THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 2021
VOLUME CXXVIII | ISSUE II
BACK TO SCHOOL
Holladay said her daughter compared the
smell to that of a dead body. Boxes in the
hallways were filled with trash, and gnats hovered.
Holladay pulled beer caps, Taco Bell bags and
Cheetos from beneath the couch cushions. The
refrigerator and microwave had been repaired
with duct tape.
SEE PAGE 4A
CW / David Gray
The COVID-19 pandemic changed
the way sports fans around the world
watched their favorite teams and
athletes play. That included game days
here at Alabama.
Last season, the typical hot, early
September start was pushed back to
Oct. 4. Masks were required inside
the stadium. The Quad was unusually
quiet, as tailgating was not allowed.
Bryant-Denny Stadium was limited to
20% capacity, and the 20,000 fans and
students who snagged tickets had to
socially distance themselves.
Still, fans and students wandered
around the Walk of Fame, honoring
players of the past. Eager fans still
made their way to Houndstooth and
Gallettes to cheer on the Crimson
Tide. Families walked around the
Walk of Champions, reminiscing on
the game days of old.
Some fans embraced the new
normal at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama game days are back
Trent Aldrich, a senior majoring in
finance, found the perks of attending
“I was still able to sit with my
friends and be near them,” Aldrich
said. “I was still able to interact with
the people all around me, dance, yell. I
thought it was still a good time.”
This year, fans may not have to
work as hard to keep the energy up in
Tailgating is now allowed. The
Quad will be covered in tents, and
fans will mill around, enjoying food,
drinks and conversation. The local
bars and restaurants will accept
patrons clamoring for the best view of
the television screen.
Per the UA fall return plan,
masks are required indoors where
social distancing is not possible.
The University reinstated its mask
mandate on Aug. 6.
Last season, 20,000 spectators
were allowed for each game, but
the University hopes to open the
stadium to its full capacity of more
than 100,000 fans, which would excite
“The players that went out early for
the draft all had very sad eyes when
they said, ‘The thing that I regret most
is playing my last season and we didn’t
have 100% capacity,’” head coach
Nick Saban said to reporters during
SEC Media Days. “So, from a player’s
perspective, I know how important
it is for players to feel the energy,
feel the passion because it is a great
atmosphere and environment.”
Last season, that atmosphere Saban
described during Media Days was not
at the same level as in years past. Fans
like Alabama alumnae Abby Lofton
“It was different, but it wasn’t
terrible,” Lofton said. “It was pretty
fun. It wasn’t the most fun game I’ve
been to, but it was good.”
Much to Lofton’s delight, steps have
been taken to ensure a safe and fun
return to Bryant-Denny.
On Aug. 5, Saban announced
that the program will return to 2020
COVID-19 protocols. Alabama is
trying to become the second SEC
program — behind Ole Miss — to
reach full vaccination, all in an effort
to have fans return in full force.
“I’m hoping more and more people
will get vaccinated so we’ll have the
opportunity to do that,” Saban said. “I
know it means a lot to our players.”
According to the Mayo Clinic,
Tuscaloosa County is averaging 91
cases of COVID-19 a day. About
40% of people in Tuscaloosa County
have received at least one dose of
The University has also released
incentives in order to motivate
students to get vaccinated. Students
who choose to “Protect Our Herd”
will receive $40 in Bama Cash.
Students will also be entered in raffles
to win several grand prizes, including
housing scholarships, parking passes
and tickets to an away game for
Alabama football. Students have until
Aug. 28 — two weeks before the home
opener against Mercer — to receive at
least the first dose.
The path back to the energetic,
enthusiastic game days of old is paved.
The team is ready. Fans are ready.
Game days are officially back.
Editorial Board is
from the website.
Meet Tuska, the
new statue in front
The Tide is taking over
Tokyo again. Meet the
students heading to
chief copy editor
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chief page editor
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creative services Alyssa Sons
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BACK TO SCHOOL
August 19, 2021
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BACK TO SCHOOL
August 19, 2021
As we head into another academic year,
the editors at The Crimson White want
to make our platform more accessible to
our readers. It’s in this spirit that we have
remodeled our website.
Most notably, this remodel includes
the removal of the comment sections
This decision required weeks of
research and consideration from
the Editorial Board to ensure that
The Crimson White remains a
place of accessibility, accountability
The ability of readers to engage with
published content is fundamental to the
principles of journalism. In a seminal
1947 report on securing freedom of the
press, the Hutchins Commission, led by
University of Chicago President Robert
Hutchins, said a “forum for the exchange
of comment and criticism” is one of five
criteria for true freedom of press.
The ability to engage with content is
not just valuable; it is an inherent liberty.
It is not lost on us that this move may
appear contrary to that cause. If we aim
to increase accessibility, why take away
their means of response? In fact, we’re
seeking to make The Crimson White
more accessible than ever before.
By removing comments from
our website, we join a long list of
In the case of NPR, the decision was
not based on the goal of censorship
or control over the way their users
react to content. The decision reflected
their goal to ensure that the option to
comment actually served a real and
From their introduction on NPR’s
website in 2008 to their removal in 2016,
comments had transformed from an
exciting feature into a platform for trolls
NPR found that only a slim margin
of its audience used the commenting
function, and even fewer used the feature
in the intended way. Rather than engaging
with the content in a constructive way,
comments instead reflected primarily
THE EDITORIAL BOARD
bots, spam and inappropriate language.
Comments that featured inappropriate
or hateful language could even cause
a misinterpretation of the piece in
question, a phenomenon dubbed the
This represented an immense task for
workers at NPR who were responsible
for reviewing, verifying and removing
The tedious nature of this
responsibility detracts from a news
organization’s ability to do what it does
best: to inform. The labor required for
the minutiae of comment reviews takes
away from valuable time that could be
spent engaging with readers.
We found that the process of
verifying comments presents a hurdle to
productive viewer engagement. When
so much time is dedicated to removing
spam, we lose the voices of our readers.
It is for this reason that our decision
to remove comments is not an isolated
one. We must never remove one outlet
of communication without replacing
it with another,. It is our duty as a
platform to champion students. Taking
away the voices of the students at this
university would corrupt the intent of
Thankfully, we have been enriched by
a digital age. If a global pandemic had
occurred even a decade ago, we would
not be as equipped to remain connected
As we evolve from one innovation of
online comments, we seek to follow the
trend of technology and promote user
engagement in a new way. We encourage
readers to communicate with us through
social media, letters to the editor
In the spirit of following guidelines
such as the Hutchinson Commission, we
will never omit the opportunity for an
At The Crimson White, we welcome
reader feedback. By encouraging readers
to respond to our content, we hope to
establish a newspaper that is better, more
honest and more student friendly than
The Crimson White Editorial Board is composed of Editorin-Chief
Keely Brewer, Managing Editor Bhavana Ravala,
Engagement Editor Garrett Kennedy, Chief Copy Editor Jack
Maurer and Opinions Editor Ava Fisher.
CW / Leah Goggins
OUR VIEW: Comments should be constructive.
THE CULTURE DESK
The Crimson White’s culture desk
curated a playlist for all those moments
spent roaming around campus searching
for food, heading to classes or looking for a
shady spot to sit and study.
Everyone needs the perfect song to get in
the right mood before classes start. While
some may prefer study tunes or calming
classics, every playlist needs the song that
makes you feel ready for anything.
Although “Bad Girls” came out in 2012,
it’s still reminiscent of a more modern
sound. It’s the perfect mix of a catchy chorus
and uplifting beats that’ll have you bobbing
your head while walking across the Quad.
By Peach Pit
With incredible instrumentals and the
mellow voice of lead singer Neil Smith,
Peach Pit is a must-listen for indie-pop fans.
One of their more popular hits, “Alrighty
Aphrodite,” is the perfect blend for relaxing
after a long day. Although it’s mellow,
“Alrighty Aphrodite” is anything but boring,
featuring guitar solos and a catchy beat.
Through the metaphor of the Greek
goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, the lyrics
explore the feeling of wishing you had never
gotten involved with someone. Whether
you want to bob your head along in the
car or lie in bed and listen to the guitar
solo, “Alrighty Aphrodite” is a great end-ofsummer
on the day before.
While we are a collective organization,
we are also fellow students and peers
of our audience. We seek to not be
some faceless entity but a group of
recognizable individuals with open lines
The remodel of our online platform
will reflect this desire, with the contact
information of our editorial team. If a
reader has any question, comment or
concern, we are excited to communicate
with them through this outlet.
In addition to our contact information,
we aim to increase accessibility through
a clear and engaging web design. An
interface that is user friendly is crucial
to a good viewing experience. We
cannot expect our viewers to appreciate
our content if they have difficulty
This web design will include an open
and clear link for guest contributors to
submit pieces. As it currently stands,
many students are unaware that they too
are able to submit pieces to be considered
for publication. The ability to have one’s
unique view articulated in our platform
allows for diverse contributors from a
range of backgrounds and disciplines.
This enhances the ability of The
Crimson White to represent the people
it advocates for.
While a submission is not a guarantee
of publication, we welcome guests to
bring their expertise and experiences. If
you have an organization, involvement
or passion that reflects an important
consideration for our students, you
should consider seeking publication,
because journalism serves as one of
the best outlets to bring awareness to
forgotten and important subjects.
We look forward to hearing from our
viewers in these ways and to providing
them a better journalistic experience. As
we remove one means of engagement,
we do not suppress but actively invite
feedback. After all, what is a news
organization worth, if not for the readers
The best songs to start your semester
“Me & Mr. Jones”
By Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse’s iconic fusion of soul
rhythm and contemporary blues makes for
a smooth sound on her 2006 album, “Back
to Black.” The album is the second of two
studio albums in Winehouse’s discography.
Winehouse’s low, tight harmonies float
over a mellow arrangement of trumpets,
horns and a string bass, transporting the
listener into a smoky 1920s social club. The
song laments about Winehouse’s seemingly
perfect “Mr. Jones,” who has placed them
both in a tailspin of love, lust and heartbreak
all at once.
While “Me & Mr. Jones” carries the
usual moody tone of most of Winehouse’s
songs, its slow, swinging beat paired with
Winehouse’s growling vocals is perfect
for an early-morning drive to campus or
studying in Gorgas Library.
By Elton John
Elton John spares no expense in spectacle
or excitement with the 1975 release of
“Philadelphia Freedom.” The track appears
on “Captain Fantastic And the Brown Dirt
Cowboy,” his ninth studio album.
An infectious string and flute
arrangement greets the listener at the
beginning of the song, leading into John’s
cheerful, optimistic lyrics of craving the
adventure, love and freedom that come
with big-city living.
In a world that is falling apart at the
seams, “Philadelphia Freedom” is a fiveminute
escape into joyous melodies about
living your life authentically and openly, no
matter where you are.
By Chloe X Halle
Chloe and Halle entertained everyone
throughout 2020 with multiple live
performances to promote their sophomore
album “Ungodly Hour.”
“Do It,” the lead single, is an infectious
song that makes you want to dance every
time you listen. The beat catches your
Chloe and Halle complement and
contrast each other, making the song a great
one to choose for karaoke night. The song’s
lyrics detail the process of getting ready for
a party, making it the ideal song to play as
you get ready with your best friends for a
Nothing enhances the back-to-school
experience like listening to good music,
making new friends and creating new
By David Bowie
For many students, the advent of a
new year away at college is as exciting
as it is depressing. Leaving home can be
bittersweet, and rediscovering your niche is
difficult for some.
“Teenage Wildlife” is all about reflecting
on one’s place within a certain environment,
as well as the sense of displacement that can
result from any changes to a relationship.
Sometimes, when you’re feeling out of
place, you just need to have your “maincharacter
moment” to feel like yourself
again. With Bowie’s haunting, emotional
vocals, the prominent guitar tinged with
a sense of longing and the subtle piano
melodies, it’s easy to have a moment to this
By Bridgit Mendler
This iconic bop by Bridgit Mendler is
for people of all ages. She may be a Disney
Channel star from 2012, but her lyrics still
ring true today. This song brings back great
memories and will get you dancing and is
quintessential Disney pop.
“Hurricane” has a light and dancy
vibe heavy on ukulele with bouncy lyrics.
The song is from Mendler’s debut album
“Hello My Name Is..." which was released
with Hollywood Records. It will have you
nostalgic and in a lighthearted mood,
remembering the old days of Disney
“Party In The USA”
By Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus, a former Disney star,
released this song in 2009 to show her
audience that she has struggles too, but
she copes with them by dancing, singing
and staying positive. This song is played on
radio stations, at parties or even on TikTok.
BACK TO SCHOOL
August 19, 2021
Students save money and raise health
concerns at UA-leased apartments
UA Housing and Residential
Communities overbooked by about
800 students for fall 2021. The
University leased 815 beds from East
Edge and The Lofts at City Center to
accommodate the demand for oncampus
Some students who were relocated
to an off-campus apartment pay
less per month by leasing through
UA Housing compared to their
neighbors who rent through the
The University first encouraged
students to volunteer to live at an
off-campus apartment in late June.
It offered no direct incentives to
volunteers, except a 12-month lease
instead of the standard nine-month
lease for dorms.
Students who were relocated
to The Lofts or East Edge are not
required to purchase a meal plan.
Freshmen living in residence halls
are required to purchase an all-access
meal plan for $2,117 per semester.
Within weeks, the University
began notifying students that they
had been moved to The Lofts or
East Edge. Relocation to off-campus
housing was no longer voluntary.
HRC did not move freshmen off
campus, except those with nonfreshman
“We apologize for any
inconvenience, and we want to
assure you that we did not make this
change lightly,” the HRC email said.
“It was required by our need to meet
the housing demand from incoming
freshmen, who are required to live
The complexes were chosen after a
bid process once high numbers of new
The University of Alabama is
introducing new ways for students
and staff to get around campus this
year. Crimson Ride bus routes have
new names, and the buses will stop at
apartment complexes near campus.
These changes will be effective for the
fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters.
students necessitated more housing.
Senior Associate Vice President of
Student Life Steven Hood said the
University had successful leases with
both East Edge and the Lofts in the
past, and that this bid process was
separate from previous contracts.
Students who lease a unit at The
Lofts through UA Housing pay $3,700
per semester regardless of floor plan
— $800 less than the four-bedroom
suite rate for residence halls.
The Lofts’ four-bedroom floor
plans average about $3,700 for six
months. Through UA Housing,
residents pay the same $3,700 rate
regardless of floorplan for a fourbedroom
Two-bedroom apartments at
The Lofts average about $4,100 per
semester, so students leasing a twobedroom
apartment through UA
save $400 per semester.
At East Edge, three-bedroom units
cost about $4,500 for six months,
while students with a three-bedroom
unit through UA Housing pay $300
less for the same amount of time.
Residents who lease a studio
apartment at East Edge through UA
Housing get the best deal. Large
studio apartments cost around
$6,000 per semester, while those
who lease through UA Housing pay
$3,350 per semester.
Heather Holladay is the mother of
an incoming freshman. She said that
her daughter was notified on July 14
that she had been reassigned from
Lakeside West to The Lofts. One of
Holladay’s daughter’s roommates
is a sophomore.
Her daughter was scheduled for
an early move in date. Despite this,
her move-in date at The Lofts was
scheduled for Aug. 10. After several
emails and phone calls with UA
Housing, the move-in date was fixed.
When move-in day came, Holladay
As usual, staff and students can use
the free app Passio GO! to keep track
of where the buses are and when they
The new names of the bus routes
correspond to where the buses will
travel. These include the Coleman Route,
Perimeter Route, Hub Routes 1 and 2,
Bryce Routes 1 and 2, North and South
Rec Routes, and the Residential Route.
The buses will run from 7 a.m. until
9 p.m. Monday through Friday. On
weekends, the bus routes may change
said the management at the Lofts was
unprepared, and new problems began
when they made it to the apartment.
“We get to the second floor,”
Holladay said. “And literally all I
see is busted foam stuff everywhere,
boxes, trash bags. It looked like
stuff that had been pulled out of
apartments and just thrown out
into the [hallway]. ... It smelled
Holladay said her daughter
compared the smell to that of a dead
body. Boxes in the hallways were
filled with trash, and gnats hovered.
Holladay pulled beer caps, Taco Bell
bags and Cheetos from beneath the
couch cushions. The refrigerator and
microwave had been repaired with
duct tape. After three emergency
maintenance requests, Holladay said
the ice maker still showered water on
She said a maintenance worker
arrived during lunch one day to
replace the carpet in one of the
bedrooms. When her daughter
returned that night, Holladay said
the apartment door was open.
“I'm going oh, my gosh,” Holladay
said. “What have we just moved my
daughter into? This is not good.”
Despite their experience, Holliday
said it was fantastic that the
University had exceeded its housing
capacity for the semester, and felt
that it meant students were excited
to return to school.
Other East Edge residents have
raised their concerns about health
and safety. Resident Jared Goldstein
said he found mold in his shower.
He shared his concerns with other
East Edge residents who shared
similar stories of mold around their
apartment. Goldstein said he noted
his concerns on multiple feedback
forms from East Edge but was
“I think if UA acts on it, East
Edge will [work on the mold issue],”
Goldstein said. “I think if people like
me and you who only rent one bed
go to East Edge, they’re not going
to do anything.”
In January, an annual Tuscaloosa
Fire and Rescue Department
Environmental Assessment revealed
that multiple emergency lights at East
Edge required battery replacements,
liquid petroleum gas was illegally
stored in the riser room, and a fire
panel showed trouble. Only the gas
storage had been fixed by April 9, the
most recent report.
“We maintain our fire alarm and
emergency systems to ensure they are
working properly and according to
code,” East Edge said in a statement
to the Crimson White. “The systems
are all functioning, and we are in
the process of implementing certain
upgrades and repairs.”
East Edge said in a statement
on Monday that all systems are
functioning and it is in the process of
implementing upgrades and repairs.
They said that all service requests
and claims are addressed within 24
hours, and added that a third party
has investigated claims in the past.
“To date, the select instances
reported were not in public areas
and were determined to be caused by
improper upkeep by residents,” the
statement said. “These issues have
since been remedied.”
The Lofts cleared its 2021
TFR Environmental Assessment
Hood said the University will
conduct regular health and safety
inspections in the complexes, similar
to those in dorms, and they will be
conducted by UA staff.
“Our team and other campus
partners have been assisting with
final move-in preparation for
students that contracted through
HRC to live at The Lofts,” Hood
said. “While this is not typical when
a Master Lease is involved, to best
serve our students we chose to have
greater involvement in the cleaning
and repairs for students as they move
into their new assignment.”
Hood said the University has
utilized off-campus apartment
complexes in the past when
growth outpaces capacity, but will
reevaluate the need for off-campus
The Lofts at City Center did not
respond to requests for comment.
Editor’s Note: Zach Johnson is a
resident at one of the apartments
leased by UA Housing.
New bus routes, concierge service debut this fall
A Crimson Ride bus drives down University Boulevard. CW / David Gray
UA relocated more than 800 dorm
residents to the Lofts at City Center and
East Edge to accommodate enrollment
in the fall 2021 semester. CW File
depending on whether there is a home
Buses will also travel to more
apartments near campus to
accommodate off-campus students,
especially those who were forced off
campus due to over-capacity residence
halls on campus.
Last year, buses ran to a few
apartments, including The Lofts and East
Edge, but the University has expanded
to more apartments this year, including
The Bluffs, Evolve Tuscaloosa and The
These buses will operate during the
same times as the on-campus buses.
The routes will also operate 24 hours
on Saturdays and Sundays but are
subject to change during home football
The University will use an entirely
new service for faculty and staff
called Crimson Concierge. This van
transportation service will pick up
faculty and staff members exactly where
they are and shuttle them to meetings
or other destinations across campus
from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday
James Knickrehm, Associate Director
of Transit in the Office of Transportation
Services, said Crimson Concierge will
ensure faculty and staff can travel crosscampus
with fewer worries.
“Crimson Concierge will help
alleviate the stress of driving a personal
vehicle around campus looking for a
parking space close to the faculty or
staff member’s meeting. Additionally,
the service saves the faculty or
staff member time and money by
cutting the requirement to plan extra
time to traverse campus for their
meetings,” he said.
He said the University will upgrade
the program as necessary depending on
demand for transportation.
“As more faculty and staff register
and begin using Crimson Concierge,
Transportation Services will evaluate the
need for more vans and drivers to meet
the need,” Knickrehm said.
The service area includes the main
campus and the University Services
Campus. Faculty and staff can request a
ride using their myBama credentials on
the Crimson Concierge app or through
the ride request website.
The University also partners with
Tuscaloosa Transit. Anyone with an
ACT card can park at the Tuscaloosa
Downtown Intermodal Facility, a
large parking structure in downtown
Tuscaloosa, for free. Shuttles run from
there to campus every 30 minutes from
5 a.m. until 6 p.m.
BACK TO SCHOOL
August 19, 2021
COVID ON CAMPUS:
JACK MAURER & ISABEL HOPE
CHIEF COPY EDITOR & ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
As the semester kicks off, the delta
variant and new guidance from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention have
forced the University to modify its plan.
Most of the restrictions from last year are
gone, but masks are once again required
for everyone in indoor public spaces — at
least until September. The University is
paying students $40 in Bama Cash to get
vaccinated and giving away big-ticket items
in a raffle.
One of the most notable changes in
the health and safety plan the University
released in July was the removal of mask
requirements for vaccinated individuals
in most settings. At the time, this change
was in line with existing guidance from
One week later, however, the CDC
updated its recommendation in response
to new information about the delta variant,
recommending that vaccinated people
once again mask up indoors “in areas of
substantial or high transmission.” Such
areas now account for most of the U.S.,
including Alabama, where all 67 counties
are experiencing high transmission.
On Aug. 5, the University reinstated
its campus-wide mask mandate for all
individuals. The new mandate, which took
effect Aug. 6, requires masks in indoor
public spaces “where and when distancing
is not possible” and in classrooms regardless
of physical distancing.
The current mask requirement is set to
expire Sept. 3.
Three COVID-19 vaccines have
been authorized by the Food and Drug
Administration for emergency use in the
U.S. The University is offering two of them,
Pfizer and Moderna, at its medical facilities.
These vaccines have always been free
in the U.S. Now, UA students can make
money by proving they’ve gotten the
vaccine. Students can use the University’s
online form to report their vaccinations by
Aug. 28 at 5 p.m. to receive a $40 deposit in
their Bama Cash account.
That’s double the $20 incentive the
University first announced last month. If
students reported their vaccination before
Aug. 9, they will receive an additional $20
in their account.
Only one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
is required for the reward, but for two-dose
vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna, public
health experts say getting both shots is key
for protection against the virus.
Students who submit proof of COVID-19
vaccination also have the chance to win
one of 23 prizes, including three all-access
campus parking passes, 10 on-campus
housing scholarships worth $1,000 each,
six pairs of away-game football tickets, and
four lunches with Vice President of Student
Life Myron Pope.
Students can get the Pfizer vaccine at
the Student Health Center or the Moderna
vaccine at University Medical Center.
In the past month, vaccinations have
risen significantly throughout the U.S.
But in Alabama, as in much of the South,
vaccination rates remain relatively low, and
case counts continue to climb, fueled by the
highly contagious delta variant.
About 35% of Alabamians are fully
vaccinated against COVID-19, the lowest
rate in the nation. In Tuscaloosa County,
just 31% of residents are fully vaccinated.
On Tuesday the University of Alabama
System posted vaccination data to its
COVID-19 dashboard, showing that more
than 72.4% of faculty and staff at The
University of Alabama have received at least
one dose of a vaccine.
It’s not clear how much of the
University’s student body has been
vaccinated. The Chronicle of Higher
Education reports that more than 700
colleges have so far announced COVID-19
vaccine requirements for students or
employees, mostly in politically liberal
states. No colleges in Alabama have said
they will require COVID-19 vaccinations.
A state law passed in May effectively
prohibits universities from requiring
COVID-19 vaccines. Governor Kay Ivey,
who signed the bill, has urged Alabamians to
get vaccinated, saying, “It’s the unvaccinated
folks who are letting us down.”
University administrators, too, are
encouraging students to get shots.
“Vaccinations are the key to a successful
fall semester and the key to moving beyond
these types of [mask] requirements,” said
Dr. Richard Friend, dean of the College of
Community Health Sciences.
Unlike in past semesters, the University
didn’t require entry testing at all. The new
health and safety plan also doesn’t mention
sentinel testing — random COVID-19 tests
that were mandatory last year for students
living on campus and optional for most
Last year, the UA System’s COVID-19
dashboard reported weekly case counts
but not the number of tests conducted. The
dashboard did, however, show the positivity
rate for sentinel tests.
From September 2020 through
April 2021, The University of Alabama
conducted more than 14,000 sentinel tests,
1.24% of which were positive, according to
the dashboard. The positivity rate reached a
peak of 4.47% during the week from Jan. 29
to Feb. 4, 2021.
The UA System stopped publishing new
data on the dashboard in April.
The rules on testing are now strictest for
unvaccinated students, who are required
to self-isolate for two weeks following
COVID-19 exposure and to get for-cause
tests “at the discretion of the university.”
According to the health and safety plan,
UA System campuses should continue
to provide symptomatic and exposure
testing to unvaccinated individuals but
may offer only symptomatic testing to
vaccinated individuals. The CDC advises
fully vaccinated people who have had
close contact with an infected person to
get tested between three and five days after
exposure, regardless of whether or not they
The health and safety plan also
stipulates that “all members of the campus
community” must notify their university if
they test positive for COVID-19.
The University plans for a return to
in-person classes this fall. There will
be no classroom capacities or social
Hybrid options and online classes are
not currently set to be offered. However,
the fall syllabi statement on COVID-19
states that the University is free to change
the “course delivery methods” at any time
in accordance with public health guidelines.
Professors are encouraged to provide
all teaching in person and record lectures
for students who cannot attend class for
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BACK TO SCHOOL
August 19, 2021
BACK TO SCHOOL
August 19, 2021
‘NOT EVERYONE WANTS TO GO BACK’:
UA professors prepare for return to in-person classes
ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
Returning to school is a chance for a
fresh start — new year, new classes, new
professors. Yet, something feels familiar
about the return to campus this fall.
As the University returns to in-person
classes for the fall semester, professors
have received mixed messages about
offering online options to students. Some
students and teachers are nervous about
returning to face-to-face operations as
COVID-19 cases continue to surge.
In an email to University deans, UA
Provost James Dalton stressed a return to
“normal course delivery methods.”
“Our goals are always for every
student to succeed, and to maintain the
highest level of quality teaching, while
safeguarding the health and safety of all
UA faculty, staff, and students,” Dalton’s
email said. “We also want to ensure that
the faculty are prepared — and have the
latest information and resources — to
play their part in the University meeting
Dalton said it’s important to stick to
the planned in-person teaching method
unless otherwise instructed by him.
Peter Edgar, an MFA
student studying creative
an introductory English course in the fall
and said he thinks the decision to eliminate
hybrid teaching was made without safety
“What I imagine is happening is
when the University and plenty of other
institutions are making the judgment
about what to do, they’re putting science
and safety on one side of the scale and
putting the bottom line on the other side,”
he said. “I don’t think that’s the way it
Dalton said he’s encouraging professors
to “prepare for teaching flexibility” and
upload all course materials to Blackboard
so that students who test positive for
COVID-19 can access them. Dalton
recommends using Panopto, a video
recording service, to record lectures to
maintain face-to-face instruction.
Ross Bettis, a senior studying
communications, said he believes the new
variants make hybrid teaching necessary,
and the return plan puts professors and
students in a “vulnerable position.”
“If we put students and professors in
a horrible position to get sick, because of
the delta variant or the lambda variant, we
are going to have an explosion of cases on
campus,” Bettis said.
The delta variant, a highly contagious
strain of the virus, became the dominant
strain in July. Fully vaccinated people
have experienced breakthrough cases,
but are unlikely to become
seriously ill. The lambda
variant, another strain
o f the virus, has
deaths are from
Professors are not
allowed to ask about a
status or insist that
students get the vaccine.
The University will not disclose the vaccine
status of students to professors.
Edgar said “a lot of people, but not
everyone” in his department have been
vaccinated, and he is concerned with
the spiking case rates caused by the
delta variant. Edgar said the University
shouldn’t return to normal operations “if
we can’t make sure it’s safe.”
I’m a 23-old English
teacher. I’m not
out here to police
students. I’m teaching
them how to write. It
is a boundary issue.
Culturally, we feel
very suspicious of one
another, and these
rules don’t discourage
As someone who is required to teach to
complete his degree program, Edgar said
he feels particularly frustrated with the
“This responsibility of teaching is what
allows us to stay on campus and it almost
feels like a little bit of agency has been
taken from us,” Edgar said. “It just feels like
our hands are tied a little bit and that we
can’t do everything to protect ourselves.
There’s a layer of red tape — or maybe a
couple of layers of red tape — that we have
to go through to do that, which just doesn’t
feel super empowering.”
Bettis said he feels confident that hybrid
options would be helpful to professors and
students who don’t want to be “shoulder to
shoulder in class.”
Dalton shared the UA COVID-19
syllabus statement in an email to deans
on Aug. 10. He said the University has the
right to move online at any point in the
The syllabus statement urged
faculty, staff and students to maintain a
commitment to safety. The University
will not provide a tuition refund if classes
Edgar said he finds it difficult to teach
without clear protocols.
“The horse is already out of the
gate, so I understand that it’d be really
hard and controversial for them to do
a complete turnaround and require
stricter restrictions,” Edgar said. “I want
to sympathize with the adults who are
trying to make these decisions, but I don’t
necessarily sympathize with the rubric for
the decision-making. I think safety has to
come first, and we know enough now to
make a lot more informed decisions. We’re
going in the opposite direction.”
Edgar said he’s working hard to keep
himself and his students safe without
overstepping, but it’s going to be hard to
build community in the classroom.
“I’m a 23-year-old English teacher,” he
said. “I’m not out here to police students.
I’m teaching them how to write. It is a
boundary issue. Culturally, we feel very
suspicious of one another, and these rules
don’t discourage that suspicion.”
Dalton said professors should
“encourage students to get vaccinated”
and remind them of the $40 Bama Cash
incentive for students who report their
vaccinations by Aug. 28.
Bettis said he had multiple classes
over Zoom this past year and thinks that
a remote option should be offered to all
students so that they don’t feel unsafe in
“We’re pretty much just having to play
the waiting game at this point,” Bettis said.
“Should students and professors have
to suffer from the University’s decisionmaking?
Under current health and safety
guidance, professors should be quarantined
if they contract COVID. If they are not
well enough to continue teaching, the class
can be canceled. Otherwise, classes can be
taught over Zoom with permission from
department chairs and deans.
Bettis said he hopes the University will
provide online options, but that the idea of
going “back to school” is inherently flawed
during an increase in COVID-19 cases.
The University’s Division of Strategic
Communications did not respond to
multiple email requests for comment.
CW / Victoria Buckley
Seven tons of beauty:
Tuska is UA’s newest sculpture
Students arriving on campus
will notice a new addition to The
University of Alabama: Tuska.
The 19-foot bronze statue modeled
after an African bull elephant is hard
to miss. Located near Bryant-Denny
Stadium, it is believed to be one of
the biggest elephant statues in the
world. While many enjoy the recently
added attraction, some may not know
its history and how it was brought
Local Tuscaloosa businessman
Jack Warner was a well-known
figure due to his lavish collection
of art worldwide. The now-closed
Tuscaloosa Museum of Art housed
many of his collected works, but
Tuska, a piece by the sculptor Terry
Owen Mathews, was located in front
of the NorthRiver Yacht Club.
I think the elephant
certainly has been a
significant part of our
culture as an institution
and a very important
part of the tradition we
In the 1990s, Warner became
a collector of Mathews’ art and
sculptures, particularly those
“He already collected a few of
my elephant statues for his yacht
club,” Mathews said. “He said to me
that he wanted an elephant piece
that was really outstanding, so he
commissioned me to do that for him.”
Born in England in 1931, Mathews
was raised in Uganda and educated in
Kenya and England.
He was a safari guide in the ‘50s
and ‘60s. While guiding a safari tour
in 1968, he was accidentally shot by
a bird hunter. He lost vision in one
of his eyes, and he could no longer
properly lead safaris.
This tragic accident led to Mathews’
second career, when he came into
sculpting with no formal training.
His particular focus on animals
such as lions and wildebeests was due
to his background in safaris and his
love for African wildlife.
“I’ve always loved elephants,”
Mathews said. “When I could
see, I was always keen to watch
them because they’re always doing
something interesting. They are, in a
lot of ways, like human beings.”
The process of making Tuska wasn’t
easy. Originally titled “Reach for the
Sky,” the sculpture was made in a
foundry in Gloucestershire, England,
starting in 1999.
Due to the size of the statue, the
molds of Tuska had to be divided
into 11 separate pieces that were later
“The maximum that most foundries
can pour in one piece is two tons,”
Mathews said. “So we cast the four
legs, two tusks, the trunk, the head,
the shoulder, the back and the tail."
According to Mathews, the heaviest
piece of Tuska was the rear end, which
weighs two tons on its own. In total,
the elephant statue weighs seven tons.
After the bronze molds were
finished, the pieces of the statue
were delivered via boat on Sept. 7,
2000. They were then assembled
in Tuscaloosa, making the total
completion time roughly one year.
After Warner’s passing in 2017,
Tuska was installed at the corner of Wallace Wade Avenue and University Boulevard in April 2021.
CW / David Gray
the NorthRiver Yacht Club decided
to gift his favorite work of art to The
University of Alabama.
UA President Stuart Bell said the
process of moving the statue from the
yacht club to its current location on
the corner of University Boulevard
and Wallace Wade Avenue was
made possible by a former athletic
“Bill and Mary Battle made a gift
that would allow for the podium to
be built and landscaping to be done
around Tuska to offset some of the
costs of actually physically moving it
to the University,” Bell said.
Since the completion of the statue’s
plaza before A-Day weekend, Bell
said the opportunities for students
and visitors to take pictures has had a
“It’s really popular on campus,” Bell
said. “It’s getting to be one of those
few spots that people want to stop and
take pictures in front of, like Denny
Chimes and the President’s Mansion.”
UA Vice President of Student Life
Myron Pope said the placement of
the statue by Bryant-Denny Stadium
seemed appropriate, and its popularity
is paying off.
“It just seemed like the right place
to place it,” Pope said. “I’m constantly
seeing people taking pictures there.
It’s a great addition to campus
While the completion of the move
is recent, Bell anticipates the hype
for photo opportunities will continue
“It’ll be one of those places where
folks will be like, ‘Hey, let’s meet over
at Tuska and take photos,’ and we’re
seeing that already,” Bell said.
Pope also believes Tuska will
be a lasting icon to the University,
especially since elephants are
a prominent symbol for the
“I think the elephant certainly has
been a significant part of our culture
as an institution and a very important
part of the tradition we have here,”
CW / Pearl Langley
Some students have unpleasant
things to say about drivers in
Tuscaloosa. There are more than
21,000 out-of-state students
adjusting to Alabama traffic laws,
and 1 in 4 accidents are related to
On campus, there are lights, signs
and arrows to keep cars, bikes and
buses separate. On most streets in
Tuscaloosa, cars, bikes and buses
share the same lanes.
According to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention,
in 2018, drivers ages 15 to 19 were
more likely to be distracted drivers.
However, 25% of drivers in fatal
accidents were between the ages of 20
Along with distracted driving,
some who aren’t used to driving as
much in their home state can face
anxiety from driving.
“I feel like there’s a difference
between drivers in each state,
especially if you have people who
don’t drive as much as we do here.
Not having that much experience
can negatively impact their driving
ability,” said Algery Hall, a senior
majoring in marketing.
BACK TO SCHOOL
August 19, 2021
‘There should be bike lanes’:
Students discuss Tuscaloosa road safety
Cars also pose a danger to
pedestrians and other vehicles. In
May, a car crash on the Strip pinned a
Joyride golf cart in between two cars,
injuring two UA students. On Aug.
12, a pedestrian in Tuscaloosa was
killed after being hit by a vehicle on
Not all UA students rely on
driving, though; many students
use bikes around campus to travel
or exercise. However, the city of
Tuscaloosa doesn’t have many bike
lanes outside of the University’s
campus, and according to the Bureau
of Transportation Statistics, 43%
of Americans live in areas with no
Although campus has bike lanes,
the University has seen its fair share
of bicycle accidents through the years.
In 2018, a UA student bicyclist was hit
by a University employee in a golf cart
near Capstone Drive.
In June, a bicyclist was killed in
Huntsville, Alabama, after pulling
out in front of a car that didn’t have
enough time to stop.
There should be bike
lanes, even if you go
to Midtown Village or
Walmart. There are
people that want to
ride that far but can’t.
Since I don’t have a
choice, I had to figure
Alabama state law prohibits bike
riders from traveling on sidewalks.
This leaves students to find another
source of transportation whenever
they’re off campus.
For students who don’t have cars and
rely on bikes to get around campus, it
can be difficult or dangerous for them
to go off campus.
According to a 2019 report by
University's Center for Advanced
Public Safety, there were 146 bicycle
crashes involving cars in Alabama in
2019. Further, the report said “12%
of all bicycle crashes occur on rural
routes, and 88% of all bicycle crashes
occur in urban streets.” Roughly 43%
of the bicycle crashes were caused by
the bicyclist and not the driver.
Tuscaloosa drivers also experience
construction in the city. According to
the Federal Highway Administration,
over 200,00 people have been injured
in accidents near construction zones
within the last five years. Around
the University, there’s often a new
bridge or building being built, and
road work happens on and off
If bike lanes are added, more
construction will need to be done
throughout the city to make sure
bikers have safer ways to travel.
Ross Bettis, a senior majoring in
communication studies, said bike
lanes should be added in areas closer
to campus for students, and bike
safety should be emphasized.
“There should be bike lanes,
even if you go to Midtown Village
or Walmart. There are people that
want to ride that far but can’t. Since
I don’t have a choice, I had to figure
something out,” Bettis said.
The idea of bike lanes causes
more worry than satisfaction for
“I care about the safety of others,
but adding bike lanes around the city
would be tumultuous to bikers. I feel
like they are safer on campus because
people drive more responsibly on
campus,” said Kiana Palmer, a senior
majoring in theater.
On campus, to ensure bike safety,
students must register their bikes
through myBama, use bike lanes when
available, and park on bicycle racks.
To ensure safety off campus, bikes are
considered vehicles by Alabama state
law, meaning bikers should always be
as far to the right as possible when on
University Recreation also has
more tips for biking safety, like the
appropriate attire for bikers, going
slow on multi-use paths, avoiding
road hazards and more.
They also advise bikers to be
courteous of others and cognizant
that they have the same privileges
and duties as other traffic, including
I care about the safety
of others, but adding
bike lanes around
the city would be
tumultuous to bikers. I
feel like they are safer
on campus because
people drive more
responsibly on campus
For those who are just learning how
to ride a bike, University Recreation
also offers bike rentals for students,
staff and faculty for $20 a month or
$60 a semester.
And for those searching for a
community they can join the Druid
City Bicycle Club, a recreational
club that also helps the community
by providing “support and
manpower to community services in
For car safety, Chris D’Esposito,
director of transportation services for
The University of Alabama, reminds
students to always follow the rules of
the road and make sure they have a
parking permit. The University offers
a free motorist assistance program
24 hours a day for students, staff and
visitors. The program offers a car
battery jump and flat tire inflation.
Remember these tips to stay safe.
Don’t be distracted while driving
or biking, stay alert and follow
BACK TO SCHOOL
August 19, 2021
Chronic illness and disability awareness is important
Students with chronic illnesses
and disabilities have a lot placed
on them and must learn how to
advocate for themselves, receive the
accommodations they need to succeed
in their academics, and ensure their
own physical and mental health. In
reflection of these students’ experiences,
Jona Pidgette created Empathy and
Education, an organization advocating
for a better societal understanding
of their experiences.
Name: Jona Pidgette
Major: Biology on the
Q: What is the name of your
A: We’re called “Empathy and
Education.” I chose the name because
I believe those two concepts are the
cornerstones of the organization’s
mission. The name gets across exactly
what I want our group to do.
I founded it over the summer and
am finally in the beginning stages of
establishing our organization. We will be
at Get On Board Day. Right now we are
completing our SOURCE regulation and
finalizing our faculty advisor, and then
we will be good to go.
Q: Why now?
A: I’ve wanted to do this since I was
a freshman, but I struggled with my
own illnesses. At that time, I was just
focused on improving my quality of life.
Between withdrawing from my classes
and figuring out which medications
worked for me, it was impossible to take
on something else.
Once I finally did have the resources
I needed, I still thought to myself, “Am
I the right person to do this?” which I
think comes from a lot of internalized
ableism. I would think that I wasn’t
healthy enough to be a part of such a
commitment, but I realized that this
mindset would keep me from doing
something that could help a lot of people.
Q: Do you have any exciting plans for
the new year?
A: Right now, my personal focus is
getting involved in Suicide Prevention
Month. Something that most people
don’t know is that people with chronic
illnesses and disabilities are actually nine
times more likely to die of suicide than
the average population.
I feel as if mental illness can be
overlooked, but it is such an important
factor of overall health. My hope is that
the organization can do its part to bring
awareness to the increased risk of suicide
for individuals with chronic illness and/
Another plan we have that I’m excited
about is choosing a foundation to
fundraise for. I plan to have us choose a
foundation each semester to fundraise
for. As we are just beginning, the board
members will vote on the organization
we will be focusing on this semester,
but next semester we are opening up
the vote to the members of the club!
I think it’s exciting because it’ll give
a chance for everyone to have their
Q: We have a lot of organizations on
campus, but what do you think is the
importance of founding new ones?
A: When you come to campus, you
find a lot of resources that are available
— if there’s a lack of one, then go for it.
If you’re noticing it, chances are other
Jona Pidgette, a junior majoring in biology, founded Empathy and Education to advocate for a better societal understanding of students with disabilities.
Photos courtesy of Jona Pidgette
people are too. I feel really empowered
when I know I’m helping other people
like me. When I get to establish this new
organization, it’s like I’m providing the
exact kind of resource I would’ve wanted
as a freshman.
Q: What do you believe is the biggest
struggle facing college students with
chronic illnesses and disabilities?
A: Their biggest struggle is not a
fault of their own — it’s the lack of
education in the community. To be taken
seriously by others, you have to become
an expert on your own condition.
For my specific condition, 83% of
patients are misdiagnosed with anxiety
or panic disorder.
This is why personal advocacy is
so important: sometimes you have to
convince your provider to look beyond
the expected to reach the source of the
issue. You’re constantly advocating for
yourself and have to convince everyone
you know the details of your condition
just to be treated with respect. You have
to deal with so many stereotypes that
you’re lazy or making excuses.
A common phrase is, “we all have
the same 24 hours.” At the end of the
day, it isn’t the same 24 hours when
you are dealing with symptoms of your
condition. When you’re out with a virus
for two weeks, people get it. They ask if
you’re okay, and they give you extensions
When you have a chronic illness or
disability, people assume you are lazy.
The same grace extended for temporary
illness isn’t afforded to us because people
expect us to be better after a short
amount of time, but that’s not the reality
for a lot of students. This can really deter
students from involvement because
of the ignorance they face all the time
just to be treated with understanding
Q: What can we, as students, do about
A: We can work to educate ourselves.
Pretty much everyone has someone
they know with a chronic illness or
disability. If they’re comfortable, go ask
them about it. Show you’re willing to
learn and put in the work to understand
what they’re going through. To combat
ableism and misinformation, the best
thing you can do is listen to people in
Q: Do you believe our university does
enough to accommodate students with
chronic illnesses and disabilities?
A: I didn’t realize just how much
this university does until I went to
another university for summer classes.
The accommodations specialists here
genuinely care about the needs of their
students. They love being able to help the
students. That’s so crucial to what they
do because they’re actually here for us
and do their best to prove as much help
Q: What could the University do
A: To continue to accommodate
students, they must stay open and listen
to their needs. All chronic illnesses and
disabilities reflect different needs and
will require different accommodations
to ensure they get their best
For example, those with physical
disabilities may face the difficulty of
getting to class on time in the hot
Alabama weather. During a previous
summer, I realized the student apartment
buses don’t run, but I also can’t drive
because of my condition, so I had no way
of making it to campus.
The University is doing a really good
job, but they must try to provide for
students where they are lacking. The
best kind of accommodations happen
when they are reflective of the needs
of students, which happens through
continued communication with them.
Q: What is the importance of
community for students with chronic
illnesses and disabilities?
A: It’s the understanding. You have
people who just get it and how complex
it can be. It’s not just about physical
health; our conditions can affect our
relationships to family, friends, and
If we’re unable to go to a social event, it
can feel really isolating and take a toll on
our mental health. There’s so much to it
that is difficult to explain to others, so it’s
nice to talk with people that understand.
It’s like a support group.
It also improves our advocacy.
By talking to each other, we become
exposed to more complex issues facing
the community and develop our own
awareness. This allows us to increase
awareness for others as well and develop
solutions to improve accessibility.
Q: What are your favorite resources
for becoming more educated about
A: Google is your best friend. If you
want information in this day and age,
it’s amazing what you can get by simply
using your phone.
Another thing that has helped me is
to get connected to a foundation that
advocates for people with my condition.
The foundation has provided me with so
much helpful information, which better
allows me to explain it to other people.
They also list possible treatment options
for symptoms, which is so helpful when
it feels like you have no answers.
Not every condition has a foundation,
but it’s a great resource, so if it does,
go use it. They can provide answers to
questions you didn’t even know you had.
Q: What do you wish professors or
other students would know about
students with chronic illnesses or
A: I wish they would realize that while
college is difficult enough on its own, it’s
even more difficult for those with chronic
illnesses or disabilities. I have had some
friends tell me that they wish that they
could have the accommodations that I
receive and that they think I’m lucky.
I’m not offended by this because I
know they mean it lightly, but in reality,
even accommodations don’t level the
playing field completely. Even if they
do help, every day is a challenge, and it
takes a lot to go to college. I hope that
people will be able to appreciate the
fact that students with chronic illnesses
and disabilities are so dedicated to
We aren’t lucky for the
accommodations we have; it’s just what
we require to succeed. They don’t make
us lazy. We work so hard to ensure we do
well despite personal limitations.
Q: Is there anything you would like to
A: This organization is focused on
students with chronic illness and/or
disability, but I called it “Empathy and
Education” because it also works to bring
pre-medical students together that want
to make a difference in the lives of those
with chronic illness and/or disability.
This semester, we will be hosting
seminars led by both [health care]
providers and community members with
chronic illnesses and disabilities. For
example, we will have a rheumatologist
as a guest speaker to explain the
medical side of what their work looks
like, including common symptoms
and treatments. Then, we will feature
someone that actually has that condition
and talk about their daily experiences.
We hope to establish a connection
with pre-med students early on so that
they can understand more about their
future patients and appreciate that their
health affects every aspect of their lives.
When they’re doctors, we want them
to remember that their patients are
individuals with rich lives, and their
physical condition isn’t the only thing
that has to be addressed. They should
also provide resources and adopt a more
holistic approach to overall health.
To truly provide the best treatment,
physical condition shouldn’t be the end.
It is important to express empathy and
understanding by referring patients
to resources in their community that
could help with mental health as well.
In these information sessions, we hope
to establish a community built of premedical
students and students with
chronic illness and/or disability.
I have noticed that there are so many
students on campus who want to put
good out into the world. I really hope that
this organization can provide a space to
foster those good intentions. People with
chronic illnesses and disabilities know
how hard it is to find a provider who
will listen and empathize with you. I am
hoping that this organization can be a
space for those committed to improving
While embarking into adulthood,
whether that be college or life after college,
it’s important to note that there will be
endless transitions. Some happen all at
once, like moving for work or school,
and others happen more gradually, like
losing track of old friends or the constant
presence of your immediate family
members. But no matter what, transitions
don’t have to be a bad thing.
According to Kim Sterritt, the UA
director of parent and family programs,
transitions are vital to developing and
becoming independent, even though
some of them aren’t always easy — like, for
instance, leaving one’s family.
“I’m well past my college years, right?
I have a family of my own, I have kids of
my own, but it’s still hard to say goodbye to
your family members,” Sterritt said.
According to an article by the Health
Alliance Plan of Michigan, over 30%
of college students experience lowlevel
homesickness, and about 69% of
first-year college students experience
Sterritt said especially now, with the
added stress and circumstances of the
COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even harder for
people to leave their comfort zones.
After over a year of various degrees
of quarantine, family dynamics have
changed in minor or drastic ways; now,
those relationships are left unmanaged
while students head off to college.
“Whether it’s during quarantine or
because they were at home, doing school
or whatever that is, they’ve probably
been more attached to the hip with their
family members than we’ve seen in years
past when we started the academic year,”
Though some students might take
an “out of sight, out of mind” approach
with these relationships once they leave
home, others are caught off guard by
moments of homesickness and feelings of
“Whether the student lives at home
or goes away to attend college, the move
represents an emotional separation for
both parents and child. For most, the end
of high school marks the symbolic end of
childhood,” Dr. Jess Shatkin, a psychiatrist
at New York University's Child Study
Center, told U.S. News.
And as students traverse this new
transition into independence, Sterritt
BACK TO SCHOOL
August 19, 2021
Being independent might take time,
says UA director of parent and family programs
said many would realize that there isn’t
a “magical moment” that makes anyone
an independent adult; it all depends on
Several incoming freshmen said they
don’t really feel like adults yet and are just
taking it as they go.
Sterritt said independence might
happen faster for some than others,
but mainly it’s all about finding what
feels comfortable and making progress
“And if no progress happens throughout
all four years of your undergrad
experience, that is where we have an issue,”
Sterritt said. “If you have not grown in
your independence between day one and
graduation, then that is more problematic.”
However, Sterritt noted that seeking
support from family members doesn’t
necessarily signify a lack of independence.
“Even once you graduate from
college, there are times where you might
still rely on familial support, whether
it’s financial or emotional,” she said.
“Right now, in particular, we’ve seen a
lot of students move back home after
graduation because of everything that
is happening, and I don’t think that that
means that they are not independent, but
I think that that can probably affect their
sense of independence, but sometimes
circumstances just necessitate that.”
Making that transition easier starts
where many healthy relationships start:
communication. When moving away
from family, it’s important to communicate
what you want and your expectations.
However, Sterritt said she understands
that these conversations don’t always come
naturally because of how meta it is to
“communicate about communication.”
Instead many try to demonstrate how
they want communication to go without
coming to an official agreement.
Just like having a sense of
independence, Sterritt said it is important
to understand that conversation depends
on the individual in familial relationships.
For some relationships, constant
communication is healthy, and for others,
less communication is healthy.
As students grow and change,
adjustments to the “frequency of
communication” will continue to support
Sterritt said that, as the need for
communication changes, those
conversations begin to feel redundant, but
they are still necessary.
“I think it shows a level of maturity for
students to bring that up with their family
members,” she said. “It is hard, particularly
if the student’s needs are different than the
parent or family members’ needs.”
She said both parties should try coming
into the conversation with a mindset of
compromise and remember that what
works for one relationship won’t always
work for another.
“There are various
relationships that you’re
managing, right? What
works with one parent or
family member may not
work with a different one,
or a sibling, or grandparents
or whatever,” Sterritt said.
“So make sure that you’re
thinking about managing
all of those different types
of relationships — again,
you’re talking about
a lot of different
And while you’re
needs to your family
members, you’re not
only growing with
them; you’re also
learning how to
what you need
whether they are
identifying what you need
in order to be successful, and
in order to maintain healthy
relationships and your own health is a
skill that you have to learn and become
comfortable with in order to optimize your
ability to be successful going forward,”
In the end, regardless of how individuals
choose to communicate or what their
level of independence is, Sterritt reminds
us that sometimes everyone just needs
reassurance that everything is going to
For parents and family members who
are feeling overwhelmed and uninformed
about their students moving to college,
Sterritt said Parent and Family Programs
is happy to provide them with the
information they need.
She said that for students, there are so
many resources to help them if they need
reassurance, like RAs, the Dean of Students
office, the Counseling Center or her office.
“I think the important thing is that
you don’t try to manage it alone. If you’re
feeling like you need reassurance, if you’re
feeling that anxiety or that stress, don’t try
to process it by yourself internally because
that’s probably, it might work for some, but
it’s probably going to be more beneficial to
talk it out and
make sure that
so many on
Alabama Adapted Athletics represents in Tokyo
On Saturday, the Alabama Adapted
Athletics program announced on
Twitter that 18 current and former
students are participating in the 2020
Tokyo Paralympic Games. Six current
athletes and 12 former Alabama
adapted athletes make up the Crimson
Alabama alumna Shelby Baron is
representing the U.S. in the women’s
wheelchair tennis event in Tokyo. Baron
earned two degrees from the Capstone:
a bachelor’s degree in communicative
disorders and a master’s degree in
She is no stranger to the Olympic
stage, having also competed in the 2016
Rio Paralympic Games. Baron reached
I think the important
thing is that you don’t
try to manage it alone.
If you’re feeling that
anxiety or that stress,
don’t try to process it
by yourself internally,
it’s probably going to
be more beneficial to
talk it out.
the round of 16 for singles and the
quarterfinals in the doubles event.
Despite being a last-minute addition
to the Rio team, she represented the stars
and stripes well. Baron discussed her
return to the Paralympics in an article
released by the University News Center.
“I would not have been able to
achieve this goal without the support
from the University. This year will be a
lot different but I look forward to being
able to represent both my University and
country in Tokyo.”
Her journey back to the Paralympics
was not easy. Baron was also coaching
Alabama while training for the Games.
“Training was difficult at times
because I was trying to give my best effort
to coaching the UA team at practice and
competitions,” Baron told the University
News Center. “However, I learned a lot
of things from coaching and that has
made me a better athlete. I am trying to
be a good role model for the athletes so
they push themselves to become better
both on and off the court.”
The Alabama women’s wheelchair basketball team celebrates winning the NWBA Collegiate
Wheelchair National Championship for the 2020-2021 season. Photo courtesy of Kellcie Temple
The Crimson Tide will be sending a
host of current and former Alabama
wheelchair basketball players to Tokyo.
One of those athletes is sophomore
Bailey Moody, who is competing in her
first Paralympics games. However, this
is not Moody’s first time representing
Team USA. Moody was on the 2018
World Championships team, which
placed sixth overall.
Moody impressed during her
freshman year at Alabama. She proved
to be a fierce competitor. This helped
the women’s wheelchair basketball team
win the NWBA Collegiate Wheelchair
Basketball National Championship in
March — the Crimson Tide’s second
Now Moody turns her attention to the
Paralympics. In an article released by the
University News Center, she discussed
what it is like to accomplish her dream
of reaching the Games.
“There is great pride that comes with
playing for a team, especially one that
competes at such a high level,” Moody
said. “The feeling that you get when you
wear USA across your chest is unlike
anything else. I love to play basketball
and I am so thankful for the opportunity
I have had to work hard, keep getting
better and keep competing against the
best athletes in the world.”
To compete at the highest level,
mental preparation is just as important
as physical. Moody discussed in an
article released by the University News
Center how important it was for her to
prepare mentally for this journey.
“The training process before and
after qualification is a full-time job in
and of itself,” Moody said. “Even when
I’m not playing basketball, I am doing
something that is furthering my ability
to improve. Whether that is eating right,
doing mental preparations or watching
that want to
CW / Victoria Buckley
film, much of my time is spent working
towards my sport.”
Moody will compete with teammates
Lindsey Zurbrugg and Abby Bauleke in
the Group B section of the competition.
Men’s Wheelchair Basketball
Ignacio Ortega will represent
the Crimson Tide in the men’s
wheelchair basketball event. Ortega
is a senior at Alabama majoring in
international studies. In Tokyo, he will
Ortega has been a cornerstone of the
men’s team at Alabama. This past season,
he helped the Crimson Tide reach
the title game of the Men’s Collegiate
Wheelchair Basketball Championships.
Alabama fell, 66-51, to University of
Just a few months later, Ortega
helped Spain win the U23 European
Championship. Ortega was the star
of the show. He scored 35 points
and snagged 28 rebounds in the title
game against Germany. After his
monster performance, Ortega told the
International Wheelchair Basketball
Federation how hard Spain had been
working for this moment.
“We’ve been working so hard and
working for so many years,” Ortega told
IWBF. “Working hard as a team and
coming here and doing good, and hoping
for more, and today we actually got it.
We played an incredible tournament and
I think we deserve it.”
In July, Ortega qualified for his first
Paralympic Games. Ortega and Team
Spain will compete against the Republic
of Korea, Canada, Colombia, Turkey
and Japan in the qualifying rounds in
Alabama students and fans can catch
these three athletes and 15 others at the
2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games starting
Aug. 24. The Games will be broadcast on
NBC and Peacock.
BACK TO SCHOOL
August 19, 2021
Fall semester sports are right around
the corner. The Alabama football team
looks to defend its 18th National
Championship, while the women’s
soccer and volleyball teams aim to
build off disappointing seasons.
After a dominating campaign
in which the Crimson Tide went
undefeated and won the National
Championship, the football team
will see new faces heading into the
Former Alabama football
players Mac Jones, Najee Harris,
DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Alex
Leatherwood and Patrick Surtain II
were all first-round picks in April’s
That puts pressure on their
successors, particularly sophomore
quarterback Bryce Young, especially
after head coach Nick Saban said
Young is approaching “seven figures”
in name, image, likeness deals. Young,
the former No. 2 overall player in the
2020 recruiting class, earned A-Day
game MVP honors after completing
25 passes for 333 yards and a
He will need to replicate his
A-Day performance over the course
of a full season if the Crimson
Tide hopes to defend its status as
This team’s defense should be among
the nation’s best. It contains standouts
Will Anderson Jr., Christian Harris,
Christopher Allen, Josh Jobe, Jordan
Battle and Malachi Moore. Alabama
also gained Tennessee transfer
Henry To’o To’o.
Alabama brings in the nation’s No.
1-ranked recruiting class, featuring
seven five-star recruits.
The Crimson Tide, with all its new
and old faces, begins its season against
Miami on Sept. 4 in Atlanta. The first
game played at Bryant-Denny Stadium
will be against Mercer on Sept. 11,
followed by a rematch of last year’s
SEC Championship game against
Florida on Sept. 18.
THIS SEMESTER IN SPORTS
The women’s soccer team comes
into the new year with high hopes
following a solid 2020 season led by
goalkeeper McKinley Crone. Crone
posted 77 saves last year, putting
her second in the SEC and 14th in
the country. She did not miss a beat
in her first year after transferring
Also returning is sophomore
midfielder Felicia Knox, who led the
team with four goals in 2020. Head
coach Wes Hart enters his seventh
season with a 51-51-13 record. That
mark is on par with the Tide’s 7-8-2
record a year ago.
Alabama closed last year on a
5-3 run and took No. 8 Clemson
to overtime in the season’s final
match. Alabama’s first regular season
match is Aug. 19 against Jacksonville
State in Tuscaloosa.
The Alabama men’s golf team ended
last season on a sour note after the
team failed to qualify for nationals in
an underwhelming performance at
the 2021 NCAA Stillwater Regional.
After qualifying for regionals for the
16th consecutive season, anything
less than a National Championship
run is considered a letdown for the
The team lost last year’s seniors,
Davis Shore and Wilson Furr. However,
it signed Junior College All-American
Dillon West and freshman Jones Free
to the program.
While playing at Jefferson State
Community College last season,
West led his team to a top-10 finish
at NJCAA Nationals. He and Free,
the former No. 7-ranked golfer in the
state of Alabama, are expected to play
integral roles for the Crimson Tide
Alabama men’s golf ’s first match is
Sept. 10 for the Maui Jim Invitational
in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Former Alabama women’s golf star
Stephanie Meadow put on quite the
show at the Tokyo Olympics, finishing
seventh overall as a member of
The Crimson Tide returns eight
players, including four seniors and
sophomore Benedetta Moresco.
During media availability on Monday,
head coach Mic Potter discussed the
importance of Moresco’s presence on
“Benedetta Moresco is our leading
returner. She was SEC Freshman of
the Year after only beginning with us
in January,” Potter said. “She made
her presence felt in a short time and
will be the not only one of the leading
returners in the SEC, but in the nation.”
The program now turns its focus
to the start of its 48th season — its
17th under head coach Mic Potter
— which is slated for Sept. 13 at the
ANNIKA Intercollegiate in Lake
The women’s volleyball team
looks to improve from a 7-15 record
in 2020 in a strong SEC. Alabama
faced three top-seven-ranked
opponents — Missouri, Florida and
Kentucky — last season.
On Monday, head coach Lindsey
Devine shared her expectations for
“I’m looking for our team to build
upon the things we had put as our
goals last year,” Devine said. “We’re
going to continue being a strong
service team and putting pressure on
Last season, Alabama served
117 aces, just six fewer than their
opponents’ total of 123. Alabama
served an average of 1.5 aces per set.
Senior Abby Marjama was the team
leader with 23 aces.
Alabama added a host of newcomers
during the offseason. The team added
transfer students Sarah Swanson and
Dru Kuck and signed six freshman
students, including two-time
Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year
The team opens its season on Aug.
27 against Austin Peay State University.
Track and Field
Najee Harris rushes for yards as the Crimson Tide faced Ohio
State in the 2021 National Championship. CW / Hannah Saad
After impressing in the Tokyo
Olympics, Alabama track and field
looks to continue its dominance in the
Alabama alumni Remona Burchell
and Kirani James each won medals.
Burchell won gold for Jamaica in the
women’s 4x100 meter relay. James won
bronze for Grenada in the men’s 400
meter race. Fellow alumnus Jereem
Richards placed eighth in the men’s
The College Sports Information
Directors of America announced
Thursday that a program-record six
athletes earned Academic All-America
honors, including Mercy Chelangat,
Tamara Clark, Daija Lampkin,
Samantha Zelden, Vincent Kiprop and
Lampkin is the first person from
the women’s program to receive three
Academic All-American honors.
Alabama track and field’s first
meet is Sept. 4 at the Memphis
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Tide will kick off its season
on Sept. 4 in Atlanta as it faces Miami.
After a season with a perfect record
a n d a national championship,
the Crimson Tide
players to the NFL
Draft, including six
chosen in the first round.
Those six selections tied the all-time
record with LSU, which produced the
same number of first round picks in last
year’s draft. This was the fifth consecutive
year that the Crimson Tide lost nine or
more players to the NFL.
Even with these losses, there is reason
to believe that Alabama will retool as it has
in years past.
As usual, head coach Nick Saban will
be walking the sidelines at Bryant-Denny
Stadium this season. Saban signed another
extension this summer and will make
almost $10 million this year.
It will be his 15th season as the boss in
Tuscaloosa, only tallying 23 losses since
taking over the program in 2007. Saban
won his seventh national championship
in January, setting the all-time record for
a head coach.
After losing offensive coordinator
Steve Sarkisian to the University of Texas
at Austin, The University of Alabama
welcomes Bill O’Brien to run the offense.
O’Brien was the head coach at both Penn
State University and the Houston Texans.
He won Big Ten Coach of the Year in
2012 and led the Texans to four playoff
Pete Golding will enter his third year
as defensive coordinator for the Crimson
Tide. Golding faced heat in
2020 after allowing 48
points to Ole Miss in
October. He turned it
around with the team’s
Justin Fields and the
Ohio State Buckeyes
in the national
BACK TO SCHOOL
August 19, 2021
Alabama football players to watch
in 2021-22 season
Last season, the
Crimson Tide offense
was one of the most electric
and efficient in the country.
Averaging 48.5 points per
game, the team ambushed
every SEC opponent in their
wake and produced the school’s
third Heisman Trophy winner,
Eight starters left
at the end of
There will be holes
to fill, starting with the
starter is sophomore
Bryce Young, who backed u p
Mac Jones last season. The M a t e r
Dei High School five-star product appeared
in seven games in 2020, completing 13 of
22 pass attempts with one touchdown.
Paul Tyson appears to have the edge
as backup, with freshman Jalen Milroe
The starting running back is a familiar
face. Redshirt senior Brian Robinson Jr.
is set to lead after the exit of Najee Harris.
He has rushed for over 1,300 yards and
15 touchdowns in his four years at the
Capstone. He will share the backfield with
sophomores Jase McClellan and Roydell
Williams, as well as Trey Sanders, who
suffered season-ending injuries in both
2019 and 2020.
The projected starter
is sophomore Bryce
Young, who backed
up Mac Jones last
season. The Mater Dei
High School five-star
product appeared in
seven games in 2020,
completing 13 of 22
pass attempts with one
The wide-receiving core is slimmer
after the loss of DeVonta Smith and
Jaylen Waddle. The two combined for
almost 6,000 scrimmage yards and 64
touchdowns in their Crimson Tide
careers, and Smith is first all-time in
receptions, yards and touchdowns at
John Metchie III and Slade
Bolden are sticking around this
season. Metchie was 84 yards shy
of a 1,000-yard season last year and
caught six touchdowns. Alabama
fans will remember Metchie for
his bone-crushing hit on Florida’s Trey
Dean in the SEC Championship. Bolden
caught a touchdown pass from Mac Jones
in the national championship and was
important in filling the slot after Waddle’s
An exciting newcomer for the Tide this
year is transfer Jameson Williams, who
played two years at Ohio State. He
only has 15 receptions over
two years, but Williams
was on the receiving
end of a score in the
Jahleel Billingsley is
yet another weapon for the
offense that showed potential in 2020, and
he is set to start at tight end.
The offensive line was one of the best last
year, but after losing Alex Leatherwood,
Landon Dickerson and Deonte Brown,
there will be a few new faces. Chris Owens
decided to return and will start at center.
Evan Neal is an NFL prospect and will play
at left tackle. At right guard will be Emil
Ekiyor Jr., who played in 13 games.
The two new faces will be
sophomore Javion Cohen
at left guard and Kendall
Randolph at right tackle.
Randolph played in
several games last season,
appearing as a backup
tight end on occasion.
defense is the biggest
question mark for
many football fans on
a yearly basis, and the
with a lot
II and Christian Barmore. Surtain was
drafted by the Denver Broncos with the
ninth pick after a decorated Alabama
career. Barmore was selected by the New
England Patriots in the second round.
Dylan Moses was not drafted, but was
signed as an unrestricted free agent by the
Jacksonville Jaguars afterward.
The Crimson Tide defense will
remain mostly intact. On the defensive
line, fans will see LaBryan Ray, DJ Dale
and Phidarian Mathis. Sophomore Will
Anderson lines up alongside Christian
Harris, Christopher Allen and new
Tennessee transfer Henry To’o To’o. The
former Volunteer was first on the team
with 76 tackles and fourth in the SEC
In the secondary, Josh Jobe will take
over for Surtain, facing the opposition’s
No. 1 receiver every Saturday. On the other
side of the field will be redshirt junior
Jalyn Armour-Davis. Coming off a strong
freshman year, Malachi Moore will play in
the slot as the Star, or nickelback.
The Alabama defense
is the biggest question
mark for many football
fans on a yearly basis,
and the Crimson Tide
is returning with a lot
Holding down the back at free and
strong safety positions will be Jordan
Battle and DeMarcco Hellams. Fans
should expect to see redshirt senior Daniel
Wright and freshman Ga’Quincy “Kool
Aid” McKinstry on the field.
Junior placekicker Will Reichard
will try to continue his success
at the Capstone after a perfect
2020 campaign, making all his
field goals and extra points. The
punting situation is a work in
progress with Troy University
transfer Jack Martin leading
in reps and former
Johnson and Ty
is another name
to keep an eye on.
will no longer
Courtesy UA Athletics
punt and kick
returns as Slade
Bolden resumes his role as punt returner.
Awaiting kickoffs will be starting running
back Brian Robinson Jr. and tight end
Alabama will begin the 2021 title
defense on Sept. 4 in Atlanta against the
Miami Hurricanes. The Crimson Tide will
host Ole Miss on Oct. 2, Tennessee on Oct.
23 and LSU on Nov. 6.
The team will face Florida in Gainesville
on Sept. 18 and Texas A&M in College
Station on Oct. 9. The Iron Bowl is in
Auburn this year, on Nov. 27 at Jordan-
Photos CW / File