The Crimson White Local Edition, Aug. 18, 2022

The Crimson White's first print edition of the fall 2022 semester celebrates the city of Tuscaloosa that UA students call home for four years. Click through to learn about the highlights and drawbacks of life in "Title-town".

The Crimson White's first print edition of the fall 2022 semester celebrates the city of Tuscaloosa that UA students call home for four years. Click through to learn about the highlights and drawbacks of life in "Title-town".


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THURSDAY, AUGUST <strong>18</strong>, <strong>2022</strong><br />



Meet the restaurants transforming the Tuscaloosa food scene<br />



Tuscaloosa has many food and restaurant<br />

staples, from breakfast at Rama Jama’s<br />

and buffalo chicken dip at Buffalo Phil’s to<br />

fried green tomatoes at City Cafe and the<br />

yellowhammer from Galettes. But despite<br />

our staples, Tuscaloosa’s food scene is always<br />

undergoing changes.<br />

With Birmingham, Tuscaloosa’s closest<br />

large city, winning awards from CNN<br />

Travel and Fodor’s for its up-and-coming<br />

restaurants, it’s no surprise that Tuscaloosa<br />

is trying to make a name for itself in the<br />

hospitality industry, especially since the city<br />

welcomes thousands of visitors a year for<br />

campus tours and football season.<br />

Although many beloved Tuscaloosa<br />

restaurants have come and gone over the<br />

years, the Tuscaloosa restaurant community<br />

is bringing new flavors to this small<br />

college town.<br />

River<br />

<strong>The</strong> city of Tuscaloosa was built around the<br />

Black Warrior River, with many restaurants<br />

calling its banks home for decades. While<br />

most of those have closed, one remains on<br />

Jack Warner Parkway nestled on the shores,<br />

aptly named River.<br />

Lauren Jones, the general manager of<br />

River, has been with the restaurant since<br />

its opening in 2016. <strong>The</strong> Tuscaloosa native<br />

entered the service industry when she was<br />

17, starting as a hostess at the now-closed<br />


NEWS<br />

returns to normal<br />

3AMove-in<br />

after two years of COVID<br />

Cypress Inn. After working at the Cypress<br />

Inn and <strong>The</strong> Levee through her time at the<br />

University of Alabama, she was asked to join<br />

the River team by the then-general manager<br />

who worked with her at a previous restaurant.<br />

“I was born and raised here, so I can say<br />

that [Tuscaloosa’s] definitely come a long<br />

way. When I was in college, we didn’t have<br />

anywhere to eat, really,” Jones said.<br />

River specializes in more upscale food<br />

that can range from $20 to more expensive<br />

options, such as steak, a variety of fish,<br />

quail and seasonal vegetables year-round.<br />

<strong>The</strong> riverside restaurant also sells cheaper<br />

options, such as flatbread for under $20<br />

and charcuterie boards, and it has a bar and<br />

dessert menu.<br />

“It’s all about the experience, so we're not<br />

trying to get people in and out as quickly as<br />

possible,” Jones said. “From the moment you<br />

walk in the door, you should be greeted. You<br />

should feel like if you’re not ready to order<br />

anything to eat yet, then that’s fine. It’s all<br />

the way to the end with after dinner drinks<br />

and desserts and being greeted as you leave<br />

the restaurant.”<br />

Jones said River has been working<br />

towards using as many local ingredients as<br />

possible, including using locally sourced<br />

eggs, vegetables and meat so they can give<br />

back to the community and use the freshest<br />

ingredients. While the windows overlook<br />

the banks of the Black Warrior, one of the<br />

owners, Kim Hudson, makes sure to put out<br />

fresh flowers every week, which come from<br />

her own personal garden in the summer.<br />

Because they use vegetables and fruits that<br />

are in season, River changes their menu often<br />


AD<br />

GOES<br />

to reflect the products that will taste the best.<br />

While Jones said some people are thrown off<br />

by the menu changes since they get used to<br />

what they order, they do this to keep their<br />

food as tasty as possible and to experiment<br />

with new flavors and meals.<br />

“Our chefs and our cooks are putting this<br />

effort into something that you couldn’t go to<br />

the store and get something out of a bag and<br />

put it in a fryer. You could do that at home,<br />

but it comes back to the experience, which<br />

is what you’re paying for when you’re dining<br />

out,” Jones said. “<strong>The</strong> cooks love what they<br />

do and then put that pride into what they’re<br />

doing so that it’s passed along to the guests.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Veganish Market<br />

One of Tuscaloosa’s newest restaurants,<br />

<strong>The</strong> Veganish Market, soft opened on <strong>Aug</strong>.<br />

7 and hopes to bring more plant-based food<br />

options to the city.<br />

Yazmyn Rozier, the owner of <strong>The</strong> Veganish<br />

Market, based the restaurant on her own<br />

journey with veganism and eating plant-based<br />

food. While she wasn’t initially interested in<br />

the hospitality or restaurant industry, she fell<br />

in love with it through several jobs, including<br />

being the current business manager for Urban<br />

Bar and Kitchen in downtown Tuscaloosa.<br />

“I just wanted to open up a concept<br />

where it’s veganish; it’s not entirely vegan so<br />

it’s inclusive,” Rozier said. “So, if you’re not a<br />

vegan or if you are, everybody can come and<br />

dine with us and enjoy the space.”<br />

Some of the food options at the restaurant<br />

include street tacos, burritos, pastas,<br />

sandwiches, soups, salads, smoothies and<br />

6APartnerships with higher<br />

education drive local growth<br />

Take classes at Shelton State as a Transient Student.<br />

Visit sheltonstate.edu to apply and register!<br />

HERE<br />

It is the policy of the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees and Shelton State Community College, a postsecondary institution under its control, that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, marital<br />

status, disability, gender, age, or any other protected class as defined by federal and state law, be excluded from participation, denied benefits, or subjected to discrimination under any program, activity, or employment.<br />

smoothie bowls. Also, inside the building and<br />

on the website, there will be ethically made<br />

and sustainable ornaments, gifts and more<br />

available for purchase.<br />

“I wanted to go for a street food style but<br />

in a brick and mortar for stability,” Rozier<br />

said. “We have a really, really small location.<br />

But as far as the menu goes, I was inspired by<br />

my travels.”<br />

While <strong>The</strong> Veganish Market is one<br />

of Tuscaloosa’s only primarily vegan<br />

establishments, Rozier said she’s proud of the<br />

growth Tuscaloosa has shown in recent years,<br />

especially the independent businesses and<br />

restaurants that have opened.<br />

“I just wanted to show the Tuscaloosa<br />

community that they’re missing the mark on<br />

offering vegan food,” Rozier said. “You have<br />

restaurants here that offer one or two vegan<br />

or vegetarian options. So, we’re 80% vegan<br />

vegetarian, just to show that it’s a growing<br />

community of people... I wanted to create a<br />

place where you don’t have to get just fries or<br />

salad everywhere you go.”<br />

Rozier said she hopes <strong>The</strong> Veganish Market<br />

can cater to a market that isn’t available<br />

throughout Tuscaloosa and that it will give<br />

students a new plant-based option.<br />

“I think [Tuscaloosa] is growing. I’m<br />

proud of the progression, the new restaurants<br />

come to downtown especially. I love to see<br />

independent owned businesses come here<br />

just because I feel like Tuscaloosa stays heavily<br />

with their chains so the growth that I’ve seen<br />

over the past few years is incredible to me,”<br />

Rozier said. “Promote growth. I hope that<br />

Veganish will inspire other restaurants to add<br />

vegan items to their menu.”<br />

SEE PAGE 3B<br />

SPORTS<br />

6BNick Saban brings more than<br />

championships to Tuscaloosa

2A<br />


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Game days in Tuscaloosa:<br />

<strong>The</strong> transformation from small town to frenzy<br />

3A<br />



In the middle of Alabama and in<br />

the heartland of SEC football sits<br />

the headquarters of the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide<br />

fan base. Although just a little more<br />

than 100,000 people claim Tuscaloosa<br />

as home every year, during football<br />

season, ‘T-Town’ is home to anyone<br />

and everyone who sports the crimson<br />

and white. For seven Saturdays<br />

every fall, <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide fans roll<br />

into Tuscaloosa ready to remember<br />

better days, but Tuscaloosa residents<br />

are left to wonder about the state of<br />

their hometown.<br />

Tuscaloosa resident and UA<br />

junior Avery Lake remembers how<br />

frustrating it was being a child during<br />

an Alabama home football game.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re were four kids in my family<br />

so all of us getting tickets to go to the<br />

Alabama game just didn’t happen,”<br />

Lake said. “As a kid, I didn’t know any<br />

of these things so I’d ask, ‘Can we do<br />

this?’ and they’d say ‘No, not today.’ It<br />

was just not an option for the day […]<br />

<strong>The</strong>re’s no hope in driving through<br />

campus or even around it, on a game<br />

day. Just don’t even try.”<br />

According to UA Gameday maps,<br />

nearly two dozen roads are shut<br />

down every weekend for tailgating<br />

and campus celebrations, but this<br />

makes driving around on game day<br />

difficult. To prepare for fans coming<br />

from all directions, the UA Police<br />

Department has designed for<br />

most travelers to take one of<br />

four routes into the city. Those<br />

routes all lead to parking in<br />

different zones, but Lake said<br />

that Tuscaloosa residents often<br />

take part in the parking situation<br />

as well.<br />

“My brothers were in Boy Scouts<br />

and so they would go to St. Francis<br />

[Catholic Church] and help park<br />

cars,” Lake said. “You get there super<br />

early in the morning and take the<br />

money from people and help<br />

them park somewhere. It doesn’t<br />

matter what your business is,<br />

[anyone] can benefit from<br />

game day.”<br />

Although being a <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide<br />

fan is a constant for most Tuscaloosa<br />

residents, they prepare for football<br />

season with just as much gusto as<br />

everyone else. While Tuscaloosa may<br />

not seem like much from the outside,<br />

the home of <strong>The</strong> University of<br />

Alabama is rich in both history and<br />

pride for all residents. Giving up their<br />

city every Saturday to accommodate<br />

the crowds of fans coming from<br />

across the county, the state and even<br />

the country, then, is almost welcome.<br />

Tuscaloosa resident and UA junior<br />

Katherine Weber said that living<br />

Two University of Alabama students cheer on the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide at a home<br />

football game in 2021. CW / David Gray<br />

CW / David Gray<br />

in Tuscaloosa simply makes game<br />

days better.<br />

“Personally, I think being a<br />

resident of Tuscaloosa makes game<br />

days so special,” Weber said. “Just<br />

knowing that I grew up in the town<br />

of the team that has won <strong>18</strong> national<br />

championships is amazing.”<br />

However, residents still have to<br />

put in a lot of work to get their city<br />

ready to welcome so many people<br />

every fall.<br />

According to a UA News article,<br />

maintenance crews begin working<br />

on Bryant-Denny months before<br />

the first kickoff. <strong>The</strong>se crews work<br />

on everything from plumbing<br />

to electricity, and everything in<br />

between, all to ensure that the<br />

stadium is prepared to accommodate<br />

the flood of fans pouring in to watch<br />

the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide take on their latest<br />

opponent of the season.<br />

According to the article, during<br />

the week of each home game the<br />

University of Alabama campus<br />

becomes home to “countless<br />

amenities,” including “325<br />

portable toilets, 12 airconditioned<br />

restroom<br />

trailers, 400 trash cans<br />

and 130 recycling<br />

containers.” Crews also<br />

provide resources to<br />

make tailgating as<br />

efficient and effortless<br />

as possible. Every<br />

Saturday, several crew<br />

members walk around<br />

campus to ensure that<br />

game day runs as smoothly<br />

and cleanly as possible.<br />

After each game, the goal is to have<br />

the Quad and Tuscaloosa back to<br />

normal as soon as Sunday afternoon.<br />

On average, each game day produces<br />

more than 50 tons of garbage,<br />

meaning that the crews work hard<br />

to return Tuscaloosa to pregame<br />

standards. By Sunday, there is no<br />

evidence that the city’s population<br />

had doubled over the weekend.<br />

But many still remember the mix<br />

of people who came to Tuscaloosa.<br />

Between high out-of-state enrollment<br />

at the University and a large national<br />

fanbase, Tuscaloosa is home to<br />

more than just Alabamians. While<br />

Tuscaloosa and Southern culture are<br />

obviously prominent, out-of-town<br />

visitors still bring their own ways<br />

and traditions, although Alabama<br />

football seems to be a top priority for<br />

everyone involved.<br />

Lake said that even age changes<br />

the game day experience.<br />

“Now that I’m in college, I’m<br />

walking with the crowd of college<br />

students […] it’s very different,”<br />

Lake said. “<strong>The</strong> language is different,<br />

what people are talking about, what<br />

the goal is, why you are there, it’s all<br />

totally different as opposed to me<br />

showing up with my dad as a little<br />

girl, wearing my Alabama cheer<br />

uniform. I was just there to hang<br />

out with my dad […] It really is for<br />

everyone. You can make it your own.”<br />

While Lake remembers being<br />

transfixed by the cheer team, UA<br />

GameDay also provides inflatables<br />

in the tailgating area on the quad,<br />

making the gameday experience<br />

truly for everyone. Although kids<br />

might beg to come back to jump<br />

on inflatables, their parents keep<br />

returning to Tuscaloosa for far more.<br />

Tuscaloosa may seem small<br />

outside of football season, but its<br />

traditions stay strong and relevant<br />

year-round. Every fall, though, they<br />

become even more prominent as tens<br />

of thousands of fans come back for<br />

games and seek mementos of their<br />

championship-caliber team.<br />

Some fans buy a legendary<br />

yellowhammer drink from Gallettes<br />

before the game. Others head to<br />

Rama Jama’s to have breakfast<br />

surrounded by the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide’s<br />

best moments, memorialized by the<br />

legendary Alabama decor. Other fans<br />

are simply happy with bringing home<br />

a tiny script A, whether in the form<br />

of a Koozie from a street vendor or a<br />

new sweatshirt from a local store.<br />

Personally, I think being<br />

a resident of Tuscaloosa<br />

makes game days so special.<br />

Just knowing that I grew<br />

up in the town of the team<br />

that has won <strong>18</strong> national<br />

championships is amazing.<br />


It’s these small mementos and<br />

keepsakes that remind fans of the<br />

legendary traditions of <strong>Crimson</strong><br />

Tide football and make Tuscaloosa<br />

much more than just a small town<br />

in the middle of Alabama. Although<br />

Tuscaloosa sits quiet most of the year,<br />

during football season it comes to life,<br />

using decades of Alabama history as<br />

a way for both local residents and<br />

out-of-town visitors to connect over<br />

keeping Tuscaloosa as the place<br />

where legends are made.<br />



Thousands of University of<br />

Alabama students began<br />

moving onto campus on <strong>Aug</strong>. 3 in<br />

preparation for the beginning of<br />

the fall semester, which starts on<br />

<strong>Aug</strong>. 17.<br />

Early move-in began for<br />

members of the Million Dollar<br />

Band, some honors students and<br />

students involved in sorority<br />

recruitment. More than 1,200<br />

students moved in on <strong>Aug</strong>. 3<br />

alone. Additional students arrived,<br />

<strong>Aug</strong>. 6 and <strong>Aug</strong> 7, in order to<br />

participate in Biology Boot Camp,<br />

Bama Bound orientation and<br />

Camp <strong>18</strong>31.<br />

I encourage students to<br />

participate in activities,<br />

get connected and put<br />

themselves out there.<br />

Connecting with student<br />

involvement is a great<br />

way to find out about<br />

opportunities on campus.<br />


“Regular move-in begins<br />

on <strong>Aug</strong>ust 12. Over the course<br />

of move-in a total of 8,700<br />

students will move on campus,”<br />

said Matthew Kerch, executive<br />

director of housing and residential<br />

communities. “We really pride<br />

ourselves on being a coordinated<br />

effort; it’s not just housing staff,<br />

it’s UAPD and parks and services.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are so many campus<br />

partners participating.”<br />

Welcome back: Campus move-in <strong>2022</strong><br />

Planning for the movein<br />

process began six to eight<br />

months ago.<br />

“We try to make it as seamless<br />

as possible for the students,” Kerch<br />

said. “<strong>The</strong>re’s a lot of behind-thescenes<br />

work.”<br />

With move-in under way and<br />

Alabama Panhellenic AssociationF<br />

recruitment beginning on <strong>Aug</strong>. 7,<br />

freshman women began moving<br />

into the new Tutwiler Hall.<br />

“I’m excited for students to<br />

finally move into the new Tutwiler<br />

Hall. We started planning for this<br />

in February of 2016,” said Steven<br />

Hood, interim vice president for<br />

student life.<br />

<strong>The</strong> former Tutwiler Hall was<br />

demolished on July 4 after over<br />

50 years of operation. Initial<br />

construction for the current<br />

iteration began in 2019, and fall<br />

<strong>2022</strong> will be the building's first<br />

semester housing residents.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are currently 2,569<br />

women registered for recruitment,<br />

the third largest class behind<br />

2016 (2,875) and 2017<br />

(2,655), according to the APA<br />

executive council.<br />

“We are very much moving<br />

back to a normal recruitment<br />

process,” said Elise Anzaldua,<br />

UA panhellenic director of<br />

recruitment. Recruitment<br />

is moving to a more valuesbased<br />

process, more focused on<br />

understanding the potential new<br />

members shared characteristics<br />

and values rather than decor and<br />

superficial things.<br />

As students return or move<br />

in for the first time, many could<br />

not wait to get started on the<br />

upcoming year.<br />

Freshman Eli Hill was able to<br />

move into John England Jr. Hall<br />

on Sunday.<br />

“Since it’s my first year here,<br />

I’m probably more excited than<br />

anything else,” Hill said. “<strong>The</strong><br />

campus is really big. I’m super<br />

excited to meet new people and<br />

branch out.”<br />

Makayla Davis, a freshman<br />

majoring in criminal justice,<br />

agreed that she’s excited to meet<br />

new people and get started<br />

on campus.<br />

“I’ve never been away from<br />

home for a long time so it’s<br />

definitely a new experience,” Davis<br />

said. Like many students, Davis is<br />

interested in getting to participate<br />

in several of the upcoming events<br />

that start out the new year.<br />

“I’m looking forward to the<br />

spa day event,” Davis said. Tied<br />

with the Tide Spa Night was<br />

an event held as a partnership<br />

between University Programs and<br />

UA Panhellenic Association that<br />

included facials, manicures, and<br />

the opportunity to create DIY kits.<br />

According to <strong>The</strong> University of<br />

Alabama Quick Facts, of the 38,320<br />

undergraduate, professional and<br />

graduate students enrolled in the<br />

fall semester of 2021, 42.1% came<br />

from Alabama, and 57.9% came<br />

from somewhere else in the United<br />

States or one of 92 countries.<br />

Many new students are coming<br />

after losing a year of high school<br />

to COVID-19 restrictions and<br />

lockdowns. Caden Johnson,<br />

a freshman majoring in<br />

communications, is particularly<br />

looking forward to being back in<br />

an in-person setting.<br />

“I’m really looking forward to<br />

a different experience. During<br />

COVID, I lost a whole year of high<br />

school and only took one class<br />

senior year, so this is really an<br />

opportunity to be back in person<br />

at school after not going for almost<br />

two years,” Johnson said. “I’m also<br />

a lot more excited after seeing the<br />

dining hall. It’s a lot better than I<br />

was even thinking.”<br />

University volunteers direct the move-in process at the Presidential<br />

Villages. CW / David Gray<br />

A group of Blount Scholars<br />

program freshmen were<br />

specifically excited about the<br />

opportunity to attend backto-school<br />

events. Grace Neil,<br />

Emma Hurst, Brandon Suerth<br />

and Elizabeth Harrell all found<br />

the move-in process very quick<br />

and easy.<br />

“It was really smooth; it took<br />

less than 10 minutes for them to<br />

unload my car with four people,”<br />

Harrell said.<br />

When students move in on<br />

campus, many are excited and<br />

eager for new experiences.<br />

“I encourage students to<br />

participate in activities, get<br />

connected and put themselves out<br />

there,” Hood said. “Connecting<br />

with student involvement is a great<br />

way to find out about opportunities<br />

on campus.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> group of Blount students<br />

were also interested in getting<br />

to look around and find<br />

opportunities at Get On Board<br />

Day, which is <strong>Aug</strong>. 25 from 5 to 9<br />

p.m. on the Quad. Get On Board<br />

Day is an involvement fair hosted<br />

each semester by <strong>The</strong> Source<br />

that provides an opportunity for<br />

students to learn about over 600<br />

student organization options<br />

on campus.<br />

“I’ve already looked up some<br />

clubs that I want to find and am<br />

really excited about seeing what’s<br />

offered there,” Neil said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> beginning of early movein<br />

also marked the start of the<br />

University's Week of Welcome<br />

(WOW), a series of more than<br />

30 events throughout <strong>Aug</strong>ust<br />

designed to welcome new and<br />

returning students. <strong>The</strong> goal<br />

of WOW is to help students<br />

find resources, build a sense of<br />

community at the University, and<br />

have fun.<br />

Many parents are also<br />

experiencing campus move-in for<br />

the first time. Naomi Barnes, who<br />

is from New Jersey, helped with<br />

move-in on Sunday.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> process has been really<br />

good, very organized,” Barnes said.<br />

“My daughter and her friend were<br />

able to live together, and it’s been<br />

an excellent process going through<br />

it with another family.”<br />

Assisted on-campus move-in<br />

ended <strong>Aug</strong>. 14, while unassisted<br />

move-in concluded on <strong>Aug</strong>. 16.

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<strong>The</strong> new Julia Tutwiler Hall<br />

is now in its third iteration.<br />

Initial construction began in June<br />

2019 after years of planning, and<br />

the hall was completed in time for<br />

the first round of early move-in on<br />

<strong>Aug</strong>. 3. Room selection has already<br />

been completed, with 100%<br />

occupancy for the new spaces<br />

according to Matthew Kerch,<br />

executive director of housing and<br />

residential communities.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new residence hall<br />

accommodates 1,284 students in<br />

two-person rooms. <strong>The</strong> rooms<br />

feature private bathrooms. <strong>The</strong><br />

new occupancy equals the number<br />

of beds previously available in the<br />

old Tutwiler Hall and Harris Hall.<br />

<strong>The</strong> previous Tutwiler Hall was<br />

demolished on July 4 and Harris<br />

Hall demolition began earlier<br />

this summer.<br />

Resident rooms are single<br />

occupancy for resident advisors<br />

and double occupancy for<br />

students. Individual desks, closet<br />

space, storage, and lockable<br />

A hallway in Tutwiler Hall. CW / David Gray<br />


<strong>The</strong> outside of the new Julia Tutwiler Hall. CW / David Gray<br />

desks are available in each<br />

room. Each room also includes<br />

a microwave and a mini fridge.<br />

Doorbells compliant with the<br />

Americans with Disabilities<br />

Act are also included for<br />

ADA-accessible rooms.<br />

Each floor offers lounges, study<br />

spaces, and community-style<br />

residence hall spaces in addition<br />

to a community kitchen. Access<br />

to the building is designed to<br />

be completely keyless, where an<br />

individual’s Action Card will<br />

function as the key to the building<br />

and the individual room. All the<br />

floors feature a distinct color<br />

along the ceiling accents and pay<br />

homage to the old Tutwiler Hall<br />

which also had a representative<br />

color distributed along each<br />

individual floor.<br />

“Safety and accessibility were<br />

key components in design,” Kerch<br />

said. “Guests will be checked in<br />

and escorted by residents while in<br />

the building.”<br />

Kerch said it will take three<br />

action card swipes to gain entry to<br />

the main building from the street,<br />

further enhancing security for<br />

students. Additionally, American<br />

with Disabilities Act accessibility<br />

was considered for access to each<br />

facet of the building.<br />

Julia Tutwiler Hall also includes<br />

a multi-purpose room, which<br />

doubles as a storm shelter capable<br />

of holding 1,700 people. Storm<br />

doors and drop-down covers for<br />

the windows and storm doors can<br />

be deployed using a single point<br />

panel mounted on the wall. In a<br />

power outage, back-up generators<br />

will allow for the covers to still<br />

be deployed.<br />

<strong>The</strong> multi-purpose room<br />

can be configured to different<br />

arrangements to meet the needs of<br />

users. <strong>The</strong> space will be available<br />

for event reservations throughout<br />

the year, with public events<br />

using a separate street-facing<br />

entrance to enhance security and<br />

separation from the living spaces.<br />

Directly in the center of the<br />

5A<br />

building is the main courtyard,<br />

which is monitored by security<br />

cameras and Wi-Fi covered.<br />

Additionally, there is a secondfloor<br />

balcony with seating that<br />

overlooks the courtyard.<br />

Emphasis was placed on the<br />

ability to meet student needs with<br />

the spaces designed to encourage a<br />

sense of comfort and togetherness<br />

among the residents.<br />

“Student input was considered<br />

for everything from design to<br />

outlet placement,” Kerch said.<br />

Surveys, student feedback, and<br />

resident advisor inquiry were all<br />

used to obtain student feedback.<br />

Even the furnishings took years<br />

of planning. <strong>The</strong> University of<br />

Alabama Furnishings and Design<br />

team and interior designer Leah<br />

Shephard worked with multiple<br />

vendors to obtain pieces for<br />

the project.<br />

Safety and accessibility were<br />

key components in design.<br />

Guests will be checked in<br />

and escorted by residents<br />

while in the building.<br />


“It was a collaborative process<br />

with multiple samples and<br />

design considerations taken into<br />

account,” Kerch said.<br />

In addition to the new resident<br />

rooms, multi-purpose space, and<br />

community opportunities, the<br />

offices for the Office of Housing<br />

and Residential Communities is<br />

now housed on the first floor of<br />

Tutwiler Hall, and it will be a stop<br />

prospective students make when<br />

touring University residence halls.<br />


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6A<br />



When it rains, it pours:<br />

Why UA floods so often<br />

When students come<br />

to the University of<br />

Alabama, they find that not only<br />

is the climate generally muggy<br />

and intensely hot most of the<br />

year, but torrential rainfall isn’t<br />

unheard of, or even uncommon.<br />

According to the National<br />

Oceanic and Atmospheric<br />

Administration Climate<br />

Normals, the United States<br />

average annual precipitation<br />

amounted to 30.28 inches,<br />

whereas the annual average<br />

for Tuscaloosa amounted to<br />

57.78 inches.<br />

As a result of this amount of<br />

precipitation, flooding has been a<br />

common problem on campus, as<br />

well as in the city of Tuscaloosa<br />

at large. Last year was a prime<br />

example of this: on Sept. <strong>18</strong>, 2021,<br />

the UA campus experienced<br />

a substantial downpour that<br />

accumulated “3.5 inches of rain<br />

in just over an hour,” according to<br />

the University’s official website,<br />

In this incident, multiple<br />

campus buildings were affected<br />

and stormwater systems<br />

throughout Tuscaloosa were<br />

“backed up,” according to the<br />

University’s flooding updates.<br />

Several<br />

basement-level<br />

classrooms in Farrah Hall, Reese<br />

Phifer Hall, Doster Hall and<br />

the Bureau of the Mines were<br />

“damaged and taken offline” for<br />

up to two weeks.<br />

Rain like this is expected,<br />

due to the local climate<br />

and infrastructure. Hamed<br />

Moftakhari, a civil engineering<br />

professor at <strong>The</strong> University of<br />

Campus floods during one of Tuscaloosa’s frequent storms.<br />

Courtesy of submissions from UA students<br />

Alabama who specializes in<br />

water engineering, said that<br />

Tuscaloosa is in “one of the<br />

wettest regions in the United<br />

States,” so during a wet season,<br />

“torrential downpour”<br />

is normal.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are a number of<br />

projects going on around<br />

Tuscaloosa, which is nice<br />

and a good sign of growth<br />

and development. However,<br />

you have to consider the<br />

unintended effects of these<br />

land intensification projects.<br />

HAMED<br />


Despite the expectation of<br />

large amounts of precipitation<br />

and preventative measures<br />

such as calculating the amount<br />

of storm water drainage<br />

systems can handle before<br />

installing them, Tuscaloosa still<br />

floods often.<br />

According to Moftakhari,<br />

part of the reason Tuscaloosa<br />

floods so often is because of its<br />

modernized nature. Absence of<br />

green space—specifically the<br />

replacement of green space with<br />

shingles or concrete—increases<br />

the risk of flooding, because the<br />

rainwater cannot be reabsorbed<br />

into the ground and instead must<br />

build up on the surface.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re are a number of<br />

projects going on around<br />

Tuscaloosa, which is nice and<br />

a good sign of growth and<br />

CW / Shelby West<br />

development,” Moftakhari said.<br />

“However, you have to consider<br />

the unintended effects of these<br />

land intensification projects.”<br />

Another major factor in the<br />

flooding Tuscaloosa experiences<br />

is the fact that the systems put<br />

in place to mitigate the build-up<br />

of water, despite being originally<br />

constructed with calculations in<br />

mind to account for the rainfall<br />

Tuscaloosa experiences, have<br />

remained the same for years.<br />

“Our city has drastically<br />

evolved over the past two<br />

decades,” Moftakhari said. “This<br />

means that even if the climate<br />

does not change, the amount of<br />

runoff being generated is way<br />

different than it was in the past<br />

as the amount of impervious<br />

surfaces, like concrete or<br />

shingles, increases.”<br />

Moftakhari said a potential fix<br />

to this problem would include<br />

something like a green roof,<br />

which is essentially a rooftop<br />

garden instead of shingles or<br />

other impenetrable, artificial<br />

surfaces used for roofing, or<br />

a permeable pavement, which<br />

is partially concrete and<br />

partially soil.<br />

Moftakhari said these avenues,<br />

as well as other ambient options,<br />

are both “environmentally<br />

friendly and effective for<br />

stormwater management.”<br />

In response to the flash<br />

flood incident on Sept. <strong>18</strong>,<br />

2021, the University said that,<br />

looking forward, they will<br />

“keep flooding concerns at the<br />

forefront of planning,” and that<br />

they intend to work with “several<br />

research teams to monitor flood<br />

prone areas.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> University did not<br />

respond to multiple requests<br />

for comment about any<br />

progress or updates that<br />

have been made regarding<br />

prevention or preparation of<br />

flash flooding.<br />

Higher education partnerships drive local growth<br />



Each year, students from<br />

across the state gather<br />

in Montgomery to participate<br />

in Higher Education Day. <strong>The</strong><br />

advocacy event is hosted by the<br />

Higher Education Partnership to<br />

bring funding and attention to<br />

Alabama’s colleges and universities.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se pushes are especially<br />

beneficial as state financial support<br />

for Alabama’s institutions sits<br />

below the national average.<br />

“Alabama has a lot of low-income<br />

people, but our tuition revenue is<br />

twice the national average,” said<br />

Alabama Commission on Higher<br />

Education Executive Director<br />

Jim Purcell. <strong>The</strong>se factors hinder<br />

accessible higher education,<br />

contributing to Alabama ranking<br />

39th among all states in higher<br />

education outcomes.<br />

Even as pushes for increased<br />

funding occur and lawmakers<br />

signal hope, Alabama has remained<br />

under the national average for perstudent<br />

education appropriations<br />

for all but two years since 1980.<br />

While institutions lobby for state<br />

funding, state officials should bear<br />

in mind the collaborative economic<br />

strength of colleges and universities<br />

in their local communities.<br />

West Alabama signals that<br />

increased cooperation between<br />

higher education, government<br />

agencies and other organizations<br />

creates greater outcomes for<br />

everyone involved.<br />

Each higher education<br />

institution holds special qualities<br />

that bolster economic and<br />

community development. West<br />

Alabama wields a trio of higher<br />

education institutions whose<br />

varying specialties prepare<br />

students to broadly impact the<br />

local community. <strong>The</strong> economics<br />

of colleges and universities fall<br />

within their local communities,<br />

making cooperation a<br />

powerful tool.<br />

Research universities like<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama<br />

are major innovators that<br />

fuel entrepreneurship and<br />

development within the local<br />

community. A study by the Federal<br />

Reserve Bank of New York found<br />

research universities to be a<br />

major contributor in creating an<br />

innovation-based economy.<br />

<strong>Local</strong> engagement generates<br />

better outcomes for all parties.<br />

Universities across the nation<br />

have taken strides to strengthen<br />

entrepreneurship among faculty<br />

by transferring intellectual<br />

property rights to private<br />

firms, using incubators to<br />

commercialize innovation and<br />

strengthening entrepreneurship<br />

across curriculum.<br />

Maintaining and expanding<br />

partnerships connects students<br />

to tangible career options while<br />

developing faculty research<br />

and local services. For over 140<br />

years, the University has been so<br />

intertwined with the Geological<br />

Survey of Alabama that they hold<br />

“one coordinate history.”<br />

Placing an emphasis on researchdriven<br />

economic development<br />

reaps tangible benefits for the state<br />

and its institutions. <strong>The</strong> Georgia<br />

Research Alliance is a publicprivate<br />

partnership with eight<br />

state institutions that expands<br />

exploration and entrepreneurship<br />

by funding leading researchers,<br />

upgrading lab infrastructure,<br />

and helping to launch and<br />

grow companies.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y provide a model for<br />

Alabama to follow. In a report<br />

covering their first two decades,<br />

the Georgia Research Alliance<br />

recruited over 60 researchers,<br />

generating some $2.6 billion<br />

in investment, launching 175<br />

companies, and creating 5,500<br />

high-wage jobs across Georgia.<br />

Broader programs like these<br />

drive local connections that deeply<br />

impact community development.<br />

Beyond necessary funding<br />

increases, government officials<br />

should recognize the impact that<br />

universities make to the local<br />

economy not as a singular factor,<br />

but as something that can be<br />

bolstered through cooperation<br />

and funding.<br />

While research institutions<br />

create knowledge that drives<br />

innovation, growing local<br />

organizations helps translate those<br />

developments to the marketplace.<br />

Liberal arts institutions like<br />

Stillman College and the<br />

University of Alabama equip<br />

graduates with the soft skills that<br />

generate effective leaders who can<br />

adapt to new technologies.<br />

Increasing collaboration with<br />

local agencies and organizations<br />

bolsters outcomes for everyone<br />

involved. <strong>The</strong> Edge is a business<br />

incubator and accelerator that<br />

exists from collaboration between<br />

the University of Alabama,<br />

the Chamber of Commerce<br />

of West Alabama, and the<br />

City of Tuscaloosa.<br />

Combining their efforts,<br />

<strong>The</strong> Edge has brought multiple<br />

industries to Tuscaloosa<br />

including Camgian Microsystems<br />

Corporation. Jim Page, the<br />

president and CEO of the<br />

Chamber of Commerce of<br />

West Alabama expects their<br />

efforts to “alter Tuscaloosa’s<br />

economic trajectory.”<br />

Alabama has a lot of lowincome<br />

people, but our<br />

tuition revenue is twice the<br />

national average.<br />


When government officials<br />

fail to provide adequate higher<br />

education funding, they ignore<br />

the potential impact that colleges<br />

and universities can have on their<br />

local community.<br />

Comprehensive universities<br />

and community colleges like<br />

Shelton State Community College<br />

specifically equip students with<br />

direct jobs skills or training that<br />

allows students to effectively<br />

contribute to the local community.<br />

Stillman College partners<br />

with Verizon to provide STEM<br />

training to under-resourced<br />

middle schools. <strong>The</strong> Chamber of<br />

Commerce of West Alabama and<br />

Shelton State partner to expand<br />

workforce development through<br />

direct job training programs.<br />

Keeping a closer eye on<br />

collaboration with comprehensive<br />

universities and community<br />

colleges provides the most room<br />

for growth because they train the<br />

majority of local skilled workers,<br />

boosting competitiveness in<br />

the region.<br />

As Alabama continues to<br />

underfund higher education<br />

support, state officials cannot<br />

ignore the local impact that<br />

colleges and universities possess.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se programs can be fostered<br />

to develop academic powerhouses<br />

and alter social landscapes.<br />

In one of the most comprehensive<br />

studies of higher education as<br />

economic drivers, the Rockefeller<br />

Institute of Government issued a<br />

report detailing the necessity of<br />

recognizing the potential power<br />

of colleges and universities in<br />

local communities.<br />

“From<br />

Springfield,<br />

Massachusetts, where a technical<br />

college has converted an abandoned<br />

factory into an urban tech park, to<br />

Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina,<br />

where research universities worked<br />

to turn a sleepy backwater into a<br />

global powerhouse of innovation<br />

and manufacturing, to Sidney,<br />

Nebraska, where a community<br />

college operates a training<br />

academy that has helped keep the<br />

headquarters of a growing national<br />

company in its rural hometown,<br />

communities today recognize<br />

that their hopes for the future<br />

are tied to higher education,” the<br />

report read.<br />

Such collaboration is strategic<br />

for everyone involved. Increasing<br />

communication with public<br />

agencies establishes more direct<br />

lines to request and explain<br />

funding requests. When Alabama<br />

officials undercut higher<br />

education support, they ignore<br />

the potential for community<br />

growth, better opportunities and<br />

economic competitiveness.<br />

CW / Autumn Williams

A glimpse into the world of Tuscaloosa’s cat colonies<br />

7A<br />



While most people<br />

assume that Tuscaloosa<br />

is synonymous with the word<br />

“football,” not everyone is aware<br />

of the city’s infamous abundance<br />

of stray cats and feral cat colonies.<br />

According to the American<br />

Bird Conservancy, every year<br />

in the United States alone,<br />

cats kill more than 1 billion<br />

birds, an unsustainable level of<br />

predation for already-declining<br />

bird species.<br />

While these effects are more<br />

dramatic in remote island<br />

environments like Hawaii, where<br />

it is estimated that feral cats have<br />

contributed to the extinction<br />

of nearly 33 native species,<br />

unmonitored feral cat colonies<br />

could create a similar imbalance<br />

in the local area.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Tuscaloosa Spay &<br />

Neuter Incentive Program,<br />

began trapping through their<br />

Trap-Neuter-Return program<br />

in the spring of 2014, after<br />

the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal<br />

Shelter was forced to euthanize<br />

over 1,800 cats and kittens that<br />

year due to overcrowding. Since<br />

then, the non-profit organization<br />

has been supporting over 175 cat<br />

colonies in Tuscaloosa County.<br />

Basically, there is ignorance<br />

in terms of pet ownership.<br />

A lot of students will get<br />

cats or dogs off the internet<br />

for free. Mom and dad say,<br />

‘No, you’re not bringing that<br />

home,’ and then they just<br />

dump them on the streets.<br />



By trapping, fixing and<br />

returning the cat to its colony,<br />

feral cats don’t have to undergo<br />

trauma waiting to be euthanized<br />

at an overcrowded shelter, nor<br />

will they reproduce or overhunt<br />

small birds and rodents. Despite<br />

sometimes overhunting, Katie<br />

Elliot, the health, behavior and<br />

intake manager at Tuscaloosa<br />

Metro Animal Shelter, said<br />

controlled cat colonies are good<br />

for the environment because<br />

they prey on snakes and stabilize<br />

the populations of small prey.<br />

“If you fix a colony instead<br />

of just relocating it or killing<br />

it, it actually maintains a stable<br />

environment and it prevents<br />

more cats from moving in,”<br />

Brinkman said. “If you get the<br />

cat fixed and you take care of<br />

its food and its prey drive in a<br />

healthy manner, then that's not<br />

going to be an issue, right?”<br />

According to the 2021 Annual<br />

Report from TSNIP, Tuscaloosa<br />

County has approximately<br />

33,000 pet cats, with over 8,000<br />

that can produce kittens. <strong>The</strong> city<br />

of Tuscaloosa has approximately<br />

16,000 pet cats, 5,000 of which<br />

are not spayed or neutered and<br />

therefore can produce kittens<br />

if they escape or run away<br />

from home.<br />

As is the case when most<br />

animal populations spiral out of<br />

control, human activity tends to<br />

be the root cause of the problem.<br />

While releasing a pet into the<br />

wild does not always guarantee<br />

that it will quickly overpopulate<br />

its new environment, cats can<br />

have several litters a year.<br />

Brittany Hood, a coordinator<br />

at TSNIP, said it only takes one<br />

cat to start a feral colony.<br />

“It only takes one female<br />

cat that hasn't been fixed to be<br />

running around. <strong>The</strong>y can have<br />

up to three litters a year. Six or<br />

eight kittens per litter,” Hood<br />

said. “It doesn't take long at all<br />

for a cat colony to multiply.”<br />

According to the official TSNIP<br />

website, community education<br />

and feral cat control are the two<br />

main ways in which people are<br />

working to lower the unwanted<br />

pet population. Jessica Brinkman,<br />

the team leader at the Humane<br />

Society of West Alabama, said<br />

cats are multiplying so quickly<br />

in Tuscaloosa due to minimal<br />

spay and neuter laws as well as<br />

human neglect.<br />

“Basically, there is ignorance<br />

in terms of pet ownership,”<br />

Brinkman said. “A lot of students<br />

will get cats or dogs off the<br />

internet for free. Mom and dad<br />

say, ‘No, you’re not bringing that<br />

home,’ and then they just dump<br />

them on the streets.”<br />

Students often have limited<br />

budgets or unclear housing<br />

situations which may fluctuate<br />

on their allowance of pets.<br />

Brinkman said Tuscaloosa<br />

does not regularly enforce the<br />

few spay and neuter laws it has,<br />

meaning many animals on the<br />

streets have never been fixed to<br />

begin with.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re's not a lot of low-cost<br />

spay [and] neuter options in<br />

town,” Brinkman said. “Students<br />

have a very limited budget.<br />

So, [the cats] haven't<br />

been fixed and<br />

then they put<br />

them out on<br />

the streets and<br />

CW / Shelby West<br />

then they just breed and they<br />

explode from there.”<br />

Feral cats don’t qualify for<br />

most rescue groups because<br />

they are not socialized well<br />

enough to live in captivity,<br />

meaning they can’t be housed in<br />

animal shelters.<br />

On the other hand, abandoned,<br />

socialized housecats who are<br />

introduced to feral colonies will<br />

typically be perceived as a threat,<br />

as cats are extremely territorial,<br />

especially in the wild where they<br />

must fight for resources.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are key indicators to<br />

look out for that will determine<br />

if a cat is feral or has been<br />

neglected and is still dependent<br />

on humans to survive.<br />

Hood said the best way for<br />

students to help is to track the<br />

cats and get them fixed to stop<br />

the reproduction rather than<br />

uprooting them and risking<br />

stress and injury to both<br />

parties involved.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y won't let you approach<br />

them. <strong>The</strong>y won't let you get close<br />

to them. That's what makes them<br />

feral is they don't want human<br />

contact or interaction,” Hood<br />

said. “People tend to just pick up<br />

kittens and that’s when they get<br />

bit or scratched or injured.”<br />

It is crucial to study the cat’s<br />

behavior and appearance to see if<br />

it has a tipped ear, which is the<br />

universal sign that the cat has<br />

been fixed.<br />

“If you see a colony of cats<br />

and you notice that most of them<br />

have tipped ears, then that means<br />

that somebody is a caretaker of<br />

that colony,” Hood said. “That is<br />

kind of also how you can tell if a<br />

colony is maintained or not.”<br />

Euthanasia rates and feral cat intake have both dropped dramatically<br />

since the program’s inception in 2014. Courtesy of TSNIP<br />

Hood said people who call in<br />

to report a cat sighting usually<br />

team up with the volunteers<br />

at TSNIP to set up a safe,<br />

humane trap.<br />

“What we do is we get them<br />

to start putting food inside of<br />

a trap. And every single day at<br />

the same time they put food out<br />

in the trap,” Hood said. “What<br />

that does is that teaches the cat<br />

to start eating inside of the trap.<br />

So, when we go to trap the cat,<br />

it won't be this foreign object<br />

that shows up but they don't<br />

really know what to do with and<br />

they're scared.”<br />

Once the cat is trapped, it is<br />

spayed or neutered and released<br />

in the same area where it was<br />

picked up. Hood said people<br />

wanting to trap a cat should<br />

reach out to TSNIP or Tuscaloosa<br />

County Animal Control rather<br />

than attempting to approach the<br />

animal themselves.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> best thing that I could<br />

recommend is if you see a cat and<br />

the cat is feral, and the cat doesn't<br />

have its ear tipped, is to probably<br />

reach out, borrow a trap and let<br />

us arrange an appointment for it<br />

than it is to reach out and touch<br />

it,” Hood said.<br />

Because rabies can only be<br />

diagnosed by direct examination<br />

of the brain, a cat suspected<br />

of biting and passing rabies<br />

to a human will most likely<br />

be euthanized if it cannot be<br />

monitored in a secure<br />

location, an unintended<br />

consequence of<br />

someone harming rather<br />

than helping.<br />

While it is not<br />

uncommon for<br />

unsuspecting<br />

students to<br />

“rescue”<br />

strays,<br />

by doing<br />

so, they could<br />

disrupt the environment, create<br />

problems for volunteers or<br />

potentially harm the cat itself.<br />

While TSNIP, Tuscaloosa<br />

Metro Animal Shelter and the<br />

Humane Society of West Alabama<br />

have all made leaps and bounds<br />

in working with the community<br />

to stabilize and control the local<br />

cat population, there are still<br />

plenty of things students can do<br />

to help to reduce euthanasia rates<br />

in Tuscaloosa to zero.<br />

In only seven short years of<br />

the TNR program, there has been<br />

drastic success. <strong>The</strong> Tuscaloosa<br />

Metro Animal Shelter only<br />

euthanized 121 cats and kittens<br />

in 2021 compared to the 1,800<br />

euthanized in 2014.<br />

Elliot said using tools like<br />

social media is a great way for<br />

animal lovers to stay in the loop<br />

and connect with the resources<br />

needed to take care of all kinds<br />

of cat problems.<br />

“Post pictures on Facebook.<br />

With a lot of people, their cats<br />

will get away from them, so<br />

they’re missing and come into<br />

the shelter looking for them,”<br />

Elliot said. “<strong>The</strong> quicker you get<br />

a picture uploaded, the quicker it<br />

helps us find out.”<br />

All three organizations are<br />

actively accepting a variety<br />

of donations. <strong>The</strong> Humane<br />

Society of West Alabama accepts<br />

monetary donations and has<br />

an Amazon Wishlist on their<br />

website for people to donate<br />

food, bedding, supplies and<br />

more. Tuscaloosa Metro Animal<br />

Shelter accepts monetary and<br />

food donations, and even allows<br />

parents to give their child a visit<br />

to the animal shelter as a part of<br />

their birthday gift. TSNIP uses<br />

their donations to provide needbased<br />

funding for surgeries,<br />

transportation and concentrated<br />

outreach in areas with higher<br />

levels of unwanted animals.<br />

Alcohol may be coming to Alabama athletic events<br />



It appears that alcohol sales<br />

may finally be coming<br />

to Alabama athletic events,<br />

after athletics director Greg<br />

Byrne announced June 15 that<br />

the University had reached<br />

a compromise with the City<br />

of Tuscaloosa.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University initially<br />

announced it would serve alcohol<br />

inside Coleman Coliseum in<br />

February, but those plans fell<br />

through after the city<br />

said it would impose<br />

an added service fee<br />

on all tickets sold for<br />

events with stadium capacities of<br />

at least 1,000 people.<br />

Byrne and Tuscaloosa Mayor<br />

Walt Maddox both released<br />

public statements at the time,<br />

with Byrne’s condemning the<br />

city’s proposed tax and Maddox’s<br />

in favor of it. Maddox’s rationale<br />

was that the fee would help<br />

pay for any added aid that<br />

UAPD and the fire department<br />

would have to direct toward<br />

an incident stemming from<br />

alcohol consumption.<br />

After negotiations over the<br />

last few months, the<br />

two sides<br />

struck a<br />

deal that cuts<br />

the service<br />

fee and<br />

could result<br />

in alcohol<br />

b e i n g<br />

sold at<br />

athletics<br />

events as<br />

soon as<br />

this fall in<br />

Bryant-<br />

Denny<br />

Stadium.<br />

“We appreciate our<br />

partnerships, especially with<br />

the city, and the efforts of all<br />

the public safety personnel and<br />

first responders who work in<br />

and around our venues,” Byrne<br />

said. “With the recent expanded<br />

collaboration between <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama and City<br />

of Tuscaloosa we will continue<br />

our due diligence and revisit the<br />

opportunity for alcohol sales at<br />

select athletics events with our<br />

university leadership.”<br />

To account for the money that<br />

would have gone toward first<br />

responders from the service fee,<br />

the deal includes the University<br />

devoting $250,000 to Tuscaloosa<br />

City Hall each year from 2024 to<br />

2028, as well as scholarships for<br />

Tuscaloosa police officers and<br />

firefighters and their children.<br />

“We can’t express enough<br />

how much we appreciate and<br />

value the many public safety, fire<br />

and rescue, transportation, and<br />

other staff who help keep our<br />

communities safe and running<br />

smoothly,” UA President<br />

Stuart Bell said. “This agreement<br />

Bryant Denny Stadium could sell alcohol in the fall. CW / David Gray<br />

underscores the important roles<br />

they play and how the University<br />

values their roles.”<br />

Maddox voiced his happiness<br />

with the compromise, citing the<br />

University’s importance for the<br />

Tuscaloosa economy.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama<br />

is not only our region’s largest<br />

employer and economic driver,<br />

they are partners when it comes<br />

to ensuring that Tuscaloosa<br />

is safe,” Maddox said. “<strong>The</strong><br />

incredible growth of UA is<br />

phenomenal for our community,<br />

and this agreement will ensure<br />

that we continue to offer the<br />

best and safest experiences in<br />

the nation.”<br />

Byrne has not yet announced<br />

a date when alcohol sales at<br />

athletics events would begin,<br />

but this deal is a significant step<br />

forward in the process.<br />

CW / Shelby West

8A<br />

Druid City Music Hall comes back better than ever<br />



Located on University<br />

Boulevard, Druid City<br />

Music Hall is the heart of live<br />

entertainment in Tuscaloosa.<br />

Offering concerts that range<br />

from bands to country music<br />

stars and festivals, it has been<br />

providing live entertainment<br />

to the community for nearly<br />

six decades. Before being a live<br />

entertainment venue, Druid City<br />

Music Hall was a bowling alley.<br />

Originally opening in 1940, the<br />

alley was in operation for 30<br />

years, but transitioned into a<br />

movie theater in 1969. <strong>The</strong> “Tide<br />

<strong>The</strong>ater” housed two screens,<br />

called Tide I and Tide II, and<br />

was the home to Hollywood<br />

feature films that were only $1<br />

per ticket, which ran successfully<br />

for 11 years. Eventually, the<br />

building was renamed the Druid<br />

City Music Hall—but not before<br />

trying out names such as <strong>The</strong><br />

Varsity, <strong>The</strong> Jupiter and <strong>The</strong><br />

Bama Beach Club—and began<br />

hosting live music.<br />

In 2020, the venue underwent<br />

extensive renovations, adding<br />

two new balconies and updating<br />

the stage and backstage area.<br />

Today, the venue hosts acts like<br />

Luke Combs, Kenny Chesney,<br />

Rainbow Kitten Surprise and<br />

Band of Horses.<br />

Made up mostly of standing<br />

room only, the Druid City Music<br />

Hall has a total capacity of 12,050<br />

people. While the venue does<br />

have VIP seating options, most<br />

tickets are listed as “General<br />

<strong>The</strong> inside of Druid City Music Hall during a performance.<br />

Courtesy of Druid City Music Hall<br />

Exterior of Druid City Music Hall before it was a concert venue. Courtesy of Druid City Music Hall<br />

Admission.” Accessible seating<br />

is also available. A bar stretches<br />

across the back of the main floor,<br />

mirroring the stage at the front.<br />

While the venue is smaller, it<br />

creates a scene of intimacy for<br />

the acts and attendees alike.<br />

This year, Druid City Music<br />

Hall is planning to expand its<br />

events to include everyone in<br />

the community. Paige Parrucci,<br />

a social media manager and<br />

content creator for the Druid<br />

City Music Hall, talked about<br />

the rebranding that Druid City<br />

Music Hall will be undergoing<br />

this fall.<br />

“One of the main things that<br />

we are doing is trying to partner<br />

with local citizens around<br />

Tuscaloosa and the University<br />

specifically,” Parrucci said.<br />

Working closely with <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama has<br />

become a priority for the Druid<br />

City Music Hall. “We have<br />

some [employees] with Druid<br />

City Music Hall that are going<br />

into <strong>The</strong> University of Alabama<br />

and teaching some classes with<br />

their music department, as well<br />

as our ambassador program<br />

for the students where we are<br />

working directly with those of<br />

whom are interested in working<br />

in the music industry or venue<br />

management,” Parucci said. “We<br />

want to teach them more about<br />

what it means to work for a venue<br />

or promote shows.”<br />

Having the venue in one of the<br />

most popular areas in Tuscaloosa<br />

has its perks when it comes to<br />

connecting with the students.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Strip runs along University<br />

Boulevard and is one of the most<br />

iconic spots for students and<br />

residents alike. Especially known<br />

for its nightlife, the Strip houses<br />

bars, restaurants, grocery and<br />

merchandise stores, and Druid<br />

City Music Hall.<br />

While working with students<br />

is on Druid City Music Hall’s<br />

agenda, so is expanding events<br />

and trying new things to involve<br />

the entire community. While<br />

concerts are still bookmarked<br />

for the year, with acts such as<br />

<strong>The</strong> Stews and Corey Smith, so<br />

are other events, such as football<br />

watch parties and festivals.<br />

“This coming fall we are still<br />

doing our watch parties, but we<br />

are also going to be launching<br />

a beer festival with all local<br />

breweries around Alabama,<br />

Florida and North Carolina,”<br />

Parucci said. “We are also<br />

starting DJ nights. We want to<br />

incorporate more events that will<br />

attract the local community.”<br />

A whole new lineup of events<br />

is a part of the semi-rebranding<br />

of the venue and the rekindling<br />

of the community. Starting on<br />

Sept. 3, all <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide home<br />

games will be shown on 16-<br />

foot HD LED screens and the<br />

official website says it will be<br />

“a new favorite spot to watch<br />

your favorite team.” An array of<br />

concerts is also set to take Druid<br />

City’s stage. <strong>The</strong> lineup kicks off<br />

with Gov’t Mule, an American<br />

Southern rock band that first<br />

formed in 1994. Other acts<br />

include indie band, <strong>The</strong> Stews,<br />

country singer-songwriter,<br />

Ernest, and American southern<br />

rock band, <strong>The</strong> Cadillac Three.<br />

Finally, country music star Chase<br />

Rice will wrap up the <strong>2022</strong> lineup<br />

on Nov. <strong>18</strong>.<br />

One of the main things that<br />

we are doing is trying to<br />

partner with local citizens<br />

around Tuscaloosa and the<br />

University specifically.<br />


Between watching the<br />

Alabama <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide with<br />

fellow fans and enjoying live<br />

music, there are plenty of events<br />

for Tuscaloosa students and<br />

residents to take part in this fall.<br />

To get more information about<br />

upcoming show announcements<br />

and how to access presale codes,<br />

visit the Durid City Music Hall’s<br />

official website.<br />

#<strong>The</strong>resNoPlaceLikeUA<br />

Thursday<br />

<strong>Aug</strong> 25<br />

5-9 pm<br />

On <strong>The</strong> Quad

1B<br />


Teams and players that shine on Friday nights in Tuscaloosa<br />



<strong>The</strong> defending 7A state<br />

champion Thompson<br />

High School Warriors are the<br />

obvious choice as the No. 1 team<br />

in Alabama to begin the <strong>2022</strong>-23<br />

season. But the race doesn’t end<br />

there, as the city of Tuscaloosa<br />

boasts two of the top teams in<br />

6A and 4A high school football.<br />

Here are the top two teams in the<br />

Tuscaloosa area that could be<br />

lifting hardware at season’s end –<br />

and they have the same mascot.<br />

Hillcrest Patriots, 6A<br />

Last season, the Hillcrest<br />

Patriots had an impressive 11-3<br />

season that ended in a 44-16 6A<br />

semifinals loss to the Hueytown<br />

Golden Gophers. Hillcrest will<br />

have a rematch with Hueytown<br />

on Sept. 9. <strong>The</strong> Patriots are<br />

returning lots of talent on both<br />

sides of the ball and should be<br />

an interesting team to watch in<br />

<strong>2022</strong>. <strong>The</strong> other scary part is that<br />

Hillcrest was a game away from<br />

a state championship in head<br />

coach Jamie Mitchell’s inaugural<br />

season with the program. Is<br />

this going to be another year<br />

under his belt? <strong>The</strong> Patriots will<br />

be a force to be reckoned with<br />

this year.<br />

American Christian<br />

Academy Patriots, 4A<br />

In 2021, American Christian<br />

Academy went 11-2 and put<br />

together an undefeated 7-0 run<br />

inside the region. <strong>The</strong> season<br />

came to an end in a 26-10 loss<br />

to the eventual state champion<br />

Vigor High School Wolves in<br />

the 4A quarterfinals. It was<br />

not the ending anyone within<br />

the program wanted, so<br />

expect the Patriots to be very<br />

hungry in <strong>2022</strong>, potentially<br />

taking a few more steps in the<br />

playoff bracket.<br />

Players to watch<br />

this season in the<br />

Tuscaloosa area<br />

<strong>The</strong> state of Alabama has loads<br />

of talent every year in football. In<br />

a region where college football<br />

rules, high school football is just<br />

a step down. Bo Jackson, Terrell<br />

Owens, Phillip Rivers and Julio<br />

Jones are just a few of the names<br />

that came from the state. On the<br />

current Alabama football roster,<br />

47 players are in-state. Four are<br />

from the Tuscaloosa area.<br />

High school football reigns<br />

supreme on Friday nights in<br />

Tuscaloosa. Here are the top<br />

players in the class of 2023<br />

according to 247Sports.<br />

Wilkin Formby, OT,<br />

Northridge High<br />

School Jaguars<br />

Wilkin Formby is first on<br />

the list, coming in at 6-foot-<br />

7 and 295 pounds. Formby is a<br />

member of the Northridge High<br />

School football team – a team<br />

coming off a 7-4 season in 2021.<br />

This isn't the fault of Formby,<br />

who anchors the offensive line as<br />

offensive tackle for the Jaguars.<br />

Formby is a four-star recruit and<br />

is the No. 73 overall recruit in<br />

the country.<br />

He is the No. 10 offensive<br />

tackle in the nation, and the<br />

ninth-ranked prospect in the<br />

state of Alabama. Formby was<br />

recruited by 34 schools, but it<br />

came down to Ole Miss and<br />

Alabama. Many people believed<br />

he would end up choosing the<br />

Rebels, but on June 20, Formby<br />

formally decided to remain in<br />

northwest Alabama and play for<br />

his hometown <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide.<br />

Watching his highlights,<br />

you can see why head coach<br />

Nick Saban wanted to lock up<br />

the local product. Strong at<br />

run blocking as well as pass<br />

protection, Formby is a force<br />

at offensive tackle, a position<br />

in which Alabama may<br />

need a lot of help in the<br />

near future.<br />

Collin Dunn, LB,<br />

Hillcrest High School<br />

Collin Dunn has been a<br />

prominent player on the Hillcrest<br />

defense for a few years now. A<br />

little undersized at the position,<br />

the 6-foot-1, 195-pound<br />

linebacker more than makes up<br />

for it with his speed and pursuit<br />

skills off the edge. Dunn is also<br />

a versatile player, as he can play<br />

the safety position just as well.<br />

According to 247Sports, Dunn<br />

is a three-star and is the No. 42<br />

prospect in the state of Alabama.<br />

Dunn drew interest from 15<br />

schools, but ultimately decided<br />

to take his talents to Manhattan,<br />

Kansas, and play for the Kansas<br />

State Wildcats for college ball.<br />

Dunn will look to get Hillcrest,<br />

11-3 last season, back to the state<br />

championship game.<br />

Ethan Crawford, QB,<br />

Hillcrest High School<br />

A teammate of Collin Dunn,<br />

Ethan Crawford has held the keys<br />

to the Hillcrest program since<br />

2020. A three-star, Crawford is<br />

the dictionary definition of a<br />

dual-threat quarterback. He can<br />

turn any play from nothing into<br />

something, and for his size, has<br />

impressive arm strength.<br />

While receiving offers from<br />

SEC schools Tennessee and<br />

Kentucky, as well as Georgia<br />

Tech and Maryland, Crawford<br />

decided that the best fit for him<br />

was playing for head coach Will<br />

Hall and the Southern Miss<br />

Golden Eagles. Crawford is the<br />

No. 72 ranked quarterback in the<br />

country and the No. 51 prospect<br />

from Alabama.<br />

Sawyer Deerman, RB,<br />

Tuscaloosa County<br />

High School<br />

<strong>The</strong> No. 96 running back<br />

prospect in the country hails<br />

from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. After<br />

three years at American Christian<br />

Academy, Sawyer Deerman<br />

has one more year, joining the<br />

Tuscaloosa County Wildcats<br />

for his senior season, and it is<br />

an important one. Deerman<br />

has yet to commit to a school<br />

for the next four years, but he<br />

has plenty of offers. Michigan<br />

State, Ole Miss and Tennessee<br />

Hillcrest quarterback, Ethan Crawford (3) throws a pass.<br />

Courtesy of Gary Cosby Jr.<br />

have already offered the 5-foot-<br />

10, 175 tailback, and another<br />

strong season could go a long<br />

way in securing even more highprofile<br />

offers. Deerman is the<br />

No. 56 overall player in the state<br />

of Alabama.<br />

In 2020 during his sophomore<br />

season, he was used as an allaround<br />

athlete, playing multiple<br />

positions on offense, including<br />

the wildcat quarterback at times.<br />

His former head coach, Cody<br />

Martin, had very encouraging<br />

words for the senior.<br />

“Sawyer is a phenomenal<br />

athlete but an even better leader,”<br />

Martin said. “He always does<br />

the right thing, works hard, and<br />

always lifts his teammates up. He’s<br />

a great young man with a bright<br />

future. I’ve coached him since<br />

he was in sixth grade, and he’s<br />

had my heart ever since. I know<br />

he’s going to make a huge impact<br />

this year.”<br />

Although there will be plenty of<br />

excitement around the <strong>Crimson</strong><br />

Tide football season, there will<br />

be more great football played just<br />

down the road as well throughout<br />

the fall.<br />

Northridge offensive tackle Wilkin Formby (75) sets a block.<br />

Courtesy of Gary Cosby Jr.<br />

Graphics CW/ Autumn Williams<br />

Understanding the University’s financial footprint<br />



Before the COVID-19<br />

pandemic, the University<br />

of Alabama brought more than<br />

$2 billion in revenue to the<br />

Tuscaloosa metro area per the<br />

latest economic report.<br />

A 2019-2020 economic impact<br />

report, conducted by the Center<br />

for Business and Economic<br />

Research in the Culverhouse<br />

College of Business revealed the<br />

financial benefit of the campus<br />

on Tuscaloosa’s community.<br />

A conservative estimate<br />

of $42.7 million in city and<br />

county sales tax came from<br />

the University, according to<br />

the News Center story.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University is the largest<br />

employer in Tuscaloosa per the<br />

city of Tuscaloosa’s fiscal year<br />

2021 annual comprehensive<br />

financial report.<br />

University employees and<br />

families made up roughly half<br />

of the city’s 100,000-person<br />

population, not including the<br />

more than 38,000 students<br />

that were enrolled at the time.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University employed over<br />

7,100 people in the 2019-2020<br />

academic year.<br />

Samuel Addy, associate dean<br />

for economic development in the<br />

Culverhouse College of Business,<br />

told UA News on April 28 that “a<br />

lot of growth and development<br />

in the Tuscaloosa area is more<br />

or less driven by growth at<br />

the University.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Division of Strategic<br />

Communications stated in the<br />

same article that “economic<br />

impact derives from three main<br />

areas: direct spending by UA,<br />

student spending and visitors.”<br />

According to the CBER impact<br />

report, “UA expenditures for the<br />

year totaled $1.577 billion.” <strong>The</strong><br />

University spent “$516 million<br />

on payroll and $517.7 million<br />

on purchases.”<br />

Student spending on offcampus<br />

housing, food and other<br />

necessities equaled $542.8 million<br />

in 2019-2020.<br />

<strong>The</strong> economic impact report<br />

also stated that compared to<br />

in-state students, out-of-state<br />

students spend more while<br />

attending the University.<br />

As a result, out-of-state<br />

students create “educational<br />

tourism” opportunities.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re was also an impact<br />

from visitor spending. In fall<br />

2019, football games brought in<br />

about $26.6 million per game.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Tuscaloosa metro area saw<br />

an estimated $19.8 million in<br />

visitor expenditure.<br />

A conservative estimate<br />

of $42.7 million in city and<br />

county sales tax came from the<br />

University, according to the<br />

News Center story. This estimate<br />

did not include property and<br />

business tax influenced by the<br />

University’s community.<br />

Shane Dorrill, the assistant<br />

director of communications,<br />

said the University helps the<br />

Tuscaloosa economy through <strong>The</strong><br />

EDGE program.<br />

<strong>The</strong> EDGE is compromised<br />

of <strong>The</strong> University of Alabama,<br />

the West Alabama Chamber<br />

of Commerce and the city<br />

of Tuscaloosa.<br />

<strong>The</strong> EDGE was started in<br />

2012 and works to connect<br />

entrepreneurs with workspaces,<br />

innovators, and assistance, per the<br />

official <strong>The</strong> EDGE website.<br />

Russell Mumper, vice president<br />

for research and economic<br />

development at the University, said<br />

that “in goal 2 of the UA strategic<br />

plan ‘Advancing the Flagship:<br />

<strong>The</strong> Next Phase (<strong>2022</strong>-2027),’ UA<br />

remains committed to promoting<br />

innovation and research in ways<br />

that positively impact economic<br />

and societal development.”<br />

When asked about<br />

seasonal impacts,<br />

Ahmad Ijaz, executive<br />

director and director<br />

of economic<br />

forecasting at the<br />

Culverhouse<br />

Center of<br />

Business and<br />

Economic<br />

Research, said<br />

that “activities<br />

still take<br />

place at <strong>The</strong><br />

University,”<br />

even when<br />

students<br />

are gone, so<br />

usually only an<br />

annual impact<br />

is done.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong><br />

<strong>White</strong> contacted<br />

Kevin Lake,<br />

marketing and<br />

communications<br />

manager for<br />

Tuscaloosa, regarding<br />

an estimate on revenue<br />

from student spending,<br />

but Lake referred to the<br />

economic report.

2B<br />

Caffeinate your college experience<br />



With over 38,000 students<br />

enrolled at <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama, there<br />

is a clear demand for coffee<br />

shops around the city. Whether<br />

providing a quiet place to study<br />

or supplying the caffeine to<br />

finish a paper, Tuscaloosa offers<br />

a variety of coffee shops that<br />

cater to each student.<br />

Coffee is such a hot commodity<br />

that its demand has created a<br />

number of excellent locations.<br />

<strong>Local</strong>ly owned coffee shops stack<br />

the deck of Tuscaloosa’s top five<br />

coffee shops:<br />

1. Monarch<br />

Espresso Bar<br />

Monarch Espresso<br />

Bar is by far the<br />

best place to go<br />

for specialty craft<br />

coffee. <strong>The</strong>y are a<br />

locally owned coffee<br />

shop that has hosted<br />

events with University<br />

of Alabama faculty. Playing off<br />

$$<br />

their phrase “where fast lives<br />

slow down,” Monarch has ample<br />

room for a lively community<br />

space, perfect for catching up<br />

with friends or studying for<br />

an exam.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir baked goods are made<br />

from scratch daily and their<br />

avocado toast is a hit with<br />

regulars. Monarch does not take<br />

Dining Dollars, but you might<br />

luck out and get a free latte on<br />

a catering day. <strong>The</strong>y frequently<br />

do fundraisers for University<br />

organizations, as they a r e<br />

conveniently only a<br />

couple miles away from<br />

campus, and they host<br />

catering events<br />

across campus,<br />

which makes<br />

buying a<br />

good latte a<br />

$$<br />

little bit more<br />

guilt-free.<br />

2. Turbo Coffee<br />

If you want a place<br />

to charge up, Turbo is<br />

the place to go. Unlike<br />

Monarch’s mantra, Turbo is<br />

based on the idea of “making<br />

Heritage House Coffe, Tea, & Cafe is located in downtown Tuscaloosa.<br />

CW / David Gray<br />

people faster.” <strong>The</strong>y have great<br />

coffee and tea, but also<br />

offer smoothies and açaí<br />

bowls. Turbo also has a<br />

rewards program where<br />

you can earn stars from<br />

your purchases for<br />

free drinks. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

are locally owned<br />

and frequently<br />

showcase local $<br />

artwork for sale.<br />

This is my top pick<br />

to go study when I need a quiet<br />

space a couple miles away from<br />

campus, but they do not have<br />

ample seating, making their<br />

busiest hours difficult to find<br />

a spot. Turbo is adjacent to<br />

Greasy Hands Barber Shop<br />

and if you walk through the<br />

door to Greasy Hands, you<br />

will likely find sweet Molly,<br />

the shop dog. Overall,<br />

between getting to<br />

pet a dog and drink<br />

good coffee, I love<br />

this place.<br />

3. FIVE Java<br />

$$<br />

FIVE Java is<br />

connected to FIVE<br />

Tuscaloosa, which<br />

is known for its limited<br />

five dinner, cocktail and wine<br />

options on the menu. It is one<br />

of four locations, the others<br />

being in Mobile, Birmingham<br />

and Athens, Georgia. <strong>The</strong> design<br />

is eclectic and artsy, with a<br />

simple yet rich menu and a lively<br />

environment to compliment it.<br />

If you enjoy studying in a<br />

busy environment, FIVE Java<br />

is the place to be. It is situated<br />

downtown two miles from<br />

campus, and brunch goers<br />

provide ample white noise. People<br />

who need quieter environments<br />

for work or relaxation may want<br />

to avoid FIVE Java at peak hours,<br />

but the unique design and drinks<br />

add to the allure.<br />

4. Heritage House<br />

Coffee and<br />

Tea<br />

Heritage<br />

H o u s e ’ s<br />

menu has a<br />

larger variety<br />

of food<br />

for a coffee<br />

shop than just<br />

about anywhere in<br />

town. <strong>The</strong>y have a<br />

very diverse coffee<br />

selection that favors<br />

people with a sweet<br />

tooth. <strong>The</strong> Sugar Daddy<br />

espresso drink is a local<br />

favorite and sure to sweeten up<br />

your day. Along with a diverse<br />

selection of coffee options,<br />

Heritage House has a large<br />

tea selection.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir atmosphere is warm<br />

and welcoming, fostering a sense<br />

of community that allows<br />

groups to gather there.<br />

And with three locations,<br />

Heritage House allows<br />

patrons to choose their<br />

favorite space.<br />

Heritage house offers a<br />

multitude of catering and event<br />

options, making it likely to see<br />

their products around campus.<br />

One of my favorite things<br />

about this establishment is how<br />

kind and respectful the managers<br />

are to their workers. Heritage<br />

House values community<br />

engagement and offers jobs<br />

to people with disabilities by<br />

working with United Cerebral<br />

Palsy of West Alabama. <strong>The</strong> store<br />

can get crowded with long wait<br />

times but luckily, there are other<br />

locations near the University.<br />

At the end of each day, they<br />

sell old pastries and muffins for<br />

cheaper prices.<br />

Graphics CW / Autumn Williams<br />

5. UPerk<br />

UPerk is a<br />

nonprofit<br />

coffee shop<br />

owned by<br />

the ministry<br />

of First<br />

$<br />

Presbyterian<br />

Church of<br />

Tuscaloosa. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

are tucked under apartments<br />

off of University Boulevard,<br />

providing a comfortable place<br />

to study about two miles away<br />

from campus. Live music as well<br />

as public and nonprofit events<br />

provide excellent opportunities<br />

to stop by for coffee.<br />

Open seven days a week, they<br />

offer a range of coffee drinks to<br />

give anyone any option at any<br />

time. My go to drink is the Spice<br />

of Life, a cortado with a pinch of<br />

cinnamon and nutmeg, drizzled<br />

with honey. UPerk accepts<br />

Dining Dollars and Bama Cash,<br />

which makes the purchase feel a<br />

little less impactful to your bank<br />

account. <strong>The</strong>y offer a large space<br />

equipped with board games to<br />

play with your friends.<br />

Take classes at<br />

Shelton State as a<br />

Transient Student.<br />

Visit sheltonstate.edu to apply and register!<br />

It is the policy of the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees and Shelton State Community College, a<br />

postsecondary institution under its control, that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion,<br />

marital status, disability, gender, age, or any other protected class as defined by federal and state law, be excluded from<br />

participation, denied benefits, or subjected to discrimination under any program, activity, or employment.


Bistro 17<br />

<strong>The</strong> Veganish Market isn’t<br />

the only new restaurant<br />

eagerly waiting for students<br />

to get back. After opening in<br />

mid-June, Bistro 17 has had<br />

nearly two months to perfect its<br />

American food fare, including<br />

burgers, fried chicken, philly<br />

<strong>The</strong> Tuscaloosa food<br />

scene is so much fun, and<br />

especially downtown. here’s<br />

some great venues that are<br />

just bringing a lot of flavors,<br />

and I’m excited to just watch<br />

it continue to grow.<br />


cheesesteaks and more.<br />

Vincent Shakir, who co-owns<br />

Bistro 17 with his business<br />

partner Raji Singh, was born<br />

in Tuscaloosa and graduated in<br />

2004 from the University with a<br />

degree in theatre. After getting<br />

his food service start at Logan’s<br />

Roadhouse during college, he's<br />

now worked in New York City<br />

and Southern California in<br />

everything from Italian cuisine<br />

and pub food to specialty craft<br />

cocktails. When he moved back<br />

to Tuscaloosa this past year, he<br />

reconnected with Singh, who<br />

owns several restaurants across<br />

town, and together they decided<br />

to open Bistro 17.<br />

With members of their families<br />

<strong>The</strong> restaurants that are giving UA students a taste of local.<br />

Top photo courtesy of River, Bottom left courtesy of Veganish, Bottom right courtesy of Bistro 17<br />

3B<br />

dealing with Celiac’s disease, the<br />

partners wanted to offer classic<br />

American food with a healthier,<br />

gluten-free twist. <strong>The</strong>y hired a<br />

chef whose children were glutenfree<br />

due to Celiac’s and who had<br />

decades of experience cooking<br />

without gluten contamination.<br />

“We started workshopping<br />

all of the recipes that we could,<br />

trying to push the envelope like<br />

how we can bring the right flavor<br />

and the right mouthfeel to gluten<br />

free ingredients in gluten free<br />

items because a lot of times it<br />

just feels like you're chewing on<br />

cardboard or something yucky,<br />

just no flavor, no texture,” Shakir<br />

said. “So that's kind of the story<br />

of the food itself, but also wanting<br />

to incorporate things from all<br />

over the country and really bring<br />

American comfort food as well.”<br />

Nineties percent of Bistro<br />

17’s menu is gluten-free, and<br />

the restaurant dedicates certain<br />

surfaces to gluten-containing<br />

items. <strong>The</strong> chefs change<br />

gloves after making every<br />

meal, and all of their tools are<br />

color coded as well to avoid<br />

gluten contamination.<br />

Located on University<br />

Boulevard, Bistro 17 has already<br />

made an impact on those who eat<br />

gluten-free. Shakir said people<br />

who haven’t eaten in a restaurant<br />

in years are able to come to Bistro<br />

17 and not worry about gluten<br />

contamination. For others who<br />

eat gluten free, the restaurant is<br />

the first time they’ve been able<br />

to eat grilled cheese or similar<br />

products in years.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> Tuscaloosa food scene<br />

is so much fun, and especially<br />

downtown,” Shakir said. “<strong>The</strong>re's<br />

some great venues that are just<br />

bringing a lot of flavors, and I'm<br />

excited to just watch it continue<br />

to grow.”<br />

Professional athletes from the city of Tuscaloosa<br />



<strong>The</strong> city known for its<br />

top-of-the-line collegiate<br />

athletics naturally has had no<br />

shortage of names come through<br />

the pros. From football to<br />

combat sports, it isn’t unlikely<br />

to tune in to a big sporting<br />

event and see somebody<br />

hailing from Tuscaloosa in a<br />

professional uniform.<br />

Deontay Wilder<br />

(Professional boxing, former<br />

World Boxing Council<br />

heavyweight champion)<br />

Deontay Wilder, one of the<br />

most feared knockout artists of<br />

this generation, isn’t done in the<br />

squared circle yet. Wilder (42-<br />

2-1) is reported to be finalizing<br />

arrangements to fight again in<br />

October in an effort to snap a twofight<br />

skid. He has knocked out<br />

everybody he’s ever beaten and<br />

defended the WBC heavyweight<br />

title 10 times. This includes<br />

four championship fights in<br />

Alabama. Wilder was born in<br />

Tuscaloosa in 1985 and attended<br />

Central High School. After he<br />

graduated in 2004, he began<br />

at Shelton State Community<br />

College in Tuscaloosa, with plans<br />

to transfer to the University of<br />

Alabama at some point. <strong>The</strong>n his<br />

life changed completely.<br />

He fought 43 times before<br />

suffering a defeat and the<br />

aforementioned title reign took<br />

place over a span of more than<br />

five years. His iconic nickname,<br />

<strong>The</strong> Bronze Bomber, comes from<br />

medaling in amateur boxing at<br />

the 2008 Olympics. Wilder made<br />

his pro debut later that same<br />

year. He possesses 20 first-round<br />

knockouts and is still a topfive<br />

heavyweight in the world.<br />

Wilder’s trilogy opposite Tyson<br />

Fury consisted of some of the<br />

most lucrative fights that the<br />

heavyweight division has seen<br />

during recent times, both from<br />

an anticipation and a pay-perview<br />

standpoint.<br />

Some of his notable wins<br />

include two crushing knockouts<br />

over the man from whom he<br />

took the WBC title, Bermane<br />

Stiverne, and two stoppage<br />

wins over former World Boxing<br />

Association titleholder Luis<br />

Ortiz. In May, Wilder had a statue<br />

unveiled for him in Tuscaloosa,<br />

and he attended and spoke at the<br />

accompanying event.<br />

Tim Anderson<br />

(Major League Baseball,<br />

Chicago <strong>White</strong> Sox)<br />

<strong>The</strong> 2019 batting champion<br />

in the American League is also<br />

an alumnis of Hillcrest High<br />

School, graduating with the<br />

class of 2011. Chicago <strong>White</strong><br />

Sox shortstop Tim Anderson,<br />

a two-time MLB All-Star, has<br />

also played for the Birmingham<br />

Barons from 2014-2015.<br />

In his short career, he has been<br />

a centerpiece of a reemerging<br />

team which in 2020 made the<br />

playoffs for the first time in 12<br />

years. After batting .322 with<br />

10 homers during the shortened<br />

2020 season, he earned a Silver<br />

Slugger award. He has been<br />

playing in the majors since 2016.<br />

In 2021, he hit a walk-off home<br />

run during the inaugural edition<br />

of MLB at Field of Dreams, the<br />

most-viewed regular season<br />

baseball contest since 2005.<br />

Anderson’s blast led the Sox<br />

to a 9-8 victory over the New<br />

York Yankees. He was the cover<br />

athlete of R.B.I. Baseball 21, the<br />

final edition of the video game.<br />

As of <strong>Aug</strong>ust, he has 97 career<br />

home runs to go with 313 RBIs<br />

and a .288 batting average.<br />

Brian Robinson Jr.<br />

(NFL, Washington<br />

Commanders)<br />

Two-time national champion<br />

Brian Robinson was born in<br />

Tuscaloosa and spent five seasons<br />

on the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide football<br />

team before being drafted<br />

in <strong>2022</strong> by the Washington<br />

Commanders. His rookie year<br />

will be the first for the franchise<br />

with the Commanders name.<br />

Like Anderson, Robinson<br />

went to Hillcrest High School. At<br />

Alabama, Robinson’s best season<br />

was 2021, where he rushed for<br />

1,343 yards and had 16 allpurpose<br />

touchdowns. He was a<br />

third-round selection in the NFL<br />

Draft, going 98th overall. Much<br />

like many Alabama football<br />

players before him, he waited<br />

his turn and became an impact<br />

player when his name was called.<br />

He was the MVP of the<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide’s 2021 playoff<br />

semifinal win over the Cincinnati<br />

Bearcats following a 204-yard<br />

rushing performance, setting a<br />

school record for a bowl game.<br />

He inked a four-year deal with<br />

Washington after being drafted.<br />

Bo Scarbrough<br />

(USFL, Birmingham Stallions)<br />

A big talking point on the<br />

revived Birmingham Stallions’<br />

USFL title run was the signing<br />

of former <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide running<br />

back Bo Scarbrough. After being<br />

a part of two national titlewinning<br />

teams and two SEC title<br />

teams, he declared for the NFL<br />

Draft in 20<strong>18</strong>.<br />

He was a significant offensive<br />

contributor in 2016 and in<br />

2017. His monster showing in<br />

the 2016-17 College Football<br />

Playoff was a play away from<br />

culminating in a third college<br />

title for Scarbrough, but he was<br />

forced out of the championship<br />

game due to injury after scoring<br />

twice. Several Alabama fans have<br />

posited the hypothetical that if<br />

Scarbrough plays the full game,<br />

the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide wins.<br />

He totaled 1,512 rushing yards<br />

in three Alabama seasons to go<br />

with 20 touchdowns. Scarbrough<br />

was originally drafted by the<br />

Dallas Cowboys in the seventh<br />

round of the 20<strong>18</strong> NFL Draft.<br />

Sandwiched between Dallas and<br />

Seattle was a two-month stop<br />

in Jacksonville.<br />

<strong>The</strong> bulk of his NFL action<br />

came across the 2019 season with<br />

the Detroit Lions. He returned to<br />

pro football in <strong>2022</strong> after a brief<br />

time on Seattle’s regular season<br />

roster in 2020 and an offseason<br />

stint with the Raiders in 2021.<br />

He was also on the Seahawks<br />

during the home stretch of the<br />

20<strong>18</strong> regular season.<br />

During the USFL title game<br />

against the Philadelphia Stars,<br />

Scarbrough ran for over 100<br />

yards and a touchdown.<br />

As of today, he remains a<br />

member of the Stallions.<br />

Lester Cotton<br />

(NFL, Las Vegas Raiders)<br />

After four seasons at Alabama<br />

and two titles, Lester Cotton<br />

joined the Las Vegas Raiders<br />

as an undrafted free agent. <strong>The</strong><br />

former four-star out of Central<br />

High School started 28 games<br />

with the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide and was<br />

part of an elite pass protection<br />

unit which only allowed an<br />

average of one sack per game<br />

during the 14-1 20<strong>18</strong> season.<br />

He made his NFL debut in<br />

2019, playing in a single game for<br />

the then-Oakland Raiders. He<br />

has been signed by them several<br />

times and was brought on in a<br />

future/reserve deal following<br />

the 2021-22 season. Cotton also<br />

signed such a deal in 2021. He<br />

remains on the Raiders roster<br />

as of this writing. In the pros,<br />

he is playing the right<br />

guard position, from<br />

which he moved to<br />

left guard in 20<strong>18</strong>.<br />

Throughout the<br />

duration of his<br />

NFL career, he<br />

has appeared in<br />

five games.<br />

Herb Jones<br />

(NBA, New<br />

Orleans<br />

Pelicans)<br />

One of the<br />

most impactful<br />

p l a y e r s<br />

in recent<br />

A l a b a m a<br />

basketball<br />

memory has now<br />

emerged as a playmaker<br />

at the NBA level. Herb<br />

Jones, 2021 SEC Player<br />

of the Year and SEC<br />

Defensive Player of<br />

CW / Autumn Williams<br />

the Year, is a fan favorite who<br />

appeared in 78 games during his<br />

rookie season in New Orleans.<br />

He averaged 9.5 points per game<br />

with 3.8 rebounds during the<br />

regular season.<br />

In the 2020-21 season with the<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide, he was a leader<br />

in a group which advanced<br />

agonizingly close to a berth<br />

in the Elite Eight round of the<br />

NCAA Tournament. That team<br />

also swept the SEC regular season<br />

and tournament championships.<br />

Jones had 11.2 points per game<br />

and 6.6 rebounds per game.<br />

Lauded for his defense during his<br />

time at the Capstone, he’s shown<br />

that the best of his skills translate<br />

to the NBA.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Pelicans drafted him in<br />

the second round in 2021 with<br />

the 35th overall pick and he<br />

subsequently made the NBA<br />

All-Rookie Second Team during<br />

the campaign.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Pelicans<br />

also made the<br />

playoffs, where<br />

Jones averaged<br />

10.7 points, 3.3<br />

rebounds and<br />

1.8 steals across<br />

six games.


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OF STUFF.<br />



6B<br />


How Tuscaloosa was forever changed<br />



Nov. 27, 2006.<br />

Less than a year after the<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide finished a 10-2<br />

season, <strong>The</strong> University of Alabama<br />

fired head coach Mike Shula.<br />

Sitting at 6-6, interim coach Joe<br />

Kines was tasked with facing Mike<br />

Gundy’s Oklahoma State Cowboys<br />

in the Independence Bowl.<br />

Kines, who notoriously gave<br />

a halftime interview for the ages,<br />

lamented the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide’s<br />

inability to “stop that inside trap”<br />

in his ever-gravelly Piedmont,<br />

Alabama accent.<br />

With eight seconds remaining,<br />

the Cowboys drilled a 27-yard,<br />

game-winning field goal behind the<br />

leg of kicker Jason Ricks.<br />

Final Score:<br />

Oklahoma State, 34.<br />

Alabama, 31.<br />

A once proud program<br />

shepherded by the likes of Paul W.<br />

“Bear” Bryant, Frank Thomas and<br />

Wallace Wade, the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide<br />

had fallen to the depths of college<br />

football with seemingly no escape<br />

in sight.<br />

Mediocrity had become the new<br />

normal in Tuscaloosa — and to<br />

some degree, so had embarrassment.<br />

After all, who can forget the Mike<br />

Price debacle of 2003?<br />

Shortly after being hired as head<br />

coach in December 2002, Price’s<br />

contract was rescinded in May after<br />

news reports surfaced that Price had<br />

been seen at a strip club in Pensacola,<br />

Florida. <strong>The</strong> kicker? This came after<br />

the embattled coach had received<br />

reprimand for visiting local bars and<br />

drinking into the early hours.<br />

Dennis Franchione, Price’s<br />

successor, was once considered to<br />

be the metaphorical deliverer of<br />

salvation in Tuscaloosa.<br />

Hand-picked from Texas<br />

Christian University by Alabama<br />

athletic director Mal Moore,<br />

Franchione’s tenure didn’t exactly<br />

Alabama head coach Nick Saban looks on in the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide’s 24-22<br />

victory over the Auburn Tigers on Nov. 27, 2021 at Jordan-Hare Stadium<br />

in Auburn, Ala. CW / David Gray<br />

result in the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide’s discovery<br />

of the land flowing with milk and<br />

honey. Rather, a quick exodus was<br />

in store after a 10-3 (6-2) season saw<br />

the second-year head coach bolt for<br />

Texas A&M — without informing<br />

his team in Tuscaloosa, nonetheless.<br />

Price. Franchione. Shula.<br />

Three strikes, you’re out.<br />

Even before the three musketeers<br />

of disappointment, there was Mike<br />

DuBose, who was fired after a 3-8<br />

(3-5) season in 2000 that ended<br />

with five years of probation, a twoyear<br />

bowl ban, and the loss of 21<br />

scholarships. Something had to give.<br />

Jan. 3, 2007.<br />

<strong>The</strong> college football world learns<br />

by multiple media outlets that Nick<br />

Saban, the disenchanted head coach<br />

of the Miami Dolphins, comes that<br />

night to Tuscaloosa.<br />

Mal Moore, in the crosshairs of<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide boosters, rolled the<br />

dice on his entire Alabama legacy.<br />

In what was only comparable<br />

to a Marvel-esque movie scene,<br />

thousands of people arrived at the<br />

Tuscaloosa Regional Airport to greet<br />

Saban with a hero’s welcome on an<br />

otherwise chilly winter evening.<br />

Eight years, $32 million.<br />

Six national championships,<br />

eight SEC championships and three<br />

Heisman trophy winners later, Saban<br />

has proven to be quite worthy of<br />

his initial investment — and then<br />

some. Not only for <strong>The</strong> University<br />

of Alabama, but for the city of<br />

Tuscaloosa itself.<br />

Since Saban’s arrival, Tuscaloosa’s<br />

population has increased by more<br />

than 10,000 people, per a <strong>2022</strong><br />

census. Tuscaloosa county as a whole<br />

has seen an increase of over 40,000.<br />

It’s a simple formula, really.<br />

Winning produces infrastructure.<br />

While general economic inflation<br />

plays a factor, median home prices<br />

in Tuscaloosa have climbed from<br />

$149,000 in 2008 to over $268,500<br />

in July of <strong>2022</strong>, according to realtor.<br />

com. Previously open patches of<br />

land have turned into additional<br />

student housing and rental<br />

opportunities. Main city drags have<br />

become modern-business hotspots.<br />

Many local establishments, such<br />

as Egan’s Bar and El Rincon, have<br />

been replaced by student-centric<br />

nightlife ventures.<br />

Six national championships,<br />

eight SEC championships<br />

and three Heisman trophy<br />

winners later, Saban has<br />

proven to be quite worthy of<br />

his inital investment – and<br />

then some.<br />

For long-time Tuscaloosa<br />

residents, the footprint stemming<br />

from Saban’s dominance is even<br />

more distinguishable.<br />

Robin Spence-Vanderford, a local<br />

business owner, says the legendary<br />

coach has become more than just a<br />

pawn for economic growth — but an<br />

integral part of the community.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> Sabans have had a great<br />

impact on our city with their<br />

contributions from Nick’s Kids,<br />

Habitat for Humanity and other<br />

programs,” Spence-Vanderford said.<br />

“Coach Saban has brought much<br />

stability to our male athletes, and<br />

he’s been a stickler for discipline.<br />

Tuscaloosa has seen a great deal<br />

of development enrooted in<br />

his success.”<br />

In December 2019, plans for<br />

Tuscaloosa’s Saban Center, an<br />

innovative community partnership<br />

bringing STEAM-centered children’s<br />

organizations together with theater,<br />

outdoor recreation, literature, and<br />

interactive learning stations, were<br />

announced after Saban and his wife<br />

Terry gifted the city $1.25 million in<br />

celebration of its 200th birthday.<br />

“This learning hub will draw<br />

people from across the nation<br />

to enjoy and inspire learning<br />

and to socialize in a spirit of<br />

togetherness,” Terry Saban said.<br />

“We are proud to call Tuscaloosa<br />

our home as it continues to grow<br />

and evolve.”<br />

As Saban enters his 16th season<br />

as head coach at Alabama, very few<br />

questions remain about his place on<br />

top of college football’s Mt. Olympus.<br />

When it’s all said and done, many<br />

will maintain that Saban is the<br />

greatest college football coach of all<br />

time. Just as many will try to refute<br />

that notion.<br />

What cannot be argued? <strong>The</strong><br />

place Saban holds in the hearts of<br />

those that have been forever changed<br />

by his generosity and success.<br />

Because at the end of the day, it’s<br />

not about what you have done, or<br />

what you’ve accomplished, it’s about<br />

what you give — and nobody has<br />

given more to the city of Tuscaloosa<br />

than Nicholas Lou Saban Jr. Because<br />

at the end of the day, it’s not about<br />

what you have done, or what you’ve<br />

accomplished, it’s about what you<br />

give — and nobody has given<br />

more to the city of Tuscaloosa than<br />

Nicholas Lou Saban Jr.<br />

Tuscaloosa gyms should acknowledge queer health<br />



Just four days after the<br />

overturning of Roe v. Wade,<br />

Alabama Attorney General Steve<br />

Marshall begged the federal courts to<br />

drop their block on Alabama Senate<br />

Bill <strong>18</strong>4.<br />

This bill effectively eliminates<br />

certain healthcare practices for<br />

transgender youth, making the future<br />

of healthcare for trans individuals<br />

and the greater LGBTQ+ community<br />

in Alabama uncertain. While other<br />

states have similar bills, Alabama is<br />

the only state that makes genderaffirming<br />

care for trans youth a felony.<br />

With the health rights in the<br />

LGBTQ+ community in jeopardy,<br />

many are left to question what can<br />

be done to combat the agenda of<br />

the Alabama Legislature. When our<br />

government fails to uphold the health<br />

of a marginalized group, it’s up to<br />

everyone else to assure that other<br />

health outlets are readily available for<br />

that group.<br />

Some non-medical outlets for<br />

health have not always been welcoming<br />

to queer communities. Discrepancies<br />

in treatment make access to physical<br />

health and development more<br />

difficult for queer individuals, making<br />

an already unequal healthcare system<br />

more stringent.<br />

While gyms are a great option<br />

to maintain and pursue physical<br />

health, most gym goers aren't privy<br />

to “gym bro” culture, the overintense<br />

and hostile attitude some<br />

regular gym patrons —mainly<br />

men— have towards others. This<br />

can make some people, especially<br />

those in the LGBTQ+ community,<br />

feel unwelcome or unsafe. One gym<br />

in Tuscaloosa, however, is seeking to<br />

change that.<br />

Jacob Summers is the owner of<br />

Bars and Stripes Fitness, a gym in<br />

Tuscaloosa. Upon entering Summers’s<br />

gym, there’s the usual decor and<br />

equipment. More distinctly, the<br />

walls are lined with flags supporting<br />

everything from the U.S. Marines to<br />

Black Lives Matter, the trans and gay<br />

community, as well as women’s rights.<br />

A political message of this nature<br />

is not usually expressed in gyms,<br />

especially in the South.<br />

After serving in the military,<br />

Summers wanted to bring the<br />

same unity he felt in uniform to the<br />

fitness industry. Fitness can either<br />

be a welcoming or exclusionary<br />

environment, and that variation<br />

influences whether people stick<br />

to routines.<br />

Summers noticed a rise in<br />

bigotry in the fitness community<br />

after the Roe v. Wade decision and<br />

mentioned that those who were<br />

previously holding their tongues were<br />

now “emboldened.”<br />

He blamed larger corporate gyms<br />

for seeing this behavior and allowing<br />

it to happen, even citing other gyms in<br />

Tuscaloosa as an example.<br />

He said gyms do not do enough to<br />

make the LGBTQ+ community feel<br />

safe or welcome, and that the gyms<br />

ignoring this toxic behavior are afraid<br />

of clientele, so they don't speak out.<br />

Bars and Stripes fitness is located near Ion Tuscaloosa. CW / David Gray<br />

Gym etiquette is seriously<br />

overlooked. Summers contemplated<br />

ways to make the queer comunity<br />

more welcomed, saying gyms should<br />

have a way to phase out people<br />

who may not be a “good fit” to keep<br />

everyone feeling welcome, and<br />

encourage gyms to speak out against<br />

bigoted behavior in these spaces.<br />

In the wake of corporate gyms<br />

allowing bigoted behavior in their<br />

facilities, it falls on the fitness<br />

community and general public to<br />

take steps towards correcting that<br />

behavior. Gyms and members can be<br />

active participants in making sure the<br />

LGBTQ+ community feels welcome.<br />

While some gyms may be looking<br />

out only for their profit margins,<br />

we can look out for our fellow gym<br />

patrons whose health is already in<br />

political crisis.<br />

START<br />

HERE.<br />



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Students shouldn’t overlook Tuscaloosa’s local history<br />

7B<br />

Tuscaloosa’s organizations talk nonprofits and volunteering<br />



Nonprofit organizations are<br />

widely misunderstood;<br />

from believing employees work<br />

for free to thinking that overhead<br />

is low, the general public has a<br />

warped understanding of the place<br />

of a nonprofit in the Tuscaloosa<br />

community.<br />

Charles Scribner, executive<br />

director of the Black Warrior<br />

Riverkeeper, a branch of the<br />

Waterkeeper Alliance that aims<br />

to protect the Black Warrior<br />

watershed, agrees that nonprofits<br />

are misunderstood.<br />

“It can be said that nonprofits<br />

have to focus on not one, but two<br />

‘bottom lines’ as an organization.<br />

Like for-profit businesses, they must<br />

focus on the financial bottom line:<br />

to bring in more money than they<br />

spend, or else they will cease to exist,”<br />

Scribner said. “On the other hand,<br />

[nonprofits] must simultaneously<br />

ensure that they are fulfilling their<br />

mission, or else they will lose the<br />

trust and support of people in their<br />

service area.”<br />

Avery Rhodes, a University<br />

of Alabama alum and executive<br />

director of Community on the Rise,<br />

said that running a nonprofit must<br />

come from the heart.<br />

On the hard days, the days<br />

that are not joy-filled, the<br />

passion that you have for<br />

the work can be the gas<br />

you need to keep moving<br />

forward. That passion can<br />

sustain you.<br />


Community on the Rise is a<br />

nonprofit based in Birmingham,<br />

Alabama with the goal of<br />

empowering the community<br />

through the four tenets of housing,<br />

education, healing and employment.<br />

With these, Community on the Rise<br />

aims to lift people out of poverty,<br />

and recover identity documents,<br />

as well as provide other services to<br />

those impoverished.<br />

“On the hard days, the days that<br />

are not joy-filled, the passion that<br />

you have for the work can be the gas<br />

you need to keep moving forward.<br />

That passion can sustain you,”<br />

Rhodes said. “If you love the work,<br />

the climb is worth it, and you know<br />

there is a breathtaking view waiting<br />

for you at the top of the mountain.”<br />

Whereas Black Warrior<br />

Riverkeeper and Community on<br />

the Rise have become established<br />

nonprofit organizations, recognition<br />

is not something that comes<br />

overnight, and in the case of the<br />

West Alabama Women’s Center,<br />

located on Jack Warner Parkway in<br />

Tuscaloosa, it’s very fresh.<br />

Robin Marty, the director of<br />

operations at the West Alabama<br />

Women’s Center, said she wants<br />

people to know the struggles of a<br />

newly minted nonprofit.<br />

“One thing that I think people<br />

don’t understand when it comes to<br />

transferring over to a nonprofit, but<br />

especially when you’re a medical<br />

center that goes from what was<br />

essentially a task-based operation<br />

to now doing everything and based<br />

either on grants or on insurance, is<br />

that the big danger of this is that you<br />

have a period of time where there is<br />

no income,” Marty said. “It doesn't<br />

matter how much work you do, there<br />

is going to be no income because<br />

you’re waiting for grants to come<br />

in, or you’re waiting for insurance<br />

to happen, and you’re waiting for<br />

reimbursements to happen.”<br />

Once an abortion clinic before<br />

the overturning of Roe vs. Wade,<br />

the West Alabama Women’s Center<br />

now aims to provide gynecological<br />

care, access to contraception and<br />

more to the people of West Alabama<br />

as an alternative to going to the state<br />

health department.<br />

“At this point, we have transitioned<br />

over services away from elective<br />

abortion, and the clinic currently is<br />

focused primarily on a few different<br />

forms of healthcare,” Marty said.<br />

“We actually launched a ‘Pay What<br />

You Can’ emergency contraception<br />

program, which is a prescription only<br />

brand of emergency contraception,<br />

and have just received a large<br />

donation of that which we will also<br />

be offering up and that will be for<br />

free… our job is to get as much<br />

contraception into people’s hands as<br />

possible, because we know that that’s<br />

really how you stop abortion.”<br />

While the West Alabama<br />

Women’s Center leaves a noticeable<br />

mark on Tuscaloosa, it may be hard<br />

to notice these other organizations’<br />

marks on the Druid City. However,<br />

these nonprofits are still invested in<br />

the wellbeing of Tuscaloosa even<br />

behind the scenes.<br />

As for Black Warrior Riverkeeper,<br />

it’s best for Tuscaloosa not to get highand-mighty,<br />

as it’s county is only one<br />

of 17 which the organization keeps<br />

under its radar.<br />

“Black Warrior Riverkeeper's<br />

patrol area is the entire Black Warrior<br />

River watershed: all the land area that<br />

drains to the Black Warrior River.<br />

This service area includes parts of 17<br />

counties in Alabama, including not<br />

only the river itself in Tuscaloosa,<br />

but also Lake Tuscaloosa, which<br />

is the Tuscaloosa-area's drinking<br />

water source,” Scribner said.<br />

“Our organization is increasingly<br />

active in and around Tuscaloosa,<br />

patrolling for pollution, engaging<br />

volunteers, and making educational<br />

presentations to schools, businesses,<br />

religious organizations and<br />

civic groups.”<br />

Like Black Warrior Riverkeeper,<br />

Community on the Rise is based in<br />

Birmingham, but its reach extends<br />

into Tuscaloosa.<br />

“While we are based in<br />

Birmingham, we accept clients<br />

from all over Alabama. If you are<br />

struggling to obtain your identity<br />

documents due to poverty, we<br />

welcome you,” Rhodes said.<br />

Community on the Rise<br />

employs survivors of homelessness<br />

through their Wellness & Housing<br />

Opportunity Linked to Employment<br />

program. Workers gain access to a<br />

clean-living space and earn a salary<br />

through creating artisanal goods out<br />

of recycled #5 plastics, which are the<br />

most common household plastics<br />

and includes items like pill bottles<br />

and storage bins.<br />

Rhodes said she noticed that<br />

Tuscaloosa generates #5 plastic<br />

waste during football games, but the<br />

city only recycles #1 & #2 plastics.<br />

In addition to helping those in need<br />

from all over the state, Community<br />

on the Rise is open to a partnership<br />

to reduce plastic waste and educate.<br />

“We’d also welcome partnership<br />

A few of the artisanal goods from Community on the Rise.<br />

Courtesy of Community on the Rise<br />

with Tuscaloosa organizations and<br />

schools like UA to collect those #5<br />

plastics… We’d love to come on<br />

campus and educate about #5s and<br />

how we recycle, as well as talk about<br />

homelessness and poverty in our<br />

state,” Rhodes said.<br />

Even with a dedicated team of<br />

nonprofit leaders, if the community<br />

is unaware of the services, it’s easy for<br />

nonprofits to fizzle out.<br />

Marty said that other than<br />

financial contributions, the best<br />

thing citizens can do to help the West<br />

Alabama Women’s Center is to take<br />

advantage of their services.<br />

“It’s really important that we<br />

let the community know that we<br />

are here and we’re still open… I<br />

believe that a lot of people tend to<br />

go to Birmingham when it comes to<br />

getting gynecological care and they<br />

don't need to, there’s a doctor right<br />

here. <strong>The</strong>re's someone right here<br />

who can help,” Marty said.<br />

As for Black Warrior Riverkeeper,<br />

Scribner added that volunteering<br />

for a nonprofit is beneficial to<br />

both parties.<br />

“Volunteering at nonprofits is a<br />

great way to support good causes<br />

while also building your resume<br />

and experience. Black Warrior<br />

Riverkeeper continually offers a<br />

wide variety of volunteer projects<br />

for people of all ages, backgrounds,<br />

and locations,” Scribner said. “When<br />

students volunteer for different<br />

nonprofits, they can get a better<br />

sense of the type of work they might<br />

want to do upon graduating.”<br />

Rhodes shares a similar view<br />

to Scribner, in that working with<br />

a nonprofit can be a great way to<br />

gauge your own interest, as well as<br />

change lives.<br />

“Nonprofits often offer internships<br />

and hands-on opportunities to<br />

delve more deeply into the work - a<br />

great way to gauge how interested<br />

you truly are in a subject,” Rhodes<br />

said. “Nonprofit work is beautiful,<br />

demanding, life-giving, hard, joyful<br />

- all these things on any given day of<br />

the week.”<br />



While residing in Tuscaloosa,<br />

we find ourselves easily<br />

fixated on the luxuries accessible<br />

to us here. Whether that be new<br />

student housing apartments popping<br />

up within months to accommodate<br />

growing student populations or the<br />

abundance of downtown scenery and<br />

restaurants, the “college portions” of<br />

Tuscaloosa steadily grow.<br />

But what’s at the root? Tuscaloosa<br />

is more than we see on the surface of<br />

the Quad’s thick grass and within the<br />

stands of Bryant-Denny Stadium.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama’s<br />

Department of History offers courses<br />

focusing on Southern history and<br />

racial and gender exclusion. Joshua<br />

Rothman, professor and chair of the<br />

department of history, published his<br />

book “<strong>The</strong> Ledger and the Chain”<br />

which follows the business history of<br />

domestic slave traders and exposing<br />

their cruel daily lives.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se courses and professors<br />

provide valuable resources for<br />

students to learn about Tuscaloosa,<br />

but there is much more beyond the<br />

classroom. Tuscaloosa was the state<br />

capitol from <strong>18</strong>26 to <strong>18</strong>46, but its ruins<br />

remain in Capitol Park.<br />

Throughout Tuscaloosa are<br />

historical buildings that have<br />

withstood some of history’s most<br />

prominent and violent periods.<br />

Historic Tuscaloosa is a nonprofit<br />

organization that works to preserve<br />

several buildings around the city and<br />

the history they represent.<br />

Among their properties, Historic<br />

Tuscaloosa preserves the Jemison-<br />

Van de Graaff Mansion, the residence<br />

of Robert Jemison Jr., who was a<br />

plantation owner and a state senator<br />

from <strong>18</strong>59-<strong>18</strong>63. <strong>The</strong>y provide free<br />

public tours of the mansion and other<br />

properties Tuesday through Sunday.<br />

Senator Jemison’s lineage<br />

continued to make headlines. His sonin-law,<br />

Colonel Hargrove, a decorated<br />

confederate general, would later go<br />

on to be the dean of the University of<br />

Historic Tuscaloosa preserves the Jemison Van de Graaff Mansion and<br />

other properties around the city. Photos CW / David Gray<br />

Alabama School of Law.<br />

Later, his grandsons, Robert Van de<br />

Graaff, awarded physicist and inventor<br />

of the Van de Graaff Generator, and<br />

William Van de Graaff, named the<br />

first All-American football player for<br />

the University of Alabama’s football<br />

team, would become responsible for<br />

the partial namesake of this building.<br />

Historic Tuscaloosa works to<br />

upkeep and preserve this building<br />

along with four others that remain<br />

crucial to the foundation of the city.<br />

Alfred Battle, of the Battle-<br />

Friedman homestead, was a wealthy<br />

merchant and crucial financier of<br />

many railroads we drive past today.<br />

One hundred years later, after financial<br />

loss from the Civil War, the house was<br />

then bought by the Friedmans and<br />

it became their new family estate. In<br />

1963, the house was later sold to the<br />

city of Tuscaloosa to be upkept by the<br />

historical association.<br />

While these buildings hold<br />

centuries of complex history, the styles<br />

incorporated into the homes represent<br />

the popularized Southern antebellum<br />

architecture that began appearing<br />

30 years before the Civil War began.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Battle-Friedman home is the site<br />

of the last antebellum style garden<br />

in Alabama.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama offers<br />

tours for incoming students to<br />

familiarize themselves with campus,<br />

and there are also self guided tours<br />

available to learn about history that<br />

often goes unspoken by the Capstone.<br />

In 2015, Hillary Green, a history<br />

professor at the University, began<br />

researching campus history with a<br />

focus on those enslaved in Tuscaloosa<br />

between <strong>18</strong>29 and <strong>18</strong>65. Her work<br />

seeks to provide accessible, hands-on<br />

forms of education about the enslaved<br />

individuals who lived, worked and<br />

even died during this period.<br />

Historic Tuscaloosa is a<br />

nonprofit organization<br />

that works to preserve<br />

several buildings around<br />

the city and the history they<br />

represent.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Hallowed Grounds Tours are<br />

available in pamphlet form, estimated<br />

at a leisurely pace for 90 minutes, or as<br />

a mobile device tour through Adobe<br />

Spark, an abbreviated 45 minute tour<br />

utilized for classes.<br />

That history expands to the city.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Tuscaloosa Civil Rights History<br />

and Reconciliation Foundation also<br />

hosts a Civil Rights History Trail that<br />

covers <strong>18</strong> locations across the city and<br />

details the local fight for racial equity.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se trails give a personal<br />

perspective to Tuscaloosa’s racial<br />

past and provide powerful narratives<br />

of local resistance. While<br />

many assume they<br />

are aware of the<br />

South’s brutality,<br />

these initiatives<br />

function as a<br />

reminder of the local,<br />

personal stories that<br />

follow from slavery<br />

and oppression.<br />

H i s t o r i c<br />

Tuscaloosa<br />

owns the<br />

Murphy-<br />

Collins House, which now holds the<br />

Murphy African-American Museum.<br />

It preserves the lives of Will Murphy,<br />

Tuscaloosa’s first black mortician and<br />

funeral director, and his wife, Laura<br />

Murphy, who was the principal of<br />

20th Street Elementary School. <strong>The</strong><br />

museum also places an emphasis on<br />

the history and culture of Tuscaloosa’s<br />

African-American population.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n there’s the more hidden<br />

histories associated with Tuscaloosa.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Prewitt Slave Cemetery is the<br />

largest of its kind in the state, but it was<br />

overtaken by nature through time.<br />

Patricia and Eloise Prewitt now work<br />

to ensure that the history remains.<br />

“That cemetery needs to be<br />

publicized,” Patricia Prewitt said.<br />

“School kids need to drive over there<br />

and say look, that’s a slave cemetery.”<br />

Those sites hold realities beyond<br />

words, statistics or any history lesson.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama offers<br />

an educational foundation to better<br />

understand history, but those lessons<br />

become more personal through<br />

Tuscaloosa. <strong>The</strong> city is rife with<br />

historical sites and stories that provide<br />

a new lens for learning and growing<br />

that students would be remiss<br />

to overlook.

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New residential customers only. Must very student status at time of order. Student-exclusive offers not available to students living in on-campus housing. Limited to Fast 300 Mbps Internet, Superfast 600<br />

Mbps Internet or Gig Internet with xFi Complete for 12 months. Equip., installation, taxes, & fees extra, and subj. to change. After 24 months, or if any service is canceled or downgraded, regular charges apply<br />

to all services and devices. Service limited to a single outlet. Comcast’s service charge for Fast is $79/mo., Superfast is $89/mo or Gig Internet is $109/mo. May not be combined with other offers. Internet:<br />

Gig-speed WiFi requires Gigabit Internet and compatible gateway. Actual speeds vary and not guaranteed. Many factors affect speed, including equipment performance, interference, congestion, and speeds<br />

of visited websites. WiFi speeds affected by additional factors, including distance from Gateway, home configuration, personal device capabilities, and others. For factors affecting speed visit www.xfinity.com/<br />

networkmanagement. Flex: Not available to current Xfinity TV customers. Requires post-paid subscription to Xfinity Internet, excluding Internet Essentials. Limited to three devices. One device included,<br />

additional devices $5/mo. per device (subj. to change). Viewing will count against any Xfinity data plan. Prepaid cards issued by MetaBank®, National Association, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from<br />

Visa® U.S.A. Inc. Cards will not have cash access and can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Prepaid card mailed to Comcast account holder within <strong>18</strong> weeks of activation of all required services<br />

and expires in <strong>18</strong>0 days. Call or go online for restrictions and complete details.

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