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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kappas give to St. Vincent dePaul see News, page 3








Exclusive content @

Volume 57, Issue 17

Drum major family plans to sue FAMU see State & Nation, Page 4

Grambling dominates SU to win West see Sports, page 6

Panel discusses HBCUs

Spikes recalls 1980s crisis

Evan Taylor

The Southern Digest

I am always grateful to be called for this event and to be the recipient of these thanksgiving gifts for the youth in our program,” Tyson said.

NEW ORLEANS — “The New State of HBCUs” is addressed during My Bayou Classic Empowerment Exchange Friday; funding, programs and changes for higher education system among the discussion. CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien moderated the panel that featured Southern University System President Ronald Mason, Grambling State University President Frank Pogue, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education Executive Director Lezli Baskerville and state Rep. Patricia Smith (D-New Orleans). Suggestions and discussions included the need for a new business model in higher education, mergers/ consolidations, STEM programs, investment, alumni contributions and addressing the issues at hand. “My biggest fear is having grown up in institutional segregation, we could easily return to where we were. I marched with Dr. King as a student at Alabama State. The issues then were nowhere near as “bad” as they are now. We are loosing generation after generation. We are loosing our communities. All of those things are impacting our community and achieving our mission,” Pogue said. Baskerville discussed the return on investment in HBCUs. “HBCs have proven to be the best return on it’s investment. HBCUs are preparing the workforce for tomorrow. The community is energized and in the position to continue,” Baskerville said. Mason urged that we redefine the conversation of black people in America. “We have to redefine the conversation about the condition of black people in America. Either we are born flawed or there’s something wrong with America. We have to do what’s necessary to deal with (Thomas Jefferson’s) the Wolf,” Mason said.

See AWS Luncheon page 3

See HBCU Panel page 3

Billy Washington The Southern Digest

Nearly two decades have passed since Southern University declared financial exigency in 1988, but former Southern University System President Dolores Spikes recalls it like it happened yesterday. Spikes began serving as system president and interim PHOTO BY keldric nash/digest chancellor in 1988. The first Former Southern University System President Delores Spikes discussed the financial crisis at Southern woman to serve as president of a during the 1980s. She said she is amazed at the comments regarding the university’s current financial university system in the nation, exigency situation and its impact on the university. she led the SU system from 1988 I didn’t see that with my retrenchment plan, which is Roemer. Financial exigency was to 1996. “It’s important that SU declared in the summer of 1988, experience with institutions currently being finalized, will maintain those high qualities prior to Spikes’ appointment as but some institutions came be released during the Dec. 16 out better because they went board meeting. of the institution once out president. “It was an open process and I “Financial exigency is simply through it properly.” of financial exigency. Just to According to the 1989 Board think that’s why we came back a survive is not enough. SU must a tool that can be utilized to survive with certain qualities get out of a financial condition of Supervisors’ figures, a total strong university,” said Spikes. “There were other challenges that attract students to come,” legitimately,” Spikes said. “I’m of $909,000 was saved due amazed by the comments made to layoffs and termination but I think during those times explained Spikes. In 1988, Spikes was faced in the papers about what people of temporary workers. It is there was a strong element of with $5.2 million being cut from are saying financial exigency will currently unknown how much the university due to statewide do to the institution in terms of will be saved during this current See Spikes page 3 status of financial exigency. The budget cuts made by Gov. Buddy dire consequences.

AWS, Big Buddy hold holiday luncheon Evan Taylor

The Southern Digest

Association of Women Students continued the tradition of giving for the Thanksgiving Holidays for participants in Big Buddy. AWS president, Ja’el Gordon, along with The Alpha Sigma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Collegiate 100 Black Women, Student Government Association, Men’s Federation, SUBR Chancellor, SUBR Comptroller’s and Aramark; provided thanksgiving dinners to 50 Big Buddy participants. The annual thanksgiving luncheon gave Big Buddy participants a time together to enjoy a meal, games, and entertainment from their peers. “It was a very warm thing to do for the kids. They were not expecting it, We wanted them to know there’s more to


PHOTO BY evan taylor/digest

Big Buddy participants are served by Student Government Association and Association for Women Students volunteers at the annual AWS Thanksgiving Luncheon.

Southern University than what they see on the news,” Gordon said. Cara Tyson, Youth Development Resources Manager for Big Buddy was grateful to be apart of the program. “This was another great event sponsored by the Association for Women Students.

the official student newspaper of southern university and A&m college, baton rouge, louisiana

Campus Life

Page 2 - Tuesday, November 29, 2011


have any questions please call 504.296.2141.

apartments for rent

December 1-2

Apt. homes available @ The Palisades. 1.866.936.5544.

Cap and Gown pick-up


You may pick up your caps, gowns, and regalia Dec. 1 WANTED TO BUY 1973 SU Jazz Band record album. and 2 from 12-4p.m. If you Also 1950, 1980 45rpm have not ordered, contact records. Call 225.687.8076. the bookstore right away so, it can arrive in time for your ceremony. Call 225.771.4330 Campus Briefs or visit southernuniversitybookstore today for more information. Southern Niche

copyright on his/her own individual work. Poems must be typed and submitted via email to or online at the library’s website For more information please contact committee chair Angela Proctor at (225) 771-2624, or committee co-chair Maya Banks at (225) 771-2776,

The Sentinel Of An Enlightened Student Body since 1926

Who’s Speaking Out? What problems are you having registering for next semester and the 4-day week schedule?

Corey Singletary

Joseph Coleman

New Roads, La. Sophomore Mechanical Engineering

alexandria, La. Senior Marketing

“Due to the times of majority of my classes, I had to readjust my entire work schedule.”


Ag Stars

Make sure to stop by Southern Niche, a Southern University student operated retail store during their regular store hours. Tuesdays 1:30-5:30 p.m., Wednesdays 10 a.m.-2p.m., and Thursdays from 10 a.m.2 p.m. The store is located in Room 155 of Thrift Hall. Come and purchase products made by Louisiana entrepreneurs.

Calling all Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors … Do you have a 2.5 GPA and no declared major? Pursue an exciting degree in agricultural sciences and become a member of AG stars mentoring program. Ag star participants will earn $1,000 stipend per semester. Apply today in Fisher Hall Room 101.

SU Barbershop special

Ronald E. McNair Scholars

Every Monday beginning Nov. 8 the SU Barber Shop will offer $2 off any haircut. For students only during the month of November between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Students should submit this coupon at time of purchase. Ask for Rob. For more information call 225.771.3693.

Do you have a 3.0 GPA? Lowincome first generation college student? Have a desire to earn a Ph.D. in your discipline? The SU Center for Social Research encourages rising juniors and seniors to apply for the Ronal E. McNair Scholarship. Applicants must have earned at least 60 credit hours. For more information contact Janeal Banks at 225.771.4717.

Get in the Game

Southern University is in the final phase of searching for students to participate in the campus-wide Honda Campus All-Star quiz competition. For additional information, contact Dr. William Moore, Team Coach or Dr. Ella Kelley, Campus Coordinator at (225) 771-4845.

Pinkie G. Lane Poetry Contest


Poster Session

Sage Edgerson

Cedric T. Clarke

New Orleans Sophomore apparel merchandising & textiles

Westmont, ill. senior finance

“I’ve had problems with registering for classes that didn’t conflict with another class.”

“Some of my major classes needed were conflicting with each other.”



the Digest at

WWW. southern digest .com

Southern University students can start submitting for the Pinkie G. Lane Poetry Contest. Each entrant may submit no more than three (3) poems of no more than 35 lines for each poem. The poems can be on any subject matter and in any format, provided the content is not vulgar or offensive, does not contain profanity, and is the original, individual work of the entrant. Failure to comply will automatically eliminate the entry. Poems may be rhymed or non-rhymed, lyric, narrative, satire, elegiac, epic, philosophic, or didactic. Entrants retain

The SU Department of Speech, Language, and Pathology will host an event November 29 to educate students about cleft palettes and cleft lips. Poster sessions will be at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in Blanks Hall Lobby. If you

“Due to the extended class times, I’ve Coleman had a problem with making a schedule thats flexible with my other activities.”

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - Page 3

The Sentinel Of An Enlightened Student Body since 1926

Kappa Kare donates to charity Evan Taylor

The Southern Digest

The Kappa Kare initiative donated 35 bags and over 300 canned goods to The Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Bags included shoes, shirts, pants, jackets, baby clothes, toys, and baby accessories and canned goods ranged from beans to corn. The Alpha Sigma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi organized the Kappa Kare initiative. “This drive surpassed my expectations. It shows Southern University genuinely cares about the community, surrounding areas and the less fortunate,” Perry Fontenot, senior biology major from Opelousas,

La. said. Students and departments across Southern University donated to the drive to provide clothes and food this holiday season. “It makes you grateful for what you do have. Makes you feel good to bring joy to others and leave a person with one less struggle. It’s good to make a difference in someone else’s life,” Aaron Ventress, senior agricultural sciences major from Opelousas, La. said. Jason Haynes, SU Financial Aid; Caroline Telles, SU Biology Department; BR Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Opelousas Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Keystone

Lodge No. 196 of Prince Hall Masons, and Mr. and Mrs. Ventress gave significant contributions to the effort. “It definitely surpassed all my expectations. Being apart of my organizations effort in contributing to those less fortunate in the Southern University community. Seeing ourselves as role models in the community, it was a blessing,” Kirt Thibodeaux, senior electronic engineering major from St. Martinville, La. said. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul works to understand and fulfill the needs of the poor in Baton Rouge and surrounding communities.

was going to drive to my mansion,” Moore said. Trinity Williams from Highland Elementary sang for her fellow Big Buddy participants. “I was scared a little bit … I thought (when I got up to sing) that everyone would laugh at me. I was happy and excited when everyone clapped for me,” Williams said. Stephanie Johnson-Bell, Trinity’s mother shared how she felt when her daughter performed. “I was a very proud parent,” Johnson-Bell said. Volunteers from the Alpha Sigma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi shared their favorite parts of participating with the Big Buddy participants. “My favorite part was playing turkey bingo and singing to the kids,” Kirt Thibodeaux, senior

Electronic Engineering major from St. Martinville said. Thibodeaux along with Aaron Ventress and Perry Fontenot on behalf of their fraternity participated in the program and contributed multiple baskets for the participants. “I enjoyed interacting with the kids and seeing the smiles on their faces,” Ventress, senior Agricultural Science major from Opelousas said. Each Big Buddy participant left the luncheon with a basket including food for a traditional thanksgiving dinner; including a turkey donated with assistance from Chancellor James Llorens. “I enjoyed playing turkey bingo and I was greatly moved in the presentation of thanksgiving baskets,” Fontenot, senior Biology major from Opelousas said.

AWS Luncheon from page 1 During the luncheon participants played turkey bingo, sang, danced, learned more about thanksgiving and talked with Southern University volunteers. “The program turned out well. It’s all about the public service. It shows the Southern University students giving back to the community,” Gordon said. Participants played turkey bingo; where they yelled turkey once they got a line of colored markers. “I liked playing games. I felt glad and happy (when I yelled turkey),” Joshua Dotch, Dalton Elementary said. Joshua Moore from Polk Elementary shared how he felt when he won turkey bingo. “I felt glad … I thought I was going to win a million dollars and I

Spikes from page 1 trust. I didn’t ask anyone to do something I wouldn’t do myself,” Spikes said. “Everyone did it voluntarily and all the administrators were first to give.” The majority of employees involved honored their pledge in 1989, Spikes said, and the university bounced back from financial exigency in two to three years as she promised. The university was able to give employees a four-percent raise after the cuts. A close friend of hers was the only person who did not contribute, Spikes said, telling her his “antiadministration” and “anti-board” beliefs prevented him from participating. Only one person didn’t contribute and he (name not given) was a close friend to Spikes. His reason was due to his “anti-administration” and “antiboard” beliefs. Before declaring financial exigency in late October, current SUS President Ronald Mason, SUBR Chancellor James Llorens and tenured faculty members initially decided to take a mandatory 10 percent cut from their paychecks. A participation total of 90 percent was required to avoid declaring financial exigency. Less than 65 percent agreed to have salaries cut and some faculty reneged their commitments. During the current state of financial exigency, a draft proposal has been created which outlines a five-college model that would merge programs. Consolidations and shortened semesters were implemented but according to Spikes the money that needed to be saved were found in salaries. “Most of the money was tied up in the salaries of faculty and staff. The reorganization of colleges can only produce so much of savings. How much can you really save by laying off or terminating a few deans?” Spikes said. “It’s not going to be much. It’s a hard process to go through knowing someone’s livelihood would be affected, but you must go where the money is.” Spikes said she does not believe financial exigency causes a decline in enrollment. “I do think a lack of recruitment and retention is the cause of declining enrollment,” said Spikes. In the late 1980s and early 90s an estimate of more than 10,000 students were enrolled at the SUBR campus alone according to archives. Today, approximately 6,000 students are enrolled according to a DIGEST report published earlier this semester.

HBCU Panel from page 1 O’Brien opened the discussion asking each panelist to make an opening statement and share their opinion of where HBCUs are now. “The business model made in the 1800s may have worked then but, is bad for today. We have to change the Wolf model,” Mason said. Smith continued, mentioning the current situations in Louisiana and the country at large. “There are serious situations faced across the country. We have issues, I feel our governor is trying to change the course and face of HBCUs in Louisiana. Do we need reform? Yes. We as people must stand up and support our institutions,” Smith said. Baskerville discussed the statistics of the reality for many people of color, the consumers of the HBCU education. “At a time when this nation has a 54 percent loss of wealth. Foreclosures are skyrocketing and economies are experiencing a loss of

hope. These are dire times for the community, America, and the globe. HBCUs are engines in their communities. Driving their communities. HBCUs are needed more today than ever,” Baskerville said. Pogue addressed the mission of HBCUs and his opinion of how they are doing. “I recognize that HBCUs are doing what they are supposed to be doing. We need to prove that with good sound data. We were founded for the same reason other institutions were founded. What we profess as a mission and we have to get beyond ourselves. There are thousands of examples of how productive our schools are,” Pogue said. O’Brien posed the question of whether the 105 current HBCUs should be considering merging or consolidation in this economic atmosphere. “60 percent of all students seeking a degree are not getting a 4-year degree. That’s a problem. The cost of college is escalating, we need to look

at a new business model,” Baskerville said. Pogue brought integration and the consideration of the ability to attend predominately white institutions into the merging debate. “Integration has not been as kind as we thought it would be to HBCUs. Merging/closing of HBCUs should not hinge on the ability to attend whit institutions,” Pogue said. O’Brien asked panelists to suggest their solutions for the new business model. “We need to grow and protect ourselves from within. The attempt to close HBCUs is nothing new. Our future as HBCUs must not hinge on economic downturns,” Pogue said. Mason talked about his centralized approach at Southern and what unifies the HBCUs. “We all have one thing in common. We are a reflection of the people who we serve. That is a challenge with less access to wealth. The best

approach is a system approach. At Southern we are able to centralize services. The future is to find ways not to merge but, work better,” Mason said. Smith talked about the SUNO/UNO merger and how the tone is set by the previous decisions in the legislature. “We dealt with the proposed merger of SUNO and UNO. A number of individuals felt they should go forth with the merger, they felt the SUNO population was not graduating. I felt it was being rushed. It had not been thought through. Merging any university sets the stage for the next merger. The merger would have began the downfall of the HBCU system in Louisiana.” Smith continued discussing the SUNO situation and how she anticipates merger discussion. “SUNO is very different. It takes in students that have been incarcerated to transfers. Of the 200 students recently graduated only 14 were counted in graduation rates based on

the way the state calculated rates. Mergers will be a topic that will come up but, there will be a fight. Rather than looking at mergers we need to be looking at a collaborative effort,” Smith said. Mason added, “They should be celebrated for getting that degree not castigated for the amount of years it took them to get it.” Baskerville talked about addressing the system in which students come in and come out. “We need to look at the system and the pipeline. Weigh in and find our niche in this global economy. We need to generate and operate for profit entities,” Baskerville said. Pogue discussed equality in merger situations. “We have to be serious about what a merger means. Making sure it is equal across the table,” Pogue said. Each panelist concluded with whether they were hopeful or not of the future of HBCUs.

State & Nation

Page 4 - Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Sentinel Of An Enlightened Student Body since 1926

Drum major who died in hazing was ‘Mr. Band’ Christine Armario & Greg Bluestein The Associated Press

LITHONIA, Ga. — Robert Champion fell in love with music at about age 6 when he saw a marching band at a parade in downtown Atlanta. So mesmerized by the festivities, he came home, took out pots and pans and started banging away like a little drummer. His passion led him to marching bands from middle school through college. He was drum major for the famed Marching 100 band of Florida A&M University, a group that has performed at Super Bowls, the Grammys and presidential inaugurations. The prestige also brought a “culture of hazing” and a secret world that played a role in Champion’s death, his family said. “It needs to stop. The whole purpose is to put this out there and let people know there has to be a change,” Champion’s mother, Pam, said Monday at a news conference. On Nov. 19, after the school’s football team lost an away game to rival Bethune-Cookman, Champion collapsed on a bus parked outside an Orlando, Fla., hotel. The 26-year-old junior had been vomiting and complained he couldn’t breathe shortly before he became unconscious. When authorities arrived about 9:45 p.m., Champion was unresponsive. He died at a nearby hospital. Authorities have not released any more details, except to say hazing played a role. An attorney representing Champion’s family also refused to talk specifics. “We are confident from what we’ve learned that hazing was a part of his death. We’ve got to expose this culture and eradicate it,” Christopher Chestnut said. “There’s a pattern and practice of

PHOTO BY erik s. lesser/ap photo

Robert Champion Sr., left, and his wife, Pam Champion, participate in a news conference on Monday in Lithonia, Ga. The Champions, parents of Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion who died of suspected hazing Nov. 19, in Orlando, Fla., said they plan on filing a civil lawsuit in the matter.

covering up this culture.” Since Champion’s death, the school has shuttered the famed marching band and the rest of the music department’s performances. The longtime band director, Julian White, was fired. The college also announced an independent review led by a former state attorney general and an ex-local police chief in Tallahassee, where the historically black college is based. White, who believes he was unfairly dismissed, said Monday that he had suspended band members for hazing-related incidents before Champion died. White said he feared the death could lead to the end of the storied marching band.

Hazing has a long history in marching bands, particularly at historically black colleges, where a spot in the band is coveted and the performances are sometimes revered as much as the school’s sports teams. FAMU has been at the center of some of the worst cases. In 2001, former FAMU band member Marcus Parker suffered kidney damage because of a beating with a paddle. Three years earlier, Ivery Luckey, a clarinet player, said he was paddled around 300 times and had to go to the hospital. The university’s president said the school had been investigating hazing in the band before Champion’s death. Champion’s parents said

their son never spoke of hazing. Robert Champion Sr. said he talked to his son just a few days before his death and everything was fine. “I wanted to believe stuff like that wouldn’t happen,” he said. “I would ask my son questions. ‘Is there anything you need to tell me? Let me know.’ He told me, ‘Dad everything is going OK. I’m working, trying to go to school and practice.’” Champion dreamed of leading marching bands. As a child, he would use a broom handle to mimic a band director’s baton. At one point, he designed his own drum major uniform, his mother said. “You put him on a field in a performance and he would give

you a show,” she said. His first instrument was the clarinet, which he learned to play in the fifth grade. A middle school teacher recognized his talent and he was tapped to lead the school’s orchestra and perform with the Southwest DeKalb High School band as an eighth grader. He could also sing and play keyboards. Chapel Hill Middle School band director Natalie Brown said she’ll never forget his outgoing personality and phenomenal musicianship. “He was always smiling. He never gave me a hard time,” she said. “If class was about to start, he’d get everyone quiet and start the warm-up process. He had the drum major mentality way back then.” Champion wanted to one day teach music. He was so enthusiastic about performing that his mother would call him “Mr. Band.” At times he struggled with his schoolwork and he didn’t immediately go to Florida A&M after high school. But he eventually enrolled, balancing a job with school and his commitments in the band. In late 2010, he was named drum major. “His experience in the band was, in his words, great. Robert was happy,” his mother said. “He loved the band and everything that went with it. He loved performing. That was his life. You couldn’t take him out of it.” The family’s attorney said they hoped a lawsuit would lead to changes at the school and prod other hazing victims to come forward. “We want to eradicate a culture of hazing so this doesn’t happen again,” said Chestnut. “Hazing is a culture of, ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’ The family’s message today is: ‘Please tell.’”

New Orleans lays out plan to end homelessness Cain Burdeau

The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Struggling to deal with one of the nation’s largest homeless populations, New Orleans and federal officials say they’ll work aggressively over the next decade to end homelessness by getting more people on the streets into homes. On Monday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu laid out a 10-year plan the city and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development hope will end the homeless problem that has become chronic since 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Social workers estimate about 6,500 people are on the streets in the city. The plan calls for building more housing for homeless and creating a 24-hour center in a downtown Veterans Affairs Department hospital building. The problem has grabbed new attention in the past three months as the park in front of City Hall, known as

Duncan Plaza, has become part Occupy Wall Street demonstration and part homeless tent camp. Melvin Powe, a 53-year-old unemployed laborer from New Orleans, is among the homeless who call Duncan Plaza home now. He was living near the public library before the Occupy movement started in the park. He was hopeful that the city would get serious about combatting the problem and said the majority of people in Duncan Plaza were homeless people who just need help finding work and getting inside. “They’re saying they will try to help the people who really need help,” he said of the plan he read about in the newspaper. “I think it’s good. Give them a job. Most people like me would work.” Powe said shelters are hard to get into and work is hard to find. His story was a familiar one in New Orleans. He said that after Katrina, his family was scattered across the nation and he lost the job he held as a dishwasher and

handyman at a restaurant. He said he was frustrated that the city had not done more to house homeless. He pointed to a nearby empty multistory building and said the city should take ones like that one and turn them into housing for the poor. Mike Howells, a New Orleans public housing activist, said decisions after Katrina to close Charity Hospital, the city’s public hospital where homeless often went to get treatment and help, and tear down public housing complexes made the problem worse. “They’re not dealing with it, they’re making it worse,” he said as he stood with other activists in Duncan Plaza. “They come up with these redevelopment schemes that are inadequate.” The city’s plan calls for using parts of a Veterans Affairs Department hospital as a center where people in need of housing, work and other services can get help. The hospital was damaged by Katrina and it is being replaced with a new one set to

open in part by 2013. The plan also sets up a council to coordinate efforts and calls for building more housing for the homeless. The city vowed to work with developers and organizations over 10 years to add 2,115 permanent beds for homeless individuals and 516 new beds for families. It also set goals on how many people would be helped into housing each year. Landrieu called ending homelessness “an urgent issue that demands immediate action.” “After Hurricane Katrina, many who never thought they would ever be homeless were suddenly left with nothing,” he said. Landrieu said the city would form the New Orleans Interagency Council on Homelessness to oversee the plan and find ways to get the public and private sectors to work more effectively to combat the problem. He said city government needs to use “money that already exists” and use it “in a targeted way.”


the seNtiNel of aN eNlighteNed studeNt body siNCe 1926

tuesday, November 29, 2011 - Page 5

Grambling dominates Southern to clinch West MORRIS DILLaRD

The Southern Digest

NEW ORLEANS — The Southern Jaguars entered the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in hopes of winning its first Bayou Classic since 2007. They left in disbelief. After upsetting Alabama State Nov. 12, the Jaguars lone task was to cap off the season with back-to-back wins for the first time since the hiring of second-year head coach Stump Mitchell. Instead, the offense struggled and Southern fell to Grambling 36-12 Saturday. “They won the battle between the trenches,” said Mitchell, who now is 6-16 at Southern. The Jaguars (4-7, 4-5) offense rushed for a season-low minus-31 yards, led junior running back Slyvester Nzekwe, whose longest run was 12 yards. They converted only two of 11 third downs and averaged 3.1 yards per play. Southern did not score until the second quarter, when freshman quarterback J.P. Douglas threw his 10th career touchdown to sophomore receiver Lee Doss. From there, Douglas was sidelined after suffering a concussion on a pass attempt that was intercepted in the red zone by Tigers’ defensive back Bruna’ Foster. “For the most part they were playing good against the run,” Mitchell said. “Their defensive linemen really took it to our offensive linemen. Our quarterbacks didn’t have a whole lot of time to pass the

PHOTO By TrevOr JaMeS/diGeST

Grambling State running back Dawrence Roberts escapes the grasp of Southern defensive back Demetric Rogers during the Bayou Classic Saturday. Roberts’ 195-yard performance helped propel the Tigers to a 36-12 win, clinching the SWAC Western Division in the process.

ball.” Grambling’s (7-4, 6-3) defensive line totaled seven sacks, led by junior defensive lineman Jomarcus Savage, who had two. Also, the unit accounted for five of the defense’s nine tackles behind the line of scrimmage led by Savage. Mitchell replaced Douglas for

sophomore Dray Joseph. By then, Douglas completed 5 of 14 passes for 67 yards and was sacked three times. The Tigers d-line sacked Joseph four times, including a safety late in the third quarter for a 26-12 lead. “We just worked hard and here we are going to the championship,” said

Grambling coach Doug Williams. The Tigers clinched the Western Division with a one-game lead over Prairie View and Arkansas-Pine Bluff, winning its last six games by 13 points or less. Grambling will play Alabama A&M in the 2011 Farmers Insurance SWAC Championship Game presented by Toyota will take place Dec. 10 at Birmingham’s Legion Field. Kickoff is set for noon. “They’re a good team,” said safety Demetric Rogers, one of 18 seniors playing in their last game for Southern. Grambling took control of the game in the third quarter. Wide receiver Mario Lewis capped a seven-play, 79-yard drive with a 34-yard touchdown reception. Southern answered the score when Joseph connected with wide receiver Michael Berry for a five-yard touchdown. On Grambling’s next possession, quarterback D.J. Williams of Grambling threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Lewis, who finished with four catches for 73 yards and three touchdown catches. On the other side of the ball, Southern senior linebacker Jamie Payton was awarded Most Valuable Player for Southern. Payton finished with 15 tackles, two pass breakups and a forced fumble. “It hurts real bad to lose any game to your rival,” Payton said after the game. “I feel I gave my all today, but at the end of the day its all about wins and losses.” Payton was selected to play in the 2011 HBCU Bowl Dec. 18 in Atlanta, along with three other Jaguar seniors.


Page 6 - Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Sentinel Of An Enlightened Student Body since 1926

Is tech friend or foe to Santa? Leanne Italie

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Kids can video chat with Santa, follow him on Twitter or enlist NORAD to track his every move online. And yet in many ways, technology may be making it harder for parents to keep their children believing in the jolly old elf. At nearly every turn, the Internet threatens to blow the fat man’s cover. Practically any schoolchild can type “Is Santa real?” into Google. And just a few clicks can bring youngsters to websites that sell customized letters from the North Pole or offer advice on how Mom and Dad can fool the kids into believing in old St. Nick. “I have a love-hate relationship with technology and Santa,” said Kristi Kovalak, a mom in St. Louis. “The beauty of Santa is the not knowing. Technology is all about knowing, and knowing this instant. I swear, Google is the nemesis of the North Pole.” She embraces digital life daily but stays far away from cyberSanta for her two boys, ages 5 and 11. “We don’t do robo-calls. We don’t submit lists to Santa online. I don’t have tracking apps on my phone,” she said. “Too much

proof means you then have to explain away when the next crazy thing contradicts it.” Kevin Grout and his wife had a close call recently while watching a Santa Claus parade on TV with their children, ages 6, 4 and 5 months. A commercial came on for a website that creates email greetings from Santa. They switched channels just in time. “We’re definitely in this boat, primarily with our oldest. She’s a smart cookie,” said Grout, of St. Catharines, Ontario. “It was clear to me a poor strategy to run it during a Santa Claus parade when many kids would be tuned in.” Santa sites can easily be found by any kid with an iPad., for example, screams: “Discover our acclaimed letter from Santa, phone call from Santa, Santa evidence kits and official good list certificate. Make your children’s eyes pop out of their heads this Christmas!” (Parents might have fun explaining away the Santa boot print kit, complete with a plastic template and a shaker full of snow crystals, for $15.99.) Over at is a menu of prices for letters from Santa. There’s a fancy one on a scroll for $19.99 and a simple postcard for nearly $3. (Mommy, why does

Santa charge?) Enter the search query “Is Santa real?” and up comes an entry on a psychology site about the dreaded question itself and how parents who are trying to keep the Santa secret live in fear this time of year. Kyla Kelim of Fairhope, Ala., caught her oldest, a 9-year-old boy, on her iPad playing Santa sleuth a week or so ago. “We’re so close with him this year, not believing,” she said. “He was Googling ‘Santa,’ and I saw him type the word ‘myth’ when I grabbed it and said no electronics. I’m constantly having to follow my phone and iPad and stuff around right now. We’re trying not to debunk Santa for our 7-year-old.” Not all parents are worried technology will destroy the magic. Dad Brian Searl in Ormond Beach, Fla., keeps the Santa secret for his 7-year-old daughter through apps that offer Santa video chat and recorded calls from the big guy. “It isn’t getting harder. The methods are just different,” he said. And what happens when she’s older? He said he might go retro and haul out the movie “Elf” with Will Ferrell, the one “where the sleigh doesn’t have enough power

PHOTO By david duprey/ap photo

This file photo shows Phil Martella dressed as Santa Claus as he arrives at a mall for seasonal photographs with children in Buffalo, N.Y. Kids can video chat with Santa, follow him on Twitter or enlist NORAD to track his every move online. And yet in many ways, technology may be making it harder for parents to keep their children believing in the jolly old elf.

because people don’t believe.” Other parents, though, are finding that in some ways, it was easier to maintain the Santa myth before high-speed Internet. When Kimberly Porrazzo’s

boys, now in their 20s, were little, she and her husband jingled sleigh bells outside their kids’ bedroom windows on Christmas Eve, and Dad took to the roof to make scampering hoof sounds.


The Sentinel Of An Enlightened Student Body since 1926

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - Page 7

Don’t blame me, I’ve got senioritis SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY SUITE 1064 T.H. HARRIS HALL POST OFFICE BOX 10180 BATON ROUGE, LA 70813 PHONE: 225.771.2231 FAX: 225.771.5840 ONLINE @


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The Southern DIGEST welcomes letters from readers commenting on current issues and other matters of general interest to the SU family and public. We set aside this space to publish these letters for others to enjoy. This newspaper is not responsible for individual opinions expressed on its editorial and opinion pages. The Southern DIGEST reserves the right to edit any contributions and or reject them without notification. Authors are encouraged to limit the length of submissions to 300 words. Letters should not include libelous statements. Offensive and personal attacks will not be permitted. The DIGEST will not print “open letters” addressed to someone else. All contributions must be type written, signed and must include the author’s address and phone number. Unsigned letters will not be printed. Southern University students should include their majors, hometowns and year in school. When referring to specific DIGEST articles, please include the date and title. All materials should be directed to the editor in chief of The Southern DIGEST, P.O. Box 10180, Baton Rouge, La. 70813. Materials may be delivered by hand to the DIGEST office located in Suite 1064 Harris Hall or can be e-mailed to

A couple of weeks ago, I finally saw my “candidate for graduation” hold on iRattler, FAMU’s online record system, requiring me to complete the new graduation process. Once the excitement of posting a picture of my hold to my Facebook died, then humility took over. I knew I had survived a four-and-a-half year trek through the jungle we call Florida A&M. Looking at the university’s graduation rate, it’s clear that a timely matriculation at FAMU can be compared to the evolutionary theory of “survival of the fittest.” FAMU’s four-year graduation rate is 12.49 percent; 31.08 percent of students who are retained graduate in five years, and 39.92 percent graduate in six years. And, yes, there are a few brave souls who can stomach spending more than six years surrounded by pretentious and ironically materialistic young adults. The eightyear graduation rate is also about 40 percent. Again, these rates are for those who came to FAMU as first-year freshmen and stayed until and throughout their fourth-year and beyond. The proportion of first-year freshmen who stay until their fourth-year is about 64 percent… not bad. I’ve crafted a bit of evolutionary pseudo-science to explain our perceptually low graduation and retention rates. When the typical FAMU freshman, taxonomically referred to as “fresheus meatus,” hatches from its shell of parental protection and arbitrary high school traditions, he or she is forced to survive on a campus where several predatory species roam. The first predator “freshius

meatus” will encounter happens to be one of the lowly predators on campus, the party promoter, taxonomically identified as “homo-aggravatus.” Party promoters will use their natural aggravating instinct of cheaply crafted event fliers and an insistence that you take one and consider attending (as if studying isn’t more important). The freshmen are instinctively behooved to cross the street when they see these predators, usually males. Otherwise they are doomed to develop into the dreaded, weaker subspecies “homo here-foreverus,” better known as the student who never leaves. If freshmen are able to avoid the party promoter, then they will find time to venture to Foote-Hilyer, the administration building, to turn in their financial aid paperwork to a financial aid counselors, taxonomically designated as “homo perplexus-discombobulus.” They are classified as such for their unique ability to lie to students with a straight face. They are further distinguished by their ornery dispositions and tendency to ruin lives. “Freshius meatus” must follow their instructions carefully at the beginning of each semester, or again, they risk developing into the feebleminded irresponsible student. By successfully conquering the predators in Foote-Hilyer, the freshman can now venture into an open campus only to be met by larger more experienced students, who are identified with a number of student sub-species. The first of these student subspecies, of which freshmen must escape becoming prey, are the SGA

members, or “homo deceitus.” SGA members are very likely to develop into money-grubbing turncoats, known in society as politicians. They appear to be both phenotypically and genotypically attractive. But freshmen shan’t be fooled. For under their suits, polo shirts, name tags, catchy introductions and perceptually high GPAs, they are really just robots trained to take orders from themselves. The second student subspecies to avoid would be the Greeks, or “homo-lameus.” Upon hatching from their shells, this species begins life at FAMU as students who just want to fit in, or “homo desparatus.” Once they are granted their perceived brother- or sisterhood at a toll, they sometimes develop into another student subspecies, “homo hereforeverus.” By avoiding pointless group associations, freshmen save money and reduce the risk of becoming a campus fixture. The task of surviving on the Hill and graduating in four years is not a difficult one. But freshmen must gain the ability to avert the predators roaming FAMU’s campus. If freshmen are successful in fighting off these predators for three more years in their habitat, it will develop into the strongest subspecies of them all, “homo indifferentus.” After four years of fighting for survival, “homo indifferentus” is ready to graduate. Their instincts are to “not-give-a-crap” about anything or anyone they encounter on campus. ——— Jason Lawrence writes for The Famuan, the Florida A&M University student newspaper, which originally published this article.

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Staff editorials represent the opinions of the author and the majority opinion of the Southern DIGEST Student Editorial Board, which is comprised of the student staff of editors and columnists. The Southern DIGEST provides an open forum to educate, inform and enlighten the students, faculty and staff at Southern University, Baton Rouge, La.


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Page 8 - Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Sentinel Of An Enlightened Student Body since 1926

The November 29 Issue of The Southern Digest  

Spikes recalls 1980s crisis; Panel discusses HBCUs; AWS serves Thanksgiving lunch; Grambling dominates Southern in Bayou Classic; and more

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