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

mike winkelman speaking
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 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 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.

Around the world food

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

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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.

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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.



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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.

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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!





Taking Advantage of Wellness Classes

By Nikki Headley

The Auburn Montgomery Wellness Center has many exercise classes available to all AUM students and members. Many have been on the schedule for a long time, and there are some that are brand new. Each session has a specific goal, and you will feel energized and refreshed afterward.

The first type of class the Wellness Center offers is cardio. Some examples of these courses are Calorie Crush, Cycling 101, GRIND, Kickboxing 101, Spin, Spin Plus, Sunrise Cycle, Swap and Tabata. All of these will give your heart a great workout, and you will burn a ton of calories.

The next category is muscular strength and endurance.  These include Ab Blast, Butts/Guts and More, Lunch @ the Barre, Party Pump, and Warhawk Weights. These classes will build up your muscles, and will make you stronger. These are also great for your endurance.

Another type includes workouts that will help you improve your flexibility. These include Yoga, Slow Flow Yoga, Pilates, Dynamic Flow Yoga and Active Isolated Stretch. Not only will this help you enhance your wellbeing, but also it will connect your body with your inner self.

The final category is the dance and fitness sessions. These classes include AUM Jam, Cardio Hip Hop, Party Pump, Zumba and Zumba Toning. These calorie crunchers are fun and exciting, not to mention they will burn a lot of fat. If you love to dance, these are perfect for you.

So if you want to bring out your inner weight lifter, improve your endurance, better your flexibility or just burn some calories while having fun then the classes at the AUM Wellness Center should be perfect for you!

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Photo Courtesy of AUM Wellness Center website.





The Beginning of the Cheaney Era at AUM

coach cheaney


By Jacob Horton

For the first time in 37 years, the AUM men’s basketball program will be under the leadership of a new head coach when the season tips off Oct.31

The Athletic department named Michael Cheaney as the new head coach of the men’s basketball team back in May. Cheaney replaced longtime AUM coaching legend Larry Chapman.


Cheaney comes into his first year at AUM with over fifteen years of coaching experience at the NAIA level. He has also coached at Division I, II, and III colleges over the course of his career.


Cheaney spent the last four seasons as the head coach at Voorhees College in Denmark, S. C. During his tenure, Cheaney led Voorhees to a 72-55 record and a trip to the NAIA National Tournament.In his first season with the Tigers, Cheaney helped the team to 16 wins, which is more than tripled the total from the year before. He followed with a 22-9 mark in his second season and helped the team to its first national ranking in more than 10 years. In his third year, the coach guided Voorhees to a 23-12 record, won the Association of Independent Institutions Conference Tournament and made an appearance in the NAIA National Tournament.Cheaney credits the winning record of AUM athletics as one of the driving forces behind his decision to coach here. He’s looking to add to that success as well.


“I know some people around here are considering us to be rebuilding,” Cheaney said in a recent interview. “I don’t like rebuilding; I like to win. The reason why I came to AUM is that the tradition of winning has always been here, from baseball to soccer, to tennis. I really would like to raise the bar up a little bit and get our guys to reach expectations this year that people think that they couldn’t get to.”


This men’s basketball team is coming off of a year in which it finished an overall record of 9-18. Coach Cheaney, however, believes the Warhawks can compete at a championship level this season.


“It depends on guys staying healthy, and at the same time, how quick they can adapt to the new system,” Cheaney said. “That is going to be the biggest transition. I believe we have pretty good people at every position.”


Where Cheaney hopes he can get the most attribution from this season are his forwards and centers. He feels as though they will be one of their main strengths and the key to winning conference matchups.


“We’re counting on Reggie Brown and Roderick (Robinson), two post guys,” Cheaney said. “They should be our power for us inside because they can change positions, play inside and outside…Conference-wise you’re going to see a lot of big guys that can do that.”


Along with the pressures of putting together a successful season, having to do so while replacing an AUM legend will be no easy task. Coach Cheaney is well aware of that pressure, and hopes to use it as motivation to help carry on Coach Chapman’s legacy.


“(Coach Chapman) tells me all the time that there’s no pressure on me,” Cheaney said. “I probably have put some pressure on myself just because I know it can be done. At the same time, the old coach is sitting around watching practice, probably will be at the games…I want to try and motivate the guys, especially the seniors. Even though I didn’t recruit you, it still would be good for us to go out on top your senior year. It would be another accolade for coach Chapman, and it would also bridge that gap from the old to the new generation.”


The 2014-15 season looks to be promising for the Warhawks under the tutelage of Coach Cheaney. Their season tips off on Oct. 31 when they face Concordia College in the annual Jimmy Faulkner Classic held at Faulkner University. Their first home contest takes place on Nov. 11, when they square off against Selma University.


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Photo Courtesy of AUM Athletics

Previewing the 2014 MLB World Series

By Jacob Horton

Previewing the 2014 MLB World Series

It’s finally here. After five and a half months of Major League Baseball, the 2014 MLB World Series is officially among us. Everything that has been worked for over the course of the grueling 162-game MLB schedule comes down to this best-of-seven series.


This year’s series looks to promise excitement and lots of late-inning drama, as the Kansas City Royals are matched up against the San Francisco Giants. Both teams seem to have that “it” factor that can carry them to a world championship.


For Kansas City, the 2014 season marked the first time since 1985 that the organization qualified for postseason play. They’ve had no problem knocking off the cobwebs, however, as they have yet to lose a game this postseason.


That’s right. In eight postseason games thus far, the Kansas City Royals boast a perfect record of 8-0. Don’t let that fool you, however: it has been far from a cakewalk for the Royals. Despite their perfect record, the battle-tested Kansas City Royals have won just about every postseason game they’ve played in in dramatic fashion.


In the AL Wild Card Game, it took a 12th inning rally to come from behind and defeat the Oakland Athletics. In their three game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels in the divisional series, two of those victories took 11 innings to decide a winner. All four of their victories in the American League Championship Series were decided by two runs or fewer. This proves that the road to the fall classic has been no easy ride for Kansas City.

As for their counterpart, the San Francisco Giants looked just as primed and ready as Kansas City. They have also looked impressive this postseason and have a 2014 playoff résumé almost identical to Kansas City.


Their postseason run began with a wild card game victory over the Pittsburg Pirates. In the NLDS, they defeated the Washington Nationals three games to one. Each win recorded by the Giants in this series was only decided by one run. In the NLCS, they knocked off a very talented Cardinal team plagued by key injuries in just five games. Nevertheless, the Cardinals have just as much of a chance of winning it all as their opponent does.


Need I remind everybody that the San Francisco Giants have won two out of the last three World Series? Here we are in another postseason, and the chance for a Giants’ World Series Championship is yet again hanging in the balance.


As far as the outcome of this series goes, one could make an argument for either team. Kansas City is coming into this series red-hot, but one could say that they have not faced a team as elite as San Francisco. Nobody in all of baseball is as good at manufacturing runs as Kansas City, while San Francisco’s timely hitting has gotten them to where they are now.


Let’s give credit where it’s due here: what Kansas City has done this postseason is simply magical. As impressive as their current winning streak is, they are more likely to lose a game in this series. This San Francisco team isn’t going to lie down for them just because they are flirting with history. At the end of the day though, I see Kansas City riding their tidal wave of momentum all the way to a World Series Championship in six games.


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