The Macon Cherry Blossom Festival
Use the fields below to perform an advanced search of The Mercer Cluster's archives. This will return articles, images, and multimedia relevant to your query.
33 items found for your search. If no results were found please broaden your search.
[gallery ids="25575,25573,25572,25574,25571"] Students and faculty gathered for an interfaith vigil to "spread love and peace" throughout campus, according to the event's Facebook page. Cluster photographer Thais Ackerman was present to capture the moment.
Emily Rose Thorne is a senior double-majoring in journalism and women’s and gender studies. Rose has been involved with The Cluster since 2017, working as its Digital Editor, News Editor, Lead News Writer and Staff Writer. As a freelance journalist, she has produced written and multimedia content for Business Insider, The Washington Post's The Lily, and PULP Magazine. She has also interned for Atlanta Magazine, Georgia Public Broadcasting, MedTruth and Macon Magazine. Rose is a two-time recipient of the Center for Collaborative Journalism John M. Couric Fellowship and has been honored by the Georgia Press Educational Foundation, Georgia College Press Association, Online News Association and more. In addition to her work with The Cluster, Rose is vice president of Mercer's chapter of the national women's and gender studies honor society, a writing preceptor and a Communications Fellow at Fair Fight Action.
We know what you’re thinking--why are the words “save” and “money” together in a college newspaper? Saving money might sound like a daunting task, but debt aside, college is a wonderful place to analyze your money-spending habits. Because then, you’re able to build your money-saving habits. With the extra money we make through tutoring, wiping down machines at the UC or from our work-study jobs, we can surely invest in ourselves by saving. If you need money for spring break, summer travels or just to build a rainy day fund, here are a few ways to strategize your financial planning and save money. 1. Download the Mint app The Mint app shows you your spending habits, sets up monthly budgets for you and even calculates your total net worth. You have the option to check your credit score (which doesn’t affect your credit score) and also see when your next credit card payment is due. Did I mention that it’s also absolutely free? 2. Find a budget and stick to it It’s always a good idea to establish a “why” before you start a transformation--why are you saving? If you’re saving just for the sake of saving, that is fine, but if you’re trying to save up for a vacation, to pay off your car note or any other big expense you want to cross off your to-do list, figuring out your “why” will help you plan out the how. 3. Use up your dining dollars first Before spending your “real money,” use up all of your dining dollars. Save up some gas money by spending those tax-free dollars buying snacks, laundry detergent, pads and soap at the P.O.D. 4. Meal prep Meal prepping is like the Tylenol to all your adulting problems. Wanna gain healthy weight? Meal prep. Wanna lose weight? Meal prep. Wanna save money and time at the same time? Meal prep. Meal prepping forces you to think about what foods you know how to make and what ingredients you need to make them. You’ll feel obliged to use a list when grocery shopping (which will stop you from buying/eating things you don’t need). When you meal prep, you’ll prepare a week’s worth of meals in one day. No need for fast food! 5. Ask for discounts You’d be surprised how many companies acknowledge student discounts. Next time you ring up those jeans you’ve always wanted, ask for a student discount. 6. Use cash, ditch the card Use those spare dollars and coins just floating around on your desk and put them in your wallet/purse. Using a card for purchases might save more time, but limiting yourself to only cash will make you more aware of how much you’re spending in a day. Saving money may sound impossible as a college student with so many things to pay for, but with patience and discipline, saving doesn’t seem so scary.
Mercer men’s basketball fell short in its season opener on Tuesday night, falling on the road to the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers, 75-67. The game was back-and-forth for most of the first half, as the Bears and Blazers traded leads in the opening 12 minutes. Mercer had their largest lead 16-10 with 9:50 to go before the Blazers finished the half on a 24-9 run thanks to some stifling defense. When the halftime buzzer rang, the Blazers led 34-25. The second half was a similar back-and-forth battle between the two teams, with Mercer being unable make enough shots to eat into the Blazers lead. The Bears fought hard until the end, but it wasn’t enough to pull it out. One bright spot from the game was junior transfer Djordje Dimitrijevic, who came out of nowhere to score 17 of his 19 points for the game in the game’s final 20 minutes. “He's a tough nut,” head coach Bob Hoffman said. “He can hit floaters with people on him. I got on him at halftime and he responded.” For Mercer, who debuted 10 new players, this game was an opportunity to measure where they are as a basketball team this season. “I think the biggest thing they learned was that they need to have a tougher mindset,” Hoffman said. “We are going to have some growing pains.” Mercer will have an opportunity to put this game behind them and get back on track when they host Piedmont College Friday night in Hawkins Arena. “I see a lot of promise in these guys,” Hoffman said. “We will learn and get better."
With midterm elections quickly approaching, the Southern Conference (SoCon) voting competition returns to Mercer University’s campus. The SoCon competition focuses on registering students to vote in national elections. SoCon is a collegiate sports conference focused on “facilitating intercollegiate sports competition” as well as to “promote a proper balance between academics and athletics,” according to the SoCon website. The conference created the voting competition “to expand voter participation among college students by fostering excitement and competition nationwide.” The competition includes nine other schools, including The Citadel, Furman University and Samford University. According to a Mercer University news release, Mercer took home the trophy after winning the 2016 conference championship for highest student voter participation. To participate, Mercer submitted an action plan to the competition detailing the strategic measures planned to increase registration number on campus. This plan was created in conjunction with campus service organization Mobilize Mercer. One goal of Mobilize Mercer is to increase Mercer’s midterm voter registration from 68.9 percent to the 80 percent of students who were registered for the 2016 presidential election. Mobilize Mercer is “a nonpartisan voting initiative that is focused on raising voter awareness and participation on Mercer's Macon campus,” according to the Campus Life website. “The action plan details democratic engagement goals, addresses potential barriers to democratic engagement and finally, outlines the programmatic plans for Mobilize Mercer,” Lauren Shinholster, coordinator of community engagement and Mobilize Mercer advisor, said in an email. The action plan includes a partnership with Mercer’s Office of Residence Life so students can register on move-in day. Professors are also encouraged to promote voter registration in classrooms. “A new voter registration idea is to create competitions between different groups on campus (athletic groups, dorms, etc.),” Alexandra Kirschbaum, co-chair of Mobilize Mercer, said in an email. The organization also plans to have a presence at Bear Fair and National Register to Vote Day as well as in the Connell Student Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays. “We hope students develop a deepened appreciation for this democratic system as well as recognize that voting is one of the easiest ways to advocate for issues and ideas that are important to them,” Kirschbaum said.
With a late Instagram post on July 24, the Mercer community said farewell to its long-standing coffee shop, Jittery Joe’s. The space will reopen with a new name and some familiar faces, but long-time customers like myself are more than a little heartbroken. For me, Jit Joe’s was more than a just a coffee shop, it became my second home during the last three years of my life at Mercer. While I live less than 30 seconds away, I still chose to spend my time studying, hanging out and consuming unhealthy amounts of iced coffee at Jit Joe’s across the street. It would not be uncommon for me to close the place out several times a week and I know I am not alone. Jit Joe’s truly became a staple in the Mercer community and grew to be loved by the student body, faculty and citizens of Macon alike. It played host to a number of club meetings, study dates and just regular coffee lovers. So it is safe to say that more than a few people are sad to see the place go. While we don’t know exactly what the new coffee shop, Z Beans, will have in store for us Jit Joe’s fans, we do know that gone are the days of the great two-tip jar debate, all the specialty lattes we came to love and the friendships we made over grueling hours of studying in those four walls. So goodbye to the cozy place we all came to love, goodbye to the poetry slams, goodbye to the unique drinks, goodbye to the world’s most diverse playlist and most of all, goodbye to some of the employees that made Jit Joes more than just a coffee shop, the ones who made it feel like home.
TRIGGER WARNING This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors. Two victims of sexual assault on Mercer University’s campus have raised concerns over the way their cases were handled. One current Mercer University senior was sexually assaulted in a campus fraternity house during her freshman year by a student she was seeing casually at the time. After a party one night, her attacker locked the door to his bedroom and grabbed her from behind. “He weighed probably twice as much as I did...I tried to get him off of me and couldn't... I started screaming begging for him to stop. And he whispered to me, ‘Shut up you like it’ and I just froze. I didn't know what to do. I just sat there, and I stopped struggling,” she said. After the attack, S.* locked herself in the bathroom and waited until her attacker left. She said she knew her experience wasn’t consensual immediately afterwards, but wasn’t exactly sure what had happened until a speaker came to talk to her sorority about sexual assault. Afterward, S. decided to file a report with Title IX, the office that deals with sexual violence on campus. The process took several weeks, from filling out her personal statement to being interviewed. [pullquote speaker="S." photo="" align="left" background="off" border="none" shadow="off"]It's a process that very easily can and will re-traumatize you because not only do you have to sit down and you have to write out your story, but you also go and interview about it."[/pullquote] “It's a process that very easily can and will re-traumatize you because not only do you have to sit down and you have to write out your story, but you also go and interview about it,” she said. S. said she found some of the questions that Mercer Police asked her during her interview to be inappropriate or upsetting. In one instance, S. said investigators asked her if she thought the assault broke her hymen, considering she was a virgin at the time of the assault. “This is not a routine question because this is not something that would be relevant to an investigation,” Title IX Coordinator Melissa Graham said in an email. After the investigation, S. was given a report on the evidence investigators found. “(The report) said that something happened but that they weren’t sure of the nature of what happened. It was so discouraging. I figured why even go through it. So there was an informal resolution,” she said. S. decided to handle the assault informally. The informal solution was a no-contact order between S. and her attacker. Shortly after the matter was settled, however, B.* began showing up around S. “(The no-contact order) didn’t stop him from being around me. He found a way. He would park behind my house...When he would see me on campus, he would follow me,” she said. [related title="Related Stories" stories="24084,23782,19425,19268" align="right" background="off" border="none" shadow="off"] When she went to the office of student affairs about the issue, she was told there was little they could do, since B. hadn’t actually tried to contact her. She said Dean of Students Doug Pearson eventually altered the no-contact order to prevent B from parking behind her house, but even that didn’t stop him from finding a way to be around S. S. said that the administration handled her case completely “by the book policywise” despite the fact that B. continued to harass her. “You can follow the rules and do everything perfectly, but at the end of the day, someone is going to feel like they got screwed over in this whole process,” she said. C*, a current junior, was also sexually assaulted her freshman year. Unlike S., C. decided to go through the judicial process and participate in an official hearing after filing her report. “It was the night of Bearstock, and I was going to a party at (a fraternity’s) house,” she said. “I drank too much. One of their brothers took me back to his Loft and ended up raping me there.” Horrified, C. said that she wrote down everything after the assault happened. A few days later, she met with Graham. “I had to write up a statement talking about what happened, so I basically just recounted the whole night,” she said. “I had to provide a list of witnesses and probably gave them like 10 different witnesses that I could remember from the night.” C. said she made one thing clear during the process: She wanted to leave the fraternity out of it. “I wanted it to be a one-on-one case, not me versus the fraternity,” she said. After her report was compiled, C. was given an allotted amount of time to read it. She said she did not like that she was unable to keep the report. Graham cited a federal privacy law as the reason the university does not allow victims to have a copy of their Title IX report. C. said that she was told the university would inform her of any updates in the case, and that she was the No. 1 priority. The fraternity’s house was shut down in April 2016. “I wasn’t informed that the (fraternity’s) house would get shut down,” she said. Mercer said in a statement to The Telegraph that the sanctions were placed on the fraternity after officials had “received information that allege(d) serious violations” of the Student Code of Conduct. It is unclear if the assault was a direct cause of the sanctions. “I feel like they didn't make that clear enough to people,” C. said. “People thought that it was because of the sexual assault incident. I heard rumors that just weren’t true.” C. said she felt that many of the fraternity’s members were angry with her for reporting the incident, but she never regretted it. Her attacker was disciplined, and a no-contact order was put in place. C. said he was told not to return to Mercer’s campus and his diploma was sealed and inaccessible. C. said she does not know what happened to him afterward. “Coming into college, I never really thought it would be a possibility that this could happen to me,” C. said. “I think that Mercer does do things to bring awareness to (sexual assault), but I think a lot of the students take it as a joke. It’s not a joke at all.” *Names in this piece have been changed in order to protect the identities of those involved.
Francar’s Restaurant in Mercer Village has been a staple in the Mercer Community for years, but not many students know the man behind the popular wingstop. Carl Fambro started the business over 25 years ago. Growing up in Macon his whole life, Fambro attended Central High School before going to Mercer University on an ROTC scholarship. He graduated in 1978 with a degree in Biology. [sidebar title="" align="left" background="on" border="none" shadow="on"] Francar’s is open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday’s from 11a.m. till 3 p.m. [/sidebar] “I had a scholarship and you have to have a major other than ROTC. So the science building was right there, the ROTC building was right next to it so I figured ‘why not.’ I ended up loving it,” Fambro said. After graduation, Fambro entered the Army as a Second Lieutenant. From there, he traveled all over the country stationed at different bases and was deployed to countries like Panama and Egypt. “I was deployed to Egypt during Desert Storm but we didn’t get to do anything. I was stuck in the middle of nowhere,” Fambro said. “Now I look back on it and I know I was fortunate because it was not pleasant.” [related title="Related Stories" stories="23130,21035,19373" align="right" background="off" border="none" shadow="off"][related title="Related Stories" stories="" align="right" background="off" border="none" shadow="off"] After 13 years, he decided to leave the Army and come back home to Macon, Ga. Fambro noted that he still isn’t quite sure why he decided to come back but he is happy he did. “I have lived in Macon all my life except for the time I was in the service. I was born here, raised here and then came back,” Fambro said. After his time in service, Fambro knew he wanted to work for himself. So upon his return, he opened his own restaurant. At its original location on Log Cabin Drive, Francar’s first opened its doors in 1993. They served chicken wings, fries and okra and not much else. “At that time, there were no wing restaurants in Macon. Wings were easy to do and were popular. It took some time but we did it,” Fambro said. But despite the limited menu and distance from campus, Mercer students were some of his most loyal customers and in 2009, they even convinced him to move. “Some of the students then were customers and they came in and talked to us about moving because they saw this vision about making Mercer Village and they wanted us to be part of it,” Fambro said. Once they were close to campus, Francar’s business only increased and Fambro was once again a part of the Mercer community, despite all of the changes it had undergone since his time here. “Students then are not like students now, we were a [mostly] white [school], we were not really active, we weren’t in politics,” Fambro said. “But the students now are really active….I’m out here trying to keep up with you.” Fambro now has several students who work for him in his restaurant and several more who run all of his social media accounts. He is happy to announce that they now have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Although he isn’t too sure about a Snapchat, some of the students who work for him are still pushing. “It keeps me young seeing you guys come through and talking to you,” Fambro said.
A suspect in the shooting that occured in Mercer Village two weeks ago has been arrested according to an email sent out by President Underwood Jan. 24. The suspect was arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and is believed to be connected to three murders, a robbery that occurred in Tatnall Square Park and a carjacking that happened on Coleman Hill. According to a report by 13WMAZ, the suspect is named Quentin Sanders and is believed to be responsible for a string of crimes across across the central Georgia region. Sanders was taken into custody on Jan. 21 and was later interviewed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as well as Bibb county investigators. In the interview, Sanders implicated himself in several crimes around Mercer’s campus as well as a homicide in the area. The investigation is ongoing. [related title="Related Stories" stories="23058,23056,23062" align="center" background="off" border="none" shadow="off"]
The first Solar Eclipse to cross the United States in almost a century will be visible Aug. 21, the day before classes start. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves directly in between the sun and Earth, causing the light of the sun to be overshadowed and earth to go dark for a few minutes. “An eclipse is a natural event. For those of us on Earth, who are used to seeing the sun unobstructed during the day, this can seem very significant,” said Paul Fisher, the Science Curator at the Museum of Arts and Sciences here in Macon. While eclipses actually occur a few times a year, they are rarely visible from Earth and there hasn't been one to cross the United States in the last century. The upcoming eclipse has been labeled a “total eclipse” meaning in certain parts of the country, the sun’s light will be completely blocked out from Earth. This kind of eclipse exposes the sun’s outer atmosphere, producing a small ring of light resembling a halo around the black shadow. There is a path approximately 70 miles wide where the total eclipse of the sun will be visible. While this path does not cross Macon, it will come very close, leaving viewers with 96 percent coverage of the Sun and great views of the Eclipse. “If you are in the path of totality...you are very definitely going to notice the 2.5 minutes of darkness that we are expecting from this eclipse. You will be turning on your headlights, or if you are in the house, you will be turning on a light, because the sun’s light will be absent,” Fisher said. The eclipse will begin in Georgia around 1 p.m. and last until 4 p.m., but complete totality starts at 2:35 p.m. and ends at 2:38 p.m. “It’s an experience to watch the moon move across the disk of the sun, to watch the sky become darker and bluer, and to feel a momentary chill in the air. You will also notice changes in shadows,” Fisher said. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), looking directly into the sky at almost any point during an eclipse can cause irreparable eye damage but luckily there are several viewing events around town for students to safely watch the eclipse. Fortunately, you don't have to travel far, because Professor Matt Marone of the Physics department at Mercer University will be hosting a watch party for the eclipse. “If the sky is clear enough, we will be out on Cruz plaza... I will have the solar telescope setup and plan to broadcast a live image on the Mercer Facebook page,” Marone said. The event will be held on Cruz Plaza with a solar telescope aimed at the sky and a tent with several viewing monitors. The viewing will last from 1-4 p.m. If you’d like to celebrate this rare event for longer, the Museum of Arts and Sciences on Forsyth Road is dedicating a whole day to the solar eclipse. They will be streaming the NASA live footage of the eclipse, have planetarium shows, crafts for kids and even a telescope set up for people to look through. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the cost for students is $7. For those not looking to spend money before the semester starts, The Ocmulgee National Monument is hosting a viewing event on top of the Great Temple Mound within the park. The event will include a talk about the astronomy of the ancient Mississippian culture and the history of solar eclipses. The first 50 people to arrive at the event will receive a free pair of Solar eclipse glasses. If you would still rather just walk outside your dorm to see the Eclipse instead going to a viewing, it is recommended that you take the necessary safety precautions. Solar Eclipse glasses can be purchased online or at select home goods stores for a cheap price. Just make sure that your glasses meet safety standards to properly protect your eyes from the Eclipse. Whether you choose to attend a viewing event or just open your window in the late afternoon, make sure you don’t miss this rare event. After all, the next total solar eclipse might not occur for another 99 years. “The best things, though, are those things you see that nobody warned you about. Those things are the most fun,” Fisher said.
If you’re tired of the same old eateries in Macon, you're in luck. Ocmulgee Brewpub will be opening up in downtown Macon. From the Macon-based family that brought you Just Tap’d, the Ocmulgee Brewpub will be the first on-site brewery in town. “What will make Ocmulgee Brewpub different from any other restaurant in town is that they will make their own beer on site. On Friday and Saturday nights, customers will have the opportunity to stop in for dinner and a beer while watching their beer be made right in front of them,” said Kaitlynn Jones, the director of marketing for the Ocmulgee Brewpub. After doing research on breweries and brewpubs that spanned across the country, the owners of the pub, the Kressins, decided to open one of their own, right here in Middle Georgia. “The Kressins are craft beer lovers who have done extensive research across the nation,” Jones said. They named their new establishment after the river that brought Macon to life, the Ocmulgee. Citing that Ocmulgee means “where the water boils up,” the Kressins were excited to establish a connection between the river and the process of brewing beer; where starch is steeped in boiling water to make a fermented beverage. “We couldn't have asked for a more perfect name!” Jones said. But if beer isn't your thing or, like many Mercer students, you aren't of legal age to enjoy one, the Ocmulgee Brewpub offers so much more. “Ocmulgee Brewpub will be a fast, casual atmosphere with great food perfect for students looking to hang out with friends or grab a quick bite to eat before heading to class,” Jones said. Located on 2nd street, the pub will serve gourmet burgers, hand-cut fries and superfood salads. They will also offer a unique array of naturally sweetened Main Root soda products in lieu of Coke products. The Ocmulgee Brewpub is also looking to hire students to work as bar tenders, cashiers, food-runners, cooks and hostesses. For more information, students can email the business directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. “We hope to become a regular gathering spot for all students in Middle Georgia,” Jones said. Correction: An incorrect headline appeared on a previous version of this story online.
Mercer University Professor Amy Nichols-Belo partnered with students to host a solidarity rally this evening in Tattnall Square Park. The rally was in support of "immigrants, people of color, religious minorities, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault, and sexual minorities," according to the group's Facebook page. The rally was a peaceful gathering that included signs, songs, hand-holding and marching through Tattnall Square park. Students from several universities and colleges in the area came out to show support as well as members of the community. The rally comes after the recent election of Donald Trump. [gallery ids="20537,20538,20539,20540,20541,20542,20543,20544,20545,20546,20547,20548,20549,20550,20551,20552,20553,20554,20555,20556,20557,20558,20559,20560,20561,20562,20563,20564,20565,20566,20567,20568,20569,20570"]
If you’re looking to snag some deals on clothing or furniture and want to give back to the Christian community in the process, head down to JC Thrift on New Street in downtown Macon. JC Thrift, standing for Jesus Christ, is a second-hand store that aims to offer affordable, gently-used clothing and furniture to the Macon community, all while operating under Christian values and practices. “Jesus Christ Thrift Store is a family owned business, based on Christian values. The idea behind this store is not for personal gain, but created to bless those in need,” owner and operator Chad Hickman said. [gallery ids="20447,20446,20445"] The store sells everything from jeans to suits to furniture and more, and all at low prices. T-shirts can be priced as low as $1, dress shirts up to $2 and pants between $2-$3 a piece. But what JC Thrift is really known for is its diverse collection of brand new sports team jerseys and snapback hats. The walls of JC Thrift are lined with jerseys and hats from the Atlanta Falcons, the Dallas Cowboys and dozens of other sports teams from across the nation. Jerseys sell for $50 apiece and hats go for $10. “We have some of the lowest-priced sport jerseys and hats to get [Mercer students] prepared when they want to get away from the books and have fun at a sports event,” Hickman said. If your closest is already too full and you’re looking for a way to unload some of those unwanted items, JC Thrift also accepts donations of all kinds. The store is located at 192 New St. and is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. “We want to be a light for the downtown community and want to continue to serve and grow for many years to come. We want to thank all our customers that are a part of us growing and [we] look forward to the future ones,” Hickman said.
If you’re looking for a new addition to your weekend plans that doesn’t include the usual slew of downtown stops, you’re in luck. This September, Macon’s first escape room will be open for business. Situation Room is an escape simulation that places guests into locked rooms and challenges them to find a way out through interactive games and tasks, all while racing against the clock. “Think of it as a slice of real life interactive gaming where we will present a scenario and players will use whatever assets and skills they have as a group and collaborate to beat that situation,” said Thomas Choi, one of the owners and operators of Situation Room, in an email. Situation Room will offer two escape scenarios — the first is an intergalactic adventure where patrons must make it out of a failing spacecraft before time runs out. The second takes place amidst a war zone and challenges visitors to complete a task before being attacked by the enemy. Players will be asked to find hidden doors and clues, solve puzzles, operate switches, decipher messages and much more. The idea for the Situation Room came when five friends decided to take a trip to Atlanta and try out one of the popular new simulation escape rooms. “We decided to take a trip to Atlanta a few months ago and decided to try one of these escape rooms,” he said. “We left that night wanting more. It was an awesome experience, but we felt that we could do it better. The five friends then decided to come back to Macon and create their own escape room — one with tougher puzzles and a greater variety of escape scenarios. “I’m truly excited for this business and think that it will be a start of many good things to come for Macon as the downtown area continues to grow,” Choi said. The owners of Situation Room said they were excited to welcome Mercer students to its establishment and hopes to offer another alternative to a boring weekend. The business even offers escape room team bonding exercises for the many clubs and organizations on Mercer’s diverse campus. Students can expect Situation Room to grow in size with the addition of several other escape scenarios after the business’s grand opening this September. The current hours of operation will be Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm, with extended hours on Sunday ranging from 10 am to 8 pm. “We are really looking to make [Situation Room] a big deal and have it as a well-known, nearby source of entertainment for your college community,” Choi said.
Macon’s newest bar may also be its nerdiest. The Reboot Retrocade & Bar will be located on Cherry Street. Offering a full bar, snacks and games of every kind, the new business hopes to be an inclusive atmosphere for people of all types. “We’re hoping to make downtown an encapsulating experience. So you arrive, you stay and you play all day,” co-owner Jeremy Smith said. The bar will feature 25 to 30 vintage arcade games, a console game lounge, up to 70 board games, tables games and even an indoor lawn where patrons can play croquet, bocce ball and more. There will be no cover to enter the bar and table and board games will be free. Console and lawn games will be free with an open tab and arcade games will only cost one token (valued at 25 cents). Co-owners and long-time couple Smith and Whitney Boyer thought of the idea last winter when they realized that Macon had a lot to offer, but was still had some noticeable gaps in the entertainment sector. “We live a block away, we come down here all the time and we just thought, ‘there’s something missing in the way of variety downtown,’” Boyer said. Describing themselves as nerds, Boyer and Smith decided to start doing their research; visiting arcade bars across the country and learning how to create a unique twist on entertainment. They now have big plans for the business, hoping to be a part of the downtown scene while offering something unexpected. “There's a market here for people who want to have fun and they need a good hangout spot. We hope to fulfill that,” Smith said. While the new Michael’s Law that recently went into effect in Georgia prohibits anyone under the age of 21 to enter a bar, an establishment where alcohol makes up 75 percent of its total sales, the new business owners remain hopeful that some of Mercer’s older students will find the Reboot Retrocade & Bar a popular new hangout. “It’s an added difficulty . . . But I think Mercer students should spend more time downtown in general, there’s a lot of great stuff happening down here,” Boyer said. Boyer herself graduated from Mercer University in 2011 with a degree in Industrial Management. She spoke fondly of her alma mater and the Macon community, emphasizing the need for engagement. Smith agreed. “There’s a good culture growing in downtown and I think once [Mercer Students] see it, they will want to be apart of it,” Smith said. Some other amenities the Reboot Retrocade & Bar will offer are fandom-themed cocktails and shots, a low-commission retro-themed art gallery for affordable art, fandom events, cosplay days, live action roleplaying (LARPing) and more. Students can expect to see the Retrocade doors open in mid-October. “We are going to be a laid back bar — come in and find your fun,” Smith said.
Mercer’s campus received a face-lift for the upcoming semester with the completion of Legacy Hall, the pedestrian bridge and the Lofts at Mercer Landing. Work on Legacy Hall continued throughout the 2015-2016 school year and was completed this summer. The new dorms are expected to house several hundred freshmen this school year. “Legacy Hall adds 300 beds of student housing for freshmen, which allows the university to accommodate more undergraduate students who want to live in campus housing,” said Kyle Sears, director of the media relations at Mercer, in an email. The new hall took the place of a large parking lot that ran behind Mary Erin Porter and Plunkett residence halls. In order to make up for the lost parking spaces, the university’s physical plant facility was moved and the communications and human resources building was torn down. “So we actually have 200 more parking places over there than what we had before,” Underwood told the Telegraph. The dorm is co-ed and comes equipped with double occupancy rooms, built-in sinks and community bathrooms. Freshman resident Jordan Boomgaarden said he’s enjoying the amenities offered in his new home at Legacy Hall in particular. “[Legacy Hall] is pretty fresh. I like the bathrooms and the showers and the rooms are super clean,” Boomgaarden said. Legacy Hall also contains several lounge rooms and bear card-restricted gates surrounding the perimeter facing Ash Street. The Lofts at Mercer Landing were also completed this summer. Located across from Five Star Stadium, the new lofts offer fully furnished bedroom options for one to four occupants and will house about 315 students, reports the Telegraph. The building has amenities such as a gym, lounges and rooftop access. With the completion of the Lofts at Mercer Landing, the pedestrian bridge crossing Mercer University Drive is also set to open before classes start on Aug. 23. Complete with a light display, the bridge connects the new lofts with the edge of Mercer’s campus and offers a gateway to downtown Macon. “The University, the Macon-Bibb government and the private developers who collaborated on this project have created a vibrant, attractive entry point that signals arrival at a progressive community and university,” Sears said.