That UA Election Was So Bad Even The Official SGA Twitter Knew It

The election of Jared Hunter as the third ever African-American UA SGA president was marred by the fact that he was endorsed by “The Machine”– a not so secret organization of Greek organizations that use hardline tactics to win elections.

Hunter, by all objective measures ran a terrible campaign.

He was not allowed to campaign for most of the electioneering period because of alleged violations of student election rules.

And he tried to score points by admitting that he was the candidate of “The Machine”, ignoring the organization’s racists and sexist history for the sake of his own political advancement.

But he still won by nearly 30 percentage points because of “The Machine”.

If this is the future of Alabama politics, then we are all in trouble.

And apparently the official UA SGA Twitter account agrees with that sentiment as discovered by Crimson White news editor Jordan LaPorta on Twitter:

Folks are salty in T-Town right now and who can really blame them?

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

Tuscaloosa Music Profile: Elaphunk

Reporter Taylor Neuman talked to Tuscaloosa DJ Elaphunk about his start in the business and where he wants to go:

This 7 Second Video Perfectly Explains Alabama Weather

People from outside of the Yellowhammer State may not know that our weather is crazy as can be.

So for those who don’t yet know, just show them this Tweet and it should clear up nice and quick like:


Yep. This is life here. Looks sort of a Lord Of The Rings scene. What’s your point?

#BamaSits: Alabama Students Sit During Protest Of National Anthem

At least a few dozen University of Alabama students sat during the playing of the national anthem before the kickoff of the Alabama-Texas A&M game Saturday afternoon.

Some of the students participating in the #BamaSits protest held signs calling for racial justice in the United States.

Other students tried to block the #BamaSits protest by standing in front of the seated demonstrators.

Some students, including UA students expressed support for the protest on social media.

But not everyone was happy with the protest.

Share how you feel about the protest in the comments below. 

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

Cover Photo Credit: Kyle Burger/ Twitter (Screengrab)

Tuscaloosa Isn’t Such A Good Place For The LGBT Community According To HRC

The Human Rights Campaign released its fifth annual Municipal Equality Index, which measures the state of LGBT equality in 506 cities across the country.

The Index also measured eight Alabama cities on a series of 44 criteria that fall into five general categories:

1) Non-discrimination laws
2)Municipal employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors
3)Inclusiveness of city services
4)Law enforcement, including hate crimes reporting
5)Municipal leadership on matters of equality

Read More: This Is Not A Drill- Whataburger Is Really Coming To Tuscaloosa

None of the Alabama cities did well at all in the index- with none of the eight cities scoring above a 12 out of 100 possible points.

The national average was 55 points out of 100.

Here’s how the cities performed:

  1. Birmingham-12%
  2. Florence– 12%
  3. Hoover– 12%
  4. Montgomery– 9%
  5. Mobile– 7%
  6. Tuscaloosa– 6%
  7. Huntsville– 5%
  8. Auburn– 0%

The only points that Tuscaloosa received was for having “Enumerated Anti-Bullying School Policies” in place in city schools.

Pretty pitiful.

And if you think it is impossible for a Southern city to get a perfect score on the HRC index, you would really wrong.

Atlanta actually got a 104.

Orlando got a 100.

Heck even Gainesville, FL got a 98.

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

Tuscaloosa Man Beaten In Front Of Green Bar After Being Asked If He Was Gay

A Tuscaloosa man was reportedly beaten up last Friday by two men after they asked him whether he was gay.

The alleged attack took place outside of the Green Bar according to WIAT.

The victim in the case, Johnny Bishop said that two men attacked him after they peppered him with questions about his sexuality. There was also a woman involved in the incident, she seems to have served as the driver of the getaway car.

“Despite the fact that my face was gushing blood and I was sitting on the pavement and the assailant was right there next to us, police said they could not make an arrest at that point,” Johnny Bishop the victim in the case told WIAT.

Bishop was with his friend Katherine Snider during the time of the incident.

She also spoke to local tv about the situation.

“He was bleeding so badly, I’m not sure where the third guy was, at about that time they drove out of here in the SUV with the girl driving, she had the window down and was kind of smirking,” Snider told WIAT. “This is extremely traumatic, I’m scared to go to my favorite bar now, I’m scared to go to any bar in Tuscaloosa now.”

Both Bishop and Snider are Tuscaloosa residents.

Tuscaloosa police obtained a warrant to arrest one of the suspects in the beating.

WATCH: WIAT interview with Bishop


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

The Top Things To Avoid Your First Year On Alabama’s Campus

By Michael Smith

Going into my first week at the University of Alabama, I was nervous, excited, and ready for a fresh start after high school.

I not only wanted to meet as many new people as possible, but I wanted to join as many friend groups as possible to expand my horizons.

The first year of college, especially at the University of Alabama, was a time for me and countless other current students to grab independent life by the horns.

While I classify my first year as a success, there are a few things I wish someone told me beforehand.

So, going into my sophomore year, I thought I would share with the incoming class a few warnings about life on Alabama’s campus.

This is not an advice column, but rather an (incomplete) list of things to avoid.

1) Don’t Label People Immediately

This is the single biggest trap I and many other new-to-college students fell into our first week being on campus.

In college, especially at one as large and tightly knit as Alabama, the first few weeks of freshman year are filled to the brim with new names and faces.

The only comparable situation is being a high school student who moved to a new school, having to restart with a whole new group of peers.

Typically, the new student is labeled quickly as “the girl from California” or “the quiet boy.” Now imagine this scenario, but everyone is the new kid.

Photo Credit: University of Alabama/ Facebook

Photo Credit: University of Alabama/ Facebook

Naturally, with so many people and so much information to process, the good-ole brain likes to just assign people one or two characteristics by whatever the first impression of them was.

Don’t let this stick.

Sure, it might be easy to write people off as the guy who is always late or that girl that made brownies.

But in reality, people in college are just as complex and dynamic as they were back in high school, if not more so.

Putting people immediately into a box is unfair and limits potential opportunities and friendships.

2) Don’t Get Involved In The Machine

This is strictly an issue at the University of Alabama.

The Machine, also known as Theta Nu Epsilon, is an underground group of fraternity and sorority members that work to control the Student Government Association, or SGA.

Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with the way The Machine is designed.

Theta Nu Epsilon had the potential to just be a political caucus meant to keep Greek issues in mind of the student government, which is actually admirable.

However, there is a BIG but.

While the structure of The Machine is perfectly legitimate, the way it operates is horrifying. The Machine uses voter intimidation, bribes, and, in some cases, death threats to accomplish its goals.

Theta Nu Epsilon works to keep black and non-Greek students out of the SGA and does whatever it takes to win.

I am not saying don’t join Greek life.

Fraternities and sororities provide invaluable bonds through brotherhood and sisterhood and give back to our community in so many ways.

However, if you are in a Machine-controlled house, don’t let someone intimidate you to voting a certain way, don’t ignore racist, sexist, or homophobic sentiment from Machine candidates, and dear god don’t go into the “basement.”

If that doesn’t apply to you, don’t fall into an even worse trap: apathy.

Photo Credit: University of Alabama/ Facebook

Photo Credit: University of Alabama/ Facebook

Sadly, many on our campus have given up on and have stopped voting entirely.

A common sentiment on campus is that SGA elections don’t matter.

Don’t fall for it.

The Machine wouldn’t spend tens of thousands of dollars, countless of hours of labor, and months of meticulous planning if the SGA didn’t matter.

3)Don’t Sit In The Back Of Class

Moving onto academics, one of the most unexpected features of my freshman year was how much my GPA changed from high school.

While applying to colleges, I barely hung onto a 3.0 GPA, which was mostly padded by good grades at the beginning of high school.

Senior year, I was lazy, barely turned in work, and played games on my iPad during class.

I knew I needed to change going into college, so I made myself to sit in the front row of every class I took.


Because sitting in the front forces you to pay attention.

The professor is right there, almost hovering over you.

You can’t play games, you can’t take a nap, and you have to turn in every assignment out of fear that your professor will scold you.

This may have not been an issue in high school, but in lecture classes of 200, you can get away with a lot hiding in the back.

Sometimes fear is a good motivator.

Now, of course, when I was tired, already knew the material, or needed to leave early, I would sit in the last row and try not to disturb those around me.

Overall, the system works.

I went from barely scrapping by in high school with a 3.0 to finishing freshman year with a 4.3 out of a possible 4.33 at Alabama.

4)Don’t Forget The Necessities

One of the dumbest mistakes I made my freshman year was believing that I would get by with some clothes, some sheets, a computer, and a printer.

I under-packed so much that I’m surprised that I even survived dorm life last year.

It is a common and simple mistake.

Little knick-knacks that are only used sparingly are easily forgettable.

I even made a conscious decision not to bring them.

However, they are quite essential when living independently.

For examples, you really can’t get away with not having a pizza cutter, or nail clippers, or oven mitts, or an umbrella.

You might think you can, but you can’t.

I know, I tried life without all of these things last year.

I failed.

Photo Credit: The University of Alabama

Photo Credit: The University of Alabama

Now, don’t take this cautionary tale as an excuse to pack everything and the kitchen sink.

Pack what you are going to pack and buy all the little things at Tuscaloosa’s SuperTarget the first week of class.

Also, share with your roommates.

Don’t buy four pizza cutters when you only need one.

For the rest of the year, simply keep a list of things you need from the store and take Alabama’s shopping bus route on Sunday every week or two.

Then, you won’t be asking your neighbors for a printer cable constantly like I did.

In conclusion, I know that it is stressful uprooting your entire life in the matter days.

But, even when you miss your old life, always remember to take in the fact that our campus is filled with brilliant educators, kind people, and extraordinary football.

My freshman year at the University of Alabama was the best year of my life, only to be matched by the next three.

I know the incoming freshman class is going to be even better than the last.

Be excited, because you are attending the best university in the world.

Roll Tide.

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

Cover Photo Credit: The University of Alabama/ Facebook.

Uber And Lyft Will Finally Be Allowed In Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox signed into law today a piece of legislation that allows ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in the Druid City.

Aber operated in T-Town for a few weeks during the fall of 2014 but it was shut down after local officials deemed the service unsafe.

Uber told the AP that they will begin operating within 30 days in Tuscaloosa.

What do you think? Tell us in the comments below:

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: Uber/ Facebook

This Video Beautifully Shows How Much Tuscaloosa Has Come Back Since April 27th, 2011

For the people of Alabama, April 27, 2011 will be a day never forgotten.

252 people were killed in the state in one of the most violent tornado outbreaks in American history that peaked in intensity on April 27th.

The best known tornado from that outbreak struck Tuscaloosa and the suburbs of Birmingham killing 64 people in the process (including 6 University of Alabama students).

Entire neighborhoods were leveled and thousands of lives were changed forever.

In the five years since that fateful day, Tuscaloosa and the surrounding area have rebounded in a huge way.

This video compilation from Alabama based videographer Ben Smith does an incredible job of showing how the community came back. We thought that it is an important watch for today.

And it reminds us to never forget how great the human spirit can be in times of great tragedy.


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.

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