Tag: alissa camplin

 JSU Crosswalk named Person (Crosswalk) of the Year


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The JSU Crosswalk Twitter changed the  2017 Gamecock Orientation theme from “JSYOU” to its signature phrase “[JS] You may cross Pelham Street” (photo via @JSUCrosswalk/Twitter).

Alissa CamplinArts and Entertainment Editor and Katie ClineEditor-in-Chief

Getting to class on time. Giving pedestrians priority. Not dying. These are just a few things that the students of Jacksonville State University rely on the campus crosswalks for, and, this year, The Chanticleer would like to honor one particular crosswalk with the Crosswalk of the Year Award. This crosswalk has shown an unprecedented dedication to pedestrians from all walks of life. From babies in strollers to nervous college freshmen to busy professors and visiting grandparents, this crosswalk has brightened the lives of hundreds of thousands of walkers with the simple phrase “You may cross Pelham Street.”

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And, so this year, The Chanticleer is proud to present the Crosswalk of the Year Award to the JSU Crosswalk.

What makes JSU Crosswalk stand out from other run-of-the-mill crosswalks is its embrace of modern technology. Crosswalk has had its own twitter account since 2013 and uses it to interact with the JSU community it serves.

“I got [my Twitter] so I could interact with the great people of JSU more,” Crosswalk said. “I have gotten to know some, made a new bestie in Ranger Rumrill (even though I’d definitely make a better [SGA] President than him). I’ve been the voice of the people when I stood up to the JSU news Twitter page! I can say that my twitter page has helped to make a difference at this campus due to being a voice for the people.”

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The JSU Crosswalk is known for sharing memes that make fun of JSU’s sports rivals. This tweet, published a few weeks shy of JSU’s National Championship game against North Dakota State University in January 2016, shows that the NDSU crosswalk does not have its own Twitter account (photo via @JSUCrosswalk/Twitter).

SGA President Ranger Rumrill is a close, personal friend of the JSU Crosswalk.

“The Crosswalk is definitely a comedic relief that is well needed in times of stress for our campus,” Rumrill said. “Personally, the Crosswalk has made me laugh, face palm and help me campaign for elections at times! So you can definitely say that the Crosswalk has had a positive impact to me. The Crosswalk’s personality is hilarious. Always up to date with what’s going on on campus. Also, it is able to interact with people in a funny, but tasteful manner.”

JSU Crosswalk’s most recognizable trait was, until this past summer, its melodic cadence of “You may cross Pelham Street.” The City of Jacksonville remodeled the city’s crosswalks over the summer, leaving JSU Crosswalk without its catchphrase, and the topic is a sore spot for this year’s honoree.

“How would you feel to have your voice taken away?” Crosswalk asked editor Alissa Camplin during its interview. “Would you like it if someone tried to keep you quiet? I didn’t think so. We know what must be done and I’m sure the students at this wonderful University would agree whole heartedly.”

But the bitterness faded when Camplin brought up the award, which officially makes JSU Crosswalk the “best” crosswalk on campus.

“In all honesty, I already knew [I was the best],” Crosswalk said. “I mean, who else is there that can compete with the JSU Crosswalk? However, finally earning some recognition has been flattering. I won’t let this fame get to my head, I’m going to remain the same cool, humble, sassy crosswalk that everyone loves and crosses.”

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The JSU Crosswalk “redesigns” Ranger Rumrill’s campaign photo for his run for Homecoming King in 2015. Rumrill would go on to win the title in October of that year (photo via @JSUCrosswalk/Twitter).

The Crosswalk of the Year Award honors one crosswalk for its outstanding service to the school, a sometimes daunting task that the JSU Crosswalk always strives to do with a smile—or at least an enthusiastic beep.

“My favorite part [of my job] is everything. I love what I do,” Crosswalk told The Chanticleer. “Quick side tip, do what you love and you’ll never feel like you are working a day in your life. I love interacting with every single student or faculty member that walks across me on a daily basis. They are what makes JSU what JSU is all about, the friendliest campus in the South.”

The Crosswalk’s love extends to everyone on campus, and it even had some kind words for the newspaper and football team.

“I would like to add how awesome The Chanticleer is in general. You made the right choice for this award and handled this interview with a crosswalk professionally. I would like to wish the JSU football team luck during the rest of the playoffs! “

After taking time out of its 24/7 job to conduct its first-ever public interview, the JSU Crosswalk was insistent on getting back to its crossers, proof that a true public servant never rests.

When asked for any final comments, Crosswalk said, “As always, you may cross Pelham Street.”

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The 2017-2018 SGA Executive Officers (from left) Miranda Fairel, Breon Moore, Kasey Gamble,  Hayden Clay and Ranger Rumrill cross Pelham Street over this year’s Crosswalk of the Year Awardee, JSU Crosswalk (photo by Katy Nowak/JSU).


“A Life I Love”: Open letters to my family during National Adoption Awareness Month


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Alissa Camplin (center) with her parents Norman (left) and Cris (right) (photo courtesy of Alissa Camplin)

Alissa Camplin, Arts and Entertainment Editor

I like to believe that I lead a fairly normal lifestyle.
I go to school full time to get a degree that I may not get a well-paying job for. I spend my Tuesday nights at Loco Mex for tacos and margaritas. I have an incredible dog named Liberty that I am obsessed with. I also am loved and supported by my family wholeheartedly and their light is guidance for most things I do.
The only difference? At the start of my life, my family had the chance to choose me. I am adopted, and both of my birth parents are dead.

My “story” is sad, but– in turn– my life is so, so, so happy.

To my birth mother:

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Alissa’s birth mother, Elva (photo courtesy of Alissa Camplin)

I’m sorry for the time I spent angry at you. For the times I assumed I was too much weight on your life, amidst your other decisions of drugs and alcohol. You never asked for me to be born. But to be fair, I didn’t ask for it either. I didn’t ask for my hair color to closely model yours or for our smiles to be the same. I didn’t ask to carry around the weight of wondering what I did wrong so much that my own mother couldn’t find the drive to keep me.

I also didn’t ask how you felt. How your heart must have ached to hug me for the last time before going home to an empty life and an empty house. I’ve learned that you couldn’t rationalize anything outside of your need for the next “fix.” You did what you had to, so for that, I say thank you.

Thank you for allowing me to have a second chance.
A life I would be proud of.
A life I love.
I think about you in the small moments of my life more than anything. During my morning coffee, I wonder how you liked yours and try to find a connection.

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Alissa as a baby with her birth mother, Elva (photo courtesy of Alissa Camplin)

Were you like me and a “tons of sugar and creamer” kind of person, or did you prefer the dark and bitter taste of t

he real deal? Are these telling of our personalities? Did you like to dance? I love to dance. I’ll find myself jazzing around in my kitchen while James Taylor plays and think for a moment that you’re twirling beside me. Are we alike? Did you like to read and did you like to cook? Did sweet gestures make you tear up? What was your favorite color? Mine is glitter. Would you find my sense of humor funny? Do I make you proud? This is the question that I will forever come back to.
I live my life on the daily hoping that I do.


To my adoptive father:
There isn’t a moment in my life I remember you being anything less than a superhero. Acts of service isn’t your love language, but you knew it was mine. I will never forget mornings where I woke up to random breakfasts of toast and jelly or days you would leave me an extra dollar with my lunch for a dessert. You are the sweetest soul I have ever met, Dad.

I am in awe of the things that you do for me and the family you lead. You work tirelessly to ensure I have everything I need to live comfortably and happily. Remember the time I had to call you because my car had died in the Sonic parking lot and I didn’t have pants on? You came from Gadsden at 10 o’clock at night when you had to be up for work the next morning to change my battery and to take me to my apartment to grab shorts. I’ll never forget the look of disapproval on your face or the laugh that came soon after. Or the two hours and three trips to WalMart it took for us to figure out how to change the battery.

You were my first best friend and I have never been more proud of a title than I am to be your daughter. Thank you for teaching me to be fearless in my pursuit of what I want.

I owe everything I am to you.

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Alissa Camplin (center) with her parents, Norman and Cris at Southside High School’s Senior Night in 2013 (photo courtesy of Alissa Camplin)

To my adoptive mother:
I’m sorry for the years I spent in my room, angry you didn’t tell me sooner that I was adopted. I’m sorry I fought you every step of the way when all you wanted to do was know I was safe. I was, and thanks to you, I am. I am safe in my choice to live my life confidently and independently, a trait that I learned from you. I am safe in who I am entirely because you always allowed me to be and accepted nothing less. I am safe because you love me fiercely enough that your voice could cause the trees outside to shake, but gently enough to lead me home for a date at Chili’s and a shopping trip to Birmingham.

Thank you for taking care of my baby body when I couldn’t breathe on my own or when I would have another withdrawal episode. Thank you for letting me sleep on your chest until way past acceptable. Thank you for never telling me no when I wanted to dance. Or play softball. Or swim. Or take karate. Thank you for allowing me to grow up in an environment when I could be anything I wanted to be, even if that meant a ballerina MLB’er that swam to first base and got her black belt on the way there. “The world is your oyster” is what you tell me constantly, but you gave above and beyond to ensure I had the whole sea.

Thank you for saving me when I didn’t know I needed it.

Adoption saves lives. It saved mine.


If you are interested in adoption please visit one of the following links: adoptionnetwork.com





Playboy empire owner Hugh Hefner dies in home at age 91


Hugh Hefner at the announcement for Playboy Jazz at the Playboy Mansion (photo via ABC News)

 Alissa Camplin, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The head of Playboy, Hugh Hefner, died after going into cardiac arrest and experiencing respiratory failure. E.Coli and Septicemia (blood poisoning) were also contributing factors to his passing.
He died on Wednesday, September 27, at the age of 91. According to TMZ, Hefner was laid to rest next to Marilyn Monroe in an intimate ceremony three days later. He bought this burial plot in the Corridor of Memories Mausoleum in 1992 for $75,000.
Hefner’s widow, Crystal Harris, opened up about burying the media
frontrunner in a heartfelt statement on Monday.
“We laid him to rest Saturday. He is in the place he was always certain he wanted to spend eternity,” she said. “He was an American hero. A pioneer. A kind and humble soul who opened up his life and home to the world. I felt how much he loved me. I loved him so much. I am so grateful.”
“There never has and never will be another Hugh M. Hefner,” Harris continued. “I join the world in mourning. I thank you for all of your condolences, to the people leaving sentiments at the front gate, we see you and grieve with you.”
Hefner’s 26-year-old son, Cooper, raved over his father’s legacy on the
day of his passing.

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural
pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and
cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and
sexual freedom,” he said. “He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the
heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in
history. He will be greatly missed by many…”

Florida inmate Mark Asay executed by experimental injection

Alissa Camplin, Arts & Entertainment Editor

On Thursday, August 24, Florida made history by executing Mark Asay, a white man, for killing a black man. This is a state first.  According to public records and the Death Penalty Information Center, at least 20 black men gave been executed for killing white victims since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1972.

Mark Asay (photo from News4Jax.com)

Additionally, this is the first execution that has happened in Florida since the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halted the practice in early 2016 because it gave judges, rather than juries, the power of life or death. Since, Florida passed a law under Gov. Rick Scott that requires a unanimous jury recommendation for the death penalty.

In Asay’s case, jurors recommended death for both murder counts by a 9-3 vote. Even though the new law requires unanimity, Florida’s high court ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling did not apply to older cases.

Asay, 53, was convicted in 1988 of two radically-motivated murders that occurred on the same night.  Asay was 23 at the time of the killings.

The first victim, Robert Lee Booker, was killed in 1987.  He was a 34-year-old black male.  Reports from CNN affiliate WJAX claim that Asay called Booker a disturbing racial epithet before fatally shooting him.  During Asay’s final hours, he admitted to these racial slurs.  However, Asay blames the murder on being, “drunk and angry, not a racist.”

Asay’s second murder was 26-year-old Robert McDowell, a mixed race (white and Hispanic) man.  McDowell was dressed as a woman at the time of his killing.  Asay agreed to pay McDowell for oral sex, but became enraged and murdered him when he learned McDowell’s true gender.

The execution protocol began at 6:10 p.m. and Asay was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m.

Asay received a new three-drug anesthetic.  The first drug, etomidate, has never been used in the United States.

Etomidate induces sleep.  About a minute after the administration of this drug, Asay’s feet jerked slightly and his mouth opened.  This drug replaced the typically used midazolam, which has been abandoned over the fear that it causes unnecessary suffering.

The second drug, rocuronium bromide, is a muscle relaxant that paralyzes the lungs.  This drug made him motionless, which resulted in being declared dead by an on-site doctor.

The third drug, potassium acetate stops the heart entirely. It is Florida’s first time using potassium acetate as well, which was used in a 2015 execution in Oklahoma by mistake, but has not been used elsewhere, a death penalty expert said.

State corrections officials have defended the choice, saying it has been reviewed. The corrections department refused to answer questions from the Associated Press about how it chose etomidate.

Doctors hired by Asay’s attorneys raised questions about etomidate in court declarations, saying there are cases where it had caused pain along with involuntary writhing in patients.

But in its opinion allowing the drug to be used, the state’s high court said earlier this month that four expert witnesses demonstrated that Asay “is at small risk of mild to moderate pain.”

Not everyone agrees with the use of the death penalty.  Amnesty International condemned Florida on Thursday: “It’s too late for Mark Asay, but Florida still has a chance to be on the right side of history by commuting the sentences of all other death row prisoners and ending capital punishment once and for all,” the statement said.

According to an interview with a local television station, Asay said that dying was better than spending the rest of his life behind bars.

“Because I pray, and I say, ‘I’ve had all of the prison I want.’ So I want out of prison, through the front door or the back,” he told News4Jax.

Asay was asked whether he wanted to make a final statement. “No sir, I do not. Thank you,” was his reply.

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Mark Asay speaks with News4Jax anchor Tom Willis prior to his execution. Asay was sentenced to death for the 1988 murders of Robert Lee Booker and Robert McDowell. (photo from News4Jax.com)

“13 Reasons Why” creates big splash on Netflix

The Netflix series, based on the 2007 novel of the same title by Jay Asher, premiered on March 31. (photo from YouTube.com)

Alissa Camplin, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Thirteen Reasons Why has been rocking Neflix screens since its release on March 31, 2017. According to Huffington Post, the series is actually the most talked about in Netflix history.

According to leading social media research firm Fizzology, 13 Reasons Why has seen more social media volume than any other Netflix original show in its first week post-premiere.

The series deals with important issues like suicide, death, betrayal, denial, and guilt. It portrays high school in a more authentic and uncensored way than in other broadcast networks. The bullying is harsh and often obscene, but that is not the darkest part of the story. There are elements of rape and suicide scenes that are real and scary.

The series tells the story of Hannah Baker and the thirteen tapes that she left behind for the thirteen people, or reasons, why she killed herself. The teens spend thirteen episodes piecing together a story left behind by Hannah Baker, who is played by actress Katherine Langford. The main male counterpart, Clay Jensen, is played by actor Dylan Minnette.

Most were familiar with the series prior to the Netflix release. It is based off the best-seller Thirteen Reasons Why written by Jay Asher in 2007. It was published by RazorBill, a young adult imprint of Penguin Books.

The official IMDb of the series is mostly surrounded with positive reviews. One user said, “[Thirteen Reasons Why] is a difficult, but an important… no…a necessity to watch. A refreshing and unflinching look at taboo subjects that are rarely touched upon in mainstream media.” Rotten Tomatoes gives the series an approval rating of 90% based off of 30 reviews. The average rating is 7.5/10.

Not everyone is convinced that the show is the correct way to bring awareness to mental health, though. A popular still from the series recently circulated on Twitter that shows a line where Clay Jensen says, “I cost a girl her life because I was too afraid to love her.”

An upset user replied with, “No offense, but if you want to raise awareness for suicide then you should drop the whole ‘Love can save you’ trope and actually discuss mental health.”

Rebecca Nicholson of The Guardian also said that she thought the show did a poor job at trying to attract older viewers.

Regardless of specific user views, the show had brought attention to suicide and teens. The series was credited for an almost 100% increase in the number of calls to Brazil’s suicide hotlines.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273- 8255 for anyone that may be struggling with suicidal thoughts and tendencies.