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125th YEAR | ISSUE 50 @REFLECTORONLINE f /REFLECTORONLINE

APRIL 25, 2014

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Student’s last night weighs on loved ones’ minds BY ANNA WOLFE Staff Writer

When Dane Knight came to Mississippi State University in the fall of 2012, he thought his size 13 foot would look ridiculous in a Chaco sandal. He defied his fraternity brothers when they told him he “had to have them.” Eventually, though, he realized Chacos were comfortable and perfect for hiking across campus, and while he might have looked goofy, he just didn’t care. “Conformity — my way,” Knight said in a text to his mom, Michelle Knight, alongside a picture of his lengthy foot inside the large, strappy sandal. To her, that meant that if he was going to be influenced by his surroundings, it was going to be on his time and on his terms. Knight experienced a push and pull with Greek life during his time at MSU: All of his friends were Greek, but “whenever he realized that maybe Greek life wasn’t for him, he realized that he was going to have to change his plans,” said Kaitlyn Gex, Knight’s childhood friend and roommate. On Friday, Nov. 8, Knight, 19, took his life after returning home from a night of drinking with some friends and acquaintances at an apartment in the Highlands, where members of MSU’s Delta Delta Delta sorority threw a pre-party for the fall Tri Delta formal. Knight, sophomore biological sciences major, never made it to the function. His family and close friends have questioned how Knight’s Greek experience and the events of the night leading up to his death affected his decision.

Pre-Function

Knight got ready that Fri-

day evening at his apartment with Gex, who helped him put his outfit together. She took pictures of Knight beaming behind his red bow tie. Rachel Bramlett, Knight’s Tri Delta formal date, and Chandler Godfrey, the sober driver for the night, picked Knight up from his apartment in the Highlands at 6:30 p.m. The pre-party involving mostly underage students was also held in the Highlands at a Tri Delta member’s apartment. An anonymous source said when he arrived at the apartment, Knight had a drink in KAITLYN GEX | COURTESY PHOTO his hand, and while he looked a little drunk, nothing ap- Dane Knight, former MSU student and biological sciences major had dreams of attending nursing school before his life was cut short on peared out of the ordinary. the night of Nov. 8. The last days of Knight’s life are recalled by close friends and family that ponder the events leading up to his death. “He seemed completely fine,” the anonymous source god. Do they not realize that “I swear this wasn’t me Gex could hear Knight crysaid. “He seemed like regular Fraternity Courtship In 2012, a few weeks before if I were to get pulled over haha,” Knight wrote. ing in his room. It was the Dane.” Another party attendee told Knight began school at MSU, with this stuff I could nev“This isn’t you?” she replied. most upset she had ever seen Gex some guys at the party members of MSU’s Phi Del- er get into nursing school?’” “Like I can actually hold my her best friend, so she decidencouraged Knight to take ta Theta fraternity showed Gex said. alcohol. This was all my date,” ed the best thing she could do advantage of his date. Knight interest in Knight and gave After reporting the incident Knight wrote. was give him some space. refused, saying “‘I’m not going him an early bid. While he to a Sig Ep officer, Knight When Gex arrived at Delta Just before 10 p.m. Alex to do that,’ and they were like, accepted their invitation at dropped the fraternity —just Gamma, she “knew it was seri- Holloway, the host of the ‘What, are you gay?’” Gex said. first, he decided not to con- before initiation. ous,” Gex said. “He had taken pre-party, whose number was Godfrey text-messaged a tinue pledging after meeting All of the friends Knight the tie off and his jacket and not saved in Knight’s phone, sophmore and a hometown his pledge class. had in high school were his shirt. He just had his un- text messaged him with an friend of Knight an account of Knight revisited Greek life Greek. dershirt on and he just threw apology. the night. in spring 2013. This time, “I think it made him feel “Hey it’s Alex Holloway. I them in my car. I could tell Godfrey, sophomore biohe chose to pledge Sigma Phi kind of left out,” Gex said. just wanted to say that I am that he had been sitting on the logical sciences major, said soooo sorry about tonight! steps and he was crying.” when she came to pick Knight, Epsilon. Michelle Knight said her ‘I Swear This Wasn’t Me’ Knight told Gex in the car I just don’t want you to be Bramlett and another couple On Nov. 8 after Knight be- he couldn’t wait to go back upset or think bad of us. I up at 8:30 p.m., he looked un- son “loved it. Had a great easy. The four rode with God- time. Until those things start- came upset in Godfrey’s car and home and be away from MSU. also wanted to make sure you requested she pull over, Knight When they returned home, made it home ok. Call me frey to Sorority Row to board ed happening.” One night in the spring, got out and walked to the en- Knight threw his clothing on if you need anything!” she the bus that would take them to the formal function at the Knight’s fraternity brothers trance of the Delta Gamma the ground and slammed his wrote. designated him the sober sorority house. Knight called bedroom door. Knight never replied. Ritz in West Point. Holloway could not be Shortly after 9 p.m., Once they reached Soror- driver for the night. When he Gex and asked her to pick him Knight’s friend and then Tri reached for this story. Bramity Row, Knight was “set off ” arrived at one location they up and take him home. “I could just hear him yelling Delta member, sent a text to lett declined to comment on when the other Tri Delta mem- sent him, he was met with anber in the car called him a “frat other Sig Ep active, who gave at people in the background Knight asking him, “What these events. The Delta Delta him a box of alcohol wipes to saying how he was going to happened???” Delta national policy prohibwhore.” leave,” Gex said. Knight replied, “Obviously its members of Tri Delta to “He pulled on my sweatshirt return with. He didn’t realize until he Around 8:30 p.m., Knight I’m a frat whore Geed. So f--- speak to the press. and was like ‘let me out now, Shortly after 11 p.m., Gex get me out of the f---ing car,’ was well on his way back to sent texts to his friend and DG off it’s fine.” (“Geed” refers to the ac- had the feeling she needed to and so I could tell he was really the fraternity house that the formal date for the following upset so I pulled over by DG box contained marijuana. weekend that indicated he was ronym GDI, or “Goddamn check on Knight. She found (Delta Gamma) and let him Knight called Gex while in upset. He told her he was on Independent,” meaning not him unconscious in his room the front steps of her sorority’s affiliated with a fraternity or and immediately called poout,” Godfrey wrote in her text the car. “He was just like, ‘Oh my house. lice. sorority). message. SEE KNIGHT, 2

U.S. gas prices rise, travel costs considered high BY PRANAAV JADHAV Staff Writer

According to a Huffington Post report, gas prices in the U.S. may fluctuate in the coming weeks. The American Automobile Association in a statement last week said Canadian oil producers may get a better price for crude oil in the overseas markets because of the glut of oil in the North American market. That in turn could reshape the U.S. price market for retail gasoline. The fuel gauge report by AAA released April 21 said the na-

Mississippi House Bill 1400 bans abortion after 20 weeks gestation BY LACRETIA WIMBLEY

tional average price at the pump is $3.67 per gallon. This is three cents more than last week, and 15 cents more than both one month ago and the same date last year. Ceci Land, Starkville resident and owner of a Nissan Sentra said earlier $3 was a big sticking point for people. “People were just shocked that we hit over $3, now we have been over long enough that people seem to have accepted it and it’s kinda strange to me that these prices rose and people don’t seem to be bothered of it being over $3,” Land said.

News Editor

On April 23, Governor Phil Bryant signed a sentiment declaring abortions in Mississippi at and after 20 weeks gestation illegal. This notion is highlighted within House Bill 1400, and will go into effect July 1, 2014. HB 1400 states a physician is required to determine gestational age prior to performing or attempting an abortion. In cases where carrying a child to term seriously threatens the life of child

or mother, the bill does not apply. In a press release, Governor Phil Bryant said the day of bill signing presented an important time to protect the health and safety of unborn children and women in Miss. “Medical research shows that an unborn child can feel pain by no later than 20 weeks gestation, and research also shows that the risk of death and complications from an abortion increases significantly as a pregnancy progresses.” According to the Pew Research Center, a growing

regional divide in opinions about abortions include 75 percent of New Englanders that say abortion should be legal, while 40 percent of South Central states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas) agree as well. Many states have enacted new abortion restrictions in recent years, and challenges to several of those laws are making their way through the courts. Barney Rowland, senior graphic design major, said she doesn’t have a specific stance in the case of abortions, but like some people, can understand its necessity and gift of

choice for women. “I’m not for abortion, but I do understand some circumstances where it is necessary such as rape and health problem,” Rowland said. The National Center for Health Statistics stated 4,317,119 babies were born in the U.S. in 2007. According to the health statistics, half of the pregnancies in the U.S. were unintended. Of the unintended pregnancies, four out of 10 were aborted. Approximately 1.21 million abortions occur each year in the U.S. The U.S has the highest abortion rate of the western industrialized nations.

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2 | FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2014

KNIGHT Investigation

Hysterical, Gex waited for the police outside. When they arrived, she told one of the officers about the party Knight had attended that night. “And he was like, ‘OK, well, is this something that you expected to happen? Is he this type of guy that is depressed?’” Gex said. “And I was like, ‘No, he’s not like that at all.’ And he was like, ‘Well, if he wasn’t that type of person then we wouldn’t be here right now.” Michelle Knight came to Starkville the following Sunday to meet with deputies and get answers. “We were meeting with the deputy. He tells us that they believed he (Knight) planned it and that he was extremely depressed over some ex-girlfriend, and also his parents going through a very ugly divorce,” Michelle Knight said. “I know my son did not plan it. Had Dane planned it, there would have been a letter to everybody, and a reason, and probably a life insurance policy to take care of everything because that’s just how he was.” Michelle Knight, who had a close friendship with Dane Knight, her oldest son, said her marriage was rocky while her two boys were growing up. She divorced her sons’ father during Knight’s sophomore year of high school. “He didn’t like his dad,” Gex said. “But that had nothing to do with this. We had talked about his dad and what his dad was to him and stuff. I don’t have a clue why people would be like, ‘Oh it’s because his parents were divorced.’ He was happy when his parents got divorced.” “We threw a party,”

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continued from 1 Michelle Knight said of the divorce. In September, Knight broke up with his longtime girlfriend, who was still in high school in his hometown. Michelle Knight and Gex both said Knight decided it would be best for them to be separated while at different stages in their lives. It’s unclear to the family how the detectives determined Knight was depressed because of these events. Tri Delta members told Gex and Michelle Knight that a Tri Delta meeting was held in which members were told Knight was depressed, planned his suicide and that there was nothing the girls could have done. Tri Delta at MSU also received orders from Delta Delta Delta national offices to refrain from discussing Knight’s death. After a request by Knight’s uncle, Jason Chiniche, the university conducted an investigation into allegations regarding Knight’s attendance at the Tri Delta pre-party and his involvement in an illegal drug transfer the previous spring. The report stated the student who had Knight “unbeknown to him, pick up a box, allegedly containing marijuana, from another Sig Ep active” was suspended from MSU after meeting with Assistant Dean of Students Tabor Mullen on Dec. 10, 2013. Michelle Knight believes the harassment Knight faced the night of his death might be connected to his fraternity experience in the spring of 2013. “Technically, he ratted on people for drugs. I mean, it could’ve been ugly,” Michelle Knight said.

A separate investigation into policy violations by the Sig Ep chapter included two years of issues regarding hazing, alcohol and deception toward the university, according to Bill Kibler, Vice President of Student Affairs. The chapter was consequently closed Dec. 17, 2013.

Reflecting, Finding Answers

Knight knew what he wanted to do with his life. His mother recalls him researching the salary curves of a nurse anesthetist so he could anticipate how much money he would make. Knight even knew what he was going to do with his first paycheck: buy his own dog. “…and his name will be Ace,” Knight said to his mom. Along with the name of his future dog, Knight planned to spend his adult life close to his best friend, Gex. She and Knight often discussed their future, even on the afternoon of Nov. 8. “I guess that’s why it was so shocking because it was like four hours before we were talking about 30 years from now,” Gex said. During high school Knight was a member and eventually leader for the Search and Kairos church retreat teams. Knight spoke about the strained relationship he had with his father during a testimonial he delivered on a Search retreat his senior year. While Knight thought of his parent’s divorce as a “nightmare,” he soon began to heal. “It is important to understand though, that I am not bitter and broken anymore. I have slowly but surely reassembled my puzzle pieces of life, the puzzle pieces that

make up who I am. Not only did I reassemble my puzzle pieces, but I began to flip them over; one by one, and for the first time in years, I began to find myself again,” Knight wrote in his Kairos speech. Knight went on to explain that he liked himself, and he would not allow his relationship with his father to determine what kind of man he would be. “It’s almost like he took all of that growing up and filtered it to a positive role,” Michelle Knight said. The night of his death, however, Knight seemed to be someone else. Gex doesn’t consider the person she picked up at Delta Gamma that night to be the same person she calls her “other half.” The text message he sent that night that read, “this wasn’t me,” gives Michelle Knight a sort of closure. “That makes me feel better knowing he wasn’t the Dane we all knew,” Michelle Knight said. *** Michelle Knight said the secrecy she has encountered since her son’s death has been almost unbearable. She said every time she and her younger son, Levi, see someone wearing an MSU shirt, “We’re wondering: Did he say something to Dane?” But one question weighs heavier on Michelle’s heart than that: What drove her son to take his life that night? “What bothers me is that I don’t know what he was feeling and what hurt him so bad that he would go home and do that,” Michelle Knight said. “And as a mother, it kills me that I don’t know.”

Monday, April 21 • 8:22 a.m. A visitor reported door numbers missing from the Sigma Phi Epsilon house. • 9:22 a.m. A visitor reported their vehicle was damaged while parked at Moseley Hall. • 12:17 p.m. A student reported their vehicle was damaged while parked at Cresswell Hall. • 3:08 p.m. A visitor was arrested for trespassing in Critz Hall.

Tuesday, April 22 • 2:45 p.m. A student was arrested for driving with a suspended license on Stone Blvd. • 3:12 p.m. A student reported their items taken from their vehicle while parked in the Evans/Ruby Hall parking lot sometime between April 16 and April 22, 2014. • 3:33 p.m. A student had supplemental reports taken by MSU police in regards to suspicious incident report taken on subject from April 21, 2014 • 3:44 p.m. A visitor was arrested for uttering forgery and false use of identifying information. • 10:40 p.m. A student was arrested for possession of firearm and possession of marijuana in motor vehicle while on Hurst Lane.

Wednesday, April 23 • 7:31 p.m. The MSU Police Department assisted the Mississippi Department of Wildlife in investigating reports of an alligator taken from the refuge and brought to a fraternity house. Several members of the fraternity were interviewed and the Dean of Students office was contacted. • 8:19 p.m. A student was running at the North Farm with his/her dog, and the dog began fighting with another dog. The student was bitten on the finger trying to separate the dogs. • 10:27 p.m. A student was arrested for possession of marijuna in a motor vehicle, obstructing traffic and no proof of liability insurance.

Thursday, April 24 • 2:30 a.m. A student reported receiving threat on a social media “Yik Yak.” Student said someone created an account using his/ her name. • 3:07 a.m. A student was arrested for public drunkenness while trespasssing at Davis Wade Stadium. • 3:46 a.m. A student was arrested for public drunkenness while trespassing at Davis Wade Stadium.

Major risk factors include: Prior suicide attempt(s) Mood disorders Substance abuse Access to lethal means

Superintendent of education delivers keynote address on MSU campus By ABBy Adcock Contributing Writer

The seventh annual College of Education Faculty/Student Research Forum will be held today from 9a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Boston Extension Center Theater and Auditorium. A complimentary lunch will be provided. The day will consist of judging of many posters and research papers submitted by staff, faculty and students

along with the keynote address from Carey M. Wright, State Superintendent of Education. There will be three cash prizes dispensed for the three top posters for graduate students and the same for undergraduate student posters as well as a $250 cash prize for the best research paper submitted by a graduate student. Elton Moore, Associate Dean for Research and Assessment for the College of Education said the forum showcases the college’s work. “The primary focus of the forum is

to showcase the research going on in the College of Education and promote collaborative research, both within the college and within other colleges on campus,” said Moore. “The credit for this annual Faculty/Student Research Forum is coordinated by the College of Education’s college wide research committee of 12 members that are involved in judging the posters and research papers and helping identify the theme and the speakers. Over 130 people have registered for the conference. That’s a very nice turn out for us.”

Lacretia Wimbley | The Reflector

HONORING THE CODE |

‘Can you recite the MSU honor code?’ On April 24, the Student Association and Holmes Cultural Diversity Center at MSU hosted an “Honor the Code” event on the Drill Field. The event requested the signatures of students in pledge of obeying the honor code and also challenged students memory and knowledge in reciting the honor code.


FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2014 | 3

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Mitchell Memorial extends hours for finals BY PRANAAV JADHAV Staff Writer

The Mitchell Memorial Library at Mississippi State University will begin operations for 24 hours on Sunday until Thursday, May 8 for students to have a place to study with fewer distractions. Access Services, computer commons and open spaces for a group or individual study will be part of this initiative. Einstein Brothers Bagels., located in the library will be open until midnight beginning May 3rd.

The library administration is plans to offer coffee and snacks at a reduced price after Einstein’s closes but it has not been finalized. Access Services coordinator Summer Mord said she has received positive responses from the students about this service. “They come in, they use the building and they like being able to come in on odd hours,” Mord said, “You can check out books, you can get dryerase markers for the study rooms, we have phone chargers now, you can re-

serve the think tank and use it,” she said. Paul Davis, MSU senior, interdisciplinary studies said it will be very beneficial for him if the library is open 24 hours every day. “Many people, particularly non-traditional students like myself have a varying schedule and being able to come anytime of the day or night or evening is very beneficial,” Davis said. The instructional media center in the library, which checks out projectors, laptops, netbooks and cameras, will close at 10 p.m.

LACRETIA WIMBLEY | THE REFLECTOR

KEEP IT SAFE |

The Eta Upsilon chapter of Phi Kappa Psi encourages students to “keep it safe” and practice safe sex or abstinence. The fraternity members served free snow cones and popcorn on the Drill Field as individuals passed and stopped to engaged in the learning experience.

GAS

Mississippi State University student Justin Martin said he thinks gas prices should be lower in Mississippi considering the state’s living costs. “One of the main things is it should be lower, especially in Mississippi with the low cost of living, but it seems to go up and down for no reason. The main reason

I feel the gas prices are going up and down is mainly because there is no standard in the industr y,” Martin said. The AAA press release also said global crude oil prices remain elevated as Russian and Western powers attempt to broker a deal over the situation in Ukraine. Daniel Graeber, senior

continued from 1 journalist at oilprice.com in a report on March 27 said the U.S. East Coast and West Coast markets typically have gasoline prices higher than the national average. California had the highest state average for the Lower 48 with $3.97 for a gallon of regular unleaded. New York led the East Coast market with $3.76 per gallon.

LACRETIA WIMBLEY | THE REFLECTOR

COLLEGIATE RECOVERY | David Hopkins of MSU’s Health Education and Wellness department advocates the Collegiate Recovery Community to students in the Colvard Student Union. The CRC is a year-round program new to MSU’s campus that supports individuals who have overcome alcohol abuse, eating disorders or drug abuse.

Sanctions Received for Student Honor Code Violations: 2014

The University values academic honesty in the classroom. In order to successfully promote academic honesty, the campus community must be vigilant in discovering and reporting alleged violations of the Student Honor Code. The purpose of this document is to deter academic dishonesty by publishing the sanctions that students received for violating the Student Honor Code this calendar year. We intend to periodically publish this information to the campus community.

Total Cases Resolved: Responsible: Not Responsible: Instructor Dismissed Charges:

Charge

Cheating

269 258 1 10

Number Reported

129

Sanctions Received XF Zero on Assigment Lower Course Grade Suspension Other

Plagiarism

Honor The Code 122

Sanctions Received XF Zero on Assigment Lower Course Grade Suspension Other

Complicity

6

Multiple Submissions

Fabrication

47.96%

Percent 11% 73% 8% 2% 6%

43.35%

Percent 17% 62% 13% 1% 7%

2.23%

Sanctions Received

Percent

5

1.86%

Sanctions Received XF Lower Course Grade Other

Percent

6

2.23% Percent

XF Zero on Assigment Other

Falsification

Percent of Total

Sanctions Received XF Zero on Assigment

1

Sanctions Received Other

25% 50% 25%

20% 20% 60%

17% 83%

0.37% Percent 100%

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OPINION

4 | FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2014

OPINION EDITOR: CAMERON CLARKE | opinion@reflector.msstate.edu PONDER THIS

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INTERNATIONAL INK

Simple lifestyle changes U.S. continues foreign aid to shaky Pakistan can control health risks T

C

ountless research projects have proven that American food, particularly food associated with “the Western diet,” is one of the leading causes of health disease in the nation. Obesity and diabetes are the two epidemics we tend to focus on in regard to food. But how far does sickness go, and how much of our food intake can we control? Almost everything we eat has such Brooklyn Tucker is a junior high amounts of sodium and majoring in kinesiology. She sugar that one serving of a canned can be contacted at opinion@ vegetable might be all you need to reflector.msstate.edu. fulfill your body’s needs for these basis had significantly lower rates of Alzheimer’s than people who substances. College students especially have consumed over 21.6g of saturated vigorous schedules and limited re- fats per day. The researchers in the sources to buy or prepare healthy study also measured saturated fat food. As a result, we resort to intake among people with APOE eating microwaveable foods with epsilon-4 and got the same result. little amounts of healthy nutri- People with this gene who conents or stopping by the nearest sumed lower amounts of saturated fast food restaurant. What most fat had much lower Alzheimer’s students do not consider is the risk than people who consumed significant effect food intake can high amounts of saturated fats. In other words, the Alzheimer’s dishave on the body down the road. If there is anything people are ease epidemic is controllable. It is afraid of losing control over, it is not all genetics. “[There is] something about their mind. Alzheimer’s disease destroys the mind and was previous- bacon grease and dairy fat and so forth that ly thought to be a non-preventable To choose is harming the brain,” Barnard disease. The cause a healthier said. Many doctors was thought to be lifestyle is were horrified by the gene APOE this study, and the epsilon-4 passed to take control of food industry still from parents to how high your risk operates as usual. offspring. But some people, In 1993, how- is of obtaining a like Barnard, were ever, the Chicago health-damaging thrilled about this Health and Aging disease.” discovery. Project revealed “It means we can choose what a different story. Thousands of healthy individuals came in for the we’re going to eat right this minproject. They recorded their daily ute,” Barnard said. So we see thatfood intake and lifestyles over a to choose a healthier lifestyle is to long period of time. Their long- take control of how high your risk term health statuses were noted in is of obtaining a health-damaging comparison to these factors. Re- disease. On the other hand, convesearchers watched for several diseases, and Alzheimer’s was among nience is key for college students. A complete change in diet is not them. Dr. Neal Barnard gave a presen- always a practical goal for students. tation at Healthy Lifestyle Expo in Barnard, however, recognized that 2012 that provided an interesting no one eats perfectly healthy. Stucorrelation between foods high dents can control their health by in saturated fats and Alzheimer’s limiting portions, substituting one disease, initially discovered by the type of snack or even walking furChicago Health and Aging Proj- ther to class. It doesn’t have to be a ect. Barnard uses the example of complete change in diet. “There are three things can do bacon grease to explain the concept of saturated fats. Most peo- to control your health: one is to ple use grease to prepare bacon, skip the bad fats, next is to knock and some empty the already used out free radicals and next is to exgrease into a container to use for ercise your brain,” Barnard said. Awareness is the key. As of now, the next time they prepare a meal. The hot grease soon cools off and the food industry is still the same. solidifies, which is a sign that ba- This is getting so much public atcon grease is high in saturated fat. tention that documentary films, Butter, milk, chicken and pizza such as “FED UP” are being released on the topic of the food inalso fall into this category. According to Barnard’s presen- dustry and health. On an individtation, the study revealed the par- ual basis, little changes can lead to ticipants who consumed less than significant control over your own 21.6g of saturated fat on a daily health.

BROOKLYN TUCKER

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wo years ago when Bin Laden was shot at point blank range by a U.S. Navy Seal in Abbottabad, Pakistan, which is home to one of the largest Pakistani military bases, the world thought the U.S. would stop its financial aid to the Pakistani military, among other branches. Instead, the Obama administration has increased the amount marginally after a minor hiccup. According to several news reports late last year, thd U.S. has released over $1.6 billion dollars in military and economic aid to Pakistan. Is it worth giving a billion dollars to a country that our greatest enemy called home? Well, ask the security experts who believe the Pakistani government was in a nexus with Bin Laden’s aids to provide him with a support system in Pakistan. Latest, a library has been named after Bin Laden, calling him a hero. Think about it, out of all the countries in the region, why did Bin Laden choose Pakistan? There are two statements that were released after Bin Laden’s encounter that need to be noted. In an interview to the CBS program “60 Minutes,” President Obama said, “We think that there had to be some sort of support network for Bin Laden inside of Pakistan. But we don’t know who or what

that support network was.” that is plagued by corruption and In an interview with “Time” perceived as often duplicitous in magazine, CIA Director Leon Pa- fighting terrorism.” As an Indian, let me be honest, netta stated U.S. officials did not alert Pakistani counterparts to the I have had first-hand experience raid because they feared the terror- of the hypocrisy of the Pakistani government. Just one example is ist leader would be warned. Our national debt continues that the Indian army on several to grow — why continue offering occasions proved with documentfree gifts to nations? What is the ed evidence the ammunition some line between being too liberal and terrorists carried had seals of the Pakistani army. serving our national interest? A report published in The Don’t you want to know where Guardian in 2011 said Pakistan your money is going? has historically been among the What does the Republican top recipients of U.S. aid. Since Party think about foreign aid? A 1948, the U.S. press release on I am a firm has sent more the Republican than $50B in Party’s website believer direct aid to the “Foreign aid that the U.S. says, country. Nearly should serve our half of this has as world hegemon national interest, been for military should strive to an essential part assistance. of which is the protect human President peaceful develrights across the Obama came opment of less under severe crit- globe.” advanced and icism over why vulnerable socithe U.S. continues its military eties in critical parts of the world. aid to Pakistan. He responded by Assistance should be seen as an withholding a little of the aid for alternative means of keeping the a time. peace, far less costly in both dollars An October 2013 report in and human lives than military enUSA Today titled, “U.S. Quietly gagement.” Releasing $1.6B in Pakistan AsI am a firm believer that the U.S. sistance” said, “The Americans are as the world hegemon should chamuncomfortable highlighting the pion world peace and strive to probillions provided to a government tect human rights across the globe.

PRANAAV JADHAV Pranaav Jadhav is a junior majoring in communication. He can be contacted at opinion@ reflector.msstate.edu.

Our Congress officially signs and approves financial aid to foreign countries, but it is the president who shapes foreign policy, and in this case Obama has been an ineffective decision maker. What about accountability to the American public? After doing all this, as an American, would you expect people from Pakistan will have an exceptional opinion about the U.S.? The answer is no. According to a 2012 Pew Research poll, 74 percent of the Pakistanis polled believed the U.S. was an enemy. Let me ask then: is it time now to reconsider federal funding to Pakistan?

A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME

Third gender counters U.S. media view of homosexuality

V

ery few subjects get as much coverage in the modern media as the homosexual movement. Boy Scout Troops are now accepting homosexual scoutmasters, and schools address homosexuality in their sex education classes. However, there is constant discord amongst Americans regarding the gay rights movement. In fact, the current American tension over gay rights has been likened to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Conservatives have termed homosexuality unnatural and immoral, while others try to chalk up the rising rate of gay preference to its trendy popularity in the media. However, a closer look at world history shows the presence of homosexuality, better known in other cultures as a third gender, is not a foreign concept. The concept of a third gender has been in existence in regions such as South Asia and South America for centuries. Though at times morally ambiguous, homosexuality is more complex than flagrant cross-dressing. In other countries, individuals of the third gender are actually revered as distinctive persons with unique perspectives on sexuality. Hijras, a community of third genders from South Asia, have more than 4,000 years of recorded history. They typically live in organized communities led by gurus. Callie Paxton, junior commu-

nication major, has conducted because they were, in some way, extensive research on the com- “touched by spirits.” Because spirmunity of the hijras. Her research its were inhabited by two different states, “the government in Bangla- genders, fellow Indian Americans desh just provided official govern- believed they maintained a certain ment recognition of these people, wisdom that single-gendered Indimeaning they now receive health an Americans could never obtain. services, education and housing In the same way hijras avoided options for the community.” Ben- stereotype by identifying simply efits such as these are currently as “third gender,” spirits termed available in all facets of the hijra themselves “third” and “fourth” communities, but only to homo- genders according to sex. Male sexual Americans in certain states. spirits were considered to be of the Not only are the hijras permitted third gender and females of the to actively participate in the Bangla- fourth. Finally, Paxton conducted redesh community, they are also believed to be good luck to newborn search regarding muxes, third babies. Perhaps one of the reasons gender males who dress and behave as females in hijras are If homosexuality Mexico. There is admired very little hostiliwithin is more ty towards muxes their culprevelant in modern ture is the in Mexico than linguistic society, it is not simply other homosexe q u a l i t y as a result of more ual practices bethey give people ‘feeling gay.’” cause there is a themselves; level of prestige they identify themselves as the ‘al- that accompanies it since the title ternate gender,’ as opposed to trans- of “muxe” is strictly reserved for sexual or homosexual. By identify- boys who have identified as girls ing as a third gender, the hijras do since childhood. There is also an not leave an open door for sexual amount of prestige surrounding confusion; the hijra gender is a fact muxes because of the ancient presence of cross-dressing priests in of sexual identity. An equally respected sexually Aztec culture. Because such sacred ambiguous group is that of the In- figures participated in cross-dressdian American spirit, an individ- ing, it has since been acknowlual that considers him or herself edged as an act of extreme spirituto be inhabited by two spirits or ality. Muxes still thrive in Mexican genders. These spirits were viewed culture today, especially during the as counselors within their tribes month of November, in which

CATIE MARIE MARTIN Catie Marie Martin is a junior majoring in English. She can be contacted at opinion@ reflector.msstate.edu.

the muxes hold a ball that attracts people outside of the muxe community. A further investigation of these cultural archetypes shows homosexuality is not a media-driven trend. Although gay couples are portrayed in television more consistently than in the past and lyrical content of pop songs focus on homosexual attraction without apology, homoerotic tendency itself is not a new phenomenon. If homosexuality is more prevalent in modern American society, it is not simply as a result of more people “feeling gay.” Homosexuality itself is just as longstanding as the traditional roles of males and females. The belief that it is on the rise is centered on Western ideology. In order to make an informed opinion on the nature of homosexuality, we must analyze cultures separate from our own.

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Art aids realization of culture in overly busy society

I

magine a world without art. What would it look like? What conversations would be held? What would people do in their free time? What sort of drive would inspire innovation or even the will to get up everyday? Certain specialists risk becoming slaves to their jobs by forgetting why jobs exist. A career provides for one’s family and allows the freedom to pursue a good life of seeking truth and beauty with friends. Without art, our pursuits would be empty. Izzy Robinson, senior English major with an art minor, said art allows us the opportunity to truly see beauty. “I believe there is true beauty and humanity lacks the divine privilege of beholding it. Art is mankind’s attempt to understand and comprehend the smallest piece they can of true divine beauty,” Robinson said. According to Robinson, the world would be a dull place without versatile artists who see things that others miss. “You might not even notice how red a rose is or how yellow a jonquil is. There is so much unseen beauty because nobody takes the time to experience it and share

that experience with the rest of the world,” Robinson said. More than just exposing beauty, Jeffrey Haupt, art professor, said artists provide an objective and critical reflection of society that helps us understand ourselves. “I think ‘artists’ are the mirrors and barometers of our culture. We can begin to see certain trends or where the populace may be philosophically [and] emotionally [in a] a general sort of state,” Haupt said. In the communicative state of society, Haupt believes art provides the unique ability to recognize and state the nuanced essential things that social media ignores with a barrage of frivolous, superficial themes. He recognized Vincent Van Gogh who said, “Ignore the obvious, and state the essential.” Art reflects society, but Angi Bourgeois, associate professor of art history, said society, in turn, is molded by art. Sometimes people default to explaining art as being inspired by the culture of their time and place, when the culture was, in fact, changed by the creative vision expressed by the contemporary artists. “Imagine the power of the-

atre or music to change policy. It can. Certainly it historically has,” Bourgeois said. Bourgeois pointed out that during the Renaissance, the Pope was the most powerful person in Europe, and one of his advisers was an artist appreciated for his power of perception. She furthermore alluded to Leonardo Da Vinci, who was invited by the King of France to end his days in Paris with the notion that the king would benefit invaluably from spending one hour a day talking to the artist. Perhaps the greatest power of art is its ability to induce critical thinking. Where other endeavors fail, art can, in an instant, express a broad and meaningful vision. The viewers must then work out all the nuanced details of that vision. Science has a dangerous tendency to gain momentum and get ahead of itself, but an artist’s perspective balances that progress by taking a moment to critically examine the benefits and consequences within a larger vision of society. If science is not checked by art, we trudge unquestioningly into a murky future. At some point, everyone benefits from art. It provides inspira-

GORDON LEE

Gordon Lee is a senior majoring in civil engineering. He can be contacted at opinion@ reflector.msstate.edu.

tion, critical reflection and crucial moments of solace. Sadly, society does not appear to respect artists or reward them for their contributions. President Obama recently fell under scrutiny for belittling the value of art historians in a speech. Streaming and downloading trends suggest the general public would rather view or listen to art for free than pay for it. Furthermore, our culture exhibits a general pessimism and lack of respect towards the artistic profession. Perhaps we are afraid of what we don’t understand, or maybe we have become obsessed with rewarding only that which is immediately measurable. Either way, the day we outcast the artist is the day we completely lose our sense of priority. A world without art would be miserable to live in. We should begin to show more respect and appreciation to the artistic individuals who have shaped our world into one full of beauty, worth and understanding.


FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2014 | 5

REFLECTOR-ONLINE.COM

AN IN-CLASS DISTRACTION ...

4-25-14

BULLETIN BOARD CLASSIFIEDS POLICY

The deadline for Tuesday’s paper is 3 p.m. Thursday; the deadline for Friday’s paper is 3 p.m. Tuesday. Classifieds are $5 per issue. Student and staff ads are $3 per issue, pre-paid. Lost and found: found items can be listed for free; lost items are listed for standard ad cost. FOR SALE

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club_info@reflector.msstate. edu with the subject heading “CLUB INFO,” or a form may be completed at The Reflector office in the Student Media Center. A contact name, phone number and requested run dates must be included for club info to appear in The Reflector. All submissions are subject to exemption according to space availability. SOCIOLOGICAL STUDENT ASSOCIATION

The Sociological Student Association will meet the last Thursday of every month at 5 p.m. in Bowen Hall room 250. All majors are welcome. For more information, contact Dr. Lane at lane@soc.msstate. edu.

CLUB INFO

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The deadline for Tuesday’s paper is 3 p.m. Thursday; deadline for Friday’s paper is 3 p.m. Tuesday. MSU student organizations may place free announcements in Club Info. Information may be submitted by email to

The MSU chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union will meet the last Wednesday of every month at 5 p.m. in Bowen Hall room 250. All majors are welcome. For more information, contact Dr. Lane at lane@soc.msstate.edu.

Solutions for 4-22-14

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The University Registrar announces detailed graduation information regarding regalia, invitations, photographs, DVDs, and marching instructions. This information is available at the University Registrar’s web page address, www.registrar.msstate.edu, under announcements/notes for you to view and/or print. Two Sessions: JUNE 23-26 JULY 14-17 8 a.m.– Noon For children 8–13 years old OCH Wellness Connection

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6 | FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2014

THE REFLEC TOR

LIFE & ENTERTAINMENT

LIFE EDITOR: NOOR MUJAHID | life@reflector.msstate.edu

AUSTIN GROVE | THE REFLECTOR

The close-knit cast of ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ congregates around the pirate captain in the concluding lines of the first scene. The play boasts a 10-piece orchestra as well as playful musical ensembles, which feauture choreography.

AUSTIN GROVE| THE REFLECTOR

The characters of the play are scattered around the stage in the first act of the play as they frolic in merriment during Wednesday’s dress rehearsal. The British satire consists of opulent costumes, outrageous characters and facetious dialogue.

MSU Theater’s ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ production promises amusing performance BY CATIE MARIE MARTIN & CAMERON CLARKE Managing Editor and Opinion Editor

Students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to see Mississippi State University’s production of the classic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, “The Pirates of Penzance,” Friday or Saturday night as directed by Cody Stockstill, who has stepped in as director after the early retirement of MSU theater legend, Jo Durst. Although the play has undergone several creative flourishes at the hands of Stockstill, it

conserves Gilbert and Sullivan’s original aim and plot. The plot follows the major general and his daughters as they interact with a band of not-so-ruthless pirates. Stockstill illuminates the playwright’s original intent by maintaining the satirical nature of the play. He said Gilbert and Sullivan originally wrote the play as a satire on British culture, and his interpretation of the play “pretty much highlights the zany nature in Gilbert and Sullivan.” Although the actors have put countless hours into making this play a success, Stockstill seems

to know the true purpose of theater. “The goal is for the audience to have fun … to leave in a better mood than you came in,” he said. Jordan Dobbins, junior music education major and principle character in the play, said she also hopes the audience will leave the production inspired. “We collaborate, and we show the singing, the acting, the dancing. Mississippi State has a lot of talent that I don’t think people know about, exactly. I just hope the more people know about it, the more people come, and the

more people come, the more we Haight also said he believes get to do big productions like the ridiculous nature of the this,” she said. show actually enhances its value. J.J. Haight, junior music per“It’s not an extremely weighty formance major show. It’s and lead role, also supposed to It’s not an takes pride in the be light and extremely talents of his felmaking fun weighty low cast members. of things,” he “We have some show. It’s supposed said. very talented peo- to be light and Although ple in the cast and the play is in the department making fun of primarily hubecause this is a things.” mor-based, it is combined effort not completely between music void of depth. and theater. We have very tal- Haight said he is proud of the ented people on both ends of progressive spin Stockstill put the spectrum, people who are on the production. definitely double and triple “I think (some parts are) threats,” he said. pushing some boundaries at

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Mississippi State, and especially in Mississippi, but I think it does that in the best way possible,” he said. This play is particularly extravagant in its use of an approximately 10-piece orchestra and headset microphones for its key actors. This enhances the professional musical atmosphere to a step above previous productions, which have often not utilized microphones or live music. The music follows the playful nature of the production. It highlights the ridiculous nature of the story and allows the actors to shine and fully flesh out their stereotypical and preposterous roles in this classic British satire. Having live music with a director gives more energy to the acting and a cohesive nature to the production. Not only is the production audibly stimulating, but it is also visually striking. The costumes are excellent and lend a lighthearted air to the otherwise nefarious, piratical and British colonial environment. The set also allows for an active environment for hilarious antics. The cast members strive for professionalism in every aspect of their craft, even with regard to their free time. Dobbins referenced the Broadway tradition of professional actors and actresses spending their Thanksgiving holidays together. She mentioned the MSU cast honored this tradition by spending their Easter holiday together in preparation for this weekend’s show. “We had an orphan boy Easter. All of our friends who were in the play got together, cooked a ham, made Easter lunch, watched musicals and had an Easter egg hunt – stuff you would do with your family, but we got to do it with our theater family,” she said. MSU students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend the play and see for themselves what this close-knit cast has put together. Tickets are available at the door and online. The curtain will rise for each performance at 7:30 p.m.


FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2014 | 7

SPORTS

REFLECTOR-ONLINE.COM

BEYOND THE ARC

COACH’S CORNER

Spurs boast experience Heat look to three-peat

T

he 2014 NBA playoffs are officially underway. In this year’s playoffs, there have been a lot of underdogs who have made some noise early on through the first wave of games. A few of those teams include the Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzles and the Washington Wizards. In today’s society, rooting for the underdog has become the American story. However, that will not be the case in this Quentin Smith is a senior year’s playoffs. majoring in communication. He This year, I predict the NBA can be contacted at reflectorFinals will be the same match- sports@gmail.com. up as last year, the Miami Heat vs. the San Antonio Spurs. Al- aged a low 11 points per game, though I have the same teams which is well below his averfrom last year, I have a differ- age. After the loss in Game 7 ent outcome, with the Spurs last year, Ginobli told the press winning the championship. that his bad performances were No one seems to like the the key reasons the Spurs were Spurs because everyone thinks not able to win it all. This year they are boring, slow, unath- Ginobli has bounced back and letic and boring to watch. Ev- looks like the Ginobli of old. eryone likes to continuously In the one playoff game the count the Spurs Spurs have out due to their played so With a age every year, far, he scored bitter taste 17 points, but those “old guys” just keep still in their which is a on winning. This great sign past season, they mouths from last for all Spurs had the league’s year’s finals, the fans, espebest record, 62- Spurs are on a cially if he is 20. They led mission this year. ” able to keep the league in asit up. sists and 3-point Some anshooting and alysts predict were fourth in defensive effi- teams like the Miami Heat, ciency. Oklahoma City Thunder, Despite losing to the Heat a Houston Rockets and younger year ago, the Spurs will be out teams will use their athleticism for revenge this time around. to beat the Spurs. Even though They are much better than it is true, the Spurs cannot they were a year ago. They run-and-gun with these teams, have acquired sharp-shooting they can out-think and out-exMarco Belinelli and have been ecute those teams. The Spurs delivering great play from its also have the Coach of the bench all season long. Year in Gregg Popovich on In last year’s finals, their their sideline as well, which point guard and leading scor- gives them an edge over most er Tony Parker was not100 of those teams. percent healthy He was still With a bitter taste still in plagued by an injury he suf- their mouths from last year’s fered in the previous round finals, the Spurs are on a misprior to the finals. Although sion this year. Their aging suhe still managed to play at a perstar and best power forward high level, being plagued with of all time, Tim Duncan, only that injury limited him, and has a few more years left in was not able to be as explosive his tank. Many of the players, and drive around the bigs of including Parker and Ginobli, Miami to get into the paint, said this year’s Spurs team is which is his forte. on a quest to win one more for Also, Manu Ginobli was a Duncan and to get rid of the no-show in last year’s finals. In horrible memory from losing last year’s finals, Ginobli aver- in last year’s finals.

QUENTIN SMITH

T

he 2014 NBA playoffs are underway and could be one of the more exciting postseasons in the NBA in recent memory. There are a lot of intriguing series and storylines for the 2014 NBA playoffs, but who will win the NBA finals is the real question. Originally, I picked the Thunder when the playoff matchups were first announced, but after being satisfied that Dwayne Wade is Forrest Buck is a senior majorhealthy, I am going to pick the ing in kinesiology. He can be Miami Heat to win the title contacted at reflectorsports@ again. And why not? The Miami gmail.com. Heat won the Eastern Confer- der’s number, and I also believe ence three years in a row and the Thunder’s path to the finals won the NBA finals two years will be much more difficult than in a row. Last time I checked the the Heat, which will also play a Heat still have the best player role as the Heat will beat them in the NBA in Lebron James. in the finals. To get to the finals Wade, despite playthe Thunder ing limited minutes would have to The Heat and missing games, beat a tough, still played very physical Grizhave won well in 2014 when team the Eastern zlies he actually played. in the first Bosh always seems Conference three round, most to come up big for years in a row and likely a very the Heat at certain the NBA finals two good and moments for the years in a row.” well-coached team and has setClippers team tled into that third in the second option role very well. The Heat’s round and the Spurs, who have role players are ultimately the the leagues best record ,in the most important reason why I be- conference finals. It is very likelieve the Heat will win it all. Yes, ly every series the Thunder play typically in the NBA you need in will go at least six games, and stars to win a championship. But I believe the series against the it is typically the role players who Clippers and Spurs could go sevwill decide a series when you en games. have two teams that are close in Meanwhile, on the East side, talent. Take last year for example. the Heat get the Bobcats, the Guys like Ray Allen, Shane Bat- winner of the Raptors vs. Nets tier and Mike Miller all delivered series and most likely the Pacin different moments through- ers in the conference finals, and out the finals that helped Miami the Pacers have completely fallovercome the Spurs. In 2012, en off during the second half of when the Heat beat the Thunder the season. In a series against the in the finals, role players bom- Thunder, the Heat would likely barded the Thunder with three be more rested. They have more pointers that was ultimately the experience, a much better coach, reason they overwhelmed Okla- have the best player on the floor homa City. and the better role players. At the I think if the Spurs some- end of the day, as good as Durant how win the West they will win has become, his team is still not the championship. The Spurs better than Lebron James’s team, should have beaten the Heat a and that will be the difference. year ago, and I think they will I believe the Heat will win the if given the opportunity again. 2014 NBA Finals. The problem is they will not get the opportunity because I do not believe believe the Spurs will beat the Thunder. The Thunder beat the Spurs all four times in the regular season and are just a bad matchup for the Spurs. I believe the Heat have the Thun-

FORREST BUCK

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SOFTBALL She came to MSU from the University of North Carolina and led the team with 13 home runs in her first season. Bulldog starting pitcher Owen stayed in the SEC, coming to MSU from the University of Georgia. The standout pitcher is just two strikeouts away from breaking the all-time career strikeouts record at MSU — in just two seasons with the team. Lenahan said these two key players jumped right in with the team when they came their junior year. “When they came in, everyone accepted them and treated them as our own,” she said. “It’s not like they were ever outsiders to anyone, and I think that’s a testimony to the team that we love each and every one of us the same.” In addition to Lenahan, seniors Rachael Zdeb, Heidi Shape, Jessica Offutt and Shana Sherrod have spent four seasons with the

continued from 8 Dogs. Shape, who has started all 50 games for MSU this year, said while the last two series wins have been great, a perfect end to her senior year would include winning the College World Series. “When I finish I’m going to take the friendships, but some of the lessons softball has taught and the mindsets we’ve been introduced to — like controlling the controllables and those things — I think will be really beneficial in the work force,” Shape said. “Getting knocked down and getting back up — you do that all the time in sports, and I think that will happen later on in life, so I’ll be well-prepared for that.” Shape and the Bulldogs have one final home series this weekend against Arkansas and one last road series at LSU next weekend before the SEC Tournament and a potential “perfect ending” World Series run can take place for the Bulldog seniors.

SCHAEFER

His recruiting savvy showed throughout the year as newcomers Savannah Carter, a junior college transfer, and freshmen Brianna Richardson, Dillingham and Ketara Chapel all were rotational players and helped contribute to the team’s success. Carter, Richardson and Dillingham all ended up becoming starters for the team. Schaefer said he could not have asked for more from his group of newcomers. “Whenever you bring in freshmen and ask them to start or play significant minutes in the SEC, that is a lot to ask of any player,” Schaefer said. “But we knew we would get something from Bre and Ketara because we just didn’t have a four man on the roster, so we knew they would have to play. And we just could not have asked for any more than we got from Bre. She was All-SEC freshman and really came through for us on many occasions.” This past season was exciting for women’s basketball at MSU, but the success appears

continued from 8 to only be the tip of the iceberg. Schaefer and his staff followed up a solid 2013 recruiting class with an even better one for 2014 that is ranked top 20 in the nation. The class features Victoria Vivians, a five-star prospect and top 25 player in the nation; Lakaris Salter, a four-star prospect and Kayla Nevitt, Morgan William and Blair Schaefer, all three-star prospects. Blair is the daughter of Coach Schaefer. With the continued development and growth of the players already on the roster, leadership with five seniors on the roster for next season and the addition of a loaded recruiting class, the Bulldogs are set for a NCAA tournament berth in the 2014-15 season and possibly much bigger things in the future. In just his first two seasons as head coach, Schaefer has done a fantastic job in getting this team on the right track, and he has done it very quickly. With him at the helm the Bulldogs can become become a powerhouse in the SEC.


8 | FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2014

SPORTS EDITOR: Blake Morgan | reflectorsports@gmail.com

SPORTS

STAT OF THE DAY:

THE REFLECTOR

on tuesday, the baseball team played in front of a record 8,496 crowd at trustmark park in their 8-3 victory agaisnt ole miss.

Schaefer continues to Softball honors seniors, improve Lady Dogs team prepares for Razorbacks By Kristen spinK

By Forrest BucK

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

In 2014 Mississippi State University women’s basketball team enjoyed its best season since 2009-10 when they made the NCAA tournament and reached the Sweet 16 under then Head Coach Sharon Fanning-Otis. This season, the Lady Bulldogs had an overall record of 22-14 and were a three-point-buzzer-beater away from playing in the Women’s NIT Final Four. This just one year after the team finished 13-17 and had its season end with a 30-point loss in the first round of the SEC Tournament to Alabama. A huge reason for the turnaround and resurgence of the women’s basketball program has been second-year Head Coach Vic Schaefer. Schaefer took over as the head coach of the program for the 2012-13 season. Schaefer said the 2013 season was vital to the team’s success in 2014. “That season — it was the first time most of our players played so it was trial by fire, and they had to really learn quickly,” Schaefer said. “Even though we didn’t win a lot of games, that experience was extremely valuable for them, and it made us better.” When Schaefer took over the program, it was in complete rebuild mode. MSU was coming off a disappointing season where the Lady Dogs posted a 14-16 record overall and 4-12 in the SEC. MSU had a disappointing season despite having six seniors on the roster. Not only was Schaefer

emma katherine hutto | the reflector

Coach Schaefer directs his players during a game this season. The women’s basketball team finshed in the quarterfinals in the WNIT.

taking over a losing team, but one that was losing nearly all of its best players. In his first season as coach, only two of his players had played significant minutes at the college level. Schaefer said his first impression of the girls when he was first hired was that they did not yet know how to be successful. “It was a situation where almost all of your players never played before, and it felt like they wanted to be good but just did not know how yet,” Schaefer said. Schaefer also said when he first met the girls, he wanted to provide them a family environment. “I just wanted them to know

that we were going to be a family and that we cared about them,” Schaefer said. “I told them we want you to be successful in the classroom and on the court. The team GPA was 2.5 when I first got here and since it’s went up to 2.9 and then 3.1.” The losing appears to be over for the MSU women’s basketball team. The losses were very short-lived as the team only had one losing season under Schaefer, and the Lady Dogs appear only to be getting better. Schaefer’s first official recruiting class was last season when the Bulldogs brought in the No. 35 class in the nation.

see SCHAEFER, 7

Senior weekend honors players who have done so much for their teams. Some seniors provide leadership, some seniors provide on-thefield experience, some seniors make clutch hits or big plays and some seniors affect the team by simply being who they are. Sam Lenahan, however, has provided all of these components for the Mississippi State University softball team. The four-year letterman has been one of the most consistent players in her time with the Dogs, from earning All-SEC Freshman Team honors her first season to being named to the NFCA All-South Region First Team her sophomore year and leading the team with a .324 batting average her junior year. Even though she threw out a league-best 21 runners stealing as a freshman catcher, she has rotated between third base, first base and her natural position at catcher during her four years. Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said Lenahan exhibits the qualities of the ideal MSU softball player. “I really think the essence of Sam Lenahan is she’s a total team player,” Stuedeman said. “She’s done whatever we’ve asked her to do for our program in the best interest of our program, and it takes players that are willing to put the team above themselves to build a program, and that’s what she’s done.” Lenahan’s clutch hits have come game after game for the Dogs, but no hit was more important than one she knocked

leon carrubba | the reflector

Sam Lenahan blasts a home run earlier in the season. Softball takes on Arkansas this weekend. out of the park last weekend. The Bulldogs had been nohit through six innings in the series opener against No. 4 Tennessee when freshman Caroline Seitz opened up the seventh inning with a base knock. Still a scoreless game, Lenahan came to the plate and blasted what she called the hardest hit ball of her career for a two-run home run as the Dogs went on to claim the victory 2-0. MSU dropped game two to the Vols but came back to win the series finale and claim its second-straight series win against a top-25 opponent. This memorable weekend followed Lenahan’s most unforgettable moment in her Bulldog career. The previous weekend, MSU took the series from No. 2 Alabama in Starkville. After a walk-off

hit to win game three and series, the coaches and players celebrated by jumping into Chadwick Lake. Lenahan said that game will be a story she tells the rest of her life, celebrating with the people she loves most. “All the teammates that I’ve had the past four years — I can definitely call all of them sisters. It’s just a family here, not just here on the field but even outside. This town definitely feels like home to me, and I will always call Starkville a second home,” she said. This family Lenahan loves grew even bigger two years ago when now-seniors Logan Foulks and Alison Owen transferred to MSU. Foulks, who played travel softball with Lenahan before college. see SOFTBALL, 7

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