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vanderbilthustler WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27, 2014

VOL. 126, ISS. 19


THE RED ZONE First-years most vulnerable to sexual assault SEE PAGE 2


Do it yourself: Derek Mason jars Anchor down with this football season’s most spirited craft — and keep cool with The Hustler’s original drink recipe


Vanderbilt does not have a race ‘problem’ Senior Josh Everett responds to ‘Focusing on Race,’ a Hustler report on VUcept’s increased focus on campus race issues




Football preview PAGE 16





QUOTE OF THE DAY “It really does bring the issue to the consciousness of students.” TANNER OWEN, STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT


Zone By TYLER BISHOP Editor-in-chief --------------------

Vanderbilt students and others in the university community were notified Monday night of an alleged sexual assault reported to an official in the Office of Housing and Residential Education. The female victim was allegedly assaulted by a male acquaintance on the night of Aug. 23. The information reported to the community, though vague, tells a story far too common on college campuses. Between now and the time that students depart for Thanksgiving break, more students will be sexually assaulted on college campuses than during any other time of the year. The victims, most of whom will not report their assaults, will be predominantly first-year women, and the aggressors mostly their acquaintances. This period is commonly known as the “Red Zone.” Campus climate and student reactions Student reactions to the campus security notice were mixed. While many said they felt shocked to learn about

The start of the fall semester marks the time of the year when the most sexual assaults occur on college campuses. With a sexual assault reported to officials on Commons during the second weekend on campus, students and campus leaders offer their perspectives on the current state of campus sexual violence

the incident, others expressed that they were unfortunately not surprised. “I was like, ‘Again?’” said sophomore Charlotte Doran. “Because we get those emails all the time. So it’s gotten to a point where it’s just like, if it hasn’t happened in a while, I expect it to happen again. That shouldn’t be something that’s normal.” Because the security notice reported that the sexual assault occurred in a “residence hall on the Commons,” some students raised questions about how the issue has been presented to the first-year class. Senior Steve Monk said that first-years may not have had the same exposure to the issue of sexual assault that upperclassmen have experienced in the last few years. “I’m sort of surprised that it happened so early in the semester. I know there’s been a big emphasis on changing the rape culture at Vanderbilt, so I wonder how well that message has gotten to the new freshmen,” Monk said. First-year Anya Tarascina said she was aware of the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses and was concerned before coming to Vanderbilt because the university had come under fire recently. “I know it’s an issue that a lot of colleges try to cover

up,” Tarascina said. “I’m actually pleased with the way that Vanderbilt has been sort of doing all these workshops — they did True Life. It was definitely cheesy, but I think the point of it was very clear. I liked how they included issues like that.” Though most students were sympathetic for the victim and recognized the issue, some students were reluctant to make judgments on the incident without knowing more details about what happened. “Obviously, something like this is very serious, but jumping to conclusions with something like this … There’s two sides to the equation,” said a sophomore male. “I’m saying there very well could be a case of sexual assault, but it also could be a girl who may have committed something that she regretted in the morning … I just think it could be less serious than it’s being portrayed to be. I think that’s an important perspective to look into.” Although he recognized that sexual assault is a problem, a different sophomore male even went as far as to say that he sympathizes with alleged perpetrators because he “understands how (the male) sexual drive works and women don’t.” “I mean, I think a lot of the incidences of sexual assault




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vanderbilthustler STAFF



*Note that these statistics represent sex crimes that were reported to VUPD and do not reflect unreported occurences.




June July MONTH
















We get those emails all the time. So it’s gotten to a point where it’s just like, if it hasn’t happened in a while, I expect it to happen again. That shouldn’t be something that’s normal.


come from a guy wanting to push something and a girl not saying no until the guy already has so much horniness built up inside of him that it’s hard to reason him out of things, especially when alcohol is involved,” he said. First-year Ethan Schmerling was surprised when he read the email, especially in light of Vanderbilt efforts to address the issue with the Class of 2018, including VU PETSA, a required module for all new students on preventing power-based personal violence, and True Life. “(The notice) makes me a little bit worried that it might happen again because it’s just the beginning of the year,” Schmerling said. Other first-years echoed Schmerling’s concerns about acts of sexual violence on campus. “I was afraid for a lot of my friends, especially a lot of my female friends,” said a first-year male. “It could’ve happened to anyone here on the Commons. It’s so sad. I just panicked a little bit inside. I don’t want anyone to be hurt.” The Red Zone According to Project Safe director Cara Tuttle Bell, the first few months on campus are particularly dangerous for new students with regard to sexual assault, because they are often trying to make new friends and trying new things. Additionally, many firstyears can be unfamiliar with low-supervision environments and have increased social activity, which may include alcohol or drug use — sometimes excessive. “One of the reasons we ask students to complete both AlcoholEdu and VU PETSA before arriving on campus is to increase their awareness of alcohol use and abuse and sexual assault, which are often connected,” Bell said.



of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger

38% 28% 7%

friend or acquaintance intimate partner relative


Almost no students recognized the term “Red Zone,” but many agreed that the first-years’ fall semester seemed to be an especially vulnerable time period for sexual assault. Sophomore Charlotte Doran said she has seen the pattern on campus during the fall as freshmen try to assimilate into campus culture, but she was among the students not familiar with the term “Red Zone.” From a first-year’s perspective, Tarascina has also noticed this pattern. “As soon as you leave your parents and you have all this newfound freedom, there’s a potential for them to be unable to regulate themselves and just go wild in a way,” she said. The situation at Vanderbilt Vanderbilt as of late has been no stranger to dialogue on — and efforts at addressing — the issue of sexual violence on campus. Four former football players currently await trial in a case connected to an alleged June 2013 sexual assault in Gillette House. A Title IX federal compliance review continues at Vanderbilt after a group of students and alumni filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education last November. And campus erupted in April when an anonymous online forum attacking an alleged victim of an assault in the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house was brought to light. The Aug. 25 security notice is just the latest occurrence to spark conversation on the topic. “It really does bring the issue to the consciousness of students,” said student body president Tanner Owen. “Sometimes, it takes something like this to really hit home with students.” Various campus organizations indicated at the start of the school year that they would be making pointed efforts to better address the issue of power-based personal violence. Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG) is preparing to launch a poster series titled “Don’t Be That Guy.” The posters, which will be displayed in residence halls, on trees and in student centers, will feature young adults in provocative situations, labeled with upfront messages, like “Just because she isn’t saying no doesn’t mean she’s saying yes,” and “Just because you help her home doesn’t mean you can help yourself.” “We think the poster campaign will be a great way to approach it from a proactive angle,” Owen said. “They address the gray areas that students may or may not be thinking about.” According to Owen, VSG is currently working closely with many campus offices, including VUPD and Project Safe, on some other initiatives centering around campus safety and prevention that are in the pipeline. “We’re really looking to keep the conversations going.” VUcept, the first-year program aimed at smoothly facilitating the transition to Vanderbilt, emphasized the prevention of power-based personal violence — in — Continued on PAGE 4






— Continued from PAGE 3 addition to the focus on race — during its training this year. Greek organizations are often scrutinized when conversations about sexual assault arise, particularly because fraternity parties are considered high-risk zones for the initiation of sexual violence. Following the increased dialogue on the issue at Vanderbilt in recent years, the leaders of all three Greek councils have also committed to pursuing more strenuous efforts this year. At Greek LEAD, a weekend retreat at which chapter leaders set goals for Greek life, an hour-and-a-half session focused on the issue of power-based personal violence. According to director of Greek life Kristin Torrey, chapter representatives, who worked with Bell, set at least two specific goals — both through Green Dot. First, all chapters have committed to having their entire groups complete an hour-long Green Dot training session. Second, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) plans to require every new member, during the six-week pledge process, to complete the full six-hour Green Dot certification offered by Vanderbilt. According to Shorter, the goal for Greek organizations is to fit smoothly into the greater effort that Vanderbilt is taking against the issue. “We’re going to be a part of the effort and engaged as leaders in creating a safe campus community for all students,” Torrey said. “We want to be consistent with the rest of Vanderbilt in our messaging.” An ongoing dilemma Despite various campus efforts to curb instances of sexual violence, advocates, students and campus leaders

all recognize that it is not something that will disappear from culture all at once. “I think this is a very big issue on college campuses, especially with statistics that one-fourth of all women in college experience sexual assault. I think that’s just too big of an issue not to look at it and try to stop it,” said a firstyear male. Vanderbilt’s sexual misconduct policy, which was revised prior to the start of the fall semester, emphasizes resources and support for victims of sexual misconduct and other forms of power-based personal violence. Some campus resources available to victims, like the Psychological Counseling Center (PCC) or religious counselors, are confidential in most cases. Others, like Project Safe and the Student Health Center, are not confidential. Non-confidential resources are required to notify both VUPD and the Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disabilities, which investigates alleged instances of sexual violence.* Assistant news editor Allie Gross contributed to this report. *Cases of alleged sexual violence are investigated by the Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disabilities Services (EAD), which works closely with victims who seek help. Cases are turned over to the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, & Academic Integrity for hearings should the potential for a conduct violation be found. Details of cases are required to be kept confidential by both offices.



Not Confidential - Project Safe - VUPD - Medical Center - Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center - Office of LGBTQI Life

Confidential - PCC - Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life

EDITOR'S NOTE The Vanderbilt Hustler recognizes that no single report can capture the many intricacies that the coverage of sexual violence involves. We do, however, recognize the importance of reporting on the topic — both particular instances and the issue at large — given its presence in college campus culture. The Hustler will never name victims or alleged victims of sexual violence without their expressed consent.





Vanderbilt student Nazharie Brandon speaks to the crowd during a rally in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, August 23, 2014.

Nashville responds to Ferguson

Protests have emerged arcross the country in response to the recent tragedy and subsequent events in Ferguson, Mo. Vanderbilt students joined the rally in downtown Nashville this weekend, demanding equality and justice in the Nashville community By CARI DRINNON News reporter --------------------

To a random passerby, the protest might not have looked like much. In the middle of downtown Nashville, roughly 100 people stood in the blazing heat, listening to rallying cries ring out from a bullhorn, the sound of country music and honky tonks buzzing in the background. Amidst cries of “no justice, no peace, no racist police,” protesters of various races and ages waved handmade signs that demanded equality and retribution in the Nashville community and across the country. Showing that Nashville is not immune to the problems and protestations seen through recent events in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 23, Nashville residents participated in the We Will Not Go Back March and rally, demanding change from the Nashville Metro Police Department. Several Vanderbilt students attended the protest, showing support and raising awareness through calls for equality and police transparency. Vanderbilt senior Agbo Ikor feels that students should realize that issues affecting Ferguson are also prevalent among the Vanderbilt community. Ikor said that minority students at Vanderbilt should engage with the campus on these issues.

“As Vandy students, we need to see that these issues are real and affect our lives,” Ikor said. “Vandy has become more diverse and we are not going to be silent.” Many Vanderbilt students participating in the protest were happy to see the Nashville community stand up and lend their voice to Ferguson. “Even though they are not directly impacted, the Nashville community is so strong behind the issue,” said Vanderbilt junior Trey Dodson, remarking on the amount of people that came out to support the protestors in Ferguson. Dodson noted how excited he was to see a large number of Vanderbilt first-years show up for the cause, calling their activism a “good sign.” As minority students, sophomores Takeydra Jones and Elizabeth Nichols spoke about wanting a better, safer future for family and friends that encounter racial discrimination. “I have a 15-year-old brother,” Jones said. “And I think that’s reason enough to protest for racial equality.” Nichols, also worried about her younger siblings, stressed the importance of getting their message out into the community. The protest, which was organized on Facebook by a group called the Brown Justice Chasers, began with a march through downtown Nashville and culminated in a two-hour rally at the

Metropolitan Justice Center Police Department. Speeches given throughout the afternoon called for an end to police brutality and racial profiling, justice and peace for people of all races, and more awareness of these problems in Nashville. Nashville Metro Police officers oversaw the crowd, handing out bottles of water to combat the 100-degree temperature and offering support to the protestors. “We support the community’s right to march,” spokeswoman Kris Mumford from the Metro Police said on the topic. “We are always open to dialogue from any group.” According to The Tennessean, the Brown Justice Chasers is a student-led group at historically black Tennessee State University that launched immediately after the Brown shooting , self-proclaimed as being a live news stream for Brown communities, has organized events in support of the Ferguson protests throughout all of Nashville. The group has hosted rallies, petitions, and candlelight vigils and are now planning an organized bus ride from Tennessee to Ferguson — The Black Life Matters Ride. This ride will take place over Labor Day Weekend.

See page 6 for more student perspectives on Ferguson





Vanderbilt students from Ferguson area share perspective Vanderbilt seniors Kristen Ingram and Erin Lee both grew up in the Ferguson area. Below is a transcription of their thoughts concerning the events taking place near their home By Kelly Halom, News editor Q: Describe your relationship to the city of Ferguson. A: I actually live in St. Louis City, which is about 15-20 minutes away from Ferguson, but I have a lot of friends and family and church family out there that live in the area or near it as well, so I frequent the area. Q: What do you feel like Vanderbilt students might not understand about the situation by reading the news that as a member of the community you would want to share with them? A: I think that the main takeaway is that even though this tragKristen Ingram, senior edy received national attention and a lot of people have been BOSLEY JARRETT / THE VANDERBILT HUSTLER talking about it, I don’t want people to think of it as an isolated event, but realize that there’s history and relationships and lots of tension and emotion and frustration that has been going on for a very long time that kind of led up to the event. So a lot of the reactions and how the event is being dealt with politically and socially too has a lot to do with the history of St. Louis, and not even St. Louis but in the United States ... People are not feeling safe and not feeling at home in their own communities ... When I was younger, my dad used to live in an area really close to Ferguson, and he would be stopped nearly every day and ticketed for various reasons, and it was kind of like being harassed. Q: How do you think the Vanderbilt community and/or the City of Nashville should respond to the events in Ferguson? Though incited by a tragedy, are there lessons to be learned and applied to our own community here? A: For both Nashville and Vanderbilt, just when this all kind of dies down as things tend to do, especially when the trial comes and then there’s a verdict, not letting it stop there, continuing to have conversations, continuing to learn about why an incident like this might have occurred and even been possible. As Vanderbilt students and as the Nashville community, making this a wakeup call to change this community and in ways that we can help people in Nashville that probably deal with instances and tragedies such as this or situations that could cause something like this, because this could happen anywhere.

Q: Describe your relationship to the city of Ferguson. A: I was born there, so I lived in Ferguson until I was about 10 … The house I grew up in is about a mile from the QuikTrip that has been kind of ground zero for the protests. After high school, my sister moved back to Ferguson, so she lives about two blocks away from the police station and also works there at Ferguson Brewing Company. Q: What do you feel like Vanderbilt students might not understand about the situation by reading the news that as a member Erin Lee, senior of the community you would want to share with them? BOSLEY JARRETT / THE VANDERBILT HUSTLER A: I would say in my experience it seems like the media is making it look like there is a lot of racial tension within the community rather than just between the authority figures and the community, whereas I haven’t really experienced that sort of racial tension, and that might be because I am a white member of the community, I’m not sure, but I haven’t felt it very strongly there. I also feel like there hasn’t been enough of an emphasis on the positive things about Ferguson, like the fact that people are going out every morning to clean up the damage that the looters are doing, even though most of the looters are not actually from Ferguson. They’re from the surrounding areas and some are even coming from out of state. Q: How do you see generational differences in how the people of Ferguson are interpreting the events there? A: I definitely think my parents’ generation sees it more as a racial issue, whereas my generation sees it more as a poverty issue. My sister and I got into kind of an argument with my parents because we were kind of saying that we need to think about why people are looting, and kind of what led them to that, rather than discounting them as criminals and not really rationally thinking about it, so I feel like our generation is maybe more accepting and wanting to kind of work through it and figure out how we can prevent this from happening rather than discounting the entire process as a criminal issue.







opinion TWITTER

ROUNDUP Good luck & best wishes to @VandyFootball & @CoachDerekMason this week & all season long! Go Dores & #AnchorDown -@coachjFranklin @coachjfranklin Thanks for the kind words. @VandyFootball wishes you and your Staff a healthy and successful 2014 season. -@CoachDerekMason




or many Vanderbilt students is a senior in the College of Arts and and administrators, racism is Science. He can be just a stain in the carpet. Nothreached at joshua. ing some White savior alcohol everett@vanderbilt. and paternalistic elbow grease can’t fix edu.

@coachjfranklin Good luck dodging volcanoes in Ireland!! #AnchorDown-@ DerekMasonYo I am so hype for @VandyFootball you would think a brotha hadn’t graduated yet lol - @suttonimpaQt Vandy football is never gonna get the respect it deserves... I swear man #underdog -@bjaw10 Vandy football has so little idea who will play this year that there are no players on the cover of the media guide -@ benweinrib At my first camp stop - my alma mater - I realized why Derek Mason can take Vandy even higher than James Franklin ht-@DanWolken Just got my grad student ticket and I’m getting SO PUMPED for Vandy’s first football game #anchordown -@AmyOksol Had a parent tell the teacher their child would be late to school on Friday due to @VandyFootball game Thursday night. #honest #AnchorDown -@principalmel Robinette: I don’t know if anybody can be Jordan Matthews. But all the WRs have the ability and talent to make plays. -@ vandyfootball Patton Robinette is the 1st Tennessean to open a season as Vanderbilt’s starting QB since Jeff Brothers @coachbroshow

vanderbilthustler EDITORIAL BOARD TYLER BISHOP, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF editor@vanderbilthustler.com


NEWS EDITOR news@vanderbilthustler.com

LIFE EDITOR life@vanderbilthustler.com



OPINION EDITOR opinion@vanderbilthustler. com


No, race is not a ‘problem’ at Vanderbilt

Hey @coachjfranklin keep the word Vandy out of your mouth - @BFeens4



“The ubiquity of Greek culture represents the covert silencing of those who, either by virtue of their racial identity or lack of social capital, find themselves on the fringes of student culture.“

SPORTS EDITOR sports@vanderbilthustler.com

with a few good scrubs. This attitude was exemplified in a quote from a recent Hustler article called “Focusing on Race” when an anonymous VUceptor lamented that too much discussion about race would give the first-years “an extreme impression of the issue being a major problem in the Vanderbilt community.” This VUceptor was at least half right. Racism is not a “problem” at Vanderbilt: It’s an epidemic. Vanderbilt was founded as an institution primarily tailored to rich, White, Southern men. In the early 20th century, it was home to the Southern Agrarians, a White supremacist group who argued for a return to Southern values. It was the school that kicked out civil rights legend James Lawson for his role in helping to organize sit-ins in Nashville during the civil rights movement. It’s also the school that still has a Confederate Memorial Hall, and while Vanderbilt’s student population has diversified, it still has a virtually all-White upper administration. One can see the impact of this lack of diversity in how administrators respond to matters of race. For example, for several weeks during the spring semester, Coach Mason’s mural resembled blackface caricatures of the Jim Crow era. Around the same time, a terribly anti-Semitic phrase was placed on the pedestrian bridge of the 21st Avenue South side of Medical Research Building III. Provost McCarty rushed to send out an email to the entire student body about how the university deplored the latter display and how he found it troubling “that there are many in our community for whom the significance of the phrase and its racist and

hate-filled connotations are unknown or unclear.” However, the provost failed to make a peep about the racist image of the school’s Black football coach. This leads one to the conclusion that he was either indifferent toward the “fear, anxiety and anguish” that this mural brought to Black students on campus, or he suffered from the same racial ignorance that he bemoaned of the student body. To be fair, I know for a fact that Black faces in high places don’t always ameliorate the problems of racism. As Black Power activist H. Rap Brown put it, “Racism systematically verifies itself anytime the slave can only be free by imitating his master.” When the Vanderbilt chapter of the NAACP appealed to the administration to do something about the Coach Mason mural, athletic director and vice chancellor David Williams basically told us it wasn’t his problem. When Vanderbilt was invested in Emergent Asset Management, a corporation that stole land from SubSaharan African farmers, former chief investment officer Matthew Wright insisted on defending this imperial venture. Sadly, having these two highranking Black officials in administration did not make much difference because their behavior resembled that of the oppressor. The student culture on campus reflects the racial quagmire that we see on an administrative level. The predominantly White Greek community makes up more than 40 percent of the student population and has tremendous influence on every aspect of student life. It is common knowledge during VSG elections that the winner is often the candidate who can appeal to Greek interests most convincingly. So it’s not surprising that most student body presidents since the inception of VSG have been Greek. It’s also not surprising that cabinet demographics tend to reflect this trend as well. The

The Vanderbilt Hustler Opinion page aims to stimulate discussion in the Vanderbilt community. In that spirit, columnists, guest columnists and authors of letters to the editor are expected to provide logical argument to back their views. Unreasonable arguments, arguments in bad faith or arguments in vain between columnists have no place in The Hustler and will not be published. The Hustler welcomes reader viewpoints and offers three methods of expression: letters to the editor, guest columns and feedback on vanderbilthustler.com. The views expressed in lead editorials reflect the majority of opinion among The Hustler’s editorial board and may be supposed to represent the opinion of The Vanderbilt Hustler at the time of publication. They are not necessarily representative of any individual member. Letters must be submitted either in person by the author to The Hustler office or via email to opinion@vanderbilthustler.com. Letters via email should come from a Vanderbilt email address where the identity of the sender is clear. With rare exception, all letters must be received by 2 p.m. on the Sunday prior to publication. The editor

problem with the hegemony of White Greek culture at Vanderbilt does not lie in Greek life itself. Instead, the ubiquity of Greek culture represents the covert silencing of those who, either by virtue of their racial identity or lack of social capital, find themselves on the fringes of student culture and are unable to have much influence in the Vanderbilt community at an institutionalized level. This is the reason that it is acceptable for MLK Day to coincide with the infamous Black Monday. It’s the reason why cultural organizations like the Multicultural Leadership Council are embraced so long as they appease the institutional paradigm while giving the university a superficial example of diversity over which to laud themselves. It’s the reason that cultural adjustments and initiatives are made only at the behest of student protest. It’s the reason that White administrators get lavish bonuses while Black and Brown staff workers live in poverty. Vanderbilt was never meant for minorities. While we represent a diversifying America, we have yet to resemble the major benefactors of this institution. No matter how many brochures or MOSAIC weekends we get pimped for, we’re constantly reminded of where and with whom the real power lies. If Vanderbilt is genuinely interested in making this campus a more inclusive and welcoming environment for culturally diverse students, it has to stop whitewashing the root cause behind the lack of cultural competence on this campus. It has to call the racist beast by name and own all its implications. It has to stop subscribing to superficial, temporary solutions that seek to control minority student movements instead of respect them. It has to recognize that White supremacy is the foundation on which Vanderbilt was built. And in order to truly make a better Vanderbilt for everyone, that foundation must be uprooted.

reserves the right to edit and condense submissions for length as well as clarity. Lengthy letters that focus on an issue affecting students may be considered for a guest column at the editor’s discretion. All submissions become the property of The Hustler and must conform to the legal standards of Vanderbilt Student Communications, of which The Hustler is a division. The Vanderbilt Hustler (ISSN 0042-2517), the official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University, is published every Wednesday during the academic year except during exam periods and vacations. The paper is not printed during summer break. The Vanderbilt Hustler allocates one issue of the newspaper to each student and is available at various points on campus for free. Additional copies are $.50 each. The Vanderbilt Hustler is a division of Vanderbilt Student Communications, Inc. Copyright © 2014 Vanderbilt Student Communications.




Equality in name only? How Vanderbilt promotes a discriminatory insurance policy


MICHAEL ZOOROB is a junior in the College of Arts and Science. He can be reached at michael.j.zoorob@ vanderbilt.edu.

ike many universities, Vanderbilt aspires to promote diversity and inclusion. The university requires its first-year students to discuss racism and the importance of pluralism, and its official policies include a promise to not discriminate in university programs. There is even an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department whose “core values include equity, diversity, inclusiveness, accessibility and accommodation.” In light of the university’s seeming commitment to equality, I found it particularly vexing to receive a letter from Vanderbilt, accompanied by a signed note from the bursar, promoting a policy that is patently discriminatory. Vanderbilt offers a “tuition-insurance” plan issued by A.W.G. Dewar, Inc., which provides reimbursement of education fees should a student withdraw from the university for medical reasons. The plan explicitly specifies that withdrawals caused by “mental health conditions” are given a 60-percent refund while a 100-percent refund is given for “injury and sickness.” The plan also indicates that withdrawals precipitated by addiction or substance abuse receive zero compensation. On the face of it, the plan suggests


Is post-traumatic stress caused by being robbed at gunpoint a less valid reason for withdrawing from college than a football injury?

either that mental illness is equivalent to three-fifths of a physical illness or that 40 percent of doctor-certified mental illnesses are feigned. Neither of these claims is borne out by any evidence. Rather than aiding a vulnerable student, the plan adds another layer of financial stress to a person likely facing a cascade of problems, possibly impeding his or her return to Vanderbilt. This practice makes for an incoherent insurance policy, since it provides significantly less coverage for the illnesses most likely to warrant withdrawal. A 2009 study at 10 universities found that having clinical depression was the strongest predictor of withdrawing from college. So giving less coverage for mental illness is rather like having car insurance that provides 40 percent less coverage when your accident involves another car. Moreover, distinguishing between mental and physical illness to provide


unequal service perpetuates stigma against psychiatry and psychiatric illness — the idea that mental illness is “less real” than physical illness, or worse still, that someone is more blameworthy for having a mental illness than a physical one. The practical implications of this policy are jarring to the point of ineffability. Why should a student suffering from depression because a person raped her receive a 40-percent-reduced reimbursement compared to a person struck by the “kissing disease”? Is post-traumatic stress caused by being robbed at gunpoint a less valid reason for withdrawing from college than a football injury? The policy also violates the spirit, if not the letter, of federal law. In 2008, Congress passed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires equal coverage for mental illness, including substance abuse, in

health insurance plans. Hence, as The New York Times writes: “This would probably be illegal if tuition refund policies were deemed health insurance, instead of insurance that just happens to be based solely on your health.” Since 2010, Vermont has required that colleges in the state provide equal coverage for withdrawal due to mental illness. Prompting the change was a complaint by a University of Vermont student named Sherry Williamson, a registered nurse who suffered from depression. “I couldn’t believe that UVM, which tries to promote diversity and be all-encompassing, would take on a policy that was clearly discriminatory,” Williamson said in an interview. By choosing to contract with A.W.G. Dewar, Inc. under these terms, Vanderbilt University is complicit in unambiguous discrimination against people with mental illness. This is unacceptable for an institution that claims to be forward-looking and antithetical to the welfare of its students. Renegotiating a nondiscriminatory plan is essential if the university’s commitment to equality is more than skin-deep.

Breaking the ice (bucket): the problems of viral slacktivism DALTON AUTREY is a senior in the College of Arts and Science. He can be reached at dalton.h.autrey@ vanderbilt.edu.



f in the past week or so you’ve logged into any of your social networks, you’ve undoubtedly heard of (and likely have been challenged to do) the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. As a friendly disclaimer, if you’re someone who has gotten caught up in this trend, you may detest everything I’m about to say: If you’re unfamiliar with ALS, it stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, perhaps more popularly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s the most common of motor neuron diseases, which affect the ability to control motor functions ranging from swallowing to muscle spasms. What’s worse, the prognosis of someone diagnosed with the disease is very grim, with most people surviving for little more than three to five years after its onset. In the past few weeks, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral. This challenge has raised more than $50 million over its short duration. In this way, the Ice Bucket Challenge has been a large boon for ALS research.

So, what’s the harm of this challenge if it’s had such a positive impact? One of the largest issues is that while this viral challenge has done an excellent job of raising awareness that “something called ALS exists and is bad,” it has not effectively educated the public as to what exactly ALS is nor any understanding of whom it affects. A major goal of any purported awareness campaign is to increase understanding of an extant problem. Unfortunately, given the nature of the challenge, no information about ALS is transferred and there is no incentive for people to research what Lou Gehrig’s disease is. If this awareness is one of the objectives of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, it has not been particularly successful. Another major problem of this challenge is that for the bit of good it actually does, it also causes some harm. According to the United Nations, around 800 million people do not have access to clean water; furthermore, 2.5 billion do not have access to adequately sanitized water. Those of us who live in developed countries like the U.S.

may be ignorant to the fact that we are fortunate to have such a safe water infrastructure. In doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — a largely (if not wholly) first-world thing to do — people are generally wasting clean water to soak themselves on video: that is, water which at least a third of the world’s population may not have adequate access to. Can you imagine showing a compilation of all the wasted clean water to a thirsty child or individual from a country or region which lacks such a luxury? Oh, also, add in the cost of electricity to refrigerate or freeze the water, to record the challenge and to share it across the Internet to others. Lastly, and arguably the most repugnant aspect of this trend, is that people are by far and large not doing this challenge for the people who suffer from ALS — they are doing it for the fun and social capital of the challenge. Again, people are dumping wasted water on themselves largely for the fun of the activity, not for those who suffer from this motor neuron disease. If you want to talk about marginalizing a class of people, this is one of the purest exam-

ples. Challenge yourself: When you now think of ALS, which comes to mind first or most prominently? The time you or some of your friends dumped freezing water on yourselves? Or someone who actually has to cope with this malicious, debilitating disease with virtually no chance of recovery? Many people are callously and ignorantly wasting clean water to soak themselves on video for an issue that they often do not know anything about. To leave this article on a more positive note, I recommend that you — rather than merely pour water on yourself or some of your friends — actually donate to the ALS Association. In doing this, you are helping fund both services that provide for people dealing with ALS and research on curing and preventing it. Additionally, look up clean water charities (such as charity: water) in order to help provide access to adequately sanitized water for people who lack access to this most basic of resources.







Shakespeare in the Park The annual Nashville Shakespeare Festival started already in mid-August, but it’s not too late to catch it yet — the production will run Thursday through Sunday until Sept. 14. This fall, the company is putting on “As You Like It,” and the production includes original Americana music by one of the actors in the play, a recognized songwriter.

Eat this, leave that: seafood around Vandy By PRIYANKA ARIBINDI Life editor --------------------

After a week of sampling new seafood selections at Rand, Commons and the Kissam Kitchen, The Hustler has found the menu items you can’t miss along with the ones you should definitely skip: EAT IT — Garlic shrimp at Kissam Kitchen Mediterranean Night at Kissam might be the new Tortellini Tuesday — for the uninitiated (read: freshmen), the latter is the one day of the week upperclassmen eat at Rand for the food rather than the convenience. The shrimp was firm and the garlic sauce was strong but not overpowering, which highlighted the fresh flavor of the seafood. The only downside was the slightly disappointing serving size, but Kissam’s vast selection of specialty sides and desserts along with options from the Munchie Mart leave little to be desired. LEAVE IT — Dogfish with carrot ginger puree at Chef James in Rand The introduction of a fresh sea-to-table concept is commendable for a landlocked school like Vandy, but when the execution is breaded dogfish, it falls flat. The fish was cooked well and the additional carrot ginger puree was on the right track as a complement to the crust, but the fish itself lacked flavor and the breading felt too heavy-handed to be contributing to a healthy meal. This one had all the makings of a good dish, but Chef James just missed the boat. EAT IT — Roasted salmon with sweet chipotle glaze at Chef’s Table in Commons If you see a glazed salmon entree at Commons, grab it while you still can. These go quickly, regularly selling out before the meal periods are over, and that’s because they’re some of the best entree options on campus. Commons salmon is basically restaurant quality — always succulent, with an exciting flavor profile like this variation or the Asian-inspired soy glaze, and cooked to perfection every single time. It’s odd that Commons can get it right week after week, while a mere 10 minutes away at Chef James, there’s Sahara-Desert-level dryness in every conceivable variation of salmon. While James may still claim the (newly modified) King Ranch chicken, Commons will always reign supreme over the seas.

John Kelly helps Rand lighten up Rand’s new chef is reimagining the classics and reinventing our menus By SAARA ASIKAINEN Managing editor --------------------

Usually it’s the students who move from The Commons to main campus, but this fall, Chef John Kelly is moving along with them as the newly instated chef at Rand Dining Center. Three and a half years ago, Kelly started as a senior cook at Rand and then moved on to The Commons Center dining hall, where he became the chef. As a part of the Commons Center team that made the dining hall a mainstay even among upperclassmen, Kelly made hismark. But after Rand’s former head chef was promoted to executive chef of Campus Dining this summer, Kelly took on the position of head chef on main campus. Based on the beginning of the semester and Kelly’s tenure, the chef has already made some changes at Rand. “The old menu was probably on a little on the heavier side as far as from a health standpoint. I like it to be a little bit more lighter and healthier — not so much heavy sauces, that went out in the ‘70s and ‘80s,” Kelly said.He has already started replacing sauces with purees in some cases, and red meatdishes are less prominent. The Rand chef’s reimagination of the menu is also directed by his perception of

Vanderbilt students as knowledgeable about food and health alike. “The students here, they are very well-fed, and a lot of them have lived out of restaurants and hotels most of their lives, so they know food, so the challenge is to keep up with the diversity of the student population — all the different nationalities, different religions and all the different areas they’ve come from, and to give a little bit of everything to everybody,” Kelly said. To respond to both challenges, Kelly aims to incorporate more fish into the menu. Working at The Commons Center, Kelly has found that fish is generally very popular — even when it’s called dogfish. He recalls an instance when he had 100 pounds of the fish ordered toThe Commons, and the kitchen still “couldn’t keep up” with the students’ demand. Kelly is familiar with using fresh fish because of his previous experiences working in East Coast hotels. Now he is fond of using the Florida-based company Sea to Table, which utilizes the fish caught in the nets that is usually considered extraneous. The environmentally consciouscompany delivers the product at an affordable price the day after it has been caught, which is made possible by processing it by the sea and cutting out the “middleman markup.” Fish from Sea to Table will be served on Wednesdays and Fridays. Incorporating more fish is not all he wants to do. Along with adding a baked pasta side at Pi and Leaf, and the option to toast daily specials at the Randwich station, Kelly also plans to update Rand classics. One of the more popular classic dishes is the King Ranch chicken, which the chef reimagines as a deconstructed version that would feature a marinated chicken breast with sauce and chips on the side instead of chicken sauce on tortilla chips. Kelly said

that after trying out general changes on the menu, he may update even more Rand staples. Because the chef has only been on the job since mid-July, the process of inserting hispersonality into dishes old and new is still ongoing. Aside from the addition of fish, the plan is to phase in other new foods to eventually overhaul the entire menu — a job that Kelly thinks is about halfway done. “I had a short amount of time to get it to ground zero, if you will, just to start off, and then I’m going to spring off of that — really get crazy with ideas and assimilate that menu completely, 100 percent. Probably by the second semester there’ll be a whole lot more of me on that menu, so it takes a little time,” Kelly said. Looking back to his old kitchen at The Commons, Kelly promises that despite hisdeparture, some trademarks will always have their place in the freshman campus dining hall. “Commodore Chicken will always be there, and if I can figure out a way to bring a wok station over here, I’m going to do it,” Kelly said, referencing the popular dish built around crispy, glazed chicken or tofu. The real difference between The Commons and Rand for Kelly lies in the logistics. Between organizing 60 cooks, several different platforms, two kitchens and the thousands of dollars worth of food to ultimately serve between 4,500 and 6,500 meals a day, Rand is a largerscale operation than The Commons. He says that he prefers the Rand kitchen because it is his new home even if the limited space poses challenges. “It’s all kind of happening, a lot happening,” Kelly said. “We’re going through a food evolution here.”









Seniors Maja Majewski and Stacey Oswald bring Southern flair to a French delicacy with their business Good Macarons By Molly Corn, Opinion editor “We believe in real food, we believe in food with integrity and we don’t want to put colors in our food,” said senior Maja Majewski. “Or processed, artificial sweeteners like Splenda,” finished senior Stacey Oswald, Majewski’s friend and business partner. Oswald held up a bag of a nutty, greenish paste. “I home-made the pistachio paste for our pistachio honey macarons, and I feel they’re very representative of our food philosophy,” she said. Pistachio macarons are typically dyed green and have pista-


Majewski (left) and Oswald spend a day baking Good Macarons’ goods for the week. chio extract, but theirs are a natural cream color with a pistachio cream filling made of Oswald’s homemade paste and local honey from the farmers’ market. “We don’t really use any imitation flavors or extracts — our

pumpkin spice actually has pumpkin in it,” Majewski said. Oswald and Majewski are the cofounders of Good Macarons, a small operation run out of Majewski’s kitchen that shells out approximately eight dozen artisan macarons weekly.



I really just wanted to do (with macarons) what Jeni’s did to ice cream.


Good Macarons’ story began last spring, when Majewski took a trip to Paris to visit a friend and found herself alone for the first couple of days. As a food lover, she eagerly took the advice of travel guidebooks that advised her to compare the macarons of Laduree and Pierre Herme, the top two contenders for best macarons in the world. After picking up cookies from both, Majewski sat down to taste macarons for the very first time. “They were so good and so unlike anything I’d ever had. They’re not at all what you’d expect in their texture or the intensity of their flavors. Macarons just deliver the flavor in such a bolder, different way,” she said. Majewski promptly signed up for a macaron class to learn how to make the cookies — a challenge, to be sure. Although it was a struggle at first, she pushed herself to continue making them when she returned home to Nashville, and after many botched attempts, Majewski began to perfect the art of creating them. “The shells are really a technical skill that I have learned from lots of practice. They are much less flexible, but we still try to incorporate flavors into our shells. Most traditional French macaron shells are simply dyed different colors — the shells don’t carry any real flavor. Our shells have things like ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cookies for our ‘Oreo’ flavor and other ingredients to infuse the flavor into

both elements of the pastry,” Majewski said. In order to pay for the ingredients to make more, she started selling her macarons to growing numbers of her friends, and this summer, Oswald joined in on Majewski’s business venture. “What made me feel really confident about bringing her on was that we have the same food philosophies,” Majewski said. Oswald has always loved cooking, and plans on attending culinary school after graduation next spring. “I mainly do the fillings, because it’s very creative for me and that’s what I love,” Oswald said. In addition to using locally made, responsibly sourced ingredients, the duo has taken inspiration from their environment, with their website listing flavors such as “Maple Knob Creek bourbon” and “Peach Truck peaches and cream.” Despite the fact that Oswald and Majewski share similar interests and that both lived in Murray House their freshman year, the two did not become friends until recently. “It’s really funny because we have always known of each other, and people would always tell us that we would really like each other and that we should hang out, but we never really did until this summer,” Majewski said. “We realized that we were not only compatible as friends, but that we could play off each other’s culinary backgrounds in a really cool way.” Food philosophies aside, what both would really like people to take away is the difference between a macaron and a macaroon. Macarons are a French recipe that consists of two shells made from almond flour with a buttercream, ganache, whipped cream or jam filling. Macaroons, “with two Os,” are the American cookie made with shredded coconut and condensed milk. “Those take about five minutes to prepare, and these take about three days,” Majewski said. Good Macarons has three flavors available each week; they can be ordered online at www.goodmacaronsnashville.com.



Baking tips from the pros Oswald shares some tricks to bake the perfect snack: 1) Taste-tests are an absolute must. Before, during, after — there’s no other way to know your treats are turning out the way you want them. 2) A recipe isn’t always one for perfection. You may have to experiment and adjust to get the flavor you want, but make sure you’re following measurements closely the first time around. 3) The best buttercream isn’t just butter and powdered sugar. Try making a thick mixture out of flour and milk in a saucepan, cooling it and then adding it into a base of whipped butter, sugar and vanilla for better results. 4) Don’t default to mixers when using hands or a fork is just as good. Tools might make the baking process quick and easy, but the proof is in the pudding — or in this case, the macarons.





DO IT YOURSELF: DEREK MASON JARS Show some spirit for this football season and our brand-new coach by making your very own Derek Mason Jar By Priyanka Aribindi, Life editor


Gather supplies. Mason jar? Check. Mod Podge? Check. Lots of different-sized cutouts of Derek Mason’s head? Check. Check. Check.


Outline “Mason.” Preferably in glitter. If you couldn’t already tell, he’s the star.


Paint on the Mod Podge. Be generous here ­— you want your Dereks to stick, don’t you?


Finish up with some flair. More glitter — don’t question it.


Throw a Derek on the bottom. What else would you want to see as you down the last of your delicious drink on your way to the game?


Add your Dereks. The more, the merrier! With a face like that, who can resist?


Seal the Dereks. When it comes to football, we might have some abandonment issues, but with a coat of Mod Podge on top, your Dereks will never leave you. Hear that, Franklin? Never.


Voila! Fill up your Derek Mason Jar with our very own Mason’s Punch and tailgate your Thursday away. BOSLEY JARRETT / THE VANDERBILT HUSTLER



Mason’s Punch 2 parts Sparkling Grapefruit Izze 1 part Peach Minute Maid 1 part Sprite Zero Add ice as needed With a high of 93 degrees on Thursday, this kickoff calls for something sweet and summery, with a little kick of its own if you’re of age (we recommend gin). Serve up enough of The Hustler’s spritzer for you and your friends with a single meal swipe at the Rand Munchie Mart, and stock up on the ice to keep it cool.





sports SEC POWER RANKINGS: PRESEASON Each week, I rank the teams in the SEC 1-14. This week, Nick Saban is back, Johnny Football is not, and Vanderbilt enters the Mason Era.

By ANTHONY TRIPODORO Sports writer --------------------

1. No. 2 Alabama The Crimson Tide dropped two straight to close last season, including the unforgettable Iron Bowl against Auburn that ended with Chris Davis’s field-goal return game-winner, which is the equivalent of the apocalypse for any team coached by Nick Saban not named the Miami Dolphins. It doesn’t matter if the starting quarterback turns out to be Florida State transfer Jacob Coker (who competed with Heisman winner Jameis Winston for the starting job before last season) or senior Blake Sims because Saban hasn’t slept since his team’s bowl loss to Oklahoma last year, and he will most certainly unleash hell upon every team that stands in his way this season.

THE BIG STAT Average weight, in pounds, of the freshman offensive and defensive linemen


This is how we see the Commodores doing this season, but with a young coach and an even younger team, anything can happen By Matt Lieberson, sports writer AUG. 28

VS. TEMPLE The Derek Mason Era begins not with a bang but with a yawn against Temple. The Owls did not play very good football last year, going 2-10 and finishing last in the mediocre American Athletic Conference. But the Commodores should not start planning ahead to Ole Miss just yet. Quarterback Patton Robinette has to seize his starting opportunity, since he will have Johnny McCrary and Stephen Rivers breathing down his neck all season. Vanderbilt has a prime opportunity to make a good first impression and set the tone for the entire season.

PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 27, Temple 10

2. No. 6 Auburn Quarterback Nick Marshall should excel even further in his second year in head coach Gus Malzahn’s offense, despite the loss of running back Tre Mason. But it won’t be enough because Nick Saban is the coach of Alabama, Auburn has to play Alabama again this year, and what happened last year will never ever happen again.

3. No. 12 Georgia Georgia’s ninth-stringers managed to go 8-5 last season. If running back Todd Gurley and the rest of the Bulldogs can stay on the field, expect them to win the SEC East and lose to Alabama in the SEC Championship.

4. No. 9 South Carolina Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks figure to be an extremely talented team in 2014, but they face a lot of question marks following the departures of quarterback Connor Shaw and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. We’ll find out what this year’s squad is made of early though, as South Carolina faces both Georgia and Texas A&M in the first month of the season.

5. No. 13 LSU Much like Saban and Alabama, Les Miles and the LSU Tigers don’t rebuild; they reload. Expectations remain high for LSU even though the team lost quarterback Zach Mettenberger and others. The defense should be solid as always, and the Tigers have a lot of young talent at the skill positions.

6. No. 21 Texas A&M Johnny Manziel went 10-15 for 85 yards against the Rams and got sacked by Michael Sam on Saturday.


SEPT. 6 (LP Field)


Now the fun really starts. After an absolutely heartbreaking loss to open last season, Vanderbilt has upped the ante against Ole Miss in 2014 by moving the game to LP Field in downtown Nashville. Ole Miss fans always travel well, and with such a large alumni base, it is possible that Rebel fans could take over Broadway and make it an Ole Miss home game. More troubling, though, is that Ole Miss is a better football team this year. Ranked No.18 in the preseason AP poll, the Rebels had eight players named to preseason All-SEC teams. With its stellar recruiting class of 2013 maturing, Ole Miss should be ready to compete in the SEC. However, it is hard to believe that Vanderbilt will roll over after a loss like last year’s. With the nation watching on ESPN, if Vanderbilt is ready to compete for SEC titles like Derek Mason claims, this is a must-win game. There is no way the team will not treat it like one. If the offensive line can control stud defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, and if Vanderbilt’s young defensive backfield can keep senior quarterback Bo Wallace in check, the Commodores have a chance to pull off an upset. Those are big ifs, but not completely unfathomable. Another barnburner is in the cards, and so is a Vanderbilt victory.

PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 28, Ole Miss 24

SEPT. 13

VS. UMASS Vanderbilt’s poorest game of last season possibly came against UMass, which is still struggling to adjust in its third year of FBS

football. UMass remains one of the worst teams in football, even though the Commodores only managed a close 17-10 victory in Massachusetts last year in a paltry effort. Vanderbilt should not have much trouble with the Minutemen this season, as the Commodores will want to forget the memory of their debacle against UMass in 2013. This game falls on Family Weekend at Vanderbilt — less than a month after most families dropped their kids off at school. Why is this Family Weekend? Not only is this a bad football game, but the timing is also so close to the start of school that it seems silly to have parents in Nashville so soon after. This is likely the biggest issue that Vanderbilt will have this weekend, as UMass should not pose a problem.

PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 34, UMass 3

SEPT. 20

VS. SOUTH CAROLINA Vanderbilt always seems to give South Carolina a hard time, even though the Gamecocks have been one of the best teams in the SEC for the last five years. Maybe South Carolina takes the Commodores for granted, but this game has recently been one of the best on Vanderbilt’s schedule. The feat of keeping pace with the Gamecocks continues to get harder, as South Carolina comes into the season ranked No. 9 in the country. But Vanderbilt falls in the middle of two tough matchups, with No. 12 Georgia the week before and No. 24 Missouri the week after. Expect another close game, but South Carolina will again be just a little bit too much for Vanderbilt.

PREDICTION: South Carolina 20, Vanderbilt 13

SEPT. 27

AT KENTUCKY Kentucky’s football team is nothing to sneeze at this season. The team returns 15 starters under second-year coach Mark Stoops, and comes into the 2014 season hungry for its first SEC win in 16 games. The Wildcats’ best opportunity may be this game in Lexington, and they will probably treat it as such. Kentucky recently settled its quarterback situation, choosing sophomore Patrick Towles. Vanderbilt will look to make the young passer struggle in the Commodores’ first road game of the year, and if Derek Mason’s defense hits as hard as he says it will, Towles will have a long day.

PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 21, Kentucky 13



OCT. 4

NOV. 8

The biggest upset of Vanderbilt’s 2013 season was a thrilling 31-27 win over the Bulldogs in Nashville. However, last season was a serious struggle for Georgia in the health department. Heisman candidate running back Todd Gurley was not playing for Georgia, and his presence in this game will put Vanderbilt’s defensive line and linebackers to the test. It also bears mentioning that one of the worst rules in sports helped the Commodores win this game, as Vanderbilt benefited from two targeting calls. A potentially angry Georgia team looking to avenge last season’s loss in Athens will be too much for the Commodores to handle.

Vanderbilt stole a win in The Swamp last year (for the first time since the creation of the United Nations) in what was an unmitigated disaster of a season for Florida. Quarterback Jeff Driskel is hoping to help the Gators bounce back after their first losing season since 1979. With coach Will Muschamp on the hot seat, this is one of the most desperate football teams in the country, and they’ll play that way. Florida comes to Vanderbilt Stadium in the middle of playing Georgia and South Carolina, so it’s possible that the Gators could overlook this one. However, Muschamp will be coaching for his job, so he’ll have Florida ready to go. This team won’t underachieve like last year’s Gators, and Florida will be a tough test for Vanderbilt again.


PREDICTION: Georgia 34, Vanderbilt 14



7. Florida The Gators will be better than last year, when they were decimated by injuries and dropped eight straight to close the season at 4-8. Quarterback Jeff Driskel is back and should thrive under new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, whose hurry-up scheme invigorated Duke last season.

8. No. 18 Ole Miss Hugh Freeze’s team is very talented and very deep. The sky’s the limit, but the team has to prove its worth by winning the big games and having fewer hiccups than in last season.

PREDICTION: Florida 28, Vanderbilt 20

VS. CHARLESTON SOUTHERN One of the motley teams Vanderbilt scheduled out of conference, Charleston Southern, comes from the Big South Conference in the FCS. The Buccaneers actually had a successful 2013 season, going 10-3. If the Commodores have trouble here, though, their bowl chances are in serious jeopardy. Vanderbilt seems to schedule its out of conference opponents specifically to ensure wins, and should we fail to win, the system of scheduling these awful teams will be rendered more frustrating than it already is.

PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 38, Charleston Southern 10

OCT. 25

AT MISSOURI Missouri took the SEC by surprise last year, making a run to the SEC title game and beating Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. Missouri carved up Vanderbilt last October in Nashville to the tune of a 51-28 blowout. Though quarterback James Franklin (hurts to type, even if it’s a different one) is no longer in Missouri, Maty Mauk may have even more talent. In Columbia, Vanderbilt will struggle with Mauk’s skills and the Tigers’ hard-hitting defense.

PREDICTION: Missouri 30, Vanderbilt 17

NOV. 1

VS. OLD DOMINION Old Dominion is starting its first year in the FBS, and its games against FBS competition last year, to be blunt, went terribly. The Monarchs lost 47-10 to Maryland, and 80-20(!) to UNC. Unless they managed to have a top-25 recruiting class, which they didn’t, their first full Division 1A season looks to be a serious struggle. Vanderbilt should take advantage of this and come away with an easy win in its last real cupcake game of the season.

PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 45, Old Dominion 7

9. No. 24 Mizzou Quarterback Maty Mauk gave Mizzou fans a reason to be excited about this year’s offense during his time filling in at the helm last season. The dismissal of star wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham really hurts though.

NOV. 22

AT MISSISSIPPI STATE Dak Prescott is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, rushing for 13 touchdowns last season and throwing for 10 more. He has been getting some dark-horse Heisman love, and he is the hardest quarterback in the SEC to defend outside of Nick Marshall. Starkville is always loud, making the Bulldogs a tough team to beat at home. But Vanderbilt catches Mississippi State in the middle of its schedule’s toughest stretch, as the Bulldogs play Alabama the week before and Ole Miss the week after.The Commodores, meanwhile, are coming off of a bye week. Vanderbilt should look to secure a bowl birth in this game, and if Caleb Azubike and Kyle Woestmann can contain Prescott, this is a winnable game for the Commodores.

10. Vanderbilt The Commodores lost a lot in the offseason between players from last year moving on, the departure of head coach James Franklin, and all of the recruits and assistants Poach Franklin took with him to Penn State. New head coach Derek Mason looks like he could be the Xs and Os type of coach that Vanderbilt needs to take the program to the next level, but it is not realistic to expect those kinds of results this season with so many new players being thrust into starting spots for the first time. Patton Robinette will start at quarterback over Stephen Rivers and Johnny McCrary for now, but regardless, expect the Commodores to go 6-6 and reach their fourth straight bowl game.

PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 23, Mississippi State 17

NOV. 29

11. Miss. St.

VS. TENNESSEE Last year’s Fake Jump Pass Game likely still has Butch Jones and the Vols licking their wounds, as Vanderbilt ended Tennessee’s bowl hopes in one awkward motion. The vaunted recruiting classes of recent years likely have Tennessee feeling confident that it can reclaim its mantle as the best college football team in the state. Five-star wide receiver Josh Malone joins a talented group of receivers that could be among the best in the country, and that matches up with a rebuilt Vandy defensive backfield that returns no starters. Nobody really knows, though, how well the Vol recruits will pan out in their first season of SEC football. Also, the Vols do not return a single starter on either the offensive or defensive line. That inexperience might be the doom of the team in orange when it comes to Nashville. Vanderbilt is enjoying an unprecedented streak of success against UT, flipping the script on decades of history. No self-respecting Vanderbilt student newspaper would pick UT to beat Vandy in anything. Vanderbilt will finish 8-4 and continue to drive the Rocky Toppers insane.

PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 27, Tennessee 21

Mississippi State looked promising at the end of last season when it beat Ole Miss and then won its bowl game, but I’ll be damned if The Hustler ever has Miss. St. over Vanderbilt in our own power rankings before a game has even been played.

12. Tennessee They weren’t very good last year, and they shouldn’t expect to be much better this year because they can’t stop fake jump passes, which all coaches agree is key to winning football games consistently.


OCT. 11


I was trying to think of the name of any Arkansas football player, and the only one I could come up with was Darren McFadden. Darren McFadden last played for the Razorbacks in 2007.

14. Kentucky This SEC school has a football team. It isn’t as good as its basketball team. (Weeks without a basketball joke: 0)





In defense of the 3-4


August 29, 2013: Sophomore Caleb Azubike (55) and redshirt junior Kyle Woestmann combine for a sack of Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace (14) during the Vanderbilt - ‘Ole Miss football Game. The Commodores fell to the visiting Rebels 39-35.

Derek Mason made a ‘turn of the century’ decision and transitioned back to the 3-4 By BEN WEINRIB Asst. sports editor --------------------

With the arrival of Derek Mason on West End, the most noticeable change will be on defense, where Vanderbilt will be switching to a base 3-4 defense for the first time since Woody Widenhofer coached at the turn of the century. Defense is how Mason earned his reputation, and he’s been using a 3-4 scheme ever since he coached defensive backs at Bucknell in 1999 when he was hired by thenBison defensive coordinator David Kotulski. Fast-forward 15 years, and Mason has hired Kotulski as his defensive coordinator at Vanderbilt this January. “I’ve known him very well for a long time,” Kotulski said. “The biggest thing is the quality of the man. We share a lot of very similar philosophies in terms of not just in football but in life. It’s the old Vince Lombardi deal: God, family and the Green Bay Packers. And it’s the same thing for us. We take care of those things, and we move on.” The duo worked together for two years at Stanford, and in their last season in Palo Alto, the Cardinal defense ranked third in the NCAA in rushing defense, 10th in scoring defense and 16th in total defense in 2013.

Mason was especially known for stopping fast-paced read-option offenses, so much so that NFL coaches came to him for advice. His defense held high-powered Oregon to an average of 17 points per game, despite the Ducks’ being second in the nation in scoring during that two-year span at 47.6 points per game. Kotulski, who will be calling defensive plays, has been developing his scheme over more than two decades of play calling. Having worked alongside well-decorated coaches like Jim Johnson, Jim Fassel, George Seifert, Buddy Ryan and John Fox, Kotulski has had his fair share of mentors. “You steal ideas and thoughts from a lot of different people,” Kotulski said. “The things that we do are a combination of a lot of years of seeing people do things and seeing what you like, what Coach Mason likes and what we like. We put those pieces together to make it work.” Employing the 3-4 scheme, Vanderbilt will now only use three defensive lineman for most plays, all of whom were classified as defensive tackles last season. The Commodores will also use a fourth linebacker, with all six returning defensive ends shifting to outside linebacker. The key position change is the defensive ends’ switching to outside linebacker. While they’ll still rush the passer frequently, they will also have to be more versatile, dropping back in coverage and playing in open space. Additionally, they’ll have to take more command of calling pre-snap adjustments themselves. “The versatility and what it allows us to do is the reason why you get it,” said outside

linebackers coach Kenwick Thompson. “We feel like we have more athletes on the field, so therefore we can handle more situations. We feel like the guys that play the outside linebacker position give us more flexibility than a defensive lineman on the field. That’s the key part of it.” That flexibility and versatility are big traits that the coaches desire in players. Those traits also influence how coaches hide formations. The more linebackers and defensive backs on the field, the harder it is for other teams to guess what the play call is. “In our nickel (packages), we have nine potential droppers,” Kotulski said. “Who’s rushing? Who’s dropping? Who’s covering? What coverage are we in? Hopefully we don’t send smoke signals or telegraph what we’re doing too often and keep the quarterbacks guessing.” Although the Commodore defense technically only returns three starters from last year, seven current starters received heavy playing time, including Caleb Azubike, who hasn’t actually started a game before. Mason will also have access to the most highly touted redshirt freshman class in school history; the class of 2013 ranked 19th overall by Rivals.com. Defensive lineman Jay Woods, linebacker Nigel Bowden, and defensive backs Oren Burks, Tre’ Bell and Ryan White were all named starters, and linebackers Zach Cunningham and Jonathan Wynn should receive plenty of playing time. “For me, talking to Coach (Brett) Maxie and just looking at the tape, the one thing you can’t deny is the best players need to play,” Mason said on starting so many freshmen over more seasoned veterans. “That’s

what you go with. I promised these guys when I put this team together that we’ll put the best players on the field.” Players have had fewer than eight months to adjust to the new defense, and although they don’t understand everything, they feel confident. Kotulski said if they improve on their communication, he’ll be able to add even more wrinkles to the defense as the year goes on. “At first, no one had any idea what they were doing on defense, and so it looked kind of chaotic,” said linebacker Kyle Woestmann. “As camp progressed, the pieces started coming together and you start to realize how to disguise, and how all the different looks can really mess with an offense, and how well it actually fits up to any scheme.” “It’s kind of complicated at times; I guess you could say that,” said safety Andrew Williamson. “Any time you learn a new defense, it kind of takes you for a spin at first. But once you go through it two or three times, you kind of get down and you get comfortable with it, and I feel like we’re pretty comfortable with it now. That shouldn’t be a problem.” For Mason, though, he’s ready to start his first regular season as a coach. And the success of his defense will come down to how well they play, starting with Temple on Thursday. “The only way you know where they’re at is to play a game,” Mason said. “You can scrimmage all you want to, you can have as many good practices as you want to. The proof is in the pudding.”





Jordan Cunningham & Trey Wilkins With the departure of Jordan Matthews and Jonathan Krause, Cunningham will be the most experienced member of a very young wide receiver corp.


Patton Robinette Robinette won a tightly-fought race for the starting job over transfer Stephen Rivers and redshirt freshman Johnny McCrary.

Running back

Ralph Webb With Jerron Seymour sidelined for a few more days, Webb will split carries with speedy Brian Kimbrow and 6-foot-1 freshman Dallas Rivers.

Offensive tackle

Andrew Jelks & Andrew Bridges Jelks was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team last year and will shift over to his natural position of left tackle. Will Holden could also see time.

Offensive guard

Jake Bernstein & Spencer Pulley The pair of juniors were very solid last year, especially in run-block scenarios, and will anchor potentially the strongest unit for Vanderbilt.


Joe Townsend Townsend is a potential All-SEC candidate after two straight seasons as Vanderbilt’s center. He is one of three team captains.


Kellen Williams With the departure of Fitz Lassing, Williams switched over from linebacker and will likely play a mostly-blocking role.

Defensive tackle

Adam Butler & Jay Woods Woods was one of the jewels of the Class of 2013 recruiting class, and Butler is poised for a breakout season. Although young, the defensive tackles are extremely talented.

Nose tackle

Vince Taylor Taylor will be more steady, but all eyes will be on Nifae Lealao, the most highly-touted recruit in Vanderbilt history, who is the largest lineman on the team at 6-foot-5 314 pounds as a true freshman.

Outside linebacker

Kyle Woestmann & Stephen Weatherly Caleb Azubike should assume a starting role once he catches up from missed time in camp, and redshirt freshman Jonathan Wynn is a breakout candidate.

Inside linebacker

Darreon Herring & Nigel Bowden The talent at linebacker is tantalizing with Herring and Jacob Sealand returning and redshirt freshmen Bowden and Zach Cunningham poised to play large roles.


Tre’ Bell & Torren McGaster Even though Vanderbilt lost both starters, McGaster and Paris Head played a good deal last year. The most impressive player in camp, though, was the redshirt freshman Bell.

Strong safety

Oren Burks The redshirt freshman is huge for a safety at 6-foot-3 212 pounds, and he could assume a role similar to Karl Butler last year as a hybrid safety-linebacker.

Free safety

Andrew Williamson Derek Mason called Williamson the best safety no one’s heard of. He had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries as a reserve last year.


Tight end

Steven Scheu Karl Dorrell’s offense likes to rely on tight ends, but after veteran Scheu, this group is largely unproven with Kris Kentera’s transition to wide receiver.



QB Patton Robinette


CB Torren McGaster (middle)

Ryan White White is slightly undersized at 5-foot-9, but the redshirt freshman has impressed during camp. He could also see time at safety.



Taylor Hudson Hudson and Colby Cooke are still neck-andneck for the starting job, so expect to see both throughout at least the beginning of the season.


Tommy Openshaw Openshaw has big shoes to fill with the departure of Carey “Murderleg” Spear. He has plenty of kicking power, but his accuracy has a ways to go.


Andrew East East was named a team captain for a second season in a row. This will be his fourth straight year as the starting long snapper.

Kickoff return

Darrius Sims Sims was one of three true freshmen to play last year for Vanderbilt, and he ranked sixth in the SEC with 22.8 yards per kick return.

Punt return

CJ Duncan Coaches praise Duncan’s athleticism — he was a dual threat quarterback in high school — and he should also make a large impact at wide receiver.






Answers to last week’s puzzle

Answers to last week’s puzzle


Profile for The Vanderbilt Hustler

The Vanderbilt Hustler 8-27-14  

The Vanderbilt Hustler 8-27-14