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A SPIRIT THAT IS NOT AFRAID • NEWS SINCE 1893

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020

VOL. 128 • ISSUE 9 • FIRST COPY FREE THEN 50¢

CAMPUS

‘Most’ spring classes will be offered in person By JACK WEST Editor-in-chief

Auburn University is planning to offer most of its classes during the spring 2021 semester in person, according to an email sent to students from Provost Bill Hardgrave. “Given the success of the fall semester, thanks to you and the entire campus community, we are confident that with your continued adherence to safety protocols that Auburn can safely

hold a spring 2021 semester that supports in-person teaching as our primary instructional delivery method,” Hardgrave said. In an email obtained by The Plainsman that was sent to faculty last month, Hardgrave said that any faculty members wishing to offer their classes remotely will have to receive approval from the dean of their college. “Any exceptions to in-person instruction (specifically courses where less than half of the contact hours are delivered in person) must be approved by the dean of your college,” Hardgrave said. Nicholas Giordano, dean of the college of

sciences and mathematics, said that by shifting much of the decision making to a college level, the University is trying to meet the specific needs of each college. “It might seem preferable to be able to apply the same criteria and the same decision process to every single case, every single course in the University, but they’re all different,” Giordano said. “Our goal is to get every course that we can in a face-to-face mode, but we want to do it subject to the safety of everybody, the safety of the faculty, the safety of the students and all that.” Because of Hardgrave’s announcement, deans like Giordano or Joseph Aistrup, dean of the college of liberal arts, will like-

ly play a much bigger role this spring in determining how many classes are offered in face-to-face formats. With that in mind, both men talked about the factors they have been — and will be — considering in regards to in-person instruction. “The first thing driving this is that we are in the middle of a pandemic, and the University has done a number of different things — facemasks, requiring social distancing in classes, making sure that there’s proper sanitation in every classroom,” Aistrup said. » See SPRING, 2

JACK WEST | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

CAMPUS

CORONAVIRUS

University reports 16 new COVID cases By TIM NAIL Section Editor

FILE PHOTO

Auburn University announced that it will hold its 2020 fall commencement in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

AU announces graduation plans By TIM NAIL Section Editor

Auburn University announced Tuesday afternoon that its fall 2020 commencement will be held on Dec. 12 in Jordan-Hare Stadium based on its current health outlook. Spring and summer 2020 graduates will also be allowed to participate, according to the University. To reduce the number of people gathering for graduation ceremonies, the University said individual colleges and schools will lapse when they recognize graduates at designated times. Ceremonies will have a 10-minute break between colleges and schools. “Graduates must arrive no later than 20 minutes before their scheduled time,” the University said. “Following brief remarks by the dean to families and guests, graduates will have the opportunity to walk across the stage, receive

their copy of The Auburn Creed from their dean and pose for photographs with their name on the video board.” The individual ceremonies will be livestreamed for those with health concerns or who may be unable to visit for other reasons, the University said. Spring and summer graduates who wish to take part must complete a registration form in advance so that they may receive a name card at their ceremony, according to the University. The form can be found on the Auburn commencement website. The University anticipates over 2,000 fall graduates this year, emphasizing the need for commencement visitors to follow health guidelines. Families and guests will be encouraged to wear face coverings and required to maintain physical distancing at commencement. Graduates will enter the stadium

through Gate 10, and families and guests will enter through Gate 8 to keep people properly distanced. “Students must wear face coverings at all times while inside the Harbert Family Recruiting Center and are only permitted to remove their face covering as they cross the stage for photographs,” the University said. “Hand sanitizer will be available and easily accessible for students and guests.” Auburn previously planned a combined spring and summer 2020 commencement for Aug. 8. The event was later postponed “indefinitely” by the University just under two weeks before it was set to take place. In the event the December commencement in the stadium is canceled, the University said its contingency plans include transitioning ceremonies to Auburn Arena without guests. A livestream would also be offered in this scenario.

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Auburn University reported adding 16 new COVID-19 cases this week, according to data released by the AU COVID-19 Resource Center on Tuesday afternoon. This past week, ending on Oct. 11, follows a trending decline in cases that began with the week ending Sept. 6. All 16 cases were located on the main Auburn campus. The GuideSafe Sentinel Testing program conducted 399 tests, returning a 0.25% positivity rate. This is an increase over the 0.0% positivity rate during the week ending Oct. 4. Dr. Fred Kam, director of the Auburn University Medical Clinic, said he feels “really confident about where the numbers are” in a weekly update video from the University, but predicts another rise in cases before the end of the fall semester. “I think that we can have a bit of an uptick or a spike starting in the next week or two and continuing definitely after Halloween,” Kam said. “I hope that I’m wrong like I was wrong after Labor Day. It is all going to depend on personal accountability and what people do, how they act and what their interactions are that will determine how successful we are.” Nonetheless, Kam said he remains optimistic that the University will not need to transition to remote operations this semester like in the spring.

“I’ve gone on record as saying we’re going to Nov. 24, [and] I feel no different,” he said. Kam provided an update on the current scientific knowledge of COVID-19, saying that the greatest period for spreading the virus is one day before symptoms appear. “Again, [this] stresses the point that most people are going to be spreading this before they know that they actually have it,” Kam said. “Therefore it’s important that you wear those masks, try to physically socially distance and sanitize your hands.” By following these recommended guidelines, Kam said the Auburn community should expect to see a continued decline as data has shown. Kam said the University has been asked about the possibility of multiple COVID-19 strains circulating around Auburn, to which he responded may be possible, but is unknown. “No one’s really doing the degree of genetic study done to the actual strain,” Kam said. “At the end of the day, the virus, regardless of whether it’s an L-strain or an S-strain and which mutant variant that we’re getting, it appears to be still as contagious, still as dysfunctional and still as surprising.” Kam said that people should be less concerned about strains and more focused on ensuring they do not contract COVID-19 and » See COVID-19, 2

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020

THEPLAINSMAN.COM

NEWS

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SPRING » From 1

“We have a sense that as long as everybody’s wearing their face mask and doing social distancing, that, by and large, that provides a safe environment. Or let’s put it this way: as safe as possible environment in light of the pandemic.” Over the last three weeks, Auburn University has reported adding around 20 cases per week, much lower than the 500 cases per week it was seeing in August. Giordano said these low numbers show the many of the measures implemented by the University have been effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19 on campus. “We’re going to have more face-to-face classes because people know that these measures are working,” Giordano said. “Again, I’m a physicist. I’m not an epidemiologist. I’m not an M.D., but I think that’s gonna be the biggest factor.” Despite these low numbers, reporting by The Plainsman earlier this semester found that many students and faculty members have chosen to limit their time on campus this semester for a variety of reasons. Both deans confirmed this idea. “Our impression from the fall semester is that a lot of students would rather take a course online,” Giordano said. “Now, maybe they want to take the class in their pajamas, I don’t know. But maybe, they’re just uncomfortable [for] health [reasons]; I think it’s probably that, and we want to respect that.” Aistrup reiterated this point and went further. “Faculty members and students themselves don’t always feel comfortable, even with all those safety measures,” he said. “Our parents, though, have spoken very loudly. And they spoke very loudly, just recently, by sending numerous emails and numerous other types of communication telling Auburn University that they expect classes to be more face-to-face than online.” Many parents, according to Aistrup, were upset by the University’s decision this fall to offer most of its classes via synchronous online instruction. “Some parents weren’t very happy with that decision,” Aistrup said. “And so, this semester, I think we hear with the provost and the president of this University, hearing the voices of our parents and also some of our students that they would like to see a lot more face-to-face interaction.” A closer reading of Hardgrave’s announcement to students shows how precise his language is about the University’s plans for the spring. Hardgrave didn’t say that most classes will be delivered in person. He said most classes “will be offered in person.”

“The important thing here, I think, is for students to have the opportunity to come to class if they want,” Aistrup said. “The University is providing the opportunity for students to come, and that’s what parents were really wanting: simply for their child, if they want to go to the class [to] have that opportunity.” So, while Hardgrave’s announcement seems to be shifting much of the decision making about modality in the spring to college deans, both Aistrup and Giordano indicated that students will still have a say in whether or not they choose to go to class. “If student behavior doesn’t change, that’s fine,” Aistrup said. “But then, when mom and dad call up, we can say, ‘Well they certainly have the option to go to class; they just chose not to.’” Though many students are barely through with this semester’s midterms, these questions about the spring had to be answered so that students would know the modality of their classes before registration, which will begin next month. “You will know when you register how each course section will be delivered,” Hardgrave said. Aistrup said this will likely be the biggest difference between the fall and spring semesters. “Whatever way we said we were going to deliver a class, we have an obligation to deliver it in that way,” Aistrup said. “And students have a right to choose that modality based upon what we advertise that we say we’re going to do. And that will be the difference between this past semester and this next is, we have to continue to do what we told students we’re going to do.” In short, many administrators are trying to prevent faculty members shifting from one mode of instruction to another during the semester. “I think across the University, we’re emphasizing that we can’t pivot out of our classroom environments that we have advertised we are providing,” Aistrup said. “When a faculty member is in a classroom environment, it doesn’t matter if there’s 15 people that are there or two people there or no people there; [faculty members] need to be in that classroom environment in case even one student shows up.” If the majority of students decide to attend class in person this spring, there still could be concerns about how they will maintain social distancing. The safety measures that the University has implemented for the current fall semester will be continued into the spring. According to the email, these will include “completing daily health checks, reducing classroom capacities, wearing face coverings and practicing physical distancing, among others.” The issue for some colleges is that just because the University is requiring social distanc-

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ing doesn’t mean the classrooms got any larger or more numerous. This problem is especially a focal point for Giordano since many COSAM classes have over 300 students in addition to required lab assignments. “We’re going to do some labs online; there’s no question about it because we don’t have space in the labs to keep students apart as much as we’d like,” Giordano said. As for the large classes, Giordano said that most, if not all, of the entry classes will be offered both in person and online. Even this fall, Giordano said his college has found more creative alternatives to indoor classrooms in order to give students and faculty time to meet face-to-face. For instance, some faculty members have used the covered pavilion at the Donald E. Davis Arboretum for classes. “We’ve added a big screen there and a projection system,” Giordano said. “And students, if the weather’s nice, they can sit outside.” Giordano said he recognized the importance of this face-to-face interaction last spring when it was suddenly taken away by the pandemic. “In the spring, we had about a month and half, or maybe two months, of regular interaction between faculty and students,” he said. “And then suddenly, we pivoted, and I think looking back on it, I didn’t realize how important [that] first month and a half was because you got to know your students a little bit.” As of publication, no major changes have been to the schedule for the spring semester. It is still set to begin on Jan. 6, and registration for that semester will start on Nov. 11. In September, the University of Alabama announced that they would not be having a spring break this academic year, citing the need to “mitigate risks associated with travel,” but Auburn has not yet released a final decision. “Additional details regarding the spring calendar, including spring break, will be announced no later than Nov. 24,” Hardgrave said. With the advent of winter looming in a couple of months and the number of COVID-19 cases rising again across the country, there are still serious questions about how many students will be on campus this spring. There are also questions about how much of an impact a return to largely in-person instruction will have on the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Ever the scientist, Giordano said that even though some data has been collected, it will be impossible to know exactly what is going to happen until it happens. “we’ve been teaching some classes face-to-face,” he said. “But we haven’t done the full experiment yet.”

COVID-19

» From 1

mitigating the spread of the virus. For those seeking to travel home or travel for upcoming holidays, Kam urges people to consider their health 14 days ahead of time. Reducing social interactions and opportunities in this 14-day period is recommended, Kam said. “If you’ve not had the virus, you can pick that virus up anywhere within a 14-day period and take it home,” he said. “I keep stressing that a significant number of people, especially younger people, will be asymptomatic, so thinking 14 days are important.” Additionally, Kam said those traveling should schedule a COVID-19 test the day before or the day of their departure to ensure their results are current. As flu season begins amid the pandemic, Kam revealed that there have been two cases of influenza recorded in the past week, which he said was a “surprise.” The Med Clinic has performed around 700 flu shots but still has more than enough available, according to Kam. “You can get it done at the clinic, or there are another two flu clinics being done in the Student Center again this week,” Kam said. “Please consider getting the flu shot. It is clear that the flu virus is starting to circulate at a lower rate, but the more people that we get vaccinated, the less likelihood we will have of an outbreak of the flu.” Those seeking flu shots at the Student Center may receive them in room 2326 by Chick-fil-A from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.


opinion

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020

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OPINION

EDITORIAL

Mental-health challenges demand response By EDITORIAL BOARD Fall 2020

Auburn’s annual Hey Day, held on Oct. 14, 2020, this year, is a tradition that is celebrated each year as a way to bring the Auburn Family closer through a simple “Hey” or “How are you?” But more than that, regardless of how corny one might perceive the event typically held on the Green Space to be, it’s a historical artifact of years past that reminds us of an incredibly turbulent and emotional moment in time. The SGA-coordinated tradition dates back to World War II when veterans were returning home and going back to school. Hey Day served as a way for veterans to be seen, heard and appreciated on campus. Whether it was explicitly part of the University’s intention at the time or not, the annual event was started as a way in some form or fashion to address students’ mental health on campus. Reminiscent of George Carlin’s iconic bit on the deterioration of the power of words, many of these veterans were returning home with what was known at the time as “shell shock.” No doubt the evolution of what this phenomenon is referred to has changed many times over the years, but the underlying concept behind it is that traumatic experiences don’t just affect people in a vacuum. Different experiences and exposures to trauma produce different responses in individuals. Furthermore, the trauma-induced fear or persistent emotional pain that many individuals can live with for years past their experiences demand substantive and plentiful resources within the institutions they exist and from the individuals they exist around. Although the parallels between a troubling and uncertain time that led to Hey Day 73 years ago and the overwhelmingly insane time that we are living through now are not completely identical, they do share the same theme of collective difficulty, hardship and sacrifice.

The two time periods also represent pivotal points in the trajectory of our country that make the words of George Petrie in the Auburn Creed ever-more relevant. We, at the University level, and we, at the individual student level, must remember the importance of the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with our fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all. However, just as we recognize the historical magnitude of this moment in time and the need to address students’ mental health needs, we also recognize the inherent difficulty in bringing a student body together in the midst of a pandemic that calls for social distancing and masked interactions. But the evidence is crystal clear. 2020 has been the culmination of a disaster-laced upbringing for late millennials and Gen-Z. From the 9/11 attacks to the climate crisis to the Great Recession and housing crisis to wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and the constantly growing list of countries that we bomb, people born in the 21st century have, at times, seemed to be living in more of a movie than reality. Whether we have someone pulling the strings behind the screen or we are actually living through a simulation like the deeper parts of the Internet would have you believe or if the rapture that some Christians have been preaching about for some time is actually coming to fruition, real doesn’t seem to be so real anymore. Of course, this has all come to a head with the election of an actual reality star to the presidency and a pandemic that altered our daily lives for months on end. A recent study found that one in four 18- to 24-yearolds have seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days – a jaw-dropping statistic that once again calls each and every member in the Auburn Family to do any and everything they can to assist one another in making it through an unimaginably difficult time. This obviously isn’t a problem that any one service or organization can solve by itself.

MY LY | ASSISTANT SECTION EDITOR

Rather, it is something that we all have to work on together. Sometimes it’s checking in on a friend you haven’t seen in a while. and sometimes it’s listening to someone vent about their problems without trying to solve them. And sometimes, it’s just about saying, “Hey.”

COLUMN

October surprise will have minimal impact on election outcome By JONATHAN STUCKEY Columnist

Do we have a case of the October surprise, or just a 2020 surprise in general? Flashback to October of 2016. President, then candidate, Trump was behind in poll after poll, in some cases behind 10 points. Then came the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape. Following that release a few days later was the announcement of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Yet through the entire month of surprises, the candidates only inched closer to each other slightly without ever overturning a poll. Through the tumultuous trail and months of non-stop

campaigning, Trump still won, despite the circumstances that textbook political predictions could have said otherwise. But 2020 has thrown us for a loop and is sure to start a new and unprecedented chapter for the textbooks. Analysts across the board have repeatedly shared in their predictions that without the coronavirus, the President would be cruising into a second term. With the state of our pre-COVID-19 economy and unpredictable Democratic nominee field, their predictions were justified. As if the coronavirus was not a hardenough task to handle, cities across the country began their protests which then spiraled into riots and lawlessness in many cases throughout the summer.

Social unrest further forced both campaigns down a road neither saw coming. It’s now October. A new Supreme Court seat is open, the President was stricken with the virus, an embarrassing debate is under their belts, 76 million American voters have requested for absentee ballots and there are still three weeks to go. What’s next? Of course, some of these surprises could have stung more mildly if it weren’t for the obvious unforced errors. When the President had an even more humble position than ever before to take a sympathetic and a personal response to the virus after contracting it himself, a position that could have resonated with many who have been affected, he said “Don’t be afraid” of it.

The message came off wrong, especially to those who have experienced loss to the virus. An area of unforced errors for Biden is his wavering stances on key issues, such as fracking, healthcare, the Green New Deal and Supreme Court packing. In a critical response to Judge Barrett’s nomination, the former Vice President now says “Voters don’t deserve to know” when asked if voters deserve to know his stance on Supreme Court packing. With that said, it is more critical than ever the candidates do not have a major gaff from here on out. Not only will there be little time for recovery to appeal to in-person voters, but there is little to no time at all to recover with mailin voters since many have already voted.

In the grand scheme of things, this year and month’s worth of surprises could have no effect at all. This year has proved that we don’t need to make any more predictions, because the world is waiting to give us a surprise when we’re least expecting it. Because this election cycle circumstance is more different than ever, the question of the effect of the October surprise may not be answered until election day. Until then, we can only do what America does best: use our voice and vote. It may seem like a more hostile political environment than ever before right now. Well, that’s what some people may cause you to believe, but Americans have always voted on what they feel is best for them, and this time will be no different.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Protection of democracy and freedom starts with voting By MATT GONZALES Doctoral Student

On Oct. 8, 2020, Utah Senator Mike Lee tweeted that democracy is in opposition to liberty, peace and prosperity. In fact, he stated that, “We want the human condition to flourish,” yet simultaneously asserted that, “Rank democracy can thwart that.” Utah Senator Mike Lee is wrong. Americans have the right to be a part of the process of mak-

ing public decisions that affect aspects of their lives. Our right to vote assures that. Despite shockingly egregious voter purging in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election or expanding partisan lawmakers’ ability to diminish the voices of voters through gerrymandering, the vote is the people’s way to have a say in how we are governed. What Senator Lee suggests in his tweet is that this right functions to diminish our liberty, where in fact, having a say

in who represents us in the public sphere is an integral piece of how the people ensure our liberty is not encroached upon. Political organization and protest are also necessary and vitally important, but seeing how activism did not prevent the unconstitutional Alabama House Bill 314, also known as the Alabama abortion ban, from being passed or how the months of protest in Louisville, Kentucky did not result in anyone being criminally

charged for the killing of Breonna Taylor, we have been shown that Americans need to follow up the passion we show in the streets with consistent trips to the ballot box. It may feel obvious at this point, but the time to start these trips to the ballot box is now. It has to be, because with a so-called “militia” attempting to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer and start a civil war, we have arrived at a true watershed mo-

COLUMNS & EDITORIALS

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

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Letters must include the author’s name, address and phone number for verification. Submission may be edited for grammar, style and length. Please submit no more than 600 words.

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

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part of this election. Will we agree with Utah Senator Mike Lee, that he’s correct in saying that we, the people of the United States, don’t know what’s best for us, and giving us a say in who governs us somehow limits our freedoms; or will we say no, war is not peace, freedom is not slavery, and ignorance is not strength? Matt Gonzales is a counselor education and supervision doctoral student.

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ment. What will our next steps be? Comparing 2014 to 2018, voter turnout from the 18- to 29-year-old demographic increased by 79%. However, this increased turnout still only included 35.6% of those who were 18 to 29, whereas 66.1% of voters who were 65 years old and older turned out. This election is so important for so many reasons, a few of which were mentioned prior. However, the entire idea of democracy is also an important

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CAMPUS

FEATURE

How AU’s counseling director found his way home By COLLINS KEITH Assistant Section Editor

Dr. Doug Hankes, director of Auburn’s Student Counseling and Psychological Services, has been at Auburn as a psychologist for over 22 years. With the seven years he spent here for his undergraduate degree and his childhood years, the time he’s lived in Auburn approaches 40. Hankes has seen a lot in that time and is usually right in his hunches, but when students were sent home after spring break due to concerns about COVID-19, Hankes expected the number of students his department saw to rise. They didn’t. “When everybody went home during spring break, our numbers declined precipitously,” Hankes said. “All of our clients that we had been working with as we were checking in with them, they’re like, ‘Hey, I’m good. Whatever stress I was under, whatever mental health stuff I was dealing with when I was on campus, I feel better.’” As the spring semester progressed and transitioned to summer, SCPS’s number of clients slowly increased, and by the time fall semester began, its numbers were back to what they were before spring break, Hankes said. While the office has met with over 900 different students this semester, only around 100 of them said the reason for their visit was related to COVID-19. “It’s impacting a lot of students,” Hankes said. “I actually thought, in terms of our numbers that are showing up at the counseling center, it would be more. It’s not been insignificant, but … some mental health issues are impacted more by this isolation.” According to Hankes, the groups of students he’s most concerned for are freshmen, transfer students and graduate students, as they don’t have established social networks like other students on campus. Each student deals with their circumstances differently. “If you’re socially anxious, or you don’t like getting out of bed to go to class, some people are loving this,” Hankes said. “It’s starting to wear on some of them, but also I think it depends on how big of a social need [one has]. We’re all social animals to an extent — some of us just need more than others.” While Hankes and the SCPS would ideally meet with students in person, COVID-19 restrictions have forced them to transition to a completely virtual format with unknown long-term effects. “It’s all tele-counseling, so we don’t know what

the impact of that is,” Hankes said. “A lot of our clients are wanting to do in-person, face-to-face, and we just can’t socially distance in these small offices. So you wonder how many of them are just not wanting to do Zoom stuff anymore.” Back when he was a student here at Auburn, Hankes said no one wanted to talk about mental health issues. As a young student trying to create a college experience separate from his home a few miles down the road, Hankes admits he wouldn’t have been able to ask for help as an undergraduate. “It is hard to reach out for help; it just is,” Hankes said. “As an undergraduate, could I have benefitted from talking with somebody? Absolutely.” After seven years of studying, Hankes graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education, stumbling into the field of sports psychology. That field blended two things together he loved, and he headed to the University of Texas to get a master’s in sports psychology in the kinesiology department. “Then, [I] randomly got accepted to a doctoral program in counseling psychology, so I made the switch from kinesiology to psychology,” Hankes said. “That was, again, accidental, and the best thing that ever happened to me.” Hankes’ original plan when getting his degree in kinesiology was to help athletes perform better, but his psychology degree allowed him to work with the entire athlete. Instead of having to focus solely on the sports side of the athlete’s life, Hankes was able to look at everything that affected them: relationship issues, substance abuse issues and depression, to name a few. Helping those issues was key to helping their performance in their sport. After getting his doctorate in counseling psychology, Hankes worked at the University of Tennessee for a few years until, he said, one memorable encounter with the director of the counseling center at Auburn in a hot tub at a conference, drinking beer. “Seriously, [I was] at a conference I didn’t want to be at, and he said, ‘I’ve got a position open; you’ve [got to] come down and interview,’” Hankes said. “I said, ‘Well, I’m pretty happy with my position. I wouldn’t normally ask this quickly, but what’s the salary?’ He told me, and I said, ‘Oh, hell no.’” Eventually, however, the director talked Hankes into coming down for an interview, saying since Hankes was from Auburn, he could spend some time with his family, too. Unfortunately, the interview didn’t go as planned.

RACING

University’s Formula One team to virtually compete in Australia By CAROLINE CRAIG Writer

War Eagle Motorsports is Auburn University’s Formula SAE racing team. Each year the team designs and builds a new racing car to compete in the Formula SAE series against other graduate and undergraduate teams. This year, the team will be competing virtually in Australia in December. They are busy building their electric car for the competition while still following all recommended regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Health regulations have changed how the team operates for the new season. When campus was shut down after spring break, the team was unable to get into the shop to work on their car until the summer. For the upcoming season, they decided to refine the combustion car they built for the last season and rebuild a new electric car. “It did leave us in a weird position coming into this 2021 season that we’re in right now because we have these two nearly finished cars,” said Matt Miller, team captain and senior in mechanical engineering. “Our normal schedule is to build a whole new one, so what do we do with these?” The decision to rebuild the electric car will allow new team members to have the hands-on experience that they might not have had if the team stuck with the cars they already built. The lab regulations put in place prevent more than 10 people from being in the shop to work on the cars. Many members now have to work on their projects from home and come into the shop only when necessary. “We can help [people] over Zoom and stuff like that, but we can’t actually sit down with them and do these things.” Miller said.

Peter Jones, professor of mechanical engineering and faculty advisor for the team, has noticed a different morale on the team due to limited training and hands-on work being done. “It’s hard to transmit the enthusiasm without the personal contact,” Jones said. “We’re definitely taking a hit, but every campus unit is at every campus.” The team implemented new online programs for machine training and reorganized much of the training process to help new members receive the best training they can. Competitions this summer were moved online, and this season may look different as well. A normal competition season for the team would include two competitions in North America and sometimes a European competition in the summer. This year, the competitions in North America will be in person, but the European season is still an uncertainty. Even with so much uncertainty surrounding the season, there are some positive aspects that have come from the many changes. The sanitation regulations put in place allow the team to be more organized than before, and team members have committed more to learn how to work remotely. The team is also competing virtually in Australia. “Normally, we wouldn’t spend the money to ship the car to the other side of the world to take part in a competition with only 20 cars in it, but since it’s all virtual, great,” Jones said. Ultimately, Miller said his team spends more time out of the season designing their car than they do racing. The team builds 90% of the car’s parts, and their new electric car is one of the lightest for an American team. “Some people kind of think that we’re some ragtag group of kids that just want to race, but really we are an engineering team at our core,” Miller said.

VIA WAR EAGLE MOTORSPORTS ON INSTAGRAM

The team poses behind their electric and combusion cars.

“I felt so bad for the people in the counseling center about halfway through the interview I was just telling anybody who would listen that, as an alum, I was just embarrassed at what we were providing for Auburn University students.” Hankes said. Unbeknownst to him, however, Hankes’ wife, who he met at Auburn, had also applied for a position in Auburn’s alumni department. She was offered a position immediately, while Hankes had to wait a little longer for his position. “I had already shot my mouth off … after that, they didn’t offer me a position until around five months after I’d interviewed, because I’d been so blunt and direct,” Hankes said. After 22 years, Hankes is now the director of Auburn’s Student Counseling and Psychological Services. While they’ve grown from around five employees when he started to 20, Hankes said there is still progress to be made. “We’re still undersized,” Hankes said. “We’re still a small counseling center for 30,000 students, but we’ve come a long way compared to where we started. We’ve done a lot to destigmatize it.” Hankes likens his day-to-day job as director to an air traffic controller, directing people around. Trying to route all of the calls and emails he receives from people across campus to the where they need to be takes up a large portion of his time, and Hankes tries to fit in clinical work as well. “I probably still see 10–15 individual clients a week — that’s a pretty heavy load for a director — but I love doing the clinical work and I’m pretty good at it, too,” Hankes said with a laugh. “After 25 years of doing this, I can say, ‘Yeah, I’m pretty good at this.’” The fact Hankes loves what he does is key, he said. Psychologists can make much more money outside of college counseling work, so the reason Hankes and his colleagues get into their line of work is because they like to do the clinical work and the therapy and counseling. One way Hankes stays engaged with his community is through his yearly runs around campus with the parents of children in Camp War Eagle. When asked about it, Hankes could only laugh. “That’s going to be my legacy,” Hankes said. “That’s what I’m going to be remembered for.” The parent run was born in May 1998, when Hankes asked Mike Armstrong, director of Camp War Eagle, if he could lead the parents on a running

CONTRIBUTED BY DOUG HANKES

Hankes is also a licensed psychologist in Tennessee.

tour around campus. Camp War Eagle had barely been around for a year, according to Hankes, and his proposal was met with disbelief. “So I set up this small table at Camp War Eagle registration … and my wife created this little Aubie stand,” Hankes said. “As parents came by, ‘Hey, we’re going to be doing a three-mile running tour of campus. At [6 a.m.] we’re going to meet down in the lobby.’” Hankes would lead the group of parents at a set pace, and he would talk and answer questions as they ran around campus. Over 22 years, Hankes has led over 200 of these runs. “A couple of times, I’ve only had like three people show up, and there’s been times when as many as 50 parents have showed up,” Hankes said. “I never get tired of talking about the run. I’m always trying to get people to do it.” When he’s not directing traffic at his job or going on runs with parents, Hankes can be found hiking the Appalachian Trail. He encourages students to take advantage of the resources they have. “This is the easiest time, in most people’s lives, that they’re going to be able to access mental health services, as a college student,” Hankes said. “We’ve done everything possible to create as few barriers as we can … there’s no reason not to reach out if you’re struggling.”

AGRICULTURE

JOSH FISHER | PHOTOGRAPHER

The Lambert-Powell Meat Lab on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Auburn, Ala.

Auburn’s Meat Lab offers hand-cut meats to students By MCKENZIE DOOLEY Writer

The Auburn University Lambert-Powell Meats Laboratory is a state-of-the-art teaching, researching and extensions facility supporting a variety of activities in the Department of Animal Sciences. Home to several undergraduate courses that utilize it each semester for demonstrations and hands-on labs, students conduct research in the areas of meat procession, food safety and meat quality within this building. The lab is a fully functional inspected facility under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service. Not only does it train USDA personnel, but it also has a retail department where local handcut meats are put up for sale. Barney Wilborn, manager of the Lambert-Powell Meats Laboratory, spoke about how the lab is still catering to students’ needs safely during the pandemic. “The inside of the store is not open to the public as of right now for the safety of everyone, but we are hosting online sales almost weekly available for purchase to the public and stu-

dents,” Wilborn said. Online sales launch Tuesday afternoons and stay active until Thursday at noon, unless the lab sells out before then. Wilborn said those wanting to be aware of sales may contact him via email. “Students can get first dibs on the sales by emailing me at wilbobs@auburn.edu and join the email list, where they will get emails from the AU Meat Lab when the sales first launch,” Wilborn said. The online sales are in the form of boxes that include a variety of different meats, sizes and costs. One sale this week is a small box which includes eight pork chops, two New York strip steaks, 12 ounces of bacon, 1.5 pounds of smoked sausage, 2 pounds of ground beef and 2 pounds of pork sausage. Customers can purchase the box for $54.50 with tax. The lab also offers large boxes with greater quantities of meat. This week’s large box features two ribeyes, two New York strip steaks, seven pounds of ground beef, 12 ounces of bacon, 1.5 pounds of smoked sausage, a Boston Butt approximately 4.5 pounds, eight pork chops and 3 pounds of pork sausage for $119.00 with tax. The email students receive

includes all the boxes available that week as well as prices, and it will allow them to sign up for a pickup time to get their box on Fridays. “Some meats within the boxes change weekly, but we try to keep the price within the same range, so that people know what to expect each week before the sale launches,” Wilborn said. “Back by demand, [we have] premium ribeye steak boxes, premium New York strip boxes, and premium filet steak boxes this week in addition to large and small meat boxes.” The ribeye steak box includes six 12–14 ounce streaks for $65.00. A New York strip steak box includes six 11–13 ounce steaks for $54.00, and a filet steak box includes six 7–9 ounce steaks for $63.00. Wilborn encourages those interested in the meat lab’s sales to visit its Facebook page, “AU Meat Lab,” as well as emailing him, as the lab has not received the green light from the University to reopen its physical store. “I hope we can open up to the public soon, but our main priority is the health and safety of the public and the students and trying to get the students back in class safely,” Wilborn said.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020

The Auburn Plainsman

PAGE 5

INVOLVEMENT

JOSH FISHER | PHOTOGRAPHER

A socially-distanced semester means fewer student leaders are in the new involvement suite.

‘No blueprint on how to deal with this’ Student org presidents lead their clubs during hybrid semester By LANEY MAYFIELD Writer

Some presidents of student organizations at Auburn University are striving to make adjustments amid the pandemic but are enduring their share of challenges. Rafael Santos, senior in marketing and president of the International Student Organization, said though he appreciates his position in the organization, this semester has presented a new set of difficulties for him. During the beginning of the semester, Santos contracted COVID-19. Though he was ill, Santos said he continued to focus on his role as a leader and did not become discouraged. “When I tested positive for the virus at the start of the fall semester, it made it hard to really zoom in on how I was going to make this organization thrive,” he said. “I was establishing new safety rules for members and anything related. I didn’t let it stop me even though some days, my symptoms were grueling.” Santos said once he recovered from the virus, he devoted most of his time focusing on the organization. With regulations implemented by the Office

of Student Involvement, Santos said he made it his goal to create an environment where international students can unite and promote cultural awareness while ensuring the safety of students. He feels this has difficult, however, because many members are discouraged during the pandemic. Most have family and friends located overseas and are concerned about their health as COVID-19 cases continue to increase worldwide. For Santos, the state of uncertainty and not being aware of how to handle various situations amid the pandemic concerns him the most. “What is especially hard is having no precedent to what is going on or what is yet to come,” Santos said. “There’s no blueprint on how to deal with this, so a lot of improvisation has to be done to create the best experience possible for everyone. A lot of people have had to experience a lot of changes in the way they do things, and I am one of those persons.” Many students have decided to reduce extracurricular involvement while others continue to participate under precaution. To accommodate members, Santos said he has adjusted meeting arrangements and organizational events. “We no longer have in-person executive meet-

TRADITION

TIM NAIL | SECTION EDITOR

Alli Kangal (left) and Trace Patterson (right) at their name tag station on Oct. 14, 2020, in Auburn, Ala.

Students say ‘hey’ six feet away By TIM NAIL Section Editor

Another fall semester on campus meant the reoccurrence of an annual University tradition that began in 1947 — Hey Day, which Auburn’s Student Government Association hosted Oct. 14. This year, however, students were encouraged to say “hey” six feet away from each other. As with other Hey Day events throughout the years, name tag stations sprung up all over campus. Manned by volunteers, name tags were distributed to students from a distance. “It was tough with COVID because we didn’t really know if we were going back to school,” said Wallace Bryan, junior in speech, language and hearing sciences and director of Hey Day. “I was selected as director in [the spring], and at that point we didn’t even know if Hey Day was going to be possible.” Bryan took on this year’s Hey Day after volunteering her freshman year then serving as assistant director for Hey Day 2019 in her sophomore year. “I love meeting new people and am super passionate about Auburn,” she said. “Hey Day perfectly encompasses [the Auburn Family] and all that Auburn means to me, all the people it’s given me, all the experience and the education it’s given to me.” Bryan said the biggest drive for her interest in leadership was that Hey Day allowed her to meet a variety of people in past years, a feeling she wanted to ensure students continued to receive despite challenges this semester. “[Hey Day] is such a warm and

welcoming event and we’re lacking in that so much [right now],” Bryan said. “Some people aren’t even on campus, and I’ve had so many people come up to me and say, ‘We’re so excited that you’re still offering on-campus options even while social distancing is going on.’ They do feel so lonely and so out of touch with people of Auburn.” For those not on campus, this year’s Hey Day introduced a virtual component students away from Auburn could tune into using Zoom. From 10-11 a.m., students could join in on a Kahoot quiz asking questions about Auburn while from 1-2 p.m., they could try their luck at a game of Auburn-themed bingo. SGA also provided free Hey Daythemed Zoom backgrounds for students to use in their classes, downloadable from SGA’s website. “There are some people who aren’t comfortable coming on campus or they physically can’t, and we still [wanted] to connect with those people,” Bryan said. “Winners [received] a TikTok video with Aubie, a photo shoot, a free Hey Day shirt, a Kroger gift card or an A-zone parking pass.” From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., SGA offered free lunches for students on the Green Space, with Aubie dropping by to provide students with a photo opportunity. Around 180 students volunteered for Hey Day 2020, according to Bryan. Among that group were Alli Kangal, sophomore in nursing, and Trace Patterson, junior in building science, who greeted students walking past Cater Lawn. Kangal and Patterson said

they felt this year’s Hey Day was more significant than in other years since students have been asked to distance and may have at least one online class as a result. “Even when you’re just seeing people in public, wearing a mask makes the little things harder,” Kangal said. “People don’t see you smiling at them or little things like that. I think that Hey Day kind of [allows] people to come together and there’s some virtual aspects of it [this year], too.” Patterson said he felt Hey Day 2020 was a needed respite from the pandemic that let students check in on one another and get the chance to meet new friends, freshmen more than others. “Actually talking to others and saying ‘hey’ but also trying to see how they’re doing is big, especially being separated from a lot of people over the past few months,” he said. “I think it’s big for freshmen not only to want to be involved but also for other [students] to include them in stuff. Freshman year was kinda rough for everybody in different ways, so if others are trying to reach out and help in any way, all of that is really big, especially this [Hey Day].” Justus Smith, freshman in pre-engineering, said he was pleased to see Hey Day offered this year because his first semester at Auburn is markedly different than what he would have expected before the pandemic. “It’s hard enough normally meeting people, but now the extra level of staying apart makes it harder,” Smith said. “It’s good that we have these opportunities to try to meet some new people.”

ings; we changed it to online meetings instead,” Santos said. “We also changed the location of our social hour to an open space so people can come to grab free food and be around the Green Space.” Santos encourages members to wear a mask and practice social distancing if they attend social events. Santos said most members do not attend in-person gatherings due to safety concerns. Though it has been difficult, Santos said it is important to remain motivated through unpredictable times. “We are dealing with something entirely new and therefore, we have to stay motivated in order to find ways to make it work as we go through this.” Olivia Harris, president of the Auburn University English Club, said she has experienced difficulties while adjusting as well. She said her greatest challenge is organizing strategies for incoming members online during meetings. “This semester, the biggest challenge has been coming up with creative and practical English Club events that we can do over Zoom,” Harris said. “I know that most freshmen students are looking for new things to join on campus right now, so it is important that we keep them excited and involved as much as we can.”

Harris said she had to adjust her communication skills during meetings. Some of the adjustments made on online platforms have put an additional obligation on another organization leader also. “We are finding new ways to interact with students on social media and keep them updated with English Club happenings, which put some extra responsibility on our social media director, Julia,” Harris said. “As president, I needed to reevaluate our positions so that we can all contribute equally and help her out as much as possible.” Harris said that her team members and club advisor are at assisting her with organizational assignments and encouraging her through challenging times and new adjustments. Harris said the entire change has been trying for her because she is expected to graduate this fall. She is hopeful for networking opportunities and forming friendships inside and outside of her major face-to-face. She usually looks forward to scheduling duties and spending quality time with team members. “The hardest part is not being able to communicate with many people in person, like our team meeting at Starbucks or the RBD Library to plan events or just hang out,” Harris said.


community THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020

6 THEPLAINSMAN.COM

COMMUNITY

ENTERTAINMENT

Refuge of normalcy EVAN MEALINS | MANAGING EDITOR

Eased bar restrictions make some students more comfortable going out By EVAN MEALINS Managing Editor

On Saturday night, students were ordering drinks in Skybar after 11 p.m., a relatively new occurrence since returning to campus this fall. On Sept. 29, the Alabama Beverage Control Board voted to lift its 11 p.m. cutoff of alcohol sales at bars and restaurants. The policy was instituted earlier in the year due to concerns of the spread of the coronavirus. The City of Auburn quickly followed suit, choosing on Oct. 1 to rescind the City’s local state of emergency, which previously prohibited walk-up bar service. From Aug. 27 to Oct. 1, customers had to be seated at bars to order a drink. During the first home football game of the year, downtown Auburn was deemed an entertainment district. Establishments could set up outdoor bars that offered walk-up service, but all sales inside the bars were supposed to be limited to seated customers. So, on the night of the first home game since restrictions on bars have been significantly eased, students and young people gathered in large crowds downtown, some feeling that things were somewhat normal again and that while the game that many of them attended paled in comparison to past seasons, the bars they frequented were beginning to feel like they were before. At 7 p.m., after the game ended, students cut across in droves the intersection of College and Magnolia. A few were wearing masks; others were not. Fans were asked to not roll the Toomer’s Oaks this year, and few students did. Following a close game, the trees would likely be solidly draped in years past. But the smaller crowd at the game meant there were simply fewer people to heave toilet paper. Other traditions, like tailgating, have fallen

to the wayside this year. Drew Beckwith, sophomore in computer science, said that’s kept it from feeling like a normal game day. “You walk on campus and no one’s there,” Beckwith said. “You don’t see the big tents. Literally no one’s on campus, only people going to games. If you’ve never seen it, then it wouldn’t even be different, but since I’ve seen everyone being there, it’s crazy.” Many students said that the energy inside Jordan-Hare Stadium has been low this year. Jackson Cook, junior in wildlife enterprise management, swiped his Tiger Card and left on Saturday, which students do to avoid earning “points” on their ticketing account. “I’m a junior, so I witnessed it freshman and sophomore year — it was great — and then the energy is just not the same this year,” Cook said. He attended the first game against Kentucky. “When they score, it’s silence. We tried it, but it’s not there.” Cook was downtown getting food and said he probably wasn’t going to go to any of the bars that night. They’ll all be too crowded, he figured, since more people wanted to go downtown now that restrictions have been eased. “Skybarrrrr,” someone shouted, walking past Little Italy’s. “It’s a super long line,” somebody told him as they passed on the sidewalk. At 10:30 p.m., patrons were standing in front of Pieology waiting to get into Southeastern. “You know, you wait in line forever on gameday, and today is a gameday … and so this just feels like normal,” said Maylon Sanders, senior in apparel merchandising, who was in line at Southeastern Bar. “Before, when [the cutoff] was 11 p.m., that was obviously very different, but I think they just encouraged a lot more

house parties, because I’ve heard a lot more people having them.” The long lines and high cover charge — $20 at Southeastern during parts of the night — made downtown feel normal for some people, especially after attending a football game with restrictions that would make it nearly unrecognizable to years past. “This feels normal,” Sanders said. “Obviously [the bars] don’t really care if you have a mask on; they honestly just act like they do.” Most patrons didn’t wear their mask until they were about five people from the door. Then, mask up; ID out; step in; order a drink; mask off. This was the routine for the night, said Noah Sells, freshman in psychology. Generally, there was for many of the people visiting downtown a feeling of contempt towards wearing a mask, even if for short periods of time. “Ugh, mask,” a woman said as she got hers out of her purse and entered Mellow Mushroom at around 8 p.m. “Such a waste of time,” a young man, who appeared to be her son, replied. “Such a waste.” “Why are y’all wearing masks?” a young man said jokingly to a group of friends he met on Magnolia Avenue near 17-16. Even if masks were somewhat loosely enforced and bars could now sell alcohol to standing customers, there were still restrictions, like a 50% capacity limit, which all bars were supposed to adhere to. But that may not have been the case at some bars. Sells, who was trying to get back into Southeastern — he had left to get a sandwich — said the bar was packed when he visited Friday and Saturday night, which he was glad to see. “Yeah, it’s going back to normal,” Sells said. “It feels good to see a bunch of people out again.”

For businesses, bigger crowds were nice to see too, as many bar owners and employees have said they have taken big losses throughout the pandemic. Victoria Patton, a medical assistant student through the outreach program at Auburn University, was working the door at Avondale Bar and Tap Room Saturday night. Avondale saw a pretty good crowd, which may have been due in part to some of the eased restrictions, she said. “I think it kind of lit a fire under everybody to go out, maybe spend some money,” Patton said. “Fingers crossed it’s good for everyone.” Patton still had concerns over the spread of COVID-19, which she said she contracted earlier this year and from which she said she suffered memory loss. Deciding which establishments can be open and when and to what extent are hard questions, ones that she is still unsure how to answer. “I mean, I’ve seen it from both sides, so honestly it’s just like, ‘what is the right answer?’,” she said. “Because you want people in town here. I mean all these really nice business owners that we all know and love, we want them to be able to prosper, but at the same time, we want everyone to be safe. So really, no one will be happy.” There’s plenty of questions that are currently unanswered right now. The complete outcome of lightened bar restrictions and partying students is unknown. Angela Burns, senior in biomedical science, said it’s too early to know, but right now, downtown is a little corner where things are normal, a place where COVID-19 is an afterthought. “As of right now, I think it’s just a little bit too early to quite tell,” she said. “But it definitely seems like there’s a lot of people, and it doesn’t really seem like there’s too much of a pandemic going on at this moment.”

HEALTHCARE

‘Light-Up Friday Nights’ encourages support for healthcare workers By MY LY Assistant Section Editor

FILE PHOTO

East Alabama Medical Center sees support for its staff.

During the month of October, Gov. Kay Ivey has urged citizens to leave their porch lights on every Friday night in order to show support for healthcare workers. Ivey released a proclamation on Thursday, Oct. 9 that encouraged businesses and residents of Alabama to show their solidarity towards healthcare workers who are still working during this time in the fight against COVID-19. “These men and women have been battling this pandemic for seven months and have not let up,” Ivey said in the press release. “They continue to go to work each day to try to alleviate the suffering from the virus, save lives and prevent further spread.” In the proclamation, which titles the campaign “Light Up Friday Nights,” Ivey discussed the tireless efforts of those in the medical field. “Many of these essential workers have gone without vacation,” Ivey said. “They have worked long hours and have sacrificed time with their families to en-

sure the safety of their patients and the health of the community, and we are all grateful for their dedication and compassion throughout these difficult times.” Many other departments have announced their participation in this campaign, including East Alabama Medical Center. John Atkinson, public relations and marketing director at EAMC, talked about why it is so important to continue showing healthcare workers support at this time. “Our community was fantastic to our employees and doctors during the most frightening days of the pandemic in March and April,” Atkinson said. “They provided meals, donated supplies, left hand-painted bricks and stones near our entrances, participated in ‘park and pray’ events on the top of our parking deck and much more.” According to Atkinson, the hospital was blown away by the generosity, concern and appreciation from the community. Atkinson recognized that while it may seem like we have returned to a form of normalcy, the hospital is still

doing what they can to help those who are battling the pandemic. “Outside of the four walls of the hospital, life has somewhat returned to normal now,” Atkinson said. “It’s better inside the hospital, too. However, our employees and doctors are still caring for close to 40 patients with COVID. Some of the patients are really sick, and deaths still occur from time to time.” Because of this, Atkinson talked about why it is so important that residents do what they can to maintain their support. “That’s why the Alabama Hospital Association is doing these Light-Up Friday Nights in October is appreciated,” Atkinson said. “They know that hospitals still have a long road ahead before we conquer COVID, and they are looking to boost the morale of hospital employees and physicians.” Atkinson expressed his appreciation and support of the campaign and hopes that people in the community will participate and take time to show hospital workers — especially those on the front lines — how much their service is appreciated.


The Auburn Plainsman

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020

PAGE 7

GOVERNMENT

Council to vote on Crouch for city manager position By CHARLIE RAMO Section Editor

On Wednesday, the City Council held a special work session to discuss candidates for the city manager position. City Manager Jim Buston will continue to serve Auburn until he retires on Jan. 31. “This is one of the most important decisions we can make as elected officials in the City of Auburn,” Anders said. “It is of my opinion that [the next city manager should be] Megan McGowen Crouch.” The internal candidate is the current assistant city manager, Anders said. Megan Crouch has references from nonprofits and three former mayors. Crouch has experience with the community and holds the qualifications to be city manager. Anders proposed that the Council add a resolution to the next City Council meeting appointing Megan Crouch to the city manager position starting Feb. 1. The Council voted to add the resolution in a 7-2 vote. Ward 2 Council member Kelley Griswold and Ward 1 Council member Connie

Fitch-Taylor voted in opposition. “The city manager’s position is one of the most important positions in the City of Auburn,” said Mayor Ron Anders. “Hopefully, the next city manager will understand the qualities that make Auburn … such a great place to live.” Auburn needs a city manager who can communicate with all members of the community and with City staff, Anders said. They need to appreciate the City’s tax dollars, spending money wisely and conservatively. “We have an internal candidate with a career path that shows that they’re ready [to become the next city manager],” Anders said. Fitch-Taylor asked if other applications have been received. She did not state opposition to the internal candidate, instead citing a fair process, wanting to consider all qualified applications. Buston said that many assistant department heads are groomed to take the department head position once the opportunity arises. Selection for the position must be made on merit.

FILE PHOTO

City Manager Jim Buston has held his position since 2017.

The city manager position is the only employee of the City of Auburn that is contractual, Buston said. Every other City hire must be approved by the city manager. There is no requirement for the Council to look externally for a candidate, unlike typical requirements of the City providing a notice that a position is open. “We have not put this out as a [position] opening anywhere except to the City Council,” Buston said. Ward 6 Council member Bob Parsons stated he declined to meet with Crouch prior to the meeting in the interest of fairness to any potential candidate. “I am very comfortable with the idea of [Crouch] as the city manager,” Parsons said. “She is a good fit … I am fearful that an internal hire without any other candidate has the optics that couly make the public cynical for how we arrived there. In this case, having worked with Mrs. McGowen Crouch, she has been excellent.” Ward 4 Council member Brett Smith asked how important it is for a candidate to already work in the City. “A successful city manager has a relationship with the community,” Buston said. “The first couple of years with a new city manager [are spent] getting to know the community. In our particular community, I believe it is imperative, because of uniqueness of this community, someone that is internal is by far and away going to be more successful, bar none, than someone coming in from the outside.” Buston believes the culture and relationship with the University combines to create a difficult City to manage. After speaking with city managers who left to work for other cities, Buston was told that Auburn is a unique city that is more difficult to learn than other cities. Crouch currently works close with Buston and is familiar with the city manager’s work, Buston said. Buston appointed Crouch to the assistant city manager and she has met all expectations set for her. Smith noticed that Crouch could be the first female city manager for Auburn. He believes she can be an inspiration to young girls on what they can achieve. “None of my department heads have come to me [after announcing my retirement] that they were interested in my job,” Buston said. “Not that that is an indicator of interest,

VIA CITY OF AUBURN

Assistant City Manager Megan Crouch is currently the only internal candidate.

but I can say that none of them came to me.” Buston sent a letter announcing his retirement to the Council and all department heads on Oct. 1. Ward 7 Council member Jay Hovey said that the last nationwide city manager search was in 2017, which resulted in five candidates that did not stand out. He believes another external search could have the same results. Ward 3 Council member Beth Witten stated that the search in 2017 started due to an internal candidate having only some of the 25 qualifications considered for the city manager position and Crouch fills them all, Witten said. Witten believes Crouch would have a minimal learning curve and is possibly overqualified for the position. “I fully support Megan for the next city manager,” said Ward 8 Council member Tommy Dawson. “I didn’t need to meet Megan because I’ve [seen her work for the City] for the past 20 years.” Dawson spoke with former department heads, who said the City could not do any better than Crouch

for the position. Crouch did an excellent job in economic development, Dawson said. Griswold said he wants the opportunity for candidates to apply for the position. He believes the City’s public relations department would be able to hold a limited search for candidates that would not cost as much as the search in 2017. Megan began with the City on an internship and has served the City for 23 years, Anders said. She competes for the city manager job every day she comes to work. Dawson said he became the City’s police chief by rising through the organization, much like Crouch has. Anders said he wants to add an annual review to the next city manager contract. The city manager’s metrics would be assessed by the Council around the time of the annual budget assessment. Anders also said that the mayor should negotiate the contract for the city manager, but the Council should approve the contract. When Buston was hired, the mayor negotiated the contract and did not require the Council’s approval.


sports

8

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020

THEPLAINSMAN.COM

SPORTS

SOCCER

TODD VAN EMST | AU ATHLETICS

Auburn soccer celebrates a last-second goal against Ole Miss.

Auburn earns first win after late goal vs. Ole Miss By RYAN METCALF Writer

After a 25-day hiatus, Auburn soccer returned to the pitch to take on Ole Miss Tuesday. The Tigers left with a 1-0 win in the waning moments of the second overtime. “We’re just really proud of this team,” said head coach Karen Hoppa. “We had been out for a while, but you couldn’t tell from their performance. The overall performance was

excellent. We had a lot of chances. I’m really proud of them to stick with it until the last seconds and come out with a really valuable three points at home.” Auburn entered the game with a 2-5-2 formation against Ole Miss’ 4-4-2. The focus on the midfield by Auburn led to them dominating possession throughout the game with 57% compared to the Rebels’ 43%. “I thought our midfield was outstanding,” Hoppa said. “Especially as young as we are, Anna Haddock and Hannah Waesch played

a lot of minutes in that midfield, and that’s a young group.” Despite the heavy possession by Auburn, Ole Miss was able to keep them from scoring for 109 minutes and 57 seconds. The game appeared to be heading toward a draw, but Auburn earned a corner with about 20 seconds on the clock. By the time the Tigers actually sent the ball into the box, just three seconds were remaining before the ball deflected off the bodies in front of the net for the only goal

of the game. Maddie Prohaska, the 17-year old goalkeeper, locked down the Ole Miss attack and continued her successful start to the season despite the long gap between games. Prohaska earned her first clean sheet as a college goalkeeper by saving the shots on goal by Ole Miss. Auburn improves to 1-0-1 on the season and, barring any issues, will travel to Athens, Georgia, to play Georgia on Sunday, Oct. 18, for its next game.

FOOTBALL

Walk-on Barton Lester’s dream comes true against Arkansas By HENRY ZIMMER Writer

Every college football player’s dream is to make that signature play when the lights are shining brightest. Against Arkansas, walk-on linebacker Barton Lester made his play. Punting out of the back of their own endzone, the Razorbacks saw Auburn line up ready to send the house. In the middle of that scrum were two players on very different paths: special teams standout Jordyn Peters and Lester. Peters came flying off the left side,

blocking the fourth punt of his career. As the wet football slid around the endzone, Lester was a ways away from the play after being spun around. Doing what any linebacker would do, though -- find the football -- Lester made his attack from a few feet out and found himself on top of the football and on the scoreboard, putting up six for his team. “I just hauled my butt to the ball as fast as I could,” Lester said. “There was a scramble, and I just saw it land there, so I snatched it and tried to stand up as fast as I could to show the referees that we had scored.”

This was a moment that Lester had spent a long time thinking about. “I’ve actually dreamed about it the last three nights,” Lester said. “So, when it happened today, I just praised God for it and am just super blessed to be in that position. I’ve worked my butt off my whole life just to get to this point, to play at Auburn. To have a play like that, it’s just a dream come true.” From Montgomery, Alabama, Lester started his football career at Montgomery Academy. After playing both sides of the ball in high school, Lester took his talents to the Air Force

Academy. Lester was a redshirt in 2017 and played in 2018, but two seasons at the Academy were enough for Lester. “I went in the transfer [portal] and had a couple offers from smaller schools, but I knew I always wanted to play at Auburn,” Lester said. “That was my dream, and I had my opportunity to walk-on here, and I felt like I was good enough to make some contributions.” Head coach Gus Malzahn, who walked-on to play at the very school Lester scored on, has been pleased with Lester and the work he puts in.

“You know, what has really stood out to me about him is just that he does anything we ask him to do,” Malzahn said Tuesday. “He’s a guy that can really help us, we feel like, moving forward on special teams. So, we’re real pleased with Lester right now.” Whether or not Lester scores again or makes another big play, he will always have his touchdown to remember. “I just praise the Lord I was able to get a role this year and just be in that position,” Lester said. “Make a big play in a big SEC game. Just very excited, and I thank the Lord for that.”

TODD VAN EMST | AU ATHLETICS

Barton Lester (51) reacts during the game between Auburn and Arkansas at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Oct 3, 2020; Auburn, AL, USA

FOOTBALL

Freshmen looking to find the field more in coming weeks By DYLAN FOX Writer

TODD VAN EMST | AU ATHLETICS

Freshman wide receiver hauls in the pass against Georgia.

While junior receivers Seth Williams and Anthony Schwartz have garnered most of the attention from opposing secondaries, Auburn’s group of talented freshmen will look to get more touches in the coming weeks. The junior duo makes up nearly 70% of the receiving yards through the first three games of the season. These two were also the only wide receivers to catch a pass during Saturday’s win over Arkansas. With veteran Eli Stove out with an injury he suffered in Athens, Georgia, the Tigers will look to throw more to true freshmen Kobe Hudson and Ze’Vian Capers. The freshmen have combined for 35 receiving yards this season.

Despite this lack of experience, Williams expressed confidence in the young pass-catchers. “I’ve seen that they’re really talented,” Williams said Tuesday. “If anything happens to one of us we know that they can come in and fill the spot.” Gus Malzahn also expressed his interest in getting them more reps. “The more reps that those guys get, the better they’re going to get,” Malzahn said. “The moments’ not going to be too big when they start playing more.” The Tigers’ depth at receiver could become a major factor in 2020, as both Williams and Schwartz missed time with injuries last season. Freshman tight end J.J. Pegues, who garnered some attention for his 11-yard run against Arkansas, will also

likely get a few more snaps. His moves impressed his teammates as much as it impressed fans. “I didn’t think he could get up like that,” Williams said when asked about the play. “He moves super smooth to be 300 pounds.” The one freshman who has earned a permanent spot in the rotation is running back Tank Bigsby. Bigsby has averaged 5.6 yards per carry through the first three games. Against Arkansas, he amassed 162 rushing yards. “He hits the hole, he finishes for extra yards, his yards after contact is impressive,” Malzahn said. All four freshmen, along with some of the others in the recruiting class, will be looking to find the field this Saturday as the Tigers travel to take on South Carolina.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020

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WEEK 4 PLAINSMAN PICK ‘EM Auburn-USC

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FOOTBALL

SEC MEDIA PORTAL

South Carolina running back Kevin Harris carries the ball for the Gamecocks against Vanderbilt.

BEHIND ENEMY BYLINES By MICHAEL SAULS Sports co-editor | The Daily Gamecock

Q: How do you expect South Carolina’s offense to do against Auburn’s defense? A: I think our offense has shown some improvements this season and I hope we do well against Auburn. We’ve put up over 300 yards a game twice already this season and put up over 400 against Vandy. Granted, the Auburn defense is on another level than Vandy so it will definitely be a tough game for us but I think if we continue to get Kevin Harris and the run game going then we might have a chance on Saturday. How do you expect South Carolina’s defense to do against Auburn’s offense? A: Hopefully the defense can build off of it’s

showing against Vandy. After playing poorly against Florida our guys on defense were able to turn it around and it was good to see them bounce back. I do think the defense might have some trouble containing Tank Bigsby and Seth Williams but hopefully they’ll be ready come Saturday. What are the expectations for this team? A: I go into every game thinking “we got it, maybe we’ll win this one” and oftentimes by halftime I’m proven wrong. I really want this team to be successful and with all the talent we have on the roster I think we have potential to be contenders in the SEC East and the SEC in general. Unfortunately, recently all that talent hasn’t really translated to wins on the field so it’s hard to be optimistic. Since

we’re playing an all SEC schedule that just makes everything 10x harder so I’m honestly just hoping that we make it to .500. Who are some players to look out for on both sides of the ball for South Carolina? A: Offensively a guy that has started to stand out is running back Kevin Harris. He’s carried our offense in the last couple weeks and is second in the SEC for rushing yards. You’ve also got to look out for Shi Smith at wide receiver, he’s really coming into his own this year and has already become the go to guy in the passing game. He has 26 receptions already this season and saw 22 of those in the first two games. On the defensive side of the ball linebacker Ernest Jones already has 29 tackles this season and defensive lineman

Kingsley Enagbare is tied for second in the SEC with 3 sacks. You definitely have to look out for those two guys. Jordan Burch is another guy who has made the most out of his playing time and I wouldn’t be surprised if he made some noise against Auburn. How does Will Muschamp feel about getting to play Auburn this year? A: From what I heard in the press conference, Mushchamp respects the Auburn program and coaching staff. He praised Bo Nix, Anthony Schwartz, Seth Williams, Tank Bigsby and others on offense and the linebacker group on defense. Score prediction? A: I think we’ll give Auburn a run for their money but end up losing a close one. Final score 35-28.


lifestyle THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020

10 THEPLAINSMAN.COM

LIFESTYLE

INCLUSION

PLUS scholarship aims to create a diverse campus By MAGGIE HORTON Writer

The PLUS scholarship was created at Auburn to increase the diversity of the student population, but it means something more to the scholarship recipients and faculty involved in the PLUS program. The PLUS scholarship is awarded and accepted by about 50 to 75 Auburn students every year. The scholarship is meant to support a diverse group of students financially, academically and socially during their time at Auburn. Dremere Woods, sophomore in aerospace engineering, said before earning the PLUS scholarship, “the odds were stacked against me not to come to college.” Woods is a first-generation college student who grew up in Section 8 housing. He said the scholarship was huge for him and “college wouldn’t be an option without PLUS,” and the extra support through the PLUS program has helped him be successful at Auburn. He said PLUS “gives people like me the opportunity to come to school and be able to afford it.” Woods said the diversity and inclusion training through PLUS has pushed him to “take this training to inform other individuals.” He was voted one of the top 100 interns at GE Aviation, which he said he accredits to his knowledge about diversity and inclusion that he learned through the PLUS program. Woods said he was a part of a competition where they gathered data on people’s comfortablity with discussing diversity and inclusion. Woods said he thinks the PLUS scholarship is making Auburn more diverse and inclusive towards a host of backgrounds. According to Jasmine Prince, assistant director for inclusive excellence at Auburn University, the scholarship has been awarded to students from the following racial backgrounds: 8% Asian, 48% Black, 1% Hispanic, 20% multiracial, 21% white, 1% Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander and 1% unreported students. Incoming freshmen apply for the PLUS scholarship on AUSOM and are required to complete an essay question. Ada Wilson, assistant vice president for access and inclusive excellence, said the es-

FILE PHOTO

Ada Wilson in her office on Aug. 8, 2017 in Auburn, Ala.

say question is “focused on the importance of having a diverse campus body.” These essays are reviewed twice by different faculty members at Auburn from across the campus community. Other criteria for selection include socioeconomic background, if the applicant is an Alabama resident and whether or not the applicant will be a first-generation college student. Aside from monetary contributions, the Office of Inclusion and Diversity aids PLUS scholars by “being involved and creating a network of support,” Wilson said. All PLUS scholars are a part of the Tiger Excellence Scholars Program which is cen-

tered around four pillars: academic excellence, potential to be a leader, diversity and inclusion and future focus. Wilson said the focus of this program is to help students be involved on campus, plan for the future and collaborate within a diverse society. The focus is also to lean into tough conversations about inclusion and diversity in students’ everyday lives, she said. PLUS scholars are required to get five study hours a week and are encouraged to attend success seminars. The Office of Inclusion and Diversity serves as secondary advising and a support system at Auburn for these students.

The goal of the PLUS scholarship is not only to increase diversity at Auburn but to “promote a positive climate and culture,” Wilson said. Shane Enriquez, sophomore in biomedical sciences, said members of the PLUS team “are always in touch” with PLUS scholars. Enriquez said the most important thing about PLUS for her was that it helped pay for her education. Enriquez is also a first-generation college student, and PLUS has provided her with helpful tips and resources to help her thrive at Auburn. “I am grateful that PLUS helps me find job opportunities,” she said.

RECREATION

Hiking trails provide Auburn with its scenes of nature By ABIGAIL WOODS Writer

With the weather turning brisk, the call for outdoor experiences often follows suit. Auburn and Opelika have a variety of trails including the Caroline Dean Wildflower Trail, Kreher Preserve and Nature Center, the Wood Duck Heritage Preserve and Siddique Nature Park and Chewacla State Park. The Caroline Dean Wildflower Trail, located in Opelika, pays tribute to Dean and her contribution of her wildflower collection. The entry of the trail is planted with caroline jasmine, Christmas ferns and native azaleas. The trail is cared for by the Mas-

ter Gardener program. According to their website, the Master Gardener program is an organization that teaches how to practice gardening and landscaping. “In 2010, Mrs. Dean, an Honorary Master Gardener, asked Master Gardeners to improve the trail with plants from her personal garden for the benefit of the community,” said Lee County Master Gardener Billie Oliver. The team of Master Gardeners transplanted 22 native azaleas from Dean’s garden to the newly restored area of the trail. “Personal donations of plants from Master Gardeners, the Alabama Wildflower Society members, the Auburn Arboretum, Gardens’ Delights, the Huntsville Bo-

tanical Gardens and others resulted in over 100 species of native plants within the lower section of the trail that comprises the present garden,” Oliver said. Oliver said the Master Gardener volunteers working in the garden “strive to keep the natural aspects of the garden that make it relaxing and refreshing.” The Kreher Preserve Nature Center, located off North College Street, has 1-mile, 2-mile and 3-mile route on their trail. Michael Buckman, Kreher Preserve and Nature Center manager, said the center was established in 1993 as an outreach program of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. “The Center boasts 120 acres of

preserved wilderness with a wide variety of plant and animal life, along with many interesting and beautiful natural features,” Buckman said. The three trail routes total to 6 miles of hiking trails that weave in and out of the forests and meadows, Buckman said. He said the trails are marked with educational signs and plant labels. Buckman said if needed, there are maps available in the main pavilion, but due to their relative flatness, the trails tend to be easy to navigate. As a wildlife preserve, the Kreher Preserve Nature Center does not allow pets or bikes. According to the park’s website, The Wood Duck Heritage Pre-

LOGAN ELLISON | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

An Auburn student rests along the Creek View trail in Chewacla State Park on Oct. 2, 2020, in Auburn, Ala.

serve Siddique Nature Park is a restored habitat for migrant and local birds. The trails in the nature park include The Bandy Park Outdoor Walking Track, which is 0.25 mile, and the Master Gardeners Nature Trail at Municipal Park, which is 0.23 mile. They also offer the 0.97-mile Opelika Sportsplex Walking Track and the West Ridge Park Walking Track. According to the park’s website, Chewacla State Park has 10 trails that vary in distance and difficulty level. They said for beginning hikers, the easier paths at Chewacla are the Camps Trail, Lakeside Connector and Boy Scout Trail.

ABIGAIL MURPHY | SECTION EDITOR

Kreher Preserve and Nature Center on Aug. 22, 2020.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020

The Auburn Plainsman

PAGE 11

RELIGION

MARY ELIZABETH LANE | PHOTOGRAPHER

Participants engaging during the worship service.

Wesley Foundation offers drive-in worship services By KARA MAUTZ Writer

Churches in the Auburn community have been trying to adjust to their services while keeping members safe and maintaining an environment where people can continue to feel connected. The Auburn Wesley Foundation is a United Methodist campus ministry that operates under the Alabama-West Florida conference of the Methodist church. It functions as both a church and a student organization. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, students would come to Wesley to listen to sermons and a worship service put on by their worship band. In August, they began offering a “drivein” style of worship in the parking lot between Auburn United Methodist Church and the Wesley Foundation building. Students are able to park and either stay in their car or sit in their trunk to listen to the worship band. Additionally, students are checked in by

scanning a QR code through their window. They have their temperatures taken and are given a small meal. “One of our big things before coronavirus was our Thursday night dinners,” said Taylor Vaughan, the student body president at Wesley. “We would usually have a free meal, and [that] is probably where we had most of our people coming — usually there were over 100 people in attendance.” Vaughan said due to the coronavirus, they were unable to continue their weekly dinners, and the fellowship team wanted to find a way to still provide a free meal for students. The fellowship team worked hard to be able to provide contactless meals to people in the Auburn community, she said. Vaughan said even though the drive-in worship nights are held in person, the Wesley team is still requiring students to wear masks and try to keep 6 feet apart as much as possible. The worship nights are also livestreamed for people quarantining or for those who prefer to stay at home, she said.

The idea for drive-in worship began around April and May when the Stay at Home order was first put in place, she said. Vaughan said the leadership team at Wesley quickly realized they would need to alter many of their plans and events for the year to ensure the safety of the students and the community. The team was especially concerned about how they would reach out to freshmen, who were coming into the community and who were new to Auburn, she said. Vaughan said a lot of planning went into these worship services, including buying new microphones to help prevent the spread of germs among the worship team. She also said every event is set up in a way to keep distance between patrons. Vaughan said patrons are required to enter and exit through different entry points. The leadership team has a detailed protocol for every event hosted by Wesley, and a lot of planning goes into ensuring that every event hosted is safe for those who choose to attend it, Vaughan said.

ENTERTAINMENT

MARY ELIZABETH LANE | PHOTOGRAPHER

Wesley conducting in-person worship nights.

ARTS

“Blithe Spirit” transforms for digital viewing By LYDIA MCMULLEN Writer

KATHRYN MUSSELL | PHOTOGRAPHER

Pine Hill Cemetery is one of the stops on the Alabama Spectral Investigators’ tours.

Ghost investigators unveil Auburn’s haunted past By ABBY WINSKOWICZ Writer

In the month of October, students and families can experience the haunted spots of Auburn through local ghost tours. Every Friday and Saturday of October, John-Mark Poe and Brandon T. Stoker, the Alabama Spectral Investigators, lead Auburn residents on their tours. According to their Facebook page, they have ghost tours each night the week leading up to Halloween, Oct. 26–31. Poe said they have two different tour options: a 6 p.m. tour that lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes and an 8 p.m. tour that lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes. “Each [tour] takes different routes,” Poe said. The haunted places on campus are Biggin Hall, Hargis Hall, Samford Hall, Smith Hall, Draughon Library, the University Chapel, Haley Center and Jordan-Hare Stadi-

um, he said. Poe said he feels the scariest part on the tour is at Pine Hill Cemetery because of the atmosphere the cemetery creates. “You are right there at the cemetery, looking in, and you never know what you might see,” Poe said. COVID-19 has had little effect on the ghost tours, he said. People on the tour are required to wear masks, and the two leaders of the tour try to separate the big groups to provide social distancing. Poe said besides these small changes, the haunted tour remains very similar to the previous years. “[We] started the walk eight years ago when a group of Auburn University theater students who knew us to be paranormal investigators asked Brandon if he knew of any tours of haunted spots in the area,” Poe said. From that moment, Poe said he and Stoker decided they could give their own ghost tours of places in the area.

“[The theater students] enjoyed the tour and wanted us to continue it so they could bring friends,” Poe said. “We did and have continued since.” Along with haunted tours of Auburn, Poe said he and Stoker investigate people’s homes for no charge. “I think I’ve always been interested in the paranormal,” Poe said. “When I was young, the only people on TV that did anything ghost-related were the Warrens.” Poe said he wrote to the Warrens, and they wrote back on how to do ghost investigations. “This gave me the information needed to start investigating on my own, and I have been for the last 32 years,” he said. Poe said he would like to thank everyone who comes out to the tours and those who have been on the tour over the years. “It’s great fun for all, and it’s a bit of Auburn history with a good ghost story thrown in as well,” Poe said.

The show must go on — virtually. In accordance with the rapid changes and accommodations needed due to the pandemic, the Auburn University Department of Theatre is producing “Blithe Spirit” through Zoom. “Blithe Spirit” follows the journey of novelist Charles Condomine, who performs a seance with a local medium, Madame Arcati, hoping to find material for his upcoming novel. During the seance Condomine’s late wife, Elvira, is accidentally invited. Elvira causes disruption and hijinks in her attempts to undermine Condomine’s marriage with his living wife, Ruth. Scott Phillips, associate professor and the show’s director, has been teaching and directing at Auburn for 20 years, but this is his first show on Zoom. “[I] feel really lucky to be in a department that’s willing to go to the lengths that it did for its students and patrons,” Phillips said. He said the staff worked throughout the summer to find some way for the students to take part in theater productions for this semester. Phillips said a Zoom production was not his first choice. Initially, Phillips said he wanted to do a socially-distanced and masked live performance. When that was proven impossible to do safely, he said the next plan was to film the show with a three-camera setup and test the cast every week of rehearsal and before shooting. Phillips said the cast and crew settled on a Zoom production to ensure the safety of the students and audience. “That was a challenge because Zoom is a static medium,” Phil-

lips said. “You’re trapped in your little box.” He said the cast and crew worked with a local media group to tweak the limits of Zoom, adding green screens, sound cues, music and graphics to enhance the theatrics of the show. The show switches from a single actor to gallery view to add a spatial effect. Phillips said the positive that has to come out of the situation is the students are learning to be innovative. Theater is constantly changing, and the way the public consumes theatrical entertainment is changing as well, regardless of COVID-19’s effects, he said. “We’re always trying to find ways to be relevant to new generations and changing circumstances,” he said. Phillips said he believes students needing to change their production process three times could be useful in a future where theater performances are quicker processes and have shorter rehearsal times. “They tackled it with a determinedness that made it successful,” Phillips said. While the show is available for virtual viewing, he said he believes it does not have the same feel that television shows or movies do. “It feels a bit like a theater production and a little bit like watching a film and a little bit like neither one, and that’s not a bad thing, it’s just its own thing,” Phillips said. Tickets to view “Blithe Spirit” are available through the Department of Theatre website. Ticket buyers are sent an access link to be able to view the show beginning Oct. 12 at 12 a.m. through Oct. 18. The cast and crew are also hosting a Talkback Thursday event to answer questions about the show and its process Thursday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m.


The Auburn Plainsman

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Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis

ACROSS 1 Tranquilize 5 Req. for some IKEA purchases 9 Icy coating 13 Convenience 14 Construction __ 15 Planning to, informally 16 “Is there a problem here?” 18 Peyton Manning’s alma mater, for short 19 Outerwear in the bush 21 Tiffs 24 Feminist author Wolf 25 Rhyming hairloss metaphor 28 __ vu 32 Metal in Montana’s motto 33 What snobs put on 34 Descartes et al. 35 Film critic Kael 37 Brother of Ophelia 39 City on the Ruhr 40 Draws a bead on, with “at” 41 “We ___ the World” 42 Grasps 43 Large urban areas just outside of a central business district 46 Goggle 48 Decorates superficially 49 Reply to a salesperson ... or a hint to the start of 19-, 25- and 43-Across 54 Top dog 55 At risk of running aground, perhaps 59 Get fuzzy 60 Glamour rival 61 Breakfast-in-bed aid 62 Cut with a tool 63 Place to see runners 64 Kind of terrier

DOWN 1 Morning coat? 2 “Yay, team!” 3 G7 member 4 Bugs 5 “In your dreams!” 6 The Destroyer, in Hinduism 7 Cans under dishes 8 Emphatic confirmation 9 Drink on a chilly fall day 10 Fun run dist. 11 Elizabeth I’s mother 12 Sound off 15 Island east of Manila 17 Utility pipe 20 Java 21 Checks (out) 22 Part of a sentence 23 Stimulate 26 Article in Der Spiegel 27 Dr. with Grammys 29 Involve by necessity 30 Rode from the stands

31 Take stock of 34 Formally steps down 36 < 37 Fish story 38 “Mad Men” network 40 Look 35 at 45, say 43 Keen perception 44 Unmanned fliers 45 Common circus wear

47 Skier’s aid 49 Setups for knockout punches 50 Uma’s role in “The Producers” 51 Gush forth 52 Pitcher’s goal 53 Teed off 56 TV planet 57 Bit of hope 58 Watch

ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE:

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