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Black Warrior Film<br />

Festival celebrates<br />

10th anniversary<br />



<strong>The</strong> Black Warrior Film<br />

Festival is one of <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama’s most<br />

anticipated events of the year,<br />

and the wait for it is almost over.<br />

Celebrating its 10th anniversary<br />

this year, the student-run<br />

film festival will return with<br />

a wide variety of films, panels<br />

and opportunities to better<br />

understand the ever-growing<br />

film industry. It will run from<br />

<strong>March</strong> 31 through April 1 at <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama Student<br />

Center Forum in room 3700.<br />

Created in 2013 by a<br />

group of undergraduate<br />

students in the department of<br />

telecommunication and film, the<br />

Black Warrior Film Festival aims<br />

“to build an experience where<br />

student filmmakers are not only<br />

recognized for their work, but<br />

also presented with opportunities<br />

to interact with industry<br />

professionals and network with<br />

other filmmakers,” according to<br />

their website.<br />

Some films that have been<br />

featured in the past are “A Million<br />

Dollar Journey: A Documentary,”,<br />

“One Last Cast,” and “I Wish: A<br />

Short Film.” This year, a similar<br />

film diversity is to be expected and<br />

enjoyed throughout the festival,<br />

which will be separated into four<br />

blocks: horror/experimental,<br />

documentary/comedy, drama<br />

and Holle. <strong>The</strong> Holle category<br />

is designated for Holle Awards<br />

for Excellence in Creativity and<br />

Communication winners, which<br />

are national awards given by the<br />

UA College of Communication<br />

and Information Sciences.<br />

This year, one of the Holle<br />

Award finalists was Black Warrior<br />

Film Festival’s Tyler Garcia,<br />

who graduated in December<br />

2022 with a degree in creative<br />

media and served as the BWFF<br />

head director, for his short film<br />

“Ofrenda.” Along with Garcia’s<br />

work, the upcoming festival will<br />

also show the short films of the<br />

other four finalists, who can be<br />

found throughout the country.<br />

For those interested in joining,<br />

the Black Warrior Film Festival<br />

has an application for next year’s<br />

team, as well as one for submitting<br />

a film, located on their website.<br />

Kristen Warner, the former<br />

BWFF advisor and outgoing UA<br />

faculty member, said the festival<br />

is one of the few student-run film<br />

festivals in the country.<br />

“It is one of the few film<br />

festivals in the South as well, so<br />

while it is small in size compared<br />

to others, we have gained name<br />

recognition for the quality of the<br />

event,” Warner said.<br />

Warner is perhaps one of the<br />

reasons that the festival is able<br />

to be run by students. Landon<br />

Palmer, the current advisor of<br />

the Black Warrior Film Festival<br />

and assistant professor in<br />

journalism and creative media,<br />

gave his predecessor a great deal<br />

of credit for the development of<br />

the festival.<br />

Last year’s BWFF team at the 2022 Black Warrior Film Festival.<br />

Photo courtesy of JC Reams<br />



THURSDAY, MARCH <strong>30</strong>, <strong>2023</strong><br />


UA BISON members, Kaytie Colbert (left), Kiana Younker (middle) and Katherine Johnston (right) on the quad.<br />

CW / David Gray<br />

Native American students say<br />

UA fails to support them<br />



Despite the University’s recent<br />

success with its diversity,<br />

equity and inclusion measures meant<br />

to increase enrollment and retention<br />

among certain minority groups, it<br />

has faced unchanging enrollment<br />

and retention among Native<br />

American students, which remain<br />

disproportionately low. To some<br />

Native American students, it feels as<br />

if DEI measures are just “checking<br />

a box.”<br />

Last fall, the University reported<br />

having enrolled the greatest number<br />

of students of racial or ethnic<br />

minorities in its history, 8,542,<br />

including a record 4,344 Black and<br />

2,138 Hispanic undergraduate and<br />

graduate students.<br />

According to the Office<br />

of Institutional Research and<br />

Assessment, over the 2019, 2021<br />

and 2022 fall semesters (excluding<br />

fall 2020 due to COVID-19)<br />

undergraduate numbers for non-<br />

Hispanic Black students increased<br />

from 3,329 to 3,422 to 3,552 and from<br />

1,631 to 1,724 to 1,862 for Hispanic/<br />

Latino students.<br />

Meanwhile, the number of<br />

enrolled undergraduate Native<br />

students, which the University<br />

classifies as “American Indian or<br />

Alaska Native, non-Hispanic,”<br />

comprise just 0.367% of the<br />

University’s 32,458 undergraduates as<br />

of last fall. Including graduate student<br />

numbers, there are currently 134<br />

Native students enrolled, or 0.35%.<br />

Nationally, just 0.637% of all postsecondary<br />

students were Native as<br />

of fall 2020. 2020 Census data shows<br />

that the non-Hispanic/Latino Native<br />

population makes up 0.46% of<br />

Alabama’s population and 0.679% of<br />

the U.S. population.<br />

Seniors Kiana Younker and<br />

Katherine Johnston are the copresidents<br />

and co-founders of<br />

the Bama Indigenous Student<br />

Organization Network, which works<br />

to make the University more accepting<br />

and understanding of Native students<br />

and culture. <strong>The</strong>y are members of<br />

the Coquille Indian and Caddo<br />

tribes, respectively.<br />

“When I came here, it was so hard<br />

because I did not know a single other<br />

Native student. I had no way to relate<br />

to anybody else. … It … wrecked me,”<br />

Johnston said.<br />

It took Younker and Johnston until<br />

their third year at the University to<br />

meet one another, the first Native<br />

student each had met on campus.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re’s nobody here that looks<br />

like me, talks like me, acts like me. …<br />

When you … come from a different<br />

cultural background, it separates<br />

you more from the collective,”<br />

Younker said.<br />

Shane Dorrill, assistant director of<br />

communications for the University,<br />

declined to comment about what the<br />

University believes to be the cause of<br />

low Native student enrollment.<br />

Retention rates are also<br />

disproportionately lower for Native<br />

students at the University compared<br />

to other demographics. According to<br />

the OIRA, for the class of 2025, the<br />

second-year retention rate among<br />

Native students was 64%, the lowest<br />

of any racial group.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se statistical disparities have<br />

not gone unnoticed by the University.<br />

In 2016, the University unveiled its<br />

“Strategic Plan” to improve, among<br />

other unrelated things, diversity,<br />

equity and inclusion on campus<br />

from 2017-2021. <strong>The</strong> plan called for<br />

the establishment of a DEI officer<br />

position, later called vice president<br />

and associate provost of DEI, which<br />

inaugural officer G. Christine Taylor<br />

accepted in 2017.<br />

In 2020, President Stuart Bell<br />

convened an advisory committee,<br />

which Taylor spearheaded, to update<br />

the plan with new “Path Forward”<br />

strategies to promote DEI. <strong>The</strong><br />

advisory committee consisted of<br />

13 members; Taylor declined to<br />

comment on if any of the members<br />

were Native Americans.<br />

Colby Shelton is leading a revitalized Alabama baseball team<br />

On a chilly December<br />

day in Lithia, Florida,<br />

in 2002, a star was born. Stars<br />

can typically range anywhere<br />

from 4,000 to 80,000 degrees<br />

Fahrenheit. In other words,<br />

they’re scorching hot — but not<br />

this one. Much like the weather<br />

that winter day, this star is cool.<br />

He’s cool under pressure, he’s<br />

cool at the plate and he may just<br />

be the coolest story of the <strong>2023</strong><br />

Alabama baseball season. This<br />

star’s name is Colby Shelton.<br />

Never in head coach Brad<br />

Bohannon’s six-year tenure in<br />

Tuscaloosa has a freshman shone<br />

as bright as Shelton has.<br />

“I don’t know if we’ve had [a<br />

SEE PAGE 3A<br />

freshman] be this successful<br />

this soon, right out of the gate,”<br />

Bohannon said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> numbers that Shelton<br />

has put up are truly staggering.<br />

Coming out of his first home SEC<br />

series against No. 22 Kentucky,<br />

the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide third baseman<br />

owns an absurd .329/.4<strong>30</strong>/.793<br />

slash line to go along with<br />

11 home runs and 23 RBIs in<br />

just 24 games.<br />

“Hitting, that’s just what I<br />

love to do,” Shelton said after the<br />

series finale against High Point<br />

University on Feb. 26.<br />

Well, he’s pretty good at it.<br />

That game, which resulted in<br />

an Alabama sweep, kicked off<br />

a Hank Aaron-esque six-game<br />

stretch in which the freshman<br />

defied all logic. In those six<br />

games, Shelton batted .455 with<br />

eight homers and 16 RBIs while<br />

slugging 1.591. Seven of those<br />

long balls came in a smaller fourgame<br />

span, when he became the<br />

first Alabama player since 2009<br />

to go yard in four consecutive<br />

contests. Not to mention, two<br />

of them were grand slams. His<br />

electric performance earned<br />

him SEC Freshman of the<br />

Week honors.<br />

“You got Colby [Shelton]<br />

doing something that I’ve never<br />

seen before. … Colby Shelton<br />

is literally like a video game<br />

character right now,” shortstop<br />

Jim Jarvis said a day after Shelton<br />

accomplished the feat. Jarvis, a<br />

senior, is not the only veteran<br />

on the club whose attention has<br />

been captured.<br />

“He’s just a real mature guy<br />

for his age,” said graduate<br />

student and first baseman Drew<br />

Williamson. “He’s not looking at<br />

stats, he’s not worried about what<br />

they’re tweeting about him. He<br />

just comes out here everyday and<br />

puts in the same work everyday.<br />

He’s one of the most consistent<br />

guys on the team, so when you<br />

put that kind of work in, your<br />

mentality is just strong.”<br />

That’s Colby Shelton, the<br />

college baseball player, but let’s<br />

press rewind and take a look at<br />

what shaped him into who he<br />

is now.<br />

“Colby was somebody that<br />

anybody could watch play and<br />

have two or three at bats and say,<br />

‘This guy’s got a pretty swing.’ He<br />

was an easy [evaluation] from<br />

that standpoint and once you got<br />

to know him as a kid, you could<br />

tell that he truly loves to play.<br />

SEE PAGE 4A<br />

He’s a great worker,” Bohannon<br />

said as he reflected on Shelton as<br />

a high school prospect.<br />

That translated into being<br />

ranked the No. 2 shortstop<br />

in Florida, according to Prep<br />

Baseball Report. Shelton was also<br />

named first team all-conference<br />

in his junior and senior seasons<br />

at Bloomingdale High School<br />

after slashing .405/.510/.708 and<br />

.382/.506/.735, respectively. It<br />

was no secret what he could do<br />

at the plate.<br />

Fast forward to <strong>March</strong> 16<br />

as the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide prepared<br />

to open league play on the<br />

road against the vaunted<br />

Florida Gators.<br />

SEE PAGE 3A<br />

INDEX<br />


May<br />

MESTER<br />



2A what’s inside news<br />


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According to the<br />

University of<br />

Alabama’s academic calendar,<br />

starting fall <strong>2023</strong>, the<br />

University will add a midsemester<br />

study break, on Oct.<br />

26-27, in addition to the full<br />

week for Thanksgiving break.<br />

Fall 2022 was the first<br />

semester since 2020, when the<br />

annual break was cancelled<br />

due to COVID-19, that<br />

students did not have a fall<br />

break. Students said the lack of<br />

a break before Thanksgiving<br />

last semester was exhausting.<br />

“I loved having fall break<br />

because [otherwise] you go<br />

from the start of school until<br />

Thanksgiving with nothing<br />

in between,” said Hayley<br />

Winslow, a senior majoring in<br />

biology. “You get spring break<br />

in the spring, but nothing in<br />

the fall.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> addition of fall break<br />

was received positively by<br />

most students who said<br />

this year’s fall semester was<br />

difficult due to the lack<br />

of breaks.<br />

“It will definitely give me the<br />

opportunity to step away and<br />

maybe visit my parents,” said<br />

Elizabeth Boyle, a sophomore<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama will add a mid-semester study break on Oct. 26-27 next fall <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

CW / David Gray<br />

majoring in public relations.<br />

“Last fall semester was really<br />

rough because there really was<br />

no break.”<br />

Some out of state students<br />

said they do not believe that<br />

traveling home over fall<br />

break is a possibility, but are<br />

still excited to have a break<br />

from classes.<br />

“I live in Florida so I<br />

probably won’t go home for<br />

it,” said Kylie Junghams,<br />

a sophomore majoring in<br />

public relations. “I still think<br />

it will be a nice break from<br />

school because I feel like first<br />

semester we didn’t have a lot<br />

of breaks and it was hard to<br />

handle my life.”<br />

Along with the addition<br />

of fall break, the entire fall<br />

semester has been pushed<br />

back a week, with classes<br />

beginning Aug. 23 and the<br />

semester ending Dec. 15.<br />

“Like 2022, the academic<br />

calendar for the Fall <strong>2023</strong><br />

Semester moves fall break<br />

from October to provide a<br />

full Thanksgiving week class<br />

break,” said Shane Dorrill,<br />

UA assistant director of<br />

communications.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> University is always<br />

reviewing our academic<br />

calendars to provide<br />

students with the best<br />

opportunity for success, and<br />

we continue to be receptive<br />

to input.”

culture<br />

sports<br />

3A<br />


“She set the standard for the<br />

high caliber of professional guests<br />

that BWFF has hosted, and the<br />

festival is a well-run machine<br />

thanks in no small part to her<br />

work and that of the students,”<br />

Palmer said.<br />

Palmer said he wanted to make<br />

it clear that the students are the<br />

stars of the show, and he is just an<br />

observer from the wings.<br />

“It really, really is a student-run<br />

festival,” Palmer said. “UA students<br />

who are a part of the festival team<br />

meet several times a week in order<br />

to go through all the ins and outs<br />

of scheduling, funding, selection<br />

of programming and boosting the<br />

festival as an organization. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

do a really fantastic job at that.”<br />

As faculty advisor, Palmer said<br />

that his biggest responsibility<br />

is to just “maintain the<br />

autonomy of the leadership from<br />

the students.”<br />

One of those students is Kendra<br />

Zebroski, a senior majoring in<br />

creative media who serves as the<br />

head co-director of the Black<br />

Warrior Film Festival. She oversees<br />

filmmaker relations, industry<br />

relations and programming<br />

departments for the festival.<br />

“Seeing everything come<br />

together, whether it is an event we<br />

are doing or the festival itself, to<br />

be able to see our vision and the<br />

actualization of it happen is my<br />

favorite part of working with the<br />

festival,” Zebroski said. “You get<br />

that relief when it ends like, ‘Ok,<br />

we are done. We did it.’”<br />

Being student-run, the festival<br />

is aimed toward students, but<br />

also takes into consideration<br />

community members that will<br />

attend. According to the festival’s<br />

mission statement, the BWFF is<br />

“cultivated by the talents of the<br />

student filmmakers and strives to<br />

generate interests in their work.”<br />

Zebroski expanded on this idea,<br />

At last years festival more than <strong>30</strong> student short films from across the<br />

country premiered. Photo courtesy of JC Reams<br />

saying that she hopes attendees<br />

will find a new appreciation in<br />

the art.<br />

“I really hope that people can<br />

see whether they are a creative<br />

media major or just someone<br />

who likes to watch movies, that<br />

film is for everyone,” Zebroski<br />

said. “<strong>The</strong>re is a niche for<br />

everyone; while one genre might<br />

not be your favorite, another<br />

will be.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> variety of the Black Warrior<br />

Film Festival is yet another unique<br />

feature that it has to offer. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

is more than one genre of film,<br />

something that anyone who attends<br />

can appreciate.<br />

It is one of the few film<br />

festivals in the South as<br />

well, so while it is small in<br />

size compared to others,<br />

we have gained name<br />

recognition for the quality of<br />

the event.<br />


“It showcases a wide variety<br />

of different types of filmmaking<br />

that there are,” Palmer said. “<strong>The</strong><br />

Black Warrior Film Festival<br />

is really good at showcasing<br />

a variety of different types of<br />

films from various narrative<br />

genres such as comedy, horror<br />

and drama.”<br />

Palmer went on to say that<br />

documentary and experimental<br />

work have been part of the festival<br />

in the past.<br />

Along with the eclectic genres<br />

of film, BWFF showcases panels<br />

with industry professionals that<br />

give students and attendees an<br />

insight into the life of a filmmaker<br />

and what they could be doing<br />

after college.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> industry professionals<br />

offer valuable expertise and advice<br />

to aspiring film students both in<br />

[journalism and creative media]<br />

<strong>The</strong> 2022 Black Warrior Film Festival was located in the Student Center<br />

second floor theater. Photo courtesy of JC Reams<br />

as well as across the university at<br />

large,” Warner said.<br />

Some of the professional guests<br />

that attend include film critics,<br />

producers and directors. This year,<br />

the special guests include Cameo<br />

Wood, Daye Rogers, RaMell Ross,<br />

Todd Lewis, Craig Brewer, Leigh<br />

Rusevlyan, Mackenzie Rutledge<br />

and Caroline Moore.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir panels include topics<br />

such as directors in the industry,<br />

a scriptwriter’s workshop, a<br />

C&IS around the world panel,<br />

and an award ceremony at the<br />

end, which will reveal the Holle<br />

Award winner.<br />

<strong>The</strong> festival experience offers<br />

community, something lacking<br />

with the rise of streaming and<br />

going to the movie theater.<br />

“Film is a social experience,”<br />

Palmer said.<br />

That sentiment adds all the<br />

more value to the Black Warrior<br />

Film Festival, making it a vibrant<br />

and unique setting to enjoy film.<br />

<strong>The</strong> vision statement of the<br />

Black Warrior Film Festival sums<br />

it up perfectly, with the ultimate<br />

hope that the festival’s experience<br />

represents the evolving, creative<br />

process of filmmaking year<br />

after year.<br />

If you’re looking to volunteer<br />

for the Black Warrior Film<br />

Festival, or if you wish to be a part<br />

of their team next school year, visit<br />

their website.<br />

Chief Page Editor Pearl Langley<br />

is Head Co-Director for Black<br />

Warrior Film Festival.<br />


Alabama third baseman Colby Shelton (#16) awaits the ninth inning<br />

during Alabama’s game versus Kentucky on <strong>March</strong> 26, in Tuscaloosa. CW/<br />

Morgan Gray<br />

It was a homecoming for<br />

Shelton, as many friends and family<br />

needed to travel just two hours<br />

north on I-75 to watch him play in<br />

Gainesville. <strong>The</strong> series was a real<br />

measuring stick for Alabama, which<br />

had beaten up on non-conference<br />

opponents to the tune of a 16-2<br />

record, but the question remained<br />

whether it could hold its own in a<br />

loaded SEC. Shelton would have<br />

to battle against some of the best<br />

pitching in the country, while being<br />

under the pressure of it being in his<br />

home state.<br />

“I think he’s not human if there<br />

wasn’t some nerves and some<br />

excitement, but he didn’t show it,”<br />

Bohannon said after the series.<br />

Shelton recorded a hit in each<br />

of the last two games of the series,<br />

including his 11th round-tripper of<br />

the year in game two. Not only was<br />

it a no-doubter, his solo-shot gave<br />

the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide the lead in the<br />

eighth inning. Cool, calm, collected.<br />

Perhaps he’s not human, after all.<br />

“I told him after the weekend, I<br />

was like, ‘Man I’m really proud of<br />

you because you carried yourself<br />

the exact same way in Gainesville as<br />

you do in every day in Tuscaloosa,’<br />

and again that points to his maturity<br />

which I think has a real impact<br />

on the success that he’s having,”<br />

Bohannon said.<br />

Even while coming back to earth<br />

a bit since his torrid start to the<br />

season, Shelton still finds himself<br />

as one of the best players on his<br />

team and in the conference. He<br />

ranks sixth in the SEC in slugging<br />

percentage (.847) and third in home<br />

runs (11) as of <strong>March</strong> 23, while<br />

pacing Alabama in OPS (1.223),<br />

ranking second in RBIs (23) and<br />

third in hits (24).<br />

You got Colby [Shelton]<br />

doing something that I’ve<br />

never seen before. … Colby<br />

Shelton is literally like a<br />

video game character right<br />

now.<br />


In a lineup loaded with talent and<br />

experience featuring Williamson<br />

and right fielder Andrew Pinckney,<br />

it can be difficult to stand out,<br />

particularly as a freshman. But<br />

Shelton has had no trouble<br />

acclimating to Division I college<br />

baseball, and he has the <strong>Crimson</strong><br />

Tide squarely in the mix to reach an<br />

NCAA Regional in June.<br />

Much like the solar system<br />

revolves around the sun, baseball<br />

in Tuscaloosa has begun to<br />

revolve around its brightest star in<br />

Colby Shelton.

4A<br />

news<br />

opinions<br />


<strong>The</strong> University OIRA defines<br />

“underrepresented” students as<br />

those who self-identify as Hispanic<br />

or Latino and/or at least one the<br />

following races: Native American,<br />

Black, or Native Hawaiian or Pacific<br />

Islander, according to Taylor.<br />

“As we implement Path Forward,<br />

we focus on enhancing our efforts<br />

with underrepresented and minority<br />

groups as a whole rather [than] by<br />

segmentation of populations by<br />

race, ethnicity and other factors,”<br />

Taylor said.<br />

Yet, data from before 2016 shows<br />

that the strategic and Path Forward<br />

plans have not improved enrollment<br />

or retention of Native students.<br />

Fall undergraduate and graduate<br />

Native enrollment averaged 147<br />

students from 2011-2016, prior to<br />

the strategic plan, according to the<br />

OIRA. This average decreased to 139<br />

from 2017-2021, excluding 2020 due<br />

to COVID-19.<br />

Effects of low enrollment<br />

“Being the only Native student in<br />

a class, in a residence hall, or even on<br />

campus in a mainstream institution<br />

is a common and overwhelming<br />

experience,” wrote the American<br />

Indian College Fund, a charity that<br />

serves to advance equity for Native<br />

students in post-secondary education.<br />

“Students experience racism,<br />

isolation, invisibility, and ignorance.<br />

This fractures their sense of belonging<br />

and can cause students to take time off<br />

from or quit school.”<br />

CW / Jacob Ritondo<br />

According to the AICF, perceived<br />

invisibility “is in essence the modern<br />

form of racism used against Native<br />

Americans” and is the driving<br />

factor behind poor college access<br />

and completion rates among<br />

Native students.<br />

“Sometimes it’s overwhelming<br />

[feeling invisible]. It is so very hard<br />

to try and speak and share and truly<br />

connect with others when some aren’t<br />

open to hearing or they just don’t<br />

understand,” Johnston said. “I wear<br />

my jewelry and my clothing and I’m<br />

the only one.”<br />

Amber Manitowabi-Huebner of<br />

Wiikwemikoong First Nation is a UA<br />

distance-learning graduate student<br />

studying population health sciences<br />

after graduating from Northern<br />

Michigan University. She identifies as<br />

“half-white, half-Native.”<br />

“I played basketball in undergrad.<br />

… I had a coach that said, during<br />

the 2020 [racial tension], … ‘we’re<br />

lucky we don’t deal with that, because<br />

everyone on our team is white.’ And I<br />

felt like that was a hurtful thing to say.<br />

… And my teammate thought it was<br />

funny to call me ‘chief,’” she said.<br />

Outreach and recruitment<br />

<strong>The</strong> AICF outlined targeted<br />

outreach to Natives as a necessity to<br />

remedy low enrollment.<br />

“Today, many institutions limit<br />

their recruitment to readily accessible<br />

populations or ignore Native<br />

populations entirely,” it said.<br />

Taylor and Dorrill declined<br />

to comment on if the University<br />

conducts targeted outreach to<br />

Native students.<br />

“UA has not pursued outreach<br />

the way it could,” said Mairin Odle,<br />

a professor of American studies<br />

at the University. “Historically to<br />

this university, like a lot of other<br />

institutions, Native people tend<br />

to fall into a gap of visibility. And<br />

the University is not looking, and<br />

therefore they're not measuring.”<br />

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

committed to enriching our learning<br />

and working environment by<br />

attracting, welcoming, and supporting<br />

all faculty, staff, and students through<br />

inclusive excellence,” Dorrill said.<br />

Native programming and<br />

physical space<br />

Students say the University is<br />

failing current and prospective<br />

Native students in other ways as<br />

well, as it is not listening to other<br />

recommendations by Native experts<br />

and the students themselves.<br />

Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn,<br />

a Native professor at <strong>The</strong> University<br />

of Washington Tacoma who studies<br />

Native challenges in education, said<br />

to support Native students better,<br />

institutions must create safe spaces for<br />

Native students and acknowledge the<br />

history of Native people on campus<br />

and the fact the institution lies on<br />

their ancestral land.<br />

Younker believes a major<br />

hindrance for enrollment<br />

specifically is a near-complete lack<br />

of official programming offered for<br />

Native students.<br />

“Prior to BISON’s creation, there<br />

was zero Native programming<br />

on campus. <strong>The</strong> only Native<br />

programming that happens [is] during<br />

Native American Heritage Month<br />

[in November] in the Intercultural<br />

Diversity Center. One month a year.<br />

And that’s it,” Younker said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> CW was only able to find<br />

records of University-sponsored<br />

events in recent years that occurred<br />

during or around that time.<br />

BISON was established last fall and<br />

has held events for Native students<br />

throughout the year.<br />

“As students, there’s only so much<br />

we can do by ourselves,” Johnston<br />

said. “<strong>The</strong>re are some times that<br />

[BISON] really feel supported by<br />

certain departments such as the IDC.<br />

And there’s so many people working<br />

to open doors for us.”<br />

“In other instances, it's like when<br />

we're included in things … it's trying<br />

to check that box, … match that<br />

quota,” Johnston said. “It’s like … we<br />

thought there weren’t Native students<br />

here. Now there’s a Native student<br />

group. Let's check that box that we are<br />

representing all minority groups for<br />

DEI but let's not go further than that.’”<br />

Taylor declined to comment on if<br />

the University planned to create such<br />

physcial spaces for Native students,<br />

deferring to the Office of Student Life.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re are many universities that<br />

have worked hard to have programs<br />

and safe spaces and physical spaces<br />

for Native students, Johnston said,<br />

including the University of Georgia.<br />

… I never expected when coming<br />

here with the history that there would<br />

be so little,” Johnston said.<br />

Acknowledgement of Native<br />

history on campus<br />

Younker and Johnston said that<br />

the University fails on the point of<br />

acknowledging Native history and<br />

ties to the University’s land, despite<br />

Tuscaloosa being located along the<br />

Trail of Tears, the deadly route taken<br />

by Native Americans when they were<br />

forced to abandon their ancestral<br />

lands and move to Oklahoma.<br />

Odle, the American studies<br />

professor, previously told <strong>The</strong> CW<br />

that the University was built on land<br />

that belonged primarily to Choctaw<br />

and Creek tribes, but is not unique<br />

among U.S. universities in having<br />

been built on Native land.<br />

“But the University and Tuscaloosa<br />

… [are] on lands that were in some<br />

cases purchased through land deeds<br />

and other cases through really<br />

outright theft from Native nations,”<br />

Odle said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> lack of attention brought<br />

toward Native history, Johnston and<br />

Younker said, is most apparent in<br />

the University’s omittance of a “land<br />

acknowledgment” to the tribes, such<br />

as Johnston’s, wherein the University<br />

would publicly state its awareness of<br />

the fact that it is built on the ancestral<br />

lands of the tribes who were forcibly<br />

removed on the deadly Trail of Tears<br />

or by soon-to-be-broken treaties.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> [UA] administration is aware<br />

and has discussed the desire for a<br />

public land acknowledgement. At this<br />

time, an official acknowledgement<br />

has not been approved,” Taylor said<br />

in an email, declining to comment on<br />

why it has not yet done so.<br />

“To come … back to my tribe’s<br />

homeland in Alabama, I was so<br />

excited because … this is full circle<br />

for my family. … And then to<br />

look around and for there to be no<br />

acknowledgment that we were here<br />

breaks my heart,” Johnson said.<br />

Looking to the future<br />

“<strong>The</strong> work of developing a more<br />

inclusive and welcoming community<br />

is a culture change process,” Taylor<br />

said. “Our campus has formally<br />

been on this journey for only five<br />

years. Since that time, a lot has been<br />

accomplished, and there is certainly<br />

more work to be done.”<br />

Johnston and Younker said that<br />

their efforts to create BISON have<br />

been a step in the right direction<br />

toward improving the Native<br />

student experience.<br />

“BISON has improved my college<br />

experience dramatically,” Younker<br />

said. “It allows me to be a leader. It<br />

allows me to set boundaries with<br />

UA on what is appropriate and what<br />

is not If they ask, which most of the<br />

time they [do]. It allows me to bring<br />

more culture to this campus … and<br />

more awareness.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> pair said the University must<br />

make a commitment to its Native<br />

students if it wants greater change.<br />

“When a school doesn't recruit<br />

or offer support in any way or<br />

acknowledgement or have anything<br />

geared specifically towards … Native<br />

students, it makes it even harder<br />

to step outside of your comfort<br />

zone and to dream and to go to<br />

school,” Johnston said. “When [our<br />

intergenerational] hurt is invalidated<br />

and not acknowledged, ... it<br />

changes everything.<br />

OPINION <strong>The</strong> Earth cannot handle this much clothing<br />

Article previously published on web on <strong>March</strong> 8. CW / Autumn Williams<br />



<strong>The</strong> world has a clothing<br />

problem. Every year, around<br />

11.3 million tons of textile waste<br />

in the United States ends up being<br />

burned or dumped in landfills. In<br />

other words, 85% of unwanted outfits,<br />

unsold clothing and unused textiles<br />

go straight to the garbage.<br />

<strong>The</strong> solution seems simple: instead<br />

of throwing our clothes into the trash,<br />

we should recycle or donate them, but<br />

the reality of these seemingly simple<br />

solutions is much more complex.<br />

Only 2.5 million tons of clothing<br />

are recycled in the U.S., while 3<br />

million are burned and 10 million are<br />

sent to landfills. Even if recycling was<br />

the perfect answer to a growing issue,<br />

it isn’t practiced enough to counteract<br />

the environmental damage of those<br />

13 million tons. <strong>The</strong> 2.5 million tons<br />

that do get recycled are rarely used to<br />

create new clothing.<br />

Generally, fibers must be<br />

mechanically recycled, which<br />

degrades their quality over time.<br />

Because of this, recycled clothing is<br />

usually downcycled to create items<br />

like insulation material and cleaning<br />

cloths. In 2016, H&M ran a campaign<br />

to collect unwanted clothing from<br />

their customers. While they collected<br />

1,000 tons of recycled garments,<br />

environmental journalist Tatiana<br />

Schlossberg claims the effort is not as<br />

promising as it seems.<br />

In “Inconspicious Consumption,”<br />

Schlossberg wrote that it could take<br />

H&M over a decade to use that much<br />

fabric. As one of fast fashion’s greatest<br />

contributors, what H&M could<br />

recycle in that time is equivalent to<br />

what they sell in just a few days.<br />

H&M produces around half a<br />

billion garments annually, but less than<br />

1% is created from recycled material.<br />

Though a recycling bin is preferable<br />

to a landfill, it doesn’t combat the core<br />

issue: the world simply can’t handle<br />

this much clothing.<br />

<strong>The</strong> donation solution faces similar<br />

problems. Secondhand shopping is<br />

popular among Gen Z, and thrifting<br />

is ultimately a good choice for those<br />

looking to consume more responsibly.<br />

However, it’s important to be aware of<br />

its shortcomings.<br />

<strong>The</strong> sheer volume of clothing in<br />

the world presents complications.<br />

Goodwill, for example, has managed<br />

to lengthen the lifespan of many<br />

garments. What they do is important,<br />

but even they have leftovers that<br />

end up in recycling centers or<br />

markets overseas.<br />

Around 700,000 tons of<br />

secondhand clothing are exported<br />

from the U.S. yearly. Alyssa Hardy,<br />

author of “Worn Out: How Our<br />

Clothes Cover Up Fashion’s Sins,”<br />

reports that 15 million used garments<br />

are imported into Ghana alone on a<br />

weekly basis. With so much clothing<br />

coming into the country, items may sit<br />

in a factory for years before entering<br />

secondhand markets.<br />

In other cases, the imports may<br />

be too worn out to be sold, ending<br />

up in the landfill anyways. <strong>The</strong> waste<br />

still exists, it just is placed on the<br />

shoulders of developing countries.<br />

<strong>The</strong> donation solution is a myth<br />

which effectively distracts consumers<br />

from the environmental costs of<br />

their purchases.<br />

<strong>The</strong> rise of fast fashion only adds<br />

to the complexity of the clothing<br />

issue. <strong>The</strong> pace of social media’s evershifting<br />

trends can only be met by fast<br />

fashion brands. <strong>The</strong> hashtag #Shein,<br />

for a popular fast-fashion brand, has<br />

accumulated over 51.4 billion views<br />

on TikTok, which is undoubtedly one<br />

of the biggest influences on Gen Z’s<br />

fashion choices. For college students<br />

in particular, the combination of low<br />

prices and relevant options makes fast<br />

fashion appealing. <strong>The</strong>re’s a hidden<br />

price that can’t be ignored, however.<br />

<strong>The</strong> average consumer is buying<br />

60% more clothing than they did<br />

in 2005. Brands such as Shein, who<br />

introduced 1.5 million unique styles<br />

in 2021 alone, encourage this rise<br />

in consumption. On top of this, fast<br />

fashion garments are typically of<br />

poor quality as the focus is on speed<br />

and cheapness.<br />

Garments are now worn around<br />

seven to 10 times on average before<br />

being thrown out; that’s a 35%<br />

decrease from 15 years ago. <strong>The</strong><br />

burden of clothing on the planet is<br />

growing at a rate we’re unable to keep<br />

up with.<br />

Individually, the best thing we<br />

can do is try to shop ethically, but<br />

that’s easier said than done. A severe<br />

lack of transparency from brands<br />

keeps buyers in the dark. Brands may<br />

also mislead concerned customers<br />

through a marketing tactic known<br />

as greenwashing.<br />

Zara does not use plastic bags in<br />

their stores, and has pledged to use<br />

only 100% sustainable fabrics by 2025.<br />

H&M’s website has a page dedicated<br />

to sustainability. On this page is a link<br />

to a list of achievements and a note<br />

saying, “Back in 2013, we became the<br />

first global fashion retailer to launch<br />

a garment collecting program in all<br />

our stores.”<br />

Although these efforts are positive,<br />

they should not absolve brands from<br />

criticism regarding their contributions<br />

to clothing waste. H&M reported $4.3<br />

billion in unsold inventory back in<br />

2018. <strong>The</strong> fast-fashion business model<br />

is inherently wasteful, and no amount<br />

of small ethical practices can make up<br />

for it.

Hop on down to Northport’s first annual Bunny Trail<br />



<strong>The</strong> city of Northport is hosting<br />

the first annual Bunny Trail<br />

downtown this spring to promote<br />

community and raise awareness<br />

for Tuscaloosa’s One Place, a family<br />

resource center.<br />

Similar to the Christmastime<br />

Tinsel Trail, Bunny Trail is made<br />

up of nearly 100 five-foot wooden<br />

eggs that sponsors and businesses<br />

have decorated to represent their<br />

company or organization. Anyone<br />

in the community can sponsor an<br />

egg on the Bunny Trail. This year’s<br />

presenting sponsors are Premier<br />

Service Company, a 24-hour<br />

service for HVAC, plumbing and<br />

electrical needs, and Lowe’s Home<br />

Improvement of Tuscaloosa.<br />

Ashley Cornelius, the director of<br />

communications for Tuscaloosa’s<br />

One Place, said that Premiere Service<br />

Company is one of Tuscaloosa’s One<br />

Place’s biggest champions. She said<br />

the partnership with Lowe’s is a new<br />

one, but TOP is excited to see how<br />

this relationship will grow.<br />

“Having these two presenting<br />

sponsors is an excellent illustration<br />

of the community’s long-standing<br />

support for TOP and our projects<br />

while also highlighting opportunities<br />

for new partnerships as we continue<br />

to work to strengthen West Alabama<br />

families,” Cornelius said.<br />

Tuscaloosa’s One Place is<br />

dedicated to helping families and<br />

serving the community.<br />

“We serve over 18,000 people per<br />

year through after school programs,<br />

school social work, parenting and<br />

fatherhood, healthy relationship<br />

education, workforce development<br />

and teen intervention programs,”<br />

Cornelius said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Bunny Trail helps create a safe<br />

environment for families to enjoy<br />

free events, according to Cornelius.<br />

“Tuscaloosa’s One Place’s primary<br />

goal is that all families thrive.<br />

Creating events and spaces for<br />

families to enjoy strengthens not<br />

culture<br />

<strong>The</strong> Northport Bunny Trail, hosted by Tuscaloosa’s One Place, is a family-friendly spring display and fundraiser.<br />

CW / Rachel Seale<br />

only the family, but the community<br />

as well,” Cornelius said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> proceeds raised by the<br />

events on the Bunny Trail will also<br />

benefit Tuscaloosa’s One Place’s<br />

community programs.<br />

Cornelius said the idea for a TOP<br />

spring event inspired by Christmas<br />

trails, such as the Tinsel Trail, had<br />

been long discussed. However, it<br />

wasn’t until the City of Northport<br />

agreed to partner with TOP that the<br />

Bunny Trail became concrete.<br />

Jamie Dykes, a Northport city<br />

councilmember, said that Glenda<br />

Webb, the city administrator, came<br />

up with the idea for the Bunny Trail.<br />

Dykes said Webb presented the idea<br />

to TOP and the groups collaborated<br />

to make the idea a reality.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y came up with everything<br />

that is out there. Our staff built<br />

everything. <strong>The</strong> businesses<br />

decorated the eggs, but we built all<br />

of the props and the eggs that they<br />

painted,” Dykes said.<br />

Dykes said the city has been<br />

instrumental in creating the<br />

advertisements for the Bunny Trail<br />

to raise involvement at its events, as<br />

well as awareness for Tuscaloosa’s<br />

One Place.<br />

Cornelius said the event would<br />

not have been possible without<br />

their partnership with the City of<br />

Northport, as well as the sponsors<br />

and decorators of the eggs-hibits.<br />

“I hope they enjoy it and see the<br />

businesses that have participated<br />

and learn a little bit about what<br />

Tuscaloosa’s One Place does,”<br />

Dykes said.<br />

According to Dykes, the city<br />

decided to place the trail downtown<br />

to bring attention to the area,<br />

as well as emphasize the newly<br />

finished streetscaping project on<br />

Main Avenue.<br />

According to both Cornelius and<br />

Dykes, the city’s staff and Tuscaloosa’s<br />

One Place wanted to bring a unique<br />

experience to downtown Northport.<br />

This free and public Bunny Trail<br />

does just that.<br />

She said the downtown area gives<br />

people a place to safely park and<br />

walk along the sidewalk without<br />

worrying about being hit.<br />

Tuscaloosa’s One Place’s<br />

primary goal is that all<br />

families thrive.<br />

ASHLEY<br />


<strong>The</strong> Bunny Trail occupies the<br />

sidewalk area past City Cafe and<br />

goes towards the Black Warrior<br />

River. This allows visitors to safely<br />

experience all the sights and fun the<br />

Bunny Trail has to offer.<br />

“In addition to providing<br />

recreation for families and<br />

5A<br />

spotlighting our sponsors and<br />

decorators, we hope to bring more<br />

attention to downtown Northport’s<br />

businesses, events, and other<br />

activities,” Cornelius said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> eggs-hibits line downtown<br />

Northport to create the perfect<br />

spring atmosphere for the events<br />

taking place on the Trail this season.<br />

Ashley Williams, the marketing<br />

manager at Kentuck Art Center<br />

& Festival, said the city and<br />

Tuscaloosa’s One Place reached out<br />

to ask Kentuck to decorate an egg.<br />

Kentuck’s programming assistant<br />

Molly Nelko and clay studio<br />

manager Amy Smoot designed and<br />

decorated the art center’s egg for the<br />

Bunny Trail with Kentuck’s logo of<br />

a tree.<br />

Williams said Kentuck has a<br />

rabbit sculpture in the studio’s<br />

courtyard that people have also been<br />

taking pictures with for Easter.<br />

“I hope that everyone comes out<br />

to see the eggs, has a good time and<br />

admires the artistry. <strong>The</strong>re are some<br />

really extravagant eggs out here,”<br />

Williams said.<br />

Like other sponsors and<br />

businesses, Kentuck is excited to<br />

be participating in the first annual<br />

Bunny Trail. Williams said the<br />

studio’s staff had fun coloring and<br />

decorating their egg and enjoyed<br />

seeing the other eggs on the trail.<br />

“I think it’s a really fun opportunity<br />

for the downtown merchants to<br />

get together and participate in<br />

something and support Tuscaloosa’s<br />

One Place as well,” Williams said.<br />

This year, the Bunny Trail will also<br />

host the following events: the Grand<br />

Opening, Pet Eggstravaganza, Egg<br />

Hunt and Spring Jubilee. <strong>The</strong> events<br />

are for all ages, but the egg hunt<br />

and jubilee will primarily be geared<br />

towards younger children and<br />

tweens. <strong>The</strong> Easter Bunny will also<br />

make an appearance and be available<br />

for pictures at the events.<br />

“Given the overwhelmingly<br />

positive response we have seen so<br />

far, we absolutely expect the Bunny<br />

Trail to become an annual event,”<br />

Cornelius said.


On Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022,<br />

attendees of the annual<br />

Fashion for Life runway show<br />

watched 11 students debut their<br />

senior collections on the Bama<br />

<strong>The</strong>atre’s stage.<br />

Among those 11 students<br />

was Anaya McCullum, a<br />

UA alumna whose debut<br />

collection, “<strong>The</strong> Premiere,” also<br />

launched her streetwear brand,<br />

Melneich, which takes influence<br />

from versatile brands like<br />

VETEMENTS and Off-<strong>White</strong>.<br />

According to a post on<br />

McCullum’s Instagram, the<br />

brand’s name is a combination<br />

of her parents’ names, paying<br />

homage to all the sacrifices<br />

they’ve made and continue<br />

to make so she can pursue<br />

her dreams.<br />

“This makes it completely<br />

unique to me, making it a one<br />

of one, just like the pieces in my<br />

mini collection,” the post read.<br />

With “<strong>The</strong> Premiere,”<br />

McCullum hopes to highlight<br />

that she’s not afraid to stand out<br />

and do something that people<br />

might not like, and she’s looking<br />

to attract customers<br />

culture<br />

MELNEICH :<br />



Professionally, I just want<br />

to continue to make my<br />

mark, network, and educate<br />

myself on the industry while<br />

still working on my personal<br />

goal of building my<br />

brand, Melneich.<br />


for Melneich who feel the<br />

same way.<br />

Her five-piece collection<br />

is a tour de force of striking<br />

silhouettes, saturated color and<br />

youthful exuberance.<br />

<strong>The</strong> collection includes: a<br />

black bodycon dress paired with<br />

a gray sherpa bolero and a custom<br />

Melneich trucker hat; a neon<br />

green textured knit gown with a<br />

low back and a cut-out oversized<br />

suit jacket; a textured green<br />

button down with matching<br />

shorts under an oversized low<br />

V-neck black sweater with a<br />

custom embroidered Melneich<br />

logo in white and a trucker hat;<br />

and two cropped suit jackets —<br />

one burnt orange with a white<br />

sherpa collar paired with a<br />

neon yellow organza long sleeve<br />

shirt and high-waisted tapered<br />

trousers with zippers along the<br />

front seams, and one lavender<br />

with an overlapping back and a<br />

matching set of V-waisted wide<br />

leg trousers.<br />

Each look’s materials were<br />

either upcycled or thrifted with<br />

some free fabrics supplied by Fab<br />

Scraps, a nonprofit in New York<br />

City created for commercial<br />

textile recycling, that McCullum<br />

found out about through her<br />

internship with Christopher<br />

John Rogers over the summer.<br />

While searching for<br />

inspiration for the collection,<br />

McCullum said she knew she<br />

wanted to do something that<br />

excited her. She started with<br />

the broad idea of TV and movie<br />

plots. More specifically, she was<br />

inspired by American costume<br />

designer Gilbert Adrian, better<br />

known as Adrian, his work with<br />

Katharine Hepburn and the way<br />

Hepburn’s style played with<br />

gender expression.<br />

McCullum remembered<br />

the first image of<br />

Hepburn<br />

UA alumna Anaya McCullum’s debut<br />

streetwear brand<br />

she saw was her sitting on a<br />

couch smoking a cigarette in<br />

an oversized suit and widelegged<br />

trousers, and after a little<br />

research, McCullum decided,<br />

“this is what I need to pull from.”<br />

“My concept is basically<br />

fashion and film and its take on<br />

gender fluidity,” she said. “I was<br />

never truly girly, but at the same<br />

time, I wasn’t like a full tomboy.<br />

So, I kind of found a way to get a<br />

medium between that, and I feel<br />

like that’s what my collection is<br />

kind of representing as well.”<br />

I want you to feel like you’re<br />

escaping into something<br />

when you see my collection.<br />

<strong>The</strong> same way you do …<br />

when you go to, like, a<br />

movie theater, and you’re<br />

sitting there, and for like<br />

an hour and a half, you’re<br />

just completely indulged in<br />

what’s in front of you.<br />


During an interview before<br />

the show on Nov. 3, McCullum<br />

stood over an industrial sewing<br />

machine in Doster Hall, skillfully<br />

sewing the silky organza top for<br />

her men’s suit. At the time, the<br />

look was her favorite silhouette<br />

she’d made so far since it was<br />

her first men’s look, and it was<br />

turning out better than she<br />

thought it would.<br />

Along with fluidity, McCullum<br />

said the biggest priority for her<br />

collection was functionality.<br />

“I was definitely thinking<br />

long-term as far as if someone<br />

wants to buy this, how could<br />

they wear it, and my design<br />

philosophy. I like to be cute<br />

and comfortable. So, making<br />

pieces that can be worn in an<br />

upscale location and in a lowkey<br />

place was a big thing for me,”<br />

McCullum said. “I feel like you<br />

can see it on the red carpet, but<br />

at the same time, if you wanted<br />

to wear it to work or just a night<br />

out with your homegirls or the<br />

homeboys, that would be perfect<br />

as well.”<br />

She hoped that people would<br />

feel like they were at the movies<br />

when they saw it.<br />

“I want you to feel like<br />

you’re escaping into something<br />

when you see my collection,”<br />

McCullum said. “<strong>The</strong> same<br />

way you do … when<br />

you go to, like, a<br />

movie theater,<br />

and you’re<br />

sitting<br />

there, and for like an hour and<br />

a half, you’re just completely<br />

indulged in what’s in front<br />

of you.”<br />

Almost four months after the<br />

show, McCullum said she’d felt<br />

love from friends and strangers.<br />

“I wasn’t really sure what<br />

everyone’s reaction would be<br />

because it was so different,<br />

but it’s been very validating in<br />

knowing whether or not I’m<br />

going in the right direction with<br />

my brand,” she said.<br />

McCullum said the experience<br />

of creating her collection — a<br />

collection she’d started choosing<br />

models for in November 2021 and<br />

concepting last summer — had<br />

been personally, academically<br />

and professionally exciting,<br />

yet stressful.<br />

And now, with the showcase<br />

done, graduation over and<br />

McCullum moving to New York<br />

City in January to start working<br />

for Brandon Maxwell, a luxury<br />

women’s wear company, her<br />

excitement and stress hasn’t<br />

seemed to dissipate just yet.<br />

“If I’m being honest, because<br />

everything happened so fast and<br />

all at once, I don’t think I’ve had<br />

a true chance to process any of<br />

it,” McCullum said. “People ask<br />

m e<br />

all<br />

1B<br />

Anaya McCullum’s collection “<strong>The</strong> Premiere” photographed at Palmore<br />

skate park. Photos courtesy of Anaya McCullum<br />

apartment by the end of summer<br />

to be as productive as possible,<br />

and focusing on content creation.<br />

“Professionally, I just want<br />

to continue to make my mark,<br />

network, and educate myself on<br />

the industry while still working<br />

on my personal goal of building<br />

my brand, Melneich,” she said.<br />

My concept is basically<br />

fashion and film and its take<br />

on gender fluidity. I was<br />

never truly girly, but at the<br />

same time, I wasn’t like a<br />

full tomboy.<br />


“And, of course, explore the city<br />

and enjoy all it has to offer.”<br />

She also wants to get more<br />

serious about photography,<br />

music and modeling and<br />

hopefully find a way to merge all<br />

her passions.<br />

“Long term, I want to<br />

eventually become a true girl<br />

boss and be able to support<br />

myself financially solely on my<br />

own personal business ventures,”<br />

she said.<br />

And as for Melneich,<br />

McCullum said there’s<br />

more to come.<br />

“I don’t want to<br />

speak too soon …<br />

but I am working<br />

on having<br />

it officially<br />

available to the<br />

public at the<br />

end of the year,”<br />

she said.<br />

the time, and I<br />

just say I don’t<br />

think it’s truly hit<br />

me yet, but I can say<br />

that I’m happy I was<br />

able to push through<br />

it all.”<br />

As she embarks on this<br />

brand-new journey, McCullum<br />

said she’d got a few new shortterm<br />

and long-term goals<br />

to achieve professionally<br />

and personally, like getting<br />

completely settled into her

2B sports news<br />

THE DOGS OF THE JOE: A look at baseball’s special fans<br />



Anyone who has been to an<br />

Alabama baseball game<br />

knows right field’s most famous fans.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y snack on hot dogs, enjoy<br />

the people watching and soak in<br />

the atmosphere of Sewell-Thomas<br />

Stadium just like any other fan.<br />

However, unlike the students that<br />

consistently heckle and trash talk<br />

the opposing team’s right fielder,<br />

these fans are a right fielder’s<br />

best friend.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se fans are the dogs of <strong>The</strong> Joe.<br />

This year, dogs almost weren’t<br />

allowed to watch the <strong>Crimson</strong><br />

Tide on the baseball diamond. A<br />

preseason tweet in February from<br />

Alabama baseball’s official account<br />

announced that pets would no<br />

longer be allowed in the right field of<br />

Sewell-Thomas Stadium. According<br />

to baseball security guards, though,<br />

an unhappy fan changed that rule.<br />

<strong>The</strong> fan tweeted athletic director<br />

Greg Byrne, arguing <strong>The</strong> Joe should<br />

remain open to pets, especially since<br />

the stadium is the only UA athletic<br />

facility to allow them.<br />

<strong>The</strong> tweet was successful. On<br />

opening day, Feb. 17, right field was<br />

filled with dogs of all breeds and<br />

ages, first timers and old veterans, all<br />

receiving an abundance of baseball<br />

treats and smells, distracted pets and<br />

cuddles, and mid-inning love and<br />

attention — a special combination<br />

unique to <strong>The</strong> Joe.<br />

Here are five of baseball’s most<br />

popular fans.<br />

Eli and Benny<br />

Eli and Benny have probably<br />

attended more baseball games than<br />

the average Alabama fan, and they<br />

might have looked cooler doing it,<br />

too. Decked out in their Alabama<br />

baseball glasses, bandanas and<br />

leashes, the golden doodle and<br />

labradoodle have cheered on the<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide at every game they’ve<br />

been allowed for the past four years.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir owner and UA alum<br />

Kathleen Moffit said her dogs love<br />

baseball games, but baseball isn’t<br />

always their main priority.<br />

“Eli will sit and watch the game,”<br />

Moffit said. “But they love all the<br />

attention. Benny’s favorite part is<br />

attention and Eli likes the smells.”<br />

Although Benny enjoys <strong>The</strong> Joe<br />

as much as his brother, Eli was raised<br />

to love baseball. As a puppy, he was<br />

the tailgate mascot and was able to<br />

attend more games as Moffit’s guest<br />

while she was still a student.<br />

Now the two must wait for special<br />

occasions, like games that open right<br />

field to the general public or Bark in<br />

the Park events.<br />

Moffit has even started taking<br />

them to Birmingham Barons games,<br />

where Wet Nose Wednesdays allow<br />

dogs to watch select baseball games.<br />

That’s where the dogs get most of<br />

their baseball experience these days,<br />

but Moffit said she hopes for more at<br />

the University.<br />

“I would take them to anything<br />

dogs are allowed to,” Moffit said.<br />

“We travel with them a lot so we take<br />

them wherever we can.”<br />

Right now, those opportunities<br />

consist of the rare Bark in the Park<br />

event and football tailgates on the<br />

Quad, so Eli and Benny get all the<br />

love and smells they can when<br />

they’re allowed at <strong>The</strong> Joe.<br />

Blue<br />

Blue, a husky and Australian<br />

shepherd mix, is on his way to<br />

becoming the super fan that Eli<br />

and Benny already are. This is<br />

his first season with the <strong>Crimson</strong><br />

Tide but he’s a local, adopted from<br />

Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter,<br />

who has already attended several<br />

games with his owner Caitlyn<br />

Sadie perks her ears as she cheers on the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide at Alabama’s game versus Columbia on <strong>March</strong> 10 in<br />

Tuscaloosa. CW / Morgan Gray<br />

Bobo, a sophomore majoring<br />

in neuroscience.<br />

Although Blue wears his baseball<br />

hat to games, Bobo said his main<br />

priority is the snacks.<br />

“He has a backpack full of snacks,”<br />

Bobo said. “I brought him cookies so<br />

he likes that and the attention.”<br />

For Blue, baseball games are also<br />

a perfect opportunity to scout out<br />

other dogs. Bobo and her boyfriend<br />

Garrett Pugh said they try to sit away<br />

from other dogs, but in <strong>The</strong> Joe’s<br />

small right field seating area, it isn’t<br />

always possible. <strong>The</strong>y’re just grateful<br />

Blue isn’t distracted by the ball<br />

as well.<br />

“If he hears the ball hit the bat he’ll<br />

pay attention, but other than that he<br />

doesn’t have a very good attention<br />

span,” Pugh said. “In the first game,<br />

a home run came to us in the first<br />

inning. He flinched and wasn’t into<br />

it at all — if anything he’s more timid<br />

when the ball comes around.”<br />

Blue is gradually working his way<br />

up to becoming a veteran canine<br />

of right field, but for now, he’s<br />

still adjusting to his first year as a<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide pup.<br />

“Blue says, ‘Roll tide,’” Bobo said.<br />

Sadie<br />

Like Blue, Sadie also attends<br />

baseball games at <strong>The</strong> Joe for just<br />

one reason.<br />

“She’s eating peanuts and hot dogs<br />

and French fries,” said her owner<br />

and <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide parent Dawn<br />

Reynolds during one Saturday<br />

afternoon game. “She’s been trying<br />

to get his [the man seated next to<br />

them] pizza all game.”<br />

Sadie, a four-year-old<br />

goldendoodle, attended her first<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide baseball game this<br />

year, but Reynolds said she’ll be back<br />

for more, and not just for the snacks.<br />

Sadie doesn’t watch Alabama games,<br />

but her favorite player is transfer<br />

Jackson Reynolds, Dawn’s son.<br />

“She’s oblivious to the game,”<br />

Dawn Reynolds said. “When [the<br />

players] do the walk-by at the end,<br />

she’ll be very happy to see JR. He<br />

doesn’t know she’s here.”<br />

For Sadie, being at the ballpark<br />

with other dogs and lots of smells is<br />

a lot better than being left at home,<br />

especially when she gets to see a<br />

friendly face at the end.<br />

Hoss<br />

Another dog of a player, Hoss<br />

offered a friendly face for the right<br />

fielder of the opposing team on<br />

<strong>March</strong> 11 during the Columbia<br />

University series.<br />

“Whole family came to the game,<br />

so you got to bring the dog,” said his<br />

owner, Columbia University parent<br />

Paul Schott. “He’s part of the family,<br />

my fourth kid. I have to bring him<br />

wherever I can.”<br />

As the dog of Columbia right<br />

fielder Hayden Schott, Hoss was the<br />

only comforting presence among<br />

a sea of Alabama students who<br />

regularly heckle and taunt the right<br />

fielders of opposing teams as they<br />

take the field.<br />

A ten-year-old chocolate<br />

Labrador, Hoss has attended many<br />

of Schott’s games as Paul Schott’s<br />

service dog, but Schott said the<br />

Alabama game allowed Hoss to<br />

take all the gear off and just enjoy<br />

the game.<br />

“He’s usually pretty chill but right<br />

now he’s all amped up because he<br />

sees the other dogs,” Paul Schott<br />

said. “He loves people but does not<br />

pay attention to the game, he just<br />

vibes. He is the chill master.”<br />

Education students petition to save McLure Library<br />



For students in the College of<br />

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

Alabama, McLure Library is a beloved<br />

building that holds resources, study<br />

spaces and memories.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University plans to renovate<br />

McLure Library to create a new<br />

classroom building for the College<br />

of Communication and Information<br />

Sciences that will serve as the new<br />

home of the School of Library and<br />

Information Sciences, which is<br />

currently located on the seventh<br />

floor of Gorgas Library. <strong>The</strong> final<br />

architectural and engineering plan<br />

was approved in February by the UA<br />

board of trustees.<br />

Along with the renovation, the<br />

board also approved a 900-foot<br />

addition to the current building,<br />

which includes the installation of an<br />

elevator and mending of other safety<br />

and maintenance issues.<br />

<strong>The</strong> estimated total for the project<br />

is $18 million.<br />

On Feb. 9, a group of education<br />

students created an Instagram<br />

account called “Save McLure Library.<br />

Additionally, Lauren Little created<br />

an online petition to convince the<br />

University not to close the library.<br />

<strong>The</strong> petition currently has over<br />

800 signatures.<br />

Riley Cunningham, a junior<br />

majoring in elementary education,<br />

said Little had the initial idea to<br />

save McLure.<br />

Once the petition reaches 1,000<br />

signatures, Cunningham said Little<br />

will present it to College of Education<br />

Dean Peter Hlebowitsh. Cunningham<br />

hopes this will prove that people do<br />

care about the library and want to<br />

keep it.<br />

Caleb Fondren, a junior majoring<br />

in elementary education, said students<br />

have access to supplies for their<br />

internship placements, like sets of<br />

rulers and elementary textbooks, that<br />

they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere<br />

besides McLure.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> more well-equipped we are<br />

and the more resources we have,<br />

the better teachers we can become,”<br />

Fondren said.<br />

Fondren said the University has<br />

one of the largest pools of future<br />

teachers in the state and losing<br />

resources could prevent them from<br />

teaching at the highest levels. He<br />

added that McLure holds the only<br />

study spots and lounge for education<br />

majors. McLure is also easy to access<br />

since the basement of Autherine Lucy<br />

Hall, the only building dedicated to<br />

education students, is connected to<br />

the library’s basement.<br />

According to Fondren, Hlebowitsh<br />

told Little renovations would begin this<br />

summer. <strong>The</strong> top floor will hold C&IS<br />

classrooms and offices, the basement<br />

will house a book making area and<br />

the main floor will be dedicated to<br />

education majors.<br />

Director of Strategic Engagement<br />

for University Libraries Michael<br />

Pearce said via an email statement<br />

that the College of Communication<br />

and Information Sciences will oversee<br />

the former library.<br />

However, Pearce said education<br />

students will still have access to the<br />

resources that are currently housed in<br />

McLure.<br />

“No resources are being removed<br />

from our collections with the facility<br />

changing roles,” Pearce added.<br />

Pearce said the idea to renovate<br />

the library was proposed in 2007 to<br />

accommodate infrastructure, the<br />

Americans with Disabilities Act and<br />

safety issues that need to be updated.<br />

“This construction requires us to<br />

vacate the entire building for a year<br />

or more. While we would love to be<br />

able to dedicate a new building to a<br />

new education library, taking all of<br />

those issues into account while also<br />

considering changes in student and<br />

faculty usage of both the building<br />

and the physical collections within it<br />

over the past 10 years, it was difficult<br />

to justify renovating the building<br />

with the same mission it had served<br />

previously,” Pearce said.<br />

Pearce said no one in the education<br />

<strong>The</strong> Northport “Bunny Trail,” hosted by Tuscaloosa’s One Place, is a family-friendly spring display and fundraiser.<br />

CW / Rachel Seale Article previously published on web on <strong>March</strong> 19.<br />

department, communications<br />

department or libraries have been<br />

contacted about a petition. He said the<br />

physical collections that are currently<br />

in McLure will be stored in Gorgas<br />

Library.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> College of Communications<br />

and Information Sciences will also be<br />

offering access to its early childhood<br />

literacy collection that will be available<br />

to all students and faculty in the newly<br />

renovated McLure building,” Pearce<br />

said. “Additionally, the College of<br />

Education is doubling its space in<br />

the Belser-Parton Literacy Center<br />

and also plans to have a teacherprep<br />

education resource unit in the<br />

remodeled McLure building.”<br />

Audrey Bailey, a junior majoring<br />

in public health, said even though she<br />

isn’t an education student, she prefers<br />

to study at McLure.<br />

Bailey said she saw the petition<br />

on Instagram and signed it. She<br />

loves the smaller feel of the space<br />

and noted that McLure is a more<br />

comfortable place for her to study<br />

since it is smaller than Gorgas, which<br />

helps her concentrate despite her<br />

learning disabilities.<br />

Bailey said McLure is her<br />

favorite library, and she hopes it will<br />

remain open.<br />

“I thought it kind of brought a<br />

community of sorts when I was<br />

studying with my friends,” Bailey said.<br />

When Cunningham originally<br />

heard about the renovation plans, she<br />

thought the library would continue to<br />

serve education majors.<br />

“A lot of people really do care about<br />

this building. This library was built<br />

in 1925 and for them to renovate<br />

it for another major isn’t right,”<br />

Cunningham said.<br />

Lauren Little declined to comment.

sports<br />

No. 1 Alabama falls to fifth-seeded San Diego State 71-64<br />



LOUISVILLE, Ky. — <strong>The</strong><br />

buzz surrounding the<br />

Alabama men’s basketball<br />

program reached an alltime<br />

high heading into the<br />

NCAA Tournament.<br />

If there was ever a season for<br />

the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide to cut down<br />

the nets in <strong>March</strong>, this was<br />

supposed to be it.<br />

After all, no team in college<br />

basketball appeared fully<br />

equipped to topple Nate Oats’<br />

fourth-year squad after its<br />

impressive blitz during the<br />

regular season.<br />

Led by freshman sensation<br />

Brandon Miller and company,<br />

Alabama swept the SEC for<br />

Alabama guard Mark Spears (1) collides with a defender on his way to the basket during the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide’s loss 71-64 loss<br />

versus San Diego State on <strong>March</strong> 24 in Louisville, Ky. CW / David Gray Article previously published on web <strong>March</strong> 25.<br />

I felt confident, and I was ready<br />

to attack.”<br />

While the bats could not<br />

have been hotter for Alabama,<br />

the pitching was stellar as well.<br />

Redshirt sophomore Alex Salter<br />

took control of the circle and<br />

diced up UAB left and right, only<br />

giving up one hit and completing<br />

a shutout victory.<br />

“Alex Salter did a great job<br />

3B<br />

able to crack a smile postgame.<br />

“It’s definitely tough,” Miller<br />

said. “You know, just playing<br />

around these guys, working hard<br />

every day in practice, to fall short,<br />

I think, it’s not — it’s a bad feeling<br />

now, but I feel like our bond is<br />

too close to break. So, I feel like<br />

after this we probably are just<br />

going to go and make our bond<br />

even stronger. I’m pretty sure<br />

we’re going to have somebody<br />

in someone’s weddings in the<br />

future, so, I mean, it’s just a bond<br />

that you can’t break.”<br />

You know, I love the group,<br />

they love each other, and<br />

it’s just really disappointing<br />

that it’s ending early. But I<br />

think it’s one of the most<br />

memorable seasons in<br />

Alabama history, and they<br />

can walk out of here with<br />

their heads up.<br />


Alabama softball puts up 12 runs against UAB<br />



Following two back-toback<br />

heartbreaking losses<br />

to Arkansas on <strong>March</strong> 19-20,<br />

the No. 13 Alabama softball<br />

team (23-8) needed a response<br />

to get back into the win column<br />

once again.<br />

After coming off the<br />

weekend, our team sat<br />

down and we told ourselves<br />

everything would be OK,<br />

just go out there and still<br />

compete and show who you<br />

are.<br />


After facing the University of<br />

Alabama at Birmingham Blazers<br />

on Wednesday <strong>March</strong> 22, it is safe<br />

the second time in three years.<br />

Heading into the weekend, the<br />

nation’s No. 1 overall seed had<br />

handled its competition with<br />

relative ease, defeating No. 16<br />

Texas A&M University Corpus-<br />

Christi 96-75 in the Round<br />

of 64 and shellacking No. 8<br />

University of Maryland 73-51 in<br />

Birmingham’s Round of 32.<br />

Sometimes,<br />

though,<br />

great dejection often<br />

follows the mountaintop of<br />

blissful enthusiasm.<br />

On Friday, <strong>March</strong> 24, No. 1<br />

Alabama fell to the No. 18 San<br />

Diego State University Aztecs<br />

71-64 after a disastrous offensive<br />

performance which saw the<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide shoot 11% from<br />

beyond the arc.<br />

It was a rough outing for Miller,<br />

who scored a meager nine points<br />

to say the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide got the<br />

response it was looking for. With<br />

recent struggles in bringing home<br />

runners in scoring position, head<br />

coach Patrick Murphy’s squad<br />

seemed to have no trouble with it<br />

this time around and routed the<br />

Blazers 12-0.<br />

Taking no time to get things<br />

started, sophomore Kali Heivilin<br />

drilled a solo home run to right<br />

field to put the first run on<br />

the board in the first inning.<br />

Following suit, the rest of the<br />

lineup picked up hit after hit in<br />

the inning, along with another<br />

run after graduate student Ally<br />

Shipman singled to left field and<br />

brought home graduate student<br />

Ashley Prange to put Alabama up<br />

2-0 in the inning.<br />

However, the scoring output<br />

in the first inning would not<br />

be sufficient for the <strong>Crimson</strong><br />

Tide, as it proceeded to put up a<br />

whopping nine runs in the second<br />

inning alone.<br />

<strong>The</strong> bases were loaded quickly<br />

for Alabama after a flurry of hits<br />

from the top of the order that<br />

on 3-for-19 shooting, making<br />

only one of his 10 attempts<br />

from downtown.<br />

Miller, a projected lottery<br />

pick in the <strong>2023</strong> NBA draft,<br />

shot the lowest field goal<br />

percentage of any player with at<br />

least 35 attempts in the NCAA<br />

tournament since 1985, standing<br />

at 19.5% (8-for-41).<br />

Things didn’t get much<br />

easier for fellow freshman Noah<br />

Clowney, who scored three<br />

points on 1-for-6 shooting.<br />

Clowney, a 6-foot-10 forward<br />

from Roebuck, South Carolina,<br />

grabbed eight rebounds, but<br />

fouled out by game’s end, unable<br />

to match the physicality of<br />

the Aztecs.<br />

At the 11:40 mark of the<br />

second half, the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide<br />

found itself in the driver’s seat,<br />

continued down the lineup to<br />

drive in one run after another.<br />

Freshman Kenleigh Cahalan was<br />

even able to pick up two singles<br />

in the second inning alone and<br />

picked up an RBI in the process.<br />

As if the scoring surge in the<br />

second inning was not quite<br />

enough, junior Emma Broadfoot<br />

extended the lead once more<br />

after a ground ball to bring home<br />

junior M’Kay Gidley and brought<br />

the lead to 12-0.<br />

Out of 11 players that received<br />

an at-bat, eight batters were able<br />

to drive home at least one RBI, a<br />

stat that is certainly a good sign<br />

for a team that will be getting<br />

back into conference play soon.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide also put up<br />

14 hits on the Blazers, proving<br />

how much of an offensive force it<br />

can be.<br />

“After coming off the weekend,<br />

our team sat down and we told<br />

ourselves everything would be ok,<br />

just go out there and still compete<br />

and show who you are,” Heivilin<br />

said. “I think tonight we had that<br />

mentality and going up to play<br />

leading by nine after trailing 28-<br />

23 at the break.<br />

That’s when things began to<br />

fall apart.<br />

A 12-0 run by the Aztecs,<br />

led by sharp-shooter Darrion<br />

Trammell, stunned the Alabamaheavy<br />

crowd. Before you could<br />

blink, Brian Dutcher’s squad<br />

managed to grab a nine-point<br />

lead of their own with two<br />

minutes left in the game.<br />

With a minute to go, a pair of<br />

layups by junior Mark Sears cut<br />

the lead to 66-64, but it was too<br />

little, too late as San Diego State’s<br />

Matt Bradley and Micah Parrish<br />

converted free throws down the<br />

stretch to seal the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide’s<br />

fate at the KFC Yum! Center.<br />

“I mean, we had an<br />

unbelievable year,” Alabama head<br />

coach Nate Oats said. “Everybody<br />

is really disappointed in the loss.<br />

It ended too soon. San Diego<br />

State is a very good team. When<br />

you get to the Sweet 16, you<br />

know, all the teams are good at<br />

this point. You know, they’re [a]<br />

tough, physical, veteran group.<br />

It’s a huge accomplishment to get<br />

to the Sweet 16.”<br />

While the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide fell<br />

short of its lofty expectations,<br />

sentimentalism was abundant<br />

in droves.<br />

“It’s a great group that really<br />

loves each other,” Oats said.<br />

“I mean, they’re going to be<br />

close for life, most of them. You<br />

know, I love the group, they love<br />

each other, and it’s just really<br />

disappointing that it’s ending<br />

early. But I think it’s one of<br />

the most memorable seasons<br />

in Alabama history, and they<br />

can walk out of here with their<br />

heads up.”<br />

Even Miller, who struggled<br />

for much of the tournament, was<br />

As for next season’s prospects?<br />

It’s time to wipe the slate clean<br />

in Tuscaloosa.<br />

“It’s one of those deals where<br />

I’m going to go back to the<br />

drawing board and see what I can<br />

get better at,” Oats said. “We’re<br />

going to try to recruit really<br />

good players. A lot of programs<br />

would love to be in the NCAA<br />

Tournament three straight years.<br />

A lot of them would have loved<br />

to have won the SEC regular<br />

season tournament twice in the<br />

last three years. We’re doing<br />

pretty good things at Alabama,<br />

and we’re going to continue to<br />

get better.”<br />

Alabama pitcher Alex Salter (27) delivers a pitch versus Mercer University on <strong>March</strong><br />

5 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. CW / Natalie Teat Article previously published on web <strong>March</strong> 24.<br />

tonight. It was probably her best<br />

game she’s pitched for us,” Murphy<br />

said. “Last time we played them it<br />

was a close ball game, so this was<br />

a big difference.”<br />

Next up, the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide will<br />

face Missouri for another road<br />

weekend series. First pitch for<br />

game on Friday, <strong>March</strong> 31 is set<br />

for 6 p.m. CT.<br />

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4B<br />

Independent candidates face onslaught of Greek complaints<br />

news<br />



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

Association election saw<br />

the most contested executive<br />

races since 2016 with four selfdeclared<br />

independent candidates.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong> reviewed the<br />

election complaints filed against<br />

these four candidates and found<br />

every complaint was filed by a<br />

student in Greek life.<br />

<strong>The</strong> four independent candidates<br />

were John Richardson for president,<br />

Elizabeth Prophet for executive vice<br />

president, Xzarria Peterson for vice<br />

president for diversity, equity and<br />

inclusion, and Karina Collins for<br />

vice president for student affairs.<br />

According to documentation the<br />

four campaigns provided to <strong>The</strong> CW,<br />

the candidates received a combined<br />

total of 28 complaints filed by 14<br />

students who were all members<br />

of an Alabama Interfraternity<br />

Council fraternity or an Alabama<br />

Panhellenic Association sorority.<br />

“I am a proud member of the<br />

Greek community, but I have never<br />

asked for or received backing from<br />

the Machine,” Prophet said in a<br />

statement. “<strong>The</strong>se sorts of elections<br />

interference tactics are exactly the<br />

kind of strategies the Machine<br />

employs to maintain power.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Machine, originally known<br />

as <strong>The</strong>ta Nu Epsilon, is a secret<br />

organization at the University<br />

that was founded in 1914. It has<br />

traditionally acted in the interests of<br />

the historically white APA and IFC<br />

organizations and controlled the<br />

SGA. In its heyday, it was known for<br />

harassment and intimidation tactics<br />

– the SGA was suspended between<br />

1993 and 1996 due to allegations of<br />

harassment and assault made by an<br />

independent presidential candidate.<br />

<strong>The</strong> CW was unable to verify if<br />

the Machine was involved in filing<br />

the complaints against independent<br />

candidates this year, or if any of the<br />

individuals who filed complaints<br />

against independents were involved<br />

with the organization.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Machine was brought up in<br />

a question during the presidential<br />

debate between Richardson and<br />

Collier Dobbs. After the debate,<br />

Dobbs was asked about increasing<br />

transparency around the Machine’s<br />

involvement in SGA.<br />

“I’m not very familiar with<br />

what you’re talking about or any<br />

organization under that name,”<br />

Dobbs said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> complainants, their Greek<br />

affiliations and the number of<br />

complaints they filed against each<br />

independent executive candidate<br />

are listed below.<br />

Further review of the<br />

documentation provided by<br />

independent campaigns revealed<br />

evidence that multiple individuals<br />

on this list may have been unofficially<br />

collaborating with each other or<br />

non-independent campaigns.<br />

Carrye Ann Rainer, the<br />

Dobbs campaign and<br />

screenshots<br />

Carrye Ann Rainer is responsible<br />

for filing two complaints against the<br />

Prophet campaign and at least three<br />

against former arts and sciences<br />

Senate candidate Jordan Suttles.<br />

On Feb. 21, Rainer filed a<br />

complaint against Prophet for not<br />

disclosing a purchase of ring pops.<br />

<strong>The</strong> complaint cited screenshots of<br />

Prophet’s campaign GroupMe as<br />

evidence. Rainer was not a member<br />

of Prophet’s campaign team, and it is<br />

unclear how she was able to obtain<br />

the screenshots. She also submitted<br />

a similar complaint concerning<br />

popsicles; both complaints<br />

were dismissed.<br />

Rainer previously submitted a<br />

complaint against Suttles before<br />

Feb. 13 for early campaigning and<br />

submitted two more complaints<br />

on Feb. 22 over an anonymous<br />

Instagram account that left<br />

disparaging comments on Collier<br />

Dobbs’ and Josie Schmitt’s<br />

Instagram posts. <strong>The</strong> Elections<br />

Board disqualified Suttles from the<br />

election after <strong>The</strong> CW published<br />

evidence that his former campaign<br />

manager was connected to<br />

the account.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Elections Board included the<br />

evidence that Rainer submitted with<br />

her complaints in its two rulings. <strong>The</strong><br />

screenshots Rainer attached show<br />

that they were taken by individuals<br />

who were logged into Dobbs’ and<br />

Schmitt’s Instagram accounts since<br />

they capture comments from the<br />

notification sections of Instagram.<br />

<strong>The</strong> CW was unable to verify how<br />

Rainer obtained the screenshots.<br />

In <strong>The</strong> CW’s investigation into<br />

the anonymous account, Rainer<br />

initially said she had submitted her<br />

complaint on behalf of the Dobbs<br />

campaign. However, the Dobbs<br />

campaign denied any knowledge<br />

of Rainer’s actions, and Rainer<br />

retracted her claim following the<br />

Dobbs’ campaign’s statement.<br />

During the same investigation,<br />

Suttles and his former campaign<br />

manager provided <strong>The</strong> CW with<br />

screenshot evidence that Rainer was<br />

regularly viewing their campaign<br />

Instagram stories despite Rainer<br />

not following either of them on<br />

Instagram. Suttles previously<br />

told <strong>The</strong> CW he felt “targeted” by<br />

these complaints.<br />

On <strong>March</strong> 1, student Aaron<br />

Glidden filed a complaint of<br />

election fraud against Dobbs over<br />

a screenshot of the Alpha Delta Pi<br />

sorority’s GroupMe in which Rainer<br />

can be seen reminding members<br />

to send their voting confirmation<br />

or abstention. <strong>The</strong> Elections Board<br />

dismissed this complaint, and<br />

the Judicial Board additionally<br />

dismissed Glidden’s appeal of the<br />

decision for not being timely.<br />

Emily Teel, Robbie Khalil,<br />

Peterson’s DEI complaint<br />

and beyond<br />

Peterson was disqualified from<br />

(Top left) John Richardson , Karina Collins (Top right), Elizabeth Prophet<br />

(Bottom right) Xzarria Peterson (bottom left) at candidates forum. Photo<br />

courtesy of Caroline Simmons Article previously published <strong>March</strong> 23.<br />

the election following a complaint of<br />

election fraud and campaign ethics<br />

by Robbie Khalil over screenshots<br />

from her campaign GroupMe that<br />

generated controversy on the social<br />

media app Yik Yak.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Elections Board’s ruling<br />

on the complaint showed that the<br />

image Khalil submitted with his<br />

complaint could not have been<br />

obtained from Yik Yak, as it was<br />

of a much higher resolution than<br />

what was posted on the anonymous<br />

message board. Additionally, only<br />

videos can be posted on Yik Yak,<br />

and the photo submitted by Khalil<br />

did not include text that is overlaid<br />

on all videos posted on Yik Yak,<br />

indicating that he did not obtain it<br />

by screenshotting the post online.<br />

During <strong>The</strong> CW’s investigation<br />

of this complaint, Peterson provided<br />

several screenshots of her GroupMe<br />

with timestamps that showed Emily<br />

Teel entered the GroupMe at 4:35<br />

p.m. on Feb. 20, four minutes after<br />

the GroupMe was made public via<br />

Peterson’s Instagram story. Khalil<br />

filed his complaint against Peterson<br />

later that day.<br />

Teel filed a complaint herself<br />

against Richardson under Section<br />

XI.F. of the Elections Manual<br />

dealing with campaigning on<br />

campus, which Richardson was<br />

notified of on Feb. 27. In her<br />

complaint, Teel included two photos<br />

that were supposedly of members<br />

of Richardson’s team campaigning<br />

outside of their permitted zones, and<br />

further claimed that Richardson’s<br />

campaign had not obtained the<br />

required grounds use permit.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> top picture in this iMessage<br />

screenshot is of two random people<br />

unaffiliated with the campaign<br />

(as far as I know),” Zach Johnson,<br />

Richardson’s campaign manager,<br />

wrote in response to the Elections<br />

Board. He added that the second<br />

photo did not guarantee that people<br />

had been actively campaigning on<br />

Richardson’s behalf, and that even<br />

if they were, the campaign had<br />

obtained a grounds use permit that<br />

allowed their actions.<br />

Additionally, Teel was mentioned<br />

in a complaint of election fraud<br />

against Dobbs filed by Glidden on<br />

<strong>March</strong> 1. Glidden alleged that a<br />

member of the Alpha Omicron Pi<br />

sorority had received phone calls<br />

from two members of her sorority<br />

on election day instructing her to<br />

vote for Dobbs before the polls<br />

closed, naming Teel as one of the<br />

members. Glidden did not name the<br />

person who had received the calls<br />

out of concern for her privacy, and<br />

the complaint was dismissed.<br />

<strong>The</strong> full version of this story is<br />

available at thecrimsonwhite.com.<br />

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<strong>The</strong> Department of Housing<br />

and Urban Development’s<br />

recent report to Congress about<br />

homelessness in America found that<br />

half a million people were homeless<br />

in January 2022. <strong>The</strong> average<br />

American renter is “rent-burdened,”<br />

with more than <strong>30</strong>% of their income<br />

going towards rent, and it is only<br />

getting harder for young adults to<br />

become homeowners.<br />

This national housing crisis<br />

— and it is undeniably a crisis<br />

— requires a fundamental<br />

restructuring of our national and<br />

local housing markets.<br />

Publicly funded affordable<br />

housing programs are a necessary<br />

part of any humane housing<br />

system, but they are chronically<br />

underfunded and unfairly<br />

denigrated — it is not uncommon<br />

for politicians to casually suggest<br />

slashing or eliminating what<br />

funding does exist.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Tuscaloosa Housing<br />

Authority was established by the<br />

City of Tuscaloosa in 1951 to manage<br />

affordable housing programs in the<br />

Tuscaloosa area. Right now, it helps<br />

2,942 families afford housing in<br />

Tuscaloosa through both the public<br />

housing communities it owns and<br />

housing choice vouchers.<br />

THA executive director Chris<br />

Hall said “most of [their] residents<br />

are elderly or disabled. [THA has]<br />

a lot of single mothers.” Housing<br />

in Tuscaloosa may be affordable<br />

compared to larger cities, but it<br />

opinions<br />

OPINION Public housing<br />

should not be an afterthought<br />

is still one of the poorest cities in<br />

Alabama, with 24% of Tuscaloosans<br />

living under the poverty line, and<br />

not everyone can or should hold a<br />

full-time job.<br />

Almost 1,000 families<br />

currently live in public housing<br />

communities, buildings owned by<br />

THA and funded by grants from<br />

the Department of Housing and<br />

Urban Development. Nearly 2,000<br />

families live in properties managed<br />

by private landlords and receive<br />

subsidies from housing choice,<br />

or Section 8, vouchers to prevent<br />

rent from consuming excessive<br />

percentages of their income.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se vouchers are not an<br />

entitlement, like SNAP or Medicaid,<br />

that anyone who meets certain<br />

qualifications will receive. Instead,<br />

to get a housing choice voucher, one<br />

needs to qualify for the program<br />

and then get on an invariably<br />

lengthy waitlist — Tuscaloosa’s<br />

waitlist is around 3,500 people<br />

long. Nationally, spending years<br />

on a housing voucher waitlist is<br />

not uncommon.<br />

Despite THA helping thousands<br />

of families in the Tuscaloosa<br />

community afford housing, Hall<br />

said “approximately 18,583” people<br />

in Tuscaloosa qualify for but cannot<br />

benefit from affordable housing<br />

programs due to insufficient<br />

funding. <strong>The</strong> “demand is there,<br />

supply is not.”<br />

In addition to providing<br />

subsidies for low-income<br />

renters, THA encourages<br />

homeownership through their<br />

Homeownership Program.<br />

Hall said so far they have built<br />

and sold 45 homes at belowmarket<br />

prices and not a single<br />

family has been foreclosed on.<br />

City Councilor Matthew<br />

Wilson of Tuscaloosa’s District<br />

1 is a big believer in the<br />

importance of homeownership.<br />

Wilson said his parents lived<br />

in McKenzie Court, one of THA’s<br />

public housing communities,<br />

and “were able to purchase a<br />

home by the help of God and<br />

those who talked to them about<br />

financial literacy.”<br />

Councilor Wilson and Hall both<br />

agreed homeownership should be<br />

the goal whenever possible.<br />

“Subsidizing home ownership<br />

programs is better for the long haul<br />

for families because, you know, they<br />

build equity,” Hall said.<br />

Councilor Wilson focuses on<br />

how homeownership enables<br />

parents to pass their home down to<br />

their children.<br />

To help underserved low-income<br />

families, Hall argues that “we need<br />

more units, we need more landlords<br />

to accept Section 8 vouchers, [and]<br />

we need more opportunities.” Right<br />

now, when someone gets off of the<br />

Section 8 waitlist, there’s still a 40%<br />

chance they won’t find a landlord<br />

willing to accept their voucher<br />

within 120 days.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> biggest problem that [THA<br />

has] is we’re a university town,”<br />

Hall said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> growth of Tuscaloosa’s<br />

student population is driving up<br />

market rate rents and making<br />

landlords less willing to accept<br />

Section 8 vouchers.<br />

This is only being<br />

CW / Autumn Williams<br />

exacerbated by Tuscaloosa’s<br />

ongoing ban on building large,<br />

student-oriented developments.<br />

Hall said building more<br />

student-oriented housing would<br />

allow a reduction of the rent of<br />

older developments and “create<br />

opportunities for [THA] residents.”<br />

Besides the specifics of the local<br />

market, “Faircloth Limits,” legal<br />

limits on how many public housing<br />

units a housing authority can<br />

receive federal grants for, prevent<br />

local housing authorities from<br />

growing with their communities.<br />

By default, these limits are set at<br />

how many units a housing authority<br />

was managing in 1999.<br />

Since 1999, the United States’<br />

population has grown about 19%,<br />

housing prices have consistently<br />

risen faster than incomes and<br />

homelessness has remained a blot<br />

on America’s soul.<br />

At the same time as it prevents<br />

local housing authorities from<br />

5B<br />

meeting their<br />

communities’<br />

needs, the federal<br />

government gives tens of<br />

billions of dollars every year<br />

to those who are lucky enough,<br />

and wealthy enough, to be able to<br />

buy nice houses.<br />

<strong>The</strong> mortgage interest deduction<br />

is an often overlooked aspect of the<br />

tax code that reduces the income<br />

tax burden of individuals that have<br />

a mortgage. Until it was downsized<br />

in 2018, it cost around $60 billion a<br />

year, 50% more than housing choice<br />

vouchers and public housing put<br />

together. Even after the decrease,<br />

it still costs $<strong>30</strong> billion annually —<br />

80% of which goes to the top 20%<br />

of earners.<br />

If we want to end the housing<br />

crisis, we need more public<br />

investment in affordable housing<br />

and fewer unnecessary giveaways<br />

to the already well-off. Housing<br />

vouchers should be an entitlement,<br />

not miserly meted out after years<br />

spent dealing with Kafkaesque<br />

waiting lists, and public housing<br />

should be available to those who<br />

need it. Instead of a luxury, housing<br />

should be understood as the basic<br />

human right it is.<br />

OPINION Eliminate the stigma surrounding<br />

undeclared majors<br />



student’s transition from<br />

A high school to college can<br />

be stressful, especially if they are<br />

uncertain about what they want<br />

to study and what that decision<br />

means for their future.<br />

I personally found it difficult<br />

to hear others be so confident in<br />

their majors and having a calling<br />

toward a specific career before<br />

entering college. During my<br />

freshman year I had no real idea<br />

of what I wanted to pursue in my<br />

academics, but I still declared a<br />

major that I was unsure of.<br />

Without any experience outside<br />

of high school, I never understood<br />

how I could know what I wanted<br />

to do for the rest of my life at the<br />

age of 18.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is a stigma associated<br />

with undeclared majors, despite<br />

how common this feeling is<br />

among college students.<br />

This stigma could affect students<br />

by making them feel judged by<br />

their peers and pressuring them<br />

into picking a major strictly for<br />

their perception.<br />

An estimated 20%-50% of<br />

students are undecided when<br />

entering college and 75%<br />

change their major at least once<br />

before graduation.<br />

It is important to understand<br />

that being undeclared should not<br />

be misconstrued as not having a<br />

clear path for the future. Rather, it<br />

should be encouraged for students<br />

to take ample time to adjust to<br />

college and weigh their interests<br />

before making the decision.<br />

One of the main benefits of<br />

being an undeclared major is the<br />

ability to focus on and finish your<br />

general education requirements<br />

such as science, math, literature<br />

and humanities courses.<br />

This benefit could possibly<br />

guide you into choosing your<br />

major and provide you with a<br />

better idea of where your interests<br />

lie in your academics.<br />

Second, being undeclared<br />

allows you to be open-minded<br />

toward majors that you would not<br />

necessarily think of choosing.<br />

Throughout your college<br />

experience, you will meet students<br />

from a variety of schools with<br />

different majors and minors.<br />

In order to determine whether<br />

a major is a good fit for you,<br />

ask other students about their<br />

experience and how they feel<br />

about their courses so far.<br />

Finally, if you have given<br />

yourself time to think about<br />

your future goals and deliberate<br />

on your decision, you will most<br />

likely feel more confident about<br />

your choice.<br />

If you choose a major that you<br />

are unsure of, you take the risk of<br />

possibly using a semester or two<br />

to determine this, which could<br />

result in stress, uncertainty and<br />

delayed graduation.<br />

I would encourage students,<br />

faculty and parents to start<br />

conversations regarding this topic.<br />

<strong>The</strong> more this subject is discussed,<br />

the more normal it becomes for<br />

students who may feel anxious<br />

about being undeclared.<br />

Resources and advising<br />

specifically for undeclared majors<br />

should be offered at every college.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se resources should always<br />

be made known at events for<br />

new students and should be easy<br />

to find.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Capstone Center for<br />

Student Success offers a program<br />

for incoming students called<br />

“Exploring 4 Success.” This<br />

program uses academic advising<br />

to create success plans and<br />

provide academic support to help<br />

guide students to the discovery of<br />

their major at the conclusion of<br />

their freshman year.<br />

At the end of the day, this stigma<br />

should not exist, as everyone has<br />

a different timeline. <strong>The</strong> timing<br />

of this decision should not call<br />

for judgment or the opinions of<br />

others. Eliminating the stigma<br />

surrounding undeclared majors<br />

requires a mindset of acceptance<br />

and understanding that someone’s<br />

timeline differing from yours does<br />

not mean it is wrong.<br />

Article previously published on<br />

web <strong>March</strong> 19.<br />

Earn college credit this summer at<br />

Gadsden State! Take academic classes<br />

and the credits will seamlessly<br />

transfer back to UA!<br />





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