Acoustic singer works on EP of love songs
Congress on track to pass Ukraine aid bill
Persian Night represents ancient traditions
Vol. 81 No. 090
Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Memphis
Parking garage becomes a free-for-all By Jonathan A. Capriel email@example.com
Many University of Memphis students and faculty struggle to find parking spaces in the general lots scattered across cam-
pus, causing some to pay for priority passes allowing them access to privileged and often convenient spaces. But, for the past two weeks, the gate arms at the Deloach parking garage have remained
open, allowing anyone to park in available spaces, according to some students and professors. Nichole Lee, graphic design sophomore, said she pays $95 a semester in order to park in the garage.
“Now everyone is parking in there and taking up all our spots,” she said. “Normally I am able to park on the first floor near the Art and Communications building, but for at least a week or
ate professor of History, said that, within the decade that this program has been at U of M, normally about 10 students apply. The most students who have participated were probably about 13. “Thanks to this generous donation, finance is not much of an issue for students who want to travel to Ghana and learn,” Dennis Laumann, associate professor of African History and the director of the program,
see DONOR on page 5
see RODEO on page 5
Anonymous donor funds trip to Africa firstname.lastname@example.org An anonymous donor will provide funding for 16 University of Memphis students to participate in the African and African American Institute study abroad program in Ghana this summer. Along with the University students who are chosen to go to Ghana, six faculty members will go: Dennis Laumann, Beverly Bond, Beverly Cross, Ladrica
The Daily Helmsman is a “designated public forum.” Students have authority to make all content decisions without censorship or advance approval. The Daily Helmsman is pleased to make a maximum of 10 copies of each issue available to a reader for free. Additional copies are $1. Partial printing and distribution costs are provided by an allocation from the Student Activity Fee.
“pay it forward.” “I like that this program engages University faculty, university students, high school teachers and high school students learning and sharing together,” Beverly Cross, Moss Chair of Excellence in Urban Education, said. “It takes the University beyond the campus.” It is usually hard to get enough students to apply for this program due to the costs and the fact that most of them are trying to work during the summer. Beverly Bond, associ-
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Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s Buckin’ Off Cancer Rodeo philanthropy event will take place Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. The event will include mechanical bull rides, a dunk tank and other games such as corn hole. Besides the activities, food will be provided to guests as well. All proceeds will go to Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. SAE President Kevan Hatamzadeh is excited their chapter is supporting these causes. “The American Cancer Society does so much for so many people that we felt compelled to extend our efforts to this fine organization,” he said. Hatamzadeh believes this is a great way to raise money for their philanthropy and have a good time while doing it. “This is a great philanthropy to attend because it’s unique and is for a great cause,“ he said. SAE Philanthropy Chair Campbell Lewis believes this could be their best philanthropy event yet. “This is an event that has something for everyone to do and will be a lot of fun,” he said. Hatamzadeh agreed with this sentiment and has very high expectations for the event. “Our past philanthropies have had decent attendance, but nothing compared to what we are expecting Friday,” he said. SAE hopes the rodeo is successful enough to become an annual event again and popular among students. “This used to be an annual event for this chapter some time ago, and we decided to bring it back,” Lewis said. “One factor of making it annual again would be the feed back we get from people
U of M students and faculty parked in the Deloach Parking Garage, located east of the FedEx Institute of Technology, enter and exit freely through the locked-open gate arms.
Menson-Furr, Brian Wright and Earnestine Jenkins. There is also a group of six high school teachers from the Memphis City School System who are going. According to the study abroad website, this program is inspired by the Ethiopian proverb, “Those who learn must teach.” The 16 students who are chosen will come back to Memphis and teach a group of high school students about the things they learned while in Ghana. The donor’s goal was for the university students to be able to
By J.T. Mullen
see GARAGE on page 5
photo By haRRiSon linGo | Staff
By Jasmine Morton
Fraternity fundraises with rodeo
2 Sports 6
2 • Thursday, March 27, 2014
H ELMSMAN Volume 81 Number 90
Editor-in-Chief L. Taylor Smith Managing Editor Joshua Cannon Design Editors Hannah Verret Taylor Grace Harrison Lingo Sports Editor Hunter Field General Manager Candy Justice
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5 “2001” computer 6 Galeón cargo 7 Braz. neighbor 8 Easy putt 9 “__ you ready yet?” 10 Lip-smacking 11 Some Clue cards 12 “My suspicions are confirmed!” 13 Building group 18 Your, to Pierre 24 Broadway attractions 25 It comes down hard 26 “Jeopardy!” monitor display: Abbr. 27 “One L” author 29 Often-torn trouser part 32 “__ down to the seas again”: Masefield 33 At a great height
34 Turner and others 36 Remote button 37 Figured out how 38 Producing intense feeling 39 Blue-flowering plant used in herbal medicine 40 Try to persuade 41 Show of hands? 42 Potential dupe 43 Biblical words of comfort 48 SeaWorld swimmers 49 Lariat loop 50 Colleague of Elena and Antonin 51 Hale and hearty 54 Secretly keeps in the email loop, briefly 57 Computer key 58 Short shortcut? 59 Samaritan’s offering
S u d o k u
Complete the grid so that each row, column and 3-by-3 box (in bold borders) contains every digit 1 to 9.
The University of Memphis
Thursday, March 27, 2014 • 3
SGA GENERAL ELECTION
VOTE TODAY 8 A.M. – MIDNIGHT
GO TO: HTTP://ELECTSGA.MEMPHIS.EDU FOLLOW THE “LOGIN AND VOTE” LINK Go to: http://electsga.memphis.edu SIGN IN WITH USERNAME & PASSWORD TO VOTE Follow the “Login and Vote” link Sign in with username & password to vote
FOR PRESIDENT: (vote for 1) Ricky Kirby (M.A.D.) Dominic Martini (A.S.A.P.)
FOR VICE PRESIDENT: (vote for 1) Jalen Griggs (A.S.A.P.) Prataj Ingram (M.A.D.)
Michael Barbour (M.A.D.) Phoebe Bauer (A.S.A.P.) David Blount (M.A.D.) Eric Bourgeois (M.A.D.) Melissa Byrd (M.A.D.) Fernanda Corral (M.A.D.) Ben Daniel (A.S.A.P.) Raven Douglas (M.A.D.) Amelia Durkee (M.A.D.) Madison Furr (A.S.A.P.)
AT LARGE: (vote for 18) Mary Garcia (A.S.A.P.) Christiana Giles (M.A.D.) Dallas Harness (A.S.A.P.) Shaq Goodwin (M.A.D.) Kevan Hatamzadeh (M.A.D.) David Knowles (M.A.D.) Winnie Law (M.A.D.) Mariah Martini (A.S.A.P.) Tevin McInnis (M.A.D.) Amber Nelson (A.S.A.P.)
Lainey Ortega (M.A.D.) Rachel Robilio (A.S.A.P.) Sara Rolin (M.A.D.) Shea Stock (A.S.A.P.) Kelsey Taylor (M.A.D.) Charles Uffelman (M.A.D.) Emily Vallor (M.A.D.) Greg Weatherford (A.S.A.P.) Katelyn Wooley (M.A.D..)
ARTS & SCIENCES: (vote for 5) Laitin Beechum (M.A.D.) Natalie Marking (A.S.A.P.) Johnny Holmes (M.A.D.) Rohan Pareek (A.S.A.P.) Harrison House (A.S.A.P.) Elizabeth Rapalo (M.A.D.) Alli Kingston (M.A.D.) Brady Tidwell (M.A.D.) BUSINESS & ECONOMICS: (vote for 2) Russell Copeland (M.A.D.) Caleb Lies (M.A.D.)
EDUCATION, HEALTH & HUMAN SCIENCES: (vote for 2) Karlee Fraizer (M.A.D.) Jalecia Miles (M.A.D.) NURSING: (vote for 1) Brooke Brown (M.A.D.) Ryan Wilcox (A.S.A.P.) GRADUATE SCHOOL: (vote for 3) Kanesha Johnson (M.A.D.) Jessica Rainer (M.A.D.) Andy Tomayko (M.A.D.) LAMBUTH: (vote for 2) Matthew Hammonds (M.A.D.) Renard Miles (M.A.D.) ACADEMIC COUNSELING (vote for 1) COMMUNICATION & FINE ARTS: (vote for 1) Emily Hayes (M.A.D.) Christian Hudson (M.A.D.) Tyler McBride (M.A.D.) ENGINEERING: (vote for 1) UNIVERSITY COLLEGE: (vote for 1) Carlton Randolph (M.A.D.) Hannah Scott (M.A.D.)
4 • Thursday, March 27, 2014
Acoustic singer works on EP of love songs, takes on rap genre By Samuel Prager
Hiding behind a pair of thickrimmed glasses, Isaac Erickson is an alternative-pop singer and songwriter who has been involved in the music scene for the past six years. Lately, Erickson has been preparing a six-track EP made up of love songs entitled “Understatement of the Year,” which he said ranges from heartbreaks to fresh starts. “My songs are mainly about relationships, the good and bad parts of them. I feel like one of the most profound things in life is interacting with other people and the emotions you feel about them,” Erickson, a junior communications major, said. Since relationships play such a primary part of his life, the musician said it’s natural for him to write about the sincerity and emotional stress behind them. “For me, when I’m in a relationship, it’s a really intimate thing—there are a lot of emotions, good and bad,” Erickson said. “That’s why it is such a prevalent theme in my song writing.” For Erickson, playing music has been a heritage. His father Brett Erickson was in the prominent Memphis hard-rock band Breaking Point, who was signed to Wind-Up Records. Erickson cites this as a huge influence on his passion for music. “My dad was in a band that toured all the time and, when I was in the third grade, he got me a drum set. The year after that I got a guitar, and I’ve been writing songs ever since. Music is definitely something I don’t think will ever change in my life,” Erickson said. Erickson currently has three of the songs set to be released during the summer streaming through Bandcamp.com. However, he added that he doesn’t want to take the traditional road of releasing an album. “I just want to get to a place where what I do for a living is write and record songs that I care about and people listen to. It sucks people don’t really buy music anymore. I don’t even buy music,” Erickson said. “I guess an avenue I really want to pursue for music distribution is like YouTube or other online music outlets.” For his solo project, Erickson said his influences range between two opposite spectrums. On one side, he noted the poeticnatured emo/acoustic rock band Dashboard Confessional, and on the other side, he said bands like
photo By Samuel PRAGER | staff
Isaac Erickson has played in various projects in the Memphis music scene over the past six years.
The Front Bottoms have inspired him to “just say how it is” through their raw-lyrical style. Along with his self-titled solo project, the singer is also pursuing the rap genre, something Erickson said has always been a calling to him. His new group, The Oak Field, has released one single with an accompanying music video titled “Margaret.” The current duo, which consists of Erickson and long-time friend and fellow student Tevin White, plan on making the group a larger and more collaborative project, similar to the styling of famed rap group Odd Future. “We want to get a bunch of random people to come together for this project. We want to play shows with a whole group of people rapping and being ridiculous,” Erickson said. “We don’t want to take it or ourselves too seriously, which is the point behind the music.” Erickson noted that he strives to produce honest and genuine lyrics that consist of real life experiences of the struggle and glory that is love. “I’m a genuine person and I try to write genuine lyrics that people can relate to, that they can compare to a certain person within their own lives,” Erickson said. “I’m writing genuine feelings straight from my heart, not just about getting with girls or money.” Students can listen to Isaac Mitchell Erickson at bandcamp. com/isaacmitchellerickson.
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Tigers’ Ta es “I’d have to say my sister, because she’s been my sister, my momma and my brother. She’s the one who motivated me to come here and gain everything I’ve gained from college.” Brandon Mitchell, Business Economics senior
Donor Page 1
said. He said that it has been exciting developing this program without worrying about how students are going to pay for it. The grant came about through a connection that Cross had who wanted to meet with someone from the African and African American studies department. The donor met with Bond and decided to fund the trips to Ghana as well as the two-week
Rodeo Page 1
who attend.” Two-dollar electric bull rides will be given from 4 to 5:30 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., an electric-bull riding competition will take place.
Garage Page 1
two the gates have been open. There has been no first floor parking.” Lee also said that no one from parking services has informed
Who is the most important woman in your life? By Robbie Porter
“I guess I should say my mom, because that’d be pretty f*cked up if I didn’t.”
“My mom has always been the one to guide me and give me advice throughout my life.”
“The most important woman in my life is easily my mother. I’m exactly like her in many ways, and that’s something I didn’t see until I got a little older.”
“My mom is a hard-working single mother and she’s become quite successful while struggling to raise me, so she’s definitely the most important woman in my life.”
Dana Poole, Business senior
Cole Preston, Civil Engineering freshman
Emily Hinkle, Vocal Performance freshman
Bria Myers, Nursing sophomore
institute for the high school students. Brian Wright, assistant professor of Early Childhood Education, said the program is a wonderful opportunity for university students to take what they have learned so far and apply it internationally. “The privilege to be selected to participate in a study abroad program will enrich and expand their knowledge,” he said. The students have not been selected but they will go through an interview process soon. Johnny Hayes, senior African and African American stud-
ies and philosophy major, said recently participated in the Afro-Cuban History and Culture spring break program. He said it was great to experience another culture. “I really appreciate the donor, because I would not be able to finance this whole program otherwise,” Hayes said. LaTerryan James, senior English and African and African American Studies major, said being chosen to be a part of this institute would be an experience of a lifetime. “It would be a great opportunity to help the youth and expand
their perceptions of the world outside of Memphis,” he said. James is also looking forward to experiencing Ghana because his sister recently studied abroad in Africa. She is a student at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and she visited Cape Town, Zimbabwe and Johannesburg. While she was there, she scattered some of their step-father’s ashes on Clifton Beach. “I feel like part of my heart is in Africa now,” James said. Laumann said this trip would be the highlight of a student’s education. Ghana has strong con-
nections with American history going back to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. “One of the things that we will do in Ghana is visit the grave of W.E.B Dubois who lived the last years of his life in Ghana,” he said. Laumann is excited that the university students will share their experience with local high school students. “Hopefully that will enrich the learning of high school students and inspire them to study abroad when they go to college,” he said.
Throughout the event people can play corn hole or attempt to dunk others in a dunk tank for only $1 per person. Hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks will be served as well. Lewis is very excited about the event and looks forward to see how much support they can give
to Relay for Life. “I am excited to see everyone having fun and ultimately helping out a great organization,“ Lewis said. Lewis said the main goal is to raise as much money as possible, but doesn’t see why people can’t have a great time as well.
“We hope to raise as much as possible for Relay for Life,” he said. “We also want to provide quality entertainment so that everyone attending has a blast.” All U of M students are invited to the event. It is $10 to get into the event or $7 if you buy a ticket in advance from a brother of
SAE. The event will take place at the SAE chapter house at 3601 Midland Ave. “Our expectations are to raise as much money as possible for Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society,” Hatamzadeh said. “We hope for maximum participation.
her when the gate would be fixed. Charles Bailey, accounting professor, said he paid $60 this semester to use the garage. He noticed that it has become more difficult to find a space in Deloach over the past week. “I guess people have gotten wise to (the gates being open),”
Bailey said. “But I am not resentful about it. I had to drive twice around the lot today—that is all.” Outside of buying a semester pass, students normally pay $2 an hour or $12 a day to park in the Deloach garage. According to Elaine Calhoun, customer service representative
at Parking and Transportation Services, the gates are malfunctioning due to a broken part. “There is a part already on order,” she said. “We are working on fixing them, but the gates will remain open until they do.” Parking service assistances usually do not write many tickets
for people parked in garages, one employee said. “Typically, we only go into the garage if we are asked,” the employee said. “We mostly give tickets for people who are parked out of the lines, but otherwise we more or less stay out.”
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6 • Thursday, March 27, 2014
Congress on track to pass Ukraine aid bill By Deb Riechmann Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The House and Senate worked Wednesday to quickly resolve their differences and send the White House a bill to sanction Russia and aid Ukraine to show U.S. displeasure with President Vladimir Putin’s military incursion into Crimea. Lawmakers said the plan was to get one version accepted by both sides, pass it and get it to President Barack Obama’s desk as early as Thursday night. It was unclear whether the work could be finished that quickly. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Wednesday that both sides were discussing ways to get a bill out of Congress post haste. Asked whether he expected problems reconciling the two bills, Boehner said, “You never know. But there’s an awful lot of cooperation and discussion under way to try to avoid that.” Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he hoped the Senate would embrace the House bill. “Our goal is not to go to conference because of the urgency of the situation,” Royce, R-Calif., said. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he hoped the House would adopt the Senate version of the bill, but that even if they were forced to negotiate a final measure, the process would not be lengthy because the two versions were similar. “I am getting the sense that they (House members) will either conference with us and adopt most of our provisions or they will just take it,” McCain said. “I don’t think they’ve made that decision yet.” McCain pushed to strengthen provisions in the Senate bill that call for additional defense equipment and military training to countries in central and eastern Europe, including Ukraine. “Vladimir Putin is on the move,” McCain said in a speech on the floor
Roy Gutman | mCt
Ukrainian reservists line up for photographers at newly established base near the Russian border. in which he called Russia a “gas station masquerading as a country.” Democrats backed down Tuesday and stripped International Monetary Fund reform language from the bill, which had stalled its progress. With tens of thousands of Russian troops massed on Ukraine’s eastern border, Senate Democrats decided it was more important to denounce Russia, codify sanctions against Putin’s inner circle and support Ukraine rather than push now for the IMF changes. Democrats wanted the Ukraine legislation to include provisions to enhance the IMF’s lending capacity, but Republicans were opposed. And since more than two weeks have passed since Russia’s incursion into Crimea, Democrats decided it was important to move quickly to pro-
vide $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine and sanction Putin’s inner circle. Eight Senate Republicans introduced an amendment to the Senate measure to remove the IMF provisions. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he strongly supported IMF reform, but the main thing was to get the aid to Ukraine. “We have to get IMF reform. But we can’t hold up the other,” Reid told reporters Tuesday. “As much as I think a majority of the Senate would like to have gotten that done with IMF in it, it was headed to nowhere in the House.” Reid said Wednesday that he agreed with Texas Sen. John
Cornyn, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican, that more needs to be done to help Ukraine. “I hope we can move beyond what we are going to do tomorrow for the Ukrainian people,” Reid said. He called for bipartisan support for a package of other things Congress could do in the next few weeks to show that American stands with Ukraine. The move signaled a retreat for the Democrats and the Obama administration, which had promoted the IMF provisions. The IMF provisions would have increased the power of emerging countries in the IMF and shifted some $63 billion from a crisis fund to a general account the lending body could use for economic stabilization
operations around the world. Republicans have long spurned the administration’s attempt to ratify the IMF revisions, saying they would increase the exposure of U.S. taxpayers in foreign bailouts. Making the shift now, opponents argue, also would marginally increase Russia’s voting power over the fund’s finances. The Obama administration and Democrats counter that unless the U.S. approves the new rules, Washington will lose its influence at the IMF and hamper the body’s ability to avert economic meltdowns in places precisely like Ukraine. The U.S. is the only major country that has yet to sign off on the IMF changes.
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Former Tiger high-flyer inks NBA deal By Hunter Field
The Milwaukee Bucks announced the signing of beloved Tiger D.J. Stephens Wednesday morning. Stephens graduated from Memphis last May after playing four seasons for the University of Memphis men’s basketball team. The Killeen, Texas, native dunked his way into the hearts of Tiger fans with his acrobatic finishes near the rim and service throughout the community. He even won the 2012 Intersport Dunk of the Year title for an emphatic slam on Feb. 4, 2012, against Xavier University. U of M head coach Josh Pastner gushed about Stephens at the end of last season, arguing that Stephens should be considered one of the five greatest Tigers of all time. “I guarantee you he would win the NBA dunk contest,” Pastner said at the end of the 2013 season. “He belongs in the pros and could help a team win.” The problem for Stephens has
Photo By David C. Minkin | special to the daily helmsman
D.J. Stephens celebrates a critical bucket during the Tigers win over the Vols last season in Knoxville. Stephens signed a 10-day contract with the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday. been finding the right fit in the NBA. He bounced around to several teams for the summer league and training camps, but he couldn’t land
himself a spot on any regular season rosters. After attempting the NBA route, Stephens focused on a career over-
seas where he signed in Greece with Ilysiakos. With Ilysiakos, he averaged 9.8 points, 8.8 boards and 2.2 blocks per game.
it is celebrated on the vernal, or spring equinox, which usually falls around March 21. Borhan Samei, a computer science major and president of the PSA, said Nowruz is celebrated by many ethnic communities. “It is a secular holiday that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths, including people from Iran, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Kurdish regions and other scattered populations in Central Asia,” Samei, 24, said. Because of its archaic origins there is no recorded date for the first
Nowruz, but scholars believe the holiday was already a tradition by the time the Achaemenid Empire came to power in 550 B.C.E. According to the “Shahnameh,” an epic poem written by the 10th century Persian poet Ferdowsi, the origins of Nowruz can be traced back to the mythical king Jamshid who saved the world from an apocalyptic winter. Because the holiday is celebrated by such a wide array of people spanning several millennia, the traditions vary from country to country. One in particular, the Haft-Seen, has remained a central Norwruz tradition throughout the ages.
“Haft-Seen is a traditional table setting of Nowruz,” Samei said. “There are seven symbolic items where name of each begins with the Persian letter “Seen” (‘S’) and so it is called the HaftSeen (Seven ‘S’). The number seven has been sacred in Iran since the ancient times.” The seven symbolic items include Sabzeh, sprouts representing rebirth; Samanu, a pudding in which common wheat sprouts are transformed into a sweet, creamy pudding that represents affluence; Seeb, an apple that represents health and beauty; Senjed, the sweet, dry fruit of the Lotus tree that represents love; Seer, garlic that
The production earned him a 10-day contract in Milwaukee. He will play out the contract in hopes of earning another contract and permanent spot at the end of the deal. Stephens battled through a multitude of injuries during his four seasons the U of M but it was tough to know he was injured with the way he hustled to every loose ball and skied for every blocked shot. He scored 7.6 points per game, grabbed 6.6 rebounds per game and blocked 95 shots – the fourth most in a single season at the U of M. The Bucks’ next game is on Thursday against the Lakers. They also face the defending champion Miami Heat twice, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors over the life of the contract. Stephens is the second Tiger from last year’s squad to make an NBA roster this season. Adonis Thomas signed a 10-day contract with the Orlando Magic earlier in the season. Both players will get a photo of themselves in an NBA uniform on the wall in the Larry O. Finch Center.
Persian Night represents a modern incarnation of ancient traditions
By Patrick Lantrip
The Persian Student Association will host Persian Night in the Michael D. Rose Theatre at 6 p.m on March 29. The event is in celebration of Persian New Year, called Nowruz. There will be an exhibition of Iranian handcrafts, a traditional Haft-Seen table and a featured performance by Iranian-born dancer Banafsheh Sayyad. Nowruz marks the first day Persian calendar, which is one of the oldest chronological records of human history in existence. Meaning “new day,”
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represents medicine; Sumac, which represents the color of the sunrise and Serkeh, vinegar that represents age and patience. “The Haft-Seen table is like the Christmas tree, so it´s very important to Iranians, and every Iranian home has one,” said Lily Afshar, advisor to PSA, and a professor of guitar at the University of Memphis. “There will be a Haft-Seen table at the Saturday night celebration.” In addition to the Haft-Seen table, the event will also feature a dance performance by Banafsheh Sayyad. Sayyad is known for her distinct dance style, known as the “Dance of Oneness,” which is influenced by Sufism, Persian dance and ritual, Tai Chi and Flamenco “In her words, Dance of Oneness is a way of life—rigorous, disciplined and passionate—an active ground for selfknowledge and healing,” Samei said. “It is not only about technique, but also the inner dimensions of movement. This is a way to integrate oneself, harmonize with others and serve the greater Existence.” Founded in 2010 by Iranian students at U of M, PSA is a student organization whose mission is to promote the Persian culture by sponsoring various cultural and social events and to introduce their culture to other people who come from different cultures. “We serve as someone who comes from a different culture to let others learn more about Persians while also collaborating with other student organizations in the multi-cultural environment of the U of M,” Samei said.
8 • Thursday, March 27, 2014
Pastner closes book on 2014 campaign By Hunter Field
It was a roller coaster season for the University of Memphis men’s basketball team, and head coach Josh Pastner spent Tuesday afternoon reflecting upon the ups and downs of the season, which ended far too soon for the Tigers on Sunday evening in the NCAA Tournament. The press conference marked the last time Pastner will focus on his fifth season at the helm before turning his attention toward the future of the Memphis program. Pastner’s major focus on Tuesday was the Tigers’ shooting struggles. They shot 33 percent from behind the arc for the season, but only two of the four senior guards cracked the 30-percent mark. “I totally misjudged our threepoint shooting,” Pastner said. “That was something we didn’t do as well as I thought we’d do. Based on the previous year, we were one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country. I went on that and I misjudged that.” The Blue and Gray finished the 2013-2014 season with 24 wins and 10 losses. They went 12-5 in the American Athletic Conference’s inaugural season. Of those 10 losses, nine came at the hands of teams who were, at one point or another, ranked inside of the Associated Press Top 25. The loss that really came back to bite the Tigers during the NCAA Tournament selection process was their nine-point loss to the University of Houston on Feb. 27. The U of M notched five wins over ranked opponents—the first of Pastner’s young coaching career. They beat top-10 Louisville twice, fifth-ranked Oklahoma State, 18th-ranked SMU and 23rd-ranked Gonzaga. Pastner emphasized the top25 wins, the Tigers’ Old Spice Classic title and their sweep of the Cardinals as points of pride for the program. He also boasted that the Tigers are one of only 15 teams to make the tournament each of the last four years but he acknowledged Memphis must produce in the postseason meet both his and Tiger faithful’s expectations. Memphis has gone 2-4 over the last four seasons in the NCAA Tournament and they’ve failed to make it past the tournament’s first weekend, losing in the second round in the first two years and the third the past two. The team’s postseason shortcomings have come under heavy scrutiny from media and fans alike, but Pastner welcomes and embraces the feedback from the basketballcrazed city he coaches in.
“I never want that to change,” a reflective Pastner said. “I never want the agony of defeat or the thrill of victory to change. That’s what makes this program so great is the fan base. So never change.” After two straight years near the top of the NCAA in defense, the Tigers, who had Sweet 16 aspirations, regressed on the defensive side of the ball. Pastner said he would evaluate the way they coach defense. He credited the change to the new rules, which restrict handchecking and physical play, but he thought changing the way they played defense might have been a misstep.
Pastner began looking ahead in the final few minutes of his meeting with the media. He said, as of right now, he expects no players or coaches to part ways with the program. Freshman forward Dominic Woodson struggled with some off-the-court issues this season, namely his language. The struggles prompted rumors of dissatisfaction within 6-foot-10, 310-pound forward. However, Pastner said he expects Woodson to return and have a huge impact as long as Woodson takes care of business off the court. Pastner also revealed plans to take a foreign tour next August to
try and gain experience for what is sure to be an inexperienced roster next season. The Tigers graduate seven guys from this year’s squad, five of whom played a major role. The Tigers will return three major contributors from this season: freshman forwards Austin Nichols and Nick King and sophomore forward Shaq Goodwin. Pastner wants the Tigers to get back to the basics of rebounding and defense next season. “We’ve established that we’re a very good team moving the ball— back-to-back years in total assists,” Pastner said. “We’ve improved in the area of rebounding in my time
here, but we need to get back to having a really good defensive mindset. We have the potential to be very good rebounding wise offensively and defensively. The identity and mindset next year needs to be on the defensive end.” All that said, Pastner is pleased with the state of the program he took over five years ago. “The program is as healthy as it has ever been,” Pastner said. “We’ve got good players coming in. We’re recruiting at a very high level. Guys are graduating at a record pace. Image wise, the University is, nationally, the highest level it has been.”
START Thinking AheAd.
START RAiSing youR expecTATionS. START Above The ReST. ST ST.
START RiSing To The occASion. START TAKING ON CHALLENGES.
START ReAching youR goAlS. START becoming A leAdeR.
START STRong. SM
There’s strong. Then there’s Army Strong. Enroll in the Army ROTC Leader’s Training Course at the University of Memphis and you will be ready for life after college. Because when you attend this 4-week leadership development course, you will take on new challenges and adventures. You will also be on course for a career as an Army Officer.
For more information on the Army ROTC Leader's Training Course, visit us at the University of Memphis University Center on Wednesday, April 2 at 1pm or contact Mr. Brian Hagood at 888-237-ROTC. ©2008. paid for by the united States Army. All rights reserved.
Published on Mar 27, 2014