Between Safety and the American Promise

By Dasa Rosca

No, this is not a war but there are casualties. On January 27, 2017, exactly one week after taking the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump followed through on one of his campaign’s primary promises and temporarily banned the citizens of seven majority-Muslims countries from entering the U.S. “I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order.” These words deliver the promise to millions of people who are in favor of the executive order, while simultaneously denying the American dream to the millions of people from the affected countries of Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia and Libya. The United Nations’ rights experts claim that the order violates the “country’s human rights commitments,” while Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, believes that this is the proper strategy to ensure that American lives are not being gambled with. Meanwhile, the issue continues to divide the country even more.

“This executive order is banning the countries that have nothing to do with recent terrorist threats,” says Mustafa Yousif Abdelmagid who is a sophomore Biology major at AUM. Abdelmagid, moved to the U.S. with his mother and sister back in 2003 from Khartoum, Sudan. According to the Cato Institute also, “Foreigners from those seven nations have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and the end of 2015.” Today, speaking perfect English and somewhat modest, Abdelmagid explains: “U.S. shouldn’t be targeting the poor people coming here from third world countries in hope for a better life.” He continues: “I know students that are not able to come back this semester.” In Abdelmagid’s view the right to an education shouldn’t be affected by the issues between the countries. These are the facts: unfortunately, the executive order does not exclude international students and they fall among the casualties.

Rebekah Newton, who is a sophomore Nursing major, supports the temporary ban on terrorist-associated countries until a stronger vetting program is in place. Newton explains: “Not as a religious persecution, but protecting the nation from the very thing that many men and women have already given their lives for.” She continues: “I am afraid of any extremist ideology that has a goal of harming people in the name of their cause.”

The country is now engaged into a “backyard spar” with each side arguing its position. Unfortunately, factual accuracy and logical consistency, crucial to healthy debate seem to be often missing. This is a dangerous combination that fuels ignorance and contaminates concepts. In this case, very few individuals take the time to read the multiple page executive order and instead turn to social media hashtags as a trusted source. Debating with half-truths cannot justify the opinions held by each side. While President Trump’s stated intention is to protect America by temporarily pausing the inflow of people from failed nations torn apart by war, his executive order is poorly executed and explained. “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the U.S.” the name of this executive order is automatically categorizing the people from the banned countries as terrorists, and it is one of the reasons why it creates conflict, drives individuals into outrage, and why it should be revised to properly carry out the goal of the order.

Trump’s executive order got temporarily blocked by the U.S. District Judge James Robart and was later on suspended by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Even though the President has higher authority over immigration policies, these rulings have demonstrated the importance of the judicial branch of government. Following the courts’ decisions, the Trump administration will most likely appeal once the President’s SCOTUS nominee, Neil Gorsuch, will be confirmed.
It should not be thought that those supporting the ban are bigots or that those who oppose it aren’t true American patriots. It all comes down to priorities, which are just different ways each one views the world. In this case, it’s national security versus the American promise to the world.

2017 Women’s March

By Jackie Woods

The day after President Donald Trump was sworn into office an estimated 5 million protestors around the world joined together for the “Women’s March.” The January 21st marches were the largest political demonstrations since the anti-Vietnam war protests in the 1960s and 1970s.  The idea for the march originated partly as a reaction to the video footage from a 2005 Access Hollywood interview Trump participated in. “Grab ‘em by the pussy. You can do anything,” President Trump said to host Billy Bush.

“I felt disrespected when he was elected. Why wouldn’t I feel disrespected? My commander in chief thinks it’s acceptable to grab a woman by her genitalia,” said Angela Flowers, a student at Alabama State University. Globally, women were outraged. Teresa Shook shared her frustrations on a Facebook page she created. Similar pages popped up and were eventually consolidated into one. The creators joined together to launch the Women’s March on Washington. The goal was to send a bold message to the administration on its first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. The original March on Washington grew into hundreds of sister marches. In the U.S. there were at least 408 and an estimated 81 sister marches in other countries.

Our Sister March

Birmingham participated as one of the official sister marches of the March on Washington. Daila Adams, one of the march organizers, told AL.com that she had hoped to have at least 200 participants in the Birmingham march. The Birmingham police estimates that there 5,000 took part in the event. “We are united for the rights and dignity for all people in this country,” Birmingham Mayor William Bell said to the crowd as they cheered him on. “When they try to limit our reproductive rights will you stand with me?” State Rep. Patricia Todd, the first openly gay elected official in Alabama, asked the crowd. Todd and Bell encouraged people to keep the energy going after the march by writing to their state representatives. “Make America think again,” “disability rights equal human rights,” “our rights aren’t up for grabs” and “hate never made us great” were just a few of the thousand signs spotted at the march serving as a testament that the Women’s March was not just for women.

My Facebook timeline was filled with plenty of women that supported the march, but there were some who did not see the need to protest. Some felt that women do have equal rights or thought the march was an “I hate Trump” campaign, but protestors had a different perspective.“We march for clean water for Flint, for Native property and health rights, for the impoverished to have the right to life and affordable healthcare, for innocent Black Americans to be able to walk down a street at night without being murdered by the police, for accessible education for all,” Rachel Merovitz of Montreal, Canada said when asked why she marched. Multiple protestors agreed the march was about having equal rights for all.

After the March

Founders of the march created a program called 10 Actions in 100 Days to make sure that the momentum from the march continues. Every 10 days they will provide a new action on issues that the group cares about as a whole. The march was the first action. The second was participating in a postcard party by writing your local senators about your concerns using a free postcard provided by womensmarch.com. The current action is hosting or participating in “Huddles.” “Huddles” allow you to communicate with other advocates within your community to discuss ways to take a stand against policies that infringe on human rights. The point of the “Huddles” is to figure out what matters to us and find ways to ensure that our government stands with us.

More Information

To learn more about the mission of the women’s march or sign up to be involved with the 10 Actions in 100 days, campaign visit www.womensmarch.com.

AUM-SPLC Meeting

Announcement by Warhawk Weekly

The AUM-SPLC on Campus Club, a student-led organization launched last semester to advocate for tolerance of diversity and inclusion on campus, will hold an informational meeting on Feb. 7.

Club members and any interested AUM students, staff or faculty members are invited to meet the club officers, faculty advisor, and the new national SPLC-on-Campus Coordinator. Hear about the club’s forthcoming events and activities for the spring semester, and sign up for the field trip to the SPLC Civil Rights Memorial Center in March while you mingle with old and new friends.

For information, contact the club’s faculty advisor, Dr. Pia Knigge, at pknigge@aum.edu or visit the Facebook page of AUM Chapter – SPLC on Campus.

Tuesday, Feb. 7 | 7 p.m. | Goodwyn Hall 111 | Sponsored by Student Life

Alabama Privacy Act

A sign noting a restroom is available for use regardless of gender or gender identity. Courtesy of Andrew Kelley.

By Nathan Howell

When North Carolina’s controversial bathroom bill was signed into law last year, the rights of transgender individuals came into the national spotlight. This move saw incredible backlash among businesses, celebrities and other states. The attention may soon shift to Alabama with the Alabama Privacy Act.

This bill, set to be introduced by State Senator Phil Williams in February, claims that it will protect the privacy of customers while using bathrooms or changing facilities. While Williams stated the intention of the bill is preservation of privacy, it is being viewed as a threat to the rights of transgender individuals.

The more controversial portion of the law applies to areas “irrespective of gender” like changing rooms and some bathrooms. There is to be an “attendant stationed at the door of each rest room to monitor the appropriate use” of the facility, according to the bill.  Williams feels that allowing transgender individuals to use restrooms that correspond to their gender identity is a threat to “people’s right and security,” according to an interview with ABC 3340.  He further explained that he just wants an “open and honest debate” on the topic.

Attitudes towards transgender individuals in Alabama are still evolving, and this bill could potentially allow a restroom attendant to deny access to people based on their gender identity.

The requirement for an attendant puts a burden on businesses to staff someone specifically for this purpose. The bill also imposes fines up to $3,500 for businesses that fail to provide an attendant.

As of this year, seven other states including Mississippi and Tennessee are considering or currently have bathroom bill legislation pending, bringing an even greater spotlight on transgender issues in 2017.

The Great Wall of Trump

Campaign sign used to voice support for the Trump/Pence ticket.

By Nathan Howell

Newly inaugurated President Donald Trump promised several times throughout his successful campaign that he would construct a large wall on the southern border of the United States. He used this message as a call to those who feel that their livelihoods have been impacted by the issue of illegal immigration.

It is not unusual for presidential candidates to make promises they cannot fully hold up, and it seems that this may be the case for the border wall. From the beginning, this plan suffered much criticism based mainly on funding and general effectiveness; funding being the biggest issue as Trump has claimed the wall would cost $8 billion, though the highest estimates are close to $25 billion.

Trump repeatedly proclaimed that Mexico was going to pay for this wall, and in one of the debates with Hillary Clinton he stated that if Mexico refused to pay then he would make up the money through the trade deficit with Mexico.

However, the President-elect may be preparing to use domestic sources to obtain funding. His team is looking to ask Congress to fund the $10 billion project through congressional appropriations, according to a report by Fox News. This means that the majority of the funding would come from revenue generated through taxes. Although this will be the catalyst to begin building the wall, Trump assures the United States is “going to get reimbursed” according to The New York Times.

This promise is in direct contrast to Mexican President Enrique Nieto’s statements in August of 2016. He stated that he “made clear that Mexico would not pay for the wall.”

AUM Gay-Straight Alliance Presents Safe Zone Program

By Blake Hunter

Would you like to know more about the LGBT community? Do you have questions about the LGBT community that you aren’t exactly sure how to ask? Then you should come to Safe Zone. Safe Zone is an event presented by the AUM Gay-Straight Alliance and Dr. Faircloth of Troy University. This event will take place on Friday, January 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m in Warhawk Alley, located on the 1st floor of the Taylor Center. Interactive and educational, the event is also focused on making sure you have a great time, so step outside your comfort zone, get a free lunch, and learn a thing or two.

Safe Zone is a campus oriented event designed to both educate people about general LGBT issues and teach them how to create a safe and welcoming space for members of the LGBT community. Attendees will have the chance to talk directly to members of the LGBT community in a positive, nonjudgmental space who are willing, and want to, answer any questions that you may have. Dr. Paul Hard, an associate professor in the College of Education who is helping put on Safe Zone, says the event is a “great opportunity to become informed,” and that “these days there is so much said about the LGBT community, this is opportunity to find out from them.” Other examples of what will be taught at Safe Zone include how to deal with friends or family members coming out to you, the concept of privilege and what it means, and a speech by Dr. Faircloth on the nuts and bolts, and language of the LGBT community.

Still on the fence? Not sure what the big deal is? Did you know that in Alabama, and many other states, it is legal to both be fired from your job and evicted from your home simply for being LGBT? That Alabama does not recognize sexual oriented based violence as a hate crime? That according to an analysis done by the FBI in 2014 LGBT people are the most likely target for hate crimes? If any of this sounds concerning to you, come to Safe Zone. Learn how you can help create a better, and more loving world for our LGBT family members and friends.

Click here to RSVP for the event.

You Are What You Eat

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Make what you eat and how much you spend a priority in order to see your health and bank account flourish.

By Katelyn Turner

Since living on campus, I find myself eating out frequently. The café just doesn’t do it for me day in and day out. The more I have eaten out, the more I’ve noticed that I feel like it’s my only option whenever it’s time to eat. But spending a few bucks several times a week eventually adds up and takes a chunk out of my bank account. Also, it makes it a lot harder keeping off the freshman fifteen every year. (more…)

The Fright of Failure

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AUM sophomore Landyn Bassett studying for finals.

By Deanna Chavez

Failure can hit like a freight train. One minute it seems like life is together. Then the next thing you know, it’s 2 a.m., you’re surrounded by unfinished work and wondering how you were on top of the world a week ago, while now you seem to be at the bottom of the barrel.

While failure is inevitable at times, it can also be avoidable with proper preparation. Finals are rapidly approaching, and AUM will be providing many opportunities for students to excel during this time. On Nov. 30 at 8 p.m., the annual “Professors N’ Pajamas” commenced in Taylor Center 221. This event combined fun with academics. Students were able to acquire the help they needed for any specific subject ranging from equations in calculus to verb conjugation in Spanish. In addition to academic help prizes, which ranged from gift cards to free housing, was be awarded throughout the night.

In addition to this event, the library will also begin to better accommodate students studying for finals by staying open later hours therefore allowing students to burn the midnight oil. Even if you’d rather be in the library during daytime hours, the Warhawk Academic Success Center is always available to help students thrive. Whichever route you chose to take can help ensure that failure is avoided when possible.

At times, though, even with the best foundation, failure can be unavoidable. So how do you bounce back? Many people believe that everyone should just keep moving forward, but not all problems can be solved with a positive attitude. There is no foolproof method of getting over failure. However, it’s not really something you need to “get over.” Society puts a huge emphasis on being successful at all times, and that is both unrealistic and exhausting. Failing is hard to deal with, but rock bottom can be a pretty solid foundation to rebuild on. To quote J.K. Rowling, “Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something. Unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default.”

Burn it to Earn it

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Research shows that students who regularly exercise, tend to have higher GPAs than those who do not

By Katelyn Turner

Classes, homework, extra-curricular activities and making time for family and friends can keep a student’s schedule pretty full.
Making time to exercise may not be a priority during midterms and exams; however, it does serve to benefit the mind and body exponentially and could even boost those test scores.

Michigan State University conducted a research that found a connection between exercise and higher GPAs, as reported by Medical Daily. The study even showed that those who had a gym membership were less likely to drop out of college. Joining a gym not only provided students with an opportunity to acquire many mental and physical health benefits, but also gave them a chance to form relationships with others and, in turn, increase their link to the college.

Psychology Today reports that regular exercise decreases depression and anxiety and boosts the mood overall. Heavy exercise increases the level of serotonin in the brain, which is a chemical that makes people feel happy and relaxed. It also keeps the mind sharp and aids preventing future memory loss, which starts to happen significantly at the age of 45.

Complicated exercises like dancing or playing a sport improve student’s ability to concentrate. U.S. News reported that German researchers concluded that students who did just ten minutes of an intense fitness routine score better on “high-attention tasks” than those who did not participate in the fitness routine. This is because sports challenge the brain to grow through completing complicated tasks. This new cell growth in the brain then carries over to the classroom where students apply their ability to problem solve and perform better under pressure.

Exercise has many benefits for students other than keeping a nice figure. It keeps the mind sharp and focused and also relieves stress and depression. Students should acquire a fitness regimen and mix it up by cross training and playing sports in order to receive the most benefits from exercise. Fitness should not be seen as an end to make or break a students ability to graduate college, but it does make the road to a degree a little bit smoother.