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September 17, 2019
STANDS The University’s efforts are yielding attendance increase, pg. 12
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September 17, 2019
Editor-in-Chief Bailey Hendricks Senior Editor Tim Klapac
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Senior Staff Writers
@ bjanxxx yet again Towson WiFi fails
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September 17, 2019
Mr. President comes to Baltimore SAM JONES Columnist @SamJones1776 Weeks after labeling the city of Baltimore ‘rat and rodent infested’ via Twitter, President Trump arrived in Charm City Thursday to offer remarks to Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Protestors lined the streets outside of the Baltimore Waterfront Marriott to welcome the president to deepblue Baltimore City. The president’s late July tweet read, “[Rep. Elijah Cummings’s] District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” The leftist mainstream media was outraged, claiming that President Trump was racist for attacking a black representative of Congress. Additionally, the word “infested” was labeled as inherently racist, even when referring to rodents. First of all, race does not factor into who President Trump attacks on Twitter. Trump is a politician, talking directly to his massive Twitter following, without any filter. Even before serving in office, businessman Donald Trump attacked several celebrities that he disagreed with. Several other public figures find themselves in President Trump’s crosshairs as race does not play a factor.
Simply calling out Cummings for poorly running his district is not racist. Additionally, the word infested has come out of President Trump’s mouth before. In August 2017, President Trump characterized New Hampshire as a “drug-infested-den.” The state of New Hampshire is over 90% Caucasian and has one of the highest rates of opioid deaths in America. The word choice brought concerns of Trump’s respect for the state of New-Hampshire, but there were no cries of racism. Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh even stated in a 2018 Fox affiliated report, “Woah, you can smell the rats,” she later stated. “Oh my God, you can smell the dead animals.” The president’s characterization of Baltimore was factual and not inherently racist. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Ben Carson, later invited Representative Cummings to tour a HUD facility in Baltimore. Cummings declined the invitation, making many wonder if Cummings’ priorities truly lie
with the city of Baltimore. Surely, President Trump will not win Maryland in 2020, and Baltimore will not turn red. However, there is some upside to a president calling attention to an area that politicians have ignored for decades. Days after President Trump’s Baltimore Twitter thread, conservative activist Scott Presler organized a group of volunteers to clean up a portion of Cummings’ district. While many remain outraged, the calls of racism are simply invalid. Some may begin to wonder if republican leadership could restore the opportunity and safety of inner cities. Still, protestors lined the streets Thursday night outside of the Baltimore Waterfront Marriott, causing heavy traffic, and rerouting commuters throughout the city. President Trump did not mention his former criticism of Cummings and his district. However, he did state, “We’re going to fight for the future of cities like Baltimore, that have been destroyed by decades of failed, and corrupt rule.”
Don’t define yourself by your number of likes KAYLA HUNT Columnist
How many of us have taken down a picture that we posted because we didn't receive enough likes? How many have posted at a specific time when our followers are the most active in hopes that we do receive a certain amount of likes? Instagram has become a prominent app in the social media world, a platform that users utilize to communicate with others through pictures and videos. However, the initial purpose of Instagram may have become blurred through the years of development. Instagram has various features embedded in the app that allows for frequent interaction with users, such as likes, comments, direct messages, and its newest addition: story highlights. The app also allows you to manage your usage by monitoring how much time you spend on it every day and you can set a time limit to control your usage rates. This constant interaction has allowed people to build up their profiles and gain thousands of followers.
The app has allowed users to promote their businesses and brands, which is how social media influencing began to emerge. Companies have rated Instagram as their top app to use for social media influencing/marketing because it is the most impactful. In an interview with Forbes last year, Kevin Systrom, the creator of Instagram, stated that their goal is to change Instagram from an app where you can share photos of anything to a company that communicates through photos. Also last year, Instagram tested taking away the feature of "likes" in seven different countries, which led to mixed reviews from users. Instagram's response was that they want there to be more focused on the pictures and videos that are being posted and shared, not on the interaction (likes) of the media. If Instagram does decide to permanently remove likes, it would definitely shift the atmosphere of the platform. The move could be beneficial in the end, because social media has affected the self-esteem of users through the metrics that are embedded in the app, such as likes and comments. However, would a heartless Instagram actually create a more embracing environment?
The misadventures of Towson: OneCard Woes
Comic by Nyasha Marufu/ The Towerlight
September 17, 2019
A discussion about transgender athletes JASPER GRISWOLD Columnist
Do transgender women belong in women’s sports? There are two sides in vehement opposition in this issue, and both are very firm in their beliefs. One side says that transgender women have an unfair advantage to cisgender women, that the increased amounts of testosterone that were once in their bodies gives them some type of biological edge. The other side says that after starting hormone replace therapy and having been on it a while, the loss of testosterone causes muscle tone to decrease to levels better matching cisgender women. But which side is accurate? What does the science say? Joanna Harper, a medical physicist and transgender runner, wanted to see how testosterone affected the ability for her and other transgender women to run. In 2015, Harper ran a study that showed that transgender women who received treatment to lower their testosterone levels did no better in a variety of races against female peers than they had previously done against male runners. That is, if they had run in the sixth percentile amongst male runners, after they began hormone replacement therapy, they ran in the sixth percentile of female runners. Another later study had the same results. After Harper realized that after transitioning she added five minutes to her marathon time, she asked other transgender athletes for their pre- and post-transition run times. This shows that, at least for running, hormone levels seem to affect performance more than assigned gender. However, what about other differences? Assigned
male people that go through masculinizing puberty tend to be taller, and have larger hands, than assigned female people. Does this give them an unfair edge? More research should be done. Even so, this leads us to answer the question of who, from an athletic standpoint, is female? Sex isn’t neatly divided into two categories. Intersex people blur the lines, don’t fit into the boxes. They have atypical sex chromosome arrangements or physical sex characteristics, such as XXY chromosomes or ambiguous genitalia. Intersex people who were raised their whole life as women and identify as women may have testosterone levels that could put them at a perceived “advantage”. They may not even know they are intersex. Should they be barred from playing women’s sports? Should they be forced to take testosterone blockers until their levels are back to “normal” for women? This is a complicated issue. On one hand, there is proof that testosterone affects sports performance. But on the other hand, this would force athletes to quit, join the men’s team, or take medicine to change something in their bodies that they don’t even see as wrong. Is that right to do to the individual? How does this weigh against what is right to the other athletes? The issue of transgender people in sports seems to be focused on transgender women. Transgender men seem to be seen as being at a disadvantage and aren’t considered as a threat. More research has to be done, and more people need to look into the ethics of any decision made. But no matter what decision is made, transgender women do not deserve to be harassed for joining sports or be told they make it unfair. Biological conditions aren’t the fault of the individual.
You’re allowed to be assertive MIRANDA MOWREY Columnist @mirandamowrey
As college students, we live in a world where it is easier to hide behind a screen than have a faceto-face conversation with another person. Whether you’re avoiding the awkwardness of telling someone you are no longer interested in them, or are dodging the uncomfortable silence that follows a job resignation, everyone can admit that technology saves us from some of these distressing feelings. The ease of personally detaching from important conversations led to the cultural norm of ghosting, where instead of being honest about your loss of interest in a person, it is now very common to spontaneously cut off communication and leave them in the dark and wondering where they went
wrong. This normality is the result of our generation’s belief that it is “mean” to be straight-forward with another person, when in fact, it’s quite the opposite. We have forgotten that, as human beings, we have the right to express and ask for what we want, and that in doing so, we will actually gain respect from others. Unfortunately, many millennials often feel awkward and uncomfortable voicing their feelings in certain situations, especially when it pertains to saying no. “When I am out with my friends, and a guy that I am not interested in is following me around, asking for my number, my first go-to response is to say I have a boyfriend,” junior Maddy Lipsky admits. “It is easier to say I am in a relationship than to turn down the other person and make them feel bad.” I will say it louder this time for the people in the back: being as-
sertive is NOT being mean! As long as you communicate your feelings directly and honestly without attacking or manipulating the other person, there is no reason to feel guilty for exercising your basic human right of saying no. In the end, all parties involved will benefit because not only will your needs will be met, but the other person will feel more comfortable knowing where you stand. Next time the barista hands you a decaf when you asked for a double shot of espresso, or your boss asks you to stay an extra hour at work when you had plans to get a bite to eat with your dad, try responding assertively. Although you may feel awkward at first, the more comfortable you get with exercising this human right, you will find yourself asking more of life, minimizing frustration in a lot of relationships, and gaining a boost of much needed self-confidence.
PHOTOs OF THE WEEK
Courtesy of @thetowerlight
The winning students of The Towerlight and TU Rocks’ joint scavenger hunt received a Towerlight t-shirt for finding the rocks that were hidden throughout campus last week. Congratulations to our winners!
September 17, 2019
TU talks U.S. Census Mold forces staff relocation KERI LUISE Assistant News Editor @keri_luise
During the first week of this semester, faculty in Stephen’s Annex were suddenly moved out of their offices and relocated throughout campus due to reports of a non-toxic mold and the end of the building’s history. Communication studies lecturer Lisa Turowski was one of the faculty members who was involved in the recent move out of Stephens Annex after having her office there for approximately 20 years and said the air felt heavy in the building. “We’ve been complaining of mold issues for years,” she said. “I did have white mold growing on my fabric chairs, and black mold spots cropping up on my curtain. I threw out several fabric tote bags because they too were streaked with mold.” According to Sean Welsh, the University’s Associate Vice President of Communications and Media Relations, proactive air quality checks have been conducted by TU Environmental Health and Safety at the Annex because of the recent weather increase in humidity due to heat and rain. This then led to the university’s decision to move all offices and programs out of the Annex. “The Master Plan calls for the end of use for Stephens Annex in the near future,” said Welsh. “We are expediting that process.” TU Mass communication professor Elia Powers, who used to have his office in Stephens Annex before deciding to move into Van Bokkelen in January, agreed that the building’s air quality was not up to par. “I think anybody that walked into the building could certainly tell that it was musty,” said Powers. “There wasn’t a lot of air circulating through it,” he said. “It didn’t have the sort of smell and ambiance of a typical office. One of the reasons that I left was that I wanted to be in an office that was in a typical building.” According to Welsh, faculty who had offices in Stephens Annex have been moved to Stephens Hall, Cook Library, the 7800 Building, or the trailers by
the Towsontown Garage. “I’m in 10 West, across the street on Burke Avenue,” said Turowski. “[It is] definitely less convenient for students to find me, but it is what it is, and we’ll make it work.” The Annex was originally supposed to be a temporary structure when it was built on campus in the 60s and 70s because a new administration building was under construction at the time. It originally held the Women’s Center Board, an on-campus organization that sought to educate students and faculty members about the Women’s Liberation Movement. Faculty moving out of the Annex can now get proper offices that serve the purpose they are supposed to. “I’m glad that the faculty that are in there are going to be getting a more appropriate workplace,” Powers said. “I think it’s fair to describe Stephen’s Annex as kind of out booting it’s intended use. It certainly wasn’t the most pleasant place to have an office, you know, it definitely had a smell to it. It was just an older building that wasn’t really meant to have faculty offices for as long as it did.” The departments of communication studies, mass communication and electronic media and film (EMF) were most of the faculty offices housed in Stephens Annex. Now with offices spread throughout campus, the future of the departments’ locations is not completely clear yet. Turowski believes “ideally, Communication Studies, Mass Communication, and EMF would be together in one building somewhere.” This may one day be a reality if the departments end up moving into Smith Hall after it is renovated. “I think the plan is, the University wants everyone in the same building,” Powers said. “It would be nice to have everybody all together, certainly makes it easier that we can all serendipitously say hi to each other and students know where we all are.” According to Welsh, the exact figures for the cost of removing the Annex remains to be determined. “We’ll be removing the Stephens Annex, and we are considering how that will open up space for other student-oriented projects in the area,” said Welsh.
Alex Best/ The Towerlight
Representatives stress the importance of college students participating in the U.S. Census, emphasizing how ordinary people could have impacts to their community by contributing. ALEX BEST Staff Writer
The Office of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility held their first New York Times Talk of the semester, as part of StarSpangled September, on Sept. 10 in an effort to teach attendees about the importance of completing the 2020 Census. The talk was facilitated by Julius Valentine Maina and Terry Fisher, both who serve as partnership coordinators for the U.S. Census Bureau. Maina and Fisher showed the group an advertisement from the U.S. Census Bureau entitled “Shape Your Future: The 2020 Census,” which highlighted the influence an ordinary person could have to their community by completing the Census. Maina highlighted that most people do not know this. “Nobody says ‘hey, let me log on to USCensus.gov after I check my Instagram and Twitter feed,” he said. “It just doesn’t happen that way.” According to the U.S. Census website, the 2020 Census can be responded to online, by phone, or by mail. Maina said that this lack of information people have often lead to mistrust by citizens in the most at-risk populations, such as immigrants. Census data shows that children under five and immigrants are amongst the lowest and most under-
represented groups in the U.S. “People don’t trust online voting as much,” Maina said. “Our phone census offers 13 different languages. We have good resources for immigrants, but immigrants don’t trust us due to the political climate.” The Times Talk then shifted to ways that attendees could better educate themselves on how their communities have interacted with the Census in the past and use that as insight to predict behavior for the next census. Fisher highlighted the Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM), an online application that helps educate citizens and Census experts about underreported groups and communities. Mania then began inputting local zip codes to view the response rates in the past. According to the application, 21252, Towson University’s zip code, has a low response score of 38.3 percent, a large jump from the surrounding community that only had a score of 19 percent. This data suggests that college students are far less likely to respond to the 2020 Census than older demographics living in nearby communities, thus putting them at risk for being underrepresented in future decision making. “What does the data say about our community?” Maina said. “How do we make it say the right thing?” Following the presentation portion of the talk, attendees had an opportunity to engage in
a question and answer session with the representatives. “What doesn’t stop people in Baltimore City from just not filling out the form anymore because they feel it’s not making a difference?” asked Junior Taylor McLaughlin. Fisher answered that it was about building relationships and using success stories as a way of building personal connections with people, citing his Baltimore roots as a way of gaining understanding. Assistant Director for Civic Engagement Luis Sierra was pleased with the success of the day’s program. “We’re excited to have been able to kick off the New York Times Talk this academic year with a topic that has such a unique ability to impact the very livelihood of our students and communities as a whole,” Sierra said. According to Sierra, the Office of Civic Engagement will continue working on a series of events and engagement opportunities throughout the year that focus on the 2020 Census. “Through these opportunities, our students can not only be educated about the steps they need to take to be counted, but we hope they also become empowered to help others do the same, both within and beyond the campus community,” Sierra said. The official reference day for the 2020 Census is April 1, 2020.
September 17, 2019
Red Pepper Bistro opens uptown Authentic Sichuan cuisine sets bistro apart from other Chinese restaurants KAT VAKHROMEEVA Contributing Writer
The Red Pepper Sichuan Bistro held its grand opening on Aug. 26. Since then, the restaurant has seen regular customers and reviews expressing the authenticity of their dishes rating a 4.6 on Google Reviews and a 4.5 on Yelp. Walking into Sichuan-style restaurant, customers are greeted by brights lights and an ebony grand piano. The is new to the Towson area, and is located on Allegheny Avenue in Uptown. The bistro’s owner, Ping Wu, chats with customers and takes orders amidst the background noise of casual conversation. Wu is active and confident. An excited smile characterizes her movements as she proudly serves her customers. She is at the helm of her new restaurant. “There had been a lack of Chinese restaurants serving authentic Chinese in Towson,” Wu said. “Every time [my family and friends and I] wanted to eat out, we had trouble [finding] Chinese restaurants with good food and atmosphere, so we thought we could have a chance to be success-
ful in this area.” Since its opening, the bistro has already seen a stream of regular customers in Towson, a factor that waitress Judy Wen attributes to the busy location. “This is the town center and every Thursday and Friday there’s a lot of activity here,” said Wen. “Many [people] come here from D.C. and New York.” Wen added that the travelers say the dishes at Red Pepper Sichuan Bistro are more delicious than the dishes in New York. “Since [Wu] has opened, this is my third time being here,” said Cindy Liu, a frequent customer. Wu’s goal is to give people the opportunity to eat authentic food from China. “We will definitely expand our business if our food gets popular,” Wu said. Stepping into the bistro, customers are met with soft background music, establishing a pleasant atmosphere and providing a calm ambience for customers. In the back is an open kitchen where hungry customers are able to see their food being prepared. “Our open kitchen means that… customers can trust us and our food,” Wen said.
Kat Vakhromeeva/ The Towerlight
Bistro owner Ping Wu proudly serves her authentic cuisine with recipes featuring the famous Sichuan red pepper.
Kat Vakhromeeva/ The Towerlight
Minimalist decor inside and outside the new bistro offers a unique, contemporary atmosphere for customers with prints depicting Chinese scenery and wooden tables and chairs. The idea of the open kitchen occurred when Wu saw the concept in other restaurants, such as BJ’s Brewhouse, and decided to integrate it into the Red Pepper. She contends that it allows customers a look into food preparation, providing transparency between them and the staff. “We also try to create an atmosphere for people to enjoy the food, so we chose a contemporary and neutral design that is different from most Chinese restaurants,” she said. Around the restaurant, the minimalist decor is defined by prints depicting Chinese scenery and wooden tables and chairs. Towson University’s close proximity with the restaurant provides students the chance to expand their flavor palettes and try a different cuisine. As for student activity, Wu has noticed “more students eating here, especially after the new semester started.” For future accommodations, Wu plans to provide “food delivery services to campuses… we understand students get busy with their classes and homework.” Students and visitors alike can
expect a variety of dishes such as vides options for those who prefer lamb, pork in garlic sauce, and a less intense flavor. s p i c y “We can wontons also make in red oil. d i s h e s “In my that are opinion not spicy e v e r y w i t h dish is w h i t e unique, sauce,” [but] I says Wen. w o u l d T h e p i c k restaurant chickprovides en with an array Sichuan of flavors p e p paying per, and homage to grilled traditionfish,” Wu al Sichuan said. cuisine, a Their factor that recipes attracts specialize their cuson the tomers. famous “ I f Sichuan you go to red pepPING WU a n o t h e r Red Pepper Sichuan Bistro Owner r e s t a u per, a staple of the rant and cuisine. It try their providews rich and vibrant flaSichuan chicken or beef, it’s not vors, known for its numbing abilreal,” Liu said. “Everything comes ity, although the restaurant profrom my hometown [of] Sichuan.”
If you go to another restaurant and try their Sichuan chicken or beef, it’s not real.
10 September 17, 2019
Arts & Life
Artist unveils latest exhibit in CFA Art Gallery space
Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight
“Creation and Destruction,” the Center for the Arts’ newest exhibit, features artwork by Sandy Winters, an accomplished paint, sketch and printmaking artist. Winters visited Towson University this past Thursday to unveil the exhibit, and speak more about her process and inspirations for creating her featured works. The exhibit runs until Dec. 14. GRACE COUGHLAN Staff Writer
ASHLEY DE SAMPAIO FERRAZ Contributing Writer
Sandy Winters, an established painting, drawing, and printmaking artist, visited Towson University to speak about her creative process and to open her newest exhibit within the Art Gallery in CFA, “Creation and Destruction” Sept. 12 Sandy Winters studied at the University of Kansas, the University of New Hampshire, the Massachusetts College of Art, and Cornell University. She’s been featured in many group exhibitions and as well as solo exhibitions in museums and universities such as Gulf Coast Museum of Art, Indiana State University Art Gallery, Ringling School of Art and Design, and many more. “Creation and Destruction” will also be moving to Gettysburg College this spring. “The show’s been on the books for quite a while,” said Susan Isaacs, a professor of Art History at Towson and the curator of
Winters’ exhibit. “We book a minimum of two years in advance. I mean, this work is amazing. It’s been amazing.” Isaacs first met Winters through a friend whom had curated one of Winters’ exhibits in 2014. She spoke about Winters’ unique ability to translate stories into her art and how there are many different narratives and clever titles that will catch the viewers’ eyes. “Her technical skills are unbelievable,” Isaacs said. “I mean, she is an amazing draftsperson. You know, her drawing skills, her printmaking skills, her painting skills. She’s a dynamo of energy.” Winters’ lecture gave the audience an inside look at the artistic process she used to create various works over time. She emphasized the importance of having long and short term goals, being able to ground yourself through the insecurities artists face, and finding your own voice as an artist. Winters shared that she has found her own voice in the subject of dualities: ideas of life and death, what’s inside and what’s outside, feeling safe or being trapped, and figuring out what you want to be a part of. She explains how for over 30 years her theme for art has revolved around the myth of Dionysus, which is about put-
ting yourself in uncomfortable situations to give birth to new, better ideas. In “Creation and Destruction,” this theme is present through her usage of varying materials and her reinvention of how they work together. “I began to take on the idea that out of sacrificing something we’re too comfortable with, it actually grows or becomes something even more valuable or more fruitful,” Winters said. “So it’s happening in my work physically now because I’m cutting the block print up and I’m moving and I’m placing it in different places arbitrarily, and out of that it gives birth to a whole other scene.” Winters also shared that she doesn’t plan her work or its themes before constructing them. She believes that if she comes to the image honestly, she will allow her audience to evoke their own feelings from the piece, instead of limiting them to the emotions that she felt. “I want my forms to be believable, so that the viewer will actually enter the space and believe that maybe this could exist, therefore experiencing deja vu,” Winters said. “For me, it’s really important that if I get to the image subliminally, honestly, that the viewer will come to the image with their
own personal history, and they will bring to it their own narrative.” Winters’ idea of leaving the art to her viewers’ interpretations provides the freedom her audience needs to reach their own conclusions and pick out which concepts are most important to them. Melissa Katz, a senior drawing and printmaking major at Towson, attended the lecture and shared which themes of Winters’ artwork seemed noteworthy in her opinion. “I thought her idea of an insulated world was really interesting, and how she saw it as both a place to keep her safe and also something that limits her and can
suffocate her,” Katz said. Katz also shared how Winters’ ideas had an impact on how she will continue to create her own work as an artist herself. “What she said about gaining momentum in your work and then pushing it and changing it and evolving it was pretty interesting to me, because just trying to find a voice with what you’re doing and making enough work where you feel comfortable pushing it further is pretty inspiring.” “Creation and Destruction” will be open for viewing from now until Dec. 14 in the Center for the Arts, Art Gallery.
Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight
Winters discussed some of the tactics she implemented to aid her in completing visions, such as setting long and short-term goals.
Arts & Life
September 17, 2019
Weekends@TU goes Vegas SUZANNE STULLER Staff Writer
Weekends@TU hosted the “Weekends goes Vegas!” Casino Night in the West Village Commons Ballrooms Sept. 13. Many students were attracted to Casino Night for its fun environment, prizes, and free food. “I was under the impression I had to bring money,” said Bethany DePalo, a freshman at Towson University. “I was pleasantly surprised when I found it was free.” Onyedikachuku Onyemeziem, a freshman, was excited to see what prizes would be up for grabs. “I was hoping for a TV, but it’s fine, they have Airpods,” Onyemezium said. Brianna Coleman, a first year graduate student, helped with the event Friday night. “This is our second Casino Night,” Coleman said. “We did one last year and it was really successful, so we thought it would be nice to bring it back. We know a lot of students, especially freshmen and sophomores and some juniors, are not 21 yet, so they can’t go to a real casino, so why not come and get the practice here and win some cool prizes.” Coleman also shared that she
believes Casino Night is a great way for students to try gambling at no risk. “You don’t have the stress of losing your own money. It’s all fake money, so they get the opportunity to learn how to play the games without being worried of going bankrupt,” Coleman said. Students participated in various casino style games such as blackjack and roulette. They were given fake money which they could cash in for chips, to gamble witho u t actua l l y losing any of their own money. “[I came because] this sounded like a lot of fun,” said Dorian Smith, a sophomore. “I’ve been hearing a lot about it this past week since it’s been advertised. When I was younger, I had a prom that actually had a bunch of these games. [My friends and I] knew how much fun this was going to be, so we decided to come out.” Craig Scott, Coordinator of
Campus Programming at Towson University, helped organize the Casino Night. “Weekends@TU is all about keeping the students engaged on the weekends on campus,” said Scott. “Casino Night is always very popular. We do it every year. We always have a good turnout and a diverse group of people that come out. That’s always the goal. Plus, I love to gamble, so this is my way of guilt-free gambling.” Casino Night was advertised on the Towson’s Instagram page, “ We e ke n d s @ TU,” Towson’s events app, displayed on flyers in the Union, and emailed to students. “I saw this on the Events@TU app,” said Gabrielle Fields, a freshman at Towson University. “I also got an email. I wake up really early morning when it first comes out and look through what’s happening. My dad also tried to teach me poker three times and I didn’t retain any of that information.” Up next, Weekends@TU will be hosting a Game Night in Paws Cafe on Sept. 19.
Suzanne Stuller/ The Towerlight
Weekends@TU hosted a Casino Night in West Village Commons this past Friday night. Students were given fake money that they could cash in for chips to participate in games such as blackjack and roulette.
Red, White and New ZAC SOPER Columnist
The New York Times Bestseller “Red, White and Royal Blue” has blown up as a staple of ‘new adult’ books. This demographic has recently emerged as something marketable and booksellers have taken notice. New adult has been perceived the same as young adult, just with more graphic sexual and/or violent scenes. “Red, White, and Royal Blue” is no exception to this perception. This story follows an ‘enemies to lovers’ trope between Alex (the First Son of the United States) and Prince Henry of England. It takes place in an alternate version of our world, marking it as a contemporary. In this universe, Alex’s mom is the winner of the 2016 presidential election. For the first time in what feels like a while, the author did not try and date the book by relating to youth through inaccurate texting lingo, and I am grateful for it. It is no spoiler that Alex and Henry end up together, but my greatest issue with this book lies in the nature of their relationship. There is an annoyingly strong lack of communication and one boy will shut the other out, only for their roles to reverse three months later. Instead of talking through their problems, they just have a poorly written smut scene that isn’t fade-to-black of young adult, but isn’t descriptive like adult and just lies awkwardly somewhere in the middle and is hard to follow. Interwoven through this romance, there are political undertones and subplots, such as the re-election for Alex’s mom
and the marriage of Henry’s older brother. Though these plot lines didn’t really pick up until the last third of the book, they were my favorite parts. I wish that the beginning had been more heavily weighed on plot than character, but I suppose that’s the nature of a romance book. Though I had my issues with the romance in this romance novel, I still enjoyed this book a great deal. The side characters played important parts in plot development (something I always appreciate) and all of the characters felt realistic. No one was forced to serve as a strong moral compass, and no one was only introduced for the purpose of being a romantic interest. I liked Alex and Henry well enough as characters, their romance did feel genuine and not at all forced, and they were layered people with hobbies and passion and, of course, flaws. Like I said before, the historical fiction center of “Red, White and Royal Blue” was my favorite aspect. It was fun to visit England and to see teenagers partying it up in the white house, however unrealistic it may be. The presidential campaign was especially entertaining. The stress and commotion of democracy was well documented, and it helped me learn a thing or two about how presidential campaigns are run. This book was important in showcasing topics like homosexuality, drug use, and divorce as it is seen in mass media. Some scenes may have been hard to read in their true representation of these sometimes-dismal topics. I have a feeling that Casey McQuiston’s next book will tackle important topics with truth and sympathy like she has done with “Red, White and Royal Blue,” and I look forward to reading it.
12 September 17, 2019
Students have returned to games After years of decreased attendance, Towson students are showing their Tiger pride again TIM KLAPAC Senior Editor @pacofkla
Towson has introduced some initiatives to increase fan attendance at Tiger athletic events since it has been a glaring issue for the last few seasons, especially last year. On Aug. 23, the Towson Athletics Department launched the first step in bringing fans back to games with a new app for Tiger fans, Towson ROARwards. “We are continually exploring new marketing avenues and initiatives to change [poor attendance],” said Travis Fuller, Towson University’s Assistant Athletic Director for Game Day Experience. The early games of the 20192020 season have shown an increase in attendance for many of the fall teams. The football team’s 42-3 victory over NC Central in their home opener boasted an attendance of 8,322, the largest crowd since 2014. “It was fun and seeing everybody with their gold rush stuff was cool,” said senior Caitlin Pattanashetti, who attended the game. Some students have found that a lack of activity on campus impacts whether or not they participate in the events that are happening, including sports games. “There’s not really a lot to do on campus, so I think it’s cool to see the University take efforts to do things on campus, meet new people,” said freshman Charlie Margarida. “It really gives a lot of school spirit.” The app, which can be downloaded for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, is designed to give fans points for checking in at Towson home games. “We want to create a better atmosphere at our home events and in return, reward our fans for attending and supporting our Athletics teams,” said Fuller. Those points can be redeemed for prizes, such as TU gear, a personalized videoboard message, the chance to throw out the first pitch at a future Towson baseball or softball game, and one devoted fan can even win an Apple Watch. “We have a nice starter set of prizes right now but we plan to add various new items and expe-
riences throughout the course of the year to keep it fresh and exciting,” Fuller said. The check-ins aren’t just limited to the games. Fans can also check in at Tiger Zone Tailgates, held prior to every home football game, to receive points. “In addition to attending events, fans can share their check-ins on social media to receive extra points,” Fuller said. Since 2014, majority of Towson athletic events have been witnessing a decrease in attendance. According to CAASports.com, Towson finished in the bottom half of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) for attendance in numerous sports during the 20182019 season. Even though the football team reached the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2013, behind the top offense in the CAA, the average attendance for home games was 6,114, more than 3,000 below the CAA average of 9,283, and just 55% capacity of the 11,198-seat Johnny Unitas Stadium. The lack of fans in the stands for games can have an impact on the game itself. “Fan support is crucial at [Towson] Athletics events,” Fuller said. “Everyone feeds off of it – from our staff to the coaches and players. There’s nothing better than a loud, energized crowd atmosphere and more times than not, you find that it starts with the student section.”
Tim Klapac/ The Towerlight
The Athletics Department is taking numerous measures to boost fan attendance at sporting events, including tabling in Susquehanna Hall for the new ROARwards app, which can be downloaded for free on students’ phones. the worst place to play because our student section was so hard on them, it was very distracting,” he said. “We were a force to be reckoned with as a student body and it made a difference in the outcome of football games.” The women’s basketball team captured their first CAA Championship in program history last season, yet their average home attendance was 677, good enough for sixth out of 10 in the conference. Men’s basketball averaged 1,380 fans per game, eighth in
Both the field hockey and soccer teams received new, artificial turf home fields. These fields have improved seating for fans, providing new grandstands, which have aided in the attendance increase for both teams. “It is just one more thing that we are doing to invest in this program,” said Tim Leonard, the University’s Director of Athletics, when the first phase of the lower fields project was completed in August. The women’s soccer team has totaled 2,288 fans through their
We have a lot of new ideas planned for the in-game experience this season and we’re hoping we can capture some momentum from the student body early on and keep it going TRAVIS FULLER throughout the season.
Asst. Athletic Director
Rob Ambrose, who has been the head coach of the football team since 2009, recalls the days when Unitas Stadium would be packed and explained how valuable that can be to a football team. “There was a time where we moved the band and had to put them on bleachers because we didn’t have enough seats for our students and, during that period of time, the head coaches of the CAA would tell me that this was
the CAA and 27% capacity of the 5,200-seat SECU Arena. In fact, the only sport that Towson led the CAA in attendance last season was Men’s Lacrosse, whose average home attendance was 2,059. In response to the attendance concerns, the Athletics Department has been taking measures to improve not only the in-game experience, but the playing surfaces as well.
first five home games, averaging just under 458 fans per game. The team has already surpassed their attendance total from last season, which was 1,688. The field hockey team has averaged just under 331 fans per game, compared to an average of 125 fans per game last season. The lower fields also includes a practice field that can be used by the football, men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse teams.
Phase two of the lower fields construction will include an expanded grandstand seating, lights, a press box, and room for concession stands. “It’s really cool to see the University take initiative, especially being a freshman,” said freshman Peter Ariano. “To see [the University] getting us involved is great.” While the current efforts being made by the University are yielding positive results, students believe there is more that can be done. “More student-sponsored events,” said Margarida. “The student body getting involved, more so than the college itself, that would be cool to see.” Creating new spaces for these teams can also result in a better overall experience for fans, which is what the ROARwards app is adding to. Fuller said that the Athletics Department has more plans to continue making Tiger games more enjoyable for students and fans alike. “We have a lot of new ideas planned for the in-game experience this season and we’re hoping we can capture some momentum from the student body early on and keep it going throughout the season,” he said. “We’re also placing a higher emphasis on getting our marketing materials out around campus and the community by utilizing street teams and tabling in high-traffic areas.”
September 2019 September 10,17, 2019
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14 September 17, 2019
tigers suffer sweep in college park TU falls to UMD, American over the weekend as their record drops to 0-5 BROOKS WARREN Staff Writer @Broookksss
Towson fell to American University, 7-0, in a neutral site game at the University of Maryland Sept. 15. Towson (0-5) freshman goalie Tess Okkerse had another solid outing despite the loss against the Eagles (3-3), with 13 saves. Freshman attack Samantha Aljets recorded the Tigers’ lone shot on goal. Junior Midfielder Noor Coenen led the Eagles with a hat trick, with sophomore forward Atini Pagani, sophomore midfielder Josie Formica, junior forward Gaby De Kock, and sophomore midfielder Georgia Davies complimenting Coenen with one goal apiece. “American is a really talented team,” head coach E.A Jackson said. “They rely heavily on a handful of internationals in the middle of the field and they’re super skilled and did a number on us today.” It took six minutes into the first quarter for American to get on board when De Kock blasted her second shot of the day past Okkerse. It was the lone first -quarter goal Okkerse allowed after saving three
shots on goal and her defense blocking another four shots. Aljets broke loose on a breakaway opportunity early on but her shot was saved by Eagles goalie Caroline Miller. The second quarter is where things got hectic for Towson. It was an efficient frame for the Eagles, scoring three goals on five shots. The first goal of the onslaught was from Pagani, her first of the season, off a rebound shot. Davies scored the second goal of the day off a Coenen assist, who proceeded to score her first goal of the day nearly four minutes apart late in the first half. “I’m seeing a lot of heart out of these athletes and seeing a lot of hustle,” Jackson said. “And today we kind of just showed our [youth] and it’s a great opportunity to learn and get better.” Coenen raced along the right sideline before unleashing her second goal of the day unassisted, and her third and final goal was off a Merel Dupont assist and hockey assist from Davies on a corner penalty. Her three-goal performance put Coenen at four for the season. “This is certainly not the first international superstar that we’re going to see all season,” Jackson said.
“For some reason today number 20 on American just really shook us a bit. I think showing up and really focusing on us and our game plan and sticking to it is how we’re going to continue improving.” The Tigers dropped a 5-0 decision to No. 4 University of Maryland on Wednesday, Sept. 11. The Terps (6-1) were led by five different scorers; sophomore midfielder Linda Cabano, freshman midfielder Emma Deberdine, junior defender Hannah Bond, senior midfielder Madison Maguire and senior forward Jenn Bleakney scored one goal apiece. Maryland reeled off 27 shots for the game, 12 on goal. “I think we went in playing like a young team might play,” Jackson said. “Sort of back on their heels, a little intimidated their playing the number four team in the country.” The Terps came out aggressive from the start of the game, recording 13 shots in the first quarter alone. Just over a minute into the contest, Bond scored off a loose ball from Maguire’s first shot of the day. Maguire scored just 90 seconds later when she scored off a corner shot unassisted. The final goal of the dismantling first frame was when Cabano scored off an assist from
Bond and hockey assist from sophomore forward Bibi Donraadt. The second and third quarter showed off a completely different Towson team. Jackson said that during a quick huddle, she told her girls that this Maryland squad was human just like them. “We had a team talk, and I said can we take a collective breath.” Jackson said. “ There’s nothing super about them unless we allow them to treat as such.” It would’ve been easy for the young Tigers to fold, but that gathering was exactly what Towson needed to wake up. “We decided to fight, and get more aggressive. Try to step to the ball and try to generate some attack.” Jackson said. For the next two quarters, Okkerse and the rest of the Tigers stopped eight shots as a unit. The Tigers also found some footing on offense. Players like sophomore defender Gretchen Alderfer as well as junior midfielder Beira Ho and sophomore midfielder Paige Reese stepped up and played in attack mode, going harder for opportunities and taking risks they didn’t at the beginning. Jackson also had praise for fresh-
man attack Dominique Nelson, Aljets and Beachley for their aggressive play during the latter 45 minutes of the game. Freshmen midfielders Hannah McKeon and Hannah King also made some big-time plays on defense, making clutch plays in the circle and forcing some empty trips downfield for the Terps. “These are just really great opportunities for our freshman to understand the pace of division one,” Jackson said. “They all really stepped up today. It’s fun to see them play like fourth year [players] and not scared freshman.” Unfortunately, the Terps scored twice in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers do take solace in the incremental improvements they’re making as a team. J ackson also says that this type of game where they can continue to create their identity of playing a gritty style of Baltimore hockey they want to implement. “This was again a good step in the right direction,” Jackson said. Towson field hockey returns on Friday, Sept. 20 for a home game against La Salle University. The game time is set for 2 p.m. at the TU Field Hockey Complex.
towson gets shut out by george mason JOHN HACK Staff Writer @johnhack10
Sunday afternoon’s 1-0 defeat on the road against George Mason wasn’t the result Towson wanted to endure heading into their final non-conference game. Additionally, the thought that the Tigers (2-5-1) effort throughout the match in creating chances to tie and even win the game felt irrelevant with a goalless result. “In a game like this, you can’t afford to miss chances,” said
head coach Katherine Vettori. Those opportunities for the Patriots (2-4-1) began in the 11th minute as senior Christiana Davey took a low show on goal that the George Mason goalie was able to save and cover. Despite the Patriots ability to get off four shots and three corners within the game’s first 13 minutes, Towson’s freshman goalie Lindsey Pazdziorko wasn’t forced to make a save as all four shots missed the goal. Pazdziorko didn’t have to face her first shot on net until the 32nd minute. Vettori said she was happy with Pazdziorko’s performance
and could see her starting again this Thursday, noting her fantastic 16-save performance against George Washington on Thursday. In the early stages of the second half, Pazdziorko’s clean sheet was ruined when George Mason took advantage on a counter attack, catching Towson off guard. “It was because we were pushing numbers forward,” said Vettori, who attributed a Towson
turnover that allowed the Patriots to gain possession before breaking the deadlock in the 51st minute. In the 53rd minute, senior Nikki Logan took a shot that glided right of the post before Pazdiorko would come up with two more stops in the 60th KATHERINE VETTORI Head Coach and 69th minutes. As the game went deeper and deeper into the closing stages, the play became increasingly physical.
In a game like this, you can’t afford to miss chances.
It wasn’t until the 85th minute when Towson would arguably get their best chance to tie up the score and send the game into extra time. Davey dribbled past multiple defenders and getting a shot off, which the George Mason goalkeeper would stop before a rebound found its way back to Davey who was denied again. The Tigers will look to rebound Thursday, Sept. 19 as they return home for their final non-conference game of the season when they host the Richmond Spiders. Game time is set for 4 p.m. from the Tiger Soccer Complex.
September 17, 2019
Freshman powers on Pospischill finishes second in Bedford Cup AARON THOMAS Staff Writer @3zzzUp
The Towson University tennis team began their fall season Friday at the Bedford Cup at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. On Sunday, freshman Sarah Pospischill competed in the singles final, but lost in the third set. “It was a great tournament for [Pospischill] despite losing the super tie-breaker for the third set in the final match," said head coach Jamie Peterson. Sophomore Amelia Lawson managed a fifth place finish in her singles draw. On Saturday, Pospischill ad-
vanced to the final match after winning her singles draw against Loyola’s Abby Decker 6-4 and 7-5. She followed that up with another victory defeating Maryland’s Joy Callwood 6-2 and 6-0. Lawson won singles matches over opponents from Maryland, Loyola, and Richmond. On the first day of action, Towson earned a singles win as Pospischill defeated Loyola’s Julia Thompson 6-0, 6-0. Sophomore Jessica Assenmacher and Pospischill team up in doubles to defeat a Georgetown duo 6-1. Freshman Elessa Jacobs and junior Lauryn Jacobs were victorious against a pair from Virginia Tech 6-3 before dropping a match against a duo from the University of Maryland 6-2.
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Sophomores Phoebe Collins and Amelia Lawson also earned a doubles win over George Washington 6-2. Peterson was impressed with his team’s performance while being able to deal with adversity and minor injuries. “I really liked their competitiveness; however, our conditioning for match play needs to get better,” said Peterson. “We need to get used to consistently hitting aggressively in order to have 15-25 ball rallies.” The Tigers have their home opener begins on Saturday, Sept. 21 for the Sol Schwartz Fall Tennis Invitational at Towson Center. “I am looking forward to hosting at our own facilities and competing against local Baltimore competition,” said Peterson.
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for sale YARD SALE Join us on Sept. 21 from 8 a.m. till about 1 p.m. for a Front Yard Fundraiser at 541 Park Ave (Towson) to raise money for Mitochondrial Disease. Lots of stuff for sale, incl. delicious baked goods!
Puzzles on page 13
Silvia Grassini Volleyball Senior middle blocker Silvia Grassini registered 13 total blocks and zero blocking errors during the Towson invitational over the weekend. Grassini was named the CAA Defensive Player of the Week for her performance as the Tigers finished the tournament 2-1 to improve their record to 7-2.
16 September 17, 2019
FOOTBALL GAME DAY PREVIEW Tigers make a statement in win over Maine JORDAN KENDALL Asst. Sports Editor @jordankendall54
For the first time in the division one era of Towson football, the Tigers (3-0, 1-0 CAA) faced a top ten opponent in Maine during the regular season. Towson scored 28 unanswered points to win 45-23 over the Black Bears (1-2, 0-1 CAA). “It’s tough to play an opponent of this quality this early,” head coach Rob Ambrose said. “You just try to stack wins and stay healthy in this league. There are too many great coaches and players and too much on the line.” On the first play of the game, Maine junior quarterback Chris Ferguson found senior wide receiver Earnest Edwards for 54 yards. The Tigers defense recovered and forced a 30-yard field goal attempt which the Black Bears converted. Maine kicked their second field goal later in the quarter to take a 6-0 lead. Redshirt senior running back Shane Simpson returned the ensuing kickoff 37 yards, but was injured on the play and did not return. Two plays into the drive, redshirt senior quarterback Tom Flacco found redshirt junior wide receiver Caleb Smith for 36 yards for a first down inside the red zone. Four plays later, senior running back Yeedee Thaenrat found the pylon for a touchdown. “When Shane came out, that’s my brother I knew since high school, but it’s the next man up so we did our job,” Thaenrat said. Towson made a key stop on fourth down, led by redshirt senior linebacker Robert Heyward and redshirt junior linebacker Bryce Carter, to force a turnover on downs.
In the second quarter, a facemask call on Maine gave the Tigers a first-and-goal, which led to a field goal from senior kicker Aidan O’Neill. On the ensuing drive, Ferguson found sophomore wide receiver Devin Young for 29 yards, setting up a touchdown to Edwards the following play. Towson responded by advancing inside the Black Bears 30-yard line but O’Neill missed a field goal. Junior defensive back Coby Tippett intercepted his third pass of 2019 to give the Tigers the possession. A pass interference call on Maine set up Thaenrat’s second touchdown in the first half, giving Towson a 17-13 halftime lead. In the second half, Ferguson completed a 36-yard pass, but the Tigers forced the Black Bears to kick their third field goal of the game. On the ensuing drive, Flacco found redshirt senior tight end Chris Clark for 38 yards to the Maine 30yard line. Junior running back Kobe Young caught a 19-yard pass setting up Thaenrat’s third touchdown of the game. After Maine punted, Smith caught two straight passes for 24 yards, and Leatherbury caught a 36-yard pass to put Towson inside the 10. Clark caught a Flacco pass and fought his way into the endzone for a touchdown to increase the Tigers lead to 31-16. Redshirt senior linebacker Keon Paye picked off Ferguson on the third play of the fourth quarter and returned it 73 yards to the Maine oneyard line. On the next play, Thaenrat scored his fourth touchdown, one shy of tying a Towson record. “I watched the running back and he’s telling the receiver a slant,” Paye said. “I saw the receiver spread out wide and I just jumped it.” The Tigers defense continued to
make key plays, including Heyward snagging Towson’s fourth interception of the game. “I can’t remember a time we forced this many turnovers in a game, let alone season,” Ambrose said. “We played great defense against an amazing, dynamic opponent. It’s a good day.” The Tigers would add to their lead with a 10-yard touchdown run by Kobe Young, to go up 45-16. Although Maine added a late touchdown, Towson’s defense held the Black Bears to just 10 points in the second half. Despite being outgained 469-416, the Tigers forced four turnovers, scoring 21 points off of those turnovers, while giving up zero. The Black Bears only rushed for 68 yards, but Ferguson threw for 401 yards. Flacco threw for 232 yards and one touchdown with zero interceptions. He also led the Tigers in rushing with 68 yards on seven carries. Feliz-Platt had the most carries with 12 for 41 yards. Thaenrat had nine carries for 24 yards along with his four touchdowns. Clark led the team with 64 receiving yards and caught the only passing touchdown for the Tigers. On defense, junior safety Steven Brown led Towson with nine tackles, one tackle for loss, one pass breakup and one interception. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Christian Dixon finished with eight tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, and a forced fumble. “We need [the fans],” Ambrose said. “We’re gonna play one of the best teams in the league. We need The U packed, loud, obnoxious. I want the ground to shake, I want the birds to run away because it’s too darn loud. Please, bring it, bring me the students.”
File photo by Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight
Redshirt senior linebacker Keon Paye (center) anchors a Towson defense that leads the CAA in interceptions.
This week’s opponent: Villanova Wildcats
File photo by Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight
Kickoff at 6 p.m. at Unitas Stadium JORDAN KENDALL Asst. Sports Editor @jordankendall54
The No. 5 Tigers return home on Saturday, Sept. 21 for “Family Weekend” vs. the Villanova Wildcats. No. 18 Villanova (3-0, 0-0 CAA) is coming off a 45-10 victory over Bucknell in which they scored 35 unanswered points to begin the game. The Wildcats scored 14 points in each of the first three quarters. Villanova outgained the Bison by more than 100 yards of total offense, including an average of 7.1 yards per rushing attempt. Villanova scored touchdowns on all four of their red zone drives. The Wildcats boast an effective 1-2 punch at quarterback and running back. Junior quarterback Daniel Smith has nine passing touchdowns through the first three games of the season, which leads the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Junior running back Justin Covington leads the CAA with 362 rushing yards this season. This duo rivals Towson’s duo of redshirt seniors in quarterback Tom Flacco and running back Shane Simpson Junior defensive back Jaquan Amos anchors the Villanova defense with 20 total tackles, two interceptions and one fumble recovery. Junior defensive lineman Malik Fisher has a sack in each game this season. He also has a tackle for loss
in each game and a forced fumble in two of the three games so far. Field position is crucial in the CAA, and sophomore punter Nathan Fondacaro is second in the conference in average yards per punt with 47.1. Fondacaro only trails Tigers redshirt sophomore Shane McDonough’s 47.8. Last time Towson faced Villanova was last season in Pennsylvania, which the Tigers won 45-35. The Wildcats, who were ranked No. 10 at the time, got out to an early 14-0 lead before Towson scored 35 unanswered points en route to the victory. Flacco passed for 320 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Simpson’s status for this game is uncertain at the time of print, as he suffered a right leg injury in the Tigers win over Maine last week. If Simpson does not play, senior running back Yeedee Thaenrat will likely start for Towson. Thaenrat is coming off a career performance with four rushing touchdowns vs the Black Bears. Redshirt senior wide receiver Shane Leatherbury has been the favorite target for Flacco this year, leading the team with 14 receptions for 181 yards and two touchdowns. The Tigers secondary has been a pleasant surprise this season, as junior defensive back Coby Tippett leads the CAA with three interceptions and redshirt senior linebacker Keon Paye right behind him with two. The game vs. Villanova is scheduled to kickoff at 6 p.m. from Johnny Unitas Stadium.