Tag: katelyn schneider

Going places: new renovations coming to JSU campus

By Katelyn Schneider

Arts and Entertainment Editor

Jacksonville State University is where students are going but not staying over the weekends. This sleepy college has plans to make its campus more exciting.

The plan to increase the desire to be at JSU includes plans to improve housing and to add facilities that the students will benefit from. JSU’s campus may be undergoing several future developments, but the cost of attendance is not expected to change drastically, according to Beehler.

Instead, JSU’s  tuition will lower some and balance with fees.

“We’re trying to balance the fees and the tuition, but the goal is to try to keep the tuition as low as possible,” Beehler said.

The students will notice an increase in fees for certain developments, but students already agreed to some such as the fee for the student rec center, according to Beehler.

The fee for the center, announced at the Board of Trustees meeting in October, is set a $150 per semester.

“Students don’t mind paying for things as long as they know what it’s for,” Beehler said in reference to all fees.

Student fees are not the only method funding future developments, according to both Brigham and Beehler. They said money is being collected through fundraising, donations, refunding of bonds, and through Three Ps. Brigham identified Three Ps as Public Private Partnerships.

Just the refunding of bonds is expected to save the university about $5 million, according to Beehler.

“We’re trying to get private money to supplement internal money for all the projects,” Beehler said.

There is going to be a balance between the developments that are made and the costs for them because the happiness and potential success of JSU students are important, according to Beehler.

“We’re being real fiscally responsible,” Beehler said.

One of the major developments the university is working on that is expected to generate excitement is a new student recreational center.

The new student rec center is absolutely necessary to making JSU more than a suitcase college, according to Beehler.

“It’ll make students want to stay here on the weekends,” Beehler said after pointing out that students tend to dislike what the Stephenson gym has to offer.

The students, faculty, and staff of JSU will decide what the new rec center will offer, according to Jim Brigham, director of internal audit/risk management for the university. Surveys were sent to everyone during the last week of September, so students and others could “indicate what their issues are and what their interests are,” he said.

Some students are not interested in the rec center at all. JSU junior Katie Cline thinks JSU should make improvements in other areas.

“I’m not opposed to a rec center—IF we didn’t have more important things that needed done. But right now, our priorities are skewed,” Cline said by email. “You don’t send video games to third world countries where they don’t have access to clean water.”

Other students are excited about the development. They consider the gym in Stephenson to be a turn off, according to Beehler.

After the surveys are reviewed, steps to begin construction can be made. The company consulting with JSU on the project in Brailsford and Dunlavey.

Joe Culloms, one of the company’s employees working on the project said JSU shows potential, and a facility like the center could be transformative for student life.

“There’s really a desire to see JSU offer a more rich campus life experience, and a facility like this would really give students a reason to stay on campus and stay over the weekend,” Culloms said.

Brailsford and Dunlavey are excited about the project, and JSU’s leaders only strengthen that, according to Culloms.

“Without fail, JSU has been responsive and a great partner,” Culloms said.

JSU students are likely to stay at the university over the weekends if they are comfortable with their living area, which is one reason university officials plan to improve housing.

Sparkman Hall is currently the first residence hall that is being looked at for renovations, but it will not be the only dorm to get improvements, according to Beehler.

Sparkman was closed for the 2015-2016 school year because there were plans to renovate the entire inside of the building. However, due to enrollment increasing, the second floor was renovated and currently houses students, according to Beehler. He said the future plan for Sparkman and other residence buildings is to turn the typical dorms into more suite-like apartments.

“Student’s these days don’t like the kind of dorms that I went to when I was an undergraduate,” Beehler said with a laugh. “We’re looking at doing renovations to some of the existing facilities with the idea that down the road a little ways, we’ll build new apartment-condo type student housing.”

Director of Residence Life Rochelle Smith is excited about the upcoming developments. Students have the right to decide what kind of housing they are given which is why constant surveys make their ways into student inboxes, according to Smith.

“We want to put our students first and the needs our students first,” Smith said.

She said doing so should decrease the amount of students going home on the weekends.

Students want housing that will make them comfortable, and they also want facilities that will keep them entertained, according to Beehler.

Another upcoming university project is mainly devoted to an organization people cannot miss. The largest organization on campus, The Marching Southerners, are getting a new practice field. It’s a project that will be put to good use by a deserving organization, according to Beehler.

“When most people think of the university, they think of the Southerners before they think of anything else,” Beehler said smiling. “I like to reward excellence like that.”

The Southerners influenced incoming freshman Madeline Hann’s decision to come to JSU.

“I’ve heard really wonderful things about the academics and the campus as a whole,” Hann said but quickly added, “Also, I really want to be a part of the Southerners’ Color Guard.”

The Marching Southerners have used the parking lot of Pete Mathews Coliseum since the early 1970s, according to Kenneth Bodiford, director of bands. Countless hours of practice have been spent of the asphalt that radiates heat in the first few months of the season. Members have suffered from shin splints and gotten sick from heat exhaustion as a result of the hard blacktop, according to Beehler. Bodiford said three ballerinas are unable to finish the marching season because of knee injuries caused by practicing on the asphalt. He said a new turf field will reduce these occurrences.

Bodiford is excited about the development for more than just the Southerners. He said this sort of development will keep students on campus because it will give them a place to have fun over the weekend.

“It’s really going to benefit not only the Southerners in the fall, but in the spring, it’ll benefit all the rest of the students here who participate in intramural sports,” Bodiford said.

The practice field should also benefit Beehler’s plan for increased enrollment, according to Bodiford.

“I think it’ll be great for recruiting,” Bodiford said in reference to the Southerners and students interested in intramural sports.

The  field will be located in the open space between the Park Place II apartments and fraternity houses, according to Bodiford.

President John Beehler of JSU spent his first 15 months at the university observing where the university was and where its potential could take it.

“We’re looking at everything with a fresh eye asking what do we have, what don’t we have, etcetera,” Beehler said.

What Beehler noticed upon his arrival is that interest in the university was declining. However, that changed with the current semester. Enrollment rose 5.6 percent, which is the first increase the university has seen in six years, according to Beehler. He wants more though and has started the process of strategic planning to get there.

“We’ve done a lot in particular focused on the student and focused on making the student want to come here, making the student want to stay here and graduate, and make student life better for the students,” Beehler said.

For over 100 years, JSU served as a welcoming home for students and still does. The university transforms kids into adults. It puts the dreams of students within their reach.

Now JSU is increasing these opportunities through upcoming developments. It is becoming more of what students want while still giving them what they need.

Students are going to JSU, and JSU is going places.

Welcome home, Gamecocks.

Bug Graphic 2.png

The line graph above compares the number of people who utilized dining services for two weekends at Jacksonville State University. One weekend, represented by the dark blue line, is from the JSU Homecoming football game weekend. The other represents a weekend where there was not a football game.
  The amount of visits to the different JSU dining facilities represents the number of JSU students who stay at the university over the weekend. The figures were provided by Katie Tyler, the marketing coordinator for dining services at JSU. She said that there is a margin of error of about 200 for Friday and a margin of error of about 100 for Saturday and Sunday because the figures include faculty members and local churches that dine at the university.
As the line graph indicates, there is a significant drop in the number of students who stay on campus. Tyler said the number of students who eat on campus during the week versus the weekend is noticeable.
“We definitely notice that students go home on the weekend,” Tyler said.
Tyler said she thinks that developments to campus could potentially increase the number of students who stay on campus over the weekend.

Flute Studio group hosts festival, performs at Mason

Mason Hall hosted a Flute Festival March 5-6 open to all students.

Marching Southerner Alana Ivey said the flutists came together as one ensemble. Ivey also played in the festival.

The flutes ranged in size from the piccolo to the double contrabass bassoon flute. The flutists joined together and sight read ensemble music.

Mason Hall has hosted the event a couple of times in the past. The JSU Flute Studio uses the festival as a recruiting tool. Around 80 flutists participated in the festival. This included middle school students, high school students, Flute Studio students, and guest artists.

She said guest artists Dr. Nora Lee Garcia, Paige Long, and Perimeter Flutes gave inspiring performances.

JSU Flute Professor Dr. Jeremy Benson led the festival. The Flute Studio members also worked to arrange the festival.

Toward the end of the festival Saturday, the full flute ensemble joined together to put on a concert. Several of the guest artists were also involved in the concert.

The final performance aimed to display what the participants learned and to show all of their hard work.

“The event was awesome. Experiencing a full flute orchestra is a rare opportunity, and we are so lucky as a studio to be able to host such an awesome event,” Ivey said.

Katelyn Schneider
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Unexpected sequel comes to big screen

The unexpected sequel to Olympus Has Fallen hit the big screen Friday, March 4.

The action-packed movie, London Has Fallen, picks up years later after the attack on the White House. As a result of the time that has passed, the characters have developed. For example, the main character Mike Banning is a couple weeks away from becoming a father, and is debating on whether or not he should resign from the Secret Service.

Jordan Schneider, who has seen both movies, said the characters have developed. “I think Banning has grown as a family man but also as an agent. I also think the president’s character has grown a lot. I think he fought back more this time,” she said,  “He didn’t give in like he did in the first movie where he made people tell their codes.”

Before Banning can make his decision, he must accompany President Asher to the funeral of a world leader that is in London at the last minute.

While in London, the president, much like in the first film, finds himself in trouble. Only this time, he is not the only one. All of the world leaders in attendance are killed.

President Asher initially escapes with the help of Banning, who is the head of his protective service detail. However, the enemy is holding a grudge for something and does not plan to give up easily. The fate of the president, and possibly the world, rests on the shoulders of Banning.

Actor Gerard Butler is excited about the film. In an interview on imdb.com, he said, “There’s nothing better than sitting in a cinema being excited, being scared with your adrenalin going thinking ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen next’ or being entertained, and I think that’s what this movie brings.”

The cast is similar to the first film, but it also includes some new faces. Gerard Butler still plays the part of the main character, Mike Banning. Aaron Eckhart plays the role of President Benjamin Asher.

While the president is unable to make decisions, Vice President Trumbull has to call the shots from the safety of the White House. The vice president is played by the Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman. Some of the new characters are played by Charlotte Riley, Alon Aboutboul and Waleed Zuaiter.

According to imdb.com, the movie was filmed in several different places including Bulgaria and London. The company credits belong to three separate production companies. These are Millennium Films, Gerard Butler Alan Siegel Entertainment and LHF Film. The film was directed by Babak Najafi.

After only a couple days, the-numbers.com shows the movie bringing in $7,591,000 into the Domestic Box Office.

London Has Fallen is being shown in theaters in Oxford and Gadsden.

Katelyn Schneider
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Student delivers performance after flu

On Friday, February 26, Jacksonville State University music student, Noya Levy, performed in her junior recital. After battling the flu for a week leading up to her performance, Levy wowed the audience when she walked onto the performance center stage of Mason Hall in an elegant gold gown.

Her hours upon hours of practice were being put to the test as she began her recital. Her strong, yet light voice filled the ears of a packed crowd.

Vocal majors who perform junior recitals must sing in a variety of languages. Levy’s repertoire was composed of English, German, French and Italian songs.

One of Levy’s French songs, “Si mes vers avaient des ailes,” composed by Reynaldo Hahn, holds a special place in her heart. Levy said, “That song is special to me because when my godmother died, I wasn’t able to go to her funeral. My mom told me to sing that song for them, and after I sang, her sister started crying. She told me that they had actually played that song at her funeral.

“This was obviously a sign from her and from that point on, that song holds a special place in my heart.”

The audience could tell how much the song meant to Levy. During the performance, she said she began to fight back tears remembering her godmother.

Her godmother was the primary reason why Levy decided to choose JSU as her college.

Levy had to fight back tears again once she received a standing ovation from the audience for her breathtaking performance.

Levy studies under JSU music professor, Teresa Stricklin, and retired vocal teacher, Richard Armstrong, for numerous years.

Last summer, Levy, along with fellow vocal student, Debra Mantua, participated in an exclusive opera program that placed them into the heart of Italy for nearly three weeks. The program allowed them to fine tune their technique and work with some world known opera singers.

Recitals are a required task of most music majors, general or music education. The recital is usually composed of pieces that the student has been studying and perfecting for a few years with his or her primary applied teacher.

For a student to be granted the ability to perform in recital, he or she must first pass a recital hearing in front of a panel of judges, commonly professors who are familiar with the student’s particular primary instrument, whether that be instrumental or vocal.

A student must battle nerves to perform at an acceptable level because a grade is given at the end of the performance to signify whether the recital is up to specific performance standards.

Recitals usually begin at 7:30 p.m. in the performance center of Mason Hall during the week. All recitals are added to the Mason Hall calendar.

Matt Hill
Staff Reporter

Monday Night Jazz energizes students

As a crowd of students tried to have dinner with friends on the second floor of the Theron Montgomery Building and erase the dreary feelings of a Monday, a small group of students began to set up.

They placed chairs in a line and put the music stands in front of them. They also assembled certain instruments. When the clock hit seven, Monday Night Jazz began.

Some members of the crowd just happened to show up for the event while others came specifically to listen to their fellow students play. Regardless of who happens to be there, Kate, a worker in the TMB said students always respond to these performances well.

She said “It’s very uplifting. It gets them very excited and energized.” As the jazz ensemble played, many students tapped their feet or nodded their heads with the beat of the music. One male student actually stood up and danced a little.

Some students try to come out each week to support the members. For example, Benjamin Pryor came for the second week, so  he could support his friend Ryan Fragoso.

First-time listeners who just happen to be there still tend to enjoy the music.

JSU junior Haley Boneysteele said “I had a lot of fun. There wasn’t a dull moment. I feel like it shows a growth in the musical interests at JSU. I would definitely come back out and listen.”

On Monday, the ensemble played a variety of musical selections for the crowd to enjoy. Some of these selections included “Caribbean Clipper” by the Glenn Miller Bland, “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John, “Funky Feeling” by Matt Amy and a few others.

Between pieces, the group only took a minute or less before jumping into the next one.

Some of the pieces they played allowed for individuals to have short solos. Audience members were supportive and applauded the full ensemble as well as the individual performers.

The members of this jazz ensemble work under two men. The JSU Director of Jazz Studies, Dr. Andy Nevala is the instructor who is over them. However, a graduate student is also a director of the group and really does a lot of work for them.

The ensemble includes musicians playing a variety of different instruments. Some of these instruments include trumpets, trombones, saxophones and flutes. Students also played percussion instruments such as a drum set, and they used a couple of guitars.

Philip Treutel is the member who plays the drum set. He is a senior and is majoring in general music and minoring in communication. He has played in the Jazz Program for about two years and said he has enjoyed his time.

“I think it’s a cool way to get some exposure for the Jazz Program to the student body. It’s been fun in general,” Treutel said.

JSU freshman Ryan Fragoso is also a member of this jazz ensemble. Despite this only being his second semester at JSU, he has played jazz music for six years.

He said enjoys the ability to perform in the TMB and loves being able to play jazz music. “It doesn’t really matter where we play because I enjoy it regardless,” he said.

The Monday Night Jazz ensemble will perform on various Monday evenings throughout the rest of the semester. They will play on the second floor of the TMB and lasts from 7 until 9 p.m.

Katelyn Schneider
Arts & Entertainment Editor