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

JAN. 20, 2014


VOL. 54, NO. 2

Search committee to consider new candidate Forum to be held for new presidential finalist on Jan. 28, pending trustees’ decision By STEPHANIE FEATHER

► Life: USA student film wins Mod Mobilian “Moddy”award. See JagLife, page 4


he University announced that it will continue the presidential search, with a candidate scheduled to be interviewed by USA’s Presidential Search Committee on Jan. 27 at 1:30 p.m. The presidential search committee and the board of trustees met for a public meeting to discuss the next step of their search. After the trustees entered into an executive session to discuss a potential candi-

date, the room was reopened. They announced that they will continue the presidential search with their next meeting scheduled for Jan. 27. After the meeting was adjourned, Committee Chair Kenneth Simon sat down with The Vanguard and discussed upcoming plans for the presidential search. The meeting for Jan. 27 will be an interview with a candidate the committee believes to be highly qualified for the position. “This candidate was originally scheduled to be

interviewed by USA’s Presidential Search Committee late last year,” Simon said. “Due to extenuating circumstances, the candidate was not available at the scheduled time, so the interview has been rescheduled.” Simon is also vice chair of the board of trustees. The committee deemed it to be appropriate to not go beyond the original pool of candidates and to remain in a confined search at the moment. See Search Page 2 raises the handlebar ► LOC: Behind-the-scenes look at the Jaguar’s basketball managers. See Left of Center, page 7

Local collaboration inspires information hub for Mobile’s bicycle community By JAMIE REID


► Sports: Basketball keeps Cajuns away, win 81-73. See Sports, page 10

new website is spearheading the cause to make Mobile more bicycle friendly and boost Alabama from being “ranked 49th in the nation in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.” containins information about events, political and social issues, volunteer opportunities and other important resources on biking in Mobile, Ala., all put in a central location. Jeff Mroz, Ben Brenner and John Blanton created the website. Mroz is a local web developer and Brenner is a bicycle advocate/media specialist. Blanton is a representative of Team Share the Road. Team Share the Road is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting safe access to streets, roads and highways for both pedestrians and cyclists.

► Sports: Leitner knocks off No. 64, team loses at FSU See Sports, page 11 find us on Facebook search “The Vanguard USA”

The three recognized the need for better coordination between bicycle organizations, environmental and advocacy non-profits and the city. They hope that the sport will become well known in the area and Mobile will evolve into a first-rate cycling city. “We were looking for a way to encourage people to sign bicycle infrastructure petitions,” Blanton stated in a press release on Jan. 13, “and the idea transformed into a clearinghouse of all sorts of useful information about bicycling in and around Mobile.” They worked together to create over the course of several months. During this time they also gathered information on organizations and services that are beneficial to the cyclists of the area. There are many features included in this website. It has a weekly schedule posted with something for every day. The schedule not only includes details like when and where the event will occur, but also short descriptions on how challenging the event is and what should be expected. To achieve the goal

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of Mobile being a first-rate cycling city, there are many things that need to be done to make the city safer and easier to travel by bike. There are categories full of political and social issues that are discussed on the website. These issues are very-well explained and easy to understand. They leave the average person understanding what the issue or effort really is. Some of these efforts have links that will lead to the organization, petition or donation site for that specific topic of interest. The website has a section for volunteer opportunities to help support causes and issues. This area is easily found, and there is a sign up box to the right side where one can leave their information and a message. They will

In this Issue:

be contacted with help on how to get started. The website is easy to navigate and understand. The site is very convenient because it has a great amount of information on biking and biking issues in Mobile all in one place. It even gives names of other organizations that might be beneficial to someone who wants to advocate a cycling cause in Mobile. “Mobile has great potential to become a bicycle-friendly city,” Brenner said in a press release on Jan. 13. “To get there, we need more people understanding the issues, signing petitions and volunteering their time. This website provides a convenient place to become involved in grassroots efforts to improve the quality of life in Mobile.”

JagLife, Page 4 Left of Center, Page 7 Sports Page 9 Opinion, Page 14


VOL. 54, NO. 2 / JAN. 20, 2014

Search Continued from Page One.

Following the interview, the committee will have the option to recommend the candidate as a presidential finalist to the board of trustees. The trustees are tentatively scheduled to meet Jan. 27 at 3 p.m. if asked to consider the candidate. If the candidate is recommended by the search committee, there will also be a public forum, which has been tentatively scheduled for Jan. 28 at 4:30 p.m. in USA’s Laidlaw Performing Arts Center. Faculty, staff, students, alumni, supporters and the public are encouraged to attend the forum. The same process that was set up for the three finalists last fall during the first presidential search. “As we have done throughout the search process, the presidential search committee and the board of trustees are eager to engage the entire University community and the people we serve,”

said USA Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Steve Furr. “If this candidate is recommended to the board as a finalist, every effort will be made to solicit input from our stakeholders as we move forward to select USA’s next president.” The search committee’s first search led to three finalists, Dr. Sheri Noren Everts, Dr. Arthur J. Ross III and Dr. Jerome A. Gilbert. Ross withdrew from the search, the day before the board of trustees planned to make a decision. The trustees voted unanimously to consider additional candidates after they were unable to agree on either of the other two finalists, and they announced on Nov. 6 that they would continue the search. USA’s new president will succeed the late President Emeritus Gordon Moulton, who retired July 1, 2013 after 15 years as president. He died on Sept. 28 after a long battle with brain cancer. Dr. John W. Smith has been the University’s acting president since last February. In November, he informed the trustees that he would not be a candidate for the permanent position.

Legacy hosts 5th annual Sips for Scholarships By NOAH LOGAN


he Port City Chapter of the USA National Alumni Association is hosting a very unique scholarship fundraiser designed to be fun for all who attend. Legacy Bar and Grill will play host to the fifth annual Sips for Scholarships event on January 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Anyone who is at least 21-yearsold is encouraged to come out and enjoy red and white whine, beer, soft drinks, heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, a silent auction, live music and more with fellow supporters of Jag Nation. According to Assistant Director of Alumni Relation Jessica Callahan, the chapter of the USA National Alumni Association is able to host this event

largely due to donations from supporters. People and businesses from all over donate food, beverages and auction items. This allows a much higher percentage of the proceeds to be placed in the scholarship fund. “The Port City Chapter actually has a scholarship fund,” Callahan said. “And this event is able to contribute to that fund annually and reward a Mobile County freshman with a $5,000 scholarship. The total raised to date is $20,000.” She also added that the event sells out every year and this year’s event is close to selling out as well. Local talent Brad Robertson will be providing music for the event. People who attend will also have a chance

to win spa packages, sports memorabilia and more from the silent auction. If you would like to donate to the silent auction or become a corporate sponsor for the event, there is still time to do so by contacting Jessica Callahan

at With donations of $150, $250 or $500, you will be included on the Sponsor Bard at the event with the bronze, silver and gold donors. Tickets are still on sale while avail-

able and are $45. The ticket price includes the food, beer, wine and live music and they can be purchased at Legacy Bar and Grill or through the Alumni Relations office by calling 251460-7084.


VOL. 54, NO. 2 / JAN. 20, 2014

“University of South Alabama’s Student Voice”

Weather for Jan. 20 - 26

Editorial Editor in Chief Managing Editor Copy Editor Opinion Editor Sports Editor Left of Center JagLife Editor Web Editor Staff Reporter

Samantha Andrews

Stephanie Feather Meg Lundberg Kelly Ficarelli JT Crabtree Alyssa Newton Emma Mitchell Noah Logan


01/14/2014 13:32 Theft of property third degree Epsilon 1 Students reported that her bike was stolen

Distribution Bobby Faulk Matthew Rhodes

Advertising Advertising Justine Burbank Graphic Designer Ryan Keller Sheldon Hall

01/14/2014 09:29 Theft of property third degree and criminal mischief third degree Delta 5 Unknown person with intent to deprive owner properties stole victim’s bicycle

Management Advising J. Sellers J. Aucoin Accounting Kathy Brannan

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, which is composed of the Editor in Chief, Copy Editor, Senior Reporter and Opinion Editor. 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.

Room for rent in private home. Within walking distance of USA Prefer nonsmoking male student International students welcome Call Gordon: 689-3271

USAPD Police Blotter

Matthew Strickland




Twitter: StormTeam4g9wx Facebook:

01/12/2014 15:42 Theft of property second degree Food court/cafeteria Victim reported that a known employee had unlawfully taken money valuing $2,284.70 from the business safe without permission 01/11/2014 01:42 Miscellaneous offenses The Grove Officers confiscated marijuana grinders, marijuana cigarettes, homemade marijuana pipes and 80 bottle rockets while responding to a loud noise complaint 01/10/2014 18:26 Theft of property third degree Recreation Center Victim reported his phone has been stolen while he was playing basketball 01/10/2014 16:38 Theft of property third degree Epsilon 1 Unknown subject unlawfully removed victim’s bicycle without permission 01/06/2014 13:49 Delta 2 Burglary third degree Unknown subject unlawfully entered into victim’s room and removed coffee pot without permission 01/05/2014 07:11 Defacing public property and theft of property Kappa Alpha Fraternity House Road and street signs from multiple jurisdictions were recovered

If you see something, say somthing! 251-460-6312




Annual MLK service day underway in Mobile By NOAH LOGAN


n his final speech before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. emphasized the importance of helping those around us by using a well-known Bible story, the good Samaritan. “And so the first question that the priest asked, the first question that the Levite asked was, ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But then the Good Samaritan came by, and he reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’” Monday, Jan. 20, USA students will have the opportunity to teach Dr. King’s philosophies through example with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Karen Peterson, Director of USA’s Center for Academic ServiceLearning and Civic Engagement and instructor in the English department, is in her fifth year of putting together the service day. According to Peterson, the MLK

yard work and craft projects, collecting and delivering food baskets, cleaning and helping at Ronald McDonald House and more.” The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity has also built six wheelchair ramps for physically disabled individuals over the course of the previous days of service. Two years ago, the fraternity built a ramp for COURTESY OF KAREN PETERSON a senior citizen USA engineering students participating in past MLK service day events. who could not leave her house because of the condition of her ramp. Shortly afDays of Service will let students par- less shelter, repairing roofs, sortticipate in events such as, “painting ing clothes for donations, leading ter building the ramp, the woman’s a mural of Dr. King at the home- sports clinics for the kids, doing house caught fire and because of the

ramp built by Pi Kappa Phi, she was able to escape without harm. Projects like these allow students to spend one of their scarce days off in a way that helps others around them and gives back to the community that has helped this University reach the level it currently sits at. When asked about his memorable moments from past MLK Days of Service, Pi Kappa Phi fraternity member Chase Bolt responded, “I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many different people, each with their own stories and struggles.” Former USA student Stephen Purnell recounted his memorable moment as well. “I recall from one year a resident at Sybil Smith Family Village said to me, ‘I really did not think anybody cared about us.’ That hit home to me and brought out the true magnitude of the impact that we are making on the lives of these people,” Purnell added. Karen Peterson has noted that the University will be providing See MLK service day Page 6

USA student film wins Mod Mobilian “Moddy”award By RYAN WALLACE


he Christmas break might be the favorite time of year for most college students, but for one group of blossoming filmmakers the recently departed holidays were even grander than normal. On Dec. 30, 2013 local arts and entertainment publication Mod Mobilian released their selections for yearly awards in various categories. The winner for Short Film of the Year was “The Dreamers,” a movie created and produced by a group of five USA film students for a class project. Jokingly calling themselves Prestige Worldwide (Will Ferrell fans will recognize the name from his movie “Step-Brothers”), juniors Stuart Sox, Dylan Glass, Steven Spears and Erin Weninegar along with senior Melody

Brickhouse were understandably overjoyed and a little bit shocked to receive the award. “It was the icing on the cake at the end of the year,” Brickhouse said, “we knew we just wanted to make something really good.” “The Dreamers” follows a disparate group of five college-aged students as their paths cross during a night at the Greater Gulf State Fair, at which most of the shooting for the film took place. Sox isn’t shy about crediting “The Breakfast Club” as an influence on the film’s plot, and the homage to the overall theme of interacting cliques in teenage/young adult society is apparent from the outset. Being smaller filmmakers however, the group experienced a few challenges that John Hughes probably did not have to worry about when he shot the 1985 teen classic.

“Especially at the festival, everyone wants to wave at the camera or talk the camera,” Glass recounted with a wry smile. One incident in particular made filming memorable for the cast and crew. “We DID keep one of those people in there: the little old lady,” Weninegar said. “We even put her in the credits. She was a beautiful accident. During Dylan and another actresses’ conversation she walks by and just mean-mugs the camera like ‘What See Student film Page 6


Student film group, Prestige Worldwide, were recently awarded Mod Mobilian’s Best Short Film Moddy award.


VOL. 54, NO. 2 / JAN. 20, 2014

STAT Association to coordinate Jag Run 5K and fun run By KATHRYN SEGERS


he Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) Association is hosting its 7th annual JagRun 5K Saturday Jan. 25. Individuals can pre-register online or during the registration period between 6:30 and 7:30 in the morning at the Alumni Hall. The race will begin at 8:00 a.m. at the Moulton Tower and Alumni Plaza, where it will also end. The net proceeds from JagRun helps fund book scholarships for STAT members. This event is the association’s premier fundraiser of the year. The STAT association was established to fulfill the mission of connecting South Alabama students and alumni. There are currently over 140 members. All University of South Alabama Students are eligible to join STAT, which provides many opportunities for students to become involved with alumni and the alumni association early on. STAT’s objective is to give students the opportunity to experience life as an alum by interacting with some of USA’s over 67,000 alumni. Associate Director of the USA National Alumni Association, Nick Lawkis, says, “It never hurts to begin your professional network long before you graduate. You just never know who you might meet that will one day become your future employer. And by networking and getting involved with the USA Alumni Association through STAT, you will definitely gain access to knowledgeable alumni and valuable experiences and relationships that will last a lifetime.” University of South Alabama students can receive a discounted rate by registering on or by printing off the form and turning it into Alumni Hall. Entry fees are $20 for pre-registered adults, $15 for youth who are 12 and under, and $18 for

USA students. Registration fees on the day of the run will be $25 for adults, $15 for youth, and $20 for USA students. A post-race after party held directly after the race will offer music, food, drinks, and prizes. Top male and female overall, Masters, and Grandmasters will be awarded in designated age group divisions. Registered teams may win awards for having the largest number of participants, being the most spirited, or being the fastest group. Fun Run finishers will receive ribbons. STAT member, Connor Read, says “Ever since last semester, I have been looking forward to the JagRun after hearing all of the positive comments from past participants, students, and faculty. It just sounded like one of those events that left a positive influence on everyone and it is awesome to have people appreciate events that South Alabama’s organizations open for the community. This is one of STAT’s largest events and it could not have been possible without the STAT Advisor Nick Lawkis, President, Kristi Williams and officers. JagRun is fairly new to South Alabama and going on its seventh year. I cannot wait to see how much it will grow in the future.” All students, family, and friends are encouraged to attend and participate in this worthy event. USA alumni and former STAT member, Jessica Houston, said, “The JagRun is a fantastic way to support the student alumni organization. Taking part in a fun and healthy event made me feel as if I was supporting my jaguar community in a positive way.” South student and STAT association president, Kristi Williams, said, “As a runner of last year’s Jag Run, I encourage everyone to get out and participate. Whether you are a seasoned runner or not, there is a true sense of community throughout the race. It’s the perfect environment for a great time!”


Participants of a past Jag Run running along the on-campus run path.


South students, Associate Director of the USA National Alumni Association, Nick Lawkis and STAT officers along with USA mascot at past Jag Run event.


VOL. 54, NO. 2 / JAN. 20, 2014

MLK service day Continued from Page 4.

on-site projects for volunteers at 126 Mobile Street but will not have enough opportunities for all volunteers. However, those who are not able to work on site are encouraged to help those in the community who need it and join for lunch at the Dumas Wesley Center at 12:00 to share experiences.

Pre-registration is highly encouraged so the event organizers will know how many volunteers to accommodate for. Students are encouraged to bring work gloves or yard tools, if they have them available. Transportation will be provided to students who wish to volunteer at the Dumas Wesley Center through JagTrans starting at 9:00 am. They will make runs from the Beta/Gamma commons throughout the day. Students simply have to register at


Participants of a past MLK service day working with community children.

Student film Continued from Page 4.

are you doing?’” In between the laughs, there was hard work and a shoestring budget. For the eighteen-minute movie, Sox estimated that the crew spent over 100 hours of work in preparing, shooting, and editing the film. The filming, of course, had to be done within the time frame of the fair. “We were there until it closed the entire week,” Bricklayer said. The filming was greatly aided by the cooperation of the Fair itself. “They were actually nice enough to give us free admission so we

didn’t have to pay,” Sox said, “just admission for the people involved would have forced us to do a fundraiser.” The budget for the film was essentially whatever was in the crew’s pockets at the time, and rife with ad-hoc purchases as needs arose. Prestige Worldwide (now shortened to PWW) has other films that Sox urges film fans to check out on the “Stuart Sox” Vimeo page. Although no longer working together in class, the Communications majors have an upcoming film, “A History of Lies” that the group looks forward to debuting soon. As for the film class? “Yeah, we made an A,” Weninegar divulged with a wide smile.




VOL. 54, NO. 2 / JAN. 20, 2014

Basketball managers vital to Jaguars’ program The four guys behind the scenes that make players’, coaches’ jobs a little easier


Manager Cole Tarver (second left) and GA Jordan Surenkamp (far right) look on from the bench during the ULL game By ALYSSA NEWTON


o have a fine-tuned machine, all of the gears and parts have to be in sync. In the machine that is South Alabama’s basketball program, those gears are known as managers. Being a manager is a seven-day-aweek, year round responsibility. The management team consists of graduate assistant Jordan Surenkamp, junior Casey Dyess and freshmen Cole Tarver and Harrison Graham. What they do consists of many small but important jobs that in the end keep the basketball program running efficiently. Head Coach Matthew Graves appre-

ciates all the work that the managers do on a daily basis. “The managers are an extension of the coaching staff,” Graves said. “They do a lot to make sure that we (the basketball team) have things prepared come game time. It might not be the most glamorous job at times, but they are vital to helping us to compete at our best.” So what exactly happens during a week in the life of a basketball manager? Junior Casey Dyess gave a little piece of what managers do. “During the week we make sure practices and drills run smoothly,” Dyess said. “We also do things such as laundry, making sure the players are taken care of

and do anything the coaches ask.” The biggest chunk of their week is consumed during game day. “Gameday lasts all day for us,” Dyess said. “We spend about 12 hours up here at the Mitchell on gameday.” So what could they possibly do to spend 12 hours at the Mitchell Center? The managers come an hour early before practice to set up for the opposing team to practice. Once both teams are done practicing they go and eat a pregame meal with the team. While the players have a few hours off to relax, go home and get zoned for the game, the managers spend those hours doing laundry for the team.

Two hours before the game the team arrives back to everything set up and ready for them to practice before the game starts. This allows the team to focus on the only thing they should on gameday: the game. “Our small jobs build up,” said sports management major Cole Tarver. “What we do, the players don’t have to do. That allows them to focus on practice and the game. We have a lot of small jobs we take care of, but in the end it makes a big impact.” As for gameday duties, it varies between managers. For Tarver and Dyess, they help with warm-ups and sit on the bench behind the team and provide towels and water during the game. For Harrison Graham, he spends gameday behind a camera. At Decatur High School Graham spent four years filming football practices. His sophomore year he began filming basketball and keeping stats for the basketball team. He now sets up a camera and does what he does best: work with filming. As for graduate assistant Jordan Surenkamp, his management position deals more with the coaching side of basketball. As a graduate and former Division III college basketball player at Wabash College in Indiana, Surenkamp couldn’t imagine doing anything else other than basketball. “When I graduated I realized I didn’t want a normal 9-5 job,” Surenkamp said. “I wanted to do something I loved. Basketball had always been my life, it’s what I love. So it made the decision easy.”

Surenkamp came to South Alabama along with head coach Matthew Graves and Coach Darnel Archie. “I’ve always wanted to coach,” said Surenkamp. “I knew Coach Graves and Coach Archie from when they coached up at Butler. I worked camps at their college campus and got to know them really well. They knew that once I graduated that I was interested in coaching. Graves called me in the summer and said he has a grad assistant position available and asked if I was interested. I said ‘sign me up!’ and came straight down here.” On gameday you can find Surenkamp looking through film, doing projects for coach Graves or meeting with the other coaches. You’ll find him during the game with a clipboard full of stats on the bench next to the coaches he’s learned from the past few months. “I love it here, it’s awesome. I played Division III basketball, and learned a lot from that experience. But it’s completely different here at South. I’ve learned so much and continue to learn more each day. I just love it.” Although the managers differ from one another, they all have one thing in common: the love of the game. “I love the experience of being around college basketball,” said Tarver, who suffered a torn ligament his junior year of high school that kept him from playing college basketball. The same goes for Dyess. “I love basketball,” he said. “There’s no better job I could ask for.” To the South Alabama basketball program, the managers are not only part of the Jaguar basketball, they are family.

Former Jag signs with Winnipeg Blue Bombers Interview with Gabe Loper on time at South Alabama, Canadian Football League By ALYSSA NEWTON


he Vanguard was able to interview former defensive back/ wide reciever Gabe Loper who recently signed with the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers. We asked Loper about his time at South Alabama and his plans for his future in the CFL. VG:After transitioning to WR, what did it mean to you to wear the number of Courtney Smith, a guy who helped lay the foundation of the program and gain such early glory? GL: I felt honored that the coaches

had enough faith to intrust me with it after they had a player of great magnitude in Courtney; but the true reason for wearing it was not to take on the appearance of a star, but because it was my brother’s number and I always wanted to walk in his footsteps. VG: What is your favorite memory while playing at South? GL: I have so many that it’s hard to tag any one with that title. But I will say a lot of my favorite memories were made in Room 1814 with Ellis Hill, Bryant Lavender and Corey Waldon, of whom I still consider my brothers/best friends and keep constant contact with!

VG: Talk a little bit about the touchdown against FAU that tied the game that would eventually lead to USA’s first FBS and Sun Belt Conference victory. How did that feel? GL: This moment is something I relive every time I look at the pictures. I knew the ball was coming to me because of the success we were having against one-on-one coverage all evening. As I saw the ball falling from the air, I knew that I would either make the catch or receive a defensive pass interference so I took a risk that paid dividends. It was one of the most amazing feelings in the world!

VG: How did South Alabama prepare you and help you to get to where you are today? GL: South taught me to not only rely on the talent that I wielded, but to use the minor principles we obtained in training & apply it to the field in order to have full success. VG: Looking at South’s program today, how do you feel it is evolving/ growing? GL: It is amazing how the program has seemingly taken on a life of its own...large part do to the great recruiting and players such as TJ Glover, Shavarez Smith, Brandon Bridges, as well

as others and the reformation of the coaching/strength staff. It’s no doubt in my mind that they will be the top of the Sun Belt before long! VG: At South Alabama at one point in 2012 you played every position in the secondary. You’ve played cornerback, DB, WR and so on. What are your thoughts of being moved from a position on the defensive side of the ball where you saw significant action, to a situational role on the offensive side of the ball and more limited action? GL: I saw it as a blessing in disguise, even though I knew I could’ve been See Loper Page 8.


VOL. 54, NO. 2 / JAN. 20, 2014

Loper Continued from Page 7.

another huge presence in our secondary, being moved to receiver allowed me to familiarize myself with the positions once more and provided me with the confidence to take on any position on any level. VG: Do you believe playing so many positions gave you an advantage? How did it help you as a football player? GL: Oh yes, definitely. Not only did it get me in phenomenal shape; but it gave me the ability to take calculated risks when determining, “What would I do if a corner shaded me like this?”, or “How would I release against an aggressive coverage like the one I’m playing?” The concept of my thinking was the same on special teams as well. VG: What position are you hoping to play for Winnipeg? GL: I am comfortable in any, but am willing and open to playing any position that they feel will make the team better, because football isn’t a selfish game no matter how much your name gets highlighted; it’s a team thing. VG: Can you tell in your own words what you hope to see for yourself come out of playing with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers?

GL: I am looking to prove to others, as well as myself, that I am still able to compete with the best of them no matter how long it has taken me to get this far in my journey. I’m praying that everything taught to me. And all the training we do will not only make me a top notch player, but a better man as well. VG: What do you believe allowed you to make it this far in your football career? GL: All glory goes to God. If not for grace and mercy there’s no way I would have accomplished most of the things that I have thus far. Knowing that that’s the main thing, it allowed me to embrace the words and constructive criticism of my family and teammates as well. VG: What do you think the differences will be playing with a Canadian league? GL: Just by studying the rule book and some games off of the internet I can tell you that the field will be the most drastic change; other than that football is football. VG: Former USA QB Myles Gibbon is a prospect for the CFL. How do you feel about the chance to play against a fellow former USA player? GL: I’m elated! Gibbs is like family. I think it will be fun and entertaining having the opportunity to see an electric QB that is Myles Gibbons in action!

Adventure is out there, USA Outdoor Adventures offers unique trips to students By ALYSSA NEWTON


hen is the last time you went white water rafting in northern Alabama or swam with Florida’s gentle giant manatees? USA Campus Recreation offers trips like these and more through their program Outdoor Adventures. These trips are a chance for students to get out of their everyday, ordinary routines and experience nature through water sports, camping and more. Outdoor Recreation Coordinator Randy Hunter sees over all of the trips and events that Outdoor Adventures offers to students. He helped to launch

the program in 2006 and has been providing students with adventure opportunities ever since. “For those who take the time out it’s really worthwhile,” said Hunter. “You forget about all the problems hanging over your head, like your test in calculus next week. You get lost in the moment. It’s a great way to take a break from work, school and your everyday responsibilities.” Most trips allow seven to 16 people per event. Hunter suggests signing up with a friend or a group of friends and experiencing an adventure together. But if you want to fly solo, they take many solo signees as well. Trips can range from one day to four days, depending


A few of the upcoming events for Outdoor Aventures

on the outing. If you’re weary, Hunter ensures students won’t be going out in the middle of a river on their own. Each outing has trained personnel to help to oversee and ensure safety for the participants. The benefits of going on these ventures add up. Trips range from $20-$70, mostly in the $20 range, saving students money in various ways. South Alabama also provides transportation, all equipment and trained staff. “It’s a great program, we just want more people to take advantage of it,” said Hunter. “Our trips are geared to those without experience. We want to give students new and fun experiences. It’s a great opportunity for students to see the wilds of Georgia, Florida and Alabama.” Outdoor Adventures sends a newsletter that goes out in emails included with student recreation. This includes events and activities that will be going on through the spring semester. For more information you can check out their website at The next event will be the Perdido River on February 1.

Left of Center’s player profile of the week: Breeden better love the game, otherwise don’t waste our time. From that moment on, I knew this was where I was meant to be. I wanted to be a part of a program that loved this game as much as I do because once our four years are up, that’s it, there’s no turning back. COURTESY OF USAJAGUARS



outh Alabama softball catcher Alex Breeden has been surrounded by the game her entire life. At the age of five she started playing baseball and, by being around her dad, Joe Breeden, a roving catching instructor for the Atlanta Braves, she naturally gravitated towards the love of the game. In high school, Alex lettered all four years in softball and was the varsity captain since her freshman year. Nowa psychology major at the University of South Alabama, Alex still has a passion for the game. The Vanguard sat down with Alex to find out more about her decision on choosing South, life as an Atlanta Braves coach’s daughter, and her expectations for the upcoming season. The Vanguard: Looking back on your recruitment process, what made you choose the University of South Alabama? Alex Breeden: One of the main reasons that I chose South Alabama was because of something that a player said to me while I was on my recruitment trip. She told me that if you come here you

VG: Do you have a pregame ritual? AB: Before games, I try to get as relaxed as possible. I’m addicted to oatmeal so I have a huge bowl of that and probably go through a pack of gum a game, or more, depending on how close it is. VG: How did it feel to be a part of winning the Sun Belt title last year? AB: Last year’s Sun Belt win was different than the first because it was expected, at least in our eyes. We expected to win and having that mindset day-in and day-out isn’t easy: it’s mentally exhausting. So, to achieve it, after a year of hard work and dedication, is one of the most rewarding experiences. VG: What is it like having your dad work for the Braves? AB: My dad’s job is one of the biggest blessings that I have in my life. Since I was a little kid, I’ve always had a live-in coach. It’s not easy (we fight like cats and dogs actually) but he tells me what I don’t want to hear and helps me see what I don’t want to see. It’s helped mold me into not the only the player that I know I can be, but also the person.

VG: Are you excited about the new softball complex and hitting facility? AB: I am so excited! Not just for how it is going to affect this year’s team, but how it will affect all of the alumni and future teams. To see where this program has come in such a short period of time, I know, means a lot to past players and seeing what they helped build is incredible. For the future, this is going to help so much with recruitment and getting the sort of athletes that this program, and the staff, deserve. VG: What is your favorite aspect about the

University of South Alabama? AB: My favorite part about the university is the people that I have met here. They are my family and I don’t know the person that I would be without my teammates and coaches. Being at South is a part of my journey and I’m excited for my next year and a half here! VG: What are your individual goals for the upcoming season? AB: Softball is a team sport, so my individual goals don’t really mean much. I want this team to live up to our potential; I want a third conference title and I hope that this is just the beginning.




VOL. 54, NO. 2 / JAN. 20, 2014

Follow us for news, updates and play-by-play tweets: @USAVGSports Becky Clark @BclarkUSA Softball head coach A huge THANK YOU to our South Alabama construction crew for working early mornings and late nights to make sure our field is ready by Feb 6! Drew Dearman @Drewski72_: Offensive lineman Jesus Biloxi, at least take me to dinner first. Sharon Sanders @SomeSerious_: Guard

With JSP, South Alabama will now be able responsible for it’s own sponsorships and broadcasts


USA creates Jaguar Sports Properties South Alabama drops IMG, creates own sales and broadcasting department By JT CRABTREE


he University of South Alabama announced the staff of the new Jaguar Sports Properties, as well as the end of their partnership with IMG College after five years. JSP will be responsible for athletic corporate and multimedia sales as well as all radio and TV production, including game broadcasts and coaches’ shows. J.D. Byars has been named Director of Broadcasting/Corporate Sales Executive. Ashley Ehlert has been added as the staff ’s Account Executive and Mike Giedlin has been named Assistant Business Manager. In addition to these hires, local newscaster Pat Greenwood will join the staff as Director of Mulitmedia/Corporate Sales Executive on March 1. JSP will be overseen by current Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs Travis Toth. “These hires reflect well-seasoned

and superior professionals in their field of expertise,” Erdmann observed. “The mission of Jaguar Sports Properties is to generate revenue through sponsorships which are paid directly to the department while expanding our awareness, growing our fan base and solidifying our brand. The broadcast assignments for applicable sports — including current radio personality Lee Shirvanian — will be announced later this semester. We anticipate a tremendous broadcast team promoting several sports and the department as whole using radio, television and ever-growing on-line content.” Byars comes to South Alabama after spending the past three-plus years at the Univerity of North Alabama, where he was the Director of Broadcasting and Corporate Sponsorships. Byars was responsible for producing, engineering and served as play-by-play announcer for more than 90 UNA athletic events

each season. Byars was responsible for creating the UNA radio network, including all FM affiliates, hiring and managing on-air support staff. Greenwood, a Mobile native, has been with Local NBC 15 WPMI-TV since 1997. Starting in 2007 2007, he served as NBC 15’s weekday morning anchor from 5-7 a.m. Greenwood also served as pre- and postgame host while holding sidelines and halftime duties on the South Alabama Football Radio Network. He has also contributed on men’s basketball and baseball broadcasts. Ehlert joins JSP after spending seven years as Senior Account Manager for Clear Channel Media in Mobile. Ehlert was responsible for customizing well-rounded campaigns through sixstations along the Gulf Coast as well as coordinating off-site live broadcasts. Giedlin comes to USA after sending two-and-a-half years as Assistant Atheltic Director/Fiscal Operations at Northern Arizona.

Giedlin was responsible for operations prep and program budgets, and reviewed and authorized all purchases and expenditures. He also prepared and submitted financial data to both the NCAA and Big Sky Conference. “This is a very exciting and important time for our department,” explained Erdmann. “Approximately five years ago we entered into a partnership with IMG College which gave them the rights to manage our sponsorship and multi-media sales. That partnership was a prudent decision as working with IMG helped us in navigating the birth of an FBS football program. We deeply appreciate IMG College for that guidance and support. The decision to go in a different direction and create an internal unit was amicable in nature and primarily based on our desire to have complete control of our advertising inventory, our audio and video productions, our sales strategies and stewardship of our sponsors.”

Gah I hate having classes that I don’t know anybody in Derek Westbrook @thedwestbrook25: Men’s Cross Country You know you’re at the rec pool doing rehab too much when the old guys start asking how my family is doing #GoJags J.A. Harville @jonharville1: Pitcher I can’t believe I’m talking to a young lady about poop on twitter. #lifecouldnotbebetter Antoine Allen @TweezMrNutty Guard I need my feet rubbed ugh I been working so hard man Austin Cole @AustinCole61: Long snapper Is it frowned upon to change the music at a fraternity party from 2 chainz to hardcore rock!? I guess we’ll find out



VOL. 54, NO. 2 / JAN. 20, 2014

Jaguar basketball keeps Cajuns away, win 81-73 By SAVON MORRIS


outh Alabama men’s basketball team clinched their first conference win against Louisiana-Lafayette on Jan. 16, winning 81-73. The win snapped a six-game losing streak that started Dec. 17 against Arkansas. Four of the six games were against a conference opponent, games the Jaguars needed to stay alive in the hunt for the Sun Belt Conference championship. Jags lead at the half against ULL, like their two previous games at Arkansas State and UALR, and nearly lost a 15-point lead with less than three minutes remaining, when the lead shrank to just two. “Tonight I was anxious to see how we would come back on a quick turnaround after a tough loss to Arkansas-Little Rock,” Jaguar head coach Matthew Graves said. “I was really disappointed in our shot selection early in the game. We talked about being strong with the basketball and getting the ball inside, either through passing the ball or on the drive and try to make plays at the rim. We settled way too many times and we felt like we were playing from 8-to-10 points down all night.” The Jaguars came onto the floor with a new found swagger against the Ragin’ Cajuns.

In the first half, Jaguars claimed with authority, leading the Cajuns 39-30 going into halftime. The Jaguars shot 60 percent from the field and 40 percent behind the arc. The showering of three’s kept the Jaguars in the lead. Sharpshooter Ken Williams started the arsenal of three pointers. He finished with 3-7 for 18 points. The first 15 minutes in the second half were a dog fight. ULL guard, Elfrid Payton gave life to the Cajuns in the second half. Payton was in Alaska in the first half, going 2-6 from the field with only four points. Payton’s elusiveness and quick feet brought the Cajuns back to a two-point game. But the Jaguars unleashed the beast. Senior forward Augustine Rubit shifted the momentum for South Alabama. He shot four clutch free throws, extending the Jags lead back to 10. Rubit finished 7-10 for 21 points to lead the Jaguars to their first victory in over a month. “I’m really, really excited about our win here tonight,” Graves said. “It just shows that if you have a team that stays together and works really hard, there’s complete buy in. Guys are starting to understand what we want to do offensively and defensively. The thing I was most pleased about tonight was that we held them to below 40 percent field goal percentage defense.” The Jags committed 26 turnovers, the most by the school since Nov. 18, 2001.

Schumacher sets school record at heptathlon By JT CRABTREE


SA senior Garrett Schumacher broke his own school record in the heptathlon when the Jags visited the Birmingham CrossPlex, location of the Samford Stand Alone Competition last Wednesday and Thursday. Schumacher, the only participant from the Jaguars’ men’s team, totaled 5,084 points over two days, breaking his previous school record by 54 points. His 5,084 points put him in second place at the meet and eighth overall in the NCAA. Schumacher set personal bests in shot put (11.89m) and in the 60-meter dash (7.14s). He also posted a 6.46m in the long jump and 1.83 in the high jump. Schumacher also had the highest clearance in the pole vault (4.64m) and had times of 8.84 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles and 2:53.71 in the 1000-meter run. For the Lady Jags, Noelle Jones, Jasmine

Ferguson and Leah Hixon were the only three competitors. Jones finished highest of the group, with 3,429 total points, finishing seventh overall. Jones record personal bests in the 60-meter hurdles (9.27m) and long jump (5.27m), and tied her personal best for the shot put (13.33m). Her 3,429 was the fifth-best pentathlon total in school history. Ferguson finished with 3,370 points, a career best, to finished eighth. Hixon placed ninth with 3,300. “This was a pretty good start for our multievent athletes,” said head track and field coach Paul Brueske. “Three personal-best overall scores this early in the season is a really good sign. We have also identified some things that we will continue to work on, so we should continue to get better in the combined events as the season goes on.” USA returns to action with a trip to Jonesboro, Ark., for the Arkansas State Invitational Jan. 24.


Augustine Rubit finished with a team-leading 21 points against ULL.


VOL. 54, NO. 2 / JAN. 20, 2014


Leitner, No. 117, defeated Benjamin Lock, the No. 1 see at FSU, on Jan. 12.

Leitner knocks off No. 64, team loses at FSU By JT CRABTREE


niversity of South Alabama junior Daniel Leitner earned his first win over a nationally-ranked opponent this season, but No. 36 Florida State went home with the tournament after a 5-2 win on January 12. The Jags are now 1-2 this season. Florida State moves to 3-0. “Finishing our last match so late last night and sleeping only six hours hurt us a little this morning,” said head coach Nick Brochu. “We didn’t have the same spark as usual. FSU played very aggressive and we were playing ‘catch up’ in doubles. Our level was better in singles.” Leitner, ranked No. 117, earned his third win of the season with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 victory over No. 61 Benjamin Lock as the No. 1 seed. “Great mention to Daniel,” said Brochu. “He played so hard and beat Florida State’s No. 1 player, who is also ranked in the top 65 in the country.” Florida State claimed the first three singles points with wins in the Nos. 5, 3 and 2 seeds. Cristian Gonzalez Mendez defeated junior

Manuel Belda (Posadas, Misiones, Argentina) 6-0, 6-4, followed by Blake Davis’ 6-3, 6-1 win over senior Shayann Vaezzadeh (Bavent, France). Dominic Cotrone picked up the win for FSU when he topped freshman Tuki Jacobs (Windhoek, Namibia) 6-4, 6-0. Sophomore Gerhard Gruindelingh (Pretoria, South Africa) put the Jaguars on the board when he outlasted Marco Nunez in a tiebreaker 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (107) at No. 4. Jose Garcia dropped sophomore Juan Troglia (Mendoza, Argentina) 6-5 (7-4), 6-3. “Gerhard made a great comeback to win the match at No. 4,” said Brochu. In doubles, Lock and Nunez downed Belda and Gruindelingh 6-1 and Leitner and Troglia fell 6-2 to Cotrone and Davis. “The problem today was that we were not consistent with our level of play,” said Brochu. “You can’t expect to beat a good team like FSU by playing two good games and one bad game. They took advantage of it and ran away with the win.” South Alabama is back in action Saturday Jan. 18 as they host Nicholls State at 2 p.m.


VOL. 54, NO. 2 / JAN. 20, 2014

Jags can’t hold off ULM rally USA shot a miserable 32.2 percent for the game, lose 64-58 By SAMUEL BROWN


outh Alabama’s men’s basketball team was attempting to extend their season-long conference winning streak to two on Saturday night. It did not happen as Louisiana-Monroe defeated the Jags 64-58 to earn their first win at the Mitchell Center since January 15, 2011. The Jags led 34-27 at halftime, but saw their lead quickly dwindle as they shot only 22.2 percent in the second half, including 1-11 (9.1 percent) from 3-point range. Antoine Allen converted the Jags only 3-pointer in the second half with less than a minute remaining in the game. “Unfortunately, offensively, we didn’t do a good job of attacking,” head coach Matthew Graves said. “We settled for a lot of 3-point shots when we had an advantage on getting the ball inside to Augustine (Rubit) and Mychal (Ammons). Our guards continued to shoot shots and you try to sub guys in and out and they keep doing the same thing. It’s very frustrating that we’re not learning from some of the mistakes that we’ve made in previous games.”

Aakim Saintil (left) finished with 11 points against ULM. As a team, the Jags struggled mightily from 3-point range all game as they converted only 14.8 percent (4-27) of 3-point attempts. Augustine Rubit led the Jaguars with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Aakim Saintil was second on the team with 11 points. Ken Williams, who had 18 points in Thursday night’s 81-73 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette, was held scoreless in this game. Williams finished 0-5 including 0-3 from 3-point range. Williams wasn’t the only Jaguar to struggle on the night. As a team, the Jaguars finished with a 32.2 field goal percentage (19-59).

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

Tylor Ongwae led the Warhawks with 19 points and 4 rebounds. Amos Olatayo added with 12 points and 4 rebounds. “[Ongwae]’s their best player and he certainly did a good job, but three or four of the baskets that he got in the second half were, to be quite honest, just really bad defense on our part,” Graves said. “It wasn’t anything that he was doing or not doing, it was that were latched on to guys and feeling sorry for ourselves because we weren’t making shots. That lack of energy and effort really affected him. He made a couple of nice moves, but it was really a collection of our poor defense.”


Despite being out-rebounded 34 to 46, the Warhawks made up for this by out-shooting the Jaguars 42 percent to 32.2 percent. South Alabama falls to 7-12 and 1-4 in Sun Belt Conference play, while Louisiana-Monroe improves to 6-7 and 3-2 in conference play. The Jaguars are now 0-4 when they score 50-59 points. The Jags Saturday record on the season now falls to 1-7. South Alabama’s next game will be on Saturday, January 25, as the Jaguars will travel to Arlington, Texas to take on the Texas-Arlington Mavericks at 7:30 p.m.

VOL. 54, NO. 2 / JAN. 20, 2014





Samantha Andrews | Editor-in-Chief Kelly Ficarelli | Opinion Editor JT Crabtree | Sports Editor


Stephanie Feather | Managing Editor Alyssa Newton | Left of Center Editor Emma Mitchell | Life Editor

Treat vapors like secondhand smoke until proven safe



ou see people using them everywhere now, on campus, in restaurants, in grocery stores and in various other public places. The trend is growing stronger by the day. As a former cigarette smoker, I applaud people for quitting smoking dangerous tobacco products, but I personally find public use of electronic ciga-

rettes as visually offensive as being subjected to secondhand smoke from cigarettes. Some users have claimed that the secondhand vapors are irritating to their eyes, noses and throats, cause nausea and make breathing difficult. Scientists at the University of Athens, Greece, conducted a study which determined e-cigarettes cause an instant increase in airway resistance lasting more than 10 minutes. Longterm results have not been tested. A Harvard research study reported that a 5-minute smoking session caused immediate airway constriction and inflammation in the lungs. Additionally, some brands produce a slight odor that many people find offensive. Some scientific research and medi-

cal professionals are in agreement that these vaporizer cigarettes are effective smoking cessation devices, as effective as nicotine patches or gum, but no one truly knows if they help smokers quit. Manufacturers market them as harmless, but more and more studies are coming forth with information that some brands are harmful and do contain carcinogens, with some carcinogen compounds found in higher quantities in e-cigarettes than in regular cigarettes. Other issues with the e-cigarettes is that they are not regulated by U.S. tobacco laws since they contain no tobacco. The FDA is trying to label them as a drug-delivery device so that

they can be regulated, but they recently lost a court case against two manufacturers in the District of Columbia. Another U.S. Court blocked the FDA's attempt to label them as drugs in an effort to cease importation. In many places, especially online, there are no age restrictions so they can be purchased by any person of any age. While they aren't necessarily marketed to children, they are appealing to them because of their attractive colors and flavors, such as chocolate, watermelon, strawberry and bubble gum. We all know young people look up to celebrities, and with a growing number of celebrities endorsing them, this only adds to their appeal. Also, since they're not regulated, it

isn't known if manufacturers are disclosing all the chemical ingredients or if the amount of nicotine advertised on the label is the amount actually contained inside the vaporizer. At this point in time, you have no idea what you're inhaling and exhaling, or how much. While many see them as a healthier alternative to tobacco products, the truth is, researchers and agencies do not yet know if they are. More studies must be done to discover possible side effects of inhaling pure nicotine vapor and other added ingredients. Until they are adequately tested, regulated and deemed safe by an unbiased agency, they should not be allowed to be used in public.

Embrace COPS in Prichard By JASON RUFFIN


n and around Mobile County recently there have been a growing number of film crews. Most of these crews are shooting Hollywood movies, but as of January there has been another type of filming taking place. The documentary/ reality series COPS has come to the city of Prichard. The show shadows police officers and sheds light on the dangers they face when on duty. Prichard’s new police chief, Jerry Speziale, says he hopes the exposure from the show will help highlight the effort his officers put forth daily. He told WKRGNews 5, “It's a very positive situation where this is not about the negative of Prichard, it is about a new Prichard and the police department that is moving forward in a progressive direction to make a safer Prichard.” True to Prichard’s tainted reputation as a highcrime city, the film crew has been kept busy. They have already filmed a car chase that took place in Prichard Jan. 8 involving a drug bust. The fugitive tried to escape police in a vehicle, and while doing so, almost ran over an officer. The officer fired a shot at the suspect but didn’t hit him. The suspect then tried to flee on foot before being caught by police. The high profile chief of police has already said before, when being introduced for the job back in October, that he hopes to make the community a part of the effort to clean up Prichard’s streets. This will be no easy task considering year’

of high crime rates and deep poverty levels that often drive new businesses away from the city. Couple that with a population that has had little to no faith in local government in recent years, and it’s clear Chief Speziale has a lot of work ahead of him. One of his most difficult tasks will be getting the community rallied behind the reorganized police department. If the department fails to win over the confidence of the people of Prichard, it could make Speziale’s job that much harder. Officers can’t do much if the people they are trying to protect do not trust them. Chief Speziale no doubt knows this and is betting the show will have a positive effect on the way people view the department. The show will give citizens a chance to step into the shoes of a police officer and see things from a different perspective. People will watch and see what their local law enforcement have to battle every day, the situations they are put in and the kind of people they must deal with. In my view, one of the most important things a law enforcement agency can have is the support of the people they are sworn to protect. Without trust, it becomes much more difficult to do anything. Never underestimate good PR. Of course COPS is going to show the gritty side of Prichard and the criminals that give the city its dirty reputation, but for the first time in a long time, the people of Prichard will not just be seeing that side, they’ll be watching the other.



VOL. 54, NO. 2 / JAN. 20, 2014

Point Counterpoint p Should Mobile city employees receive promised raises? Editor’s Introduction: Last September, the Mobile City Council voted in favor of a 2.5 percent pay raise for city employees starting Jan. 1 under Mayor Sam Jones. When newly-elected Mayor Sandy Stimpson refused to enforce the raise, a group of city employees filed a temporary restraining order against him and finance director Paul Wesch, which was denied. A new preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 29.

Cuts are best for Mobile

A promise is a promise

Brianna Ervin


These workers were promised a raise... Brianna Ervin

obile public service workers are filing a lawsuit against the city of Mobile. Workers are upset by Mayor Sandy Stimpson withdrawing pay raises for city employees after being promised a 2.5 percent increase during 2013. That should let the mayor know that the workers are serious. The pay raise was included in the 2014 budget introduced by former Mayor Sam Jones and adopted by the council in September. The raise was for all full-time city employees and was long overdue. City workers haven’t had a raise in seven years, and with the cost of living steadily rising, they deserve one. How would you feel if you had been promised a raise and then it became invalid with no reason as to why?

that they were promised.Then, to only heighten matters, Circuit Judge Sarah Stewart denied the request "because there is no evidence of immediate and irreparable injury," but scheduled a preliminary injunction hearing for 9 a.m. on Jan. 29, which will hopefully put things in a better perspective. The decision not to implement the raises at this time was dictated by the discovery of major shortfalls in the current city budget. However, it is not the employees’ fault that the city spent more than what they had. These workers were promised a raise in 2013 for the New Year and that’s what they should get - point, blank, period.

nlike our national leaders, the mayor and his office cannot simply wink and nod at the city running a deficit. The reality of the situation is that Mayor Stimpson has been left holding the bag after former Mayor Jones wrote checks that the city’s fiscal posterior cannot cash. It’s certainly easy to sympathize with the workers who looked forward to their raise only to have it revoked immediately over the holidays. Several of them probably made vacation plans or bought new items they planned to finance with their increased paycheck, actions the majority of us would probably take in the same situation. But such is the bitter fruits that sometimes fall from the tree of responsibility. This is simply another manifestation of the managerial maladroitness which characterized Mayor Jones’s tenure. As one current city worker (and USA student) told me, “Maybe these workers should be suing Sam Jones. He is the one that promised raises. I am sure he knew the city could not afford it.” I have the feeling she is correct. After all, an article quoted the city’s financial manager as saying that the deficit “is the result of the city spending more money than what revenues gener-

Balance school and relationships carefully



o it’s finally happened. You’ve found that special someone that makes your hear t melt. Not a minute g oes by that

you don’t think about them and you can’t bear the thought of letting them out of your sight. Ever y moment with them gives you an unexplainable high of joy and happiness. Cong rats, you’ve officially entered the cupcake stage. You’ve forg otten about how imperative putting your education first is. You spend more time with your significant other and less time focusing on your schoolwork. Your g rades are slowly but surely slipping, but it’s OK as long as you get to spend quality time with the love of your life, right?

No. Your sole purpose for g oing to college is to pursue a deg ree. Don’t let being in a relationship deter you from that. Don’t be that student at the end of the semester pleading with your professor for an extra credit assignment to bring up your borderline D average. The innumerable nights you spend talking to your boyfriend or girlfriend until 3 a.m. isn’t g oing to help you excel. The g oals that you once had and cared about, such as maintaining a high GPA to increase the chances of getting into g raduate school, slowly fade away.

You start asking yourself, “Does it really matter if I g raduate with honors?” As young adults, we tend to get so caught up with the perks of dating we lose focus on what’s important. If your special someone was a treat in the beginning and a trick now, let it g o. Well, not completely, but do find some sort of balance. Save all the “lovey-doveyness” for the weekends and get back to studying hard and focusing on those papers that are due. College is temporar y. It doesn’t last forever, so make the best of it while you’re there.

Ryan Wallace ated from Sept. 30, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013.” Sandy Stimpson was not the mayor when all of this money was spent, but he is the man tasked with cleaning it up. If anything, city workers should be thankful. As I said earlier, a deficit at the city level has to be fixed and fixed fast lest the city risk sliding into deeper and deeper debt. If the workers won their lawsuit to keep their raises, which is more likely to happen next: cuts to the services of thousands of Mobilians, or a reduction in the same (smaller) workforce whose ill-timed raise forced the cuts and whose union supported the campaign of the very man who caused their misery?

Email Kelly Ficarelli at kficarelli@gmail. com to write for The Vanguard Opinion section




The lawsuit filed in Mobile County Circuit Court requested a judge to issue a temporary restraining order against the mayor and finance director for not adhering to the 2.5 percent pay raise


VOL. 54, NO. 2 / JAN. 20, 2014

Jan. 20, 2014  

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