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A SPIRIT THAT IS NOT AFRAID • NEWS SINCE 1893
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019
VOL. 127 • ISSUE 13 • FIRST COPY FREE THEN 50¢
The pros and cons of tenure By COLLINS KIETH Campus Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Job security is important no matter where one works, and for those working in higher education, that job security manifests itself as tenure. When a professor is granted tenure, they are granted certain administrative rights that give them the ability to pursue any form of academic research without repercussion. While tenure may sound like a job for life, that definition is not quite correct. A professor with tenure can still be asked to leave, but the circumstances surrounding a removal must be egregious — and that egregious behavior or act must be easily provable. This does not mean that a professor can be asked to leave for researching a topic that is unpopular; in fact, tenure is meant to protect and allow professors to research these unpopular and difficult topics. “For instance, studying voting rights for felons is not necessarily something that a lot of people feel comfortable about,” said Cynthia Bowling, associate dean for research and faculty development in the College of Liberal Arts. “Without academic freedom, people would be a lot more reluctant to talk about really important issues.” This is especially important for those researching topics in departments that have closer ties to the public and politics, as the topics they are researching can often paint a particular group in a negative light or fall on one side of the political spectrum. When this happens, Bowling said it is critical that researchers have a form of protection from retaliation. “Faculty members could not do their jobs without [tenure], in terms of having the academic freedom to explore topics that are politically sensitive, or are cutting edge and brand new,” Bowling said. “It is a protection that the academy needs.” In order to be tenured, one must first be hired to a university in a tenure-track position, also known as assistant professor. For the next five to six years, an assistant professor builds up their repertoire by participating in research, succeeding in the classroom and serving the community. At the beginning of their sixth year, an assistant professor will then apply for promotion to associate professor, with tenure typically being awarded along with promotion. The requirements for tenure and promotion are basically the same, with promotion also requiring an applicant to be well-mannered. The process of promotion is by no means easy. It begins when » See TENURE, 2
HANNAH LETSTER / OPELIKA - AUBURN NEWS
Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, is the man accused of kidnapping Aniah Blanchard, 19, who went missing almost a month ago.
Blanchard suspect faces hearing Ibraheem Yazeed was denied bond at his preliminary hearing; he must submit DNA sample as his case heads to a grand jury
By EDUARDO MEDINA Editor-in-chief email@example.com
A preliminary hearing was held Wednesday for Ibraheem Yazeed, the man accused of kidnapping Aniah Blanchard, 19, who went missing almost a month ago. Judge Russell Bush ordered the case to go to a grand jury. Bush found probable cause in the case involving Yazeed, 30, who is charged with first-degree kidnapping. The judge also approved a motion for DNA collection and denied bond reconsideration. A prosecutor at the hearing also said that a DNA profile was found in Blanchard’s car. Blanchard, a Southern Union Community College student from Homewood, was last seen on Oct. 23. Her vehicle was recovered a few days later at a Montgomery apartment complex. Yazeed was arrested on Nov. 7, in Pensacola, Florida. The first and only witness called to testify at the preliminary hearing was detective Josh Mixon. Mixon said Yazeed was developed as a suspect after reviewing surveillance footage from a Chevron located on South College Street. The footage showed Yazeed and Blanchard in the same Chevron; after Yazeed made a purchase, he looked back as he waited for his change from the cashier and then looked at Blanchard, according to
HANNAH LETSTER / OPELIKA - AUBURN NEWS
Judge Russell Bush ordered Ibraheem Yazeed’s case to go to a grand jury.
Mixon. Mixon then said that Yazeed surveyed the parking lot and walked out toward Blanchard’s car. According to Mixon, there is another witness who police questioned and learned revealing details from. That witness, who police have not identified, allegedly told officials that he saw Yazeed force Blanchard into a vehicle against her will and drive off. Yazeed’s charges state that a life-threatening amount of blood was found in the passenger side of Blanchard’s vehicle.
SPORTS Bruce Pearl inks three elite prospects during early signing period Get to know three key players for the future of Auburn basketball. Page 5
Yazeed’s court-appointed attorney, Elijah Beaver, objected to the witness on the stand using another witness anonymously and in a hearsay manner. “We got to know what happened,” Beaver said. “It can’t be hearsay.” Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes asked the judge that the witness not be identified because it’s an ongoing investigation. Beaver said Yazeed had been charged for previous felonies that did not result in indictments, adding that it was important for the defense to know the identity of the
witness. Hughes said the witness’s identity will be known in later trial hearings. Bush decided not to require the state to name the witness for the purposes of the preliminary hearing. Bush also allowed Hughes to continue asking Mixon about the man. The witness said that the man minimally knew Yazeed because Yazeed frequented the Chevron in Auburn; employees at the Chevron also said Yazeed was frequently at the store, according to Mixon. Mixon said the man told his partner what he had seen and that his partner told him to “stay out of it.” The witness’s partner had suffered a miscarriage earlier this year, and when he eventually told officials what happened, he felt remorse, according to Mixon. Beaver questioned the witness’s criminal history, and Mixon said he only saw a few misdemeanors in his record but did not specify what those were. Mixon went on to explain that officials attempted to interview every person in the Chevron surveillance footage. When Yazeed entered the courtroom, dressed in all-white garments, he scanned his surroundings. He was seen whispering to Beaver throughout the hearing. » See YAZEED, 2
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019
AU football mourns son of revered chaplain
By NATHAN KING Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
The Auburn football program is mourning the loss of team chaplain Chette Williams’ son, Chette Williams Jr., who was killed over the weekend outside Atlanta. “The first thing I wanted to say is we’re hurting for Brother Chette (Williams), our FCA chaplain,” MalzahnTuesday. “He lost his son over the weekend. Brother Chette has been around here a long time, I think over 20 years. He’s touched so many of our players’ hearts over the years.’’ “I know he’s a personal friend to all of our coaches and a personal friend for me. He goes on a mission trip with me and Kristi every summer with our players. We’re just hurt for him. Auburn family — we’re going to love him and help him through this tough time.” DeKalb County police identified Williams Jr. on Monday as the man killed after an alleged attempted robbery at a gas station. According to a report from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the shootout occurred Saturday night at a QuikTrip gas station in Decatur, Georgia. A 32-year-old man told police he was pumping gas when he was approached by another man, identified as Williams Jr. The victim told police that Williams Jr. revealed a handgun and said, “You know what time it is.” The victim told police he took cover, and Williams Jr. fired first before he pulled out his own handgun and shot back. The police report said Williams Jr. then sped away in his car before crashing into a parked car. Williams Jr. was removed from the car by emergency response personnel and taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution story. DeKalb police spokeswoman Michaela Vincent said in a police report that no warrants are being sought out at this time, and all parties involved have been identified. The Rev. Williams Sr. played linebacker at Auburn from 1982-84. He also serves as the University’s director for its Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter and the state of Alabama’s Director for Urban Ministries for FCA. Williams Sr. is not an Auburn employee, and his involvement with the program is voluntary. He was named the chaplain in 1999 while Tommy Tuberville coached the Tigers. Williams Sr. is involved with leading the team’s pre- and post-game prayers on the field. “We all know who is going to get us started and who is going to finish it for us,” former Auburn linebacker Deshaun Davis said about Williams Sr. in an interview with The Athletic last season. “Before the game, we’re always going to pray. After the game, we’re always going to pray — win, lose or draw. We could go to seven overtimes. It doesn’t matter.”
TENURE » From 1
an assistant professor provides a dossier to the tenured faculty of their department, who then vote on it. A dossier is essentially a summary of one’s major teaching accomplishments and awards gained in this five to six year period, along with letters of recommendation, which are used to validate one’s standing in the academic community. This dossier is where the path to tenure differs among departments and colleges. What is looked for by the departments, in terms of scholarly works on the dossier, is dependant on the particular department itself. “In engineering, typically, journal publications is the measure … whereas in computer science, they have certain conferences that if you can get a paper there, that’s a big deal,” said Jeffery Fergus, associate dean for assessment and graduate studies in the College of Engineering. “In some disciplines, like history, it’s all about books. They don’t do as many
MARIE LIPSKI / PHOTO EDITOR
BRACELETS FOR ANIAH: In support of missing teenager Aniah Blanchard, Auburn football players wore blue bracelets that said “#FINDANIAH” during Auburn football vs. Georgia on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019 in Auburn, Ala.
Basketball assistant involved in automobile accident By MATTISON ALLEN Sports Writer email@example.com
Auburn basketball assistant coach Marquis Daniels was involved in an automobile accident Saturday night. The accident took place in Auburn, and Daniels was moved to Birmingham soon after to be treated, according to Auburn Athletics. On Monday night, Bruce Pearl said that the assistant coach’s surgery was successful. “I spoke with Marquis yesterday. His surgery was successful today, and I’m going up to visit him tomorrow,” Pearl said. “So he’s on
YAZEED » From 1
The family members of Blanchard attended the hearing but did not comment. Garrett Saucer, an assistant district attorney with the Lee County District Attorney’s Office, said a DNA sample of Yazeed was need-
journal articles as books.” A passing vote from the tenured faculty in one’s department means that they support the promotion and tenure of an assistant professor. The department chair will then write a letter in support or opposition of the assistant professor up for promotion. Then, the dossier goes to a college committee, with representatives from all the departments in that college, where the exact same process happens. The dean of the college then writes a letter, like the one from the department chair, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. After this, the candidate and their dossier go to the university committee, with representatives from all the colleges. Here, they review the faculty going up for tenure and promotion and make judgments on them. Fergus served on this committee for three years as the College of Engineering representative. “When I was on the University Committee, I would tend to look at the department more in general, because the depart-
the road to recovery.” On Wednesday, Daniels tweeted a photo of his wrecked vehicle. In the photo, the front end shows extensive damage. “Thank GOD I’m still still alive ... nothing but GOD grace and his mercy,” Daniels said in the tweet. Further details about the accident or the extent of his injuries have not been disclosed by Auburn University. Daniels was a two-time All-SEC selection at Auburn during his college career on the Plains. He graduated with a degree in sociology. Daniels played for Auburn from 19992003 and led the Tigers to a Sweet 16 berth.
ed because officials found DNA of a male profile in Blanchard’s car and need to conduct comparisons. Beaver countered by saying that the law allows the collection of DNA samples only at the time of arrest. Bush ordered that a DNA mouth swab sample be taken. The gag order imposed on the case by Bush now has a hearing date on Dec. 4, to consider arguments.
ment is closer to that discipline,” Fergus said. “As you’re moving through that process, you’re getting less and less familiarity with each person’s discipline.” There is agreement for the majority of the cases that the University Committee sees, which is around 80 per year, Fergus said. Discussion happens in the few cases that involve disagreement. In those, there is no one deciding factor that the University Committee uses to determine a vote — there is, however, a discussion of what is right or wrong, Fergus said. “Out of those 80, there might be 10 that really require discussion, and even of those, most of them are … pretty heavy one way,” Fergus said. “So there’s typically not very many where it’s really right on the border.” Once a vote is passed by the University Committee, the assistant professor is then granted tenure and subsequently promoted to associate professor. In the rare cases that a vote is not passed, a candidate can
Daniels played 111 games, averaging 13.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals in 28.7 minutes per game. He began his NBA career with the Dallas Mavericks was and traded to the Indiana Pacers after his first three years. Daniels also played for the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks. After his NBA retirement, Daniels decided he wanted to be a coach and went to Bruce Pearl for advice. Pearl ended up asking him to be his graduate assistant in the summer of 2018, which he accepted. He was then promoted to director of player development before the 2019 season.
In court, Beaver objected to the appearance of Blanchard’s mother Angela Harris and stepfather Walt Harris on Dr. Phil because the appearance could hurt Yazeed’s chances of a fair trial. He added that the parents could potentially taint every juror in Alabama. Hughes said that the family is trying to find their “little girl.” He said anyone they speak to is in their in-
reapply as long as they haven’t exceeded their seven-year track. Once the seven year period is surpassed and an assistant professor hasn’t achieved promotion and tenure, the assistant professor is asked to leave the university. The whole process from application to being accepted starts in the beginning of the fall semester and finishes in February and March. There can be instances, however, of a university having too many professors with tenure. Professors who are tenured are expected to perform research; doing so can take significant time away from teaching and lecturing students. Universities must thus be able to support the needs and demands of their student population, and they do this by hiring temporary lecturers and teachers to fill in the gaps that tenured professors create. Tenured professors are nowhere near as flexible, so universities sometimes seek a balance of both to be able to function effectively. These teachers and lecturers are called adjunct professors,
terest. There is $105,000 in reward money for information regarding Blanchard’s disappearance. Anyone with information about Blanchard’s disappearance or how the vehicle was damaged is asked to call police at 334-501-3140, the anonymous tip line at 334-2461391 or the 24-hour non-emergency number at 334-501-3100.
and they are hired part time, often without health benefits, and are unlikely to have tenure potential. This does not mean that lecturing or teaching positions are less important, however; these instructors are likely to form close bonds with their students and are able to allocate more of their time to their classes. Many adjunct professors possess the skills to become a tenured member of the faculty and perform research but decide not to for many reasons. For Dwight Gulley, adjunct professor in the department of political science, his love for teaching and for his students. “I’ve always been wanting to emphasize teaching and classroom stuff,” said Gulley. “It’s what I wanted to do when I got a Ph.D. in the first place, so I had to make a conscious choice which direction to go.” Gulley said he values the connection and relationship he has with students more than anything. They’ll be tried and tested, and it won’t be easy, but they will reap the benefits of the amount of time that he is able to put into his work, he said.
“I’m amazed and constantly touched by the relationships I’ve had with students … and I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Gulley said. One of the drawbacks of working as an adjunct professor, however, is the lack of job security; Gulley is working as many hours as a full-time employee of the University would be, but he only has a part-time status. In 2018, there were 1,422 part-time faculty members such as Gulley, according to the Office of Institutional Research at Auburn. This number is a sharp decrease from the 1,875 parttime members from the year prior. While there is a frustration with this lack of job security, it’s not a frustration with the University, but with the reality of the way jobs are structured in higher education. “I think there needs to be more wiggle room, in any college, for people who are more prioritizing of teaching,” Gulley said. “Teaching is not getting through a class, but getting them through and giving them something.”
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Inclusiveness is not your enemy By JEDIAEL FRASER Contributing Columnist
My experience at Auburn has not been a conventional one. My freshman year, I was still considered an international student, and my immigration status and racial identity are regularly on my mind because of the environment I have encountered here. I’ve been questioned inappropriately about my nationality from likely well-meaning folks who haven’t realized that they were further alienating me. I’ve had multiple classes that focus on the experiences and written works of a mainstream, white Eurocentric majority, while ignoring the relevant contributions of nonwhite and international scholars. From American football to largely homogeneous Greek life, I don’t identify with many of the traditions and norms of this southern, predominantly white community I currently call home. But still, I manage to find community and purpose here. In one of my student involvement roles, I am responsible for developing curricula for leadership programs on campus. Thus, much of my last summer was spent leafing through a stack of books and poring over websites written by educators more well-versed than I on matters of leadership development. As any holistic education should, these included works on social identities, inclusion and diversity, equity and justice. I was inspired to find how much scholarly literature exists that centers these principles as necessary tools to effective leadership and education. I did this work not just as another student involvement re-
Murray’s claims are ‘not true’ History Professor
I have followed The Plainsman’s coverage of recent public remarks regarding homosexual and transgender students; I read the faculty responses to Dr. Bruce Murray’s social media posts and Dr. Murray’s rebuttal. I have not seen, however, an answer to Dr. Murray’s argument. As a thinker, teacher and person of faith, I humbly offer one. Dr. Murray makes two claims: first, that sex is an “unbreachable biological barrier between males and females,” and therefore, any effort by people or societies to do something else is immoral. Second, he suggests that there are only two perspectives in this debate — the “religious” perspective, which believes that gender is immutable and intercourse should be limited to heterosexual marriage, and the “secular” position, which believes anything else. The first point falls squarely into what scholars call the “naturalistic fallacy.” Simply because something occurs naturally doesn’t make it good or bad. We are not born with an immunity to measles, but getting a vaccine is a good idea. No male child is born circumcised — but parents choose to alter their children’s physical form in this way for reasons of religion or health. Are we to condemn this as unnatural and “wrong”? As to the second point: Dr. Murray spends much of his letter blaming secularists for dismissing his religious views, but he never actually provides his specific religious reason for opposing transgender and homosexual lifestyles. Instead, he merely states that “religious language and practices affirm the male/female binary.” This is, he claims, “the religious understanding of sexual ethics.”
constructive for everyone, eschewing those ideologies that reinforce uncomfortable, harmful environments for the marginalized. For most of my life, I have identified as a Christian, and as I grow, I continue to critically challenge that aspect of myself. How do the institutions I might attend and uphold support — or disenfranchise — marginalized communities? How does my membership in this dominant identity in the South affect the experiences of those in the minority? How does my truth coexist with the lived experiences of those around me? Am I continuing to show love for all people, or am I making judgments and criticisms from a place of selfclaimed righteousness? As my religious identity continues to evolve, these questions remain pertinent. Simply put, there is nothing about being religious, or even conservative, which demands that one be in opposition to inclusion. Similarly, there is nothing about inclusion which calls for the punishment or restriction of people with religious or conservative views. Inclusive language has value for all, as it helps us to communicate while acknowledging the
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Student Affairs addresses LGBTQ community By Bobby Woodard
humanity in one another. It creates safety, which is especially crucial for those beloved members of our community familiar with discrimination simply for being who they are. If holding a view means that you must denounce the humanity of others for factors of their natural identity, perhaps you should begin to question that view. This is especially true for educators, who should lead classrooms where all are given the tools they need to succeed so students do not feel threatened or criticized for living as their authentic selves. Relatively speaking, Auburn is just beginning its crucial discussions on matters of inclusion and diversity. As an educational institution that benefits from the diversity of the South, rich with connections to the larger national and international communities, Auburn has the potential to be a beacon of advocacy for social justice. I would like to see an Auburn which not only claims diversity, but also embraces inclusion, justice and equity. I would like to see an Auburn which hires and values educators who do the same. I would like to see an Auburn that is bold and confident in meeting their written support of all students with words and action. To move forward together, we need to understand that a call for inclusion is not a desire to punish any school of thought nor to impose uniformity of thought, but a request for us to critically engage with our beliefs and language out of respect for each other’s humanity. Jediael Fraser is a junior in Software Engineering , the Executive Vice President of Curriculum for Emerge and a Cabinet Member of the Black Student Union.
Senior Vice President for Student Affairs
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
By ADAM JORTNER
sume buffer, but because such topics are of deep importance to me. In fact, the entire reason I have been able to find community and purpose on this campus is because I embrace diversity and inclusion, and because I have managed to find myself among others who do the same. My heart breaks for anyone on this campus who is not afforded those same comforts of community. I empathize with others who know the discomfort of constantly walking into rooms and feeling alone, judged or marginalized solely because of who they are. I choose to educate myself and my peers and to advocate because their experiences matter. So, when anti-LGBTQ rhetoric gains traction on this campus, which already lacks sufficient support for LGBTQ students, I — and many strong members and allies of the community — don’t take it lightly. As encouraging as it is to see others standing up against harmful language and ideology, it is also still disheartening to know that their request for inclusion is taken by some as stifling to diversity of thought. Inclusiveness only asks that we foster ideas that are
Student Affairs is committed to the care and service of Auburn’s student body. We believe in an inclusive community that supports our Auburn LGBTQ+ family members. If you or another student need support resources on campus, please contact Student Affairs at 334-844-1304 or studentaffairs.auburn.edu.
That’s not true. It may well be his religious practice, but it is not the religious practice. Dr. Murray conveniently ignores the thousands of members of the Auburn community who believe passionately in the resurrection and gospel of Jesus Christ and who also either accept or do not condemn homosexual and transgender people. Some Christians have told me they oppose homosexuality because they believe in a literal interpretation of Leviticus 18:22 or a handful of other specific verses. Other Christians say instead that Christ’s love outweighs all Old Testament teachings, or that they literally believe Galatians 3:28 — “there is no longer male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Not all Christians read the Bible the same way. Despite what Dr. Murray claims, not even all Evangelicals read the Bible the same way. In claiming that there is only one “religious” point of view, Dr. Murray is not only telling students and faculty what to do with their bodies, but also how to read their Bible. That I cannot abide. But don’t be fooled: Dr. Murray is advancing a particular form of biblical interpretation as the only view to be recognized as religious. He reserves unto himself the right to determine what is and is not Christian, what is and is not religious. Under free speech, that is his right — as it is my right to point out his errors and to express my abiding faith that Auburn students are capable of deciding for themselves how they will or will not read the Bible, and what they will or will not deem religious. Adam Jortner is the Goodwin-Philpott Professor of Religion in the History Department at Auburn University.
By JACQUELINE KOCHAK Contributing Columnist
My brother was gay and died of AIDS, and I have gay friends who are happily married. Everybody who knows me would describe me as somewhere left of center. In other words, I’m an odd person to come to the defense of Dr. Bruce Murray, the tenured professor “upholding views and statements that are offensive to many students.” This recent controversy, however, has made me uncomfortable for a lot of reasons. I did some soul-searching and asked myself if coming to the defense of someone making “homophobic comments” was the equivalent of defending someone making racist comments, which I could never tolerate. For that reason, I decided to take a look at Dr. Murray’s Facebook page to see just how homophobic and transphobic his “views” and “statements” were. I confess, I’m nominally Dr. Murray’s Facebook friend, in the way so many people are Facebook friends — we live in the same town, we go to the same church and he plays the organ for the choir in which I sing. Nevertheless, I don’t “follow” Dr. Murray because he gets annoying for somebody like me. In person, Dr. Murray is rather mild-mannered, and I’ve never heard him say anything offensive. So, I pulled up his Facebook page to review his comments, and I got a shock. I was left wondering how many people who are so offended have actually seen his page.
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The first thing I noticed is that he talks about all kinds of things. His opinions are typically hardright conservative, most having to do with abortion, Democrats, Biden, other presidential candidates, Trump and so on. Out of roughly 132 posts starting before The Plainsman article and going back to Sept. 1, only 21 had anything to do with the LGBTQ community, even tangentially. Of those, not one advocated violence or exclusion or anything I would characterize as “hate speech.” Most were commentaries on articles from various publications and fell squarely into the area I would characterize as “free speech,” dealing primarily with trans issues and gay marriage. Here is an example from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. The headline is “Trailblazer: Assigned male at birth, Belgrade runner competing on UM women’s cross-country team.” Dr. Murray’s comment: “Typical dishonest journalism from the woke left obscuring how this 6’5” man robs women of their chances to compete on a level playing field in women’s sports. Note that sexual leftists have developed a novel use of the word ‘assigned’ for the random penetration of the woman’s egg by one of 100 million sperm cells. Some kind of secular Calvinism?” On another post on the subject he said, “If the NCAA doesn’t have the courage to protect women’s sports from men, it forfeits its claim to make collegiate athletics fair. This guy has a 6’5” height ad-
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Professor’s posts aren’t hate speech vantage as well as a male physique and hormones.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but these subjects seem worthy of discussion. If you don’t think so, check out a book called “Galileo’s Middle Finger” by Alice Dreger, a bioethicist at Northwestern University who writes about the relationship between science and social justice. Here’s another comment by Dr. Murray about a video he posted. You might not agree, but is it really hateful? “Anti-Christian zealots like Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke zeroed in on Christianity as the only reason a person would support natural marriage. This is a category error for two reasons. First, all major world religions support marriage (notice that none of the journalists raised Muslim objections to homosexual coupling). Second, the basic argument for marriage rises from biology, not religion — as this cleverly animated video explains.” I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. People are claiming that LGBTQ students would feel uncomfortable in Dr. Murray’s reading education class. Why would the subject of sexuality even come up in a reading education class? Judging from his Facebook page, anybody who is a Democrat, “liberal,” anti-Trump or prochoice actually has a lot more to worry about. Are we ready to take censorship of private social media that far? I sincerely hope not. Jacqueline Kochak is a former editor of The Auburn Villager.
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019
University partners with high schools for enrollment program By TRICE BROWN Campus Editor
Megan Ondrizek, Maggie Ricks, Cat Bryant, Sasha Cohen and Katie Phelan were nominated for Miss Auburn 2020 at callouts on Nov. 19, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.
SGA names Miss Auburn Top 5 By TIM NAIL Campus Reporter
O N D RI Z
BYRAN T A
and really exciting.” For Cat Bryant, junior in finance and biomedical science, there was little more to say than that she felt “blessed and honored” to be in the running for the next Miss Auburn. “It was not what I was expecting, but I’m really thankful for this experience,” said Katie Phelan, junior in marketing. “We’ll see what happens.” The women noted they were eager for the night to arrive, with callouts offering cheerful competition among friends. “It’s just really cool to see all these people because we’re the same age, and they’re my friends, so it’s a really fun experience,” Ricks said. As is tradition, the next Miss Auburn will be determined in spring of 2020, alongside elections for SGA.
As each name was called from atop the back steps, cheers erupted from the students as the Miss Auburn Top 5 posed with flower bouquets in photos after the callouts. Sorority sisters and friends were there to congratulate them with hugs and well wishes afterward. Just after 9 p.m. on Tuesday night, a mass of students crowded the Upper Quad behind Cater Hall. 20 people in the crowd were the candidates up for this year’s Miss Auburn title; only five were chosen by the Elections Council to participate in the upcoming election. “[I’m] shocked and overwhelmed,” said
Megan Ondrizek, junior in communication disorders and Spanish, describing her thoughts in the wake of being picked by the Council. This was also a common feeling among the other four women, who said they were honored to have received the nominations for the chance to be a face for the University. “I’m so excited,” said Sasha Cohen, junior in architecture. “This is a tremendous opportunity to be able to run for a position that represents all of Auburn. I’m just so excited that I can be in this position.” With a wide range of students competing for the top five spots, winners said being selected was a welcome surprise. “I don’t really know how I’m feeling right now,” said Maggie Ricks, junior in accounting. “It’s just really overwhelming
G IE RI
Organizations join forces to host annual Fall Feast By TRICE BROWN Campus Editor
For students who are unable to go home to celebrate Thanksgiving, staying on campus can be an isolating experience. Auburn’s SGA and International Student Organization have teamed up to host the Fall Feast on Monday, Nov. 25, at noon in the Stu-
dent Center Ballroom for students who will spend all or part of their break in Auburn. This will be the second year the event is held. “Fall Feast was created with the purpose of catering to students who might not be able to go home for the Thanksgiving Break, many of which are international students, but all students are welcome,” said Ashley Satterfield, SGA executive
vice president of outreach. “The target audience is any and all students who are still in Auburn on the 25th of November.” According to Satterfield, many of the 400 attendees of last year’s Fall Feast were international students. “ISO and SGA have worked with Tiger Catering again this year to ensure that the menu is inclusive to all cultures and diets,” Satterfield
said. An advertisement for the event stated that “no pork or beef will be used in the meal’s preparation.” “In my opinion, Fall Feast is an awesome example of the Auburn Family coming together to create a welcoming and inclusive environment during a time that could be isolating for students still in town during the holiday,” Satterfield said.
Auburn City Schools is considering partnership with Auburn University to provide online dual enrollment classes for its students. The partnership will allow students to take college-level courses for $550 a course. Information about the partnership was presented to the Auburn City Schools Board of Education at its Nov. 12 meeting. The agreement was tabled until its Dec. 10 meeting, allowing the board to examine it and the community to give feedback. Daniel Chesser, public relations coordinator for Auburn City Schools, said the program, if approved by the Board of Education, would not start until the next academic year with online courses. “There’s quite a few of our students that graduate and go on to attend Auburn,” Chesser said. “So, it’s helpful to have that partnership moving forward.” This will not be the first dual enrollment opportunity for students in Auburn City Schools. The school system has already had dual enrollment agreements with Southern Union State Community College since 2015 and the University of Alabama since 2018. Chesser said these dual enrollment programs are not part of the daily curriculum, so students can take dual enrollment courses in addition to the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs offered at Auburn High. For some students, however, Chesser said it was difficult to balance school, work and other responsibilities. Students now have an hour worked into their school day, called Tiger Time, that allows them to work on their dual enrollment classes, go eat lunch or just relax. “The driving force behind that was to give our high-performing students an opportunity to pursue things like dual enrollment, as well as things like club activities,” Chesser said. According to Chesser, one Auburn High student last year, who now attends Yale University, was busy all day at school, work and home, where she was responsible for taking care of her siblings. “Building that time in the school day has allowed our students to do a lot more,” Chesser said. “On the opposite side of the spectrum, if a student needs to take that hour just to decompress and relax, we offer them that opportunity as well.” Chesser said the dual enrollment programs with Southern Union and the University of Alabama have been robust. He said it gives them an opportunity to invest early in their course of study at the next level. “A lot of kids are graduating as sophomores in college,” Chesser said. “It’s just an opportunity for them to excel.” He said these programs also help students figure out what they want to do as a career and can help them stay focused. Auburn High students who participate in this program will take contained, online classes proctored by Auburn faculty. They will not be taking classes on campus. Chesser said the current dual enrollment programs attract students who are in the high school’s AP and IB courses, but also those who are not. “It really appeals to all types of students, depending on what their interests are,” he said.
The Auburn Plainsman
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019
The Rolling Stones on the Plains Fifty years have passed since the British rock band visited Auburn in 1969 By DREW DAWS Campus Writer
A little more than 50 years ago, The Rolling Stones graced the stage of Auburn’s Memorial Coliseum as a part of their American Tour on Nov. 14, 1969. Rock critic Robert Christgau called it “history’s first mythic rock and roll tour,” with the band performing hits like “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Honky Tonk Women.” Jette Campbell, who at the time was a graduate student and in charge of entertainment for SGA, is one of the men responsible for bringing the legendary rock group to Auburn. “David Hill was president of the student body … he got a call from a promoter who was just trying to find some place in the Southeast,” Campbell said. “[Hill] said, ‘What do you think?’ I said, ‘Let’s do it.’” After devising the plan with Hill, Campbell next approached Katherine Cater, who at the time was dean of student life. Her first question was how they would pay for the band. The cost of one show was $35,000 — along with the additional money Cater said Campbell would need to pay for stagehands and other necessary workers and equipment. Campbell said they made plans for The Rolling Stones to perform twice for $37,500. To sell out the shows, however, he needed to make sure all of the University’s students would be able to attend. “The girls had a curfew,” he said. “But the curfew was earlier than the second show would have been over. I had to work with Dean Cater to exempt the girls from curfew that night, or at least extend it to a time well after the show.” With Cater’s approval, Camp-
bell announced before the first show that the girls’ curfew had been extended. In a book published by Michael Landon, Campbell said his announcement invigorated the au-
dience more than The Rolling Stones’ opening act. “And in that book, he says that I got more applause than Chuck Berry when I announced it,” he said. With everyone being able to at-
tend, the concert was a tremendous success. “We made so much money,” Campbell reflected. Arriving a few hours late, he said the band’s presence was a bit of a
CONTRIBUTED BY JETTE CAMPELL
A poster used in 1969 to promote The Rolling Stones’ performance in Auburn, Ala.
culture shock for the small Southern town. “I remember being backstage with them,” he said. “They were all about 5-feet and had little marijuana earrings.” While The Rolling Stones coming to Auburn was a major milestone for the City, Campbell said the impact was felt outside of the state as well. “This was a big deal beyond Auburn,” he said. “It was huge in the Southeast. We got with the radio stations. We had posters everywhere. [This] was our first introduction to real marketing.” In the midst of the Vietnam War, Campbell added that the University was in the middle of a transition. Students were divided between those who supported and those who were against the war. “In 1968, when we did that blood drive, we did it to protest the protestors,” he said. This further solidified the idea that music can bring people together, Campbell said. In a tumultuous time, the student body came together as one, even if only for a few hours. He also said that this event highlights how the student body and the University can work together to bring something that benefits everyone — both on campus and in the community. “It was a good example of student government students and the administration working together to do something that ended up being very, very significant in the history of Auburn,” Campbell said. Looking back, Campbell said he is still in awe that The Rolling Stones arrived on the Plains. It is a moment in life he said he will never forget. “It’s fascinating, you know, the fact that they actually came to campus,” he said. “It’s just crazy to me.”
Debit, credit e-bill payments to be charged new fee By TRICE BROWN Campus Editor
Students who use their credit or debit card to pay their e-bill statements will soon face an additional charge, effective Dec. 1. There will be an additional convenience fee of 2.85% on credit or debit card e-bill payments. The charge was initially scheduled to go into effect in April 2019 but was delayed. Auburn University said they
will not receive any portion of the fee, as it will cover the third-party cost of processing the payments. The University said it still offers other methods of paying tuition that will not carry a convenience fee, such as cash, check and e-check. Kelli Shomaker, chief financial officer for Auburn University, previously told The Plainsman that Auburn was the only school she saw paying the convenience fee for the student, which cost the University $24
million over the last 10 years. “As long as you are paying with an e-check, ... there is no charge to you to pay your tuition that way,” Shomaker said. “There is no charge to the student, and then there is no convenience fee that Auburn is having to charge.” Mike Reynolds, executive director of student financial services, previously told the Plainsman that he estimated 50% of the student population choose to pay e-bill statements with a credit or debit card.
TRICE BROWN / CAMPUS EDITOR
The 2.85% convenience fee will only apply to credit and debit card payments.
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019
Auburn-based institute works to spread Austrian economics By EVAN MEALINS Assistant Community Editor
For some, the thought of economics may evoke dread, bringing back memories of countless graphs and number-riddled textbook pages from a high school macroeconomics class. A local institute is working to promote an alternative view of the discipline in a way that engages the general public. The Mises Institute is located just across from the University near the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and Donahue Drive on what Tho Bishop, assistant editor of the institute’s blog the Mises Wire, calls “the best piece of property in Auburn.” The Mises Institute is a research center and think tank independent of Auburn University that works to promote the teachings of its namesake economist Ludwig von Mises and the beliefs of Austrian economics. On the first floor of the institute is Mises’ personal library, donated by Margit von Mises, the first chairperson of the Mises Institute and wife of Ludwig von Mises. Inside the books are Mises’ notes, jabs and insults — insults only an economist could write, or for that matter, understand — which show Mises’ fiery, interesting character, Bishop said. Mises’ works, which elaborate his belief in the importance of free markets, are on display in his library, as well as the typewriter Mises used to write his most famous book “Human Action: A Treatise on Economics.” On the floor above, the institute’s scholars and authors write in defense of the tenets
of Austrian economics, the economic school of thought that was developed by Mises and fellow University of Vienna professor Carl Menger and further contributed to by American economist Murray Rothbard. These scholars have at their disposal a vast collection of economic and political literature housed throughout the campus, which Bishop said is one of the largest private libraries in the Southeast. “Mainly what we do is provide arguments against socialism, against government regulation, against the use of government to try to improve society,” Bishop said. For scholars at the Mises Institute and their like-minded peers, the answer to problems in society is within the free market, outside the control of the government. “Markets themselves solve the problems,” Bishop said. “You see something going wrong, it’s always easy to think, ‘If only the government did this, then that would work.’ Most of the time, that ends up having unforeseen consequences.” One of those consequences, Bishop said, was the crash of the housing market in 2008. “I myself discovered the Mises Institute after the housing crisis, because I wanted to figure out how in the world this could happen,” Bishop said. Bishop now edits and writes for the Mises Wire, the institute’s blog with writings from Mises scholars on various current economic and political issues. The Wire, lectures held across the country, podcasts and online courses are some of the ways the insti-
CONTRIBUTED BY THE MISES INSTITUTE
Each summer, college students from around the world attend the institute’s Mises University program.
tute tries to engage the public in a more easily digestible discussion of economics. “What we try to do is, we provide content that can appeal to college students, high school students who have no interest in becoming professional economists, but are simply trying to understand how the world works,” Bishop said. One of the educational organization’s most famed graduates of its online courses is Glen
Jacobs, the mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, also known as the WWE wrestler Kane. Each summer, the institute educates 150– 200 college students from around the world during its Mises University program. It also offers doctoral fellowships, where doctorate students study at the institute to work on their dissertations. The Mises Institute is independent of any political party.
Auburn residents increasingly approve of ambulance service By TARAH YEAGER Community Writer
When one dials 911 in Auburn, Auburn-based opperators often pick up the call. Auburn police officers and firefighters respond to those calls. However, those ambulances that are dispatched to emergencies often don’t come from Auburn. The City of Auburn has an agreement in place with the East Alabama Medical Center to provide emergency response services to residents in the Auburn-Opelika community. This agreement provides services to both cities and throughout Lee County with seven staffed ambulances each day and stations located in Auburn, Opelika and Smiths Station, according to East Alabama Medical Center Public Relations and Marketing Director John Atkinson. Rising costs can be attributed to the funds necessary to maintain the service itself with
the best care possible. “The cost of one ambulance and the equipment needed to stock it runs about $300,000,” said Atkinson. “That does not include the cost to replace certain disposable supplies after each run, or the routine maintenance costs on the ambulance and employee salaries and benefits.” Costs are also dependent on the treatment provided, if any is provided at all. This can be largely influenced by the insurance held by an individual. “The cost of each 911 ALS transport (which is the majority of our emergency transports) varies based on treatment provided and distance driven,” said Atkinson. “Insurance ... typically covers about 80% of an ambulance transport, and we work with self-pay patients to help make the cost manageable.” Despite the high costs of an ambulance service, members of the Auburn community are still satisfied with the current system of emer-
gency transport that exists. The City of Auburn Department of Public Safety defines one of its missions as “maintaining a quality emergency communication system to provide immediate response to citizen calls for service,’’ according to the Comprehensive Plan for the City of Auburn adopted Feb. 20, 2018. The 2018 ETC Institute Citizen Survey for the City of Auburn found that 85% of residents surveyed were satisfied with the quality of the local ambulance service, compared to the national average assessment of 80%. This is a significant change among residents, only 70% of whom were satisfied with the ambulance services in 2013. Of those surveyed in 2018, 39% reported being very satisfied with the quality of the local ambulance service, while only 3% reported being dissatisfied. Citizens also assessed the quality of police, fire and ambulance services as being of higher
importance and higher satisfaction, but needed continued emphasis. The Fiscal Year 20 Emergency Response, Rescue and Ambulance Service Agreement was renewed on Oct. 1. This is an agreement between the City of Auburn and the East Alabama Healthcare Authority for the East Alabama Healthcare Authority to continue to provide ambulance service for the City of Auburn for the period Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, 2020, according to a memorandum from Public Safety Director Bill James. The East Alabama Healthcare Authority requested an operational increase of $26,000 each year to promote competitive employee recruitment and retention, as well as $30,000 to replace ambulances that are no longer functioning well, according to this memorandum. The total cost of this contract is $375,476. This renewed agreement is also supported by the City of Opelika and the Lee County Commission.
Council gives approval to renovations, expansions By CORY BLACKMON Community Reporter
Jordan-Hare Stadium will be home to the Super 7 Football Championships in 2022 and 2026.
HS football playoffs contract renewed By ELIZABETH HURLEY Community Editor
The Alabama High School Athletic Association will continue to host football championships in Jordan-Hare Stadium through the next decade. At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, the Council approved a contract with the AHSAA, the Auburn Opelika Tourism Bureau and the City of Opelika to help host this event. The City of Auburn will put $75,000 toward funding for this event each year it is held in Auburn, according to documents in the Council’s e-packet. With this contract renewal was a partial funding renewal, which will fund the championship for another cycle or two more events. These are for the Super 7 Football Championships in Jordan-Hare in 2022 and 2026. After that time the Council will re-
evaluate funding for the championship to fund it for 2028 and 2032. The full contract was announced as a 12-year contract, said Mayor Ron Anders. This contract also adds Birmingham’s Legion Field to the list of venues for the annual championship games. “Now we’ll be sharing the event with Birmingham,” Anders said. “They’re building a new stadium. The way they built their stadium and its relationship to its municipal government allows them to do some things that made their bid very attractive.” When the Super 7 was still the Super 6 in 2009, Anders, who was not yet a Council member, was a part of a committee of community members from Auburn and Opelika that worked with their cities and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to bring the championship to Auburn and the University of Alabama.
The original contract extended to 2020, with the championship alternating universities each year. Auburn first held the championship in 2010, according to documents in the Council’s e-packet. “I believe that the young football players, young cheerleaders and young marching band [members] in the communities of our state still enjoy coming to Auburn and coming to Jordan-Hare Stadium and being a part of our community,” Anders said. “I’m glad that’s going to continue.” This year’s Super 7 will be held in Auburn. Students and fans can expect several Auburn gameday classics when they attend their school’s championship game in Jordan-Hare. Before each game both teams will participate in a Tiger Walk to the stadium. The Super 7 will take place Wednesday, Dec. 3, through Friday, Dec. 6.
Design services for the Jan Dempsey Art Center renovation project and the Martin Luther King Drive streetscape project were approved during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. The Jan Dempsey Art Center will be receiving updates to its interior and certain areas will be updated to meet ADA compliance. The center will also be receiving a new ceramic studio, additional storage, a new dance studio and more parking spaces along East Drake Avenue as the budget allows, according to documents in the Council’s e-packet. The renovations also include an evaluation of the detention pond on-site and the possible removal of the pickleball courts. The City will pay the architecture firm over $272,000 for their design services. The budget for the project sits at over $2.8 million for the project and over $2.19 for construction costs. The Martin Luther King Drive streetscape will also be receiving updates in the coming months. This project includes schematic design and design development, construction documents and permitting and construction administrative assistance, according to documents in the Council’s e-packet. The streetscape project will cost
$126,600 and is an item on the City’s current budget. The Council also approved of a new contract with the Alabama High School Athletic Association, renewing and updating the terms of the Alabama Super 7. The new contract is for Auburn to host the Super 7 Championships in the years 2022, 2026, 2028 and 2032, with the options to review the terms after 6 years. The contract also specifies that Auburn will pay $75,000 in support of the Super 7, during the years it’s set to host the championships. During the meeting, an ordinance for rezoning and resolution for conditional use were passed to establish an office complex and fire station in Woodward Oaks near North Donahue Drive and West Farmville Road. During the Committee of the Whole, Mayor Ron Anders also established that the Dec. 3 Committee of the Whole will be used to discuss student housing and the findings of the Student Housing Task Force. The meeting will likely start earlier than normal, at approximately 6:15 p.m. The other issues that were scheduled to be discussed at that time, the results of the impact fees study and the possibility of a police precinct on South College Street, will be given their own workshops to be held in December.
The Auburn Plainsman
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019
Opelika strives to meet ADA requirements with renovations By CHARLIE RAMO Community Writer
Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act often times means reworking designs and rethinking spaces to make them accessible to everyone. The standards established by the act have been altered over time, and continue being reworked 30 years later. “With the ADA, the primary purpose is providing accessibility to everybody,” said Kevin Rice, Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Officer for Opelika. “In layman’s terms, it’s evening the playing field.” The Americans with Disabilities Act was created in 1990 as a set of guidelines for government and commercial buildings and property. It was revised in 2012, which stands as the current set of requirements. “There are five portions of the ADA,” Rice said. “Often times, we talk about the government aspect and how it affects municipalities as well as private businesses, but it also reaches into human resources, employment applications and telecommunications with things like closed captioning on TV.” To keep up with requirements, Opelika has recently reworked intersections along 10th Street, providing sidewalk accessibility through curb cuts and pedestrian signals, as well as repairing current sidewalks, Rice said. Only about 15% of Opelika’s sidewalks currently meet ADA standards, and the city is still working on a lot of its buildings, Rice said. The City of Opelika plans to spend about $5
million on ADA compliance for city services, city buildings and public spaces in the next three to five years, Rice said. There is also a five-year plan in place to evaluate every public-owned facility within the city and determine how they can be improved for accessibility. “Just about every city throughout the United States of America is somewhere in the transition process of trying to become ADA compliant,” Rice said. “Each municipality runs the risk of waiting. It’s just a matter of time before it becomes an issue.” For Opelika, funding for ADA projects comes from the city’s operating budget, Rice said. There are grants available, but the city has not yet been awarded one. “[The city] will utilize an ADA checklist which takes ADA laws and regulations and breaks it down into manageable terms,” Rice said. “We look at everything from doorways, entryways, access aisles, parking, all the way to what is the height and space of a water fountain and toilets, how fast a door closes — all of these things fall under the ADA.” Buildings that have not been renovated since 1990 fall under safe harbor provisions, which exempts them from ADA requirements, Rice said. However, the city plans to make older buildings accessible instead of relying on safe harbor. The ADA falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice, which can both work with municipalities and businesses or go to court over a lack of ADA compliance. Fines can be assigned to offending municipalities and businesses, but there is no timeline to become fully compliant.
“As far as actual formal complaints, we’ve received one in the early 2000s,” Rice said. “Since coming on board here in February, I’ve dealt with three different businesses. I’ve had citizens of the community notice violations of the ADA at private businesses.” Rice advises these businesses, reaching out and showing how to comply with ADA guidelines. He has jurisdiction over municipal properties, but can only serve private businesses as an adviser. “The Small Business Administration does have some grants and loan programs available to [businesses],” Rice said. “Often times, it just requires a reasonable accommodation, so every business isn’t able to meet the full letter of the law.” The ADA applies to places of public accommodation, Rice said. For small businesses with 14 or fewer employees, they are not required to follow the ADA unless there is a reasonable request or it is considered a place of public accommodation such as a store or restaurant. Municipalities with less than 50 employees are not required to have an official ADA coordinator. The Auburn University Office of Accessibility serves to help students with disabilities by providing accommodations around campus and in the classroom. “Our office currently has a little more than 2,000 students registered in some capacity,” said Barclay Bentley, assistant director for accessibility. “That’s everything from physical disabilities, students who use wheelchairs, deaf, blind, all the way to processing issues like ADHD, mental health and other learning difficulties.”
A few older buildings on campus have accessibility challenges, though most newer or renovated buildings provide ample access for disabled students, Bentley said. The Office of Accessibility has the ability to move classes to different buildings or different floors if necessary to assist students. “There’s no limit to where [disabled students] can live as far as on-campus housing,” Bentley said. “We’ve had a couple people in dorms with hearing impairments where we’ve had to get a different fire alarm installed in their rooms so they could see the flashing light since they couldn’t hear the fire alarm.” The Office of Accessibility is also working to help mobility-impaired students to access dumpsters and laundry rooms, Bentley said. ADA improvements around campus include sidewalk ramps, yellow-painted steps and truncated domes in the sidewalk at intersections, Bentley said. There are also door buttons and elevators for most buildings. “Our goal is universal design,” Bentley said. “The goal is to make everything accessible to everybody the first time.” Grocery store doors, for example, open for everyone without effort, Bentley said. Improvements such as those are examples of universal design in effect. “A lot of your technological advances have derived from the ADA and companies’, cities’, municipalities’ commitment towards making things accessible,” Rice said. “The overwhelming winner out of all of this is the citizens and guests of the City of Opelika.”
Methodist group works to include LGBTQ community in church By ELIZABETH HURLEY Community Editor
The Auburn-Opelika area is steadily adding to its repertoire of LGBTQ support groups. Over the past few months, a group nationally known as Reconciling Ministries began a chapter on the Plains. The group follows most Methodist teachings and practices. However, the group does not adhere to certain rules in the Book of Discipline, one of the founding documents of the Methodist Church, said Charlie Ray, one of the local chapter’s founding members. “The Reconciling Ministries movement is born of Methodists that oppose language in our Book of Dis-
cipline that limits LGBTQ inclusion to participate fully in the denomination,” Ray said. Ray, an Opelika native, has been an active member of Reconciling Ministries for a number of years. For the last decade, Ray lived in Austin, Texas, where he was a leader of a movement within his church to make it a Reconciling Ministry. Now, he hopes to bring that same mission to the two Methodist churches in Auburn and Opelika. “Neither of those churches would tell you that LGBTQ people are not welcome in their congregation,” Ray said. “You will not hear things from the pulpit in either one of those churches that are discriminatory. While that may be the case in those
two churches in particular, we want that to be an official position.” For Ray, it is about the future generations of Methodists and all Christians. He wants them to know that God, and their community, love and accept them. As an openly gay man, he has not always felt that way in the church. Ray lived in Austin until 2017, and he said he felt the churches there talked more openly about LGBTQ issues. He said he felt the church he attended accepted him fully for who he is, just like God does. LGBTQ issues are not as widely discussed back in his hometown in Alabama. Church members and leaders just do not want to talk about it. That is something Ray hopes to
change through Reconciling Ministries. “I believe fully in the mission of Reconciling Ministries,” Ray said. “I never doubted my faith. But I have doubted the Methodist Church.” The group has only met a few times to plan further activities but has garnered support throughout the community and is growing. Group leaders also meet frequently with area church leaders to discuss the group’s involvement in their local ministry. Church leaders declined to comment on the group’s efforts in Auburn and Opelika. Reconciling Ministries’ first goal in Auburn-Opelika is to host Sunday School classes at Methodist churches in the area. Classes will focus on giv-
ing participants more information on Reconciling Ministries while studying the Bible and Methodist teachings. These classes are the first step in a church’s journey to becoming a Reconciling Ministries church, said Jennifer Thurow, a founding member of Reconciling Ministries Auburn-Opelika. The group has seen a steady rise in attendance at the group’s monthly meetings, which add to the nation-wide total of 1,186 groups and over 42,000 members, according to the Reconciling Ministries website. “There’s a lot of silence out there,” Thurow said. “We’re just trying to let people know what’s happening in the United Methodist Church.”
Groome less expensive than parking for week By CHARLIE RAMO Community Writer
ILLUSTRATED BY EVAN MEALINS / ASSISTANT COMMUNITY EDITOR
Boards allow residents to voice opinions By SYDNEY SIMS Community Writer
Many residents are involved in Auburn’s local government, but their names don’t appear on the local election ballot every four years. These residents are appointed to serve on one of Auburn’s 22 boards and commissions. The 22 boards are split into four categories: advisory, planning and development, independent authorities and multi-governmental agencies. There are 122 Auburn residents serving in various roles on these boards. Assistant City Manager Megan McGowen Crouch said she believes each resident offers a unique perspective on issues presented to each board. “We are able to allow citizens who have specific skills, trades, and interests a direct line of expertise to the City
Council,” Crouch said. “We are also able to see where our citizens have interest within their communities and give them a place to actively make a difference or voice their opinion.” Boards and commissions are in place by Alabama law, which has certain standards and expectations of the members who are selected for these positions. “For instance, one board, by state law, may require an engineer or architect while another requires you to live in the community of that board,” Crouch said. “It all just depends on the board or commission that you are interested in.” The Council appoints all board and commission positions. After Mayor Ron Anders took office in November 2018, he appointed two Council members to a Boards and Commissions Task Force to rework the appointment pro-
cess. After several work sessions, the City Council issued a resolution on the City’s appointment procedures on Jan. 8. The resolution requires a formal announcement of a vacant position four weeks prior to the date of appointment. The resolution also established an annual open house where residents interested in serving on a board or commission can learn more about qualifications and the appointment process. “This helps citizens know a little more of what they are getting themselves into when they sign up,” Crouch said. “Time is important to people and some boards require more of a time commitment than others.” Appointment terms and meeting times vary for each board. Laura Chappelka, who has been a member of the Auburn
Public Library Board since 2013, said serving on the board was just her way of getting involved in something that was important to her. “I care about these libraries,” Chappelka said. “When I saw the opportunity to get involved, I immediately decided this was my way of giving to my community.” Residents can look to the City’s website for more information about the boards and commissions in Auburn. Vacancies within the boards are posted on the website and the schedule for the different board meetings is available for residents who are interested in attending. Residents can also find a comprehensive list, detailing the state requirements for board appointments, and descriptions for the roles of each board and commission on the City’s website.
Groome Transportation provides Auburn students and residents a way to travel to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport without having to drive themselves or pay for parking. Groome Transportation is a nationwide transportation service that offers rides to airports across the country, including a route from Auburn to Hartsfield-Jackson. According to the Groome Transportation website, pickups are available throughout Auburn, with a location on the University campus, in Opelika and available upon request in Tuskegee or Lanett, Alabama. Not all Auburn locations are available on game days, however. Cars can be parked at the Groome office for short periods. A l l p a sse n ge r s a r e brought from these locations to Hartsfield-Jackson. No additional stops are made besides the previously listed pickup locations. Tickets cost $43 for oneway or $86 for round-trip for all pickup locations except Tuskegee, which costs $63 and $126 respectively. Children have a reduced cost and pets are allowed for an additional cost. According to Hartsfield Jackson’s website, domestic parking can be between $10 and $19 per day, depending
on the lot. International parking is $14 per day. Excluding gas prices, riding on a Groome shuttle becomes more cost effective than parking at the airport after six days, on average. In addition to this, with gas prices currently around $2.20 per gallon, a car averaging 30 miles per gallon on the interstate would use an additional $7.26 worth of gas for the 99-mile drive in each direction. The route runs every hour and fifteen minutes, said Cheryl Weatherley, dispatcher for Groome Transportation. The route runs 16 times per day on every day except Christmas, where it may run five or six times. “When Auburn students are going home for the holidays, I would [book a ride] a month in advance,” Weatherley said. “Any other time, they could probably do it to the day of.” Most days, Groome runs 10, 11 or 14 passenger vans, Weatherly said. They also have 21 and 25 passenger buses for busy days, and they occasionally rent 54 passenger charter buses when necessary. “[On a Friday], we have 200 and something coming back from the airport, going to the airport we have about 60,” Weatherley said. “It’s not like that every day. We’re extra busy [Friday] with people coming in for the game.”
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
Bruce Pearl inks No. 12 class in Early Signing Period By CHRISTIAN CLEMENTE Sports Writer
While Auburn’s 2019-20 team continues to grow and improve, the recruits for the 202021 season continue to roll in. The class, after the 2019 Early Signing Period, is headlined by the No. 19 player in the nation, 5-star point guard Sharife Cooper, who is currently the highest-rated recruit to ever sign with Auburn. Last Saturday, Cooper officially signed his letter of intent to play at Auburn. The Powder Springs, Georgia, native is currently a senior at McEachern High School, the same high school as current Auburn freshmen Isaac Okoro and Babatunde Akingbola. The 6-foot point guard led his team to a 32-0 record and won the Class 7A state championship last season. Cooper averaged 27.2 points, 8.1 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 4.3 steals per game last season and has continued to play a big role during his senior season. “What jumps out to me about Sharife is loyalty,” Pearl said. “He could have gone any-
where in the country. Auburn was his first love, and he stayed loyal to us. We were the first to recognize that this was a very special, don’t-come-around-often type of impact players. He appreciated that fact that we recruited him hard before it became fashionable.” Cooper is joined by Chris Moore, a 4-star power forward from West Memphis, Arkansas. Moore is ranked as the 97th-best in the nation and the No. 19 power forward. Moore was heavily recruited by Arkansas and Memphis, but chose Auburn last Saturday. Moore instantly pushed Auburn’s class from being ranked 36th nationally to No. 12. “Simply put, Chris is a beast,” Pearl stated. “He is a guy that I would like others to look at and say, ‘that’s the brand of Auburn basketball.’ He’s really skilled with the basketball for somebody his size. He’s able to create off the bounce with his ability to handle the rock. Defensively, he is a guy that can guard anybody on the floor.” Auburn also has a signature from 3-star
shooting guard Justin Powell, who is the No. 164 player in the nation. Powell is the second-highest rated player coming out of the state of Kentucky. “While Justin is certainly known for being an elite perimeter shooter with incredible range, it’s the fact that he’s worked so hard on his body, speed, quickness and his ability to defend that pushed our interest over the top,” Pearl said. “He’s worked so hard on the other areas of his game to help compliment his ability to score. He is a great competitor.” A lot of next season’s lineup will be decided by Okoro, who is having a massive impact early on for the Tigers. Okoro could declare for the draft if his stock soars high enough this season. If Okoro were to return, Auburn would likely boast one of its best starting lineups in the school’s history. Cooper looks likely to compete with current freshman guard Tyrell Jones to take over as the starting point guard next season once J’Von McCormick graduates. Moore could
also instantly become a starter with forward Danjel Purifoy graduating after this season. Powell’s role is not as clear, as Auburn already has Jamal Johnson, Devan Cambridge and Allen Flanigan all potentially taking over for Samir Doughty at shooting guard next year. Powell will obviously play a large role for Auburn next year, it’s just not as clear at the moment where he’ll fill into the lineup. Head coach Bruce Pearl and the Tigers are also targeting 5-star guard Jalen Green, forward Greg Brown and guard Cameron Thomas. They’re also making a run at 4-star prospects Jaylin Williams, Keondre Montgomery and Cliff Omuruyi. While Auburn isn’t guaranteed to get any of these players, Williams has narrowed down his choices to Arkansas and Auburn. Auburn is also heavily in the running for Montgomery. Currently Auburn trails only Kentucky, No. 1 in the nation, and Tennessee, No. 4 in the nation, in SEC recruiting rankings for next season.
AUBURN ATHLETICS / @AUBURNMBB ON INSTAGRAM
Justin Powell (24), Sharife Cooper (2, center) and Chris Moore (2, right) give Auburn one of the top recruiting classes in the nation at the Early Signing Period.
LOGAN ELLISON / PHOTOGRAPHER
Samir Doughty (10) defends during Auburn basketball vs. Cal State Northridge on Nov. 15, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.
Doughty leads way, Tigers move to 5-0 By CHRISTIAN CLEMENTE Sports Writer
Following a career-high 33 points against CSUN, senior Samir Doughty continued his hot start to the season against Colgate, finishing the night with 20 points, in-
cluding a step-back 3-pointer that had Auburn Arena quickly on its feet early in a big win over the Raiders. “I originally wasn’t gonna shoot the ball until I seen him fall,” Doughty said. “Then I just stepped back and shot it. I didn’t expect him
to fall like that but I kinda knew the shot was going in. I just wanted to get the crowd into it.” While Doughty continued to play a big role, Auburn also got big contributions from J’Von McCormick, Danjel Purifoy and Isaac Okoro.
Auburn is now 5-0 on the season for the first time in 15 years. “To be able to finish these first five games in the position we’re in, and to have seen us get better — we have gotten better — is very encouraging,” head coach Bruce Pearl said after the game. “Samir Dough-
ty played with great confidence and real swag. Austin Wiley was physically more and more dominant; you can see him getting back into it. Danjel [Purifoy] shot it really well and had a good feel to him.” » See AU BASKETBALL, 9
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019
The Auburn Plainsman
PAGE 9 BASKETBALL
Okoro picks up SEC honor By MATTISON ALLEN Sports Writer
MARIE LIPSKI / PHOTO EDITOR
K.J. Britt (33) asks the crowd for noise during Auburn football vs. Georgia on Nov. 16, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.
Tigers not pointing fingers after third loss of season By CHRISTIAN CLEMENTE Sports Writer
In all three of Auburn’s losses this season, the offense has struggled. Auburn put up 13 points against Florida, 20 against LSU and 14 against Georgia. The defense has held their own keeping the Tigers close in all contests, but the offense has failed to execute. For the players though, adversity doesn’t mean it’s time to point fingers or put the blame on someone else. “Obviously we’ve been struggling,” Will Hastings said. “Coach Malzahn brings it up, and the leadership team brings it up. We’re a team. No matter what happens. We’ve had that issue in the past, and we’ve seen how it hurts the team. I think we all bring up those offseason workouts we have with coach Russell. At that moment, you’re just a team — not an offense, defense, it’s nothing. You’re just running together.” Marlon Davidson echoed a similar sentiment. “I’m behind them,” Davidson said. “I don’t care if they got negative 10 yards, negative 100 yards — I’m behind them because we went through summer workouts together. We went through spring together. We fought in fall camp. So I know I’m behind them no matter what, and they’re behind me.” In Saturday’s matchup with Georgia, Auburn again racked up yards but failed to capitalize. The team ended the game with 329 yards of offense, outgaining the Bulldogs by 71 yards. But similarly to Ole Miss, points didn’t come with the yards. For Hastings, that doesn’t necessarily mean all the blame falls on the coaches or specific players. “We’re able to drive down the field and get to the red
AU BASKETBALL » From 8
In Auburn’s matchup with CSUN, McCormick broke the school record with 16 assists, adding two points. On Monday night, McCormick continued to share the ball with eight assists to go along with 14 points and three rebounds. “J’Von is the fastest guy out there on the floor,” Pearl said. “Can’t stay in front of him. He’s passing and just had two turnovers, which is really good.” Freshman Isaac Okoro continued to play a big role with 11 points, three rebounds and two assists. The first
zone,” Hastings said. “We gotta do better in the red zone obviously. A lot of people want to blame it on the coaches. It’s not just the coaches, the players got to execute. It’s a team thing, and everyone has to execute the best that they can. Some players are doing it, some players are not. Some coaches are doing it, some coaches are not. It’s just a whole team thing.” Directly following the loss to Georgia, Auburn star defensive tackle Derrick Brown didn’t mince words. “You can’t put the blame on nobody else,” Brown said. “Nobody did their job tonight. In all three phases, we lacked tonight. You can’t do that and come out and expect to beat a top five team in the country.” For the Tigers, now completely out of the College Football Playoff discussion, they have a new goal. “Our goal now is to win 10 games, which is extremely hard to do with the schedule like we have,” head coach Gus Malzahn said. “Our guys are putting it behind us. We’ve got Samford coming up. I think there are some things we can take from that fourth quarter that can help us the rest of the season.” Auburn is not only searching for momentum to close what has been a difficult season, but wants to send its seniors out on a high note. “That’s our new goal now,” Auburn cornerback Noah Igbinoghene said. “That’s what we’re focused on right now, just finishing off strong, not only for us but our seniors. Just last two games here so it’s going to be special. This game and the Alabama game, just finishing off strong for them.” Auburn will take on Samford in Jordan-Hare Stadium at 11:00 a.m. CST on Saturday. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
half ended with a big-time slam from Okoro to put the Tigers up by 32 at the break. Okoro was 5-of-11 from the field and played the most minutes on the team. “Isaac just continues to be Isaac,” Pearl said. Senior Austin Wiley had his first double-double of the season, putting up 13 points and 10 rebounds. The final score wasn’t a full depiction of the game for the Tigers. Leading by as many as 41, Colgate responded with a 19-5 run in the second half, forcing six turnovers. The Tigers were outscored in the second half, 4138.
“Look, they outplayed us in the second half,” Pearl said. “We were still playing hard, and we were still trying; we got outplayed.” For Auburn though, a much-needed break now awaits. After playing five games in 13 days, Auburn doesn’t play again until next Monday, Nov. 25, against New Mexico in Brooklyn, continuing the Legends Classic in the semifinal round. “I want to give my strength coach, Damon Davis, and his assistant, Josh, a shoutout in the sense that five games in 13 days is a lot,” Pearl said. “I can tell you just from the standpoint of our workload and the preparation. We take ‘em all real seriously.”
FUEL UP FOR FINALS! Finals Week is right around the corner, and Student Affairs wants you to score an A+ on your studying and self-care. Make sure to get plenty of sleep, plan your study schedule in advance and get help from professors if you need it.
Auburn forward Isaac Okoro picked up the first SEC honor of his career after a strong start to his true freshman year. Okoro has averaged 14 points and 4.7 rebounds in Auburn’s last three victories over South Alabama, Cal State-Northridge and Colgate, earning SEC Freshman of the Week. Okoro put up 15 points in his first road game over the Jaguars, which included the game-winner. Auburn then faced CSUN at home where Okoro gained many of his career-highs so far with 17 points, two blocks and eight field goals made out of 12 attempts.
Most recently Auburn played Colgate at home where Okoro played a big role as the player with the most minutes on the court, putting up 11 points, two rebounds and three assists. Okoro rounded out the first half with a slam dunk giving Auburn a 32-point lead. Okoro is Auburn’s youngest starter this season and has put up double digits every game. In his game versus South Alabama, he became the first Auburn player in the last 15 seasons to have a stat line of at least 15 points, six rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals. Auburn is undefeated so far and has risen to No. 19 in the AP poll. The Tigers will face New Mexico on Nov. 25 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Iron Bowl receives usual TV slot By CHRISTIAN CLEMENTE Sports Writer
The kickoff time for the 83rd Iron Bowl is now set for 2:30 p.m. CST on Nov. 30 with the game airing on CBS. Alabama will be without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa following a dislocated hip against Mississippi State. The Crimson Tide will look to sophomore Mac Jones to take over for Tagovailoa. In the only game Jones started this season, he went 18-of-22 for 235 yards and three touch-
downs against Arkansas. While Alabama is still in the running for an appearance in the College Football Playoff, Auburn will look to play spoiler against the Crimson Tide. Going into the matchup Alabama leads the all-time series 46-36-1. Alabama won last season’s matchup 52-21 in Bryant-Denny Stadium, while the last matchup in Jordan-Hare went to Auburn in 2017 when it won 26-14. Before taking on Alabama, the Tigers take on Samford at home in Jordan-Hare at 11 a.m. CST.
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The Auburn Plainsman
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019
WEEK 13 PLAINSMAN PICK â€˜EM Samford-AU
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019
Auburn Mall opens pop-up shops for holiday season On Monday, Alice Circle and The Tiny Closet, two locally owned small businesses, opened their doors alongside American Eagle, Victoria’s Secret and other nationwide franchises. Both stores will be open until Jan. 7, next year, and each brings its own vibe to the holiday shopping experience. By JACK WEST Opinion Editor
JACK WEST / OPINION EDITOR
Alice Pettyjohn hopes her store, Alice Circle, will be a place for people to relax and be creative.
Alice Circle Anyone walking into Alice Circle can see employees handwriting messages on Christmas ornaments or customers getting to make their own. The walls are covered in cursive signs and warm-colored clothes racks, and the scuffed concrete floor and pops of color give the whole store a sort of floral rustic-chic kind of look. Alice Pettyjohn, founder and owner of Alice Circle, said the business is using its space in the mall to give shoppers a chance to personalize their decorations and possibly improve their crafting abilities. “We want to push Christmas gifts and Christmas activities, but the main thing we want to do is offer people a place to have group parties,” she said. “Girl Scouts could come here, or church groups could come here and have a little party here.” There is currently an “ornament bar” set up near the back of the store where customers can go down a line buffet-style and put an ornament together. As the winter deepens and the shopping intensifies, Pettyjohn and her employees plan to hold events like modern-calligraphy classes, Bible journaling groups and an Aubie painting workshop around the time of the Iron Bowl. “We want to have a cool little spot for people to just relax and get creative,” Pettyjohn said. “What we have always done is offer opportunities to get creative in different classes and in dif-
ferent workshops.” Pettyjohn said she wants this to be a cool spot for people regardless of their age as well. “We have a kids’ section, and then we have kids’ activities,” she said. “We also have a sorority section and sorority activities. Then, we have women’s stuff, and we have a women’s activity portion.” Alice Circle has had a store in Rainsville, Alabama, for eight years, but this is the company’s first opportunity to be in Auburn, where Pettyjohn went to school. In many ways, Alice Circle coming to Auburn is a homecoming since the store is named after a street here. “When I was in school here, there was a road that was like a little circle drive, and it’s called Alice Circle,” Pettyjohn said. “I had not really thought about what I wanted the name to be, and I was under pressure to decide and I just said Alice Circle. It just kind of stuck.” Most importantly for Pettyjohn, this pop-up represents a chance for her to continue making things and working at a job she loves. “I’ve always been a maker, and I already made all the stuff for people; I just didn’t really charge,” she said. “So, I just took a chance — just doing what I love to do and seeing if I could make a living. So far, God has always provided for me, and I love it. I think it’s rare that you do a job, and you have a career that you really don’t dread.”
JACK WEST / OPINION EDITOR
Taylor Jones started The Tiny Closet while still an apparel merchandising student at Auburn University.
The Tiny Closet For Taylor Jones, founder and owner of The Tiny Closet, this pop-up store in the mall is a chance to connect with current customers and build relationships with new ones. “I’m getting to put faces with names with my customers, instead of somebody coming into our office, which we have in downtown Auburn,” Jones said. “It’s not a two-second ‘Oh, here’s your order.’ They get to come in; they get to actually see the vibe of it.” That vibe is one that certainly contrasts with many of the other stores in the mall. A large pink-balloon arch wraps around the store’s door, and a pair of rotating knee-high boots makes it look like someone has fallen down a chimney. Brightly colored sweaters line the walls, and pink Christmas ornaments with monogrammed “TC”s dangle from miniature trees. Think bubblegum on a winter morning. According to Jones, those bright colors and the overall vibe aren’t just about attracting customers — they’re about empowering women. “The Tiny Closet is all about standing out,” she said. “It’s all about loving what you have on and feeling empowered.” Jones is very open about where much of this drive for empowerment and the business’s mission comes from. “I was in a really bad, abusive relationship when I was younger, and I was very restrict-
ed of what I could wear, what I was allowed to wear, and if not, it was a punishment or something that was just negative,” Jones said. “So, I want to have women feel really empowered when they wear our clothes. We want them to feel like they can do anything when they put our clothes on.” Jones also said that while many of the store’s clothes are targeted at women in their early twenties, that shouldn’t stop everyone else. “Technically, we say that our audience is ages 18 to 24, but we have had so many women from many different age groups come and buy with us,” she said. “If you have the confidence to really rock it, then there is no age limit to us on our clothes.” Prior to this pop-up store, The Tiny Closet was most well-known for its nontraditional distribution methods. Many of the company’s sales were online, but a large quantity also came from two pink buses that Jones and her team would drive around and sell from. Based on the success of this temporary brick-and-mortar location, Jones said the company may look into finding a permanent home for their clothes racks. “We haven’t 100% thought about it just because we wanted to see how this goes and kind of see where it takes us,” she said. “We are just kind of up in the air wherever. Whatever happens, happens.”
LYDIA MCMULLEN/ LIFESTYLE WRITER
Johan Jo, owner, manager and head barista of Ristrettos Lounge, aims to create a space that is a bridge between the Opelika and Auburn communities.
Opelika coffee shop brings two communities together BY LYDIA MCMULLEN Lifestyle Writer
For Johan Jo, owner, manager and head barista of Ristretto Lounge, his business is more than a place to simply serve coffee and pastries. “Coffee is just a tool that I use to be able to bring people together,” Jo said. Jo was born in South Korea, but has since lived in Canada and all over the U.S. His experiences in different parts of the world grew his desire to create a space for different types of people to gather and feel welcome, he said. “To have been raised with two different cultures at the same time, I feel like a platform was already created for me,” Jo said. Before the construction of the two-story lounge, Jo spent several months in his birth country connecting with his dying grandmother and fine-tuning his coffee-mak-
ing skills with his aunt, who runs a barista school in Suwon. Jo said he would wake up at 4 a.m., ride the train to Suwon and spend the day expanding his knowledge of coffee and earning the necessary certifications to successfully run his business in Opelika. Jo brought the lessons he learned in Korea to the coffee lounge that he said will be a place to conjoin all of the diverse groups in the area. Jo said the lounge will be the ground for his customers to experience personal growth, learn and build relationships. “We’re all humans and we want to belong, be wanted and needed,” Jo said. “The coffee shop owner wants every person that walks through his doors to know that Ristretto is a ‘come back home’ place. Wherever they go out in this world, they can always come back here and feel loved.” The walls of the shop are all empty, but Jo
intends to change this by displaying the art of people in the community. Jo said his mission is to tear down the barriers that separate people culturally and socially, and reconnect them through art. “All of the walls right now are blank, because every single piece of these walls is going to be covered with somebody’s art. That’s the vision,” he said. Jo said he wants people to be able to experience personal growth through relationships with fellow creatives. Artists can showcase their work in his shop and collaborate with other artists and grow alongside different people and cultures. “People need to be able to challenge themselves and challenge each other creatively,” Jo said. “If you don’t challenge yourself creatively, then you won’t be able to bust out of your comfort zone.” Additionally, Jo said the space will be used to host large-scale events such as live music
or pop-up shops for thrifted clothing. The owner is open to holding different events that cater to the needs and wants of the community. “It’s up to God,” he said. “Just to see a whole movement of people around here... [That] is what I’m looking forward to.” The location of the shop on Corporate Drive in Opelika is special to Jo and his family. “My grandmother prayed over this lot over ten years ago before it was paved,” Jo said. “God already had this planned out for us to be at the center between the two cities.” Jo wants to tear down barriers between groups. He views Ristretto’s location between Auburn University and Southern Union State Community College as an opportunity to connect people between colleges and between Auburn and Opelika. “I pray that this place can be a lighthouse and a bridge between the two cities,” Jo said.
The Auburn Plainsman
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019
EDUARDO MEDINA / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Auburn community gathers at Mama Mocha’s to hear students read their literary work on Nov. 19, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.
Students share literary work at SNAPS event By ABIGAIL MURPHY Lifestyle Writer
The smell of brewing coffee, the sound of music playing and the sight of couches filling up the space as people faced a single microphone, bracing for The Auburn Circle’s annual SNAPS event. SNAPS, an exhibition of the 46th volume of The Circle’s literary magazine, was held at Mama Mocha’s on Monday. The authors of the poems and prose read their works out loud to allow the audience to hear the author’s expression of their works. Matthew Pierce, freshman in sociology and history, who wrote “Feathers,” said reading his prose was equal parts exciting
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and terrifying. Pierce said “Feathers” is a coming-of-age story, and although it is not a religious piece, his religious upbringing had an influence in his writing. He said writing the story came naturally. “It kind of just came to me, and I wrote it down, and I couldn’t stop for two days,” Pierce said. SNAPS also featured live music with Decoy Snail, who played “Youngbird,” “Star Crossed” and a new song, “Lie Better,” which is also featured in The Circle as a poem by one of the members, Jeff Deery. Cole Summersell, senior in environmental designs, wrote “Spring Ball,” “Hankering” and read “Spring Ball”.
“I was way more nervous than I thought I was going to be,” he said. Summersell said originally, “Spring Ball” was a poem he wrote for his Poetry II class, but Cecilia Wood, the editor-in-chief of The Circle, encouraged him to submit it. He decided he liked it enough and submitted it, Summersell said. The authors’ peers read some of the works. “Catharticism” by Chloe McMahon was read by Will Humphreys, sophomore in apparel design and culinary science. “It was kind of an intimate experience because she’s a very close friend of mine,” Humphreys said. “She let me read it before she submitted it. So, I knew the personal in-
tent behind it. I don’t know, I was just very honored to do it.” Humphreys said he was scared to read it because he wanted to capture the true essence of what her work was conveying. “That through such a painful experience you can find strength and reliance and the beauty of that,” Humphreys said. The visual art featured in the magazine was hung on the walls, and after the readings, people were encouraged to walk around to admire the artworks and continue to mingle. Wood commented on the courage it takes to read one’s own work and her appreciation for the people who were willing to do so for SNAPS. JOSHUA FISHER / PHOTOGRAPHER
Abbigail Hickey, Auburn Universitys campusPrint dietitian speaks with The PlainsDeadline: man on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 in Auburn, NoonAla. three business days
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Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Lewis
ACROSS 1 Retina 5K computer 5 Pet collar clip-on 10 Theme park with a geodesic dome 15 Bite 16 Bête __ 17 Place to get clean 18 Medication unit 19 Crooner who co-wrote the “Chestnuts roasting ... ” song 20 Swim events 21 Holiday song whose first line ends, “come sailing in” 24 Pooh’s dour friend 25 Leader with a dot-edu address 26 Brief “If only I could unhear that ... ” 29 2018 US Open winner Osaka 32 Inductee 34 Personal 37 Marathoner’s woes 40 One for the road? 41 Holiday song first recorded by Gene Autry 45 “The Nutcracker” skirt 46 Like some owls 47 Cottonelle layer 48 Jumps in 51 Apply to 53 Nonprofit aid gp. 54 Opera set in Egypt 57 Curtains 61 Holiday song based on a traditional German folk song 65 Storybook pachyderm 67 Pens 68 __ Kong 69 “Home Alone” actress Catherine 70 Line dance 71 French friend 72 Area component 73 Ready to pour 74 What 21-, 41- or 61-Across is ... and, phonetically, a curiously apt common feature of those answers
By Jeff Eddings
DOWN 1 Many a lowbudget flick 2 Reindeer cousin 3 Analyze 4 Ponder 5 On paper 6 Spot for a wreath 7 Hankook product 8 Like bodyguards 9 “Six __ a-laying ... ” 10 Valuable fur 11 Sound often not allowed? 12 Celebratory gesture 13 Granola kernel 14 MLB playoffs broadcaster 22 Stretch of land 23 Holiday roast 27 Heavy __ 28 Wry twist 30 “Do the __!” 31 Texting qualifier 33 Gaping hole 34 Quite a lot 35 Squeezed (out) 36 Decently
Tuesday’s Puzzle Solved
©2019 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
38 Where the Amazon begins 39 Nine-digit IDs 42 Mystery writer Grafton 43 Rush job phrase 44 Fragrances 49 Really spirited 50 Title for Patrick Stewart 52 Eponymous hot dog guy Handwerker
55 Summer songs? 56 __ Martin: British car 58 Ad 59 Choice start 60 Jason of “The Muppets” 62 E-commerce icon 63 Color variant 64 Huge opening? 65 Present prettifier 66 Sashimi choice