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Tennessee Tech University | Cookeville, TN | 38505 | Est. 1924

Erin Brockovich encourages students to use moral compass By KYLE GOSSETT Beat Reporter Environmentalist and motivational speaker Erin Brockovich came to Tech Tuesday night to tell her story, as well as spread a message of self-empowerment. Brockovich spoke about fighting for yourself and what is right in her motivational speech. “You cannot look to anyone to tell you what’s right,” Brockovich said. “You have to check in with your gut and your moral compass, and make a decision for yourself what you believe is worth fighting for.” Brockovich was a driving force behind the 1996 Pacific Gas and Electric case, in which residents of Hinkley, Calif. were exposed to water contaminated with chromium. The case was settled for $333 million, which remains the largest settlement ever paid in a direct action lawsuit. The case was the center of the 2000 movie “Erin Brockovich”, which featured an Academy Award winning performance from Julia Roberts. Today, Brockovich travels to different universities around the world to talk with students. “Public speaking is one of the greatest pleasures I have,” Brockovich said. “I love talking to university students, and bringing a different perspective to them. I love to teach them that it isn’t just what happens in the classroom, but what goes on



Volume 97 | Issue 6 | Free in single copy | November 1, 2013

Homecoming week is all fun and games

By LEE WHITEHEAD in real life, and that hands-on Beat Reporter

experience is a great learning experience.” During the hour-long talk, Brockovich shared many stories from her childhood and took the audience on a tour of her newly remodeled website, showing them how Brockovich they can get in touch with her. Brockovich is also a consultant for two law firms in the United States, as well as one in Australia. Recently, she has become involved with politics and the media to help her fight for her causes. “I find myself getting more involved with TV shows as part of a panel discussing environment issues,” Brockovich said. “I also find myself getting involved more with the political side of how we can change certain laws to make the environment better.” Recently, Brockovich flew down to Bayou Corne, La., to meet with residents affected by a large sinkhole in their community. Brockovich said it is not easy to juggle touring the world to speak to students and still finding time to fight for her biggest passion, the environment. “The balance is difficult,” she said. “But it’s like my mom said, ‘you can rest when you’re dead, Erin.’”

As Homecoming Week came to a close Saturday night, winners were announced and awards were handed out in Tucker Stadium. The overall winners of the 2013 Homecoming competitions were partners Alpha Delta Pi sorority and Kappa Sigma fraternity. Allison Boshears, a sister of Phi Mu sorority, and Matthew Bimsteim, a member of the Percussion Club, were announced 2013 Homecoming Queen and King. “Homecoming Queen is such an amazing honor,” said Boshears. “Court this year was full of amazing women and campus leaders that give so much to Tennessee Tech. “After four years and all of the opportunities Tech has given me, I am so excited to represent them as their Homecoming Queen for 2013,” Boshears said. Katie Williams, coordinator of Student Activities, said a few changes were made for the 2013 Homecoming that were successful and increased overall participation. This year, the Homecoming committee created two divisions for the Homecoming competitions instead of one. The committee formed a student organization division and a residential life division. “Residence hall participation has been steadily building over the last few years, and this year was probably the best residence hall participation we’ve ever

Diane Pulte Allison Boshears and Matthew Bimstein react after winning Homecoming Queen and King during halftime of Saturday’s Homecoming game against Jacksonville State University. had,” said Williams. Williams said increased participation could be attributed to the new residential life division. The halls may compete against each other exclusively and also earn points for Tech Wars through Homecoming participation. Williams also said the Homecoming games were different this year than they have been, previously. This year, students played a version of the popular game show competition, Minute-to-Win It. In this event, students were given 60 seconds to complete a series of tasks while competing against each other. “The competitions were very competitive this year, and the points separating first, second and third

were only spaced out by 15 points,” said Williams. “I’m used to seeing one team run away with it, but that was not the case this year.” The canned food drive was another one of the many successes in this year’s Homecoming, bringing in a total of 30,000 pounds of canned food. The collected food was distributed to nine different pantries in the area. Organizations that donated over 30 pounds of food per member received first place points for the competition. “Overall, I think that this year’s Homecoming went very well,” said Williams. “It was definitely full of spirit and the closest Homecoming, point wise, I can recall,” Williams said.

James Dillon Cheerleaders Taylor Leggett and Hayden LaFever perform at the pregame pep rally in Tailgate Park Saturday.

1,500 students to take exit exam this academic year

By SARAH REESE Copy Editor

This academic year, more than 1,500 students will take the senior exit exam, a test that determines additional funding for Tech and is required for graduation by the Tennessee Board of Regents. The exit exam is a 45-minute, multiple-choice

exam that complies with California Critical Thinking Skills Test requirements. Sharon Huo, associate provost of academic affairs, said the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) requires the exit exam. “The exam is a performance evaluation for stu-

dents,” said Huo. “It is part of the funding program used by the THEC.” Huo said the exam allows public universities and colleges to have an assessment incentive. Scores are based on student performances and the excellency of the school’s programs. The exit exam is just

one way to measure student performance. The THEC funding program assessment is comprised of seven scored sections, including major field assessment, academic program accreditation and evaluation, satisfaction studies and job placement, among others. The seven sections receive scores that can total a

possible 100 points. The exit exam counts for 15 possible points. “The funding program will allow us to qualify for an additional 5.45 percent of the operating budget,” Huo said. “This means every point we earn on the assessment is worth $30,000 for a possible $3 million total.”

Lorrie McCracken is an academic support associate who has been with Tech more than 30 years. She said she stresses the importance of student participation in the senior exit exam. “TTU is always above the national average in


that weren’t being used on campus and we thought we would relocate them centrally so that they could facilitate not only Clement, but the library, University Center and Foster Hall.” Facilities determined that the racks located at South Hall and Student Health Services in the Nursing Building were rarely used. In response, the decision was made to relocate them to a busier part of campus. Tucker hopes to implement one official style of bicycle racks on campus as there are currently up to 23

different styles being used. “We’re looking for some continuity in the future and something that will add some class and distinguish the campus even more,” Tucker said. Another rack will be installed on Peachtree Avenue across from the library as well as in front of Foster Hall. Tucker identified the next step as developing a census of students that ride bicycles on campus to help determine how many more racks will be needed. Through coordination with

Admissions next semester, he plans to incorporate questions such as “Do you ride a bicycle? If so, how frequently is it parked on campus?” to help determine a general idea of the student need. Facilities plans to conduct open forums with students to discuss landscape and site improvements in hopes of making campus as user friendly as possible. “I’d love to share the objectives of what we are looking to do and receive student input,” Tucker said.

New spot for bikes raises concern of bike rack continuity

Beat Reporter

Melissa Edwards Maintenance workers level an area of grass across from Clement Hall for additional bicycle rack placement. More bike racks are to be placed across campus in the future.



See “Exit,” page 2

After multiple assessments of areas around campus, Facilities and Business Services installed two additional bicycle racks across from Clement Hall Wednesday in hopes of satisfying student needs for additional bicycle parking. “As the campus becomes more pedestrian, the objective is to provide ample bike parking facilities,” Kevin Tucker, director of Horticulture and Grounds, said. “We found bicycle racks



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NEWS Page 2 | November 1, 2013

events @ tech

CRIME BRIEFS: - Oct. 28- 10:30 Classification: Drug/Narcotic violation Location: New Hall South Disposition: Closed. Referred to Dean of Students. Notes: None.


- Oct. 26 - 12:56 Classification: Liquor Law Violation Location: New Hall South Disposition: Closed. Referred to Dean of Students. Notes: Subject will also be cited into General Sessions once released from the hospital.


12 p.m.

Football vs. Eastern Illinois University

- Oct. 26 - 1:26 Classification: Liquor Law Violation Location: Crawford Learning Village Disposition: Closed. Referred to Dean of Students. Notes: None. - Oct. 25 - 8:15 Classification: Destruction/Damage/Vandalism Location: Prescott Hall Disposition: Open case. Notes: Someone discharged a fire extinguisher in a lab and pulled a fire alarm. - Oct. 25 - 1:58 Classification: Theft from motor vehicle Location: Tech Village Disposition: Open case. Notes: Attempted theft. - Oct. 25- 2:35 Classification: Drug/Narcotic Violation Location: New Hall South parking lot Disposition: Closed. Referred to Dean of Students. Notes: None. - Oct. 19 - 7:45 Classification: Larceny Location: Bryan Fine Arts Building Disposition: Open case. Notes: Theft of ladder.

>> EXIT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 our scores for the exit exam,” McCracken said. Last year, Tech tested 1,550 seniors. Tech students scored a full point above the national average. When combined with the other six scored sections, Tech achieved a 97.5 out of 100 points. McCracken said test administrators do their best to ensure students take the test seriously. “We will call students back to retake the exam if we think they did not try,” said McCracken. “We will hand it back and encourage them to go back, sit down and look it over their answers. We don’t have to do it often though. Most everyone gives it a conscientious effort.” Students cannot walk across the graduation stage without taking the exam.


4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Emily Roach, voice, Senior Recital Wattenbarger Auditorium, Bryan Fine Arts Building Drake Fenlon Shelby Gregory is forced to stand and wait 40 minutes before her next class to start in Henderson Hall on Tuesday.

Advisement begins for students

Standing room only 5

8 p.m.

The Rocky Horror Show Backdoor Playhouse

Students are not allowed to sit on floor in Henderson Hall

By DRAKE FENLON Managing Editor

McCracken said she does her best to help students satisfy this graduation requirement. “We use email, mailboxes and Tech Times to remind students,” McCracken said. “If we can’t reach them, I will contact their department head about non-respondents and [he or she] will remind those students to register for the exam.” The test is offered eight times in one week once a semester. Class excuses are offered to ensure students register and complete the exam. This semester, the test will be offered Monday, Nov. 11 through Thursday, Nov. 14. The exam will be administered at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day. For more information about the senior exit exam or to register to take the test, visit records/grad/.


8 a.m.

A ban has been placed and strictly enforced over the past year restricting students from sitting on the floor and the stairs in Henderson Hall. Every few feet, signs have been placed instructing students of the dangers that await them and others if they are to sit on the floor or stairs. Laminated purple signs plastered up and down the halls of the building at floorsitting level read, “Due to safety issues, you are not permitted to sit on the floor or the stairs.” The ban on obtrusive hallway seating has been in place since Fall Semester 2012 when Linda Fisk, an administrative associate for the English department, witnessed an incident involving a blind man tripping and falling over the legs of people sitting on the floor. After Fisk saw the blind man fall, she knew something had to be done to help something like this from happening again. “We have blind people, people in wheelchairs and faculty and staff with health issues that have problems moving their feet,” said Fisk. Fisk then talked to the University lawyer and Disability Services where it was decided that signs could be put up to keep people from tripping passers-by. “If they get hurt, who is liable?” said Fisk. “Signs went up that day.” Director of Disability

Services Chester Goad said that it is Disability Services that is in charge of keeping accessible routes through hallways in accordance with federal guidelines. “We can’t say ‘no one can sit here’ but we do have the right to make buildings abide by accessibility routes,” said Goad. Goad said that Henderson Hall is the only building on campus that enforces such strict rules about the accessibility routes. Fisk is still active in enforcing the rule in Henderson Hall. If she sees anyone sitting on the floor or stairs, she promptly asks them to get up and move. “I walk through the building every class period,” said Fisk. “I wish the students were cooperative.” Fisk said she isn’t always greeted by understanding reactions to her requests. Fisk said most students are belligerent and rude when asked to move out of the way for a person with disabilities. “For example,” Fisk said, “four girls were sitting on the floor and a teacher’s service dog couldn’t get through.” Another time, a disabled U.S. veteran student confronted a group of students after they refused to make way for him to continue down the hall. Fisk said that campus police were called to the scene of the dispute. Goad said that last year alone there were five disrespectful disability issues reported to his office concerning Henderson Hall.

“People have used common sense in the past,” said Goad. “The events came to a head last semester and the police had to be called. Issues had to be addressed. These actions are by a very small segment of Tech’s students, most students are awesome and respectful.” Students can find it irritating to not be able to sit while waiting for their classes. “It’s hard to get studying done before class when I can’t sit,” said freshman Ashley Nandarsy as she waited for her class a full fifty minutes early on Tuesday. “I sat on the floor and was yelled at by a cleaning lady. ‘Don’t you see the signs?’ she asked me rudely,” Nandarsy said. “Every other building seems fine. This just seems Nazi-ish.” Some students have ideas about how to solve the hall clutter. “I don’t understand why we can’t sit on the floor,” said sophomore Shelby Gregory. “They should probably have a lobby or benches for people to sit at. It takes up the whole hallway anyway.” Fisk said she reminds students that room 312 in Henderson Hall has a couch and a table for students to sit and work at while they wait for classes. “They can go to the library or they can have their homework done before class,” Fisk additionally said. “Students can stand up as long as we can get through.”

to integrate their passion for creating original pieces with the local artists participating in the Prowl. Clemons said, “Art is meant to be seen and talked about.” The Art Prowl is an interactive exhibit where artists and visitors alike are encouraged to discuss art and the story behind each and every piece. Previously, the event has been dominated by twodimensional art, but it has since expanded to include artwork and demonstrations such as wheel-throwing, digital illustrations, thrown and hand-built clay and clay sculpture. Clemons also said that Cookeville is actually home to more arts than most consider. The city holds the Joan Derryberry Art Gallery, the Bryan Fine Arts Building on Tech’s campus, and even the Appalachian Center for Craft. Clemons said that

many tourists are drawn to Cookeville because of its immense collection of art centers and galleries. The event attracts approximately 3,000 visitors per year, most of which take part in the Prowl festivities both days. According to the event’s website, there will be time set aside from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 9 to allow children to take part in the experience, as well. Children’s activities include mono printing, chalk leaf drawings, stencil and finger knitting, and creating art from recycled materials. While the Art Prowl reaches out to educate and entertain the community about art, it also looks to make an impact on the local economy. “All of the art is for sale,” said Clemons. According to the website, the event generates tax dollars, which ultimately helps fluctuate the economy

11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Using the Internet in Your Job Search Workshop RUC Tech Pride Room

7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.

TTU Choirs in Concert Wattenbarger Auditorium, Bryan Fine Arts Building

8 p.m.

The Rocky Horror Show Backdoor Playhouse


11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Student Affairs Committee Meeting

RUC 224

7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Frank Kowalsky, clarinet, Guest Recital Wattenbarger Auditorium, Bryan Fine Arts Building


12 a.m.

Last day to drop classes with “W”- advisor signature required


1 p.m.

Football vs. Southeast Missouri State University

2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Clarinet Studio Recital Wattenbarger Auditorium, Bryan Fine Arts Building

5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Craig Wilcox, trumpet, Senior Student Recital Wattenbarger Auditorium, Bryan Fine Arts Building

6 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Kelsey Dye, clarinet, Senior Degree Recital Wattenbarger Auditorium, Bryan Fine Arts Building

On the prowl for local art By BISKIE DUNCAN & APRIL GILBERT Beat Reporters

The Art Prowl will be returning to Cookeville for its 13th year on Nov. 8 and 9. This event is free to all and will be held primarily throughout several businesses in Cookeville’s historic downtown, as well as other areas of Cookeville, including the Bryan Fine Arts Building on Tech’s campus. The event will run from noon to 8 p.m. on Nov. 8 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 9. Local artists from Putnam County will be gathering to showcase their art skills with demonstrations and will present their own original works. “It’s like going to Disney World, it’s impossible to do it all in one day,” said Laura Clemons, a local artist taking part in the event. According to the event’s website, the two-day festival allows art enthusiasts

of Cookeville. “As a matter of fact, many people come to the prowl looking for Christmas gifts,” said Clemons. One of this year’s main features will take place on Tech’s campus in the Bryan Fine Arts Building. Joe Biel will be creating a temporary, wall-sized mural as part of his contribution to the Art Prowl. A wall in the BFA is already prepared for the Biel’s mural, which will take up the entirety of the twoday span. Funding for the event comes primarily from artists participating in the Art Prowl. Some funding is donated by patrons of the arts. Visit the official website of the Art Prowl at to get a list of participating artists, demonstrations, and to download a map and calendar of the events taking place.


Page 3 | November 1, 2013

November looks to offer blockbusters, potential hits at the cinema By JAKE THREET Entertainment Editor Coming out of October, ‘Gravity’, ‘ C a p t a i n Phillips’, ’12 Years a Slave’, and ‘Bad Grandpa’ were the clear winners. Each sustained great critical acclaim, box office success, and, minus ‘Bad Grandpa’, they all are straight shots to plenty of nominations come award season this winter. November is not slowing down with its releases. Listed below are the films I believe will create the most buzz this month and are worth checking out. ‘Last Vegas’ A film that looks like an older version of ‘The Hangover’, starring Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, and Kevin Kline is going to be one of two things. It is either going to be a fun hit and or a complete hot mess. Now, all four of these very accomplished actors are American treasures at the movies, but that doesn’t mean their resumes are perfect. Based on the trailer, the film looks to be a fun time and full of laugh out loud moments. I am going in with high hopes, and hopefully the film will deliver. ‘Last Vegas’ opens in theaters tonight and is rated PG-13 on appeal for sexual content and language.

Courtesy of KRNB

The entire cast from ‘The Best Man’ returns in the upcoming sequel ‘The Best Man Holiday’. Malcolm Lee also returned once again to write and direct the sequel, calling it “amazing”.

‘About Time’ At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time. The night after another disappointing New Year’s party, Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim cannot change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life. He decides to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend ( Rachel McAdams). Am I the only one who thinks Rachel McAdams has been in every dramedy

that has to do with time traveling and memory loss? Nonetheless, it looks like this movie will be another hit for moviegoers looking to be brought to tears. I’m not going to hate too much, as I am very intrigued and will watch it. I’m a sucker for films about time traveling. ‘About Time’ is rated R for language and some sexual content and it arrives in select theaters today, with a wide release on Nov. 8. ‘The Best Man Holiday’ Finally, this film is coming to theaters. We are finally getting a sequel 14 years after the first film, ‘The Best Man’. Let us rejoice

that something is right in the world. Now, I am going to show some bias here and say that this film is going to be a hit. Fans of the original have been waiting long enough and, in 14 years, it has gained new fans, I’m sure. The original clan is back together and reunited for the holidays, with new rivalries and romances ignited. ‘The Best Man Holiday’ will be released to theaters on November 15 and is rated R for language, sexual content and brief nudity. ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Matthew McConaughey is going to be nominated

at awards season for something. Either for his role in the successful ‘Mud’ earlier in the year, his role in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ that is to be released on Christmas Day, or this film will get him on the awards ballot. In ‘Dallas Buyers Club’, McConaughey portrays the role of homophobic party boy and Texas electrician Ron Woodroof. He is diagnosed with HIV and is given 30 days to live. He begins taking the drug AZT, approved by the FDA, the only legal drug available in the U.S. The drug almost kills him, which leads him to a battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies after his diagnosis. With the help of his doctor, Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner), and a fellow patient, Rayon (Jared Leto), Ron creates the Dallas Buyers Club, one of the dozens which would form around the country, providing its paying members with alternative treatments. The clubs, growing in numbers and clientele, were brought to the attention of the FDA and pharmaceutical companies, which waged an all out war on Ron. The film is flying under the radar, so far, but the trailer and early reviews are great signs. Garner and Leto also star and are garnering praise for their work, especially Leto. ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ will be released on Nov. 8, with a wide release of Nov. 22,

and is rated R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use. ‘Oldboy’ Josh Brolin stars as Joe Doucett, a man who is kidnapped for no reason and held prisoner for twenty years in solitary confinement. Out of nowhere he is released, and he then sets out on a revenge filled mission to find the person responsible for his imprisonment. He finds that his life is still caught in conspiracy and torment. The film looks as though it will extremely intense, exciting, and filled with action throughout. ‘Oldboy’ is rated R for strong violence including scenes of torture, sexuality and pervasive language. November looks to be a crazy good time at the movies. I will be at a theater every weekend, sometimes more than once. Two films that are to be released, but do not need a description because most anyone knows about them are ‘Thor: The Dark World’‘ and ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” They will be released on Nov. 10 and Nov. 22, respectively, and I will be all over both those like white on rice. I suspect half of America will be in the same boat with me. Other films to keep an eye on are ‘The Book Thief’ and ‘Nebraska’, both underdogs. All upcoming film releases, news, and trailers can be found at

‘The Counselor’ is a disappointment

Will we ever know what the fox says?

By HANNAH BENJAMIN Entertainment Critic

By KIMMY MANNING Entertainment Critic

A f t e r coming in fourth in the box office this weekend with $7.8 million and scoring a depressing low 34% on Rotten Tomatoes, things are looking pretty bleak for “The Counselor”. Directed by award-winning Ridley Scott and starring talents like Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, and Brad Pitt, this starstudded thriller is anything but thrilling. The film chronicles the downward spiral of The Counselor (Fassbender), a lawyer who invests in a large-scale drug deal that goes horribly wrong. “The Counselor” features a great performance from Fassbender and Pitt, but Cruz and Diaz fail to make their characters believable or interesting. Cruz plays Laura, The Counselor’s helpless fiancé, without much emotional range or interest, which fails to make the audience care for the state of her character. Diaz is Malkina, the girlfriend of The Counselor’s partner Reiner (Bardem) and ultimately the most disappointing performance in the whole film. However, most of that can be attributed to the wordy, overdone script. She is supposedly the evil mastermind behind the deal, but her lines are cheesy and lack depth. Diaz lacks the authority to portray an intimidator and the entire performance feels very unbelievable

Courtesy of Examiner

Before its release, ‘The Counselor’ had high buzz surrounding it. Since its release, all of the noise has died down.

and unsettling. The screenplay isn’t kind to the basic audience and requires a lot of focus to pick up on the subtleties that explain future plot points. Some scenes seem to serve no purpose, other than unnecessary and poorly presented character development. Long monologues are frequent and boring. Some are even delivered by characters barely introduced, which diminish their effect. With some editing, the film could have been half an hour shorter and the storyline would not have suffered.

While “The Counselor” has its moments of interest and a well-known cast, it is not enough to save the film from a boring script that seems to try too hard. ‘The Counselor’ debuted well below expectations at the weekend box office. The film earned $7 million during its opening weekend, but on a $25 million production budget the film could still break even after foreign totals are added in. “The Counselor” is rated R for graphic violence, some grisly images, strong sexual content, and language.

If you’re a human, and you interact t h r o u g h forms of social media, I promise you have pondered in the last month this question: What does the fox say? Now, if you’re not part of the 169 million viewers who witnessed the original music video on the “TvNorge” page, then you, my friend, are certainly out of the loop. The video begins with guests at a party dressed in animal costumes reciting their respective animal noises. However, the clip takes a directive turn to an estranged party guest who is doing a bit of soul searching—he is not sure what noise a fox makes and, therefore, feels left out. He solves this issue by deciding to do what any ‘80s male protagonist character would do: dance. The rest of the film is full of leagues of foxes dancing, as well as an animated sassy fox. Norwegian brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker, the creators and lead actors in “The Fox,” perform under the name Ylvis. As a duo, they were interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres and spoke about how this concept came to be. “It’s the funnest story,” Bård said, discussing how he and Vegard had made a deal with a music production company in Norway. “They asked us to do them a favor, and we asked them to do us a favor in return. So, we thought, okay, if we give them a crap idea, and we bring

Courtesy of Zimbio

Due to the huge success of “The Fox”, Bård (left) and Vegard Ylvisåker’s use of furry animal costumes have made for musthave Halloween costumes this year, according to TMZ.

it back to the talk show in Norway and say, ‘Sorry guys, we had our window, we could have made a big hit, but we screwed up, and we made a song about a fox, I’m sorry.’…And it kind of backfired.” In response to hearing “The Fox,” DeGeneres laughed as she said, “I don’t know a lot about Norway, but I’m gonna assume marijuana is legal there.” “The Fox” climbed into many Top 10 charts around the globe, reaching number 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The music video for song has garnered well

over 100 million views on YouTube since its release. What comes across as an innocent question actually begs for a legitimate answer. The sound that a fox makes is mysterious; our children’s books never covered the echoes of a fox, giving us the perfect grounds to view this YouTube clip in our favor—we can relate to its hilarity. However, the best part about this music video is that it was intended to be the worst song ever created. But for now, we will be left still to ponder: What does the fox say?


Send letters to the editor to Include your name, email address and limit letters to 300 words. Anonymous letters are not accepted. Deadline for letters is 4 p.m. Tuesday. We reserve the right to edit grammar, length and clarity.

Page 4 | November 1, 2013

No more blame games, Mr. President SARAH DINGWALL Opinion Editor

What is this nation coming to? Our politicians don’t know how to play nice and our president plays the blame game. At a fundraising dinner on Friday, Oct. 25, President Obama claimed that the shutdown of the government was about more than just health care; it was all about a clash of visions. He also claims that the Democrats have the better side of the argument. Everyone’s opinion is the best opinion to them. I won’t claim to have a better argument, but, as a responsible leader, why would you play the blame game and say it was the other person’s fault. The blame will always stop with the one who is in charge. The fault isn’t just on one side of Congress; it is the whole combined with the president at the lead. Our politicians are acting like teenagers holding grudges against each other.

The time for this to end has come. Because of their bickering back and forth, we, as Americans, suffer. We might not see the effects of it personally, but eventually most of us will. Tech is seeing them, now, with the closure of the R.O.T.C. program. We saw it at the beginning of the month when the U.S. government shut down in Washington, D.C. Our government is playing the blame game and we, the people, suffer for it. We are made a laughing stock in other countries because of our men and women in office. When will this game they are playing come to an end? Obama is right when he says that the government has a role to play but it can’t just be the Democrats rallying behind one vision. It has to be Republicans, Democrats, Tea Partiers, and

Bunching my witch’s britches LYDIA-CLAIRE BROWN Assistant Opinion Editor

Forgive me, dear reader, I’m getting up on the coffinshaped soapbox. I love Halloween. I sort of have to – it’s in the paperwork I signed as a child in order to grow up Goth (spoiler: not real paperwork). The HalloweenAll Saints’ Day-Thanksgiving season is my favorite time of year. And every year, people ask me a ton of questions about Halloween, the origins, the reasons behind the holiday, etc. Today, in 2013, Halloween is about candy, horror movies, and awful costumes. It’s Valentine’s Day with a different wardrobe, a creepy creation of the greeting card industry. The All-Mighty Dollar also disgustingly perverts Easter and Christmas, but at least we sincerely try to rescue those holidays in the name of family togetherness, if not actual religion. This year alone, the New York Times estimates that Halloween spending will SLIP 6% to a grand total of $6.9 billion. That’s more money spent on candy corn than on chocolate rabbits. Clearly, the economy runs on candy. Why is spookiness encouraged one night of the year, and ostracized the


other 364? Maybe I missed the memo to only fly the freak flag on the culturally appropriate night? Whatever, it reeks of repression. What’s especially irritating to me about the modern Halloween is that the holiday has an extensive and thought-provoking history. Halloween’s origins have been highly debated by historians, anthropologists, and folklorists for decades. Currently, the consensus is that it’s the spooky and delicious “You-Got-YourPeanut-Butter-In-MyChocolate!” combination of medieval Catholicism and Northern European, particularly Celtic, pagan traditions. That’s right, people. Halloween was a religious holiday. Makes you think twice about that HILARIOUS George Zimmerman costume, right? The ancient Celts (defined by their speaking a Celtic language) had the holiday of Samhain that fell at the end of October. It was, for them, New Year’s Eve. Samhain was the day that the old year died, just like the world around them once the harvest was done. On that


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DRAKE FENLON Managing Editor KIM BIGGS Assistant Managing Editor KATE SHELTON Business Manager JACQUELINE ATKIELSKI Sales Assistant SARAH REESE Copy Editor SARAH DINGWALL Opinion Editor LYDIA BROWN Asst. Opinion Editor JAMAL FERGUSON Sports Editor

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Independents alike coming together under one vision, one dream. None of the people in office seem to understand what it is to be humbled, brought low, and feel so helpless when faced with the possibility of letting their families down. It is time for our president to accept the blame for the state of our nation and government. If he would take the blame as our leader he would then feel the full weight of the issues with every person in our nation. When we take the blame, we take on the responsibility for fixing the mess. So take the blame, Mr. President. Take responsibility for the way this nation is and fix it. Don’t continue to pass the blame for it helps no one. “The stakes are high,” Obama said in an article from “The one thing I’m absolutely confident about is that if we work hard, that we can make a case to the American people and we can win it.” Yes, the stakes are high but it shouldn’t be about a vote and you winning the prize. It should be about the people. Don’t try to convince us that you are working hard and your ideas are better than the next pe rson’s. Work hard and make things better by not constantly fighting with the other parties.

The “Pledge of Allegiance” is simple. It starts off with pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. We are a republic, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all but all I can see is a nation divided, one side blaming the other. How is this the nation of our forefathers any more? The men who founded this country did it to free the people from tyranny, but just over 200 years later, it is the tyranny of the government that will cause us to fall. I am on no one’s side in this argument. No, instead I will pray for my government. I know I ask you to pray almost every week, but if not for yourself, do it for your children. Pray that we still have a nation of freedoms when they come of age. Pray for leadership to arise and calm the rising tide of calamity that is coming our way. President Obama, I will pray for you to have wisdom and sound, godly counsel and I will pray for peace in our government. I will pray for unity even in the midst of strife. I pray that after you leave office, you will have peace knowing you did everything you could to make this nation a little better than before.

night, the world of the living and the realm of the dead touched, and loved ones or vengeful spirits could cross over. To save themselves from being taken back to the realm of the dead, living Celts would disguise themselves as monsters and ghouls and set out treats for the dead to take, instead. Wear a special frock and put out some cake, works with everybody! The name Halloween comes from All Hallow’s Eve, the night before the church holiday better known as All Saints’ Day. On that day all the saints, known or unknown, are celebrated. In the beginning centuries of the church, All Saints’ Day was celebrated in May, but it was changed to Nov. 1st (the day after Samhain) in the early 800s by Pope Gregory IV, who probably saw the benefit of putting similar holidays at the same time. The common medieval people had lots of ideas associated with All Saints’ – like the souls of people in Purgatory could come back to visit, or people could only be sorted into the appropriate afterlife on All Saints’ Day, so they wandered from the time they died until All Saints’… some really kooky stuff there, people. All Saints’ Day is best understood in contrast to Easter. Just as through Christ, all who believe will have life everlasting, All Saints’ reminds us that all who are

born and walk the earth will die. You might know it better in its Mexican form, Dia de los Muertos. Hispanic cultures never really got into Halloween. All Saints’ Day practices and worship evolved differently for Europeans than it did for Central and South Americans and it’s ok – that’s the magic of cultural blending. Hopefully, you’ll understand why I always get a little pissed off this time of year, despite the fact that this is my favorite season. Halloween, in its purest religious sense, Christian or pagan, is a reminder that human life is fleeting, and all of us will drop like the fiery fall foliage. Sure, I’m going to have a party and wear a costume that I made with my grandmother. But while I wear that handmade costume and eat junk with my friends, I’ll remember that we might not ever get the chance to do this again. This could be the last time friends celebrate Halloween. This could be the last year my Granny helps me make my costume. Enjoy your time together and love one another – because Death is coming, and he wants to be taken seriously.

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Letter to the Editor My name is T imothy Roberts, an Economics major here at Tennessee Tech, from Cookeville, Roberts TN. Each week, I wait with baited breath for the next Oracle to be printed and rush to feel the antiquated pulp between my hands, the smell that only independent print can offer, but most importantly the Opinion page. I love seeing how these authors, presumably the most articulate and distinguished that this learning institution has to offer, think. Each issue, I skip the sports and national news, jumping directly to the two opposing views on such a hot topic, from religion to budgets, and how the authors rectify their views with their shared reality As of late, however, the writings found on this page have turned away from opinion journalism and now read like a LiveJournal (Or Tumblr for those less ancient readers); it is limited factual knowledge, sparse facts, and gross misunderstanding of the basic premise of the question that the hooded Management slid under each’s door. Miss Brown even goes as far as to say “I



he story “Golden Eagle alumni welcomed back home” was printed with incorrect phrase usage. The story reported that the Alumni Association wishes to help alumni feel “apart” of Tech. The correct usage of that phrase is “a part.” The Oracle regrets the error and hopes all Alumni feel like they belong.


he story “Undebatable greatness” was printed with incorrect information. The story referred to the office of the Communication Department as the “Office of Communications.” These are separate offices. The Oracle regrets the error.


he stand alone picture titled “Hey mister, let’s play Twister” was printed with incorrect information in the cutline. The cutline reported that the Homecoming Bash was sponsored by the Tech Activities Board. While TAB did pay for the event’s food, the idea, theme, decorations and DJ were all organized by the TTU Counseling Center. This event and other Late Night Tech Nights in the past have been organized by the Counseling Center. The Oracle regrets the error.


he story “Rocky Horror opens 21st season at Backdoor Playhouse” was printed with a misleading headline. The headline could lead some to believe the Backdoor Playhouse has ony been putting on shows for 21 years. Mark Creter has been the artistic director for 21 years and the Backdoor Playhouse has been performing shows for 59 years now. The Oracle regrets the error.

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have no opinion on military so here is my opinion on the military.” This is not an attack on Miss Brown’s writing or her opinions on the largest cost to American citizens. This is an attack on the regression of this publication. Where are the topics that actually matter to us as future leaders? Why are we discussing ROTC while 1,500 families in America have realized 95 percent of the increase of wealth since 2008? Where is the forum for debating why Cookeville is the 6th poorest region in the nation, with a median salary of barely above poverty? Who decided that a topic, that while meaningful to a specific few, is worth discussing over the class warfare that is being not only fought by all of us here but that is being egged on by those who are to blame? I understand that if we talked about this every issue, it would get stale. However, with the GOP seeking to destroy a constitutional law that was the love child of Republicans for over 40 years and with an economy in shambles, perhaps there are more important topics to discuss other than how a select few people are affected on such a local level. But that’s just, like, my opinion man.



DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this newspaper do not necessarily reflect those of Tennessee Tech University’s employees or of its administration.


Page 5 | November 1, 2013

Streak continues as Gamecocks spoil Homecoming, this week’s matchup no easier By JUSTIN MATHENEY Beat Reporter

The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles football team suffered its fourth straight loss on Saturday, spoiling Tech’s Homecoming when the team fell to the Jacksonville State Gamecocks 34 – 14. Tech couldn’t get out of its own way at times on Saturday, committing 10 penalties for 62 yards. Jacksonville State held the Tech offense to 280 total yards in the contest. The Golden

Eagles defense gave up 450 yards of offensive gain to the Gamecocks. Tech’s run defense stepped up to the challenge once again, allowing 199 yards rushing on 55 attempts. “They beat us in every phase of the game,” head coach Watson Brown said. “We just have to hang in there right now. We just got beat.” Tech fell behind early, giving up a touchdown on Jacksonville State’s second drive of the ball game. The Gamecocks took the ball 80 yards on 15 plays and chewed up 5:30 seconds on

Men’s basketball around the corner


Sports Editor

Coming off a highflying performance at Purple Palooza, the Tennessee Tech men’s basketball team is looking to the 2013-2014 season with a bit of a chip on its shoulder. The 2013-2014 men’s basketball team has just a little over a week until its home opener against Loyola but the preseason poll has stirred up some feelings. The Golden Eagles were picked to finish last in the Ohio Valley Conference this season. “It’s very disrespectful,” said senior guard Jeremiah Samarrippas. “At the same time it could be a blessing, people may take us lightly and it makes guys on the team hungrier.” The entire team does not support the feeling of disrespect. “I didn’t like it, of course,” said senior forward Dennis Ogbe. “I’m not going say it’s disrespectful, but it’s what people think. In the end, it’s going to get decided on the court.” Regardless of preseason picks the Golden Eagles have some nonconference games to begin the season. They travel to the University of South Florida and start the season off against the Bulls on Nov. 9. The team has its home opener Nov. 12, followed by a Texas tournament and a few other well equaled nonconference matchups

throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. The game that seems to be circled on the nonconference slate is the in-state battle with the Tennessee Volunteers. “That’s just a big match up,” said Ogbe. “I’ve wanted to play them since I got here and now it’s my senior year and we get to play them.” The conference games kick off Jan. 2 as the Golden Eagles travel to Tennessee State. They have their first conference opener against Eastern Illinois on Jan. 8. The OVC was not kind to the Golden Eagles who finished 5-11 in conference games last season but head coach Steve Payne said he likes the team’s depth and hopeful of a blend between the new faces and veterans. “Right now, we’re playing at least two in every position,” said Payne, at OVC media day. “Our newcomers are going to be valuable to our team and our veteran guys have got to show the way.” With the more familiar teams coming to the Hooper Eblen Center, there is that one last chance to get a win over a rival. The team that seems to get the most attention is the Belmont Bruins. They came to the Hoop last season and defeated the Golden Eagles 83-52. “I don’t like to lose like that at home,” said Ogbe. “It’s even worse when you lose in front of the people


Men’s and women’s teams introduced to community to kick off season By LINDSAY BLAKELY Beat Reporter

Tech Athletics hosted the second annual Purple Palooza Tuesday to kick off the upcoming basketball season with some excitement. Students and members of the community gathered in the Hooper Eblen Center to celebrate the beginning of the season with trick-ortreating, a 3-point shootout contest and a dunk contest. Fans also got a sneak peek of what the Golden Eagles will bring to the court this season. The announcers introduced each player on the women’s team individually before they took the court for the first of the two 10-minute scrimmages. “ I t always f e e l s g o o d to be around fans,” s a i d Henderson junior guard Diamond Henderson. “It is very motivating for us to see all of our fans out in the crowd coming to support us.” Autumn Hopkins, a freshman guard, said seeing all the support her team was shown just pumped her up for the season ahead. The Golden Eagles

men team then took the court to play their 10-minute scrimmage following individual introductions. “It was a good opportunity to be introduced to the community and the turnout was better than last year,” said Dennis Ogbe, senior power forward. “It showed the new guys what it feels like to play for this community. Our last game was in February and I thought to myself how I wouldn’t be playing again until November, but it was great playing in front of a home crowd again.” At the end of the scrimmages, fans enjoyed a show as both teams combined for a slam-dunk challenge and 3-point shootout. Molly Heady, senior forward, sunk 11 3-point shots in 30 seconds. Ladon Carter, junior forward, appeased not only fans but judges when he scored three 10s and took the win for the slam dunk contest. Tech fans were also able to talk to players and get free autographs. The Golden Eagles women play their first game of the season at Hooper Eblen on Nov. 5 at 7:00 p.m. against Truett-McConnell. The men will open their season against the South Florida Bulls Nov. 9 at 7:00 p.m. (EST). For more information visit

the game clock to take an early 7 – 0 lead. Down 17 – 0 in the second quarter, Tech got on the scoreboard when starting quarterback Darian Stone connected with Krys C a t e s Brown on a post route down the middle of the Gamecock defense. The touchdown pulled Tech with-

in 10 right before the half. Jacksonville State rattled off 17 unanswered points before Tech scored again. Back up quarterback Jared Davis entered the game late in the fourth quarter. Davis kept the football on the zone read around the right end and found his way into the end zone. Davis’s touchdown capped off the scoring for the contest. “Don’t blame the kids for being 0 – 5 in the conference,” Brown said. “It’s not them. They are trying hard. It’s on me and the way I set up the program. “

Things do not get any easier for the Golden Eagles as they travel the Charleston, Ill. to take on the number two ranked Eastern Illinois University Panthers. Senior quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo leads Eastern Illinois offensively. Garoppolo is a 4-year starter for the Panthers. Garoppolo finished 10th in the Walter Payton Award, which is the FCS’s version of the Heisman Trophy. Garoppolo has been named a candidate for the same award this season already. The Garoppolo-led offense

ranks first in FCS passing yards per game at 408.9 yards per contest. Garoppolo also leads the FCS in total passing yards with 3,145 yards and counting this season. Tech currently has the top two tacklers in conference play on defense. Linebacker Tra’Darius Goff leads the conference with 56 total tackles. Safety Marty Jones is second in the conference with 45 total tackles, Brown said this is the best FCS team that he has seen since he has been at Tech.

Weekly Roundup This week’s sports stories at a glance Volleyball returns home for this weekend after Belmont loss

Jamal Ferguson

Junior forward Javon McKay throws down a big dunk during the men’s scrimmage segment of Purple Palooza. that you play for.” “We got smacked by Belmont at home. I want to beat them this year.” Other teammates feel that no one team is a redemption game. “I don’t like Belmont,” said Samarrippas, “but I’m hungry to beat everybody because, last year, we let a lot of games slip.” The Golden Eagles won nine of 14 home games last season and know that win-

ning games increases fan support, especially the student section. “We want to win all our home games,” said Samarrippas. “I love to play in front of the Cookeville crowd,” said Ogbe. “I would love to have a filled up student section.” Samarrippas said, “College basketball is about the student section.”

Soccer will not make OVC tournament apperance Losing both games last weekend, the Golden Eagles soccer team is now mathematically out of the postseason By EMILY HOMAN Beat Reporter

The Golden Eagles soccer team ended its last weekend at home with a pair of losses to Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky University. The loss to Morehead State last Friday closed the door on the Golden Eagles’ chances of making the OVC tournament. This will mark the fourth consecutive season in which Tech did not make the post-season tournament. Senior captain Leigh Heffner said, “We grew in perseverance and character.” Tech suffered a 1-0 loss to Morehead State, a score that the team has been familiar with all season. The Golden Eagles have had 14 losses thus far, eight of those losses being decided by one-goal. “The fact that we can still push on to the next game when all else fails shows character and unconditional fight for one another,” said Heffner. Sunday’s matchup against Eastern Kentucky proved to have too many emotions and not enough offense. The team’s five seniors were honored before the

game and held the Colonels scoreless through the first half. It wasn’t until the 70th minute of play when Abi Gearing put the Golden Eagles on the board first. T h e l e a d w a s short lived when E K U Heffner scored off of a corner kick in the 72nd minute. The Colonels would score two more goals to seal the deal and earn the win for the day, 3-1. The team will face Belmont in it’s final match of the season Friday. “I’m looking forward to giving my every last bit of myself to my teammates and leaving them with hope,” said Heffner. “I want to leave them knowing that no matter the obstacles, you can overcome them and still be a leader.”

The Tech volleyball team suffered a tough loss Oct. 25 to its Ohio Valley Conference rival, the Belmont University Bruins. Tech endured an early burst from the Bruins as they took the first two sets of the match. The Golden Eagles found hope in the third set winning it, 26-24. However, it was not enough as the Bruins finished strong and won the fourth set 25-20 “We played very well against Belmont,” said head coach Dave Zelenock. “It was a break-out game for us. We began to transfer the things we do in practice into the game.” Even though the team struggled, outside hitters junior Ellen Conti and sophomore Cody Dodd each finished the match with 11 kills. “Everyone stepped up and played hard against Belmont,” said Zelenock. “We needed that against them.” The match against Belmont began a tough stretch for Tech volleyball. This stretch includes facing Belmont, Morehead State, and Eastern Kentucky in a row. These three teams are currently sitting in the top three spots in the OVC East division. They will face Morehead State Nov.1 and Eastern Kentucky Nov.2. “This is a big weekend for us,” said senior Elise Robertson. “We have Morehead State, who is undefeated in conference, and EKU who is on a swing as well.” This year’s campaign has not gone smoothly for Golden Eagles volleyball. They have struggled in the OVC with a 1-9 record and a 5-15 record overall. Injuries have plagued the squad. “We are beat up,” said Coach Zelenock. “A lot of the players from earlier in the year are injured and we need new players to step up.” The players hope to make the most of the remaining games this season. By building this year, the team can look forward to having success in the future. “We want to become a better team and work together the remainder of the season,” said senior Ashleigh Hancock. After this weekend’s action, Tech will have four games remaining. The team will travel to Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois the weekend of Nov. 8. Then, the Golden Eagles will return home for their last two matches against Jacksonville State on Nov. 12 and close out the regular season with Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 16.

Men’s golf headed into last fall tournament The Tennessee Tech men’s golf team will be traveling to its final tournament of the fall on Nov. 3. The Hummingbird Intercollegiate will be hosted by Western Carolina. West Carolina, Belmont and Samford are some of the notable teams participating in the tournament. “It will be a little cooler than what they’ve played in the first four events,” said head coach Polk Brown. “They just have to adjust to it.” The Golden Eagles are led by the hot streak sophomore Mitch Thomas heading into the tournament. Thomas is currently top five in the Ohio Valley Conference for men’s golfers and has not shot a round over 75 all season. He averages a little over 71 per round. His best tournament finish was in the Bearcat Invitational with a total of 211. That was good enough for a second place tie. Thomas’ last three tournament finishes have been in the top 15, including back to back top five finishes most recently. He also received all-tournament honors in the last two competitions. “I knew he’d be an outstanding player, but he’s really starting to play the way I know he’s capable of playing,” said Brown. However, Brown did not discredit the team’s performance. “It’s been a team effort the whole semester,” said Brown. “They’ve really come together and we’re very balanced from top to bottom. At any given round, any one of my players can shoot a low round.” Tech hopes to close out this portion of the season by mending the second round struggle they’ve been having. They look to play more consistently throughout the entirety of the tournament. “It’s been pretty consistent. The second round is where we’ve struggled to play well, but we’re trying to get over that hump,” said Brown. “It’d be great for us to have a chance to win it going into the third round.” Despite those struggles, Coach Brown and the Golden Eagles are looking to finish this season strong. “It’ll be fun to see how they close it out,” said Brown. This week’s Weekly Roundup features stories from Assistant Sports Editor Shea Haile and Sports Editor Jamal Ferguson.

NEWS Page 6 | November 1, 2013

Emily Homan The soccer team dressed up in costume for the last practice of the season. Senior Leigh Heffner and sophomore Jordan Brown dressed as Transformers for the Halloween practice.

Lindsay Blakely Tech student Jeremy Chosie on campus yesterday dressed up and showing his Halloween spirit. Chosie had the Mario theme song playing from a boom box in his backpack, giving his costume the full effect. Ryn Fagee and Ty Potts depict a gruesome hospital scene as a part of New Hall North’s haunted house. The event raised money and canned food for the Homecoming food drive. The event took place Mon., Oct. 21 in the basement of New Hall North.

Photo courtesy of Richard Mosely

New Hall haunted house gives back By RICHARD MOSELY Beat Reporter

The staff and friends of New Hall North used PVC pipe, duct tape and plastic to set up the residence hall’s annual one-night only haunted house Oct. 21. Every year, resident assistants from New Hall North set up a program for Tech students to attend. The past four years, that program has been a haunted house. Located deep beneath New Hall North, inside the basement, students find themselves running into evil clowns, people in Jayson Voorhees masks, or even evil doctors with a sliced open patient lying on a hospital bed.

It took the New Hall North RAs 90 hours to assemble the haunted house. Smoke machines, strobe lights, and obstacles were also used to add to the suspense and feel of the house. Students were given free candy before entering the haunted house. Admission for students was one dollar or a canned food item. The proceeds from this event were donated to the Homecoming canned food drive. This is the fourth year that New Hall North has hosted this event. Caitlin McCowan, assistant coordinator of the Tree House Learning Village, said she feels the house gets bigger every year.

This year, about 300 people showed up to test their bravery against the haunted house. McCowan said one student even ran straight out of the haunted house this year. She said, in the past, they have even had students throw punches or lose phones, but in the four years of operation not a single person has been hurt. “I love how we put in so much effort and get a great turnout each year. Not to mention, we are helping people in the process,” said senior Michele Best. “We all work together and even though it’s one night, it’s all worth it.”

Melissa Edwards Michele Martin hands out candy to trick-or-treaters during Crawford’s Purple Palooza event Thursday.

The Oracle- November 1, 2013  

The Oracle- November 1, 2013

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