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Art museum: Pokémon go away
By TRICE BROWN Assistant Campus Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
In the time between classes, or after getting home from school, some residents across Auburn have decided to skip their coffee break and instead engage in the virtual quest of trying to catch them all. But there’s one place that won’t allow it anymore. The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art — a venue considered by players to be perfect for gathering together to Pokémon hunt — is saying players are interfering with the museums’ ability to showcase art to visitors. Originally released in July 2016, Pokémon GO is a mobile phone game where players can travel to real-life locations to catch, train and compete with their Pokémon
and “catch them all.” Once Niantic, the game’s developer and publisher, created cooperative raids — where players can work together to defeat powerful Pokémon — the relatively isolated players quickly formed dedicated communities. The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art had been a favored spot for players due to the number of ingame locations and good lighting. The museum was home to several Pokémon gyms — a virtual setting where players can battle each other — and it had regularly been the location for monthly community day gatherings. Suddenly, many of the museum’s in-game locations disappeared. Auburn players couldn’t believe it. Those players can’t be simplified to one demographic. The game is popular among all ages, for individ-
uals and for families. Leslie Johnston was standing in the middle of a group of Pokémon GO players in Felton Little Park, hiding from the summer heat under the shade of a tree. She was playing the game on her phone and on her daughter’s green-cased tablet, which she clutched to her side. “No one had communicated with us before they took the gyms away,” Johnston said. Johnston’s daughter introduced her to the game. She wanted to play the game, but her mother had to set up a parent account first. “Then I got hooked on it, and now she hardly plays,” Johnston said. One woman told Johnston that it was the only thing she and her teenage son could still do together. Members of Auburn’s Pokémon
GO community communicate through the messaging app GroupMe, coordinating times to work together on a raid. The main GroupMe consists of hundreds of active players. “We didn’t know there was such a huge community of players in town,” said Chris Valeri, whose family started playing together as soon as the game came out. Now, Valeri thinks he has more friends who play the game than ones who don’t. Romances have also developed in the community, Johnston said. Johnston said the group allows her to meet professors, graduate students, freshmen and even residents of nearby cities such as Valley and Alexander City. » See POKÉMON, 2
Gogue Performing Arts Center set to boost economy By ELIZABETH HURLEY Community Editor email@example.com
The cranes and scaffolding have come down. The beep of construction trucks in reverse, of tires rumbling over gravel and dirt, has quieted. Trees have been planted, grass has been laid and the shows are all lined up. The Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center is almost ready for business, and on Thursday, Aug.
22, they will open the doors to the public for their opening festival. But it’s not just the University that is benefiting from the addition of a large performing arts center. “The world-class performances and cultural opportunities will be a tremendous draw for the campus and local communities,” said Auburn University Interim President, and namesake for the center, Jay Gogue in a statement to The Plainsman. “The Center will positively impact our economy and serve as another attractive commu-
nity benefit for business and industry looking to invest in east central Alabama. Beyond that, Susie and I can’t wait to see the next Octavia Spencer getting her career started at Auburn.” The city has invested $1.5 million in the construction of the facility, with an additional $50,000 each year for the next three years allocated for the center to provide funding for programing, said City Manager Jim Buston. Roadways around the center were also renovated. Medians with
greenery were added to College Street in the area between the center and the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. Sidewalks are also planned for the area to connect the center to downtown Auburn, Buston said. In honor of the city’s donations, part of the outdoor portion of the venue was named the City of Auburn Lawn and Porch. The center is now another amenity the city has to offer its residents; it’s expected to have a large economic impact on Auburn and sur-
Freshman wins PPT championship Community Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Auburn freshman Seth Maddox has kicked off his first year by bringing a championship to campus: the PowerPoint World Championship, to be exact.
The Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship presented by Certiport, Inc. is a global competition that tests students’ skills on Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Top students are invited to represent their respective countries at the World Championship. In some
Inside: An update on Harvey Updyke and his restitution payments The Toomer’s Oak poisoner will be back in a Lee County courtroom. Page 6
• Former 5-star is the highest-rated QB prospect of the Gus Malzahn era
countries or regions, students are required to participate in a National Championship, and the winners of that event continue to the World Championship. Maddox is from the small town
• Nix is poised to be the first true freshman Auburn QB to start a season opener since 1946 • The 2018 Mr. Football in Alabama, Nix accounted for over 12,000 total yards in his high school career
» See MADDOX , 2
» See GOGUE, 2
Nix named starter
By TYLER WARD
rounding areas. “When the Jule Collins Smith Art Museum was constructed, we saw a significant impact on that with our industries and what they are looking for in quality of life in a city,” Buston said. City officials expect the same from the Gogue Center because of what the center adds to the community. It just gives people another reason to want to live in Auburn,
» See NIX, 8
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THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019
POKÉMON » From 1
On the monthly community day, hundreds of players gather for a cookout and play together to receive a special in-game benefit that varies from month to month. “So many video games are just, you know, sitting on the sofa,” Johnston said. “This one encourages you to get out and explore.” For Johnston, the museum’s outdoor interactive exhibits allowed her to still spend time with her daughter after she lost interest in the game. Her daughter could play on the exhibits while Johnston played Pokémon GO. She said she isn’t sure if the “mom factor” made the game uncool in her daughter’s eyes. Four of the five gyms at the art museum were removed, though two more were added shortly after. In an email sent to The Plainsman, Johnston said the museum is one of only a few places in Auburn that is safe for walking at night, which is important to her as a single female. While city parks provide a safe area for players during the day, all parks close at sundown.
MADDOX » From 1
of Geraldine, Alabama, with a population of 1,000. After stumbling across the competition while working on a PowerPoint project in his multimedia design class, Maddox first beat out 365,000 competitors in the preliminary round. “Interestingly enough, I actually wasn’t even thinking about any of the competitions when I took home the PowerPoint Certification Test this past December,” Maddox said. “There was some option to include my score in a competition, but I wasn’t thinking that I might win it.” He then advanced and won the national championship in Orlando, Florida. Next thing he knew, he was competing against over 20 countries’ National Champions in New York City. “My favorite memory would definitely be walking around New York City,” he said. “From the Rockefeller Center to Trump Tower, it was pretty incredible.”
The only safe place to play at night is the museum, Johnston said. “I was really shocked to see they took it down,” said Kaicie Chasteen, a graduate student in poultry science, “because they’ve been nothing but nice to us for the last — as long as I’ve been participating in this, and that’s been a year and a half, two years now — and what happened?” Chasteen said community members donated to the museum when they could and tried to stay away from the museum when there were events planned. Johnston said the former director had given the group permission to have their community days on museum grounds. In February, a new director took over. The new director and chief curator, Cindi Malinick, became aware of the Pokémon GO community even before she accepted the position. During the interview process, she had to make her way through a group of players just to get into the museum. According to Malinick, the community has caused problems for the museum and its guests. She said there have been numerous traffic inci-
dents and life safety issues involving Pokémon GO players. She said cars have stopped in the middle of the road and have blocked the road for emergency vehicles. Gatherings of players have blocked the entrances to the museum, leaving guests trying to find their way through the crowd. According to Jonathan Osborne, director of marketing and communications for Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, the presence of Pokémon GO players makes it harder for buses full of school children to park at the museum. Malinick said she has been aware of at least two large gatherings of players at the museum since she became director, neither of which were cleared with the staff. One gathering, she said, occurred at the same time as a planned event. For the museum, contacting Pokémon GO developer Niantic has been on the docket for a while, Osborne said. Malinick said she made the decision after six months of observing the situation and receiving complaints from a host of stakeholders. “It’s been in the press in the past about participants (who play Pokémon GO) and some
of the dangers they even pose for themselves, much less other guests,” Malinick said. “I know we are not a unique situation. It was obvious by the way the company addressed it.” She said a lot of cultural institutions were excited and interested when the game first launched, but it became obvious that it was not about the institution, but about something on participants’ phones. Auburn isn’t the only place where Pokémon GO is an issue. According to The Guardian, a british newspaper, the initial embrace of Pokémon GO by American art museums didn’t come without drawbacks: A Florida museum’s garden was vandalized, with Pokémon GO team names carved into trees. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum asked Niantic to remove game locations from their grounds, worried that the game would interfere with the museum’s educational and memorial mission. “My job is to think about this place holistically, and we can’t please all of the people all of the time; that’s not our role,” Malinick said. But my role certainly is to ensure, to the extent possible, the greatest number of people that want to engage at the museum are able to — easily, safely.”
Since winning the World Championship, Maddox has taken home a combined total of $10,000, a Surface Laptop 2, a medal and a trophy. Maddox cannot compete in the PowerPoint category of competition any longer, but he’s not ruling out the competition in general. “I can compete in the Word or Excel portion of the Championship, so that’s something I would have to think about,” Maddox said. Maddox also noted that he’s taken home an abundance of knowledge on the PowerPoint application. Maddox will be studying chemical engineering this fall. His dream job is to work for a large computer technology company, and his newly won title of “PowerPoint World Champion” should hopefully improve his chances of it. “Through the varying levels of this competition, and the preparation for it, I have learned a lot about PowerPoint,” he said. “The knowledge I have gained can most certainly be put to use to create better PowerPoint presentations for not only college, but also my career in the future.”
Seth Maddox, freshman in computer engineering, wins Powerpoint World Championship.
CONTRIBUTED BY SETH MADDOX
GOGUE » From 1
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said Mayor Ron Anders. “I believe this is one of the most significant additions to Auburn in our history,” Anders said. “It’s something we’ve never had and it’s going to provide a resource of entertainment that we’ve never had.” A big impact for Anders is how children in the community will use the center. He said the center will provide children the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the performing arts. The center will also play host to many community events, as residents are able to rent the center for their personal events like weddings and parties. Important city functions, both new and old, will also take place at the center. The first “state of the city” talk will be held at the Gogue Center, Anders said. “I believe it will be a perfect setting for a lot of those activities,” Anders said. “The city has made a significant investment [in the Gogue Center.]” Whether it’s community events or performances the center puts on, center officials expect guests will fill theaters both inside and out. For the upcoming performance season, the center has sold tickets to residents of 17 states and sold out the inaugural festival, according to Executive Director of the Gogue Center Christopher Heacox. While the numbers won’t be clear until after the performance season is well underway, both Heacox and members of Auburn Opelika Tourism expect to see the center’s impacts throughout the community. “By bringing all of these individuals here, we’re going to have
a tremendous economic impact on our community,” Heacox said. “With people staying in hotels, eating at restaurants, shopping at local establishments. In order to put on those performances and maintain the facility, the center has hired a number of local full- and part-time employees — including University students. The performing arts in Auburn will also take a significant upswing as national performing tours and world-renowned artists take the stage. The theater is designed to handle larger performances in terms of cast and sets. “We’ve been able to attract some of the best performers in the world to come to the Gogue Center,” Heacox said. “It won’t just be this year. It’ll be year after year.” Auburn residents have bought in to the center as well. Many residents have spoken positively of the center and mentioned to Buston, Anders and Heacox that they are excited for the center to open. Robin Bridges, the vice president of Auburn Opelika Tourism, has worked alongside the Gogue Center staff to attract out-of-town guests to the center, but also build local excitement. “There’s nothing like this anywhere close by,” Bridges said. “It’s going to be a wonderful opportunity for us locally to have, but the impact level of the performances they’re bringing to the Gogue Center is world-class level.” World-class has often been used to describe the Gogue Center. From its lush outdoor landscaping and its tall stature visible around the community, the Gogue Center is already drawing a crowd — and it can only go up from there. “I hope it will continue to grow,” Bridges said. “As the name and what they offer become more known and established. We expect that it will only continue to grow.”
opinion THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019
Stop pretending everyone’s happy By EDITORIAL BOARD Fall 2019 In a recent report, the Princeton Review ranked Auburn students as being the happiest in the country. Understandably, the University chose to widely publicize this ranking, and many news outlets ran articles saying Auburn is the happiest Village on the Plains. But the happiness ranking was not the only aspect of the Princeton Review’s report. They also ranked Auburn students as: No. 9 worst in race/class interaction No. 5 most unfriendly to members of the LGBTQ community So, while Auburn may have the “happiest students,” it also has some of the unhappiest. The basic demographics of Auburn may lead the majority of its students to be happy, but in no way should that count as a blanket statement for everyone who calls this University home. To start, the vast majority — 75.9% — of Auburn students are white. Most of them come from middle to upper-class backgrounds, and according to the Princeton Review, most of them rarely interact with anyone of a different race or income level while at Auburn. Not only do most Auburn students come from a privileged background, few of them talk to people who aren’t from a privileged background. Unsurprisingly, this large group of middle to upper-class white people from the American South who have very little interaction with victims of systemic oppression also tend to be quite Christian and politically conservative. There is nothing wrong with being conservative or Christian — Auburn ranked on both lists in the Princeton Review — but when you have a student population where most of the people look the same and grew up in similar circumstances, no one should be surprised when that group thinks and believes similar things. At the same time, no one should be surprised when the people who disagree with the majority feel silenced or don’t show up in surveys.
This is important because while most Auburn students may be white, straight, conservative and religious — a large minority are not. Nearly 8,000 people of color call Auburn University home, and another unknown number of students belong to the LGBTQ community. Many of these sizable minorities have organizations like the Black Student Union or the International Student Organization which advocate for their rights, but the mere presence of these types of organizations can never fully compensate for the massive disparity in enrollment numbers. At current levels they will never show up in university-wide surveys. But that doesn’t mean their happiness can be ignored. People of color and members of the LGBTQ community should be able to feel safe and happy at Auburn, but the University’s current climate of hegemony and homophobia doesn’t allow for that. In fact, the school’s current administration and student body have done very little to encourage any kind of long-term solution to these issues. And they’ve had plenty of opportunities to try. When Auburn played Alabama State Univerisity, a historically black institution, in football last year, two Greek fraternities hung racist banners from their balconies. Three years ago, a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi spoke on campus. Two years ago, the Honors College faced backlash after inviting the president of the White Student Union, an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group, to speak at an event. Last year someone rushed into an LGBTQ-inclusive coffee shop and shouted Nazi propaganda. But instead of real change, the school’s response to every one of these incidents was the same: some vague statement about how these are not our values. But aren’t they? None of these events are the sole responsibility of any single organization,
A student holds his fist up during a sit-in protest at the Greenspace in Auburn, Ala.
student or administrator. Rather, they are all products of a community which has refused to take a meaningful stance against the forms of white supremacy that have shown up on and around campus in the last few years. It’s obvious that some people in this town and University feel they can safely profess hateful and violent ideas without any real reprocussions. All of that has to be taken into account when looking at this Princeton Review ranking. Even if the majority of Auburn students say they are happy, everyone is not in the majority. Looking forward, Auburn’s administrators, faculty and students need to ensure that this happiness ranking doesn’t get in the way of addressing the real issues that are present on campus. Blindly celebrating our happiness ranking while some students endure undue harrassment in silence is shameful. The difficult part is that these issues can’t be solved by any single part of Auburn’s administration or student body.
The fact that some students feel like Auburn is a place where they can openly be racist isn’t going to be solved by the Office of Inclusion and Diversity. It’s not going to be solved by the BSU or the ISO or The Plainsman. The University as a whole has to understand the entire reality of their students’ happiness. Rankings like the one from the Princeton Review can be beneficial to a school, but only if all of its findings are given the same weight. It’s great that so many students are happy at Auburn, but that’s not a reason to ignore the ones who aren’t. There are students here who feel threatened, harassed, ignored and silenced. Auburn has to ensure that all of its voices are heard. This can’t be solved by the administration, the student body or the Princeton Review. It has to be a collective effort because it’s not about changing a policy — it’s about changing a culture.
Correction: In the Welcome Back tab, Allen Greene’s name was misspelled. It was printed as “Alan.” The Plainsman staff sincerely regrets the error.
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campus THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019
INCLUSION JOSH FISHER / PHOTOGRAPHER
‘It’s not an accurate depiction’ Students encourage the Auburn Family to read beyond the Princeton Review ranking. By STEPHEN LANZI Campus Editor
Auburn was ranked the No. 1 college or university in student happiness, but that’s not the entire story. The Princeton Review’s annual rankings of the best 385 colleges also had Auburn at No. 5 in LGBT-unfriendly and No. 9 in little class/race interaction, which were not mentioned in the University’s marketing of the rankings. Criteria for the rankings was based on data from surveys of 140,000 students at the 385 institutions. Surveys included 80 questions ranging from academic and administration life to fellow students and themselves. Livia Coleman, president of the Black Student Union, said the disparity between the rankings is due to a lack of representation in minority groups. “Honestly, I don’t feel like it’s an accurate depiction of how everyone feels,” Coleman said of the happiness ranking. “I feel like if the majority is happy, the minority can just fall by the wayside.” Coleman mentioned how the institution was founded before the Civil War, and black students weren’t allowed to attend Auburn until the 1960s. Focusing solely on the majority allows broken and oppressive systems to continue, she added. According to University records, Auburn’s enrollment is 76% white and less than 6% black in a state that is 68% white and 26% black. Black enrollment has also steadily declined over recent years. In the report, the Princeton Review said much of the student body is white, Republican and tends to be conservative. “I don’t think Auburn is really diverse at all,” Coleman said. “Race relations can’t get better if the percentage of the majority is consistently getting higher and the amount of minority students are consistently dwindling.” Preston Sparks, director of University Communications Services, provided a response on behalf of the University after a request by The Plainsman for comment on the rankings. The statement read as follows: “Auburn is focused on broadening its commitment to inclusion and diversity and dedicated to a continuous-improvement approach. We continually strive to foster a more diverse student body as we prepare our students for life and leadership in a global economy and multi-cultural society. Our Office of Inclusion and Diversity, working with colleges, schools, units and organizations across our campus, aims to further establish inclusion and diversity as core values.”
Coleman said the Office of Inclusion and Diversity works hard to increase representation of minorities, but in order to see a much-needed culture change on campus, there has to be a strong effort across the entire university. The interaction between different classes and races on Auburn’s campus, or lack thereof, can clearly be seen in the segregation of international students from the rest of the student body, Coleman said. Olivia Atkins, the first ever domestic student to be president of the International Student Organization, said interaction between international students and the rest of the student body has always been an issue ISO has struggled with. “ISO, for international students, is a family and community in a sense,” Atkins said. “I think our biggest problem is people just don’t know about it, and if they do know about it, they think it’s just for international students.” Atkins said the University made a large push to recruit more international students in the early 2000s, and international student enrollment is at one of the highest points it’s ever been. But Auburn’s enrollment is still low in comparison to peer institutions. “People tend to go where they’re most comfortable and gravitate to people that are just like them,” Atkins said, “and that’s why we see the huge discrepancy in the rankings.” Whether it’s on the concourse, in the classroom or just leisure time, Atkins said the sectioning off of students with different backgrounds is apparent in most places students congregate. “It’s something I think about a lot and how to fix it,” Atkins said. “It’s not something that’s going to get fixed in one year. It’s going to have to be gradual.” Rafael Santos, president of the Latino Student Association, said it’s difficult to affect a culture change because many students may not have been exposed to people with different backgrounds at an early age. “It’s difficult because it’s something that comes from the house, the family,” Santos said. “That’s something that comes from where you were growing up. A lot of students may have gone to white schools, so having people from different backgrounds or races around them makes them uncomfortable.” Lucas Copeland, the longest-serving officer of Spectrum, Auburn University’s Gay-Straight Alliance, said the student happiness ranking wasn’t surprising, partially because Auburn is a relatively wealthy school. However, the poor LGBT-unfriendly ranking wasn’t surprising either. “We, in some ways, have a false notion of Southern hospitality that we’re very polite people, but I don’t know if we’re necessarily
welcoming to people who have different world views than us,” Copeland said. Similar to Auburn’s poor class and race interaction ranking, Copeland attributed the LGBT-unfriendly nature of Auburn to the institution’s unwillingness to promote different communities. “I often say that the campus is politically agnostic,” Copeland said. “A lot of other campuses see a lot more political protests and events, but we don’t. And I think that’s fundamentally because the majority of campus agrees with each other and therefore, they don’t protest or they’ll just be making arguments to people who already agree with them.” Copeland said for the most part, professors are accepting and affirming to LGBT students, even if that isn’t the case for their peers. But a large part of the student experience depends on where the student is on campus. The makeup of the classroom is radically different for Copeland, a psychology major, than it is for other students. “When I walk into class, at least two or three people have dyed hair, it’s predominantly women, people tend to be more comfortable discussing sexuality in the context of psychology,” Copeland said. “If you’re in an engineering course, you’re probably walking into a classroom with primarily a group of men with the same haircut, and they’re going to be much less willing to talk about sexuality.” With Auburn having a predominantly like-minded student body, Copeland said issues of prejudice, a lack of racial interaction and many other issues are related and contribute to one another. SGA President Mary Margaret Turton said the Princeton Review’s rankings demonstrate broad satisfaction and demonstrate the mantra that Auburn is the Loveliest Village on the Plains, but she said the poor rankings also show there is an outstanding amount of work that needs to be done to expand the Village. “I’m proud of our students’ evident desire for more racial and socioeconomic interaction, but more inclusive enrollment must precede such interaction,” Turton said. “The diversity of our classrooms is contingent on the diversity of our outreach. That’s why SGA’s first executive goal focuses on the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students.” The third tenant of SGA’s mission statement is to unify all that is Auburn, and Turton said this year, SGA is dedicated to making sure that all students, regardless of background, feel welcome, represented and heard. “Because every student is a member of SGA, I hope that each of us will work toward the ideals of our Auburn Family — one that includes and embraces students of color, low-income students and LGBTQ students,” Turton said.
Honors College offers new graduation distinctions By DREW DAWS Campus Writer
The Honors College now offers two new graduation distinctions — Honors Research Scholar and University Honors Research Scholar. To earn these distinctions, students must participate in a structured curriculum that focuses on research. “We did think it was important, especially early on, for students to understand research broadly-conceived before they start drilling down into their specific disciplines,” said Tiffany Sippial, director of the Honors College and associate professor of history. Honors Research Scholars must complete a minimum of 24 hours of Honors College courses by the time they graduate. University Honors Research Scholars must complete a minimum of 30 hours. Students are also required to maintain a 3.2 and 3.4 cumulative GPA, respectively. As a Carnegie R1 university, Sippial said it is critical to expand the scope of the Honors College to attract students who are highly sought-after to Auburn. “I think the appeal of this is in terms of thinking about not only the students who are already here, but the students that we hope to recruit in the future,” she said. “I think that showing them we take research seriously here, and we have this curriculum in place, will help elevate [the Honors College].” Sippial said one student currently in the Honors College has switched to the new curriculum to continue her research efforts. According to Sippial, the student was selected for a research team under a faculty member who is looking at sex trafficking. “She was one of the ones who switched, and she said, ‘I’m already doing this, so I want to switch into the designation and be able to
The front of Cater Hall, the home of Auburn University’s Honors College, in Auburn, Ala.
tell the story in a more intentionally packaged kind of way.’” Sippial added that she hopes this curriculum will attract not only more students, but new faculty as well. “I think it will elevate who we can recruit faculty-wise,” she said. “We have some fantastic faculty. So many already contribute to our program, but my hope is we get the attention of some new ones. They’ll say, ‘Okay, hold on a minute. I’d love to be working with undergraduates who are serious about research.’” Although Auburn is a large university, she said the Honors College, which has about 2,000 students, provides a more one-on-one
experience. “[The Honors College is] all the great things about our research university but with the feel of a small liberal arts school,” Sippial said. “And a lot of students want that. They think they want small liberal arts until they come to the Honors College and they’re like, ‘Wait a minute. I almost don’t have to choose.’” Sippial said enrollment in the Honors College increased 17% this year, something she said she attributes to the growing opportunities offered by the college. “We’re growing. But I think that’s because what we are able to offer is appealing and increasingly so as the university gets bigger and
bigger. Having the access to this kind of honors experience I think is really important,” she said. Other changes include the Honors College’s value statement, which ties in with the college’s mission to engage, explore, elevate and experience. “It’s been a really dynamic year,” Sippial said. “We have those touchstones for all of us to return to, to say, ‘What do we value? What are we doing?’… just having a clearer sense of where we’re headed, what we want our students to accomplish and what the value of the honors educational experiences for our students [is].”
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019
The Auburn Plainsman
AU welcomes short-term car rentals By STEPHEN LANZI Campus Editor
CONTRIBUTED BY JUSTIN PARKER
Mock trial team takes the case By MALLORY NICHOLS Campus Writer
Auburn University Mock Trial is a student-led team that competes on a national level. It consists of two teams that argue opposing sides of a legal case. To win a trial, a team must argue a case better than the other, not just have the right facts. Auburn’s team competes at least three times a year, including one invitational competition in the fall, one in the spring and Regionals in February. If successful in Regionals, the team has the opportunity to advance to the Opening Round Championships, or ORCS. Just last year, for the first time in Auburn’s history, both teams received the opportunity to compete at ORCS. “Auburn’s Mock Trial Competition Team competes in a national program called the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA),” said Justin Parker, the team’s vice president of external affairs. Once a year, AMTA releases a criminal or civil case that includes evidence, prevailing case law, witness affidavits, certain rules of evidence and other legal components. Teams take a side of the case — either the plaintiff or the defense — and make an opening statement, a direct for a witness, a cross-examination for witnesses and a closing argument. Teams are also expected to know a scaled-down version of the Federal Rules of Evidence known as the Midlands Rules of Evidence. Auburn’s team will hold two information sessions for anyone who is interested in applying. According to Parker, these sessions are short overviews “of who we are, what we do in competitions and expectations for the team.” They will also answer any
questions a student may have concerning the team. Information sessions for the program are set for Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, and Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, at 6 p.m. in Aubie Hall 139. Auburn’s Mock Trial Competition Team also holds a crash course for all applicants and is specifically for applicants with little to no experience. During the crash course the team’s executive board will go over what skills will be needed for tryouts. The crash course will be on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, at 6 p.m. in Mell 3133. During tryouts, applicants will have to give an opening statement and a cross-examination based on this year’s AMTA case, along with an impromptu speech based on a randomly picked question. To try out for Auburn’s team, a student must sign up on an email list at either an information session or the crash course. According to Parker, the club is not major-specific and experience with mock trial is not required. “I know it seems daunting, but we don’t require any previous experience, and we’re very open to speaking to anyone interested,” Parker said. “If you get stressed out about the application because you think, ‘I’ve never had mock trial experience,’ I would sit down and give you some pointers. This is my second year doing mock trial, so before last year, I had no experience either.” Tryouts will be held Aug. 29, 2019, and Aug. 30, 2019, in Lowder Hall 34. “You know, we strive for professionalism,” Parker said. “This year we are aiming to go to nationals; last year we had two teams to receive a bid to the first opening rounds of the competition. This is our eleventh year competing, and we’re aiming to go further.”
Auburn students have been able to reserve bikes on campus for hours at a time, but now they can also rent cars. Auburn Parking Services has partnered with Zipcar to provide two cars as self-service transportation rental options that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Instead of the traditional rental-car model of committing to at least a day, Zipcar can be used to run errands or make other quick trips off campus. “We’re always looking for ways to promote alternative ways to get to campus or different services to provide for students who don’t want to go through the process of calling up Enterprise or book a car or go somewhere else,” said Kelsey Prather, communications and marketing specialist for Transportation Services. “I mean, these are right on campus, so we think it’ll be a really good service for students.” Both of the cars are located in the Quad area off of Quad Drive, and Prather said they were placed in parking spaces designated for state vehicles to specifically avoid taking away parking spaces for students. People interested can download the app to gain access, and students can get a discounted price of $15 for a year membership. Faculty and staff can use the cars, too, but their membership rate is a little higher. Users are sent a PIN to unlock the car, and each car has a gas card, so users do not have to pay for gas as long as users stay within a 180-mile radius of campus. Insurance for the cars are also provided, so the user does not need to provide insurance. “That was one of those draws with it was that it is affordable for students,” Prather said. “I rented one (from a traditional-style rental company) for three or four days, and it was over $200. So, [Zipcar] is not bad for student pricing.” Prather said Parking Services talked about having more than two cars, but since this is the first year of the cars being on campus, they wanted to see the demand and make an adjustment accordingly. It is hoped that more cars will be brought in the future. “Certainly, if it’s popular enough, we would love to bring more cars on campus and place them in other areas, but this is kind of the test run for the first year,” she said. Prather said she is excited for the many ways Zipcar will be able to used by students for off-campus usage. “We’re just excited to bring different modes of transportation to campus — tough to find parking, it’s tough for me to find parking to get to my office,” Prather said with a laugh. “So, if there’s any way we can assist students with any type of services or benefits, we are always open to making it a better experience, especially for our undergraduate and graduate students.”
VIA CLASS CASH
Alumni’s app gives students cash for studying time By FRED TAYLOR Campus Writer
A team of Auburn alumni who reminisced on their days as undergrads are releasing a mobile application called Class Cash that allows students to get paid to go to class and study on campus. The team consists of CEO and engineering graduate Grant
Dammicci, COO and marketing graduate Connor Lewis, CTO and engineering graduate Parker Roan and sales representative and marketing graduate Chaney Knowlton. How it works is that students sign up for the waitlist, and Class Cash works to match students with sponsors. Once a student matches with a sponsor, Class
Cash applies a sticker with the sponsor’s logo to the back of the student’s laptop. Anytime students are in a classroom, student center or library, they can scan the sticker using the app and earn money every minute their laptops are open. These zones are unique to each campus the service is offered.
The overarching goal is to help college students without disrupting their habits, Knowlton said. The goal is to help college students while adding extra incentive to go to class. “An extra $20 or $30 a week can really have an impact on students’ everyday lives,” Knowlton said. In addition to earning from
Class Cash sponsors, students have the ability to request money from their parents. “We developed the platform to allow students immediately to earn money using our app while we work every day to bring on more sponsors,” Roan said. “The goal is for Class Cash to be at every single university,” Knowlton said.
community THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019
‘He’ll never pay it off in 100 lifetimes’ Harvey Updyke still owes Auburn University over $800,000 in restitution payments. By ELIZABETH HURLEY Community Editor
The infamous Toomer’s Oak poisoner Harvey Updyke Jr. will soon be back in a Lee County courtroom after failing to keep up with his monthly court-ordered payments, according to court documents. When he pled guilty to criminal damage of an agricultural facility, a Class C felony in March 2013, part of his plea agreement included paying over $800,000 in restitution to Auburn University and court fees. “He’ll never pay it off in 100 lifetimes and we knew that going in,” Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes told The Plainsman. Updyke has paid $6,646.50 in restitution and court fee payments since the plea agreement over five years ago, according to court documents. Within the last year, Updyke has made two $99 restitution payments. His payments are supposed to be $200 a month. This comes after his payments were lowered from $500 a month to about $100 a month. When Hughes took office, he succeeded in having the payments raised to their current mark of $200 a month, Hughes said. At the ordered rate, it would take Updyke over 300 years to pay off the entire restitution and court fees. Updyke is nearing his 71st birthday in October, according to court documents. “He’s got to pay what the court says he’s got to pay and he’s not doing it,” Hughes said. “Part of my role as district attorney is to make sure our victims are paid the restitution.” Hughes does not think Updyke is remorseful for his actions. In the several public comments he had
made since the 2010 Iron Bowl, Updyke has made it clear he does not like Auburn Unviersity and he is not sorry for what he’s done, Hughes said. “When he goes to Alabama games, he’s treated like a hero,” Hughes said. “They love this guy for what he did, and he embraces that role and relishes it. He’s just a bitter old man that’s got nothing going on in his life. He relishes this because this is all
he has.” In February, Hughes filed a motion to show cause because of Updyke’s failure to pay most of his month payments. This motion required Updyke to appear in Lee County court to explain why he has not been making is payments, according to court documents. This wasn’t the first time Hughes filed a motion to show cause with Updyke. Typically, Updyke will begin to miss payments, so Hughes will file a
motion. Updyke will then make up his payments and continue on with his normal payments for a few months before missing payments again. This has been a continuous cycle, Hughes said. A hearing was set for July 2, and the state was ordered to serve Updyke with an order to appear. But when the state went to serve Updyke with the order, he was no longer living at the address he provided to the court, according to court documents. Hughes and others representing the state in Updyke’s case continued to search for Updyke by checking old address in Louisiana and Texas. In March, Updyke appeared as a guest on a podcast where he said he was living with his son, so the district attorney’s office followed the lead, Hughes said. When the time for the hearing rolled around, Updyke’s lawyers were present in court, but he was not. Judge Jacob Walker ordered Hughes and the district attorney’s office to find Updyke and set a new hearing date for October 30. “We contacted the DA’s office in Louisiana and got their investigators looking into it,” Hughes said. “They tracked him down and served him with his show cause notice on Tuesday.” Hughes is going after those payments like he would any othr case involving restituion payments, this just happens to be a more high-profile case, he said. This is a point of emphasis for Hughes, to make sure Updyke is following the law. “Every single time he makes a misstep, I’m going to be there to make him answer for it,” Hughes said. Updyke did sign a notice stating that he was served the motion to show cause, therefore he is expected in court on Oct. 30.
Cullars relocation project causes concern By CORY BLACKMON Community Reporter
MARIE LIPSKI / PHOTO EDITOR
J&M Bookstore is no longer selling Auburn University issued textbooks on August, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.
No more textbooks for J&M Bookstore By ELIZABETH HURLEY Community Editor
Buying textbooks for the fall 2019 semester was different for some students. One of Auburn’s oldest bookstores, J&M Bookstore, did not sell textbooks for this semester and plans not to sell them again. This is the first semester where Auburn’s full student population is looking for the classroom essential and had to look elsewhere. J&M Bookstore stopped selling textbooks in March, said Operations Manager Ben Duncan. The decision was a long time coming. In recent years, textbook sales have been dwindling with the rise of online retailers like Amazon. “The industry has changed,” Duncan said. “I kind of liken it to the typewriter business. For years that was a whole industry. People sold typewriters. At some
point it switched to computers, and typewriters faded out.” Duncan doesn’t think it will be long before the traditional paper textbook will be a thing of the past as the popularity of e-books and digital course content rises. Operating in downtown Auburn since 1953 just steps from Toomer’s Corner has brought many fans, students and alumni into the store, making them and integral part of the Auburn experience. J&M Bookstore wants to key into that idea. “We’re trying to do different things to enhance that experience,” Duncan said. “Different things that go along with game day, go along with people coming into Auburn that have never been to Auburn.” The space the textbooks once occupied in the downtown location is now filled with THE locAL Market, which
features art from local artists. J&M Bookstore has featured local artists’ work for over a year and has expanded it since it stopped selling textbooks. Duncan said featuring local artists at the locally-owned store was a given and something that would fit right in at the downtown location. The location on South College features more game day and tailgate products where the textbooks used to be housed. Just because the downtown retailer stopped selling one of its products it opened the store with, doesn’t mean it’s going anywhere anytime soon. “As far as J&M Bookstore is concerned, we’ve been here 66 years in downtown Auburn, and we want to continue to be an integral part of the downtown Auburn experience,” Duncan said. “Doing these modifications, these transitions is part of that experience.”
The Auburn City Council was in the center of contention as the cost of relocating the historic Cullars home was discussed along with amendments to a student housing ordinance. During Committee of the Whole, council members discussed the possibility of moving the historic Cullars house in order to preserve the building and refurbish it. The lease for the property has been terminated, and a deadline of Sept. 30 has been set to determine whether the house will be moved or not, said City Manager Jim Buston. “Bottom line is, we think that if the council is of the mind to move the house, it could be moved to Kiesel Park,” Buston said. “It would cost us somewhere in the neighborhood of $700,000 to $1 million.” To just move the house would cost about $100,000 to $200,000, but the costs of rebuilding the house and upgrading it to a usable state would prove much more costly. “The moving part is probably a quarter of the expense,” Buston said. “They may have to cut the house in half. They will definitely have to cut the roof off.” The city did contact the University to see if they would be able to aid in pre-
serving the home, Buston said. “We got an email from facilities at the University that tells us that they were not interested in either moving the house or in accepting the hous,” Buston said. “Something to the effect of that their experience with these older homes, that they’re very expensive to move and very expensive to renovate and maintain. We asked for an official word from the University and that was the official word.” Because of the high costs of relocating the house, the decision was tabled until September, in order to give the Council time to speak with the public about how they want to proceed. The Cullars house could be moved, purchased or demolished right now. Buston said, the costs of outright buying the house would likely cost five times the amount of relocating it. Mayor Anders Expressed his appreciation of the Auburn communitiy’s desire to preserve it’s history and said there is still time for private citizens to get involved. “We strongly encourage those people in the private sector who are intrested,” Anders said. “the window is still open and you can still participate in this.” The City Council was divided on a proposed amend » See COUNCIL, 7
The Auburn Plainsman
v e E n g t i
ER facility comes to Auburn By TARAH YEAGER Community Writer
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019
Five things that impacted the community this summer
The Voice of the Auburn Tigers dies: Former Auburn sportscaster Rod Bramblett and his wife Paula both died on May 25 from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle accident in Auburn.
Police officer killed in the line of duty: Officer William Buechner was shot and killed, and two other officers were injured when responding to a domestic disturbance call on May 19. This was the first time an officer in the Auburn Police Division has been killed in the line of duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
President Leath steps down: Former Auburn University President Steven Leath resigned on June 21, just 15 months after he was hired. Former Auburn University President Jay Gogue was named interim president on July 8. When Gogue retired from Auburn University in 2017, he stayed in the community and participated in a city commission.
Petition against the pipeline: Nearly 3,000 people have signed an online petition to reroute a proposed Auburn Water Works Board pipeline around Chewacla State Park. The pipeline is currently designed to run through 3,900 feet of the park.
Tax fund: On July 23, Auburn residents voted to use the city’s 5 Mill Tax Fund to pay off debts from two Auburn City Schools’ facilities projects. The fund will pay off the $46 million in increments over the next 30 years.
The City of Auburn is partnering with East Alabama Medical Center and the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation to construct a new emergency room facility on Auburn University’s campus. Located at the intersection of Shug Jordan Parkway and Auburn Camp Road, the new facility will be open to Auburn University students and the community. This facility will be the latest addition to the Auburn Research Park. Construction is expected to begin this fall. “Our part of it is $2 million to help with the infrastructure costs getting a roadway built from Shug Jordan into the research park up to where the buildings are going to be constructed,” said City Manager Jim Buston. Because Shug Jordan is a state highway, the City of Auburn will also be working closely with the Alabama Department of Transportation to build the entrance to the new facility. Unlike Auburn University or EAMC, the City of Auburn has the legislative authority regarding changes to state and local infrastructure. The cost of the building’s construction totals $33 million, according to Buston. Auburn University and the Auburn Re-
COUNCIL » From 6
ment to an ordinance regulating academic detached dwelling units. The amendement to the ordiance was to not allow ADDUs to be built on properties that abutt properties in the historic district. The amendment also called for ADDUs to be built in the redevelopment district, RDD, on a conditional, case-bycase basis. As the Council began disccuing the issue, tensions contiually rose and Council members proposed new amendments during the meeting.
search and Technology Foundation are contributing $11 million, with the city contributing $2 million. EAMC, who will own and operate the facility, will cover the remaining $20 million. This building is expected to be 88,000 square feet, comprised of two EAMC units, an emergency department, an ambulatory surgical center with four surgical suites, as well as health science and medical research units. Previously, residents had to travel to Opelika to receive services such as endoscopy, radiology, ophthalmology and orthopedics, which will all be offered at the new facility. The partnership of this building extends beyond finances and includes a partnership of opportunities across varying communities. With its proximity to campus, more internship and medical research opportunities will be available to students and members of the community. The Auburn Research and Technology Foundation is located in the Auburn Research Park and serves the University and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development by expanding research, applying research to business and providing an entrepreneurial business environment for students to prosper. Further details about the facility will be available closer to the groundbreaking.
“So the two amendments are, ADDU shall be permitted by conditional use approval in RDD city wide, and the other is ADDU shall not be permitted on parcels abutting the North College Historic District,” said Mayor Ron Anders. The Council had two options Tuesday night. They could vote to change the current amendment before them or create a new amendment. Council members chose to amend the amendment. They then voted on both the inital amendment and the one created during the meeting. Both votes were the same, 5 to 4, and neither amendment passed. During the public hear-
ing, Auburn resident Nick Hayes voiced his concerns and dispelasure with the new amendments. “So roughly in May, we were up here to discuss the ADDU in RDD and other areas,” Hayes said. “I know it’s not personal, but it certainly feels that way as an attack by Councilman Griswold, on us as private citizens just trying to invest in the community. And certainly, having this come back before us for a third time after the staff said no twice, and it doesn’t feel like our rights are being protected.” As the ADDU ordinance sat originally and still stands, ADDUs were allowed by right in RDD zones.
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THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019
IT’S BO TIME
Malzahn names true frosh Nix QB1 By HENRY ZIMMER Sports Writer
For the first time in 73 years a true freshman will take the reins in an Auburn season opener. Gus Malzahn announced Tuesday that Bo Nix edged out fellow freshman quarterback Joey Gatewood due to Nix’s “attention to detail” and his “rare grasp” of football as a whole. “We have two quarterbacks we think we can win with,” Malzahn said. “But at the end of the day Bo Nix won the competition.” Nix was labeled as a more polished passer over Gatewood, while Gatewood was given the edge in the running game. Nix was given immense credit by his coach for his mobility, with Malzahn saying Nix is “faster than people give him credit for.” Nix admitted that his high school football coach — his father, former Auburn QB Patrick Nix (1992-95) — would copy some of Auburn’s plays for Nix to run in high school.
“(Nix) is not your normal freshman,” Malzahn said. “He earned the starting quarterback job. He had a really good fall camp and there’s a lot of intangibles that go with that. At the end of the day the consistency … gives us a good chance to be successful.” With Nix being QB1 and Gatewood being labeled as the backup, the question arises as to what the former 4-star prospect from Jacksonville, Florida, will do for the team going forward. “We have two quarterbacks we feel like we can win with,” Malzahn said. “He’s going to help us win this year, there’s no doubt in my mind. Joey is a competitor.” Added Malzahn on possible offensive packages for Gatewood: “I’m not ready to say that right now.” Nix and the rest of the Tiger squad kick off in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, against the Ducks on Aug. 31.
TODD VAN EMST / AUBURN ATHLETICS
3 Tigers earn scholarships By MATTISON ALLEN Sports Writer
Three Tigers are walk-ons no more. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn awarded three walk-on players with scholarships Monday evening during a team meeting, as shown on the Auburn football Instagram. The recipients were defensive back Devin Guice, wide receiver James Owens Moss and H-back Spencer Nigh, the latter of which was recognized for his scholarship given earlier in the year. The three additions push Auburn’s scholarship players to the full 85, as limited by the NCAA. Guice hails from Opelika, just down the road from Auburn. He’s been on the team since 2016 but didn’t see action until 2017, when he played defensive back in two games. He continued with the action last season facing Alabama State, Liberty and Purdue in the Music City bowl. He’s totaled four tackles in his Auburn career. Owens is also a native of Opelika,
where he rushed for more than 1,700 yards in his high school career. Since his arrival at Auburn he’s only played in the 2018 season. He first saw the field against Alabama State, then Liberty and Purdue in Auburn’s bowl game. Nigh, a native Texan, is entering his final year at Auburn. Nigh played three games as a freshman before becoming a consistent fixture in the offense. In 2017 he played fullback in 10 of the Tigers’ 14 games, whereas last season Nigh became the backup H-back and played every game. “Really, there’s five to six guys that are deserving of the scholarship that we’re not going to be able to give a scholarship to,” Malzahn said in the video. “You scholarship guys — I really want you to have appreciation. Not just for the guys we’re able to put on scholarship, but the guys you all know who has been a great teammate, a great scout team person, always there.” Auburn starts its season Aug. 31 against Oregon in Arlington, Texas in the Advocare Classic.
TODD VAN EMST / AUBURN ATHLETICS
James Owens Moss (35) catches a pass during Auburn practice April 3, 2019, in Auburn.
Auburn opens at No. 16 in AP poll By JAKE WEESE Sports Reporter
When Auburn kicks off Aug. 31 against Oregon, it will not only be going into the season with high expectations from the Auburn faithful, but also from the Associated Press. The AP poll was released Monday morning and Auburn will come into the season at No. 16 in the nation — its same ranking as the coaches poll. The Tigers are one of six SEC schools in the AP Top 25. Alabama is No. 2, Georgia No. 3, LSU No. 6, Florida No. 8 and Texas A&M No. 12. Auburn’s Week 1 opponent, Oregon, will enter the season at No. 11. The Ducks are one of Auburn’s six opponents for the upcoming season that are ranked in the Top 25 heading into Week 1. The last time Auburn opened up the season at No. 16 in the nation was 2005, when it finished the season 9-3. 2005 was Tommy Tuberville’s seventh season as Auburn’s head coach, and 2019 will be Gus Malzahn’s seventh, as well. Auburn is coming off a 2018 season which saw the Tigers finish with an 8-5 record and fail to finish in the Top 25 for the first time since 2015.
Payton White (3) is one of the veterans on the Tigers’ 2019 squad.
Hopeful ‘19 season begins at home for Tigers By MATTISON ALLEN Sports Writer
Football isn’t the only season right around the corner. Last season Auburn volleyball was 12-16 overall and 5-13 in conference play. Auburn’s 2018 team was young with five new freshmen who had to become contributors immediately. There was only one returning setter, Morgan Kull, who was just a sophomore at the time. Auburn will begin 2019 with
an exhibition game against Georgia Tech before the regular season. The Tigers faced the Yellow Jackets in last year’s exhibition, winning in four sets by scores of 2522, 25-16, 19-25 and 25-23. Auburn is bringing in a strong transfer player this season in Jaeden Brown, a junior transferring from South Florida. In Tampa, Brown played middle blocker and finished second in The American conference with a total of 146 blocks. Though it will be an exhibition,
Auburn’s matchup with the Yellow Jackets still carries weight as Tech boasts a transfer of its own — Julia Bergmann, a freshman outside hitter from Munich, Germany. She competed on Brazil’s national team last year. The returning players for both teams are just as valuable as the newcomers. Auburn’s senior leading hitter, Shaina White, returns to the team after holding her .329 hitting percentage through 73 sets from her junior year. Tech brings senior Kodie Comby, who aver-
aged 1.90 kills per set last year. Auburn will open the regular season in the War Eagle Invitational following its exhibition game. Coach Rick Nold’s squad is set to host Tennessee State, New Mexico State and Butler, in that order. Auburn is projected as an underdog against New Mexico State, which compiled a 24-8 record last season. Auburn takes the court against Georgia Tech on Aug. 24 at 4 p.m. CST in Auburn Arena.
The Auburn Plainsman
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019 FOOTBALL
‘Dream come true’ for Nix By JAKE WEESE Sports Reporter
The first week of freshman year is stressful enough with trying to navigate around on campus, getting acquainted with new classes and living alone for the first time. For Auburn’s new starting QB, Bo Nix, the first true freshman to start an Auburn season opener since 1946, he’s now the biggest man on campus just days into his college career. On Tuesday, the second day of the first semester, Nix’s goal that started in a backyard with his father, Auburn great Patrick Nix, was realized. “Well, obviously, it’s a dream come true,” Bo Nix told reporters Tuesday. “I’ve always wanted to play quarterback at Auburn. It’s a goal of mine that I’ve had for a long, long time; as far as I can remember. All the way back to throwing the football in the backyard with my dad, I wanted to play quarterback at Auburn. So it was just an awesome moment. You honestly couldn’t write it any better.” Though Bo Nix is just a freshman, he comes in with an impressive résumé from high school. Bo Nix led Pinson Valley to back-to-back 6A state championships and set the state record for passing yards (12,000-
plus) and touchdowns (127 passing, 34 rushing). Not only do the high school achievements put pressure on Bo Nix to perform, but so do the expectations at Auburn, where his dad quarterbacked for the Tigers from 1992-95. The hype for Bo Nix to deliver has turned the freshman into an overnight campus celebrity, but he says he’s ready to handle the attention and fame that come with being Auburn’s starting quarterback. “Well, you know, like I said, growing up my dad always said everyone’s always watching, no matter where you go, what you’re doing — somebody’s always watching,” Bo Nix said. “Making the decision when I actually started getting recruited, my mom and dad both harped on me about, you know, it’s a big thing to be a quarterback at a big school, and so I’m ready.” Now that Bo Nix has accomplished his No. 1 goal, his next task is to lead his team to victory against Oregon in the season opener Aug. 31. “Growing up watching him (Cam Newton) and guys like Nick Marshall and those guys, it just really fueled my fire for wanting to play here and just be the next guy that people look up to, the next guy that people talk about,” Bo Nix said. “And hopefully like Cam, lead your team to a national championship and win the Heisman Trophy.”
Derrick Brown (5) tackles D’Vaughn Pennamon (28) in the first half. Auburn vs. Ole Miss on Saturday, Oct. 7 in Auburn, Ala.
Brown named All-American By BRYCE JOHNSON Sports Writer
Auburn senior defensive lineman Derrick Brown has been named to the AP preseason All-American first team, the organization announced Tuesday afternoon. Brown ends the four-year stint of no Auburn players selected as preseason first-rounders. Reese Dismukes was the last Tiger player to receive such honors in 2014. Experts project Brown to be selected in the first round of next year’s NFL draft. During his time at Auburn, the senior out of Buford, Georgia, has recorded seven sacks and 111 tackles. He’s consistently one of the top run-stuffers and pass-rushers in the league, but his stats aren’t always through the roof. His ability to absorb double teams and open lanes for the rest of Auburn’s talented front seven is his calling card. Brown, who was eligible for the draft last year, decided to return to play out his final season. Alongside him on the defensive line are defensive ends Marlon Davidson and Nick Coe, who form one of the top D-line units in not just the SEC, but all of college football. Joining Brown on the All-American first team are other SEC premier players such as Jerry Jeudy from Alabama and Grant Delpit from LSU. The Crimson Tide’s Raekwon Davis is the other first-team defensive tackle with Brown. Brown and the 2019 edition of Auburn’s stingy defense takes the field Aug. 31 in the season opener against Oregon in Arlington, Texas.
JOSHUA FISHER / PHOTOGRAPHER
Bo Nix (10) runs from Malcolm Askew (16) during Auburn’s 2019 A-Day game on April 13, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.
Prince Tega Wanogho with ‘something to prove’ in 2019 By OLIVIA HUSKEY Sports Writer
Prince Tega Wanogho Jr. arrived in America in 2014 with dreams of playing in the NBA. Fast forward five years and now the Nigerian-born offensive lineman is a preseason All-SEC first teamer, and is pursuing his new dream of becoming an NFL player. “When I moved to the United States in 2014, my end goal was the NBA,” Wanogho wrote his on Twitter and Instagram posts announcing his decision to return to Auburn. “That goal has now switched over to the NFL, and I am ready to do what it takes to be the best candidate I can be.” When Wanogho moved to Montgomery, Alabama, from Delta State, Nigeria, he knew nothing about football other than what he had seen in movies. He grew up playing soccer and basketball. When he started attending school
at Edgewood Academy, his plan was to play on the basketball team and earn a basketball scholarship for college. Before the basketball season started, thenhead football coach Bobby Carr invited Wanogho to attend a football practice. At the practice Wanogho asked if he could run the 40-yard dash, and his time was 4.64 seconds. Suddenly, Wanogho found himself immersed in the world of American football as he joined Edgewood’s football team. He played in 13 games that season for Edgewood as a defensive end. He also played basketball, but during the season he broke his leg. That injury helped Wanogho decide to pursue football instead of basketball and also set up another move for him: The switch from defense to offense. “Football started being a big deal for me when I broke my leg in high school playing basketball,” Wanogho said during SEC Media
JOSHUA FISHER / PHOTOGRAPHER
Prince Tega Wanogho (76) walks off the field after A-Day 2019, on Saturday, April 13, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.
Days. “After that, I told my mom I am going to play football and stick to it since I got hurt playing basketball and I ended up with scholarships.” He received offers from 28 Division-I schools, and he ultimately committed to Auburn as a defensive player. Wanogho has never played defense during his time at Auburn. He redshirted at Auburn during the 2015 football season while recovering from the broken leg. In early 2016, Wanogho was switched from a defensive lineman to an offensive linemen. He played in 10 games that season as a reserve offensive tackle. In 2017, he started seven games at left tackle, and in 2018 he started all of Auburn’s 13 games at left tackle. The switch from the defensive line to the offensive line is one Wanogho says was relatively smooth and was made easier by the short amount of time he had been playing football overall. “I would say just the play calling,” Wanogho said when asked about the position change. “Just understanding the concepts of the plays. That’s pretty much it. I wasn’t playing football for that long so I was new to the game. ... It wasn’t really that bad of a transition for me because I wasn’t really playing D-Line for that long. So it was a smooth transition.” While Wanogho was making the transitions from basketball to football and then from defense to offense, he was still adjusting to life in the United States versus his home in Nigeria. Delta State is the ninth-largest Nigerian state with a population of approximately 4,112,445 people. The largest city is Warri and the capital is Asaba. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with 186 million people living there. Something Wanogho likes to do occasionally when talking about his home is to see just what people will believe based on misconceptions about Africa. He admitted that the pet giraffe he has talked about on Twitter is not real. Bobo the giraffe was created as a joke after people asked him things like if he had a pet tiger or
a pet lion. Wanogho often jokes about having a pet giraffe or getting scratched by a tiger, but the reality is he grew up in a city, not in the middle of the savannah. “It’s a city,” Wanogho answered when asked about where he grew up. “It’s not as developed as the United States, but Nigeria actually has cities.” Wanogho grew up watching America movies, which helped teach him about the culture he would become a part of later in his life. “You actually see a perspective of America in your mind,” Wanogho said. “But at the same time, coming here it’s the same but it’s different because now you’re here.” Part of what motivated Wanogho to return to Auburn for his senior season is a lesson he was taught growing up. “Whenever I start something, I always want to finish it,” Wanogho said. “That’s how I grew up. Yeah, this is gonna be my last year. The NFL is going to be there if that’s what God has planned for me.” With every starter returning for Auburn’s offensive line, inexperience will no longer be a problem and the added familiarity the players have with each other will be a big benefit in Wanogho’s opinion. “Experience is just — it’s not just experience alone, because that brewed chemistry from playing in games like, playing alongside someone who played or a veteran guy,” Wanogho said. “… We all trust ourselves, and guess what, we’re going to do our jobs. That actually, the experience actually comes with that. I trust everybody that they’re going to do their job and actually put us in a good situation.” The criticism from last year regarding the offensive line’s performance has been used as motivation this year and has helped give the offensive line a new mindset going into this season. “We are playing with a chip on our shoulder,” Wanogho said. “We got something to prove, and we are gonna play like that.”
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019
The Auburn Plainsman
FERPA Annual Notice
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THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019
More than just bao
Restaurant owner serves local and global community. /
of their minds for years, but now would have a reason and a purpose to exist. “I hashtagged a picture in 2014 of dumplings,
A bao movement has begun in Auburn, Alabama. Hungry students line the street daily, patiently waiting for Dumps Like A Truck’s newest authentic Chinese bao creation. For those wondering what bao is, Whitley Dykes and his wife Kunyu Li are here to tell you all about it. These two are the sole owners of the food truck and recent storefront that focuses on making the fluffy, traditional Chinese steamed buns. Dykes runs the business side of things and is more or less the face of the restaurant, always there to greet each new guest with a wide smile and welcome back regulars like family. Li is the mastermind behind everything that comes out of the kitchen, from their signature bao to pork belly buns to the rare but well-loved bacon-egg-and-cheese fried dumplings. “She’ll make every single bao by hand from scratch,” Dykes said. Li grew up in China in a traditional Chinese home where making dumplings was more than just food; it was a cultural experience and part of the family history. Dykes had an extremely different upbringing from Li as he spent the majority of his formative years in Auburn, Alabama. He attended Southern Union Community College for two years before dropping out and moving across the country. “I kind of went wild for a couple of years, but I always had this tug on my heart from God saying ‘you’ve got to come home,’” Dykes said. In 2006, Dykes came back to Alabama and finished his college career at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he majored in international studies and minored in Chinese. “It was during this time that I had an encounter with God and his love that kind of changed everything for me,” Dykes said. He studied abroad in China that next semester, and it was there that he felt called to full-time ministry. He returned to China after graduation to do missionary work for about seven years and met his wife during that time. Li was actually one of Dykes’ students before they started dating, and she helped him lead Bible studies at the university. After Dykes left the organization he had been working for, he and Li began dating, and it wasn’t long before he knew she was the one. “She had so encompassed the heart of God,” Dykes said. “I carried so much shame and guilt about who I used to be and what I’d done, and
she’s like, ‘You are clean. You are a new creation, and I forgive you.’” They dated for around ER two months before RIT
By MIRANDA SHAFFER
getting married, and the couple has been together for almost nine years now. They lived in China for the first six years of their marriage and returned to Auburn in 2016. Once back in the U.S., Dykes got a job at Auburn Global as an international student advisor where he worked with primarily Chinese students. Dykes saw himself when he looked at the international students, as they were far from home in a country that was new and strange to them, something he had experienced while living abroad. “I would go to Starbucks while I was in China because it would remind me of home, but I felt like these students didn’t have anything for that, and we felt limited in our job,” Dykes said. It was from this that the couple dreamt up the food truck, which had been an idea in the back
and I was just being stupid and put ‘#dumpslikeatruck’ on Instagram, and then I was like, ‘Wouldn’t that be a cool name for a food truck one day,’” Dykes said. Dykes and Li started talking about staying in Auburn permanently and creating something to give Chinese students a taste of home while also introducing Americans to a unique type of food they may have never had before. They wanted a business that would have a solid theme, didn’t have a lot of overhead, wouldn’t fall victim to seasons and was able to be combined with their passion for making an impact on both the local and global scale. The answer was a food truck, and Dumps Like A Truck was born. The name of the business comes from a rap song called the “Thong Song” by Sisqo, but of course Dykes put his own redemptive spin on the title.
“We wanted to work with kids who lived and scavenged for survival in literal third-world dumps, and the original idea was to put thong sandals on their feet,” Dykes said. However, the idea transformed as Dykes and Li realized that giving shoes was just a bandage on a major wound, and they wanted to do more to be able to impact people and change lives. They began partnering with an organization called Empowering Young Warriors Asia, which is a discipleship and mentor program that teaches kids life skills, their identity in God and that they have the ability to have an impact wherever they are, no matter their circumstances. Usually these kids aren’t able to receive an education because they have to help support their families by working in brick or coal factories or scavenging through dumps for food. Young Warriors Asia provides funds for kids to get an education, so they are able to pursue a career once they graduate and pour back into their communities. Dumps Like A Truck, the actual food truck, is focused on overseas donations, giving a portion of its profits and all cash tips. “Last year, we were able to send at least $5,000 in cash tips over to sponsor the kids,” Dykes said. A portion of the storefront’s earnings also goes overseas at the end of the year, but the cash tips jar there is donated to local charities and causes. “Whenever we started to open the restaurant, we saw that as a physical location that could be a place of impact for the local community,” Dykes said. One way they directly benefit the people of the community is through a recent promotion where every Wednesday all single mothers, pregnant students and women facing pregnancy alone eat for free. Dykes and Li don’t want to just do philanthropy for philanthropy’s sake, and they want the community to be involved and get to see the changes being made. On any given day, people from all over the surrounding areas can be seen in lines that can stretch over 100 feet out of the store. Dumps Like a Truck is a bao restaurant first and foremost, but what makes it such a different experience is not the food but the genuine love the Dykes’ have for people. “We’re a business that serves food, but then we have a cause on the other end of it,” Dykes said. “But my heart for people and my heart for God will always come out in how I try to interact with every person who comes through the door.”
Nutritionist shares advice on staying healthy in college By JORDAN WINDHAM Community Writer
For incoming students who worry about keeping up a healthy lifestyle in college, Auburn offers multiple ways to help them stick to their goal. According to Abbigail Hickey, coordinator of nutrition services and registered dietitian nutritionist, the freshman 15 is a myth. “Studies have shown that the average weight gain which may occur in the first semester of freshman year is about 5 pounds,” Hickey said. “This weight gain is usually biologically appropriate, and if not, the student tends to lose the weight later in the year.” Rather than relying on popular or quick-fix diets, Hickey recommended that students eat three meals and a couple of snacks every day, and be conscious of their alcohol intake. For nutritional advising, stu- Students participate in spin class in the Cycle Room at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, in Auburn, Ala. dents can make an appointment with a dietician on the nutrition habits, especially through their new “The Rec is full of activities from free so that everyone can find their services website. class, Rest and Restore. table tennis to a golf simulator to niche. “We are able to meet with stuExercise is a major factor as well. Outdoor adventures to Olympic “Our goal is to help students disdents, faculty and staff at Auburn Hickey reminded students that ex- Power Lifting,” Coleman said. cover how to live a healthy lifeto provide individualized nutrition ercise doesn’t happen exclusively in If the Rec is intimidating, Cole- style,” Coleman said. “Going to the education and recommendations,” the gym. Instead of dragging them- man recommended that students gym is a good place to start.” Hickey said. selves to torturous rounds of car- start with a tour and an exercise Less experienced students can Sleep is a large piece of the health dio, Hickey invited students to find regimen of walking around the feel comfortable taking classes like puzzle. The Office of Health Pro- enjoyable ways to be active. track. From there, students can try Butts & Guts, Zumba or Yoga to motion and Wellness has the Dream Christina Coleman, assistant di- group fitness classes or personal grow their experience. More exTeam, a group of undergraduate rector of group fitness, encouraged training for a more specialized ap- perienced members can take small health peer educators, helping stu- students to explore the Rec’s hid- proach. Demo Days, Aug. 19–30, group training sessions like Addents to implement healthy sleep den gems. offers all group fitness classes for vanced TRX Circuits and Pilates
Glide. “My favorite class is Turbokic or maybe Insanity or it could be Kettlebells,” Coleman said. “It changes according to what I’m teaching that day. I love them all.” More exotic classes are waiting to be explored as well. From the Recovery Series, a new offering that focuses on recovery techniques to Bounce 30 - a mini trampoline class - there is a fun fitness opportunity for everyone.
The Auburn Plainsman
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019
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