COLLEGIAN THE CA M ERON U N I V ER SIT Y
Informing the Cameron Family Since 1926
Monday, February 25, 2008
Destination: Cameron University By David L. Bublitz Collegian Staﬀ
Defense class teaches street smarts, confidence. SEE PAGE 3
Volume 81 Issue 5
Communications junior Bira Vidal and Finance senior Sonila Abdulla were crowned the Destination Cameron Homecoming 2008 King and Queen on Saturday during halftime of the Aggies men’s basketball homecoming game. The coronation of King Vidal and Queen Abdulla topped off an activity-filled homecoming week on-campus for CU students and alumni. According to Ann Morris, a junior Graphic Design student and PAC co-chair, homecoming week provided a wide-range of activities which encouraged more student involvement on campus. “We put on a lot of events to get a variety of students involved on campus,” Morris said. “I think that getting involved really does improve a student’s college experience. This week is nice because we had events every day.”
The homecoming week’s activities began on Monday in the Shepler Ballroom with music from InPulse, an acappella group from Minnesota. “My favorite part of homecoming week was the music from InPulse, on Monday,” Amanda Finch, Communications sophomore, said. “It is great how PAC always has something different for the events they organize for the students.” On Tuesday the candidates for Homecoming King and Queen were introduced at the homecoming dance at the Shepler Ballroom. Voting for the homecoming king and queen began on Wednesday and continued on Thursday at the Student Activities Building. Photo by David L. Bublitz
See HOMECOMING Page 2
Newly crowned: Bira Vidal and Sonila Abdulla celebrate being voted in as the Cameron Homecoming 2008 King and Queen. King Vidal and Queen Abdulla took the throne during halftime at the men’s basketball game last Saturday.
T.W. Shannon visits CU for Black History Month the achievements that Americans, not just Black Americans, but all Americans have Collegian Staﬀ made through the years,” Shannon said. In celebration of Black History “Black History is really American History, Month, Oklahoma State Rep. T.W. and I think we should emphasize that and Shannon (R.) dropped by Cameron make sure that the accomplishments of Black University on Feb. 9 to speak about Americans are perceived as contributions to his experiences as a member of the America as a whole.” Oklahoma House of Representatives Shannon, a long time supporter of Black and later answered questions about his History Month, said that as a representative personal beliefs regarding the month of he gets invited to many events across Lawton, remembrance. but that the lesson doesn’t end there. He Shannon, a Republican and the includes his young daughter in the experience representative of House District 62, as well. which encompasses west Lawton, was “This year we bought her some ﬂash cards elected in 2006. A native Oklahoman, that talk about things like who Thurgood Shannon resides in Lawton with his Marshall was,” said Shannon. “I thought it was wife, Devon, and their daughter Audrey good for her to start having her think about Grace. Shannon is also a CU Alumni who she is as a person of color and make sure Photo by Jim Horinek and an enrolled member of the Cherokee she knows about the sacriﬁces of others.” In celebration: Oklahoma State Rep. T.W. Shannon Nation. Shannon went on say that he thought makes an appearance on campus as part of CU’s Black A former congressional staﬀer Black History Month was a necessity because History Month celebrations. During his speech he member and acquaintance of Tom Cole of stiﬂing history programs in the past that and J.C. Watts, Shannon spoke of recent addressed recent legislation and voting attempted to downplay or omit the struggles legislation, problems within Oklahoma that stall and achievements of blacks, and that we’re just economic growth and actively urged voters to make like.” now beginning to undo the wrongs of previous the most of their right to choose during election Afterward, Shannon touched on the importance generations. season. of Black History Month and shared his thoughts on “I tend to think of voting as a privilege,” Shannon why the month-long event is so important. See BLACK HISTORY said. “If you’re not going to vote, I don’t think you get “I think Black History Month is really a time of Page 2 to complain. Voting is how we change things we don’t reﬂection, both individually and collectively, about
By John Robertson
The man in the Aggie mask. SEE PAGE 9
CU baller reflects on lessons learned in class and on the court. SEE PAGE 7
What does Black History Month mean to you? “When it was established I could see the purpose of it because blacks were not included in the history. So it was a way of bringing them in and showing society their contributions but at this point it should be more integrated. It should be a year around celebration.”
By Jim Horinek
— Tanisha Billingslea Education professor Photos by Jim Horinek
The Internet Jerk Store called. SEE PAGE 5
The meaning behind the month
“I see black history month as a time to acknowledge and celebrate the many accomplishments and contributions that African Americans have made to society and also at time to reflect on the struggles that African Americans have had over the years.” — Dr. Ramona Hall Education Professor
Education professor, Dr. Ramona Hall sees Black History Collegian Staﬀ month as not only a time to Placed strategically in February recognize African American because of the correlation with the achievements but also the achievements of other ethnic birthdays of Frederick Douglas groups. and Abraham Lincoln, both who “Black History Month is a very had a major hand in the history of African Americans, Black History powerful reminder to people from Month was founded by Dr. Carter all walks of life that every day is a day to celebrate cultural and ethnic G. Woodson. Originally the diversity,” Dr. Hall said. celebration, which began in 1926, Starting just as a week-long was the Negro History Week. celebration, Black History Month Black History Month became the has seen a lot of growth. However, month long celebration that we know today in 1976. Dr. Woodson according to Education professor Tanisha Billingslea, the celebration had a direct intention when he created the Negro History Week in may be counterintuitive. “I think it is important to 1926. celebrate the contributions of “We should emphasize not African Americans, however I have Negro History, but the Negro in a problem with it being limited history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, to one month. You know they say that we are integrated but are we but the history of the world void truly when we are still making that of national bias, race hate and religious prejudice,” Dr. Woodson distinction. As if black history is not American history,” Billingslea said. said.
February 25, 2008
HOMECOMING continued from page 1 According to Zeak Naifeh, Cameron’s director of Student Activities, the candidates received a lot of support across campus. “Voters usually support candidates who are friends they know from class or from a student organization,” Naifeh said. “A very wide range of students came out to vote, and we even had some instructors actually bring their class over to vote. Overall, a good sampling of the campus is represented in the election of the homecoming king and queen.” The homecoming activities continued on Thursday with a bon-ﬁre pep rally at the Cameron stadium ﬁeld house, and on Friday, students and alumni were entertained at the Aggie Gym by the Comedian Retta. Friday also kicked oﬀ the Alumni weekend at Cameron beginning with an address at the McMahon
Center, where CU President Cindy Ross provided a university update and presented Gold Associate Medallions to some university supporters. Friday’s activities for Alumni continued with campus tours, the Athletic Hall of Fame and Alumni reception, and the Hall of Fame Induction dinner. On Saturday Alumni attended a touch football game featuring CU’s 1987 NAIA National Champion Football team. Alumni receptions for the classes of 1957, 1982, and 1997 were held at the Shepler Center followed by an Alumni awards luncheon at the Shepler Ballroom. Alumni and students alike showed their spirit and support for the Aggies at Saturday’s homecoming games as the men’s and women’s basketball teams tipped oﬀ against the Riverhawks from
Northeastern State University at the Aggie Gym. As Destination Cameron Homecoming 2008 came to an end, the wealth of activities provided fond memories for all participants and extended historic CU homecoming traditions for the years to come.
Photos by David L. Bublitz and Zeak Naifeh
Pizza and Polling
Homecoming Basketball BLACK HISTORY continued from page 1 “I think historically that’s been the challenge. We know that many years ago there was a systematic movement to keep black accomplishments out of mainstream history,” Shannon said. “I think we’ve made some progress there, but we’ve still got room to improve.” Putting things in perspective, “I think Black History Month is Shannon closed by saying that really a time of reflection, both the whole idea individually and collectively, about of Black History the achievements that Americans, Month isn’t to celebrate the not just Black Americans, but all wrongs of the Americans have made through the past, but to learn from those years.” mistakes in order — T.W. Shannon (R.) to prevent such a thing from Oklahoma State Rep. happening again. “The reason that you bring up history, even the bad parts of history, is so you don’t repeat it,” Shannon said. “So, I think that having a month where you take the time out to remember and commemorate the achievements of any group of people is worthwhile.”
February 25, 2008
Students gain conﬁdence through self-defense
Muggers beware: Multimedia and Graphic Design freshman Chase Mitchell takes a hit from Psychology sophomore Meghan Kuchynka. Mitchell and Kuchynka are part of the Self-Defense class being taught at Cameron this semester.
By Amanda Herrera Collegian Staﬀ Imagine walking to your car at night and suddenly you’re grabbed from behind. You struggle to move your arms but can’t get them free. Panic and fear take over. “The knowledge gained in a Self-Defense class can be the difference in surviving or becoming another victim of a crime,” Richard LaMonica stated in his syllabus. LaMonica, a fifth degree black
belt in Kyu Kushin Kai, has been studying martial arts for the past 21 years. He has been teaching self-defense classes for 15 years, the last two of them at Cameron University. He said many people make the mistake of thinking they will never be attacked. “One of the biggest misconceptions is that it happens to somebody else, not me,” LaMonica said. “Anybody can be a victim of a violent crime or an attack. Taking a course like this either here at Cameron or somewhere else can be beneficial because you get the experience and knowing that you have the power to hit back.” Self-Defense is offered every eight weeks at CU, and students should leave the class with knowledge in using different hand and elbow strikes, using low to the body kicking techniques, escaping from choke holds and learning to fight on the ground. Throughout the course, attacks are simulated to give students the experience of what it’s really like to be targeted by a predator. “The class helps build confidence and makes students more aware of their surroundings,” LaMonica said. “There’s no guarantee, but it gives you a little bit more knowledge because your attacker has already picked you out as a victim, and as such, they don’t feel that you’re going to fight back. Now if you land an elbow upside his head, then he’s going to start to think twice about it because it’s going to
become too much trouble for the attacker.” Psychology sophomore Meghan Kuchynka said she is taking the Self-Defense class for the PE credit and because she thought it would be fun. “It’s important to learn how to get away from an attacker while doing them harm and not doing much harm to yourself,” Kuchynka said. “I’ve gained a lot more confidence ever since I started this class and I feel a lot safer, you know being out Photos by Jim Horinek by myself late at Step off: English freshman Luke-Henry Hahn night.” gets experience handling himself in fight. According Luke-Henry to the instructor the knowledge that can be gained Hahn, a freshman through the course is something that all people majoring in should have. English decided to take the class after two people to everybody, but mainly women,” he knew were attacked with he said. “Women have the knives, one of which died. problem with guys overpowering “The most important thing them and it really helps women’s I’ve learned would be knife confidence to learn how to defend techniques, because I know that themselves when it comes to men. more than likely someone is going I would recommend this class to to have a knife on them,” Hahn my mom.” said. LaMonica said the confidence Chase Mitchell, a freshmen gained during the course is majoring in Multimedia and invaluable. Graphic Design is training to “They know they can go out fight in mixed martial arts, and if they have to fight off an and decided to take the class attacker, they have the ability to to reinforce the techniques he’s do that,” he said. learned in his training. He said The next eight-week Selfthe techniques would also help in Defense class begins March 11, his career as a bouncer. and LaMonica said there are still “I would recommend this class spots available.
News 4 Veterans gather for new Iraq War investigation hearing February 25, 2008
By Joshua Rouse Collegian Staﬀ Next month, Iraq veterans are making their way to Silver Springs, Md. to begin another battle. Instead of being armed with guns against terrorists, they’re going to be armed with facts against an unpopular war. From March 13 through 16, these soldiers will be testifying in the second Winter Soldier Investigation hearings. John Kerry became infamous during the 2004 presidential race due to the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth commercials that showcased his testimony during the ﬁrst Winter Soldier Investigation hearings. Justin Cliburn, a Journalism junior, was deployed to Iraq during the Fall 2006 semester with the 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery. After a year of service overseas, Cliburn returned to the states with a new mentality. “I used to totally support the war,” Cliburn said. “I looked back on it and wonder why. It wasn’t that I went through some long conscious checklist through my mind about what’s going on. It was just that the president said so.” Four months after returning, Cliburn discovered the Iraq Veterans Against the War organization. Cliburn attended an IVAW convention last August. He said the convention convinced him to take a more active role in the organization. “We’ve traveled to St. Louis and Washington, D.C. promoting the
IVAW,” Cliburn said. “After the D.C. trip, I accepted a position as regional coordinator for the southcentral region which is • Withdrawal of American troops Oklahoma, Texas, • Full benefits for the veterans who Louisiana and served Arkansas.” • Reperations for the Iraqis to help Cliburn has attempted build their country. to spread the word about the Winter Soldier If you are interested in assisting Iraq Veterans Hearings Against the War as a civilian, contact Justin and thought Cliburn, the regional coordinator, by e-mail Cameron at email@example.com. would be the perfect place. “I want to promote this on campus because The IVAW is paying for lodging there are so many diﬀerent veterans for all the soldiers who are attending here,” he said. the investigation hearings. The The four-day event will feature organization will also pay for testimony from soldiers who were transportation for those soldiers who deployed in the military since the are testifying. Cliburn said many of Sept. 11 attacks. Cliburn said the the soldiers who will be testifying are testimony isn’t fabricated and it’s not still active duty personnel. an attempt to scare people. “They’re taking leave just like any “The stories aren’t presented for other soldier would,” he said. “It’s all shock value,” Cliburn said. “But, completely legal and we feel like our put together, they create a larger story needs to be told.” narrative of what we believe the Cliburn expects a lot of hostility war is about and how it’s being from war-supporters. While in misrepresented.” Washington, D.C., he was quoted
Three Goals of the Iraq Veterans Against the War Organization
Photo courtesy of Justin Cliburn
The other side of war: Justin Cliburn poses for a photo with Ahmed, an Iraqi boy Cliburn’s unit adopted. Ahmed was later killed in a suicide bombing. in an Associated Press article. After the article was published, he said he received a lot of hate mail saying he was anti-war and anti-troops. “A common misconception about anything of this nature is it’s antimilitary or anti-soldier. We’re all soldiers, every one of us,” Cliburn said. After the Winter Soldier Investigation is over, Cliburn said he will continue supporting the IVAW. He believes Iraq veterans deserve more respect than many are giving them and the American people deserve to know the truth about what’s going on. “The goal of this is to get enough exposure, enough media coverage to where average Americans anywhere in the country will look at it and say ‘I haven’t heard this’ or ‘I haven’t
heard this from an actual Iraq war veteran,’” Cliburn said. “And maybe they will start to reassess how their leaders and congress are voting and how their parties are voting. It’s for the people.” Cliburn welcomes anyone who wants to help support the Iraq Veterans Against the War organization. Only veterans who have served since the Sept. 11 attacks can join the IVAW. However, he said civilians can help support the organization. “If any non-military people want to help, I’d love for them to contact me or the organization as a whole,” he said. “This organization was started in 2004 by seven Iraq veterans. They deserve all the help they can get.”
Cameron student remembers deployment experience By Joshua Rouse Collegian Staﬀ War is Hell. Justin Cliburn discovered that while serving a tour in Iraq in 2006. The Journalism junior was deployed during the fall semester 2005. Originally an avid supporter of American’s campaign against terrorism and the fall of Saddam Hussein, Cliburn’s views changed drastically while deployed overseas. “The ﬁrst time I drove into Baghdad, I was surprised about how normal it was. I saw these people and they were just trying to go to work, go to the market and take their kids to school,” he said. “Right as I thought that, we sped through with sirens and pointed guns in their face trying to move them out of the way.” The reality of the Iraq War was something Cliburn hadn’t seen on television. In his eyes, the media was only showing half the story. “I remember the very ﬁrst Iraqi that looked at me and looked terriﬁed,” Cliburn said. “That really changed how I perceived them. I felt really bad for them.” Cliburn accepted his actions. Under the circumstances, he said
Cliburn recalled many instances Cliburn said. “I where American soldiers were trained several directly targeted by attacks. guys on urban “One time, we were going to the combat like kicking in doors. station and headquarters called I never felt that’s and told us to go somewhere else,” Cliburn said. “Right as we were what we should pulling in, a bomb went oﬀ and have been killed other soldiers from a unit.” doing.” While this was going on in Iraq, According Cliburn said the American people to Cliburn, were being deceived by the media the police and didn’t know the real things were running going on. Cliburn believes the death squads American people deserve to know at night. They what really happen. would kidnap “As they were talking about so people and much progress and how things were torture them for information. getting better, another squad found a secret torture chamber and prison Many were within the Ministry of the Interior Photo courtesy of Justin Cliburn using the tactics building,” he said. “When you think they had learned Overseas school support: Justin Cliburn showcases his support for the University of that, it’s like someone ﬁnding from their of Oklahoma Sooners. Cliburn returned from Iraq in December 2006, but could be that in the State Department in training. returning later this year. Washington, D.C.” “We were there was nothing else that could be load the weapons on the humvees Cliburn returned to the states in seeing in news done. and do maintenance on them before conferences where the president was December 2006. There’s a chance “It wasn’t that anyone was being leaving the base. He said he always his unit could saying how truly malicious,” Cliburn said. escorted one military captain and they (Iraqi “The first time I drove into be deployed to “That was what you had to do. It three or four civilian police oﬃcers Iraq again later police) were Baghdad, I was surprised was symptomatic of an occupation.” that were used to train the Iraq this year. He turning the While in Iraq, Cliburn had a police force. about how normal it was. I said he’ll go, corner and routine schedule he followed. He “The men we escorted did the but he doesn’t doing a great saw these people and they would wake up every morning and bulk of the training with the Iraqis,” job,” Cliburn have the same were just trying to go to naïve beliefs as said. “Right work, go to the market and he did when he around that ﬁrst deployed. time was when take their kids to school. “When we found Right as I thought that, we we were over out our guys, sped through with sirens and there, we were or at least a pointed guns in their face just waiting to signiﬁcant go home and part of them, trying to move them out of keep a watchful were running the way.” eye out,” death squads Cliburn said. at night.” — Justin Cliburn “Bad things The death squads weren’t Journalism Junior were happening all the time.” the only examples of corruption and failure in Iraq during Cliburn’s tour. He said one of the generals in charge of a police station was skimming $40,000 a month from the Coalition. During his time there, he began to realize the Iraqis were not as accepting as they once were. “We were only alive because they liked us,” Cliburn said. “Then, we did a few things that changed that and they started to turn against us.”
February 25, 2008
A Strange Case:
Changing from real-world Jekyls into cyberspace Hydes As anyone who hasn’t been page, but it isn’t really that far oﬀ living in the wilderness for the the mark. last 15 years If you can name can tell you, a topic, somewhere the Internet across the vast expanse is drastically of digital space there’s changing the someone arguing about way people live it. Not just arguing, mind their lives. It’s you. They’re outright changed how threatening each other. we get our Religion, politics, boxers information, or briefs, there are entire the way we communities dedicated interact with to slandering each other others; how with words that some we express would at best consider John Robertson ourselves and unsavory and Internethas heralded tough-guy antics that a paradigm would make a cageshift in the way people entertain ﬁghter blush. themselves. Unfortunately, not In this regard, no community all of the denizens of the Internet holds the power that college are what you’d expect. There’s a students do. It turns out that downside. people our age are already the most The Internet turns people into assimilated into the technology jerks. to make use of it, and since we As it turns out, anonymity grew up with it already available, is a heady tonic. Normally sane we’re a little looser with our and well-mannered people come tongues than some would deem home from their jobs and sit at appropriate. The Internet itself is their computer only to undergo a a haven for technologically savvy transformation that would leave young people who want to better Robert Louis Stevenson reeling. communicate with their friends, You may laugh at the idea of Mr. launch businesses, show their Hyde sitting behind a keyboard creativity or just make a web page threatening someone about their featuring dancing bananas set to choice of music on their My Space an obnoxious music loop. Entire
businesses operate on the income generated by our age bracket because, oddly enough, you can’t sell a T-shirt featuring Winnie the Pooh dressed as a pimp to your average grandmother. Even among college students, the Internet community tends to fracture along party lines, so to speak. There’s no better example of this than the gaming community. I guarantee you that if I were to log on and say that the “Halo” franchise was the best thing to come out of the video game industry since its inception that within mere hours I’d be swarmed with replies about how “Halo” is for punks and that the real legacy of video games is “The Legend of Zelda.” Even more interestingly, the larger a user base a game has, the more likely it is that there will be even more sub-communities. “World of Warcraft,” which boasts over 10 million active users, has a community that plays the exact same game but can’t seem to agree on any aspect of it. Hardcore players have a grudge against more casual players and role-players have a bottomless
contempt for anyone they see as a threat to their more grown-up social network. ‘World of Warcraft” players can’t even agree that the game they all play is worth playing at all. So does this mean the Internet is a breeding ground for negativity? It would be easy to interpret it as such, but I like to think that the Internet serves as a valuable means of free speech. It’s actually quite refreshing when you think about it. While the Internet serves its normal purposes of information and social networking, it also gives people a place to vent their
THE CAMERON UNIVERSITY
COLLEGIAN Founded in 1926 veritas sempiterna
Graphic by David R. Bublitz
Get oﬀ the couch, exercise more We all have those courses that are at the bottom of our list to take. If you are a Communication major it may be general biology you are trying to avoid. If you are a Science major it may be fundamentals of speech. However, courses at the bottom of my list are those pesky physical education credits. You know what I am talking about, those general education courses that you have got to pass to graduate. But, I guess I was too quick to ﬁll my schedule with other classes, ultimately avoiding physical education courses until the end of my junior year at CU. This semester, I am enrolled in a wonderful physical education course (Step Aerobics I) instructed by Professor Worthington. Though it may be a pain to get ready all over again for the second half of my day, it is well worth the trouble. After leaving step aerobics, I feel energized, ready to go another round and pumped to do whatever the day may bring. American obesity has been a hot topic during the last few years, and the recent eﬀorts of the Lawton community and surrounding areas to battle and curb this current epidemic, caught my attention. It is great to see programs being implemented that encourage children and adults alike to literally take action and actively seek activities that beneﬁt their daily living. For example, the Goodyear Lawton plant newspaper reported a “Weight Watchers at Work” program to help Goodyear
Alexis Del Ciello associates, dependents and contractors lose weight. The program will consist of a built-in support system and opportunity to focus on healthy choices during long hours, instead of heading for the all too convenient vending machines. Cameron University’s Fitness Center is oﬀering a free course for faculty, staﬀ and students called “BODYPUMP.” The class started on Feb. 20, so call the CU Fitness Center for upcoming classes. Not only are corporations and campuses oﬀering ways to improve our health, but so are some of the churches in Lawton. For a positive environment ﬁlled with love and excitement, First Baptist Church oﬀers a ministry called “Upward Sports Basketball” during the spring. The program is open to all kindergarten through sixth graders (regardless of denomination or church background) within driving distance of the church located at 501 SW B Ave. The program oﬀers
a one-hour practice and one-hour game every week for two months. Not only are the practices and games focusing on physical health, but the program focuses on spiritual growth for young children and adults. It helps kids understand how to exercise their faith and invite friends that may not know Christ as their Savior. How much more could a parent want in a program that promotes physical health, teamwork, every child being a winner, equal playing time, Bible study and scripture learning? Elementary schools have introduced “stacking” and jump rope teams. At home, Nintendo Wii and Dance Dance Revolution get players up and moving. We can bust the “couch potato” simply by the example we set every day and by making the right choices. Heredity, poor exercise and eating habits are some of the causes
frustrations about any topic they choose without repercussions. Do you think Macintosh users are pompous naggers? Go tell them. They’ll love it. Do you think PC users are behind the times? Make a forum post about it. You’ll get 15 pages of angry replies dripping with epithets. At least. To go even further, I think the Internet is healthy. I can’t imagine the vitriol being channeled into countless forums and Web pages that would otherwise worm its way into everyday life. Behind their digital identities, people can let go of the things that bother them without harming or truly oﬀending a soul. They can say things they wouldn’t dream of saying in the real world and walk away feeling like they got something oﬀ their chest. The Internet may be the cheapest therapeutic tool in history.
Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief - Jessica Lane News Editor - Josh Rouse Assistant News Editor: Jim Horinek A&E Editor - Amanda Herrera Sports Editor - Kareem Guiste Variety Editor - Bira Vidal Assistant Editor - David R. Bublitz Copy Editor - Laura Batule
Newsroom Staff Ads Manager - Kelley Burt Cartoonist - Thomas Pruitt Financial Officer - Susan Hill Staff Writers - Chris Allison, John Robertson, Alexis Del Ciello, Kerry Meyers, Brandi O’Daniel, Ashley Wilkerson
Faculty Adviser Dr. Christopher Keller
Newswriting Students Jenifer Biles, Donnale Mann
About Us The official student newspaper of Cameron University, The Cameron Collegian is available each Monday during the year. It is printed by the Times Record News in Wichita Falls, Texas.
of obesity. Though more factors come into play when assessing the causes of obesity, I have to say “thank you” for making me take physical education classes to meet graduation requirements. I may not WANT to get started at the beginning of every class, but I just remind myself of the energized feeling that follows a good workout. All I have to say is stop complaining and get oﬀ the couch. I did.
Letters to the editor will be printed in the order in which they are received and on a space available basis. The Collegian reserves the right to edit all letters for content and length. Letters should be no more than 250 words. Letters from individual authors will be published only once every four weeks. All letters from students should include first and last names, classification and major. No nicknames will be used. Letters from people outside the Cameron community should include name, address and phone number for verification. Letters can be sent by regular mail or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or they may be dropped off at our office - Nance Boyer 2060.
Our Views The opinions expressed in The Collegian pages or personal columns are those of the signed author. The unsigned editorial under the heading “Our Voice” represents the opinion of the majority of the editorial board. The opinions expressed in The Collegian do not necessarily represent those of Cameron University or the state of Oklahoma.
February 25, 2008
For Reggie Theus, it’s good to be King By Sam Amick MCT Campus The reporter asked what many had before, checking in with Reggie Theus on a midseason night in Utah to see how his inaugural NBA coaching campaign was going. “So being a rookie coach ... “ he began. “Don’t call me a rookie,” Theus interrupted with a serious tone. “Um, well sorry, but ... ‘’ Theus and those around him laughed hysterically, the Kings’ coach patting the young man on the back and apologizing for the humor that had come at his expense. While the moment was funny, it was also true. Theus, whose tenure began when he was the surprise hire to follow Eric Musselman back in June, remains a rookie in every respect. But as the Kings near the ﬁnal stretch of this season of survival, Theus’ rookie status has been more of a help than a hindrance. His growth as a coach has been praised in relation to his relative inexperience, his downfalls mostly forgiven and often cast aside as, well, rookie mistakes. The coach’s coaches, meanwhile, approve thus far. “It’s a learning and growing experience for him, and I think that’s going to go on for a while,” Kings basketball president Geoﬀ Petrie said by phone last week. “Even though (he) played in the (NBA) years ago, then had two years as an assistant coaching (at Louisville) and two years as a head coach in college (at New Mexico State), just learning the league is not an instantaneous process. “That goes from everything from learning the other players in the league to the other coaches in the
league and your own players, and the fact that the games. Once they start the preparation time is really limited. It’s all those things. To this point, he’s holding up well.” In the eyes of the ownership, too. “I think Reggie’s done a nice job,” Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof said. “Sure, he’s made some mistakes, but he’s learned from his mistakes and that’s what MCT Campus happens when you’re a ﬁrst-year The boss: Sacramento Kings head coach Reggie Theus, center rallys his troups as they prepare for a 123-118 double overtime victory against the New York Knicks at Arco Arena in Sacramento, California, November 16, 2007. coach in the NBA. Overall, much of the oﬀense through Artest organization didn’t match the ones didn’t pass to him in the post, I think the positive thing is that the outside of it. down low after the small forward Artest yelled at Theus to “get me guys _ by and large _ are playing returned from his seven-game Much of the internal wariness the (expletive) ball.” The behavior hard and they’re doing everything suspension to start the season. He pertained to oﬀ-court goings on, was problematic for reasons beyond that he expects them to do.” has since allowed the veterans to among them Theus’ candid nature the obvious. Earlier in the season, Which, all things considered, is utilize the age-old “corner” oﬀ ense with the media and the negative John Salmons and Mikki Moore no small statement. as well, with elements of the system way in which it aﬀected the players had been ﬁned $5,000 each for A recent three-game losing used under former coach Rick and people he worked most closely relatively minor transgressions, as streak aside, the Kings’ ability to Adelman that came second nature with. But on coaching merits alone, Salmons had left the locker room remain competitive despite so many to the likes of Brad Miller and his bosses say there has been steady in postgame frustration Nov. 14 injuries garnered Theus signiﬁcant Martin. Scoring had rarely been a progress. in Minnesota and Moore had league-wide praise. The extended problem for the team ranked 10th There were tactical concerns complained publicly about his absences of Mike Bibby, Ron Artest in the league in points per game early, when Theus insisted on oﬀensive role at New Jersey on and Kevin Martin meant the Kings (100.2). running an inside-out oﬀense Dec. 18. But Artest received no ﬁne dealt with more roster problems Game management was an early that left many of his colleagues for what some viewed as far more than perhaps any other team in the scratching their heads because the issue, too, speciﬁ cally a stretch destructive behavior, and talk of a league. To be anywhere near .500, as in mid-November in which the double standard that had already the Kings were before losing four of Kings lacked the post personnel to Kings either found themselves out make it happen. But a few weeks been in full swing only grew. their past ﬁve games before the Allof timeouts in key late sequences in, a system that involved more pick “He’s got to manage his playerStar break, was seen as impressive. and rolls and ball movement was or not using timeouts when they coach relationships with each of Yet for most of the season, the should have. Slipping up, if only installed, and Theus began to run those guys and the communication reviews from within the Kings’ occasionally, on the learning curve. that he has on an ongoing basis with “Given how so many games are them,” Petrie said. “That’s getting so close in our league at the end, to know what works with some you want to try and make sure that guys and what doesn’t work. What you usually have some timeouts motivates some guys and what left,” Petrie said. “And then things doesn’t. And again, I think that’s like matching up and needing plays probably an ongoing process, too.” in special situations. (But) I think The Kings’ braintrust met for a we’ve gotten better as we’ve gone lengthy state-of-the-team session along there.” at the team’s practice facility Jan. Artest, by most accounts, has 29, with all topics up for discussion been his biggest challenge. From and the consensus that a unity his bouts with frustration in public among the decision-makers needed and private to the way in which he to remain. Petrie, Theus, and Joe is sometimes treated diﬀerently and Gavin Maloof met for nearly than his teammates, the way in two hours, with Petrie and Theus which Theus handles him has had continuing their talk long after the a profound eﬀect on the locker owners departed. room. And while Theus has likely “We went through everything,” helped himself by acknowledging Gavin Maloof said, “so that we numerous times recently that have a good rapport and that the NBA for better or worse we are communicating which is is a player’s league, he appears important.” committed to keeping one player in Petrie, who by this point last particular happier than the rest. season was bypassing chances to give As Artest said recently, he Musselman a vote of conﬁdence, had concerns about Theus in the said the relationship between he beginning in regards to his oﬀensive and Theus is working just ﬁne. He, role. like many others, credited Theus “The only thing I didn’t like for being willing to adjust when about coach at ﬁrst was early in the necessary and moving past problems season he said he wasn’t going to both on and oﬀ the court before depend on me to score,” he said. they evolved into something worse. Before long, he would depend “It’s not any diﬀerent, for the heavily on Artest to score, so much most part, with any of the other so on occasion that some Kings coaches I’ve had an association players would complain that the with,” he said of his relationship emphasis often came at the expense with Theus. “It’s his team to coach, of the others. It was a repeat of what primarily, and I’ll periodically tell had occurred under Musselman, him what I see and what I think and a bit perplexing, considering and give him ideas. Ultimately, (the Artest is neither considered the insights) are for him to use, to not team’s best scorer or a major part of use, to consider, whatever. But that’s the organization’s future. coaching. At his best, he was alternating “At the end of the season, we’ll sit between scoring, passing out down, say, `What did we accomplish of double teams to ﬁnd others here? What did we do well? What or driving and kicking out to didn’t we do well? What do we need teammates. At his worst, he was to try and do?’ that kind of thing.” pounding the ball and sparking While Theus has a three-year an ineﬃcient oﬀense. But if there contract worth approximately $6 was any question as to how Artest million, only the ﬁrst two seasons would react to being minimized are guaranteed and the third is a oﬀensively, his on-court outburst team option. By all appearances in Detroit on Jan. 18 brought the at the moment, he is on his way to answer. surviving his rookie campaign. After a play in which Bibby
February 25, 2008
Cubit speaks about his role as CU guard By David R. Bublitz Collegian Staﬀ For Aggie Business major and men’s basketball guard Maurice Cubit, college is a time to be competitive, take the ball, and put some points on the board. Hailing from Wright City, Oklahoma, Cubit is proud to have been given the chance to play basketball for the Aggies. “I come from a small town, small school. Where I come from there are not a lot of people who get the opportunity to play,” he said. Despite humble beginnings, Cubit has made the most out of his time at Cameron by not only being eﬀective on the court, as shown by his 35-point game against Oklahoma Panhandle State last December, but also by using basketball to grow as a person. “It has taught me a lot; I’ve learned great respect for everybody – the coach, the referees. It’s a challenge. Nothing is given to you, you have to go out and take it,” Cubit said.
Cubit said that the idea of taking what one wants, especially in terms of putting points on the board, has been a big part of how Head Coach Maurice Leitzke approaches the game. “Our head coach is great. He gives us more freedom to play on oﬀense. We have a run and gun team this year,” Cubit said. In addition to his enthusiasm about how Head Coach Leitzke coaches the game, Cubit was also appreciative of how active the coaching staﬀ has been, making sure the players succeed oﬀ the court as well as on it. “You
have to go to class in order to play. You have to make good grades. We were required to do study hall this year, which we should have been
doing anyway, but I think that it helped a lot. And the coaches are always asking if we need any help, so we can go to them any time,” Cubit said. Cubit was particularly thankful of Assistant Coach Ryan McAdams for his academic assistance. “I give a lot of thanks to our assistant coach because he did a lot with us - early mornings and late study halls,” Cubit said. The late night study sessions may prove to pay oﬀ in the end. Maurice plans to use the knowledge he has gained through his management classes once his time at
Cameron has come to a close. “Since I’m into general business, I want to focus on the insurance business like State Farm. I kind of want to move down to the Dallas area or Arlington. Mostly, I’ve been taking a lot of management classes, so I want to start my own business eventually,” Cubit said. While Cubit has his plans for the distant future well thought out, his main focus is on the near future. He anticipates playing the most is the game against Southwestern because they are one of the ranked teams. All competitiveness aside, Cubit was mostly just glad for the chance to play basketball with and against people from around the United States. “I’m thankful for getting the opportunity to play. It’s a good experience to play with other kids from other states.” For more information on Cubit or the other aggie basketball players, check out the Aggie men’s basketball Web site at goaggies.cameron.edu.
Photo by David R. Bublitz
New Kidd on the block: Dallas Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson (far left) and his new players Jason Kidd, Antoine Wright and Malik Allen participate in a press conference at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Mavs hoping NBA title is a done deal with Kidd By Jeﬀ Caplan MCT Campus Jason Kidd, one of the NBA’s all-time sleight-of-hand playmakers, has a ﬂair for the dramatic. Why else would he choose the No. 2? Forget his claims about a second chance with the Mavericks or that when ﬂ ipped over, the numeral’s curves resemble his old No. 5. This 2 has one meaning, as in two seasons, this one and the next_the remaining time on his contract_for Kidd to shotgun the franchise to its ﬁrst NBA championship. “People always talk about the window and, to me, the window is this year,” Dirk Nowitzki said Tuesday evening after the team’s ﬁrst practice with their new point guard. “We feel like with his ﬂoor leadership, with him running the point and guiding people that we have a better shot in close games and closing games out.” The arduous, sometimes torturous, week-long trade negotiations ﬁnally became oﬃcial Tuesday with the league’s stamp of approval. Fourteen years after
the Mavs drafted him and 12 since they traded him, a soft-spoken Kidd returned to Dallas, along with guard Antoine Wright and forward Malik Allen. The Mavs sacriﬁced a chunk of their future to get Kidd now. At the forefront is point guard Devin Harris, along with DeSagana Diop, Trenton Hassell and Maurice Ager. But it was Keith Van Horn, dusting oﬀ from semiretirement, who cleared the way for the completion of the roller-coaster deal. The Mavs also threw in $3 million and ﬁrst-round draft picks in 2008 and 2010. A heavy price, but one coach Avery Johnson believes bought the engine his team lacked. “We haven’t had a quarterback like this,” Johnson said. “We’ve got somebody who, when you are in the red zone, can help you get touchdowns.” Kidd’s second tour starts Wednesday night in New Orleans with high drama against the conference-leading Hornets and young point guard Chris Paul. If ever there was doubt Kidd would start, Johnson extinguished the
notion in a hurry. “What do you think?” he said. Nowitzki attended the news conference and smiled when Mavs owner Mark Cuban said he had been kept abreast of the trade and had approved it. Following practice, Nowitzki answered honestly what he believed the team was missing and why Kidd will bring it. “With me playing with (Steve) Nash for so many years, some of the passes you just took for granted,” Nowitzki said. “Over the last couple of years those looks just weren’t there. This is going to be great to catch the ball when you’re open in the right situation. (Kidd’s) one of the best at doing that.” The trade was not a reaction to deals made by the Lakers and Suns, team president Donnie Nelson said. Talks with New Jersey, he said, began before Pau Gasol and Shaquille O’Neal joined their new teams. Cuban, believing the team had reached a plateau and stalled, said it needed a spark. “Not that the guys weren’t playing hard, it wasn’t that there
were any speciﬁc issues. It’s just they were going to work,” Cuban said. “It was like everybody was waiting for the postseason to start and I just don’t think that you can turn it on at the postseason. Jason, not only from a talent perspective and an experience perspective, but from being that kind of iconic AllStar will spark life. “And the fact he’s coming back to Dallas makes it all the more exciting.” Kidd led New Jersey to the Finals twice, but lost to the Lakers and Spurs. He referenced his return to Dallas, noting the ﬁrst time he didn’t get a fair shake. Young and naive, he said, he thought he knew what it took to win. He said he was wrong. Disgruntled in New Jersey, the trade has provided a spark for Kidd, too. A month before he turns 35, Kidd is looked upon to guide the franchise beyond the excruciating defeats of the past two postseasons. “I’ve never looked at things in life as pressure. I love the challenge,” Kidd said. “This is another challenge that I look
forward to. I am very excited about it because of the talk of being old or not being as good as Nash or those other guys. “I think a lot of us who play this game, it’s important to be a champion and win the ultimate prize. There are no guarantees.” Not even for $17 million, the amount Cuban had to spend beyond the cost of the original deal that fell through when Devean George blocked it last week by utilizing a little-known no-trade clause, and when Jerry Stackhouse’s remarks smacked of a prearranged deal to return him to Dallas might have plucked him out of the package. “It’s a little better basketballwise (than the original deal),” Cuban said, “a little more painful checkbook-wise.” Perhaps painful is the loss of Diop, which leaves Erick Dampier as the lone center. After waiving Nick Fazekas to sign Van Horn, the Mavs have two roster spots open. A post player is on the shopping list. The Mavs still hold their $5 million exception and Cuban said he’ll use it for the right addition.
February 25, 2008
Spotlight on Alicia Keys: Career mounts with success of new album By Bira Vidal Collegian Staﬀ
Entertaining the masses: Alicia Keys performs during pre-game festivities prior to the NFL Super Bowl XLII football game between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants on Feb. 3 in Glendale, Ariz.
`Pretty’ doesn’t equal `talent’ - or `different,’ Simon By Rich Macialek MCT Campus For the Chinese it’s the year of the rat; for the 2008 season of “American Idol” it’s the year of the babe. One managerial school of thought is that when you can’t ﬁnd “talented” you take “good-looking.” “Idol” has taken that to heart because they are packing the show with good-looking girls this year. Fortunately for the viewers, most of them can sing quite well, too. The producers talked about how things would diﬀerent this year and this is what they must have meant. Other than that, the show is so similar to prior years you have to wonder if you’re watching reruns half the time. The only other thing that is even slightly diﬀerent is the fact that judge Paula Abdul seems sober most of the time. Honestly, can you blame the woman? If you had to sit between two gasbags like her fellow judges every week, you would be throwing them back too. On one side you have a man with so little street in him that he probably mows his yard in a cardigan, dawg. On the other side you have a guy whose shirts are so tight if it gets below sixty degrees you can use his nipples to hang hats on. Add a host that dresses like the most popular kid in your local junior high school
and acts like he sells real estate on weekends, and you have three of the most narcissistic people west of the nation’s capital. During the ﬁrst few weeks they show some of the people who try out. Votefortheworst.com has an interesting article that shines a light on this process and changes how you watch the show. You realize that people aren’t passed through the judges based on talent so much as their ability to make good TV. Unfortunately for the viewer, this seems to mean showing us hours of people who can’t sing very well. What’s really disturbing about the TV show is its willingness to use people who suﬀer from mental illness or are developmentally challenged to provide entertainment. What’s scary is when the judges don’t seem to notice or care, and treat them as the butt of jokes. Stay classy, Hollywood. So why watch this sad excuse for a show? Because every once in a while one of them will sing like an angel. So far this year the winner so far is Samantha Sidley. A shy girl with zero ego and a voice like a pro. A voice so full of sincere sultriness that it makes you lose interest in every other singer you ever listened to. It’s moments like these that make the whole show worthwhile.
She started writing songs when she was only 14-years-old and now at 27, she has won two Grammy’s. Alicia Keys has gone from an unknown R&B singer to a major music sensation and the skyrocketing sales of her new album “As I Am” says she is still on the rise. Born Alicia Augello-Cook, Keys oﬃcially began her singing career with the release of her ﬁrst album “Songs in A Minor” in 2001. Before the release of the album, she recorded a song for the movie “Men in Black” entitled “Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing).” “Songs in A Minor” was a success for Keys. The album found many of its songs on the top of the charts for weeks in a row and quickly became a multi-platinum album. Keys quickly capitalized on her seemingly overnight success with the release of her sophomore album “The Diary of Alicia Keys,” in 2003, in which she reveals her personal life and thoughts. According to Keys, her recent compilation, “The Diary of Alicia Keys” reﬂected her emotions better than the ﬁrst album. Keys has received critic acclaim for her second album and was awarded four Grammy’s including: “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance,” “Best R&B Song,”
“Best R&B Album” and “Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.” The album set a new record for Keys and gave her the chance to explore new music styles and rhythms. The 2005 “Unplugged” album emphasizes Keys’ resonating keyboard notes and perfect, smooth voice. The album was recorded at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and was part of the MTV “Unplugged” series. The album has sold over a million copies in the United States. And when fans were lest expecting, Keys released her third album, “As I Am.” Keys stated in 2007 that she had been working on a new album and a new production. “As I Am” took fans by surprise because of the feeling poured into it and it introduced a new style for Keys. Since its release in 2006, “As I Am” is another successful album. Earning two Grammy’s, Keys was given the opportunity to participate on a historical performance of the song “Learnin’ the Blues” with Frank Sinatra in the 2008 Grammy Awards. Keys’ 2008 Grammy’s Awards were for “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance” and for “Best R&B Song” both for her hit single “No One.” The awards demonstrate how Keys has grown throughout her
career. But they also express a side of Keys that she has not reveled before. “As I Am” as stated by Alicia Keys, has a special personal signiﬁcance to the singer. “This year… how can I explain it? It has simultaneously been the best and worst of my life! This year, I know God took me, turned me around and forced to look at myself in a mirror of reﬂection,” Keys said. The strength and range of Keys’ songs, voice and keyboard notes make this latest release diﬀerent from previous albums. Her music taste has evolved from a combination of classical and R&B to a perfect fusion of pop, classical and R&B. The album delivers all possible emotions to the listener. Currently, Keys has launched a recording studio with Kerry “Krucial” Brothers. The studio is located in Long Island, N.Y. and is named KrucialKeys Enterprises. Brothers has been Keys’ partner in her production and song writing processes. Together they have produced most of Keys’ award winning albums. It is evident Keys has given her all to her latest album. Through every song she shows how she feels about love, physical contact, hurt feelings and loss. Keys shares with us her best work to date in “As I Am” and promises to deliver much more in the future.
February 25, 2008
Unmasked:Ole’ Kim’s identity revealed By Bira Vidal Collegian Staﬀ I walked through the students with the dark red bag over my shoulder containing all the material necessary for the big surprise of the week. The butterﬂ ies in my stomach had just decided to come out to play that night and it made me very uncomfortable. For me, the next hour would become one of the best hours in the whole semester. I have been keeping that secret for some time now, about a year and six months. And it was going to be a relief for me to take oﬀ “the mask” I had been wearing for all this time. Early that week I had been doing some campaigning for Homecoming. Following in my family’s footsteps, I decided to run for Homecoming King. I became interested in running when my brother, Gabriel Vidal, was crowned King last year. I thought “it’d be mighty cool if I could keep the Homecoming tradition in the family.” And I intended to keep it that way. My best friend, Sonila Abdulla, had been telling me since Oct. 2007 that we would make a great couple to run for Homecoming King and Queen. She was so excited and she convinced me we might have a good chance to win. Sonila has been so far my best friend and my rock through all the good and bad times. So I thought again, “it’d be really nice if I won with a friend who I consider part of the family.” We started campaigning at eight in the morning of Feb. 13. We had everything ready to go and we started right away. We had T-shirts ready, ﬂyers ready, sidewalk chalk ready and the high level of stress was deﬁnitely already there. But then on Feb. 15, I got a phone call related to the upcoming Homecoming festivities. That call would change and perfectly adjusted my strategy to win the Homecoming competition. In the previous years I had been a cheerleader for Cameron. I did not suspect that the call would bring me back down the cheer leading path, and force me to carry once more that red bag with the head inside. I met with the people responsible for the Homecoming Pep Rally twice to make sure everything was understood between them and me. The show was ready to begin.
The subsequent days of the week were ﬁ lled with apprehension from me for both the Pep Rally and the Homecoming King and Queen results. I knew I would have to wait a few more days for the results of the Homecoming voting, so I decided to channel all my energy into the next day, the Pep Rally. I arrived at the Aggie Gymnasium early enough to touch base with the Director of Student Activities, Zeak Naifeh. Everything was in place and I was wearing the outﬁt I thought I would never wear again. I marched right through the whole skit the cheerleaders had performed with me, and then they forcibly took my head oﬀ. I was Ole Kim, Cameron’s mascot. When I opened my eyes, I saw all the people loudly cheering and the noise seemed to echo all around the gym. The smelly head, the uncomfortable shoes, the sweaty outﬁt, none of that mattered because at that moment I was feeling really great wearing all of it and being part of this exciting event. I never believed I would feel such strong emotions, but being Ole Kim for the Homecoming Pep Rally had brought so many good memories of cheer leading and all the silly and great moments I have had wearing that outﬁt. All the children that have been fascinated by Ole Kim and all the adults who still think it is funny to shake a hand that only has four ﬁngers had inspired me to be the best Ole Kim I could be throughout the past eighteen months. It has been the best Homecoming of my life. Well, not that I have experienced many Homecomings in the past, but this time it felt complete. I ran for Homecoming King with my best friend – my borrowed sister, and at the same time I was able to be Ole Kim again.
Off with his head: Bira Vidal shares that he is Ole’ Kim during the Homecoming Pep Rally last Thursday.
Weekly Horoscopes Aries (March 21-April 19) This week is a 9. Pay attention to the details this week. The little things are very important. Give someone a hug who doesn’t expect it. It could do wonders for them. Taurus (April 20-May 20) This week is a 7. Life is a musical, sing it. Make sure the people you care about know it. Watch out for pessimists, they’ll only bring you down. Gemini (May 21-June 21) This week is an 8. Make sure you are giving yourself time to do the things you love. Timing is everything this week, stick to a schedule the best you can. Cancer (June 22-July 22) This week is a 7. Politics are of importance to you right now. Investigation is key. Give pets special attention this week. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) This week is a 6. Humor can brighten your week. Remember when things get tough, sometimes laughing them of is the best solution. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) This week is a 9. You may feel you are in a rut right now, but things should get better as the semester progresses. You are in for an amazing summer. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) This week is a 7. Things are getting better for you this month. You should come into a ﬁnancial gain at the end of the month. Cook at home this week. Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) This week is an 8. You are not always right about everything. Listen to others this week. You may accept something you were closed to in the past. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) This week is a 7. The early bird gets the worm. Try to avoid sleeping-in this week. You could be in for a nice surprise. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) This week is a 5. Not everyone is a good friend. Beware of people’s intentions. Remember, it’s not the critic who counts. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) This week is a 7. Stand up for yourself this week. Others will be proud of you for sharing your voice. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) This week is a 9. Things are going your way this month. Keep the ﬁre burning. Studying a few extra hours could make the diﬀerence.
February 25, 2008
Theater production explores Shakespeare life scenarios in
“I Hate Hamlet” A
Gothic, brownstone theatrical set and haunting classical music with mystic overtones welcomed those who attended the light comedy, “I Hate Hamlet,” at the Cameron University Theatre this weekend. As the plot unfolded, the talented acting troupe had all in attendance believing the ghost of John Barrymore was alive and wreaking delightful havoc on the lives of all those he encountered. Junior Theatre major Brian West portrayed the tight and tunic clad Barrymore with the same ﬂamboyant ﬂair and panache that Mr. John Barrymore must have incorporated into his renowned 1917 performance of Hamlet. His introduction said it all as he drolly announced, “John Barrymore. Actor. Legend. Seducer. Corpse.” Having a ﬁrm grasp on his obvious mortality, or immortality as it may, leaves all to believe that his mantra is, as Tennyson wrote, “I will drink Life to the lees.” West not only drinks life, he drinks everything in sight and his fermented wit is not lost on his protégé, Andrew Rally, played by Christopher Jeﬀerson, a CU sophomore majoring in Theatre Arts. Like an alchemist, Jeﬀerson combined the angst felt by a young, recently unemployed actor with the confusion felt by a dramatically untapped thespian that Barrymore has chosen to mentor. Add a dash of sexual frustration caused by him dating a 29-year-old virgin and the chemical reaction that ensued fueled Jeﬀerson to embrace Shakespeare, Hamlet, a virgin and his ghostly mentor. Deirdre McDavey, played by CU played by Christan Gillis delighted audiences with her passion for Hamlet, her desire to ﬁnd one true love and her inability to see the ghost of Barrymore. Gillis, is so desperately searching for true love that she wants to be cast as Ophelia opposite her actual and imagined true love, Hamlet. Amanda Billings, a CU junior, majoring in theatre, as Felicia Dantine, New York City realtor, rivaled Fran Drescher (The Nanny) with her snappy one-liners delivered with deadpan wit and a perfect New York accent. Gary John Lefkowitz, played by freshman Theatre major Michael Buckner, personiﬁed the quintessential fast-talking Hollywood mover and shaker. Director of the recently canceled television series in which Jeﬀerson starred, Buckner treks to New York with the hope of luring his talented star back to the fast-food world of acting with a promise of a huge paycheck, but little personal satisfaction. To round out the ensemble, an icy-hot contradiction was added to the mix with CU freshman, Theatre major, Leah Mazur playing Lillian Troy, Jeﬀerson’s ailing agent who once had an aﬀair with the late Barrymore. Mazur plays her gruﬀ, German accent and sharp wit perfectly against her passionate reaction to her former lover. “I Hate Hamlet,” was a light comedy that was entertaining and provided the cast and crew members a perfect venue to showcase their talents. Students should mark their calendars and plan to attend the next theatrical production, “Nine,” a musical, premiering April 17-19, 25-27 at the Cameron University Theatre. For more information visit the CU Theatre Department Web site at www.cameron.edu/theatre_ arts/ or call 581.2346.
Final decision: Play protagonist Andrew Rally (Chris Jefferson) decides to stay on stage rather than on camera. Actress Christan Gillis shares the stage with Jefferson in “I Hate Hamlet.”
Photos by David R. Bublitz Photo Collage by Bira Vidal