Poetica and the Filibuster

The staff of the Filibuster. Pictured from left to right. Savannah Mathews (co-editor), Heather Adams (co-editor), Alex Trott (graphic designer), and Erica Johnson (co-editor)

By Jacob Saylor

Poetica, as it’s come to be called, is one of the more unique events held on Auburn Montgomery’s campus. Students get the opportunity to share their creative works, ranging from poetry to short story readings. Poetica is a veritable buffet for artists and has three different themes throughout each semester. Earlier this year, the English Club – who oversees the production – ran a Poetica that featured a myriad of spooky poems for Halloween. This month’s Poetica focused on Auburn Montgomery’s arts and literary magazine, the Filibuster. Attendees of Poetica read various entries from the magazine, some even choosing to present others’ work. I spoke with Dr. Robert Klevay, who is an assistant professor in the Department of English and Philosophy at Auburn Montgomery; he’s also the faculty adviser for the Filibuster. Klevay says his main concern at the moment is raising awareness for both Poetica and the Filibuster.robert klevay

“Filibuster is important because it is one of the only places at AUM where students get to share their creative work outside of the classroom,” Klevay says. “Our magazine gets distributed on campus, and students get the opportunity to present their work to a much wider audience.” As I’m sure many of you’d agree, a poem, story, or photograph needs to be shared. Klevay wanted this last Poetica to serve as a sort of advertisement for the Filibuster. “The main thing that I’d like this Poetica to achieve is to raise awareness of the opportunity for sharing students’ creative work that the magazine represents,” Klevay explains. “Also, to remind previous contributors who haven’t yet submitted their work to us that we’d still love to see it and to motivate those who have never contributed to the magazine before to do so.”

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The attendees enjoying their time at the Poetica

Klevay wants students to know that everyone can submit their work. If you’ve got any creations that you think need to be seen, then you’re in luck: a new issue of the Filibuster is just around the corner. This upcoming issue will be released just after students get back from Spring Break in 2015. “Right now the best way to be involved is to contribute their work for our 2015 issue by December 31,” Klevay says. The students and faculty members in charge of the Filibuster will choose what gets put into the magazine.  Klevay notes that working on a submission for the magazine will give students the opportunity to collaborate with other artists, an opportunity that can often be hard to find.

The Filibuster will be looking to fill vacant jobs at the end of the spring semester. “Towards the end of the spring 2015, a search will begin for a new editor-in-chief and graphic designer for the 2016 issue,” Klevay says. “If students are interested in either of these positions, they should watch for our job announcements then.” Interested creators should pay close attention to the job openings at the magazine. After the next issue of the Filibuster comes out, students and faculty members are invited to take part in a release party. During this event, recent contributors will have the opportunity to read their work aloud to attendees.

Photos taken by Jacob Saylor.


AUM Women’s Basketball Hitting on All Cylinders


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AUM basketball team.

By Jacob Horton

The 2014-2015 AUM Lady Warhawks basketball team is off to a great start this season with an overall record of 8-3 through their first 11 games. Through their first four Southern States Athletic Conference games, they posted a record of 3-1.

This fast start has the followers of AUM Women’s hoops thinking that this could be a season they can compete for a few postseason accolades. While all the hype is good for the program, Head Coach Dan Davis is still focusing on the short-term goals for now.

“Our main goal is to just get better,” Coach Davis said in a recent interview. “The castle in the sky is to win your conference championship and a national championship, but you can’t do that if you’re not doing what you need to do every day to build those winning habits and championship habits. I have the confidence in this team that they could compete for that conference championship.”

Through those first 11 games, the Lady Warhawks are averaging 78 points per game, while only giving up 58. As a team they are shooting a modest 46 percent from the field and 64 percent from the free throw line. Four of their starting five are double figures in points with Montgomery native Jatoria Carter leading the way with 12 points per game.

Each of the Lady Warhawk’s SSAC victories has ended in a blowout. Thus far, they have beaten Martin Methodist, William Carey University and Blue Mountain College by an average of just over 34 points per game.

This team can put up points in a plethora of ways, which has led to scores of 84, 93 and even 108, the latest against Selma University on Nov. 11. Coach Davis credits his team’s ability to play balanced basketball as why they’ve had success on offense.“I think there’s a good balance on the floor,” Davis said. “We can score inside, we can hit the three-pointer and we’ve got a couple of point guards that can push the tempo. Part of it it’s the chemistry,” he added.

Each of the five starters brings her own unique set of skills that contribute to the team’s success. Seniors Tina Odume and Gabby Brown serve as the team’s low post players and can cause huge mismatches with their scoring and rebounding abilities. Sophomore Kaylan Withrow and Senior Shanice Burnette are fierce sharpshooters that consistently hits three-pointers. Senior Jatoria Carter runs the offense and can also drain some shots when she is called upon.

Of the 17 basketball players on the Lady Warhawk’s roster, 10 are used on a regular basis. Coach Davis likes to rotate anywhere from five to six players off of the bench at any point during the game, and their contributions have been vital to the team’s success this season.  The depth that this team features is definitely something that Coach Davis says will benefit them in the long run.

“I think that’s a huge factor right now,” Davis said. “Now to know that, hey, we play a pretty strong 9-11 deep right now… I think depth has been a huge, huge part, because it allows you to go in and have the confidence in those girls we’re putting in there.”

This season could be a big season for the AUM Lady Warhawks. The pieces are there for them to be able to be playing basketball late into March for a championship. While he is pleased with his team’s great start, how they are going to finish is more important to Coach Davis. He plans on his team improving every step of the way.

“No one is going to remember going 8-3 at the end of November,” Davis said. “They’re going to remember where we are at the end of February, and that last final run in the conference and what we did in the month of March… We’re going to be a lot better from now, we’re going to be a lot better come January.”

Photo Courtesy of AUM Athletics.



Homelessness and Hunger


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Left to right:Marie Reuter , Olivia Garnett , LaRonte Skipper, Caleb Conner,and Molly Mims

 By Matthew Thornbury

It’s in this season of celebration and togetherness that we turn our attention to those less fortunate than us. On Nov. 18, students gathered in the Ida Belle Young Library Tower to learn about the adversity faced by those in our area who are homeless or food insecure.

The Student Government Association and the Transfer Student Association organized AUM’s Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Program, which took place during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, traditionally held the week before Thanksgiving. The program welcomed guest speaker La’Rontae Skipper, an Americorps VISTA member who works with the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, before screening “The Pursuit of Happyness” starring Will Smith. Students who attended the event had the opportunity to play the game “Spent,” a so-called “poverty simulator.”

Molly and Olivia are holding a box used to collect new socks and gently used clothing for MACH.

“Our main mission is to be a vehicle to secure HUD funding from the government.” Skipper said. “Annually, we receive about $2.3 million to help fund several shelters in our coalition. We have about 900 homeless people here in the River Region staying inside shelters and on the streets of Montgomery.”

Skipper, an AUM alumnus and event planner with MACH, said that this year’s blanket drive has been a success. “I’ve already got enough blankets to give one blanket to each homeless person in Montgomery,” he said. However, MACH is in need of more supplies, and Skipper urged anyone who can to donate or volunteer.

Serena McCovery, project manager for the Office of Orientation and Transitions, which funded the program, said that she thinks it helped students understand that homelessness can affect anyone. Although the week is coming to a close, donations of new and gently used clothing, as well as personal hygiene items, will be collected in 308 Taylor Center until the end of the semester. If students would like to make an impact in their community after the program has ended, McCovery has a suggestion.

“We have a Non-profit Leadership Alliance here on campus,” she said. “They help people throughout the community beyond MACH, in conjunction with River Region United Way, and they have ongoing service projects, so please get involved on campus with the Non-profit Leadership Alliance.”

The Traditions of Thanksgiving

By Nikki Headley

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Lee Hodgson

Traditions are things many people do because it’s what they have always known. With Thanksgiving coming just around the corner, it’s about that time to go visit those family members or friends you have not seen all year. Many people may think that everyone does the same thing, but that isn’t true. People can differ in many ways.

Several people may eat on Thanksgiving and spend time with family members. Lee Hodgson, sophomore at AUM, “sits at home and her mom cooks and we have people over.” This may seem like a normal Thanksgiving to most people, but that does not make it any less special. For some, this is their definition of Thanksgiving.

Marlee Damrel

Another student, junior Marlee Damrel, goes to Texas every year to see her aunt. She doesn’t eat turkey like you would expect, though.  “We eat a lot of Tex-Mex,” Damrel said, which is a style of cuisine combining American and Mexican influences. This is not your typical Thanksgiving, but it is important to Damrel, and that is what counts for her during the season of Thanksgiving.

Helen Bellingheri

Helen Bellingheri and her family have Thanksgiving at their friends’ house. Bellingheri said that everyone brings a dish, and this ultimately makes Thanksgiving a less expensive affair. Bellingheri explained that they “pray and give thanks for what we have and then everyone groups off.” She is spending time with people that are important to her. This proves that you do not have to spend your Thanksgiving with all of your family members; all that matters is that you are doing what makes you happy.

Thanksgiving can mean many things to different people. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you stay at home for Thanksgiving or go on a trip. The important thing about traditions is that you are following them based on what you think is important. So if you are sticking to old traditions or starting new ones, think about why you have them. All that matters is that you, your friends, and family have a joyful experience.

Photo courtesy of Nikki Headley


‘Galileo’ Play Review

By Jacob Saylor

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Mike Winkleman talking to the cast.


During the time Galileo was being presented by Theatre AUM, I went and experienced this two-hour play. Since Galileo had already been showing for almost two weeks, I was quite surprised to see that the theater itself was packed almost to capacity. My hopes immediately shot through the roof, as a play still seeing this kind of attendance must surely be something else, right?

play 2At the beginning of the play was a short musical number, which I had not expected. Galileo, which featured a scientific mind at its center, took on an entirely different feeling than I had been anticipating. While this was a bit surprising, it did not take away from the experience in the least. In fact, it was very cool to see a number of my classmates burst out of their veritable shells through song and dance. Throughout the play, there were a few of these numbers, each featuring their own unique characteristics. One had a number of students juggle colored papers, while another had them form a conga line while singing along to “Age of Aquarius” by Ren Woods.

A good portion of the students participating in the play took on different roles throughout the presentation. Due to the large number of characters in Galileo, this turned out to be a bit confusing at times. The main characters of the play – Galileo, Ludovico and Andrea, among others – were not represented by any other actors or actresses. While this was probably done to even out the number of speaking parts each student received, it did serve to better acquaint us with the more important members of the story.

The personas that were crafted by the students and teachers participating in the play were the real selling point. Andrea was played by Sam Wallace, an instructor of theater at AUM. Every other character was represented by a student. All parties involved performed admirably, and I never felt like the suspension of disbelief wasn’t strong enough. One note I would have to pin on Galileo is that I would have loved to see a less experienced student in the role of Galileo himself. Though, I do understand that the show needs a strong anchor, which Michael Krek was able to provide. Krek is a student but had a long, international acting career on his resume before coming to AUM. Krek was is in a production of Hamlet, which showed at the Globe Theatre in London.one of his biggest accomplishments,

Both the set and costume design were decent. There were a few times where I saw a student walk out on the set with what looked like everyday school clothes, but apart from this small aspect, I had no gripes. The set was minimalistic and did not change, save for one roving telescope that made its way on and off the stage multiple times throughout the play. A few faux columns lined the stage, with some other set pieces serving to paint a visual representation of what this point in time probably looked like. One nifty addition to the stage was a screen in the back. This played various videos during the musical numbers and portrayed pictures of whatever town the characters were in during each scene.

playGalileo was a solid production. Galileo features a stellar line of amazing performances, led by Krek. Sadly, this past Sunday marked Galileo’s last day and Theatre AUM is gearing up for its next production. Theatre AUM  will be presenting The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler beginning on Feb. 19. These performances will last until March 1, 2015. Auditions for this play will be held on Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Photo Courtesy of Jacob Saylor

Contact Dr. Neil David Seibel at nseibel@aum.edu for more information.


Thanksgiving Around the World

By Darya Farsinejad

Around the world

Student Speakers from event. From Right to Left: Shaquita Searcy, Andrew Parrish, Kyle Edwards, Paula Diaz, Nicolas Pinones-Haltenhoff, Shaobo Young.


Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to be grateful for what they have. This holiday has us looking forward to a week off from school, Black Friday and a big turkey. But do other countries have Thanksgiving? What do they celebrate?

The annual “Thanksgiving Around the World” took place in Taylor Center 221 on Nov. 6: the event showcased and discussed the different cultures that celebrate this holiday. Several student speakers explained a variety of traditions: Korean, Chilean, Chinese, Spanish, as well as less-known American customs.

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Audience waiting for their table to be called to go get food.


Paula Diaz told the room about the culture in Chile, and Thanksgiving is celebrated there on Sept. 18 with food and family. “Even if we are from different cultures or different languages we all are similar in certain ways,” Diaz said.

In Korea, there is a three-day celebration. It begins on the eighth month and 15th day of the lunar calendar. This past year it started on Sept. 8. “In a way the eating and gathering part is similar to Thanksgiving,” Andrew Parrish said as he talked about Korean culture.

“Everybody gives thanks. Every culture around the world has a Thanksgiving event. They just don’t call it Thanksgiving,” said Timothy Spraggins, Chief Diversity Officer, “They express their gratitude for family, community, and abundance of crops and food in their cultural expressions, cultural adornment and their cultural preparation.”

After all the speakers’ testimonies, attendees ate a variety of food. Along with learning about different cultures, they also got to enjoy tasting what other countries had to offer. Bringing people together is what Thanksgiving is about, and this event helped bring different cultures together to celebrate as one.

Photo Courtesy of Darya Farsinejad

Contact the writer: dfarsine@aum.edu

The Firing of Will Muschamp: An Auburn Perspective

By Jacob Horton



Will Muschamp  courtesy of Bleacher Report

The announcement of Will Muschamp’s firing on Sunday did not come as a surprise to many. For Auburn University football enthusiasts, this announcement may be just what they need to pick up their spirits after suffering their third loss of the season this past Saturday.

In four years at the University of Florida, Muschamp has posted an overall record of 27-20. For a university that is only six years removed from winning two national championships in three seasons, a span that mediocre is simply unacceptable.

The firing eventually became inevitable after posting a record of 4-8 in 2013. One of those eight losses was an embarrassing 26-20 defeat suffered at the hands of the Georgia Southern Eagles. This was already deemed a make-or-break year for the Gator head coach, and four losses into this season the Florida athletic department decided it had seen enough.

So what does all of this mean for Auburn Tiger fans? If you were watching Auburn’s abysmal performance on Saturday, you saw that it might be time for a change on the defensive side of the ball for the Tigers. For the first time all season, Auburn was outrushed by an opponent. The Tiger defense allowed 289 yards on the ground to the Georgia Bulldogs. That’s the most rushing yards they’ve allowed in Gus Malzahn’s short tenure as head coach.

With that being said, let us consider the possibility of Will Muschamp becoming Auburn’s next Defensive Coordinator. It’s nothing personal against Ellis Johnson. He served as Defensive Coordinator in 1992 for an Alabama Crimson Tide team that was remembered for having one of the greatest defenses in college football history. This move makes sense for an Auburn team that has struggled mightily on defense over the past few seasons.

So far in 2014, the Tigers rank 64th in total defense. They are allowing roughly an average of 388 yards per game. Their overall rushing defense ranks 43rd in the nation, but will likely continue to plummet if they cannot improve off of last weekend’s performance. They are allowing about 243 passing yards per game, which ranks them 91st in the nation. There is definitely room for improvement, and many believe that Muschamp can get this Tiger defense going in the right direction.

Muschamp wouldn’t be in unfamiliar From Muschamp’s angle, a coordinator job may be the best he can do right now. Similar to former Alabama Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, Muschamp is more than likely not going to have many head coaching offers. He has proven that he can be a successful defensive coordinator in the SEC, so maybe he should just tailor his career path to what he can do best.

If the Auburn Tigers want to start playing defense at a championship level, then Muschamp is the immediate answer. They need to seize this opportunity, and bring back a fan favorite in Will Muschamp, if they want to put an end to their defensive woes.

Contact the writer: jhorton4@aum.edu





Week 11 Heisman Standings

By Jacob Horton

As the 2014 football season approaches its final stretch of marquee matchups, the talk regarding who will take home this season’s Heisman Memorial Trophy is getting louder.  Which begs the question: on Dec. 13, who will be honored as the most outstanding player in college football with the 79th annual Heisman Award?


Traditionally, around five players are chosen as finalists for the award and get to make the trip to New York City for the presentation. So here are the five finalists that I believe have the best shot of taking home the award through 11 weeks of college football action.


  1. Trevone Boykin – QB Texas Christian University

The 6’2 inches, 216 pound signal caller for TCU has been the driving force behind this potent Horned Frog offensive unit. He shined his brightest Saturday night, when his team took down number seven Kansas State 41-20. Boykin threw for 219 yards with one touchdown pass, while also rushing for 123 yards and two touchdowns. The redshirt junior has accounted for 2,691 yards through the air this year, while throwing for 23 touchdowns. Boykin has accumulated 546 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. If TCU manages to win out the rest of its schedule, expect Trevone Boykin to be atop many Heisman voters’ lists.


  1. Amari Cooper- WR University of Alabama

Through nine games this season, Amari Cooper has proven to be the best wide receiver in all of college football, drawing comparisons to the great Jerry Rice. In 2014 Cooper has racked up 1,215 receiving yards, which ranks him second in the nation. Cooper leads all SEC receivers by a whopping 429 yards. He also leads the SEC in touchdown receptions with 10 thus far. In an Alabama offense that has looked shaky at times this season, the consistent play of Amari Cooper has him ranked among college football’s best.


  1. Melvin Gordon- RB University of Wisconsin

Playing in the Big Ten comes with its flaws. Even though it is considered a “Power Five” conference, it still tends to get overlooked when discussing the best teams and players in the nation. Melvin Gordon, however, has proven that there is still top-tier talent in the northern states. His 1,501 rushing yards leads the entire nation, while his 19 rushing touchdowns rank him second nationally. Gordon has carried the load for this Wisconsin Badger team as they pursue a Big Ten title.


  1. Dak Prescott- QB Mississippi State

What Dak Prescott has done this season for the Mississippi State Bulldogs through nine games is almost Heisman-worthy itself. He’sgiven new life to a football program buried in mediocrity.Prescott has thrown for 2,231 yards and 18 touchdowns, while rushing for 779 yards and 11 touchdowns. His most impressive stat thus far is the zero currently hanging in his team’s loss column. If Prescott were to lead his Mississippi State Bulldogs to an undefeated regular season and an SEC championship, how could the Heisman voters possibly deny him of this prestigious award?


  1. Marcus Mariota- QB Oregon

The Honolulu, Hi. native has been the most consistent football player in the country this season. Through 10 games, Mariota has thrown for 2,780 yards and NCAA second-best 29 touchdowns. Mariota has also rushed for eight touchdowns and accounted for 524 yards on the ground. Those numbers put him at a pace of roughly 278 passing yards and slightly under four touchdowns per game. Right now Mariota is the favorite to take home the trophy. Time will tell, however, as we still have a whole month of college football left to help us determine who is most worthy of the award.



Contact the writer: jhorton4@aum.edu




Why You Shouldn’t Stress Over College Football Playoff Rankings

By Jacob Horton

With last week’s unveiling of the inaugural College Football Playoff rankings, fans across the country have been hypothesizing various scenarios in which their team earns one of the coveted spots in the four team playoff. Instead of attempting to gaze into the crystal ball, these fans need to realize that there is a lot of football yet to be played and things will eventually sort themselves out.


Last week’s College Football Playoff rankings placed Mississippi State as the number one seed, Florida State at number two, Auburn at number three, and Ole Miss at number four.  Florida State and Mississippi State both survived potential upset matches, while Auburn squeaked out a road victory Saturday against Ole Miss.


So here we are one week into the College Football Playoff rankings, and one of the four selected playoff teams has already been eliminated. The probable question on everybody’s mind regards who will be preplacing Ole Miss when they announce the new rankings Tuesday night.


For the few teams on the outside looking in, the opportunity to prove that they belong amongst the nation’s top four teams will present itself. For the three SEC West schools vying for a spot, an undefeated next few weeks will guarantee a place in January.


Mississippi State still has to travel to Tuscaloosa to take on Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, while themselves for the “Egg Bowl of the Century” versus Ole Miss on Nov. 29. Alabama travels to Baton Rouge to clash with a resurgent LSU team, while they also host Mississippi State and Auburn this month. Auburn’s road to the playoff is without a doubt the bumpiest. They must travel to Athens to take on the University of Georgia on Nov. 15, and to Tuscaloosa two weeks later to face off in the annual Iron Bowl. Each of these three teams control their destiny; only a loss separates them from competing for a national title.


So, if your team is on the fence for making this year’s College Football Playoff, take a deep breath. One of the main reasons they came out with these rankings so early in the season was so the committee that chooses these teams can get some experience. By having done this process already, come December they will hopefully know what they are doing and will select the four teams that are the most worthy of playing for the national championship. Until then, kick back and enjoy the remainder of what’s already been a thrilling 2014 college football season. Things are going to get interesting.

Contact the writer: jhorton4@aum.edu

The CAB Comeback

By Serena Bush


Imagine an organization that is all about providing quality entertainment and programming while enhancing students’ college experience, all while maintaining a family bond within the group. Now, stop daydreaming because there is such a group! Campus Activities Board has been a part of AUM’s list of campus organizations for some time now but has recently come out of remission because of Jay Bradford, with help from Lakecia Harris, Director of Student Involvement and Leadership Programs.

Bradford is a senior at AUM and, although this is his third year with CAB, this is his first year as the director of CAB. The most significant change is Bradford’s novel approach to advertisement. Diversity is his main priority when it comes to reaching out to students and getting them involved.

Even though Bradford is dedicated to organizing events for all students to enjoy, it is not easy to satisfy every individual’s want. As a director, Bradford wears several different hats: he has to keep up the morale of his fellow members as a mentor, he has to keep constant communication to make sure events come together the way they should, and he must coordinate venues while maintaining the budget. There are times when Bradford and his counterparts may feel that they have put together a great event, but they are still met with some negativity. His response is to observe, listen and dissect negative feedback and bounce back with positivity.

In light of all the pressures that come with being a director, Bradford is satisfied with the events that CAB has brought to campus this semester. He has received positive feedback regarding the ‘90s party, AUMfest, and most recently the Harvest Moon Festival, all events he organized. Bradford sees CAB as being different from other organizations based on the abundance of positive energy put into planning events.

If you haven’t been to the any of the vents organized by CAB, be prepared for an upcoming great fashion show. If you are looking for a club to join, that is more like family, and want to have fun working with an interesting group of people with unique personalities, CAB is the place for you!