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Racers vs. Bears

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90 years of excellence

September 7, 2017 | Vol. 92, No. 3

Brock Kirk/The News

James H. Richmond Residential College remains in shambles, after a natural gas leak caused the building to explode.

‘I was in the dark’ Exclusive: Explosion survivor breaks his silence

Ashley Traylor

Interim News Editor The former Residential Director who was injured in the James H. Richmond explosion, Dakota Fields, and his attorney, Bo Neely of Neely, Brien, Wilson & Toombs spoke exclusively to The Murray State News.

JUNE 28, 2017

Some time between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., Fields woke up. He said the time he woke up each morning varied, but that morning, he had many errands to run. He attended his exit interview with human resources and finalized paperwork with public safety and the bursar’s office, as his last day employed by the university drew near. Fields had already accepted a position a few months prior to the explosion at Western Illinois University. Around noon, he began loading belongings into his car. Shortly after, he ate lunch and visited with his girlfriend and her mom. After they dropped him back off at New Richmond around 4 p.m., he loaded more of his possessions up, and moved his car to one of his designated parking spots. About 15 minutes later, around 4:15 p.m., Fields stretched out on his couch to take a nap. “I couldn’t get comfortable because I had a crick in my neck,” he said. “I went to my bedroom and next thing I know I woke up in a helicopter.”


A groundskeeper struck a natural gas regulator while mowing the lawn, according to employee written statements obtained by The News. Gas services were turned off, until the regulator was replaced around noon. “I had no idea there was any leaks in the building,” Fields said. He confirmed he never made a report prior to the explosion as he was never alerted to the odor of gas. “I don’t know whether it was because I got used to it or what, but I didn’t smell anything that


morning,” Fields said. “No one came into the building to let us know [about the regulator being hit or that there was a gas leak]. There were painters and university employees leaving the building all day working on stuff. They didn’t smell anything to my knowledge.” In contrast, it was reported that a painter, who was inside working on New Richmond earlier in the day told his son he did smell gas, according to the official police report. Fields was unsure if he was inside the building when city employees replaced the regulator as he was not notified. “Until The News came out and said what happened with the regulator, I was in the dark,” Fields said. “No comment from the university. Nothing.”


Neely said they could not comment on the injuries Fields sustained as a result of the explosion. “Right now, we can’t go into that,” he said. “We’ll tell you he did receive significant injuries and that’s still ongoing, an ongoing process to uncover all the injuries he sustained that day.” Neely also said they could not comment on Fields’ current prognosis or any further treatment needed. “We’ll be glad to assist you down the road, as more of those things come to light,” Neely said. For Fields, he has good days and bad days. “Every day is different,” he said. “Sometimes, I feel a little better. Sometimes, I don’t. As he [Neely] said we are still figuring out the extent of my injuries. I feel better. Sometimes, it reoccurs that I don’t. It just varies every day.”


“To my knowledge, Murray State has been very helpful and forthcoming,” Neely said. Dr. Davies privately messaged Fields on Facebook, as he said they’ve known each for a few years. “He actually knows me by

first name,” Fields said. “He messaged me and said to be strong and other encouraging things.” During Fields’ stay at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, a member of the Board of Regents visited him. “I think her daughter was visiting or doing something in the Vanderbilt hospital, so she came and said ‘hey’ and checked in on me,’ Fields said.


Fields lost most of his personal belongings in the rubble. A picture circulated on Facebook showing two of his items left intact: his Bible and devotional. However, these items disappeared during the debris cleanup. “We were lucky to get a journal that was destroyed in the explosion,” Fields said. “But, I don’t think I’ll get that Bible back. There was an item that was seen on the ground that was mine and someone stole it because they saw it.” Fields considered asking the university to locate those items, but he said it’s a “lost cause,” and he replaced his Bible. “It would be nice to have that back but it’s probably torn to shreds now anyway,” he said. A social work group on campus created a GoFundMe page for Fields to assist financially in his recovery process. The page raised $540 in donations before it was deactivated. Fields could not comment about what other personal property he lost, but he said he provided a list of lost belongings to the university.


Sigma Pi fraternity brothers showed their support for Fields throughout his time in the hospital. He said three fraternity brothers visited him at Vanderbilt. While more wanted to drop by, Fields said he was without a cell phone, so he did not receive their messages. Along with his fraternity brothers, the Sigma Pi chapter director collected mail


Ashley Traylor/The News

Check in to for the exclusive video interview with former Residential Director Dakota Fields. and donations people sent him, which Fields said was a “blessing.” The executive director of Sigma Pi nationally visited him, too. He described the support from family, friends, residents and coworkers as “phenomenal.” “If I had a phone, it was literally just notification after notification,” Fields said. “It was really nice to hear from everybody.” His fraternity and friends were a support system for Fields, but he said his girlfriend and her family were also a “blessing” to him. Overall, he said he received “good support” from everyone.


Fields wanted to send a message to his residents of New Richmond. While there were many things he wanted to say, he stressed: patience and understanding. “All I can tell you is to just be patient because it could have been a lot worse,” Fields said. “It could have happened two months ago [from the time of the explosion] when people were still in the building. Just be patient and understanding because it could have been so much worse than what it really was.”


Fields said he is sure the university is working very hard to help the residents of New Richmond. “Obviously, this is out of nowhere and no one could have known this was going to happen, but just be patient,” he said.


Since the explosion, Fields said he has been back to New Richmond three times to see the damage to the place he once called home. For two of those visits, he said he was able to walk up to the building. The first visit, he only passed by as he was being transported from Vanderbilt to where he stayed for part of his recovery. At that time, he said a large portion of the perimeter was fenced off. The beginning of August marked the first time he was able to stand really close to what remains of New Richmond. “It’s rather surreal to finally see it in person,” Fields said.

Fields served as a residence director for two years. Prior to this, he worked as a desk worker for four years and was also a graduate assistant in the office of Student Disability Services. In April 2017, he accepted a new job, as the complex director at Western Illinois University. Fields’ last scheduled day at Murray State was June 30. “That’s why I had my exit counseling that morning and my last official day was suppose to be that Friday, but never got there because of the explosion,” Fields said.


He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in human resources in December 2014. Two and a half years later in May 2017, he graduated with his master’s in postsecondary education.

Fields had no comment to whether he felt the university could have prevented the blast. When asked if he is seeking legal action against the university, Fields responded, “I can’t answer that at the moment.” He added he would like to know the plan moving forward with New Richmond. “I would really like to hear from the university to see what they are going to do with New Richmond,” Fields said. “Just pure curiosity, that was my home for the past year.”




The News

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September 7, 2017


Interim News Editor: Ashley Traylor Page Designer: Savanna Hatfield Phone: 270-809-4468 Twitter: MurrayStateNews

Photo courtesy of

Red Cross responders provide water for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Red Cross responds to Harvey Destinee Marking

Staff writer The Longhorn State has been crippled by Hurricane Harvey with more than 50 inches of rain in some areas, and volunteers from around the country are pouring into southeast Texas to help in the rescue and recovery efforts. The American Red Cross made preparations in anticipation of the storm. “The American Red Cross had people and items staged north of the area they thought would be affected, so we’ve been on the ground since before the hurricane hit land,” Evelyn Miller, executive director of the American Red Cross of Western Kentucky said. The Red Cross is providing food, shelter, medical attention and mental health assistance to those who were affected. Several volunteers from

Hurricane Harvey reminds those in the region that preparation is vital to any natural disaster. The Purchase Area Board of the American Red Cross is hosting the Ready in Red Community Preparedness Fair in Paducah, Kentucky on Sept. 9 at the Holiday Inn Paducah Riverfront Hotel. The event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free to the public. “Ready in Red is an opportunity for residents to have one-on-one conversations with professionals so they can learn how to be prepared in case of emergencies and disasters,” Miller said. Greg Forbes, severe weather expert and meteorologist for The Weather Channel, will give a presentation and attendees will have the opportunity to speak with him. Free disaster preparedness kits will be handed out to the first 200 families. In

western Kentucky headed to Texas last week to assist with the Red Cross’ efforts. For those wanting to know how they can help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, Miller said anyone can text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10. If a monetary donation is not feasible, the relief organization is also in need of blood donations. Miller said blood products from different agencies across the country were moved to Texas in case there was a need. Therefore, the blood supply is critically low in other parts of the country, including in western Kentucky.


Natural disasters can strike anywhere in the country and the American Red Cross urges people to be prepared. Residents of western Kentucky are all too familiar with disasters such as tornadoes, floods and ice storms.

addition, children will be able to participate in the Red Cross Pillowcase Project and learn more about the science behind natural disasters through Hooked on Science’s Jason Lindsey. Manda Barger, Purchase Area American Red Cross board member, said she wants people to leave the event knowing how to better prepare their families for emergencies. “Too often we face natural disasters, catastrophic events and dangerous accidents unprepared,” Barger said. “From our event, I hope families learn new ways to prepare while gaining useful tools to be safe.” Barger says the local sponsors and partners have made the event possible including Baptist Health Paducah, First National Bank, Lourdes Hospital, Adam Ford State Farm, Midland Weather Radio, Paducah Bank, WPSD Local 6, Bristol Broadcasting, Pa-

ducah Walmart and LinGate Hospitality. Many area service organizations will be on hand such as fire departments, police departments, emergency management and The National Weather Service. Red Cross volunteer, Kathie Hunt, said she is excited to participate in Ready in Red to celebrate 100 years of the organization in western Kentucky. “I am a big believer in emergency preparedness,” Hunt said. Hurricane Harvey serves as a sobering reminder, Hunt said, of the potential for disasters to strike at anywhere, anytime. “H opeful l y something good that can come out of this, locally, is that we’ll have sort of reminded people how unpredictable the weather is and how we need to plan for it and all work together,” Hunt said.


515,000+ meals and snacks served


relief items distributed


cleaning and relief supplies delivered


health and mental health contacts provided

Racers rally to send aid to Texas Lindsey Coleman

Staff Writer

The Murray State community is striving to give hope to Hurricane Harvey survivors as the death toll, percentage of victims left homeless and number of totaled cars rises in the region. Student organizations and faculty have come together for a common purpose: to do their part.


Jordyn Rowland, junior from Murray and founder of Menstruation Proclamation: A Movement, took initiative to send feminine hygiene products to the women affected by the storm. Rowland said last week her grandma approached her about sending pads to Harvey victims, so she sent 290 pads to Houston that day. “It was one of those, ‘Oh wait… I actually have a platform built up to do something more with this’ moments,” Rowland said. “So I went for it.” That afternoon, Rowland said she decided to work through MPM and collect

donations for iSupportTheGirls, a national organization with relief efforts across Texas. Her partner, Rebecca Brubaker of Emerson College, tweeted about MPM’s efforts, and Chelsea Clinton retweeted the message. From there, international interest was sparked, and Bustle even published an article that mentioned MPM. Rowland created a GoFundMe page, where people donated over $1,000. She said these proceeds will buy products for hurricane victims. Packages are coming in from The Netherlands and Luxembourg, and people have used both Amazon Prime and Walmart to send donations directly to the MPM headquarters in Murray. Rowland said MPM was created last year as a way to fill needs as they arise, the first being providing pads and tampons in women’s bathrooms on Murray State’s campus. Donations to MPM can be addressed to ‘Jordyn Rowland, MPM’ and sent to 711 Main Street in Murray. Rowland said MPM isn’t just for hurricane devastation aid.

Donations can be sent all year round and will be utilized as needs arise.


Tori Wood, Student Government Association president and senior from Symsonia, Kentucky, said SGA sponsored a donation drive at the Curris Center last week. They set up a table for about two hours outside the T-Room and raised $93.91 in monetary donations, which will be donated to the American Red Cross. “While SGA’s core purpose is to represent the student body, we also believe in civic engagement and simply supporting humanity,” Wood said. “This effort is not necessarily a direct reflection of SGA, but who SGA is made up of: people that care.”


From Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, the Murray State Mu Sigma Chi chapter of Chi Sigma International Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International collected food, stuffed animals, medical supplies,

cleaning supplies, diapers, wipes and other personal hygiene items, totaling around 300 items. Rebecca Pender Baum, assistant professor and co-faculty adviser for the honor society, said she made a deal with the students that she would pay for the shipping. She shipped the items last Friday to a friend who lives in the disaster area and is going to distribute to the town of Refugio, Texas. The organization and the Murray State chapter aim to complete advocacy and social change projects each year to support the mission of advocating for clients and community – both globally and locally. “The mission of Chi Sigma Iota and our chapter Mu Sigma Chi is to promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership, advocacy and excellence in counseling and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence in the profession of counseling.” She said the students, faculty and staff of the College of Education and Human Services, among others, were

supportive of their efforts to help Texas. For Pender Baum, the need in Texas hit home. She and her husband have friends and family who live in the Corpus Christi, Texas area. “So it was personal, but also as a counselor that specializes in trauma and crisis work, I just felt the call to serve in some way,” Pender Baum said. “Our members have always jumped at the opportunity to conduct advocacy projects and I knew they would see the value.” Since the chapter’s inception, Pender Baum said the organization has completed a hat and mittens drive for local schools in Murray and Madisonville, collected soccer balls to send to kids in Tanzania and completed this drive for the survivors of Hurricane Harvey. “I think it’s important for the students to be involved in this work because it helps them connect to experiences they may not have experienced themselves,” Pender Baum said. “It helps them to become better counselors by realizing the world is bigger than who they are as individuals.”

The News

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September 7, 2017 Sports Editor: Bryan Edwards Assistant Sports Editor: Blake Sandlin Page Designer: Rosalyn Churchman Phone: 270-809-4481 Twitter: MSUSportsNews


Football welcomes No. 15 Bears

Blake Sandlin || Assistant Sports Editor

The Racers will have their hands full when the University of Central Arkansas visits Roy Stewart Stadium on Saturday. The Bears, ranked 16th nationally in the Football Championship Subdivision, will come as a vast change of pace for a Racer team that dominated Division II Kentucky Wesleyan College last week. The Racers sealed a decisive 67-7 victory over the Panthers. While the Racers were hardly challenged on the field, Head Coach Mitch Stewart said the game provided a chance for the team to assess their depth as a whole. “The biggest positive coming out of last week was the amount of evaluations we got out of each position,” Stewart said. “Everybody that dressed that we wanted to play got reps and snaps, so we were able to get those guys on film and we’ll make an evaluation moving forward into this week.” Stewart will soon see how that roster reacts when they test their limits against a Central Arkansas squad that was ranked first in total defense and second in total offense in the Southland Conference last season. The Bears finished last season with a 10-3 record, propelling them to a second-round appearance in the 2016 FCS playoffs. Central Arkansas will enter Saturday night after enduring a 55-19 loss against the 19th-ranked Football Bowl Subdivision opponent, Kansas State University. Despite a sizable loss to the Wildcats, the Bears have a number of towering assets that will serve them well in their matchup with the Racers, including senior left guard Connor Wood standing six foot and six inches and weighing 300 pounds, as well as 360 pound senior nose guard Javian Williams. The Racers’ starting line will be matched up against the Bears’ line that outweighs them 296 pounds to 280 pounds. Because of the size difference, Stewart said he will be hoping his team can step up to bridge the size gap. “We’ve got to find all of the benefits we can with that type of size,” Stewart said. “When they walk out on the field, they’re going to look the part. On both sides of the ball they’re very big. Probably the thing I’m most impressed with right now is just how big their skill guys are. They’re very tall and very long.” For any shortcomings on the line, the Racers have a skilled core of receivers that can compensate. In last week’s game against Kentucky Wesleyan, senior wide receiver Jordon Gandy recorded 90 receiving yards off of three touchdowns while senior Demetric Johnson recorded 80 yards and a touchdown of his own. With Gandy’s offensive showcase last Thursday, he is sure to attract sizeable attention from a Bears secondary that led the conference in interceptions last year, but Gandy said the additional emphasis on him could open up opportunities for his teammates. “They all look good and they can all catch the ball,” Gandy

Chalice Keith/The News

Freshman running back D.J. Penick breaks loose in the Racers’ 67-7 win over Kentucky Wesleyan last Thursday. said. “[Demetric Johnson] is on the same side as me, and you see how he played. He’s got great hands. And just with all of the receivers altogether, if you just focus on me, you’ll take the focus off another receiver, which will leave him open. If he’s open, he’s going to make the catch and make the play.” Shuler Bentley, junior quarterback for the Racers, will take on his second game as the captain of the offense on Saturday night following a game where he recorded four touchdowns off of 162 yards. Stewart said Bentley has delivered for his team as advertised thus far. “I thought he did a tremendous job,” Stewart said. “He did exactly what we kind of said that he’s been doing through camp. He’s very efficient in his work.” Bentley’s opponent, junior quarterback Hayden Hildebrand, threw for 196 yards and a touchdown in the Bears’ season-opener,

but Stewart said it is difficult to gauge the schemes and production of Central Arkansas as a whole due to the lopsided nature of their game against Kansas State. “That’s the tricky part of those games, and it’s going to be equally tricky for them to where they won’t know what they’re going to get out of us because of the team that we played,” Stewart said. But if one thing can be for certain, it is that this Racer team will come into Saturday’s game with a winning mentality – no matter the rank of their opponent. “I think this team will be ready,” Stewart said. “This is not a team that will be intimidated by anyone by any means. So they’re going to go out there and we’ll be ready to throw our punches.” The Racers’ second home game of the season kicks off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Roy Stewart Stadium.

Online streams benefit athletics Bryan Edwards Sports Editor

Photo courtesy of Dave Winder/Murray State Athletics

The late Chuck Shuffett shakes hands with Murray State President Bob Davies during an intermission of a Racer basketball game.

Original ‘Voice of the Racers’ passes away Blake Sandlin

Assistant Sports Editor

During a time where radio was the only medium available for keeping up with Racer athletics, Chuck Shuffett was there, broadcasting every second. Shuffett, who was the original “Voice of the Racers”, passed away on Aug. 27 at the age of 87. But for many individuals within the Murray State community, the memories and lessons that Shuffett gave them will live on forever. “He sure impacted me by just the way he did it,” the current “Voice of the Racers” Neal Bradley said. “He had an expansive vocabulary, he was a voracious reader. I don’t have quite the

vocabulary he did. He could just paint a picture amazingly, so to me that was just the original golden era of Racer basketball.” Bradley grew up listening to Shuffett’s play-by-play on the radio, and said Shuffett’s broadcasting style helped bring the game to life. “I just loved sitting by the radio,” Bradley said. “I could tell when things got bad because he would go, ‘And Cal Luther takes his coat off and throws it into the front row’.” Shuffett, who did playby-play from 1958-1975, was somewhat of a renaissance man in his own right. He owned Murray’s original radio station WNBS as well as WAAW. Apart from his on-air prowess, Shuffett was also a writer, publisher and

a business owner. Bradley described Shuffett as a trailblazer that helped maximize Murray State’s reach exponentially. “He really pioneered making Racer basketball reachable in an area where there was no internet, so it got into 57 counties instead of two,” Bradley said. For Dave Winder, the Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations, Shuffett gave him his first radio job that inevitably led to a lifelong passion. “I got the chance to know Chuck when he gave me a part-time job at WAAW when I was a senior at MSU in 1987,” Winder said. “I’ll never forget that opportunity, because it advanced my love of radio. I’m very happy that I got to reconnect with

Chuck in 2016 when he was part of our hall of fame class. He appreciated it and really enjoyed seeing many of the people he knew from his time on Racer Radio. Chuck will be missed.” Shuffett was inducted into the Murray State Athletics Hall of Fame following an illustrious 17-year career in the booth. Even in the years succeeding his passing, Bradley believes Shuffett’s legacy amongst Murray State fans will be cemented forever. “As an announcer, doing it in a classy way, but doing it in a way that made fans proud,” Bradley said of Shuffett’s impact. “[Fans] had a connection to Chuck. For me, he was Murray State sports just because he was the voice I heard behind Murray State sports.”

For six years, the Ohio Valley Conference Digital Network (OVCDN) has been a consistent resource for fans, providing an efficient way to view games all around the conference. The OVCDN is a free online streaming website that allows students at all OVC schools the chance to learn about what goes on behind the scenes of an athletic event. Since OVCDN’s inception, Murray State Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations Dave Winder said Murray State’s ability to provide a quality product has improved every year. “At the beginning, it was basically, ‘Here’s the equipment Dave, you all figure it out,’” Winder said. “I’d like to think we have figured it out and gotten better every year.” Winder said the first two years of operation were tough, but he’s since streamlined the process by organizing the staff to help maintain a well-oiled machine. “The first two years we had interns that helped us out,” Winder said. “The last three years we had Matt Hall, who did a great job as our director of video and now Jonathan Harkey is going to pick that up and run with it.” Hall has since moved on to take a position at another school but his presence will always be here. Hall helped make the OVCDN an award-winning product. Last summer the OVCDN received the Excellence Award in Stream Graphics, which is an honor to Winder, but he cares more about the product itself. “We’re not in it to win awards,” Winder said. “We’re just in it to do the best we can and have a great viewing experience. It is nice to be recognized by your peers in the OVC.”

Harkey, who is now the Director of Multimedia and Production at Murray State after a three-year stint working for the University of North Florida, said he plans on building on Hall’s accomplishments and making the OVCDN the best product it can be moving forward. “As long as every single broadcast we’re getting better from little things that we notice here and there we need to work on, that’s my goal,” Harkey said. “Every day you come in and you’re getting better and you’re always working on something else.” Harkey also said Hall left a plethora of students behind that are willing to put in the effort, even when there are remains of a tropical storm blowing into the area. “The students have always had an amazing attitude,” Harkey said. “It’s always been my goal to work with students and grow a culture where students are encouraged to join in on a production and make it their own.” Murray State streamed 83 different games last year, which was the most games Murray State has ever streamed in one year. Winder said a lot has changed since OVCDN began and those changes have enabled them to broadcast more games and keep a high quality broadcast. “We all had problems with internet speed and being able to stream the amount of HD video that you have to push down the line,” Winder said. “There have been vast improvements in the internet capabilities, and I credit the MSU technical staff. They’ve worked with us every step of the way to make this happen.” Murray State has already begun streaming games this season, starting with the football team’s season-opener and the volleyball team’s home opener and plan to continue streaming throughout the year.

The News


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September 7, 2017

Volleyball wins Chattanooga Classic Keenan Hall

Contributing writer


Murray State defeated Louisiana Monroe University in three sets in the Chattanooga Classic opener by scores of 25-13, 25-17 and 25-17. The Racers started Labor Day weekend with a sweep in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Giustino recorded 19 kills, which matched the number of the entire Louisiana Monroe team. Junior outside hitter Dacia Brown nabbed the second most kills with 14. Murray State also had three players in double-digits with assists. Freshman setters Callie Anderton and Ashley McBee had 13 kills apiece, with sophomore setter Courtney Radle adding 12 as well. Murray State led the match against the Warhawks in the majority of the categories, including kills, hit percentage and assists. Throughout the first set, the Racers went on several, long scoring streaks before finishing 25-13. The Warhawks continued to find an answer for the Racers’ execution in the second and third sets.

third set as Murray State stayed consistent. Chattanooga had seven kills and a .029 hit percentage as a result. Giustino had two service aces to go along with her 16 kills. The Racers doubled the Bearkats in kills and assists with 43 and 41, respectively. Sophomore setter Courtney Radle dished 38 assists. Sam Houston State failed to crack the win column against the Racers as Murray State advanced to 4-1 on the season.

Murray State posted 19 kills and 16 assists in the second set and also capped a season high in hit percentage with .400. In the third set, the Racers more than quadrupled the Warhawks in kills 16-4. Murray State led the entire set. As for defense, freshman libero Becca Fernandez led everyone in digs with 11. The Racers only had 13 errors for the match. Louisiana Monroe struggled to match the Racers’ execution. The Warhawks’ leading player in kills, Mikaela Worley, finished with eight, as the Warhawks ended the match with a .212 hit percentage.



The Racers discarded Sam Houston State University in a sweeping fashion to start their final day at the Chattanooga Classic by finishing 25-18 in every set. Murray State needed only three sets to edge the Bearkats. Sam Houston State ended their second match in the classic with a .064 hitting percentage. Brown and sophomore outside hitter Megan Lindsay snagged eight kills apiece. Giustino continued to lead Murray State in kills,

Chalice Keith/The News

Sophomore setter Courtney Radle prepares to spike the ball in the Racers’ 3-2 win. scoring 16 kills to lead all players. Murray State forced the issue early in the first set, posting 33 attempts while the Bearkats had 24. Sam Houston State was held to a .083 hitting percentage in the first set. The first set’s momentum was on the Racers’ side. They went ahead early at 3-2 and never trailed in the set.

In the second, Murray State maintained a steady lead for the majority of the match. Sam Houston State had their best set of the match in the second. The Bearkats scored their game high with nine kills. The second set saw more of the Racers’ continued efficiency in kills with 15 and 42 total attempts. Sam Houston State’s struggles continued into the

Murray State concluded the Chattanooga Classic undefeated after beating the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in four sets, 2521, 25-20, 25-21 and 25-11. The Racers took advantage early in the match, taking the first set and only dropping the second. The Mocs brought the intensity in the second set, thanks to kills from sophomore middle blocker Dani Szczepanski and junior outside hitter Miranda Elpers. However, the Mocs didn’t maintain their hold on the match. With Chattanooga hoping to lean on home-court advantage, the Racers rallied to close sets two and three strong. This was their first

match-up since the Racers and Mocs met in 2014. The first set saw backand-forth action between the Racers and the Mocs. The Racers posted a .406 hit percentage while Chattanooga finished with .164, with the score at 25-20. In the second set, Chattanooga took control of the match from Murray State, edging the Racers in kills 1514. The Mocs scored three less errors than Murray State, as well. Brown grabbed 17 kills and Giustino led everyone with 28 kills. The Racers came out of the locker room and regained the upperhand over the Mocs in the third set and scored 19 of their 63 kills. Chattanooga was outhit by Murray State in the third, with the Racers doubling the Bearcats in kills, 19-9. The set ended with a Racer victory of 25-21. In the final set of the match, the Mocs were outplayed by the Racers’ more offensively efficient hitting team. McBee had 44 assists and Fernandez grabbed 21 digs for the Racers. The Racers will head back on the road for the CEFCU Bradley Classic, starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8 in Peoria, illinois.

Former baseball players sign Frontier League contracts Gage Johnson

Contributing writer

In Racer history, there have only been five players who went on to play Major League Baseball. Three former Murray State baseball players took a step closer to that goal by signing Frontier League contracts over the summer. The Frontier League is a professional baseball organization that is not directly affiliated with the MLB or Minor League Baseball. The league, founded in 1993,

was created to give towns that have no Major League Baseball affiliate a major league atmosphere in their own backyard. Since the league’s inception, it has grown to 12 teams and is separated into an East and West Division. The teams start play in May, and the top two teams from each division take part in the playoffs in September. Players must be at least 18 years of age, and make anywhere from $600 to $1,600 a month during the season while staying with a host family.

32 players have gone on to play in the Major Leagues and definitely received better paydays. Murray State alumni Chad Gendron, Jack Hranec, and John Lollar reached an agreement with Frontier League teams this summer. Gendron and Hranec signed with the Gateway Grizzlies out of Sauget, Illinois, while Lollar signed with the Southern Illinois Miners of Marion, Illinois. All three fared well in their time at Murray State. Gendron was a two-year relief

pitcher for the Racers after transferring from Heartland Community College. During his senior year in 2017, Gendron tied the single-season saves record at Murray State with eight. Hranec was a two-year first baseman/pitcher at Murray State after transferring from Lincoln Trail Community College. In 2017, the senior led the Racers with a .717 slugging percentage, while also putting up a .349 batting average. Hranec also mashed 16 home runs that year, tying the Murray State single sea-

son record. Lollar was a four-year relief pitcher for the Racers. During his four years, Lollar was a key relief pitcher, making 78 appearances, the second most in Murray State history. So far, during the nearly finished Frontier League season, Gendron has appeared in eight games, hoisting a 3.48 ERA over 10.1 innings. Fellow teammate Hranec has become mainly a position player, playing in 49 games. Over those 49 games, Hranec hit four home runs and had a .215 batting average. John Lol-

lar has appeared in 8 games out of the bullpen for the Miners while having a 6.35 ERA over 11.1 innings. A recent performance to note was former Murray State pitcher Austin Dubsky, who pitched eight innings of no-hit baseball with the Miners this season. With the season nearing its end and their teams unqualified for the playoff, the three Murray State alumni will look to either start Frontier League play again in May, or take the next step to the Major Leagues.

Listen to The Murray State News’ weekly sports podcast, The Racer Rundown every Thursday at

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The News

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September 7, 2017 Features Editor: Emily Williams Assistant Features Editor: Nick Erickson Page Designer: Rachel Solomon Phone: 270-809-5871 Twitter: MSUNewsFeatures


President Davies channels inner Racer Murray State’s president fills us in on his running route Sydni Anderson Staff writer

Some mornings, Murray State President Bob Davies slips on his tennis shoes and takes a running tour around campus. Students can see him racing in front of Winslow or through the quad at the crack of dawn. But there’s more to be seen – these destinations are just parts of the base route Davies has adopted in his morning routine. Davies said he runs from Oakhurst, his home, to Wrather Museum and then through the quad. “I go by Rainey T. Wells,” Davies said. “I always wish him good morning.” The university president continues his run across the bridge and past Winslow and the College Courts. He turns around and runs by Springer Franklin back to the quad and the corner of Main Street and 16th Street before returning home. This base route totals 2.1 miles. Davies said he does not do this route every morning but modifies it to fit his schedule. “If I want to do a mile I just go a similar route up to the bridge and back,” Davies said. “If I want to do three miles I do a version where I do that base run but I cut down more through College

Chalice Keith/The News

President Davies can be seen racing across campus most mornings in what has become a fairly common routine for him. Courts and then back to the Wellness Center, up through the Wellness Center and by the CFSB Center to the football stadium back around and back down.”

Davies said his goal is to run every day but he typically runs three times a week. On the weekdays, Davies will get up at five in the morning, have a cup of coffee, stretch

and start a thirty-minute run by 5:45 a.m. However, he said it is easier to run on the weekends in the afternoon. During these runs, he sometimes sees students.

“It gets a little interesting in the fall and the spring because they’re doing student tours,” Davies said. “I usually take a breath and talk to the parents and the potential students as

I’m all drippy and sweaty.” Aside from these run-ins, Davies said he is a solo jogger. The exception is his daughter with whom he runs in the summer. “I’ll run and she’ll run past me, come back, pass me and come back – that type of thing,” Davies said. While some Racers run for athletics, others hit the pavement to stay in shape. Davies said he is in the latter group and runs to stay healthy. “I’m always fighting the proverbial weight issue,” Davies said. “I’m very cognizant of that so I’m always trying to get that down.” Davies said running also helps him to think. “If I do the two-mile run, it’s twenty-five minutes where it’s just me,” he said. Davies said he puts his headphones on when he runs and spends time with himself – something a president does not get to do often. He said his running playlist consists of modern country music, including songs by Thomas Rhett and Lady Antebellum. In addition, Davies said he has a set goal and records his running stats for self-reference. “I have visions of doing a 5K sooner or later,” Davies said. If any Racers see Davies on his run, they should be sure to cheer him on.

Cinema International kicks off the semester Leigh Duncan

tight budget. “Now some peohduncan4@murraystate. ple are just not giving edu money,” said Saint Paul. “Because it’s getCinema Internating harder and harder tional, the brainchild to get funded, we have Fall 2017 Schedule of Dr. Michael Waag, to be creative. We acis celebrating it’s 31st cept donations from return to Murray State the community now.” this year and students The funds raised go SEPTEMBER 7 - 9 are encouraged to towards paying licensDistrict 9 show up and experiing fees to distributors, ence different cultures which she says can go through the magic of up to $400. SEPTEMBER 14 - 16 film. “But I am a tough Ixcanul “He [Dr. Waag] was bargainer,” she said. a Spanish professor,” Saint Paul says she said Dr. Thérèse Saint had been able to reSEPTEMBER 21 - 23 Paul, a French produce licensing fees for Clandenstine Childhood fessor from Belgium. some movies down to “Years ago, he decided $250, with companies it would be good to who distribute movies SEPTEMBER 28 - 30 have a series of interfor educational purThe Brand New Testament national movies shown poses. She says that for at Murray State.” students, however, the When Dr. Waag remost helpful thing they OCTOBER 5 - 7 tired, the responsibilcan do is just show up. Fall Break - No Film ity of the program was One frequent Cindelegated to Dr. Saint ema International goer, Paul. Emilea Bullen, a sophoOCTOBER 12 - 14 According to Murray more from Saint Louis, Balzac and the Little Chinese State’s web page for Missouri, says she first Cinema International, Seamstress came to Cinema Interthe program occurs national because she bi-yearly, showing a wanted to test her lanOCTOBER 19 - 21 different set of movguage skills. ies each semester. Last Travelers and Magicians “I’ve taken French semester, several movfor years, and I’m alies shown centered on ways curious to find OCTOBER 26 - 28 women’s issues, recreout more about the ational marijuana use Nosferatu French culture,” Bullen and even racial prejusaid. dice. She said she quickly NOVEMBER 2 - 4 “We always do became interested in something for Black Breathing movies from other culHistory Month,” Saint tures, as well. Paul said. “Their movies are so NOVEMBER 9 - 11 Saint Paul said sevdifferent from ours and eral themes have The Tale of Princess Kaguya I always like trying out emerged this year new things”. within the program. Bullen says the beThree movies pertain fore the program, a to the struggle of chilprofessor or student dren who face abanGraphic courtesy of Rachel Solomon/The News will come out and give donment, adoption and you a brief background trafficking. of the culture the movie was produced in, as well “It’s a problem in the world and it needs to be as some background on the movie. Afterwards, addressed,” Saint Paul said. students are also encouraged to discuss the film. Some movies also tackle worldwide issues Students and non-students alike looking to exlike environmental struggles. The docket feapand their cultural knowledge this semester, can tures the classic horror movie “Nosferatu,” as attend Cinema International where admission is well as a satirical fantasy called “The Brand New free to all. Testament.” The show dates and titles for are listed in the Saint Paul also said the program is also on a graphic provided. Contributing writer


Photo courtesy of Deonna Watson/ The News

The College of Education’s donation box for solar eclipse glasses, located in the Dean’s office in Alexander Hall.

Vision with a vision The College of Education donates to an out-of-this-world cause Amy Turner

Contributing writer

On Monday, Aug. 21, the campus of Murray State along with the rest of the U.S. excitedly awaited the occurrence of the natural phenomenon of the Great American Eclipse and more than 1,000 glasses were ordered and handed out. After the event had come and gone, there were more than 1,000 pairs of the solar eclipse glasses floating around campus. The College of Education and Human Services began collecting these solar eclipse glasses after the eclipse to donate to Astronomers Without Borders, an organization dedicated to sharing their passion of astronomy and the wonders of the Universe. Sept. 1 was the tentative deadline to donate glasses at Murray State. According to a poll taken on The Murray State News Twitter account, 83% of 108 people who took the poll still have the glasses in their possession, leaving only 17% that have trashed the glasses. The College of Education collected these excess glasses and will be sending them to Explore Scientific in Springdale, Arkansas, where Astronomers Without Borders is collecting all the glasses. According to, the organization is collecting the glasses to redistribute to schools in Asia and South America, which are projected to have solar eclipses in 2019. Astronomers

Without Borders is collecting the glasses not just from Murray State but from several other companies, social groups, and organizations willing to send some in. The organization’s mission is to take astronomy and astronomy study equipment to developing countries across the world. While Southern South America and Asia are the immediate regions receiving the glasses, the organization is hoping to receive enough to use them and keep distributing them after 2019 for other eclipses happening around the world. Paige Rogers, Administrative Assistant at the College and Education and Human Services, saw the Gizmodo article online and decided to get Murray State’s campus involved. Rogers said they had at least 200 pairs of glasses donated and that was before the deadline was up. “This resonated with me and aligned well with the mission of the College of Education and Human Services,” Rogers said. “We’re always looking for ways to educate future generations and further their potential.” Hayley Wring, sophomore from Paducah, Kentucky, said she doesn’t think people really need their glasses anymore. “You could donate them so that they can be enjoyed by people in other parts of the world,” Wring said. “And they can witness something incredible the same way we all did.” More information about Astronomers Without Borders can be found at

The News


Page 6

September 7, 2017 The Heart of the Matter


Photo courtesy of

Rena Lovelis (frontwoman of Hey Violet) brings substance to the table with new album ‘From The Outside.’

‘From The Outside’ rekindles the flame of pop-rock Nick Erickson Staff writer

Often, when a band refuses to pigeonhole themselves within the confines of a single genre, they are either ridiculed or are praised for their experimentation. Not every band can pull off a copious amount of diversity, let alone one treading in pop territory. For Los Angeles quintet Hey Violet, however, they’ve quickly taken over the nation with their debut LP “From The Outside” and it’s truly what the radio needed. Though only recently breaking through, the band has been growing steadily ever since members were only in middle school. Formed in 2008 under the alias Cherry Bomb, the group has spent the better part of the last decade evolving in both terms of lineup and sound. Once a hard rock band, the group has developed into something that’s cohesive yet unpredictable. “From The Outside” delves further into a synth-driven style listeners were introduced on their 2016 EP “Brand New Moves,” while often reintroducing the punch and grit of their early days. Unpredictably is hinted from the moment guitarist Casey Moreta ignites “Break My Heart” listeners should brace for surprise throughout the album’s duration. As frontwoman Rena Lovelis chimes in with her subtle middle range, her sister and the group’s drummer Nia helps build climax until the chorus unleashes with a 180. Without warning, listeners are immersed in an EDM track loaded with an 808 kick and high end belts from Rena instructing them to break her heart. It’s nearly impossible to fight back the urge to nod and sing along to every melody. Driven by a funky bassline complimentary of Iain Shipp, “Brand New Moves” makes a reappear-

ance from the aforementioned EP. “I’m the lock and you’re the key so open me,” Lovelis sings seductively before sending her voice soaring into a pounding pre-chorus. The first single released from the album, “Guys My Age” serves as an eclectic representation of what the album encapsulates: infectious and fun. As Lovelis sings about her mistreatment from a former lover, Shipp and keyboardist Miranda Miller fill out the soundscape with enough ambient layers of electronica to rival a Katy Perry track. Coincidentally, Lovelis’ tonality and lyrics provide an edge that could put Halsey out of commission. Lovelis demonstrates her immense vocal range further on “Hoodie,” with a sugary hook and bright instrumentation. “O.D.D.” allows Lovelis an outlet to vent about her internal issues and fears of how she presents her as the band takes their electropop side down in tempo and laces it with acoustic guitars. The pulsating bass and shimmering keys of “Where Have You Been All My Life” are reminiscent of early 2000’s dance tracks that could easily find their way in a nightclub. On the contrary, high frequency closer “This Is Me Breaking Up With You” is newage Joan Jett. Almost as a homage to the old days, a drum intro meets flashy electric guitar and gang vocals akin to the youthful angst that embodied Cherri Bomb. Hey Violet is not your average rock band, neither your average pop stars. Even with their mound of studio tricks and production, there is a raw bite to their persona. They’re colorful and attention-grabbing without being overzealous. They’re catchy without being repetitious. They’re simple without being predictable. They’re cheeky without being pretentious. “From The Outside” holds more substance than its chart-topping counterparts and is undoubtedly the group’s catapult to stardom.

‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ hits the target with action fans Grant Dillard Staff writer

The summer movie season is winding down and August hasn’t been the best month for movies this year as of now. Films like “Annabelle: Creation” and “Logan Lucky” were received nicely by audiences and critics, but other films like “The Dark Tower,” “Kidnap” and “The Nut Job 2” haven’t left much of an impression. Then comes “The Hitman’s Bodyguard:” a really entertaining action movie that succeeds at providing moviegoers with exhilarating action as well as hilarious comedy. Ryan Reynolds stars as Michael Bryce, who used to be known as the world’s best bodyguard until a client of his was assassinated. Two years since then, he’s been down on his luck and obsessed with getting his top status back. However, Michael gets more than he bargained for when his ex-wife, Amelia (Elodie Yung) tasks him with transporting a hitman, Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) to a trial. This is especially important because an infamous dictator named Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) is set to be released from prison unless Kincaid testifies against him. Wanting to keep Dukhovich behind bars, Michael and Darius will have to begrudgingly work together to make it to the trial on time. Right off the bat, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson are fantastic together onscreen. Reynolds does a good job at being the no-nonsense straight man, while Jackson absolutely yucks it up as the one who doesn’t take his work as seriously and just has fun doing what he does. The characters work well enough on their own, but are given interesting backstories halfway through the film that gives them more depth. Michael’s backstory on how he met his wife is entertaining enough, but it’s Kincaid’s backstory which really stands out. Kincaid’s backstory explains why he became a hitman which


gives his character a lot more depth. The main leads would already be decent if any other actors portrayed them, but Reynolds and Jackson give them the right amount of charisma and energy that makes them much more memorable. Even the supporting cast is above average. Gary Oldman’s Dukhovich makes for quite an intimidating villain, almost to the point where he would fit right in a more serious action movie. His first scene, especially, is quite disturbing and shows that he definitely needs to be stopped. Salma Hayek really shines as Kincaid’s wife, Sonia. She’s not in the film very much, but her scenes are among the most hilarious. But surprisingly, the supporting character who really stands out is Michael’s ex-wife, Amelia. She could have easily been either annoying or bland, but her character manages to be sympathetic as well as capable of taking on the bad guys on her own. Elodie Yung, better known for her role as Elektra Natchios on “Daredevil” and “The Defenders” does a really good job in this film and helps make the character of Amelia even better. For an action comedy film, the action scenes are quite spectacular. There’s a good amount of variety with hand to hand combat sequences, shootouts, car chases, motorcycle stunts and even a boat chase. The best action scene in the film has Michael fighting off the bad guys with any ordinary objects he can find, ranging from a rolling pin to a nail gun. What makes the scene better is that it uses a series of continuous tracking shots with only two or three edits used. It’s by far the best action scene, and may even be the best scene in the entire movie. Thanks to likable characters, strong performances and exhilarating action scenes, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” makes for an entertaining movie to close out the summer movie season. Those looking for a solid action comedy film will want to check this film out.

‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ makes for an entertaining movie to close out the summer movie season.

When I first came to Murray State as a sophomore in college, I needed a change in scenery Emily Williams and I was Features Editor looking for something bigger than higher education. I was looking for value, purpose, a place to belong and to call my own. I was looking for the answers to questions that had been heavy on my mind for much too long. But it’s only now, five years down the road and well on my way to parting ways with Murray State, that I am beginning to learn and accept the answers to so many of the questions that I packed up and brought with me on move-in day of my sophomore year. Of course, I still don’t know what I am doing and there will always be questions that I don’t know the answers to. But what I’ve learned is that it’s not necessarily how you answer the questions but the process of searching for those answers that changes you and reconstructs you. Nevertheless, looking back on my time at Murray State, I have a long list of answer-esque tips that I wish I had been able to tell myself when I first came here. Here are just a few of them: 1. Being treated like dirt is not an amusing game or temporary inconvenience that every part of you will not be affected by. Allowing yourself to be placed on the back burner will only cause you to feel like that’s where you actually belong. Let go of toxicity and move forward. 2. Change isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes (most of the time) it leads you to exactly the spot you need to be in, at exactly the right time. 3. Throwing your clothes in the dryer for five minutes is a lot easier than ironing them. 4. You really can’t please everyone. You just can’t. Decide who you want to be and everyday, strive to reflect that. Make sure that at the end of every day, when you lay your head down on your pillow, that you are happy with the decisions you made. 5. You will make mistakes. Some of them will be small and some will be doozy’s but you will make them. Have your time of grief and regret but then move on. You are human, you are only one person and you are entitled to a few mistakes when you are in the process of discovering who you are. 6. Five minutes of extra sleep makes a world of difference. 7. Be the kind of friend you’d like to have. 8. Having a cat actually rocks because you always have a buddy at 2 a.m. when it’s storming and you can’t go to sleep. 9. The homework will get done, so remember to have a little fun. Go to Cookout at 12 a.m. when you could probably use the hour to study a little extra for your final. 10. It’s ok to not know all of the answers. But while you’re looking for them, treat people with kindness, understanding and love. That’s what will last in the end. So whether you’re just starting at Murray State with a full four years ahead of you and many memories to be made, or you’re like me and nearing the finish line, establish what it is that you value the most and would like to stand for. The experience will be what you make of it and the lessons you learn along the way will shape who you are as you toss that graduation cap into the air someday. Make your time here worth it.

The News

Page 7

September 7, 2017

Opinion Editor: Tyler Anderson Page Designer: Tori Wood Phone: 270-809-5873

M Connor Jaschen Editor-in-Chief • 270-809-6877

Austin Gordon Production Manager • 270-809-5877

Ashley Traylor Interim News Editor • 270-809-4468

Tyler Anderson Opinion Editor • 270-809-5873

Emily Williams Features Editor • 270-809-5871

Bryan Edwards Sports Editor • 270-809-4481

Iqra Ilyas Advertising Sales Manager • 270-809-4478

McKenna Dosier Photography Editor • 270-809-5878

Opinion Our View

A nation not so divided The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board. Americans are no stranger to natural disasters – the tornadoes of Oklahoma, wildfires of California, and more recently, the impact of Hurricane Harvey on Houston, Texas, have all pushed people to their limits. Following on the heels of the Charlottesville riots, it might be a bit difficult to find a silver lining in it all. But all one has to do is look to the people of Houston. From severe tragedy, sadness and loss has come a sense of togetherness and fraternity that’s not often seen. Thousands of volunteers and locals have temporarily shed their prejudices to help those in need. According to a press release by the American Red Cross, at least 2,300 relief workers have been dispatched by their organization, with another 700 workers on their way. And they aren’t all Texas locals; many of these relief workers are traveling across the country to aid those displaced by Hurricane Harvey and heavy flooding. While volunteering isn’t a feasible option for everyone, monetary donations, alongside food and sanitary supplies, have come from the far corners of the United States and beyond to aid people who have potentially lost everything. Good will isn’t always rewarded though, as shady charities are a dime a dozen in times of distress, and everyone should practice mindful giving and exercise due caution. In an announcement by the Federal Trade

their expenditures and practice due diligence in reporting their impact accurately. No organization is without its faults though. Brad Kieserman, an American Red Cross executive, has come under fire for fumbling an explanation of how much of the group’s funds actually go to relief efforts in an interview with NPR. Kieserman even went on to say he’s not sure if the chief fundraiser even knows how much money has been allocated to relief efforts. The organization’s spending was later clarified by a statement on the American Red Cross’ website: “...91 cents of every dollar we spend for this disaster will go to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey.” Ultimately, the dollars or time spent assisting those in urgent need are just one thing to be thankful for. Autumn Brown/The News Our culture is undergoing a massive shift in public consciousness about race, sexuality, gender and economic Commission, readers are warned to not “...assume status. It often seems that we spend more time arthat charity messages posted on social media are guing over issues of morality than finding common legitimate” and to “be alert for charities that seem ground and accepting each other’s differences. to have sprung up overnight in connection with But in a time of great need, we have come tocurrent events.” gether as one people to serve a greater purpose. It’s an unfortunate fact some people will take Even if for just a moment, the differences and disadvantage of any situation if it earns them a agreements neighbors once had have seemingly quick buck, so being cautious is especially imvanished – not for good, but for a moment. portant if one wants to make the biggest differ Our society must permanently bridge the gaps ence possible. that divide us if the fraternity formed in Houston Reputable charities, such as the American Red is to become the norm and not an outlier. Cross and United Way, are usually upfront about

Allison Laski Chief Videographer • 270-809-5878

Cheers & Jeers

Stephanie Anderson Adviser • 270-809-3937

The News 2609 University Station Murray State University Murray, Kentucky 42071-3301 Fax: 270-809-3175 The News welcomes commentaries and letters to the editor. Submissions should be 600 words or less, and contributors should include phone numbers for verification. Please include hometown, classification and title or relationship to the university. The News reserves the right to edit for style, length and content. No anonymous contributions will be accepted. All contributions should be turned in by noon on Monday of each week via email to Contributions to The News are the opinion of the author and not that of The Murray State News. The News strives to be the university community’s source for information. Our goal is to present that information in a fair and unbiased manner and provide a free and open forum for expression and debate. The News is a designated public forum. Student editors have authority to make all content decisions without censorship or advance approval. The paper offers a hands-on learning environment for students interested in journalism. The campus press should be free from censorship and advance approval of copy and its editors should develop their editorial and news policies. The News is prepared and edited by students and is an official publication of Murray State University. The first copy is free. Additional copies are available for 25 cents at 111 Wilson Hall.

Cheers to ... relief efforts

Jeers to ... Kentucky weather

Several on-campus organizations are pitching in and doing their part to help those displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Keep it up, Racers!

We’re used to it by now, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. Just bring on the sweater weather already!

Jeers to ... Super Nintendo Classic shortages

Cheers to ... Starbooks renovations

If you know video games and love Nintendo, this is no surprise. For everyone that doesn’t, count yourself

More space and better options? Yes please.

Between You and Media

Reshelving the ‘Best Sellers’ list Rachel Wood Contributing writer A few weeks ago, things got a bit heated in the young adult literature publishing realm. As most people know, it’s a huge deal to get your book on “The New York Times Best Sellers” list, especially if you are a new author. It’s basically free advertising; it tends to make bookstores push displays of the book because owners know it is selling well. Unfortunately, some authors and their publishers have learned how to play the system. Lani Sarem, an unknown author, had her book skyrocket to number one on the young adult list after only one week of sales, despite barely having any press coverage. Most readers and fellow authors were extremely confused – how does a book with little to no public relations presence make it to number one in a matter of days? Part of the problem originates in how the system works. The New

York Times list ranks its occupants based on weekly sales; bookstores report the number of sales, alongside some secret metrics only The New York Times knows. Each week, a book’s sales number resets to zero, making the ranking more of an even playing field for new releases – at least, it’s supposed to. This plays into another central issue; presales are currently listed as day-one sales. So, the number of books that have collectively been preordered in the weeks and months leading up to release day are counted in the first week of sales, giving authors plenty of time to collect a huge number of sales before the book comes out. This is the reason why so many celebrities and YouTubers manage to get their books on this list, even if their writing is subpar. And this is exactly why we need a new way of ranking these books. Quality is essentially thrown out the window when it comes to this list. Sure, there are numerous well-written books that hold a steady place on the list because of their amazing content, but they are

also competing every week with the new release, bulk preorder books like Sarem’s. Unfortunately, this is why both thought-provoking works by Margaret Atwood and the questionable stories of Stephanie Meyer can boast “The New York Times Best Sellers” title side by side. Sarem herself, however, has argued that the list fundamentally works against first-time authors because the list relies on overall sales. The book she temporarily displaced as the number one young adult “Best Sellers” (before the list was revised) was “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas, a book written by a first-time author. Regardless, there needs to be a way to balance sales counts and quality. The measure of popularity in modern media has simply become a numbers game, so maybe a new book-ranking system would mean an overhaul of our measures of popularity. I’m a fan of rooting for debut authors and letting people enjoy what they want to enjoy, so why is it such a big deal for a poorly-written book

to be on the best selling list? It means that marginalized voices are pushed out and recycled, while potentially problematic ideas are left in the mainstream. Think about some of the ‘breakout’ books in the past decade, such as “Twilight” and “Fifty Shades of Grey.” These books, in retrospect, helped to normalize some pretty dangerous ideas. Just from initial reviews and samples, it appears Sarem’s “Handbook for Mortals” will also fall into this category. While we wait for a better way to rank books, maybe we should stop praising authors simply for being listed as “Best Sellers.” Paying more attention to new voices that have unique stories to share should always outweigh the attention we give to the uninspired. Stop searching for books that bear a “The New York Times Best Sellers” sticker and start asking librarians and independent bookstore employees for suggestions; their lives revolve around making sure good books make it onto our shelves. And remember, “good” and “popular” aren’t necessarily synonymous.

The News


Page 8

September 7, 2017

No drone zone Paige Effinger Contributing Writer Murray State has a “no drone” policy that prohibits the use of drones for commercial, hobby or other purposes on university property. To fly a drone, one must have a license given by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and complete an aeronautical knowledge test. Shawn Touney, director of communications at Murray State, said any changes to this policy must be in full compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. This rule is one of a kind compared to other schools throughout Kentucky. Western Kentucky University has an application that students can apply for to be able to operate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) on or above their campus so long as the operator is compliance with the FAA. The University of Kentucky also has a similar rule.

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Murray State’s ‘no drone’ policy is a stark contrast to other university policies in the state, which in some cases allow students to obtain permits. Students have to apply for permission to fly their UAS above campus. This requirement ensures the safety of the students, faculty, and staff. The UK policy prohibits any use of hobbyist or rec-

reational use of UAS devices over the campus, and also prohibits drone operators to fly their device over Kroger Field [Commonwealth Stadium] during any event. All UAS devices are required to be registered with

the FAA. Currently, one only has to be 13 years old to register a drone for recreational uses, and 16 years old to register it for commercial and business uses. All operators must be licensed through the FAA.



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