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Scenario shooting prepares ASU public safety for the upcoming semester.


Respect Downtown: Violence does not stop downtown growth.



WE WILL Largest college splits in two


The Jaguars prepare for their final year bearing the “Augusta State” name.


REMAIN a nation

By LEIGH BEESON copy editor The Katherine Reese Pamplin College of Arts and Sciences divided during the summer into two smaller, “more focused” colleges, forming the Katherine Reese Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and the College of Science and Mathematics. Carol Rychly, the vice president for Academic Affairs, said faculty began discussing the possibility of splitting the 14-program college several years ago, but the upcoming merger of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University provided a timely opportunity to divide the college. “We have three colleges on campus,” Rychly said. “We have the college of education, and in that, there are three different departments. Then we have the college of business, and they don’t have departments, but they have areas – about a handful. Then you look at arts and sciences, and there were 14 programs. That’s a whole lot to try to coordinate and manage and lead. It became a case of would it not make sense to put together things that have a little bit more in common so that they can work well together?” After the merger, the new university will be classified as a Research 1 institution or R1. R1 universities are generally more comprehensive than state-run colleges like Augusta State, Rychly explained. “So our major goal in becoming this R1 is to do both things: to continue to meet what we call the access mission – bringing on the local students – while expanding our programs to be more attractive to a much broader geographical audience,” Rychly said. “It’s kind of an interesting balancing act. I think it should be a very exciting thing.” Charles “Skip” Clark, the dean of the Katherine Reese Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, said he believes the division is a means of helping the new university reach its goal of increasing enrollment and expanding programs. The dean of the combined college since January, Clark emphasized that the split should result in positive changes for students because the deans’ offices will be able to better evaluate faculty, appropriate resources and determine what new programs to develop. Most importantly, students will be able to interact more with the deans of their colleges. “We want to focus more than ever before on student success, retention, completion,” Clark said. “We want our students to be the focus. We call our college, and probably the entire university, student-centered and learner-centered. We want to emphasize that this year and in the years to come. So, students will understand that they will get even more attention, especially from the dean’s office, through the departments and programs than ever before.” Sam L. Robinson, the dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, insisted the benefits of splitting the college will extend beyond just the two new colleges. “I think that it’ll make this a better place for everybody,” Robinson said. “We keep talking about splitting, but we’re not divorcing those guys. Those will always be our biggest allies, those guys in the arts and humanities, because we do have a shared goal… It’s going to lift the level of everything.” Robinson added that program expansion within the College of Science and Mathematics is a good starting point for the university’s conversion to R1 status. However, he said all the colleges will need to grow if the university expects to compete with larger research institutions, such as the University of Georgia and Georgia Institute of Technology. Although he and his staff are rushing to get the newly-formed college organized, Robinson said it was unlikely that students would notice any significant change. “Students, typically, are in a major, and those majors aren’t changing,” he explained. “I think for the most part their lives will be just like they were when they left in the spring.” Clark said he hopes the splitting of the college and the pending merger will ultimately improve the college experience as a whole for students. “The focus should always be on what’s best for the students,” Clark said. “And that’s my approach to this. When we think about okay is this major a strong one? Well, do students want to take it? Are there jobs at the end of it? Are there ways in which you can use this to further any career you get in to? Because we’re not, and I really want to reiterate this, we’re not in the business in this college of simply training people for jobs. We are educating people for the world.”

Georgia Regents University: Students, community demand respect and a name change


Incoming President Ricardo Azziz listens to comments and questions from concerned attendees at the Aug. 16 public forum. Students and community members rallied together Monday to protest the name change. If the recent forum and protest are any indication, students and community members are not accepting the university’s new name or its administration lying down. Following the announcement of the name “Georgia Regents University,” decided by the Georgia Board of Regents (BOR) on Aug. 7, distaste for the decision circulated within the community. Anger over the selection was evident through posts on the Facebook page “Everyone Against ‘Georgia Regents University’ Sound Off,” negative public reaction at the Aug. 16 forum, and an organized protest held on the first day of classes at Augusta State University. Despite incoming President Ricardo Azziz’s initial monologue explaining the namprocess and enconsolidation v. merger ing couraging everyone After deliberation and research among the to “move forward,” staff, we at The Bell Ringer have decided the community memword “merger” best describes the joining of bers used phrases Augusta State University and Georgia Health such as “left in the Science University, and, in order to maintain dark” and “abused” consistency in our reporting, we choose to while expressing refer to the union as such in future issues. a fear of losing the By JILLIAN HOBDAY news editor

history of Augusta without the city in the name. Austin Rhodes, a local radio personality and an organizer of the protest, said he believes people were misled by the new administration throughout the entire naming process. “People were conned,” he said. “And to spend close to $50,000 on a market survey, that’s ridiculous. It is a two-pronged protest: Number one, the name is hideous. Number two, the deception was thick and heavy, and it continues to this day.” Rhodes said the first day of classes was ideal for the protest because, although the forums were helpful in voicing the opinions of the community, they were scheduled at times when there were few people on campus. “There never is a bad time to make your voice heard,” he said. “Whether or not this is too late, I don’t know, but the students and alumni have not had the opportunity to publicly to do this, and we’re taking the first opportunity we can.” Unsure of what type of impact the protest will have on changing the name, Rhodes said he recognizes there is a larger message to be sent directly to the BOR, Azziz and future presidents. “They do not operate in a vacuum,” he said. “They cannot make decisions that last longer than they will be around without taking very careful consideration to who all they are affecting and the legacy they see MERGER on PAGE 2

New semester lease agreement for university housing


Located on Damascus Road, University Village offers fully furnished apartments, amenities included in rent. By ADRIANNE FERNANDEZ contributor A new lease agreement came to University Village in March that is expected to make leasing apartments and paying rent easier for new and returning residents. Beginning in the fall semester, UV residents will be able to pay rent every semester instead of every month. Property Manager Jennifer Goad said part of this new implementation allows residents to pay automatically with their financial aid, a method previously unavailable. Both financial aid recipients and those paying out of pocket were expected to pay the first month’s rent

by Aug. 1, Goad stated. The UV lease application states that the fall deadline for final payment will not arrive until Sept. 30, giving residents a chance to acquire any additional funds needed to cover remaining balances. “It still gives them some time where if they need to draw additional loans or anything like that to cover their semester,” Goad said. “Or if they’re paying out of pocket, it gives them some time to collect the funds.” The spring semester works in an identical manner while the summer semester requires residents to pay for both summer months by June 1.

Joyce Jones, former dean of students, said it was something she, and others, wanted for several years. Parents are not always aware of how much financial aid their student receives and ask if housing can be taken from those funds, she said. Parents prefer this method because it allows them to provide other necessities for their student, such as food and gas. “I’m not one that pushes loans,” Jones said. “But parents are very well aware that you can take out subsidized and unsubsidized loans.” Recipients of the HOPE scholarship, see HOUSING on PAGE 2



NEWS Scenario training in Maxwell Theatre

By TAMIKA LAMPKIN senior reporter

The voice of

Augusta State University EDITORIAL STAFF adviser MATTHEW BOSISIO editor-in-chief TRAVIS HIGHFIELD copy editor LEIGH BEESON news editor JILLIAN HOBDAY arts & life editor KRISTIN HAWKINS sports editor JOHN-MICHAEL GARNER chief reporter RON HICKERSON production manager KELSEY DONNELLY production assistant JACQUELYN PABON senior reporter TAMIKA LAMPKIN staff writers KARL FRAZIER contributors JASPER COOKE ADRIANNE FERNANDEZ FARRELL BROWN circulation manager TREY UNDERWOOD advertising manager HANNAH FOERSTER web master SI-LONG CHEN

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Aiken Standard 326 Rutland Dr. NW P.O. Box 456 Aiken, SC. 29802

School is back in session, and safety is a growing concern. Augusta State University’s campus police teamed up with Richmond County’s Sheriff’s Department and SWAT team to conduct a series of scenario emergencies. “We have trained at Richmond County schools and campuses for 10 days in the last two weeks,” said Jasper Cooke, Augusta State’s director of public safety. “The live training is for all officers to be able to better respond to on the spot action.” On Aug. 9, the scenario took place on Augusta State’s campus in the Maxwell Theatre. The officers were stripped of their duty artillery, which was replaced with scenario guns and gear. The scene was set up as a shooting while a live performance was taking place. As the scenario began, the first responders, Augusta State’s campus police, responded to the 911 call of a shooting. Officers and the SWAT team arrived moments later and followed suit. “Our officers will be the first to respond to a campus emergency;

we check out the situmove the deceased. He said ation and secure the a lot comes into play when perimeter,” Cooke dealing with real-life situasaid. “When back-up tions, and it is easy to miss a arrives, we inform step in the midst of chaos. them of the situation “You see, this is the reaat hand, and we work son why we work so hard to as a team to stop the set up scenes like this,” Johnshooter before more son said. “No one is perfect people are harmed.” but we want to get as close to As you entered perfection as possible.” the theatre, you saw Cooke said they are bodies on the floor trained to follow the shots and heard others without hesitation. He said it is screaming for help. hard to overlook dead bodies TAMIKA LAMPKIN | STAFF while ignoring the screams of The music blasted, Augusta State officer Keith Lemons watches and the lights were victims, but the sooner the asfor more intruders as the teams zero in on the sailant is caught, the better for dim. Mat Chrisman, a acting shooter during scenario training Aug. 9. everyone. midnight supervisor “After we close in on Tom Johnson, an investigafor Augusta State’s campus police, tor for the Sheriff’s Office, said the the assailant, then we can begin to said the most important thing is training raises awareness and in- help others safely without putting for both teams to be able to work creases skill base. ourselves or them in more danger,” together quickly and efficiently, “These scenarios are a good Cooke said. especially when it involves a situa- opportunity for agencies to work These types of scenarios are tion within one of the buildings on together,” Johnson said. “They give conducted each year before the becampus. us learning moments to help us bet- ginning of the school year for stu“We know our buildings and ter ensure the safety of people and dents. The efforts of these teams have the layouts well,” Chrisman said. ozurselves.” resulted in a faster and more accurate “That is no help to Richmond CounJohnson said that until the area way of ensuring everyone’s safety. ty, who may not know the building is secure by the police, the emergen“We have to stay on our toes, the way we do, if one of our men or cy and rescue teams cannot come in and ready for whatever we are faced women are not there to assist them to help the care for victims and re- with,” said Cooke. upon arrival.”


are affecting.” Also working to publicize the protest, Chris Blanco, an Augusta CONTINUED from PAGE 1 State alumnus, started a Facebook page on which concerned citizens could air their thoughts about the new name. He said the overall consensus, based on posts, is no one can trust Azziz anymore. “The community is furious,” Blanco said. “I think (Azziz) is completely disrespecting our city. And if he’s going to be a president and part of our community, why wouldn’t he send our voices up to the (BOR)? I know he’s concerned about his job, but our city would have backed him up if they tried to do anything to him, if he was actually defending our voice.” By Oct. 1, the BOR must submit a joint prospectus to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), according to SACS Commissions on Colleges President Belle Wheelan. Despite the lack of community approval, SACS will accredit GRU unless the proposed prospectus does not comply with any of their 93 principles of accreditation.

Housing CONTINUED from PAGE 1

the Pell grant, or other scholarships or grants can pay tuition without having to take out a loan. Any loans that have not been taken out can then be applied for to cover the cost of housing. There is a consequence for nonpayment, however. Therese Rosier, the vice president for business operations, said students who have not met the deadline to pay rent face eviction. Under the old lease agreement, residents were falling several months behind, leading to eviction, which is not what Augusta State University hopes for. “Eviction costs us money,” Jones said. “And it costs the students money.” With regards to rates, the prices have changed minimally. “If you were to look at it on a monthly basis, rates only went up $10,” Goad said. “It’s just now it’s due semesterly instead of monthly.” Rent includes a fully furnished apartment, electricity, phone, cable, internet, water, sewage and trash, an agreement that is hard to find off-campus. The new lease agreement also benefits new residents who would have previously needed a cosigner. Because rent will be due toward the beginning of every semester, a cosigner is no longer necessary to insure that rent will be paid, Gord said. “Well now that it’s due in full on a semester basis and it’s linked with financial aid, they no longer have that additional strain of trying to find someone with the correct income and credit that can be approved,” she said. “So it does help them when it comes to the application process.” Goad said the change in lease agreement has been easy to handle for the new residents because paying at the beginning of every semester is what they expected when coming to the university. The change, though, was unwelcome to many residents who have been at UV for several years. For Arielle Taylor, an early childhood education major in her junior year, the change initially posed a challenge, but she knew it was permanent. “For me personally, it was something I had to accept,” Taylor said. “It didn’t really leave me with a choice since I don’t currently have a car.” However, as a financial aid recipient, Taylor said the change did make some things easier. “If I have the money, then I’m able to just pay it and not have to worry about late fees because I didn’t get my money order on time,” Taylor said. Because many residents have to work to pay for other necessities, paying rent will be one less necessity residents will have to worry about every month. “It insures students a place to stay,” Jones said.

“Just based on the name and the fact that people don’t want to merge those institutions to give up the history, that would not be sufficient for our board to delay action,” she said. “Ideally, you all would create enough furor to stop it from coming to us in the first place, but once we get it and our board acts upon it, there would be no reason for us not to move forward with it.” On Tuesday, Aug. 21, the Augusta Commission will vote on resolutions requesting the BOR to change the name to include “Augusta.” Unfortunately for those opposed to “Georgia Regents University,” a name change is not guaranteed, but Blanco said people will eventually move on from this. “I know it’s going to take a while to heal,” he said. “I just hope that, if that name does stay, people can get behind the school and let it grow, keep Augusta prosperous and revitalize downtown while we’re at it.” Due to scheduling, Azziz was unavailable to comment, and Georgia Health Sciences University representatives did not immediately return phone calls to staff seeking comments in reaction to the forum and protest. Students in support of the Georgia Regents name refused to comment any further on the record.

West parking lot renovations completed in time for fall


The finished project includes a new four-way stop at the intersection of Arsenal and Bellevue avenues, which officials say should facilitate a more efficient flow of traffic.

signers involved in the project hoped to create a useful parking lot. Hammarlund said he wanted to create not As students begin vying for parking spaces only a useful parking lot but a safer one as well. “Our No. 1 goal is to create a safe campus,” before classes, they will notice a few changes on he said. “I think we’ve done a great job, and we’ve the west side of campus. Located behind Fanning Hall, Lot 16 was been able to do that without really changing the renovated over the summer. The project was fin- number of parking spaces.” Cooke agreed. ished Aug. 9, completing a three-phase renovation “We’ve increased visibility, and at the same of parking lots along the west side of Augusta State time we’ve decreased the probability that one of University’s campus. Officials involved in the renovation said the new parking lot will be more our students or a student at St. Mary’s is going to efficient, safer and help improve the flow of traffic. get run over,” he said. Cooke said increasing safety included laying Jasper Cooke, the director of the Department of Public Safety, said the finished project new sidewalks and upgrading the street lights in will eliminate “roadblocks” along Arsenal Avenue the lot to the same, bright halogens lights as the rest for both Augusta State students and parents driv- of campus. Hammarlund said this renovation was the ing their children to and from St. Mary on the Hill third in a three-phase master plan to renovate Catholic School. Before the renovation, he said traffic would create these roadblocks for Augusta parking lots on the west side of campus. The first State students and parents dropping their kids off at project was Lot 14, the former gravel lot behind Allgood Hall; the second the school because the enwas the first half of Lot 16 trances to the schools were directly behind Fanning designed poorly. Hall. He said funding and He said there will now time influenced college ofbe only two access points ficials to space the projects -Erik Hammarlund, project engineer to the lot along Arsenal Avout over three summers. enue instead of three. The Then, workers paving the project designers removed access points by the Chateau and historical cemetery and created a new parking lots would not interfere with traffic in the one at the intersection of Arsenal and Bellevue av- area because of the significantly smaller number of students driving to and from campus during the enues. “Here we have a true four-way stop,” Cooke summer semesters. Although traffic and parking may seem a said. “This will facilitate traffic movement in and little different, the process for obtaining a perout of campus in a quicker, safer way and will also mit remains the same. Denise Cooper, the office eliminate the roadblocks.” Erik Hammarlund, the vice president of W. manager at Public Safety, said the department still R. Toole Engineers, Inc., and the project engi- requires the same hanging decals to be displayed neer, said Lot 16 needed replacing because the in students’ cars. Permits can be renewed online lot had deteriorated after at least 30 years. Work- through ELROY; this can be done off campus. Parking permits are required to park on camers laid new asphalt, finished connecting the loop pus and officers will cite vehicles that are parked road throughout the campus so students can drive without a decal after the first two weeks of the searound without having to get on public roads and improved landscaping. The project also included mester, Cooper said. “We’re just trying to make this more conveupgrading the storm drains and sewers. But for students hoping that the renovation nient for (the students),” she said. “We give the stuwill add more parking spaces to the land-locked dents the first two weeks of school to give (them) parking lots, Cooke said the number of vehicle enough time to get their decal, get it on their car spaces remains the same, but designers were able and to go through whatever process they need to to add more motorcycle spaces. He said the de- go through.” By RON HICKERSON chief reporter

“Our No. 1 goal is to create a safe campus.”



the opinion pages editorial Stick to your guns

After a brief summer hiatus, it’s finally time for the Bell Ringer to weigh in on a tired but paramount topic regarding the merging of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University: the atrocity that is the name Georgia Regents University. Though the Board of Regents is now saying it has no plans to reverse its decision, it is extremely difficult to accept that we have exhausted all possibilities and should now go with the flow. And while GHSU President Ricardo Azziz continually tries to wash his hands of the issue and move forward, we just can’t overlook that he went against more than $45,000 in “market research” to suggest Georgia Regents University as the staff pick from the Consolidation Working Group of which he is the chair. Not to mention how it is clear now that he did play some part in persuading the branding committee that chose the name options from including “Augusta” in the title. Furthermore, it is very difficult to believe that the Board of Regents did weigh alternatives before reaching a conclusion, as BOR Chairman Benjamin Tarbutton III told media sources Thursday, when the Regent who started the motion mistakenly referred to the proposed nam e as “Georgia Research University.” We will allow him the benefit of the doubt, but as hastily as the motion was put into effect, it comes across as nothing short of careless. But there is something more here, more than public outcry that “Augusta” should be in the name of the new institution that is being ignored. This university belongs to us: the students, faculty, staff and surrounding community. Without students, faculty and staff, there would be no new institution to name. The “New U” needs us to truly succeed. And we need to be able to trust the “New U” and its administration. Bottom line: We matter, even if the new administration and BOR doesn’t seem to think so. Telling us to “get over it” or saying “we’ll come around eventually” overlooks the importance of the opinions of students, staff and the community. If we can’t agree on something as basic as the name of the university, how do you expect us to react when we arrive at much bigger issues in the future? Having Augusta in the name of the institution was the one thing the city

wanted, and it would have likely won their total support for at least the first few years of the consolidation process. But, instead, we were shunned and told unequivocally that the community’s opinion is inferior to that of the BOR. If it was hard to gain support before, Azziz and the BOR will have to fight twice as hard now. People will now side against anything the new university proposes entirely on the premise that the institution’s name wasn’t the one that stood out above the rest, as evidenced by numerous polls and surveys. And Azziz, through several outlets, has said he wanted a name that would be recognizable regionally, nationally and perhaps internationally, yet now we are told that the widespread recognition process will take likely 10 to 20 years to pan out. But that is something that we, the students, have to live with right now. As we graduate and enter the professional world, our resumes will bear the name of a university that sounds like nothing more than an online school that, as former Augusta State assistant professor of history Michael Searles put it, sounds like “a college that was created just a few weeks ago.” Several of us on the Bell Ringer staff will graduate this year with less than 15 credit hours at the post-consolidation “New U.” We shouldn’t have to pay anything extra to see that we have the name we choose on our degrees. For those of us who have spent a majority of our undergraduate careers as Augusta State students, we should be able to graduate with a degree from Augusta State. The same goes for our colleagues at Georgia Health Sciences, who almost assuredly would prefer a degree bearing their institution’s name rather than reading “Georgia Regents University” on their diplomas. In his blog entry “The Challenges of Listening,” Azziz concluded with the statement, “I will be doing a lot of listening during the next several months, with faculty, staff, and students throughout the ASU and GHSU campuses. These sessions are going to put my listening skills – and the skills of others – to the test. Like you, I am constantly striving to become a better listener.” Well, we have spoken. Now is the time to show us you have truly listened.

Your kids aren’t as cute as you may think they are

“If kids get to make the rules, what do parents expect to happen?” Leigh Beeson copy editor

It started with the words “precocious” and “spirited.” Parents used such adjectives to describe their children’s poor behavior and lack of manners. Teachers used them because they weren’t allowed to call their students what they really were: spoiled brats. I want to begin by saying I don’t hate children. In fact, I like most of them. They’re curious, easily entertained and frequently unintentionally funny. I’ve babysat for more than eight years, helped teach Sunday school to 2-year-olds and assisted with my church’s Vacation Bible School program. The issue I have is not with children; it’s with their parents. I grew up in a house full of yes ma’am, no sir, please and thank you. I wasn’t allowed to talk back to my parents. They didn’t ask me to do things; they told me to do them. If I refused, I faced the consequences. I wasn’t offered rewards for good behavior or good grades. They were expected, and as a result of that expectation, I delivered. That authoritative but loving parental figure seems to be disappearing from modern-day society. Because they have no one to guide them, today’s kids are out of control. I sat down at an Evans diner the other day and immediately heard the squealing of four children in a corner booth. Squealing I can generally handle, but soon the kids were running up and down the aisle, climbing onto the counters to jump into the booth’s cushioned seats and playing in both the men’s and women’s bathrooms. All this happened while

Daddy Dearest was sitting right there “watching” them. After thoroughly destroying the booth, the family left the world’s stickiest mess of chocolate syrupcovered pancake remnants and a $2 tip for the poor waitress who had to clean up after them. Being frequent customers at this restaurant, my mom and I commented on how quiet and peaceful the diner became after they left. The waitress then whispered that she dreads the family’s regular visits because the kids are rude, as well as messy, and their father isn’t any better. If kids get to make the rules, what do parents expect to happen? Think about it. No one has to teach a 3-year-old to do naughty things; it’s innate. But someone does have to teach them etiquette, politeness and common courtesy if they are expected to become responsible citizens who are well-equipped to deal with life’s inevitable disappointments. As a babysitter, I learned you don’t have real control over the kids you watch. You hope they do what you tell them to but have no way to enforce the rules if they don’t. At a certain age, they begin to realize that. I think students have also learned that, detention aside, teachers can’t touch them if they act up. A teacher can tell the disruptive student’s parents, but the parents frequently deny the problem or, worse, blame the teacher for their child’s shortcomings. Furthermore, it’s not a teacher’s job to teach manners or responsibility. It’s the parents’ job.

congratulations Joyce Jones She was named the University System of Georgia’s vice chancellor for student affairs.

Safety tips from Police Chief Jasper Cooke “When you see something you think is not right, say something to someone about it.” Jasper Cooke contributor


do have an opinion on things at ASU

if so, email us at

? First, I would like to welcome everyone to ASU. We spend a lot of time and energy to ensure your safety on campus. I’m going to introduce you to several processes the university police department has put in place to assist in your safety both on campus and in the community. Please take a few minutes out of your busy life to prepare yourself for that unforeseen disaster or emergency. Jaguar Alert: Jaguar Alert is the emergency notification system for ASU. It is the system we use to notify you of life safety issues that occur on or around our property. You can have up to four different ways to be contacted during an emergency and you, not us, control which of these you use. You can opt in for email, text or phone notification. Text is the quickest way to receive emergency notifications. Please go to Jaguar Alerts on your “My ASU” page and follow the instructions to sign up for this lifesaving program. The public version of an emergency plan is located on the university police web site. Plan, Prepare and React: This is a 10-minute video located on the university police website that shows you what actions to take in the event of an active shooter on campus, where you work or in any public place.

With the number of active shooting situations across the country, please share this information with those in your personal circle. If You See Something, Say Something: When you see something you think is not right, say something to someone about it. On campus call 706-729-2911, and off campus call 911. We need your eyes and ears to make our community a safer place for all of us. Here are 10 tips to help keep you safe: 1. Make the call. Program the university’s police department into your cell phone so you have it at your fingertips in the event of an emergency on campus. (706-729-2911) 2. Empower yourself. Enroll in a self-defense course, such as the sexual assault defense programs R.A.D or D.A.T.E. 3. Don’t walk alone. Take advantage of ASU’s safety escort services or walk with friends. 4. Protect your property. Never leave items like your backpack, laptop or cell phone unattended. 5. Report solicitors. Magazine subscriptions, donation requests, spa packages and “earn money now” schemes are some of the common methods criminals use to take your money.

6. If you ride the city bus, stay awake and keep your personal belongings close to you. Sit near the door or the driver. 7. Grab it. Close it. Lock it. College parking lots and structures are common targets for thieves. Never leave valuables in your car or items in plain view. Make sure your windows are up and the doors are locked. 8. Keep personal information private. Avoid becoming a victim of identity theft by carrying only the necessary items in your wallet or purse. 9. Keep your dorm locked. Even if you’re going next door to a friend’s room, always grab your keys and lock the door. 10. Protect your wheels. Registering your bike helps improve the likelihood of recovery if stolen. Invest in a high-quality, hardened steel “U” lock. For optimum security, lock both the front and frame to the bike rack.

editorial policy Letters to the editor must be accompanied by the author’s email address. All columns and letters to the editor are the opinion of the author. The views expressed in the opinion section do not necessarily express those of The Bell Ringer, a designated public forum. Anything submitted to The Bell Ringer is open to be edited or rejected. However, The Bell Ringer staff gives all opinions a fair chance to be heard. All letters will be edited for grammar and style. If you would like to contribute a column or a letter to the editor, send an email to: bellringerproduction@g




Downtown By KRISTIN HAWKINS arts and life editor



ocal business owners aren’t letting recent violet events and bad publicity bring negativity downtown. After the shooting that occurred at July’s First Friday, many local patrons were worried downtown wouldn’t pull through, said Coco Rubio, the owner of the Soul Bar. “I got calls from people asking me if downtown would survive after what happened on that First Friday,” Rubio said. “I was insulted. I couldn’t even answer the question.” Rubio, who is also a co-owner of Sky City bar, got together with other local business owners in the downtown area to let the community know that it wasn’t going anywhere but up. The bar owner told others that the community just needed to respect downtown; it was that simple. Those two words inspired the idea to encourage Augustans to “Respect Downtown.” “Really people should respect themselves, have self-respect, respect other people,” Rubio stated. “And if you respect your town and your community, none of this stuff would be happening.” When looking for inspiration on what to put on the “Respect Downtown” posters, Andrew Lawandus, an intern at Wier/Stewart graphic design company and an Augusta native, looked through old pictures of Augusta’s downtown and wanted to display a time when downtown was thought of in a more positive light. “Augusta has come a long way,” Lawandus said. “(Downtown) was bumping at one point, and there is a lot of stuff (here) that has happened historically.” Lawandus found photos from


downtown’s ‘heyday’ in the 1950s and ’60s and decided to set that as the background for the posters. The golden age of Augusta’s downtown has not dissipated, though some people act as if it has, said Eric Kinlaw, a co-owner of Bees Knees restaurant. “Downtown is Augusta; it is the history, it is what Augusta even is, so to ignore that is foolish,” Kinlaw said. “I don’t think there is anything to worry about. There definitely needs to be more police presence always, not just First Fridays, but all the time, and there needs to be a consistency in that. That’s where it’s lacking. I think the businesses do the best they can do, but the city, and whoever is in control, has to step up.” Kinlaw and others said they blame how the violence and disruption was handled on the lack of police direction rather than on a lack of police presence. “That incident on the (First Friday) in July was Fourth of July weekend,” Rubio said. “High school is out; you have a lot of kids out hanging out late. They should be expecting a lot of people down here. I feel like they aren’t even prepared for that. They acted surprised all of these people were down here instead of being prepared and figuring out how to control it.” As downtown continues to boom and the support of it continues to expand, business owners expect a greater effort from the city to keep the area clean and safe, Rubio stated. “I think if downtown is not kept clean and not kept safe, then bad things are going to happen,” Kinlaw said. “People treat things how they see things treated.” Not only is the lack of consistency

Despite recent violence, Augustans continue to flock downtown.

in police support an issue but the negative attention downtown has received is also a constant fight for the area, according to Kinlaw. “There are so many positive things going on down here, and the few things that are negative that do happen shouldn’t effect that,” Kinlaw said. “There is this ridiculous, ignorant misconception that downtown is dangerous, and that’s been the conception forever, so we’ve always heard that and had to deal with that.” The recent negative media attention has ill-received by business owners. “I think a lot of the media attention was just that: media attention,” Kinlaw said. “There was a lot of knee-jerk emotions and reactions. I don’t want to say it was blown out of proportion, because it was a big deal, but I do think it was a little dramatic.” Even through the violence and


drama, downtown has not seemed to suffer, Rubio said. Although the weather on the First Friday in August was gloomy, it did not keep patrons from showing their support of the area after all the recent events, the business owner said. Owners and patrons alike look forward to seeing how downtown will expand, said Alex Wier, a co-owner of Wier/Stewart. “No one goes to visit a town and goes to their suburbs,” Wier said. Wier and Rubio both agreed that they would like to see the future Georgia Regents University expand downtown and bring more people and respect to the area. “We should be glad that we have downtown that’s made a comeback in the last 20 years,” Rubio stated. “We need to keep it going and not let a few knuckleheads ruin it for everybody.”

Panic Manor Small-city band with big-city sound



Members of “Panic Manor,” Jesse Harris on guitar, Liz Bramlette on vocals, Sean Faiburn on drums, and Steven Bryant on vocals at sector 7 in downtown Augusta on Saturday, August 18th. Music lovers fill the By TAMIKA LAMPKIN small venue as the band senior reporter begins their first song. As the melodies fill room, the members of Panic Manor rightfully demand their own amount of attention. The tone in the room instantly changes from mellow to metal. The melodies mesh perfectly as the band that originated three years ago begins their set. The professionalism and high energy of the band clearly show that the group is more than just a local band of aspiring artists but a family. Liz Bramlett, one half of the two original members left in the band and also its lead vocalist and guitarist, said the group of members they have today is the best group since the group’s founding in 2009. “We have gone through a lot of ups and downs through the years with band members,” Bramlett said. “This group of band mates has to be the best mix of members we have ever had.” Bramlett said getting along and being able to practice, travel and work together is an important part of being a part of any band. As the only female member of the band, she said the relationship she has with the male members of the makes it easy to be comfortable and feel protected. “I never feel awkward around the boys,” Bramlett said. “ We all get along great, and at times I love the fact that I am the only girl in the group.” Steven Bryant, the lead singer/ guitarist and the other original member, said the name Panic Manor originates from a metaphor that described a dark and depressing place that would later result in musical creativity. This is the place the band would sink into when angry and emerge with music. “The origin of the name is ironic because our music is about hope and achieving your dreams in life,” Bryant said. “It somehow fits us a unique collection of people.” Sean Faiburn, the band’s drummer, said Panic

Manor does not have a target audience. He said because the band loves different types of music, they want to appeal to different types of music lovers. “We want to reach out to the music lovers, music heads and those who dig deep for music and appreciate the music,” Faiburn said. At the age of 25, Faiburn has been playing the drum for 11 years. He has been part of seven other bands and said that since he joined Panic Manor eight months ago, he has never been surer that he made the right choice. “As soon as I heard their stuff I knew I wanted in,” Faiburn said. “The chemistry was awesome, and they displayed a level of professionalism that I never encountered with any other band.” Jesse Harris, a guitarist and singer for the band, has been a part of Panic Manor since January. He met Bramlett and Bryant in late 2010. He quickly became a follower of their music and a frequent attendee of their shows until finally being invited to go on tour with the band earlier this year. He said they are total opposites when it comes to music styles and that’s what makes them unique because they all try to appeal to genres they individually enjoy. “I’m the more metal head-banging one,” Harris said. “While Sean is more influenced by R&B and funk, and Steven and Liz are more punk-, rock- and pop-influenced.” The music they play goes from punk and posthardcore to something really new. Panic Manor agreed that its music helps express the members’ lives and struggles through a creative outlet. They write and produce their own music and take pride in the finished product they perform onstage. They perform at local venues all around town in addition to touring. “We are a band that advocates hope and (is for) anyone who is chasing their dreams to make it as musicians,” Bramlett said. “We create great music while having fun. What could be better?”

Around Town

step up and support the arts By KRISTIN HAWKINS arts and life editor

Anyone who has a love for music and the arts shouldn’t look much further than our own community. Although many people believe Augusta is lacking in many things, there is one thing that we don’t lack: talent. We have a vast number of musicians and artists who don’t have nearly enough local support. All of the talent within the limits of the CSRA look for bigger cities and more musically and artistically friendly communities. We should be embracing the artistry around us and grow more as a creatively cultured community. We have many venues that support all types of talents. We have several local amphitheaters. We have bars more than capable of hosting a number of different types of events. We have businesses and buildings solely dedicated to displaying visual artwork, as

well as areas for the performing arts. As a community, we need to step up and give support to those around us who are pursuing their talents and, for some, even their dreams. We all want to claim and support a person once they’ve become famous, but where is that support throughout the process? We have an obligation as citizens of Augusta to be supportive of the people in our community. These talented individuals should feel encouragement from the area in which they got their start. I’m not saying you have to like every musician or thespian or painter or photographer who emerges from our city, but I would like to encourage, or challenge even, everyone to invest a little time and effort into seeking out our local talent.



New experiences possible through Study Abroad


Students enjoy scenery in the Galtee Mountains of Ireland while embracing Irish culture. By THEADORE M. SMITH contributor


ome of the most popular programs at Augusta State University, study abroad trips provide students with unique educational experiences, and university officals say they are dedicated to giving students every opportunity to participate. As she entered the summer of 2012, junior journalism and creative writing major Jamie Lowe, of Augusta, had never traveled overseas or even taken an Italian language class. This made her trip to Rome with the study abroad program all the more exciting. However, the prospect of spending three weeks in a country she had never visited and where she didn’t speak the language was initially a daunting prospect, she said. It was through bonding with her travel companions as they took in the scenery of Rome that Lowe discovered she had the ability to adapt to new surroundings. “I definitely have a confidence that I didn’t have when I left,” Lowe said. “Now I

can read a map and take care of myself in a totally different city where the native language isn’t English.” Heather J. Abdelnur, an associate professor of history, said many students who participate in the study abroad programs have never traveled before. “Many of them have never been out of the country before,” Abdelnur said. “Every time I’ve had a study abroad class, I’ve taken at least one or two students that have never been on an airplane before.” Participation in study abroad trips, especially to countries where languages other than English are spoken, can show employers that students are able to adapt and function in unfamiliar settings, a major benefit in the current globalized economy, she said. Students on these programs not only experience different cultures first hand but have the opportunity to earn credits by taking courses in an exciting new setting. “In the case of students that take classes with me, I tell them you’re going to an environment where the language is not English, and it’s going to show great diversity of you as a person in terms of what you can handle

in an environment outside of the norm,” Abdelnur said when asked about the potential benefits of studying abroad. “I would think someone who had participated in such a program would have a stronger possibility of being hired in this globalized economy.” Though some say it can be a wonderful experience, many students never attempt to engage in study abroad programs due to

financial concerns, a problem that Daosha Pack, the account manager for the Study Abroad office, was quick to address. “The university always tries to help make the study abroad programs affordable for students,” Pack said. “We have two fundraisers that we do every year. One is the Yankee Candle sale, which runs from September through October, and the other is the sale of raffle tickets from the travel agency used by our office.” These programs provide students who may not be able to afford to study abroad on their own a chance to raise a significant percentage of the funds required to participate in a trip abroad. This year, students raised more than $35,000 through the Yankee Candle sale and were given 40 percent of that money to use toward their trips. Many students are able to earn up to half of the cost of the study abroad program they wish to participate in through these fundraisers alone. Pack was quick to encourage students interested in the fund raising campaigns to visit the study abroad offices, which are located in Allgood Hall, as soon as they decide on a trip. “In addition to the fundraising programs the university also offers a scholarship that we do just from our office funds to pay for a percentage of the trip,” Pack said. The goal of the study abroad programs is to engage students and expand their horizons, and Augusta State seeks to provide every opportunity for students to participate, Lowe said. “Don’t wait!” Lowe said when asked to give advice to students considering the program. “Don’t wait until ‘you can afford it’ or let any other excuse stop you because studying abroad is awesome!”

Study Abroad students stay in Cabra Castle in Ireland.





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ASK ABOUT OUR LEADERSHIP AND SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES! For more information, contact James Sherrill at, (706) 667-4795,  (855) 276-9516 or visit us on campus in Galloway Hall. ©2008. Paid for by the united States Army. All rights reserved.




entertain yourself

What’s in a

ACROSS 4. A well-known university in Pennsylvania whose name honors the city where it is located. 5. A well-known university in Texas whose name honors the city where it is located. 8. Our school was originally founded in 1783 as ____. 9. One of the three proposed names to replace ASU. 10. In 1958, the college faced its first name change to ________. 12. On Aug. 7, this was revealed as the new name of the university. 14. In 1925, the college broke away from the academy and was originally named _____. 15. The loveable animated film with a main character who has the same initials as our new name. 16. In July 2012, this college split into the College of Science and Mathematics and the Katherine Reese Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences. 17. The group that named the school after themselves.

18. A well-known university in Florida whose name honors the city where it is located. DOWN 1. Augusta’s hometown newspaper, which is waging war on Azziz and the B.O.R. 2. In 2008, the Princeton Review featured our business college, named ________, in the “Best 290 Business Schools.” 3. The most popular name proposed to replace ASU with the merger, as shown by the $45,000 national survey conducted. 6. In 2010, the Jag’s men’s golf team won their 1st National Championship defeating ________. 7. In 1996, the name changed again to its current name _____. 11. From 2008-10, the men’s basketball team went three consecutive years to the ______ in Springfield, Mass. 13. The mayor of Augusta who supports the new name.

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SPORTS Jag runners have sights set even higher in 2012 By FARRELL BROWN contributor In just its second season since reinstatement, the Augusta State men’s cross country team won the Peach Belt Conference championship last year. Now, the Jaguars, tabbed by league coaches Aug. 16 to repeat as conference champions, have their eyes set on making nationals. On June 3, 2009, the Augusta State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced that it was going to reinstate the varsity sport of men’s cross country for the 2010-2011 academic year to fulfill the NCAA requirement that each school sponsor at least one men’s and women’s sport in the three seasons of competition: fall, winter and spring. Last October, the men’s team edged out conference rival UNC-Pembroke for the Peach Belt title at USC Aiken’s Pacer Path before finishing sixth in the NCAA Southeast Regional in Charlotte, N.C. Members of the team and head coach Adam Ward credited the squad’s rapid ascent to the top of the conference to the amount of work that takes place off the course. During the season, Ward said, between official practices and unofficial team workouts, the team runs about 70-75 miles per week. There is also a lot of researching and studying of both the courses they run as well as the teams they race against, Ward said. While the men’s team is still new, the women’s cross country team has been around for years. Angela Woodward, a former member of the women’s team who trained with the men’s team during her last two years of eligibility, said the Lady Jaguars served somewhat of a big-sister role to the men’s team since its reinstate-

“We respect them for everything they’ve accomplished and how hard they work.” -Angela Woodward, former Lady Jaguar runner

ment, helping the men’s runners, the majority of whom just completed their sophomore seasons, become acclimated to the lifestyle of being college athletes. “We respect them for everything they’ve accomplished and how hard they work,” Woodward said. The two teams treat themselves as one big team in different divisions, she said. They attend each other’s races, train together and push each other to constantly improve. That most of the members of the team have been together for two years and know that, with the exception of senior Clay Holton, they have at least two years left together is beneficial to team chemistry, junior Matt Johnson said. The members of the team work as a group and play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They are also eager to welcome new members be they incoming freshman prospects or any potential members of the recently announced Augusta State track and field team that will begin competition in the Fall 2012 semester.


Junior Adam Aldridge and sophomore Jimmy Spencer compete in last year’s Jaguar Invitational at Blachard Woods Park in Evans, Ga. The two runners are among 10 members returning to the Jaguars’ 2011 Peach Belt Conference-winning team. “We’re very excited,” Johnson said of the new team. “(We want to) make them feel welcome and just make them feel at home right away.” The general consensus of the cross country team is that they expect to continue their success and further it to compete in the national championship. Both Holton and Ward emphasized that the team wants to make an impact in the national competition. “I definitely want to win conference again as a team,” said Holton. “And I would like to be in the top two at regions so that we can go to nationals and compete there. Not even just make it to nationals, but I would like to compete there at the very best of our ability.” Ward made similar comments establishing nationals as being the team’s num-

ber one goal. He also added that he wants to maintain the team GPA of 3.0. “We’ve got a ton of talent, there’s no question,” said Ward of his team. “We can do a lot of great things. They’re very hungry.” Members of the team agree that they have a very deep team with a strong chance reaching all of their goals due to the high level of team chemistry and the number of players returning. When asked if the team had any messages to the public the common answer was that they are here to continue to represent Augusta State to the best of their abilities and appreciate the support that they have received thus far. Ward said he also wants the public to realize how much hard work and dedication goes into the team’s success.

Men’s tennis team advances to Final Four of NCAA national tournament By RON HICKERSON chief reporter


The trademark Augusta State “A” logo located at center oourt of Christenberry Fieldhouse will be used for one final season before the Jaguars’ athletic programs adopt the “Georgia Regents University” name following the upcoming academic year (see page 8 for more information on the name change).



The men’s basketball team added guard Joshua Samuels and forward Michael Graham to the program in June. Samuels racked up 24.8 points per game as a senior at Russell County High School in Alabama while the versatile Graham led Largo High School to the Maryland Class AA state championship game.


Former All-American golfer Patrick Reed posted his best career finish to date on the PGA Tour in July, finishing in a tie for 21st place at the True South Classic with a 12-under-par 276. For the year, Reed has made five cuts in nine events and earned $157,490.


The men’s cross country team was a near-unanimous selection to defend its Peach Belt Conference championship. The Jaguars earned eight of nine first-place votes from league coaches in the conference’s preseason poll, released last week.


The women’s runners were voted second behind Montevello, receiving one firstplace vote.

The Augusta State University men’s tennis team closed what is considered to be its most successful season May 18 after making it to the Final Four of the NCAA national tournament for Division II tennis. “It was amazing,” said Laura Ferreira, assistant coach of the Augusta State men’s and women’s tennis teams, about competing at the national level. “There’s no way to describe it. It’s the first time that the tennis team in Augusta State got to the nationals. It’s indescribable. It’s unbelievable. It just felt great to be there; it felt very accomplishing.” On May 16, the Augusta State Jaguars began competing at the national tournament held at the EP Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. There the top 16 teams in the country faced off to earn the title of national champion. Ferreira said the Jaguars squared off against Drury University and won, entering into the elite eight. The next day, the team defeated Grand Canyon University, leading it into the final four. Once they reached the final four the following day, the Jaguars went up against West Florida University and lost, bringing an end to their season. Michael McGrath, head coach of the Augusta State men’s and women’s tennis teams, attributed the men’s successful season to leadership among senior players Henrique Boturao, Bernaro Fernandes and Jan Labas, and junior players Victor Cabellos and Victor Guimaraes.

“The bar’s been raised. Now there’s an expectation from within that says, ‘We’ve gotten there. Now we can do it again.” - Michael McGrath, head tennis coach He said Boturao and Fernandes had made it their goal as freshmen to make it to the national tournament. As they reached for that goal, the men’s tennis team reached the regional tournament three out of four years. “The friendship (of these seniors), the hard work and the drive to be accomplished all helped a lot,” Ferreira said. “It made a big difference.” McGrath also attributed the men’s success to where they played the regional tournament. Usually, the team’s ranking led them to compete in the regional tournament held in Savannah, Ga. There the team failed to advance after playing against Armstrong Atlantic State University, which McGrath said, has “dominated” Division II tennis for at least the past six years. But this year, the team’s ranking earned it an opportunity to compete in Columbus, Ga. “This year we ended up at the other side of the regionals at Columbus,” he said. “And we just played well.” McGrath said competing in Columbus turned out to be a strong advantage for the team as they triumphed against Lander University and Columbus State University, allowing the men’s tennis team to progress to the national tournament in Louisville. Not only making it to the national tournament but to the Fi-

nal Four should encourage the team to work even harder going forward, the coach said. “It’s a big deal because our division is so tough,” McGrath said. “The experience is invaluable. Once you get the taste of going, you want to go back.” McGrath said Labas, Cabellos and Guimaraes acted as key players on the team and that their experience at the tournament should only increase their drive. “The experience of being at the national tournament, and not only playing but being a key component in our success, is going to translate into another great year for (them),” McGrath said. Although this was the first time the men’s tennis team made it to the national tournament, McGrath said standards have now been raised and expectations continue rising for all members of the team. “The bar’s been raised,” he said. “Now there’s an expectation from within that says ‘We’ve gotten there. Now we can do it again.’ We’ve got the guys to do it. It’s just a matter of playing well and staying healthy.” Ferreira agreed. “It opens our eyes,” she said. “We just need to keep looking forward for how to improve our players.”

upcoming schedule & women’s volleyball men’s cross country

Upcoming Schedule Aug. 31 - Tusculum (AASU Classic, Savannah, Ga.)

Sep. 1 - Catawba Sep. 1 - Lenoir-Rhyne

Sep. 1 - Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic (Memphis, Tenn.)



SPORTS Jags to compete in 2012-13 as Augusta State


New uniforms, court renovations will follow future name change By TRAVIS HIGHFIELD editor-in-chief Less than three hours after Georgia Regents University was chosen to be the name of the newly merged institution, Director of Athletics Clint Bryant issued a statement announcing the athletic program will continue to compete as Augusta State for the 2012-13 academic year. Beginning July 1, 2013, the new university will start competing as the Georgia Regents Jaguars. According to Bryant, the decision was made not long after the merger was initially announced. “We knew that when consolidation was announced that (we) could not switch horses in the middle of the year,” he said. “We already knew that we would start off an academic year still as Augusta State University. As we turned in our NCAA sports sponsorship, and still legally being Augusta State until sometime in mid-January, it just wouldn’t have made since to flip-flop.” The cost of the rebranding will largely be the procurement of new athletic uniforms, Bryant said. He said he estimates that expense to be more than $100,000. Also on the agenda is the repainting of basketball court at Christenberry Fieldhouse, which was originally planned to be repainted this year. “The (basketball) court was scheduled to be repainted this year, and that is an expense that the insti-

tution picks up as a part of their normal physical plant budget,” Bryant said. “That’s a $30,000 or $40,000 undertaking itself. But knowing that we were going to have a new name, and possibly new colors and logos, we held off on that, and that will take place next summer.” Bryant said the procurement process will have to begin this semester in order to be ready in time for next academic year. However, at this point in time, no decision has been made as to what the new logo will look like or how the name will be displayed on the jerseys. Henrik Norlander, a two-time All-American at Augusta State and a member of the 2010 and 2011 men’s golf national championship teams, was in attendance at the consolidation forum on the campus of Augusta State Thursday. A native of Sweden, he said dropping Augusta from the name would damage the lure of the university toward international recruits. “I think it will be especially tough for the (golf) coaches to recruit because ‘Augusta’ is such a positive word for golfers in Europe,” he said. “If you ask someone who is a golfer in Europe where Georgia is they will tell you it is Russia’s neighbor, right next to the Black Sea. They wouldn’t say it’s a southern state in the U.S. But if you ask the same person about Augusta, they know where it is because of the (Masters) tournament.” After July 1, 2013, when the

“I guess I would just like to see us go out with the Augusta State name with a really big bang.”

-Kathleen Trigg, lecturer in communication studies

athletic program will identify itself as Georgia Regents, the record books will be updated to reflect the change. Having graduated from Augusta State in 2011, Norlander said he doesn’t like to think about the record books recognizing the new school name. “I guess when I think about it now it seems pretty bad,” he said before shrugging his shoulders. “There is nothing I can do but hope that it will change.” Kathleen Trigg, a lecturer in communication studies and a longtime Jaguar athletics fan, said she is optimistic about the consolidation but will be misty-eyed when it comes time to say goodbye to the current athletic logo: a stylized red and blue “A.” “It’s not just a letter to me,” Trigg said. “I’ve seen it on so many of our student athletes that have come through, whether it was on a batting helmet or the golf shirts that our national champions wore. I’ve got it hanging in my office. There is an emotional attachment there. I mean, I know it just a letter and it is not life and death. But, to me, it is A.J. (Bowman) and Garret (Siler)

$100,000 $30,000$40,000

Estimated cost of new athletic uniforms. Estimated cost of repainting the basketball court.

Estimates according to athletic director Clint Bryant.

and Kacee Camp.” Trigg’s office is adorned with relics from basketball jerseys to posters displaying the softball team’s schedule to another poster announcing Augusta State’s men’s golf national championships. On her office door is a picture of Allgood Hall with one of the yellow minions from Universal Picture’s “Despicable Me.” The text on the picture reads “I’m a GRU minion,” in a play on the main character’s name, Gru. “I’m going to make the most of our last year,” Trigg said on carrying the Augusta State name for one last academic year. “I think it would

be great if the last time our teams got to wear the Augusta State jersey they take the national championship (in basketball). I guess I would just like to see us go out with the Augusta State name with a really big bang.” Both Bryant and Trigg said they are excited for the upcoming seasons, given that many of the athletic teams are coming off very successful 2011-12 campaigns. And while the institution will carry a different name, Bryant was quick to point out that one thing still remains. “We have been, we are and we will remain a Jaguar nation,” he said.

Stolen identity: New name brings about close to a successful era By JOHN-MICHAEL GARNER sports editor Sports, in many ways, helped put Augusta State on the map. When the men’s basketball team played for the NCAA Division II championship on CBS in 2008, a national audience was exposed to our school. That event created more awareness of the university than any other in its history, at least until Jennifer Keeton became fodder for talking heads on “The O’Reilly Factor.” If you lived around here in ‘08, you saw how many Augusta State license plates and “I Love ASU” car magnets started popping up following the Jaguars’ historic run. After languishing for years as a commuter university with little discernible school spirit, Augusta State now had a serious and fervent fan base. Suddenly, being a Jaguar was cool. Consecutive Division I national championships by the men’s golf team in 2010 and 2011 made being a Jaguar cooler still. Those titles also confirmed Augusta State’s standing as a legitimate brand in the college sports world. With a new name as the result of its merger with Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta State will soon be taking on a very different identity. For loyal Jaguar sports fans, the approval of the clunky “Georgia Regents University” title brings about an abrupt end to a brilliant era of Augusta State athletics. The point of this column is


Jaguar basketball fans cheer on the men’s team during a game against USC Aiken on Feb. 15. The athletic programs are entering their final season carrying the “Augusta State” moniker before becoming “Georgia Regents University” on July 1, 2013. not to castigate the new name for the university. That’s been done to death in the days following the announcement of the Georgia Regents handle. (But it really is a sucky name, isn’t it?) Rather, I want to speak for the current and former players and coaches of

the Jags’ athletic teams who are, as legendary men’s golfer Carter Newman put it, “heartbroken” over the loss of the Augusta State name. Sports are not the primary mission of a university nor should they be. But that does not

mean their importance in raising a school’s profile should be ignored or minimized. It would have been nice to have seen a name chosen that retained “Augusta” in the title to at least indirectly honor the contributions of the athletic teams that have made people proud to wear the blue and white. A new name, even one so radically different, does not erase the remarkable accomplishments of the Jags’ athletic programs over the last half decade. The hard-won trophies and banners will still be proudly displayed at Christenberry Fieldhouse. The record books will still acknowledge Augusta State’s championships. Most importantly, Jaguar fans will always have the memories of those glorious triumphs. But the uniforms will be different. The trademark “A” logo will be no more. The “A-S-U” chants at sporting events will have to be replaced. In many ways, Jaguar fans will feel like they will be having to adopt a new set of teams. It’s highly unusual, though not unprecedented, for a school that lays claim to an NCAA championship to undergo such a significant name change. Texas Western made history in 1966 when it became the first school to win a men’s basketball championship with an all-black starting lineup. It was such a paramount moment in collegiate sports history that it inspired a feature film, “Glory Road,” four decades later. Today, the former Texas Western is known as the University of Texas at El Paso (com-

monly referred to as “UTEP”). UTEP fans have doubtlessly had to educate many basketball fans unfamiliar with that school’s name change of the fact that the revered ‘66 Texas Western team is, in fact, a part of UTEP’s history. Maybe one day, some downon-his-luck director will make a boilerplate sports movie about a small, underdog school made up of scrappy overachievers shocking the college-golf world by defeating powerhouses Oklahoma State and Georgia for national championships in back-to-back seasons. Should that day come, it will be a real shame we’ll have to explain to people, “Yeah, that was us.”

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Volume 55, Issue I  

August 21, 2012

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