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133rd YEAR ISSUE 34


Student arrested for indecent exposure SA debate EMMALYNE KWASNY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

The Starkville Police Department arrested 22-year-old James Harmon Duke for indecent exposure Feb. 14 in the Cotton District area, according to an SPD press release. Duke, senior landscape

architecture major from Hooks, Texas, is charged with seven counts of indecent exposure from February 2017 to February 2018. The SPD began investigating reports of a naked individual around University Drive the sightings ended. A few

heats up over gun legislation

weeks ago, the SPD received more calls regarding a naked individual spotted around 5 to 6 a.m. in the same area as previous reports. The arrest SPD officers dressed as joggers to arrest Duke Wednesday morning. Mississippi State University has no comment on this matter at this time.

The Senate continued the debate over House Bill 1083. The proposed bill aims to provide the legal grounds to sue if enhanced licensees’ rights are infringed. DYLAN BUFKIN STAFF WRITER

Jennifer McFadden, The Reflector

Former MSU student a suspect in data breach KATIE POE


An investigation involving the access of Mississippi State University records is now being centered around a former MSU student suspected of the crime. MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter said the investigation began in December and a search warrant was recently executed at the suspect’s residence. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies served the search warrant last week at the Garden Homes of Highlands Plantation. “At the time the warrant was served, there was a seizure of records, computer hard drives, things of that nature,” Salter said. “I can’t be a lot more specific than that.” Salter did not say passwords

were stolen, only there was “unauthorized access to university records.” Salter said the data breach is serious, but it is not disastrous. “This is a serious breach, but it is not a catastrophic breach and I think some of the news media accounts have been a bit sensational,” Salter said. Salter said the university is being careful of the information it releases at this point in order to protect the rights of the individual suspected, who has not been arrested and is not currently under custody. The identity and gender of the suspect is not being released yet. Salter said the individual has not been affiliated with the university since December, but he did not confirm whether the student graduated or was expelled. Salter also said a great deal of forensic work remains to be

completed in the case in order to determine the scope of the crime and those who are directly impacted. He said the forensic work could take up to three weeks to be completed. Prosecutors have not determined charges for the suspect at this time. MSU’s police department leads the investigation, but federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are assisting. According to Whit Waide, an assistant clinical professor of political science and public administration, computer crime can be prosecuted by both the federal and state governments. Mississippi Code 97-45-5 states using or disclosing codes, passwords, a computer system, a computer network or computer services to another person without consent is committing an offense against computer users. BREACH, 2

Suicide: the silent epidemic NICOLE LEE


Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., with a steady increase in the last 12 years. “If cancer went up for 12 straight years, you’d hear about it,” Michael Nadorff said, psychology professor and director of Mississippi State University’s Sleep, Suicide and Aging Laboratory. According to the National College Health Assessment, 2.4 percent of the student body at MSU


attempts suicide every year. “I think (silence) is fueling (suicide) in that people don’t understand how prevalent it is, and how big of a deal it is because it’s hidden,” Nadorff said. Nardorff explained silence about suicide is dangerous to society because it increases the stigma. “For the people that are suicidal, you think, ‘no one else feels this way’ and it’s easy to believe that when you don’t realize that a lot of people have those thoughts,” Nardorff said. Suicidal ideation, or



HI: 65 LO: 44 SKY: Rainy

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thoughts of ending one’s life, can mark the beginning stages of suicide and can surface as a result of various stressors, Nadorff said. According to Nadorff, a lack of a support system is a common stressor for college students. When a student moves away from home to a new environment, thoughts of not belonging can develop. Thomas Joiner’s Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicidal Behavior states thoughts of low belongingness and perceived burdensomeness can cause a person to desire death.

“Low belongingness is a lack of social connection, which is basically loneliness,” Nadorff said. Perceived burdensomeness is a false assumption which causes a person to feel like a burden to society, and death would be worth more than life. According to Nadorff, changing the atmosphere surrounding suicide begins with acknowledgement. “Know it exists and take it seriously,” Nardorff said. “So when someone mentions suicide, treat it as a call for help.”

FORECAST: Friday will be cloudy and cooler, with occasional rain sprinkled throughout the day. Saturday, you can expect cooler weather with showers all day. The sun will start to peak through on Sunday morning, but will soon be covered by more rain clouds. Courtesy of Accuweather


While the Mississippi State University Student Association Senate only voted on two pieces of legislation on Feb. 13, one of the resolutions sparked a long debate amongst the senators. Resolution 49 was a continuation of old business which was tabled last semester, and it was passed quickly. The resolution expresses the need for the addition of hooks on the back of bathroom stall doors which are currently lacking them. Resolution 50 sought to express student disapproval for House Bill 1083, which is a contentious piece of legislature in the Mississippi Congress. The bill proposes an amendment to state law, so enhanced conceal-and-carry gun owners may not only carry registered firearms on all public and government property, excluding courtrooms, but also be able to sue an institution if the right to do so is infringed. MSU’s President Mark Keenum raised concerns about the House Bill, as well as Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey. Both argue the new bill is too far-reaching and invasive to be safe, and Sankey wishes “athletic events and sports venues” be exempt from Bill 1083’s measures. After Resolution 50 was presented, some senators quickly begin to challenge the idea of MSU’s right to refuse the law. Seeing as enhanced conceal-and-carry was made into law in 2011 with House Bill 506, MSU’s own policies are preventing registered persons with enhanced conceal-and-carry firearms from entering classrooms, residence halls and sports events. SENATE, 2

Courtesy Photo | Linda Breazeale

According to reports, MSU is examining options to remove the feral cats from the campus.

MSU feral cats future uncertain


The TNR method has also been applied at other major universities, including Texas A&M and North Carolina State. Without proper care, the cats would inarguably appear sickly and starved, especially the older ones. Students and faculty frequently take the cats’ nutrition into their own hands, however, often feeding them at their own expense. Because of this, the cats on campus are happy and healthy; this is without mentioning the cats’ own foraging, which puts a dent in the rat population. The removal of food and water bowls are also being considered. CATS, 2


According to recent reports, the Mississippi State University’s feral cats could be removed from their homes on campus. Common issues associated with feral cats include late-night yowling, soiled lawns or gardens, food scraps attracting wildlife and simply the cats themselves. The MSU cats do not entirely fit this bill, however. Through the trap-neuterreturn (TNR) program, the campus cats are caught, sterilized, vaccinated for rabies and returned. This eliminates the problems of soiling and yowling.

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BAD DAWGS Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 Student was arrested in Starkville and improper equipment. Student was arrested in Starkville drunkenness. Student was arrested in Starkville Student was arrested in Starkville

for first DUI for public for first DUI. for first DUI.

Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 3:50 p.m. Employee reported items missing during inventory in Moseley Hall. 7:42 p.m. Student reported a suspicious male approached her outside Rice Hall. Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 Student was arrested in Starkville for possession of marijuana with intent, possession of schedule II and schedule IV. 4:25 p.m. Student reported she was assaulted in Sessums Hall by another student. Student referral issued. 7:16 p.m. Officer assisted SPD with a warrant near Allen Hall on a non-resident/visitor. 11:13 p.m. Student was issued a referral for possession of a weapon in vehicle in Rice Hall parking lot. Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018 12:29 a.m. Student reported a suspicious incident in Zacharias Village parking lot.

Sid Salter, MSU chief communications officer, reports MSU has not reached a decision regarding the cats. The primary concern is the feeders themselves because other animals are also taking advantage—a potential safety hazard. “The university is examining appropriate alternatives at this time, but no decisions have been made,” Salter said. “There are no plans, at this time, to remove the cats.” Taking care of the cats benefits more than the creatures themselves. Studies show interacting with animals improves a person’s mental and physical health, along with reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, sleeping disorders and anxiety. Students, in particular, are also prone to depression and anxiety. While most cannot own a pet in college due to finances or living arrangements, the feral cats offer a charitable substitution with the same results. Actions have been taken to save the campus cats throughout the community, including by the Oktibbeha County Humane Society. Rick Welch, the president of OCHS, shares students’ concern for the cats. “In an effort to reduce the feral cat population in Starkville, and more specifically MSU, OCHS


has worked with students and staff on-campus over the last few years to identify feral cat colonies, stabilize the population through TNR programs, re-home sociable cats and kittens, provide shelter, food and medical care for them,” Welch said. “There are cats who have lived on campus for years, some their entire lives. It’s their home and all they know.” Several other universities faced controversy when it came to feral cats.

Nicole Lee| The Reflector

A striped MSU feral cat sits on a brick retaining wall.

The University of Florida received some criticism regarding its policy of euthanizing trapped cats at a nearby facility. At Stanford University, approximately 500 stray cats were killed in 1989. Five years later, only four kittens could be found on campus. Another notable benefit of the TNR program is it is often funded through private donations and volunteers.

While eradication programs utilize tax dollars for their purposes, studies show TNR can cut costs nearly in half. Community involvement is another welcomed addition to TNR’s list of benefits. By encouraging empathetic action and creating educational opportunities, TNR raises awareness and saves lives. “Simply speak out,” advises Oktibbeha County Humane Society Student Chapter (OCHSSC) President Kate Martin. “Students showing support for these campus cats will make a huge impact because this is our campus, our home,” Martin said. OCHSSC is a servicebased organization with its sights set on rescuing domestic animals through fundraising alongside OCHS and educating others on animal welfare. Their guiding mission statement is “Providing humane education; promoting animal welfare legislation; advocating and facilitating pet sterilization; and rescuing, sheltering and promoting adoption of abandoned animals” OCHSSC hosts several events throughout the academic year, such as the popular Rent-A-Pup and Valentine’s Day Kissing Booth and bake sale. All proceeds go toward the local shelter.

SUICIDE According to Nadorff, the prevalence of suicide reiterates the need for kindness. Checking in on a classmate or offering to walk him or her to MSU’s Counseling Center goes a long way, he said. Kim Kavalsky, counselor and coordinator of mental health outreach at MSU said discussing the topic of suicidal ideation with someone who is struggling can provide an outlet for that person to seek



Senator Josh McCoy referred to MSU’s own Operating Policy 91.120, which states the OP receives its authority from “university regulation, Institution of Higher Learning policies and state law.” McCoy argued MSU is at odds with state law currently, and Bill 1083 would only provide a route for citizens to correct that infringement. Several senators similarly said it is not the university’s place to deny citizens their legal rights, even if the university disagrees with the law. Sen. Juan Benavides, who introduced the bill, countered the arguments by saying MSU has dedicated security, which already provides safety for the campus without the need for outside weaponry. In addition, he argued those uninvolved with the university should not be able to undermine campus policy. Following more similarly structured debate, the Senate called for a vote. Being standard protocol for resolutions, the legislation was put to a voice vote. A voice vote entails a time for senators to say either “yay” or “nay,” and the vote is called based on the volume of each side. The resolution failed. The overwhelming majority voted in favor of House Bill 1083. CONTINUED FROM 1

help. “What we find when we bring (suicide) up is that it opens people up who are experiencing these kinds of thoughts, and it starts conversation and lowers their anxiety,” Kavalsky said. Shattering the stigma of suicide begins with open dialogue about suicide, she said. “We live in a world with a lot of shame and stigma associated with (suicide) and

when you’re going through that, no one else is talking about it so you feel so alone and it’s very alienating many times,” Kavalsky said. According to Kavalsky, society has an obligation to respond to concerning behavior, such as a person making direct statements about wanting to die, isolating themselves, displaying severe mood changes, neglecting sleep or abusing drugs or alcohol.

These behaviors can often be traced to feelings of hopelessness that make a person feel “stuck.” Someone experiencing thoughts of suicide will often wrestle with the pros and cons of life and death, she said. “People have this misconception that if you have your mind made up that’s what you’re going to do, but that’s not true at all,” Kavalsky said. “There’s opportunity to intervene and help.” Helping those dealing with suicidal ideation means recognizing signs and having

difficult and uncomfortable conversations. Reducing the stigma starts by saying, “I see you, I see that you’re struggling I’m not going to turn away from it. I’m here, and I want to help you,” Kavalsky said. For Layton Little, senior accounting major and president of MSU’s mental health and suicide organization, Living for Tomorrow (LFT), awareness begins with the student body. In addition to hosting MSU’s first Suicide Prevention and Awareness Week in the



United States Code, Section 1030(a) states whoever “intentionally accesses a computer without authorization” and obtains information from any “protected computer,” can either face a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the “aggravating factors.” “The federal government has a law called the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which deals with a variety of computer

Getting in

crimes,” Waide said. “This law seems to be specific to federal government computers, but I believe the judiciary has interpreted a ‘protected computer’ to mean anybody who uses the Internet in committing a computer crime as sufficient to be potentially prosecuted under federal law. The law specifies government computers and those of financial institutions, as well as


‘protected computers’ as being covered under the law.” Although the suspect has not been charged with any crimes, Salter said the investigation is important to the university, and it will take action to “get to the bottom of it.” “Something we owe to the university community is to follow as far as the evidence leads, and we will do that,” Salter said.

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fall of 2016, LFT is dedicated to highlighting the resources available to students on campus. “We want every student to know that it is okay to not be okay, and reaching out for help in a time of need is the best thing to do, because here are MSU we are family and care for each other,” Little said. If you or anyone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, please reach out for help: The National Suicide Hot-line: 1-800-273-8255



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... 1984, Bill Johnson becomes the first American athlete to win a gold medal in the downhill skiing event at the 1984 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia Winter Olympics. He finished the event with a time of 1:45:59, beating the predicted winner, Switzerland’s Paul Muller by .27 seconds. He went on to win two more World Cup races that season. His new-found success quickly went to his head, and he became so cocky his personality alienated many in the ski community. Johnson began living a lavish, partying lifestyle, preventing him from continuing to win. In 1988, he did not make the U.S. ski team for the Calgary Olympic Games. At age 40, Johnson attempted to make a comeback into the skiing community by qualifying for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. During training, however, he suffered from a massive crash at the U.S. Alpine Championships, sending him into a coma for several weeks, leaving brain damage.

Olympic fun facts! 1. The most common age of an Olympic champion is 23 years old for the Summer Games, and 24 for the Winter Games. 2. The oldest Olympic debutant was American archer Thomas Scott who was 71 years old when he played at the 1904 Games. 3. The athlete who has competed in the most Olympic Games is Canada’s Ian Millar, who has appeared in 10 games. 4. 136 athletes have competed in both the Winter and Summer games (in different sports), but only Eddie Eagan has won an Olympic gold in both of the games. 5. Olga is the most common name for female medalists (73), and John for men (272).


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SPONSOR OUR PUZZLES! Find out how by calling: 662-325-2374. CLASSIFIEDS Are you an artist or an aspiring business person? Are you interested in selling your designs and work? If so, you should check out the Starkvegas Flea Market to rent a booth. Email starkvegasfleamarket@ or call Julie at 662-769-6180. The Mississippi State University’s Collegiate FFA chapter is selling Mississippi Ag T-shirts! They are $15. Any orders over an XL size shirt is $2 extra, making them $17. Make sure to order by February 16th, and if you have any questions, please contact Carla Jagger at or contact Matthew Lee at 601-270-6102. 4 BEDROOMS

AVAILABLE FOR RENT IN A LARGE HOUSE. sunroom, dining room and a laundry room. 2 Full baths, large living area with fireplace. hardwood and ceramic tile flooring, garage, fenced in yard, Pet friendly environment for a fee. Only seven minutes from campus. Affordable room prices range from $325.00 per month to $425.00 per month. If interested call 662-312-5630. For MSU students only. The deadline for Tuesday’s paper is 3 p.m. Thursday. The deadline for Friday’s paper is 3 p.m. Tuesday. Classifieds are listed at $5 per issue. Student and staff ads are listed at $3 per issue, pre-paid. Lost and found items: Found items

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Fraternities are a breeding ground for bigotry and sex crimes


is a sophomore majoring in English. Contact her at opinion@reflector.msstate. edu.

Few philanthropic student organizations on campus require little more from students than a due of less than $20, or possibly an application and interview process for more selective clubs. However, even fewer subject their new members to life-threatening hazing or offer as a breeding ground for elitist, racist and misogynistic attitudes. Yes, I am referring to the problematic Greek system present at all major universities. Although I do not believe nor assume that all “brothers” live lives equating to the disgusting nature of the Old Row lifestyle, the establishment needs harsh examination. The problem with fraternities started in their

formation, as Lisa Wade states in her article in Time, “Young rich men invented ‘social’ fraternities to isolate themselves from their middle-class peers, thumb their nose at the religious values of their professors and wrest control away from the administrators who set their schedules, curricula and objectives,” Wade explains. The same applies to today’s “frats,” except social media highlights, the exploitation of the brotherhoods and the “boys will be boys” mentality is not nearly as tolerated as it once was. According to John D. Sutter of CNN, some such exploits include the chanting of racially-insensitive rhymes. “It [the video] reportedly shows members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma chanting these chilling lines: ‘There will never be a ni**** SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me,’” Sutter stated. This instance occurred in 2015 and is one of the countless other instances of racist “antics” posted on social

media platforms. As if this is not reason enough for reform or even outright abolishment of the institutions of debauchery, there are also countless cases of death, rape and overall alcohol abuse. In her Guardian article, Jessica Valenti explores the idea of abolishing fraternities altogether. “Numerous studies have found that men who join fraternities are three times more likely to rape, that women in sororities are 74 percent more likely to experience rape than other college women,” Valenti said. This behavior is not surprising in the slightest, as these “brothers” are able and willing to haze their own recruits, sometimes even to the point to death, so there is obviously nothing stopping some from harming a stranger. Sure, some chapters are punished for their misconduct, but it usually ends in the fraternity being suspended or kicked off campus with the potential to return to improved conduct. On a broadcast discussing Florida State

Jennifer McFadden, The Reflector

University’s suspension after yet another student death, the newscaster explains how a group of Pi Kappa Phi members screamed: “I’m not suspended, you’re suspended.” They either are ignorant of the fact they have done wrong, or are simply in denial. Regardless, they know they will be back and drinking

copious amounts of alcohol, and holding bacchanal gatherings at their Grecianstyle trap houses. This punishment is the equivalent to taking a cell phone from a preteen who has talked back to his or her parents. The consequences are mediocre and make me question if university

authorities even care about their image, or more importantly, the safety of their students. Reform is always an option worth trying, but at this point will reformation even stick? Or will it be shirked off like every suspension that has been placed on guilty fraternities?

Holograms allow new generations Boutiques should offer plus-sizes to see performances from the past to better serve curvy customers


is a freshman majoring in communication. Contact him at opinion@reflector.

Super Bowl halftime shows are occasionally the center of controversy, and this year’s show was no exception. People may have had their halftime show “Purple Rain”-ed on as a hologram of the late Prince joined Justin Timberlake on stage. This sparked controversy, as Prince was adamantly against holograms during his lifetime. When asked if he would ever want to do a digital jam session with a dead artist in an interview with Guitar World in 1998, Prince responded, “Certainly not. That’s the most demonic thing imaginable. Everything is as it is, and it should be. If I was meant to jam with Duke Ellington, we would have lived in the same age. That whole virtual reality thing... it really is demonic. And I am not a demon.” Prince said he did not want to do it at a time where technology was much different than it is today, and a lot has changed in 10 years. The halftime show also featured the

illuminated Prince logo on the snow outside the stadium, so the gesture was obviously meant to be a tribute. Even if Prince did not like the concept of holograms, it is not as if this performance features a new Prince song, the projection of the singer performed an old and known song, “I Would Die For U.” Think about all the dead artists who can be found in music videos, all you really have to do is put a projection of them onto a two-dimensional surface.

late George Jones, Whitney Houston, certain members of the Beatles, and they have already created holograms for Tupac and Michael Jackson. As far as artistic control, it would be good to set parameters on what can be used as a hologram, or other ways of projecting the artists, such as only being allowed to use live concert footage and not splicings of songs to make a whole new performance. Music is one of the few forms of art where one is connected to the artist

“Because of this technology, people are still able to appreciate the music which could have been lost forever with the death of artists.” Regardless of what Prince thought about holograms, which in his case it probably should not have been used, technology gives us the great opportunity to have concerts for artists who died too young or are legends, and it would be great to have as performers. One of the most tragic deaths of an artist is Elvis Presley who was the king of rock ‘n’ roll. According to Elvis’s website, he had a concert tour in England where they used video of him performing. Imagine the other artists you could see in concert: the

because the artist’s voice is there. Technological advancements are a way one can hear someone’s voice, even though the person was not necessarily there. Because of this technology, people are still able to appreciate the music which could have been lost forever with the death of artists. If holograms allow us to appreciate an artist’s work, as well as let us experience the artist’s music like they were still here, it is definitely something which should be explored. Technology is always advancing, and it is not necessarily a bad thing.



I have been considered a plus-size woman my whole life, and shopping is one of my biggest struggles when it comes to my body, especially when I shop with my thinner friends. Going to a local boutique is a fun, common activity when a bunch of girls hang out. However, when I go with my friends, I rarely try on clothes in local boutiques that can fit me. Therefore, the activity results in me feeling bad about myself, feeling embarrassed around my peers and wanting to quit shopping for the rest of my life. According to CBS News in 2016, the plus-size clothing industry made about $21.4 billion. They also predict by 2020, sales could potentially hit about $24 billion. If the plus-size industry is making this much in commercial retail, why do the local boutiques sell only straight sizes? The commercial retail market is catching up to plussize beauty standards, such as Forever 21, Torrid, Old Navy, American Eagle and more. Even designers like Oscar de la Renta, are making plus-size clothes. According to a report from McKinsey & Co. and CBS News, the number of times plus-size has appeared in fashion media has tripled within the year of 2016. “Fashion brands are rapidly responding to a cultural shift toward body

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famous plus-size model who made history by being the first plus-size woman on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Graham is also a body-positive activist who is trying to stretch the standard of beauty. “I don’t think every store or designer has to make plussize pieces, but I think if we get the majority on board to start thinking of a normal woman’s body, that’s where the change is going to be,” said Graham. I agree with Graham, not every store has to have plus-size pieces, but plus-size people should have options. We, as a society, are working toward this goal with the help of people like Ashley Graham. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a size 2 or 22, you can be healthy as long as you’re taking care of your body, working out, and telling yourself ‘I love you’ instead of taking in the negativity of beauty standards,” said Graham.


1. Who was the shortest player to ever play in the NBA? 2. Where did the sport of curling originate? 3. In what year was the first modern Olympic Games held?

Editor in Chief/Emmalyne Kwasny

positivity and a growing appreciation of curvy figures, by designing specifically for a larger range of sizes rather than just expanding their size range as an afterthought,” said McKinsey & Co. Although I am excited the fashion industry is evolving for plus sizes, the local standard of beauty needs to also evolve. Sizes going up to just a size large is leaving an entire audience of customers out who would love to support local businesses and their local economy. Curvy girls deserve to be more stylish. We should not have to wear non-fashionable clothing just because we have more curves than straight sizes. We should embrace curves and everything they bring. The south is also curvier than the rest of the country, especially Mississippi. Boutiques need to learn how to cater to their customers of all shapes and sizes. Ashley Graham is a

Circulation/Erin Blake

Letters to the editor should be sent to the Meyer Student Media Center or mailed to The Reflector, PO Box 5407, Mississippi State, MS. Letters may also be emailed to editor@reflector. Letters must include name and telephone number for verification purposes. The editor reserves the right to edit or refuse to publish a letter.


The Reflector is the official student newspaper of Mississippi State University. Content is determined solely by the student editorial staff. The contents of The Reflector have not been approved by Mississippi State University.


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Music Makers prepare for A$AP Ferg EMMA MOFFETT STAFF WRITER

Mississippi State’s Music Makers Productions will be hosting rapper A$AP Ferg at the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville on Feb. 23. Tickets are on sale now for $25. Any tickets left on the day of the concert will be sold for $30. Doors for the event will open at 7 p.m., and the concert will start at 8 p.m. Tommie Jo Barnett, the publicity chair for Music Makers Productions, said the preparation for this concert began at the beginning of the fall semester when Music Makers Productions surveyed campus to determine what music genre would be most appealing to the students. Barnett said after much deliberation, everyone agreed that getting a rap or hip-hop artist would be the best decision since those genres appeal to a diverse fan base. Since A$AP Ferg


FFerg e rg

feb. 23rd

Mis Hor sissi p se Par pi k was announced as the spring concert artist, Barnett said they have received primarily positive feedback. Barnett said the team felt that this was the perfect time to get A$AP Ferg to come to Starkville since his career is on an upwards trajectory. A$AP

Jennifer McFadden, The Reflector

Ferg was raised in Harlem in New York City, and many of his songs are inspired by his journey to international success and acclaim. While he is still a member of A$AP Mob, A$AP Ferg is focusing on his solo career. Music Makers

Productions are selling tickets every day in the Colvard Student Union, advertising the concert and setting up for the concert the night before. A team of 20 college student are devoted to making this concert an enjoyable experience for

every individual who attends. While it is hard work, Barnett said that every member of the team really enjoys what they do. “When I left the Alabama Shakes concert last spring, I remember feeling more sore that I ever felt before,” Barnett said. “It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth every minute of it. The whole team is exhausted by the end of it all, but we don’t take any of it for granted.” As part of the concert, Music Makers Productions is offering two DJs a chance to boost their professional career. Holly Beatz, the winners of a DJ competition on campus, will be the opening act for A$AP Ferg. Justin Peele, a sophomore computer science major from Gulfport, said he is looking forward to attending the event with his friends and knows he will not be disappointed. Peele said he wishes he was here when Rae Sremmund performed a

few years back but now feels like he will have a similar opportunity. “When Rae Sremmund came a few years back, he was definitely not as big of an artist as he is today. He was popular but not in the same way,” Peele said. “I feel like a similar process will happen with A$AP Ferg. The way his career is going makes me feel like getting tickets this cheap is the deal of a life time since they are bound to only get higher from now on.” Barnett said the Music Makers Productions team had a similar thought process about A$AP Ferg’s popularity, but beyond that, she said they believe that students will really have a wonderful concert experience. “This is convenient, wellpriced and something you will never forget if you make the choice to go,” Barnett said. “A$AP Ferg is an amazing artist who you will immediately love if you don’t already.”

Review: talented actors bring ‘Othello’ to life at MSU MIA RODRIGUEZ STAFF WRITER

Last Monday, Mississippi State University’s annual Lyceum Series presented the National Players’ production of Othello at Lee Hall’s Bettersworth Auditorium. Othello was the fourth performance in MSU’s annual Lyceum Series, which aims to expose students to art and culture at no monetary expense. Although held on a school night, student seating was almost full to see the adaptation of Shakespeare’s play. The actors were

incredibly talented and did an amazing job of bringing Othello to life. The animosity Iago has for Othello and the jealousy-fueled rage held by Othello towards his dutiful wife Desdemona were almost tangible. The ignorance possessed by all characters other than the deceitful Iago was angering, yet so believable, as the actors seemed genuinely unbeknownst to the web of lies forming right before them. The rendition’s dialogue was spoken in the early modern English style, and the simple marble slab and sheer curtains that hung and

shrouded around it mirrored the traditional style of theatre. The play exemplified the dramatic, and sometimes over-exaggerative dialogues and soliloquies that are such standard Shakespearean elements. Sophomore English major Ella Schalski said she was excited to see one of the pieces she had studied come to life through the National Player’s performance. “I cannot wait to see what the actor’s do with the play,” Schalski said. “It’s one of my favorites, and I’m so lucky to go to a school where they bring such cool

Review: ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ COLLIN SMITH ONLINE EDITOR

Listen to our Life Podcast coming out Tuesday as we discuss the Lyceum Series most recent production, Othello.

Beyond the incredible marketing, “The Cloverfield Paradox” is a bit of a mess. Overall, I am a big fan of the Cloverfield universe. “10 Cloverfield Lane” was one of my favorite films of 2016, and one of my favorite thrillers of all time. It is a wonderful little film. So, I was really looking forward to the next Cloverfield movie. We knew it was coming, but no one knew the title or when it was going to be released. You can imagine my surprise when the 30-second trailer played during the Super Bowl, only to announce it would be released on Netflix immediately after the game, which has never been done before. It was an incredible experience. In this day and age, it is very rare to be surprised by a movie anymore. As soon as the Super

Bowl ended, I opened Netflix, and started the newest entry into this new universe, “The Cloverfield Paradox.” This movie is a lot of fun. It is wacky and weird, and takes some risks I enjoyed. However, having sat on it for a while, and removing myself from the experience, the movie is a bit of a mess. “Paradox” is a science fiction horror film, with a little bit of heart. Dealing with alternate realities and different dimensions provides many opportunities to have some fun, and the first half of the movie is a blast to watch. However, about halfway through, they abandoned all the weird and fun aspects I was really enjoying, and I think this hurt the movie. Apart from the main character, there is hardly any character development. Thinking back now, I could not tell you most of the character’s names. I did not really care when some of the characters died, as much as I

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cared about how they died. It is the type of movie where if it looks cool or is creative, then I am in. There are two separate stories told throughout the movie, and I did not really understand why they kept cutting back to one specifically. It feels like the only reason they cut back is just to show what is happening on Earth, which does not affect the main characters up in the satellite. The overall experience of “The Cloverfield Paradox” was great. To experience a part of entertainment history like this was really an amazing opportunity. But the overall movie sits at a solid “okay.” I would give it 6.5 out of 10 stars. If you like these types of movies, it is on Netflix and is not going to cost you anything to have a fun time. If you are interested in jumping into the Cloverfield universe, or just want a great movie night, start with “10 Cloverfield Lane.”


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performances to campus for free.” However, the costumes, music and weaponry were undeniably modern. Most of the male characters dressed in what appeared to be black slim-fit jeans and combat boots, with a matching combat jacket and army boots. Some of the women had similar garb to the men, but others wore dresses with what appeared to be kneehigh converse. During the scene in which Cassio, Roderigo, Iago and others were partaking in drunken antics, the group joined in to sing “Sweet Caroline” and other pieces

of modern music. Even car alarm noises could be heard during this scene. In addition, swords and antiquated weapons of old were exchanged for guns. The final scene in which Othello took his own life, he subdued himself with a handgun, which made for an interesting choice of artistic liberty. The play exhibits themes which still ring true with today. Regardless of its more modern installments, the play was incredibly well received by those in attendance, as the room erupted with applause at the play’s closing. Senior MSU student

Beka Bisson thoroughly enjoyed the traditional yet modern interpretation of Othello and expressed her belief that the themes are still incredibly relevant. “The modern rendition allowed us to examine tragedy within the context of our own time and place,” Bisson said. “Though we’re separated by centuries, gender and race conflict with authority in a similar manner. The acting was great, and it was overall very entertaining.” For more information on future events in the Lyceum Series, visit MSU’s Colvard Student Union website.




Janina and Niclas, tennis twins reunited at MSU



Twins do school, life, and for Janina and Niclas Braun, both juniors from Berlin, Germany, they do tennis together. The twins were not separated until college when Niclas came to Mississippi State University and Janina went to Virginia Commonwealth University. “We have always been with each other from day one, including kindergarten, primary school, high school until college,” Niclas Braun said. “Basically, where we went separate ways at first, but she eventually transferred from VCU to State.”

part of a bigger program and conference to step up my game,” Janina Braun said. “Me and my parents really loved the idea of being united with my twin again. My season results convinced the coaches at MSU, and I was more than happy that they showed interest in me and offered a spot on the team right away.” Niclas had a different path to playing for MSU, he was recruited and decided to play at MSU, despite never coming for a visit. He said his decision has not disappointed him. “I never came on a visit to State, but former assistant coach Tanner Stump came to Berlin and met my family and my coaches, and watched

Blake Williams | MSU Communications

Niclas Bruan, a junior MSU menʼs tennis player from Berlin, Germany, sizes up a serve.

Janina spent two years at VCU in Richmond, Virginia, improving her game, and climbing up from the number six spot to the number one spot on the team. “I achieved a lot at VCU, and I really wanted to be

me compete as well,” Niclas Braun said. “Just him showing me the program and getting a feeling for this atmosphere and vibes was great to see.” The pair first started playing tennis using balloons on a kids’ court, and


women to consider other career options to make a living from a young age. According to USA Today Sports, in 2017, the average salary of a major league baseball player was an estimated $4.47 million per year. On the other hand, the average professional softball player made between $5,000-$6,000 per year in 2017, according to an article by the Huffington Post. Former Mississippi State University softball players Kayla Winkfield and Alexis Silkwood were not aware of NPF until they arrived to MSU. Once they knew the opportunity to continue their softball careers existed, their journey to two of roughly 100 NPF positions began. Their experiences within NPF differed greatly. Winkfield’s experience in the league was comparable to a roller coaster ride. She was drafted by the Pennsylvania Rebellion in 2016, but the team folded at the end of the season, resulting in Winkfield being traded to the Scrap Yard Dawgs, in Houston, Texas. After one season with the Scrap Yard Dawgs, the team’s contract with NPF

although they tried other sports like soccer, volleyball or track, tennis really stuck with them and became their number one priority. “We started playing tennis at the age of four in kindergarten. The kindergarten offered a few free tryout lessons,” Niclas Braun said. “We immediately loved it, we used to practice together sometimes, but we never really liked playing each other, it would never end too well.” The twins also spent time together off the court, either in the classroom or at home, they did everything from homework to studying for quizzes together. Janina said they have always had a good relationship. “We have always had a very good relationship. We are supporting and helping each other a lot,” Janina Braun said. “Since first grade, we’ve been together in one class, so we used to do homework together and study for exams in the evenings after practice.” Because they were in the same class, they were also on the same schedule. Janina said this allowed them to work together as a team. “The same time schedule helped us and our parents tremendously to manage our week at home. We always worked as a team,” Janina Braun said. “While he strung my rackets, I tried to explain to him the next topic for the biology test.” One of their favorite family memories was the time spent on holiday traveling throughout Europe, Janina said they once made a six-toeight week tour playing in 10 countries. This tour ended with a little vacation, too. “The summer holidays,

Kelly Price | MSU Communication

Janina Bruan, a junior MSU womenʼs tennis player, is from Berlin, Germany, and spent two years at VCU before transferring to MSU.

where we traveled together with our parents through Europe and played international junior tournaments,” Janina Braun said. “We met many great tennis players who play college tennis today here in the U.S.” When Niclas first came to MSU, he faced some challenges alone, separated from his sister. On top of learning how to handle time, there was also a small language barrier at first. “Probably the first weeks there was a small language barrier, but I think I caught up pretty well with it,” Niclas Braun said. “Time management is a big word with being a student-athlete. I had to get used to planning through every day and week to knock out assignments, and not get behind studying for quizzes and tests.” Now they are at the same school and are able to depend on each other once again, as Niclas lives around the corner from Janina. The twins now have a similar class schedule, so they spend time

studying together. Janina also said Niclas is someone she can talk too when she is in a rough spot. “I think we talk every day and check in on each other if everything is going well. After a rough week, I’m just happy sometimes to complain and let off frustration in my own language,” Janina Braun said. “The time difference makes it difficult to talk to my friends at home during the week, so Nic is my first person to go to.” They also support each other while playing tennis, either by watching the game in person or by watching the other online when gone for games. Whenever they have free time, Janina says they will spend it with each other. “To be honest, there is just very little time outside of school and tennis, but if we find some time we spend evenings together with the women’s and men’s team,” Janina Braun said. “Go out for dinner or watch movies. Sometimes I cook dinner for him too.” Niclas’ favorite restaurant

is Umi’s, and so is Janina’s, although she says she has multiple favorite places to go eat at in Starkville. “For lunch, it is definitely Newks. I enjoy their salads and sandwiches a lot, for dinner my go-to is Umis, nothing can beat a seafood Hibachi plate and some sushi,” Janina Braun said. “People who know me well would always take me to local culture first. I’m in love with ice cream, and rather skip the entree to get a big dessert bowl after.” Janina said her parents are glad they can be together at the same school, so they do not have to worry as much about her and Niclas. She said she and Niclas are grateful to have the opportunity they have here in Starkville. “It is something special to us, to play for the same school and be part of a great program here at Mississippi State,” Janina Braun said. “We are happy that we got this opportunity, and are very thankful for the amazing people around us.”

Professional Bulldog players return home to help coach MSU softball CONTRIBUTING WRITER

When most young girls put on their uniforms and step onto the field or court, they do not imagine playing sports for the rest of their lives, especially in the sport of softball. Despite the success of the Women’s College World Series and the large number of girls playing travel or Little League softball, many are not aware of the professional opportunities in softball. The National Pro Fastpitch League is the only professional softball league in the U.S.. Commissioner of NPF Cheri Kempf said she feels passionate about building a league to provide young girls with similar aspirations to their male counterparts. “I believe that these little girls are born just like boys with extraordinary talent in athletics,” Kempf said. “If we don’t secure the professional level and allow them to continue past college, we never get to see what their potential is in their gift.” In sports today, men are paid significantly more than women, forcing

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Blake Williams | MSU Communications

Alexis Silkwood, former MSU pitcher and professional softball player, helps coach the Bulldogs.

was terminated after they decided to leave the league. With the NPF season only lasting a few months each year, Winkfield came back to MSU to continue her education and prepare for the reality of life after softball. “For me, playing professional softball isn’t something I see myself doing for the long run because I have such a passion for helping youth, which is why I am getting my master’s degree in

human sciences,” Winkfield said. Traveling a different path, Alexis Silkwood had a calmer experience in her first year with NPF, playing for the Akron Racers in Ohio. She is set to begin her second season with the Racers, who relocated and are now the Cleveland Comets this summer. Silkwood, like Winkfield, is back at MSU finishing up her undergraduate degree in secondary education, with the hopes of pursuing

a master’s degree in sports administration. Silkwood wants to continue playing softball for at least the next few years. Once her playing career is over, she wants to stay involved with the sport in a coaching capacity. “Softball is never going to be over for me,” Silkwood said. “Even when I get done playing, it’s still going to be there.” Those associated with NPF have a common belief that exposure of the league, especially to young females, is the best way to become a league to one day provide female athletes with a fulltime job. Kempf, Winkfield and Silkwood said they believed the opportunities to grow the league are readily available, beginning with the NCAA. “No program in the world exists like the NCAA,” Kempf said. Another aspect of creating exposure for the league is branching out beyond the few cities home to the NPF teams. The league consists of five teams, with only three of them being U.S.-based. According to Winkfield and Kempf, the main aspect of being able

to branch out through expanding the number of teams and reaching new markets is backing from corporate sponsors. Corporate sponsorship is essential to grow any league because it provides the funds for marketing opportunities. NPF has 30 sponsors, but not all are well-known, which is an essential part or corporate sponsorship marketing. Some of the main sponsors are Demarini, Easton, Evoshield and Louisville Slugger. There are many positive steps being taken to grow NPF as it enters its 15th season. However, the strength and longevity of the league depend not only on business matters like corporate sponsorships and expansion but also on the future generation of softball players. Encouraging these young girls to have a passion for the sport and believe from an early age that being a professional softball player is no longer a dream, but a reality. “It’s out there,” Silkwood said. “It’s easy to access, it is right there for them to grab, and we just have to show them that.”


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