University Housing Executive Director Search

Executive director candidates for University Housing will be on campus Wednesday, Dec. 8-Friday, Dec. 10. The campus community is invited to learn more about each candidate by attending open forums and viewing their resume.

Candidate 1:
Vernon Rogers
Wednesday, Dec. 8
8:30-9:30 a.m.
2222 Melton Student Center
Read more about Rogers here.
Complete candidate survey here.

Candidate 2:
Nyerere Tryman
Thursday, Dec. 9
8:30-9:30 a.m.
2107 Melton Student Center
Read more about Tryman here.
Complete candidate survey here.

Candidate 3:
Robin Gore
Friday, Dec. 10
8:30-9:30 a.m.
2222 Melton Student Center
Read more about Gore here.
Complete candidate survey here.

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Finals Week Roundup

During the week of finals, students can enjoy free food and study break opportunities across camps.

War Damn Finals Cram
Octavia Spencer ’94 remembers the stress final exams can cause, and to help ease students’ anxiety and provide a reason to take a study break, she is covering the cost of meals for Auburn students all week.

The Oscar-winning actress and College of Liberal Arts graduate partnered with Student Affairs to present War Damn Finals Cram, an event that will provide a variety of meals to students each day during the week of final exams.

War Damn Finals Cram schedule
Sunday, Dec. 5, 10 p.m. to midnight — The Edge at Central Dining                  Monday, Dec. 6, 8–10 p.m., outside RBD Library — NYC Gyro truck
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 8-10 p.m., outside RBD Library — Amsterdam Café truck
Wednesday, Dec. 8, 8-10 p.m., outside RBD Library — Philly Connection truck
Thursday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Haley Concourse — Amsterdam Café War Damn Taco truck

Up All Night with SGA
Student Government Association will host Up All Night Sunday, Dec. 5-Thursday, Dec. 9 at midnight on the second floor of the Ralph B. Draughon Library.

Students can enjoy Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a cup of orange juice to fuel their finals craving, while also being provided with scantrons and blue books. Aubie and other special guests will be in attendance throughout the week.

Melton Student Center study rooms
The Melton Student Center has set aside three rooms for students to use on a first come, first serve basis Saturday, Dec. 4-Friday, Dec. 10. The available rooms are 2216, 2225 and 2227 Melton Student Center.

Get Movin’ with Moose and Nessie
Join Student Counseling and Psychological Services, or SCPS, for Get Movin’ with Moose and Nessie on Thursday, Dec. 9 at 4 p.m. Enjoy a two-three mile walk with SCPS therapy dogs, Moose and Nessie, around campus.

The group will meet on the concourse outside the Melton Student Center Starbucks.

Campus Rec free group fitness workouts
All students can enjoy free group fitness classes Monday, Dec. 6-Wednesday, Dec. 8 at Campus Recreation. To secure a spot in class, register via the Auburn Rec app or online.

Recharge, relax and refresh at the Zen Den 
The Zen is available to one person at a time and consists of two rooms. Across both rooms, there is a full-body massage chair, a sleep pod, mats for stretching, meditation and yoga, and computer access for yoga videos, and biofeedback equipment.

“It’s important to take time for self and reduce stress consistently, and it is vital during times of high stress, such as during final exams,” Jan Miller, licensed psychologist and eating concerns treatment team coordinator for Student Counseling & Psychological Services, said. “It’s not uncommon for people to put self-care on the backburner during high stress, but this is when we need self-care the most.”

For more information on the Zen Den, click here.

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Auburn Alumna Octavia Spencer treating students to finals week meals

Octavia Spencer ’94 remembers the stress final exams can cause, and to help ease students’ anxiety and provide a reason to take a study break, she is covering the cost of meals for Auburn students all week.

The Oscar-winning actress and College of Liberal Arts graduate partnered with Student Affairs to present War Damn Finals Cram, an event that will provide a variety of meals to students each day during the week of final exams.

The event kicks off Sunday, Dec. 5 at The Edge at Central Dining. From 10 p.m. to midnight, students are invited to stop by the dining hall, Auburn’s newest, to get a late-night meal before finals week begins the next day.

Spencer’s generosity continues throughout the week. Food trucks will be outside Ralph B. Draughon Library from 8–10 p.m., Monday, Dec. 6 through Wednesday, Dec. 8 to provide dinner for students on campus. Meals will be from student favorites NYC Gyro, Amsterdam Café and Philly Connection. On Thursday, Dec. 9, students can visit the Haley Concourse for to-go tacos from the Amsterdam Café War Damn Taco Truck. Meals will be available until the trucks run out of food.

For Spencer, the spirit of sharing meals with fellow students is a finals week tradition she remembers fondly, although she may not recall her attempt at cooking for her classmates as five-star cuisine.

“I remember when I was studying on the Plains, there was always someone in charge of food, and one time it was me for Spanish exams,” Spencer said. “Well, it didn’t turn out too great. We all did well on the exams, but I failed in the food category, so I don’t want any of you whose responsibility it is to feed everybody to fail the food portion.”

War Damn Finals Cram will help students take a much-needed break from screens to decompress, as well as make sure they are at their best before taking exams, which the goal Spencer set out to achieve.

“We’re so proud of you, and we want you to finish strong,” Spencer said. “Remember, you are Auburn made.”

War Damn Finals Cram schedule

Sunday, Dec. 5, 10 p.m. to midnight — The Edge at Central Dining

Monday, Dec. 6, 8–10 p.m., outside RBD Library — NYC Gyro

Tuesday, Dec. 7, 8-10 p.m., outside RBD Library — Amsterdam Café

Wednesday, Dec. 8, 8-10 p.m., outside RBD Library — Philly Connection

Thursday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Haley Concourse — Amsterdam Café War Damn Taco

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Beat Bama Food Drive breaks competition record

The 28th annual Beat Bama Food Drive concluded on Nov. 18 with a record breaking 352,389 pounds of food collected to benefit the Food Bank of East Alabama. This is the highest total ever raised by both universities with the previous record belonging to the University of Alabama in 2018 with 309,194 pounds.

In total, Auburn University and the University of Alabama collected a record 671,826 pounds of food, with the University of Alabama’s Beat Auburn Beat Hunger Drive accounting for 319,437 pounds.

“This was definitely one of the best teams we’ve worked with over the past 28 years,” Martha Henk, executive director of the Food Bank of East Alabama said. “It is not an overstatement to say that this food drive determines whether some families will have holiday meals and have adequate food for their families beyond the holiday season. The food raised by Beat Bama Food Drive equates to more than 271,000 meals!”

According to Henk, the food collected is distributed into senior programs, low-income day cares, emergency food pantries and missions and rehabilitation centers that are served by the Food Bank of East Alabama and the West Alabama Food Bank.

Since 1994, Beat Bama Food Drive has collected more than 4 million pounds of food uniting students, faculty, alumni and community members to help fight hunger and food insecurity in East Alabama. This unique competition leverages the rivalry between the schools as they benefit local food banks, the state of Alabama and those facing food insecurity.

“This is the largest food drive our food bank has ever experienced,” Henk said. “While it’s great to come out on top of this competition, the truth is that the real winners of the competition are the food insecure families fed through the food bank network.”

Beat Bama Food Drive would like to specially thank the following sponsors who made the food drive possible:

AuburnBank

Shipt

Gin Jager Studio

New South Research

Kroger

Lynch Toyota of Auburn

For more information on Beat Bama Food Drive, click here.

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Recharge, relax and refresh at the Zen Den

Throughout each semester, students will likely find themselves in stressful circumstances, whether academically or personally. When these moments arise, Student Counseling and Psychological Services offers a haven for students to take a break and relax their mind, body and spirit at the Zen Den.

Jan Miller, licensed psychologist and eating concerns treatment team coordinator for Student Counseling and Psychological Services, said the Zen Den is a place for people to “zen out.”

The Zen Den is available to one person at a time and consists of two rooms. Across both rooms, there is a full-body massage chair, a sleep pod, mats for stretching, meditation and yoga, and computer access for yoga videos, and biofeedback equipment.

According to Miller, biofeedback is a way to see physiological indicators of stress, such as heart rate or temperature, on a computer screen.

“Students connect to the system using leads that clip to an earlobe, and then a game provides the information about the physiological indicators of stress,” Miller said. “If the system detects higher stress, the game may slow down, and the music soften. Students then use stress management techniques like deep breathing to lower stress, which the game then detects, and the game resumes a normal speed and music will become louder.”

Through biofeedback, students can learn and practice stress management techniques in a fun and rewarding environment that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

With finals quickly approaching, the Zen Den is an ideal location for students to decompress and recharge.

“It’s important to take time for self and reduce stress consistently, and it is vital during times of high stress, such as during final exams,” Miller said. “It’s not uncommon for people to put self-care on the backburner during high stress, but this is when we need self-care the most.”

Miller stated even the busiest person can take 15 minutes to do something for themselves and the Zen Den can be part of that routine.

“The Zen Den allows students to recharge, relax and refresh,” Miller said.

All Auburn students have access to the Zen Den, free of charge, and do not have be a client of Student Counseling and Psychological Services.

Additional self-care services provided by Student Counseling and Psychological Services include Mindful Monday, Get Movin’ with Moose and Nessie, and skill-building online workshops for anxiety, depression, working through difficult times and problems with other people. The services are free to all students and can be accessed at any time.

To reserve the Zen Den, students can visit 0326 Haley Center or call Student Counseling & Psychological Services at 334-844-5123.

For more information on the Zen Den, click here.

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Beat Bama Food Drive and Campus Food Pantry join to end food insecurity

For the first time, the Beat Bama Food Drive and Campus Food Pantry have joined together in the continuous fight against food insecurity in East Alabama. Through Nov. 18, any donation to Auburn’s Campus Food Pantry will be counted towards the university’s goal of beating the University of Alabama in the Beat Bama Food Drive.

“This partnership is a direct reflection of the work Beat Bama Food Drive students and the Campus Food Pantry do to alleviate food insecurity throughout not only Auburn’s campus but the Auburn community,” Charlie Gordon, Student Involvement graduate assistant for service programs, said.

Additionally, through this first-year partnership, the Campus Food Pantry will receive a portion of donations from the Beat Bama Food Drive, which directly supports students on Auburn’s campus.

The Campus Food Pantry began in 2012 to provide non-perishable food items to aid students struggling with food insecurity. It is an initiative of Auburn cares, a department of Student Affairs.

Donations of non-perishable food items are accepted at labeled Beat Bama Food Drive barrels located throughout major campus building and in Auburn retail stores, schools, churches and pharmacies. To give directly to the Campus Food Pantry, items can be delivered to 1115 Melton Student Center.

Beat Bama Food Drive monetary donations are accepted through multiple online platforms, including Venmo, GivePulse and the Beat Bama Food Drive website.

“We utilize a conversion system of 2 pounds for every $1 donated in monetary gifts and convert that physical weight of individual food items into a collective poundage total that we report to the Food Bank of East Alabama,” Gordon said. “We combine the donations to the Campus Food Pantry with the donations received at the Food Bank of East Alabama for our drive total.”

According to Gordon, one in four Auburn students face food insecurity every day, and for the Campus Food Pantry, monetary donations are essential in keeping the program running.

“There are certain times of the year when we run low on items, so monetary donations allow us to go to the grocery store and purchase those items,” Sarah Grace Kaschak, Auburn Cares coordinator, said. “Additionally, these funds help us make larger purchases as we are working to open a new, larger space—like a refrigerator to offer our users fresh foods.”

Jack Wray, Beat Bama Food Drive president, encourages everyone to come together and fight against something that impacts our community and state.

“Food insecurity doesn’t present itself like hunger or poverty where the person that is struggling is very apparent,” Wray said. “Imagine having to choose between a car payment, a textbook, your electricity bill or eating. Food security should be a basic human right.”

Because of this, Wray encourages everyone to come together and fight against something that impacts our community and state.

“I am so appreciative of Jack and Charlie’s work to make Beat Bama Food Drive bigger and better than ever this year,” Kaschak said. “I know we are going to change the lives of so many through this drive.”

Since 1994, Auburn University and the Food Bank of East Alabama have united students, faculty, alumni and community members to help fight hunger and poverty in our community by challenging the University of Alabama and the West Alabama Food Bank. The competition has since garnered donations of over six million pounds of food for Alabamians in need.

“The Beat Bama Food Drive team is comprised of students who have such a genuine passion for not just alleviating food insecurity in their own community but creating a better world than the one they currently live in,” Gordon said. “The work these students do every day embody the spirit of the Creed and the impact of the human touch.”

To give to the Beat Bama Food Drive and the Campus Food Pantry, click here.

For more information on these programs, visit the Beat Bama Food Drive and the Campus Food Pantry websites.

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Watch open forums on how vaccine mandate impacts student employees

In compliance with a federal vaccine mandate, student employees are required to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8, 2021. Students who perform hourly work, receive a stipend for non-hourly services or are supported through a graduate assistantship are considered a university employee, making the federal requirement applicable to them.

Student Affairs hosted two virtual open forms on Monday, Oct. 25, to discuss how the mandate impacts student employees. If you have questions about the vaccine mandate, please email vpsa@auburn.edu.

  • To watch the 4 p.m. forum, click here.
  • To watch the 6 p.m. forum, click here.

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Eagle Eye studio named in honor of former student and CNN reporter Chloe Melas Mazza

From Eagle Eye TV to CNN, Chloe Melas Mazza ’08 returned to the Plains on Friday, Oct. 8 for the naming of the Chloe Melas Mazza Eagle Eye Studio.

Raised in Dallas, Mazza knew no one when she walked onto Auburn’s campus. Although she met friends through her sorority, Mazza still felt something was missing. During her sophomore year, Mazza joined Eagle Eye TV, Auburn’s student-run television station.

“Once I joined Eagle Eye, I found my niche and a group of like-minded people,” Mazza said. “I felt at home and that I had truly discovered part of who I was and who I was going to become.”

Today, Mazza is an entertainment reporter for CNN based in New York. Her days consists of writing articles for cnn.com, interviewing various celebrities or researching for an investigation.

Mazza credits Eagle Eye TV with her decision to become a journalist, and she generously gave back to the program that changed her future and Auburn experience.

Half of Mazza’s gift went toward purchasing the first year of CNN Newsource for Eagle Eye TV, and the remainder will benefit the Student Affairs Gift Fund, which is used for Student Affairs areas of greatest need.

Billy Ferris, assistant director of student media, and Mazza overlapped during their time as students in Eagle Eye TV. Ferris recalls Mazza as someone who worked hard, consistently improved and reported a variety of stories.

“Chloe made it possible for Eagle Eye TV to become a CNN Newsource affiliate which has allowed current students to expand their coverage to national events impacting the Auburn community,” Ferris said. “This sets up our current and future students to have every opportunity to succeed and reach their potential.”

Eagle Eye TV was Mazza’s first opportunity to use online editing software, and the studio where she learned how to pitch stories, read a teleprompter and become more comfortable in front of and behind a camera. She remained part of the student-run organization until she graduated.

The lessons Mazza learned from her tenure at Eagle Eye TV had a significant impact on her career.

“It was such an invaluable experience and I look back on that time as one of the best parts of my Auburn experience,” Mazza said. “My time at Eagle Eye brought me a lot of joy.”

With the Eagle Eye studio now holding Mazza’s name, she hopes it reminds students that anything is possible.

For more information about Eagle Eye TV, click here.

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Student Affairs honors legacy of Gloria Finley

Gloria Finley, affectionately known as “Ms. G” by students and colleagues, began working for Auburn University in 1985 as an administrative associate. For most of those years, she dedicated her career to the department of Student Affairs as a business coordinator, specifically within Student Involvement.

Finley brought knowledge and stability to student organization business operations, and her kind and generous spirit made her special and widely known by students and colleagues. She worked closely with members of Auburn’s Student Government Association, or SGA, and the Aubie program on budgeting, purchasing and financial decision-making.

Although Finley lost her fearless fight against cancer in February, she will forever be remembered through a gift made in her name by former SGA President Jonathan McConnell ’03. To celebrate Finley’s life and her dedication to Auburn, the front desk in the Office of Student Involvement was named The Gloria Finley Front Desk, or The Ms. G Front Desk, on Friday, Sept. 24.

Bobby R. Woodard, senior vice president for Student Affairs, spoke at the ceremony and remembered Finley as a testament to what the Auburn Family looks like.

Corey Edwards, assistant to the senior vice president of Student Affairs, shared memories about his special relationship with Finley, which began when he was a student and continued as they later became colleagues.

Edwards reminded Finley’s family, current and past colleagues, and students in attendance, that her spirit continues to live throughout the office of Student Involvement. He praised Finley for building a close-knit Student Involvement office, with staff who are willing to step up at any time for one another. Finley’s legacy, according to Edwards, will forever be part of the department.

While Finley loved all her students, McConnell was easily one of her favorites. While their relationship grew during his time at Auburn, their bond strengthened long past his time as a student.

“She was one of the closest people to me,” McConnell said. “I would call her from the middle of the night in Iraq from a satellite phone just to hear her voice and have a few minutes to catch up.”

McConnell felt led to honor Finley because of how she poured her life into Auburn, her family and the many others around her.

Finley became a mother figure to many Auburn students, including McConnell, Edwards and Brad Smith, director of Student Involvement.

“She’d unapologetically let you know your hair or outfit wasn’t your best or she’d offer you unconditional love and support with a smile,” Smith said. “Years after graduation when I returned to work for Auburn, Ms. G became more than an Auburn mom or colleague. She was a best friend.”

Whether Ms. G was managing budgets, helping others or cheering for Aubie at the UCA Mascot National Championship competition, she did it with enthusiasm and care.

Amy Shugart, communications and marketing specialist for Student Involvement, recalled meeting Finley for the first time during her junior year of high school at the Mascot National Championship competition. Shugart was at the event to support her brother, who was a friend of Aubie.

Shugart described feeling instantly like one of Finley’s own and shared that Finley encouraged her to apply at Auburn. When Shugart came to Auburn, she was able to maintain and build her relationship with Finley, especially while serving as director of Aubie from 2011-2012.

“Ms. G was the glue that held the Aubie program together,” Shugart said. “She was our confidante, encourager and biggest cheerleader. She provided words of wisdom and witty one-liners, sometimes all in the same sentence. She kept us humble.”

Shugart credits Finley’s constant support and hard work for the success of the Aubie program today.

Melissa Irvin Howell, director of the Melton Student Center, worked with Finley for over 25 years. The two met when Finley joined the Student Affairs team, and their offices were in the James E. Foy Student Union.

“I remember the first day she started with us,” Irvin Howell said. “It was like a breath of fresh air had walked in with a beautiful smile.”

At the conclusion of the naming ceremony, Peyton Alsobrook, Student Affairs development officer, announced the Gloria Finley Endowed Scholarship, created to honor Finley’s legacy at Auburn. The scholarship will be awarded to an Auburn student serving in a leadership position who is in need of financial assistance. To date, $60,000 has been raised to support the fund.

To give to the Gloria Finley Endowed Scholarship, contact Alsobrook at pda0001@auburn.edu.

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Watch the Sept. 22 Town Hall on Sexual Assault Reporting and Prevention

Watch the Sept. 22 Town Hall on Sexual Assault Reporting and Prevention

On Sept. 22, representatives from campus and the community gathered to address student concerns and share information about reporting and preventing sexual assault. Watch a recording of the Town Hall here.

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