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The Auburn Plainsman






Dining plans overhaul with new contract Tiger Dining signs contract with Aramark » The new contract will enable dining to start new initiatives like meal swipes, mobile-ordering system

» While chains like Chick-fil-A, Panda Express will likely remain, some campus specific brands may change By LILY JACKSON Managing Editor

Tiger Dining recently announced a new contract with Aramark, a food service company based in Philadelphia. The new contract comes after the end of a 10-year contract with the former provider, Chartwells. Aramark will be partnering with Tiger Dining for dining services and athletics concessions. Glenn Loughridge, director of Campus Dining, said with the growth of the University, there was a need for higher financial investment from the chosen partner. In response to a Dining Task Force piloted by former Student Government President Jesse Westerhouse and continued by current SGA President Jacqueline Keck, Loughridge said Tiger Dining is focused on the wants and needs of the student body. “Aramark offered an incredible investment package and wonderful ideas that would bolster Auburn’s dedication to its students, including being members of the campus community highlighted as a priority,” Loughridge said. Keck said Aramark brings a new vision to campus and that vision was guided by student input through the Task Force. Loughridge said once the student research was done through the Task Force, Tiger Dining worked to include as much – if not all – of the wants and needs of students in the initial contract. He said there are changes coming to payment methods that include options to purchase swipes for renovated and proposed dining halls. Foy Union


Tiger Zone at Village Dining offers fresh vegetables and other healthy, vegan options to Auburn students at FIT Station, Jan. 20, 2016.

will be transformed into a dining hall over the summer semester. Loughridge said there is more to come for cafeteria-style eating. Keck said students will be most aware of the switch from a retail-based dining experience to a communal dining experience. She said there will be more options for those with dietary restrictions while ensuring they are all eating in the same areas of campus. “We are definitely planning on having meal swipes for next year,”

Loughridge said. “There are going to be some changes and some new options in the dining plan.”

» See DINING, 2


Elections Council reflects on changes By LILY JACKSON Managing Editor

fect on the outcome. Block won with 4,154 votes or 51.88 percent. Starr took 3,853 votes or 48.12 percent — a difference of 301 votes. There was a difference of 291 votes before deductions. Regardless, Block said he and Starr — who were good friends — ran fair campaigns. “It’s been an incredible week and being alongside him and seeing him work diligently to serve the students, I know that he’s going to continue to do that because

After a season of changes to Auburn elections, the voting booths have closed and junior Dane Block has been elected Student Government Association president. Catherine Milling, senior in political science and executive director of elections, said the changes made to campaign week and election day were well received overall. Milling said the candidates were aware of the changes since November, when they were deciding whether to run, which allowed them the opportunity to decide whether running with new rules was something they wanted to do. “I think it helped people decide to go ahead and run,” Milling said. “Where we usually have one or two, we had six or seven people running for some positions.” Milling said the biggest change in her opinion and the most noticeable to students was the limit placed on the number of campaigners that could be on the Haley Concourse at any given time. Each candidate was allowed 10 campaigners. “I had students come up to me and tell me they felt much more comfortable on the Concourse,” Milling said. “I had people voting at polling places saying that they had felt so uncomfortable walking up to a candidate before [the changes] because they were surrounded by 30 people.” Milling said the success of the makeover was obvious to her and was coupled with positive feedback to the change to off-campus campaigning the day of elections. Milling said the changes made on-campus voting feel like it was meant for the campus. Being unable to force groups of people to run for certain candidates, allowed the campaign teams to focus on their true supporters, Milling said.




Dane Block reacts to being elected Auburn University SGA President on Thursday night, Feb. 8, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.

Junior Dane Block elected SGA president By CHIP BROWNLEE Editor-in-chief

After a close runoff, junior Dane Block has been elected as Auburn University’s next SGA president, SGA Executive Director of Elections Catherine Milling announced on the back steps of Cater Hall last week. Block, a finance major from Huntsville, defeated junior in poultry science Patrick Starr, from Auburn, in the Thursday election. Both Starr and Block had advanced to a runoff after defeating three other candi-

dates in a general election early last week. “To know that I have this next year to serve Auburn in such a unique way fires me up,” Block said. “This is what we worked our tails off for.” Election complaints were turned in against both Block and Starr for violating SGA election rules. The Elections Board deducted 70 votes from Starr for using exotic animals in his campaign and 60 votes from Block for supporters wearing campaign materials in prohibited areas and using cell phones to garner votes. The vote deductions did not have an ef-

STATE After tragic Auburn death, Alabama Senate passes grease trap safety bill The Senate passed “Sadie’s Bill” requiring additional safety requirements for grease traps Page 2

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Auburn University Dance Marathon reveals their fundraising total of $568,417.07 at midnight on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.

Dance Marathon raises more than $560K ‘For The Kids’ By ADAM BRASHER Staff Photographer

After capping their year-long fundraising efforts with a 14-hour nonstop dance marathon, the Auburn University Dance Marathon, a student-led effort to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, announced their final fundraising total for the year at midnight Saturday. This year’s grand total of $568,417.07 was a more than $25,000 increase from AUDM’s total in 2017 and the most in the 7-year history of the event. The money will stay in the area

to benefit the Children’s Hospital at Midtown Medical Center at Columbus Regional Health. AUDM President Tiffany Thompson said that all the money raised will be going to fund the “Miracle NICU,” the name of which was revealed today by AUDM. “We were able to name that due to the amount of money and the support that we’re giving the hospital,” Thompson said. AUDM didn’t make it to this year’s lofty goal of $658,000 — a thousand dollars for each of the 658 pediatric surgeries that take place at the hospital each year — but the program was still a success and a benefit to the hospital receiving the funds, organizers said. Thompson

added that the result felt “so, so good.” “Everyone has worked so hard, and we just keep growing every single year, and I’m very proud of that,” Thompson said. “Hearing from the kids ... shows us firsthand the impact that we’re making, and I cry almost every miracle story I hear.” Both seasoned veterans of AUDM and new dancers joined the day-long event in the Student Center ballroom. For Abbie Cosso, sophomore in exercise science, this year was her first experience participating in AUDM, alongside her sorority sisters from KAO. “Me and my friends just decided to do it to-


Senate passes bill to regulate grease traps By CHIP BROWNLEE

If restaurants don’t comply with the regulations, they could face monetary fines up to $500 per violation. Sadie’s death and a meeting with her parents sparked Whatley to make a change to the law. State law doesn’t currently regulate grease trap safety and local regulations are limited in scope. “I reached out to the family and asked if they wanted to meet with me,” Whatley said. “I met with them and discussed their desires. I wanted to do what they wanted to do.” Whatley said the family wanted to do something to promote public safety without putting an unnecessary burden on businesses. After Sadie died, city officials launched an investigation into its grease trap policies and the case, which the Lee County Coroner’s Office ruled accidental, was to be put before a grand jury for disposition. The coroner said the grease trap “was not secure.” The outcome of the case hasn’t been made public. Before the incident, city officials inspected traps — used to collect used grease and solids produced in the process of cooking — to ensure that they were regularly emptied in order to prevent the city’s wastewater system from becoming clogged. But maintenance and safety were up to the private business. Bruster’s trap was inspected in June 2017.


The Alabama State Senate has approved a bill by Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, that would require food establishments to more safely secure their grease traps. Whatley’s bill — proposed after the death of 3-year-old Sadie Grace Andrews in Auburn — would require grease traps at restaurants to have a lock or security mechanism and be heavy enough to prevent accidental opening or intrusion. Sadie died in a grease trap behind Bruster’s Ice Cream on East University Drive in October 2017. She had been playing with her siblings before falling into the 6-foot container, drowning before her parents could reach her. Whatley said he is proposing the bill to prevent future tragedies like Sadie’s death. “I think this bill will prevent another needless tragedy under these circumstances,” Whatley said. When the bill was approved in committee last week, lawmakers added an amendment that would name the bill the “Sadie Grace Andrews Act.” The bill requires businesses to ensure that the traps are secured at all times either with bolts or some other locking mechanism. The lids of the grease traps must also be heavy and capable of sustaining human weight.


As for changes to submitting violations, Milling said the 24-hour submission rule went over well. Alleged violations had to be submitted within 24 hours of the grievance occurring. While there were grievances filed, Milling said the process went smoothly. In total, 10,359 students voted in this year’s election at a turnout rate of 37.05 percent of eligible student voters — one point higher than last year’s record turnout. Milling attributes that to the changes, as well as the football ticketing referendum being added. Milling said the next elections council must work toward high-

Whatley is sponsoring the bill, and 18 other senators from both sides of the aisle are cosponsors. It’ll now move to the House, where Republican Rep. Joe Lovvorn, from Auburn, will carry the legislation. “It’s something terrible for us to need to address, but hopefully we can avoid another senseless tragedy,” said Lovvorn, a fire battalion chief and first responder in Auburn. The Andrews family spoke in favor of the legislation during the committee’s meeting last week. “I hope this law will help bring awareness to this issue and that it would prevent something like this from ever happening again,” said Tracy Andrews, Sadie’s father. There are currently two other grease traps in Auburn with similar configurations to the grease trap at Bruster’s Ice Cream. The traps were located in an open area with a plastic lid. “I wouldn’t say it’s the fault of any business, but in the wake of what happened, it could have been a regulation that was overlooked,” Lovvorn said. “Now, we can maybe close the gap so something like this never happens again.” Whatley’s bill is modeled after a similar law from North Carolina. Lovvorn said he filed the House version of the bill Tuesday and has asked for it to be expedited through the committee process. He said he hopes it will be in committee next week.

er voter turnout and ensure that elections continue to progress and please the average student. Auburn Answers has been used in the last week to inform those in leadership of how elections could benefit. “People genuinely feel like this is a better system and we can keep it running,” Milling said. Milling said the biggest changes they made in elections were getting into the Code of Laws and figuring out what needed to be changed before elections were even thought about in the minds of candidates or voters. “If we can figure out what students want now, we can implement it so next year is even better,” Milling said. INGRID SCHNADER / PHOTO EDITOR

Right: Dane Block’s supporters pose for a picture on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.

DINING » From 1

Loughridge said the goal by Tiger Dining was to allow students the opportunity to dine on campus daily economically. Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Panera, Einsteins, Chicken Salad Chick, select food trucks and Panda Express will all remain on campus. Loughridge said students can expect a rebrand-

ing of all of the C-Stores, API, The Mediterranean Cafe and other Chartwells-specific chains. “They are going to bring a whole new experience,” Loughridge said. “We selected this vendor because we really would love to see some positive new changes. We are going to keep – on the retail side – some similar things, but we are going to go through a very deliberative process over the next coming weeks.” In addition to the changes above, Aramark

and Tiger Dining will be rolling out a mobileorder system. Aramark has served the Olympic Games since 1968 and is known for its relationship with professional sports teams. The goals of Aramark line up with Tiger Dining’s commitment to sustainability, having announced an animal welfare policy and a commitment to cage-free shell eggs. Loughridge said Tiger Dining is already

gether,” Cosso said. “I like listening to the kids’ stories. ... It really makes a personal connection to what you’re doing.” AUDM Assistant Director of Finance Lindsay Freeman, junior, said she has participated in the event each of her years at Auburn. What keeps her coming back? The kids of the Miracle Network. “Getting to hear how much [the families] have gone through really motivates me to keep fundraising and push through,” said Freeman. “At the end of the night, when we flip the numbers, just how all our hard work throughout the year has paid off is a really, really cool feeling.”


it’s in his heart,” Block said. Block said he won because he surrounded himself with great people and developed a tangible platform. “I developed a platform for the students and now I can go out and get my hands dirty and serve every single day,” Block said. “The community around me has pushed me out of my comfort zone.” Block said his campaign team pushed him to be a better man. “I have some studs around me,” Block said. “They have loved on me, prayed over me and poured into me day-in and day-out. I feel like I owe this to them and everyone at Auburn.” The new SGA president will succeed SGA President Jacqueline Keck in overseeing Auburn’s student government. Keck was only the third woman ever elected to the position. “I’ve seen Jacqueline lead and serve, and if I can do half the job she’s done, I’ll be happy,” Block said. “But we’ll always strive to improve.” Block developed a platform — “Build with Block” — focused on safety, access, affordability, unity, dining and transportation. He said he can’t pick a priority. “People have been asking me which one I’m most passionate about, and, honestly, I’m passionate about every single platform point,” Block said. “I’ve met with administrators that are in charge and they’re on board. They’re open to what we want to bring to the table.” Specifically, Block hopes to update crosswalk technology in some of the more unsafe pedestrian areas, improve lighting around campus, increase food truck options and launch a comprehensive review of the Tiger Transit service. “Now it’s just going forward, doing the groundwork and putting together the structure,” Block said. “Big things are going to happen. We’re going to set things in motion for long after I’m here.” Block, a former assistant director of the organizations block seating program and College of Business senator, will soon begin selections for chief of staff and his executive board. “There are great leaders all over campus if you look for them,” Block said. “There are students that care. Students want to care. They want to be a part of something big.” Starr said he doesn’t see his loss as a closed door and hopes to continue serving on campus. “I have all the respect for Dane Block, I think he is going to be a great SGA president,” Starr said. “I have known him since freshman year on and off, so I just look forward to what SGA has in store and where I am going to be used next and looking for the next adventure.” The new SGA president will officially transition into the position on Feb. 25. “I’m going to get the business done, but we’re going to have a good time doing it,” Block said. working on more sustainable packaging and will be piloting reusable containers in the Village Dining facilities with the help of the Honors College. After the pilot, Loughridge said it will be a fully implemented effort. The contract will be effective May 7. The transition will not occur until after classes have ended in the spring. Loughridge said he plans on making all conversations about dining open to student impression.

opinion THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018




Good government emerges from tragic accident By EDITORIAL BOARD Spring 2018

A bill written by State Sen. Tom Whatley has quickly found traction in the state house. The Sadie Grace Andrews Act was introduced in response to November 2017’s tragic accident, when 3-year-old Sadie Grace Andrews fell and drowned in an unsecured grease trap behind Bruster’s Ice Cream on East University. Whatley represents Senate District 27, which includes Auburn. Eighteen other senators, both Democrats and Republicans, have co-sponsored the bill, giving it strong bipartisan

support. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee recently gave it their approval, and the Senate passed the bill Tuesday. In a period of partisan bickering and legislative dysfunction, examples of efficient and effective government can seem hard to come by. The Sadie Grace Andrews Act is evidence that good government still exists. The bill’s strong bipartisan support shows a common sense of purpose can still exist within governing bodies — a purpose to provide for someone’s constituents rather than be distracted by aggressive pursuit of a niche agenda. We wish this tragedy never happened. The timeliness of the


bill’s introduction can help make sure it never happens again. Businesses would be required to make sure their traps are secured with locking screws or another locking mechanism at all times and ensure the lids of these grease traps can support human weight, if this bill passes. We call for this bill to be quickly passed and instituted, to ensure such an event will never happen again. We commend Whatley for bringing this legislation, as well as those who have joined in support. We hope this bill continually serves as an example of effectively legislating. A horrific tragedy produced a need for change, and the State House seems to be responding.


The evaporating zeitgeist By CAMILLE MORGAN Contributing Columnist


Rethinking our elections President Donald Trump secured the magic number of 270 electoral votes to secure the Presidency. Hillary Clinton fell short of 270, but received over two million more individual votes than Trump. This election is one of few where the popular vote winner did not win the electoral vote. In this case, the raw vote gap is the largest in an instance where the winner did not obtain the popular and electoral votes. This, however, is among the least of my reasons for expressing disdain for our outof-date and ineffective presidential electoral system. The motivations of the Electoral College are flawed. The Electoral College was decided upon and put into our Constitution in Philadelphia in 1787. The framers of the Constitution were working within the context of 13 colonies that comprised of roughly four million people and had been largely sovereign entities underneath the previous Articles of Confederation. Today, 50 states and 16 territories comprise over 320 million individuals in a radically different national and global context. There are 538 total electoral votes and 270 of the 538 are needed to secure the votes in order to win the election. A common assertion is that the Electoral College was established to solve for the tensions between densely and dispersedly populated states and to provide a check on uninformed voters. The latter may have been true when life was certainly more local and less connected, but it simply is not plausible to argue that individuals can not be informed voters and is blind to the intangible benefits of civic engagement. The imprisonment of Africans served as a backbone of the American economy, particularly in the South. Madison expressed the dilemma slavery played in deciding an election system when he said: “The right of suffrage was much more diffusive [i.e., extensive] in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes.” Southern states wanted their slaves to count as population to increase the number of electoral votes and political clout the state had, and eventually settled on the ThreeFifths Compromise. The roots of this system leave a stain on the continuation of the Electoral College. The framers did not intend for the Electoral College to operate within an expansive-

ly different nation – they did not even foresee the emancipation and enfranchisement for people of color and of poor, uneducated individuals. One may argue that states with more people have more leverage over the outcome, warranting the need for an Electoral College. But this issue is exacerbated by the Electoral College system itself. Certain states have more electoral votes. Due to this, presidential candidates typically bounce around the map of states and focus heavily on states with a hefty number of electoral votes and on swing states. This makes certain states like Florida inherently more important and receive more attention than states like Alabama. In a popular vote system, communities and states get more influence when they get more individuals to vote. In the electoral-vote system, a state has the same amount of votes and power if 5 percent or 90 percent of the electorate shows up to the polls. Many in nonswing states have felt that their vote did not matter. The preset influence of states can leave voters in most U.S. states feeling ignored and disconcerted with government. The capricious nature of the Electoral College is shown in the online tool “Redraw the States,” created by mathematician and data scientists Kevin Wilson. Using the tool, you can move counties into neighboring states and see the result it would have on the electoral vote. The Washington Post details a handful of specific scenarios where the electoral vote varied wildly in result. This doesn’t mean we should abolish state lines, but the online tool highlights a lack of accuracy in reflecting the genuine will of the electorate. It also implies that small population shifts at the state and county level can alone sway the election of the federal executive branch. This could become – and arguably already has been – a factor in fueling disenfranchisement and tampering with voting rights. Individuals being elected to effectively serve as CEO of the wealthiest nation in world history should have to build an inclusive platform and organize a comprehensive network that authentically inspires voters and persuades them to believe that giving their time and effort to go vote is worthwhile. The current Electoral College system hinders the progress of our republic to continually embrace more democratic methods.



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The views expressed in columns do not reflect the opinion of The Auburn Plainsman.

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By EMILY HALE Contributing Columnist

“Zeitgeist” is the defining spirit of a period of history, defined by its ideas, beliefs, and values. However, it may be more commonly known as a word used often in haughty think pieces about millennials, or heard describing the latest streaming television show craze. As for the American zeitgeist, it is what is at the forefront of popular culture at a certain moment in time. This can span from politics to film to the latest scandal. A necessary part of defining our identity as Americans are these common threads of culture that unite us. Our zeitgeist serves as a nexus point, reassuring us that despite our differences in opinion and vantage points, we are on the same page on at least the most prominent forces in our culture. But as we move into the third decade of the new millennium, competition for center stage in American society has been complicated. The struggle for people’s ever evaporating attention spans is coming from a myriad of directions, and fogging up the zeitgeist. There’s the exponential growth coming from Silicon Valley, that allows virtually anyone to have both a virtual platform and access to anonymity that is liberating to some, and alarming to many. I heard on a panel once that “the best thing about the internet is that everyone has a voice, and the worst thing about the internet is that everyone has a voice.” Everyone has been given a soapbox, making it harder to find whose worth listening to. Defining this collective spirit for the American people, especially after the divisive 2016 election that marked the 2nd time in 20 years that the electoral college and popular vote differed, seems impossible, even laughable. Especially considering the stark contrast in news consumption amongst Americans. The path to empirical fact is made more difficult with news organizations retreating to their respective corners with their loyal viewers or subscribers. In addition to sites like Facebook evolving into a new iteration of a modern media company. But America has always been divided. The inevitable reciprocal of diversity is some level of division. Some division is crucial for a functioning

democracy. Strict adherence to a single American identity is at odds with, “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.” Huddled masses tend to have differences in opinion. In the past, these divisions did not inhibit a commonly understood zeitgeist. In the late 90s and early 2000s NBC’s “must-see TV” line up almost exclusively delved out center stage television material with Friends, Seinfeld, and yes, the Apprentice. The obvious caveat to romanticizing this time is that the voices represented on these shows were overwhelmingly white. But, upwards of 50 million people tuned into the series finale of Friends, drastically more than the highest domestic viewership received by a Game of Thrones episode at 16 million people. It’s hard to agree that everyone is one the same cultural page when 30 plus million people aren’t even on the same book. Contemporary attempts at defining the zeitgeist have taken the form of tongue in cheek graphics that report on the pop culture of the moment, like Entertainment Weekly’s “Bullseye” or New York Magazine’s “Approval Matrix”. But these attempts at tackling and pinning down a zeitgeist in the age of Peak TV and smartphones show instead how elusive a common understanding of culture is today. In effect, it serves more as weekly or biweekly bite-sized criticism outlet. The 24-hour news cycle has been replaced by Twitter’s almost minute by minute report changes during the Trump era. Assigning a certain gravity to new stories, or noteworthy art for that matter, is not possible with such a rapid turnover of attention. Technology siloes us into our respective corners. Content explosion is fantastic for artists who would otherwise not have had an opportunity, but “defining moments”? Those have been increasingly hard to come by. The Olympics serve as the closest reminder to what a cultural consensus. But every 2 years? Zeitgeist is admittedly, a silly word. There is no firm consensus on anything, but a zeitgeist may have been one of our better attempts at highlighting American unity, at least in popular culture. We took it for granted, not knowing what we had until it was gone.

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campus THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018





Keck talks evolution of women in SGA By HANNAH LESTER Campus Writer

Jacqueline Keck is one of only three women in history to have held the position of SGA President at Auburn University. Auburn University’s first woman SGA president was in 1988, Cindy Holland Torbert. Then again in 2008, Lauren Hayes Smith took the role. Beginning in 2017, Keck became Auburn’s third SGA president. “I never really experienced any negativity based around gender,” Keck said. “I had heard that when I was a freshman, all of SGA exec was guys, except for the chief of staff was a girl. And so, in my experience in SGA as a senator, gender didn’t really matter that much, but it only seems to be off-kilter when it got to the executive level.” Auburn’s history of women has dates back to 1894 when the first three females, Kate Conway Brown, Willie Gertrude Little and Margaret Kate Teague graduated from Auburn, almost 40 years after Auburn was founded in 1856, according to University archives. In 1922, the Women’s Student Government Association was developed. This was an instrumental building block toward bringing women into government. Vam Cardwell was one of the historic women to act as president of the Women’s Student Government Association in 1946, according to The Auburn University Photographs Collection. After deciding to run for SGA president, Keck said she was not worried or nervous about running against men. “Truthfully, when I ran I really didn’t think about gender, and truthfully, people didn’t make a big deal about it until after I was elected,” Keck said.

Keck realized the best way she could serve the student body was to run for SGA president. “I really wanted to leave an impact on Auburn through service because it – Auburn – had changed me into a person that I’m really proud to be,” Keck said. Recently, in October of 2016, Auburn was celebrating 125 years of Women at Auburn. As part of this celebration, there was a conference during which Keck, the two previous women Auburn presidents and Gov. Kay Ivey, Auburn’s first woman SGA vice president, came together. “I was fortunate enough to have relationships with them prior to us getting together for that event,” Keck said. “I had really enjoyed their friendship and advice going through things. But what was kind of cool was as much commentary as we got on us being the three females and all these things, it was really cool to hear them say, ‘I did it because I loved it, and I did it because I was capable and qualified.’” Much like these two past Auburn presidents, Keck believed she was equipped to carry the position. “When I ran, heck, I was qualified,” Keck said. “I was like, ‘I have done this, and I am passionate about this,’ and that’s what I focused on. Gender never really was a part of my campaign.” Keck believes that SGA no longer has a pattern of male domination. “I look at this year in SGA, and I don’t see any place where females feel that they can’t be,” Keck said. Keck said according to a diversity report released, SGA is 59.8 percent female and 49.2 percent male. In addition, the executive team, made of eight members, has five females. Finally, the middle leadership has 50 percent female roles. Keck said that although she tends toward the introverted side, this position has forced her to open up and become more

extroverted. “It was a really big responsibility to know that you carry that and whatnot, so it challenged me to be a lot more outward facing and that also being outward facing came with a challenge in my abilities to communicate effectively and to truly speak to what I had heard in doing so and a lot of truth and humility,” Keck said. Keck can remember her experiences as a freshman and sophomore – looking up to the SGA president. The position itself is very humbling, however, Keck explained. “To have an organization of 150 people and an executive team, there’s eight of us, and to invest in those people and over the year see them grow and be challenged and to seek whole heartedly the opinions of students so they can represent that and then at the end of the year to reflect on their accomplishments of what they did out of service to the student body … that is the coolest feeling ever,” Keck said. Keck said she believes that one of the most important things she focuses on is other people. Keck has advice for those running for office as well. “So if I had to give a piece of advice it would just be to be open minded and to know that there’s a couple core values you carry with you throughout every day and that’s service and selflessness, and from there, you will have the most challenging days but also the most rewarding as well,” Keck said. As her year in office finishes, Keck reflects on what she has accomplished as well as her role in promoting women in SGA. “Historically, we could really paint the picture that it is quite dominant for males, but I am really confidant in the direction SGA is moving in, but also the females and males that come behind that,” Keck said. “They will lead a very impactful, successful organization.”


FIRE’s Shibley praises Auburn’s free speech policy By STEPHEN LANZI Campus Writer

Robert L. Shibley, executive director of the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, spoke on the importance of free speech to a group of Auburn students and faculty. Shibley was a part of the first installment of the spring slate of the Critical Conversations Speaker Series, which began in the fall. The event was held in the Mell Classroom Building. Shibley gave an outline of the history of free speech in the United States, including examples of when its legality has been tested in court. “America really is an outlier,” Shibley said. “We are the only country with the level of protection for free speech that we have.” Taffye Benson Clayton, vice president and

associate provost of inclusion and diversity, saw Shibley’s strong support of free speech as a way to continue the Office of Inclusion and Diversity’s mission to advocate for free speech in higher education. “Continuing to engage our campus with different viewpoints on this topic is a key component of our mission to create a stronger intellectual space for our students and faculty,” Clayton said. Shibley said that universities and higher education are ground zero for furthering understanding and knowledge. “Not every student is a scientist,” Shibley said. “Every student is running an experiment on themselves. College students are figuring out what they believe,what kind of person they want to be, what they want to do with their lives and so much more.”

Shibley said that if the audience were to take anything away from the speech, he would want it to be that people should heavily consider the prospect that they are wrong on any particular idea. He said free speech is key to deliberating the truth. Shibley put an emphasis on maintaining the level of free speech in the United States, especially at the college level. He spoke on the work that FIRE has done in that realm. FIRE has a classification system for analyzing the level of free speech protections on university campuses. Auburn has attaned the highest rating. Red light is given to universities with at least one unconstitutional limit on speech, yellow light is given to universities with what FIRE perceives as too much regulation on speech and green light is given to universities that have

proper protections for free speech. Auburn is the most recent university and the only university in the state of Alabama to be classified as green light. “I thought that was awesome that Auburn is that esteemed in the state,” said Victoria Stark, freshmen in pre-graphic design and architecture. “It shows how far we’ve made it past other colleges.” Shibley discussed the situation with the Richard Spencer controversy at Auburn last year. He said people at FIRE winced when the University did not originally allow Spencer to speak. Shibley said he was proud, however, that students utilized their free speech rights to protest the event.




Students come together for improv


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By HANNAH LESTER Campus Writer

On a weekly basis, 12-16 Auburn students get together to practice improv and make each other laugh in an organization called the Lee County Flannel Club. The Lee County Flannel Club was founded in 2012, and the students have two to three performances a semester in the theater building’s black box. Kristina Moccio, junior in communications and president of the club, said she joined after finding the origination on the concourse during O days. The group meets to practice with one another and become better during games and exercises. “Most of the time we play games that

would never work in front of an audience, but it just helps us get better at listening to each other and building more believable characters and believable relationships.” During improv, games must not start out intense or there is no where for the scene to go, Moccio said. “I think improv is just something that is between at least two people, where you create a scene that was never there, and you listen to each other, and you play off each other well,” Moccio said. “You just create something that is fun and hopefully funny – that at least you feel proud that you got to make something up as you go.” Julie Waldock, junior in media studies and social media chair for the organization, described shows as exciting because

the performers don’t know what they’ll be doing until they’re doing it. “We always have a lot of fun,” Waldock said. “Before every show, we’ll play some games that are meant to really get us out of our comfort zone, so that we are ready for whatever happens at the show because with improv you can’t plan anything.” Both Moccio and Waldock described themselves as feeling nervous before their first show in the black box. “It’s kind of exciting not really knowing and then when you land a joke or something,” Waldock said. “I think I had a pretty good joke my first show, and that was the best feeling in the world.”

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The Auburn Plainsman



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Moccio said she still gets nervous, even as president, because the president has the pressure of leading the group. Waldock said in a recent scene she got nervous and broke character. Despite setbacks with nerves, Waldock said she loves improv because she loves comedy. “It can be a very silly art form, which is what we make it beause that’s what we like, but it has a lot of practical applications too,” Waldock said. “Just in terms of emotional intelligence, active listening, being able to participate in a conversation, being able to come up with quick thinking ideas – all of those are things we’re continually re-emphasizing in improv.” Moccio also has plans to incorporate her improv experience into her future endeavors, especially since she hopes to move to a big city. “Even if it’s just that I have a nine to five job, and I perform with some friends on the weekends or at nights, I don’t think it’s something I could ever 100 percent give up,” Moccio said. The name of the organization, Lee County Flannel Club, has been in effect since the organization was founded in 2012, Waldock said. Traditionally, improv troops will pick a name consisting of random words, nouns or adjectives. “That’s kind of what they were trying to do, they were trying to pick a funny random name, and one day everyone in the troop wore a flannel to practice,” Waldock said. The group, which has about 15 members currently, has a lot of big personalities, but this doesn’t typically cause problems, Waldock said “The group as a whole works very hard together and makes a lot of decisions together,” Waldock said. Moccio said it’s rewarding to see everyone enjoying a show and laughing at the jokes you make. “It’s the most amazing experience,” Waldock said. “Improv is really just making each other laugh and having a good time. There’s almost never a bad moment; it’s always happy, always fun, always exciting. So from the moment we started, I just kind of fell in love with it.”


Shibley gave examples of when FIRE has proceeded with litigation to fight violations such as at Pierce College, University of Oregon and Grambling State University — campuses where officials have limited what is “appropriate” or “tasteful” for students to say or where they can say it. During the question and answer session, when Shibley was asked about what limitations on free speech he believes are neces-

Finding Auburn’s next stars By NATALIE BECKERINK Campus Writer

President of Student Recruiting Audrey Hill, gave insight into what it means to hold the title of Auburn University student recruiter. Hill, senior in interior design, is from Round Rock, Texas, a suburb of Austin. Auburn Student Recruiting is a program of students who lead visits around the Auburn campus from the viewpoint of a current student in order to truly express the spirit of the Auburn Family. Student recruiters represent the school at athletic and academic events including TALONS Day and regional receptions. Hill applied to be a recruiter in the spring semester of her freshman year and started giving tours the fall of her sophomore year. She said originally she never planned on going to Auburn until she came to visit for the first time. The campus tour impressed her, and she really connected with her student recruiter. “My student recruiter made such an impact on me and I am so thankful that I have been the opportunity to be that person for someone else,” Hill said. “Being a student at Auburn has been such a blessing to me, and I love being able to share the University I love with prospective students.” Because she has been a recruiter for the majority of her time at Auburn, Hill expressed that the job has really allowed her to become a better person because it allowed her to further expand on certain skills, such as leadership and public speaking. In addition to simply being a student recruiter, Hill took on the role of president of Student Recruiters. Some responsibilities that come with this include organizing the application process, assisting in administering the first and second rounds of interviews, coordinating monthly meetings and serving as the main point of contact for the organization. “I decided to take on a leadership role because I truly believe in the power of a well-orchestrated campus tour,” Hill said. “I

sary, he said there are eight limitations that FIRE has outlined, which all follow from the limitations set forth by cour precedent. “While something that is in bad taste may also be unprotected speech, such as harassment, threat or libel, the fact that such speech is in bad taste doesn’t enter into conversation in the legal perspective,” Shibley said. “Threatening to kill someone in a tasteful manner does not get you any points in the court of law.” In addition to stating the importance of free speech, Shibley described how free


have enjoyed being able to serve the organization and help improve the organization that helped bring me to Auburn.” Though there are many aspects of Auburn that Hill loves, she talked about her favorite being the community of Auburn and the family atmosphere. “My favorite part of Auburn is that it is small enough that you always bump into people you know on the concourse, and there is a strong family atmosphere,” Hill said. “However, it is still large enough that there is a variety of opportunities and experiences for every type of student.” Hill said the family atmosphere creates a welcoming environment for all that is rooted deep in tradition with an academic excellence that is unmatched.

speech can work toward understanding between people through persuasion in the marketplace of ideas. Shibley told the story of Daryl Davis, a black man who has persuaded over 200 people to leave the Ku Klux Klan as a way to show how dialogue can reach understanding. Cole Cheatham, sophomore in economics, thought Shibley was not specific enough in the issues present on campuses today. “I think it goes back to this thing that it legally addressed issues, but I don’t think it re-

ally got at the heart of what is really going on,” Cheatham said. Garry Morgan, special assistant for the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, said that he hopes to continue discussion in smaller settings that the Office of Inclusion and Diversity will host throughout the semester. “Sometimes in a court of law it’s black and white, where in education it’s ... polar opposites,” said Haven Hart, assistant vice president for student development and affairs. “We have an opportunity as educators to see the grey and try to work within that.”

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Residents sculpt bowls for food bank By KAILEY BETH SMITH Community Reporter

Despite the dreary weather outside, the Opelika Denson Center was filled with smiling faces Saturday as community members excitedly browsed among hundreds of locally handcrafted bowls. Tables inside were lined with community members smiling at one another and chatting about the weather, their weekends and local poverty alleviation. The Empty Bowls Project is an annual event put on by the Auburn and Opelika Parks and Recreation departments to benefit the East Alabama Food Bank. It began five years ago as a project to both bring awareness and make a difference for local food insecurity. Guests paid $10 for a ticket, which guaranteed them a place at the table, fresh nutritious soup, warm baked bread and their choice of one of the handthrown bowls. Kitty Greene, one of the event’s organizers, said that they were a little worried about the turnout because of the weather, but even more people than they were expecting came out to the event. Greene said that the presale alone raised more than $8,000 for the food bank. More than 30 potters contributed to the event, some making hundreds of bowls each. Matthew Battles, the municipal area supervisor for the Parks and Recreation Department, said that this event was a great success each year. “I’m not a potter – I am in the background,” he said. “It’s just a big collaboration between everybody, and it takes a lot of hands.” According to him, the pottery department’s director, Sherie Spain, could throw more than a 100 in 20 minutes or so, a proficiency matched by few. Battles said that all of the clay is provided by the potters, and some businesses come in and donate money for the purchase of more clay to make even more bowls. All proceeds go to the Food Bank of East Alabama. Richarde Talbots, the pottery department assistant, beamed when speaking of the event. Talbots has been with the department since 2010 and has worked closely with the pottery programs for almost two years. She had several bowls of her own for sale at the event, as well as some in the raffle. She laughed when she told The Plainsman that her daughter had actually picked up the last of her bowls in the regular sale. They had more than 1,100 bowls when they counted a week ago, Talbots said. Battles said he thought they had at least 2,000 bowls over the course of both the presale and today’s event. The Denson Center studios are open to the community, providing an open membership to any who wish to join. The department only requires that members have a small bit of previous experience or the completion of a few classes. The city of Opelika

» See BOWLS, 7


Keep Auburn Lovely member Susan Hunnicutt (right) turns her attention to Steve Fleming (left), owner of the Whatley building, while speaking at the Feb. 8, 2018, Auburn Planning Commission meeting.

Planning Commission recommends 75-foot height limit in downtown By SAM WILLOUGHBY and ANNE THOMAS HOOPER Community Editor and Community Writer

The yearslong battle over downtown building height continued at Auburn’s Planning Commission meeting last week as city residents once again packed the Ross Street meeting room to voice their concerns and support for a proposed increase to the height limit in the College Edge Overlay District. On Feb. 8, the commission voted unanimously to recommend the height limit in the district, an area that covers parts of downtown, be increased from 65 feet to 75 feet. The history of height in the CEOD is a tumultuous one. Set at 66 feet by City Council in 2007 after a task force recommended the height for mixed-use development in the downtown area, the council raised it to 75 feet after a downtown review process in 2010. Planning Director Forrest Cotten described the 75-foot limit as a sweet spot that allows for mixed-use development while remaining safe. In 2016, during the adoption process of the Downtown Master Plan, the council reduced the maximum height to 65 feet, despite a recommendation from a downtown study to remain at 75 feet, after public input. The issue came to the forefront again at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, when residents confronted council members about the transparency of the recent process. Although the crowd of residents who spoke was relatively split, Cotten said his office had received 17 emails opposing the increase and one email in support of it. Much of the ongoing debate centers around the height of the planned Whatley building, a project that the council released information about in early November 2017. The building, designed by Auburn alumnus Steve Fleming, could be 75 feet in height, according to the plans.

“I’m not an out-of-state developer; I’m not a greedy developer who’s trying to make a quick buck and move on,” Fleming told the crowd on Feb. 8. “I’m trying to develop my home here.” While Fleming said the building, where he plans on living, could be built at 65 feet, 75 feet would allow it to be a “special building” that includes space for him to host events for the city’s leading figures. Opponents to the amendments focused on the small-town Southern charm of downtown Auburn and the risk taller buildings could potentially bring. “Stick to what you have, you don’t owe these developers anything,” Keep Auburn Lovely member Susan Hunnicutt told the commission. “If you want a party floor on the top, it doesn’t have to be across the street from the University.” Keep Auburn Lovely is a group that advocates for maintaining the City of Auburn’s village feel – a mission that is mostly anti-high-rise buildings. Ultimately, the commissioners expressed their approval for the amendment, saying the commission had agreed on the taller height years ago and was not involved with the 65foot compromise. “It’s very hard to attack an emotional problem with logic,” said Commissioner Charles Pick. “And this has seemed to create an emotional response from a lot of our citizenry.” Pick and others in support of the 75-foot cap said that in order for Auburn to keep up with the growth it has experienced over the decades, the limit needed to be increased. Commissioner Sarah Brown brought along with her a 10-foot-long plank to display the quantifiable potential change that led to a more-than-hour-long public debate. “I’m a very visual person, so I brought a little show and tell,” Brown said pointing to the white plank next to the commission. “That’s 10 feet. That’s what we’ve been having a conver-

sation over. When it really comes down to it – it’s not a huge, big deal.” Commissioner Dan Bennett said the difference in perception between a 65-foot and 75foot tall building to a pedestrian was negligible. Though Bennett agreed that many buildings near downtown are “pretty unsightly.” “The real issue is what is that building made of?” Bennett said. “What’s the quality of the architecture? ... If (downtown buildings) were quality architecture, you would not mind. I think the height thing has nothing to do with it.” Bennett expressed interest in an architectural review board – a body that would review proposed buildings for that quality of architecture – though Cotten said the legality of such a board in Alabama was unclear. The long debate came to a close with the unanimous passing of the recommendation. The amendment will now move on to City Council, which will have the final say at its March 20 meeting. There will be a public hearing there.


The College Edge Overlay District in Auburn, Ala. CEDO areas are outlined in dark green.


The loveliest camper on The Plains

Living in an RV full-time may sound difficult, but one Auburn couple has managed to make their space on wheels a home By EDUARDO MEDINA Community Writer

Time was winding down for Lindsey Pope, an Auburn junior in pre-veterinarian animal sciences, and her boyfriend, Nick McCauley, to find a home before starting school in August. The house they were hoping to buy had just gone off the market because of a hefty offer from another buyer. “He bid way over the price they were asking for, and we bid just at the price,” McCauley said while laughing. The unfortunate sale came in late July, a time when most dorms are full, almost all apartments are occupied and any houses left on the market are bought out by high bidders. Pope and McCauley scrambled to find a home near campus but quickly realized they would need to look at more unusual options with August just around the corner. A veterinarian training Pope told her of her own peculiar living conditions when she was a student at Auburn. The lightbulb went off, and after convincing McCauley of the benefits, they found themselves searching for lots in University Station RV Resort. A place where recreational vehicles are also called home. Only a home set on gravel. “She had to go to school,” McCauley said, recalling the stressful days with a

smile now. “What were we going to do, live under a bridge? Apartment costs are so high, you might as well be paying the mortgage on a house.” Once they realized an RV would be a suitable place to live, they abandoned the apartment option. At the resort were other students, other campers and the RV management team, all waiting to greet the new neighbors. “The students back here are a community,” said Kayla Ceman, the manager at University Station. “In apartment buildings, you don’t really have that. Here, they look after each other like a family.” After McCauley and Pope decided on University Station as their location, they only needed one final thing: an RV. “It’s a different experience,” McCauley said about what it was like to go RV shopping. “It’s like looking for a house.” They searched online, then went in person to inspect the vehicles up close. Some fit the stereotype of a cramped living space, but others were more spacious. The prospective RV residents settled on a one bedroom camper, with a bathroom, full kitchen and a sizeable living room area. They gutted the furniture that came with the RV, allowing plenty of runway for their puppy Doberman to roll around. On one end of the large area is a

neatly made bed, on the opposite is the kitchen with a stove, microwave and a television, snuggled in between drawers. “Lindsey’s talked about putting a little fence up, some rustic wood accents inside, it’s just about making it your own,” McCauley said. Useful amenities like free laundry and the outdoor scene as a whole has made living in an RV attractive for them and the other students alike. The tiny living space movement has become en vogue recently. HGTV’s “Tiny Homes Hunters” is nearing four years on the network. “My buddies – they come in and say, ‘Man, it’s a lot more spacious than you’d think it was,’ and they actually really enjoy it,” McCauley said. The lot is just over 3 miles away from Jordan-Hare Stadium, and when the football festivities are going on, the RV becomes one of the many campers to partake in the game-day traditions at the tailgating resort. During football season, University Station welcomes hundreds of vehicles transporting even more faithful tiger fans to its beloved town. The RV resort becomes bustling with tailgaters, and the graveled streets are covered with football fans eating chips and waving orange pompoms. But after the final whistle of the game, most RVs are left desolate in


RVs sit at Eagle Landing RV Park on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.

these resorts, and the touchdown dances and celebrations transform into tranquility. The area then becomes home to a handful of permanent residents, most of which are current Auburn students, and of those, two were in a race against the first day of class to get situated only months prior. After graduating and moving out, the two of them see their current home as the gift that will keep on giving. “On weekends we can say, ‘Hey, let’s take the camper out to the lake, camp by the water, then come back home,” McCauley said. “That’s the plan.” The home is already presenting them with gifts, however, like a relaxing place to enjoy the woods, which serves as their backyard. Deer are a common sight, and a stroll with their dog is accompanied by the chirps of birds constant throughout the woods. When the thumping of a hammer is heard far away, McCauley

pointed out the oddity of it. The same cannot be said for apartments closer to downtown, where construction noises are a more common tune. “I really do enjoy it out here,” McCauley said while gazing the surroundings of his RV. “I’m more of a country person anyway.” When asked what made the RV home for McCauley, he said it was about his friends and family. “Without Lindsey here, it would be boring – also pets,” he said while looking at his barking Doberman. “One negative to RVs is they’re not too soundproof,” he said as he acknowledged his puppy’s plea for playtime. Once freed, the Doberman sniffed the gravel beneath his paws and enjoyed the crisp afternoon air. Six months ago, the clock was ticking for this Auburn family of three. Now, they couldn’t be more comfortable inside their home on wheels.


The Auburn Plainsman



Annual Mardi Gras parade draws hundreds By ALEX HOSEY Lifestyle Editor

Auburn’s second annual Mardi Gras parade came through downtown Saturday evening, drawing hundreds of residents to College Street. The Thach Concourse on Auburn University’s campus was filled with participants well before the parade’s start at 5 p.m., stretching from the intersection of College Street and Thach Avenue all the way down the hill to the Haley Center. Ward 3 City Councilwoman Beth Witten, a member of the Krewe de Tigris, directed floats and trucks into their positions before the parade’s start. She said that the Krewe had been planning this year’s parade as soon as last year’s ended. “I think people saw the overwhelming success we had with the first year, and so we have more float participants this year because of that, and we’ve extended the route because people wanted to see it longer,” Witten said. “[The parade] definitely just brings a sense of community, an energetic atmosphere and a sense of place for Auburn and the surrounding communities.” Trucks hauling floats depicting 18th-century sailboats, statues of exotic animals, dragons and an array of others were present in the line, with most covered in green, purple and gold streaming. Downtown Auburn was similarly decorated, with tri-colored balloons and ribbons adorning the metal railing of College Street’s sidewalks to mark the occasion as loudspeakers at Bourbon Street Bar blasted Mardi Gras-inspired music throughout downtown. The intersection at Toomer’s Corner was packed with people 20 minutes before the event officially began with a mixture of Auburn stu-

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offers clay shaping and pottery-making classes all year long through the Parks and Recreation Department open to all ages and skill levels. Sherie Spain, the head and heart behind the whole operation, grants memberships to community members who are interested. The Denson Center boasts eight kilns for members to use, and they regularly host pottery


A Mardi Gras float rides through downtown on Feb. 10, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.

dents, residents and children who began to crowd around one side of the road, looking south in anticipation of the procession to come. As two police motorcyclists came down College Street the parade went into full swing, with Aubie throwing beads out of the back of a silver convertible to the crowd cheering his name, a golden oversized truck carrying the Krewe de Tigris in full tiger regalia in its packed-out bed and a myriad of other colorful and creative floats and attractions planned by businesses and groups passionate about celebrating the holiday. Brandon Stoker, an Auburn resident who watched the parade with friends in town from Columbus, Georgia, said that, despite the weath-

teachers from around the region to teach classes in the community. The event alternates hosts each year. This was the third year at the Denson Center – the event has been held twice at the Jan Dempsey Community Center in Auburn and will return there in 2019. Some of the potters have their work featured in presidents’ homes, as well as other famous places throughout the United States. Kathy Nist, a native of Califor-

er, this year’s parade was an improvement upon last year’s. “I think it was pretty fun, and I actually think this one was a little bit better organized, and the floats were a whole lot better-looking,” Stoker said. “I was born and raised here, so seeing the town being a little bit more open to having parties in the street and blocking out downtown so people can come in and have fun and keep it kid friendly as well, I like it a lot, and I think Auburn has grown a lot in the last few years with that mindset.” The parade procession finished passing Toomer’s corner within 45 minutes, just as a light rain began to fall and the parade watchers began dispersing into downtown restaurants, leaving Col-

nia, moved to Lee County with her husband. She spoke of her own experience with the event and becoming integrated into the Opelika community and in the pottery scene. “I am so happy here,” she said. Jeff Tickle, an attorney with the city, throws bowls at his house and then brings them up to the Denson center. Auburn brought 130 bowls one afternoon. “The members deserve a ton of the credit,” Talbots said. “It took a

village.” The team began with 1,000 raffle tickets and printed 400 more halfway through the day. Greene said that this year was the biggest event they have had with the most surprising turnout. When all the profits are counted, the Parks and Recreation Department will present a check to Martha Henk, supervisor of the East Alabama Food Bank, at the Opelika City Council meeting. That exchange will occur in the first week of March.

lege Street littered with broken beads, novelty plastic and MoonPie wrappers, which were all cleaned up within the hour by employees of the City of Auburn’s Environmental Services Department. Downtown restaurants were bustling after the parade, with the line at Little Italy stretching from the counter to the door, the patio of Quixote’s filled and spilling out into the sidewalk and Moe’s Bar B Que packed. The increased traffic in downtown businesses was no doubt influenced by the Downtown Merchants Association’s addition to the event called the “Krewe Crawl,” in which wristbands were sold for $10 each and allowed its wearers to have access to special discounts at participating restaurants and not have to pay cover fees at participating bars. Downtown Coordinator Jessica Kohn said both the parade and the Krewe Crawl were successes and that turnout was much better than she had anticipated given the weather. “We had no clue what to expect because this is the first year we’ve done the Krewe Crawl, so I ordered 1,000 wristbands, and we sold out,” Kohn said. “I was extremely pleased, obviously, and I’m just ecstatic with the turnout for the Krewe Crawl and just really appreciate everybody’s support of the downtown merchants because this enables us to fund future events for downtown or hire bands on Friday nights before football games. Overall, just a fantastic day in downtown.” As time passed after the parade’s end, the rain began to fall harder, the traffic began to recirculate through downtown and the businesses were filled with patrons celebrating Mardi Gras late into the night.


Bowls at the Opelika Denson Center on Feb. 10, 2018.








Casey Mize (32) pitches vs. South Carolina on Friday, March 31, 2017, in Auburn, Ala.

Mize ready to lead Auburn to more success in 2018 The preseason All-American will likely be one of the first names called in the 2018 MLB Draft By WILL SAHLIE Sports Editor

No one around the Auburn baseball program has forgotten the feeling of last season’s agonizing defeat at the hands of Florida State in the Tallahassee Regional of the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers were one strike away from defeating the Seminoles and hosting a Super Regional inside Plainsman Park in Auburn with a chance to advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. Florida State would go on to rally and defeat the Tigers in back-to-back games to eliminate Auburn from the NCAA Tournament. Instead of Auburn celebrating its first Super Regional appearance since 1999, heartbreak was the final result for the 2017 season. As the Tigers move toward Opening Day of the upcoming 2018 season, Auburn star pitcher Casey Mize is ready to move on from last season’s disappointment. In fact, the final two games against Florida State last season have created a motto for this season – finish. “With us being so close last year, it’s frustrating we didn’t get what we wanted or what we thought we deserved,” Mize said. “It is a teaching point. That was one of the most valuable life lessons I’ve learned – finishing. My thought process has been, ‘finish.’ We were one pitch away from a Super Regional, and we didn’t finish. That’s been a common theme. We are trying to finish everything we do around here. It does come down to that one inch or one pitch. When we are running sprints, touch the line, get that last inch, finish.” Mize had a breakout season for Auburn in 2017, finishing the year with an 8-2 record and a 2.04 ERA, which ranked third in the Southeastern Conference and 25th in the country. He struck out 109 batters – the most for an Auburn pitcher since 1999 – while issuing just nine walks over 83.2 innings. Entering his junior season, Mize has been tabbed a preseason All-American and is ready to step into the leadership role that was previously filled by former Auburn starting pitcher Keegan Thompson. “I’m not going to self-proclaim an ‘ace’ role or anything like that,” Mize said. “I think that has to be earned. I’m not going to force my knowledge or wisdom on anybody else. I want them to engage with that. If I see something, I definitely will approach guys. I have more confidence with that and say, ‘Hey, I saw this, maybe you should try this.’ Or maybe, I’m showing them how I grip a certain pitch. “I’m just trying to give any information I have to make every-

body better. Keegan did that for me last year. I want to return that and do that for other people because I can’t tell you how much it benefitted me.” After leaning on KeeganThompson for leadership with his team a season ago, Auburn head coach Butch Thompson is ready for Mize to step into that role. “Casey had someone ahead of him that showed him that roadmap ­– that showed him how to navigate and work,” Butch Thompson said. “Keegan took Casey under his wing. He threw with him in practice, then on Friday nights he showed him out to get guys out. I hope Casey took every bit of that in. He sure did a good job of following the leader, but now Keegan is with the Chicago Cubs. “Keegan has passed that baton to Casey. So Casey has to do that for (sophomore pitcher) Davis Daniel or (freshman pitcher) Tanner Burns or any of these young guys. Casey’s got to go out and show the roadmap. He’s got to invest in others. It’s Casey’s turn, and Casey’s role this year is different. Casey is going to have to step up. It’s not just about him being the Friday night guy and doing a great job there. It’s also about leaving that legacy. He’s got to help these other guys. I’m seeing some of that stuff on a daily basis that no one else is paying attention to. That gives me hope that our program is creating the right culture.” Mize battled an off-and-on forearm strain during the last half of the 2017 season, which has limited him this fall. But Mize said that he is right where he wants to be as he begins to ramp up his training for his junior campaign. “I feel really good; I had a little hiccup last year with the forearm strain,” the Springville, Alabama, native said. “I’ve been doing a lot of therapy, lifting heavy trying to pack on some weight. I started my throwing program recently, and I feel really good. Physically, I feel really good. “Mentally, I’m ready for the season. I love what I’ve seen from our guys so far.” The junior right-handed pitcher features a fastball that ranges from 94-97 mph and a splitter-changeup that wipes out hitters in strikeout counts. The majority of college pitchers rely on a straight changeup, but Mize relies on his splitter as his out pitch. “I have friends in the SEC, so after the season we are all talking, and the thing that was brought up to me was, they just don’t see a split-change very often, especially from a starter,” Mize said. “It’s just different. That’s what I believe makes it so successful.” Mize spent the past summer playing on the 2017 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, which is comprised of the top college players across the country.


Mize threw seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts in two appearances for Team USA. The Americans defeated Chinese Taipei, Cuba and Japan in series over the summer. “It was awesome,” Mize said about his national team experience. “I was around the best players in the country, which was awesome. I knew a lot of guys on the team so it was fun to be with them. Even players from California and Oregon, I got to learn a lot of different things from them. It was a really good learning experience.” Entering his MLB Draft-eligible season on the Plains, Mize was tabbed as the No. 5 prospect in college baseball by Although appreciative for the honor, Mize isn’t concerned about his future in professional baseball yet. “I’m very thankful for it,” Mize said. “It’s a great honor. It’s a way-too-early ranking. I can’t take it for more than what it is. Just to be in that conversation is awesome. I just want to keep working hard.” Thompson, who has sent a handful of players to the major leagues, is excited about this upcoming season for Mize and the challenges it will bring. “In the last three years, I’ve had seven boys make it to the big leagues as a pitcher,” Thompson said. “Casey doesn’t stand in the back of the line with any of them. They’re all great men doing what they dreamed about their whole life. Casey doesn’t take a backseat to any of those guys. “What he has to do now, though, is navigate a season where the spotlight is all on him. He has to continue to work everyday and handle adversity. He’s a fifth-ranked prospect because of skill. Now his mental makeup is going to be tested.” Thompson said a challenge for him and his team this season will be helping Mize deal with the bright spotlight. “This is when Casey Mize deserves every player and every coach on our roster to give him our best effort to help support him,” Auburn’s third-year head coach said. “None of these other boys I’ve had have had that tag of a top prospect going into their draft-eligible season. What I want him to feel going into this season is, ‘You’ve got the spotlight put on you, but we’ve got your back. Auburn has your back.’” 2018 could be Mize’s final season at Auburn, and he plans to lead the Tigers to a big season. “I’d like to be that roadmap, that foundation for the weekend, and set the tone for a series,” Mize said. “That is what a true Friday night starter would do for his team. That is what I plan to do and what I hope to do.” Auburn will open its season on Friday as it hosts Longwood in a three-game, weekend series. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.


Despite a one-point loss to an up and coming Texas A&M squad, Auburn’s stay in the AP Top 10 will continue for at least another week. Auburn entered this week’s poll at No. 10, dropping two spots from its No. 8 spot last week. The Tigers were one of 15 teams

in last week’s poll to lose, including six teams in the top 10. Auburn rebounded from its loss to Texas A&M, who entered this week’s poll at No. 21, with a 17-point win at Georgia on Saturday without its leading scorer Bryce Brown. Auburn holds a two-game lead in the SEC over No. 18 Tennessee and Florida. Auburn was projected as the top

No. 2 seed by the NCAA Tournament selection committee on Sunday. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi also listed the Tigers as a No. 2 seed. Auburn returns to action on Wednesday as it hosts Kentucky inside Auburn Arena at 8 p.m. The Wildcats have lost three-straight games for the first time under John Calipari. The action can be seen on ESPN2.

SEC Basketball Standings As of Wednesday morning


Head Coach Bruce Pearl celebrates Auburn’s vs. Georgia.

1. Auburn (22-3, 10-2) 2. Tennessee (19-6, 9-4) 3. Florida (17-8, 8-4) 4. Missouri (18-8, 8-5) 5. Alabama (17-9, 8-5) 6. Arkansas (18-8, 7-6) 7. Mississippi State (18-7, 6-6)

8. Kentucky (18-7, 6-6) 9. Texas A&M (17-9, 6-7) 10. LSU (14-11, 5-8) 11. Georgia (13-11, 4-8) 12. South Carolina (13-13, 4-9) 13. Ole Miss (11-15, 4-9) 14. Vanderbilt (9-16, 3-9)



The Auburn Plainsman




Justus Perry (18) bats during Marshall vs. Auburn Softball on Thurday, Feb. 8, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.

No. 13 Auburn completes undefeated Plainsman Invite By NATHAN KING, COLE McCAULEY and NATHAN KING Sports Staff

Auburn has endured a hefty amount of change since the last time the softball Tigers toed the dirt of Jane B. Moore Field. The haunting Title IX investigation into the program resulted in player transfers and coaching refits. Hired to mend those and make positive transformations was James Madison head coach Mickey Dean. After the dust settled from the team’s overhaul, Auburn softball got back to doing what it does best: winning. The No. 13 Tigers ensured Dean’s first outing as Auburn’s new leader was an enjoyable one, sweeping their season-opening doubleheader against Marshall and Wichita State, 4-0 and 2-0, respectively, on day one of the Plainsman Invite. “Our defense got us out of some situations and our pitchers attacked,” Dean said. “I think we were ahead on over 80 percent of the batters tonight, and that means a lot.” Accentuating Dean’s proven pitching philosophy of strikeouts,

as opposed to Clint Myers’ method of pitching to contact, Auburn’s Kaylee Carlson and Makayla Martin each turned in scoreless outings. Martin, who earned the Game 2 win over the Shockers, kept the Tigers out of any serious trouble with six Ks in seven innings, allowing five hits. In Carlson’s victory over Marshall, the Garden Grove, California pitcher rifled nine strikeouts – the most for the senior since her sophomore season. “We did really well, even if we felt a little off, we were able to work through it,” Carlson said. “That’s pretty key, because when you play in the SEC, you’re going to get in situations like that. Confidence is definitely key.” Despite it being the first time putting Dean’s teachings into real play, Martin wasn’t surprised at the goose eggs on the scoreboard. “This first day showed how much me and Kaylee have improved,” Martin said. “Seeing how our speeds have consistently stayed throughout the whole game was honestly surprising…in the past, we never really did that.”

Martin’s running mate in the circle wasn’t shocked either. “I’m a senior and she’s a junior, so by now we should know how to do it,” Carlson said. “It is good on the first day. We’ve thrown a couple live [games] the last three weekends, but before that we haven’t really thrown much, so I’m glad we’re right back on track where we left off last year.” Picking up where she left off last seasons in terms of efficiency in the circle, Carlson needed the Auburn offense to match her efforts. Enter Justus Perry, who recorded the first starts of her career in the two games. In the opening win over Marshall, Perry finished with a 2-for-2 clip at the plate as Auburn’s primary offensive weapon. Sans Perry, the Tigers struggled behind the bat in both games, with only eight hits in 43 combined at-bats, flashing shades of 2017 Auburn: efficient pitching, but shoddy hitting. Freshman Taylon Snow was the only Tiger to record a hit in both games. The struggles were headlined by Auburn’s 15 straight retired batters turned away at the plate vs. Wichita State, an area that Dean isn’t concerned about.

» See SOFTBALL, 10

The Auburn Plainsman




Tigers stave off late rally, take down Vandy By COLE McCAULEY Sports Writer

It hasn’t exactly been an ideal season for coach Terri WilliamsFlournoy, as the Auburn Tigers sit at 13-11 (4-8) and are currently in the bottom half of the SEC. Regardless, when conference opponent Vanderbilt came to town, the Tigers got the result they wanted: a 63-60 victory. Auburn was led in the first half by 8 points apiece from guards Janiah McKay and Tiffany Lewis as well as a dominant 14 point, 5 rebound first-half effort from standout freshman forward Unique Thompson. The Tigers were able to capitalize off Vanderbilt turnovers, with 18 of their 41 first half points coming off takeaways. Their 41 first half points are the highest mark since a 75-59 victory over Louisiana Tech on Nov. 19. However, despite a 17-point halftime lead, Auburn wasn’t able to relax for long. Vanderbilt came out strong in the second half with an 11-0 run which cut Auburn’s once rock-solid lead down to a mere six points. However, despite a third quarter in which the Tigers shot 13 percent from the field and were outscored 19-8, Auburn didn’t quit. Fending off a Vanderbilt 3-point barrage, Auburn was able to maintain its lead until the final buzzer thanks in part to seven points in the final two minutes from sophomore guard Daisa Alexander.

“We held on, we held on for the win,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. But before that win, 12 second half points from Vanderbilt shooter Christa Reed almost brought the Commodores back in it. “We knew that Vandy was a three point shooting team, the first thing we knew that we had to do was defend the three point line, and that we didn’t do a great job of.” Williams-Flournoy said. Not only did Alexander show complete offensive composure in the game’s final minutes, but it was an Alexander steal with two seconds left on the clock that sealed the win for the Tigers. “I’m glad that we got to hold onto the win because it could’ve turned bad real quick.” Alexander said. “For whatever reason, in the first half we didn’t show up to compete, and they did and took full advantage of that.” Vanderbilt head coach Stephanie White said. “I am disappointed certainly, but Auburn competed for the entire 40 minutes, and they deserved the win.” The Tigers will now turn their attention to No. 13 Missouri as Auburn will try to win its third straight in front of their home crowd on Feb. 15, with tip off set for 6 p.m. All fans are encouraged to wear pink as Auburn highlights breast cancer awareness and research. Pink t-shirts and shakers will be available for the first 500 fans.


Janiah McKay (33) shoots during Auburn Women’s Basketball vs. LSU on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, at Auburn Arena in Auburn, Ala.



Kaylee Carlson pitches a ball during an Auburn softball game.


“They’ve just got to relax,” Dean said. “They want to do great things. When you want to do great things, sometimes you press. Now they’ve got to find a way to relax and let what they do well take over in the box.” Auburn softball’s starting pitching duo of Carlson and Martin culminated in two shutouts on Opening Day, so head coach Mickey Dean went with the same formula on Friday, Feb. 9 to again see the Tigers’ opponents finish with zeros on the board. Carlson’s second complete game shutout in as many days gave the Tigers a 3-0 win over Tennessee Tech, and both Martin and freshman Chardonnay Harris pitched Auburn to a 2-0 victory against Furman in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader. After the Friday games, Auburn’s pitching had yet to give up a run through 28 innings to start the 2018 season. “It’s better than the alternative,” Dean said. “I just really like the way we’re competing right now. I really do.” Despite not feeling as great as Thursday night, Carlson allowed only two hits to Tennessee Tech, the fewest she had given up while going seven innings since she pitched at North Carolina in 2015. “Cool, I guess,” Carlson said. “I felt pretty good, I just didn’t feel as good. My changeup was definitely better tonight than yesterday, so that might have been the difference.” Martin was evidently not as sharp as the previous night and was replaced by Harris in the fourth inning after Furman batters doubled and walked to begin the frame. The freshman was not phased by the jam in her first appearance on the mound at Auburn - striking out the first two batters she faced looking -- and eventually getting Auburn out of the inning with no harm. Of the twelve outs Harris recorded, six were by strikeout. “I’ve been waiting for this,” Harris said. “ I was pretty anxious yesterday. He (Dean) said I was going to be in relief, so I just knew I had to come in composed with a calm demeanor and get the job done.” Harris was faced with more adversity in the final inning when Alyssa Rivera made an error on what could have been the final out of the game and two runners were able to get in scoring position. However, she battled back and struck out Furman center fielder Lauren Duggar to end the game. “It’s a good start,” Harris said. “It keeps me confident. I’m also very humble just to be a part of this experience. I told myself I want

to strike out the first batter of my career, I did that. I’m halfway there because I also want to strike out the last hitter of my career.” Entering the day at 4-0 with four straight shutouts to start the season, Auburn jumped to an impressive 14-0 lead after just two innings against Tennessee Tech, but the Auburn onslaught didn’t end there. Four more runs in the next three innings led the Tigers to a 18-0 win. Freshman Taylon Snow and Perry led the way for the Tigers against the Golden Eagles combining for five hits and seven RBIs including a three-run home run from Perry in the bottom of the fourth inning. Right fielder Alyssa Rivera added two more hits and a deep long ball from junior Kendall Veach only accentuated Auburn’s dominant effort. The win was Auburn’s biggest win since a 23-0 victory against Arkansas in 2016 and earned the Tigers a program record five straight shutouts to start the season. Auburn’s Saturday dominance didn’t end there. In the second game of the doubleheader, the Tigers matched up against Furman and while they did surrender the first run of the season, the Tigers played exceptionally well on both sides of the ball. A three-run sixth inning and RBI single from Tannon Snow sealed a 9-1 win for Auburn as a total of 14 hits proved that Auburn’s hot bats in game one were no fluke. Five strikeouts from Carlson, the second home run of the day for Perry and an extra three hits from senior Victoria Draper led the way for Auburn against the Paladins. However, for some players, this win meant a lot more. Redshirt sophomore Tannon Snow got her first hit of the season and her first as an Auburn Tiger since transferring from Washington University after her freshman year. “It just felt great to get back out there, to get back in the swing of things,” Snow said.” Not only did Snow get the first hit in her Auburn career, but that hit, a long two-run homer to left center in the third inning, was Snow’s first since May of 2016. Snow, who recently opened up to the public about her epilepsy, the illness that had sidelined her throughout the 2017 season, was emotional after the game. “It has been quite the journey, I wouldn’t be able to do it without this Auburn Family,” Snow said. “The support is unbelievable.” The Tigers will continue their start to the 2018 season with a road matchup at Troy on Wednesday followed by the Tiger Invite this weekend at Jane B. Moore Field.


Hayley Lannotti competes in Equestrian Over Fences against South Carolina on Nov. 18, 2016.

No. 4 Auburn defeats No. 1 Georgia By SPORTS STAFF The No. 4 Auburn equestrian team put together an impressive showing on the road Friday, taking down No. 1 Georgia, 12-6. The victory moved the Tigers to 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the Southeastern Conference. “This team has been amazing in practice and on the road these past two weeks,” head coach Greg Williams said. “Coach Jessica Braswell and coach Mary Meneely are getting them ready to ride with any team right now and it shows with not only the outcome, but the fact that we were able to sweep the MOPs today. My favorite part is how the team is continuing to get stronger as a unit outside the arena as well. I love this team and am so happy they are riding home with a huge road win today!” A trio of freshmen swept the Most Outstanding Performer honors with Taylor St. Jacques taking both the Equitation Over Fences and Equitation on the Flat awards. Deanna Green and Terri-June Granger picked up their fourth each of the season with Green’s coming in Horsemanship and Granger’s in Reining. Auburn kicked off the contest with a strong showing, taking an 8-1 lead into intermission after Equitation Over Fences and Horsemanship. The Tigers went 4-1 in Fences with St. Jacques leading the charge, scoring a teambest 85 points to top Ali Tritschler’s 84. Her

MOP nod was the third-straight for the Glen Allen, Va., product. Juniors Hayley Iannotti and Alex Ladove each scored 82 points in their victories, while classmate Caitlin Boyle edged Sydney Hutchins, 76-75. The Horsemanship corps went undefeated, finishing 4-0-1 against Georgia. Junior Lauren Diaz kicked off the event with a 7266.5 victory, while freshman Taylor Searles picked up her second-straight W with 74.5 points. Redshirt junior Kelsey Jung earned her seventh win of the season, 74.5-74, while Green followed with 75 points for her seventh victory of the year. Sophomore Kara Kaufmann tied Madison Anger, 71.5-71.5. In Equitation on the Flat, St. Jacques totaled a career-best 93 points to earn her second MOP of the year in the event. That point total was also a team high for the season. Iannotti also earned a win vs. the Bulldogs in Flat, topping Grace Bridges, 77-69. Granger’s 74 points in her Reining win led all student-athletes and was a career best for the Dothan, Ala., native. Junior Betsy Brown earned her third-straight win in the event as she bested Kyndall Harper, 72-71. Senior Alexa Rivard picked up a tie with Annabeth Payne, 71.5-71.5. Auburn returns to the Plains for a big SEC meet with No. 2 Texas A&M. The Tigers and the Aggies are slated to face off Saturday, Feb. 17, at 11 a.m. CT. The meet will be held at the Auburn University Equestrian Center.

lifestyle THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018




Women’s Studies director tackles feminism in China By CAROLINE KRUZA Lifestyle Writer

While the topics of #MeToo and the longawaited crack down on sexual assault are finally coming into everyday conversation, these topics have always been at the interest of Interim Director of Women’s Studies Arianne Gaetano. Joining Auburn’s feminist movement that began in the mid-80s in the homes of feminist-minded faculty, Gaetano brings optimism and enlightenment to the issues women face at home and abroad. Gaetano first found her love for feminism and anthropology as an undergraduate abroad at Duke University. While abroad, Gaetano was introduced first hand to China in the 1980s that was operating much under socialism and was at the beginning of transitioning to capitalist market reforms. This trip proved to be formative in the rest of Gaetano’s passion for people as she pushed for Duke University to develop a women’s studies program and intend to teach English at a university in China. However, this never came to fruition in light of the Tiananmen Massacre and the consequential travel ban. Her path instead led her to work toward a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Southern California. While abroad in China, Gaetano sought to obtain qualitative data through interviewing women from a variety of backgrounds. “I interviewed women workers about gender equality, and they would always repeat the standard line of Chairman Mao: ‘men and women are equal’ because that is the Communist ideology,” Gaetano said. “They learned it and would repeat verbatim without really asking, ‘is it really true?’ On the surface, there was incredible progress because men’s occupations were wide open and women were filling them. You had female welders and female bus drivers – occupations that had not been women’s jobs. But as you dive a little deeper, you find they are still responsible for raising kids, putting dinner on

the table, and they aren’t treated equally necessarily in social interactions or even in pay.” Not only did Gaetano get to learn what life was like as an Urban educated woman in China, but she also gained inspiration to focus on what life is like for those of ‘rural’ backgrounds in Chinese society. This was when she struck upon her research topic for her dissertation for her Ph.D. She became fascinated with the details of how rural women were coming to the cities in China and what their lives were like. Her findings were distant to the world of an Auburn student. For example, rural men have the hardest time marrying because they are the ‘least desired.’ Yet, women in rural areas have an easier time finding rural men because of negativity towards what is deemed an ‘urban’ woman. “Men look at these urban women as overeducated, too independent and too demanding,” said Gaetano. “There is reverse prejudice against very highly educated urban women and those who are in high ranking positions or high income earning jobs.” Gaetano also found that attitudes towards women began to change again with the introduction of China’s former one-child policy. This policy was particularly strict in cities, so in response, campaigns were introduced to make certain that female children were just as valued as males. The Communist policies of seeing men and women as equals reappeared and allowed parents to pour in just as many resources and opportunities into their female child as a male child would receive. “There was this phenomenon of really educating your child and if your child is a daughter, so be it,” Gaetano said. “Convince her to do well in schools and have the best in life, but it becomes a Catch-22 for these women because suddenly their years of study and laboring through the glass ceiling to achieve status in the workforce and education, their parents ask “where is our grandchild, we want one!’” Highly educated single women in the cit-


Associate professor of anthropology Arianne Gaetano, interim director of the Women’s Studies Program, holds a copy of her book, “Out to Work,” which discusses the role of rural women in modern China.

ies have found an outlet for their frustration through feminist causes such as the ones we use here in the United States. It is difficult for women in China to get around the censors put in place; simply adding #MeToo sets off the censor so women

have gotten creative. Now they use the emoji for a bowl of rice and a rabbit, which, in Chinese, translates to the same meaning as #MeToo. The censors do not pick up emojis, making this growing trend a success.




Ponce City Market, a large, retro shopping destination in Atlanta, is a nearby destination for a weekend shopping spree.

Nearby shopping destinations offer weekend trip options By EMMA RYGIEL Lifestyle Writer

Without football games to pack your weekends, there is more time for weekend trips to mix into your semester. There’s no better way to de-stress than retail therapy and a good meal on a weekend excursion. Although shopping in downtown Auburn has great options in the stretch of a few blocks, a shopping getaway can be a great way to treat yourself, mix up your wardrobe and head somewhere new for the weekend. One place you can make it to for a day trip is Ponce City Market in Downtown Atlanta. Mixing unique shops with staples and good food for everyone, the market is a great destination to escape your studies for the day. The atmosphere offers more than a traditional mall and any time of day can be well spent there. You can’t go wrong with traditional stores like Anthropologie, J.Crew and Madewell or the unique finds that Citizen Supply and Abbey Glass offer. With food from gourmet tacos to burgers, fish to acai bowls, there is plenty to refuel while you pop in and out of the shops. Another shopping hot spot just a few hours away is The Summit in Birmingham. Known for its variety of shops and eats, The Summit is frequently adding new stores to stay up to date with trends and offer some-

thing for everyone. New additions to the mall to look forward to in the next couple months include the fashion-forward boutique South Moon Under and health-kick friendly acai bowls shop, Frutta Bowls. Whether it’s your first trip or you are a frequent visitor, The Summit is always a good choice for a day of shopping, eating well and escaping your work for a little while. A weekend trip because of the distance, but well worth it — Savannah is another shopping venture worthy of escaping the library for a weekend. The city is full of character, great shopping and restaurants galore. Sure to transport you for the weekend with a change of scenery, Savannah is the perfect spot if you’re looking for quaint shops and boutiques. Along River Street you will find different stores special to the city, but along Broughton Street you will find your brand name retailers. Savannah is also home to many thrift stores that are perfect for college students on a budget. A great way to mix up your weekends during the spring semester, Savannah is worth the trip. Auburn has the best of both worlds with great downtown shopping and other options not too far away. These quick trips are perfect for when you need a day or weekend of shopping to reward yourself for hours of studying in order to rejuvenate for the rest of the semester.

The Feed the Family Fund is a meal assistance program created to assist students experiencing food insecurity. The funds will be loaded onto the recipients Tiger Card. Recipients will only be able to use the funds at campus dining venues. Applications for the Feed the Family Fund are open now and close Feb. 28. E-mail or call 334-844-1305 to apply. @AuburnStudents auburnstudents

The Auburn Plainsman





Budgeting for college students By MOLLY STEWART Lifestyle Writer


A local artist performs at Coffee Cat for the Acoustic Showcase on Wednesday, Feb. 07, 2018 in Auburn, Ala.

Coffee Cat brings musicians together for acoustic showcase By JACK WEST

whiplash,” his sound was noticeably different from other acoustic performers. Combine his rare music with his bright blue hair, and this performer was hard to miss. The fourth performer of the night was Alex Horn. Usually playing with the band West Chewacla Rhythm Section, Horn is about to release his first solo EP, “Man Becomes Cat.” As the name of the EP suggests, Horn’s music often had a fun, almost silly side. “I sing with more of a theatrical side,” Horn said. “The silliness belies a depth, though, because while my music talks about emotional problems, I add a little light dusting of comedy.” Next came Nate Coker. He opened his set by telling the audience that he “is indeed wearing his favorite pants,” and then proceeded to sing songs about heartbreak and loss. Coker used to work at the Coffee Cat and was the first one to organize these acoustic showcases at the coffee shop. The final performer of the night was Austin Arias. Prominently displaying his MTV beanie, Arias was the only musician who, for the most part, did not sing. Instead, for all but one of his songs he opted to play the instrumental version. Awash in his soothing guitar music the audience applauded as he closed out the night of musical showcase. While not technically one of the performers, Cassidy Kulhanek was equally important to Wednesday night’s performances. As the events coordinator for Coffee Cat, she is responsible for organizing any kind of performances that take place there. Luckily, she is “pretty involved in the local music scene,” which makes finding acoustic artists much easier. “[These kinds of events] do a lot for the coffee shop, but it does a lot more for the music scene,” Kulhanek said, “It allows musicians to interact with each other and have an opportunity to share with an audience.”

Lifestyle Writer

For many Auburn students Coffee Cat is as either a place to get hot coffee or a place to study, but that is not its only use. This past Wednesday, the coffee shop played host to an assortment of acoustic musicians from the Auburn and Opelika area. Two speakers, a skinny microphone stand and six local, talented singer-songwriters combined to perform an Acoustic Showcase for patrons at the Coffee Shop. Cannon Hyche was the first musician of the night. Better known as a member of the band Leeroy Gold, Hyche is also a co-founder of the local record label Sonic Sons. “[The local music scene] just blew our minds,” Hyche said. “we decided we had to record these musicians and get their voices out.” He points to Mac Demarco and Devendra Banhart as two of his biggest musical influences. “They taught me that it’s okay to be weird, and it’s okay to be who you are,” Hyche said. Next up was Timothy Collier. Having played live music with various bands in Auburn for the past five years, this was Collier’s first time playing at Coffee Cat. “Living in Auburn, you can feel like the world is happening somewhere else,” Collier said. “But when you have a local music scene, you can make things happen here.” Parsons, the third performer of the night, brought a shake up to the acoustic showcase. A member of the local band Radio Decay, Parsons described his sound as fitting more into the genre of “2000s pop punk with a mix of pop and alternative styles to stand out.” Introduced to the microphone as being “the most fun way to get

It is no secret that most college students simply do not know how to take care of their money. Most of us were not taught how to budget, handle bank accounts or balance a checkbook in high school. The extent of some people’s encounter with money is texting their parents when a card is declined or blowing their whole paycheck in one weekend. The best way to be responsible with money is to create a budget. One of the more popular budgeting strategies is the 50-30-20 rule. This means you put 50 percent of your income toward necessities, like bills and housing. Twenty percent goes toward paying off any type of debts or toward savings. Finally, the last 30 percent can be used on wants, like dining and shopping. This is a helpful way to find a balance and can be very beneficial throughout all stages of life. A hard concept for college students can be distinguishing needs from wants. Getting every new Apple product that goes on the market is not a need, that is a want. This will differ from person to person. One student may desperately need a new pair of tennis shoes because they finally wore a hole in their favorite pair. But if you have five pair of tennis shoes already sitting in your closet;


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then this is definitely a want. You also have to put aside a little money for emergency things like parking tickets. A big problem college students run into is never checking their balance. Their paycheck or money from parents goes into the bank and is never looked at again. It is important to always be aware of how much you have in your accounts and how much is spent. Luckily for us, most all banks have an app where you can track how much you spend. This is also important because overdraft fees are real and can really add up. Some overdraft charges can be up to $50. Keeping up with your expenses is wise in college because research conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research found that it takes 18-24 year olds twice as long to detect fraud.Which means someone else will have used all your money before you even know about it. You can also set up text and email alerts for bank accounts. It will help avoid missing payment dates that can seriously damage your credit. We have all heard that credit cards are evil, and, to an extent, that’s true. Try to avoid credit cards, but if you know you are responsible, then limit yourself to one credit card. It can help build up your credit score, but remember it can also kill it just as easily. The bottom line is responsibility. Do not do unnecessary things to waste your money when it is completely avoidable.

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RELEASE DATE– Thursday, February 15, 2018


Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle

Spring Break

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Auburn Spring 2018

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South Carolina

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ACROSS 1 Día de San Valentín flowers 6 California’s __ Gabriel Mountains 9 Construction rod 14 Remove from the bulletin board 15 Blood type letters 16 Like 36 piano keys, traditionally 17 Lewis with 12 Emmys 18 “That ’70s Show” exchange student whose nationality isn’t revealed 19 Lessen 20 *Beer hall snacks 23 Surf and turf, say 24 NASA vehicle 25 Tempe sch. 28 Time for action 29 *Deli snacks 33 Actress Neuwirth with Tonys and Emmys 34 Slim craft 35 *Bakery snacks 41 “Tempt not a desperate man” speaker 42 Pretty good 43 *Diner snacks 46 California wine valley 50 Favorite 51 One of three rhyming mos. 52 Pavement cloppers 54 Component of balanced health ... and what each answer to a starred clue looks like it should be part of? 57 Lose one’s cool in a big way 60 Murmur 61 Lift with force 62 Car or tree feature 63 Tote 64 Film with lots of shooting stars? 65 Ships 66 Stat for Clayton Kershaw

48 Rather put out 36 Sharpen 49 Starlike flowers 37 Skip over 53 Figure-eight 38 Board bigwig steps, in an 39 Heart test letters DOWN Argentine tango 1 Blitzed, in football 40 Broth that’s the 54 Posterior base of miso 2 In stock 55 Acidic soup 3 Peloponnesian 56 Draped garment 44 Cath. or Prot. War victor 57 FG’s three 45 Christmas eave 4 Put on the line? 58 Exist decor 5 Wading bird 59 Many a “Call the 46 “The agreement 6 No-risk Midwife” is off” 7 Help with an character 47 Take wing inside job, say 8 Gas pump part 9 Genuine article ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE: 10 Flows out 11 Feathery wrap 12 House pest 13 Bread with caraway seeds 21 Insurgent 22 Charged fish? 25 Indigenous Japanese 26 Notice 27 Multi-tools have many 30 Old hoops org. 31 Board 32 Solo with a Wookiee co-pilot 33 Nowheresville, with “the” 35 Cut closely 02/15/18 67 Flexible Flyers, e.g.

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The Auburn Plainsman 02.15.2018  

The Auburn Plainsman 02.15.2018

The Auburn Plainsman 02.15.2018  

The Auburn Plainsman 02.15.2018