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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
VOL. 127 • ISSUE 5 • FIRST COPY FREE THEN 50¢
Veterinary school fees to increase
A veteran’s triumph at home
By TRICE BROWN Assistant Campus Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
At the Auburn University’s Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 13, trustees approved a resolution that would allow the college of veterinary medicine to increase the professional fees for in-state students, as well as those enrolled through a contract with the Southern Regional Education Board. Professional fees for these students will increase by $1,000 to a total of $5,542, effective the fall semester of 2020. The board also approved the college to adjust the professional fees as the national average for cost of attendance within veterinary colleges increases, according to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Calvin Johnson, dean of the college of veterinary medicine, said the change is due to the University’s Strategic Budgeting Initiative, which drove colleges to examine their revenues and expenses. “The cost to educate a veterinary student is much higher than it is … to educate an undergraduate student in almost any discipline,” Johnson said. According to Johnson, professional colleges don’t fare well in this budgeting structure due to low student enrollment, a large faculty and the amount of facilities necessary. The college is left with two choices: reduce the quality of the education — which Johnson said the college would not do — or increase fees. “As much as we really are reluctant to increase tuition, because we are trying to help students manage their debt load … we also know that the cost of education is high,” he said. According to the AAVCM, Auburn’s veterinary medicine program is the fourth cheapest in the nation in terms of first year resident tuition and fees. Johnson said the college has a higher student population than the national average, but fewer faculty than the national average. The college’s budget also falls short of the national average. “We do a lot of teaching relative to the budget and our size,” Johnson said. “So that’s the reason when we generate some more revenue, then we are going to invest it in growing our faculty, because that’s what we need to do to provide the best education for our students.” In an email sent to The Plainsman, Johnson said the college has expanded its scholarships to partially offset the cost of the professional fee increase. The college will award over » See FEES, 2
By TIM NAIL Campus Reporter email@example.com
Christopher Beamon can’t believe he’s alive. “Looking at me, the average person would think I don’t have a brain injury, or that everything’s okay,” he said. “But I’m in pain just about every day.” Just over two years ago, Beamon, 27, was a graduate student at Auburn University, but before that, he was a young man moving up in the world. “I joined the Army right out of high school,” Beamon said. He was stationed in Germany and Fort Hood, Texas. “Did four and a half years before getting medically discharged due to Type 1 diabetes and being insulin-dependent,” Beamon said. That didn’t deter him from moving forward, as he went on to get a degree from Texas Southern University and later applied and got accepted to Auburn. It was Aug. 10, 2017, when he received a phone call from a friend in the University’s Veterans Resource Center. “Us military men, we’re close,” Beamon said. “[He] was expecting a baby girl, so he was looking for a bigger place. I told him I would help him move, and so I did. He was the third person I helped move that week.” The two were driving in Beamon’s truck and turning onto Glenn Avenue, their boxes stacked in the bed, when they heard a noise from behind the vehicle. He put on his flashers and stopped to investigate. “Something fell off of my truck, and I went to go get what had fallen off,” Beamon said. “I got hit outside of my car by an F-250 truck. Ran over. He crushed my entire right side.” The driver collided into him at 55 mph, sending Beamon flying into the air and totaling both trucks. The veteran said in this brief and sudden sequence of events, his life was forever changed.
From that point, Beamon’s memory is sparse. His recollection of the moments after comes only from what others have told him of the incident. He was airlifted from the scene to Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital in Columbus, Georgia, where he was sent to the intensive care unit for several weeks. “[My sister] had told me that it didn’t look good,” Beamon said. “For a week straight, I had no brain activity. We thought that I was not going to make it.” Beamon was in a severe coma for almost four weeks following his arrival in the hospital. His sister, Ijella Hannon, traveled from her home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, upon hearing word of the accident. “She was willing to give up her job and move
CONTRIBUTED BY CHRISTOPHER BEAMON
to Alabama,” he said. Hannon didn’t move to Alabama, and Beamon said she nearly lost her mind while dealing with the anxiety of not being there for him.
Hannon’s distance from her brother limited her visitation to weekends only. Before the accident, Beamon had befriended Kendall Parks, a Ph.D. student in political science and fellow U.S. Army veteran, through a leadership class the previous spring. “He was prior military, I was prior military, and when he kinda figured out what I did, he was all freaked out,” Kendall said, referring to their similar stories in service and in college. “So, we became friends, and that summer we were going to take another class together.” In the class, a group project was assigned, and Kendall was a leader for one of the teams. “I said, ‘I’ll do it if Chris Beamon is in my group,’” Kendall said. “[The instructor] said, ‘I’m going to do a random number generator,’ and I said, ‘OK, well do the random number enough times that Chris ends up in my group.’” Beamon found himself working with Kendall in the end, and in the four-and-a-half-hour class, the two “spent a ton of time together and really became friends,” Kendall said. Once that semester wrapped up, Kendall celebrated with a party and invited Beamon to his home in Smiths Station, Alabama. There, Beamon also met Kendall’s wife, Debbie, a principal at a school in Fort Benning, Georgia. “Chris told me about his background,” Debbie said. “I had only had a conversation. It was maybe like 20 minutes with him, and I was very impressed with him.” Just days later, the accident happened, but the Parkses wouldn’t be notified for another week. “Around [Aug.] 16, we had a meeting for my department and I came to that, and this girl came up to me,” Kendall said. “She said, ‘You’re pretty good friends with Christopher Beamon, right?’” The student informed Kendall of Beamon’s accident, and he phoned the hospital as soon as » See VETERAN, 5
Aurea’s journey to becoming War Eagle VIII just beginning By NATHAN KING Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Aurea peers through the slits in her cage atop a structure in the Edgar B. Carter Educational Auditorium — a line of trees away from Auburn’s Raptor Center. Trainer Andrea Mc-
Cravy unhinges the latch, and Aurea quickly grabs the side of the cage with her talons and prepares to descend. She stretches her 6.5-foot wingspan and shakes her beak about, ruffling the feathers atop her head, now shining a brilliant shade of gold in the blistering September sun. She takes off, first circling the auditorium for a
few moments before dropping down to her target — assistant director of Raptor training and education Andrew Hopkins’ swinging lure. After taking the bait, trainers corral the 5-year-old golden eagle and raise her back up on a gauntlet on their arms. She flaps her wings rapidly — almost with a sense of triumph
COMMUNITY Virtual reality cafe opens up in downtown Auburn The business, named Tiger VR Cafe, is the first of its kind in the Auburn area. Page 7
— and the powerful gust is felt by spectators nearest her. Hopkins and his staff smile. Aurea is their bird, their princess of the skies above Jordan-Hare Stadium, their pride and joy. “We’re in the stadium with her pretty much every day,” Hopkins, who is the only full-time employ-
ee that works with Aurea, told The Plainsman. “... We take her to almost 300 shows annually.” But Aurea isn’t officially Auburn’s “War Eagle.” Hopkins and company would like her to be. But she’s not. Not yet. » See EAGLE, 2
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
University caps incoming enrollment at 25,000 students By STEPHEN LANZI Campus Editor
Auburn University is considering capping undergraduate enrollment and slightly increasing graduate enrollment. Bill Hardgrave, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, discussed a revision to policy C-2 at the Board of Trustees’ workshop meeting on Thursday. Policy C-2 determines enrollment targets for the University. No formal action was taken at the full meeting on Friday. Bobby Woodard, senior vice president for student affairs, said he is in favor of capping undergraduate enrollment so that the size of the student body fits the size of the University.
“I do believe that this is the right move and one that will benefit our student population by providing more access to obtain a degree by being able to get into courses in a timely manner so that our students can meet their desired graduation date,” Woodard said. Multiple construction projects have recently been completed, including the Gogue Performing Arts Center, the Brown-Kopel Engineering Student Achievement Center and Horton-Hardgrave Hall. Construction for a student activities center is underway and it will be a place for dining and classrooms. Under the strategic plan presented by Hardgrave, Auburn would cap undergraduate enrollment at 25,000 over the next five years. Undergraduate enrollment currently sits at 24,628. Hardgrave said there is room for growth
for graduate students, and under the strategic plan, the graduate student population would increase from 5,812 to about 7,000. Total enrollment at the University exceeded 30,000 for the first time in its over-150year history. Auburn has 15 schools and colleges for a total enrollment of 30,440. Under the plan, Auburn’s total enrollment would rise to about 32,000 by 2023. The increase would largely be driven by graduate students. To reach the goal of 25,000 undergraduate students, freshman acceptance would be capped at 5,000 students. “Managing enrollment means that we are evaluating the changing demographics of high school graduates, technological and teaching resources on campus and physical space for living and learning.”
Woodard said it is important to manage enrollment numbers so that students receive a valuable education and high-quality services at an affordable cost. “Also, it increases the ability for our student population to participate in programs and services, such as counseling, career services and advising, that they might need to be successful here at Auburn University and after they graduate,” Woodard said. Hardgrave also said the University wants to have a floor of 60% in-state students. Auburn University educates the most in-state students of any institution in the state, and Auburn’s in-state enrollment sits at 63.2%. The Board of Trustees is expected to codify the measures on enrollment and in-state percentage at the regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 22.
EAGLE » From 1
“That’s above our pay grade,” Hopkins laughed. Auburn’s current War Eagle is Nova, a 20-year-old golden eagle. He looks strikingly similar to Aurea, but she’s got him by a few inches in wingspan and a few pounds overall. That’s not uncommon, Hopkins said, as female eagles can sometimes dwarf their male counterparts. Nova flew in Jordan-Hare Stadium from 2004-16 as War Eagle VII. At the conclusion of the 2016 football season, he was diagnosed with a heart condition, which prevents him from undertaking the rigorous practices and training required for stadium flights. Nova is fine now, Hopkins said. He’s “living comfy” as a retiree in the raptor center. Hopkins and Aurea’s other trainers would love to see her fill Nova’s shoes — or, talons — and become War Eagle VIII. But as Hopkins alluded to, it’s a massive decision to officially name the next bird. It takes time and numerous evaluations, culminating in a grandiose ceremony for whichever golden eagle assumes the role. Theoretically, another bird could arrive in the coming years and be added to the arsenal. And if he or she proves to be a better fit than Aurea, Auburn would likely make that happen. “That’s up to all the tip-top of administration, when that happens,” Hopkins said. Aurea arrived on the Plains three years ago from near Selma, Alabama. She was found in the woods as a 2-year-old with a right wing injury — a helpless baby relative to a golden eagle’s 30-plus-year average lifespan. Auburn’s prestigious veterinary program got her healed and back to being a frisky flyer by the time she turned 3, but the injury slowed her flight pattern significantly. Despite its best efforts, Auburn was unable to get her back in hunting form, so she was unreleasable. As Nova was diagnosed and sidelined, Aurea then trained behind Spirit, the raptor center’s eldest Jordan-Hare bird at 23 years old. Spirit, a female, is the only bald eagle to have flown in the stadium in Auburn history. Auburn prefers to use its trademark, recognizable golden eagle — and War Eagle VIII will be of that species — but Spirit was a reliable option while Aurea was being trained. Spirit is also more experienced than even Nova was, having flown at Auburn home games since 2002. Spirit’s last hurrah in Jordan-Hare was the Auburn football team’s thrilling victory over Texas A&M last sea-
FEES » From 1
$1 million in scholarships this academic year, the largest amount of scholarships it has ever awarded, according to Johnson. For many veterinary students, the increase in professional fees brings worries of an even larger debt load after graduation. Fleur Jones, a second year veterinary student, said she expects to have anywhere from
NATHAN KING / SPORTS EDITOR
Trainer Andrea McCravy releases Aurea during Football, Fans and Feathers on Sept. 13, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.
JOSHUA FISHER / PHOTOGRAPHER
Aurea the golden eagle before Auburn vs. Liberty on Nov. 17, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.
son. Then the torch was passed, and Aurea flew at a game for the first time prior to the team’s Senior Day against Liberty. She looked all the part of a rookie, however, staying airborne for just moments before she made a beeline for the midfield logo. In her first flight this season — prior to Auburn’s home opener against Tulane — she began to climb along the north side of the stadium before rapidly changing direction and descending to Hopkins at midfield. And prior to the Tulane flight, she wouldn’t leave the cage for a good 10 seconds. “Yeah, she’s still getting used to
$150,000 to $200,000 of debt once she graduates from the four-year program. “It’s a little scary, considering that the average veterinary salary in the US is around $80 - $85 thousand a year,” she said. “It’s a little scary for sure.” For many people, Fleur said, it takes them up to 25 years to pay back their debts. She expects it will take her just as long. Alexa Simmons, a second year veterinary student, said that the cost of Auburn’s program was one of the reasons
the crowds and everything,” Hopkins said. Then he cracked a smile. “We’re saying that last week, she just wanted to make sure the cameras were on her. She wanted to make sure that everyone was watching that time.” While she had some novice tendencies through a pair of flights, she was still the best option to fly that day that Auburn could decide on. Hopkins said the trainers don’t know which bird will fly at a game — Aurea or Spirit, who remains on-call prior to games — until an hour before kickoff. In the bowels of Jordan-Hare, Hopkins takes a long look at both birds, evaluating their focus and en-
she decided to attend. Simmons is a Kentucky resident. Simmons, however, pays in-state tuition due to a SREB contract with the University where Kentucky students pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine can pay in-state tuition. The state of Kentucky then pays the difference between in-state cost and out-of-state cost. Simmons said she does not want the fee to increase. She said she is worried
ergy. He calls it their “game face.” And if Aurea, the presumed “starter” for that game, doesn’t have her game face on, Spirit would be rotated in to fly. The youngster must have had a fierce game face in Week 3 — Auburn’s second home game against Kent State. It was Aurea who was peering through the slits of a cage across from the Jordan-Hare press box, atop the winding concourse above Section 46 of the stadium 20 minutes before kickoff. She gracefully exited the cage and soared down, 10 feet or so away from grazing the heads of spectators in the north end zone — just as Nova was
about the professional fee continually increasing as the national average increases, further contributing to her debt load. In-state tuition and fees is $9,730 per semester in Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The U.S. average is $11,272. According to Johnson, if the national average resident cost of attendance does not change by fall 2021, the professional fees will still increase by $542. Simmons said she can see where the revenue can go into
famous for doing. She stayed on that end of the stadium, hovering over Pat Dye Field before looping around the end zone twice. As Hopkins came running to midfield from the opposing team’s sideline — Aurea’s lure methodically swinging in his right hand — she darted back his way. The 84,542 packed in the stadium for Homecoming screamed in unison as she landed: “Eagle, hey!” At 24 seconds, it was Aurea’s longest flight yet. As they leave the field, Aurea twitches her head rapidly toward Hopkins, her beak facing his nose. She blinks and tilts her head just slightly. Hopkins grins.
the college. She is, however, worried that the college will not be transparent to where that money is going.For both Simmons and Jones, transparency of where the funds are going is important. “For the past two years, the college has delayed filling several key faculty positions in order to meet its budget,” Johnson said in an email response. Johnson said the college will use the funds generated by the fee to hire three faculty members in key areas: one in small
animal soft tissue surgery, one in surgical oncology and one in ophthalmology. “These three new faculty would enhance didactic and clinical education for our veterinary students and would generate additional caseload and clinical revenue for the college’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital,” Johnson said. He said he is always willing to meet with students to discuss the college’s budget and the decisions they are making that affect the quality and value of the program.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
Alabama has a prison problem because it has a problem with prisoners By EDITORIAL BOARD Fall 2019
On April 2, the U.S. Department of Justice wrote an open letter to Gov. Kay Ivey. The letter contained the conclusions of a DOJ investigation into conditions inside Alabama’s prisons, and the findings were damning. “We conclude that there is reasonable cause to believe that the conditions at Alabama’s prisons violate the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution,” the DOJ wrote. “In particular, we have reasonable cause to believe that Alabama routinely violates the constitutional rights of prisoners housed in Alabama’s prisons by failing to provide safe conditions.” The remainder of the 56-page letter described, in graphic detail, the acts of violence committed by and toward prisoners in Alabama. It also explained the ways in which the problems in Alabama’s prisons are “severe, systemic and exacerbated by serious deficiencies in staffing and supervision and overcrowding.” According to the DOJ, the acts of violence being committed in these prisons should be blamed on the Alabama Department of Corrections. However, placing all of the blame for Alabama’s failing prison system on a single department within the state’s government is too broad of a statement. Alabama’s prisons aren’t under-
staffed and falling apart because one department is lazy or inefficient. This malignant neglect is a symptom of a much larger American narrative surrounding crime and punishment. It’s the result of decades of fear, privatization and a general lack of empathy. Much of this came as a reaction to the counterculture movements in the second half of the 20th century which saw riots, assassinations and an increase in recreational drug use. This in turn created a backlash of conservative resurgence that brought with it a noticeable push for politicians in Alabama, and across the nation, to be “tough on crime.” The late 1970s, 80s and 90s saw politicians like George Wallace, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton run on — and be elected because of — platforms that included a stricter and less forgiving justice system. The manifestations of this were mandatory minimums for prison sentences, three-strike laws, a “war on drugs” and federal funding being directed toward local police forces. Unsurprisingly, the nation’s prison population expanded far beyond its infrastructure capacities. This hike was so steep that the United States, the “land of the free” now has more incarcerated individuals than any other country in the world. That glut of prisoners is one of
the largest problems pointed out by the DOJ’s report. Alabama currently houses approximately 16,000 male inmates in 13 prisons across the state. Taking into account the original occupational intentions of these prisons, the statewide occupancy rate is currently between 165 - 180%. The report also said the number of correctional officers has fallen from 1,800 in 2013 to fewer than 1,100 in 2018. Simultaneously, the instances of prisoner-on-prisoner violence have nearly doubled in the last five years. So, Alabama’s prison population is too large, has been kept in facilities that are too small and has been watched by a force of correctional officers that is too few. Thankfully, some progress is being made. Under threat of a potential federal lawsuit, Alabama has issued a long-term plan to address this problem. Sadly, this plan is also quite flawed and doesn’t ensure that any of the DOJ’s original complaints will be solved. According to the ADOC, the crux of the current plan is a $900 million bid for the construction of at least three mega-prisons which would each hold 4,000 prisoners. However, the state doesn’t intend to build these itself. Rather, it put out a bid and is allowing private companies to build, maintain and own the facilities while the government essential-
ly leases them. It’ll be almost like a storage unit: someone else builds a massive piece of infrastructure, the government pays a monthly fee and then everyone tries to forget what they put in there. Last month, Ivey announced five companies that have expressed interest in the $900 million construction bid: The Geo Group, Inc.; Corvias, LLC; Corrections Consultants, LLC; CoreCivic, Inc. and Alabama Prison Transformation Partners. According to reporting from Alabama Political Reporter, one of these companies, APTP, has no record of existence beyond the governor’s announcement. According to reporting by The Kansas City Star, CoreCivic, Inc. has been accused of stealing $20 million dollars from a previous prison construction bid in Kansas. Even after that bid was finished, Kansas’ government found that the facilities the company had built were insufficient, and some prisoners had to be transferred to a different prison system in Arizona. In 2010, Geo Group, Inc. became the target of a class-action lawsuit over the conditions inside the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility in Mississippi. The settlement of that lawsuit required Mississippi to end its contract with Geo Group, and multiple state officials were forced to resign amidst indictments of corruption and mismanagement. The ADOC has said in statements that details of a potential
contract between Alabama and one of the five companies will be kept secret until a final deal is reached. This means Alabamians won’t even know which human-rights-violating company will be getting their tax dollars until it is too late. But the sad truth is that most Alabamians wouldn’t care anyway. Even though roughly 1.2% of male Alabamians are in prison, the majority of voters don’t seem to care how they are treated. The treatment of prisoners hasn’t been a major issue in any recent gubernatorial campaigns, local sheriffs have been able to legally siphon money from prisoners’ food budget for decades and the ADOC’s recent changes have only come while under threat of a federal lawsuit. This problem will never be solved by private companies, and the state government will never do it without provocation. But we, the voters, can be that provocation. The state government is trying to fix this massive problem, but we have to ensure they do it humanely. Our prisons aren’t filled with criminals — they’re filled with fathers, husbands, brothers, sisters, wives and mothers. They’re filled with our fellow Alabamians. Yes, the people in prisons have done some bad things, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to be forgotten.
Thank you, Mr. President, now how about those guns? By JACK WEST Opinion Editor
This country is facing an epidemic. Across the United States, kids in parks, shopping malls and high schools don’t — can’t — feel safe anymore. Almost every day they watch their peers fall victim to one of the most dangerous and prolific problems that has ever faced American society. Every month, dozens of American teenagers are being hospitalized by this problem — some are even dying. For too long our elected leaders have refused to take any meaningful action to prevent it. Finally, that has all started to change. President Donald Trump, bearing the colossal mantle of ensuring the protection of American children, has finally announced that he will begin
working on the nation-wide problem of vaping. Historians will look back at this moment, at this president’s action, and point to it as a defining example of leadership. It’s an example of a man being moved by tragedy and using the entirety of his political capital to ensure that nothing like it will ever happen again. It may not seem like a lot, but more than five people have died from vaping related illnesses. That’s like a whole basketball team. Actually, I guess you’re not going to do very well if your basketball team only has five players. What happens if someone gets hurt and you need a sub? What were we talking about? Oh, right, the vaping epidemic. Last week, the president stepped up and announced that he would be looking into solu-
tions for this growing epidemic. Of course, as a red-blooded American, I have some cautions for the President. Republicans have been pointing out for decades that any kind of all-out ban on something will never get rid of it. If the government enacts a nation-wide ban on flavored e-cigarettes, somebody who really wanted a dragon-fruit Juul pod would find a way to get one on the black market. An all-out ban on flavored e-cigarettes like the President is considering would ensure that only criminals can get ahold of them. What if I’m alone with my hypothetical family, and a man with a vape breaks into my house? How can I defend myself and my not-real family if I don’t have my own vape? I can’t just let someone come
into my house, challenge me to a vaping contest and not rip a fat cloud at him. The usual response might be to call the police, but we all know they won’t be able to respond in time. By the time a squad car shows up, my house will smell like blueberry cotton candy, and the vaper will have disappeared into the night. As we all know, the only way to stop a bad guy with a vape is a good guy with a vape. Some people have suggested implementing universal background checks or mandatory waiting periods before someone can purchase a vape. The obvious problem is that while both of these are good options, they require a lot of government oversight which is, at its core, evil. Plus, there aren’t even any similar regulations for Americans’ other rights.
Being an American means using your freedom of speech to march in the street and protest for what you think is right ... after you get a permit from the city. Being an American means having an unbiased justice system ... unless you’re black. Being an American means getting to vote for your own leaders ... until they gerrymander you out of the process. Being an American means being able to buy a gun that was designed to kill people ... despite the fact that hundreds of children are killed every year in mass shootings. Have we put any serious restrictions on those American rights? Maybe! Why is the President so intent on banning vapes when he knows that it will only hurt real Americans? Also, since when is the death
of five people enough of a tragedy to raise Republicans to legislative action? They’ve brushed off school rooms of dead children without even holding a debate on the Senate floor. Republicans have a pretty good playbook for dealing with dead children, but they haven’t used any of their trademark excuses this time. Why don’t we just send our thoughts and prayers? Why haven’t we talked about giving teachers vapes? How do we know that the people vaping aren’t just mentally unstable? Why has no one suggested closing the southern border to stop the flow of vaping immigrants into the country? Why are Republicans actually trying to find ways to stop children from vaping? Oh, right, because the vape lobby isn’t big enough yet.
Correction: In the Tiger Transit article from the previous issue of The Auburn Plainsman, the story wrongly stated that SGA met with Parking Services director Don Andrae. SGA met with Chris Harris, manager of transit operations.
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
Trustees pass initiation of new housing
By TIM NAIL Campus Reporter
The Auburn University Board of Trustees discussed the need for newer on-campus housing at their Friday morning meeting, as the student population continues to increase. Facilities Management said it is looking to build new housing and perform renovations on the aging Hill and Cambridge dormitories, based on demand, student satisfaction and the current local market condition. Many of the details are yet to be worked out, but the project initiation will allow the University to weigh different options with regard to size and location of the new housing. Studies have been conducted in recent years on how to improve housing, and the trustees determined new residence halls should be built to last 70 to 80 years. Dan King, associate vice president for facilities, brought up that the Hill dorms have not seen major renovations in the last 30 years, while Cambridge would need to see remodeling to raise its structural integrity to last another 20 years. The overall project will take place over the next five to 10 years and is presently only in its first phase while the University searches for a suitable architect to carry out construction. Student housing revenue will be used to fund the necessary work. SGA President Mary Margaret Turton, who was in attendance at the meeting, expressed her favor of the proposal. “Students love living on campus,” Turton said. “I really believe the demand is there.” King said he hopes the project in its current form will “preserve traditional Auburn living arrangements.” This project will supersede the New Student Housing project initiated in September 2016, according to the Board.
Homecoming voting turnout sets records By STEPHEN LANZI Campus Editor
The results are in, and 2019 set multiple records for voter turnout in the Miss Homecoming election. Out of the 30,627 eligible voters, 10,203 students cast their votes for the highest total vote count in Miss Homecoming history, according to SGA Director of Elections Lauren Urban. With 2,706 votes and 26.5% of the vote, Mary Stewart, senior in communications, narrowly edged out the competition and was announced the winner of the campaign at halftime of Auburn’s matchup against Kent State on Saturday. After a full week of campaigning, voting was open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday. The full results are as follows: 1. Mary Stewart: 2,706 votes 2. Caroline Mathews: 2,452 votes 3. Maggie Hightower: 2,184 votes 4. Sophie Brint: 1,501 votes 5. Alison Beverly: 1,260 votes Voter turnout was up 2 percentage points from last year, setting a record at 33.3%. In 2018, 9,340 votes were cast for a 31% turnout. In 2017, nearly 9,500 students voted for a 33.27% turnout, the previous record. In 2016, 6,158 votes were cast for a 22% turnout. In 2015, 4,585 votes were cast, and 5,249 votes were filed in 2014. This year’s race was also much closer than last year’s race. The difference between first and last place in 2019 was less than 1,500, whereas Sadie Argo claimed over 1,000 more votes than the runner-up to win Miss Homecoming 2018. Freshmen made up the highest portion of the turnout with 3,332 voters, nearly one-third of the turnout. Sophomores made up 23% of the vote, juniors totaled 19.8%, seniors made up 19% and 4.5% of the turnout was graduate students.
ALLISSA STANLEY / PHOTOGRAPHER
Mary Stewart celebrating receiving Miss Homecoming with Aubie at halftime of the Auburn v. Kent State game on Sept. 14in Auburn, Ala.
Auburn stood for Stewart Mary Stewart crowned Miss Homecoming at halftime By DREW DAWS Campus Writer
As a young girl from Selma, Mary Stewart grew up attending Auburn football games and watching Miss Homecoming ceremonies, holding on to the dream that it could one day become her reality. “I remember [as a kid] wanting so badly to be Miss Homecoming,” Stewart said. “I never considered that would be me at some point. I’ve always been someone that really wants to get involved, especially because I come from a small town, but I didn’t ever think it would lead to this moment.” Stewart was crowned Miss Homecoming during last week’s game against Kent State. However, she has been involved on campus since arriving on the Plains four years ago. “I signed up for everything,” she said. “I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and then as I got older, I started to get more involved in my sorority and was trying to figure out where I could have the most impact instead of spreading myself too thin.” Stewart currently serves as the president of her sorority, Kappa Delta. In her time as president, she said she has learned important leadership skills — skills which continued to develop during her campaign for Miss Homecoming. “One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that I struggle a lot with allowing others to help me out,” she said. “I think it’s really taught me that you can’t do these types of things alone, and you shouldn’t.” Stewart’s platform for homecoming centered on Special Deliveries, an organization which focuses on strengthening families so that children are safe, healthy and ready to learn. “Basically, what they are doing is taking in mothers who didn’t grow up in a home that was
nurturing,” she said, “[mothers] who probably didn’t have the greatest parents and never knew what it was like to be loved and supported in their own home.” She said they are taught how to be there for their children. “I think it’s special because it’s really brave of these mothers. The fact that they’re doing that is amazing to me,” she said. Stewart said these women, and the strength they show, serve as an inspiration to her and have helped her realize the importance of giving back to the community. “I feel like oftentimes in Auburn when we talk about the Auburn Family, we think about the students … we forget that Lee County has been supporting us so much,” she said. “A lot of times we close our eyes to the problems that are right here in our backyard.” She added that while Miss Homecoming currently does not have any set responsibilities, she hopes to change that during her tenure. “It’s really exciting because I can make it my own,” she said. “I’m excited to continue to work with Special Deliveries and hopefully use Miss Homecoming as a platform to continue to talk about the issues that we have here and the way we can fight child abuse in Lee County.” She said she is grateful for the support she has received not only in the past several weeks, but also throughout her entire time at the University. “The Auburn community has a really great way of showing you a lot of love and support, no matter what’s going on,” she said. “I definitely feel like people say, ‘Oh, the Auburn Family ... it’s just a marketing tool,’ but to me, it’s real.” Stewart said this support has been critical to her success at Auburn, encouraging others to find guidance from people who share similar ideals.
“I think there’s a lot of value in having someone who’s going to support you, but also is there to give you advice,” she said. “I definitely think finding a mentor is something I would encourage, and I can’t think of one person who would not want to help a younger student out.” She also commented on how her sorority came together during the campaign, allowing the sisters to get to know one another and grow as an organization. “We got really close to all the girls,” she said. “We have a new pledge class, so we got to know all of them. It was a really cool experience to be around that and have us all come together.” Stewart said her experience campaigning for Miss Homecoming, along with her work with Special Deliveries, has been humbling and has solidified her belief in working for a greater purpose. “I leaned on saying that this is an opportunity for me to share this platform with Auburn,” she said. “And how awesome it would be for people to learn about Special Deliveries … but also to give all the glory to God.” Stewart said she is not sure what she wants to do after graduation this spring. However, she is considering working for a nonprofit organization. “I want to work somewhere where I feel supported, but also challenged every day, and where I can continue to make an impact on people and allow them to impact me,” she said. One thing that has been critical in her growth is learning the importance of helping others, even if it means simply sharing a kind word, she said. “I think that the best way to give back is spreading kindness and allowing yourself to be vulnerable with people, being supportive and showing them God’s love,” she said.
Auburn alumna to appear on ‘The Bachelor’ By ELIZABETH HURLEY and MIKAYLA BURNS Community Editor and Managing Editor
It appears that an Auburn alumna is on the short list for the upcoming season of “The Bachelor.” On Monday, 33 photos and names were posted to the official “Bachelor” Facebook page announcing the 33 women who may soon find themselves on the ABC reality show. Among the 33 women was Madison P., with a current location listed as Birmingham, Alabama. Marissa Chavers, class of 2016, confirmed to The Auburn Plainsman that the photo of Madison P. posted on The Bachelor Facebook page is her Pi Beta Phi sorority sister Madison Prewett. The Auburn Alumni Association confirmed to The Plainsman that there is a Madison Prewett who graduated from Auburn in 2018. Prewett’s father, Chad, is an assistant coach for Auburn men’s basketball, according to several sites that cover entertainment news.
Auburn Tigers’ website also has his daughters’ names listed, and one is named Madison. “The Bachelor” is a reality show where dozens of women compete to win the heart of one man, the bachelor. It was announced Tuesday night during the finale of “Bachelor in Paradise,” another branch of the show franchise, that the next bachelor lead will be Peter Weber, a pilot who was top three on the most recent season of “The Bachelorette.” This won’t be the first time an Alabama woman was on the show franchise. Hannah Brown of Tuscaloosa and Hannah Godwin of Birmingham were on the last season of “The Bachelor.” Brown, a former Miss Alabama, was the most recent lead of “The Bachelorette,” the woman who Weber did not end up with. Godwin, a Montevallo alumna and social media influencer, just became engaged on “Bachelor in Paradise.” Prewett is the newest Alabama woman to be added the “Bachelor” franchise.
VIA ‘THE BACHELOR’ FACEBOOK
Madison P., of Birmingham, Ala., was announced as a ‘Bachelor’ contestant in a post on ‘The Bachelor’ Facebook page on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
The Auburn Plainsman
New business building opens as Horton-Hardgrave Hall By DREW DAWS Campus Writer
Raymond Harbert, the namesake of Auburn’s College of Business, announced Thursday, Sept. 12 that the new graduate business building will be named Horton-Hardgrave Hall. The building is named after former College of Business deans George Horton and Bill Hardgrave. Hardgrave currently serves as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “It is exciting, and very gratifying, to view these two men as bridge-builders for Auburn University,” Harbert said. Annette Ranft, dean of the College of Business, said the new building will serve as a hub for higher education and will allow both undergraduate and graduate students to pursue their endeavors. “This new building facilitates our ability to address these needs — to develop ready and career-minded graduates, and it provides a space to bring business back to Auburn, to bring alumni back to Auburn,” she said. SGA President Mary Margaret Turton said the ribbon-cutting ceremony signified more than just the opening of a new facility. “This building is not just brick and mortar,” she said. “This is where we will develop our leadership and critical-thinking skills, embrace the importance of teamwork and collaboration and experience the value of developing a global, cultural fluency.” Ranft agreed, saying the dedication of the building underscores the values of the College of Business. She said the ribbon cutting was a momentous occasion not only because of the new buidling, but because it was a reflection of what Auburn is and what we do in the classroom. She added that the facility highlights the College’s growth over the last several years. “This beautiful facility marks a significant milestone in the history of our college,” she said. “We are now beginning to realize the vision of having an elite College of Business housed in a
VETERAN » From 1
he returned home, but he was told he wasn’t granted visitation until the next day. Kendall requested hospital staff provide Beamon’s family with his phone number, so he could offer to open his home to them. “Kendall went immediately to the hospital, and I was at school,” Debbie said. “He came home and told me, ‘We’ve got to take care of him.’” Beamon was afflicted by a myriad of both physical and mental conditions that took him more than two hands to count. He lost a year and a half of memories before August 2017 and his short-term memory. His hip was crushed in the incident, along with the C1, C2 and C4 vertebrae in his spinal cord. The nerves in both arms are permanently damaged, leaving the left limb stuck in an “L” position, while the right doesn’t allow him to ball up a fist anymore. A bone in the left arm grew in excess, becoming almost fused with another. The skin from under his left knee down to his ankle was lost. His head swelled up for a time, resulting in internal bleeding. An eye socket cracked, forcing him to wear specialized glasses. Further nerve damage in his lower extremities resulted in a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome. Surgeons inserted a 14-inch rod into his right leg for support, and while hospitalized, he had to relearn how to read starting at a kindergarten level. Doctors at Piedmont were overwhelmed with the number of injuries Beamon sustained. According to Kendall, a sign was placed on his hip as an advisory to staff. It read: “Do not roll this patient over. His hip will fall out.” Debbie was in shock at his state after her first visit and made it a mission to be the daily caretaker Beamon needed after becoming acquainted with the grad student’s family from Louisiana. Debbie spoke to the unconscious Beamon about ongoing news in the short time he was in a coma, not knowing if he could hear her or not. She said on one occasion, when he at last came to and acknowledged her presence, he mouthed the words “Don’t go,” as she was readying to leave. Beamon awoke from the coma in early September and was moved to a non-emergency floor at the hospital. When word spread of Beamon’s
TRICE BROWN / ASSISTANT CAMPUS EDITOR
The new Horton-Hardgrave Hall in Auburn, Ala on Sept. 13, 2019.
world-class business complex.” She also took a moment to thank those who played a part in making the building a reality, including alumni and donors. “The national reputation we are working to build by producing highly desired graduates and by generating knowledge that drives diverse business thought and sustainable practice is possible because of the support of all of you,” Ranft said. University President Jay Gogue also took a moment to thank all who were involved, and
miraculous survival, new visitors stopped by. “The governor [of Alabama, Kay Ivey,] came to visit me along with elected State Auditor Jim Zeigler,” Beamon said. “The auditor’s office notified [Ivey] about it, and they had 70 to 80 others from the state [government] come and see me.” Beamon had interned at the state capitol a few doors down from Ivey’s office, and she recognized his name upon learning of his status. “She would see me with my jacket pullover and say, ‘War Eagle,’” Beamon remembered with a smile. “Every morning when she would come down the hallway, it would be, ‘War Eagle, young man.’” Things took a turn for the worse, however, as the traumatic brain injury intensified. Two months passed, and he was transferred to a TBI unit in New Orleans. “With a brain injury, it turned me very combative,” Beamon said. “There were some moments where I thought people were playing tricks on me.” The stay at the New Orleans unit saw Beamon fight through some of his darkest days as a medical patient. His clouded mind in the seven weeks he was kept there led him to believe he was in a clinical trial setting, and he was confused each time he awoke and found himself in a hospital. Debbie said she remembers Beamon when his memory and thoughts were hindered in October 2017. “He was even worse than he had been here,” she said. “He told me later he thought he was being imprisoned in some way, and he couldn’t get out. When he saw me, he thought I was coming to set him free, and then I didn’t.” Debbie said she couldn’t stand to see the state Beamon was in. “I started wondering at that point [if we were] going to get the old [Beamon] back ever,” she said. “I was talking to my school nurse and asking [if it was] a permanent thing. She said, ‘Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not.’” The TBI facility released Beamon around a month after he was admitted in late September, despite the fact that his health was regressing, Debbie said. Beamon was sent back home and looked after by family members and home care nurses. Meanwhile, Debbie continued attempts to keep in touch through letters and eventually received an unexpected call sometime in November. It was Beamon.
encouraged students to take advantage of everything the building has to offer. “Your hopes and dreams are possible,” he said. “This is a great facility.” Jimmy Sanford, speaking on behalf of the board of trustees, said he felt honored to be present to dedicate the new facility, which the University broke ground on about five years ago. “We accept the trusteeship of this building, and we accept the trusteeship of the intangible and more important asset of the Auburn spir-
“He started telling me about this dream he had where he was in a car accident, and I was there, and I took care of him in the hospital and on and on and on,” she recounted. “He said, ‘I don’t think it’s a dream.’ I said, ‘No Chris, it wasn’t a dream, it all happened.’” Some of the most demanding recovery came with Beamon’s occupational, speech and physical therapy prior to his return to Auburn. He was more than ready to get back on his feet, sometimes to a dangerous extent. “[The nurses] said, ‘Don’t get out of the bed, you can’t walk,’ and I didn’t know,” Beamon said. “I didn’t even recall I was in an accident. I thought I could walk to the bathroom, so I unplugged all the machines. I tried, and I remember me falling.” The rehabilitation process was a three-month long ordeal and required Beamon to be restrained in actions such as feeding himself, writing his name and relearning words and mathematics. “It was just small words,” he said. “I can remember I didn’t know what words like ‘display’ would mean or words like ‘demonstrate.’ It was learning how to do three times two plus two. It was the same things we learned in grade school.” As 2017 was coming to a close, Beamon was able to move on to outpatient therapy having visited several different clinics. He had regained the ability to drive a car, and that was more than enough motivation for him to get back to Auburn, though his family wasn’t so eager. “They wanted me to stay and go to LSU,” he said. “LSU is a pretty good school — they even have my program. But if I can’t go back to Auburn, I thought, then I’m not going back to get my master’s, period.” They relented by May, and thanks to the aid of the University’s Veterans Resource Center, he was able to enroll back in Auburn. Upon his return, the Parkses offered to throw a welcome-back party for Beamon, and he invited his guardian angels — the nurses who saved him. “Very quickly, he said, ‘I want to invite my ICU nurses,’” Kendall said. “He wanted to honor those who had helped him.” The Parkses were especially relieved to see him back in town, but more than that, they wanted to see him back in school. In November 2018, Beamon got to experience the moment of a lifetime. He was recognized in Jordan-Hare Stadium as honorary
it,” he said. “The spirit inspired the innumerable choices that were made to make this a reality today.” Turton expressed her gratitude to the University for providing top-tier resources for both her and her peers to achieve greatness after graduation. “You believe in us, and that makes a difference in our Auburn experience and our next steps after college,” she said. “You believe that we can change the world, so you step up and you invest in our hopes and dreams.”
team captain on Military Appreciation Day. Beamon enrolled in classes in Spring 2019, eventually receiving the Robert S. Montjoy Outstanding MPA Student Award. Nowadays, Beamon isn’t flawless in his mobility, but he can move on his own without the assistance of others, a drastic change from even a year ago. He often uses a scooter for transport between his night classes. “Bending certain ways is a nogo,” Beamon said. “There’s a struggle with putting on my socks every morning because the leg with a rod doesn’t bend. There’s a struggle with walking up and down the stairs.” Nevertheless, he still has additional goals he wants to see come to fruition. With the Iron Bowl set in Au-
burn this November, Beamon would like to take part in the festivities before the game. “The veterans are marching 150 miles from Tuscaloosa to Auburn to present the gameday football,” he said. “I know that I won’t be able to participate the whole 150 miles, but I would like to be able to help wherever I can, whether it’s helping with supplies or on the road marching.” For now, Beamon is more than satisfied to be on campus taking his final semester. He retains a keepsake book of about 200 orange and blue pages with signed notes from hospital guests, as well as a memory box filled with cards. “The accident was just one small segment of the life that I’ve lived,” Beamon said. “I’ve stayed positive the whole time. I haven’t lived out my dreams yet.”
CONTRIBUTED BY CHRISTOPHER BEAMON
Christopher Beamon at Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital in Columbus, Ga.
CONTRIBUTED BY CHRISTOPHER BEAMON
Christopher Beamon a week after the incident.
community THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
What do these signs mean?
The origin of “Don’t hotel our neighborhood” signs lies in residents’ concerns By CORY BLACKMON Community Reporter
A group of Auburn residents is speaking out against short-term rental units and warning against the dangers they pose to the value of neighborhoods in Auburn. The group has placed signs reading, “Don’t hotel our neighborhoods,” on several streets and roads in Auburn in an effort to draw attention to the increasing presence of short-term rentals in Auburn. Short-term rentals are self contained dwellings that are rented out for a short period of time, often through services like Airbnb. Cathey Donald, an Auburn resident, said the introduction of short-term rental homes in neighborhoods around Auburn takes away from the value and experience of neighborhoods. “People are purchasing homes in good faith that there won’t be commercial development next door,” Donald said.
With city government officials considering policy to regulate where short-term rentals are allowed, some residents are taking steps to speak out against encroaching rental units. Residents said the problem with the rental homes is the fact that some residents could pay little to no mind about what happens to the neighborhood communities, which defeats the purpose of living in a neighborhood. “These people are literally here today and gone tomorrow; they don’t care about what happens to the neighborhood,” Donald said. “And sometimes even the owners are from out of state, so you can’t argue that they care about the City.” As current policy stands, even the requirements and conditions for current city ordinances are being called into question as homes are being rented out on the weekends against regulations and no enforcement of laws is being made. George Neely, another Auburn resident, said that the introduction of unsupervised
university students poses a risk to the quality of the neighborhoods. “There is a short-term rental home across the street from me that has housed college students for some time now,” Neely said. “I’m not saying they’re all like this, but I have seen them have parties and get drunk and naked in the front yard — nobody wants to see that from their house.” Linda Dean, an Auburn resident, said that there is also a risk to the families that live in neighborhoods with short-term rentals on the rise. “There are children who live here, and they grow up with neighbors who know them and watch for them playing in the streets,” Dean said. “When people come in and out of the [rental] home, they don’t know their neighbors, and don’t know to look out for these kids.” One of the biggest issues the group has with the rentals is the fact that the members feel helpless to stop their encroachment due to the
long process required to change anything. “There is a short-term rental task force, but you talk to them and they can only recommend change,” Dean said. “Then it goes to the Planning Commission who may or may not recommend a change, and then it goes to the City Council for vote, too.” The group said they have sent numerous emails and attended public meetings and forums about short-term rentals, but they have seen “little to no evidence of change.” “We have a city government who are supposed to keep control. They should be doing just that,” Dean said. The group also wanted to specify that they are not against short-term rentals entirely, just in specific zones and areas that were intended to be protected from rental units. “I do think that the rental units are good for local economy and can bring a lot to the city,” Dean stated. “But they need to stay in their allotted zones and stay out of our neighborhoods.”
ELIZABETH HURLEY AND EVAN MEALINS / COMMUNITY AND ASSITANT COMMUNITY EDITORS
City plans to increase affordable housing By CHARLIE RAMO Community Writer
A recent house foreclosure on Zellars Court has brought new life to the City’s affordable housing program. This project is a joint venture between the City of Auburn and the North Auburn Housing Development Corporation. “In this case, the homeowner defaulted on their first mortgage, which was being held by Auburn Bank,” said Al Davis, Auburn Community Services director. “At that point, the City is going to purchase the house from Auburn Bank. We’ll be able to resell the house to another low-to moderate-income family.” The City Council has approved a budget of $85,000 to buy the house back from the bank, Davis said. He is planning to have the house back on the market within the next month. “Anything can lead a person to a foreclosure,” Davis said. “We’ve had to buy back a few [homes] from the bank, but we’re probably no different from what the general market is.” The affordable housing program allows for low-to-moderate-income families to purchase a house through three mortgages. The first mortgage covers at least 80% of the price of the house and will be through a traditional bank. The second covers the remaining 20% of the price and has an interest rate around 3%, but is funded through the NAHDC. The final mortgage covers the closing fees and other new home expenses up to $3,000. This loan does not have to be paid back to the City if the homeowner lives in the home for 30 years. “This is not a moneymaking program for the City,” Davis said. “It is a program that allows us to contin-
ue to put more families in a homeownership opportunity.” This program has provided the Northwest Village subdivision 29 homes, along with various homes throughout the community. The program aims to provide two to three new houses each year. “We’re getting ready to build seven new houses on the corner of Byrd [Street] and Tucker [Avenue,]” Davis said. “This [foreclosure] is a small part of our affordable housing program. This is not something that occurs on a regular basis.” The affordable housing program is funded through the Community Development Block Grant program within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “We try to keep our houses anywhere between $115,000 and $120,000,” Davis said. “Our houses are typically about 1,100 square feet. They’re not humongous houses, but they’re a good starter home.” Potential homeowners will have to meet with a counselor to talk about the upkeep and hidden costs associated with owning a home, Davis said. To qualify for this program residents must be able to obtain a loan, have no outstanding federal delinquent debt and an evaluation of the HUD Income Limits. The first step for a potential homeowner in this program is to schedule an appointment with the Community Services Department to determine eligibility. Applicants will also have to fill out an application through the Auburn Community Development Division. A full list of requirements can be found in the Community Development section on the City of Auburn’s website.
CORY BLACKMON / COMMUNITY REPORTER
The environmentally-friendly home in Auburn offers a glimpse of the City’s first smart neighborhood.
Smart home unlocks its doors for its owner By CORY BLACKMON Community Reporter
The house of the future has come to Auburn, and is ready for its first resident. Holland Homes and Alabama Power have partnered together to bring the first Smart Neighborhood to Auburn. Daniel Holland, a 2011 Auburn alumnus, partnered with Alabama Power to bring Smart Neighborhoods to Auburn. Each house is fitted with smart outlets, locks and appliances which allow users to operate lights, door locks and kitchen appliances from their phones. “All of the homes are going to be super energy efficient,” Holland said. “These houses are all fully integrated, so instead of buying a smart lightbulb or outlet, you have all of that integrated into the home from the beginning.” Holland said the house has the capability to customize and program lights, thermostats, door locks, outdoor security cameras and appliances via a downloadable app. “You can lock and unlock your doors, activate your alarms, set your coffee maker to start at certain times,” Holland said. “You have access to thermostats and floodlights and even sensors inside your house, all in the palm of your hand.” Holland said that he has the system installed in his own home and it adds an ease of living that is easy to take for granted. “I never have to worry about leaving my keys at home,” Holland said. “It’s like
the key fob with cars. Nobody uses a key for their car anymore — just the fob and push-button start; it’s the same idea.” Holland said that the homes can be programmed to fit a person’s routine and help streamline how they operate throughout the day. “You can set the house on certain routines like have certain lights come on or even prep appliances based on how you live,” Holland said. The smart houses also increase the energy efficiency in the home and have the potential to cut power bills in half. “In layman’s terms, it is a whole other level above standard AC that can control the humidity level, which directly affects the comfort level of your home,” Holland said. The Home Energy Rating System Index, HERS, is an industry standard for measuring a home’s energy efficiency. The lower the index rating a home receives, the more energy efficient it is. A home built within the 2004 International Energy Conservation Code standards would receive an index rating of 100. These smart homes operate at an index of about 60, which is over 30% more energy efficient, while a typical resale home operates at an index of about 130. “The lower the HERS score, the better, and all of these homes will be under 65,” Goolsby said. “That essentially cuts your energy bill in half, so a lot of these elements add up to a more efficiently run home.”
The addition of spray-foam insulation is one of the ways that energy efficiency is achieved. While a standard home has insulation installed in the ceiling of the home, foam insulation is applied on the underside of the roof of the smart homes and works to effectively seal off all the cracks and holes that are drilled in for wiring during construction. Jim Goolsby, an Alabama Power Energy Specialist, said that by sealing off the house, the builders effectively create a “zone” within the house that allows the air-conditioning unit to control the whole house as one unit. “The heat pump itself takes the heat content out of the air and injects it into the water, cooling the air and heating the water,” Goolsby said. The air-conditioning units also use an electronic zoning system which allows one unit to control two floors, a task which typically requires the use of two units, Goolsby said. Goolsby said the spray foam also perfectly seals the house, which eliminates any potential infiltration. That helps control humidity levels and keeps hot or cold air inside, which also cuts down on energy consumption. Each smart home also comes with five smart outlets, two portable stations that make any standard outlet a smart outlet, an outdoor camera, a doorbell camera, an electric car charging port and an automated lawnmower, all of which can be remotely accessed and operated from your phone or a panel inside the home.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
The Auburn Plainsman
City denies funding relocation of historic Cullars home By CORY BLACKMON Community Reporter
In a 6 to 2 vote, with one Council member absent, the Auburn City Council decided to allocate no public funds to the relocation and restoration of the historic Cullars house. The Council delayed this vote at the Sept. 3 meeting in order to give the private sector more time to consider buying the house. Orange Development, LLC purchased the house in August 2017. The new owner sent out a notice in June 2019 that the current property lease would end on Oct. 4, 2019. The City Council was given until Sept. 30, 2019, to notify the property owner of their intention to purchase and relocate the home or leave it to be demolished. The problem facing the City Council is the fact that the cost of moving the historic home was estimated at $200,000 and the cost of renovating the home after was estimated at a cost of up to $1 million. Given the short time frame, the Council has been working with citizens to find a way to raise funds and to save the building, said Mayor Ron Anders. Several council members held forums and meetings to discuss the Council’s options with the home. At the meetings, community members said the Cullars house is about 126 years old. The Cullars family has strong ties to both the City and the University. Council members said they received dozens of emails, let-
ters and other various messages about the home. They said it is one of the largest responses to a public matter that they have encountered thus far in their terms. The Council asked private citizens and companies to raise funds or bring forward ideas on how to save the Cullars house. That’s why the Council’s vote to allocate public funds was tabled at the Sept. 3 meeting. There were multiple attempts to sell the home to private individuals. Council member Brett Smith even started a public GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to save the home. At the Tuesday night City Council meeting, the majority of the Council voted to not spend public funds on the house. Council members Steven Dixon and Bob Parsons voted to use public funds. Council member Griswold was absent from the meeting. Citizens came forward during a public hearing at the meeting to argue both in favor of saving the house and against using public funds to purchase the building. “Thinking back over the years, Hickory Dickory Park does not yield a return, redoing the streetscape at Toomers does not yield a return,” Dixon said. “Moving this house is an opportunity to preserve the history of the Victorian time period in our town.” Dixon went on to say that historic resources are finite and cannot be returned once done away with. Parsons said the Cullars house is of significant importance to the City. “This past year has brought about many changes, some of
which have been exciting, and others have been disheartening and problematic,” Parsons said. “I have been contacted by many current and former residents urging me to vote in favor.” Griswold, who was absent from the meeting, expressed his support in favor of saving the house through an email which Parsons read aloud during the meeting. The Council members who voted against using public funds for the relocation of the house all expressed that they supported historic preservation, but the funds could be allocated to other programs or projects to improve the lives of Auburn citizens. “I can’t in all clear conscious vote to spend a million dollars to move a house,” said Council member Tommy Dawson. “We could build a lot of low-income housing and change lives with the number of houses we could build.” Other Council members echoed Dawsons remarks, saying there were other ways the money could be spent to improve the lives of Auburn citizens. They said it is what lead them to vote against the allocation of public funds to move the house. Mayor Anders, who also voted against moving the home, said the Cullars house should stand as a catalyst to make citizens take part in what happens in their city. Although the Council voted against spending City funds to save the Cullars home, Dixon and other councilmembers expressed they will continue to try and find a way to save the home until the Sept. 30 deadline.
Virtual reality cafe brings new experience to Auburn By PATIENCE RAY Community Writer
There’s a new restaurant in town, and it’s serving General Tso’s with a side of virtual reality. Kevin Xie, is the owner of Tiger VR Cafe, a virtual reality experience new to downtown Auburn. The VR experience Xie offers his customers is far from passive. Instead of the usual headset, hand controls and feet firmly planted in reality and minds in the virtual, Tiger VR Cafe provides a VR omni-directional treadmill from KatVR. This technology allows users to duck, walk or jump through a variety of games. For more experienced gamers, Xie suggests Battlefront, considered one of the top VR gaming experiences. For beginners, Xie has plenty of suggestions to try that are just as immersive and intense. In Metal Assault, an arcade style shooter experience where players dodge bullets, hit explosive barrels and fight enemy combatants, players can expect to burn around 131 calories in 10 minutes of play. Since players are actually running. The realistic combat paired with the ODT lets players freely move through the enemy stronghold, ex-
plore levels and fight other VR connected players all while trying to escape, Xie said. Hunter Rickles is a student at Auburn University, and acts as game master and professional strap adjuster. “I’ve done VR before, but never where you could walk around,” Rickles said. “You feel like you’re really there. You turn around and it’s a full 360 degrees. It’s definitely unique and something a lot of people haven’t done.” The cafe is busy on Saturdays and Sundays, but VR is something new to Auburn. Xie said he is afraid people are shy because they don’t know what it is. Even Nikolaus Aspenleider, a new hire at Tiger VR Cafe, hasn’t plugged in yet. He applied to the job for the cafe’s Asain Popcorn Chicken. “I haven’t done the VR but the food is awesome,” Aspenleider said. Two years ago, Xie knew nothing about virtual reality. Then one of his friends who owned a VR company invited him to try it. “I’m sitting there playing and at first I thought it was little games, like for kids,” Xie said. “But then I put the foot pads on and started running and it looked real and I had the gun shooting.” From there Xie was hooked. He decided to combine his passion for food with his new love
MARIE LIPSKI / PHOTO EDITOR
The Tiger VR Cafe is home to a new virtual reality feature in Downtown Auburn, Ala.
of VR and opened Tiger VR Cafe. The cafe curently boasts one machine — which cost about $18 thousand. Xie said he plans to install two more next month. According to a report by Grand View Research, the “global virtual reality in gaming market size is expected to reach USD 45.09 bil-
lion by 2025.” Key players in the industry are Microsoft Corp., Sony Corp. and Nintendo Co. Ltd. who all plan to launch VR-compatible game consoles. Auburn may be slow on the uptake, but Xie said he’s betting on VR to take off in the Auburn community.
Stinky’s closes doors for good By EVAN MEALINS Assistant Community Editor
CAMERON BRASHER / VIDEOGRAPHER
A visitor fills his mug at Oktoberfest in Auburn, Ala.
Oktoberfest celebration set for Saturday By ELIZABETH HURLEY Community Editor
Craft brews and authentic German cuisine are taking to The Plains on Saturday for the 10th annual Auburn Oktoberfest. The Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center puts on the event, which has grown significantly over the course of a decade, said Adam Keeshan, event organizer. “[At the first event] we had like eight breweries and a bunch of food,” Keeshan said. “It’s kind of taken off from there. It’s gone from like 30,40, 50 people to thousands.” The traditional German event taking place in Auburn is being held on the start date of Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, where people from around the world flock to the city for the world’s largest folk fest, according to the German Oktoberfest website. The Auburn event’s attendees can expect to see over 200 brews from about 75 different breweries from around the world, many of which are from the South. Ciders and wines, many of which are made in the German style, will also be available for attendees to taste. A biergarten tent will be set up to allow
guests to interact with the brewers, Keeshan said. “That will give guests the opportunity, one, to cool off, but also for that traditional biergarten feel,” Keeshan said. “Just letting guests interact with some of the breweries, try some beers and products that they typically don’t have.” Tasting of all the beer is included in the price of a drink ticket or food and drink ticket. The event also offers designated-driver tickets, which include non-alcoholic drinks. AU Brew, Auburn University’s brewing science program, will also be on hand demonstrating how beer is made, Keeshan said. “They’ll be pouring some of the beer that’s made by the program itself,” Keeshan said. Several food trucks will also offer up their menus. Food truck German food, gifts and more is making its return to Auburn’s event to serve authentic German cuisine to go with the Oktoberfest brews. “We try to incorporate food as much as possible,” Keeshan said. Auburn’s event will also feature live music from Kidd Blue. The War Damn Polka Band,
which is comprised of Auburn University students and faculty, will also perform traditional Oktoberfest music. The event has several other entertainment offerings such as the Samual Adams Stein Hoisting Competition, the Red Clay Brewing Keg Rolling Competition and the Mr. and Miss Oktoberfest contest. Some fourlegged event goers can participate in the Moore’s Mill Animal Hospital Wiener Dog Race, Keeshan said. “Just trying to tie in all of those traditional games and activities, and the concepts of the biergarten, beer tent to make it as authentic as possible,” Keeshan said. TVs will also be set up throughout the event for those looking to watch the Auburn vs. Texas A&M game. “We don’t want that to deter people from coming, so we have plenty of TVs,” Keeshan said. Tickets are still available online. Auburn University students can purchase special-priced student tickets with the promo code “austudent” until Thursday at noon. Those with student tickets will be asked to present a student ID at the event.
Stinky’s Fish Camp, located near the intersection of Wire Road and Shug Jordan Parkway, has permanently closed as of Tuesday, September 17. The restaurant has been in Auburn for just over two years, having opened its doors for the first time in August 2017. Jim Richard, chef-owner of Word of Mouth Restaurant Group, which controlled the Stinky’s location in Auburn, said that reasons for closing the restaurant were mostly financial. “I understand everybody wants to know why the restaurant closed,” Richard said. “Well, because it’s a business, and a business needs to be profitable.” Word of Mouth owns five other succesful businesses and hoped to add Auburn to that list, Richard said. But after two years, Richard made the decision to close the door for good. “You have to make tough business decisions in any business, and this is just one of those tough business decisions,” Richard said.
EVAN MEALINS / ASSISTANT COMMUNITY EDITOR
Stinky’s Fish Camp is closed as of Tuesday, September 17.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
Tigers prep for first true road tilt By SUMNER MARTIN Assistant Sports Editor
No. 8 Auburn is 3-0 entering its first conference game of the season. That’s where it wanted to be, but the unblemished start hasn’t come without adversity. It took strong second halves for the Tigers to come away with victories in the first two weeks against Oregon and Tulane after sluggish starts, and in the 55-16 victory over Kent State last weekend, they were without three impact players who are all considered day-to-day for this weekend’s matchup at Texas A&M. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn acknowledged Tuesday that he’s happy with where his team is at right now, but also noted that the real season starts Saturday and that Week 4 of the season is what they’ve been gearing up for all year. “Playing a very talented Texas A&M team,” Malzahn said. “A team that played Clemson really closer than the score if you watch the game. …They did a very good job against us last year defensively and everything that goes with that. We’re really playing one of the better teams in our league, we feel like, on the road. This will be our first road test as far as the league goes with our freshman quarterback. We’re excited for the opportunity.” After struggling in the first two weeks of the season to establish a running game, the Tigers got back to their roots versus Kent State, running for 467 yards and six touchdowns. Auburn will bring the second-best rushing attack in the SEC to Kyle Field on Saturday, averaging just over 280 yards on the ground per game. The Tigers also boast the No. 2 rusher in the conference in JaTarvious Whitlow, who has run for 341 yards in three games.
The Aggie defense, on the other hand, comes into Saturday’s tilt ranked third in the SEC in total defense allowing just 11.33 points per game and 87.7 yards per game on the ground. “Yeah, their run defense is very good,” Malzahn said. “What stood out to me last year and this year is their run fits. Their linebackers know their gaps. Their gap integrity on defense in run fits is very impressive. They do a good job of setting the edge. They do a good job on the back end. They mix up their coverages with their pressures and everything. Last year they did a very good job against us. I think we were fortunate to win that game the way we played offensively.” On the offensive side of the ball, there is familiarity. Malzahn recruited Aggies starting quarterback Kellen Mond out of high school back in 2017 when Mond was at IMG Academy. Mond is fourth in the conference with 747 passing yards coming into Week 4, behind LSU’s Joe Burrow, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Mizzou’s Kelly Bryant. “He looks like a veteran quarterback,” Malzahn said of Mond. “He looks like a guy that’s been in the offense for two years. He can flat-out throw it and when he tucks it and runs it, when he goes north-south, he can really run. He presents a lot of challenges, and offensively they do a lot of different things. Like I said, they mix up the run and pass with different formations, different personnel groups. He looks like he’s in command of his offense this year.” For the Tigers, true freshman Bo Nix, who has shown he isn’t afraid of the moment, will take the field Saturday against a top-20 team for his first road game in the SEC. Nix has had his ups and downs this year, but showed his ability to JOSHUA FISHER / PHOTOGRAPHER
» See TEXAS A&M, 9
Derrick Brown (5) heads onto the field with the team captains before Auburn vs. Kent State on Sept. 14, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.
Malzahn updates injuries By JAKE WEESE Sports Reporter
Bo Nix (10) and JaTarvious Whitlow (28) jog to the sideline after a touchdown during Auburn vs. Kent State on Sept. 14, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.
Auburn’s goal this week is to get healthy before SEC play opens Saturday at Texas A&M. The last two games have seen Seth Williams, Derrick Brown and Prince Tega Wanogho leave with injuries, not to mention the preseason injuries to freshman D.J. Williams and sophomore Shedrick Jackson. According to head coach Gus Malzahn at his Tuesday press conference, Williams, Wanogho, Brown and Jackson will all practice “in some capacity this week.” Malzahn is also optimistic that freshman running back D.J. Williams could take the field against Texas A&M. Malzahn would not commit to them playing but did say they will practice and said they will be day-to-day leading up to kickoff Saturday. Williams, who is still recovering from a shoulder injury, is looking to get back into action for the first time since the first half of the Tulane game. Brown — who suffered an “upper body contusion” during the Kent State game — and Wanogho were both on the sidelines and are closer to being full speed. The Tigers passed for 166 yards Saturday versus Kent State in Williams’ absence and had one passing touchdown on a flea flicker to Eli Stove, with the rest coming on the ground. Auburn will look to have more of a balanced attack this weekend facing an Aggies defense that is third in the conference in total defense. No. 8 Auburn will travel to College Station, Texas, to take on No. 17 Texas A&M on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CST. The game will be televised on CBS.
JOSHUA FISHER / PHOTOGRAPHER
Trustees approve Performance Center By TRICE BROWN Assistant Campus Editor
The Auburn University Board of Trustees approved the initiation of the Football Performance Center project and authorized the commencement of the project’s architect selection process. The center is intended to provide
Auburn football with the resources to compete successfully within the Southeastern Conference and on the national scale. The center is anticipated to feature spaces dedicated to strength and conditioning, sports science, health and recovery, equipment storage, team meeting rooms, coach and staff offices and common areas.
At the Board’s June meeting, Auburn football head coach Gus Malzahn expressed the center’s importance to the future of the University’s football program. The project is expected to be funded by University general revenue bonds and gift funds. Debt service on the bonds is expected to be paid for with the athletics department fund.
JOSHUA FISHER / PHOTOGRAPHER
JaTarvious Whitlow (28) runs the ball during Auburn Football vs. Mississippi State on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Starkville, Miss.
Kickoff set for MSU By JAKE WEESE Sports Reporter
No. 8 Auburn will be used to being in prime time when it hosts Mississippi State on Sept. 28. The game will be Auburn’s fourth night game of the season and will be the fourth game to be televised on an ESPN affiliate. Auburn will host Mississippi State at 6 p.m. CST on ESPN on Sept. 28. First, No. 8 Auburn (3-0) will head to College Station, Texas, to take on No. 17 Texas A&M (2-1) this weekend. Auburn has come away with wins against Oregon, Tulane
and Kent State to start the season before opening SEC play this weekend. Mississippi State has played Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern Miss and Kansas State to begin the season. The Bulldogs have beaten Louisiana-Lafayette and Southern Miss before losing to Kansas State in Week 3. Mississippi State (2-1) opens up SEC play against Kentucky (2-1) this weekend. The 2018 matchup between the Tigers and Bulldogs saw Mississippi State beat Auburn 23-9 in Starkville, Mississippi. Auburn leads the all-time series 63-27-2 and is 29-7 when hosting Mississippi State at Jordan-Hare.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
The Auburn Plainsman
Pappoe progressing beyond his years By HARRISON TARR Sports Writer
Auburn head coach Gus Malzhn knew he had another defensive weapon coming to the Plains when 5-star Owen Pappoe made his commitment to the Tigers on May 1 of last year. In his weekly press conference Tuesday, Malzahn spoke highly of the true freshman, saying that he “had high expectations after the spring for Owen, and he’s handled it well every time he’s out there.” The true freshman has earned not only the respect of his coaching staff, but that of his fellow defensive starters.
“He’s been getting better each and every week,” senior safety Daniel Thomas said of Pappoe. Thomas, who currently has the second-most tackles across the Tiger defense, also added that Pappoe has shown maturity and understanding of defensive coordinator Kevin Steele’s system beyond his years. “(Pappoe) being out there, being able to make calls like he’s been out there for as long as I have — the sky’s the limit for him, honestly,” Thomas said, “He’s got a lot of potential.” Pappoe, a 6-foot-1 product of Grayson, Georgia, has recorded eight tackles across his first three games, and will look to add to that total Saturday in his first SEC road trip against No. 17 Texas A&M.
TEXAS A&M » From 8
capitalize when the lights are brightest with the last-second touchdown throw to Seth Williams in Week 1 that completed a 27-21 comeback win over Oregon. The freshman quarterback enters SEC play 44-of84 (52.4 %) for 545 yards passing with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Malzahn alluded to the Oregon game as proof that Nix is ready for this weekend in one of the loudest stadiums in the country. “I think the fact that we had the first game on the road,” Malzahn said. “Now, we had more fans than they had, but it was still an exciting atmosphere and a big game. Now, he has that in his back pocket as far as experience. … We’ll do a good job with the crowd noise, and we’ve done that really the last three weeks, even when we
were playing at home. I think it’s like anything else, it’ll be his first experience, but I know that he’s a great competitor. The moment won’t be too big.” Malzahn kept reminding the media at his Tuesday press conference that Nix, however talented, is still just a freshman, and these learning curves are to be expected. “I really feel that each week the game will slow down for him a little bit more,” Malzahn said. “But I’m very confident in his abilities. You’ve got to keep in mind, that was his third game to play college football. He’s still a freshman. We’ve got to keep that in mind. He’ll keep improving. He’s going to be an outstanding quarterback in this league for a long time, I’ll tell you that.” No. 8 Auburn will kick off with No. 17 Texas A&M at 2:30 p.m. CST on Saturday at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. The game will be televised on CBS.
ALLISSA STANLEY / PHOTOGRAPHER
Owen Pappoe (10) helps teammates tackle a Kent State defender during Auburn vs. Kent State on Sept. 14, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.
O-line looking to improve against A&M By WILLIAM FINNEY Sports Writer
As former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville used to say, “Alright, folks. The preseason is over.” The No. 8 Tigers will make their SEC debut with a trip to College Station, Texas, for a date with No. 17 Texas A&M. Everything from the heat, to the roar of the crowd, to the intensity brought by either team could tip this game in either team’s favor. However, none of these factors matter if Auburn’s stout offensive front can’t repel the Aggies’ stout defensive front. “Defensively, they are third in our league in total defense,” said Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn of Texas A&M. “We’re really playing one of the better teams in our league on the road.” Their 2018 matchup ended with the Tigers defeating A&M, 28-24, in a fourth-quarter comeback win inside Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Aggies held Auburn to 19 rushing yards
and left the Tigers averaging less than a yard per carry. “Their front seven is really good,” said Auburn offensive lineman Marquel Harrell. “They were really good last year and just seem to keep getting better and better.” Texas A&M’s front seven boasts over 50 tackles and one field goal block on the season. In their last three games the Aggies have given up a total of 251 rushing yards. This includes a performance where they held Texas State to 8 yards rushing. Harrell said he’s excited to face the talented unit. “Knowing that were facing a very tough run defense gave us great confidence,” Harrell said. “We just have to establish the run, just go from there.” This year the Tigers come into this game averaging 282 rushing yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry — including 467 yards on the ground against Kent State, the best FBS vs. FBS rushing performance by a team this season.
In an effort to counteract Texas A&M’s fast pass-rushers, Harrell and the rest of the Tigers in the trenches will be mixing up blocking schemes all night. Harrell said the front lines will be swapping between gap and zone to create confusion for the Aggies front seven. “It gives the defense a lot to concentrate on, eventually a hole will open up that somebody won’t be accountable for and we’ll get that open run,” Harrell said. Regardless of how the Tigers do it, the only goal for Saturday’s game is getting their first SEC win of the season. “You’ve gotta win on the road, especially if you want to play for a national championship,” Harrell said. “You have to win in hostile environments, so just to go out there and like whatever it takes to win. That’s what we’re going to do.” Kickoff for the Tigers matchup against the Aggies at Kyle Field will start at 2:30 p.m. CST. The game will be televised on CBS.
JOSHUA FISHER / PHOTOGRAPHER
Joey Gatewood (1) rushes for a touchdown during Auburn vs. Kent State on Sept. 14, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
WEEK 4 PLAINSMAN PICK â€˜EM Auburn-TAMU
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lifestyle THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
Students uncover rock climbing as hobby
Auburn pizza restaurant features Italian-imported ingredients
By FIELDER HAGAN Community Writer
The smell of fresh dough drifts outside when someone opens the door at Piazza Roman Kitchen. In June 2019, Piazza Roman Kitchen opened its doors on East Glenn Avenue, replacing the previous establishment, Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. The menu includes a variety of modernized pizzas done in an authentic and traditional way, according to owner Burt Hunter. Hunter has worked in the restaurant business for more than 30 years. He said he spent one year researching the restaurant’s pizza line. “We wanted to serve a pizza that tasted fantastic that no one else had and was real and authentic,” Hunter said. Most of the produce used by Piazza is grown locally, and some of its ingredients are imported from Italy,
Hunter said. He added that this allows them to produce and ensure high quality food. “We import our flour, our olive oil and our tomatoes from Italy,” Hunter said. “NonGMO, no additives or hormones — it’s the real deal.” Piazza Roman Kitchen’s dough is hand-stretched on a metal tray and is cooked until soft on a rotating stone oven. The soft crust then goes to the line to cool before toppings can be placed. Topping choices span from an assortment of meats to peppers, cheeses and olives. Once toppings have been added, the pizza travels down a conveyor belt to the oven and cooks at 600 degrees. “What makes it unique is the crunch of that Roman crust,” Hunter said. The dough gets the crunch Hunter speaks of after a fermentation period of 72 to 96 hours. “It’s impossible to cook this pizza to order,” Hunter said. “You would have to have someone cooking up dough pans every second.” The dough sits ready behind the display glass until customers choose their
By LYDIA MCMULLEN Lifestyle Writer
toppings. The pizza is then reheated with their customizations and given to the customer. “We cook it a second time which really accentuates that crunch,” Hunter said. Occasionally, the chefs prepare a pizza special, such as its Desert Island pizza, which is topped with Italian meats, tomatoes, mushrooms and olives. In addition to some of the authentic pizzas Hunter said they offer, Piazza Roman Kitchen also offers barbecue chicken pizza and Hawaiian pizza. On top of doing pizzas, Piazza Roman Kitchen chefs will make sandwiches using their crust to hold the ingredients the customer desires. “No one in the United States is doing it like we’re doing it,” Hunter said.
The Auburn Recreation and Wellness Center is the home to two 50-foot climbing towers. Since its opening, this feature of the Rec has been attracting experienced rock climbers and novices alike to take part in a community of climbing. One particular student noticed when his hobby became something more. “I just picked it up, and after my first night, I was already hooked,” said Ford Luscy, a junior in biosystems engineering. “It became more of an obsession than a hobby after that.” Luscy said he loved the way it was therapeutic and competitive. He said the combination of being able to set attainable goals, stay active, pick up on a hobby and meet a lot of new faces has been paramount in his experience at Auburn. Luscy plans to extend his love of climbing and test his skills outside of the Rec in the outdoors. In addition to the availability of the wall, the Rec is also home to Auburn Outdoors, the on-campus, adventure-based education program. Auburn Outdoors offers several excursions throughout the year to various outdoor locations for adventurous trips. These trips typically do not require extensive experience and provide opportu-
nities for climbers of different skill levels to take part. For climbers just starting out, Auburn Outdoors offers a free orientation from a trained climbing-tower staff member to any member of the Rec interested. This orientation is a quick run-down of the basic fundametals and safety measures a new climber will need to know, including knowledge of auto belays, bouldering and climbing with a top rope. Members looking to get involved do not need to provide their own equipment. Auburn Outdoors supplies the necessary equipment for a safe climbing experience as well as helpful instructions and tips. Carol Allison, a junior in graphic design, is a novice rock climber and took part in Auburn Outdoor’s orientation to rock climbing. Allison said she was invited by a friend and felt encouraged by the welcoming community of regular climbers. She said she has since frequented the wall to continue developing skills and relationships. “It was a great workout,” Allison said. “It worked muscles I wouldn’t normally work out.” After the initial orientation, Auburn Outdoors offers a range of workshops and verifications to learn new techniques, proper equipment usage, climbing commands and rope » See CLIMBING, 12
CONTRIBUTED BY FORD LUSCY
Student climbs one of the climbing towers at the Rec.
The Auburn Plainsman
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
T O P films & movies
Contributed by Andrea Kelley, assistant professor of media studies
LOST Lynch, 1997 HIGHWAY
Football fans tailgate on the Greenspace before a game.
MESHES ON THE AFTERNOON
Organization shares vegan tailgate ideas By LANEY MAYFIELD
MILDRED Curtiz, PIERCE 1945
ROPE Hitchcock, 1948
MIKAYLA BURNS / MANAGING EDITOR
With football season underway, fans from across the nation are pitching their tents and firing up the grill. Savory ribs and juicy franks populate the nearest barbecue grill as spectators cheer on their favorite team. But what about those who don’t bite down into a freshly grilled burger, or those who won’t be picking their teeth with chicken bones during a tailgate? What will a vegan eat during a tailgate? Veganism is a practice of not consuming meat or partaking in any usage of an animal-based product — a vegan will not consume any animal-based foods. However, there are solutions and alternatives to enjoying a meal during a tailgate. The Plant Based Plainsman is an orga-
CLIMBING » From 11
knotting techniques, as well as improve skills. Some of these classes include Fundamentals of Climbing, Top Rope Skills Verification and Lead Climbing Skills Verifica-
tion. Erik Coupe, a junior in aerospace engineering, is a member of Auburn’s club rock climbing team. Coupe said he has benefitted from multiple climbing classes, increasing his skills and knowledge of the techniques involved in climbing.
She said she wishes that food trucks and restaurants on Auburn’s campus would have more vegan options. Ali Sanchez, other co-president of the Plant Based Plainsman persuades vegans to plan before they go to a tailgate. Sanchez prompts fellow vegans to establish substantial arrangements before arriving to a tailgate. “I wish there were more vegan options during tailgates, but that does not discourage me,” Sanchez said. “If I’m not grilling corn on the cob or making a vegetable kabob, I will bring my own food to a tailgate or purchase takeout from a vegan-friendly restaurant nearby, so I won’t be excluded from the feast.” Sanchez said she will bring chips, boiled peanuts and vegetable trays with vegan ranch as dipping sauce to a tailgate, and they sure hit the spot.
Coupe has taken part in both the Lead Climbing Workshop and the Top Rope Skills Verification. “With the Top Rope Belay class, you learn how to tie your own knots,” Coupe said. “[And] you learn how to belay somebody who is climbing up the tower.”
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He said while this class does not teach any new techniques, it teaches a different type of belaying. “Instead of climbing with the rope already hanging off the wall, you tie in and you take the rope up with you and clip into carabiners that are in the wall,” Coupe said. JOSHUA FISHER / PHOTOGRAPHER
Abbigail Hickey, Auburn Universitys campusPrint dietitian speaks with The PlainsDeadline: man on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 in Auburn, NoonAla. three business days
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nization at Auburn University designed to educate students on multiple existing reasons to go vegan and to establish a welcoming environment for existing vegans. Jean Gannett, co-president of the Plant Based Plainsman, encourages vegans to be creative by grilling vegan hot dogs and burgers during football season. “Though I have never tailgated, I am certain that vegan barbecued baked beans are a great source of protein and can go well with veggie burgers on game day,” Gannett said. “There will more than likely be condiments available if someone is grilling hotdogs and burgers, so don’t be afraid to dress up your patty.” For additional recommendations, she suggested that eating a plentiful meal beforehand and bringing a light snack to the tailgate can be very beneficial.
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Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Lewis
ACROSS 1 Really big hit 6 Numero uno, with “the” 10 One always ready with quick comebacks 13 W.C. Fields persona 14 Strand during a sleet storm, say 16 Green prefix 17 Football nonpassing offense 19 Fish eggs 20 __ the table: arrange silverware and such 21 MBA or MFA: Abbr. 22 Behind, or hit from behind 24 Farm song refrain 26 Hasenpfeffer, e.g. 27 Open-and-__ case 30 Get one more card for twice the bet, in blackjack 34 36-Across skunk Pepé 36 Warner Bros. creation 37 Author Tolstoy 38 European peak 39 “Gosh, look at the time” 42 Sundial seven 43 You, to Goethe 44 “Peter Pan” dog 45 Sediment 47 Car engine measure 51 Arthur of tennis 52 “Unforgettable” singer 53 Peter, Paul or Mary 55 Philosophy school with no classes? 58 Biol. or geol. 59 “Bingo!” 62 Australian bird 63 Opening kickoff, say, and what both parts of 17-, 30- and 47-Across can be 66 Sailor’s “Help!” 67 Woodsy path
By Paul Coulter
68 Deed 69 Gallery hangings 70 Bldg. with a pool 71 “I Am of Ireland” poet DOWN 1 Lat. and Est., once 2 Grimace 3 Em, to Dorothy 4 Nine-digit ID 5 Alpine heroine 6 Astros Hall of Famer Craig __ 7 Cardio readout 8 Blacken 9 Schedule opening 10 Human/canine shape-shifters 11 Screen symbol to click on 12 Open-__ shoes 15 Tidied, as a room 18 Require 23 Cabernet color 24 Summer in Lyon 25 Western bad guys 27 Cut drastically, as prices 28 Prefix for “sun”
Saturday’s Puzzle Solved
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29 Elite group 31 Fancy neckwear 32 Mull over 33 Bam, bang or boom 35 Sommelier’s menu 40 Complex woven textile 41 __-Caps: candy 46 Backstabber 48 Fenway team, familiarly
49 SoCal Latinx neighborhood 50 Puerto __ 54 Really cool 55 Big butte 56 Love, in Lima 57 Hat-tipper’s word of address 59 Opposite of baja 60 “Stop right there!” 61 Shipboard yeses 64 Rocker Ocasek 65 Dessert pastry