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The Auburn Plainsman THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2018




SEC CHAMPS Auburn wins first SEC championship since 1999 By TYLER ROUSH Sports Reporter


t’s officially a banner year for Auburn men’s basketball, and confetti began falling before the game ended. “My first thought was, ‘Act like you’ve been there before,’” said Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl. “Then I realized that it’s been a long time since we’ve been here.” With a 79-70 win over South Carolina Saturday afternoon, the Tigers clinched a share of its first regular-season championship since 1999. Bryce Brown led in scoring with 29 points on 8-of-12 shooting from three. Pearl said his guys were ready to “make history.” “Winning a championship at Auburn means a lot,” he said in reference to the school’s success in other sports. “This championship means more in 2018 by how great our league is. “We did this, and we did it together.” Auburn began the game shooting 0-of-10 from beyond the arc prior to a make from Jared Harper. The Tigers finished the first half shooting 6-of-21(27.3 percent) from three and 8-of-29 (27.6 percent) from the field.


Looking back while looking ahead to the SEC tournament By TYLER ROUSH and SUMNER MARTIN Sports Reporter and Sports Writer

Entering the SEC Tournament as its topranked seed, Auburn will be looking for its first tournament win since 2015. Auburn will play the winner of Alabama and Texas A&M. For what is expected to be a close tournament, two games separate the No. 4 and No. 10 seeds. Auburn will play a team it has lost to in its first round. Texas A&M defeated the TiWADE RACKLEY / AUBURN ATHLETICS

Horace Spencer (0) celebrates after Auburn men’s basketball wins vs. South Carolina on Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.


MORE BASKETBALL: Brown, Harper named second-team All-SEC, Page 8

Top photo: The Auburn men’s basketball team celebrates winning their share of the SEC regular-season championship.


From El Salvador to Alabama An Auburn woman and her family’s odyssey By EDUARDO MEDINA Community Writer


lood streaked across the El Salvadoran dirt as a ceramic pitcher struck the face of Andrea’s mother. Her father, wielding a broken handle, screamed at the 6-year-old girl. She was next. That afternoon, as the mother and daughter treated one another’s wounds, they packed a cardboard box with everything they owned. Andrea’s mother gathered her and her brother, delivering a solemn message. “Children, we leave today,” their mother told them.

The family left because of their father and because gangs controlling the streets normalized violent crime. The near-anarchy stemmed from a deadly Civil War in the 1980s, one made longer by American involvement. El Salvador was war-ravaged as government-led forces and left-wing revolutionaries battled for control. Around 75,000 people died in the Salvadoran Civil War. Five percent of the violence reported to the United Nations in interviews was committed by revolutionaries, while 85 percent would later be attributed to the military-led government. The administrations of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan provided more than $4 billion in military and economic aid to the Salvadoran government in an effort to squash the leftist uprising. In a country marked by extreme economic inequality, the left-wing revolutionaries were fighting to overthrow the generals and oligarchs that had been ruling for decades. During the ongoing Cold War, El Salvador’s government had been considered “friendly” to the U.S.

Atrocities and massacres meant many children, women and soldiers fled the country to seek refuge in the United States. Many of the refugees were given protection temporarily. While in the U.S., Salvadoran immigrants created the Mara Salvatrucha gang in Los Angeles to protect themselves from other, more-established gangs. But in the ‘90s, President Bill Clinton let their protected status expire. With no legal protection in the U.S., thousands of male refugees — many of whom once raised arms in battle and others who became hardened on the streets of U.S. cities embroiled in gang violence — returned home, and so did the Mara Salvatrucha. That same gang, now known as MS-13, committed much of the violence from which Andrea and her family fled. Conflicting attachments to her father and her native

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news THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2018



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country swarmed Andrea’s mind just as the Lempa River, which separates El Salvador from Guatemala, swamped her up to the hips. The children’s small bodies struggled against the gentlest of rustles in the water while their mother hurried them along. Upon arrival, Andrea said she noticed no discrepancies between violence in El Salvador and Guatemala, and she experienced the cruel mistreatment so common among those stepping foot in a foreign land. “They made fun of us for the way we talked, they bullied us endlessly, and they hit us repeatedly,” Andrea said. “I would try to hit back sometimes.” The belittling, based on their Salvadoran accent, was a constant concern for her family as they began making Guatemala home. At 17, after living her childhood in the humid, jungle-covered land of Guatemala, Andrea got a boyfriend and became pregnant. During her pregnancy, her boyfriend became abusive. She said he hit her one day after he complained she wasn’t making food for him after work. After seeing the abuse her mother endured from her father, Andrea decided to leave, still pregnant, and go back with her mother to raise her daughter. Soon after, Andrea said, her exboyfriend joined a gang, along with thousands of other Salvadorans during the years of the Clinton administration. The same gangs that initially formed to survive the battle-torn streets spread into a Guatemala marked by extreme poverty across the otherwise rich, tropical terrain. Andrea’s brother was recruited into a gang, and the financial responsibilities were thrust atop her 20-year-old shoulders. The Guatemalan quetzals in her pocket could not pay for her daughter’s school, for her clothes nor for their food. On Feb. 28, 2008, Andrea looked at her starving daughter — now six, the same age she had been when her family left El Salvador — and could not bear to see her sick from starvation. “On the third day without food, I told my daughter I must leave, and she cried,” Andrea said. “I left at 2 a.m. that night because my family needed money, they needed food.” Her destination: America. Andrea looked at her sleeping daughter one last time, resting before her body would wake ache for nutrition. In two years she promised her daughter she would be back with enough money to send her to first grade and hush the growls of her stomach. The few quetzals jingled in Andrea’s bag as the trek, destined to end in Auburn, Alabama, commenced.


gers in Auburn Arena on Feb. 7, while Alabama stole a game from Bruce Pearl’s team in Tuscaloosa on Jan. 17. It will be the first time that Auburn hasn’t played in a tournament play-in game since they were created. South Carolina head coach Frank Martin defined the tournament as “crazy.” “Right now, you have high-level basketball by every single team in this league,” he said. “That is going to make for a great conference tournament.” Auburn will start the tournament with two second-team All-SEC players, Bryce Brown and Jared Harper, and without its lone All-Defensive player, Anfernee McLemore. After ending an 18-year regular-season championship drought, Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said his team’s success “means more” because of the conference’s overall success this season. “To win the league wire to wire in the year when this league ... I don’t know if any of you have seen it better, top to bottom or bottom to top ... is a tremendous accomplishment,” he said. Here is a look at some of the top moments that led to the Tigers’ first SEC title since 1999. 5 — VS. GEORGIA Changes made during halftime quickly became a regular for Auburn. Following its 14-point halftime deficit, Pearl’s squad came back to defeat Georgia 79-65. Bryce Brown led the game in scoring with 28 on 9-of-15 shooting, including 25 in Auburn’s 53-point second half. Auburn had just returned home from a loss to Alabama that snapped a 14-game winning streak and previously had faced similar deficits. In each of its last three games, Auburn trailed at halftime by 10, 11 and 14 points. It would go on to outscoring each opponent in the second half by 25, 19 and 28, respectively. Second-half success for Auburn became a natural progression from slow starts, and its 14-point victory at home over Georgia defined the success of Auburn Arena. Auburn finished the regular season with a 15-1 home record with a 16.8 scoring margin. An emphatic dunk by Mustapha Heron, who finished with 14 points and three steals, kept the crowd on its feet throughout the Tigers’ 33-4 run. “We just never got the building calmed down,” Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. “We got caught up in the emotion of the building.” Pearl said the win showcased his team’s chemistry. “That was as pretty of a 20 minutes of basketball as I’ve seen,” Pearl said. “Really proud of the


Andrea in the Auburn Public Library on March 1, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.

Three days in a cramped bus, and three weeks in a hideout ranch in Sonora, Mexico, drained Andrea, her odyssey to America almost in its final chapter. At one point, she awoke in the borderline desert to frigid snow stretching across the vast landscape like the yucca cane back home in El Salvador. “My teeth chattered so much,” Andrea said. “I thought they would chip away.” In April 2008, she made it to the U.S. Arizona’s desert welcomed Andrea’s first tired steps. A friend from Guatemala living in Savannah, Tennessee, came to pick her up, and the Salvadoran made her way south. Andrea’s first job doing house cleaning barely provided any money for her to live on, let alone send back to her daughter. Her original plans to return crumbled as she decided she needed to stay longer than the two years she promised. A friend got her a slightly higher paying job in Auburn cleaning, where she labored alongside other immigrants. According to the American Immigration Council, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, undocumented immigrants in Alabama, like Andrea, paid an estimated $62.3 million in state and local taxes in 2014. Their contribution would rise to $80 million if they received legal status, the group says. chemistry of the team. Not everybody had it tonight, but we had enough to get a great, great win.” 4 — AT TENNESSEE In its conference opener against Tennessee, Pearl had an opportunity to win his first game in Knoxville since leaving the Volunteers. And it came with another 14-point comeback and second-half scoring burst. Brown and Jared Harper combined for 18 points each in Auburn’s 94-84 win over thenNo. 23 Tennessee. Though Auburn started the second half shooting 0-of-9 from three, the slow start quickly evaporated as the Tigers outrebounded the Volunteers 46-38. Auburn’s 52-point second half was the team’s second straight, and it brought the team its first win over a ranked team since 2016. In addition, it was Auburn’s first win in Knoxville since 1998, one year prior to its last regularseason championship. Pearl said his team’s first taste of in-conference adversity came at a good time. “We didn’t play very well, and we were off our game in many ways,” he said. “The opponent had a lot to do with that, but the guys kind of battled back.” After Auburn improved to 13-1 on the season, Brown said that his team’s victory and national exposure showcased the team’s tenacity. “Right now, we’re playing with a huge chip on our shoulder,” he said. “Showing everybody we can go play with anybody and knocking off a top25 team was very big and the start of it.” 3 — VS. KENTUCKY Entering the game at 23-3 overall and No.10 in the AP Poll, Auburn may have been undersized, but they were not underdogs against perennial powerhouse Kentucky. The Tigers, despite a cold start from the field, used a 13-2 run down the stretch to defeat the Wildcats, 76-66. Auburn won consecutive home games against Kentucky for the first time in 28 years. Leading-scorer Bryce Brown returned from a shoulder injury to lead the Tigers with 18 points and knock down four 3-pointers, while sophomore guard Jared Harper also added 18 points and seven assists. Anfernee McLemore earned himself another double-double tallying 13 points and 11 rebounds against the much bigger Kentucky team, while Desean Murray, who stands at 6-foot-3, had nine points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Mustapha Heron scored 11 points despite 4-of-14 shooting. Auburn, who leads the league in free-throw percentage, made 24 of 28 foul shots. It was a role reversal for the two programs. The win marked only the third time a ranked Auburn team faced an unranked Kentucky team and the first since 1987.

Many immigrants in the country send portions of their wages to their family back home. In 2017, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, who represents Auburn in Congress, proposed taxing all wire transfers of money sent to more than 40 Latin-American countries, including Guatemala. “[A]nyone who sends their money to coun-

tries that benefit from our porous borders and illegal immigration should be responsible for providing some of the funds needed to complete the wall [the proposed border wall between Mexico and the U.S.],” Rogers said at the time. The bill has not passed.

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Jared Harper (1) dribbles the ball down during Auburn vs. South Carolina on Saturday, March. 3, 2018.

2 — VS. ALABAMA It’s been a next-man-up mentality for Auburn all season and it was no different in the Iron Bowl. The Tigers crushed Alabama 90-71, despite missing two key players. Jared Harper led Auburn with 21 points, and freshman Chuma Okeke had a career-high 16 points and 10 rebounds to help No. 12 Auburn defeat the Crimson Tide. The Tigers were without Mustapha Heron, who was held out due to a stomach illness, and Anfernee McLemore, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury at South Carolina the week before. Down to seven scholarship players, the Tigers relied on their bench players to step up, and they did. In addition to Okeke’s performance, Malik Dunbar also had a season-high 14 points. Desean Murray scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds while Bryce Brown added 18 points, despite only making 3-of-14 from beyond the arc. Following a loss to South Carolina in which they lost McLemore for the season, the Iron Bowl was a must-win. After having its lead cut to one point early in the second half, Auburn took control of the game with a 17-2 run to improve to 12-3 in conference play. Auburn moves a step closer to clinching its third SEC title and first since 1999. For a team that

has been playing without key players all year, the win against a long and athletic Alabama team is a much-needed confidence builder. 1 - vs. South Carolina After dropping two straight, and in desperate need of a win with the conference title on the line, junior Bryce Brown stepped up. Brown scored 29 points, knocking down eight 3-pointers, as No. 14 Auburn claimed a share of the Southeastern Conference title with a 7970 comeback victory over South Carolina. Jared Harper finished with 18 points and eight assists, while Mustapha Heron added 12 points and was perfect from the free-throw line, making all 10 of his attempts. Horace Spencer also scored 11 points. After missing its first eight 3-pointers and starting 2-of-15 from the field, the Tigers showed resiliency to earn a comeback victory at home after losing back-to-back games on the road at Arkansas and at Florida. Auburn finishes the regular season with an overall record of 25-6, and 13-5 record in SEC play. The Tigers earned the top seed in the SEC tournament with its first regular-season championship since 1999. Auburn shares the conference title with Tennessee, but the Tigers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Volunteers.







Honors College undermined University’s approach to hate By EDITORIAL BOARD Spring 2018

Last Monday, Auburn’s Honors College invited the White Student Union to speak and explain its platform at a screening of a movie about white nationalists. By doing so, they effectively validated the organization and their abhorrent views. In an attempt to explain themselves, the Honors College said they planned to invite representatives of the Black Lives Matter movement to a later event, drawing a false equivalence between a white nationalist organization and a movement intended to protect the rights of an underserved minority. The Honor College’s actions can be seen as likening the ideals and philosophy of the White Student Union to black advocacy groups operating Auburn, thus forwarding a commonly held falsehood that the White Student Union has as much a right to form and operate as the Black Student Union. Unequivocally, they do not. The White Student Union is, of course, a hate group that shares no footing or similarities with the Black Student Union other than in branding. They operate without University sanction and have in the past wrongly

used Auburn’s symbols to mimic a recognized group. They preach a separation between white people and other races, blame violent acts on “interracial violence” of black people against white people and push anti-Semitic conspiracy theories through literature left throughout campus. For these actions and these beliefs, the SPLC has labeled them a hate group. Furthermore, there is no need for the White Student Union to exist as an equivalent organization to the Black Student Union. Only 6 percent of undergraduate Auburn students are black compared to 79 percent who are white. This underrepresentation warrants an organization that provides a safe space and a platform for their voice. White students’ supermajority on campus needs no interest group or lobbyist. The Black Student Union was founded and operates as an organization that represents the interests of black students at Auburn. It provides a safe space for black students to voice concerns relating to the black community at Auburn and works to discourage instances of racism, both institutional and individual. These goals are reflective of the basic values of Auburn University as well as basic American values. The Black Student Union works to make sure these goals actualize in the cam-

pus community. While there is a definite academic and societal justification for attempting to understand the mindsets and motivations of white separatists, we should look elsewhere for such insight. Dozens of academic articles have been written on the subject and an entire group of formerly radicalized far-right extremists, Life After Hate, exists solely to educate folks on the topic and counter such hate groups. Even worse, the president of the White Student Union was invited to speak in person at the movie screening but instead opted to join via Skype, blocking his video feed to mask his identity. Along with their racism and xenophobia, the members of the White Student Union are cowards operating with a delusion of significance. As journalists, we believe wholeheartedly in the First Amendment. The White Student Union has a right to speak. They shouldn’t face reprimand for sharing their views, no matter how awful. The marketplace of ideas will eventually obliterate their misguided views. But there is a difference in allowing them to speak without punishment and inviting them to campus events — ­ an invitation that lends some authority and credence to their existence


and their views. Auburn has spent the last year working to further free speech by hosting Critical Conversations, a speaker series that focuses on difficult conversations with speakers of varying political ideologies and personal views. These speakers are educated on such topics and able to further civil conversation. The University has dedicated resources to allow these conversations to take place. Giving the White Student Union a platform at a campus event completely undermines this effort. Their views are not educated, enlightened or even remotely based in fact. Instead, they are built on pseudoscience and hate speech and have no root in logic or reason. This should not be seen as a liberal stance against a conservative group. For starters, the White Student Union is not a conservative group. Further, all Auburn students should be united against white supremacy and anti-Semitism, regardless of their political stance. Auburn University has made efforts to discredit the White Student Union since its outset and has worked to encourage intellectual conversations about difficult social issues. With one event, the Honors College undermined this cause. We hope this mistake won’t be repeated.


Leave behind ‘Whole 30’ By CHRISTIE SHIOVITZ Contributing Columnist

Every day it seems like there is a new diet that claims to be the magical cure to weight loss and promises to give you the body of every fitness model in a matter of 10 days. Right now, one of the most popular of these is the “Whole 30” diet. It can seem like everyone and their mother has tried it and has only good things to say about it. “Whole 30” basically follows the “Paleo” diet for 30 days, and then gradually reintroduces the previously restricted foods back into your daily food intake. This means no gluten, dairy, alcohol, added sugar, legumes and a few other things you probably didn’t even realize you were eating. Sounds really healthy, right? Wrong. In a recent study done by U.S. News & World Report, a ranking of 38 diets was released in an order of most to least healthy. Featured at the bottom of the list; “Whole 30.” These diets are ranked in seven categories and composed by a panel of registered dietitians, academics and medical doctors who were not impressed by this diet. The Whole 30 diet is based on pseudoscience, claiming that cutting out these foods will leave you with more energy, clear skin and somehow help discover potential problems like fertility issues. However, there is no science to back up these miracle cures. Another issue that was ex-


Why should we read the Anti-Federalist? By COLE DAVIS

Contirbuting Columnist

If you went to high school in the United States, then you’ve probably heard of The Federalist papers. You’re probably familiar with the story of how John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton wrote a series of essays that were published under a pseudonym to persuade the people of the states to adopt the Constitution. Admittedly, much of this is romanticized. They were only published in select states, and many states had already agreed to ratify the Constitution by the time they were written. However, the essays are important nonetheless. Not to mention, they have gained a little more recent fame due to the popularity of Hamilton. What gets overlooked, however, are the series of essays known as The Anti-Federalist papers. We often forget that the road to adopting the Constitution was a bumpy one. It may seem un-American to us now that some of the leaders of the day opposed the adoption of our founding document, but we have to understand that the colonies were 13 separate and sovereign entities when they formed the united States (lower case “u”) after the Declaration of Independence. So, the adoption of a new central government that could easily become overbearing was unsettling, to say the least. As constitutional scholar Kevin Gutzman noted, most Americans were extremely skeptical when presented with the option of giving up autonomy in ex-

change for creating a more powerful and unifying general government. The political leaders who opposed its adoption were now famous figures like Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams and George Mason. They argued that simply amending the Articles of Confederation was all that was needed to fix existing issues. A new government altogether was not needed. If one was to be adopted, though, a Bill of Rights had to be added to secure the liberties of the individual from gradual erosion. Concerning his insistence on a Bill of Rights, Jefferson once commented, “If we cannot secure all our rights, let us secure what we can.” As mentioned above, their opposition was based on fears that a stronger federal government would become destructive in its ends. They believed that the Constitution would result in the executive accumulating too much power; thus becoming an elected monarch of sorts. In addition, the faction feared that the document would allow for an unchecked, tyrannical and out-of-control judiciary. One Anti-Federalist, writing under the name “Brutus,” pointed out that the courts would be beyond the control “of the people and the legislature.” In addition, they could not “be corrected by any power above them.” He argued that there had never been a court in history with so few checks upon it and with so much “immense power.” This was in direct opposition to Hamilton’s claim that the judicial branch was “the least dangerous” of the three. Well, when anyone observes the nature of judicial activism since the founding, they can see that Hamilton was definitely not accurate in his prediction.

Constitutional language was also an issue. While Jefferson was in France, he wrote to Madison that much of the ambiguous language in the document would result in the document being loosely followed and abused by its interpreters. This primarily concerns the Commerce Clause. Much of what they had to say is important for us to keep in mind today as government becomes increasingly bloated. Their main concern, specifically, was the possibility that too much power could be centralized in one location, and the government would then be unresponsive to American citizens. The need for simple government and the disdain for consolidation were preeminent themes. Brutus wrote that the states would eventually become obsolete due to abuses of the Necessary and Proper Clause of Article 1 Section 8. The “Federal Farmer,” another prominent member of the faction, wrote in an essay, “Instead of being thirteen republics under a federal head, it is clearly designed to make us one consolidated government.” Does any of this ring any bells? It seems today that many of the worst fears of the Anti-Federalists have come true. Giving the Anti-Federalist papers a read would be beneficial for Americans who are interested in learning about some of the most vigilant members of the founding generation. Honestly, if they were alive today they would probably give us a big, “I told you so.”

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


The Auburn Plainsman welcomes letters from students, as well as faculty, administrators, alumni and those not affiliated with the University.

The opinions of The Auburn Plainsman staff are restricted to these pages.

Letters must be submitted before 4:30 p.m. on Monday for publication. Letters must include the author’s name, address and phone number for verification, though the name of the author may be withheld upon request. Submission may be edited for grammar and/or length. Please submit no more than 500 words.

This editorial is the majority opinion of the Editorial Board and is the official opinion of the newspaper. The opinions expressed in columns and letters represent the views and opinions of their individual authors. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the Auburn University student body, faculty, administration or Board of Trustees.

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















pressed by a panelist is the promotion of eating more meat and the discouragement of other food groups. Another main concern of the panelists was that the “Whole 30” diet was high in sodium and deficient in things like calcium. The diet is seen as unsustainable and prone to nutritional deficiencies. A main goal of “Whole 30” is to eliminate inflammation and find which foods are potentially causing it for you. In attempting to achieve this, the diet eliminates dairy. However, dairy is actually found to likely be associated with reduced inflammation, thus going back to the pseudoscience discussed before. It is easy to let ourselves believe all these theories involving food and what will be the magical cure to the perfect body we all have in our heads. And while eating more whole foods and cutting out processed food is always a good idea for improving health, it is not necessary to be completely cutting all these food groups out. Restrictive diets can be hard to follow, and a single cheat can lead you to give up on the diet entirely and might leave you beating yourself up for it. The key to a healthy lifestyle is a balanced diet with moderation and variety, which means the occasional cookie is OK and should not be the reason for anyone to feel like a failure.

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Professor makes breakthrough with peanut genome research



By MEGAN FERINGA Campus Writer

Growers and consumers alike can be excited for the successful map sequencing of the peanut’s genetic code, a five-year project conducted by The Peanut Genome Consortium — an international team of scientists that includes Auburn professor Charles Chen. The breakthrough marked the completion of an intensive fiveyear project with members across the globe, but Chen said it only marks the first step in their ultimate objective. “The question is, what’s the potential there?” Chen said. “We’re looking for the gene functions, how we can utilize that gene and genetically improve the plant. We want to see the peanut’s yield potential and enhance it so the yield goes up.” Chen said the current breakthrough gives researchers like himself the basic resources to continue their work and hopefully breed new varieties of peanuts with greater yields, lower costs, higher resistance to disease, better flavor and greater sustainability. “We want a low input with a higher outcome, which will increase the overall income for the farmer and the industry,” Chen said. Chen also said a gap exists in the peanut evolutionary process that researchers desperately want to fill. “If you know the sequencing, then we can compare to the wild species,” Chen said. “We already understand the evolution there, but there’s still a gap, and we want to fill that gap, tell the whole story from beginning to end while also looking toward the future.” In terms of international peanut production, the United States ranks third behind China and India. However, in terms of technology and research, the United States leads the study with Alabama ranking as the second highest producing peanut state in the country. “Auburn University is the only peanut breeding, genetics and genomics research in the state,” Chen said. “The University of Alabama doesn’t have a College of Agriculture, that’s why we’re working so hard.” Genome sequences exist currently for soybean and corn, the United States’ highest yielding commodities. “They have more resources,” Chen said. “The peanut is ranked 12th, so we have less resources. But with this research, we’re picking up and getting bigger.” In order to further expedite genome sequencing, Chen said scientists and researchers require necessary background information that will come directly from the five-year project just completed. “Currently, I have a Ph.D. student working hard to find the RNA sequencing and discover its resistance to droughts," Chen said. “Work like this is only possible by building on what we know and developing more resources.” Chen said the accomplished genome sequencing and new resources will bring more interns, researchers and traction to Auburn’s program. “Their work will have a higher impact in terms of the industry,” Chen said. “They will have similar resources compared to soybean and corn as well. Now we can compete with the other universities and commodities.” According to Chen, not many recognize the importance of the peanut, especially in the United States. “Everyone here likes M&M’s, peanuts and peanut butter,” Chen said. “If you have any international experience, you’ll find that it’s not easy to find it. Peanut butter is a major staple in America. Also, we eat a lot of it.” From nutrition and economic standpoints, peanut butter ranks high, especially to maintain the nutrition for low-income and middle-income families. Furthermore, in natural disaster relief, the peanut industry also serves a tremendous, and often overlooked, role. “Every time you see a disaster, the peanut industry actually donates a lot of peanut butter,” Chen said. “Like a couple years ago in Haiti, we donated tons.” The research conducted by The Peanut Genome Consortium hopes to further expose the peanut’s benefits while simultaneously enhancing it for higher yield and greater opportunities. Chen said while their research involves a lot of science, it also involves knowing the impact of their research and where it comes from. “We’re the College of Agriculture. We support all agriculture. We’re always keeping the knowledge and gaining more knowledge to keep the agriculture sustainable,” Chen said. “That’s a message I like to deliver to the students, the young generation—this area has a bright future.”


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Students in The Jungle celebrate at Auburn basketball vs. Alabama on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.

A closer look inside The Jungle By STEPHEN LANZI Campus Writer Overcoming adversity is a theme that resonates with many; it can strike a nerve with anyone who has had to overcome unexpected circumstances. Among other reasons, this is why this has been a special season for Auburn basketball fans. After two of the program’s top players were told they would not be able to play as a result of an ongoing NCAA investigation, expectations were low. “Basketball is my favorite sport, and the one thing I wanted to see was Auburn to be in the NCAA tournament. I mean I didn’t expect it all, you know, with all the circumstances we were under, but Bruce Pearl works miracles,” said Chandler Fullman, president of the student section. With adversity in his own life, Fullman has been able to personally appreciate the struggle to overcome an unfortunate set of unexpected obstacles. On the first day of golf tryouts in his freshman year of high school, in his favor-

ite lime-green shirt, Fullman had his life changed forever. “I remember my coach yelling to get up off the floor, and I was like, ‘Coach I can’t feel my legs,’” Fullman said. “And I remember the nurse coming up there asking me what my name was, who was I. And then I went into a coma for 17 days.” He suffered an arteriovenous malformation, which is an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain formed before birth. The effects of the injury are similar to a stroke and left Fullman in the hospital for over 56 days. “I tell people it wasn’t rough on me. It was like a 17-day nap. Try being my parents though,” Fullman said. Fullman’s mother, Lisa Fullman, said the 17 days were a nightmare. The doctors gave Fullman a 10-15 percent chance of surviving. After waking up in the Auburn-decorated hospital room, Fullman had to relearn how to walk, talk and live normally. To this day, Fullman has impaired movement throughout his right side. He

has difficulty moving his right arm and has to use a leg brace, which is fittingly Auburn customized. Fullman said it was emotionally difficult initially after the surgery, but he has learned to deal with it and thinks it’s important to be able to joke about it. “My friends, they all call me Nemo because I’ve only got one fin that works,” Fullman said with a laugh. Dan Heck, director of athletic marketing, is a part of the committee who selected Fullman to be The Jungle president. Heck said the Athletic Department had seen him at all types of sporting events since his freshmen year, which made him a “clearcut favorite.” “I think the one thing that’s impressed me the most about getting to know Chandler is just his passion for life in general,” Heck said. “He has a strong passion for his friends, his family, his school and his faith. He lives his life 110 percent, and it shows in everything he does.”

» See JUNGLE, 5


Meet Jordan,

engineering student


By HANNAH WHITE Campus Writer Like many other students, Jordan Ryle fell in love with Auburn after visiting the campus and taking an engineering tour. Ryle is a senior in mechanical engineering also pursuing a minor in business but her interests are quite diverse. She cooks, travels and loves Auburn, hoping to give back some day. “I always wanted to be an engineer,” Ryle said. “I loved the typical math and science growing up, I love figuring out how things work and building things. So I guess when I decided on mechanical engineering, it’s so broad so I figure I can do anything with that kind of degree.” Engineering runs in Ryle’s family as her dad is an engineer as well. Ryle finds that although Auburn pushes her to be a well-developed person in her interests, the classes can sometimes feel overwhelming. “It’s a challenging curriculum, so you have to be prepared for that and know sometimes you will have to make the sacrifices socially,” Ryle said. Outside of her class work, Ryle was involved in Freshman Leadership Program, Alpha Chi, SGA, Phi Tau Sigma which is the mechanical engineering honors society, and the Society of Women Engineers. “You just have to find a balance, so it took me a little while to find that,” Ryle said. “So freshman year I did focus more on school, but then I realized, you know, we only have a short amount of time

here. So you may miss some sleeping hours, but hanging out with friends, making memories, you’ll never forget. It’s worth it.” Ryle said that because of her supportive professors and friends, she has managed to accomplish a lot of her goals such as being a Cupola Ambassador, joining a sorority and maintaining a good GPA. “I have a lot of self-motivation, so wanting to be the best and wanting to make people proud,” Ryle said. “So that’s taken me a long way.” Ryle is also involved with Cupola Engineering, recruiting students to the engineering program. “You just get to make so many connections and we do a lot with alumni, so it’s fun to work the alumni events and see just how much that love of Auburn continues after you graduated,” Ryle said. “And I’ve met so many awesome people through it.” During one of the engineering tailgates, Ryle even met a USA astronaut. As part of this program, Ryle also gets to reach out to middle schoolers and high schoolers. “While I love engineering, and I love figuring out problems, I also love working with people,” Ryle said. “So getting to see just how much engineering encompasses that too has been really cool.” Although Ryle loves engineering, her real passion lies in cooking. “I love to cook,” Ryle said. “Baking is kind of a stress reliever for me. I used to cook a lot more than I do now, but baking cookies, baking cupcakes, making food for tailgates. It’s just fun to me, and it takes my mind off of math and science for a while.” Another passion for Ryle is travel. “I love to travel,” Ryle said. “It’s just trying new things, I’m always up for an adventure. I know my friends and I have road tripped a lot.” Ryle has traveled to many away games for Auburn football, such as the away UGA, Ole Miss and LSU games. After graduation, Ryle is committing to her love for travel and is set to head to Greece as part of a program for other young adults. “I’m doing Eastern Europe, so like Budapest, Vienna, some other countries over there that I can’t remember, and then I’m going with my cousin to Greece and Italy,” Ryle said. As far as her career and home, Ryle is excited to move to a big city. “Just so many experiences and things to do,” Ryle said. “I love Auburn, but it is a small town, and I’m from a small town, so just being able to walk everywhere, walk home from work and stop at a market. That just kind of intrigues me.” Later in life, Ryle believes she wants to start a family and then give back to Auburn in any way she can. “I’m hoping once I’ve gotten settled into a career, I can give back in some way,” Ryle said. “I want to start a scholarship just because scholarships really helped me throughout these years, especially with the added fifth year and the expenses that that brings on. So I would love to set up an endowment or scholarship of some sort to help students.”

The Auburn Plainsman




Theater dept. ranks best in the state By ELIZABETH HURLEY Campus Writer

OnStage Blog has ranked the Auburn University theater department as the best in the state for the second year in a row. “We strive to live up to the mission statement we set for ourselves,” said Chase Bringardner, associate professor and chair of the theater department. “We think we really have a pretty unique program when it comes to theater programs, not just within the state but definitely within the region and within the country.” The theater department at Auburn University is located within the College of Liberal Arts and is an undergraduate-only department. The department strives to develop citizen artists students that know how to do what they are learning, such as acting a design and why they are doing it, Bringardner said. The theater department will continue to strive for excellence both in the classroom and onstage, Bringardner said. “Every faculty, staff and student in this department works hard toward that shared mission,” Bringardner said. “All of our faculty and staff are teaching classes during the day and then contributing to production work that’s happening at night often times. The Auburn University theater department consists of about 90-100 majors and is responsible for the productions at the Telfair B. Peet Theatre, Bringardner said. Auburn University Theatre produces a six-show season of exciting plays and musicals both on the main stage and in the Black Box & Dance Studio. Auditions and participation in theater productions are open to the entire University community, providing a remarkable opportunity to partake

in and appreciate the performing arts. “We typically, in any given year, choose a season that tries to do a number of things,” Bringardner said. “One of them is that we really do try to choose a season that speaks to a bunch of different types of pieces of performance.” The theater department includes a musical theater program so they try to have two out of the six shows be a type of musical theater show. There is also a dance minor within the department that puts on a dance concert each season, Bringardner said. The department strives to put on shows from across genres and theater history, so throughout a student’s four years, they are able to participate in a wide variety of shows and have a diverse performance background, Bringardner said. When choosing the theater season, the theater department also considers their non- campus and community audience. They consider what kinds of conversations they want to have with their audiences and what types of dialogue they want to spark, Bringardner said. The theater department will strive to continue their excellence both in the classroom and in their performances, and the opening of the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center will only excel the department further, Bringardner said. “We’ll continue to work hard,” Bringardner said. “We’ll continue to collaborate and work well together. We’ll continue to create the performance opportunities we have here to spark dialogue and create a conversation within the community.” The department is looking forward to the completion of the performing arts center and the collaboration it will bring between the center and the theater department.


Students in The Jungle, the Auburn student section, cheer on the Tigers during Colorado vs. Auburn basketball .

JUNGLE » From 4

Fullman came to Auburn to study to become a high school teacher and eventually an athletic director. “I figured out that I don’t like kids,” Fullman said. “I mean I don’t mind kids, but I don’t think teaching is for me. I’ve got to find a job somewhere in sports.” As is stated in his bio on his Twitter account, AUBURN SUPERFAN, Fullman is aspiring to be the future Auburn athletic director. “That’s what I’m hoping for,” Fullman said with a smile. “I mean everybody’s got to dream.” The injury may have ended his playing career, but being The Jungle president has allowed Fullman to still be involved in the game. “Life is special, and you got to make the most of every day and enjoy it,” Fullman said. “I’m sure people judge me for my Twitter name, being in college, being 22 years old, but that’s what I enjoy. Sports is what I love.” Fullman has found other ways to exercise this passion as well. He has coached a youth basketball team for the past four years at Auburn Parks and Rec Association, and the team won the championship this past season. Fullman and the rest of The Jungle leadership have organized watch parties for several away games at Momma Goldberg’s and helped organize buses to take students to two of the away games. “It’s way easier to be The Jungle president when your team is 24-5 and ranked 12th in the nation rather than two years ago being 11-20,” Fullman said. Fullman said he knew Auburn was a legitimate contender when he traveled to see them defeat Tennessee on the road. He has been able to attend about eight away games. “Away games are my favorite just because it’s like us against the world, and hearing that crowd shut up when

they know it’s over is a pretty cool moment,” Fullman said. The historic season on the court has produced a lot of memorable moments for Fullman. Some of his favorites were getting revenge against Alabama in a blowout win and beating Connecticut, a traditional powerhouse, by 25 in front of a packed-out arena on the day before Christmas Eve. The final home game serving as The Jungle president was especially memorable. The Tigers beat South Carolina to clinch a share of the regular-season SEC championship. “I mean I couldn’t ask for anything else,” Fullman said. “Going out on top like that, SEC champions. It was an amazing scene. I’m just blessed to be a part of it.” Fullman was extremely excited to see Patrick Keim, the only senior on the team, go out on top. Fullman grew up playing against Keim and has seen him overcome his own adversity of being a walk-on to earn a scholarship. “I don’t think people understand or appreciate how much he does for the team off the court,” Fullman said. “He’s building relationships, he’s a real team player. I love seeing him succeed.” Fullman was fortunate enough to be invited by Bruce Pearl to a pre-season practice. Pearl asked what the team could do for Fullman and the student section. “I said that it just comes down to one word for me: March,” Fullman said. “I want to be playing deep into March. That got all the guys fired up, and they were like, ‘Let’s do it.’” Auburn is projected to be one of the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament when the bracket comes out. How deep the team goes is yet to be seen, but Fullman has loved serving as The Jungle president. “I’m really happy with what we’ve done this year, not because just of what we’ve done this single year, but because I think we’ve laid the groundwork and the foundation for years to come,” Fullman said.



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Gubernatorial candidate and Mayor of Huntsville Tommy Battle (left) and Gov. Kay Ivey (right) said recently they are skeptical of arming teachers in schools.

Governor, primary challenger skeptical of arming teachers By CHIP BROWNLEE

Two of the leading Republican candidates in the 2018 race for governor say they support enhancing school security measures over Republican State Rep. Will Ainsworth’s proposal to arm teachers as a precaution against school shootings. In an interview with The Plainsman, Battle said the proposal could pose more risks than it solves. “Teachers with guns, I’d rather have policemen who are trained,” Battle said. “You put the teachers at liability. Where are they going to keep their gun? Are they going to wear it in a holster with them? Are they going to put in their desk? What if someone takes it out of their desk?” Ainsworth proposed a bill last that would allow for teachers to carry guns in schools if they received standardized state training. His proposal came in the wake of a school shooting in Florida that claimed the lives of 17 students and teachers. Ainsworth, from Guntersville, is running for lieutenant governor as a Republican and has said armed teachers could serve as a deterrent to school violence. Battle, the mayor of Huntsville, said he wasn’t so sure. “There are too many variables in that,” Battle said. “Let’s take the trained officers, and let’s let them be the ones protecting our schools.” Gov. Kay Ivey, a former teacher who’s running for her first full term as governor, said teachers should focus on teaching, not carrying a weapon. “The priority has to be keeping our students and faculty safe,” Ivey said last week. “So, what does that look like? I just think that our teachers have their hands full being full-time

teachers, and they are trained to teach.” At a press conference Tuesday, however, Ivey said she wouldn’t take an official stance on Ainsworth’s bill. Ivey said schools should find other sources of manpower to protect their schools, either volunteer guards or school resource officers if the local school leaders believe it necessary. “We’ve got to protect our people first and foremost,” Ivey said last week. Ivey announced a four-pronged “Smart on Safety Initiative” at the State Capitol on Tuesday. The plan includes supporting a separate bill in the Legislature to make more funds available for school security, standardizing emergency operations plans for schools and emphasizing the “see something, say something” program to require schools to identify students who might be a danger to themselves or others. “Shortly after the attack in Parkland, I made it clear we must resist the temptation to come up with knee-jerk reactions,” Ivey said Tuesday, joined by Alabama Superintendent Ed Richardson and Law Enforcement Secretary Hal Taylor. Ivey has said the local school districts should focus on enhancing security at their schools by reducing the number of entrances and paying special attention to surveillance and metal detectors. Ainsworth’s proposal is one of several ideas pushed by lawmakers in Montgomery after the Parkland shooting. Another bill by Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham, would increase the age limit to buy AR-15-style rifles from 18 to 21. A proposal from State Rep. Laura Hall, D-Birmingham, would ban all semi-automatic rifles. In the first few years of Battle’s tenure as Huntsville mayor, the city dealt with one of Alabama’s worst mass shootings in 2010 when a professor at the University of Alabama




at Huntsville shot six of her colleagues, killing three and injuring three others. “It’s a bad experience to have,” Battle said. Another shooting just a few days prior at a neighboring Madison, Alabama, middle school, just west of Huntsville, left one ninth-grader dead in 2010. “It’s one of the tragic things you’ll see,” Battle said. “Going to some of those vigils afterward are some of the hardest things you’ll do, especially in public life.” Battle said after those two shootings, both at educational institutions, the city of Huntsville worked to increase school security by hardening entrances and placing school resource officers in schools. “The students get to know them, and quite frankly, if someone is going to do something they shouldn’t, they tell the police officer before they get to school to do that,” Battle said. Battle said since the enhanced measures were taken, his area has not had any serious school safety problems. The proposals going through the Legislature right now are facing a quickly approaching deadline as the end of the legislative session nears. House and Senate leaders have not shown any particular interest in letting the gun bills out this session. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said Tuesday that he was supportive of Ivey’s school security plans. Battle said schools should focus on “tried and true” safety measures. “The knee-jerk reactions to this are just that,” Battle said. “Let’s do something that makes sense, that’s been done, that we know it works. Let’s put our money in systems that are very workable and will keep our students safe.”

Questions remain about Northwest Auburn plan By KAILEY BETH SMITH Community Reporter

Ward 1 Councilwoman Verlinda White attempted to be the voice of reason at Tuesday night’s Auburn City Council meeting as fierce words from the Northwest Auburn community assailed the council and its intentions. Over the past year and a half, city officials have been under fire from members of the Northwest Auburn community, who have accused them of neglect in creating and implementing the Northwest Auburn Neighborhood Plan. Controversy arose because of proposed zoning changes in Northwest Auburn as well as potential development and construction in the area. Some residents feel as if they have been ignored in their pleas for further information and clarification from the city. White, whose ward encompasses much of the northwest area of town, called for collaboration on the part of both the council and the residents of North-

west Auburn. “Change is inevitable — it can happen — but we will not all understand all the components of it,” White said at Tuesday’s meeting. “That’s why we have to work as a team.” L.B. Jackson, a resident and passionate voice for the community, has attended each council meeting this year and has been a fierce critic of the process at many of them. “Some of our strong concerns at this time is with the promise that the city manager has made to the community about the smaller meetings,” Jackson said at Tuesday night’s meeting. On Monday, Jackson met with City Manager Jim Buston and Mayor Bill Ham about educational meetings for the neighborhood plan. “I don’t think we need to polarize against each other,” White said. “There is misinformation. ... More information will be compiled so that we can get on the same page.”

» See PLAN, 7


The old Hastings Entertainment Superstore on the corner of East Glenn Avenue and North Dean Road in Auburn, Ala. on Friday, March 2, 2018.

Bowling alley, entertainment center to open in old Hastings By PAUL BROCK Campus Writer

A new bowling alley is planned to open near Auburn’s campus in the Glen Dean Shopping Center at the intersection of East Glenn Avenue and North Dean Road in the space that formerly held entertainment store Hastings. Scott Good is the owner of the new business, Good Times. “I’ve got two boys at Auburn,” Good said. “On one of the outings over there I noticed that there is a need for a more current, modern facility for high school kids and college kids and for families to have something to do in Auburn.” Construction has been underway inside the building, and Good said that his new business is expected to open in early April.

Good has been managing bowling alleys for the last six years and oversaw a bowling pro shop for 24 years before that. “(Good Times) is not just bowling,” Good said. “It’s called a family entertainment center. There’s something for everybody.” The building has 28,000-square-feet of space, and Good Times will have 16 bowling lanes, an arcade, escape rooms, a kitchen and a bar. Good said he plans to attract customers with a lot of activities and up-to-date equipment at his new business. “It’s going to have the couches,” Good said when describing the new bowling lanes. “You can watch TV while you bowl.” Good said that the arcade will have around 30 games and that the food served

will be a variety of finger foods such as hamburgers, wings and appetizers. College students will likely fill most of the roles in the new shop, Good said, and he would be willing to offer flexible work hours that would work around classes. “You have to have work with the kids’ schedules,” Good said. “You’d like to have one person work 30 hours, but you might to have multiple people work the 30 hours just because of their scheduling.” The storefront has been empty for over two years. Hastings liquidated its assets in 2016 after filing for bankruptcy. The Auburn Hastings was one of more than 100 of the chain’s stores that closed its doors. For years, it served as a multimedia center for the area selling comics, video games, electronics and books. “It’s going to be a good place for everyone,” Good said.

The Auburn Plainsman



At a Glance

» From 6

The Northwest Neighborhood Plan will affect: 3, 216 residents 1.40 square miles Current land-use breakdown: 46 percent residential 26 percent vacant lots 12 percent public parks 2 percent commercial The city says the plan: Encourages commercial use along MLK Drive, Bragg Avenue Encourages neighborhood-scale residential development Increases mixed-use development in the area

City Council will vote on portions of the plan: March 20 SOURCE: CITY OF AUBURN

ANDREA » From 2

In 2015, 3.5 percent of Alabama’s population were immigrants, and contrary to the thoughts of some, studies show immigration has not led to increased criminal activity. “I don’t have any sympathy for immigrants that come in here committing crimes, but by and large, most immigrants are good people, and they pay taxes,” said Stephen M. NeSmith told The Plainsman. NeSmith is an attorney and founder of NeSmith Immigration Attorneys located in Montgomery. He represents immigrants in all kinds of cases in the South. According to the Justice Quarterly Journal, immigrants commit fewer crimes on average than native-born Americans. Studies published in Elsevier Social Science Research show large cities and large towns, like Au-

burn, with a high influx of immigrants have lower crime rates on average than those with small immigrant populations. In 2015, Andrea was steadily sending money back to her family from Auburn, but a call from her mother in Guatemala made her wish she were home for emotional support, — not just financial. Her 13-year-old daughter was being hunted down by the same gang her brother had joined. After borrowing money and saving her own, Andrea hired a guide, known as a ‘coyote,’ to bring her daughter to America. The once starving girl would later be reunited with her mother in the U.S. Andrea’s daughter was granted temporary asylum in May 2015 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is awaiting a court date to update her status. Andrea said she is also attempting to secure legal residency.

misinformation. ... More information will be compiled so that we can get on the same page.” There have been several educational meetings since the conception of the plan in fall 2016, and the plan was developed with input from residents, yet Jackson and other members of the Auburn community still seem unsatisfied with the city’s plan. These meetings would allow council members and city engineers to sit with the citizens of Northwest Auburn, to hear their concerns and to act on them moving forward. The mayor invited those in attendance to a future meeting where residents and representatives from the city could talk in an open forum. “There is a process that these things have to go through, and know that process will be a good thing,” Ham said. Members of the Northwest community have expressed worries over possible gentrification or studentification, a term for an influx of college students into traditionally non-student neighborhoods. Provisions have been made to prevent the construction of purpose-built student housing in Northwest Auburn. This does not mean, however, that a student could not live in a home or apartment in the area. Barbara Pitts, a member of Bell Missionary Baptist Church in Northwest Auburn, presented her concerns to the council on Over 2,000 Guatemalans were granted asylum in 2015, according to the Department of Homeland Security, with most being younger than 17 years old. In 2015, 69,933 refugees were granted asylum, but the number fell steeply in 2017, with 53,716 refugees given asylum. Sitting in the Auburn Public Library, Andrea’s fingernails were splattered with dry white flakes gummed on like glue. The splotches are from her current job with a painting company, and her daughter noticed them on her first day in Auburn. The stained hands would steer the car to school for her daughter’s first day of class. “As I was dropping her off and heard the loud students in the gym I thought, ‘Lord, how is she going to make it without speaking English?’ and remembered the days in Guatemala when people bullied me for my accent,” Andrea said with tears in her eyes. Her daughter grabbed her hand and looked

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PAGE 7 Tuesday night. “I am disillusioned,” she said. “I am having difficulty, so I know that other people are having difficulty in understanding these issues.” Not all are opposed to the changes. Frank McLeod, a bishop in the area who also owns properties in Auburn and Opelika, said he was in favor of the city’s plan and was willing to assist other community members in understanding it. White, who graduated from Auburn University, said she attended both Auburn and Bell Missionary Baptist Church by walking from her house in Northwest Auburn. The councilwoman attempted to bridge the two sides of the debate by emphasizing the special balance between progress and preservation. White said she sees the lack of education about homeownership as a major problem in Northwest Auburn and said the community and the city needed to work together to mitigate the issue. She spoke of the need for more mixed-use housing in the area and said she didn’t want public housing as an option for her retirement. “I am always open to learning, and we cannot learn if we are not open to our differences,” White said. “We cannot stay stuck. We have to move.” On Tuesday, City Council voted to approve speed bumps on Foster Street, part of the Northwest Auburn plan. The council will vote on implementing other portions of the neighborhood plan at its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 20. at her reassuringly. “Don’t cry Mama, I’ll see what I can do,” Andrea’s daughter said. After three years in the U.S., Andrea’s daughter is receiving good grades in school and is quickly becoming adept in English. If her status is updated to permanent, her daughter said she would love nothing more than to become an Auburn University student and roll the same Auburn Oaks she saw her first day on The Plains. Her dream, she said, is to join the U.S. Army so she can serve and protect the nation she hopes will some day become her permanent home. “Mama, it’s pretty here,” Andrea’s daughter said looking at Auburn’s Oaks out of the window. Editor’s Note: Because of her legal status, Andrea asked for her real name to be withheld from this article.







Tigers jump into top 20 By WILL SCHUETTE Sports Writer

After already getting off to its best start since 2001 by beginning the season 5-0, Auburn baseball has rolled off another seven straight wins and entered the Top 20 of national polls on Monday. The Tigers (12-0) jumped five spots in the Baseball America poll to No. 20 while also coming in at No. 18 in the D1Baseball poll. Despite being one of seven remaining undefeated teams in the country and the only one in the SEC, six teams in the conference are ranked ahead of the Tigers in both polls. Auburn won four games last week including its first road victory of the season over South Alabama on Tuesday and a threegame sweep of BYU at Plainsman Park over the weekend. Junior college transfer Brendan Venter remained the Tigers’ hottest hitter, going 10-for-18 for the second straight week and extending his hitting streak to nine games. Freshman Edouard Julien also had a memorable week at the plate as he hit a threerun home run on Friday and pinch-hit grand slam in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader against BYU. This week, Auburn will look to match its 2001 club’s 13-0 start with a win at UAB on Tuesday before coming home for a three-game series with Northeastern.


The Auburn baseball team celebrates their win against BYU.


The Auburn starters huddle before Auburn basketball vs. Florida on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Gainesville, Fla.

‘They just added more fuel to the fire’

Regular season champions turning SEC snubs into motivation By WILL SAHLIE Sports Editor

Auburn guards Jared Harper and Bryce Brown were named second-team All-SEC Tuesday morning, but for the first time since the SEC created first and second teams in 1956, the regular season champion did not have a player on the SEC’s first-team. “I am very pleased that Bryce Brown and Jared Harper were recognized amongst the top 16 players in our league,” Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said. “I’m disappointed that for the first time in 62 years–that there has never been a regular season champion that hasn’t had a player on the first team. That has just been consistent with our whole year.” Harper was a top-20 scorer in the SEC as he contributed 13.9 points per game, including 15.2 in league play alone. He was the only player in the SEC to rank in the top 10 in scoring, assists, free-throw percentage, steals and assist-toturnover ratio in league games this season. Harper also led the conference with 15 games of seven or more assists this season. Brown ranked second on the team and eighth in the league with 16.4 points per game, including 16.8 in conference play. The junior led the SEC with 3.3 three pointers per game. Brown became the 36th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points and is the 18th player in the Auburn record books to tally 1,000 points prior to the end of their third season.


Sophomore forward Anfernee McLemore was also recognized by the SEC by being named to the All-Defensive team after leading the league with 73 blocks, good for fifth in Auburn single-season history. A key absence from the all-conference teams was Auburn’s Mustapha Heron, who led the SEC champions averaging 16.6 points per game. The sophomore also grabbed 5.5 rebounds per game. “As far as Mustapha was concerned, obviously, I’m very disappointed for him,” Pearl said. “He outscored 11 of the SEC honorees. They’re terrific players named, all of them are worthy and deserving. But, (Heron) out-rebounded nine of those guys. He out won 12 of them. “From a standpoint of that, I’m disappointed he couldn’t make it on to one of those teams as our leading scorer. Mustapha has sacrificed a lot so Jared could have more, so Bryce could have more, so Desean could have more, Chuma could have more. He’s done so willingly so we could have a chance to be a champion.” Brown echoed his head coach, wishing that Heron could have joined him among the SEC’s honorees. “What I was mostly disappointed in was that we didn’t see Mustapha’s name on there, Brown said. “That was really my biggest disappointment. I feel like he was snubbed the most.” When the dust settled on Tuesday about who was honored and who was not, the two guards said the only thing that matters is what their team thinks of themselves.



Tiger baseball rallies late, beats UAB to stay perfect INGRID SCHNADER / PHOTO EDITOR

Auburn equestrian defeats South Carolina, 12-7, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.

Win streak hits five as AU equestrian tops SMU By SPORTS STAFF


Josh Anthony (3) bats at the Auburn baseball game vs. Brigham Young University.

By WILL SCHUETTE Sports Writer

After providing game-winning rallies in the late innings of each of its first three midweek games of the season, Auburn delivered another on Tuesday night–and maybe its most improbable yet. The Tigers overcame a five-run deficit at the end of the sixth inning to defeat UAB 11-8 at Regions Field in Birmingham, Alabama. With the win, No. 20 Auburn (13-0) matches its 2001 team’s mark for the secondbest start in program history. While trailing 8-3, the rally began with third baseman Josh Anthony’s three-run home run to left center with two outs in the seventh inning. Shortstop Will Holland chipped in further with an RBI single in the eighth before catcher Brett Wright crushed with a three-run shot to left to put Auburn in front 10-8. “That looked like a long night for the Tigers,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “But the resiliency of our guys and Josh Anthony was a big spark and then Brett Wright. We had two big swings there late in the ballgame that brought us all the way back.” Wright replaced freshman Steven Williams at catcher the previous inning and made his first plate appearance of the game when he hit it out of the ballpark. The junior college transfer regained the team lead for home runs on

the season with three. The Tigers totaled 11 hits in the game, including three by senior Jay Estes, who put together his best performance thus far in 2018. Auburn’s pitchers struggled throughout most of the night, primarily because of their inability to find the strike zone. Five of the eight pitchers who saw action combined to allow seven free passes, and even standout Calvin Coker found trouble when he gave up two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. One pitcher who did not experience any difficulty was freshman Cody Greenhill, who quickly sealed another game for the Tigers when called upon. Greenhill pitched a perfect eighth and ninth inning to bring his ERA all the way down to 0.66 in over 13 innings of work this season. “He’s done that at a high rate for us, and I think this may have been one of his best outings tonight,” Thompson said. Senior Corey Herndon (1-0) earned the win for Auburn with a scoreless seventh inning. The Tigers remain one of five unbeaten teams in the country (Florida State, Louisville, Oregon State, Texas Tech) and the only one in the SEC. They will take the field next on Friday against Northeastern at 6 p.m. CST from Plainsman Park with Casey Mize expected to be on the mound to begin a three-game series.

The No. 2 Auburn equestrian team won its fifth straight, putting together a dominating 14-3 victory over No. 5 SMU Saturday at the Auburn University Equestrian Center. The win was the team’s fourth over a Top 5 opponent in the last five meets and pushed the Tigers to 8-3 overall. “This team has put together outstanding rides this spring,” head coach Greg Williams said. “I want to give credit to coaches Jessica Braswell and Mary Meneely for that. The team continues to get stronger every day and are really getting in sync. We are still building for the postseason and are looking forward to what’s to come.” “It was a special day out here,” Williams said. “I really hope our alums are proud of the legacy they left and leave today with the knowledge that our team continues to build on that legacy.” The Western corps had another outstanding showing for Auburn and did not give up a point the whole day, coming away with a 7-0 mark. The Tigers kicked things off on Horsemanship and bested the Mustangs, 4-0. Sophomore Kara Kaufmann led off with a solid 75.5 for her ride, topping Kara Vickery’s 73. Freshman Deanna Green followed with 76.5 points in her win as she earned her sixth Most Outstanding Performer award of the year. Fellow freshman Taylor Searles secured her fifth win this season with a 75-72.5 victory over Charlotte Selby, while junior Lauren Diaz topped Michaela Dinger, 75.5-71.5, for win No. 7 of the year. Redshirt junior

Kelsey Jung tied Haylee Schoonover, 74.574.5, keep the Tigers undefeated in the event. The Auburn Reining crew picked up three points with two ties to help the Western side go unbeaten. Senior Alexa Rivard earned a season-best 73 points on her ride, securing the win and her second MOP of the year. Freshmen Terri-June Granger and Green each picked up victories as Granger topped Madison Steed, 70.5-68, and Green edged Jill Pfisthner, 71.5-70.5. Juniors Betsy Brown and Blair McFarlin came away with ties in their match ups, scoring 70.5 points and 71 points, respectively. On the Hunt Seat side, Equitation on the Flat kicked off the meet with a 3-2 mark against the Mustangs. Senior Caitlin Creel bested Haley Zimmerman, 77-65, before junior Hayley Iannotti outscored Vivian Yowan, 75-58. The win gave Iannotti her 10th of the season in the event. Junior Ashton Alexander took home MOP honors as she defeated Mary Elizabeth Cordia, 87-56. Equitation Over Fences finished the day with a 4-1 record versus SMU. A trio of juniors in Alex Ladove, Caitlin Boyle and Iannotti all scored 80+ points on their rides to pick up wins for the Tigers. Ladove bested Yowan, 85-82, while Iannotti defeated her opponent, 88-84. Boyle’s 89 points edged Kelsie Brittan’s 88, securing MOP honors and her ninth win in the event this year. That point total was also a season best for Boyle. Also picking up a point for Auburn in Fences was freshman Carly Hoft. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native outscored Hayley Banas, 79-76. Auburn caps the regular season at home Saturday, March 10, hosting Fresno State at the Auburn University Equestrian Center.


The Auburn Plainsman



Spring practice opens on The Plains Stidham, Davis work through injuries By TYLER ROUSH Sports Reporter


Auburn Tiger quarterbacks Joey Gatewood (1) and Malik Willis (14) in practice on March 6, 2018.

Young quarterbacks gain experience By SUMNER MARTIN Sports Writer

Spring football practices have begun and the Auburn Tigers are without returning starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who is sidelined with a shoulder injury. Most of the focus has been on the quarterback competition between incoming freshman Joey Gatewood and returning sophomore Malik Willis. Both Gatewood and Willis will be competing this spring to be Stidham’s backup, however, it may not end up being that tight of a contest. “We’ve got a lot of confidence in Malik,”Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said. “He was our backup quarterback last year, and just like I said, I mean, he really is taking a step forward, and he looks like a starter out there. “You know, I’d say right now Joey is just learning the foundation, so it’s really hard to say, but we have a lot of confidence in Malik. You know, last year, Malik would have played — especially the second half of the season, we would have felt pretty good that we could have run most of our offense. We’ve got a lot of confidence in Malik.” Willis has been working with the first-team offense while Stidham is out, and Gatewood has had the chance to take snaps with the second-team offense. It is yet to be determined if the freshman will work with the starters at all this spring.

Malzhan wants the freshman to focus on learning the offense before anything else. “Joey has gotten the reps with the [second team], and I think he’s been a quick learner,” Malzahn said. “There’s a lot of moving parts to being the quarterback in our system that you’ve got. The communication from the sideline, you’ve got to communication it to the offensive guys, then you’ve got to see the defense, then you’ve got to do your read and then you’ve got to do your play. I’ve been impressed with his wantto, and I know coach Lindsey has felt the same way. You can tell he’s very talented, you can tell that. These first two days have been good for him.” Willis did not get much playing time last season, but when he did get in, the Atlanta native made the most of it. He rushed for 221 yards and one touchdown on only 16 carries in 2017 as a true freshman. In addition, he completed 6-of-7 passes for 45 yards and one touchdown. “There’s something to be said when you go out there and you’re playing with the first group from a quarterback standpoint,” Malzahn said. “He has seemed more comfortable. Of course, he should have a year under his belt. He’s done a good job so far with his approach, just the attention to detail. Things are becoming natural for him. You can tell he’s not having to think about a whole lot of stuff. He’s starting to just play football. I think that’s really important.”

Two of Auburn’s offensive weapons are progressing through injuries entering spring practice, head coach Gus Malzahn discussed Thursday. Malzahn announced that Jarrett Stidham is out of his arm sling following surgery on his left shoulder. Wide receiver Ryan Davis will join his quarterback in limited practice after a “minor procedure” on his shoulder. Davis is expected to return to “full speed” following spring break. Stidham will focus on footwork drills before being expected to throw after the break, Malzahn said. The head coach added that Stidham’s absence will allow Malik Willis and newcomer Joey Gatewood to earn some playing time with the first and second strings. “I think, too, there’s something to be said of [Stidham] being able to sit back there behind everything,” Malzahn said. “He’ll help those young guys, too. So I think there is going to be a winwin deal as far as that goes.” As Auburn’s first-ever, 3,000-yard passer to return for a following season, Stidham completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 3,158 yards and 16 touchdowns. Davis’ 84 receptions in 2017 were the most ever by an Auburn receiver in addition to his 815 yards and five touchdowns.

Peters injured Tuesday By TYLER ROUSH Sports Reporter

Auburn sophomore defensive back Jordyn Peters went down with an apparent right leg injury during the team’s spring practice on Tuesday. Peters was involved in a tackle during the first-team pace drill. The training staff checked the injury on the field before the Muscle Shoals, Alabama, product was able to walk off under his own power. The sophomore has been working in the nickel spot for Auburn’s first-team defense during 2018 spring practices. As a true freshman in 2017, Peters appeared in 10 games for the Tigers, recording 24 total tackles including 1.5 for loss and a forced fumble. In Auburn’s Peach Bowl loss to UCF, Peters saw increased playing time due to the absence of starting corner Carlton Davis. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound defender led the team with eight tackles and a tackle for loss against the Knights.

The Auburn Plainsman




Tigers’ Victoria Draper named Co-SEC Player of the Week By NATHAN KING Assistant Sports Editor

Auburn softball enters SEC play riding a conference-leading mark of 23 wins and a senior juggernaut atop the league in a plethora of categories. Outfielder Victoria Draper has been named Co-SEC Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday evening. Draper shares the award with Arkansas’ Hannah McEwen. “I think Victoria is very deserving,” Auburn head coach Mickey Dean said. “She has performed at a very high level since I have been here on campus. It’s nice to see her athleticism really come to the forefront.” With a nation-leading 29 bases stolen

this season, Draper has already surpassed the team’s 28 total stolen bases from last season. The Moulton, Alabama, product is robbing bases at a 93.5 percent rate (29-of31 attempts). Auburn as a team has succeeded 61 of its 79 stolen base attempts, good for first in the SEC. Offensively, Draper leads the SEC in batting average (.550), on-base percentage (.671) and walks (20). In Auburn’s undefeated weekend hosting the Wilson/DeMarini Classic, the senior turned in a .883 clip at the plate, scoring seven runs, two RBI and four walks behind 10-for-12 batting. The No. 12 Tigers travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this weekend for an SEC-opening series with LSU. Game one begins at 7:30 p.m. CST.


Victoria Draper throws the ball from the outfield during Auburn softball vs. UNCW on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.


“At the end of the day, I don’t think anyone’s opinion about us really matters,” Harper said. “It’s what we think in this locker room that’s most important. I know I’ll take all my teammates over anybody in this conference or anybody in the country. “It just gives us another reason to have a chip on our shoulder going into the SEC Tournament.” “They just added fuel to the fire for Mustapha, for me and for Jared, and all my other teammates that were left off,” Brown said. “They’re going to keep on doubting us. We are going to keep on going hard and keeping that chip on our shoulder.” After celebrating the third SEC championship in school history over the weekend, Pearl said he is ready to turn the page and focus on his team’s trip to St. Louis for the SEC Tournament. “One of the things I wanted to do yesterday by practicing, I still wanted them to celebrate yesterday,” Pearl said. “I wanted them to walk around proud. I wanted to relish the championship for another day. But I told them on Wednesday, that’s over. We are going to put that on the shelf. “Now we will get back to the fact that we were picked where we were picked. The only thing you can do is win and change the perception of your program. We will go back to still being doubted.” The Tigers will practice on Wednesday before taking to the air and traveling to St. Louis. The road to a tournament championship will be tough, Pearl said, but the Tigers are ready for the challenge. “I think our bracket is tough,” Pearl said. “But it doesn’t really matter because you got to beat them all if you want to win the championship.”


Auburn’s Daisa Alexander lays in a basket to tie Tennessee with 11 seconds left to play. Auburn vs. Tennessee SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament on Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.

Auburn women bounced from conference tournament after last-second loss to UT By ZACH TANTILLO Sports Writer


Head coach Bruce Pearl celebrates after Auburn’s win vs. Georgia.


Pearl said that South Carolina’s zone defense created challenges for Auburn. “I thought we rushed so much in the first half,” he said. “In the second half we were much calmer.” In contrast, South Carolina finished the half shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three. Both Frank Booker and Chris Silva led the Gamecocks in scoring with 15 and 12 points in the first half, respectively. Silva finished with a team-high 19 points and game-high 11 rebounds after fouling out with 3:38 remaining. Booker and Silva took advantage of size by giving South Carolina a lead via points in the paint with 24 total. Auburn forced 24 South Carolina turnovers. “Our inability to take care of the basketball hurt us,” South Carolina head coach Frank Martin said. “Every one of those when you play Auburn will be a basket.” Brown’s 15 first-half points brought Auburn back to within two at halftime after trailing by as much as 14. Booker’s 3-pointer before the buzzer gave the Gamecocks the lead

The Auburn Tigers fell to the 12thranked Tennessee Lady Volunteers for a second time this season after freshman Rennia Davis hit a bank-in three with 0.5 seconds to capture the win, 64-61. Auburn saw its regular season end in a game that was back and forth for the whole 40 minutes with 14 ties and 15 lead changes. “I thought our young ladies played extremely hard the whole game,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “We kept fighting, kept fighting. The game was right there for us, and our young ladies never gave up, just never gave up the whole game. We were relentless.” The Tigers’ signature pressure defense was on full display Thursday night, ex-

after Auburn took a one-point lead. “He is such an amazing competitor,” Pearl said. “We just gave him the confidence… and it worked out great.” Brown was Auburn’s lone double-digit scoring entering an under-eight timeout in the second half. Mustapha Heron eventually joined him, with 10 points coming from the free-throw line. “Bryce Brown got to doing what he does,” Pearl said. “And that’s seeing it and making it.” The junior guard said he knew that his scoring outburst was on its way despite a slow start. He praised Harper for being “the best point guard in the SEC.” Horace Spencer added on 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Harper added 18 points, five rebounds and a game-high eight assists. In addition, Pearl praised Chuma Okeke for his nine rebounds and three blocks with the absence of a turnover. Auburn finished shooting 38.6 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from three. In the second half, South Carolina shot 31.4 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from three. The Gamecocks finished shooting 37.7 percent on a 23-of-61 clip. Auburn finishes the season with a 25-6 record, its second-best record all-time, entering

ceeding their average of 23 turnovers a game and posting a plus-9 turnover margin. “We’re not going to take any moral victories,” Williams-Flournoy said. “I think we played well enough to win the basketball game, forced them into 24 turnovers, and we scored 23 points off those turnovers. That’s our pressure defense. There were a few times offensively that we weren’t on point, but our ladies kept playing hard, and they never even thought they didn’t have a chance to win this basketball game.” Janiah McKay led the way offensively for the Tigers scoring 24 points and shooting 50 percent from the field. Daisa Alexander contributed 16 points and six steals, including the steal and score to tie the game with 11 seconds left in the game. Auburn struggled in the paint against

the Lady Volunteers, getting out-rebounded 34-21. The Tigers also struggled to get to the free-throw line, their first free throw did not come until half way through the fourth quarter. Tennessee would convert 20-24 free throws compared to 4-5 from the Tigers. Tennessee had the lead up to six in the fourth quarter, but Auburn battled to take the lead with 2:25 left in the game. After the Lady Vols recaptured the lead, Daisa Alexander stole an inbound pass and hit a lay up to tie the game up. That’s when Davis hit the gameclinching three with less than a second to go. McKay led the Tigers this year with 480 points. Thompson finished with 227 rebounds on the season. Alexander’s six steals tonight gave her 80 for the season, which tied for sixth in Auburn history for a single-season.


Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl cuts down the net at Auburn men’s basketball vs. South Carolina on Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.

the SEC Tournament next week. Martin said he appreciated both the “incredible” Auburn crowd and atmosphere despite the loss. Auburn Arena took time to handle emotions when breaking an 18-year single-season championship drought.

The head coach said that there is no clear in-conference favorite. “Right now, you have high level basketball by every single team in this league,” he said. “That is going to make for a great conference tournament.”

lifestyle THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2018




Alabama dentist pursues acting after ‘Troll 2’ By ALEX HOSEY

The script was written by Fragasso’s wife, an Italian, and the majority of the crew as well as the director could only communicate with the English-speaking cast in broken English, which no doubt added to the poor quality of the film. Hardy moved back to his hometown in Alexander City, Alabama, after filming for “Troll 2” was completed in 1991. He opened up a dental practice in his great-grandmother’s house near downtown and tried his best to forget about his unfortunate first acting role. “I completely forgot about the film,” Hardy said. “I didn’t even watch it. I was too embarrassed to watch it.” Then, 17 years after the film’s release, he got a call from a journalist wanting to do a radio documentary on the making of the film. “I said, ‘Why are you doing that?’” Hardy said. “He said, ‘It’s a cult phenomenon.’ This was 2006. He said, ‘There are underground parties all over the world. If you don’t believe me, go to IMDB.’” So Hardy went to IMDB and went through all of the comments related to “Troll 2.” At the bottom of the page, he saw that there was a cast reunion and screening of the film in Utah coming up. “I said, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to go,’” Hardy said. “So, $700 later, my life changed that day. I hop on a plane, fly to Salt Lake. ... I end up going to the screening, walk in late and, lo and behold, I end up tackled at the end of the program by all these BYU students wanting to get my autograph plus seven or eight cast members that I hadn’t seen in 12 years.” From there, Hardy got reconnected with Michael Stephenson, who played Hardy’s son in “Troll 2” and wanted to make a film documentary about the making of the film and its evolution into an underground cult classic. Together, they toured around the United States and Canada, attending film screenings and meeting up with other actors who were just as ashamed of their work on the infamous B movie. The documentary, “Best Worst Movie,” was released in 2009 to critical acclaim and still

Lifestyle Editor

George Hardy didn’t know what he wanted to study when he was an undergrad at Auburn University in the ‘70s. He was a cheerleader, a member of Kappa Alpha Order and was interested in theater but didn’t get involved because he was afraid that acting wouldn’t be a practical career. Then, during his sophomore year, he was approached by a group of men in white coats while at a career fair in the Haley Center. One of them told Hardy he was meant to be a dentist, and after Hardy graduated from dentistry school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and completed a post-doctoral program in Salt Lake City, Utah, the white coat’s prophecy came true. What the dentist in Haley Center couldn’t have possibly foreseen was Hardy’s dream to become an actor — a dream that led him to be heavily involved in an award-winning documentary, a tour and speeches in front of thousands of adoring fans. But he would also be a key part in what many would call the worst movie ever made: “Troll 2.” Currently sitting at a six percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 2.8 out of 10 stars on IMDB, Italian director Claudio Fragasso’s “Troll 2” has been compared to Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” in terms of quality or, to put it more accurately, the lack of it. Hardy, who played the unwitting father in a family vacation gone wrong in the vegetariangoblin-infested town of “Nilbog,” got the role while he was living in Utah and taking acting classes on the side. “There was an agent in town, I didn’t really have agent, but she had heard about me, and she called me and asked me, ‘Would you like to go up to Park City and audition for this B-rated film?’” Hardy said. Hardy didn’t even know what a B movie was at the time but decided to audition anyway. After getting the part and receiving the script, Hardy said he didn’t understand it and that it was “so discombobulated.”


George Hardy, Alabama dentist, is pursuing a career in acting and has taken great strides in the field.

holds a 96 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It won the category for “Best Documentary Feature Film” at the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, Alabama. Today, Hardy still operates his dentistry practice in Alexander City and acts in films. His most recent acting role came about when Tyler Russell, a longtime fan of “Troll 2,” contacted Hardy and wanted him to be a part of his short film, “Here Comes Rusty.” After a successful collaboration, Russell asked Hardy to star in a feature-length film titled “Texas Cotton,” a modern-day Western/mystery.

Despite moving on to more serious acting roles, Hardy still hasn’t forgotten his “Troll 2” roots. Instead of being ashamed to have been in one of the worst movies ever made, Hardy seems to embrace it and attends screenings of the film whenever he can, including an upcoming collaboration with the Donald E. Davis Arboretum at Auburn University. Hardy will present a screening of “Troll 2” and “Best Worst Movie” on April 13, and he even has an oversized poster of “Best Worst Movie” prominently displayed in the waiting room of his dentistry practice to this day.




Last minute spring break ideas By BAILEY MURPHY

Auburn Student Media Group Auburn’s five Student Media Group contains student-run media contains five student-run media organizations that give students organizations to opportunities to give gain students first-hand opportunities to gain first-hand experience: experience: The Auburn Plainsman newspaper ( The Auburn Plainsman (

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The Auburn Circle literary magazine ( The Auburn Circle literary magazine

The Glomerata yearbook ( The Glomerata (

Eagle Eye News TV station Eagle Eye News (

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( @AuburnStudents auburnstudents

Campus Writer

Spring break is quickly approaching, and many of us need to keep a destination on our minds to see the light at the end of the midterm tunnel. Maybe you’ve already planned an epic getaway, but if you are still scrambling to make some plans, here are some ideas that you can make happen last minute. BEACH-SIDE HOTELS IN PANAMA CITY Most of the crowd-favorite 30A beaches in Florida have ordinances that prevent people under 25 from renting property. That means unless you have a friend with a beach house, you most likely won’t be staying in Seaside, Rosemary or Greyton. That’s when the spring break mecca that is PCB comes into play. You can find a room with a view at a beachside hotel in Panama City for under $130 a night. The beach will be crawling with other spring breakers so maybe you will even meet some new friends. ROAD TRIP TO CHICAGO If you like long car rides and great pizza, then you should grab some pals and take a road trip to Chicago. It is a long drive, but it’s a straight one. You take Interstate 65 the whole way to the Windy City where you can enjoy the sights, the art and, of course, the pizza. Often referred to as ground zero for comedy, you can enjoy a different improv show or stand-up act every night. The two best are IO! and SecondCity. The troops of improvisers and sketch comedians at these two theaters are the recruiting pools for SNL and beyond. While you are there, enjoy seeing iconic paintings like American Gothic, Moulin

Rouge and more at the Art Institute of Chicago. Grab a Chicago dog and cheese fries from Portillos on your way back to your hotel. Chicago is a cool city with all the hustle and bustle of New York, but it is filled with kind Midwestern attitudes. They have good public transportation and plenty of reasonable hotels making it for a great cost-effective vacation spot. CAMPING If you are the outdoorsy type, camping is a great option. Places like Chattanooga provide a great atmosphere for people who enjoy hiking and rock climbing and other traditional camping activities. However, if you were hoping for a little more quintessential spring break experience without breaking the bank, consider beach camping. Florida is home to several national parks that allow camping for a small fee. There are even two parks that have their own public beach accesses. COMMUNITY SERVICE There are a lot of great ways you can take a much-needed break from classes and still be doing something very productive. Auburn offers Alternative Student Breaks, which take students on a variety of different service projects across the country during spring break. Habitat for Humanity schedules builds during the spring break season for students who want an alternative break. You could find one happening in your own community or look online for ones in places where habitat has volunteer housing. If a service break sounds right for you, go volunteer at your local food bank or afterschool programs or use a resource like VolunteerMatch to help you find service projects in a certain area.

The Auburn Plainsman





Tips to not break the bank over the break By ANNE DAWSON Social Media Editor


Fortnite Battle Royale was recently released.

The Fortnite phenomenon By CHRIS HEANEY

game for inspiration. Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG, was a juggernaut hit in 2017. Although it didn’t get a full release, including an Xbox One port, until December, the “early access” game topped Twitch streaming charts and was constantly in headlines around the gaming world. PUBG was not the first game in the battle royale genre but it was the one that, for lack of a better word, perfected the formula. One hundred players drop onto a massive map, scavenge for weapons and gear, and try to survive until they are the last man standing. Other games had been attempting to win over the genre for the last couple of years, but none got it as right as PUBG. Following that gravy train, Epic Games took that formula and injected it into their existing game, creating Fortnite: Battle Royale. Fortnite’s take still had one hundred players but the map was smaller, there were fewer weapons to choose from, shooting required less accuracy and, most importantly, the simple-yet-hard-to-master building mechanic from the main game was included. streamers were the first to popularize it, the website even seeing some of the biggest PUBG streamers move over to the new game in favor of its quicker gameplay and shorter matches.The new surge in popularity brought new players in droves, expedited by the fact that “Fortnite: Battle Royale” is a free-to-play

Lifestyle Writer

You’ve probably heard of this game, Fortnite. Your roommate plays it, you hear your boyfriend talk about it with his buddies or maybe you played it once at a friends’ house. You’ve seen it on Twitter or in your suggested videos on YouTube. You have seen the memes. The many, many memes. The 5-month-old battle royale mode has taken the internet by storm, bridging the gap between hardcore gamers and those who might just pick up one or two games a year. The game has blown up since its release late last year, but where did it come from and why is it such a big deal? At first glance it resembles a cartoon a younger sibling might watch — ignoring the assault rifles and rocket launchers — because of its bright pallet, “rounded-out” look and models that look straight out of a budget Pixar film. Delving deeper into the mechanics and objectives of the game, however, reveal why it has become so popular. It all started when “Save the World” came out in July of last year as an entirely different game. While it was met with fairly positive critical reception (and was actually quite fun), it failed to gain a solid player base and, besides a niche audience, was generally forgotten in a year of so many fantastic games. Developer Epic Games took note of its waning player base and looked to another

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game. Since the barrier to enter was simply a small game download, players would download it, if only to try it out, and would get hooked by the fact that they could easily partner up with friends along with the curiosity of the building/destruction mechanic and the allure of the sweet, sweet “Victory Royale.”The game is such a hit because of its simpler take on the battle royale genre. It takes the best of PUBG and refines it into a more accessible package. The map is smaller, making for several encounters a match as opposed to the one or two players might see in PUBG, and the building mechanics paired with the bizarre weapons allow for experimentation not found in the more serious counterpart. Also, Fortnite runs perfectly on console, allowing access to a much wider audience than PUBG. Now, five months after the mode’s release, the game has passed 3.4 million concurrent players and doubled PUBG’s viewer count on Twitch, some days even passing League of Legends. It is mentioned on social media by celebrities, referenced on professional sports fields and joked about by group chats around the world. It is capturing the attention of players like no game has since the days of “Modern Warfare 2” or “Halo 3” because of its simple gameplay and not-sosimple endgame. Fortnite is making such a splash because it’s plain fun, and with its almost weekly updates, appears to be staying that way for a long time.

You don’t have to be told twice — spring break can be pricey. Between the housing, food, drinks, activities and, for some of us, the shopping, spring break trips can add up real fast. While these trips can be so much fun, you don’t want to end up spending the second half of the semester staying home because you’re straight up out of money. To prevent this from happening, there are a few things you can do to make certain you end up with some money to spare after your fun week of no classes and no responsibilities. DON’T GET DRINKS AT DINNER Believe me, it’s not worth it. Whether you’re a soda kind of person or an avid beer drinker, just get a water. Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can tack on anywhere from $5 – 15 in extras that you don’t need. Don’t get me wrong, you can still drink your soda and your mixed drink, it’s just in your best interest to buy a whole bag of margarita mix or a six pack for $4 to last you the week as opposed to spending $8 on one drink with dinner. PICK ONE MEAL TO EAT OUT PER DAY Let’s think about this — a pack of six bagels is $3, bread is $2 and turkey is $5. That right there is $10 total, and you’ve got breakfast and lunch for the week. Be smart when going out to eat. Don’t eat all three of your meals out because you’ll end up spending close to $30 per day when you could just spend $10. Going out to eat with friends is more about the food for sure, but you can limit how much you spend by packing a sandwich to-go and eat on the beach with your friends instead of piling more onto your bill. CARPOOL This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many friends of mine have taken seperate cars on the same spring break trip. Don’t waste your spring break cash on gas. Instead, split that gas money with your buddies, and use the rest to get some sunscreen or those bagels and sandwich fixings I mentioned earlier. You can have a great time on spring break without blowing through all of your money. It does require a little planning, so just keep focused, and try not to make any impulsive buying decisions.


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RELEASE DATE– Thursday, March 8, 2018

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ACROSS 1 Vaccine pioneer Salk 6 Biblical verb 10 Sever, with “off” 13 “The Good Wife” wife 15 Irrawaddy River locale 16 Hubbub 17 Grilled sandwich 18 *Hobbyist’s broadcasting equipment 20 Checked out 21 Gather 23 Domestic sock eater? 24 Storied climber 26 Little limb 27 *Drama in the Nielsen top 10 four times during the ’70s 32 Special __ 35 Mets modifier of 1969 36 Noggin 37 Case in Lat. grammar 38 Twit 39 Cuts and pastes, say 41 Trellis climber 42 Corner PC key 43 Expert 44 Mysterious girl on “Stranger Things” 46 “Zip it!” 47 *Ball of fire 49 “No __!”: “Sure!” 51 Lose one’s coat 52 Moves to the melody 54 “__ Encounter”: SeaWorld show 56 Shakespearean “You as well?” 60 *“Oh boy, it’s starting!” 62 First words 64 Muffin grain 65 Believe 66 Wind farm blades 67 Like some grins 68 People 69 Liquid whose chemical formula is a homophonic hint to the answers to starred clues

DOWN 1 Zinger 2 Body wash brand 3 Largest singledigit square 4 Genre incorporating elements of funk and hip-hop 5 Transgression 6 “LOL” 7 “Right away!” 8 Dickens boy 9 Taxing and successful 10 Coventry rider 11 Dog that licks Garfield 12 Low-quality 14 Where many missed connections occur 19 MLB’s D-backs 22 2003 holiday film 25 IV lead? 26 Bouffant feature 27 Flame-haired villain in Disney’s “Hercules” 28 Mennonite sect 29 Super Bowl gathering, e.g.

30 Mediterranean vacation island 31 Zoo doc 33 “The Hunger Games” land 34 __ pad 40 Barely lit 41 Blood feud 43 List of notables 45 Soap chemical 48 Defense advisory gp.

50 __ whiskey 52 Thing to put on 53 Put on 54 Look bad? 55 Slender cylinders 57 Budweiser Clydesdales’ pace 58 Shredded 59 TASS country 61 Many years 63 “Spring the trap!”


By Brian Thomas ©2018 Tribune Content Agency, LLC



The Auburn Plainsman 03.08.2018  

The Auburn Plainsman 03.08.2018

The Auburn Plainsman 03.08.2018  

The Auburn Plainsman 03.08.2018