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Auburn's new President, Dr. Steven Leath, came to campus in 2017 with new ideas and experiences. The Rhode Island native went to school at Penn State University for his undergraduate degree studying plant science, later moving to the University of Delaware, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne. He was a professor for many years before becoming Vice President of Research for University of North Carolina System. This job propelled his career into the administrative field when he later became the President of Iowa State University. There, he focused on expanding the universityu's research and helped the university achieve its highest student graduation rate and lowered student debt.
Here we were searching for our place in this world, but among the future creators, entrepreneurs, and caretakers there was one place in Auburn where we could all come together and be as one — the Auburn Tigers’ student section. Here we shook our beloved shakers, screamed our compelling chants, and rooted for whichever sport the night had to offer. Whether this memorable zone was in Jordan-Hare or the Auburn Arena, it was quite strictly sectioned off entirely for Auburn students. Mississippi State was armed with their cowbells and LSU with their profanities, but none in all the SEC country went in to cheer on their team quite like the Auburn students.
Conner Sibley came to Auburn as a linebacker on the football team and is leaving as a musician. Growing up in Athens, Georgia, Conner said being a lifelong Auburn fan came with its challenges. Getting the chance to walk-on as a linebacker for the Tigers fulfilled one of his life-long dreams. Conner played for Auburn for two years before suffering a career-ending injury. No longer on the football team, the junior studying finance now has time to pursue his true passion -- music. He spent last summer working in a Nashville recording studio, an opportunity that he said gave him invaluable experience. While Conner enjoys working on the production side of things, writing and performing his own music is what drives him. He has produced original songs, and he says that more are on the way. Raised in the South, Conner cites several rock and country stars as his influences, but has developed his own unique sound rooted in pop. He plans to release future music under his stage name: Isaiah Conner, a combination of his first and middle name. With the name Isaiah Conner, Sibley intends to distinguish his new career from his former as a college athlete. Conner has performed all over Auburn at various events and concerts; Conner said opening for rapper 2 Chainz at UPC’s Airwaves concert has been his favorite music moment so far. After graduation, Conner plans on using his finance degree to help further jump-start his music career.
Auburn and football. The two go together seamlessly, as if one could hardly exist without the other. They could, of course, but neither would be the same. Deep rivalries, time-honored traditions and legendary athletes have stamped the Auburn tiger paw upon the college football history books. The Auburn Tigers have played 1242 games, racking up an overall record of 759-436-47.
In the midst of chaotic classes, urgent deadlines, and pressing assignments, some students have managed to squeeze in 10-20 hours a week to work at on-campus or off-campus jobs. Many students at Auburn have committed to part-time jobs in order to earn money for education and living expenses. Other students choose the busy lifestyle in effort to build an impressive resume for their future employers. Noticeably, working students have a different experience in college than others, and their experience could be described as wholeheartedly productive. These students are always on the go, which may sound overwhelming, yet at no surprise to the Auburn family, our students have proved to actually enjoy the intense schedules. Our students believe in work, hard work, and striving to fulfill their self-starting goals, so they have put their free time, friends, and fatigue aside to pursue additional funds and improvement in their work skills.
Buddy Davidson does not like to miss Auburn football games. In fact, he has not missed an Auburn game in 60 years. The streak began in 1957, and on October 7, during the Ole Miss game of the 2017 season, he attended his 700th consecutive game.
As technology increases its presence in our world, adjustments have been made to better address the needs of Auburn students. With wifi that spans across the majority of campus, Auburn strives to keep up with new developments so that students have the best chance at success. Since students use their phones and computers nonstop, they often ran into the challenge of finding a power source to recharge them. For this reason, SGA brought charging stations to key locations. These stations have individual storage boxes, each with their own combination locks, so that students can plug in their phones and leave them to charge safely. The boxes on the ground floor of Jordan-Hare Stadium are often used by students during home football games after a long day of tailgating.
Auburn University’s Ring Night is a biannual tradition that takes place at 6:56 pm,18:56 military time, representing the founding year of East Alabama Male College, the original name of Auburn University. Student Government Association representatives and other members of the student body gathered around the Auburn seal in front of Langdon Hall to watch the festivities. The rings, shelved in a movable box, were rolled over the seal to place the infamous “curse” on them. This curse is said to prevent students from graduating in four years, in addition to some other unfortunate circumstances.
From the start of the week, Homecoming 2016 was filled with excitement and tradition. From a more than crowded concourse filled with individuals campaigning for their favorite Miss Homecoming candidate to the parade of elaborate floats, there was never a dull moment on The Plains. The night before the Homecoming game against Louisiana-Monroe, UPC held a free concert with Echosmith and the White Tie Ensemble. Among these exciting events was the biggest Homecoming tradition, Miss Homecoming. Candidates Leah Bostany, Kelsey Guyan, Kate Hardman, Maggie Smith, and Victoria Starks, along with the support of their sororities and nominating organizations, spent hours on the Haley Concourse raising awareness for their choice of charity or initiative.
Auburn defeated LSU on September 24th after a high emotion and high stakes game. The entire Auburn family was on a high that could have lasted all night. Downtown Auburn seemed to be completely covered in toilet paper from a Toomer’s Corner celebration. Early Sunday morning, flames began to engulf the Magnolia tree after a strand of toilet paper had been lit by Joachim Weist. On this seemingly perfect night, just five years after the poisoning of the oaks, tragedy had struck Toomer’s once again. The identity of the culprit may have never been known if Auburn student Herron Taylor had not witnessed the act and chased Weist down. The Magnolia oak was damaged enough by the fire that Auburn fans were unable to roll it for the remainder of the season. Through good times and bad, the Auburn family will always protect our corner.
On February 9th, 8,880 students placed their votes online to elect the new Student Government Association leaders. After a long week of campaigning, candidates, campaign staff, and students gathered anxiously at the steps of Cater Hall for call outs to learn who would be the next SGA leaders. Seven Auburn University students competed for three executive positions, each with a personal platform while five women competed for Miss Auburn. Jesse Westerhouse won 4,216 of the 7,646 votes for the presidential position. All week, he reached out to students on the concourse by offering coupons and other gimmicks in hopes of receiving their votes. Jesse Westerhouse chose to run for SGA president because he believed his “experiences had prepared [him] to lead and accomplish tangible goals that would better Auburn for all students.” Brandon Honeywell received 68% of the votes for vice president. After a close race and winning just 54% of the vote, James Beauchaine was named treasurer.
Although the university is constantly evolving, Auburn's abundant traditions keep the university immersed in its history. Walking through campus provides a constant reminder of the university’s progress and rich history. Additionally, in the past twenty years, the Student Center, the Recreation and Wellness Center, and new residence halls have completely changed the landscape of campus. Changes, however, are not limited to the buildings on campus. Undoubtedly, athletics are another facet of Auburn that is constantly changing. From the construction of Jordan-Hare Stadium and its many expansions to the winning and losing seasons of each team, pride in our school remains. Much like our pride, Auburn’s game day traditions create an enduring experience that will likely withstand the test of time. Though administrators, professors, and students constantly come and go, each generation of Auburn men and women contribute to our Auburn Family traditions. Through each game day ritual, Hey Day, Cater callouts, and “War Eagle”, the Auburn traditions encompass the Auburn spirit and remind us of what was then even in the now.
Whether you are seated on the first floor or on the fourth, at a table or in a study room, studying in the middle of the day or late at night, Ralph Brown Draughon Library has a combination to best fit each student at Auburn University. Some students dread entering through the front doors with their heavy backpacks in tow, because it indicates that the time for studying has arrived. Other students flock to RBD, excited to sit in silence and drown out the world around them. Sophomore Hayden “Bucky” Buckhalt enjoys the accessibility of RBD: the open environment, the private nooks and the coffee just around the corner.