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The Cluster WWW.MERCERCLUSTER.COM

Mercer University

April 12, 2012

Volume V l XCIV

Issue 14

inthisissue News CLASS OF 2012 SENIOR GIFT ANNOUNCED At the moment, it appears that the class of 2012 will assign a bell tower as its senior gift. The tower will reside at the upcoming team house by the football stadium. Full story on Page 4 MERCER HOSTS ANNUAL GREEK WEEK EVENTS Order of Omega organized its annual Greek Week at the end of March. Greek chapters can earn points by winning events or having high attendance at events. Full story on Page 5

Mercer captures historic CIT win Photo courtesy of Mercer Marketing

The Mercer men’s basketball team celebrates after their 70-67 win against the Utah State Aggies in the finals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. This is a first for Mercer and the Atlantic Sun Conference, as an Atlantic Sun team has never won a post-season championship before. championship for both Mercer University and the Atlantic Sun Conference. Despite the Aggies’ obvious home court advantage (having won 100 of their last 106) and the six-point deficit with only 4:35 left to play in regulation, Mercer was still able to escape with the victory. With only 3:45 left on the clock, the Bears would go on a 19-12 run to steal the win from the Aggies. Late-game

By Matt Williams Staff Writer

Local

matt.kenrich.williams@live.mercer.edu

MAYOR DELAYS SIGNING OF MINORITY ORDINANCE

Mayor Robert Reichert wants to delay signing an ordinance that will protect minority business owners until after the proposed Macon-Bibb consolidation is voted on. Full story on Page 11

The Mercer men’s basketball team defeated the Utah State Aggies on the road to claim the CollegeInsider.com Tournament Championship, winning 70-67. The win is the first post-season

heroics by sophomore Bud Thomas and junior Travis Smith, who each added three-point jump shots in the last few minutes of the game, were coupled with a 9 of 10 finish from the free throw line during the last 2:50 of the game. Sophomore Langston Hall finished with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. Hall was awarded the tournament Most Valuable Player trophy for

Macon residents host candlelight vigil in memory of Trayvon Martin

MERCER SAND VOLLEYBALL SECURES FIRST WIN

Mercer’s sand volleyball team scored their first victory last Saturday. They defeated Tulane 3-2. The sand volleyball team has been in place since last spring. Full story on Page 14

Columns Lessons in Etiquette - Pg. 6 Hi, Engineers! - Pg. 7 Kill Your Idols - Pg. 8 Popham Culture - Pg. 9 Behind the Jersey - Pg. 12 Mind Over Matters - Pg. I3 Viva la Sport -Pg. 14 Sudoku Page 16

see

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SGA approves judicial branch of government By Garret McDowell Staff Writer

By Bryson Jones Staff Writer

Sports

his performance throughout Mercer’s campaign. Travis Smith added a career-high 17 points off of the bench, going 6 for 12 from the field and 3 of 4 from long range. He was also 2 for 3 from the free throw line.

bryson.c.jones@student.mercer.edu

garret.tyler.mcdowell@student.mercer.edu

Hoodies on the Hill, a candlelight vigil, brought out citizens from all over Macon. Event organizers, Danny Glover, Doug Scott and Thaddeus Smith, say they believe the vigil is important to bring people together to remember Trayvon Martin, and a reminder of the necessity of unity and justice. Throughout the United States, citizens from all over have gathered in honor and memoriam of Trayvon Martin, a teenager who was shot in Sanford, Florida. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, says he killed Martin in self-defense after the teen punched him and slammed his head on the sidewalk, according to an Orlando Sentinel report that was later confirmed by Sanford police. One of the responding officers saw a wound on the back of Zimmerman’s head and a bloody nose, and noted that his back was wet, indicating he had been lying in the grass, according to the police report. It is this account that is under direct scrutiny. Several people believe that Zimmerman did not act in self defense and pursued Martin out of his own free will. It is these discrepancies that have lead to people throughout the United States demanding justice in the death of Trayvon Martin. Many believe that Zimmerman

It might be a busy campaigning and election season for most members of Mercer’s SGA, but that did not stop them from heavily changing their structure for upcoming terms. In a move that still needs to be passed via student referendum, they have approved legislation that recreates the long lost judicial branch of government, primarily responsible for judicial review and ensuring that all actions taken by the Senate and the Executive Branch are constitutional from here on out. Originally created by former Parliamentarian Gene Mitchell, Senator Austin Thompson, Senator Ronnie Davis, and Senator Raymond Partolan over the course of the year, the legislation took two weeks to pass through Senate. Failing due to a lack of a few small, but necessary corrections not happening during its first Senate session on March 26, the piece of legislation was amended a few times on April 3 to pass in order to be voted on in a special election before the end of the current term. However, it was decided to be postponed until the fall in order to better inform the students of what the piece of legislation is.

Noah Maier / Cluster Staff

Citizens from all over Macon gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember Trayvon Martin, a teenager shot in Florida last month. should be tried in a court of law. In Macon, Danny Glover, one of the event organizers said, “So you have a community of individuals that from all racial backgrounds, all religious backgrounds, forgetting themselves and thinking about the bigger picture.”

Another event organizer Doug Jones had this to say. “Everybody looks the same in a hoodie,” said Jones, “but everybody is not the same. see

HOODIES, continued on

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SGA, continued on page 4

weekendweather weekend

Low around 46 Tonight

High around 76 Friday

Low around 50 Friday night

High near 84 Saturday

Low around 57 Saturday night

High near 89 Sunday

Low near 62 Sunday night

Weather information provided by the National Weather Service Front Page Issue 14(2) COPY EDITED.indd 1

4/11/12 1:42:32 AM


The Cluster - April 12, 2012 - Page 2

Opinions Editor Brittany Dant

opinions@mercercluster.com

chiefobservations

Opinions The power of anonymity Brittany Dant Opinions Editor

The last few weeks of my life have been an emotional roller coaster. Not only have I gotten extremely good news and had to begin to think about big decisions in my personal life, but this paper has been at the forefront of student attention in a way that it rarely has been in my time as Editor-in-Chief. This paper is like my child, and so I am naturally wary of any negative feelings towards it. But what has been going on is bigger than my feelings. What has been going on is that the student body as a whole became interested in questions that are vital to Mercer’s future success and the future success of the Cluster. Both Student Government Association and The Cluster have had questions brought to their attention that they had not previously considered. I am glad for this. The newspaper is not static. It is a living, fluid, ever-changing product of the sweat, love and tears of those who make it great. And that includes the student body. As I prepare to leave this paper in the capable hands of our new EIC Kaleigh Manson, I also ask that you, the student body, never stop holding us to a high standard. Never stop telling us wha you want. Never stop asking us to improve. It is your paper, after all.

clustereditors Editor-in-Chief Liz Bibb editor@mercercluster.com

Opinions Brittany Dant opinions@mercercluster. com

Features Alicia Landrum features@mercercluster. com

Entertainment Eric Brown entertainment@ mercercluster.com

Local Kaitlin Marrin

News Katherine Manson news@mercercluster.com

Sports Samir Moussawel sports@mercercluster. com

Photography Noah Maier photography@ mercercluster.com

Copy Editor Ashley Mann copy@mercercluster.com

local@mercercluster.com

Marketing Coordinator Mary Cate Prendergast advertising@ mercercluster.com

Online Editor Emily Garrott online@mercercluster. com

Adviser Lee Greenway

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

As I sit down to write this column, I am astounded by how much backlash certain articles that ran in my section in the last edition have received. Most notably Gene Mitchell’s article about students’ call to run for SGA and Bryson Jones’ article about Body By Visalus. While these articles have shot the Op-Ed section’s viewing on The Cluster’s website through the roof, it has also brought to my attention the power of anonymity, and what a destructive power that is. I was appalled by some of the comments that I came across

while on mercercluster.com. It would take up the majority of this page to write all of the comments that both offended and disgusted me, but here are the ones that stung the most. “I feel really bad for you. And feel bad for all the other poor students who just wasted 5 minutes of their lives reading such an uneducated and biased article.” “You made yourself look stupid amongst hundreds of college students…” “SGA is great and I loved taking it serious, but at the end of the day there are much bigger things to worry about, like apologizing and trying to rebuild all the relationships that you just ruined... Do yourself a favor and transfer.” “I vote to rename this article: ‘Come on Mercerians, it’s about time to (finally) give SGA a reason to make me resign!’” “Opinion articles written with a condensing tone will only make you look like a douche bag.” My mouth fell open when I read the majority of these comments. I know that Mr. Mitchell’s article about the candi-

Fight or flight tendencies will get us nowhere, we need to retrain ourselves By Oliva Brayan Staff Writer olivia.jasmine.brayan@live.mercer. edu

The idea of confrontation terrifies most people. Their heart starts pumping and all they can hear is the sound of blood rushing through their ears. They try to remember the reasons they came to face the challenge of telling people what they do not want to hear. Emotions take over and some either want to leave or throw the first punch. These fight or flight tendencies will get us nowhere. Walter Bradford Cannon, an American Physiologist from Harvard Medical School, coined the term ‘fight or flight response’. He originally intended for it to describe the response animals have when faced with danger, but he began to see the implications this ideal had in the human world as well. Humans and animals have much in common in this aspect. Women and men, however, differ in their responses. Men have a higher chance of responding in an emergence situation with aggression. They will most likely turn and fight, where as women will choose one of three options: flee, turn to others for help, or attempt to talk it out. While this is the status quo for people to respond in line with the appropriate gender’s reaction, I often wonder if it hasn’t always been this way. I know that by nature men have been the ‘providers’ while women have been the ‘nurturers’. Yet, I wonder if we have been thrust even further into this role by

the media. Media makes the idea of a disagreement happening scary -in an extreme situation- we are either going to end up in a bar fight or a lonely, emotional mess. You can easily guess which will happen to the man versus the woman; men usually are not the criers in a movie if that gives you a hint. Yet in real world none of this is really an option. Confrontations do not have to be a fear to run from. Media combined with our own worries has built these moments up to be more than they really are. I feel as though, some days, I have entered the wild jungles of the Amazon when it comes to communicating with people around me. We are more likely to hiss and yelp phrases at each other, in an attempt to save ourselves, than we are to sit down and have a civil conversation. Reality is that if we are to all co-exist in this world there is going to be many disagreements. Whether that makes or breaks a relationship is for the individuals to decide. There are ways to retrain ourselves out of the fight or flight instinct, that does nothing but harm a good relationship. It takes a practiced arm to aim and shoot a gun. Just as much effort has to be put into learning the steps to getting to the bottom of a confrontation and finding a mutually agreed upon solution. Granted this is never easy nor is it ever fun, but in the end if the friendship is valuable enough to be saved than you’ll do the right thing. Comments about this opinion can be sent to olivia.jasmine. brayan@live.mercer.edu

(br)iefobservations US News Rick Santorum suspended his Presidential campaign on Tuesday afternoon due to thoughts that Mitt Romney was to be the inevitable nomination for the Republican party. Santorum let the public know of his decision at a stop in his home-state of Pennsylvania. There is word Santorum will be endorsing Romney for the election, but no such endorsement has yet been seen.

World News The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that five fugitives wanted in the United States on terrorism charges can be legally extridited from Great Britain. This decision sets a major precedent. The European Court has given the suspects three months to apply for another hearing with the Court.

dates for SGA elections was seen as harsh by some. But at least he had the courage to pen a name to his article, whereas the majority of these comments were written anonymously with a fake name. The truth is, if mercercluster. com made it mandatory for people to put their name on their comments — like many Op-Ed sections require in order to submit a letter to the editor or comment on their websites — then most of the people who submitted these comments would not have done so. The only reason they felt safe enough to write these scathing comments are because they could hide behind an opaque screen. Yes, they got out their loathing words, but in the light of day no one would know it was they who wrote the comments and they would be able to get away scot-free. No person who wrote any of the negative comments on either Jones’ article or Mitchell’s would have come up to either student in person and said the words stated in any of these comments.

People feel safe when they are able to hide behind a curtain of anonymity and that my friends is the only thing that motivated the men and women who wrote such classless comments on the two articles. Mercer students, if something that was written in this section offended you badly enough to the point where you deem it necessary to try and publicly humiliate other students, then it is my opinion that you should stand by your words and put a name to them. I know that I will most likely receive some backlash for this column. Will people talk about it in private? Probably. In public? Maybe. On mercercluster. com? Most definitely. But hiding behind anonymous names no person will ever be able to decode is spineless. I invite the people who will choose to negatively comment on this article to do so publicly, and if not to my face then do me the honor of knowing your identity.

Questions or comments about this column can be sent to opinions@mercercluster.com.

letters to the editor Dear Editor, Students of Mercer have been in uproar about the recent SGA article written by Gene Mitchell. It seems that even the SGA board themselves have felt appalled at the accusations Mitchell writes about. Mitchell’s article had quite a few arguments break out in the comments on the Cluster website. Many of those arguments harshly accused and attacked Mitchell in the same way he had named and accused certain SGA officers. Mitchell wrote how a few freshmen SGA members seem unqualified for the job as leaders and organizers of the freshmen class. This may be true because as he says, even though a person may be nice, does not mean they will be the best leaders. Mitchell’s mistake in his writing was that he actually named people in SGA. Yes, I know it could be argued as something to be expected; if you run for office, get ready to have people criticize you. The problem here though of naming SGA officers is that Mitchell would still have to cooperate and work with the members. It’s hard to continue to be cordial to someone who has you out to dry in the campus newspaper. Another problem Mitchell points out is how little interest students seem to hold for SGA. This could mean a whole mess of entangled problems later on if we don’t change. Only five candidates are running for junior class senator and senator-atlarge. It’s scary to see that only five candidates are running which means, they are each guaranteed the open five positions. From reading the article comments online, students only seemed to care about the insults Mitchell tossed throughout his writing. Somebody even made a meme about Mitchell eating other SGA members. No one wrote a comment about the actual problems with SGA. I believe we are missing the big picture here. Instead of bashing Mitchell for his mistake, students need to focus in on why Mitchell would write such an article. SGA needs more support from Mercer students. It amazed me how passionately readers reacted to Mitchell’s writing. People definitely had no hesitation to defend their SGA officers. But, when I asked a few people to suggest ideas for how to improve SGA, or even what they currently approved of SGA, no one had much to say. So, the problem I see is that Mercer students do not get involved enough with SGA. They pull out excuses such as, their vote doesn’t matter, or that they don’t have enough time for it, or even that SGA just flat out seems boring to them. Here’s the truth: each vote does count, students have to make time for it, and SGA is student organized, so it can become whatever the student body chooses. Mercer students have shown through those comments that they have passion and energy. That passion just needs to be channeled toward improving SGA. If students can react to one article about SGA so intensely, than they definitely have the potential to be that passionate about SGA itself. -Erica O’Neal erica.j.oneal@live.mercer.edu


The Cluster - April 12, 2012- Page 3

Opinions

SGA, you are public figures, so get used to mudslinging By Eric Brown Entertainment Editor entertainment@mercercluster.com

Photo courtesy of Marsmet501

There is an article circulating on the internet that urges individuals to avoid pumping gas on April 15, 2012. This will not force gas companies to lower gas prices. It is a waste of time.

Let’s face it, not pumping gas on April 15 is a waste of time By Connor Cosenza Guest Writer connor.j.cosenza@live.mercer.edu

People like a little hype to keep their lives interesting. Every week or two there seems to be a new Facebook-wide movement that stirs people to action. People always like to believe that changing their profile picture will be successful in changing public policy or lowering prices or creating jobs or whatever else they want. I can’t say I know exactly how successful any of these movements are—I tend to think they do far less than people would like to think they do—but one new one seems particularly ridiculous to me. “Don’t pump gas on April, 15 2012” So the idea is that “all internet users are to not go to a gas station in protest of high gas prices.” According to this picture flying around the internet, “In April 1997, there was a ‘gas out’ conducted nationwide in protest of gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight.” So now all internet users are going to get this message and not pump any gas on April 15th in order to put a dent in Middle Eastern gas companies and hopefully drop gas prices overnight. Ok…a few things…first of

all, there’s this nifty little proviso that says “If running low, just get your gas the day before on April 14 or the day after on April 16.” So…actual net change to the gas companies’ revenue? Probably close to zero. Secondly, let’s get our economic principles straight. The idea here is that in one day the nation is going to sufficiently reduce demand to bring the price of gasoline down significantly? Get into the minds of the businessmen for a second… even if everyone did not pump gas for a day, are gas companies going to all of a sudden think that the consumers just vanished? Of course not. Everyone (including gas companies) knows this is a one-time deal—or at least one time for a long time. In order to effectively decrease demand for a product, thereby lowering price, there must be a sustainable, long term shift in the behavior of the general population—people must genuinely start using less gas overall. There must be a real, permanent shift in the demand of the people in order to actually lower prices. Thirdly, even if the prices of gas were to actually drop (which, again, I doubt they would) they would very quickly rise to the level at which they were before. Why is this?

Because that’s where the natural demand of the product actually lies. As soon as this one-day-nogas fiasco is over, people will go back to their regular lives like nothing ever happened. Gas companies will see that nothing has actually changed, and will bring gas prices right back to normal within practically no time at all. So if you’re angry about gas prices being too high, what can we actually do? Americans have to actually change their habits. There has to be a sustainable, permanent shift in how Americans run their lives. People have to make a conscious effort to consume less gas— drive less, carpool, ride a bike, get a hybrid. Only in this way will suppliers of gas believe that demand for gas has actually decreased. And only in this way will we witness an actual drop in price. An obviously artificial “decrease” in demand will do absolutely nothing to significantly alter prices—it will only succeed in making people believe that they have done something when really they just wasted their time. Don’t be naïve, people. Comments or questions about this opinion can be sent to connor.j.cosenza@live.mercer. edu

Mercerians, students can make a difference; we need to start now

Garret McDowell Columnist I’m not really sure when I decided to write this column about this topic, about standing for something that is larger than you or I. Causes and conflicts have been all over my radar in the past two weeks, even if I tried to ignore their very existence. Two of my brothers have engaged in a campaign against each other for the SGA Presidential Election. I attended a conference, Clinton Global Initiative University that pushes for putting your ideas into action and really emphasizing that we can make a difference. The Cluster and SGA are embroiled in something of a bitter war where I was actually defriended on Facebook by someone over it, and all the while, we were just pushing for a more open and transparent SGA. I’m not going to act like I did the pushing over the edge in that case. I might not agree with what was said in the last edition, but I sure as hell stand up for the right to say it because I share concerns that a few people are running for SGA that do not seem adequate for the job. However, that is another argument for another time, and I’m sure most everyone has heard about it these past few weeks. I think it was somewhere be-

tween holding my five monthold nephew and seeing the news on TV this weekend that really just convinced me to ask for a change. Maybe it’s because we are students, and I’m just one of the people who steadfastly refuses to lose that optimistic side. I might be pessimistic on the outside, but I have hope for the world. I spent a weekend with one thousand of the most brilliant young minds on the planet crammed into small classrooms and undersized auditoriums where I learned things like real grassroots activism, just how important it is to fail a few times, and that one person can change the world. I look back to our small microcosm at Mercer Middle School, and I just get tired of the rat race. I’m going to miss the hell out of this place, if I might say so with poor grammar. However, I won’t miss the ignorance to the outside world. Maybe it is the actual wall between us and the tragically poor and hurting city of Macon, but I feel detached while at Mercer. This is when I realize why all the petty crap happens here. There is a lack of things that this campus rallies behind as a whole, but it is changing. More and more people are signing up with LEAP...and sticking with LEAP for more service days that are not required for them to perform. Athletics, while not world changing, are helping bring a spirit to campus that makes Mercer feel almost normal. Those decorations after we won the biggest championship in school history, well I hope just hope we started a tradition of Mercer students bonding together to celebrate something larger than ourselves. “For Mercer we will live and die...” I am entirely convinced that

every single person who attends Mercer has the capacity inside them to do something great and make the world a better place. I am also entirely convinced that there are a lot of people at Mercer who have ideas that they are scared won’t succeed or be welcomed by the student body. I had no idea that I would find seven people who would participate in the inaugural alternative spring break program at Mercer. I prayed and hoped, but I was very nervous. It gives me hope that if you just try to see if your idea can work, Mercerians will rally behind you. I believe we all want to rally behind something larger than ourselves. We all stand for things, but some of us just don’t have the push to do it...or they are just are too scared and full of doubt. I ask all of you to just go ahead and try. If you fail, what’s the worst that could happen? You just go ahead and try it again. Nothing is perfect, and the best ideas could always be things that develop out of the failure of something else. I’m honored to say that I was at Mercer when SGA became something that students argued over and really cared about. I’m honored to say that I was a member of The Cluster staff when we realized just how serious students take their campus media. However, I’ll be even more honored to say I was at Mercer when students really came out in droves to change the world and leave their campus a better place as they stand up to make a difference with whatever great ideas they have. You can do it Mercer! Comments, questions or concerns about this column can be emailed to garret.mcdowell@ gmail.com

Two weeks ago, The Cluster published an opinion piece by senior Gene Mitchell, who was at that time a Student Government parliamentarian. Mitchell, who, in the interest of full disclosure is a good friend of mine and regular contributor to the paper, criticized the current crop of SGA candidates, several by name. Following its publication, SGA president Jordan Locke voiced concerns about the reaction it produced on campus, and Mitchell was ultimately asked to resign from his position last Monday. Mitchell spoke only out of a genuine love for his school and a desire to see students engage more strongly in their student government. Yes, he spoke strongly about many students, but only with the hope of encouraging them to do the best they can at their jobs. The fact that Mitchell was punished for the love of his school is absolutely sickening. I’m appalled at the backlash my friend faced. Here’s the deal: if you are running for public office, don’t be surprised when people criticize you publicly.

You’ve made a decision to be the public face of your class at Mercer, and it should be obvious that not everyone will agree with you and want to express those opinions. It is literally your job to listen to those complaints and use them to better Mercer’s campus. It doesn’t matter if the critiques come from a student, faculty member, or another SGA member. Getting upset about criticisms is childish, entitled and a testament to the fact that Mitchell was right all along. A real student leader wouldn’t get offended at criticism. A real leader would listen to those complaints and do something about them. And I don’t mean trying to silence anyone with a dissenting opinion. Presumably, many of these SGA members are interested in pursuing a political career in the future. Do they think they will never be called out by name in that line of work? Professional politics is comprised of nothing but mudslinging. Mitchell’s criticisms are positively compliments by those standards. And at the end of the day, pretty much everything Mitchell said was correct. The junior class and senator-at-large representatives

are running unopposed, and none of the candidates have campaigned particularly hard or impressed me in any way. When it comes down to it, Mitchell was trying to spur the school into action. I’ve talked to him many times about SGA, and it’s clear that he loves the organization. He wants nothing but the best for the school, and is in a uniquely qualified position to assist it. Mitchell is a veteran, and has served his country on the battlefield and as an ambassador. He maintains good grades and has spent time volunteering with Mercer On Mission. And yet we would rather have students that put no effort into their campaigns on staff? It makes me glad I’m graduating this May, because I would be fearful of some of the new representatives coming into SGA. Criticize me as much as you like for what I wrote. I put it out there publicly, and I understand the implications that come with it. But I won’t be resigning as an editor of The Cluster.

Comments, questions or concerns about this opinion can be emailed to entertainment@ mercercluster.com

The aftermath of Body by Vi: supporters’ hurtful words By Bryson Jones Staff Writer bryson.c.jones@live.mercer.edu

I have faced the aftermath of writing a negative BodyByVi article, and I have come back to tell you the tale. My opinion was not posted on the website for more than two hours before I received my first email. This email was from a girl named Julia, or so I thought. She was inquisitive about why I wrote such a negative article, because she has heard nothing but good things about the product. With myself being educated, I decided to use some of my researching skills to figure out if this person was really who they said they were. I took the email address attached to Julia’s name and copy and pasted it into the search engine on Facebook. It turns out that Julia was never Julia to begin with (unless there was a sex change), because the name that was attached to the email address on Facebook was none other than the single person who brought this ridiculous fad to Mercer by enticing young, gullible minions to join his cause. His name was Jordan Michael Rushing. Rushing is no student at Mercer; in fact, he doesn’t even live in the state of Georgia. He had gotten into Facebook status wars with me earlier in the year about the nonsense that is known as BodyByVi. Apparently, my article enticed him so much, that he decided to email me, pretending

to be a girl to try and infiltrate my mind and thought process. When I had him figured out and let him know I had uncovered his true identity, he stated, I wanted to know how “ committed your life was to trying to trash the challenge.” Well Jordan, my life is not committed to trashing the challenge. In fact, I lead an extremely normal life of a college student. I have friends, I go out on weekends, but I do not spend all of my time thinking of ways to ruin BodyByVi and all of its followers. After a series of nonsensical and grammatically incorrect emails from Mr. Rushing, I stated that his argument with me was a waste of my time. I thought I was home free after ending the ridiculous conversation with Rushing, but I was wrong. Another Floridian quickly jumped on the BodyByVi trash Bryson bandwagon. Chelsea Niles, another avid BodyByVier, emailed me. This email was not the nicest I’ve ever received. In fact, it made me somewhat sad to know that people pass judgment on someone without truly getting to know them because one’s opinion differs from their own. Niles even put me down because I was going to college (apparently getting a college degree is no longer an achievement according to the BodyByVi team). “Let me guess, you probably go out and waste your money on booze, depend on getting a degree to graduate in the hopes of getting a decent job, and

your life revolves around what other people are doing instead of worrying about yourself,” Niles wrote to me. Well Chelsea, I do not spend all of my money on alcohol, and even if I did, that is none of your business. I actually see your BodyByFriends walking around on weekends obviously wasted, so your argument loses validity there. Yes, I am going to college, and yes, I hope that I get a good job one day. Is that a negative thing nowadays? Because if it is, let me quickly adjust my life plan, drop out of college, and make trillions of dollars scamming my friends just like you. The most hilarious thing I find in the wake of the BodyByVi storm is that no one who promotes the challenge on campus has defended themselves to me. I know they talk about me behind my back, which does not faze me at all. One individual even purposely ignored me and said hi to a friend that I was walking with. I could do nothing but laugh at this point because they all revert to high school-like tactics. They are sending their friends from other states to comment and put me down, which make them, in turn, look weak and frail. I invite any criticism. I had the gall to put my name next to my opinion, why do you not have the gall to stand up for yourselves?

Comments, questions or concerns about this opinion can be sent to bryson.c.jones@live. mercer.edu

Senseless deaths due to prejudice disgusting, support national equality By Vernon Scott Guest Writer vernon.t.scott@live.mercer.edu

I realize that the investigation of Trayvon Martin’s death is highly important, but there are also more issues that should be publicized. I truly feel that what had happened was a tragedy, and I don’t wish for anyone to think that I don’t. My sympathy goes out to his family and friends, but there are still other cases like this one that do not receive the same amount of attention. For example, last month a California woman was murdered in her home. The reason for her death: racism and xenophobia. Next to the body was a note that threatened the family to go back to their home country and then called them terror-

ists. The victim, Shaima Alawadi, was found by her 17 yearold daughter. This child was forced to experience hatred at its worst. Why mention this case? What makes it important? I personally feel as if we should support national equality more often. Senseless deaths like these make me angry. Death is already hard to handle, but when you lose a loved one prematurely, it makes everything even worse. No one will ever be able to know what that person could have grown up to be if his or her life had not been taken. Trayvon could have been the doctor or scientist that found a cure for cancer or formed a foundation that helped the homeless and those of low income. Before her traumatic finding, Fatima Al Himidi, the daughter of Shaima Alawadi, could

have been a lead researcher for diabetes treatment or help NASA with their aerospace research. In protest, many are wearing hoodies to support Trayvon’s cause. We can also wear hijabs to support Shaima and her family. We can also enrich ourselves in the cultures of others to rid ourselves of the ignorance of our foreigners and those neighbors who live in our very own backyards. We need to do this for the sake of our future and that of our children. Hopefully, the day will come when we would not have to worry about being killed for looking suspicious, or fear sleeping because some stranger will come into out homes and murder us.

Comments, questions or concerns about this opinion can be sent to vernon.t.scott@live. mercer.edu


News Bell tower selected for senior gift The Cluster - April 12, 2012 - Page 4

News Editor Katherine Manson

news@mercercluster.com

By Steffiny Kallickal Staff Writer kallickals@gmail.com

The Student Government Association at Mercer University has tentatively assigned a bell tower as the tribute from the graduating class of 2012. This senior gift will be at the upcoming football stadium by the team house. Christina Vasquez, the Senior Gift Chair of SGA, previously reported at an SGA meeting that the gift would be a bear paw statue over the football player entrance. Player’s would touch or high-five the paw before entering a game. Vasquez, along with a new committee, convened with seniors to decide on what tribute they would like to contribute to the university and how to raise money for it. They decided on the bell tower since it was more plausible and better planned for than the bear paw. Senior Senator Trenton White said in response to the bell tower, “The blueprints I have seen ensure that this year’s senior class will contribute to bringing a new aesthetic monument and tradition to campus.” There are currently three different blueprint renditions for the bell tower and a decision has yet to be made. The plan for the bell tower is to toll it as the football players enter the field. Also to ring it in

SGA

continued from page 1

In addition, Senator Matt Hickman brought forth a few bylaw changes on April 10, the final senate of the year, in order to make sure they were not passing legislation and dropping problems on their successors. In essence, the judicial branch of SGA would have members that were appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. Their main duties would be in relations to impeachment proceedings and ensuring that all legislation passed and all things approved in the future were in good standing with the SGA constitution. There will be formal lobbying for the piece of legislation by students, in line with requirements previously set, but this will not be formally voted on or adopted by the student body until fall elections.

“The blueprints I have seen ensure that this year’s senior class will contribute to bringing a new aesthetic monument and tradition to campus.” Trenton White, Senior Senator memory of veterans and other deceased Mercerians. Other ideas raised at the meetings included a mural and a memorial for veterans who attended Mercer University. “The pricing didn’t work out (for the mural),” said Vasquez. Stephen Bradshaw, another Senior Senator, said other options included “a fountain on campus, a new Christmas tree on campus, as well as a mural made of automobile tags from all across the nation/world from students.”

The issue with the memorial was that there is one in Conference Room II of Connell Student Center, although the memorial is not up-to-date. In previous years, there have been benches, a light post, and the bear statue outside the University Center dedicated to the graduating classes. Vasquez said, “The bear is a conglomeration of more than one senior gift.” Senior Senator Matthew Hickman said he believes the senior gift “should have potential to be utilized by the majority of the students.” To endorse a gift for the graduating class, the seniors needed to raise money with the help of SGA. Last semester, they organized a fundraiser called Pie Your Senator. Pie Your Senator was an effort in which members of SGA allowed students to pie their faces for a dollar each. Douglas R. Pearson, the Dean of Students, was also present and students could pie him for five dollars. “The purpose for the fundraiser,” said Vasquez was not only to raise money, but “to gather seniors for a student body effort.” The class of 2012 and Mercer alumni co-sponsored for the donated bell tower. Pearson introduced the idea of a bell tower to Vasquez, and the date for the unveiling is not yet planned.

Noah Maier/ Cluster Staff

Last year’s senior class contributed funds towards the bear statue that now sits on the steps outside the University Center. This year, a committee has decided to purchase a bell tower.

Mercer alum speaks on vast collection of artifacts By Cecilia Villagomez Staff Writer cecilia.villagomez@live.mercer.edu

On April 3, scholar and Mercer alumnus Dr. Y. Lynn Holmes came to talk in conversation about his extensive collection of ancient artifacts from the Holy Land. This talk marked the opening of another rotation of the Holmes Holy Land Ancient Artifact Collection. This exhibit of artifacts is titled, “Sex and Violence in the Ancient World: Gender, Sexuality, and Warfare from 2000 BC - 400 AD.” Elizabeth Hammond, the Dean of University Libraries, commented on the exhibit saying, “These artifacts are an exciting...campus re-

source that could lend itself to additional programming, curricular development and Mercer community activities.” Dr. Holmes hopes his collection, “can be used to show students and the people of south and central Georgia real artifacts of the ancient Holy Land and give a better understanding of the ancient world and the Bible.” Commenting on how his collection came to be, Dr. Holmes said, “When I was in fourth grade, I became fascinated with ancient history.” Over time, he became more interested in ancient history as his involvement with studying Christianity grew. Dr. Marc Lovelace, who taught Dr. Holmes at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, exposed Dr. Holmes to ancient artifacts from the Holy

Land and created the desire to start his own collection. Dr. Holmes says, “I seriously began my collection about 1973 when I took a group of [West Georgia] students to work on an archaeological excavation in Israel. My collection expanded dramatically in 1984 when Dr. Lovelace offered to sell me his whole collection.” Dr. Holmes bought Dr. Lovelace’s collection and continues to buy items whenever he can find artifacts that will enhance the collection. While an important resource for students of Mercer, the Holmes Holy Land Ancient Artifact Collection is on display on the Main Floor of Tarver Library and available to the general public, schools and colleges of the Middle and

South Georgia areas. However, many students are not aware of this exhibit’s presence in the library. Mary Catherine Rosher, a junior Holistic Child major, had often passed the Holmes Holy Land Ancient Artifact exhibit without realizing what it was. Only when this installment of the exhibit was released did she realize the artifacts belonged to the Holy Land Ancient Artifact Collection. Shelby Brigman, a junior Biology major, never noticed what was in the display case, either. However, once the exhibit was brought to her attention, she commented, “I thought it was interesting and I would like to go and see more stuff like this,” said Brigman. When asked her opinion of the Sex and Violence in the

Ancient World exhibit, Brigman said, “It was an interesting point of view of sexuality in the Greco-Roman time period. Sexuality is really pronounced in the media right now, so it seems to be more of a new age thing when really, sexuality in the media has been around for thousands of years even though the type of media has changed quite a bit.” Brigman also mentioned that the exhibit “made me think about how I wish Mercer, in the lower level history classes, would teach more about [sex and violence in the ancient world]. It was a side of history that I had never seen before and [history classes] don’t really cover these topics when we learn about this time period,” added Brigman.

Faculty and staff invited to participate in Healthy U program By Brad Almand Contributing Writer bradalmand@hotmail.com

The faculty and staff at Mercer University have the opportunity to take part in a Healthy U program. The Healthy U program is an incentive, point based program in which the employees are rewarded with points that are kept up through the course of the year. The employees are able to pick between two different incentive tracks. One track allows for the employee to have two days off from work. The other track can earn an employee a possible $500 credit on their Mercer health care plan. In order for the employee to be qualified to get the two

days off they must receive a total of at least 960 points over the year. The amount of points needed to receive the credit on the employee’s health care plan is 600-1,000. Employees are able to receive these Healthy U points by going to the University Center and working out. An employee gets five points for working out on their own in the gym and seven for going to a group fitness class. Melissa Mashburn, who has been participating in the Healthy U program since it began in the summer of 2011, said, “I have found the Healthy U program to be a great way to keep myself going to the gym. Having classes that are spread out during the day also really helps employees with different schedules be able to attend the classes that works best for them.”

Photo courtesy of hercampus.org

Faculty can participate in any of the group fitness classes offered Monday through Friday to earn Healthy U points.

The University Center has group fitness classes Monday through Friday. The classes that are currently offered are: Complete Cardio, Body Combat, Zumba, Body Sculpt, Aqua Aerobics, Strength and Conditioning, Kickboxing and Yoga. Jennifer Tillery, who works in the Tarver Library, said, “I am someone who works out regularly and the Healthy U program has helped me on those days when I don’t feel like walking up those steps to the gym. Knowing that I can earn points towards having a day off really helps me get to the gym on those days.” The classes are designed to help promote a healthy lifestyle for employees. The focus is on physical and mental health. The program promotes shedding pounds but also deals in areas of stress relief. Businesses use incentive based programs for their employees in hopes of cutting down the costs of health insurance. Programs like these allow for companies to increase productivity because their employees are healthier and miss fewer days of work. Employee Wellness director Rachel Long said, “Almost all companies who have more than 1,000 employees have wellness or some form of a wellness program.” “Companies are seeing health insurance rates go up by six to seven percent every year and these are unsustainable rates. Which is why so many companies have been creating wellness programs to attempt to offset those costs,” said Long. Health incentive programs are becoming a popular trend among many companies, but getting the employees to take part can prove to be a challenge for any company. On average

companies often only get 25% of employees to participate. Even when there are high incentives, getting people to take part in the program is difficult to do. Some universities offer their employees and their families up to $600 just for participating in the programs and don’t have to even meet requirements, but even these programs have a hard time bringing in participants. As a result of this trend there have been companies who have tried having health standards that employees must meet. This has resulted in some lawsuits due to lifestyle laws. These lifestyle laws can protect people’s rights by claiming that what a person does outside of work is their own business. If they want to smoke cigarettes that is their choice. Not all states have the same lifestyle laws. Georgia, for example, does not have a law that would prohibit a health standard from being created for a company. Mercer, however, has no plans to implement such a requirement. Mercer believes in encouraging good health habits but not forcing them onto their employees. On April 27 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. the school will be having its annual Benefits Fair. This allows for a time in which the employees can look at their current health and insurance plan and make adjustments according to what they want. Vendors who are associated with Mercer will also be at the fair. Employee Wellness will be offering health screenings, blood pressure, glucose, body mass index and body fat testing. Speakers will also be doing 15-20 minutes speeches on different health topics. A stress

Photo courtesy of www.mercer.edu

Faculty and staff at Mercer University can now participate in a program where incentives are offered for healthy behavior. clinic and CPR training through Middle Georgia Ambulance will be provided as well. The conference is meant to be an interactive and informative experience for the employees. Lunch will be provided and employees can stop by at anytime during the fair. The fair is reserved mainly for employees

because it is for the open enrollment of employees. Students will have the opportunity to volunteer at the fair for Employee Wellness. Any student who is interested in volunteering for the fair can contact Rachel Long at Employee Wellness to find out out how they can serve.


The Cluster - April 12, 2012 - Page 5

News

Bret Lott named writer-in-residence By Brittani Howell Staff Writer brittani.m.howell@live.mercer.edu

Bestselling author Bret Lott is this year’s writer-in-residence for the Ferrol A. Sams, Jr., Distinguished Chair of English program. This semester he will be holding classes with Mercer’s creative writing students, helping them hone their craft along their own writing journeys. A professor at the College of Charleston, Lott often likes to say that he never intended to be a writer. Originally, he wanted to be a park ranger. After an indecisive period at school — he changed his major four times — Lott dropped out and picked up a job as an RC Cola salesman. A few years later he decided to return to school, and in order to get used to working under a deadline again he enrolled in a course at the local community college. The class was, by “pure chance,” a creative writing course. Lott went back to school and graduated with an English major, having switched to that major in his last year of college. From there he went on to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. It was not until his third year of graduate school that he began to publish short stories in literary journals such as the Yale Review and The Iowa Review. Lott advised, “Publishing your writing starts

in the journals.” Lott has published nine novels during his writing career. His fourth novel Jewel, which was published in 1991, became a New York Times bestseller when Oprah picked it up in 1999 for her Book Club. Jewel stayed on the bestseller list for three months and was made into a TV-movie in 2001. “You don’t make any money, being a writer,” Lott joked. “Until Oprah calls you. I was incredibly blessed that that happened.” Currently Lott is working on a book of creative nonfiction, but he also has a novel in the works. Eventually, he said, he would like to write a biography about musician Vince Guaraldi, the jazz pianist who wrote and performed all of the music from the Charlie Brown cartoons. For Lott, the most important aspect of writing is the art of precision. Additionally, Lott feels that it is vitally important for a writer to find his or her “chair”: the perspective and angle from which they write. “I’m trying to get them to write about their own hearts, out of their own experiences, in their own words,” Lott said of his creative writing students. “All the great writers, that’s what they wrote about.” When speaking of authors writing from the heart and of their own experiences, Lott does not mean that the best writing comes exclusively from autobiographies and memoirs. Lott used fantasy writer J.R.R. Tolkien as an example.

“You have this guy’s heart that’s in the story. That’s why it works. You can write anything you want if it springs from your heart.” Lott writes stories that are close to his own heart, and though he may not set about it consciously his stories are connected by a common thread. “What always appears is that I write about family,” Lott said. “I write about those relationships. It’s not really anything I set out to do; it’s just where I live.” Also uniting Lott’s stories is a spiritual presence that comes from Lott’s Christian belief. Although Lott does not consider himself a “Christian writer”— in his opinion, “‘Christian’ was never a modifier”—his faith comes out in his books as he strives to write from his own experience. “I’m not writing thematically,” Lott said. “I’m not writing to proselytize, I don’t write to evangelize. But I write about sin and forgiveness, sacrifice and redemption. I don’t know what else you’d write about.” Lott will be remaining as the writer-in-residence for the remainder of the semester. The most important aspect of the Ferrol Sams, Jr., Distinguished Chair program for Lott is that it introduces students to other voices in the writing community, bringing in new points of view regarding the writing process. “Writing is very idiosyncratic,” Lott said. “The more voices you hear about how to write, the more you have to pull from as you’re deciding how you write.”

Fraternities and sororities compete in Greek Week By Danielle Dauria Staff Writer danielle.a.dauria@live.mercer.edu

Mercer University hosted its annual Greek week throughout the week of March 26. Every year, Order of Omega organizes Greek week and sets up a number of events that all Greek organizations can participate in. Order of Omega is a national Greek leadership honor society. It recognizes students who have attained a high standard of leadership in inter-Greek activities, service to the community and academic excellence. During Greek Week, each Greek sorority and fraternity chapter can earn a certain number of points by winning events or having high attendance rates at each event. Greek week is a week of events that aims towards the ultimate goal of uniting students within the Greek community in an enjoyable and positive manner. The schedule for Greek week this year consisted of: participation in the SHAPE carnival on Monday, Greek grillers and a band party on Tuesday, trivia night at Margaritas on Wednesday, Greek games on Thursday, and the car bash for Relay for Life on Friday. At the end of Greek week, the amount of points earned by each chapter is added up and a

winner is announced. This year, the winner of Greek week will be announced at the Greek awards, which are being held later this month. In comparison to previous years, the attendance rate of Greek week was much higher this year. No one was able to give a specific answer as to why. However, according to Order of Omega president Evan Summerville, there is still some room for improvement. “While I think that there was more participation than at last year’s Greek week, I felt as though the Greek community as a whole definitely was not as involved as I would have liked. Many people came to our events, however, the Greek community is very large and there definitely could have been some larger crowds,” said Summerville. Order of Omega is continuously striving to increase the attendance rates of Greek week for the upcoming years. Current members of the Order of Omega organization suggest that in the future, Greek week should be planned further in advance. “If the details of each event are planned earlier, there will be more time to perfect the events so that they can reach their greatest potential,” said Summerville. Summerville believes that in order to make Greek week as popular as it should be, attendance rates need to increase.

“I hear things about how awesome this event is at other schools and I want that for Mercer as well,” said Summerville. Greek week takes place in order to promote unity throughout the Greek community as a whole. “Greek Week brings out comraderie and competition amongst members of the Greek community. I liked participating in the community events and games this year,” said Sigma Nu, Albert Sykes. It is supposed to be a stressfree and fun way to get students involved with Greek life. Order of Omega member Kelsey Dillard said, “Everyone really seemed to be bonding and having a great time together. I think it increased morale for everyone.” Overall, Greek week was more successful this year then it has been in the past. The amount of time and effort that each Order of Omega member put into planning this event seemed to pay off. Dillard said, “It was so great to see all of our hard work come to fruition.” Order of Omega hopes to see this event continue to expand and become more popular within the Greek community in upcoming years. Students are already excited for Greek Week 2013. “Greek Week is awesome. I can’t wait for next year,” added Sykes.

Alicia Landrum / Cluster Staff

Bestselling author Bret Lott speaks at a lecture on Tuesday night. Lott is this year’s writerin-residence for the Ferrol A. Sams, Jr. Distinguished Chair of English program.

Robert Cook lectures for Southern Studies’ Civil War Memory program By Ashley Mann Copy Editor copy@mercercluster.com

On Monday, April 2 the Southern Studies Program on Civil War Memory featured a lecture by author Robert Cook, from the University of Sussex, in the Medical School Auditorium. The author of Troubled Commemoration hosted a lecture entitled Civil War Centennial: Historical Commemoration in the Age of Civil Rights and the Cold War. Cook highlighted how the Civil War commemoration never lived up to its promise, while addressing key historical figures who contributed to the council started by President Dwight Eisenhower. “The most sanguinary event in America’s history…How on earth could a commemoration of this conflict be conceived as a means of fostering American unity in the place of being communist threat?,” said Cook during his introduction. “The second thing I want to do is to show why the centennial failed to live up to its initial promise…Lastly, I will try to assess the deeper significance of an even that has been neglected by historians,” added Cook. “So the first question. Why

did many Americans in the middle of the 20th century consider a particularly destructive conflict a source of potential unity in the midst of the Cold War? What on earth is going on here?” said Cook. This lecture is part of a series entitled the Lamar Lectures, which is presented each year. The Lamar Lectures are made possible by the request of the late Eugenia Dorothy Blount Lamar in 1957. The lecture series seeks to promote the preservation of Southern culture and history. The Lamar Lectures is recognized as one of the most important series on Southern history and literature in the United States. Past speakers have included nationally and internationally known scholars, some of which include Cleanth Brooks, James C. Cobb and Eugene Genovese. All of the lectures are original and are published as books by the University of Georgia Press. Two years ago, the board selected Gary Gallagher to be the keynote speaker for the lectures this year. The committee wanted to build around the Lamar Lectures in order to create a broader conversation about the contemporary memory of the Civil War. “We approached the Georgia Humanities Council about sponsoring a series of lec-

tures, and Lauren McCarty at the Humanities Council suggested Robert Cook in particular, and we followed her suggestion and arranged for him to speak at Mercer, Georgia College and State University,” said Dr. David Davis. Davis believes that overall the lecture fared well. He hopes that the lecture served to examine the way federally appointed Civil War Centennial Commission hosted the public commemoration of the Civil War and then the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War. Davis said that the commemoration was one “that came and racialized a solidified event that polarized the public as much or more than it unified it.” “Overtime, the commission was revamped to feature the work of several historians, but by that time America had mostly lost interest in the centennial commission. Which, the fascinating story about the way memory, commemoration, America’s Civil War past and America’s racial past interacts with the needs and ambitions of life,” said Davis. On April 14, the Southern Studies Program will feature Ernest Gaines, winner of the Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern literature. Gaines will give a public reading in the University Center on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

UpcomingEvents April 12: 12th Annual African Dispora Day Porter Patch @ 3 p.m. April 12: Intramural Battleship Plunkett Pool @ 4 p.m. April 13: Freaky Friday Stroll College Hill

Corridor @ 12 p.m.

Tatnall Square Park @ 1 p.m.

April 13: Honors Convocation Willingham @ 3 p.m.

April 14: Service Saturday@ 8 a.m. April 20: DriveIn Movie Medical School Parking Lot @ 7 p.m.

April 13: Baseball vs. Belmont Claude Smith Field @ 6 p.m. April 14: Bear Stock

April 28: Reading Festival Tatnall Park @ 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.


The Cluster - April 12, 2012- Page 6

Features Editor Alicia Landrum

features@mercercluster.com

Lessons in Etiquette

with etiquette instructor

Carolyn Davenport Q) I want to make a good impression on my boss in the first big sales meeting I will be attending. What should I do? How should I act? A) To begin, you want to “look the part.” You should dress appropriately for any business situation, but it sounds like this is an important meeting. A dark, conservative suit, clean and pressed, with a freshly laundered white shirt, and a nice tie with matching pocket square would be warranted for gentlemen. Polished shoes and socks with no holes are also mandatory. Clean hair and nails go without saying. For ladies, a dark suit with perfect hosiery and close-toed shoes are the proper attire. Keep aftershave and perfume subtle. Do not be late for the meeting. Arrive five to ten minutes early, and use the time to network with other attendees, and also to visit the restroom. Be respectful of others in the meeting. Turn off your cell phone, or if you are expecting a VERY important call, then keep it on vibrate. You should also at least let the meeting’s host, if not all attendees, know that you might have to take a call. If the call comes in, leave the room to answer it. Also, do not get up and leave the room and return repeatedly. If called on to contribute, do not monopolize the meeting. Let others have their turn. When others are speaking, don’t interrupt them. Raise your hand if you have to speak again, and don’t talk over anyone. While someone else is speaking, don’t lean over and whisper to the person next to you. It is rude to everyone in the room. Also, don’t divulge confidential information unless all attendees are on a needto-know basis. Something else you should do is to be neat. Use only the space on the table in front of you that is the width of your chair. Don’t spread out your papers all over. Keep your belongings tidy and in good order. Even if the building allows it, don’t smoke. It may offend others. If there is food service, eat quietly. Sip your drink silently, and don’t slurp. If there is a buffet table in the room, don’t keep going back for food. Simply practice moderation. Get what you want before the meeting begins. Follow this advice, work hard, do your best, and your boss will remember you kindly when promotion time comes around! Follow Carolyn Davenport at AGraciousYou.com.

Features

Farmer’s market on Mulberry By Emily Farlow Staff Writer emily.l.farlow@live.mercer.edu

Every Wednesday beginning in April and lasting through September, the Mulberry Street Farmer’s market is open from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. in downtown Macon. April 4 marked the grand re-opening of the market, and it was also the market’s first anniversary. Several tents were set up in Mulberry Street Park between First and Second Streets, where the local farmers sold their goods, and live music played as people shopped for fresh produce. Chris Kiker manned the check-out tent. The Mulberry Street Farmer’s Market began as a partnership between the city of Macon, Community Health Works and Macon Roots, Kiker explained. Last September, Community Health Works (CHW) took over. CHW partners with Wholesome Wave Georgia, an organization that works to increase access to locally grown food in Georgia. CHW runs the credit/debit Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) machine, and Wholesome Wave doubles EBT dollars using private funds so those with food stamps can afford fresh, local food. “A year later we’re [CHW] running the market fiscally and also we manage the market. ... It’s been really successful. We’re here to promote local, small to medium-size farmers and what they’re doing and to promote health and wellness and fresh food for everybody,” said Kiker. During the summer, Kiker said the market has around 20 vendors, 10 of which are farmers. The market also features dairy and meat producers. Kiker said, “Really anything, your main staples that you would

Noah Maier/ Cluster Staff

April marks the reopening of Macon’s Mulberry Street farmer’s market. The farmer’s market is set up on Mulberry between First and Second Streets every Wednesday afternoon. Locally grown goods and health food are available, as well as teas. need from a grocery store you can buy at the market.” There was a need for a farmer’s market from the local farmers’ point of view, said Kiker, as a lot of the farmers are too small to sell products to grocery stores. Farmer’s markets benefit the economy by keeping money local, “and it’s great for the city as well,” said Kiker. “It creates a sense of community.” The farmer’s market also brings attention to downtown, and is beneficial not only at a consumer level but also at the city and government levels. Last year, the market was

so successful that it lasted through the winter. Kiker said the market averages about 300 customers weekly with roughly three to four thousand dollars in sales. Naomi Davis with Davis Farms came to the market from Roberta, Ga. Davis sold lettuces, herbs and plants at the farmer’s market. This is the second year Davis Farms has participated in the Mulberry Street Market, and it is currently the only farmer’s market they participate in. “This is my theory for 2012: If you want to be on a diet, forget about Atkins, forget about

low carbs. Come to the market and eat seasonal food. You’ll feel better and you will lose weight,” said Davis. Produce was not the only item available at the market. Alyssa Romero was selling baked goods, jellies and jams along with greens, herbs and flowers. Romero’s farm is in Milledgeville, Ga. and she participates in a market in Milledgeville along with the Mulberry Street Market. Romero said. “I think it’s a really good program, and I like what they do with the food stamps a lot, too.” Leland Walker with Roasted

Cafe and Lounge was also at the market selling iced coffee and iced hibiscus tea. Walker said they usually sell wholebean coffee and loose-leaf tea, as well. Roasted roasts their organic coffee beans themselves. “We do what they call fair trade with our beans. They pick it, and then they send to us, and then we roast it at a location 30 minutes north,” said Walker. Roasted participated in the winter portion of the Mulberry Street Market, and is now moving forward with the summer portion along with the other vendors.

Mercerians to make the most of break By Bryson Jones Staff Writer bryson.c.jones@live.mercer.edu

We are nearly three weeks away from college students refer to as freedom and what everyone else refers to as summer break. Summer break means many different things for many different people. From relaxation to internships, from graduate school visits to foreign excursions, summer break is filled with fun times, adventures, and life-changing experiences. Many students are just going to go home, spend time with their families, and get some much-needed rest in over their summer holidays. Some of the best television comes on during the summer seasons, so these couch potatoes and relaxers will have a great amount to do.

“I’m going to have the three best months ever with my friends before I go to Oklahoma for five months.” Daniel Larson, senior in the army

Freshman Caroline Carlton is going home to Nashville, Tennessee, the home of country music. She plans to relax and go to a lot of concerts. “This summer I am going to hang out with my friends from high school, chill pool side,

Avoiding the post-midterm rut

and go downtown and listen to country music in Nashville! I’m also going to go to concerts,” said Carlton. With the pressures of finding a job fresh on juniors’ and seniors’ minds, internships have proved to be more valuable then ever. Students search all spring to find the perfect internship for themselves in their particular field and some even travel beyond their home state to pursue these valuable endeavors. A group of students who are either trying to prolong the inevitable, or gain some valuable educational experiences are searching for graduate schools to attend once they finish their undergraduate studies at Mercer University. Some students are still looking to find a job. With graduation in a month, many seniors are still searching for that highly touted, highly paid venture into the work force. Some

students have applied to many places and haven’t been offered anything yet, so their job search will continue throughout the summer and hopefully will come to an end sometime soon. Graduating senior Daniel Larson has a military job lined up, but before he ventures into the work force, he’ll be spending some time with his friends. “I’m going to have the three best months ever with my friends before I go to Oklahoma for five months,” said Larson. “I’m heading to officer field artillery training. I’ve got to do that for give months before I can advance in my army career,” added Larson. Travels abroad are always exciting and a lot of students are looking to use this summer as a chance to broaden their horizons. Experiencing a different culture is an invaluable experience, and with three months of free time away from school,

summer provides the perfect outlet to do that. Junior Leslie Roberts will be traveling abroad this summer for pleasure. She will be going with her three best friends from home on a cruise. On this cruise she will be traveling from Key West to the Grand Cayman Islands and Jamaica. “I’m so excited. I’ve been out of the country before, but this is the first time I’ll be going without my family. It should make for a great time and an unforgettable experience,” Roberts said. Several athletes will spend a good majority of their summer breaks at Mercer in Macon. Some are required to take summer classes, while others will still be in season. The baseball and softball teams will hopefully be playing well into the summer, because that means that they will be venturing into the post-season.

battleship

How to stay scholastically centered in the spring By Garret McDowell Staff Writer garret.mcdowell@gmail.com

Often, there is a large break after midterms and before finals that tends to be monotonous and carries on for a long time. In this time period, there are still important projects and exams that occur, but the impetus and drive to get it all done just seems to evaporate sometimes. What can you do to stay motivated in those last few weeks before finals come and your summer is just on the other side? Here are some tips to stay on track and motivated in the grueling weeks of April. Find a study partner. If you’re like me, it is really difficult to self-motivate. I find that finding some other person to be with you really helps this, because you two can push each other to get things done. I am much more productive in these cases, and it leads to better hab-

its if you start this early enough in your schooling career. Treat yourself. There’s nothing like positive reinforcement. When you get things done, begin to reward your great behavior. Incentives work wonders, so of course it could really help turn around your studying and working habits with a bit of self-discipline. Put the phone away. One of the biggest distractions to studying and working is the cell phone. You should just go off the radar when you need to study. Let everyone important to you know where/when to expect you or find you, and just buckle down. Putting the phone away for even just a few minutes might feel like serious separation, but it’s a good trait to develop as well, not just being introverted on your phone. Go do some physical activity. Exercising, working out, playing sports, or just simple walking will do wonders for your psyche. Getting the endorphins

flowing in your brain will make you happier and more relaxed. Being relaxed and happy will be a better studying environment, and all it takes is a little bit of exercise. Find your niche and stick to it! Develop a list or calendar. Some of us aren’t as organized as others, and we might do things a bit unorthodox. I tend to forget things, but I began using a calendar. Now, I get little alerts on my phone that won’t stop annoying me until I get that thing done, whatever it is. Develop a to-do list or a calendar, because it will help you stay organized and help drive you to finish off the list! Take breaks while you work. There is point to doing long marathon sessions of work or studying without built-in break periods inside of it. This will break up the monotony, bring you into better focus, and get you better prepared for even more work. You can do it, and breaks will help you achieve that!

Erica O’Neal / Cluster Staff

Intramural Battleship began last Monday in the Plunkett Pool. Four teams of four entered the pool in canoes to duke it out. Round two will be Thursday, April 12 at 4 p.m. The goal is to fill opponents’ canoes with water. The teams were allowed to use buckets or manual water pumps to fill other canoes, but not to take water out of their own canoe.


The Cluster - April 12, 2012 - Page 7

Features

Hi,

Macon of the past

engineers!

1940 census reveals unsavory truths of the town By Eric Brown Entertainment Editor entertainment @mercercluster.com A few days ago, the federal government released the data from the 1940 census. The large-scale data — population amounts and aggregations of — have been available for years, but due to a federal law restricting the release of personally identifying information for 72 years, the specifics of the census were kept confidential until now. When I saw that this information had been made public, I decided to dig into Macon’s past and catch a glimpse of the city as it once was. One thing that surprised me about the census was how much information the pages gave you. You could see a person’s race, state of birth, level of education, job, family members and even annual salary, and while this is only superficial information, it still gives a picture of the people living there at the time. It is, at the very least, enough to give you a mental picture of the family and their place in the community. I noticed small changes. Manufacturing jobs were bigger. People seemed able to support families in nice neighborhoods off of blue collar work. There was less hopping between states. People tended to stick to their birthplaces. Families stayed together longer. It wasn’t uncommon to see a 27 year-old woman work full time as a stenographer and still live at home with her family. It must have been a pain for their dating lives, but I’m sure rent was easier. These differences point towards how culture has changed over the past 72 years. American society has become more mobile, modern and technologically driven. One of the first things I did was look up my current address, just to see what it was like all those years ago. It wasn’t particularly easy, as the system is pretty unwieldy, but I digress. I live in one of those old houses on College that’s been cut up into apartments, and about 13 people live here now. I’d always wondered when this beautiful old home was cut up into slices. Apparently the answer is well after 1940; just two people lived in this large house back then: Robert Barnett (30), and his

wife Mildred (27). They rented the house (the whole house!) for 35 dollars a month. For the record, my roommates and I pay about 20 times that for four rooms. Even in 1940 dollars, that seems like it’s quite a bargain. Robert was a highschool dropout and the vicepresident of a factory. Mildred didn’t work, but she finished her senior year of school. I wanted to know more about these two, so I signed up for Ancestry.com, began a free trial, and plugged in the few bits of information I knew about them. Robert was born to factory-worker and South Carolina native William O’Barnett in 1910. He died in 1988, still living in Macon. Really, that’s about all the information I could find on him. I have less on Mildred. I found other interesting stories as well. I saw a trio of elderly, college-educated sisters that lived across the street from me. A pair of Russian immigrants on Magnolia appear to have co-owned a jewelry store with a nearby native Georgian. One family, that of WF and Susie Johnson, seems to have been full of travelers. They were born in the north, and two of their kids were born in differing states: Washington and Colorado. He was a weather man; she sold dresses. However, these are the fun stories. The ones that allow you to imagine the nice lives these people must have led. They all had nice (or at least nice-sounding) jobs and lived in comfortable areas of the city. Most importantly, though, they were all white. See, the data revealed a far uglier picture for Macon’s African American citizens (I could only find information on black and white citizens. Native American, Asian, and Hispanic Maconites weren’t living anywhere I read about). For starters, under the race section, African Americans were officially listed as “negro.” Moving beyond that, the city was shockingly segregated. I know the city is in many ways split up by race now, but it was much more severe in 1940. Neighborhoods were either entirely white or entirely black. I’m not exaggerating. The only records I could find of intermingling between the races was for live-in maids and a young black couple that lived in the “rear house” of an apartment building on College. Sorry, Willie and Addie Ingram.

Jobs were another sharp divider between whites and blacks. There was a large variety of jobs available for whites, with many opportunities for workers of every class. White citizens at the time could be shop owners, journalists, railroad conductors and factory owners. Nothing was off-limits for them. Looking at the black population, however, revealed a far more limited selection of careers. Almost without exception, blacks were cooks, maids, manual laborers (mostly for the WPA) and shoe shiners. There are no black editors, engineers, or architects. These fields are exclusively white. Occasionally, you’ll see a few black teachers, an embalmer, or a musician, but by and large, they are laborers and maids. It was highly uncommon to see African Americans that moved from their place of birth. Occasionally, you’d see a few African Americans that previously lived in Kentucky, Alabama, or the Carolinas, but it was exceedingly rare to see anything further from Georgia. In fact, I noticed exactly one black man originally from the north in my entire time perusing the records. All of these facts paint a bleak picture of the social opportunities given to blacks at the time. They were expected to work demeaning jobs, live separated from other parts of society, and never relocate to greener pastures. I know we read about segregation and the treatments of blacks in this era all the time, but it’s one thing to hear about it in the abstract, but quite another to browse over the lives of hundreds of socially and economically oppressed people and see exactly how few opportunities they were given in life. Blacks at the time were second-class citizens in all respects. It’s shocking and sickening, to be frank. I know this isn’t new knowledge to anyone, but I don’t think that makes it any less relevant or worth exploring. So, if you have the time over the next few days, check out 1940census.archives.gov. See who used to live in your neighborhood. Check out their job titles and family names. Imagine the interesting lives they led. Maybe see if you had family nearby. But while you’re doing it, be sure to note the stark contrast in the lives of Macon’s black and white citizens, and be glad it’s not 1940 anymore.

Meet the engineering dream team:

Tim Samson

Nathan Burnham

Ben Haygood

Q) How big of an explosion would you get from having a grain of sand going the speed of light?

netic Energy (K.E. from now on because I am lazy) equation to figure out how much force our grain of sand will have on impact. This equation is K.E. = mass * speed of light ^ 2 * (gamma-1). First thing you should notice is that everything except the gamma part is K.E. = mc^2. (Thanks Einstein!) This means that the energy you will be getting out of this object is almost the entirety of the energy that exists inside of the object, multiplied by some other number gamma. Gamma is defined as gamma= 1/ SquareRoot(1-(velocity/ speed of light)^2). This is a little less friendly of an equation, but it helps us find out how much extra energy our grain of sand will get because of the mass increase due to the excessive speed. I will spare you the full calculations, but after solving for gamma and then K.E. we can see that the total Kinetic Energy of this little speedy death-bomb is 3 * 10^11 joules (for the nonmath people out there this is a 3 with 11 zeroes after it). If we convert this to the much more awesome scale of equivalent Tons of TNT, we get 74.5 tons. This means that our tiny little grain of sand going 95% the speed of light will have as big of an explosion as a huge pile of 74.5 tons of TNT. To put that in perspective that is about 5 dump trucks full of TNT. If we increase our speed to 99.9% the speed of light (ludicrous speed), then it equals

out to 722 tons of TNT. Both of these, however, would be tiny on the scale of nuclear weapons, so we need to step it up to perhaps a golf ball(45.93 grams). If we can get this bundle of joy up to 99.9% of the speed of light, we get 21,108,987 tons of TNT (21 megatons). Now that is a good explosion! This is much higher than a typical U.S. nuclear missile (which is usually only half of a megaton or less). The only bomb on earth larger than that was the Cold War era Tsar Bomba from Russia, which was 50 megatons. Because I don’t like being showed up by the Commies, lets go ahead and take that dump truck full of TNT from earlier (about 15 tons) and get it going at 99.9% the speed of light. This gives us an explosion of 4,741,873 Megatons or about 5 Teratons. This should be able to handle anybody you really want to get rid of (and their town, and their city, and their country, and around half of their continent). The moral of the story is that if you see something going the speed of light, get out of the way! Of course, if there was an object passing by Pluto at 99% the speed of light, by the time the light from it got to us so we would see it coming, we would have about six minutes of warning to try to save the world. So, you know, sweet dreams!

A) Nice! A question with some good math-y meat to it! In order to calculate this, we are going to have to make a few assumptions. We will assume that your grain of sand is about 1.57 milligrams (which seems reasonable based on what I found on the Internet). Secondly, nothing can EVER, EVER go the speed of light, so we will instead assume more like 95% the speed of light (which is still 285,000,000 meters per second or 637,085,798 miles per hour). Normally we could use our normal equation of Kinetic Energy = ½ * mass * velocity^2, but unfortunately this equation breaks down as objects start approaching the speed of light. You see, as you approach the speed of light your mass begins to increase, continuing to increase up to infinity as you approach the speed of light. This is one of the main reasons that it is impossible to go faster than the speed of light, because once you weight infinity it takes infinite additional power to make you go even the tiniest bit faster, so it is physically impossible to go any faster. Anyway, back to the question: we will have to use the much less-used relativistic Ki-

Email your conundrums to the engineering dream team at features@mercercluster.com with the subject “Hi, Engineers!”

award- )horoscopes Plan your life around Alicia’s unreliable ( but winning Aries (3/21 - 4/19) Happy birthday, Aries! A serious celebration is in order. (The kind where you wake up with your pants on backwards and marker phalluses stained into your forehead. And a new haircut. And the inexplicable presence of a domesticated raccoon.) In your debauchery, do not overlook the celebration-worthy happenings in the lives of your friends. Example: your amigo will be upset if you can’t stop your own party long enough to congratulate him on his grad school acceptance. Single? Invite strangers. Attached? Pretend to like the gift from your partner. Lucky Days: Thursdays. Unlucky Days: Sundays. Taurus (4/20 - 5/20) Congratulations are in order, Taurus! Whatever it is that you’ve achieved, make sure to reward yourself and inform your loved ones. However, do be aware that tragedy often follows on the heels of success. Do not be surprised if misfortune befalls you soon after your accomplishment. Don’t let the sudden twist of fortune upset you. The wheel is constantly spinning; there is no permanence in this topsy-turvy world. Single? Buy your crush celebratory libations (such as Kool Aid). Attached? Don’t act superior to your lover. Lucky Days: Thursdays. Unlucky Days: Tuesdays.

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21) You are worried about a loved one, Gemini. While the concern is probably physical, you are also adroitly aware of the calamitous mental states of those you care about. Be there emotionally and physically for your loved one, but do not let the pain of others define your existence, or you too will find yourself in an unfortunate state. Allot yourself time to relax and meditate. You owe it to yourself, and it will ultimately help avoid problems in the future. Single? A little harmless flirting can relieve stress. Attached? Your lover wants to understand what you are feeling. Be honest. Lucky Days: Tuesdays. Unlucky Days: Mondays. Cancer (6/22 - 7/22) Give yourself a break from social activity, Cancer. As much as you love your friends, they can become stressful, and the struggle to keep up with them is slowly wearing down on you. The next time they try to convince you to go to the bar or on any other adventure, do not be afraid to tell them no. Sometimes you just need to stay in, eat grapes and do crossword puzzles. There is nothing wrong with that. Single? Avoid superficial relations by not hooking up with a stranger at the Bird. Attached? You can occasionally turn down hanging out with your partner if you want. Lucky Days: Thursdays. Unlucky Days: Sundays.

Leo (7/23 - 8/22) You’re going to want to backup all of your files, Leo. (Or at least the ones you wish to keep). When you let the ancient smoke out of your laptop and your entire collection of photos, documents and music disappears with it, you’ll be glad you took the time to secure them. It also couldn’t hurt to start saving up for a new computer. Alternatively, get the okay from your professors to turn in papers written in calligraphy. (Also, learn calligraphy.) Single? It might be useful to lose all of those photos of your ex. Attached? Start writing love letters with calligraphy. Lucky Days: Wednesdays. Unlucky Days: Mondays. Virgo (8/23 - 9/22) You’re likely to win a substantial sum of money soon, Virgo. You will achieve this end through the tried-and-true method of gambling. You can try to get rich using legal gambling avenues such as the lottery, or you can go a bit under the radar and bust out some cards or dice. Either way, make sure to quit while you’re ahead, and don’t forget you’ve got to be in it to win it. Single? Dress fancily when you enter into the gambling arena. It’ll let everyone know you’re a big deal. Attached? You could spend the money you’re going to make on a nice milkshake for your lover. Lucky Days: Wednesdays. Unlucky Days: Mondays.

Libra (9/23 - 10/23) Time for gluttony, Libra! Any ideas you had about moderation, forget about them. Who cares about caloric intake or liver health? Not you! You need all of the chocolate, steak and chocolate covered steak that this town has to offer. Sign up for a credit card and see how quickly you can max it out. Extra credit if everything you get with it is perishable. Single? Share with your crush: not enough to threaten your need to consume everything, just enough to say “You’re special.” Attached? Demand that your partner feeds you grapes and truffles. In a bikini. Lucky Days: Tuesdays. Unlucky Days: Thursdays. Scorpio (10/24 - 11/21) You’re searching for some sort of great pattern to the universe, on the hunt for the great self actualization in the sky, Scorpio. While lofty goals are certainly respectable, they’re far from achievable at this point. Try taking each of your conundrums and writing a haiku for it. This small poetic structure will best control the vastness of your mental wanderings. (If that doesn’t work, you could always try selling your soul. You’ll get answers and hellacious guitar skills.) Single? All the better for personal discovery. Attached? Your partner doesn’t understand what it is you’re looking for. Lucky Days: Sundays. Unlucky Days: Tuesdays.

Sagittarius (11/22 - 12/21) It’s time to get fit for summer, Sagittarius. You might as well do this in the most intimidating way possible. Industrial Macon is home to Middle Georgia Boxing, a boxing gym for the whole family. Go there, get a membership, and invite the whole family (Mom too). You’ll tone your body, get a couple of impressive concussion stories and be the worst person to rob. Who doesn’t want to kick an ass every now and then? Single? All sorts of violent hotties hang out at the boxing gym. Attached? Bring your significant other. Lucky Days: Sundays. Unlucky Days: Fridays. Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19) You will experience problems within your home soon, Capricorn. Whether it’s feuds with roommates or a cat that won’t stop peeing on your laundry, you’re going to have to think quickly in order to solve your domestic discomforts. If tensions are starting to build between cohabitants, try going to the park or getting some frozen yogurt together, to reinforce the friendship before capitalizing on domestic disruptions. If your cat starts clawing at the hamper, buy a spray bottle. Single? More cats! Attached? Your partner is causing some domestic issues. Lucky Days: Tuesdays. Unlucky Days: Fridays.

Aquarius (1/20 - 2/18) You’re experiencing an irrational level of fear right now, Aquarius. Perhaps something recently happened in your life to make you skittish, but you can’t allow that thing to control you. (If you do, the terrorists win!) When you start to panic, try taking ten deep breaths and fix yourself a nice cup of tea. If that doesn’t work, violence is always a useful catalyst for bravery. Single? Try imagining your crush in his or her underwear. For inconspicuousness’ sake, carry a well-placed notebook. Attached? Invite your partner to your panic room. Lucky Days: Saturdays. Unlucky Days: Thursdays. Pisces (2/19 - 3/20) Turn off the TV and socialize by reading aloud with your friends, Pisces. Pick a good book of contemporary poetry or a prose work with a great beat to it (I recommend Kerouac’s The Subterraneans), put on a pot of coffee (or a bottle of vino) and take turns getting lost in the timbre of your friends’ voices. It’s much more engaging than drooling dumbly at Jersey Shore. Single? People love social intellectuals. Gather your book club and watch the underpants drop like flies. Attached? Literary interaction will allow for the formation of a deeper bond. Lucky days: Wednesdays. Unlucky Days: Saturdays.


Entertainment Artist Q&A: folk act Saintseneca The Cluster - April 12, 2012 - Page 8

Entertainment Editor Eric Brown

entertainment@mercercluster.com

Lead singer Zac Little talks art, religion and more

Photo courtesy of Saintseneca

Columbus, Ohio folk group Saintseneca has earned a reputation for the intricate melodies and expressive lyrics found on their debut full-length record Last. Check it out if you want to be cool.

By Jonathan Popham Media Mogul jonathan.popham@gmail.com

Saintseneca is my favorite band. Period. With Zac Little’s songwriting, the gloriously raw delivery, and the catchiest refrains in this part of the cosmos, Saintseneca will blast you directly into the heart of the sun. Saintseneca’s most recent album, Last, was mostly recorded live. This record is a breathing thing. This album has absolutely no filler. This is one of those rare records that you wouldn’t dare skip a song. Not one. From the first spindly chord progression in “Acid Rain” to the final second of the closing anthem “James,” Saintseneca inspires. I had the pleasure of speaking with Zac Little about doubt, God, leaving home and constellations. Sadly, I don’t have the space to print the entirety of our conversation here.

When the Cluster’s editorial staff finally gives in to my persistent requests to extend the Entertainment section to no less than 10,000 words, you might get to see the full conversation. I’ll share the more resonant moments with you. One of the first things we talked about was religion. With religious imagery oozing through every seam, it was impossible not to bring it up early on. Jonathan Popham: I’ve got a feeling of your band and your music. I’ve been going trying to pick out themes in your discography. There is an incredible amount of religious imagery in the songs that you have. It’s mostly Christian. What kind of role has religion played in your life? Zac Little: It’s funny. I think that there are a lot of people who are keenly aware of that, but shy away from it. I think a lot of people are afraid to talk about it, for what they might get one way or the other. I’d

say that it is obviously a pervading theme in the stuff I write. I guess in my own experiences it comes from a point of introspection. Saintseneca is certainly not a band out to proselytize music. Nothing like that. It is a sort of personal, cathartic means of introspection with all these issues I grapple with myself. It comes out in things that I write. I grew up deeply immersed in a [Christian] church background. When you “leave your parents nest” you enter into a process of reconciling what you have been exposed to by proximity for a long time. You are forced to reconcile that and say, ‘Well, what of these things actually feel resonate to me? What of these things actually feel important to me. What of these things don’t feel true or important?’ It’s an outlet for my own grappling with those things. Today’s generation of 20somethings is coming into the world in a unique time in

“The fact that people can ever connect to [my music] is the highest sort of honor to me. The fact that people take time to consider something that has taken your energy—there is no higher praise than that.” Zac Little, Saintseneca history. I suppose every previous generation also thought that. But, with access to the greatest wealth of knowledge amassed in human history, we are limited by nothing but our imaginations. It seems like the more answers we come up with, the less we really understand. Through their empirical yet mystical questioning, Saintseneca could be a voice for my generation—“a voice for wandering yellow roman candles,” just waiting to explode “like spiders across the

‘Chronically’ amazing By Eric Brown Entertainment Editor entertainment@mercercluster.com

Alright, I think it’s time for a change of pace. For months I’ve talked about classic and not so classic rock albums, and pretty much ignored any type of music that wasn’t based on loud guitars and pop hooks. So I want to break away from that in my second-to-last instalment of this column. I want to talk about something far more menacing, brutal, and just as groundbreaking as anything Iggy Pop put out. I want to talk about West Coast gangster rap. Specifically, I want to talk about one man whose multifaceted contributions to the West Coast rap scene singlehandedly redefined the genre and wiped away the clean, radio-friendly images of rappers like of Kid ‘n Play and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and replaced them with brutally realistic insighs into life in impoverished South Central Los Angeles. Dr. Dre began his career performing in the short-lived electro group The World Class Wreckin’ Cru. While this early music bears little resemblence to his later work, playing with the Compton group allowed him to cut his teeth in the music scene and develop his talents as a rapper and DJ. A few years after the formation of the Cru, Dre met future collaborators Ice Cube and Easy-E. From this parnership, Dre formed the massively influential gangster rap group NWA. Their seminal debut album Straight Outta Compton was

a watershed moment in rap history. Songs like “F*ck Tha Police” and “Gangsta Gangsta” portrayed the grim realities of life as a young black man in Compton. The record is filled with tales of gang violence, drug deals and police brutality. It’s a harsh, uncompromising look at urban violence and crime, but it’s also a catchy, masterfully-produced piece of music. While the group received plenty of hatred for their depictions of urban life, they maintained that they were simply portraying the harsh realities of the world in which they grew up. And many others came to their defense. Critic Bud Norman wrote of the group’s depiction of gang violence, “They don’t make it sound like much fun... They describe it with the same nonjudgmental resignation that a Kansan might use about a tornado.” Glorification of gang violence or not, Straight Outta Compton still remains one of the greatest rap albums of all times, thanks in large part to Dr. Dre’s production and appearances behind the mic. But Dr. Dre’s best work by far would be his 1992 debut solo album, The Chronic. After leaving NWA, Dre founded Death Row Records with his then-bodyguard Suge Knight, bringing aboard younger rappers like Snoop Dogg as well. As Death Row’s first official release, The Chronic was a huge step forward not just in Dr. Dre’s evolution as a solo artist, but in the sound of rap music as a whole. After Dre introduced the world to the sound and fury of southern Los Angeles with

night sky.” He told me about how he hoped to finish recording the next album before summer, their tour of the Midwest, and their musical evolution. He then shared with me about the personal nature of his music. JP: It’s an uneven thing for me or any other journalist to speak to a musician. Usually, [for interviews] I find people I really like-- people I can identify with. By the time I finally talk to them, I’m intimately

familiar with their entire catalogue of work. I already know what they are doing. I’ve looked into their soul. Relating to a stranger’s soul is serious, one-sided business. ZL: That’s flattering to me. Especially since music just feels like something I have to do. The fact that people can ever connect to [my music] is the highest sort of honor to me. The fact that people take time to consider something that has taken your energy—there is no higher praise than that. -So, when was the last time that you looked into your own soul? Do me a favor. After the sun sets and the stars rise, go outside. Look up. Take a moment to assess your size in the universe. That great abyss is pockmarked with ageless pinpricks. It’s okay to make a habit out of it. I’ve no guarantee that you’ll find the Constellation of the Dog, but you might find what you are looking for in yourself. You might even find that you need to start looking.

APRIL 10

Alabama Shakes — Boys & Girls Black Dice — Mr. Impossible Lords of Acid — Deep Chills M. Ward — A Wasteland Companion Zambri — House of Baasa

APRIL 17

Battles — Dross Glop [Remixes] Joyce Manor — Of All Things... Neon Trees — Picture Show Spiritualized — Sweet Heart Sweet Light Yann Tiersen — Skyline

APRIL 24

Diamond Rugs — Diamond Rugs Eve 6 — Speak in Code Jack White — Blunderbuss Suckers — Candy Salad The Dandy Warhols — This Machine

MAY 1

Image courtesy of Death Row Records

Dr. Dre, pictured here with frequent collaborator and Chronic guest star Snoop Dogg, reinvented rap in the ‘80s and ‘90s with his hard-edged West Coast sound. NWA, hundred of other rappers were attempting to emulate that style. Instead of following in the chart-topping, sampleheavy footsteps of NWA, Dre took a different approach on The Chronic, slowing down the tempo and relying heavily on synthesizers to create his new beats. The record was a smash hit, and it catapulted Dr. Dre and collaborator Snoop Dogg, into the limelight. Singles “Nuthin’

but a ‘G’ Thang” and “Let Me Ride” received significant airplay and once again redefined the way rap music was viewed in America. Some people still haven’t caught up to these early ‘90s innovations. Since the release of his follow-up, 2001, Dre’s focus has largely been on production, working on tracks for artists such as Eminem, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Raekwon and Jay-Z. Classic or catastrophe: classic

Dot Hacker — Inhibition Father John Misty — Fear Fun Marriages — Kitsune Ramona Falls — Prophet The Brian Jonestown Massacre — Aufheben

MAY 8

Heavy Blanket — Heavy Blanket Here We Go Magic — A Different Ship Off! — Off! Silversun Pickups — Neck of the Woods Video Love — Mon Ange


The Cluster - April 12, 2012 - Page 9

Entertainment

That other ‘Titan’ movie isn’t quite as impressive By John Farrington Cinemaphile john.farrington93@gmail.com

C-

With the majesty of swords and shields and the power of gods, Greek epics have always grabbed the imagination of the modern world. Jonathan Liebesman has once again brought us Greek mythology with Wrath of the Titans. The film went nationwide March 30th, but was overshadowed by the blockbuster The Hunger Games. Set ten years after the first movie, Clash of the Titans, Perseus has given up the sword to be a fisherman with his son. This dream is cut short when Zeus comes to him asking for his assistance with a matter that he is not powerful enough to handle. Perseus refuses until a dream sends him to the temple of the gods to find Poseidon. Poseidon informs him that his father is trapped in the underworld and now only Perseus can save the universe and Zeus. Jonathan’s first film was a huge disappointment with me. I never finished the film because I fell asleep halfway through. I came into this film with low expectations, but I

was somewhat surprised. I saw the movie in 2-D, which made some of the effects look ridiculous, as it was designed as a 3-D movie. The acting was on par with how that of similarly vapid action flicks, though Liam Neeson had some emotional scenes with his counterparts. John Bell, who played Perseus’ son, was a major killjoy in the acting department. He didn’t seem to act as much as he seemed to just repeat his lines. Some plot holes, though, were too big to ignore. For example, Perseus is told by his father, Zeus, that he needs Perseus’ help to save the universe. Perseus tells him no because he wants to protect his son. Instead of saving the universe, he decides it would make more sense to stay with his son. Along with this obvious bad choice, Perseus puts his son in harm’s way when he is in a fight with Ares. I did enjoy the main idea the movie presents. In the beginning of the movie, Zeus reveals that the gods lose their powers if they are not prayed to, and eventually die. This brought other holes into the plot when the soldiers told him that they pray to Ares constantly, proving that the gods are still worshipped by many. However, this concept bring a philosophical element to the normally thoughtless action film Although a deep morale is not necessary to

Image courtesy of Legendary Pictures

Wrath of the Titans picks up ten years after its incredibly mediocre predecessor left off, detailing Greek demigod Perseus’ stuggle to save the world and preserve his father Zeus. It’s dumb and generally mindless, but stuff blows up real good. make a movie great, it certainly helps here. The writing was also a major plus. Besides the Jack Sparrow rip off and unnecessary comedic

breaks, it was exceptional for an action movie. Jonathan Liebesman improved on his last movie, adding philosophy and actual

titans to the series. Where the first one lacked, this one improved. It still isn’t a great movie though. It won’t win an Oscar for anything beyond

costuming or special effects, but it will be in the top thirty films this year. Overall, it’s a dumb, fun film that’s worth renting for a late night.

15 years later, ‘Titanic’ returns An interview with Barna Howard

By Jonathan Popham Folk Music Junkie jonathan.popham@gmail.com

Cathartic and intimate, Barna Howard’s freshman recording leaves listeners feeling cleansed. His eponymous debut was released in February. Originally from rural Eureka, Missouri, he’s worked his way through the country, living in Chicago, Boston, and currently Portland. With lyrics that could have been ripped out of his diary, warmly honeyed vocal styling Barna Howard helps purge old ghosts. He unassumingly crafts delicate guitar melodies that would befit the bank of any creek in the Ozarks. I recently had the opportunity to share with Barna about his music and song writing Barna Howard: [There are] several different ways I go about writing. Sometimes, it comes from a melody I have created. Ideas will start going through my head from what I feel from that melody. About 50% of the time I do it that way, the other half, I find a word or something I heard during the day. A lot of songs from this first album were stories about back home—being home in Missouri and leaving all that. The first album for me was very transient.” I can see into his music. It’s more than a rural background; there is a universal element to his music. There is a relief that comes with seeing your own ghosts with different names. In “Songs for Joe,” Barna reflects over a slow-walking guitard duet: He don’t laugh

now/ He don’t cry/ Wish he’d stop and wonder why/ He’s all hooked up/ On a “precious” thing/ Between a needlepoint and a rubber string While “Songs for Joe” is a chapter out of his life, it stirs up ancient pain from friends I have lost. Feelings like this are things you seal away. To indentify with music is to see yourself in it. Barna told me his “Joe” was a combination of two specific individuals. But it could as well be anyone who has slipped through the fingers of the ones that love them. Barna’s music is about closure through release. He told me that, “literally every song” was about a part of his life. He added, “There were so many things I just had to get out.” When I asked if there was a particular song on the album that Barna “had to write,” he shared the inspiration of the album’s first single “Promise, I Won’t Laugh.” BH: That was a song I wrote about my first love. We had been split up for a couple years. I wrote that song about 2 ½ years after we had broken up. I just wanted to say one more thing. I wanted to use it as a redemption song. I wanted to tell her not to be sad not to be in my life anymore. I wanted to celebrate it in a way, just thank her. That was sort of the “last song” I wanted to get out about that person. I am watching the Georgia sun squeeze out the day’s last sweat as it slides over the horizon. With my day finally done, I’ll put on Barna Howard to remember, but mostly to forget.

By Brittani Howell Film Expert brittani.m.howell@student.mercer.edu

C+ When it came out in 1997, Titanic ran away with the box office. Fifteen years later it has returned for the centennial anniversary of the actual event, and audiences can return to see it with new eyes: that is, through 3D glasses. It’s the same familiar story and the same familiar movie with a slight visual enhancement. Cameron changed only one thing about the film before its re-release, a change so miniscule and obscure that you probably would never have noticed it: the constellations that Rose sees as she lies freezing on the floating plank, minutes before she realizes that Jack has died. The Telegraph reported on April 1 that astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson sent Cameron a “snarky” e-mail criticizing the inaccuracy of the night sky. Cameron had Tyson send in a chart of the correct star field and the scene was changed accordingly. That, however, is the only different aspect of the re-release, besides the 3D enhancement itself. The new 3D can be a blessing and a curse at different moments in the film—as in any 3D movie, of course. The movie was not originally made for 3D, so adapting it to the new technology goes less smoothly in some places than others. Instances in which things come at the audience— bubbles, the necklace Rose drops into the ocean, among other things—become blurry and over-the-top. Still figures against moving backgrounds become as sharp and flat as cardboard cutouts. In some cases this is probably due to the green-screen technology of the ‘90s, but the modern 3D unfortunately makes it painfully obvious. However, the 3D aspect enriches other scenes. Faces and crowds receive great depth. One of the best, I think, is the scene in which the lone rescue boat returns for the passengers stranded in the frozen water and finds itself in a floating cemetery. With the 3D magnification, the colors and texture of that scene are vibrantly creepy. Overall, though, I found that the 3D did very little to enhance the experience. Perhaps it made the viewing the movie a little prettier, but the story demands much more of one’s attention than the aesthetics do. Question: does anyone else find that the 3D craze is getting a little old? I’ve been thinking this for months.

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Written and directed by film legend and amateur oeanographer James Cameron, Titanic returns to theaters in RealD 3D format. Unfortunately, the new effects do little to improve the film. Although I did attend (and thoroughly enjoyed) the 3D re-release of Beauty and the Beast, I’ve long been of the opinion that, once again, the emperor is naked and most of us are just kind of rolling with it. Titanic is just the latest of this trend theaters have come up with to pull money out of people who could just as easily watch that same movie on DVD at home. But I digress; I’m not here to rant about the film industry or the worth of 3D movies. I’m here to talk about the rerelease of Titanic. Saturday, April 14, marks the 100-year anniversary of the sinking of the real Titanic. I’d like to think that our attraction to this movie—to this story—doesn’t have ev-

erything to do with the fictional romance between Jack and Rose. Not that it’s a bad story; I think the whirlwind romance that ends up giving Rose her life back is a great thing to watch, much healthier than the relationship between Romeo and Juliet. Is it our hubris that we like to revisit? Somehow I doubt that, although maybe it should be. Maybe it’s the survival aspect. One of the movie’s greatest strengths is the way it depicts ordinary people suddenly confronted with inevitable disaster, where their own survival almost directly leads to someone else’s death. The movie shows the worst side of hysteria, panic, selfishness, and despair—but it also shows the best side. Re-

silience. Courage. Empathy. It asks us: if this were actually life and death, if I actually had freezing water lapping at my feet, would I be able to go back to find survivors, to help someone else through, or would I be too afraid to do anything but fight for my own life? It’s a hard question. One that we need to ask ourselves constantly. Think what you will about Titanic. Think what you will about 3D technology and whether or not it’s worth it. But the fact remains that this story, for one reason or another, draws us. Even if you don’t go see it in theaters, this weekend’s centennial anniversary might be a fitting time to visit that story again.


Local

The Cluster - April 12, 2012- Page 10

Local Editor Kaitlin Marrin

local@mercercluster.com

Hoodies on the Hill commemorates loss HOODIES

continued from page 1

“We are here tonight because we want to heal,” said Chris Horne who ran for city council last year. “We want to reconcile. We are here because we

can no longer abide by injustice and we are no longer willing to live in a world that is so divided that it thinks there are only white problems and black problems but not our problems.” Drew Christian told NewsCentral, “We all need to sup-

port this movement that is going on and what happened. It’s a real tragedy what happened and that we don’t have the racial trust needed today between the minorities and the majority of the races.” Drew Christian is just 14 years old, but felt strong enough to

Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

support the matter at hand. Mothers and their children were gathered at Coleman Hill, alongside local politicians, and hooded people of all ages. Drew’s Mother thinks Trayvon and Drew are comparable. She believes this situation could have involved her own son walking home from the local convenience store. She reflects on how it might feel to lose her child. Dawn Christian, mother of 14 year-old Drew, spoke to NewsCentral “I cried, so I can’t even imagine what they feel, I don’t think there are words to express what they feel. There has got to be great pain, great tragedy, every emotion they can feel they are going through tight now, especially anger.” In the closing prayer, Councilman and Rabbi Schlesinger, acknowledged that there has to be a greater plan brought about by God.”We know that you have a greater plan, and plans for us all,” said Rabbi Laurence Schlesinger.

Patrick Hobbs / Cluster Staff

Maconites gathered, clad in hoodies, to commemorate the loss of Trayvon Martin. Above, the group participates in a candlelight vigil. The event allowed for community-wide healing.

Rabbi Larry Schlesinger served as the event’s religious leader. Above, Rabbi Schlesinger participates in the vigil.

Macon’s fourth annual Macon Museum displays soapbox derby success where the wild things live By Emily Farlow Staff Writer

By Brittani Howell Staff Writer

emily.l.farlow@live.mercer.edu

Hundreds of Maconites attended Second Sunday Brunch, which was moved to the first Sunday due to Easter, in Washington Park on Sunday, April 1. After a concert by Jubee and the Morning After the crowd turned their attention to the fourth annual Magnolia Street Soapbox Derby. A record number of 23 teams participated in the race. Some of the teams included Middle Georgia Derby Demons, a local roller derby team; Team Georgia Kayak; Mercer Law; and American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a team comprised of Mercer engineering majors. Before the practice round at 3:00 p.m., Street Percussion Entertainment marched and danced down Magnolia Street, which was lined with hay bales marking the race lane. Around 60 volunteers helped make the derby possible, and a local Boy Scout troop set up all the hay bales. Some of the derby cars featured an ambulance with fully functioning lights and sirens, a car with trailing parachutes, a radioactive banana and a Winnebago. Team Wiggle’s Winnebago won best in show, along with a cash prize of $100 and a $100 gift certificate. First place was awarded to Team Bearfoot, who earned a time of 11.0 seconds. Georgia Kayak came in second with a time of 11.20 seconds, and barely beat Ace Bloodhound Home Inspection who came in third with 11.22 seconds. AG Graffix’s derby car was pink, and took about one week to build. The team put in around 55 to 60 hours of building, said team member Al Gray. AG Graffix did “a lot of metal work, a lot of sheet metal work. ... We got a wooden floor, we got wheelchair wheels, custom paint. ... Small stereo system put in by Mobile Audio Video Solutions. Pretty much it,” said Gray. The Middle Georgia Derby Demons built their car out

brittani.m.howell@live.mercer.edu

Patrick Hobbs/ Cluster Staff

This year marked Macon’s fourth annual soapbox derby. Above, Mercer engineering majors prepare for the race. of an old wine rack and steel beams, said driver Esther LeeAltman. The roller derby team spent around 20 to 30 hours total building the roller-skatethemed car. Lee-Altman said, “I’m really proud of these girls because we all were able to pull together and get it built, get it tested, get it decorated.” The Derby Demons started about one year ago, and the soapbox derby was a great way for them to get noticed and attract sponsors, fans, and recruits. “It shows that we’re obviously a bunch of kick-ass girls who can build stuff like this, and also on the rink we can skate,” said Lee-Altman. The Derby Demons skate at Bibb Skate Arena, and they always welcome new skaters. Mercer students Rob Machen, Joshua Abarra and Adam Blair

submitted a Mercer-themed derby car as part of their senior design project for engineering. The team designed and built the car over a period of about two months. “We actually stress tested metals, we did some practice runs, did computer modeling, lots of stuff,” Machen said. The students wrote over 100 pages of reports for the project, which will be looked over and graded by several professors. Machen added, “We have to have drawings, design works, proof of concept, test runs, things like that.” The students were given a budget to work with, but the American Society of Mechanical Engineers also helped with the budget. Their car clocked in at 11.60 seconds, and while they did not win, Machen, Abarra and Blair all enjoyed the experience.

Patrick Hobbs/ Cluster Staff

Above, one of the wheeled wonders is in motion! Some of the soapboxes even were equipped with sound systems. Local businesses and organizations eagerly participated.

As finals approach and the stress mounts, students looking for a fun and inexpensive study break might want to keep Macon’s Museum of Arts and Sciences in mind. Whether your interests lie in stargazing, art appreciation, natural sciences or up-close encounters with strange and fascinating animals, the Museum of Arts and Sciences has something to offer for everyone. This month the museum will be wrapping up its wildlife exhibit Where the Wild Things Live, which will be kept open to the public until May 13 when it will be replaced by a new dinosaur exhibit. The ‘Wild Things’ exhibit features the different habitats and wildlife of the Southeastern United States, specifically in Georgia. Using recreations of different habitats and preserved specimens of Georgia wildlife, the exhibit also endeavors to encourage respect for the environment and to make viewers aware of human encroachment upon natural habitats and the consequences incurred upon the animals. The staff put the exhibit together in mid-January. Most of the preserved specimens

Patrick Hobbs/ Cluster Staff

The Museum of Arts and Sciences is currently featuring a wildlife exhibit showing the habitats and wildlife of Georgia. used in Where the Wild Things Live come from the museum’s permanent collection. “This is one of the few times we’ve featured them in an exhibit,” Melanie Byas, the museum’s Public Relations Director, said. Additionally, sections of Where the Wild Things Live come equipped with special bar codes that can be “zapped” with a Smartphone. Doing so will grant the holder access to further information about the exhibit, such as connecting the Smartphone to a webpage specifically relevant to the subject of the exhibit. After May 13, the Where the Wild Things exhibit will be converted into an exhibit featur-

Patrick Hobbs/ Cluster Staff

Georgia is home to critters of all walks (and crawls) of life. Through May 13, museum-goers can meet local beasts.

ing dinosaurs, and as December gets closer the exhibit will focus on Mayan history and culture in honor of the approaching last day of the Mayan calendar, Dec. 21 of this year. However, for those whose animal attraction can’t be satisfied by Where the Wild Things Live or for those who miss the exhibit, the museum has a Mini-Zoo with over 70 live specimens. Visitors can come to the Mini-Zoo to observe the museum’s alligators, turtles, bugs, ferrets, a chinchilla and six tamarin monkeys, among other animals. If that isn’t enough, museumgoers can attend the live animal show that takes place every weekday at 3:00 p.m. and every Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. During the show visitors can make the acquaintance of Georgia the cockatoo, a Colombian boa constrictor named Tómas and several playful ferrets. Especially bold members of the audience can volunteer to come to the stage to hold one of the museum’s large Madagascar hissing cockroaches (which, as the animal handlers will tell you, are even cleaner than humans. Who knew?). Perhaps, though, you aren’t an animal lover. Not to worry: the museum offers several other attractions including art exhibits and a state-of-the-art planetarium. The Mark Smith Planetarium is the only planetarium in Georgia to use the cutting-edge Konica Minolta Super MediaGlobe-II projection technology, which only two other planetariums in the Western hemisphere use today. If you’re looking for a cute, cheap date or if you’re just an astronomy buff, the museum offers free stargazing on clear Friday nights and the Skies over Macon planetarium show for only $2. Located on Forsyth Road beside the Macon Little Theatre, the museum is within easy driving distance of Mercer University, making it an ideal study break locale. “It’s a really valuable resource,” Byas said. “Everyone is missing out on a valuable experience if they don’t come visit the Museum of Arts and Sciences.”


The Cluster - April 12, 2012 - Page 11

Local

The battle of Mercer Village Restaurants

Which of the Mercer Village establishments will reign supreme?

Photos courtesy of Mercer Village

Mercer Village restaurants Margaritas, Francar’s, Jittery Joe’s. Fountain of Juice and Ingleside Village Pizza have become staples in many students’ diets over the past few yaers. But which of the five restaurants will rule them all? Editor-in-chief Liz Bibb examines the many restaurants and their different advantages. See which one will be crowned most delicious!

By Liz Bibb Editor-In-Chief editor@mercercluster.com

With the expansion of the Lofts at Mercer Village, students and community members now have a variety of dining options in the Village. Luckily, the restaurants are so conveniently located to one another, that one does not have to answer the age-old question: tacos or pizza? But which restaurant rules them all? The Cluster has information on each Village restaurant to help you decide. Francar’s Buffalo Wings Carl and Sharon Fambro moved their wing restaurant from Log Cabin Drive to Mercer Village three years ago, proving that married couples can make good business partners. Francar’s offers more than 40 original sauces for their wings, strips and chicken

fingers. The most popular? According to Carl Fambro, Mercer Gold is popular on anything. The restaurant also features Southern favorites like macaroni and cheese, fried okra and collard greens. Fambro says the restaurant is unique because it has a college theme. “We invite students to bring in college T-shirts, pictures, (and)hats to make it a place they’re comfortable coming to,” saod Fambro. Fambro also tries to keep up with the ever-changing demands of college students. To accommodate vegetarian patrons, he has added veggie burgers to the menu and introduced the chicken strips because of their popularity. The restaurant has also added fried pickle chips, grilled chicken and vastly increased the amount of macaroni and cheese to keep up with demand. Francar’s is now offering two new sauces: Smoking Teriyaki and Flaming Caribbean, and patrons can

now get their strips with spicy breading. Jittery Joe’s This popular coffee shop was introduced to Mercer Village in 2008. Caleb Morton, a barista at Jittery Joe’s, said the shop is unique because all of their coffee is handcrafted. As a matter of fact, everything in Jittery Joe’s is homemade, and they will have homemade soups to add to the mix soon. Morton also believes Jittery Joe’s has unique customer service. “We’re so willing to talk to people…it’s a welcoming environment,” he said. While students can get an astonishing variety of coffees, frozen coffees, fruit shakes, teas, muffins and pastries at Jittery Joe’s, they can also pick up a sandwich and chips. The most popular sandwich is the classic turkey and cheese, Morton said, and the Frosty Joe (the answer to a Frappuccino), is always a hit as well. Senior Matt Townsend frequents Jittery Joe’s “because

it’s convenient and the prices are cheaper than other coffee shops in Macon. Aside from the food, Jittery Joe’s is a favorite meeting and studying spot for Mercer students. Margarita’s at Mercer Village This Mexican restaurant opened a branch in Mercer Village in August 2011. It is one of the restaurants housed on the first floor of the Lofts at Mercer Village, and it has become a favorite of Mercer students. And with its lunch specials and happy hours, it’s not hard to see why. Several social fraternities and sororities have also rented it out for functions. It is the only restaurant in Mercer Village to feature a full bar. Some favorites include any and all nachos offered and the “taco loco,” a huge taco shell filled with taco goodness and topped with melted white cheese. Senior Emily Garrott is a frequent visitor of Margarita’s. Fountain of Juice

A histortic dinner based on the Titanic By Brittany Howell Staff Writer brittani.m.howell@student.mercer.edu

In honor of the 100-year anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, director Jim Crisp has brought the musical of the same name to the Theatre Macon stage. Crisp’s rendition of Maury Yeston’s Tony-winning musical Titanic opened to a packed house on Friday, April 6. The opening of the show coincides with James Cameron’s re-release of the 1997 blockbuster hit, but people who come to the musical expecting to see Jack and Rose onstage are in for a surprise. There are no characters in the musical who were not actual people on the ship in 1912, and while the writers did take certain liberties—particularly in the cases of the third-class passengers, for whom there are fewer records than passengers in first and second class—they strove to cleave as closely to historical documentation and eyewitness accounts as possible. “I think it gives a more accurate account than the movie does,” actor Bryson Holloway said. “I think a lot of people aren’t going to expect what they see.” Holloway plays Thomas Andrews, the architect and builder of Titanic. This will be his

ninth production, and he says that the role of Andrews is the hardest role he’s ever had. “There’s so much emotional involvement,” Holloway said. “Not just my character, but everyone’s, because we’re playing real people, people who really lived through this. You have to have this personal connection.” Former Mercer professor Bob Hargrove, who appeared in the Backdoor Theatre’s production of Fiddler on the Roof a few years ago, found the historical aspect of the show to be one of the most interesting. Hargrove was able to rattle off several historical facts about his character, millionaire George Widener, and even mentioned that he had been able to look up a picture of Widener’s house. “I’d never done character research like this before,” Hargrove said, grinning. “To me, it was just neat.” The show gives a cross-section of the ship, revealing action and characters from every class and every position on board, from the boiler room to the bridge, the cabins to the telegraph room. As director Jim Crisp put it, Titanic (the ship, not the musical) was a “microcosm” of society in 1912 and, in a way, is still a microcosm of the world we live in today. And to pull off such a wide representation of the ship’s passengers, Titanic (the musical, not the ship) employs a

The show gives a cross-section of the ship, revealing action and characters from every class and every position on board, from the boiler room to the bridge, the cabins to the telegraph room. huge cast: there are 54 actors. For an intimate space like Theatre Macon, that’s huge. “Keeping track of everyone can be a challenge,” Crisp admitted (although, during his interview, he bid goodnight to every cast and crew member who passed by name). Crisp said that one of the challenges he faces is trying to keep everyone involved and enthused, to keep them all “in the same boat, rowing together.” “This is an exceptional cast,” Crisp said. “There’s a tremendous amount of talent in this cast.” Rick Hutto, who portrays millionaire John Jacob Astor, also said that the cast is “wonderful.” “Nobody has a small part,” he added. “It’s really unusual to

have this much of an ensemble piece.” The immense cast packs out the small stage, but the little theater somehow manages to convey the feel of a crowded deck. The set employs simple but effective backdrops, making scene changes quick and fluid. Crisp said that the power of the set—and of the show as a whole—lies in what it doesn’t portray rather than what it does, as it invites the audience to create the ship with their imagination, seeing what the characters see. The costumes are lovely, created by Shelley Kuhen who also does the costumes for the Mercer Players performances. Singing together, the cast sounds wonderful. Theatre Macon allowed a small audience to watch Titanic’s penultimate dress rehearsal, and during the ship’s actual sinking, there was audible weeping and sniffing in the audience. For Crisp, the show represents the “endurance and durability” of the human spirit. This will be his third time directing the show, and he says that it is his favorite of all the shows he has directed. “There’s something special about this one,” Crisp said. “I think it’s one of the best American musicals, period.” Show times and ticket prices for Titanic can be viewed on the Theatre Macon Web site. For tickets, call the box office at 478-746-9485.

This sandwich, soup and smoothie shop has been open since mid-July 2011. Employee Brandon Bish said the restaurant is unique because it features fresh ingredients and all produce is organic and bought from local farmers. The most popular menu items are the turkey apple swiss Panini, the California club and the classic chicken salad sandwich. Along with a variety of smoothies, the shop features carrot, apple and celery juice. Patrons can choose from a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups, smoothies, breakfast foods and entrees like pasta and fish tacos. Bish said the most popular smoothies are the Ultimate Breakfast (made with banana, orange, blueberries, flax and protein) and the Detox (made with pomegranate, orange and banana). Supplements like protein or flax can be added to any smoothie. “It’s really fresh and delicious,” Bish said. He also said the restaurant does not

feature fried food, which he says is prominent in the area. Another former employee said he has not worked at FOJ for several months but still visits to get food regularly. “It’s addicting,” he said. Ingleside Village Pizza Another restaurant transplanted from another Macon location to Mercer Village, Ingleside Village Pizza has been open in its Village location for about four years. Their pizza dough is made on site daily, and they also serve salads, subs and breadsticks smothered in garlic butter and Parmesan cheese. Patrons can build their own slices of pizza or choose from the special options like White pizza (with spinach, garlic, ricotta cheese and mushrooms) or the Ultimate Village (with…well…everything). IVP also has the self-proclaimed “largest selection of imported beer in Macon.” The restaurant also has a selection of domestic beer and wine. Senior Kruti Desai visits Ingleside frequently.

Minority small business oridinance faces trouble By Garret McDowell Staff Writer garret.mcdowell@gmail.com

Recently, a minority and small business ordinance found its way into Macon City Council discussions, as part of the city code was needing revamping. Chapter 16 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Macon needed to be clarified to make sure that minorities and small business enterprises were able to get realistic and opportune chances to grow and survive in the city by being given the green light to contract services with the city. In addition, there would be a further provision that would obligate contractors to look local for laborers and mechanics when needed, with an emphasis on minorities. However, current Mayor Robert Reichert wants to delay signing it into implementation until August 1. The reason behind this is the proposed consolidation of the city of Macon and Bibb County that is being voted for on July 31. However, Mayor Reichert feels that the delay is essential to work out problems in the legislation. Reichert claims that adding personnel, procedures, and processes is necessary and it will take four months “so we can effectively implement it.” Critics claim that this is just another ploy to limit the minority and female impact in the

area. If the consolidation does go through, the minority-controlled city council and county commissions would be dissolved. Mayor Reichert could be waiting to see how the referendum works out. After being questioned over minority issues and contracts in the last mayoral election, he barely squeaked out a victory over minority candidate C. Jack Ellis. However, when questioned by the council, Mayor Reichert responded “What’s worse? You know, selective enforcement and turning a blind eye and not doing it, or delaying the implementation.” Several councilpersons were outspoken against this, including Elaine Lucas. Councilwoman Lucas was very angry, saying she was confused why there would need to be a four month waiting period for implementation. She railed against Reichert, who went back to a necessity for figuring out “details.” Reichert also added “we want local vendors to be aware of opportunities to have the advantage to put in bids because we want the lowest best bid from a variety of sources.” Whatever the case, this ordinance is going to be retooled and a better date will be picked for implementation by the council as soon as possible. Time is ticking before consolidation, so any ordinance as such that will live on after the event must be hashed out now.


Sports

The Cluster - April 12, 2012 - Page 12

Sports Editor

Samir Moussawel sports@mercercluster.com

Basketball smashes records en route to CIT title

Photos courtesy of Mercer Athletics

CIT,

“We played hard and made plays down the stretch when we needed to. Hopefully, it will give us some momentum going into next season and we can pick up right where we left off.” Mercer and Utah State were virtually identical on the stats sheet, so Mercer had to make the plays late to come away with the win. Utah State shot

41.5 percent from the field while Mercer shot 40.4 percent. Utah State shot 30.4 percent from three-point range; the orange and black shot 28.6 percent. The Aggies pulled down 36 rebounds, while the Bears garnered 33. Utah State dished out 15 assists while Mercer tallied 13. The only lopsided stat was points off of the bench with Mercer

dominating 20-6, due to Travis Smith’s 17 points. “We were close as a team and we have stayed in a tight circle all year,” Mercer head coach Bob Hoffman told mercerbears.com. “Being on the road together in our last three wins has united us even further, and solidified what these young guys believed they could do anywhere, in any place and

in the mix come October. 2. The impressive start for the Cardinals… After the subtraction of Pujols from the lineup, nobody expected the Cardinals to score a lot of runs. After the subtraction of Carpenter from the rotation, nobody expected the Cardinals to pitch all that well. They are hitting more than ever and holding their own on the mound in the early goings. The addition of Carlos Beltran in right field has turned out to be a nice acquisition so far. Berkman moves to first and there seems to be no loss defensively. It doesn’t hurt that David Freese continues to tear the cover off the ball whenever there are two out and men on base.

off home runs, you don’t give any other team a chance. The righty-lefty duo of Miggy and Prince are hitting everything out of the park as well. It used to be where you could just pitch around Miggy when the opportunity presented itself. Good luck now. I would not want to be in the AL. All the pitchers in the AL Central will be dragging their feet when they see their name slated to pitch against this lineup. How bad would you feel if you had to face this lineup and potentially go head-to-head against the defending Cy Young/AL MVP in Justin Verlander all in the same game? Put your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye. They might send you to the minors.

Astros all lost pieces from a year ago. The Reds will continue to rise, but the Pirates will as well. In their opening series against the Phillies, they showed fight and will to win. With good coaching and that drive for success, I see the Pirates competing for potentially a third spot in the Central.

Even though the 2012 season has just begun and the taste of the dirt is just now sinking in, so much has been unfolded in just a few games. After the incredible finish to the 2011 year, a swirl of offseason acquisitions were made. Many teams are taking a much different shape and approach to their play on the diamond this season. The postseason could have a much different feel this upcoming year. Here are my top seven early occurrences that differed from 2011. (In no particular order)

3. The Mets and Orioles are 3-0?... It is still so early in the year and both of these teams play in extremely hard divisions, but it is impressive nonetheless. With the rising Marlins, the improved Nationals, the hungry Braves and the powerhouse Phillies in the NL East, the Mets seem to be the slated dwellers. In the AL, the O’s are going to have some tough luck with the Rays, Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays all fighting for postseason contention late in the year. I still don’t see them having enough pitching and/or talent to sustain a good record throughout the year. Celebrate while you can now boys because in August and September, you will be number four or five in your divisions.

As of Sunday, April 8: 1. Pujols starting in an Angels uniform… I don’t know about you guys, but I still think it’s weird to see him out of the Cardinals lineup. He is still wearing basically the same colors but it doesn’t seem right. He is going to hit and the Angels are going to pitch. They will definitely be

5. Yankees and Red Sox are 0-3?... That’s something you don’t see every day. These first few days for the Rays, Red Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Braves and Cardinals are looking a lot similar to the final days of 2011. The Rays, Orioles and Cardinals can’t be touched while the Yankees, Red Sox and Braves cannot buy a win. The Rays sent a message to the Yankees then and are doing it again now. Evan Longoria leads the league in hitting and will look to keep things going. Carlos Peña has returned to Tampa and is wreaking all kinds of havoc again. Meanwhile, the Red Sox score 0 and 11 in back-to-back games. That is day and night. It makes no difference for the Tigers. They will shut you out and then score 30 if need be.

4. Tigers are looking unbeatable... Having Miguel Cabrera in a lineup is great. Having Justin Verlander in a rotation is great. Having Prince Fielder in a lineup is great. Having all three of these is borderline unfair. These are three potential MVP candidates. When you have guys like Alex Avila hitting walk-

continued from page 1

Sophomore Thomas achieved the double digits mark for the second straight game again, adding 10 points, two rebounds and two assists to Mercer’s stat line. “It was an exciting game played in a great basketball atmosphere,” said Thomas.

behind the jersey

Samir Moussawel Sports Editor

Early baseball season features unusual sights

Photo courtesy of media.cleveland.com

6. Pirates will not finish last… The young and talented Pirates squad is determined to not finish last in the NL Central this year. In the final year of the six-team division, the Pirates might finally have a chance to finish near the top. I think they can do it. The Brewers, Cubs, Cardinals and

against any odds. That is what we were able to accomplish, and it has been an unbelievable experience for our fans and our community. It is just a blessing to be a part of something this special, and we thank everyone who was a part of it.” Mercer finished its recordbreaking season with a 27-11 overall record, going 15-3 at home and 12-8 on the road.

Mercer set program-records in total wins (27), points scored (2,589) and blocks (180) led by sophomore Daniel Coursey, who set the regular season record for blocks. With all of this success to build one, combined with a young team (Justin Cecil is the only senior), Mercer has a bright future ahead when it comes to basketball.

Photo courtesy of Mercer Athletics

A Day in the Life of: #11 Cassie Roy

7. New Marlins… Not a whole lot needs to be said about the significance of 2012 for the Fighting Fish. They have a new stadium, coach, uniforms, logo, name and players. With a competitive NL East, the Marlins will have to fight more than ever for a division title. With an additional wildcard spot up for the taking, the Marlins may find that 162 games will not decide their playoff fate. For a franchise that has won two wildcards, two championships and no division titles, hopes of spectacular 2012 season are not out of the question. With Giancarlo “Mike” Stanton’s continuing to rise, Hanley’s production returning to form and solid season from their offseason acquisitions of Zambrano, Buehrle, Bell and Reyes, the Marlins could give the Phillies a run in the division race. Josh Johnson, Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes will need to stay healthy to do so. With all of this being said, will the results be any different? Yes. This year, teams such as the Angels, Reds and Tigers will find their dominance. While the eastern divisions will still be the most competitive divisions in baseball, the outcomes might be similar. I see the Angels walking out of the AL West and the Tigers taking over as the best team in baseball. The Phillies will drop off a bit due to injuries, the Reds will solidify themselves atop the weakened NL Central with the defendingchampion Cardinals and the Rays stay hot in the AL East.

Photo courtesy of deniseilitch.com

The tag team of Miguel Cabrera (left) and Prince Fielder (right) forms an offense more potent than any seen in recent years. Teams used to have the option of pitching around Cabrera at the appropriate time. With the addition of Prince in the four hole, teams are left with a double-headed, unavoidable monster in the heart of the Detroit Tiger lineup.

Noah Maier / Cluster Staff

By Bryson Jones Staff Writer bryson.c.jones@live.mercer.edu

One of the most successful individuals on the sand volleyball courts this year is Cassie Roy. Roy and her partner Jamie Duffy have amassed a 3-3 record, which pins them as the most successful duo in Mercer sand volleyball history thus far. Roy was the first to point out that her pair’s record is not important though. “Our record as a pair means nothing without team wins, and every day we play we all try to make each other better, which will eventually lead to more wins as a team,” said Roy. Roy, a native of Florida, grew up on the beach. She started playing sand volleyball at a young age and has developed her skills overtime. In high school, Roy started playing in local tournaments, as well as traveling throughout the state of Florida to compete on the sand. It was this experience on the court that allowed her to be so successful once Mercer began its inaugural sand volleyball season. Roy and her partner Duffy are the No. 1 duo for the Bears, playing some of the top sand volleyball throughout the nation at the collegiate level. There are 16 sand volleyball teams in the nation this year, and Mercer has played four of the top six, which has pinned the duo of Roy and Duffy against some extremely tough competitors. Not only does Roy work hard on the court, but she

works hard in the classroom as well. In order to prepare for what she needs to do on the sand volleyball court, she has to make sure that everything is in order before practice even begins. The Cluster recently spent a day with Cassie Roy to see exactly how she does it all. 8:30: Shower, get dressed, and study for daily quiz at 9:25 a.m. 9:25: Head to Principles of Finance class. 10:50: Managerial Accounting class. 12:15: Principles of Marketing class. 1:30: First meal of the day in the caf. 2:00: Prepares for 3:30 class in her room. 3:00: Gets dressed for practice in locker room. 3:30: Service Learning class. 4:15: Practice at the sand volleyball courts. 4:30: Roy begins a grueling practice in the Macon heat. 7:00: Heads back to the locker room to shower. 7:30: Eats second meal of the day at the caf or UC. 8:15: Depending on her workload, Cassie heads to either the library or to meet up with her boyfriend and friends. 11:30: Bedtime. Cassie Roy and the Bears prepare for their next match against University of AlabamaBirmingham on April 15. Game time has yet to be determined. Roy assures that she and her teammates are prepared to go in fighting to get a win against a talented UAB squad.


The Cluster - April 12, 2012 - Page 13

Sports

Softball streak ends, goes 5-3 in early conference play By Samir Moussawel Sports Editor sports@mercercluster.com

Riding a seven-game win streak, Mercer Softball has erased a slow 0-6 start en route to a potential Atlantic Sun Tournament berth. Kicking off conference play on the road, the Bears hoped to continue their stellar play against the conference-leading S.C. Upstate. Splitting games with Upstate, Jacksonville and North Florida and sweeping on the road against ETSU, the Bears find themselves at 5-3 midway through conference competition. S.C. Upstate 8, Mercer 7 In a game in which the Bears piled up 13 hits and seven runs, the team fell just short in a one-run loss at the hands of conference foe S.C. Upstate. Trailing 8-3 entering the seventh, the Bears couldn’t complete the comeback effort in their first conference contest of the season. S.C. Upstate 1, Mercer 4 Facing the 27-4 powerhouse Upstate in the second game of the doubleheader, freshman Jessica Holsinger and the Bears found a way to win in a 4-1 rain-delayed contest. Earning their 20th win of the year, Holsinger also garnered her 10th victory of the season. Senior Sara Stukes’ single in the sixth sparked the Bears as she would come around to score the second run of the game. The eventual decisive blow would be Randi Rae’s two-run home run to extend their lead to 4-0. ETSU 3, Mercer 4

Continuing their road tests against conference rivals, the Bears were challenged with a Saturday doubleheader against East Tennessee State. In the first game, the Bears trailed by as many as three when they were down 3-0 after one. DeFeo’s squad would mount a comeback off a solo shot by Sara Stukes, a RBI double by Kristin Marko and defensive miscues by the Lady Bucs. The three-run fifth would be more than enough for the Bears as they held onto the 4-3 victory. The win brought Holsinger’s record to a remarkable 11-2. ETSU 2, Mercer 3 Coming off the one-run thriller in game one, the Bears did much of the same with some late-inning heroics by Jessica Holsinger and Kristin Marko. Marko drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh with a RBI single. Pitching into the seventh inning for the Bears was starter Kassie Bailey. Having allowed just the two runs and with the 3-2 lead, DeFeo made a move as Holsinger would make her second appearance of the day. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Holsinger would walk the tight rope. Inducing a foul and out and walking the following batter, the bases were loaded with one out left to get. The freshman out of Idaho would strike out the next batter before getting the last batter to pop out. When asked about the early conference play and their impressive stretch of wins, Coach James DeFeo credited his girls for the work they have put in. “We are starting to hit our stride right now. The girls are starting to understand what type of ball

Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff

Softball has used a formula of starting pitchers Holsinger and Bailey, consistent play from outfielder McKenzie Woody and the recent rise of Caitlin Peisel to begin 5-3 in conference. we need to play – tough inningby-inning, pitch-by-pitch. We are playing a lot more consistently,” said DeFeo. Jacksonville 2, Mercer 6 After dropping their first conference match against Upstate, the Bears were looking for their fourth-consecutive conference win with a victory over Jacksonville in their home doubleheader. The Bears did just that as another come-from-behind win against the visiting Dolphins. Down 2-0 after a JU home run, the Bears answered right back with a RBI hit from Caitlin Peisel and a two-run blast from Krista Kennedy. The home run was the Bears’ first of the year at home this season. With the 3-2 lead, the Bears would never look back as they would add three more between the fifth and sixth in-

nings. The win slots the Bears a season-best nine-over .500 with a 23-14 record. Jacksonville 3, Mercer 0 In the back end of the doubleheader, the Bears were unable to capitalize on the opportunities at-hand and were shut out for the first time since March 6. Pitching with a little wildness, Holsinger made only one mistake in the game that resulted in the three runs and her third loss of the season. JU’s Amanda Schmidt connected on a three-run home run in the third inning to put the only runs of the game on the board. Although the Bears outhit the Dolphins 7-4, JU’s Brittany Eppley dazzled with her own complete game shutout. Mercer had an opportunity to win in the seventh with two runners on base and only one out.

Freshman sensation McKenzie Woody would strike out before Marko’s eventual game-ending ground out. North Florida 2, Mercer 3 Following a similar trend, the Bears would once again win game one of the weekend doubleheader behind the arm and bat of Kassie Bailey. In a game that saw both defenses kick the ball around to give one another two runs on the board, the game was deadlocked 2-2 in the seventh. With two down and the bases full of Mercer runners, Bailey would help herself out by depositing a UNF pitch over the shortstop’s head for the walk-off victory. In the game, Caitlin Peisel stayed hot with a 3-for-3 in the box score. She has nine hits in her last four games. She has raised her batting average from .217 to .328.

North Florida 2, Mercer 1 With a tough 2-1 loss against UNF, the Bears split a doubleheader for the ninth time this season. It marks the ninth time in which the Bears have been unable to win the second game of a back-to-back. Down 2-0 for the bulk of the game, UNF would help plate a runner home for the Bears with a bases loaded hit-by-pitch in the fifth. Down 2-1 with Woody as the potential tying run on second, the Bears were unable to score. With Peisel and Bailey listed to hit, Woody on second and only one out, the Bears had the pieces to mount the comeback. Peisel would go down swinging for the second out. Down to the final out, Bailey looked for her second-straight seventh inning hit. Bailey would get a pitch to hit as she laced a liner up the middle of the field. UNF’s Chie Someya would make a spectacular diving catch in the hole to end the game. When asked about his team’s offense DeFeo said, “It’s not about hitting all the time, but about hitting when the bell rings. That’s what we live and die by. We need to get the clutch hits when we get the runners on. We will get better as the season goes along.” The Bears have already showed signs of consistency, as their shutout loss against Jacksonville was only their fourth of the year. The other three came in the first month and a half of the season. DeFeo and his softball squad continue conference play with doubleheaders against Stetson and FGCU on April 12 and 14.

coachingspotlight: Mind

Bob Hoffman

By Garret McDowell Staff Writer garret.tyler.mcdowell @live.mercer.edu

There is the common expression that to whom much is given, much is expected. Head coach Bob Hoffman of the Mercer University men’s basketball team is in such a place at the moment. Coach Hoffman is the first coach to bring a postseason crown to Mercer and to the Atlantic Sun. Without a doubt, this is an extremely impressive place to be in, but through any discussions with Coach Hoffman it is obvious that this hasn’t changed the way he has carried himself or the way he approaches his game. The Cluster: The CIT win will go down as a benchmark in the Mercer program, and success next year must match up to continue to show success from here, correct? Bob Hoffman: True, we need to climb to new heights, but I am also dedicated to make sure our program is sustainable. At the end of the day, these guys need to be ready for life after basketball, and we can’t forget that when we are coaching them. C: What was the best part of winning on an opponent’s floor for a championship, especially one of the hardest places to play in the country? H: To watch [the players] enjoy the fruits of their labor was a tremendous blessing to witness. You could really see it in their eyes, and it was thrilling. It was the best game of the season in all aspects, from the environment to the game. He routinely refers back to the team and to their success, showing his nature as a coach who truly believes in athletics in college as a stepping stone to being a man as opposed to just winning games. C: What inspires you to keep coaching after all these years? H: In college, you get to see guys come in as boys and leave as men...I really wanted to make a difference in young people’s lives. It’s what gets me up in the morning and keeps me going, to know that these lessons they will take not only to basketball, but to their future careers and families. C: What will this victory in the CIT Championship do for the future of recruiting? H: Visibility is always important, especially as we grow the brand of Mercer University as a whole. We are in a great place right now with some younger guys to potentially

over

Matters

“In college, you get to see guys come in as boys and leave as men. I really wanted to make a difference in young people’s lives. It’s what gets me up in the morning and keeps me going...”

Bob Hoffman, head basketball coach step up the entire program to the next level. C: What was the lowest point this season, with a few heartbreaks here and there? H: That semifinal loss to Florida Gulf Coast was the lowest point of the season, but we the coaching staff, put signs up that simply said Hope Remains. We had heard that there might be a second chance, another game in the works. While the guys weren’t really buying into the tournament at the beginning, you could see that it had turned around they were full of emotion after that win in the first round [over Tennessee State]. C: What keeps you going in a long 38-game season? H: Well, this isn’t my first time coaching this many games, just at a different level. Honestly, my faith is a huge part of it. I’m a part of a great Photo Courtesy of Mercer Athletics

church, and plugging back in there rejuvenates me for the tough roads ahead. My family is a key part of it as well, and they are there for me always. C: Tulsa singled you out for a potential head coaching gig. Are you looking to go somewhere else, or are you wanting to take care of some things here first? H: I am dedicated to this program and incredibly thankful to the position I have at Mercer, thanks to President Underwood. He gave me a chance here, and I am happy to have taken this team to this level. In essence, this humble man is one of the celebrities on Mercer’s campus right now, having brought home a championship against insurmountable odds. Coach Bob Hoffman shows his emotions on his sleeve during a game, and that showed through in his interview.

Photo Courtesy of baseballcanadiana.com

With stars such as Eric O’Flaherty, young closer Craig Kimbrell and specialist Jonny Venters (above) returning to the bullpen, the Braves hope to receive similar production from a year ago in order to achieve success in 2012.

Matt Williams Columnist

Braves lineup, bullpen aim for consistency The Atlanta Braves had the best bullpen in baseball last year, leading all of Major League Baseball (MLB) with an earned run average of 3.03, opponents’ batting average (.216) and strikeouts (536). This was mostly due to the dynamic trio of Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters and the 2011 Rookie of the Year Craig Kimbrell. Outside of those three pitchers, however, it seemed that Fredi Gonzalez did not trust his bullpen. O’Flaherty pitched in 78 games, Venters played in 85 and Kimbrell made 79 appearances. Compare this to other members of the Braves’ bullpen: Anthony Varvaro (38), Arodys Vizcaino (17), Scott Linebrink (64), Scott Proctor (31), George Sherrill (51). The real story comes from the ERA of these players, however: O’Flaherty (0.98), Venters (1.84), Kimbrell (2.10), Varvaro (2.68), Vizcaino (4.67), Linebrink (3.64), Proctor (6.44) and Sherrill (3.00). To be fair, the elevated num-

ber of appearances for the bullpen was due in part to Peter Moylan and Kris Medlen being out all season due to injuries, partly to the post All-Star break collapse of Jair Jurrjens, and partly due to another terrible year from Derek Lowe. Luckily for Braves fans, Lowe, Linebrink, Proctor and Sherrill are no longer with the ball club. However, Medlen and Moylan are both back. Medlen posted a 3.68 ERA in 31 games in 2010. So far in 2012, which consists of two innings against the New York Mets in the season-opener, Medlen has yet to allow a run with an opponents’ batting average of .160. Moylan posted a 3.24 ERA in 13 games in 2011, though his career ERA is an impressive 2.60 in 255.2 innings. With Lowe no longer with the club, the Braves starting rotation is comprised of Tommy Hanson, Jurrjens, Tim Hudson, Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor, with Randall Delgado coming out of the bullpen as well. Delgado and minor-league ace Julio Teheran will most likely make starts once the roster expands to 40 in September. Outside of stellar pitching, a lot of other areas seem to point to a better 2012 for the Braves. For one, Atlanta finally has a solid leadoff hitter in Mi-

chael Bourn. In a deal where the Houston Astros basically gave Bourn away, the Braves traded Jordan Schafer, who had 47 hits, 15 stolen bases, and a .623 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) in 52 games for the Braves, for Bourn, who managed 62 hits, 22 stolen bases, and a .673 OPS in 53 games for the boys in red, white, and blue. It turned out to be a great deal for the Braves on multiple accounts, as they were able to keep their top pitching prospects and avoid Schafer’s off-field drug issues. Other things that are looking up for Atlanta: Dan Uggla’s post All-Star break batting average (.296 vs. .185 pre-All Star break average). Uggla’s 33 game hitting streak last season somewhat salvaged his pedestrian .233 batting average. If Uggla continues to hit, Freddie Freeman’s power flourishes (Freeman tied for the most home-runs in spring training in all of MLB), Brian McCann stays healthy and Jason Heyward sheds his sophomore slump in favor of his rookie campaign. The Braves could have one of the most potent offenses in the National League. All in all, with the 2011 collapse as fuel to the fire, the Atlanta Braves will look to rebound in 2012 and make it back to the postseason.

Bear Facts As of April 10: - Sophomore Nick Backlund leads the baseball team in batting average (.411), at-bats (124), runs (31), hits (51), doubles (15), home runs (10), runs batted in (39), total bases (96) and slugging (774). He is also one of four players to have started all 33 games. - Sophomore Daniel Coursey broke the single-season Mercer record for blocks in a season this year. He ended the year with 88 in 38 games played. -For the second straight week, sophomore James Beale earned the A-Sun "Golfer of the Week" award. Beale had a career day at the Irish Creek Collegiate with scores of 68, 68 and 64. The score of 64 was a career-best. -Entering the weekend games with Jacksonville and North Florida, senior Caitlin Peisel had just 10 hits and a .217 batting average on the season. In the four games, Peisel tallied nine hits and raised her average by .111. She is now second on the team with an average of .328.


Sports

The Cluster - April 12, 2012 - Page 14

Sports Editor

Samir Moussawel sports@mercercluster.com

Sand volleyball shines in the sun with program’s first win By Bryson Jones Staff Writer bryson.c.jones@live.mercer.edu

The Mercer sand volleyball team booked the program’s first victory on Saturday, topping Tulane 3-2 at the Mercer sand volleyball complex. The Bears’ win moved the team to 1-5 on the year while Tulane fell to 1-7. Mercer won in a highly contested first flight competetion, as the No. 1 duo of Cassie Roy and Jamie Duffy earned a 2-1 (21-16, 19-21, 15-11) victory over Tulane’s Grace Weaver and Cori Martone. Junior Jamie Duffy was more than ecstatic about the win in her match, and credited her partner Roy for coming up with some big plays. “I feel like we worked as a team, and when it got tough we executed. We’ve been practicing with each other for a while now so we know exactly what the other is going to do. It was tied up going into our match, and we knew we had to come up big for Mercer. On the last point, I knew that if I gave

“I feel like we worked as a team, and when it got tough we executed. We’ve been practicing with each other for a while now so we know exactly what the other is going to do.”

Jamie Duffy, junior sand volleyball player

Cassie the perfect set, that she would kill it for the win. So I focused to put it exactly where it needed to be so that she could bring us home, and she did. We didn’t want to let our friends down. We didn’t want to let Mercer down,” said Duffy. In the next flight, Mercer’s No. 2 team of Caroline Carlton and Emily Rochefort swept the Tulane faction of Milena Dragovic and Nikki Osuna in straight sets. Rochefort and Carlton had to overcome some adversity before the match. Carlton broke her nose the week before, and

played despite her injuries. Rochefort noted that she and Carlton were both nervous. “I was extremely nervous going into the match, because my partner Caroline had nose surgery the day before. But she went into the match without hesitation and played better than ever before. I am really proud of her and the team’s overall performance,” said Rochefort. Mercer’s No. 3 pairing of Monica Sanchez and Jennifer Katona secured the team’s victory, overpowering Tulane’s representatives with scores of

Photo courtesy of Mercer Athletics

Struggling through their first five matches, the Bears’ squad of five duos finally hit their stride in a 3-2 win over Tulane. It was the second and final event hosted by Mercer this spring. 21-13 and 21-14. Junior Monica Sanchez credited the support of the Mercer crowd for helping them get through some rough patches in each of the matches. I think that because we had a few matches under our belt,

we felt more confident going into the Tulane match. It was definitely a team effort though, and we could not thank everyone enough who came out and supported us,” said Sanchez. Tulane earned wins in the fourth and fifth flights against

the teams of Lizzie Knapper and Erin Brett, and Madison Petsos and Emily Brett, wrapping up the day’s action. Coming off the win, Mercer returns to competitive play in the season finale at AlabamaBirmingham on April 15.

Basketball rewrites recordbook in road to CIT • With Mercer’s 70-67 win over Utah State in the CIT finals, the Bears captured the Atlantic Sun Conference’s first postseason crown. • The Bears set program records in wins (27), games played (38), points scored (2,589) and blocks (180). • Bob Hoffman and his squad also tied Mercer’s record for most wins in a four-year span (75).

Viva la sport!

Garret McDowell Columnist

Masters golf on the rise I’m going to be honest; I really couldn’t get into golf besides being a Tiger groupie for a long time. I felt it boring and a bit of a drag, making me wince whenever I would walk into a room with golf on. I really couldn’t stand the atmosphere, and to me, it didn’t feel like it could keep me enthused. Over the years, I began to put on the final round of majors, watching to see if Tiger would pull out a comeback or continue to dominate. I’d watch and see if Lefty had any kind

of good day. More often than not, I’d really just watch in slight bewilderment, confused as to why anyone would sit around and watch these guys hit a tiny ball down a course 72 times each over four days. However, I must now urge everyone to watch golf. Heck, you should go play. I find it funny that some of the slower and less “exciting” sports are actually much more technically sophisticated. I personally love soccer, and a major part of that game is a technical finesse unheard of in football or basketball. I have begun to be entranced in the sheer majesty of the sport and its culture. While I knew what was going on scoring wise all those years ago, I had no idea just how complex the game was and could be. Watching the Masters this weekend has been a special treat, as I have been able to see just how often the leader board changes everyday. Golf has everything that you want in a form of entertainment. It has drama in every tournament. No matter how often these players participate in the same event, small things change every year. Old enemies resurface, and actual rivalries develop. The media might enhance it a bit, but it makes watching the holes even more worth it. If you’re a purist and don’t like the flashy pageantry that comes with professional

sports, then you’ll love golf even more. Even though some wear a few outlandishly bright colors (Rickie Fowler, but he rocks), the focus remains on the ability of the players and all of the little variables that happen in golf. You might think weather affects other sports bad, but the slightest breeze must be taken into account. The altitude of the course has to be remembered to see if the ball will travel differently. Even more, it is such a mental sport that it surprised me to a high degree. Every little stroke from a massive drive of over 200 yards to a little putt from three feet out must be a careful equation. It’s a beautiful symphony of technique, athletic ability and a cautious accountancy for outside elements that can undo the best of them. In essence, the sport of golf has no equal, and this past weekend of Masters has been thrilling. Somewhere between watching the ungraceful disappearance of Tiger on day three and the climatic final round, I kicked myself for thinking golf was boring for such a long time. When the U.S. Open happens, you should watch, because it is always a treat, and Rory McIlroy will be trying to defend his title. It’s just an awesome sport that always keeps you on the tips of your toes...just like Mercer Bears basketball.

Photo Courtesy of footjoy.com

As Tiger continues his comeback, the rise of other professional golfers keeps viewers glued to their television sets in hopes of witnessing the next unforgettable moment.

‘Golfer of the Week’ Beale leads Bears to 3rd place at Irish Creek By Matt Williams Staff Writer matt.kenrich.williams @live.mercer.edu

The Mercer men’s golf team rebounded from a disappointing showing at the Linger Longer Invitational, an event that they co-hosted with Kennesaw State University at Great Waters Golf Course in Eatonton, with a stellar performance at the Irish Creek Invitational at Irish Creek Golf Course in Kannapolis, N.C. The Bears finished in third place overall, with a final shot total of 839 strokes. The boys from Macon were only four shots back from No.17 Duke and were six strokes ahead of the fourth place team, UNC Charlotte 49ers. Mercer was paced by sophomore James Beale, who had just come off of a great individual finish at the Linger Longer Invitational, finishing five under par, ending the tournament in a tie for fourth place. His performance at the Linger Longer garnered him the Atlantic Sun Golfer of the Week award. Beale’s success would not end in Eatonton, however, and as he would fire rounds of 68, 68 and 64, ending the tournament as the overall winner, ending 13 under par for the tournament. “(James) has really come into his own in the last month,” said Head Coach Steve Bradley. “From his first top 10 finish at Florida State, to his first top five finish at Linger Longer, to winning his first tournament at Irish Creek. He’s always had the talent, but now he’s starting to believe in himself and his confidence is through the roof.” The victory gave Beale a second-straight Atlantic Sun Golfer of the Week award, becoming the first Bear to earn the honor in back-to-back weeks and only the second Atlantic Sun player to do so this season. The rest of the orange and black squad would likewise perform well, with senior Josh Cone finishing in a tie for 17th place. Cone shot rounds of 69, 72, 72, which gave him an even par through the three rounds. “Overall as a

Photo courtesy of Mercer Athletics

James Beale’s standout performances at the Linger Longer Invitational and Irish Creek Collegiate gained him recognition as A-Sun’s ‘Golfer of the Week’ in consecutive weeks.

“He’s always had the talent, but now he’s starting to believe in himself, and his confidence is through the roof.”

Steve Bradley, golf head coach team we played pretty good,” said Cone. “We played with two really good golf teams in Kent State and Duke and we felt like we held our own. We’ve gained a lot of momentum and feel really good about our chances heading into conference.” Freshman Trey Rule had the third best team finish, with rounds of 75, 67 and 72. Rule finished one over par. His score put him in a four-way tie for 12th place. Sophomore Hans Reimers shot rounds of 73, 74 and 70, to finish plus-four and in a six-way tie for 29th place. Reimers had the fourth best finish for Mercer. Junior Thomas Holmes ended

with his best round of the tournament (72), having shot rounds of 76 and 73 on the first day of competition. Holmes finished in a four-way tie for 43rd place and rounded out the Bears’ scorecard. Mercer is preparing for the Atlantic Sun Championship, which takes place from April 16-18 at The Legends at Chateau Elan in Braselton. “I’m proud of all the hard work the team has put in this season,” said Bradley. “We got better and that was our main goal. The success that we have had is going to be a good springboard into the future. We’re only going to get better and that’s really exciting from a coaching perspective.”


The Cluster - April 12, 2012 - Page 15

Sports

Lacrosse falters in first competition on the west coast By Garret McDowell Staff Writer garret.tyler.mcdowell @live.mercer.edu

In their first ever game out west, Mercer Lacrosse was not ready for the altitude of either the playing field or their opposing team’s ability. A 20-4 loss was not the ideal result for the Bears, especially after the opening quarter saw Air Force take a 8-2 lead that stunned the young team. “I think we need time to develop. We are the only team in the country without a senior, and the only team in the country without a starting junior. You cannot underestimate what that does for your team. That is three full years of experience going against one full year,” said Coach Jason Childs. However, he did not want this to be the only reason behind the loss. “I think some day kids have it and some days they do not. That was clearly a day we did

not have the focus we needed to play a solid lacrosse game. That is my responsibility and I failed in preparing to be ready for that game. I also think the altitude had a lot to do with this. As a group we had not been in that environment, and we did not have any players use to anything like that. We looked fatigued mentally, and that is something that was brought on by the altitude. However, we need to rise above that and not make that an excuse,” said Childs. Outstanding performers in the game were Cole Branch as well as Kevin Alexander on the defensive end. “We win as a team, and lose as a team, but I do think Cole and Kevin stood out a little bit there,” added Childs. However, they were not enough to overcome the offensive onslaught from the Falcons’ Mike Crampton and Keith Dreyer’s seven goals. Despite the Air Force setback, the team has shown progress. They wouldn’t have won a game without it. “The Manhattan game was a great turnaround

for our team. We gave up six goals in the first quarter and held them to two the remainder of the game. I think we were better than Wagner and we were able to do some things much easier than against any other team we played this year,” Childs said, before mentioning that they were ready to compete against them but not Air Force. The Bears do have three more contests this year. Coach Childs is both cautious and optimistic about the Bears’ chances. “We have three games remaining that I feel we can be very competitive in. I think Delaware is having a little bit of a down year, but they are very talented and play very fast. That could be a problem, but we are going to try to slow them a little. We will look to play zone and sit on the ball a little. I think VMI and St Joseph’s look to be very competitive games for us, and I am excited for the end of the season,” Childs said. The Bears play their final home game against St. Joseph on April 21.

Cross country runners compete in tight Emory Classic race

Upcoming games (4/12-4/25): Softball @ Stetson (2) @ FGCU (2) vs. Belmont (2) vs. Lipscomb (2) @ South Ala. (2) Baseball vs. Belmont (3) @ Kennesaw St. @ ETSU (3) @ Alabama St. (2) Lacrosse @ VMI vs. St. Joseph’s

Men’s tennis vs. Jacksonville vs. North Florida @ A-Sun championships Women’s tennis vs. Jacksonville vs. North Florida @ A-Sun championships Men’s cross country @ Auburn War Eagle Invitational

By Bryson Jones Staff Writer bryson.c.jones@live.mercer.edu

Home games are in BOLD

Men’s golf @ A-Sun championships

Baseball goes 3-3 against Florida conference foes By Samir Moussawel Sports Editor sports@mercercluster.com

After such a hot start to the season, the Bears baseball team hit a few rough patches in the month of March. Coach Craig Gibson and the players hope April will come with a little more success. Entering the meat of their conference play and staring down a 1-5 start, the Bears looked to compete at a high level with contests against Stetson and FGCU. The Bears did just that as they went a combined 3-3 against the Florida foes. Stetson 4, Mercer 7 After suffering a tough sweep at the hands of Lipscomb on the road, the Bears returned to Clyde Smith Field with their sights set on a series win. Facing off against the Stetson Hatters, the Bears took game one of the series behind a spectacular outing by junior Logan Gaines. Gaines went 2-for-2 with four RBI, including his eighth home run of the season. Stetson 7, Mercer 6 The Bears tried to follow in their tracks from game one but fell just one run short of taking a commanding two-game series lead.

Trailing 7-3 in the fifth, the Bears couldn’t mount a full comeback with one in the fifth and two in the seventh. Logan Gaines did all he could with another two home runs, three RBI and three hits. Gaines homered in back-toback at-bats in the fifth and the seventh. Mercer outhit Stetson 12-7 in the losing effort. Stetson catcher Sam Kimmel’s three-run blast in the four-run fifth proved to be the difference. Stetson 8, Mercer 1 In the rubber match of the three-game set, the Bears offense and defense came up flat in the 8-1 trumping at the hands of the Hatters. Spraying around hits and runs in the nine-inning affair, the Hatters had their way with the Bears pitching. With the exception of the number three hitter Ben Carhart, the Hatters’ one through eight hitter each contributed one hit. Carhart had three. Batters three through seven had at least one RBI. The Bears didn’t help themselves on defense as second baseman DJ Johnson had a game to forget. Johnson committed three errors and had only two putouts. Savannah St. 1, Mercer 5 With their brief stint with Savannah State at home sandwiched between another threegame conference series, the

Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff

As the Bears look to dig themselves out of an early conference hole, junior Logan Gaines’ power has increased. He is tied for the team-lead with 10 home runs.

Photo Courtesy of Mercer Athletics

Falling behind early in matches, the Bears offense seems to be working from behind in many of their games. If Coach Childs and the Bears hope to string together consecutive wins in years to come, defense needs to buckle down from the initial whistle.

Bears made every at-bat and pitch count in the winning effort. As clouds hovered over, sophomore Nick Backlund made sure the Bears would hit the scoreboard before the weather-shortened game was concluded. Backlund was 3-for-3 with a home run and four RBI in the game. His 10th dinger ties him for the teamlead with Logan Gaines. His RBI single in the first started the scoring and his three-run blast in the fifth ended it. Mercer 4, FGCU 3 Traveling down to Florida for their conference meeting with FGCU, game one of the series was all about pitching. Senior Brandon Love was back to his true ace form with seven dazzling innings of one-run ball. Although each team tallied eight hits apiece, there was never more than one run scored in any inning. FGCU’s Ricky Knapp hurled 7.1 innings himself. He surrendered just five hits and two runs. Holding onto just a one-run lead in the eighth, the Bears used RBI hits in the eighth and ninth by Austin Barrett and Nick Backlund to hold off the Eagle attack. Mercer 4, FGCU 2 Desperately needing to come up with a series win, the Bears used an array of hits from eight of the nine starters and another solid outing by Dimitri Kourtis to secure their 4-2 win. Evan Boyd and Derrick Workman each homered in the contest. On the mound, Kourtis went seven strong innings. He gave up just six hits and two runs. The three-game series win is the Bears’ first series victory since sweeping Presbyterian on Feb. 24-26. Mercer 1, FGCU 4 Going for their first sweep of series in conference play, the Bears witnessed the difficulty of beating another team in three consecutive matches. Knotted 0-0 for the majority of the game, the Eagles crossed the plate first with a run in seventh. The Bears would answer right back with one in the eighth themselves. The Eagles would then put the game away with three runs on two hits and an error in the bottom half of the inning. Outhittiing the Eagles 6-4, FGCU had just two hits entering the bottom of the eighth in a 1-1 game. The Bears now sit at 4-8 in conference play after going 3-3 against Stetson and FGCU. Mercer still looks forward to 15 more conference matchups to improve their position in the A-Sun standings.

The men’s and women’s cross country teams recently traveled to Atlanta to compete in the Emory Classic on Mar. 29. With several of top running programs from nearby universities competing competition was sure to be intense. On the women’s side, sophomore Kylen Hughes and junior Kacie Knapper competed in the 3000-meter Steeplechase. Hughes finished with a time of 12:30.00 which was good for sixth place, while Knapper finished with a time of 13:00.00 putting her in ninth. In the women’s 5000-meter unseeded run, freshman Iliana Garcia and sophomore Caley Cranford ran for the Bears. Garcia finished with a time of 20:17.58 putting her in fifth place. Cranford finished with a time of 21:48.79 giving her an 18th place finish.

The women’s 1500-meter saw a close finish. Junior Kacie Niemann fell just short of victory, finishing with a time of 4:40.00 just 1.25 seconds away from the first place finisher. The next two finishers broke the tape less than a second behind Niemann, proving competitiveness of the race. The 5000-meter featured two Bear runners in Kacie Niemann and Christina Kivi. The two Mercer runners ran across the finish line simultaneously with a time of 18:59.00. The men’s races proved to be just as competitive as the women’s races. In the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase, junior Andrew Weems finished in fourth place with a time of 9:44.19. In the men’s 5000-meter, four runners for the Bears competed. Junior Jacob Law finished with a time of 15:08.56, which was good for third place. Sophomore Sony Prosper finished in fifth place, clocking a time of 15:19.00. Seniors Marc Kushinka and Chris Svidesskis finished just four –hundredths

of a second apart, logging times of 15:34.78 and 15:34.82 respectively, which was good for 10th and 11th place. In the men’s 5000-meter B section, freshman Joel Aguilar finished in 19th with a time of 17:50.00. In the 1500-meter, freshmen Jeff Law and Austin Pfeifer crossed the finish line together with a time of 4:18.50 placing them in 20th and 21st. Sophomore Kasib Abdullah was just seconds behind clocking a 4:20.00 which was good for 25th. Freshman Josh Pendley finished in 27th place running across the line at 4:21.61. The 3000-meter saw all four Mercer runners finishing together. Kasib Abdullah, Jeff Law, Austin Pfeifer and Josh Pendley each finished at 9:51.00 taking up the 14th through 17th spots. This was the final meet of the school year for the women’s cross country team. They will be looking to take the experience gained in this spring season to transition themselves into their competitive fall season.

Men’s tennis nets first win in conference By Garret McDowell Staff Writer garret.tyler.mcdowell @live.mercer.edu

They might have picked up their first win in Atlantic Sun play, but with just two matches left in conference play, the Mercer men’s tennis team seems to be on the outside looking in for this year’s Atlantic Sun Championship. As of April 7, the Mercer men are 4-11 overall, with a 1-6 record in the conference. They sit tied for dead last with Kennesaw State and Jacksonville, who also are chasing for the final playoff spot. Coach Warren Woolfolk was very outspoken about his team’s chances though, saying “Our team has the talent to make a postseason run. Tennis is a very mental sport, and with a little confidence I feel we can do a lot of damage in the ASun tournament.” Mercer 6, Kennesaw State 1 After five straight defeats overall and four in conference play, the Mercer men pulled it together on the road to take down the Kennesaw State Owls in tremendous fashion, pulling one win back in a dismal year for the program. The day started off with the first doubles point in Mercer’s favor since the match against Florida Gulf Coast. Victor Dias and Dave Barton won at the No. 1 doubles, and then Joao Pagan and Vince DeLise were able to dominate at their spot. It was off to a great start for Mercer, and they followed by winning five of the six singles points. Pierre Tafelski continued his excellent A-Sun play. “He is now 4-1 in our conference at the No.1 position and has put himself in the position to make the All-Conference team if he continues at this pace,” Coach Woolfolk said. Tafelski, Barton, Pagan, Dias and Peter Tauchner were able to save points for the Bears. Mercer 1, ETSU 6 The Bears came crashing back down to earth after they were blasted unceremoniously

Photo Courtesy of Mercer Athletics

Led by seniors David Barton (above) and Pierre Tafelski, the Bears have showed signs of growth late in the season. Even with their overall struggles, Mercer won its first conference match versus the Kennesaw State Owls. by the Bucs 6-1. Only Pierre Tafelski could grab a point, leading to Woolfolk calling him “impressive.” The doubles point would be fiercely fought, with the Bucs taking it 9-7, 8-7, 8-4. Victor Dias came close to forcing extra sets, but he just could not finish the job in his singles point. ETSU remained undefeated in the conference, and they seem on the verge of clinching the top seed in the tournament. Mercer did snap a streak of five shutouts for ETSU, scoring the first point in play in over two weeks of matches. Mercer 3, USC Upstate 4

In yet another heartbreak, the Bears would lose by a point to a team they have never defeated. The worst point in the day was definitely the injury to Joao Pagan, who was forced to retire during his singles point. The Bears won the doubles point via the Barton/Dias and Tafelski/Tauchner combos holding on. However, the singles points went 4-2 in favor of the Trojans, with only Dias and DeLise picking up points. Both fought hard and swept their respective opponents.

The Bears will end the season with home matches versus Jacksonville and North Florida on April 13 and 14 respectively.


The Cluster - April 12, 2012 - Page 16

Photography Editor Noah Maier

photography@mercercluster.com

The End…

whatyousay

What have you learned at Mercer?

“I learned that anything is possible if you have the drive and ambition.”

-Alexandria Oliver, Junior

favprofessor? Liz Bibb

The whole political science department

Ashley Mann Dr. Gottshall

Samir Moussawel Fernando Palacios

““II h have llearned d to be b much h more independent and selfsufficient”

- Chantal Gunn, Junior

Alicia Landrum

Drs. Johnston and Drake Difficulty: 41

““I’ve I’’ve learned that the only d iffe differences between a kinderg art gartner and a college student a re height and bedtime.” are

- Molly M Tucker, Senior n io

“I’ve learned that I have some great friends, and staying true to yourself is one of the most important things in life.”

Difficulty: 77 D

- Dalton Turner, Sophomore

“Thi “Things change, and you can’t expe your life to give you expect the ssame hand. You never the have the same perspective, have the ssame beliefs, or the same the frien friends. Adaption leads to surv survival.”

- Joshua Jo Whitfield, Sophomore So

To submit your photo for consideration, email photography@mercercluster.com


Mercer Cluster, Issue 14