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Special Housing and Residence Life Wrap

February 7, 2013

for the 2013-2014 school year

March 4 - 6 Student Union Ballroom C Please refer to the ad on the backside of this page for room selection dates, times and hall choices. Please note the times are broken down by GPA and Completed Hours. To find out what your completed hours and GPA is follow the steps below: • Login to your Banner account • Click on the Student and Financial Aid tab • Click Student Records • Click Academic Transcripts. Note: If you have holds, you not be able to view the information • Once you click submit, scroll down to the Transcript Totals section to view the overall information (earned hours and GPA overall). Please bring the following with you: • Your VSU ID Card • A completed Housing Application • You will be asked to sign a contract after you have selected your room assignment

Any holds, Student Conduct or Financial, will prohibit you from participating in Room Selection or Room Reclaim. There will be a meeting about this process in your current hall during the week of February 25, please make plans to attend.

Room Reclaim for Current Centennial & Converse Residents February 11-13 NEW ONLINE process

Students who currently live in Centennial Hall or Converse Hall will be able to permanently reclaim their space only if both students in the two-bedroom or half of the current students in a four-person apartment want to reclaim the space. Students in an efficiency room will be able to reclaim as well. Students that re-claim are not eligible for Room Selection! The reclaim process will be available on-line February 11 - 13. The main Housing web site will have a link from 9 am on Monday, February 11 thru 11:59 pm on Wednesday, February 13. The Housing staff will be available during normal office hours to assist students having problems. Questions or Concerns may be taken care of with the Housing Office Staff. You may send an e-mail to: housing@ or call 229-333-5920.

Housing Edition

PAgE 2 |

FEBRUARY 7, 2013

Room Selection Schedule TIME

MONDAY (3-4-13) Undergraduates who 10:00 have completed 60 hours am or more & graduate 12:30 students, & have a 3.25 pm GPA or higher All undergraduates who 12:30 have completed 60 hours pm or more & graduate 3:00 pm students Undergraduates who have 3:00 pm completed 22 - 59 hours, - 5:30 and have a 3.25 GPA or pm higher Undergraduates who have 5:30 pm completed 22 - 59 hours - 8:00 & have a 2.75 GPA or pm higher

TUESDAY (3-5-13) All undergraduates who have completed 22 - 59 hours

WEDNESDAY (3-6-13) Undergraduates who have completed 21 hours or less, & have a 2.5 GPA or higher

Undergraduates who have completed 21 hours or less, and have a 3.5 GPA or higher All Undergraduates who have completed 21 hours or less & have a 3.25 GPA or higher Undergraduates who have completed 21 hours or less & have a 3.0 GPA or higher

All Undergraduates who have completed 21 hours or less

Participation is open to all current VSU students including students that do not live on campus

*The above time slot ends at 5pm.

*Each time slot is for current residence hall students only (including pulling in roommates), except the last slot on Wednesday. **GPA = Cumulative GPA ***Completed Hours = Hours completed at the end of Fall 2012 What room choices are available to me? This year, upperclassmen can choose to have their own bedroom by choosing to live in Centennial Hall, Converse Hall or a private (2 person) suite in Hopper Hall. There will also be 4 person suites available in Hopper as well as 2 person apartments in Converse. Centennial Hall: Centennial Hall is one of our apartment style housing facilities with 2 or 4 private bedrooms, 1 - 2 bathrooms, living room, and a fully equipped kitchen. Centennial is on a year round contract. The contract will start August 9, 2013 and end July 26, 2014. Converse Hall: Converse Hall is one of our apartment style housing facilities with 1 bedroom efficiency apartments and 2 person apartments. Both feature a kitchen and 1 bathroom. Converse is on a year round contract. The contract will start August 9, 2013 and end July 26, 2014. Hopper Hall: Hopper Hall accommodations are suite style which offer 2 private bedrooms or 4 semi-private bedrooms with a shared bathroom. Hopper Hall is on an academic year contract. The contract will start August 9, 2013 and end May 2, 2014.

Students attending Room Selection are able to look at a floor plan of the building and decide which room they would like, provided the space is available.




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February 7, 2013

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

Inside This Issue

VSU Tennis drops the ball

- OPINIONS: “Government cuts crime rate” - FEATURES: “Former students make history on TV”

See page 5 for a recap.

- SPORTS: “Football team welcomes 25 signees”

Today at VSU READING STRATEGIES SSC, 2nd floor - 3 p.m. This workshop will last about an hour. Another session will be held Monday, Feb. 11 REAL TALK BIBLE STUDY Powell Hall Auditorium every Thursday 8:15 p.m.

No topic is off limits. Join XChange Ministries for a night of Bible Study and discussion that tackles the real issues of young life. SHOWTIME AT THE APOLLO Student Union Theater 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by the NAACP as part of Black History Week.

BOARD GAME NIGHT Odum Library, Room 1480 - 8 p.m. Snacks provided. Sponsored by Natural High. For more info, contact Mark Williams at

SINGLES MINGLE Student Union Ballrooms B & C - 7:30 p.m. Network, meet new people, make your own Valentine’s cards and have fun! Sponsored by Collegiate Women of VSU and Residence Hall Association.

LEATHER YOUR SWEET HEART Student Union Ballroom A 6-10 p.m. Decorate and personalize leather watches, wristbands, earrings and key chains. Free food! Sponsored by CAB. For more info, contact Amelia Inman at

Weather Today


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

Check out Isaiah Smart’s preview of ‘It’s Showtime at the Apollo’ and our Black History events slideshow!

Jury reaches verdict in Zaccari trial Will Lewis A S S T.   M A N A G I N G EDITOR

Both sides are touting victory following the trial between former VSU president Dr. Ronald Zaccari and former VSU student Hayden Barnes. A federal jury in Atlanta ruled that Dr. Zaccari violated Barnes’ rights to due process. The court decided that Dr. Zaccari must pay $50,000 with a 15-percent annual interest increase in addition to all court fees. The issue began with a disagreement between Barnes and Dr. Zaccari over the construction of Sustella and Oak parking decks in 2007. The project was slated for $30 million, and had caused Barnes to worry about the environmental impact it would have. Barnes made a collage made in Microsoft Paint showing a series of photos from the construction site. Barnes named it the “Zaccari Memorial Parking Garage.” Dr. Zaccari expelled Barnes, saying that he posed a “clear and present danger” to himself and others. Wills said that this decision had been affected by the recent Virginia Tech. shooting, in which Virginia Tech. senior Seung-Hui Chow shot and killed 32 stu-

dents, injuring 17 others, later committing suicide. “I am pleased with the outcome of the trial,” Barnes said. “It is a victory not only for me but for students everywhere.” David Wills, Dr. Zaccari’s lawyer, said that the ruling was actually in favor of the defendant. He said that it is more likely that Barnes and his council were the ones to come out disappointed in this case. “I think that if you look into the outcome and the verdict of the jury they found that I was justified in what happened 5 and a half years ago,” Dr. Zaccari said. Robert Corn-Revere, Barnes’s lawyer, responded saying that Dr. Zaccari is “delusional.” Dr. Zaccari declined any further comment. Wills said that he did not know if Dr. Zaccari intended to appeal the verdict. VSU, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and all other defendants were excused of blame by the court, leaving Dr. Zaccari to face full responsibility for the treatment of Barnes. Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, expressed skepticism that Dr. Zaccari acted alone. “FIRE was writing the univer-

sity for months saying, you violate clearly established constitutional law and you really need to undo this,” Lukianoff said. “And nothing happened until Bob Corn-Revere filed suit.” Lukianoff did agree that Dr. Zaccari was the person most responsible for the mishandling of Barnes. The charge against Dr. Zaccari that has been the most discussed is the accusation that he denied due process to Barnes. Wills said that Barnes was actually provided due process, citing the student’s right to appeal his expulsion. “What process is due depends on circumstance,” Wills said. He clarified, saying that because of the nature of the accusations against Barnes, the measures taken by Dr. Zaccari were justified. Due process is promised to all citizens by the fifth and 14th Amendments. According to the Farlex legal dictionary, this is designed so that it “prohibits all levels of government from arbitrarily or unfairly depriving individuals of their basic constitutional rights to life, liberty and property.” “Definitely we see gross violations of student rights all the time, but the violations against Hayden Barnes were really in a classification all by themselves,” Lukainoff said. “I mean, there

are other cases that I have seen that had gross due process violations and gross free speech violations, but particularly the tenacity with which [former] president Zaccari [used] is really quite stunning, particularly in the face of everything that came out in discovery.” “Public universities exist as communities for the free and open exchange of ideas,” Dr. William J. Mckinney, VSU president, said. “[VSU] respects the civil liberties of all its community members, even when disagreements arise in the midst of those exchanges.” “[VSU] embraces the opportunity for open dialogue and discussion,” Dr. Russell Mast, vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students, said. “A college campus is the perfect avenue for students, faculty and staff to appreciate and respect difference of opinions and ideas.”

Get the full story online!


Blazeview to get a new look this May

WGST asks Valdosta to rise up, strike back Will Lewis

John Preer

Thunder Showers 72 H 51 L


AM Clouds/ PM Sun 73 H 46 L

SaturdayMostly Sunny 71 H 45 L

Question of the week What Black History figure do you feel is most influential? A. MLK, Jr. B. Rosa Parks C. Jackie Robinson D. Frederick Douglas E. Medgar Evers F. Other (If you think other, tweet us your vote! @vsuspectator Vote online at!

Last Week’s Poll Results What did you think of Wednesday’s storm? It was just a little water


What storm?


Super scary!




Starting in May, there will be a major change in how VSU students take quizzes, learn about upcoming projects, and submit assignments. Blazeview has been an essential tool for VSU. The University has been using the Learning Management System Blackboard, which is designed to manage online classroom activities and communications between faculty and students. “The new platform that is scheduled to replace the discontinued Blackboard Vista 8 program is called Desire2Learn,” Meg Moore, director for the Center of eLearning, said. The D2L program will have similar functions to Blackboard, however the location of some commands may change, which will provide some difficulty to new users. Students worried about being able to locate and use the new program should be pleased to know that the program will still be branded as Blazeview. The LMS Transition Task Force has been searching for a new system that could satisfy their criteria. These criteria consisted of mobile access, easy course information access, consistency, master course creation, enhanced grading features, local control over functionality, student information and LMS synchronization, and a well-developed system that can facilitate hybrid courses as well as online courses, according to VSU’s eLearning web page. Students will have a chance to utilize tutorial videos and documents about D2L prior to the shift in May.

SGP, UU Valdosta ‘stand on the side of love’ Brian Hickey S TA F F W R I T E R

South Georgia Pride and the Accepting Difference Project will be “Standing on the Side of Love” Friday as they host their fourth annual Rainbow Mixer at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Valdosta. The family friendly event is free and open to the public. All are invited to come out from 7 – 11 p.m. to participate in dancing, music, refreshments and karaoke. “Bring your spouse, your partner, your friend, your family and help us dance and sing the night away,” Sue Bailey, religious education director at the UU of Valdosta, said. Rainbow Mixer guests will be eligible for door prizes and giveaways. “We’re going to have some winning couples,” Raynae Jones, executive director of South Georgia Pride, said. “We’re going to have couples who’ve been together the longest. We’ll have

“[... T]o have a place where friends and family can go to enjoy themselves in the advocacy of love and unity is special. We need more places and events like that. ” - ASHLEY CHISHOLM

a category for the straight couple, the gay couple, and the lesbian couple. There will be winning basket for the newest couple.” While the event is a time for families as well as others to relax and enjoy themselves, the mixer is also supportive event as it pushes for equality and unity amongst all. “The mixer supports standing on the side of love and standing against exclusion, oppression, and violence towards people because of their race, religion, gen-

der identity, or sexual orientation,” Bailey said. Everyone is encouraged to attend and all that is requested of those who plan to attend is that they bring snacks or refreshments. “It is free of charge,” Bailey said. “We are trying to get people to contact the church, me particularly, to volunteer to bring some simple snacks whether it’s a baked good or finger snacks.” Students who have heard of the event seem to be in complete support of the Rainbow Mixer’s purpose. “I completely love the idea of the Rainbow Mixer,” Ashley Chisholm, a senior biology major, said. “Though I have never been, to have a place where friends and family can go to enjoy themselves in the advocacy of love and unity is special. We need more places and events like that.” Organizers expect this year’s event to draw more attendants than in previous years. The UU Church is located at 1951 East Park Avenue, next to J.L. Newbern Middle School.

There are approximately three billion women in the world. Approximately one billion of those women will be assaulted, either sexually or physically, in their lifetime. VSU plans to join others around the world in one, large, revolution to end these atrocities. “This one-out-of-three translates to One Billion women worldwide, and being a woman and having many friends, coworkers, and relatives who are women makes you open your eyes to how close to home this issue is,” Kat Norsworthy, senior sociology major, said. On February 14, the Women and Gender Studies Program will be hosting Valdosta’s One Billion Rising event on the Front Lawn. From noon until 5 p.m., men and women from around Valdosta will rise up, join with others around the world and demand an end to the abuse of women. One Billion Rising is bringing about a whole new way to protest: asking one-billion women and men to get up and dance for change this Valentine’s Day. “When one billion bodies rise and dance […], we will join in solidarity, purpose and energy and shake the world into a new consciousness,” according to “Dancing insists we take up space. It has no set direction but we go there together.” The event will feature a DJ, free refreshments for participants and a raffle. One Billion Rising comes in the wake of several crimes committed against women that have been broadcasted by mainstream news outlets.



Seven states lose financial aid funds Quasha Ross S TA F F W R I T E R

At least seven states are urging students to turn in their FAFSA applications as close to the beginning of the year as possible, due to depleting funds. State funds are limited, due to the economic downturn over the past three yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;even funds for grants are expected to fall short of previous years. Budget deficits are growing despite a greater demand for financial aid. President of the National Association of State Student and Aid Programs Vicki Merkel states that there is one common problem: budget gaps. Many states are collecting less in taxes and lottery revenue because of the economic downturn. As a result, they have less money for grant programs. Director of VSU Financial Aid Doug Tanner said that he has not heard of any cuts or

changes in federal or state financial aid funding for the upcoming year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Federal aid is on the chopping block every time congress tries to balance the budget,â&#x20AC;? Tanner said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;However, most financial aid funds are not limited and any cuts would impact students regardless of when they apply for FAFSA.â&#x20AC;? Tanner goes on to explain possible changes at VSU. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The SEOG Grant and Federal Work Study programs are the only limited federal financial aid programs that we have but could be the first cut,â&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x2C6;Tanner said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even with the expected increase, they are still very limited and are awarded to students with the highest financial need that applies first.â&#x20AC;?

Get the full story online!

FEBRUARY 7, 2013 Police Briefs

Upcoming Events Feb. 8, 7 p.m. Learn To Create Wealth Hosted by: Urban Demand Media & Marketing Group Jeanette Lecture Hall, room 1111 Special guest speaker, self-made millionaire and entrepreneur Chad Thompson sharing his story of how he became wealthy. Text â&#x20AC;&#x153;FlipTheCheckâ&#x20AC;? to 44569 to reserve a seat and to be entered for a chance to win over $1000 in cash prizes, giveaways, and electronics. For more information, contact Anthony Tong at NAACP Black History Week Feb. 8, 9 p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x153;An All Black Affairâ&#x20AC;? Student Union Ballrooms B & C Feb. 9, 10 a.m. to noon â&#x20AC;&#x153;Day of Serviceâ&#x20AC;? Second Harvest Food Bank 1411 Harbin Circle Feb. 9, noon to 4 p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Black History Dayâ&#x20AC;? Boys & Girls Club 215 W North Street, Valdosta Feb. 10, 3 p.m. Heart of Faith Anniversary Celebration Heart of Faith Ministries celebrates their 3-year anniversary. Jennett Lecture Hall, room 1111 For more information, contact Darius Anthony at

Feb. 12, 9 a.m. Intro to Interview/Stream Workshop 24-hour registration required Contact Career Services for more information at 333-5942. Feb. 12, 3 p.m. Successful Interviewing Workshop 24-hour registration required Contact Career Services for more information at 333-5942.

Feb. 5 A moped crashed on the corner of Patterson and Magnolia when an officer tried to pull the driver over for swerving. Feb. 4 A bicycle was stolen from behind Lowndes Hall.

Feb. 1 Camera equipment was stolen from Media Services in Odum Library. A bicycle was stolen from a bike rack near Odum Library. A hit and run was reported while a car was parked in the Oak Street parking lot.

Feb. 3 A black BMXâ&#x20AC;&#x2C6;bicycle was stolen from the east side of Bailey Science Center.

Feb. 12, 7 p.m. American Red Cross Students Interest Meeting Student Union, Meeting Room 2, third floor For more information, contact Morgan Pope at Feb. 13, noon Attending Grad School Workshop 24-hour registration required Contact Career Services for more information at 333-5942. Feb. 15, 7 and 8 and 9 p.m. VSU Planetarium presents â&#x20AC;&#x153;In 1913: A Procession of Meteors,â&#x20AC;? the fourth public planetarium show of the 2012-2013 season. There will be three showings.

Graphic by:â&#x20AC;&#x2C6;Jennifer Gleason/ THE SPECTATOR

Tips for getting financial aid: 1. Fill out your FAFSA early. 2. Stay in touch with the Financial Aid department. 3. Search for other sources of financial aid.

Wild Adventures is now hiring! For more information visit: or call 229-671-4775

3766 Old Clyattville Rd â&#x20AC;˘ Valdosta, GA 31601

Wild Adventures is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Classifieds The 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,studentowned businesses and the general public cost $8.00 for up to 40 words. Ads should be sent to The Spectator or delivered to our office in 1238 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. The Spectator address is: 1500 N. Patterson St.,Valdosta, GA 31698 The Spectator reserves the right to reject any classified ad. All ads are subject to standard editing procedures.The Spectator is not responsible for ads submitted under false pretenses or for mistakes due to a submitted error. The categories for classifieds include: For Sale, Wanted, Roommates and Help Wanted.

For Sale Brand new in box, never out of the box! HTC REZOUND for Verizon. Comes with wall charger, USB cord, holster, memory card, instructions, Dr. Dre ear buds. $300 Call or text 229-200-3061

For Rent

House for Rent 4/2 319 E. Park Ave. Close to Main Campus, Good Neighborhood. Call:229-292-4400.

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Services MEA Federal Credit Union cashes Pell Grant, Financial Aid and Scholarship Checks for all VSU Students with ID. 308 East Ann Streetâ&#x20AC;Ś229-333-5751... Join MEA online at Like us on Facebook


FEBRUARY 7, 2013

Our point of view...


Maintaining the image of control


ith the rise in different media outlets in exchange for information, it is easy for individuals to misrepresent themselves unconsciously. Earlier this week, a Georgia federal jury ordered former VSU president, Dr. Ronald Zaccari, to pay $50,000 in damages to Hayden Barnes for violating the former student’s due process rights . Barnes was expelled from VSU in 2007 due to his involvement in a protest against the construction of the Oak Street Parking Deck. This event occurred during a strenuous time for university administrations nationwide. The Virginia Tech massacre had occurred shortly before the local event; and thus, any opposition to campus authority was looked

upon as being more of a threat than the incident actually was. However, fear is not an excuse for negligence. Given the position that he was in, Dr. Zaccari should have been well aware of Barnes’ fifth and fourteenth amendment rights of due process. Instead, he abruptly took extreme measures without proper means. Zaccari was then forced to face the consequences of his actions, a four year legal battle and thousands in fines. In return, Barnes was unjustly expelled and many others were dragged into the situation. Additionally, Barnes became a “threat” to VSU through his use of Facebook. Often times we utilize social media to convey our most radical and irrational thoughts and beliefs. Making such information public

threatens one’s own image, as radical words are misconstrued and altered into a weapon, capable of being used against the speaker. Here at the Spectator we advocate the importance of always refining your thoughts before committing to a plan. Submitting to your emotions is vulnerability and does nothing positive for yourself or those around you. Instead, face overwhelming issues with a positive attitude; thereby, allowing yourself to project an image of control that will allow you to ponder your further endeavors without jeopardizing you and your assets. Garrison Muelhausen /THE SPECTATOR

This editorial was written by Stephen Cavallaro ( and it expresses the general opinion of the editorial staff.

Government cuts crime rates People Poll: Von Kennedy M U LT I M E D I A E D I T O R

The coastal town of Rio de Janeiro may be the luckiest city in the world, because it is soon to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, but tragically Rio has been the host nation of murder and social injustice for many years adding definition to the phrase “ethnic cleansing.” According to the Overseas Security Advisory Council, a subgroup of the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Rio de Janeiro has been labeled “critical” in its crime rate for the past 25 years. Danger tends to follow any foreign tourists who are visiting the city. Criminals are not afraid to use deadly force to achieve what they want from others. As the city gets ready for events in the upcoming years, Rio’s major problems continue to be gangs, corruption, poverty and power. Nearly all of these dilemmas can be traced to favelas, or slums that surround Rio’s hilltops and are home to millions of residents. There are over 100 favelas and most are ruled by tightly organized drug traffickers and the gangs they employ. These slums are important because they overcast the rich, upper class coast and downtown areas that will be central to hosting two of the world’s largest international events. These gangs terrorize the residents in these areas and systematically rob, torture and kill whoever decides to oppose their occupation. How can you ensure the safety of athletes, when they can see murder and destruction from their hotel windows? To combat the problems inside the favelas, the local government in Rio has created a special task force to handle the chaos in the

poor neighborhoods and “pacify” the violence in preparation for the upcoming events that will have the city in the world’s spotlight. The Battalion of Special Police Operations has deployed pacification efforts to rid the areas of the drug lords and the terror they spread. Since 2009, BOPE has successfully taken over 20 favelas, plan to overtake 20 more and are looking to have the rest of the favelas pacified

Issue of the Week before the 2016 Olympics. In hopes of keeping violence down, BOPE has been active in driving out criminals in the slums who are responsible for numerous arrests. The team announces which favelas they are coming to beforehand to intimidate drug traffickers, but this gives gangs ample time to pack up their operations and leave or cease the violence for the time being. Large drug trafficking gangs, such as the Red Command (Rio’s largest and deadliest), have been pacified—but the problem still remains. While gangs are silenced, BOPE will also support government efforts to get much needed programs and health clinics into the areas that were once impenetrable by police. According to a TIME Magazine article, one resident described the changes since the favela has been occupied. "I've been here 43 years, and I've never seen it as good as it is now," Eunice Malta, Rio resident, said. "Before it was not life, I would stand here and a gang would come by shooting at everything that moved. Now my kids come and go as they please." Sounds like a happy ending to a gruesome tale—but not so fast. In some areas that have not been reclaimed by BOPE, gangs are becoming stronger by band-

ing together in order to fight back with ferocity toward the special ops group. Militias, gangs comprised of current and former police, firemen, soldiers and security guards, are taking over where the drug traffickers have left resulting in more deaths of innocent civilians. Poder Paralelo or “Parallel Power,” is a term used to describe areas that are neglected by the Brazilian government and are outside the protections of the legal justice system. These include areas atop the hills, already reclaimed by BOPE, where lawlessness continues. In 2002, Tim Lopes, a renowned journalist for his investigative reports in Rio, was brutally beaten, tortured and was then set on fire, all while alive in one of the areas known for its parallel power in Rio. Some gangs and militias have bribed corrupt police officers to continue to deal drugs and slaughter mass amounts of people. Congressman Marcelo Freixo started an effort to end corruption in both law enforcement and government. According to BBC News, his efforts led to the creation of the 2010 film “Tropa de Elite 2,” which identified ex law enforcement officials who are now in militias. These militias run services such as gas, water and alternative transport in slums, as well as charging protection money and ruling with violence. Freixo also followed a long money trail connecting a local government official to collusion with criminal organizations which resulted in 225 convictions. With all of these violent killings and intimidation techniques still occurring, how could the murder rate decrease so rapidly? A recent HBO documentary offered to share a surprising theory.

In the documentary, “Witness: Rio, “photojournalist Enos Hoagland tries to answer this very question. Since the murder rate declined, a crime scene investigation task force was enacted to follow up on every homicide in the city and compare their findings to the murder rate that had been reported. Yet before they can make it to crime scenes in the favelas, bodies have disappeared from the crime scene. The documentary suggests that in order to keep the murder rate down and silenced from the public, police are removing bodies from crime scenes. So even though the murder rate has sharply declined in the last year, the missing persons rate in Rio has nearly tripled just as fast. As long as the murder rates are low, the government will not provide answers as to why so many people have gone missing. Some families are fighting for their right to stay in their homes, but many others have been forced to move to other areas of Rio or to other favelas that are not occupied due to gang violence. Pushing these people into insecure areas and squalor is not right and can cause more innocent people to be caught in the line of fire. Christ the Redeemer, a 100 foot tall monument dedicated to Jesus of Nazareth that overlooks the city, can only provide a symbolic gesture of peace to the people of Rio de Janeiro. Everyone else has to do their part to make it happen. When you think of genocide and ethnic cleansing of disenfranchised communities, many think of Kosovo in the 1990’s, but more recently Joseph Kony and Muammar Gaddafit. Let us not add the people of beautiful Rio de Janeiro because of gangs, greed and power.

Fame boosts illicit drugs James Washington S TA F F


It looks like Ray Lewis, a twotime champion, is riding into retirement. After a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, the Baltimore Ravens are now 2-0 in Super Bowl appearances. While Ravens fans rejoice, I find myself in a whirlwind of thought. On Oct. 14, 2012, Lewis suffered a torn tricep in a game against the Dallas Cowboys. At age 37, many saw this as the end of his career. However, Lewis returned weeks ahead of schedule and was able to play in every game of the playoffs, as well as

Super Bowl XLVII. Prior to the Super Bowl, rumors surfaced that a key reason behind his quick recovery was deer-antler spray. This particular spray contains IGF-1, which is similar to human growth hormone and is banned in the NFL. Joining the long list of athletes in denial, Lewis is adamant that he has never taken the banned substance. For what it’s worth, he does have some credibility in his favor. Throughout his 17-year career, the Ravens’ linebacker has never failed a drug test. While this works in his favor, it must also be noted that his drug tests are always done by urine samples. The banned substance in deer-antler spray can only be detected through blood

tests. My issue with the Lewis accusations is simple. If players cannot be tested for HGH of IGF-1 (since the players’ union won’t agree to it), then why is Lewis’s career coming down to accusations? Why is there negative light being put on him when there is no way of knowing who is or isn’t taking a banned substance? The world is full of dishonesty. It is becoming regular news nowadays for athletes to admit to taking some sort of performance booster for personal gain. Maybe it is truly being done to aid in recovery. Maybe it is simply being done to secure an interview slot with Oprah once their careers are said and done. For all we know,

every professional athlete could be taking one of these banned substances. In the end, what needs to be done is stricter regulation of drug testing and monitoring of these activities. No agreement to submit to blood testing for human growth hormone should alone put up a red flag. Maybe Ray Lewis did take the substance. At the end of the day, it puts him on a shelf with athletes like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and most recently Lance Armstrong and Alex Rodriguez. I hope the allegations are false. But with the current policy of drug testing, we may never know.

Photo Editor: Cody Hicks Multimedia Editor: Von Kennedy Web Designer: Rebecka McAleer Copy Editor: Shambree Wartel Cartoonist: Garrison Muelhausen Social Media Editor: Joe Adgie Faculty Advisers: Dr. Pat Miller, Dr. Ted Geltner, Keith Warburg Reporters/Photographers:

Ashleigh Mansfield junior early childhood education major “Yes. I think VSU offers many opportunities that other schools do not.”

Devin Wesby junior physical education major “I'm completely satisfied with what they have to offer because it caters to a variety of people.”

Austin Harris sophomore athletic training major “Yeah, it has a good program and good opportunities for me to get the job that I want.”

Kristen Godley junior english major “Overall, yeah. I picked [VSU] in ninth grade. I like the size and atmosphere. It's really friendly.”

Arianna Deans junior mass media major “Sure. I transferred here for mass media, so I'm glad they have the program.”

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FEBRUARY 7, 2013

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Grandmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Blessingsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to arrive in Valdosta Isaiah Smart S TA F F W R I T E R


aldosta will host its world premiere movie event showing Roy Kirklandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grandmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Blessings,â&#x20AC;? at 8 p.m. on Feb. 15 at the Mathis City Auditorium. There will be a Red Carpet event held before the premiere at 6 p.m.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grandmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Blessingsâ&#x20AC;? is an original film written and produced by Roy Kirkland and directed by Doug Sebastian. Kirklandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s film is a comedy about a TV personality who runs into adversity at work and then learns about his grandmotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Although there arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t any curse words or provocative scenes, the film will definitely keep the audience laughing,â&#x20AC;?

Kirkland said. Kirkland wrote â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blessingsâ&#x20AC;? in 2007, but re-wrote the final version in 2012. The film was shot in Valdosta, where Kirkland aims to shoot more movies in attempts to make it more of a â&#x20AC;&#x153;springboardâ&#x20AC;? for film. Kirkland and Sebastian are coowners of Doug Sebastian Productions, LLC--the company behind Kirklandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s films.

Doug Sebastian Productions, LLC casts members of the Valdosta community and uses Valdosta as the setting for their movies. The company also shoots instructional videos, commercials, music videos and more. Kirkland and Sebastian are already planning their next two releases. In spring, DSP will be releasing the hostage thriller,

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Crazed.â&#x20AC;? Following that, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Battle of the Cursed: The Two Kings,â&#x20AC;? a film depicting a broken truce between a vampire clan and werewolf clan in South Georgia, will be released in the summer. Kirkland encourages people to come out and support the event. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everyone should buy tickets, bring a date, family and friends,â&#x20AC;? Kirkland said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Come be part of a very unique and grand event.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grandmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Blessingsâ&#x20AC;? Premiere Information Red Carpet Date: Feb. 15 Time: 6 p.m. Place: Mathis City Auditorium Premiere Time: 8 p.m. Order tickets and watch trailer at

Student jams to Zumba with smiles Becoming a popular craze over the last few years, Zumba has become popular in gyms and private studios around the U.S. Sophomore fashion design major DeAnna Dahmer, also a retail management major, is passionate about her job and offers multiple Zumba classes per week. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even feel like Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m at work because I have so much fun while Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m on the job,â&#x20AC;? Dahmer said. There is much more to Dahmer than just her dance moves and calorie-busting classes. Outside of the gym, she has a loving husband, a supportive family and a passion for design. While most students spend their college years dating and partying, Dahmer believes her significant other is a blessing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Being married in college is fun, but also hard,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always hang out with my friends at crazy parties, but at the end of the night, I get to go home to my hubby. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my best friend and favorite person in the world.â&#x20AC;? Dance has always been one

welcome. She uses this spirit as her drive toward her goal of a job in the fashion industry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I live and breathe fashion,â&#x20AC;? Dahmer said. Dahmer stays busy with her full academic class schedule, which includes instructing many campus recreation events and sharing her contagious joyful spirit. Dowling Payne/THE SPECTATOR â&#x20AC;&#x153;Deanna is such a great employee,â&#x20AC;? Mary Robison, fitness Sophomore DeAnna Dahmer graduate assistant, said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She is not only has a passion for fashion, but for dance as well. always willing to help her coworkers and creates such a fun of Dahmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s passions, right atmosphere for her classes.â&#x20AC;? alongside a hunger for fitness. Kristi Faber, group fitness asDahmer spends her spare time sistant, also has had some expein the gym as her whole family rience working with Dahmer has always had a healthy during the past year. lifestyle as a top priority. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Deanna is â&#x20AC;&#x153;I fully a rockinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; dancer,â&#x20AC;? believe Faber said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You everyone can tell her particishould be in pants really love her their best and how interactive shape at all Dowling Payne she is.â&#x20AC;? times,â&#x20AC;? DahDahmer exmer said. plained what it means to her to â&#x20AC;&#x153;And I love that my classes can be a Blazer. be an inspiration and help peoâ&#x20AC;&#x153;Someone who has a positive ple feel great about themenergy and inspires others to be selves.â&#x20AC;? a better Blazer, be someone othDahmer loves to meet new people and makes everyone feel ers can look up to,â&#x20AC;? she said.

Former students make history on nationwide show Ritsuki Miyazaki S TA F F W R I T E R

Two former VSU students are now making wild history on the reality TV show â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ax Men,â&#x20AC;? which airs on the History Channel. Dave Stone, 35, and Chris Miller, 24, are the crew members of DreadKnots river logging, and are also cast members of the sixth season of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ax Men,â&#x20AC;? which premiered December 2012. The DreadKnots river logging originally began in 2007. When Stone is not busy running Valdostaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Southern Ocean Sports, he becomes â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Kraken,â&#x20AC;? the main diver for DreadKnots. Graduating in 2000 with a criminal justice degree, he played for the football team, and also taught a scuba diving class

at VSU. In 2005, he received his degree in psychology. Miller is DreadKnotsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;River Guide,â&#x20AC;? as he is responsible for anything above the water and driving their boat. From Atlanta, Miller graduated in spring 2011. Stone and Miller learned of the showâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s existence about three or four years ago. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We started to send our promo videos and telling them how bad they were and how much better we are,â&#x20AC;? Stone said. Since Miller was a mass media major, he helped to make their pilot video. After sending the video to Hollywood, they were offered a five-year contract on the show. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even though I hear from people in Hollywoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mouse [director], it still was never actually real until they sent us camera crews down here,â&#x20AC;? Miller said.

Stone mentions that the most enjoyable moment about this experience is being able to sign autographs for children. This is because he found getting an autograph from someone on a television show to be the coolest thing when he was a young boy. Miller, on the other hand, loves the recognition from people the most. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would never expect to [be on] something huge like the History Channel,â&#x20AC;? he said. Stone experienced the dangerous side of river logging when his right arm was bit by an alligator causing him to get 300 plus stitches, 22 staples and two broken bones. But Stone came back to the river after five weeks, killed the alligator and made a knife out of its jaw bone. The next episode of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ax Menâ&#x20AC;? will air on the History Channel Sunday at 9 p.m.













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FEBRUARY 7, 2013

Lacrosse gear up to take on spring season


Neil Frawley A S S T. S O C I A L M E D I A


Lax bro: "A guy who plays lacrosse and fully embraces the culture," according to Urban Dictionary. There is a common misconception that these "bros" are extremely laid back due the popular Youtube video, "The Ultimate Lax Bro," which helped conjure up stereotypes about lacrosse players. However, these stereotypes could not be farther from the truth, as the VSU club lacrosse has been practicing hard, and has already played its first two games of the spring season. On January 26th the team visited Point University in Jacksonville, Florida where the Blazers came away with an impressive 17-4 victory, but unfortunately was followed up by a tough 12-4 loss against Georgia Southern this past weekend. The program is now in its third season after Junior Mike Mcguire founded it in 2010. The program, according to its Facebook page is welcome to anyone who is interested. "We had a couple kids who we taught our first year when we had a program, and then they've come back the last two years, so

they've just grown and have learned more and more and have gotten better and better." "We spend a good thirty minutes of each practice just catching and throwing, and cradling, especially for those who haven't played before," said freshman goalie, Joseph Willoughby. As for the team's competition, they play mostly teams from around the Southeast such as GCSU, Reinhardt University in Atlanta, North Georgia in Dahlonega, as well as several schools in Florida By far the most intriguing lacrosse event will be the “Battle of the Border Tournament” that will take place on February 23rd and will feature a total of six teams; three from Georgia and three from Florida. VSU will be playing host to schools such as Florida Atlantic, Stetson, Flagler, Morehouse, and Georgia State in what is expected to be a day-long lacrosse showdown. “It will be the biggest event of the year for us,” said Joseph. “Hopefully for this tournament

we’re going to do a lot more city advertisement… like go downtown and put some stuff up." The idea was proposed by Mcguire during the last coaches meeting he attended. “I was up at the last coaches meeting and we were scheduling games, there were a couple of dates that interfered and people couldn’t play and they wanted to come check out Valdosta… So we started talking about some kind of tournament, so I started talking to some of the coaches I knew and some of the people who I knew would love get four games in in one day.” “It’s a lot of lacrosse, you’re going to get really tired, but you’re going to get a lot of experience.” The hope for the tournament is to be able to expand it further in future years. “If all goes well and all the teams are satisfied, then we’ll definitely look to do it again next year. “We have six teams now, so maybe next year we can get ten teams.”

VSU Tennis lose Wed. Ace Espenshied A S S T. S P O RT S E D I T O R VSU’s men’s tennis team dropped their second consecutive match to start the season yesterday while the Lady Blazers tennis squad opened the season falling just short of a great comeback against Georgia College. The day started out promising for the men. In the first doubles spot Konstantin Kutschenko and Mario Navarro defeated Johan Wadstein and Andreas Ainalides 86 while in the second spot Tammo Haake and Sebastin Jasyk downed Wictor Andersson and Yannick Hass 8-5. The Bobcats got on the board via the third doubles spot as Alex Schubert and Taylor Powell were victors over Andrew Harvin and Joachim Schemm 8-4. The Blazers were feeling good going into singles up 2-1 and looked for that confidence to feed into the singles round. “That’s important, to win off the doubles it gets you feeling good going into singles,” Konstantin Kutschenko said. Unfortunately the Bobcats quickly turned the tides with Ainalides winning in straight sets (7-5, 6-3) over Navarro in the second singles spot. Adding to that trend in the four spot Hass defeated Jasyk in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 and in the fifth spot Andersson closed out Haake 6-3, 6-2. Harvin dropped the sixth spot to Powell 6-0, 6-3 and the Blazers suddenly found themselves down 5-2. Schemm won the first set 6-3 over Schubert, but dropped the next two sets 6-4, 6-0 closing out three singles. Kutschenko was one of the lone bright spots for the men on the day breezing through the first set 6-1 over Wadstein and staying strong in a back and forth second set winning 7-5 in one singles. The Blazers have not gotten out of the gates quickly early in the 2013

season, sitting already at 0-2. “All of us still probably need a couple of matches, but today was for sure better than our first match,” Kutschenko comments. “Everyone had a good opponent today and it was a close match. When you play against equal opponents it’s the best way to challenge us.” On the other end of the courts it was almost the exact opposite story for the Lady Blazers. Due to tonsillitis affecting one of the girls on Tuesday night the Lady Blazers had to forfeit the third doubles spot and the sixth singles spot. Already down 2-0 the Lady Bobcats added to their lead as Kay Barksdale and Katie Krupp downed Michelle Fischer and Alina Nagel 8-4. Desperate to salvage a point before the singles round Juliana Boehm and Laura Ubeda were unable to capitalize dropping the second doubles spot 9-7 to May Johnson and Leah Pridgeon. Before the singles round even started the Lady Blazers were down 4-0 and the Bobcats were one point away from victory. Storming back Fischer kicked off the

comeback victorious over Ivana Marevic 6-1, 6-0 in the one spot and Nagel followed for VSU defeating Johnson in the two spot 6-2, 6-3. Still failing to yield a set, Ubeda defeated Barksdale in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 and Boehm downed Pridgeon 6-2, 6-3. Suddenly the match was deadlocked at 4-4 and everyone turned their eye to Krupp and Jessica Tuggle on the far court. Tuggle dropped the first set 6-2, but motivated by her teammates comeback she found herself ahead in the second set trying to force a third. Krupp put an end to the Blazers hopes winning the second set 76 in the fifth singles spot. It was a disappointing end to the day but judging by the fact that they were down 4-0 early, the Lady Blazers walked away confident. Still looking for that first victory of the season for the men or women Coach Hansen knows there is a long way to go. “As long as we learn something that’s all we care about,” Hansen said. The Blazers will look to get back on track Saturday at Embry-Riddle.










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FEBRUARY 7, 2013

Football team welcomes 25 signees Eric Jackson S P O RT S E D I T O R

The first Wednesday of February isn’t like any other hump day in the world of college football. National Signing Day always is exciting at the Division I level as the most-sought after recruits in the nation make their public announcement where they’ll be playing collegially next year. Division II may not have as much anticipation or thrill but Valdosta State football, one of the top programs in D-II, officially added 25 players in hope to join the winning tradition the Blazers pride themselves with. “Just being at a place that wins and winning the national championship. You can’t replace

that kind of exposure with anything else. The bookstore has done a great job having merchandise galore in there; you can find anything national championship stuff. It makes our job easier when everybody is wearing that and promoting our program,” Tilmon Clark,recruiting coordinator,said. The Blazer coaching staff will tell you that recruitment is a year around deal that rarely ever sleeps. Bouncing back and forth from high schools all over Georgia, VSU staff put in countless hours knit-picking targets and potential signees. “For the most part it’s all Georgia. It’s fun to be able to recruit this time of year and tell parents and recruits from Georgia that we’re running with kids like you and I, people from

Georgia,” Clark said. This year’s signing class is four players fewer than the 29 signed last year. This is due to abundance of players returning for another season to defend the title as champions,as a result this year’s signing class wasn’t as large as last years. “The Black Swarm” added 14 of the 25 to reinforce the relentless defense. As far as positions goes, the Blazers were expected to add more than one offensive lineman to the list of signees Wednesday since the entire senior starting five o-line are gone now. Brantley County’s Mitch Woodward was the lone offensive lineman that committed on signing day. The coaching staff looks to acquire more experience players

at this position from junior-colleges that are expected to commit further into the year. The Blazers were in contention to pick-up a commit from Butler Community College’s Zach Burkhart until a few days following his official visit when he inform VSU he wanted to stay closer to home which is 13 or so hours away from Valdosta. While Clark agrees that the offensive line is the “immediate need”, he speaks for the rest of the staff saying that it isn’t first concern. “I would say the main focus for us is to find players in general. To go out and find the best talent is what our main priority is.” Outside of Jefferson County’s Alphonso Footman, who was recruited last year and will begin

working out this spring, the other 24 players get their chance to fight for playing as early as this summer. This past season’s true freshman standouts Cedric O’Neal and Jake Walker will be the models for the incoming signees, who look to make an impact as soon as they step on campus. Another strong signing class this year is a result of the persistent VSU coaching staff that continues to make binding relationshps with high school coaches and loyality to win with kids from the Peach State. Spring workouts for the Blazers begin on Feb. 15.

VSU National Signing Day Signees 1.Mitchell Woodward OL (Brantley County) 2.Brent Wildes LS (Charlton County) 3.Dexter Wicker DE (Raines) 4.Dillion Veal WR (Pierce County) 5.Alex Stephenson QB (Lowndes) 6.Cory Schaeffer WR (Grayson) 7.Trenton Pruett DE (North Cobb) 8.Raymond Palmer CB (McIntosh County) 9.Xavier Blunt DE (American River College) 10. Nick Burgman RB (Lowndes) 11. Bryce Coroi TE (Etowah) 12.Nick Davis RB (Mary Persons) 13. Nadarrius Eckers DT (South Gwinett) 14.Micah Finley LB (Parkview) 15.Alphonso Footman ATH (Jefferson Co.) 16.Quartavious Freeman LB (Jackson) 17.L.J. Gainey WR (South Gwinett) 18.Jordan Germany RB (Grayson) 19.John Gray LB (Colquitt County) 20.Tekais Grisby FS (Richmond Hill) 21.Darron Hudson DT(LaGrange) 22.Nick Hylton CB (South Gwinnett)  23.Russell King WR (North Gwinett) 24.Ahmon Lott CB (Raines) 25.Kenny Moore CB (Lowndes)

VSU to host Paine College this weekend Alex Tostado S P O RT S W R I T E R

The Blazers aim to iron out early season wrinkles this weekend after losing 6-4 to Flagler College Wednesday night now falling to a record of 2-2. Valdosta State will take on Paine College in a doubleheader on Saturday and a day game on Sunday. PC is 2-2 this season coming off big losses and big wins

against Tuskegee University and Voorhees College, respectively. The Blazers are .500 and struggled a bit over the weekend in their season debut. “We have enough issues right now as far as things that we are trying to get better at,” Greg Guilliams, head coach, said. “Who the opponent is does not really matter. We are focused on our guys executing our system and what we believe in. We just need to be more consistent.” The Blazers hurt themselves

this past weekend with errors and the pitchers dealing walks. These are just two of the inconsistencies that Guilliams is hoping will even out. “We are trying to less our mistakes and from an offensive stand point, just be a little more consistent,” Guilliams said. “We have spent a lot of time on our bunting. That wasn’t very good this weekend. We spend a lot of time on our situational hitting and that let us down at times. We are just emphasizing to our

pitching staff how important it is… to not fall behind and be walking guys.” Early season injuries are not helping the team. Jaime McMillan, senior first baseman, has a thumb injury that he suffered in practice and saw limited playing time over the weekend. “Jamie has the potential to be a really good hitter and we need his bat in the lineup,” Guilliams said. “He is getting healthier and healthier.”

Another injury is to junior Matthew Fears. The second baseman tore his hamstring in an exhibition game and has not played this season. “[Fears] is getting closer to 100 percent. He needs live atbats in games to get back in the swing of things,” said Guilliams. The Blazers are going to have a similar rotation this weekend to last weekend with seniors Pete Whittingslow, Nick Fogarty and junior Jeremy Holcomb, all three of which are left handed pitch-

ers. Fogarty was named the Gulf South Conference Pitcher of the Week for his six inning-outing and career best 12 strike outs in a 3-0 win on Saturday over Lynn University. The season is young and there is plenty of time for the baseball team to get on the same page. “We believe that if we play the game like we are supposed to that the outcome will take care of itself.”

Blazer basketball face Chargers Chris Kessler S P O RT S W R I T E R


Shane Thomas S P O RT S W R I T E R

The Valdosta State basketball teams are hitting the road again Thursday night as they travel to Spragins Hall in Huntsville, Ala. to take on the Chargers of Alabama-Huntsville. The men’s team is currently No. 9 team in the nation, to tip off a two-game road trip. The Blazers enter Thursday night’s contest with a 13-6 record overall and 5-6 in Gulf South Conference play after winning three of four games during their recent home stand. Alabama-Huntsville approaches Thursday night’s home game

against Blazers winners of three consecutive games and four of their last five. The Chargers are 16-3 on the season and 9-2 in the Gulf South Conference. In the previous meeting against the Chargers at The Complex Jan. 3, the Blazers played very well for much of the second half, building a 15-point lead before the Chargers stormed back and won on a Xavier Baldwin three-pointer at the buzzer. “I would say that we’re confident that we’ll go in there and play hard,” Mike Helfer,head coach said. “That’s one thing that our team has done the entire season.” “We’ve gotta go [into Huntsville] with the mindset to just play our best and let the score take care of itself—if we play our best, we’ll be OK.” While the Blazers will certainly look to make it tough on their

opposition, Coach Helfer understands the threat that Huntsville presents. “You’ve just gotta battle each possession, every second,” Helfer said. “We have to weather their storm. “They’re gonna make some shots, they’re a great shooting team,” Helfer added. “You’ve just gotta hope that they don’t go bananas on you and if they do start making shots, try to dig a little bit deeper to get a stop here, a stop there.” Alabama-Huntsville sharpshooter Jaime Smith will be the focal point of the Blazers’ defensive attention. Smith scored a team-high 28 points against the Blazers on Jan. 3. “Jaime is a great, proven GSC player,” Helfer said. “We’ve just gotta try to dig our heels in and not give him anything easy and try to make sure he works for all of his points.”

The Blazers look to bounce back on the road Thursday night against the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers. VSU women’s team is coming off a thrilling 57-56 victory against North Alabama over the weekend. The Lady Blazers were lifted to victory by a clutch threepointer by Britney Nelson out of a time-out with under a minute to go and tied at 54-54. The win improved the Lady Blazers to 11-8 on the season and 4-7 in conference. The team's ability to execute plays out of time-outs in pressure situations has added to their success. Alabama-Huntsville comes into the game 9-12 on the season and 6-5 in the conference. The Chargers are led by Jasmine Hammon and Jordan Smith, who are both in the top five for scoring in the Gulf South Confer-

ence. Hammon and Smith average 18.4 and 15.2 point per game respectively. “Both can create their shot. Hammond to take you off the bounce in a heartbeat, and Smith can score from down-town and draw foul the easily. We've got to counter those kids,” Kiley Hill,head coach said of the two standouts. After struggling against North Alabama's 2-3 zone-defense in the second half on Saturday’s game, Coach Hill and his team are expecting to see more zone tonight against AlabamaHuntsville. “I don't think there's any doubt, Huntsville plays a 3-2 matchup zone. Anybody who watches film on us will quickly go to a zone. Hopefully we've made some corrections, but I think we will be better prepared to attack the zone,” Coach Hill

said. The previous matchup between Valdosta-State and Alabama-Huntsville was back-andforth all night, until the Lady Blazer's Kourtnee Williams made the final basket of the night with less than 30 seconds left, and lifted the Lady-Blazer's to victory. If tonight's game comes down to the wire like before, it might spell success for the Lady Blazers, who are 6-2 on the season in games decided by five points or less, seem to excel to in late game situations. “It's a credit to the players, their concentration level become greater. For our kids, our ability to hone in and do the things we've worked on becomes magnified there,” Coach Hill said. The Lady Blazers play tonight at 6:30 PM, before heading to play at Shorter on Saturday to finish their two game road-trip.

VSU softball continues domination D.J. Davis S P O RT S W R I T E R

When the Blazers won the first NCAA Division II National Championship in school history nine months ago, Courtney Albritton led off the game homerun; she did the same in the season opener against Southern Arkansas. The Blazers ran though the season opening West Florida tournament in Pensacola, Fla. against South Arkansas and Young Harris. Valdosta State’s 2012 National Championship’s momentum carried them to a 4-0 record through an opening weekend which featured four games in two days, including two on Super Bowl Sunday. The Blazers swept South Arkansas 6-0, 7-3 on Saturday and followed that up the next day by handing Young Harris two run-rule shortened losses 111 and 9-1. “We saw somethings we need to work on,” Thomas Macera, Valdosta State Head Coach, said. “But, we hit seven homeruns on the weekend hit the ball real well, I’m so pleased with everything overall.” Albritton and, fellow AllAmerican, Morgan Johnson combined to go 10/26 with five homeruns, ten runs batted in, and 11 runs scored on the weekend.

“They’re All-Americans,” Macera said. “They’re both AllAmericans for a reason. They were the two top hitters last year, and they are picking up where they left off.” The Blazers have somehow found a way to improve on the pace they set last season when VSU Softball went 58-5 on the year. At this point of the season last year, Valdosta State had stumbled out of the gate to a 1-3 record with an opening day lost to Berry College. This year, however, VSU has come out hot, winning their first four games by an average of seven runs a game. The Blazers are back in action this Monday as they travel up to Albany for a doubleheader against Albany State. VSU went 4-0 against Albany State last season with by a combined score of 46-0. Valdosta State then heads back home for their home opener on Tuesday with a doubleheader against Georgia Southwestern beginning at 2 p.m. Georgia Southwestern may also be seeking some revenge after being defeated by the Blazers 2-0 and 9-1 last season. “We can’t look past anybody right now,” Macera said. “We’re still young and still trying to figure each other out. We made one mistake against Southern Ark. In the second game, and they tie it 3-3, then you’re back, battling,

trying to get to a lead. Anyone can beat ya if you don’t play well. The focus is you gotta play well every time out or you’re gonna lose.” Coach Macera has been im-

pressed with his team’s offensive output thus far into the season, but he is still looking to clean up somethings defensively and with the pitching in these upcoming games.

“We are just trying to work on communicating better on defense,” Macera said. “Getting our pitchers to locate a little bit better, and just keep on hitting.” Join the Blazers at the Softball

Complex for the home-opener this Tuesday to watch the defending National Champions put on a show.

The Spectator Online Edition, 2-7-13  

The online print edition of The Spectator, February 7, 2013. Features the Housing special.

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