The Towerlight (March 28, 2017)

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Towson’s campus and community news source

March 28, 2017

Attorney General

Brian Frosh The Towerlight’s sit-down conversation with Maryland’s top prosecutor, pg. 7

Photo Courtesy of the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, Photo Illustration by Jordan Stephenson /The Towerlight



March 28, 2017





March 28, 2017

Week of 3/28-4/1


Editor-in-Chief Cody Boteler Senior Editor Sam Shelton


News Editor Sarah Rowan Asst. News Editors Marcus Dieterle Bailey Hendricks Assoc. Arts Editors Taylor DeVille Kristin Helf Asst. Arts Editor McKenna Graham Sports Editor Jordan Cope



Asst. Sports Editor Karuga Koinange Staff Writers Desmond Boyle Jesse L. Baird Amanda Carrol Lauren Cosca Sydney Douglas Mary-Ellen Davis Sydney Engelhardt Jill Gattens Rohan Mattu Billy Owens Jessica Ricks

Drop in Softball

Burdick Feild, 7 to 9 p.m.

If you’re interested in possibly forming an intermural softball team for the Drop In Softball event, stop by and register to play for free.

Nicole Shakhnazarova Sierra Underdue Muhammad Waheed Sarah Van Wie



Photo Editor Alex Best Staff Photographers Matthew Awoyera Cody Boteler Jordan Cope Mark Dragon Simon Enagonio

Weekends@TU Survey Table Cook Library, 2 to 5 p.m.

Take a suvery to enter to win chances at an iPad, a free parking pass for next year, or points added to your Towson one card.

Maggie Friedman Brooke Glenn Joseph Hockey Joseph Noyes

Spring Mega Job and Internship Fair SECU Areana, 12 to 3 p.m.

Check out over 200 oppurtunities available in full-time and part-time jobs, as well as internships. Dress for success and don’t forget to bring lots of copies of your resume!

Stephanie Ranque Sam Shelton



Video Producer Stacey Coles Proofreaders Kayla Baines Stephanie Ranque

When Generations Connect Minnegan Room Johnny Unitas Stadium, 6 to 8 p.m.



Mindbody Mashup West Village Commons 308, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

William Strang-Moya Brittany Whitham



Engage in 90 free minutes of meditation, flexibility training, and barre fitness with fellow Towson students.

Hear from Phil Gwoke, a Generational Expert & Consultant for BridgeWorks, on diversity and connecting throught generations.

General Manager Mike Raymond


Art Director Jordan Stephenson Webmaster Lola Akinleye


Circulation Staff Shawn Halerz Nilo Exar Abubakary Kaba Alicia DePasquale


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. ©2017 by The Towerlight, 8000 York Rd, Towson, MD 21252. All rights reserved.

Please Recycle!

Only I would end spring break by getting a speeding ticket within 10 minutes of heading back to Towson:|


Lmao I’m praying for all of us towson students with midterms after spring break


I swear all of Towson went to Miami this spring break. Wait no, all of Maryland lol.

Half of Towson is on South Beach right now






March 28, 2017

Hogan supports ban on in-state fracking “MTV Decoded” restored

Let’s not drill the heck out Controversial video series gets new season of western Maryland, OK?

File photo by Cody Boteler/ The Towerlight Gov. Larry Hogan speaks with students in Smith Hall following an appearance in professor Richard Vatz’s persuasion class last year.

I was pretty darn surprised when Gov. Larry Hogan announced his support for a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing — aka fracking. Fracking is a drilling process used to extract natural gas from deep underground. While, yes, natural gas burns a whole lot cleaner than, say, coal, natural gas is still a fossil fuel, which means that using it for energy contributes to climate change and the greenhouse effect. And the fracking processes that are used to gather that natural gas can be damaging. There have been reports of polluted water, water that catches fire coming out of peoples’ sinks and even, in some places, earthquakes that have been linked to the drilling practice. Some people wanted to bring that process to western Maryland. There are property owners in western Maryland who have had their land leased out to drilling companies for decades, with those companies just waiting for the right time to drill, baby, drill. Then, Maryland lawmakers passed a two-year moratorium on fracking in the state. That moratorium expires in October — unless the legislature passes a law outlawing the practice. For awhile, it looked like the political will existed in the populace and in the state government to make it happen, but there was always some uncertainty. Now that Hogan has announced

his support for a ban, though, it seems almost certain that it will become law. So, for the first time since his election to governor, I say kudos to Larry Hogan. Supporting a ban on fracking was right for the state of Maryland. We don’t need giant drills in our mountains. We don’t need giant trucks to move drilling equipment up and down the switchbacks of western Maryland. We don’t need to risk polluting our waterways and putting more carbon dioxide (or, perhaps more consequentially, methane) into the atmosphere. I’m proud of Gov. Hogan. I’m not proud of the way he did it. Hogan, in announcing his support for a ban, blamed the state legislature for not being able to come up with ways to safely frack, so, we may as well ban it. It was a way of passing the buck to the legislature and washing his hands of the situation. Instead of boldly saying, “Yes, I’m a Republican, but I’m the governor of Maryland and we value our environment,” Hogan stood up and said, “Well, since the legislature didn’t do this, we’re just going to ban fracking in the state. Sorry, guys.” While I think hiding behind the supposed failures of the legislature is, to say the least, not the best way to say you support something, I remain glad that Hogan announced his support for a fracking ban. I definitely don’t agree with how he did it. But stymying the expansion of fossil fuels is definitely one are where, in some cases, the ends justify the means.

Screenshot from

Host of “MTV Decoded” Franchesca Ramsey announces that the show has been renewed for a fifth season.

(Editor’s Note -- The following is a portion of last issue’s Roll Call column by Dylan Brennan, provided for context.) The entire MTV News network has become the most degenerate slop since BuzzFeed. She has rubbed elbows with people like Franchesca Ramsey, who pretty much blames every problem on white people, far too often. After MTV New’s “2017 New Year’s Resolutions for White Guys” was immediately and rigorously downvoted by viewers for its hip-and-cool racism, the organization removed and reuploaded the video, although the downvotes caught up fast yet again. Then they permanently removed the video and started out 2017 with, perhaps, their own resolutions. New episodes of Green’s show “Braless” and Ramsey’s “Decoded” have not debuted since late 2016. DYLAN BRENNAN Columnist

Just a quick follow-up to my last article: as everyone knows, New Year’s resolutions only last about a few months before they are broken, and MTV News just broke one of its own. MTV personality Franchesca Ramsey reared her head over the break by saying that she is indeed not cancelled, and new episodes of “MTV Decoded” are coming soon. In a video posted March 22, Ramsey said that episodes of “Decoded” will resume within a few weeks. So, there are two sides to this. I’m highly disappointed that MTV didn’t learn its lesson with how lampooned this show is, and how it’s continuing to shell out wedges to spread our political divide, but at the end of the day, I’ll have plenty of material for the future.

Screenshot from Illustration by Jordan Stephenson/The Towerlight

YouTube sex educator Laci Green is featured on the cover of The Towerlight’s March 7 issue. Green’s visit to campus and involvement online sparked columnist Dylan Brennan’s criticism of MTV News.


March 28, 2017

PHOTO OF THE WEEK ALUM EDITION Photo and caption by ‘94 alumnus Chris Lane, who majored in mass communication.

“On a recent multi-family ski trip to Bryce Resort, my brother (who graduated from Mason) had his family, himself and two boys, sporting George Mason gear all weekend. My girls and I (Nicole and Taylor) thought we'd show some Towson pride out on the slopes as a little college-on-college challenge. I thought The Towerlight might like the photo.”

Miss seeing The Freedom Journal in print this week? Check out columnist Kyndall Cunningham’s thoughts about the intersections of race, feminism, pop culture, music and more, online soon at



Register by March 17 in Hire@TU.




March 28, 2017


The framework of Stevenson University’s Master of Arts in Teaching program is innovative and provides aspiring teachers with relevant teaching strategies and techniques. With the help of my professors, I learned how to engage students and become a successful STEM educator. Bobby Jackson Biomedical Science & Biology Teacher Glen Burnie High School Bachelor of Science in Biology, 2012 Master of Science in Forensic Science, 2014 Master of Arts in Teaching, 2016 2016 Outstanding Educator Maryland Association of Science Teachers

Established in 1947, Stevenson has a long history of providing students an affordable, private education with quality master’s programs designed to fit the busy lifestyle of working adults. Learn more about Bobby’s story at


March 28, 2017


bringing the fight Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh visited Towson’s campus March 16 to meet with students and members of the Towson administration. Frosh was recently granted the power to sue the federal government by the Maryland General Assembly. Attorneys general in dozens of other states already had the power to sue the federal government but, until recently, the attorney general of Maryland would need approval from the governor. In an interview with The Towerlight, Towson President Kim Schatzel said that Frosh’s visit was more of a “courtesy,” and less to discuss any specific legal issues. “[They] also wanted to spend time talking to the campus, because ultimately the campus is the client,” Schatzel said. Below is the transcript of a conversation between Attorney General Brian Frosh and The Towerlight. Some parts have been edited for clarity and brevity. How’s your day been? Frosh: Great. Well, it’s been great since I got here. I was in Annapolis before that and that’s always challenging. There’s just a lot going on. The Muslim ban. I have bail reform in Annapolis that I’m working on. I guess I’ll go back to that, see what’s happened in the office. Well, then, since you’ve been at Towson, how’s your day been? Frosh: Excellent. I met with the president. Then we met with the [Center for Student Diversity]. TU Spokesman: That was about 20 students. Several of whom had issues or concerns related to the executive order and travel ban and documentation in general, and how that might affect them or members of their family. Frosh: Yeah, one young man -- I won’t identify him any further -- said, you know, that he’s from another country, is Muslim, his family has invested an enormous amount of money in getting this far through Towson. He’s afraid to go home. How was your meeting with President Schatzel? Frosh: We may have shaken hands at some point in the past, but I don’t think we had the chance to sit down and talk. It was really a question of what we can do. We represent the University and we wanted to know how we could do a better job, how we could work together more efficiently. The General Assembly recently expanded your role in the State; how do you see that continuing to evolve in the Trump era? Frosh: We have exercised the authority once. Yesterday, we sued the administration over the Muslim ban. We joined Washington State along with its lawsuit. We filed an amicus brief in support of Hawaii’s effort. The judge in Hawaii crossed the finish line first. We are considering exercising the authority again, because the automobile manufacturers have sued the United States Environmnetal Protection Agency, saying that the emissions standards are too tough and they’d like some relief on that. And, frankly, with Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA, we’re deeply concerned that the EPA would just say, “OK, we give up.” So Maryland and a number of other states are considering intervening in that lawsuit.

Frosh: I think that’s a fair statement. The Republican attorneys general afflicted the Obama administration with a series of lawsuits to try to stop the Obama agenda. They met with some success and some of the precedents that they set may come back to bite, because they may be cited by and used by Democrat attorneys general who are trying to defend the Obama legacy. So if his proposed budget were to come through -- if, for example, cleanup for the Chesapeake Bay were just totally slashed -- is there some sort of a plan in your office about what could be done to protect that or other programs? Frosh: There is a discussion. Since we don’t know what he’s going to do or how he’s going to do it, we haven’t determined what we can do in response. The answer may be that we can do nothing, but we’re going to do everything we can to protect the Chesapeake Bay and make sure that people have health care. So the plan must be pretty similar for any of those policy areas? Frosh: Yeah. Until we see what he does, how it’s actually formulated – whether it’s executive action, whether it’s congressional action – we won’t really know just how we can respond. Honestly, most of the time, if Congress passes a law there won’t be much we can do. If it’s unconstitutional we can take it on, but otherwise, if they say, ‘We’re eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency,’ I’m not sure that the Attorney General of Maryland, or of any state, is going to be able to do much about it. I think the American people will have a lot to say about it in 2018 and 2020. I’m sure you’ve noticed how concerned students are with some of these issues on this campus, especially issues surrounding immigration status. What if there’s a round three with a travel ban? Frosh: I think he’s violated the rule of holes. If you’re in a hole, stop digging. Last night, the judge issues his ruling and Trump, in his vitriol, includes the statement that, you know, ‘We watered down the first executive order.’ And, yeah, that’s what the judge found! You just watered down the first executive order, you didn’t alter its purpose, which was to stop Muslims from entering the United States. So for round three, y’know, he’s in a deeper hole and he just keeps it up. Some people would say, you know, ‘Hey, this is the new administration, this is what people voted for.’ Is there a point where you step back? Frosh: I don’t think so. If he takes action that’s constitutional, yeah, that’s right, that’s what people voted for. But when he is trampling on the Constitution, when he’s violating the religious freedoms that our country stands for, when he’s denying people due process and equal protection, our office is not going to sit back and I hope that other attorneys general will join with us. I expect they will. Towson has already announced, for example, that TUPD wouldn’t assist immigration enforcement officers, unless there’s a threat, for example, to security. If that sort of thing started happening in Maryland, is there anything your office could do? Frosh: If somebody is in custody and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests the local jail to hold them for 48 hours or two weeks or whatever, because ICE wants to deport them, it’s not legal for them to do so unless there is a warrant for that person’s arrest for a felony or there is probable cause to believe that person has committed a felony. That’s advice that we want to make sure every law enforcement agency in the state is aware of. On the other hand, if ICE comes to Towson and does a sweep, there’s not much the attorney general can do in advance and little afterwards. I’ve written to the Department of Homeland Security, and I’ve asked them not to try to use their aggressive deportation strategy at schools, at hospitals and at courthouses. I think it’s counterproductive and destructive. What do you think the biggest challenge facing your office in the next few years is going to be? Frosh: The president has made all sorts of either campaign threats or campaign promises, depending on your perspective, that, and I think I said before, will be very damaging to our state if he carries them out. Trying to prevent that kind of harm from happening, I think, will be the biggest challenge. Is it worth that challenge, though?

Broadly speaking, do you see the role of attorneys general expanding during the Trump administration?

Frosh: It’s what they pay me to do. I mean, really, that’s why I ran for office. If I’m not doing it, who is? -- Compiled by Cody Boteler



March 28, 2017

Upcoming park, greenery will brighten Uptown Uptown Towson could look a little greener next summer, thanks to a new park coming to Patriot Plaza scheduled for completion in June 2018. The park will add more green space in the city center and will be available for use by the general public and for special events. The design features several areas of seating to encourage visitors to stop and enjoy being outside. “Not only will county employees and other workers enjoy the setting, but it will be a new recre-

ational area in the heart of one of our fastest-growing communities,” Baltimore County Councilman David Marks said. Patriot Plaza, the space between Historic Courthouse and Baltimore County Circuit Court and the site of the future park, currently houses a concrete courtyard and a defunct fountain. Leaks in that fountain, which threatened office spaces and technology systems located underground, spurred the renovation of the space. According to the Baltimore County government website, the project came together through the collaboration of the county, Towson-based design firm Rubeling & Associates,

the Towson Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations and representatives from the police and fire unions and memorial associations. The park will border the already-existing Baltimore County Police Memorial, increasing access to and visibility of the monument. Estimates place the cost of the project between $3-4 million, and the funds will be included in the Fiscal Year 2017 County Council budget. Since 2010, Baltimore County has spent more than $57 million on projects to promote green spaces and recreation, according to the Baltimore County government website.

Courtesy of Baltimore County government Baltimore County government released a rendering of an urban park planned for Patriot Plaza at the Towson courthouses. The park is expected to open next summer.

Compostable cups come to TU Storrs explains light

File photo by William Strang-Moya/ The Towerlight Professor Alex Storrs talks the importance of light in astronomy. NICK KOSKI Contributing Writer

Natalie Bland/ The Towerlight Phi Mu sorority volunteers at Green Out event to encourage students to compost used coffee cups. NATALIE BLAND Contributing Writer

At the Cook Library Starbucks, you can have your drink and compost it, too. As part of a pilot program involving a “Green Out” initiative, drinks served at the Starbucks location are now compostable. “I want [students] to know about the pilot and know about the cups,” Green Out marketing specialist and Phi Mu member Kelly Zindel said. “I want them to know to always check your cup to see if they’re compostable or determine if they’re recyclable or go to a landfill.”

On March 13, Zindel and other volunteers from the Phi Mu sorority tabled to promote composting practices and educate students about what can be recycled. Students were encouraged to sign a pledge to recycle and play a game with various Starbucks items in order to learn about proper recycling and composting procedures. Participants could win a free Starbucks mug. Students were also encouraged to take a picture on Snapchat using the Go Green geotag to promote the initiative. Products marked with numbers one through seven in a triangle printed on them may be recyclable, but it is best to consult local

recycling plants for specific instructions to ensure the proper materials get recycled. “I thought it was very informative,” student participant Caitlin McQuade said. “I wasn’t too sure about the numbers six and seven for recycling and it was interesting to find out seven was compost.” This initiative is also contributing to the RecycleMania recycling competition. Students can contribute to the competition by recycling items and placing the correct objects in compost bins through April 1. As of week five, Towson was ranked 79th in its division, with a recycling rate of 38 percent.

Associate professor Alex Storrs explained the scientific understanding of light and its fundamental role in studying the universe at a planetarium show in Smith Hall on March 17. “Light is essential to our understanding of how the universe works,” Storrs said. “Without it, we wouldn’t be able to sense things beyond our arm’s reach.” With light, people are able to observe things far out in space. “We’ve been using light to discover all sorts of things in our solar system and beyond,” Storrs said. He explained how we use light in advanced telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope, which has taken detailed pictures of several nebulae. Storrs also showed pictures of Saturn, taken by the unmanned spacecraft Cassini during its mission over the past few years. People are most familiar with light in the RGB spectrum, but Storrs pointed out that “there is a lot more light beyond our visible RGB, includ-

ing ultraviolet and infrared.” Using these other forms of light allows people to see far more than what a normal camera could capture. According to Storrs, one of the most important concepts in understanding light is that it is a both a wave and a particle. “This colors our whole vision of reality,” he said. Despite these advancements, Storrs said that most people don’t find these astronomical findings helpful for everyday life. “What’s important and of great fascination to scientists is not the same for ordinary people,” he said. “Most people just see what they expect to see. That’s why eyewitness testimony is one of the worst forms of evidence.” Storrs believes that astronomy is of great importance to identifying humanity’s place in the universe. “What we get from astronomy is our place in space,” he said. “The universe is extremely vast, very empty and full of things that could kill us. This knowledge makes us value our fragile little place in space much more.”


March 28, 2017


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12 March 28, 2017

Arts & Life

Improv(ing) community lives Student publishes

fantasy-thriller novel KERRY INGRAM Staff Writer

Courtesy of Sam Brunner

ImprompTU members engage residents of The Maples of Towson assisted living center on a regular basis. KRISTIN HELF Associate Arts & Life Editor @kristinelise_

The Towson improv club, appropriately named ImprompTU, is working to positively impact campus and the community at large through the power of comedy. As of this semester, the group has been volunteering at The Maples of Towson, an assisted living center off York Road, on a weekly basis. Senior English major Sam Brunner, ImprompTU’s president, considers the volunteer work to benefit both improv team members and residents at Maples -- many of whom are in their 80s and 90s and are able to perform in spite of suffering from dementia. “What’s really cool is, because Maples is so close, it’s a convenient place for us to volunteer our time and it’s also great practice for us,” Brunner said. “And it’s also just very interesting to do improv games with residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease — the nice thing about improv is you make it up on the spot, so it’s not like they need to memorize lines or do any heavy role-playing.” Brunner initially helped found ImprompTU during the fall of 2015, and while she says the first few years were difficult in terms of recruiting new members, students are becoming more open to the ad hoc form of comedy. “Oftentimes, you’re funnier than you think you are,” she said. “You just have to let it manifest naturally.”

ImprompTU member and junior English major Courtney Sloan added that the “yes, and…” technique of improv -- always agreeing and building off of your partner -- makes performing less scary. “Yes, and…” is a rule, or a technique, of improve, depending on who you ask. Basically, if someone makes a suggestion in a scene, it is the job of their scene partner to agree with that suggestion and add something else -- “yes, and…” For example, someone in a scene says, “Wow, look at this beautiful day. Let’s go to the park.” Their scene partner should not suggest something different, or deny that the weather is beautiful, or suggest going somewhere else. They should accept the premise and add to it -- “yes, and while we’re there, let’s go fishing.” “A lot of the time, when I tell people they should come to improv club, they’re like, really intimidated because they think that thinking something up on the spot is so terrifying,” Sloan said. “But improv is really one of the greatest places to start, because no matter what you say, someone is going to say ‘yes, and…’ You’re not going to get shot down, so it’s a great place to start exploring that kind of territory.” As for topics and themes that end up recurring in the group’s routines, everyone agreed that shoes tend to come up again and again, in addition socially relevant topics like privilege.

“Because they’re right there,” Brunner said, “You’re looking around in the heat of the moment for something, and oh, shoes.” “It comes up somehow, it always will, even if it’s just for one split-second,” freshman pre-EMF major Marissa Davies said. While Brunner is graduating in May, she’s proud of the mark she’s left on Towson through ImprompTU. While the group will surely miss what Sloan calls Brunner’s “infamous Trump impressions,” she’s helped build the comedy team to what it is today. “It’s nice that we have established partnerships with the Baltimore Improv Group and Maples, so we’ve gone outside of campus, which was my number one goal for this organization,” Brunner said. They’re also currently working on bringing Baltimore Improv Group to campus in the spring semester, as well as literal impromptu performances in Freedom Square when it gets warmer outside. Students interested in joining ImprompTU are welcome to meetings in room 5310 of the CLA on Wednesday evenings from 6-8 p.m., and current members encourage interested parties not to feel shy or awkward about practicing improv. “So much of it is literally just showing up,” Sloan said. “You be here, and you are present when you’re here, and that’s how you learn.”

Some college students might equate their essay assignments with writing a novel, but 19-year-old Meryl Thomas, a Towson sophomore, isn’t fazed by either prospect. Thomas just published her debut novel and is currently working on her second book. “The manuscript was more tedious than expected,” Thomas said. “Not only do you have to worry about formatting, but also the editing, which took a long time because I was constantly finding new mistakes every time I went through.” Thomas recently took to the company Amazon and their publishing platform CreateSpace to self-publish “The Ringmasters Society,” a story about students training to become ringmasters while simultaneously discovering secrets about the community in which they live. Thomas credits the idea of the fantasy-thriller to her interest in circus life, as well as her own creativity, which is reflected in her

personal style. During her conversation with The Towerlight, Thomas, who sat cross-legged in her chair at Cook Library’s Starbucks, wore a graphic t-shirt with a flowing red skirt, matching bright red tights and a pair of crisp white pumps. She expressed that she was “very passionate about the arts” and how she used her hobby of painting to create different pieces of artwork for her novel’s characters. The painting beside her was of a dark-haired woman wearing a ringmaster’s costume while surrounded by fire. She painted a tiger sitting within the flames. Thomas often carries original paintings around campus, and each one displays colorful pictures that she asks others to interpret for themselves. This painting is clearly one related to her book -she painted her novel’s title above her signature on the left side of the canvas. Thomas notes that she had known she would become an author for at least the last decade of her life. --Read the rest of this article online at

Courtesy of

Thomas’ debut novel, “The Ringmasters Society,” is available on Amazon.

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Arts & Life

March 28, 2017 13

A story better left buried MCKENNA GRAHAM Assistant Arts & Life Editor

Title: “The Bone Witch” Author: Rin Chupeco . Genre: Fantasy a Rating: One Star - Warnings: N/A d I went into this book with such g high expectations. I’ve been really loving witches and that sort of l thing lately, so when I found a book that sounded chock-full of s spells and natural magic and powt erful women getting things done, I s was over the moon. - This book didn’t deliver in the e slightest. It tells the story of Tea, a f young girl with a bunch of equally unnecessarily named siblings, and her struggle to come to terms with n who she is – a bone witch, a pere son capable of utilizing magic who is supposedly shunned by society e because her brand of spellcasting is deemed unnatural and dangerous. The synopsis on the inside flap of the book sounded intriguing enough for me to jump in, but I was immediately put off by the narrative. The world felt flimsy and poorly created, the plot was simultaneously hard to follow and totally inconsequential, and the characters seemed halfbaked and one-dimensional. The writing felt unpolished and, quite frankly, unedited, as if an editor hadn’t even taken a real look at it. It’s told in alternating vignettes – italicized portions are from the perspective of a bard who seeks out Tea when she’s 17 years old for reasons not immediately clear, and the regular text is apparently Tea telling the bard her story in past tense, from when she is first identified as a bone witch at 13 years old until she’s 15 years old, when the story apparently ends. For Tea to be telling her story to a stranger, it follows that her present and her past self would at least be similar – after all, she is the same person, and the most useful reason to structure a story like this is to reveal certain things about Tea’s present through her past. I understand that people change, but it felt so forced. She’s intro-

duced as this powerful and mystical being, capable of controlling monsters, but the un-italicized narrative immediately debunks this, revealing her to be an unremarkable, weak and plainly boring character. The rest of the story continues to alternate between perspectives and time, with Chupeco struggling to reconcile the two entirely different fronts her character is trying to put forth. It would be one thing if the character showed growth, but for the first 300 pages she’s just mopping floors and marveling over pretty outfits with awkward sentence structure and unrefined grammar. Any growth she shows in the last 100 pages is utterly inadequate and does nothing to forge a connection between past and present versions of her character. In fact, Tea is so entirely flat and mind-numbing that, as I read I marked with sticky notes every time she actually made a decision or did something, rather than obeying someone else, I only used 12 sticky notes. Twelve may sound like a lot, but in a 400-page book, that’s Tea’s conscious self showing up every 33 pages or so. In the first 111 pages, she makes two – count ’em, two – decisions. Everything else that happens in this book happens to her, if not just in her general vicinity. A dull main character doesn’t have to doom a story, but it does go a long way. The rest of the characters were equally unsalvageable – Tea’s brother, Fox (see what I mean about the terrible names?), is really only mentionable in that he facilitates Tea’s discovery as a bone witch, and yet he’s the second most present character in the story, after Tea herself. Lady Mykaela, Tea’s mentor, is established almost immediately as an authoritative and strong character, but she immediately fades into near-nonexistence – for someone who’s supposed to be important, she’s likewise inconsequential. Even Tea’s personal antagonist throughout much of the novel is shamefully one-dimensional, with no real background and no characterization beyond “The Bad Guy.” The real antagonist is revealed in the last 25 pages and is neatly

taken care of – the entire plot of the story resolves itself and ties into a neat little bow with little to no logic or significance. I want to concede that I should’ve known, going into it, that I wouldn’t like this book. The flyer that came with it advertises that the book is meant for 12 to 17-year-old readers, i.e. not college students. Yet – and pardon my quick rant on this – there’s no real market for new adults trying to transition from the YA section to more mature literature, so a lot of college-age students end up staying in YA for much longer than the “young adult” section is advertised as catering toward. And even if there was a separate category for New Adult literature – beyond the steamy romances with shirtless dude-bros on the cover – that doesn’t excuse the poor writing and arguably even worse editing that this book showcases. Grammatical mistakes, inconsistencies in plot and characterization, and terrible lines like “I glanced at the mirror and my mouth fell open. I looked amazing!” truly let down what could’ve been a cool concept had the premise really been flushed out. I mean, a witch who is shunned from society because her brand of magic utilizes darker energy than the rest of her community? That sounds interesting to me, it really does. Yet at even this, the book fails – she’s feared a bit (when she finally does something), but for the most part everyone shows her reverence, or at least respect. At one point there’s a mysterious hooded figure that comes up to Tea and melodramatically throws an accusation at her, but even this is resolved quite neatly and inconsequentially in the end. There’s a sequel coming out, which is good because a lot of things were introduced and never addressed again – another thing that’s crucial for an author to execute well, because otherwise it just sounds like they’re saying “I have a secret but I can’t tell you what it is,” which is lazy and ineffective storytelling – but will I be picking up that sequel? Almost definitely not.

14 March 28, 2017

Arts & Life

Tale as old as time tops box office

Belle’s got brains in “Beauty and the Beast” remake BRANDON BOWLING Columnist

Before I proceed, I have an embarrassing confession to make: I might be one of the very few 90s kids in America who never saw the original “Beauty and the Beast” animated film. I can already hear you doing your best Gaston impression and yelling, “I say we kill the beast!” at ME, but hear me out first. My shameful under-exposure to this standard American childhood staple actually allowed me a completely unbiased, fresh look at the 2017 remake, does it not? See, I thought you’d warm up. I came into this new “Beauty and the Beast” film without really knowing what to expect. All I knew was my amazing heroine Emma Watson was in it, it was very expensive,

and it was highly anticipated by a vast army of people around my age. To be honest, what truly piqued my interest in this film -- aside from my castle obsession and the fact that I’m a sucker for expensive, visually stunning escapism -- was my fascination with Disney’s well-founded reputation for influencing young people’s desires (their fears, their perceptions of love and beauty, their understandings of male and female gender expectations and much more). On an artistic level, this was a truly delightful and expertly crafted film. It delivered all the beautiful visual spectacle and “magical castle” escapism I was looking for and was filled with well-paced action and development every step of the way, weaving together a passionately emotional tale that kept me captivated. The movie was sprinkled with more humor than I expected, superb

musical performances (if you’re into that sort of thing) and excellent acting throughout. On the acting front, Watson shines the brightest and is just so heart-warming and loveable as Belle. The character of Belle is more than just a mere “beauty” -she’s extremely intelligent, she has a fiercely independent spirit, she’s in love with reading, she’s fearless and yet she still has a heart absolutely open to compassion and love. So who better to bring this wonderful soul to life than Watson? She delivers on all levels. As for her “Beast” counterpart? He’s no Belle/Emma Watson, but he was still really well done, both on a visual and performative level, and his character was where all the most fascinating character development resided within the film. I mean, in the span of one film, he goes from disturbingly superficial and

arrogant, to the violently angry and bitter Beast, to an increasingly more compassionate and loving Beast, and back to a newly transformed compassionate and loving man. Only Belle’s love is what makes this transformation possible (or so we’re led to let ourselves believe). Do I like that the character of Belle is much more noted for her intelligence, her fascination with reading, her yearning for a life beyond the ordinary, her uniqueness of character, her fearlessness and her compassion, rather than just how beautiful she is? Absolutely. It’s inspiring and fills me with great hope that young girls can look up to similar characters in popular media. Do I like that love is put on a grand pedestal, and we are encouraged to suspend our disbelief and let ourselves believe that “happily ever after”-type love is still possible, in a world that all too often leads us to feel that this is a barbaric remnant of naïve times past? Sure. I think when we finally lose that little ounce of hope altogether we’ll have reached the truly dark place in our evolution. Do I like that the character of Gaston is depicted as the stereotypical embodiment of standard “masculinity” and he not only fails miserably in his every attempt to woo Belle, but fails because of his confinement to textbook masculin-

ity? OH MY GOD. YES. The more I think about it, the more I realize just how much the film tried to drill this point home. Do I like the fact that the whole object was for Belle to fall in love with some vicious, abusive beast who imprisons her (and acts really nasty to her) just because he eventually started being nicer to her? Weird bestiality stuff aside, it sounds to me like some disturbing variation of Stockholm Syndrome, and it’s certainly not an example of love I would feel comfortable showcasing to a hypothetical young daughter or sister of mine. Do I like that the foundation of their love is centered around the fact that the Beast is cursed, and the only way for him to be relieved of the curse is by getting her to fall in love with him? What a genuine incentive for “true love” to occur! And she falls for the whole game, hook, line and sinker, and everybody is just oh so happy about it, viewers included. Overall, it was a very enjoyable, emotional and mesmerizing film that has everything you would hope for and expect from an Emma Watson-led Disney classic. You should certainly get yourself out to the theaters to witness this historic remake for yourself, but don’t go without a discerning eye and an analytical mind.

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March 28, 2017


comeback falls short


The Towerlight

Jordan Cope/ The Towerlight

Senior attacker Tyler Konen drives to the net against Denver Saturday afternoon at Unitas Stadium.

Number 16 Towson saw its comeback effort stifled by No. 6 Denver, which secured a 12-11 win Saturday afternoon at Johnny Unitas Stadium. In a defensive opening quarter, Colton Jackson scored an unassisted goal to give Denver a 1-0 lead. Later in the quarter, Ethan Walker extended Denver’s lead to two after capitalizing on a two-man advantage. However, Towson senior attacker Tyler Konen found fellow senior attacker Ryan Drenner to cut Denver’s lead to 2-1 going into the second quarter. In the second quarter, the Tigers failed to find the back of the net. Solid goalkeeping from the Pioneers keeper Alex Ready kept

the Tigers off the board. “It's tough to build a rhythm,” Drenner said. “It's hard to find rhythm, especially because their offense holds the ball each time for about three minutes.” Denver scored two early goals in the second to take a 4-1 lead into halftime. Jackson scored his second and Colton McCaffrey scored 30 seconds later. Despite outshooting Denver 18-17, Towson struggled to create consistent offense. In the third quarter, the Pioneers scored three straight goals to open up a five goal lead. Later in the quarter, the Pioneers scored twice to take a 9-4 lead going into the fourth. In the fourth quarter, senior Brian Bolewicki and sophomore Zach Goodrich sparked a Tigers rally with two goals in the opening five minutes. The Pioneers responded with a

goal of their own, but midfielders Mike Lynch and Goodrich kept the Tigers in the game after finding the back of the net. With 4:41 left in the fourth, Walker tallied his fourth and final goal of the game to give Denver a four-goal lead. Despite falling behind late, Drenner, Bolewicki and Tyler Konen pulled Towson to within one goal with only 22 seconds. However, Denver won the final faceoff to end Towson’s comeback. “We have to take that fourth quarter and turn it into four quarters,” Head Coach Shawn Nadelen said. “When the whistle blows on game day, you've got to be able to go. When you don't play well for a half, it's tough to earn a victory.” Towson will have a chance to get back in the win column Saturday at Drexel in Philadelphia. The opening faceoff is set for 4 p.m.

We have to take that fourth quarter and turn it into four quarters. When the whistle blows on game day, you’ve got to be able to go. When you don’t play well for a half, it’s tough to earn a victory. SHAWN NADELEN Head Coach

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18 March 28, 2017


struggles continue down south JILL GATTENS Staff Writer @JillGattens

No. 25 East Carolina swept Towson in a three-game series this weekend in Greenville, North Carolina, at Clark-LeClair Stadium. In Sunday’s series finale, the Tigers (8-10) jumped on the board in the first inning when sophomore infielder Richard Miller singled, allowing redshirt sophomore outfielder Mark Grunberg to score for the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Grunberg returned to the lineup earlier in the week after sitting out much of the 2016 season due

to injury. However, East Carolina took a 4-1 lead in the third inning and held on to win 12-7 and complete the sweep of Towson. “The offense is getting better,” Head Coach Mike Gottlieb said. “But it’s not as good as it could be.” Miller went 2-for-4 and freshman outfielder Matt Smith went 2-for3. Both Miller and Smith drove in two RBIs. Junior pitcher Michael Adams (2-2) took the loss after he allowed four runs in three innings of work. In Saturday’s game, the Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning with an RBI single from

Richard Miller and Logan Burke. However, the Pirates cut into the Tigers’ lead in the fifth inning with an RBI single to right field. In the seventh inning, the Pirates took an 8-2 lead. Despite a late surge at the plate from Towson, East Carolina held on to secure an 8-5 victory in game two of the series. Redshirt senior pitcher Kevin Ross took a no-decision after allowing just two hits through 5.1 innings of work. In the series opener, the Tigers took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when junior infielder Logan Burke hit into a fielder’s choice and scored redshirt senior outfielder

Colin Dyer. However, East Carolina answered in the bottom half of the inning by posting three runs. Towson never regained the lead and fell 9-4. Sophomore pitcher Dean Stramara surrendered four runs on five hits in only one inning of work against the Pirates. “Overall the pitching wasn’t good,” Gottlieb said. “We walked too many guys.” Towson will play two midweek games against George Washington and Coppin State. The team will then open up conference play against Northeastern Friday at 3 p.m. “I’m looking to see who is going to

step and show they deserve a spot,” Gottlieb said.


March 28, 2017

tu continues its roll



Junior pitcher Megan Dejter tossed a complete game in Friday’s 12-3 victory over CAA rival Delaware. Dejter allowed only three earned runs on six hits and struck out four batters. Jordan Cope/ The Towerlight

Head Coach Sonia LaMonica greets her players as they exit the tunnel before their match-up against OU.


Number 12/15 Towson used a scoring burst in the second half to earn a 10-7 win over Oregon Saturday afternoon at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The Ducks got the scoring started with an early goal, but the Tigers responded with two of their own from sophomore attacker Natalie Sulmonte and junior midfielder Kaitlyn Montalbano. A late first-half goal from Oregon sent the two teams into the half tied 2-2. “As we got in the beginning of the game we just let our focus down a little bit and that translated to

us not coming out of the gates as strong as we typically have,” Head Coach Sonia LaMonica said. The Ducks scored two of the first three goals in the second half and took a 4-3 lead with 24:21 left to play in the game, but the Tigers took back the lead with goals from sophomore attacker Carly Tellekamp and redshirt senior attacker Alyssa Ferro. Ferro’s goal sparked a 5-0 run that gave Towson a 10-4 lead with 5:36 to play. Oregon scored the final three goals of the game, but Towson held on for the victory. Sophomore goalkeeper Angie Benson made nine saves, including five in the first half, to earn her sixth win of the season.

“We had some great play from Angie,” LaMonica said. “She was just flying all over the crease making great saves.” Towson returns to action Saturday, April 1, when the team travels to James Madison for its Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opener at 1 p.m. “We talked about playing through conference strong and going into May where there’s bigger stages and a louder atmosphere you’ve got to be able to stay focused,” LaMonica said.”No matter what’s going on we have to be able to stay focused on the game from when that first whistle goes.” Following its game against James Madison, Towson will host William & Mary at 7 p.m.

We talked about playing through conference strong and going into May where there’s bigger stages and a louder atmosphere you’ve got to be able to stay focused. No matter what’s going on we have to be able to stay focused on the game from when that first whistle goes. Sonia LaMonica Head Coach

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20 March 28, 2017


towson records historic victory

Jordan Cope/ The Towerlight

Sophomore athlete Lucy Gloninger prepares to return the tennis ball in singles play against the College of Charleston Saturday morning at the Towson Center Courts. BILLY OWENS Staff Writer @billyowens174

Towson traveled south to Florida over Spring Break, where they fell 7-0 to No. 24 Florida International Monday and 6-1 to Florida Atlantic Wednesday but returned to campus to earn a historic 5-2 victory over conference rival Charleston Saturday. Saturday’s victory at the Towson Center Courts marked the program’s first ever win against the Charleston Cougars in six contests. “The win was great,” Interim Head Coach Jamie Peterson said. “It was a great performance, but certainly one we’re capable of doing in the future when we have the right mindset.” The Tigers began play by taking two out of three doubles sets to earn the opening point. The No. 2 pairing of Lucy Williams and Lucy Gloninger defeated Anastasia Palaska and Mara Argyriou 6-2, while the No. 3 pairing of Sophie Lesage and Yevgeniya Shusterman

defeated Christi Woodson and Sarah Jane Jones 6-1. However, the Cougars team of Liza Fieldsend and Rachel McNeely topped the No. 1 team of A.J. Gomer and Ren van Oorschodt 7-5. In singles play, Towson took wins in four of the six matches to claim overall victory. The College of Charleston pushed three of those matches to deciding third sets, but Towson held on to win all three. Number 1 Nicole Shakhnazarova beat Fieldsend 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, while No. 4 van Oorschodt defeated McNeely 6-0, 3-6, 6-3. No. 5 Barbora Vasilkova held off Palaska 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, and No. 6 Gloninger defeated Turner Yates 7-6 (1), 6-4. The Cougars kept it close with two singles victories of their own as Woodson defeated No. 2 Gomer 7-5, 6-4, while Argyriou beat No. 3 Williams 6-0, 6-1. Wednesday, Towson lost its second straight match down south after falling 6-1 to Florida Atlantic at the FAU Tennis Complex in Boca Raton, Florida.

“It was a winnable match, but the necessary things didn’t go our way,” Peterson said. “There were definitely some opportunities to pick up points, but we just didn’t execute.” The Owls swept all three doubles matches to take an early lead. Laura Fabrizi and Ana Gutierrez defeated No.1 Gomer and van Oorschodt 6-0, Heather Walton and Alisa Rudenko beat No. 2 Lesage and Shusterman 6-4. Lyndsey Boos and Marisa Ruiz defeated No. 3 Williams and Gloninger 6-4. The Tigers were unable to mount a comeback in singles action as five of the six matches went to Florida Atlantic. Fabrizi defeated No. 1 Shakhnazarova 6-2, 2-6, [119], Boos beat No. 2 Gomer 6-3, 7-6, and Gutierrez defeated No. 3 Williams 6-2, 6-0. Ruiz beat No. 4 Shusterman 6-3, 6-0, and Rudenko defeated No. 5 van Oorschodt 6-0, 7-5. Towson notched its lone victory of the dual match when No. 6 Gloninger defeated Naiya Oden 6-4, 5-7, [10-5], in

a third-set match tiebreaker. Monday, the Tigers fell 7-0 to No. 24 Florida International at the FIU Tennis Courts in Miami. This was Florida International’s fifteenth win of the season and thirteenth straight. “It was a whole new level for us to compete against,” Peterson said. “We learned from that, and it only prepares us better for [conference matches].” The Panthers took the opening doubles point by winning two of the three contests. Andrea Lazaro and Nina Nagode defeated No. 1 Shusterman and Gomer 6-1, while Maryna Veksler and Ulyana Grib beat No. 2 Vasilkova and Lesage 6-1. The matchup of Mina Markovic and Gabriela Ferreira against No. 3 Williams and Shakhnazarova was left unfinished with Florida International’s team leading 5-2. The singles competition continued to go the Panthers’ way, as the Tigers fell in straight sets in all six matches. Lozaro, who is ranked 28th nationally, defeated No. 1 Shakhnazarova 6-2, 6-2, Veksler beat No. 2 Gomer 6-1, 6-2, and Nagode defeated No. 3

Williams 6-0, 6-0. Grib beat No. 4 Vasilkova 6-1, 6-1, Ferreira defeated No. 5 Shusterman 6-2, 6-0, and Nerma Caluk beat No. 6 Gloninger 6-1, 6-2. The Tigers hold a 7-5 record on the season following the three spring break matches. The Tigers are now 1-1 in conference play with the win over the Cougars. Towson will host local rival Morgan State Wednesday at 3 p.m. before hosting anther four matches this coming weekend.