UA in the News: October 20-22, 2012
October 22, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
Roll Tide Run event marks beginning of homecoming week
Tuscaloosa News – Oct. 22
The 24th annual Roll Tide Run on Sunday marked the beginning of homecoming week at the University of Alabama. Participants could choose either a 5K run or a 1-mile walk around the Quad, and everyone who participated received a free T-shirt. Homecoming week activities will continue today with Paint the Town Red. Students and sorority members will spend the early part of this week painting the front windows of businesses along the Strip, keeping the “Timeless Traditions” homecoming theme. The homecoming pep rally and bonfire will be held at 7 p.m. Friday on the Quad. The National Pan-Hellenic Council step show will be from 8-10:30 p.m. Friday in Foster Auditorium. On Saturday, the homecoming parade will begin at 2 p.m. The parade will begin in downtown Tuscaloosa and proceed to the UA campus. Parade grand marshals will be UA softball coach Patrick Murphy, women’s golf coach Mic Potter and gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson. The three coaches are being honored for leading their respective teams to national championships. The homecoming game, Alabama vs. Mississippi State University, will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
WVUA – Oct. 21
University of Alabama debate team members analyze presidential candidates
Tuscaloosa News – Oct. 22
A debate can often provide clarity to leery voters, highlighting candidates’ differences and similarities and showing how they stand up under pressure. Sometimes, however, the nonverbal communication is viewed just as critically as what is actually said. “A lot of times people do not understand the jargon that is often politicized, but they look at the candidates and see who looks more presidential,” said 20-year-old Davis Vaughn, a junior at the University of Alabama majoring in communication studies and political science. “It’s all in the posture, eye contact and facial expressions. Those things make candidates appear stronger in what they say and more presidential.” With the final presidential debate slated for today, several members of the college’s award-winning speech and debate team, the UA Forensic Council, weighed in on the two previous presidential debates and shared what they would or would not change. The students interviewed agreed the debates have been evenly matched, with the first debate clearly going to Romney, the second to Obama. The final debate is “anyone’s game.” If comparing the presidential debates to a forensic event, Vaughn said the debate style aligns more closely with impromptu speaking, where candidates are asked questions and they have to quickly interpret and respond. “People don’t realize how impressive it is to be asked a question, especially a political question, and be able to answer it right away,” said 20-year-old Katerina Pena, a junior majoring in advertising and public relations and an Obama supporter. “Who does it better, I can’t answer that, but if anyone could do it like (Obama and Romney) do, they would be national champions.”
To go or not to go? More Americans than ever don’t attend church
Anniston Star – Oct. 20
Stacy Jackson grew up a Southern Baptist, but now the 28-year-old social worker worries less about the label. She knows she’s a Christian, even though she doesn’t go to church…In the South, Jackson is in the minority. But nationally, she’s one of a fast-growing number of Americans who don’t identify themselves with religious institutions. One-fifth of the U.S. public and a third of those under 30 say they are unaffiliated, according to a Pew poll released last week. The survey has caused a stir because, for the first time, the number of Protestants in the country is dwindling, and organized religion’s attraction is waning, especially for young people. The Pew study begs the question: Do you need church to be a Christian? … Unlike Jackson, the majority of unaffiliated but still religious people aren’t looking for a church to belong to, the Pew study found … Theodore Trost, a University of Alabama professor who chairs the college’s religious studies department, said Christian values, in particular, have been politicized as a kind of short-hand description of the religious right’s agenda. In some ways, “Christian” has taken on a definition that means support of two-parent families, a position against abortion and other traditional social beliefs, the Alabama professor said.
Alabama unemployment drops after 4-month climb
Tuscaloosa News – Oct. 20
Tuscaloosa County’s unemployment dropped a whole percentage point to 7 percent in September, but the drop wasn’t because more people got jobs. It was because more people left the workforce. “In Tuscaloosa (County), the job growth was flat,” said Ahmad Ijaz, director of economic forecasting at the University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research. Surveys of employers’ payrolls and households with people working showed little change in the county’s employment from August, when Tuscaloosa County’s revised unemployment rate was 8 percent, he said. State unemployment data released Friday showed 81,646 people with jobs in Tuscaloosa County. That’s 46 fewer people with jobs than in August. The county’s civilian workforce also lost more than 1,000 workers. It is hard to say where those people went, Ijaz said. Some might have retired, and others might have become discouraged in their job searches and stopped looking, he said. Both scenarios would remove the individuals from the workforce, which counts only people who worked, even if their jobs are part-time or temporary. Ijaz said it is possible that some who left the workforce might have been August college graduates who held jobs while in Tuscaloosa. They might have returned to their hometowns or taken jobs elsewhere, he said.
Athens News Courier – Oct. 21
Voters will face crowded ballot
Florence Times Daily – Oct. 22
Voters may want to bring their reading glasses to the polls next month and do a little homework before hand… Alabamians will decide on 10 other statewide issues Nov. 6…This amendment would change the Alabama Constitution to repeal racist language relating to poll taxes and remove references to segregation of schools by race. “It is a reminder we don’t need of a racist pasts,” said William Stewart, retired professor emeritus in political science at the University of Alabama, about the language. ….”
Bend the straight ticket
Florence Times Daily – Oct. 21
There is a little-known quirk in Alabama’s law that allows voters to mark their ballot straight-party, then move down ballot and vote for someone from the other party. It’s so obscure, in fact, that some party officials are not aware of it… At least one Democratic candidate is making known the mixed-ballot option available to voters. Robert Vance, a Jefferson County circuit judge running for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court against Republican ex-Chief Justice Roy Moore, makes mention of the ballot option frequently. In his race, that might attract Republican voters to his camp who aren’t comfortable with Moore. Moore was removed from office after refusing to obey a court order to remove the Ten Commandments monument he had placed in the state Judicial Building. “It’s not that he is too conservative or that he believes in the Bible,” said Bill Stewart, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Alabama of Moore, “but that he does not have a judicial temperament. Many Alabamians may feel that we’ve been through that once and we don’t want to go through it again.” Stewart said he is aware of the split-ballot option but he has never used it. He said it is obscure, and has not been used on a wide scale.
Office of Military Affairs helps veterans adjust to college life
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Oct. 21
Here at the Capstone, the University of Alabama‘s Office of Veteran and Military Affairs has only been on campus a year but it’s already established in the school’s military community. The University of Alabama has claimed yet another title with a place in the top 15 percent of military-friendly schools. Director of the UA Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, David Blair says the recognition came as a group effort. “I think it’s an effort of everyone across … I think partnerships that we grew over the past year in talking with other departments and briefing about where we wanted to take this program, the beginning stage it is now.” The office services nearly 2,000 students and faculty …
Less Than U Think campaign unveils PSA
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Oct. 21
What does basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal have to do with the University of Alabama? Soon, you’ll see the answer, on your television screen. The University of Alabama unveiled its less than you think public service announcement last night at Innisfree Irish Pub in Tuscaloosa. O’Neal appears in the PSA that was put together by a student group aimed at stopping binge drinking. Students say they held the screening at a bar so they could educate people “at the point of consumption”. The Less Than You Think campaign started at the University of Alabama, and now the students behind it say they’re working to take it statewide.
UA student starts driving initiative to save animals
Crimson White – Oct. 22
The Canine Ride to Rescue Initiative has been an active effort in Tuscaloosa for many years, but recently, University of Alabama student Paige Bussanich has adopted the program to involve University students. The Canine Ride to Rescue program is designed to transport homeless dogs from unsafe shelters to shelters that have room for them and will treat them humanely. The idea is for students who drive home or go on vacation to take a dog with them. For instance, if a dog needed to get from Tuscaloosa to a shelter in Birmingham, a student could drive the dog to Birmingham and have their gas paid for. “Our shelters here and everywhere else get overcrowded because there is such a huge problem with pet overpopulation, and many of them are euthanized,” Kristi Wheeler-Griffin, the internship coordinator in the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration, said…Wheeler-Griffin contacted Bussanich about starting the program at the University after she kept receiving emails from the local program. “
Sleep ‘crucial’ for memory consolidation retention
Crimson White – Oct. 22
Studies show many college students are not getting the amount of sleep necessary to function properly, a practice sleep researchers say can take a toll on much more than the gradebook. According to data from the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment survey from fall 2011, only 9.5 percent of undergraduate students reported getting enough sleep to feel rested for at least six days out of the week; 32.4 percent of undergraduates get adequate sleep for only one to two days in each seven-day period. Kenneth Lichstein, director of the University’s Sleep Research Project, said the amount of sleep people need to feel rested and function properly varies among individuals, but most require on average between seven and one half and eight hours of sleep per night.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.