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Auburn A-Day See special section inside

The Auburn Plainsman A Spirit That Is Not Afraid Thursday, April 17, 2014 Vol. 120, Issue 41, 12 Pages

Truth, justice and the Auburn way

Photo Illustration by kris simms / multimedia editor

At Auburn University, and at other universities across the country, it has become common practice to hold student conduct hearings for felony-level charges without allowing students legal representation Kelsey Davis Editor-in-chief

Joshua Strange was a junior studying political science at Auburn University when he was expelled for sexual assault charges in November 2011. At the time of his expulsion, Strange had two criminal charges pending against him: a misdemeanor for a thirddegree assault and a felony for first-degree sodomy, according to his court-obtained defendant history. After his expulsion, both of the charges were dropped. Strange’s case thrust the University into public light after The Wall Street Journal published an investigative opinion piece Dec. 6, 2013 about his situation. Titled “An Education in College Justice,” by James Taranto, it accuses the University of wrongly convicting Strange. Taranto attributes the expulsion to University administrators giving into pressures from Congress, which he reports threatened to revoke funding from public universities if they did not take a strict enough stance with Title IX infractions. Title IX is a part of the 1972 education amendments and is most known for enforcing sexual equality within collegiate athletics. Its reach stretches beyond that, however, and addresses 10 major areas within a federally funded educational program that could be vulnerable to sexual discrimination. One of these key areas is sexual harassment. Of all the areas Title IX covers, the issue of sexual harassment has recently received the most attention from the media. On Friday, April 11, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the University of Missouri failed to act on information about the sexual assault of Sasha Menu Courey, who was a swimmer at Missouri. Courey committed suicide 15 months after she was allegedly raped by two football players during her freshman year. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri lacked a policy for reporting sexual assault allegations, which is a requirement under federal guidelines. On Friday, April 4, USA TODAY reported the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation of Florida State University. USA

I think the difficult part is that if you’re not aware of the legal system and how all that works. It can be very frustrating because you can be put in a position to make impactful decisions. I didn’t feel like I should be in a place where I should be able to make lifechanging decisions for someone.” —A Student Member of the Student Discipline Committee

TODAY reported an FSU student said she was raped by Winston on Dec. 7, 2013, but the university allowed a lengthy delay to occur before conducting an investigation. OCR will investigate whether FSU’s handling of the Jameis Winston rape allegations violated Title IX laws. Winston was a favorite for Heisman trophy winner, which he ultimately won. The New York Times also published an article on Wednesday, April 16, detailing discrepancies with FSU and the legal system that occurred during the Winston case. While other universities are being investigated for not complying with Title IX regulations, the attention has turned to Auburn for possibly expelling a student without just cause.

Student Discipline Committee Hearings Before he could be expelled, Strange had to be tried in a Student Discipline Hearing, which is a private trial overseen by the Student Discipline Committee. While the committee consists of 13 faculty members

and 12 student members, a five-member panel (two students, two faculty members and a committee chair) rotates hearing cases based on who is available and has no prior knowledge of the defendant or plaintiff. According to Haven Hart, who was not director of student conduct at the time of Strange’s trial, but now serves in that capacity, members of the committee are selected through their various representative groups. For example, faculty members are selected and appointed by the faculty senate, and undergraduate student representatives are selected and appointed by the SGA. Typically, the president of the University selects committee chairs, according to Hart. During each hearing, the plaintiff and the defendant are allowed to have legal counsel present who can advise them outside the hearing. However, the Auburn University Code of Discipline does not allow legal counsels to speak or participate in any way. “Because it’s a student conduct process and not a court of law, attorneys are not allowed to speak,” Hart said. This leaves the defendant and the plaintiff to present their own evidence, call their own witnesses, crossexamine them and give their own opening and closing statements.

Strange’s Hearing before the SDC Two students, a faculty member from the College of Liberal Arts and a faculty member from the department of fisheries heard Strange’s case. A University librarian served as the chair. Strange was brought to trial before the Student Discipline Committee by an ex-girlfriend, who accused him of sexual battery. She declined to be interviewed for this story. While the Student Discipline Committee received training through the University, some members of the committee who heard Strange’s case Nov. on 7, 2011,

» See conduct A2

Campus A2

The Auburn Plainsman

DUI ARRESTS For april 10–14, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Police reports for April 10–14, 2014 4/10, 5:03 a.m., 100 block of Lee Road 953 Criminal mischief: damage to private property

4/11, 10:59 a.m., 400 block of Webster Road Harassing communications

4/12, 9:32 p.m., 2000 block of Sandhill Road Third-degree assault

4/13, 4:55 p.m., 300 block of East Glenn Avenue Theft of bicycle

4/10, 10:30 a.m., 700 block of South Yarbrough Farms Boulevard Criminal mischief: damage to private property

4/11, 2:25 p.m., 4000 block of South College Street Simple assault: family

4/12, 10:40 p.m., 600 block of Spencer Avenue First-degree assault, accidental damage

4/13, 6:32 p.m., 2000 block of Sandhill Road Third-degree theft of property

Jonathan Lee Hanson, 29 4/12, 100 block of North Gay Street

4/10, 10:39 a.m., 100 block of East Magnolia Avenue Criminal mischief: damage to business property

4/11, 3:10 p.m., 700 block of Aspen Heights Lane Third-degree criminal mischief

4/12, 11:30 p.m., 600 block of Howard Street Second-degree assault, disorderly conduct/disturbing the peace

4/13, 7:30 p.m., 800 block of MLK Drive Third-degree theft of property, third-degree criminal mischief

Jose Octavio Mendez-Negrete, 33 4/12, 500 block of Village Circle

4/10, 11 a.m., 600 block of Dekalb Street Third-degree criminal mischief

4/11, 4:50 p.m., 1000 block of McKinley Avenue City ordinance violation

4/13, 1 a.m., 500 block of Shelton Mill Road Duty upon striking an unoccupied vehicle

Daniel Morgan Laborde, 19 4/12, South College Street at West Veterans Boulevard

4/10, 11:10 a.m., 300 block of Mell Street Second-degree theft of property

4/11, 5:40 p.m., 1400 block of North Donahue Drive Duty upon striking an unoccupied vehicle

4/13, 2:10 a.m., 100 block of North College Street Indecent exposure

4/14, 9:02 a.m., 100 block of Hemlock Drive Criminal mischief: damage to private property, second-degree theft of lost property

4/10, 12:05 p.m., 1700 block of Shug Jordan Parkway Third-degree theft of property

4/11, 5:40 p.m., 200 block of Beard Eaves Court Third-degree theft of property

4/13, 3 a.m., 1200 block of Lee Road 83 Unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle, second-degree theft of property

Gilberto Eucebio Maldonado 4/10, East Magnolia at Debardeleben Street Cody Tanner McGhee 4/10, South College at East University Drive

Kenneth Lynch, 62 4/12, South College Street at Sandhill Road

4/10, 2:30 p.m., 800 block of Lem Morrison Drive Third-degree theft of property

Michelle Elizabeth Borrello, 24 4/13, Opelika Road at Old Stage Road Jonthan Blain Giles, 25 4/13, South College Street William Austin Lang, 30 4/13, 719 Opelika Road Tremale Armaad Morgan, 27 4/14, 300 block of North Dean Road

4/12, 1:15 a.m., 100 block of Magnolia Avenue Fraudulent use of credit/debit card, lost property

4/10, 4 p.m., 400 block of Wrights Mill Road Second-degree theft of property

4/12, 2 a.m., 400 block of Webster Road Criminal mischief: damage to private property, harassing communications

4/13, 9:46 a.m., East Magnolia at North Debardelaben Street Third-degree criminal mischief

4/12, 6:45 a.m., 2300 block of South College Street First-degree theft of property

4/13 10:55 a.m., 700 block of Sherwood Drive Unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle

4/10, 8 p.m., 100 block of Padgett Court Third-degree theft of property 4/10, 9:23, 300 block of North Dean Road Third-degree theft of property, third-degree criminal trespass 4/11, 1:25 a.m., 1000 block of North Donahue Drive Indecent exposure 4/11, 2 a.m., 2300 block of Moores Mill Road Third-degree criminal trespass

Conduct » From A1

said they felt they lacked proper understanding for how to evaluate a case of this caliber. “It is a very difficult situation to be in as a student on a student discipline committee because it ends up that you’re kind of volunteered [to overhear a trial],” said a student who served on the committee that heard Strange’s case. The student agreed to speak with The Plainsman on the condition of anonymity, “I think the difficult part is that if you’re not aware of the legal system and how all that works, it can be very frustrating because you can be put in a position to make impactful decisions. I didn’t feel like I should be in a place where I should be able to make life-changing decisions for someone. It can be difficult because it’s a lot of pressure, and I didn’t feel like I had the right to be making those decisions. It’s not my place to call that.” A recording of Strange’s hearing enforces the claim by the student committee member that the hearing was confusing to those involved. Throughout the recording, an unidentified person can be heard whispering instructions to the chair on how to proceed. Also, panelists repeatedly ask questions that had to be corrected and were then instructed to rephrase the question to be pertinent to the evidence presented. “It was full of stress, and people’s interests were at stake on both sides,” said Tim Dodge, the committee chair for Strange’s case. “It was an ex-

4/13, 3 a.m., 1200 block of Lee Road 83 Auto breaking and entering, theft of article from auto

4/10, 3:46 p.m., 1900 block of Lee Road 137 Second-degree theft of property

4/10, 6:18 p.m., 700 block of Bedell Avenue Discharge firearm in the city limits

–Reports provided by Auburn Department of Public Safety

4/11, 7:50 p.m., 1600 block of Opelika Road Third-degree theft of property, manufacture/ sale/transfer of precursor chemicals

4/11, 9:58 a.m., 300 block of South Donahue Drive Third-degree criminal mischief

4/12, 9:06 a.m., 1000 block of Post Oak Court Identity theft

4/12, 8:50 p.m., 1600 block of South College Street Duty upon striking an unoccupied vehicle 4/12, 9:30 p.m., 100 block of Hemlock Drive First-degree criminal trespass, criminal mischief: damage to private property

University’s stance Although a grand jury ruled they did not have enough evidence to convict Strange of a felony level charge, and the third-degree assault charge brought against him was dropped when the accuser failed to show in court, the University was not under obligation to reconsider its decision to expel him. As per Title IX regulations, the Student Discipline Committee used a lower burden of proof to convict Strange than what is required in a criminal court. By this standard, the evidence only needs to prove the defendant is more than likely guilty or not guilty. Provisions in the Student Code of Discipline excuse the University from making decisions based on the outcome of a court hearing. The code states, “Proceedings of the University Discipline Committee may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both the criminal law and this Discipline Code without regard to the pendency of civil or

4/13, 11:25 a.m., 700 block of Sherwood Drive Unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle 4/13, 11:49 a.m., 2000 block of Sandhill Road Second-degree theft of property

4/12, 1:30 p.m., 100 block of Spirit Drive Third-degree theft of property

tremely stressful experience because of the nature of the accusation and the potential nature of the sanctions that may be implied. That’s all I can say. I can’t say anymore.” The hearing concluded with a ruling from the committee that Strange should be expelled from the University for violating the code of student discipline, which prohibits students from threatening and/or committing physical violence against another person.

4/13, 8:48 a.m., 500 block of Heard Avenue Unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle

4/13, 2:10 p.m., 300 block of East Thach Avenue Criminal littering 4/13, 2:44 p.m., 300 block of Roosevelt Concourse Third-degree theft of property 4/13, 3:31 p.m., 1300 block of Gatewood Drive Third-degree theft of property

criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. “Determinations made or sanctions imposed under this discipline code shall not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts giving rise to violation of University rules were dismissed, reduced or resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant.” While the University can make the decision to expel someone who is under investigation for a crime without waiting to hear the court’s ruling, the University is under no obligation to reconsider its ruling once the legal outcome has been released. Similar language can be found in the Code of Student Discipline for the University of Alabama, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Texas A&M University. However, at Alabama a member of the press is allowed to be present during student disciplinary hearings per request of the defendant or plaintiff. At UNC, students are not allowed to hear sexual assault cases, and a member of the media is allowed at all student disciplinary hearings.

“Dear Colleague” Letter The language indicating the University can act independently of court outcomes was enforced April 4, 2011, eight months before Strange’s hearing, by Congress when the Office Civil Rights within the Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter to all educational institutions receiving federal funding.

4/14, 9:32 a.m., 600 block of Elizabeth Drive Fraudulent use of credit/debit card 4/14, 10:45 a.m., 100 block of North Gay Street Third-degree criminal mischief 4/14, 11:37 a.m., 300 block of West Thach Avenue Third-degree theft of property 4/14, 11:48 a.m., 400 block of Webster Road Identity theft 4/14, 1:40 p.m., 600 block of Spencer Avenue Third-degree theft of property 4/14, 3:15 p.m., 500 block of Perry Street Harassing communications 4/14, 4:45 p.m., 1000 block of Stonegate Drive Harassment 4/14, 5:29 p.m., 600 block of Spencer Avenue Harassment 4/14, 6:10 p.m., 1700 block of Trail Ridge Road Auto breaking and entering 4/14, 7:06 p.m., 500 block of Sherwood Drive Auto breaking and entering 4/14, 7:35 p.m., 400 block of Dean Road Second-degree theft of property 4/14, 10:30 p.m., 1100 block of Overwood Court Harassing communications

A Dear Colleague Letter is a way for Congress to officially correspond with other offices about a bill or resolution. The purpose of this Dear Colleague Letter was to reinforce Title IX regulations. The 20-page letter reminds all entities receiving state funding they must take a firm stance against any sort of sexual discrimination - especially sexual harassment. It reminds recipients to judge all sexual assault cases brought before it using a low burden of proof. It also reminds them they should not wait for the conclusion of a criminal trial to begin its own disciplinary proceedings. The OCR states in the letter if it finds a school has not taken necessary steps to respond to sexual harassment or violence, it may “initiate proceedings to withdraw Federal funding by the Department or refer the case to the U.S. Department of Justice for litigation,” as is happening in the Winston case at FSU. Haven Hart, who was not the director of student conduct during the time of Strange’s case but has served in student discipline for more than a decade, stated that she could not speak to whether this Dear Colleague Letter added a certain level of pressure to student discipline. As investigations for Title IX infractions continue to arise across the country, student disciplinary hearings continue to occur and students continue to put in positions to judge these cases. “You do what you feel like has to be done, whether you agree with it or not,” said the student who sat on the discipline committee for Strange’s case.

SGA grants funds to student organizations and programs Ben Ruffin

Campus Writer

The Student Government Association had a minimal agenda for their Monday, April 14, senate meeting. The first new order of business on the agenda was an expansion fund request for $10,000 for the Center for Student Organization and Welcome Week Program. The Center for Student Organization provides opportunities for students to get plugged in with more than 400 registered student organizations in order to enhance the Auburn experience. The Center for Student Organization is responsible for putting on Welcome Week, which is the designated period to welcome Auburn University’s new and returning students to campus dur-

ing the fall semester. Welcome Week is packed with more than 50 events on campus, ranging from the Block Party, pep rally and free movie, to outdoor activities, community service events and class tours. According to Dillon Nettles, a senator for the College of Liberal Arts, the organizational board, or O-board, is lacking sufficient funds to get OBoard through October, which is a problem for many on-campus organizations. “This is really important for all of the organizations that are not student activity portfolio because they have to come to the O-board to request funding for travel vouchers or events for the organizations or things like that,” Nettles said. “They have $5,000 to get them from August to October, and, currently, they spend about $3,000 to $5,000

a hearing, and they have four hearings left.” The motion carried. The second request was a $35,000 reserve fund request for the Student Media WEGL Radio Tower transmitter. The station’s programming is broadcast at 3,000 watts from the Auburn’s tallest building, the Haley Center. There are a number of reasons for the relocation of WEGL 91.1 radio tower. However, President Jay Gouge’s 10-year plan for the Haley Center to come down plays a large part in the decision to move the tower. Another reason for a new transmitter came in the form of a report by an engineer nearly a year ago. The report stated that the transmitter only had

The Auburn Plainsman

Auburn celebrates Shakespeare Kane Grimster

Contributing Writer

The Department of English will celebrate William Shakespeare turning 450 years old on April 23 by hosting a range of on campus events throughout April. The celebration, entitled Shakespeare Fest, aims to commemorate Shakespeare’s impact on language, literature and the understanding of life. Anna Riehl Bertolet, organizer of Shakespeare Fest and an English professor at Auburn University, said she got the idea for the festival in May of 2013 and was planning it by June. “Now that he’s 450, I thought it’s now time we have a celebration for the entire campus,” Riehl Bertolet said. The majority of the festival takes place the week of Shakespeare’s birthday, from April 21-26. Each day throughout

this week there will be activities, including plays, poetry and gardening, that anyone is welcome to attend. Riehl Bertolet said she believed Shakespeare’s work resonates with so many people because it is interdisciplinary and covers a wide vary of topics. Activities have already begun for Shakespeare Fest, with the library showcasing a range of Shakespeare’s work in front of Caribou Coffee, as well as works that were produced during Shakespeare’s era. One of the most creative activities of Shakespeare Fest is Flashspeare. Flashspeare is a 24-hour theater festival starting at 6 p.m. at St. Dunstan’s church on April 25, and finishing at the Auburn University Amphitheater. Lindsay Doukopoulos, organizer of Flashspeare and an English professor at Auburn University, said something like

Flashspeare has never been attempted on Auburn’s campus but has had success overseas. “Involved in Flashspeare are three groups: playwrights, directors and actors,” Doukopoulos said. “The idea is that they’ll meet together on Friday night, the writer will get paired with their director and actors, and then they’ll take that information and use it to write an original play based on some aspect of Shakespeare.” Doukopoulos said the playwrights’ script is due at 8 a.m. on April 26, when it is then handed over to the director who transform the script into a performance that will occur later that day at 6 p.m. “We really want the students to get involved in the festival and come join in the events because they are fun in nature,” Riehl Bertolet said. “It will be a great way to celebrate the Bard’s birthday.”

a few months to a year left prior to failing, which could cost WEGL fines implemented by the Federal Communication Commission. After many senators questioned whether or not to pass the bill to grant WEGL the $35,000 for a new transmitter, Justin Matthews, a senator for the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction, managed to persuade his fellow senators to pass the bill. “This is $35,000 that is going to last us 25 years,” Matthews said. “Just from the Internet alone, there’s an average of about 3,500 people listening a month. We give UPC over a $500,000 budget for one concert that only has 4,600 tickets reserved for students. So, it’s not like something we haven’t done before. This compared to that is just tiny.”

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Auburn Plainsman

Campus A3

‘Rampage of biblical proportions’ Threat written in bathroom forces cancellation of class Wednesday, April 26 Becky Hardy Campus Editor

On Tuesday, April 15, students, faculty and staff at the University became aware of a suspicious threat written on a 2300 Haley Center bathroom wall. The threat, however, has already been scraped off the wall. The threat states, “To whom it may concern, April 16, 2014, I will unleash a rampage of biblical proportion across this tiny campus. You have been warned.” Classes were canceled Wednesday, April 16, because of a continuation of student and parent anxiety that started the night before. The University has released a statement about the class cancellation on Wednesday, April 16. “The Auburn University Department of Public Safety & Security and the Auburn Police learned of a threatening message posted in a campus restroom. While we have substantiated no immediate threat, we have canceled classes and suspended normal university operations today because the safety of our students, faculty and employees is our primary concern. Law enforcement officials are actively investigating and increasing security in and around campus. As more information becomes available, we will keep the Auburn family and community informed.” Police still do not think the threat is credible. “Based on what we’ve done in the past few weeks, there was nothing that ever came to light that indicated that there was something more than someone leaving a note on a bathroom wall,” said Auburn Police Chief Paul Register. “We have intended the entire time that today we would have extra officers on campus, and we will continue to do that until we can determine who left this message.” The police were notified of the threat on Wednesday, March 26. “We’ve interviewed numerous people,” Register said. “We’ve done investigations of any suspicious persons that we’ve been concerned, about, and thus far, nothing has risen to the level of giving any credibility to this at all. We’ve had no additional threats, no additional information, no additional intelligence.” Register said the investigation did not go public because the police did not find anything that indicated that the threat was more than just something written on a bathroom wall. Although Caleb Mason, senior in pre-med,

Based on what we’ve done in the past few weeks, there was nothing that ever came to light that indicated that there was something more than someone leaving a note on a bathroom wall.” —Paul Register Auburn police chief

said he took the photo of the threat Monday, March 24, 2014 and promptly reported the note to campus security, word of the threat did not get out until yesterday. “I think the picture going around shows that I posted it a day ago, but that was taken three weeks ago,” Mason said. The photo went viral on Instagram and Twitter. “(Camps security) called me and asked me to send in the picture,” Mason said. “So, I sent them the picture, and they told me to call the police. So I called the police, and they said they would look into it.” Authorities called Mason Tuesday, April 15, asking for information regarding the situation. “They said that they were going to be sending police to campus and taking care of it,” Mason said. According to Mason, these frightening words are located in Haley Center on the second floor in the third quadrant. “It’s that boys’ bathroom right outside the big auditorium,” Mason said. “It’s just written on the wall in there. I was kind of freaked out.” Over the past couple days, Register said the police station has received several hundreds of phone calls from students and parents about the threat. “I feel like because there was such an influx of concern by students and parents, I felt like the University decided it was best to give everybody peace of mind and that we are certainly taking this information seriously,” Register said. “There is no harm in any precaution. With this information, the University made a decision at whatever cost to make sure the students were safe.”

contributed by caleb mason

Orginial photo taken Monday, March 24, in the 2300 men’s bathroom of the Haley Center.

justin ferguson / sports editor

Photo taken Tuesday,April 15, after the threat was scraped off the 2300 Haley Center bathroom wall.

Police said anyone with information on the threat should contact the Auburn Police at 911 (emergency) or 334-501-3100 (non-emergency). “The biggest thing is that we would ask anybody with any information that would be of a suspicious nature, whether that would be regarding this situation or if they in general see suspicious activity, and call us at the police station and let us

make the determination of whether something is suspicious or not,” Register said. Register said he would have been comfortable with having classes on Wednesday, April 16. “I also think that tomorrow is another day, and people can go about it their business and know that we will be out there in numbers, and they will be safe,” Register said.

healthy eating. “We offered two separate classes over the summer of 2013, and then held a reunion event this March,” Kavookjian said. “That gave us a chance to measure the outcomes. We looked at their basic knowledge of diabetes, where they were in terms of behaviors like healthy eating and being active. We also collected some clinical data.” Kavookjian said after the course, participants’ knowledge of diabetes management increased by 15 percent, the average participant weight decreased by 2.5 pounds, the average participant body mass index decreased by .4, and the average participant Hemoglobin AIC decreased by .2. At the start of the program, participants reported being active four days a week. At the program’s end, they were up to 4.4 days of the week. Alveta Reese, assistant professor of nursing at Tuskegee University, said she is proud to have been a part of the project. “It was an awesome project, and I was honored to be able to assist the community,” Reese said. “I am most proud that it was a sustainable project. There is still a great support group happening at Greenville Baptist Church, so it is still ongoing and sustainable.”

Lynne Hudson, EAMC DANC diabetes coordinators, helps a student.

Auburn partners with Tuskeegee for better health Corey Williams Campus Reporter

Approximately 1.9 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. For the past three years, Alabama has ranked among the top three states for diabetes. Amie Hardin, manager of the East Alabama Medical Clinic Diabetes and Nutrition Center, and Jan Kavookjian, associate professor in the department of health outcomes research and policy in Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy, said they hope to change that. “We wanted to provide education to an underserved community with a high prevalence of diabetes,” Hardin said. Auburn University recently teamed up with Tuskegee University to make that happen. “Reaching Out For Better Health is a collaboration between myself, the faculty in the school of pharmacy here, faculty from Tuskegee University and the Diabetes and Nutrition Center of East Alabama Medical Center,” Kavookjian said. “We pooled our collective expertise and we took this accredited diabetes education program that is offered at EAMC down into Tuskegee.” According to Kavookjian, holding the program in Tuskegee was an obvious choice. “Tuskegee is not as rural as you might think,

We wanted to provide education to an underserved community with a high prevalence of diabetes.” —Amie Hardin

manager of the east alabama medical clinic diabetes and nutrition center

but it is a draw area for people who live in very rural areas,” Kavookjian said. “Our objective was accessibility. For them to get this accredited education, they would have to drive to Montgomery or Opelika. A lot of people don’t drive. Even if they do, a lot of people don’t have access to transportation. This was a 10-week class, and that’s a lot to ask a rural person who may or may not be impoverished. It’s a lot to ask them to come all that way for an education.” The goal of “Reaching Out For Better Health” is to educate people about how to prevent diabetes and how to manage its symptoms. “Reaching Out For Better Health” offered two 10-week classes that covered everything from monitoring blood sugar and blood pressure to

contribtued by reaching out staff

100-seat Starbucks to replace Lowder Lounge in July Juan Price

Campus Writer

A state-of-the-art Starbucks is under construction at Lowder Hall, set to replace the existing Lowder Lounge in July. Glenn Loughridge, director of dining services, said dining services used student feedback to give input on the space where the Starbucks will be built. “We looked at how many dollars are used at the end of the year [by students],” Loughridge said. “Business and engineering students had the greatest percentage of dining dollars left last year than any other students on campus.” Jeff Long, chief operations officer for the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, said he hopes the Starbucks will be

Business and engineering students had the greatest percentage of dining dollars left last year than any other students on campus.”

a place to go for more than just getting coffee during the day. ““There is going to be a lot of group meeting space,” Long said.“There is going to be a room for about 80 people to sit in Starbucks, with another 20 seats outside, for about 100 seats. What we think will happen is there will be small group meetings for students to work through projects and it’s going to be a good meeting place for people.”

—Glenn Loughridge

director of dining services

Long said having a Starbucks in Lowder allows students from the College of Business, as well as the Samuel J. Ginn College of Engineering and Harrison School of Pharmacy to have a coffee shop closer to them. Dorothy Dickmann, sophomore in business, said she thinks having a Starbucks for the College of Business and Engineering will be a money maker for dining services.

“It will increase their revenue because not only will students that are up there that wouldn’t normally go to Starbucks use it, but also I’m sure people that live directly off campus in the apartments next to Chipotle and other places might come to campus and use it,” Dickmann said. Rumors of the Starbucks in the Student Center being moved to Lowder surfaced, but Loughridge said this will not happen. “We need to be innovative and forward-thinking,” Loughridge said about future dining options. “Sushi is a popular food item on campus and we are in process of talking to folks about a possible Middle Eastern food truck in the future.”

sarah may / photo editor

Dining services hopes Starbucks will attract students working in groups.

Campus A4

The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Board of Trustees approves major campus construction Derek Herscovici Campus Reporter

Auburn’s Board of Trustees gave the go-ahead on a number of major on-campus construction projects at its Friday, April 11, meeting, despite the necessity to increase tuition again for the 2014-2015 year. The largest project discussed at the meeting was about renovations being made to Foy Dining Hall, including an expansion of the indoor dining facilities and an update to the outdoor patio around it. Associate vice president of facilities management Dan King said the $2.2 million construction project will take place mostly at night to allow students to continue eating in Foy during the day. “If anything, [working at night] will cause the project to be take longer to finish,”King said. “Thatch is a heavily trafficked area and we didn’t

want to have dump trucks driving around there at 10 a.m.when students are walking everywhere. From a safety standpoint it didn’t make sense.” Now that a $600,000 increase to the original $1.6 million budget has been approved by the board, facilities management has the authority to start looking for a contractor to begin in early May, King said. State appropriated funds have continued to go down from $337 million since the 2008 recession to $243 million, an average total decrease of $94 million every year. “If we would have just continued to get what we had been getting, we would have $558 million more,” said Don Large, executive vice president. “The bad news is we have to ask for a tuition increase. The good news is we can keep it lower than we have in recent years, but it’s still going to be something.”

ware engineering was awarded to late Auburn senior Barrett “Bear” Townsend by the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. A ​ t Auburn’s Montgomery campus, property to be leased to a cell tower construction was granted in order to bring in additional funds as well as improve cellphone service on campus. Plans have been finalized to introduce an education specialty degree in instructional technology. AUM already features a masters program in instructional technology, but now anyone can be certified in classroom technology said Dr. Kellie Shumack, department head of Foundations, Technology and Secondary Education. “The program hasn’t started yet, but we’ve gotten an overwhelming response from our surveys,” Shumack said. “We’re already using a tremendous amount of technology on our campus.”

Tuition will be increased by .7 percent, down from the one percent increase from last year that Large estimates will bring in the school about $2 million overall. A new waste reduction and recycling building costing $823,000 was approved at the meeting and will feature two new trash compactors on site to help improve Auburn’s garbage collection services. Williams Blackstock associates of Birmingham was selected from 18 candidates as contractor for a new graduate Business Education building. Omicron Delta Kappa’s honorary society, the Squires, received the board’s approval to place and maintain a plaque on the Auburn Student Center green space commemorating an oak sapling that is a descendent of the Toomer’s Oaks. A posthumous B.A. of Science degree in soft-

raye may / design editor

An Art-o-mat is a vintage cigarette machine transformed into vendors of handmade art.

Vintage cigarette machines turned into art at museum Keely Shearer Campus Writer

Clark Whittington, artist from Winston Salem, S.C., recently installed an Art-o-mat in the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. Art-o-mats are vintage cigarette machines that have been transformed into venders of handmade art. For $5, one can purchase a token at the museum’s gift shop to place in the Art-o-mat and choose a small piece of art. Marilyn Laufer, director of Jule Collins Smith Museum, got in touch with Whittington about purchasing an

All works of art are no bigger than a cigarette package and are wrapped in cellophane. The art ranges from little objects to drawings to jewelry and more. Laufer anticipates the Art-o-mat will have a longer situation than just the next exhibition in the museum. “I don’t know if it’s a draw in and of itself,” Laufner said. “Maybe in the first couple of months and weeks it’ll be a curiosity kind of thing. I think eventually it’ll be something that when you come to the museum you’re going to say, ‘What is that? Oh that’s totally cool. I want one,’ and partici-

Art-o-mat. “For me, I love, even more than a cool machine that is all decked out, that he makes a very bold and very strong statement that art can be affordable,” Laufer said. “Each one of those are handmade by an artist and for five dollars you will be able to have a real piece of art, and making it not only accessible because of the price range, but making it easily attainable as a vending machine.” Whittington invites all artists interested in submitting art to be sold in the Art-o-mats to contact him through his webpage.

pate.” Christine Meir, shop manager at Jule Collins Smith Museum, will be accessible to purchase tokens from for the machine. “I think it’s fantastic,” Meir said. “I think it will be a lot of fun, and it will bring a lot of different art to a lot of people who might not ordinarily be able to purchase it.” According to Laufner, Whittington’s Art-o-mats address a very wide and diverse. “I think he is trying to make people aware that art is accessible and that you can easily own a real work of


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art,” Laufner said. “I think that making them accessible through this kind of interaction eliminates a lot of the intimidation.” The machine will be up and running after Whittington gives a lecture at the museum, at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 10. Cynthia Kristan-Graham, professor in art history, said she heard about the Art-o-mat and is curious to learn more about it. “It seems like a unique opportunity to talk about commercialism and contemporary art and we are the first one in Alabama that’s going to have it,” Kristan-Graham said.

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ACROSS 1 F. Scott’s spouse 6 Major NCAA 8Down 9 Buff 14 Homer work 15 2014 World Cup final site 16 Home of the NCAA’s Black Bears 17 One keeping a beat? 19 Portsmouth pop 20 Narrow strip 21 British bathroom plant? 23 Center of attention 25 At that point 26 Medical office responses 29 Bass player’s tool 30 “Wheel of Fortune” buy 31 Wriggly swimmer 34 Review July 4th festivities? 38 Center of attention 39 Man on a mission: Abbr. 40 Disney duck princess 41 Headline about rudeness in the House of Lords? 46 Mucky place 47 Actress West 48 Tool for some summer Olympians 49 Barnyard beast 50 Home in the woods 52 Summer sunset hour 54 Academy for special operatives? 58 Kuala Lumpur locale 62 Long bones 63 Musician for whom New Orleans’s airport is named 65 Attack from all sides 66 Big name in casual wear 67 Thomas associate 68 Gave quite a shock?

69 In support of 70 Weightless state, and a hint to 21-, 34-, 41- and 54Across

32 Maritime birds 33 Has followers 35 90-degree turn 36 Clothing catalog choice: Abbr. 37 Top-drawer dresser 42 “My aim was off” 43 Buster 44 Roller coaster guides 45 Spigoted vessel 51 Bit of wisdom

53 Baseball Hall of Famer Combs 54 Deteriorate, in a way 55 Et __ 56 Word seen twice on some dairy cartons 57 Dipped cookie 59 Évian evening 60 Excited by 61 Dumbfounded 64 Toon devil

DOWN 1 Closes, in a way 2 Mideast carrier 3 Rocker Ford 4 The maximum score with three of them is 180 5 Fuss 6 Bank truck ANSWER TO PREVIOUS protector 7 “Bye!” 8 Sports div. 9 Show with a “Just Desserts” spin-off 10 Grandstand, say 11 Absolutely none 12 Steven Chu’s Cabinet dept. 13 Small craft 18 Andean creature 22 “... __ additional cost!” 24 Looseleaf divider feature 26 Pisces follower 27 Went after 28 They may have twists 30 Hubble, for one

By Alex Bajcz (c)2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.






Thursday, April 17, 2014

Social Media on The Plains In response to our post, “UPDATE: University released statement regarding class cancellation Wednesday, April 16”

Cynthia Boswell Estes: “They should have put that about safety for the students, faculty, and employees in the AU Alert instead of due to student and parent anxiety over the threat. The alert made it seem like it was an annoyance to them instead of safety for everyone. Im a mother of a student and I’m glad they cancelled classes. I told my son not to go if they didn’t cancel classes.”

In response to our tweet, “UPDATE: Alleged threat to Auburn’s campus under investigation”

@GenesChinTD: “Not sure how this is “alleged” it absolutely is a threat. The question is whether it has merit and should be of concern” In response to our tweet, “Auburn police say this is not being taken lightly. Officers are searching campus now. If you see anything, please notify the police at once.”

@haydenharv: “Can we just acknowledge that the APD has no where near the personnel to thoroughly search the whole campus quickly!”

Current poll question: What’s your favorite memory of the 2013-2014 school year? • Rodeo • Bruce Pearl hire • Football season • The Snowpocalypse Vote at

Opinion Our View

The right to an unfair and speedy trial After The Wall Street Journal dropped its investigative opinion piece about Auburn four months ago, we began receiving messages from our readers. Both emails and written letters came to our inboxes and desks, asking if we could confirm what WSJ wrote was true. The story that ran on our front page is not about proving who is innocent and who is guilty. The purpose of this editorial is to take a look at the University’s justice system and report what we found. Did anything illegal happen within the justice system at Auburn University? No. In fact, the University seems to be exhausting itself in an attempt to meet all of the Title IX regulations set before it. Did anything unethical happen? We don’t think Auburn has purposefully wronged students - both those going before the student discipline committee and those serving on it. We do, however, think that in an effort to keep the image of the University clean, they have negotiated the rights to those accused of crimes and alleged victims that go through this system. Our first request from the University is to abolish the practice of holding these hearings behind closed doors. We ask that one member of the student press be allowed access to report on student discipline hearings that would be considered a felony if tried in court. This provision would provide transparency among University administration, as well as hold

committee members presiding over a case accountable. If allowed to report on these hearings, we would adhere to the journalistic industry standard of keeping the names of alleged victims private. We know that the allowance of a reporter into a student disciplinary hearing is not unheard of, as both the University of Alabama and the University of North Carolina make provisions for so within their respective codes of conduct. This would not be a violation of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (a Federal law that protects students’ privacy and educational records) as this act does not protect the identities of students found liable for a violent crime.

Kristen Harlin / Assistant graphics editor

Our second request is for an overhaul of how students and faculty members who serve on the Student Discipline Committee are trained. We ask that all members have thorough understanding of legal proceedings before being allowed to hear a Student Discipline Case. Another possible solution would be have an administrative law judge, who is a legally trained hearing officer for felony like charges, serve as the committee chair for any forthcoming infractions that would be considered a felony case in a court of law. Lastly, we ask the University to do everything in its power to allow legal advisers to represent their clients in Student Discipline Hearings that are judging felony level infractions. We were baffled at the blatant lack of efficiency and fairness that ensues when defendants and plaintiffs are left to call and cross examine their own witnesses, present their own evidence and give their own opening and closing statements. Even if this requires Alabama senators to pass a law protecting the right to counsel in Student Discipline settings, which has recently been the case in North Carolina, we think it is of the utmost importance that these steps be taken. Overall, our requests are simple. All we ask is the University protect two of our most basic rights: the right to a fair trial and our freedom of speech.

Her View

Confronting modern journalism stereotypes Kailey Miller Opinion@ theplainsman. com

As a journalist, I have learned that I will be spending a lot of my time throughout my career doing things that most people would feel too awkward or pushy doing. To get the news, and to keep the public informed, journalists may have to put themselves in uncomfortable situations to get to the bottom of a story, and to ensure that the truth is the only thing printed. Interviewing someone after they have had a death in the family may seem insensitive, and asking a politician about their latest marriage scandal may produce awkward silences or result in an angry politician, but that’s part of the job. Just like it’s not uncommon for a journalist to have to track down a source, or call and email them to the point of being

obnoxious if they are an important part of the story. Without journalists, the public would either have to stay uninformed or rely on whatever information they could get from the Internet, which may or may not be true. So to me it’s frustrating when I hear people say that we are in the business of “ruining people’s lives,” or that we are twisting the truth to get a better story. Not only does twisting the truth harm whomever the article is about, but it also harms the journalist’s credibility, which is arguably the most important credential that a journalist can have, and one that we don’t want to lose. Sometimes, printing the truth isn’t enough, and sources still feel that they have been poorly represented or taken advantage of. I wrote an article last week on Katherine Webb and AJ McCarron having a reality show for their upcoming wedding. I interviewed three members of the Webb family. They were all aware that I was

a reporter, and that I intended to publish my article through The Auburn Plainsman. Once the article came out they had a change of heart and asked if we could take the article down, because they realized that they had made a mistake in discussing the reality show with a reporter so soon. This put me in a tough situation because I had no intention of causing any problems with the Webb family by writing the article, but I also didn’t feel like it should be taken down just because they changed their minds. Journalism is not the business of pleasing everyone. It is the business of informing the public, staying honest, having full disclosure with your sources, and getting the news out as fast as possible. I can’t control what happens after one of my stories is published. All that I can do is make sure that my facts are correct, that my quotes are accurate, and that the message is clear.

Sometimes an article gets a different reaction from the public than a source thought it would. This is not a valid reason for the source to blame the journalist, or to feign ignorance and say that they didn’t realize that the article would be published. Before I even begin an interview, I always make sure my source knows who I am, who I work for, when the article is set to be published, and what exactly it is about. I do this to prevent confusion and to ensure that a source isn’t caught off guard when they read the article. There are biased and corrupt journalists in the field, just like there are corrupt workers in any field, but there are also journalists who have a passion for reporting, investigating, and informing the public in the most honorable way possible. Kailey Miller is an intrigue reporter for The Auburn Plainsman. She can be contacted via email at

His View

Last poll results: Would you rather take two literature courses or two history courses?

The flaws of a vicarous cultural experience Jordan Hays Opinion@ theplainsman. com

34% Literature

53% History

12% Neither

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I’ve lived in Germany for three years. I tell people that, and they begin firing typical questions at me. For the most part, the first question asked is if I speak German. I learned enough German to say I don’t speak German. The next question, if it isn’t the first question, is, “What was it like?” This varies from person to person. They ask me about castles and forts. Some ask me about the food. If they’re brave, they’ll ask me about WWII history museums or Nazi concentration camps. All the questions boil down to things a tourist would ask, what a tourist would experience, what a tourist would do. No one asks about everyday

life. No one has ever approached me with questions that are framed outside the context of a few months. No one asks about buying groceries or gas. No one asks me about what it was like for me, as a child, to play outside there. No one asks about interacting with locals beyond ordering food. No one asks about walking down the street every morning in a country that doesn’t speak English. Sure, many of them know English, but for the most part, it was easier to agree not to communicate beyond formal greetings. Living in Germany was a pleasant experience. In hindsight, it was the best three years of my life thus far. However, I began to see changes in the local children my age after a year of living there. I normally saw them playing with one another, just like I would with my friends, but they would grow silent when I walked past them to get to my bus stop in the morning.

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Then one day, they spoke to me. “Hey, come here,” the fat one said in broken English. “Psst!” the others hissed. I stopped walking and looked at them. I thought about going over there. I thought about trying to communicate with them, perhaps leading to some sort of beautiful friendship where we could play games without needing words. But then the fat one spit in my direction. I walked away. When I lived in Germany, I did it wrong. I spent three years in a foreign land and failed at obtaining a real cultural experience. I saw the castles and ate the food, but I did not learn the language and communicate with the locals as a guest in their homeland. I didn’t take the time to get to know them and communicate with them as people, not as Germans. We as Americans are privileged. We like to look abroad and experience the culture of foreign

Submissions The Auburn Plainsman welcomes letters from students as well as from faculty, administrators, alumni and those not affiliated with the University. Letters must be submitted before 4:30 p.m. on the 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 400 words.

lands, but little time do we take to interact with the people who make up that culture. We act as if going to a big church or some castle Hitler spent his weekends at is enough to make us cultured; thinking they have experienced all that a foreign land has to offer. It’s not. Those are history lessons given out by tour guides. History is an important element that defines culture, but people misinterpret that as THE culture. The best way to experience a culture is to share in it with the people who make up that culture. Not drinking buddies, not a tour guide, not a study abroad group. But we think it is, and we wonder why the rest of the rest of world doesn’t like us when we turn their world into a vacation hotspot. Jordan Hays is the opinion editor at The Auburn Plainsman. He can be contacted via email at

Policy The opinions of The Auburn Plainsman staff are restricted to these pages. This editorial is the majority opinion of the 13-member editorial board and are the official opinion of the newspaper. The opinions expressed in columns and letters represent the views and opinions of their individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the Auburn University student body, faculty, administration or Board of Trustees.

Community Thursday, April 17, 2014



Skateboarders don’t fear downhill slope Nick Hines

Community Writer

Nick Hines / Community Writer

Top: Richie Kesseli uses proper stance to achieve speeds up to 50 miles per hour. Left: Left, Will Goodwin and, right, Richie Kesseli stand at the top of the hill ready for the thirlling ride down.

Heritage Road is similar to many other residential roads in Auburn. The quiet is only broken by the chirps of birds playing on carefully manicured lawns. Relatively few cars drive by, all of which are driving slower than the speed limit. A bright yellow plastic child holds a flag to warn vehicles that there may be children playing near the street. Instead of children, two college kids on skateboards blur past, polyurethane wheels making a sound unlike many others as they roll across the smoothly paved gravel street. Will Goodwin, senior in biochemistry from Fairhope, and Richie Kesseli, senior in chemistry from New Hampshire, are part of Auburn’s skateboarding subculture. They are members of the group Auburn Downhill Campus Outlaw Circuit and compete in races across the Southeast. Auburn Downhill’s Facebook group currently has 105 members. Kesseli posts when local and regional races will be and encourages letting other members know about impromptu skate sessions. The group also holds races of their own. “We were getting good turnouts,” Kesseli said. “Maybe 10 kids or something like that. That’s really good. Recently, it’s been kind of hard.” Many of the original members of Auburn Downhill are nearing graduation, and there aren’t many people left to carry on Auburn’s

It’s very much underground. We have no skate park or physical evidence that we’re here.” —Josh Loveland

Owner of Pop Love-It Skate SHop

skating culture. “It’s hard to find dedicated people to skate in Auburn,” Kesseli said. “To actually go and longboard. I know that you’ll see a lot of kids pushing around on campus going to class and stuff, but to get kids out and actually come and skate with us is pretty hard. We really just have our solid group of like five or six kids that are always down to skate whenever.” At 223 N. Gay St., at the end of a driveway between a white mansion and the Circle K, stands Pop Love-It Skate Shop. The small white building with a yellow trim has a bench made partly with skateboard decks and a waxed concrete block to skate on in the parking lot. The walls are lined with racks of skateboards, brightly colored wheels and a small shoe selection. A muted television plays a skateboarder’s highlight video, and rock music is played from the computer. Behind the counter Josh Loveland, owner, employee and everything in between, understands first-hand how small Auburn’s skate-

Council addresses safety of railroad Nick Hines Community Writer

Questions about the safety of several railroad crossings were brought to attention at the Auburn City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 15, five days after a train and 18 wheeler collided. The railroad crossings in question were worked on by the CSX Corporation in March. Councilman Arthur Dowdell raised the concerns. “We have been in close contact with CSX,” City Manager Charles Duggan said. “Actually, they are coming back to work on those crossings. I believe two trucks have been hit by trains thus far, and several of

them have gotten stuck.” Auburn has notified local industries to inform truckers about railroad crossings that may be difficult to cross, and warning signs have been put in place. Duggan said he is not aware of any legal actions taken against the city or CSX. The City Council also took further action in the Downtown Parking Phase 2A Project. The College Street and Magnolia Avenue alleyways were given to the city by Lipscomb Investment Company, Ltd. for the project. Auburn intends to work on the project during the summer and have it completed

before football season begins in the fall, according to Duggan. The original proposal for the project covered the parking area between the parking deck and the buildings that front college street. Currently, the project managers are concentrating on improving the alleyways. The city was required to scale back because funds were needed to address the over-population of the city schools. “I hope that sometime this spring, before June, we’ll have proposals before the council and the school board for future building and future funding for the school system,” Duggan said.

board culture is. “It’s very much underground,” Loveland said. “We have no skate park or physical evidence that we’re here.” The closest thing Auburn had to a skate park was taken down to build a senior center in 2012. Loveland opened his business in 2010, now, nearly four years later, Pop Love-It remains the only physical location for Auburn residents to purchase skateboarding equipment. Loveland is also the biggest factor in petitioning Auburn city government to decriminalize skateboarding as a means of conveyance in downtown Auburn. The petition, Four Wheels Down and skate park initiative, has more than 350 signatures. “I want to get skateboarding decriminalized by working with the city,” Loveland said. “I would also like to build a community park.” Walking up the road they had just raced down, Kesseli and Goodwin are breathing heavily. Depending on the road, Kesseli said, the skateboarders can reach speeds ranging from 30–50 miles per hour. Goodwin is part of Auburn Downhill for the thrill and because he wants to keep the skating culture alive in Auburn. “Everyone’s always chill and welcoming,” Goodwin said. “No matter what skill level you’re at, everyone is understanding. They’re just excited that there’s people out there skating.”

• Approved a taxpayer waiver request by AirCon Mechanical, LLC for $1,415 • Approved to remit taxes for H/S Interests, Inc. for a maximum of $250,000 over a maximum period of 10 years in accordance with the Commercial Development Incentive Program. The company will be renovating and expanding Old Towne Station shopping center at 1345 Opelika Road to house retail stores and restaurants • Annexed 11.5 acres located at 2295 Longwood Drive • Approved renovations to Goo Goo Car Wash on 1672 South College St. The location will transition from a self-wash to an automatic car wash

Auburn Activities Thursday Friday







Karaoke. SkyBar Cafe.

2nd Annual Spring Fling. 5 p.m. Pat Dye’s Crooked Oaks Farm
Notasulga. Call Heather Crozier at 334-844-2791 for more information.

14th Annual Waverly (Old 280) Boogie. 11 a.m. 1015 Mayberry, Waverly. Call 334-826-6423 for more information.

Happy Easter! - From the Spring 2014 Plainsman Staff

Monday Tuesday 21


Karaoke. SkyBar Cafe.

Wednesday 23 Fly-by Radio. SkyBar Cafe.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Auburn Plainsman

Community A7

My time in the community Join Our Staff Ashtyne Cole community@

When people find out that I work for The Auburn Plainsman, they always ask me what I do. Then comes the follow-up, “What does being a reporter even mean?” It means a myriad of things to multiple people. To my section editor, it means being responsible and reliable. Dependable and dedicated. My section editor is the closest thing I have to a boss at this point. When I switched over from the intrigue section in December, I really didn’t know what I was getting into. I was visiting a friend when I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. It was my new section editor calling me. All I could gather from the brief phone call was that she talked fast and loud, wanted to meet as soon as possible and had already given me a story that would be due the next week. To say I was a little intimidated would be an understatement. Throughout the semester, the intimidation lessened, but I still get a little nervous when I see her name pop up on my phone. To the people who read the community section, being the reporter means having the facts and getting them out there as soon as possible. The Plainsman readers are accustomed to speedy and reliable information. They want the whole story, and with the rise of technology and the many outlets to gain information, the story needs to get to them fast. Getting the whole story doesn’t mean just

calling one person and being done. Multiple people have different facts and viewpoints you can use to fill your story out. And it has to be well written, or else you just look stupid. I need to be ready to go after a story when it happens, that’s what’s expected from a reporter, even if it’s late at night or early in the morning after Rodeo. It’s pretty much a 24/7 job, and that’s what it means to work at The Plainsman. The responsibility taught me to grow up. Of course I grew up in my years here at Auburn, but school and The Plainsman taught me that deadlines are real. If you don’t deliver, people who were depending on you will be let down. If I were to not do my part on The Plainsman, they would fire me, and I would be devastated. I’ve become a part of a little family, and The Plainsman office is always a place I can go to get some peace and quiet on this loud campus. I’ve met some of the greatest people working here and working the community section. I’ve gotten to be on a first name basis with city council members, and I call the mayor and city manager on a weekly basis. I’ve learned how to compose an important email, speak intelligently to adults and go to meetings that last an hour. I can now walk into a last minute interview and think of questions off the top of my head. I talk to the most interesting people and learn more about this town that I love so much. I’ve found the coolest hole-in-the-wall places around town and found amazing organizations that benefit the community here. So, when I’m asked what being a reporter means, the answer is too long and complicated for a friend or passerby. I just tell them it’s my job to talk and listen to people and tell their story, and I love doing it.

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The Auburn Plainsman A spirit that is not afraid

The Auburn Plainsman



Crime Time

Police reports syndicated by the city of Auburn Jadarrion Spinks, 22, of Auburn was arrested and charged with attempted murder on Monday, April 14, according to an Auburn Police Division news release from the same day. Saturday, April 12, at approximately 9:45 p.m., APD officers responded to the 600 block of Spencer Avenue after it received a complaint of gunshots fired. Officers arrived and located a victim with a gunshot wound to his face. The victim, 22, from Auburn, was transported by ambulance to the East Alabama

Medical Center where he remains in serious, but stable, condition. S p i n k s turned himself in at the APD and transportSpinks ed to the Lee County Detention Facility where he is being held on a $75,000 bond.

Amber Meadows, 20, of Auburn was arrested on Monday, April 14, and charged with second-degree assault, according to a Tuesday, April 15 ,Auburn Police Division news release. Saturday, April 12, APD officers responded to the 600 block of Howard Street after receiving a complaint of shots fired in the area. Officers found a 45-year-old female of Auburn suffering from injuries to her right knee and severe abrasions to her left hand and wrist. According to the APD, the victim said she was struck by a vehicle driven by Meadows. The victim was transported to the East Alabama Medical Center by an ambulance where

she was treated and later released. APD said during its investigation, it was determined that the victim Meadows was struck by Meadows driving a 2007 Ford Fusion. Meadows was transported to the Lee County Detention Facility where she was held on a $5,000 bond.

An Auburn Police officer was involved in a car accident on I-85 South on Tuesday, April 15. The officer and other members of the Auburn Police Department were directing traffic at Exit 57 at the scene of an overturned tractor-trailer. While the officers were redirecting traffic, a silver Chevy Cavalier hit the back of an Auburn

police vehicle while an officer was inside. The officer and the driver were rushed to East Alabama Medical Center and the officer is in stable condition. The names of the injured officer and driver of the Cavalier have not been released and the accident is still under investigation.

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The Auburn Plainsman

Community A8

The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Parks and Recreation summer 2014: outdoor activites starting to heat up Ashtyne Cole

Community reporter


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The Auburn Plainsman A spirit that is not afraid

Photos contributed by Auburn Parks and Recreation

Top: CityFest 2013 brought many crowds and vendors Bottom: Many citizens come out to enjoy fun and community at CityFest.

The Auburn Parks and Recreation Department is hosting two upcoming events to get Auburn residents ready for the summer months ahead. Auburn’s largest free outdoor festival, CityFest, will be on Saturday, April 26, from 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. at Kiesel Park. The event will take place no matter the weather and will include live music, a children’s imagination station and an art show. “We’re going to have a lot of events that will entertain the whole family,” Parks and Recreations Director Becky Richardson said. “We’ll have plenty of arts and craft vendors and a special Stomp in the Swamp area for children to enjoy.” The Stomp in the Swamp area will include visitor from the Reptile Rescue Center. Snakes, alligators and turtles will be among the guests in attendance. Children and families will be able to interact with and view the reptiles during the event. As for musical entertainment, Dave Potts: Jive Mother Mary will be playing during the day. They are a “southern rock power group” from Athens. The Springs will also be playing. Food and drinks will be available for purchase and picnic areas will be scattered around the bands. “I know some Boy Scout troops will be there during the day, and we’ll have inflatables and plenty of food vendors,” Richardson said. “It’ll be a complete day for the family.” The inflatable station is free to all children. The Juried Art Show will also be held in collaboration with CityFest. On Thursday, April 24, the 10th annual art show will be held and will fea-

ture food, drink and live music. The art show will be held in the Nunn-Winston House also at Kiesel Park and will begin at 5:30 p.m. All of the artwork from the show will be displayed during CityFest. On Friday, June 13, the 8th annual SummerNight Art Walk will take place in downtown Auburn. The Walk will be free to the public and is hosted by the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center. The event will include local artists, bakers and children activities. It will begin at 6 p.m. and last until 9:30 p.m. “This event is perfect for local artists to display their talents while offering the community a chance to enjoy an evening in beautiful, downtown Auburn,” Art Education Specialist of the Auburn Parks and Recreation Department Cari Cleckler said. The children’s events will be held earlier in the evening, and John and the Conners will be playing through the night. Artists are also encouraged to exhibit and sell their work at the event and. Downtown stores will remain open after hours for people to be able to shop around. “There will be specials offered at restaurants and guests will be able to purchase a glass of wine and walk around downtown with it if they desire,” Richardson said. Cleckler said the arts center is encouraging culinary artists to display their talents through cupcakes, and there will be a SummerNight cupcake contest. Volunteer applications for artists, the cupcake contest and merchants are available at the City of Auburn website under the SummerNight tab. Applications are due Friday, June 6.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

scoreboard baseball



Tigers laying it all on the line

21-16 (6-9 SEC) LAST WEEK Win vs. Troy, 6-0 Win at Alabama, 2-1 Loss at Alabama, 4-1 Loss at Alabama, 5-1 Loss at Samford, 7-6 Tigers 0-2 against Samford THIS WEEK April 18-20 vs. S. Carolina S. Carolina: No. 2 in SEC East


Myers’ squad aiming to bounce back from long SEC losing streak as it continues a challenging stretch of road games David McKinney sports writer

31-12-1 (6-9 SEC) LAST WEEK Loss vs. Missouri, 4-2 Loss vs. Missouri, 8-7 Loss vs. Missouri, 7-6 Tigers on seven-game SEC losing streak THIS WEEK April 18-20 at Georgia UGA ranked No. 18

Men’s Tennis

LAST WEEK Loss vs. Tennessee, 4-2 Loss vs. Georgia, 4-0 THIS WEEK April 17-20 SEC Tournament Nashville, Tenn.

woMen’s Tennis

After the best start to a season in the history of the program, the Auburn softball team has had a rough go of it as of late. The Tigers suffered a seven-game losing streak from March 30- April 13, including two straight sweeps at the hands of Florida and Missouri. Head coach Clint Meyers said he doesn’t believe the pressure of a losing streak is affecting the way his team is playing. “I don’t think that has anything to do with it,” Myers said. “We’ve just got to kick ourselves in the butt and say ‘hey, let’s go’ and go out and get it done.” None of the losses in the streak have been by more than two runs. Myers noted that the team is young, and needs to begin to trust itself. “We’re freshman, and we’ve got to become sophomores or juniors or seniors,” Myers said. “We’ve got to grow up and understand the game a little better so we can go out there and act responsibly, trust our preparation, and trust our confidence.” The first-year head coach also said he and his staff have been doing everything they can to try and get the team back to where it was early in the season. “[The team] gets frustrated,” Myers said. “Well, we’re here all hours of the

LAST WEEK Finished 2nd place at the UK Bluegrass Invitational in Lexington, Ky. THIS WEEK SEC Championships in Sea Island, Ga.

“We’re a better team than what we’ve played,” Myers said. With games that have come that close, the Tigers have had plenty of chances to win, but couldn’t close any of them out. “It’s the same thing that we tell them every day,” Myers said. “You can’t miss opportunities. You can’t not know what you’re doing.” Myers said for his team to get back to

their winning ways, they’ve got to minimize the mishaps on the field. “The key to it is not making mistakes,” Myers said. Myers also said the team has to start focusing on the small details of the game. “The little things matter,” Myers said. “Attention to detail matters, making great pitches all the time “

New commitment Bowers’ ‘rough road’ leads him to the Plains Sports Reporter

men’s golf

night trying to figure out a way to make it happen.” Myers constantly harps on the fact that his three keys to success for his team are good pitching, timely hitting and good defense. During the losing streak, those facets of the game have, for the most part, been there, but not enough to sneak out wins against some of the country’s top teams.

men’s basketball

Eric Wallace

LAST WEEK Loss at Tennessee, 4-3 Loss at Georgia, 4-0 THIS WEEK April 17-20 SEC Tournament Columbia, Mo.

contributed by lauren barnard

Morgan Estell hits a line drive in a SEC series opener against Missouri on April 18.

Life as a highly touted basketball prospect opens many athletes up to scrutiny from the outside world, even from those who don’t know the athlete’s entire story. Such has been the case for No. 1 JUCO recruit Cinmeon Bowers, who announced last week that he would be Bruce Pearl’s first commitment as Auburn head coach. The bruising 6-foot-6, 240pound forward from Racine, Wisc. has battled through a variety of incidents on his journey to the Plains, all the while trying to shake a nagging public perception that he is somehow a “thug.” “It’s been a rough road,” Bowers said. “If you believe in God, though, anything is possible.” Bowers’ high school basketball career started in Racine, but he soon transferred to Rufus King International School in Milwaukee, one of the top public schools in Wisconsin. It also became the site of his first “bad experience.” “They tried to rob me,” Bowers said. “You know, Milwaukee is rough, and they tried to rob me while I was sitting in the

front seat of a car. My friend, he pulled off as they were opening my door, and they just started shooting.” Outside of his very own high school, Bowers was hit twice in the leg that snowy day, a moment that derailed a promising high school career that had already garnered interest from Memphis, UConn and Louisville. “It’s scary to think about,” Bowers said. “I thought my career was over. I just believed in God, and then I got back in school.” The long recovery from the shooting alongside lingering academic eligibility issues forced Bowers down a different path to collegiate basketball. “I kept going to rehab, so I could keep getting stronger,” Bowers said. “I tried my luck with JUCO, and it’s worked out.” The detour led Bowers 973 miles from Racine, to the small town of Marianna, Fla. and Chipola Junior College. Now, fully recovered from his wounds, Bowers took on a starring role for the Indians of Chipola, averaging 12.9 points and leading his team with 8.9 rebounds per game on the way to a NJCAA Quarterfinal ap-

People already think I’m a thug, but I’m not a thug. With the way I play on the court, people think that, but I’m just aggressive, and I play with passion.”

cinmeon bowers pearance. Bowers’ performances quickly caught the attention of scouts from across the nation. He was widely considered one of the top JUCO prospects in the nation, with some services even ranking the forward first overall. Offers flooded in from the nation’s top basketball schools, like Louisville and Memphis. Bowers seemed set to join Florida State in 2014, but he was arrested in January of 2013 on charges of tampering with evidence when police accused him of concealing marijuana by eating the substance during a traffic stop. “They didn’t have any evidence,” Bowers said. “That’s why they eventually dropped it all the way, no charges at all.” All charges stemming from the incident were dropped, but Bowers was soon released from

—Cinmeon Bowers

men’s basketball commitment

his letter of intent at FSU. Though he’s never been charged with a crime, Bowers worried that his image had been tarnished by the events of his past. “People already think I’m a thug, but I’m not a thug,” Bowers said. “With the way I play on the court, people think that, but I’m just aggressive, and I play with passion.” Bowers, who has a 3-yearold daughter, said those who still consider him a “thug” don’t understand that his passion on the court serves a different goal off the court. “I have a daughter, and she’s three years old, so how could I be a thug when I have a daughter?” Bowers said. “I have to pay the debts for her. That’s the only reason I’m really doing this for her. She made me grow up a lot.”

Through it all, Bowers’ mentor and former AAU coach Duane Wilson Sr., has provided guidance to the young forward. Their relationship eventually helped Bowers land a Division I home at Auburn University. “[Auburn assistant coach] Tony Jones had good connections with my AAU coach, and he was kind of my mentor, so I thought it would be a good idea for me,” Bowers said. With Auburn set as the next destination on his journey, Bowers said he wants to the public’s perception of him while rebuilding his new school’s basketball program. “I want to get Auburn back to rolling like it was,” Bowers said. “It’s not even about me. Of course I want to make sure I’m straight, but at the end of the day, I just want to win. That’s what it’s all about.”

Sports A10

The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, April 17, 2014

contributed by auburn athletics

LEFT: Matt Gilchrest hits a shot from the tee box in the UK Bluegrass Invitational on Sunday,April 13. RIGHT: Jen Pfeifler returns the ball with a forehand against Alabama in a match earlier this season.

This Week in Auburn Sports Men’s Golf

Freshman Matt Gilchrest collected his first collegiate tournament victory as the Southlake, Texas, native fired a final round 71 to claim the individual title at the UK Bluegrass Invitational on Sunday. Teammate Niclas Carlsson tied for second at minus-5 as No. 19 Auburn golf was the team runner-up. “Great win for Matt today and the first of many,” Auburn head coach Nick Clinard said. “He showed a lot of guts to come back from hole number eight, which shows how tough he is.” Gilchrest shot a 68-68-71—207 to finish at 9-under, five strokes clear of Carlsson (68-6974—211) and Kentucky’s Ben Stow. “Niclas also played fantastic this week and has continued to show why he’s a big-time player,” Clinard said. Will Long moved up 20 spots in the final round, going from a tie for 36th to a tie for 16th with a final round 70. He shot 75-74-70—219 to finish at plus3 along with three others, including teammate Daniel Stringfellow (71-74-74—219). Jake Mondy (75-74-74—223) tied for 21st at plus-7. “Will played very well today and I’m proud of him,” Clinard said. “We need a lot more production from our four and five spot and we will continue to challenge these guys. We have a great team and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”

Playing as an individual, Ryan Benton moved up 10 spots on the final day to finish in a tie for 12th. He shot 74-72-72—218 to finish at plus-2. Kentucky led from start to finish, shooting 280-283-289—852 (minus-12) while Auburn (282-285-289—856, minus-8) was second the entire time. Cincinnati (284-287-295—866, plus-2), Eastern Kentucky (287-291-304—882, plus-18) and Bradley (291-296-302—889, plus25) rounded out the top five. Auburn will play in the Capital City Club Match Play on Saturday, April 19, before heading to the SEC Tournament April 25-27 at Seaside Golf Club at Sea Island, Ga.

Women’s Tennis

The No. 24 Auburn women’s tennis team fell 4-0 to No. 8 Georgia, 4-0, on Sunday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in its final regular season match of the year. Auburn finishes the regular season at 16-9 overall, 6-7 in the SEC. The Tigers will head to Columbia, Mo., for the SEC Tournament which starts Thursday, April 17. Times and seeding for the tournament will be released Sunday night. Georgia (18-4, 11-2 SEC) took the doubles point to start the match with wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in the lineup. No. 28 Silva Garcia and Kate Fuller defeated Auburn’s pair of Jackie Kasler and Jen Pfeifler, 8-2, in the first

match to finish Sunday afternoon. The Bulldogs clinched the point behind a win from the 81st-ranked duo of Caroline Brinson and Lilly Kimbrell topped the Tigers’ Paula de Man and Michala Kucharova, 8-3. In singles, Kasler’s seven-match winning streak was snapped on court five as Georgia’s Kate Fuller defeated the senior 6-0, 6-1. Auburn’s Paula de Man fell 6-2, 6-1 on court three to Georgia’s 19th-ranked Maho Kawose to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 advantage. No. 14 Silva Garcia clinched the match for Georgia, taking down No. 105 Flickinger 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 2 line.

Men’s Tennis

The No. 29 Auburn men’s tennis team fell, 4-2, to No. 21 Tennessee on Friday night at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. The Tigers dropped to 14-11 overall, 4-7 in the SEC. “We battled hard and we’re knocking on the door,” Auburn head coach Eric Shore. “We’re going to kick in it, we’ve got to get some momentum heading into the SEC Tournament. We had our chances tonight against Tennessee.” In doubles, the Tigers fell on courts one and two to the Volunteers. Auburn’s tandem of Dennis Lengsfeld and Lukas Ollert were defeated by Jarryd Chaplin and Andrew Dromsky of Tennessee (16-9, 5-6 SEC) in the first match to finish. The 60th-ranked duo of Daniel Cochrane and

Oliver Plaskett battled tough early with the nation’s No. 1 team, but ultimately fell 8-4 on court one to the Vol’s Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese, 8-4. Tennessee pushed its lead to 3-0, but the Tigers cut the deficit down to 3-2 late in the match. Dante Saleh fell 6-3, 6-3 on court five to Tennessee’s Dromsky, while No. 61 Cochrane was defeated by 37th-ranked Libietis on court two, 6-1, 6-5, to put the Vols’ up 3-0 over the Tigers. No. 71 Ollert picked up his second win over a top-25 opponent in the last three weeks, upsetting Tennessee’s 23rd-ranked Reese, 6-3, 6-4 at the No. 1 spots in the lineup. Auburn made it 3-2 as Joseph Van Dooren won by default on court five against Tennessee’s Brandon Fickey. The sophomore was leading 6-1, 6-5 before the match was called. Petar Tomic won the first set in his match on court six, but fell to Tennessee’s Bartosz Sawicki, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 to swing the match in favor of the Volunteers. Auburn’s Dennis Lengsfeld was up a set and in a second-set tiebreaker when play was suspended. Auburn wraps up the regular season on Sunday against Georgia at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. Sunday’s match is set to begin at 1 p.m. and the Tigers will honor seniors Dan Cochrane and Dennis Lengsfeld in between doubles and singles play. Compiled by Eric Wallace

women’s golf

Tigers headed to Birmingham for a star-studded SEC title tournament Brian Stultz

contributing writer

While the football, baseball and track teams will be on the Plains this weekend for a massive A-Day, one Auburn team is headed upstate to fight for their postseason future against some of the best teams in the country. The Auburn women’s golf team enters SEC Championship play this Friday, April 18 at the Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham with some momentum from a strong finish to the schedule. Competing in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Athens, Ga. on April 4-6 in a combination of both stroke and match play, the Tigers finished in fifth place after defeating No.

9 Alabama in match play. “We hope the momentum is good,” Auburn head coach Kim Evans said. “We are excited about the postseason and to see what we can do.” The Tigers have had a rough season, with their top finish being fourth at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic back in February. Despite the struggles, Coach Evans is expecting a great effort from each golfer. “We really are looking at all of them,” said Evans. “They are all excited. We just need to put it all collectively together.” Don’t expect the Tigers to be afraid of their opposition. Their schedule this year has featured powerhouses such as Stanford, Southern California,

Duke and North Carolina. Along with these opponents, the Tigers have faced the top of the crop in the SEC. When asked what her message would be for the team heading into SEC Championship play, Evans quickly stated, “I think just never give up.” Auburn will be competing against seven ranked teams in Birmingham, including No. 5 Arkansas and No. 10 South Carolina. Other SEC schools ranked in the Top 25 include No. 9 Alabama, No. 12 Vanderbilt, No. 18 LSU, No. 19 Florida and No. 23 Kentucky. “The competition will be tough,” Evans said. “But we must just get out there and fo-

We hope the momentum is good. We are excited about the postseason and to see what we can do.” —Kim Evans head coach

cus on every shot.” The Tigers are trying to earn a berth into the NCAA Regional Championships, which will take place from May 8-10 in a location to be determined.






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Thursday, April 17, 2014


Not their first Rodeo

Saturday, April 12, marked the 49th annual Alpha Psi Rodeo, a treasured Auburn tradition. Check out pictures from the event, including an amateur rodeo complete with bull riding and steer wrestling, a concert by country superstar Alan Jackson and much more.


TOP LEFT: Alan Jackson waves to the crowd during his set. TOP RIGHT: Students lasso a bull at the Alpha Psi Rodeo. BOTTOM LEFT: A student wrangles a bull during the Rodeo. BOTTOM MIDDLE: A student bravely rides a bull. BOTTOM RIGHT: Jackson sings and plays the guitar during his set.

For graduating seniors, the hunt is on Anna Claire Conrad Head copy editor

CONTRIBUTED BY @CArshine328 on instagram

Senior Caroline K. takes a selfie on the seal as part of the scavenger hunt.


The Alumni Association offers several prizes to scavenger hunt winners.

Graduation is a time of anxiety, celebration and opportunity, but more importantly, it should be fun. That’s why the Auburn University Alumni Association has created its Countdown to Cap & Gown scavenger hunt. This contest is only open to seniors graduating in May, and there are lots of prizes to be won everyday. Even though the scavenger hunt began on Monday, April 14, it will be continuing on until Friday, April 25, with plenty of Auburn prizes to be won every day, including gifts from Auburn Art, the Auburn University Athletics department, the Auburn University Bookstore, Tiger Rags, the Auburn University Recreation and Wellness Center, the Jules Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art and many more. The hunt operates on a points system. Students participating earn points by taking selfies at specific locations across campus. These locations are hidden in clues and riddles that are posted every day by the Alumni Association on its Instagram and Twitter accounts and on its website, www.aualum. org/newgrads. Students who successfully complete the five tasks posted at each location on a task board and who also take a selfie with the

sign at the location and post it to their Twitter and/or Instagram accounts will earn points for the day. The student or students with the most points at the end of the day will win the prize for that day. In some cases, if there are a lot of winners for one day, more than one prize will be given. Students cannot earn double points by posting to both Instagram and Twitter. Once the scavenger hunt is done on Friday, April 25, the student with the most cumulative points will win the grand prize— a Church Hill Classics diploma frame valued at $200. “One of the things we’ve been challenged with is growing our membership to young alumni,” said Shannon BryantHankes, creative director for Auburn Magazine and communications and marketing specialist for the Alumni Association. “We were creatively trying to think of a way to connect with new graduates so that when they leave they know who we are, and we kind of build that connection back to the University, because that’s our mission” Bryant-Hankes worked with Audrey Lowry, art director for Auburn Magazine and art design specialist for the Alumni Association; Whitney Potts, senior in graphic design and student designer for the Alumni Association; Courtney Oliver, public rela-

tions intern; and Sydney Cobb, communication intern. As a team, most of whom are graduating seniors themselves, these women created a fun and engaging last hoorah for the 2014 graduating class. Lowry said she believes this scavenger hunt is a fun way to engage new graduates and inform them about what the Alumni Association does and what it can do for new graduates. “The Alumni Association has a lot to offer grads,” Lowry said. “We have our clubs program. We have over 90 clubs in different states, and that’s a great way for new grads who might be moving to a new place where they don’t know anyone to automatically have a connection with a large group of people.” As stated previously, the scavenger hunt will end on Friday, April 25, but there’s still plenty of time to rack up points to win daily prizes and to go towards the grand prize. All graduating seniors are encouraged to participate and use this as a way to learn more about what the Alumni Association has to offer. “This is totally free, and we’re giving stuff away,” Bryant-Hankes said. “This is not just our thing. Everybody has a desire to connect with our new grads, and we want everybody to remember us when they leave and know that this is home.”

Intrigue A12

The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Child Advocacy Center cares for abuse victims

Kate Seckinger

contributing writer

For most, the color blue in April means springtime and Easter, but for 275 children in Lee and Macon Counties, it’s the color of hope. April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, and in participating organizations like the Child Advocacy Center of East Alabama, a solidblue ribbon promotes the cause it fights for every day. “The mission of the CAC is to advocate for children when there are allegations of physical and sexual abuse against them,” said Abe White, the advocacy center’s program coordinator. “Our main job is to provide forensic interviews, counseling services and court preparation, if necessary.” While the rest of the county awaits A-Day and Easter baskets, White stays busy trying to protect the children who walk through the center’s doors. “We handle kids all over Lee and Macon Counties,” White said. “We see kids from Smiths Station, Phenix City and Auburn, too. The students at Auburn University would never guess what’s going on in their backyard.” Auburn Mayor Bill Ham recognizes what the center does for the city. “I think very few people in the community and maybe even the state realize the issues we have going on right here in Lee County,” Ham said. “We have local children’s advocates for a reason. The center does a great job of supporting and protecting our children. They do wonderful work, and they deserved to be recognized for it.” Each year in April, the CAC holds a ceremony to recognize the organizations and people in Lee and Macon Counties who make a difference in children’s lives. “This was my 16th year attending the [Child] Advocacy Center’s event,” Ham said. “The ceremony reminds me of the wonderful people we have in our community. Gene Chizik’s wife, Jonna Chizik, is involved in a tremendous number of children’s organizations. When you look around and see the number of people who come out to support or make a difference, it makes me feel good about Lee County.” The center held its annual event Thursday, April 10, with a special addition to its services. This year, the CAC had the ribbon cutting of its brand new “SANE room” or “Sexual Assault Nurse Examination room,” where victims of sexual or physical abuse can be examined in a safe and comforting environment. “We want to make things easier for

the child,” White said. “If a child is a victim of abuse and needs a medical examination, this room allows them to get everything done in one place. This way, they won’t have to travel all the way to Birmingham or wherever to get a rape kit done. They can talk about it here, and then get examined here. It makes things ultimately less traumatic.” White did the honors of cutting the ribbon Thursday. “With the addition of the SANE room, we’re showing how the CAC is here, and that we’re going to continue to provide services to kids that are going through a horrible ordeal,” White continued. “We’re going to improve and expand our services until the day that child abuse doesn’t exist. Until then, we’re here.” The cases seen at the Child Advocacy Center of East Alabama are only getting worse, according to Tina Evans, CAC forensic interviewer. “I had a kid under the age of 10 sit in front of me and tell me about her favorite Junie B. Jones book, and then talk about how afterward she’d ‘suck Dad’s cock’ in the same breath,” said Evans. “I’ve done work with abused and neglected children for quite some time, and you think you’ve seen everything, but then something worse comes along and you ask yourself ‘Are you kidding me?’” Evans said the majority of people have no idea what she works with. “It’s not always a 48-year-old man with a 3-year-old,” Evans said. “You’ll

see sibling on sibling, cousins, things that happen on sleepovers with friends – you name it. Stuff happens at school, daycare and everywhere. No place is safe anymore.” What frustrates Evans most, however, are the false assumptions people make about child abuse in general. “There is a misconception that abuse happens to only lower class people, or people who are poor, but we have kids in here whose parents are wealthy,” Evans said. “You can’t just look for the kid with the dirty rags on. We have a good number of kids from Auburn and Opelika. Abuse is everywhere – even where you don’t expect it.” To raise awareness, Evans stressed the importance of reporting a case as soon as you have suspicions. “Don’t turn a blind eye, and don’t look the other way,” Evans advised. “When you see something, report it. You don’t need solid evidence, and you don’t need to give your name. Maybe it’s nothing, but what if it isn’t?” Sometimes, children are old enough to understand when abuse occurs, but often times abuse is all they know. “When you have a little kid under the age of five tell you, ‘My daddy’s pee-pee was crying because I made it so happy,’ you realize how many of them don’t understand what’s happened to them,” Evans said. “They need you to pay attention, and they need you to listen. Be a voice for the voiceless – not just during the month of April, but all year round.”


Top: Abe White, program coordinator at the CAC, cuts the ribbon for the center’s new “SANE,” or Sexual Assault Nurse Examination, room. Bottom: Jonna Chizik is recognized by the CAC as an outstanding member of the community who has gone above and beyond in the care of children. Above: The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured several blue balloon bouquets. Each balloon represents 20 alleged victims of child abuse.


‘Game of Thrones:’ good and graphic Payden Evans intrigue@

All right, Tiger Fans, get your hands up for “Game of Thrones!” This past Sunday HBO’s 10-time EmmyAward-winning-show “Game of Thrones,” based off of George RR Martin’s book series, “A Song of Fire and Ice,” premiered for its fourth season, and it made the yearlong wait well worth it. Taking place after the events of the Red Wedding, Season 4 opens with lots of action, lots of adventure and lots of dragons. Daenerys has now assembled herself a slave army, and her dragons have gone from the size of a coffee table to the size of semi-trucks. In King’s Landing, it is good to be anyone with blonde hair. Although it is a time of celebration for the Lannister clan, there are many problems to be confronted. Jamie has now returned and Cersei has turned cold toward him for his time away from her and his disfigurement (spoiler alert for those who haven’t watched the show yet). Joffrey is as terrible as ever, and Tyrion is caught between a rock and a hard place with his new wife, Sansa, who is grieving for the loss of her slain Stark family, and her housemaid, Tyrion’s real lover, who fears Tyrion and Sansa may start to develop real feelings for each other. Meanwhile, Arya, the not-as-dead-asthey-think Stark child, and the Hound are still on the run, and Arya is out for blood. At Castle Black, John Snow has some explaining to do about his time with the Wild-

lings. With the fourth season still trying to tie up some loose ends from book three and segue itself into book four, Game of Thrones has done an exceptional job of taking elements from books three, four, and five in order to deliver a show well worth watching. Due to the incomplete presentation of the third book in the past season, we are not introduced to a wide array of new characters as we have in the past. However, we do have two characters who are out for Lannister blood, Oberyn Martell and his traveling companion Ellaria, delivering a message to the Lannisters they have more to worry about than their internal strife. The visual effects have somehow managed to become increasingly more impressive, from the creation of a million-man army to larger-than-life dragons. Some thoughts on the premiere: first and foremost, we have two new locations to admire in the impressive opening credits, the rugged Westeros castle Dredfort and Meereen. However, it is unclear as to whether or not these are places we will be visiting this season or just simply placeholders on a map. The introduction to Oberyn, played by actor Michiel Huisman, was fun to watch and very “Legend of Zoro” in his portrayal. This mysterious new character gives us much to look forward to this season. Also, Sansa finally gets a moment in the sun when she shows kindness toward the Knight-turned-fool Dontos, who she saved a few seasons ago. Lastly, no Bran this episode. Thoughts on this: Hodor. Stay tuned for next week for another review! Payden Evans is a contributing writer for The Auburn Plainsman. To contact Payden, email him at

Student shuns social media


Kailey Miller

Intrigue reporter

Social media is a huge part of many people’s lives today, and it may seem hard to picture life without it, but social media isn’t for everybody. Will Campbell, senior in mechanical engineering, explains why he doesn’t use any form of social media and what he gains by not using it. Q: Do you use any form of social media? A: I have Gmail. I use GroupMe ,and I use Spotify, but I don’t really count that. I just listen to music. But I don’t have the big ones– Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat. Q: Have you ever tried using any of them? A: I’ve actually had two different Facebooks. I had a Facebook in high school, then toward the end of high school, didn’t want it. Couldn’t really deal with it anymore. Deleted that. As I was coming to college, trying to get plugged in and stuff, it was kind of important because so many people were using Facebook to communicate, so I was like all right, I’ve got to get a new one. My first one I had like 1,600 friends or something ridiculous.

So I started a new one when I came back to college that had way less friends, it had maybe like 150 or something. But I just used it to communicate and stay plugged in and then I had that for about a year. And then once I felt like I didn’t need it, I just kind of ditched it. Q: If you had to use one form of social media, which one would you choose? A: I think they’re all pretty different, and I’m not really a big fan of any of them. I think that there’s a lot of pros and cons for each one. Facebook, for example, can be really good with keeping people updated with your life and things like that. [With] Twitter, you get to hear from everyone pretty frequently. There’s also a lot of cons to each one that does keep me away from all of them. Q: What cons do you think they have? A: I kind of debate with myself a lot about what social interaction actually is and what makes it important and valuable and why we like social interaction. I think that the whole idea of social media is to capture some

of those things that we think are very important, but it’s a limited medium. If you go and interact with just your friend, you know, hang out and eat lunch with them, you’re getting this really complex interaction on a couple different levels. But if you’re reading someone’s tweet, you’re not, or if you’re looking at somebody’s pictures from spring break, you’re not getting that. That pro of being able to hear from someone all of the time and feel like you’re staying in touch is good, but then you just really lose a lot of what social interaction is. Q: Do you ever feel like you’re at a disadvantage by not using it in regards to communication or networking? A: In some senses, yeah. A lot of parties that get planned on Facebook, or invites and events and then all the events are posted on Facebook. So, in that sense, I feel like, oh yeah, this is a disadvantage. But at the same time, I feel like I have a more sophisticated understanding for people in relationships from not constantly being on the news feed. At times, I feel out of the loop, but [I also] feel like I’m really gaining a lot.

The Auburn Plainsman 04.17.14 issue  

The Auburn Plainsman 04.17.14 issue

The Auburn Plainsman 04.17.14 issue  

The Auburn Plainsman 04.17.14 issue