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The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back

Fall 2021


Getting involved with a campus organization is a great way to meet others, build your resume and learn skills future employers seek. Whether you are interested in community service, saving the bees, building robots or growing as a leader, Student Involvement has a community for everyone. With more than 550 student-led organizations, we make it easy to discover your path at Auburn.

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AUGUST 9 - 20



Welcome Week and The First 56 provide a wide variety of free events, free food, and fun to help you connect and build community during your first weeks on campus! Get engaged from the beginning!

Fall 2021

The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back


Table of Contents What’s New This Semester

Welcome to Auburn 5 7

19 20 21 23 25

Editorial: We’re in a ditch. We can get out. Letter from 2021-22 SGA President Rett Waggoner Letter from Auburn University Medical Clinic Medical Director Dr. Fred Kam

COVID-19 Updates 8 9 11


Vaccine information from health officials Where to get a vaccine University requires masks indoors University starts vaccine incentive program

Summer in Review 13 15 17 18

University updates since May Tigers at the Olympics What’s happened around town New Tiger Cards

Students hope for a normal semester Welcome Week schedule How to be more sustainable this fall University buys new Tiger Transit buses New dining hall

26 27 29

Soccer preview Volleyball preview 2021 football season predictions

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The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back


Fall 2021


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Fall 2021

The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back




CHARLIE RAMO Managing Editor, Content

ABIGAIL MURPHY Managing Editor, Online

TRICE BROWN Managing Editor, Multimedia

TIM NAIL Community Editor

EMERY LAY Campus Editor

ABIGAIL WOODS Lifestyle Editor


EDITORIAL: We’re in a ditch. We can get out. By EDITORIAL BOARD Fall 2021

Welcome back to the Loveliest Village on the Plains. To the freshmen, welcome to your new home and — perhaps to some of the sophomores as well — welcome, for the first time, to a normal college experience. Or, as close to normal as we can get at the moment. For the sake of total transparency, it was hard to decide a topic for this editorial. We’ve spent over a year talking about COVID and the last several months encouraging everyone to get vaccinated, to look out for and care about other people. If you’re a returning student and you’ve kept up with us to this point, you know the drill. To all students, we ask that you wear your mask, social distance as

much as you can and get vaccinated. America is one of the only countries that has an abundance of the vaccine. Despite being able to walk into nearly any drugstore and get it, as of Aug. 6, Alabama threw out 65,000 expired doses of the vaccine, according to State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. The more of us that get it, the faster we can put this behind us, and Auburn might even give you $1,000 for it. A warning: some of the content in the next few pages shares information about vaccines and encourages everyone to get vaccinated. It’s kind of important, so we want you to know as much as possible. Keep reading for more, but before that — we want to reiterate something we said at the end of

last semester: Go easy on yourself. Pandemic fatigue is still very real, and sooner than you might think, it will be two years since the COVID-19 pandemic started and put an abrupt halt to our lives. Two years is at once short and eons long — long enough that the hyper-vigilance exhausts you, and short enough that you remember how things were before and crave for that normalcy. Like the normalcy of standing maskless in a Starbucks line and having someone sneeze uncomfortably close to you and being mildly disgusted instead of being afraid for your health and those around you. While there are some things that are returning to normal, there are other things that might never be the same. It’s like we’re in a car, in a ditch, and the tires are working furious-

ly to get us up and out, but there’s not enough momentum to cross the top of the threshold. We’ll get out eventually, but we may need a hand. If you are tired, that’s okay. If you don’t know how well you will do this semester because of fatigue — also okay. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other people for support — to get through the rest of this, we’ll need each other, and we’ll need everyone to get vaccinated. We’re as exhausted of talking about this as we’re sure you are of hearing about it. Let’s make this one of the last times we write an editorial on this. There’s not much else we can say about it and not much else you can do about it other than getting vaccinated. Try it out, and we’ll keep you updated on how everyone’s done.

Opinion Editor

CALEB JONES Sports Editor

MATTISON ALLEN Assistant Sports Editor


ABBY CUNNINGHAM Social Media Editor

MY LY Podcast Editor







The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back

Fall 2021

FROM YOUR BSU FAMILY, WELCOME TO THE PLAINS! We are so excited that you have selected Auburn University to be your home for the next four years and we can’t wait to share in the memories that will make up your college experience. Black Student Union has been a staple on this campus since 1984. Since then, we have welcomed thousands of high-achieving scholastic students, just like you, to participate in making Auburn University the diverse and captivating campus that makes our beautiful state of Alabama proud! We know this last year has affected not only the Auburn Family, but the entire globe during this unfortunate health crisis. While the pandemic has physically and socially distanced us from the college experience we know and love, it has brought us closer together in ways we never truly imagined. We have stood firmly together against unequal opportunity and justice, not only as an organization but as a university, so that we can continue to cultivate a climate that is committed to producing successful and culturally competent leaders for today’s society. BSU is also a close-knit community of over 1000 students willing to explore the many different backgrounds and identities this campus has to offer. We host a countless number of partnerships across campus with a variety of student organizations. This allows us to honor our mission statement of Unity Through Education and to provide our members with a springboard of opportunity to share their passions and talents with all of Auburn. We urge all Auburn students to get involved with BSU! Whether that be attending our weekly General Assemblies on Monday at 5pm for food, games, and fellowship or one of our many staple events such as Soul Food Bazaar and Jazz and Poetry Night, all are welcome. We wish you the best in your first year at Auburn and we can’t wait to see you all!

War Eagle! Your BSU Family

Fall 2021

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SGA President: Welcome to Auburn By RETT WAGGONER

With the new semester of classes looking to be largely in-person, and life beginning to be more normal than we have known in over a year, I encourage everyone to continue to use safe practices and adhere to the guidelines set forth by the University. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, our collective efforts now are as important as ever in moving us back toward the Auburn Experience we all hope to see again. As always, I encourage you all to seek new challenges, make the most of every opportunity and lead with a spirit that is not afraid. We are here for you every step of the way — let us know how we can help. Good luck! Best wishes, Rett Waggoner

2021-2022 SGA President

War Eagle! For those of you joining us on campus for the first time, we could not be more excited to have you here. To the Auburn students returning, welcome back home. Whether you have spent the summer traveling, studying, working or sleeping in until noon, I hope you are well-rested and recharged for the upcoming semester. The Student Government Association is here to serve, promote and unify all that is Auburn. Over the course of the summer, we have worked hard to see your student experience is the best it can be. We believe this year will be the best yet and are excited to serve you throughout. Please utilize Auburn Answers to let us know your feedback on what is going around on campus. You can access this at


Rett is a senior studying finance and president of the Student Government Association for 2021-2022.


Dr. Kam: We need to take personal responsibility By FRED KAM Director of Auburn University Medical Clinic

Fall semester is here, and while we are beginning this fall in a better position than last year — testing is widely available, the medical community has learned how to better treat COVID patients and personal protective equipment is no longer in short supply — the Delta variant continues to spread rapidly. As more people arrive on campus, those of us in health care settings are seeing a sharp increase in calls to our clinics and visits to our testing sites. It is a scenario we have seen before, and it is not one we are thrilled to revisit. For us to have an uninterrupted fall semester, we must each take personal responsibility for ourselves and encourage those around us to do the same. Get vaccinated.

If you are not vaccinated, I am asking you to do so immediately. Vaccinations will help us stay in the classroom, fill Jordan-Hare this fall and keep yourself and those around you healthy. Infections are rising among younger people — including college-aged people — and almost all hospitalized patients are unvaccinated. The vaccine is free, safe and readily available on campus. There will be a pop-up vaccine clinic in the Melton Student Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 18, and appointments are not needed. Make a plan to receive the shot and encourage your friends to do the same. Once you are fully vaccinated, be sure to enter to win incentives for taking this important step. Wear your mask. Face coverings are the most effective non-pharmaceutical way to mitigate virus transmission. They pro-

tect you and those around you, and we need the extra protection to help keep the Delta variant at bay. Auburn’s indoor mask mandate is a temporary requirement, but it is necessary to keep the campus community healthier. Get tested and self-report. Given the virus’ rapid spread and tendency to infect close contacts, it is essential to get tested if you are symptomatic whether you are vaccinated or not and have been or could have been exposed to someone with COVID. To make an appointment to get tested at the Auburn University Medical Clinic, call 334-844-9825. If you test positive, be sure to complete the Self-Report Form. Each of us has a responsibility to help keep Auburn healthier this fall, and by committing to following these simple but crucial guidelines, we increase our chances of an uninterrupted semester.


Fred Kam, medical director at the Auburn University Medical Clinic, first came to Auburn in 1997.


The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back

Fall 2021


VACCINE INFORMATION FROM HEALTH OFFICIALS Why should I get vaccine if I’m healthy?

Most young people aren’t being hospitalized, nor are they dying at high rates from infection. But each time a healthy young person gets the virus, there is a risk that they will transmit it to someone who is vulnerable or has underlying health conditions.

Can’t I still get sick even if I get the vaccine? Then what’s the point? Most vaccines aren’t 100% effective at preventing infection, including the COVID-19 vaccines that are available right now, but they do seriously reduce the spread of the virus. What vaccines are good at, though, is preventing serious illness that could land you in a hospital.

Why aren’t the vaccines FDA approved?

Full approval from the Food and Drug Administration is a lengthy process, one that would take too long given the state of the pandemic when they were introduced. All of the vaccines have received emergency use authorization from the FDA, which still requires months of safety data. As of publication, the FDA is working toward full approval of the vaccines.

How do the vaccines work?

The vaccines create an immune response against the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine contains a message from the virus to create a harmless protein unique to the virus, which the body responds to by creating immune cells which remember how to fight the virus. The Aub urn Uni vers ity M edic al C linic


Do I need to get the shot if I’ve already been infected?

Yes — experts don’t know how long immunity from contracting the virus lasts. Studies have also shown that the vaccine provides a boost in protection to those that have already recovered from infection with COVID-19.

What risks are there to the vaccine?

There are a few risks to every vaccine. One of the most common worries about the COVID-19 vaccine is myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. But myocarditis is extremely rare, and you’re actually much more likely to get it from contracting the virus. There is also no evidence the vaccine causes infertility, another common misconception.

Will I have to get a booster shot?

As of publication, it’s unclear whether fully vaccinated individuals will need to get an additional shot in the future to continue to stave off the virus. The process of making that decision requires both laboratory and clinical trial data. Right now, booster shots are not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This information was sourced from the CDC, Auburn University’s COVID-19 website and interviews with representatives of the Auburn University Medical Clinic or East Alabama Medical Center.

Fall 2021

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Auburn University requires masks indoors, while on buses By EVAN MEALINS Editor-in-Chief TIM NAIL | COMMUNITY EDITOR

Vaccines are available at East Alabama Apothecary, part of East Alabama Health.


The following testing sites in Auburn, Opelika and Smiths Station offer vaccinations at no cost: Auburn University Medical Clinic, American Family Care, Auburn Pharmacy, CVS Pharmacy, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Kroger, Publix, Our Home Pharmacy, Walgreens, Oak Park Pharmacy, Winn Dixie, Lowe’s Pharmacy, East Alabama Apothecary (located within EAMC), Lee County Health Department and Thomas Pharmacy.

For at least the start of the semester, everyone will required to wear a mask indoors and on University transportation, regardless of whether you’re vaccinated. The policy went into effect on Aug. 3 and administration says it is a temporary measure. Facing another spike in local hospitalizations and positive cases of COVID-19, the University made the decision to keep the virus from spreading on campus, following the guidance set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and recommendations from University medical staff, local health officials and the Alabama Department of Public Health. There are a few caveats to the policy. Individuals are allowed to go without their masks in certain instances, including when outdoors, at open-air athletic venues, alone in individual offices, alone or with roommates in residence hall rooms, at the Campus Recre-

ation and Wellness Center and when actively eating at indoor dining facilities. Under the policy, faculty can wear face shields rather than face coverings during lectures as long as social distancing is still maintained to allow lecturers to better project their voices. If unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability, students should seek accommodations through the Office of Accessibility, and employees should seek accommodations through the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity. Exemptions based on a religious concern are handled through Auburn Cares. “Auburn students have been great about following the safety protocols we’ve asked of them for the past year and a half, and we are asking for their cooperation again as we begin the semester,” said Bobby Woodard, senior vice president for Student Affairs. “It’s important to remember that we all have the same goal, and that’s to have an incredible fall together on campus.”



The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back

Fall 2021

AUGUST 15 - OCTOBER 9 For many students, the first eight weeks of school set the tone for the year ahead. The #First56 is here to help you build community, healthy decision making and academic achievement. Download the Auburn Guides mobile app for the full schedule of events!

Fall 2021

The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back



AU starts vaccine incentive program By CHARLIE RAMO Content Editor

In hopes of getting more students vaccinated, Auburn University started an incentive program to give out various prizes — including a $1,000 scholarship and A-zone parking for a semester — to select fully vaccinated students and student organizations. The program will begin in the fall semester, the University announced in an email sent to students July 26. Student Affairs will randomly select winners throughout the semester. Individual student prizes include a $1,000 scholarship; A-zone parking for the semester, an unlimited meal plan; 25 meal swipes for Central Dining or Tiger Zone dining halls; a Campus Recreation Group Fitness semester pass; a weekend camping package for two; a weekend water sports package for two;

priority class registration; lunch for four with President Jay Gogue and a VIP parking pass and free regalia for graduation. Student organization prizes include free reservations for either the Student Center Ballroom or Student Act Ballroom; custom organization Under Armour apparel, sweatshirts; Yeti cups or coolers; a free food truck meal; free spray tans; a catered meal and a Samford Hall clock tower tour. The University, which has said it will not require students to get the vaccine before returning to campus, introduced the incentive program “to emphasize the importance of vaccines to a successful fall semester.” Other universities across the nation have begun similar incentive programs to encourage students to get vaccinated. Ella Cummings, junior in civil engineering, said she thought the program was a

good idea and that it might motivate her to get the COVID-19 vaccine. “I haven’t gotten vaccinated,” Cummings said. “But I probably would if I could get a scholarship or free parking.” Johanna Key, a master’s student studying nutrition, said while there will still be some who don’t get their shots, it may sway some vaccine-hesitant students. “I think it’s a good idea,” Key said. “I think some people are just not willing to take it just because of what their friends are saying, but money is a good incentive, so I think it might help out a lot.” Students can enter the program through a form on AUInvolve for the opportunity to win. Winners will be contacted through their Auburn email address, at which point they will have to provide proof of vaccination. In the case of student organizations, multiple members will be required to show proof of


The University said it started the program “to emphasize the importance of vaccines to a successful fall semester.”

vaccination. The prizes are only available to fully vaccinated students, which requires either two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Students participating in dual enrollment or who are benefit-eligible employees of the University are ineligible for the incentive program. Those who enter can’t win twice. Prizes are non-transferable and may be restricted to certain dates. The website also warns students that prizes such as the $1,000 scholarship may affect their financial aid award package, and students are therefore recommended to consult with Student Financial Services to learn of any impact the prize may have on existing financial aid. Reporting for this story was contributed by Evan Mealins.


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Fall 2021

Become a Student Gift Officer for Auburn University Great for your resume Flexible hours (No Saturday shifts!) Develop exceptional communication and public relations skills Priority registration perks (Register your classes before most Auburn students.)

Student Gift Officers build rapport with Auburn alumni to raise money for important programs, scholarships, and more. If you are looking for a job that will impress future employers, scan the QR code below and apply today!

Fall 2021

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Students away but University busy since May Jay Gogue seeking plans for retirement Auburn University President Jay Gogue said on June 11 he is seeking retirement after returning to the position in 2019 in an interim capacity and was appointed 20th president in 2020. He previously served as the University’s 18th president from 2007-2017 and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in horticulture from Auburn. BROOKE FUCITO | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Auburn one of 12 schools in College Bowl Auburn students Aahil Makhani, Eleanor Covington and Ada Ruth Huntley put their knowledge to the test representing Auburn in NBC’s “College Bowl” quiz show. In their first appearance on June 22, the students competed against three University of Alabama students but lost and advanced to the quarterfinals. There, they defeated three Ole Miss students. VIA GREG GAYNE | NBC

Student-athletes sign NIL sponsorships After the NCAA Board of Governors approved a name, image and likeness policy on June 30, Auburn student-athletes became eligible for NIL compensation on July 1. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed HB 82 into law in April, which granted student-athletes in the state eligibility if the NCAA approved the policy. Auburn QB Bo Nix has since been sponsored by Milo’s Sweet Tea and Bojangles. TODD VAN EMST | AU ATHLETICS

Spirit to make final fall flight over stadium Bald eagle Spirit, who has soared over Jordan-Hare Stadium in pregame football flights for almost 20 years, will be retiring, the University announced July 19. Her last flight will be before the home game against Mississippi State on Nov. 13. Spirit arrived at the University’s Southeastern Raptor Center in the late 1990s and has made 45 flights since her first flight on Sept. 28, 2002. BROOKE FUCITO | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Rick Bragg tells tales of Southern upbringing Alabama author and journalist Rick Bragg orated to an audience of Auburn alums at the Gogue Performing Arts Center on July 22, sharing tales from his boyhood growing up in the Deep South and his hopes for future Southerners. Bragg, 62, wrote for The New York Times from 1994-2003, receiving a Pulitzer Prize for his work in 1996, and now teaches at the University of Alabama. BROOKE FUCITO | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

By TIM NAIL Community Editor


The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back

Fall 2021

Fall 2021

The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back






RECAP: 15 Tigers compete at Tokyo Olympics By JAKE WEESE Sports Editor

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have wrapped up, and for Auburn’s 15 athletes, it was a chance for them to compete on the world’s biggest stage. From medals to national records, here’s how Auburn’s Olympians did in this year’s games. GYMNASTICS Sunisa Lee walked away with three medals in her Olympic debut. The incoming freshman was Auburn’s first-ever Olympic gymnast and won gold in the all-around, bronze in the bars final and won silver with her Team USA teammates in the team final. The 18-year-old also competed in the balance beam final and finished fifth in the event. SOFTBALL Emily Carosone made history in this year’s games as she was Auburn’s first-ever Olympic softball player. She played for Team Italy during the 2020 Olympics and appeared in all five games. In the five games, Carosone finished with an on-base percentage of .231, which was the fourth-highest on Team Italy. TENNIS Tim Puetz represented Germany in men’s doubles competition and was Auburn’s first-ever men’s tennis alum to compete at the Olympics. Puetz and his doubles partner advanced to the second round of competition

before falling to Great Britain’s Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury. TRACK & FIELD Nathon Allen and Team Jamaica finished sixth in the men’s 4x400m relay final. Allen ran as the Team’s anchor and finished his leg in 44.41. As an individual, Allen competed in the men’s 400m and finished fourth in his heat with a time of 46.12 but did not advance. Rachel Dincoff competed for Team USA in the discus and was also Auburn’s first-ever female track and field athlete to represent Team USA. Once arriving in Tokyo, the firsttime Olympian finished 12th in qualifying with a best throw of 56.22 meters but did not advance. Auburn’s third track and field athlete was Donald Thomas, who competed for the Bahamas in the high jump. Thomas finished with a jump of 2.21 to finish 13th overall in his qualifying group. Kai Selvon was Auburn’s fourth and final track and field athlete in Tokyo. Selvon competed for Trinidad and Tobago in the women’s 4x100m relay. Selvon and her teammates finished eighth in qualifying with a time of 43.62. SWIMMING Making her Olympic debut, Team USA’s Annie Lazor took home a bronze medal in the women’s 200m breaststroke. In her only event in Tokyo, the 26-year-old finished with a time of 2:20.84 to take home the bronze medal.

Zach Apple and his Team USA teammates walked away with two gold medals and a world record at this year’s games. The former Auburn swimmer swam in three relays and one individual event in Tokyo. The first-time Olympian won his first gold medal as the anchor for the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay. He swam his 100 meters in 46.69. The 24-year-old won his second medal and helped set a world record as a member of Team USA’s 4x100m medley relay team. In the 4x100m medley relay, Apple once again served as the anchor and swam his 100 meters freestyle in 46.95. Team USA finished with a time of 3:26.78 in the event to set the world record. The previous record had been set in 2009 with a time of 3:27.28. Apple also swam as a member of the 4x200m freestyle relay team. Team USA’s 4x200m freestyle relay team finished fourth in the event. As an individual, he swam in the 100m freestyle but did not advance past the semifinals. Luis Martinez set a national record swimming for Guatemala in this year’s games. The 25-year-old advanced to the men’s 100m butterfly final and finished seventh in the event. Martinez swam his 100 meters in 51.09, which set a national record for Guatemala. Marcelo Chierighini swam for Brazil in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay and served as the Team’s anchor. Chierighini and Brazil made it to the finals of the event and finished

eighth. As the anchor, he swam his 100 meters in 47.72. Santiago Grassi represented Argentina in this year’s games and swam in two events. The 24-year-old swam in the men’s 50m freestyle and then the 100m butterfly. In both events, Grassi did not advance past the heats as he finished sixth in the 50m freestyle with a time of 22.67. He finished first in his 100m butterfly heat in 52.07 but did not advance past the heat stage. Peter Holoda swam as a member of Hungary’s 4x100m medley relay men’s team. Holoda and Hungary did not advance past the heats, and he swam his 100 meters as the anchor in 48.89. Julie Meynen swam in two events for Luxembourg. She swam in the women’s 50m freestyle and then the 100m freestyle but did not advance past the heats in either event. In her 100m freestyle heat, she finished seventh with a time of 55.69. She then finished third in her 50m freestyle heat with a time of 25.36. Along with Sunisa Lee, Adriel Sanes was the only other current Auburn athlete to compete in the 2020 Olympics. Sanes swam for the U.S. Virgin Islands in the men’s 100m breaststroke and the 200m breaststroke. Sanes did not advance past the heats in both events. He finished third in his heat in the men’s 100 meters in 1:02.43 and then finished eighth in the 200 meters with a time of 2:16.87.


The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back


This exhibition is organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, Home of the Brave, 2013, wire, silk, fabric, safety pins and synthetic and natural treads, 72 x 99 inches. Courtesy of the artist. © Consuelo Jimenez Underwood.

Fall 2021

Fall 2021

The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back



What happened in town while you were gone By CHARLIE RAMO Content Editor

Despite the majority of students leaving town for the summer, the City of Auburn continued to exist and change over the past few months. Here are the top things that happened when you weren’t looking.


Whataburger is open 24/7.


Auburn’s first-ever Whataburger opened across the street from Tiger Town this summer. A second Whataburger is planned for the former Pieology building at Toomer’s Corner, but it has yet to go through the City Council for approval.


Steven Dixon has served as a Council member since 2018.

The parking deck has a walkway to North College Street.

CITY EXPANDS DOWNTOWN PARKING WITH DECK The City added 350 available downtown parking spots by opening the new Wright Street Parking Deck at the end of last month. The deck costs $1 per hour with a maximum of $15 per 24-hour period. It is paid 24/7, unlike other City parking.

CITY COUNCIL MEMBER SUES CITY OVER AIRBNB RESTRICTIONS In March, the City Council passed a law placing restrictions on short-term house rentals such as Airbnb. It was then further revised in May to require a business license to operate. In June, Ward 5 Council member Steven Dixon sued a dozen City staff — ­ including his fellow Council members — over the restrictions placed on his property. Dixon has rented out the basement of his home since 2018, but after the restrictions were placed, he could not obtain a business license due to the location of his home. The lawsuit questions the legality of the restrictions and seeks to overturn them. The lawsuit is ongoing.


The Chick-fil-A replaces the previous standalone location.

CHICK-FIL-A AND ROSS HOUSE COFFEE OPEN IN 320 WEST MAG Nearly two years after it closed, the Chick-fil-A on West Magnolia Avenue has reopened, now located on the first floor of the 320 West Mag apartment building. It has all the capabilities of a standalone location, including a dining room and a drive-thru. Ross House’s new location gives students another option to feed their caffeine addiction within walking distance of campus. It is the second location for the local coffee roastery based out of the house next door to 160 Ross.

Not wanting to be outdone by Whataburger, Culver’s announced its first location in Auburn over the summer. It is currently under construction and does not have a set opening date as of yet.


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Fall 2021


New Tiger Cards ready for pickup By EMERY LAY Campus Editor


The new Tiger Cards will replace both Ignited Cards and old Tiger Cards.

This year, Auburn University students will have the opportunity to receive new Tiger Cards. With this new card, the University hopes to provide its students with a more convenient way to navigate purchases and entries on campus. Purchases and entries will now be contactless, with new card readers installed across campus. To access a campus event — including athletic events — students will simply place the card within an inch of the center of the card reader. The new cards will also replace Ignited Cards. Students can visit the Tiger Card office, Room 261 in Foy Hall, to receive their new card. The office will be open Monday through Friday between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Incoming freshmen received their cards if they attended an in-person orientation. On-campus and off-campus students will be able to pick up their card from the office. When picking up a new card, students must present one of the

following: 1. Current driver’s license 2. Current temporary driver’s license 3. Passport 4. Birth certificate (original or copy) 5. Photo in the Auburn yearbook or other University publication identifying the individual 6. In-person identification by an Auburn University employee showing his/her Auburn University Faculty/Staff ID Card 7. Military ID Only new incoming students are allowed to submit photos for their card; previous cardholders will receive a new card with an identical picture. Old Tiger Cards must be turned in in order to receive a new one at no charge, otherwise, you’ll be charged $25 to your e-bill. Currently, there is no deadline to retrieve your new Tiger Card, and payments and swipe access will still work with them. However, once new card readers are installed on doors around campus, old cards will no longer be read.








Fall 2021

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‘I missed out on the true freshman experience’ After a year of social distancing and online classes, students hope for a more normal semester this fall. By MY LY Podcast Editor

With a semester that will be fully inperson for the first time in over a year, students face many new experiences that had not been tackled in the past. Lily Kucik, sophomore in pre-med, was raised in Opelika and is entering a fall semester with on-campus classes for the first time. Kucik discussed how she felt like she missed out on many opportunities her first year. “During my last semester, I feel as though I missed out on the true freshman experience,” Kucik said. “I didn’t really have many opportunities to meet students who shared academic interests because we were all separated by a computer screen. I missed out on walking through campus and seeing familiar faces from other classes. I feel like I didn’t get the quality of education I was looking forward to because we were limited to video chats without actual interaction.” Like many other students, Kucik’s first year experience during COVID-19 was challenging for her to manage. “Personally, I do feel as though online classes have hindered my performance in

class,” Kucik said. “I am a very hands-on learner so not being able to sit at a desk and interact with others has made it harder for me to get motivation to complete all of my studies.” Because she has lived in Opelika her whole life, Kucik said she feels comfortable entering the campus in the fall semester. “I grew up in Opelika, so navigating the Auburn campus is like second nature for me,” Kucik said. “I personally believe I am prepared to enter campus, but I could understand how my other classmates may not feel as confident.” Kucik talked about her anticipation for other student experiences as well. “I’m truly looking forward to having in-person classes this fall,” Kucik said. “I’m excited to meet my peers and share an education together without using social media. Along with in-person academics, I am really anticipating football season. I’m so excited to be able to watch a football game in Jordan-Hare, sitting with so many other students who share the same excitement I have.” Kucik’s experience is similar to many other sophomores. Alexia Alford, a sophomore in wildlife science pre-vet, has faced many of the same challenges but

was raised in Virginia. When Alford first arrived in Auburn, they said the online courses were not something they were fully prepared for. “I think I was hoping at some point that we would go back to in-person,” Alford said. “Because a lot of my classes were asynchronous my very first semester, it made it really hard for me to schedule out my assignments. I would like do all of my work for one class on a singular day instead of spreading it out.” Alford discussed how the online modality made it very difficult for them to learn as well as they could have. “I feel like I missed out on campus life,” Alford said. “And really seeing how vibrant the campus can be and talking with my peers, mostly. Because we were just in a bunch of GroupMe’s, but we never saw each other face-to-face, really, unless it was for study groups. That’s really the only time we saw each other.” Alford also discussed their ability to socialize outside of class. “I stayed in my dorm all the time,” Alford said. “Mostly, the only people I talked to was my roommate, her friends that would come over, my academic advisor and my therapists.” For students like Alford, moving to a

new state and not being able to explore the campus in the traditional way hindered their ability to socialize and adjust. They discussed the pressure they feel to now be back in person because of this. “I think it’s kind of intimidating,” Alford said. “Because I started out college online. So, that’s how I got adjusted to college. And now I kind of have to readjust myself to be in-person and take notes straight from the professor rather than a video recording.” Alford works for Auburn as a resident advisor and they stated how the position has helped them acclimate to seeing other students and connecting with their peers. “Being around people now has definitely helped,” Alford said. “Actually going out and doing things with other students is new to me and something I appreciate more.” Alex Tyer, junior in interior design, discussed her excitement to go back to fully in-person classes. “I am ready to go back on campus,” Tyer said. “I definitely missed seeing the campus full. I am looking forward to meeting new people and potentially building new friendships that involve hanging out or even just studying together.”



The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back

What’s going on? Here are nine Welcome Week events to check out, hosted by campus orgs and open to all students.

PLAINSMAN INTEREST MEETING What: Like what we do? Hate it? Either way, feel free to stop by. When: Aug. 16, 5 p.m. Where: Mell 2510

Fall 2021

PIZZA AND POPSICLES WITH THE PRESIDENTWhat: Free popsicles, pizza and T-shirts with Jay Gogue When: Aug. 18, 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Where: President’s Home

BACK TO SCHOOL BBQ What: Food and live music from Auburn University Dance Marathon. When: Aug. 19, 2-6:30 p.m. Where: Campus Green



What: Free breakfast with the senior vice president of Student Affairs. When: Aug. 17, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Where: Campus Green

What: Free cookies and a tour of Eagle Eye’s office. When: Aug. 18, 5 p.m. Where: Student Center 1105

What: Auburn Christian Student Center will have a coffee bar on their porch. When: Aug. 20, 8 p.m. Where: 493 S. College St.




What: Learn about programs and resouces from Academic Support. When: Aug. 18, 10 a.m. Where: 2234 Haley Center

What: Play board games with Auburn’s gay-straight alliance. When: Aug. 18, 8 p.m. Where: Mell 3550


What: The Circle, Auburn’s literary magazine, is hosting an open mic night for students. When: Aug. 26, 6:30 p.m. Where: Well Red Coffee and Books



retreat Sept. 17-19 ALABAMA 4 - H CENTER | COLUMBIANA, AL




Fall 2021

The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back




FILE PHOTO Recycling bins line the studios of Wallace Hall and are one way to help live sustainably.

By DESTINI AMBUS Opinion Editor

The Office of Sustainability defines sustainability as “the intentional effort to create a world that is perpetually healthy, vibrant, beautiful, and flourishing for all of Earth’s inhabitants”, according to its website. The office presents it, though, as thinking about how your life connects to the four aspects of the sustainability compass: nature, society, economics and well-being. “Sustainability is thinking about how your life connects to those four dimensions, and the impacts of your actions on you and everything around you,” said Amy Strickland, project manager at the Office of Sustainability. “How is your student organization or group, or major, how does it connect to the dimensions and look for areas of opportunity, where you can reduce your negative impacts and increase your positive impact?” Strickland said the best way to increase your positive impact in Auburn this fall is to start thinking about Auburn as your home

for as long as you’re here. “So, what are the impacts that I’m having when I’m here on campus?” Strickland said. “What impact does my actions have on waste, on energy, water availability?” There’s never a better time to start practicing new habits than the start of a new semester. New semesters bring new beginnings, a time to start new practices and discard the old. This fall, don’t just consider being more eco-friendly; here are five tips to intentionally create a healthy, vibrant and flourishing community in Auburn. 1. Buy and eat locally. College students usually eat what they can get their hands on, and what’s going to be good for their wallet, but buying locally doesn’t have to be expensive and it supports your local community. O Grows Farmers Market is one of the local farmers markets that is open every Tuesday for the rest of August from 3-6p.m., across the street from the Cultural Arts Center on Glenn Street near the community garden. After August, continue to try shopping locally at the Park-

way and Opelika Farmer’s Markets. 2. Use reusable products. Reusable products are ‘tools to protect tomorrow’, and make it easer to create a positive impact when you’re out and about, according to a guide from the Office of Sustainability. When you’re out shopping, use a reusable shopping bag and pick up a reusable water bottle and utensils. The Office of Sustainability also has a picnic during Welcome Week on Aug. 18, where they will be giving away reusable utensils. Drop by at the south end of the Donald E. Davis Arboretum near the Old Rotation on Aug. 18 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 3. Use sustainable transport. Instead of driving to campus, and because everyone knows parking is a pain, you can choose to take Tiger Transit. It may be more of a toss-up as to when you’ll arrive on campus, and you may not even arrive on-time, but the fear of not making it to a class builds character. Additionally, this fall, Auburn will be in-

troducing a new bike-sharing program, so you’ll have a bit more control over your ETA, while reducing the environmental impacts of driving. 4. Recycle. One of the easiest ways to be more eco-friendly is by recycling. Auburn has countless opportunities for students to recycle around campus, with recycling bins available in every building and in every room. The Office of Sustainability also has a battery recycling program, which you can find more information about on their website. 5. Take care of yourself. This may seem like a random one, but according to Strickland, the best way to practice sustainability is to take care of yourself. You can’t do anything for the environment or people around you if you’re not feeling the best yourself. “Make certain that you’re supporting your own well-being first, so that you can have a positive impact in other areas as well,” Strickland said. “All of those other things are going to take kind of a back seat otherwise.”


The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back

Fall 2021

Fall 2021

The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back



Ten hybrid buses and 50 diesel buses are making their way to campus this semester.


New Tiger Transit buses hit the road By EMERY LAY Campus Editor

The familiar sight of orange Tiger Transit buses is being phased out this semester in favor of bigger and brighter buses. The new buses are already serving routes around campus and beyond, with new ones arriving weekly from California from bus manufacturer Gillig. The University is launching 36 buses into service the first week of the fall semester, according to Chris Harris, transit operations manager. These will not fully replace the current diesel fleet of 70 until the beginning of October. Twelve buses will be stored in a lot by the University’s RO parking until the third week of September when they undergo camera and tracking technology installation. “We had a little bit of an interruption because there was a diesel re-

call, but [Gillig] worked the building schedule so we that we didn’t have any ofthe buses coming in any later than the end of August,” Harris said. None of the buses in the University’s fleet have been affected by the recall, Harris said. In total, Auburn will be host to 10 hybrid electric buses and 50 diesel ones once all buses have been delivered. All are 35-foot buses, matching the size of the current ones. Additionally, four smaller buses will be received to replace the old smaller buses. “We normally run 57 buses during the fall,” said Don Andrae, retired director of transportation services. “That means 20 of them will still be the older buses.” The hybrid electric buses are operating electrically on the central campus area. They do not emit any fumes or noise while on campus. Additionally, their diesel engines will cut off

any time the bus stops while it is not on central campus grounds, much like a hybrid car. Harris said the University carried out a trial run of the buses the last week of the summer semester to positive feedback from students and local business owners. “We’re getting a lot of good response,” Harris said. “Students are liking them and we’ve got some of the general public liking them.” The buses feature both front and back doors, making it a smoother and quicker transition for passengers to enter and exit the bus. While the buses will continue to halt at every bus stop, there will no longer be a wait. Pull cords are implemented to serve as indicators for passengers to use when they want to get off. This system should cut down on transit times, making transportation faster for students, Andrae said. “There are several positive im-

pacts that the buses will have on the efficiency of the transit operation,” he said. “When the cord is pulled it alerts the driver that a stop has been requested.” There are audio announcements to alert riders of the next stop on the route and a visual display of the next stop will be added before fall 2023. “The first day I think [the alerts] scared a few folks because they’re not used to the buses talking,” Harris said. The visual displays were created with the audibly impaired in mind. Both the hybrid electric and diesel buses have an accessible ramp at the front door that folds out to accommodate its passengers. The buses also conveniently lower several feet on the front end when passengers are loading, accommodating the elderly and physically disabled to make for an easier entrance. The buses will be wider, making for a significant increase in standing

room on each bus. Old buses were limited to a capacity of 40 passengers maximum, but new buses will now allow up to 50. Each bus is equipped with charging stations for phones as well as WiFi. As a custom touch, the seats have blue blacks with an interlocking AU on each one. Finally, bike racks will still be available to hold up to two bicycles on the front of every bus. Harris said students’ transition to the new buses should be seamless as they will still use the DoubleMap app. “There’s a couple of stops that are a work in progress because the new buses can’t necessarily get there, but we’re working with the property owners to make things happen,” Harris said. “Nothing is going to change day one.” Community editor Tim Nail contributed reporting for this story.


The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back

Fall 2021



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New dining hall opens with eight different food stations TIM NAIL | COMMUNITY EDITOR

The Edge opened on Aug. 9 for students and now offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Stadium and the Melton Student Center that students or organizations can reserve. For students who want to study in the new dining facility, the seating around the outside of the Edge are designed to be quiet areas. There is also outdoor seating around the Edge. Loughridge said he is excited for students to eat at the new facility when they return.

By EVAN MEALINS Editor-in-Chief

On Aug. 9, Auburn’s newest dining option opened to students for the first time. The Edge at Central Dining, located near the Stadium Parking Deck and Parker Hall, is Campus Dining’s newest facility. The 48,000-square foot space can hold up to 800 people depending on social distancing requirements, and it is able to serve 3,000 people each day during lunch hours. Over 1,000 students ate at the Edge each day during the first two days it was open. Glenn Loughridge, director of Campus Dining, said things went smoothly after the launch. “So far operationally, we have heard great feedback from students

about both the facililty and the food,” Loughridge said. When entering the Edge, students will first pay for their meal, where they can eat as much food as they like from any of the eight different dining options in the facility. The four stations on the first floor are Market, which serves sandwiches, wraps, salads and soups; Traditions, offering comfort food and desserts; Ignite Grill, which serves grilled meats and vegetables; and Urban Kitchen, which serves a variety of different dishes, including Asian cuisine. On the second floor are Street Works, a nacho and taco bar, where students can customize their meals; True Balance, a non-allergenic dining station which does not use ingredients containing nine major allergens including eggs, dairy, fin-

fish, shellfish, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and gluten and also has its own dishwasher to avoid cross-contamination from other dining stations; Pizza on the Plains; and Twirl, where students can order their own pasta or pick up premade pasta dishes. There is also a cereal station, ice cream station, waffle makers and several drink stations with coffee. Many foods are made with ingredients made at Auburn University, including at the new vertical farms that the University introduced over the summer. Each dining station will have a rotating menu, and students can view the menu ahead of time online. The dining hall also offers several spaces for students to gather. On the second floor, there are meeting rooms with a view of Jordan-Hare

“I am really excited for students to eat great food in this state-of-the-art facility,” he said. “I am also hopeful that they take time to find community with one another and that the Edge enhances their Auburn experience.” The hours for the dining hall will be 7 a.m.–10 p.m. on Monday– Thursday, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday.




The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back

Fall 2021


Auburn soccer ‘super motivated’ for 2021 season By JAKE WEESE Sports Editor

After finishing 2020 with a 10-5-3 record which included a five-game winning streak to end the spring portion of the season, Auburn soccer is looking to build on that success in 2021. This season, the Tigers return 10 of their 12 starters, including fifth-year Alyssa Malonson. Malonson used her extra year of eligibility given to all fall athletes because of the disruptions caused by COVID-19 to come back for one last season. Malonson was always planning to use her extra eligibility, but the original goal was to use it to help her get ready for the pros. The Houston, Texas, native who did not even register for the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League Draft achieved her goal of wanting to play professionally a year early as she was drafted by the North Carolina Courage last spring. Instead of going pro, however, Malonson still decided to come back. Since arriving on The Plains in 2017, Malonson has started in every game for the Tigers. Her resume at Auburn includes 37 career wins, two NCAA Tournament appearances and two All-SEC selections. Despite all these accomplishments, Malonson has some unfinished business left at Auburn. “So like the one thing that I want not only for me but for Auburn as well is a ring,” Malonson said. “And I feel like, with this team, that goal can be achieved.” Even with 10 of their 12 starters returning, the Tigers are a mostly young team. 19 of the 33 players on the roster are underclassmen and despite them playing


Alyssa Malonson against Memphis in Auburn, Ala. on Aug. 10, 2021.

a lot of minutes last season, Auburn did not play a normal schedule. Each SEC school only played one game a week in 2020 and they also played conference games first in the fall and then nonconference in the spring. 2021 will see SEC schools return to a normal schedule with mutliple games a week and the entire season will be played in the fall instead of splitting the season up between the fall and spring. Head coach Karen Hoppa knows her team is motivated to continue its momentum from last season, even if it wasn’t a normal schedule.


Maddie Prohaska against Memphis in Auburn, Ala. on Aug. 10, 2021.

“The team as a whole is super motivated,” Hoppa said. “I think everybody was a little frustrated where we ended in the conference because obviously once we played those nonconference games in the spring, we played our best soccer at the end of the year. So I think they are hungry from a conference standpoint and from an NCAA Tournament standpoint because everyone felt we should’ve been in, and we didn’t get in. So, I think there’s already that hunger, and then when you look at our senior class, and you’ve got somebody like Alyssa who’s sacrificed a year of pros to come back, I think it will certainly be a big motivation for the girls.”


Hailey Whitaker takes on a defender against Memphis in Auburn, Ala. on Aug. 10, 2021.

Fall 2021

The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back




Auburn volleyball practicing inside the Student Activities Center as head coach Brent Crouch looks on.

Crouch: ‘Now is the time to buy stock in Auburn volleyball’ By KRISTEN CARR Sports Writer

Auburn volleyball is returning to the court this fall. When the Tigers open up their season against The Citadel on Aug. 26, it will be the first time they take the court for a game since Nov. 19, 2020. Last season, the Tigers’ 2020-21 season was split into a fall and spring conference-only slate. Auburn finished 0-8 last fall, and because of opt-outs and injuries, they did not take part in the spring. Heading into 2021, Auburn has reloaded its roster with six newcomers, and the schedule has returned to normal with nonconference games and a fall-only slate. “We have six new incoming players, four freshmen and two transfers,” said head coach Brent Crouch. “So that’s 33% of the team. That’s a lot of new people. So it really feels like a fresh start right now.” Entering his second season, Crouch is hoping to accomplish goals that he was previously unable to because of the team opting out of the spring season and limitations from COVID-19. “Our basic goals are to get everything in place,” Crouch said. “On the court, off the court, how we’re going to play, what does practice look like, how hard are we going to work,

all of those things we’re trying to get in place, and then we hope to be, once we do, competitive. We expect to win some games this year.” Fallan Lanham, Jordan Sinness, Kate Curtis, Cassidy Tanton, Rebekah Rath and Liz Reich are the six new players joining the team this fall. Lanham, Sinness, Curtis and Tanton are incoming freshmen, while Rath and Reich transferred from Maryland and Portland, respectively. Reich, a grad transfer, comes from the University of Portland, where Crouch coached from 2014-17. Reich’s freshman season at Portland was Crouch’s final season as head coach of the Pilots. “Liz is somebody that is really hard not to like a lot,” Crouch said. “She’s just a very positive person … Having [a player] in here that we know really well and we trust a lot and that the players will love and trust too, I think is just going to help bring people together. She’s a glue person. That’s who she’s going to be. She’s a glue player. She knows how I coach and what we teach, and that’s going to help other people just to see that she knows how to do a lot of that stuff already.” Reich is not the only player Crouch will lean on for leadership, as Val Green and Bella Rosenthall are two seniors that he thinks positively influence the team. Rosenthall’s competitiveness in both games and practice is something that Crouch appreciates and feels that her fellow players respond to.

Even with Auburn leaning on its upperclassman leaders, Crouch understands that there will still be some growing pains early on in the season. Despite the growing pains, he expects the Tigers to be better than last year. “We are going to put on a show out there for folks,” Crouch said. “It’s going to be apparent probably early on, but certainly as the season goes on, I expect the team to do a lot better. We’re very excited about the future and this other recruiting class coming in 2022.” Not only does he see the team being better, but the second-year head coach also wants fans to start to invest in his team. “I think now is the time to buy stock in Auburn volleyball,” Crouch said. “It’s a good time to jump on board and come to games and get to know players that are young, and we’re going to be young for the next two years, but we’re going to be really good in about three years, so get in on the ground floor.” The Tigers will kick off their season inside Auburn Arena in the War Eagle Invitational against The Citadel on Aug. 26, at 7 p.m. Following the opener, they have matches against Tennessee Tech at 10:30 a.m. and Jackson State at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 28. The matches against The Citadel and Jackson State will air on SEC Network Plus.


The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back

Fall 2021

AUBURN INTERNATIONAL MENTORING PROGRAM Pairs select, motivated students with successful Auburn alumni living abroad for a one-year mentorship.



Fall 2021

The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back



PREDICTIONS: 2021 football season AU

Game 1


Game 2


Alabama State








Game 4

Game 5

Georgia State


Penn State


Game 6




? ?

? AU

Game 3

Game 7



? Game 8


Ole Miss


Game 9

Texas A&M





? Game 10

Mississippi State


Game 11

? ?




Game 12




Who do you pick? Jake Weese was sports editor at The Plainsman from fall 2020 to summer 2021.

South Carolina


Fill in the blank circles under the teams you think will win and keep track of it throughout the season!

Caleb Jones is The Plainsman’s sports editor.

Mattison Allen is The Plainsman’s assistant sports editor.

Jake Gonzales is a sports writer at The Plainsman.

Henry Zimmer is a sports writer at The Plainsman.


The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back

Fall 2021

the jay and susie gogue performing arts center at auburn university presents our

Del McCoury Band Friday, September 17

Candi Staton Saturday, September 18

Dawes with Erin Rae Thursday, September 30

Boz Scaggs Monday, October 18

Melissa Etheridge Tuesday, October 19

Sierra Hull Thursday, October 14

Not Our First Goat Rodeo: Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile and Aiofe O’Donovan Friday, August 13

Ingrid Andress with Georgia Webster Saturday, November 6

Fall 2021

The Auburn Plainsman: Welcome Back



Kenny G Saturday, October 2

The Beach Boys Tuesday, October 5

Jeanne Robertson Friday, November 19

Ziggy Marley Wednesday, October 6

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical Sunday, December 12

Patti LaBelle Sunday, November 14

Student tickets available now! 334.844.TIXS (8497) · GOGUECENTER.AUBURN.EDU

T h i s

i s

y o u r

s t u d y

b r e a k .



M e e t t h e c o o l e s t c o l l e g e t o w n i n t h e S o u t h . A n d h i s h i p o l d e r s i s t e r.


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Welcome Back 2021 — The Auburn Plainsman  


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