At Auburn, Movement Towards Fighting Stereotypes With An Inclusive Hair Club

By Ameera Steward

If you are an African-American woman on a college campus in the Deep South, it can be hard to feel connected to a campus community. This reality is compounded for those who don’t want to go Greek.

A few students at Auburn University have decided to lead the way and create another way for young minority women to connect and bust down stereotypes all at the same time.

Meet Untamed.

Group co-founder Jocelyn Blander told RISE NEWS that Untamed is an organization that promotes unity among minority college women.

It is meant to establish a community to promote healthy hair and a healthy lifestyle.

Untamed co-founder Rachel Wiggins said that they started the group primarily for natural hair, but after realizing that every girl doesn’t have natural hair, they switched it up to a focus on healthy hair and a healthy lifestyle.

“I know a lot of things on campus are directed towards Greek life if you’re African-American on campus so we tried to find a group that necessarily wasn’t Greek but could still bring women together for a common cause, talk about hair, talk about lifestyle and talk about different issues in the world,” Wiggins said in an interview.

Untamed has been an organization for about a year according to Wiggins, and over the year they have had fundraisers, restaurant benefit nights, forums and their most recent event was a fashion show that was April 14.


The Untamed fashion show.

Blander said that the theme of the fashion show was the versatility of black men and women. She also said that the purpose of the show is to kickoff major Untamed events, and to get the public to be more interested in the organization.

Wiggins added that it gave them the opportunity to get connected with boutiques and different people in the community which helped get their name out. She also said that many of the girls were excited about modeling in the show and helping out behind the scenes.

“Untamed is a good organization for young black females to feel like they have a place in life because a lot of organizations on campus don’t really welcome us as much as this one does,” Untamed member Shamari Petton-Webb said.

Both Wiggins and Blander said how they are excited for the future. Wiggins further explains by saying that they built the foundation of Untamed to last a long time. She said she and Blander are both graduating soon so they would like it to be something that can be passed on.

“It gives me a real hope that it’ll be more than just this thing that started and ends when we leave but keeps going,” Wiggins said. “I hope when I come back in 5 years it’s still going on.”


Utamed co-founder Jocelyn Blander. Cover Photo Credit: Jocelyn Blander/ Facebook

Blander isn’t just hopeful for the future but said she’s encouraged as well.

“Untamed makes me feel hopeful for the future, and encouraged after getting insight into what young women at Auburn actually care about and are concerned with,” Blander said.

Not only are Blander and Wiggins excited about the future but nervous about it as well. Blander explains that she is concerned that the meaning and purpose of Untamed will get lost in the events but, she added, if the intentions and values of leadership remain strong, the purpose will shine through.

Wiggins said she concerned that because the organization is still new, it’s moldable. She said she wants it to have the same vision and foundation and the same passion put into it.

“Leaving in August is like leaving someone else to finish my clay pot that I started; it’s kind of iffy but I have faith and the leadership team we have now, they’re going to be here for a little while longer,” said Wiggins.

Both Blander and Wiggins said that having Untamed extend to other schools would be great and is a vision they’ve had.

“In Untamed it’s not a competition; we’re all doing the same thing, being an African-American girl on a predominantly white campus, you need that community,” Wiggins said. “There’s no pressure to join a sorority to be around other black girls.”

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Submitted

Auburn Just Sent Out The Best Response To Crazy Fans Who Stalk Recruits On Twitter

For most people, the first Wednesday in February doesn’t really have any major significance – other than being a major let down after their massive Groundhog Day parties the night prior. (Do people do Groundhog Day parties? They should.)

But for College Football fans, the first Wednesday in February takes on a different meaning altogether thanks to National Signing Day.

For the uninitiated, National Signing Day is the first day where a high school senior can sign a “National Letter Of Intent”, which basically locks them into attending a certain college for the next year.

For the crazed, National Signing Day is a legit holiday. Thousands of people on Twitter actually spend large chunks of their lives tweeting at high school students in the hopes that they will attend the team the nut roots for. (Of course, most do not engage in this type of activity.)

It has become a real problem and some schools have tried to rein in their fan-bases as a result.

But Auburn University may have the best response to this social media problem.

Just take a look at this handy flowchart that the folks in the Auburn Compliance Department tweeted out:

Seems pretty straightforward.

When in doubt, don’t tweet at random teenagers! It is creepy and not helpful to your team at all.

Cover Photo Credit: Auburn Alumni Association/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)


Miss Alabama Totally Flamed Donald Trump On National TV

I’m not going to pretend to have watched the Miss America pageant. But something somewhat interesting did take place late last night.

Miss Alabama Meg McGuffin- a 22-year-old Auburn University graduate had some choice words for the Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

Take a watch for yourself courtesy of the War Eagle Reader:

That comb over is ablaze. Well, not really. But at least her answer was better constructed that this:

Photo Credit: Screenshot-War Eagle Reader/Youtube (ABC TV)

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