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Tennessee Tech University | Cookeville, TN | 38505



Volume 94 | Issue 12 | Free in single copy | February 18, 2011

Plant food, bath salts spark Minority Affairs director concern for Tech, community stepping down in March By ROSS HARVEY Asst. Sports Editor

Tech is teaming up with Putnam County agencies to address a growing issue in the community–the use of dangerous, new, legal drugs. The widespread use of these new drugs, sold in gas stations and convenient stores as “bath salts” and “plant food,” has alarmed Tech officials and administrators, as well as teachers, parents, and doctors in the area. In one of the first steps to raise awareness on the dangers of these drugs, Tech is planning a town hall meeting sometime in the near future. This event will be open to the public and Tech students. In the past month alone, more than 30 people with symptoms related to these drugs have appeared in Cookeville Regional Medical Center. These 30 are only those who have confessed to taking the drug after being admitted; others show the

symptoms of the “plant food” but do not confess to ingesting it. Those cannot be added to the count because it the new drug doesn’t show up on a drug screen. The patients seen in the hospital have had a variety of symptoms Being with varying arrested severity. The due to uncertainty of plant food treatment and reaction is a Page 2 big problem because of the newness of the drug, which experts say has only been on the market in this form since around August. Dr. Sullivan Smith, Cookeville Regional Emergency Services Medical Director said that the reaction can change from person to person. “We have to study the drug,” Sullivan Smith said. “There is a range of symptoms; do they progress quickly? We just do not know.” According to Putnam County EMS public relations officer Brandon Smith, Persons taking these drugs may


seem very happy, feel an increased sense of love/desire for intimacy as well as have a greater willingness to talk than usual. Users may appear calm and under control and then may suddenly change without warning and be easily agitated and aggressive. They have a false perception of their actions which can easily lead to doing things that may cause injury or even death. Users will typically have a very fast heart rate, large pupils and may experience insomnia, going for prolonged periods without sleep. They may even experience “wormlike” body movements and high body temperatures. Although many of the other effects of this new drug are unknown, it is known that there is potential for long-term neurological effects including brain damage or even death. Recently, one man may have even suffered a massive stroke from the effects of the “plant food”. “You can have kidney failure, especially with repeated dosage,” Sullivan Smith said. “The first time you could take it, you might not be fine.”

Scientists know the main ingredient in the drugs to be mephedrone, or 4-methyl methcathinone. A big problem, however, is that the other contaminants in these products are unknown, because the other ingredients are not listed on the products. This is only legal because a statement on the product reads “not for human consumption”. Because it is easily purchased and the drug remains legal in the state of Tennessee, many think that it is not dangerous; however, it has caused some local teens and adults to be hospitalized in critical condition, and some have experienced long-lasting effects still present after discharge from the hospital. These drugs are not a problem in Tennessee alone. Other states have already banned the product, and Tennessee has a bill in the works that will do the same. Sullivan Smith said that because of the crucial nature of the issue, something must be done quickly. “[Is it] life-threatening stuff? Absolutely.”

Students face mandatory, nonmandatory fee increases Lab material fees, international student registration fees and post office box rental fee may increase By CANDICE GRIGGS Staff Writer

Along with the athletics fee, the health services portion and student success portion of the student activity fee will increase next school year. Tech requested three mandatory fees and six nonmandatory fees be increased for the 2011-2012 school year during Monday’s Tennessee Board of Regents Finance Committee meeting. Jan. 14 was the deadline for fee submission from TBR institutions. “Today’s meeting is to ensure that we recommend approval of a fee and we as staff are comfortable with the fee and are addressing the defined need of an institution,” Vice Chancellor Dale Sims said. “The adjustment is recorded by documented need.” Non-mandatory fees expected to increase are lab materials fees, international student registration fees and the post office box rental fee. Tech also requested to establish fees for international student deposits, fines for violations of the University’s drug and alcohol regulations and increased traffic violation fines. The mandatory athletics fee will increase $50, bringing the total fee to $200. The

We think that as we work through fee proposals that we should be particularly sensitive to how they impact students. Dale Sims, TBR Vice Chancellor

athletics fee justification was inflation, especially concerning scholarships. “These [mandatory fees] are fees that every student enrolled has to pay in order to be properly registered,” Sims said. The increase in the student success portion of the student activities fee will increase $38, totaling $58. The funds will be used to continue the support of student retention efforts, including the one-hour University success courses. Since implementation, freshmen retention has increased by four percent. In addition, funds will also be used to support more centralized advising, a learning commons in Angelo and Jennette Volpe Library, and transformation of residence halls into learning commons. The health services fee portion of the student activity fee will total $30—a $10 increase. The increase will allow Tech to stay up-todate on the increasing cost

of supplies, pharmaceuticals, professional expertise, and health-care technologies. “We think that as we work through fee proposals that we should be particularly sensitive to how they impact students,” Sims said, “assuming that there could be a maintenance fee and tuition increase.” No increase in price will be added to the lab materials fee, but HEC 2032 will be added and HEC 1300 removed from courses to which the fee is applied. Fines for violation of University drug and alcohol regulations were originally handled through the Institutional Student Disciplinary Rules process. Tech has requested fines be set at $25 dollars for the first offense, $50 for the second offense and $100 for the third offense. Funds from fines will be used to support Student Affair’s drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. Currently, Tech’s traffic

fines range from $5 to $200. The increases for various offenses will provide additional incentive to adhere to parking and traffic regulations. By increasing the fines, Tech will have fines more in line with those of other institutions. Tech requested the post office box rental fee increase $1. The increase will be used to compensate for cost of operations. Door locks with advanced security technology will be added to the aging boxes. Tech is also addressing increasing student and campus demand by expanding the shipping and receiving service to include all major carriers to provide better cost competitiveness. An increase for international student registration of $70 was proposed. The increase is requested to offset complex and costly international student immigration processing. Immigration forms require considerable time and specialized knowledge. Tech requested to establish an international student deposit fee of $300 per international student. The deposit will be held and applied to the student’s final semester of study at Tech. If the student transfers or drop out, the deposit will be forfeited. Tech submitted nine requests to be reviewed by the committee, totaling a three percent tuition increase to replace revenue.


Robert L. Owens II will be stepping down as Tech’s Minority Affairs director. Owens has been a stable entity in the Black Cultural Center for the past five years. He has implemented several programs and revolutionized many others. Some of those programs include the Summer Scholars Program (a bridge program for underrepresented students), a tutoring program, the Hall of Distinguished Achievers, and a scholarship endowment on the verge of being launched. Although implementing new programs is considered an accomplishOwens ment, Owens said he believes his greatest accomplishment is having the ability to make an impact on the lives of minority students. “I know that I’ve touched some students’ lives,” Owens said. “I haven’t touched everybody, every life I’ve wanted to, but I know I’ve touched some lives.” One student in particular, Larissa Gregory, had her personal and professional life touched by him. “He was really the person that initially got me involved,” Gregory said. “He encouraged me to get involved with being an ambassador, being a part of the mentor program. And that’s how I really got to know Dr. Rob and to really see how much he wanted to help students.” In addition to being director, Owens serves as an advisor for several minority student organizations and as chaplain for the men’s basketball team. He teaches courses for the Education Department and helps with recruiting through the Admissions Office. See “Owens,” page 2

New learning villages forming for this fall By JULIE GRAHAM Staff Writer

Two new learning villages will join The Tree House and Service Station this fall. Crawford Hall will soon become the home of the new women’s learning village, while the new engineering village will be housed in Maddux Hall. “Renovations to the halls will be made this summer to accommodate a classroom as well an office for us,” said Lenly Weathers, future faculty head of the engineering village. Paula Hinton will soon leave the Service Station to head the women’s village. Two new faculty heads for The Tree House and Service Station will be chosen later this month. “We plan on working with the Hinton new village heads and are already in the process of making handbooks,” Hinton said. Learning villages are a new concept Tech is using to achieve a higher student retention rate. It is modeled after Murray State’s residential colleges. Eventually, each residence hall will house a learning village. “The learning villages promote social involvement through socials, trips and parties, as well as academic tutoring,” Weathers said. “I think having the two new learning villages will help spread the knowledge of the villages across campus.” “Crawford already has a sense of community bond,” Hinton said. “I want to expand on it by having hobby nights and doing things women would want to do.” Weathers and Hinton both said they would like to form a name, logo, colors, T-shirts, and executive councils for each new village before the end of the semester. See “Villages,” page 2

IN THIS EDITION INDEX News.......................2-3 Opinion ...................... 4 Sports ........................ 5 Entertainment ............ 6

Former eatery may be added to National Register of Historic Places Page 2


‘The Vagina Monologues’ closes this weekend A.M. SHOWERS Page 6


HIGH 64, LOW 53



More stories at Faculty research attempts to better understand autism TBR schools adapt to new funding formula Engineers’ Week returns to Tech


Page 2 | February 18, 2011

John’s Place in Cookeville awaits national recognition A hub for desegregated socializing in the 1960s may be placed on the National Register of Historic Places Story and photo By HEATHER KING Staff Writer

During the Jim Crow south in 1949, John’s Place was the one business in Cookeville where everyone socialized together regardless of race. Michael Birdwell, history professor and Tennessee State Review Board for the National Register of Historic Places member, has submitted a registration form to Washington to have John’s Place listed in the National Register of Historic Places. “It’s symbolic of a specific period in time, and if we don’t preserve it, that history of black-white relations in Cookeville and the uniqueness of them will be lost,” Birdwell said. John’s Place, originally called Ed’s Place and McClellan’s Café, is an African American owned establishment located on Gibson Avenue. It was established in 1949 by Ed McClellan as the second grocery store to be operated by African Americans in Cookeville. The building was originally divided by a partition wall, with a door on the south side opening into a restaurant and the door on

the north side opening into a grocery store. John’s Place served southern meals, including fried chicken, fried catfish, meat loaf, and corn bread. They had a license to sell beer in the grocery store up until 1953, when it was revoked due to a racist sheriff. In 1957, they regained their license to sell beer, but it was only to be sold in six-packs. In 1963, Ed sold his part of the business to his brother John Lee McClellan. John Lee took the partitioning wall out and made it into one open space with a kitchen area and horseshoe bar, where he sold beer to be consumed on the premises after receiving a license. Every place in Putnam County was segregated except for John’s Place. Many people had their first encounter with an African American at John’s. “Between 1963,” Birdwell said, “when the place reopens and throughout much of the 1960s, the only place that you could interact interracially was at John’s and not feel any kind of threat.” With John’s Place being lo-

Owens although he will no longer be employed in the BCC, he would like students to know he’ll still be around. When asked how he would like to be remembered, Owens said he’d like to be remembered as somebody that loves students and someone who perseveres despite mistakes made along the way. February will be his last month as director.

Villages CONTINUED from page 1

“When girls move in, I want to be able to give them a village T-shirt and welcome them to the new women’s village,” Hinton said. The villages are there to help students make social connections and to ultimately help them grown

served all over the United States.” “When I was in high school, we would go to John’s after school, and we’d go to the drive-thru because we couldn’t go in,” Birdwell said. “Heaven forbid we be seen going in, but there would be cars lined up at 3:30 in the afternoon any day of the week getting sacks of John Dogs.” While there were whites whom would go into John’s and eat, there were also a lot of whites whom would prefer to go to the drive-thru instead. Even though there was racial tension in Cookeville, John’s Place never had any race-related trouble. “In the whole history of race in Tennessee,” Birdwell said, “John’s is this bizarre story where there has never been, not to say there was never

trouble at John’s, there was, but it was usually between fraternities but not among blacks and whites,” John Lee McClellan was seen as a well-respected man in the white and black communities. He was the first African American elected to a public office in Putnam County. His nephew, “Shakey,” also John Lee McClellan, was well-respected. He was the first African American tennis player in Cookeville. Part of the reason Cookeville has tennis courts is because of “Shakey.” The McClellan’s helped put a lot of students through school, both white and black. If anyone needed a job or money to go to school, they offered their assistance as a gift. They didn’t care what race the person was. Anyone was welcome to eat at John’s. “As Mr. Farley said, ‘We didn’t care what color you were as long as your money was green,’” Birdwell said. “When I went in there for the first time, it was like everybody’s everybody,” Birdwell said, “I mean everybody’s equal. It doesn’t matter what color your

skin is.” From 1965 to the mid1980s, John’s Place became the hangout for Tech students. There was never any trouble between the black and white students at John’s. “There never has been racial tension there,” Birdwell said, “and it has been integrated from the get-go before Cookeville was integrated.” John’s Place was significant as an interracial hangout until 1973, when other businesses began integrating. John’s Place is now run by John Lee’s widow, Mary Alice McClellan. “That blacks and whites interacted harmoniously is unusual,” Birdwell said, “given the time period.” “It was the only nomination to get an ovation at the review board meeting,” Birdwell said, “and there were ten other properties, including the WSM tower, which is an iconic structure.” Birdwell submitted the registration form to Washington on Jan. 24. He will find out whether or not John’s Place will make it onto the list by the end of March. A documentary on John’s Place will air on WCTE in April. Birdwell said he is hoping it will be in high enough quality that it will be picked up nationally.

Plant food possession legal, consumption not

CONTINUED from page 1

Corinne Johnson, Minority Affairs secretary, shares these words of advice for the next director. “Just be present. Have a presence in many areas of the campus, but especially here in the Black Cultural Center, not just for AfroAmerican students, but for anyone who walks through the door.” Owens has accepted the position of Associate Pastor at Church on the Hill in Algood, Tenn., and

cated beside Highway 70, where truckers and blue- collared workers traveled, the reputation of their good food spread throughout the counties. When they stopped serving full meals, John Lee met with James Foutch of Foutch’s Meat, a local meat producer, to come up with a recipe for their own hot dog, later known as the John Dog. The recipe for the John Dog and its condiments are a family secret. The John Dog became a local favorite. People of every race went to John’s for a John dog. The rugby team would take a case of John Dogs with them anytime they traveled. “John Dogs have been served in England,” Birdwell said. “They’ve been served in Scotland. They’ve been served in New Zealand and

and develop at Tech. Any student can get involved in the learning villages. The residence hall is the headquarters of the village. The final goal is to have all students and faculty belonging to a village.

By ALEKSANDR PETERSON Staff Writer She did a lot of sighing and shaking her head if that’s any indicator of how serious the situation is. Some are calling it an epidemic. Gay Shepherd, Tech police chief, is planning her next move in response to the outbreak of “plant food” hospitalizations. “We’re all scrambling around to find some guidelines to address this,” Shepherd said. In case you don’t already know, Cookeville Regional Medical Center’s emergency room has seen more than 30 cases in the last month where patients displayed symptoms associated with “plant food” and “bath salts,” two recent crazes that mimic ecstasy. Under current laws, the drugs are perfectly legal . . . and extremely dangerous. If you Google “Molly’s Plant Food” and click on the first link, you will find an

anonymous blog post from November that says, “Unlike some of the other legal ecstasy pills, Molly’s Plant Food had me rolling balls, and it almost mimics the roll of pure MDMA.” “It’s complete fraud,” Shepherd said about Go Faded, one of the organizations that distributes the so-called Molly’s Plant Food. But it’s not illegal. “As far as possession, our hands are tied,” Shepherd said. “At this point, it’s not illegal to have it.” And it’s not just a be-niceto-the-college-kids-so-youdon’t-crush-their-dreams rule of thumb because the Cookeville Police Department is under the same limitations. “Consumption, though— yeah, we could probably address that,” Shepherd said. “If you have ingested it in some form, and you are under the influence, you can be arrested for public intoxication. “Protective custody is pretty much what it boils down to,” she said. “You get real paranoid and stuff; you’re going to have to come

down, and it’s a real long high, usually.” Shepherd said if someone becomes a hazard to themselves or to others by consuming plant food, legal or not, they can be taken into custody, which usually means taken to the hospital. According to medical experts, the drug, which can be ingested, injected, snorted, smoked, or taken anally, is only one oxygen molecule away from being MDMA, or molly, and can lead to serious neurological damage, kidney failure or death. Molly is an amphetamine taken by itself or added to other drugs to make ecstasy. The Cookeville Police Department, along with State Rep. Ryan Williams, has been visiting local stores to request that owners stop selling the product. Shepherd said it’s worth between $20 and $40 for four capsules. “There may be some retailer out there that doesn’t know,” she said, “but I doubt it because their profit margin has to be pretty huge.” Shepherd attended a com-

munity meeting last Thursday along with representatives from Tech, the Putnam County school system, the health department, Cookeville Regional Medical Center, the Red Cross, Tennessee Highway Patrol, the fire department, and the district attorney’s office to talk about the outbreak and inform officials about its seriousness. The Office of Residential Life hosted its own meeting Monday morning to discuss an educational campaign against the drugs—one that would discourage students from trying them. Others are going further than public information. Last Tuesday, Williams filed a bill with the Tennessee Legislature. The bill, if passed, would make the sale of plant food and bath salts a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,500. Shepherd says she feels motivated, not powerless. “We need to get the word out that this stuff’s not all it’s cracked up to be,” she said. “There’s a possibility you could die or be brain-dead.”


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NEWS Page 3 | February 18, 2011

Tech Village renovations bring it up to code By JUSTIN O’DELL Staff Writer

events @ tech February

Students living in Tech Village can’t deny its oncampus location is convenient, but they may argue that it hasn’t been the convenience lately that it usually is. Tech Village is currently under a complete renovation. These are the first renovations that have been done since the Tech Village facilities were built in the 1960s. “The apartments were built out of masonry block,” said Glenn Binkley, Facilities and Business Services interim associate vice president, “so the outsides are structurally secure“but the inside of the buildings were completely gutted.” The interior walls were removed along with the plumbing fixtures. New insulation was installed because the buildings weren’t properly insulated in the 1960s. They’re also getting new floor coverings, bathroom fixtures, kitchen appliances, doors, and windows. “Because the utilities have never been replaced, they’re installing new electric, water and sewer systems,” Binkley said. “That’s why it has looked like a war zone.” Tech Village’s ability to meet the needs of students with disabilities was limited in the past, but once the renovation is completed, each building will be com-

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The renovated Tech Village will include one ADA-compliant apartment in each building.

pliant with the guidelines established by the Americans with Disabilities Act. “The outcome that we’re looking for is to have apartments that are more in line with today’s renters,” Binkley said, “and are available to students with disabilities.” There will be one ADAcompliant apartment per building. Doors are larger, there is a clear turn-around radius, kitchen appliances are at ADA height, the knobs have been replaced with levers, the stoves have levers on the front instead of knobs on the back, and door handles are levers instead of knobs. Tech chose to do the renovation because all of Tech Village is required to have sprinklers by Fall 2014 in order to meet building

codes. As long as no one is living in the third building, the renovation doesn’t have to be completed by 2014. The sprinklers are necessary only for buildings where students are residing. Before it was decided that Tech Village would be renovated, there was talk of closing it down entirely. Once it was decided that Tech couldn’t benefit from empty apartment buildings, it had to be determined whether the best option was to renovate or start fresh. “It was significantly less expensive to renovate than to build new ones,” Charles Macke, Residential Life director, said. Students were given a six-month notice that they would need to be moved

out of the apartments in need of renovation. They were required to be completely moved out by May 2010. Students who currently reside in Tech Village will have the choice of moving to the new apartments first. Other students who meet the criteria and faculty will then be given the opportunity to move in if there are still vacancies. “In order to qualify to live in Tech Village,” Macke said, “students must be 21 years old or a junior.” Most of the apartments had one bedroom. There will still be one-bedroom apartments, but there will also be two-bedroom apartments and four-person two-bedroom suites. The bedrooms in the suites feel more like dorm rooms.


Rent for the one-bedroom apartments will increase from $350 per month to $650 per month. The two-bedroom apartments will have the same $300 increase from $410 per month to $710 per month. Lastly, the four-person suite will cost $900 per month. These prices include everything except electricity, which means rent, water, cable, and internet access. Though weather is a factor, the goal is to be completely finished with the first building by Aug. 1, so students can move in before school begins in the fall. They plan to begin renovating the second building immediately after work is completed on the first.


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Page 4 | February 18, 2011

Domestic violence against Church should accept, not pressure men is no laughing matter CASSIE TESAURO Asst. Editorial Editor

I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately. I find they help me get my mind off of my homework procrastination. My guilty pleasure is cheesy romantic comedies. However, there’s one characteristic scene in this genre that has always bothered me. It’s the scene where the heroine catches her boyfriend at a restaurant with another woman. The main character confronts her boyfriend and usually gives him the stereotypical slap across the face. Every time I see that scene, I can’t help but picture what would have happened if a man confronted a cheating girlfriend in a crowded restaurant. Slapping her would have crossed the line. Most likely, other restaurant patrons would try to help her. So how is it that in the movies a man slapping a woman is abusive, but a woman slapping a man is empowering? Usually when we think of double standards, we automatically associate them with women. But

a very dangerous double standard affecting men has been overlooked. Our culture makes light of abusive relationships when the man is the victim. When did it become comedic for a woman to tell her significant other who he can be friends with or how worthless he is? And more importantly, why is it funny for a woman to hit a man? To add a quick disclaimer, I am not talking about women defending themselves from attacks. There is a very big difference between a cheating boyfriend and a man grabbing you in a parking lot. Women have the right to defend themselves from serious harm. But a broken heart is no excuse for violence. You don’t get a free shot just because you’re a woman. Domestic violence against men is a problem that no one seems to talk about. A social experiment done by the ABC Primetime program “What Would You Do?” explored

the issue. Two actors portraying a fighting couple were seated on a park bench. The actress threatened and insulted the actor as she hit him. A hidden camera caught the reactions of people as they walked by. The first woman ignored the fight, later telling an interviewer that it didn’t occur to her that the man might need help. The second woman to walk by seemed pleased about the fight, and later said she assumed the man had been caught cheating. As a matter of fact, many of the witnesses interviewed said they didn’t intervene because they assumed he had cheated on her and was getting what he deserved. Out of the 166 people who walked by, only three intervened on the man’s behalf. The prevailing thought is that an aggressive woman is no real threat and that a man shouldn’t seek help for something so inconsequential. We need to remember that life isn’t a movie. A woman hitting a man simply because she is angry at him is not comedy. Domestic violence, regardless of the victim’s gender, is unacceptable.

SARAH TOWNSEND Editorial Editor

Driving through Cookeville, you can count churches upon churches of every denomination imaginable. I am not exactly what one might consider religious. However, I was raised Christian, like many people in the South. When I was a kid there was no question. Our family went to church every Sunday, and that was the deal. It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I realized how many categories there are of Christianity and how many options I had. I quit going all together just before I started here at Tech. Despite the plethora of options, I wasn’t really searching for anything in particular in Cookeville’s religious community because at a young age I remember thinking church was stiff and boring and that it just wasn’t for me. I am still by no means what many Christians would call a ”true Christian” or a religious person, however, I discovered a group of people on campus unlike most other spiritual groups I have looked into in town. Now, this isn’t to say that I have been to every Christian church in town and have compared their worship services because I certainly haven’t been to 80% of the religious groups in Cookeville because there are so many choices. I mostly just wanted to find a group to study the bible in which didn’t pressure me to label myself or decide what I be-

lieve on the spot. I still have a lot of soul searching to do to really know my own beliefs, and I don’t know that I whole-heartedly believe in any particular belief system. If you’re a spiritual person and are interested in church, hopefully you’ve already found your own niche in Cookeville. Unfortunately, when I moved here, many Christians I knew were conservative, and though it is fine if that is how you chose to worship or how you label your preferences, I really didn’t relate to the people I met in most church settings as nice as most of them were. I was interested in studying Christianity as a faith with other like-minded people or people who understand my struggle to “fit” in a religious group. Luckily, last semester I discovered the group Come 2Gather. This newly formed group of 12 or so people varying in age has a very relaxed open-minded approach to religion, despite the fact that some of their beliefs differ greatly from mine. The first thing I noticed when I went to C2G for the first time was that there was no pressure from anyone. The main speaker is Patrick Handlson who is also the preacher at First Presbyterian Church here in town, but he isn’t the only person who talks. He and co-founder Andy Smith, a Tech English instructer both deliver sermons and pretty much anyone who wants to share a message or talk about ex-

periences or problems can do so during the discussion time given at the end of each meeting. Soon, Julia Baker, a German professor here will give a message and nearly every week Jesse Nance, a Tech student, leads the group in music. According to Handlson, when he and Andy Smith created C2G, their goal was to create a safe and inclusive setting for people to share their ideas about faith, as well as provide an opportunity to experience worship in an open and affirming way. He said, “We wanted all voices to be welcome, including women and men, young and old, irrespective racial and denominational boundaries.” He went on to say, “It resulted in an incredibly intimate setting, with people sharing their faith and doubts, their joys and pain.” Everyone I have met there is accepting and non-judgmental and that is exactly what I was looking for in a church family. The support is there, but the members don’t all have to agree with each other on every issue to hold a meeting. C2G is held at 5 every Sunday evening in the Backdoor Playhouse, and you will be welcomed by new friends and a potluck at the end. Even if you decide it isn’t for you, it is worth a shot if you are interested in the what a few other students have discovered. Pat also holds a talk every Thursday at 3 p.m. also in the Back Door Playhouse called “A Bible Discussion for liberals.” I have yet to go and participate due to a very busy Thursday schedule; however, if it is anything like the open discussions at C2G meetings, I know it is worth checking out.

CORRECTION In “Technology access fees provide network access,” it states the computer lab in RUC 381 is the only incompatible lab on campus. This is incorrect. RUC 381 is the only incompatible lab within the College of Arts and Sciences. The Oracle regrets the error.




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SARAH TOWNSEND Editorial Editor

WILL HOUSLEY Asst. Managing Editor

CASSIE TESAURO Asst. Editorial Editor




ROSS HARVEY Asst. Sports Editor


CHUCK ACHESON Entertainment Editor

Tennessee Technological University--nondiscriminatory on the basis of sex in its educational programs and activities including employment and admission of students to the University as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and regulations based therein and published in CFR, part 86. Tennessee Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer.

BRENDA WILSON, Faculty Adviser BEAT REPORTERS: Brittany Anderson, Jillian Boreing, Brendan Bowers, Brandi

Campbell, China Chafin, Courtney Clifford, Olivia Clinard, Jackson Cresswell, Sarah DeRossett, Zachary Edwards, Julie Graham, Candice Goodman, Candice Griggs, Emily Haile, Elizabeth Harper, Justin Hill, Heather King, Shelby McDonald, Amanda Miller, Logan Nickleson, Justin O’Dell, Alek Peterson, Brittany Ritzman, Andy Rutherford, Will Sheckler, Logan Shrum, Ashley Smith, Niklas Trzaskowski, Katherine Vaughn, Suzanne Vaughn, Aaron Vick, Jacob Walker, Lindsey Wallace, Emily Weinzetl, Gerri Anna Wilson, Casey Woodard, Camille Woods


Page 5 | February 18, 2011

Women’s Basketball ranked Baseball opens season at Myrtle Beach 17th in Mid-Major’s Top 25 Golden Eagles look to defend 2011 Ohio Valley Conference Championship By ANDY RUTHERFORD Staff Writer


In the most recent poll conducted by, the Tennessee Tech women’s basketball team has been ranked 17th in the nation in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Mid-Major Top 25 for the second consecutive week. Sporting a 19-5 record and currently sitting in first place in the Ohio Valley Conference, this is Tennessee Tech’s fourth straight week in the poll. The Golden Eagles, who ranked 17th in last week’s poll, held on to their ranking after a victory against Murray

State and a loss to UT Martin. TTU is the OVC’s lone representative in the poll, receiving 247 points. Of the 25 teams in the poll, the Golden Eagles have faced only Middle Tennessee (12/1), which saw the Blue Raiders come out with the 71-58 victory at Eblen Center. In its five losses on the season, Tech’s opponents have a combined record of 88-38. The result of Thursday’s game was not available at deadline. To see the result, visit Tech plays again Saturday against Austin Peay. Opening tip is set for 5:30 p.m. CT.

Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 as of Feb. 15 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Green Bay (30) Gonzaga (1) Florida Gulf Coast Marist Middle Tennessee Princeton Bowling Green James Madison

9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Appalachian State Toledo Old Dominion Arkansas-Little Rock Illinois State Northern Iowa Creighton Lamar


Tennessee Tech

18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

UC Davis Central Michigan Missouri State Oral Roberts UNC Wilmington Hampton Cal Poly

Tech hosts BracketBuster tomorrow By ROSS HARVEY Asst. Sports Editor

The Tech men’s basketball team looks to keep its winning ways when the Runnin’ Bulldogs of Garner-Webb come to town tomorrow. Tech has won six of its last eight and is coming off a last-second win against Tennessee State. Gardner-Webb also won its last contest, as they held off Coastal Carolina 59-57. That win ended a 22-game winning streak for Coastal Carolina, which was tops in

the nation. GWU has a 9-18 overall record to go along with a 4-11 mark in the Big South. Tech has been led in the past few games by Kevin Murphy and Jud Dillard. Murphy’s game-high 24 paced Tech against TSU, and Dillard chipped in 13. Dillard recently scored 23 points on 9-for-9 shooting in a win against UT Martin. Bassey Inameti has made a defensive impact, averaging 2.0 blocks in the last two games despite only playing an average of just more than 13 minutes.

Tomorrow’s contest will mark the first time that Gardner-Webb and Tech have met on the court and will also mark Tech’s “Think Pink” and Pack the House events. To support Breast Cancer Awareness, all fans are encouraged to wear pink; everyone wearing pink can purchase tickets for tomorrow’s game for $1. TTU students get in free with their student ID. Tipoff for the BracketBuster game will follow the women’s game, which tipsoff at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit

The Tennessee Tech baseball team will start its 2011 season tomorrow when it plays Virginia Tech, Costal Carolina and Boston College in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Expectations are high as the team looks to continue the success it have had the past few seasons under head coach Matt Bragga. The Golden Eagles were last year’s Ohio Valley Conference champions. In 2009, they won the OVC tournament and made an NCAA Regionals appearance. Bragga was named the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year and OVC Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Preseason accolades also raise the expectations for this year’s Golden Eagle baseball team. Senior center fielder Chad Oberacker has been named to three preseason AllAmerica teams. He was named first team All-American by College Baseball Lineup, second team by Louisville Slugger, and third team by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association. “It’s great to have this momentum headed into the season,” Oberacker said.” It’s only going to make us step up more and work harder. “It’s a huge honor to be recognized before the season even starts, and it’s a really big reflection on my teammates,” Oberacker added. “We worked hard all last season as a team to keep getting better and finish where we

Sports Information

Junior pitcher Cullen Park throws during the Purple and Gold intersquad series game. did, and the team deserves credit for that.” He led the team in several offensive categories last year including batting average (.452), runs scored (67), hits (108), doubles (29), triples (5), stolen bases (14), total plate appearances (281), and at-bats (239). He was second on the team in slugging percentage (.690), on-base percentage (.527), runs batted in (79), and total bases (165), all behind A.J. Kirby-Jones. He finished third in home runs (60) and walks (34). Oberacker was also selected in the 19th round of last year’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. Three of his teammates from last season’s team were also drafted. Stephen Pryor was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the fifth round, Kirby-Jones by the Oakland A’s in the ninth, and Adam Liberatore by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 21st.

The Golden Eagles baseball team is coming off three consecutive 30 win seasons, going 35-23-1 in 2008, 31-24-1 in 2009 and 31-25 last season. They hope to continue that success this season. The team returns eight starting position players from last season and five members of the pitching staff. It also adds 13 freshmen to its active roster, including four that were redshirted last year. This year’s squad will be led by eight seniors: Frankie Beech, Wade Bilbrey, Jared Dobbs, Casanova Donaldson, Seth Edwards, Oberacker, Trice Powers, and Devin Rivers. The home opener will be Feb. 23 against Middle Tennessee State at Averitt Express Baseball Complex. The conference opener will also be at home against Jacksonville State April 2. For a full schedule and roster, visit www.TTUSports. com.

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ENTERTAINMENT Page 6 | February 18, 2011

‘The Vagina Monologues’ opened last night The production returns to Tech for a three-night engagement in the Backdoor Playhouse By JILLIAN BOREING Staff Writer

Photo by Chuck Acheson

Naya Omelogu delivers the “My Angry Vagina“ monologue to a packed Backdoor Playhouse.


When February 17, 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. Where The Backdoor Playhouse located in Jere Whitson Tickets $12 (no discounts or reservations) All proceeds benefit the Tennessee Coalition Against Domesticand Sexual Violence

“The Vagina Monologues” is showing at the Backdoor Playhouse today and tomorrow at 8 pm. The Tech Players and Alpha Psi Omega, the National Honorary Theatre Society, present the show in cooperation with the English and Communications Department. Steven W. Gwilt and Daniel Evan Montgomery direct it. The show, put on every two years at Tech, shockingly brings into light the experiences, emotions and tribulations of women. It is made up of monologues taken from “vagina interviews.” A cast of 30 women presents these monologues as genuinely as if they were their own words. The script includes topics such as transgender women, lesbians, rape, insecurity, and genital mutilation. The subject matter may not be comfortable for the general public, but does its job in grabbing

the audience and making them listen. Wednesday night, the Tech Players put on a free dress rehearsal performance. The BDPH was more than half-full with audience members. Not even ten minutes into the show, close to 50 names for a vagina had been thrown at the audience. The cast then burst into awkward, uncomfortable monologues by which one can’t help but be mesmerized. The first half presented monologues that expressed women’s feeling towards “down there.” The second half took on more controversial topics like homosexuality, transvestite women and a unique account of childbirth. The stories told are shocking and enlightening. Most of the monologues, though funny at times, had a somber message. The actresses really embodied the women they represented which made the audience respond with laughter, silence,

shock, and overall, respect. “The actresses were all brilliant,” senior Paul Brocato said, They deliver the play as its meant to be. It gets under your skin and in your head, good or bad.” He continued, “I like all the support it receives and the awareness it raises for rape prevention.” Freshmen Katie Howard, who helped build the set, said, “It is straight to the point. It is informative and fun to watch.” Ensler has created not only a fabulous stage production, but an empowering podium for women to stand on and scream their feelings and stories. Director Steven Gwilt said the monologues have been “an influential dynamic on behalf of women of the world.” The actresses had much to say about the show. Allie DeAtley, junior, was initially upset upon receiving the role of a transgender woman. After researching the women that have undergone the process, she found that most just want acceptance.

“People often ignore women and the problems they have,” DeAtley said. Director Evan Montgomery assigned Weslie Webster, an actor from the Cumberland County Playhouse, to the production. “We live in a society where we are not encouraged to investigate ourselves,” Webster said. “We are encouraged to put on a mask. The show encourages taking the mask off.” “There will always be those intimidated by the name that don’t realize that the monologues are about the joy of self discovery.” she said. Webster said you don’t have to be a woman to enjoy the show. This production will shock, offend, entertain, inform, and empower those who see it. The Tech Players have put together a wonderful show that should sell out every night. Bravo to the cast, directors and staff for their obvious hard work and dedication to Ensler’s vision and message.

‘The Vagina Monologues’ raises both awareness and controversy for the V-Day campaign By CHUCK ACHESON Entertainment Editor

“The Vagina Monologues” was written by Eve Ensler in 1996 after interviewing about 200 women about their views on sex, relationships and violence against women. Starting out at the now defunct HERE Arts Center in New York, the play enjoyed a longer tenure at the Off Broadway Westside Theatre, also in New York. Ensler originally performed all the monologues before expanding the production, and a 2001 rendition

included performances by Melissa Etheridge and Whoopi Goldberg. By 1998, HBO produced a television version of the play. Later that year, Ensler, along with others, launched the V-Day campaign, a global non-profit movement to help raise aid and awareness to combat violence against women. In 2004, creators expanded the V-Day message to include transgender individuals. Many conservative and feminist groups have, since the production began, criticized “The Vagina Monologues” on issues ranging from gender questions to vulgarity. Seeing the play as promoting lesbian behavior and masturba-

tion, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property has denounced the play several times. Betty Dodson, a pro-sex feminist, considered the play to have bias against heterosexual relationships and men in general. In 2002, Wendy McElroy echoed those sentiments about the play and the V-Day movement at-large. “The stated purpose is to raise awareness,” McElroy wrote for The Liberator website. “In reality, V-Day embodies the same double standard and dishonesty that has characterized most feminist pronouncements for decades.” Despite criticism of “The Va-

gina Monologues” and the V-Day movement, the campaign has been very successful in the United States and internationally. Many colleges across the United States present the show either annually or biannually. Since the creation of V-Day, more than $75 million has been raised for women’s anti-violence groups. This money has gone to help victims of rape, sexual harassment, genital mutilation, forced abortion, and forced prostitution. All proceeds of the “The Vagina Monologues” presented at Tech benefit the Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Open Mic Night returns to the Playhouse Bonnaroo lineup announced featuring both new and returning acts Tuesday to cheers and jeers By JACOB WALKER Staff Writer Open Mic Night at the Backdoor Playhouse is returning this month for another exciting installation of student performances. Admission to this event is free and the festivities are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and end at 11 p.m. the last Thursday of every month. Students wishing to perform are encouraged to get there early in order to sign up for a time slot. Performances include stand-up comedy acts, the recitation of poetry and original songs along with covers played on acoustic guitars, keyboards or by the occasional three piece band. Professor Andrew Smith, known to students as Mr. Andy, started the current incarnation of the open mic night between Fall 2007

and Spring 2008. He wanted to give students a chance to show off their talent by performing in front of their peers in a supportive environment. Today, the event is co-organized by Kassi Thomas, Jesse Nance and various other students volunteers. “We usually feature between 15 and 20 artists per Open Mic,” Smith said. “It’s on a first-come, first-served basis. We usually end up with more eager performers than we can fit into one night. “Comic Brook Mayo, singer Jacob Hoot, and rapper Sin 7 are just a few of the perennial popular people. Folks from the community, like the awesome Cory Wheeler and Henry McAfee, are regulars.” McAfee said, “I love the opportunity to play in front of an ever-changing audience, as well as the regulars. It’s cool because you get to see what type of music other performers are listening to at the time, and it challenges me to check out new things.”

By CHUCK ACHESON Entertainment Editor If your Facebook feed was anything like mine following Tuesday’s revealing of the Bonnaroo lineup, you probably ran out of paper bags for hipsters to calm their breathing. Let’s all just relax for a minute. Yes, Eminem is the headliner. I’m just as disappointed about that as many of you are. But don’t fear. There are plenty of other great acts at the 10th annual festival. Fresh off their stunning Grammy win, Canada’s Arcade Fire will be one of the other major Bonnaroo performances. Despite #whoisarcadefire trending almost immediately on Twitter after the win, these guys have been making great music for a long time. And, their most recent album, “The Suburbs” is no exception. Other great acts coming this year include English folk-rockers Mumford and Sons. Still

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fairly new, these guys have been killing it on the American charts with hits like “Little Lion Man” and “The Cave.” A little bit further down the list, you’ll find Florence + the Machine, another English act. Their controversial hit, “Kiss with a Fist,” made waves around the world. If you don’t know about either of these bands yet, don’t fret. You’re going to be hearing a lot about them in coming years. Also, don’t forget that Bonnaroo likes to save some big announcements until later in the year to win over the fence sitters. So, in addition to an already solid lineup, we might get another big act or two to perform. And, if nothing else, think about this way: if Eminem is the Sunday night headliner, you’ll be able to get a headstart on the flood of traffic leaving the festival grounds. Long story short: just relax because the rest of the show is going to be awesome. A full list of performers can be found at

Returns next week with an Academy Awards preview.

2011 Golden Eagle Prose Writing Competition Short Story & Narrative Essay First prize: $100 Second prize: $50 (each category) Deadline: March 18 Visit the English department in Henderson Hall for more details

The Oracle - Feb. 18, 2011  

The Oracle - Feb. 18, 2011

The Oracle - Feb. 18, 2011  

The Oracle - Feb. 18, 2011