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March 13, 2014

W W W. V S U S P E C TAT o R . C o M

Inside This Issue

Lucky number seven!

- oPInIonS: don’t skimp on our security

student resarch

- SPoRTS: VSU aims to build on so-so season

blood drive - phi Mu will be hosting a blood drive from 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the parking lot by palms dining Hall.

live Well! - VSU will be holding a panel discussion on nutrition and diabetes. A VSU chef will also be in attendance to make diabetes-friendly foods. the event will be held in meeting rooms one and two from 3-4:14 p.m. sing! dance! create! -phi beta, coed fraternity, will be holding a meeting in Student Union meetin room 1A at 8 p.m.

John Stephen Copy editor

When students return from Spring break, two new security officers will be roaming the grounds of VSU. When the new security guards begin March 24, their main function will be to patrol the campus in the evening and early-morning hours, according to thressea boyd, VSU director of communications. these officers will report to the VSUpd but will not carry guns or make

arrests. boyd said only two new security guards will be hired at this time, with the possibility of more being hired in the future. this security addition comes after a VSU report revealed that the number of campus police officers does not meet the ideal ratio of three officers per 1,000 students. there has also been an increase in violent crimes recently, causing the VSU administration to evaluate security conditions on campus. the Special Committee on

Safety and Security at VSU presented a special report at

“ There simply is not enough personnel to carry out sufficient foot patrols as vehicular patrols receive priority since response time is of the essence. ” - special committee on safety and security

the Faculty Senate’s Feb. 20

“It’s a dog’s’s life in the modern army.”

Elan Waite opinionS editor

though tuition increases are somewhat expected among those in higher education, students may feel more at ease when looking at next semester’s tuition. University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby has been a driving force behind the low 2.5 percent increase in tuition for undergraduate students.

-Graham Chapman

on this day in 1942, the U.S. army began the War Dog Program, or K-9 Corp. The K-9 Corp. began with 30 different breeds of dogs, but eventually narrowed it down to seven breeds, including the famous German Sheperd breed. Dogs went through an intensive 8-12 week obediance training program and then were sorted into one of four specializations: sentry dogs, scout or patrol dogs, messenger dogs or mine-detection dogs.

earlier this year, Huckaby addressed Georgia General Assembly’s Joint Appropriations Committee. He discussed increases in tuitions and fees among universities and explained the recent initiatives aimed at spending money more efficiently as well as making sure students are being served fairly. “…We have worked very

Weather Today Rain

61 H 35 L


John Preer

73 H 55 L

Web editor abbie Baggerly / THe SPeCTaTor

Melanie Washington, psychology major, stacks her record-breaking 21 crates at the at the crate stacking competition on March 6. Rebecca Tuckersoon soon broke that record with 25 crates, taking the win for two years in a row.

Roll forward and wake up Tyra Mills


A S S t. W e b e d i t o r


on Sunday, students woke up before moving the hands of their clocks an hour ahead. it’s something done every year right before springtime hits, and in the fall clocks move back an hour.

The Spectator

hard to limit tuition increases,” Huckaby said in the meeting. “And we will continue to limit increases. For the past two years, most students have benefited from the lowest increases in a decade. this is true at all institutions except the research universities.” Huckaby also took into consideration the fees students have to pay along with tuition and has made efforts to reduce increases in that

area, as well. Fees are requested and must be approved by the board before they can be included in the student fee list each semester. there are different fee categories: mandatory, miscellaneous, food services and housing rates. the fees are what make many schools differ in amount.

SAVE schools VSU on climate change



See SECURITY, Page 2

Check out the rest on the web!

AM Showers 69 H 44 L

force, making the new officers a low-expense solution to the security shortage on campus. on Feb. 5, dynamic Security inc. (dSi), one of the nation’s largest security firms, advertised in the Valdosta Craigslist Jobs section, seeking “security officers for a college campus setting.” the pay for the position was listed as $8 an hour plus benefits. dSi holds an ongoing contract with the University

Jordan Hill / THe SPeCTaTor



meeting, addressing campus safety problems. “there simply is not enough personnel to carry out sufficient foot patrols as vehicular patrols receive priority since response time is of the essence,” the report said. “We are always looking for ways to enhance campus safety and security,” said Sue Fuciarelli, VSU vice president for finance and administration, in an interview with the Valdosta daily times. the university said it does not currently have the proper funds to increase the police

Tuition fee: gentle increase continues

This Day in History

Find Us online

w w w. v s u s p e c ta t o r. c o m

VSU begins hiring new security

Stacks on stacks:


On the Web Check out Joe Adgie’s coverage of his trip to the Nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.!

- FEATURES: Florida ‘Keys’ open doors for VSU

Today at VSU


While this process is supposed to improve people’s lives, it may be causing more problems than it solves. According to the new england Journal of Medicine (neJM), "the loss of onehour's sleep associated with the spring shift to daylightsaving time increased the risk

of accidents." As is commonly known, sleeping is vital to one's health. Lack of sleep causes slower learning, accidents, weight problems and much more; some of the biggest disasters in history were caused by lack of sleep, See SLEEPY, Page 2

through the combined efforts of VSU’s student organization S.A.V.e. (Students Against Violating the environment) and dr. Ari Santos’ ethics and environment course, motivational speaker dr. Gerald L. durley presented a lecture on environmental justice and climate change in Jennett Hall Wednesday night. born to a 16-year-old mother, dr. durley was placed in a special education program because of a speech impediment. durley found his voice in his fourth-grade,

special education class when he boldly responded to the heckling of fellow classmates. dr. durley got his introduction to the civil rights movement during his time at Fisk University. While attending the university on a basketball scholarship, durley participated in protests and marches that resulted in his scholarship being pulled. Fortunately, durley knew a few supportive professors that paid for the remainder of his education at Fisk. the theme of the lecture centered on environmental issues that have occupied news S e e S AV E , P a g e 2


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Upcoming Events

Police Briefs March 8 A female student parked her black Nissan Rogue on the third floor of Sustella Deck on Monday. She searched all levels of the parking deck but could not find her car. Parking tag is PNN5783, and has pink initials "NCA" on the back. The vehicle has been entered into the Georgia Crime Investigation Center.

Student Devonte Jelsie had $100 stolen in the Lowndes Residence Hall.


for local areas around the world, connecting users to local jobs, services and goods, among other things. Some students question how qualified the new officers are because of the method used to hire them. “We’re not going to get the most effective security (from Craigslist),” Alexa Jeffcoat, freshman biology major, said. Taylor Walker, sophomore undecided major, echoed that sentiment, saying the Craigslist ad won’t attract the right candidates for the job. “There are some crazy people on Craigslist,” Walker said. James Watkins, sophomore business administration major, is supportive of DSI’s decision to use Craigslist in their search, saying that the site reaches a large part of the community, the good as well as the bad. “Everybody goes to Craigslist,” Watkins said. “They’ll find some good people.” DSI did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Continued from Page 1 System of Georgia, which allowed VSU to contact DSI for assistance in beefing up security on campus. “Interested applicants must be physically fit, have a clean criminal history, strong work ethic, good interpersonal skills and be able to pass a drug screen,” the ad said. DSI has been in business for over 70 years and has accumulated a reputable portfolio, providing service to the Department of Defense as well as hundreds of colleges, universities and commercial businesses nationwide. According to DSI’s website, the firm has a 95 percent customer-retention rate. “Each officer at DSI is extensively interviewed, screened, investigated and tested prior to any employment offer to enhance the quality of our employee base,” DSI’s website said. Craigslist is a well-known website containing classified advertisements and forums

MARCH 13, 2014

March 7 Someone in the Student Union requested to file a report about items stolen. March 5 A non-student named Michael D. Hall was arrested on Slater Street and charged with a DUI, improper lane change and driving on a suspended license.

March 16 Temple Israel needs volunteers from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help prepare meals. Any students who wish to volunteer can, and being Jewish is not a requirement. There will be a sign-in sheet for students who volunteer. There will also be three other volunteer opportunities throughout March. March 25 Housing and Residence Life will sponsor an American Red Cross Blood Drive from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Student Union Ball-

SLEEPY Continued from Page 1 including the 1986 explosion of the Challenger space shuttle, according to the NEJM. The journal goes on to say that traffic accidents consistently increase after the time shift. According to an article from Science Daily in 2012, "The Monday and Tuesday after moving the clocks ahead one hour in March is associated with a 10-percent increase in the risk of having a heart attack." In comparison, there is actually a reduction of traffic accidents after the fall shift

room. March 27 Dr. Gene A. Smith will discuss his book, The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812, at 7 p.m. in Bailey Science Center room 3007. March 29 The Society of International Students will host the annual International Dinner in the Student Union Ballroms at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 for VSU students with VSU ID and $20 for general admission at the Center for International Programs. from daylight-savings time, when an hour of sleep is gained. The University Health Center of Georgia’s research states that college students get around six to 6.9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep varies depending on age, but most teenagers and adults should get at least eight to nine hours of sleep each night. There are ways to help prevent any health risks or accidents after the daylight-savings shift: sleep an extra hour to make up for the time change, eat a wholesome breakfast and try to exercise before starting your day.

Happy ‘Tator Day!

WWW.VSUSPECTATOR.COM SAVE Continued from Page 1 headlines for some time. Dr. Durley tackled touchy subjects such as the Keystone pipeline controversy, the negative effects of fracking, and alternative power sources, all while maintaining a light, jovial tone. All of these topics were seamlessly melded together under the importance of taking full advantage of “kairos moments.” These moments are instances of supreme opportunity. Dr. Durley hailed the lecture as one of those kairos moments and urged the audience to passionately effect change in their own communities. “Everybody has a right to clean air and clean water,” Dr. Durley said. “…When you challenge the status quo, the status quo will challenge you.” As a veteran in the civil rights community, Dr. Durley was able to regale stories of voting-rights protests with iconic figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Al Sharpton, Andrew Young, Hosea Williams and John Lewis. Durley tied his experience with civil rights into his more recent struggle for human and environmental rights. He spoke to the importance of eliminating the barriers that divide communities.

Dr. Durley called for awareness and education as a means for effecting change in a community. He said without bringing awareness to the issues at hand, it would be nearly impossible to truly bring about a change to current policies that hinder progressive movement, and educating the community establishes a common bond that rallies supporters together. The morality of addressing climate change was another talking point that Dr. Durley touched on, naming disbelief as the main moral shortcoming that is crippling the environmental preservation movement. Durley said the profit motive of a capitalistic society was also to blame for the lethargy of large companies that have the ability to truly effect change in the environment. “When you speak truth to power, it’s always devastating,” Durley said. “… It’s unfortunate that in America, we live in a nation of deniers.” Dr. Durley repeatedly praised S.A.V.E. for their courage and diligence. He noted that all great movements begin when individuals are willing to make personal sacrifices for the cause that they support. “We are all in this thing together,” Durley concluded. “Get involved and eliminate the myths so that we can see reality.”

MCT Campus

Spectator prints free classifieds for students of Valdosta State University only. These must be no more than 40 words, or a $8.00 charge will apply. Classifieds for faculty, staff, student organizations, student-owned businesses and the general public cost $8.00 for up to 40 words. Ads should be sent to Spectator or delivered to our office in 1238

The Classifieds

Hopper Hall. The deadline is Monday at 5 p.m. If payment applies, it should be submitted in a sealed envelope at the time the ad is placed. Ads must be accompanied by the name and phone number of the person submitting the ad. Ads must be resubmitted each week, as necessary. Spectator address is: 1500 N. Patterson St., Valdosta, GA 31698. Our

email address is Spectator reserves the right to reject any classified ad. All ads are subject to standard editing procedures. Spectator is not responsible for mistakes due to a submitted error. The categories for classifieds include: For Sale, For Rent, Sublease, Wanted, Roommate, Services, Personnels and Help Wanted.

Roommate Wanted


Roommate Needed Immediately: $375 Rent - Includes all utilities. 1 bedroom in a 3 bedroom house. Available NOW: Lease through July. Email Ashley for info:

First month 1/2 off! Need someone to take over my lease. $394/month Utilities, cable, internet, private bed & bath. 3 lovely roommates. Blanton Common has w/d & dw in unit, pool, gym & recreation. Contact Sherrelle Neal

Sublease (478) 972-9099



mArch 13, 2014 | pAge 3

Our point of view...

Don’t skimp on our security V

sU students and faculty rest assured, the best security minimum wage can buy will be tasked with keeping you safe. With the recent rash of criminal activity that VsU has seen over the past few semesters, campus safety has been at the center of discussion. the administration has been receiving a lot of flak for the lack of sufficient security measures needed to protect students and faculty while on campus. in response to the pressure, president William McKinney has made the decision to beef up security on campus. this would seem

like the most logical step, seeing as how the student body is starting to feel less protected when on campus. We at the spectator have no objection to increased security patrol, but even more important than the quantity of security officials is the quality of the individuals the university decides to hire. A portion of every student’s tuition is allocated to security, and we believe students should receive the best service available. However, it’s hard to believe that we will get the best service possible when the pool of candidates comes from Craigslist−the very same Craigslist that hosts ads for

hired assassins, mail-order brides and an illegal drug selection that would make Joaquin “el Chupo” Guzman proud. seeing as how Craigslist isn’t the most reputable of help-wanted sites, one can’t help but to wonder what criteria these new security guards have to meet. the ad that was placed on Craigslist only calls for a clean criminal background, physical fitness and a strong work ethic. two unarmed, “top flight” security guards will start patrolling the campus March 24. the administration has hired these new hands at a rate of $8 an hour plus bene-

fits, and they will patrol during the evening and early morning. their main task is to alert Valdosta state police to any suspicious activity. With no issued firearm or even the ability to make arrests, the security guards are no more than overglorified, underqualified whistle blowers. the university has hired them in hopes that their very presence will be a deterrent to any would-be criminals. this sounds like a good idea, but VsU already has a student patrol that has the same power and operates within

Jalane Farrington/ THE SPECTATOR

similar parameters. We at the spectator don’t oppose an increase in securi-

ty, but this measure just doesn’t cut the mustard.

This editorial was written by a member of the editorial staff, and it expresses the general opinion of The Spectator.

The lesser of three evils LaMarcus Wilkerson s tA F F W r i t e r

two legal drugs continue to cast a plague over the U.s. According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, an estimated 443,000 people die from tobacco each year; 8.6 million live with a life-threatening illness, and approximately 46.6 million Americans continue to use the drug. Like tobacco, alcohol is abused by numerous Americans. Over 80,000 deaths are caused by excessive drinking yearly in the U.s. However, both tobacco and alcohol are legal and sold at a store nearby. two of the top three killers in America are sold at grocery stores and gas stations. Yet people are jailed in Georgia for possessing mari-

juana, which has no recorded deaths. recently, Georgia legislators voted to approve research on cannabis oil, a substance that can be used to treat disorders. past FBi data claims a person is arrested every two seconds for marijuana possession. that means a lot of potheads are caged behind bars with felons eating prison food and taking open showers. But why are people imprisoned for something as harmless as marijuana? the fact of the matter is that marijuana is not harmless. effects of cannabis range from short-term memory loss to an increase in one’s heart rate.

However, everything has a price, and the effects of cannabis are minuscule in comparison to excessive tobacco and alcohol use. tobacco is known to cause various cancers, and alcohol can damage the liver and kidney. According to the DeA, marijuana is a schedule i drug along with heroin and

statistically, cannabis is the safest drug. Yet millions have spent time behind bars for possession. According to the national survey on Drug Use and Health, 52 percent of individuals age 18-25 use marijuana. tobacco and alcohol usage has caused numerous deaths in America. if marijuana is illegal, tobacco and alcohol

People Poll What are your plans for Spring Break? Becky Lenz senior environmental geosciences major “For spring beak, i’m going on a camping trip. ”

LsD, two drugs that have consumed the lives of many abusers. schedule i drugs are the most dangerous. stats show that cannabis isn’t nearly as dangerous as other schedule i drugs, or even tobacco and alcohol.

should be too. i don’t quite understand why marijuana is a schedule i drug; i don’t quite understand why tobacco and alcohol are legal and why they aren’t on the list at all.

Kyle Greening sophmore marketing major “i’m going to savannah for st. patrick’s Day..”


Warren Youmans junior environmental geosciences major

Getting real estate regardless of race Stephen Cavallaro OpiniOns Writer

the dissemination of different cultures and individuals is a fundamental element that led to the foundation of our nation. With the continuous rise of social media and globalization, people are undergoing dissemination like never before, thinning the gaps that put certain groups at a disadvantage. One technique that effectively works to deter adversity is gentrification, which is a shift in an urban community toward wealthier residents, thereby increasing property value. Gentrification helps areas that continue to feel the burden of racism and oppression to experience economic and social rejuvenation. Famed movie director spike Lee made no hesitation to express his opposition towards gentrification during a

After all, minority families who incur a moderate to high economic status tend to immigrate from poor communities to wealthier areas. speech late last month. Later that week on Cnn, Lee further voiced his thoughts on the issue. “My problem is that when you move into a neighborhood, have some respect for the history, for the culture,” Lee said. Yet gentrification does not exist with the intent to strip away culture, unless the culture trying to be preserved is racism, segregation, and poverty−all common trends among Lee’s former neigh-

borhood in Harlem, new York. While wealthy prospectors roll into poor urban communities purchasing properties that no one would dream of owning, the area’s economic theater undergoes change. public works such as law enforcement and sanitation become more efficient and new businesses set up shop. Hence, the economic playing field is being leveled. A study conducted by the economic Mobility project in 2009 concluded that “neighborhood poverty appears to be an important part of the reason why blacks experience more downward relative economic mobility than whites.” in the Chicago neighborhood of Bronzeville, known as the Harlem of Chicago, those who support gentrification are not even white, but black. some would argue that gentrification pushes people

out of their homes due to the influx of wealth. regardless of the validity of the argument, these individuals would be liable to flock either to a community with comparable socioeconomic status to which they are accustomed or to an area with a moderate economic theater. therefore, i argue that gentrification is nothing more than a mechanism for economic advancement amongst the poverty stricken. After all, minority families who incur a moderate to high economic status tend to immigrate from poor communities to wealthier areas. even spike Lee resides in the vastly overpriced and predominantly white Upper east side of new York. so shouldn’t it be fair for the wealthy to purchase real estate in Harlem, or any urban community, regardless of their race?

Spectator Staff Editor-in-Chief: Will Lewis Managing Editor: Olivia McLean Business Manager: Kristen Varney Advertising Manager: Aimee napier Circulation Manager: sara turner Opinions Editor: elan Waite Features Editor: Hillary straba

Sports Editor: Alex tostado Photo Editor: summer Yates Multimedia Editor: rebecka McAleer Web Designer: John preer Graphic Designer: Galen Coles Copy Editor: John stephen Social Media Editor: Joe Adgie

“i’m going to texas for spring break to look at rocks.”

Kirsty Douglass senior accounting major “im going home for spring break. i’m not doing anything special.”

Want more opinions? Check out the Video People Poll online at:

Correction: In the March 6 issue of The Spectator, the author of a letter titled “Extend finals week” was inadvertently left off. The author’s name is Dr. Aubrey R. Fowler III.

Contacting Us Faculty Advisers: Dr. pat Miller, Dr. ted Geltner, Keith Warburg Reporters/Photographers: stephen Cavallaro , Khiry Clements, Jessica Cooke, Allison ericson, Jordan Hill, tyra Mills, isaiah smart ,taylor stone Alejandro tostado, Alexis Waters, Christopher Webb, Lamarcus Wilkerson

Newsroom Advertising Business Fax E-mail

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VSU Spectator 1500 N. Patterson St., Valdosta, GA 31698 Letters must include name, year in school, major, job title or other appropriate identification and phone number for verification. Letters should be no longer than 300 words in length. Letters are subject to editing for style, length, grammar, and libelous material. not all letters are published. Letters should be typed and turned in with a disk, or e-mailed as an attachment by tuesdays before 5 p.m.

Online at Opinions expressed in the spectator other than editorials are the opinions of the writers of signed columns and not necessarily those of the spectator and its staff. All rights reserved. reprints by permission of the editors. Views in this newspaper are not necessarily those of the Valdosta state University administration, faculty and staff.


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Wordsmith demonstrates the art of the essay

Florida ‘Keys’ open doors for VSU student research Abbie Baggerly S ta f f W r i t e r


As part of the English Department’s Contemporary Writer’s Series, non-fiction writer and scholar Ned Stuckey-French read some of his personal essays on Wednesday night in the Student Union Theatre.

Pressed for play-time Hillary Straba f e at U r e S e D i t o r


ne month, two plays, $400. that’s the challenge faced by students participating in the immediate theatre Project (itP). the itP is sponsored by alpha Psi omega, a national honorary dramatic fraternity, and is completely studentrun. “We take student-written works−10-minute plays or so−and we produce them ourselves, direct them ourselves, cast them ourselves and we put them on for the public,” said Dennis May, senior theatre arts major and itP artistic director. Part of what makes this project different from other student-run theater projects is its timeframe. Students are given one month to prepare two plays for performance. the students are also given a budget of $400 to split among the plays. “We do everything,” May said. “We have the actors and

the directors. that’s it.” What makes this theater project so immediate? “immediate theater is basically what’s relevant, what’s happening today,” May said. “i encourage the writers to write something of relevance to society or something that means something (to them)−make it immediate.” this semester, there are two plays being produced: “Waiting for…,” written by Michael Morgan, and “time,” written by Dennis May. “Waiting for…” is directed by emily Bradford, a theatre arts major. it is a short, seven-minute play featuring two men who are sitting on a bench waiting for the bus. “time” is being directed by May. it is one act from a larger piece that he has been working on since December. this is the first time May has directed a play he has written. “the piece i wrote is a lot about acceptance of individuals no matter what they believe or who they are as a

person,” May said. “the main character is actually gay and no one in his family knows about it.” Given the short timeframe, itP productions are done in a very “immediate, bare-boned, minimum” style that utilizes what is already in the Lab theatre. the one-month countdown begins once auditions have been held. Casting for both plays was completed last week, which means the clock is ticking. the plays will be performed april 11 at 7:30 p.m. and april 12 at 2:30 p.m. in the Lab theatre on the second floor of the VSU fine arts Building. admission is free and open to the public, but donations are always accepted. “our mission is basically to take other people’s talents and sort of showcase them,” May said. “it’s also good to be able to help someone figure out what their talents actually are−more than acting, more than doing tech work.”

MARCH 13, 2014

ah, the beach. Dr. thomas Manning and his students will be there−but not to play. Dr. Manning, a professor of chemistry at VSU, will travel with a group of students to the florida Keys March 14-22. the main purpose of the project is to try to produce a biodegradable material that will create a new marine ecosystem. the group will deploy two different materials and will monitor them to see which one creates a better reef. “We want to see which material is the best for the growing of species like coral, clams and a host of invertebrates,” Dr. Manning said. on Saturday, the group will remove the old reef material that has been placed and deploy the new material. the group will work with GoPro cameras, which were obtained with a grant, and roVs (remote-operated vehi-

cles) to keep the group updated during the night. the roVs are very handy in keeping the students updated but are very difficult to make. “You have to do all the soldering; you have to get all the pipes and computer boards for it; you have to pick up the motors for it,” tess Baker, senior biology major, said. “all the motors we had to make.” Video will be taken using the GoPro cameras, which will allow the group to see what is going on. the group will participate in a 24-hour lab, and every five to 10 minutes they will measure different parameters such as nitrate, phosphate, pH and dissolved oxygen. the trip won’t be all work; students will be allowed to relax and visit sights such as the Hemingway House, Key West aquarium, Mel fisher Museum, truman Little White House and the Keepers Quarters Museum. field work will be completed at Bahia Honda State Park, where the students will

photograph some threatened and endangered species. after all the research is completed, the students will present their marine conservation presentation. there will be seven students that present, and afterwards they will give out handmade sponge necklaces to those who answer questions correctly. “Students will give a marine conservation presentation at the Key West aquarium related to their reef work; that should last about three hours,” Dr. Manning said. “they give out about a hundred sponge necklaces that we make from real sponges from the Gulf.” a grant has been given to the group that helps with the money for obtaining two different patents, and they are currently working on a third, which is an international patent. “i really hope the reef takes off; i am really looking forward to putting it in and to further investigate the results,” Baker said.

VSU serves global snacks Rikysha Williams S ta f f W r i t e r

the Society of international Students will be hosting the 38th annual international Dinner March 29 at 6 p.m. this semi-formal event, entitled "Journey around the World," will be held in the Student Union Ballrooms. faculty, staff, students andmembers of the community are invited to come out and celebrate the plethora of cultures that VSU has to offer.

this year’s dinner gives attendees a global adventure for their eyes, ears and palates. the event will feature cuisine from the americas, the Middle east, europe and africa as well as entertainment varying from an international fashion show to traditional dances and songs. “for any VSU student who has never been to an international dinner, it’s an experience they should add to their VSU ‘bucket list’ of things to do before graduating. even

though attendees will not need a passport to enter, they will need a ticket,” Lauren Braun, coordinator for international student services, said. tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for students. Children under the age of 5 are free. tickets can be purchased at the VSU Center for international Programs located next to the Student Health Center. for more information, call 229-333-7410.


MARCH 13, 2014

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NCAA bracket picks: Who are you? Neil Frawley S p o rt S W r i t e r

With conference tournaments raging on and selection Sunday only days away, excitement grows. and at 7pm, once all conference tourneys have ended and all 68 teams have been announced, the madness can and will ensue. and when it does, the focus of the sports world will once again turn to the brackets as hopeful souls look to get lucky and turn in the prized Billion dollar bracket. But you don't have to be a college basketball expert to try your luck at perfection, and there are numerous approaches. So the question is:

which one will you be? The Expert He knows all the players, he knows all the teams, and he believes the grand prize is his to lose. But of course, he has a reputation to uphold because being the expert is a high risk high reward position. Get at least 3 out of your 4 final four teams to the end, and get all the insane upsets and you're peers will look at you like you're a time traveling wizard back from the future. But when that 12 seed you had going to the Sweet Sixteen goes down, you're bracket will be the first into the fire. The Statistics Picker this guy doesn't know any-

thing about sports. But he has an excel spreadsheet. and he's going to use that spreadsheet to take you down. He's going to test all of those who say stats can't win awards. the strength of being the stats guy is that he usually, by design of course, has the odds in his favor. But with the George Masons, Butlers, and florida Gulf Coasts of the world defying the odds in recent years, being the stats guy doesn't always account for the... well, "madness." The Mascot/Team Color Picker if the stats guy doesn't know anything about sports, then this person is a lost cause. But not for March

Lucky number seven

Madness. if you're watching selection Sunday and it sounds like gibberish to you, but you still want to try and" run the dogs this year"... then pick the Butler Bulldogs, or maybe the Gonzaga Bulldogs, or even the Wofford terriers! Sure it's based little on logic and you'll catch flack from every person who has even the slightest idea of what they are doing. But, hey 9 out of last year's sweet sixteen teams had the color blue in their uniforms, so what do the "experts" really know? The All Upsets Picker He picked Davidson to go to the elite eight in 2008, and he's reminded you about it every year since. He just

Upcoming tennis matches:

3/25- vs. UNA 3/28- at West Florida 3/29- vs. Delta St. (At UWF)

Courtesy NCAA Valdosta State defeated Ferris State on Tuesday to win its seventh straight match. The Blazers will face the University of North Alabama on March 25.

Lia Armistead S p o rt S W r i t e r

Valdosta State men’s tennis won their seventh straight match on tuesday after defeating ferris State University. VSU improved to 7-2 on the season while the women’s team moved to 5-2 after their victory. the men won all three doubles sets, even with a switch-up of partners. fransisco Yim Kim left his usual doubles partner, Mario Navarro Bayo, to play with Niklas Herbring as the number-one team for the match. the two beat the Bulldogs 84.

on the second court, Bayo and Sebastian Jasyk partnered up in an intense set against the Bulldogs, with both teams going back and forth for the lead. the two played together for the first time and were able to get the victory 9-7. Joachim Schemm and Gereon Heitmann finished off the doubles matches on the third court, defeating the Bulldogs 8-4. the Bulldogs were able to gain one point in a singles match against Yim Kim, defeating him 6-0 and 6-3. VSU was able to keep fSU from scoring anymore points in the rest of the singles sets. the Blazers defeated the Bulldogs 8-1.

the Lady Blazers, meanwhile, defeated the Bulldogs 9-0, with the main points coming from the undefeated matches of Julianna Boehm, Sabrina Schmidt and Laura Ubeda. VSU started the match off with three doubles sets, winning all three easily. on the first court Michelle fischer and Sabrina Schmidt won 5-1. Jessica tuggle and Moriah Hibbard edged their opponents 9-8 and Laura Ubeda teamed up with Julianna Boehm to win 8-0. VSU did not drop a single point in the singles matches. VSU hosts University of North alabama March 25.

Spikeball sweeps campus, nation Jordan Hill S ta f f W r i t e r

VSU students have formed teams for a new, up-and-coming sport: Spikeball. the game takes two teams of two players. one team serves the ball onto a small, bouncy net, and the opposing team then has three chances to hit the ball back onto the net. the players can move 360 degrees around the net after the first serve. teams can only score when they are serving. the first team to 21 points wins, but the win must be by two or more points. Cole parker, reid pope, Chip osborne and teddy Welch are Spikeball enthusi-

asts. the men have attended and won various tournaments, going against other students and athletes. the four students started their team in the summer of 2013. they practiced 2-3 times a week. Now they practice on Sunday afternoons on the front lawn. “it’s open to anyone who wants to join us,” Welch said. in the latest tournament in atlanta, osborne and Welch won while parker and pope made it to the semi-finals. the next tournament will be in atlanta at the end of april. in May, the men will head to Nashville, tenn., in hopes of winning the regional tournament to be able to proceed to the national tournament.

Interested in being a sports writer? Email Alex Tostado: Follow Spectator sports on Twitter @BlazerSports


Odd The NCAA Tournament is set to start on Tusday, March 18.

fails to mention that one year in which he picked a 16 to go to the sweet sixteen and has never been able to live it down since. the upset picker is a bit of a wildcard position as it's

hardly ever fruitful, since a quick Wikipedia search will tell you that No.1 seeds have won 7 out of the last 10 titles. But when the upsets picker gets one or even a few right that the majority of america didn't pick— it can be extremely fun while fun for as long as the fun can last. The All #1 Seeds Picker this person knows that 1 seeds dominate, and are just trying to win. read the rest of Neil’s story online at



PAge 6 |


mArch 13, 2014

VSU aims to build on so-so season Shane Thomas S p o rt S W r i t e r

A 16-12 season certainly will not be remembered as one of head coach Mike Helfer’s greatest seasons. Following another season of roster renovations, this season represents a transition period for the veteran head coach that may propel the Blazers back to prominence next season. on the surface, the Blazers were a Jekyll and Hyde bunch much of the year; devastating and dominant at times, inconsistent and incapable at others; which could be expected when integrating 11 new players. the Blazers’ season ended last Saturday with an 88-79 loss to eventual champion North Alabama in the semifinals of the Gulf South Conference tournament. “it was an interesting year—at times we showed a lot of potential and high quality of play and other times we did not perform up to that level,” Helfer said. “A lot of

people, including myself, were hoping that high quality of play could’ve carried us to more wins than we ended up getting. “our guys played hard and i really liked the way they played in the conference tournament, which is always a good sign as we head into next year.” the Blazers’ flaming out down the stretch can be attributed to their general lack of size, which was no more apparent than in the loss to UNA. trailing by 14 at halftime, the Blazers battled back with a series of defensive stops. Colin Cook, the GSC’s leading shot-blocker, fouled out with 3:59 to play. Jeremy McKay’s three-pointer gave the Blazers a 74-72 lead with 3:09 to go. Shortly thereafter, 6’7” Breon Dixon fouled out as well. With their rim protectors out of the game, VSU had to use 6’4” David Murray at center the rest of the way. Consequently, UNA scored on drives to the rim to retake the lead and pull away. As Helfer points out, ad

“A lot of people...

were hoping that high quality of play could’ve carried us to more wins than we ended up getting. ” - Mike Helfer

dressing those size issues will be a priority in recruiting. “We’re going to have to get some power forwards or even some big threes that can help us on rebounding,” Helfer said. “Sometimes you look at specific positions and sometimes you look at best available so i think both of those scenarios will come into play through this Spring recruiting period.” the Blazers jumped out to a 7-0 start and garnered a spot in the NABC top 25 rankings, averaging 88.5 points per game over that stretch. the Blazers pushed their record to 9-1 before dropping four of their next five games; this led to Helfer implement-

ing a dribble-drive offense to improve the team’s offensive efficiency. “i thought we really fell into the dribble-drive offense,” Helfer explained. “When you have guys that are really good off the dribble, there’s a system to utilize their strengths. i would love to have that offense in place for an entire year, so that’s something we’ll look at in the offseason.” Despite going 12-2 at home, the Blazers struggled mightily away from home. the Blazers were just 4-10 away from the Complex. the Blazers lost nine games by 10 points or more this season. For comparison, the 2012-13 Blazers only had two losses by double digits. “We didn’t shoot it away from home very well at all,” Helfer said. “that’s something i’m not sure you can address [personnel-wise]— you’ve just got to have kids with the confidence to go into other people’s house and make shots.” Despite a disappointing record, the Blazers’ seniors shined through as David

Murray was a Second team All-GSC selection and fellow senior Jeremy McKay was named to the All-GSC tournament team. Heading into his tenth season at the helm of VSU basketball, Helfer believes transitional years come with the territory when building a successful program. “it’s the nature of Division ii,” Helfer explained. “Whether you’re here one year or 10 years, you’re just trying to find players that fit not only your program but the school. We’ve slowly started to build back the brand of Valdosta State. that seems to be coming back as you can see our crowds on the road.” the offseason is underway for VSU and with many players returning, a small step back could mean a big step forward for Blazer basketball.

Likely Returners for VSU:

Follow Shane on twitter: @itsathomasthing

8. Andre powell - 6’3” So.

S p o rt S W r i t e r

Having only been a club sport at Valdosta State for four years, the rugby team is in full force this semester. VSU defeated North Georgia College 93-0 on Feb. 22. to improve to 4-0 on the season. "We make sure to get our practices in twice a week at North Campus,” Director of

operations Jon Murtaugh said. “We also do warm ups before the games to make sure we are well prepared for the competition," Having a successful team to work with, Murtaugh thoroughly enjoys his position on the team. With the upcoming South Cup semifinals tournament located at the University of West Florida in pensacola, Fla., the Blazers along with teams from Louisiana, Al-

abama and Florida will all be competing for a win. "this game is the biggest we will have so far,” Murtaugh said. “it determines if our team goes to Jacksonville, there is a lot is riding on this game," if the team wins the game, they will be eligible to play in the championship located in Jacksonville, Fla. For more information, visit Valdosta State rugby Club on Facebook.

2. Jalen Crawford - 6’3” Sr. 3. Larry Stone - 5’10” Sr. 4. Lester Moore - 6’2” Sr. 5. Breon Dixon - 6’7” Jr. 6. Blake Justice - 6’3” Jr. 7. Dylan Nsiah - 5’10” Jr.

9. *Vic Wyrick - 6’4” So. 10. *Jacob obande 6’2” So.

Rugby looks to tourney Victoria Johnson

1. Collin Cook - 6’8” Sr.

*- redshirted in 201314 season

Courtesy VSU Rugby VSU rugby team prepares for the South Cup Semifinals Tournament in Pensacola, Fla.

The Spectator Online Edition for 3-13-2014  
The Spectator Online Edition for 3-13-2014