PAGE 5Fitness fads sweep Tuscaloosacommunity.
he University of Alabama has entereddiscussions aboutimplementing gender-neu-tral housing on campus afterbeing prompted to do so bythe LGBTQ-student groupSpectrum.“Earlier this semes-ter, Spectrum approachedHousing and ResidentialCommunities to discuss thepossibility of gender-neutralhousing, since this is a topic of interest to some members of Spectrum and it is also beingconsidered by some campusesaround the country (primarilyin the northeast and west),”Director of Housing StevenHood said in an emailed state-ment.Spectrum is a UA studentgroup whose purpose is to cre-ate a supportive environmentfor the LGBTQ-student com-munity.Noah Cannon, president of Spectrum, said gender-neu-tral housing addresses manysafety issues commonly facedby these populations.“Gender-neutral hous-ing allows students to shareresidential space on campuswith whomever they mutuallychoose, regardless of genderidentity or legal sex,” he said.Cannon said gender-neutralhousing is far from common-place yet, but can be found inschools in 31 different states.“Gender-neutral housingaddresses a very serious safe-ty issue for LGBTQ studentson campus, particularly trans-gender students,” he said.“Transgender students livingon campus are housed accord-ing to their legal sex, not theirgender identity, creating a sti-fling and potentially hostileenvironment within the stu-dents’ own living space.”
CW | Shannon Auvil
Schools in 31 states feature gender-neutral housingoptions, an LGBTQ-student group is lobbying for UA to do the same.
By Chandler Wright |
By Alexandra Ellsworth
Michaela Sanderson grewup in a house with no waterand very little food butplenty of mold and roach-es. When she was 8 yearsold, her 16-year-old sisterand mother-figure passedaway. When she was 11years old, she watched hermother pull out a gun andattempt suicide.Although the bullet onlygrazed her mother’s stom-ach, it was enough to causethe state to intervene andtake Sanderson away.Now a freshman at theUniversity of Alabamamajoring in social work andcommunication studies,Sanderson has experiencedmany difficulties growingup, but she said it was thosedifficult experiences thatgave her a desire to pursuecollege and succeed.“I knew what it waslike for a family to growup with nothing,” shesaid. “I wanted better formyself and knowing whatI want to be, I wanted topursue college.”UA graduates Catieand Jamie Lumpkin havebeen foster parents inBirmingham, Ala., for 12years. In addition to theirthree biological sons, theLumpkins have cared for 18children over the course of those years.For the Lumpkins’10-year-old foster daugh-ter, attending college wouldmake her the first personof her biological family toearn a higher education.“Education makes a hugedifference,” Catie Lumpkinsaid. “We tell our 10-year-old daughter who has beenwith us for almost threeyears now that she could goto college one day, and wewill do what it takes to helpher get there.”Unfortunately, successstories such as Sanderson’sand the Lumpkins’ areoften rare.“For some families, fostercare can become a cycle,”Catie Lumpkin said. “Someof the parents were in fostercare and now their childrenare too. Practically, educa-tion is a big turn around forthem.”
College degreerare for fostercare students
| FOSTER CARE
Program hopes toimprove statistics
| BAMA DINING
By Taylor Veazey
More than 60 local schoolchildren piled pizza, nachosand cookies onto their platesin Burke Dining Hall Mondayafternoon, compliments of University of Alabama stu-dents who donated a mealfrom their meal plan.Meaningful Meals, a jointproject by SGA and BamaDining, asked UA studentsto donate a meal from theirmeal plans so a local childcould have a hot meal forThanksgiving.Keith Edwards, SGA assis-tant director of communica-tions for financial affairs,said more than 100 mealswere donated.“We wanted to use it as analternative to a toy drive,”Edwards said. “It’s hard fora college student to donatea $20 toy, so we thought thiswas a good alternative.”Students from OakdaleElementary School, rangingfrom second to fifth grade,also got the chance to dosome Thanksgiving-themedcrafts and activities andreceived a special visit fromBig Al.All the children were partof Al’s Pals, the University’smentor program for local ele-mentary school children, andtheir mentors were there toshare the meal with them.Ashley Torres, a juniormajoring in elementary edu-cation, mentors a fifth graderin the program. She said shehopes Meaningful Meals willbecome a tradition for Al’sPals.“I hope it makes themexcited for college and letsthem know they have a fam-ily here,” Torres said. “We’renot just their mentors; we’retheir friends.”SGA Executive SecretaryBrielle Appelbaum, who cre-ated Meaningful Meals, cameup with the idea while shewas an Al’s Pals mentor lastyear.“I fell in love with thechildren and knew I wantedto help them in some way,”Appelbaum said.
SGA, Bama Dining serve Thanksgiving to local children
CW | Shannon Auvil
Elementary students get a Thanksgiving meal Nov. 26 at Burke Din-ing Hall, courtesy of SGA and Bama Dining.
Burke hosts 1st Al’sPals Meaningful Meals
By Mark Hammontree
In a recent settlement overcriminal charges regarding the2010 oil spill, British Petroleumagreed to pay more than $4 bil-lion over the next five years.“BP’s agreement with theU.S. Department of Justice topay $4 billion to settle criminalcharges represents the largestcriminal payment in Americanhistory,” William Andreen, aUA environmental law pro-fessor, said. “The settlementresulted from BP’s agreementto plead guilty to 14 criminalcounts: 11 felony counts formisconduct or neglect by ships’officers; one felony count forlying to Congress; one mis-demeanor count under theMigratory Bird Treaty Act; andone misdemeanor count underthe Clean Water Act.”Of the $4 billion, Alabamawill be receiving approximate-ly $335 million, or a little lessthan 10 percent; however, themoney will not be given to localor state government, but tothe National Fish and WildlifeFoundation to be spent on envi-ronmental projects and recov-ery on Alabama’s Gulf coast.“The Foundation will workcollaboratively with the statesinvolved as well as with pri-vate stakeholders in order tospend these sums to remedyharm and eliminate or reducethe risk of future harm to thenatural resources of the Gulf,”Andreen said.Andreen said BP may stillpay out billions of dollars insettlements of civil suits thathave been brought againstthem and could be liable for upto $20 billion dollars under theClean Water Act.Under the Restore Act thatwas passed by Congress lastyear, much of the money wouldgo directly to the communi-ties and states affected bythe disaster.Karen Boykin, assistantdirector of the Center for GreenManufacturing, said at theUniversity, the current effectsof the oil spill are now largelyeconomic, although there arecertainly still environmentalconcerns.“The University and oth-ers have a number of on-going environmental researchprojects that are examiningimpacts on the ecosystems,ranging from sources for sea-food, wetlands, etc.,” Boykinsaid. “In the CGM, we use thesustainability triangle prin-ciple – Balancing People (LocalSocieties/Governmental), Place(Environmental), and Profit(Industry) for sustainable com-munities.“We hope for UA that theBP award distribution willof course include monies tocontinue long term researchstudies of the environmental,social, and economic impacts.”To Andreen, the settlementis a step forward in the processof recovery.
“I personally believe thatthis is a marvelous outcome,and I have every confidencethat the Foundation will usethese funds in an effectivemanner based on the best avail-able science,” Andreen said.“The settlement agreementalso provided for a number of steps to enhance the safety of BP’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico. These steps includethird-party auditing and veri-fication, training, blowout pre-venters, cementing of wells,and the development of newsafety technology.”
For Graham Byrd, a sopho-more majoring in engineering,the payout seemed like a fairsettlement for the criminal trialbut is not comparable to theamount of damage the regionhas suffered.“The lives and ecosystemsdestroyed by the spill can neverbe given a price,” Byrd said.
Alabama to receive $335 million of historic $4 billion BP settlement
| BP OIL SPILL
Company settles 14charges out of court