As we do every year, The Towerlight has compiled a brief review of some of the bigger stories from this last year.
Good luck with finals, have a great summer and we’ll see you soon!
Café Enactus Opens
A group of students in the entrepreneurial organization Enactus debuted a new deli-style café on the first floor of Stephens Hall in September. The café offers grab-and-go baked goods, sandwiches, salads and wraps, as well as coffee and tea from local Baltimore Coffee & Tea Company. Café Enactus serves Chartwells food, and is the only place on campus to get the Enactus Wrap, which is made with an Old Bay aioli.
Towson finished its season as co-conference champions with a 26-6, including a 13-match streak, record and made an appearance in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament. In the CAA Tournament, Towson was eliminated in the semifinals by UNC Wilmington despite leading the Seahawks by two sets. The Tigers graduated four seniors but have key members of their team returning and young talent developing for next season.
The campus community came together remember, celebrate and mourn President Emerita Maravene Loeschke, TU’s 13th president, who died of complications from adrenal cancer June 25. She was 68 years old. Loeschke was diagnosed with adrenal cancer in April 2014 and announced that August that she would be taking a leave of absence. In December 2014, she resigned the presidency. Loeschke’s husband, theatre program founder and professor emeritus C. Richard Gillespie died of complications from dementia last month.
Audiences experienced an honest and raw discussion of sexual assault and rape during Vajungle from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3. Written by senior acting major Mani Yangilmau, Vajungle was a 45-minute one act show that explored the effects of sexual assault as told through the stories of five young women. Told through singing, dance, and symbolic movement, they share their inner turmoil and how they cope with the trauma they faced. The discussion that took place afterward gave the audience a chance to reflect on what was shown in the play and gave the actresses the opportunity to share their feelings.
Chandler as President
When Maravene Loeschke, Towson’s 13th president, announced that she was taking a leave from the University for medical reasons in August 2014, Provost Tim Chandler took the TU helm. When the fall 2015 semester started, Chandler had already become interim president. Under his leadership, TU worked to secure funding for a new science building and began the difficult and ongoing conversations about race on campus. A group of concerned students staged a sit-in of Chandler’s office, keeping a dialogue going until the early hours of the morning, when Chandler signed a document pledging his support to begin work on a number of demands presented to him by the students, including working to increase the number of black, tenured professor’s at Towson.
Towson Row groundbreaking
Towson Row, when it’s completed in a few years, will bring a Whole Foods and other shops and restaurants, in addition to businesses and apartments, within walking distance of campus. Construction on the site, which is near the intersection of York Road and Towsontown Boulevard, began in October 2015. The project will also feature an area of “green space,” that includes native plants and stormwater management.
Midsummer Night’s Dream
Towson’s Department of Theatre Arts brought magic, mischievousness and Shakespearean comedy to the Center for the Arts Mainstage Theatre with their production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Professor and director of the play Peter Wray described the performance as a, “sensual romp, romantic comedy where the two worlds of our world and the fairy world collide and are turned inside out.”
Phone found in locker room
A smartphone was found recording students in the women’s swim team locker room in mid October. While it would later be revealed that the phone belonged to Maureen Mead, the former diving coach, those details would not be made available for some time. Rumors flew, especially considering that, earlier in the year, Barry Freundel, a prominent rabbi and professor at Towson, resigned after he pleaded guilty to voyeurism charges in Washington, D.C. It would be nearly four months between the time the phone was found and Mead went to court.
Towson finished its season with a 7-8-4 record despite making it to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament the year before. The Tigers kicked off their season with two straight losses and a tie before earning their first victory of the season against Villanova at the Tiger Soccer Complex. After its defeat of Villanova, Towson went on to earn five straight victories over Fairfield, Iona, Mount St. Mary’s, Loyola and Saint Francis (PA). However, following a 0-0 tie against Pennsylvania the Tigers suffered a 0-6-2 stretch before concluding their season with a 1-0 victory against CAA rival Elon on senior day. Next year, Towson will bring back starting goalkeeper Taylor Sebola who finished the season with 1.29 goals against average.
On Nov. 17 and 18, a group of student activists presented a list of 13 demands to improve the quality of life for minority students on campus to Towson’s Student Government Association and University administration during two sit-in protests, a week after the protests at the University of Missouri. At the SGA meeting Nov. 17, students staged an “SGA takeover” in which they expressed that SGA President Kurt Anderson and his executive board were not living up to the promises that they made to the student body when they were elected. Both Anderson and Interim President Timothy Chandler signed the demands. Chandler signed on Nov. 18 at 12:45 a.m., after almost nine hours of negotiation. Among the demands were a lack of tenured black faculty, a need for a required cultural competency course, a required race relations course and a dissatisfaction with what the students see as inadequate representation on the President’s Diversity Coordinating Council.
Towson concluded its season with a 7-4 record and earned five conference victories after finishing the previous season 4-8 with just two conference wins. The Tigers opened up their season with a loss on the road to FBS opponent Eastern Carolina, but bounced back with two straight wins at Johnny Unitas Stadium against Saint Francis (PA) and Holy Cross. Towson also went on a four-game winning-streak, defeating Stony Brook, No. 22/23 Villanova, Delaware and Maine. The Tigers concluded their season with a 38-21 victory over rival Rhode Island at Johnny Unitas Stadium on senior day. Next year, Towson will welcome in Oregon transfer quarterback Morgan Mahalak and will be returning running back Darrius Victor to the offense. Last season, Victor averaged 4.9 yards per-carry and rushed for 1,021 yards despite battling a nagging injury. The Tigers will open up their season on the road against FBS opponent South Florida in Tampa, Florida. The Tigers will then return home for their first home game of the season against Saint Francis (PA) at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
Schatzel named President
The University System of Maryland Board of Regents announced Dec. 4 that Eastern Michigan University administrator, businesswoman and former marketing professor Kim Schatzel would become the 14th president of Towson University. At a Dec. 16 welcome ceremony for Schatzel, USM Chancellor Bob Caret explained that Schatzel was selected for the position due to her experience in both the academic and business spheres. Schatzel has over two decades of business experience from working for a multinational and industrial firm as the founding president, chief operating officer and chief executive officer, in addition to her roles as an interim president, provost and executive vice president at EMU. Prior to accepting the position at TU, Schatzel and husband Trevor “mystery shopped” the campus in order to get a feel for the environment.
The spring semester kicked off with the first ever Jan Jam concert featuring Fetty Wap along with opening acts Omen, Cozz and Bas. The relatively new artist is known for his distinct voice that mixes rap, hip-hop and R&B genres but breaks the mold between singing and rapping. The concert drew over 4,000 people to the SECU Arena, but many left surprised with the brevity of his set.
Schatzel’s presidency kicks it into gear
Kim Schatzel assumed the University presidency Jan. 25, amid hazardous winter weather conditions that kicked off the spring semester with campus closures and delayed openings. In her first months on campus, Schatzel hosted town hall-style meetings, or “focus groups,” as she calls them, that gave students and faculty members the opportunity to ask questions and comment on University systems. To connect with the University, Schatzel also said it was a goal of hers to attend as many events and informally speak to as many students as possible. Schatzel also met with student activists and representatives about the demands signed by Interim President Tim Chandler prior to her appointment. She has since called for the Towson community to be actively anti-racist.
Women’s Ice Hockey
Towson earned its third straight Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference (DVCHC) Championship, defeating University of Maryland, College Park 3-2 in shootout fashion. The Tigers secured the championship when junior goaltender Lauren Wood made the game-winning save despite battling a torn MLC. The win was even sweeter for Towson who fell to Maryland 4-1 on senior night on home ice in the regular season. Towson is graduating six seniors, three of which play on the defensive side of the puck which will make recruiting a priority for the offseason.
Dirron Allen leaves
After serving as Director of Student Activities and Student Government Association advisor for over 10 years, Dirron Allen moved to a new position as the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. SGA passed a resolution Feb. 2 honoring Allen’s dedicated time and service to the university. According to the resolution, the SGA expressed “their deepest gratitude to Mr. Dirron for his distinguished service at Towson University.”
As You Like It
The Fine Arts Department was met with a different kind of experience this year when Center Stage took up residency in the Center for The Arts. With the Center Stage’s building under renovation, they needed a place to put on their upcoming shows. After an agreement with the University, the Baltimore-based theater company spent the spring semester at Towson to perform their plays. They performed the play “As You Like It” in February, which was met with enthusiasm by the school’s theater department. Towson theater students got the opportunity to learn the ropes of the real acting world from the Center Stage crew.
Maureen Mead Charged, faces court
Maureen Mead was charged, in November, with two misdemeanors for leaving a phone to record student athletes in the women’s swim team locker room the month before. Mead pleaded guilty to the two misdemeanor charges in February and was sentenced to three years unsupervised probation before judgment. As part of her sentencing, the judge also ordered Mead to not contact any of the athletes and to not coach swimming in any capacity. The ruling from the judge came after an emotional trial, where the prosecutor presented the facts of the case and allowed and allowed seven women from the team to make victim impact statements–telling the court, and Mead, that the actions she had taken had caused the women to lose sleep, suffer in class and seek counseling, among other consequences.
Tiger Pride Day
The 17th annual Tiger Pride Day saw nearly 100 students and dozens of faculty, staff and alumni travel to Annapolis to lobby state lawmakers on initiatives important to the university. Put together by the Student Government Association, this year’s Tiger Pride Day agenda focused on keeping college tuition affordable, securing an operating budget for TU, getting money for capital improvement projects (like the upcoming science building), advancing transgender rights in the state and sustaining a workforce of University System of Maryland graduates in the state.
Dance on Bones
March brought a theatrical performance to campus called “Dance on Bones” that conveyed a strong message about the universal language of jazz and the need for environmental responsibility. “I wanted to get across the possible outcome of what could happen to this world if we don’t take care of it,” associate professor and writer of “Dance on Bones” Dave White said. “I also wanted something that would tell that story in a bit of a scattered and multi-dimensional way.”
Towson finished its season 20-13 and went into the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament as the No. 3 seed against Northeastern. However, the Tigers suffered heartbreak in the tournament at Royal Farms Arena, falling to the Huskies 71-60. Towson’s season was filled with success in conference play as the team earned 11 CAA victories. Making an impact on this year’s Tiger team was Wake Forest transfer Arnaud William Adala Moto who played in 32 games and averaged 13.7 points. Sophomore guard Mike Morsell also contributed to Towson’s success on the court, playing in 32 games and averaging 12.9 points. Next season, the CAA Tournament will head south to Charleston where the Tigers will look to have postseason success.
Towson fraternity suspended, off-campus investigation ongoing
Towson’s chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon, a national fraternity, was suspended April 5, according to a statement from the University, pending the results of an off-campus investigation. “The action to suspend this fraternity is normal practice when serious accusations of illegal activity have been alleged and are being investigated,” Vice President for Student Affairs Deb Moriarty said in the statement. “During this period of suspension, members of this chapter are to have no contact whatsoever with pledges.” The announcement from the University came shortly after reports surfaced of a Towson student being taken to a local hospital after an alleged off-campus hazing incident. Reports from local news stations say that the student was vomiting blood. The latest update from the University says that the investigation has moved to Baltimore County Police.
Good Person of Setzuan
The Good Person of Setzuan, a play originally written by Bertolt Brecht, ran from April 1st to April 9th in the Studio Theater of Towson’s Center for the Arts. The play, originally set in Southwest China, was adapted to be more relevant to Towson by changing the setting to Baltimore. The play made multiple references to Baltimorean culture such as mentioning HipHop Fish & Chicken and The Baltimore Sun.
Beginning with its preview shows in mid-April, Detroit ’67 took Center Stage by storm. Telling the story of a family rocked by the Detroit riots of 1967, the play resonated with local audiences who remember last year’s uprising in Baltimore; parallels are drawn during the play’s final scene change, when footage is projected onto the set that juxtaposed the riots of ‘67 with protesters in Baltimore holding “Black Lives Matter” signs amid a chaotic police state. The play covers issues that are historical as well as contemporary, like racial and class-related discrepancies that can, and have, led to police brutality and violence. Detroit ’67’s playwright, Domique Morriseau, wrote a trilogy of plays (including ’67) that take place in her home city of Detroit, a city that, much like Baltimore, suffers from a negative representation in the media.
The 2016 Tigerfest weekend brought two days of music and fun to campus to help celebrate the closing of the spring semester. Day one hosted Colorado-based electronic/rap duo 3OH!3 in Lot 26 along with a festival-style setup including games, food trucks, face painting, henna tattoos, palm reading, photo booths, caricature artists and even a zip line. Day two held the highly anticipated concert lineup including DJ Mustard and rap duo Rae Sremmurd. Due to a last-minute scheduling conflict, DJ Mustard was replaced by DJ GRiZ. “We were just trying to get a good mix of genres,” director of CAB Ayana Bowman said.
Comedienne and Towson alumna Amy Schumer returned to her alma mater to do a special show on Sunday April 10. Schumer performed as part of Towson’s 150th Anniversary Celebration and fittingly tailored her show to the audience. The show attracted a packed house with students, alumni, and special community guests in attendance. With the addition of student rush tickets for just $20 the day of the show, SECU arena was filled to the brim.
CLA Café/Unity Rally
Towson students gathered in Freedom Square April 22, in response to recent events on campus that brought attention to racism on campus and hate/bias reporting procedures. In response to the incident, the Black Student Union created the hashtag #TheTowsonIKnow as a way for students to voice specific concerns, reactions and frustrations to Towson’s response to bias incidents on campus. Later, the SGA would launch #NotAtTU, a way for students to show solidarity and support by stating that hate has no place on Towson’s campus.
University President Kim Schatzel cited communication strategy initiative, “TU Matters to Maryland,” increased ties between campus and Baltimore, and the creation of a chief inclusion and institutional equity officer position as top priorities for her time at TU April 21. The new chief inclusion officer will be hired and in place at the University by early next year. Their job will be to “provide leadership and strategic vision” for diversity, cultural competency and inclusion efforts in the community, according to Schatzel. The process of hiring for this position will include opportunities for student and faculty input. The TU Matters to Maryland initiative will retell Towson’s story and build a stronger foundation for the University’s future success, Schatzel said. The program will commence in the fall and begin with an “identity audit,” which will analyze and collect data on how Towson is perceived. Presented during an address in Stephens Hall, these priorities were announced in conjunction with the results of Schatzel’s multiple town hall-style meetings. In these meetings, she said that she heard repeated concerns about the treatment of minority, transfer and graduate students, as well as frequent comments on the hate/bias reporting measures currently under review and on campus parking.
The upcoming school year’s Student Government Association election put Taylor James, who had served as vice president, into the office of president. She’s joined by James Mileo as vice president, Mary Crowe as treasurer and Pat Mascio as attorney general. While the 2015 election drew over 3,200 votes, this year’s drew just over 1,000. Several senate seats are reserved for incoming freshman and three are reserved for transfer students.
Head baseball coach Mike Gottlieb earned his 700th career win and moved into 39th place for victories amongst active college baseball coaches. The Tigers started the season riding a seven-game losing streak, but found success in the Wake Forest Invitational after defeating Richmond and Harvard. Following its first two victories of the season, Towson struggles midway through the season but found its way back into the win column,defeating Rhode Island, Coppin State and Kennesaw State. The Tigers even saw a sweep of Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) rival James Madison at Schuerholz Park in April. Towson will round out its 2016 season against Delaware, George Mason and Northeastern before participating in the CAA Tournament.
Towson was crowned Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Champions after defeating conference rival Fairfield 4-2 in the championship game. The Tigers finished their season with a 14-2 record which included four conference victories. Towson began its season earning five consecutive wins which included victories over Mercer, Mount St. Mary’s, Georgetown, Loyola, and UMBC. The Tigers winning streak was stopped by crosstown rival No. 11 Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Following its loss to Hopkins, Towson strung together five consecutive wins before it was halted by rival Delaware. However, the Tigers won their last three games and hosted the conference tournament, where they defeated Drexel and Fairfield to be crowned champions.
Towson was crowned Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Champions after defeating rival James Madison 14-6 in the championship game. To get to the championship game, the Tigers defeated rival Elon 14-6. Towson finished the year with a 15-3 record that included road victories over No. 19 Loyola and No. 19 Johns Hopkins. Freshman goalkeeper Angie Benson finished the season with a 14-3 record and a .455 save percentage. Sophomore Kaitlyn Montalbano led Towson in goals with 33, followed by freshman Natalie Sulmonte with 27 and sophomore Emily Gillingham with 22.