] are the product of peculiar circumstances, they wanted wealth, they wanted position and they believed the people were the source of their authority.” The founders were elites but a different kind of elitism than that found across the sea in the United Kingdom. They believed, unlike their counterparts, they were representing their people’s interests. Dr. Wood believes that the founders were a product of 18th century Anglo-Saxon enlightenment, who believed that, “politeness is the source of civility.” Dr. Wood proposed the four stage theory developed by

Adam Smith who is most famous for his book, The Wealth of Nations. The first stage is the Age of Hunters, the second is the Age of Shepherds, the third is the Age of Agriculture and the last is the Age of Commerce. The purpose of the theory was to give substance to economic determinism and explain the emergence of commercial societies like Britain, France and the United States. Next came the idea of the gentleman and the proper character of the gentleman which meant being reasonable, honorable and cosmopolitan among other things. Gentlemen should also strive to be disinterested which meant being impartial like a judge is supposed to be. The Virginia Military Institute has its own version of the Code of the Gentleman which describes, among other things, how to treat a lady and refraining from visiting one while intoxicated and to be spartan in regards to wealth. The lecture provided new insights into who the founders were and more about their legacy. For information about future lectures, visit www.

Students continue to volunteer for LEAP LEAP,

continued from page 1

Tau Beta Pi’s Vice President Jared Wozny has even begun to recruit his fellow members to do service days by being open and frank to them about his thoughts on the matter. “I do LEAP service because I enjoy seeing people in the community so thankful for the work we do,” Wozny said after witnessing one of the family members in a particular work site being so excited as she saw work done on her home. LEAP has cast a wide net in the community, and while there have been some of the same organizations such as Rebuilding Macon and Habitat for Humanity repeatedly come back for more assistance from the hard-working student body, more groups such as Loaves and Fishes have begun to welcome Mercer students in for lots of service. The Loaves and Fishes director of development Mary Gatti welcomed Mercerians to a workday for the first time on Dec. 3, helping restore a house that will become a

transitional home for single mothers and people who might have fallen recently into homelessness and were working their way back out. “LEAP has made it possible for many more individuals to get into our transitional housing with the work they did [in the most recent service day]. They are furthering our goals for the Macon homeless that are trying to get on their feet,” said Gatti. While this might have been great for the director of the program to see such great and unexpected progress made in one day, it does not always translate into success from the volunteers. LEAP has been able to balance this opportunity cost of early and strenuous Saturday morning service with the intrinsic benefits of helping others, community service hours and either free or cheap lunch. After attending his third LEAP service day, sophomore resident assistant David Michaeli raved about the experiences and plans to do many more. “I do it because I love to see the final outcome and the people’s reactions when they see how much positive

change we’ve helped bring to their lives,” said Michaeli. After a year, LEAP has passed the halfway mark. In the spring, several students key to LEAP’s success and progression in the MercerMacon community will be taking a class designed to brainstorm and plan solely for LEAP. There are quite a few younger Mercerians that have begun to take charge at service events, using their individual talents to lead from both the front and the back. Lyndssey Autrey, a sophomore Mercer Service Scholar, has run an event at several service days this semester alone. When asked why she adds in the extra leadership and logistical work, she said, “I just really enjoy it. Also, I want to help other students at Mercer develop that passion and love for serving that I have been blessed with.” LEAP will continue in the spring with several more service days, festivals, and intensive projects that will provide opportunities for people all over campus to get involved in an activity they feel the most interested in.

Mercer University recently announced four new academic programs that will be offered beginning fall 2012. These four new programs include a Master of Laws degree in federal criminal practice and procedure in the Walter F. George School of Law, a new Bachelor of Musical Arts degree in the Townsend School of Music, an interdisciplinary major in Law and Public Policy in the College of Liberal Arts and a major in Sports Management in the Stetson School of Business and Economics. The Master of Laws degree is the first of its kind in the nation. The one-year advanced legal degree will prepare graduates for careers in federal criminal law. In a recent interview, Dean Gary J. Simson said, “The new LL.M. program is an ideal fit for the Law School and a great contribution to the legal profession. Graduates of the program will acquire a level of expertise that will make them especially attractive candidates for positions, both prosecution and defense, in federal criminal practice a field of ever-increasing national importance.” In the Townsend School of Music, the addition of a new Bachelor of Musical Arts degree will provide students a unique degree that retains the focus and curriculum of a performance degree while offering a secondary area of study focused on entrepreneurial skills in business, economics, marketing, new media, communications, psychology and arts management. Senior Jill Mares, who works in the music department, said, “[Students] feel like they have an amazing degree from an amazing school,

“The new LL.M. program is an ideal fit for the Law School and a great contribution to the legal profession. Graduates of the program will acquire a level of expertise that will make them especially attractive candidates for positions...” Gary J. Simson, Dean and Professor of the Walter F. George School of Law

but at the end of the day they are just great musicians. This program will be really helpful for providing music students the tools to get into the business, marketing and even the psychology or therapy aspect of music.” The interdisciplinary major in Law and Public Policy offers Mercer students a chance to study contemporary issues such as climate change, health care, fiscal policy and terrorism. Students in the major will develop their skills in analysis, critical thinking, problemsolving, oral communication, writing and research needed to address these public policy issues. Career possibilities for students with this major include policy-related fields such as law, government, public administration, health care or work with non-governmental organizations and non-profit groups. Mares said that this program “would be a really popular major because not only is the subject really interesting, it’s also useful not just for a career but for also living in the modern world. Being aware of public issues is such a big problem. People think that

our age demographic doesn’t vote and that they don’t know about issues. A major like this would really force students to look at the issues from a different perspective.” Mercer’s Bachelor of Business Administration program will be offering a major in sports business management. The program will teach business skills and management techniques of a traditional undergraduate business degree with additional courses in the business of spectator sports. Jennifer Fingles, a senior History Major, said, “The program sounds like a great thing to be offered at a bigger university, like the University of Georgia, where sports are bigger.” However, with the addition of Mercer Football in 2013, “this sports business management major could offer a link between the academic -minded population and the sports-minded population of Mercer,” said junior Josh Holloway. These four new academic programs will be available to Mercer students beginning in fall 2012.

Faculty gets a stress break By Emily Farlow Staff Writer

The faculty and staff here at Mercer have the opportunity to participate in “Healthy U,” an exercise and wellness program that was developed a couple of years ago. The faculty is encouraged to participate in activities in order to earn points, which they can turn into days off of work or dollars off of their insurance. The activities include exercise, stress management, check-ups at the doctor and nutrition choices. Once a month, they have stress breaks, where the faculty and staff can get together and learn ways to manage stress, said Rachel May, who is in charge of the stress breaks. On Nov. 7, there was a yoga class at which faculty could receive seven points, and on Nov. 17 there was a meditation class worth seven points as well. During the meditation exercise, there were two recordings, each 10 minutes long, and the faculty was encouraged to think positive thoughts and be free of thought, resting and re-

leasing stress. Afterward, they had a discussion as to effective ways of meditating individually or as a group. They talked about things such as getting motivated to release stress and relax, the benefits of relaxing and taking breaks, and the ease of meditating alone. This activity drew around 15 to 20 people, but Lunch and Learns, where the faculty can get a free lunch while listening to a speaker, usually draw more of a crowd, said May. About 40 to 50 faculty members usually attend, May added. At the Lunch and Learns people such as doctors and psychologists come and discuss stress management or give presentations about the importance of being healthy. The Stress Break that occurred on Nov. 17 helped the staff and faculty learn and discuss the negative impacts of stress, and how relaxation is a more effective way of dealing with high stress levels. The group gathered in the Bear Rock Cafe, and the quiet, dim room provided a good atmosphere for relaxing. The small group also helped. Though the meditation recordings were played on a laptop, the group discussed how simple breath-

ing exercises could be done throughout the day to relieve stress. While the Stress Break itself lasted about 45 minutes, May and the faculty stressed that relaxation exercises don’t have to last very long. With finals and school work in general, it is important for students to manage stress as well. Breathing exercises are a great way to relax and relieve stress. The Counseling and Psychological Services is a great stress relieving resource. They are located right behind MEP, but if you can’t visit them, they also have online resources to help with stress management. Visit studentaffairs.mercer. edu/counseling and click on “Online Resources” towards the bottom of the page. There, one can find a link to a website with many relaxation recordings. They cover topics such as breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation and more. Each recording is about 10 minutes long, so it won’t take up much time. It is important during stressful times to take a break and relax, not only for your mental health, but also for your physical health.

The Cluster - Dec. 8, 2011 - Page 5


Invisible Children visits Mercer to spread awareness By Mallory Dyal Staff Writer

On Nov. 17 Mercer’s Office of Housing and Residence Life sponsored a visit from Invisible Children, an organization aiming to end the practice of enslaving children to be soldiers in the Lord’s Resistance Army in Africa. Two representatives from Invisible Children came to share about the cause. The first, Joshua Wolny, is an American volunteer. The second is a woman

from Uganda named Agnes, whose life was directly affected by the problem of child slavery for military purposes. They showed a documentary entitled “The Rescue,” and afterwards the two invited attendees to ask them questions about the film and their lives. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is a rebel militant group which kidnaps children from their homes in the middle of the night and forces them to become child soldiers. The LRA was formed in 1987 and until 2007 it engaged in violent rebellion against the Ugandan government. Though it is no longer actively in rebellion against the

government, the LRA continues its practice of kidnapping children and forcing them to commit murder and other acts of terrorism. The leader of the LRA is a man named Joseph Kony. He claims to be a spirit medium who receives direct commands from the Holy Spirit. The group’s philosophy combines local religious tradition with the Christian religion. The Lord’s Resistance Army has committed numerous war crimes, including several massacres. The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Kony and several other Lord’s Resistance Army commanders in 2005. They are wanted for

“Ye Gods” performance written and directed by Mercer student

crimes against humanity and war crimes, including rape, murder, sexual slavery, and enlisting children as combatants. Kony has yet to be apprehended, because the LRA hides deep in the jungle. Attempts at peace talks with Kony have been unsuccessful. Agnes, the Ugandan representative, provided firsthand knowledge about the LRA. When she was a child, her parents would send her and her siblings to sleep in the jungle so that they would not be kidnapped. She spoke about being terrified of the dark and the wild animals she heard in the jungle. Though neither Agnes nor her siblings were

kidnapped, at least one child in every other home in her village was kidnapped and forced to become a child soldier. Luckily Agnes learned about Invisible Children, who awarded her with a scholarship to attend Gulu University in Uganda. There she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. After touring the United States telling her story for a few more months, Agnes hopes to return to Uganda to pursue an accounting degree. With the money she earns she hopes to send her siblings to college and to provide for those who live in her village. The future of the Invisible Chil-

dren movement looks bright. There has been bi-partisan support for this movement in the United States government. In October President Obama sent a team of one hundred Special Forces troops to Africa to help armies there remove the leaders of the LRA. This team will continue working toward the destruction of the LRA and to allow the child soldiers to return to their homes. Through the support of donations Invisible Children will continue to provide support and raise awareness of the conflict, with the goal of having all child soldiers returned to their homes by next year.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon hosts blood drive By Katherine Manson News Editor

By Emily Farlow Staff Writer

On Nov. 30, a very unique play performed by the Mercer Players opened at the Back Door Theatre. “Ye Gods,” ran though Dec. 3. and Mercer student Kyle Shook not only wrote, but also directed the play, which was a series of seven small vignettes, or mini plays. Opening night was a sell out show, and the cast and crew impressed the audience. “I couldn’t have been more pleased,” said Shook, saying that the feeling of producing an original play was “really excellent.” “Ye Gods” was a culmination of Shook’s three years at Mercer so far, and the idea for the script came from a combination of his interests and education, such as philosophy, religion and gender studies. It was a fun and creative process, Shook said, and he asked for advice all along the way. “I couldn’t have done it without the cast,” he said, and everyone offered ideas on how to make the show the best it could be. Shook was very pleased about opening night, saying that everything in his control was accounted for. The only nerves present were those that always accompany performing. But the cast did great, and the audience was good, added Shook. “Ye Gods” covered everything from Greek and Roman mythology, to nuns, Adam and Eve, and Zombies. At auditions, Shook said that it was hard to choose a cast because there was just so much talent. Some people fit into roles very quickly,

“I’m not a director; I’ve only ever directed one other play. But everything came together very well. I love to write plays. ” Kyle Shook, Director and Writer of Mercer Player’s “Ye Gods”

while others were harder to place. Overall, the cast was extremely well suited, and everyone did a great job, said Shook. “Ye Gods” featured corpses, the lottery, gun shots, Cupid being attacked with mace and gods at mortal restaurants. Some of the actors included Daniel Larson as Zeus, John Farrington and Alicia Landrum as Adam and Eve and Suzanne Stroup as Lucifer. The play itself was started towards the beginning of Shook’s first semester as a sophomore and was finished spring of last year, during Shook’s junior year. However, he began thinking of the idea his freshman year and the entire process took about two years from beginning to end. “There were always diffi-

culties,” said Shook, “I’m not a director; I’ve only ever directed one other play. But everything came together very well. I love to write plays,” said Shook. According to Shook, the stage is a wonderful medium through with to convey public expression and social change, adding that he would love to write plays in the future. If you missed all of the amazing talent in “Ye Gods,” be sure to attend “The Colored Museum” at the Back Door Theatre next semester, Feb. 16-26. Also next semester, the Mercer Players will be performing “A Little Night Music,” by Stephen Sondheim and Hough Wheeler, at the Grand Opera House April 13-15.

Mercer University’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity hosted a blood drive with the American Red Cross Nov. 16-17 in Penfield Hall. Sigma Alpha Epsilon hosts four blood drives throughout each year, two each semester, as the fraternity’s biggest philanthropy event. For this specific blood drive, the brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon recruited approximately 90 students to donate more than 70 pints of blood to benefit the American Red Cross. Students and faculty members were given the opportunity to give blood both days of the event between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. “You don’t need a special reason to give blood,” said Sigma Alpha Epsilon brother and Philanthropy Chair, Andrew Werkeiser. “You just need your own reason. Some of us give blood because we were asked by a friend, some know that a family member or a friend might need blood some day and some believe it is the right thing to do. Whatever the reason, the need is constant and your contribution is important for a healthy and reliable blood supply. You’ll feel good knowing you’ve helped change a life. I believe that more people

Mercer’s ServiceFirst program, now in its third year, provides opportunities for Mercer graduates to expand their borders and use their undergraduate education to assist in service projects around the world. ServiceFirst was established in 2009 and sent 17 students to such diverse locations as Beijing, Thailand, Philippines, Liberia and Eastern Europe in its first year. The program is an offshoot of the Institute of Life Purpose, directed by Dr. Scott Walker. Walker also founded and manages ServiceFirst. “ServiceFirst gives graduates time for personal reflection prior to going to graduate school by doing something that is worthwhile,” Walker told The Mercerian. “To have an experience that is posiive, fun and intense prior to the next chapter of life, it gets you ready to take that next major academic step.” The program is intended to give students a year to explore service options before returning to the United States to pursue a career or graduate school. Most projects last nine to 12 months, but the program also offers several semester-long and one-month opportunities, including some positions in the United States. Most placements involve

teaching English, but students also work with world hunger relief, water purification projects, and teaching theatre, journalism and computer literacy for schools in Liberia. Walker said he began thinking about ServiceFirst when he was working at Baylor University in Texas. After coming to Mercer, he was impressed with the university’s commitment to service and sought to implement a program that would give students opportunities to take that service worldwide. Students who participate in the program often learn valuable lessons about the world and themselves while abroad,

Walker said. The program has indeed acted as a spring board for many Mercer graduates who have participated. Mark Young, CLA ’10, was accepted into New York University Law School after traveling to China, Abby Roswell, CLA ’10, is currently in the Peace Corps after teaching English to Chinese English teachers and Ryan Schomburg, BUS ’10, is working toward a Master of Global Economy and Strategy at the Graduate School of International Studies of Yonsei University in South Korea, to name a few. Mercer alum Wesley Sanders participated in Service-

Many students attended the blood drive to donate and help the American Red Cross. Over 70 pints were donated. should give blood because it is a relatively easy way to save not only one life, but three.” Sigma Alpha Epsilon will hold two more blood drives next semester to be announced at a later date. The blood drives are separated enough to ensure that those who donated blood before are eligible to donate at the next blood drive hosted by Sigma Alpha Epsilon. “We are considering making [the blood drive] later in the day so we can have more student and hopefully even athlete participation,” said Werkheiser. The fraternity hopes to in-

Katherine Manson/ Cluster Staff

Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers, Wilson Elias (left) and philanthropy chair, Andrew Werkheiser (right) volunteered.

ServiceFirst offers new opportunities By Liz Bibb Editor-in-Chief

Katherine Manson/ Cluster Staff

First in Bangkok, Thailand after graduating in 2010. He taught English to students between the ages of eight to 12 at Wattana Wittaya Academy, a school for girls. Sanders said he loved his students and the experience. “I could tell stories all day,” he said. Upon his return, Sanders began graduate school at Georgia State University and is now getting a Masters of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management. For more information on ServiceFirst, visit www.mercer. edu/servicefirst.

crease the number of donors with each blood drive they host. According to the American Red Cross website,, “currently only three out of every 100 people in American donate blood.” Sigma Alpha Epsilon is also involved in various other philanthropy events throughout the academic year. They participate in Movember, a mustache-growing charity event throughout the month of November, to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. The brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon are also hoping to participate in a new philanthropy event to raise money and awareness for Myocarditis, a heart condition that Werkheiser has experienced twice in his life. Myocarditis is a condition in which there is inflammation of the heart muscle, with symptoms that may include chest pain similar to a heart attack. The fraternity is planning a concert that will take place next semester that will benefit the heart disease in addition to the two blood drives they will host with the American Red Cross.

UpcomingEvents December 8: SGA Christmas Tree Lighting Historic Quad @ 7 p.m. December 15: Christmas in Mercer Village @ 5 p.m. December 19: Miracle on 34th Street The Grand Opera House @ 7:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Wesley Sanders

ServiceFirst gives graduates the opportunity to explore service options for a year before pursuing graduate school or career options. They also get to experience a new culture.

The Cluster - Dec. 8, 2011 - Page 6

Features Editor Alicia Landrum

Lessons in Etiquette with etiquette instructor

Carolyn Davenport Q) When I’m invited out to lunch or dinner, I am never sure what to do before the meal begins ... who sits first, who orders first, etc. Can you help please? A) It depends on whether the meal is for business or personal reasons. Let’s begin with a business meal. If your host is waiting for you at the restaurant, they should stand to greet you and remain standing until you are seated. If you walk in together, you should walk in ahead of your host, and they should ask you to sit down, offering you the best seat at the table, to their right, if you are the ranking guest. If your host does not ask you to sit, wait for them to be seated before you sit down. If it is a personal dining event, you should follow the host’s lead. They will be seated first. Once everyone is seated, place your napkin on your lap. Since you will only use your napkin to dab food particles from your mouth, you will only need to use about the top quarter of the napkin. If you fold down the top quarter, then down again, and place the napkin on your lap with the fold to your torso, you will keep the soiled part of the napkin folded under at all times, thus protecting your body and clothing from food stains. To use your napkin, simply unfold it, dab your mouth along the top edge, re-fold it, and place it back on your lap. If water is on the table when you sit down, you may take a sip after everyone is seated and your napkin is on your lap. For other drinks and food, wait until everyone has been served. Also, do not eat until your host has begun eating. When your host picks up their fork, then you may do so also. Or, your host may simply ask everyone to start eating. Wait for your host to ask you to pass the bread basket or other tableware. When you do so, offer the food to the person sitting directly on your left, then you serve yourself, then pass the tableware to the person sitting on your right by placing it on the table as closely to their place setting as possible. You pass tableware hand to table, table to hand. Follow these simple common courtesies, and you will be the rising star at the dining table! Follow Carolyn Davenport at


Bazaar Affair supports charities By Patrick Hobbs Staff Writer

On Saturday Nov. 19, the organization Macon’s Artisans United hosted a “Bazaar Affair” on Napier Ave. Vendors sold homemade and homegrown products to benefit local and national charities. In total, six vendors pitched tents displaying goods such as sculptures, potted herbs and spices, paintings, jewelry, crochet and baked goods. Lita Rutland, a former trucker turned soap-maker, organized the first Bazaar Affair in September at her house to act as an alternative to the local Market on the Green. Rutland chose to start Bazaar Affair to take advantage of the days when other local markets are not operating. Her house on Napier Avenue also has heavier traffic, and therefore more exposure than other markets. However, Rutland admitted that it is hard to get people to stop. To generate interest, she posted fliers to various Macon websites and venues. Rutland then invited several vendors that she met through Market on the Green to partake in the now monthly event. Most of the vendors at the Bazaar sold original art, but a few sold produce as well. “Farming and gardening is an art form too,” said Rutland adding, “[and] these people are serious about their art.” Every vendor at Bazaar Affair had a special charity to which a portion of the day’s profits benefited. Ten percent of Lita’s proceeds went to benefit the battle against breast cancer. Other beneficiaries of the Bazaar Affair include the American Lung Cancer Association, American Red Cross, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, United Way, Alzheimer’s research and Jay Jay’s Miracle. “Everyone of them hits home, everyone knows someone who’s been affected,” said Lita. “We gotta give back to

the community,” Lita added. Barbara Edwards, a friend of Lita, sold perennials and a spicy pepper plant whose fruit is affectionately named by another vendor (Jason Fowler) as the “China Cherry Bomb.” Jason Fowler’s aunt, Polly Fowler ran the “Jewelry by Design” table. Polly Fowler, made her first piece of jewelry from a shoe medallion two years ago. A friend encouraged Polly to continue her work. “She told me I had a gift from God,” said Mrs. Folwer. Polly has been making necklaces, bracelets, and earrings from found items ever since. Marlene Still started selling blueberries to supplement her family’s income after her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Still expanded her enterprise as blueberries went out of season to include cakes (pumpkin spice maple cake with pecan glaze), peppers, collard greens, boiled peanuts, sea salt and home cut fat lighter, a type of kindling. Darlene Murphy, Lita Rutland’s sister and Mercer University employee, ran the studio ‘Freestyle art and design’. Murphy’s talents include painting, drawing, sculpting and metal working. “I do it for the joy,” said Murphy. She has taught art before and loves teaching children that art design is everywhere. Nassira Love and her two daughters displayed several pop art pieces along with homemade hats and bags. Proceeds from her table will fund “Youth Handcraft Lessons,” a personal project in which she plans to teach children entrepreneurship through selling their crafts. Lita Rutland also had a table set up to sell produce grown in her backyard alongside a separate table displaying more than 30 kinds of homemade soap. The Next Bazaar Affair is scheduled for December 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at 3356 Napier Avenue.

Patrick Hobbs/ Cluster Staff

Polly Fowler shows off her craft at the November Bazaar Affair. These are earrings in the style of Converse All Stars. Similar charitable goodies will be available next Bazaar Affair. 1.

Why you dine: the history of Thanksgiving By Salim Ali Staff Writer

The tradition of reserving a special day for giving thanks to good fortune, health and family has been around since before the founding of the United States of America and Canada. Students are taught from an early age in school that the holiday dates back to the 1600’s in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The pilgrims who had newly colonized the area were learning how to survive, but the winters were harsh and they were finding it difficult to have enough food to survive through it. The nearby Wampanoag tribe gave seeds to the pilgrims and taught

them how to fish, thus giving the pilgrims hope. They came together in celebration and this became known as the first Thanksgiving. Some historians argue that the first celebration was actually held in Saint Augustine, Florida by the Spanish in 1565. But the current national holiday of Thanksgiving is based on the feast held by the pilgrims and the Wampanoag. Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1789 when President George Washington declared it would be held on November 26. But it was not until the author of the nursery rhyme “Mary had a Little Lamb,” did Sarah Josepha Hale, advocate for the holiday to be celebrated annually. With the help of President Abraham Lincoln, who issued the

Thanksgiving Proclamation, achieved her goal of a holiday to bring the country together during the time of the Civil War. Part of the proclamation reads, “It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”(President Abraham Lincoln, Thanks Giving Proclamation). The date of Thanksgiving was

to be set on the last Thursday of the month of November which stayed true to the original set by George Washington until it fell on November 30 during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The year was 1939 and retailers were not happy because they believed that they had lost an extra week that consumers could devote to shopping for Christmas. They encouraged President Roosevelt to move it up and his Thanksgiving Proclamation set it to November 23, but there were problems because it now meant that calenders were wrong and it caused a lot of rescheduling issues for Americans. Even football games had to be rescheduled so that they would fall on the holiday. It was such a national

headache that opponents of the president declared the day Franksgiving and refused to change the date of Thanksgiving from the original November 30 date. Only 23 states actually changed it to November 23. The irony of the whole situation is that the retailers were wrong about consumers and having that extra week did not cause them to shop more like they hoped. The next year President Roosevelt did the same thing, but not all states went along. To fix this messy situation, Congress passed a law in 1941 declaring that Thanksgiving would always be on the fourth Thursday of November. And that is the story of how Thanksgiving came to be.

Do it in a dorm: Produce a sitcom. Just add hijinks, shenanigans By Olivia Brayan Staff Writer olivia.jasmine.brayan

One does not need a degree in film to create a television show. If reality TV is any clue, all one needs is a camera, the appropriate amount of dramatic people, overactive imaginations and delicious scandals. It may also help to have technical knowledge or a “resident geek” on your team. Now before considering producing a dorm room sitcom, it is best to understand the idea behind such a show. Situational comedies are a specific genre of humor that began on radio stations and moved to television. Such a show is based around the idea of standup comedy and character chemistry. The sets are usually small, with only a few stages to move around on; keeping the focus solely on the dialogue.

The best example of a show capturing this show design was I Love Lucy. It was one of the first American sitcoms, beginning in October of 1951. Originally black and white, this program captured the essence of what a sitcom is. The basis for the show was straightforward; a young, naïve, musician’s wife with an overactive imagination that is always getting into some kind of shenanigans. The show kept the set simple and the laughter rolling. The first step to creation is obviously the idea, getting down to the core of what the show would be. Before even attempting to draw up a script or cast characters, there has to be a basis for a show, even if that is to have a free for all in front of a camera. The design behind the show can be as simple as a single girl that is always getting herself into awkward situations, or as complex as a multi-character focused

Photo Courtesy of

I Love Lucy uses few sets and is a classic sitcoms. With a dorm as a backdrop, you too can have a hilarious TV show. story and how their lives slowly coincide similar, to James Crawley’s idea. James is a freshman here at Mercer, and he said his show would be about “surviving college.” He would like to bring in a

medium sized cast and said it would be “set on campus in general and follow person by person,” moving onto the next individual as the characters interact. Most sitcoms, or at least

the more famous ones, have a well matched cast. These include the sort that have the perfect comedic, competing chemistry. Take for example the television show Friends, this show brought six completely different friends together into coexistence. Their ever evolving relationships keep viewers coming back for more, not to mention their devilish cliffhangers. The most vital item in creating a sitcom is the script; if all else fails, an amazingly funny script can be the saving grace. People need a reason to watch a show and if it can make them laugh, even if it’s a tiny giggle, that is a definite reason to tune in. The best way to go about insuring that the script is golden is to make friends with the best writers in English class, that have a sense of humor and get them all together in a big room. Like 30 Rock, another good sitcom, that focuses on a cast of writers and all the ordeals they go through to produce

their show. Carolyn Dishburger said that in creating a sitcom, her first moves would be to “sit down with a cup of coffee and some great music and brainstorm ideas and climaxes, along with who could possibly play what part.” And if she could create any sitcom, she said it would be about “a unique couple of a mongoose and a chinchilla. The mongoose would be named Rauuuuuuul (spelled with seven u’s) and the chinchilla’s name will be Jeffry. Rauuuuuuul and Jeffry will be stuck in a world of uncertainty of how they were named and what it means. They will go on epic quests to find themselves and figure out what they will do with their lives.” Making a sitcom can be hard work, but with a good group of hardworking people it could become quite easy. All one needs is a good starting idea, a room full of writers, a dedicated cast and a few technological savvy folks and, of course, a camera.

The Cluster - Dec. 8, 2011 - Page 7



American Marketing Association By Kaitlin Marrin Staff Writer

Mercer’s student chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) offers opportunities for leadership, teamwork and networking to its members, comprised of 40,000 professional marketers in more than 600 chapters across over 100 countries. AMA at Mercer began last year and has since garnered up a respectable number of aspiring marketers, though the chapter is open to any students with an interest in marketing. AMA began in the early 1900’s as a way to bring together marketers to collaborate. “It’s an old organization, there are collegiate chapters all over the country, there’s a lot here in Georgia… It’s a big part of what marketers do,” said Chapter Advisor, Dr. McClung. According to Dr. McClung, the chapter’s first year at Mercer was about getting organized and finding structure. “This year we are trying to build a network with people who will want to hire.” The chapter works alongside local and prominent marketing outlets. AMA at Mercer holds two main events each year which allow students to gain valuable training and experiences. The first was held in the fall, appropriately titled, Marketing Week, where all students had the opportunity to attend speeches, presentations and mixers. Speakers included Atlanta Falcons and Robins Federal Credit Union representatives. This spring, AMA will have a marketing day that will revolve around fashion marketing. “We are going to have a segment dealing with sports fashion. We are going to have someone in from Mary Kay. Other companies that are fashion companies will show us how they market their particular products, and then we

“It’s a way to get your face in front of people who are going to hire you.” Dr. McClung, Chapter Advisor of Mercer’s AMA

will have a networking session so our students can meet people within the fashion industry,” said Dr. McClung. In March there is the National Marketing Convention held this year in New Orleans. Over 1,200 collegiate students attend from all over the country. They compete against each other, learn from marketing professionals and network. Though Mercer cannot compete in the competition due to its size, they can still attend and meet people. “There are other things going on that will benefit the students,” said Dr. McClung. The chapter has about 25 students, but hopes to achieve 40 by the end of next year, which would allow them to go into the competition. Students can join at any time for a once a year payment of $45. The money goes towards promotional items, dues to the State AMA chapter, and other expenses. “We are going through the process of being recognized, state and nationally and we don’t have enough students to enter into the competition but at the end of the year I believe we will.” Why should you join? Dr. McClung has the answer. “It’s a way to get your face in front of people who are going to hire you.” For more information on joining the Mercer American marketing Association chapter, e- mail AMAmerceru@

Time management for finals By Cecilia Villagomez Staff Writer

It’s just about that time of year again. Crunch time! Your classes are finally ending, and what does that mean? An overflow of end of the semester projects and tests of course. The last two weeks of the semester before finals are the worst, and by the time finals week comes along, you’re burnt out and more than ready for winter break. Professors have a tendency to harp on students for procrastinating. Heather Ziemba, a junior Biology Major, says in response, “Sorry, I was studying for that last exam you snuck in. I’m writing that final paper. It’s not like your class is the only class I’m taking.” Rebekah Hogg, a senior Biology Major, had a similar response. She said, “I know for a fact that there are several classes I’m writing papers for when I haven’t even gotten graded papers back. Fortunately, not all professors are like that, but it’s still frustrating.” Course load aside, time management is always an issue when it comes to studying, even for the best of us. Whether your finals are stacked on top of each other or you have so much free time you don’t know what to do with yourself, staying motivated is a challenge. One of the best things you can do for yourself is make a schedule. Create a map of your week. Write out what days and times you have finals. Plan out which days you’re going to spend studying. And please, schedule some down time. Your brain will thank you.

Cecilia Villagomez/ Cluster Staff

Mercer students set up shop in the University Center in order to finish their assignments in a timely fashion. Let’s hope they saved some time in their schedules for movies and down time. That includes eating, and yes, a movie night--or two. It’s important to know how much time you will need to study. Is the final cumulative? Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. By this point, you have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t in terms of studying. Amanda Epperson, a junior Spanish Major, condenses her notes that she needs and studies that until she knows it in her sleep. Andrew Smith, a freshman English Major, says that what has worked before is “basically redoing all of the homework and tests that the teachers assigned. I usually

start a month before. I’m not sure if that’ll work for college, so fingers crossed.” Now I know you’re a student that never crams for a test, right? I thought so. Okay, who am I kidding? You’re one of those “I’ll get to it later, right now I have something better to do” kind of people. That’s why you are reading this article, because you have trouble with time management. Or you’re just procrastinating and this is “research.” I understand. Speaking of papers, those pesky little devils have a habit of sneaking up on you. One minute you’re brainstorming wonder-

fully, the next minute your paper is due in two hours and you only have the first sentence written. But that’s a mighty good sentence you have there. Rebecca Webb, a junior History Major, says, “Unlike papers during the year, I try to start final papers a couple of days before they are due so I can go to the ARC and have them looked at.” The ARC is a great place to study and get last minute help for finals. Also, if you are really stressed out, why not take a trip over to CAPS and see what relief they can offer you. Finals week is a crazy time at Mercer. Best of luck to you and all of your endeavors!

Missed Black Friday? Try this! By Olivia Brayan Staff Writer olivia.jasmine.brayan

Black Friday came and went, leaving behind those poor souls who couldn’t manage to get out of bed in time—I blame the turkey—therefore leaving them lacking in the gift department. Well never fear, this holiday season there are still ways to find gifts without breaking the bank. For those of you savvy shoppers there are deals to be found without even leaving room. Online shopping is taking over. Amazon held Cyber Monday Deals all week long, with more than 60% off of some of the

select items. Not only that, but it is a great place to buy good quality or rare presents for a lot less than what they would cost in stores. Another online place to shop is eBay. Mercer student Paridas Gouba says, “I shop all the time on eBay.” Beyond Amazon and eBay there are a few other stores offering cyber deals to shoppers. Ranging from Best Buy to Target, all one has to do is search them out. For those less trusting of the internet there are the more physical shopping avenues. Here in Macon there are many options to save a few dollars. There is thrifting, yard sales, discount stores and malls. Vintage Treasure, one of Macon’s adorable thrift stores, is

located at 352 Cotton Avenue and holds a large variety of items ranging from 1950s1980s fashion, jewelry, to even furnishings. Not to mention they are having sales all the way up until Christmas. Smiley’s Flea Market is another great gift finding scene. Located on 4650 Forsyth Road. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Shoppes at River Crossing are having several different sales. With shops like Buckle, Journey and Aéropostale with items up to 50% off, this is definitely not a deal to miss. Beyond these shops there are the standard Belk, Macy’s, WalMart, Target and Kohl’s that

always have good Christmas Deals. Paridas Gouba says, “I don’t really plan ahead, I usually get there and say ‘Oh this is on sale, let me get it’.” This isn’t really a bad way to shop when one might have an idea of which places will have good deals going on. Steffiny Kallickal says, “My favorite part about Christmas shopping is the whole atmosphere of stores. I love the scents, music, and joy that Christmas brings to the stores. Also a lot of things are on sale and I feel great when I know I am buying things to give to others for them to feel special” So remember that whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, just have fun and enjoy the Christmas season.

Plan your life around Alicia’s unreliable horoscopes Sagittarius (11/22 - 12/21) Happy birthday, Sagittarius! You’ve been on your best behavior recently, doing what is asked of you almost without question, trying to keep your priorities appropriately ordered, tidying up without your roommates even asking you to. Good job! You’ve deserved a reward for your exemplary behavior. Go out to dinner, drink a bit too much juice, and let your friends shower you with praise. You’ve earned it! Single? Someone reading in public will catch your eye this week. Attached? Your partner might be feeling particularly amorous towards you. Go with it. Lucky Days: Wednesdays. Unlucky Days: Thursdays. Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19) Eyd doof eulb htiw oopmahs rieht ecalper dna, tcepser emas eht meht yap. Yawyna uoy ot netsil reven yeht esuaceb ylbaborp si siht. Uoy dnatsrednu tonnac yeht taht egdelwonkca neve t’nod elpoep emos taht eciton thgim uoy tub, htuom ruoy fo tuo semoc ti erofeb llew yas uoy gnihtyreve tuoba kniht ot uoy ecrof siht lliw ylno ton. Nrocirpac, sdrawkcab gnitirw dna gnikaeps ylno yad eritne na dneps. Single? Keep your tongue tied and you’ll win someone’s affection. Attached? You specifically should think about what you say to your partner before you say it. Lucky Days: Wednesdays. Unlucky Days: Sundays.

Aquarius (1/20 - 2/18) Despite the fact that you are currently brimming with brilliant ideas, Aquarius, your creative energy is being stifled under all of the stress of these last few days of the semester. Set aside time for freedom. This might require plotting out all of your time until your final final is complete, but as long as you have the opportunity to write that opera (or try out that new re-rack in your favorite kind of pong) that you’ve been contemplating, it will be worth it! Single? The person you like will find someone else. Channel the heartache into a creative outlet. Attached? Bounce ideas off your partner. Lucky Days: Tuesdays. Unlucky Days: Mondays. Pisces (2/19 - 3/20) Go ahead and start planning your New Year’s Resolutions, Pisces. Do you want to floss more, learn Russian, get fit, start a collection of armadillos? The sky is the limit! Plan everything out: know not only what you want to achieve, but also what steps you will take in order to make certain that your goals are realized. (Although, armadillos can apparently transmit leprosy to humans, so be very sterile when starting that collection.) Single? This is your last chance to make your move on that cutie in your class! Attached? Take swing dancing classes. Lucky Days: Saturdays. Unlucky Days: Tuesdays.

Aries (3/21 - 4/19) Looking for some extra holiday cash, Aries? There are all sorts of viable, nontaxable employment options! Offer to rake leaves for your neighbors, grade papers for teachers who have reached crunch time, or sell some of those pesky eggs (or sperm). You could even attempt to serve as personal protection for anyone willing to pay for it, but do avoid looking too much like the mafia. Single? Maybe you could make some dough as a (sexually unexploited) escort. Attached? You could save some money by “forgetting” to buy your lover a gift. Lucky Days: Saturdays. Unlucky Days: Thursdays. Taurus (4/20 - 5/20) You’re feeling particularly romantic these days, Taurus. Whether this is because fashionable coats turn you on, love is an enjoyable excuse to procrastinate for studying for exams, or Venus is moving through your house of love… it doesn’t matter! Embrace this feeling. Be as amorous as you can. Write poems, open doors, do some light petting at a park. Find what (or who) impassions you, and let the emotions consume you. Single? More space for free love that way. Attached? How lucky your lover is! Lucky Days: Fridays. Unlucky Days: Saturdays.

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21) Everyone knows how important your family is to you, Gemini. But let’s be honest, they don’t provide an atmosphere quite appropriate for your break. So blow them off and blow your savings on a last minute trip to the Bahamas. Or maybe New Orleans would be easier? [Okay, you can invite your family if you absolutely want, but they have to be willing to deal with your bathing suit (or bead) clad antics.] (Repetition of the word “woohoo!” will be in order.) Single? You’re destined for a winter break fling! Attached? It might be appropriate to invite your partner on this vacation. Lucky Days: Wednesdays. Unlucky Days: Fridays. Cancer (6/22 - 7/22) Okay, Cancer, we get that you’re stubborn. And good for you, knowing exactly what you want out of life. That being said, it’s getting a little ridiculous. Knock it off. You know you’re wrong, everybody knows you’re wrong, so just swallow your rampant pride and admit it. Once you admit it aloud, the bottled-up rage that several people have been harboring against you will be diffused. Only then can you be forgiven for acting like such an ass. Single? Admit it. Attached? SERIOUSLY ADMIT IT. Lucky Days: Wednesdays. Unlucky Days: Sundays.

Leo (7/23 - 8/22) Your lack of energy might be a result of your lack of energy, Leo. You can’t muster up the power to get out of bed and get involved with wacky hijinks because your body has become accustomed to lethargy. In order to up your energy level, start waking up an hour earlier than usual and taking a jog around the block or hitting the gym before getting ready for the day. The effect that this minute change will have on your day is immense. Single? Try jogging to a public place. While there, read a book. Attached? If your partner is partly to blame for your laziness, encourage him or her to exercise with you. Lucky Days: Sundays. Unlucky Days: Tuesdays. Virgo (8/23 - 9/22) It’s time to cross-dress, Virgo. Whether it’s something that you’ve never considered or it’s an art you’ve nearly perfected, your ability to be deceptive (and to feel damn good doing it) is heightened right now. If you’re new to the whole process, take baby steps. Take a trip to Goodwill (or to a friend’s closet) and pick out a number that makes you happy. Wear it around the house, and if you love it, go out. You’ve never felt so right. Single? Maybe you’ll meet someone while you’re out in drag. Attached? Your partner should accept your wardrobe decisions. Lucky Days: Thursdays. Unlucky Days: Mondays.

Libra (9/23 - 10/23) You just can’t seem to get in the holiday spirit, Libra. You’re going to have to do something about that. Search for some alternative Christmas music (such as Rappy McRapperson’s “Gimme Stuff” or “I Farted on Santa’s Lap” by The Little Stinkers) and listen to it while drinking too much eggnog. Try sending cards to your family and friends. Even if the cards aren’t seasonal, it will brighten their day that you thought about them. Single? Organize a Secret Santa party among your friends. Attached? Victoria’s Secret offers some getups that should get you in the spirit. Lucky Days: Thursdays. Unlucky Days: Mondays. Scorpio (10/24 - 11/21) Start looking for a new place to live, Scorpio, because someone, whether it’s your roommates, your landlord, or your RA, has grown incredibly sick of you. Usually I would encourage you to undertake steps to become a more sufferable person to live around (cleaning and volume control), but it’s far too late for that. You’ll be kicked to the street before you even realize it’s happening. A little sucking up couldn’t hurt, but it probably won’t really help. Single? Maybe you can flirt your way onto a couch. Attached? Your partner doesn’t want to board with you. Lucky Days: Fridays. Unlucky Days: Sundays.

The Cluster - Dec. 8 2011 - Page 8

Entertainment Editor Eric Brown


‘Ye Gods’ is irreverent, fun

Kyle Shook’s debut plays to sold out crowd By Trenton White Theatre Critic

A In a series of vignettes entitled “Ye Gods,” senior Kyle Shook exhibits his take on some of the Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Jewish gods we have studied and/or worshipped since we began eating from the Tree of Knowledge as toddlers in Sunday School or sixth-graders in Gifted Literature class (thanks Ms. Blanton). The sold-out show ran four nights in the Backdoor Theatre. Our perceptions of religious and mythical scenes we thought we had grown accustomed to are briefly transformed with a quirky and hilarious approach that mixes imagination, intelligence, feminism and comedy. For example, Eve (Alicia Landrum) is portrayed as a modern woman who cannot be confined to the ancient prototypes of women that are too often witnessed today. She is not satisfied serving her husband sandwiches when there are books to be read, experiments to be conducted or jazz to be heard. This third account of Genesis uses sarcasm to easily explain the “unintentional” origins of the first two accounts in a way that educated Mercerians can both laugh off and find a trace of truth in. As history shows us, ancient cultures must have missed Kyle’s cues and mistaken Adam’s (John Farrington) self-prescribed dominance over Eve for Yahweh’s handwriting, despite its being written on a gum wrapper. A grumpy, fed-up-with-his-job and post-pubescent Cupid (Max Youngblood) only proceeds to help a strong-willed mortal, Psyche (Tory Johnson), find her one true love after being commanded by mommy Aphrodite. When the divinely inspired plan goes wrong because of Psyche’s

Noah Maier/ Cluster Staff

(Left to right) Mercer students Suzanne Stroup, Sarah Beth Roach, Danielle Montanari, Liam McDermott, Tory Johnson, Braeden Orr, Stephanie Barron, and Han Htet perform in the zombie apocalypse-themed “Risen,” one of the many vignettes in Kyle Shook’s Ye Gods, which debued November 30. retaliation against Cupid with his own love arrow, the two’s wrestling around on the ground turns from hate and loathing into lust and affection. But who hasn’t seen Max do that? Lucifer (Suzanne Stroup) and Deus (Jan Jones) share an apartment, known to us as Heaven. Remember Satan being cast from Heaven because he was an evil liar? Think again. First off,

they are both girls (duh). Lucifer is just a lazy, pot-smoking, slutty, broke couch potato of a roommate who Deus has had enough of. You know you wanted to do the same thing to your roommate freshman year, but they “could not be evicted because they have a contract with Housing and Residence Life” and “if there are any further concerns you should immediately inform

your Resident Assistant.” God don’t put up with that. The play culminated with a final statement on religion, with the last chapter, called “Risen.” In true Mercer fashion, it pushed boundaries. This last vignette takes place wholly in a basement, in which a motley crew of apocalypse survivors discuss their thinning options against an unstoppable horde at their

On Going ‘Underground’ By Eric Brown Entertainment Editor

So, last week I talked about a world famous band that I think DJs the world over ought to banish from the airwaves. This week, though, I’m going to go in a different direction to tell you all about a band that went unloved and underrated for its entire career, despite being one of the most important groups in the history of rock music. I’m talking, of course, about The Velvet Underground and their first, Andy Warhol-produced LP, The Velvet Underground & Nico. In April of 1966, the little known band based out of Manhattan’s Lower East Side and comprised of future stars John Cale and Lou Reed, among others, entered the studio with pop art icon Andy Warhol and European model/ singer Nico. What emerged from those sessions would push the boundaries of rock and roll as the band’s debut record, released the next year on Verve Records. Upon the record’s release, critics found its subject matter too dark and music too experimental. The Velvet Underground & Nico earned a strong underground following, however, and over the years, the record found acclaim in the wake of Lou Reed and John Cale’s successful solo efforts. As art rock legend Brian Eno once wrote, “The first Velvet Underground album only sold

10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.” One of The Velvet Underground & Nico’s most stunning features is its often striking minimalism. Released at the height of 1967’s “summer of love,” the album bore little resemblance to the psychedelic albums that were tearing up the rock charts of the time. Rather than attempting to emulate the sonic landscapes of records like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or Are You Experienced?, the band pioneered their own unique sound based in many ways on 1950s beat poetry, featuring droning guitars and understated drums. “Heroin,” for instance, features no bass guitar, minimal drums, and is based around only two simple guitar cords. And yet, in spite of that, “Heroin” is such a good song that it almost makes me wish I had a dehabilitating junk habit. It’s a stark, powerful piece of art that never seems to wear out its seven and a half minute runtime. Similarly, “Venus in Furs” is based largely on Lou Reed’s droning guitar (the famous “Ostrich guitar,” with every string tuned to D) and John Cale’s haunting viola. It manages to create a uniquely transcendental atmosphere with its relatively restrained instrumentation. For all the aesthetic minimalism, the record is also highly experimental at its core, playing with audiences expectations of what a rock album can be. One could

threshold. This is where Shook really shines. The ending is too perfect for it to be spoiled here. Shook took a bite at some conventions, but he certainly has sharp teeth. Only one important god was missing, however. Dionysus. The audience was tempted by two empty boxes of Lucifer’s Corona with not even a dry martini or glass of red wine to help

wash down the zombie apocalypse of the first Easter Sunday. I don’t know about the plays you go to, but the best ones I have watched always had a bar in the lobby, which would also require us getting a lobby. Overall, it was an excellent performance by each member of the cast and we can be sure to see great things to come in Kyle’s future.


Amy Winehouse — Lioness: Hidden Treasures Boris — New Album Dia Frampton — Red Carl Thomas — Conquer Rammstein — Made In Germany 1995-2011 T-Pain — rEVOLVEr The Cure — Bestival Live 2011 The Black Keys — El Camino The Roots — Undun


Anthony Hamilton — Back To Love Juvenile — Rejuvination Keller Williams — Bass Monica — New Life Nero — Welcome Reality


Common — The Dream, The Believer Kevin Hearn — Cloud Maintenance Young Jeezy — Thug Motivation 103 Image courtesy of Verve Records

Take a good, hard look at these guys and know that no matter what, you will never be as cool as them. Ever. make a serious argument that The Velvet Underground created the first art rock album of all time. Honestly, anyone that claims to be a well-educated music buff needs to hear this record at least once in their life. Despite going largely unnoticed in its day, The Velvet Underground & Nico is a tremendously influential record that paved the way for the art rock scene of the 1970s and 80s

and the indie rock of today. It’s a supremely important album that can’t be overlooked by anyone. And now Lou Reed, one of the architects of this amazing, influential record, has just released a 90 minute collaboration with Metallica that may perhaps be the worst record of the last 10 years. I’m not mad, Lou. I’m just disappointed. Classic or catastrophe: Classic


Archer Black — Forgiveness is a Weapon Attack Attack! — This Means War Cat Le Bon — CYRK Cloud Nothings — Attack on Memory Guided by Voices — Letʼs Go Eat The Factory Craig Finn — Clear Heart Full Eyes John K. Samson — Provincial Nada Surf — The Stars Are Indifferent... Secrets — The Ascent The Internet — Purple Naked Ladies

The Cluster - Dec. 8, 2011 - Page 9


JuBee rocks Jimmy Kimmel By Eric Brown Entertainment Editor

A few weeks back, Macon rockers JuBee and the Morning After flew out to Seattle, performing as the opening band on Jimmy Kimmel Live. It’s not every day that Macon musicians get a chance to perform on national television, so naturally, we here at the Cluster were very excited for the band’s success. In celebration. I sat down with the Dwayne “JuBee” Webb to discuss the show, Macon, and music in general. EB: How was the band selected to perform on Jimmy Kimmel? It was an honor, because we were chosen personally by the Jimmy Kimmel music team out of 2000 bands who entered the Samsung Summer Krush Opening Act contest. EB: Tell me a little about playing on the show. It was amazing. They flew us out to Seattle, took care of us. We opened up for Pitbull but other than that business as usual. EB: How was the audience reaction towards the performance? It was Pitbull’s audience and of course they had no clue who we were, but by the end of every song we played we had folks singing along like

they knew the songs already, which I thought was crazy. EB: After being on national TV, where do you think the band is headed next? Being on national TV has definitely opened doors that were previously closed. I see us going through a couple more of those doors before it’s all said and done. EB: What goes in to writing a typical JuBee and the Morning After song? Is there a specific tone you guys are going after? It starts as an idea, which may come from a conversation or just from something one of us has been through or is going through. As the resident MC, I try to turn those thoughts into songs as best as possible. I love telling stories, and the tone of those stories varies depending on subject matter. I like covering a wide spectrum. There’s so much in this world to talk about, so why not? EB: Is there a conscious effort on the band’s part to blend genres together, or is that something that happens naturally in the writing process? It’s most definitely natural and organic due to the different musical background and taste of everybody in the band. Most of us were front men in bands before coming together as JuBee and the Morning After, so we have specific ways we hear music already from those experiences.

EB: Continuing from there, are there any specific influences that you or other members bring to the table? Between old school hip hop, funk, indie rock and a whole slew of influences, we just try our best to be creative and keep it smooth as possible. EB: What are your favorite things about the music scene in Macon? Favorite places to play? Bands to play with? Macon embraces its musicians with love and they truly want you to progress to the next level. People here will always push you accordingly, which is beautiful. I’ve always loved the Hummingbird, The Capitol Theatre and Grant’s Lounge. As far as Warner Robins goes, we’ve recently started playing at Friends on the Hill which I think is a great place. We brought Kid Syc@ Brandywine and Baby Baby down for our CD release party to play with us, they are both super cool guys and fun to play along with. Back City Woods was always a great time also. EB: What have been your favorite experiences playing with the band so far? I think doing Kimmel is def initely up there, but there are so many amazing experiences to speak of. I actually met my father for the first time at our CD release show. Really, I just love everyone in the band and couldn’t ask for better friends and musicians. EB: What’s in store for the

Photo courtesy of JuBee and the Morning After

Dwayne “JuBee” Webb performs with band JuBee and the Morning After. Playing a mix of funk, rock, and hip-hop, the band recently took off to Seattle to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live. future of the band? Tours, another record, etc. In 2012, we’re trying to stay

busy as possible. There are projects we’re working on, shows we’re playing. We’re

always spreading the good word of JuBee and the Morning After.

‘Twilight’ is still the worst By Brittant Dant Opinions Editor


By Jonathan Popham King of the northern realm

So it goes. Drive-By Truckers loses another bassist with the departure of Shonna Tucker. Both the announcement posted by Tucker yesterday and another posted on the Trucker’s website were vague. The Drive-By Trucker’s official response reads, “We all love and respect her and wish her all of the best in everything she sets out for… David Barbe will be playing bass in our upcoming shows. He has been part of the DBT family since 2000.” Only time will tell how this will bode for the band, after a nearly decade long career with DBT, Shonna has spend thousands of hours on stage, did incredible work for the Truckers rhythm section, and added a unique energy to the band. Drive-By Truckers will be a new band after this. I look forward to their new projects with both anticipation and trepidation. I’m not saying that I think their direction will alter that much, the band has experienced numerous roster changes, but this is a pretty big one. Especially considering that Shonna was married to former DBT guitarist Jason Isbel. The roadmap isn’t written for the Truckers, but it never has been totally. They’ve changed shape and size numerous times. They’ve cut lies about dives and hillbilly lives. They’ve told tales of times turning. They’ve been bards for the South. Earlier on in their career some critics claimed

that they were some kind of Lynyrd Skynyrd knockoff, but they have since proven those claims wrong. Speculation is fun, but it doesn’t really mean anything. If the Truckers can’t find a new groove without Shonna, then they had a good run. If they can, they have a potential to be a legendary band. I sincerely hope for the latter. Other DBT alumni have enjoyed solo success and good rest. In Shonna’s case, I’d love to see the former. You can only stay on one train for so long. This one has come to the end of the line. While, I hate to see the end of my favorite roster of my favorite band, I welcome it. These things are precious because they are fleeting. Their music has changed before. But most importantly, that part of the Trucker’s catalog is now complete— for better or for worse. Will a paradigm shift occur? Doubtful. Will the rest of DBT get off at this stop? Probably. I’ll be keeping an eye out on David Barbe for sure. Reports are unconfirmed whether or not his role as bassist will be a permanent gig. The band has made no comment. The band really hasn’t made much of a comment about anything. I guess in a lot of ways, that’s to be expected, but it doesn’t make things any less frustrating for concerned fans of the group. My advice for the Truckers? Look to Lewis Carrol, If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.

In Breaking Dawn: Part 1, yes I saw Breaking Dawn, the two star-crossed lovers straight out of a sci-fi Romeo and Juliet are given yet another set of obstacles to over-come. In this installment of the popular series we see the marriage, honeymoon and the resulting child of Bella and Edward Cullen. I enjoy reading the Twilight books and so as a fan I really wanted to see this first installment of the final book in theaters, but I must admit I was not blown away by the film. I have always thought that Kristen Stewart was the worst choice of actress to play Bella Swan and this movie did little to change my mind. While her facial expressions did seem to branch out a little in this movie, Stewart still has the same knack for delivering her lines with a pained look reminiscent of constipation on her face, hardly making her seem like a girl who is in love with anything but a toilet. Her lack of conviction and bad acting skills are exacerbated by the pure talent of those around her. It may just be me, but Robert Pattinson truly outshines Stewart in this installment — and that has nothing to do with the fact that he sparkles in sunlight — even Renee, Bella’s rarely seen mother, out performs Stewart in the film. Taylor Lautner plays a love sick, jealous werewolf perfectly throughout the film and

I was entranced, even though his shirt stayed on a great deal more in this film than either of the previous two. But moving on, the dialogue in the movie was decent at best, snore-worthy as worst. In fact the most fun the audience seemed to have during the screening was the scene of wedding toasts whose slight comedic relief threw the audience a few laughs before we were thrown into the everpresent werewolf versus vampire feud. The drama continues throughout the rest of the film with everyone but Bella and Rosalie wishing to abort the half-vamp fetus. How the characters are going to do that without seriously harming Bella escapes me. Anyway, the majority of the film shows Stewart’s character struggling through a pregnancy that is slowly killing her. Her child is sucking out all the nutrients in her body which is altered to a state in which every bone in Stewart’s body is visible. Stewart looks like the campaign poster for anorexia awareness except for the baby bump and no one can figure out what to do except Jacob Black who suggests the should be obvious answer that the child probably drinks blood. The next scene graces us with the image of Stewart drinking blood through a straw, an image I could have lived without seeing. The next truly disgusting scene we are blessed with is the birth of the vampire baby. Stewart’s back breaks with an awful crack that makes you squirm as the scene continues on to show, in graphic detail, Edward slicing open his wife’s abdomen with his teeth and

Photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment

Edward and Bella are about to find out that they’re pregnant with a vampire baby. Yeah, it’s about as bad as it sounds. extracting a baby covered in blood and mucus. As impossible as I think halfvampire babies are, I have to admit that the child playing Renesme Cullen is adorable, probably one of the highlights of the movie, although I do wish they had cleaned her off a little faster. Cute babies aside, there was no need for such a disgusting portrayal in the movie, this

isn’t Saw and my gag reflex wasn’t completely prepared for it nor was I prepared to see Taylor Lautner’s character cry, which did more to break my heart than the death of Stewart. All in all, the movie was slow to pick up, lacking in good dialogue and action, and a little gross. Thank you Summit Entertainment for ruining yet another book for me.

storyline that sees World War III come into being. Nevertheless, there is only so much that can be done with the story before it becomes too contrived for my tastes. At this point, the Modern Warfare campaign mode was just too much of the same, with nothing quite as mind-blowing for me like when General Shepherd reveals his true colors. I wish it was like that, but it was definitely not as awesome when *SPOILER ALERT* Yuri reveals he used to be on the other side. *END SPOILER ALERT* The multiplayer is nice, as it does what it is expected to. I enjoy that. However, I also think that there wasn’t enough done, at all. Where was innovation? Where was OH MY GOD THAT ROCKS. This sucked for that quality. I re-

ally wish that it hadn’t been forgotten. However, the multiplayer mode is pretty good. The matchmaking seems better this time, and I am dropped less on Mercer’s network nowadays. It’s pretty nice. I like the weapon selection. I wish Activision would add an age limit or something that could kick kids off my groups. I hate hearing some12 year old curse like a sailor for no reason other than a video game. There are more important things in life than worrying about the Kill-Death ratio they’re achieving. However, Call of Duty achieves its goal. It provides fun entertainment and killing your opponents, along with a decent way to pass time with your friends. Personally, I’d rather go play laser tag. Or Nerf Guns.

‘Modern Warfare’ delivers again By Garret McDowell Staff Writer

BSo, “It’s good, but it’s Modern Warfare 2 with new maps!” is all I’ve heard from people complaining about the latest iteration of Activision’s over-hyped and overpurchased game series Call of Duty. Modern Warfare 3 is the final installment in a great trilogy that really set the bar for online video-gaming in the past five years. I can’t believe that the first came out some four years ago, and Call of Duty has become something of a staple, much like Mario and Zelda have been for 20

years. You all know the old adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, that’s all well and good, but I personally feel the overall game declined. I love multiplayer, don’t get me wrong, but I also feel that singleplayer games are where it’s at. I can go play a sport with my friends or go hang out with them to interact with friends. I can play a sport game like FIFA to do something like that. However, I feel that a video game needs to be somewhat of a personal experience, like a puzzle. I read books because of how immersive they can be for my imagination. I play video games because it’s like an interactive movie that I control the ending, which is almost always happy or uplifting. Modern Warfare has an amazing


The Cluster - Dec. 8 2011 - Page 10

Local Editor Rebecca Payne

McDaniel indicted on murder charge MCDANIEL,

continued from page 1

In a capital felony case such as this one, the case is presented to a group of 23 grand jurors by the District Attorney and a number of witnesses testify as to the evidence in the case. The jurors then decide whether or not there evidence is sufficient enough to warrant a trial. When a “true bill of indictment” is returned by the grand jury, the defendant is formally charged with the offenses and must then appear at an arraignment hearing where he or she is required to plead guilty or not guilty. Of the 23 jurors, 12 are needed to “true bill” an indictment.

If the defendant chooses to plead not guilty a trial date will be set. Due to the gruesome circumstances surrounding the murder, the prosecution can seek the death penalty in this case. Greg Winters, District Attorney of the Macon Judicial Circuit, said, “The announcement has to be made prior to arraignment to the Court and his [McDaniel’s] attorney. Right now we do not have a time or date set for arraignment.” If the State does not choose to seek the death penalty, McDaniel can receive life with or without parole if convicted. During his studies at Mercer Law, McDaniel interned with

the prosecuting office. Earlier in the case’s progression, the defense attorney for McDaniel filed a motion to disqualify the Macon Circuit District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting the case. McDaniel’s attorney claimed that the internship presented a conflict of interest. According to a report by the Macon Telegraph, however, a Macon judge denied that motion. McDaniel is from Lilburn, Ga. and was a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Scholarship during his undergraduate studies at Mercer University. He then enrolled at the Walter F. George School of Law in the fall of 2008 and graduated this past May.

Rebecca Payne/ Cluster Staff

Lauren Giddings body was found outside of this apartment complex on June 30, 2011. This fence served as a memorial where flowers and candle vigils were placed in her memory.

Police expenditure reports criticized by local officials By Kaitlin Marrin Staff Writer

City council’s Appropriations Committee turned into a fiery storm of criticism on Mon., Nov. 18th when Macon Police Chief, Mike Burns, presented a line of expenditures of confiscated funds. Burns informed the committee of the spending of $18,000 in confiscated funds over a two-year period. In accordance with state law, Burns can use the money how he pleases as long as it does not include salaries or bonuses as well as projects already budgeted by the city. What he spent the money on is what is causing many to be so annoyed. $7,500 of the money was spent on travel for Burns and four of his colleagues to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, held in Chicago, IL, from Oct. 22-26. The city had previously dropped the conference from its budget. The remaining $10,500 was spent on equipment. The specifics of what exactly the money was spent on during the trip are allegedly on record. After several attempts by the newspaper to contact city hall including a trip to the policefinancial department, no officials at city hall would release the requested information. One department claimed the documents were still under review and said they could not produce such a record at this time; another department said to try yet another department. The city has not yet responded to the newspaper’s request for the records filed under Georgia’s Freedom of Information Act. Burns and Assistant City Attorney Judd Drake pointed to

“We used confiscated funds to do things we can’t get the city to pay for. I don’t know why Councilman Timley chooses to disagree with state law. It’s been in effect for years. I don’t know why it’s such a big problem.” Mike Burns, Macon Police Chief

state law to defend the use of the funds, which was broad in claiming the use of the money can be decided by city’s top law enforcement official. Though it is not required, Burns claimed he routinely informs Mayor Robert Reichert of his spending intentions and receives the Mayor’s approval. Regardless, members of council, were critical. Council President James Timley was the most vocal claiming if the trip was so important the Chief should have included it in his budget. “The city attorney read the state law, and (Timley) dis-

agrees with it,” Burns said when he left the meeting, as reported by the Macon Telegraph. “We’re taking different courses than what is in the city budget. We used confiscated funds to do the things we can’t get the city to pay for. I don’t know why Councilman Timley chooses to disagree with state law. It’s been in effect for years. I don’t know why it’s such a big problem.” The run down continued at a council meeting the following day when Councilwoman Elaine Lucas scolded the use of the funds. Lucas claimed Drake did not read the entire law at council the previous evening. She brought council’s attention to a section that says the local governing authority, which includes the mayor and council, can use remaining confiscated funds for any law enforcement purpose, such as creating programs for substance abuse, helping crime victims and representing indigent people in criminal cases. “One section gives a list of suggested, possible uses,” Lucas said Tuesday night to the Telegraph. “Nowhere in that list is something for travel.” City Attorney Martha Welsh said after Tuesday’s meeting that conflicting statements of the law required a further look into the issue. Burns appeared on two morning news programs that Tuesday and criticized Lucas and Timley. asked its readers if Macon Police should use confiscated funds to attend law enforcement conferences? Of the 234 who responded to the survey, 86% agreed that law enforcement should use the money, as it is better than taxpayers footing the bill. The remaining disagreed, citing it was not fair to other departments.

Kaitlin Marrin/ Cluster Staff

This past weekend, Macon residents were able to purchase alcohol on Sunday for the first time. Businesses are skeptical as to whether this will increase profit.

Macon City Council approves Sunday alcohol package sales ALCOHOL,

continued from page 1

Some liquor stores dipped their feet in the new waters, and were received graciously throughout the day. Bill Nettleton, owner of Wine Styles, told Fox News Central, “We decided to open up because it is the first day and it’s the Christmas season so we thought we’d try it out and see how things went today.” Nettleton noted that it was a slower day than the usual business of the Monday through Saturday schedule. “People are just not used to going out and buying alcohol on Sunday.

It is probably going to take some time and really, I am not really sure if there is any kind of real demand for alcohol on Sunday by the bottle, so we will see.” Nettleton plans to stay open on Sunday’s throughout the holidays and then decide whether the consumer demand is there to make it worthwhile. Other liquor stores opted out of the trial run suggesting that the money is not worth having the day off. Alpesh Patel, manager of Bloomfield Package, told 13WMAZ, “Some people are going to be open, I’ll probably lose some business, it’s not about the

money, it’s about the family, quality family time.” Owners of other stores found that staying closed had economical reasoning. Maulick Patel, manager of Top Line Spirits told 13WMAZ, “You don’t know how much business it will pull in especially on a Sunday.” Despite the closing of some stores, many citizens enjoyed the new policy, purchasing drinks at local stores. Some suggested the new policy allows for safer consumption on Sundays, insisting it was better to drink at home than at a bar or restaurant and potentially drive home intoxicated.


Upcoming LocalEvents December 9: The Stumblinʼ Toads live @ The Hummingbird December 16: The Santa Express @ Third Street Park December 26 - January 1: Maconʼs 20th Annual Kwanzaa Festival January 17: Merle Haggard live @ Macon City Auditorium February 17: Monster Jam Trucks @ Macon Centreplex

Photo Courtesy of The Dirty Sound Professors

Pictured above are members of the Dirty Sound Professors. From left to right: Luke Morris, Leland Rayne, David Ronald, Brad Davis and Will Stevens. The Dirty Sound Professors were recently featured on Scene13 on WMAZ. Scene13 is a local entertainment program that highlights music, events and performaces in the Macon area. The band is composed of members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity at Mercer.

The Cluster - Dec. 8, 2011 - Page 11


Christmas spirit comes to the Grand By Samir Moussawel Staff Writer

The box office opened their windows, the tickets dwindled and the cold winter breeze whistled through Mulberry Street as the sell-out crowd flooded in to reserve their seats. The instruments were tuned, the lights gleamed bright and musicians grabbed hold of their composure. With all eyes on the stage, the lights dimmed down, the performers released their butterflies in a final exhale and the conductors took command of their batons on center stage. The spotlight was on and Christmas came early at Macon’s Grand Opera House as the Townsend School of Music presented their sec-

ond-annual A Grand Mercer Christmas. Held on Nov. 29, the event’s timing couldn’t have been better as the evening was the first in months that truly resembled the setting of Christmas night. With the chill sticking to cheeks and late-December music satisfying the ears in attendance, the night was a prelude to Mercer’s 2012 recital to be televised on PBS for Christmas of 2013. The night featured the University’s plethora of talented musical groups such as: the 35 ladies of the Mercer Women’s Chamber Choir, the 25 artists of the McDuffie Center String Orchestra, the five members of the Mercer Faculty Brass Quintet, the 46 members of the nationally and internationally traveled Mercer Singers and the Middle Georgia up-and-coming group of 40 youngsters that structure the Mercer University Children’s Choir.

McDuffie Center String Orchestra Director, Amy Schwartz Moretti, conductors Richard Kosowski and Stanley Roberts, along with an array of additional contributors compiled an impressive ensemble of 19 pieces for the event. “This was all made possible through the vision and design of Carolyn, Tom and Julie McAfee,” said the Associate Dean of the Townsend School of Music, A.L. Rich professor and conductor Stanley Roberts. “The McAfee’s are very interested in what is taking place here. That’s where all of this started. The Townsend School of Music is named in honor of Carolyn’s parents,” added Roberts. Also the conductor of both the Women’s Choir and the Mercer Singers, Roberts went on to mention that playing in front of a packed theatre is always an exciting feeling for performers. The 1,000-seat venue

was put to the test as hordes of eager enthusiasts witnessed the sights and sounds brought to them by the talented pool of Mercerian artists. The environment was especially vibrant for those performing under the lights. “I’ve always enjoyed performing at concerts, but Christmas concerts are by far my favorite. Between the repertoire performed and the enthusiastic audience in attendance, I feel proud of what we accomplished,” said Mercer Singers alto Emily Garrott. With a night that began and concluded with the audience and singers in sync, the program led off with the tranquil “O Come All Ye Faithful” and came to a close with the engaging “Hark the Herald Angels.” Sprinkling in a few common favorites such as “Gaudete”, “A la nanita nana”, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and “Go Where I Send Thee” to name a

few, the show presented a wide variety for all ages and interests to get the community into the holiday spirit. When speaking of the talented group of performers, Roberts said, “Anyone can walk in and enjoy what we do. It is truly first class. Some of the guests we have had are literally world travelers. Venues charge 75 dollars to watch them perform and we offer it for free to Mercer students.” As far as 2012’s much-anticipated production is concerned, the show will consist of a similar format as the performers will be put through a five-day course to meet their eventual goal of being broadcasted on PBS in the winter of 2013. The process will consist of a dress rehearsal, recorded musical run-throughs, and a day of television recordings with no audience and two nights of live performances

in front of sell-out crowds at The Grand. Roberts compared their practices to that of a science student or an athlete. “What these students do is no different than a chemistry major in a lab or a basketball player on the court. We practice day in and day out and show you what we can do. People go to basketball games to be entertained,” he said. Along with the performers from A Grand Mercer Christmas, the Townsend School of Music also features a variety of other fields such as percussions, flutes, pianos, opera, jazz and many more. As the semester nears a close, Robert’s group next takes the stage with the Mercer Singers performing “A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols” in Newton Chapel on Dec. 9-10. Tickets are free with a valid Mercer ID. For more information about concerts, visit www.

New homeless shelter to be housed downtown By Felicia Fowler Staff Writer felicia.a.fowler Work is in progress for a new shelter that will help aid the homeless in the Macon and Bibb County area. The Daybreak Center will be a daytime shelter for about 300 to 500 people. The shelter will provide help with job hunting, medical care and mental health services. Sister Elizabeth Greim, the director, partnered with DeP-

aul USA, a Philadelphia nonprofit organization, to open the shelter. DePaul USA is working toward a national response to homelessness, and the Daybreak Center in Macon is of their first projects outside of Pennsylvania. Greim, who is a woman of Bless These Hands, a collaboration of churches on High Street, is excited to build this refuge for those who often have nowhere to turn. After taking to the homeless of Macon she asked many what do they do during the day or where do they go. Many replied that they roam or hang

around the street corners, travel from place to place in search of a place to stay at night, or search for necessities such as food and clothing to survive. The future home of Daybreak is an old warehouse located on Walnut Street, right before the entrance to Central City Park. It is an empty building with a sting of small offices, which Greim says will be constructed in to the medical and mental health clinics. Toward the back of the build is a large area that is planned to hold washing and drying machines along with showers. A separate area will hold a

number of computers to aid with job searching and résumé coaching. There will also be opportunities for people to donate toiletries, socks, food, towels, and underwear. Volunteers will also be needed to staff the center and keep it running. The center also wants to foster a relationship between the people who need help and successful people who have found their way out of homelessness. The intended atmosphere is eye-to-eye assistance, not an attitude of volunteers looking down their noses at the people who come to them for assis-

tance. The estimated cost for the building plus renovations is around $175, 000. So far Greim said they have partnered with a number of religious groups in Macon to help and support the operating cost. They are also looking for contractors that are willing to donate their time and services, or materials. Cash donations are also needed. The projected opening and operating goal is next summer. The most recent support for the center came from the community presenting a $20 ben-

efit performance on Dec. 6. Many supporters and hopeful clients gathered together to announce and kick off the capital campaign for the center. Other leading such as Chuck Levesque, the director of DePaul, have been overwhelmed by the love and dedication of the local volunteers. This will is seen as a wonderful opportunity for Macon to be an example to similar cities by coming together and caring for the other people who live in your own community. The center itself will be a great contribution to Middle Georgia.

Mercer student selected for 2012 Teach for America

check, please!

By Rebecca Payne Local Editor

Gene Mitchell Columnist To all of my loyal readers, I apologize for my column’s absence over the past two months. I am very excited to again critique restaurants to better inform Mercer’s student body about where they should (or should not) choose to dine. To herald Check, Please! back to The Cluster I have chosen a restaurant located outside of Macon to show a model of what a well-designed and easy to enjoy restaurant looks like. Secondly, I am using Sal Grosso, located at 1927 Powers Ferry Rd SE, Atlanta, Ga. for one specific reason: This was the restaurant that I took my girlfriend for our one-year anniversary. While Sal Grosso definitely holds a place in my heart, I had high expectations for the product. To say the least, it did not disappoint. Sal Grosso appeals to a wide variety of audiences. With a seductive and luring aura, both couples and large groups can equally enjoy the location. To enhance everyone’s experience, Sal Grosso uses dark ambience with fall colors to dim and slow the area. Lighting becomes crucial to the experience as all tables have hand lit candles to focus the customers on who they are with and shielding out other possible distractions. The feeling of a quaint get-a-way overcomes any strong distracter that compliments the experience at Sal Grosso. Atmosphere: Quaint and Romantic Sal Grosso, by its own definition, is a traditional Brazilian Steakhouse. This means that ordering food is limited to wine selection and drinks. Selection of food, however, is much broader. At your leisure, customers are allowed to select from a well constructed salad and hot bar consisting

Photo courtesy of Sal Grosso

Sal Grosso, located in Atlanta, Ga., was recently visited by The Cluster’s food critic and his girlfriend. of many traditional Brazilian side dishes. My particular favorite is the combination of white rice and black beans with beef tips and pork sausage. Those accommodations appear irrelevant to the selection of the main courses. I use the term “courses” because throughout the evening a number of gauchos, or Southern Brazilian Cowboys, will bring several cuts of meat for selection. Do not worry about choice because customers can choose all! Everything from filet mignon (wrapped and unwrapped in bacon) to swordfish comes from the back to the choice of the customer. A card system details the gauchos as to whether they should bring more food or continue to the next customer. This system completely eradicates any potential feeling of buyer’s remorse which can prove essential to luring back any customer. A special note about the hostess, while she did not have an exact knowledge about the wine selection at Sal Grosso (she admitted her status as a new employee), she selected a very nice pinot noir to compliment our meal. Despite her newbie status, her intellect to allow us to choose from two wines that fit our desires was well played. An intelligent staff will usually overcome any shortcomings the restaurant may have. Management: Savvy and Unique Lastly, a food critique must say something about the food quality of a restaurant to have a complete stance. Despite the wide selection of various meats and dishes, the words succulent and impressive come to mind. A connoisseur on beef, with

any real appreciation for the art of cooking meat, understands that a chef relies little on sauces like A-1 and ketchup when creating a multitude of masterpieces that Sal Grosso offers. Every cut of steak portrayed the kind of tenderness usually only reserved for the love of children from their mothers. Likewise, the delightful and exotic swordfish gave both my date and me a jolt of excitement and a mouthful of heaven. Everything in between that I chose did not disappoint as I cannot remember any of them. This relates back into the ingenious idea of eradicating buyer’s remorse that I talk about above in my management section. Food Quality: Artful and exquisite As I have stated in my previous articles (and to anyone who will listen in person), restaurants should be judged in comparison to all others as not all restaurants, like movies, have the same ambitions. Some wish to merely provide a fast product to those on the go while others seek the approval of the highest critics in the land. Sal Grosso definitely aims towards the latter. While the price range of Sal Grosso may deter some customers, please understand that Sal Grosso wishes to not have daily returning customers, but customers that rely on their restaurant for special occasions. This explains their hours of operations, prices and expectations of excellence. So if you decide to take a trip to Atlanta for a special evening or weekend please consider stopping at Sal Grosso to enjoy a meal worth remembering. Overall: Memorable

Sarah Brown, a Mercer undergraduate student, has been selected as a 2012 participant in the prestigious Teach for America program. Several other Mercer University undergraduate students have made it to the final round of interviews and should receive a decision soon. The goal of Teach for America is to place educators into areas that would otherwise have unqualified and uninterested teachers. “They not only serve as motivators for students, but for other educators as well,” Brown said. Jan Jones, Candice McClung and Haley Adams are all in the final round of interviews for the program. Brown was selected last month and will be sent to one of several areas in Alabama, where she will spend two years educating students in underprivileged schools. “I will teach in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Huntsville or within 100 miles of those major cities. I will either be in a rural setting or in a city,” she said. Brown attributes her interest in the program to her Mercer on Mission trip to Ethiopia. “Mercer on Mission convinced me that I wanted to do something with poverty alleviation. Education is one of the only tools that can effectively change that,” said Brown. Jan Jones is in the final round of interviews and anticipates a decision soon. “I heard about Teach for America from a friend who interned with them over the summer in New York. Her experiences were really positive, and she pushed me to check out their website to learn more about them. After reading their mission statement and seeing all of the opportunities the corps provided, I knew that I wanted to be a part of their organization,” she said. If selected, Jones hopes to be placed in Nashville, Charlotte, Boston or Rhode Island. She said she feels like she can most relate to their demographics and challenges in education.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown, senior, is pictured with children she helped teach this past summer during her Mercer on Mission trip to Ethiopia.

“Teach for America’s range of placements is another reason why their program appealed to me because it is about teaching America, not just metropolis America,” Jones said. Teach for America is a paid position and those selected must sign a two-year commitment with the program. The participants will receive a first-year teacher’s salary based on the salary of teachers in their respective regions and are provided all government benefits, which come with that salary. After the two-year commitment, the participants can choose to sign on with the school system, but are not required to do so. Brown said, “Teach for America combines two things I am most passionate about, working with kids and poverty alleviation. Poverty alleviation is one of the biggest problems our world is facing.” The process of applying for

the prestigious program is rigorous. Students must first submit an application online and an essay about the main reason they want to participate in Teach for America. The next round of the process consists of a phone interview to fill the applicants out more. The third and final round of the process involves an in-person interview. For the first part of the day, the applicants interact in a group setting and present a teaching lesson. They also participate in a group simulation where they figure out how to solve problems they might face in the disadvantaged schools. The afternoon portion of the third round is a one-on-one interview. Anyone interested in applying for Teach for America should visit for more information. Upcoming application deadlines are Jan. 6, 2012 and Feb. 10, 2012.


The Cluster - Dec. 8, 2011 - Page 12

Sports Editor

Samir Moussawel

Men’s basketball records 2 wins in CBE Classic By Garret McDowell Staff Writer garret.tyler.mcdowell

After traveling to ranked Missouri, the Bears finished up the CBE Classic Macon subregional by going 2-1 at home, finishing 2-2. Missouri 81, Mercer 63 The Mercer Bears traveled to Mizzou Arena in Columbia, MO to play the Tigers in their one away CBE Classic game. They lost by 18, and the Tigers had 14 steals against the young Bears team. After redshirting last year, Jibri Bryan came off the bench for the second game of his young career, leading the Bears with 19 points. Jakob Gollon had seven rebounds. Langston Hall had 11 points, seven assists, three steals, and one block. Speaking to ESPN, Bryan said “It felt great [scoring 19]. Really it started from the bench, encouraging everyone else. When you get in the game, you already feel like you’re in the game, so it just flowed right in to it.” As would be the case all season, the Bears are starting lone senior Justin Cecil alongside a host of sophomores and freshmen such as Bryan. Cecil had nine points, and Bud Thomas added three. The Bears would get within 10 points late, but

behind the jersey

Samir Moussawel Sports Editor

Rodgers’ Pack on route for repeat, history Going into Week 13, the Packers are still perfect… barely. Even with the 12-0 record, it hasn’t been the smoothest of routes for the Green Bay squad. The hot and cold season has seen their offense rise and their defense occasionally fall. Although they lead the planet with interceptions, they have allowed 20-plus points against seven teams. In those games, three teams have scored 30 or more against them. In their most recent clash, the Packers went back and forth with the struggling New York Giants that saw them barely escape with a 38-35 win in the final seconds of the game. With the odds completely against the down Giants, their offense followed the Packers’ pass for pass to keep the game within reach. Eli Manning did his part and a disappointing defensive unit gave up backto-back big plays in the final 58 seconds to award Green Bay their 18th-straight overall victory. Meanwhile, the Giants dropped their fourth straight. The game began with a huge opening drive by the Giants to

40-27, and Jakob Gollon’s eight boards helped make this a reality. It was 43-19 at the half, but the Bears kept the intensity throughout the duration of the game. Coach Hoffman was very happy with the play of the Bears, saying, “I thought we came out strong in the first half. Then in the second half, Niagara came out and made a run at us. They are a good team and we expected that.” Unfortunately, Jibri Bryan more than likely endured a season-ending injury during the game.

that’s as far as the Bears would come. Coach Bob Hoffman was critical of the Bears’ play, saying “We didn’t adjust very quickly. They were more physical than us; we played too passive.” He would go on to praise the second half play, but it was not enough. Mercer 60, SHSU 38 As most students began to leave campus for Thanksgiving Break, the Bears began home play in the CBE Macon sub-regional against the Sam Houston State Bearkats. This was one of the lowest scoring games, seeing the Bears lead 23-13 at the half, making just nine of their first 36 shots. Langston Hall scored 24, with 16 coming in the second half. He also had two three-pointers during a 12-0 run in the second half. However, the game wasn’t really close after a 17-1 run in the first half. Bud Thomas added eight boards and five assists, and Jakob Gollon had two steals. Daniel Coursey also had two blocks. Mercer 74, Niagara 55 The Niagara Purple Eagles came to Macon for the CBE Classic and were sorely outmatched, falling to 1-3 after their 19 point loss at the hands of the Mercer Bears. Justin Cecil played like the senior he is, leading the Bears with 23 points. The Bears would lead open the eyes of the Green Bay sideline. This was going to be no picnic. Tight end Travis Beckum made the defense look silly as he caught a pass at the 35 and made a series of criss-cross moves on route to the endzone. The Packers would shortly answer and the game was tied for the first time at 7-7. The game would then go back and forth until halftime as the Packers led 21-17. The Packers would score a few minutes into the third to extend their lead to the first and only doubledigit lead of the game for either team. Up 28-17, the Packers allowed the Giants to march down the field in just five plays to get back within reach. The game entered the fourth 28-24. In the fourth, the Giants were down by eight as they scored a TD in less than three minutes. They converted on a two-point attempt to lock the game up for the first time since 5:06 in the first. 58 seconds was enough time for the Packers as they would get into field goal range in just two plays. Field goal was good. In the game, both QBs had over 40 attempts and 340 yards. When both QBs needed a big play, they made it. When receivers dropped passes, they went right back to them and put the ball in the endzone. Rodgers TDs were to three different receivers in a game that was filled with sideline catches and gamechanging penalties. In a game that had six lead changes, the Giants-Packers matchup will be talked about for years to come. This game said something about Rodgers’ ability to win games. After he threw a pick that led to a Giants’ score, he chuckled as he ran onto the field. It was almost as if he was thinking, “Go ahead and score. I’m going to score more than you.” How has their up and down season gone exactly? Well, they have won by one score or less against five teams. Yet, they have won three games by 20 or more points. They have won six games against teams with winning records. They have four remaining games against teams with a combined record of 26-

Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff

Sophomore sensation Langston Hall tallied 52 total points in four games during the CBE Classic. Twenty-four of these points came during the 60-38 drubbing of Sam Houston State.

SDSU 74, Mercer 61 The Bears were soundly beaten in the second half, and the South Dakota State Jackrabbits had a trio in double figures to win the final game of the CBE Classic. Nate Wolters had 16, Griffin Callahan had 13 and Chad White had 11 points for the Jackrabbits. Justin Cecil answered with 15 for the Bears, but it would not be enough. The Bears led 34-31 at the half, and they would lead 56-55 late. However, a 19-5 run outdid the Bears on their home floor. Chris Smith had six boards, and Jakob Gollon had five assists. Mercer also outrebounded their foes 3530. The Bears were praised by their coach, and Hoffman was looking forward to seeing this current crop of Bears max out their potential.

by as many as 26 in a flat-out blowout of Niagara. Part of this was due to the game opening 14-2 run from Mercer, and part

of this was due to Cecil hitting seven of his 11 shots from beyond the arc. The Bears outrebounded the Purple Eagles

22. They play Oakland, Kansas City, Chicago and Detroit. They match up well against all of them and neither one of them can put up enough points to beat them. They will go 16-0 like the Patriots of 2007. With that, they will have the first round bye and be three games away from the all-time Dolphins record and a repeat championship. Can anyone in the NFL beat them? I see only one defense strong enough to slow them down and that is the San Francisco 49ers. They have only given up 20 points or more twice this season. The problem is that they have the best RUSHING defense. The Packers don’t even need to run to put up 40 points in a game. Offensively, only the Saints can potentially score more points. Everyone in the world wants to see that rematch from opening game. The NFC Championship game may have more excitement than the Super Bowl this year. With that being said, if the Packers roll past the Saints, can anyone in the AFC beat them in the Super Bowl like the Giants of 2007? The answer is no. The Steelers do not force enough turnovers to keep the ball out of Rodgers’ hands. The Patriots are too inconsistent on defense as they allowed over 300 yards passing from the safety-prone third-stringer Orlovsky in Indianapolis. The Texans won’t do it. As well as they have done to get to 9-3, Andre Johnson is out and TJ Yates is not experienced enough to surpass Big Ben and/or Brady. Basically what I’ve been trying to say in the last 900 words is unless the Saints play Super Bowl 44-like defense and put up 40 points in the NFC Championship against the Packers, the “cheese heads” might be celebrating their 19-0 perfection and second-consecutive Lombardi trophy come February. It would still be interesting to see Rodgers and company face off against the potential wildcardwinning Giants, the marching Saints and whatever unfortunate soul makes it out of the AFC (Ravens, Patriots or Steelers).

Women’s golf caps a solid fall, highlighted by Eat-A-Peach win

Photo courtesy of

Star receivers Donald Driver (left) and Jordy Nelson (right) are two of the weapons that has Green Bay’s offense on top of the world. The two have combined for 13 total TDs.

By Joshua Morrison Staff Writer joshua.haines.morrison

Mercer’s women’s golf team had a historic season as the Lady Bears captured their second ever Eat-A-Peach Collegiate during the 2011 fall campaign. Mercer began their fall schedule during the first week of September as they traveled to Huntsville, Alabama to participate in the Chris Bannister classic. The Bears finished the tournament in fourth place out of eight teams after the second and third rounds of play were canceled due to inclement weather. The Bears were led by Mary Alice Murphy who shot a 73 and tied for second place. Also participating in the tournament were golfers Aurelie Wiriath (76), Kaitlin Marrin (79), Kimberly Graff (79), Sarah Louie Brown (79) and Lacey Fears (81). Despite only playing one competitive round before hosting the Eat-A-Peach Collegiate, the Lady Bears’ performance did not suffer as the Bears took their second consecutive EatA-Peach title by nine strokes with a 295. Lacey Fears led the Bears with a 145 final score, finishing the tournament one stroke over par. Also making their second competitive appearance of the season were golfers Mary Alice Murphy (147), Sarah Louie Brown (147), Aurelie Wiriath (149) and Kimberly Graff (149). On Oct. 7, the Lady Bears then traveled to Daytona Beach, Fla. to participate in the LPGA Invitational, looking to build on their impressive home victory. The Bears posted a strong first round performance of 310, but they were once again foiled by the weather as the final two rounds of the LPGA invitational were canceled due to heavy rains. The Lady Bears took fifth place in the 13 team field and were once again led by Mary Alice Murphy, who shot a 73 and tied for third place overall. Lacey Fears (77), Aurelie Wiriath (79), Kimberly Graff (81) and Sarah Louie Brown (82) all made their third consecutive competitive appearance of the season. The Lady Bears wrapped up their fall season on the first of November at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational in Hawaii. The Bears finished with an overall score of 909 and tied for seventh place in the 12 team field. Kimberly Graff finished atop the leader board for the Bears for the first time of the 2011-2012 season with a 227 overall and tied for 24th place. Also scoring for the fourth consecutive tournament were golfers Mary Alice Murphy

“We had a really good season, and we beat some of the top teams in the country during the competition. We are doing all that we can to prepare for the A-Sun and we have a tough spring schedule that should help us get ready. We are looking forward to the new season.” Aurelie Wiriath, senior golfer

Fall 2011 Results/ Standings: Men’s cross country: 7th in A-Sun tournament Women’s cross country: 6th in A-Sun tournament Men’s golf: Finished in top 10 of all matches Women’s golf: Won 2nd consecutive Eat-A-Peach Men’s soccer: 9-8-3 record. Lost to FGCU in A-Sun semi-finals Women’s soccer: 10-8-2 record. Lost to FGCU in A-Sun final

(229), Aurelie Wiriath (230), Sarah Louie Brown (232) and Lacey Fears (146 – one round was disqualified). The Bears finished a strong first half of the season culminating in their second consecutive Eat-A-Peach title. When asked about the team’s performance during the first half of the 2011-2012 season, junior Aurelie Wiriath said, “We had a really good season, and we beat some of the top teams in the country during the competition. We are doing all that we can to prepare for the A-Sun and we have a tough spring schedule that should help us get ready. We are looking forward to the new season,” added Aurelie. The Lady Bears kick off their spring season on Feb. 5 in Jacksonville, Fla. They will be competing in the JU Classic at the Hidden Hills Country Club. In the spring semester, the women’s golf squad will participate in four tournaments over the course of the semester before teeing off in the Atlantic Sun tournament in April. This year’s Atlantic Sun Championship will be held in Daytona Beach, Fla. The NCAA Championships begin on May 10. They will take place in College Station, Pa.

Volleyball: 12-19 record. Failed to make A-Sun tournament Men’s basketball: In progress... (As of 12/5: 5-3 record) Women’s basketball: In progress... (As of 12/5: 2-6 record)

The Cluster - Dec. 8, 2011 - Page 13


Hoffman’s bunch looking strong on the road By Matt Williams Staff Writer matt.kenrich.williams

Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff

In limited play, sophomore forward Paul Larsen has provided much-needed support and energy off the bench.

Cross country squads smash records in fall By Bryson Jones Staff Writer

The men’s and women’s cross country teams had recordbreaking seasons. Individuals set personal bests while others also set school records. Leading the way for the women’s cross country team was Kacie Niemann. Niemann consistently finished first for the Bears in every race she competed in. Not only did she have an outstanding season for her team, but individually she also set many school records. After stellar performances from Niemann, when she wants to set records, she has one person to beat: herself. She owns the top times for all of the women’s cross country team. Her performances this year proved she will only get better with time. The highest finish for the women’s team was second place at their own Mercer Runfit Invitational. The women’s cross country team was not only led to success by individuals though. Consistent performances had to come from many different members of the team in order to progress throughout the season. Sammy Woller, Lena Hamvas, Christina Kivi and Kylen Hughes all gave consistent efforts throughout the season in order to help the team achieve its goals. When men’s cross country was brought up, only two words should have come to mind. Sony Prosper. Prosper had an amazing season for the Bears. It was obvious that Prosper did not rest on his laurels over the summer break, because he came out firing on all cylinders. The sophomore sensation consistently came in first in every race he competed in as well. The highest finish for the men’s team was first at the Mercer Runfit Invitational. Once again this was not an effort of one, but of an entire team. Jacob Law, Marc Kushinka, Chris Svidesskis Geremy Skeen, Kasib Abdullah and Andrew Weems all earned points for the team at some point to help the team to get where they were. Overall, the season was successful for both men’s and women’s cross country. Almost every individual on both teams set a personal record, and they will be looking to take that momentum into next season in order to further build upon what is an already established foundation. Unfortunately for the women’s team, they are losing several key runners and point earners going into next season. With this happening, there are obviously key roles that need to be filled when the team comes back next fall to compete. Junior captain Kacie Niemann has positive hopes for next year. “We are very strongly recruiting several girls that already have ties to other athletes on the team and seem very attracted to the school and our cross country program. The team will hopefully be much bigger next year, which will motivate everyone to work harder since we will all have to compete for a traveling spot.”

Viva la sport!

Garret McDowell Columnist

Tebow-less era has fans disgruntled, betrayed I’ve been following the Gators as long as I can remember. I’ve stuck by them in the tough years of Ron Zook. I’ve handled Steve Spurrier having a few rough years. I even watched as the greatest player in college football history didn’t win a third national championship. Yes, Tebow is the greatest player to have ever played the college game. No, he is not the greatest quarterback to have

The Mercer men’s basketball team opened up its conference schedule against the Lipscomb University Bison on Thursday, Dec. 1, in Nashville, TN. The Bears went 2-1 last year against the Bison, with their only loss coming on Dec. 4, 2010, in Nashville. The Bears would go on to take the final two meetings between the schools. Mercer defeated the Bison during the last game of the regular season, and defeated them again five days later in the opening round of the 2011 Atlantic Sun tournament. On Thursday, the Bears continued their recent success against Lipscomb with a 79-72 win. The offensive front was paced by senior Justin Cecil. Cecil finished the night with 22 points, seven rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block. Redshirt sophomore Jakob Gollon also made his presence known by contributing 18 points, one assist and one steal. The defensive effort was fantastic, as the Bears combined for 13 steals and 36 rebounds. done so, but he is the greatest player. This NFL season has shown those same traits come to the forefront, as he just keeps winning. While the Broncos might not make the playoffs, Tebow has them in a position to make it, but that’s neither here nor there. We were 4-0. We were tied at 10 after one quarter, with the best team in the nation, at home, on Oct. 1. The eventual 38-10 loss comes after QB Brantley got knocked out of the game on a pick six that turned the game on its head. Brantley stays in the game, Gators might be 5-0 headed to LSU on Oct. 8. Even if we still did not win, that game does not end as a 38-10 beat down. The second largest crowd in Florida Field history (90,888) would have not gone home so dejected. Even then, Brantley would have had confidence, and my Gators might have survived to fight for an SEC East title as opposed to limp to a 6-6 finish overall, 3-5 in the SEC. Yes, we rushed worse than a high school JV team, but Brantley had us in the game. For the critics who say Brantley finished the season abysmally, I say look at the injury as the real issue here. His highest QB rating of the season –against FBS opposition– came against Alabama in one half of play (176.6). Brantley’s career was ruined by a series of dirty and vicious hits by Courtney Upshaw. What a jerk. Anyway, Alabama should beat LSU in the supposed

Photo Courtesy of

According to some Florida fans who have voiced their opinion, Head Coach Will Muschamp has let the organization and community down with the team’s onfield performance since taking over the team. Muschamp and the Gators went 6-6 in 2011 and find themselves playing in the Gator Bowl versus Ohio State on Jan. 2.

“Winning a conference game on the road is always tough to do. We couldn’t have asked for a better way for the first conference game to end up.”

Bud Thomas, sophomore forward

Overall, the Bears shot 50 percent from the field, 50 percent from long range and 80 percent from the free-throw line. “Winning a conference game on the road is always tough to do,” said sophomore Bud Thomas. “We couldn’t have asked for a better way for the first conference game to end up,” Thomas added. The Bears continued their Music City road trip on Saturday, Dec. 3, against the 2011 Atlantic Sun champions, the Belmont Bruins. Belmont beat Mercer in the semi-finals of the 2011 Atlantic Sun Tournament. The Bruins beat rematch, if it happens. LSU did not win the game in Tuscaloosa; Alabama lost it. Those four field goals were not blocked, and LSU did not perform like an offensive powerhouse. I hate saying this, but that devil Nick Saban will probably win another national championship. If only Courtney Upshaw had not been a jerk and KO’d Brantley, we might be in the running too. Urban Meyer is up there with Upshaw too. This was pitiful to watch and hard to swallow. You run away because you lost Tebow, and then, you head to Ohio State because they offer you lots of money. You’re a sellout. So much for your family time and promises to your family to calm down, you are a great follow-up to what Jim Tressell let happen at a onceprestigious university. I hope you realize that your words mean nothing. I honestly feel sorry for your family, that you promised you would spend more time with following the retirement. Except you got a traveling job with ESPN and then made them move again, this time to Columbus, Ohio. I’m not even going to deny that Georgia is looking good. It’s been a frustrating year, to see all of our rivals…wait. Tennessee isn’t going bowling? FANTASTIC. Miami isn’t either? AMAZING. Yes, we’re 6-6, but at least we have our integrity. We got rid of Cam Newton for stealing and cheating. That was a great move by us. I’m glad that he went pro and left amateur sports. I miss Charlie Strong and Dan Mullen. Phenomenal guys. Strong has turned Louisville back around and on the verge of their first BCS bowl in five years. Mullen had a tough year, but Mississippi State is going bowling, a rare feat in Starksville. Florida State and Georgia did better than us. That hasn’t happened in the same season since 2004. Ouch. Basically, Will Muschamp has brought us down to levels lower than Ron Zook. What’s worse: my girlfriend being a massive Seminole fan or my fraternity brothers being diehard Gator haters? It has been rough. It’s even worse when the punter runs for a touchdown on you, but at least that was called back. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you didn’t see the massacre at LSU by the Tigers committed against the Gators. At any rate, I’ve had one great memory of this college football season. TCU beat Boise State on the Smurf Turf. That was pretty awesome. I love the mid-majors, but I hate Boise. I can’t stand them. Even before Urban came from Utah, I was rooting for Utah to break into the BCS. However, I just really hate the Broncos. I like Lane Kiffin better. Go SEC. At least Mercer will have a team soon. With the way Florida is playing, the Bears could pull the upset! (Ok, not really, but it’s nice to dream).

the Bears 80-72 before routing the University of North Florida Ospreys in the finals. The rematch on Saturday was just as good of a game, with the Bruins coming out on top 8278. Down 11 at the half, the Bears would claw back and draw within three with under two minutes left. The offense was led by Langston Hall. Hall, a sophomore out of Chamblee High School, finished the game with 23 points, four rebounds, four assists and one steal. Gollon had another great game, adding 17 points of his own, as well as eight rebounds and four assists. Sophomore

Daniel ‘Moustache’ Coursey had a great game as well, contributing 18 points to the Bears’ offensive effort. Coursey also had four blocks against both the Bruins and the Bison. “It was a tough four point loss, but I’m proud of the way we fought back. Just got to keep working and grinding,” said Hall after the loss. The Bears finished their road trip 1-1 and their record is now 5-2, 1-1 in conference play. Before hosting the Progressive College Basketball Experience (CBE) Classic sub-regional, the Bears travelled to Greenville, SC, to play the Furman University Paladins on Nov. 17. The Bears came away with a 66-46 victory. The Bears’ starters combined for 54 of the Bears’ 66 points and the effort was fairly balanced: Bud Thomas had 16 pts; Cecil and Coursey contributed 11 points each, while Gollon and Hall contributed 10 and six respectively. “It was just a really great ‘team’ win. I liked how we played tonight; I liked our defensive intensity,” said Head Coach Bob Hoffman on The Bears’ next home game is Saturday, Dec. 10 against Chattanooga.

Vollleyballl Head Coach Noelle Rooke resigns

Noeelllle Rooke was at thhee heelm of the Mercer Noovemb ember ber, she capped offf a 98-139 ovverall contib cont tibbuuttioons nss anndd will wi l miss her greatly. Samir Moussawel / Cluster Staff

Women’s basketball struggles in early non-conference games By Bryson Jones Staff Writer

The Mercer women’s basketball team recently had four very pivotal non-conference matchups. The team was looking to get some valuable playing experience playing against some very tough opponents before going into conference play. First up for the Lady Bears was Davidson. Last year’s Atlantic Sun “Freshman of the Year” Briana Williams led all Mercer scoring with 18 points. Unfortunately, the effort for Williams and the rest of her team just was not enough as they lost 75-60. Even though they lost, there were some signs of brilliance on the court for Mercer. After a lackluster first half effort from the bears, they came out of the locker room looking to vastly improve and that’s what they did. Mercer outscored the Davidson Wildcats in the second half 39-36. Freshman guard Precious Bridges scored 12 points while freshman Alicia Williams and Alex Phillips had seven points each. Junior Sharmesia Smith pulled down seven rebounds off the boards. Despite the loss, Head Coach Susie Gardner was pleased with the effort. “We fought the entire game,” e said Gardner. “We’re going to be fine; we just have some fine-tuning to do. It will take some of these bumps for us to find our way,” she added. The next match for the bears was against Georgia Southern at home. This proved to be an exciting contest, with both teams constantly battling with each other. Each team had the lead at different points in the game and it came down to a last minute buzzer-beater to decide the winner. Sadly, the Bears were not on the winning end. Georgia Southern won the game 57-55. Precious Bridges led all scoring for the Bears with 14 points. Sharmesia Smith pulled down

“We’re going to be fine; we just have some finetuning to do. It will take some of these bumps for us to find our way.”

Susie Gardner, women’s basketball coach

an impressive 11 rebounds. Next up for the Bears was the highly talented squad from UCF. From very early on it was UCF’s game. The UCF Knight’s offense was too much to handle. The Bears’ effort came up short as they lost 72-43. Mercer was lead once again by Briana Williams with 14 points in the losing effort. Ry’Van Buchanan was second on the team in points with eight. The Bears were once again on the road this time traveling to play another talented squad in Wake Forest. Mercer had to play without star player Briana Williams who went down with a knee injury in the first minute of play. Williams’ absence was surely missed as the Bears were blown out in the match by a score of 90-44. Coach Gardner was far from happy with the effort. “Right now, we’re not just coaching basketball,” Gardner said. “We’re having to correct the same errors over and over. I’m a little concerned about our shooting, but some things that go on behind the scenes – the things that will take this program to a championship level - aren’t there quite yet,” Gardner added. Coach Gardner and the Bears look to improve upon a notso-great start as they head into conference play.


The Cluster - Dec. 8, 2011 - Page 14

Sports Editor

Samir Moussawel

Women’s soccer proved dominant in 2011, made 2nd straight finals By Bryson Jones Staff Writer

It was a season of ups and downs for Mercer University’s Women’s soccer team. Finishing with a 10-8-2 record, the Lady Bears proved to be a formidable opponent. The women’s squad lost an astounding back line from the previous year that helped lead them to the NCAA tournament, and those important pieces needed to be replaced right away if they wanted a chance to defend their conference tournament title. The Mercer squad started off their season on a roll, taking their first four games without allowing a goal, defeating Jacksonville State (2-0), Georgia Southern (2-0), Georgia State (1-0) and Florida Atlantic (3-0). The young defense was in form and a season that may have been in doubt in many people’s minds beforehand was now looking like it was going to be a season to remember. The team then traveled to play the Georgia Bulldogs. The UGA offense was the first to earn a goal off of the Mercer back line and it only took 13 minutes. The Bears were not going to rest and let this game be taken from them though. Just three minutes later, Emerald Phillips powered home a goal to tie the game. No other goal would be scored in regulation, but UGA would knock one more in to end the game in overtime. It was a heart-wrenching

loss, and just two days later the Lady Bears would travel to play a beyond talented Florida State team. They could not match Florida State’s vigor as they were ousted 4-0. There were two games left before conference play began and the Lady Bears squad got back into winning form defeating both Presbyterian and Alabama State 4-0. Conference started with two home games. The first was Lipscomb. The game proved to not be a challenge for Mercer as they easily rolled their way to a 3-0 win. Next up was Belmont. Belmont and Mercer had a history of close matches and the team knew this one would be no different. Scoreless through regulation, Serafy’s bunch went into another overtime match. Once again, the ladies came out on the losing end. This was the beginning of a downhill slope for the team as they dropped three straight matches after this one to North Florida, Jacksonville and Florida Gulf Coast. However, the Lady Bears were able to muster up a tie against Stetson. It was now a do or die situation. The team knew going into their final three contests that they had to get a result in each one in order to make the tournament, and get a shot at defending their title. The Lady Bears dealt with the adversity head on as they were able to defeat S.C. Upstate and cross state rival Kennesaw State. They dropped the final match to ETSU, but Mercer was able to make it into the tournament based on a series of tiebreakers between multiple

Samir Moussawel / Cluster Staff

Senior forward Emerald Philips, along with a list of other veteran contributors, was one of the star performers that helped boost the play of the defending A-Sun Champions in 2011. Playing some of their best soccer down the stretch, the women’s soccer team reached their second consecutive A-Sun finals before narrowly losing to Florida Gulf Coast in double overtime. teams in the standings. Now it was tournament time, the part of the season that every team dreams about. You win, you stay alive. You lose, you go home. The first round saw the Lady Bears up against Jacksonville. This game was decided in penalty kicks with Serafy’s club coming out on top. The semi-final match was against a stout ETSU team who had defeated the Lady Bears just two weeks prior. This time

Gardner’s group wins 2 of 3 on road By Matt Williams Staff Writer matt.kenrich.williams

Mercer’s women’s basketball team got their first road win of the season on Nov. 25, defeating the High Point Lady Panthers 75-67. Sophomore Briana Williams put on a clinic as she scored 33 points while contributing two rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block. Freshman guard Alicia Williams also added 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. The Lady Bears shot 44.4 percent from long range, converting four of nine attempts. After the victory against High Point, Mercer opened up conference play in Nashville, TN, against the Lipscomb Lady Bison on Thursday, Dec. 1. The Lady Bison defeated the Lady Bears 80-70. Mercer’s offense was lead by Freshman Precious Bridges. Bridges contributed 18 points, three rebounds and two assists off of the bench. Briana Williams led the Bears’ starters with 14 points, one rebound, two steals and one block. Junior Ry’Van Buchanan also contributed a double-double, with 11 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. Tied 35-35 at half-time, Mercer out rebounded Lipscomb and had more second chance points than the Lady Bison. Additionally, the Lady Bears had 12 fewer turnovers. Lipscomb, however, shot 50 percent to

“...on Thursday at Lipscomb we played so poorly…it was a long Friday…it was so important that we were able to turn it around. We made strides today, now we’ve got to quit taking steps back.”

the result would be different though as Mercer was able to end ETSU’s conference title dreams with a goal in overtime from Senior Ali Meek. The final match saw the Lady Bears pitted against the number one seed FGCU Eagles. The game was scoreless through regulation and again the match would be decided in overtime. FGCU just had slightly more firepower as they were able to come away with the win,

conference title and automaticbid to the NCAA tournament. Head Coach Grant Serafy was not deterred though as he was proud of the efforts his team gave. “In the end, we are pleased with the season we had and I want to congratulate the seniors on a wonderful fouryear career,” said Serafy. Three Bears were awarded for their play throughout the season. Senior Olivia Tucker was a First Team All-Confer-


Trophy, given to the best collegiate football player. He finished fourth in the voting. With all of this success, Suh seemed to have the world at his fingertips. He was drafted by a team looking to rebuild its image and its defensive line. According to the Lions, Suh was the perfect man for the job. Since his professional career began, however, Suh has been a very controversial player, often toeing the line between being an aggressive player and a dirty player. There are countless examples of this occurring throughout his first two seasons, beginning with his rookie year. In 2010, Suh was fined for hits on Cleveland Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme and Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and collected fines totaling $22,500 for the season. As recently as the 2011 season, Suh was back at it again, playing the game the only way he seemingly knows how. During the preseason, Suh was fined $20,000 for a hit on Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, as he ripped the helmet off the rookie quarterback long after the play was over. Against the New England Patriots, he threw an open handed punch against left guard Logan Mankins, but was not penalized for his actions. Despite all of these events, Suh claimed that he was not a dirty player. For the first half of the 2011 season, it looked like Suh was right. The Lions were 7-3 and Suh had not been fined since the preseason. Then, during the Thanksgiving afternoon game against the Green Bay Packers, Suh removed all doubts about his style of play. During the


Susie Gardner, women’s head basketball coach

Mercer’s 33.3 and outscored them 45-35 in the second half to come away with the victory. Like the men’s team, the Lady Bears continued their conference play on Saturday against Belmont. Belmont made it to the semi-finals of the 2011 Atlantic Sun tournament before losing to Stetson by two points. Stetson would go on to defeat Jacksonville in the finals. At half-time Belmont led Mercer by one point, despite Mercer shooting 42 percent from the field and 33 percent from three-point distance. In the second half, however, the Lady Bears would outscore the Lady Bruins 36-32 to claim the 64-61 win. Bridges would lead Mercer in scoring for a second straight game, though this time it was as a starter. Bridges would finish with 20 points, all of which came in the second half. Buchanan would add 14

points of her own, while Sophomore Jasmine Blackmore added 13 points off of the bench. Buchanan and Blackmore also contributed six rebounds each. caught up with Coach Gardner, and she had this to say: “At halftime we made an adjustment because we saw a scenario where we thought we could get Precious a mismatch. She made great decisions getting to the rim and drawing fouls.” Coach Gardner was also proud of the way her team rebounded from the loss at Lipscomb, saying, “on Thursday at Lipscomb we played so poorly…it was a long Friday…it was so important that we were able to turn it around. We made strides today, now we’ve got to quit taking steps back.” Splitting the opening games of conference play bring the Lady Bears’ record to 3-6, 1-1 in conference play.

Bear Facts

Joshua Morrison Columnist

Suh-spension causes stir on Thanksgiving, Lions’ season One of the most highly touted defensive players in recent history, Ndamukong Suh was drafted number two overall in the 2010 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions. During his final year at the University of Nebraska, Suh won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the nation’s best defensive player; the Lombardi Award given to nation’s best defensive lineman or linebacker; as well as the Chuck Bendarik Award, given to the nation’s best defensive player. Suh was also a finalist for the Heisman

ence selection as well as an Academic All-District Team member, while junior P.A Upson was also honored for her efforts with a Second Team nod. Freshman Washida Blackman was also honored with a spot on the All-Freshman team for her outstanding play during her rookie season. Overall, the season was one of ups and downs, happiness and heartache, but definitely one to be remembered.

third quarter, Suh slammed the head of Packers back-up guard Evan Dietrich-Smith into the ground three times. Then, after getting up, Suh stomped Dietrich-Smith’s arm with his cleat. Predictably, Suh was ejected from the game and later fined by the NFL and suspended for two games. Despite his foul, the worse insult was Suh’s explanation of the event. With practically undeniable evidence against him, Suh claimed that he was simply trying to detach himself from the play and that he isn’t a dirty player. Suh then filed an appeal, but it was denied. Clearly the fines have not stopped him from continuing his dangerous style of play. How can a player continue to deny that he is a dirty player when he is perpetually surrounded by questionable playing style? The story line behind the Lions is not there 7-4 record, but Suh’s questionable actions, a trend that haunted Suh in college. Back during his stellar senior season at Nebraska, police cited Suh for negligent driving. Suh blew a 0.035 into the breathalyzer, below the legal limit. Suh swerved his mother’s SUV and ended up totaling one car and causing $26,000 worth of damage to three others, including the vehicle he was driving. Clearly Ndamukong Suh needs to reevaluate his lifestyle and playing style if he wants to continue to have success at the professional level. After all, it has been said that you can never make the same mistake twice. The second time you make it, it is not a mistake, but a choice. Clearly Ndamakong Suh has been making many bad choices in the last two years.

-Menʼs basketball went 2-2 during the CBE tournament this season. Their two losses came against Missouri and South Dakota State. Both teams made it to the NCAA tournament a year ago. -After winning their exhibition game versus Georgia College, the womenʼs basketball team dropped five in a row to start the season. -Lacrosse will open their second season with a home game versus Ohio State on Feb. 11. -Noelle Rooke, head volleyball coach, stepped down on Nov. 29 after her eighth total season at Mercer. She led the Lady Bears to a 98-139 total record in her tenure. -The softball season begins on Feb. 11. They do not play their first home game until March 6. -Braves third baseman and future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones will be visiting Mercer as this yearʼs First Pitch Classic speaker on Feb. 7.

Photo Courtesy of

Lions superstar defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh argues his ejection in the third quarter of the Thanksgiving Day game against the Packers. In less than a two-year professional career, the former Nebraska standout has been fined a total of $42,500. With the most recent ejection and two-game suspension, Suh will be docked $164,000.

The Cluster - Dec. 8, 2011 - Page 15


Volleyball team misses postseason cut, Coach Rooke resigns By Garret McDowell Staff Writer garret.tyler.mcdowell

The 2011 season for Mercer volleyball was rough. Having a tough non-conference schedule started the Bears off on the wrong foot for another rough Atlantic Sun year. They went 12-19 on the year, 4-9 in Atlantic Sun play. They were eliminated before the season ended. As a result, Coach Noelle Rooke resigned, citing “there is also a time when you realize a change may be best for all parties.” Her record was 98-139 at Mercer after eight years. August began with four straight losses, seeing the Bears not gather even a set point until the next month. The Winthrop Classic was a rough outing, and despite Coach Rooke saying it did not matter where the Bears were voted in the preseason, they just had to “peak at the right time.”

Samir Moussawel / Cluster Staff

After a sluggish 0-6 start, the volleyball squad fought back within reach of the A-Sun tournament. They came up short when Jacksonville beat Stetson in the final weekend. It was not until the second match of the Bear Brawl that Mercer won a set. It was not until the final match of that outing

that the Bears were able to win a match. The 3-0 win over Norfolk State provided a lull in a stretch of losses. The Bears’ 8-10 non-

Young men’s soccer squad departs early at A-Sun, large strides made By Garret McDowell Staff Writer garret.tyler.mcdowell

During one of the best stretches of Mercer men’s soccer history, it is difficult to look back and see what is and is not working currently. For the first time since the 2001 and 2002 seasons, the Bears have posted back-to-back winning records. After consecutive postseason runs, the Bears are hoping to use the successes of 2011 to further that. The Bears were consistently in the RPI Top 140 as well. One of the season’s many bright moments has been the play of sophomore striker Ehjayson Henry. He finished with five goals and 11 points on the year, his first with the Bears after transferring from Penn State. The Saint Kitts and Nevis national soccer team actually called him up to play for the national team in the 2012 Caribbean Football Union Olym-

pic Qualifying Tournament. The squad played well, getting to the brink of qualification before a shocking loss against Suriname unfortunately eliminated them from the Olympics. This international experience is sure to be a major plus for the Mercer Bears’ men’s soccer team in the next few years. The Mercer Bears finished 9-8-3 overall. They were 6-5-1 against opponents outside the Atlantic Sun season schedule. This included wins against Appalachian State, VMI and Georgia Southern. Mercer also suffered some tough defeats against Alabama-Birmingham and Central Florida. The Bears also lost a rough match before the Atlantic Sun championships on the road at Duke. The Atlantic Sun season was a different story for the Bears, as they finished 3-3-2, not clinching a postseason spot until the final match day of the season. They started strong with a win over North Florida. However, the Bears played the three teams from Florida, and they

Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff

Junior defender/midfielder Joey Heavner (right) was one of the major bright spots of the 2011 campaign for the Bears. He was second in the conference with seven total assists.

lost all three. The matches with Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson were overtime losses on the road. This nearly eliminated the Bears, but with their backs against the wall, the Bears played spirited soccer. They did not lose again, seeing a run that would carry them into the postseason. The postseason was a different affair for the Bears, as they would get a rematch with Lipscomb in the first round. The first match was a draw in Nashville, but the Bears took the rematch 2-1, booking a place in the semifinals against FGCU. Their season ended earlier than they hoped, but it was against quality opponents. Junior midfielder Joey Heavner helped carry the Bears all season, and he had a goal and seven assists on the year. However, it was his postseason play that garnered him even more attention when he was named to the Atlantic Sun All-Tournament Team. He was also added to the Academic All-Conference Team and All-Conference second team. Heavner’s play was instrumental in the back-to-back winning seasons for the Bears. His lone goal helped launch the Bears into the postseason in the 2-1 win over Belmont. He was second in the conference and 29th in the country for assists. Team Awards were also announced, recognizing the Bears who have helped carry the squad this far. Sophomore Cole Mitchell was named Most Improved Player. Oscar Andersson, a freshman, was named co-Newcomer of the Year with Henry. The Bears award was given to junior Will Betts. The offensive MVP was Andersson, and the defensive MVP was freshman Greg Ranjitsingh. The team MVP was Heavner, and the Coaches Award was given to senior Phil Thoren.

Lacrosse releases 2012 season schedule 14-game schedule • Ohio State on Feb. 11 (Home/season opener) • North Carolina on Feb. 12 at the Lovett School in Atlanta • Michigan on March 4 (road) • Holy Cross on March 6 (road) • Jacksonville on March 10 (road) • St. Joseph’s on April 21 (Regular season/home finale)

conference record was a result of tough opponents and a lack of experience. Entering the Atlantic Sun

season did not change the outcome for Mercer, as they dropped nine of their 13 games in route to a cellar position in the conference standings, including a 3-1 season-ending loss to in-state rival Kennesaw State. On a positive note, the Bears received many contributions and solid play from individuals on the team. Libero Charlotte Harris took her skills to another level this season with her record-breaking performances that boosted the play of the entire team. However, the Bears were unable to get results often down the stretch and in the clutch. Winning six of their 10 games at the end of the season was too late of a peak, and it cost the Bears in the end. Amiee Frutchey and Anna Coursey’s play also resounded throughout the season as great pillars to lean on, but it was not enough. “[They] have high expectations for this season,” Coach Rooke said in a season-beginning in-

terview. Unfortunately, those were not achieved. Four separate times, the Bears dropped a five-game match despite having significant momentum. Jennifer Katona routinely kept the Bears in matches with her high numbers of kills, being the first player since 2006 to reach 200 kills in her first season. It was this type of play that kept the Bears around long past their expectations. Their eighth place finish was less than pleasing. It was even worse to lose it to Kennesaw State as the Owls booked their ticket to the postseason. Speaking on not only the game, but the entire season, Coach Rooke was pleased with the seniors. “I felt it was a good way for our three seniors to go out as they all had strong performances,” she said. Frutchey finished the season with the team lead in double-doubles. The Bears now look to recruiting and a coaching search for the next leader for Bears volleyball.

SPRING 2012 Openers: • Men’s basketball: continue play vs. Kennesaw St (home) on Jan. 13

• Women’s basketball: continue play vs. Kennesaw St. (home) on Jan. 14

• Women’s tennis: Brenau (home) on Jan. 21

• Men’s tennis: Georgia Southern (road) on Jan. 27

• Men’s golf: JU Invitational @ TPC Sawgrass on Jan. 30

• Women’s golf: JU Classic @ Hidden Hills Country Club on Feb. 5

*** Braves’ third baseman Chipper Jones speaks at First Pitch Classic on Feb. 7 *** • Softball: Austin Peay (road) on Feb. 11

• Lacrosse: Ohio State (home) on Feb. 11

• Baseball: Morehead St. (home) on Feb. 17

Men’s golfers display consistency, progress throughout fall campaign By Joshua Morrison Staff Writer joshua.haines.morrison

The Mercer men’s golf team’s opening season of the 20112012 campaign can be characterized with consistency and progress as the Bears played their way through three fall events including the annual home match at the Brickyard. The Bears’ opening campaign was the first season with newly signed head coach Steve Bradley in charge. Bradley, who joined Mercer in the summer of 2011, came to the Bears after serving as the assistant coach at The University of Florida and coaching with one of the best head golf coaches in the nation, Buddy Alexander. Bradley took the helm of the Bears, with high expectations, and looking forward to seeing his team in action for the first time during the fall. The Bears opened up their season in late September when the Mercer traveled to Arlington, TX to participate in the Waterchase Invitational. The three-round tournament ended up only being two rounds after the final round of the tournament was cancelled due to a swarm of bees. An estimated 75,000 bees invaded the course. The Bears finished the tournament tied for ninth place overall with a score of 603, beating out half of the competition at the invitational. The result, while respectable, was slightly disappointing for a Mercer team looking to start the season with a very strong performance. The team was led by redshirt sophomore, Hans Reimers, who finished the two-day even two under with a score of 142. Also playing in the tournament

“We know what we need to improve on to compete with the best teams in the nation, and I think the fall season was a good indicator of where we are as a team.” Alex Street, junior golfer for the Bears were sophomores James Beale (150) and John Wilson Gordon (161), as well as juniors Alex Street (154) and Thomas Holmes (157). The Bear’s second tournament of the fall campaign was on Oct. 7-9 as Mercer hosted the 2011 Brickyard Collegiate, competing against some of the best teams in the nation, including: North Florida, Florida State and eventual champion Georgia Tech. The Bears once again finished in the middle of the pack taking eighth place out of a field of 15 with a score of 890. However, the Bears showed their potential when they finished their second round with a score of 289, putting them in fourth place overall. Mercer’s historic round, the best ever by a Mercer team at the Brickyard, was only four strokes behind the 285 overall put up by Georgia Tech. Mercer was once again led by Hans Reimers who shot

a 219 over three rounds. James Beale (222), Alex Street (227), and Thomas Holmes (235) all participated in their second tournament of the season, and senior Josh Cone made his first appearance of the season shooting a 225. The Bears’ third and final tournament of the fall season occurred on Oct. 17-18 when the Mercer golfers traveled to South Carolina for The Invitational. Mercer once again finished the tournament ahead of 50 percent of their opponents, taking sixth place with a score of 891. The Bears were led by James Beale who shot a 219 overall and finishing tied for 13th place overall. Freshman Trey Rule competed in his first event of his Mercer career, shooting a 224 in the process. Also competing in the tournament for the Bears were Hans Reimers (226), Josh Cone (228), Thomas Holmes (232) and Alex Street (233). The Invitational was Mercer’s last event of the fall, and the Bears entered the break looking to prepare for the busy spring schedule and looking to improve their play. When asked about the team’s performance during the fall, head coach Steve Bradley said, “We have a lot of work to do, but the players are willing to work hard and we are going to start doing workouts over the break.” Junior Alex Street echoed the thoughts of his head coach when he said, “The season went pretty well, but there is definitely room for improvement. We know what we need to improve on to compete with the best teams in the nation, and I think the fall season was a good indicator of where we are as a team. We are looking forward to the spring season.” The Bears begin their spring play on Jan. 30. At the JU Invitational in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The Cluster - Dec. 8, 2011- Page 16

Photography Editor Noah Maier

The End…

whatyousay? favsuperhero? What are your plans for winter break?

Alicia Landrum Captain Underpants

“I am going to Knoxville, TN with my sister Massa and I’m going to spend the Holidays with my girlfriend and her family. ”

Noah Maier Professor X

-Boakai Mamey, Junior

Becky Payne Spiderman, duh.

Ashley Mann Superman

Liz Bibb

“I’m going to see my family in North Carolina, and then I’m training the whole time”


- Sam Yates, Freshman Difficulty: 42 3





7 6 6

““Catch Ca up with High School ffriends, rie my family, old televission ion shows, and just basic sstuff tuf I’ve left behind.”

- Lucy L Jordan, Freshman F r



5 2






4 8




7 8

“I’m going home for family times, and hopefully I’ll get work done on my senior project.”







Difficulty: 84 D 5

- Alvin Huff, Senior


2 4

7 8 ““I’m I’m going to catch up on sleep and read for fun.’”

- Shea Simmons, Senior


6 1


6 8









6 5 2

7 5


2 1

4 4

The Cluster Issue 8  

The eighth issue of Mercer University's Cluster.

The Cluster Issue 8  

The eighth issue of Mercer University's Cluster.