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Towson’s campus and community news source

Spring 2020

TheTowerlight.com

In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, Towson University grapples with classes being moved online, all events being canceled and spring commencement ceremony being postponed, pg. 6

Photo by Brendan Felch, Photo Illustration by Victoria Nicholson/ The Towerlight

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Spring 2020

Editor-in-Chief Bailey Hendricks Senior Editor Tim Klapac

News Editor Keri Luise

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#WordOnTheWeb

What do you miss most about being on campus?

Asst. News Editor Sophia Bates

@sandhu.hasandeep

@anna_vanbana I miss my friends and my JOB!!!

Arts & Life Editor Meghan Hudson

My teachers and my friends who I get to see 5 times a week. @evelinasarapi_

@claireitty

The environment and it’s people. Learning from home is not the same when you don’t have those support systems readily available.

I miss the Towson U community.

Asst. Arts & Life Editor Grace Coughlan

Sports Editor Jordan Kendall Asst. Sports Editor Muhammad Waheed

Staff Writers Ashley de Sampaio Ferraz Isaac Donsky John Hack Grace Hebron Brooks Warren Kayla Wellage Marcus Whitman

Do you like that classes are online?

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An open letter to the class of 2020 BAILEY HENDRICKS Editor-in-Chief @imsimplybailey

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8000 York Road University Union Room 309 Towson, MD 21252 (410) 704-5153 editor@thetowerlight.com thetowerlight.com The Towerlight print edition is published by students of Towson University on Tuesdays. The Towerlight is owned by nonprofit Baltimore Student Media Inc., BaltimoreStudentMedia.com. 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 TheTowerlight.com/classifieds. 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!

Dear class of 2020, I'm sure many of you can agree with me when I say it is a hard time to be a senior in college right now. None of us, including our professors, our family, our friends -- no one -- thought our very last semester of college would end like this. I know a lot of us have taken the news of not being able to return to campus hard, including myself. However, I also know that it almost feels trivial to be mourning the loss of our last semester with so many more serious problems happening not only in the United States, but around the whole world right now. But it's okay to feel how you're feeling. For all of us, we were hoping for more closure, more happiness and more celebration in our very last

semester of schooling ever. We left campus not knowing that we would never return for a class again. Not knowing we would never have ChickFil-A at Susq again, or fight for a parking spot at the Union, or gather with our best friends at Freedom Square on a sunny day to catch up. There are so many memories we were hoping to still have in our last semester. It feels like all of our hard work these last four years got cut short. We even have to wait until the fall to walk across the stage to shake the hand of President Schatzel in SECU Arena. For many seniors, we were hoping to win our last sports game and be recognized at senior night. Others may have simply just wanted one more movie night in their dorms with their very best friends. For me, my very last issue of The Towerlight came much sooner than expected. This is my very last print issue of The Towerlight ever. I wrote for my elementary school's newspaper, back when I brought a tape recorder to interviews, and then was

editor-in-chief of my high school's newspaper. I stepped foot into The Towerlight office in August of 2016, knowing that this is where I wanted to be, and I'm so glad I did. For you, fellow senior, you may have been in soccer since you were very little and have worked so hard all your life at the game to be able to play in college, just to not be able to show off your skills in a final game. Although The Towerlight will continue reporting and posting online at TheTowerlight.com this semester, I will certainly miss gathering every Monday with my fellow editors in the Union -- making jokes, laughing, and gathering close around my computer at the end of the day to admire our hard work of the next day's issue. Class of 2020, remember, it's okay to feel how you're feeling. With so much uncertainty and sadness going on in the world right now that you may feel guilty for feeling this way, but just know your feelings are still valid. Although we will have to wait a little longer than expected, I look

forward to sitting with you in a crowded SECU Arena to reminisce about our crazy four years as Tigers together. From facing the perils of construction together, to finally making the Dean's List. With all that has happened, though, I think we can learn from this to never take anything for granted. Moving forward, let's embrace those times we had to vigorously take notes in TSEM 101, got to try the CFA’s amazing breakfast sandwiches, or had to deal with the struggle that is renting books at the UStore. Let's never assume we have all the time in the world to say goodbye or to make our mark on the world. Live every day with gratitude and always embrace every opportunity that comes to you. Thank you, class of 2020, for walking beside me to classes, for making small talk in the elevator, and for inspiring us all with everything you have done to leave your mark on TU. Stay TU strong as you leave your mark on the rest of the world.

Although this is The Towerlight’s last print issue of the semester, you can stay up-to-date at thetowerlight.com


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Opinion

Spring 2020

Trump’s lack of leadership is glaring MATTHEW TWILLMAN Contributing Writer

As the nation and the rest of the globe contend with the COVID-19 crisis threatening the health and wellbeing of millions, many people are feeling the financial weight of the catastrophe more than others. In an age where the rich are getting richer and income inequality has already ballooned to a crippling degree, millions losing their jobs in an age where 78% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck leave a significant amount of the population in a dire situation. For those less well off, the consequences are clear. Without protections set in place, tighter pockets have meant that many Americans are forced to make uncomfortable decisions between paying rent or the bills, feeding their children or feed-

ing themselves. Additionally, with the desert wasteland that are toilet paper and cleaning product aisles these days, many Americans cannot ensure their own comfort and safety when they need it most. The stakes for low-income individuals are critically higher now than ever before, too. Many among the recently unemployed 3 million Americans who had seen their job security vanish saw their health insurance evaporate along with it. For the uninsured, the consequences of getting Coronavirus in our already overwhelmed and problematic healthcare system can be deadly, with treatment potentially reaching into five figures without insurance. For the wealthy, this is simply no issue - entire NBA teams are able to afford and provide testing to all of their staff while a growing shortage of tests, particularly for ordinary Americans, loom before us. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

echoed this sentiment. “Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick,” he stated in a March 17 tweet. With all that lies ahead in these uncertain times, the need for strong and capable leadership is pertinent now more than ever. President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis can, however, be considered reckless and callous at best and life-threatening at its worst. Despite what Trump said in his March 11 Oval Office Address, the promise of insurance companies to “waive all co-payments for Coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments and to prevent surprise medical billing," turned out to be pure fiction. The most recent Coronavirus relief package may seem pure on the surface - it’s designed to jumpstart the economy, provide free testing and bail out struggling families. - To read the rest of this column online, visit thetowerlight.com

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Being positive in the midst of a worldwide pandemic MIRANDA MOWREY Columnist @mirandamowrey

The world is a scary place right now. Life for everyone has changed drastically over the last couple weeks. Millions have lost their jobs, a growing number of people are getting sick, schools across the country have moved to online learning, big events that we have all been looking forward to have been canceled. This complete disruption of everyday life has ignited anxiety and fear in a lot of us. When the future ahead is unknown, it is really challenging to stay hopeful and positive as our minds resort to worst case scenarios. For students, it is super disappointing that all of our classes are now online. Yes, on-campus classes mean braving the insane amount of hills found on Towson's campus, and oc-

casionally dodging a rabid raccoon or two, but anything beats trying to watch your professor figure out how Zoom works while you sit in the same clothes you've been wearing the past two days. Although it is important to come to terms with the sucky-ness of reality, it is equally necessary to remind yourself of the silver-linings, even in the darkest times. So, as we move further and further away from what normal life used to be like, here are some things that will lift your spirits about the current state of things. As a result of international lockdowns that urge people to stay inside, the environment is getting the break it deserves. In Italy, canal water has gone from a muggy brown to a beautiful blue. Chinese air pollution has subsided and in Thailand and Japan, monkeys have begun to explore streets once dominated by tourists. - To read the rest of this column online, visit thetowerlight.com

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News

Spring 2020

amidst a pandemic,

towson grapples with online classes and a POSTPONED commencement BAILEY HENDRICKS Editor-in-Chief @imsimplybailey

Towson University students left campus unexpectedly for an early spring break March 11, anticipating they would return to a normal semester just two weeks after the end of spring break. However, instead of finally enjoying spring weather and doing homework outside at Freedom Square, students were told not to return to campus and to complete the rest of their semesters online due to the continued outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. Towson University announced that the campus would move to “distance learning” measures the same day that Maryland Governor Larry Hogan urged the University System of Maryland to do so. Faculty and staff were quickly looking for ways to facilitate the switch to online classes. From how to accommodate students in studio and lab classes to setting up new ways for students and faculty to connect, a lot of solutions had to be settled in time for Tigers to start online classes March 23. “The patience of the students has been really, really helpful in terms of getting the kinks out,” TU President Kim Schatzel said. “Because there will be some kinks as we move through in the first week. And the students have been very supportive of the faculty to do that as well.” Even though the convenience of working from home on her own time makes classes more manageable for her, junior Hannah Sabo said she still has issues with the new online-only format. “I will admit I get a little less out of lessons online than in person,” she said. “I know that this is temporary and for the sake of our health, but I miss engaging in intriguing conversations with classmates and professors.” For senior Cayla Kouako, on the other hand, the transition moving to online classes has been anything but manageable. In fact, Kouako showed her frustration with professors not utilizing online resources to teach their students in this new format. “I’m terrified I’m going to fail my math class,” she said. “My professor

doesn’t use Blackboard at all.” Kouako is currently taking five classes. She said only one of her instructors does an online conference call for class, which makes her feel like she has to teach herself. In addition to having to manage the stress of navigating the new class format, Kouako said that dealing with outside influences that have occurred as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic makes the new class format that much more difficult. “I’m balancing online classes, my mental health, my physical health and my family’s health too,” she said. “While worrying how I will be paying rent since I’m off campus and currently not working. I personally feel like Towson should have been more lenient.” Mass Communication professor Thom Lieb said that both professors and students have had to adjust to the new class format. He also indicated seeing differences on how various students are handling the switch. “It’s definitely been an interesting couple of weeks because no one was planning on it on either end,” he said. “I think this had to be done and it’s happening all over the place. But at the same time there’s a very wide disparity in what is done in classes. Some people are able to adapt to it very easily because they lecture and show PowerPoints. And other people who have more of a handson... class, it’s actually a lot harder to do that.” Lieb said he thinks that Towson is acknowledging the different situations that students are facing well, given the circumstances. “This is not going to be something that is an ideal learning situation,” he said. “We have so many factors, like our students at home caring for family or kids, or if they are sick themselves, do they have access to computer equipment. I think the University has been realistic about it.” According to Lieb, professors were encouraged to be understanding of varied situations, too. “One of the early memos basically said don’t expect your students to do anything in real time and don’t expect them to be able to do anything that can’t be done with a cell phone,” he said.

Brendan Felch / The Towerlight

Towson University’s shift to online “distance learning” has left campus empty as students were told not to return and to complete the rest of their semesters online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to financial stresses while not being given the option of having to learn in this different way, Kouako expressed anxiety about the health of her loved ones during this global pandemic, all while having to teach herself new material and wondering if she will pass her classes. “A lot could have been handled better,” she said. “Students on campus should not have been forced off campus so fast. We are all human and a lot of people will lose people they know and love. Towson expects us to do well in school, while worrying if someone we love will be in the hospital next. It’s unethical.” Schatzel said the decision to move all classes online was made with the guidance of the University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay Perman, with a lot of contemplation and solicited opinions from presidents of various USM universities to decide “what was in the best interest of all students.” “I have a great deal of respect for Chancellor Perman,” Schatzel said. “It was a very difficult decision. There was a lot of deliberation done on it. There was a lot of `How are we going to do it?,’ ‘What does it mean?,’ And he managed it very effectively to be able to have us all coalesce around the fact that we thought it was the right thing to do.” Instead of seniors finishing their final semesters at TU by going to

on-campus events, saying goodbye to their friends and professors, traveling for spring break, studying abroad, and even walking across the SECU Arena stage to shake Schatzel’s hand, they instead will be practicing “social distancing” measures at home. Social distancing is a new term that has come to the forefront of peoples’ vocabulary amidst the COVID19 pandemic. Experts have indicated that social distancing, or not being in a group of people larger than five and staying six feet away from others at all times, will help to “flatten the curve” of the amount of people who will get sick from the novel virus, as to not overwhelm hospitals. While this semester will certainly be a unique one in Towson’s history, Schatzel indicated that it was important to her for the class of 2020 to still have a commencement ceremony. “The president was really passionate about this one, for sure,” Vice President for University Marketing and Communications Marina Cooper said. Although spring commencement will be postponed to fall, Schatzel indicated that the class of 2020 will get their own moment to shine, separate from December graduates. “The 2020 class will have their own commencement,” Schatzel said. “I promise you, you guys are going to have your own commencement and it’s going to be special. Trust me.”

The class of 2020’s commencement will likely be remembered as a peculiar one in Towson’s history. Never before in Towson’s 154 years has a commencement ceremony been postponed. The last time a Towson commencement ceremony was different from traditional ceremonies was during WWII. But even then a ceremony took place. According to a blog post by Felicity Knox, a library associate in Towson’s Special Collections and University Archives, “This war-time ceremony was different from the traditional graduation exercises. Many graduates simply took time out from regular teaching jobs to attend the commencement. Only 52 graduates were awarded the B.S. degree. Not a man received a diploma. The parking lot was empty.” Senior Brendan Straub is thankful to still be given the opportunity to walk across the stage in the fall, but expressed some disappointment with the semester not going according to anyone’s plans. “I am happy that we will be able to cross the stage and show off the hard work and accomplishments we made over the four years,” he said. “I am upset just for the sole fact that our last semester isn’t how we planned. But everyone has our health in mind, so it’s for the best.” - Sophia Bates contributed to this article.


News

Spring 2020

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TU prepares to help community TU announces refunds MARCUS WHITMAN Staff Writer

With the rapid spread of Coronavirus hitting the U.S., Towson University is looking into ways to support the community, including implementing mobile testing centers on campus, using the campus shuttles to transport first responders, and housing medical personnel on campus, if needed. “We’re already having conversations with various state agencies as well as local agencies about setting up a possible mobile testing center,” Schatzel said. “We’re already having people talk to us about the fact that we could house first responders that would be able to do that and end up taking a look at where we could do that. We have been asked about the possible use of our buses to be able to transport first responders or medical personnel.” Most recently, faculty members of the nursing and biology departments donated unused lab equipment to St. Joseph’s Medical Center. With the university shifting to distance learning, students are unable to complete courses with actual lab work. This left a surplus inventory

of unused lab supplies from the university’s nursing, biology, and chemistry departments. Faculty from these departments worked to donate to the neighboring University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center within the past week. Chair of the Department of Biology, Laura Gough, credited the idea to donate supplies from their department to biology faculty members Harald Beck and Larry Wimmers. “They had heard that hospitals were asking for P.P.E. (Personal Protective Equipment) and recognized that we would not need a lot of our own supplies since all our lab classes moved online for the rest of the semester,” Gough said. According to Gough and Ryan Cassey, the Department Chair for Chemistry, the types of P.P.E. they donated to St. Joseph’s Medical Center included disposable gloves, masks, syringes, alcohol wipes, protective clothing, ethanol, and goggles. Casey heard of the donation idea after being contacted by a student from the biology department who had learned about the need for supplies at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “After that student contacted me, I reached out to my faculty and numerous faculty identified materials they had for donation,” Casey

said. “And in addition, we keep a central stockroom of supplies. And the majority of the materials we were able to take out of that central stockroom of supplies, and those were things that were largely old and unneeded by us, but that the hospital could make use of.” TU President Kim Schatzel elaborated on these measures of the university helping the surrounding community now and in the future. “One of the critical shortages right now is protective gear, and that’s everything from masks to gloves to gowns, to be able to provide for those types of things in anticipation of a surge,” Schatzel said. “So, a lot of this is about anticipating. And these are based on predicted forecasts of what we might be looking at in terms of cases, and how we can best be able to ensure the fact that we are compliant with the CDC as a state with regard to isolation and protective gear for those that would be either responding to them or caring for them.” Schatzel also explained how Towson is working to take bigger measures as an anchor institution to support the community. - To read the rest of this article online, visit thetowerlight.com.

TU expands pass/ fail grading MEGHAN HUDSON Arts & Life Editor

SOPHIA BATES Asst. News Editor @sophiabates23 Towson University is now allowing students to opt-in to a broadened Pass Grading Option in response to the distance-learning transition taking place the rest of the semester. The change was announced Friday afternoon in a campus-wide email from the Office of the Provost. “The Provost, in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate, SGA leadership, the Academic Standards committee, and the Provost’s Council has determined that the undergraduate Pass Grading Option will be modified for the spring 2020 semester only,” the statement reads. “This policy applies to undergraduates only. All students

retain the right to be graded under the traditional letter grading policy,and faculty will continue to submit letter grades for all students. Students will have the ability to switch some or all of their courses to the Pass Grading Option up until the last day of classes, May 12. The email also outlines special exceptions to the typical Pass Grading Option which will be implemented for the Spring 2020 term: • There is no limit on the number of spring 2020 courses/credits allowed to be taken under the Pass Grading Option. • Students on academic warning and probation may elect to take their courses using the Pass Grading Option. • Students may use the Pass Grading Option regardless of the number of credit hours they have completed. • A course used as a replacement for a previously taken course may be taken using the Pass Grading Option. If the result is PS grade, the former grade will be removed

from the cumulative GPA calculation. Otherwise, the former grade stands as the grade of record for that course. • Courses taken using the Pass Grading Option in spring 2020 will not count towards the 13 credit limit on courses graded PS. “I think the pass/fail option gives students a sense of choice that we all needed in this crazy time where all of our choices were taken away because of the circumstances,” said junior Alexsandra Tamayo. “I definitely think it’ll help students achieve their best during this semester because it let’s us adapt to online learning without us being hurt by it.” This announcement comes after a student-led petition, which amassed over 4,400 signatures, asking for Towson University to shift to a pass/fail grading system for the remainder of the semester. – Tim Klapac contributed to this article. - To read the rest of this article online, visit thetowerlight.com.

BAILEY HENDRICKS Editor-in-Chief @imsimplybailey Towson University announced that they will be issuing prorated refunds for student housing, dining, athletics fee and parking charges for the spring 2020 term, with more details to come next week, according to a campus-wide email issued Friday afternoon. The statement comes the same day the University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay Perman released a statement about refunds to all USM institutions. “Providing these refunds is a high priority among USM university leaders,” he said. “I thank them for taking this step to support their students and families during this difficult time.” Perman indicated that this is a way for USM institutions to extend support to students and their families. “The leaders of our institutions recognize their responsibility to students and families whose lives and financial well-being have been disrupted by this crisis, and the decisions on each campus regarding fee refunds are being guided by that responsibility,” he said.

The University announced that it will also be issuing prorated refunds to faculty and staff for parking. “As we are all aware, TU is open but has largely converted to teleworking environment as we continue to place the health and safety of our community as a top priority,” the TU statement read. “Given that change to teleworking, the university has decided to also provide prorated refunds for TU faculty and staff parking.” TU junior Hannah Sabo is happy to be receiving a prorated refund for her fees and parking pass, but thinks students not involved in athletics should not have to pay an athletic fee in the first place. “I look forward to getting a refund for my overpriced parking pass that cost nearly $400 ridiculous dollars,” she said. “And I’m lucky enough to have found affordable housing outside of TU’s campus, so I don’t have to worry about getting refunded for housing and meal plans. Personally, I think the athletics fee is a rip off. I do not think under any circumstances that all students should have to pay collective fees like that when they aren’t even involved in groups like that.” – Matthew Twillman contributed to this article.

TigerTHON goes virtual, makes less money ANNA HOVET Contributing Writer This year, Towson University saw a loss in donations for their annual TigerTHON, a 12-hour dance marathon fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, after it was moved online due to COVID-19. The event ended up raising $104,798, compared to $173,183 last year during their annual dance marathon fundraiser. Through Facebook and Instagram live, $3,860 was raised during the event, according to committee financial director Alanna Stefano. $100,938 of donations came from preceding donations before the online event even took place. Former Phi Mu president and fourth-year contributor to TigerTHON, Jillian Procope, believes not only the movement

to an online platform, but the employment crisis “affected people’s ability or willingness to continue donating.” With social-distancing, people self-quarantining, and many lost jobs, Procope saw a potential fall in donations as a direct result, though she was still hopeful “it would just affect day-of fundraising.” Sigma Alpha Epsilon president Andrew Murray is committed to “making up for the loss this change could cause.” Phi Mu and SAE both dedicated their philanthropies to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, specifically John’s Hopkins. “We still wanted to raise the ultimate amount of money,” said committee president Nicolette Ficca. “We wanted to make sure all the hard work from our participants wouldn’t go unrecognized.” - To read the rest of this article online, visit thetowerlight.com.


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Year in Review

YEAR IN REVIEW The Towerlight reflects on the events that occurred in the 2019 - 2020 academic year.

Compiled by Sophia Bates, Grace Coughlan, Bailey Hendricks, Anna Hovet, Meghan Hudson, Jordan Kendall, Phaedran Linger, and Keri Luise Photos by Brendan Felch and Amanda Bosse/ The Towerlight

Marchrr CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC HITS UNITED STATES Towson University has shifted to giving students more flexibility in choosing pass/fail grading in light of the transition to online classes for the remainder of the semester following Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s urge for all universities to switch to an online format. The coronavirus led to many updates and shifts in University life- both academics and student housing. On March 3, Towson University suspended all summer and spring 2020 study abroad programs, which was one of the first responses to the coronavirus outbreak that the University took. Following that announcement, the University held a forum March 4 in which Director of University Health Services Matt Goldstein provided updates on Coronavirus and answered questions. Just a week later, Towson cancelled three days of classes before spring break and rushed students to move out of their on-campus dorms by that Wednesday at noon. Over spring break, students were informed that class would stay as an online format for the rest of the semester.

TOWSON SUSPENDS ALL SPRING SPORTS On March 12, Towson announced that all of the spring athletic programs would be canceled in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The affected sports include baseball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s golf, outdoor track and field, softball and tennis. This announcement came shortly after the CAA announced that spring sports in the conference would be canceled, as well as the remainder of the women’s basketball tournament. In the days leading up to this announcement, every major sport that was competing had either canceled or postponed their competitions. This included the NBA, NHL, and the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments among others.

TEX-MEX RESTAURANT REPLACES PAWS CAFE From the closing of Patuxent, to the revamping of Glen Dining, one of the many side-effects of construction around campus, especially in the University Union, was the replacement of Paws Cafe with the Chipotle-style Tex-mex restaurant, Los Fuegos. The pub-style menu of Paws turned into the burritos and quesadillas of Los Fuegos. Students can now get rice bowls, burritos, and nachos in the wake of burgers, sandwiches and pickles. The hope of this switch was to maximize the space available that was lessened due to construction. In doing so, the average time students spend getting their food and hanging around lessened, as each order averaged two minutes to get out. Many students agreed Paws would be missed, but the change in scenery has gathered many regulars.

TOWSON’S BIG THREE MAKE WAVES IN BASKETBALL For the three leaders on the women’s basketball team, their relationship goes beyond the court. Redshirt junior guard Kionna Jeter, redshirt senior guard Qierra Murray, and senior forward Nukiya Mayo left a lasting mark on the program in their time as Tigers. The Big Three were key contributors in leading Towson to its first CAA championship and NCAA tournament appearance in 2019. This season, they each surpassed the 1,000 career point plateau. What makes this group unique is the bond they have with each other as well as their head coach Diane Richardson. The players refer to coach Richardson as their grandmother because of the love and wisdom she provides. Each of the players also faced some type of adversity in order to reach the point they’re at today. 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.

FEBRUARY CAB ANNOUNCES TIGERFEST HEADLINER, WHICH LATER GETS CANCELED Towson University’s CAB announced the headliner for their annual Tigerfest concert, which is part of Tigerfest week, on Feb. 20. Roddy Ricch was set to perform this year at SECU Arena on April 24 at 7 p.m. However, as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 and TU’s transition to a distance-learning environment, Tigerfest 2020 has been cancelled.Roddy Ricch is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter who released “Feed Tha Streets II,” in November 2018, which was No. 67 on the Billboard 200 list. He also won a Grammy in 2020 for Best Rap Performance in Nipsey Hussle’s album “Racks in the Middle.” Ricch is also popularly known from his songs that have gone viral on Tik Tok. A lot of students were excited to see him live on stage at TU. Tickets for the floor and lower bowl of SECU Arena sold out within 24 hours.

ONE ACT PLAYS TAKE THE STAGE IN “AN EVENING OF ONE ACTS” “An Evening of One Acts: Part 1” was a series of one-act plays which ran from Feb. 26 through 29 in the Ruth Marder Studio Theatre. Each play was directed by a Towson University student. “Three Skeleton Key,” directed by Samuel Pomerantz, is about three lighthouse keepers and their struggle to survive when a ship bearing a strange cargo arrives on their reef. “Three Skeleton Key” is a horror genre audio play which has since been converted to the big stage. “A Marriage Proposal,” a comedic one-act farce directed by Sophia Delogu, is about a man wanting to propose to his neighbor, however their love continues to prove impossible as they cannot stop arguing over neighborly issues such as land and familial tensions. Last but not least is “Who Killed John Doe?” written by TU student Alexandra Harrington and directed by Sydney Pope. It’s a murder/mystery/comedy making fun of classic who-done-it tropes with a lot of puns, and a lot of sex jokes.


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TOWSON WELCOMES NEW VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS In February of the 2020 spring semester, Vernon J. Hurte joined the Towson University team as the new vice president of student affairs. Hurte replaced former vice president of student affairs, Deb Moriarty, who was in the role for over a decade prior. Towson put together a committee to conduct a dedicated search for the new vice president, and Hurte checked off all the boxes. According to Kelly Hoover, a search team member and Towson’s assistant vice president for students affairs, Hurte was strategic and had the ability to learn and grow from experiences. Hurte has more than 18 years of experience in higher education.

DECEMBER TIGERS’ MAGICAL VOLLEYBALL SEASON COMES TO AN END The Tigers concluded their historic season with a loss to Penn State University in the NCAA tournament. Despite the defeat, the 2019 season was nothing short of a memorable one. Towson went undefeated in CAA play and rode a 23-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers advanced to the second round of the tournament after defeating American University for the program’s first tournament win. Senior outside hitter Olivia Finckel recorded a career best 23 kills in the victory and was one of five seniors who helped turn the program around. Against Penn State, Towson kept the match competitive including seven ties in the final set but was unable to continue their winning ways.

NOVEMBER UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT PROVIDES CONSTRUCTION UPDATES TU President Kim Schatzel gave her annual presidential address on Nov. 12 this academic year addressing important topics about the future of the University and details on construction updates around campus. Schatzel praised the recognition the university had received as being placed in the top 100 public universities by U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 Guide to Colleges and Universities. Schatzel also gave timely updates on ongoing campus construction including the new science building being on track to open in the fall 2020 semester, and the Dr. Julius Chapman Quad replacing the demolished Stephens Annex. Schatzel also discussed the opening of TU’s first business engagement center as well as the University’s purchasing of a 12-story building on 401 Washington Avenue that will be used for non-academic University functions to free up space on campus. TU’s president also honored the success of faculty and students for their hard work and success over this time.

STUDENT LOOKS TO CHANGE NARRATIVE OF BALTIMORE WITH FILM In November of 2020, Antoine Dupree, a senior communication studies major at Towson University, along with a group of Towson University students and community members and The Spotlight Creative Organization, will be releasing a docuseries to showcase the positive aspects of Baltimore alongside the negative. The name of his production company is Creator Source Studios, which strives to bridge the gap between creativity and media. He has worked with Towson University students in the past on projects such as the YouTube channel Nerd Culture, a film project of his which features fun videos on everything “nerdy.” The team plans to showcase the good, the bad and the ugly of Baltimore through interviews, walk-throughs and narrations with individuals, local businesses, and anyone else willing to contribute to the conversation.

MOLD FOUND IN STEPHENS ANNEX, ANNEX DEMOLISHED Stephen’s Annex was demolished in November in order to give room for a new university quad. The quad, which was announced during homecoming weekend, will be dedicated to Julius Chapman, Towson University’s first dean of minority affairs and will feature seating and greenery for students. The quad will have tables and chairs that are able to be easily moved around. The demolition follows the staff evacuation of Stephen’s Annex in September where there was a discovery of non-toxic mold in the building. According to Sean Welsh, TU’s associate vice president of communications and media advancement, the evacuation of faculty from their offices came after TU Environmental Health and Safety did proactive air quality checks at the annex.

UNIVERSITY PHOTOGRAPHER, KANJI, RETIRES Almost like a celebrity around campus, TU’s director of photographic services, Kanji Takeno retired from his photography position following the fall 2019 semester. Takeno came to Towson in 1996 after seeing a classified ad in the paper and applying. Ever since then, Takeno became widely known to TU students and staff as he drove around campus in his famous golf cart taking countless pictures of TU’s community. He worked hard to put a smile on everyone’s face as well as deliver top-quality photography to the University. Takeno was born and raised in Kogushi, Japan, a small fishing village, and began learning English when he was young so that he could experience the world. Takeno still works for the university as he maintains his position as a professor teaching Japanese.


12 Spring 2020

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OCTOBER CHAPMAN BUST UNVEILING In October, TU’s first dean of minority affairs, Julius “Dean” Chapman, was honored with a bronze bust of himself, recognizing his work in creating a foundation of diversity and inclusion of the African American diaspora at TU. Chapman’s bust was funded by the brothers of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and stands in front of the Media Center, next to a bench that was also dedicated to Chapman on last year’s Homecoming weekend. At the bust unveiling, President Kim Schatzel announced that a new park quad would replace Stephens Annex and would be dedicated to Chapman as the Dr. Chapman Quad. Demolition of the annex began in November and the new area will feature seating and greenery for students.

SEXUAL ASSAULTS SHAKE CAMPUS Towson University President Kim Schatzel sent out a campus-wide email addressing concerns of the Towson community regarding sexual assaults on campus. The email and forum Oct. 1 followed the Sept. 22 arrest of a student after allegedly raping another student in Marshall Hall and the incident in the University Union Sept. 29 where a male grabbed a women’s breast. Responses to the incidents as indicated in the email included seven additional positions added to the TUPD and four additional counselors. Another addition included the installation of a blue light security poll in front of the 10 West Burke Avenue residence hall which was a direct response to a student concern addressed at the Oct. 1 forum. The hours for the SafeRide shuttle were also increased. SGA president Naimah Kargo took a stance on behalf of the SGA as a resource for students needing support. “If you feel administration doesn’t care, I do,” said Kargbo. “My door is open and we will make sure that this work gets done.”


Arts & Life

Spring 2020

13

THE WEEKLY DISH Getting dressed yields Bolognese away your boredom psychological benefits ALEXANDER EHASZ Columnist

GRACE COUGHLAN Asst. Arts & Life Editor

As COVID-19 furthers its reach, social distancing is the name of the game for people across the country. One of the many challenges that come with social distancing is, well, not being around other people. Social distancing can be quite an adjustment, especially when you’re forced to carry out your daily routine from your home. Many universities and colleges across the country, including TU, have decided to finish the spring 2020 semester by switching to online classes. Distance learning is a change for professors and students, who are now learning how to communicate through sites like Google Hangout, Blackboard Ultra Collaborate, Zoom, and many more. All of these face-toface communication platforms raise the question as to whether or not you should be getting dressed to go to your online class? Everyone is struggling with our new reality that we’ll have to endure for an unknown duration of time. A great number of students have had to move out of their dorms and apartments with short notice, while trying to get accustomed to online classes, and last but not least, practice the rules of social distancing (and being stuck inside with your family can get a little crazy). Is getting dressed for your 10 a.m. Zoom conference the most important thing to do? Students may find that getting dressed for your classes may help get through the long days of quarantine. It’s important that we’re all aware of our mental health during these chaotic times. What a lot of people don’t know is that keeping a schedule, or doing something as small as getting dressed in the morning can really improve your mental health. Megan Nesmith, a writer for Man Repeller, points out that what she wears reflects her moods in her article “I Decided to Dress Better to Pull

Myself Out of a Funk.” “I know the way I dress often reflects my emotional state; I slip in and out of clothes that change with the season, my mood, my job,” Nesmith says. “I can tell that, right now, what I am experiencing is a fundamental rearranging of my sense of self. I do not know how to present myself to the world anymore, and I do not know how to dress for this current life.” She talks about how it’s easy for anyone working from home, whether they are doing online classes or working from home, to take a look at their closet and ask themselves if it’s worth it to get dressed. What we wear each and every day, whether we think about it or we don’t, communicates something about yourself to where we are going each day. As you can imagine, as we’re all stuck in our homes everyday, we think why should we dress for anything other than contentment while we’re in the comfort of our homes? In a study conducted by Northwestern University in 2012, researchers found that wearing specific pieces of clothing can influence a person’s psychological well being and our performance. This is called “enclothed cognition” A lab coat can be associated with intelligence, the characterization of the lab coat is associated with positive effects. When I think of sweatpants or pajamas, I associate them with comfort and laziness. Comfort can be seen positively, but laziness is definitely a negative, especially when you’re trying to accomplish school work. So if you’re feeling unproductive and frustrated with the move back home, or all the online classes, or just the uncertainty of everyday life right now, put on those pair of jeans that are hidden under the mountain of leggings and sweatpants or that blouse in the back of the closet. If there’s one easy thing you can add to your day to give yourself that sense of routine, getting dressed in the morning is an easy option.

As restaurants shut down and staying home as much as possible becomes the only responsible course of action, learning to cook is more important than ever. At the same time, the almost therapeutic and meditative peace found in preparing a great meal makes this a great time to learn some new recipes, sharpen your technique, and get into the kitchen. In my opinion, Italian home cooking is the epitome of comfort food. Straightforward preparations of fresh produce and vibrant herbs along with rich, savory cheeses and meats yield deeply satisfying results. Whether cooked with strict adherence to a codified recipe developed centuries ago by Roman shepherds or made more in line with Italian-American fusion dishes like Chicken Parmesan, there is a world of enjoyment to be found in simple preparation of great ingredients. During times like these when tensions are high and grocery stores run low, simple and comforting food is more important than ever. This bolognese recipe can be adapted according to what is available. Ground beef (ground fresh from chuck steak, if possible) and pancetta yield a relatively traditional and, in my opinion, optimal result. However, pork, veal, and most other common ground meats would still yield a good sauce. Any dry or off-dry white wine will work. A red wine would also work, and substituting with additional chicken or beef stock would work in a pinch. Every ingredient should be as fresh and high quality, as is practical. An important disclaimer: This sauce is not a strictly traditional Ragù alla Bolognese (as formally standardized by the Accademia Italiana della Cucina). That “official” recipe is absolutely worth trying as well, and yields a result different from the more Americanstyle tomato-forward meat sauce presented below.

Adaptable Bolognese Recipe Serves: 3-4 people Cook Time: 2-4 hours Ingredients: Sauce: 1 pound ground beef, preferably ground chuck (opt for 80/20 if not grinding at home) 4 ounces pancetta, cubed or thick slices 28 ounce can tomatoes, preferably San Marzano variety 2 cups chicken or beef stock 1 stalk celery 1 medium onion 1 large carrot 2 tablespoons tomato paste ½ cup dry white wine Salt and pepper to taste Serve with: Wide flat or tube shaped pasta, fresh or dried (tagliatelle, rigatoni, paccheri and Demi-paccheri are all good options) Grated Italian hard cheese such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, or Pecorino Toscano Chopped parsley for garnish Directions: Prepare the vegetable soffritto: Peel the carrot and onion. In a food processor or with a knife, cut the celery, onion, and carrot down to a fine mince. If the pancetta used is in slice form, cut it into roughly quarter inch cubes. In a large pot, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom and heat on high until it starts to shimmer. Add the

ground beef and pancetta (or other meats used) and cook until browned, stirring regularly. Reduce heat to medium and add the vegetables and tomato paste. Continue cooking for several minutes while stirring. Add the half cup of wine (or stock) and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and crush with a wooden spoon or similar implement. Chunks are ok - they will break down as the sauce cooks. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the sauce uncovered for several hours (anywhere from 2 hours on the higher end of medium-low heat in a narrow pot or 4 hours on a lower temperature in a wider, shallow pot). until it is significantly reduced and very thick. Make sure to stir regularly and reduce the heat as needed to prevent it burning once it reaches this stage. Add two cups of chicken or beef stock and stir in. Cook the sauce down again to the same thick consistency as before. As the sauce nears completion, boil 1 pound pasta in salted water according to the package instructions, making sure to reserve half a cup of the pasta water after it’s finished cooking. Once the sauce is fully reduced to a thick paste, salt to taste. Stir the pasta and starchy water into the sauce and stir until well mixed. Serve and top with a generous sprinkle of fresh grated cheese and chopped parsley.

Alexander Ehasz/ The Towerlight

Due to the “stay at home” order issue by Governor Larry Hogan, home-cooked meals like this one can be a welcome relief.


14 Spring 2020

Arts & Life

Towson alumni blend their love for video games, music DANIEL KUNDRAT Contributing Writer

The Baltimore Gamer Symphony Orchestra, a community orchestra from the Baltimore area, translates video game-music into orchestral scores. Filling these chairs are some of our Towson Tiger alums, from the BGSO media coordinator, Carrie Wood, to the conductor of the orchestra, Tad Howley. Wood graduated from Towson with her Bachelor’s in mass communication in 2011 and her master’s in professional writing in 2014. Aside from her academic experience, Wood was involved with the marching band and pep band, and even wrote for The Towerlight, eventually becoming arts editor and briefly editor-in-chief. “I’ve been playing video games ever since my mom hooked up her old Atari 2600 for me to play Frogger and Pac-Man on when I was a little kid,” Wood said. She currently plays the bass gui-

tar for BGSO and is an all-time multi-tasker on the team, running their social media accounts, creating flyers and ads, and even putting together the game footage that runs alongside their performances. Wood has been a part of the gamer experience since she was a child. “[My favorite piece is] Bazelgeuse’s theme from Monster Hunter World, a game about a creature named Bazel, who is known as an invading monster in the game, and he just kind of shows up out of nowhere and ruins your whole day,” Wood said. Howley, the conductor and creator of this orchestra, graduated Towson in the spring of 2018 with a degree in music. Howley has been in almost every ensemble one could think of at Towson. He has spent time with the Symphonic Band, the Orchestra, the Trombone Ensemble, the Early Music Ensemble, and the World Music Ensembles. Howley was aware of a Gamer Symphony Orchestra at UMD

since middle school, and became inspired to create one of his own. Upon meeting some alumni of that orchestra, Howley had an idea. “Their experience with that group became an invaluable asset,” Howley said. “We ended up merging our efforts with them, and together founded the Baltimore Gamer Symphony Orchestra.” According to Howley, he has honed his leadership skills from working with conductors of the ensembles he has been on, from the Symphonic Band to the Orchestra ensemble, using them as models for how to run rehearsals with the BGSO. “[My biggest challenge is] working with composers and arrangers outside of the orchestra, as well as creating pieces in-house, to make sure that we’re giving our players the most appropriate and manageable parts that we can,” said Howley. He now leads rehearsals, supervises repertoire selection, and as he puts it, waves a stick in a threatening manner.

“The ending credits music from Star Fox 64 has been one of my favorite pieces since I was five years-old,” said Howley. “Getting to lead a performance of it from the podium was an experience I will treasure for the rest of my life.” Aside from the general bumps, they also find it difficult to play classical-game tunes that were composed 30 years ago from a sound card that could handle four tracks at the most. “To take a piece of music that only has four different parts and arrange it for a 50-piece orchestra kind of becomes a really complex math problem,” Wood said. One might ask why an orchestra would play something so unorthodox to their very instruments? “People tend to have a lot of strong memories attached to their favorite games, and hearing a piece of music from that game performed live is something that hits that nostalgia button for a lot of our audience,” said Wood. Howley believes that video game music is a unique art form.

“It has all the color and expressiveness of classical music, particularly from the romantic era,” he said. “By bringing us together with these concerts, we can work to reconnect not just with these moments, but also with ourselves and with one another.” The orchestra has performed a number of pieces from all different types of games, ranging from classics like Mega Man and Donkey Kong, to modern games like Skyrim. The BGSO takes these tunes to a variety of settings in Baltimore, including the Baltimore City Schools, Gamescape at Artscape, Free Fall Baltimore, and even the Baltimore Maryland Zoo. BGSO was previously meant to perform at “Made in Maryland,” to perform pieces from big hits like “Fallout” and small indie projects like “Flutter Bombs.” However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic their performance has since been cancelled. As of now, they are still slated to perform at the Baltimore War memorial on May 30.

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Sports

Spring 2020

15

Kionna jeter is coming back All-CAA guard to return for senior season

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR Spring 2020

Olivia Finckel Volleyball

File photo by Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight

Redshirt junior guard Kionna Jeter announced that she will forgo professional opportunities and return for her senior season at Towson. Jeter led the Tigers in scoring this year, averaging 18.1 points per game. good experience here and knew that we had her back.” When Jeter decided to come back, she said that she did so with more than just herself in mind. Being the only veteran with an Redshirt junior guard Kionna option to come back and make Jeter announced she is returning something happen for not only the for another season with the Tinext season’s team, but last season gers. She originally planned to enweighed heavily on her mind. ter the 2020 WNBA Draft, but will Unclear future prospects also use her final year of eligibility. played a key role, the opportuni“I have decided to return to ty at earning a master’s degree Towson Univerwas more consity for my grad crete than signing year to handle a contract to play some unfinished I have nothing but professionally. business,” Jeter “I rather know knowledge about life that I can go back said on Twitter. Jeter averaged and the game of bas- to school and cona team-high 18.1 tinue my educaketball to share and I tion and play ball points per game, ranked second don’t mind doing that. than to sit on my grabbing 6.7 couch (until) lord KIONNA JETER knows when and boards and played Redshirt Junior Guard wait on something stingy defense to compliment her to happen with the team-high 3.3 steals per game. At professional leagues,” Jeter said. the end of the season, Jeter was Towson is graduating a senamed First-Team All-CAA and nior-laden starting unit, includAll-Defensive First-Team. ing Second-Team All-CAA forward “She told me she wanted Nukiya Mayo and the regular-seato come back and realize her son assist record holder in reddream,” head coach Diane Richshirt senior guard Qierra Murray. ardson said. “She wanted to do Jeter is the only starter to reit with Towson. She had such a turn from last season’s team and BROOKS WARREN Staff Writer @Broookksss

will be leaned on even more for her leadership and skillset. Since she became a Tiger, Jeter says she led by example, deferring to Murray or recent graduate guard Danielle Durjan to handle the vocal leadership of the team. “This year I definitely will be more vocal,” Jeter said. “More hands-on because I know this team is going to look for gems from me. I have nothing but knowledge about life and the game of basketball to share and I don’t mind doing that.” The Tigers return some experience in sophomore wing Shavonne Smith, junior forward LaKaitlin Wright, and junior forward Tess Borgosz, as well as sophomore wing Myasia Jones. Richardson says that with the addition of Skye Williams, a junior guard transfer from Eastern Florida State College, Jeter can continue to play off the ball and be used as the feature weapon on offense. “I’m going to the same Meló just a better version,” Jeter said. “If I need to be a combo guard then I have no problem with doing that. I’ve always been a combo guard until I got to college and been strictly the shooting guard.”

Senior outside hitter Olivia Finckel was a key contributor for Towson this year. A first team All-CAA selection, Finckel help guide the Tigers to a CAA championship and first victory in the NCAA Tournament, while also playing for the women’s basketball team.


spring seasons come to an abrupt ending Coronavirus pandemic forces an early finish for Towson athletes JORDAN KENDALL Sports Editor @jordankendall54

The NCAA Division I Council Committee announced plans to grant an extra year of eligibility to student-athletes in spring sports that had their seasons ended abruptly due to the Coronavirus. These sports include baseball, softball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf, and outdoor track and field. On March 12, the NCAA announced that all spring sports would be canceled, as well as any remaining winter sports competing in postseason tournaments such as basketball, ice hockey, and indoor track. Colin Conroy is a senior infielder for the Towson baseball team and his reaction was shared by many in the sports world. “Kinda in shock, mostly that’s not gonna happen,” he said. “I think when the NBA suspended their season, our teammates text-

do our part. It’s the best thing, but I ed each other there’s no way. was upset I wasn’t going to be able Then, the next morning in the to finish out the season.” locker room, we find out from a "I think for the spring sports tweet that said the season was athletes, it's a good idea,” Big East suspended. We were sitting there commissioner Val Ackerman said and really quite didn’t know what to ESPN. I like the idea of some kind to say.” of a make-good there and that's the For the senior student-athletes, way to do it,'' this initially Towson currentmeant a sudly sponsors eight den end to spring sports, but their collegiate Being a senior, I didn’t men’s lacrosse is careers. know what that left for taking the biggest Since most collegiate athme. But you want to do hit from this. They had 12 seletes do not what’s best for everyniors listed on the pursue profes2020 roster, by far sional careers, one else. We have to the most of any TU it would have do our part. spring team. been the final The men’s latime they comBRODY McLEAN crosse team strugpeted in their Senior Attacker gled during the abrespective breviated season. sport. For the first time in program hisBrody McLean is a senior attacktory, Towson was 0-6 at the time of er for the men’s lacrosse team and, cancellation. despite the uncertainty, realized The Tigers lost four straight the importance of the decision. games by five or more goals. This “I was upset,” he said. “Being a made it even harder for McLean to senior, I didn’t know what that left acknowledge the season was over. for me. But you want to do what’s “Definitely didn’t help,” best for everyone else. We have to

McLean said. “Every week it felt like we were taking steps in the right direction. Not being able to take a big leap and get a win definitely sucked.” Unlike the men’s lacrosse team, the baseball team was playing well in the weeks leading up to the cancellation. The Tigers were 7-8, but had won five of their last six games and were competitive on the road against a top-10 opponent in Miami. Conroy was disappointed that the team wouldn’t get to continue playing considering the streak they were on. “We had been playing really good baseball the last two weeks,” he said. “I felt we had momentum going into our last game, when we beat George Washington. I think we were just mad. I was sad, I felt like we had something going. I’m upset we can’t finish that.” For Conroy, he received a medical redshirt, which means he has another year of eligibility remaining. Even if he didn’t have this option, he would have still returned to play for the Tigers. “I’m excited to continue what

we’ve been doing,” he said. “It gives people a chip on their shoulder, you never know when baseball’s gonna end.” McLean, on the other hand, is unsure of his future but said he would consider returning if he is able to. “I’d love to come back if it’s an option,” he said. “I’ll talk with my parents and coaches and see what the best option is.” The future for the senior student athletes is unclear, but both Conroy and McLean appreciate what Towson has provided them. “It’s meant a lot, especially transferring,” McLean said. “Finding a school I felt comfortable with the coaches and the atmosphere around the program was really important to me.” Conroy hails from California, and the Irvine Valley College transfer appreciates the opportunity the Tigers provided him. “Towson was one of the only schools that gave the opportunity to play D1 baseball,” Conroy said. “It’s been fun, quite an experience to come to the east coast. I’ll hold Towson close to my heart.”

File photos by Brendan Felch/The Towerlight

Men’s lacrosse and baseball were two of the seven spring sports to be canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Since mid-March, the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS have postponed their seasons and the NCAA canceled the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The NCAA is currently debating whether to grant an extra year of eligibility for spring athletes or not.

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The Towerlight (Spring 2020)  

INSIDE: Students and faculty grapple with online classes and a postponed commencement due to Coronavirus (p. 6), University prepares to help...

The Towerlight (Spring 2020)  

INSIDE: Students and faculty grapple with online classes and a postponed commencement due to Coronavirus (p. 6), University prepares to help...

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