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VOL. 54, NO. 12

“If it matters to the USA family, it matters to us.”

APRIL 7, 2014


USA student found dead in locked vehicle By SAM ANDREWS Editor-in-Chief


► Campus: Communication students host benefits for local organizations. See Campus, page 2

► JagLife: Cameras flashing: AASA Fashion show a hit. See JagLife, page 5

► Sports: Hannah Campbell third overall in NPF draft. See Sports, page 8

► Opinion: New Facebook drones to bring Internet to the world.

hen responding to a medical emergency call April 2, University police found USA student Patrick Chausse unresponsive in his locked vehicle in the Humanities parking lot. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. USA Public Relations Director Bob Lowry said that foul play is not suspected. The cause of death is still unknown, but Lowry said autopsy results are expected within 12 weeks. Chausse, a 27-year-old U.S. Army Veteran, deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. At USA, he studied foreign languages with a concentration in Russian, according to USA’s Office of Veterans Affairs. Chausse’ death comes less than a month after another student, Christopher Elan Thomas, was found dead in a USA dorm March 15. SGA President Riley Davis


spoke out on Facebook about these recent deaths. “Sad to see that the Jaguar family has lost another one of its own. My prayers and thoughts go out to the family and friends of Patrick Chausse,” Davis said. Similar reactions followed the campuswide email announcement of Chausse’s death.

“Another student from the University of South Alabama has passed away. Rest In Peace Patrick Chausse. Praying for your family and friends,” SGA Attorney General Danielle Watson said. “Another student death announced. Praying for the family of Patrick Conreaux Chausse of

Bay Minette,” Morgan Rabby, student of public relations, said. Funeral services will be held April 7 at 11 a.m. at the chapel of Wolfe-Bayview Funeral Home in Daphne, Ala. For students seeking help in coping with these recent deaths, call counseling services at 251460-7051.

New president starts “first day of school”

See Opinion, page 13 find us on Facebook search “The Vanguard USA”

See page 4

Check out our digital edition


In this Issue: Sports, Page 8 Opinion, Page 13

JagLife, Page 5


VOL. 54, NO. 12 / APR. 7, 2014

Communication students host benefits for local organizations By KANDACE RAYBON Contributing Writer


dvertising agencies established by South Alabama students as class projects are hosting benefits for the local charities with which they have made connections. The students are participating in a program called Pay It Forward, a Protect America effort. Protect America provides college groups with nest eggs, which the groups use to help deliver advertising and marketing assistance to nonprofit organizations at no cost to the charity. Five agencies were formed out of an upper level advertising class taught by Nadia Bush in the Department of Communication. Each agency searched and found a nonprofit organization to help and have been promoting the organization throughout this semester. The JBrand Agency, working with the Wounded Warrior Project, put on a golf tournament this past weekend. The event was successful despite the rain. “The tournament was very inspiring,” Erick von Schaffer said. “People from all over Mobile were there and very supportive of the our

By DAESHAN SMITH Contributing Writer


ith a desire to serve others and a positive attitude, Ashley Ford is more than ready to help improve things at South. When Ford first took the SGA job as senator for the College of Arts and Sciences, she already had big things in mind for the school and the college. One of those big things was to help the University become more

fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. Our awesome sponsors, AutoAd, Inc. and Industrial Valve made it possible to provide such a great time to all of the participants!” The Hermes Group is also putting on a concert for their charity The Learning Tree. Rockin’ for a Reason will be taking place this Friday, April 11 at The Brickhouse on Dauphin Street. Sherry Neese of The Hermes Group will be performing with her group Sherry Court. Other artists performing include Jon Coxwell, Karlton Turner, Laurie Anne Armor, Justin Wall and The Investments. Delta Advertising Agency is promoting the Alabama Coastal Foundation. They will be hosting a Pitcha-Thon April 13 at Hank Aaron Stadium. According to Susie Hoover, the account executive for the Delta Advertising Agency, the price to pitch will be $1 a throw, and there will be five segments. These segments will be: Female 12 and younger, Female 12 and older, Male 12 and younger, Male 12-18 and Males 18 and older. The name and email of each paying contestant will be taken down so winners will receive an email about prize deliv-

ery. This event will just be the launching point as the larger event will be happening May 30 with the BayBears. On April 17, Rock the Dock will take place at Bluegill Restaurant in Spanish Fort, Ala. It will be hosted by the ODD GOAT Agency and all proceeds will be donated to the Mulherin House. It will begin at 6 p.m. CP+B Squared Agency is hosting an event at Picklefish April 19. “Pizza for McKemie Place” will feature a performance by Danny Spiro and the Wingman. There will also be pizza and door prizes. The students participating in this project have received great experience for when they are ready to enter the job market. “This class allows students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in advertising and public relations in a professional atmosphere,” Katie Segers of the Delta Advertising Agency said. “Working together as a team also gives us the chance to use and improve our interpersonal skills while working with others.” Follow the agencies on Twitter or “like” them on Facebook for more information.

Sherry Neese of the Hermes Group performing at Top of the Bay on March 18.

eco-friendly through recycling. For this, more bins were needed around the campus. This project resulted in a partnership with several student organizations that want to help South go green, including the First Year Council and the Biology Sustainability Council. Ford is a member of both groups. As for the College of Arts and Sciences, she wants to see the college as a whole grow together. “I would like to see some of the small-

er majors get some improvements done so that the entire college will have all the tools necessary to be successful and prosperous,” Ford said. Being in a leadership position is nothing new for this Dothan, Ala., native. Since coming to USA, she has served on the Rules Committee, First Year Council and the Student Affairs Committee. On the Rules Committee, she has responsibilities to make sure senators fulfill their re-

quired attendance. Ford also helps with the application process for the First Year Council. Ford has developed a desire to lead. “One of my personal mottos is: ‘to lend a helping hand,’” Ford said. She added the she lives up to this motto by “simply lending myself to serve my fellow classmates and community.” Ford is a chemistry major with an English minor. She wants to go to medical school after graduation.


“I actually saw one of our blind students almost get run over at one of the intersections.” she said. “I went straight to our president at the time and told him that something had to be done.” Though the Senate had to approve it first, “I immediately got tactile warnings put there,” Harris said. She also explained that tactile warnings are the rubber, textured ground surfaces that let blind students know where the sidewalk ends and the road begins. “I know this is just the beginning,” Harris said. “There’s (sic) plenty of things that we need to fix

to make this university more accessible for those with disabilities.” She feels that being involved in making positive changes on campus is a rewarding aspect of SGA. She said that during their weekly meeting this past Monday, SGA met with a JagTran representative to discuss JagTran rerouting. One decision was that the ILB stop would soon be added back into the route. SGA also talked about organizing the candlelight vigil for the student who died on campus, getting ready for elections and moving over to the new student center when it opens.


Meet your SGA

Contributing Writer


ustine Harris, a College of Arts and Sciences SGA senator, is fighting for a more accessible university. In her third year as an Arts and Sciences senator, Harris goes above and beyond the call of duty to represent the college. She has found her passion in making the University safer for the disabled. It took a legally blind graduate student to approach the SGA and explain the danger when crossing certain intersections on campus. This really fueled Harris’ passion.

Harris encourages everyone to be involved in SGA. “Anyone can go to SGA meetings. We have a student forum. We actually don’t have that many people who come,” she said, “but every meeting you can just come, sit and, at the end, say whatever you want to say. Any issue that you have on campus, you can address and let us know what’s going on,” Harris said. Harris plans to attend medical school at South Alabama once she earns her bachelor’s degree. She hopes to one day work in pediatrics at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital.


VOL. 54, NO. 12 / APR. 7, 2014

“University of South Alabama’s Student Voice”

Weather for April 7 - 13

Editorial Editor in Chief Managing Editor Copy Editor Opinion Editor Sports Editor JagLife Editor Web Editor Staff Reporters

Samantha Andrews

Stephanie Feather Meg Lundberg Jordan Knox Alyssa Newton Matthew Strickland Matthew Strickland

Samuel Brown Jenna Munday


Distribution Bobby Faulk Alan Smith

Advertising Advertising Justine Burbank Graphic Designer Ryan Keller Sheldon Hall Promotions Director Jaclyn LeBatard

Management Advising J. Sellers J. Aucoin Accounting Kathy Brannan

Mission The Vanguard, the student-run newspaper of the University of South Alabama, serves its readership by reporting the news involving the campus community and surrounding areas. The Vanguard strives to be impartial in its reporting and believes firmly in its First Amendment rights.

Send letters and guest columns to: The Vanguard University of South Alabama P.O. Drawer U-1057 Mobile, Ala., 36688. Or Letters and guest columns must be received by 7 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to the Monday publication. Submissions should be typed and must include the writer’s name, year, school and telephone number. All submissions become the property of The Vanguard. The Vanguard reserves the right to edit letters and guest columns for length and clarity. Letters will be limited to 300 words. Letters and guest columns are the opinion of the writer. The Staff Editorial represents the consensus opinion of the Editorial Board All members of the Editorial Board have the same weight. The Vanguard has a commitment to accuracy and clarity and will print any corrections or clarifications. To report a mistake, e-mail The Vanguard is published Mondays during the academic year, except for exam periods and vacations, and is published twice each summer. The Vanguard is supported in part by an allocation from student activity fees and operates in the Student Media Department of the Division of Student Affairs. Issues are available at most University buildings and select off-campus locations. The first copy is free. Additional copies are $1 each. Freelance writers will receive payment at the discretion of the section editor and will be notified.



Twitter: StormTeam4g9wx Facebook:

USAPD Police Blotter 03/21/2014 2:48 Failure to appear/comply/pay The Grove Officers arrested in individual for warrants out of the City of Mobile at The Grove gate. 03/21/2014 11:37 Possession of marijuana second degree, possession of drug paraphernalia Visual arts parking lot One individual was arrested during a traffic stop for possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and minor in possession of alcohol. 03/21/2014 17:46 Theft from auto USA Bookstore Individual reported her laptop, book bag and text books stolen from her car, valuing more than $600. 03/23/2014 2:45 Possession of marijuana second degree, drug paraphernalia first offense. Old Shell Road and Hillcrest Road Two individuals were arrested during a traffic stop for possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and carrying a weapon without a permit.

03/23/2014 12:25 Unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle Delta 6 parking lot Unknown persons unlawfully took items of value from the bed of the victims pickup truck. 03/24/2014 17:22 Theft of property second degree Dining facility Victim reported his backpack containing his MacBook Pro stolen. 03/25/2014 20:50 Unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle, fire Beta 4 Victim reported that someone broke into his vehicle and stole his headphones and backpack. He then found his backpack on fire near Beta 4. 03/26/2014 22:43 Criminal trespass third degree Delta 4 A non-student was arrested for criminal trespassing in the dorm area after a warning and was transferred to Mobile County Metro Jail.


VOL. 54, NO. 12 / APR. 7, 2014

New president completes first week at South Alabama By SAM ANDREWS Editor-in-Chief


n April 2, Dr. Tony Waldrop began his historic first day as the third president of the University of South Alabama. During his tour of the recreation center, the under-construction softball facilities and the glass program hot and cold shops, a hoard of media representatives were there to record this little slice of history.

The fresh new president would not talk on specific plans, but did assert certain goals. “There are many things that are being worked on that I support, like increasing graduation retention rates.” He added that, if he were to pick a big goal, it would be that USA become a “preferred university in Alabama that competes with, if not defeats, Auburn (University) and (the University of) Alabama. “Why not try for it?”


Several news crews interview President Tony Waldrop April 2.

As Waldrop discussed his vision for the future of USA, he described a steady pace. “I usually do one day at a time.” A way he hopes to build relationships with students is by visiting the dining hall occasionally and chatting with students about whatever they want. A topic Waldrop touched on was his impression of the city. “The people of Mobile (Ala.) have been great. They’re friendly, and they’re very committed to the University of South Alabama and seeing it continue to be great.” When asked about his favorite of the USA facilities visited thus far, Waldrop replied in a true fatherly fashion. “All of them!” he said, relating USA to his family. “You can’t ask me to pick between children, can you?” Waldrop has been provost and executive vice president at the University of Central Florida since 2010. Before UCF, Waldrop served as the vice chancellor for research and economic development at the University of North Carolina and vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois. Dr. John Smith has served as acting president since President Emeritus Gordon Moulton retired July 1, 2013 and died Sept. 28 of the same year after a his battle with brain cancer.


Glass Program Coordinator Rene Culler (right) leads President Tony Waldrop on a tour through USA’s glass studio April 2.




VOL. 54, NO. 12 / APR. 7, 2014

Cameras flashing: AASA Fashion show a hit By BRIANNA ERVIN Contributing Writer


he African-American Student Association kicked off their Instagrammy's Fashion Show Saturday, April 5 in the new student center ballroom without a glitch. The show was open to anyone who wanted to attend and tickets were only $5 at the door. Music blared and cameras flashed from the start of the show, which opened up with five AASA members doing a spicy dance routine to Beyonce's hit song "Yonce." "I wasn't expecting that, but I enjoyed every moment of it," USA student Alan Howell said. "It was upbeat, and the girls got down." The main event of the night was

the fashion showcase during which students modeled various outfits considered appropriate for scenes such as Fashionista, Business, Fashion Killa and Swimsuit. One model strutted down the runway in a bright rainbow dress. Another followed in a colorful pencil skirt set off with cobalt blue heels. The clothing included many local brands such as Fly'Times, K'adore, True Freshman, MHD, Sulfer and many more from around Mobile, Ala. The show ran for approximately two and a half hours, entertaining the audience from the start to finish. "This is my first time participating in a fashion show, and I'm so

excited," Carrianna Scott, a member of AASA, said. "We've been practicing since the end of last semester, and now it's finally time to show what we've been working on." All backstage models were running around frantically, nervous and excited. From deciding who would wear what to who was ready to go and what time they were going out, the models were definitely under pressure to perform their best. "I'm not too nervous, just ready to walk out and hit the runway," AASA member Michael King said. "This is going to be fun." The show was coordinated by Nyerrika Byrd, who made sure everyone knew their positions. Byrd See Fashion Page 6

Spring is in the air! All over South’s campus, azaleas are blooming, and the pollen is running rampant. Don’t worry about missing the beautiful landscaping due to allergies. Stay indoors, keep your windows shut and just enjoy these photos instead.



VOL. 54, NO. 12 / APR. 7, 2014

The inaugural SGA Week is a three-day event beginning April 7 and hosted by the Student Government Association to foster a greater relationship between South Alabama students and those who represent them. SGA would like to show their appreciation for the student body and offer them an opportunity to become familiar with the members of SGA.

Mon. Kickin’ Back with FYC Student Center 12 p.m. Students will be given a chance to meet the members of the First Year Council, learn about the FYC’s goings-on and enjoy some snacks.

The Cookout SGA Pavilion 6 - 9 p.m. USA students and SGA representatives can mingle, enjoy food and dance along to a DJ’s beat.



events this week

April 7 11

Art Walk 6 - 9 p.m. Downtown Mobile Relay for Life 6 p.m. Bell Tower

Block Party Moulton Belltower 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

The Tempest 7:30 p.m. Laidlaw Tickets: 251-460-6306

SGA will show its appreciation with giveaways. There will also be food and a DJ.

Mobile Symphony Russian Festival 8 p.m. Saenger Theatre Tickets: $5 at Jag Productions



Percussion Ensemble Spring Concert 7:30 p.m. Laidlaw Student $5

Discovery Day 10 a.m - 2 p.m. Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Continued from Page 5

spent many months planning the show and organizing everything right down to the smallest details. "It's been amazing to work with such a good group of people who understood my vision and really cared about the show." Byrd took to Instagram where she let fellow peers nominate and vote for best couple, best female and male athlete, best dressed, Instagram of the year and livest Greek. Throughout the show, each winner was announced and given a prize. For those not in attendance, the runner-up was given the prize instead. "I'm really glad I came out to support AASA," Rachel Crawford, a student at South, said. "I can tell they really put a lot of time and effort into this show to make it a success.” In business attire, swimwear and urban clothing, the members of AASA reasserted their influences over fashion with the stylish clothing they flaunted.

The Tempest 7:30 p.m. Laidlaw Tickets: 251-460-6306 Oozeball Tournament 9 a.m. Mud courts between the JagTran service station and The Grove


The Tempest 7:30 p.m. Laidlaw Tickets: 251-460-6306


Members of AASA rockin’ their various styles at the Instagrammy’s fashion show.

Announce your events here! Email event details to


VOL. 54, NO. 12 / APR. 7, 2014

IMC, Southsounds collaborate to enrich USA students

The third annual music fest has drawn its fair share of music and entertainment to the city of Mobile, so it doesn’t come as a shock that IMC wants to get involved and help as much as possible. The South Alabama student organization has dedicated its five year existence to working alongside members of the USA community, faculty, staff and alum-

ni to enrich Mobile’s music scene. IMC has aided Southsounds in the past with publicity; however this year IMC has taken on the responsibility of hosting one of the first events of the Southsounds music festival. The event will take place at Satori Coffee House on Old Shell, Friday, April 11 and will feature Eef Barzelay of Clem Snide. IMC faculty adviser Dr. Justin St. Clair said that Satori has been the venue of choice for IMC events. Satori provides an intimate environment for both performers and audience, and has been more than accommodating to IMC’s needs, according to St. Clair. Satori’s proximity to campus also fulfills IMC’s desire to expose South Alabama to a broader range of music, and they hope to draw students downtown for the rest of Southsounds Music fest. St. Clair expressed that IMC is more than happy to welcome back Barzelay for a third time given that his first two collaborations with IMC were widely successful. St. Clair goes on to describe what the students that attend can expect from Barzelay, “He's a fabulous songwriter and a wonderful performer with a very engaging stage presence. His banter, in fact, can be just as entertaining as his music.” Doors are set to open at 7:30 p.m., and admission is free for USA students and only $5 for all others.

Arlando Boykin Freshman of Computer Sciences “San Destin, Fla., in a condo with a virgin pina colada. I’m underage.”

Jorlyn Nores Sophomore of Radiologic Sciences “I would be in Miami. It’s where I’m from.”

Maylie Johns Senior of Therapeutic Recreation “The Bahamas. I’d rather be on the beach.”

Brooke Riddle First-year grad student of Communications “Australia.”



outh Alabama’s own Independent Music Collective is teaming up with Southsounds Music Festival to develop Mobile’s music scene and reach out to students. Southsounds Music Festival will be held this weekend, April 11-13, and the lineup definitely reflects its goal of bringing new Southern music to downtown Mobile.

(Barzelay) is a fabulous songwriter and a wonderful performer with a very engaging stage presence.

-IMC Adviser Dr. St. Clair


Eef Barzelay has been called one of indie rock’s best kept secrets by Rolling Stone.


If you could be anyof where in the the world, where would you be?



Richard Lim Freshman of Computer Sciences “Hawaii.”





Hannah Campbell third overall in NPF draft Senior pitcher chosen third overall by the Akron Racers, highest draft in USA history SAMUEL BROWN Staff Reporter


he Mount Rushmore of all-time top South Alabama athletes is definitely a hard group to become a part of, but it is safe to say that senior softball standout Hannah Campbell is a part of that list. Campbell became the highest drafted athlete in South Alabama history as she was drafted third overall in the 2014 National Pro Fastpitch draft by the Akron Racers. She becomes the first ever softball student-athlete and female in school history to be drafted professionally. “I was really excited,” Campbell said. “This is something that is a dream come true. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but when I found out, I was really excited about it.” When Campbell was told that she was the highest drafted athlete in school history, she seemed excited, yet humble. “That’s pretty cool. I honestly never thought that that would be possible,” Campbell said. “I’ve always worked my butt off, and to see that hard work pay off has been awesome. I am really excited about it. I try not to really think about it.” Campbell, a native of Satsuma, Ala., is arguably the best pitcher in program history. She has made the most of her career thus far, as she currently holds eight program records: wins, saves, complete games, shutouts, strikeouts looking and fewest walks allowed per 7 innings. “It has been an awesome journey,” Campbell said. “If I had to pick all over again, I’d pick South Alabama. Coach (Clark) took

Follow us for news, updates and play-by-play tweets: @USAVGSports Shavarez Smith @Shavarez Wide receiver fsu changing it’s logo. the old one had a piece of bacon on his face and only I noticed it Trey Fetner @ Tfet16 Quarterback Let it Go” is playing in Japanese express.. WINNING!!! Drew Dearman @Dewski72_ Offensive Lineman Wanna skip the line at Chipotle? Order online. The people’s faces when I strolled in and out in Hannah Campbell was drafted third overall to the Akron Racers, highest draft in USA history. under 2 minutes was classic COURTESY OF USAJAGUARS

over the pitching the year that I got here, and she’s gotten me to where I am today. It helps when you have a team that has such good chemistry, and that’s a big reason for my success. I’ve enjoyed the journey.” Speaking of chemistry, the one-two punch in South Alabama’s rotation of Campbell and Farish Beard has statistically been the best in the country this season. Campbell and Beard have a great relationship, which helps to make one another better each and every day. “We have a great relationship,” Campbell said. “It’s easy as

a pitcher to have a ‘me against the world’ kind of mentality, but we are so supportive of each other.” Campbell was a great pitcher coming into South Alabama, but things she has learned from the coaching staff have helped take her game to the next level. “I’ve learned how to focus on little details,” Campbell said. “Before South, I didn’t even know what drill work was. I’ve learned that focusing on the little things is important, and it has really helped me, and it’s made a big difference in my career.” South Alabama’s softball team is currently 30-5 on the season

and looks to go further than ever before. “We have a lot of talent,” Campbell said. “ I really believe that we can go far.” Last season, the Akron Racers finished third in the four team NPF league, compiling a 16-32 record. The Racers, based in Akron, Ohio, are the oldest existing member of the league. They have only one NPF Championship in team history, but Campbell wants to help make it two. “I really want to help Akron win the title this year,” Campbell said of her immediate plans with the Racers.


Ryan Onkka @Big_Onk Tight end The first Ice Age is such a great movie Bud Collura @BudCollura Third baseman LOL @ when random girls are crying in the stands after a loss... Why are you crying Chris May @CmayFive5 Offensive Lineman Am I the only person that goes to a restaurant and looks at the desert menu first then plans the rest of my meal around the desert I chose? Derek Westbrook @thedwestbrook25 Track and Field

USA takes series against TSU in first ever meeting

Softball drops series against Texas State

2014 Troy game to be nationally televised

If a girl goes to the pool/ beach and doesn’t post a picture of her legs and the water, did it really happen?


VOL. 54, NO. 12 / APR. 7, 2014

South Alabama baseball downs Texas State in first meeting The Jags take the series against new SBC opponent in a three-game series this past weekend in San Marcos ALYSSA NEWTON Sports Editor


outh Alabama baseball took their three-games series in their first meeting against Texas State this past weekend. After the loss to Southen Miss on last Wednesday where two back-to-back errors cost the Jaguars the game in the top of the eighth, head coach Mark Calvi knew the Jags would have to play better against Texas State. The Jags have a few injured, older starters, but that didn’t keep the Jags from taking the series this past weekend. “It’s still early in the conference season. It was good to win two out of three,” said Calvi. “We had four freshmen and a sophomore in there this weekend, and hopefully those guys are starting to come out of it a little bit.” In game one, the contest went on into the 13th inning tied 4-4 until Drew LaBounty delivered a one-out RBI single in the top of the inning to lead South Alabama to a 5-4 series-opening win over Texas State Friday, April 4. USA’s Ben Taylor (3-1) earned the win with 4 2/3 scoreless relief innings and al-

lowed only three hits with one walk and a career-high six strikeouts. The Jaguar pitching trio of Taylor, Cameron Carleton and James Traylor combined for 8 1/3 scoreless innings. They allowed only four hits while striking out 10 and issuing three walks. USA outscored TSU 3-0 after the fifth inning. In game two, Texas State’s Austen Williams pitched a complete-game shutout giving a 2-0 win to the Bobcats Saturday. The Bobcats' Williams allowed only four Jag hits and struck out seven while issuing only one walk. He allowed two hits over his last five innings. Jaguar Kevin Hill (2-4) pitched a complete game but took the loss, allowing two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and four walks. South Alabama first hit off Williams was in the top of the third on a single by LaBounty. After LaBounty’s single, Williams allowed just three hits. He gave up only singles by the Jags in the fourth, seventh and eighth innings. Justin Cullifer, Connor Hawthorne and Cameron Cummings had one hit apiece for the Jaguars.

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In the deciding game Saturday, South Alabama outscored Texas State 4-0 over the final four innings of the game. Brandon Hallford (3-0) tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Jaguar starter Hunter Soleymani, and allowed just two hits with a pair of strikeouts. Hallford retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced and didn't allow a hit. Cole Gleason reached on a two-out walk, and Hayden Jones followed with a single. Matt Wojciechowski singled through the right side of the infield to score Gleason for a 1-0 USA lead. USA futhered its lead to 2-0 in the second when LaBounty led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Tindell. LaBounty then scored on a one-out RBI single to right field by Adam Ballew. Hawthorne doubled in the top of the third, and the Jags scored one batter later when LaBounty smacked an RBI double to extend the USA lead to 3-0. Hawthorne reached on a leadoff walk by Humpal in the top of the sixth, and moved to third when LaBounty reached

on a fielding error by TSU shortstop Mattlage. Ballew then reached on an RBI fielder's choice that allowed Hawthorne to score from third and extend the Jag lead to 4-2. In the top of the seventh, Cummings and Gleason reached on back-to-back singles and advanced one base each on a groundout by Jones. Wojciechowski then smacked a fly ball to left field for the second out, and Cummings was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. The Jags added the game's final runs in the top of the ninth with a two-run double to the right-center gap by Gleason to score Ballew and Cummings. Wojciechowski followed with a groundout that allowed Gleason to score and push the USA lead to 7-2 that would lead to the Jags' victory. With the win Sunday, the Jaguars take the series against SBC newcomers the Texas State Bobcats and improve their record to 15-16, 5-6 in the Sun Belt Conference. The Jaguars will be on the road this week with a contest Wednesday, April 9, when they travel to Thibodaux, La., for a contest against Nicholls State at 6:30 p.m.


VOL. 54, NO. 12 / APR. 7, 2014

South Alabama to have first nationally broadcast game South Alabama football to reach another milestone, contest against rival Troy to be broadcast on ESPNU SAMUEL BROWN Staff Reporter


p to this point in South Alabama football history, the Jaguars have had only one game broadcast nationally, which took place last year on the CBS Sports Network against Navy, with a few other games aired regionally on CSS and the SEC Network. The program took a leap forward as it was announced Tuesday, April 2 that Jaguars will host their first ever nationally televised game on ESPNU as the Jags host in-state rival Troy Trojans Friday, October 24. South Alabama head coach Joey Jones expressed his excitement upon hearing the news. “Any time we can be on national TV and get the University of South Alabama’s name out there, we’re excited about it,” Jones said. “Playing a great opponent like Troy on national television certainly adds a lot to that game. When you look at weekday games – those on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays – everybody is watching it. There will be a captive audience, and a lot of people across the country will be able to see South Alabama football.” South Alabama students are also ex-

cited to see their school on national TV. “I’m very excited about seeing South on TV,” South Alabama freshman Aaron Poiroux said. “Mid-majors deserve more recognition because they are pertinent to the success of NCAA football.” “I am excited to be able to watch South on ESPN,” Raymond Fultz, also a freshman at South Alabama, said. “It’s one thing to watch your favorite team on national television, but when that team represents the school that you attend, it would be impossible not to feel some sort of pride.” Last season, South Alabama fell to Troy in heartbreaking fashion. The school is looking to return the favor this season on national TV. Both teams finished last season bowl eligible. As a whole, the Sun Belt conference will have six games broadcast on ESPNU in the 2014 season. With the SEC’s launch of the SEC Network this upcoming season, every SEC football game will be broadcast nationally. South Alabama plays Mississippi State and South Carolina this season, so the Jag faithful can expect at least two other nationally televised games.


South Alabama will meet Troy for the third time Oct. 24, 2014 in hopes of defeating the in state rival for the first time on national TV.

Softball falls in three-game series against Texas State The Jags drop series against Texas State, first back-to-back losses for the Lady Jags in over a year SAMUEL BROWN Staff Reporter


ith the kind of year South Alabama’s softball team is having, anything less than a win is considered a disappointment. The Jaguar faithful had their fair share of disappointment this past week as the Jaguars doubled their loss total from 3 to 6 after being handed losses by No. 4 Alabama and Texas State. The Jaguars fell to Alabama Wednesday 3-0 and lost 2 out of 3 over the weekend to Texas State. On Wednesday night against Alabama, Farish Beard took the mound as she tried to defend her NCAA leading ERA against the No. 4 team in the country. Beard went 6 innings, giving up 3 runs (all unearned) while striking out 4 and walking only 1 as the Jaguars fell to the Crimson Tide 3-0. The damage came in the bottom of the second inning when an Andrea Hawkins’s bloop double scored Leona Lafaele, Jaclyn Traina and Haylie McCleney. The Jags’

bats remained quiet throughout the game as they could not produce a big hit. Twice the Jags had runners on second and third, but could not produce the run. In the fifth inning, the Jaguars loaded the bases but could not push across a run. Sophomore Emily Messer was the lone bright spot for the Jags as she recorded a season high 3 hits as she went 3 for 3. Sydney Littlejohn recorded the win for Alabama, as she went 4 scoreless innings, allowing 3 hits while striking out 2. This is the first road loss for the Jaguars since February 28, 2013, which was also against Alabama, who then was No. 1 in the country. In game one of Saturday’s doubleheader against Texas State, which marked the first matchup between the two schools, Hannah Campbell took the mound looking to help the team rebound after Wednesday’s disappointing loss. Campbell went six and one-third scoreless innings, striking out 7 and only allowing 5 hits as the Jaguars went on

to take game one 8-0. Amanda Minahan went on to hit 2 home runs in the contest while Alex Breeden added another, tying for sixth-most in a single game in South Alabama softball history. Stephanie Pilkington added 2 RBIs in the game which came on a 2-run single in the fourth inning. In game two of Saturday’s doubleheader, Beard got the start. Beard went 5 innings, allowing 4 runs (all earned) on 5 hits while striking out 7 as the Jags fell to Texas State 4-1. The scoring started in the first inning for the Bobcats, as a Courtney Harris double brought in the first run of the game. Kortney Koroll followed Harris with a 2-run home run, extending the Bobcat lead to 3-0. A Chloe Rathburn triple in the fourth inning put the Jaguars on the board, but the Bobcats answered in the fifth inning with a Timishia North home run to extend the lead to 4-1. With the loss, Beard falls to 16-3 on the season. Rayn House got the win for

the Bobcats, going 4 scoreless innings, striking out two and allowing no hits. In the series finale Sunday, the Jaguars went with Campbell to try to secure the series victory. Campbell went 6 innings, allowing 4 runs (all earned) on 6 hits while walking 4 and striking out 5 as the Jaguars fell to the Bobcats 4-3. For Texas State, House got the win, pitching a complete game, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits while walking 7. With the win, House improves to 1813 on the season. The Jaguars left a pair of runners on in the first, second, third and sixth innings. Trailing by 2 in the top of the seventh, the Jaguars scored a run on an error by Kendall Wiley. The Jaguars could not put another run across, ultimately leading to their first Sun Belt series loss of the season. The Jaguars fall to 30-6 on the season as Texas State surpasses .500 and improves to 21-20 on the year. South Alabama will host Mississippi State Wednesday, April 9 at Jaguar Field.


VOL. 54, NO. 12 / APR. 7, 2014

USA women’s tennis has best start in program history South Alabama sweeps through singles in Richmond, achieves program’s best record through 15 games SAVON MORRIS Contributing Writer


he University of South Alabama women’s tennis team dropped just six games total in singles in a 7-0 win over Norfolk State last Thursday at the Everett Tennis Center. The Jaguars win their fourth in a row to improve to 12-1 while the Spartans drop to 7-9. “It was a very focused, disciplined and mature performance for us today,” USA head coach Jaco Keyser said. “We have some good opportunities and challenges coming up in the final four matches that should serve as great preparation for the upcoming conference tournament.” USA earned 6-0, 6-0 wins at flights 1, 4 and 5 and NSU won two games in a set only once. The Jags lost only two games to quickly take the doubles point. Sophomore Paula Sanchez and freshman Laura Matuskova blanked Marie Habiyaremye and Ana Popovic 8-0 at No. 3, and freshmen Monica Mitta and Laura Valkova won 8-2 on the No. 2 court. Valkova made quick work of Liza Gordeeva 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 and junior

Mary Angela Martin shut out Popovic at No. 5 to put South Alabama up 3-0. Sanchez provided the clinching point at No. 6 with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Habiyaremye. Junior Emily Newton defeated Mafalda Lhorca 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2, Matuskova whitewashed Krystal Scott on court No. 4 and Mitta wrapped up the match 6-2, 6-0 against Yvonne Kameone. The Jaguars claim their fifth straight for a 13-1 record, the Monarchs fall to 9-6. “Today was an excellent comeback against a very talented and tough ODU team after losing the doubles point with two match points in hand,” USA head coach Jaco Keyser said. “It could have been easy to feel sorry for ourselves, but I am proud of the girls showing maturity and competing as hard as they did today to get the win.” The Monarchs earned the doubles point with a tiebreaker win at No. 1. Freshmen Laura Valkova (Piestany, Slovakia) and Monica Mitta (Fairhope, Ala.) improved to 12-0 with an 8-3 win at No. 2 but ODU evened the match at No. 3. Nikol Hristova and Melissa Esnal Olguin outlasted USA’s pair of junior Emily Newton (Dothan, Ala.) and sophomore Michaela Meszarosova (Bratislava, Slovakia) 8-7 (7-4) to put Old Dominion up 1-0.

South Alabama took the first two singles matches for a 2-1 lead. Mitta topped Olguin 6-0, 6-3 at No. 4 and Newton downed Marijana Novakovic 6-2, 6-3 at No. 5. Hristova dropped just three games at No. 1 to even the match at 2-2, but sophomore Paula Sanchez (Bogota, Colombia) won the first set in a tiebreaker over Nika Khmolovska en route to a 7-6, 6-4 victory at No. 6 and junior Mary Angela Martin (Mobile, Ala.) won the second set in a tiebreaker to finish off the match 6-4, 7-6 on the No. 5 court. University of South Alabama women’s tennis team swept through singles for a 4-0 victory at Richmond last Saturday to achieve the program’s best record through 15 matches. The Jaguars extend their win streak to six for a 14-1 overall record, while the Spiders fall to 6-9. “We got off to a slow start in doubles but we were very efficient in singles,” said Keyser. “Overall I thought it was a very good weekend. We need to rest up, get back on the practice courts and make some corrections and get ready for some important matches in Texas next week.” South Alabama is 14-1 for the first time in program history. The Jags have won 16 Sun Belt titles and appeared in 10

NCAA Tournaments. “It’s important because it validates the work the girls are putting in and builds belief in themselves and the program,” Keyser said. “More importantly we are getting close to the point where we have the culture and identity I want for the program.” It took a tiebreaker at No. 3 doubles to put USA up 1-0. Freshman Laura Valkova and Monica Mitta remained unbeaten on the season (13-0) with an 8-3 win at No. 2 but the Spiders struck back with an 8-4 victory at No. 1. Sophomore Paula Sanchez and freshman Laura Matuskova prevailed 8-7 (9-7) over Elizabeth Sims and Denny Lamachia for a 1-0 advantage. The Jags lost just seven games combined in singles to easily complete the sweep. Valkova moved up to the No. 1 spot and defeated Anna Abadias Morales 6-0, 6-1 to improve her spring record to 14-0. Sanchez won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 6 against Kelsey Williams and Mitta won her fourteenth match of the spring 6-3, 6-0 vs. Sims on the No. 3 court to finish the shutout. The Jaguars finish up the 2014 regular season next week with matches against North Texas on April 12 and Texas-Arlington April 13 in Denton, Texas.

Rock climbing travels to Tenn., for climbing expedition USA rock climbing club takes advantage of Tennessee’s sandstone cliffs and steep rocks on group trip ` JENNA MUNDAY Staff Reporter


he University of South Alabama offers many clubs and opportunities for a variety of interests. For those with a passion for rock-climbing, South Alabama has you covered. The USA rock-climbing club features those with a passion for the sport that want to introduce students to the sport of climbing in a safe way and offer the opportunity to travel to climbing destinations. Because Mobile, Ala., is not a prime location for rock climbing, the club frequently takes trips in order to pursue their passion for the sport. The club has traveled to spots such as Foster Falls in Chattanooga, Tenn., Cherokee Rock Village in Sandrock, Ala., the Red River Gorge in Slade, Ky., and most recently, the Obed Wild & Scenic River near Knoxville, Tenn. The club originally planned on visiting

Foster Falls because they are familiar with the area and many members had projects that they were working on there. However, as the trip drew closer, the weather called for cold temperatures and rain, so the club decided to try a new location: the Obed. The Obed Wild & Scenic River, or “the Obed” as climbers generally call it, is home to many sandstone cliff bands that offer some of the best climbing in the Southeast. The Obed also features very large overhanging roofs that stay dry even when it rains, so it provides great climbing conditions even in poor weather. While at the Obed Wild & Scenic River, the club members also climbed in spots such as North Clear Creek, South Clear Creek, Lilly Boulders and Lilly Bluff. The rocks at these locations are “steep,” which in climber’s terms means that they go beyond vertical and become overhanging, which increases the difficulty of the climb. “The climbing at the Obed was some

of the best and most beautiful that I have ever experienced,” club president Jordan Searchfield said. “The roofs are an unbelievable sight, and the views from the top of the climbs were breathtaking, as they looked over the valley with the river flowing hundreds of feet below.” Not only was the climbing at the Obed a great experience, but the hospitality of the locals was as well. The club stayed at a local climbers-only campsite called Del and Marty’s Lilly Pad, and Searchfield had only positive things to say about the camp. “This was the best place that we had ever camped, and it was filled with the nicest people,” Searchfield said. “The owner ran everything on a (sic) honor system, and every morning he would make pancakes and coffee for the campers. He even let us use his own residence to take showers!” Having had success in their trip to the Obed, the club is planning on taking an-

other climbing trip at the end of the semester, but this time they will travel 12 hours to the Red River Gorge in Slade, Ky. The Red River Gorge is known as the number one sport-climbing destination in America, and South Alabama had the opportunity to travel there last summer. Climbers, from beginner to professional, travel from across the world to visit this location and the Red’s sandstone cliffs offer climbing opportunities at all levels. While members of the rock-climbing club are highly experienced, they all had to start somewhere. For many, they took advantage of the rock-climbing wall located in the USA Student Recreation Center. Everyone that works at the rock wall is a part of the rock-climbing club and they encourage new and experienced climbers to try out the wall. The rock wall is open Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.


VOL. 54, NO. 12 / APR. 7, 2014

South video graduate assistant accepts SEC position Grad assistant Will Reid accepts position at Ole Miss as an assistant coordinator of football video ALYSSA NEWTON Sports Editor


outh Alabama graduate assistant and interim head football video coordinator Will Reid has accepted a position as the assistant coordinator of video services at the University of Mississippi. Reid has been a part of South Alabama’s football program since its inaugural year in 2009. Reid was the equipment and video manager for all sports for Fairhope High School as a student. After high school, Reid came to South as a student videographer. In his sophomore year, an unusual opportunity came for the young student. When the department head was let go, the responsibilities of the video department fell upon his shoulders. He then ran the department until Errol Seaver, South’s previous director of football video, was hired on. Throughout the rest of his undergraduate time at South Alabama, Reid began to learn the importance of hard work and relationship building through his experience with the South Alabama football department. “South helped me realize the importance of video in college football,” Reid said. “It helped me grow in my career and as an in-

dividual. Most of all, I learned about hard work and the importance of connections; it’s the only way to grow.” After earning his bachelor’s degree, Reid was offered a position as a graduate assistant for the football team, making it his fifth year with the program. Seaver accepted a position at BYU and again Reid inherited the responsibilities of interim coordinator after Seaver’s departure. During his time as interim coordinator, Reid received an offer from the Ole Miss Rebels for the assistant coordinator of video services for football position. Staying loyal to the Jaguars, he accepted the offer on the conditions that he could stay through spring training and transition to the SEC school after he finished what he had started. Although Reid is moving on to another school, he credits South Alabama for getting him where he is today. “South is my alma mater,” Reid said. “Although my days were numbered, South will always have a special place in my heart. At the end of the day, South is where I got my start. The ‘251’ is my home. It wasn’t just another stop along the way.” Reid begins his career as a Rebel Monday, April 6. South has not yet hired anyone in the head video coordinator position.

The Vanguard is in need of new writers. Interested individuals should email their contact info and sampled writings to Editor in Chief Samantha Andrews at


Will Reid (left) has been a part of the South Alabama football video department since the program’s beginning in 2009.





New Facebook drones to bring Internet to the world

By JAVAN ANDERSON Contributing Writer


n the beginning, as Facebook spread throughout the world, it became known as a place to connect with friends. You could send messages to your friends, comment on their status updates and like their pictures. Facebook’s popularity grew due to its accessibility. With a few clicks, you could talk to someone you met at a nightclub, or an old high school friend, even someone you might have met on campus but didn’t have enough time to take down their number. These

functions made Facebook popular all across the globe, but is the social media giant going out on a limb with its new technological advances? Recent research shows that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, has initiated a program that will build flying drones with the ability to beam Internet connectivity to suburban areas. In this “Facebook Connectivity Lab,” the goal is to bring the Internet to the main parts of the world that are still without it, in an effort to expand the population of Facebook users, therefore growing the business. This doesn’t mean much for people who already have high speed connections to the Internet. Just the idea that the Internet can be sent from satellites and drones seems more like science fiction than reality. According to a post by Cade Metz on wired. com, “It’s a necessary part of Zuckerberg’s efforts to bring the

net to the vast parts of the world that still don’t have it – an effort known as” Through the years, Facebook has embraced the possibilities the future may yield. Zuckerberg’s company has also purchased a startup known as Oculus, a gaming company with a futuristic agenda to bring virtual reality to life. One might ask why a company based on connecting with friends needs virtual reality. Zuckerberg says he and Facebook are “looking five to 10 years down the road, towards a future where virtual reality is a common way for us to communicate.” This is really a new social platform. Apparently, this is why Zuckerberg spent $2 billion on the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Some skeptics say that the realization of virtual reality is a step away from true social behavior. Facebook detractors choose not to support the platform because they believe it takes

away from actual social activity. Whether or not Facebook’s plans are a step toward the future or a hindrance to society, can they actually benefit humanity? Are the technological advances becoming too invasive? Some say there should be a limit. Individuals should have the ability to choose whether or not they want flying drones beaming

the Internet and any other information about them to an online server. Is virtual reality a means of social progression, or another way to monitor human activity? Yes, there are benefits to the technology at hand, but in the same way, if possessed by the wrong hands, this technology could hurt us much more than it may help us.


Is the film tax credit hurting Mobile’s film industry? By RYAN WALLACE Contributing Writer


ax cuts are a time-honored and vital tool for governors and legislatures looking to attract businesses to their states. The manipulation of tax rates has been around since at least ancient Rome, when Emperor Constantine granted taxexempt status to Christian churches following his conversion to the religion. In modern times, there is no finer example of this philosophy than Texas, which has ag-


gressively (to the point of running ads in other states) marketed their low business tax rates to businesses nationwide, with remarkable results. The draw of decreased tax rates for their business has even Tesla (who still cannot directly sell their cars in Texas) considering building their batterymanufacturing facility in the Lone Star State. In Mobile, the most talked-about tax credit has become Alabama’s film tax credit, formally known as the Entertainment Industry Incentive Act of 2009. This

is mainly due to the sudden influx of movies starring household names like Ryan Reynolds and Bruce Willis being filmed in downtown Mobile and the surrounding areas. Even those who loudly deny ever seeing a movie starring either actor can’t help but be a little impressed. Real big-time Hollywood actors here, in little ol’ Alabama? That’s a pretty cool sight for someone born and raised on the coast. Now, however, the tax credit that has made all of that happen is in danger of cancellation – by one of the politicians who brought it to the legislature in the first place. State Senator Del Marsh, who helped craft the 2009 bill, has cited a University of Alabama study that suggests that the credit is being abused by the filmmakers who have taken advantage of it. The study says that, while the credit allows films to receive up to 35 percent of their instate costs back in tax credits, some film projects have been claiming up to 80 percent of their costs as credit. Marsh says he merely wants to clear up the language of the bill to prevent abuses, and bring the tax incentives back after a two-year moratorium. He should consider making the moratorium a permanent one. This type of fraud on this very credit is not limited just to this state. Louisiana, which instituted

their film tax incentives way back in 2002, is a prime example. According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, a non-partisan review of the tax credits in Louisiana revealed that the state hands out an almost unbelievable $7.29 in credits for every dollar that the credits bring back into the state. The reason for this shortfall is fairly obvious: tax credits are perfect for luring permanent businesses and the jobs they bring (see Texas). Film jobs are anything but permanent, and do not create anything like long-term, steady employment. The shooting may happen in the state, and even include local talent, but those jobs are not particularly high-paying or longlasting for the people in the state enjoying them. What legislators who back these tax incentives fail to grasp is that the point of bringing these companies to your state is not the taxes generated from the business itself, but the increase in tax revenue (and decrease in expended state resources) on newly-employed citizens. By employing these cuts, legislators are really robbing the state of precious tax dollars and giving ordinary citizens almost nothing in return. Alabama can’t be faulted for making its cast and trying to lure these films to the state with decreased taxes, but the time has come to cut bait on our film-tax program.


VOL. 54, NO. 12 / APR. 7, 2014

Racism in Greek life still apparent in Southern universities By JAVAN ANDERSON Contributing Writer


he wonders and opportunities that accompany Greek life are invaluable. However, at the University of Alabama, depending on your race, you may not be eligible to join some chapters. According to an article by Mia De Graaf at Daily Mail, “Racism has been condoned at the University of Alabama as all-white sororities win their fight to ban black students from applying.” The obvious opposing view is, “Why didn’t the black students apply for a chapter that wasn’t racist?” Thinking of it that way makes sense, but it is also inconsiderate. Equality is not always the true solution, but balance is a much better approach. Sure, the sorority or fraternity may not accept black or white students, but there are other chapters that will. Universities have a mixture of

groups that include different races, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. In this case, the voices of one group have spoken against the affiliation with another. De Graaf said, “A group of 27 student senators blocked a bill to fully integrate fraternities and sororities at the establishment from reaching a public vote, with just five in favor, and two abstentions.” This means that the decision wasn’t by the hands of the university, but a motion by the student population. The fact that the decision not to integrate the system was made by the students themselves provides an inkling of the type of demographic at hand. If there were a case like this at the University of South Alabama, what are the odds that a bill like this one would be blocked? How can a university allow a fraternity or sorority to exclude

people based on race? Equal opportunity is available for education at the University of Alabama, but in the case of becoming part of Greek life, your skin color matters the most. The University of Alabama President Judy Bonner said, “I am confident that we will achieve our objective of a Greek system that is inclusive, accessible and welcoming to students of all races and ethnicities. We will not tolerate anything less.” Bonner proposed a ruling, detailing the complete integration of all Greek letter organizations at the University of Alabama, with respect to social diversity among its membership. Of course, this “ruling” has no true effect on the Greek system’s policy. It was merely an attempt to clean up the mess of media exposure. At any rate, the stigma-

tization of Greek life at the University of Alabama is a reminder that equality is not as important as it should be. Chisholm Allenlundy, an Alabama student who co-sponsored the measure, told the Daily Mail, “I think ultimately the reason that it failed to pass was it gave the impression, I think maybe, that – to a lot of the senators – that maybe we were attempting to disparage the Greek community, you know, which wasn’t the case.” How could integrating Greek life disparage its community? The statement doesn’t seem to add much clarification to the problem. Creating a group that does not allow a certain type of person because of their culture or skin color seems like racism. In essence, the students of the University of Alabama promote the separation and exclusion of other races.

Are we becoming too attached to fictional characters?

By MARY BETH LURSEN Contributing Writer


ow I Met Your Mother” ended this week and sent the Internet into a tailspin. Whether or not you were happy with where the witty bar-goers ended up (I’ve sworn not to utter any spoilers), we all said goodbye to characters we had known for nine seasons. As one of my colleagues put it, it felt like we were ending a

relationship that had lasted for nearly a decade. As my co-workers and I discussed our feelings about the show ending, we came to realize that the hardest part of letting go of the show would be letting go of the characters. That’s when I admitted that I get too easily attached to fictional characters. I can trace this back to childhood when I watched “Pirates of the Caribbean” repeatedly because I loved the story of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan. It consumes my life now as I’m crossing my fingers that Misha Collins comes back for the 10th season of “Supernatural.” The renewal of Collins’ contract means that he will again portray Castiel, an Angel of the Lord, badass and my favorite fictional character. I cried like a baby at the end of John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” because (spoiler?) losing Augustus Waters

felt like I’d lost the love of my life. Over time, I’ve realized that I’m not alone in my love of fictional characters. I have friends who still aren’t over Severus Snape’s death in the “Harry Potter” series. I was online when Sherlock Holmes “died” in the second season of BBC’s “Sherlock,” and the Internet exploded. Perfect strangers have told me their anguish over the outcome of the “Hunger Games” series. (Why Prim, Suzanne Collins?) Being too emotionally attached to fictional characters is an epidemic, and I’m not the only one who has a fatal case of it. But don’t fret. It’s a sickness that makes sense. Dianne Lodder of The Huffington Post wrote an article titled “Why We Care About Fictional Characters And Why Cote de Pablo’s Departure Hurts” in Au-

gust 2013. Her article detailed the death of a character on the hit show “NCIS” and her reaction to the death. In her article, she depicted why she believes we get attached to fictional characters. “You, as an invisible companion, live their lives with them,” Lodder said. “You go on a journey with them and experience every event, every emotion they go through. Strange how that happens while at the same time realizing these people don’t really exist.” Most people invest time in shows, books or movies to escape from the real world. In short, we’re investing our time to escape from reality and also because we like it. However, the characters are what keep people coming back. It doesn’t matter that we know these characters are fictional. What matters to us is that these

characters feel real. They feel like your mom or your best friend or your worst enemy. You love them despite the flaws that writers give them. In some cases, that just makes them that much more human and real to us. In turn, the characters are always there for us. I know that sounds corny, but hear me out. If you’re having a bad day, what do you do? Go home and binge watch some Netflix. Books, shows and movies are always there when you need a pick-meup, or when you’re simply missing the characters. In short, getting emotionally attached to characters makes sense in that we can relate to the people portrayed in our favorite stories. So go ahead and cry over the fact that you’ll never see Ted Mosby on your TV again. Just pass the tissues when you’re done, will you?


VOL. 54, NO. 12 / APR. 7, 2014

Distractions Horoscopes Aries 3.20-4.19: With your outgoing, Energizer Bunny spirit, you’re everyone’s favorite person to be around – a human Redbull – especially when the semester winds down and spring storms roll in. Just be sure to keep your temper in check when your friends refuse to literally dance in the rain with you during the chem final. Taurus 4.20-5.20: Stress-eating isn’t all that terrible. You’ve been good in the past, limiting it to exam time. But mother of pearl, kid. Your jellybean craving is becoming a problem. Please, get it together before you turn in a final paper covered in rainbow drool. Gemini 5.21-6.20: Time to weed out the rejects and find your summer fling. Will it be that cutie in your English class? The pretty barista at Starbucks? Whomever you choose, remember to play it cool. Your first-date marriage proposal last month was kind of embarrassing for all involved – including the rando who was not your blind date. Cancer 6.21-7.22: The less sleep you get and the more stressed out you are, the more likely you are to forget the important things. Instead of spending all night doing calculus problems, try to get your eight hours of sleep every night. You’ll be thankful when you manage to leave the house with pants on and your car keys in your hand instead of locked in your house. Leo 7.23-8.22: You made it through your first two years not studying for finals, and you made it just fine. Sure, a 2.5 GPA isn’t terrible, but if you

ever want to get into law school, you’re going to need to work a little harder this semester. So find a spot in the library, get a cup of joe and settle in. You’re in for a long couple of weeks. Virgo 8.23-9.22: You know the classmate in your ethics class that you always get into heated intellectual debates with? Totally into you. And you know that you definitely reciprocate the feelings. So quit spending class time flirting incessantly. Everyone – you, the hottie, your teacher, your classmates and the people in the class next door – wins. Libra 9.23-10.22: The number of hours you’re spending at work are drying up your creative juices. You know you need to work at least 30 hours a week to be able to afford your rent, but the consumerism of working in retail jobs is killing your inner muse. Just remember your inner muse will be nonexistent if you’re living under a bridge. Scorpio 10.23-11.21: You have some intense control issues, little scorpion. The more unpredictable the weather, the worse your mood. As much as you’d like to have powers of weather manipulation, you don’t. So please, forget that story you read and stay inside because being struck by lightning will not give you magical abilities. Sagittarius 11.22-12.21: You’re working hard like you always do at the end of the semester. It’s just not for your classes. Oh no. You’re planning the party of the year. Scratch that, the party of your undergraduate career. Some friendly advice? Make sure you find some time to study, or you’ll be planning

another party next year instead of graduating. Capricorn 12.22-1.19: You exude ambition and discipline, always shining brightest during finals. You know it. So stop acting fatalistic about your final grades. Nobody enjoys the constant stream of humble brags slipping past your lips. Aquarius 1.20-2.18: The end of the semester is stressing you out. There are so many assignments

90s Musicians Word Search

due all at once that it’s practically impossible to make sure that every paper you turn in is perfect. So instead of reading the same paragraph over and over again, head over to the rec center and take a yoga class. You need some namaste in your life. Pisces 2.19-3.20: Go home, Pisces. You’re drunk.





VOL. 54, NO. 12 / APR. 7, 2014

April 7, 2014  

USA student found dead in locked vehicle, communication students host benefits for local organizations, new president completes first week a...

April 7, 2014  

USA student found dead in locked vehicle, communication students host benefits for local organizations, new president completes first week a...