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SIDELINES

4// 16// 2014 E D I T O R I A L LY INDEPENDENT

TBI reveals campus crime rates Pg. 3 MTSU student takes stage for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ Pgs. 6-7 More than a stone to keep Pgs. 12-13 Elimination of oneand-done Pg. 15 English department faces most recent teacher cuts Pgs. 10-11


S T N E T N CO

3 NEWS 6 A&E 10 COVER 12 Features 14 OPINIONS 15 SPORTS S T A F F

Emily West >> Editor-in-chief John Coulston >> Assistant A&E Editor

Amanda Gambill >> Managing Editor Sam Brown >> Sports Editor

Quint Qualls >> News Editor Connor Grott >> Assistant Sports Editor

Daniel Jansouzian >> Assistant News Editor Robert Allen >> Opinions Editor Taylor Davis >> Assistant News Editor Laurel O’Neill >> Designer

Bailey Robbins >> Features Editor Cat Murphy >> Photo Editor

Claire Osburn >> A&E Editor

Noel Heath >> Assistant A&E and Features Editor

2 SIDELINES | April 16, 2014 | www.mtsusidelines.com

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Cover designed by Laurel O’Neill. John Bragg Mass Communication Building Center for Innovation in Media 1301 East Main Street P.O. Box 8, Murfreesboro, Tenn. 37132 Editorial: 615-904-7648 mtsusidelines.com

Maranda Faris >> Copy Editor Leon Alligood >> Adviser

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @mtsusidelines. Tune in Friday to Sidelines FM on 88.3 from 6-8 p.m.


NEWS Sex crimes surge across Tennessee campuses By Quint Qualls // News Editor The rate of sex crimes on college campus increased 25 percent in 2013, according to findings by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in its annual “Crime on Campus” report. Fifty sex offenses were reported in 2013 while 40 were reported in 2012. That figure is in sharp contrast to last year’s findings, which showed a 19.6 percent decrease from 47 to 40 in reports of sex offenses on college campuses from 2011-2012. Furthermore, 88 percent of sex crime offenders were acquainted with their victims, according to the report. Only six percent of sex offenders were strangers to their victims. Despite a 16.3 percent decrease in larceny and theft crimes, burglary offenses increased 3.3 percent and robberies increased 29.4 percent. Reports of larceny and theft fell from 2,648 in 2012 to 2,230 in 2013, while robbery reports rose from 34 to 44 and burglary reports rose from 397 to 410 from 2012-2013. Other notable findings include a 16.3 percent decrease in assault offenses from 794 to 686 in 2013 and an 11.6 percent decrease in overall crimes in 2013. However, violent crimes on campus, which includes rape, assault, kidnapping, murder and robbery, have increased 25.7 percent since 2010. “This report will hopefully assist law enforcement, institution administrators and government officials in planning their effort in the fight against crime,” said Mark Gwyn, TBI Director. “The threats to society by criminal activity must be addressed by efforts from all law-abiding citizens as well as law enforcement agencies.” The TBI published its “Crime on Campus” report earlier this month, the aim of which is to document and analyze “the nature, volume and extent of reported crime on the campuses and in the housing of Tennessee colleges and universities.” The full 2013 report, including breakdowns by institution, is available in the “Crime on Campus” section of the TBI website at www.tbi.tn.gov. To contact the news editor, email Quint Qualls at news@mtsusidelines.com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @sidelines_news and @mtsusidelines.

Graphic illustration by Laurel O’Neill. SIDELINES | April 16, 2014 | www.mtsusidelines.com 3


NEWS

Muslim journalism student visits Murfreesboro, met with hostility By Daniel Jansouzian // Assistant News Editor “It’s not a religion.” These are the words Noor Tagouri, a journalism student from The University of Maryland, heard from her hecklers at the Rutherford County Judicial Building on March 24. Litigation addressing whether a cemetery should be allowed on the property of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was scheduled that day in the courtroom of Chancellor Robert Corlew III. The tension in the courtroom overflowed into the halls and into the streets of the square when Corlew obliged proponents of the mosque and stepped down from the case because of previous decisions that reflected bias, according to a news package Tagouri made for her journalism class. “The funny thing is I had been in Nashville giving a motivational speech on empowering yourself and combating bullying,” Tagouri said, “and I heard about the court hearing from my friend, Lema Sbenaty, and wanted to cover it. I wanted to get both sides, but only [U.S. Rep. Scott Desjarlais] would get back to me.” But when Tagouri came into the courthouse with her camera, microphone and notebook wearing her hijab, or traditional Muslim headscarf, she was met with criticism and hostility. “A girl in a headscarf asking questions scared them,” Tagouri said. “They didn’t believe I was a real journalist.” In a video Tagouri posted to YouTube, she attempted to explain she was doing a report for the University of Maryland. Lou Ann Zelenik, 2010 Republican U.S. congressional candidate and long-time opponent of the mosque, responded to the video saying, “I don’t want to be on Al Jazeera. I’ve received so many death threats.”

Noor Tagouri faced instense hostility from opponents against the Islamic faith at the hearing. Photo submitted.

Tagouri, who is Libyan and lives in Washington, D.C., said her community is diverse, and she has never experienced anything like she did here. “I know what it’s like to live in a community where everyone is different, but we all live in peace and harmony,” she said. Tagouri said it is important for Americans to know that Islam exists and that opponents of it are ignorant to real issues and to supporters. “My mom said she wants to invite [Zelenik] over for dinner, so we can sit down and talk out our differences,” Tagouri said. The controversy over the mosque is not a Christian issue but a tolerance issue, according to Tagouri. “By 2050, our country is going to be a minority-majority country; there’s no escaping it,” she said. “If we want to still be the greatest nation in the world, we have to learn to accept and love those who are different from us.”

“We’re tired of being put in the back of the bus,” Zelenik said, referring to herself and other opponents of the mosque.

Tagouri said she met people at the courthouse who said the Islamic opponents claim to be Christian, but their actions speak otherwise.

Opponents of the mosque attempted to block Tagouri from shooting her video and called her and other mosque supporters “liars.” Zelenik and her supporters said Islam is not a religion, but a political agenda.

“I have close friends who are very devout, practicing Christians,” she said. “So I know how Christians are supposed to be.”

“I already knew this kind of stuff happened because of friends who have experienced the same thing,” Tagouri said. “I can’t say I’ve lived this because I only experienced it for a couple of hours. It’s sad that people still treat others that way.” 4 SIDELINES | April 16, 2014 | www.mtsusidelines.com

She said Islam is built on peace, love and how to treat others with respect, just like Christianity. To contact the news editor, email Quint Qualls atnews@mtsusidelines. com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ sidelines_news and @mtsusidelines.


NEWS

Crime Briefs VAGRANCY Student Union Building April 9, 1:32 p.m. Authorities arrested Desmond Juwann Trice, 20, on charges of criminal trespassing. THEFT Lyon Hall April 9, 10:55 a.m. A complainant reported that his laptop was stolen from a study room. THEFT Woodmore Cafeteria April 8, 1:50 p.m. A complainant reported that his wallet had been stolen. DRUGS Nicks Hall April 7, 6:35 p.m. Authorities arrested Michael Elliot Jansheski, 19, on charges of the manufacture, delivery, sale and possession of marijuana.

THEFT James E. Walker Library April 7, 5:03 p.m. A complainant reported that her cell phone had been stolen. BURGLARY Student Union Building April 6, 3:16 p.m. A complainant reported that money had been stolen from the Aramark Office. The money was later located and a crime did not actually occur. The case was dismissed as unfounded. THEFT Corlew Hall April 5, 5:34 p.m. A complainant reported that her bicycle had been stolen. ASSAULT Scarlett Commons Apartment 3 April 5, 3:54 p.m. A victim reported that her roommate physically assaulted her. Authorities explained the warrant process to her. However, she was unsure if she wanted to press charges.

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ascendfcu.org | 800-342-3086 Federally insured by the NCUA. Membership is limited. SIDELINES | April 16, 2014 | www.mtsusidelines.com 5


A&E Vocal major takes the stage in

Jesus Christ Superstar By Dylan Aycock // Staff Writer Evening performances of “Jesus Christ Superstar” are set for April 17-19 at 7:30 p.m., with matinee shows scheduled for 2 p.m. April 19-20. Photo submitted.

With a theatrical resume of more than 50 productions, a senior vocal performance major is no stranger to the adrenaline rush of performing on stage. John David Welch began his acting career at 8, and once aspired to perform on Broadway. However, upon attending MTSU, Welch discovered a new passion apart from musical theater. “I love [musical theatre], and it’s something I have an extreme appreciation for,” Welch said. “But coming here and studying opera became the niche of where I actually felt like I belonged. I’m exhausted all the time, but I would rather be than not be.” Originally from Jackson, Tenn., Welch came to MTSU because of its affordability, accessibility and what he considers to be a “top-notch program.” “You don’t get this kind of training at a normal state program,” Welch said. “Once you begin the program, it’s like real conservatory training. It’s been an extremely great growing process.” In the past four years, Welch has been involved in productions such as the Manchester Arts Center’s “The Drowsy Chaperone” and the Arts Center of Cannon County’s “Legally Blonde: The Musical.” He’s also starred in MTSU’s productions of “Guys and Dolls” and “The Magic Flute.” He performed in a production of “Spring Awakening” through a pilot theater group as well. Currently Welch is portraying Jesus Christ in the popular musical “Jesus Christ Superstar,” directed by Renee Robinson and in affiliation with Murfreesboro Center for the Arts. The production, which is returning after a highly successful run last year, focuses on the last seven days of the life of Jesus Christ from the time he enters Jerusalem until the crucifixion. “If you came to the show last year, it’s completely different,” Welch said of the production. “It’s the same idea except more developed because we’ve had a year to expand our thoughts. It’s completely revitalized, and honestly, probably the most professional performance I’ve ever been involved in.” Despite the show’s modifications, many cast members returned for the play’s second run, including the three lead roles, the director and most of the production team. Welch, who served as the music director in last year’s production, passed on the position to former MTSU music student Emily Dennis. 6 SIDELINES | April 16, 2014| www.mtsusidelines.com


A&E “This show has the ability — whether you are a believer or not — to meld groups and meld hearts and minds. Because even if you take away the religious aspect of it, it’s still an extremely powerful story,� he said. In the midst of auditions and degree recitals, Welch’s busy schedule has yet to suppress his desire to be on stage. In fact, he says he can’t imagine not being in a production every week. For Welch, music and theater are vital parts of his life and he wouldn’t dream of doing anything else. “For me, performing is one of those times when I’m able to be extremely real,� Welch said with a smile. “And every time I’ve performed, I’ve found some little piece of reality. To me, that’s the best moment on stage because I get to share it with other people. It’s usually exhilarating, sometimes exhausting, but it should be if you’re doing it right.� Welch will be graduating this year and has been accepted into The Manhattan School of Music. Evening performances of “Jesus Christ Superstar� are set for April 17-19 at 7:30 p.m., with matinee shows scheduled for 2 p.m. April 19-20 at Murfreesboro Center for the Arts. To contact the A&E editor, email Claire Osburn at ae@mtsusidelines.com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @ sidelines_ae and @mtsusidelines.

                                          

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   John David Welch will play Jesus Christ in “Jesus Christ Superstar,â€? which focuses on the last seven days of Jesus’ life. Photo submitted.

SIDELINES | April 16, 2014 | www.mtsusidelines.com 7


A&E Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate well worth a download By John Connor Coulston // Assistant A&E Editor Originally a handheld title for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita, “Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe Edition” adapts the game to home consoles with HD graphics and minor gameplay tweaks. While the adaption features only slight alterations when compared to the handheld title, “Blackgate’s” gameplay varies greatly from the core “Arkham” series. Batman is now limited to two-and-a-half dimension maps, as opposed to a full three dimensional maps from the original releases. What this means is that Batman can only move left and right, even when it looks like he can wander anywhere. Even when the map twists and turns, Batman will stay on a defined path. The story of “Blackgate” follows Batman as he capture the Joker, Penguin and Black Mask, who have taken advantage of a prison riot and each captured a part of Blackgate prison. While it seems you can capture criminals in any order, you’ll no longer progress until you search one of the other criminals’ areas and locate one of Batman’s signature gadgets Batclaw, Explosive Gel and the Line Launcher. This adds to the linear feel of the game and throws in tedious backtracking.

and feel stiffer than usual. When faced with a barrage of armed enemies on a two-and-half dimensional plane, you’ll surely be faced with several deaths until you can get into the sync of combat. While it’s not as perfect past games, you can adapt to the simplified controls after several attempts. Another key element in the “Arkham” series has always been the stealth portions of the games, which feature expansive rooms filled with tunnels, corridors and perching points that Batman can attack from. Thankfully, “Blackgate” doesn’t try to emulate this expansive gameplay often. When you are faced with a stealth situation, it plays out like a puzzle — which is something “Blackgate” greatly benefits from. Puzzles are a recurring theme in the title and are what makes the game worth playing through. Puzzles range from gadgetheavy situations that use a “Metroid”-like scanning feature to determine the skills needed to advance to boss-battles where you must attack your enemy in certain order of events or you’ll be defeated.

A staple of the game series is the combat. In “Arkham” has always felt perfect for Batman’s mix of power and finesse and is what makes the core games so fun.

These puzzles and boss fights keep you wanting to play “Blackgate” despite its flaws. Stepping back into the Batman universe — even with only a spinoff title — is well worth the game’s $20 price tag. With the next game in the series “Batman: Arkham Knight” being a next-gen exclusive, Xbox 360 and PS3 owners should pick this downloadable title to satisfy any Batman cravings they may have.

“Blackgate” aims to replicate this system, but on a much simpler scale. Batman’s moves are limited and bouncing back and forth between more than two enemies is virtually impossible. The controls are streamlined

To contact the A&E editor, email Claire Osburn at ae@mtsusidelines. com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ sidelines_ae and @mtsusidelines.

8 SIDELINES | April 16, 2014 | mtsusidelines.com


A&E Machines showcases

in

Motion

student

fashion

By Claire Osburn // A&E Editor The annual MT Fashion Week came to a close April 12 with its final and biggest show titled “Machines in Motion.” This year’s theme was rooted in the 1930s, taking the audience through popular cars from the Great Depression era Henry Ford Model B to the art deco Bugatti Atlantic Coupe to the haute couture Bentley Hardtop Coupe. Student models strutted down the runway in student submitted designs inspired by the iconic vehicles to a jazzy soundtrack. Following the submissions were the apparel design majors’ senior showcase creations — series of looks the soon-to-be grads have been working on all semester for class credit. The designs ranged from repurposed to made-from-scratch and were done in styles ranging from minimalistic in neutral shades to intricate crops and pants combinations to glam gowns and futuristic creations with unique fabrics and cuts. The student-run show not only gives merchandising and design majors the opportunity to gain real life fashion show experience — from marketing, to behind the scenes, to creating the looks themselves — but also scholarships are awarded to the night’s big winners.

MT Fashion Week concluded with its biggest show “Machines in Motion.” Photo by Matt Masters.

Winners of the night included: Best of Show Charles Knight: 1st place Ayana Luanglath: 2nd place Lauren Stevenson: 3rd place Shannon Larkins and Reagan Page: Honorable mentions In the Ford category Ayana Luanglath: 1st place Lauren Stevenson: 2nd place Ayana Luanglath: 3rd place In the Bugatti category Liz Mclean: 1st place Reagan Page: 2nd place Demarcus Jackson: 3rd place In the Bentley category Laura Baker 1st place Charlotte Fjetland: 2nd place Krystal Barnes: 3rd place Charlotte Fjetland: Special award for image/ theme design

Ayana Luanglaht had the most wins in the contest that took place April 11. Photo by Matt Masters.

SIDELINES | April 16, 2014 | www.mtsusidelines.com 9


COVER

English department takes the hit in recent faculty cuts By Daniel Jansouzian // Assistant News Editor The university’s English department has been hardest hit by recent budget cuts, losing four positions as a result of declining university enrollment and less state funding. Enrollment figures have consistently diminished throughout the last two years, putting pressure on the university to make cuts somewhere, according to Mark Byrnes, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. The ultimate solution has been to make cuts in temporary full-time faculty, according to Brad Bartel, university provost. The College of Liberal Arts has taken nearly half of the cuts because it employs nearly half of all temporary full-time faculty members. In addition to enrollment issues, Gov. Bill Haslam recently an-

nounced that he had to redo the state budget, allotting less money to higher education due to lower than expected tax revenue. “It’s a possibility MTSU will not receive the money the government originally had for us,” Bartel said. According to Byrnes, nine positions were cut in the College of Liberal Arts, including four in the English department, two in history, two in speech and theatre and one in art. Only general education positions were cut, meaning fewer sections will be available to freshman and sophomore students, Byrnes said. “We won’t really know the impact until the full enrollment numbers come in,” Byrnes said. He and his staff may not know those numbers for certain until the middle of this summer.

English faculty speak up With five courses taught per lecturer, 20 fewer general education sections will be offered. This is the equivalent of 400-500 seats, according to Laura Dubek, director of lower division English The likely outcome is that either the sections will no longer be offered or they will be taught by part-time adjunct faculty, said Tom Strawman, chairperson of the English department. “Adjuncts are often very fine teachers,” Strawman said. “But just as often their financial circumstances, inexperience or second and third jobs interfere with their performance. We have experienced cases in the recent past when adjuncts simply abandon their classes in mid-semester if a better opportunity presents

itself.” According to Strawman, the compensation for adjunct faculty is between $1,650 and $2,100 per class, while the maximum number of classes an adjunct can be assigned is three with no benefits. “When people are treated as commodities, they learn quickly to follow the money,” Strawman said. Adjuncts do not have offices, computers or telephones making it difficult to interact with students outside of class. And with most on the road as soon as class ends to get to their next job, freshmen may have difficulty seeking them out for help, according to Strawman. The English department is sometimes seen as being overstaffed, primarily because it has fought to keep class sizes low in writingintensive courses, Dubek said. “They perceive us as not having enough teaching hours per student,” said Elvira Casal, associate chair of English. “But English is more labor intensive than other departments.” To explain, Casal said teachers put in a lot of work outside the classroom for graduate research and service projects. “They say they support our graduate program, but then they say we don’t have enough hours,” Casal said.

Impact on the English department According to Bartel, 180 fulltime, non-tenure staff was on campus before the provost office decided to cut 20 of them. 10 SIDELINES | April 16, 2014 | www.mtsusidelines.com


The dean of each college determines where the cuts come from according to where the least needs are, Bartel said. “These faculty are on year-to-year contracts and know their time at the university is due to need,� he said. The English department is taking one-fifth of the hit because it has the highest number of faculty, Byrnes explained.

COVER

ing before the coming fall semester started as far as he could tell. To contact the news editor, email Quint Qualls at news@mtsusidelines. com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ sidelines_news and @mtsusidelines. For the full story, visit mtsusidelines.com.

As of fall 2013, English has far more faculty than any other department with a total 85 people on staff, according to the MTSU Fact Book. The history department has the next largest faculty with 48 staff members.

“They perceive us as not having enough teaching hours per student, but English is more labor intensive than other departments. They say they support our graduate program, but then they say we don’t have enough hours.� –Elvira Casal, associate chair of English

The English department has 415 students, the highest such figure in the entire College of Liberal Arts, although other departments across campus have much higher numbers of students. In the recording industry department, 1,179 students were enrolled in 2013. The nursing program had 1,295 students and the accounting department had 656.

Impact on tenured faculty According to the Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession by the American Association of University Professors, the number of part-time faculty members has grown by 286 percent since 1991. In contrast, the full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty appointments have only seen a 23 percent growth. Also listed in the report was the growth of full-time senior administrative positions by 141 percent. Of the 85 English faculty listed in the Fact Book, 44 of them were tenured and five were on track to be tenured. In fall 2013, 78 “executive/administrative� staff and 551 “professional/ non-faculty� were listed in the Fact Book, with a total of 963 faculty members.

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According to the university provost website, 18 new faculty positions have opened since January and five professional positions are now open.

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Impact in other colleges According to Lana Seivers, dean of the College of Education, her college will lose three temporary positions. “None of the courses in the [COE] are Gen Ed.,� she said. “They’re all education courses that only students who have education majors or minors take.� The College of Basic and Applied Sciences had 4,490 students enrolled in 2013, and the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences had 5,114, making them the largest colleges on campus.

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Dean Bud Fischer of Basic and Applied Sciences could not say if his college would see any cuts. Harold Whiteside of Behavioral and Health Sciences maintained that his college did not have any faculty cuts com-

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SIDELINES | April 16, 2014 | www.mtsusidelines.com 11


FEATURES

More than a stone to keep Photo by Noel Heath.

By Noel Heath // Assistant Features and A&E Editor Just off the city square nestled between a tattoo parlor and a specialty sits one of Murfreesboro’s most serene spaces. Inside, sunlight reflects off of transparent crystals and bright fabrics creating prisms of color around the space. Comforting blends of oils and the wax of candles are met inside accompanying warm, welcome greetings. In 1996, Ramona, Stan and Carrie Adams opened Stonekeepers as a family to share their love of minerals, crystals and gemstones with the local community. Eighteen years later, the store has evolved into an oasis of spiritual living and a community space for all to find empowerment and harmony.

Polishing Stonekeepers began in the Adams’ garage as many small businesses do — a hobby. Lapidary arts (the polishing, cutting and design with stones) had long been an interest of Stan Adams, one that his wife, Ramona, was able to share through her making of handmade jewelry with the finished stones. A deep appreciation for the aesthetics and the collection-worthy qualities of stones, gems 12 SIDELINES | April 16, 2014 | www.mtsusidelines.com

and minerals led the Adams’ family to lease out a small space and sell their polished stones and Ramona’s handmade jewelry to a small customer base only on weekends.

spiritual family,” she said. “It was cool for me because I found a lot of spirituality having been raised without it, just by talking to my customers.”

The neighboring bookstore of their first location was at the time one of the only reasons that Stonekeepers had regular customers. Their original clientele brought to light a higher calling the Adams’ hadn’t yet tapped into — the meaning behind their inventory.

Over time, Stonekeepers added books to their inventory according to customers’ requests. At the time and even still today, it was difficult to find books, oils and herbs with religious or spiritual context in the Bible Belt of Middle Tennessee. Even more difficult was the Adams’ ability to turn a profit by selling only specialty stones.

“It turned out that our customers ended up being spiritual,” Carrie Adams said. “They would be like, ‘Do you know that these stones mean things?’ and we’d say, ‘What do you mean they mean things?’ We didn’t really plan on being a spiritual store but that’s kind of how it turned out.”

“It’s really hard to make a living selling rocks in Murfreesboro, Tenn.,” Carrie said with a smile.

Carving

The Adams’ themselves were never necessarily spiritual. Carrie’s parents were raised in Baptist and Methodist denominations respectively, but she was raised nonreligious and learned through friends, television and school of other beliefs.

Two years ago, Carrie took over the daily operations of Stonekeepers officially. She stepped outside, both literally and theoretically, and attempted to look at the shop from an objective standpoint to see where there could be improvements.

“It was interesting to see us turning into this spiritual store because we weren’t a really

“I felt like there were all these people that wouldn’t come in because of what they thought it represented,” she said of passersby.


FEATURES “I felt this weird tension because people wanted the spiritual tools, but they needed it to be accessible to them and their faith systems.” At the beginning of last year, Carrie sought to change that discomfort. Using the technique that worked for them when Stonekeepers first opened, she brought in books. But this time those books were representing a diverse blend of faith systems, beliefs and uses. “People could walk in a see something they connected with and say, ‘Yes, this is a space for me’ and feel comfortable,” Carrie said of her intentions. “I really wanted people to feel included [regardless of faith or spiritual inclination].” While Carrie believes that everyone faces similar challenges in life, she attests to customers who walk through her door is the only one with the power to decide what is powerful to them and what will bring them peace. “What I’ve learned from talking to people over the last 15 years is that it’s all different,” she said. “There’s no formula for being content.” Carrie spends her time helping patrons realize where they place meaning and how that affects their perspective and actions based on that perspective. The service of helping other people outweighs any monetary needs she has for Stonekeepers. “My business model has been to give the community something it wants to support and to give more than we receive,” Carrie said. “It’s incredibly fulfilling.” Giving is a huge portion of Stonekeepers’ busi-

ness model, as seen through their Crystal Grid Project. They often give away gleaming stones and ask that customers bury them along with the negative experiences they feel at the time of coming in. With this project, their stones have been spread across the state, the nation and the world.

Stepping Stones In recent years, Carrie has introduced though Stonekeepers a multitude of events and gatherings that require spending little to no money at all. She wanted to host events that would bring people into the store and offer an open spiritual space to the community. Knowing that people can easily feel spiritually isolated or intimidated by trying new tools for empowerment, she wanted to bring an opportunity for them to get together. “I felt like I was getting a vibe that people wanted to come here, but they didn’t want to spend money,” Carrie said. “I wanted to come up with a reason for people to come here that has nothing to do with spending money because I want people to come into the store.” Stonekeepers currently hosts a Meditation Club, Healing with Herbs & Plants, Energy Shares and Spiritual Empowerment groups and Rocktail Hour on Friday and Saturday nights from 6-8 p.m. They also have designated spaces, like the altar, to host various tools used for energetic purification. The store will continue to expand and evolve with time to provide a number of spiritual outlets. Eventually, Carrie wants to have a station

where customers can create their own prayer beads using pendants and colored beads in colors and numbers that represent something to them. The idea is that they would make a spiritual tool start to finish with a unique intention. She plans to bring in anything and everything that can uplift and help customers let go of stress. During the government shutdown last year, Stonekeepers noticed a dip in profits that almost put them under. It was during those two weeks that Carrie and her employees developed their line of external healing oil and herb blends aptly called S.O.S or Sundries of Spirit. “I thought wouldn’t it have more intention if the people who work here, who already have such great intentions for our customers, could put those energies and intentions into a product,” she said. Instead of feeling helpless, they realized they could only affect their mindset and immediate environment. They poured their energy into S.O.S. line and have seen a spike in profits ever since. “I feel very positive and that we do a lot for [the community],” Carrie said. “The people that do know about us are so meaningful. I want people to get an uplifting and positive vibes just from being here.” To contact the features editor, email Bailey Robbins at features@mtsusidelines.com. Likes us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @mtsusidelines.

SIDELINES | April 16, 2014 | www.mtsusidelines.com 13


OPINIONS Stop SGA’s poorly researched plan to spend millions of students’ funds By Robert Allen // Opinions editor Flashy marketing, great sound bites and glittery campaign taglines is all you’ll find behind the Student Government Association’s (SGA) push to pass its Five Four Six legislation. It’s not a response to actual student demand. The bill would increase student activity fees for $5 each year for four years to help bring big name artists to campus. Student activity fees are currently $20 and would increase by 100 percent over four years to $40, following the bill’s passing. In total, the fee increase drains an additional $2,388,100 from students’ pockets, assuming enrollment remains the same and not even factoring in summer classes. This change, although its percentage rate is increasing more rapidly than I’d like to see, is okay. Because increasing student activities benefits student organizations, student programming, sports clubs and our university’s ability to get distinguished lectures. However, the bill also creates a new fund called “Signature Events,” which would receive 10 percent of the activity fee each semester and plans to pull in the big name talent. This is wasteful spending.

Alone, the “Signature Events” fund would generate at least $620,906 over the next four years. That’s more than half a million dollars just to spend on a few onenight events. Concerts and retention, a missing link SGA seems to think this bill will help with retention. An email by SGA Executive VicePresident, Haley Cobb, captures this sentiment, stating “… retention at MTSU has been down for the last three years” as she tries to promote “… what [SGA is] trying to accomplish” with the bill. A connection between hosting concerts and the university’s ability to retain students just isn’t there. According to research conducted by the College Board on Student Retention, proper orientation programs, midterm reporting, effective faculty-to-student interaction and proper advising are most effective at boosting retention. No mention of concerts here, but that’s exactly how this bill is being pushed on students. “How would you like it if Beyoncé performed at MTSU?” asks SGA President, James Lee, encouraging students to pass this

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legislation. You can’t build a sense of community within a university with an expensive, one-and-done events. They don’t help students get plugged in. In fact, they don’t factor into students decision to stay at or come to a school either. A school’s academic reputation, size, location, costs, major offerings and work prospects after graduation are really on people’s minds, according to a recent UCLA study. Teasing us with artists is not the solution to the retention or “suitcase campus” problem so don’t waste our educational dollars on this gimmicky fix. Stop the “just five dollars” madness Some might say, “It’s only five dollars; you spend that at Zaxby’s,” to advance the campaign. For starters, it’s not “only five dollars.” It’s five dollars next semester and the semester after that. Then, ten dollars for two semesters. Then $15. Then $20. But it’s really not about the money at all. It’s what a portion of the money is going toward — concerts that will entertain, not benefit, only a small subset of people no matter what artist they get. Along the money lines, others argue that the increase in activity fees is long over due. Yeah, the student activity fee has not been raised since 1998, and SGA thinks that because of inflation they are entitled to increase the fee. But this is poor planning on SGA’s behalf, not a justification for the increase. SGA knew last year the fee hadn’t been increased to account for inflation, just as they knew the 14

years before that. If they had been increasing the fee with inflation every year, then we wouldn’t even be having this debate. Poor planning all around We, as students, have to take a stand against this ill-conceived bill. We know it hasn’t been well thought through because Lee has said, “When we have enough to fund someone then we will use the money.” Note the use of the vague words “someone” and “when.” We don’t know who or, even, when we will host an artist from the newly created fund. Also, hosting Beyoncé costs more than the entire program would raise over four years. SGA’s leaders are obviously making empty promises they can’t even fulfill. I would expect more from a plan that generates more than two million dollars over four years. Say no… for now SGA is headed in the right direction by wanting to increase student involvement. However, this plan is flawed. Concerts are not the solution. They’re a waste of student funds. Don’t let clever marketing, catch phrases and lofty promises distract from the true issues at hand. We won’t fall for it. This bill will be put to a referendum during voting from April 14 to 17. Take a stand and vote “no” for this bill. SGA only needs a majority of the votes cast to be in favor of the bill to pass it. They do not need a majority vote from the student population.


SPORTS COLUMN Time to be done with One-and-Done By Trenton Duffer // Staff Writer A lot of us witnessed the Connecticut Huskies defeat the freshmen-led Kentucky Wildcats on Monday night. The Wildcats had five freshmen starting, and most of them will be leaving school and going to the NBA next year. The Huskies, on the other hand, had zero freshmen starting. Their youngest starter was a sophomore, and they will see two seniors graduate to go on to bigger and better things.

Don’t bash me yet. I am not saying that all athletes should skip college. As a matter of fact, I strongly support college athletes going to school for at least three years. There are those who need to build their skills before they are ready to go pro. However, you can’t force athletes who are ready to take the next step to waste their talents on an unimportant year of college.

While analysts point out that UConn won because Kentucky’s big men were simply outplayed, and that UConn guard Shabazz Napier shot lights out, the real reason of how the Huskies picked up their fourth title is right in front of our faces: UConn players weren’t playing for their draft stock. The One-and-Done rule didn’t apply to these Huskies, and now Napier is sitting pretty in his apartment with two national championship rings on his fingers.

Put yourself in the shoes of players such as Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. All of these players are now AllStars, but they all submitted to the One-and-Done rule. Kyrie Irving told ESPN that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said he was “a pro right out of high school.” However, Irving had to go to Duke for one year, though, and spend money on the university because of this rule.

The One-and-Done rule is what happens when college basketball players play one year of college basketball and then jump into the NBA. Because athletes can’t skip college altogether and be drafted to the NBA out of high school anymore, the One-and-Done player is becoming more and more common. From 2006 to now, there have been 62 One-and-Done players. From 1999-2005, there were only 17 One-andDone players. Ex-NBA commissioner David Stern passed this rule, and current commissioner Adam Silver hasn’t fixed it. Look at some big names that have come directly out of high school and skipped the One-and-Done rule: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Amare Stoudemaire, Dwight Howard; every one of them are multi-time All-Stars. Out of the 42 players to get drafted straight out of high school, only two have never played in an NBA game.

Irving and other players who are forced to go to college for one year are just at the university to visit as guests. It doesn’t matter what classes they take. These universities are just shoveling money into their scholarships just because of a rule. This is money that could go to athletes who stay all four years or athletes who stay at least three years. Think that freshmen led college teams are better? Think again. Only the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats have won the national title when starting four or more freshmen. They started five. Sometimes rules are made that just don’t seem to make any sense. I can understand that Stern was trying to do well with this rule, but in the long run, it is derailing great players and college basketball. If players want to come straight out of high school and join the NBA, let them. Everyone loves March Madness, but everyone also wants to watch people who are playing for their love of the game, not for their draft stock.

SIDELINES | April 16, 2014 | www.mtsusidelines.com 15


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Sidelines Online - 04/16/2014