‘Sausage Party’ Is Smart, Dumb, and Fun

As ‘Sausage Party’ opens, one is almost immediately greeted with a rapid barrage of swearing and a musical number about gods. This sets the tone for much of the movie. Defying expectations, the movie provides deep thoughts on religious faiths while still providing the incredibly immature, but outrageously funny jokes about men’s genitals one might have originally come to the movie for.

Starting out, the main character, a sausage named Frank, believes the humans shopping at the super market to be gods, like all the other food products there. Singing songs about the humans and “The Great Beyond” that lies outside the store’s doors, the food products hope to be purchased and taken by “the gods.” However, a jar of honey mustard is returned to store, ranting about the horrors of The Great Beyond that everyone dismisses as just being crazy.

Frank, along with his girlfriend, a hot dog bun named Brenda, a Jewish bagel, and a Middle Eastern lavash, are knocked out of the cart they were in. Having doubts about the honey mustard’s words, Frank sets out to seek answers in the liquor aisle from a character named Firewater that supposedly knows about The Great Beyond. As Frank speaks with Firewater, the rest of his group is lead astray to be killed by the movie’s main villain. There, they encounter a lesbian taco that leads the trio to safety. With encouragement from a Twinkie, Frank decides to set out and discover the truth beyond the store’s frozen section. Eventually, Frank and all the other food items discover the truth about the humans and are horrified by knowing that the humans they called gods actually just want to eat them. At the end of the movie, an incredible and extensive scene takes place that those of a very conservative mindset, if you’ve even made it that far in the movie, might want to cover their eyes at. However, for those who are just enjoying the ride, prepare for a wonderful, long laugh as it all unfolds.

In a strange way, the movie is reminiscent of the movie ‘Toy Story’ as inanimate objects in our daily lives are brought to life and giving us their perspective. This idea is then supported with the occasional cut to a human’s view of the food, just rolling off the counter as they desperately try to run. However, ‘Toy Story’ did not exactly have a series of sex-based jokes or faces being peeled off, so don’t expect it to be exactly the same.

With a well-crafted look into religion and repressed sexuality, broken up by delightful silliness and a strange, opposite view on how our food feels when we eat it, ‘Sausage Party’ is definitely and excellent movie with a wide appeal for many different audiences. However, for anyone thinking of bringing children to see this movie, assuming it is a cute cartoon for the whole family, there will need to be a lot of explaining to do about sex and God once the movie is over.

4 Reasons why college friends are friends for life

When I was growing up, I was told that there would come a time when I would go off to college and leave behind my friends at the time.

In fact, when I reached high school, I even heard from my parents that I wouldn’t even keep in touch with said friends. That was just an unbelievable thought to me. I couldn’t fathom how I could possibly leave my friends that I grew up with, much less not even keep in touch with them.

It all came true, but it worked out for the best, because my friends in my senior year of high school were replaced with a family that I now have in my senior year of college. I don’t think there is even another way to describe the people I have come to know and love over these last three and a half years.

**Rough Nights**

Let’s face it, we have all had nights where we have too many drinks and made poor choices. Friends take you home and give you a bottle of water, but family takes you to Waffle House and gives you Advil. See the difference?

**Partners in Crime**

A huge part of college is taking risks, and finding the right person to take it all on with is just as much fun as the adventures. Sure, you could go out for the night in high school, but the freedom and spontaneousness of a night out in college with your best friend is something special. Whether it’s hiding in a storm shelter during bad weather or hiding from police after a party, it’s always better with your closest friend.

**Study Buddies**

All-nighters are all right with the right people by your side. A night spent pouring over books with coffee breaks and unhealthy snacks is worthwhile. Besides, calling out notecards for three straight hours isn’t so bad… right?

**Maturity**

People change, and in four or more years, we all grow up a great deal. As you become more independent, your friends become friends of choice, and they are with you through some of the biggest changes of your life. They appreciate your successes, and walk with you through your sadness.

College tests the best of friendships, but cultivates them into some of the greatest fellowships that life can have. As you encounter struggles, overcome difficulties, and enjoy victories, never forget the people who were by your side through all of it.

Zootopia

Disney makes a lot of movies that usually have a ton of singing and some sort of hidden message. They excel in delighting children everywhere.

However, Zootopia is a different sort of movie. There is no singing and the main character must take on a task that is almost too big for her to handle.

Judy Hops is a rabbit that wants to join the police force. In a world where predator and prey live together, she wants to go into a predator-dominated career. She has to prove that she can survive and do her job just like everyone else.

Even though the film is aimed at children, there are many jokes and references for teenagers and adults to enjoy.

The film itself and the message it presented left a smile on my face when I exited the theater.

It spoke volumes to what is happening in our world today and shows us that some things are worth fighting for.

St. Patty’s Day

The history of St. Patrick’s Day

On this wonderfully eclectic planet of ours, very rarely do we “need” a reason to celebrate. We look for and indulge in a reason to do so.

Someone says “Hey, it’s *so-and-so* Holiday! Let’s party!” And, the general response is pretty much “Yeah, let’s do that!” i.e. New Years Eve, Fat Tuesday, St. Patty’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July, etc…

The Celebration of St. Patrick: The man that history would come to know as Saint Patrick of Ireland started his life in fourth century Romanian-England. Kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of 14, he would spend the next decade as a sheepherding slave.

In his early twenties he escaped his captives and fled back to England. Under the tutelage and guidance of St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, he was ordained a Bishop. Blessed and provided with the mission to return to Ireland to preach the gospel of The Church, he spent the remaining 40 years of life converting the lands inhabitants. Patrick witnessed and performed miracles, built churches, and was a guide for confession.

Since his death, March 17, 461 (Catholic.org) there has been celebration in his name. Cities with a historically large Catholic and/or Irish population would honor the departed saint with a feast of food, family, and music. It would traditionally be a “low-key” family affair, similar to our Thanksgiving.

St. Patty’s Day: “It’s St Patty’s Day. Everyone’s Irish tonight.” (Boondock Saints 1999 film) This is a common theme heard and stressed on St. Patty’s day. Cities rich in Irish history like Chicago, Boston, New York, New Orleans, and Mobile as well as globally in places like Montreal, Buenos Aires, London, and Auckland all make it a point to celebrate this holiday. And, it is a big deal!

An elaborate plethora of shamrocks and green adorn any and all that could be used as decoration. Bars and restaurants blare Celtic music, give away green “beer shirts” sponsored by Miller or Budweiser, and put green food coloring in your Bud Light.

It’s not tacky, well it is tacky, but it’s fun. Raid your closet and put on everything green that you own. It is even legal and allowed to wear Notre Dame gear. If you have some Mardi Gras beads, slap-em on! If you are able (and allowed) you and some friends take a trip to a larger city like Tuscaloosa or Mobile, find an Irish bar (there are many) and enjoy a plate of Corned Beef and Cabbage with a pint of green beer. Cheers!

Barbie evolving…into more body image issues

The infamous doll that has sparked imaginations for more than 50 years has been criticized for being the tall, slender and appearance-oriented since 1959. Mattel and Barbie have been condemned for setting unrealistic standards of beauty and body image and hyper-sexualizing women’s bodies all while sending these messages through young girls about body image.

Alas, never fear! Mattel recently announced its release of a more diverse Barbie that we all grew up familiar with. This new Barbie evolution includes four body types, seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles.

Now that Barbie claims for every child to be able to find “its own Barbie,” I took it upon myself to ask several girls across the UWA campus their thoughts on the new body types.

“I like it, they are just trying to make a point that a size zero isn’t the only size that appeals to every girl who is playing with their dolls,” Laura Mancin, a senior cross-country runner said.

According to Mattel, this movement has been hailed as a rebuke to the impossible beauty standards that the original Barbie depicts.

“I’m a little indifferent about the new Barbie doll body types,” said Brianna Champion, a sister of ASA sorority. “In a way, I like them because it creates more of a sense of body positivity, but it doesn’t encompass every body type. The tall one is only tall and skinny; the short one is only short and bigger. It’s not exactly realistic.”

Michelle Chidoni from Mattel told Glamour that the Barbie doll was “never designed to replicate the female body,” but instead was intended for a “vehicle to play with.”

However, the original intention of Barbie seems to have been pushed to the side as Mattel hopes to better connect with its target market. According to Mattel, this movement is being described as “radical.” The company is aiming to expand the narrow standards of what a beautiful body looks like.

Dr. Nicole Farris, a Sociology professor and director of The Center for the Study of Gender and Social Sciences worries that this movement may be too little too late.

“It’s really good that Mattel is finally rolling out the variation in body type and skin color among the Barbies,” Farris said. “I mean Barbie has been around since 1959, my opinion is more like ‘uh, finally,’ Mattel should not get a pat on the back for finally doing what is right.”

This movement is great. I agree with Farris in the sense that this movement should have taken place ages ago, though.

What I truly fear now is that America will once again find the youth looking at body image as a mechanism for defining beauty. This movement is only placing more importance on body types.

For example, Susie and Sally play with their Barbies and Susie finds “her Barbie” to be the tall and slender while Sally finds hers in the curvy Barbie.

What happens when Sally wants to borrow Susie’s Barbie clothes and they do not fit her Barbie?

What happens when Sally and Susie’s other friend, Samantha never finds “her Barbie” that fits the four different body types?

Samantha is left wondering what is wrong with her body and why she can’t find a doll to fit her body type. Sally is left wondering why her curvy Barbie can’t wear what the tall and slender Barbie can.

The solution to this is not one that Barbie or Mattel can produce. The solution comes from our media and image-obsessed culture. Our society is responsible for the preoccupation of our bodies, and Barbie is just a product of that notion.

Mattel and Barbie can make as many changes to their dolls, but until society’s body-image obsession is fixed, the problem with Barbie’s body types will still stand.

Destined to fail

I find that all too often, college students let the fear of failure stop them from trying to begin with. Our college years probably hold the greatest potential for personal growth, but that growth gets stunted without taking the necessary risks.

I think we as humans all have parts of ourselves that are strengths that have been forged from the fires of failure. Perhaps that’s why I was so drawn to a particular three word phrase when I first encountered it on social media.

The phrase simply read “destined to fail.” It has a somber ring to it, a haunting simplicity. It’s a truth that I think society tries to mask, but it’s a bitter reality nonetheless.

The fear of failure is a cancer we are all born with. We all have different treatments and different therapies, yet the disease always manifests itself in one form or another.

My entire life has been plague with shortcomings, both self-percieved and real. This goes for everyone I’m sure. I’ve never felt attractive, I’ve never felt accepted, and I’ve never felt good enough. If I surveyed people around me, I think I’d get a lot of similar thoughts.

For college students, opportunities are boundless. With each new day comes new challenges, and with every week comes new tests. Sometimes, with the right amount of preparation, our troubles can be conquered. Other times, however, there just really isn’t a way to prepare for what life throws our way.

Failure is an inevitable feature of life. We shouldn’t let the chances of falling short prevent us from realizing our full potential. If you don’t struggle, you don’t test yourself to see how far you can really go, or find out what you are truly capable of achieving. Toughness is not what you can handle before you break, it’s how man times you can break before you quit.

Maintaining a positive mental attitude is one of the greatest ways to be successful. There is a little voice that exists in everyone that tells us that we are destined to fail. While that may actually be factual, it’s all about how you choose to handle that reality.

If you are going through a period of difficulty in life, just remember that your attitude is one of the biggest weapons you have in your fight against failure. After all, life truly is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

Undy Run 2016

Do you like to run? Well, sign up for the Undy Run hosted by the lovely ladies of Alpha Sigma Tau!

The Undy Run is a going to be held on March 3, 2016. It will start at 5 o’clock. Registration for the run will begin at 4:30 and is going to be located on the SUB Lawn.

All proceeds will go to towards Colon Cancer Research.

The price is five dollars per person and 20 dollars for a team of five. Teams will be able to win prizes. There will also be first place prizes.

Runners will run around the loop with the ladies of AST at the finish line to cheer them on. Runners are encouraged to wear their undies on the outside of their pants.

Don’t want to run? Come out anyway! AST will have games set up under a nearby tent for non runners so that you will be able to support your friends without getting bored.

Want more information? Please speak with the ladies of Alpha Sigma Tau about the Undy Run.

Don’t be scared to rock your undies in support of colon cancer!

10 tips for students who plan to graduate from college

The dreaded “G” word is quickly approaching and no matter how hard we may stop it, we cannot ignore its arrival. Graduating from college is a great accomplishment. It is something that not everyone experiences and is something that many people work extremely hard to accomplish. As my college days are coming to an end, I can’t help but find myself looking back on my time spent making the most amazing memories. I realize that these four years are so very special, and I also realize I will probably want to relive them for the next 10 years of my life. So, in honor of that, I present to you 10 tips for those of you who plan to graduate from college.

1. Don’t wish it away.

They’ll tell you don’t wish away your senior year of high school because you’ll get to college and miss it. I’m telling you don’t wish away your college years, either. My four years are dwindling down and the time has gone by way too fast.

2. Appreciate your friends and the ability to walk down a dorm hallway to be with them.

I’m not joking, you’ll miss this when you move off campus and you’ll miss it when you’re getting ready to graduate. Ask my roommate, I come and stand in her doorway just because I know after May I won’t get to. Appreciate the people who still ask you to have lunch with them after spending the past two classes with you. These friendships are some that you should cherish throughout your college years and after that as well.

3.Coffee, sugar or candy breaks after 11 p.m.

You’ll need it. I hated it my freshman year, but I learned to live off of these tricks to stay up. Oh, and also to make it to my class the next morning.

4. Don’t park in a faculty parking spot, okay? They don’t care what year you are…you’re still going to get a ticket.

There’s really no explanation for this. If you’re a freshman, don’t do it. If you’re a senior and you just want to try your luck…don’t. They’ll catch you eventually. (Tip: Check your friends’ Snapchat stories. They always video cops writing parking tickets!)

5.Help your peers when they need it.

When a classmate is struggling, help them. It won’t hurt to put forth a little effort for someone else. Trust me, they will appreciate it and will return the favor some day.

6.Always say yes.

Unless it is something harmful to you or unethically sound, always say yes. In four years, you won’t have the opportunity to eat junk food at 3 a.m. with your best friend. You won’t have the opportunity to eat Ramen Noodles for every meal without being judged, so might as well say yes to it now. When your professor asks something of you (that you really don’t want to do) always say yes. They’ll remember it. They’ll also love you for it. (Bonus: Professors totally talk about you. They also vote on your for honors, awards, etc. so you should definitely let them love you.)

7.Remember details for your resume. It’s actually extremely important.

Don’t pull the whole “I’m a sophomore I don’t need a resume” stunt. Start making that thing now. You’re more likely to remember what your roommate did last Thursday night than what you did at an internship four years ago. So, make it now and build it up as you progress.

8.Honors students: write your thesis.

I’m so serious. If you put yourself through honors courses and never follow through with a thesis and defense, what’s the point? The purple tassel will absolutely be worth it. Come find me in May and I will reiterate that. Also, it looks really nice on that resume I was talking about (Bonus: Maybe you’ll get lucky like me and get to present your thesis in Las Vegas with Dr. Farris).

9.Know that the bittersweet feeling is absolutely normal.

You know those times when your advisor tells you that she wants to lock you in her office so you can’t graduate? And also, those times when you actually consider that as an option? Yeah, that feeling is normal.

10.Finish strong and thank every person who has guided you.

Ah, saving the best for last. They stress in college how important it is to never take credit for anyone else’s work. Hopefully, you will have this concept memorized by your senior year. Thank your advisor for answering your annoying texts and emails at all times of the day. Thank your professor who listens to you rant about all aspects of life (except their class, of course). Thank those who go out of their way to encourage you. Thank your closest friends and don’t forget to thank your family. You may have physically done the work, but they have fueled you emotionally and mentally through this journey. You will see it too when your college experience is almost complete.

Black Belt Garden Tree Pruning Workshop

Livingston residents participated in an educational workshop and beautification project at UWA’s Campbell House. Hosted and presented by The Black Belt Garden, garden supervisor Cory Sly instructed and displayed reasons and methods for proper maintenance for the many different species of plant life that can grow there.

With slideshow images, then hands-on demonstrations, Sly explained the importance of pruning to maximize fruit-bearing potential, as well as over all plant well being. “You want to prune for maximum circulation of air, water, and sun-light. Give each branch or limb “room-to-breath.” Explained Sly.

In 2010, the community orchard maintains a collection of Asian persimmon trees, apple trees, pomegranate, paw paw’s, fig, and jujube’s as well as multiple species of pear.

Sly is hopeful that the next department budget meeting will provide room for expansion. He has done extensive field-tests to gauge the types of flora can survive here.

Many, it would seem. In the near future, Sly hopes to add some Raji Puri Banana trees, guava trees, olive trees, with two types of peach trees, and two types of grape trees.

Book Sale at the Public Library

On Saturday, February 27th, the Ruby Pickens Tartt Public Library of Livingston, Alabama is having a book sale. The sale begins at 9 A.M and ends at 12 noon.

The public library in Livingston, central Sumter County, is named for Ruby Pickens Tartt, who chronicled the folk songs and slave narratives of the people of Sumter County.

Early-bird pickings for “Friends of the Library” members is at 8 A.M. “Friends” dues are only $10, payable at the door.

All sale items are only 25 cents each.

The Public Library is open on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays from 9 A.M to 6 P.M, from 9 A.M to 5 P.M on Wednesdays and Fridays, and open from 9 A.M to 12 noon on Saturdays. They are closed on Sundays.

The Public Library’s address is 201 Monroe Street, Livingston, AL 35470. Their telephone number is (205) 652-2349.

UWA adds value at Higher Education Day

UWA students, faculty, administrators and alumni will embark on a trip to Montgomery, Alabama to participate in Higher Education Day on Thursday, February 25, 2016.

“UWA and our representatives are attending High Education Day so the legislators will see that we care about our education and the economic growth of the state,” said Jasmine Knox, UWA’s SGA President.

Higher Education Day’s important message for this year is “Universities Add Value.”

UWA’s representatives will be attempting to add to that value by participating in the event while encouraging Alabama policymakers to appreciate the value of the university contributions to the state.

“In my personal opinion, Higher Ed Day is one of the most important events in the entire state,” said Hunter Winborne, SGA Attorney General. “Each year, SGA’s from all across the state come together for a singular cause in hopes to budget more money for the universities in the state of Alabama.”

Higher Ed Day’s goal is to leave people with a full appreciation of the importance of the education that a student gains after high school.

According to a press release, the goal of getting more funding for more Alabamians to attend college could be achieved by participation in Higher Ed Day. Alabama’s appropriations to public colleges take up 27 percent of the Education Trust Fund. In the 1990’s that number used to be 33 percent.

With this decrease, universities have stressed to their students outside of SGA the importance of attendance at Higher Ed Day is ideal.

“It’s important for other organizations to attend Higher Ed Day because organizations make up colleges,” Winborne said. “At the end of the day, this event is a chance for college students who are a part of organizations, Greek life or athletics unite for this important matter.”

Higher Education Day begins at 10:30 a.m. with a parade where the participants will march from Cramton Bowl to the StateHouse. At 11 a.m., a rally on the front steps of the Alabama Statehouse is slated to begin. Following the rally, at noon, there will be a lunch on the capitol grounds.

Student food bank opens at SUB

The University of West Alabama, in partnership with the Livingston Lyons Club, opened the doors to its new Student Food Bank on Tuesday. The UWA Student Food Bank, located in the Fitness Center of the Student Union Building, serves students who are struggling to make ends meet.

“The idea had come about from talking with my students and then doing the research that looked at food insecurity across campus,” said Dr. James Robinson, the lead organizer of the food bank.

“We found out that almost half of our students on campus were in some type of food insecurity,” Robinson said.

The many expenses of gaining a college education can be financially exhaustive, leading students to make a choice between paying for school expenses or going hungry.

However, the social stigma of getting food from the bank could cause students in need to forgo this opportunity.

Robinson said that he does’t want students to feel stigmatized for needing food.

“We want it to be anonymous; that’s why we choose this spot,” Robison said.

“It’s open source, meaning it’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Robinson said. “However, we are confined by the fitness center hours, so as long as the fitness center is open, they can come in.”

Food donations can be dropped of at the entrance of the fitness center.

Donors who want to make a monetary donation should write a check to the UWA Foundation.

To volunteer, donate or learn more about the UWA Student Food Bank program, email Dr. James Robinson or call 205-652-3441.