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February 5, 2019
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February 5, 2019
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February 5, 2019
Editor-in-Chief Karuga Koinange Senior Editor Bailey Hendricks News Editor Mary-Ellen Davis Asst. News Editor Keri Luise Arts & Life Editor Kerry Ingram Asst. Arts & Life Editor Alex Helms Sports Editor Tim Klapac Asst. Sports Editors Muhammad Waheed Jordan Kendall Staff Writers Jessica Ricks Meg Hudson Sophia Bates
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Looking to join new clubs on campus? Don’t wait to get involved and make this semester memorable! Join over 150 student groups and campus departments in an event to meet and learn about the many types of organizations and involvement opportunities at Towson University!
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Discover how you can study or intern abroad and earn academic credit toward your major, minor, Core and elective requirements. Meet study abroad program providers, Towson faculty-led program directors, former study abroad participants and Study Abroad advisors.
University Union, 2nd Floor Lobby, 10 a.m.
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BLACK AND Join the Center for Student Diversity and the Study Abroad Office for this panel discussion featuring the founders of ABROAD
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Center for Student Diversity, Union, Room 313, 2 p.m. Join us on the campus of Towson University to make a bowl for the Empty EMPTY BOWLS Bowls fundraiser! You will have the opportunity to create your own bowl by WORKSHOPS hand building or throwing on a pottery wheel.
Center for the Arts Ceramics Studio, Room 3012
8000 York Road University Union Room 309 Towson, MD 21252 (410) 704-5153 firstname.lastname@example.org thetowerlight.com The Towerlight print edition is published by students of Towson University on Tuesdays. The Towerlight is owned by nonprofit Baltimore Student Media Inc., BaltimoreStudentMedia.com. The Towerlight’s advertising deadlines are firm: Wednesday noon for space; Friday noon for art. 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. ©2018 by The Towerlight, 8000 York Rd, Towson, MD 21252. All rights reserved.
@_NubianLove Like the snow is sticking now so cmon Towson lol @Jaileneee_hdz Towson really has the audacity to cancel all the shuttles due to inclement weather and accidents. But won’t cancel classes for the thousands of students driving and walking in this snow?? How do you expect people to get to class if you’re canceling the shuttles but not class??
MORE EVENTS CAN BE FOUND AT
SNOWY DAYS @__Cheeech
So Towson just gon leave all this snow on the ground? Man...I’m boutta just fall real quick @eggzachtlyy thx for making me drive in the snow towson love u too
February 5, 2019
Environmentally The failed Virginia abortion bill toxic masculinity MATTHEW PIPKIN Columnist @MattPipkinJr
It has been a general practice of mine to avoid the abortion debate. It is a messy fiasco; often full of hypocrites on both sides that rely on emotional appeal to demean the other side as being cold-hearted. As a practicing Catholic, I do consider myself pro-life. However, I do recognize that there is some grey area in cases where abortion is an unfortunate but warranted option, and I can only pray that people use this practice strictly when necessary. I also recognize that this interpretation of the law has been settled in the Supreme Court, and so I believe my energy is better spent promoting life in discussions rather than calling for an abolishment of abortion altogether. With that said, I must admit that I was startled to read the news about Virginia House Bill 2491. While there were multiple areas within the
text of the bill that I disagreed with, there was one portion that stood high above the rest as being most problematic. Under current Virginian law, you may receive an abortion in the third trimester of the pregnancy if three doctors were to find threats to the mother that would lead to death or “substantial and irremediable” impairment to a woman’s mental and physical health. To quote the bill summary, it states “The bill eliminates the requirement that two other physicians certify that a third trimester abortion is necessary …as well as the need to find that any such impairment to the woman’s health would be substantial and irremediable.” The language of this bill, seemingly accepted by many in the Democratic Party, is both porous and would have been a step to allowing abortion to be nearly on-demand, at any time and for any given reason. Don’t believe me? Let’s use depression as an example. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, depression affects
between 14-23 percent of women at some point during their pregnancy. The National Institute of Mental Health also claims that “major depression can result in severe impairments that interfere with or limit one’s ability to carry out major life activities.” Therefore, if a mother were to claim that she is depressed in the third trimester to the point of impairment, she could hypothetically get an abortion up to the point of birth if a single doctor deemed it so. I’m not going to debate the moral questions surrounding abortion. Instead, I want to bring this failed bill to light as an example of the changing opinions around the country, especially within the Democratic Party itself. The once “safe, legal, rare” argument seems like an ancient concept to some liberals in this country. I only ask one question to the readers: where do we, as a society, draw the line (if any) on whether or not an abortion should be permitted?
NICHOLAS KOSKI Columnist
What do a big slab of red meat, a gas-guzzling muscle car and a lumberjack hacking down a tree all have in common? They’re all typical images of manliness that contribute to environmental destruction. Despite a rise in the discussion of toxic masculinity in the wake of Gillette’s recent controversial ad, the harmful effects of toxic masculinity on the planet as a whole have often been left out of the conversation. Climate scientists have pointed to fossil fuels, livestock farming and farming-related deforestation as leading causes of climate change. But for men, taking action against these activities is often seen as “unmanly.” When I was a boy scout, I was told by my troop leader that I couldn’t be a man if I remained a vegetarian. Men from my hometown also looked down upon other means of transportation more eco-friendly than driving a big truck. Research conducted by Scientific
American found similar aversion among men toward things as simple as using reusable grocery bags. Additionally, they found that when men felt their masculinity was threatened, they tended to act more anti-ecofriendly to reassert their manhood. These toxic ideas about masculinity are reproduced through popular media, as Gillette has rightfully recognized. It’s not too difficult to come across a cheeseburger commercial that includes big trucks and attractive women — clearly targeting “macho men.” In response to Gillette’s change of image, a lot of men have made calls to boycott the razor company for endangering their identity. Meanwhile, we have not been as ready to boycott the fossil fuel and farming industries for endangering our lives. If we intend to build a sustainable future, part of what we are going to have to change is our understanding of what it means to be a man so that men do not have to choose between protecting their identity and protecting the planet.
National emergency: Bill allows unspecified gender marker an abuse of power SAMUEL SMITH Columnist
I’m excited about a bill going before the Maryland Senate. It’s Senate Bill 196, which allows a person to mark male, female, or unspecified on their driver’s license without proof of your sex or gender. It also says “The administration may not (1) require an applicant for a license, an identification card, or a moped operator’s permit to provide proof of the applicant’s sex; or (2) deny an application for a license, an identification card, or a moped operator’s permit because the sex selected by the applicant does not match the sex indicated on another document associated with the applicant.” This bill would go into effect Oct.
1, 2019 if it passes through and it’s huge for the transgender community in Maryland. Not only does it mean nonbinary and gender nonconforming people have an option to put on their license (it’s not the best option, but it’s a step in the right direction), but it also means you don’t have to prove your gender identity or assigned sex at birth to get your driver’s license changed and you don’t need a letter from a doctor or medical professional “proving” your gender identity or sex. This helps to demedicalize transgender identities. By demedicalizing transgender identities, this can help to demystify trans identities and lessen the stigma attached to trans lives. However, this bill has its potential downsides, though. The most immediate, and obvious, is that if you
mark unspecified, this could potentially make you a target of transphobia. Another potential downside is, if all your documents don’t match, it can complicate official proceedings. Overall, I support the bill. It’s a step in the right direction. But, in my opinion, the sex marker should just be removed entirely from the license. It’s unnecessary, and opens the door for potential sexism and transphobia. There’s also no way to list every unique gender identity. It’s best to just get rid of it entirely, but having an unspecified gender marker is a step in the right direction. To get involved, there will be a senate hearing Wednesday, Feb. 6 at noon where you can testify. You can also contact your state senators (find out who yours is at mdelect.net) and tell them how you feel about this bill.
CONNOR MCNAIRN Columnist
Putting an end to the longest government shutdown in US history, President Donald Trump announced last week that he had accepted a temporary spending bill that would reopen the government for three weeks. Classified by pundits across the political spectrum as a major Republican defeat, Trump’s willingness to sign the temporary spending bill with no border wall funding appeared to be a concession to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats. In December, the president reassured his base that he would not sign a spending bill failing to allocate proper border wall fund-
ing; he, aided by a Republican Senate and House that refused to vote on a measure not including wall funding, then closed the government for over a month, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal employees and over one million federal contractors without pay. Now that the government is temporarily reopened and Democrats control the House, both the House and Senate have appointed committees set to negotiate over border security terms in a future spending package. Similar to his rhetoric before the first shutdown, Trump continues to hold fast that there will be no spending bill without the $5.7 billion his administration has cited for wall funding. - To read the rest of this column online, visit thetowerlight.com.
February 5, 2019
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February 5, 2019
B I G G E R
B O L D E R B R AV E R
At Towson University, we create opportunity where it doesn’t exist. We are bigger, braver and bolder than ever. It’s time our identity reflects TU’s extraordinary momentum.
February 5, 2019
Towson welcomes new provost MARY-ELLEN DAVIS News Editor @Mel_Davis_1998
When she first found out that she had gotten the job as Towson University’s new provost and vice president of academic affairs, Melanie Perreault said she probably jumped up and down while trying not to hurt herself. “This is really a dream job for me,” Perreault said. “It’s going back to my roots. I was actually born down the road from Towson.” After a national search to fill the position, Perreault, then the Buffalo State College provost and vice president, accepted Towson University President Kim Schatzel’s offer for the job and will begin her appointment Feb. 18. “It’s a big job,” Perreault said. “It’s going to take time to... gather some information, learn a little more about what’s going on on the campus.” Schatzel, who formed a search committee to help her fill the position, announced in a letter to the University that she was pleased that Perreault had accepted the position. “As the university’s executive vice president, the role also serves as the university’s second-in-authority responsible for TU’s future success,” Schatzel said. “The search committee and process confirmed that Dr. Perreault fulfills all of those capabilities and qualities.” Perreault will bring with her more than 21 years of experience working in higher education. Including her role at Buffalo State College, Perreault served as the associate provost at Salisbury University. She will be taking the place of Dave Vanko, who has acted as Towson’s interim provost during Schatzel’s search to find a permanent person to fill the role. For Schatzel there was no one better. “Dr. Perreault was clearly the top candidate after an extensive national search,” Schatzel said. Despite her excitement, Perreault admitted that being part
of administration wasn’t always where she saw her career going. When she began her college career, Perreault planned to be a high school English teacher. “I, like just about everybody, picked a different major than what i started out,” Perreault said. “Then I took a history class as a gen-ed just because I had to and it turned out I loved it.” She went on to become a history professor at Salisbury University, where she moved up the chain of command into administrative positions. “When I got into administration, I started as a department chair,” Perreault said. “It was only then that I started thinking ‘well, I kind of like this administration thing.’” Perreault feels that being an administrator gives her the energy and drive to affect change at her institution. Yet, she doesn’t plan to jump right into making changes at TU. Instead, she wants to start by meeting students, faculty and staff in order to get a feel for Towson’s culture and needs. “I had a great opportunity to meet a lot of people during the interview process, but it’s another thing when you get onto the campus and really start to dig in and meet with people,” Perreault said. She plans to explore campus to meet with its members in their space, rather than summoning people to her office which she believes is not always productive. “I think people generally feel safer on their own ground really talking about their issues,” Perreault said. “So i think getting out and really talking to people is going to be the first order of business.” Amitra Wall, who worked closely with Perreault as her associate provost at Buffalo State College, said that while she will miss her greatly, Perreault has a lot to bring to Towson’s campus. “When I first met her I had that initial ‘hmm, she seems interesting,’” Wall said. “Shortly after, I
was struck by her willingness to listen to individuals.” Wall mentioned that Perreault brought a humor and wit with her that made Wall realize that she had a huge heart, and that students and staff often seemed at ease around Perreault. “I was able to observe her in action when we had meetings across campus, in the community and in the provost suit, and I can say that she is down to earth and real,” Wall said. To help students feel like they can come to her with concerns, Perreault makes it a priority to treat them just as she would faculty and staff by always following up with them. “One of the things that people hate most is if they come to you [and] they have a concern… and then the receiver says ‘thank you for your concern, i’ll look into it’ and then there’s no follow up,” Perreault said. “If i say i’m going to look into it, it’s not going to be an ‘i’ll look into it and then just go on with my day.’ I’ll respond back and say ‘alright, well here’s what i found. Here’s what i discovered.’ And sometimes the answer isn’t what people necessarily want to hear, but you’re always going to get an answer.” Giving feedback is Perreault’s way of making sure people know that speaking with her matters, even if it doesn’t lead to an immediate change. According to Wall, Perreault’s priorities revolved around providing a quality education for students. “Shes candid and she will ask individuals, for example, ‘well why are you doing what you’re doing if it’s hurting our students?’” Wall said. “‘Let’s relook at what we have done for years and question what we do.’” Wall also said that, for Perreault, it’s not just about the students. It’s also about the parents who help pay for their children’s education and about faculty. “She cared for faculty and staff and their needs,” Wall said. “She
Courtesy of Amitra Wall, Buffalo State University Associate Provost
Melanie Perreault, Towson’s new provost, begins her appointment on Feb. 18. She looks to learn about TU’s needs in her new role. didn’t make false promises. She just was honest.” In her letter, Schatzel said that she and the committee shared a goal to find someone with not only a strong vision for academic excellence, but also an understanding the role TU plays as an institution for Greater Baltimore and Maryland. Though she was born just down the street from TU, Perreault only lived in Towson when she was a baby. Nevertheless, she has been able to watch Towson grow into what it is today through annual summer trips to visit her grandmother and by keeping tabs on Towson’s development. “The general direction of where Towson is going, just becoming really embedded in the community and the connections between academics and the surrounding
area I think has huge potential,” Perreault said. “I’m excited to see where that goes” According to Perreault, when a major amount of manufacturing jobs left Baltimore, it created massive amounts of unemployment. People moved out of the city, and large areas were left abandoned. Now, people are starting to become more interested in living in the city again creating an urban renewal. Perreault has watched a similar movement happen in Buffalo, and looks forward to watching how Towson helps the community move forward. “We have very smart people, energized students, some resources and we ought to martial everything we can to make the surrounding environment a better place,” Perreault said.
February 5, 2019
TU gathers to mourn Glen dining gets new look loss of ‘Mighty Mare’ Towson continues campus renovations MARY-ELLEN DAVIS News Editor @Mel_Davis_1998
Towson University members gathered at Speakers Circle for a candlelight vigil Monday night as they mourned the loss of one of their own. Mariana “Mighty Mare” McConnie, a deaf studies major and active sorority member of Delta Phi Epsilon, died Jan. 19 after fighting a lifelong battle against cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis, often referred to as CF, is a progressive, genetic disease that causes lung infections and often limits the ability to breathe in the affected person. Despite her struggle with CF, sorority sister Kelly Cadwallader said that McConnie was someone who lived up to Delta Phi Epsilon’s motto, “Esse quam videri.” “It means to be, rather than seem to be,” Cadwallader said. “It means to take action and live to be the person you want to be, rather than seem to be someone you’re not. When I met Mariana McConnie, she exuded strength, humor, compassion, persistence, intelligence, love and acceptance of anyone that was brave enough to live their lives authentically and unapologetically, just as she did.” Over the course of her life, McConnie had two double lung transplants. The first took place in 2014 and the second in March of 2018. “She fought as hard as she could until the very moment she died” said Kayla Hester, McConnie’s sorority big. “But we can all find peace in knowing she is breathing deeper and easier than ever in the presence of the lord.”
Hester received a call from McConnie’s mother just days before her death, telling her to come to the hospital as quickly as she could. Following McConnie’s passing, Hester was one of the people to help sort through McConnie’s room, where she found a black journal with a list of people she had hoped to write letters to. “Following a letter to her parents, there was a page that contained two words, and nothing else,” Hester told those who gathered. “‘Dear Kayla.’ One of my sisters put it perfectly. Mariana and I had our own language.” Hester now has those two words tattooed on her arm as a way of always being able to read McConnie’s letter to her in their own language. Father Matt Buening, Towson University’s Catholic chaplain, said that McConnie’s advocacy and fight against CF reminded him that, in a way, everyone is a transplant on Earth. “We are all here in this broken world longing for something more, longing for a time when there will be no more division or disease, pain or suffering, and that as we grow and blossom, and shed our light here on earth, we know that we will one day grow in a place forever,” Buening said. “That there is no more pain where there is no more suffering, and in that wonderful place we remind ourselves that we are together.” Hester urged the crowd to live the way McConnie did, and to not hold grudges. “Mariana lived to ensure that everyone the crossed her path felt loved, and I encouraged you all to do the same,” she said.
Mary-Ellen Davis/ The Towerlight
The TU community gathered last week to mourn the loss of Mariana “Mighty Mare” McConnie, who died battling cystic fibrosis.
Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight
The Glen Dining Hall is Towson’s newest renovation project and will be closed until early 2020. Paws Cafe will be adapted to accomodate students’ breakfast needs during the time that Glen is closed. SOPHIA BATES Staff Writer @sbrookebates
The number of construction projects continues to grow on Towson’s campus with the Glen Dining Hall being the newest building closure. Closed until January 2020, its renovations will cause a few changes to the dining experience on campus. According to Sean Welsh, the director of media relations and news, the dining hall’s 21,000 square-foot renovation is expected to give students another dining option until the University Union opens its expanded dining choices. “The Glen dining facility will be redesigned to accommodate for student needs at lunch time during the Union renovation,” Welsh said. “Our phased efforts at the Union have been planned so as to take into account the many uses of the building, and to minimize the impacts to our campus community.” Project Manager Kenneth Keady noted that the Glen Dining Hall is undergoing many changes during the year-long renovation. “The Glen dining renovation will be a complete renovation of the interior of the dining facility,” Keady said. “In addition to all the new kitchen equipment and serveries, the layout of the dining hall will be much different. The old furniture will be replaced with new, arranged to create better circulation within the building for a more pleasant dining experience for the student population.” After being built in 1983, and with it’s last renovation in 2004,
both Welsh and Keady said that the current renovation will provide an “up-to-date and energy efficient facility.” “The renovation will also aim to transform the building into an up-to-date and energy efficient facility with a goal of achieving LEED Silver Certification,” Welsh said. Keady noted that the completed renovation will also include a new café and a convenience store at the plaza level. “Upon entering Glen Dining building at the plaza level, the students will have a convenience store and a café available to them,” Keady said. “The café will have its own indoor seating, overlooking the dining area, and will be open extended hours after the dining facility is closed.” According to Associate VicePresident for Auxiliary Services Dan Slattery, students needed a breakfast location “rel-
atively close” to Glen towers during the dining hall renovation. Contenders included the Susquehanna Dining Room and the Paws Café. It was decided, after discussion with Chartwells, that the Paws location would be the easiest choice. “Typically, we have fairly low breakfast participation numbers at all the dining halls, so Paws should be large enough to handle and the staff could manage routine walk-up business as well as the residential component in the same location,” Slattery said. Slattery added that Paws Café will be one of the last areas of the Brand New U to be renovated, but will remain open until late in the project. “Paws renovations will involve it evolving into a somewhat modern take on a diner with the ability to offer items suitable to its use regardless of the time of day,” Slattery said.
Courtesy of Towson University
The Glen Dining Hall will have a new convenience store and café, as well as a layout designed to create better circulation within the hall.
12 February 5, 2019
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Arts & Life
February 5, 2019
TU sophomore makes mellow music for the mind KERRY INGRAM Arts & Life Editor @Glaminista08
Melodic tunes filled the air of the small, self-made music studio in Michael Nasty’s townhouse, as he sifted through a setlist of songs on a casual Thursday night. “This one is a bit suckish,” Nasty said, a humble smirk creeping up on his face as he clicked on a song he had previously produced. A heavy beat marched from his speakers, the bright yellow rims vibrating to match the music. As the song played, Nasty sat still, focusing in on the sounds silently. His demeanor expressed that of an industry veteran, a musical analyst who had been in the game for a long time. Despite this,
young age, and insists it was by choice rather than by pressure. “My parents were smart,” Nasty said. “Rather than signing me or my brother up for music lessons and forcing us to study arts, my dad went out and got a guitar, a piano, a drum set for the house. That way, we had the opportunity to choose music if that’s what we wanted, without feeling forced to do so. I think he did that geniously.” Although Nasty’s first foray into music began with learning to play the guitar as a child, he developed a passion for rap music which influenced his career goals as a musician. Once he began recording and rapping during his freshman year of high school, there was no going back. “I was really big into Lil’ Wayne
his main sources of inspiration, as well as old school rock legends like Queen and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Above all, Miller is one of Nasty’s biggest idols. A black-andwhite poster of the late rapper sits center on Nasty’s studio wall, surrounded by other industry greats. “I always felt what he was saying,” Nasty said. “The more he progressed, the more musical his rap got. My number one goal was to get a feature with Mac Miller. Now, I just try to pay homage.” Miller’s influence is evident in Nasty’s music, although Nasty emphasized the importance of putting his own story into his music, rather than someone else’s. “I know it sounds basic,” Nasty started, “but the best songs are written about incidents and stuff
I guess I could be accused of appropriation. The ” “music that I make though is a result of my life and my influences. It’s impossible for me to appropriate my truth.
MICHAEL NASTY, TU STUDENT & RAPPER his casual outfit and youthful face hinted at quite the opposite - that he was an up-and-coming artist hoping to make a name for himself in the music industry. Michael Vaughn “Nasty,” a Towson sophomore from Rockville, began his musical journey at a
when I first started,” Nasty said. “But as I continued to record, I realized that I really liked more musical styles of rap, like Mac Miller’s. I’m a big melodic rap fan now.” Nasty cited rappers like 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Chance the Rapper as some of
going on in my life. I’m not making music for other people. I’m making it as a means of really expressing myself.” Nasty’s life has proven to be full of unique experiences; his path to music partnership fell in place accidentally. Cole Bennington, Nasty’s man-
Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight
Mac Miller is one of Nasty’s biggest inspirations. “I always felt what he was saying,” Nasty said.
Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight
Nasty ‘s first foray into music was playing with his brother’s guitar when he was younger. Since then, music has been his passion. ager and business partner, met Nasty through mutual friends, and instantly hit things off. Bennington took on the role of mentoring Nasty over time, and the two continue to work closely together, with the goal of bringing Michael Nasty’s name to fame. Such a name as “Michael Nasty” warrants a bit of uniqueness as well. “The name actually started off as ‘Fat Nasty,’ which was born when I was in the eighth grade,” Nasty said, with a slight chuckle. “My mom has always been my biggest supporter and fan, but she showed a strong protest for that name. She didn’t think she could call up my grandparents to share my music with them and tell them that it was the latest ‘Fat Nasty’ song.” As a way to compromise, he decided replace the ‘Fat’ with his first name, yet “keep the Nasty.” For now, Nasty is continuing his schooling at Towson as a marketing major, with a minor in music. industry. Although his schooling does take time away from his artform, he tries to appreciate it for what it’s worth. “I see college as a distraction,” Nasty said straightfaced, before releasing lighthearted laughter. “But it’s a necessary distraction, and it allows me to cut out all other unnecessary distractions.” Nasty referenced a course on Hip Hop history as one class he’s already liking this semester, which brought to light a heavier topic: his place in the Hip Hop world as someone who isn’t of
the same marginalized culture. “I definitely have to work harder to be taken seriously,” Nasty said. “I guess I could be accused of appropriation. The music that I make though is a result of my life and my influences. It’s impossible for me to appropriate my truth.” Bennington agreed, stating that Nasty has done well at acknowledging his life differences respectfully, and hasn’t tried imitating the lives of black rappers. “As long as his songs are all genuine, and as long as he’s paying homage to his idols and giving credit where it is due, that’s what sets him in line,” Bennington said. “That’s all he can do.” Nasty believes that despite having an easier upbringing than other rappers, he can still make meaningful and authentic music. Nasty shared his plans to continue building his music career as he finishes his schooling and beyond. He already has plans in the works to grow MilkMen Records, the label company he’s starting with Bennington and their third partner, Sean Ainloo. He hopes to see it emerge as a huge competitor in the music industry and has plans to continue his rap and business career in California. “I’d love to get jobs for all my homies and jobs for myself,” Nasty said. “The ultimate end goal is to build an empire.”
Arts & Life
February 5, 2019
REEL REWIND Somewhere over the rainbow LUKE PARKER Columnist
No children’s film has been better accepted or ingrained into the American conscience than “The Wizard of Oz.” Growing up, each viewing brought with it the same whimsical experience that watching it now feels like a “greatest hits” compilation of some of my earliest and most cherished childhood emotions. Be it my awe at the sheer size of its magical setting, my joy in befriending its vulnerable characters, or my terror as Flying Monkeys swarm down on them by the dozens, I remember it all. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that most people have kept at least a small part of their brain reserved for “The Wizard of Oz.” After all, nearly every living generation has had the film available to them since childhood. So maybe that’s part of the reason we cannot forget it or remove it from its pedestal as a great and important movie. Its words in both its melodies and dialogues have become a part of the vernacular, and their simply-put lessons (“there’s no place like home”) still ring true. But no matter how they may have sounded, those lessons were not
simple. L. Frank Baum’s 1900 tale journeyed to the same realms where some of a child’s scariest questions reside. The film did the same; propelling audiences and young Kansas farmgirl Dorothy (Judy Garland) to an unknown land where the safety and security of home is far away, but also where new friends await, and with them advice and devoted protection. Those friends being a brainless a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), a heartless Tin Man (Jack Haley), and a cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr); then there’s Toto too. At the time of production, Warner Brothers was putting most of its stock in its Oscar juggernaut from the same year, “Gone with the Wind,” and with that being said, I believe, that the well-versed actors who play Dorothy’s fellow adventurers are able to play them so calmly and relaxed. I don’t think they knew they were making a great movie. Garland was also a star at the time but had not reached the level she’d know even five years later and for the rest of her life. Her performance here works in its softness; melodrama would split the fabric of the story, while the simple uncertainty and tremble in Garland’s voice prospers. She longs, and by the time “Over the Rainbow” ended, you believed her troubles.
However, with those troubles, Dorothy and her friends cross magic with song and venture as they travel along the Yellow Brick Road to find the ominous Wizard of Oz, who, they hope, will absolve them of their misgivings. Their trip is couriered by classic Hollywood effects, ones where you could tell where the set ended, and the backdrop began. The effort feels all the more personal this way; modern technology makes you realize just how imaginary the story is. Here, though Oz isn’t exactly plausible, it’s nice to see it grounded. With that said, it speaks to the wonder of the film that in the 80 years since its release and with all the technology achieved since then, that we still cannot stop talking about it. Countless adaptations, revivals, and spinoffs have entered the media, but none have been as notable as “The Wizard of Oz.” The ending has always struck me, and I think it may be another factor for why we keep returning to it. What a good feeling it is to know that we can dream, dream total wonders, totally inexplicable things, monkeys and witches, and at the end of it, still come back home. The Wizard of Oz will return to select theaters on February 5th in celebration of its 80th Anniversary.
Courtesy of biography.com
Judy Garland stars as Dorothy in the classic American film “The Wizard of Oz,” released in 1939.
Courtesy of amazon.com
Reality show star-turned-rapper, Cardi B, is one of the musicians with a 2018 album release nominated for this year’s Grammys.
Best albums of 2018 TIMOTHY COFFMAN Columnist
Music’s golden night is almost upon us and in the spirit of things, it’s time to look back on the greatest music of the past year and see how it ranks amongst its predecessors. For this list, I will be looking at the nominations for Album of the Year and picking five out of the eight that stood out to be obvious forerunners for the prized Grammy award. Invasion of Privacy (Cardi B)2018 was the year of Cardi B. After her arrival on the scene last January, she blew up with guest spots on songs by pop giants like Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars. This album does not deserve to be overlooked. Songs like “Be Careful” and “Get Up 10” show Cardi’s dangerous reputation and is a signal of great things to come. H.E.R. (H.E.R.)- This compilation of H.E.R’s first few EPs helped to show us that this is someone any R&B fan should be paying major attention to. While much of pop music seems to be going towards slow jams, H.E.R’s “Best Part” and other soulful cuts like “Avenue” give a retro spin to the normal trends. Even though artists pride herself on her sentimental soul, H.E.R seems to put some of the biggest names in pop
to shame with this record. Golden Hour (K acey Musgraves)- This is a country album that transcends the genre. Musgraves always was a talented songwriter, but this album samples electronic and pop elements that take the songs to another plain. And don’t be surprised if this one tears at your heartstrings if you’re not careful. Dirty Computer (Janelle Monae)- With her rise in acting recently with “Hidden Figures,” Monae could have easily played it safe musically this year. Instead, she gave us one of the most engaging and socially conscious mainstream releases of the year. Songs like “Make Me Feel” and the closer “Americans” show that spark of small lyricism and tight musical arrangements that is sorely needed in today’s pop landscape. Black Panther The Album (Various)- This collaboration record assembled by Kendrick Lamar is one of the greatest original soundtracks to come out in the past few years. While loosely mentioning the Marvel movie of the same name, this record takes Lamar’s strengths and stretches them for an incendiary 49 minutes, with dramatic powerhouses culminated in “Pray For Me,” “King’s Dead” and the Oscar and Grammy nominated smash “All the Stars.”
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Tigers split weekend road trip Liam Beard/ The Towerlight
Senior forward Alex Thomas powers to the basket in an early-season game. Towson won 77-76 at UNC Wilmington on Thursday night and nearly got another close win, but fell at College of Charleston 54-53 Sunday afternoon. The Tigers will return home for three straight conference games at SECU Arena against James Madison, Delaware and Drexel.
AARON THOMAS Staff Writer
With the Tigers holding on to a slim 53-49 lead with 50 seconds left, Towson seemed in control to leave TD Arena victorious. Then, junior guard Grant Riller scored the final five points of the game as the College of Charleston wiped away the deficit and earned the 54-53 win, despite the Tigers getting two opportunities to put the game away. Junior guard Tobias Howard and freshman guard Allen Betrand led Towson (8-16, 4-7 CAA) in scoring with 10 points each.
Junior guard Brian Fobbs saw his streak of scoring in double figures end as he finished with nine points. Fobbs shot 30 percent from the field and did not connect on any three-pointers. “He will respond, he’s mentally tough and talented,” said Head Coach Pat Skerry. “Not the ending we wanted at Charleston, but the key now is not to take a step backwards.” Defensively, redshirt junior forward Dennis Tunstall wreaked havoc on opposing shooters, blocking a career-high five shots in just 27 minutes of play. “He’s a lot tougher than he looks and did a great job defending Brantley and he didn’t foul
him,” Skerry said. “He’s been fun to see and could be all-conference in defense.” Charleston’s (18-6, 7-4 CAA) three-point shooting in the first half kept them in the game early on as the Cougars made seven from downtown. Despite the advantage in free throw percentage, the Tigers faltered when it mattered most, missing two crucial free throws in the game’s waning seconds. Four of Towson’s last five games have been one possession finishes and whether or not those close games build resilience in this young team remains to be seen. “We’ll find out, but there are no moral victories,” Skerry said. “It’s about playing the right way and to
be in a position to win every night. Winning close games is a byproduct of that.” In the final seconds of Towson’s game against UNCW, Fobbs erased six years of frustration with two free throws to put the Tigers ahead for good in the 77-76 victory Thursday night. This win marks the first victory over UNCW (8-15, 4-6 CAA) in Trask Coliseum since 2013. Fobbs was superb, scoring 24 points for his 19th straight game scoring in double figures. He was dominant on the boards, collecting 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Tunstall, Howard and senior Jordan McNeil each contributed 11 points, totalling a season-high
for Tunstall. Towson had the hot hand, shooting a season best 58.8 percent from the field, however, their 55.6 percent efficiency from the charity stripe made the game closer than it could’ve been. Towson will enjoy a week off before a three-game homestand that kicks off against James Madison “We’ve done a good job on the road and we hope to continue that at home on Saturday,” Skerry said. “Our guys are smart enough to know that every game is 50-50 and can you get that one or two possessions per half.” Saturday’s game against the Dukes is slated for 4 p.m. at SECU Arena.
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The Super Bowl wasn’t boring, it was beautiful TIM KLAPAC Sports Editor
Let’s be honest, nobody saw this coming. As Super Bowl LIII developed into the lowest-scoring affair in its history, the cries for offense were widespread, but there should’ve been more celebrating. In this modern-era of NFL football, scoring is what dominates the headlines while defense takes a back seat. Recent rule changes have favored the offensive side of the ball, leaving defenders to readjust their tactics time and time again. Last year’s Super Bowl saw a record for total yards in a game in NFL history.
Despite all of the league’s efforts to make the game fast-paced and packed with edge-of-your-seat action, the game’s biggest stage produced a defensive dandy. The two quarterbacks combined for zero touchdowns, two interceptions and neither recorded a total QBR (Quarterback Rating) of 26. The most productive players on the Los Angeles Rams was their punter, Johnny Hekker, who set a Super Bowl record with his 65-yard boot and had a legitimate shot at Super Bowl MVP had the Rams won. This game shows that defense still matters as both teams seemed immobile drive after drive. The Rams only allowed the New England Patriots to reach the red zone once. New England held Los Angeles
to 260 yards of total offense, zero trips to the red zone and kept the most electrifying running back in the league to just 35 rushing yards. Great defenses feel like a distant memory, but the fact that these two units have been able to stand tall in spite of the league’s new structure shows just how great they really are. The NFL’s historic defenses, the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 2013 Seattle Seahawks are adored for their strength and both the 2018 Rams and Patriots should be added to this list. Nowadays, football has become a game of franchise quarterbacks, diva wide receivers and trick play head coaches. But this game should serve as a reminder that defense still matters in the NFL, and it is oh so beautiful.
Photo courtesy of inforum.com
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was the rare offensive bright spot in Super Bowl LIII, taking home MVP honors in the 13-3 win.
Tigers win close battle at Home Wesoly and Baker register multiple first-place finishes as Towson edges Rams JOHN HACK Staff Writer
Sunday afternoon saw the Towson Tigers gymnastics team hold on for one of their strongest team performances to date in a 193.525-192.550 victory over West Chester University at SECU Arena. “We’ve just gotten a lot more consistent,” said Head Coach Vicki May. “Being able to come out now two meets in a row and not count any falls has been fantastic.” The squad got off to a flying start on the vault exercise with freshman Emerson Hurst and senior Cortni Baker leading the way sharing a score of 9.750. The Tigers continued their hot start in the uneven bars as several athletes excelled in their perfor-
mance. Junior Ally Wesoly scored Junior Melissa Temkov and a 9.775 in her routine, which was Senior Mary-Elle Arduino contribfollowed by Baker’s 9.750 and uted a 9.725 score while sophoWest Chester sophomore Melanie more Tess Zientek helped push the Wojewoda scoring 9.675. team closer to victory with a 9.550 Heading into its score. final exercise of the Wesoly finished meet, Towson held off the afternoon a slim 144.925Being able to come receiving a first 144.650 lead over out now two meets in place all-around the Golden Rams. score of 38.925. a row and not count The Tigers knew “I think each that their upcomweek, we get a litany falls has been ing floor exercise tle bit better,” May fantastic. would pose a big said. “We say all VICKI MAY hurdle for them Head Coach the time time that individually, and as it’s a competition a team. against ourselves.” However, the team was very Next, the Tigers will head much up to the task. south to Chapel Hill for a matchBaker and Wesoly crushed their up against North Carolina on routines with a score of 9.800, but Saturday, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. at that wasn’t all for the home team. Carmichael Arena.
Brittany Whitham/ The Towerlight
Senior Cortni Baker centers herself on the balance beam in an earlier meet this season. Baker finished first in three events Sunday.
February 5, 2019
TU Divers Excel CYAN THOMAS Staff Writer
The Tigers diving team members went to Harrisonburg, Va to compete in the James Madison University Diving Invitational, a two-day competition. Both the men and women saw members qualify for the finals with impressive performances. “It was going to be a great test against a lot of the best divers in our conferences,” said head coach Jake Shrum. “The number one priority was being able to continue to focus on themselves despite being in a more competitive setting.” Sophomore Will Canny finished with a score of 295.15 in the 3-meter dive and came in third place. Canny qualified for the finals with a preliminary score of 296.80. Freshman Devin Gaul also qualified for the finals with a preliminary score 213.80 and ended the day with a score of 214.55. For the women, senior Emily Wilson put up a remarkable second-place performance, qualifying for the finals with a score of 271.10 and finishing with a 271.30. Senior Kelsey Jehl also qualified for the finals and finished in fifth place with a 258.85 Senior Victoria Zozzaro qualified with a 235.20 and came in sixth place with a finishing score of 253.60. Next up for Towson will be the Colonial Athletic Association Championships. Coach Shrum’s mind is focused on being prepared for the CAA’s. “We’re going to continue to focus on some of the smaller details and work on the queues that our athletes will use during their races and dives.” The championships will be held on Feb. 20-23 at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center in Christiansburg, Va.
CLASSIFIEDS Ally Wesoly Gymnastics
Junior Ally Wesoly led the charge for Towson against West Chester University on Sunday, Feb. 3. Wesoly was the only Tiger to compete in every event and she finished first in the uneven parallel bars, floor exercise and in the all around.
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