The Towerlight (March 3, 2020)

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Towson’s campus and community news source

March 3, 2020

Trio of 1,000-point scorers of the Women’s Basketball team find a sense of family and belonging through coach Richardson’s mentorship, pg. 12

Photo by Brooks Warren, Photo Illustration by Victoria Nicholson/ The Towerlight

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March 3, 2020








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March 3, 2020


Editor-in-Chief Bailey Hendricks Senior Editor Tim Klapac

What was your reaction to Roddy Ricch headlining TigerFest?

News Editor Keri Luise Asst. News Editor Sophia Bates

Arts & Life Editor Meghan Hudson



TiKTok Music!!

Not a fan so I don’t think I’ll attend

Asst. Arts & Life Editor Grace Coughlan

Your responses could appear in our next print edition. The Towerlight may to include your social media profile picture with your response. Word on the Web compiles online submissions in response to questions posted by The Towerlight via social media. Follow The Towerlight on Instagram and Facebook to respond.

Sports Editor Jordan Kendall Asst. Sports Editor Muhammad Waheed

Staff Writers Ashley de Sampaio Ferraz Isaac Donsky John Hack Grace Hebron Brooks Warren

Do you plan on attending TigerFest?

Kayla Wellage Marcus Whitman


Photo Editor Brendan Felch Asst. Photo Editor Amanda Bosse


Staff Photographers

Video Editor Nicholas Gregorio

Production Staff


General Manager Mike Raymond

Art Director Victoria Nicholson


Circulation Staff Jack Baker Anthony Capparuccini Scott Halerz

8000 York Road University Union Room 309 Towson, MD 21252 (410) 704-5153 The Towerlight print edition is published by students of Towson University on Tuesdays. The Towerlight is owned by nonprofit Baltimore Student Media Inc., The Towerlight’s advertising deadlines are firm:  Wednesday noon for space; Friday noon for art. Classifieds appear online and in print and are self-service at We encourage letters to the editor and online feedback. Commentaries, letters to the editor, editorial cartoons and other editorials express the opinions of their authors and not necessarily the views of the newspaper. The Towerlight does not discriminate based on age, color, condition of handicap, marital status, national origin, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. ©2019 by The Towerlight, 8000 York Rd, Towson, MD 21252. All rights reserved.

Please Recycle!


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The Tigers host the UMBC Retrievers in their home opener for the 2020 season. Last year, Towson swept UMBC in their two meetings, including an 8-7 win at home.

Luis Alberto Urrea, a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist, will be speaking about his work and issues of immigration. This event is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, the Martha A. Mitten Endowment, and the Towson Literary Reading Series.

Towson professors Dr. Gary Homana and Dr. Morna McDermott McNulty present their 2017 film “Voices of Baltimore: Like Under Segregation.” There will be a panel discussion following the screening.

Interview with business partners of the CBE and compete for a scholarship! Students will apply their interview skills in a three-round event. The top three students will receive scholarships.

Interested in joining the Campus Rec team? Attend an information session to learn more about job opportunities within Campus Rec.

John B. Schuerholz Park, 2 p.m.

Liberal Arts 4310, 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

WVC Ballrooms, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Stephens Hall 310, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Burdick Hall 113, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.


In the Life’s 10-year anniversary celebration Sunday, March 8 at WVC Ballrooms from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. In the Life continues to uplift queer students of color by thriving on the presence of intersectional identities through education, programming, activism, and support. Celebrate the 10-year anniversary with a drag brunch, hosted by the Office on Inclusion and Institutional Equity and the Center for Student Diversity.




March 3, 2020

Pugh the latest in a line The reality of excess drinking in college of Charm City corruption MIRANDA MOWREY Columnist @mirandamowrey

Almost all universities require that incoming students take some version of an alcohol education course. Like me, you probably waited until the last possible moment to complete the course and didn’t give yourself the chance to soak in any of the information. As young and naïve freshman, we didn’t recognize the amount of alcohol abuse we would see take place in the next four years of college. We didn’t take seriously just how many of our friends would go down the wrong path when it came to drinking. Three years later, I have witnessed firsthand the unforgiving nature of alcohol abuse in my friends, classmates and coworkers. I now realize the importance of understanding your limits and the dangerous road that drinking too much can lead someone down. Surprisingly to some, it is considered binge drinking when a woman has four or more drinks within one hour and a man has five or more drinks within one hour. Binge drinking, especially in college, is so normalized by the media and leads to real life people developing problems with alcohol. Movies, TV shows and social media portray the message that college is the time to be young and crazy. That it is the time to live out those unforgettable stories you will

tell your kids about. However, my guess is you will make better memories that you will actually remember after casually sipping on a glass of wine with your roommate than slamming down countless shots of plain Burnett’s and missing your 8 a.m. the next day. About 20% of college students engage in drinking behavior that would categorize them as having alcohol use disorder (AUD). Someone with AUD has an intensely strong need to drink and cannot seem to control how much they drink. Those that abuse alcohol in this way continue to use it despite the ongoing problems drinking causes. I am sure you can think of a couple people in your life that may have AUD. You may have had fleeting thoughts about confronting a peer about their drinking, but decided that you were just being dramatic or that they wouldn’t take your concerns seriously. Chances are, you are not the only one concerned about this person -- and perhaps the individual suffering from AUD is fearful of the path they are going down, too. There are so many resources on campus that can help you out if you are concerned about yourself or someone else, or if you’re simply in need of more information about what it means to abuse alcohol. Tow-

son offers an Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) peer education program that helps educate students about how to drink safely. Grace Hehir, a peer educator for Towson’s ATOD, notes that the program is “committed to providing information to students so they can “party smart.” Outside of ATOD, Hehir emphasizes all of the other ways you can get help on campus. “There are so many resources available to the student body to educate those who drink or use drugs,” she said. “And the counseling center is full of professionals who can assist those who suspect they may have an issue with substance use.” Towson offers eight free sessions of counseling as well as a collegiate recovery program, Tigers in Recovery, which helps aid students in their recovery process while still maintaining their authentic college experience. All in all, we are so young and full of potential. We have so much ahead of us -- amazing things to create, people to inspire, and places to explore. Abusing alcohol mitigates all of the great things you can do for this world. Before you or a friend travel down the wrong path, get the help and resources needed to ensure that you or a peer are showing up everyday as your best self.

SAM JONES Columnist @SamJones1776

Former Mayor of Baltimore Catherine Pugh was sentenced on Thursday to three years in federal prison for funneling illegal donations to her campaign through her fraudulent children’s book, “Healthy Holly.” “Unfortunately, the type of fraud and public corruption that Ms. Pugh committed, and was sentenced to three years in federal prison for today, undermines everyone’s faith in government and what government can do for the people” said U.S. Attorney Robert Hur. This is exactly right. Baltimore has a long history of electing corrupt mayors and Pugh is only the latest example. Several city and state officials have been prosecuted as a result of corrupt behavior such as State Senators Larry Young, Nathaniel Oaks, Mayor Sheila Dixon, portions of The City of Baltimore Police Department for some time, and Pugh. A 2017 Washington Post and University of Maryland poll asked Maryland residents what they thought about corruption at all levels in Maryland. 57% of Baltimore residents responded with “a big problem,” while 59% said, “big problem inside their own city.” However, even though they know corruption is plaguing them, Balti-

more voters will likely continue to elect do-nothing, corrupt leaders that will allow the city to continue to burn. Among the list of formally announced candidates, lies Dixon, who is best known for being convicted in 2009 for embezzlement of gift cards meant for poor residents. She is likely to be a front runner for the democratic party. A recent poll had Dixon with a slight lead for the upcoming April Democratic primary. Three candidates, T.J. Smith, Thiru Vignarajah and State Senator Mary Washington, are all in striking distance according to the same poll. A former federal prosecutor, Vignarajah is campaigning as the law and order candidate, however, the former police spokesman Smith had the largest move in the poll. I humbly believe that both of these candidates would be a huge step in fighting the corruption that has turned Baltimore upside down. Dixon is not the leader that Baltimore needs to begin to improve the daily life of its residents. “We’re sitting here while Rome is burning” State Senator, and former Senate President Mike Miller said on the opening day of the 2020 Maryland General Assembly. Hopefully the citizens of Baltimore will elect leadership in 2020 that will begin to pour water on our burning city. However, if history has taught us anything, Baltimroe will elect a do-nothing, possibly an even more corrupt mayor that will let the city burn.

Tales of the Tigers: The biggest struggle with group projects in class

Comic by Augustina Ugbaja/ The Towerlight


March 3, 2020

How to be respectful to the visually impaired JASPER SCELSI Columnist

Picture this – well actually, picture isn’t the right word as you wouldn’t be seeing anything at all. Imagine a sport meant to be playable by the visually impaired and the sighted alike, where you are blindfolded and have to stop a ball with bells inside from getting into your team’s goal using your body to block and your ears and hands to get a sense of your surroundings. You rest on your knees waiting for the other team to roll the ball, and quickly react by laying down to block the ball when you pinpoint its location. It’s actually a lot of fun and just about anyone can play. T h i s sport is called goalball, and the team in Towson was started by two visually impaired students in 2017. Towson is the only university in Maryland to have a goalball team. One of the founders of this team told me that goalball is a great way to meet people, and that many people who aren’t visually impaired play too. Goalball is one way to meet people, but a lot of people are met through classes and other interactions. But there is a lot of stigma associated with blindness, and seeing someone with a guide dog or a cane can be a reason for some people to stay away, or to make ignorant comments. On the contrary for some, it can be an excuse to get too close – some people will excitedly squeal about the dog or come over to pet it. Please do NOT do this, the dog is working and it is distracting to the animal and can be dangerous. Dogs do allow for greater independence travel-wise and keep people from bumping into things, but are higher maintenance. “Canes don’t eat, sleep, or poop. They just assist.” Dogs assist too, but others can interfere.

Both have pros and cons, and obstacles – for instance, all the construction TU is under keeps changing walkways and making it hard for dogs and cane users to get around. The student I talked to had no guide dog his first semester and was able to learn his way around campus on his own, then teach his dog his preferred routes. But those have had to change often. Another way visually impaired people interact with the world is through using assistive technology. An example of that is a screen reader, which is software that reads everything on a webpage and allows people to get around a webpage using their keyboard. The screen reader JAWS is available on some computers in the TU library, but a commonly used and free screen reader called NVDA is preferred by many of the visually impaired people I speak to. VoiceOver, available on Apple products, is also common. The student I interviewed had VoiceOver on his watch, phone, and iPad. He also used magnification programs, because he has partial eyesight. He navigated to Pandora and played music using magnification. Screen readers can help people who aren’t visually impaired, too - it can help people who struggle with reading, like dyslexics, or it can read emails aloud while you’re doing something else, for instance. The student tells me that people should remember “everyone has their own thing going on, people should enjoy college while they can and be cool with everyone”. If you see a visually impaired student, treat them like anyone else. Good friends do not coddle, they respect each other and offer help when asked, not when they assume. Maybe ask if someone is really struggling because help is appreciated, but don’t butt in and do something for someone. Don’t allow differences in perception to prevent a good friendship.

CAB CABMadness Madness!! De-Stress Fest : March 4th UU 314-316 Come explore natural, healthy ways 12-3PM to reduce stress, and balance the body & mind!

JUST DANCE : March 6th Minnegan Room 5-9pm

Come out to learn how to do traditional dances around the world with different cultural orgs on campus!

Destination Georgetown March 7th Join CAB as we take a trip to DC! Tickets : TU - $10 NON- TU $15





Branding, posters, brochures, signs, flyers, catalogs, banners, print & web graphics and much more.

M -F , 9 A M -5 P M 4 1 0 .7 0 4 .2 2 7 6




March 3, 2020

Tex-Mex restaurant TU student dies after collapse replaces Paws grill PHAEDRAN LINGER Contributing Writer

The on-campus dining option of Paws was replaced at the start of the spring semester by Tex-Mex style restaurant, Los Fuegos, due to current renovation and construction changes going on within the University Union. “Recently, our back of house storage space became even more limited by construction, so a change was necessary to keep up with volume while also improving speed of service,” said Robert Campbell, associate vice president of financial affairs and auxiliary services at Towson University. Los Fuegos used to be located in the Union’s Patuxent Bistro but was removed also due to construction. Paws was previously a popular option among TU students as people would crowd around the area waiting for their food. But ever since Los Fuegos took over, Campbell said that customer wait times have gone down. “Since the change, we have timed customers and found that we are averaging two minutes per order -from the time the customer reaches the grill, to the completion of their

transaction,” Campbell said. “This is much better than previous wait times and should only get better as the semester progresses.” According to Campbell, a survey was sent to students during the fall semester to determine if customers preferred a Chipotle-style concept or a Five Guys-inspired menu. “55% voted for the Chipotle-themed menu, versus 45% for Five Guys, and 5% for ‘other,’” Campbell said. Paws was known for being the late-night hangout spot of Towson with a pub-style menu selection including fries, burgers, nachos, sandwiches and sweets. The café space hosts events, has pool tables and a large dining area. “When I was a freshman, Paws used to be the spot,” said Aisha Olemba, now a TU junior. “Paws used to be where people would dance and they had music playing, but now I just feel like it’s more convenient, to kind of eat real quick.” TU junior, Vincent Garguilo also used to attend Paws frequently. “I haven’t tried the new food, but I liked how the old menu for Paws was because it had more options.” Garguilo said. “The Chipotle-type setup may be a good idea. I had good memories from Paws, me and my friends would go and play pool.”

Courtsey of Towson African Diaspora Club

TU student, Oluwadamilare “Michael” Oyinloye, unexpectedly died after he collapsed playing basketball at Burdick Hall. He was a member of Brotherhood and African Diaspora clubs on Towson’s campus.

MATTHEW TWILLMAN Contributing Writer

A Towson sophomore died unexpectedly Feb. 28, according to Towson University Communications. The resident student, 19-year-old information systems major Oluwadamilare “Michael” Oyinloye, was playing basketball in Burdick Hall when he collapsed. TUPD and first responders arrived at the scene for Oyinloye to be transported to the University of Maryland St. Joseph’s Medical Center, where he later died, according to TU. “Towson University is losing a driven, hard working, charismatic, loving and gentle soul,” said Kent Howard, a TU student and friend of Oyinloye. “Mike touched many people and was loved by everyone he came into contact on this campus and his passing has deeply affected everyone. Especially the Afircan community where he was a constant presence in the [Afircan Diaspora] club and he will be forever missed. All we can do now is carry on his legacy and make sure that his mem-

ory is never forgotten.” The Towson University community was notified of Oyinloye’s death via email from University Communications at 11 a.m. Feb. 29. “The campus community deeply mourns this devastating loss and our collective hearts are with Michael’s

Oyinloye’s hometown was in Odenton where he previously attended Meade High School, as an honor roll student and student-athlete, according to TU Communications. “Friends say he was an avid NBA fan,” Welsh said. The Counseling Center offered grief support for the TU community in the Tower C lounge from noon to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 29., according to the email. “For those who are concerned about the well-being of others, please let us know through Tigers Care so we may reach out directKENT HOWARD ly with support,” TU Student the email read. “The Counseling Center is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. during the spring semester, with extended evening hours on Tuesdays & Thursdays until 6:00 p.m., and Wednesdays until 7:00 p.m.” “Please take care of each other and support each other at this difficult time,” the University Communications email said. - Bailey Hendricks and Tim Klapac contributed to this article.

Towson University is losing

a driven, hard working, charismatic,

loving and gentle soul. Mike touched many people and was loved by

everyone he came into contact on this campus and his passing has

Brendan Felch / The Towerlight

With ongoing Union construction, the Tex-Mex restaurant of “Los Fuegos” moved from Pautuxent to the previous Paws grill location.

deeply affected everyone.

family and friends,” the email read. Oyinloye was an involved member of the TU community. He was a member of Brotherhood and African Diaspora student organizations. The Towson African Diaspora club posted a photo of Oyinloye on Instagram in memory of him. “We had mutual friends,” sophomore Ngwaah Aparandi said. “I wish I would have [gotten to know him well]. He is missed by many. He may be gone but he won’t be forgotten.”


March 3, 2020

Towson’s GBMC opens new unit Coronavirus in Italy pushes students out JADE FADROWSKI Contributing Writer

KERI LUISE News Editor @keri_luise

The Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) of Towson is seeking to help local victims of sexual abuse and trauma with a new unit, which opened Feb. 13, specifically designed for these victims. “With our increasing volumes, we want to ensure that our patients are treated in an environment which is safe and secure for patients and staff, provides physical and psychological comfort for patients, and has the capacity to accommodate victims with disabilities,” said GBMC clinical program manager Laura Clary. “The new facilities will match the high-level compassionate care being delivered to every patient, every time by our SAFE/DV [Sexual Assault Forensic Examination and Domestic Violence] team.” The new unit includes an added examination room and interview room for investigators and patients. The 2,500-square-foot space is designed to be a comfortable place for victims to feel safe. This unit is the first of its kind in Baltimore County. “The new exam rooms will be state-of-the-art, housing the equipment needed to provide the highest quality of care,” Clary said. “The second exam room has minor modifications to the original design

allowing for concealed properties specific to the needs of the pediatric population. In this way, our team will be prepared to care for any patient across the lifespan, seamlessly within that space, further supporting our program vision.” According to Clary, the SAFE Program originally had a private unit close to the Emergency Department with two small offices, a shared bathroom, and one examination room. “While we only had one fully-equipped SAFE exam room and no private waiting room, we started having numerous occasions where patients arrive simultaneously,” Clary said. “While we certainly have the trained staff to accommodate our increasing volumes, we didn’t have the space. A second room has been so beneficial in getting these patients through faster.” According to Clary, the new interview room will allow forensic interviewers and detectives to “conduct interviews in a way that will be not only more efficient, but also less distressing to the victims and their families.” “Technology includes audio-video capability and additional security measures to ensure that victim privacy is protected and chain of custody is maintained,” Clary said about the rooms. “Fortunately, these technology upgrades do not come at the expense of patients’ comfort. The suite has been designed to be soothing and as comfortable as possible for adult as well as pediatric patients.” According to GBMC’s website, the SAFE program is coordinated by

registered nurses, who are specifically trained to care for victims of rape, sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence. GBMC provides medical-forensic examinations and collects forensic evidence which gets submitted to the Baltimore County Police Department’s Crime Lab. Allison Seeley, TU’s assistant director of health education and promotion, supervises the Sexual Assault Peer Education program on campus and connects with GBMC’s SAFE program through this. “The work that GBMC does to provide sexual assault forensic evidence (SAFE) exams to the greater Baltimore area is a great resource for those impacted by sexual violence, and this recent opening has provided increased resources and space to do just that,” Seeley said. “We are very glad to see GBMC has expanded their space to better support survivors of sexual violence who are interested in a SAFE exam.” The new unit is available to all individuals in the area. “It’s a good resource because now Towson students have access to get help,” said TU junior Taylor Stonsky. “It’s important to know where you can get medical care besides school.” The SAFE program at GBMC is located at 6701 N. Charles St. in Towson. To learn more about the program visit for more information. If you need support, call the programs private hotline at (443) 849-3323 or the GBMC emergency department at (443) 849-2225.

Brendan Felch / The Towerlight

The GBMC of Towson has opened a new specialized unit for victims of sexual abuse and trauma with new exam rooms and an interview room to ensure a safe and comfortable envirtonment for patients.

BAILEY HENDRICKS Editor-in-Chief @imsimplybailey SOPHIA BATES Asst. News Editor @sophiabates23

Towson University, along with the University of Maryland, is recalling all faculty, staff and students who are currently studying abroad in Italy, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention upgraded Italy to a Level 3 Warning – Avoid All Nonessential Travel in response to Coronavirus, according to a campus-wide email sent from TU Communications.

Nine TU students, including all faculty and staff, were recalled from Italy as of Feb. 26. They will self quarantine and not return to campus, “in an abundance of caution,” the email read. “I think it’s very smart for Towson to not have them come to campus,” senior Aaron Kaplan said. “I think it’s best for them to be here [United States] right now because of all the stuff we are hearing in the news about how fast the outbreak is spreading in Italy and how it’s better controlled, as of now, over here.” While there are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Maryland, in their email, Towson University said they are “taking all necessary precautions to provide for the health and safety of our students abroad and to allow for the continuation of academic

programming in case of possible temporary closures.” “All TU Study Abroad students will be fully supported by the Office of the Provost to ensure the completion of their coursework of study,” TU Communications said. TU has not yet made a decision about spring break, summer, or fall travel at this time, according to the email. “When reading the email that Towson sent out, I can understand both sides about this issue,” junior Meredith Matz said. “It stinks for the students who were planning on going to Italy because they won’t get to experience it, but I get that the university wants to look out for their health and well-being. It stinks that students are robbed

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff remains our primary concern. We know that the outbreak and spread of Coronavirus is concerning to all members of the Towson University community both at home and abroad. TU COMMUNICATIONS

of this opport u n i t y, but it is for their wellness, so I can unders t a n d that. I feel like Towson is taking good cautionary measures. A girl I knew from high school had to cancel her Italy trip due to this, but she knew it was for the sake of her health. It is overall

a sucky situation.” “The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff remains our primary concern,” TU Communications said. ”We know that the outbreak and spread of coronavirus is concerning to all members of the Towson University community both at home and abroad.” For updates on all travel advisories issued by the CDC, visit https:// wwwnc/cdc/travel/notices.


10 March 3, 2020

Arts & Life

Kobe tribute sparks major controversy Student relocates her passion GRACE COUGHLAN Asst. Arts & Life Editor

Philipp Plein, a German fashion designer and founder of the PHILIPP PLEIN International Group, is facing backlash after he featured a tribute for Kobe Bryant during his runway show during Milan Fashion Week on Feb. 22. Plein’s show displayed his fall 2020 collection which emphasizes gold suits for men and sequined dresses for women, featuring intricate embroideries and details. The most outstanding part of the show was the finale, which had celebrities such as Jada Pinkett-Smith and Plein himself wearing Plein-logo almost Lakers purple, Swarovskiencrusted, number 24 basketball attire to honor the memory of Kobe Bryant. So why was social media in an uproar about the tribute? I can understand the diamonds being a little too much, but it’s an overall respectful message. However, when you look at a picture of celebrities like Jada PinkettSmith, Olivia Culpo, and Plein himself dressed in number 24 jerseys, you can see a giant gold helicopter behind the runway. The jerseys are insulting to the Lakers franchise and to Bryant’s family because Plein is using his own brand associated with an already popular franchise and figure, not to mention the fact that the family and organization are suffering the losses of loved ones. Plein claims that he meant no disrespect. According to Page Six Style, the set for the show was planned in November and it was “too late” to change the design and layout before the show. Plein’s claim feels like an excuse to cover up the fact

that he made a poor decision in honoring a legendary figure. If he wasn’t able to change the set, he should have made the decision to cut out the honoring. I understand that as a designer and celebrity, everything that you do is criticized but Plein should have been able to see how the jerseys and the gold helicopters could be seen as rude. According to Plein, profits from the $2,070 tank top and the $3,150 hoodie are being donated to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, an organization created in honor of Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s memory. This foundation serves to further the legacy of Kobe and Gianna through charitable endeavors in sports. According to Plein, the “first $20,000” had already been sent to the foundation the day before the show. “It is sad to see how something positive and constructive can be misinterpreted by people who obviously want to interpret negatively without even having a reason,” said Plain in his interview with Page Six. “As a matter of fact, I am really doing something to help and to support the foundation. Actions speak louder than words.” Actions do speak louder than words. The act of incorporating the gold helicopters into the show as well as the finale tribute speaks louder in terms of discourtesy than honor. I believe that even though the jerseys were a little over the top, it would have had a bigger impact if the gold helicopters weren’t in the background. Plein should have thought about how the message of the helicopters would come across. The donations are very generous, but incorporating both the jerseys and the helicopter was disrespectful, especially because of how recent the accident occurred.

JOHN MABILANGAN Contributing Writer

Bolanle Kelechi Ola, commonly known as Bola, is a graduating senior studying MB3 (molecular biology, biochemistry, and bioinformatics). Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, she was no stranger to multiculturalism. Her father was Yoruba and her mother Igbo, which are two geographically distinct cultures in Nigeria. “Even though it was all in Nigeria, both Yoruba and Igbo have significantly different languages, cultures, belief systems, and traditions,” Ola said. “All of this was shared under one household which was pretty cool to grow up with a mix of both.” In Nigeria, Ola attended Trinity International College, a boarding school in Ofada, where she would learn, study and sleep during the week, until it was time for her to go home on the weekends. “It was pretty strict,” said Ola. “We wore uniforms, we couldn’t wear jeans and shirts to school. There were a lot of strict rules that we had to follow and the education was also hard because you don’t necessarily learn, more like you had to cram to pass the exams.” Boarding school was a struggle for Bola due to the aforementioned strict rules and the challenging curriculum she faced. She eventually developed a dislike for school. Originally, she had planned to continue her education in Nigeria, until one day, she visited the United States. “A couple years back, I went to the U.S. to visit some relatives living in the U.S., for the first time,” said Ola. “During that visit, my aunt took us around to the different tourist sites in Maryland. I even got to check out some universities here, too.” After seeing America, Ola suddenly began developing thoughts of studying in the United States. With the support of her mother, Ola was able to convince her father to offer his support in her study abroad ambitions. Ola came back to the U.S. in 2016, where she spent her first two

years in community college. “In short, the reason I came here was education,” she said. “Not like it was bad in Nigeria, but here it was better. The rules were less constricting, and there were more opportunities and more things to discover. It was fresh and new to me and I fell in love with it.” Upon finishing community college, Ola was able to receive a scholarship that enabled her to transfer to Towson University. “The facilities were nice and new, and what I really like was the cultural diversity” shared Ola. “People from different cultures and backgrounds was something I was already used to, so I really appreciated coming to Towson and seeing all the cultural diversity.” Though the diversity of Towson was comforting to Ola, it also posed situations in which she found herself needing to adapt. “It was nice seeing all these people and all, but it was getting used to the social environment that was the hardest” she said. “In Nigeria, usually if you greet someone ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon,’ we would often have some small talk about the day and how things have been. But people here just say ‘hi’ or nod and just keep on walking. Also, having

an accent really hinders me from speaking up sometimes, since people might misunderstand me. Over time my accent has improved, but also I decided to care less about the accent and say what I want to say.” Aryanna Andres, a Towson University student, is a co-worker of Ola’s at the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). “She’s a very hard worker and is very driven in what she sets her mind to,” shared Andres. Rachida Koudjra is both a friend of Ola, and another International Student at Towson University. “Bola is a very simple person and easy going,” said Koudjira. “She has a good work ethic and an ambitious personality, and I respect her courage and ambition to reach her dreams.” As Ola’s journey in Towson nears its conclusion, she often reflects on her own ambitions as well as on the support she has received on her journey. “I have to say my friends, my coworkers in ISSO, and my family were really supportive” said Ola. They remind me to work hard and reach my dream. I want to go to med school and some day go back to Nigeria to help the economy there. Until then, I don’t want to disappoint my parents, my friends, my coworkers, and myself.”

John Mabilangan/ The Towerlight

Nigerian-born student, Bolanle Ola, found her passion for education again after moving to Maryland to pursue a degree in MB3.

Arts & Life

March 3, 2020




Horror film masters Grilled to peri-peri perfection invisible elements ALEXANDER EHASZ Columnist

MEGHAN HUDSON Arts & Life Editor

This past Friday night, me and some of the girls decided to take a well-needed semester break and have a relaxing girl’s night out. What happens when you decide to go to On the Border for dinner and drinks? That’s right, the impulsive decision to see “The Invisible Man” on its opening night, Feb. 28. “The Invisible Man” is a horror movie directed by Leigh Whannell, who is most famous for writing the “Saw” films, the “Insidious” films, and many other well-known horror blockbusters. The story itself is based on a novel by H.G. Wells of the same name, with the screenwriter unsurprisingly being Whannell himself. The main character of this film, Cecelia Kass (Elizabeth Moss), decides to leave an abusive relationship with her tech-genius-millionaire boyfriend Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). He consequently commits suicide, leaving his fortune behind for Cecelia. However, amidst her struggles to bounce back from the relationship, Cecelia becomes convinced that Adrian is not dead, but that he is invisible, and an odd series of events proceed to ensue. The very first thing that I noticed when the movie began, right from the opening title, was the intensity of the sound. Will Files, the re-recording mixer and the supervising sound editor, utilized Dolby Atmos technology to create the illusion of sound being thrown around the room. While this element truly sucked me into the film and left me on edge, what really left me feeling uneasy was their use of sound behind the audience’s head. This was a recurring technique that you could not get used to as the movie went on. The sound was by far one of the most defining elements of the film and held a stark

contrast to the quiet voices and movements and the characters. The second thing I noticed, was the incredible acting done by “Mad Men” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” icon in Moss. Her believability in this role carried the weight of the entire movie on her back. Moss executed every single moment in the entire movie perfectly, and there were moments that left me saying out loud, “damn,” solely due to her skill as an actress. If you’ve seen the film, you know exactly what moment I’m talking about. The dialogue amongst characters was often a little soft. This left me feeling a little detached in the beginning of the movie, but also feeling like I needed to listen closely to what Cecelia was saying. Making Cecelia soft spoken however, turned out to be an extremely strategic decision on behalf of Whannell, as the amount of moments I had at the end of the movie relating to the things that were said in the beginning, was insane. And no, you don’t need to pay super close attention to understand. My point is that the way the movie invests you into these characters and what they say, makes your mind blow that much more at the end. Speaking of the ending, which I’m not going to go into detail about, it really caught my neck. Just when you think you can predict it, everything changes. Simply put, I think the ending was genius. Furthermore, this being a horror movie that leaned on many jump scares, a big worry for me would normally be that the film leans too heavily on those momentary scares, and in turn, lacks a plot. This was not the case with this film, as the storyline was extremely well thought out had me leaving the theatre feeling very satisfied. All in all, I would go see this movie again, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good movie to watch.

Next door to the Cinemark in Towson Square is Nando’s, a restaurant that perfumes the block with its smoky spiced smell. Nando’s specializes in a Portuguese-style chicken served in a sauce made from peri-peri peppers. An easy comparison is to a buffalo wing, although their peri-peri sauce is flavored with other aromatics, and the chicken is grilled and not fried. Nando’s was founded in South Africa and quickly became an international success with 1,000 locations in 35 countries. As of 2008, the first US location opened in Washington D.C. Since, 42 Nando’s restaurants have opened in this country, Towson amongst the earlier locations. Despite the business of a Saturday night, staff had me seated within two minutes of my arrival. As I was escorted to my table, I took notice of how packed together the tables

are, something that would make getting a refill of my drink an awkward apology-laced squeeze past other dining patrons. Regardless, I browsed the menu and then went up to the counter to place my order. The main entrée was their recommendation of a half chicken. I ordered this in the medium heat sauce along with a side of garlic bread and so-called “macho peas,” peas seasoned with chopped mint, chile flakes, and other flavors. The chicken was amongst the juiciest I have ever had, and the skin was beautifully crispy, striped with deeply flavorful char from the grill. The sauce played off this smoky grilled flavor well, adding a moderate heat and fresh acidity. From the self-serve station where I got napkins, utensils, and the like, I also picked up a bottle of the XX hot sauce. It was indeed quite hot, although not overwhelmingly so or at the cost of flavor. The garlic bread tasted of real roasted garlic and had a pleasantly contrasting crispy top and fluffy interior. The bread was made better by the addition of a few splashes of the lemon

herb sauce. The peas were herbaceous and fresh, rounding out the entrée well. The only disappointing element of the meal was the Dole Whip, a bottomless sorbet-like dessert selfserved from a dispenser near the soda fountain. I found it to taste much closer to a canned pineapple than anything fresh, which stood in stark contrast to the other fresh items I had there. It was not offensive, but it fell a bit flat. Despite being somewhat cramped, the ambiance of Nando’s is still rather nice. A combination of original artworks, reclaimed wood pallets, and sculptural overhead lights hewn from yarn or a similar material make for a memorable design. Another major success of Nando’s is the speed at which they operate. I was seated, placed my order, and received it within 10 minutes of entering, making this a great spot for a quick meal. At $20 for a half chicken, 2 sides, a drink, and dessert, Nando’s is very reasonably priced for its quality and location. As a quick bite before or after a movie or a shopping trip at the mall, it would be hard to beat.

Courtesy of Márcio Cabral de Moura on Flickr Creative Commons

Nando’s, an international food chain from South Africa, offers a Portugese-style cuisine. They are commonly known for their incorporation of Nando’s original per-peri sauces paired with char-grilled chicken.

12 March 3, 2020


Towson’s Big Three Jeter, Mayo and Murray helped build the Tigers into champions BROOKS WARREN Staff Writer @Broookksss

Towson University women’s basketball head coach Diane Richardson wanted to forge a culture of family and positivity from the minute she arrived on campus. She wasn’t afraid of adding players with different backgrounds either. It was that culture, that belief, that family vibe that led to the gathering and achievements of the Big Three. “I knew that for them to be good, they need to be loved too,” Richardson said. “That’s just the kind of person I am. I wanna be their mentor. I wanna teach them how to get the best out of whatever their circumstances are, and this has been the way to do that with these young ladies.” Senior forward Nukiya Mayo, redshirt junior guard Kionna Jeter, and redshirt senior guard Qierra Murray are the Big Three. The three veterans have accomplished plenty. Not only are they members of the 1,000-point club, but they also led the Tigers to their first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title and NCAA tournament appearance. “The bond that all three of us (have), it’s like, you got your 1,000, I got my 1,000, you got your 1,000.” Jeter said. “It’s like

that connection with all of us, being in tune with each other. Our teammates involving us in everything. Believing in us to do what we can do.” The Big Three call Richardson their grandmother, someone who dishes out as much wisdom as she does love. That’s the most reliable refrain the trio has for coach Richardson, that she’s loved and cared for them as if they were blood. According to Richardson, each relationship is different. She said Murray is her most reliable member, willing to do whatever she has to for her family. Jeter is Richardson’s mini-me. Mayo is her hardest worker. Richardson said when she first came to Towson, she told everyone at the time that they would all score. Most looked in bewilderment, especially Mayo. After all, the guards were the leading scorers at the time. But, as her skillset evolved and she started to see the gradual fruits of her labor, Mayo became one of the first players to fully buy into the regime and culture change. “[Mayo’s] been like a sponge ever since and opening up,” Richardson said. “ You can see the difference in her game right now. She’s so diverse. And she’s the first one who bought [in] and said I think we’re gonna be better. She went through a lot her first year and she’s turned that

Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight

Senior guard Qierra Murray (center) and redshirt junior guard Kionna Jeter (right) each scored their 1,000th career point for TU this season.

stuff around.” Mayo’s ability to embrace this culture change has led to big results for herself and the team. When the Tigers clinched their first CAA Championship last season, Mayo was named the CAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and finished on the conference’s All-Defensive team. Jeter embodies it all. The prolific guard has had to fight through constant battles in her short life, including being shot in the back and nearly losing her chance to play Division I basketball. When Jeter got off the phone with Richardson the first time, Jeter said she prayed and thanked God that someone believed in her. Despite a number of uncontrollable situations happening around her, Jeter said she was grateful someone saw beyond it and believed in her, the person, and the basketball player. As she reflected on her first summer at Towson, Jeter said when she was finally cleared to practice during the last semester, there was a sense of arrival. She said that after practice she felt as if the time off from rehab didn’t take anything away from her game. “I know myself,” Jeter said. “I know that I’m not going to give up. I know that whatever I got to do to get back on that court, that’s what I’m going to do.” Jeter’s first season in Towson came with numerous accomplishments. She was named to the All-CAA First Team and finished with the second-most points in season in Towson history with 572 and led the conference in scoring. Murray, a Baltimore native, arrived at Towson after bouncing around from George Mason and Appalachian State. The two stops just weren’t the right fit for her, Murray said. In fact, she summed up her time at Appalachian State as okay, the only thing is it ended unceremoniously when she was forced off the team. That decision by her former coaches led to Murray not touching the ball for nine months, which Murray said resulted in depression and being unsure of her future in college basketball. So, when she heard about Richard-

File photo by Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight

Senior forward Nukiya Mayo was named Most Outstanding Player in the Tigers 2019 CAA Tournament Championship, the school’s first. son becoming the head coach at Towson, Murray had to reach out. The two have known each other since Murray was in eighth grade. After Murray spoke to Richardson and saw the family-first culture, she said she was ready to come back home. As her time as a Tiger has moved along, she revealed that this program is the most close-knit she’s been on. Now, as an elder stateswoman, Murray is insistent on paying it forward. After all, as a record-setting point guard for assists in a single season, you have to make sure everyone is okay on and off the court. “Right now I’m kinda like the team mom,” said Murray, who graduated with a psychology degree last spring. “Coach Rich always says, ‘Oh, you’re everyone’s blankey.’ Everyone comes to me with their issues, whether it’s on or off the court.” With Mayo and Murray finishing their final season as Tigers, the Big Three may be coming to an end, but their legacy isn’t quite finished. According to Richardson, their ability to hold each other accountable has helped them overcome the adversity they have faced, showing off a resilience seldom seen in young adults. “I think (our) legacy will be stamped for life,” Jeter said. “From the team last year and the

team this year. Us three have that bond where it might bend, but don’t break. We all have accomplished so much together being by each other’s side and doing it (with) class. Putting each other in a position to be as successful as we are. Our legacy will remain stamped on Towson, forever.” The Big Three’s swan song season has had its share of ups and downs. A difficult non-conference schedule prepared the Tigers to defend their conference championship as the team with a target on their backs. Currently, Towson sits in fourth place in the CAA Standings, which is the same spot they were in heading into last year’s CAA Tournament. As Mayo and Murray prepare to move onto the next phase of their lives, a new generation of Tigers look to pick up where these two left off. Sophomore guards Myasia Jones and Shavonne Smith have already shown their ability to produce offensively. Jones has averaged 9.2 points per game and Smith has appeared in 25 of the team’s 27 games. The accomplishments achieved by Towson’s Big Three are sure to be remembered for years to come as they have helped turn the program into a yearly success within the CAA.


March 3, 2020


Tigers end losing streak Pearre records hat trick in win over High Point

Josh Seils Baseball

Junior right-handed pitcher Josh Seils only allowed two runs through 6.1 innings pitched File photo by Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight

Sophomore attack Julia Porter registered two points in the Tigers 12-11 victory over High Point, the team’s first win of the season. Towson will travel to Stony Brook on Thursday before a three-game home stand. into halftime. Freshman midfielder Blair Pearre scored three goals for the Tigers and her goal with 2:08 in the first half gave Towson its first lead Ending a three-game losing of the game. streak to start the season, the Tigers “I think we came out a little frazearned their first victory of 2020. zled to begin with and then after Towson (1-3) defeated High Point they scored two goals in a row, we 12-11, taking advantage of a 6-0 run called a time-out and we got back in the second half. together,” Pearre said. “We just “It was a great came back out and battle out there toworked together as day,” head coach a team and stepped Sonia LaMonica The intensity this it up. But we give said. “I think the High Point credit team brought out in for that. They came outcome of this game is a reflection practice, I felt really out really strong.” of the hard work, High Point came translated on raising of the stanback in the second dards, accountabilhalf with three unthe field. ity from this past answered goals, but SONIA LAMONICA the Tigers respondweek of practice. Head Coach ed with a 6-0 run inThe intensity that this team brought out in practice, cluding two goals from Pearre. I felt really translated on the field. She has recorded a hat trick in High Point really gave us a tough three consecutive games for Towson. battle right to the final whistle and “I’ve just been coming out super obviously, it’s a great win for this hard in practice everyday trying to group and a great confidence builddrill as hard as I can,” Pearre said. er.” “100% every single day. Coming out The Panthers (1-3) started off early and working on my shooting, the first half with a 2-0 lead. After working on my game I think has resome back and forth of each team ally helped me this year.” scoring, including goals from juThornton’s second goal gave the nior attack Kerri Thornton and seTigers an 11-7 lead with 12:12 renior midfielder Shelby Stack, The maining. The Panthers then scored Tigers ended the first half with a two back-to-back goals, but Stack 3-0 run. Towson took a 5-4 lead responded with her third goal of SOPHIA NAUGHTON Contributing Writer

the game. “I take pride in my shooting,” Stack said. “I work on it every day. Blair and I go out early, we stay after, we work on our shooting -- I think that's such an important factor. Confidence has been huge for me and that's the biggest thing that I've gotten to this season that's made me more successful than in past years.” High Point scored two late goals, but Towson held on for their first victory of the season. “They were playing poised and being patient, but also aggressive,” LaMonica said. “High Point was being aggressive in coming out and pressuring. I think our group did a really good job in avoiding that pressure, staying big, keeping the ball moving, and staying really composed and calculated in what they were doing and that translated into some really nice goals.” The Tigers travel to Stony Brook to face the Seawolves on Thursday, March 5 at 5 p.m. “There are certainly things that we've got to build on off of today,” LaMonica said. “Some positives that we will take away and that's really important too to build on our confidence, but both ends of the field just things that we can continue to learn from and use that momentum and then continue to bring that high level of intensity in practice in these next few days.”

and struck out four against No.7 Miami. Seils held the Hurricanes to two hits through the first four innings. Miami swept Towson in the three-game series as the Tigers prepare for their home opener against the UMBC Retrievers on Tuesday, March 3. First pitch from John B. Schuerholz Park is scheduled for 2 p.m.


Tokyodachi tigers have arrived!

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14 March 3, 2020


Ovechkin eclipses 700 goals as the Capitals march to playoffs ANDY PALM Columnist

The wait is over, Washington Capitals left winger Alex Ovechkin has tallied yet another extraordinary feat in his already decorated career. Ovechkin scored his 700th career goal against the New Jersey Devils the eighth player in NHL history to reach this milestone. Ovechkin recorded 700 in 1,444 games, the second fastest time to the great one himself, center Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky did it in 886 games, which is just unnatural. Ovechkin was honored last Tuesday when he returned home to D.C. before the Caps faced off against the Winnipeg Jets. The longtime captain was given a touching tribute, while Ovechkin watched with his infant son Sergei in his arms. Washington went on to beat the Jets 4-3 in a shootout that night. Ovechkin would notch goal number 701 in the first period while scoring the game winner in the shootout. For the rest of Ovechkin’s career he will be linked to Gretzky, will he be able to break the seemingly impossible record of 894 career goals? In the past Ovechkin has downplayed the possibility, saying

that he doesn’t believe the record will ever be beat. Those comments were made when he had hit 600 goals, in March of 2018. Ovechkin sits at 701 goals, and is 34 years old. For him to reach Gretzky’s record he would have to average around 40 goals for the next five seasons. This raises two questions -- can he keep up this type of production going into his late 30s? Will he even be playing for another five years? Ovechkin has been extremely cryptic about his future. Since the birth of his first child, the future hall of famer has been seemingly pensive about what the future holds for him as a player. Health seems to be a concern for him, especially considering he is now a father. The Russian winger is one of the many older athletes in the past few years who have defied Father Time. Forward Tim Duncan, right winger Jaromir Jagr, forward Lebron James, and running back Adrian Peterson are all players who have thrived going into the latter years of their career. There is no reason not to believe Ovechkin cannot at least get close to Gretzky. He’s due for a new contract after next season, if he decides to continue playing I believe he will break the record. - To read the rest of this column online, visit

SolutionS for

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struggles continue for tu Towson drops to 0-4 for first time in history

File photo by Amanda Bosse/ The Towerlight

Sophomore defenseman Garrett Zungailia has collected eight ground balls in his four starts for the Tigers this season. Towson fell to 0-4 for the first time in program history following their 15-6 loss to Loyola.

JOHN HACK Staff Writer @johnhack10

The Tigers’ slow start to the season continued against Loyola. Towson (0-4) fell to No. 12/11 Loyola 15-6 as the Tigers surrendered nine unanswered goals in the second half. Sophomore attack James Avanzato and senior attack Brody McLean each scored two goals for Towson. One of the few positives was the play of redshirt junior goalie Shane Brennan. He tied his career high with 16 saves. “Thankfully he had 16 saves,” head coach Shawn Nadelen said to Towson Sports Network (TSN). “They had the ball a lot and he was able to shut the door. He looks like he’s feeling more comfortable in there. He did his part. We gotta support him better.” The Tigers fell behind 3-1 in the first quarter but kept the second quarter competitive. Each team scored two goals in the quarter as the Greyhounds (31) led 5-3 at halftime. Towson continued to struggle

winning faceoffs, only winning effective in our clear,” Nadalen three of the ten in half one. The Tisaid to TSN. “We had some new gers went a combined 9-25 in the bodies out there, seeing some acgame, freshman midfielder Shane tion for the first time. That might Santora went 3-13. have a little to do with it so we In the second half, McLean's secgotta make sure those guys are ond goal of the game cut the Greysettled and understand where hounds lead to 5-4. This would be they need to be.” the closest TowThe Tigers son would get as committed 11 Loyola went on a turnovers in the 9-0 run that lasted second half, finWe had way too many ishing with 19 in over 22 minutes of game time. the game. careless errors. It “We just kinThe Greyallowed [Loyola] more hounds more da unraveled unfortunately,” possession time and than doubled Nadelen said to shots easy opportunities to Towson’s TSN. “Too many with 51, and score goals. mistakes clearnearly doubled ing the ball, some the Tigers shots SHAWN NADELEN rushed possesHead Coach on goal 31-16. sions offensive“We had way ly throughout the game. I didn’t too many careless turnovers,” Nathink we shot the ball great, defidalen said to TSN. “It allowed them nitely not as much as we game(Loyola) more possession time and planned for.” easy opportunities to score goals. Three consecutive goals were They take full advantage of that on man up plays as the Greyand that’s 100% on us.” hounds extended the lead to 15-5. This is the first time in program Avanzato scored his second goal history Towson has started a seawith 34 seconds left, but Loyola son 0-4, dating back to 1959. showed why they are ranked in Towson will travel to Catonsville the top 15. to face UMBC on Tuesday, March 3 “We have to be much more at 6 p.m.


March 3, 2020




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