The Crimson White Justice Edition, Feb. 2, 2022

In this year's Justice Edition, The Crimson White starts off the spring 2023 semester by examining how social justice issues manifest on campus, and how the UA community has pursued justice over the years.

In this year's Justice Edition, The Crimson White starts off the spring 2023 semester by examining how social justice issues manifest on campus, and how the UA community has pursued justice over the years.


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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2023<br />


CW / Autumn Williams<br />

50 Years<br />

of Title IX<br />

Title IX and its impact on UA Athletics<br />



When she first stepped<br />

on <strong>The</strong> University<br />

of Alabama’s campus in 1998,<br />

Jenny Mainz was the only female<br />

women’s tennis head coach in the<br />

SEC and one of only two female<br />

head coaches at the University<br />

alongside gymnastics coach<br />

Sarah Patterson.<br />

It took 25 years, but now, Mainz<br />

is one of five female head coaches<br />

in SEC women’s tennis and one of<br />

five female head coaches at <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re’s no question that Title<br />

IX was the light behind this,”<br />

Mainz said.<br />

Title IX has been changing<br />

women’s sports for more than<br />

50 years now. <strong>The</strong> legislation,<br />



which was passed as a part of the<br />

Education Amendments of 1972,<br />

prevents sex-based discrimination<br />

in federally funded programs, such<br />

as collegiate athletic programs.<br />

In other words, the law made it<br />

illegal to treat male athletes better<br />

than their female counterparts,<br />

and vice-versa.<br />

While Title IX today doesn’t<br />

create waves as big as it did in the<br />

‘70s, its impact still ripples through<br />

the collegiate sports landscape and<br />

ensures equity for all.<br />

Mainz said in her 25 years as<br />

a UA coach, she has seen Title<br />

IX take root in the Alabama<br />

athletics department.<br />

“I think Greg Byrne, our athletic<br />

director, has been instrumental in<br />

that growth, in that movement to<br />

hire women in those leadership<br />

positions,” Mainz said. “It’s<br />

exciting because what happens is<br />

that a lot of young girls and a lot of<br />

immigrants<br />

are still barred from Alabama’s<br />

3AUndocumented<br />

public universities.<br />

young women look and think that<br />

they want to do that too.”<br />

According to the National<br />

Women’s Law Center, less than<br />

32,000 college athletes were<br />

women before the passage of Title<br />

IX. In 2020, that number was over<br />

200,000. Numbers from College<br />

Factual indicate that just over 400<br />

are UA athletes.<br />

Mainz said that seeing women<br />

in prominent roles is crucial for<br />

girls who want to continue their<br />

athletic careers.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re are so many women<br />

who went before us who made<br />

big-time courageous decisions<br />

to fight for Title IX,” Mainz said.<br />

“It’s a movement. You look back<br />

at Wilma Rudolph, Althea Gibson<br />

and Billie Jean King. <strong>The</strong>y are<br />

the iconic athletes that were<br />

fighting for equal opportunity<br />

and participation. We’re certainly<br />

heading in the right direction but<br />

NEWS<br />

react to the Jan.<br />

26 “Ye is right” chalkings<br />

2BStudents<br />

with support for the Jewish<br />

community.<br />

ultimately the message needs to be<br />

that we’re not done.”<br />

To celebrate the 50th<br />

anniversary of the legislation, the<br />

University’s athletic department<br />

has sponsored a series of Title IX<br />

events, many of which are matches<br />

during a female sport’s season.<br />

Last fall, the Alabama volleyball<br />

program held its Title IX match on<br />

Sept. 25 against Auburn, and head<br />

coach Rashinda Reed invited one<br />

of her predecessors, Judy Green,<br />

to celebrate.<br />

“[Green] was a coach here when<br />

I was a player at Georgia,” Reed<br />

said in September <strong>2022</strong>. “Alabama<br />

was amazing and she was one<br />

of the trailblazers for women in<br />

sport, in volleyball.”<br />

Green was Alabama volleyball’s<br />

head coach from 1996-2010 and a<br />

phenomenal athlete in the 1980s,<br />

when the nation was still figuring<br />

out what Title IX entailed. As a<br />

three-sport college athlete, she<br />

paved the way for women who<br />

wanted to take advantage of every<br />

opportunity sports offered them.<br />

Reed said that it was the perfect<br />

chance for her team to learn about<br />

how female sports have changed<br />

over the years.<br />

“It’s important for our ladies<br />

to know the history of Alabama<br />

sports and they understand that<br />

there are people before you who<br />

have made this situation what it<br />

is,” Reed said. “I thought it was<br />

a beautiful moment for Judy to<br />

come back and have people here<br />

supporting her and then have our<br />

players see that there’s history<br />

right here.”<br />

It’s tempting to celebrate the<br />

legislation’s 50th anniversary and<br />

then put it back on the trophy<br />

shelf, but its importance is just<br />

as relevant in today’s college<br />

sports atmosphere.<br />

As a member of the volleyball<br />

team, middle blocker Alyiah Wells<br />

recognizes the role of Title IX in<br />

her collegiate career, even though<br />

the legislation passed decades<br />

before she was born.<br />

“It’s extremely important,” Wells<br />

said. “We have a good Title IX<br />

department. <strong>The</strong>y try to make sure<br />

we’re all aware of what’s accessible<br />

to us in regards to Title IX, if we<br />

have any questions or if we need<br />

any help.”<br />

In today’s college sports<br />

environment, the main focus<br />

of Title IX is making sure every<br />

athlete has the same opportunity.<br />

A laundry list of Title IX benefits<br />

is used to objectively evaluate<br />

athletes’ resources, such as their<br />

equipment, facilities, opportunities<br />

for tutoring and more.<br />


SEE PAGE 4A<br />

Alex Jobin argues<br />

the filibuster is an obstacle to<br />

5BColumnist<br />

justice.<br />


2A<br />

what’s inside<br />

opinions<br />


editor-in-chief<br />

Bhavana Ravala<br />

editor@thecrimsonwhite.com<br />


managing editor<br />

engagement editor<br />

chief copy editor<br />

opinions editor<br />

Jeffrey Kelly<br />

managingeditor@thecrimsonwhite.com<br />

Gabriel Brown<br />

engagement@thecrimsonwhite.com<br />

Natalie Bonner<br />

Carson Lott<br />

letters@thecrimsonwhite.com<br />

Subscribe to get our newsletter<br />

in your email on Monday and<br />

Thursday mornings!<br />

news editor<br />

assistant news editor<br />

culture editor<br />

assistant culture editor<br />

sports editor<br />

assistant sports editor<br />

chief page editor<br />

chief graphics editor<br />

photo editor<br />

assistant photo editor<br />

multimedia editor<br />

Ainsley Platt<br />

newsdesk@thecrimsonwhite.com<br />

Kayla Solino<br />

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culture@thecrimsonwhite.com<br />

Savannah Ichikawa<br />

Blake Byler<br />

sports@thecrimsonwhite.com<br />

Abby McCreary<br />

Pearl Langley<br />

Autumn Williams<br />

David Gray<br />

Morgan Gray<br />

Miriam Anderson<br />


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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong>, Copyright © <strong>2022</strong><br />

CW / Wesley Picard<br />


Shining a light<br />

on Aramark<br />



CW / Jesse Clopton<br />

<strong>The</strong> latest string of prison strikes<br />

within the Alabama Department of<br />

Corrections, beginning in late September <strong>2022</strong><br />

and subsiding in mid-October, has reanimated<br />

conversations regarding the treatment of<br />

inmates — conversations that had previously<br />

remained dormant in the public consciousness.<br />

<strong>The</strong> cries for justice from inmates<br />

incarcerated in the ADOC are not new.<br />

In 2017, the grassroots organization Free<br />

Alabama Movement launched a protest<br />

campaign against Aramark, the University’s<br />

primary dining service provider. At the time,<br />

they pointed toward Aramark’s relationship<br />

to prison labor, listing complaints ranging<br />

from the mistreatment of inmates on the<br />

part of supervisors to the provision of<br />

undercooked food.<br />

Aramark, a multi-billion dollar company,<br />

does not compensate inmate kitchen workers<br />

with a proper wage. According to Aramark, the<br />

responsibility of just compensation should fall<br />

on corrections; however, amid a lawsuit levied<br />

against Aramark and Alameda County, the<br />

county suggested that if any institutions were<br />

to pay proper wages, it should be Aramark.<br />

Regardless of which entity should be the<br />

one to pay real wages, Aramark is still clearly<br />

embedded in a system that benefits from<br />

captive labor.<br />

<strong>The</strong> use of prison labor in this country is not<br />

a new phenomenon. Pioneered by the likes of<br />

John W. Comer, this pernicious form of labor<br />

was allowed to persist as the consequence<br />

of a loophole in the 13th amendment to<br />

the constitution.<br />

While the Convict-Lease System was<br />

formally disbanded in 1928, the principle of<br />

using virtually free prison labor found a home<br />

in the modern prison-industrial complex. <strong>The</strong><br />

language of this practice has been obscured,<br />

couched in euphemisms to elude scrutiny from<br />

the public eye, but it persists nonetheless.<br />

In addition, the University already has a long<br />

and personal history of slavery. If the University<br />

is to reconcile with its history, it would<br />

behoove the administration to look closely at<br />

its relationships with companies that still have<br />

their hands in correctional departments across<br />

the country. <strong>The</strong> administration has already<br />

made a conscious effort to remove racist<br />

namesakes from campus, but it’s time we shift<br />

from symbolic gestures to addressing ongoing,<br />

tangible processes.<br />

In most states, prisoners are paid pennies<br />

an hour. <strong>The</strong>se pennies are often recycled<br />

into the prison system via facilities charging<br />

prisoners for things like toilet paper and<br />

medical co-pays. Many inmates in Alabama<br />

receive no compensation for their work, and<br />

the refusal to do so runs the risk of enduring<br />

solitary confinement or some other form<br />

of punishment.<br />

Universities across the country, including<br />

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

dining services out to Aramark. Pressure<br />

from student activist groups has led some<br />

universities, like the University of Florida, to<br />

cut ties altogether. Other schools have proven<br />

that the University is capable of not giving<br />

business to a company that generated around<br />

$1.5 billion in revenue from its work around<br />

prisons in 2020. When universities work with<br />

companies entrenched in prison labor, they<br />

indirectly sustain the practice itself.<br />

In response to our inquiries, Heather<br />

Dotchel, who manages Aramark’s<br />

corporate communications, laid out the<br />

company’s policies.<br />

“Aramark proudly serves individuals who<br />

are justice-impacted in the United States in<br />

both the food service and commissary spaces,”<br />

Dotchel said.<br />

To Aramark, serving “justice-impacted<br />

individuals” appears to mean using them for<br />

unpaid labor and working with correctional<br />

departments to classify inmates as students for<br />

profit. Via the IN2WORK program, Aramark,<br />

in coordination with correctional facilities<br />

across the country, frames the labor of inmates<br />

in kitchens as an educational opportunity rather<br />

than a form of employment, thus relieving<br />

them of the responsibility of placing them on<br />

the payroll.<br />

While Aramark is not the primary food<br />

service provider for the ADOC, Dotchel did not<br />

deny its involvement with some correctional<br />

facilities in Alabama.<br />

By disguising prison labor as a learning<br />

experience rather than employment, they are<br />

able to circumvent calling their company what<br />

it is — a multi-billion dollar corporation with a<br />

relationship to modern-day slavery.<br />

Dotchel elaborated that they have staff<br />

members in correctional facilities who often<br />

work alongside “justice-impacted individuals”<br />

who are designated by corrections agencies to<br />

work in kitchens.<br />

“Corrections agencies — not Aramark —<br />

provide assignments to incarcerated individuals<br />

such as landscaping, laundry, and kitchen work,<br />

as well as determine any compensation they<br />

receive,” Dotchel said.<br />

But despite not being specifically delegated<br />

the power of assigning work to individuals,<br />

their complicity undeniably abets the use of<br />

prison labor.<br />

In a country where poverty is criminalized<br />

and justice is conceived through the lens of<br />

punishment rather than reform, it is little<br />

wonder that the United States has the highest<br />

prison population in the world. Yet there is still<br />

hope, because in America, the buck stops with<br />

the consumer, and for many, the grapes of mass<br />

incarceration have begun to sour.<br />

As students of the University, it is imperative<br />

that our investment in this institution comply<br />

with the conscience of its student body, which<br />

means demanding our alma mater cuts ties<br />

with an industry enmeshed with the practice of<br />

involuntary servitude.

culture<br />

Undocumented Alabamians remain<br />

locked out of public universities<br />



Immigration is one of the few<br />

topics that constantly dominate<br />

headlines, including recent news<br />

stories of Biden’s plan to expand Title<br />

42 expulsions to Mexico of immigrants<br />

from Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti and<br />

Nicaragua. When immigration is<br />

being debated, the humanity of the<br />

people involved is often treated as<br />

an afterthought to its political and<br />

economic implications. In fact, the<br />

continuing impact of Alabama’s own<br />

harsh immigration laws serves as a<br />

demonstration of what happens when<br />

the political stakes take precedence<br />

over ethical ones.<br />

Alabama as a state, our<br />

communities suffer because<br />

we lose those talents. We<br />

lose those skills. A lot of<br />

our towns are becoming<br />

sleepy towns or they’re<br />

dying because instead of<br />

our population growing, it’s<br />

declining, and everybody’s<br />

leaving small-town Alabama.<br />


Alabama is one of only three<br />

states that prohibit undocumented<br />

students from attending public<br />

colleges and universities, the others<br />

being South Carolina and Georgia.<br />

In Alabama, these restrictions are<br />

due to a section of Alabama HB 56,<br />

a 2011 state law that places severe<br />

restrictions on immigrants. Although<br />

many provisions of the law were<br />

struck down, the restrictions on<br />

higher education for undocumented<br />

immigrants have remained in place.<br />

Heath Grimes, superintendent<br />

of Russellville City Schools in<br />

Russellville, Alabama, said many<br />

exceptional students are unable to<br />

realize their full potential in higher<br />

education. Within Grimes’ school<br />

district, he estimates that around<br />

28% of students are English learners,<br />

meaning they are learning to speak<br />

English as a second language, and<br />

although it’s impossible to know how<br />

many students are undocumented,<br />

the number is almost certainly higher<br />

than in other parts of the state.<br />

“Why do we all want our<br />

community to have a higher level of<br />

education?” Grimes said. “Because it<br />

makes for a better community. When<br />

we’re saying that somewhere between<br />

28 and 50% of our kids are limited to<br />

a high school education, what are we<br />

doing to our community? What are<br />

we doing to our state?”<br />

One element of this issue that<br />

Grimes highlighted was the lost<br />

potential of many bright students. In<br />

addition to reducing the opportunities<br />

for students, the restrictions are also<br />

impractical from the perspective of<br />

the school.<br />

“We have elementary teachers that<br />

are working incredibly, unbelievably<br />

hard to educate these students, to<br />

get them to the point that they are<br />

flourishing in our schools. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

become valedictorian, salutatorian,<br />

top 10 in their class, and then we<br />

say they can’t go to college,” Grimes<br />

said. “It doesn’t make any sense that<br />

we spend that money in K-12, but<br />

we forbid them to go to college in<br />

our state.”<br />

Grimes used the example of a<br />

former Russellville student who<br />

was forced to apply to colleges outof-state.<br />

Grimes said this student<br />

“wasn’t asking to go for free. [<strong>The</strong>y]<br />

just wanted to enroll and pay in-state<br />

tuition.” Instead, the student is now<br />

forced to go to a more distant school,<br />

which is made even more difficult<br />

because they can’t apply for a driver’s<br />

license. According to the American<br />

Immigration Council, there are<br />

55,000 undocumented immigrants<br />

in the state of Alabama, and they pay<br />

$54.1 million in federal taxes and<br />

$11.4 million in state taxes. Public<br />

universities, such as <strong>The</strong> University of<br />

Alabama, receive a majority of their<br />

funding from state tax revenue.<br />

Steven Bunker, an associate<br />

professor of history at the University,<br />

explained some of the political context<br />

underlying immigration restrictions.<br />

“If you notice who’s sponsoring it<br />

[immigration bills], you rarely ever<br />

will find any Republican representing<br />

a rural district doing this. <strong>The</strong>y’re<br />

all from more sort of affluent or<br />

comfortable suburban districts. <strong>The</strong>ir<br />

reps do that because they don’t have<br />

skin in the game, because rural areas<br />

need the labor,” Bunker said.<br />

Most districts incorporate a variety<br />

of areas and interests, making clear<br />

judgements difficult about whether<br />

they are strictly rural or suburban,<br />

but the two state legislators who<br />

sponsored Alabama HB 56 have a<br />

history of questionable conduct. Scott<br />

Beason, formerly an Alabama state<br />

senator representing District 17, in<br />

the same year that HB 56 was signed<br />

into law, was caught on tape referring<br />

to predominantly Black customers of<br />

a gambling hall as “aborigines.”<br />

Micky Hammon, formerly a state<br />

representative for the 4th district, was<br />

the other sponsor of HB 56 and pled<br />

guilty to mail fraud in 2017.<br />

Although undocumented<br />

immigrants contribute large amounts<br />

in tax dollars in addition to their labor,<br />

anti-immigrant sentiment still exists<br />

in many parts of Alabama.<br />

Unfortunately,<br />

limiting<br />

the educational attainment of<br />

undocumented students will only<br />

exacerbate Alabama’s ranking among<br />

the states with the worst educational<br />

attainment. In the midst of Alabama’s<br />

ongoing “brain drain,” many believe<br />

it does not make sense to prohibit<br />

many Alabamians from getting an<br />

affordable in-state higher education.<br />

Ana Delia Espino, the executive<br />

director of the Alabama Coalition<br />

for Immigrant <strong>Justice</strong>, said that the<br />

organization formed in response to<br />

the passage of HB 56.<br />

CW / Autumn Williams<br />

“Alabama as a state, our<br />

communities suffer because we lose<br />

those talents. We lose those skills.<br />

A lot of our towns are becoming<br />

sleepy towns or they’re dying because<br />

instead of our population growing,<br />

it’s declining, and everybody’s leaving<br />

small-town Alabama. ... We’re not<br />

keeping our talent here,” Espino said.<br />

Although HB 56 has created a<br />

difficult situation for undocumented<br />

students, ACIJ has been proactive<br />

in informing the community and<br />

forming relationships with private<br />

universities in Alabama.<br />

“We try to be proactive and share<br />

the information because not many<br />

people know that this is a barrier.<br />

We have become closer with private<br />

universities, and we try to collaborate<br />

and help people financially prepare<br />

for those expenses, because those<br />

universities are much, much<br />

more expensive than your public<br />

universities,” Espino said.<br />

Despite the frustration involved,<br />

Espino maintains a positive outlook<br />

about the future and possibilities for<br />

undocumented students.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re have been a lot of losses,<br />

and it’s really easy to be disappointed.<br />

However, we’ve had a lot of<br />

documented and undocumented<br />

youth go to college, get degrees.<br />

I know some people who are in<br />

master’s programs now. <strong>The</strong>y’ve<br />

done great work and have been<br />

very successful and are staying in<br />

3A<br />

Alabama because Alabama is home,”<br />

Espino said.<br />

Mariana Rios Nava, president<br />

of the University’s Hispanic Latino<br />

Association and a junior majoring<br />

in psychology, came to the United<br />

States from Mexico at age 13.<br />

Although she has a different story<br />

than many immigrants who come<br />

without documentation, she has<br />

a personal understanding of the<br />

immigration process.<br />

“Just the application process for<br />

citizenship is a thousand dollars, and<br />

that literally does not ensure anything<br />

from happening. And it’s even harder<br />

if you came without documentation<br />

because they already don’t want you<br />

here,” Rios Nava said.<br />

According to U.S. Citizenship<br />

and Immigration Services, the nonrefundable<br />

naturalization filing fee,<br />

including a biometric fee, is $725.<br />

“When HB 56 came out, it was<br />

and still is one of the harshest antiimmigration<br />

laws in the country, and<br />

so I think it hinders the potential of<br />

our community in the United States.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Latino community is one of the<br />

fastest growing minority groups in the<br />

United States, and everybody knows<br />

that,” Rios Nava said. “We have so<br />

much to offer when we’re here, but if<br />

we’re negated from having so many<br />

opportunities, there’s only so much we<br />

can do, and we remain in a position<br />

where we cannot grow.”

4A<br />

sports<br />

news<br />


“I think in terms of equity,<br />

Alabama does a good job making<br />

sure everything is equally balanced<br />

out,” Wells said. “We just got our<br />

court updated and I feel like they<br />

definitely take it into consideration if<br />

we feel like we aren’t getting as much<br />

as a male sport.”<br />

With hundreds of studentathletes,<br />

the University has a lot to<br />

consider to stay Title IX compliant.<br />

This is where Karin Lee, the Title<br />

IX coordinator and chief diversity<br />

officer of athletics, steps in.<br />

Lee recently conducted a Title<br />

IX review via a third party to<br />

determine what areas of the athletics<br />

department need to be updated.<br />

“From [the review] I can develop<br />

the action plan for Title IX: What<br />

does compliance look like at UA?”<br />

Lee said. “Especially when it comes<br />

to the laundry list. <strong>The</strong> laundry list<br />

is about 10-12 things [like] travel,<br />

academics and making sure that<br />

just because you’re on the football<br />

team, you’re not getting the tutors<br />

over the volleyball student athletes.<br />

I go through that list and evaluate<br />

whether we’re okay when it comes<br />

to all the different aspects of the<br />

laundry list.”<br />

It’s important for our ladies<br />

to know the history of<br />

Alabama sports and they<br />

understand that there are<br />

people before you who have<br />

made this situation what it is,<br />


Lee not only analyzes the finances<br />

dedicated to each sport program but<br />

also the number of athletes involved<br />

in each program. She ensures that<br />

Alabama guard JaMya Mingo-Young shoots a pair of free throws versus Alabama A&M at Coleman Coliseum in<br />

Tuscaloosa, Ala. CW / David Gray<br />

Alabama midfielder Felicia Knox defends versus Chattanooga at the<br />

Alabama Soccer Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. CW / David Gray<br />

the University stays compliant with<br />

any of the three prongs of Title IX,<br />

although some are more realistic<br />

than others.<br />

“I always tell people there’s no such<br />

thing as equal. You’re never going to<br />

have 100 men and 100 women,” Lee<br />

said. “However, we need to have an<br />

equitability factor.”<br />

Lee said that when institutions<br />

are faced with the possibility of<br />

eliminating a sport, this balance<br />

between equal opportunities for all<br />

athletes and finances becomes tricky.<br />

“I don’t know if it’s a Title IX<br />

problem or a funding problem,<br />

where people need to learn how to<br />

fund the right way, so we don’t have<br />

to have these conversations,” Lee said.<br />

It’s a movement. You look<br />

back at Wilma Rudolph,<br />

Althea Gibson and Billie Jean<br />

King. <strong>The</strong>y are the iconic<br />

athletes that were fighting<br />

for equal opportunity and<br />

participation.<br />


“A lot of universities and colleges are<br />

struggling because they’re trying to<br />

make sure they can provide a great<br />

experience to the student athletes<br />

who are there but also trying to<br />

stay afloat.”<br />

Thankfully, Lee doesn’t predict<br />

the University will have to make<br />

that decision any time soon. She<br />

said she thinks that every program is<br />

treated equally.<br />

In the world of tennis, Mainz said<br />

she agrees.<br />

“A lot of people will say Alabama’s<br />

a football school,” Mainz said. “I say<br />

it’s a women’s tennis school. <strong>The</strong><br />

belief behind that is that [Alabama]<br />

has always treated me and our<br />

program with respect, dignity<br />

and class.”<br />

Title IX’s 50-year roots reach far<br />

and deep into UA athletic programs,<br />

and its impact continues to ensure<br />

that every athlete receives the<br />

opportunity to become legendary.<br />

'When you know your purpose, it almost feels like electricity':<br />

How student organizations are championing change<br />



For Kaila Pouncy, a UA senior<br />

majoring in criminal justice<br />

and political science, her passion for<br />

prison reform was sparked during<br />

an internship.<br />

<strong>The</strong> summer before her<br />

sophomore year, Pouncy interned<br />

for a federal judge. While sitting in<br />

on a proceeding, she watched a man<br />

automatically receive a life sentence<br />

due to three-strike laws, which are<br />

laws designed to subject repeat<br />

offenders to harsher punishments.<br />

“He had maybe one family<br />

member there, and when the judge<br />

sentenced him he literally broke down<br />

into tears, and so did his one family<br />

member,” Pouncy said. “Everyone got<br />

really emotional watching it.”<br />

One of her fellow interns said that<br />

she did not empathize with the man’s<br />

plight, and Pouncy found that their<br />

debate about the situation sparked a<br />

curiosity, not only about the prison<br />

system, but also about how to help<br />

those disproportionately or unfairly<br />

affected by it.<br />

“At this point, I hadn’t really<br />

narrowed down what I wanted to<br />

do, or how to use my experience and<br />

community work to help people,”<br />

Pouncy said. “But this moment, this<br />

realization that [the prison system]<br />

is such a huge problem almost felt<br />

like electricity.”<br />

Pouncy said that she hopes to use<br />

this “electricity” to make students on<br />

campus aware of the problems within<br />

the prison system through educating<br />

others and fostering understanding.<br />

For students like Pouncy, attending<br />

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

opportunity to make waves in the local<br />

and statewide social landscape, and<br />

many do this through involvement<br />

with student organizations that tackle<br />

social issues. Tide Against Time,<br />

Students for Sensible Drug Policy and<br />

HopeU are three such organizations.<br />

Tide Against Time<br />

Tide Against Time, which Pouncy<br />

founded in January <strong>2022</strong>, primarily<br />

educates students through social<br />

media posts explaining the problems<br />

in the United States prison system.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y also host events and speakers,<br />

as well as run donation drives. In<br />

April <strong>2022</strong>, TAT hosted Alabama<br />

Appleseed, a non-profit advocating<br />

for prison reform, to speak on the<br />

current state of Alabama’s prison<br />

system. From this event, they collected<br />

and donated 326 items to Aid Inmate<br />

Mothers in Montgomery.<br />

Pouncy stressed the importance<br />

of listening to others in order to<br />

make change.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> condition of these facilities<br />

is horrible, and it’s right in front of<br />

our faces,” Pouncy said. “Most people<br />

think, ‘If you aren’t willing to succumb<br />

to, don’t commit the crime.’ But it’s not<br />

that easy, because there are people<br />

who find themselves in really tough<br />

situations, and that can really derail a<br />

person’s life.”<br />

More than anything, Pouncy<br />

said it is important to address these<br />

problems at their roots.<br />

“If I could plaster anything on a<br />

billboard, it would be ‘Crime is not<br />

random,’” Pouncy said. “It’s often<br />

the result of needs that are going<br />

unmet. It’s a cry for help. <strong>The</strong> key to<br />

addressing this is putting our ears to<br />

the ground in these communities and<br />

figuring out what is missing so that we<br />

can address it.”<br />

Students For Sensible<br />

Drug Policy<br />

Education is a pillar to many<br />

social justice organizations, including<br />

Students For Sensible Drug Policy.<br />

UA SSDP Founder Marlie<br />

Thompson, a sophomore majoring in<br />

interdisciplinary studies with a focus<br />

on sociology and social advocacy, said<br />

that though SSDP at the University<br />

is a chapter of a larger national<br />

organization, there were no chapters<br />

in the state of Alabama before she<br />

became a UA student.<br />

“[Alabama] has the highest opioid<br />

prescription rate in the country, and it<br />

kills thousands of people,” Thompson<br />

said. “I saw a need in Alabama<br />

specifically for this kind of education,<br />

so I got involved.”<br />

Thompson said that, considering<br />

how often students on campus<br />

encounter drugs, the misconceptions<br />

she saw acquaintances hold<br />

were alarming.<br />

“I heard someone once say that<br />

they thought LSD and acid were the<br />

same thing,” Thompson said. “Or<br />

that molly and ecstasy are different.<br />

I’m so relieved we are getting to<br />

these people and educating them<br />

before they try drugs.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>se misconceptions are not only<br />

harmful to one’s health, Thompson<br />

said, but they are also harmful to<br />

society at large.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> average sentence for a crack<br />

offense is 18 times longer than a<br />

cocaine offense for the same amount of<br />

the substance,” Thompson said. “And<br />

this really brings the implications of<br />

these misconceptions to light — this is<br />

a direct product of the War on Drugs,<br />

which popularized the idea that crack<br />

is a poor, ‘Black’ drug and cocaine is<br />

more ‘white collar.’ But they’re the<br />

same thing, chemically speaking.”<br />

Thompson has spearheaded<br />

events and efforts to make students<br />

more educated and, overall, safer.<br />

During the Fall <strong>2022</strong> Get On Board<br />

Day, SSDP handed out free fentanyl<br />

testing strips.<br />

Telling people what different<br />

drugs will do to their body<br />

is just as important as giving<br />

out test strips.<br />


“I saw on YikYak the day after<br />

that someone posted about finding<br />

fentanyl in their drugs,” Thompson<br />

said. “I don’t have proof that it was<br />

our fentanyl testing strips that found<br />

it, but either way it goes to show how<br />

important and useful these are on<br />

college campuses.”<br />

More recently, SSPD has worked<br />

alongside the Student Government<br />

Association to propose new legislation<br />

regarding drug overdoses.<br />

<strong>The</strong> legislation will challenge parts<br />

of UA’s Medical Emergency Assistance<br />

Policy that lack sufficient protections<br />

for students who overdose.<br />

Additionally, SSDP’s legislation<br />

will demand more comprehensive<br />

drug training for both students and<br />

University staff, such as requiring<br />

UA Housing to train staff to<br />

administer NARCAN.<br />

SSPD’s overall goal, Thompson<br />

said, is to give students the tools they<br />

need to make informed decisions and<br />

address stigma surrounding drugs.<br />

“Telling people what different<br />

drugs will do to their body is just as<br />

important as giving out test strips,”<br />

Thompson said. “Drugs as a whole<br />

are not inherently bad, even though<br />

that’s what we are all taught. [SSDP] is<br />

about giving out information so that<br />

students can be educated on what<br />

they put in their bodies.”<br />

HopeU<br />

Beyond education, some<br />

organizations work to put in time to<br />

directly impact the causes they are part<br />

of. HopeU is a Christian organization<br />

that seeks to educate, support and<br />

raise awareness for victims of<br />

human trafficking.<br />

<strong>The</strong> campus organization is part<br />

of a collegiate initiative to “traffic<br />

hope,” and stems from the Church<br />

of the Highlands, which is based<br />

in Birmingham, Alabama. HopeU,<br />

which started its UA branch in<br />

the fall of 2021, spreads a message<br />

of hope and awareness through<br />

social media posts and organizes<br />

awareness/prayer walks.<br />

Caroline Quinn, a senior majoring<br />

in finance, accounting and theater and<br />

vice president of HopeU, said that,<br />

over the next semester, HopeU wants<br />

to mobilize to do more donation<br />

drives, but its limited resources and<br />

membership restricts what it can do.<br />

<strong>The</strong> organization has still been able<br />

to help victims by organizing events<br />

and giving time to victims at the Well<br />

House, which is an organization that<br />

offers “medical, mental and emotional<br />

care” to victims of human trafficking.<br />

“Whether they need prayers, or<br />

cards, or items, or just people to<br />

donate their time or an ear, we’re here,”<br />

Quinn said.<br />

Quinn said her interest in<br />

supporting this cause came from<br />

volunteering at the Well House.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re was once when I went, and<br />

I met this woman in her 30s,” Quinn<br />

said. “And we did this activity with<br />

them where we painted and talked<br />

about their experiences, and the way<br />

this woman talked was amazing. She<br />

talked about her experiences, and<br />

made it clear that they were horrible,<br />

but she never described herself as a<br />

victim. She was confident that she<br />

came out of this stronger, and it was<br />

so powerful to me.”<br />

Quinn said that Tuscaloosa is<br />

an especially concerning spot for<br />

human trafficking.<br />

In October <strong>2022</strong>, the West<br />

Alabama Human Trafficking Task<br />

Force reported that trafficking spikes<br />

during major events in Tuscaloosa.<br />

Just recently, on Jan. 20, 15 people<br />

were arrested on charges of human<br />

trafficking, as well as prostitution and<br />

drug charges. <strong>The</strong>se arrests were the<br />

result of two separate investigations —<br />

one involving an underage victim, the<br />

other involving victims performing<br />

commercial sex acts in a Tuscaloosa<br />

hotel on the south side of town.<br />

“With Tuscaloosa’s location right<br />

on I-20, it’s very connected to the rest<br />

of the world,” Quinn said. “Going<br />

to the Well House and seeing girls<br />

my age who got trafficked ten miles<br />

from where I live really opened my<br />

eyes. This isn’t some scary thing<br />

that happens in stories, it’s real and<br />

it’s here.”<br />

Above all, Quinn emphasized the<br />

importance of unconditional support<br />

for victims.<br />

“So many people get sucked into<br />

this despicable thing, because they<br />

trust the wrong person who just wants<br />

to use them, or they fall down the<br />

wrong path, and they think they have<br />

no hope — which is heartbreaking,”<br />

Quinn said. “So, we really want to<br />

drive home that survivors are loved,<br />

cared for and enough, despite what<br />

they’ve been through.”<br />

We really want to drive<br />

home that survivors are<br />

loved, cared for and enough,<br />

despite what they’ve been<br />

through.<br />


Through donation drives or raising<br />

awareness, UA students can and do<br />

mobilize for important causes during<br />

their time on campus. For them,<br />

change starts in the present – one<br />

event, infographic or SGA resolution<br />

at a time.<br />

To get involved, you can follow<br />

TAT, SSDP and HopeU on their<br />

respective Instagram accounts, which<br />

is where these three organizations<br />

primarily advertise events/make<br />

educational posts, as well as keep<br />

an eye on their respective pages on<br />

<strong>The</strong> SOURCE.

6A<br />

sports<br />

Navigating NIL:<br />

Student-athlete empowerment, generosity soaring to new heights<br />



ntercollegiate athletics is at<br />

I the dawn of a new era.<br />

Standing before a fog of<br />

uncertainty lies university leaders,<br />

the NCAA, athletic conferences<br />

and their student-athletes. As<br />

new name, image and likeness<br />

legislation rattles the ground<br />

beneath their feet, once clear<br />

power dynamics between athletes,<br />

universities, boosters and NCAA<br />

entities have shifted towards<br />

conflict and imbalance.<br />

<strong>The</strong> donors who once shelled<br />

out cash at the drop of a hat to their<br />

institution’s athletic departments<br />

have changed their strategies.<br />

Many have formed collectives<br />

with an end goal of funneling<br />

money directly to student-athletes<br />

and recruits through their own<br />

personal fundraising endeavors<br />

and respective business incomes.<br />

<strong>The</strong> black and white line<br />

between professionalism and<br />

NCAA bylaws has been grayed at<br />

the hands of a forced concession<br />

between evolving state NIL laws<br />

and growing support for the wild<br />

west of endorsements, influencers<br />

and public consumption between<br />

on-field performance, social<br />

media proficiency and activism.<br />

Amateurism is effectively dead,<br />

and student-athletes are reaping<br />

the benefits.<br />

For student athletes, it presents<br />

an opportunity to garner an<br />

amplified voice and align with a<br />

company or product that shares<br />

mutual values. In the age of NIL,<br />

brands aren’t just looking to<br />

partner with athletes for the sake<br />

of popularity; they’re seeking<br />

to establish an enhanced sense<br />

of purpose in their quest to<br />

resonate with the public’s growing<br />

apprehension surrounding a<br />

variety of social equality and<br />

environmental issues.<br />

I don’t dislike NIL. I’m all<br />

for players and I want our<br />

players to do well. … <strong>The</strong><br />

thing I have expressed<br />

is there has to be some<br />

uniformity and protocol<br />

in how name, image and<br />

likeness is implemented.<br />


In one of the more high-profile<br />

examples of such promoted<br />

engagements, Rutgers men’s<br />

basketball player Geo Baker<br />

was paid to endorse a scholarly<br />

article in which economic<br />

justice for student-athletes<br />

through legislative sports reform<br />

was advocated.<br />

Not only have players taken<br />

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) warms up before the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide takes on<br />

Utah State at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. CW / David Gray<br />

Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe (4) warms up before<br />

the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide takes on Utah State at Bryant-Denny<br />

Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. CW / David Gray<br />

advantage of social opportunities,<br />

but the now-opened financial<br />

window courtesy of NIL has<br />

changed the lives of countless<br />

student-athletes and their families<br />

and has helped transform the<br />

communities in which they reside.<br />

For Micah Howell, a junior<br />

majoring in business management<br />

and the co-founder and CEO of<br />

Hometown Heroes Sports Agency,<br />

helping clients navigate both<br />

fronts during NIL’s ambiguity has<br />

been a rewarding practice.<br />

“I work with a lot of athletes<br />

where sports were their way out.<br />

Where they grew up in a small<br />

town, maybe in a broken family,<br />

and now they’ve been able to use<br />

sports to not only provide for their<br />

families monetarily, but to provide<br />

for their education that they might<br />

not have gotten otherwise,” Howell<br />

said. “To go out and make it out of<br />

that hometown and spend four<br />

years on a full-ride scholarship<br />

at a university because they’re<br />

athletically gifted. That’s my<br />

favorite part of sports in general,<br />

but now you’re seeing NIL provide<br />

that opportunity for these athletes<br />

to go and actually make money for<br />

what they’re doing.”<br />

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

alone, quarterback Bryce Young<br />

boasts a $3.1 million NIL<br />

valuation, securing deals with the<br />

likes of Cash App, Subway, Dr.<br />

Pepper and Logan’s Roadhouse.<br />

For Nagurski Award winner<br />

Will Anderson Jr., an NIL<br />

valuation of $1.3 million has led to<br />

deals from Rhoback, Dr. Teal’s and<br />

BMW of Tuscaloosa.<br />

“It’s been able to help me and<br />

my family, and I feel like right<br />

now I put money aside for, of<br />

course, myself, but I really am<br />

doing NIL to help my family a lot,”<br />

Anderson Jr. said in a July <strong>2022</strong><br />

press conference. “I don’t want my<br />

parents to have to be stressed and<br />

worried about how they’re going<br />

to get to my games, any of that<br />

stuff like that. So to be able to take<br />

care of all that and to help them<br />

out to make sure that they’re living<br />

well enough to balance everything<br />

out has been great.”<br />

It doesn’t stop at football,<br />

though. With the departures of<br />

Young and Anderson to the NFL,<br />

freshman forward Brandon Miller<br />

and senior guard Jahvon Quinerly<br />

round out two of the top three<br />

evaluations on campus, with<br />

Miller’s $832,000 mark leading<br />

the way and Quinerly following<br />

at $497,000.<br />

“Not only are they being paid<br />

for with their education, now<br />

they’re also able to maybe buy<br />

food for their families, or help<br />

make their own car payments,”<br />

Howell said. “It’s things like that,<br />

where otherwise, these athletes<br />

Alabama forward Nick Pringle warms up before the<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide face Liberty at Coleman Coliseum in<br />

Tuscaloosa, Ala. CW / David Gray<br />

wouldn’t have had the opportunity<br />

in doing so.”<br />

Around the country, players<br />

have begun to use their new<br />

source of income to invest in<br />

their surroundings.<br />

At the University of Michigan,<br />

running back Blake Corum<br />

partnered with a local Ann Arbor<br />

chocolate shop to raise money by<br />

meeting customers and serving<br />

the shop’s wares, with 15 % of the<br />

proceeds being donated to the<br />

Uniform Funding Foundation,<br />

which works to ensure that<br />

underprivileged children have<br />

uniforms to play youth sports.<br />

At the University of Texas,<br />

quarterback Casey Thompson<br />

used his NIL deal with Cameo to<br />

help combat childhood hunger,<br />

donating all video purchase<br />

proceeds to No Kid Hungry.<br />

In Mountain Brook, Alabama,<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide offensive lineman<br />

Emil Ekiyor Jr. partnered with<br />

Samaritan’s Feet, giving away<br />

25,000 pairs of shoes to kids<br />

in need.<br />

“It’s so cool to be able to use NIL<br />

to team up with a company, I don’t<br />

have to do it on my own,” Ekiyor<br />

Jr. told the Tuscaloosa News in<br />

July <strong>2022</strong>. “I’ve got support from<br />

an organization that’s done this<br />

kind of thing in the past.”<br />

When asked about how NIL<br />

is impacting the dynamic of<br />

collegiate athletics in August <strong>2022</strong>,<br />

Alabama head coach Nick Saban<br />

was cautious, yet supportive of<br />

its implementation.<br />

“I don’t dislike NIL,” Saban said.<br />

“I’m all for players and I want our<br />

players to do well. <strong>The</strong>y made<br />

over $3 million dollars last year.<br />

… <strong>The</strong> thing I have expressed is<br />

there has to be some uniformity<br />

and protocol in how name, image<br />

and likeness is implemented. How<br />

does this impact competitive<br />

balance in college athletics?<br />

Is there transparency across<br />

the board?”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Pandora’s box is open, but<br />

perhaps it’s for the best.<br />

While student-athletes will need<br />

supplemental financial guidance<br />

in the new age of collegiate sports,<br />

initiatives have begun to construct<br />

the necessary framework in<br />

helping young men and women<br />

improve their financial literacy<br />

through monetary coaching and<br />

self-care infrastructure. Alabama<br />

has created its own called <strong>The</strong><br />

Advantage, which promises to<br />

be a “comprehensive program<br />

that will provide <strong>Crimson</strong><br />

Tide student-athletes with the<br />

education and tools necessary<br />

to build and elevate their<br />

personal brands.”<br />

Regardless of popularity or<br />

accolades, every collegiate athlete<br />

now has the chance to make the<br />

most of their NIL prospectives,<br />

and savvy athletic departments<br />

like Alabama’s are leaving no stone<br />

unturned in ensuring the success<br />

of their students, even as they<br />

leave school.<br />

It’s so cool to be able<br />

to use NIL to team up<br />

with a company, I don’t<br />

have to do it on my own.<br />

I’ve got support from an<br />

organization that’s done this<br />

kind of thing in the past.<br />


After all, it’s smart business.<br />

By giving student-athletes insight<br />

into the world of entrepreneurship<br />

and business, colleges are not just<br />

equipping them for life beyond<br />

the roar of a crowd, or the pen of<br />

an eager fan, they’re giving them<br />

continued opportunities to one<br />

day give back to the institutions,<br />

families and communities that<br />

once poured into them fervently.<br />

NIL is making intercollegiate<br />

athletics a better place. It’s not<br />

without its lion’s share of issues,<br />

but as policies change and laws<br />

progress forward, we should<br />

take a moment to appreciate its<br />

saving graces.<br />

Here’s to NIL. Here’s to doing<br />

right by student-athletes. Here’s<br />

to the continued amelioration<br />

of society.<br />

This is our water.<br />

Help UA protect it.<br />

Only rain down the drain.<br />

For questions, comments, or concerns<br />

about Storm Water, contact<br />

Environmental Health & Safety<br />

Shop Boots,<br />

Jeans, & Hats<br />

at <strong>The</strong> Wharf<br />

in Northport<br />

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opinions<br />


Consent campaigns are getting it wrong<br />

1B<br />



Disclaimer: In this article, I draw<br />

connections between sexual violence<br />

and normative heterosexuality<br />

by examining how patriarchy<br />

contributes to the prominent<br />

violence perpetrated by men against<br />

women. <strong>The</strong> stance reflected in this<br />

article does not negate violence that<br />

occurs amongst other groups, but<br />

rather analyzes the societal factors<br />

that contribute to the campus sexual<br />

violence epidemic.<br />

Trigger warning: This article<br />

discusses themes of sexual violence.<br />

Be sure to prioritize your own mental<br />

health when reading.<br />

*Names in this article have been<br />

changed to protect the identities of<br />

interview subjects.<br />

thought I understood consent.<br />

I Mandatory lectures hosted in<br />

residence hall common rooms and<br />

in my women’s studies classes harped<br />

on the necessary boxes to check for<br />

“consensual” sex. Throughout my<br />

formative years, I absorbed every<br />

kind of consent campaign. Despite<br />

this, I was sexually assaulted during<br />

my first year of college and I didn’t<br />

even realize it. <strong>The</strong> offender did it in a<br />

way that was far more insidious than<br />

I ever knew was possible.<br />

I am now a senior at <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama, and I’ve<br />

been working with survivors since<br />

my freshman year. By listening to<br />

their stories, I realized that singular<br />

solutions to sexual violence, like<br />

consent education campaigns,<br />

are often ineffective and uphold<br />

ideas that perpetuate and justify<br />

sexual violence.<br />

I argue that mainstream adoption<br />

of the verbal consent-dominant<br />

approach has distracted us from the<br />

true root of the problem: one person<br />

feeling the need to dominate another.<br />

“A consent-focused model is<br />

inadequate not only because it is too<br />

low a standard of consent, but also<br />

because it fails to address the ways<br />

in which sexual behaviour is socially<br />

constructed,” said Melanie Beres, a<br />

leading scholar on consent.<br />

Here’s the bottom line:<br />

sexual violence is not caused by<br />

miscommunication. This image<br />

of sexual violence inadvertently<br />

creates a false dichotomy that puts<br />

the responsibility to say “yes” or “no”<br />

entirely on the woman, while using<br />

ideals that aid the actions of men,<br />

paving the way to ensnare women<br />

into verbal contracts. <strong>The</strong> problem is<br />

not a lack of clearly communicated<br />

nonconsent but rather the culturally<br />

designed desire for power and<br />

control that is more commonly<br />

conditioned into men.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se campaigns perpetuate and<br />

uphold the narrative that women<br />

are typically gatekeepers and men<br />

are typically initiators, shifting<br />

responsibility and blame to women<br />

while still framing men as the<br />

primary sexual agents.<br />

In a series of interviews, I asked<br />

UA students about their perceptions<br />

of consent. <strong>The</strong> expectation for<br />

women to gatekeep their own bodies<br />

was apparent in the stories shared.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> second [he] had the<br />

opportunity to make a questionable<br />

decision that I didn’t really have the<br />

CW / Autumn Williams<br />

CW / Autumn Williams<br />

toolkit to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to, [he]<br />

took that opportunity and absolutely<br />

ran with it,” said Sarah*, a junior as<br />

she candidly recounted her sexual<br />

assault for the first time.<br />

Although women are socialized<br />

to be non-violent and soft-spoken,<br />

we are expected to suddenly become<br />

confrontational and aggressive in<br />

unwanted sexual situations. Not<br />

only does the expectation require<br />

flawless navigation of complex social<br />

encounters in order to stay safe, it<br />

also inherently imposes blame on<br />

those who don’t fulfill it. Sarah didn’t<br />

report her sexual assault because<br />

of this.<br />

“It feels a lot more like I’m not<br />

allowed to talk about it because I<br />

don’t know how much of it is my<br />

fault,” she said.<br />

I asked Katie*, a senior, what<br />

her experience was with navigating<br />

consent. She paused and told me that<br />

she had never been asked for consent,<br />

pointing out that voicing nonconsent<br />

is often dismissed, saying that “if you<br />

do try to voice anything against it,<br />

they will try to persuade you.”<br />

This illustrates another emerging<br />

crack in the consent-dominant<br />

approach. Consent is purely for<br />

public perception — a box to check<br />

for legal and social safety. Once an<br />

impression of consent is achieved,<br />

the instigator has permission to<br />

do whatever they want beyond<br />

the physical cues and silence of<br />

their partner.<br />

Upholding these views allows for<br />

men to do anything just to check that<br />

box and obscures what could — and<br />

often should — be considered sexual<br />

violence. Many women “consent” for<br />

the sake of appeasing the other party,<br />

knowing that a “yes” is the only thing<br />

that will be taken at face value.<br />

Painting one-word consent as<br />

the only important factor in sexual<br />

situations lends itself to a view of<br />

sex as singular, rather than a series<br />

of interrelated actions. We should<br />

create a culture where consent is not<br />

something to achieve, but rather it’s<br />

a bottom line of understanding and<br />

respect that ought to exist during the<br />

entirety of all relationships.<br />

Men who have coerced and<br />

pressured women into saying “yes”<br />

are possibly even more dangerous<br />

because they are socially protected<br />

and legally bulletproof. A consent<br />

framework allows for men to<br />

polish their existing behavior<br />

into something other than sexual<br />

violence. From that is born the<br />

"champions of women," the men<br />

who have not undone their affinity<br />

for power and control yet are praised<br />

and adored because they make<br />

sure, by any means possible, that<br />

they get the “yes” before exerting<br />

this entitlement.<br />

<strong>The</strong> tangible effects of these<br />

findings can be seen in one University<br />

of Alabama organization that serves<br />

as the perfect case study: Men<br />

Against Rape and Sexual Assault.<br />

Founded in 2019, this group has<br />

pledged to be “leaders on campus<br />

who educate other students on how<br />

to prevent rape and sexual assault,<br />

and how to help those who survive<br />

rape and sexual assault.” MARS<br />

was founded as an initiative of Not<br />

On My Campus, which has existed<br />

since 2015 and completed numerous<br />

successful projects such as opening<br />

the SAFE Center, a Tuscaloosa sexual<br />

assault crisis center.<br />

MARS intended to facilitate peer<br />

education presentations at different<br />

fraternity houses. In 2020, they<br />

completed three of those training<br />

sessions. In 2021, they completed<br />

zero. In <strong>2022</strong>, they completed one.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y were highly regarded on<br />

campus, seen as a beacon of trust<br />

among female students. During<br />

this time, members indulged in<br />

this status.<br />

An interview with Jane*, a former<br />

member of NOMC's executive board,<br />

reflected this. However, Jane revealed<br />

to me that she was sexually coerced<br />

in fall of 2020. <strong>The</strong> perpetrator was a<br />

MARS representative. She recalled a<br />

sense of trust being broken, thinking,<br />

“He’s a great guy, he’s in MARS.” After<br />

sharing this story to a member of<br />

MARS exec shortly after, she stated<br />

that “nothing happened.” MARS was<br />

on his side.<br />

Following this incident, Jane noted<br />

that MARS became very difficult for<br />

NOMC to work with. “I feel like if<br />

you’re genuine, you shouldn’t have<br />

to be begged to go to something,” she<br />

said, pointing out that she had a lot<br />

of trouble getting MARS to attend<br />

NOMC events.<br />

Jane noticed that when she<br />

continually asked MARS to integrate<br />

survivor voices, she was brushed off<br />

with apathy or even irritation.<br />

All the while, members of MARS<br />

continued garnering trust, only to<br />

break it. Sarah was sexually assaulted<br />

by a member of MARS.<br />

“I felt like I could invite him into<br />

my house because he was like ‘Oh,<br />

I’m in MARS,’” she said.“ I didn’t<br />

think about why [MARS] would<br />

be harmful to women until that<br />

happened to me.”<br />

A quiet interview with Clara*,<br />

another survivor who was sexually<br />

assaulted by a MARS representative,<br />

exhibited another common theme:<br />

women not only trusted the<br />

individuals in the organization, they<br />

also placed their trust in the integrity<br />

of the organization as a whole to<br />

achieve its mission.<br />

“He had sexually assaulted me<br />

before he applied to MARS,” she<br />

recalled. “[He] was able to recognize<br />

that what he did was wrong, so I was<br />

like ‘You got into MARS, now you’re<br />

going to use this position to make<br />

sure nobody else does what you did.’<br />

He did not end up doing that. He<br />

went on to rape two other girls.”<br />

But that wasn’t it. Sarah and Jane<br />

also revealed something even more<br />

shocking: a member of MARS’<br />

executive board had deliberately<br />

covered up a rape by another<br />

executive member. He pushed the<br />

complaints aside and continued to<br />

work with the perpetrator, using a<br />

MARS endorsement to propel his<br />

campaign for SGA.<br />

“I guess his campaign and<br />

winning was more important than<br />

doing the right thing,” Jane said.<br />

Whether it was refusal to<br />

integrate female voices, failure<br />

to punish predators within their<br />

own membership or general<br />

misunderstanding about the weight<br />

of the issue they were addressing,<br />

MARS consistently failed in<br />

their mission.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re’s really a lack of care<br />

that they’re showing in the face<br />

of something really significant,”<br />

Dylan*, a former member of MARS’<br />

executive board, said. “I just don’t see<br />

it as an effective means of combatting<br />

sexual assault in any way.”<br />

Hannah*, founder of NOMC,<br />

noted that the creation of MARS, “fits<br />

within this larger context of women<br />

putting in the groundwork … but it<br />

only then becomes something taken<br />

seriously when men attach their<br />

name to it.”<br />

On March 3rd, <strong>2022</strong>, MARS<br />

released a statement on their<br />

Instagram that revealed one of<br />

their members displayed a pattern<br />

of behaviors that resulted in their<br />

suspension. <strong>The</strong> statement has since<br />

been deleted.<br />

Dylan recalled that while a<br />

couple members of the executive<br />

board took the situation seriously,<br />

he was “alarmed by the lack of<br />

urgency or an understanding of the<br />

severity of the situation by people<br />

in the organization.” Following<br />

the statement, NOMC publicly<br />

disaffiliated with MARS. Dylan<br />

resigned from his position within<br />

the executive board. It seemed like a<br />

lesson had been learned.<br />

Now, MARS is recruiting<br />

once again.<br />

“In the beginning, I don’t think<br />

anyone really thought they had bad<br />

intentions,” Jane concluded. “But it<br />

turned into something that I could<br />

not have imagined and I don’t think<br />

anyone could have.”<br />

How did the very organization<br />

that promised to be betterbecome an<br />

organization comprised of men that<br />

have silenced cases of sexual assault,<br />

have been cited by multiple women as<br />

pressuring them to engage in sexual<br />

activity, and created a boys-only<br />

club against rape and sexual assault?<br />

<strong>The</strong> consent-centered framework<br />

as a means to prevent sexual assault<br />

created the perfect environment for<br />

MARS to exist. When we lend our<br />

narratives to male action, society<br />

continues to solely value male voices<br />

and male actions. MARS uplifts and<br />

upholds solely male voices while<br />

addressing a crime in which 83% of<br />

victims are female. I guess they truly<br />

believe that men are from Mars and<br />

women are from Venus.<br />

Nonetheless, MARS is not<br />

unique. <strong>The</strong> person who sexually<br />

assaulted me was not a member of<br />

MARS, but he took advantage of the<br />

framework, harboring my trust by<br />

self-proclaiming himself as a good<br />

and modern man, and an activist.<br />

<strong>The</strong> fight is much bigger than my<br />

story or this club. We have to change<br />

the social culture on this campus.<br />

Instead of preaching, “just get the<br />

yes,” we should be raising a generation<br />

of individuals who don’t want power<br />

and control over each other. We<br />

should be giving all young people the<br />

tools to know their own boundaries<br />

and set them. We should reject the<br />

narrative that sex is something done<br />

to women and understand that sex<br />

should be built on mutual desire.<br />

Only then the obscuration of sexual<br />

violence is undone and we can<br />

effectively fight sexual violence.<br />

Here’s what it comes down to:<br />

whether we’re talking about fraternity<br />

gentlemen assaulting each other in<br />

basements, corrupt structures in<br />

student government or men who are<br />

wolves in sheeps’ clothing, we need<br />

to cultivate a society where we don’t<br />

want to dominate each other.<br />

Rachel Jakovac is a senior at the<br />

University of Alabama, studying<br />

political science and marketing. She<br />

began advocating for survivors of<br />

sexual violence during her freshman<br />

year when she started working at<br />

the Women and Gender Resource<br />

Center, which has lead her to speak<br />

to hundreds of students across<br />

campus, mentor students at Skyland<br />

Elementary, and organize advocacy<br />

events. That work inspired her to<br />

start her 501(c)(3) non-profit, End<br />

<strong>The</strong> Silence, which helps survivors of<br />

interpersonal violence heal through<br />

various projects across the country,<br />

including the ETS Scholarship<br />

Fund, which is accepting applicants<br />

this spring.<br />

To read the complete version,<br />

please visit <strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong>’s<br />


2B culture news<br />

MEDIA<br />




During the height of the<br />

pandemic, the American<br />

media landscape saw a flurry of<br />

conspiracy theories spring up,<br />

categorizing COVID-19 as either a<br />

hoax or a bioweapon that governments<br />

deliberately conspired to create.<br />

Similarly, on Jan. 6, 2020, when<br />

a mob of impassioned Trump<br />

supporters attempted to “stop<br />

the steal,” they did so under the<br />

pretext that a hidden cabal stole the<br />

presidential election, a narrative<br />

inflated by conspiracy theories<br />

regarding a secretive “deep state”<br />

committed to undermining America’s<br />

democratic process.<br />

At first glance, these issues may<br />

seem worlds apart. One is a matter of<br />

public health, and the other is a crisis<br />

of faith in the American electoral<br />

college system. However, they have<br />

one thing in common: roots in a<br />

growing crisis in media literacy.<br />

Students should always<br />

double-check where<br />

messages are coming<br />

from, who spreads these<br />

messages, and whether the<br />

source of the message is<br />

reliable or not.<br />


Media literacy is the ability to<br />

proficiently decode the meaning<br />

behind online content, such as<br />

memes, news stories, social media<br />

posts and more. Internet users with<br />

high media literacy are less likely to<br />

fall for online hoaxes, misinformation<br />

or deliberate lies and disinformation,<br />

as they are spotting signs of incorrect<br />

information and making decisions<br />

about how much they believe<br />

online content.<br />

When misinformation or<br />

disinformation spreads, there are<br />

real people affected by it. Conspiracy<br />

theories aimed at people of color,<br />

members of the LGBTQ community,<br />

Searching for truth in the age<br />

of misinformation<br />

women and beyond affect how people<br />

vote in elections, how they treat others<br />

and how they spread disinformation.<br />

Media literacy education, which has<br />

become more popular over recent<br />

years, is often the next step in trying to<br />

stop conspiracy theories and hoaxes.<br />

For example, since early 2020,<br />

politicians and voices from the farright<br />

have started calling LGBTQ<br />

people “pedophiles,” which has caused<br />

a spike in hate crimes and assaults of<br />

members of the LGBTQ community.<br />

According to a study in Statista,<br />

more than 38% of Americans have<br />

accidentally shared news that was<br />

fake or misinformed, and only 26%<br />

are very confident in their ability to<br />

spot misinformation.<br />

Fears over media literacy were<br />

especially brought to the public’s<br />

attention during the 2016 election<br />

when Cambridge Analytica, a<br />

consulting firm in data collection, was<br />

exposed for selling Facebook user data<br />

to political campaigns. This exchange,<br />

as the accusation went, worked to<br />

deepen the polarization of American<br />

political culture and caused a schism<br />

that moved voters into radically<br />

different political worlds.<br />

<strong>The</strong> crisis of internet-based<br />

polarization has fostered the<br />

emergence of political bubbles on<br />

the internet, wherein participants<br />

only consume political content<br />

that reinforces their ideological<br />

biases. <strong>The</strong>se internet bubbles<br />

serve as a half subculture and half<br />

political organization, giving rise<br />

to a host of conspiracy theories<br />

that had previously resided in<br />

relative obscurity.<br />

<strong>The</strong> introduction of oncefringe<br />

conspiracy theories into<br />

mainstream discourse carries with it<br />

grave implications for the health of<br />

American democracy. From climate<br />

denialism to lies about the Black Lives<br />

Matter Movement committing fraud,<br />

conspiracy theories have become<br />

a powerful tool in obstructing the<br />

advancement of environmental, racial<br />

and economic justice.<br />

A.J. Bauer, a professor specializing<br />

in conservative news and right-wing<br />

media, said these “modern” conspiracy<br />

theories are, in many ways, new in form<br />

but old in substance, particularly in<br />

relation to the American right-wing.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re’s a long history of<br />

conspiratorial thinking on the right. It<br />

isn’t really that new. If you look back,<br />

for example, to the beginning of the<br />

modern conservative movement in<br />

the late 1940s and early 1950s, there<br />

were a lot of conspiracy theories about<br />

Communist subversion,” Bauer said.<br />

CW / Autumn Williams<br />

Bauer mentioned how the<br />

conservative movement of the 20th<br />

century wielded conspiracy theories<br />

to label Martin Luther King Jr. as a<br />

communist to discredit the broader<br />

civil rights movement.<br />

Bauer also spoke to recent<br />

developments in how the<br />

conspiratorial thinking of the 21st<br />

century works differently from past<br />

generations. More specifically, he<br />

described the inner workings of<br />

QAnon, a conspiracy theory first<br />

formulated on far-right message<br />

boards that mythologized the Trump<br />

administration as a force engaged in<br />

an abstruse struggle against America’s<br />

secret elite.<br />

If Bauer’s analysis is correct, and<br />

QAnon is more like an “omnibus<br />

theory” that is more grassroots than<br />

top-down, it would seem to coincide<br />

with the internet making media<br />

more fragmented than ever. Unlike<br />

past generations, there are no longer<br />

unifying voices to represent the media,<br />

such as Walter Cronkite or Barbara<br />

Walters, to help build a common<br />

truth. <strong>The</strong>refore, it has become<br />

imperative for regular people to pierce<br />

through webs of misinformation.<br />

Jiyoung Lee, an assistant professor<br />

in the College of Communication<br />

& Information Sciences, researches<br />

misinformation and humancomputer<br />

interaction. Lee is at the<br />

forefront of tackling new sets of<br />

problems introduced by the advent<br />

of the internet, working on models<br />

to understand how misinformation<br />

spreads through public discourse.<br />

“Students should always doublecheck<br />

where messages are coming<br />

from, who spreads these messages,<br />

and whether the source of the<br />

message is reliable or not,” Lee said.<br />

“But in addition to that, related to<br />

what I am doing my research about,<br />

like synthetic media, when we think<br />

about deep fakes, it is difficult for us to<br />

simply just be educated.”<br />

Deep fakes are the newest<br />

development in the spread of fake<br />

news. With the use of deep learning<br />

artificial intelligence, agents of<br />

disinformation can digitally alter the<br />

image of someone, often a celebrity<br />

or politician, to portray them saying<br />

or doing things that they never said<br />

or did.<br />

Lee brought up how the<br />

development of new technologies<br />

often enables disinformation vectors<br />

to convince audiences into believing<br />

distortions of the truth or outright<br />

lies. To this end, Lee offered different<br />

tips for students at the University<br />

on navigating the growing tide of<br />

virtual deceptions.<br />

“We’re normal people. It is super<br />

difficult to see whether deep fake,<br />

video-based misinformation is<br />

true or not,” Lee said. “Instead of<br />

being passive observers toward this<br />

phenomenon, [students] should take<br />

an active role in understanding what<br />

things are going on in our society,<br />

what are some popular narratives that<br />

are being spread on social media these<br />

days so that they can simply be aware<br />

of what’s going on and then behave in<br />

a more active way.”<br />

In order to regain some<br />

semblance of normalcy in the age<br />

of misinformation, students and<br />

academics are looking to play a more<br />

active role in combating the spread of<br />

fake news. Modern problems require<br />

modern solutions, and adapting to an<br />

ever-changing media landscape will<br />

continue to be an important challenge.<br />

‘Terrifying for Jewish students on campus’:<br />

How students are processing Jan. 26 chalkings<br />



Almost two dozen chalk<br />

messages with the hashtag<br />

“YEisRight” were visible on campus<br />

sidewalks the morning of Jan. 26,<br />

with many including references to<br />

Friday, Jan. 27, which is International<br />

Holocaust Remembrance Day.<br />

Organizations across campus<br />

condemned the behavior, but some<br />

students criticized the University’s<br />

response.<br />

Ye, or Kanye West, is a famous<br />

rapper and fashion designer<br />

who in recent months has<br />

taken up antisemitic stances,<br />

including Holocaust denial, that<br />

have gotten him deplatformed<br />

from Instagram and pre- and<br />

post-Elon Musk Twitter.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong> photographed<br />

at least 20 instances of the hashtag<br />

on campus sidewalks, some of which<br />

were partially washed away by water.<br />

A Twitter account with the handle<br />

@YEisRIGHT2024 posted photos<br />

of the chalked messages around<br />

midnight on Jan. 25, with the caption<br />

“Spotted in Bama! ROLL TIDE!”<br />

<strong>The</strong> CW was not immediately<br />

able to confirm who was responsible<br />

for the chalkings.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University first released a<br />

statement on Twitter in response to<br />

the chalkings. <strong>The</strong> Twitter statement<br />

was in a reply to a tweet by @<br />

StopAntisemites posted depicting<br />

Chabad tables in response to campus chalkings on Jan. 26.<br />

Photo courtesy of UA Chabad<br />

a chalking outside of Amelia Gayle<br />

Gorgas library. <strong>The</strong> University<br />

released the same statement via an<br />

Instagram story. Instagram stories<br />

remain visible on an account for<br />

24 hours before disappearing. No<br />

permanent statement was made on<br />

the University’s Instagram page.<br />

“We condemn these chalkings,<br />

which violate our Capstone Creed,<br />

our campus culture and our core<br />

values,” the statement read.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University’s Capstone Creed<br />

is “a statement of principles that<br />

guide each student.” Every incoming<br />

freshman class pledges to uphold<br />

the Capstone Creed at the start of<br />

each academic year. <strong>The</strong> Capstone<br />

Creed was written knowing that<br />

“the University community does not<br />

stop at the geographic boundaries<br />

of campus.”<br />

University officials began<br />

removing the chalk as soon as they<br />

were notified of its presence around<br />

campus. <strong>The</strong> University did not send<br />

an official email communication on<br />

the day of the incident or afterwards.<br />

Tori Stincer, a junior majoring in<br />

news media, said the University needs<br />

to prioritize better communication.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re needs to be direct<br />

communications with students<br />

through a channel of communication<br />

we all have, like <strong>Crimson</strong> email,”<br />

Stincer said.<br />

“I think [the University’s<br />

response] was unprofessional," said<br />

Savannah Prescott, a freshman<br />

majoring in math and secondary<br />

math education. “Addressing it<br />

in a way that will disappear feels<br />

like they don’t want to draw more<br />

attention to it.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Student Government<br />

Association released a statement<br />

on Instagram on Friday, Jan. 27,<br />

saying that “the antisemitic actions<br />

committed on campus yesterday are<br />

nothing less than abhorrent.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> SGA also encouraged the<br />

student body to continue to uphold<br />

the Capstone Creed.<br />

<strong>The</strong> SGA ended the statement<br />

with “Hate doesn’t roll here.” On<br />

the post, there were also resources<br />

to connect students to the UA<br />

Counseling Center, UA Diversity<br />

Incident Reporting, Bama Hillel,<br />

the Office of Diversity, Equity<br />

and Inclusion, and the Office of<br />

Student Life.<br />

Marlie Thompson, a sophomore<br />

majoring in interdisciplinary<br />

studies, said the 1/27 reference<br />

was concerning.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> fact that there was a<br />

date included and that date being<br />

Holocaust Remembrance Day, is<br />

terrifying for the Jewish students on<br />

campus,” she said.<br />

Thompson said the University<br />

needs to take antisemitism<br />

complaints more seriously before a<br />

“devastating hate crime” occurs.<br />

In response to the antisemitic<br />

chalkings, the University’s Chabad,<br />

a Jewish organization on campus,<br />

tabled outside of Gorgas library<br />

on Jan. 26. Chabad did not have a<br />

permit to table, but the University<br />

supported the group’s efforts.<br />

“Some people from the University<br />

came by the Chabad table and said<br />

‘You know what, you’re exercising<br />

your First Amendment rights, we<br />

support it, ” said Alex Malkin, a<br />

junior majoring in public relations<br />

and member of the Chabad<br />

executive board.<br />

Malkin said Chabad set up the<br />

table quickly on Jan. 26, and that<br />

random students came up to the<br />

Chabad table and were supportive.<br />

“It’s blowing my mind,” Malkin said.<br />

Bama Hillel, another Jewish<br />

campus organization, also released<br />

a statement on Instagram. In their<br />

statement, Hillel said they are<br />

“diligently addressing the situation<br />

and are currently working with<br />

local and federal agencies as well as<br />

the [Secure Community Network]<br />

director of security through the<br />

Birmingham Jewish federation.”<br />

Hillel also noted that the<br />

University is providing additional<br />

support and security measures to<br />

students and members.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University’s chapter of Alpha<br />

Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity at the<br />

University, released a statement on<br />

their Instagram as well.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> Brothers of the Iota<br />

Deuteron chapter of Alpha Epsilon<br />

Pi strongly condemn the recent rise<br />

in antisemitism taking place in our<br />

world,” the statement read.<br />

Other campus groups, like<br />

Alabama Queer Student Association,<br />

also made an Instagram post in<br />

response to the chalkings.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> queer student association<br />

stands in support of the Jewish<br />

community against the hateful,<br />

antisemitic attacks found across<br />

campus,” <strong>The</strong> statement said. QSA<br />

extended regards to those effected<br />

on campus and members of the<br />

Jewish community.<br />

To read the complete version and<br />

access other resources, please visit<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong>’s website.




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

men’s basketball program has<br />

a storied history.<br />

From head coach Wimp<br />

Sanderson’s SEC Tournament threepeat<br />

in the 1980s and ’90s, to head<br />

coach Mark Gottfried’s Elite Eight<br />

in 2004, or the program’s return to<br />

prominence under current head<br />

coach Nate Oats, much of Alabama’s<br />

success on the hardwood can be<br />

traced back to head coach C.M.<br />

Newton, who came to Alabama<br />

in 1968.<br />

Newton was 38 years old when<br />

he arrived at the Capstone to lead<br />

Alabama’s basketball team. Coming<br />

from Lexington, Kentucky, he was<br />

relatively unknown among the<br />

national coaching ranks.<br />

Friendships are not based<br />

on success on the field or<br />

on the court. You certainly<br />

might find that the very<br />

best players might be best<br />

friends with the third-team<br />

linebacker or a student<br />

manager. That’s not<br />

designed by race.<br />


“He was a gentlemen in every<br />

regard and every moment that I<br />

ever knew him,” said Ben Shurett,<br />

a manager and then graduate<br />

assistant for the Alabama basketball<br />

team from 1969-74. “I never really<br />

saw him change. He was always that<br />

person who was an outstanding<br />

tactician, and outstanding coach, a<br />

good recruiter. A good person who<br />

valued all people.”<br />

In Newton’s first year in 1968, the<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide suffered a 4-20 regular<br />

sports<br />

season. Following this, Newton<br />

recruited Wendell Hudson, who<br />

became the first Black scholarship<br />

athlete in the University’s history.<br />

Over the next few seasons,<br />

Newton recruited more Black<br />

players and won more games.<br />

Alabama improved its win total over<br />

the next five seasons under Newton,<br />

winning eight games in 1970, 10 in<br />

1971, 18 in 1972 and 22 in 1973.<br />

This led to the 1974 team,<br />

the team that sent shockwaves<br />

throughout the Southeast.<br />

<strong>The</strong> team started the season with a<br />

5-1 record, and next on the schedule<br />

was the eighth-ranked University<br />

of Louisville Cardinals on Dec. 28,<br />

1973. As the game began, Newton<br />

sent his starting five onto the floor.<br />

Ray Odums, T.R. Dunn, Charles<br />

Cleveland, Charles ‘Boonie’ Russell<br />

and Leon Douglas. <strong>The</strong>se five<br />

players — all of whom were — took<br />

the court.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se five men made history on<br />

Dec. 28, 1973, becoming the first all-<br />

Black starting five in the history of<br />

the Southeastern Conference.<br />

Sanderson, who was an assistant<br />

coach under Newton at the time<br />

before taking over the program<br />

in 1981, said that there weren’t<br />

any previous discussions from the<br />

coaching staff about the fact that<br />

this lineup was all-Black.<br />

“We didn’t talk about it. We didn’t<br />

even think about it,” Sanderson<br />

said. “We played the game. We<br />

had however many kids we had,<br />

some Black, some white, we started<br />

who we thought was the best team<br />

to start.”<br />

Odums, who was a senior guard<br />

on the team, said that it wasn’t<br />

something the players talked<br />

about either.<br />

“We just figured Coach [Newton]<br />

put the best players for us available<br />

at that time,” Odums said. “Our five<br />

was all-Black, but we didn’t dwell<br />

on that point. We just felt that we<br />

were out there playing, trying to<br />

do a good job to win games for<br />

ourselves and our university.”<br />

Douglas, who was just a<br />

sophomore on that team, had a bit<br />

of a different mindset.<br />

“I was aware, because I had<br />

been looking forward to that,”<br />

Douglas said.<br />

Alabama won that game against<br />

Louisville by a final score of 65-<br />

55 and went on to share the SEC<br />

regular season championship with<br />

Vanderbilt. <strong>The</strong> team finished the<br />

season with a 22-4 record and the<br />

SEC championship was the first won<br />

by the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide since 1956.<br />

As this team was formed over<br />

Newton’s early tenure, Sanderson,<br />

the lead recruiter on the staff,<br />

wanted his players to meet a<br />

few criteria, none of which were<br />

race related.<br />

“We recruited good people<br />

who were good students and good<br />

athletes,” Sanderson said. “That’s<br />

what we looked for. We had a certain<br />

standard. … We got good players.<br />

We didn’t worry about whether they<br />

were Black or white.”<br />

Douglas, who went on to be<br />

the No. 4 overall pick in the 1976<br />

NBA Draft, said that other schools<br />

used race as a recruiting pitch<br />

against Alabama.<br />

“Everyone said that Alabama<br />

would never start five Blacks,”<br />

Douglas said. “When there was<br />

a recruitment war going on, the<br />

people that recruited against<br />

Alabama would always say, ‘You<br />

know, Alabama’s never going to start<br />

all you guys.’”<br />

<strong>The</strong> entire starting five was<br />

made up of players from Alabama,<br />

and Douglas said that making the<br />

decision to stay home was an easy<br />

one for all of them.<br />

“We were all from Alabama<br />

and we recruited each other. We<br />

recruited each other with the<br />

standpoint of if we all went to the<br />

University, we could not only change<br />

it but set a standard,” Douglas said.<br />

“We decided to stay in the state and<br />

make a difference.”<br />

3B<br />

<strong>The</strong> 1973-1974 Alabama men’s basketball team poses for a team photo.<br />

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Bank<br />

Once this collection of players got<br />

on campus together, an unbreakable<br />

bond was formed.<br />

“When we got on the court, we<br />

were all for one and one for all,”<br />

Odums said.<br />

“We’re still friends. We’re like<br />

brothers,” Douglas said. “Even to<br />

this day we call each other. <strong>The</strong>re’s<br />

a brotherhood there. That’s one of<br />

the reasons that we were able to<br />

do the things that we did. … We<br />

were competing and playing with<br />

a purpose.”<br />

Even for the white players on the<br />

team, like sixth man Johnny Dill,<br />

the fellowship formed by that team<br />

was special.<br />

“We got along as teammates<br />

very well,” Dill said. “<strong>The</strong>y were my<br />

friends. We wanted to win basketball<br />

games. [<strong>The</strong> coaches] treated us<br />

with great respect. In four years with<br />

them they never belittled us.”<br />

Shurett, who witnessed Newton’s<br />

teams closer than anyone not<br />

playing on the court, felt that the<br />

people are what brought these teams<br />

as close as possible.<br />

“I think it’s a real testament to<br />

the people that were on all of those<br />

teams,” Shurett said. “C.M. [Newton]<br />

never said to us, ‘Hey, we’re going<br />

to have a Black guy on the team.’ It<br />

was a team; it was our team. I was<br />

very blessed that the people on that<br />

team let me be on that team. I was<br />

a manager, but I was all in. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

treated me like I was a player, and I<br />

was emotionally invested in that.”<br />

Shurett said that the togetherness<br />

formed by teams with great people is<br />

one that transcends all divides.<br />

“Friendships are not based on<br />

success on the field or on the court,”<br />

Shurett said. “You certainly might<br />

find that the very best players might<br />

be best friends with the third-team<br />

linebacker or a student manager.<br />

That’s not designed by race. That’s<br />

people who are drawn to each other.<br />

… That dynamic plays out on every<br />

team with good people. What I<br />

remember most is our people were<br />

good people.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> 1974 team laid a foundation,<br />

and paved the way for more growth<br />

as the years went by. Now in 2023,<br />

all 11 scholarship men’s basketball<br />

players at the University are Black, a<br />

testament to the barriers broken by<br />

Newton, his staff and his players.<br />

So, even now, as Alabama<br />

basketball fans are enjoying a<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide renaissance on<br />

the 94-foot floor of Coleman<br />

Coliseum, remember to look<br />

to the rafters and reflect on the<br />

teams, wins, championships, and<br />

most importantly, people that<br />

came before.<br />

“People have a tendency to forget<br />

the past, but there’s no present<br />

without the past,” Douglas said.<br />

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4B<br />

Diverse student groups fighting injustice on campus<br />



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

grows, striving for diversity<br />

and inclusion amongst student<br />

organizations is essential to<br />

promoting a welcoming environment<br />

for all students and fighting for<br />

injustice on campus. In a school with<br />

a population over 70% white, starting<br />

a student organization can be one of<br />

the first steps for a minority group to<br />

create community and stand up for<br />

its own interests.<br />

Over 70 student organizations<br />

focus on emphasizing diversity and<br />

inclusion, and they are taking action<br />

and creating events to fight injustice<br />

on campus and beyond. <strong>The</strong> Bama<br />

Indigenous Student Organization<br />

Network, the Indian Students<br />

Association of Tuscaloosa and the<br />

African Students Association are just<br />

a few student groups who are doing<br />

their part to inspire understanding<br />

and encourage diversity on campus.<br />

Bama Indigenous Student<br />

Organization Network<br />

Kiana Younker, a senior majoring<br />

in dance, is the co-president and<br />

co-founder of the Bama Indigenous<br />

Student Organization Network.<br />

After a professor connected<br />

Younker with Katherine Johnston,<br />

another indigenous student on<br />

campus, the two became friends and<br />

began to collaborate on the concept<br />

for their organization.<br />

“For the first two-and-a-half years<br />

of our undergrad, we were told that<br />

there were no other indigenous<br />

people on campus besides ourselves,”<br />

Younker said.<br />

According to the UA Office<br />

of Institutional Research and<br />

Assessment, there were 108 fulltime<br />

students enrolled in the fall<br />

<strong>2022</strong> semester who identify as being<br />

American Indian or Alaska Native.<br />

<strong>The</strong> two established BISON<br />

to create awareness and connect<br />

with other indigenous students<br />

at the University. Younker said<br />

they hope to rewrite the historical<br />

and contemporary narrative of<br />

indigenous people on campus and in<br />

society. <strong>The</strong>y currently have 40 active<br />

members and are continuing to grow.<br />

It’s very important that<br />

all these student groups<br />

and different cultures are<br />

represented in the UA<br />

campus because it brings a<br />

sense of closeness among<br />

people.<br />


“<strong>The</strong> fact of the matter is a lot of<br />

people don’t know that indigenous<br />

people are still alive,” Younker said.<br />

“If you don’t think that my race exists<br />

then you also think my issues don’t<br />

exist, and that is super discouraging<br />

in any environment.”<br />

According to a study conducted<br />

in 2018, 40% of Americans don’t<br />

believe that Native Americans still<br />

exist. More recently, it was found<br />

that “87% of American schools<br />

don’t teach about Native Americans<br />

past 1900.”<br />

BISON strives to create a presence<br />

on campus in hopes that it will inspire<br />

the University to pay more attention<br />

to its demographic and do outreach<br />

to get more indigenous students<br />

on campus.<br />

“BISON is a resource for<br />

information, but it is also up to the<br />

individual to enlighten yourself, and<br />

that’s what higher education is for,”<br />

Younker said.<br />

While the organization is new<br />

to campus, it is already impacting<br />

students in meaningful ways. Cary<br />

Robinson, a junior majoring in<br />

history and communications, joined<br />

BISON because of her interest in<br />

history and Native American culture.<br />

She is now the treasurer and secretary<br />

of the organization.<br />

“This position has really helped<br />

me understand the pain that other<br />

cultures and people have gone<br />

through that I didn’t even know<br />

existed,” Robinson said. “It’s been<br />

such an eye-opening experience.”<br />

Indian Students<br />

Association of Tuscaloosa<br />

<strong>The</strong> Indian Students Association<br />

of Tuscaloosa is another organization<br />

that has helped students find their<br />

own community on campus. A<br />

large and active organization, ISAT<br />

aims to make Indian students feel at<br />

home and to share the culture and<br />

traditions of India.<br />

Aditya Upreti, a doctoral<br />

candidate studying physics, joined<br />

the club when he first came to the<br />

University a few years ago and is now<br />

the president of the association.<br />

“It’s very important that all these<br />

student groups and different cultures<br />

are represented in the UA campus<br />

because it brings a sense of closeness<br />

among people,” Upreti said.<br />

He said diversity on college<br />

campuses encourages people to<br />

learn about the unique cultures of its<br />

citizens and people from around the<br />

world. Additionally, it actively fights<br />

injustice by helping others be more<br />

accepting and respectful of others.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> United States is a very big<br />

country with so many different<br />

cultures and people,” Upreti said.<br />

“Having diversity in these student<br />

groups is very important because it<br />

brings a lot to the institution.”<br />

Sandhiya Thiagarajan, a doctoral<br />

candidate studying chemical and<br />

bioengineering, is the vice president<br />

of the association. She said their<br />

main goal is to promote exchanges of<br />

culture so that students feel accepted<br />

and understood.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re should always be a diverse<br />

environment, where everybody<br />

is given a chance to represent<br />

their ideas and their views,”<br />

Thiagarajan said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> association is also open to<br />

Indian families in the Tuscaloosa<br />

community and anyone else who<br />

wants to get involved. Within the<br />

past few years, the club has seen a lot<br />

of growth and many families attend<br />

their events such as Bollywood<br />

nights and Diwali.<br />

Both Upreti and Thiagarajan said<br />

they have enjoyed their experiences<br />

at the University and like being a<br />

part of ISAT because it makes them<br />

feel more at home, strengthens their<br />

leadership skills and allows them to<br />

meet many new people.<br />

African Students<br />

Association<br />

culture<br />

<strong>The</strong> African Students Association<br />

is an active group on campus that<br />

welcomes international students<br />

as well as people interested in<br />

African culture.<br />

<strong>The</strong> ASA’s mission states that<br />

they support involvement on the<br />

University’s campus and foster unity<br />

amongst students regardless of race,<br />

ethnicity or religious orientation.<br />

Sunday Okafor, a doctoral<br />

candidate studying civil engineering,<br />

joined when he came to the Capstone<br />

in 2021 and is now the president of<br />

the organization.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> primary aim of the<br />

association is to create a community<br />

for international students from<br />

Africa and also to create an avenue<br />

for other people to interact with and<br />

learn more about the culture and<br />

heritage,” Okafor said.<br />

ASA hosts many activities and<br />

events throughout the year that expose<br />

the UA and Tuscaloosa communities<br />

to African food, traditions and<br />

heritage, in the hopes that attendees<br />

will gain a new understanding and<br />

respect for their culture.<br />

Okafor said the organization also<br />

helps international students from<br />

Africa feel more at home and makes<br />

them feel welcomed at the University.<br />

“When we have diversity within<br />

the University it helps us to learn<br />

from each other, know the cultural<br />

differences we have, and helps us to<br />

know how to integrate better and to<br />

live a better and more inclusive life,”<br />

Okafor said.<br />

ASA combats injustice on campus<br />

by partnering with the University’s<br />

Office of Diversity, Equity and<br />

Inclusion, the International Student<br />

and Scholar Services and with<br />

other organizations that advocate<br />

for diversity and the voices of<br />

minority students.<br />

Coming to Alabama from Nigeria<br />

and working for the ASA has enabled<br />

Okafor to meet new people and<br />

develop personally by teaching him<br />

valuable life skills.<br />

“It takes patience and emotional<br />

intelligence because you have<br />

people of different backgrounds<br />

and orientations,” Okafor said. “You<br />

want to learn how to show empathy<br />

and understand how to deal with<br />

different types of people.”<br />

He said the organization has<br />

grown by over 50% within the past<br />

year and has become a resource for<br />

international students adjusting<br />

to the University, while engaging<br />

other students on campus through<br />

social activities. Currently, there are<br />

161 international students at the<br />

University from Africa.<br />

<strong>The</strong> BISON, ISAT and ASA<br />

are just a few organizations that<br />

promote diversity and inclusion<br />

so all students can feel safe and at<br />

home on campus. While increasing<br />

diversity at the University may seem<br />

small, these steps will hopefully<br />

enact social justice and spark positive<br />

change not only within institutions<br />

of higher education, but also beyond<br />

these institutions.<br />

BOOKS<br />

FOR THE<br />


JAN 30 - FEB 24, 2023<br />

Why?<br />

<strong>The</strong> Alabama Black Belt includes some of the poorest counties in<br />

the USA. We want to provide new or gently used K-12 books of any<br />

genre, especially STEM and ACT Prep Books, so children in the<br />

Black Belt can develop a love of learning and reading.<br />

On-Campus<br />

Autherine Lucy Hall<br />

Blackburn Institute Office<br />

Carmichael Hall<br />

Honors Hall<br />

Pi Beta Phi Sorority House<br />

Reese Phifer Rotunda<br />

SGA Office<br />

Tuomey Hall<br />

Wade Hall<br />

Where?<br />

Off-Campus<br />

Alberta Baptist Church<br />

Ernest & Hadley Booksellers<br />

Stillman College<br />

Student Center<br />

United Way of<br />

West Alabama<br />

UA Center for<br />

Economic Develpment<br />

uaced.ua.edu/books-for-the-black-belt<br />

Contact Erin Hackenmueller at 205-348-8344 or uaced@ua.edu<br />

Indian faculties and their families at Diwali celebrations. Photo courtesy of Sandhiya Thiagarajan<br />

<strong>The</strong> fact of the matter is a<br />

lot of people don’t know<br />

that indigenous people<br />

are still alive. If you don’t<br />

think that my race exists<br />

then you also think my<br />

issues don’t exist, and that<br />

is super discouraging in any<br />

environment.<br />


UA students celebrating Holi- the Indian festival of colors. Photo courtesy of Sandhiya Thiagarajan

opinions<br />

5B<br />

OPINION <strong>The</strong> filibuster stands in the way of justice<br />



Since 2020, the U.S.<br />

Senate has narrowly<br />

favored the Democratic Party,<br />

which effectively holds a 51-50<br />

majority by way of independents<br />

who caucus with Democrats and<br />

Vice President Kamala Harris’<br />

tie-breaking vote.<br />

This might leave some voters<br />

wondering why relatively little<br />

headway has been made on<br />

the Democratic legislative<br />

agenda in the past few years<br />

Outside of traditional issues<br />

of government gridlock and<br />

Sen. Joe Manchin’s penchant<br />

for screwing over Democrats to<br />

uphold austerity measures, there<br />

is one massive culprit, America’s<br />

very own legislative bogeyman:<br />

the filibuster.<br />

<strong>The</strong> filibuster, in short, is a way<br />

to cease the passage of legislation<br />

which would traditionally pass<br />

the Senate with a simple 51-vote<br />

majority by prolonging debate<br />

on the bill until it dies on the<br />

floor. This works, because a<br />

“cloture” vote — one which must<br />

be reached to end debate in the<br />

Senate — has a higher threshold<br />

of 60 votes.<br />

In our recent era of highlycontested<br />

and strongly polarized<br />

politics, the filibuster has<br />

become an unfortunate mainstay<br />

in the minority party’s political<br />

arsenal. It is time to do away<br />

with it.<br />

Do a quick “ctrl + f ” on our<br />

nation’s founding document, the<br />

Constitution, and you will notice<br />

that the word “filibuster” is<br />

nowhere to be found. Indeed, it<br />

is an issue which early members<br />

of our government explicitly<br />

discouraged. Alexander<br />

Hamilton called it “a poison” and<br />

the Senate even once held the<br />

same “previous question” rule as<br />

the House which acts as a means<br />

to end debate.<br />

However, that “previous<br />

question” rule was used so<br />

infrequently by our early senators<br />

that it was removed from the<br />

Senate’s rulebook in 1806,<br />

clearly without the foresight<br />

that it would later become the<br />

longest strand of hair clogging<br />

our government’s metaphorical<br />

shower drain.<br />

Since then, the “previous<br />

question” rule has not returned,<br />

and the filibuster, which comes<br />

from the Dutch word for “pirate,”<br />

according to a 2021 historical<br />

review by National Geographic,<br />

has gone on to block, or at<br />

least slow, the passage of what<br />

could have been, and in some<br />

cases became, some of the most<br />

progressive and influential<br />

legislation in our nation’s history.<br />

This is true even after the cloture<br />

rule was established in 1919.<br />

<strong>The</strong> filibuster’s modern<br />

prominence originated in<br />

white supremacy, as Southern<br />

senators intent on maintaining<br />

both de jure and de facto<br />

segregation during the Jim<br />

Crow era. <strong>The</strong>y successfully<br />

used the tactic to block bills<br />

CW / Reagan Christian<br />

which would have criminalized<br />

lynching and eliminated poll<br />

taxes which dissuaded Black<br />

political participation. <strong>The</strong><br />

longest continuous filibuster in<br />

American history was performed<br />

by Sen. Strom Thurmond in a<br />

failed attempt to defeat the Civil<br />

Rights Act of 1957; the cloture<br />

threshold was lowered from<br />

two-thirds to three-fifths in the<br />

same year.<br />

At least in 1957, Thurmond<br />

had to actually stand on the<br />

Senate floor and talk for over<br />

24 hours; today, the filibuster<br />

does not require such an effort.<br />

We now live in the era of the<br />

“stealth filibuster,” a filibuster<br />

so scary that the mere mention<br />

of its name sends lawmakers<br />

fleeing down the Capitol’s halls.<br />

All a senator must do in the<br />

modern era to frustrate their<br />

political opponents is declare the<br />

intention to filibuster, effectively<br />

raising the intended simple<br />

majority vote of 51 to that 60-<br />

vote threshold on any and every<br />

piece of legislation which wishes<br />

to pass the Senate.<br />

As recently as 2021, the<br />

filibuster has prevented the<br />

passage of democrats’ voting<br />

rights bill, S.1, which would<br />

protect absentee and mailin<br />

ballots, improve national<br />

voter registration and counter<br />

the other funny-but-malicious<br />

word which continues to<br />

plague our democratic process:<br />

gerrymandering.<br />

<strong>The</strong> absurdity of the filibuster<br />

is obvious. It has led Senators<br />

to do everything from reading<br />

oyster recipes to reciting Dr. Seuss<br />

in what is supposed to be one of<br />

our nation’s most prestigious and<br />

important institutions, all in the<br />

name of gridlock.<br />

In our recent era of highlycontested<br />

and strongly<br />

polarized politics, the<br />

filibuster has become an<br />

unfortunate mainstay in the<br />

minority party’s political<br />

arsenal. It is time to do away<br />

with it.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is a reason that the<br />

history of the filibuster is tied<br />

to blockage of voting reform; it<br />

is a weapon molded from antidemocratic<br />

intent and cured<br />

in racism. If the American<br />

people have elected a party into<br />

the Senate majority, then they<br />

expect results and wish to see<br />

their agenda accomplished. <strong>The</strong><br />

filibuster is the antithesis to this,<br />

and only acts to further separate<br />

our legislators from the mandate<br />

of the people.<br />

It should not be controversial<br />

to say that without<br />

democracy, there can be no<br />

justice. If we do not work<br />

to protect the equal rights<br />

guaranteed to all of us by<br />

our most sacred laws and<br />

documents, then we<br />

fail to<br />

ensure<br />

that we will all be<br />

afforded fair and just<br />

treatment under<br />

those laws. It is<br />

in that spirit that<br />

the filibuster must<br />

be repealed,<br />

whether through<br />

the reestablishment of a<br />

“previous question” rule or<br />

through a lowering of the<br />

cloture vote threshold to a<br />

simple majority.<br />

Unfortunately, many<br />

senators wish to<br />

keep this archaic relic intact<br />

in order to preserve their own<br />

individual power. Republicans<br />

have been consistently losing<br />

popular support for years, and<br />

the abolition of the filibuster<br />

threatens to deprive their<br />

inequitable hold on power<br />

even further.<br />

It would eliminate their<br />

stranglehold on progressive<br />

legislation in the Senate and<br />

also allow for the passage of<br />

S.1, thereby snuffing out the<br />

gerrymandering tactic which has<br />

worked to prop up Republicans<br />

in districts they may not have<br />

otherwise controlled.<br />

Some Democrats have also<br />

been staunch supporters of the<br />

filibuster, perhaps most notably<br />

the aforementioned Manchin.<br />

Manchin has used the single-vote<br />

advantage which Democrats have<br />

in the Senate to his own personal<br />

advantage, holding massive<br />

pieces of legislation hostage for<br />

the purposes of gaining political<br />

clout, appeasing his corporate<br />

donors, and ensuring provisions<br />

which would personally benefit<br />

him and the capitalist interests<br />

of his family members.<br />

<strong>The</strong> absurdity of the<br />

filibuster is obvious. It<br />

has led Senators to do<br />

everything from reading<br />

oyster recipes to reciting Dr.<br />

Seuss in what is supposed to<br />

be one of our nation’s most<br />

prestigious and important<br />

institutions, all in the name<br />

of gridlock.<br />

Part of Manchin’s role as thorn<br />

in the Biden administration’s<br />

side has been the blocking of<br />

filibuster reform — reform which<br />

would minimize a spoiler like<br />

himself ’s ability to abuse power<br />

and clog legislative efficiency.<br />

Of course, Manchin, like others,<br />

has concealed his true motives<br />

behind claims of necessary<br />

“checks and balances,” when in<br />

actuality he is only interested in<br />

his checkbook and the balance<br />

on his bank statement.<br />

Recently, Manchin was seen<br />

high-fiving fellow Senator<br />

Kyrsten Sinema — formerly<br />

a Democrat, but now an<br />

independent — in jubilee over<br />

their opposition to filibuster<br />

reform. Sinema has also acted as<br />

a regular roadblock to legislative<br />

action and has grown highly<br />

unpopular in her own state<br />

of Arizona.<br />

But no matter your political<br />

leaning, you as the voter, should<br />

welcome the death of the<br />

filibuster. If you value your ability<br />

to participate in a government of,<br />

by and for the people, then you<br />

should not settle for your words<br />

falling on deaf ears. You should<br />

celebrate anything which would<br />

amplify your voice and ensure<br />

that it is felt in the halls of our<br />

nation’s Capitol.<br />

When a minority holds the<br />

power to stamp out that voice,<br />

we no longer have democracy<br />

and we no longer maintain the<br />

spirit imbued in this country’s<br />

foundation. Cries of “tyranny of<br />

the majority” pale in comparison<br />

to the true-blue hijacking of<br />

the peoples’ will which the<br />

filibuster embodies.<br />

Indeed, how can we have a<br />

“representative democracy”<br />

when those we elect to represent<br />

us are bound and gagged by inane<br />

and racist precedent? But, God<br />

forbid the American government<br />

ever gains the ability to actually<br />

effect real change in the 21st<br />

century, right?<br />

If you wish to see your<br />

lawmakers actually make laws<br />

instead of reading “Green Eggs<br />

and Ham,” consider contacting<br />

them and letting them know that<br />

the era of the filibuster,“stealthy”<br />

or not, must come to an end.

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