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Fall 2023 semester full of ups and downs

The fall semester of 2023 saw several major events on campus. From tragedy to triumph, from capitol hill to the basketball court, the following are the top stories from Southern Miss Student Media this semester:
USM community mourns student death

On Thursday, Sept 28, USM student Alex Motanya passed away after falling from the 4th Street Parking Garage. The event traumatized several students and sparked a conversation about the campus’ mental health resources and safety. Subsequent articles described the fallout of that night. Student Sarah Boone held a candlelight vigil for Motanya on Oct 10, where she and others made suggestions for the Student Government Association on improving mental health services on campus and making the community safer. Another student, Spencer Lenehan, criticized Student Counseling Services in an email to them and the Dean of Students. Motanya was the latest in a pattern of students falling from the fifth floor of that parking garage. In response to these concerns, the SGA passed a resolution to install a barrier and suicide prevention signs on the fifth floor of the parking garage.

Joe Paul inaugurated as USM’s 11th president
Dr. Joe Paul became USM’s 11th president on Oct 10. The ceremony took place to an audience of university presidents, USM alumni, faculty, staff and students. The Pride of Mississippi and the Dixie Darlings lead the procession into Bennet Auditorium. Throughout the event, people gathered to celebrate Paul’s life, career and contributions to the university. Later in the evening, the university held an additional celebration with members of the community in Spirit Park.

Alvarez announces significant injury, unknown timetable on return
Neftali Alvarez, guard for Golden Eagle men’s basketball team, announced on Instagram that an injury forced him to take a break. The injury impacted him for some time before he decided on surgery on it. He averaged 2.9 assists per game and 7.8 ppg.

Gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley visits Southern Miss
Mississippi’s 2023 gubernatorial election received national media attention centered on Democratic candidate Brandon Presley. While on the campaign trail, he held his first of two rallies at the University of Southern Mississippi on Nov 6. Hosted by USM’s College Democrats, the gubernatorial candidate outlined his plans to combat corruption, fund Medicaid, and bring Mississippians together. He answered questions from the audience as well, even from SM2. Presley went on to lose his bid for governor to incumbent Republican Tate Reeves.

Southern Miss suffers worst conference loss in history to South Alabama 55-3
USM suffered its worst loss at the Sun Belt Conference against the University of South Alabama in October. Head coach Will Hall reflected on how several of the team’s weaknesses lead to such a loss. SM2 Executive Editor Dima Nixon described the loss as such: “After tonight, Southern Miss (1-6, 0-4 Sun Belt) may need a priest to perform an exorcist to get rid of this curse because it just keeps getting worse each time.”

Today’s issue of The Student Printz is the last one for the semester. Keep up with SM2 on Instagram, Facebook, and sm2media.com.

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