Page 1


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Vol. 117, Issue 21, 20 Pages


Courtney Lockhart, convicted of the March 4, 2008, capital murder of 18-year-old Auburn student Lauren Burk, was sentenced to death by lethal injection Wednesday. On Nov. 18, 2010, a jury unanimously recommended a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Wednesday, Judge Jacob Walker III heard arguments from both sides before deciding to override the jury’s decision and give

Lockhart the death penalty, flooding the court with emotion from the families of both parties. “My reaction was happiness, and I was not surprised,” said Jim Burk, Lauren’s father. “As I said when I was on the stand, any parent that went through what we went through, losing a daughter like we did, there is no way if a person is a human being, they would want anything other than the death penalty for the person that murdered their child.” Walker said he came to his conclusion after weighing evidence

and precedent that was not made available to the jury during the trial. For his sentencing, Walker was allowed to consider additional crimes committed by Lockhart, including five robberies, firing a weapon at police and attempting a kidnapping all around the time of Lauren’s death. At Wednesday’s sentencing, four members of the Burk family addressed the court with impact statements, including Lauren’s father, who said he wished Lockhart’s daughter would never have

to experience anything similar. “I’m sorry for your family, but don’t bring my daughter into this,” Lockhart said in an outburst. “I wish you didn’t bring my daughter into it,” Jim said. At these reactions, the court took a recess before reconvening for sentencing. While the defense argued the unanimous decision by the jury was reason enough to dismiss the death penalty, the prosecution relied on Lockhart’s intent and emotional appeal as they » See LOCKHART, A2



Toomer’s task force digs deep


David Hoilett, Atlas Geo Sampling Company, and Gary Keever examine a soil sample.

Efforts to survey soil, ground water continue

interval,” McCauley said. “If that’s the case, then groundwater, which is far deeper than that, hasn’t been impacted.” McCauley said even if the herbicide had reached the groundwater, there would be little public health concern as it would be highly diluted. He also said the city of Auburn receives its water from lake water, not the groundwater in question. McCauley said his team was also taking soil samples at depths up to 20 feet to determine how far the herbicide had traveled. The samples are being sent to the chemistry department for analysis and should be returned within a week. Meanwhile, Gary Keever, professor of horticulture and task force head, said signs of the tree’s exposure to the herbicide should be visible soon. “Based on herbicide experts, we don’t expect the herbicide to move up in the tree until the buds break,”


The Toomer’s oaks task force continued working this week to save the poisoned oaks and to determine the extent to which the lethal herbicide spread. “We’re essentially just trying to find out where it is and how far it’s migrated,” said Tom McCauley, environmental programs manager for the University Department of Risk and Safety. McCauley and a team of contractors from the Birmingham-based firm Highland Technical Services Inc. drilled wells around the oaks to determine how deep the groundwater flows. “We feel pretty confident that the material hasn’t migrated beyond a four foot

Keever said. Keever said the buds are currently “swelling,” and as the weather warms the tree will show its first leaves of spring. At that point, he said he expects them to brown and then shed. He said the tree could attempt to grow its leaves several more times, or if the herbicide is concentrated enough, the tree could die after the first shedding. He said his team would be examining the buds every seven to 14 days and informing the Auburn Police Department of their findings. “From a legal standpoint, the police want to determine the herbicide actually got in the tree,” Keever said. “If not, you could say, well something else killed those trees.” Keever said the Toomer’s incident has shown the diversity and the versatility of the University. “That’s one of the things that I’ve been most


David Hoilett extracts a sample of soil from Toomer’s Oaks to measure the toxicity. impressed with,” Keever said. “It’s not as if we’ve got to go to other universities or industry. They’re right here. They might be upstairs, or over in the chemistry building, but we had all the expertise we needed right here.”

Keever said he hopes the incident will make the Auburn community more conscious of the campus landscape. “How many people thought about trees on campus before this, other than rolling Toomer’s corner?”

Keever said. “I hope next fall, when the football team is playing, people think about the campus when they’re out there, that they use trash bins, that they don’t intentionally dump their grill in the base of a » See TOOMER’S, A2

Updyke preliminary hearing canceled his notice of appearance Feb. 22. Because of the high probability of a majority of the jury pool in Lee County having affiliations with the University, Threatt said he is considering applying for a change of venue. “At the very least, if I call up 100 jurors from Lee County and 60 of them have relationships with the University, then what that does is it shrinks the diversity of

Jillian Clair NEWS EDITOR

The preliminary hearing for Harvey Updyke, the man accused of poisoning the Toomer’s oaks, originally scheduled for March 2, has been canceled. The motion to cancel the hearing was filed in conjunction with the withdrawal of Updyke’s third attorney, Jerry Blevins. Updyke’s fourth attorney, Glennon Threatt, submitted INSIDE

Community » A3


Commentary » A5

the jury pool, resulting in a jury that may not be adequately representative of the community,” Threatt said. However, Threatt said he is still discussing the case with District Attorney Robbie Treese. “I wouldn’t be talking with him in good faith if I had already decided that we were going to seek a change of venue,” Threatt said. As the case currently

| Campus » B1


Intrigue » C1

stands, Threatt said the preliminary hearing, originally scheduled for March 2, will most likely be held sometime in mid-April. From there, the case will be heard by the grand jury sometime in May, and if an indictment is returned, the pretrial will probably be held in June. If convicted of criminal mischief in relation to the Toomer’s oak poisonings, Updyke, 62, could face up to |

Arts & Entertainment » C3

10 years in prison. Threatt said there may be additional state or federal charges filed against Updyke. Threatt said he thinks the state will also pursue restitution, which means if Updyke is convicted, he would have to pay the cost of the University’s efforts to save the trees. Although Updyke admits he called into the » See UPDYKE, A2 |

Wasting Time » C4


Sports » D1


Recycled paper

News A2

The Auburn Plainsman


Thursday, March 3, 2011


■ Quinton L. Griffin, 22, of Opelika Lee Road 159 Feb. 26, 12:30 a.m.

■ Meredith G. Hall, 21, of Oklahoma City, Okla. Debardeleben Street at Glenn Avenue Feb. 26, 12:49 a.m.

■ Sean K. Morris, 31, of Chicago, Ill.

Feb. 25 — East Glenn Avenue Breaking and entering of a vehicle reported. One GPS and $5 in coins.

Feb. 27 — East Longleaf Drive Theft of property reported. One turn table.

Feb. 27 — Shug Jordan Parkway Burglary of residence reported. Six baseball caps.

Feb. 25 — Grove Park Breaking and entering of a vehicle reported. Two cell phones.

Feb. 27 — Opelika Road Burglary of residence reported. Two liter bottles of Captain Morgan rum, one liter bottle of Jose Cuervo tequila, one 750 mL bottle of Smirnoff vodka, one 375 mL bottle of E&J brandy.

Feb. 27 — East Magnolia Avenue Theft of property reported. One mountain bike.

Feb. 27 — Wrights Mill Road Theft of property reported. One lawnmower, power drill, plunge router, circular saw, jig saw, rathcheting screwdirver and 130 piece bit set, power sander.

Luverne Avenue at North Donahue Drive Feb. 26, 12:51 a.m.

■ Patrick J. Lymon, 18, of St. Louis, Mo. West Magnolia Avenue Feb. 26, 1:01 a.m.

Feb. 27 — Webster Road Burglary of residence reported. Twenty-five manila folders.

— Reports provided by Auburn Department of Public Safety

■ Morgan J. Burton Jr., 35, of Opelika Opelika Road Feb. 26, 9:25 p.m.

■ Fidel A. Perez, 20, of Concatione Tule A Para, Guatemala North Dean Road Feb. 27, 12:18 a.m. ■ James K. Carlisle, 33, of Alexander City East Magnolia Avenue Feb. 27, 2:06 a.m.

guilty by reason of insanity, and that happens in a microscopic portion of less than 1 percent of cases because the standard is very, very high, and it usually deals with people that are completely delusional and out of touch with reality, and he’s clearly not even near that standard,” Threatt said. Threatt said Updyke was relieved to get out of jail on a $50,000 bond. “For anybody to be in jail is traumatic, but certainly

UPDYKE » From A1

■ Perez M. Jesus, 28, of Chiapas, Mexico Opelika Road Feb. 27, 2:31 a.m.

Paul Finebaum show and claimed that he poisoned the trees, Threatt said he told the Auburn Police Division he was innocent. “He told the police that he didn’t do it,” Threatt said. “And so far, we’ve entered a plea of not guilty, so that’s where we are right now.” Threatt said he is not considering an insanity plea. “A person can plead not

Lockhart said he made her get into the passenger seat of her vehicle, and he began to drive. During the ride, Lockhart said he made Lauren take her clothes off to prevent her from leaving the vehicle. Lockhart said he shot Lauren when she tried to jump from the vehicle on North College Street. He then drove to the Chevron gas station on South College Street and Glenn Avenue, doused the inside of the car in gasoline and lit it on fire in the parking lot where he found Lauren. Police arrested Lockhart March 7, 2008, on Summerville Road in Phenix City after a two to three mile chase. Because of Lockhart’s


reconstructed the way he waited for someone to target. “This offense was prolonged and unnecessarily cruel,” said District Attorney Robbie Treese. “Her heart is still here with the people behind me, and we ask this court to give this case the weight it is due.” In a video confession shown during the trial, Lockhart, of Smith’s Station, confessed he held Lauren at gunpoint and demanded money as she was getting into her Honda Civic, parked near the Hill residence halls. When Lauren screamed,


Hoilett and David Burtz extract soil from Toomer’s Oaks.

TOOMER’S » From A1

tree, that they think about what it takes to remove toilet paper.” David Davis, senior project geologist with Highland Technical Services who helped in the gathering of the soil

samples, said his work here brought the Auburn and University of Alabama communities together in surprising ways. Davis, an Alabama graduate, said his father was an Auburn graduate. He said he was excited to work on a project that was “out of the norm.”

for a 62-year-old man it’s an unpleasant experience,” Threatt said. “He has multiple medications for various ailments he has, and he’s back on his medication now, so he feels a lot better.” Updyke is a former state trooper, a father and a grandfather, and Threatt said he hopes people take those parts of his life into consideration before passing judgment on Updyke. “I would just ask people not to judge a person by the worst moment of the worst

I know Lauren is watching us from heaven, and I know she is smiling right now.” —Jim Burk

death penalty sentence, the case will receive an automatic appeal. Armstrong said because they were denied a change of venue, they feel good about the appeal. “I hope everyone heard he did apologize to Mr. Burk and the entire family,” Armstrong said. “That is

day of our lives,” Threatt said. “He’s a guy who almost lost his life in the line of duty as a law enforcement officer, and that was a moment in one day of his life as well. “So I ask people to try to balance—first of all I ask them to give him the presumption of innocence— but even for those who assume that he’s guilty, I ask them to try to balance their judgment of him and look at his life in totality and not to judge him based on one particular act.” something that he has not been able to express due to legal reasons.” While the Burk family said they are happy with the sentence, they are unable to forget or express the pain they’ve experienced. “She was a person that would reach out to people who needed help,” Jim said. “She was an angel. There was so much to her that hasn’t even been touched upon because of her life being cut short.” Although they know the sentence will not bring her back, Wednesday brought some closure for the Burk family. “I know Lauren is watching us from heaven, and I know she is smiling right now,” Jim said.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Page A3


David Phillips drives his Ford truck through a field of mud Saturday morning at The Great American Park. The 165-acre park also offers areas for rock crawling and ATV riding.

The Great American Park provides an arena for mudding, rock crawling and riding ATVs Rachel Hampton WRITER

To get a feel of what The Great American Park is about, just take a look at the name. Located five miles from campus, the park covers 165 acres of land and offers a place for people to enjoy mud riding, rock crawling and ATV racing. “I was just thinking that if I can create a place for people to go for outdoor recreation and entertainment, then it can help on our financial ends,” said John Glass, park owner. “I looked at it as a financial investment. I wanted to do something unique.” The park is separated into different areas depending on which activity interests visitors.

“It started out as more of a mud-riding place—people with trucks and four wheelers,” said John’s daughter Courtney Glass, graduate student in English. “But, then (we met) a local group called the AU Crawlers— they do rock crawling. So we met them and made an addition to the park.” Rock crawlers use their vehicles to drive up excavated trenches and hills filled with truck-sized boulders, which can seem impassable. “The front half of the park is mostly large mud-riding areas and trails that wind all through the woods,” Courtney said. “The whole back of the property are rock properties that stretch on for acres. “Some are for, like, stock trucks where you don’t really have to have done anything to your truck, and then there are the really difficult ones where you really need to have made some sort of modification to your vehicle. We’ve got a little bit of everything for everybody.” John came up with his idea for the park after growing up mud riding, and he pitched the idea to Tom Hayley, local businessman and land owner.

John, who excavates all the trenches and moves the estimated $140,000 of rocks himself, said he added his own creative touch to the park, giving the attractions he built names like Achilles’ Heel, the Boomerang, Montezuma, the Big Amazon and Hogwallow. “I dreamed ‘em up,” John said. “When we were growing up hunting my dad used to talk about the roughest place to go hunting was the hogwallow. Well, the worst place on the site is very similar soil characteristics and mud, so I named it after my father, and that got it started.” The park, which used to be a golf course, has only been around for a year, but its impact on the Auburn community is accelerating. “We heard about it through some friends of ours in Phenix City, so word’s getting out,” said Jay Shields, a first-time visitor who brought along his 7-year-old daughter and 7-year-old niece. Shawn Pugh, junior in agricultural economics, said he has enjoyed riding ATVs at the park since he came last year .

“Me and my buddies—we do this all the time,” Pugh said. “Oh yeah, its a lot of fun.” Coolers and alcohol are allowed, but the park puts on the brakes when it comes to glass bottles because of the possibility of broken glass slashing tires and lowering the safety of the park. The park, run by family members and friends, puts an emphasis on providing a family-friendly environment, stationing security guards at the front gates. The guards, off-duty police officers from Columbus, Ga., also patrol the land. “We knew it was a family-friendly environment,” Shields said. “We looked on the Internet, and we had friends come up last year. “They said it was really great and that there was police and security and things like that, so we felt good about it.” Shields and his family were spectating for the day, riding around watching the rock crawlers and mud riders, which is typical for some visitors. Visitors pay a $10 admission fee; entrance is free for those under the age of 7, and everyone signs a participant-release waiver.


The bath salts drug, which has been outlawed in Alabama, is commonly snorted, smoked or injected.

‘Bath salts’ drug illegal in Alabama CHRISTEN HARNED / ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR

Kaylee Wilson pays her bill with cash to Chili’s bartender Joshua Jones. Chili’s general manager Eric Wilson said the number of customers paying with TigerCards has decreased dramatically since the meal plan was created in 2008.

Businesses take notice of meal plan Jordan Dale WRITER

Auburn’s required meal plan, implemented in 2008, has helped stimulate the on-campus economy, but it’s instatement may have left some local businesses reeling. Because of the mandatory meal plan, fewer students use the previously popular Tiger Club account. The Tiger Club account is a fund separate from the required meal plan, and it allows participants to use their TigerCard at on-campus restaurants

as well as more than 47 off-campus restaurants and other types of businesses such as Best Tire and CVS Pharmacy. Joshua Wong, assistant manager of Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, a local hibachi grill on Opelika Road, said he thinks the restaurant’s revenues have been negatively affected by the decreased number of Tiger Club account holders. “In many ways the TigerCards really helped business,” Wong said. “You would see a dozen of those cards

every week. Now you almost never see them.” Wong said business is steady, but the absence of Tiger Club diners is something that was hard for him to overlook. Chili’s on Opelika Road has also felt the effect of the transition to the required meal plan. “We used to get six to 10 of those cards a day, if not more,” said Eric Wilson, general manager. “Now we maybe have six people a week, and » See BUSINESS, A6


“Bath salts,” the newest designer drug on the market, were added Feb. 22 to the Alabama Controlled Substance List, making it a felony crime to possess, manufacture or distribute the drug. While the drug has no association with the product used in baths or at spas, they were readily available until recently at gas stations, convenience stores and “head shops” around the area. “Instead of waiting until more reports came in, we decided to partner with

Florida and Mississippi and make them illegal, with the hopes that people would stop using or never start,” said Alabama Health Officer Donald Williamson. Under the guise of harmless names such as “Red Dove,” “Ivory Wave” and “Ocean Snow,” the drugs were sold for as little as $20 for a 200 mg package. These “bath salts,” although labeled “not for human consumption,” often contain the stimulants mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone—also known as MDPV—and have not been evaluated by the » See SALT, A4

Community A4

The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, March 3, 2011







Jan Dempsey Art Center presents “Alice in Wonderland”


Expressions Café




East Alabama Free Thinkers

■ Gnu’s Room ■ 6 p.m.


John Peterson Concert

■ Gnu’s Room ■ Gnu’s Room ■ 7 p.m. ■ 7 p.m Penny Beer

■ Bourbon

Dempsey Art Center ■ 6:30 p.m. 6



■ Jan

National Frozen Food Day



Street ■ Noon to 2 a.m. 11

Southern Outsiders Film Series: “O Brother Where Art Thou?”


Rainwater Harvesting Workshop

■ Pioneer Park ■ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

■ JCSM ■ 6 p.m.









Circle K—Glenn and Gay




Walmart—South College




Chevron—South College












BP—Samford and Gay




















$3.80 $3.45 $3.10 $2.75 $2.40 Feb. 10, 2011

Feb. 17, 2011



» From A3

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Food and Drug Administration. These compounds are said to cause hallucinations, confusion, manic outbursts and tremors, as well as delivering effects similar to LSD, cocaine and methamphetamine. Officials in Mississippi said they are able to tie one death to the drug and have reports of another man who took a skinning knife to his face and stomach while high on the drug. Ann Slattery, clinical toxicologist and supervisor of the regional poison control center in Birmingham, said they became aware of the drug in October of last year. Since then, Slattery said they began to receive calls in early January of people inhaling, smoking and even injecting “bath salts.” In Auburn, employees at Dreamscapes on South College Street admitted to once

selling the product, butthey said they have pulled it completely from the store. “They weren’t that big of a deal,” said one employee who preferred to remain anonymous. “It was kind of a flash in the pan for us; we had them for less than a month.” The employee said he never saw any students purchase them, but noted they were available at other places around town despite denial by the stores. In all, Slattery said they have had 18 calls just from the eastern portion of the state they monitor. These exposures add to the more than 300 seen in the country this year, which has already surpassed last year’s total. Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana poison center, said “bath salts” are the worst substances he has seen in 20 years. All of the 18 exposures the poison control center received originated from health care facilities, which

Feb. 24, 2011 March 3, 2011



demonstrates that users and health care personnel are inexperienced with handling the drug, Slattery said. “We are continuing to do daily surveillance on the matter,” Slattery said. “I would expect that the number of exposures would go down now that the ‘bath salts’ are illegal, but sometimes people become even more curious.” Although the health risks are clear, the infancy of the drug poses a bigger threat to government and health professionals, as its origins remain mostly unknown and difficult to evaluate. Despite the “bath salts” being illegal in some states, people are still able to purchase them off the Internet, and it may take years for national legislation to make the substances illegal. “These substances do not have any legitimate medical use,” Williamson said. “But the real concern is that they carry a strong desire to reuse and produce psychotic episodes.”

Trustee terms expire, changes may come Alison McFerrin ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR

Nine seats on the Auburn Board of Trustees will be up for grabs this year, which could mean big changes for Auburn. The Board of Trustees is made up of one person from each Alabama district (as they were designated in 1961), an additional person from Lee County and two atlarge trustees who must be members of the continental United States. Grant Davis, secretary to the Board of Trustees, said seven trustees’ terms are coming up this year. In addition, seats for districts 1 and 6 are already vacant. Of the trustees whose terms are expiring, only one, Dwight Carlisle from District 4, is ineligible to be reappointed. The rules governing the board have changed in recent years. “In the previous process, the people had 12-year terms,” Davis said. “The governor would nominate a person, it went to confirmation committee, then to the full Senate, then the person had a 12-year term.” That changed with Amendment 670 to the 1901 constitution. The new amendment stipulates that trustees may serve two seven-year terms and may continue to occupy their seats for an additional year. The District 6 seat opened when Paul J. Spina’s term and additional year were completed in September of 2010. The District 1 seat became available when John

C.H. Miller Jr. died in July of 2009. According to the amendment, a person who wants to be on the Board of Trustees must be a resident of the district or the continental United States, cannot be a member of the selection committee, cannot be an Auburn University employee and must be under 70 on date of confirmation. The selection committee is made up of two members of the Board, two members of the Alumni Association and the governor of Alabama, who serves as the chair. “In the past, the committee would meet and interview people that were interested,” Davis said. “The governor would then, if they select someone, would forward that name to the confirmations committee.” The confirmations committee is made up of 11 members of the Alabama Senate. Tom Whatley, Alabama Senator for the 27th district, said he is looking forward to serving on the confirmations committee. The Alabama Legislature will be in session from March 3 until mid-June. The selection committee can submit a name before the confirmations committee at any point during that session. “We either have the option of voting to confirm those people or not confirm them, or another vote is to not bring it up at all,” Whatley said. Each member of the confirmations committee has a say about who to choose, and Whatley said he hopes

his say will be given careful consideration. “I hope that me being the senator from Auburn and me being an Auburn graduate, that I will be able to take the nominating committee’s nominees, and I will be given some deference in the committee,” Whatley said. “I hope the fellow members will give me that.” Whatley said he has a preference for the career background of one of the new trustees. “I would like for one of these trustees to have some agricultural background, be it in production agriculture or agribusiness,” Whatley said. The basis for choosing to confirm someone includes a résumé and biographical information, but the biggest guiding principle is the selection committee’s recommendation. “Their recommendation is going to be given a lot of priority,” Whatley said. The governor sets the process for selecting new trustees, but those specifics have not yet been defined since Gov. Robert Bentley came into office. “The governor chairs the committee, and he calls it together at his discretion and from that point the committee can decide how it wishes to proceed,” said Sherri Fulford, executive director of governmental affairs. “It can do interviews, or it could accept nominations. “There are any number of approaches it could take, and that would just depend on how Gov. Bentley wants to proceed with it.”



Thursday, March 3, 2011


New highs border on crazy “ Our View

It’s nothing new. Human beings have always tried to get high, and they’ve always found a way to do it, regardless of their surroundings. Whether it be a poppy plant, coca leaves or household cleaners, something has always been handy to quench the never-ending thirst for inebriation. Nevertheless, the latest drug crazes never cease to amaze. The newest to land on Alabama’s list of illegal substances are bath salts. Bath salts. No, not the rocks from Bath and Body Works in which you immerse yourself in your warm bathtub after a hard day of studying. These bath salts are potent drugs that produce an intense high and can lead the user to commit potentially dangerous acts, harming themselves and others (See “Bath Salts,” A3). It would be easy to take the moral high ground and say that drugs are bad and that students should stay as far

You hear the statistics, but you always hold out hope and prayer that you’ll be the one to find the cure.”


away from them as possible. However, to take this position would be unrealistic. To assume that a swath of students would suddenly be inspired by a single publication to ditch the bong and instead opt for frozen yogurt and a movie on Friday night is beyond ludicrous. Regardless, it does not mean that a level-headed criticism of on-the-fringe drug choices is not warranted. “Fringe” is the only way to describe the bath salts fad. Are

simple marijuana and the occasional coke line not enough anymore? The obsession of drug users to find the next best high is exhausting, but their addiction to drugs is little different than the average college student’s addiction to drinking and partying. How can anyone criticize someone so desperate to get high that they resort to bath salts when they themselves have their own vices they indulge in?

As if it were an unwritten law, it is assumed that drinking the night away at the bar is the only way to end a stressful week of school. Recuperating at home is never even an option. If we are truly “tired” from a long week, why do we rage the weekend nights away? Even those who don’t prefer the raging bar scene seek the appropriate level of nonsoberness. Luckily, there is an iPhone app to help, and those seeking a “safe,” drug-free high can do so with the iDose, which produces a trance through music (See “iDose,” C4). Thus, the search for out-ofbody feelings will continue, drugs or no drugs. As stated above, a moralistic pursuit for a world free of the words “drunk” and “high” is not the goal. But there is no reason we can’t find out what reality has to offer once in a while. Consider it, at least.


Last week’s question:

Should the University ban smoking on campus? Yes 42% Yes, but with smoking buffer zones 19% No 37%

This week’s question:

How do you cope with the stresses of life? ❍ Drugs ❍ Alcohol ❍ Friends and family

Vote at

Despite the stresses of growing up, I write Sometime recently, though, reality has set in. That anxiety I felt while applying to nine colleges my senior year of high school has returned. There’s one problem though: graduation is not around the corner for me. I am only a sophomore. I’ve got a long way to go. Regardless, I can’t help but think that every decision I make regarding school and employment is going to have an effect on the course of the rest of my life. Things just seem… heavier. Am I majoring in the right


Growing up is stressful. Or at least it’s become stressful recently. The first 20 years of life seemed like a care-free ride of enjoyment. From action figures to my triumphant victory in the fourth grade spelling bee to high school prom to all the drunken freshman nights, it seemed life was just here for me to enjoy.

thing? Why is a political science major who’s changing to radio, television and film working for a newspaper? Am I losing all my good friends by working hours on end for that newspaper? Do I have any clean boxers left for tomorrow...? Pair this stress with the unhappy news that bombards us about how the world’s going to hell in a hand basket, and things can seem pretty precarious. Thus is the life of a generation Y college student. These are uncertain times. We want to find the same success our parents did but

are fearful the world is shaping up to be much less kind to us than it was to them. Without landing an internship at a legit company, the prospects of making the big bucks look bleak for a liberal arts major who’s horrible at math. (You can stop reading now, engineers, you’ll be just fine.) It seems you can either flounder in a fit of anxious panic attacks or remain optimistic and find a way to perservere against the odds. I choose the latter. I look for my strengths and identify my passions. I’ve known for a while that

writing is my craft, and if God put me here to do anything, it is to write. I’m passionate about music, sports and the Latino culture. So, even if I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will never be a rock star, soccer phenom or a Venezuelan, why can’t I write a movie about a Venezuelan soccer star who discovers he has the reincarnated voice of Frank Sinatra? If I go the reporter route, chances are I’ll eventually get to interview Usher or Christiano Ronaldo. Right? The beauty of writing is you can always live

vicariously through your subjects and creations. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by the stresses of undergraduate life, I always return to my passion: writing. Wherever life takes me, I know there will be a pen and paper (or a word processor) by my side. I don’t know what my world will look like when I’m 50. I don’t know if I’ll be a millionaire. Chances are I won’t even be a hundred thousandaire. Even so, if I’m doing what I love with someone who I love by my side, I think I’ll be just fine.

Your View

Make time for Ban would harm minority rights those who matter Christen Harned PHOTO @THEPLAINSMAN.COM

Last May, my oldest brother Bobby graduated and moved across the country. This made me realize that we’re at the point in our lives where we’re not just growing up, but we’re growing away. Growing up I was certain that my older brothers had a singular goal in life and that was to drive me up a wall. Naturally, they succeeded. But hey, what are big brothers for? Despite their best efforts, I always wanted to tag along. If they stayed up late, I wanted to as well, and if they were going to play with their friends, I wanted to go, too. Yes, I played the annoying little sister role to a T. In my eyes Bobby and Patrick seemed to be going through life at a full sprint, and I was doing my best not to get left in the dust.

I idolized them, and I still do. I was envious of Bobby’s determination and cool confidence. I admired Patrick’s wittiness and seemingly endless knowledge. Even as we got older and each of us started going to college, I carried this naive misconception that somehow they’d always be around. So as we became teenagers and moved into our 20s, I made less and less of an effort to make time for them. Now one lives across the country and the other is several hours away, and I can’t help but feel like I have finally gotten left in the dust. It’s funny how often we take people for granted. It’s easy to get caught up in school and work, but before you go and think, “I just don’t have time,” let me impart some words of wisdom from my mother: “Nobody has time, you just have to make time.” You don’t want to look back and feel like you have missed out. So remember to make time for those in your life who truly matter.

I read your article regarding the idea of some people, including Eric Smith, to make Auburn a smoke-free campus. In human history it has always taken only a few activists and a majority that doesn’t care to successfully run over or abuse minorities. Ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation are just some of the most common reasons for discrimination, and many people have severely suffered or died as result of discriminatory persecution. A sizeable minority of adults at this University

enjoy smoking, a common practice in the New World long before Columbus. Today, smokers are once again the target of people that believe their way of life is the correct and only acceptable one. The discussions about a “smoke-free campus” are a clear indication that an active movement has begun. It is not a difficult goal because the majority doesn’t smoke and thus, they won’t care. So, what is next? Should obese persons be discriminated against because it provides a bad example to

younger generations? Or shall we discriminate against foreign students whose food has a distinct smell that propagates in hallways? I am opposed to all forms of discrimination, including discrimination against smokers. I understand that secondhand indoor smoke may be a problem. Thus, I accept current regulations about smoke free buildings. However, it is not objectively defensible to suggest that outside smoking will harm anybody. To use this assumption to deprive

smokers of their civil rights is obvious discrimination. Smith’s general statements about cancer or chemicals contained in cigarettes miss the point and constitute only a cloud of misinformation, but not facts that support their initiative. Efforts for declaring outside areas of the University smoke free only serve to divide and such should be therefore discouraged on a university campus. —Haroldo Toro professor, pathobiology

Proposed smoking ban is irrational I believe I’m a little late on reading about the rhetoric concerning a possible smoking ban on campus, and I usually hoot-and-holler and wouldn’t write in, but I have an issue with how things seem to be viewed nowadays. That issue is something I thought this country was built upon—choice. First, let me be clear. I am not denying that smoking

is detrimental to health. That’s also kind of the issue. I do not think it could be more clear to convey that smoking is bad for you than the current way we advertise them. Despite this, there are individuals who still chose to indulge in this activity. Now I believe the concern of the University is to protect those that chose not to smoke, and that is fine. But

smokers are restricted to smoking outdoors and the smoke emitted is generally dispersed rapidly. If smoking outdoors is so terrible, what about the numerous other environmental pollutants present? Are we going to ban cars and buses on campus, too? But, alas, my main point: this proposal is aimed at protecting the majority and hurts the minority. We

applaud this as being democratic. Really? It’s not like smokers are pillaging the campus. “We’ll just implement a policy that would discourage them.” If that’s the case, do svidaniya, comrades.

—Mark Durham, grad student entomology & plant pathology

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The opinions of The Auburn Plainsman staff are restricted to these pages. These unsigned editorials are the majority opinion of the 9-member editorial board and are the official opinion of the newspaper. The opinions expressed in columns and letters represent the views and opinions of their individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the Auburn University student body, faculty, administration or Board of Trustees.

Community A6

Jim Bob’s owner Chuck Ferrell brings food and faith to Opelika Kelly Nicastro WRITER

To Chuck Ferrell, being in the restaurant business means more than just satisfying his customers’ appetites. For Ferrell, it’s an opportunity to spread his faith, get involved with kids in the Opelika school district and most of all, he said it means

The Auburn Plainsman being surrounded by his family. Ferrell, previous owner of Chuck’s Bar-B-Que and current owner of Jim Bob’s Chicken Fingers, grew up in the restaurant business working alongside his parents at the Smokey Pig restaurant. He later took over the business with his wife Bonnie. Chuck and Bonnie decided to expand their restaurant business and founded Chuck’s Bar-B-Que in Opelika in 1976 and Jim Bob’s Chicken Fingers in TigerTown in 1991. When his daughter graduated from college and wanted to go into the restaurant business, she joined Farrell and his wife at Jim Bob’s. The restaurant turned into a family operation, and it was at that time Farrell decided to sell Chuck’s

Barbecue and focus only on Jim Bob’s. “Our son, who is also in the restaurant business, is working alongside us, and we will eventually turn over the restaurant to him,” Farrell said. Chuck’s Bar-B-Que is now owned by Joseph Efcoe, who has been running the restaurant for two years. “I worked for Mr. Chuck for about 13 and a half years prior to owning Chuck’s Bar-B-Que, and I do everything just like how he was doing it,” Efcoe said. Farrell decided to sell Chuck’s Bar-B-Que because he was “ready to slow down a little bit.” One of Farrell’s greatest passions is spreading his ministry to his employees and customers. “As far as I’m concerned, my life is a ministry,” Farrell said.

Farrell said he believes it is important to express the impact God has made on his life, and he tries to show that through his life, as well as signs in his restaurants and quotes on the back of employees’ T-shirts. Farrell and his family are also involved in sharing food and faith through the Opelika school system. “Right after I got saved, I approached the school systems because I had such a desire for them to know and experience Christ,” Farrell said. Farrell has been going to the schools for 20 years, feeding the students and teachers for free, encouraging them to experience Christ like he has. “We enjoy serving the community through our restaurants and providing a good family atmosphere,” Farrell said.


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sometimes we don’t have any.” Wilson said business had definitely gone down because of both the economy and the loss of Tiger Club business. “The TigerCards was something we had to balance every day,” Wilson said. “So we can tell less people are buying them.” Wilson said students have tried to use their required meal plan at Chili’s. Panera Bread, one of the businesses farthest away from campus that still accepts the Tiger Club account, has different problems. “People didn’t know they could use it here because we’re so far away,” said employee Rachel Hall. “We had to put out the (TigerCard) sign to let them know they could, but hardly anyone

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Owner of Jim Bob's, Chuck Ferrell, stands in front of the new drive-thru of the Tiger Town location. uses it anymore.” Some students would prefer a system more like the Tiger Club account rather than the mandatory meal plan. “I love Bizilia’s sandwiches,” said Mark Jacobs, freshman in history. “I hate that I feel obligated to go to Au Bon Pain because I have to spend almost $1,000 a semester.” On-campus residents are required to purchase a $995 meal plan, and students living off campus must purchase a $300 plan. The amount is automatically applied at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, and any funds remaining on the card at the end of the summer semester are lost. “I get sick of the locations available,” said Michelle Daniels, sophomore in English. “Sure, we have a lot of options, but sometimes I want to eat at Mellow or Chili’s without feeling like

“In many ways the TigerCards really helped business…Now you almost never see them.” —Joshua wong ASSISTANT MANAGER OF SHOGUN JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE

I’m wasting money.” The required meal plan has 24 on-campus locations available. Each location is also accepted under the Tiger Club account. “I think an ideal fix is to merge the two accounts,” Jacobs said. “Yes, some of the money is going to restaurants that are off campus, but a great majority is probably still going to be kept on campus, and it will help stimulate Auburn’s economy.”


Weed scientist

Saddle up St. Jude



Thursday, March 3, 2011

B Page B1

Greek groups begin search for new members Liz Conn ASSOCIATE CAMPUS EDITOR


Auburn’s 2010 Interfraternity Council took home a total of seven awards at the Southeastern Interfraternity Conference.

Interfraternity Council impresses at conference with seven awards Derek Lacey CAMPUS EDITOR

At the 2011 Southeastern Interfraternity Conference, Auburn’s 2010 IFC won seven awards, more than any other college or university. The SEIFC is an association of fraternity governing councils from schools throughout the Southeast, one of six regional associations in North America. Established more than 40 years ago, the SEIFC holds more than 100 member councils. Auburn’s IFC received awards for fraternal excellence in outstanding philanthropy, campus and community relations, community service, outstanding educational program, educational programming and an honorable mention for outstanding service project. Along with these, the IFC won its first award for overall fraternal excellence, given to councils that stand out in every category. “Out of the 50-plus IFCs that were represented from across the Southeast, they gave out four of those, and we are very proud of that fact,” said Will Geeslin, senior in accounting and

... I truly believe that our fraternity system here at Auburn is one of, if not the top fraternity system in the Southeastern conference.” —Johnny Blankenship JUNIOR IN FINANCE AND 2011 IFC PRESIDENT

2010 IFC administrative vice president. “It’s a great representation for Auburn University and the Auburn University fraternity system in general.” Programs recognized by SEIFC for educational programming were Emerging Auburn Greek Leaders, Greek Leadership Summit and Party Done Right, a full-scale band party done according to the rule books and used as a demonstration of how to properly host a band party. “It shows Auburn is ahead of the curve,” said Tyler Sample, 2010 IFC president. “That we got more awards than other systems that are very

similar to ours in the Southeast really shows that what we’re doing at Auburn is working, that we have a great system—something that we can be proud of.” The outstanding education program award was given to Auburn for the newly implemented Auburn Man Program, a series of speakers and programs designed to instill in new members and pledges what it means to be an Auburn man, focusing on topics like family, scholarship and chivalry. “Everybody always preaches, ‘I’m an Auburn man, I’m an Auburn woman,’ but we never really had a definition of what that was,” Sample said. “So, we decided this year and turned it into six sessions for our new members that they come to, and each session we go over one characteristic of what we identify as an Auburn man.” The Philanthropy Challenge, a program benefiting IMPACT, Project Uplift and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County, which received more than $10,000 from the IFC, earned Auburn awards in the outstanding philanthropy and community service categories. “This is the first year that we’ve won » See AWARDS, B2

Although fraternity and sorority rush lasts only a week, preparation lasts months. Some Greek organizations on campus have started getting ready for formal recruitment, which will take place Aug. 8–14 for sororities and Aug. 29– Sept. 1 for fraternities. An important part of preparation is educating the freshman pledge class, said Emily Pierce, recruitment chair for Alpha Chi Omega sorority and junior in history and political science. Pierce said the sorority has held meetings with the freshmen to explain how recruitment works and what they should expect each day of the week. “Then we have our big, chapter-wide recruitment workshop, which will be a day-long thing, coming up in about a month,” Pierce said. Recruitment chairs from all sororities attend Panhellenic meetings to discuss rules and policies for recruitment, Pierce said. Sororities must follow the specific guidelines regulating recruitment, said Jill Moore, associate director of Greek life. Moore said an important concept for sororities to remember is “positive Panhellenic contact.” This means if a sorority member and a potential member are already friends, they may maintain a normal friendship. However, sorority members cannot contact

potential members in an attempt to persuade them to join. “You wouldn’t want Alpha Alpha Alpha sorority to get together and send out letters to everybody they think is going through recruitment,” Moore said. “It’s not OK for a sorority to contact someone because they believe they’re a potential member.” During the week of recruitment, potential members and current members may not be in contact except during actual recruitment events, Moore said. While all women are required to pay a fee to participate in sorority recruitment, men do not pay a fee unless they pledge a fraternity, Moore said. “The most important rule people should know is when a fraternity hosts a recruitment event: that event should be alcoholfree,” Moore said. “The reason for that is these fraternities are trying to recruit guys that are straight out of high school, so none of them are old enough to drink.” Will Rollins, president of Chi Phi fraternity and sophomore in finance, said Chi Phi has started gathering names from brothers of high school seniors coming to Auburn. “We think that’s probably the most important thing because if you have a pre-existing relationship with someone coming into a fraternity, you’re much more likely to feel comfortable,” Rollins said. Rollins said the fraternity has also planned dates » See RUSH, B2

Students work for state residency to avoid out-of-state tuition fees Chelsea Harvey ASSISTANT CAMPUS EDITOR


A Soles4Souls collection box is placed inside Haley Center.

‘Soles’ gathers shoes for souls Alexandria Smith WRITER

Most worn-out shoes make it to the dumpster or the doghouse, but with Soles4Souls, those shoes can have a second chance. Exploring Leadership for Freshmen is a part of the Tiger Tuesdays program, a branch of SGA for freshmen. ELF’s annual philanthropy is Soles4Souls. Soles4Souls is a charity based in Nashville, Tenn., that collects shoes to

donate to people in more than 125 countries. “We (ELF) have held a few different events to collect shoes and money,” said Sarah Moseley, freshman in communication. “We have had restaurant nights, sold T-shirts and been to a basketball and baseball game. We usually have a station where people can donate shoes or money at the games.” It does not matter what condition the shoes are in » See SOLES, B2

Changing residency status involves many often difficult steps, but can save a student more than $40,000 throughout a four-year college career. While many students from other states choose to accept their out-of-state status during their college years, some make the effort to establish Alabama residency. “I chose to do it because we couldn’t afford out-ofstate (tuition), and I wanted to go to Auburn, so my parents agreed to pay one year of out-of-state, and then I did it my second year, my sophomore year,” said Courtney Cooper, senior in social work. The process of establishing in-state residency takes one year, said Susan Marsh, residency adviser. “What they have to do is have a full-time job for at least 12 consecutive months,” Marsh said. “They have to file an Alabama income tax return, and during

that time they cannot be a full-time student. If they’re undergraduate, they can take up to nine hours per semester. But they do not have to go to school.” A full-time job is the equivalent of working at minimum wage for at least 40 hours per week, Marsh said. Individuals must also undergo other processes, such as registering their vehicle, obtaining an Alabama driver’s license and switching to an in-state bank. “Really, the basic thing that we’re looking for is intent,” Marsh said. “Are you here to primarily go to school, or are you here to establish residency? That is the absolute first thing we look at—the intent.” Students must be able to show their first intent is not to attend school, but to become an Alabama resident. “That’s the reasoning behind the hours that they take,” Marsh said. “If they’re a full-time student, then obviously their intent for being in the state of Alabama

is to go to school.” Cooper said she took the maximum nine hours per semester and worked full time at Milestones Learning Center while she was earning her residency. “Mainly the hardest thing was actually having a social life because when I wasn’t at work I was studying because I took nine hours, so that was probably the worst part about it,” Cooper said. “I couldn’t hang out with people as much.” There are other consequences of the process students should take into consideration before making the attempt, Marsh said. “I think one of the things—their parents can no longer claim them as a dependent,” Marsh said. “And we collect documentation when they file their appeal, and they have to prove that their parents are no longer claiming them.” Until January 2011, with the enforcement of health care reform, this meant students could lose their health insurance along with



their status as a full-time student. Jo Saint, junior in zoology, went without insurance for seven months when he began the process approximately nine months ago. “For the first semester of this, since I was a dependent and I wasn’t taking full-time classes, I lost all health insurance,” Saint said. “Since I wasn’t working one full-time job, but two jobs that added together to be full time, I had no health insurance for about seven months.” Saint said he was returned to his parents’ insurance plan in January when the health care reform took effect. Despite the hardships, Saint said he was determined to prove to everyone that he would do whatever it took to stay at Auburn. “Since I transferred to Auburn from ‘Westga’ (the University of West Georgia), I had to fight to get here, and now I have to fight to stay here,” Saint said. “It’s » See TUITION, B2

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Campus B2

The Auburn Plainsman

On the Concourse

Thursday, March 3, 2011 Question:

Should there be any limitations on free speech around campus?

“I don’t think so, as long as it’s not like you’re blatantly against the country or something that otherwise wouldn’t be protected as free speech.”

“I don’t believe there should be any limitations on free speech, but the guy the other day with the religion thing was kind of much.”

“No, it’s free speech. That’s in the amendments, right?”

—Trent Lishak senior, accounting

—Vincent Cook senior; radio, television and film

—Sam Wade sophomore, sociology

“If it’s something that’s controversial or if it’s something dealing with religion or race or something like that, then yeah, it should be monitored. You should watch what you say.”

“That’s their right as an American to say what you want. Being in the military, that’s what I’m fighting for: say what you want when you want.”

“Well, I say no, but at the same time I don’t want you screaming in my face. ”

—Emoree Brackins freshman, communication

—Joshua Versailles senior, political science

—Bailey Crommelin senior; radio, television and film

SOLES » From B1

because all shoes are melted down and remade. Basically, donations become the material for new shoes, Moseley said. She also said this is the first year ELF has collected money to go to the charity in addition to shoes because people are more

AWARDS » From B1

that amount of awards, and it’s also the first year that we’ve won the top award,” said Johnny Blankenship, 2010 IFC vice president of public relations and 2011 IFC president. “Going into it, I didn’t expect anything but the best because I truly believe that

willing to donate money. “We collect money and shoes and then take them to a warehouse in Roanoke, Ala.,” said Kimberly Jones, senior in political science and Spanish and this year’s SGA director of ELF. “The money we donate goes to buy new shoes. One shoe costs $1, so basically $2 a pair.” Jones said last year ELF collected 6,000 shoes, and

they hope to beat that record this year. The last day of collecting shoes is March 10. After that date, freshmen participating in ELF will assist in boxing the shoes and taking them to the warehouse in Roanoke. Jones said in many countries children are not allowed to attend school without shoes. Therefore, donations are

not only helping children receive shoes, but are also helping children receive an education. Bianca Seward, sophomore in journalism and assistant director of ELF said she helps freshmen with planning special events such as restaurant nights and game day events. “I am impressed by the charity and just how many people they are able to

reach through this,” Seward said. “They really help the masses and are able to reach many different regions. Soles4Souls is helping millions of people get shoes and get back on their feet.” Cardboard boxes with the Soles4Souls logo are set up around campus, sorority chapter rooms and fraternity houses for donations.

our fraternity system here at Auburn is one of, if not the top fraternity system in the Southeastern conference.” Improving upon such an outstanding year is going to be a difficult task, but one that has already been addressed, according to Bo Mantooth, IFC adviser and associate director of Greek Life. “I think they can have a

good year,” Mantooth said. “We’ve got to ramp up some programs to help out.” Blankenship, as president of IFC in 2011, has his sights set on making even more improvements for this year’s IFC. “We’re very excited about those awards, and it is going to be a very daunting task to top,” Blankenship said. “But the upside of it is we’ve already sat down and

seen the awards we didn’t win and working on how we can improve in those areas.” Winning an award for overall fraternal excellence is especially important to the IFC and something they feel they have deserved for a long time. Now, they have the hardware and recognition to prove it, Mantooth said. “I think what set us apart

and the reason we’re so successful at SEIFC and received so many awards is a lot of the planning and the detail that we actually put into our programs,” said Jeb Sexton, 2010 IFC vice president of risk management. “It’s a lot of the legwork and the hard work that’s put into these ideas that really goes above and beyond and really helped us to get recognized this year.”

that you are physically capable of taking a year off and just working, make sure that you have a job,” Saint said. “Make sure that you have at least a job or multiple jobs like I did that adds up to full-time work because it’s a big deal.” At the end of his 12 months, Saint will present his case to Auburn’s residency committee in order to be approved for in-state residency. “We have a residency committee that meets three times a year,” Marsh said. “There are five voting members, and they’re from different parts of the campus.” The committee meets specifically to review student cases, Marsh said. If students have not adhered exactly to the requirements given them, they will not be able to obtain residency. “There’s a Code of Alabama that comes out of Montgomery, and all

colleges and universities are to adhere to the code,” Marsh said. “So that’s what we base our requirements on.” Cooper said she was able to fax her information to the committee without having to physically go before it. Because she followed all the requirements in the code, she was able to obtain her residency without problem. “I think that if you really, really want to go to school, and you can’t afford it, then I would recommend it,” Cooper said. “But if there’s another school that you could go to that you think you would like just as much that you would not have to go out of state, I would do it.” Residency transfer is a huge commitment. Students who are considering transferring their residency can meet with Marsh on the third floor of Mary Martin Hall.


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not proving it just to myself, I’m proving it to everyone else that I do love Auburn, that I do want to be here. I mean, my job, when you look at my actual schedule, I work from 2 in the afternoon to 2:30, 3 in the morning most days. “If that’s not enough proof of what I want, I don’t know what is.” Saint said he does not take any part-time classes because he cannot afford them on out-of-state tuition. Instead, he works two jobs, one as a special education assistant at an elementary school and the other at Caribou Coffee in the University library. Saint said his advice to students thinking about transferring their residency is to make sure they can do it first. “It’s not just make sure

RUSH » From B1

for band parties in the fall. “Right now we’ve got the dates set out, and now it just comes down to getting what bands we want,” he said. “We’ll probably have two or three big events between the time school starts and when formal rush begins.” FarmHouse fraternity has begun its preparations by recently electing its summer rush committee, said President William Van Hooser, junior in finance. Van Hooser said FarmHouse will host six or seven rush parties during the summer. “We invite girls, and we invite all the brothers,” he said. “We normally go to the lake or go to a Braves game—something like that.” Van Hooser said he expects 35–40 men to accept bids. “That’s pretty much what we normally try to have,” Van Hooser said. “We’re not trying to grow; we’re trying to stay about the same. I don’t see us having a problem meeting that.” Rollins said since Chi Phi is a smaller fraternity, its brothers might not have as many contacts for men going through rush as a larger fraternity. “That puts us at an initial disadvantage as far as recruiting for numbers,” Rollins said. “But you can make up for that with dedicated rush chairmen and quality events you throw and selling people on your fraternity.” Pierce said she believes dedication in the months leading up to rush will pay off come the week of recruitment. “I sure hope it goes smoothly,” Pierce said. “My overarching goal is the more we get done early and the more we stay organized, the smoother everything should go and the easier the week should be on all of us.”

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Campus B3

The Auburn Plainsman

Weed scientist’s research earns recognition, award Miranda Dollarhide INTRIGUE EDITOR

While Scott McElroy, assistant professor and weed scientist, may have a funny title, the care he gives to his job is no laughing matter. “He has a lot of energy,” said David Weaver, professor in agronomy and soils. “He is very well-received by the students. My daughter took his class and thought he was a great teacher. She would have McElroy stories every day.” Most recently, McElroy’s hard work was recognized by someone other than his colleagues. He won the Southern Weed Science Society’s 2011 Outstanding Young Weed Scientist award in February. “The people that won it in the past are just brilliant people,” McElroy said. “When I got nominated for it I thought, ‘There is no way I’ll win.’” The award is presented to scientists younger than 40 who have made a contribution to weed science. McElroy, Auburn alumnus, has been working in the agronomy and soils department for four years. In the summer and fall, he teaches one class each. “He is very enthusiastic about his research,” Weaver said. “He has all the qualities we need in people that are doing that kind of job.” A former colleague at the University of Tennessee nominated McElroy for the award. He even traveled to Puerto Rico to accept it. “Puerto Rico was


awesome, especially in January,” McElroy said. “If you don’t like cold weather, it is the place to go.” When McElroy isn’t traveling, he spends most of his time at Auburn researching and studying weed science with his graduate students. “It’s the study of plants that people don’t like,” McElroy said. “We study all the weeds that infest turfgrass mainly.” He said they experiment with methods of killing the weeds and even the benefits of some weed species. “I spend the vast majority of my time figuring out how to pay everybody,” McElroy said. “People within the state say, ‘All we do is pay you professors, and you do nothing,’ but all I do is bring in money.” McElroy said he has to work to pay his four graduate students, a technician and himself during the summer. “I pay for six people right there,” McElroy said. “That is a lot of stress to make sure you have that flow of money in.” One way they pull in this money is by conducting collaborative research with chemical companies. McElroy said sometimes they will ask state organizations like the Alabama

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Turfgrass Association, the Alabama Turf Research Foundation and the Alabama Agriculture and Industries for funds, or he’ll go to golf courses and see if they can work with them on collaborative research. “It really runs the gamut,” McElroy said. “We try to collaborate with people and do the research at sod farms, golf courses and athletic fields. We try to really make sure our stuff is applicable to the state of Alabama.” McElroy’s interest in weed science grew during his senior year of college. At the time, he was pursuing a communication degree, but like a pesky plant, his desire to know more about weeds persisted. His interest grew into a master’s degree in agronomy and soils at Auburn, and eventually he earned his doctorate at North Carolina State University. “It’s an enormous agricultural school—really big, lots of money,” McElroy said. “I wanted to go out of the state. If you ever plan on coming back, you have to get out first.” After working at the University of Tennessee, McElroy said he and his wife Nikki decided to return to Auburn for their sons, Joseph, William and Trent. “It was really a decision that my wife and I saw as an opportunity to move back to a small town with an excellent school system,” McElroy said. “It was as much a decision for my family as far as the benefits than as far as the position, but it’s been a good move.”


Wheeler Foshee, associate professor of horticulture, demonstrates on the whiteboard how to plant green beans. Wheeler teaches Sustainable Vegetable Crop Production.

Students learn ins, outs of growing vegetable crops Trent Erwin WRITER

The current generation of students is becoming the driving force behind major crop production, explained Wheeler Foshee in his Sustainable Vegetable Crop Production class. Instead of focusing on the basics of crop production in a simple garden, Foshee educates his students on mass production for large profit.  The class consists of a lecture period and laboratory session immediately following to ensure students take the information learned in the classroom and apply it directly in the field.  “Once we get to the field and start doing some hands-on work, they really enjoy that,” Foshee said. “Unfortunately, time doesn’t allow us to grow the whole crop, but at least they get a taste of it.”  The lecture is designed to take a certain crop and explain all aspects of

producing that crop to its fullest potential, including the best fertilizer, soil condition, placement of the crop within the soil and elimination of pests. The course covers the majority of popular vegetables, ranging from tomatoes to zucchini, and different grasses so that students will leave with competitive skills in producing tomorrow’s crops sustainably. Foshee said the class is not about being a gardener, but about producing enough crops to sustain the industry and reward the producer with a large enough profit.  “Being an organic farmer is tough,” Foshee said. “We cannot feed the world on organic products alone.”  Students are expected to memorize taxonomic names of crops and know the molecular makeup of fertilizer particles. Foshee said what students enjoy least about

the class is tests, especially since the class is at the 5000/6000 level. “It isn’t easy or else everyone would be doing it,” said S.T. Richardson, senior in landscape horticulture. Students take two tests and a final exam during the semester. Graduate students in the class are also required to submit a final research paper. “It is definitely not an easy class by any means, but at the same time it is not unmanageable,” said Ian Campbell, graduate student in agriscience education. “It is pretty scientific, but for me, I like that stuff, so it comes easy.” Foshee illustrated the method of picking snap beans by hunching over in the middle of class. “He is one of the most energetic professors I have probably ever had,” Campbell said. “He loves this stuff, and it will stick with you.”  

Campus B4

The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day of service gives students chance to give back Gabrielle Hoyt WRITER

The Big Event is a oneday campus community service initiative that will take place March 26 at 9 a.m. throughout Lee County. Volunteer applications are due March 9 in the Student Government Office. Forms can be found at or in the SGA Office. “It is Auburn’s way of giving back to the community that has given us so much,” said Owen Parrish, sophomore in civil engineering and Big Event director. Last year, more than 1,700 students, faculty and staff participated in The Big Event. Participating is free, and volunteers can sign up in groups of one to 10. Each participant receives seven

The man just looked at us so genuinely and said, ‘Thank you for being here because you are making a lasting difference in my life. You’re giving me a fresh start.’” —Owen Parrish DIRECTOR OF THE BIG EVENT

spirit points. Buying the $10 Big Event shirt is five spirit points and wearing it the day of the event is an additional three spirit points.

Each team must have a team captain who is required to attend a meeting the week of The Big Event either March 22 or March 24. The day of The Big Event will begin with complimentary breakfast and speakers. Most volunteer events end around noon, and all will end by 3 p.m. Big Event coordinators have already secured 120 job sites. Last year, only 75 sites were available, including churches, homes and schools, according to Libby Lukens, undeclared sophomore in science and math and The Big Event assistant director. One major project will take place at a school in Nostasulga where Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves pitcher and Auburn alumnus, will

be assisting in rebuilding a field house. Volunteers will help with the building as well as other projects throughout the school and city. Parrish said he remembers his first time participating in The Big Event. His team was helping pack boxes and move them from one home to another for a local family. They were helping an older woman and man, and the man came to greet the volunteers. “The man just looked at us so genuinely and said,

‘Thank you for being here because you are making a lasting difference in my life. You’re giving me a fresh start,’” Parrish said. “It hit really close to home. It was more than putting something on my resume—it was about makin g a difference.” Parrish and Lukens became involved in The B i g Event as freshCONTRIBUTED men in Tiger Tuesdays, and after memorable experiences helping the families, they decided to be directors. “Auburn, Ala., does so

much for the University, and I feel like that doesn’t get recognized a lot,” Lukens said. “Big Event is a way to show the community how much we care for them. Being involved freshman year made me fall in love with the concept of Big Event.” Faculty and staff are encouraged to participate. The goal of the directors is to get members involved from every college and school. Cameron Payne, junior in civil engineering, has participated in The Big Event the past two years. “People always say one person can’t make a difference,” Payne said. “But when you have hundreds of students working together on making a better community, we make a huge difference.”

Documentary, forum showcase state constitution Annie Faulk STAFF WRITER

The Alabama Constitution has more than 700 amendments, making it the largest governing document in the world. A 45-minute documentary about the constitution will be shown March 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. Following the documentary, a forum will be held and refreshments will be served. “After the film screening, we are hoping to provide a discussion opportunity to all attendees,” said Giovanna Summerfield, associate professor and director of the arts and faculty

initiatives in the College of Liberal Arts. The documentary incorporates actual dialogue from the 1901 Alabama Constitutional Convention. “This is the first historical re-enactment of these transcripts and was created using exact words from the official proceedings of that of that convention,” said Audrey Salgado, Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform president. Actors in the documentary wear period costume, said Graig Baab, Alabama Appleseed Fellow. “Even 100 years later, to hear grown men actually say the things they say


about African American Alabamians is breathtaking,” Baab said.

The documentary and forum are both open to the public. “The documentary breaks down the constitution in an elementary format,” said Austin Monk, senior in public administration. “It is geared toward making people aware of what is in the Alabama state Constitution.” The College of Liberal Arts is working with the Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform to present the documentary, Salgado said. “I felt it was especially important for students to understand what their government is made up to

be,” Monk said. “What we all take for granted is how our government works. It is necessary for students to understand how governments work.” Baab, Monk and Salgado will serve on a panel to address questions after the film. It was Monk’s idea to have a discussion with students about the constitution. “Looking at it from a student’s perspective, the 1901 Alabama state Constitution limits the ability of the state in a means of providing consistent revenue sources and has created over 850 amendments since 1901,”

Monk said. “The film brings attention to how the state operates, but in a better, more efficient manner and in more responsive ways.” Section 256 of the constitution calls for separate schools for whites and blacks. However, since federal laws prohibit segregation, the Alabama Constitution is overruled. “As you know, many of the amendments are obscure and unnecessary or allows discrimination toward African Americans,” Monk said. “If it were not for the U.S. Constitution and federal law, those unfair amendments would still be enforced today.”

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Campus B5

The Auburn Plainsman

Horseman’s Club saddles up for St. Jude hospital Mackenzie Cogle WRITER

The Auburn University Horseman’s Club is spurring up for its annual Saddle Up for St. Jude charity trail ride March 5. Saddle Up for St. Jude is a nationwide fundraiser held by different equine-based organizations to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The Auburn University Horseman’s Club contacted St. Jude and became a Saddle Up for St. Jude event coordinator in Alabama. Last year, 15 riders came out for the fundraiser, and club members hope to have an even better turnout this year. “You can’t find a better cause than St. Jude,” said Cynthia McCall, faculty adviser for the Auburn Horseman’s Club. McCall said the club has sponsored the fundraiser for several years, and she hopes this year’s trail ride will bring more interest. For a minimum $15

donation, students and residents in and around Auburn with their own horse or access to one are invited to blaze the trails with the Horseman’s Club at Bedford V. Cash/Bold Destiny Memorial Horse Trail at Tuskegee National Forest. Check-in for the ride will begin at 9:15 a.m. at the trail and will include registration and tacking up horses for the ride. Lasting from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the ride will have a veterinarian on-site and first aid kits available on the trail. Lauris Orem, sophomore in equine sciences and Horseman’s Club member, said the event is also open to those who do not ride or have a horse, but would like to donate money to benefit cancer research for children with life-threatening illnesses. “Donations are key and all of the money goes to St. Jude,” Orem said. The proceeds from Saddle Up for St. Jude are given

directly to St. Jude, which will use the funds to continue their research of childhood cancer and other illnesses. Prizes will be awarded to top donors and can be viewed on the St. Jude website. Participants can pre-register by e-mailing club president, Hayley Dickinson at Registered participants can buy T-shirts for $10. T-shirts cost $15 for nonparticipants. Dickinson has served as the Horseman’s Club president for two years and said she enjoyed the event last year. “It’s cool to have an event that combines horses with a great cause,” Dickinson said. Dickinson said horses have the ability to touch people and change lives. “It’s a great cause,” Dickinson said. “Horses can provide a sort of therapy that people can’t.” More information is available on the club’s Facebook page.


Club president Hayley Dickinson, secretary Amanda Branham and publicity chair Lauris Orem help promote the Saddle Up for St. Jude Trail Ride happening March 5.

Study abroad program ventures to Vienna, Austria Morgan McKean WRITER

For five weeks, Kathryn Johnson, senior in radio, television and film, and her friend shared a bathroom with a family they didn’t know in Vienna, Austria. They were unfamiliar with the family’s native language and historic city. Johnson quickly acclimated to the bustling city and its lax lifestyle. Along with 18 other classmates, she spent many afternoons touring palaces, museums and breweries, as well as lounging in the city’s famed Burggarten, a city park. Last summer, Johnson took part in Auburn’s Austria Summer Program in Vienna. She received eight hours of credit, taking one German class and one culture class. Students are paired off to

live with host families for complete immersion into the culture. The program offers all levels of German language courses, as well as culture courses in English. Along with daily field trips, there are two planned weekend excursions to Prague, Munich and Salzburg. “We went to some really interesting locations, like a mosque, and saw how diverse Vienna was,” Johnson said. “You think you are going to see just one kind of person, but there are a lot of different immigrants there.” Vienna is a cosmopolitan place where many cultures

come together, said Traci O’Brien, assistant professor of German and director of the program. “Going abroad just opens up your horizons,” O’Brien said. “It’s the kind of thing that you don’t know how wonderful it is until you go.” O’Brien will accompany her fifth group to Vienna this summer from June 25 to July 30. “The Viennese are really big on greenery, so there is a lot of natural stuff like parks and things like that,” O’Brien said. German professor Raegan Lemmond has visited Vienna five times, twice as the assistant director for Auburn’s program. She said the Burggarten,

a picturesque resemblance to New York’s Central Park, is her favorite spot. “It’s surrounded by big city living and a big city fast pace, and then you enter the park, and it’s just beautiful,” Lemmond said. “You can relax, read a book, people-watch or sleep.” Vienna was recently named one of the most beautiful cities in the world, O’Brien said. “I don’t think there is a bad picture you can take of Vienna,” said Paul Bergen, junior in German and microbiology who also studied in Vienna. Bergen signed up for German on a whim during his freshman year. He wanted to explore his family’s heritage because two grandparents were born there. Now with a German

Going abroad just opens up your horizons. It’s the kind of thing that you don’t know how wonderful it is until you go.” —Traci O’Brien PROGRAM DIRECTOR

degree in the works and five weeks of Viennese living under his belt, Bergen said he would accept a job offer or the opportunity to do research in Germany. However, Lemmond said students do not have to venture overseas to put their language skills to the test. “The state of Alabama

has so much German business here, so it can be very practical and beneficial on your own soil,” she said. It can be a valuable language for students going into mechanical or aerospace engineering or pharmaceuticals, Lemmond said. Whatever career path Johnson takes, she said she knows she will make time for more traveling. “Traveling isn’t really a hard thing to do,” Johnson said. “Sure, the train schedules or trying to communicate might be a little difficult, but if you just get yourself out there and travel, you will learn so much about the world and yourself.” Students interested in the Vienna program should contact O’Brien at

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Campus B6

The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, March 3, 2011

NATALIE SALTER, 22 It seems two plus two equals lovely this week. She’s Natalie, a senior in elementary education. Our gal says she’s known she’s wanted to teach her entire life. Now, she’s getting that hands-on experience, student-teaching at Yarbrough Elementary. She loves “the joy of them actually getting it,” she says of her students. Coming from you, Natalie, we see no reason why they wouldn’t. Think you know an Auburn woman who has what it takes to be the Loveliest Lady on the Plains? Send submissions, with names and contact information, to

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

C Page C1

Freshmen more stressed than ever Morgan McKean WRITER



One of the last photos taken of 15-year-old Cam Street, snapped in summer 2009, a few months before his death.

A year and a half after the death of a young boy, two friends and fellow Boy Scouts will hike the Appalachian Trail in his honor Liz Conn ASSOCIATE CAMPUS EDITOR

On Nov. 28, 2009, a 15-year-old boy in Atlanta lost his battle with cancer. More than a year later, two friends from Cam Street’s Boy Scout troop are hiking 2,179 miles on the Appalachian Trail in his honor. Randy Wright, 22, and 2010 Auburn graduate Charlie Timberlake have founded Hike for Cam, a fundraising organization dedicated to Street. “We couldn’t think of anyone better than Cam Street to do this in honor of,” Timberlake said. All donations benefit

CURE Childhood Cancer, the National Eagle Scout Association scholarship fund and Scout Troop 304 at The Lovett School in Atlanta. Anyone can pledge a donation based on the number of miles hiked. For example, a pledge of a penny per mile would be a donation of $21.79. Timberlake and Wright plan to begin their hike from Georgia to Maine March 22, and the trip will last five to six months. “The sacrifice that goes into it—much of it is

unpleasant,” Wright said. “The way I see it, it’s something we’re doing that most people would not want to do. It’s going to be costly in terms of our time and money. I look at it as a way people can live vicariously though us.” Cam was diagnosed with cancer when he was in sixth grade. The first symptom was pain in his left ankle, thought to be an ankle sprain. “It turns out it wasn’t a sprained ankle—it was cancer,” said Janet Street, Cam’s mother. “That’s why it was

hurting him so much—because it was growing and basically eating his bones.” Cam had a form of cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma, which affects 400–500 people in North America each year. Cam’s father, Bruce Street, said Ewing’s sarcoma has an initial cure rate of 80 percent, but with recurrence it drops to 7 percent and eventually zero. Cam experienced multiple recurrences. “You hear the statistics, but you always hold out hope and prayer that you’ll be the one to find the cure,” Bruce said. » See HIKE, C2



The freshman year learning curve includes sorting laundry and curing the common hangover, but more academic issues have taken a stronghold in the collective freshman mind, especially with midterms at hand. Picking a major with ample job opportunities, as well as getting into grad school, is emphasized to college freshmen today. “There is so much more pressure for freshmen to plan for their future since the economy has gone in the tank,” said John Updegraff, adviser for the College of Liberal Arts. A l lie Cate Presson, freshman in pre-nursing, said she is most stressed about being accepted to Auburn’s nursing school. “I know there’s a huge need for nurses, so that’s not what worries me,” Presson said. “But Auburn’s nursing program only takes, like, 50 students a semester, so your grades have to be top notch. “I put in hours and hours of studying in the library last semester, and many of those hours didn’t pay off.” Presson took advantage of the supplemental instruction sessions offered in her classes, but said she wished more of her classes provided them. “It just stresses me out when I don’t know how to study,” she said. Graeson Sloop, freshman in biomedical sciences, also said his biggest stressor has been “getting adjusted academic-wise” because he had to improve his study habits and note-taking skills. “The first test of the semester is usually the lowest grade,” said Matt Kearley, biology professor for nonscience majors who

teaches more than 700 freshmen each year. Kearley said he thinks time management is critical. “It’s hard adjusting from having someone telling you what to do all the time, and then suddenly you’ve got to make yourself do what you need to do,” Kearley said. He said not all of this stress is new. “In general, freshman year is a stressful time for anyone,” he said. Updegraff said he frequently sees extra-curricular activities affecting grades. “Students find out first how to commit to too m u c h a n d then finally how to commit too less,” Updegraff said. Kelsey S t r i t z i n g e r, freshman in exercise science, said it’s stressful to find balance between her involvement in her sorority and Tiger Splashers while also keeping up with her classes. “If I get stressed out I will just leave where I’m studying and go walk or work out,” she said. Freshmen can get assistance finding relief from stress and other issues by utilizing Student Counseling Services. Academic responsibilities are one of the top issues they see, along with establishing independence and relationships. Administrative assistant Darlene Smith said all students have to do is call to set up an appointment, and they’ll be assisted. Student Counseling Services is located on the second floor of the Medical Clinic. Counselors can be reached at 334-844-5123. Their hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Local photographer shows his passion for fashion Molly Montgomery WRITER

RaChard White is bringing art and fashion to life in the Auburn community. Photographer and nursing student at Southern Union Community College, White stepped into the fashion world with his first show at Auburn’s footwear boutique The Blue Shoe Feb. 18. The event, “SoundArt Poetry + Art Show,” was a poetry reading and art and fashion show sponsored by several area businesses. White, Auburn native and graduate of Auburn High School, said he is excited about his newest endeavor. “I’m a photographer, but I’ve always had a passion for fashion,” White said. “I’ve found a way to blend the two together.” White worked with Private Gallery, a local clothing store, freelance makeup artist Ashley Yerves and The Blue Shoe to bring his looks to life. Distinguished Cuts,

Nayberry Publishing, The Blue Shoe and 2Chic Salon & Boutique also sponsored the event. The night included music and poetry readings and showcased White’s photography as well as the work of other local artists. The highlight of the evening was White’s runway production. The models featured in the show were White’s personal friends, not professional models. White said he prefers to work with novice models. “All the girls are local, and for future events I plan on reaching for more local talent,” White said. “I really want to get some girls that may not make it in major runway events and may not be tall enough or have enough experience.” Yerves said White’s show focused on high fashion and looks for warm weather. “It showed you what was on the runways for spring while still being affordable,”

Yerves said. Yerves, who freelances for weddings, proms and fashion shows, used an airbrushing makeup technique. The show included clothing from Private Gallery and shoes and jewelry from The Blue Shoe. White said his inspiration came from Fashion Week runways, but his looks were toned down for everyday wear. “I had to make sure everything was wholesome, and everything didn’t look too racy,” White said. “I like to keep things classy and elegant.” Jennifer Bartley, sales associate at The Blue Shoe, said White’s show reflected his passion for his work. “It was very dynamic and colorful and fashion forward,” Bartley said. “The girls all wore crazy heels.” White said his fashion show took about two months to plan, but only lasted approximately 15

minutes. He said seeing the finished product was the best part of the evening. “That feeling of completion and being able to see the girls out there, that was the highlight,” White said. Yerves said White’s personality makes his artwork successful. “His work is so gorgeous, and he puts so much effort into everything he does, especially his photography,” Yerves said. “He is just a really down-home, Southern, easygoing guy.” White plans to produce more fashion shows in the future. He also wants to continue his photography with his new business, White Reflections. He said he sees both photography and fashion as valuable art forms. “I’ve always seen fashion as a window of self-expression,” White said. “I think that is why I love fashion so much. There’s so much creativity that goes into it.”


RaChard White stands with his fashion art in Private Gallery.

Intrigue C2

The Auburn Plainsman


» From C1 Janet said the family took many trips together while Cam was sick, including a ski trip less than a year before he died. “It was very surreal,” she said. “We knew he would die when he got the recurrence. We had no illusions. We kept everything as normal as possible because that’s what he wanted.” Timberlake said although becoming an Eagle Scout is usually lengthy, the Troop 304 scoutmaster got Cam’s paperwork approved in just a few days. At the beginning of November 2009, Cam’s Eagle Scout ceremony was held at his bedside with a conference call set up for friends to listen longdistance.

Timberlake said remembering what Cam went through will keep him motivated on the hike. “It’s going to be those days when I’m in my sleeping bag, and I’m miserable and really tired and hurting and I don’t want to get up and hike, that that big motivational factor is going to kick me into gear and make me get up and want to hike,” Timberlake said. Donations can be made at “One of the things I’ve learned through this whole thing is people are a hell of a lot nicer than I am,” Janet said. “What people have done for our family is just incredible. That so much good could come out of something so crappy, it just gives your heart warmth. That’s what makes this world go round.”


My Two Wings performed at Ale House Friday night. Their instruments include a guitar, mandolin, banjo and violin.

Band blends bluegrass, folk, acoustic Elizabeth Fite STAFF WRITER

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Two Wings, an Auburn-based band, is bringing a unique fusion of bluegrass, folk and acoustic music to the town. The band played Friday to a full crowd at the Olde Auburn Ale House. “Kind of the thing we all have in common is we just like playing music, so we’re mostly just doing it for fun,” said Bryant Hains, graduate student in mechanical engineering and banjo, guitar and keyboard player for the band. The band is comprised of Hains; Jon Myles, vocals, mandolin and guitar; Tyler Gates, vocals and guitar; and J.W. Woodard, upright bass. The band also regularly features Riley Robertson, fiddle player and junior in polymer and fiber engineering, and Morgan Bethea, vocals. Myles started the band in Auburn in 2008 and serves as the primary songwriter and vocalist. When he’s not playing music, Myles teaches science at Trinity Christian School in Opelika. Some of the band’s biggest musical influences are Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams and My Morning Jacket, Myles said. Hains said Christianity also plays a roll in influencing the band’s music. “It finds it’s way into a lot of lyrics as well,” Myles said.

“The lyrics are not usually very openly religious, but that element is there.” The band has recorded two albums so far. The first self-titled album features work primarily by Myles. Typhoid Mary, the band’s second album, came out last month, and according to Hains was more experimental and has a stronger focus on rock than the first album, which was exclusively folk. He said all of the songs on the albums are originals and written primarily by Myles, although at shows the band will occasionally play covers. “We probably have 15 to 20 songs that are originals,” Hains said. The band is currently moving forward with plans to record a third album, which will probably feature more bluegrass-style music, Myles said. He said although the band would like to make it big, they are enjoying where they are right now. “We’re just going to have fun with it, and if anything comes about, then great,” Myles said. “We’ll all be playing music the rest of our lives some way or another.” The band practices together once a week. “They all work very, very hard,” said Kathy Myles, Jon’s wife. “They all are very serious musicians and some of the most talented musicians that you’ll hear in Auburn.” Hains said the members


Jon Myles plays and provides vocals at Friday’s show. also focus heavily on the other aspects of their lives, such as school and work. Myles said one of the most important things with college students trying to balance school with music is to have fun, but not take yourself too seriously. “It’s hard work—there’s always going to be critics out there saying you can’t do it,” Robertson said. Robertson also said it is important to practice playing in front of an audience and with someone else. Common venues for the band are the Olde Auburn

Ale House, the Independent, Eighth and Rail and festivals such as Auburn Summer Nights. Myles said the band also hopes to play some outdoor venues in the future. Upcoming shows for the band are On The Tracks, a food and wine tasting in Opelika April 15 and Summer Nights June 17 in downtown Auburn. The band’s albums are on iTunes, and listeners can preview several songs on the band’s website,

Professionals reveal importance of keeping good credit score in college Lindsay Rife ASSOCIATE INTRIGUE EDITOR

Identifying the catchy jingles of the guy, troubadour of the credit woes of the American masses, may be easy, but keeping up your own credit score may not. Financial advisers agree having a credit card in college is beneficial in the long run. “Everyone will build a credit score,” said John Jahera, Colonial Bank distinguished professor and department head of finance. “For college students, I think it is important to start building one. A credit card is a good way for a college student to start building that credit history and building the credit score. You know, you have to start somewhere.” Jahera said establishing credit in college is a good idea, similar to building your GPA. “Each course either adds or takes away from your grade point average, right?” he said. “Everything you do with regard to your credit will either add to your credit score or take away.”

Having a credit card in college is a steppingstone into the future. Establishing good credit now pays off later in life when trying to buy a car or house—if the spending doesn’t get out of hand, that is. “College students are obviously very early on in their lives, and you don’t want to start off immediately with a bad credit score,” Jahera said. “You’d rather start off with a good one and hopefully keep it.” He said people need to understand a credit card is not free money. According to Jahera, it is a matter of controlling spending urges. If the desire to overspend can be controlled and good credit maintained, people will be well-off. “It makes life a lot easier,” he said. Bud Bliss, freshman in biosystems engineering, agrees and understands the benefit of smart credit card usage and a good credit score. “If you use (a credit card) smartly, it builds up good credit, so you start off on a good foot for your major

expenses,” he said. Building a good credit score involves more than spending smartly. The first step, according to Amanda Harrelson, finance professor and financial adviser at Northwestern Mutual, is knowing the credit score. “I would say that the biggest thing I see is that college students don’t even know what their score is, how to find their score or how to monitor it,” Harrelson said. She said everyone is entitled to one free credit report per year, which can be obtained online. She also said there are three different credit scores, and while most places will take the one in the middle, she said it is important to know all three. “The big things to do to maintain a good credit score would be to pay your bills on time, obviously in everything—your water bill, your power bill, your rent, your movie stores—also, pay over,” she said. “It does not matter if it is one dollar over the minimum payment. The credit card then

sends to the reporting companies that you pay over. They don’t designate how much over, but you can get a favorable report.” According to Harrelson, it is also imperative to monitor spending because it is easy to slip. However, she thinks it is extremely important for college students to set up credit. “I really, really recommend for all college students to have a credit card,” Harrelson said. “As young as you can, establish that you are a good, bill-paying consumer.” If someone is nervous about owning a credit card, she recommended a card with a low balance. That way, it is easy to stay out of debt, but still establish credit history. Both Harrelson and Jahera said to be careful of fees and to research interest rates and point systems. Regardless, credit cards are an integral part of society. “The longer you wait, the worse it is because you’re showing you’ve never had any history,” Harrelson said.

Arts Entertainment


Thursday, March 3, 2011


Alabama artist turns junk into jewels Kala Bolton WRITER

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Butch Anthony, 47, lives by this motto. Anthony gained national recognition for his artwork, but said he wouldn’t call himself an artist. “More the junk man,” Anthony said. Anthony, who has turned his 80-acre property in Seale into a museum of his works called the “Museum of Wonder,” takes antique items and transforms them into pieces of art. All of Anthony’s works will be on display at his museum March 25–27 as he helps host the annual DooNanny Folk Art Show. Held in Seale, the festival features works by artists from all over the country as well as foods, music and movies. “We stared the first one

15 years ago, and about five people showed up,” Anthony said. “So we just kept doing it every year.” The turnout has grown throughout the years. “There are hundreds, but they come and they go,” said Richard Keller, resident of Seale and friend of Anthony. “It’s just a constant steady flow of people. They come from everywhere.” With large turnouts every year, residents said they never know what items will be featured in the festival. “They make jewelry out of silverware, and they make different types of clothing,” Keller said. “There are artists that paint and ones that sculpt. One guy had a car completely covered with bottle caps and another car covered with reflectors, so even the things these people drive are unique.” Anthony said he

encourages Auburn students to come out to the festival, and he uses local volunteers to help run it. Seale is not far from campus, located about 30 minutes away close to Columbus, Ga. “We usually have some architect students, art students,” Anthony said. “I try to make ‘em work.” Anthony dabbled in the restaurant business and almost finished a zoology degree before starting his career by selling a few small pieces of art. Now, Anthony gets most of his material from the auctions held at the Possum Trot Antique Shop every Friday night. “We just hang out over here, and we auction off junk next door,” Anthony said. The auction starts at 7 p.m., and bidders stay as


Butch Anthony, an artist who calls himself “the junk man,” lives and works in Seale. late as midnight hoping to find the perfect antique item. Despite his success, Anthony remains quiet, but those who know him best have no problem doing the bragging for him.

“He has pieces hanging in the Columbus museum,” Keller said. “He has sold his art on the Internet in every state in this country. He’s a lot bigger than he lets on.” Although his story has been sought out by the New

York Times and the History Channel’s “American Pickers,” Anthony said he does not like all of the attention. “I kind of hide from folks like you,” Anthony said. “I don’t know what the big deal is really.”

A Gnu kind of funny Local bookstore hosts monthly comedy night Lindsay Rife ASSOCIATE INTRIGUE EDITOR

He arm-wrestled himself, and his right arm won by a hair. Not many people would shave their entire left arm because of a hair-pinching watch and then make a joke about it. Auburn alumnus Clayburn Cox would. The high school teacherturned-comedian was just one of the performers at Friday night’s “Who Gnu It’d Be So Funny?” comedy show at the Gnu’s Room bookstore and coffee house. Cox describes himself in one phrase as “tall, dark, and funny.” But unlike many standup comedians, his sense of humor is entirely clean-cut. He said this is largely because of his Christian upbringing. “I liked his act better than the others,” said undeclared freshman Hailey Kornman. “He focused on keeping his jokes clean, but I still laughed a lot.” So where does he get this clean-cut material? “Most of it’s based, at least in premise, somewhat on reality,” Cox said. “And

then I just start branching out on what could be funny from that.” This reality-turned-fiction can be seen in many of his jokes. “He really did shave one arm,” said his wife, Karen. She is referring to the joke he told involving an arm hair-pinching watch that resulted in an entirely shaved arm. “Yeah, that’s true,” Cox said, laughing. “But I didn’t really arm-wrestle myself.” He said he keeps a notebook on him at all times to gather material. “If somebody laughs, I’ll take note,” Cox said. “People don’t just laugh out loud for anything.” Friday’s event was the sixth installment of a “multicomedy show,” according to the event coordinator and Tiger 93.9 radio DJ Anthony Dannar. Cox was the last of four comedians to stand in front of the crowded shop and try to procure a few laughs. His unique style—a persona which seems to inhabit an uncomfortable young man stammering his way through public speaking class—contributes to his success. Cox said the awkward character is not completely made up. “OK, here’s the deal,” Cox said. “It’s a persona that is sort of a caricature of my personality. I’m obviously

not a doofus like I act on stage. But I got picked on a lot as a boy, and even when I started teaching other teachers would pick on me just because that persona would come out.” He said people like his style because they can laugh at it more. He said the stammering and awkwardness comes out when he acts uncomfortable onstage. Cox teaches graphic design at Auburn High School. He’s been doing stand-up for two and a half years and likes to test out new jokes on his students. He said he thinks they like hearing his jokes more than his teaching. “They’re a good, honest crowd,” Cox said. “If they don’t think something’s funny, they don’t give me a sympathy laugh.” And Cox knows “funny.” He said he has always been considered a funny storyteller. “At parties, people would ask to hear the same stories over and over,” he said. With the combination of that and his students’ responses to his “story of the day” in class, Cox said his desire to do stand-up just “sorta sparked.” Cox keeps his comedy mostly local, but has gone as far as Arizona and Ohio where he won runner-up in a clean comedy challenge. He said he would love to be on the Tonight Show.

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Intrigue C4

The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, March 3, 2011

‘iDoser’ app can relieve your stress, get you high Crystal Cole SPORTS EDITOR

With midterms hanging over Auburn’s campus, many library dwellers look for ways to deal with the stress. Some turn to illegal substances to get high, and now there’s an app for that. i-Doser, available in the Apple app store, boasts the ability to synchronize brain waves to alter a user’s state of mind. Customers can purchase different sequences that will give them the experience of a lucid dream, out-of-body experience, insomnia or the highs related to taking Absinthe and other drugs. Aaron Swenson, senior in geography and aviation

management, bought the application for his iPod touch. Swenson said his experiences with the app were not as intense as some users had experienced. “I read all these reviews and stuff saying it was going to mess me up,” Swenson said. “At best, I just felt mildly happier than before— nothing trance-y or crazy like other people, and I don’t know what they could have been doing different.” Swenson said he thinks part of the reason he didn’t get the full effect could be he wasn’t using high-quality over-ear headphones, as recommended by the app’s developers. Using binaural beat

technology, the tracks purchased induce the brain to experience euphoria, mood lift, sedation and even hallucination. The i-Doser website,, recommends playing the sequences at a soft, soothing volume as opposed to blasting it, although no certain volume should alter your mental state more than others. “Someone told me I could hallucinate using this,” Swenson said. “The reviews said to sit perfectly still and turn off all the lights. I felt a little better listening to it, but I don’t see how people see stuff that isn’t there doing it.” The website claims the application is perfectly safe

and has been tested on a wide variety of people. The site does warn, however, not to operate heavy machinery after long doses and to treat it with the same respect as a prescription or recreational drug. “I definitely see where some people can be impaired by it,” Swenson said. “It made me feel kind of weird and dizzy once I got done doing all that.” The website also claims to have received many e-mails from users who use the app to intensify recreational drug usage or to deal with extreme bodily pain. Swenson said he thinks he is not as affected by the app because of genetics. “The site said certain

people are affected more by it than others,” Swenson said. “It also said something like if you take it more, you feel more intense highs. “I don’t know if that’s true, but I don’t really care enough to keep trying. I feel

like I wasted my money.” Swenson said he doesn’t think he will buy any more app that promise to do something for your body. “I just don’t see how my iPod can be used to affect me like that,” Swenson said.


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Sports Thursday, March 3, 2011

Baseball preview

Athlete of the week

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Softball team breaks win streak record After breaking the previous record of 11 games, the Tigers extended their streak to 15 this weekend Maddy Hall Writer

After remaining undefeated this weekend in the War Eagle Classic, the Auburn softball team prepares for its next game against No. 6 Oklahoma. With the victory against Georgia Southern Friday, the Tigers tied their longest win-streak in school history. The Tigers will travel to Norman, Okla., to take on the top-ranked Sooners Friday. The team will not have any games during this week in preparation for Oklahoma. “We’re going to let their bodies rest this week and give the girls more time to focus on academics,” said Tina Deese, head coach. The team expects one of

the biggest challenges to be Oklahoma’s pitching. “We’re going to see some real gas from the pitching staff, and we’ll see how well we adjust,” Deese said. “This type of team will help us get ready for playing against other SEC teams.” The central force comes from Oklahoma’s Keilani Ricketts, a left-handed pitcher. “We’ve been warned about Ricketts,” said freshman first baseman and outfielder Morgan Estell. “We have to be prepared to watch the ball.” Although Deese said she knows Ricketts’ pitches can reach speeds of 68 mph, she doesn’t want it to upset the team’s focus. “I want us to get in there, play well and execute,” Deese said. “And of course I want to return home 4–0 after this weekend.” Auburn and Oklahoma haven’t played one another since 2002 when the Sooners won 6–2. “They’re a big hitting and pitching team,” Deese said. “They aren’t ranked for nothing. We’re going to have our hands full.” Players have their own individual goals to accomplish this weekend. “I just want to make

Rebekah Weaver / Assistant Photo Editor

Senior Caitlin Stangl is called safe after stealing second base in the 9–1 victory against Georgia Southern Friday. all my plays,” said junior shortstop Lauren Guzman. “When there are runners on base, I want to hit the ball well.” Estell said her focus is also on hitting. “My goal is to square up every time,” Estell said. “I want to be a team player, too—anyway I can help, whether it’s to bunt, hit one over or even get hit by a pitch.” The Tigers defeated five teams this weekend in the War Eagle Classic at Jane B. Moore Field. Auburn won against Georgia Southern 9–1, Belmont 8–5, Marshall 8–1, Murray State 14–2 and Middle Tennessee 10–0. “The team as a whole performed really well overall,” Guzman said. “We found what we need to work on.”

Deese has a few things in mind for Wednesday’s practice. “We’ve got to continue to get better,” Deese said. “We’ve got to practice seeing the ball with some real heat on it.” Deese said she was impressed with the team’s performance against Belmont. “We were extremely aggressive offensively and defensively,” Deese said. “We did a nice job squaring up and hitting the ball.” Spring weather brought a rise in attendance for the games this weekend. “The attendance and the energy were good, and the weather definitely helped out,” Deese said. “The kids do enjoy playing in front of a big crowd; they feed off the energy.” » See Softball, D2

Rebekah Weaver / Assistant Photo Editor

Elizabeth Eisterhold swings against Georgia Southern.

Track and field sprints toward NCAA tourney Ellen Weathers Writer

Daniel Friday / Photo Staff

Rachel Inniss completes a tumbling pass on her floor routine against Pittsburgh.

Tigers face off against BYU Christina Santee Writer

The No. 18 Auburn gymnastics team (3– 5, 2–4) will take on No. 26 Brigham Young University in the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah, at 9 p.m. March 4 The meet will be the first of two the Tigers are scheduled to complete while on the road before returning to Auburn to take on Southeast Missouri State. “We just haven’t been sharp,” said Jeff Graba, head coach. “Part of that is due to the fact that we’ve shown our nerves out at meets—not on every event, but every once in a while. In practice we’re quite a bit sharper.” In gymnastics, individual performance is a key component of team success. “Wins don’t really come into play with how we coach them,” Graba said. “What we’re trying to do is maximize scoring potential because that’s really what matters to us. If you do that, you’ll end up with wins anyway.”

A victory against Pittsburgh last week with a season-high 195.925 raised spirits. The Tigers also won five individual titles for the Feb. 25 meet. “Part of it is going to be going on the road and working that segment of it, but also the rotations are going to be a little bit different because we’re in a four-team meet out at BYU,” Graba said. The BYU Cougars (5–3), a characteristically strong team this season, have beaten opponents including Utah State, Kent State and Arkansas—an opponent the Tigers were unable to top—but have lost against teams like Arizona and LSU, which was a big SEC win for the Tigers. “Honestly, our No. 1 goal is to finish the season with no regrets,” said senior Rachel Inniss. “I’ve never competed against BYU, so it’s going to be really fun. It’s been a while since we’ve had two meets in one weekend, so that’s going to be interesting to see how we deal with that, but it’s » See Gymnastics, D2

Feb. 25–27, men and women from Auburn’s track and field team competed at the SEC Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. The men’s team placed sixth of 10 teams, and the women placed fourth of 12 teams. Florida took home the men’s title while LSU won the women’s title. Head coach Ralph Spry said despite some bad luck, he is happy with the team’s performance. Overall, 15 Auburn athletes qualified for the National Indoor Championships to be held March 11–12 in College Stations, Texas. “We’ve had some setbacks with injuries, so we’ll be better when we can have everyone on the team healthy,” Spry said. “We need to be together.” Joanna Atkins, senior in family business and entrepreneurship, said not losing focus led her to placing third in the 60-meter dash, fifth in the 400-meter run and third in the 4x4 team relay. Her 52.24 seconds in the 400 ranks Atkins fourth in the NCAA. She was also added to the watch list for this season’s Bowerman trophy, track and field’s equivalent of the Heisman. Atkins said the meet was important because it showed she is in shape and strong enough to handle the pressure despite training delays. “Unfortunately, Auburn had bad weather that pushed us all back,” Atkins said. “We really did step up through some unfortunate events and perform.” On the men’s side, Harry Adams, junior in sociology, said following Coach Spry’s workouts for the last two weeks helped

We didn’t go out and win the title, but I’m still pleased with the way everyone performed.” —Harry Adams junior sprinter

him have the second highest qualifying time in the 60-meter dash. Adams placed fifth in the event last year and said he’s proud to have earned a medal in a conference as tough as the SEC. “We didn’t go out and win the title,” Adams said. “But I’m still pleased with the way everyone performed.” Along with Atkins and Adams, five more athletes placed in the top three of their events. For the men, Ben Cheruiyot took second in the 3000-meter run while Eric Werskey and Stephen Saenz took second and third in the men’s shot put. On the women’s team, Sheniqua Ferguson placed second in the 60-meter dash and Maya Pressley took third place in the high jump. For those hoping to still make it to nationals, last chance qualifiers will be hosted by different universities March 5–7. Spry said Auburn plans to send athletes to qualifier meets at LSU and Virginia Tech. “We’ve got several people close to qualifying,” Spry said. “This week we’re going to stay focused to see if we can send even more to nationals.”

Sports D2

The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Coach Spry keeps team on track


kind of like preparation for regionals and championships.” Auburn ranks No. 25 for vault with 48.715. BYU is not ranked. Auburn ranks No. 20 for uneven bars with a 48.695, behind BYU at No. 17 with a 48.805. Balance beam puts Auburn at No. 11 with 48.630. BYU barely makes the rankings at No. 25 with 48.390. Neither Auburn nor BYU rank for floor at this time. “We’re focusing more on the little things now at practice,” said sophomore Toi Garcia. “Trying to hit 24 for 24 routines is our main goal for our meet against BYU.” With several of the girls setting new personal records or tying their personal bests, the Tigers are consistently pushing themselves. The Tigers return to action at 7 p.m. March 11 at the Auburn Arena against the SEMO Redhawks before the start of the SEC Championships the following week.

Former SEC and military track star, Ralph Spry uses his experiences to be a better coach Destiny Brown WRITER

Ralph Spry spends his afternoons training the track and field team at Wilbur Hutsell track. This five-mile oval has helped Spry condition Auburn athletes for 14 seasons as head track and field coach. “Since I was involved in sports throughout college, I knew I wanted to continue my passion for sports through coaching,” Spry said. Spry, who has earned many awards for track and field during his athletic career, spent his college years at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland, the University of Mississippi and a short stretch at the University of Florida. During his time as a college athlete, Spry was a four-time NJCAA champion, an eight-time JUCO AllAmerican and was inducted into the NJCAA Track and Field Hall of Fame for his accomplishments. While enrolled at the Ole Miss, Spry became the first track and field athlete at Ole Miss to receive All-American and national champion status. He was a two-time NCAA


Estell said she appreciates when the fans are loud. “I love the crowd being here,” Estell said. “There was a big group on Saturday who would do the cheers with us.” Deese said she hopes that success against Pittsburgh will help encourage the team in its upcoming game. “We know what we’re up against,” Deese said. “The most important thing is to go into it carrying our confidence.


All-American, a three-time All-SEC performer and SEC and NCAA long jump champion. In 1983 he was ranked fifth in the United States and seventh in the world in the long jump by Track&Field News. Along with being involved in track and field, Spry was an active member of the Army R.O.T.C and eventually accepted a commission into the U.S. Army after his graduation from the University of Mississippi. In the U.S. Army, Spry was a member and an assistant coach for the AllArmy track and field team. Spry won five interservice long jump championships and was the World Military long jump champion. Spry was then invited to participate in the Army’s World Class Athletic Training Program. He chose instead to go to the University of Florida, where he served as a volunteer coach for the track team. During this time, he trained for the Olympic Trials in which he competed in 1988. After leaving active duty Spry was hired by the University of Florida, followed by the University of South Carolina, as an assistant track and field coach.

Many collegiate athletes excelled under his coaching. “I chose to coach within the SEC conference because it is the elite conference in the country,” Spry said. This attitude toward the SEC drove Spry to serve as an assistant coach at three different SEC schools before accepting the head coaching position at Auburn University in 1997. “He’s the type of person that is always positive,” said Diego Flaquer, assistant track and field coach. “When he gives you an opportunity, you know he believes in you and you give it everything that you can for him. “He’s a great man with great morals and he’s always there supporting you. I couldn’t ask for a better boss.” When he isn’t coaching, Spry enjoys bass fishing, listening to music and working out. However, his favorite pastime is seeing his team give their best, Spry said. “I enjoy working with young people and teaching them to have goals,” Spry said. “I want to see them involved, graduate and earn a degree.” Spry said he enjoys seeing his athletes excel in both athletics and academics. “Coach Spry dedicates himself to us,” said Harry Adams, junior in sociology. “He’s out there every day at practice for countless hours and is so focused on helping us with our starts and our technique. There are a lot of things that make him a good coach.”



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Junior guard Morgan Jennings protects the ball from a Kentucky defender during the game Sunday afternoon.

Tigers prepare for SEC tourney Erik Yabor WRITER

The 2011 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament begin, March 3 in Nashville, Tenn. The Auburn Tigers (15– 14, 8–8) have tickets to the Music City, though the team will have to work their way through the brackets. The Tigers’ seventh– place regular season finish in conference play was not enough to earn a first– round bye in the tournament. Following the Tigers’ 76–62 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats, their most likely spot will be the sixth seed versus the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs Thursday night. Auburn and Mississippi State split the series during the regular season, with

the Tigers winning the first game in January 45–41 in Starkville and the Lady Bulldogs winning the second match in February 57– 45 in Auburn. All 12 Southeastern Conference teams participate in the tournament. The teams are not split into divisions. Rather, they are placed in a pool and those teams with the best records in conference play receive higher seeds. The top four seeds receive first-round byes. The championship game will be played March 6. The winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The NCAA tournament will travel through Auburn regardless, as the newlybuilt Auburn Arena will host two games of “March

Madness.” The Tigers were in a good position midway through the season to earn a high seed in the SEC tournament as well as a bid to the NCAA tournament. However, a 3–7 stretch at the end of the season made the Tigers’ only likely shot at a tournament appearance achievable with a victory in the conference championship. “We just learned how to fight for each other,” said junior guard Morgan Jennings of the late-season slide. Tennessee (28–2, 16–0) holds the top seed and is the early favorite to win the tournament, but head coach Nell Fortner said everyone can compete. “From 2–12 (seeds) anybody can win that tournament,” Fortner said.

The tournament is single elimination and one loss will knock out the losing team. “It doesn’t matter what seed you are,” said senior Alli Smalley. “You have got to show up ready to play.” Smalley is the team’s leading scorer with 350 points in 29 games. The Tigers have averaged 61.6 points per game this season as opposed to their opponents’ 61.0 points per game. The Tigers also force 18.8 turnovers per game and average 8.8 steals per game. The Tigers have won the conference tournament four times before—in 1981, 1987, 1990 and 1997. In addition, the Tigers emerged as regular season SEC champions in 1981, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 2009.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sports D3

The Auburn Plainsman

Tigers host Rebels in home finale Jade Currid WRITER


Junior forward Kenny Gabriel dunks the ball against Arkansas senior guard Marcus Britt during Saturday’s 57–55 loss.

The Auburn men’s basketball team faces Louisiana State University (11–8, 3–11) in the season finale March 5 in Baton Rouge, La. “LSU is another team we struggled with in our first conference game of the year, but we have gotten progressively better, and so have they, like most teams have at this time of the year,” said head coach Tony Barbee. The match between the two Tigers will be a precursor to the SEC tournament. “We want to do well in that game so we can go into the SEC tournament with momentum,” said freshman forward Allen Payne. Auburn has been outscored 1746 to 1858 this season and has struggled

in the rebounding aspect of the game, carrying a negative 1.3 margin. “We struggled a little bit this year, but I think it’s a good game for us because if we win that game, we get our confidence up and hopefully go on a run in the SEC tournament,” Payne said. Sophomore guard Josh Wallace said LSU played zones well in the last game against Auburn. “I believe we have come along in attacking zones and in knowing what to look for,” Wallace said. “We know what we need to do offensively, and we just need to keep up the intensity defensively. I believe we’re going to be prepared for them.” The Bayou Bengals slumped into a 10-game losing streak following a 56–53 win against Arkansas and were unable to

break it until a 84–82 win Feb. 5 against Mississippi State. LSU has been outscored by its opponents, but has the upper hand in assists. The team is also averaging 13.7 free throws, 35.2 rebounds and 14.4 turnovers per game, as well as 177 steals and 102 blocks, but have yet to win a home game this season. Wallace said Auburn has improved their defense every game. “We’ve come along slowly but surely offensively,” Wallace said. “We just have to get better every day with every practice and every game. “Hopefully we can get this win and carry it into the SEC.” Auburn almost defeated Arkansas in a nail-biter Feb. 26 at the Auburn Arena. Junior forward Kenny

I believe we have come along in attacking zones and knowing what to look for…I believe we’re going to be prepared for them.” —Josh Wallace SOPHOMORE GUARD

Gabriel shot a game-tying layup with 29 seconds left before Arkansas scored with just five seconds left on the clock. Before matching up with the Bayou Bengals, Auburn hosts Ole Miss (18–11, 6–8) in the last home game of the season.

Soccer beats UAB, prepares for tough spring competition Kate Jones WRITER

The women’s soccer team played its first of six spring exhibition matches Feb. 27, beating the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers. Auburn won 6–0 with goals coming from five different players. While the regular season for the Tigers is the fall, they are allowed a spring season to train and develop players. The spring season does not count toward NCAA standings. Head Coach Karen

Hoppa said the seniors usually don’t come out and play, so the spring is truly preparation for next fall. “Our goal is to improve upon the things we did last fall, so to speak,” Hoppa said. Hoppa said in the spring they will work to develop the players’ skills, getting better as individual soccer players and also trying to improve as a team. “What we really want to try to focus on this spring is more productive offensively,” Hoppa said. “We felt like we didn’t score

enough goals. Our objective this spring is to be a goal-scoring team.” Defensively, Julie King, junior defender, said they have been working extensively on the organizational part. “We lost Sammy Towne this year,” King said. “She was the leader in the back, so now we have to figure out how to organize ourselves without her, and a lot of people stepped up today.” A big test for the Tigers this spring will be playing the Atlanta Beat, a professional women’s soccer

team from Atlanta, Ga. The Tigers will face the Beat twice, March 9 and April 3. “We have played them before, and it’s always such a good learning experience because the other team is professional, more sophisticated, and they really take advantage of our mistakes and force us to be on our game,” Hoppa said. Katy Frierson, junior midfielder, said the Beat will be challenging for the team and will force them to think a lot faster and to think ahead.

“Those girls are the next level in athletics,” Frierson said. “They are very savvy soccer-wise, so it’s going to be a pretty big challenge for us I think.” Defensively, the Beat will provide Auburn its biggest challenge too. King said the Beat has a lot of talent and experience on their team and will be organized. “I think personally we need to go out there with knowing that it’s going to be a challenge for us,” King said. “Go out there and be organized and play to our best ability, and hopefully

everybody will step up that day, and we will do good again.” Coming up are two home matches March 5 and 9 against West Florida and Atlanta Beat, respectively. The games will be played at the Auburn University Soccer Complex, and both will start at 6 p.m. Auburn will then travel to Birmingham to play the Beat April 3 and then to Kennesaw, Ga., April 9. In Kennesaw, the team will have a double-header against Columbus State and Kennesaw State.

Varnadore pitches Auburn to victory Coleman Mcdowell WRITER

This past fall, head football coach Gene Chizik struck gold with a junior college athlete from Georgia in Cam Newton. So far this spring, it appears head baseball coach John Pawlowski might have found similar success from the junior college ranks in Derek Varnadore from Chattahoochee Valley Community College. After losing Cole Nelson and Grant Dayton from last year’s rotation and facing the NCAA’s new standards on bat specifications, pitching was a main focus for the Tigers in 2011. To try to fill the void in the starting rotation, Pawlowski recruited Varnadore. Varnadore posted a 7–0 record and 3.64 ERA while at CVCC, earning Second Team All-ACCC honors and First Team All-Southern Division honors. Varnadore has maintained his undefeated streak with a 2–0 mark and 0.00 ERA so far for the Tigers. In two outtings this year, Varnadore allowed just five hits and struck out 17 without allowing a run. After his first start versus the UAB Blazers last Sunday,

Varnadore said it was “like a dream come true.” “My step-dad went to the University of Georgia, so I did grow up a Georgia fan, but I’ve always wanted to play in the SEC,” Varnadore said. “My goal when I went to Chattahoochee Valley was to play in the SEC, so to get that start on Sunday was awesome.” The opening weekend was up and down for the Tigers. In the first game Friday, the Tigers defeated Arkansas State 12–5, but fell in the second game, losing 13–2 to Virginia. Winning Sunday was paramount as the Tigers tried to build momentum for the rest of the season, and Varnadore delivered with seven strong innings, scattering three hits and striking out four to lead the Tigers to a 6–0 shutout of UAB. “I think it was huge to come out of the opening weekend winning two out of three,” Varnadore said. “Virginia was a really good team, but I think we all got to the field last Sunday wanting to redeem ourselves.” In Sunday’s 2–0 win over Radford, Varnadore’s 13 strikeouts were the most in a game by an Auburn pitcher since Christ Bootcheck’s 15 against West Virginia in


1999, a performance that earned Varnadore SEC Pitcher of the Week honors. Varnadore grew up a few miles south of Athens, Ga., in Bishop. He attended Georgia football and baseball games and also worked at the UGA golf course. But Varnadore enjoys having a school to call his own in Auburn. “To be here in Auburn and to be able to have my own school to be proud of, I don’t think I could want to be anywhere else. I love it here,” Varnadore said. Many athletes who have made the jump from junior college basketball or football to the SEC say the speed of the game is the biggest difference. In baseball, Varnadore says the biggest difference is the hitter’s ability to make pitchers pay for mistake pitches. “One of the biggest differences between JUCO and

D-1 is the discipline and experience that the hitters have,” Varnadore said. “It’s a learning experience for me because in JUCO, I could get away with a lot more mistake pitches, but I got here this fall and learned pretty quickly that guys like K.P. (Kevin Patterson) and Tony (Caldwell) take advantage of every mistake you give them.” Baseball players are notorious for different quirks and unwritten rules, but Varnadore doesn’t follow the trend that some pitchers have set. “I don’t like to be that guy alone on the end of the bench that doesn’t want anyone talking to him while he’s pitching,” Varnadore said. “With a defense like we’ve got, I like to be right there with everybody because I know when I’m on the mound, they’re right there with me.” The Auburn family is the best part of Auburn to Varnadore. “The best thing is how the people here love this place,” Varnadore said. “It’s cool how true the whole Auburn family is, and the traditions we have here are awesome. “I’m just grateful and happy to be here and be able to be a part of it.” 363A eAst Glenn Ave Auburn, AlAbAmA



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The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tennis faces SEC foes Jenna Moran ASSOCIATE COPY EDITOR

The Auburn men and women’s tennis teams will begin Southeastern conference play after a historic weekend in the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery. The men’s team will play UGA in Athens March 4 at 2 p.m. and Tennessee in Knoxville March 6 at 1 p.m. The women’s team will play its matches in Auburn, facing UGA March 4 at 2:30 p.m. and Tennessee March 6 at 1 p.m. After finishing 0–3 in the Blue Gray Classic, the women’s team now has a record of 2–7. Although the tournament did not end with expected results, head coach Tim Gray said the team learned valuable lessons that will be put into practice against Georgia and Tennessee. “We’re starting to see an improvement in doubles,” Gray said. “Overall, I’ve gotta say I think we’re better today than we were on Thursday. Playing in tournaments like this definitely gives you experience.” Junior Taylor Schreimann agreed, saying last weekend’s tough matches will help prepare them for upcoming SEC matches. “Overall, we learned a

We’ve gotta get everyone across the board on the same page.” —Tim Gray WOMEN’S HEAD COACH

lot, and it prepared us for our conference matches that are about to start, and hopefully we can just go up from here,” Schreimann said. The No. 13 Georgia women’s team (4–1) defeated Clemson 5–2 Feb. 12, handing Clemson its first loss of the season. The No. 18 Tennessee women’s tennis team (6– 3) is coming off a 4–1 loss Feb. 20 to No. 12 Miami. Gray said although many of the girls on the team have been stepping up, it will take an execution of leadership by the entire team to put more points on the board and defeat Georgia and Tennessee. “We’ve gotta get six players playing and grinding and really putting a total team effort from start to finish to give ourselves a chance,” Gray said. “We’ve gotta get everyone across the board on the

Proud Sponsor of the Auburn Tigers, your 2010 BCS National Champions!

same page.” Schreimann said starting the matches strong and creating momentum will be a pivotal aspect of succeeding in SEC matches. “We need to take advantage of the early points and early games,” Schreimann said. “That way it won’t come down to a third set every time. It’ll give everyone that initiative to pull out their matches sooner.” The No. 21 Auburn men’s tennis team (7–3) finished the weekend with a loss to No. 15 Pepperdine in the Blue Gray Classic championship match. To prepare for Georgia and Tennessee this weekend, head coach Eric Shore said the doubles need to continue improving. The No. 13 Georgia men’s team swept Furman 7–0 in its last match Feb. 26. UGA senior Drake Bernstein won the 100th singles match of his career, and Georgia’s victory advanced the team’s record to 8–3. Tennessee’s men’s tennis team is currently ranked No. 2 and won its last match against Wake Forest, 6–1. “We’re playing two really, really tough teams to start off the conference schedule,” Shore said. “Probably two of the three best teams in the conference.”


Senior pitcher Sean Ray pitches during Auburn’s 8–6 loss against Radford Friday afternoon.

Baseball travels to Charleston Nick Van Der Linden ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR

The Auburn Tigers baseball team will hit the road for the first time this season as they travel to Charleston, S.C., to compete in the College of Charleston Tournament. The Tigers will compete against the New York Institute of Technology Friday, College of Charleston Saturday, and Western Kentucky Sunday. The New York Tech Bears, who will play its season opener against Auburn, finished the 2010 season with a 26–29 overall record and are predicted to finish fourth by baseball coaches in the eight-team Great West Conference. While Tech is waiting to start its season, the No. 18 College of Charleston Cougars defeated Jacksonville University 9–5 to improve to 8–0 and match its best start in program history. Key players for the

Cougars include junior outfielder Jose Rodriguez, who is hitting .394 and has a team-high four home runs, and junior infielder Matt Leeds, who is in close second with a .394 batting average. Although the Tigers have not been an offensive powerhouse so far this season, they have been getting help from their pitching staff. Auburn’s pitching staff has allowed only 26 earned runs heading into the Bethune Cookman game (67 innings pitched) for a 3.49 ERA, which is more than a run lower than it allowed through seven games in 2010 (4.57). The Tigers have also recorded two shutouts in seven games, matching what the team did in 60 games last season. Auburn has also allowed only one home run this season, which came in the top of the 13th inning against Radford Feb. 25. Auburn will close the

tournament against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (5–3), who fell just short of an upset against No. 2 Vanderbilt on Tuesday after taking a 5–4 lead into the bottom of the ninth. The Hilltoppers have lost three in a row following a 5–0 start to the season. The 5–0 start is the best for a Western Kentucky University team under head coach Chris Findwood and the best for any team since 1985, when the Hilltoppers started 7–0. Key players for Western Kentucky University include senior catcher Matt Rice and junior infielder Ivan Hartle. Like the 2010 season, Rice leads the team in batting average (.457), hits (16) and RBI (12). Hartle comes in second, hitting an average of .387 with 12 hits and eight RBI. The game against New York Tech will start Friday at noon.

The Auburn Plainsman  

030311 edition

The Auburn Plainsman  

030311 edition