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UNCA women’s basketball falls to Radford

Blue Banner Headlines - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 9:32pm

Samuel Robinson

Sports Staff Writer

UNC Asheville’s women’s basketball team fell to Radford Tuesday night, bringing their record to 8-3, tied for second place with High Point and Radford in the Big South Conference standings. UNCA started the game impressively Tuesday night. Senior center Bronaza Fitzgerald won the opening tip which found junior guard Jessica Wall, who converted a layup to open the game’s scoring.

Following the game’s first timeout, freshman guard Nadiria Evans came off the bench and began her night with a strong take to the hole that resulted in a foul. Evans converted both free throws and scored UNCA’s next bucket, bringing their total to 10. Wall beat the buzzer to put the Bulldogs within one when she hit a three as time expired in the first quarter to make the score 13-14.

The Bulldogs capitalized on this momentum shift and were able to hold the Radford Highlanders to only eight points in the second quarter. Fitzgerald scored the first four points of the second half to put the Bulldogs up 17-14. Senior guard Khalia Webb scored twice as the shot-clock expired, including the only three of the quarter, to put a dagger in the heart of the Radford defense who were excellent throughout the game.

UNCA went into halftime leading 26-22.

Bronaza Fitzgerald, left, and Lydia Rivers, right, reach for the ball during the Feb 6 game. Photos by Emma Jordan

“In the first half Asheville did a really good job with their defensive pressure. A lot of the passes were contested. It forced us to make some careless turnovers, so we knew we had to clean that up at halftime,” said Mike McGuire, head coach at Radford.

Following a difficult first half in which they struggled to find any rhythm against UNCA’s stellar defense, the Highlanders found another gear in the second half. Radford’s ball movement improved and they were able to make knock-down open looks.

“Our kids executed really well. That’s probably the best half we’ve played all year long,” McGuire said.

Radford came out firing in the second half. The Highlanders hit a three to open the second half scoring and clawing back to within a point of the Bulldogs. Junior guard Destinee Walker and senior forward Jayda Worthy of the Highlanders were standouts in the second half.

“The first half was pretty good, I thought we had the right mentality. I just don’t think our response was where it needed to be when they made their run. We didn’t counter that,” said Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick, head coach at UNCA.  

Three of the game’s five lead changes came in the third quarter. Any time the Bulldogs went ahead, Worthy was able to find an answer as she repeatedly came up with clutch buckets. Worthy finished with 14 points, shot 78 percent from the field and was named the game’s MVP.

“This is always a fun game, very physical, it’s like a tournament game,” Worthy said. “I’m glad we executed and got our stops when we needed them, proud of my team’s effort today and the chemistry we had.”

Junior forward Tiffany Wilson made it 46-44 and brought the Bulldogs within two with 7:43 left in the fourth quarter, but this was as close as the game would get. Radford went on to execute both flawless offense and defense for the remainder of the fourth quarter, holding UNCA to two points in the final seven minutes of the game.

“Particularly in the fourth quarter, I’ve got to credit Radford for outplaying us. Efforts to loose balls, executing their offense and locking us up on defense. I thought they did a wonderful job,”  Mock Kirkpatrick said. “They put their foot down and instead of matching that intensity, we backed up. When it got a little hard for our kids, we sort of gave in. That’s not something I’ve seen from us in a long time. I’m disappointed, I know the kids are disappointed, we know we can do better.”

Radford ended the game on an 18-2 run during which they played tenacious defense and clicked on all cylinders offensively.

Senior center Fitzgerald looked unstoppable whenever she received the ball in the paint in the first half, but found opportunity limited in the second half. She finished the game with 14 points and 11 rebounds as she claimed her 13th career double-double. Wall and Webb also finished in double figures, scoring 13 points apiece. Despite big numbers from Fitzgerald, Wall and Webb, UNCA’s offense lacked its usual fluidity, especially in the fourth quarter.

Khalia Webb helps herself to the net.

“I thought they lacked their normal ball movement,” said Ben Chapel, a senior biology student. “They normally move the ball around really well to move the defense and get clear looks but it was all pretty stagnant tonight.”

Liberty sit alone at the top of the Big South Conference standings with a 10-1 record, but still have to play High Point, Radford and UNCA. In an ultra-competitive conference where anything can happen on any given night, there is still everything to play for.

“Every game from here on out is going to be a battle, it’s going to be hard. Winning games in this league is hard. There’s a lot of great teams in this league and a lot of great coaches so every night is going to be a war. That’s what makes it fun though,” Mock Kirkpatrick said.

UNCA and Radford currently sit tied for second in the Big South standings. Being two of the better teams in the conference, there is a chance that the two will meet again in the conference tournament this March.

“If we face them again, we’re just going to have to be ready for the war, minor adjustments there but it’s more of a mentality adjustment than it is anything else,” Mock Kirkpatrick said.

The Bulldogs only have three regular-season home games remaining and would appreciate support as they gun for the number one seed heading into the conference tournament. They host Charleston Southern on Tuesday, Campbell on Feb. 20 and end the season playing against Gardner-Webb on March 3.

Categories: blue-banner-category

Ink of the week

Blue Banner Headlines - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 5:19pm

Gabrielle Lanius 

News Staff Writer

glanius@unca.eduAs a form of expression, tattoos have been celebrated for centuries across the globe. Whether for religious, traditional or personal reasons, people have chosen to decorate their bodies with ink.

Sophia Nitsche struggled the majority of her young life to accept a permanent part of herself and used the art of tattoo design to help her learn to love her body the way it is.

Sophia Nitsche, born with a cataract obscuring her vision in her left eye, now has a tattoo on her ankle symbolizing her struggle to accept her condition. Photo by Gabrielle Lanius.

The freshman English student, originally from Savannah, Georgia, was born with a cataract in her left eye she said dominated her young life.

“From like 1 or 2 years old, I had to have eye appointments every couple of months for eight years straight. So for a long time it was something that frustrated me and made me angry because I didn’t have any control over it,” Nitsche said.

The cataract would not go away and had only a small chance of resolving. For much of her life, Nitsche said she struggled to deal with and accept it.

“It fucked with a lot of my life but finally I realized that it wasn’t going away, that it’s a part of my life, and it’s one of those weird unique things even though it’s something that makes you have terrible eyesight,” Nitsche said.

After coming to terms with this condition which obscures her vision, she decided to memorialize it in her own way on her body.

“It was like an acceptance thing. I drew out my own left eye and made it symbolic and pretty with the star in the middle,” Nitsche said.

While she likes this tattoo, it was not what she had originally intended to have in its place.  

“Originally I had planned to have a different tattoo, more like a timeline with symbols that represented parts of my life, but I was having a lot of trouble deciding on the symbols,” Nitsche said. “But I always knew that my eye was the starting point for a lot of my life,”  

Nitsche said she plans to get another tattoo — a band around her left arm with the silhouettes of trees — but she is currently holding off on plans to actually get it.

“I want to get another tattoo but the studio back home in Savannah, Georgia is now closed so I’m kinda stuck wondering if I should find a tattoo place up here,” Nitsche said.

While her tattoo means something to her and represents a part of her, Nitsche said she believes the intentions behind a tattoo are left up to the individual.  

“I think that if a person wants a tattoo that means something big and important in their life then I think they should get it,” Nitsche said. “But if it’s something you enjoy or think is beautiful, you should also get that, so long as you think about it beforehand because it is permanent.”  



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Beat from the street

Blue Banner Headlines - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 5:14pm

Larisa Karr

Managing Editor

Sundance Henson, 45, unemployed, originally from Greensboro and his dog, Charlie

Sundance Henson and his dog Charlie. Henson said that living in Asheville is no longer sustainable for him. Photo by Dusty Albinger.

So if you had a life motto that you live by, what would it be?

“Do unto others.”

Do unto others?


Yeah, yeah.

“Yeah, I mean, I just try to be the best person I can be.”


“You know, I mean, I think it’s a shame. I was really a very, very liberal person until I moved here.”

Oh wow. That’s normally not how it goes.

“No, because everybody up here preaches that bullshit but they don’t live by it. I’ve been homeless on the street since August and they say they want this and they say they want that but they don’t do anything. You know what? Quit taking your trips to Guatemala and do something your damn self. If you want the government to do something, lead by example, you know? No, this town has changed me a lot. I moved here roughly 10 years ago and I was a completely different person. You know, up here it’s all talk and no do. You make it so that nothing’s affordable.”

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Photography student empowering women with photo shoots

Blue Banner Headlines - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 5:07pm

Taylor Sexton

A&F Staff Writer

Walking through the botanical gardens on a chilly day with a camera around her neck and model in tow, senior photography student Mechal Harward conducts a boudoir shoot for her final show as a UNC Asheville student.

Katie Ayers models for Mechal Harward’s boudoir photography project in the Botanical Gardens. Photo by Emma Jordan.

Harward’s interest in photography developed her freshman year of high school. After seeing her grandmother with a camera around her neck at any family event, she began to take an interest.

“She gave me a film camera my freshman year of high school,” Harward said. “Then from there, after developing a couple roles of film and being like, ‘Wow this is really fun,’ I decided to use the rest of my bat mitzvah money and buy myself a DSLR.”

Harward started with an interest in portraiture photography and said she believes boudoir photography extends as another form of it.

She was not free in school to pursue boudoir photography until her Photography 3 class last semester when Harward said she decided to try it out for her final project. This would be the beginning of one of her biggest projects.

“At first, I didn’t realize how much it was going to empower not only my friends who I’m photographing, but also myself,” Harward said. “I finally feel like my photography is going in a direction where it’s doing something and that being empowering these beautiful women both inside and out.”

Katie Ayres, a junior psychology student with a K-6 teacher licensure, modeled for Harward in the gardens.

Ayres said she heard about Harward’s request for models through both Instagram and her roommate Leah Griffin, who had worked with the photographer before.

“I want all women to be fucking confident. For someone like me who is really insecure, doing this is a really big thing and I think more women should do stuff like this because it makes them feel really beautiful,” Ayres said.

Ayres felt nothing but excitement and power when looking at the photos once they were done.

“They’re so beautiful. I think to myself, ‘She did that, I did that, we did that!’ and it’s just amazing,” Ayres said.

Griffin, a literature student, said the shoot was empowering for her and was another step in her journey of self love.  

“I’m in the process of unlearning shame around my body. It’s a long process and I constantly have to work to remind myself of the value of this body that I get to inhabit,” Griffin said. “I felt like this shoot would help me grow to be more comfortable in my own skin and it did.”

Starting in middle school, Griffin said she constantly felt the need to cover her skin up and hated the thought of showing any at all. She said the fear always lingered and this shoot was important for her because it allowed her to fight back fear of exposure and the shame she once felt.

Griffin said she believes many images of women which portray them showing skin of any kind are often taken by men and presented for male consumption.

“This shoot was nothing like that, it was taken by a woman for women, with nothing in mind except to make us feel powerful and beautiful,” Griffin said. “I think that’s really special. It definitely made me feel empowered and proud.”

Harward said she tries to not degrade anyone or oversexualize her friends. She wanted to show her friends how awesome and beautiful they truly are and she said she encourages more women to do boudoir photography so that they can feel the way they deserve to feel — empowered.

“People can say what they want to say. But I do really feel like it’s a true feminist form of art, just embracing you and your sister’s beauty,” Harward said.

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Ramsey Library displays Cherokee language exhibit

Blue Banner Headlines - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 4:52pm

Linda Cummins

A&F Staff Writer

The Cherokee language has been battling for survival for centuries. By 2012, there were fewer than 300 fluent Cherokee language speakers, according to an exhibit in Ramsey Library on display until Feb. 27.

A presentation and reception for the exhibit in Ramsey Library will take place tonight at 6:30 p.m., featuring a performance by Aniyvwiyahi Analsgisgi, a traditional Cherokee children’s dance group.

“The dancers are sure to liven up the library,” said Deborah Miles, the director of the center for diversity education.

Bringing this exhibit and the young dancers to campus is part of how UNC Asheville puts the goal of community engagement into action, Miles said.

Ramsey Library hosts the Cherokee Language exhibit in Blowers Gallery. Photo by Allie Zelakowski.

The exhibit features several recordings translated from original Cherokee which viewers may personally access via QR codes.

“It is a serious thing in our lives that we are losing our language,” states one of the recordings.

Members of a Cherokee speakers group met weekly at language immersion school Kituwah Academy, located in Cherokee, to comment on historical photographs. These conversations were transcribed, translated and included on the exhibit’s panels.

Former Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation Chad “Corntassel” Smith said his father, aunts and uncles remember what they endured under federally mandated English-only policies.

“The Cherokee Nation will be a nation in name only if it loses its language,” Smith said. “The nation will lose its identity, uniqueness and the values that have allowed it to face adversity.”

The display tells numerous personal accounts of Cherokee children forced to leave their families at young ages to attend English-only boarding schools.

The Cherokee Phoenix, the only newspaper to publish in both English and Cherokee languages, covers current efforts to preserve the language.

Recent programs include funding by the Cherokee Nation Businesses organization for a master-apprentice language program to create a pipeline of fluent Cherokee speakers out of today’s middle and high schoolers. The program is designed to promote continued Cherokee language fluency in Cherokee Nation immersion school graduates.

In a January opinion piece, Mark Dreadfulwater, Phoenix multimedia editor, wrote that his New Year’s resolution to relearn the language he first heard from his paternal grandmother.

“I wrote in my editorial that our language embodies our identity and soul of our tradition, history and the Cherokee way of life,” Dreadfulwater said. “I truly believe that.”

Dreadfulwater said in the 1980s and early 1990s there was not much of a push to learn the language.

“I have learned more about my culture and heritage in the 12 years I have been with The Cherokee Phoenix, than I did in the 18 plus years I lived at home,” Dreadfulwater said. “As I am older and know more, I realize and regret not learning the language so I can pass it on to future generations.”

The Cherokee language in its written form is only 200 years old. The Cherokee Syllabary, created by Sequoyah, was adopted by the Cherokee Nation in 1825. Instead of individual letters, sounds are represented by syllables. Dreadfulwater said he regrets not paying enough attention to the language as a child but maintains that it is never too late to learn Cherokee.

With the newfound preservation of the language, exhibits such as those in Ramsey keep the language alive.

Categories: blue-banner-category

UpCountry Brewing Co. host fundraiser to support Habitat

Blue Banner Headlines - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 4:43pm

Kye Johnson

A&F Staff Writer

UpCountry Brewing Co. will be partnering with Asheville’s Habitat for Humanity, hosting a benefit on Feb. 24 to support The House That Beer Built, a brewery-sponsored home being constructed for Karen Chrisman and her son, hand-picked through Asheville area Habitat’s selection board, building their lives in Buncombe County.

UpCountry Brewing works with Habitat for Humanity to fund housing projects in Asheville. Photo by Kye Johnson.

“The people and local businesses that make Asheville great — the creatives, artists, brewers, servers, chefs, entrepreneurs — deserve to live in a house they can afford,” said Ariane Kjellquist, communications director for Asheville area Habitat for Humanity.

Chrisman will be the owner of a two-bedroom one-bath home located in the Arden area by this May. Fifteen local breweries in the area have come together to sponsor The House That Beer Built since May including Hi-Wire Brewing, New Belgium Brewing and Habitat Brewing Co.

“One of the biggest myths about Habitat is that we give houses away. Not true. Applicants qualify based on residency status, need, ability to pay and willingness to partner,” Kjellquist said.

The House That Beer Built is only one of Habitat’s building projects. The Asheville Area Habitat celebrated its 30 year anniversary in 2013. The organization completed their 300th house in 2017.

“The applicant purchases the home from Habitat and begins repaying a 30 year interest-free mortgage. Depending on the size of the home, the average monthly mortgage payment is about $600 per month,” Kjellquist said.
Kjellquist said the mortgage the applicant pays and the proceeds from their ReStore sales are two sustainable funding sources which help pay for the construction of other Habitat homes. Faith communities also sponsor homes, as well as large businesses, coalitions of small businesses, like The House That Beer Built project and individual families in Buncombe County.

“The House That Beer Built is an opportunity for the breweries that add so much to Asheville culture to have a direct way to help ease our region’s affordable housing crisis,” Kjellquist said.

UpCountry Brewing Co., founded in 2016 by John Cochran, collaborated with Asheville Habitat for Humanity before, donating some of their one-year anniversary celebration proceeds to the project.

“They’re getting a lot of donations from breweries in the area but we just wanted to, on top of a donation, have a fundraiser. And the anniversary event just went so well that I wanted to get them back in here again while they’re still funding The House That Beer Built,” said Lauren Davenport, marketing director at UpCountry Brewing Co.

Davenport said UpCountry originally got involved with The House That Beer Built after talking to Scott Stetson, a member of Cat and Crow, a band with residency at UpCountry every Thursday. Stetson works for Habitat and helped coordinate the benefit.

“When I took over music and booking I started to meet with him, just asking advice since I had never done it before and he’s a well-known musician in Asheville. I found out that he worked for Habitat for Humanity and as soon as I heard that I just wanted to get them in here,” Davenport said.

The musical lineup for the event will include Scott Bianchi and Crosby Coford, a short set by Kilo Fresh, Moonlight Street Folk and The Dirty Badgers. All the bands and musicians playing are Habitat employees contributing their time to the cause.

“Stetson’s ties to Habitat included a lot of musicians, so he’s getting a lot of bands out here and they’re going to play and 10 percent of all beer sales, so not just one beer, but all beer sales will be going towards The House That Beer Built,” Davenport said.

Davenport said she hopes patrons of the event would gain awareness, not only for Habitat’s mission but also to learn about the many other nonprofits and charities that provide ways to give back in Asheville.

 Natascha Leitner, a mother and journalist, said she had not heard about the fundraiser taking place at UpCountry, but she was familiar with the organization they would be benefitting.

“I love how, especially in Asheville, people are connected and taking care of each other. It makes me feel like I live in the right place,” Leitner said.“I do a lot of work for local nonprofits myself, so I’m actually surprised I’ve not heard about this one yet.”

Kjellquist said the homes projected completion date is May, when Chrisman and her son will be able to move in.

“From pint nights or a special Habitat brew to volunteering to help build the house, there are a variety of ways local breweries are joining in and we also invite local beer lovers to get involved by attending events and making donations,” Kjellquist said.

The benefit starts when UpCountry opens at 2 p.m. The event will be family friendly with face painting for kids from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., all donations going to Habitat. UpCountry also has a full food menu and a large outdoor area.

“Asheville is a very giving city, I think, and it’s just one more way for people to contribute, and to learn about The House That Beer Built, maybe they will make a donation, maybe not, it’s just awareness and people helping people is the main thing,” Davenport said.

Categories: blue-banner-category

Soccer Mommy to come to The Mothlight ahead of new album

Blue Banner Headlines - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 4:35pm

Karrigan Monk


For the most part, Sophie Allison’s Twitter feed reads like that of any other 20-year-old. There are plenty of retweets featuring popular memes and more than enough self-deprecating jokes. But the retweets from different music outlets and the pinned tweet at the top of her page indicate something different.

Sophie Allison produces music under the name Soccer Mommy. Her debut album March 2. Photo provided by Fat Possum Records.

Allison is not the typical 20-year-old. Under her moniker Soccer Mommy, she releases her own brand of pop rock music, noticed by the likes of the New York Times, NPR and other media outlets.

Her stage name comes from her original Twitter handle, which she described as being a joke.

“When I had first started, before it was even going anywhere, I just thought it’d be funny and I ended up making it my Bandcamp name because I thought it was funny and cute,” Allison said. “Eventually it all blew up and it’s still Soccer Mommy, so that’s how it just stuck.”

Her love affair with music started when she was only 5 years old, surrounded by the music her parents loved.

“My parents were always playing music. They’re not really musical, but they are big music fans, especially my dad,” Allison said. “I got a guitar at a benefit show — like a really shitty one that you can’t really play, but I wrote songs with it and after like a week my parents got me a little baby acoustic.”

With her new guitar, Allison said she began taking lessons, which she continued throughout high school where she was part of a swing band and guitar quartet. Still, for years, no one but Allison herself and her Bandcamp followers knew anything about her Soccer Mommy project.

It was only after Allison graduated high school a few years ago did she begin actively pursuing music. Though she released several songs and EPs on her own, her first official debut album Clean will be out on Fat Possum Records March 2.

“It’s really a total formulative thing for me,” Allison said. “It took a year of my life to make. It kind of goes through these themes of relationships and trying to be someone you’re not and kind of realizing you can’t really escape who you are and the things that make you who you are. You just kind of have to accept yourself and be how you are in relationships.”

The first single from the album is a haunting track called “Your Dog.” Beginning with the line, “I don’t want to be your fucking dog that you drag around,” the song goes into a relationship where Allison obviously feels trapped, but still makes it known she will not stand for being treated badly.

The music video for the song echoes this sentiment, going through a startling narrative of Allison writing on the face of what is assumed to be her murdered boyfriend and then dragging his body around her apartment building.

Though this interpretation of the song may seem harsh, the line, “I’m not a prop for you to use when you’re lonely or confused. I want a love that lets me breathe, I’ve been choking on your leash,” makes all the difference. Here is a young woman who has been stuck in a less-than fulfilling — perhaps verging on abusive — relationship and Allison needs to get out, even if it means murdering someone in a music video.

Another stand out song from the upcoming album is “Blossom (Wasting All My Time).” The midpoint of Clean, the song is stylistically and lyrically simple, but contains a powerful story of a once heartbroken singer finding new love. The first half states, “Wasting all my time wondering if you really loved me,” while she closes with the line, “I found someone who has time to show me they really love me.” In a world and album of heartbreak, “Blossom” offers a nice juxtaposition and message that the darkness will not last forever.

When writing, Allison said she takes inspiration from moments that feel important and dramatic to her.

“Little moments that are kind of like snapshots of a story almost,” Allison said. “I try to piece those together and make something that I imagine would sound like a soundtrack to that kind of moment for myself. It just kind of comes out of life and experience.”

Though she draws her lyrics from her own life, Allison said her stylistic inspirations come from her favorite artists both now and growing up. She points to artists such as Avril Lavigne, Taylor Swift, Mitski and Joni Mitchell as being her biggest inspirations. These influences can be heard clearly throughout Clean, though Allison combines them to make her own self-described pop rock.

Soccer Mommy is currently touring alongside Phoebe Bridgers, coming to The Mothlight on Feb. 16. Allison describes her live shows as a bit fuller than her recordings and said her shows are a fun pop rock experience.

Allison may only be 20 years old, but her Soccer Mommy project is paving the way for a new generation of young female musicians. Not only is Allison inherently cool, selling her albums in a variety of forms — including cassette tapes — she is also talented enough to hold her own in a harsh industry. She even encourages other people to do the same.

“If you wanna make music, just do it,” Allison said. “It doesn’t matter if other people don’t like it. Just do it for yourself.”


Categories: blue-banner-category

Why your star sign may not work for you

Blue Banner Headlines - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 9:45pm

Jade Simpson

Through years of hearing people talk about their zodiac signs and how they do or do not identify with them, the main complaint heard is that their sign does not really represent them. This, as it turns out, is because there are 23 other parts of the birth chart of which one’s sun sign is a very small part. There are relatively simple ways to find out about one person’s birth chart, but it can be important if you want to see the iceberg beneath the water.

Well truthfully, this is not important unless you want it to be. Astrology is a sort of cosmic self-help, similar to the way that Meyers-Briggs may help you to understand how to react to your INFJ friend when they get quiet and will not tell you what is wrong. Many people turn away from the zodiac not only because they do not identify with the sign they have, but because they believe astrology tries to tell them who they are.

The fact is, you do not change the makeup of a leaf by identifying chlorophyll. What astrology may be able to tell you is everything you already know, but may not have words for yet.

People all over the world are “believers” in astrology, but astrology is extremely old. There are theories that date to the beginning of our present charts around 8,000 B.C.E. developed by the Egyptians on a large stone carving on the ceiling of a chapel dedicated to Osiris.

Of course, many people have accessed and edited the zodiac since then, including the Greco-Romans who were responsible for assigning iconography, or representative images, to Sagittarius and Capricorn.

The fact is that like our very history as a planet, the origins of many of our systems are very ambiguous and if we are looking for a more concrete answer as to where this came from, along with evidence, we are better off trying to prove Bill Clinton innocent. But it is definitely fun to look at.

Margaret Neumann, a UNCA freshman, indulged in a little experiment for the sake of science.

We took out her laptop, Googled “birth chart calculator” and put in her birthday, birth place and time, which gave us her chart.

Your star sign, the zodiac most associate with themselves, is only one side of the dice. Photo courtesy of Remko van Dokkum.

The common birth chart has 24 sections. The first 12 tell where the planets (and a couple of asteroids) were placed at the time of your birth by coordinates in relation to the earth and relative to the location in which you were born. Neumann knew she was an Aries, but she did not know she had a Leo moon sign. The site we used claimed that Leos need a lot of love and care and can be bossy when it comes to people they are closest to. Neumann was at first upset by this, but admitted there was some truth to it.

Just because your birth chart says something about you that you consider negative does not mean it is. Bossiness can be really good for directing someone who lacks initiative or pleasing someone they care about. Neumann’s chart also placed her sun and moon sign in a trine meaning her emotions (moon) and her personal identity (sun) are in harmony. It is said having this in your chart makes you laid-back and relaxed as a person and can influence one to be very caring and warm hearted naturally.

“I’m interested now,” Neumann said. “That’s all true.”

This is by no means an attempt to persuade the masses to live their lives astrologically, only to encourage those already interested in astrology to further explore it.

Nifemi Ogunro, a recent Appalachian State University graduate, already uses it in her life. When asked about her chart, she excitedly exclaimed that she has already completed the whole thing.

“I was in college when I did my full chart,” Ogunro said. “ I’m a Cancer with an Aquarius moon and Scorpio rising sign. Knowing not only what your sun and moon are, but their elements will help you better identify why you respond to things a certain way. It just makes things specific.”

Astrology does not explain yourself to you. It is very similar to when a therapist asks, “Are you aware that this may come from your tendency to __?” You do not have to listen to your therapist, but it cannot hurt to try. 

I am a Cancer with an Aquarius moon sign and a Sagittarius rising sign. Your rising sign is how people view you when they meet you. It is conflicting, but rounding. I am a nurturing person and have many emotions that could very well run rampant if not for my Aquarius moon sign. This creates a very analytical view of my feelings and the things that affect me so that in my quiet moments, I am thinking about a logical way to respond to a situation for the best outcome for everyone involved.

Both of these may create a sullen nature if not for my Sagittarius rising sign, which makes me almost annoyingly idealistic. It is almost like a childlike coating over the melancholy poet which makes me look to the past as a lesson and the future as a chance to confidently affect my future and that of others positively.

Astrology might help if you feel you are always fighting yourself to do what you really want. If not, then you can always head to  the career center and take your Myers-Briggs personality test. We all need a way to process the world and our reactions to it. Astrology is simply a fun avenue you could take.

Categories: blue-banner-category

Real meaning of Valentine’s Day forgotten

Blue Banner Headlines - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 9:35pm

A’sha Noble
Opinion Staff Writer

Across the world, we set the mood and turn the lights down low on Valentine’s Day. It is also the time of the year we spend excessive amounts to show our significant other just how much we love them by going all out to spoil them. You buy gifts, flowers and chocolates you ordinarily would not, all while ending the night with dinner to meet the standards of the holiday as well as your significant other.

“Valentine’s Day is most definitely over-commercialized. People have made it all about chocolate and showing off, ” said Jack Ryan, a freshman at UNC Asheville.

The actions that take place to ensure someone has a great day full of love should be done everyday. We over-glamorize this holiday and spend billions of dollars on candy, flowers and chocolate for this event.

With Christmas out of the way, the beginning of January becomes a perfect time for stores to start setting up their Valentine’s Day displays.

“I’m Catholic so I actually know the history of St. Valentine,” said Tiana Bush, a senior art student. “It rubs me the wrong way that Valentine’s Day is turning into a secular holiday as well as Christmas and Easter. I feel like someone’s taken apart of my upbringing and changed it for their own benefit.”

Stores go from one holiday to the next very quickly. The meaning becomes lost in the transition and packing up of last holiday’s belongings.

Valentine’s Day is rooted in ancient pagan and Roman traditions. Today, the holiday is more about commercialization than love. Photo courtesy of Lisa Zins.

“People try to remove the religion from it but you can’t do that. You need to know the history,” Bush said. “Christians were under the rule of Romans and didn’t have the freedom to marry, so St. Valentine secretly married men and women. Emperor Claudius II believed that single young men made better soldiers than married men and wouldn’t allow young men to get married.”

In reality, Valentine’s Day should be used as a day to remember the saint himself who continued officiating the union of young couples.

Abbi Shelton, a freshman, spends the day with her boyfriend.

“I use the day as an excuse to buy him gifts. I don’t think Valentine’s Day itself is important. It’s a reason to do stuff, I guess, ” Shelton said.

In total, the National Retail Federation estimated Valentine’s Day spending is expected to hit $19.7 billion this year.

Yet many Americans do not even celebrate the day. According to the National Retail Federation, on average only about 55 percent of Americans engage in Valentine’s Day festivities. This percentage will spend about $143.56 each.

“Me and my boyfriend keep the day pretty low-key and don’t spend too much. We go out to dinner at a nice place and enjoy time together,” Shelton said.

Valentine’s Day often puts a sour taste in some people’s mouths. Kristen McCauley, a sophomore drama student, said she doesn’t care about the holiday in particular.

“I don’t give a rat’s ass about Valentine’s Day,” McCauley said. “There’s more gendered advertisements like women creepily and sexually eating chocolate insinuating that men don’t eat chocolate. Who cares?”

Categories: blue-banner-category

We need to stop separating art from the artist

Blue Banner Headlines - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 9:28pm

Samantha Savery
Opinion Editor

Editor’s note: If you are at all triggered by sexual assault, please use caution when reading this piece. In addition, opinions expressed in this article only represent those of the individual writer and not the editorial staff as a whole.

Hollywood is in the middle of a revolution of monumental proportions.

Slowly, women and men are coming forward to voice the sexual harassment and assault they have faced from Hollywood elite for decades. Aziz Ansari and James Franco are among the men toppling from their pedestals as victims make known the horrible crimes done upon them.

The best way for us outside of entertainment to help rock the boat? Stop separating the art from the artist.

“I feel as if it’s almost impossible to separate the art from someone who has done the things to the degree Woody Allen and others have,” said Allison Walter, a sophomore health and wellness student at UNC Asheville.

Yet there are still abusers succeeding in Hollywood with little sign of stopping.

Gary Oldman is well on his way to winning an Oscar for his role as Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour after winning at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Oldman was reported for domestic abuse by his ex-wife in 2001 for allegedly beating her with a phone in front of their children.

Oldman’s portrayal of Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series meant a lot to many people I know, myself included. But the airing of his dirty laundry recently has made me rethink everything, along with the attitude J.K. Rowling has taken when asked about defending the casting of Johnny Depp in her spin-off series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Depp, a well-known actor who has a toe dipped in quite a few big film franchises, was accused of and admitted to abusing his wife Amber Heard. Heard later pledged to donate her $7 million settlement to a number of charities, including the American Civil Liberties Union, according to The Huffington Post.

Heard also used her platform to raise awareness of domestic and sexual assault with the organization Girl Gaze by creating a public service announcement on the epidemic many women — and men — face everyday.

Both Oldman and Depp were part of our childhoods, portraying film characters many of my friends found interesting and adventurous. The men who played Sirius Black and Jack Sparrow were not the suave heroes we saw on screen, but almost as bad as the villains they fought against.

Multiple men in Hollywood, including Casey Affleck, Chris Brown and Kevin Spacey, have been accused — or in Brown’s case, found guilty — of sexual harassment and domestic abuse.

This topic has been debated on and off in recent years, something Walters said she herself noticed.

“I’ve seen debate about separating the art from the artist and a lot of debate about, you know, is that even possible? Do we have to do it? What do we do with this art that was made by these predators and awful people,” Walter said. “I highly encourage people who care not to consume the art because these situations arose due to an unbalance of power.”

Alleged sexual predators Woody Allen, Harvey Weinstein, Lena Dunham, Johnny Deep and James Franco. Photo illustration by Karrigan Monk.

Walter said in consuming the art these predators made, you are keeping them in power. Luckily, powerful men are starting to get cracks in their picture perfect reputations and becoming exposed by their own victims or by journalists like Ronan Farrow, the man behind the exposure of Harvey Weinstein’s abuse of power.

Critically and socially acclaimed work, such as projects done by director Woody Allen and actress and writer Lena Dunham, are often the works people find easier to justify.

“The debate comes up so much more in critically acclaimed work, like the talent of the person who made the art who’s being accused makes it somewhat more acceptable to keep consuming their art if they’re talented enough,” Walter said.

Allen was accused of molesting his daughter Dylan Farrow — Ronan’s sister — in 1992, Dylan writing a letter detailing her abuse in 2014. Dunham wrote in her memoir about inappropriately touching her younger sister when they were children. She also said Aurora Perrineau, an actress, was lying when she accused a writer of Dunham’s show, Girls, of raping her.

Dunham is an important example in this because there are women in Hollywood who use their power over someone to cause sexual harm, even while branding themselves as feminists.

Other examples include Emma Roberts, who was arrested for domestic abuse against her boyfriend in 2013, and singer Melanie Martinez, who was recently accused of raping a former friend.

“It goes for women too, and Lena Dunham is a strong reason why we should still try our best not to consume a predator’s work,” Walter said. “If you look hard enough at those up-and-coming actresses, you can find a better role model and better representation.”

Ginny Shafer, a senior health and wellness student, said it is tough to explain her feelings on separating the art from the artist.

“It’s tough because, sometimes you can’t. I think with Woody Allen’s movies and how when you go back over and watch their art — their films, their art, their shows — you can see it, especially in things they’ve written. I don’t think you can really separate that,” Shafer said.

Shafer said her feelings varied on how much creative input and direction the predator had on a project. Walter said she has found people who agree.

“People have said in ending Louis C.K.’s movie, you’re also effecting everyone else involved in it,” Walter said. “But, I didn’t make Louis C.K. commit sexual misconduct and not all of those people are responsible for his actions.”

It may seem impossible for you to find something to watch without some predator attached to the project, but Walter said it is very possible.

“You can. It’s not as hard as you would imagine. You’ll have to look a little bit harder. I recommend looking into these groups that haven’t been as privileged as these predators. Art made by women, by people of color or by those in the LGBTQ+ community,” Walter said. “They haven’t had the opportunities to be as successful as these awful humans.”

Her recommendation for a Dunham replacement? Issa Rae and her show Insecure.

“She’s a lot more realistic and a lot more, all the characters in Girls are so incredibly annoying, but Issa Rae is a lot more real. And in consuming more art from people who haven’t had the same opportunities as the people we’ve seen who have done things that are really problematic, you’re giving them a platform,” Walter said. “With Insecure being so popular, you’re telling these networks, ‘People want to see a real show about a woman of color,’ and there will be more of them and they will be less problematic — if problematic at all.”

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