The Crimson White: Back to School Edition, August 2021


As you head into the fall semester at the Capstone, The Crimson White is here to catch you up to speed on everything that's happened since the spring.





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.


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

home games.

“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 team.

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

would agree.

“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 vaccine.

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.





Crimson White

Editorial Board is

removing comments

from the website.



Meet Tuska, the

new statue in front

of Bryant-Denny



CW File


The Tide is taking over

Tokyo again. Meet the

students heading to

the Games.




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August 19, 2021


Onyx 2021

Ferguson Student

Center Lawn

7 - 11PM




Ferguson Student

Center Ballroom

6 - 8PM


Movie Night


Ferguson Student

Center Theater



21 23


River Market


Farmer’s Market

9 - 11PM

Around the

World at UA

Ferguson Student

Center Lawn

11 - 1PM


Coffee Hour

Ferguson Student

Center 2100

11:30 - 1PM

Get On

Board Day

Ferguson Student


5 - 9PM


27 31

A&S Advising

in the Woods

Woods Quad

9AM & 1:30PM

Safe Zone



Ferguson Student

Center 2418

6 - 8PM


All material contained herein, except advertising or

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The Crimson White and protected under the “Work

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VS. MIAMI Mercedes

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Sept. 23 - Local Edition

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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

on stories.

This decision required weeks of

research and consideration from

the Editorial Board to ensure that

The Crimson White remains a

place of accessibility, accountability

and reliability.

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

journalistic outlets.

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

effective purpose.

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

and bigotry.

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


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

“nasty effect.”

This represented an immense task for

workers at NPR who were responsible

for reviewing, verifying and removing

such comments.

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

our organization.

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

in isolation.

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

and emails.

In the spirit of following guidelines

such as the Hutchinson Commission, we

will never omit the opportunity for an

open dialogue.

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 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.

“Bad Girls”

By M.I.A.

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.

“Alrighty Aphrodite”

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

of communication.

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

accessing it.

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

it serves?

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.

“Philadelphia Freedom”

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.

“Do It”

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

attention immediately.

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

night out.

Nothing enhances the back-to-school

experience like listening to good music,

making new friends and creating new


“Teenage Wildlife”

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.



August 19, 2021

Students save money and raise health

concerns at UA-leased apartments

CW File



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

apartment complex.

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

on campus.”

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

will arrive.

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

really bad.”

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

the wall.

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

never contacted.

“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

without issue.

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

apartments annually.

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

football game.

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

game weekends.

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

through Friday.

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.


August 19, 2021


What’s changed?



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

the CDC.

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

have symptoms.

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

distancing guidelines.

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

medical reasons.

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August 19, 2021


August 19, 2021



UA professors prepare for return to in-person classes



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

these goals.”

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

writing and


will teach

an introductory English course in the fall

and said he thinks the decision to eliminate

hybrid teaching was made without safety

in mind.

“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

should be.”

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

recently been

reported in

America with

the potential

capability to



from some


Currently, 99%

of COVID-19

deaths are from



Professors are not

allowed to ask about a

student’s vaccination

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

that suspicion.


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

fall semester.

The syllabus statement urged

faculty, staff and students to maintain a

commitment to safety. The University

will not provide a tuition refund if classes

move online.

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

a classroom.

“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

to campus.

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

have here.


In the 1990s, Warner became

a collector of Mathews’ art and

sculptures, particularly those

involving elephants.

“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

put together.

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

director’s donation.

“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

great turnout.

“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

for sure.”

While the completion of the move

is recent, Bell anticipates the hype

for photo opportunities will continue

moving forward.

“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

Crimson Tide.

“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,”

Pope said.


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

distracted driving.

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

and 29.

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.


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

15th Street.

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

bike lanes.

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

something out.


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

campus frequently.

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

some people.

“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

the road.

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

correctly signaling.

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

West Alabama.”

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

traffic laws.


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

pre-med track

Classification: Junior

Hometown: Memphis,


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/

or disability.

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

passion recognized.

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

and understanding.

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

and respect.

Q: What can we, as students, do about

this issue?

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

those communities.

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

as possible.

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

education experience.

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

significant others.

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

these issues?

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

their education.

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

others’ lives.


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

severe homesickness.

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,”

Sterritt said.

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

separation anxiety.

“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


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

the student.

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

from there.

“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

healthy relationships.

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

conversations about

conversations with

a lot of different


And while you’re

communicating your

needs to your family

members, you’re not

only growing with

them; you’re also

learning how to

best communicate

what you need

for future


whether they are

romantic, platonic

or professional.

“Self-advocacy and

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,”

Sterritt said.

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

be okay.

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

you’re utilizing

your resources

because there’s

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

Tide’s representation.

Wheelchair Tennis

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

speech-language pathology.

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

Women’s Wheelchair


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

straight title.

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

our campus

that want to

help,” Sterritt


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

represent Spain.

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

late August.

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.


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

new campaign.

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

NFL Draft.

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

59-yard touchdown.

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

National Champions.

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.


Women’s Soccer

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

from Oklahoma.

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.

Men’s Golf

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

Crimson Tide.

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

this fall.

Alabama men’s golf ’s first match is

Sept. 10 for the Maui Jim Invitational

in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Women’s Golf

Former Alabama women’s golf star

Stephanie Meadow put on quite the

show at the Tokyo Olympics, finishing

seventh overall as a member of

Team Ireland.

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

the team.

“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

Elmo, Minnesota.


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

the season.

“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

our opponents.”

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

Shaye Eggleston.

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

fall semester.

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

200 meters.

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

Jake Spotswood.

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

Twilight Classic.

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The Crimson

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

lost 10

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

performance against

first-round quarterback

Justin Fields and the

Ohio State Buckeyes

in the national



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,

DeVonta Smith.

Eight starters left

at the end of

last season.

There will be holes

to fill, starting with the

quarterback position.

The projected

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

behind him.

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

the University.

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

mid-season injury.

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

Buckeyes’ College

Football Playoff

semifinal victory.

He impressed

the coaching

staff throughout


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.


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

of players.


out are

Patrick Surtain

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

last year.

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

of players.

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.

Special Teams

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

starters Sam

Johnson and Ty

Perine behind



James Burnip

is another name

to keep an eye on.

Jaylen Waddle

will no longer

Courtesy UA Athletics

be creating

opportunities on

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

Jahleel Billingsley.


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-

Hare Stadium.

Photos CW / File

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