THURSDAY APRIL 17, 2014 VOLUME 120 ISSUE 117 Serving The University of Alabama since 1894
NEWS | COLD CASE
“not a day for a murder” Easter Sunday continues to mark the anniversary of Tuscaloosa County’s oldest unsolved murder By Lauren Ferguson and Andy McWhorter CW Staff
CW | Austin Bigoney
s Easter morning dawned on April 22, 1973, University of Alabama students were still asleep after a long night spent on Woods Quad listening to a concert by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Others had already driven home to celebrate with church services and foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies. But the holiday calm was abruptly interrupted for University of Alabama Police Department investigator Irvin Fields, who was informed by phone that a student named Paula Lee Ellis was missing. Paula Lee, originally from Miami, was wrapping up her freshman year at the University. She had pledged Pi Beta Phi sorority in the fall, was popular among her friends, her sorority sisters and football players, and enjoyed participating in campus activities. Her brother described her as a typical college girl: a good student, former majorette in high school and interested in majoring
in education. She had biked to Woods Quad the night before to attend the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band concert, but she never returned to the Martha Parham residence hall the next morning. Her body would be discovered a few hours later, seven miles away, in a roadside ditch in Northport, just as Easter Sunday services were coming to a close across the area. This year, Easter Sunday strikes a solemn chord for the Ellis family. It marks the 41st anniversary of Paula Lee’s death, and another year that Tuscaloosa County’s oldest unsolved murder case remains cold. The Ellis case is not the only murder of a University of Alabama student that remains unsolved. Ronald Perryman was shot in his home in 1976, and Chanda Fehler was found in the Black Warrior River in 1987, but some progress has been
made in their cases over the years. Paula Lee’s murder, on the other hand, is no closer to being solved than it was that morning in 1973. “It was a beautiful day,” Fields said. “Not a day for a murder.” After receiving the call, Fields and his partner at the time, James Junkin, met at their office and began what they thought would be a simple search. Initially, they believed Paula Lee had spent the night at a friend’s house. “We went to every friend’s apartment that we could find out that she knew and began looking for her,” Fields said. “Because a lot of times people go to others’ apartments, and you think they are missing, and somebody divulges where they’re at. That’s what we thought we were dealing with.”
INSIDE briefs 2 opinions 4 culture 15 sports 28 puzzles 27 classifieds 27
CW File Paula Lee Ellis
SEE INVESTIGATION PAGES 3, 5
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Thursday April 17, 2014
Scriptapalooza deadline April 21 The 16th Annual Scriptapalooza Screenplay Competition’s final deadline is Monday. Each script entered into the competition is reviewed by a producer, manager or agent. They may option the script, buy it, set up a meeting with the script’s writer and take it straight to the studio. All scripts entered in the competition have the opportunity to receive feedback. This will include a logline, synopsis and feedback on the script totaling four to five pages of notes. Scriptapalooza will also promote and pitch the semi finalists and higher winners up for a year. This year, the competition will award more than $50,000 in cash and software prizes. The first place winner will receive $10,000 cash, access to more than 150 producers through Scriptapalooza’s network and more. The second and third place winners will receive a Kindle Fire HD Tablet, in addition to other prizes. All of the seven genre winners will receive $500 cash. To enter the 16th Annual Scriptapalooza Screenplay Competition, go to scriptapalooza.com.
Compiled by Deanne Winslett
Poet author lectures on ableism The Crimson Access Alliance hosted a lecture Wednesday by Eli Claire, a poet author with cerebral palsy. Claire travels around the country to share his perspective on disabled citizens and the struggles they face in society. Claire’s lecture focused on ableism, the oppression of and discrimination against the disabled. Claire said he believes ableism is similar to the struggles some people face with racism, sexism, homophobia and religious discrimination. Claire had participants read off a list of common words that are used to stereotype the disabled community, such as “retard,” “feeble-minded” and “dangerous.” Claire spoke about the falseness of these claims. Claire said it is not the disability itself, but discrimination from ableism that causes a problem in disabled people’s lives. “For one week, I want you all to go around campus and count the number of times you hear the words ‘retard,’ ‘cripple,’ ‘spaz,’ ‘psycho’ and ‘crazy,’” Claire said. Claire and Kopelson both said they agreed that ableism is prominent on campus at The University of Alabama and colleges nationwide. “Do not assume someone does not have a disability just because it is not apparent, and do not assume that someone has a disability either,” Claire said. Compiled by Adam Dodson
P.O. Box 870170 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 Newsroom: 348-6144 | Fax: 348-8036 Advertising: 348-7845 Classifieds: 348-7355
CW | Austin Bigoney Junior Miriah Richey uses her laptop to work on homework and study for a finance final on the Quad Wednesday afternoon.
TODAY WHAT: ‘Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference WHEN: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. WHERE: Bryant Conference Center WHAT: SUPe Store Crimson vs. Crimson Sale WHEN: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. WHERE: Ferguson Center Plaza
WHAT: Lecture by ESPN Senior Vice President for College Sports Justin Connolly WHEN: 9-10 a.m. WHERE: 216 Reese Phifer Hall
WHAT: Bargains for Books Garage Sale WHEN: 6 a.m. – noon WHERE: Downtown Tuscaloosa YMCA WHAT: “Backyard Composting” with Druid City Garden Project WHEN: 9-11 a.m. WHERE: University Place Elementary School
WHAT: ESPRMC Brown Bag Lecture with Firat Soylu WHEN: 11 a.m. – noon WHERE: 102 Graves Hall WHAT: Cornhole Tournament WHEN: 2-4 p.m WHERE: Rec Center Outdoor Pool
WHAT: SUPe Store A-Day Hours WHEN: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. WHERE: Ferguson Center
WHAT: Baba Brinkman’s “Rap Guide to Evolution” WHEN: 7 p.m. WHERE: Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy
WHAT: BFA Juried Exhibition WHEN: Noon – 5 p.m. WHERE: Harrison Galleries
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The Crimson White is the community newspaper of The University of Alabama. The Crimson White is an editorially free newspaper produced by students.The University of Alabama cannot influence editorial decisions and editorial opinions are those of the editorial board and do not represent the official opinions of the University. Advertising offices of The Crimson White are in room 1014, Student Media Building, 414 Campus Drive East. The advertising mailing address is P.O. Box 870170, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. The Crimson White (USPS 138020) is published four times weekly when classes are in session during Fall and Spring Semester except for the Monday after Spring Break and the Monday after Thanksgiving, and once a week when school is in session for the summer. Marked calendar provided. The Crimson White is provided for free up to three issues. Any other papers are $1.00. The subscription rate for The Crimson White is $125 per year. Checks should be made payable to The University of Alabama and sent to: The Crimson White Subscription Department, P.O. Box 870170, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. The Crimson White is entered as periodical postage at Tuscaloosa, AL 35401. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Crimson White, P.O. Box 870170, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. All material contained herein, except advertising or where indicated otherwise, is Copyright © 2014 by The Crimson White and protected under the “Work Made for Hire” and “Periodical Publication” categories of the U.S. copyright laws. Material herein may not be reprinted without the expressed, written permission of The Crimson White.
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WHAT WE REQUESTED: List of applicants considered for vice chancellor of government relations, email correspondence between Judy Bonner and Robert Witt correlated to ‘vice chancellor for government relations’ and ‘Jo Bonner’ between April 1 and July 31, 2013. WHO REQUESTED IT: Lauren Ferguson FROM WHOM WE REQUESTED IT: Kellee Reinhart, vice chancellor for System Relations WHEN WE REQUESTED IT: Feb. 10, 2014 STATUS: March 5, 2014, response from Reinhart: “There are no public records that are responsive to your request. I can confirm that Congressman Bonner was interviewed on May 3, 2013.” WHAT WE REQUESTED: Documents pertaining to the murder investigation of Paula Lee Ellis, including the names of investigating officers; incident reports; police reports; correspondence regarding the investigation between UAPD and the Tuscaloosa Police Department, Northport Police Department, Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation; any correspondence regarding the conveyance of evidence and any photographs related to the investigation. WHO REQUESTED IT: Lauren Ferguson FROM WHOM WE REQUESTED IT: UA Media Relations on behalf of UAPD WHEN WE REQUESTED IT: March 18, 2014 STATUS: April 14, 2014 response from Deborah Lane: “UA has reviewed your March 18 request regarding the murder investigation of Paula Lee Ellis. We have no documents that are responsive to your request.”
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IN THENEWS App industry racing to keep up From MCT Campus Smartphone application developers say they are challenged by the glut of apps as well as the need to update their software to keep up with evolving phone technology, making creative pricing strategies essential to finding their niche. “The coding is always changing, but awareness is one of our biggest challenges because there are so many apps out there,” said Joel Holl, chief operating officer of Clifton, N.J.based app developer Pervasive Group Inc. Some developers said tight advertising budgets make it difficult to lure customers who are deluged with millions of downloadable options at marketplaces such as Google Play or the App Store. According to AppBrain, a website that tracks the number of apps available on Google Play store, there were more than 1 million apps available for download as of April 7. Apple Inc.’s chief executive officer, Tim Cook, said the company topped the 1 million level in 2013. Pervasive Group’s flagship app, MMGuardian, allows parents to monitor their children’s use of smartphones. Once Pervasive Group’s app is installed on a child’s phone, a parent is able to limit the time certain apps can be used, can monitor text messages for inappropriate language and is able to block calls. Holl said since MMGuardian’s launch in January 2013, the app had been listed in the “100,000 to 500,000 downloads” category of Google Play. To attract new customers, Holl said, MMGuardian had multiple payment options for parents to monitor their children’s smartphone use. Lyndhurst, N.J.-based app developer SpeechTrans is experimenting with a similar model. John Frei, the co-founder and CEO of SpeechTrans, said the company originally charged customers a one-time fee to download its apps, which are various speech-to-speech and speech-recognition apps that can translate into 44 languages. Frei said the suite of SpeechTrans apps has more than 1.1 million downloads on Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Frei said the company was shifting to a “freemium” model, where the application will be free to download, but after a predetermined amount of translations or days used, it will prompt the customer to buy a subscription to a premium application. “We are always watching how the market is trending,” Frei said. “Being the size we are, we can be nimble and make quick decisions.”
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Tuscaloosa County Homicide Unit formed to coordinate investigations INVESTIGATION FROM PAGE 1
At 9 a.m., Fields received a radio call from the Northport Police Department that Paula Lee’s purse and its scattered contents had been located on a bridge on Flatwoods Road in Northport, three quarters of a mile from the intersection of Flatwoods Road and Highway 43, where the road crosses a small creek. When Fields arrived at the scene, they had secured the area, but Paula Lee had not been found. “I told my partner there, I said, ‘I think I’m just going to go up the road there and scan the side of the road and see if there is anything else that might have been thrown out,’” Fields said. “I went up the road towards Hick’s Barbeque, about 100 yards, and found her body in the ditch on the north side of the road.” Fields said when he first found Paula Lee’s body, it appeared she had been thrown to the side of the road and had skidded into tall grass. She was partially nude, with just a knit top on and the rest of her clothing thrown out beside her. “Apparently, [the killer] had thrown her out, and they had gone down and discovered – I’m speculating now – they had gone on and discovered that the purse was still in the car, and they just threw that out on the bridge,” Fields said. In the months after Paula Lee’s murder, various local and state law enforcement agencies worked on the case independently, including the University of Alabama Police Department, the Northport Police Department, the Tuscaloosa Police Department and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. During that time, little progress was made in finding a suspect. In November of 1973, a new division called the Tuscaloosa County Homicide Unit was formed in the aftermath of Ellis’ murder to have exclusive jurisdiction on all investigations of violent crimes against a person. According to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office website, there were originally four investigators on the unit, two from the Sheriff’s Office and two from the Tuscaloosa Police Department. Today, there are 12 investigators assigned to the Homicide Unit, pulled from local law enforcement agencies. “When Paula Ellis was murdered, there was no Homicide Unit,” said Sgt. Dale Phillips, commander of the Tuscaloosa County Homicide Unit. “Each department did it themselves. The purpose for having this unit was to eliminate lack of communication.” Communication between investigating officers is critical to solving a case, particularly when there are no clear initial suspects. Fields said in a case like this, the evidence found at the scene determines how quickly the crime will be solved. “You have something like this, that there is no subject [at the scene],” Fields said. “You’re going to have to start checking out every person that that person ever came in contact with. And you start developing a timeline of what that person did during that whole series of events.” Fields said after following many leads and interviewing Paula Lee’s friends, they were able to establish a timeline of events for the night of her disappearance. “The best information we could gather was that she had run around campus quite a bit, saw some friends, and she came back to the dorm. Then she decided to go over
to [Woods] Quad where the music was playing,” he said. “That’s when the trail ends.” According to an April 23, 1973, Crimson White article, friends of Paula Lee said she was last seen in her dorm at midnight before leaving for the rock concert at Woods Quad. Other reports vary, saying she was last seen anytime between midnight and 2 a.m. The next time someone saw her, she was lying in a ditch in Northport. Fields said Paula Lee’s body was taken to Strickland Hayes Funeral Home in Tuscaloosa, where an autopsy was performed by a medical examiner. Fields said the method used to kill her appeared to be a belt, and there were no signs of sexual assault. Several suspects were investigated by law enforcement agencies over the next year, but none were ever officially charged. Wayne Murphy, a retired investigator with the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, said he believes the killer is Charles Michael Brewer, a suspected serial murderer currently serving time for the 1980 murder of Lynn Holland, a 20-year-old Alberta City resident. Holland, who had multiple surgeries and wore leg braces to help her walk, was found strangled and beaten on the bank of the Sipsey River. Murphy was not part of the original investigation into the Ellis case in 1973, but he began working with the Homicide Unit three years later. He said Holland’s body was found in a similar condition to Paula Lee’s, also without any sign of sexual assault. “I think everyone down there was in agreement on that, and I don’t know what their feelings are today, but we were in pretty much unanimous agreement,” Murphy said. Fields, who worked directly on the Ellis case, said there was never a primary suspect. “We never really got close to anyone that we could say was a real good suspect,” he said. Leads were tracked all over the country, from Panama City, Fla., to Santa Fe, N.M., but after more than a decade without any new developments, the Ellis case went cold.
open with a credit card, but it was unlocked. “All of a sudden I’m just hit with this really, really foul odor,” Greenwood said. “You know, I had been in the military, so I kind of knew what that smelled like.” Greenwood said he asked the neighbor with him to go call the police and walked just inside the apartment before encountering Perryman’s body. He said Perryman was lying back on the bed, shot, and appeared to have been that way for several days. “Apparently whoever killed him, they never figured it out. Some people say it was one person, some people say it was two, or more than one person, because they had written all over the walls in his blood,” he said. “That room was a mess; it was something I never want to see again.” The Crimson White made multiple attempts to track down Perryman’s sister for comment, who has tried for years to get answers about her brother’s murder, but was unable to locate her by the time of print. Despite the efforts of Perryman’s family, his murder case remains a cold file along with Ellis’ at the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. Eleven years later, on June 10, 1987, Chanda Fehler, a first-year graduate student, went missing from a now nonexistent pool complex located on the north end of campus, not far from the former Rose Towers. Fehler’s body was later found in the Black Warrior River. In years past, the Homicide Unit and other law enforcement agencies were unable to devote members of their teams solely to cold case files. It wasn’t until 2012 that the Homicide Unit was granted two investigators, one from the Tuscaloosa Police Department and one from the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, to work on those cases. “Early 2012, they provided extra personnel and equipment so we could start doing that,” Phillips said. “We had great success starting out, and we have since run into a manpower shortage that all the law enforcement have around here, because people were retiring, moving on or quitting. Our cold case unit got dissolved for a while, but it’s now back up and running.” Phillips said while there were no investigators solely dedicated to unsolved murders before 2012, the unit continued to sift through cases. “I want to stress something, having those two people here, that doesn’t really affect cold cases,” he said. “We’ve been looking at [those cases] without them. It’s just now we can apply a little more time to them.” The Ellis, Perryman and Fehler cases are each currently at three different levels of investigation activity, Phillips said. “Ronald Perryman is a very active one right now,” he said. “Very active. Chanda Feller is one that is active, but I can tell you we had something going. But then Paula Ellis, that was . So you’re looking at 40 years since that happened. We look at it, and we try, and something may break tomorrow that leads us right into it.”
We never really got close to anyone that we could say was a real good suspect. — Irvin Fields
Unsolved but not alone While the Ellis file remains the coldest case, other murders of UA students also stand unsolved after decades. Ronald Perryman was a UA student who had previously transferred from the University of North Alabama, where he had served as the school’s lion mascot, Leo. On June 5, 1976, he was found shot to death in his home in Duncan House Apartments on Reed Street, just north of the Strip. According to a Crimson White article published June 10, 1976, Perryman, who had been shot once in the head and once in the upper chest, had been dead for several days before being found by a neighbor. The article stated slugs from a .38 caliber weapon were found on the premises, but no weapon was ever uncovered. Dennis Greenwood, a junior majoring in journalism at the time who also lived on Reed Street, had been away for several weeks for an internship in Montgomery. When he finally arrived home, he said a close neighbor told him she hadn’t seen Perryman for several days. Greenwood said he walked over to the house, ready to pry the door
CW | Austin Bigoney The last time Paula Lee Ellis was seen, she was heading on her bike to a campus-sponsored concert at Woods Quad. Paula Lee’s bike was found the next morning when law enforcement officials went looking for her.
SEE INVESTIGATION PAGE 5
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
COLUMN | SENIOR FAREWELL
How dissecting a cat spurred me to question everything I didn’t know By Abbey Crain | Culture Editor
we want to better this campus, we need to have some people fighting for inclusivity and equality. Students and faculty should be able to feel comfortable talking about these issues and, most importantly, actually taking action based on what is said. Simple “dialogue” is not enough – just ask Melanie Gotz about that. The new generation of students, especially with the influx of out-of-state freshmen, is having an effect in the right direction. The university I’m graduating from next month is not the same one I entered in August 2010. Besides the physical differences – increase in population and geographic alterations – our student body is beginning to address issues head-on that have been around for decades. We can’t afford to close the lid on hope. It is our saving grace as we proceed into the future, and its manifestation is the ever-evolving mindset of the University’s new best and brightest. It would be easy to give up – I almost did. But with hope and a little courage, I know further change is feasible. I’ve seen it myself as it affected this campus last fall, and I’ve seen it within myself since I sat in my first lecture hall in August four years ago.
I know you have to buy your boyfriend jeans three sizes too big to get the Kate Moss “can you see the waistband of my Calvin Klein panties as my jeans are slung low on my hips?” look. I know that Zara is the best Abbey Crain place to buy designer knock-offs while retaining some sense of dignity by not spending your rent money. I know that strappy black-heeled sandals can make the most unflattering of cankles disappear. I know when you tie a plain T-shirt to your waist, you can strategically hide any rolls deemed unsightly in a curve-hugging skirt. I know fashion, and it doesn’t matter. What matters is what I don’t know. I came to The University of Alabama four years ago knowing I had things figured out. I was going to be a nurse, and I would probably move back to Huntsville, to be close to my family. I did not look outside my inner circle of friends and did not see myself getting noticed or making a difference in a sea of 35,000 others. I knew I wanted to skate by quickly, quietly – no small talk – to get my diploma and go home. I did not know dissecting a house cat in anatomy would result in the end of my nursing career and become the first time I questioned who I wanted to be. Unnoticed, unquestioning and quiet or inquisitive, open to the unknown and loud. It turns out journalists have to be loud. I did not know how much I would come to love this University. The people, the spirit, the traditions. I was smitten. But as most defining relationships go, the more intimate you become, the more problems previously lying dormant come to light. The spirit of our school is something to be admired. We are proud, and, for the most part, we stand together – be it after the April 27, 2011, tornado, hands held tight rallying around our community, or in Bryant-Denny, supporting a man, whose smile remains 6-feetunder, and his 11 mighty henchmen. We support what we know. But the University does not know it all. We do not know how to question the traditions we have come to nestle quietly within. We do not know how to be loud unless we’re screaming an opposing team into submission on a third down or catcalling runners in bra tops. I think it’s important to analyze what I don’t know, what I’m unsure of and what I don’t believe. It’s usually those conversations that bring the most insight to my life and, subsequently, the most self-discovery. I know I want to be loud. And not the engine-revving, attention-seeking loud. The important, answer-seeking loud. I know what I believe and who I want to be because of my experience of not knowing at The University of Alabama. I hope that every student here will leave knowing what they believe because they questioned what they didn’t. And when you do know, when you start questioning and stop ignoring, rally behind the quiet and stand up to the loud. Tradition comes from a long line of not asking questions. And if tradition is all you know, then you really don’t know anything. If I’ve learned anything in my four years at The University of Alabama, it is that sometimes all you need is one voice to crumble 50 years of an overlooked tradition. Someone had to break the rules to make a change. Thanks for being loud, Melanie Gotz. I am forever inspired because of what you didn’t know.
Matt Ford was the magazine editor of The Crimson White.
Abbey Crain was the culture editor of The Crimson White.
COLUMN | SENIOR FAREWELL
Be selfish during your time in college By Anna Waters | Visuals Editor I’m probably the only person who will tell you this, but I think you deserve to hear it at least once. My best advice for navigating college is simple: Be selfish. After overcoming the societal, familial and financial struggles that accompanied growing up in a poor, rural South Alabama town, I can say without a doubt that the driving force behind my academic success was my own will to power. Not to belittle the support of my family, but the journey from high school graduation to college graduation has been a constant battle for the education many students take for granted. Too often I’ve doubted my ability to even survive it at all. In roughly two weeks, I will become the first person in my family to graduate from a four-year school. This is not a product of luck or the divine. I did that, often to the detriment of my health and for no other reason than simply because I wanted to. And if my education had suddenly stopped fulfilling me to the extent it has for the past four years, I would not have continued to sacrifice so much in its pursuit. Loyalty to your vocation is tricky, but I think it’s necessary to recognize that in the event that you find yourself at the mercy of
Anna Waters its demands, it does not define your identity. The nature of a career, in my experience, has been cyclic. What you may gladly give yourself to completely on one day might not similarly satisfy you on another. Ultimately, when your vocation ceases to feed your soul, it’s time to find something else. Sometimes you end up coming back to it, and sometimes you discover something even better that you would have never experienced had you let your previous interests decide your future. Teach yourself what you want and develop the courage to act upon your own will. The pressures to conform to the worldviews of others are irrelevant as
you grow comfortable with your aims and desires. I’m probably not supposed to be here. By small-town standards, I’m supposed to be married, pregnant, living near my parents and, above all, silent about what I want and believe as an individual. But I’m selfish and always have been. At 16, I remember waking up one morning and deciding that I wanted to create a newspaper for my high school. Because we had such a small staff, I did most of the writing, photography and design on my own. I didn’t get a ton of support for the endeavor. Administrators and students mostly viewed it as a waste of time. But I was selfish, I wanted it, and I was willing to do the work necessary to run it. As a college student, ask yourself if you’re living according to your own standards or if you’ve sold your free will in exchange for social acceptance. Then, I want you to consider putting yourself first. If necessary, be the bad guy. If necessary, change your mind. Do what you love for the love of doing it, and fight for what you believe is worthy of fighting for. In the end, it’s you who has to live with the decisions you’ve made. Anna Waters was the visuals editor of The Crimson White.
COLUMN | SENIOR FAREWELL
Don’t close the lid on hope By Matt Ford | Magazine Editor One of my favorite legends in Greek mythology is its explanation of the origin of humanity’s evils. Pandora, an exceptionally beautiful and talented woman, crafted on Olympus and placed on Earth, was given two things by the gods: a box she is told she must never open and an unquenchable curiosity. Of course, she eventually opened the box and all the vile aspects of life inside – avarice, deceit, murder, etc. – were unleashed upon mankind. In horror, Pandora slammed the lid of the box shut, trapping only one element that was waiting at the bottom: hope. I see a great deal of our campus in this myth. When I first accepted the offer to write a senior column and sat down to do so, I was going to write a letter to students considering attending The University of Alabama. I was planning to write a letter imploring them not to come here and to choose another college instead. The reasons would be easy enough for anyone looking with an objective, outsider’s view of our campus and its culture to see; I say that as someone born and raised in Tuscaloosa. We finally celebrated a racially integrated Greek system – in 2013. Our university is in the national media practically every semester for some new scandal, after which University Relations
Matt Ford scrambles to make everything appear pastoral and rosy again before the cycle repeats. And our SGA fails to represent the whole of the student body, instead mostly serving white Greeks. It seems that these all represent an outdated, old-school manner of thinking that too much of our culture buys into. Our administration, the leaders of this campus who we trust to represent every student equally, happily caters to it. And I catered to it for more than half of my college career. So yes, it’s easy to tell a hopeful, freshout-of-high-school kid to go somewhere else and skip having to deal with all that. But of the many important things I’ve learned during my time here, it’s that if
EDITORIAL BOARD Mazie Bryant editor-in-chief Lauren Ferguson managing editor Katherine Owen production editor
Anna Waters visuals editor Christopher Edmunds chief copy editor John Brinkerhoff opinion editor
WE WELCOME YOUR OPINIONS Letters to the editor must contain fewer than 300 words and guest columns less than 800. Send submissions to letters@ cw.ua.edu. Submissions must include the author’s name, year, major and daytime phone number. Phone numbers are for verification and will not be published. Students should also include their year in school and major. The Crimson White reserves the right to edit all guest columns and letters to the editor.
I know what I believe and who I want to be because of my experience of not knowing at The University of Alabama.
Last Week’s Poll: Do you agree with SGA Election Board’s decision to give VP for Student Affairs Stephen Keller 75 hours of community service after he was found guilty of violating election rules?
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Four decades later, no progress made INVESTIGATION FROM PAGE 3
What went wrong From the very beginning, the investigations into Perryman and Fehler’s murders were run by the Homicide Unit, but the unit did not exist in April 1973. Murphy said there was initially a lack of cooperation between the agencies investigating the Ellis case. “The university police was working it, the Tuscaloosa police was working it, and the state was working it,” Murphy said. “The Alabama State Troopers was working it, and the Sheriff’s Office was working it, and everyone was wanting to take credit for solving it. And as a result, a lot of evidence was lost. No one wanted to tell the other agency.” When the Homicide Unit formed in the aftermath of Paula Lee’s murder, Murphy said the Sheriff’s Office never received any evidence from the other agencies investigating the case.
“To my knowledge, we never received any records from anyone else and continued to lead the unit in that particular case, but as far as ever getting anything from another agency, I don’t know of any evidence that was recovered,” Murphy said. Paula Lee’s clothing, in particular, has an uncertain history. Fields said he believes Paula Lee’s pants would probably be the best candidate for modern DNA testing, but Murphy said he never found out what had happened to the clothes. “No one ever brought forth the evidence,” Murphy said. “One of the things was her clothing. It was never recovered. Well, it was recovered by an agency, but we don’t know if it went to the funeral home or if it went to another agency. We just don’t know.” Dr. Chuck Ellis, the brother of Paula Lee Ellis and currently a dentist in Birmingham, said he has tried to track down the evidence gathered during the investigation of his sister’s murder. Every time he has approached a law enforcement official
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asking about the evidence in his sister’s case, he has been directed elsewhere, he said. “I contacted Ted Sexton, the former sheriff, because I thought he was a make-it-happen kind of guy,” he said. Sexton referred Chuck to Loyd Baker, head of the Homicide Unit at the time. Chuck said Baker was sympathetic but did not provide him with any answers. “I would think the person in charge of the Homicide Unit for Tuscaloosa County could make things happen,” he said. “Where’s the evidence? You don’t know? Well, find out. Where did it go? What’s the paper trail for that evidence? I don’t know whether he did that or not, but all he gave me were empty answers.” The Crimson White attempted to trace the path of evidence in Paula Lee’s murder, but law enforcement agencies declined to provide any files on the case. Tuscaloosa Police Department, Northport Police Department, University of Alabama Police Department and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation all said they did not have any evidence having to do with the case and that it would have been turned over to the Homicide Unit. Robert Spence, an attorney representing the Sheriff’s Office, responded to The Crimson White’s public records request for documents pertaining to the Ellis investigation, including names of investigating officers, police reports and correspondence between the
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and the other participating law enforcement agencies in a letter: “The records you are seeking are not public records, and are specifically protected from discovery, except by court order. Please see § 12-21-3.1(b) of the Code of Alabama (1975). Sgt. Phillips may be able to answer some of the questions you have, but will not be able to provide the documents you have requested.” That section of the Code of Alabama states, “Law enforcement investigative reports and related investigative material are not public records. Law enforcement investigative reports, records, field notes, witness statements, and other investigative writings or recordings are privileged communications protected from disclosure.” Chuck said the lack of information coming from multiple law enforcement agencies about his sister’s murder has left him uncertain about the future of the investigation.
A case without closure Even if all the evidence in the Ellis case could be accounted for, the sheer age of the murder makes solving it a difficult prospect. Over the years, witnesses, suspects and others who may have had some connection to the case have died, moved or simply lost contact with investigators. “There’s a good possibility right now that the person that did this, though, is dead now,” Fields said. “The line at
my door is getting short now. I hope one day it will be solved. And there’s always that possibility out there.” The possibility that evidence has gone missing or been destroyed over the years also limits the likelihood that the Ellis case might be solved. “Like I said, there was no physical evidence,” Murphy said. “Her clothing was gone. Everything, as far as major evidence we would concentrate on, then and now, was gone.” Crime solving methods have also changed drastically in the past 40 years, and techniques that would have been the best practices in the early 1970s might be insufficient by today’s standards. If evidence was mishandled during the initial investigation, it could make DNA testing impossible. “We do things state-of-theart right now, but 40 years from now, they’re going to think we’re a bunch of idiots,” Phillips said. “The requirements today are different. When I say requirements, when you go into court now, it’s harder. And the reason it’s harder is because we do have these matter of fact, evidentiary tests.” Phillips said he has reviewed the evidence in Ellis’ case and does not think there is anything else they can do with what they have at the moment. “What we have here – what I have seen we have reviewed, and it’s nothing we feel we could benefit from by doing any [DNA] testing,” Phillips said.
April 17th and 18th 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Ferguson Center Plaza Clearance items will be marked down further during this two day event.
A call for answers For four decades, Chuck has been trying to get answers from law enforcement officials. He is met with sympathy more often than not, but rarely with answers. “There was a killer that was never caught,” he said. “Well, what happened to that guy? In the years that followed, there were other, similar homicides that were in the Tuscaloosa area that remained unsolved.” Because Tuscaloosa is a target-rich environment of young, female students, Chuck said, university, city and county officials should be more concerned that these unsolved murders have not been closed. Additionally, he continues to be disconcerted that no one can provide answers to where evidence is located or if this case can ever be solved. “Nobody has followed through like I think they should have followed through,” he said, “and gotten the answers I think they should have gotten that we all deserve.” For Chuck, closure for his sister’s murder is long past due and needs to become a priority among officials, especially considering the University’s dense population of young adults that could potentially be in danger. “My challenge to Dr. Witt, to President Bonner, to Mayor Maddox, to District Attorney Lyn Head is to get the answers,” Chuck said.
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
COLUMN | SENIOR FAREWELL
How not to be scared of even Nick Saban By Marc Torrence | Former Sports Editor I learned quickly not to be scared or intimidated. As a wide-eyed sophomore, I sat near the back of the Naylor Stone Media Suite at a Nick Saban press conference and grabbed the microphone, hands trembling. I had been assigned to ask a question for a story another Crimson White reporter was doing about conference expansion affecting the annual Tennessee game. Saban gave me a fairly cordial answer, but then a switch flipped. “I could give a s**t about all that,” he said, throwing his hands up. “You all create so many problems.” Here was Saban, one of the most powerful men in all of sports, lashing out on a tirade about media distractions, and I was the one feeling the brunt of it. But when Nick Saban is yelling at you, there’s really nothing you can do about it. There is no reason to be scared. He will not
shoot lasers out of his eyes or release you and your chair into a pit of doom. In that moment, he is just a 5-foot6-inch man behind a podium (and 5-foot-6-inch may be generous). Just smile and Marc Torrence nod – it makes the whole thing seem so ridiculous. It was one of the first of many lessons I learned in nearly three years covering Alabama, and it’s stuck with me since. The Crimson White was my first way to break onto the football beat. It was a privilege to work with Marq Burnett last year and Charlie Potter this year, which was unfortunately cut a few months short when a “real job” came calling. We had the hardest working writers an editor could ask for. And Mark
Mayfield is the best faculty advisor in the country. I found a trusted mentor and friend in Aaron Suttles, who taught a writing lab and taught me to think critically about the nuances of writing and reporting. All of the beat writers, present and past that I saw nearly every day never hesitated to lend a helping hand to a humble student reporter. I’m so grateful for guys like Izzy Gould, Chris Walsh, Andrew Gribble, John Zenor, Lars Anderson, Michael Casagrande, Matt Scalici, D.C. Reeves and many more offered advice, solicited or not. Watching them do their job every day taught me more than I’d ever learn in a classroom. My time on the beat took me to Baton Rouge, where a stadium full of LSU fans singing “Calling Baton Rouge” sent chills down my spine; Atlanta, for an SEC Championship game so good I thought it couldn’t be topped; Miami, where we broke the biggest pre-game story of the BCS Championship, and I watched a modern day dynasty emerge; and Auburn
where, as painful as it was for Alabama fans to stomach, I witnessed the greatest ending ever to a college football game. The Alabama media relations staff always treated me like a professional, even when I was just a sophomore getting dressed down by Saban. I always appreciated that. We had our differences at times, but if we hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been doing my job right. I am graduating, but I am not leaving. I’ll still be in Tuscaloosa covering the team for BamaOnline.com, but it won’t be quite the same without the late nights in the newsroom. I never really have considered myself an Alabama fan, coming from out-of-state and jumping right into the objective journalism mindset. But I’ll never forget where I spent the best four years of my life and learned not to be scared of anyone or anything. Yes, even Nick Saban. Marc Torrence was the sports editor of The Crimson White.
COLUMN | SENIOR FAREWELL
Finding a home in unexpected places By Lauren Robertson | Assistant Community Manager Having grown up only two hours away from Tuscaloosa in Montgomery, I was no stranger to the odd ways of SEC college girls. The way they talk, act and dress was completely normal to me. Despite my parents’ being avid Auburn fans [insert disgust here], I knew I would fit in at Alabama. The “uniform” of Norts and a huge T-shirt had already trickled down to parts of my high school as early as 2009, and I was a huge fan. Both my parents had been Greek in college, so naturally I would participate in rush, join a sorority and fit in perfectly with the image I was already creating for myself. Let’s fast-forward to senior year of high school. I attended several sorority teas in Montgomery, fell in love with various houses during preview weekend and was accumulating my necessary recommendations. The dresses were bought and the plans were made. Until my parents threw a rock in said plans by telling me I would have to pay all of the sorority fees by myself. Since I didn’t own a small fortune, my
dreams of being the perfect, stereotypical girl at the University were over, and I wasn’t sure how I could possibly find a niche at this huge all-Greek (in my mind) university. Yeah, it was hard. It felt like all my friends were Greek and meeting all these great new people and I wasn’t. They were all going to awesome parties and bars every night and I wasn’t. They all had drawers and drawers of new Comfort Colors T-shirts and the only shirts in my drawers were Anvil (ugh). But what I came to realize in these past four years is that this university has so much more to offer than Greek life. Because of my circumstances, I was able to discover so much more meaning for my time at the University. Not to say that Greek life is meaningless; it’s not. Some of the most influential people I have met here are Greek. But I was able to do so much without being defined by a few letters of some weird alphabet. I’ve seen a tornado destroy the place I called home. But I’ve also seen students doing anything and everything they can to restore this home. I’ve seen the downfall of pledgeship and the continued segregation of
the Greek system. But I’ve also seen, finally, the integration of it. I’ve seen two national championships, and only a few losses, and will always love the Alabama Crimson Tide, and my parents can deal with it while they’re on the Gus Bus. I’ve had the opportunity of a leadership position within the Honors College Assembly and worked with student leaders who have passion and a vision for this campus. While I planned parties and endlessly pomped, you all were creating sustained change to reach every corner of this university. To all of you amazing people, thanks for making HCA what it is. Stay classy casual, y’all. As a Young Life College leader, I’ve been able to mentor younger girls from all backgrounds across this campus. They’ve taught me what it’s like to be young again. Girls, thanks for accepting all of my quirkiness. To all the new and returning Honors College Ambassadors, don’t be offended when a University Steward mistakes you for a prospective student. If you’re short like me, it happens a lot but can be avoided by actually wearing your name tag. Being a part of The Crimson White this
past year has helped me realize that even though we’re young, and a lot of people don’t take us seriously, they should. So much amazing change has happened in the past few years, and Lauren Robertson it’s all been done by students. Thank you, Mazie and Mackenzie, for hiring me to join this crazy, amazing CW family. To Lowder, thanks for always co-conspiring to use hashtags that Mackenzie would never let us get away with. And thanks to everyone who has accepted me as I am and helped me grow into the somewhat mature adult I am now. Keep rolling that tide. Lauren Robertson is the assistant community manager of The Crimson White.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
COLUMN | SENIOR FAREWELL
COLUMN | SENIOR FAREWELL
Hating the hand that fed me By Chandler Wright | Assistant News Editor The first Machine senate meeting I was required to attend, after I was elected as an SGA senator by the gracious Machine Greek members in the College of Communication and Information Sciences, was held in the basement of the old Phi Delta Theta house outside the stadium. The then-executive vice president told us pretty casually about how we were expected to vote in our first senate meeting, and I thought to myself, “Is this it? Seems pretty docile for the infamous Machine.” Then the smoke and mirrors began – I was asked to get on my knees against the back wall in the basement. The Theta Nu Epsilon president and two other officers walked into the basement with black-hooded robes hiding their faces. They screamed at us, the new Machine-sponsored SGA senators. They talked about the importance of loyalty. They insisted that they could just as easily take us out of the world they’ve put us in: loyalty. I walked out of that basement and drove to the Ferguson Center where I met with Ryan Flamerich, Ian Sams and Tray Smith, all members of the non-Machine “progressives” in SGA, about what had just happened. That week, Ryan was elected as the first non-Machine leader the SGA has seen in years. Because of this act of disloyalty, I learned over the next year that The University of Alabama is pretty damn good at developing impassioned leaders, sometimes in spite of itself. For the next year, various groups of us met, sometimes daily, to talk and strategize about how to work around the Machine in order to influence positive change in SGA and campus and correct the transgressions I watched in the basement of the Phi Delta Theta house. I wasn’t always disloyal, though. During my senate campaign, my peers and friends in the Blount Undergraduate Initiative were never shy about their perspective on the
Chandler Wright problematic organization I was getting involved with. Upperclassmen and professors alike constantly challenged freshman-me to think more critically about what I was precisely doing. By the time elections came around, I was passing out my own fliers, but I was not quite convinced I was doing the right thing. So, I was disloyal. The SGA functions much like any other governmental body, two contrasting bodies always pushing against one another in an attempt to create their respective visions of what is best for campus. What makes ours different, however, is the polarity that comes with the specific disenfranchisement of 25,000-some-odd students who don’t have an opportunity to participate in the political benefits of being Machineendorsed. My time in the Student Government Association, although sometimes tumultuous, taught me about the value of friendships founded in a mission to create a better university. Working with some notion that this ominous body was against us gave us a chip on our shoulders, further motivating us to show the reality of what was happening behind closed doors, what people didn’t want to talk about. I recall so vividly standing in the computer lab in Tuomey Hall, a year later, on speakerphone with the newsroom at the CW, choking back tears of
Celebrating my time in college
disappointment of losing SGA elections even though we all knew it would happen when we ran against the Machine. The following fall, I walked into that same office of The Crimson White, a bit bleary-eyed and feeling marginalized, but eager to find a new niche on campus. Now, with a year and a half of perspective at The Crimson White, I kick myself for not getting involved sooner. Among many other things, I learned how to channel the frustration I was feeling about campus into effective and impactful storytelling. The most disconcerting lesson I learned at the CW, though, was acknowledging the domino effect, which started with the Machine, that led me to my place in the newsroom, and to realizing that the passion and conviction that came with telling challenging stories was cultivated from those mandatory weekly meetings (else pay a $50 mandatory fine to the Machine), being told what to do, having to get on my knees. I very easily could’ve just been happy as a clam to be a Blountee through and through until graduation, never expanding my friend group. Instead I watched the disenfranchisement of my peers in that basement and, more importantly, those outside of it and was motivated enough to attempt to work against it. In the weirdest and most roundabout way, I owe everything to Theta Nu Epsilon, to the Machine. I owe everything to the sorority I never felt at home in. I owe everything to those anonymous voters who listened to their Machine representatives when they said, “You must vote for Chandler.” So, in the end, I hate the hand that fed me. I hate that one of the things cultivating the most passionate leaders on campus is also that which inherently disenfranchises most of it. In its corruption, the Machine taught me to be ever-critical of my peers and leaders, a hard but necessary lesson. I just wish the cost wasn’t so high.
By Regan Williams | College Republican Chair This has been an amazing four years here at the Capstone. The University of Alabama has given me so many opportunities to grow and change; however, it was difficult to start. College Republicans on campus gave me the jumpstart to my involvement. Regan Williams I found this group to be incredibly helpful for me. The contacts I made in this group were so very special to me, both professionally and as friends. I also learned so much about myself, and though at times there were struggles, I feel like I learned a lot from my time in the College Republicans. Every opportunity to meet candidates and young people who cared will forever be a part of my memory. This campus’s College Republicans really have done such an amazing job since I left, and to the leadership who took over, I say bravo. You all did such a good job of keeping such a unique and important group together. I know first hand that it is a hard thankless job. After serving as the chair of College Republicans, I found new opportunities for involvement. The SGA was another great way to keep me busy, and I want to thank everyone in the organization for motivating me. Besides involvement, I want to thank all the professors who got my fellow classmates and me through the last four years. You all have been such an inspiration to me, and without you all I would not have grown nearly as much as an individual. I would like to specifically thank the communication studies department, its faculty and its students. It has been a rock in these shaky seas that have been college. I have learned so much from the challenges in these classes from fellow classmates and from the teachers. These have been truly special relationships. To underclassmen and future freshmen, I say good luck and cherish every moment because it only lasts so long. Take advantage of every moment and every opportunity because they all mean so much. You would be surprised how much you wish you did in your four years here. It seems like just yesterday I was a young freshman walking around campus without a clue. The years have been great, and I will miss them so much.
Chandler Wright was the assistant news editor of The Crimson White.
Regan Williams was the chair of the University of Alabama chapter of College Republicans.
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Law student remembered for kindness, selﬂessness By Mark Hammontree | News Editor When Dominic DeSimone was not in class at the University of Alabama Law School, he could be found working out at the Rec or perhaps helping a friend fix up a failing car. Dominic’s friends and family, who were more likely to call him “Dom,” will always remember his smile and unfailing willingness to lend a hand when someone needed help with an assignment or just a little morale boost. “I cannot even put into words to describe how amazing and brilliant of a person Dominic was,” Stephanie Ciuzio, a senior at the University and a friend of Dominic’s, said. Hector Dominic DeSimone passed away Friday night in an accident at the age of 23. Dominic graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2011 and was finishing up his second year of law school at The University of Alabama. “He was the kind of student that – in the classroom, obviously, he was a very bright, engaging young man, but I think that the thing that his classmates noticed and I noticed was that he was the guy you could always count on,” Mary Ksobiech, assistant dean of students for the law school, said. Casey Minnes worked with Dominic at the law school’s journal, and the two also studied abroad together last summer in Europe. “No matter whether you were having your best day or your worst, you could always count on Dominic to be there when you needed anything,” Minnes said. “That is one thing about him that I know none of our friends will be able to ever forget.” Dominic’s friends say his kindness was matched by an equally infectious sense of humor. Ethan Picone, a second-year law student, said he
Submitted Dominic DeSimone became friends with Dominic after a mock trial during freshman year in which Dominic played the role of the main defendant, a low-IQ redneck. “We were pretty nervous on how he, as our main defendant, would act during the trial, but he absolutely nailed it,” Picone said. “If there were Oscars for Mock Trial, Dominic would have won. He showed up in the most ridiculous and completely nonmatching hunting cap, camo vest, boots, and I think jorts, and then went up on the stand and made everyone laugh for the entire time he was up there.” Picone said it was Dominic’s inviting sense of
humor he’ll remember most about his friend. “No matter what he told me, it was funny, and it always felt like just between him and me,” Picone said. “I’ll miss him for the rest of my life.” Dominic was also an avid fitness junkie who often made his friends accompany him to the gym, where he acted as their unofficial personal trainer. “I frequently worked out with him at the gym, and while he obviously spent a lot of time there, I definitely never really had,” Thomas Carter, a friend of Dominic’s, said. “Rather than being condescending, however, he always sought to help me get a good workout.” While Dominic felt at home at a gym full of weights and equipment, he was not a stranger to tools, engines or faulty machinery. “Dominic was always very mechanically inclined and sort of became the law school mechanic,” close friend and classmate Joe Heilman said. “We are all poor college kids, so when we had questions, we would always go to him. This year alone I think he worked on five different law students’ cars and wouldn’t let them give him any more money than what it cost to replace the part.” Heilman said Dominic’s selflessness far surpassed that of most people. “He was one of the most hospitable people that I had ever met,” Heilman said. “I don’t have Internet or cable at my apartment, and when he found that out, he handed me the extra key to his apartment, no questions asked, and just said, ‘Come over whenever.’” “He was exactly the kind of friend that everyone wants to have and that everyone tries to be,” Jonathan Mayhall, another friend, said. When Katie McGuire heard the news of his death, she reached out to another of Dominic’s friends, Seve Gunter and the interim dean of
the law school, William Brewbaker, to organize a journal in the lobby of the law school for students and faculty to share their memories of Dominic. “Even those of us who weren’t really close to him have been touched by his kindness,” McGuire said. “I thought that having some sort of way to show the family just how large of an impact Dom had would be something special for the family.” “I want people to know that Dominic was a talented, amazing person and had a wonderfully bright future,” Gunter said. “Beyond what was going to be his own personal success, the world lost a man of integrity and someone who cared about everyone he met.” Dominic’s parents and siblings have asked that, in lieu of flowers, those who wish make donations in Dominic’s name do so to either the International Justice Mission or Gospel For Asia. “Dominic was the son, brother, grandson and friend that anyone would want to have,” Dominic’s family said in an emailed statement. “He was a man of many abilities and could do anything he set his mind to. God gave him so many talents – he was a wonderful musician, gifted speaker and brilliant thinker. He loved people, traveling and new experiences and could interact with anyone. Dominic was resourceful – he could examine any challenge, diagnose any problem and develop the solution required to overcome it. He was fearless and full of life. He never left us without telling us that he loved us – every phone call, every text, every parting. Our family is broken-hearted but not without hope. We know that Dominic served the Living God while he walked on this earth and is even now rejoicing in heaven, waiting for us to be reunited.”
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Advertising team advances to semiﬁnals, places 1st By Greg Ward | Contributing Writer The University of Alabama’s Advertising Team took first place in the District 7 American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition Friday. This win marks the second district win in the last three years and the third district win in the last five. The competition took place in Birmingham and involved teams from all over the Southeast. This win has propelled the team to the semifinals, where it will compete against 17 other schools. Of the 18 schools that reached the semifinals, eight will go on to the national competition. Teri Henley, team advisor and instructor in the department of advertising and public relations, said she was thrilled when she heard her team won first place. “The team worked really hard, and it was good to see all the hard work pay off,” Henley said. “Whether we won or not was not the main point. The main point was getting experience and learning, but winning was a cherry on top.” Because the competition was only 45 minutes away in Birmingham, proximity brought a lot of support from friends and family. “I loved this year’s win because it was so close to home,” Henley said. “We had family, friends, faculty and even recent students of the ad team came out to support us.” Each team is given a client earlier in the year, and then each team comes up with a written document accompanied by a presentation. This year’s client was Mary Kay cosmetics, the target
Photo Courtesy of Myreete Wolford The University of Alabama’s Advertising Team placed first at the district level of the American Advertising Competition. audience being 18- to 25-year-olds. The presentation is about 20 minutes, following a 10-minute Question–and–Answer session with the judges. Katie Bontrager, a senior majoring in advertising, said Mary Kay was a fun but challenging client. “People think Mary Kay is the makeup your grandmother wears, so the challenge for us was that the target audience was young adults,” Bontrager said. “We redefined Mary Kay’s image and made it appealing to all ages.
Regardless of age, it really is some of the best makeup out.” As the judges called out the third–, second– and first–place winners, Bontrager said she was nervous. “When they started to announce third place, there was a sinking feeling in my stomach,” Bontrager said. “I was on the team last year as a junior, and we came in third place, so after he announced third and it was not us, we just felt a big relief. When we were announced as the first
place winners, we had waterfalls running down our faces. It is the best moment I have had in college by far.” Bontrager, a veteran of the ad team, is the account executive for this year’s campaign, serving as a captain of the team and the point person in solving any problems the team may encounter. “As account executive, my job is basically to help make tough decisions on what’s in and out and to lead 16 students to work together as a whole,” Bontrager said. “To see all of my teammate’s faces when we won and having the satisfaction of winning something you have spent a lot of time on, there is no greater feeling.” Myreete Wolford, a third-year team member and current president of the team, said this team is the best she has been on. “I’ve never seen a team with more passion, drive and ability than this year,” Wolford. “Every one of our 17 team members were selected for a reason, and they definitely showed it this year. We won because our campaign was well thought out, without error, and that happened because our teammates stepped up.” Henley agreed with Wolford and said she would put this team up against any she has ever advised. Wolford said team members have put in more than 1,500 hours of work and that they hope to make the University proud in the next steps of competition. The team will be notified if they win the semifinals April 25. If they win, they will go on to the national competition, which will take place in Boca Raton, Fla.
Conference gives undergraduates chance to present research By Kailey McCarthy | Contributing Writer A record 600 students will present research findings during The University of Alabama’s annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference at the Bryant Conference Center on Thursday. The seventh annual event, hosted by the University’s office of the vice president for research, will include poster and oral presentations by undergraduate students, who will compete for cash prizes and earn experience presenting or defending their research projects before judges. Carl Pinkert, vice president for
research, said the conference is a student-focused event that represents a hallmark of the undergraduate experience at The University of Alabama. “This conference unquestionably enriches undergraduate education in many ways – from the opportunity to showcase research efforts to building self-assuredness and public presentation skills,” Pinkert said. “The conference captures hard work where students are able to study, create, discover and perform in almost any academic area they choose. The event is an activity where students can explore their academic interests that quite conceivably may become a lifelong passion.”
Pinkert said the conference gives students an unlikely opportunity to strengthen their skills and confidence in an academic, researchbased and competitive setting. “Students learn how to present their ideas and research efforts both effectively and in a public forum,” Pinkert said. “Here, they also have the opportunity to network with other students, both undergrads and graduate students, and with faculty.” Chandra Clark, event mentor and professor in telecommunication and film, went on to explain that research and extensive exploration into a subject is usually reserved for graduate classes, but the Undergraduate
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Research Conference and Creative Activity Conference gives students the chance to share some of their work in a more public way. “Students prepare a professionally produced and detailed poster that highlights their work, and then they stand near it while people come by to ask them questions and evaluate their work,” Clark said. “For oral presentations, it is typically a PowerPoint, Prezi or Keynote presentation where students walk the audience through their area of research.” Clark said it’s especially fun to watch students throw themselves into a project with a different passion
than just getting a good grade. Dusty Hawkins, a presenter at the event and a senior majoring in geology, said being able to work closely with faculty and learning how to apply what he learns in the classroom to a real project is an amazing experience. “This conference is just another step forward for me in what will hopefully turn into a successful career,” Hawkins said. “The goal of this conference for me is to better my presentation skills, become comfortable discussing my research, gain valuable feedback on how to perform better and be able to see what UA has to offer as research.”
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Gallettes to hold Paintball event to host athletes testicular cancer Football stars to appear at fundraiser for local philanthropies awareness event By Samuel Yang | Staff Reporter
By Andy McWhorter | Assistant News Editor Many college students need no excuse to grab a beer on a Thursday afternoon, but at Gallettes from 2-6 p.m., bar goers will have a chance to drink for a cause. At Coronas for Cajones, a testicular cancer awareness initiative, students will participate in raffle drawings and T-shirt sales and enjoy live music and free crawfish to raise awareness and research funds for testicular cancer, which is the most common type of cancer for males between 18 and 39, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. April is also testicular cancer awareness month. Ryan Renaud, a senior majoring in political science helping to organize the event, said the idea for Coronas for Cajones came when Joseph Azar, a friend of his, was diagnosed with testicular cancer. “A good friend of mine was diagnosed in 2011 with testicular cancer and actually came back and beat the disease, and so he came to a couple of us around Christmas time this past December with the idea for the event,” Renaud said. Azar, a senior majoring in business marketing, said his friends and family helped him to overcome cancer. “My sophomore year, spring semester, I got diagnosed,” Azar said. “It had spread to my abdomen, so I had to do 4 1/2 months of chemotherapy. Thanks to a great friend base and family, basically I was able to have some support and rally through that hard time.”
PLAN TO GO WHAT: Coronas for Cajones WHEN: Thursday, 2-6 p.m. WHERE: Galletes
Azar said he hopes to bring awareness to testicular cancer through the Coronas for Cajones event. “It is the most common cancer [for young men], but you really rarely hear about it,” Azar said. Gallettes and JNJ Apparel, which designed the T-shirts for the event, are partnering to host Coronas for Cajones. A number of Greek organizations were also involved in planning the event. “IFC actually played a large part in helping us host the event, and then also we paired with a number of Greek organizations on campus, various different fraternities and sororities,” Renaud said. Raffle prizes will come from a number of local Tuscaloosa vendors, including Glory Bound Gyro Company, Five Bar, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Black Warrior Brewing Company. The cover charge will be $5 for those 21 and older and $10 for those 19 and up. Proceeds for the event will go toward the American Cancer Society awareness and research funds specifically for testicular cancer.
Alabama football stars have converged on the Annual Chris Rogers’ Paintball Tournament for two years, but this year’s events will also include A-Day Giveback, an event on Friday featuring Carolina Panther Robert Lester, Chris Rogers and defensive back John Fulton. Rogers, founder of Together Assisting People, said TAP teamed up with Academy Sports and Outdoors to provide kids from the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program of West Alabama with a shopping spree in addition to signing autographs from 5-6 p.m. “TAP’s A-Day Giveback with Academy allows some of the youth of Tuscaloosa, who normally wouldn’t have the opportunity, the chance to meet, spend time with and hopefully cultivate a relationship with some of their favorite players from The University of Alabama,” Rogers said. “The Giveback is a great opportunity for the athletes to give back to the community that helped to shape their career.” On Saturday, Mark Ingram, HaHa Clinton-Dix and others will participate in the paintball tournament. The public is invited to watch free of charge, but donations will be accepted at the door. Rogers said those donations go to fund educational and recreational sessions for high school and college athletes that will help mold the “complete athlete.” “The symposia focus on financial literacy, personal branding, social media etiquette, self-introduction, dressing for the occasion, tying ties and finding which program fits them best,” he said. “To the younger student athletes, TAP stresses the importance of giving back. That is a part of personal branding. Positive personal branding is something you need whether you are an athlete or an everyday citizen, but it’s very important athletes understand that.” One of TAP’s major programs, Rogers said, is Changing Athletes Spending Habits, which teaches proper money management. CASH fits with TAP’s mission to prepare athletes for successful lives beyond their athletic careers. “Athletes lack certain skill sets, often because so much attention is focused on athletics instead of life skills. TAP’s mission is to address those issues,” he said. “Athletes have an entire separate life outside of athletics, and they need to make sure they’re fully aware of that. They also have to have a life once their sports career is over, so it’s vital that they build life skill sets that would allow a smooth and successful transition.” Ronnie Smith, a TAP participant and volunteer, said professional athletes often go bankrupt because they try to “ball out” whenever they can on top of their living on costs. He is an incoming freshman at Alabama State University and said he started to get involved when he saw that athletes needed to understand how their mistakes happened to learn from them. “[Teaching these skills is] very important because
Submitted TAP’s attempts to develop athletes’ life skills. finding out during a situation is way too late,” he said. “If more athletes are aware, less fall victim.” Developing athletes can have an effect beyond the lives of the athletes themselves. Rogers said connecting athletes to their communities is essential. “They represent their community, but don’t often get a change to serve it,” he said. “I try to get them to realize that, just as my mother, grandmother and coach Saban did with me, they have to do their part by contributing their time and efforts to something that’s bigger than them and the game. I want to help produce successful youth, and that can be done largely by the examples the athletes set.” The Giveback will be from 4-6 p.m. on Friday at Academy Sports and Outdoors, with autographs starting at 5 p.m. The paintball tournament will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Central High School, with registration at 5 p.m. Teams can register until April 18 at tapinc.us.
PLAN TO GO WHAT: A-Day Giveback WHEN: Friday, 4-6 p.m. WHERE: Academy Sports and Outdoors WHAT: Annual Chris Rogers’ Paintball Tournament WHEN: Saturday, 5 p.m. WHERE: Central High School
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Firat Soylu to speak Evolution rapper to return to UA at annual graduate student symposium By Austin Frederick | Contributing Writer
By Rachel Brown | Staff Reporter On Friday, the College of Communication will host Firat Soylu as the keynote speaker for the sixth annual graduate student symposium. Soylu, a postdoctoral fellow from Northwestern University, will present “The Promises, Challenges and Future of Educational Neuroscience.” While completing his dissertation for his doctorate at Indiana University, Soylu said he realized he had a significant interest in neuroscience, specifically its influence on the field of education. Upon completing his degree, Soylu moved to Chicago to complete his fellowship. “After completing my Ph.D., I felt like I needed to get some more school experience,” Soylu said. “Because, although I was becoming an educational researcher, I never had any practical school experience. I had never interacted with kids. I had never interacted with teachers, and I didn’t know much about the education system in America today.” During his three years in Chicago, Soylu interacted and trained with about 40 teachers in various Chicago schools. In the keynote, Soylu will be addressing his belief that neuroscience and education are not individual fields that influence each other, but rather that educational neuroscience is a developing field of its own. “In this talk I argue that even a two-way model is limiting, and that educational neuroscience should not be conceptualized as an interaction of two distinct fields,” Soylu said in his abstract
Educational neuroscience should be viewed as a field in itself. — Firat Soylu
for the address. “Rather, educational neuroscience should be viewed as a field in itself.” All students are invited to attend the keynote address at 1 p.m in Graves Hall. Following the address, graduate students will present their work at student panels and poster presentations. The symposium will conclude with an award ceremony at 5 p.m. “Anyone who is interested in neuroscience would definitely benefit from the speech,” Stacy Hughey-Surman, a professor in the College of Education, said. In fall of 2014, Soylu will be joining the College of Education as an assistant professor of educational psychology and educational neuroscience. Although the college does not have a professor who specializes in the field of educational neuroscience at the moment, Hughey-Surman said, there are many professors who are interested in pursuing research in the field. “It’s one of those up-andcoming areas,” she said. “There is a lot of funding available for study in this area, so I think that they decided this was something that was a necessary jump in a particular direction for our department.”
Canadian rapper Baba Brinkman will visit The University of Alabama on Friday to present his “Rap Guide to Evolution” and to film a documentary. “I do the show because I think evolution is a fact, and not only is it a fact, but also I think it’s a great source of inspiration by understanding how it works,” Brinkman said. “It makes you more comfortable with the world around you, knowing how it works.” Brinkman said he first discovered rap when he was young by listening to artists like Will Smith. He started writing about whatever he was feeling in his teenage years, never with the intention of educating people. “I’ve always been a reader and thinker, so I started writing ‘smart rap,’” Brinkman said. “I just rapped about stuff I learned in my classes and dropped some science references into my songs. Once my music was out there, scientists started becoming my fans.” Then he got an email from a biologist asking him to write a rap explaining the theory of evolution and present it at a conference he was holding. Brinkman accepted the challenge, partly for monetary reasons. Brinkman said he had to do a lot of research on evolutionary theory before actually writing the song. “I did a lot of research on evolutionary theory and then just pulled a lot of rap references,” Brinkman said. “I thought it would be the easiest way to connect people to the concepts. Like in sexual selection, peacock’s tails could be like their bling.” In Brinkman’s “Rap Guide to Evolution,” there are four main remixes of famous rap songs where Brinkman emulates the style of the artist, but changes the lyrics to fit the scientific subject he is covering. Brinkman will be giving a public performance on Friday. Brinkman will also be performing in private as part of an experiment being conducted by Christopher Lynn, an assistant professor of anthropology, involving three groups. One group will watch a video of a traditional science lecture, the second group will watch a video of Brinkman performing his “Rap Guide to Evolution” and the third group will actually see Brinkman perform live. This will be followed by a science literacy test to see how well the students retained information and which group retained it best. “I’m not only coming back to work with Christopher Lynn, but also because of the great response that I got the last time I was there,” Brinkman said. Taylor Burbach, a junior majoring in anthropology and president of the Evolutionary Studies Club, said she went to Brinkman’s first presentation at the University and was surprised at how good it was. “He’s charismatic and funny, and he really knows how to play off of the audience. He even freestyled on what we talked about during the Q-and-A, which is pretty impressive,” Burdock said. “I never thought Canadian science rap would be something I enjoyed, but I really do.” Despite his best intentions, Brinkman said he doesn’t think he can change other people’s views on evolution by
Wikimedia Commons Baba Brinkman
PLAN TO GO WHAT: “Rap Guide to Evolution” WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m. WHERE: Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy
strictly giving evidence. “I think that’s a mistake that people make – they try to provide all this logic, and people are resistant of that. I think you have to do that emotionally,” Brinkman said. “I try to do that by having fun and laughing for an hour, but the subject matter that is making them laugh and have fun is science-related. I don’t think anybody that comes to my shows starts off as a creationist and ends up an evolutionist, but they might warm up to the concept a little more.” Brinkman, like many scientists who come to Alabama, said he believes Alabama schools that refuse to teach evolution will cause a problem for kids at major universities. “If the biology part of science is being rejected by students or teachers, then there are a lot of obvious things that are being built on that,” Brinkman said. “The only way that it is possible to get around evolution and biology is to assume all scientists are wrong. Evolution is being taught in every university and everywhere else. I think they do so at their own peril, because the kids won’t be well equipped to go into science and technology jobs and won’t understand the world around them. I think it’s a missed opportunity, and anything I can do to shift the mindset I want to do.” Brinkman will be giving his “Rap Guide to Evolution” lecture Friday at 7 p.m. at Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy.
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Professor works to engage students in community By Sarah Rumfelt | Contributing Writer Mounds of paperwork clutter the desk. An aroma of pickles fills the air. A portrait of Abraham Lincoln hangs proudly behind the professor’s head. This is the office of Stephen Black, a self-proclaimed “nerdy, boring” professor at The University of Alabama who has dedicated himself to a life of public service. “He is my hero,” Black said, pointing to the Abraham Lincoln portrait. “He educated himself and still managed to achieve greatness.” Black’s office sits at the back of Temple Tutwiler Hall, nestled between Reese Phifer and the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority house. Here he plans and develops community outreach programs. “All you need to make a difference and contribute to the community is compassion,” Black said. Black, the founder of the non-profit organization Impact Alabama, became fascinated with policy as a young child growing up in New Mexico. He admired the work of his grandfather, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black, and strived to make a difference in the lives of others. After three years at a Birmingham law firm, the Yale Law School graduate took a teaching offer at The University of Alabama on a whim, he said. It was then, in 2004, that Black was inspired to create the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility at The University of Alabama and later Impact Alabama, a non-profit organization housed in the CESR. Both programs aim to accomplish Black’s number one goal: service. Any time a student seeks help from Black about service opportunities, he said he encourages them to pursue
something they are passionate about, except in January and February. During the months of January and February, or tax season, the students involved in SaveFirst, one of the four initiatives of Impact Alabama, travel across the state to help low income, working families file their taxes, according to Impact Alabama’s website. “It’s not about you,” Black said. “In January and February, it’s just not about you. It’s about helping these families.” Matt Tucker, a freshman majoring in finance, participates in SaveFirst. Tucker travels every Saturday to assist families with their taxes. “On the first day, Prof. Black told us, ‘SaveFirst isn’t a charity,’” Tucker said. “‘We are providing a service to these people, not giving to a charity.’” What makes Black different from other professors, Tucker said, is his teaching style. Black makes his students see both sides of the story. Tucker explained a common example Black throws at his students. “Imagine there is a train traveling down a track. It cannot stop, but it can go two ways. If the train goes left, it hits one person. If it goes right, it hits two people. Black asks students which way they would choose to go. He then refutes each of their arguments to demonstrate there is another way of thinking other than their own,” Tucker said. Black said he believes the future of America is in the hands of this generation. It is up to them, he said, to take social responsibility, commit to service and change the lives of others. “Our country needs this generation,” Black said. “It is up to them to create a better world for children.”
ua.edu Stephen Black
Advertising students submit work to national student showcase By Emily Williams | Staff Reporter A group of advertising students will have their work displayed in a national student showcase this May. Students in Glenn Griffin’s advanced advertising development class have submitted 20 pieces of work to a professional creative exhibition called “The One Show” by The One Club for Art & Copy in New York City. “The One Club is like the Oscars of advertising,” Katie Davis, a junior majoring in advertising, said. “There’s three or four awards shows for advertising that actually matter, and this is definitely the best one.” Davis and her classmates spent the semester planning concepts for
advertising campaigns and just finalized their submissions this month. Davis said the actual process of creating the campaign took about two weeks. The students created advertisements for real products that are currently on the market. Corinne Mizzell, who graduated in December, submitted a campaign for Sodastream. “You create 10 portfolio pieces for the campaign,” Mizzell said. “We would select our products, do research on it, then do a brief, which is just the strong points about the product, the good selling points. Then we would go and do roughs and thumbnails. We would do hundreds of thumbnails until we came up with good enough ads. Then you go in and actually create it.”
Brenna Horrocks, a senior majoring in advertising, used social media as the basis for her campaign for Warby Parker Eyewear. “One thing that sets Warby Parker apart from it’s competitors is their highly interactive website,” Horrocks said. “It’s equipped with a virtual try-on service where customers upload a photo of themselves to get an idea of how a frame will look and one-click icons to upload to Facebook or Twitter to get feedback from friends. I used this information to create a campaign that plays with social media and literary jargon such as ‘selfie,’ ‘likes’ and the concept of ‘finishing a novel.’” Horrocks said taking Griffin’s class was an important step in starting her career because it allowed her to create a
portfolio she can show to potential employers. Students often take the class more than one semester to further expand their portfolio. In 2013, just 25 schools from around the world had their work displayed. This is the University’s second year being invited to submit campaigns. “New York City is basically the advertising mecca, so any opportunity to have work displayed there is an incredible honor,” Horrocks said. “In other words, this is a ‘wait until no one is watching and then pull out your shameless celebration dance moves in the middle of the Reese Phifer parking lot.’” The One Club’s Annual Student Exhibition will run May 6 to 8 in New York City’s SoHo district.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Last Lecture tackles diversity Woman dedicates By Emily Sturgeon | Contributing Writer Students, faculty and the public were brought together to reflect on their definition of diversity and how they approach it Wednesday night in Russell Hall. Robin Boylorn, assistant professor of interpersonal and intercultural communication, encouraged the audience to embrace different social identities during her presentation of the Last Lecture, a graduate school program that invites one professor to speak to a group of UA students for as if for the last time. â€œWe need to be willing to understand diversity, and in order to understand it, we have to talk about it so that we can learn past stereotypes,â€? Boylorn said. â€œWe have to be willing to have difficult dialogues and fluctuating emotions and knots in the pits of our stomach. We have to talk about it and keep the issues on our tongue.â€? The talk, titled â€œOvercoming (In) Difference: Reflections on Empathy, Apathy and Diversity,â€? focused not only on Boylornâ€™s definition of diversity, but her perception of the problems and solutions. She said one of the problems in overcoming barriers of difference is apathy regarding social justice issues, which lulls people to complacency and convinces them to believe things are not relevant unless directly affecting them. â€œWhen we are apathetic, we are desensitized to discrimination, even when we are the ones being discriminated against,â€? she said. â€œThis is a dangerous perspective and oftentimes causes folks to be bystanders or witnesses to injustice and oppression.â€? Referencing a tendency in society to disregard the differences between people, Boylorn said this â€œcolorblindnessâ€? is actually a contributing problem rather than a solution. â€œA common misconception is that seeing color or noticing or mentioning difference is a form of discrimination, but it is not,â€? she said. â€œSeeing color and noticing other aspects of difference is an inevitability, and itâ€™s
ua.edu Robin Boylorn important to note that seeing color is not discriminatory. Treating someone badly because of their color is discriminatory.â€? Boylorn said much oppression and injustice goes untreated because it is kept invisible. â€œWe are conditioned and socialized to avoid or ignore difference, so we pretend that we donâ€™t see or notice difference in an effort to be polite or politically correct or progressive. But these efforts are all wrong,â€? she said. Sherry Kirksey, professor of human development and family sciences, said although some of her perspectives differ from Boylornâ€™s, she liked the idea of recognizing difference but discounting its oppression. â€œWhen she was talking about colorblindness, whether itâ€™s homophobia or whatever it is, itâ€™s not that you donâ€™t see it or you donâ€™t recognize it. Itâ€™s the mistreatment,â€? Kirksey said. â€œThat was probably the best thing that was said.â€? Boylorn said she prefers people to acknowledge her race rather than pretend it doesnâ€™t exist because it is part of her identity. â€œWhen someone says, â€˜I donâ€™t see your color,â€™ it is the equivalent of saying, â€˜I donâ€™t see you,â€™â€? she said. To combat apathy, Boylorn said she encourages a culture of empathy
by imagining having a similar experience and existence as someone different, and asking â€œHow would you feel, and more importantly, how would you want to be treated?â€? â€œYou donâ€™t lose who you are by empathizing with others. It simply means that you make space for people to be themselves and you honor their differences instead of stigmatizing them,â€? Boylorn said. â€œEmpathizing means that you feel for them and you feel with them, so in order to empathize, you have to be aware and willing to acknowledge that â€˜ismsâ€™ exist.â€? She said she believes exposure is an important combatant to the problems regarding diversity and that one way this can be enforced is by putting oneself in situations they normally wouldnâ€™t. â€œI oftentimes share in my class that if you encounter difference for the first time and you are not made uncomfortable, then youâ€™re probably not doing it right,â€? Boylorn said. Gaby Wilson, a junior majoring in telecommunication and film, said she thinks the most important part of Boylornâ€™s lecture is studentsâ€™ exposure to the idea of diversity. â€œI think that on a campus such as The University of Alabama, with all its history and all the things that are still happening, that itâ€™s very vital to the growth of this university, especially since there is a big diversity push for people to actually understand what it is and what it looks like,â€? Wilson said. â€œItâ€™s not just numbers, itâ€™s about understanding, and,like Dr. Boylorn said, itâ€™s about empathy.â€? Boylorn said she hopes students will embrace the diversity of social identity and fight the urge to be comfortable. â€œWe go through most of our lives sitting at the same metaphorical table with the same familiar faces, saving seats and deterring difference,â€? she said. â€œBut what might happen if we play musical chairs in the lunchroom, and in the classroom, and in the board room, and in the living room? What might happen if we invited difference over for dinner?â€?
life to group homes By Ellisa Bray | Contributing Writer A slender woman sits in the Starbucks at Midtown Village, surrounded by whirring machines, chattering customers, clicking keyboards and drink orders screeched at 30-second intervals. Tammy High seems completely unaware of the people around her, checking emails and text messages with the intensity of a high-profile CEO and the serenity of a monk in meditation. Glancing around the cafĂŠ, she makes a quick mental note of her surroundings and steals one last look at her phone while her world is uninterrupted, one final moment dedicated solely to herself. Tammy owns three group homes in the Tuscaloosa area through the Alabama Department of Human Resources. She first began her service by working with her mother, who had a home for men with mental health issues. In 2009, her mother retired, and Tammy took over that home, later opening Atonement â€“ a group home for girls ages 13 through 21. â€œI just felt it was needed,â€? she said. â€œI wanted something better for them.â€? Atonement is classified as a basic group home, which means girls who live there are often temporarily displaced from their own homes. Tammy and other hands-on staff members work with the seven girls living in Atonement. Their ultimate goal is for the girls to move either to a foster family, back to their own families or to start their own independent lives in college. â€œThe worst feeling is when a girl leaves and then comes back,â€? she said. â€œWe donâ€™t want them to come back. Go home; stay home. Go to college; stay in college.â€? Tammyâ€™s brother, Rodney High, also helps with the group homes occasionally. He travels to Tuscaloosa from Atlanta to allow his sister some time off when she needs it. He said the longest sheâ€™s ever been away has been a week. â€œSheâ€™s very passionate,â€? he said, recalling how Tammy told him of her vision to open Atonement years ago. â€œSheâ€™s always been giving. So many girls leave, and they always call back because they just fell in love with Tammy.â€? Tammy also owns a second menâ€™s home in Tuscaloosa, similar to the one she took over when her mother retired. She said working with the men and girls has given her more patience and understanding, especially with teenagers. â€œI always knew I wanted to help people,â€? said Tammy, who received a masterâ€™s degree in social work from The University of Alabama in 2006. â€œI just didnâ€™t know what it was called until I went back to school.â€? Tammy dedicates her life to the service of the people she works with, becoming a 24-hour call line for the girls, who are sometimes inclined to call her â€œmom.â€? Her biggest hope is that more people will become foster or adoptive parents, and she said she encourages people to be more loving and thoughtful when it comes to older children. â€œThereâ€™s a need for teenagers, too,â€? Tammy said. â€œItâ€™s not just the babies that we can shape.â€? Tammy stands to leave the cafĂŠ, saying she prays for the girls all the time. She checks her phone again, then walks out, stepping back into the world she is helping to shape, one person at a time.
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
NPR journalist finds home in Tuscaloosa said. “What’s interesting is how pop music forms a language next to all the other languages we speak, in America and around the world.” Nearly five years ago, Powers moved from Los Angeles to Tuscaloosa when her husband, Eric Weisbard, accepted a teaching position in the American studies department at The University of Alabama. “One of the lucky things that’s happened [since I’ve moved to Tuscaloosa] is a lot of great young artists are coming out of the South right now,” Powers said. “The South is actually a hot spot. I feel lucky that, for whatever reason, there’s been kind of a Renaissance in music here.” Although they may differ in music taste, Powers and Weisbard share the same passion for music. At the University, Weisbard teaches several classes relating to American music and pop culture. “The music we listen to together is at concerts and on drives, a guaranteed conversation starter,” Weisbard said. “My tastes run a bit more toward indie rock, Ann’s more toward singer-songwriters. But we share an interest in Top-40 and contemporary sounds as they compare to a century’s worth of prior material, which isn’t exactly a common way of listening to pop.” Powers travels to Washington, D.C., once or
By Francie Johnson | Staff Reporter
Not many people can say they’ve spent an evening with Prince in his Los Angeles mansion, written a novel with Tori Amos or eaten bacon with CeeLo Green. Then again, not many people are Ann Powers. As NPR Music’s critic and correspondent, Powers dedicates much of her life to figuring out why music makes people tick. “I love music, and I’m interested in trying to understand why music makes me feel what it makes me feel,” Powers said. “Then, as I continued in this career path, I got really interested in trying to understand why music makes other people feel things, or speaks for other people, or helps people speak to each other.” As a high school student, Powers landed her first writing gig at Seattle-based alternative newspaper The Rocket. Since then, she’s worked for a variety of publications, including the Village Voice, The New York Times and Blender. Before she started working for NPR, Powers was the senior pop music critic at the Los Angeles Times. Submitted “To me, pop music is a way that we talk to each other and that we express ourselves,” Powers
twice a year for meetings, and she attends music festivals during the summer. The rest of the time, she works out of her home. “The thing about Tuscaloosa is that it doesn’t have a lot happening on a national scale, but it’s [close to] places that do have a lot happening,” Powers said. “So it’s not super convenient, but it’s convenient enough.” Being a music journalist involves a lot more than bonding with celebrities, Powers said. To prepare for her interviews, she listens to the artists’ catalogues and spends time researching online and in music archives. “You’d be shocked to know how many times I’ve talked to artists, and they’ve said journalists will come in completely unprepared,” Powers said. “That just seems ridiculous to me. You wouldn’t talk to the president without knowing the issues. Why do you think it’s okay to talk to an artist without knowing their work?” Powers said she often finds inspiration from an unlikely source – her daughter Rebecca. “Being a mom has really helped me,” Powers said. “Every critic I know who has kids goes through this experience where they start to listen through their kids’ ears too. I learn a lot from my 10-year-old every day.”
Bargains for Books to beneﬁt, support youth literacy programs By Margaret Wilbourne | Contributing Writer
2405 Paul W. Bryant Dr.
PLAN TO GO WHAT: Bargains for Books Garage Sale WHEN: Saturday, 6 a.m. – noon WHERE: Downtown Tuscaloosa YMCA
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The Literacy Council of West Alabama reports that one in four Alabama residents are functionally illiterate. Leadership Tuscaloosa is hoping to change that statistic by hosting Bargains for Books, a garage sale that will benefit youth literacy in the area, Saturday. “Our hope is to benefit programs teaching children to read and move forward with their education instead of falling behind and increasing the high school dropout rate in our area,” said Casey Johnson, event coordinator. Leadership Tuscaloosa is a year-long class sponsored by the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce and seeks applicants who “demonstrate leadership skills [and] active involvement in the community.” “Each year, the Leadership Tuscaloosa class is required to come up with a project for community outreach in West Alabama,” Johnson said. “The class of 2014 came up with the idea to have a charity garage sale to benefit youth literacy.” Donations of furniture, clothes and other garage sale fare are being accepted, and all profits will be donated to local Boy Scouts troops, the YCMA and Tuscaloosa’s One Place. All unsold items will be donated to charity.
CW | Hannah Glenn “[We chose] these three community nonprofits [because] they are represented by our Leadership Tuscaloosa class,” Johnson said. “They all have youth literacy programs to help youngsters develop a love for reading.” Alyssa Di Benedetto, a senior in the multiple abilities program, said support for literacy is scarce in the Tuscaloosa area. Di Bendetto is finishing up a year-long internship in a local
elementary school. “There are definitely a lot of low-functioning students [who are] without any parent involvement or resources to work with at home,” Di Benedetto said. “[Donations to literacy programs] would be very beneficial for these students who don’t get opportunities like the average person,” said Di Benedetto. “Sparking that interest helps them stay motivated and stay in school. “Our students are the future, and if they don’t go anywhere, our community is never going anywhere.” Donations for Bargains for Books can be dropped off at the Downtown Tuscaloosa YMCA through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The garage sale will be held Saturday from 6 a.m. to noon.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Fashion show promotes recycled ensembles By Hannah Widener | Contributing Writer
CW | Austin Bigoney Tee Time models walk the runaway on Doster Lawn on Wednesday.
Models strutted down the cement sidewalk in front of Doster Hall on Wednesday, sporting designer-esque ensembles from wedding gowns made of coffee filters to dresses made of caution tape. The annual Tee Time fashion show, organized by Fashion Inc., was every bit the “Project Runway” extravaganza for the College of Human Environmental Sciences. Many students were able to showcase their work. Some had been working for weeks and others just mere hours before the show. Taking dinnerware to a whole new level was designer A.B. Stone, a sophomore majoring in apparel design. Stone’s dress was made of paper plates, which she accessorized with matching shoes. The inspiration behind her heels, Stone said, was Hermes, because of his winged shoes. “I love lines, which is why I picked the plates in the first place. It took me about 20 to 30 hours, but it was about a week and a half to do. I wasn’t slaving for 30 straight hours in a row or anything like that,” Stone said. “I thought it would be fun to do something with dinnerware because it’s kind of funny. You know, you wear clothes, so why not dinnerware?” Stone had trouble getting into her dress and said a friend had to help Velcro and put in a few staples in order to make it stay. Another dress that needed some extra aid being held together on the model was Lindsey
Mortensen’s dress. Mortensen, a junior majoring in apparel design, said she got the idea for her dress in a rather unexpected way. “One of my friends was stuck in traffic, and I was telling her we had to make something. I knew we had to make something recycled and the traffic gave me the idea, so I went to Home Depot and got a bunch of caution tape,” Mortensen said. The theme of Tee Time each year is recycled or repurposed clothing, and the designers must come up with new and inventive ways to make their pieces. One of the new designs that debuted was a wedding gown by Tanya Caruso, a senior majoring in apparel design. The wedding gown was constructed out of white material as the bodice and coffee filters cascaded down as the skirt. “I did the pattern work on Friday, and it took about four or five hours, and then I pulled an all-nighter last night. It took about 38 to 40 hours,” Caruso said.“I’ve been so busy with school that my friend and I have been calling this project April 15. I don’t know if I could handle ‘Project Runway,’ but maybe after this, it’s debatable.” Tee Time gives students interested in a career in fashion the opportunity to get real-time runway experience. Caruso, who will be interning in New York City over the summer, said she has bigger plans for what comes next. “I love bridal gowns, and I’d really love to do couture someday so women can wear my designs,” Caruso said.
COLUMN | FASHION
Nostalgic trends making fashion comeback By Bianca Martin We have all prided ourselves on being “’90s babies” at some point in our lives. Whether we wore the obnoxious “Born in the ’90s” T-shirts or shared endless articles about the things from the ’90s that we all remember (or don’t remember, but will pretend to for the sake of our vanity), people born in the 1990s have a sense of pride. In the past year, that decade’s nostalgia has become very visible in fashion. Once upon a time, ’90s fashion was just a theme for date parties. Now, the style has made its way into our everyday lives. Topanga Lawrence’s skirts and denim vests and Kelly Kapowski’s cropped tops and florals are just some of many trends that have come back into the fashion cycle. These trends came back into power in such subtle ways that many people may not have even noticed. It definitely took me a while.
One of the nostalgic trends that has come back is overalls and overall dresses. I won’t lie: I was not very excited when I first saw the return of these farmer outfits in stores. But over time, I have seen overalls styled in ways and made in different fabrics besides denim. They have definitely grown on me. One of my favorite spring outfits this year is my American Eagle overall-type dress with a cropped top underneath it. Speaking of cropped tops, that is the returning trend that seems to have started this ’90s comeback. Whether they were worn with high-waist baggy jeans or body con skirts, cropped tops are a trend that were popular on ’90s teen sitcoms and pop stars like Britney Spears in her “… Baby, One More Time” days. Now, these bare midriff-showing shirts are a symbol of summer for many girls. Well, summer and Tumblr. Regardless, cropped tops are everywhere from the high-fashion runway to everyday Instagram. They can be styled in many
different ways depending on how much skin you really want to show. Another look that has come back is the grunge look. Flannel shirts are bigger than ever and definitely one of my favorite trends. I love seeing one tied around someone’s waist paired with denim shorts and a tank top. Another idea is to wear a plaid skirt with a denim vest for a more chic look. Grunge has been popular for a few years on the runway and is slowly making its way into everyone’s closets again. Although it is not one that I have tried yet, it is comfortable, fashionable and lasting. So if you are one who still listens to old school ’N Sync and gets nostalgic while remembering the “Rugrats,” be a true ’90s child and bring its fashion into full form. Think about it: How easy is it to find fashion inspiration from reruns of “Saved by the Bell”? Indulge in your ’90s pride by bringing it into your closet. Hey, maybe even bring back the “Rachel haircut.”
Thursday, April 17, 2014
CW | Austin Bigoney Photo illustration by CW | Phoebe Rees Sarah DeMeo, Diandra Milliner and Kim Jacob will compete in the final meets of this weekend.
After an explosive season, the Tide gymnastics seniors gear up for the NCAA Championships By Sean Landry | Staff Reporter The Alabama gymnastics team will send its seniors out on the biggest stage of all when it competes for the program’s seventh national championship this weekend in Birmingham. The meet this weekend marks the end of the road for the team’s seniors, a group Alabama coach Sarah Patterson said is one of the most outstanding she’s coached in her illustrious career. Along with NCAA vault champion Diandra Milliner and all-around competitor Sarah DeMeo, the Crimson Tide will bid goodbye to Kim Jacob, one of Alabama’s most accomplished athletes both in and out of the gym. “We’ve had a lot of great athletes and people in our program, but if I had to pick someone for their personal values, their academics and their leadership and competitiveness, I always tell everyone if I could just recruit all Kim Jacobs, we’d win every year,” Patterson said. “She is the best of the best in all areas. I just think she’s probably one of the most remarkable overall team players that I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach, and I’ve had some great ones. Any time I’m writing a letter of recommendation for an NCAA scholarship or anything of that nature, it always comes back to me that she’s one of the best of the best.” Jacob is a newly inducted member of XXXI, a seven-time All-American, a three-time Scholastic All-American and the only athlete ever to be named SEC Gymnastics Scholar Athlete of the Year for three consecutive years. Patterson said athletes like Jacob and the other seniors motivate her and husband David Patterson to continue to compete at a high level in the 36th year of their careers.
“To me, it’s them. That’s the reason you get up and do it,” Patterson said. “I love winning, I love my championship rings, but for David and I, it’s always been about helping these ladies become successful in life after gymnastics.” On the floor, Jacob has career-high scores of 9.925 on vault and uneven parallel bars, 9.95 on balance beam and floor exercise and 39.625 in all-around competition. The senior won 12 event titles in 2014, including a balance beam title at regionals for the second year running. Though rapidly approaching, the idea that her career is ending hasn’t really sunk in yet, Jacob said. “I’ve been counting down the days, sitting in class going, ‘Oh my goodness, I only have five practices left.’ It really hasn’t set in,” Jacob said. “I really don’t know what to think about it, doing gymnastics for so long, but I just want to finish it the best I can possibly do and have no regrets at the end.” Milliner agreed with her classmate and said she’s trying not to think about the end. “I think it’ll set in more once I’m finally done,” Milliner said. “I’m trying to stay focused on what we still have to do, but I’ll definitely be sad when it’s over.” Even Milliner, at the end of four years together, said she’s impressed by Jacob. “Me and Kim are really close,” Milliner said. “She’s a great leader on the team, and I look up to her in a lot of the stuff that she does. She’s a great example for everybody who follows us in this program.” In fact, Jacob’s impact on the program might extend far beyond her performance on the floor or even her academic achievement. To Patterson, role models like Milliner and Jacob are vital if the Crimson Tide wants to
continue its historic success, and while the seniors will leave the team, they’ll be far from forgotten. “I think it’s hard every year when you’re sending a group of seniors off,” Patterson said. “I think the really neat thing about this team is when you look at the senior class, and you look at this freshman class, they kind of mirror each other. It’s kind of a larger class, you’ve got some really talented competitors, you’ve got some people who are in backup roles. We couldn’t have won in 2011 and 2012 without this senior class, and we couldn’t win without this freshman class. And while they’re bookends, and one class is departing, I look at that freshman class, and I’m like, ‘You just had the best role models that anyone could possibly, so now you be our leaders for the next four years.’” To junior Kaitlyn Clark, there’s not an athlete on the team who can’t learn from Jacob. “She’s definitely just a great role model all around, not even just in gymnastics,” Clark said. “I’ve had a couple of classes with her. She’s just a great student and a great role model for other students on the team as well, and definitely for our freshmen.” The weekend also offers Patterson a chance at yet another landmark in her career, after having become the fastest gymnastics coach to 1,000 wins with a victory in the Seattle Regional. If the team wins at the NCAA Championships this weekend, Patterson would have more championships than any coach in Alabama athletics history, passing legendary football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. “I think what that says is, it’s a compliment
ALABAMA 23-3, 7-1 SEC Sarah Patterson Seattle Regional Champion
UTAH U 2 22-3, 6-2 Pac-12 Greg Marsden G Fayetteville Regional Champion F
FLORIDA F 2 20-2, 6-1 SEC Rhonda Faehn R University Park Regional Champion U
NEBRASKA 2 24-4, 6-1 Big Ten Dan Kendig D Seattle Regional Runner-Up S
PENN STATE 2 27-8, 5-2 Big Ten Jeff Thompson J University Park Regional Runner-Up U
UCLA 1 17-7, 7-1 Pac-12 Valorie Kondos Field V Fayetteville Regional Runner-Up F
SEE GYMNASTICS PAGE 24
CW | Hannah Glenn
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Weekend Band SCENE
RHYTHM & BREWS Snazz
Cole Swindell and Adam Craig
The Doctors & The Lawyers
Nic Snow Band and The Divines
N/A CW | Hannah Glenn
Cover band The Divines to play Rounders By Kinsey Haynes | Contributing Writer On any given weekend, whether it be downtown or on the Strip, cover bands of all genres can be heard filling the area with nostalgia, and The Divines are a prime example. Members Kenny Divine, drummer; Jimmy Divine, singer; and Nikky Divine, singer and synthesizer, all use the stage name Divine and met through various church functions and family members. “I thought [Nikky] was an interesting sort of fella,” Kenny said. “I met [Jimmy] in all of his luscious goodness shortly thereafter. We’ve been fairly inseparable ever since. They’re like the older brothers I never had.” Members started The Divines to get additional gigs when their other projects failed. When Nikky has a vision, you listen to everything, and it works like it is supposed to, Kenny said. “We wanted to be one of the 10 percent of bands that don’t play a
Luke Bryan song,” Jimmy said. “Kenny had always been a drummer who could sing. At the time, we still needed a drummer, so we fixed both issues by sticking the drums right in the front.” The members said they agree that the bar scene has its ups and downs, but it’s rewarding to play because of the crowd’s excitement. Playing in bars has also forced them to become better musicians and to communicate with crowds more effectively on and off stage, Jimmy said. Each member has a slightly different expectation of what the crowd will see when attending a show. “Expect three guys that enjoy themselves,” Nikky said. Kenny, on the other hand, said to expect a singing drummer, a lot of flailing about on stage and very fashionable young gentlemen. “We are just a group of guys that want to play great music and get folks moving and smiling, and, if
the mood strikes Kenny Divine just right, he will be shirtless,” Jimmy said. Jimmy and Nikky said when playing live, they love watching the crowd respond to [Kenny’s] performance. Kenny said he loves “existing as [himself] and losing [himself] to the beat.” The Divines are most looking forward to the good time that will accompany them, band members said. “What’s not to look forward to?” Jimmy said. “They are great friends of ours and have really helped encourage us as musicians and performers. I love playing there.” They are especially excited for this weekend because of A-Day. The atmosphere of campus changes and is the closest thing to football season that they will have for a while, Nikky said. “The one mistake most bands make is that they take themselves too seriously,” Jimmy said. “At the end of the day, we are a cover band
Submitted The Divines playing other people’s songs. We job.” The Divines will play at aren’t trying to be the Beatles or anything. At the end of every night, Rounders on the Strip on Friday at if people had fun, we’ve done our 10 p.m.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Despite costs, many students seek city life after graduation
of graduates move back home with their parents after college
Some Southern students look to defy ‘Boomerang generation’ statistic by moving away from home By Phoebe Rees | Contributing Writer Ask any young person where they dream of living and working when they’re older, and they’ll probably answer New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. Big cities are top destinations, especially for young Southerners. “People want to get away from what they know and experience new things,” Michael Patrick, a recent University of Alabama graduate currently living in Chicago, said. “Young and talented people want to find other young, talented people, but Alabama just currently does not have that job market or environment.” More students at The University of Alabama aspire to live and work in big cities, but for those who have grown up in the state, leaving the South can be a dramatic transition. Patrick grew up in a small, rural town just outside of Montgomery. With only 64 students in his high school graduating class, he said coming to The University of Alabama was a big transition. “Going to college was the first major move in my life,” Patrick said. “I had grown up in the same small town for most of my life, so I never considered going out of state. I was a first-generation college student, so
it wasn’t really feasible or affordable.” Upon graduating from the University in 2012, Patrick said he wanted to get away from the South and experience different surroundings. He enrolled in the Teach for America program and relocated to Chicago. He said he found adjusting to life outside of the South hasn’t been too difficult. “It’s definitely tough at first, getting used to the hustle and bustle of a place,” he said. “But once you start meeting people and getting to know your way around, it becomes more comfortable. There was a transition period where I missed home all the time, but after about six months, it became easier.” Patrick said his favorite aspect of living in a large city is the diverse atmosphere. “I like the experience of meeting people who have wholly different cultures to your own,” he said. “Even at college, most people
CW | Hannah Glenn
come from similar backgrounds – religious white kids from some suburb or rural town, but here I have friends from India and Hong Kong. The array of religious and political beliefs people have makes for interesting conversation, and I’ve learned a lot about the world and gained a greater perspective.” For other students, the desire to leave the South is political. Sam Gerard, a junior majoring in history and political science, said the conservative nature of the South can perturb liberal students from wanting to remain in the state after graduation. Originally from New York, Gerard is now president of the UA College Democrats. He said conservatives have more of a voice in the state and on campus. “Due to the political culture in Alabama, if you come out as a Democrat, or if you come out as somebody who leans left on
People want to get away from what they know and experience new things. — Michael Patrick
issues, then you get basically blackballed from any further engagement,” Gerard said. “There’s a stigma that exists here that you have to be a gun-toting Republican to really be popular.” Gerard said liberals such as himself must pursue their political ambitions outside of Alabama. “My goal after graduation is to find a blue state and a nice Jewish girl,” he said. “It’s not the age for me to have a political career in Alabama, but there are rapidly changing demographics in the state that are making it easier for Democrats to get elected.” According to a February 2013 article by The Atlantic, 45 percent of college graduates move back home with their parents after finishing school, giving them the nickname “the boomerang generation.” However, Patrick said he thinks young people in the South are becoming more mobile. “I think more people at this age feel more comfortable moving away because of the way technology keeps us together,” he said. “Young people can cope with not going home for longer periods of time and look for job opportunities away from where they grew up.”
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Theater student takes roles to next level By Elayne Smith | Contributing Writer When Sam Hardy felt the hatred rising within him as he spoke his last line as Iago in Shakespeare’s “Othello” last February, he was overwhelmed by the intensity of the emotion . He loved it. “Perhaps one of the things I enjoy most is something we consider most dangerous as an actor: really living at the far extent of [the character’s] emotional life,” said Hardy, a junior majoring in theater. “It’s a safe place to explore emotions and impulses that you usually can’t discuss or express anywhere else.” Hardy has performed in nine productions with The University of Alabama’s theater department, including the upcoming performance of “Urinetown.” He said his favorite role was Iago, because he loves Shakespeare and the role allowed him
CW | Shelby Akin Sam Hardy
to explore vast emotions. “If you happen upon a character that feels one of those negative impulses, you can funnel it into that character and you can put it out, see what happens to them.When the production closes, you can close it up and release that emotion out into the character,” Hardy said. “It’s a way to do that where no one gets hurt, because, at the end of the day, it’s just a play.” Hardy started acting on a whim in seventh grade and never stopped. He said although he can technically sing and dance, acting is definitely his strongest ability. Hardy leans towards classical texts and text-heavy plays because he said he likes playing with vocals to convey a character. “My strongest trait is probably my voice and the way that, vocally, I can lend lyricism and melody to pieces of text that people otherwise find boring,” Hardy said. “A lot of people look at Shakespeare on the page and see this big block of verse, and it’s sort of incomprehensible. But I like to think that when you add voice to it, and with the range of expression that you can use for those words, that I can help people understand it.” Hardy said he researches before performances to deepen his acting. John Nara, an MFA candidate director, has worked with Hardy in three productions and seen him in others. He said Hardy’s interest in learning is an asset, and watching Hardy’s growth as an actor within a single production is fun and rewarding. “Sam’s a thorough actor,” Nara said. “He has a process for approaching his characters and sticks with it. In rehearsals, it is always fun to watch him continue to grow into his character as we get closer to opening night.” Hardy knows how to separate his work from his rest, which helps him prevent his characters from inhibiting his personality. Being professional is also something Hardy takes to heart; as he doesn’t settle for merely getting the job done, but puts everything he has into the performance. Seth Panitch, head of MFA and BA
It’s a safe place to explore emotions and impulses that you usually can’t discuss or express anywhere else. — Sam Hardy
acting programs and associate professor of acting, has directed and taught Hardy in the classroom. Panitch said Hardy came in a smart actor and is working at an advanced rate, being cast as a freshman then getting a leading role as a sophomore, which isn’t common. “Ultimately, acting is about reflecting the person you already are, not about growing the individual,” Panitch said. “You grow the individual outside of acting classes, outside of rehearsal. The students that are successful like Sam come in already having grown themselves into interesting people that are multidimensional as supposed to people that lock themselves up into a theater program and keep reflecting the same human being.” Hardy hopes to participate in Shakespearean festivals throughout the nation in the future. Although he understands that succeeding is rough and takes time, Hardy said he couldn’t be happy doing anything else. “Perhaps one of the greatest pieces of acting advice I ever got was from a teacher in ninth grade who said, ‘The most important thing an actor can know is always accept free food,’” Hardy said. “It gives that idea that sometimes it gets difficult to support yourself doing this as an art form, but if you’re truly passionate about this, you’ll continue going even when things get rough., And I think that’s something that’s stuck with me.”
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Libraries on campus host distinct patrons By Cole Booth | Contributing Writer The libraries on the University of Alabama campus each have a variety of patrons, both from within colleges and from other majors. Rodgers Library primarily serves science and engineering students, McLure Library works with education students, and Gorgas Library is a sort of catch-all for various majors. Katherine Kosich, a senior majoring in English, is a frequent patron of Gorgas and spends a great deal of time at what she calls the “versatile” library. “I’ve held short meetings for conferences in Java City, my friends and I will group sob over all-nighters by the elevators, and I’ve attended book-stitching events in the private rooms on the second floor,” she said. She said she finds a certain aura in the history of Gorgas and its comparatively old-timey feel. “It’s comfortable because I can sit and do my work privately in public and stop and chat with friends when I need a break,” Kosich said. “I’ve regularly returned to Gorgas because of its history.” To others, however, modernity is appreciated. William Hampton, a freshman majoring in electrical engineering, said he prefers the aesthetics of Rodgers Library to those of Gorgas. “I’ve spent some time in Gorgas, too, but I like [Rodgers] a lot better,” Hampton said. “Gorgas has more of an old-school feel to it, even though it has the same technology for the most part. It’s got brighter colors, but it’s also less professional–looking in a lot of places. Particularly, the second floor looks very ’80s, whereas [Rodgers] looks very, very modern, because it is. [Rodgers] also has more of an upbeat feel to me.” Hampton said she spends eight to 10 hours a week working on various projects, so being comfortable in a library is important for him. “[Rodgers] is a pretty good place to come to just hang out,” he said. “If I’ve got math or engineering homework, this is the place to work on it. It’s also good if you want to just mess around with computers. The Wi-Fi reception is really good here.” Hampton said he finds Rodgers Library to be particularly hospitable to all-night
sessions on homework and group projects. “I spent the night here once working on an all-night project. There were people over at the computers from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m., just constantly,” Hampton said. “And the windows are amazing. I spent the night on the couch here a few times, crashing by that window. You can just stare out. It’s beautiful.” Group studies, though, are more common for education students, and McLure Library serves as a hub for many of their meetings. McLure head librarian Benita Strnad said she finds it interesting how the trend of libraries is for them to serve as more of community centers than warehouses of books. Strnad said she feels that McLure caters to both of these needs of the collegiate visitor. “The area in the basement is a collaborative space. If you’ll notice there as you leave, on the table, there’s a sign that says ‘This is not a quiet study space.’ We make no attempt to make people not talk down here,” Strnad said. “You can talk. You can work in groups. This makes it a little bit different from what people think when they think ‘library.’” A difference between McLure Library and other libraries on campus is that McLure has a substantial collection of contemporary, popular novels like a public library. “We’ve got ‘Harry Potter’ books. We’ve got graphic novels. We also have a high loss rate, mostly because of that,” Strnad said. “I always tell people that people steal books for two reasons: They love the book and want to keep it forever, or they hate the book and want to keep you from reading it.” As one of the more visible libraries from the main artery on campus, McLure Library can sometimes be the victim of misconceptions about the University’s libraries. “We are in a unique place here, with this building,” Strnad said. “We are right here on University Boulevard, so two things happen. Either students don’t know that there are any other libraries on campus than Gorgas, or they think this is the only library on campus and have never heard CW File of Gorgas. They’re driving down the boulevard and see our sign says ‘Library’ on it Rodgers Library, Gorgas Library and McLure Library around campus are known for their various personalities of both patrons and contents. and think, ‘Oh, there it is.’”
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
COLUMN | HEALTH
Professor featured in Birmingham Outdoor activities can keep students busy during summer
By Cokie Thompson | Contributing Writer If you walk through Woods Quad, you canâ€™t miss it: Dozens, if not hundreds, of metal squares form a massive sculpture in the center of the courtyard. Its placement on campus allows it to spark conversation among everyone that passes by, not just those who wander into the nearby Sarah Moody Gallery. Similar sculptures are on the roof of a museum in Birmingham, for a similar purpose. From now until Aug. 31, sculptures by University of Alabama professor Craig Wedderspoon will be shown in the Lower Sculpture Garden of the Birmingham Museum of Art. About five years ago, a curator at the museum came to Tuscaloosa to visit with UA faculty and look at their work. â€œBecause I do work thatâ€™s mainly for outdoors, he became very interested in the possibility of doing an exhibition over there for their outdoor gallery up on the roof,â€? Wedderspoon said. â€œI was pretty stoked about it, so I did a bunch of drawings to suit that particular space.â€? Wedderspoon said he hopes all of his work will spark conversation with a wide audience. â€œAs much as I enjoy exhibiting work in galleries and museums, itâ€™s a very small percentage of the population that ever go into galleries and museums,â€? Wedderspoon said. While he was an undergraduate student, a professor asked Wedderspoon if what he had to say was important enough for him to create on such a large scale. â€œWe humans produce enough crap to put on the planet, so why do I need to make these really big things?â€? Wedderspoon said. â€œI guess making these pieces is an attempt to answer that question and to engage in a larger conversation than just the art crowd.â€? The exhibit is part of the museumâ€™s efforts to engage a wider audience. The sculpture garden, as well as programs the museum has held in the space, encouraged visitors to play a more active role in the experience. â€œWeâ€™re trying to make that space more interactive so that the art becomes a part of the space,â€? said Kristin Greenwood, the associate curator of education for the museum. â€œPeople are going into that space, being a part of the space, not just looking at the artwork but actually experiencing it through touch and through different angles and viewings.â€? Kristi Taft, the exhibitions coordinator at the Birmingham Museum of Art, said she considers Wedderspoonâ€™s work beautiful. â€œTheyâ€™re just very organic and inviting for people to come in and touch and look around,â€? Taft said. In addition to the interactivity, the exhibition is part of the museumâ€™s effort to focus on the rich art culture in the Alabama community.
By Katie Metcalf
Photo Courtesy of Jim Harrison III Craig Wedderspoonâ€™s scultptures are displayed in the Birmingham Museum of Artâ€™s Lower Sculpture Garden. â€œWe really have an initiative to feature local and regional artists, particularly Birmingham and Alabama artists,â€? she said. â€œThis was another opportunity to bring in a talented and well-respected sculptor in our region.â€? Wedderspoon said he is lucky to be in this position. Without the support from the College of Arts and Sciences, Dean Olin in particular, along with the department and the Alabama State Council on the Arts, he would not be able to produce work in the way he has been able. â€œThey gave me sabbatical all last semester so I would be able to work full-time on this and not have to worry about anything else. I canâ€™t do this without those four entities,â€? Wedderspoon said.
Who is ready for summer? As the semester is winding down, students are spending more hours studying, writing papers or trying to cope with the stress of the upcoming finals week. However, many students are wondering how they will raise their fitness routine to the next level this summer, which is right around the corner. Many students think they need to run 5 miles or lift weights to get in shape. However, there are many different ways to get fit. Do not be afraid to try something new. It may be intimidating, but summer is about exploring new things and making memories. Hiking is one fitness activity that is great for your body and your mind. If you live by a park or near to a good view, challenge yourself to climb up to the top of the nearest peak with your friends to take in the great outdoors. Hiking is not an expensive activity either.
Just make sure you bring enough water and food so you can refuel during the trek. A fulfilling hike with friends can clear your mind with great conversation and a beautiful experience, and it can make a great road trip if you are ready to experience a new place. Another fun fitness activity for the summer is roller skating. If you are like me, you have not attempted to roller skate since high school. It may be frightening at first, but you can do it anywhere, with friends or by yourself. All you need are roller skates, a helmet, body pads and great scenery. However, youâ€™ll probably fall more than once. All in all, the best way to get or stay fit this summer is to keep moving. Keeping your body moving is important to both your physical and mental health. Also, moving outside helps keep your body healthy by getting the necessary amount of nutrients, such as vitamin D. Have a great summer, and always stay moving.
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Gymnastics seniors to compete in the ﬁnal meet of the season
GYMNASTICS FROM PAGE 17
UA Athletics The Alabama softball team will face Georgia Southern at Chapel Hill, N.C., on Friday.
Softball team drops 3rd straight By Kelly Ward | Assistant Sports Editor The No. 6 Alabama softball team added another loss to the column on Wednesday night. It came at the hands of in-state rival No. 23 Auburn in a midweek game that ended 6-2 in favor of the Tigers. After a series loss to Mississippi State, including a 4-3 loss in extra innings after scoring three in the top of the 10th inning, Alabama was ready to hit the ground running for its next week of games. “We can’t wait to play,” sophomore center fielder Haylie McCleney said on Tuesday. “It doesn’t really matter who we play at this point; we just can’t wait to get back on the field and just last weekend’s over, and we’re going to get better.” Alabama came into the game against Auburn on a two-game losing streak. The Tigers were on a seven-game losing streak.
“You’ve just got to stick with it, and figure out what happened and then get going again,” coach Patrick Murphy said on Tuesday. Junior right-hander Leslie Jury (13-5) earned the loss after 4 1/3 innings pitched, where she allowed six hits and six runs, five of which were earned. Alabama (37-8) had four hits on Wednesday night. Its two runs came from a solo home run by junior Jadyn Spencer in the fourth and an RBI single by Molly Fichtner in the sixth inning. The Crimson Tide fell to 42-15 all-time against the Tigers after the loss. Auburn had six total hits. Alabama freshman right-hander Sydney Littlejohn came in with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fifth and pitched 1 2/3 innings with three strikeouts. Next, the Crimson Tide will travel to play Georgia Southern (30-14) and the University of North Carolina (22-22). The
team has perfect records against both, 5-0 against the Eagles and 7-0 against UNC. “We’re definitely going to play some new people and get people opportunities non-conference because they need to get those in game at-bats,” Murphy said on Tuesday. “I’m hoping to give every pitcher a start especially this weekend. Just go one, two, three. Catch all three catchers, and then get ready for Southern Miss.” Senior Jaclyn Traina hasn’t pitched since Sunday, when she threw more than 170 pitches in the 4-3 loss to Mississippi State. The last time Alabama and Georgia Southern met, the Crimson Tide came out on top 2-1 in extra innings. When Alabama last played UNC, it came out on top 10-1. Alabama’s first game is against Georgia Southern at 2:30 p.m. CT on Friday. The Crimson Tide will play UNC twice, a 5 p.m. CT matchup on Friday and an 11 a.m. game on Saturday.
to the student-athletes that David and I have been able to coach over the last thirty-something years. They’re the ones that were invested,” Patterson said. “I was 22 when I started. I was 26 when we went to our first NCAA Championship. I don’t think I had this in my picture. “I’m grateful to the University because, first of all, not many coaches can stay in one place, one community for their entire career. To win in multiple decades, I think that says a lot. A lot of coaches, I think they enjoy getting to the top. I think staying at the top is harder.” Winning the seventh championship will be an uphill climb for the Crimson Tide, with Alabama’s semifinal meet featuring the defending national champion Florida, perennial contenders Utah and UCLA, and a Nebraska team that has beaten the Crimson Tide once already this season. “It’s definitely going to be a tough competition,” Jacob said. “The top 12 teams in the nation will be there, and we’re all just going to go out there and do our best, and the best teams on the night will make it to Super Six.” — Sarah Patterson Alabama has faced Florida twice already this season, coming out on top each time. Most recently, the Crimson Tide came from behind to beat its conference rival on the final rotation in the conference championship. “I think it’s a great matchup,” Jacob said. “Competing against Florida again, they’re one of our biggest competitors, so it’s going to be an intense competition, but I think we’re ready for it. We’re excited to go out there and get to compete against them again.” To Patterson, this weekend’s championship offers yet another opportunity to place the team on the right side of history. “Out of the six teams competing on Friday night, four have won national championships, and only three can advance. There’s quite a lot of history there,” Patterson said. “I think it will be probably the most competitive preliminary in the history of NCAA Gymnastics.” Alabama’s semifinal will begin at the BJCC Arena at 7 p.m. Friday night in Birmingham. Alabama starts the meet on a bye rotation. If the Crimson Tide places in the top three Friday, it will compete for a national championship on Saturday at 6 p.m.
A lot of coaches, I think they enjoy getting to the top. I think staying at the top is harder.
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
COLUMN | NFL DRAFT
CW | Austin Bigoney Rising senior wide receiver Christion Jones returns as Alabama’s kickoff and punt returner on special teams.
CW | Austin Bigoney Johnny Manziel could find himself as the No. 1 draft pick.
Special teams looks to ﬁll voids
Draft could be the most exciting in NFL history
By Nick Sellers | Staff Reporter With spring’s spotlight centered mainly on the quarterback competition, the only other unit on Alabama’s roster that has experienced as much turnover across the board is special teams, specifically at punter and kicker. Four-year starting punter Cody Mandell left after earning the job as a walk-on freshman, and kicker Cade Foster is gone after a somewhat tepid career. The presumed starter at placekicker is Adam Griffith, who was the collateral damage at last year’s Iron Bowl finish. Griffith’s kick, which was a few ball rotations short of a 57-yard try, is not representative of his composite career, or his potential as the former No. 1 kicker in the class of 2012. Griffith’s only made field goal was a 20-yard chip shot in garbage time against Tennessee last season, so ingame experience will not be in abundance. He still is, however, a notch above other kickers. “We really only have one kicker here,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said, referring to Griffith. “Adam Griffith is doing really well.” Saban remarked after last year’s Iron Bowl that Griffith routinely
drilled field goals from 60 yards and farther. “He’s done a great job of kicking off,” Saban said after the first spring scrimmage. “I think he kicked nine balls today on kickoffs, and probably five of them were out of the end zone.” As far as punters go, the Crimson Tide currently has one on roster – Adrian Lamothe from Monterrey, Mexico. Alabama recruited one of the top punters in the 2014 class, JK Scott from Denver, who could make a serious push for the starting job. “We have a few walk-on punters that we’re working,” Saban said of the competition. “We’ve actually even worked Alec Morris a little bit as a punter, who was a high school punter.” JK Morris is currently embroiled in the quarterback competition. One of the walk-ons is Tuck Borie, a preferred walk-on from nearby Hoover High School in Hoover, Ala. Borie earned All-State honors punting for the 6A state champions and joins former teammate Marlon Humphrey this fall in Tuscaloosa. Returners are always in flux, especially in kickoffs, but rising senior Christion Jones will be the de facto starter at punt returner after he caught lightning during last year’s
season opener against Virginia Tech. Jones returned both a kickoff and a punt for scores in that game and added a punt-return touchdown against Chattanooga. Many of last year’s special teams stars are either moving on to starting roles or competing for starting roles, including safety Landon Collins and linebacker Dillon Lee. Breakthrough players on special teams often have inside tracks to early starting positions, as Vinnie Sunseri remarked at his recent pro day. “Obviously it’s a big contributing factor to be able play on special teams,” Sunseri said. “I was personal protector on punts; I was on kickoff; I was on punt; I was on kickoff return,;and I even held on field goals whenever they needed me to.” With McCarron and Sunseri departing, Alabama will need to find a new holder for field goals. Griffith will likely look to become more accurate and consistent as a placekicker going into the fall. His distance is already solid, but not much is known about Griffith’s game, even to some of the coaching staff. “I’ve been really pleased with Adam Griffith,” Saban said. “He’s done a really good job, but we just don’t have a lot to evaluate there right now.”
By Keegan Elsner Usually, the experts have a decent idea of who is going to go where in the NFL Draft. On May 8, nobody knows what’s going to happen, and that could make this year’s draft the most entertaining in history. The Houston Texans pick first overall and even that pick is yet to be determined. There are about five players the Texans could pick, including Jadeveon Clowney, Johnny Manziel, Khalil Mack, Blake Bortles and Greg Robinson. Most believe Clowney take in that top spot, but it’s anybody’s guess as to who the Texans will pick. This year’s draft could feature more trades than usual. Teams like the Atlanta Falcons want Clowney and they may trade up to get him, just as they did in 2011 to get Julio Jones. Other teams may trade up to get help in positions like offensive lineman and linebacker, both of which are loaded in this year’s draft. It all comes down to who
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really wants a quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft. Teams such as the Texans, Jaguars and Browns all need quarterbacks. It is unknown whether they will pick quarterbacks or not in the first round. Somebody like Sammy Watkins, a Clemson wide receiver, may be picked in the top five instead of a quarterback or lineman. The Falcons hope that the teams in need of a quarterback fall in love with guys like Bortles, Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater. The Falcons need an offensive lineman and if those few teams take quarterbacks, they will get to take a lineman such as Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews. Like the Falcons, each team has its needs, but it’s tough to tell if they will be able to fill those needs with the right guys. The degree of mystery leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft is something that is relatively unheard of. On May 8, anything could happen and that’s just how the NFL likes it.
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
SWIMMING AND DIVING
UA celebrates swimming and diving records By Sean Landry | Staff Reporter The Alabama swimming and diving program honored the 21 records broken this season at a celebration Wednesday afternoon. Seventeen of those records were broken during the SEC Championships, including freshman Anton McKee’s conference championship mark in the 200 backstroke. McKee swam the distance in 1:51.59, the first-ever Alabama swimmer to break the 1:52 threshold. “We had some hard training, and it’s fun seeing it all pay off,” McKee said. “We went through the season like, ‘Why am I doing this?’ Then you see the record book, and that’s why.” The surge of broken records is an encouraging sign for the Crimson Tide in the midst of a rebuilding project under second-year head coach Dennis Pursley. Pursley coached the USA National Team for several Olympic Games, compiling one of the most impressive resumes in professional swimming. Most recently, Pursley coached the resurgent Team Great Britain in the
London Olympics. Despite a long and illustrious career, Pursley doesn’t know if he’s ever seen a leap like this. “I have been coaching for 40 years, and there’s been a few good years out of those 40, but I can’t remember one where we broke more than half [of the records],” Pursley said. “Maybe once more than 30 years ago in a club program that I coached, but it doesn’t happen often, where we pretty much rewrite the record board in one year.” Several Alabama seniors broke records at the tail end of their careers. Stephanie Kinsey was a member of three record-breaking relay squads for the women, and set the school record for the 100 backstroke with a time of 53.58. Senior diver Paige McCleary set a pair of school records in her final home meet, posting a score of 325.88 on the 1-meter board and 377.7 on the 3-meter board. On the men’s side, seniors Vlad Caciuc and BJ Hornikel were part of several record-breaking relay teams. Hornikel also set records in the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle at this year’s national championships.
CW | Austin Bigoney The UA swimming and diving team honors the 21 records broken this season.
Women’s golf team gears up for SEC Championship By Caroline Gazzara | Staff Reporter
UA Athletics The University of Alabama women’s golf team will compete in the SEC Championship in Birmingham this weekend.
It might not have been the easiest season for the Crimson Tide, but the women’s golf team has had two weeks to get ready for the Southeastern Conference Championship, and looks to enter strongly into its postseason competition. Held just down the road, the SEC Championship will take place at the Greystone Country Club in Birmingham. This will be the second time the championship will be held in Birmingham because of a fiveyear contract with the SEC. Since the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, Alabama has been tuning up the little things at practice to prepare for the SEC Championship. Alabama coach Mic Potter said he didn’t change the team’s practice routine much, instead focusing on what the golf course has to offer. “I think the biggest difference is that our golf courses are getting into a little better shape, giving us the speed on the greens,” Potter said. “[We have been doing] a lot of work on short game so we know how the ball is going to react when we chip in. And having some pace to the greens is really important
to us going to Birmingham and the Founder’s Club, because those greens will be fast and that will be tricky. Fortunately, we’re starting to get some spring weather, which is the biggest thing for us.” This will be the first time Alabama meets with the entire conference to compete for a spot in the NCAA Regional Championships. The last time the Crimson Tide went to the SEC Championship it came out on top, shooting 14 over 302. Alabama also won all four awards at the championship, a first in program history. Potter said the team is familiar with the course. “Until they contracted it for the first SEC Championship, we played on it a couple of times,” Potter said. “We can’t play it anymore. Some of the girls on the team have played on it a lot; [Hannah] Collier is a member there so she knows it really well. And we’ve had some success there, winning there last year. So hopefully it’ll bring back some good memories and we’ll play well there. But the bottom line is, we still have to execute; we still have to take the shots that the golf course requires.” The SEC Championship begins Friday and will continue through Sunday.
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
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HOROSCOPES Today’s Birthday (04/17/14). Fun and creativity highlight this year. Two eclipses this month (for six months) affect partnerships and finances. Tune infrastructures at home and work, making repairs and revisions. Communication pays off. Make plans and itineraries. Launch big projects after May 20. Indulge in summer fun; relaxation builds health for autumn changes. Personal discoveries and brilliant ideas grow shared resources. Contribute with love. To get the advantage, check the day’s rating: 10 is the easiest day, 0 the most challenging. Aries (March 21-April 19) -- Today is a 7 -- Travel and adventure calls to you. Keep the big picture in mind... does this trip forward the dream? Set long-term goals. There’s more work coming in. A mate has excellent advice. Invest in an experience that forwards the action for a project you love. Taurus (April 20-May 20) -- Today is a 6 -- Get into the details today and tomorrow. Consider resources and supplies, logistics and team management, and finances. Wheeling and dealing could be required. Build a strong foundation. Consult friends and experts. Many hands make lighter work. Someone from your past could reappear. Gemini (May 21-June 20) -- Today is a 7 -- Let your partner drive. Collaboration gets you farther than playing Lone Ranger. Practice your arts, and beautify your surroundings. Indulge your curiosity, and get the latest expert research. Let yourself get carried away by romance. Negotiate and compromise. Two heads are better than one. Cancer (June 21-July 22) -- Today is a 7 -- Practical considerations hold your concern. Follow safety rules and high standards. Sort through feelings as they arise. Trust your experience. It could get hectic today and tomorrow. A friend makes an excellent suggestion. Use it to persuade the team. It pays to have good manners. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Today is a 7 -- Lay down the law. Make every attempt to follow the rules. Even if you make mistakes, you’re charming. Work out kinks in private. Working at something you love brings abundance. Improve your living conditions. Include delicious treats, cozy atmosphere and friends (or one special friend). Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Today is a 6 -- Home and family take priority
today and tomorrow. Settle into your nest. Good deeds you’ve done bring benefits. Check out an interesting suggestion. Keep your future vision in mind. There’s more money coming in... Divert some of the flow to savings. Share a treat. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) -- Today is a 6 -- It’s easier to learn for the next two days. Study instructions first. Talk to someone who’s been there, done that. Creative work pays well. A generous offer requires more thought. A lucky break blesses your passion project. Your work and opinions garner respect. Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) -- Today is a 7 -- Pay attention to finances. Fill orders and rake in the money. Schedule a sit down meeting. Pull strings to get a compromise. You’re very persuasive now. Trust your feminine side. Make time for visiting friends. Take the roundabout route when necessary. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) -- Today is a 5 -- Generate enough to cover expenses in a test of your frugality skills. There’s more money coming your way. Friends and siblings share the wisdom of their experience. Brilliant ideas come at odd moments. Evaluate old policies. You’re becoming more certain. It all works out. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- Today is a 6 -- There’s more work, and the pressure’s rising. Take a philosophical view. You’re making an excellent impression. Acknowledge your team’s efforts. Celebrate a windfall by relaxing in hot water and preparing a fabulous meal to share with dear people. You’re looking especially good. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) -- Today is a 6 -- Get together with friends today and tomorrow. Share emotional support and laughter. Invent new goals and reaffirm previous ones. It’s a good time to ask for money. Craft the perfect pitch. Social events and gatherings are where it all happens. What comes around goes around. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- Today is a 6 -- Career matters occupy your time now. There’s a rise in status available. Prepare for a test or challenge today and tomorrow. Compete for the best score. Provide well for your family. Find out what your partner wants. All this love comes back to you multiplied.
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p.28 Charlie Potter | Editor email@example.com
Thursday, Apri April 17, 2014
A-Day to answer preseason questions By Charlie Potter | Sports Editor There is an Alabama football game in town this weekend, which has undeniably brought with it the recent chilly temperatures and blustery feeling of football season. With the Crimson Tide set to take the field inside Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday afternoon for the annual spring game, several questions are left unanswered surrounding the team, what fans can expect this weekend and the course of the offseason. Here, we try to break down the biggest questions for Alabama this spring:
Who will shine as quarterback? Senior signal caller Blake Sims has been in the spotlight all spring as the current front-runner to replace AJ McCarron as Alabama’s starting quarterback. Alabama coach Nick Saban said Sims has “shown a lot of command” this spring, and his teammates have done nothing but praised his efforts during practice and the team’s two scrimmages. “Blake is getting a lot of confidence,” rising junior wide receiver Amari Cooper said. “He’s looking good out there.” Sims presents the Crimson Tide with a dual-threat quarterback – something it has lacked for quite some time. But how long can Sims keep this up, especially Jacob with Coker set to
CW | Austin Bigoney Blake Sims looks to take the lead in Alabama’s quarterback competition.
Carson Tinker 8:30 - 12:00 SUPe Store tent on the Quad
joi the competition this summer? Regardless join of that, Sims has surprisingly separated himse from the other quarterbacks this spring. self The only other player to receive snaps with th first team has been redshirt freshman the C Cooper Bateman. But Sims looks to be in the so position of stepping in under season next sole s season – for now, at least.
How does Eddie Jackson’s injury affect the secondary? Rising sophomore cornerback Eddie J Jackson recently tore ligaments in his knee a and underwent surgery to repair the damage. A An injury is never good news for a team, but J Jackson’s absence from spring practice was a huge blow for the Crimson Tide. He was set to play a large role in the secondary as the team’s likely No. 1 corner. With Jackson out for the spring and most of the summer, players like Cyrus Jones and Bradley Sylve are expected to step up at corner. But another player has made strides in his short time on campus. Early-enrollee cornerback Tony Brown has been receiving more reps with Jackson on the sidelines, and his teammates said he has played well. “Tony is very competitive,” senior safety Nick Perry said. “He doesn’t like to lose. Even out there in 7-on-7 or 1-on-1s, he’s fighting for the ball a couple minutes after the ball has been caught.” Brown will be a player to keep an eye on this Saturday.
Can the defensive line apply more pressure on the quarterback? Alabama’s defensive line was not one of the team’s strong suits last year, as the unit showed weaknesses as the season progressed. The defensive line was severely inconsistent when it came to applying pressure to the quarterback, something Saban has personally pointed out. “We just weren’t aggressive off the ball,” sophomore defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson said. “This year, we’re just more aggressive and firing out. I think we’re going to get to the quarterback a lot more this year.” With players like Ed Stinson and Jeoffrey Pagan leaving for the NFL, Alabama will try to find depth along the defensive front come Saturday.
Earl Tilford 8:30 - 12:00 SUPe Store tent on the Quad
Donald Staffo 8:00 - 12:00 Bryant Museum
Will we see increased roles for Derrick Henry and O.J. Howard? Both Henry and Howard displayed glimpses of greatness a season ago, as both players arrived on campus as early enrollees and highly touted recruits. But neither consistently filled up the stat sheet. Henry sat behind T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake in the backfield, while Howard developed as a blocker. With new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin in town, maybe these two young players will see expanded roles in the Crimson Tide’s offense. They said they have improved after a year in college, something that will cause Alabama fans to leave puddles of drool in the bleachers Saturday afternoon. “We always push each other, what we both need to work on to get better,” Howard said. “We both had our flashes, but this year we can become an all-around player at both our positions and be consistent with our play.”
WHAT: Locker room tours begin WHERE: Check-in Gate 3
WHAT: Fan Zone open WHERE: North end of Bryant-Denny Stadium
WHAT: Pre-game field access begins WHERE: Check-in Gate 3
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
WHAT: Pepsi blind taste test WHERE: Ferguson Center Plaza
WHAT: Gates open (free posters available) WHERE: Byant-Denny Stadium
WHAT: Walk of Fame Ceremony WHERE: Denny Chimes
WHAT: Golden Flake A-Day Kickoff WHERE: Bryant-Denny Stadium
Taylor Watson 8:00 - 12:00 Bryant Museum
CW | Hannah Glenn
Published on Apr 17, 2014
Published on Apr 17, 2014
The Crimson White is a student-published newspaper that seeks to inform The University of Alabama and the surrounding Tuscaloosa community....