Jim O’Hara Guest writer For the 16 seniors on the team, this will be the final time they will play in front of their own fans, taking part in the traditional Senior More »
Irvin Espinal, junior computer information technology major, started playing soccer at the age of nine in his home country, Honduras. At the age 15, he moved to the U.S. and has played for Shorter for three years now.
His love for soccer began by watching his father play in Honduras.
“When I was about five or six, my dad used to play professional soccer in Honduras,” said Espinal. “He was my first inspiration to play.”
Now his motivation comes from being a father, student and athlete. He said juggling life is not as easy as it seems, but the love for the game makes it worth it.
“It can be a bit overwhelming, trying to be keep up with school, soccer and after that try to have a normal life with my son and my girlfriend,” said Espinal. “I know that it will all be worth it at the end, and I love the game.”
Senior Diego Gonzalez, business administration major, describes his best friend as a responsible individual.
“Irvin as a person is rather reserved. He doesn’t like to attract attention,” said Gonzalez. “That’s why I admire him, not only because he is a responsible student and a dedicated athlete; he is also a father at home. I see him as hard working and extremely responsible.”
Head soccer coach Coach Paulo Neto believes Espinal is one of the best players in the conference.
“He’s an above average player,” said Neto. “I think he’s one of the best players in our conference.”
Neto said Espinal is a leader on the field.
“He has the ability to decide games, and his numbers show that.”
Gonzalez explained how Espinal leads the team.
“I consider Irvin to be a leader. As I said ‘he’s a man with few words,’ but this is how he leads,” said Gonzalez. “He is the type of the player that can change the game. He can make the difference; he leads by action.”
Neto said with Espinal’s skills as a player, he can make things happen on his own.
“He is one of the few players, maybe the only one on our team, that can create chances of his own,” said Neto. “He doesn’t depend on other players to assist him.”
Gonzalez said that Espinal’s skill is not just what creates their connection on the field— it’s the friendship.
“We have time working together here at Shorter. I think that’s what helps our connection on the field,” said Gonzalez. “But that’s not what makes the biggest difference. It’s the friendship; we are friends before teammates.”
Last Spring in March, Espinal was hurt in a game. He describes what he was thinking as he waited for the doctor to diagnose him.
“When I went to the doctor, I was praying that it wasn’t my ACL because I knew how hard it was to come back,” said Espinal.
Though he ended up tearing his ACL, Espinal miraculously came back on the field in five short months. Neto was impressed with Espinal’s recovery.
“It’s a very, very difficult injury (ACL) to come back from. Most players take up to one year. Irvin came back in five months,” said Neto. “That tells a lot about his character, his resilience and his ability to deal with adversity. He makes the most out of opportunities.”
Soccer has been a part of Espinal’ s life since he can remember. He said it has taught him many things in life.
“Soccer has taught me to be more disciplined. It’s about being passionate, dedicated and serious,” Espinal said.
For the 16 seniors on the team, this will be the final time they will play in front of their own fans, taking part in the traditional Senior Day pre-game ceremonies when they will be individually recognized for what they have meant to the program.
To a man, however, when they buckle their chinstraps they will put aside the recognition bestowed on them – just honors as they will be known as the class that helped the team make the transition to a higher level – and focus on the one goal they have been pursuing with the optimistic attitude they’ve had since the season started: Win.
“We’ve had a great week of practice and despite what happened last week everybody is in the right frame of mind and has a great attitude,” Shorter Bradley Moon, who joins his senior class for their last game at Barron Stadium on Thursday night, said about the Hawks’ 7:30 p.m. Gulf South Conference kick-off against conference contender Delta State, a showdown that has been selected to be aired as the GSC-TV Game of the Week.
“We feel this is very do-able for us,” Moon continued. “We’re ready to go and we really think we can bring this one home.”
To do that, Moon and the entire roster of Hawks clearly understand that such a feat would require them to come up with what would be considered a major upset, a trend that was seen throughout the nation last weekend and one that Shorter and Delta State were a part of in their most recent outings.
Last Saturday, holding a 17-point lead and less than 15 minutes from finally notching their first win of the season, the Hawks (0-7 overall, 0-4 GSC) saw host Florida Tech turn in a remarkable fourth-quarter comeback and upset Shorter 28-24.
“Its football,” Shorter head coach Phil Jones said about the unpredictable things that can happen on the gridiron, “Look at what happened last week around the country and especially in the SEC. There will be upsets any time you go out there.”
“We don’t want to look back,” the coach said. “What we have in front of us is another opportunity.”
“We know that at some point,” senior cornerback Austin Ingram, a four-year starter for the Hawks, “we will finish the game and play four quarters. We’re all upbeat this week and feel we can do that.”
The Hawks are well aware that they will have to put together a near flawless, complete-game performance to make the most of the opportunity as the Statesmen (4-2, 2-1) will come to Rome for the second straight year – Shorter handed Delta State a 32-21 defeat in last year’s season finale – after seeing one of their own make the most of his opportunity five days ago.
In his first-ever start, red-shirt freshman Tyler Sullivan, given the nod when GSC passing leader Travis Champion was sidelined with an injury, turned in a record-setting performance against Tarleton State when he completed 33 of his 49 pass attempts for 422 yards and four touchdowns, all of which led to him being named the GSC Offensive Player of the Week.
So impressive was the win by Delta State, the Statesmen wound up sweeping the conference’s weekly honors when senior cornerback Trenton Warren was named the GSC Defensive Player of the Week after he recorded 12 total tackles, broke up three passes – two came on goal-line stands – and had one interception.
The Statesmen racked up 489 yards of total offense in the win and continued what has been a season-long productive offensive attack, one that averages 34 points and 479 yards a game with the passing game accounting for 375 yards of that pace.
“They have a lot of weapons and a lot of speed,” Jones said about Delta State’s spread offensive scheme.
Defensively, the Statesmen is yielding 35 point and 383 yards-per-game averages, although against Tarleton State it gave up 430 yards, of which 338 came via the pass.
“They are very flexible and have a group of active linebackers, with two of them playing on the outside able to drop into coverage,” Jones said about the Statesmen’s 3-5 base defense. “They come after you aggressively. It’s a hard defense to prepare for in a short week.”
The Hawks counter with an offense that is starting to get back on track after having to endure more than its share of injuries and a defense that has had to rely on youth to off-set the injury big that has sidelined key senior starters.
Last week in the setback in Florida, Moon returned to his old form – last year he became just the second player in Shorter history to rush for more than 1,000 yards – when the fullback ran for a season-high 130 yards, while junior quarterback Eric Dodson rushed for three touchdowns as Shorter finished the afternoon gaining 368 yards with 290 of that coming on the ground.
On the other side of the ball, Shorter’s defense all but shut down what was an explosive Florida Tech offense. The Hawks allowed 333 yards but most of that came during the fourth-quarter rally as up until the final 15 minutes Shorter held the Florida team to 133 total yards.
“The season has been frustrating for everybody,” Ingram said, “but as seniors we hope the leadership we’ve provided will help the team see it through this week, this season and in the seasons to come.”
After finishing 28-7 overall, placing second in the Gulf South Conference and playing in the NCCAA National Championship last year, the Lady Hawks volleyball team are in the conference standings as they start their last month of regular-season play with a record of 11-8.
The team lost five seniors from last season, two who started since their freshman year, with one being “a real emotional leader on the floor,” according to head coach Jon Moseley.
“In terms of talent and leadership, it was significant losing the players who graduated,” said Moseley. “It was a challenge to replace the talent and the emotional leadership that we had with that group.”
Moseley said that one of the team’s biggest struggles this year has been consistency with this loss of leadership.
“It’s frustrating at times because the talent level or the character of the team is not down, but just molding a team and consistently showing up and performing at the same level has been a challenge that we are still working on,” said Moseley.
Anna Graham, a junior psychology major, agreed that the team is younger and not quite as experienced as last year. She added, however, that Moseley did a good job of recruiting “quick, athletic players,” so now the challenge is to “grow more mentally tough so that we can win big games and difficult points.”
“This season is a little different because it has taken us a while to all get used to playing together,” said Graham. “We are making progress, though, and we are finally able to let our athleticism show.”
Moseley agreed that the Lady Hawks are building on what was lost from last year. The team recently had a five-game winning streak in conference play after having a slow start to the season, with a big win over the University of North Alabama at home.
“It was a good feel to see our team fight on and turn things around like that,” said Moseley.
Graham attributed much of the team’s success to various spots on the court. The Lady Hawk’s defense, led by Tanequa “T” Whitman, “has been impeccable this season,” according to Graham. She added that there are “solid, athletic hitters in every position,” including the “dynamic duo” of Jasmine Crook and Elizabeth Dowd.
“Our outside hitters, Jasmine Crook and Elizabeth Dowd, use their speed and athletic ability to make huge plays on both the front and the back row,” said Graham. “Our setters have done a good job taking advantage of the fact that we have six talented hitters that can make big plays for us. When our team is working together and everyone plays solid, we really are unstoppable.”
Sophomore undecided major Taylor Wilkerson added that this particular team is a fun-loving group of girls who have a lot of talent and potential when they do stay consistent.
“When everything falls into place, our team kills it on the court while really having fun and enjoying the game we all love,” Wilkerson exclaimed.
Moseley said the team’s goals are to have another strong finish in the Gulf South, to win the regional tournament and then make it to the national tournament again. He said their primary goal, however, is “to improve throughout the year and to peak at the end.”
“I think we have a great group. They work hard, they really care and they’re talented, so we have the building blocks to have a really good team again,” said Moseley. “I look forward to seeing where we are in a month or two compared to where we are now, because I feel like it’s going to be quite different.”
Wilkerson said her goal for this team is not only to win the national title, but for everyone to grow individually as well as together and to appreciate each player for their own particular strengths.
“I want each of us to continue to grow to love each individual and the part she plays on our team,” said Wilkerson. “I really aspire for us to play together to reach our full potential on the court.”
Graham believes they can win nationals if they “choose to never be satisfied and to always push for something greater.”
“The key will be to get the mentality where we refuse to lose and get to the point where we are working together like a machine,” said Graham. “If we get to that point then I have no doubt that if The Lord allows it, we will be playing in, and hopefully win, the 2013 NCCAA National Tournament.”
By Oddysey Smith
Shorter’s Opera Theater put on Opera Scenes, a fall opera that contains a collection of scenes from various operas, operettas and musicals. It featured scenes from Gondoliers, Tales of Hoffman, Cosi fan Tutte, The Old Maid and the Thief, Don Giovanni, Elixir of Love and The Worst One Ever.
Many audience members favored the show’s comical and enjoyable rendition of well-appreciated operas. Freshman political science major Allison Miller said she most enjoyed the dance with Dr. Vanderbush.
“I enjoyed watching Jacob Case dance with Dr. Vanderbush,” said Miller. “That was my favorite part.”
While the audience enjoyed the show, the performers have said they enjoyed it more. Performer Candace Hays said, “I liked being Miss Pinkerton and being uptight and snotty, yet making the audience laugh by falling in a chair.”
Many performers said nerves were high, but as each performer stepped on stage, they transformed themselves into a new role. This was made easier by the lighting and technical crew. According to the crew, they tried their hardest to create the set and illuminate the stage in just the right way so that every character was accented nicely.
With the direction of opera director Dr. Deborah Popham, assistant professor of music and voice Dr. Eric McCluskey and music director Daniel Ng, the simple college show became a well-loved masterpiece.
This particular opera seemed to be a great time of growth, according to both faculty and students. Popham said, with a big smile, the most enjoyable part for her was, “Seeing the students grow.”
Performer Garrett Baker agreed, saying that he learned a lot under the direction of his professors
“Having worked with both Dr. Popham and Dr. McCluskey, I grew a lot as a performer,” said Baker. “Under Dr. McCluskey, I was challenged with endurance having to run around while singing. Under Dr. Popham, I was challenged with acting while being a soaking wet, yet still attractive, homeless man named Bob.”
Shorter’s Opera Theater will also be performing Bastien und Batienne (in English) and Riders to the Sea next semester.
On Oct. 22, the Rome Area Writers (RAW) joined the Shorter community for a writer’s workshop on campus to discuss various students’ writings.
The workshop was an event that welcomed all interested writers to discuss their works with RAW, a group of published authors from the Rome area.
Courtney Clifton, senior English and liberal arts major, spear-headed this event for Shorter after she attended a Writer’s Forum hosted by RAW over the summer. After she returned from the Forum, she met with RAW’s leadership team in August to “present [her] idea for a workshop.”
Dr. Angela C. O’Neal, assistant professor of English and co-advisor for The Chimes, joined Clifton in the introductory meeting with RAW to get the main parts of the workshop planned. O’Neal said Clifton saw the opportunities and took advantage of the amenities RAW was willing to provide.
“Courtney saw an opportunity to work with some more experienced writers at RAW and for them to mentor some of the aspiring writers here,” said O’Neal, “as well as create a community of writers and share experiences, share advice, and help each other along.”
O’Neal said that RAW will have previously read the students’ submitted works so they can come to the workshop “prepared to give advice, talk through the pieces and give our writers ideas on how to make their writing stronger.”
Clifton is excited for Shorter students, as well as herself, to participate in “crafting their art together” with RAW.
“To receive advice about my own writing and to see the writing of other students in the school will be awesome,” Clifton exclaimed. “A workshop is a place where we can share our ideas freely, and anytime I get to do that, I’m excited.”
Clifton, however, said the workshop is not solely about reading each other’s work, but rather that Rome knows about Shorter’s creative writers and that hopefully a community can be formed through the workshop.
“Creating a community of writers is amazing,” Clifton said. “It’s through this community that we’ll grow and learn together.”
Clifton said The Chimes (Shorter’s student-published literary magazine) staff was very helpful with making the workshop a reality, “from presenting more ideas to helping with fliers.” O’Neal added that oftentimes the arts are not as visible or as prominent as most organizations, but she has seen a significant change recently in the distinction of The Chimes.
“I think The Chimes has really tried, especially over the past few years under Courtney’s leadership, to become more visible not only on campus but in the community as well,” said O’Neal.
Darlene Griffin, senior English major and a member of The Chimes, said she was excited for the chances presented at the workshop.
“It’s a neat opportunity for the Shorter community and writers in Rome to get together and learn from each other,” said Griffin.
Griffin sent in a snippet of what she is submitting for graduate school to get as many perspectives on it as possible.
“I’ve looked at it ten thousand times, so I don’t see anything anymore,” said Griffin. “So hearing other people’s perspectives about it and really listening to whatever advice they have will be very beneficial.”
Griffin added that everyone has different facets that they can contribute to and look for in writings, so she was looking forward to RAW giving her legitimate advice that she could use.
“I was really hoping for honest critique,” said Griffin. “I really wanted them to get in depth and have some really cool things to say about my work that I could use and that will help me before I submit to grad schools.”
O’Neal said their prayer is to use the workshop “to expand the role of creativity and writing and the arts around campus… and to ultimately glorify God through that process.”
She mentioned a quote from John Piper at the beginning of The Chimes, which summarizes their ultimate purpose: “One of the greatest duties of the Christian mind is imagination… It may be the hardest work of the human mind, and perhaps the most God-like.”
Just when you think all the creepy Halloween festivities are over, think again!
Shorter University’s music department is extending Halloween this year. Come out to Evan’s Chorale Room to experience an opera with an eerie twist.
On Nov. 1 at 5:30 p.m., the Shorter music department will be presenting Opera Fright Night.
Katelyn Johnson, who is an active part of the show, said she believes the opera is “a really good opportunity for the students of Shorter to come out and experience the art program.”
Dr. Deborah Popham, assistant professor of music, opera director and coordinator of vocal studies, proudly expressed her appreciation for all the hard work her students put into the show.
“It’s really fun to watch the students grow in their music and performance abilities from when we put the show all together,” said Popham.
To take the festive theme up a notch, there will be a costume contest starting at 5 p.m. before the show.
Free snacks and drinks will be provided to enjoy while you watch the spine-chilling show!
Miranda Reed, the Tutoring Center coordinator, said the Tutoring Center is freely offered for all traditional students, with a tutor for almost any course offered on campus. Reed encourages all students to take advantage of Shorter’s Tutoring and Writing Centers, and not wait until the last minute in a class.
“Tutoring is for all students, not just for students who are struggling,” said Reed. “Don’t wait until you’re struggling in the class. Be proactive, not reactive.”
Reed said that students can sign up for tutoring in Scholar under the Students tab, through the Student Engagement and Success Web page or by picking up a paper form outside of the Bailor Suite. The Writing Center is open all day for students to walk in.
There will also be a Success with Finals Workshop held on Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. in Sheffield Thompson Room 214. Reed said the workshop will focus on study skills to get students through each subject.
“Our academic success tutors will break down the departments to show how to specifically study for those exams based on the subject,” said Reed.
Beginning in 1917, a tradition came to Shorter University that used to take place each homecoming week.
This tradition is known as the “Where is the Crook” game. The game pairs freshmen and juniors, and then seniors and sophomores on the opposing team.
The Crook is a long wooden stick that is hidden someplace on campus, very similar in appearance to a shepherd’s crook. There are not any clues given about the location of the stick or how to find it, but the students on each team must race to find it first. The winner of the game in the previous year determines who will hide the crook for the new year.
Bailey Wheeler, freshman middle grades education major, thinks the tradition is a way to keep Shorter’s history alive.
“I think it’s great that Shorter decided to bring back the tradition of the Crook game!” Wheeler said. “It’s a great competition between the classes and is a fun way to get the entire campus involved.”
Mandy Dinsmoor, junior secondary education major, is staying hopeful for the junior/freshman team duo for a win.
“The Crook game is a great way for some friendly competition between different classes on campus,” added Dinsmoor.
The game was suspended for several years but has now been brought back to the lifelong Homecoming festivities that occur at Shorter each year.
The game is sponsored by SUSAA, Shorter University’s Student Alumni Association.
The rules for the game are as follows:
1.) At least 1.5 inches of the Crook must be showing at all times.
2.) The Crook may not be submerged in water while it is being hidden.
3.) The Crook must remain on Shorter’s property.
4.) The Crook may not be taken by force or used as a weapon against any team member.
5.) The Crook may be hidden in a dorm between the hours of 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. (normal visitation hours) only on Tuesday through Friday.
6.) All Student Handbook rules apply while searching for the Crook.
7.) The Crook may not be taken by a junior/freshman if it is being held by a senior/sophomore.
This year, since the Crook was not found before Homecoming, the game is being extended until Halloween. Therefore, there is still time to get your classmates out and search. If found, the Crook should be taken to Chase or Chaz Bowles, co-presidents of SUSAA. The class/team combination that finds the Crook will win a pizza party sponsored by SUSAA.
Editor’s note– This is the second of a three-part series on the events occurring in Syria and the implications those events may have on us as Americans. The first story provided an overview of Syrian history. This second story summarizes what is going on in Syria now. The third story will explain the implications Syria has to an everyday Christian and why what’s going on there should matter to us.
Syria is rich in history and filled with diversity. Today, that diverse pressure has led to what seems like the volcano’s eruption. Syrian citizens have lived with fear for many years, but the younger generation attempted to end the oppression in March 2011.
A little over two years ago, college students decided to take a stand against the government. They filled many Syrian walls with graffiti that demanded the government for freedom.
The government reacted with harsh punishments for those students — punishments that only led to more Syrian protests. Today, these series of protests are known as the Arabic Spring.
To this day, these Syrian rebels are still fighting for political freedom.
Assistant history professor Dr. Charles Carter said that the reason for the protests arise from a lack of economical national development.
“There hasn’t been a lot of economic development, and there’s a lot of unemployment,” said Dr. Carter. “They (Syrians) are angry at the government.”
Carter adds that the protests have led to Islamic terrorism.
“So this has really created a hot bed for the radical Islamic terrorism,” said Carter.
History professor Dr. Terry Morris added that Syrian citizens are also fighting for freedom from the oppressive Syrian government.
“Citizens are trying to free themselves from the government,” said Morris.
The situation only gets more complicated. Morris explained that the rebellion opened the door for radical Muslims, including the Shiites and the Sunnis.
Today, the civil war is led by four distinct groups: rebel citizens, Assad supporters (which includes Orthodox Christians), Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims.
Morris said the situation is more complex than anyone can imagine.
“Whichever side you get in bed with, you’ve got fleas,” said Dr. Morris.
The problem, however, is not so much about taking sides; the problem is that tension only grows as power nations get involved.
On one side you have France, the U.S., Britain and Turkey against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. On the other side you have Iran, China and Russia supporting Assad.
Carter explained why Russian President Vladimir Putin is aiding Assad: Russia is increasingly growing with Orthodox Christians, and Syria’s population is about 20 percent Christian Orthodox.
“The situation is difficult because the Russians are leading the opposition to the United States,” Carter explained. “The Russian form of Christianity is Orthodox Christianity. In Syria, about 20% of the population is Christian.”
Carter said the clear link between Russia and Syria is Orthodox Christianity.
“The type of Christians that are in Russia are the same type of Christians that are in Syria,” said Carter.
Carter explained that Assad is protecting the Christians mostly due to political pressure from Putin.
“Assad, despite the horrors that he has perpetuated, has actually protected the Christians,” said Dr. Carter. “He has done that for political reasons; he knows if he protects these Orthodox Christians, Russia will protect him.”
The political situation is extremely complicated, but what about the average Syrian citizen? Dr. Morris said that they are the ones suffering the most.
“The people who are suffering are obviously the ordinary people,” said Dr. Morris.
According to CNN Middle East News, refugees fleeing to Syria’s surrounding countries have reached a record high.
Since March this year, “more than 400,000 have fled since the beginning of this year to countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. About half the refugees are children,” reported Holly Yan of CNN.
The surrounding countries have been completely sympathetic toward the refugees. Yan wrote that unfortunately, time, space and money limitations are making it difficult for them to cope with the increasing number of Syrian refugees.
“The endless flood of refugees has drained resources in neighboring countries in unpredictable ways,” said Yan.
It has put a tight squeeze on necessities such as energy, water, food and shelter. Health issues only increase as essential supplies decrease.
The penalty for this civil war has been increasing death, according to CNN.
“The United Nations estimates more than 70,000 Syrians — mostly civilians —have been killed in the past two years,” Yan reported.
That number is only an estimate since Syria has strict policies for reporters. There is no way of getting a total number.
The war has been officially going on since March 2011 and there has been no progress. The light at the end of the tunnel is still not visible.
* See the next edition for the final piece of this series.
If Greek life or sports aren’t for you, then don’t be discouraged. There is a plethora of other clubs or organizations that reside at Shorter. With over 35 different organizations on campus, there is bound to be one to fit a student’s interests.
There are clubs and organizations that pertain to certain majors, including the National Student Nurses Association, which promotes nursing students and mentors them for preparation into the nursing career. Annah Hobbs, junior nursing major, enjoys her membership in NSNA.
“It’s a great way to network with different students in the same major and to encourage each other through nursing school,” said Hobbs.
Although there are clubs for nearly every major, Eta Pi Sigma, Shorter’s history club, is also a popular club on campus. Most members are history/political science majors but all are welcome to participate. Dr. Justin Pettegrew, assistant professor of history, oversees Eta Pi Sigma.
“There are a lot of extracurricular activities available, and the history club allows students to experience the academic side of the university community,” said Pettegrew.
There are also many different student organizations on campus to join. Fitton Activities Board (FAB) organizes activities and entertainment opportunities on campus. The Student Government Association (SGA) is another way for students of all classes to get involved and take part in student decisions at Shorter.
There is also the Shorter Orientation Staff (SOS), which conducts the activities for Summit and Camp Hawk.
Another group known campus-wide is Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM). With Shorter being a Baptist-affiliated institution, student involvement in this club stays strong. Students involved with BCM share the gospel and serve others while seeking God.
A subgroup associated with BCM is Refuge. Hannah Crigler, sophomore psychology major, loves her involvement with BCM and Refuge.
“I love BCM because Refuge is a place where we get together and worship together,” said Crigler. “All the barriers of ages and majors fall away and we just enjoy worshiping and studying the Bible together.”
These are just a few examples of the clubs that are available to the student body. There are many more organizations open to joining for the students of Shorter, and if interested, talk to Tam Odom, assistant dean of students.
“Working with a team of people will challenge you,” said Odom of clubs’ benefits.
“Joining a club on campus is an excellent way to stay involved on campus and to know what is happening within the student body,” said Hobbs.