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TUESDAY NOVEMBER 24, 2009 THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA’S INDEPENDENT NT STUDENT STTUDENT VOICE VO OICE ANYTIME AT OUDaily com Wednesday’s Weather Find a recap of the men’s cross country team’s finish at the NCAA Championships. PAGE 3 Read a review of the new flick “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” PAGE 6 58°/42° OUDAILY.COM » BECOME A FAN OF THE OKLAHOMA DAILY/OUDAILY.COM ON FACEBOOK FOR UPDATES, STORIES, VIDEOS AND ALL YOUR DAILY FAVORITES. THANKSGIVING TRANSLATES INTO ISLAMIC TRADITION City Council to decide future of city’s parks Muslim-Americans celebrate with feasting after fasting NATASHA GOODELL Daily Staff Writer Many Muslim-Americans will fast Thursday in recognition of the Muslim day of Arafat and break the fast that evening with a Thanksgiving feast. “My family is Muslim, but we are American as well, and as long as an American tradition does not require us to compromise our Islamic traditions, then we are as American as can be,” stated biochemistry and Arabic senior Ahmad Khattab in an e-mail. “For a Muslim family, Thanksgiving is like any other dinner, since we thank God for all our blessings every day.” Khattab, president of the Muslim Student Association, said their prophet, Muhammad, told them the 10 days of Dhu’l-Hijjah are beloved to God and that God loves to see his creation praise him and do good deeds, whether they are small or big. “For Muslims who will be fasting on that day, it’s going to be quite a satisfying Thanksgiving dinner, having fasted all day long,” he said. The 10 days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, which began Nov. 18 and concludes Friday, goes by the lunar month cycle on the Islamic calendar. “As a Muslim, I try my best to do good things, especially in these 10 days, because the reward is more than I would get on another normal day,” Khattab said. The ninth day, Arafat, involves fasting and falls on Thanksgiving day this year. “Muslims are only encouraged to do good and only encouraged to fast on the day of Arafat, so it is not a mandatory thing,” Khattab said. Khattab said many Muslim-American families TRADITION CONTINUES ON PAGE 2 Plan includes new recreation center, improvements to park TROY WEATHERFORD Daily Staff Writer JEREMY DICKIE/THE DAILY Suhayb Anwar, microbiology junior, and Ahmad Khattab, biochemistry senior, pray Monday afternoon in the Reflection Room in the Oklahoma Memorial Union. Norman City Council will consider adopting the Norman Parks and Recreation Master Plan at its 6:30 meeting tonight. If passed, the plan will serve as a blueprint for how the city will proceed with parks and recreation projects, Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal stated in an e-mail. “[The Norman Parks and Recreation Master Plan] establishes a vision and priorities for revitalizing and refurbishing our parks system,” Rosenthal said. “It helps us direct current resources toward those high-priority projects and gives us a sense of the overall needs of the parks system.” If all elements of the plan are implemented, it will cost between $43.8 million and $73.5 million, according to a draft of the plan. Halff Associates, an engineering and architecture consulting firm, created the plan at a cost of $98,000. It was formulated to address park and recreation needs until the year 2020, according to the draft. COUNCIL CONTINUES ON PAGE 2 As football season goes, so International students maintain home connection with relatives, goes the campus economy Talks traditional meals help Students selling parking see drop in sales HILLARY ATKINSON Contributing Writer The Sooners’ 6-5 record has cost Norman more than just another chance to be the home of a BCS bowl team. In a town where college football reigns supreme, when the team suffers, so does the town’s economy. The Norman Visitor’s Bureau estimates that each OU home game brings in almost $9 million to the Norman community. With the team’s performance over the season, many local businesses are seeing a decrease in the volume of customers. “It’s been a little bit slower on game day ... less traffic. We have noticed it a little bit but there’s been other factors too,” said Jerry Hatter, owner of Balfour on Campus Corner. The Sooners have lost three more games already this season than all of last year, and their performance has affected the attendance at the games. The Sooners’ season has also had a financial effect on students who sell parking in their yards. Travis Harris and Inha Kang, architecture seniors, live a block from the stadium and have frequently sold out their lawn in the past. “Last season we used to sell out an hour before the game and now it’s like a struggle to sell half the parking,” Harris said. The decrease in business has the roommates using creative tactics to find customers. “Normally we make a funny sign,” Kang said. “Instead of $15, we put $14.95 and people just laugh at us. It’s a bargain!” “She also gives free hugs,” Harris said of Kang. Michael Hays and his roommates also sell parking on game days. Hays said he has noticed a decline in business. “Earlier in the season, we were selling out our lawn about an hour before kickoff,” said Hays, a media arts senior. “But for homecoming, we had 10 fewer cars and decided to give up when the band took the field for pregame. Our initial plan was to raise our parking price from $10 to $15, but it turned out that the traffic on Classen was noticeably slower.” Hays also said they have regular customers for home games, but many of them have not been ECONOMY CONTINUES ON PAGE 2 students adjust CASEY PARVIN Daily Staff Writer Editor’s Note: This is the seventh part in a series of stories chronicling international students in their experiences at OU and in the United States. While settling into new lives in Norman can prove difficult for international students, sometimes figuring out how to keep in touch with loved ones back home overshadows the adjustment process. Stela Molinero is an exchange student form Madrid, Spain, studying business administration. Molinero will be at OU for a full year, but plans to travel back to Spain during winter break. “OU wasn’t my first choice, but I got a scholarship here and I thought this would be a really safe place to be,” Molinero said. To keep her relationships back home steady, Molinero talks to her parents, grandparents and boyfriend on the phone every day. This is the first time Molinero and her boyfriend have been separated during their five-year relationship. “I talk to everybody on the phone so much, it doesn’t feel like I’ve been here longer than two weeks,” Molinero said. “I also use Facebook and Skype a lot.” Skype is an internet-based service that allows users to talk, chat and video-conference for free. Molinero said she misses the same things that other students miss the first time they are away from home, like her mother’s cooking. Pilar Mediavilla is an exchange student from Cordoba, Spain, studying advertising. She lives with Molinero, but said she has different habits than Molinero for remembering loved ones. “I’ve lived in the U.S. before and I always travel with the same pictures of family and friends,” Mediavilla said. “I also have boxes back home in Spain that represent each year. I fill each box with pictures and things that remind me of that year.” Norman was not Mediavilla’s first choice either, but she is adjusting to the many different aspects of Oklahoma living. “I did some research and saw that the school had a good football program and when a school has a good football team like the Sooners, the atmosphere is generally good too,” Mediavilla said. “Since I only talk to my parents once a week anyways, having to drive everywhere would CAMPUS BRIEFS NAME OF MAN ARRESTED IN UNION FIGHT RELEASED Norman Police have released the name of one of the two men arrested at the Oklahoma Memorial Union Saturday evening. According to the Norman Police report, Jobe Barker, 26, of Edmond, was arrested during a fight that took place inside and outside of the Oklahoma Memorial Union. Barker is charged with public drunkenness, the report stated. According to an OU Police report, more law enforcement agencies were involved than initially reported. The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department and the Absentee Shawnee Tribal Police also helped control the large crowd and closed off streets around the union, the OU report stated. FRESHMAN ARRESTED ON FELONY WARRANTS OU Police have arrested a University College freshman on multiple outstanding Cleveland County felony warrants. According to Cleveland County court affidavits, Martaize K. Fails, 18, was arrested for one count of grand larceny, four counts of knowingly concealing stolen property, one count of possession of marijuana and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. FREE — ADDITIONAL COPIES 25¢ ESTEBAN PULIDO/THE DAILY Stela Molinero, an international student from Madrid, Spain, stands in Dale Hall Monday. Molinero communicates with friends and family at home using Skype, Facebook and the phone. have to be the biggest adjustment.” Petroleum engineering junior Docri Martins has been at OU three years and moved here from Luanda, Angola. Martins said she talks to her mother all the time, yet time zones are still a challenge to manage. “My mom still sometimes forgets about the time change,” Martins CONNECTION CONTINUES ON PAGE 2 GRADUATE STUDENT SENATE TABLES LEGISLATION Fails allegedly hid property he allegedly stole from other OU students inside his dorm in McSpadden House of Cate Center, the affidavit stated. Fails allegedly stole a backpack from Spence Courtney, University College freshman, in the Burger King in Adams Center in mid-October, the affidavit stated. According to an OU Police report, Fails was identified on a security camera as the one who allegedly took the backpack with its contents valued at $1,705. According to the affidavit, when Fails was contacted and asked to give up the backpack, he refused and was initially taken into custody Nov. 1. While Fails was in the Cleveland County Detention Center, OU Police conducted a search of Fails’ dorm, the affidavit stated. While in the room, OU Police found other allegedly stolen items reported missing by other University College freshmen living near Fails. Fails will be arraigned Wednesday. -Ricky Maranon/The Daily © 2009 OU PUBLICATIONS BOARD The legislation would suggest to the OU Board of Regents that “sexual orientation and gender identity” be added to OU’s nondiscrimination policy. “We are not tabling this amendment to kill it, we are tabling it because we need just a little bit more time to consider some loopholes that could be present in the language in the bill right now,” said Arni Alvarez, chairman of the Senate human diversity committee. Alvarez said the amendment would be available for consideration at the Senate’s next meeting Dec. 6. “We want to make sure we get this right,” Graduate Student Senate Chairwoman Susan Adams-Johnson said. “We can’t just put simple language out there and hope things will be changed. We did that last time, and here we are again debating the issue all over again.” Adams-Johnson said the bill is not going to be killed by tabling the legislation for another week. “We are talking with experts, and we want to consider every angle,” she said. -Ricky Maranon/The Daily VOL. 95, NO. 68

The Oklahoma Daily

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