The Towerlight (April 2, 2019)

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Towson’s campus and community news source

April 2, 2019

Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon left TU to join the “American Idol” competition. Read about his journey from church janitor to student to singer, pg.10

Courtesy of Marcelo Quarantotto, Illustration by Victoria Nicholson/ The Towerlight

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April 2, 2019

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April 2, 2019

Editor-in-Chief Karuga Koinange Senior Editor Bailey Hendricks News Editor Mary-Ellen Davis Asst. News Editor Keri Luise




Sophia Bates Arts & Life Editor Kerry Ingram Asst. Arts & Life Editors Alex Helms Meg Hudson Sports Editor Tim Klapac Asst. Sports Editors Muhammad Waheed

@allyyyx13 Towson email: off campus armed robbery Towson email: off campus homicide Towson email: bank robbery #lit #sosafe #lovebmore !!!!!

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Anthony Petro Albert Ivory Suzanne Stuller Cyan Thomas Aaron Thomas Marcus Whitman Brooks Warren Jalon Dixon

@TooFastSpindash me: :) towson: oppsie a homicide :) me: :/ towson: now a robbery too :) srry xx

Staff Writers Jessica Ricks Glenn Kaplan John Hack


@AshleyVauss What is going on in Towson am armed robbery and homicide on the same day

me: :(

Photo Editor Brendan Felch Asst.Photo Editor Brittany Whitham

Staff Photographers Liam Beard Lacey Wall Simon Enagonio Nikki Hewins Lexi Thompson Tiffany Deboer Owen DiDonna Ryan Moriarty

@MCXXVII what is good w/ towson & the surrounding areas??? homicide? now armed robbery.. & y’all are pressed to live off campus


CHECK OUT OU R UPCOMING V IDEO ON YOUTU @THETOWERLIG BE HT. Arts & Life Editor Kerry Ingram and Edit or-in-Chief Kar uga Koinange d uel in a basketball ch allenge!

General Manager Mike Raymond Art Director Victoria Nicholson Webmaster Circulation Staff Scott Halerz Dom Capparuccini Elssa Kenfack Kirsten Tildon

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

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Women represent 50% of middle management, however, the percentage of women at top levels of leadership is less than one-third of that number. Why are so many women ‘stuck’ in the middle? What key skills are needed to get the position you want?

TU Grad Fair provides graduating students and/or their family members the opportunity to pick up your regalia, order announcements, class rings, diploma frames, and connect with campus resources for graduating students.

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This is the first ever Towson Women’s Rugby home tournament in the Spring! Salisbury University, Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University and Catholic University will all be visiting to compete for the trophy throughout the day.

Burdick Field, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.



April 2, 2019

Libertarian Party now not recognized in MD Mueller issues report, questions abound

There’s more than enough room for third parties DYLAN BRENNAN Columnist

Admittedly, I was short on ideas to write on this week: Jussie Smollett may have been let off the hook locally, but potential federal investigations are in the air; the Mueller report won’t be released for weeks; the cuts towards the Special Olympics keep bouncing around. However, one idea I had for writing came in the form of an official letter sent to me this weekend. The paper was titled “Loss of Party Recognition Letter,” and it told me that the Libertarian Party was no longer recognized in the state of Maryland. I now have the choice to either affiliate with the Democratic Party, Republican Party or the newly-founded Bread and Roses Party (whose days are numbered if you ask me). Should I not act, I’ll be branded “Others-Libertarian” until I choose. I won’t act like I’m the most devout Libertarian in America. To be frank, the main reason I joined the party as a form of protest to prove there were other options. This latest event has just taken that away. I am sorely disappointed in Maryland’s political realm to give in to Democrat and Republican hegemony, without giving third parties the chance they deserve. How is America the land of the free if people must be categorized into one of two parties? When people apply for important things in life like jobs or college, they do not

choose between just A and B. Yet when people apply to the equally important voter registration, they are all but forced to choose between red and blue. Whether or not you are a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or couldn’t care less about politics, I hope you stand with the Libertarian Party in their fight for reinstatement to prove that this is not a two-horse town, or donkey and elephant for that matter. There is a b s olutely more t han enough room for third p a r ties, a n d critics push us furt h e r towards an us-ort hem mentality in politics. Being third party does not mean you’re a fence-sitter, it means you forge your own path in a world of apples and oranges. I only wish for the best for the Libertarian Party’s future in Maryland, as well as the future of this column’s Libertarian angle and Towson’s treatment of Libertarians as a whole. I’ve been made aware that the Libertarian Club was not invited to this year’s debates unlike last year. I have yet to find an heir to this column to repor t outside of the Democratic and Republican organizations on campus for an outsider’s perspective on politics. It is my wish t hat Towson and Mar ylanders stand up for freedom of political parties’ right to exist, now more than ever. It is up to Towson and Mar ylanders to make it happen.


In May 2017, just a few short months after President Donald Trump assumed the presidency, Special Counsel Robert Mueller was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate potential collusion between the Russian government and Trump’s presidential campaign. And in June 2017, the scope of Mueller’s investigation was expanded as obstruction of justice allegations against Trump gained greater national attention. To many, the Mueller report has served as a point of consistent political leverage. Congressional Democrats, for example, have used the existence of Mueller’s investigation to undermine Trump at every turn. Given that Trump had so little time to serve as president before the investigation began, his opponents have used its looming threat to wholly delegitimize the commander-in-chief.

But on Friday, March 22, to the relief of both sides of the political aisle, Mueller submitted his final report to the Department of Justice and, ultimately the principal arbiter of justice in this case, Attorney General (AG) William Barr. To the American public, who have been bombarded with hot takes from both conservative and liberal pundits alike, Mueller’s finalized report provided little political closure. Most notably, Mueller’s report remains private, and the only individuals who have had a chance to read it are AG Barr – who has publicly defended the president against obstruction of justice questioning – and his team at the Justice Department. After reading Mueller’s findings, which the New York Times reported as being over 300 pages long, the Attorney General issued a brief, 4-page long collection of his “principal conclusions” from the Mueller report.

And as is so often the case, Barr’s conclusions were, at best, excruciatingly vague. According to Barr’s principal conclusions, Mueller found no evidence that Trump, or any of his political aides, actively colluded with the Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign. To Trump and a large contingent of his base, such findings “totally exonerate” the president. Except that, also in Barr’s conclusions, the Attorney General explicitly states that Trump is not exonerated by the Mueller report. It comes as no surprise that Trump would consistently gloat of his “total exoneration” when his own Attorney General has explicitly argued to the contrary. The matter that now dominates the public discourse concerns when, or even if, the American people will have the opportunity to read the report. - To read the rest of this column online, visit

Keeping up with the Associated Press KAYLA HUNT Columnist

Journalism can be a tough field, having to keep up with the ongoing technological and cultural changes, such as shifts in social standards, beliefs, values and ethics. The Associated Press (AP) is a news agency company that publishes the AP Stylebook annually, which is the writing style guide with standardized rules for mass communication that journalists refer to. AP updates its stylebook every year to adjust to new trends, new conversations and new controversies. In the recent ACES conference, the AP Stylebook editor Paula Froke and product manager Colleen Newvine shared some of the updated rules that will be included in the

2019 version of the AP Stylebook, which is set to be released in May. There were plenty of highlights that were announced in the conference for what is to be expected in the 2019 edition, including: a new entry covering the terms racist/racism, a new entry about the terms people of color and racial minorities, guidance about the use of the term Latinx and guidance to use the name of a specific Native American tribe whenever possible. Some of the new specific rules that were released during the conference were:

1. No hyphen in African American, Asian American and other dual heritage terms 2. Do not use racially charged or similar terms as e u p h e misms for racist or racism 3. If racist is not the appropriate term, carefully choose other alternatives to describe the situation, such as racially divisive, racially sensitive or simply racial. - To read the rest of this column online, visit



April 2, 2019


How to support assault survivors SAMUEL SMITH Columnist

Trigger warning: This article discusses sexual assault. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network), an organization that helps victims and survivors of sexual assault, every 92 seconds, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. Only five out of every 1,000 perpetrators will go to prison. These are staggering statistics. Sexual violence can cause all sorts of feelings for a victim, can trigger mental illness such as anxiety, depression or PTSD, and trying to go through the courts and have the perpetrator charged can feel like being

re-traumatized over and over again. The system is broken. But, there are things you can do to support your loved ones and yourself. Be available. Be the person your friends and family know they can come to, that you’re a safe space. This may mean hearing about their day, but it could wind up that someone is open to you about their assault. Listen. It’s difficult when your friend or family member opens up to you about assault, but the University of Michigan has this really great article on how to support a loved one who’s a survivor of assault. The main things are, in my opinion, believe the survivor, let them make their own decisions (this includes who to tell, respect their privacy), and take care of yourself. Talk about consent, and actively engage in consent. Show that it’s both

okay to say no and to say yes. Decline a hug if you don’t want one. Ask for a hug if you do. Respect people’s boundaries. It’s simple. And if you see someone who may be in a situation where they can’t consent, or they look uncomfortable, speak up. Talk to the person. If need be, intervene. Take care of yourself. If you’re a survivor of sexual assault, or you’re supporting someone who is, it’s important to take care of yourself and practice self-care. Don’t mentally drain yourself. Go for a walk. Go to therapy or counselling, and talk about how you’re feeling. Go on a walk or hike. Remember to take care of yourself. Being a survivor, a victim, or a supportive person can be and often is difficult. Remember, take care of yourself first. Your well-being comes before anything, especially after trauma has occurred.

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April 2, 2019

Suicide committed Towson stands in solidarity TU community remembers Christchurch victims at Glen Garage MARY-ELLEN DAVIS News Editor @Mel_Davis_1998

BAILEY HENDRICKS Senior Editor @imsimplybailey

A 45-year-old woman committed suicide in Towson University’s Glen Garage Saturday, according to Towson University Communications. The woman is not affiliated with the University, but was identified as a local resident of Towson. University students were made aware of the incident Monday afternoon after a campus-wide email was sent. “While the woman was not a TU faculty, staff, student or alumna, we still recognize the tremendous impact of this tragedy and its effect on our campus community,”

University communications said in the email. “We all grieve this loss of life and for her family and friends during this most difficult time.” According to Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD) Office Administrator Julia Hardgrove, BCPD received a call at 5:42 pm for a female who was unconscious after falling from the Glen Garage at Cross Campus Drive. The first unit arrived on the scene at 5:54 p.m. Towson University had already responded to the scene. The woman’s identity has not been released out of respect for the family at this time, said Sean Welsh, the university’s associate vice president of communications and media. Members of the university community can reach the 24-hour national suicide prevention lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) and the university counceling center at 410704-2512.

Inclusivity task force creates five-year plan ALBERT IVORY Staff Writer @Intellectu_Al

To strengthen the commitment to a mission of prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, Towson University will engage in a strategic planning process that will lead to a five-year plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion covering all constituents. This plan was approved by the University System of Maryland and will be advanced through policies and practices to promote the recruitment and retention of diverse students, staff and faculty members that reflect local, regional, national and global diversity. The institutional strategies will provide a forum for campus dialogue and action. In fall 2018 TU President Kim Schatzel created a Strategic Planning Task Force, called a More Inclusive TU: The Path to Equity and Diversity, that’s comprised of students, alumni, faculty, and staff from the university.

“Our community has worked tirelessly to achieve a more diverse and inclusive campus that supports every Towson University community member to thrive, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or levels of ableness,” Schatzel said. The effort will help members in the year-long process of appreciating the university’s history, collecting new information, and develop ideas to map specific goals and strategies to result in a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable campus. One of the strategies to contribute to this effort is to join a More Inclusive Focus Group to share thoughts with members of the Task Force. These members were selected by Schatzel to assess specific data, talk with members of the campus community, consider current research on diversity and inclusion on the higher education level, and examine the best practices to reach these goals. - To read the rest of this article online, visit

Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight

Towson community members gather at at Speakers Circle Friday afternoon during a candlelight vigil to mourn the victims of the massacre in Christchurch New Zealand that took place March 15. AMANDA MURAYAMA Contributing Writer @amunders

Members of the Towson University community gathered for a candlelight vigil at Speakers Circle Friday afternoon to mourn the loss of the victims of the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand. The Christchurch mosque massacre on March 15 involved two consecutive terrorist attacks that began at the al Noor Mosque and ended at the Linwood Islamic Center. The attack killed 50 people and injured 50 others in their place of worship and for their community. According to his manifesto, the perpetrators goal of the attacks aimed to spread anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant sentiment throughout the world. Since the Christchurch attack, Islamophobic crimes in the United Kingdom have increased by 600%, a California mosque was set ablaze, and a mosque in Columbia, Maryland received and online threat that they might be next, demonstrating the impact of the shooting. Rabbi Mendy Rivkin of ChabadLubavitch in Towson mentioned when he spoke with Sana Kirmani, Muslim Chaplain and Advisor to Muslim Students, he said that his students are scared. “It sounds ridiculous I know it does,” Rivkin said. “When you

tell somebody I’m scared to walk outside because I don’t know how people are going to treat me. You say this is America 2019 what does that mean? Until you pick up a newspaper and you read some of the things that can happen.” Speakers at the vigil explained the importance of unifying after a tragedy like this and coming together with love to eliminate hate. “The SGA of Towson stands beside the Muslim Student Association and all people of the Islamic faith in solidarity as they mourn the event that took place in Christchurch New Zealand,” said Jordan Lean, SGA Director of Diversity and Inclusion. “This event is another reason why people of all faiths, all races, all ethnicities, gender identities, sexual identities and more should stand together to denounce such hatred.” Aysha Ameen, Secretary of the Muslim Student Association, emphasized the need for collective action to break down systematic supremacy in order to prevent future tragedies from occurring. “The tragedy in New Zealand is not new, and we cannot think that it will not happen again because the systems and ideologies which allowed for this act of terror are still in existence,” Ameen said. “Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need to take collective action.” Towson University President

Kim Schatzel shared her condolences to the victims and their families. “Our community, the Towson University community, has worked tirelessly to achieve a more diverse and inclusive campus that supports and rejoices in each and every Towson University community member and supports them to thrive regardless of their race, their religion, their ethnicity, their gender identity, their sexual identity, or their level of able-ness,” Schatzel said. As students are grieving, Vice President of Student Affairs Deb Moriarty expressed that Towson University is here to support students. “My heart hearts for those of you who are on campus who are hurting as a result of this,” Moriarty said. “Know that we are here to hold you close to hold you up and to support you as you work through your own grief and our job is to make sure that you feel safe on our campus.” President of the Muslim Student Association Romesa Mustafa, expressed gratitude for the university in facilitating an environment where students can feel safe. “I am a Muslim student,, and over here at Towson I do feel safe because of all of you guys,” Mustafa said. “So I want to say the effort that you guys make in protecting us and keeping us safe, it has not gone to a waste.”


April 2, 2019

Armory to be repurposed TU partners with developers to start renovations

Mary-Ellen Davis/ The Towerlight

Greenberg Gibbons CEO Brian Gibbins, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and University President Kim Schatzel unveil project to renovate historic Maryland National Guard Armory. MARY-ELLEN DAVIS News Editor @Mel_Davis_1998

As the Towson University Fight song rang out in Uptown Towson Friday morning, University President Kim Schatzel and Doc the Tiger opened the doors to what will be Towson’s next project, Maryland National Guard Armory. The university has partnered with the Towson Row developer, Greenberg Gibbons, to turn the space into an area dedicated to public and community engagement. “We’re very excited to be delivering this adaptive reuse of this historical armory building,” said Greenberg Gibbons Chairman and CEO Brian Gibbons. “It’s really a community gym and we’re about to break up this community gym and bring it to life.” The 21,000 square foot building will hold new areas for coworking, workforce training and business incubation, said Bobbie Laur, TU’s associate vice president for outreach within the division of strategic partnerships and applied research. “The intention is there’s definitely going to be key departments and offices that come over from Towson,” Laur said. “But this is all about public and community and business engagement.” Though the University does not have a set completion date, Laur is

hopeful that it will be done in about the region,” said Schatzel. a year and said that design planning According to Laur, Towson’s will begin in the coming weeks. deep roots in teacher educa“We’re going to be as transpar- tion said that the university is ent as we can be about this entire focused on meeting the needs of project because it’s really about the region. community engagement,” Laur “We do that through the types said. “So we’ll be sharing as soon of academic programs that we as we have information we can create, we do that through the show people related to timelines research that our faculty are leadand everying, and this thing else.” space is really F o r a physical space Schatzel, to help support however, all that,” Laur the project said. takes on an In the mind even greatof County er meaning Executive since Towson J o h n n y is an anchor Olszewski, institution undertaking in greater this project Baltimore. shows that She looks to Towson is steptransform ping up as an the Armory anchor instituinto a hub tion. for creative “Just three JOHNNY OLSZEWSKI short years ago, solutions Baltimore County Executive t hat will Dr. Schatzel impact the burst into the entirety of the region and state. higher education scene here in “This hub will spark and advance Maryland and I’m grateful... to TUs already significant work as have such a strong partner as a solutions catalyst for greater an anchor institution here in Baltimore, and house research Baltimore county,” Olszewski said. coworking events and meeting “We have big plans for the years space to support our community ahead, and today is one step in and business partners throughout that direction.”

We have big plans for the years ahead, and today is one step in that direction.


10 Apri 2, 2019

Arts & Life

Towson student finds his place on “American Idol” KERRY INGRAM Arts & Life Editor @Glaminista08

Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon finally nailed down his routine at his job as a church janitor. Harmon ended every single day entering the office of Babcock Memorial Presbyterian Church on Loch Raven Boulevard, grabbing his necessary supplies and tools to get to work. He would head up a flight of stairs, to the Sunday school rooms of the church, where he was in charge of keeping things tidy for the church’s youth. He repeated his cleaning duties on the lower level of the church, before making his way to the gymnasium and fellowship hall to clean as well. Every part of the job was simple and peaceful, but Harmon found that his favorite part was cleaning the auditorium. The auditorium, like the other parts of the Babcock Memorial Presbyterian, held fluorescent lights, vast church seating and a large cross to honor in the place of worship. Unlike the other rooms, however, the auditorium also held pianos. Whenever Harmon got the chance, he took a break from his cleaning to sit down at these instruments

and express himself, musically. His strong, soulful voice filled the open and empty space of the church during the nighttime. “If you really think about it,” Harmon said, “I wasn’t the best janitor, to be honest.” Harmon’s janitorial skills may have come into question, but his musical skills came to light, after the 26-yearold made his way onto 2019’s season of “American Idol.” Episodes of his initial audition with celebrity judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, as well as his Hollywood Week performance, have since gone viral and have helped Harmon to already earn mass support from the show’s viewers. “Hello Mr. Jeremiah,” wrote Twitter user @SmithBermas to Harmon after his initial performance aired. “You are an impeccable artist. Is #TeamJer the name of your fanbase? I volunteer as a President.” That tweet was just one of many from users who shared their sentiments towards the artist’s appearance on “American Idol.” Idol judge Katy Perry also tweeted at the music hopeful following the airing of his episode. “You are as beautiful as you feel @ JLloydHarmon,” Perry tweeted. “The room was certainly feeling that performance! I’m here for you, friend.” Harmon admitted to being caught

Eric McCandless/ ABC

Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon competes beside other music hopefuls (like James Kidd, right) in this year’s season of “American Idol.”

off guard to how well his audition was received. “I was definitely surprised,” Harmon said. “There was a kind of long pause after my audition, and I didn’t know if [the judges] were reflecting on what they had just heard or simply hated it. I was overwhelmed by the positive response. I was glad I had taken that risk to perform an original song in front of the judges.’ Harmon’s original song, “Almost Heaven,” was one of the main aspects that set his audition apart from the rest, aside from his vocal skills. The song, which was named after a café he passed while taking a trip to West Virginia, was written as a way for Harmon to acknowledge his struggles with homosexuality and religion. Harmon’s connection to Babcock isn’t just occupational - his father serves as the church’s preacher. Growing up as a “pastor’s kid,” the church became a large part of Harmon’s environment. Writing music was a way for Harmon to find a balance between his beliefs and his identity. “I was sort of processing a lot about this idea of ‘Where do I belong?’ and ‘Is there a place in heaven for me?’” Harmon said. “‘Almost Heaven’ is asking those questions. It touches on spirituality and also feeling like there's a place I might not belong, I’m different. That song kind of explores that theme.” Despite Harmon’s initial challenges of finding understanding and acceptance within his church community, he spoke on the tremendous amount of support he has received from he has received from community members since he came to Towson as a transfer student from Virginia. “My time at Towson has been really positive,” Harmon said. “I’ve experienced a lot of acceptance and freedom to express myself here. The faculty at Towson have been really amazing and supportive.” Towson University’s music department chair, Phillip Collister, shared mutual appreciation for the up-and-coming singer. “I’m so happy for him,” Collister said. “He’s just amazing; his voice is so beautiful and he seems so poised and confident. I really feel like he opened himself up and we really get to see who

Eric McCandless/ ABC | (Above image courtesy of

Harmon has been singing since his childhood. His soulful voice has brought him to the Top 20 round of “American Idol” 2019. is on the show.” Collister also spoke on how Towson works to shape students like Harmon, in order for them to reach their fullest potential. “I feel like the Towson music department has really allowed him to grow and flourish,” Collister said. “He’s been given permission to be himself and also to explore the many talents that he has. We’re not trying to pigeonhole him and make him into a certain kind of singer. I like to think we give that freedom to all of our students.” Leneida Crawford, Harmon’s music advisor, foresees him getting far in the competition. “I think he’s been the best so far, and I’m being sincere,” Crawford said. “He’s consistently good, he’s consistently genuine. He came [to Towson] very well trained, with a naturally beautiful and easy voice and we all have enjoyed him. No matter what happens

from now on with Jeremiah, the fact that he’s gotten so far will be great for him for the rest of his career.” Harmon hopes to do well in the “American Idol” competition, but shared that despite how it ends, he ultimately plans to return to Towson eventually to finish his collegiate career. For music hopefuls, Harmon stressed the importance of leaving fear in the past. “Don’t be afraid to take risks with your music, whether that’s playing a gig you don’t think you’ll land or going for an audition,” Harmon said. “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Take risks, and try to be as authentic as you can. Be true to yourself. I’ve seen a lot of benefit by living according to that policy.” Harmon will continue his “American Idol” journey as one of this season’s Top 20 contestants. Episodes air every Sunday at 8 pm EST, on ABC.

Arts & Life

April 2, 2019


Moving to make a difference

Delta sorority crowns “Miss Black TU” KERRY INGRAM Arts & Life Editor @Glaminista08

TU dance major Cyntria Vinson has a way with movement. From modern and contemporary dance styles, to flowing ballet and energetic Hip Hop, Vinson is able to move in a way that captivates while communicating a message to her audiences. This skill in movement came in handy as Vinson was also able to move hearts in order to be crowned as 2019’s Miss Black TU on March 3. Miss Black TU, sponsored by the Mu Mu Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, is a Towson scholarship pageant, aimed at providing opportunities for self-identified women within the campus community. The pageant is held to give contestants a chance to earn scholarship funds while they get to share their talents and efforts with the rest of the community. Despite the pageant being held by Delta, applicants do not have to be affiliated to apply. Vinson herself is not a member of the sorority and shared that she was driven to apply because she simply admired the organization’s work and thought the pageant experience would be fun. “This was my very first pageant,” Vinson said. “Of course I perform all the time [through dance], but it was so weird and new to be put on display

and judged.“ The pageant, although its significance, holds an interesting timeline. According to Taniyah Abdulbarr, the director of 2019’s Miss Black TU pageant, the initial workings of Miss Black TU date back to nearly four decades ago, with the event gradually transforming into a larger and more mainstream pageant as the years passed. The pageant eventually came to a hiatus, before being reintroduced in 2004. Since then, the pageant has been held on-and-off, with no real reason as to its lack of consistency. “Being that there has not been [a Miss Black TU] in a while, this would be the resurrection pageant for the title,” said Andrew Bryant, a TU student who served as Vinson’s escort for the pageant. “I've learned that Miss Black TU is more than just a title; it’s an image and a lifestyle. You must be the epitome of the title and everything that comes with it: service, honesty, integrity, and poise.” Selected applicants of the program had to attend and engage in a multitude of workshops, including ones centered around the topic of giving back to the community. The applicants then had to select a nonprofit of their choice to raise donation money toward. Vinson used her philanthropic skills to win the title over six other contenders. “The pageant was in total about a five-month process, but it was worth every minute,” Vinson said. “It was so much fun getting to know all the ladies I was working with, all the ladies on

the committee, and my mentor. It was very rewarding to be able to be myself and try something new, and come out with the title.” Towson senior and sports management major India Richey shared her approval of Vinson being the new title holder. “Cyntria is very lively, entertaining and lovely to be around,” Richey said. “I know that she will do the crown of the Miss Black TU title justice along with her creative yet innovative public service project. “ Abdulbarr shared similar appreciation for the 2019 title-holder. “I am extremely proud to announce, Cyntria Vinson, as the 2019 Miss Black TU Scholarship Pageant,” Abdulbarr said. “She possesses great talent, charisma, and charm. Ms. Vinson is extremely dedicated, an ambassador of good-will, and gives back to community service organizations. Vinson had chosen to raise money for AileyCamp Baltimore, a program hosted by Towson University that helps give inner city youth access to professional dance training and development. The choice was easy for Vinson - aside from being a dance major, she is also a member and co-rehearsal director of the Towson University Dance Company, as well as the junior class representative for the entire dance department at TU. Additionally, Vinson serves as president of the National Honors Society of Dance Arts. “My life is hectic,” Vinson said. “But I love getting to dance every day with

Kerry Ingram/ The Towerlight

Cyntria Vinson earned the title of ‘Miss Black TU” this past March, a title that hasn’t been filled over the past five years. my dance family and go to Carroll Hall and hang out with my friends.” Vinson shared how her love of dance comes from the ability to communicate through it, without any real barriers. “Dance is my life and my passion,” Vinson said. “You can express your most personal self through it. Dance is a language that can reach everyone and that everyone can understand, no matter who they are.” Since her win, Vinson has continued to celebrity her success while simultaneously continuing her support for the communities around her. “It feels amazing,” Vinson said. “I feel very blessed and fortunate to have had a supportive group going through this process with me. I feel privileged to be the first Miss Black Towson

University in years, and I plan to set the standard for not only the African American community at Towson but [for] everyone. With this title, I am in the process of making a community service event in Baltimore City with Miss Congeniality [Britney Nguetta], the second place winner.” After her time at TU, Vinson plans to continue pursuing her professional dance dreams, before settling down to as a dance teacher in inner city schools. Her main mission? To provide dance exposure and arts experience to students who may not otherwise get those opportunities. In that goal, Vinson showcases how she plans to continue her movements and messages with every community she encounters, one step at a time.

Simple Creatures’ “Strange Love” album review Rock musicians partner up to make a “strange” musical lovechild TIMOTHY COFFMAN Columnist

Well this is a pleasant surprise! Simple Creatures is a duo consisting of Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 and Alex Gaskarth from All Time Low. These guys were some of the best songwriters to come out of the pop punk scene of the 2000s, and they have just released their debut EP Strange Love. So, are these pop

punk giants able to create beautiful music together? Upon listening, I was surprised to hear that these songs are not pop punk by any stretch. Though there are plenty of guitars throughout, Hoppus and Gaskarth have gone for a sound that is closer to the new wave sounds of the 80s. Hoppus has made known his affinity for bands like the Cure in the past, and this band seems to give him the creative outlet to create this moodier type of music which wouldn’t necessarily fit into Blink 182’s traditional style. This shift in genre fits perfectly with

Gaskarth’s writing sensibilities. The songs of All Time Low always seem to set a scene in the mind of the listener, and these songs really help enforce the emotional weight that the music promises. The song “Drug” talks about the helplessness felt when in a toxic relationship and the closer “Lucy” paints a pastiche of a girl on the run. The song “Adrenaline” also stands out as being the catchiest on the record. I wouldn’t really say that the EP is flawless though. The synthpop aesthetic is certainly a unique sound. But the record can sound a bit same-y

in places, which is a bit disconcerting considering the record is only six tracks long. These synthpop features tend to bog down some of the songs as well. The main feature that is behind most good synth music is the drum machine, but in this case the drum machine seems to be more of a synthetic convenience rather than an original musical idea. The record would have worked out much better if they had an authentic drummer behind them. I may be spoiled with the god-like drumming of Travis Barker from Blink 182, but there are many session drummers like Josh

Freese who could have these songs the extra punch that they needed. Without him, the production of the songs just barely miss the mark. This is still a record that is worth streaming a few times though. If you’re a fan of Hoppus’s or Gaskarth’s other bands, you should check this out. While it may not be as good as All Time Low or Blink 182, it will tide you over for the time being until Hoppus and Gaskarth return to their main gigs. This record is not going to set the world on fire, but it is a lot of fun and one worth picking up if you’re even mildly interested.

2019 12 12AprilApril2, 2,2019

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April 2, 2019


King of the Jungle Liam Beard/ The Towerlight

Sophomore midfielder Greg Ey runs past a Hofstra defender in Towson’s 10-9 victory over the Pride in the team’s conference opener. Ey registered two points in the win, which snapped Towson’s three-game losing streak. Despite a goalie change, the Tigers improved to 17-1 in conference openers since they joined the Colonial Athletic Association.

JOHN HACK Staff Writer @johnhack10

Towson captured a tight 10-9 win over Hofstra in its first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) match of the season Saturday afternoon at Johnny Unitas Stadium. “We came into this game talking about how it’s all about us. We’ve been working on improving as a team,” said senior midfielder Grant Maloof. “The last three losses have been tough but, today we clicked on most parts of our team. Both teams struggled in the opening five minutes as they exchanged offensive turnovers in the box along with a few shots that were wide or saved. Hofstra (3-7, 0-1 CAA) broke the

scoreless streak at the 9:50 mark when junior attackman Ryan Tierney sneaked a bounce shot past Towson junior goalie Tyler Canto. The Tigers responded just 45 seconds later when Maloof tied the game with the first of his three goals on the afternoon. Maloof struck again less than a minute later with an assist from attackman Brendan Sunday. The end of the opening quarter, however, did not end well for the Tigers with Hofstra striking three times in a span of 2:41 to lead 4-2 heading into the second frame. Junior midfielder Brody McLean stopped the bleeding for Towson when he scored his first of three goals on the day at the 13:51 mark of the second quarter. After both teams exchanged goals, Hofstra added two consecutive goals

to go up 7-4 with 2:53 left in the half. Looking to spark the defense, redshirt sophomore goalie Shane Brennan replaced Canto in the net. This marked his first time seeing action this season. “I got a good warmup before the game so it’s not like I’m coming in cold, said Brennan. Brennan’s ability to come in and keep Towson in the game wasn’t a surprise to Nadelen. “We’ve always been confident that we’ve got an experienced guy in Shane to go in there. We had every confidence that we would be in good shape,” Nadelen said. “Canto was a great teammate when he got pulled out. McLean scored his third goal of the afternoon at the 1:57 mark of the second quarter to cut the deficit to two heading into halftime.

The Tigers showed more life in the second half as Maloof and senior midfielder Timmy Monahan helped get the Tigers back on the horse when the former set up the latter with his tenth tally of the season. For the next 18 minutes, Towson’s defense held Hofstra scoreless. McLean, junior midfielder Jake McLean, sophomore midfielder Greg Ey and Sunday each scored goals to mark a 5-0 run and build a 10-7 lead. “Our offense knows what to do, we just have to execute,” Maloof said. “Third quarter came around, and we just started moving the ball through ‘X’, getting the ball hot and everyone was putting away their shots.” Despite several close instances on near misses, including a crossbar hit, Towson's defense was able to hold off Hofstra long enough, only giving up two goals in the final 12 and a half

minutes to secure the win. The win was much needed considering that the squad was gasping for a victory since their win over Jacksonville University four games ago. “Im proud of our team for grinding out a tough CAA win.” said Head Coach Shawn Nadelen. “[ First half defense] was kind of a double edged sword. We weren't playing great on ball, and we weren’t supporting when we needed to...and then when they did get dangerous, I thought we were able to get some good one-onone matchups.” The Tigers’ win over conference foe Hofstra puts them at 1-0 in conference play heading into their matchup next week when the team heads to Connecticut to take on Fairfield University Saturday afternoon. Game time is at 1 p.m.

14 April 2, 2019


Towson drops four Losing streak reaches 10 as TU returns home Shelby Stack Women’s Lacrosse

Junior midfielder Shelby Stack had a perfect day offensively in Towson’s 15-13 victory over Yale on Saturday at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Stack scored a career high five goals on five shots, increasing her goal total to 11. Stack also added one assist in the win, which was the team’s second in three games.

TIM KLAPAC Sports Editor @pacofkla

The Tigers looked to end their seven-game losing streak, but the struggles continued as Florida Gulf Coast swept Towson in Fort Myers, Florida. In the series finale, the Eagles (19-8) lit up the scoreboard in a 20-3 victory over the Tigers (3-22, 0-3 CAA). Despite taking a 3-2 lead in the top of the second inning, Towson managed just two hits the rest of the game. “It goes back to your approach. Are you committed to your approach? Do you know what you want to do?” said Head Coach Matt Tyner. “That doesn't happen overnight.” After redshirt sophomore infielder Dirk Masters drove in two runs for the Tigers, Florida Gulf Coast responded with two grand slams in the game, turning it into a blowout. “Both guys were 1-10 on the weekend, and then they got their hit,” Tyner said. “Just happened to be a big hit. Towson’s pitchers struggled on the day, hitting four and walking nine Eagles. “There was a tighter zone behind the plate and their pitcher could get our guys but we couldn't get theirs” Tyner said. “It was almost like we had

to throw it down the middle.” In Saturday’s game, the Tigers once again built a one-run lead in the second inning, and, once again, the bats quieted down after that. Towson got three runners in scoring position the rest of the game, but couldn’t bring any of them home. Trailing 3-2 in the sixth inning, the Tigers turned to their bullpen in hopes of keeping the score close to no avail. The Eagles added two more runs on their way to a 5-2 victory. Despite out-hitting Florida Gulf Coast 9-8, Towson left eight runners on base. Friday’s series opener was more of the same as the Tigers fell behind and couldn’t complete a comeback in the 6-3 loss. Towson strung together a rally in the ninth as Masters and junior infielder Noah Cabrera each drove in a run to get within three and the tying run coming to the plate. However, freshman outfielder Javon Fields struck out the end the rally. “That evening, we showed each other that we could play with team’s at the Florida Gulf Coast level,” Tyner said. “It was a total team commitment for nine, strong innings and that’s what I took away from that particular evening.” On Wednesday, the Tigers traveled

Solutions for

Puzzles on page 12

to Northern Virginia to battle George Mason. In keeping up with the common theme, Towson took the early lead thanks to a leadoff triple from Fields followed by a sacrifice fly from senior infielder Zach Piazza. This was Piazza’s 12th RBI of the season, the highest on the team. The Patriots (11-12) would answer with a three-run second inning that forced the Tigers to play from behind the rest of the way. Towson put themselves in position to win this game, but failed to execute as they left runners on base in six of nine innings. “It goes back to situational hitting and your approach at the plate. You really have to have an understanding because things can change from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box,” Tyner said. “We’ve got to develop a win at all cost type mindset when were in the box.” George Mason would add runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings and defeat the Tigers 6-2. One of the bright spots in Towson’s pitching staff is sophomore reliever Jake Peculinas. Peculinas had a strong week, surrendering just one run on four hits through three innings of work over three games. “I personally couldn’t be a reliever, I don’t have the mental make up for it,” Tyner said. “It’s not easy coming into a pressure cooker situation and be successful but he had an unbelievable week. Peculinas came in for relief against the Patriots and struck out four of the five batters he faced. Although the schedule has been difficult this season, Tyner sees it as a key learning experience for his team moving forward. ““I’m exposing my guys to what the top programs in the country look like, play like, and how they execute,” Tyner said. “My guys are in the frequent flyer category right now. They’re getting a first-hand taste of the true grind” With the trip to the Sunshine State over, the Tigers return home for a midweek matinee against George Washington on Wednesday, April 3 at 3 p.m. at John B. Schuerholz Park.


April 2, 2019

Tigers Swept Bats go silent as Towson falls in all three games to Dukes all James Madison in game two. The Dukes scored all four of their runs in the first two innings while their pitching shut the door on Towson. Nine Tigers were held withThe Tigers returned home to the out a hit, marking the third shutout Tiger Softball Stadium for the first for Towson in its last ten games. time in 11 days for a three-game weekSmith-Harrington only went two end series with No. 16 James Madison. innings as the starter, giving up Towson (14-17, 1-5 CAA) dropped four runs and five hits. Sophomore the first two games on Saturday Melissa Abrahamian pitched the before an extra innings defeat on majority of the game, going four comSunday gave the Dukes (23-6, 5-1 plete innings, allowing one hit. CAA) the series sweep. “We went to Mel The Tigers looked and she did a really to prevent a sweep good job,” Costello on Sunday and We expeced them to said. played their best game of the series, bunt, and we thought Redshirt junior Ashley Cruise fintaking the game to we had a shot of ished the game in the ninth inning keeping them out of the seventh and with no score by retired the Dukes in either team. James the big inning. order. Towson scored Madison totaled 10 LISA COSTELLO hits, but were held Head Coach one combined run on Saturday. at third base three In game one on Saturday, the times before the ninth. Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the third Towson was retired in order the inning off a fielder’s choice to put first four innings before freshman freshman outfielder Nicole Kidwiler pitcher Breanna McDowell got the on base while Jackson scored. Tigers the first of two hits in the The Dukes responded the followgame. In the seventh, junior pitcher ing inning with a two RBI base hit to Julia Smith-Harrington hit a low center field. James Madison added to double to center field that got the its lead in the sixth with a double to bench and crowd into the game. bring both runners home. Freshman third baseman Chloe With a 4-1 lead, the Dukes’ next Poulich battled the pitcher, hitting batter brought home the runner from three straight foul balls on a 1-2 second to extend the lead to 5-1 in count before striking out on a high the seventh. pitch to end the inning. The Tigers used three pinch hitters James Madison began the ninth in the bottom half of the inning, but by loading the bases thanks to a walk couldn’t produce as James Madison and two consecutive bunts. closed the game out, 5-1. “We expected them to bunt and The Dukes outhit Towson 10-3 we thought we had a shot of getting as six Tigers were held hitless. the lead runner and keeping them Freshman pitcher Sara Johnson out of the big inning,” said Head pitched six complete innings, allowCoach Lisa Costello. “It’s a high-risk ing nine hits and five runs. She took high reward play.” the loss and fell to 6-5 on the season. A base hit brought two runners “I thought our pitchers pitched home for the first runs of the game. well,” Costello said. “They are just a James Madison added four more really good hitting team.” runs to build a 6-0 lead that proved The Tigers continue their home to be insurmountable. stretch on Wednesday, April 3 with a Looking to even the series, the double-header against Morgan State, Tigers continued to struggle at the plate, being held to one hit as it was starting at 2 p.m. JORDAN KENDALL Assistant Sports Editor @jordankendall54

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