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University FAU’s student magazine

Press

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OCTOBER 9, 2012 | VOL. 14 #9

INTO THE

SCRUM A UP reporter is sent to FAU rugby’s practice — and suits up with them. How it all happened:

By Nick Ippolitto P. 10

What went wrong in this fall’s SG elections

A report card at FAU football’s midseason

P. 4

P. 24

By Dylan Bouscher

By the UP sports staff

FIRST ISSUE IS FREE; EACH ADDITIONAL COPY IS 50 CENTS AND AVAILABLE IN THE UP NEWSROOM.


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The Staff

Tuesday

October 9, 2012

Read us - upressonline.com Like us - facebook.com/universitypress Follow us - @upressonline

IN THIS ISSUE

4.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF - Ryan Cortes MANAGING EDITOR - Regina Kaza ART DIRECTOR - Phaedra Blaize ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR - Elena Medina BUSINESS MANAGER - James Shackelford

Almost no one voted in the last five fall SG elections, and it didn’t change this year. How internal mistakes contributed: By Dylan bouscher

WEB EDITOR - Andrew Alvino

18.

A look at Free Safe Text, an app designed to prevent texting and driving, promoted by Howard Schnnelenberger

24.

By Annalise Wershoven

Our graded midseason report card on Carl Pelini and his FAU football team. Plus, what to expect the rest of the season. By The UP sports staff

COPY DESK CHIEF - Michael Chandeck NEWS EDITOR - Dylan Bouscher SPORTS EDITOR - Rolando Rosa PHOTO EDITOR - Michelle Friswell CRIME EDITOR - Monica Ruiz SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHERS Christine Capozziello, Ryan Murphy SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER - Chase Kennedy COPY EDITORS Jessica Cohn-Kleinberg, Amanda Rubio STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Melissa Landolfa, Lamise Mansur CONTRIBUTORS Mohamed Abdihakim, Nick Ippolitto, Max Jackson,

COVER

Emily Mitchell-Cetti, Cyrus Smith, Annalise Wershoven ADVISERS Dan Sweeney Michael Koretzky

Rugby players Garrett Jones (left) and Ethan McAuliffe (right), joke during a lighter moment at practice. Photo by Michelle Friswell

10. The best kept secret on campus

COVER

What happened when a UP reporter is sent to practice with FAU’s rugby team.

Photo by Michelle Friswell

By Nick Ippolitto

777 Glades Road Student Union, Room 214 Boca Raton, FL 33431 561.297.2960

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PUBLISHER FAU Student Government The opinions expressed by the UP are not necessarily those of the student body, Student Government or FAU.

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News

Ballot boo-boos

Student Government made more mistakes in this fall’s election than previous years’ By Dylan Bouscher

C

News editor

hances are you’re part of the 97 percent who didn’t vote in this fall’s Student Government elections. And even though FAU’s enrollment is up to an all-time high of 30,542, voter turnout in this year’s election dropped from last year’s 4.38 percent to 3.32. This year, the elections started at midnight, Sept. 11, and ended the same time Sept. 13. The 3.32 percent who did vote in the election went online and voted on myfau.fau. edu. Others went to one of four old-fashioned voting stations on campus, which had laptops for students to cast their ballot. But the ballot for this year’s SG elections had more mistakes on it than usual, mistakes made by the SG leaders and administrators who managed (or mismanaged) the elections. Mike Brown, SG’s election board chair, is annually paid $8,100 of student money — through the Activities and Services fee all FAU students pay in their tuition — to catch these mistakes, so even the 97 percent who didn’t vote are paying for his blunders. “You come into a new position, you make these mistakes, but you don’t make them again,” Brown said. “In the spring election, I will be reviewing thoroughly.”

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Brown was hired in July by SG President Robert Huffman, who interviewed him for the position after Brown spent two years moving up the ladder in SG. He started out in the Boca House of Representatives before winning a seat in the universitywide Senate. Then, he volunteered to be a part of former SG President Ayden Maher’s staff before Maher hired him to be his executive assistant. “I found it to be very rewarding. It’s good management experience,” Brown said. And in the time Brown’s been at FAU, he’s voted in seven SG elections himself. When the UP interviewed Brown and pointed out miscalculations in the official results, he took them back to double check. “Let me keep this and bring this up with [Associate Dean of Students Terry Mena] and make sure these are the exact certified

Page designed by Chase Kennedy

SG Assistant Director Ryan Frierson created the ballot for this fall’s SG elections, which had mistakes on it.

Photo by Dylan Bouscher

results,” Brown said. But miscalculating who won more votes is only where the errors began. When SG amended its constitution over the summer, they held meetings and voted to approve their proposed amendments, such as raising the minimum GPA requirement for SG leaders. Then the amendments were sent to Brown so the student body could vote for them in the fall elections, yet not every amendment made it on the ballot. “There was one left off, that’s correct,” Ryan Frierson, SG’s assistant director, said. “What happened was one amendment was duplicated.” continued on page 6


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“I didn’t see any mistakes or missed amendments,” Brown said. Frierson created the ballot for the election, according to Brown and other leaders in SG. The amendment left off changed Article VII of the constitution, the section explaining how constitutional amendments are approved. “I inputted some of the information to the eBallot. The rest was done by [the Office of Information Technology],” Frierson said. Meanwhile, eBallot — the online voting site SG used to manage the election — crashed both days of the election. “It happened in the morning and around the same time the next day,” Brown said. But Frierson knew eBallot could crash before the elections started. “The Friday before the election, eBallot stopped working,” Frierson said. “It was an internal error late on a Friday, almost 6 p.m. I came back Monday and wasn’t able to do anything.” More than 600 organizations worldwide use eBallot, according to its website. “eBallot is the #1 online platform to build and execute secure, high integrity votes, ballots, elections, surveys and contest voting,” the eBallot website reads. Students weren’t able to vote during the hour eBallot was offline in a 48-hour election. Patricio Coicou chaired the group of students amending SG’s constitution. “I was confused by [the ballot],” Coicou said. “So if I was confused by it, imagine somebody else.” Coicou was the first to point out the ballot didn’t include every amendment. “When I didn’t see it on there I was very upset,” Coicou said. “I think some things could have been done better.” After Coicou noticed the missing amendment, he tried to file a petition with the Student Court, but SG Chief Justice Nicholas Scalice rejected it for what he called a “lack of sufficient evidence.” The lack of evidence was Coicou not having the final amendments to compare to the ballot. However, Frierson later admitted to the UP that an amendment was missing. Coicou also pointed out possible reasons for voter turnout being lower this year than past elections. “This election wasn’t advertised, promoted, whatever you want to call it, as well as previous years,” Coicou said. Other leaders in SG agree with Coicou. Boca House Speaker Jaclyn Broudy is one of them. “I don’t want to bash anybody for not doing something,” Broudy said. “But I felt like it could

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“Election? What election?” Here’s what FAU students had to say about the SG elections this year:

Name: Frank Rocks Year: Sophomore Major: Communications “Here at FAU, it’s really hard to know the candidates. I didn’t know there were fall elections. We need a cheat sheet for this stuff.”

Name: Alex O’Leary Year: Sophomore Major: Criminal justice “I had no idea we had fall elections. That’s baloney, I want my money going to something more useful.”

Name: Chris Soviero Year: Sophomore Major: Engineering “If I knew about the voting that would be more helpful. I feel like if I’m paying for it I should know about it.”

have been marketed better, advertised better.” Samuel Pluviose, a junior chemistry major, knew about the elections, but not about the candidates. “I didn’t think they did their job well this year.” Robert Huffman, however, disagrees. “I think [Mike Brown]’s done a good job compared to years past. It’s gotten better,” continued on page 8


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Huffman said. “I think voter turnout really depends on who’s running.” Now Brown expects the spring elections for SG president and vice president to go better than this fall’s elections. “In the upcoming election, we will definitely correct any mistakes we made on our part,” Brown said. “Do more to raise awareness and hopefully increase voter turnout.” Brown said he will ask more people to review the results in the spring election than he did this fall. “I will have [Ryan Frierson] reviewing the ballot so we know it’s correct,” Brown said. Despite the mistakes made by Brown and Frierson, Patricio Coicou doesn’t take it personally. “Me and Mike Brown are friends, but business is business,” Coicou said. “When it comes down to it, some of us fucked up. From administrators to the elections board chair, we’re all to blame.” Kenson Delva contributed to the reporting of this article.

Growing House, shrinking Senate In this fall’s SG election, students voted for members of the campus House of Representatives and the university-wide Senate. When FAU closed the Treasure Coast campus after absorbing a $24.7 million budget cut, the number of campus houses shrunk. Then the university’s record enrollment of 30,542 students increased their membership. The campus houses are comprised of:

The Senate is comprised of:

• •

• •

48 representatives - Boca Raton campus 11 representatives - Broward campuses (Davie and Fort Lauderdale) 7 representatives - Jupiter campus

2 senators - Boca Raton campus 2 senators - Broward campuses (Davie and Fort Lauderdale) 2 senators - Jupiter campus

Over the years The last six years of SG elections haven’t had more than 10 percent of students on the Boca campus vote in them:

8%

Percentage of voters

7%

(Votes cast = 1,355) (Total voters = 21,239) (Votes cast = 1,319) (Total voters = 24,208)

6% (Votes cast = 1,050) (Total voters = 21,792)

5%

(Votes cast = 1,122) (Total voters = 25,618)

4%

(Votes cast = 797) (Total voters = 24,029)

3% (Votes cast = 561) (Total voters = 23,296)

2% 1% 0

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2007 upressonline.com

2008

2009

Year

2010

2011

2012

Source: SG Election Board, FAU Media Relations


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THE BEST KEPT SECRET ON CAMPUS Sports

A UP reporter’s firsthand account after practicing with the rugby club By Nick Ippolitto Contributor

Photos by Michelle Friswell Photo editor

I

DAY ONE t’s 7:02 p.m. and the sky is dimly lit as high pitched whistles of the officiating crews are drowned out by roaring thunder. To my right, lacrosse sticks clash, whipped around violently by a group of robustly built women. Off to my left, I hear grunts of gasping soccer players, as they sprint up and down an endless field. I see footballs littering the air as flag football games have just gotten underway. Crack! I tremble as another wave of thunder ripples through the sky. While regaining my composure, my eyes fixate on an arbitrary group of students located at the back end of Henderson Field. A few stout men in oddly short shorts toss around what seemed to be an irregularly shaped, oversized football. These had to be the guys I was looking for. As I approached, I got the sense I was crossing the border into a foreign land. “Pass it here, mate,” one said. “Swing it already, you British twit,” one player shouted at a teammate. This whole scene gave them away. I had found the FAU Rugby club. Tentative in my new environment, I laced up my cleats and observed the action from the sidelines. Then a player caught me off guard, giving

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me a playful shove. “Ready to play, my friend?” *** Players dressed in tight, collared shirts and shorts — the kind of stuff I’m used to seeing women wear to a club — flew around the field with little regard for my lack of experience. I was thrust into a pickup game that I didn’t understand. It broke down into organized chaos. Directions being shouted from player to player. Positional calls being made by captains on each squad. “Go wide, go wide!” one said. I was the center of criticism when I blatantly missed a tackle and had a guy speed past me, scoring a try (rugby’s version of touchdown). Rugby? More like football without pads. Feeling the pressure to show my bravado, with my first touch off the pitch, my feet moved faster than my body, leading me to collapse flat on my face to the amusement of those watching. The pickup game grew in numbers, 10, 15, now 20 finely tuned athletes filled the field. As we lined up for a kickoff, I glanced down the line and it was a scene straight out of Braveheart. Players chattered with European accents as Garrett Jones stood tall Page designed by Elena Medina

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setting for the kick with his lengthy dirty-brown hair streaking behind him as the wind blew. I felt a sense of camaraderie as my fellow warriors began charging down the field into the ensuing rugby scrum. With rain drizzling and lightning illuminating the distant sky, the practice was undoubtedly coming to a close. At that moment, I had to make the most of my opportunity. I took to the pitch and planted my foot in the ground, launching myself upfield, out-running the seasoned veterans to score the try. I received praise from my teammates on the way back to the huddle. “Good run, mate,” one player muffled, with his head bowed in disbelief. “The newbie scored,” another player directed at his defensive squad in an irate fashion, waving his arms vigorously, trying to spark some kind of fire in them to get them to play better. “Oh, the new guy thinks he can play, aye?” A player rhetorically stated in a laughable manner while he stood, hands on his hips, crudely smiling in amusement at the situation. They just had a complete stranger to the sport of rugby score a long try. Obvious disbelief stained their faces. With the eerie weather siren sounding, practice was cut short after 20 minutes. On my way off the

field I ran into head coach Richard Jackson and introduced myself. He cut me off — “You’re from the newspaper? You looked good out there; I might just have to recruit you,” Jackson said in an accent I later learned was Zimbabwean. *** With a roster consisting mostly of the leftovers from the football team and other sports, the rugby club has performed well. Founded in 1990, the club held the Florida Cup for six straight years at one point. Last year, FAU finished third in the state out of 15 teams. With that said, the club team still lacks exposure on campus, forcing them to resort to unusual tactics to get attention. Gregory Sun, the president of the rugby club, heads the campaign to market the team. “Sometimes we even go out on the Breezeway to promote games,” Sun said. Jackson is optimistic, however, that rugby can eventually thrive at FAU. “I think the major thing is that we don’t get the sponsorship. The school is not as involved as we would like them to be,” Jackson said. “It’s a growing sport; not popular in America right now, but it is growing. Especially if we start winning and get kids playing.” Jackson may prefer more involvement from FAU with his club, but he still appreciates the amenities it provides.

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“OH, THE NEW GUY THINKS HE CAN PLAY, AYE?”


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“I DON’T NEED TO SEE PLAYERS HERE BULLSHITING LIKE IT’S A SOCIAL HOUR.” - Assistant coach Galvin Curtis “The school does give us a lot of things — a decent field, they line the field for us, they help us out a lot,” Jackson said. “So we can’t be selfish and say that they’re not helping us.” Gregory Sun would love for them to one day become an NCAA Division I-A team, but as of now, he is content with things the way they are. “I mean, that’s a long term goal, but it’s not even something that’s really talked about too much. The way we have it setup now seems to be working just fine,” Sun said. “We already show that there is a lot of athleticism, a lot of talent. We show that rugby is a sport.” Assistant coach Galvin Curtis agrees that rugby is a sport not to be taken lightly. He cites the global success of rugby as his reasoning, even challenging the public to come

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try out, if they’re man enough. “I think the biggest thing the club needs is some exposure. Come out, try it. It’s not like tiddlywinks. It’s a serious sport, and it’s a multibillion dollar worldwide industry,” Curtis said. “We’re going to have a professional rugby team right here next year. Anybody who feels athletic and likes a little contact can do it.” *** DAY TWO After receiving only a marginal taste of rugby Tuesday night, I still felt prepared for Thursday's practice. Wrong. I stepped onto the field under the piercing Henderson Field lights. The skirmish was underway. This time, for about 40 minutes. My heartbeat soared as I took it

upon myself to call for the ball while using terms I had picked up. I advised my teammates to “swing it” as I bounced to the outside, spreading the dense field out. Richard Jackson blew his earringing whistle and ordered us to the back line of the field. Players had scowls on their faces and jogged at a half pace, lowering their heads in fear of what was about to come. The dreaded whistle blew again and a group of players sprinted at full pace down the long field. Again the whistle blew. I was next. By about the third time down field, I was physically dominated by that godforsaken whistle. My cardiovascular system had betrayed me. Heaving and wheezing, reaching for that elusive next breath, thinking

Forward Casey Spencer takes off during practice. His head coach, Richard Jackson, would like to see the team get more sponsorships and marketing from the school to promote the squad.

continued on page 16


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Forward Garrett Jones eludes a teammate during the second day of practice.

wind sprints couldn’t be the way I go out. Fortunately for me, the coach eased up on his menacing onslaught long enough for me to sluggishly reach the sidelines, where Gatorade would be my morphine. This was no halftime. Jackson had us return back on the field immediately to run passing drills. This constant up-tempo atmosphere backs up captain Matthew Rogg’s assessment of

rugby over football. “You have to be in shape for rugby,” Rogg said. “We are in such great shape because they [the FAU football team] do 13 seconds and we go 40 minutes without stopping.” Practice concluded with a speech from both coaches. “I don’t need to see players around here bullshiting like it’s a social hour. You can do that if you want to be hodgepodge,” Galvin Curtis said. “If you want to be

champions, you have to cut that shit out.” “With the talent we have, you can go half-ass in practice and still manage to beat a lot of our competition, but you’re better than that!” Jackson emphasized. Jackson concluded by giving the team a little extracurricular incentive for winning big games. “Imagine the celebration after we beat UF,” Jackson said. “I know I won’t sleep that fucking night.”

The men’s rugby team holds practice every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. at Henderson Field. Everyone is welcome to participate. 16

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2012 FALL SCHEDULE 10/13 10/20

10/28

Middle Tennessee State University University of South Florida, All-Florida Day, Taveres, Fla. University of Florida, All-Florida Day, Taveres, Fla. @ University of Central Florida

11/03

University of Miami

11/10

@ Florida International University

11/17 11/18

Collegiate Florida Cup semi-final, TBD Collegiate Florida Cup semi-final, TBD

10/21

FAU rugby roster 2012 fall semester

Out of 15 Florida teams, FAU rugby finished third in the state last season. The squad, founded in 1990, once held the Florida Cup for six consecutive years. Photos courtesy of Sheri Rogg Galante

FORWARDS Matthew Rogg -Captain Delroy “Truck” Thompson Bryan Dykes Andrew Schatz Kyle Rubel Eric “Tiny” Mohr Adam Donohue Gregory Sun

Jared Shavel Casey Spencer Garrett “Hippy” Jones Joel Benn Brad Deokisingh Yanis Mazouz Joe Dinnerstein Ethan McAuliffe Hayden Gartzman

BACKS James Gould- Co-captain Dalton “Tex” Kane Eric Luipersbeck Danny Del Pino Christopher “Meatball” Skvarch Jason Allen Antonio Patterson Holden Giles Dwayne Johnson

Dominic Salemme Matthew Coore Collin Sharf Matthew O’Hearn Michael Wright Fawaz Al Akroka Luis Faria Kiernan Dugan TK Okubo Kristian Pfeffer

Rugby took some getting use to. The playing field is similar to that of a soccer field. The team with the ball must advance it down the field, only tossing it laterally, to score a try. Each try is worth five points with the extra point try being worth two. Sounds simple right? You must do all this going full speed, with players coming to drive you into the turf and get the ball back. There are two 40 minute halves with a 10 minute intermission. Going nonstop for such a long period of time adds another element to the interesting sport of rugby, conditioning. The similarites are glaring between soccer and football, but rugby has its own flare, if you will. The standout gameplay aspect is the scrum. The scrum is used as a restart after any penalty or stoppage in play. The two teams group up and bind together. The ball is then placed in the middle of the scrum, then the chaos begins. Both teams push to gain possession of the ball and get it out of the scrum. That’s the general breakdown of this complex sport. To get a better understanding, I suggest you come out to one of the games. BYOC, bring your own chair (limited bleacher seating).

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News

Saving lives behind the wheel? There’s an app for that By Annalise Wershoven Photos by Michelle Friswell

Contributor

Photo editor

F

Howard Schnellenberger promotes a new application to help end texting and driving

AU alumni Joseph Riano was getting on the southbound I-95 ramp off of Glades Road, ready to begin a trip to last May, Riano convinced Schnellenberger to you have an alert about a message, you Miami. automatically want to answer it,” Feglynn Jeanpromote Free Safe Text. And then his cellphone went off. “In the first 15 minutes of our The text, he said, was from a very important conversation,” Schnellenberger said, client who needed him to respond right away. “it became obvious to me that [this Riano considered pulling over and answering app] was something very special.” the text. He considered ignoring it. Then he He believes as an ambassador to considered something else. the university, he can get the message “I thought to myself,” Riano said, “‘wouldn’t out to students. “I don’t text,” it be nice if I could let this person know that Schnellenberger said. “My wife texts, I was driving, without having to touch the but she doesn’t text me.” phone?’” So he came up with an application Some students agree that the called Free Safe Text. temptation to answer a text becomes The app acts like a voicemail for text distracting and dangerous. “When messages and prevents the temptation to respond while driving. It silences all incoming text messages and FAU alumni Joseph Riano got the idea to make Free automatically responds Safe Text while he was driving on I-95 and got a text with generic texts, such from his client. as “I’ll respond ASAP,” or “I’m driving.” It can also turn on when a car reaches 10 mph, according to the app fact sheet on freesafetext.com. The app helps drivers kick the deadly habit of texting while driving and has grabbed the attention of NBC, Sun Sentinel, AutoNation and most recently, former FAU football head coach and current ambassadorat-large Howard Schnellenberger. After meeting at a Former FAU football head coach Howard Schnellenberger says he doesn’t text. “ I don’t text,” he said. ”My wife texts but Boca Raton Chamber she doesn’t text me.” of Commerce breakfast

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Baptiste, a senior biology major, said. Riano created the app with students in mind, asking Student Government for feedback along the way. He decided that a reward system would encourage students to use the app. The way the program works is Riano pays the top user of the week $25. He plans to introduce a point system where students can earn rewards like free food and prizes from companies that advertise with the app. “I think it’s a great idea,” SG President Robert Huffman said. “One of our roles is to ensure the safety of our students. Any resource we can use to make safety easier for students is really important.” Huffman is aware that many students, including himself, have a problem with texting and driving, which is why he says SG plans to promote the app and encourage students to download and use it. “We’re all young, we all have phones, we’re all driving to and from campus,” Chris Daughtery, a senior electrical engineering major, said. “I think the app would work.” Riano and Schnellenberger plan to promote the app to college campuses everywhere. “The students of FAU have been instrumental in providing us with feedback,” Riano said. “I think FAU will be the model for other universities.” Free Safe Text is currently available on the Android Market, and a version for the iPhone is expected by the end of the year, according to Riano. “This is an issue all over the world,” Schellenberger said. “And FAU is going to be the first university to step forward.”

Free Safe Text: Facts from the Android Market •

Average rating: 3.8 stars out of 5

Number of downloads: 1,000+ (last updated Sept. 29)

Nine user comments: (44 percent positive reviews)

“Your app is the best idea in a LONG time! Great job!” –Joe “Nice if all you need is autoreply.” –Anna C. “It has probably already saved my life.” –Doug

• •

You don’t say

Source: play.google.com/store/apps

“I think most students probably wouldn’t use it because they don’t think texting and driving is a problem.” —Anne-Elie Etienne, senior psychology major “Absolutely. They would use it because it is a great tool. And a lot of times, you don’t want to text and drive, but you don’t want to offend the person who is texting you.” — Sarah Bennari, senior finance major “Why not? There are no cons to it. For me, I can’t text and drive at the same time. I think [the app] is amazing.” —Luckas Torfs, junior studio art/art history major “No, I don’t think students would use it. I think they’re too goddamn lazy.” —Jordan Batt, freshman biology/pre-med major “Definitely. In our generation, you need to quickly respond, so it’s easier because the app does it for you.” —Morgan Grodesky, sophomore biology/pre-med major “Students will still look at their phone, even with the app.” —Jordan Horner, junior neuroscience major

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Texting and driving facts •

Approximately 1.3 million accidents last year were caused by texting and driving.

34 percent of Americans admit to texting behind the wheel.

55 percent of young adults claim that it is easy to text and drive.

While Florida currently has no ban on texting and driving, House Bill 79 was introduced in the Florida legislature earlier this year. The bill died in committee, even though 70 percent of Florida voters supported a law that creates a penalty for texting and driving.

Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.

Sources: textinganddrivingsafety.com, www.distraction.gov


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PHOTO

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Photo by Ryan Murphy Senior photographer Students stream between the Social Science building and the Breezeway after midday classes let out on Monday, Sept. 24. Enrollment at FAU this semester reached a record high of 30,542 students. This photograph was produced by combining multiple long exposures ­— a technique that allows stationary items (like buildings) to appear normal, and for moving parts (like students) to appear blurred.

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Sports

ONE WIN

WONDERS By the UP sports staff

FAU football is almost at the midway point with as many wins as last season

A

fter its bye week, FAU football already has the same amount of wins as it did all of last season. However, after winning the season opener against Wagner, the Owls are currently on a four-game losing streak going into their Oct. 13 match at ULM. Here’s the UP’s graded rundown of the team:

D : e d Gra

Offense

The only reason the offense didn’t receive an F is because of its touchdowns against Alabama and Georgia. Besides those lone, shining moments, this unit has vastly underperformed. The offense only scored seven points against Wagner, despite being favored by 17.5 points. It took the Owls until the fourth quarter to score the touchdown. New offensive coordinator Brian Wright’s spread offense was supposed to cure the woes of last season’s stagnant pro style system. Instead, FAU is averaging just 13 points per game, a whopping 0.1 higher than 2011 (12.9 ppg). The Owls’ offense is struggling tremendously at the beginning of games. FAU has more points in the fourth quarter (41) than the other three quarters combined (24). Quarterback Stephen Curtis was the opening game starter but was benched at halftime after completing 4 of 10 passes for 37 yards. He’s only played sparingly since, mostly in the wildcat formation, and has missed games the past couple weeks while battling through a toe injury. Graham Wilbert rescued the Owls in the second half of the season opener from the embarrassment of losing to a Division I-AA team. He’s put up solid numbers, but winning is something which still eludes him. Wilbert has already thrown five touchdowns (he had seven all of last season), and his completion percentage is significantly higher (64.8 percent this season, 52.4 percent in 2011), but he still lacks the intangibles to lead his team to sustained success. This season, he’s been a tease: He continually leads his team past midfield, even into scoring territory, but can’t finish drives. The perfect example is FAU’s game against North Texas. Both times in the first half when the Owls reached the red zone Wilbert made costly mistakes. The first time, he was intercepted in the end zone,

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Photo by Ryan Murphy

Most surprising aspect: Graham Wilbert’s running If a person was asked who had the third longest run for the Owls, they’d give the obvious answers: Damian Fortner, Martese Jackson. Maybe even Stephen Curtis. Think again. It’s Graham Wilbert. To prepare for the spread offense, Wilbert said he worked on his lateral movement in the offseason. While he’s far from a natural on the ground, his efforts are paying off. Inserted at starter over the more fleet-footed Curtis, Wilbert has methodically churned his way for long gains this season, punctuated by his 23-yard first down against North Texas. Wilbert has 57 rushing yards this season after having 144 yards last year.

Page designed by Phaedra Blaize

Continued on page 26


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Continued from page 24

U asked for it and now U have it...

the next, he lost a fumble. A pleasant surprise has been the running game. With Alfred Morris gone, there seemed to be a massive void, but it’s been filled with a running back-bycommittee approach, led by Damian Fortner. Fortner leads all Owls runners with 240 yards and two touchdowns. He provided one of the season’s top highlights with his untouched 43-yard touchdown run at Georgia. His fellow backs are contributing nicely as well. Jonathan Wallace has picked up 159 yards on the ground at a 4.3 average. Martese Jackson (29 carries, 136 yards) led the way in the opener against Wagner with 99 yards. Fumbling is a cause of concern, though. FAU has fumbled 11 times so far, losing eight of them (tied for the most in the Sun Belt with Troy). The receiving corps are underwhelming. No receiver averages more than 44.8 yards per game. Second year wideout William Dukes has been a bright spot. His 18 catches for 224 yards leads all receivers. Dukes has shown a penchant for big play ability, already with a pair of catches over 30 yards. Redshirt senior Byron Hankerson (academically ineligible last season) is making up for lost time, pulling in a team-high of two touchdowns. Tight ends have played a prominent role in the offense. Alex Deleon (seven catches, 43 yards) snagged a 6-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of the Alabama game to end their 12-quarter shutout streak. Nexon Dorvilus has eight catches and a touchdown as well.

A SITE FOR U

Defense

Campus events, resources, discounts and anything else U need.

The switch back to a 4-3 defense has been a modest improvement. The defense has played a lot in a 4-2-5 set, though. FAU held Alabama to four straight field goal drives, and Georgia had 14 points midway through the second quarter. Against the big boys (Alabama, Georgia), FAU’s defense flashed some signs of being at least respectable, but for the most part is being used as a doormat. Senior linebacker David Hinds leads the team (and is tied for third in the conference) in tackles with 43. Randell Johnson, second on the team in tackles last season, has played in every game this season, but injured his shoulder late in the preseason and has only started once. Jeremy McKnight has filled in admirably with 42 tackles, second to Hinds and seventh in the Sun Belt. Cornerback Keith Reaser is anchoring the secondary with one interception and 19 tackles.

Photo by Max Jackson

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C : e d Gra

Continued on page 28


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Continued from page 26

Photos by Michelle Friswell The defense is still allowing too many points (30 ppg compared to 34.7 last season) but the offense has put them in bad situations. Three and outs and short drives are going to cut into the energy level of the defense. Tackling is also a big problem. Offensive players are breaking through FAU defenders too easily. The fundamentals are being taught in practice but there needs to be a way to reinforce it better so missed tackles don’t ensue on game day. The secondary frequently gets burned on deep passes. The average yards per catch for opponents is 17.8. North Texas scored on a 68-yard touchdown pass in FAU’s last game. The run defense has been spotty. Teams run for 210 yards per game against the Owls. Middle Tennessee had multiple 100 yard rushers in FAU’s week two loss.

Most surprising aspect: Third down defense Last season, FAU opponents converted a little under half (48 percent) of their third down attempts. So far this season, Pete Rekstis’ unit is holding offenses to 34 percent on the crucial down.

Special teams

D : e d Gra

Punter Sean Kelly is the lone reason FAU special teams didn’t receive a failing grade because all other aspects have been disastrous. For instance, FAU is averaging -0.6 yards per punt return. To not even average positive yards is inexcusable. The return duties for punts and kickoffs are split between Keith Reasor and Travis Jones, but neither are making the case to remain in their role. Meanwhile, the kickoff returns (21.2 yards) are virtually touchbacks.

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Most surprising aspect: Punter Sean Kelly The freshman walk-on has dazzled in his debut, averaging 42.2 yards per punt, with a high of 55. Kelly is matching the production of his predecessor Mickey Groody (42.0 average last season). Kelly’s booming punts serve as an equalizer for the inept FAU offense, backing the opponent further into their territory.

Continued on page 30


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Continued from page 28

Coaching If this was just a grade based on wins, then head coach Carl Pelini would be graded more harshly. Pelini admits he knew this would be a tough job and that success wouldn’t come overnight. That’s probably why we haven’t seen his raging Nebraska temper in Boca. There’s a rational reason for this: Why flip out when you know your team is undermatched in most games? Pelini is trying to change a losing culture, and so far, the losing has continued but the attitude of the players has improved. Even while they were getting blown out by Georgia and Alabama, the Owls still competed hard until the end. The late touchdown against Alabama? It definitely wouldn’t have happened last season under coach Howard Schnellenberger. Pelini is a fresh voice and appears to have the players’ respect.

C : e d a r G Photo by Michelle Friswell

Most spectacular play: Damian Fortner’s 43-yard touchdown run at Georgia It wasn’t the flashiest play of the year, but by far, it was the most impressive. Damian Fortner ran up the middle untouched through the defending SEC East champs defense for a 43-yard score. The best part was after the play, when the TV cameras caught the stunned expressions of the Bulldogs’ fans.

Most memorable play: Alex Deleon’s touchdown catch at Alabama So what if this play occurred when the game was way out of reach? When you shock the national media by snapping the defending national champs 12-quarter shutout streak, 40-7 doesn’t seem so bad. Graham Wilbert and Alex Deleon should split the ball in half and frame it, because there won’t be a better college football moment for either of them in their careers.

Photo by Ryan Murphy

MVP: Punter Sean Kelly A freshman walk-on as FAU’s MVP? Yeah, its been that kind of season for the Owls. Give punter Sean Kelly credit, though. His number is being called quite frequently because of FAU’s anemic offense, but Kelly has been a pleasant surprise. Not only does he have a strong leg (42.2 yards per punt) but he has athleticism as well. Many times Kelly has recovered botched snaps and rescued the Owls from disaster. With the way the season is unfolding, maybe it’s time to put number 16 behind center.

Staff prediction: Number of wins for the final seven games

Nick Ippolitto: 3

Rolando Rosa: 2

Cyrus Smith: 2

Mohamed Abdihakim: 1

Desipite a new coaching regime and new offensive and def ensi v e sy s t e m s , inconsistency still plagues the team, with the offense only showing up in the fourth quarters (41 of 65 total points). The Owls will pull out back to back wins against South Alabama and Troy, followed by a win against FIU.

My preseason five-win prediction was far too gracious. The Owls have found frequent ways to blow games, with the main reasons being slow starts and turnovers. Yet, with wins against South Alabama and FIU, FAU will still finish the season tripling its win total from a year ago.

I initially predicted five wins before the start of the season, but that was with the idea of Melvin German III being the quarterback. Instead, it’s another year of Graham Wilbert. Nevertheless, I see FAU picking up wins against South Alabama and bitter rival FIU in the last scheduled matchup between the two.

The Owls should be able to beat South Alabama. But other than that, don’t expect any more wins this season. Why not? FAU cannot defend the run. Example: FAU has allowed multiple 100+ yard performances to freshman running backs (Georgia’s Todd Gurley and Middle Tennessee’s Jordan Parker). It’s all downhill from South Alabama onward.

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On October 10, Italio invites all FAU students, faculty and staff to enjoy a complimentary crisp Salad Bowl,

heaping Pasta Bowl or one-of-a-kind Piadina. Just go to italiokitchen.com/FAU to download your free coupon. So come, mangiare, and enjoy the freshest, newest way there is to do Italian.

Offer good all day and all night on October 10, 2012 at your new neighborhood Italio. 1658 N. Federal Hwy Boca Raton, FL 33432

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Coupon, either printed or on your smartphone, and FAU ID must be presented at time of purchase. Only one entrée per student, faculty or staff member, please. upressonline.com

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UP14_9  

University Press Volume 14 Issue 9

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