The Towerlight (Summer 2020)

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Towson’s campus and community news source

Summer 2020

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Summer 2020

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Summer 2020

Editor-in-Chief Meghan Hudson

Associate Editors Sophia Bates

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Word on the Web compiles online submissions and responses to questions or topics posted by The Towerlight via social media. Follow The Towerlight on Instagram and Twitter. Art Director Victoria Nicholson

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

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Opinion

Summer 2020

Bolupe Olaseinde Columnist

Dear Editor, Lebanon is on the brink of economic collapse, and the future of their economy needs your help. Lebanon is facing one of their worst crises since their civil war ended in 1990. The disastrous explosions in Beirut resulted in a death toll of over 100 people, left 5,000 people injured, and hundreds of people missing. The deadly explosion in Beirut has exacerbated issues Lebanon has been facing for years. Important things to know about Lebanon’s economy: Lebanon faced a 15-year civil war from 1975-1990 with its effects still pervading in present-day Lebanon including a divided sectarian political system The Port of Beirut is the central location for their imported goods and medical supplies. Beirut controls 60% of imports. High rates of unemployment. Third highest inflation rate in the world: Since October 2019, the Lebanese pound has lost 60% of its value. Food prices have risen by about 55% bringing them closer to starvation every day. Almost 50% of people in Lebanon are living under the poverty line. Half of Lebanese businesses are estimated to close by the end of the year. Lebanon’s economy has been suffering before the explosions in Beirut, but this disaster may cripple Lebanon for the foreseeable future. There are many ways to help and Lebanon seeks assistance in many areas especially in hospitals or medical care. But the other part of the economy that needs attention are small businesses and young creative influencers in Beirut. It may seem like all of the efforts to help Beirut should be focused on providing donations for medical supplies but in actuality there are other areas that need a great deal of attention as well. Instagram influencers, Saint Hoax (@sainthoax) and Plastik

(@plastik) have shared how the explosion has affected the creative district in Beirut. “We went to check on our studios today,” Saint Hoax captioned in their post dedicated to information on the current climate of Lebanon. “We were devastated to find out that they were completely destroyed along with the entire neighborhood. Thankfully, we were all working from home that day due to COVID restrictions.” Saint Hoax (@sainthoax) and Plastik (@plastik) have started a fund that will help rebuild Gemmayze and Mar Mikhael, two neighborhoods that house the operations of many small businesses. They are also a central part of restaurants and businesses owned by young entrepreneurs. This community is a place for creatives, artists, and young entrepreneurs which is vital in creating a prosperous future for Lebanon. What may not be apparent to people right now is that ensuring that businesses don’t shut down and ensuring the wealth of Lebanese citizens will help in making sure that they can stand on their own two feet once the community has recovered from the explosion. We can be proactive in supporting their local businesses to make sure we are directly impacting the Lebanese people. Many have come out on social media to express that donating to certain organizations will only go straight to the Lebanese government which has faced immense backlash from the Lebanese people, it triggered a revolution called “Thawra” back in October 2019. Zuhair Murad, Elie Saab, and Reem Acra are among the most notable names in the fashion industry and are from Lebanon. Zuhair Murad took to his private Instagram to share how badly he and his team had been affected by the blast. “My heart is Broken can’t stop crying the efforts of years went in a moment . Thank God for everything.” Murad posted to instagram. - To read the rest of this letter, visit thetowerlight.com.


Opinion

Summer 2020

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Democrats have nothing going into November SAM JONES Columnist @SamJones1776

There is no doubt that 2020 has been a strange year, and the crazy part is that there is still an election to be held in November. However, the current agenda of the Democratic Party makes me believe that they have no momentum going into November. Obviously COVID-19 changed our way of life, and necessary actions were required to save American lives. However, the irrational reaction to this disease, and the extended shutdown was embraced, and supported by

Democratic leadership. With every move from Republicans to begin to reopen certain areas of the once great economy, Democrats were swift to criticize and attack. Democratic leadership across the country has created many regulations, such as closing certain businesses but allowing others to remain open and maintaining stay-at-home orders. Even Dr. Fauci of the NIH has admitted that there has been a large amount of misinformation about this virus, and I believe that many of these regulations were politically based and not necessary. They’ve crippled their communities. The Democratic Party has also relentlessly defended the destruction of urban America in recent weeks. With clear videos of rioters attempting to burn down a federal

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courthouse in Portland, with federal agents trapped inside, the city’s democratic mayor still showed strong opposition to the deployment of federal agents the following night. An incredible amount of private property has been destroyed, while several police departments are told to stand land is not alone. Several American cities are experiencing extremely high crime rates this summer, such as crippling New York City. A large portion of democratic leadership has even adopted the idea to defund police in several areas. This incredibly radical idea will be catastrophic in neighborhoods that are plagued by violent crime. Law abiding citizens need police in their society to ensure that their neighbors are also law abiding citi-

zens. Defunding the police would do nothing more than level the playing Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Shumer, the two highest ranking Democrats in Washington, attempted to reach a deal with the White House, sending COVID relief money to millions of Americans. However, when the Democrats refused to lower their asking price at all, the President took it into his own hands with executive orders. The best part is that instead of continuing to allow those on unemployment to make more money than those going to work everyday, the President’s executive orders strategically incentivize people to get back to work. However, as the President attempts to get the job done on his own, Democratic leadership obviously must try to stop it. Plans

were announced immediately after the President’s historic signing to sue him for abusing his power as President of the United States. As countless Americans would be suffering, waiting for COVID relief money, the Democratic leadership plans to sue the President for helping those people. Even Chris Wallace, a Fox News Correspondent and often criticizer of the President, asked Nancy Pelosi during an interview, “You’re known as a master negotiator, but didn’t you mess this one up?” Of course she denied that it was the Democrat’s fault, but it is clear to me who came to the table with political motive, and who came to get the job done for the American people. To read the rest of this column, visit thetowerlight.com.

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News

Summer 2020

Committee begins process Dining services employee speaks out to rename Paca and Carroll Caitlyn Freeman Assistant Editor

Meghan Hudson Editor-in-Chief

Marcus Whitman Staff Writer

The committee formed by Towson University President Kim Schatzel to rename dorms Paca House and Carroll Hall, has officially begun searching for new names. In February of this year, Tigers for Justice, a student group at Towson University, started a petition to change the names of the West Village dorms. After garnering a lot of student support, the SGA submitted a formal request to the University asking them to form a committee tasked with renaming the dorms. “The petition was very helpful in making our point that a multitude of students support and would like this change,” said SGA President Deguene Ndiong. “When submitting our formal request, we made sure to include the number of signatures and past pushback regarding the two, building names, to emphasize the fact that this was an important issue to a lot of our students and staff.” Once names are selected, the next step is for the recommendations to be sent to TU’s Senate. “Recommendations shall be forwarded to the University Senate for review and be accompanied by a summary of the process used, the participants involved, and

a description of how the recommended name(s) meets the criteria outlined,” states TU’s Policy on Naming. “The University Senate shall vote to approve or reject the committee’s recommendation and then forward the results of the Senate vote, the committee’s recommendation, and all supporting materials to the President for final consideration.” According to Schatzel, the committee is progressing in their investigation, and are looking to present names to her in the next couple of months. “They’re continuing in the process of assessing those names according to our policy,” said Schatzel. “I very much appreciate all the work that’s gone into this by that committee.” Once Schatzel receives the recommendations, she may deny it, and the committee can search for a new name, or, she can accept the recommendation and forward it to the University System of Maryland Office of the Chancellor for final approval. TU junior, Briana Kooienga, thinks that renaming these buildings is important for the community. “Allowing their names to stay memorialized on our campus is blatantly disrespectful to our thousands of students who are people of color as well as our community,” Kooienga said. “Renaming these buildings is not erasing history as some may claim. It’s purely giving us the chance to honor an influential figure who is also respected in the lives of all people regardless of the color of their skin.”

Brendan Felch / The Towerlight

Paca House and Carroll Hall are named after former Maryland slave and plantation owners. The University is considering change.

In response to pressure by TU students, plus a petition created by the Student Government Association, Chartwells Higher Education, TU’s dining services vendor, has reopened an investigation regarding racial discrimination amongst dining services employees, specifically employee Justin Brown. According to the petition, Brown, the Assistant Dining Director of the Commons Dining Hall, has been reporting instances of racial discrimination to Chartwells since 2017. The alleged incidents include failure from Human Resources officials to investigate the claims made by Brown, the use of racially charged language, soliciting false statements of wrongdoing about Brown preventing him from returning to his post, and accusing him of possibly endangering students with tarnished food. “In response to filing claims to corporate & HR that reported the misconduct of his superiors and the mistreatment of Towson Dining Associates, Mr. Brown was met with retaliation,” the petition said. According to Towson University President Kim Schatzel, it is the University’s policy that all vendors are to complicit with the University’s policies. “All of our vendors, Chartwells, ABM, all the vendors that support the campus are part of the campus community, and their employees are a part of the campus community,” said Schatzel. “Within their contracts is a requirement that they comply with the policies of the University themselves. So in terms of someone doing work on this campus or being on contract

or being a vendor on this campus, they sign off on and they agree to comply with the policies of the institution itself.” This means that Chartwells is contractually obligated to abide by the University’s Disciplinary Actions for Employees policy. “Harassment or discrimination, while at work and/or on University business, based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, or other basis prohibited by state or federal laws and University policies and procedures,” the policy reads. Failure to comply can lead to written reprimand, suspension without pay, demotion or termination of employment. “[Contract employees] are a part of the community, and how

their concerns, which we take seriously, investigate thoroughly, and take appropriate action,” Rosenberg said. She went on to say that while each incident that Brown reported was investigated when brought to their attention, the organization has decided to reopen the investigations due to both the subject matter and response to the issue raised. According to a July 27 Twitter statement by SGA, Brown is said to have discussed his case with Towson University President Kim Schatzel, who directed him to speak with the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity, Dr. Leah Cox. The post also said that a third-party investigation was requested by the University’s Chief Fiscal Officer. “The Equal E m p l o y m e n t O p p o r t u n i t y Commission (EEOC) issued Mr. Brown the right to sue based on the information he provided in August 2019,” the post read. Brown also told SGA details of his experience. “The decision [was made] to file this charge to protect my job because they have tried everything they can to push me out, harass and bully me while work-

Within their contracts is a requirement that they comply with the policies of the University themselves.

ing,” Brown said. “It has been a toxic environment to say the least.” KIM SCHATZEL Sophomore Samantha TU President Brager commented directly on Towson we treat every member, our stuUniversity’s Instagram page dents, faculty and staff, is how we speaking out on the matter. expect our contract employees to “As a Towson student, I find it be given similar privileges and completely unjust for the univerabilities on the campus itself,” sity to be allowing this treatment Schatzel said. “So that’s part and [to have] happened, let alone conparcel of what we do.” tinue,” said Brager. “It’s completeMeredith Rosenberg, Senior ly unacceptable that no one has Director of Brand Voice and looked into this sooner, let alone Digital Strategy for Chartwells, offered Mr. Brown support for explained that when an the way he was treated by univeremployee brings forth a comsity staff. If that’s unable to happlaint, the Human Resources pen I think the University should department takes action to offer Mr. Brown some type of investigate the issue. compensation for the obvious dis“At Chartwells, we do not tolcrimination and abuse he’s faced erate discrimination or harassduring his time at Towson.” ment in any form. We pride ourThe SGA petition clarifies that selves on having an open comTowson doesn’t reserve the right munication policy and encourto get involved in the investigaage associates to bring forward tion of the allegations.


News

Summer 2020

Counseling Center restructures services Meghan Hudson Editor-in-Chief

Increased funding for TU’s Counseling Center has allowed for the center to hire four new Staff Psychologists, three being psychologists of color, as well as allow for same-day solution based appointments to students. According to Dr. Maria Wydra, Clinical Director of the Counseling Center, hiring more Staff Psychologists, particularly psychologists of color, was a longstanding goal of the Counseling Center in which they are excited to have been able to accomplish. “I think that it’s really important for students to be able to kind of look at a staff composition and see themselves in some ways being reflected in that staff composition,” said Wydra. “I think it helps students feel like someone might understand their perspectives and experiences in a way that they might not have to explain or educate someone about what their experiences have been and how they shaped them. Especially when we’re thinking about being Black in America, and the experiences of racism, oppression and discrimination that people of color, especially Black Americans face that white people may not always be able to understand.” In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, students have called upon the University to make changes that reflect

dedication to fostering an inclusive campus atmosphere. “Sounds like Towson is listening and moving in the right direction!” said TU student Eric Hof. Towson University student Avéon Liane shared the same sentiment. “This is amazing,” said Liane. “This definitely offers comfortability to many students.” While many students may find comfort seeking care with their new hires, Wydra is confident that all of the center’s Staff Psychologists, regardless of racial or ethnic background, can still provide quality counseling to every student. “With all the training that we’ve done and the work that we’ve done as psychologists and mental health professionals at the Counseling Center, I believe we’re all very highly culturally competent and culturally responsive therapists,” said Wydra. On top of increasing their staff, Wydra has also worked to restructure the Counseling Center’s model of care, introducing a new model called the flex care model. “What we’ve done is put a huge emphasis on same day services, so when a student wants to meet with a counselor or therapist individually, we’re going to have up to 100 appointments available in a given day for a 30-minute solution-focused appointment with a counselor,” said Wydra. According to Dr. Alessandra Pieraccini, a Staff Psychologist at the Counseling Center, this is a drastic change from previous semesters. “Historically, students have had to sometimes wait 1-2 weeks, or longer, to see a counselor,” said

Pieraccini. “With how fast paced things are in college, some students would come to that meeting with their problem either having gone away or worsened during the wait-time. We obviously don’t want that to happen. We want to be there for students when they need us. So I think with this change students will find us more flexible and easier to access than ever before.” For the first three weeks of the semester, up to 100 appointment slots a day will be open for students seeking same-day counseling. After three weeks through the middle of the semester, the amount of available time slots per day will reduce, as demand will lower. “Then at the end of the semester we’re going to return to the same day kind of system where we’re going to have tons of same day appointments available when students are in the highest need again,” said Wydra. Under the flex care model the Counseling Center is now able to offer a wider variety of services additional to one-on-one counseling, which also offer more immediate help. According to Wydra, traditional models of mental health help don’t necessarily meet the time crunch students tend to require. Historically, sessions tended to look more like 60-minute sessions in which a therapist would gather information on the patient and provide a proclamation of how the patient is supposed to achieve wellness. -To read the rest of this article, visit thetowerlight.com.

May 21: An intoxicated non-affiliate acted in a disorderly manner at the University Union.

May 27: A field gate padlock was taken from a parking lot on campus.

June 25: Items were left unattended on a hallway floor reported stolen in Clara Barton House were determined to have been discarded as refuse by cleaning staff and no theft took place.

July 6: Computers left unattended in a conference room were discovered missing in Field House.

July 20: A fraudulent loan application to the Administration Building was reported to TUPD.

July 26: BCPD reported a second degree burglary at the Towson Department of Recreation and Parks. The suspects entered through the basement window and stole several bottles of water along with damaging interior doors.

Aug. 3: BCPD reported a second degree burglary at the Firestone tire store at the 6300 Block of York Road. The suspect was located inside the business and was arrested.

Aug. 12: BCPD reported a robbery at Hilldendale Road and Taylor Avenue where two unknown suspects, one with a knife, approached the victim and stole cash from the victim’s wallet and then fled on foot.

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 local crime reports, visit www.towson.edu/police or https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/PoliceNews/ iWatch?from=7&to=9. Brendan Felch / The Towerlight

In the past, students have needed to wait weeks to schedule a counseling appointment. Thanks to increased resources, the Health and Counseling Center will now be able to offer same-day appointments.

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News

Summer 2020

TU mandates COVID-19 testing for all university members

Brendan Felch / The Towerlight

TU students are required to get a COVID-19 test within 10 days of classes starting. The University is offering free testing on-campus and reimburtment of off-campus testing.

Meghan Hudson Editor-In-Chief

Towson University has asked for all students, faculty and staff to complete a COVID-19 PCR test within 10 days of returning to campus. Additionally, students will need to submit a Tigers Care QuickScan at the beginning of every school day. This announcement follows the University System of Maryland’s July 30th announcement that all students, faculty and staff of affiliated universities are required to

take a COVID-19 PCR test and test negative within 14 days of returning to campus. “We understand individuals are returning to campus on different dates,” states a campus-wide email from the University. “As a result, we ask that all students, faculty and staff complete a COVID-19 PCR test within 10 days of their return to campus. Tests can be completed at the on-campus testing site in front of the TU Health Center or at a conveniently located facility near your home.” Towson has also launched a self-screening form called the Tigers Care QuickScan. Faculty and Staff

are required to submit a QuickScan report every workday by 9am regardless of whether they are working in-person or remotely. “Students will receive information about when to begin use of the tool closer to the start of movein and classes,” Towson’s website reads. “Students will also need to complete the form each class day and will be informed of the process prior to arriving on campus. To preview the self-screening form, you can view the Tigers Care QuickScan now. Additional information about the Tigers Care QuickScan tool may be found here.”

The University will cover the costs of the required COVID-19 PCR tests. “The university will bear the costs of the required COVID-19 PCR tests for all students, faculty and staff,” the campus-wide email reads. “Individuals taking the test at the on-campus Health Center testing site will not be billed for the test nor expected to pay when they take it. Individuals who take the test off-campus will be reimbursed for the cost of the test. A reimbursement form is available here.” Additionally, out of state students must comply with Maryland guidelines on testing and quarantine.

Currently, anyone entering Maryland is advised to take a COVID19 PCR test within 72 hours before traveling to Maryland, and to stay home if they test positive. Faculty and staff will begin receiving Tigers Care packages in the mail this week, which includes PPE required by the University. “Students will receive the packages at move-in if they are residents or at an on-campus pick up location upon their arrival for classes,” TU’s website reads. “The kits include a mask, hand sanitizer, and a digital thermometer to assist in completing the Tigers Care QuickScan.”


sNews

Summer 2020

HRL partners with Aspen Heights apartments Grace Coughlan Associate Editor

TU Housing and Residence Life confirmed their partnership with Aspen Heights Apartments this fall to provide more housing to students in an email sent out to all students on July 22. Aspen Heights is a brand new apartment complex located on York Road, a short walk away from campus. “The apartments are 2-bedroom and 4-bedroom apartment spaces,” the email says. “Each room within the apartment is a single bedroom with an attached private bathroom.” While Aspen Heights is off-campus, students living in Aspen Heights who registered through on-campus housing will still follow on-campus housing policies. University students will all live on the same floor, and will have Resident Assistants. There will also be a Residence Life Coordinator available to provide resources and connections to TU. On-campus housing at Aspen Heights will be for 10 months, starting at the end of August and moving out in June. Students will receive billing the same as if they were living in an on-campus apartment, through their bursar’s account. Financial aid is applicable to Aspen Heights because it aligns with current student contracts

with HRL. At TU’s Aspen Heights rooms, a 4-bedroom apartment is $5,200 per semester per student, while a 2-bedroom apartment is $5,305 per semester per student. “Students with junior or senior class status will have priority in this building,” the email reads. “You will be able to pull in roommate requests that are not a junior or senior, however incoming freshmen will not be able to be pulled in. Roommate requests must be eligible to live on campus.” If students are interested in applying to live in Aspen Heights, they have to complete the University Housing Off Campus Apartment Interest form, which can be found on the student housing gateway by noon on July 27. Students are allowed to apply even if they’ve already participated in the room selection process. Aspen Heights is limited to 293 bed spaces for on-campus students. For that reason, students applying for Aspen Heights, aren’t guaranteed a space. By expressing interest in Aspen Heights, students are accepting that if they are selected to live in Aspen Heights, they must stay in Aspen Heights for the full 20202021 year. HRL will notify students of their acceptance into Aspen Heights when remaining housing assignments are sent out on July 31. If students have any questions or concerns, they can email HRL at housing@towson.edu.

Brendan Felch / The Towerlight

Towson University’s Housing and Residence Life has partnered with Aspen Heights apartments to provide extra student housing.

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Sign of the Times

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SIGNS OF THE TIMES NAVIGATING THE SEMESTER AMIDST COVID-19

COMPILED BY SOPHIA BATES, GRACE COUGHLAN, AND MEGHAN HUDSON

THE NEW PARKING SITUATION Parking and Transportation have given students multiple opportunities to purchase different parking permits on campus. On TU’s Parking Portal, t h r e e d i f ferent parking passes are available for the fall semester. There is a weekly Stadium Lot permit (available Aug. 22) priced at $35.00 for eight days , a monthly Stadium Lot permit, priced at $75.00 for 31 days, and a Fall 2020 West Village Resident,

priced at $148 from Aug. 1 to Jan. 31. The residential parking permit price has been cut because they are only offering parking permits per semester. All of these parking permits are not valid on the main campus until after 3. Parking and Transportation are also offering daily parking permits for students, faculty, and staff who are participating in TU’s hybrid course schedule yet don’t want to purchase a full semester parking pass. for commuter students parking in core spots. - GC

CAMPUS SAFETY RUN-DOWN This semester, Towson University has implemented a “Temporary COVID-19 Mask-On Protocol,” which requires anyone on campus to wear a mask. To further ensure your personal sanitation, sanitation stations have been placed throughout campus- there’s always a sanitation station nearby. If you are unable to wear a mask for a documented medical reason, the University requires you wear an alternate form of personal protective equipment. “There’s lots of different forms of masks [or facial PPE] to be able to do it, but it has to provide protection in terms of transmission of the virus, it is expected,” said President Schatzel. The University has also placed capacity restrictions in closed spaces, such as elevators and

classrooms. Be mindful of signs posted through campus, which direct you in terms of keeping a safe distance from other students. Additionally, all students, faculty and staff are required to complete daily Tigers Care QuickScans, which report to the University your daily temperature, possible COVID-19 exposures, and more. If you don’t currently own the necessary tools to follow these new rules, pick up a Tigers Care package. The kit consists of a mask, a thermometer, and hand sanitizer. The package is being given to all faculty, staff and resident students upon move-in, and is available for pick up to commuter students Aug. 19-23 at the Potomac Patio. In-store textbook shopping in the UStore has also been suspended. -MH

ROOMMATE ETIQUETTE DURING COVID-19 One of the most important things to remember when living with another person is to communicate! Communication on wants and needs is how it makes living together functional. During these unprecedented times, every individual has to follow what they feel comfortable with and because we are all experiencing this pandemic together, we should respect the boundaries of others. Have a conversation with your

roommate(s) about what your boundaries are and talk about how you can take precaution in your own apartment or dorm. Make a list of cleaning supplies to bring. Discuss what surfaces should be cleaned in your dorm or apartment. Talk about what items can be shared between roommate(s) and what items should be kept for separate use. Respect and patience are key emotions that everyone should have during these times. - GC

NEW BURDICK HALL RESTRICTIONS TU’s Burdick Hall will be reopening this fall as a part of Phase One on Monday, Aug. 24 at noon. It’s new hours are from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, while now being closed on the weekends. Burdick Hall will be functioning under appointments to ensure the aspect of social distancing and the safety of students on campus. Each appointment will be

50 minutes long and anyone waiting for their time slot must wait outside of the rec center in order to ensure the aspects of social distancing. Appointments can be made on the Campus Rec mobile app. When scheduling an appointment, students are only allowed to workout in one of the zones, floor one or floor two. They are not permitted to move back and forth between areas. -GC

LIVING ON-CAMPUS 411 Living on-campus will look a little bit different this semester because of COVID-19 but that doesn’t mean that living on-campus isn’t as enjoyable! Barton House, Douglass House, Carroll Hall, and Marshall Hall will all continue to house students at full occupancy. While Towson Run, 10 West, Glen Complex, and Residence Tower will limit the capacity of students so that there are two students sharing a bathroom. Prettyman Hall, Scarborough Hall, and Richmond Hall will be closed. The Glen and West Village Dining Halls will be the two main dining halls on campus this semester while Newell Dining Hall, Susquehanna, RecFuel, Enactus Café will be closed. Glen and West Village Dining Halls will offer three different options for meals. Students have the option of dining in if space permits, students can order pre-made refrigerated meals to pick up, and students can pay for a take out container and choose their food to go. -GC

Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight


Signs of the Times

Summer 2020

WHAT’S UP WITH UPTOWN?

Although we understand that everyone is safer at home, sanitation and safety regulations have come quite a ways since March. Restaurants have figured out ways to remain open, and put safety at the forefront of their operation. That being said, Uptown Towson is still open for business! This past June, the “Seats in the Streets” initiative was developed by the Towson Chamber of Commerce. It allows restaurants in Uptown to seat more customers outdoors, right on Pennsylvania

Avenue on Saturdays from 11am - 9:30pm, and Sundays from 10am - 10pm. The street is currently shared between Nacho Mama’s and C&R pub. New to Towson, and also offering outdoor seating, is the Backyard Uptown, which was formerly the Green Turtle. And just up the street from the brand new Backyard is long time resident, the Rec Room, which is offering a special on Saturday and Sunday brunch on the Rec Room patio. Reserve your spot by calling ahead. -MH

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SAFETY ON THE SHUTTLES TU Shuttle services will start up again on Monday, Aug. 24. Parking and Transportation services have released an info sheet advising students on the many ways they can protect themselves if they plan on using the shuttle. First and foremost, remember to have your onecard ready, as you’ll still need to swipe in when you board. Masks must be worn by all passengers riding the shuttle, and must cover your nose and mouth. Students are

advised to properly clean or discard their masks after use. Remember if you need to cough or sneeze to cover your mouth, even in a mask. In the section “Doc marks the spot,” it states that the shuttles will have marked seats to enforce social distancing procedures on the shuttle. There are occupancy limits on the shuttles, so be advised that you will need to plan ahead during peak times to catch a spot on the shuttle. Don’t forget to download the TURIDE app to track your

bus route and view estimated arrival times. Six feet distance between you and others is required. In addition to the enforcement of procedures when students are riding the shuttle, it will also be cleaned regularly following CDC guidelines. Paratransit, SafeRide and charter bus services will also still be available. Make sure to follow the rules and listen to your Driver, because the infographic states that “Drivers may refuse ridership at their discretion.” -SB

GET TO KNOW THESE SIGNS:

Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight

TOOLS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR WELLNESS

Clinical Director Dr. Maria Wydra shared that short solution-focused sessions can be much more effective for students with limited time and an immediate need for guidance. Students s h o u l d also look into the center ’s expanded group opportunities. S o m e g r o u p s include a Psychotherapy Process Group, Complicated Grief Group Therapy, Sister-to-Sister: Women of Color Support Group, Generation One: Support Group for First Generation Students, and more. The Counseling Center also

has mindfulness and meditation rooms. Students can sign up for guided meditation or use the space individually, or book a Relaxon zero-gravity massage chair by calling the counseling center. Another key addit i o n brought about by the f l e x c a r e model is increased workshops and programs. Some workshop topics include adjusting to college, anxiety management, body image, coping with depression, dating or domestic violence relationship issues, diversity awareness, and many more. -MH

COOK LIBRARY WILL BE LIMITED Get ready to plan your studying in advance, because Cook Library is undergoing changes in procedure due to COVID19. The library reopened with limited hours Aug. 10, but plans on increasing those hours when classes start Aug. 24. These hours will be 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and closed on Sundays. The 24-hour study room will also be available from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. those days. That being said, the library has a limited capacity, which students will be able

to check the status of on the library website. According to the website, this service will be available “soon.” If you get to the library and are stopped due to capacity limitations, the greeter or security guard will take down your contact information to alert you as soon as space is available. In addition, masks are required and there will be no eating allowed in the library. The website states that “sipping drinks is permitted,” but there will be no food tolerated in the library space at any time. If you plan

on using technology, it is encouraged to grab sanitation wipes from their sanitizing station and wipe down any shared spaces and technology after you use them. Students will not be allowed to leisurely look through the book collection and will only be able to check books out they want to use. The one exception to this is reference books, but they are to be returned in a specific cart for sanitization protocol. There will be no group study spaces open and space is not reservable at this time. -SB


14 Summer 2020

Arts & Life

The future of fashion amidst a global pandemic GRACE COUGHLAN Associate Editor

These past few months have come with juggling the ins and outs of dealing with COVID-19. The transition of interacting with people on a daily basis to now collaborating with people through the cameras of our computers and phones. There have been a lot of conversations about how pajamas and sweatpants are becoming the new work attire, about how spending long periods of time in lounge clothes have left feelings of laziness and discouragement, and about how

putting on a pair of jeans and some makeup can help brighten a day. As we continue living in a world filled with social distancing and COVID-19, we have to think about how our lives are going to be shaped. Almost all colleges and universities are utilizing some form of online classes, while most companies are switching to workfrom-home instead of in person. We’re all slowly learning to change the ways we interact with one another while growing in the ways that we work from the space we have available. So that leaves us with how the industries we participate in are going to be affected. So the question is, what will the future of the fashion industry look like?

The biggest factor in the fashion industry in a COVID-19 world is the fact that a large amount of people are going to be working from home. Multiple people in my family are working from home until the months of fall or winter. My cousin, a commuter to New York City, won’t be going back to her office until possibly January, but even that date is still unknown. As a student, all five of my classes for the fall semester are online. My roommates are also mostly taking online classes with a few exceptions for hybrid courses. What is everyone actually going to be wearing while they are at home? From personal

experience, with getting ready to head back to campus and packing clothes away, I’m packing a lot of clothes for more comfort. I don’t think I’m going to want to wear jeans everyday if I’m just sitting around my apartment. Of course, I’m still going to be packing jeans, but am I really going to be wearing them often? According to Andrea Byrne, a writer for FashionUnited, there are six different aspects of the fashion industry that are going to become more relevant during these times. “Six key markets and opportunities to recapture the workwear market include: special sizes, desk to dinner outfits, the capsule closet, commuter styles, working from

home (WFH) uniform and employee features, several retailers have featured their own staff sharing advice for style tips,” said Byrne. While some people might be more familiar with some of these markets than others, some of these terms might be unknown. These markets are going to be the main aspects of workwear. Special sizes are to provide a variety of sizes to different body types. Desk to dinner outfits are outfits that are flexible for a work area and for a more formal occasion. The purpose of these outfits is to save time and to save an outfit change. - To read the rest of this article, visit thetowerlight.com


Arts & Life

Summer 2020

Asia North goes virtual GRACE COUGHLAN

The second annual Asia North exhibition of Greater Baltimore, Asia North 2020: Tradition-MemoryTransformation launched online through Towson University’s website, on May 8. Asia North 2020: TraditionMemory-Transformation was co-produced by the Asian Arts & Culture Center at Towson University and Central Baltimore Partnership, with the help of the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, Charm City Night Market, and other Baltimore community partners. This year’s Asia North exhibition showcases the art from 25 artists of Asian or Asian American descent, with the overarching theme revolving around the tradition and values of cultures from different Asian countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan. According to Nerissa Paglinauan, the curator for Asia North 2020: Tradition-Memory-Transformation and the Asian Arts & Culture Center’s Program Manager, due to the global pandemic, the physical exhibit had to be transformed to a virtual platform. “We also had to get permission from the Baker Foundation, who had awarded us a grant for the exhibition, to convert to a virtual platform,” said Paglinauan.

Paglinauan. “I did not want to put a limit on that. When I reviewed the submissions, including all the artist statements, the recurring themes really presented themselves.” The exhibition is split into four specific categories: “Memories & Metaphors,” “Honoring & Interpreting Tradition,” “Embracing Identity,” and “Art for Social Change.” “Memories & Metaphors” highlights the intimate memories of the artists while connecting Eastern culture with Western values. “Honoring & Interpreting Tradition” presents the values of tradition and how each of the different artists interpret their culture. “Embracing Identity” showcases social topics such as gender and immigration through the lense of identity, how to break away from stereotypes and accepting oneself. “Art for Social Change” displays the environmental, political, and social concerns of the world we live in today as well as raises questions for how as society we can better ourselves. Wujian Wang, a visual and conceptual artist, is one of the 25 artists featured in this year’s Asia North exhibition. Though he is now in Maryland enrolled in MICA’s Photogenic & Electronic Media MFA program, Wang is originally from China. He developed a passion for photography at a young age, pursuing it further when he attended the Columbus College of Art & Design

“Thanks to the Baker Foundation grant, we were able to give an honorarium to each artist for participating in the show.” The exhibition was supposed to also feature interactive experiences such as a night market and a neighborhood food tour. Performances and films were also planned as part of the exhibition. “Once we got permission from Baker to proceed, we worked with the TU Digital Strategy team to create the exhibition webpages and determine how best to present the works within the framework of TU’s website,” said Paglinauan. “We also worked with TU’s Creative Services who had to format all the images for the website.” According to Paglinauan, there wasn’t a theme requirement for artists when submissions opened. “I wanted to be as inclusive as possible of what the artists are currently expressing through their work,” said

in 2016. Wang’s photography is featured under “Art for Social Change,” a series called “COVID_19” which contains five photographs focused on the effects of the global pandemic such as protection of wildlife, panicked individuality, and isolation. According to Wang, he wanted to direct his art toward COVID-19 because of how personal the pandemic has become to him. “When coronavirus hit China and my hometown in January 2020, I was deeply concerned about my family and friends,” said Wang. “My mom is a great doctor who fights on the front line against COVID-19 in hospital in China.” Wang’s photographs offer a unique perspective into how global disease can affect wildlife and why he feels it’s important to protect them. - To read the rest of this article, visit thetowerlight.com

Associate Editor

The Division for Student Affairs offers the

Student LIFE Line

This telephone line assists students with any question they may have about the University. LIFE Line is staffed and ready to assist callers Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After these hours, a voice mail message can be left and will be responded to on the next business day. You can also contact us with your questions via e-mail at studentaffairs@towson.edu.

(5433) 410-704-LIFE (54 33) E-mail: studentaffairs@towson.edu

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Sports

Summer 2020

Simpson transfers to UVA First Female MLS Fall athletics postponement shakes athletes

Title game referee Former TU employee makes history at MLS tournament GRACE COUGHLAN Associate Editor

Former Towson University assistant professor, Katherine Nes-

File photo by Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight

Towson University suspended all fall sports following the NCAA’s decision to suspend the upcoming football season. Since, former running back Shane Simpson has announced his transfer to VCU. and all-purpose yards (2,058) were both second-best in the FCS. He was named a First-Team All-American by the Associated Press and AFCA FCS coaches as an all-purpose player. Former Towson running back In 2016 he was named a ThirdShane Simpson announced his Team All-American by STATS plans to transfer to the University starting in seven games and rushof Virginia on Aug. 2. ing for 784 yards and three touchThe former Tiger chose the Cavdowns. He also recorded 913 kickaliers over Texas, off return and after receivyards and ing interest from tied a Tigers notable schools record with Thank you Towson such as Florida a 100-yard State, Penn State, University for allowing me return vs and Duke. New Hampto show my talents Simpson was shire. granted a sixth “A l w a y s to the nation and year of eligibility a class act!” getting my degree from E a s t o n by the NCAA in this University! January after missAthletics, ing most of last S i m p s o n ’s SHANE SIMPSON season with a knee high school Former running-back injury. He will use tweeted. “Good luck eligibility with Virginia before enShane and congratulations. One tering the 2021 NFL Draft. of the best student athletes ever “Thank You Towson Univer@EastonAreaSD.” sity for allowing me to show my Towson University President talents to the nation and getting Kim Schatzel says she will continmy degree from this university!” ue to support every athlete who Simpson tweeted. “I will forever will be pursuing collegiate athletbe grateful for my time here! Tiics elsewhere. ger for life 13 out.” “I think that each athlete is Simpson’s best season was in going to make a real personal 2018 when he led Towson to its decision about what their career goals are to be able to do that,” said Schatzel. “I don’t know CAA at three different positions, whether any of the athletes have while his kick return yards (887) made final decisions in terms of JORDAN KENDALL Staff Writer @jordankendall54

doing that, but for example as a football player which Shane [Simpson] is, to possibly want to be able to compete particularly because he had some injuries on and off in his career, I can completely understand. What we want to do is be able to be supportive of our student-athletes in terms of what they want to be able to accomplish with their collegiate careers. No one ever expected the fact that we would be sitting in a situation where our fall sports seasons would be postponed, so I could completely understand that some individuals are taking a look at what other alternatives they might have to be able to do that.” Simpson is considered to be the next Tiger to pursue an NFL career and is currently on the Senior Bowl watch list. If selected to participate, he would get the opportunity to play in front of scouts and coaches from all 32 NFL teams. If he is chosen, he will be the third Towson alum to participate in the Senior Bowl, the last being running back Tony Vinson in 1994. “Towson RB Shane Simpson was on @seniorbowl radar last year before a season-ending injury.” Jim Nagy, the Executive Director of the Senior Bowl tweeted. four other running backs currently on the Cavaliers roster, howevcant college experience.

work a Major League Soccer title game on Aug. 11. The game was part of the MLS is back tournament, the Portland Timbers vs. Orlando City. Once an assistant chemistry professor, Nesbitt began as an assistant referee for the MLS in 2015,

throughout the full season. Since 2017, she’s been the assistant referee in 44 MLS games. Nesbitt told AP news more on her experience refereeing the tournament. “‘I think that the entire referee group here worked incredibly hard to have strong performances and to be named to the final means that you’ve had a strong performance and really shown what you’re worth here,’” Nesbitt said. “‘So it’s honestly a huge honor to have made it this far and to be on the field for that final game.’” The MLS is Back takes place at ESPN’s Wide World Sports KATHERINE NESBITT of Former assistant professor Complex at Walt Disney World in Florida, where everyone participating in the tournament is housed inside of a bubble due to COVID-19. “It’s been actually comfortable here. We’ve all felt incredibly safe. I’ve been so grateful to have opportunities to train, to have this while time to work with my colleagues,” Nesbitt said in the article. According to an article by Doug McIntyre for YahooSports!, Nesbitt’s position as an assistant referee in the MLS is unique but the role of women in sports is growing. “Bibiana Steinhaus became the first to referee in Germany’s top two professional soccer leagues in 2007. Amy Elizabeth Fearn followed in England’s lower divisions three years later.” said McIntyre. “Sian Louise Massey-Ellis has been a Premier League assistant ref since 2011. Last year, Stephanie Frappart was the center ref for the UEFA Super Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea.” As the winners, the Portland Timbers gained a place in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League.

huge honor to have made it this far and to be on the field for that final game.

2017. She worked the 2018 U-20 World Cup, the 2016 U-17 Women’s World Cup, and attended the 2018 MLS Cup as the reserve assistant referee. “The fact that she was able to accomplish this momentous achievement while still being a chemistry assistant, a high demanding job, is also so empowering,” said TU student Katherine Marszalek. “It is very impressive that she was able to balance both at one time and seems to be successful in both.” Last year, Nesbitt took time away from teaching to focus on working toward the World Cup. She ultimately became one of three female U.S. referees working the 2019 Women’s World Cup, alongside Katja Koroleva and Felisha Mariscal. Nesbitt reunites with Mariscal for the MLS is Back Tournament. They are the only women out of the 40 officials working the tournament. “For me, seeing other women succeed and break boundaries empowers me and helps me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to, even if others do not,” said Marszalek. Nesbitt’s debut to professional refereeing was in the National Women’s Soccer League for FC Kansas City vs. Portland Thorns.


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18 Summer 2020

Sports

Completion of NFL season looks unlikely NASCAR prevails during COVID-19 JORDAN KENDALL Staff Writer @jordankendall54

With the rumors spreading that college football won’t have a 2020 fall season, it feels like a matter of time before the NFL does the same. As of now, the Kansas City Chiefs are scheduled to open the 2020 season at home against the Houston Texans on Sept. 10. But based on what’s happened with college football, I’m skeptical that the season will start on time, and even more so that it will crown a champion. There have been a few decisions I have questioned from the NFL, and I think they could backfire on the league going forward. No preseason could equal fewer chances Arguably the biggest change, especially for the rookies is no preseason games. The NFLPA informed the players of the league’s plan to not contest any preseason games this year. This idea was pushed for by the NFLPA which is led by an 11-member committee, and eight have over ten years of NFL experience. What I found interesting about this decision is that most of the committee consists of experienced veterans who likely aren’t worried about making the team. This decision affects a lot of undrafted players who need the preseason to prove their worth to a team. For Towson fans, this includes former Tigers wide receiver Shane Leatherbury who is now an Arizona Cardinal. He reminds me of someone who used the preseason to not only make the team but thrive when given an opportunity in former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz. If Cruz doesn’t perform well in the preseason he’s likely cut, and he likely doesn’t help the Giants win Super Bowl 46. This decision really hurts the small school prospects looking for an opportunity, and I question how much this factored into the NFLPA’s decision. No change in schedule Every other major North Amer-

ican sport has changed its schedule to decrease the amount of travel. Some leagues such as the NBA and NHL are using bubbles which seem to be the best possible method, so far no one in either bubble has tested positive for COVID-19. The NFL won’t be using a bubble and as of now will conduct their regularly scheduled season with teams traveling across the country. The MLB’s season is in jeopardy since their players haven’t taken COVID as seriously as other athletes have, but at least they changed the schedule to only division opponents in the same league and the other league. It makes much more sense for the Baltimore Orioles to only play teams in New York, Washington, ing to Los Angeles, Arizona, and Seattle. Why can’t the NFL do something similar? For example, the Seattle Seahawks would play six games against the NFC West four times instead of two. That’s 12 games against the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals, and San Francisco 49ers. Then they would play the other West division from the AFC and play the Los Angeles Chargers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, and Kansas City Chiefs each once to play a 16-game season. It makes more sense to me than traveling to Buffalo, Atlanta, and Philadelphia this season. If I had to bet at this point, I’m going to bet against the NFL finishing this season. Obviously, I hope this isn’t the case, but it wouldn’t surprise me if one team has a bunch of players test positive and have to suspend or cancel a game. I think something similar to what happened with the Miami Marlins is very possible, especially since the NFL has so many more players and coaches involved than baseball. As a sports fan, I want football as much as anyone. But looking at the risk of COVID-19 and the lack of leadership to prepare our country for it, it’s hard to imagine something like the NFL surviving a full season into early February. If college football can’t play, why should I believe the NFL can?

Isaac Donsky Columnist

The COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged the globe shut down sports worldwide in March. For months, us sports junkies have been left without any live sports. Only recently have live sports returned in the United States, with the MLB, NHL, NBA, and MLS all having restarted their seasons. It was a sigh of relief for sports fans not only in the US, but across the world. However, to say that there were no live sports in the US between March and August of 2020 is not entirely true. One league was still going, week after week. And it just happens to be one of the most exciting sports leagues in the country. As long as you consider it to actually be a sport. The National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing, otherwise known as NASCAR, found itself in an interesting situation when the pandemic broke out. The league stopped competition during March after the fourth race of the season due to the country-wide shutdown, only to restart a few weeks later with new COVID-regulations in place. As competitors are cars, the chances for face-to-face contact are almost non-existent. As other sports leagues waited out the storm, NASCAR charged ahead, holding multiple events a week to ensure its original 36-race schedule could be completed. For several months, NASCAR has been the only form of live sport in the USA. Thousands of sports fans tuned in every weekend to watch the only live entertainment they could get their hands on. Many were instantly hooked. And as a fan since 2007, I couldn’t have been happier. See, NASCAR has always been viewed as the black sheep of American sporting leagues. Often forgotten by the mass public, NASCAR and its rabid fanbase are the laughing stock of sports fans. NASCAR is seen as a relic of the old South, full of racist rednecks -

els. Many people don’t even view NASCAR as an actual sport, with former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb stating in 2013 that NASCAR drivers aren’t even athletes. But the general consensus seems to be that NASCAR is just a bunch of cars driving in circles for 4 hours. Boring. Well, I’m here to disprove all of those points. And to convince you to give this league a chance. First off, I won’t deny that NASCAR has a checkered past when it comes to its Southern background. Founded in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1948, NASCAR from the beginning embraced the rebel nature of the South. The men who founded NASCAR were former bootleggers and rum runners. And they were hardcore Southern sympathizers. NASCAR was full of Confederate imagery in the early years. Races such as the Rebel 500 and the Dixie 500 were popular stops on the tour. The winner of the annual Southern 500 was greeted in victory lane by the character known as “Johnny Rebel”. And when a black man by the name of Wendell Scott won a race in 1963, he never got to see the trophy. NASCAR gave it to the white man who finished in second. It’s important to understand that, while many fans still carry the old sentiments of those times, the sport itself has moved on. And NASCAR has worked hard to make amends for its previous sins. It is quite common nowadays to see multiple minority drivers among the sea of white males on the grid. The organization recently joined a group of sports leagues that pledged support to LGBTQ athletes, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement. And just this ties (Something that fans and drivers had been calling on for years). To the second point, that NASCAR drivers aren’t athletes, tell that to the drivers themselves. NASCAR stock cars are essentially ic properties of a brick that can reach speeds of up to 220 miles per hour. Drivers are often faced with massive g-force loads on their bodies as they circulate the track,

and temperatures inside the cars can reach upwards of 150 degrees fahrenheit on a hot day. Combine all that with the fact that these men and women have to sit inside these cars for up to four hours. Every weekend. And the intense heat and stress of having to constantly be alert of other drivers on track causes such strain on their bodies pounds of water weight per race. into a concrete barrier that can kill you. No ordinary human being can do that. To say that drivers aren’t athletes is just plain offensive to the men and women that are crazy enough to drive these machines. Finally, the last point: Watching cars go around in circles for hours every weekend is boring. That is the critique of someone who has never watched NASCAR before. While boring races often happen (And trust me, as a lifelong fan I have seen some real snoozers), the intricacies of the sport keep it exciting. NASCAR is the world’s greatest drama. Every week something new is happening to keep the audience on the tips of their toes. Driveach other, sometimes even fall in love. There are insane comebacks, dominating performances, and heart-stopping accidents. The way the points are set up ensures that the season long championship season. Every track has something unique about it that makes for an enticing race. There’s Daytona, the birthplace of the sport where speeds are constantly above 200 miles per hour and drivers race together in huge packs. Tiny Martinsville, where the only way to pass on the half-mile track is to move someone out of the way. And the rolling hills of Sonoma, where cars weave through turns both left and right. (See, it’s more than just left turns!!!!!!). NASCAR is the most insane sporting league on the planet. And I hope that I’ve convinced you to give it a chance. If not, feel free to check out my column on the sport every Tuesday. I might just convince you yet.


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Summer 2020

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