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your guide to Auburn
PAGE 6 & 7
Horticulture in your home
“The Rogue Realtor” tells her success story
Meet the man who built a tiny home for himself
Got pride in your country? Check out this fad
Following the rules: College dorms, their regulations By STEPHEN LANZI Campus Writer There is one rule in Eagle Hall, according to Kaitlyn Conner, residents’ assistant for the building: don’t be stupid. The second is to understand rule number one. Every dorm, apartment or house has guidelines that the resident must abide by. Some rules even vary between the different dorm halls at Auburn, while some are enforced campus wide. All violations have associated fines or mandatory consequences such as courses relating to the violation. One of the most regularly enforced rules is abiding by the policy of Auburn being a dry campus. This means no alcohol permitted anywhere on campus, including the dorm halls. This rule also does not allow for students to have empty alcohol containers on campus. Another campus-wide policy that still applies to the dorm halls is the prohibition on smoking and vaping. Smokeless tobacco products are allowed.
The Hill, Quad and Cambridge dorm halls, in which residents share a bedroom, allow for guests until midnight on week nights, and until 2 a.m. on weekends. RAs are given liberty to reprimand students for excessive noise. Instruments are allowed as long as they do not become disturbing to other residents. The appliances that students are allowed to have vary between the kinds of dorms. No appliances are allowed for the dorms that share bedrooms, while the dorms with private bedrooms allow for some – crock pots, griddles, panini presses and toaster ovens. Microwaves and mini-fridges are allowed in any of the dorms. However, microwaves and full refrigerators are provided in the Village and South Donohue. Space heaters and fans are allowed in all dorms. These are useful for the residents in The Hill and The Quad as residents are not in control of the room temperature. For all dorm halls, candles with burnt wicks are prohibited. This applies regardless of where the wick was burnt.
Residents are allowed to hang posters or frames at their discretion. However, if the walls are damaged at all, the residents are subject to fees. Residents are not allowed to cover the majority of a wall though. Residents are allowed nearly all types of furniture, but residents are not allowed to remove any existing furniture. Pets are generally not allowed except for fish inside of a bowl of 20 gallons or less. Accommodations can be made for Seeing Eye dogs and emotional support animals. Bikes are not allowed inside any dorms because they must be registered through the University, while skateboards or rollerblades are allowed. Conner said, fortunately, she has not been asked about a unicycle. Of course, RAs are in charge of keeping order in the dorm hall. They are allowed to check rooms but are only allowed to search in plain sight. RAs are typically not forced to take action as long as the resident obeys rule number one. For a complete guide to residential living, visit Auburn University’s housing website
KAILEY BETH SMITH / COMMUNITY REPORTER
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This spring, when plants begin to bloom and the weather warms up, people are inspired to get outdoor and to bring the outdoors in. Horticulture student Cody Horn provides students with a list of the top ten indoor plants that are high quality and low maintenance. Peace Lily A classic staple of any apartment or home, the Peace Lily can be found at practically any store that sells plants and is relatively inexpensive and low maintenance. It adds personality to a space and is a small investment, running between $10-25 for a medium-sized pot. This plant loves to cozy up to a window indoors and does well in moist but well-drained soil. Croton A popular plant in the late spring and summer months, this decorative green can be found at any local Home Depot or Lowe’s location for around $8-15. It thrives in moist but well-drained soil and loves to bask in the sunlight. Blooming Colors has many of these for sale. Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tall and skinny with a gathering of foliage at the top, this spunky plant is featured at both Ace and Blooming Colors and makes a great addition to any space. This plant needs only to be watered two to three times per week and loves well-lit areas without too much direct sunlight. One runs between $15-30, depending on the size.
Norfolk Pine The pine, like the fiddle-leaf fig, thirsts for water two to three times a week, depending on the amount of sunlight it receives. Ace Hardware and Blooming Colors boast these neat plants, and they are between $8-15 each. Snake Plant Ranging between $10-15 each, the snake plant can be found at Home Depot or Lowe’s. This is a great plant in place of a pet, but if you have pets, be cautious because the foliage can be poisonous upon ingestion, causing your furry friend to get sick easily. Pothos/Devil’s Ivy An ivy that needs only one watering per week can be found at Home Depot or Lowe’s. It costs between $510, and desires several hours of indirect sunlight each day. Minimal upkeep with a maximal aesthetic. English Ivy Primarily found at Blooming Colors at the intersection of South Donahue and College Street this species of ivy takes the same amount of water and sunlight as does the Devil’s Ivy, and is incredibly simple to care for. Chinese Money Plant For those who are looking for something a little more rare, the Chinese Money Plant is an interesting-looking addition to any space. Horn said they are his personal favorite plant, and though they cannot be found in Auburn as they are more of a rarity, they boast being one of the easiest plants to grow and care for as well as one of the most intruguing to look at.
g livin dorms,
apartments? what students say
By HANNAH LESTER Campus Writer For many students, deciding to live on or off campus can be a big decision. Megan Ondrizek, freshman in Spanish, lives in Cambridge and plans to continue living on campus next year in The Village. Some of the benefits Ondrizek listed for on-campus living were Tiger Card money, easier football game access and a closer look at Auburn culture. “It’s just more inclusive, and you figure out who your friends are quickly, and it’s easier to get more involved,” Ondrizek said. Charlie Crider, freshman in chemical engineering, lives on campus in The Quad at Broun Hall. “I wanted to live in The Village, but I’m so glad I ended up in Broun because it’s in the middle of campus,” Crider said. “I really enjoy it there.” Alec Shunnarah, senior in software engineering, lived on campus his freshman year but has lived in the Creekside apartment complex since. “I think I prefer living off-campus more, but living on campus was nice for football games and any kind of sporting events and just getting to class was a lot easier,” Shunnarah said.
Often, although students loved their on-campus experience, they still look forward to living off campus for a number of reasons. “Sometimes parking can be really inconvenient,” Ondrizek said. “For example, I live in Cambridge, but my parking is in RO, so I never have my car.” Shunnarah said he had a hard time making it to class when he lived on campus. “I found that when I was living on campus, it was a lot easier to skip class just because my bed was right there, but living off campus has helped me with my studies,” Shunnarah said. Other normal frustrations for on-campus students generally include small spaces, bathrooms and roommates. “You’re not always gonna be best friends with your roommate,” Crider said. “Just because your roommate’s not great doesn’t mean your suite mates can’t be your best friends.” Crider said he looks forward to having a dog when he moves off campus into Aspen Heights next year. Taylor Moore, sophomore in global studies, lives off campus and has not lived on campus previously. Moore transferred from Southern Union and did not have the opportunity to live on campus. She said she would recommend an incoming freshman to try living on campus.
TINY HOME » From 6
and whatnot. So, it was a big change, but I enjoy it.” Benton said there are definitely disadvantages to a tiny house. “You have to compromise on some stuff,” he said. “I was a very simple person, to begin with. I didn’t have a lot, but I did have to downsize a little bit.” One of the biggest issues is the limited space. “You can’t just have five people over,” he said. “There are not that many places to sit and hang out.” Benton recommended other students try living in a tiny house. “For a semester, I think everybody should try it,” Benton said. “It just makes you be a whole lot simpler, really lets you focus on what your priorities are.” He doesn’t know if most people could handle building one, though. Benton said the tiny houses featured on TV shows are much more expensive due to labor costs. “When you have to pay somebody else to do eight months of work, it’s expensive,” he said. “And those are big too. Mine is only 24 feet. Some of the ones they show on TV are like 32 feet and like 12 feet wide.” Benton thinks tiny houses could become more popular. “I just think people have to find a way to make it more efficient,”
I built a tiny house. By OLIVIA WILKES Community Writer The first-week Paul Christian Benton, sophomore in chemical engineering at the time, moved into his new house, he heard a knock on his door at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. Still in bed and in no hurry to get up, Benton wondered who could be knocking so early. He opened his door to a lady asking if she could come inside and look around his house. “I’m like half asleep, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, sure. Come on, it’s fine.’” Having complete strangers knock on his door and ask for a tour of his house is nothing out of the ordinary for Benton. Now a junior, Benton lives south of campus in Gentilly Park in a tiny house that he built himself. Having become popular in the past few years with people wanting to downsize, live simply, save money or travel across the country, tiny houses are just what they sound like: very small houses, often built onto a trailer for transportability. With only a little help from his parents, Benton built his 24-feet by 8-feet house over an eight-month period during his sophomore year. Benton and his dad would watch HGTV house building shows together, and he got the idea to build a tiny house from there. “I was like, I can do that,” Benton said. “We found a good deal on a trailer, and [my dad] was like, ‘Go for it. Try it.’
My mindset going into it was like, I’ll try it and if I don’t like it, I don’t think I can do it. I’ll just sell it and live somewhere else. I built it, and I was like, ‘Nope, I want to live in that.’” Benton started the project mostly to see if he could take on the challenge, but now, he said it makes sense economically. “It was a lot of money up front, but now I own my own home,” Benton said. “I can take it with me when I graduate. I don’t pay rent to anybody. I pay a lot fee to live here, but that’s nothing. Utilities are a lot less. I love it, I love living in here.” Including all full-size appliances except for a dishwasher, the tiny house cost Benton $8,500. He purchased the materials as he built, working at a bar to earn the money — all while taking classes. “It was a lot, but it’s worth it now,” he said. Benton designed the tiny house himself. “I just took a piece of graph paper and sat there and probably made 500 different designs, and finally, when I found something, I was like, ‘That might work,’ and I went with it,” he said. “I probably redesigned it 100 times. Even after I started I would just be like, ‘Nope, that’s not going to work,’ and I’d do it and go back and start over.” Benton included some different design features in his tiny house: A galvanized horse trough for his bathtub, hinged kitchen shelves above his stove that flip up and latch out of the way when not in use and a large window that is actual-
he said. “Because if you don’t know how to build, most people can’t drop $80,000 on a tiny house.” Benton’s not sure if he’ll continue living in his tiny house after he’s graduated from college or not. “I’m in chemical engineering, and I want to go into the petroleum field with it and all the jobs for that are out in Texas and Louisiana,” Benton said. He considered taking it with him or selling the little house to another student when he leaves the area. Benton has certainly had no lack of interest in his tiny house from curious strangers and even interested buyers. “The first night it was down here I had to let it get inspected, and I had to leave my name and phone number just right here in my window,” Benton said. Someone called him immediately offering to buy the house. He told the interested customer that the house was not for sale, but the buyer continued to press. He offered cash if he could buy the house on the spot. Benton said people knock on his door all the time asking if they can look around. He’s had families want to rent the tiny house for a game day weekend and even the mail carrier will often ask for a tour after delivering a package. For this tiny house builder, though, the attention doesn’t bother him. “I’m proud of it,” he said. “So, I like showing it off.”
ly a glass door turned on its side opening from his kitchen to his front deck. Benton’s mom, a nurse, gave him a hospital television wall mount to put his television on, allowing him to move his T.V. and watch it from his couch, loft bed, front deck and even bathtub. While Benton had previous woodworking experience, building and selling things to earn money, he’d never taken on a project this big before. He learned as he went, often driving to building or hardware businesses and asking the owners how to correctly construct something. He learned how to install much of the electrical and plumbing this way. Benton had to meet several housing and transportation regulations. “Before I was allowed to live in it, I had to get it inspected by the city, the state, a licensed plumber and an electrician,” he said. “I actually slept on a friend’s couch for a month, even though my house was already in Auburn because I wasn’t allowed to live in it.” He had to keep the width to 8 feet, as that is the maximum width allowed for moving something on the road without a special license and an escort car. Benton can haul his tiny house with a heavy-duty truck. Benton said there’s a big difference living in a tiny house compared to a regular apartment. “My freshman year I lived in Aspen Heights,” he said. “Those are big and spacious and stuff. I had two roommates
» See TINY HOME 7
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY PAUL CHRISTIAN BENTON
CONTRIBUTED BY AMY COTNEY
CONTRIBUTED BY AMY COTNEY
ADAM BRASHER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Local realtor takes a different approach to selling Auburn’s homes By JESSICA JERNIGAN Community Writer From working as a flight attendant and a decorative painter to owning her own store and designing a clothing line, Amy Cotney has done and seen it all. But, nothing could have prepared her for the bizarre world of real estate. In just two years time, she has established somewhat of a celebrity status in the business, making the Top 25 Realtors in Auburn in just her first year at Toland Realty. She said it’s thanks to her unique business approach and belief of being entirely, unashamedly herself. Cotney attended college at Troy University and majored in public relations and broadcast journalism while also attaining a minor in marketing, which she uses every day now. “With real estate, everything is marketing, especially when I get most of my clients from social media,” Cotney said.
Her Instagram and Facebook followers are treated with her colorful posts and videos where she is often seen decked out in eccentric and stylish outfits. Videos like “Wine, Real Estate and REAL talk” invite viewers into Cotney’s own home where she shares fun personal facts about herself, takes potential clients through listed houses or highlights local businesses. “I’m a very big proponent of local,” Cotney said. “I’ve lived in Florida, Philly and Colorado, but when my last child graduated from high school here I expected myself to be excited to get the hell out, but I’ve just fallen in love with this little place, and I’m busy enough where I can stay out of trouble.” Her videos are rare in their high production value. Holt Ingalls, her son and senior in professional and public writing, edits her videos. He manages his own production company of his same name. “I knew coming into the business I had to do something to
set myself apart from the rest,” she said. “Some of these realtors have been here for 15 years, and it’s hard to get into a small town like Auburn.” And setting herself apart she did. Nicknamed the “Rogue Realtor,” Cotney is known to go above and beyond normalcy for her clients. “You have to be very authentic in this business,” Cotney said. “Being exactly who I am has gotten me this far.” She often hosts get-togethers at her home, like her “Pie Party” during Thanksgiving when she had her past clients come together, mingle and catch up on how they’re adjusting to their new homes. “We all drink wine, and everybody meets everyone, and it’s just a really great time,” she said. Cotney said she owes a lot of her business to social media, which she loves more than anything.
» See REALTOR, 10
Hammock Garden With Fire Pit Gated Community Resort Style Pool On Tiger Transit Route Close to campus and vet school Free Printing & Study Rooms
Individual Leases Newly Renovated Cable with HBO Internet Fully Furnished Convienient Utility Billing
THE FAD OF FLAGS By PAUL BROCK Campus Writer Flags have been used by mankind for as long as history can remember, but up until the late 18th century, flags were only used for military or maritime purposes. However, as nationalism became more popular, countries began to adopt their own flags with unique colors and symbols to represent their land and people. Flags have since become the most common way for nations to identify themselves. Organizations today have their own flags as well. From companies to sports teams, almost every group known to man has at least one flag to represent its cause. Flags have traditionally been flown from a pole outside where all can see it, but for college students, flag poles are hard to come by and many students have taken to placing their flags inside their dorm or apartment. Chandler White, sophomore in public relations, said flags made his room stand out and fill white space at the same time. Whitechoose to fly an American flag and a Fish Hippie flag in his room. You can hang a flag anywhere that there is a
wall, but a popular place for many students is behind the couch. If you want anyone passing by your place to know where your loyalty lies, try hanging your flag in front of a window, but exposure to sunlight may cause the flag to fade. “I live in a dorm, so we have limited space,” said Collin Webb, sophomore in animal sciences-equine. “I guess a flag is a most efficient and just overall easy way to decorate or show or symbolize whatever you want.” He has an Auburn flag with the AU on it and an American flag. “The Auburn flag was actually a gift from a friend whenever I came here,” Webb said. “I figured no better way to show some school pride than to hang a flag in your room and then the American flag is just, you know, the greatest country on Earth — got to show that patriotism.” The Stars and Stripes is by far the most popular flag to found across the US, and so it is no surprise to find many inside dorms and apartments at Auburn as students show their national pride. It is important to remember to follow the proper protocols when hanging the American flag though as there are a few rules. The most important two rules to remember is to always have the union or the stars on the top and to the left of observers. There shouldn’t be another flag above the nation’s flag. For anyone looking to add a little spark to their place in an easy and cheap fashion, the flag is an easy choice. It’s not hard to find a unique flag that will stand out either as there are plenty of team, school and company flags to choose from.
REALTOR » From 8
“I get a lot of my leads off of Instagram,” she said. “Someone who I didn’t know messaged me from Silicone Valley, California, about how his mother’s neighbor was moving to Auburn and if I could help. They eventually made an offer on the house all because of Instagram.” The power of social media may be what drives her clientele, but it’s Cotney’s energy and personality that seems to separate her from the rest — that and the brightly colored, striped mini-cooper she drives when showing her clients houses. “This job is the most unpredictable thing you could imagine,” Cotney said. “You have to be the client’s mom, dad, counselor and friend.” Since becoming a realtor, Cotney has witnessed some bizarre occurrences or “doozies,” she says. “I’ve had someone wanting to buy somebody’s cat,” she laughed. “I’ve even had somebody ask, ‘Can we dig up the backyard, we don’t know where we put the cat.’” Every day is different and unexpected, but Cotney said she wouldn’t have it any other way. “The more over the top I am, the better response I get,” Cotney said. “I try to live out loud as much as possible.”
CONTRIBUTED BY AMY COTNEY
Living among brothers
Fraternity members highlight the pros of living in their chapter houses By MELISSA MITCHELL Campus Writer Hollywood has got it all wrong. Anyone who has seen the movie “Neighbors” or “Animal House” might stereotype life in a fraternity house as nonstop parties and dipping GPAs. For many fraternity brothers, though, living in a house at Auburn comes with many benefits for collegians involved in a Greek organization. Most of the social events happen in a separate barn or basement away from the rooms, and the experience of living in the house teaches responsibility in a variety of ways, according to fraternity members at Auburn. “When I first saw the fraternity houses, I thought, ‘there is no way I could live in one of these,’” said former Phi Gamma Delta President Jordan Carr, who lived in the Fiji house. “It wasn’t until the end of my freshman year, after I had heard positive reviews from the older fraternity guys, that I decided to keep an open mind.” Building new friendships and strengthening old ones with the other 25 to 30 brothers living in the house is the most obvious plus to Carr, he said. “This is my second year living in the Sigma Nu house and the best aspect is the camaraderie,” said Sigma Nu Vice President William Kelly. “We have an awesome side yard where we play football or baseball in the spring and just get to hang out year round. Also, everyone knows everything that happens in the house, so we have to keep each other accountable here and set a good example for the pledge classes below ours.” Another huge benefit of living in the house mentioned is having the support of a house mom. These ladies try to provide structure and stability while the fraternity members are away from their families. “If I’m aware of any stress or anxiety, I try to encourage or advise them,” said Margaret Melzer, Sigma Nu House mom. “When
GRACE HARKIN / PHOTOGRAPHER
Kappa Alpha fraternity house on Wire Road, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018 in Auburn,Ala.
they are tired of studying, I tell them to think of every minute they study for a few extra dollars they’ll earn in their career. It’s amazing to me how mature they can be about their studying, planning their social events, taking care of maintenance issues with the house and regulating their disciplinary rules. I feel fortunate to be in their presence.” Melzer has been the house mother for 13 years and wouldn’t trade the job she said. Melzer offers rides to Sigma Nus in her white stretch limo. Her commitment to safety is just as serious to her commitment to style. Considered by some to be the best advantage of living in a fraternity house are the three daily meals served by the house chef. “Our cooks do an incredible job,” said Kappa Alpha Ralston
Smith, junior in finance. “Ms. Brenda and Ms. Margaret are great at everything they cook, but there is always one meal that tops the list, and that is their fried chicken.” Leaving for class with a full stomach, most fraternity members who live in their house only have a short walk or bus ride to campus. When they return home from class, they can count on a quiet place to study in the chapter room. The locational convenience is also ideal for game days when fraternity alumni and family visit the house. “Overall, it really is a tough situation to beat,” Carr said. “It’s cheap housing where you have all of your best friends right around the corner and 15 meals a week, only two minutes away from campus.”
New developments promise more housing options for students By KAILEY BETH SMITH Community Reporter The City of Auburn will be adding more student housing complexes to its already bustling streets. As the student population of Auburn University grows, so does the need for housing. Two of the largest projects are making progress as the spring semester continues. 191 College The 191 College development began in June of 2017, and is expected to be completed by July 1, 2019. The construction is to house 127 units with 465 beds. The completed project will be similar in design to its neighbor, Evolve, with a different architect:
Niles Bolton Associates. The project coordinator said they are currently in the process of installing the bottom floor parking deck and the deep foundations for the building structure. The build has been highly contentious, as it will strech 75 feet into the sky, upsetting some residents because of its attribution to the changing landscape of Auburn. The Standard Developed by The Standard at Auburn LLC and Landmark Properties Inc., this student housing complex was approved in the fall of 2016 by the Auburn City Council. The building will take up 3.4 acres, have 16,000 square feet of retail space in the bottom floor and will reach 65 feet into the sky. The six-story construct features 219 apartment units with 683
student bedrooms. It is expected to be finished early 2019, and students will have the opportunity to move into the structure before the beginning of classes in fall 2019.
INGRID SCHNADER / PHOTO EDITOR
Construction of 191 College apartments takes place.
Housing Guide 02.22.2018