The Towerlight (May 16, 2017) - Year in Review

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Towson’s campus and community news source

May 16, 2017

The Towerlight ORGINAL

YEAR IN REVIEW ★★★★★ 2017

The Towerlight







Photos by Towerlight Staff, Photo Illustration by Jordan Stephenson /The Towerlight



May 16, 2017





May 16, 2017

Week of 5/16-5/20


Editor-in-Chief Sarah Rowan Senior Editor Jordan Cope


Assoc. News Editor Marcus Dieterle Asst. News Editor Bailey Hendricks

Assoc. Arts Editors Taylor DeVille Kristin Helf McKenna Graham Assoc. Sports Editor Karuga Koinange Senior Staff Writers Cody Boteler Sam Shelton



Staff Writers Desmond Boyle Jesse L. Baird Natalie Bland Lauren Cosca Amanda Carroll

Finals Tutoring - Q&A Sessions UU Potomac Lounge, 3:00 p.m.

Stop by the Potomac Lounge for finals tutoring for accounting, biology, chemistry, economics, financing and more!

Paws Lawn, Paws Pavilion, Noon

Mary-Ellen Davis Sydney Douglas Jill Gattens Sydney Engelhardt Billy Owens Nick Koski Nicole Shakhnazarova Rohan Mattu Kevin McGuire Jessica Ricks Muhammad Waheed Keri Luise Sarah Van Wie Sierra Underdue



Maryland Workforce Outlook Forum

Cody Boteler Jordan Cope Mark Dragon Simon Enagonio Maggie Friedman Brooke Glenn Joseph Hockey Joseph Noyes

Join TU’s first ever Bike Party! The theme is, “Pajamas, Pancakes and Pedals.”

See presentations and in-depth conversations on how to integrate a more inclusive workforce!

Towson Manor Park Celebration Towson Manor Park, 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.



Stephanie Ranque Sam Shelton


West Village Commons Ballrooms, 1:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Photo Editor Alex Best Staff Photographers Matthew Awoyera


TU Bike Party!

Baltimore EdTech MeetUp



Celebrate the improvements of Towson Manor Park with live music, food trucks, face painting and good community.

The Greene Turtle, 5:30 p.m.

Meetup for edtech entrepreneurs and those interested in edtech.

William Strang-Moya Brittany Whitham Video Producer Stacey Coles


Proofreaders Kayla Baines Stephanie Ranque General Manager Mike Raymond


Art Director Jordan Stephenson Webmaster Lola Akinleye Circulation Staff Shawn Halerz Nilo Exar Abubakary Kaba

Mother’s Day Weekend

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!

We, as BSU, want to wish all the mothers and future mothers at Towson and beyond our campus a Happy Mother’s Day! Enjoy your day! @TowsonBSU

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us here at Slice of Towson!


Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful Mama’s out there!


Me and chaguimariposa celebrating Mother’s Day! @ Nacho Mama’s Towson!





May 16, 2017

Finding a home

C’ya in August, Towson SARAH ROWAN Editor-in-Chief @sarmarrow

If you ever want to see me cry, or at least tear up a bit, I’d suggest that you play the song “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. It’s all about growing up and passing time and all the things that make me feel super nostalgic. I’m mentioning the song for a couple of reasons -- the first being that it’s the end of the semester, and that this is the last print issue of The Towerlight until August. This year was a great one, albeit crazy at times, and I’m sad to see it go. However, I’m also really looking forward to moving forward in the fall. This is our Year in Review issue, and if you flip through the pages, you’ll see recaps of some of the year’s most important stories and events.

I encourage you to take a look -- it was an unforgettable year in a lot of different ways. The second reason I mentioned the song is because of a more personal note -- I’m about to enter my last month of teenage-dom. In other words: “AHHHH!!!” or “Oh-god-howdid-I-get-here?!?!” It’s a little scary to me because I truly still feel like a kid. I’m not kidding. Last week, a person in one of my classes (who is only a couple years older than me) tried to strike up a friendly conversation, and I immediately averted eye contact because I wanted to be their friend really badly, but I’m just SO AWKWARD. But I digress. As a last teenage hurrah before my 20th birthday, I’ll be hitting Bonnaroo and Firefly music festivals (back-to-back, yikes) this summer, so that should be fun. And, as the first adventure of my 20’s, I’m taking a

two-week road trip through Canada with my boyfriend and a couple of my good friends, and I’m ~stoked~. In short, it’s always weird to me how fast time passes. With another school year (filled with assignments, anxiety about the future and way too many all-nighters) in the books, it’s time to relax, at least for a little while. So that’s that. Our print edition stops here for a couple of months, but we’re not gone. News never stops, and here at The Towerlight, we’re always wearing our reporter pants. So, please keep reaching out to us over the summer if something remotely newsworthy is happening -- we want to know and we’ll try to be there. Good luck on finals, and try not to stress too hard. It’s going to be over soon, and you all definitely deserve a good couple of months off before the craziness starts again in August. We’ll see ya then, Towson. Have a great summer!

ing my every Monday in the office, found a family in my fellow editors and writers. First of all, while Cody and Sam may be the only real editors I've ever had, they are undoubtedly the best ones and will remain the best for the rest of eternity. Jordan is the best person I could have asked to have in my corner. He and Sarah, Jordan S., Alex, Marcus and Bailey are all so unbelievably talented, and I really can't believe how smart, diligent and *nice* this incredible team of people is. I also could not have asked for a better associate Arts & Life editor. I can't imagine sharing a desk with anyone other than Taylor, who is an incredibly talented and witty writer, and who needs to continue writing horoscopes forever so I can continue laughing and feeling bad about myself every week (but like, in a good way). This second semester, our protege and future Arts & Life editor McKenna somehow made our team even greater, and she makes me so excited for the future of The Towerlight and for anyone who likes reading about arts, culture and especially books.

I never thought I'd be sad to graduate college, but looking back at this past year has me getting a little tearyeyed, and I'm already nostalgic. I know that Monday’s will never be the same for me, and I don't know if I'll ever get to work with a more genuinely talented group of people. The future, especially when you're about to graduate and be out in the world as a real adult (?!?), is a scary place. It's even scarier now that honest journalism seems to be at stake. 45 is looking to eliminate arts and humanities endowments (among many other things) and the outlook for tomorrow, let alone next year, is incredibly hazy. However, knowing that people like Cody, Sam and Taylor are going to be out in the world, doing things, makes me hopeful. Knowing who will make-up next semester's Towerlight staff makes me hopeful for University life and student journalism, too. Despite the unpredictable, arguably insane world we are living in, I know from experience that there are people who are going to change the world and make it a much better place.

The best part of college KRISTIN HELF Associate Arts & Life Editor @kristinelise_

Joining The Towerlight was the best thing I did in college. I walked into the office my sophomore year very, very nervous, but determined to write for the Arts & Life section, because writing, and arts, and living, I guess, too, are the things that I enjoy most in the world. Sophomore year, I couldn't believe how cool it was to experience all of the artistic and cultural happenings around campus, and then getting to write about them and then see that writing published in the paper. Junior year, this was still cool, but what was even cooler and more unimaginable was when I pitched a music column to Annie, the Arts & Life editor at the time, and she actually let me write it ("This Week's Spin," while now discontinued, still holds a special place in my heart). But the coolest thing to happen during my tenure at The Towerlight happened this year, my senior year, when I became an associate Arts & Life editor, and, after I began spend-

TAYLOR DEVILLE Associate Arts & Life Editor @artvandelady

I won’t lie, I debated whether or not to write this editorial. Most of our other editors have labored tirelessly over The Towerlight since their freshman years. My own entrance wasn’t very orthodox; I wrote sporadically for the Arts & Life section my sophomore year, but kept my distance mostly because I didn’t know how to just walk into the office and actually talk to the staff. I became a staff writer my junior year, and was promoted along with Kristin to an editor position last fall. And my biggest regret in college is just how long it took me to join the Towerlight family. Knowing that I could have had three more years with these writers if I had just gotten over my shyness and anxiety makes me so sad, because they’re some of the best, most hard-working people I’ve ever met. I’ll admit, I’ve never been much of a “team player,” but that’s because I had never really found a team that I loved, respected and truly felt a part of. Working at The Towerlight has taught me so much about the value of dedication, ambition and friendship (as corny as that might sound). I always believed journalism to be a field wherein everyone is willing to step on and scoop each other in

the name of self-interest, and I’m sure it is like that at certain publications, but it never felt like that with Cody, Sam, Kristin, Sarah, Jordan, McKenna, Bailey, Marcus or any of our staff writers. We really were quite a team, and you’ve set some very high standards for the kind of newsroom I hope to work in. Each one of you has influenced what kind of journalist I want to be in a unique way. And I will always be grateful to you for adopting me into your family like the redheaded stepchild I am. I especially want to thank Kristin and McKenna for making Arts & Life what it is. You girls are brilliant and hilarious and cool and I’m just in love with you guys. We’ll always be #armyofchicks420. Alex, you and your incredible Arts photographers breathed so much life into our stories. I can’t wait to see where each of you goes in life, because I know it’ll be far. And if life is kind, maybe we’ll work together again in the future. Fingers crossed. For my parting words, I have a confession to make. I’ve kept it quiet for too long, pretending to be someone I wasn’t, worrying, after certain conversations, that I would lose the trust and respect of the Towerlight crew. But it’s been weighing heavily on me, and I just have to come clean: I bite string cheese instead of peeling it. Til we meet again, Towerlighters.

Photo of the Week

Sarah Rowan/ The Towerlight

Editor-in-Chief Sarah Rowan celebrates Mother’s Day weekend with her mother Leonie at their Pikesville home.


May 16, 2017

A final farewell Thank you, Towson @MeganFemmily

We did it. We made it to the last week of another semester. Granted, we still have the uphill battle of exams ahead of us, but the end is in sight. For some of us, the full end is in sight with graduation rapidly approaching. For some of us like myself, it’s almost time to leave Towson. This will be my last article for Deep Fried Feminism. I feel a lot of things. I feel proud to be getting my degree, scared to be thrown (and I mean thrown) out into the real world, and equal parts sad and excited about this big change. Most importantly, I feel thankful for the opportunity I’ve had with this column. Writing for you has been my favorite part of my education and it’s the hardest part to say goodbye, too. I haven’t been perfect. I’ve gotten things wrong and said things I wish I hadn’t said. But I have learned so much and I won’t stop trying to better myself and the way I understand the world. So, I just want to say thank you. Thank you to those of you who read my column when you see it in your emails or in a paper on campus; thank you to those of you who shared my column on Facebook; thank you to the people who discussed my writing with me in the classes we shared; thank you for those of you who argued with me and called me out when I didn’t get things quite right. Thank you for following along with me as I semi-publicly grew as a person; as a feminist. Being able to write about my opinions as a feminist has been invaluable to my development as a

person. Really, it’s been more therapeutic than I can put into words. It helped me focus my emotions when they seemed scattered, and each time you shared, liked, read, or spoke to me about my writing, you reminded me that I’m not alone; that things are scary and unpredictable right now, but there are good people out there willing to stand next to you while you walk through them. I know that exams and graduation are tough, so make sure you take care of yourself. Take the time to make sure you’re breathing (seriously). One thing I’ve learned with impending graduation is that it comes so damn fast. Faster t h a n you're going to feel ready for. I also want to take this time to say that it’s okay if you didn’t graduate from college, or if your journey took more than four years. Everyone has a different path, as corny as that may sound. It’s really, really hard not to compare ourselves to our peers. I struggle with it. But maybe if we took that energy and focused it on feeling proud of the things we have accomplished, things would be a little easier. Again, easier said than done. We all have something to be proud of. Not because we did better than another person, but because we worked on ourselves and made something happen. For me, graduating has been overwhelming. But when I take a second to step back, I can say to myself, “I did the damn thing.” Maybe graduating college isn’t your damn thing, and that’s more than fine. But something is. So find your damn thing, do it and take the time to feel proud about it.

“Being able to write about

my opinions as a feminist has been invaluable to my development as a person. Really, it’s been more therapeutic than I can put into words.




May 16, 2017

HEY TIGERS! Earn your stripes and some extra credits. Montgomery College Summer Sessions

Summer I session begins May 30. Midsummer session begins June 19. Summer II session begins July 10. 240-567-1090

Montgomery College is an academic institution committed to equal opportunity.


May 16, 2017


Community resists proposed Royal Farms Towson area residents filled the seats – and the aisles – of the Sheppard Pratt Conference Center on May 8 during a community input meeting to discuss the development of a Royal Farms that has been proposed for the corner of York Road and Bosley Avenue. The proposed development would be located at the former Towson Fire Station and would include a convenience store, a gas station with 12 pumps and two retail and restaurant buildings. Community members in attendance raised questions and concerns about the project to representatives from the Baltimore County government and the property’s developers, Caves Valley Partners. The Baltimore County Council passed a resolution approving a Planned Unit Development (PUD) last December, allowing the developers to build a gas station on the property. Prior to the approval of the PUD, zoning prohibited the construction of gas pumps at the site. The council approved the PUD in exchange for $50,000 to be used for “community benefits” including improvements to the West Towson Trail, tree planting throughout the

West Towson community, and two solar-powered speed display signs in the area. However, many residents said that the development itself fails to benefit the community. Some community members said there is no need for an additional gas station and convenience store because there are currently two other gas stations within a block of the project site and six others within two miles of those stations. Attendees at the meeting also expressed their fears that the development would negatively impact the environment. In April, 30 trees on the property were cut down to make room for the new development. Residents complained that the trees that are included in the plan do not provide sufficient shade coverage and are not large enough to fight air pollution from the gas station. The development’s southern border would face the neighboring Immaculate Conception School. While the current plans depict trees along that shared border, West Towson resident Karen Camp said those trees do not provide a sufficient buffer. “Every day when my children play on that playground, on the weekends when they have their sporting activities, my children will be breathing that air,” Camp said. “I cannot believe that you would go to bed at

Marcus Dieterle/ The Towerlight Attorney Christopher Mudd, representing Caves Valley Partners at a community input meeting, answers Towson residents’ questions about a development proposed for York Road and Bosley Avenue. night and believe that’s a benefit to the community.” Vivian Kreller, an Idlewylde resident, is concerned with how the development might increase traffic congestion in the area. “I feel that it’s already a very densely

populated area with a lot of businesses and a lot of gas stations and convenience stores, and there are a lot of communities that would be adversely affected by the amount of traffic that it would create in the area,” she said. Residents are particularly con-

cerned about traffic congestion that may result from vehicles turning left across Bosley Avenues, or crossing Bosley head on from Kenilworth Drive, to enter the development. --To read the rest of this article online, visit

Towson officials, Greek life react to Penn State death Towson University officials and members of the Greek life community are reacting after the harrowing details of a Penn State hazing death were released Friday, May 12. 19-year-old Penn State sophomore Timothy Piazza died on Feb. 4 after falling repeatedly during a Beta Theta Pi fraternity pledge night of excessive drinking on Feb. 2. “I think the incident is devastating,” Towson Vice President of Student Affairs Deb Moriarty said. “I think it’s really disheartening, with the amount of hazing intervention and bystander education, that something like this could still happen.” Eighteen members of Beta Theta Pi face criminal charges in Piazza’s death. Eight members of the fraternity face charges of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault, while 10 face lesser charges, according

to grand jury documents released by the Centre County District Attorney’s Office on Friday. The charges include counts of hazing, furnishing alcohol to minors, recklessly endangering another person and tampering with evidence. Grand jury documents report that the initiation ritual included a “gauntlet” of various drinking acts – including passing around a vodka bottle, shotgunning a beer, drinking from a wine bag and playing beer pong. Video surveillance showed an evidently intoxicated Piazza “staggering drunkenly toward the basement steps” at around 10:45 p.m, according to the documents. In a group message written shortly before midnight, fraternity brother Greg Rizzo wrote, “Also Tim Piazza might actually be a problem. He fell 15 feet down a flight of stairs, hair-first, going to need help.” Four fraternity brothers carried Piazza to a couch upstairs, where various fraternity brothers “backpacked”

him to keep him from rolling onto his back, poured liquid on him and slapped him in the face multiple times, according to the court documents. At around 3:30 a.m., surveillance showed Piazza attempting to move around the house, and subsequently falling multiple times, striking his head. Around 10 a.m., Piazza was found in the basement, and was reported to be “breathing heavy” and feel “cold to the touch.” The documents report that the fraternity brothers waited until 10:48 a.m. on Feb. 3 to call an ambulance for Piazza. Piazza was pronounced dead at 1:20 a.m. on Feb. 4 at Hershey Medical Center. Beta Theta Pi has been banned from Penn State’s campus, and all other Penn State Greek life chapters are restricted from recruiting new members until 2018. Towson Interim Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Carly Heasley felt “sick to her stomach”

when she learned about the details surrounding Piazza’s death. “It took me a long time to get through the entire article,” Heasley wrote in an email to The Towerlight. “As an administrator, losing a student in any situation is my worst fear, so it was gut wrenching. My heart goes out to his family.” Maryland law states that hazing is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine and six months in jail. Hazing is strictly prohibited at Towson University, according to the University’s hazing policy. According to the policy, hazing includes, but is not limited to, activities such as: team initiations, kidnapping, paddling in any form, mandated branding or tattooing, mandated consumption, and “any other activities not consistent with the academic mission of the University.” The policy holds all individuals participating in hazing accountable, including those initiating the hazing, those being hazed, and any bystanders

who witness the hazing. “By writing the policy this way, our office, along with the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education, is able to hold all parties involved responsible for hazing,” Heasley wrote. “Within the past couple of years, we have also held individual students accountable through the student conduct process, not just the organization.” Most recently, the University suspended the Towson chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon due to an off-campus hazing violation. Baltimore County Police announced in July that they had charged two members of TKE with hazing and reckless endangerment in relation to an incident that occurred at 333 Hillen Road in late March 2016. Alexander James Cantor is scheduled to appear in court on May 23, 2017. Evan Palmer Francis was sentenced to probation before judgement in October. --To read the rest of this article online, visit



May 16, 2017

Q&A with outgoing SGA president Taylor James The following is a question and answer session with outgoing Student Government Association president, Taylor James. James reflected on her accomplishments as part of SGA, lessons she has learned along the way, and her advice for the incoming administration. The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Your presidency is coming to an end. How are you feeling? It’s definitely bittersweet. I’ve been in SGA as an elected or appointed member for three years and so I feel like I’m losing something that’s become such a big part of me. But at the same time, I’m so proud of myself for everything that I’ve done and I’m really proud of everyone else in SGA as well. And I’m just confident and very hopeful at the same time that they will continue the work that so many people – not just me – but so many other previous administrations have done before them and that they keep in mind that they do have so much to build on. They don’t have to do this on their own and we’re all here to support them. And I hope that even after I leave, they’ll know that they’ll always have me as

What has been your biggest accomplishment in SGA/as president?

I would say as a personal, completely selfish accomplishment, obviously becoming president was a really big deal. I applied to be a senator my freshman year and I didn’t get it. My sophomore year, I applied to be a director and I didn’t get it, but I got senator instead. So I got to be a senator and then while I was in that position, I helped to create the solicitor general position that we have now. It was my idea, I wrote the resolution for it and then the senate passed it. Then I applied for that position and didn’t get it. And so, as you can imagine, by the end of that I was really discouraged, really frustrated and really didn’t know if there was a place for me here. There was a lot of work that I wanted to do, but just didn’t feel like I wasn’t going to be able to succeed in the space. To be able to overcome those losses and setbacks and then become president, I’m really proud of myself for pushing past that.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently? That’s a hard question because I’m really critical of myself and so there’s lots of things that I wish I would’ve had the insight to perhaps approach a little differently. But I feel like everything has happened in the way it was supposed to be. So I guess I would have to say, if there’s anything I could’ve done differently, it’s to be a lot easier on myself and my team at times because I’m really really hard on myself. And so, I always like to make sure I’m pushing myself. If I feel like I’m in the comfort zone, I feel like it’s not good enough and I have to push myself a little bit harder.... I guess I wish I had sat back and smelled the roses a little bit longer.

Marcus Dieterle/ The Towerlight SGA President Taylor James reflected on her time in student government. She said a good leader is one who leads with humility.

What’s your advice for the next administration? It would be first and foremost to lead with humility. These positions can go to your head very quickly and you have a lot of people telling you how great you are and what a great accomplishment this is. And that’s all well and nice, but at the end of the day I view myself as a servant to students. I’ll be on the ground vacuuming or scrubbing down tables. And so, being president or any member of the executive board or any member of the student government doesn’t mean you are somehow now above anyone. It just means that you, more than anyone on campus, has a commitment to serve students regardless of what that looks like or regardless of what that means. - Compiled by Marcus Dieterle

Speakers share stories of progress Students study police, Eight speakers put their spin on the theme of “forward” during this year’s TEDxTowsonU event in the West Village Ballrooms on May 11. The TEDx event was inspired by the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conferences that were founded in 1984, and explore a variety of topics through storytelling. Special Olympics athlete Adam Hays shared his experiences of having an intellectual disability which he attributes to his hydrocephalus, a condition in which cerebrospinal fluid builds up around the brain. Hays, who is 32 years old, has had 34 major brain surgeries in his life to treat his condition. Hays shared a 1987 speech from Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver in which she said, “The right to play on any playing field? You have earned it. The right to study in any school? You have earned it. The right to hold a job? You have earned it.” Hays said that these words lifted

him up and told him that he has a place in his community and made him feel like he belongs. He also acknowledged that while people with disabilities have the rights to do all of the things Shriver spoke about, they’re still often segregated from society. “And yet, we are no further ahead from the day [Shriver] spoke these words on August 2, 1987, than this moment right now,” Hays said. Hays said society has been slow in becoming more accessible for people with disabilities. Instead of waiting for society to change, Hays has taken action to achieve his own goals and advocate for other people with disabilities. “Words inspire action, but they’re only just words if no action are born from them,” he said. “I took these words and I made them into action.” Hays participates in five sports in the Special Olympics throughout the year and earned his high school diploma and an associate’s degree. Hays said he recently celebrated his 10th year working at Special Olympics Maryland and his first year of living on his own in his apartment. Associate Director for Cultural

Competency Education Brian Jara addressed gender identity and male expression, speaking about the many ways men greet each other in America such as handshakes, high fives and fist bumps. In New Zealand, Jara said Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, greet each other by hongi, a traditional greeting in which people touch their noses and foreheads to one another. According to Jara, Maori greet each other through hongi to acknowledge that everyone is interconnected. “So hopefully, we can get to a point that our campus, our community, our town, makes it more okay, gives us more possibilities, gives us more options for how men can be themselves and how they can greet each other,” Jara said.

Jara encouraged the audience to think about where they may be on a scale of gender expression and gender identity. He also urged them to start thinking of genders, sexes and identities in a plural sense to “make room for more possibilities.” --To read the rest of this article online, visit

disabled people relations ROHAN MATTU Staff Writer

Students Ryan Weigle and Nathan Clark asserted that police officers are not sufficiently trained to interact with disabled people during their presentation on May 8 in the College of Liberal Arts. The presentation was the culmination of Weigle and Clark’s semester-long research project on police officer interactions with people with physical disabilities, according to criminal justice professor John Skinner. Weigle is studying to pursue a career in law enforcement, and Clark is a blind student who is planning to work with victims of crime. Together, the two presented statistics and cases of police brutality involving disabled civilians to their peers, as well as guests including Sharon Maneki, president of The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland. Weigle said that he and Clark were inspired to conduct this line of research because there isn’t a lot of existing research on the topic of police

interactions with disabled people. “Basically we wanted to look at what the media thinks, what the current police training is, how it can be better, and basically just trying to spread the word about the whole dilemma of police interacting with persons with disabilities,” Weigle said. “Police are interacting with persons with disabilities and they’re not well-trained. They’re not up to the certain standard that they need to be to do it right.” The duo highlighted statistics on the disability community, victimization of disabled people and misrepresentations of disabilities in the media. They explained how media sometimes misrepresents physical disabilities as mental disabilities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010, approximately 56.7 million people, or 19 percent of the U.S. population, had a disability. According to a 2015 report by GLAAD, less than one percent of characters on television during the 2015-2016 season had a disability. --To read the rest of this article online, visit


May 16, 2017






10 May 16, 2017


Year in Review

May 16, 2017


YEAR IN REVIEW IN THE NEWS: TAU KAPPA EPSILON HAZING TRIAL CONTINUES It was over a year ago that the campus community learned of an off-campus hazing incident that hospitalized a pledge from Tau Kappa Epsilon. Since then, there have been several court dates and one ruling. Evan Palmer Francis, then 21, was given probation before judgment in October after appearing in court. According to court testimony, Francis was in charge of “risk management” for the fraternity. TKE has been banned from Towson’s campus. Alexander James Cantor, the other man who was charged in the hazing incident, is scheduled to appear in court May 23.

CAMPUS CONSTRUCTION MOVES FORWARD Apartment-style Carroll and Marshall Halls opened in Fall 2016, completing West Village housing phases three and four, and adding an additional 700 beds. Throughout the year, the Residence Tower has undergone construction -- once opened in Fall 2017, it will account for another 450 beds. After eight months of renovation, Newell Dining Hall reopened for the Spring 2017 semester, with updates to its heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, roofing, windows and lighting. The Den reopened at the same time. Both locations have updated food services, including a fully-dedicated kosher station and grill station in the dining hall and a “Chop’d and Wrap’d” station in The Den. Burdick Hall’s $34 million expansion continued throughout the year. It will open in Fall 2017 and will include new features like multi-activity courts for intramurals, an updated climbing wall and an elevated sprint hill. Cook Library’s three-phase renovation plan wrapped up this semester with the addition of a 24/7 study space. The other two phases included a streamlined service desk and a renovated Starbucks ( w h i c h opened in October). And the demand for more parking? Yep, it’s still a thing.

SCHATZEL INAUGURATED President Kim Schatzel was officially inaugurated as Towson University’s 14th president and fifth female president on September 16, 2016. University System of Maryland President Bob Caret announced Schatzel’s appointment on December 4, 2015 and Schatzel began serving as president on January 25, 2016. Since arriving at Towson, Schatzel has worked to address the concerns and goals of the Towson community through her eight presidential priorities, which she has continued to update during her fall and spring presidential addresses.

#NOTATTU CAMPAIGN RELAUNCHES Towson’s anti-hate crime and bias incident campaign, #NotAtTU, formally relaunched between Sept. 12 and Sept. 14 to include new freshmen and transfer students in a conversation that has been ongoing since last semester. The campaign promotes a “one-stop shop” website for hate/bias reporting at that includes information about what a hate/bias incident is and what to expect after reporting an incident. The November 2015 #OccupyTowson sit-in was what originally sparked the idea, and a series of racially-biased incidents at the CLA Cafe during the Spring 2016 semester kept the conversation going, according to outgoing SGA President Taylor James.

SGA LAUNCHES FRESHMAN COUNCIL In October, the SGA inaugurated its first Freshman Council in an effort that had been ongoing since the fall 2015 semester. The Freshman Council is an executive organization of the SGA and was made with purpose of implementing the needs and wants of the freshman class, and giving current freshmen an opportunity to become more involved in SGA. This year’s council included 20 freshmen, who were appointed by SGA president-elect James Mileo. Mileo helped to maintain and organize Towson’s first Freshman Council.

14 May 16, 2017

Year in Review


A group of students staged a sit-in style protest at the president’s office on November 19, 2015. The nine-hour protest, which came to be known as #OccupyTowson, ended with then-Interim President Timothy Chandler signing a document with a list of 12 demands concerning diversity and inclusion at Towson, particularly with regard to the University’s minority communities. In the year and a half since the sit-in, the University has worked towards addressing those demands. According to the University’s Diversity Initiatives Progress Report, Towson has completed seven of the diversity initiatives and five are “on track.”


It didn’t take long for the campus community to plan a protest after Donald Trump won the presidency. In mid-November, the Social Justice Collective and other campus groups organized a walkout to take place at noon. Students, faculty and staff gathered in Freedom Square and several people spoke, airing their grievances, fears and concerns. The rally was almost entirely peaceful, except for one altercation between a student who was decrying Trump and Trump voters, and a man who identified himself as a veteran. The male student left the protest without any real issue. Later on, a pro-Trump rally was held in Freedom Square, though no student or student group ever owned up and took responsibility for organizing the event. The Twitter page that had organized the event repeatedly declined to identify themselves to The Towerlight. That rally was smaller, and counter-protesters far outnumbered self-identified Trump supporters.

TOWSON APPOINTS LEAH COX Towson University appointed Leah Cox as its first Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity last December and Cox began serving in that position on January 23, 2017. Before coming to Towson, Cox worked at the University of Mary Washington as Special Assistant to the President, the campus’s Title IX Coordinator and the Campus Ombudsman. Since arriving at TU, Cox has said she is prepared to put in hard work to create an inclusive campus for faculty, staff and students of all identities. But she also has said that it is the responsibility of all of Towson – not just her – to bring about that change.


Since the election of President Donald Trump in November, Towson officials repeatedly emphasized their commitment to keeping students safe, no matter their nationality, immigration status or other discerning factors. A campus-wide email from President Schatzel in December stated that Towson will not permit immigration enforcement authorities to enter campus for an enforcement action without a warrant, unless there is an exigent circumstance necessitating immediate action. Additionally, the University will not voluntarily partner will immigration authorities to assist with enforcement activities or to detain immigrants. TU Police do not ask about nor record immigration status, and, under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the University will not provide immigration authorities with student records without a subpoena or court order. Vice President for Inclusion and Institutional Equity Leah Cox and Vice President for Student Affairs Deb Moriarty hosted a campus dialogue Feb. 8 to address these concerns, specifically egarding immigration status and DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

MARRIOTT TO CONVERT TO STUDENT HOUSING In her spring Presidential Address, President Kim Schatzel announced that the Marriott Conference Hotel near campus will be converted to student housing by Fall 2018 to accommodate Towson’s growing resident student population. The renovation should add 300-400 beds to help catch up to the current on-campus bed shortage.

URTU SWEEPS IN TIGHT SGA ELECTION The student body elected URTU’s James Mileo to be the next SGA president with 1,572 votes. Legacy presidential candidate Pat Mascio received 1,361 votes. Breya Johnson won vice president with 1,599 votes; Missy Ronan, her opponent, received 1,308 votes. Makdes Hailu won treasurer with 1,544 votes; Cristiana Saballos, her opponent, received 1,343. Rishell Chambers won attorney general with 1,533 votes; Ariana Anderson-Melton, her opponent, received 1,350. URTU prioritized combating food insecurity on-campus, improving the connection between administration and students in “every area of student life,” improving the connection between SGA and student organizations and continuing to work on initiatives and campaigns that members of the ticket had already begun.

Year in Review

May 16, 2017


ARTS & LIFE: WILD N’ OUT HITS CAMPUS Nostalgia abounded in September when Nick Cannon and the cast of MTV’s Wild’n Out performed stand-up comedy SECU Arena. A sold out show, Cannon and crew--including Matt Rife and Chico Bean--joked about race and sex, and took the time to riff on Scarborough’s lack of air conditioning and Glen Dining Hall. Catch an exclusive Nick Cannon interview on the Towerlight website.

I LOVE FEMALE ORGASM Just as in past years, students flocked to Stephens Hall Theatre in October for lessons in sex and the female anatomy--specifically, the female orgasm. The sex ed portion of the show involved busting sex myths that students shouted out (no, squirting is not the same as peeing) and tips for pleasing that special lady (or ladies) in your life. In an effort to abandon heteronormativity, sex educators Rachel Dart and Marshal Miller explained the “spectrum of gender” and what it means to identify as a man, woman, or neither, and touched on sex issues transgender folks might face, including how to achieve orgasm after sex-reassignment surgery. Dart and Miller also addressed the double standards that affect sexually-active women and promoted body positivity by explaining that all vulvas are normal vulvas. If you missed it, be sure to catch it this fall.

THE BLUEST EYE In October, an adaptation of Toni Morrison’s classic novel “The Bluest Eye” hit the CFA’s Mainstage Theatre with more than a few things to say about broken families, media and culture and the absurd and destructive nature of white, European beauty standards. Though the book was published in 1970, the story that Towson actors told onstage is as relevant today as it was almost 50 years ago. Leshea Johnson shone as Pecola Breedlove, a young girl struggling with identity and self-acceptance; Tamara Johnson as narrator Claudia shone a bright and beaming light on Pecola’s struggles and what they mean in today’s world; and Catherine Ejiogu as Frieda was a fierce defender of Pecola, Claudia and the beauty of black women. “The Bluest Eye” taught us that “It’s time to heal our women, kill for our women, be real to our women,” and that opening chant rings true now more than ever.

TIBETAN MONKS VISIT CAMPUS Students were more than a little baffled when, in early November, the second floor of the Union became a haven for red-robed monks while speakers emitted deep-voiced Buddhist chants on loop. The Mystical Arts of Tibet stopped in Towson on their annual tour of the U.S., Europe and Mexico to create a mandala and speak at lectures about the ancient art of Tibetan healing, the history of a Tibetan diaspora and universal kindness. Soon, the mandala was finished and after days of meticulously placing sand granules to create the artwork, it was gone in an instant. The monks disappeared soon afterwards as well, but with any luck, they’ll be back next year to piece together another temporary symbol of the universe in perfect harmony and balance.

“POLAROID STORIES” TRAVELS TO THE UNDERWORLD In March, audience members were brought to “the edge of the underworld” in professor and director David White’s “Polaroid Stories,” written by playwright Naomi Iizuka. An adaptation of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” the show non-linearly told the (real and imagined) stories of Greek mythical figures living as homeless teens--“the thieves, perverts and junkies” of the underworld, as one character puts it. Actors, who only had five weeks of rehearsals, were free to develop their own characters, and together they created a richly dark world.


In early March, sex educator and YouTube star Laci Green came to campus to talk sex positivity. Green was supposed to come back in November, but she canceled her appearance at the time, citing “personal reasons.” While some thought Laci might get super political during her visit, she spent most of her time on campus in sex educator mode. The key to great sex, she said, was to “cum-municate.”


In April, the Towson Trills became the first a capella group at Towson University to compete in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella finals. If that doesn’t impress you, the seven-member team was also the smallest a capella group in the history of the ICCA to make it to finals. While they may have ultimately lost this year’s competition to the Northeastern University Nor’Easters, the Trills are already back on the performing circuit and have promised a few surprises for later in the year.

16 May 16, 2017

Year in Review

ARTS & LIFE, CONT.: 2 CHAINZ, DREEZY HEADLINE TIGERFEST 2 Chainz and Dreezy headlined this year’s TigerFest in what some students said was the best TigerFest yet. On the first day, students were feeling the #goodvibesonly theme as they enjoyed carnival rides and a beer garden at the Lot 26 block party. CAB’s Battle of the Bands winners DJ Gurf, Thunder Club, and King Zell and Tay Harper performed before country singer Chase Bryant took the stage. On Saturday, SECU Arena was flooded with students in the stands and in the pit to see the headliners, floor tickets having sold out quickly

“CABARET” DEBUTS WITH A TWIST A classic with a twist, director Stephen Nunns’ rendition of “Cabaret” was immersive and irresistible. Christy Czajkowski was cast as the emcee in a new take on an old, well-loved character, and she guided the audience through the show with energy, humor, and more than a hint of Joel Grey’s original enigmatic and unapologetically comedic atmosphere. Alongside Czajkowski starred Molly Cohen, who brought struggling performer Sally Bowles into a new realm of moral ambiguity, as a Jewish woman who ignores the political state of 1930’s Germany. The production was as strong and over-the-top sexy as the original, but Nunns’ version incorporated his own thematic choices with an onstage projected slideshow of the horrors of political tyranny, declarative choices with actors’ genders in mind, and new complexities within characters’ identities. Nunns was hopeful of having an impact on his audience, saying, “If they can think about it in terms of their own lives, connect it to their own lives in some way, shape or form, that would be great.”

TOWSON TIGERS: FOOTBALL Towson saw its season come to an end with a 32-31 victory over Rhode Island. Despite suffering a six-game losing streak early in the season, the team won its last three contests and finished with an overall record of 4-7. In Towson’s final three games, Oregon transfer quarterback Morgan Mahalak made his much anticipated return to the lineup. In the team’s home opener against Saint Francis (PA), Mahalak suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder that kept him sidelined for most of the season. In Mahalak’s absence, Ellis Knudson ran the offense. In six starts, Knudson completed just 55 percent of his passes and threw twice as many interceptions as touchdowns. The one bright spot of Towson’s injury riddled season was the performance of redshirt freshman running back Shane Simpson. Simpson saw plenty of action in the backfield when Darius Victor went out in the middle of the season with a foot injury. In the 2016 season, Simpson rushed for 784 yards and three touchdowns. Towson will kickoff its 2017 campaign on Saturday Sept. 2, at Johnny Unitas Stadium against crosstown rival Morgan State.

VOLLEYBALL Towson saw another successful regular season, but failed to capture a CAA Championship Title. The team started non-conference play with a 12-2 record, which included a win over University of Maryland, College Park. In conference play, Towson went 10-6 and earned a spot in the CAA Championship Tournament. The team defeated Hofstra 3-0 in the first round of the tournament, but fell to James Madison 3-0 in the second round. Next season, Towson will return libero Anna Holehouse, a key piece to the team’s serve receive scheme. However, Head Coach Don Metil will have to find replacements for graduated seniors Jessica Lewis and Lindsay Flaherty. Lewis started all 33 matches for Towson as an outside hitter and led the team with 459 kills. Flaherty led the team 104 blocks and broke a school record for most sets played.

JOHN DAVIS SUFFERS A “GRAZE WOUND” Senior forward John Davis suffered a “graze wound” to his knee in a drive-by shooting outside of his South Philadelphia home following Towson’s 69-65 victory over Drexel on Saturday, Feb 11. According to Head Coach Pat Skerry, Davis was given permission to remain in Philadelphia after the team’s game to attend a commemoration ceremony for the birth of his son. According to police, the shooting occurred between 10:30 and 11:00 p.m. Davis was admitted to a local hospital and released not long after. He attended his son’s commemoration ceremony the next morning before returning to a second hospital for further evaluation. Davis missed the remainder of the season for Towson. He averaged 11.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per-game.

Year in Review

SPORTS, CONT.: MEN’S BASKETBALL Despite a strong regular season, Towson fell in the 2017 CAA Championship Tournament. Towson started off its season with two gritty road wins against George Mason and Morgan State. The team even hung tough with No. 24 ranked Maryland, falling by just five points at the Xfinity Center. In conference play, Towson dropped its first four games and called a players only meeting. Following the meeting, the team ripped off five straight victories. In the heart of conference play, Towson lost Davis to a graze wound following a drive-by shooting. In the CAA Championship Tournament, Towson defeated Northeaster in the quarterfinals, but fell to host Charleston in the semifinals. Skerry said the season had an asterix on it because of the loss of Davis.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Towson finished its regular season with a 12-18 mark despite a 6-1 start. The team’s early success was its best since the 2008-09 season. Despite the fast start to the season, Towson struggled in conference play and dropped 10 of its last 11 games. In the CAA Tournament, Towson entered as the No. 8 seed and faced the No. 9 seed, Hofstra. Towson lost to Hofstra 77-66 despite a 30-point performance from senior guard Raven Bankston. Next season, Towson will welcome recently recruited guard Danielle Durjan. Durjan averaged 14.5 points per-game while playing at Harford Community College last season and will look to add a punch to the team’s offense.

MEN’S LACROSSE Towson earned a victory in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament with a 12-8 win over No. 7 Penn State. The team also won its third straight CAA Championship Trophy with a 9-4 defeat of University of Massachusetts, Amherst, at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Towson earned its right to play UMass with an 8-4 victory over Drexel in the semifinals round of the CAA Tournament. In the regular season, the team earned three victories against ranked opponents. Towson defeated No. 6 Johns Hopkins, No. 9 Hofstra and No. 18 Ohio State. In CAA play, Towson suffered only one defeat, coming at the hands of Fairfield. However, the team beat Drexel, UMass, Delaware and Hofstra to finish first in the conference with a 4-1 record. Head Coach Shawn Nadelen will have his hands full in the offseason, having to replace key members of the team due to graduation.

WOMEN’S LACROSSE Towson endured heartbreak in the postseason this year, falling in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament and the CAA Championship Tournament. In the NCAA Tournament, No. 18 Towson fell to unranked opponent High Point 21-15. In the Conference Tournament, the team fell to Elon 10-9 in overtime. Towson finished its regular season with a 12-5 record. The team’s season was highlighted with a 14-11 victory over No. 10 Notre Dame in the middle of March. Towson will return key pieces to the team next season including Emily Gillingham, Natalie Sulmonte, Kaitlyn Montalbano and Carly Tellekamp. However, Head Coach Sonia LaMonica will have to replace key seniors Samantha Brookhart and Michelle Gildea.

TRACK & FIELD Towson won its first CAA Championship in school history with 163.5 points, finishing ahead of rivals Elon (158) and James Madison (140) in the Conference Tournament. In the two-day meet, Towson collected a total of 13 medals. Senior sprinter Zanae Freeland became just the second athlete in program history to be named Co-Most Outstanding Track Performer of the Meet. Freeland won the 100 and 200-meter dash titles and qualified for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships (ECACs) in the process. Towson is under the leadership of Head Coach Mike Jackson who is in his second season in black and gold.

TENNIS Towson finished its season with a 13-12 record despite former Head Coach Doug Neagle leaving for another position one day before the start of the season. The team even bested College of Charleston for the first time in school history. Towson ended its season with a loss to No. 43 Virginia before falling to Elon in the quarterfinals of the CAA Tournament. The team will lose just one senior, Sophie Lessage, but will return the rest of its members. Leonard has yet to announce if Interim Head Coach Jamie Peterson will return for the team’s next season.

May 16, 2017


18 May 16, 2017

Arts & Life

Grub Street’s 66 years of lit

William Strang-Moya/ The Towerlight

Grub Street’s 2017 editor Olivia Godwin makes an introductory speech at the launch party on Thursday. KRISTIN HELF Associate Arts & Life Editor @kristinelise_

Towson’s literary and arts magazine Grub Street celebrated the arrival of its 66th issue on Thursday with a launch party where speakers reflected on the permeating themes of this year’s magazine; nostalgia and failure. The magazine itself is hardly a failure, with 188 pages of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and

visual art, but after two semesters of collecting and reviewing submissions, editors realized a common thread was weaving many of the pieces together. In Grub Street editor and senior English major Olivia Godwin’s introductory editor’s note, and in her speech on Thursday night, she spoke on the enlightenment that failure can bring and the importance of, when creating a literary magazine, working as a team. While piecing together a magazine

doesn’t require the speed, strength, or coordination of team sports, Godwin said, its very nature is similar to a team sport. “In hindsight, I wasn’t prepared to play a team sport,” Godwin said. “I was prepared to play a game of solitaire—responsibility on me, decisions on me, success on me, failure on me. I quickly learned this wasn’t a game of solitaire; while its leaders play an important role in keeping those moving parts moving smoothly, it is the cooperation of the entire staff

Q&A with artist Mani Yangilmau TAYLOR DEVILLE Associate Arts & Life Editor @artvandelady

The following is a question and answer session with senior acting major and performance artist Mani Yangilmau, whose ritual theatre piece will be performed on Thursday at 5 p.m. in CFA room 3059. T: Would you characterize your work as performance art or do you do other forms of visual art? M: I’m mostly just performance. Sometimes I write songs. T: Tell me about your independent study. M: Basically, I wanted to explore the idea of spiritual ceremony for people who aren’t religious, who want to commemorate some sort of experience in their lives that isn’t covered by, like, a baptism or a funeral. Something that they specifically wanted to commemorate. Some people [have said to me], “People didn’t understand when my mom died,” or, “I’ve been through

a lot of trauma in my life and I want to cope with that.” So we have a test subject, which we call a vessel, he’s told us a lot about his life story--things that are recurring images and just really important life experiences that he’s had. From that, we’re creating a spiritual ceremony that we’re basing off of pop culture, different religions, some incantations from different places. It’s really interesting, and also there’s a lot more responsibility than I was expecting. T: How so? M: There’s a varying degree of people in my ensemble who believe in spirits, and also those who don’t. They all come from different backgrounds, so some of them are worried that with the work that we’re doing and the stuff we’re basing it off of, if we don’t know enough about what we’re doing, we could potentially harm someone. Specifically because with this particular instance, the [vessel] wants to get rid of a curse. So we’re basically extracting his energy and dealing with stuff like that and so there’s a lot of potential for

energy to transfer to other people. T: How have you tried to resolve those concerns? M: We’ve been doing a lot of research and we’ve been making sure we have a plan just in case some sort of emotional reaction happens. I know that a lot of people with trauma have anxiety attacks and stuff like that so we’ve been training ourselves how to deal with that if it happens. There’s also a friend of ours who’s Wiccan and he’s been telling us basic guidelines for dealing with spiritual energy, so it’s mostly been us being like, “Okay, we have really good intent, and we’re also going to take this as seriously as possible.” T: What inspired you to create this piece? M: A couple of years ago, I was dealing with a lot of trauma in my life, to the point where I was actually suicidal, or, had suicidal ideation. I wanted to deal with that in a healthy way. Because I’m very theatre world-based, I just wanted to have a performance where someone could give me a proper

that makes the journal the successful creation it becomes.” Each section of the journal has an editor who oversees their classmates as they read and review submissions that ultimately make up the journal’s content. Junior English major Emely Rodriguez relayed the story of how she came to take on the responsibility as editor of the poetry section. “At first I thought, ‘maybe you should take a step back, don’t overextend yourself,’” Rodriguez said. “And it wasn’t until [faculty advisor Michael Downs] got on his knees the second day of class begging for more people to apply that I thought, ‘that’s a sign. Maybe, just maybe—I’m already over-involved, I might as well add another thing.’ So I did.” Rodriguez said that, because of the passion and strong opinions of the members on her team, accepting poetry submissions was “always a battle.” “But it turns out, our genre happened to pick out a lot of pieces that were nostalgic,” she said. “And it turned out we weren’t the only genre that had that—so, unknowingly, Grub Street found a mood.” The launch party included readings by students and alumni whose works were published in the fiction, nonfiction and poetry sections of the journal. Towson alumnus Michael Tager, who read from his fiction piece “El Gordo,” reflected

on a certain nostalgia for sneaking into frat parties before he even attended Towson, where he would make up a name in the hopes of being allowed inside. “It means a lot to be in Grub Street,” said Tager, who has been published in the journal previously and whose mother and wife also attended Towson. Managing editor and senior English major Mallorie Beckner said she didn’t know of Grub Street’s existence until she asked Downs about how she could get involved in the publishing industry post-graduation. He suggested she first join Grub Street, and the experience that followed solidified Beckner’s aspirations of working in publishing. “I know I can speak for all of us when I say it’s a very special part of Towson,” Beckner said. “Grub Street will be my favorite memory from college.” Grub Street is a free journal and can be found on racks in buildings across campus. “If anyone had asked me on the first day what the journal would look like, I would have never said, ‘this,’” Godwin said as she held up a copy of the journal. “And that’s perfect. It means we succeeded, that this journal is an amalgam produced and influenced by the entire staff and all of the contributors. No matter how large or small of a role each played.”

funeral and then give me a rebirth so that I could let go of all the things I was holding onto, so that’s where it started. I asked one of my friends if she could help me with that and she said, “I’ve never heard of anything like that.” I’m not particularly religious, but I am spiritual, and so I want to be able to create healing in other people who are like [me], or even people who are religious, but have had unexpected life experiences. You know they don’t really have a baptism for people who want to commit suicide. T: Has this process been a cathartic experience for you in that regard? M: Absolutely. I’ve been in counseling and I’ve been taking meds, so I’ve been mostly dealing with my stuff, but also just, there’s something about getting into a different headspace, getting into this spiritual realm and working on healing other people, that is very cathartic for me, and even more important to me than it is to heal myself. I feel like everybody needs someone to help them with healing, and I’m lucky enough to have gone through a lot of that process and now I’m at the point where I can help other people and

that’s basically my life mission. T: What has the process of creating the piece been like? And what’s it called? M: I’m workshopping it as what I called Manifest Theatre, but my name is Mani so people keep on making jokes about it [laughs]. But when I directed In The Blood, at the end of it I was like, “okay, now I know that I would like to be a lot more collaborative.” So I picked people, and actually some people came to me and asked me if they could be a part of it [...] so I have three actors from In The Blood and three other [ensemble members] that I really trust. So it’s been a lot of devising, everybody has been in charge of their own thing. T: So what are you trying to communicate with this piece? M: Well this is an individualized theatre piece, so basically it’s for Hunter [the ‘vessel’] and it’s for his support group. So those are most of the people who are invited. So basically it’s for personal catharsis with the support of the people who are you support group. --Read the rest of this interview online at

Arts & Life

May 16, 2017


A class that hangs on the edge

n d f

Students soar in Towson’s aerial dance studio

b n y

It’s an early Tuesday morning at r Towson University’s Center for the d Arts as sophomore dance and anthros pology major Eleanor Weir warms up s with her class in the aerial dance n studio. - Today, the class will prepare for n their solo performance -- their final t semester project. Weir works with - the trapeze, moving herself in a quick circle before using the momentum to s hoist her body up onto the apparatus. f At this point, Weir is one step away t from flying. m “[Aerial dance] is one of the best classes that I’ve had early in the d morning,” Weir said. “It really gets me s going. I don’t think anyone can really say they look forward to their 8 a.m. e class as much as I do.” d A sub-genre of modern dance, aeri, al dance was brought to the United p States between the 1960s and 1970s, s as a rebellion against classical modern , dance, according to instructor Jayne m Bernasconi. e The choreography allows dancers to - explore different ways to move their l bodies in space, ultimately giving the dancer more freedom. “Everybody wants to fly, right?” Bernasconi said. “When you have gravity, you’re always being pulled down, even though as dancers we want to defy gravity. With aerial dance, it feels like we can.” Bernasconi is one of the pioneers of aerial dance, and her class uses her book throughout the course.

Before learning aerial dance, Bernasconi was trained in modern dance and postmodern dance. She also danced in New York for 10 years. When she finished her time in New York, she moved to Boulder, Colorado, to dance with Frequent Flyers Productions, an aerial dance company founded by Nancy Smith in 1988. The company has held a festival each year since 1999, where they host workshops, performances and discussions for the world’s aerial enthusiasts. Bernasconi brought the dance genre to the Baltimore area in 1999 when she started teaching at Towson. The University did not introduce the course into its curriculum until 2008, three years after the CFA renovation that allowed Bernasconi to hang the dance apparatuses - trapezes, silks and lyra hoops. “Anything that gets you up in the air can be considered aerial dance,” Bernasconi said. Weir, who has been dancing since she was two years old, said that aerial dance is one of her favorite dance classes so far. Before coming to Towson, she was part of the University’s Community Dance Pre-Collegiate Program, which exposed her to the program before she arrived. In her senior year, she was accepted at Towson and was then approved by the dance major, a screened program. However, she did not know how unique the aerial dance class was until she decided to take it this semester. “Since being in the community dance program, I knew there was

aerial dance here,” Weir said. “I knew it was special, but I didn’t know how special the program was.” According to both Weir and Bernasconi, the class requires a lot of strength. All participants must be screened before they enroll, because if they are not strong enough to pull themselves onto the apparatuses, it creates safety concerns. Weir, who considers herself lightweight and not muscular, said that as long as a participant can do a push-up, they should be able to perform well in the class and that their strength will increase throughout the semester. “I’m able to lift my own body weight, but I can’t do a pull-up all the way,” Weir said. “I’m able to use the strength and physics that’s involved, and what I actually found was that my strength increased just learning how to do the movements.” Weir said that the class is perfect for anyone who has played sports, done yoga or participated in any opportunity that would allow somebody to be in tune with their body. “If you know how to move your body, it’s a good class to take,” Weir said. “If you really want to do it, I’d say go for it. Maybe take a yoga class as well to help build up your body.” To Weir, the class provides her an opportunity to feel weightless, to fight against gravity and to explore different ways to move in another kind of space. “I guess people who take it a lot are people who almost want to feel like they’re flying,” Weir said. “I particularly like it because it opens all this new space as a dancer. Being limited to the ground and limited to gravity, you’re able to fight against it.”

Unraveling mortality with a personal lens MCKENNA GRAHAM Assistant Arts & Life Editor

Title: When Breath Becomes Air Author: Paul Kalanithi Genre: Memoir Rating: Five stars I know that a lot of people our age have an indomitable passion for medical dramas like Grey’s Anatomy and Scrubs, but if you want a look at the life behind those who make a living out of medicine and mortality, I have just the book for you. This book isn’t particularly complex or dramatic; it isn’t thrilling or drastic; it’s simply the story of a man who dedicated his life to death – understanding it through literature and overcoming it through medicine – and then stood toe-totoe with it. Paul Kalanithi was 36 when he was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic lung cancer. He was in his last year of residency as a neurosurgeon and began to consider having kids with his wife. This book chronicles his journey, first as a teenager reading all he can about life and death, and then later as a medical student, doing all he can to stop life from becoming death. As previously stated, this is not a story for someone who wants a light, fun, adventurous thrillride. This is a story for someone who wants to read something that feels like it really matters – this is not young adult or sci-fi, it’s not thriller or fantasy, it’s real life, cut open and raw and waiting for you to look. You’ll think about death in a totally different way, not just because the story ends with it but

Sarah Rowan/ The Towerlight

Students in professor Jayne Bernasconi’s aerial dance class practice their final dance routines.

because Kalanithi gets as close to peering into the abyss and reporting back as you can get. After reading about mortality and the human condition for the first 20 or so years of his life, he went on to practice medicine as a surgeon, using precision tools to preserve such things. I personally have never read a book so simple and yet intellectual. Kalanithi makes you think without realizing it; because it’s so comprehensible, even the things that sound like they come from a medical textbook are easy to understand. Things do get metaphysical and philosophical, but Kalanithi puts concepts within reach of his reader, never assumes that they’re an expert with literature or medicine and is ever patient as a guide down the road he’s already traveled. This book was pretty much written within the last year of his life; in the afterword, his wife describes him curled up in his armchair in the living room, blankets wrapped around him, writing away, but it doesn’t feel rushed or unfinished. His prose is polished and meditative; it’s smooth and soothing for a book that sounds so morbid, but perhaps that’s partly his intention: to de-mystify death, to normalize it for us as it was normalized for him. This is my last review of the year, and it’s definitely a good one to end on. This book makes you think, makes you feel and makes you talk, three things that any really good book will do. Yet it is effortless, never forced, always soft and well-spoken, like a physician guiding you through his thought process on a simple and quick procedure.

You’ll think about death in a totally different way, not because the story ends with it, but because Kalanithi gets as close to peering into the abyss and reporting back as you can.

20 May 16, 2017


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Puzzles Puzzles

MayMay 16,16, 2017 2017

21 21

Crossword Sudoku




● Each row and each column must contain the numbers 1 through 4 (easy) or 1 through 6 (challenging) without repeating.


● The numbers within the heavily

outlined boxes, called cages, must combine using the given operation (in any order) to produce the target numbers in the top-left corners.

● Freebies: Fill in single-box cages with the number in the top-left corner.


KenKen® is a registered trademark of Nextoy, LLC. ©2016 KenKen Puzzle LLC. All rights reserved. Dist. by Universal Uclick for UFS.

? ?

See page 22 for answers to this week’s

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22 May 16, 2017


Rising to the task Vasilkova overcomes enormous challenges

Men’s Lacrosse Senior attackman Joe Seider registered four goals, two assists and six points in Towson’s 12-8 victory over Penn State in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Towson will take on Syracuse in the quarterfinals round Sunday in Newark, Delaware.

Senior Editor @jordancope26

Junior tennis star Barbora Vasilkova steps onto the court, takes her position behind the baseline and awaits the serve from her opponent Anastasia Palaska. Vasilkova defeated Palaska in the third set on the way to Towson’s first program victory over the College of Charleston. Vasilkova’s win came with physical discomfort, however. She had been playing the match with a torn groin, an injury that she sustained in the weight room earlier in the year and had to battle through the entire spring campaign. “In tennis you’re always playing

through injuries,” Vasilkova said. “This one was just disappointing in particular because this was something that was out of my control.” Vasilkova’s injury was just one piece of an adversity-riddled junior year. The day before the start of the team’s fall season, she learned that head coach Doug Neagle was leaving to take over Nova Southeastern’s tennis program in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The news came as a surprise to Vasilkova. Neagle recruited her to come to Towson where she began her collegiate tennis career in 2014. In her rookie campaign under the direction of Neagle, Vasilkova led the team with 15 doubles wins and added 16 singles wins. Vasilkova continued to grow under the leadership of Neagle. In

In tennis you’re always playing through injuries. This one was just disappointing because this was something that was out of my control.

Barbora Vasilkova Junior tennis player


for Puzzles on page 21

● Each row and each column must

contain the numbers 1 through 4 (easy) or 1 through 6 (challenging) without repeating.

● The numbers within the heavily


outlined boxes, called cages, must combine using the given operation (in any order) to produce the target numbers in the top-left corners.

● Freebies: Fill in single-box cages with the number in the top-left corner. KenKen® is a registered trademark of Nextoy, LLC. ©2016 KenKen Puzzle LLC. All rights reserved. Dist. by Universal Uclick for UFS.

Joe Seider


her second season with Towson, she earned a team-best 19 doubles victories and tied for the second-most singles victories with 16, proving the sophomore slump theory to be a myth. “It wasn’t easy at first, the new coach worked another job and had a different set of drills and training techniques for us,” Vasilkova said. “But the team rallied around it.” The Bratislava, Slovakia native embraced the challenge head on and took new marching orders from interim head coach Jamie Peterson. She finished her junior year with 14 singles wins, just one of six Tigers to do so. Vasilkova also secured eight doubles wins and was named to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) All-Academic Team. Vasilkova is happy to have overcome a roller coaster ride this season, but wants to accomplish more in her senior year with Towson. Before all is said and done, she wants to win a CAA Championship and be named to the All-CAA Team. As for her future, Vasilkova is still uncertain about what she wants to do. She has considered working in the United States after college, but is aware of the emotional toll that her coming and going has left on her family. “It has been especially tough on my mom,” Vasilkova said. “Ask me this time next year what I’m planning on doing.”


May 16, 2017



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File photo by Jordan Cope/ The Towerlight

Vasilkova returns the ball in singles play in a match against CAA rival College of Charleston. She played through that match with a torn groin.

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24 May 16, 2017


A race to the end TU downs PSU in opening round of NCAA Tournament File photo by Jordan Cope/ The Towerlight

Redshirt senior midfielder Brian Bolewicki races to the cage in Towson’s match versus No. 6 Denver at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Towson ultimately fell to Denver 12-11 (Above). Below is a look at the 2017 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament bracket. If Towson should beat Syracuse on Sunday, the team would face the winner of Ohio State vs. Duke (Below).

JORDAN COPE Senior Editor @jordancope26

A strong second half performance and a four-goal game from senior attackman Joe Seider earned No. 12 Towson a 12-8 victory over No. 8 Penn State in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament and a spot in the quarterfinals. The Tigers (11-4, 5-1 CAA) and Nittany Lions (12-4, 3-2 Big Ten) opened the first quarter by trading goals. The Nittany Lions scored first midway through the quarter, but senior attackman Ryan Drenner evened the score for the Tigers with 4:37 left to play. Penn State opened the second quarter with two goals to take a 3-1 lead. However, Towson answered with a 2-0 run to tie the game 3-3 with 3:29 left in the first half. It was the Nittany Lions who took a 4-3 lead into halftime when sophomore attackman Grant Ament buried a shot off a feed from freshman midfielder Nick McEvoy past Tigers’ senior goalkeeper Matt Hoy. In the second half, Towson went on a 3-0 run to take a 6-4 lead over Penn State. Senior attackman Tyler Konen sparked the run for the team

off an assist from Seider. “We took care of the ball and scored more often in the second half,” Head Coach Shawn Nadelen said. Redshirt sophomore attackman Dylan Kinnear followed Konen’s goal on a man-up opportunity and sophomore midfielder Alex Woodall capped off the Tigers’ run with his fifth goal of the season. Following the Tigers’ run, the Nittany Lions scored three of the next four goals to tie the game 7-7 with 13:01 left in the fourth quarter. Midway through the fourth quarter, senior midfielder Mike Lynch regained the lead for Towson on a man-up opportunity and sparked a 4-0 run for the team. Lynch scored once more during the run along with Drenner and Seider to give Towson an 11-7 lead with two minutes left to play in the game. Penn State and Towson each scored one more goal before the final horn, but Towson came out with a 12-8 win on the road. Hoy earned his third victory of the 2017 postseason, he made nine saves on the afternoon. Woodall won seven of 13 draws on the afternoon but went out

injured in the third quarter and did not return to the game. Junior midfielder Connor Harryman took over for Woodall and won six of 11 draws. Towson will have a week to prepare for its quarterfinals matchup against No. 2 Syracuse in a neutral-site game at Delaware Stadium.

The Tigers have not played the Orange (13-2, 4-0 CAA) since the 2000 season. However, the two teams have scrimmaged before the official start of the 2015 and 2016 campaigns. In 11 meetings, Syracuse holds a 9-2 lead. If Towson comes out victorious

on Sunday, it will be the team’s first win against Syracuse in the Division I era. “Our confidence comes from preparationand the guys have done a good job of that this year,” Nadelen said. “We need another strong week of preparation for Sunday’s game.”

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