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THE WICHITAN The Student Voice of Midwestern State University Wednesday Nov. 8, 2006 Ordinance could outlaw indoor campus smoking AMBRA NEALY FOR THE WICHITAN PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY HERSHEL SELF | THE WICHITAN Need For Speed Police station sets up speed monitor in parking lot LATIA BANKS FOR THE WICHITAN In grade school you had hall monitors. At MSU youʼve got a speed monitor. When itʼs available, it sits on the corner of Louis J. Rodriguez and Nocona. The device shows the campus speed limit of 20 mph while it flashes the oncoming driverʼs speed. “Itʼs just a friendly reminder that there is a speed zone,” Chief of Police Mike Hagy said. “We make a request to the city for the speed monitor. They allow us to borrow it until they want it back.” He said MSU likes to use the device as much as possible. “When we have the opportunity to borrow it, we do,” Hagy said. Campus police use the machine to regulate speed on the street where people are most commonly pulled-over. “We stop people all the time on Louis J. Rodriguez. We just donʼt want anyone hurt,” Hagy said. The Episcopal School is a private elementary located on campus across from the speed monitor. Hagy said parents of children who attend school, call and complain constantly about students speeding. Parents are not the only ones complaining. “I donʼt think the sign works. A parent almost hit me on my bike because they were trying to pick-up their kid,” Lydia Johnson, 25, said. Some students, however, believe the device is effective. “I just donʼt speed because I donʼt know if itʼs recording me or what,” Sherriale Garnett, 21, said. Hagy said the sign does not record the speed of vehicles. He said there is no real proof that people will stop speeding. “It simply tells the driver how fast they are going.” “People still speed,” Johnson said. Either way, campus police intend to keep the speed monitor as long as the city allows it. Hagy said police plan to move the device throughout the campus. A proposed ordinance eliminating smoking in all indoor workplaces and public places is leaving its mark on Wichita Falls and MSU may be next. The proposal known as the Wichita Falls Smoke-Free Air Act of 2007 is being spearheaded by a group of concerned citizens who have formed a clean air coalition, which is supported by The American Cancer Society. MSU may be the next entity to adopt this 100 percent smoke- free policy. The current policy in effect on campus states that smoking is prohibited within 20 feet outside a buildingʼs entrance, operable windows and ventilation systems of enclosed areas. Smoking is forbidden to ensure that tobacco smoke does not enter those areas. However, at MSU, smokers often donʼt follow this rule. University police have gone on record saying they wonʼt police violations. Kem Hogue, spokesperson for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, said approximately 75 percent of citizens in Wichita Falls are non-smokers. So should the majority have to succumb to the vices of the minority? The supporters of the Clean Air Coalition say no. Their focus will be on educating the community. “Our goal is to protect our community from the effects of secondhand smoke, not to alienate or intrude on the rights of those that choose to smoke,” said Jill King, a coalition supporter. Dr. Keith Williamson, physician at Vinson Health Center on campus, was not available for comment, but he is part of a movement to revamp the current smoking ordinance on campus. For more information about Clean Air Wichita Falls visit and for a listing of colleges that are taking a stance against secondhand smoke visit or contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800. ACS-2345. TV, films blamed for anti-Arab bias AMBRA NEALY FOR THE WICHITAN An internationally acclaimed author and media critic blamed television for the largely negative portrayal of Arabs and Muslim culture in the United States. “We are more alike than we are different,” said Dr. Jack G. Shaheen, a former CBS news consultant on Middle East affairs. Shaheen spoke Monday night in Akin auditorium as part of MSUʼs Artist Lecture Series. The Pittsburg native, whose family came to America from Lebanon, addressed the stereotypical images in racial and ethnic groups. Shaheen said television is the main medium through which the world gains its knowledge. A baby born today, by the time he or she is 65-years-old, will have spent nine years in front of a TV. “TV is Americaʼs babysitter, our living room tutor and our neglected teacher,” the gray-haired moustached author told the audience of about 75 people. Shaheen said the American media and film industries have been vilifying Arabs for years. In his book “Reel Bad Arabs,” Shaheen explains why these stereotypes persist and provides solutions to shatter misperceptions. “These stereotypes exist because of ignorance, political indifference, a lack of presence and apathy. Shaheen said. “Once a negative stereo- See Shaheen page 4 ʻAs Oneʼ gospel choir brings back that old-time religion DEON NEWSOM FOR THE WICHITAN INSIDE When Shambria McFarland arrived at MSU in 2004, something was missing. It wasnʼt the buzz of big city living nor was it her momʼs mouthwatering fried chicken. It was the foot-stomping, hand-clapping sweet sounds she heard in her home as a child. “No gospel choir? What?” the 20year-old junior nursing major recalls. Two years later sheʼs still stunned. “I couldnʼt believe it.” For this seemingly shy Dallas native, nothing has been more satisfying than the fervent messages of black gospel music. They have seen McFarland through some tough times, like when her father died in March of heart failure. “I just love it. When things may look down, a song will come to my mind and make me feel better,” she said. Gathering a handful of students, McFarland gave birth to the As One Gospel Choir. “I was real excited. Singing is what Iʼve been doing since I can remember. Itʼs what I know,” she said. The gospel choir, an extracurricular group not affiliated with the universityʼs music program, is not the campusʼ first. In 2000, a gospel choir, under the same name, was formed but fizzled out after its director left. Performing a vast medley of contemporary to heavy gospel, the new choir has brought a divine feeling to Sunday morning church services, serenading congregations across Wichita Falls. Their first official performance was at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Churchʼs MSU Day in March. “I was extremely nervous,” McFarland confessed. “I wasnʼt sure if we were ready yet.” Applause and mingling after the service soothed all anxiety. “I was very pleased with how it turned out.” Since its revamp in January, the 15member choir has doubled. Omarion Bradford, one of the choirʼs most faithful members, has been a major recruiter since the beginning. “I feel something way beyond the music,” the sophomore education major reflects as the choir readies for rehearsal. “It encourages me and strengthens my faith in God.” With the stroke of a key, the atmosphere shifts. The echo of an upright NAACP Votes The MSU chapter of the NAACP encourages students to head to the polls. page 4 piano fills the room and without missing a beat, everyone is standing. Rich harmony flows from their mouths. “Oh Lord, how excellent! How excellent! How excellent! Is thy Name!” they sing. The choir goes through about three songs before rehearsal ends. “I love gospel music,ʼʼ said freshman Ariella Brown, glowing after a spirited two hours. The high soprano psychology major joined the choir in August. “Itʼs a good feeling.” Brown recently led the choir in a rendition of Kirk Franklinʼs “Donʼt Cry” at Antioch Baptist Church. “The choir has allowed me to make some friends, and I feel closer to God,” she said. McFarland affirms that is one of the primary reasons she wanted to start the choir. “A lot of people go to church back home but when they come up here they stop attending. The gospel choir is a means for them to enjoy gospel music other than on Sunday morning and it encourages them to go to church.” Keeping the choir alive hasnʼt been easy. See Gospel page 4 HERSHEL SELF | THE WICHITAN Gospel choir members enjoy singing from the soul even during practice. Lauren Kenerly, sophomore music education major, plays the piano. ‘Slither’ Final home game win Newly released DVD gives good creepy moments with some cheesy gore. Mustangs football win their final home game of the season. pages 5 page 6

Nov 8, 2006

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