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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
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SGA Senate overrides Huntley’s first veto By DESTINI AMBUS Reporter
Monday night, SGA President Ada Ruth Huntley, senior in global studies, motioned to veto a bill, something which hasn’t happened in two years. The senate then unanimously overruled her veto. The bill Huntley opposed will change the SGA election period length and passed quietly on the senate floor at last week’s meeting on Nov. 9. The bill outlined new preliminary and formal campaign guidelines for candidates and, among other things, shortened the formal campaign period by one day. The preliminary campaigning period would be
AU reports 23 new COVID cases By EVAN MEALINS and COLLINS KEITH Managing Editor and Assistant Section Editor
Auburn University reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 for the past week. The University released the information on its COVID-19 Resource Center, which shows that 22 of the reported cases were on Auburn’s main campus. One case was reported on the pharmacy school’s Montgomery campus. There were 24 cases for the week ending Nov. 8, which was the most reported in a single week since Sept. 20. The GuideSafe Sentinel Testing Program reported the most percent positive tests this week since Sept. 13. Out of 727 tests — the most done in a week through the Sentinel Testing Program — 0.83% returned a positive result. Participation in the sentinel testing program is voluntary. By randomly selecting students and faculty for sentinel testing, the University said on its website that it “hopes to monitor the asymptomatic infection rate on campus, allowing the campus to respond to developing trends promptly.” In his weekly update video, Dr. Fred Kam, director of the Auburn University Medical Clinic, commented on the slight upward trend in cases and the positivity rate.
“Any rise in cases is of concern, because it usually means that we’re not adhering to what works to keep the curve flattened or decrease the number of cases,” Kam said. “It is a concern; especially as we are about to disperse and go off for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays. It’s a concern.” Following this statement, Kam then spoke to the important milestones in a typical COVID-19 case, as well as our proximity to Thanksgiving. “If you were to get infected with COVID today, that takes you all the way to Thanksgiving day, so you really don’t need to be at the Thanksgiving meal,” Kam said. “Seven is an important number because what we’ve learned about the biology of this virus is that most people are contagious right up to the seventh day post-infection.” On average, five days after contracting COVID-19 is when most people begin to experience symptoms, according to Kam. For the first three days after infection, Kam said most people do not yet have a high enough viral load to be severely contagious. Kam continued by advising students on how to prepare for traveling home during the holidays. “The first and most important point I need people to understand is that testing is not a » See COVID-19, 2
Auburn has a long history of talented, hardworking running backs. Tank Bigsby is no exception. Page 8
» See SENATE, 2
TRICE BROWN | ENTERPRISE EDITOR
The Student Center was built in 2008 and remained nameless until this semester.
Student Center will be dedicated Friday By TRICE BROWN Enterprise Editor
The formal naming ceremony of the Harold D. Melton Student Center will broadcast online on Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. The event will include remarks from University officials and Melton himself. In early September, the Auburn University Board of Trustees voted to name the Student Center after Harold D. Melton, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia and 1988 Auburn graduate. Melton was Auburn’s first Black Student Government Association president. Melton graduated Auburn with a degree in international business and a minor in Spanish. In 2005,
FOOTBALL ‘His effort is unmatched;’ Next in line of standout running backs: Tank Bigsby
four days prior to voting day, taking up the first day of the week, while the formal campaigning period would be the next three days, with voting day presumably falling on a Friday, although there are no specifications for that in the bill. “In the past, kickoff would maybe [be] on a Thursday afternoon, and candidates would be there all day Friday, and then take a break Saturday and Sunday,” said Tyler Ward, junior in political science and senator for the college of liberal arts. “It would still be a campaigning period, but you just wouldn’t be on the concourse, and then Monday and Tuesday people will just go hard because it’s voting day.”
he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. Two years later, he was elected chief justice by his peers. Melton is the first person of color to have a building named after them on Auburn’s campus. In a previous interview with The Plainsman, Melton said he understands the mission Auburn is trying to pursue by recognizing him. “The outward representation — just look at the buildings — they don’t show the openness that Auburn is and the opportunity for achievement for all that Auburn is,” Melton said. “I think Auburn just wants to make clear from those who are just looking from the outside in what we really represent.”
TIM NAIL | SECTION EDITOR
Signs like this show the building’s new name.
News 24/7 on our website Go online to theplainsman.com SCAN ME!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
Auburn University COVID-19 data
AU's new weekly COVID cases
Sentinel positivity rate
17 21 16 11 17
Aug. 21 Aug. 28 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 1 Nov. 8 Nov. 15
COVID-19 » From 1
substitute for wearing a mask, physically distancing, sanitizing your hands and keeping the size of your group interactions to a minimum,” Kam said. “If you know that you’ve been, again, taking part in large parties, groups or social events, then you need to think carefully about what your first few days at home are going to look like.”
If a student falls into that latter category, Kam advised those students to wear a mask “consistently” when at home, saying that the trend for increases in positive cases after Halloween is likely due to these same large parties, groups and social events. “Now we’re past that point, you’re about to go home, you need to take this seriously because you’re going to have vulnerable family members that you need to protect,” Kam said. Kam then went on to advise families on
EAMC’s positivity rate increases for third straight week Enterprise Editor
Last week, the East Alabama Medical Center tested 365 individuals and recorded 46 positive COVID-19 cases, resulting in a positivity rate of 12.6%. This is the third week in a row that the positive rate has increased, rising from 5.9% to 10.5% to 12.6%. This is the highest positive rate EAMC has recorded since late September, when it was 13% the week beginning Sept. 21. That week was also the last time that the center reported over 46 positive cases, recording 48 that week. During the week beginning Nov. 5, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 at EAMC jumped from 20 to 32.
Last week, it remained steady at 32 or 33. 6 ventilators are in use at the hospital, the most that have been used at one time in a month. “With the continued increase of new cases in the area, we’d expect that hospitalizations will increase as well in the coming days, just as it has done during previous community case increases,” said John Atkinson, EAMC spokesman. “Hospitals nationwide are expressing concern over their current number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and the major holidays approaching.” EAMC’s recorded positive cases accounted for 17.5% of all cases recorded by Lee County, which recorded 263 last week.
0%0.27% Sept. 6
Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27
0% Oct. 4
how to make their family gatherings as safe as possible. “[Families] need to take an initial approach that everybody that is coming to visit, outside your core family household, are potentially infected,” Kam said. Moving family activities outdoors, wearing masks until it is absolutely necessary to remove them, socially distancing and sanitizing hands and frequently touched surfaces are all ways to mitigate the spread and risk of COVID-19, according to Kam.
By TRICE BROWN
» From 1
The bill would allow candidates to begin posting their platforms on social media early, during the preliminary period. “It would give people more time to research and look up candidates’ platforms,” Ward said. “[It would also] give those running more time to get their message out there instead of having to wait for kickoff on Thursday.” The preliminary campaigning through social media and ensuring that students were properly informed were concerns Huntley shared during her report for the executive board. “We want to make students as educated as possible as they navigate through the elections process,” Huntley said. “Most students get most of the information from campaigning on the concourse.” Voting day falling on Friday was another concern for Huntley, as many students don’t have classes on Fridays and might not vote, decreasing voter participation. Alongside that, Huntley brought up her concern for the mental health of those running. The shortened campaigning period would not give candidates the weekend to relax and prepare for the next round of campaigning. “Speaking for myself and my team, we would’ve struggled consolidating the week to those five days and not having the weekend to regroup before voting day,” Huntley said during the report for the Executive Board. “It takes a toll on your mental and physical, and I think it’s better academically to have that break in-between.” The biggest concern Huntley presented was the lack of on-paper student feedback supporting the bill, not just one-onone conversations senators had with their constituents.
0.83% 0.48% 0.49%0.48% 0.25% 0.26% Oct. 11
Kam finished by speaking about the newly announced vaccine from Moderna, and its potential effects. “There will be more millions of doses available early on that could be administered to various groups in the population,” Kam said. “In addition to that, the Moderna vaccine does not require the ultra-cold storage like the Pfizer vaccine needs ... between these two vaccines, we’re hoping to have doses available, once they get through the FDA licensing, in the first quarter of 2021.”
“There wasn’t any quantifiable feedback to support it,” said Landon McNellage, SGA executive vice president of communications and marketing. “It was a hope from all of exec that we would have more data, so that way when we present it to students and administrators we can have exact numbers.” The meeting progressed normally after Huntley and the Executive Boards’ reports ended, until Molly Sullivan, senator at-large and senior in health services administration, called for a 10-minute recess in anticipation of the vote. Some senators went to the restrooms or walked around and stretched for a few minutes, but most of them gathered in clusters to discuss the bill. A group gathered around McNellage, looking for further explanation for the veto in Huntley’s physical absence from the meeting. “There’s just no feedback,” McNellage repeated. “We sit in exec meetings and ask ourselves, ‘Is what we do going to benefit all 32,000 students?’ And you have that same responsibility, but there’s no feedback other than word of mouth supporting this bill.” The meeting was called back to order shortly after, and the vote to support or overturn Huntley’s veto followed soon after. Kadin Christian, sophomore in finance and senator for the Harbert College of Business, was the first to step up to the microphone for debate in support of the bill. He mentioned the concern of the lack of on-paper feedback first. “We’ve had conversations about how we all struggle with survey fatigue from students,” Christian said. “If word of mouth doesn’t have the same impact as surveys, then what are we supposed to do if we’re struggling with that? SGA is not supposed to serve SGA but rather, our constituents, and I don’t want to be told that I’m wrong because I’m going by what my constituents say out of their mouth rather than by a sur-
vey.” Christian spoke mostly about one of the purposes of the bill, which was to stop the “harassment” or pressure of students on the concourse doing the formal campaigning period. “When you see more people walking behind the Student Center during campaign week to avoid the concourse and that is the only time they walk behind the Student Center, that’s an issue,” Christian said, to a swell of snaps and murmurs of agreement. “And for education, yes the purpose of being on the concourse is to be educated, but how often are we?” Christian also mentioned that it may be harder on the person running to campaign for three days straight, but that he would have more respect for the person who’s running. “It would be a whole lot harder,” Christian said. “It speaks more to how bad they want the position if they’re putting their all into it.” Cole Callahan, junior in biomedical sciences and senator for the college of sciences and mathematics, agreed that it might be harder to run in a single week rather than having a break. “But, we came to a unanimous decision, and it is by people who are deciding to actually go through this process,” Callahan said. After clarification that the bill would not be put into effect until the fall 2021 semester and in all following elections, it was put to another vote. The bill was upheld unanimously by the senators with no debate. In her closing remarks, Huntley thanked everyone for their time and discussion that night. “We’re all very okay with and support any decisions the senators make,” McNellage said. “It was really nice to see the debate, and I came out of this really proud of them, even though I kind of wish there was more feedback.”
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
Thank you, President Gogue By EDITORIAL BOARD Fall 2020
After serving as Auburn University president for over a decade, Jay Gogue did the University a favor by coming out of retirement to provide some stability in an interim role when Auburn suddenly split ties with Gogue’s successor, Steven Leath, in the summer of 2019. Gogue said he never would have imagined that this favor to step out of retirement would eventually turn into a long-term commitment, and no one could have predicted that he would be leading the University through uncharted territory due to the pandemic. For that, we to say thank you, Mr. President. In some ways, the turbulent period caused by the departure of Leath may have been a blessing in disguise, as the rumored tension between him and the Board of Trustees could have led to behind-the-scenes battles over decision making between the board and the president at Auburn. Thankfully, Gogue provided solid leadership in his first stint as president, giving him the reputation as one of Auburn’s most dependable presidents only to transition into semi-retirement, still serving in roles in the community and teaching leadership courses at the University. This second term has been much of the same. Although no university can tout a flawless record when it comes to handling the pandemic, Gogue is proud of Auburn’s response. Gogue began meeting with the president’s cabinet six days a week on Jan. 20 to coordinate responses to the pandemic, much earlier than many other leaders nationwide. “We all thought that by summer, this was in January, this would be behind us,” he said with a laugh, humbled by the uncontrollable nature of the pandemic. “Then, by June, we started realizing it was going to affect the fall term. Now, we’re starting to realize it’s going to affect the spring term.” Regardless of the issues with face-to-face instruction versus online instruction, Gogue said Auburn and its students have made smooth transitions whenever new public health suggestions have called on them to do so. “It’s been better in some respects than we
President Jay Gogue speaks at the Fall 2019 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 14, in Auburn, Ala.
thought,” he said. “Young guys adapted fairly quickly; some of us older people it took a little longer for us to figure out.” But as is the case with any responsible university president in the 21st century, Gogue was right on top of the school’s financials and how the pandemic is affecting the University’s sources of income. All things considered, it would have been a safe bet that tax revenue would be down this year. However, Gogue said that surprisingly that when the state’s fiscal year came to an end on Sept. 30, the general tax fund was up some $150 million or so, and the educational trust fund — which funds higher education and K-12 — was up about $200 million. As for private donations to the University, Gogue said Auburn had set a $120.5 million goal for the year. Even through the economic downturn that affected millions, they finished the year on Sept. 30 at $126 million. The University also collects funding through grants and research opportunities. Following the surprisingly optimistic trend, those numbers were up about $60 million,
totaling about $23.1 million. Thankfully, due to this good run in financial stability for the University, Gogue is proud to say Auburn has not had to end any programs, furloughed faculty or staff or instituted pay cuts unlike many peer institutions. Unlike many universities that have seen dips in enrollment because of remote instruction outweighing the cost of high tuition rates, the University had the highest summer enrollment to date. Furthermore, Auburn ended up having record enrollment this semester at 30,700. Gogue said that in this time of uncertainty, he’s reminded of a cartoon that was made over the summer. One character says with everything going on, he’s taking it one day at a time. “The other character next to him said ‘Nah, I’m going to take it a half day at a time,’” Gogue said with a solid Monday-morning laugh. “So, that’s about where we are.” Although it has not been without any flaw, Gogue’s leadership during the pandemic has been remarkable. What may be
more remarkable than anything, however, may be his propensity to turn the spotlight away from him when so much praise is rightly thrown his way. In an interview with The Plainsman, Gogue was asked how all this crazy journey has been on him and that it has probably taken on him when he thought he’d be enjoying retirement on The Plains. He acknowledged how unlikely of circumstances brought about where we are, but said he had no hesitation because of his love of Auburn. He quickly turned the discussion to how gratifying its been to see the response by not just administration, but faculty, staff and the student body. The pandemic likely put a pause on the Board of Trustees’ timeline to find a more long-term candidate for the position. No one can know how much longer Gogue will continue in his second stint as Auburn president, but what is certain is that Auburn is much more well positioned to handle an extremely turbulent time because of Gogue’s leadership.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
The COVID-19 vaccine needs to be available to everyone By SALEM KHALAF Student
Before the novel coronavirus hit, I traveled to Capitol Hill with The ONE Campaign to urge our elected leaders to support additional investments in global health, including funding for programs like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which helps bring life-saving immunizations to people in the world’s poorest countries. Through seminars, debriefs and workshops, I was able to explore the effects of vaccines on poverty, economic development and education statistics, revealing a direct correlation to a place’s economic stability and the health of its people. I also had the opportunity to see all the good that the U.S. has done in terms of bolstering medical care and
disease prevention, but COVID-19 threatens to topple the advances we have made in furthering medical care facilities and infrastructure. Where you live should not determine if you live. Humanity deserves quality healthcare. While we don’t know which of the first few vaccines will be the most effective, we do know that when the best vaccine is found, it’s all but certain that there won’t be enough supply to protect everyone in the country, let alone the world. Ensuring fair access and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine in America and beyond isn’t just the right thing to do —it’s the smart thing to do to end this pandemic faster here and around the world. That’s why Alabama’s senators, both Richard Shelby and Tom-
my Tuberville, must recommit to funding proven global health programs like Gavi, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, that are focused on developing and fairly deploying eventual COVID-19 vaccines to those who need them most. Our representatives must ensure that the most vulnerable people have priority access to the vaccine, regardless of whether they live in Auburn or Nairobi. In today’s interconnected world, controlling the spread of the virus is crucial. The faster we target atrisk populations globally, the easier it will be to control the virus both here and abroad. That’s why the U.S. must help ensure that the most vulnerable peo-
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al COVID-19 response funding, which will be used to preserve our hard-fought global health gains and defeat this global pandemic everywhere. If a vaccine is distributed exclusively to high-income countries first, the world will only avoid 33% of COVID-19 related deaths. But, if a vaccine is distributed to every country on the globe proportionally to those key populations, the world could avoid 61% of COVID-19 related deaths, according to a study done by a team of researchers at Northeastern University. A safe, effective vaccine will be key to ending the pandemic and reopening the global economy, but only if the most vulnerable have access to it. Salem Khalaf is a junior in pre-medical global studies.
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ple — from frontline workers to the immunocompromised — have priority access to the vaccine, at home and abroad. Those at high-risk can be targeted as likely carriers of the disease whereas healthy individuals have a lesser probability of contracting the disease and disseminating it throughout the population. As a result, strategically providing vaccines to the individuals that have the greatest chance of spreading it should sound like common sense, right? Where you live shouldn’t determine whether you die from COVID-19. As Congress considers the next emergency COVID-19 supplemental, Alabama’s senators should champion vaccine equity by supporting $20 billion in glob-
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
CONTRIBUTED BY MARK WILSON
Students in this semester’s Practicum class review their progress in Shorter on Nov. 14, 2020.
Class documents history in Shorter, Alabama By SARAH GIBSON Writer
Each year, Auburn students work with a community in Macon County as part of a course in the college of liberal arts. For the past two years, students have partnered with the town of Shorter, Alabama, on different projects with economic and cultural impact. The class, officially titled Practicum in Liberal Arts, is a part of the Appalachian Teaching Project, which is offered by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Auburn University is the only school in Alabama that is part of the commission. Along with 15 other schools, the project helps a community with a project each semester. The class is currently helping research local historical events and topics in Shorter, and students in the class are helping to plan an interpretive visitor center. “Students have worked to research five historical topics chosen by the Shorter, Alabama, community,” said Mark Wilson, director of the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities. “These topics include: the Creek Indian Wars that took place nearby, a fort which was used as an outpost for the U.S. government, the first Rosenwald school, the Prairie Farms Resettlement Project and the Old Federal Road.”
The fort was where Tennessee’s first governor, John Sevier, died. His body was later moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, in the late 19th century. The school was built as part of the Rosenwald Schools Project, funded in part by Julius Rosenwald, which established schools in the South to create educational opportunities for Black residents in this area. Wilson said the Prairie Farms Resettlement Project was a project held nearby for the U.S. government during the Great Depression. It was a planned community focused on fostering agricultural and economic development in Macon County during this time — it became home to 34 Black families at that point in history. The Old Federal Road went from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans, and one section went through Shorter. The stretch through Shorter is the only surviving piece of the road that can still be driven on. “I come up with ideas that I want to see in the community, and I brainstorm with Dr. Wilson to see how we can make them possible,” said Dennis Powell, town historian for Shorter, Alabama, and assistant community developer. “I pretty much am the director of the project from Macon County’s side.” Powell said he had that idea and he ran it by Dr. Wilson, who he credits with helping make his idea
a reality. Wilson said the class is also looking up things that can be sold in a welcome center, as well as researching historical information about the town. The town is developing a community center that is both an interpretive and a learning center. Powell said the center will be used to exhibit historical events in Shorter, and students will be able to get tutoring after school at the center too. “Students have been doing this research so that Shorter, Alabama, can use this information for the interpretive center and for new lesson plans for the fourth grade at the local elementary school,” Wilson said. “They have researched other interpretive centers in the Appalachian project, so the students will be able to offer up advice and suggestions for the project in Macon County.” The town of Shorter was connected to Auburn through the Economic Development Authority. The students who work on this project are usually upperclassmen and liberal arts majors, although not exclusively. The class usually takes a trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in a conference, but this year the conference was held virtually. Students in the class are also making lesson plans for the local school that they will deliver after this semester to the teachers there. “The projects we work on come from the ongoing conversations about what the community is
trying to achieve,” Wilson said. “We have had an ongoing relationship with Macon County, which gives students a chance to see beyond Auburn and connect with people they may not get to meet otherwise.” Students are researching by talking with people in the community via Zoom about topics being researched. The students had Zoom calls with members of the community to discuss a novel set in Macon County written in 1935. Last year, Auburn University teamed up with Shorter to do research on a Black cemetery. The headstones were documented, and research was performed on who was buried in the cemetery. The cemetery was also documented on the state’s register of historic cemeteries after this research was done. “Growing up in Shorter, we never had our own public library,” Powell said. “Shorter is a very rural town, so we’ve never had a place of learning or tutoring, and I always had envisioned how great it would be to have a place like this. I wanted a place where people could learn our history, and kids could have that reinforcement in education.” “It has been a real blessing to work with Auburn and Dr. Wilson,” Powell said. “It is amazing how much Auburn resembles Shorter in the family-like community that the University has even though it is not a small town.”
Provost responds to spring apprehension from faculty By TIM NAIL Section Editor
Tension rose among Auburn professors and lecturers at a specially called meeting of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee on Nov. 10, where faculty had reservations about the University’s current spring 2021 semester plans. Provost Bill Hardgrave, who was the subject of a potential vote of no confidence, cleared the air on Tuesday afternoon, answering questions raised last week during the latest meeting of the Auburn University Senate over Zoom. Hardgrave said his office was aware of issues raised in the specially called meeting as well as recommendations for the spring semester from the Auburn chapter of the American Association of University Professors. “I am in receipt of the seven recommendations that came out of that meeting,” Hardgrave said. “I would say that many of the things on that list of recommendations we are already doing, we are in the process of doing or have already addressed in some way.” One recommendation asked the University to share the numbers on faculty requests for specific modes of instruction, as well as how many were approved or denied. Hardgrave obliged, reporting that approximately 458 faculty teaching 1,130 sections were approved to teach online or blended classes. “Those 1,130 sections are in addition to the online sections we normally teach in the spring, so I am not counting those,” he explained. “I am aware of only 17 faculty who have not been accommodated per their request.” Hardgrave said he was told one or more faculty were still awaiting approval, but said he contacted the respective deans to see that these faculty members would be heard as soon as possible. “If there are any appeals to that process, I sent out a reminder yesterday with that process,” Hardgrave concluded. “Faculty should follow that process if they want to appeal the decision from their college or school.”
More faculty were added to the University’s COVID operations committee in the past week as requested by the Auburn AAUP, Hardgrave said. Previously, only two of the 33 members on the committee were faculty. Before speaking further, Hardgrave said faculty still have unresolved concerns the University should settle. “Look, I get it, people are scared; the current headlines are scary,” he said. “We don’t know what it’s going to look like [in spring]. When will a vaccine be available?” Springing off this, Hardgrave shared that he met with two executives from two unnamed “major hospital systems” on Tuesday. Each told him the recent Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines should be available to the general public by April 1, 2021, he said. Still, Hardgrave said there is potential for Auburn’s campus to shift to remote operations again for spring. The spring semester could start remotely, he said, if the virus situation worsens. Hardgrave believes the University’s decision to work remotely for final exams after Thanksgiving was sensible. “If it’s not safe to be on campus, we won’t be on campus,” he said. “We have demonstrated this last spring, and we’ve been able to keep a safe campus this fall. At the beginning of fall semester, it looked bleak. We were watching [other universities] diligently, and then we started making changes to the policies and practices. It turned around, and we had a safe semester.” Hardgrave said policies continue to be adjusted based on the outlook of the pandemic. The University announced on Tuesday afternoon that faculty will not have to return to their offices on campus in person on Nov. 30. Instead, the current operations model has been extended to Jan. 3, 2021, around one week before students return for spring classes. Questions from faculty began with Dr. Spencer Durham, associate clinical professor of pharmacy, who asked how Auburn might ensure safety in non-classroom settings.
“I think ... people have gotten lax with wearing their face coverings or social distancing, especially in a restaurant environment,” Hardgrave responded. “We all have to be more diligent in the following of those protocols, and we have to make sure that ... across campus [we are] encouraging and enforcing those protocols as we finish up the semester ... [as well as] going into the spring.” Jennifer Prado, chemistry and biochemistry lecturer, asked the provost if faculty could request that students submit a self-report confirmation if a student requests accommodations because they tested positive for COVID-19. Hardgrave said this could only happen if the student voluntarily shares their test result with faculty. The faculty member could then encourage the student to self-report, he said. “We could never ask anybody, ‘Have you tested positive?’” he said. “We could never ask for a list of people who have tested positive; that’s a violation of privacy.” Hardgrave said he understands faculty want the University to more strongly encourage use of the GuideSafe Healthcheck screener. He also noted that faculty should be provided with documentation on students not attending class because they were exposed to COVID-19 and are having to quarantine. Tracy Witte, professor of psychology, said she thinks if the University decides to begin spring remotely at the “last minute,” professors’ spring plans could be disrupted. Hardgrave agreed with Witte’s thoughts, but he reminded the senate of the University’s “Syllabus B” guidance, where professors are asked to have a backup course plan if teaching circumstances change. When the fall semester began, individuals on campus were asked to wear face coverings outdoors starting the second day of classes, a policy that was later rescinded. Luca Guazzotto, associate professor of physics, asked if this policy might be reintroduced in spring with more students present.
Provost Bill Hardgrave said the spring 2021 semester could begin remotely.
“Everything is back on the table to have that discussion,” Hardgrave answered, saying he would discuss this with members of the administration. Alecia Douglas, associate professor of nutrition, dietetics and hospitality management, asked how the University will work to accommodate face-toface classes and feels Auburn has had a false sense of security with less people present this semester. She said other institutions have universally placed Plexiglas around lecterns and removed seats in some rooms. “Let us know what we can do to make you feel safer,” Hardgrave said. “If you want Plexiglas, let us know and we’ll work with you. Some faculty use face shields because they find it easier to talk when they’re standing a distance away.” Hardgrave acknowledged previous comments about the practicality of face shields, agreeing that they are “not a substitute for a mask.” However, he said the ones Auburn provides extend below the chin and are curved, which should contain air particles of the wearer if they are distanced from students. Mary Sandage, associate professor of speech, language and hearing sciences, expressed concern about how graduate clinical trials in her program might be managed. Sandage said students who have delayed trials would have extended programs and delay prospective students
from beginning their programs. The professional flight, veterinary medicine and pharmacy programs had similar issues with situations where faceto-face instruction was required to teach, Hardgrave said. “Even if we go remote, ... under strict protocols, we could allow some face-toface [teaching],” he said. “If we do pivot to remote, reach out to my office and we will work with you.” One of the final questions came from Scott Ketring, associate professor and director of the marriage and family therapy program, who asked if there would be campus-wide reentry testing at the start of spring similar as was performed when students returned for fall. “There’s been lots of discussion around this entry testing, and the general sentiment is ... it [only] gives you that one point in time,” Hardgrave responded. “We did it this fall because the state provided that for us [and] paid for it through CARES Act funding. It’s probably not worth the money to do that for students coming in.” Hardgrave said this is why the University instead moved the spring start date to Jan. 11, 2021, after consulting with Dr. Fred Kam, director of the Auburn University Medical Clinic. This should allow students to weather the “most contagious period” of the winter break, Hardgrave said.
The Auburn Plainsman
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
CONTRIBUTED BY SIERRA EADY
These EWB members developed a gravity-powered irrigation system in Bolivia, called the Phararia project, in 2019.
Students engineer water systems in developing nations By COLLINS KEITH Assistant Section Editor
In Bolivia, on the side of the Andes Mountains, resides a small community of farmers and their 60 families who must rely on a four-month wet season to irrigate their crops. Any excess water that they can capture they store in holding tanks around the community. When the eight-month dry season sets in, the only water these farmers have access to is the limited amount they have stored in the holding tanks, nowhere near enough to last the entire eight months, according to Sierra Eady, senior in mechanical engineering and president of Auburn Engineers Without Borders. “They have a lot of trouble growing a lot of crops because they have an eight-month dry season there,” Eady said. “During the dry season, they flood irrigate their fields, so they just release all of the water from that [holding] tank and wherever
gets water is what gets water.” While living and farming on the side of a mountain have their challenges, it also allows for cheap and sustainable access to the mountain spring water, high above the village. The problem, Eady said, is that the community doesn’t have the tools to get reliable access to this water. That’s where she and her team come in. “We’re tapping into springs located above all of the fields, and we’re piping that water to one or two holding tanks to store the water, and then the community will have piping that leads down to each field,” Eady said. “All of the fields should be completely watered, and they don’t waste any of the water, so it should last throughout the whole [dry] season.” This simple, gravity-powered irrigation system, called the Phararia project, will likely triple the crop yield of the community according to Eady. Where in the past, the community had to worry often about the size of their crop yield, with
CONTRIBUTED BY SIERRA EADY
Children in Rwanda line up to get water from a tap EWB installed.
the help from Eady and her team, that’s no longer an issue. “We’ve done the exact same project in two different communities close by, so we know it’s going to work,” Eady said with a laugh. “We’ve finished the project a couple [of] times before; this one is just in a different community.” Since all of the communities in Bolivia that EWB works with are close by, they’re in constant communication with one another. Word traveled fast that the irrigation system that EWB installed is effective and sustainable. “The community that we have switched to now knows how the systems work,” Eady said. “They were so excited for us to come install the systems because they’re so effective, that [they] built us a road, by hand, just so that we could come out and build the system for them.” According to Eady, the main goal of EWB is to help these communities sustainably. Eady and her team can only physically be there for two weeks out of the year, so ensuring that the communities can keep the irrigation system running themselves is critical. “We work very closely to make sure that these projects are truly sustainable for these communities,” Eady said. EWB has two other projects like this that it works on throughout the year. One is a project that was previously in Rwanda which is shifting to Guatemala. Another project is a new domestic project that the team is still finalizing. Of the 50 or so members on the team, students are split between these three projects into three teams. Each summer in August, each individual team sends six to eight members to the project site for around two weeks, where they install the project that they have been planning and testing all year back at Auburn. In order to travel to the project site, a member of the team must submit an appli-
cation and be interviewed. However, the team was not able to travel to the project sites this past August, Eady said. They hope to be able to travel in the upcoming summer. “We don’t know if we’re going to be able to yet; it just depends on what the school and what EWB nationals allow, but we just chose our travel teams,” Eady said. “We’re moving on as if we’re getting to travel … so that we’ll be prepared if we do get to travel.” EWB has also had to change up their weekly meeting format to a more COVID-19 friendly modality. “Most of the semester, we were meeting totally on Zoom because we weren’t allowed to meet in person, but actually, about a month and a half ago, we got permission to start meeting in person,” Eady said. “Now, we give our members the option for if they want to meet in person or on Zoom. We have each project team working in different rooms … we don’t meet all together anymore.” In the past, the entire team would meet together and then split up into their individual project teams, but the main group is too large to be able to meet together, Eady said. EWB has also been limited in the types of social events that they can put on. “Normally, we have one social event and a couple of volunteer days each semester,” Eady said. “Once a month, on Saturday, we would go volunteer somewhere, [but] that was stopped for most of the semester. In the past month we’ve gone twice on a Saturday to help with the community garden.” The larger team’s social event has been canceled for this semester, but the smaller teams have been getting together individually, Eady said. EWB hopes to return to a more normal format in the future.
Central Dining Hall to bring students more dining options By VIRGINIA SPEIRS Writer
Auburn students can expect a wider range of dining options next semester under a new roof on campus. The Central Dining Hall is a $26 million addition, and it is expected to be completed in spring 2021. Once completed, the site will house three levels in total, with two open to students. It will include a Starbucks, a possible convenient store, nine different cuisine stations and three board rooms with glass windows overlooking Jordan-Hare Stadium. The food station selec-
tions include a pasta station, a pizza station, salad bar, “comfort food” station and an allergen-free station, just to name a few, in order to create a wide variety of cuisine options available for students. The dining hall will be next to the stadium parking deck, across the Green Space from the Student Center. Construction of the new dining hall began in spring 2020 after the demolition of Allison Laboratory, which existed in the space where the hall will be located. The dining hall is approximately 48,000 square feet in a relatively central location on campus. “We built in three classroom-like
areas or reservable spaces that anyone can reserve, and they will overlook the Green Space,” said Willam Walker, assistant director of Campus Dining. “It’ll have this great visual, and it will be open to students for study space, faculty meeting space, tailgating space or whatever.” A large part of the new dining hall will consist of open seating, including a large outdoor patio on the first floor. Students will be able to sit with friends, grab something to eat or study all while enjoying the beauty and convenience of being on campus. The idea for a new dining hall
JOSH FISHER | PHOTOGRAPHER
Construction underway on the Central Dining Hall on Nov. 18, 2020, in Auburn, Ala.
came from students. Walker said that according to SGA, this is what students wanted. Every aspect of the new dining hall was chosen with students in mind, from the food options to the type of seating to the open windows that will surround the building on each floor. “We built most of the [food] stations around flexibility,” Walker said. “So if we needed to adjust or change things, I mean every student wants pizza, every student wants a pasta station so those are kind of just staples every dining hall has to have. The grill area will have a round grill that will give a lot of flexibility [on food offered].”
Everything in the dining hall is versatile — the more time students spend on campus, the more likely they are to do well in school and graduate, according to Walker. To provide more spaces for students to come together and enjoy the community on campus is the goal of many Auburn University decision-makers, Walker said. “The students have said that they wanted more of a traditional dining style,” Walker said. “The driving force is that we know that a dining hall is a place that builds community, and student success is measured by the amount of time they spend on campus.”
community THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
Local couple designs Opelika creekline trails By LAURA SITTERLY Writer
The Creekline Trails initiative is a citizen-driven effort to create local nature trails for public use and appreciation of Opelika’s unique watershed design. Local couple Rocky and Shealy Langely have a vision to orchestrate a new system of nature tails and ADA-friendly multi-use paths lining local streams. According to the Langleys, the Creekline Trails initiative seeks to create a place where everyone can engage with nature. “It adds so much to the living experience to just be able to get outside, even if it’s not the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen,” Shealy Langely said. “Just having a place to get outdoors is so crucial for physical health and mental health.” The idea for the trails first came to them in summer 2018. The young couple was inspired while exploring with their dog, who loves to swim in the neighborhood creek. They noticed how much the landscape had to offer. Following the creeks, they then went to each road crossing to see the environment at that particular site. “We were continually blown away by each new place we stopped at,” Rocky Langely said. The couple created a presentation to demonstrate their vision. At the time, Shealy Langley was a board member for the Envision Opelika Foundation. They said their idea was greeted with support and excitement. The Foundation recommended that the Langleys present their idea to the Opelika City Council. In September 2018, the couple asked the Council to incorporate their idea into the City’s master plan. While the council saw how beneficial these trails would be for citizens of Opelika, they needed verification that the community supported and wanted this. The couple applied to The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, run by The National Parks Service. They were awarded a grant which provides technical assistance from a local team of engineers, designers and architects. The RTCA program helped with the construction of the Creekline Trails master plan. The couple is holding a public forum Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Opelika Municipal Courtroom. Although they have already received much community support, it is crucial to Rocky and Shealy that they give the community a chance to speak and guide their vision through constructive feedback. Opelika City Engineer Scott Parker has
CONTRIBUTED BY CREEKLINE TRAILS OF OPELIKA
The Creekline Trails project will consist of pathways passing along Opelika’s creeks.
been both a technical expert and guide to Rocky and Shealy throughout the groundwork process. He has both worked with landowners and obtained the necessary legal documents that are required for a park with public access across private land. “For starting out as just a young couple with a dream, the project has gone a long way,” Parker said. The City of Opelika has been offering guidance to the couple despite having no decision-making authority over the project. Included in the grant awarded from the National Parks Association was a memorandum of understanding that the City’s workers had the right to work with the Langleys during their job time in efforts to help get the trails built and implemented. Also included in this agreement was the understanding that the City would provide appropriations to this program, beginning with $30,000 for the 2021 fiscal year. “I personally also volunteer with them on their construction and planning committee,” Parker said. Parker reiterated that the upcoming public forum is very important because it is a great
way for the community to get involved, not only to help with the project, but considering it as a new volunteering opportunity for college students. The couple originally envisioned all paved, multi-use trails, with each facility being handicapped accessible. However, they said it is very difficult to accomplish this while simultaneously maintaining the conservation needs of the surrounding natural environment, Rocky Langley mentioned. A huge focus of this project, aside from appreciation of nature, is the conservation of the surrounding area. To make an area handicapped accesible, structures would need to be built that would disrupt the environment. Rocky and Shealy are trying to be creative while grappling with the question of how the paths can be accessible without being concrete. “Right now, we are leaning towards implementing trails that are handicapped friendly but aren’t as disturbing to nature,” they said. The couple found it only right to take their first step by conducting a public forum. They are confident that appreciating
public opinion will help them start in a way that will promote long-term success for the Creekline Trails initiative. “We are passionate to ensure the way we move forward best serves the community, all across Opelika and beyond,” they said. The Langleys said they have been adamant about getting those with more experience involved, removing themselves from the forefront so others can lead. With the project shifting from a vision to reality, Susan Brinson volunteered and has taken lead since August 2020, forming an advisory board and committees to divide up the workload. There are five volunteer committees: planning, design and construction, media, public relations and outreach and fundraising. Community members interested in volunteering can contact the project with a description of their interests and skillsets so they can be put to work in an area that is best suitable. Updates regarding the Creekline Trails initiative are found on Facebook, Instagram, or through subscribing for email updates. The project is accepting donations and offers a survey on what activities citizens deem appropriate on the trails.
Adopted pets comfort students through pandemic By TIM NAIL Section Editor
More time working virtually since March — whether for work as an employee or in classes as a student — has meant some in Auburn and Lee County have spent more time at home. For some, that’s been more time alone than they were accustomed to, which makes having a furry friend more appealing now than ever.
That’s been the reality for Abbey Crank, junior in journalism. Crank adopted a hamster named Niff three weeks ago in part because of pandemic-era loneliness and because her past hamster of two years died last month. “I don’t think it was because of the pandemic [directly], but it did play a part in it,” Crank said. “I live alone in a condo here, and I have anxiety. To make myself feel better, I got my first hamster.”
She hasn’t been the only one taking in a new pet. Lee County Humane Society experienced a significant increase in pet fosters, largely dogs and cats, in the spring. At its peak around April, the shelter had 80% of its animal population in foster care, according to Bailey Ray, foster coordinator for LCHS. “[That] has not been achieved in all the time I have been the foster coordinator since October 2016,” Ray said. “The only other time we have gotten
close to that number was during an emergency situation in the summer of 2019. We had an electrical problem that left the shelter without power for several days, and we had to evacuate every pet for their safety.” Ray said many new pet fosters and owners were students whose roommates returned home during the spring semester, when Auburn University’s classes transitioned to remote learning. “Everybody went for spring break,
JACK WEST | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
The Macon and Lee County Humane Societies have a variety of animals for adoption.
and a lot of people never came back,” Ray said. “A lot of the students who were reaching out were saying, ‘I have a four-bedroom apartment now, and I’m the only one who chose to stay, so I need a companion.’” Doug Hankes, director of Auburn University’s Student Counseling and Psychological Services, said he isn’t surprised. Hankes has continued to see students virtually for appointments, some of whom have told him they were thinking of welcoming in a new animal roommate. “A lot of our clients have talked with us at the counseling center, [saying] ‘I really wish I had a dog,’” he said. “With the quarantine and everything else, people were home, and they had way more time on their hands and less … things to do.” Just because students had less responsibilities to worry about during quarantine, Hankes said new pet owners should be aware having an animal isn’t one single responsibility — it’s several. For some, adopting and fostering can backfire, adding more work than it may be personally worth. “If you’ve got the time and you take the responsibility, I think the payoff is amazing, but for others instead of being a stress reducer it can be just another stressor,” Hankes said. At LCHS, however, Ray said adopters have stayed committed to their newfound pets rather than returning them because they were a mental burden. “I believe the majority of returns we saw during the summer were due to general life changes during the pandemic, such as moving to a new place that did not allow pets or people losing their jobs and not being able to financially provide for their pets,” Ray said.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
The Auburn Plainsman
Nonprofit encourages people with disabilities to ‘be exceptional’ By NICOLE LEE Writer
As Thanksgiving nears, holiday festivities are soon to be in full swing. With this comes a new season of giving back to the community. The Exceptional Foundation of East Alabama is a local organization that makes giving back their sole objective year-round. Founded in 2017, EFEA is a nonprofit organization that devotes its time to maintaining weekly day programs for 75 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These programs range from art and music to theater and nutrition — all of which aim to aid, engage and enrich the lives of these individuals and their families. The weeks are filled with exercises and activities that will encourage participants to increase skills such as self-sufficiency and help boost their independence on a day-to-day basis. Melinda McClendon, CEO of EFEA, described some of the activities that the organization facilitates. “We experience real-world events and activities through hands-on teaching from volunteer experts,” McClendon said. “We plan fun and engaging field trips and athletic activities and we even volunteer our services around the Auburn area to assist other non-profits in meeting their goals.” McClendon expressed how their faith has also been important to the group. “Our faith is paramount in our lifelong responsibility to further His kingdom to and for all people,” McClendon said. “However, we do not require our participants and their families to be affiliated with any faith or faith-based
church [or] entity.” EFEA works closely with Auburn University to engage practicum students —those who receive school credit for observing and learning in a professional setting relevant to their course studies — as well as students in the School of Kinesiology. “We have tons of students that have volunteered and even been paid staff in the three years since our inception,” McClendon said. “I just moved back here last year ... and it’s been incredible getting back to Auburn.” The organization holds many events throughout the year, and recently just finished a fundraising event called Tigers, Toddies and Tailgating this past October. “[Tigers, Toddies and Tailgating] allowed us to make up much of the tremendous deficit we suffered as a result of closures and limited tuition/funding during COVID-19,” McClendon said. Two of the organization’s main events for the year were canceled because of the pandemic, resulting in a devastating loss of funding. “The lion’s share of our funding is from grants and donations, both of which were virtually eliminated beginning with the peak of our closure in early March 2020,” McClendon said. Despite these setbacks, EFEA remained devoted to maintaining their program for participants who needed them more than ever during the hard times. “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the realization that our months of loneliness, despair and the inability to travel outside our home is what this beautiful population tragically experiences on a daily, monthly [and] yearly basis,” McClendon said.
CONTRIBUTED BY THE EXCEPTIONAL FOUNDATION OF EAST ALABAMA
At Meg’s Market, crafts made by the program’s participants will be sold to benefit the organization.
CONTRIBUTED BY THE EXCEPTIONAL FOUNDATION OF EAST ALABAMA
The Exceptional Foundation of East Alabama provides weekly programs to adults with disabilities.
Due to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, EFEA began utilizing zoom and was able to continue serving those most in need, McClendon said. “In order to keep our participants active and mentally engaged while our facility was closed, we successfully hosted daily Zoom activities and programs for two months while [participants] were forced to remain at home,” she said. Eventually, the organization was able to reopen their facility under the advice of Dr. Fred Kam and Larry Thorne. “We prepared our facility to safely open in early June to a modified schedule and student roster and have remained COVID-free since opening our doors,” McClendon said. The reopening comes just in time for the second annual Meg’s Market on Nov. 20. “Meg’s Market will allow us to retail our beautiful handmade crafts with all proceeds going directly to our operations budget and scholarship program,” McClendon said. All participants of EFEA are on scholarship, making events such as Meg’s Market extremely important to the inner workings of the foundation. The event was created and named in memory of Meg Rainey, who was a prominent advocate of the special-needs community until her death in October 2018. A close friend of Meg, Dana Stewart, and the executive director of programming for
EFEA, created Meg’s Market to honor her friend’s memory. “We honor her memory with a pre-Christmas event that highlights and features the unique talents of our participants,” McClendon said. “Throughout the year, we create amazing arts and craft items that we sell during this special event in late November.” In accordance with this event, EFEA’s new tagline encourages people to exceed their own understanding of giving back this season. “Our new tagline, ‘Be Exceptional,’ is a goal, our call to action to encourage typical people to become more familiar, thus compassionate, with the most underserved population in the world — adults with special needs,” McClendon said. McClendon invites all who are able to attend. “This not only justifies our passion and plea, but encourages the community as a whole to come alongside us, be open-minded to the idea of stepping outside your comfort zone ... and be different, be accepting and be exceptional.” The event is open to the public and will follow COVID-19 public requirements of face masks and social distancing. Meg’s Market will be held Friday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1171 Gatewood Drive. It is located on the backside of Health Plus, adjacent to AMC Theaters on University Drive.
Council unanimously denies ‘no parking’ zone on Sanders Street By CHARLIE RAMO Section Editor
During Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, the Council unanimously voted against establishing “no parking” zones along both sides of Sanders Street. The Council was initially presented with the proposal at the previous meeting, where Anders denied unanimous consent. Ward 2 Council member Kelley Griswold asked how the paths along Sanders St. were classified, as multiuse paths and bike paths have different restrictions as to parking. City Engineer Alison Frazier stated that they are multiuse lanes, which have different restrictions than either of them. Parking is allowed in multiuse lanes. Griswold asked if the lane could be re-designated as a bike path, which does not allow parking. Frazier did not know if a bike path would fit into the City’s bike plan. Griswold also said he spoke with ten of his constituents over the Nextdoor app, and they did not realize that the parking ban was only for one block of the street. Griswold also heard concerns over students who park along the street for the nearby Tiger Transit stop. Ward 4 Council member Brett Smith asked if the City has received a consensus from the seven parcels affected by
the proposed parking restriction. Anders said he knows of three property owners against the proposal. Griswold said he was told of the issue by constituents, and in turn reported it to the City. He did not have input in the proposed solution. The Council decided to unanimously deny the proposal, allowing the residents to attempt to manage parking before the City imposes restrictions. The Council can pursue a similar restriction at a future Council meeting if it is proposed. During his announcements, Anders said that he is continuing with his annual tradition of placing a $100 bet on the Alabama-Auburn football game with Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. Griswold thanked Cary Woods Elementary School for their drive-thru Veteran’s Day ceremony. The Council unanimously approved the Westview Greenway project. The project consists of a path connecting Foster Street with the soccer complex and will reach the Lee County Humane Society, said Frazier. The project will eventually continue through the Westview property. The trail is slightly over half of a mile, said City Manager Jim Buston. During Citizens’ Communications, three representatives of a proposed annexation
spoke to the Council about their proposal for a subdivision with three-acre lots north of 1100 Ensminger Road. The Planning Commission unanimously recommended denial of the annexation due to the City’s optimal boundaries. Ward 3 Council member Beth Witten said the boundary restrictions have historically been strictly followed. She believes the property should not be annexed until the City’s optimal boundary is reviewed and possibly extended to include the land in question. Griswold said he was contacted by residents near to the proposed annexation, and they were not in support of the project. The constituents believe their public safety is not well-covered by Auburn Police Division, Lee County Sheriff or Chambers County Sheriff, he said. Buston said that the subdivision can still be built outside City limits if the Council did not approve the project. The Council unanimously denied annexing the land for the subdivision. The Council also unanimously approved putting a lien on a property in order to destroy a dilapidated structure. The lien is roughly $5,000, Buston said. The landowners will have to repay the lien in order to develop or sell the property.
CONTRIBUTED BY THE CITY OF AUBURN
The proposed “no parking” zones would cover both sides of the street near Drake Avenue.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
JUSTIN FORD | USA TODAY SPORTS
Auburn Tigers running back Tank Bigsby (4) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the second half against the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
‘His effort is unmatched’
Next in line of standout Auburn running backs: Tank Bigsby By LOGAN GLOVER Writer
Talented running backs are nothing new when looking at the history of Auburn football. The Tigers have had running backs such as Bo Jackson, Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown suit up and succeed in the orange and blue. From 2009-’17, Auburn and its running backs had a nine-season streak where a Tiger crossed the 1,000-yard mark carrying on the tradition and success that Auburn has had at the running back position. Auburn freshman running back Tank Bigsby has a long way to go before he can even be mentioned in the same category as some of the program’s elite running backs, but the freshman they call Tank is rolling in the right direction. Bigsby has 503 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns on 89 carries through the first six games. The true freshman’s five touchdowns have him tied for fifth on Auburn’s all-time freshman rushing touchdown leaderboard and only trailing the school record by four touchdowns.
The freshman does not just have a knack for finding the endzone, but also leads the Tigers in rushing yards and attempts this season. While Bigsby has burst on the scene for Auburn this year as the statistical leader in the running back room, his success does not come as a shock to his high school head coach Pete Wiggins. “Tank has always been a special ball player,” Wiggins said. “His effort is unmatched on the field, at practice and in the classroom. He always wanted to be the best at whatever he put his mind to.” Even before high school, Bigsby’s effort is always noticeable. A partial reason for his nickname, Tank. “The name comes from his aunt and his father; they just said he was like a tank,”said Tank’s mother, Shaquanna Bigsby. “He would just run care-free, running over stuff, run over everything.” During his time at Callaway High School, Bigsby flashed his potential by rushing for 1,636 yards and 27 touchdowns in his senior year at Callaway. In his junior season, Bigsby rushed for 2,221 yards.
Outside of just raking up yardage, Bigsby received numerous honors and awards throughout high school. He was named the Class AA Offensive Player of the Year as a junior and participated in the Under Armour All-American game as a senior. “Tank has always been a competitor,” Wiggins said. “He has always wanted to succeed, push those around him and he has always expected a lot out of himself. He runs so hard every time he touches the ball from snap to whistle.” Now at Auburn, the same drive and high expectations that Bigsby has for himself have helped him succeed once again. The true freshman’s first 100-yard outing came against Arkansas, and his streak of rushing for 100-yards continued for the next two games. Not only did he run for 100 yards in three straight games, but he did it exclusively against SEC competition. Bigsby is one of three Auburn running backs to rush for 100 yards in three consecutive games against SEC opponents in a single season. He joins Bo Jackson and Michael Dyer in this group. The running back has drawn comparison
as the season has progressed, but the most common one is to his current running backs coach Cadillac Williams. “People who talk to me compare him to Bo Jackson and Cadillac Williams,” Wiggins said. “I think he can be like them; he has all the physical tools. He is big, fast, smart and has the will to achieve extremely high goals.” Following Auburn’s win against Arkansas and Bigsby’s first 100-yard game, Bigsby was asked about the comparisons between himself and Williams. While the freshman appreciated it, he wants to be even better than his running backs coach. “Coach Cadillac, that’s my man right there,” Bigsby said postgame. “Everything I do, he’s in my ear making sure I do everything right on the field and off the field. Seeing the comparison, though, I don’t really see myself like that. I don’t watch myself unless it’s film. But Coach Lac, I’ve seen Coach Lac play before, but of course, I try to beat all Coach Lac’s records.” Bigsby’s time at Auburn is just beginning, and through the first six games he has impressed fans with his talent.
Tigers fall in quarterfinals By JAKE GONZALEZ Writer
ALLISSA STANLEY | PHOTOGRAPHER
Auburn player Unique Thompson (20) at the Auburn v. Florida in Auburn, Ala.
Thompson named preseason First-Team All-SEC By JAKE GONZALEZ Writer
The list of preseason accolades for Auburn’s Unique Thompson is continuing to grow as Thompson was named to the preseason All-SEC First-Team on Tuesday. This honor comes after Thompson was named to the Katrina McClain Award watch list last week. Thompson was an All-SEC selection and an honorable mention for the AP All-American team a year ago. For the second straight season, Thompson was one of 20 players named to the Katrina McClain Award watch list. The Katrina McClain Award is given to the top power forward in Division 1 women’s basketball and is named after the former Georgia standout. The award is given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. “It is great to have Unique Thompson back,” said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. “We’re blessed to actually have a real back-to-the basket post player.” In 29 games last season, Thompson recorded 22 double-doubles and was one shy of the national record for double-doubles. The past two seasons have seen the senior averaging a double-double, making her the first player to do that in program history. “She has great touch around the rim,” said Auburn guard Honesty Scott-Grayson about Thompson. “She’s a great defensive player, offensive player. There’s not much I can say that’s bad about her.” The senior will look to build on last season’s success and the preseason expectations when the Tigers open against USC Upstate in Auburn Arena on Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. CST.
Auburn’s fall season ended on Tuesday with a 4-3 loss to No. 1 seed Arkansas in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals in Orange Beach, Alabama. Much like the regular-season meeting between the two, Arkansas got ahead early, and Auburn worked its way back in the second half but fell short of a comeback. Auburn’s defense, which had been solid for most of the season, finally cracked, conceding the most goals they’ve allowed all year in the loss. “We dug a big hole in the first half, not taking care of business on set pieces, but I’m really proud of the second half,” said head coach Karen Hoppa. The defense gave up four goals within the first 22 minutes of the first half. After the early Arkansas attack, the Ti-
gers regrouped and held the Razorbacks scoreless for the remainder of the game. Arkansas played with constant pressure to win the ball high up the pitch and create set pieces. Auburn in the second half switched to a press and was rewarded with set pieces themselves. Four of the six combined goals came off corner kicks. The Auburn attack came out ready to start the second half. The high pressure was rewarded with two goals off corners within 10 minutes of the second half. Like Auburn in the first half, Arkansas could not clear the ball from the defensive third. “I think we take away that our young group can play with anyone in the country,” Hoppa said. “Arkansas is one of the top teams in the country, and that 45 minutes we dominated. We won the second half 3-0, and we
need to learn from that and be able to put together a 90-minute performance like that second half.” Auburn’s three second-half goals are the most scored by Auburn in a game this season and tie the program record for most goals scored in an SEC Tournament half. Freshman Anna Haddock scored a free-kick goal in the 87th minute to put the Tigers within one. That was the first goal of Haddock’s Auburn career. Haddock also assisted on the first two goals to put Auburn within reach of the comeback, but it was too little too late. “With our young group I think it’s something to build on, and we’re excited for the future with this team,” Hoppa said. The Tigers’ fall season ends with the loss, but Auburn will return to the Plains and await more information on what the spring season will look like.
CONTRIBUTED BY AUBURN ATHLETICS
Auburn soccer celebrates a goal against Arkansas in the SEC tournament.
The Auburn Plainsman
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
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lifestyle THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
‘80s nostalgia no surprise to historians By SOPHIE GOODWIN Writer
Recently ‘80s movies such as “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Ghostbusters,” “Top Gun” and “Back to the Future” have become increasingly popular once again. According to Melissa Blair, associate professor of history, this is not a coincidence — widespread nostalgia can be seen in cycles throughout the history of pop culture. “Popular culture tends to cycle through with this nostalgia as the people who grew up in the generation become adults,” Blair said. Blair said many ‘80s toys have started reappearing on supermarket shelves as well, proving the nostalgia wave reaches many aspects of popular culture. “There’s always the contemporary and the nostalgia coexisting in pop culture,” Blair said. “There are shows like Stranger Things and The Goldbergs, but that’s not the only thing people are watching.” As for the reasoning behind the younger generation’s infatuation with the culture of the 1980s, she said that “it’s close enough to be recognizable but still different at the same time.” Blair said she wondered if the difference in communication and technology that can be seen in the ‘80s, where the phones were attached to the wall and the computers were reserved for working purposes, is appealing to a generation of young people who have grown up with cell phones and the internet. She observed that there seems to be a mix of ‘80s and ‘90s nostalgia happening at the same time in 2020, with 1980s-focused film and TV and 1990s
fashion trends. Alan Meyer, associate professor in history, grew up in the 1980s when America was experiencing another larger popular culture nostalgia wave for the 1950s. Meyer said that “Back to the Future” shows the ‘50s nostalgia of the 1980s, and its current popularity shows the true cyclical nature of cultural nostalgia. He compared the cycle that can be seen in popular culture nostalgia waves to that of an antique’s value. “It’s not until it’s gone from ‘new, hip and happening’ to well-used to totally out of date, unstylish, ‘No thanks Grandma, I don’t want your 1960s coffee table,’ that it starts becoming antique,” Meyer said. Meyer said an antique’s value rises in relation to how long ago the product was produced, how long ago it was popular and how rare it was for people to get rid of the product once it hit it’s “junk” phase of value. Popular culture follows nearly the same path, which can be seen when most people decide to throw out their clothes from the 2000s instead of seeing them as possibly trendy, he said. Meyer also said there are two levels of consumption that the ‘80s nostalgia in popular culture appeals to, just as Blair mentioned, with the two levels being the generation that lived through the time and the current young generation. “Generally speaking, people who lived the ‘80s and remember it so fondly are going to tend to have been children or teenagers or college students during that time, when at the time you had plenty of stuff to worry about but in retrospect it seems like those were some good times,” Meyer said.
ABIGAIL MURPHY | SECTION EDITOR
A collection of ‘80s remakes, ‘80s movies and movies set in the 1980s.
This reminiscing can often lead to an altered memory of the past, which can cause the media from that era to be romanticized to some degree today, he said. Meyer called it “a nostalgia that doesn’t fully match up with the historical facts.” People today often downplay what was then a very real threat of nuclear war with the Soviet Union when reminiscing about the ‘80s, he said. “People tend to be very selective in their memories, so people remember the 1980s as a much more stable time in American society than it necessarily was,” Meyer said.
Meyer said he remembers coming across this romanticized history another time when listening to ‘60s and ‘70s country music that was talking about The Great Depression. “‘Well we didn’t have much, but we had love,’” he said, remembering the theme from the country music. “People who are saying that were kids during The Great Depression, and what you don’t find are people who were grown-ups during The Great Depression looking back on it 20 years later and saying, ‘Yeah, I didn’t have a job and I was worried about losing my house to the bank, but we had love.’”
When remote work doesn’t work well By LYDIA MCMULLEN Writer
MAGGIE EDWARDS | PHOTOGRAPHER
Hayden Lee at the Holiday Art Sale on Nov. 14, 2020.
Pharmacy student founds embroidery business By ABIGAIL WOODS Writer
Hayden Lee, a student in her final year at Auburn’s Harrison School of Pharmacy, has created a small embroidery business for herself called Hoops and Needles. Originally from Dothan, Alabama, Lee attended Troy University before coming to pharmacy school at Auburn. Lee said she chose pharmacy as a profession because “it allows me to combine my love of science and creativity.” She explained how, oftentimes, people are surprised to hear that pharmacy is a creative field all on its own, although not in the typical sense. “Pharmacists are creative problem solvers,” Lee said. Pharmacy is a career that allows her to exercise creativity on a regular basis. Her love for embroidery started during her senior year at Troy. She used it as a form of stress relief — in other words, her own form of meditation.
“After a particularly long day, I picked up a kit from Walmart, watched a couple of YouTube videos and became instantly hooked,” Lee said. “I started modifying patterns I bought online and then progressed into creating my own designs.” In the beginning stages of her small business, Lee said she made an Instagram account to showcase her work. As people saw what she had created, they started asking her to make designs for them. Lee started an Etsy shop the day after she graduated from Troy. Lee stitches everything by hand, which ultimately allows much more creative freedom than using a sewing machine would. “I enjoy looking back on the improvements I have made since I first created Hoops and Needles, and I find the challenges of custom orders to be my favorite,” she said. Lee’s embroidery work can be found at The Maker and Merchant in the Auburn Mall and on her Etsy shop. Carolyne Baker, a fourth-year
pharmacy student at Auburn and a close friend of Hayden, is a customer of Hoops and Needles. Baker and Lee met in August 2017 during their first year of pharmacy school and have been friends ever since. “Hayden’s attention to detail and unique designs drew me to purchase items,” Barker said. “She truly puts her heart and soul into her designs.” Baker said Lee is in the process of making items for her wedding in January. “Hayden is currently working on embroidering handkerchiefs for my wedding with the handwriting of both my grandmother and my fiance’s grandmother to give to the mother of the bride and mother of the groom,” Baker said. From handkerchiefs to small designs on pillows, she said Lee’s passion for creativity is evident. Hayden looks forward to hosting embroidery workshops possibly sometime in the spring of 2021. She can also be found on Instagram.
With the introduction of health and safety risks, Wi-Fi failures and lack of face-to-face interaction, the difficulty to complete collaborative assignments has increased. Melanie Layne, senior in social work, said group work has been much more difficult because you have to communicate via text messaging or set Zoom meetings. Layne’s social work major is a small group of people, and she typically has classes with the same 10 students. Before COVID-19, group projects were made difficult due to personality differences, different levels of work ethic and scheduling conflicts. Those problems have increased since the pandemic. For Layne, the majority of her group assignments have been collaborative papers reminiscent of the type of paperwork social workers do. “In the real world as a social worker, you fill out paperwork, but not as a team,” Layne said. “That part has been weird.” However, as the structure of the working world continues to adapt, Layne said learning how to communicate and work with others remotely will be helpful for her in the future. Torr Coulthard, sophomore in aviation management, said the members in his group project for class communicated through GroupMe. This mode of communication made it more difficult to establish working relationships with group members. “I had a problem getting in contact with somebody in my group, and I never knew who they were throughout the entire project,” Coulthard said. “I couldn’t go to them in class and ask them questions
directly.” Coulthard also experienced complications presenting in class. “We had to present over Zoom, and that was difficult because it’s a different style when you’re presenting online,” Coulthard said. Although Coulthard experienced some difficulty in group work, he learned helpful online communication skills. Coulthard said using online platforms such as Zoom to hold meetings and communicate ideas has become normalized. Remote communication will be useful in the future for working people, he said. “We can communicate online, and it’s a lot more comfortable than it was before,” Coulthard said. Abby Chapin, junior in her second semester of nursing school, said her group work this semester was “doable” because online communication through Zoom has become more common. It was easy for her and her project partners to hold meetings and discuss ideas, she said. Chapin worked on two group papers with other nursing school students. “Zoom made it very possible to figure our stuff out rather than having to text and discuss through messages,” Chapin said. “I feel like it was almost helpful to just do it from home.” Although her group had productive planning meetings, Chapin found it difficult to complete the actual writing for the papers because it is easier for her to work with people in person. “If you see a person in class you can tell them your thoughts, but because we are on Zoom there is no face-to-face interaction,” Chapin said. “It was hard to get to know people, communicate and work well together.”
MEGAN TURBYFILL | PHOTOGRAPHER
Auburn student in front of the computer overwhelmed by schoolwork on Nov. 16, 2020.
The Auburn Plainsman
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
GITUP by Chloe McMahon
Two steps, cowboy Sweetheart– Spin out Me, I got into it You, throw (me) down Me, leaned back, hips in it
By JACK WEST Editor-in-chief
Like every other issue, this year’s publication of The Circle, Auburn’s student literary and art magazine, is an indicator that the semester is nearing its conclusion. It is — among other things — a herald of exams on the horizon and of the bonfires soon to be lit with the crumpled-up notes from the core chemistry class you had to take. Individual creators and the staff at the magazine work for months to create, select, edit and polish the pages of content before they go to print. The result is that every semester, The Circle is full of vibrant artwork, thought-provoking writing and astounding designs.
That’s not so bad, now That’s not so bad
Fly me onto Zoom by Charlie Ramo
Fly me onto Zoom, Let me keep my camera off. Let me stay away from y’all So I don’t catch a cough. In other words, I’m at home. In other words, don’t infect me. Fill me with your antibodies, Keep me safe and well. I promise to eat my meals And I probably don’t smell. In other words, don’t check my grades. In other words, I am ruined.
Breakup :( by Trice Brown
However, not all of the content submitted to The Circle is selected. Every semester, plenty of love poems, photographs, short stories and hate poems litter the metaphorical cutting room floor. Since this semester — and most of this year — has somehow been more stressful than an Auburn sporting event and more mind-numbing than that stupid core chemistry class, we at The Plainsman decided to stoop down and pick up some of the stuff that our more artistically inclined neighbors decided to cut. And, in honor of The Circle’s publication this week, we have collected those cuttings and haphazardly glued them together here in what we are calling The Square.
You left You left
Stranded outside in The cookout parking lot.
Heartburn by Abigail Murphy
When our eyes meet You see me. When I told you I miss you, You said, ma’am This is a Taco Bell ~I left without a burrito
Expanse by Jack West
Y’all ever just notice how the sky that big, blue, nothing is just like up there? I mean why hasn’t it come down or like fallen? Doesn’t it get tired? I sure do. UNTITLED.PNG | TRICE BROWN
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Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
ACROSS 1 1978 Peace co-Nobelist 6 Officiates 10 Painter of limp watches 14 Spanish Olympian’s goal 15 Other, in Oaxaca 16 Turkey neighbor 17 *Mind reader’s obstacle, some believe 19 Expansive 20 Caddie’s bagful 21 Cruel 22 Trigger, for one 23 St. whose name is part of its capital’s name 24 *20th-century political symbol 26 Tattoo tool 28 Took a time out 29 They’re shifted often in cities 30 Vicinity 33 *Metaphor for a failure 38 Ages and ages 39 Italian fashion house 42 Port ENE of Cleveland, OH 47 Closed in on 48 *Symbol of inherited wealth 52 Coke alternatives 53 Jazz drummer Cozy and a king 54 Reasons 55 FDR’s dog 56 Business envelope abbr. 57 Rock genre ... and a hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues 59 Full of pizzazz 60 Alleviate 61 Dino’s love 62 Slow Churned ice cream brand 63 Seals, to sharks 64 Elements in playground banter
DOWN 1 Backdrop 2 Property recipient, in law 3 Fait accompli 4 Kennel sounds 5 Also 6 Loggers’ contest 7 Actor Hawke 8 Swiss capital 9 Lush 10 “Replace all __”: golf course reminder 11 Mount in Genesis 12 Heroic TV dog 13 Have in mind 18 ’50s Hungarian premier Nagy 22 Longtime Eur. realm 24 To whom Rick said, “We’ll always have Paris” 25 Caspian Sea feeder 27 Hip-hop Dr. 30 Blood-typing letters 31 Hightailed it 32 Over-the-street transports
34 Cherished 35 Inviting store window sign 36 U.K. singer Rita 37 Ishmael, in “Moby Dick” 40 Announce 41 Much of Google’s income 42 Break out 43 Ran amok 44 “Do your best” response
45 Decathlon’s 10 46 Latin foot 47 Like an eavesdropper, say 49 Talk a blue streak? 50 New moon, e.g. 51 Yiddish “Yikes!” 55 Disaster relief org. 57 Cool, once 58 Bonkers
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE:
By Kurt Krauss ©2020 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
The Auburn Plainsman
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