Towsonâ€™s campus and community news source
November 8, 2016
Photo by Chris Simms, photo illustration by Jordan Stephenson /The Towerlight
November 8, 2016
Teaching has always been my passion, it’s in my heart. The School of Graduate and Professional Studies nursing programs changed my life. I was able to easily transition into a nurse educator position because of the professors I had as role models. Shelia Murphy
Assistant Professor of Nursing at Anne Arundel Community College RN to BS in Nursing, 2009 MS in Nursing, 2012
Stevenson University’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies offers quality bachelor’s and master’s programs designed to fit the busy lifestyle of working adults. Established in 1947, Stevenson has a long history of providing students an affordable, private education. Learn more about Shelia’s story at stevenson.edu/passion
November 8, 2016
Week of 11/7 - 11/11
Editor-in-Chief Cody Boteler Senior Editor Sam Shelton
News Editor Sarah Rowan Assoc. Arts Editors Taylor Deville Kristin Helf Sports Editor Jordan Cope
Staff Writers Lauren Cosca
Nick Mason Sydney Douglass Desmond Boyle Alaina Tepper Bailey Hendricks Theresa Schempp Mary-Ellen Davis Jessica Ricks Sarah Van Wie Amanda Carrol Nicole Shakhnazarova Rohan Mattu
iLead Workshop West Village Commons 305, 6:30 p.m. Want to learn how to become a better leader? Join the TU Leadership Council for a workshop on the ten important qualities of becoming a good leader.
Senior Staff Writer Nilo Exar
Photo Editor Chris Simms Assist. Photo Editor Alex Best Staff Photographers Cody Boteler Mark Dragon Sam Shelton Stephanie Ranque
Cultural Competency Workshop Series University Union 314-316, 12 p.m. Join the Center for Student Diversity to learn about the impact of hate groups in America. Free snacks will be provided!
Video Producer Stacey Coles
Proofreaders Kayla Baines Alex Best Tyisha Henderson Stephanie Ranque Sarah Rowan Alaina Tepper General Manager Mike Raymond
Teaching Divided Baltimore
Campus Rec Hiring Info Session Burdick Hall, 113, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Interested in working for Campus Rec? Attend a mandatory employment information session to learn about what it’s like to work there.
Volunteer at Baltimore Clayworks University Union 1st floor lobby, 12:00 p.m. Volunteer at Baltimore Clayworks, a non-profit ceramic studio. Transportation will be provided to this event.
Liberal Arts 2310, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Learn about a community studies course offered by the University of Baltimore that discusses segregation in Baltimore.
Art Director Jordan Stephenson
Webmaster Lola Akinleye
Circulation Staff Shawn Halerz Nilo Exar Abubakary Kaba Alicia DePasquale
Football snaps six-game losing streak
8000 York Road University Union Room 309 Towson, MD 21252 (410) 704-5153 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. Cllassifieds appear onlline 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. ©2016 by The Towerlight, 8000 York Rd, Towson, MD 21252. All rights reserved.
My mom waited 2 hours to vote early in Towson today. Marylanders are pumped. @Caro130
Thinking of drinking through the election returns on Tues when it hit me hey! I own a liquor store. incredible grasp of the obvious :) @TowsonWine
Anybody else beginning to suspect that this entire election cycle has been fixed... ...by SNL? @RC_Towson
just seen a “Trump 2016 Hilary 4 Prison” sign on campus so Towson officially a PWI again @kendreezy__
November 8, 2016
So you want to We need to check our behavior learn about sex? CODY BOTELER Editor-in-Chief @codyboteler
File photo by Sarah Hugel/ The Towerlight The Counseling Center offers a Sexual Assault Peer Educator, or SAPE, program, wherein students can learn about sex, consent and resources for survivors in order to spread that knowledge to other students.
Earlier this semester, I wrote about consent and sexual violence prevention. I discussed some ways we can all participate in bystander intervention, such as simply being aware of your surroundings if/when you throw a party. While I tried to squeeze as many methods, tips and resources into that article as I could, there are just so many that no one article could explain all of them thoroughly and fully. If you’re interested in becoming more educated about consent, sex positivity, bystander intervention and resources for survivors, then look no further. I’m proud to say that Towson offers a program in which students can become a Sexual Assault Peer Educator (SAPE). The program will offer those who apply in-depth training on the aforementioned subjects as well as the means to go out into the TU community and educate others. In order to apply, you must be an undergraduate student with at least one year left on campus with a passion for positive change. You can apply at towson.edu/counseling/peered/sexualassault/application.html BY DECEMBER 1. If you have any questions, contact email@example.com. This program is fantastic. The best way to make a change is to
educate oneself and then help others gain access to the proper tools and information so that they, too, can educate themselves. That’s exactly what you’ll be doing if you choose to be a SAPE. It would also look really good on a resume. Just sayin’. I know there are times that we care so deeply about an issue but feel lost in a seeming inability to actually make a difference. We read an article, hear a news report or even listen to our friends as they recount how sexual violence has changed the life of yet another survivor. We sit there in rage and sadness, feeling stuck in a society that forces us to accept sexual violence as a part of it’s inner workings. Our education system fails us, our media fails us, and our legal system fails us. I know that tear-jerking frustration because I feel it constantly. This program alone won’t change the way our society works, but it will change the environment of our university and our community, which is a damn good start. This program makes the statement that Towson University does not tolerate sexual violence. Making a difference isn’t something that happens instantly or overnight. Change happens in steps. Tiny, tiny steps. The tiniest steps. By simply applying, you are taking a step toward ending sexual violence. Seriously. What are you waiting for?
I don’t know, man. I don’t know. It’s Election Day 2016. Millions of people are casting their ballot after a violent, loud and frustrating campaign season. I don’t know what’s left to think or write or worry about. I know that I’m exhausted. I know that I’m frustrated that the DNC worked with the Clinton campaign to push Bernie Sanders aside. I know I’m disgusted by things that Donald Trump has said about women— you know, like the whole bragging about sexually assaulting them thing. I’m tired of claims of conspiracy and rigged elections that undermine our very democracy. I’m tired of the press being vilified at Trump rallies and I’m disgusted by shirts and slogans that “jokingly” advocate for lynching. I’m exhausted. This campaign season has been like running a marathon through a swamp that’s littered with broken glass. I’m scared that we’ll wake up after this election a country that’s divided—divided not by differing
policy ideas and opinions on how we should address the problems of our day, but divided by false narratives, conspiracy theories and outright lies. I’m not happy with either of the major candidates, but I’m even more unhappy with how the electorate has behaved this year. How have we reached a point where we call for locking up political opponents? Where we talk about not accepting election results? Where we disparage and unfriend and block people for differing political opinions? I’m rambling at this point and it’s because I honestly don’t know what’s left to be said. I’m trying to think of something poignant, or at least meaningful, because it’s almost the election and it feels like the right thing to do. But instead, I’m sitting at my desk, amazed at how good Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” playlist is, and terrified at what the nation might look like a couple of days from now. Nobody should be locked up for their political views—least of all not somebody who has been cleared by the FBI twice. Nobody should call for
someone’s death or for mob violence or for forceful recounts of election results. I am in disbelief that we’ve reached this point as a nation. If you haven’t yet, go vote. It’s one of the most meaningful ways to make sure our government hears your voice. If you’ve given in to apocalyptic rhetoric, well, I can’t say I blame you. This election feels like the end of the world. But I’d ask that you try to consider that, even after the presidential election, life will go on. So, if you see a Trump voter after election day, don’t call her an ignorant, woman-hating fascist. If you see a Clinton supporter, don’t call him an establishment shill. Instead, please, remember that, at the end of the day, there’s more that connects us than divides us. At the end of the day, people on both sides are just trying to do what they think is best for their community, their lives and their country. Let’s not do any more vilifying than we already have. Let’s not kick and scream and accuse. Let’s start to heal—for the sake of our democracy.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
The tranquility of The Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, captured by Arts & Life Associate Editor Kristin Helf this weekend. Have a photo you want to submit? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, the photo and a brief description.
November 8, 2016
We asked our columnists
to share their final thoughts before Election Day. Remember to vote!
Curb the violence
Let’s stay civil no matter who wins
DYLAN BRENNAN Columnist
Image by Matt Teitelbaum through 270towin.com
Columnist Matt Teitelbaum predicts that Hillary Clinton will claim 323 electoral votes to triumph over Donald Trump’s 215.
Clinton to win with 50 percent of vote Columnist makes final election predictions MATT TEITELBAUM Columnist
2016 Presidential Election Prediction Popular Vote: Hillary Clinton – 50.0%, Donald Trump – 45.1%, Gary Johnson, 3.0%, Jill Stein 1.1%, Smattering 0.8% Electoral College: Clinton – 323, Trump – 215 Senate: Flip to Democrats Democrats – 51 (Gain 5) Republicans – 49 (Lose 5) House of Representatives: Republicans Maintain Control Republicans – 234 (Lose 13) Democrats – 201 (Gain 13)
My methodology is simple. I look at the polls nationally and in each swing state and apply other factors like state demographics, past polling errors and unique candidate qualities to predict how far off the polls will be. My predictions are generally made under the assumption that Clinton will slightly out-perform the polls, by approximately two percentage points. She has a better get-out-the-vote effort than Donald Trump and the polls were about three points off in favor of Republican Mitt Romney in 2012, showing a one point race in what turned out to be a four point victory for Democratic President Barack Obama. I also predict that third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein will somewhat under-perform compared to their poll numbers, as is typical in Presidential elections. My prediction is a decisive 4.9 percent Clinton victory nationwide, with the Democrat
taking all swing states except Ohio, Iowa, Arizona and Georgia which I predict will go to Trump. The closest states should be North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Arizona. Other things to watch: - Competitive Gubernatorial Elections in North Carolina, Indiana, New Hampshire, Missouri, West Virginia, Montana and Vermont. - State Legislative Chambers in all states except Maryland, Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and New Jersey are holding elections - Ballot Measures including marijuana legalization in California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Arizona.
This election season has been an awful, depressing slog, hasn’t it? We’ve seen buildings burned to the ground, swastikas spray-painted all over the country and countless people sent to the hospital. If that’s how we’re feeling before the election, I implore everyone to stop this trend after the election is over. By the time this paper comes out, a president will be elected within 24 hours. No matter which candidate wins, please, for the sake of our society, curb the violence. You can get mad. You can get disgusted, but violence will do no good. Throwing riots won’t change the election results, and it isn’t nearly within the bounds of the First Amendment’s freedom of expression. I know many people on each side think the other candidate is apocalyptic, but throwing bottles of urine or flaming alcohol won’t make the situation any better. And yes, I’ve seen both thrown from supporters from each camp. If you truly worry about the future of this nation, please remember that the president isn’t our overlord. We have many other institutions of power, such as the House and Senate, as well as the Supreme Court, that check and balance the president. And yes, while the president can decide who the ninth Supreme Court Justice is, and your ballots also determine who goes into the House and Senate, we must abide by the law of the land and know that the people truly wanted this. If it’s any consolation, know that you voted for who you truly thought would be the best option for the country. And if you didn’t get it your way, you can vote again in just four years.
November 8, 2016
November 8, 2016
Syed advocate speaks on Muslim media portrayal “Serial” has impacted wrongful conviction cases, Rabia Chaudry says
Attorney Rabia Chaudry, a public advocate for Adnan Syed, the focus of the “Serial” podcast, railed against the criminal justice system’s wrongful conviction rate and common media portrayals of Muslims Thursday night, during a discussion of advocacy and social media in the Center for the Arts. “The initial coverage of media comes from the state narrative,” she said. “We’re not challenging them because the media isn’t challenging them. We’re just told.” Chaudry, who argues that Syed was wrongfully convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, served as the impetus behind the first season of Sarah Koenig’s podcast, “Serial,” which analyzed Syed’s case. Syed, who was convicted of first degree murder in 2000, was granted a retrial in June. Founder of the Safe Nation Collaborative, a countering violent extremism (CVE) training firm, Chaudry said media bias against the Muslim community played a role in Syed’s original conviction. She cited a memo from The Enehey Group, whom the prosecution consulted for Syed’s trial. The memo reported on so-called Islamic ideals that the prosecution used to establish Syed’s background and supposed motive for killing Lee. Chaudry noted how the prosecution used a scarf that Syed bought for Lee as a gift to claim that he was marking “his territory” and that he killed her after they broke up as a way of defending “his honor.” She said stereotypes like these are not just false, but they’re dangerous for the Muslim community. Islamophobia has escalated since 9/11, but Chaudry said she has long been isolated for being a Muslim American. Born in Pakistan and raised in small town America, Chaudry remembers not feeling comfortable enough to bring her usual lunch—leftover curry on sandwich bread—to school because it was considered “weird.” Instead, she ate alone at home after school while watching Oprah. As a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of
Peace, Chaudry researches the intersection of religion and violent extremism. She said she has constantly been pressed to choose between being an American first or a Muslim first. For her, both are equally important parts of her identity. She said 80 percent of media coverage referring to Muslims/ Islam is related to terrorism. That overwhelmingly negative perception of Muslims has made older generations wary of Syed bringing shame, or worse, to the Muslim community. But Chaudry said she is seeing a change with younger generations. She said young Muslims have come up to her and thanked her for “talking about [Syed] as a human being.” Programs like “Serial” and Netf lix documentary series “Making a Murderer” have breathed life into old cases and led to investigations into possible wrongful convictions. “The kind of public awareness and scrutiny that can come from something like ‘Serial’ or ‘Making a Murderer,’ it has profound impacts on actual cases,” she said. Still, Chaudry believes that the only way to create real, constructive change is through ongoing advocacy and holding public officials accountable. Junior criminal justice major Jenyce Baytops and Elizabeth Casillas, a forensic science major, said they listened to “Serial” as part of their criminal investigation class. “I think it’s just sad that so many people are wrongfully convicted … That’s time you can’t get back. If you have family and kids, you’re missing them growing up,” Baytops said. Casillas said that she hopes to verify that all evidence is tested thoroughly so that incomplete or improper testing does not result in wrongful convictions. “If I can do that through science, that’s my way of making a contribution,” she said. In order to mend injustices, Chaudry said people must first acknowledge their biases and be open to conversation. “We have to find more creative ways of showing people ‘the other’ rather than telling them,” Chaudry said.
Sam Shelton/ The Towerlight (Top): Rabia Chaudry is the author of “Adnan’s Story,” which presents new evidence in Syed’s case and argues that he was wrongfully convicted. Syed was convicted of first degree murder in 2000 following the death of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. (Bottom): Rabia Chaudry speaks to a student during a book signing following her presentation. Chaudry spoke to students on campus Nov. 3 at the CFA building.
Chaudry’s podcast “Undisclosed” airs every Monday at 6 p.m. EST. Its second season is exploring the conviction of Georgia man Joey Watkins, who was sentenced to life in prison in July 2000 for murder.
November 8, 2016
Ehrlich rejects safe spaces
Claim “antithetical to what college is about”
Nov. 2: At Glen Garage, a commuter student assaulted another commuter student and took the victim’s phone. Nov. 1: In the Glen Woods, a commuter student was cited for a CDS violation. Oct. 28: At Tower A, a resident student was referred to OSCCE for possessing a “stun gun” Oct. 27: At Tower B, two resident students were cited for CDS violation. Oct. 27: At the University Union, a resident student had their property taken after leaving it unattended. Oct. 27: At the Glen Complex, a non-affiliate did not pay for a taxi service, but payment was satisfied by another person. Oct. 25: At Linthicum Hall, a commuter student had her property taken after leaving it unattended. Oct. 23: At Millennium Hall, a resident student had unwanted contact from another student via telephone and in person. Oct. 23: At Newell Ave., a resident student was robbed at knife point near Scarborough Hall.
Cody Boteler/ The Towerlight Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich meets with Towson University Presidential Scholar Nancy Grasmick, professor Richard Vatz and TU President Kim Schatzel in Burdick Hall.
Oct. 22: At Johnny Unitas Stadium, an unknown person took several items from a vendor. Oct. 21: At Paca House, two resident students were involved in a physical altercation. Oct. 20: At the Liberal Arts building, an unknown person drew an anti-religious symbol on an object in the bathroom. Oct. 20: At the University Union, a contract employee assaulted another employee after a verbal confrontation. Oct. 19: At the University Union, a commuter student had his bike taken after it was secured with a faulty lock. Oct. 19: At Cook Library, a commuter student had property taken after leaving it unattended. Oct. 19: At Towsontown Garage, a contract employee returned property after taking it from a resident student. Oct. 14: At Prettyman Hall, a resident student and a non-affiliate were cited for a CDS violation. Oct. 12: At Barton House, a resident student was cited for a CDS violation. The Towerlight’s “Police Blotter” is a representative sample of crimes occurring on and off campus. The blotter is not intended to be all inclusive. For a list of all crime reports, visit www.towson.edu/police.
Towson University doesn’t have any official policies on “trigger warnings” or institution-wide “safe spaces,” like some colleges and universities do. Towson does have, however, a portal to report hate speech or action online— an effort that ramped up after a student-led occupation of the President’s office last fall. Some professors include “trigger warnings” in their syllabi while others disparage the very idea of them as limiting academic freedom. Richard Vatz, a professor of rhetoric and communication at TU, has expressed a belief that trigger warnings on syllabi may limit or endanger academic freedom. Last week, Vatz continued a TU tradition of hosting former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich on campus. Ehrlich, a Republican who was governor from 2003 to 2007. He competed against Gov. Martin O’Malley in 2010 but lost. In 2012, he was the chairman for Mitt Romney’s Maryland campaign. And, at least while he was on campus, Ehrlich was also a vocal and clear opponent of “trigger warnings” or “safe spaces” on a college campus. “But I did go to college in the 70s,
and I lived through the Civil Rights movement, the women’s movement, the anti-war movement, some of the great movements of our day,” Ehrich said. “My whole life has sort of been around protest. Particularly my younger years. Fast forward to now. I read about speech codes and safe zones and trigger warnings. And this anti-intellectual garbage that you’re being fed because some of you have been taught that, some of you, if you’re Irish you see a potato, you’ll think of the famine and, ‘oh no I’m offended.’ What is this? What is this?” Ehrlich pleaded with the students in the room to reject the idea that they need “safe spaces,” or “speech codes” and “trigger warnings.” “You can’t have a speech code, and you can’t have a safe zone in the private sector,” Ehrlich said. “Try it. See if you get a job!” Advocates of trigger warnings and safe spaces say that they’re important because they can warn students who might have certain life experiences that difficult topics may be coming up. Ehrlich called them “antithetical to what college is all about.” During the presentation, Towson University Presidential Scholar Nancy Grasmick called the idea of trigger warnings and safe spaces “anti-intellectual.” Grasmick, who also affirmed
when Ehrlich said they were “antiFirst Amendment,” did not respond to a request for comment. During the presentation, Vatz said he wouldn’t vote for Donald Trump and said that Ehrlich, whom he called “the finest governor Maryland has ever had,” would have made “an excellent nominee for president.” Ehrlich compared this election to golf, saying that it isn’t “a game of perfect.” And, even though he’s voting for Trump, there are some things that the candidate has said that he can’t defend. “But you’re certainly not going to ask me to defend Hillary Clinton, I’ve been offended by the Clintons for 30 years,” Ehrlich said. Before ranting against safe spaces and advocating for academic freedom and intellectual rigor, Ehrlich challenged the audience by talking about how the two main candidates have used different political rhetoric. He got the class to discuss whether or not the claims the candidates were making were objective or subjective, whether they were base builders or base extenders, and how effective the claims were. Vatz has reliably invited Ehrlich to speak to his classes about political rhetoric every semester for over two decades.
November 8, 2016
TU hits carbon reduction goal VentureStorm helps start-up developers At Friday’s Presidents’ Climate Commitment Committee meeting, Planning and Sustainability Manager Patricia Watson said that Towson has already reached its goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2020 but cautioned that it could increase again. “As we grow as an institution we’re going to have more commuters, and unless we offer opportunities where they can live close affordably, that might string some of our data,” Watson said. “The second thing is, every time we add a building or increase our size we’re adding [to our carbon footprint.]” The primary goal of the ACUPCC is to reduce Towson’s carbon footprint through the Climate Action Plan, which was signed by former Towson president Robert Caret. The action plan includes short and long term goals that the committee is planning to facilitate in order to reach certain percent milestones of reducing
Towson’s carbon footprint. The committee is made up of primary faculty members including professors and representatives from the Department of Auxiliary Services and the Office of Civic Engagement and Leadership.
You talk to a lot of people, and a lot of people say they’re really for it, and they agree...and then their own personal habits don’t reflect that. PAM MOONEY Parking & Transportation
It also includes student Eco-Reps, who help educate students on different ways to reduce their carbon footprint on campus. One of the projects the committee has been discussing is alternative transportation options
One plan is to connect Towson shuttles to the MTA buses as Towson Row in uptown Towson continues to grow and expand through the future. They also discussed making uptown Towson easier to access for pedestrians by using bridges. Having fewer vehicles on campus would help to reduce Towson’s carbon footprint, according to the committee. Committee members discussed that many students take the shuttle even when it’s feasible to walk, with 50 percent of shuttle ridership coming from West Village residents, according to Associate Vice President of Auxiliary Services Daniel Slattery. “You talk to a lot of people, and a lot of people say they’re really for it, and they agree, and they think [sustainability] is great, and then their own personal habits don’t reflect that,” Director of Parking and Transportation Pam Mooney said. The committee also works with students, Eco-Reps and others, in doing projects to get more student awareness and involvement. Upcoming events include a Towson Run stream clean up, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12.
Founders of a website aimed at connecting entrepreneurs with web developers shared their company’s origin story during the College of Business and Economics’ final “Fireside Chat” Nov. 4. VentureStorm founders Tyler Denk and Taylor Johnson spoke on the company’s founding and its progress since its early days. The concept for the company came from when Denk and Johnson met in class at the University of Maryland, College Park. They came up with the idea of a music-sharing app, but had a hard time finding developers to work on it. By using Google Docs, they were able to get 30 developers to sign up to work with them. Soon, they developed a basic website for the company. On the site, they added the ability to upload and download Google Docs, along with other collabora-
tion options. These collaborative features were added because they thought they would be good for users to keep in contact with people who they had worked with on projects. However, they found that their users were not taking advantage of the feature, so they decided to scrap it. According to Denk and Johnson, their mistake was that they tried to be a “one stop shop” for everything and didn’t ask customers for their input first. They used a company named Javazone as an example to show the benefits of customer input and feedback. The company started out by selling one type of coffee, but after hearing feedback from customers, they expanded to serving several types. This was the last Fireside Chat of the semester. The series was sponsored by the Student Launch Pad and the entrepreneurship minor and ran from Sept. 2 to Nov. 4.
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November 8, 2016
KRISTIN HELF Associate Arts & Life Editor @kristinelise_
From Monday, Oct. 31 to Thursday, Nov. 3, a group of red-robed Tibetan monks hovered around a table in the center of the Union, meticulously scraping down grains of sand while chants bellowed from the speakers around them. The monks used scrapers, or “chak-pur,” among other tools, to create a mandala: an artistic tradition in Tantric Buddhism that symbolizes the universe in perfect harmony and balance. “We are traveling to different parts of the country mainly to present the Tibetan cultural tradition that we preserve [from] many years ago, to [let people] know the value of the tradition we have preserved,” Mystical Arts of Tibet spokesman Tanzing Phunchog said. The artistic process began at noon on Monday with an opening ceremony that involved chanting, the blowing of horns and the blessing of the space in the Union where the monks, visiting from South India’s Drepung Loseling Monastery, would work for four days to create the mandala. “It’s a ritual, a sacred calling of the Buddha and everything he embodies. If you invoke him, then that’s supposed to bring peace and conflict-resolution to the space and people in the space,” Asian Arts & Culture Center Director Joanna Pecore said. The Mystical Arts of Tibet last came to Towson in 2010. Pecore decided that this semester was “the right time and place,” to bring them back, since the Asian Arts & Culture Center is currently displaying a Chinese Folk Pottery exhibit in the Center for the Arts’ Asian Arts Gallery. The exhibit focuses on pottery from different minority groups in China, one of which is the Tibetan people of China’s Yunnan province. “It’s the total, perfect fulfillment of our mission--to create cross-cultural dialogue,” Pecore said. “So even though they’re from Tibet, they’re addressing something that’s a universal need. And they address it in this way where it’s going to engage
people in discussion.” During the monks’ four days on campus, they hosted three lectures to teach students about the Tibetan Buddhist culture: Monday night’s “The Ancient Art of Healing,” Tuesday night’s “Tibet Today: the History of a Diaspora,” and Wednesday’s “Opening the Heart: Arousing the Mind of Universal Kindness.” Religious studies minor Blaire Ferry attended the opening and closing ceremonies for the mandala and the “Art of Healing” lecture. She says she is really interested in the Tibetan Buddhist culture and shares many of its values. “It was incredible. Such an amazing representation of how we can come together as a community to send healing and blessing into the world,” she said. “It was so incredible because it’s something that’s really needed...You have to look inward to find your own happiness.” The lectures were presented in the Tibetan language by Musa Tulka, one of the monks, and translated by Phunchog. During Wednesday night’s lecture, Tulka discussed how to open one’s heart to universal love and compassion. The key to loving others is loving oneself first, he said, but he cautioned the audience against allowing self-love to turn into egotism. Tulka also expressed that in order to achieve true happiness, everyone must understand their own consciousness and recognize that while there are both light and dark aspects of human nature, we are all inherently good. Mental health, he said, is just as important as physical health. “In ancient times, people didn’t have physical health, but they were mentally healthy,” Phunchog said, translating for Tulka. “With all the war in the past 200 years, it’s not like that anymore.” Anger, Tulka said, only harms the mind. Freshman Jordan Stewart, who attended all the seminars out of personal interest, felt she “could take something away from each one.” “I liked the idea of trying to rid yourself of negative thoughts in order to achieve this universal mindset of kindness towards everyone,” Stewart said. “I think that I try to do
that in my daily life, but it’s just good to hear some tips from people who have been studying this for years.” Before leaving, Tulka remarked on Towson’s “beautiful” campus and expressed his hope that the school will offer courses in subjects like universal love and healing, as other universities have done. “The Tibetan Buddhist philosophy is that you learn through experience. So actually having this demo here, and understanding that they’re putting all this work into the mandala, and knowing that at the end of the week it’ll be dismantled, we’re all experiencing it so we’re learning the basics of Buddhist philosophy that way,” Pecore said. “But to have a lecture is sort of another mode of learning. Some people like to actually sit and listen to someone talk.” At the closing ceremony on Thursday, the monks dismantled the mandala by wiping the sand away. They gave bags of the sand to students, who were told to either keep the sand at home or drop it into a body of water that will lead into the ocean, which completes the healing process. “Why we destroy this mandala, it’s important to know,” Phunchog said. “[It] represents all things in evenness, [and that there is] no more wronger in this world. [The world] keeps on changing, by minute by minute and second by second, as the impermanence.” Next semester, the Asian Arts & Culture Center will host an exhibit and various events celebrating a theme of karaoke. They will also be offering three courses in the spring: Asia in Maryland Cultural History Project, Cambodian Classical Music Ensemble and Special Topics in Dance, Asian Traditions. As Mystical Arts of Tibet continues to travel throughout the U.S., Mexico and Europe to share their art, Phunchog hopes that people will continue to be open to learning about the Tibetan culture and traditions, just as Towson students have been. “The students, they’re showing great interest in the programs,” Phunchog said. “We expect and we hope to come back again.” Taylor DeVille contributed to this story.
Top photo courtesy of Kanji Takeno, bottom photo and banner image by Chris Simms
Mystical Arts of Tibet visited Towson for four days to work on a mandala and lecture students about Tibetan culture.
November 8 , 2016
“The Trench” brings soldiers back to life JESSICA RICKS Staff Writer
“The Trench,” a student-directed play set during World War I, explores the struggles of a soldier as he deals with the pain of being away from his family and the difficult life in the trenches. Director Bridget Lindsay, along with close friend and stage manager Billy Goheen, first saw the play performed years ago at their high school. “It really struck me and sat with me for a while,” Lindsay said. “The message is so universal and powerful. Anyone can identify with it. I felt like this was the time and place for it to be told.” Performed from Nov. 2 to Nov. 5 in the Ruth Marder Studio Theatre inside the Center for the Arts, the show began with evocative imagery of soldiers lying still on the ground against a foggy set of torn and bloody canvases and a band playing mellow music in the corner. When the lights dimmed and the
music stopped, the soldiers stood up and began to tell the audience with poetic vigor about the hard life of a soldier and introduced the main character, Bert, played by Rusty Hrabe, a young man who worked hard to be accepted into the army and left behind a pregnant wife. He befriends a young soldier named Collins, played by Tim Neil, and together they venture through the hardships of war. Everything takes a turn for the worse when Bert receives a letter from home that says his wife died in childbirth and bombs start going off in the trenches, leaving everyone dead but him. Then, he’s approached by a demon to take on three quests to cope with his loss and the person he has become during the war. “For the play itself the best part was being in a piece about human experiences,” Neil said. “The cost of war is too great to comprehend, and the cost of life can’t be overstated.” Originally written as an epic poem by Oliver Lansley, it was
Courtesy of Jay Herzog, Towson Department of Theatre Arts
Bert (Rusty Hrabe) poses amongst zombie soldiers of World War I in an adaptation of “The Trench.” transformed into a theater production with the actors reciting the original poem to go with the acting. According to Lindsay, the entire process of putting together the play was a creative one. All of the action was actor-generated through activities, exercises and brainstorming. “I loved watching the show from start to finish,” Goheen said. “It was just an idea on the first day. We were seeing how much we
could get to work and from there and watch it grow. The best part for me was working closely with the production team and seeing it come to life.” Audiences appreciated how much work was put into the play, from memorizing all of the lines of Lansley’s poem to the dynamic work with the set. “It was really impressive,” sophomore family studies major Rachel Sklar said. “There were a lot of
words. It was 45 minutes of nonstop speaking. There was a solid set with lots of pieces moving around. They did a lot with a little.” At its heart, “The Trench” is a story that everyone can relate to. “I would like people to take away that everyone has their own story,” Lindsay said. “There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. As long as you press forward, you’ll find your purpose.”
“Sweet Transvestite.” McDiarmid joked that walking in heels was not as difficult as he thought it would be but still challenging. His character was flamboyant and had to get intimate with Brad, played by freshman Daniel Rosen. “I like the challenge of the costume and making sure I was comfortable as the character,” said McDiarmid. The show involved a lot of interaction with the crowd. An actress in a gray hoodie rode through the audience on a scooter. Before the show began, ensemble members flirted with members of the crowd by sitting on their laps and chatting. Janet, played by sophomore Madelyn Dominiski, and Brad had a sex scene at the feet of the audience members in the front row. During different scenes audience members heckled and made interjections, which are known as “call outs.” Every time Janet’s name was mentioned in one of the songs the audience would yell “slut,” and in another scene Janet said, “But my lips were hungry,” and someone yelled “which ones?” in response,
which caused the audience to laugh. “We can definitely hear the heckles and sometimes they’re brand new, so it’s f**king hilarious,” Jennifer Yarmis, who played Magenta, said. During an intermission, Parker Durham entertained some of the audience by sticking a nail up his nose and then pulling it back out. Actors Anonymous president Becca Altschul directed the show. She previously acted in “Rocky Horror” with Actors Anonymous in 2014, which inspired her to direct this year’s production. “It was the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had,” Atschul said. “I got to be around the 20 most talented people I’ve ever met. I don’t have words to describe how beautiful this was.” After the actors took their final bows, they started dancing and singing the “Time Warp.” Members from the audience rushed on stage to join them. “The leads were really funny,” heckler and local high school senior Emily Granger said. “10 out of 10 for entertainment. It was a lot of fun to watch.”
Learning to design TU actors “Time Warp” again the handmade SARAH VAN WIE Staff Writer
Towson art department faculty welcomed artist and designer Aric Snee to campus Thursday to deliver a lecture about his work prior to a faculty exhibit opening in the Holtzmann Gallery. Snee is currently working for a company called Holmegaard located in Denmark. He received his masters degree in sculpting at Alfred University, and has been working with glass blowing for 15 years. Snee’s lecture, titled “Design the Handmade,” gave the audience insight into his educational background and work experience. Snee also talked about his idea of art design, craft and form, then discussed how he incorporates his views into his work. To wrap up the lecture, Snee presented the audience with a few of his designs and finished products that have gone viral and on the market. “I never thought of [art] like that,” junior Collyn Mangini said.
“The way he talked about design was really cool.” One of Snee’s designs is a self-watering flower pot called the “Gaia.” This product holds an hourglass shape. Water is placed in the bottom portion of the pot and the top holds the plant. A nylon wick in the middle of the pot connects the water to the plant’s soil to ensure the right amount of water is delivered to the plant. No parts of the pot ever need to be replaced. All that needs to be done is adding water to the bottom of the pot. “I’m taking 3D Process course with professor Lundak and she encouraged our class to come out and learn about our discipline,” senior Corey Dunning said. Another design by Snee is called “The Selfie Arm.” This product is a redesign of the world wide known gadget, the selfie stick. The Selfie Arm is a literal, realistic clay and fiberglass arm, with a slot at the end to hold a phone in place. Snee claimed the design was meant to be a joke. He posted his design online and it went viral within 24 hours.
LAUREN MCMILLAN Staff Writer
Paws Café was standing room only on Friday for the Actors Anonymous’ production of cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” For the uninitiated, “Rocky Horror follows main characters Janet and Brad as they explore their sexuality during a night in the house of mad scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Throughout the night, they meet all sorts of zany characters and fall into all kinds of adventures. The musical comedy horror show infamously combines insight, intrigue and campy flair. Members of the group showcased their singing and dancing talents on stage while wearing feather boas and fishnet stockings. The backdrop was painted with the words “Don’t dream it, Be it.” When Joshua McDiarmid, who played Frank-N-Furter, came on stage in a black crop top, tight black shorts, fishnet knee highs and heels, the crowd erupted in cheers and laughter. McDiarmid danced across the stage and posed as he sang
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16 8 , 2016 16November November 8, 2016
Turn to page 18 for answers to today’s
● Each row and each column must contain the numbers 1 through 4 (easy) or 1 through 6 (challenging) without repeating.
● The numbers within the heavily
outlined boxes, called cages, must combine using the given operation (in any order) to produce the target numbers in the top-left corners.
● Freebies: Fill in single-box cages with the number in the top-left corner. KenKen® is a registered trademark of Nextoy, LLC. ©2016 KenKen Puzzle LLC. All rights reserved. Dist. by Universal Uclick for UFS. www.kenken.com
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November 8, 2016
Grateful for good food, health NOELLE HARADA Columnist
It’s the fourth Thursday in November and the aroma of Thanksgiving dinner wafts through the air. You loosen your belt and prepare your stomach for the meal of the year. Over the past 400 years, Thanksgiving tradition has completely transformed. In 1621, the “first Thanksgiving” was an autumn harvest celebration between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians that probably consisted of shellfish, wild fowl, deer and cornmeal. The first “official Thanksgiving” was celebrated on Nov. 26, 1863, when Abe Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. Today, Thanksgiving is synonymous with family, football, parades and feasts.
Thanksgiving is one of the largest food holidays in the United States. A holiday doused in delicious food options inevitably results in eating everything in sight. According to a study conducted by Calorie Control Council, the average American consumes around 3,000 calories at the Thanksgiving dinner table (not including pre-meal snacks). Eating more than a day’s worth of calories in one sitting is excessive, but with all that eating, you are also getting a day’s worth of nutrients. Turkey provides half of the recommended amount of folic acid and 32g of protein in just 5oz. The same quantity of mashed potatoes provides 45 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, and one half-cup serving of sweet potatoes provides 330 percent of your daily recommended vitamin
A. Green beans offer vitamins A, C, K and B6, while cranberries (not the jelly-version) are a great source of vitamin C and manganese. Even the pumpkin in your pie is full of fiber and vitamin A. Although the health benefits of these foods do not “cancel out” the incredibly high levels of sodium, fat and calories, you are still enjoying a nutrient-dense meal. If there is ever a time to stuff yourself to maximum capacity, then Thanksgiving is that time. However, if you want to avoid the post-meal food coma, then practice the following strategies. First, eat slowly and listen to your body. By eating slowly, you give your brain time to process what your stomach is feeling. -To read the rest of this article online, visit thetowerlight.com.
said. “You know, I’ve been practicing yoga for twenty years and I’m still very much a beginner in my own body.” McNairy explained that in the U.S., yoga is not acknowledged the ways in which it is practiced, because it was not called yoga until somewhat recently. “A lot of what we do here in our studio is related to gymnastics,” he said. “So after this was introduced as yoga, people started bringing themselves into it.” Sid Yoga is still expanding, and there are now locations in Towson, Federal Hill, Boston and York, Pennsylvania. Some people that have trained in Sid Yoga studios and have been influenced by the classes take the brand and put it in other places. “When a person gets on the mat, and they really let go, that’s when yoga takes full effect,” he said. “It’s an intuitive practice that allows your mind to open.” Each of Sid Yoga’s studios teach the Nahi Warrior Flow, which is an athletic approach to yoga and is compared to a flowing dance. Restore and Renew (post injury recovery), Super Adult Yoga, Meditation, Kids yoga as well as Foundations and Alignment classes are also offered. “The easiest thing is to see how yoga brings balance into someone’s
life,” McNairy said. “Let’s say a person is out of shape, yoga can start to balance that person out physically, and as that person is balanced out physically, their mental side is impacted too.” Located a short, ten-minute walk away from Towson’s campus, Sid Yoga on 321 York Road aspires to become the destination for all Towson students as an oasis to move away from their current affairs and worries. “We’ve had a lot of students come here over the years and the results of their well-being improved dramatically,” he said. “We’ve had Towson’s gymnastics team here, the men’s basketball team and the softball team, too.” Sid Yoga is a company that falls into a donation-based system category. Their belief is that “no matter what level of income you have, we want to make sure everybody can get into yoga.” “We have what’s called ‘no limits’, which are two great classes for students because it means you pay what you can pay,” he said. “We like to think that if someone likes to go to Starbucks, they should be able to afford yoga, and if you spend $5-$10 towards yoga, that’s going to benefit you more than spending $5-$10 in Starbucks.”
A yoga studio for everyone NICOLE SHAKHNAZAROVA Staff Writer
While most yoga streaming platform organizations concentrate on a single niche, Sid Yoga has had a wealth of content across all levels of difficulty for over 12 years. “It started because I was coaching Morgan State’s football team through yoga and after that, people started asking me to teach it all over,” founder Sid McNairy said. McNairy started meditating at eight years old and stuck with it through high school, college and beyond. After he suffered from a painful ankle injury, he realized that yoga could be used as a recovery tool, not just a rejuvenating escape. “To heal my injury, I incorporated an actual yoga Asana practice,” he said. “When I was able to find peace in my body from my injury, I thought how do I find more peace in my life? And yoga helped me to create these things.” Sid Yoga teaches all levels of yoga proficiency. From beginners to experts, there is a class crafted specifically for each individual’s ability and aptitude. “It’s said you stop being a beginner in yoga thirty years later,” McNairy
Redshirt running back Shane Simpson rushed for 187 yards on 23 carries in Towson’s 23-6 win over Colonial Athletic Association rival Elon Saturday at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
November 8, 2016
coming down the home stretch Tigers defeat Huskies on senior day, Pride at SECU Arena JORDAN COPE Sports Editor @jordancope26
Towson conquered a pair of Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) rivals this weekend, defeating Northeastern Sunday on senior day and Hofstra on Friday. Sunday, the Tigers (22-7, 9-5 CAA) defeated the Huskies (20-9, 10-5 CAA) 3-1. “You never know how another team is going to come out,” Head Coach Don Metil said. “But this year it’s really hard to get those CAA road wins, so we just needed to have execution of that game plan initially and it really paid off.” In the first set, Towson took an early 12-5 lead, which forced Northeastern Head Coach Ken Nichols to take a timeout. However, Towson did not let Northeastern’s first time out stop its momentum. The team went on to extend its lead to 19-8, which forced Northeastern to take its second timeout of the set. Towson ultimately took the first set after a service ace from soph-
battle. Early in the set, the two teams omore libero Meredith Dignan were tied 5-5. Towson opened up a secured the team a 25-13 victory. 12-8 lead, but Northeastern tied the “That first set was really importset 12-12. ant,” Redshirt sophomore libero The two teams remained in a close Anna Holehouse said. “We showed battle late in the set and were tied them that we weren’t playing 25-25. However, the Tigers scratched around because we had lost to them out a 28-26 victory after a Huskies previously. We showed them that service error and a kill from senior we are the real deal now.” outside hitter Jessica Lewis. In the second set, the Huskies Early in the fourth set, Towson and took an early 3-0 lead over the Northeastern were Tigers. However, tied 9-9. The two the Tigers went on teams traded points a 3-0 run to tie the I tried to stay composed throughout most of game 3-3. the set, but Towson as much as I could. The two teams continued to bat- But last time playing in took a 21-17 lead and eventually put tle back and forth SECU was definitely away Northeastern throughout the middle of the sec- one to remember. To go 25-21. “I tried to stay ond set. Towson only four games with a composed as much went on a 6-0 run to take a 13-8 lead, team like Northeastern as I could,” Lewis said. “But last time is huge for us. but Northeastern playing in SECU fought back late in JESSICA LEWIS was definitely one the set to tie the Outside Hitter to remember. To game 20-20. go only four games Despite seven with a team like Northeastern is huge ties in the set, the Huskies used a for us.” late 5-0 run to secure a 25-21 victory In the match, Holehouse recorded and tie the match 1-1 going into interher thousandth dig in the contest, mission. against the Huskies. She is just the The third set saw another tight
15th Tiger in history to reach this milestone. Friday, the Tigers swept the Pride (19-8, 9-5 CAA) 3-0 to earn their first victory of the weekend. In the first set, Towson had a commanding 16-9 lead over Hofstra. However, Hofstra went on a 4-0 run later in the game to pull within three points of Towson. Despite Hofstra’s comeback efforts, Towson scored three of the last five points to secure a 25-21 victory in the first set. In the second set, the Tigers went on a late 4-0 run to take a 21-15 lead. However, the Pride fought back to pull within three points of the Tigers. However, the Tigers scored four of the next five points to earn a 25-19 win. Towson and Hofstra fought down to the wire in the third set and were tied late 23-23. However, a service error by Hofstra and a service ace from freshman outside hitter Annie Ertz helped the team earn a 25-23 victory and a 3-0 sweep of Hofstra. The Tigers will hit the road for the final week of the regular season to take on William & Mary and James Madison before the start of the CAA Tournament on Nov. 18 in Wilmington, North Carolina
Sunday vs. Northeastern Senior OH Jessica Lewis led the team with 17 kills. Redshirt sophomore Anna Holehouse became just the 15th Tiger to record 1,000 digs. Towson honored its three seniors Lindsay Flaherty, Jessica Lewis and Candace Steadman. Friday vs. Hofstra The Tigers swept the Pride in three straight matches for their second straight win.
Solutions ● Each row and each column must
contain the numbers 1 through 4 (easy) or 1 through 6 (challenging) without repeating.
● The numbers within the heavily
outlined boxes, called cages, must combine using the given operation (in any order) to produce the target numbers in the top-left corners.
● Freebies: Fill in single-box cages with the number in the top-left corner. KenKen® is a registered trademark of Nextoy, LLC. ©2016 KenKen Puzzle LLC. All rights reserved. Dist. by Universal Uclick for UFS. www.kenken.com
for Puzzles on page 16
Stephanie Ranque/ The Towerlight
Freshman outside hitter Annie Ertz delievers a spike against Colonial Athletic Association rival Northeastern Sunday at SECU Arena on senior day. The Tigers went on to defeat the Huskies 3-1.
November 8, 2016
Towson kills losing streak
Photos by Joe Noyes/ The Towerlight
Head Coach Rob Ambrose prepares to lead Towson out of the tunnel before its CAA matchup against rival Elon Saturday at Unitas Stadium. Towson defeated Elon 23-6 (above). Redshirt freshman running back Shane Simpson carries the ball up the field against the Phoenix. Simpson finished the game with 187 rushing yards in the Tigers win (below). JORDAN COPE Sports Editor @jordancope26
The return of redshirt sophomore quarterback Morgan Mahalak and a strong performance from redshirt freshman running back Shane Simpson lifted Towson to its first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) win of the season and brought an end to the team’s sixgame losing streak. “I’m extremely proud of my guys,” Head Coach Rob Ambrose said. “In the world we live in, the world would have told them that it is okay to lay down, it’s okay to quit, it’s okay to give in. They had to fight through the negativity that is presented to them daily, make them question the game they love and the people that they love while they do it. I can’t love them enough.” The Tigers (2-7, 1-5 CAA) wasted no time getting on the board. On their first drive of the game, the Tigers took a 3-0 lead over the Phoenix (2-7, 1-5 CAA) on a career-long 47-yard field goal from freshman kicker Aidan O’Neill. On its second drive of the game, Towson broke its nine-quarter scoring drought without an offensive touchdown when Mahalak found senior wide receiver Christian Summers for a 24-yard touchdown pass over the middle of the field. “A big part of going out there was
knowing that I was 100 percent,” Mahalak said. “There was nothing to really worry about, just getting the opportunity to play again was really exciting. The team did a great job and it was just a great team victory.” In the second quarter, Elon started with the ball and drove into Towson territory. However, Towson’s defense made a stand on fourth and seven thanks to a sack by sophomore cornerback Lyrics Klugh. Despite good field position set up by the turnover on downs, the Tigers were forced to punt the ball back to the Phoenix. On Elon’s next drive, the team drove 14 plays for 58 yards but had to settle for a field goal after an offensive pass interference created a third and 20 that the team could not convert. O’Neill put Towson on the scoreboard one more time before the end of the first half in large part due to a 29-yard punt return by Simpson that put the team in field goal range. On the opening drive of the second half, Elon was just two yards away from scoring a touchdown. However, a fumble by freshman running back De’Sean McNair was recovered by Tigers redshirt junior defensive end D’Sean Cummings to keep the Phoenix out of the end zone. “We had a lot of defensive players just crowding the ball,” Cummings
said. “You see the ball pop out and you see the ball get the ball. That’s what our defensive staff teaches us and that’s what we do day in and day out.” Late in the third quarter, Elon took advantage of a Mahalak interception. Elon drove 37 yards to get into field goal range to pull within one touchdown of Towson. “I was a little rusty out there today,” Mahalak said. “But the victory is huge for our team and and it’s been a while so it felt pretty good to get back out there.” In the fourth quarter, Mahalak
redeemed himself when he threw for his second touchdown of the game. The 26-yard pass to senior wide receiver Andre Dessenberg gave the Tigers a 20-6 lead with 10:01 left in the game. The Tigers extended their lead to 23-6 late in the fourth quarter when O’Neill converted on his third field goal of the afternoon. The scoring drive was setup by an interception from redshirt senior outside linebacker Jordan Mynatt that put Towson at the Elon 16 yard line. Towson put Elon away with 3:59 left in the game, when Elon sophomore
quarterback Daniel Thompson threw his second interception of the game. Towson’s offense went on to milk the clock and secure the 23-6 victory. Mahalak finished the game 12-24 with two touchdowns and one interception while Simpson rushed for 187 yards. “With Vito being out, he has been helping me out a lot lately,” Simpson said. “Then I had Grayson with me so it wasn’t really that big of a deal.” Towson will look to earn its third win of the season next week against William & Mary. Kickoff is set for noon.
November 8, 2016
escaping the grind Towson freshman Muhammad Waheed introduces his passion to Towson Photos by Jordan Cope/ The Towerlight
A team at the goalball tournament prepares for its first game. Campus Rec and Disability Support Services helped to host Towson’s first ever goalball tournament (above). A participant at the goalball tournament prepares to take a shot on goal. The tournament ran from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in gym three of Burdick Hall Friday evening (below).
JORDAN COPE Sports Editor @jordancope26
Eighteen-year-old freshman Muhammad Waheed gets ready before for class every morning in Richmond Hall. He makes his way to the bathroom to brush his teeth, but struggles to get the right amount of toothpaste on his toothbrush. Along with the challenges of being a college freshman, Waheed is legally blind. He has no vision out of his left eye and minimum function in his right. However, he does not let his impairment slow him down. “I am an expert on certain skills,” Waheed said. “I just haven’t mastered some yet. I use different tactics for different tasks. I use cues and draw from my other senses.” Due to his visual impairment, Waheed faces obstacles in the classroom and with homework. He uses a special laptop to help him take notes in class and relies heavily on audio technology to help him with his assigned readings for homework. However, Waheed does not let his disability get in the way of his academic performance. “I taught Muhammad at Perry Hall High School,” Perry Hall high school teacher Scott Roller said.
“He was an excellent student. He let you know when he needed clarification on something or didn’t understand something. He seems to be thriving [at] Towson.” Although Waheed faces adversity day in and day out, he has found a sanctuary by playing goalball, a Paralympic sport created for those who are visually impaired where teams of three try to score on their opponents’ goal. Teams can score by rolling the ball down the court into their opponent's goal. The team that doesn’t have the ball has to rely on their hearing to defend their goal. They rely on their hearing by listening to the bells as the ball approaches their goal and can listen to their teammates tapping the court. Initially, Waheed did not like the idea of playing goalball. He wanted to compete in track and field in high school but was told he didn’t look athletic enough. It wasn’t until he attended the Maryland School for the Blind that he fell in love with the game, in large part to coach Matt Mescall. “It’s because of people like Mr. Matt that I love this game,” Waheed said. “When you see the intensity from your coach, you want to give that same intensity in the game.” Mescall has always enjoyed working with Waheed and speaks highly
of his character both on and off the court. “Muhammad is a very passionate person,” Mescall said. “He understands that the game is bigger than just him. He is a great advocate for the game and he is an excellent and outstanding person.” Waheed has become so passionate about the sport that he has recently introduced it to Towson. He worked with Disability Support Services and Campus Rec to organize a goalball tournament in Burdick Gym on Friday. “We felt like we were at a legitimate goalball tournament,” Waheed said. “Nobody felt like beginners. The referees were awesome, even Mr. Matt came up to me and said something about it.” Waheed will continue to work with Campus Rec and hopes to create one of the few goalball teams in the country that will travel to play against other teams. “I used to have a routine in high school,” Waheed said. “My routine was get up, go to school and come home and do homework. When I found goalball it gave me that escape that I needed to prevent burnout. I once had to listen to six hours worth of audio recording for class. You want to know how important goalball is to me, well there you go.”