Hilltop Views S t .
E d w a r d ’ s
U n i v e r s i t y
Wednesday, December 2 , 2009
Volume 26 | Issue 10
Greek life debated Callie Chiang The Student Government Association held a town hall meeting Nov. 18 to allow St. Edward’s University students to discuss and debate controversial issues like Greek life, plus/minus grading and creating a music major. Dozens of students attended the meeting at Hunt Hall Café to voice their opinions and discuss the issues. Meghan Kuentz, SGA president, began the meeting and opened the floor to comments regarding the contentious issue of the possibility of Greek life on campus. Greek life was proposed by S.R. Bill 112 during an SGA meeting in late October. Sophomore Senator Andy Ryan sponsored the bill. The first students to speak at the meeting were sophomores Shawn Arnold and Addam Terrazas. Arnold and Terrazas presented a petition, signed by over 200 St. Edward’s students, against Greek life. “I knew that 200 people wasn’t enough to make an impact, but I thought that it was a nice start,” Arnold said. Arnold and Terrazas were also responsible for creating the Facebook group, “St. Edward’s Students Against Greek Life.” At time of publication, the group has over 400 members, including current students, alumni and
Child care discussed Jake Hartwell
The debate soon became argumentative and several students waited in line to state their opinions. faculty. Both Arnold and Terrazas argued that Greek fraternities and sororities on the St. Edward’s campus would create cliques and elitist behavior. Some students at the event also argued that St. Edward’s already has similar groups based on GPA, major and community service. No other Holy Cross university in the country has fraternities or sororities. Other concerns were voiced over the possibility of hazing and other negative, but sometimes false, connotations carried by these types of organizations including wild parties and pledges who buy their membership. A three-year sorority member spoke after Arnold and Terrezas, and said the concerns raised were unfounded. She emphasized Greek Life had a spirit of inclusion, not exclusion, as well as community service and business orientation. She said sororities and fraternities, much like universities, have payment plans and do not kick out pledges based on financial status and the organizations are monitored by
Features: A look back at live music venues around Austin. Page 8.
administration to make sure they are adhering to the societies’ national code of ethics. She argued that having these organizations would bring prestige and active participation to St. Edward’s student life. Those who pledge can also receive benefits such as health insurance, networking opportunities and housing. The debate soon became argumentative and several students waited in line to state their opinions. Matt Moore, a senior member of the men’s soccer team, spoke up in defense of sports teams that had inadvertently become included in the negative fraternity stereotypes. Moore’s statement was greeted by cheers from fellow students. Upon the debate’s conclusion, School of Behavioral and Social Sciences Senator Zac Peal, said that SGA is researching what the students want and will remain objective on the matter. Freshman senators, Andrew Guerrero and Olivia Bouree, echoed Peal and promised to
A survey to gauge the interest in on-campus child care was distributed to faculty and staff of St. Edward’s University in November. The Faculty Senate created the Child Care Committee in the fall semester of 2008 to investigate the issue of on-campus child care. Cory Lock, committee co-chair and assistant professor said too much was unknown about child care for the committee to weigh in on the importance of the issue at first. “We suggested that another committee [the Child Care Committee] be created to investigate interests, options, and possibilities,” she said.
The first duty of the committee was to gather information about programs at other schools, by surveying benchmarks, similar institutions and other Holy Cross colleges, Lock said. The list included the University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, St. Mary’s University in Indianapolis, University of Portland, Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans, King’s College in Pennsylvania, Stonehill College in Massachusetts, and Holy Cross College in Indiana. Out of all Holy Cross schools, seven have child care programs. St. Edward’s is larger than all of these, besides Notre Dame, and child care is arguably more
plausible at large institutions because of larger budgets, Lock said. With the continuing growth of St. Edward’s, there have been hopes that there may be more room in the university’s budget for a child care program. The survey was the first public action taken by the committee and will determine the next steps to take. The committee will meet to discuss the survey results, and then report to the Faculty Senate. If sufficient interest is shown and the senate agrees, the committee might begin to study possible models to implement. “The only model that would ever work at St. COMMITTEE, 2
Festival of Lights
Hilltop Views Archive Photo
The 30th Annual Festival of Lights will be held Dec. 4 at 6:30 a.m. See the briefs on page 4.
Sports: Baskeball scores and upcoming schedules. Page 11.
Entertainment: Two perspectives on New Moon. Page 9.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009 | Hilltop Views
Committee looking into child care for employees Continued from page 1
Edward’s would be one where the people obtaining the child care would pay the full amount of the child care,” Lock said. As of Nov. 16, there were 316 faculty and staff members that had taken the survey with an overall positive reaction, Lock said. Beth Eakman, a Humanities instructor, has two school-aged children, and used the on campus child care facility at San Diego State University, where she previously taught. She said the facility at San Diego State was provided on-site for preschoolers through the early childhood department. “There is a lot of good research showing that on-site childcare contributes to desirable outcomes for employers: less absenteeism and lower rates of employee turnover are big ones,” she said. “Just the very simple feature of proximity - being physically close to where your kids are - is a huge quality of life
issue.” Anna Skinner, professor, said a child care center affiliated with St. Edward’s would be a wonderful option for our university’s faculty and staff who have young children. “Such a child care center would appeal to many of the people we want to hire for faculty and staff positions, and it could make a difference between their choosing St. Edward’s or going to another institution,” Skinner said. While many faculty and staff members have shown interest in child care, some have voiced concerns as well. Haven Street-Allen, director of human resources, said easy access to child care is a wonderful benefit for a number of parents, but cost, convenience and quality would also be important considerations. “Without a university subsidy, it would be very expensive,” she said. “That subsidy would likely come, at least in part, from the university’s main source of income—tu-
“On-site child care seems like the kind of service that would fit nicely with the school’s overall environment of support,” said Re. ition. I don’t think that’s a good idea and I suspect many would agree with me.” The majority of faculty and staff at St. Edward’s do not have children under the age of six. Any university funds used for any part of child care or the investigative process would draw from other forms of compensation that would benefit them. Costs can become particularly acute due to liability. “Premiums associated with preschool day care are expensive and require a great deal of administrative documentation and compliance,” StreetAllen said. “I have no idea where on campus a childcare center could be placed. It would require a new building and I can’t imagine where the money would come from.”
Lock said any child care center would most likely need to be off-campus, but within walking distance to avoid new building costs. Craig Campbell, committee co-chair and associate professor, said that if St. Edward’s values family, children, education, and social justice, child care should be supported because of the obligations to the staff and students. Campbell suggested insurance in response to liability costs. “I found an insurance company that covers child care facilities…it was something like $300 a year for thirty kids,” he said. Campbell said current faculty and staff pay around $600-800 a month for off campus childcare.
Lock suggested the only model that would work at St. Edward’s would be if the child care was paid for entirely by those using it, so whatever the cost of running a child care facility on campus would be spread among the monthly payments of those using the care. The Faculty Senate has studied several different models, but have not chosen any in particular since they are still in the investigative phase of the process. A child care center, either on-campus or nearby, could also present opportunities for Education and Behavioral Science students to work with young children. Campbell said the experience would be an important part of education. Some child care centers at other institutions have also expanded to include students’ children, but most have started solely with and staff and later open it up to students, said Lock. The survey was completed at the end of November,
Lock said. Now, the Faculty Senate will gauge interest. If the Faculty Senate agrees a child care program is a beneficial program to implement on campus, Human Resources and administration will also need to approve the program. The process could take several semesters, or end the motion entirely. Eakman is confident the administration will make the best decision for the university and it’s faculty. “[St. Edward’s] is such a wonderful place to work,” she said. “I have never experienced a more supportive administration. On-site childcare seems like the kind of service that would fit nicely with the school’s overall environment of support.” email@example.com
Students giving back to community for Christmas Emily Blasdell This holiday season has always been a time for giving and charity, and this year is no exception for students and faculty at St. Edward’s University. Various campus groups are getting in the holiday spirit by giving their time and gifts to others. This season, each player of the women’s volleyball team is adopting a Salvation Army Angel. As part of the Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree program, the players all chose an “angel” online. Angels are children or seniors in financial need in the local Austin community selected by the Salvation Army. The players
all purchased a gift for their angel, said sophomore Natasha Pajda, the team manager. Laura Colley, a freshman player, said it was a lot of fun going out with the team to spend money for a good cause. “Knowing that it will brighten someone’s day is very rewarding,” she said. Coaches Sean Donahue and Kim Morgal also participated and bought gifts for their own angels. Another group getting in the holiday spirit is the Student Service Council. The council is hosting the annual Festival of Lights Service Project on Dec. 2. This year, the project is a winterthemed festival that invites
the entire St. Edward’s community to interact and play with the students from the St. Ignatius Martyr School and Capitol School of Texas. The young students will be able to make their own stockings, meet Topper the mascot, take pictures with Santa, and listen to a storyteller in the Mabee Ballrooms. Laura Quinn, Student Service Council executive board member, said the purpose of the project is to get people in the holiday spirit, have fun and help those in need. Co-ed Community Service Fraternity Alpha Phi Omega is also hosting a toy drive for Precious Heritage Orphanage in Manila, Philippines from Nov. 30 – Dec. 4 in
the Ragsdale Center lobby. The group is also collecting hygiene products. All of the donations will be delivered to the orphanage in time for Christmas. Elyssa Parven, president of Alpha Phi Omega, will be delivering the donations to the orphanage in Manila herself during her trip to the Philippines in December. Aware of the poverty in the area, Parven thought it would really brighten the children’s lives to bring something with her. Parven said the toy drive is so importance because most people lose sight of poverty on an international levels.
“There are many children in the Philippines who have no home and do not know what it is like to have presents on Christmas,” she said. “A simple toy can make a child that much happier.” Parven said the group bought $50 worth of items, which are each worth $1 each, that students can buy from the table to donate.
Hilltop Views | Wednesday, December 2, 2009
NEWS | Page 3
Apprentice Austin pairs students with professionals Michael McNally St. Edward’s University students who are looking for a way to connect with future employers in Austin need to look no further with the start of the Apprentice Austin program. Sponsored by the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce, the brand new apprenticeship program pairs a junior or senior college student with a mentor in a specific field or area of interest. Mentors volunteer for the program as a way to give back to the Austin community by sharing personal experience. The mentor meets with the student one hour a week to help with the student’s future career choices and establish employer connections through networking, according to AYCC’s Web site. The program lasts three months with a total of six sessions.
The AYCC, in addition to St. Edward’s, has also teamed up with University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, Huston-Tillotson University, Concordia University and Austin Community College. President George Martin suggested AYCC coordinate with the St. Edward’s Career Planning Office after he was introduced to the apprentice program said Elizabeth Nichols, employer relations coordinator at St. Edward’s. Nichols and the Career Planning Office have taken on the responsibility of marketing Apprentice Austin to St. Edward’s students, and has even been able to secure scholarships to cover the fee of the application process. The goal of Apprentice Austin is to aid upperclassmen at these local institutions who have a strong desire to remain in Austin,
“It’s a great opportunity to connect with future employers in the Austin area...” -Senior Adam DeVos specific career interests, and outstanding personal and academic achievements. Danielle Richter, a senior, said the program is a crucial part of the college experience. “College is more than just about learning...it’s about getting connections for when you graduate,” she said. To apply, students were asked to submit a resume, a biographical narrative, one letter of recommendation, and an application containing four questions each limited to 150 word answers. The deadline was Nov. 30. Although the process may sound involved, Nichols
ensures the process is well worth the possible benefits. “It’s a unique opportunity for a student to learn from a local leader in an area of interest…which are all over the board, ranging from science, medicine and education,” Nichols said. Adam DeVos, a senior who is double majoring in entrepreneurship and finance, has applied for Apprentice Austin and encourages other students to do so as well. “It’s a great opportunity to connect with future employers in the Austin area and is a next step for the future,” he said. DeVos said another benefit
of Apprentice Austin is the ability to connect with other top students in the Austin area and get hands on experience in relevant career field. DeVos said this will take students involved in Apprentice Austin above and beyond others. Other students have praised Apprentice Austin for its potential future benefits as well. Donald Linnell, a sophomore, said he though the connections students can make in the program can be invaluable for future success. Mitchell Hallmark, a freshman agreed. “I believe a program like this will help students not only in the present, but in the future,” he said. And, while the idea of an apprentice program is entirely new to the Austin area, the U.S. Department of Labor has run a national appren-
ticeship program since 1937 which provides structured, on-the-job training in both traditional and emerging industries. Apprentice Austin attempts to emulate this model. St. Edward’s students interested in Apprentice Austin can contact the career planning office or visit the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce’s Web page at http:// austinyc.org, for additional application information. Applications were due by Nov. 30, but students are open to consider and apply for next year’s program. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009 | Hilltop Views
SGA holds town hall on controversial issues Continued from page 1
vote with their student constituents. “I hope that the things I said not only provided SGA with more information upon which to base a decision, but also strengthened the case against Greek Life at St. Edward’s,” Arnold said. After Greek Life was hotly debated, the discussion turned to the proposed creation of a plus/minus grading scale. The major point of the opposition presented by students was over the difference in grading among majors at the university. Students argued that while biology and math classes have an objective grading system, liberal arts classes’ grading is more subjective. Other students voiced concerns that a plus/ minus grading system would
increase the academic pressure for students. Another argument presented was that converting GPAs on the standard 4.0 scale to the 6.0 scale would make knowing one’s true grade confusing and uncertain. Alex Simons, a sophomore senator, advocated for the plus/minus grading system because many graduate schools end up converting GPAs to this scale anyway. Simons added that at first, she was against changing the grading system, but upon researching the issue, she changed her mind. Phil Oates, a freshman, said that he opposed the system. “St. Edward’s mission statement is ‘learn to think.’ Since when was thinking measured on a plus or minus criteria?” he said. SGA Vice President, Chris Duke, said that for now, no
The Students Against Greek Life group on Facebook has gained over 400 members.
new grading scale has been proposed but SGA would like to keep the 4.0 scale. SGA’s proposal would also prohibit professors from making their own grading system. Duke described the
plus/minus scale as follows: A, 4.0; B+, 3.3; B, 3.0; B-, 2.67; etc. In the proposed plus/minus grading system, students with 4.0 GPAs would most likely drop a few points and
those with 3.0 and below would likely rise. If the proposal were passed, however, the grading system would not be applied to St. Edward’s grading for the next 2-3 years, and only then to that year’s
incoming freshman class. The final issue discussed at the meeting was the possibility of a music major at St. Edward’s. Chief advocates were for creating the major were Nathan Neighbors, a junior senator, and Patrick Jones, a sophomore student. Jones said that St. Edward’s, as a liberal arts university, needs to have a more extensive music program. “The Carriage House is in dire needs of improvement with its current lack of air conditioning and limited space for classes and rehearsal,” Jones said. Neighbors argued that having a good music program would boost the university’s prestige and improve diversity. No opposition to the major was voiced. email@example.com
News in Brief Doyle floor empty
Jones still closed
30th Festival of Lights
Since the renovation of Doyle Hall was completed, the third floor of the building has remained empty. The empty rooms are being held for future office expansion, according to Donna Jurick, Provost. “We did the same thing when we built Premont,” Jurick said. “This way, as the faculty changes and grows, you have offices for them.” There are spaces for about 25 offices, but the university plans on using two or three of them as expansion for IT and the university’s servers. Over the next few years, the offices will be filled by incoming professors, and other staff. “Doing it this way is more efficient than having empty offices scattered all over,” Jurick said. “We’re planning for the future.”
Main Building room 105 reopened last week, but Jones Auditorium is still closed after flooding shut down the building in October. Physical Plant Director Michael Peterson said that Physical Plant is hoping to reopen Jones by midJanuary. Classes begin again for the Spring semester on Jan. 9. Physical Plant recently began replacing the dry wall in the auditorium. Peterson also said that he could not estimate the total cost of the damage yet, but in October, Director of Auxiliary Mike Stone said that replacing the carpet alone costs approximately $9,800. Both Jones Auditorium and Main Building room 105 were closed after flooding in September.
St. Edward’s University will host its 30th Annual Festival of Lights celebration amid the celebration of the holiday season on campus. The event will be held Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. on the Main Building Lawn in conjunction with several other events. The festivities, sponsored by Student Life, will feature concerts, movies and religious ceremonies throughout the week of Nov. 30 - Dec. 4. Following the Festival of Lights, there will be a Holiday concert by the university’s music program to close out the celebrations. More information on the events can be found at the St. Edward’s Web site.
For Christmas, the Office of Student Financial Services at St. Edward’s University has adopted a Fort Hood unit currently serving in Iraq. The adoption, sponsored by the office of Veterans Affairs, plans to send snacks, candy and toiletries to the HSC 615 Aviation Support Batallion, which is part of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. The batallion is stationed at Camp Taji in Iraq. “It’s all still in support of the Veterans Day Event,” said Christina Garcia, the Veterans Affairs coordinator. Garcia arranged the Veteran’s Day event on campus. Garcia said that the adoption has also received support from some students, faculty and staff. Some $300 has been spent thus far and Garcia said that she plans on sending everything off by Dec. 11 so that the troops have their goods for Christmas. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hilltop Views | Wednesday, December 2, 2009
GAMES | Page 5
Hilltop Views is offering the St. Edward’s University community a new way to find out about campus news and events. Hilltopviewsonline.com will offer the majority of what is available in the print edition and so much more. Online you will find additional stories, photos, podcasts, videos and interviews.
Look for the answers to both games in next week’s issue! Answer to last issue’s Sudoku:
6 Wednesday, December 2, 2009 | Hilltop Views
Graduate admissions looking for more Claire Cella Increasing holistic review in graduate school admissions is leaving many top college seniors questioning if a 4.0 grade point average will be enough to gain admittance. In hopes of avoiding the weak job market, more college seniors are finding increasing value in a master’s degree. In 2009, the number of graduate school applications received by colleges and universities increased 8 percent from the year before, according to a report released in August by the Council of Graduate Schools. The Council is a national organization of master’s and doctorate degree institutions that support graduate school education and research in Washington D.C. As a result of the growing applicant pools, graduate school admissions committees are relying more on holistic review of applications as another way to distinguish students from one another, beyond GPAs. Lisa Davis, the external relations chair of the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals, said there has always been holistic consideration, but the applications are being scanned more carefully now. NAGAP, based in Lenexa, Kan., is an organization devoted to providing networking and support opportunities for graduate admissions and recruitment officials. “You have so many applicants,” she said. “You can really pick the cream of the crop, and it creates more competition for admission.” Growing Contention The increasing competition requires all applicants demonstrate more than just a 4.0 GPA.
Committees are relying more on holistic review of applications as another way to distinguish students from one another, beyond GPAs. Even though GPA indicates a student’s commitment to academic work, not every student with perfect grades gets into graduate school, said Christoph Guttentag, the dean of undergraduate admissions at Duke University. Although the odds are always better with good grades, a 4.0 is no longer sufficient evidence of a student’s capabilities, he said. “Admissions committees will always ask further questions of an excellent student’s life outside of school,” he said. Therefore, all applicants have to prove they have done more than study in college, and can adjust to and perform in their graduate program Audrey Fisher, a senior at St. Edward’s University, plans to graduate with a 4.0 GPA and thinks she is capable of much more than just studying. Throughout her undergraduate career, she has been a member of various student organizations and has worked as a research assistant. “I don’t think a 4.0 GPA… is detrimental in applications, so long as the applicant retains some semblance of well-roundedness,” she said. The Importance of Well-Roundedness Well-rounded students tend to do better in graduate school because they are used to multi-tasking and juggling priorities, said Ramon Gomez, director of community
affairs at the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. “Some 4.0 students don’t do as well because they don’t know how to rely on others,” Gomez said. “They sometimes lack that social aspect…the ability to collaborate, share responsibility and be flexible.” Davis agreed and said if business school applicants, for instance, have very good grades but lack the personal skills that are developed through involvement in other activities, they may not be a good fit for the program. Anna Alkin, admissions coordinator in the Center for Academic Progress at St. Edward’s University, has witnessed the pressure this additional need creates. She said students with high GPAs often have an overwhelming fear of “Am I doing enough? Do I need another five activities to add to my application?” The Graduate School Application Graduate programs require students to complete extensive applications and submit supplement materials so committees can look at every piece, said Nathan Neely, director of admissions at William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Neely said most programs require six components: an application, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a resume, an official
transcript and test scores. “GPA, then, is just one sixth of all those different things,” he said. Applications are set up to find out what students do outside of class, since student aren’t only doing coursework but are involved in internships, jobs, clubs and other activities. Eun Lee, a senior at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., is relying on the value of involvement. As she applies to graduate school, Lee hopes her involvement will make up for the fact that she doesn’t have a perfect GPA. Lee has been a residential assistant, a member of the Bonner Leader service-based scholarship program, a member of the Diversity Council and has also maintained a part-time job. “I know there are plenty of students out there who will have 4.0 but I bet they are not as well-rounded or involved as I am,” she said. “My application will probably contain more of my personal life experiences.” Different Institution, Different Program, Different Standards The specific institution as well as the degree program, changes the way applicants are evaluated. Graduate programs in business, computer science, medicine, engineering and law are known for their focus on GPAs and test scores like the GRE, the GMAT and the LSAT. Gomez said these programs may put more emphasis on numbers because they are more relevant to the students’ abilities than other parts of the application. But he said other programs, like social work, are more concerned with the student’s involvement. “All test grades and GPAs
tell us is if the student studied hard or not, or if they are good test-takers or not,” he said. “For our applicants, it’s not just about academics. It’s about what their passion is, what brought them to social work and the things they’re doing, so it’s the personal narrative, the resume and the letters of recommendations that really give us insight into the student.” He said students with 4.0 GPAs and near perfect GRE scores have been rejected because their commitment to social work was lacking in their application. But Alkin also said for most top-tiered universities, like Stanford, Harvard and Yale, it almost always comes down to the numbers. Although admissions committees will claim they review their applicants holistically, she said this goal is an aspiration but not actual. “Harvard, as an example, prides itself on the high scores of its admitted students, and they need to keep those numbers high to maintain that status,” she said. “They’re still going to tout those GPAs and GRE scores.”
The average GPAs for accepted graduate students is 3.8 at Harvard medical school, 3.9 at Yale law, and 3.6 at Stanford business school, according to their respective Web sites, implying these schools do value high GPAs in their applicants. And because the practices and policies of admissions committees are hard to change, prominent universities and reputable programs that have always relied on numbers may continue to, despite other schools shifting to more holistic review, she said. At the End of the Day “There is still no determined formula for the admissions process though,” Neely said. “There really is no rhyme or reason as to what makes a successful student in graduate school,” he said. “Most programs are looking for good students, not to fill vacant seats with just anyone.” email@example.com
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009 | Hilltop Views
New art exhibition plays with viewer’s imagination Sharla Kew
“Two Crackers and Some Cheese” features art that is bright and vivid, strange and unsettling.
For a little while, a different world thrived in a little glass-walled room in the Fine Arts Building of St. Edward’s University. The world was full of color, life, and odd, silent characters in the exhibition, “Two Crackers and Some Cheese.” Joe Janson’s imaginative sculptures are surreal and a little unsettling. Strange, pudgy baby bodies with random wooden limbs play with butterflies—or are the butterflies attacking them? Being able to tell is difficult. This sort of skewed, Alicein-Wonderland version of childhood is especially obvi-
ous in the piece “Lucy Playing with a Friend,” which features a little girl holding a cockroach. Janson’s sculptures are glazed in some places and raw in others, which adds to the tactile look created by the irregular shapes and grooved textures. A lumpy wooden zeppelin, with vaguely humanoid, erratically dancing twists of baling wire parachuting from it, hangs from the ceiling. James Tisdale’s paintings pair perfectly with the sculptures, creating the world around them with bold, chaotic color and bizarre animals. “All of them look like cir-
cuses,” whispered one patron to the air-conditioned silence. The paintings all incorporate nature in some way, be it a strangely circular tree or a huge mad bumblebee. The animals seem to be a part of the background of the painting, blending with the colors and shapes. The birds in “Grackles” at once stand out and are seamlessly integrated with the rest of the painting. The solid black forms of the birds, all looking up, all made of smooth strokes, create and complete a sense of movement encouraged and begun by the rest of the painting. The eyes take the painting in
an upward sweep, like a group of grackles taking flight from the rim of a birdbath. The world of Tisdale and Janson is bright and vivid, strange and unsettling. There is a dark edge to all the pieces and a thick surrealism that Dali or Miro would be proud of, and judging by the love notes of awe and admiration left in the guest book, the effects were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who wandered through that strange, temporary world. firstname.lastname@example.org
Saying goodbye to 2009, Austin’s year in a nutshell John Beck Jeni Obenhaus This year has been one of ups and downs. Kinky’s back in the race for governor. St. Edward’s University is paying thousands to renovate the fountain and build a new intramural field. A shrine to a cut down tree was recently erected. Check out what else happened in good ol’ 2009. email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
You Win Some, You Lose Some The Texas Stars hockey team made its debut in the new center in Cedar Park this year. Unfortunately, the hockey team most of us grew up with, The Austin Ice Bats, has suspended its operations until further notice
Austin Nearly Loses its Patron Saint of Cross Dressing
Text Messaging While Driving is Illegal—Mostly
Leslie Cochran, perhaps Austin’s most well-known homeless transvestite, reportedly told police he was attacked when he was submitted to a local hospital for head trauma. Despite an initially grim prognosis, Leslie will live to walk the streets of Austin in a thong for at least awhile longer.
The city council has voted and ruled to ban texting while driving, which will take effect on Jan. 1. However, the law only prohibits text messaging while driving; text messaging while at a stop is perfectly legal.
We’ll Take Some Mud with Our Music The third day of the Austin City Limits Music Festival was a messy one. The newly laid—and expensive—grass at Zilker Park was meant to amend the problem with terrible dust at the music festival. This year, the grass was obliterated and replaced with inches of mud after steady rain showers drown the festival.
Sir, Please Put Down the Rocket Launcher During a Veterans Day event, Alex Lamb, a senior at St. Edward’s, took a shell rocket launcher from a military weapons display on campus, then attempted to walk to the Main Building to make a point to the administration.
The Wranglers are Rounded Up The Arena Football League. or AFL, shut down this year and took The Wranglers with it. This comes a year after The Wranglers couldn’t hang with the big boys of the AFL and were demoted to AF2, the AFL minor league.
And Then It Flooded A fire sprinkler valve broke in the Main Building, flooding offices on the fourth floor.
And Then It Flooded Again Just one week later, the Ragsdale Center was flooded and significantly damaged when the chiller pipe connected to the air-conditioning unit leaked.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009 | Hilltop Views
Austin home to many legendary music venues Jake Hartwell Austin has earned its title of “The Live Music Capital of the World.” The city has some of the greatest live acts in the country, from hometown celebrities like Bob Schneider, to international icons like Willie Nelson. Austin’s music industry was established on a strong music foundation of clubs such as Antone’s Nightclub and Stubb’s Barbeque. Venues like these are famous worldwide and have elevated many a band to stardom. The following venues are some of the greatest places to see live music in Austin. email@example.com
The Broken Spoke
801 Red River St. If there’s a famous band in Austin, they’re usually playing at Stubb’s Barbeque. The venue has hosted such acts as Metallica, the Rolling Stones, B. B. King and Willie Nelson. Founded by C.B. “Stubbs” Stubblefield in the early ‘70s, Stubb’s Barbeque quickly garnered a nationwide reputation for its Blues acts and famous barbeque. Stubbs passed away in 1994, but the club remains a staple of Austin’s music scene. The food is pretty great, too.
3201 S. Lamar Blvd. For the country music and dance aficionado, The Broken Spoke is one of Austin’s few remaining dance halls and is probably the most famous. Having featured such acts as Bob Wills, George Strait, Jerry Jeff Walker and Kris Kristofferson, the Broken Spoke boasts itself as “the last of the true Texas dance halls.” The establishment is open to patrons of all ages and features a famous room full of great country memorabilia. It is also purportedly one of Willie Nelson’s favorite hangouts, and a lucky person might be able to catch him there once in a while.
Red Eyed Fly 715 Red River St. The Red Eyed Fly is a rock club by all accounts, and usually books heavier acts than some other venues. Featuring everything from indie rock to heavy metal, the Red Eyed Fly is sure to leave your ears ringing and your head banging. Tickets at the Red Eyed Fly are, comparatively, pretty cheap, so it’s a great place for the cash-strapped college rocker. All shows are 18+, and there is no cover for those over 21.
Antone’s Nightclub The Continental Club
Emo’s 603 Red River St. Emo’s was founded in the early ‘90s, but quickly took its place among Austin’s greatest venues. You can even tell by the lingo on their Web site, Emo’s is “cool.” Perhaps the best “small venue” in Austin, Emo’s holds shows for all ages, except for a few 21+ nights. Emo’s has an indoor and an outdoor stage and tends to book punk rock and heavier bands on the outdoor stage and softer bands on the indoor one. Although it is relatively new so far as live venues in Austin go, Emo’s has already made a name for itself and is sure to offer great music for years to come.
1315 S. Congress Ave. The Continental Club tends to feature genres more akin to Texas Blues and Rock. Founded in 1957, the club was instrumental in establishing Austin as a center for punk rock in the ‘70s. A particularly great tradition at the Continental Club is the birthday parties held annually for past musical legends. The Club holds parties for Elvis Presley, Buck Owens and Wanda Jackson. Since the Continental Club is an establishment with a full bar, many of the shows are 21+, so make sure to check before buying tickets.
213 W. 5th St. Antone’s was the first club on Sixth Street, founded in 1975 and later moved to the corner of Fifth and Lavaca. It got its name as a Blues club, featuring Muddy Waters, B. B. King and Buddy Guy, but now features everything from Jazz to Classic Rock. Inside, Antone’s is a huge concrete room with relics of its musical past adorning the walls. The stage at the front, bar at the back and seat-less pit of music-lovers in between have produced countless memories of great music and fun. All ages are admitted.
9 Wednesday, December 2, 2009 | Hilltop Views
Take sides on Twilight Saga: New Moon She Said: Leslie Ethridge I am a Twilight fan. Four times, I have gotten lost in Forks, Wash., entangled in the love story between Edward Cullen and Bella Swan and, in the case of “New Moon,” Jacob Black. The bottom line is that Stephenie Meyer has created an intriguing world that many fans long to be apart of. The characters hold qualities that make them relatable and interesting, yet they are distant from our own reality. The books are entertaining, exciting and simply heart wrenching. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that millions flocked to see “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” I may be a fan of the book, but I do not like the movies. As I sat in the theater awaiting “New Moon,” I wasn’t expecting it to be life changing or philosophical. Sadly, I did expect the book to come to life on the screen in front of me. This was not the case. It is evident that Edward Cullen and Bella Swan are completely different people from Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. I myself was so enveloped by their awkwardness and inability to act that I became really, truly frustrated. He is solemn, broody, and unrealistic. She, on the other hand, has the same expression for every emotion and must take a deep breath before she says each line. Maybe she’s thinking about how to play a different character from the last five movies she was in? Regardless, I was emotionally unattached
from their attempts at passion – mistaking such emotion for deep breathing- and realized that the only thing painful about their supposed undying love for each other was that I had to endure it for another hour. However, the movie finally started to improve after Bella is left in the woods and Edward thankfully departs to some unknown place. But apart from the excellent soundtrack playing in the background, I was once again thoroughly disappointed to find that a scene that made me cry for about 50 pages in the book didn’t even evoke one single tear. Bella, in all her helplessness, then begins to hang out with Jacob Black, perfectly portrayed by a surprisingly good actor, Taylor Lautner. His performance is so excellent and he evokes so much sympathy for Jacob that it makes you turn on Bella for being a blatant tease and want to join “Team Jacob.” The solid acting by Lautner along with Billy Burke and Ashlee Greene help Stewart’s handicap and finally bring you into the environment of “New Moon.” The animation of the wolves is as enchanting as it
He Said: is convincing and is a much needed addition to the film. Overall, I was impressed with the new Director Chris Weitz and thought the movie was drastically better than the first. However, the fact that Bella Swan and Edward Cullen will continue to be played by Mr. and Ms. Lack of Personality steals any hope I may have had for the future movies. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jake Hartwell “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” is the second installation in the “Twilight” series. Rather than criticizing the mechanics of the film as usual, an examination of the overall message and plot is in order. Most of the Romantic philosophers committed suicide, and the others lived horribly painful lives. Though modern cinema may prompt one to believe differently, romance is nasty a n d dangerous. T h e lines in the film about not being able to live without Edward and
not wanting to exist in a world without Bella communicate the most dangerous form of all love: one that is entirely dependent and lustful. After Edward abandons Bella at the beginning of the film, she plunges into depression, engaging in perilous activities because her life no longer has any meaning. She is entirely incapable of understanding her own existence in and of itself, as she quickly moves on to stone-faced hunk number two-that werewolf guy. An existence based only on one’s dependence on others cannot attain happiness, and those who are themselves broken cannot fix their lovers. Bella’s search for meaning through parasitic love is futile and one of the epic tragedies of our time, though few will see it as such. Perhaps the audience’s failure to see that is an even greater tragedy. The other message of the film is unspeakable angst over being human. Bella is caught between two extremes— wolves and vampires—and feels that she must choose one. It never occurs to
her that she could remain her human self. Vampirism has always been the symbol of the soul’s death, and Bella turns to it, rather than within, for the meaning in her miserable life. The philosopher Aristotle maintained that the only true friendship, and the only true love, is that shared between virtuous people. Bella and Edward rely on each other to find virtue, or happiness, instead of developing it themselves. Since they are dependent on each other and neither of them has the answer, they can never have a fully flourishing existence. Since the film and its creators constantly celebrate it as a beautiful love story, and the more zealous fans buy into the same drivel, the film can only be classified as a devastating blow to the search for happiness and to the youth of modern society. Their failure to recognize the film as a tragic story makes the entire predicament a comedy, though a very dark one. email@example.com
Hilltop Views | Wednesday, December 2, 2009
ENTERTAINMENT | Page 10
Holiday entertainment turned tired Elf Bowling
The holiday season is a time of celebration, family and cheer. But, with the good comes some bad. Here are a few holiday traditions that should be left in the attic this year. Proctor Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas” I don’t often tune in to the 24-hour Christmas stations, but when I do it is usually pretty bearable, that is until a song off of Mariah Carey’s 5X platinum album “Merry Christmas” comes on. Carey and her producers must have had a meeting where they decided, “Lets take some old Christmas songs and let Mariah work her magic.” Unfortunately, Mariah has no magic. All of the songs feel incredibly sluggish, unnecessary and overly embellished. The word diva comes to mind. They didn’t just stick to ruining other people’s work, they added some of their original songs like the unbelievably catchy, and utterly painful, “All I Want for Christmas is You.” To make things even worse Carey has plans to turn the 15-year-old album into a movie musical.
I sometimes wonder what people are thinking when they come up with certain ideas, like the 1999 Internet flash game “Elf Bowling” for example. I just imagine a couple of young programmers sitting around trying to think of a holidaythemed hit that’ll really make a name for them online. Then all of sudden it hits one of them. Eureka! Lets make a bowling game, but instead of bowling pins, you try and knock down little Christmas elves. A few weeks later the game is done, and it’s posted online. The worst part about this story? The people of the world loved it, and people still love it. The flash game spawned a slew of sequels, Nintendo DS and Gameboy Advance versions and even a straight-to-DVD movie. You laugh now, but I guarantee that somebody is going to be rushing to print a final research paper in a computer lab full of people, and one of them will be enjoying the wonders of Elf Bowling.
Unnecessary Covers of “Last Christmas” In 1984, George Michael wrote a song called “Last Christmas.” He and Andrew Ridgeley, his music partner in the pop music group Wham, then recorded the song and released it as a single. Little did they know they would change Christmas music as we knew it. The song, which I’m sure you’ve all heard, is pretty great for about 45 seconds, but it quickly becomes repetitive and boring as you hear the chorus over and over for the remaining three minutes and 42 seconds. It has been 25 years since the duo released their song and for some strange reason people won’t stop covering it. Every time an artist tries to put his or her own spin on it, the song just gets worse. In 2006, teen pop sensation Ashley Tisdale took a crack at the song with terrible results. That same year, cell phone ring tone phenomenon Crazy Frog recorded his own version. The list goes on with everyone from Coldplay to Taylor Swift and *NSYNC. Even bands I enjoy like Jimmy Eat World has tried and failed at covering this song. The cast of Fox’s Glee even has a version so expect to be hearing this 1984 classic this holiday season.
Mr. Fox, a fantastic film Ryan Lester Based off Roald Dahl’s 1970 novel, the movie follows the adventures of Mr. Fox, voiced by George Clooney, as he attempts to pull off the ultimate heist by robbing three of the most notorious farmers in the English countryside. Fox is also a father and a husband, and the struggles at home are just as big a theme throughout the course of the film as his master plan. His wife, voiced by Meryl Streep, wants nothing more than for him to give up his animal instincts and remain a family man, while his son Ash has feelings of inadequacy next to his cousin Kris Kristofferson. The farmers ultimately catch on to Fox’s plans, and a battle of wits ensues between man and animal. One of the most notable things about this film is that
the animation is unlike almost anything you will see nowadays. While Anderson could have easily deferred to computer animation, the puppets and stop action motion of his characters give the film a unique feel. While it may seem childish, it feels more natural to see Fox and friends presented in this fashion. What makes “Fantastic Mr. Fox” a standout, however, is that this adaptation chooses to focus on the personal and family aspects of Mr. Foxes actions. For example, the desire to embrace himself as a wild animal rather than a domesticated being acts as a driving force for Fox to get back into the world of thieving. This acts as a sort of midlife crisis for him, and the audience is made aware of this very subtly. Additionally, Fox has to use all his resources to keep his family safe from
“Eight Crazy Nights” I never knew anything about Hanukkah beyond the fact that there was a menorah involved as a kid. In 2002, my knowledge of Hanukkah increased drastically when I first saw Adam Sandler’s “Eight Crazy Nights.” I can’t lie, every single time I’ve watched Sandler’s Hanukkah inspired animated feature I have genuinely enjoyed it. But that’s not to say it is by any means a good movie. The film tells the story of Davey Stone, Sandler, as he serves community service time refereeing youth basketball games during a cold winter in the fictional town of Dukesberry. Along the way, things get really crazy, and the story somehow winds up ending with a somewhat positive message about the miracles of Hanukkah. The movie is riddled with cheap laughs and terrible fart jokes, but I guess that’s the appeal of an Adam Sandler movie.
MMNT ends with Galileo Sharla Kew
the threat of the increasingly angry farmers, a danger that was his own doing. However, the film never takes itself too seriously, and there are many moments that bring can bring a smile to your face. Despite it’s playfulness and lighthearted feel, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is a movie with depth and a lot of heart.
“The Life of Galileo” is another feather in Mary Moody Northen Theatre’s cap. Bertolt Brecht is not to be undertaken lightly, and director Michelle Polgar did not take this production half-heartedly. From the beginning, the spectacle of the play was impressive. Settings and props were well chosen and set the mood perfectly. The costumes were also one of the production’s highlights. There is always the necessity in theatre to make do with a few non period pieces, a pair of trousers or a white shirt for example, but these were seamlessly (pardon the pun) incorporated with the rest of the pieces, which were uniformly impressive and well done. The puppets must also be mentioned. Enormous and a little intimidating, they swept across the stage and
added a much-appreciated interlude of fun and foolery to the scientific dialogue. Projected onto screens on the raised parts of the stage were strategic images, a letter being written or planets seen through the telescope. This was a very nice touch, and perhaps could have been used even a bit more. Even cooler, strips of silver-blue lighting had been set into the floor in the shape of the solar system, and different rings of it were lit up to create boundaries and dramatic effect. The play itself is long and dense, but was performed with admirable energy the whole way through. David Stahl, a guest equity actor who portrayed Galileo, and who therefore was on stage the majority of the time, did a commendable job of keeping focus and energy even in the more sedate scenes, and he certainly
powered through the more intense ones. All the actors were fully invested in their characters, no matter how many different people they portrayed, and there were not noticeable slip-ups in all that formidable dialogue. When Brecht wrote the play he was sneakily disguising condemnation of the Nazis behind an old story. There was no evidence of that in this production, as some have chosen to show, but a story about truth and oppression is a story about truth and oppression, and is stirring no matter what century it is set in, the 14th or the 20th. email@example.com
11 Wednesday, December 2, 2009 | Hilltop Views
Basketball score updates MEN’S BASKETBALL Nov. 30, 2009 Nov. 28, 2009 Nov. 24, 2009 Nov. 21, 2009 Nov. 16, 2009 Nov. 15, 2009 Nov. 7, 2009
Ouachita Baptist Arkansas-Monticello Concordia (Texas) Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Midwestern State TAMU-Commerce UT-Pan American
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Nov. 28, 2009 Nov. 24, 2009 Nov. 21, 2009 Nov. 20, 2009 Nov. 16, 2009 Nov. 7, 2009 Nov. 3, 2009
W, 58-50 L, 91-98 L, 66-75 L, 61-76 L, 60-73 W, 84-72
Tarleton State SE Oklahoma State Angelo State Abilene Christian Angelo State UT-San Antonio Baylor-W (Exhibition)
L, 47-75 L, 60-86 L, 69-71 L, 62-72 L, 64-76 (OT) L, 53-74 L, 43-97
Upcoming home games MEN’S BASKETBALL Dec. 6, 2009 Dec. 29, 2009 Dec. 30, 2009 Jan. 2, 2009 Jan. 4, 2009 Jan. 7, 2009 Jan. 9, 2009
Harding SE Oklahoma State Central Oklahoma Dallas Baptist Arkansas-Fort Smith Incarnate Word St. Mary’s
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL 3:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 8 p.m. 7 p.m. 8 p.m. 8 p.m. 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 4, 2009 Dec. 6, 2009 Dec. 30, 2009 Dec. 31, 2009 Jan. 4, 2009 Jan. 7, 2009 Jan. 9, 2009
Our Lady of the Lake Harding Texas Woman’s Texas A&M-Kingsville Arkansas-Fort Smith Incarnate Word Texas A&M-International
7 p.m. 1 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 2 p.m.
Something fishy with Tiger Woods Kayla Meyer Tiger Woods made headlines this weekend and for once, it wasn’t praiseworthy. For the past decade, we’ve come to know Woods to be the best golfer of all time.
Equally as impressive, he has maintained a flawless image throughout his career. On Friday at 2:25 a.m. Woods frantically sped out of his driveway and struck a fire hydrant, then a tree. His wife, Elin Nordegren, told
Tiger Woods was in a one-vehicle accident early Friday.
police she used a golf club to break the rear window of the SUV and pulled Woods out after hearing the accident from inside the house. Woods was hospitalized with minor injuries. A police report stated that the accident was not alcohol related. So where is the controversy? Accusations have soared that Woods, who is married, has been involved with another women. TMZ.com has reported a possible link between the affair and the accident. In the days since the accident, Woods has denied three meetings with the police to discuss the incident. His only public comment is a short statement he released including, “This situation is my fault, and it’s obviously embarrassing to my family and me. I’m human and I’m not perfect. I will certainly make sure this
doesn’t happen again.” There is obviously something fishy about this incident, or Woods would have spoke out sooner. If he wants to stop seeing his name in the headlines, it would be wise for him to speak up now. As we’ve learned this past year, some athletes are not the most perfect role models outside of sports. Swimmer Michael Phelps received negative attention from a picture taken of him with a marijuana bong. Also, tennis star Serena Williams has caught attention from her outbursts of threats directed at a referee in September 2009, for which she received an $82,000 fine. Woods needs to realize he’s not the only athlete who has received bad headlines, and at the end of the day, he will still be an amazing golfer. firstname.lastname@example.org
SPORTS Biggest Fan: Carlos Galvan
Fútbol Club Barcelona The “Biggest Fan” series showcases some of St. Edward’s University’s biggest sports fans and the teams they support. Candice Rogers Sophomore Carlos Galvan was like any other young 15year-old when he would play soccer with his friends every weekend and discuss competitions coming up. During their discussions, one of Galvan’s friends would often mention a famous soccer team located in Spain. “A friend kept telling me how good this team was and suggested for me to look up some videos on the web,” Galvan said. A n d that’s all it took for Galvan to become hooked on his favorite team, Fútbol C l u b Ba rce l o n a , FCB. The team is also recognized by the name “Barca,” because it was founded in Barcelona, Spain. The motto, “mes que un club,” meaning, “more than a club,” is often flaunted at games against rivals. To Galvan, the thing which makes this team stand out against other good teams in Barcelona is that they are the champions of La Liga, Copa del Rey and the Union of European Football Association. In fact, Barcelona has won 19 La Liga titles, 25 Spanish Cups, eight Spanish Super Cups and three UEFA Super Cups, to name a few accomplishments the team has made over the years. Galvan has not been granted a chance to view a live game, mainly because most games take place in Spain. Nonetheless, when the Bar-
celona is playing on a local television network, Galvan is quick to call up his best friend to watch it. “I’m actually the only one in my family who likes to watch soccer,” Galvan said. “Whenever Barca plays, I call up my best friend to watch them dominate.” Barcelona set another record on Jan. 17 for gaining the most points in a game. Later on Jan. 23 the Barcelona team was ranked first by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. As of right now, for the 20092 0 1 0 season, Galvan said he is quite neutral because the season has yet to take place. Galvan said he can go on and on about his favorite player of all time Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, also known as “Ronaldinho.” Ronaldinho is a two-time Federation International Football Association World Player of the Year. Galvan likes Ronaldinho because when he plays, he plays with such love and passion. He always has a smile on the field, Galvan said. “And when he runs with the ball, it’s almost as if the ball is glued to his feet because players going up against him can rarely stop him,” Galvan said. email@example.com
Hilltop Views | Wednesday, December 2, 2009
SPORTS | Page 12
No future jumbotrons for St. Edward’s athletics Jake Hartwell
I failed to understand the appeal of sports until a friend once told me, “I look at a wellexecuted touchdown pass the same way I look at a beautiful painting.” If we consider sports as the form of art in motion, the appeal becomes obvious and justifiable. A regular criticism of St. Edward’s University is a lack of respect for this appeal, or a shortage of school spirit. We don’t have Div. I teams. Games are attended, but nowhere near as populated as those of other schools. Few people make a big deal about homecoming. The average student either has a low degree of interest in the athletics programs, or none at all. We should first be careful in confusing sports fanaticism with school spirit. People sometimes point to the University of Texas as a school with a great deal of spirit, primarily due to the success and support of their athletic teams. However, I think UT is out of hand. Sports are brilliant displays of the wonder of the human body, but can be overvalued. When you consider UT’s athletic budget of over $100 million — $8 million of it wasted on a huge, unnecessary HDTV scoreboard — I fail to see how it could be interpreted as anything but gluttonous. St. Edward’s school spirit isn’t about sports. In the mission statement, the school promises “excellence in teaching and learning…. [and] commitment to service.” St. Edward’s is one of the few universities that actually lives up to its promises. School spirit isn’t defined by colors and $8 million Jumbotrons. Instead, it is embodied in students’ commitment to academic success
and community service. The multiple academic and service groups on campus, and the numerous scholarships of that nature, prove that commitment. The goals of service and scholarship make St. Edward’s rare and admirable. Outrageous sports programs may be exciting, but they obscure the true purposes of a college education. St. Edward’s doesn’t make that mistake; the purpose is to gain knowledge and use it to help others. But sports still have their place. They exhibit the phenomenon of art in motion — the pure magnificence of the human body’s capabilities — and any decent education should foster appreciation for art. If my fellow students would consider sports as
such, we would have greater interest in campus athletics teams and admiration for sports in general. I personally encourage every student to attend a game this semester. Go, watch and enjoy it for the artistic spectacle that it is. Just don’t expect jumbotrons, multimillion dollar stadiums or multimedia gaming centers for the athletes. Such excesses would detract from the love of the game. firstname.lastname@example.org
The workout facility in the RCC at St. Edward’s University.
13 Wednesday, December 2, 2009 | Hilltop Views
Wrapping up a semester at Hilltop Views Another semester is quickly approaching its end. Campus is crazy with students frantically finishing last -minute papers and preparing for final tests. Amid all the chaos, it seems appropriate to stop and consider everything that has happened as the past three months have flown by. The fall 2009 semester brought the renovation of some old buildings, like Doyle Hall and the bookstore, a new coffee shop and the start of a new intramural field. There is no shortage of
things of which the university and its community should be proud. Challenges remain for the university and graduating students facing a tough economy. On campus, flooding issues still need to be resolved and some facilities still need big improvements. We feel confident that the administration will tackle these challenges, just as we have faith that St. Edward’s graduates will thrive, even in difficult times. At Hilltop Views, we
Thanks to all who have contributed to the growth of the university and of this newspaper. launched the online version of this newspaper. This was a major step away from the increasingly outdated medium of print journalism as well as a necessary addition for properly educating and preparing the journalism students for what comes next.
While it has not come without hurdles, our transition has been nothing short of a success, even if we do say so ourselves. From covering breaking news stories like the shooting at Fort Hood to offering supplemental media like videos of the Austin City Limits
music festival and a one-onone interview with President Martin, our student newspaper is developing, and the student journalists are developing with it. In the first month of hilltopviewsonline.com, our site received over 18,000 hits, above average for a college newspaper and far above average for one of our size. Our second month is on pace to be beat our first. We at Hilltop Views are grateful to the administration for its support and proud of the student body
for its dramatically increased participation. Both have embraced Hilltop Views as something worthy of their time and energy. Thanks to all who have contributed to the growth of the university and of this newspaper. Without the support of both the administration and the student body, neither would be possible.
Two editors give their goodbyes to Hilltop Views To my advisers and the staff, My time at Hilltop Views can be summed up through two advisers. If not for Michele Kay, the former faculty adviser, constantly nagging me and basically forcing me to become the intern, I would never have started. She saw something in me that I didn’t. After a semester as the intern and the next semester as co-sports editor, a spot opened up for co-editorin-chief. Again, it was the support and encouragement of the current adviser, Jena Heath, that gave me the confidence to apply. She too, saw something in me that I didn’t. I’ve spent the past year as co-editor-in-chief, and enjoyed every minute of it. These two advisers taught me the most valuable lesson I learned through college: that if you don’t try, you can’t accomplish anything. Throw yourself into an opportunity, even if you don’t feel qualified. Hard work and a willingness to learn will take you anywhere you want to go. Thank you to Michele Kay and Jena Heath, as well as all the friends I’ve made while working for Hilltop Views. It was a privilege.
From, Tommy Collins
Dear Hilltop Views, I hate that this is the medium for this message, but I figured you’d be less likely to cry if I did it in public. I’m breaking up with you, Hilltop Views. Really, it’s not you, it’s me. I know everyone says that, baby, but it doesn’t make it any less true. We’ve simply grown apart. We need what the other can’t give. We’ve had a good run, but I’m graduating, going off to find a job, and you can’t come with me. I need to progress, honey. You wouldn’t bring me down—don’t dare think that—but I would bring you down. I’d come into the office and work and put out a quality section, but you’d know our salad days had passed, that we were simply there to keep up appearances and to pretend that all was right. We had some good times, though, didn’t we? Remember the time when Melissa went up in arms because we included the phrase “I’d hit that.” in Joelle’s Sarah Palin article? Or when the man I interviewed claimed I misquoted him, but you still printed my piece? What about when we found out Nicole and Alex were dating and we found another couple to spend time with? We have great memories, Hilltop Views. Don’t ever forget what fun we had and the love we shared. I’ve left you in the hands of good editors and an amazing adviser. They’ll be there if you need anything — a shoulder to cry on, a person to drink with, a mate in the office. They are good people who have treated me well, and they will do the same for you. Let this not be an ending of our relationship, sugar, but the beginning of a new era of our lives. We will benefit from the time and intimacy we shared. I will always love you, and you will never leave my heart. Best, Ross Green
Hilltop Views | Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Letters to the Editor As a student employee in the Office of International Education, I found the article “Studying abroad beneficial but not essential” misleading, poorly researched and extremely ignorant. While not all students are cut out for a study abroad experience, it is unfair to preach to students that studying abroad is a negative addition to their studies. I agree that mandatory education abroad is not necessary, but it is obvious that the author is speaking from minimal knowledge and absolutely no experience in the arena of international education. “Studying abroad is not the best way to experience another culture.” What exactly is the best way to experience another culture? I think few people have that answer. Students have the option of studying abroad virtually anywhere. Had the author done just a little bit of research, he would have come across a wide variety of program options that suite any student’s needs and goals, including options to study in a way that is “bold and autonomous.” Before students become discouraged by this naïve viewpoint, I invite everyone, especially the author, to learn more about their study abroad options. A study abroad experience is not just coursework in another country. It is not week-long trip around a foreign city. It is arguably an experience that every study abroad alumni would say changed or shaped them in some way, even science and business students, who apparently only “learn the skills… graduate and start using them…” So, no, studying abroad should not be mandatory. What should be mandatory is an opinion based on legitimate knowledge, something this paper deems beneficial, but so obviously not essential. Elyse Longoria email@example.com
In the same 12 p.m. class Lamb attends, I learned of his Veterans Day protest shortly after it had happened. To say the least, it shocked me since I’ve worked with the student on several occasions. He knows of my status as a veteran but never seemed troubled by it. His quote “[i]t is disgusting and contrary to the mission statement of St. Edward’s for them to allow such a display” struck me as odd. The mission statement says, “St. Edward’s University is an independent Catholic university that welcomes qualified students of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs and serves a culturally diverse student body.” The circumstances of a military veteran could certainly be applied to this statement, and it does not disqualify a veteran based on their background. While the statement later also says that the school encourages students to pursue justice and peace in no way does that imply the school itself is against the military or what it stands for. If anyone was under the impression that Veterans Day events were a recruiting opportunity they were misinformed. There were no recruiters present, nor were there any signs that read “Join the Military Today.” However, if a student felt compelled to serve the country as a result of attending the Veterans Day events, that is entirely up to them. I associated the event to any other celebration. Would you be mad at your friend for being happy about receiving a much appreciated and thoughtful gift? If you are racist against Mexicans or African Americans would you try and steal an artifact from a display celebrating their heritage at a celebration out of protest of their existence? It is the same with the military. As veterans we are a minority, roughly 1 percent of our nation’s population serves in the military. Most of us are proud of our service. I, for one, was honored by Christina Garcia’s hard work to organize such an event to honor us. It was a wonderful opportunity for those who have never served to see some of the things we learned and went through in our training.
Jacqueline Le firstname.lastname@example.org
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I do not know what course of action will be taken regarding Alex Lamb’s protest, but from talking with those who witnessed the incident, I am concerned with the stance St. Edward’s University seems to be taking in response to Mr. Lamb’s actions. Alex Lamb is guilty of theft, or larceny. According to the Texas Penal code, theft is the “unlawful appropriation of property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property.” Although Mr. Lamb purports to have taken the weapon in question with the intent to start dialogue, his reasoning is and was irrelevant. Any use of the property inconsistent with what the owner intends constitutes theft. Depending on the value of the property, Mr. Lamb’s actions could be classified anywhere from a Class C misdemeanor to a state jail felony, if not a category of further intensity. Thus, Mr. Lamb could, and should, face punishments ranging from a fine not to exceed $500, all the way to 180 days to two years in a state jail, with the possible addition of a fine not to exceed $10,000. Once again, Mr. Lamb’s ultimate intentions were irrelevant—he committed a crime. Furthermore, he disrupted the organization and order that St. Edward’s University prides itself on. As Mr. Lamb himself admits, he believes in the social justice that St. Edward’s strives to foster in its community. To truly be social justice, all ideas must be heard and debated legally. If Mr. Lamb opposed the display so vehemently, he should have taken a more diplomatic route. Social justice means justice for all, not the justice of one. Allowing Mr. Lamb to go forth unpunished sends a message to the St. Edward’s community that disruptive and dangerous actions can be committed with impunity. Such a message would and will disrupt the order and cohesion we strive for and that St. Edward’s so delicately nurtures. Civil disagreement is beneficial, even welcomed, in the sphere of college life. However, criminal and violent actions are not. Taking a weapon away from the federal government is a shameful display that should never be seen on the St. Edward’s campus. Furthermore, it has come to my attention that Mr. Lamb is pressing assault charges against Mrs. Garcia and her husband. Such accusations should not be dismissed. Force may legally be used to prevent the theft of property. I have met Mrs. Garcia in the Financial Aid Office several times before, and although our interactions were brief, she was always professional, kind and welcoming. Those more familiar with her speak highly of her as well, and her efforts in putting together the Veterans Day celebration were clearly evident last Wednesday. Criminal activity should not be allowed to eat away at the cohesion the individuals in our university have with one another. Such shameful, disrespectful and illegal displays of wanton irresponsibility should have no place at our institution. Daniel O’Dwyer email@example.com
Alex Lamb’s actions on Veterans Day are an unfortunate blemish to the reputation of St. Edward’s University. Perhaps it is ironic to find in the same issue of Hilltop Views an article on the lack of professionalism and selfishness among college graduates nationwide. Mr. Lamb should realize that his actions as an adult member of society are not a prank but illegal. The university’s mission clearly states that the school “seeks to provide an environment in which freely chosen beliefs can be deepened and expressed.” While Mr. Lamb purports to have acted in the interest of the school, as a fellow member of the student body I find his actions immature and humiliating. As Holy Cross students, we are all encouraged to listen to each others’ perspectives with open minds. Lamb had the opportunity to create an anti-war or pro-peace student group, but instead chose to act childishly through theft and the hurling of obscenities. I am proud to be a member of our armed forces and strongly support his right to free speech. Sadly, he has abused this right and disrespected what was intended as a day of honor. Aaron Millhench firstname.lastname@example.org
Hilltop Views | Wednesday, December 2, 2009
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Sorin Reel Film Festival receives two thumbs down Phillip Bradshaw No one’s amusement was undercut by unfortunate obstacles, inefficient pre-screening and poor organization at the third Sorin Reel Film Festival. With the recent flooding of Jones Auditorium, new organizers Jon Wayne Martin and Sarah Burkhalter had to find a place that would recreate a theater experience. The Main Building Lawn provided a nice alternative to Jones, a large crowd assembled the night of the event, refreshments were served and the first movie was ready to be viewed. The first movie, “Press,” directed by David Delgado,
had intriguing dialogue, tangible suspense and the camera work was spot on, setting the stage for a promising festival. Sorin Reel continued running smoothly with Scott Perry’s “Cool It.” Perry’s ability to portray simple plot lines in a fun environment was evident throughout his film. What happened next set the tone of the night and buried it underground. It was like having your picnic ruined by ants, except the picnic was a once-successful festival and the ants were problems that could have easily been avoided. Technical difficulties plagued the festival. Film after film was introduced,
Hilltop Views 3001 S. Congress Ave.#964, Austin, TX 78704 Phone: (512) 448-8426 Fax: (512) 233-1695 email@example.com www.hilltopviewsonline.com Bryce Bencivengo Tommy Collins Editors-in-Chief
Blair Haralson Alyssa Palomo Designers
Claire Cella Tristan Hallman News Editors Phillip Bradshaw Jen Obenhaus Features Editors Kayla Meyer Sports Editor Ross Green Rachel Winter Viewpoints Editors Holly Aker Caroline Wallace Entertainment Editors
Eloise Montemayor Photo Editor Daniel De Los Santos Assistant Photo Editor
Shaun Martin Head Designer
Arianna Auber Amber Burton Leslie Ethridge Nicole Henson James Leavenworth Copy Editors Christy Torres Advertising Manager Jena Heath Faculty Adviser
Hilltop Views is a weekly student newspaper published by the School of Humanities and serving the community of St. Edward’s University. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the university, whose mission is grounded in the teachings and doctrine of the Catholic Church. Letter Policy: Hilltop Views welcomes all letters to the editor. Letters may be edited for space, grammar and clarity. Letters will be published at our discretion. Anonymous letters will not be printed.
only to skip and lag because the films had not been tested before the festival. The audience was agitated, and the tech guys were powerless. Finally, when most technical problems were solved, we were able to see a few more movies. However, technical difficulties at any live event will kill momentum, and audience members were not shy about getting up and leaving. By the time the festival was halfway through, only half the crowd was still present— an insult and embarrassment to filmmakers and organizers alike. Fans could have done without seeing half of the films entered into the festival. From a movie that featured a slow motion vomit scene to a
montage of guys jumping off of a diving board, we were treated to a series of shorts that weren’t worth our time. “I made this movie because I have a camera and I am in college,” came to mind a lot during the screenings. If the festival is to meet expectations and it’s goal of creating a film major at St. Edward’s, certain measures will need to be made in order for the next festival to be successful. Martin and Burkhalter will need to screen every film at least a few days, if not more, before the festival to ensure that the films being shown are of decent quality, and most importantly, that they will work when the festival actually happens. I am not advocating is for
the total exemption of expressive and unconventional films. The art scene in Austin and at St. Edward’s thrives on creativity and originality. But original and creative films can and should be of high quality. If you are going to film your friends vomiting, make it mean something. Half a minute of self-indulgence does not constitute a worthwhile form of expression, much less a film. Deservedly so, Matthew Benoit took home first place at the festival for the third time in a row. His film ,“Rush the Lion,” was smart, the mid- to late-80s setting believable and the characters understood exactly who they were supposed to be. Another impressive aspect? Benoit
and his band wrote and performed all of the music for the movie. Benoit displayed the sort of work ethic and dedication to the craft of filmmaking that would make a film major at St. Edward’s worthwhile. His third consecutive win should also push other filmmakers to pour more work into their films, narrowing the talent gap. St. Edward’s should look forward to the next Sorin Reel Film Festival, because the mishaps and mistakes obvious during this festival can be avoided, and hopefully its filmmakers only improve their craft with time. firstname.lastname@example.org
A portrait of a student accountant Eric Saltwick I am a rather elderly 23year-old man. The nature of my education for the last four years has brought me into more than ordinary contact with an interesting and somewhat singular set of men and women, of whom as yet nothing that I know of has ever been written. These are the St. Edward’s University accounting majors, and I am one of them. At St. Edward’s, the accounting major is often revered as a mythical, unapproachable creature—a kelpie, if you will—that haunts its natural fluorescent office habitat with an ethereal presence bordering on the evanescent. The accounting major must live as a virtual hermit. The life of accounting requires a complete harmony with the debits and the credits. Just like St. Bridget with the bath water, it’s a life spent transmuting the form of the company into something that is as easy to imbibe as a hot beer on a cold winter day.
But the accountant’s life is not all fun and depreciation estimation methods. The accountant must live as a machine, stopping only to eat, sleep or when the clock strikes 5:00 p.m. I have seen things that no person should ever see. I have seen the face of the devil: a schedule for post-retirement benefits. Romantically, no one understands how an accountant suffers. For example, the women that the accountant attracts are found almost exclusively at Walmarts. These women, though, are simply floozies. Despite shopping at the stores and therefore having a vested interest in the corporation, these women do not equate romance with Walmart’s corresponding financial statements. Restaurants are even worse. Accounting majors have an intense love of upscale dining. Despite our best wishes, service has never been optimal. This is truly nonsensical. My accounting major compatriots and I always advise one half of the staff to quit
Like the kelpie, interactions with accountants are ephemeral.
when eating out, as they are only adding an unnecessary cost—the restaurant could eliminate these and still be meeting effectiveness while simultaneously improving the bottom line. Despite our best wishes, service has never shown improvement. The food is fine, though. I hope you have learned more about the accounting major’s ways. You must understand the accounting major’s plight—it’s not all glory and TI89s. Much like
a chocolaholic in semi-sweet surrender needs chocolate, so does the accountant need accounts. So next time you see an accounting major, before you recoil in disgust, please try to treat him or her with the same respect you would show your best house cat, for the accounting major does not wish to be the way he or she is. email@example.com
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009 | Hilltop Views
Woodwardstock Photos by Aaron Reissig