Unity jam showcases diverse cultures on page 3
Alma Hernandez • Photo Editor
October 6, 2008
Volume 1, Issue 2
Constitution Day motivates Students practice critical thinking by debating their rights Trevor W. Goodchild, Staff Writer
Miss Austin looks from Riverside to state pageant
Editorial - With banks failing and credit getting harder to get, what should studentd do?
Remember ACL with photos and reviews
Constitution Day, created by the longest serving senator, Dean of the U.S. Senate, Robert Byrd, was celebrated on Thursday, Sept. 25, at Austin Community College’s Eastview Campus. “Senator Byrd thinks we should pledge allegiance not to the flag, but to the constitution,” stated Peck Young, the director of the ACC Center for Public Policy and Political Studies, the group that hosts Constitution Day. Thus, the law was passed for all schools that receive federal funding to create Constitution Day. Previously, Constitution Day mainly involved lectures, but starting last year students could debate the principles of the Constitution and enter into an art contest. Over 180 people turned out last Constitution Day, and over 200 this year. Gregory Vincent, Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement at UT and a UT Law School professor, gave a speech about aspects of equality in America. Vincent said that the founding fathers were great men and got many things right, but also many things wrong, referring to past racial struggles and that “separation is inherently
Karissa Rodriguez • Staff Photographer
Constitution Debate – Over 200 students turned out for the Constitutional Debate held at Eastview campus Thursday, Sept.. 25th. Here, expert Alice Ortiz, Attorney at Law leads a discussion with students.
unequal.” He motivated the crowd of students, judges, lawyers and professors into multiple rounds of applause when he remarked, “What unifies us all is our ability to be engaged in our communities.” The next speaker was Professor Jeff Millstone who acknowledged the experts available to the students. The final speaker was a nationally known expert on constitutional law, H.W. Perry. Perry,
Johnathan Sack • Staff Photographer
Renewable Energy on the horizon Johnathan Sack Staff Writer
The Austin City Council has declared a renewable energy initiative committing Austin Energy to produce electrical power through solar and wind power. The initiative states that Austin Energy will be producing 100 megawatts of electricity in Austin by the year 2020. “The City of Austin is committed to solar energy,” said Fred Yebra, Director of Demand Side Management at Austin Energy. Austin Energy will be erecting two solar arrays at Austin Community College through their Solar on Schools Program. Construction at Rio Grande Campus, where solar panels will be installed on the roof, should begin this year. The
construction of a solar array at Riverside Campus is already underway in front of the main campus buildings. The building that will house the power conversion equipment at Riverside has already been built. Austin Energy still needs to install the solar panels and wiring. “By the end of the semester, you should see an array,” said Hector Aguilar, Department Chair for Electronics and Applied Technologies. The Texas Workforce Commission, through WorkSource Austin, has issued a grant to ACC to develop the new Renewable Energy Technology degree plan and curriculum. Two new classes are now available at Riverside Campus. ȩȩ solar continued on page 3
discussed along with its conflict with the Fourth Amendment’s guaranteed protection against unreasonable searches without probable cause. Another topic was the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. The scenario debated involved a university student who wore a T-shirt saying, “F--- Bush’s War” was ordered to leave by the Dean and never return wearing it. Kevin Lashus, immigration
specialist attorney and professor, debated with students as to whether or not a hard drive should be ghosted by airport security or, if so, why certain people should be searched and not others. Lashus discussed the idea of probable cause and its relation to warrants and searches. Baylor Law School graduate Alice Ortiz moderated the debate concnering a provision in the First Amendment that ȩȩ debates continued on page 6
High school students paid to study, college students to tutor Sarah Neve
This structure found on ACC’s Riverside Campus will convert electricity from solar panels that will supply electricity to Riverside campus.
who is also a professor at the UT Law School gained renown for authoring, “Deciding To Decide,” a comprehensive analysis on the Supreme Court. Young then directed everyone into groups and the debating began. Each group of students was given scenarios that actually took place in the U.S., and one of the experts or facilitators sat with them as they debated the constitutionality of the issues. The Patriot Act, was
An opportunity to make $6.00 an hour for studying is going to become available to qualifying students at the new Eastside Memorial High School at Johnston Campus, formally Johnston High School. The Tutoring Incentives Program (TIP) is the proposal of former Mayor Bruce Todd, who chairs the board of directors that oversees the ACC Center
for Public Policy and Political Studies (CPPPS). The program is scheduled to include 20-30 students who will work during school, after school, and on weekends. Tutors will be selected from Austin Community College, The University of Texas at Austin, Huston-Tillotson University, St. Edwards University, and Concordia. Tutors will make $12.00 an hour. “Our center is the vehicle by which you contribute,” Peck Young, CPPPS director said. The center collects the
donations as a 501(c) 3 non profit organization. Unlike other center programs, TIP is not run by CPPPS, just funded though them. The goal is to raise $300,000 to pay tutors and get the program started, as well as $75,000 to cover the cost of the student’s incentives program. So far about $50,000 has been pledged, and according to Young, the money is coming in, and the program is set to start up in the spring semester. ȩȩ Continued on page 3
Teodora Erbes• Staff Photographer
2 Accent • October 06, 2008
R edress of Grievances
Our View Staff Editorial
Elizabeth Carson Editor-in-Chief • David Rodriguez Assistant Editor Sarah Neve Campus Editor • Alma Hernandez Photo/Web Editor • Jana Lelek Layout Editor
National Coming Out Day
Jamie Carpenter Staff Writer
When I first heard the genius idea of proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as between a man and woman only, I instantly had an image in my mind of a bunch of busybody old women gossiping and pointing fingers at their neighbors because they were sad, tired people. I didn’t believe this was a serious notion. To some however, this is very serious. How else can you explain the huge split in our country between those who are pro-gay rights and those who are not? Therefore, as the twentieth anniversary of National Coming-Out Day is celebrated this Oct. 11, I strongly encourage everyone to put aside whatever objections you have to homosexuality (if you have any) and develop some form of empathy. One of the best things I was taught as a child by my mom was to be tolerant of others. I guess I have always believed it was only natural for others to be tolerant as well. Sadly, this is not always the case. Even though I have grown up to believe that gender, race, or sexual orientation doesn’t matter, apparently not everyone grew up with this frame of mind. Everyone, whether because of race, gender, age or income, has faced some sort of barrier.
However, it seems that sexism and racism are considered wrong, but homophobia is not. Is it somehow allowed for people to be homophobic? Call me a bleeding heart liberal if you’d like, but life can be hard enough without the judgment of others, over an issue such as a woman loving another woman. With the economy in the drain, natural disasters like Hurricane Ike and Rita happening left and right, I would love for our society’s biggest problem to be homosexuality. I hope that people who are scared to come out because they fear the judgment of others will cause them to lose their jobs and other hardships, realize that they are not alone. National Coming-Out Day was designed with just this issue in mind. On a local level, ACC has an organization on the Rio Grande Campus, called gAy to Z, whose purpose is to “promote safety, awareness, education, and to act as a resource for GLBTQS students. We are committed to all people courageously being who they are.” Gay, straight, purple, or black, seriously, people, let’s pull it together. If it’s not one minority group, it’s another. Let’s all quit the finger-pointing and fold our hands in the common prayer that one day we will all realize that tolerance shouldn’t just be graciously handed out to some, but to all.
Campaign Briefs “Barracuda” battle
Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart
Vs John McCain
Lauren Reed Staff Writer
After the first complaint from members Ann and Nancy Wilson of the band Heart was issued, many would have thought that John McCain and Sarah Palin would have stopped using their music to promote the Republican ticket, but they continue to do so. On September 9, 2008 at a rally in Lebanon, Ohio, they replayed the song “Barracuda”, a reference to Palin’s high school nickname, Sarah Barracuda, against the wishes of the band. Yet, the Republican Party is within their rights, because they paid a blanket fee to the ASCAP in order to obtain licensing to use the song. “The Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission,” read a statement from Heart’s camp. Also in an e-mail to Entertainment Weekly, the Wilson sisters said “Sarah Palin’s views and values in no way represent us as American women... While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the Republican National Convention, there’s irony in Republican strategists’ choice to make use of it there.” The irony of it all is that former band member and Nancy’s ex, Roger Fisher, plans to contribute part of the royalties from the use of the song to Barack Obama’s campaign.
Karen Kuhn • Staff Artist
In complicated financial times, students should relax about future
Both Washington Mutual (WaMu) and Wachovia have been building new banks in the Austin area over the past year or so. Thus, it seemed that those companies have been doing well. However, those who bank with WaMu and who were watching the morning news over the past two weeks were in for a great shock when they heard that their bank was going under and was being taken over by Chase. Not only are banks being rescued, but now the government is trying to come up with a plan to “rescue” (the preferred term over “bailout”) America’s financial state altogether. While young Americans should use this opportunity to educate themselves for their financial future, they should not panic and make hasty decisions with their money. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what many Americans did on Monday, Sept... 29. Monday’s record stock market drop of 778 points was fueled by the House’s rejection of the “bailout” plan. Constituents in both parties then furiously called their legislators. However, Tuesday saw the markets jump way up. First Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) was bought out by JPMorgan Chase and Company, and this week Citigroup bought Wachovia Banks. WaMu became the largest bank to fail in U.S. history with $307 billion in assets. It’s enough to shock those following the financial crisis. On top of all that, mortgage companies, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have been suffering, and many American homeowners are scared of losing their homes because they can no longer make the payments. While the business of the financial moguls leaves most American young people feeling completely out of their depth, they feel not only the financial strain, but also psychological pressure. When they hear rumors of the financial big dogs losing control of their companies, they can’t help but be concerned about how that affects them. Yet, for the most part, the daily lives of average citizens will remain normal while government works toward a solution. Most students may not have a mortgage to pay, but they are likely to have college debt and they would like to one day own a home. With the pressure on their minds of compiling debt in the future, it will affect young people’s decisions in the present. The economic implications of the current crisis are mostly seen in indirect ways. If people are nervous about the security of their assets, they’re less likely to take risks and spend with the future in mind. Students might cut back on college spending, renters might be reluctant to get into a mortgage, and investors will make decisions based on where their money seems most secure. As of now, President Bush and Congress are still working on a financial bailout – or rescue – plan of $700 billion to get companies back in the black. Essentially, it would use tax-payers’ dollars to save big financial company executives’ wealthy backsides. Yet, both parties agree that such a bailout is necessary.
Washington may be near to reaching an agreement with stipulations that would dole out the money to be used over a period of time, create oversight boards, and limit executives’ benefits and incentive pay. Whatever it takes, it might require that American young adults’ minds be put at ease over the future of their hard-earned dollars. Young people don’t want to put their money into a sinking ship. Yet, they do put their trust in a government with checks and balances that has the authority to deal with individual companies, as well as the overwhelming big financial picture that the average American can’t make sense of him/herself. The American public should all take a step back from the TV screen, take a deep breath, and not make any rash decisions with their money at this tough time. Those who know their American history know what financial terror on a national scale can do to the nation when it gets out of hand.
OFFICE OF STUDENT LIFE RGC, 1212 Rio Grande St., Room 101.1 Austin TX 78701
Editor.................................................................................................................. Elizabeth Carson Assistant Editor....................................................................................................David Rodriguez Photo/Web Editor............................................................................................... Alma Hernandez Layout Editor.................................................................................................................. Jana Lelek Campus Editor............................................................................................................. Sarah Neve Accent Adviser..................................................................................................Matthew Connolly Accent Coordinator.................................................................................................... Lori Blewett Student Life Director............................................................................................. Cheryl Richard Writers Rebekka Puig, Jonathan Sack, Christina Chapman, Jamie Carpenter, Trevor W. Goodchild, Olivia Palmer, Tanya Brooke Roese, Shane Yount, Jenessa Hernandez, Sarah Saker, Rose Robinson, Lauren Reed Photographers Jonathan Sack, Hanlly Sam, Stephen Hooker, Esther Garcia, Teodora Erbes, Sarah Saker ACC President Dr. Steve Kinslow Board of Trustees Ms. Nan McRaven– Chair; Ms. Veronica Rivera—Vice Chair; Dr. James McGuffee—Secretary, Dr. Barbara P. Mink, Allen Kaplan, Mr. Jeffrey Richard, JOhn-Michael Cortez, Tim Mahoney, Raul Alvarez
All rights reserved. All content is the property of Accent and may not be reproduced, published or retransmitted in any form without written permission from the Office of Student Life. Accent is the student newspaper of Austin Community College and is printed by the Texas Student Publications. Accent is published biweekly. ACC students may submit articles for publication in Accent to RGC’s Office of Student Life Room 101.1; e-mail articles to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax submissions to 223-3086. ACC does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation or disability. Accent offers ACC’s faculty, staff, students and surrounding community a complete source of information about student life. Accent welcomes your input, as well as information about errors. If you notice any information that warrants a correction please e-mail email@example.com. Individual views, columns, letters to the editor and other opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Accent.
October 06, 2008 • Accent
To be brief...
Art exhibit showcases student work
The Arts and Humanities Division along with The Center for Public Policy and Political Studies held a student art exhibit and awards ceremony at the Highland Business Center on Sept. 17 commemorating Constitution Day. The theme this year was “In a Post-9/11 World, What Rights do Americans Have?” During the spring and summer semesters, students submitted works in four categories: poetry, essays, 3-D artwork, and 2-D artwork. Three panels of faculty and community volunteers judged the student work. At the ceremony, student winners received award certificates with prize money to follow at a later date. The first place winners in each category received $200, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place.
Rio Grande celebrates diversity
Unity jam offers students chance sing, dance, explore
Matthew Thompson Staff Writer
The Unity Jam Festival, coordinated by Austin Community College’s Student Life Department, put on a show at ACC campuses and gave students a glimpse of different world cultures. On Sept. 25, students at the Rio Grande Campus were greeted as they went about their business on campus by the musical sounds of Capoeira Evolucao.
This interesting group from Afro-Brazilian origin is made up of musicians playing Africanoriginated percussion instruments while two people are matched in a contest of mixed martial arts. Brazilian-born ACC student Art Vieira was very familiar with Capoeira Evolucao, “They always make fascinating music and create a festive environment anywhere they play. It was great to see at ACC.” The Unity Jam had much
more to offer than just the music and show. Students also took part in sampling different exotic fruits and beverages. “I personally really enjoyed the Jamaican ginger soda, and I’m definitely going to look for this beverage next time I visit Fiesta,” said fellow ACC student Brittany Barnett. Several vendors joined the festivities at RGC. They sold typical college dorm room posters. Not only could you purchase sunglasses or posters, but some
vendors gave away freebies, such as stickers, during the Unity Jam. “I think this is a great idea, and it gives students something entertaining to do in-between classes,” said new ACC student Stephanie Housewright. The Unity Jam also took place at other ACC locations with different themes such as Global Village, Rhythm Nation, One World Through Music and Bollywood Nights. .
A little relief for Rio Grande parking
About 70 new parking spots opened up for students at the Rio Grande Campus. The Shoal Creek tennis courts located next to the AISD House Park and the Recreation Center have been turned into parking. The addition is only temporary. The spots will be available until spring of 2009. The new spaces will help alleviate some of the parking problems at Rio Grande, until the parking garage being constructed opens. When the spots opened last Monday, the police officers directing traffic noticed a big difference. In the early afternoon there is usually a long line of cars waiting for a spot, but on Monday, everyone who pulled in was directed to the new spaces and parked immediately. “Parking was bad when I used to come here, I thought it would have been fixed by now,” said officer Aeric Martinez, who attended classes at ACC in the late 1970s.
Lauren Aduddell• Staff Photographer
Clockwise from left. ACC student Tonyett Dixon participates in the Cultural Runaway fashion show at Eastview’s Unity Jam on Wednesday Sept... 24th. The Evolucao-Dance Group performed at Rio Grande Campus’s World Market Unity Jam.
ACC employs collect food for Ike victims Austin Community College employee organizations coordinated a Hurricane Relief Food Drive last week, Monday, Sept. 22 through Friday, Sept. 26, to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB). Foods donated served Hurricane Ike victims. The Adjunct Faculty Association, the Association of Professional Technical Employees, the Classified Employees Association and the Faculty Senate of ACC came together to collect the non-perishable items at all ACC campuses and the Service Center. “This was one of the first times the associations have gotten together to do this jointly,” said coordinator Susan Thompson, Director of Instructional Development Services. All of the campuses received donations, although the total amount of donations is not yet calculated. Rio Grande Campus received 186 lbs of donations, which translates to approximately 148 meals, according to the CAFB. Volunteers from the associations posted flyers, donated containers to collect the food donations, and transported the food to the CAFB on Friday afternoon.
Talent needed for Project: Build a Park
The Campus Activities Funding Board is hosting the seventh annual Project: Build a Park. Last year about 300 students participated. This year, an estimated 500 plus students will attend. Currently, the project is looking for students, faculty and staff to perform live music at the event. The students will gather from 9:00 am to 1:00 p.m. at Krieg Field on November 8th. This is the largest ACC Community service event. Students, faculty, and staff that would like to showcase their family friendly talent and support a good cause can contact Dot Dearinger at the Rio Grande Campus office for Student Life.
Belly dancer entertains the crowd at Northridge’s Rhythm Nations Unity Jam. Hanlly Sam • Staff Photographer
Solar energy classes draw students, national attention, grant ȨȨ Continued from pg 1
The grant from Texas Workforce Commission gave $628,420 total to the school. “This project is a grand idea. I hope it will be energy-conserving for the school,” said Jeremy Gross, an Automotive Technology student at Riverside Campus. “Colleges and universities from all across the country have been calling me to get information about our renewable energy program,” said Aguilar. This semester, the Solarphotovoltaic Systems class was full only 20 minutes after the registration period began. Students in the renewable energy program use solar panels, power converters and wind turbines in class
that were purchased with money from Texas Workforce Commission grant. “We are the leaders in renewable energy education,” said Aguilar. The grant also provides scholarships to students to pay for tuition and fees. Currently, there are 42 students enrolled in the renewable energy degree program attending class on a full scholarship. “We need techs to work in solar power, that’s why we got this grant. It’s just supply and demand,” said Robotics student Brian Capelli. As Kirk White, Executive Director of Workforce Continuing Education at ACC stated, “I can’t offer enough seats to meet the demand. Solar power is a hot topic right now.”
Alma Hernandez • Photo Editor
Distance Learning Evaluations needed to help improve classes Karrissa Rodriguez Staff Writer
Instructors who teach distance learning class cannot improve their curriculum and teaching methods if students don’t fill out faculty evaluations. With incredibly low student participation in evaluations, 1,008 total last fall, its hard to get any feedback on the classes. Currently 7,556 students are enrolled in distance learning courses. Robert Bermea, Director of Distance Learning, is seeking a solution to this problem by helping impart the importance of these evaluations on students. “The importance of participation in the faculty evaluation process is that it provides the distance learning student with the opportunity to provide, both to the instructor and department chair of the instructor, feedback and input on how the course was
conducted,” Bermea said. The feedback will then help instructors decide if they need to tweak their courses to provide students improved teaching delivery methods in specific areas of their curriculum. Part time faculty members who receive bad reviews will be reviewed by the department chair, and the ratings will go in their portfolio. “While full time faculty are able to get paper evaluations from their students in classrooms, adjunct faculty do not get evaluated,” Bermea said. Distance Learning students do not fill out paper evaluations. Students are given the opportunity to submit them electronically through Student Online Services every fall semester beginning in midOctober. Distance Learning students can help improve the courses being offered at ACC by filling out their evaluations.
High school students paid to participate in incentive program ȨȨ Continued from pg 1
The idea of paying kids to go to school has popped up nationally in the last few years. New York, Washington DC, and Georgia are all experimenting with incentive programs, with mixed reviews. The concept is largely attributed to Roland G. Fryer, an economist who has been appointed as chief equality officer of New Yorkís Department of Education. However, the idea is not completely new. The Sam Ricklin Diploma Plus Program has aided at-risk students in San Antonios Bexar County high schools since 1991. The
program has had a 90% success rate, according to the CPPPS. Critics argue that education is the incentive to go to school in and of itself. An Austin American Statesmen article on the issue received 14 pages of comments, almost all of which said that the incentive program was bribery and that while free tutoring programs are great for kids who want to learn, schools shouldn’t have to pay kids who don’t want to be their to show up. Todd released statements addressing this, saying that sentiments like these are valid but don’t reflect today’s realities. The students involved will be students that have responsibilities outside of
school. If the choice is going to school or going to your job so your family can eat and pay the bills the choice is easy, said Young. He also mentioned that the idea of giving kids incentives is not new, kids have often been given money for making honor roll, or a large gift like a car for graduating high school in the top ten percent. However, not all families can afford to give these incentives to kids themselves. This isn’t about bribing them there is no great science here, why would someone be offended by the idea that we are trying to help kids, said Young.
4 Accent • October 06, 2008
Life& Arts www.theaccent.org
ACL At a Glance
Average temperature in Austin Sept... 26-28, 2008: 79.3˚ F • Average high in Austin during the last two weeks in Sept...: 88˚ F • Number of parking spots designated for the event: Zero •
Cost to ride Capital Metro shuttle: $0.00
Total number of bands who participated in ACL ’08: 130
Total number of stages: 8
Fans who attend ACL per day: 65,000 Amount donated to Austin Parks Foundation by ACL Music Festival: $2.5 million
Shawn Hinojosa • Staff Photographer
Above Erykah Badu was a big crowd pleaser Saturday afternoon on the AT&T stage
Left Patrick Pestorius (left) and lead singer Will Sheff of Austin’s own Okkervil River perform Sunday afternoon on the AT&T Blueroom Stage. Hanlly Sam • Staff Photographer
Hanlly Sam • Staff Photographer
Shawn Hinojosa • Staff Photographer
Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara, a band consisting of Canadian singersongwriters and identical twins make their first appearance at the festival Sunday evening.
Austin City Limits Festival, the highs and lows Barrett Deitz Staff Writer
Photo Courtesy of Atlantic Records
The Accent wants to help students debunk the mysteries about the foods and activities that commonly come up in college life. If there is an issue you would like the Accent to look into email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll help make sense of it.
Ending their US tour in Austin, you could tell Gnarls Barkley was out of it. Between Cee-Lo’s scratchy voice and heat that could kill, their set just wasn’t all is was cracked up to be. Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse did what they could to keep the show going. Not even “Crazy” or “Transformer” sounded like Gnarls Barkley quality music. Having Gnarls Barkley return to ACL would be a great idea, just do it earlier in their tour.
This Issue: Caffeine Christina Chapman Staff Writer
Coffee and energy drinks permeate college culture. It’s no surprise that students have several theories on the effects of caffeine. From causing and curing cancer, to aiding in sobering up after a long night on the town, here are some answers to common caffeine queries.
What Made Milwaukee Famous
Austin’s own What Made Milwaukee Famous has been compared to Spoon and Franz Ferdinand. After seeing them live, I completely understand why. Playing hits like, “Sultan” and “Sweet Lady”, WMMF really got the crowd into their music. One man at Barton Springs described WMMF by saying that they were, “Amazing.” And then adding, “I really think that they’re going places in music.” While walking around the festival after WMMF’s set, you could hear people constantly taking about what a show they put on. By far, WMMF’s hour long set was one of the best throughout ACL and a festival highlight for many.
Against Me! Hailing from Gainesville, FL, punk band Against Me! came to Austin City Limits riding the well deserved hype of their new album, New Wave. The new album features the two big singles, “Stop!” and “Thrash Unreal.” (Both of which were played in the bands hour long ACL set.) In addition to their newer songs, the band also some old favorites such as, “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong,” which is from the 2002 album, “Reinventing Axl Rose.” Against Me! vocalist Tom Gabel also sang a duet with Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara. All and all, Against Me! put on a great show and really gave the crowd their money’s worth.
What exactly is caffeine, where does it come from, and where can I find it? Caffeine is a plant-based, mild chemical stimulant that stimulates the central nervous system (brain and spinal chord). Caffeine occurs naturally in over 60 plants and is a natural pesticide for many of those plants. Caffeine is called by different names: guaranine, or mateine or theine, when derived from different source plants. Main consumer sources of caffeine are coffee, sodas, energy drinks, chocolate and certain teas.
Hanlly Sam • Staff Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Barsuk Recordss
Caffeine is addictive, right? Clinically speaking, caffeine isn’t necessarily addictive. Most clinicians define drug addiction as excessive use of a substance that leads to impairment in social and occupational settings, with increased intake to achieve desired effects and inability to control use. Even though caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant, it is a mild stimulant and thought to be least harmful of all addictive drugs. Most withdrawal symptoms, such as headache, fatigue, moodiness and inability to concentrate disappear within 1 to 2 days of discontinued use.
Can caffeine help me do better on tests? Not necessarily. Studies have shown that substance dependent learning in reference to caffeine has no effect on high memory or reasoning, it simply makes people feel more awake and alert. Studies have also shown that sleep is essential in forming long-term memories and processing information from the previous day
Does caffeine cause cancer? No; though there is a correlation between cancer and coffee drinkers, coffee is not the cause of cancer. The correlation between cancer and coffee drinkers is due to the fact that many coffee drinkers smoke, and smoking increases the risk of certain types of cancer and other diseases.
Learn more, and view the sources of this information at theaccent.org
October 06, 2008 • Accent
Humboldt County film offers hazy glimpse at counter culture David Rodriguez Staff Writer
Humboldt County a film by Danny Grodsky and Danny Jacobs is a glimpse into the counter-culture world of marijuana farming in northwest California’s, “Lost Coast.” The film is in the same vein as Homegrown, another counter culture film that has addressed similar storylines in a very similar setting. Jeremy Strong plays Peter, the straight-laced medical student who has a drunken one night stand in Los Angeles and then wakes up in dope farming Humboldt. He ends up staying there for a summer sojourn to decompress from his recent failure to complete medical school at UCLA. This is a first for writers and directors Jacobs and Grodsky. Jacobs has acted in various television shows and some relatively unknown films and shorts. Grodsky acted in Theatre 13, along side Jacobs, and acted in a short (Why Shakespeare?). While a lot of marijuana is smoked in the film, not much is ingested by Peter, which makes the statement that the film is not a, “pot changed my life,” story. The catalyst for change within the plot is Peter being immersed in a completely foreign environment allowing him to exercise some much needed introspection. Max (Chris Messina) is the
guerilla grower. He puts everyone in the community at risk, in hopes of producing a large crop to make a better life for him and his daughter, Charity (Madison Davenport). The intricate pot-farming family lives under the patronage of Jack (Brad Dourif, Dune) and Rosie (Frances Conroy, Six Feet Under). Conroy does well playing a high, but completely detached godmother, and Dourif plays the ex-professor turned philosophic/stoner who is trying to maintain the mom and pop institution that has raised these children of cannabis to the pot growers that they are. Conroy’s acting is the most engaging and believable of this pseudo-cult like family. The unstable dynamics of the family is a testament to an existence bonded by little more than not wanting to be part of some-
thing else and smoking marijuana. The short screen time of Peter Bogdanovich (The Sopranos), who plays Peter’s rigid professor father, is a surprising addition to this stoner comedy/drama. Bogdanovich translates the oblivious lack of empathy for a loved one that the rest of the film hazily addresses. Humboldt County is a noble effort for the first time writer/directors, but the film fails to expose the apathetic viscus of a dope ladened existence. However, kudos to the filmmakers and Bogdanovich for portraying the lack of insight upper class America has for its children The film lacks closure, but it seems that is the point.
Sarah Vasquez Staff Writer
gam e s
Tales game is not Blastia
Shane Yount Staff Writer
Tales of Vesperia? What, yet another Tales game? Didn’t one of those come out just last week? Namco-Bandai seems to dish out roughly three Tales games a year. Interestingly, Tales of Vesperia managed to help the Xbox 360 outsell the Play Station 3 in Japan. The game is set in a world run by blastia, which is magic-
based technology. The storyline of Tales is nothing to write home about, opening scenes are riddled with clichés that might tempt you to throw your controller against the wall. Regardless of the painfully predictable storyline, featuring secret princesses and yawnworthy revelations, the characters are interesting enough to provide cohesion through the duration of the game. How can one go wrong with a dog that keeps the pipe of his previous owner as a memento? Graphics is where the game truly stands out. Imagine colorful characters against vibrant cell-shaded environments. The game literally looks like a threedimensional Anime film. The voice acting is surprisingly well-done, but the
music is mediocre. As with any Tales game, the battle system is fast-paced and exciting, featuring enemies and allies moving freely on a 3D plane. Tales of Vesperia does bring something new to the series which is implementing an innovative skills system in which special abilities are learned through equipment. In the end, Tales of Vesperia doesn’t break any molds, does nothing outrageous, or go boldly where no other game has ever gone before, but it manages to provide a thoroughly fun experience with a great cast of characters.
Shooting game with changing point of view a mixed bag
Shane Yount Staff Writer
The Brothers in Arms series, as well as other warthemed shooter franchises, have made an impact in North America recently. The latest installment, Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway, dramatically portrays the hardships of a close group of American soldiers during World War II. Unlike its predecessors, Hell’s Highway doesn’t feature enough powerful monologues to flesh out the main character.
The story sequences seem pointless, which is a shame since they take up so much game time. Despite its shortcomings, Hell’s Highway will undoubtedly be a hit amongst fans of the series because of its exciting combat engine. Leading squads while manipulating the positions of the army infantry units to get through various obstacles feels like solving a puzzle. Each skirmish must be conquered quickly, to avoid the seemingly endless hails of bullets from enemy forces.
Hell’s Highway features a new cover mechanic, which makes solo battles much less of a chore than they were in the original. Players now have the option to protect themselves from incoming enemy fire. Hell’s Highway also deserves props for doing such an excellent job at changing viewpoints, seamlessly shifting from first-person to third-person perspective. Unfortunately, the graphics quality is something of a mixed bag, featuring gorgeous environments but surprisingly frequent texture pop-ins. Furthermore, the multiplayer mode is a dull capture-the-flag ordeal that sucks the tactics right out of the game. Stick with the single-player mode and you’re likely to be very pleased if you’re a fan of tactical shooters set during World War II.
Queen aims for statewide royalty after capturing Austin title
Riverside’s own Atia Willis talks about goals, being the queen of Austin Rose Robinson Staff Writer
Recently crowned Miss Austin USA of 2008, Atia Willis has proved that she is Austin royalty. Willis attends Austin Community Colleges’ Riverside Campus and majors in Marketing with hopes to transfer to the University of Texas. A native of Houston, Willis worked her way up from adolescent pageantry to the title of calling herself a “Miss.” Growing up in a hard working family gave Willis the inspiration to obtain the crown, and according to Willis “the most excitement, after winning, is getting the wake up call, telling you your responsibilities, and knowing that this is a job more than anything.” The 19 year-old has definitely made her mark in Austin’s history by becoming the first African American to earn the title of Miss Austin. “I feel I put a lot of hope into all girls of every race…I’m not your average American beauty,” Willis said. Willis also spends a lot of time at ACC’s Riverside Campus. She explained that college has been a very good experience for her, “I love ACC because of the diversity and the passionate people.” As far as her education and some of her inspiration, Willis commented that she is “constantly in the learning lab trying to get help, but you know who inspires me, the deaf.”
Lauren aduddell • Staff Photographer
Atia Willis attends ACC’s Riverside campus, the 19 year-old communications major recently won the title of Miss Austin U.S.A. and plans to compete in the Miss Texas U.S.A. 2010 competition.
While she works on her career as a television anchorwoman, Willis has made it clear that she wants to learn how to sign to assist the deaf and she stated that “all of the deaf students are so sweet, they work hard, and they have inspired me to want to sign.” Willis also competed in the Miss Texas USA Pageant this summer and she explained that “it was a wake up call. It’s much more intense. Backstage there were girls crying, mothers crying, and even cat-fights. It was chaos, but good chaos.” The beauty queen won the hearts of Austin and hopes to win the hearts of Texas in the Miss Texas USA 2010
competition. Her duties as the pageant winner begin in December, and she works closely with ACC’s Riverside Student Life appearing at different banquets and award ceremonies as Miss Austin USA. Commenting on her recent pageant experiences and looking forward to future competitions Willis had this to say, “Miss Texas is pretty political, but it’s because the girls have competed multiple times and the judges know them. My goal for next year is at least to make top 15, but this year I did win Miss Congeniality. I was happy because that’s an award chosen by the girls.”
mu s i c
Reconsidering Consider the Source Sarah Vasquez Staff Writer
At first, I was turned off by these guys. The music wasn’t something I normally enjoyed. Their songs seemed unstructured. There were no choruses or verses that repeated, and they were too progressive for my then-pop rock comfort zone. Regardless, I was constantly catching one of their live shows, and they eventually grew on me. Recently, friends and fans gathered at Red 7 on September 20 to listen to the four piece band’s latest album “Fire Alarms.” The band (vocalist/ guitarist Seth Grueneberg,
bassist Jason Bearden, guitarist Derek Dean and drummer/ vocalist James Taylor) headlined the night, performing some of their old songs as well as a sneak peek of their most recent work. On first listen I had a hard time registering what was coming out of my speakers. Instead of the orchestrated movements that I was used to, I heard easier to swallow, conventional songwriting including more lyrics. So why did Consider The Source change their sound? “When we started recording, I told Rory (Phillips, producer) I wanted to put more vocals on the songs,” said Grueneberg. “He said ‘You
should sing over every part on the songs.’ A lot of the lyrics were written in the studio while writing new vocal parts/ melodies.” Normally when a band changes their sound, most people shrug them off as selling out. Consider the Source never crossed that line, because although their songs are arranged to be radio friendly, they still have a distinct and frantic sound that defines them. Current fans will be able to appreciate the new additions and will grow to love them more while new fans will become enthusiastic immediately.
Rock, country, punk blend to create Austin’s The Dirty sound
Lauren Reed • Staff Photographer
Staff Writer The Dirty Sound has been live and in the local scene for almost two years. They have consistently delivered a fun filled show, usually gathering a
great audience. They blend a little bit of rock and roll with some country, and occasional punk undertones. The four piece band includes acoustic and a lap steel
guitar which adds to the country feel. The combination of Andy Anderson’s vocals, guitar, and harmonica, plus Mike Harramier on the lap-steel makes for a truly dirty sound. The lyrics include a promise to “terrorize the bar with their laughter,” and these words ring true to Austinites. In a cookie cutter industry, a band with an original sound is often hard to find. But pull up a chair, grab a Lone Star, and take the time to listen; The Dirty Sound is an Austin original. Recently, they have traveled across Texas promoting their self-titled EP released earlier this year, and The Dirty Sound played a free show at Flipnotics on Barton Springs during the Austin City Limits festival, hoping to gain exposure.
Accent • October 06, 2008
Students engage, debate
Karissa Rodriguez • Staff Photographer
Kathy Freeman, a paralegal major participates in a heated debate at Eastview’s Constitution Day program.
Post 9/11 rights discussed in relation to religion, politics, etc. ȨȨ Continued from pg 1
refers to the separation of religion and state. A black student from ACC was concerned that the history she was taught in secondary education is only a version of what happened and doesn’t relate to her family, her racial history or her culture, and that there were overtones of Judaeo-Christianity. “It’s not right, but they’re already doing it,” she said. Another ACC student expressed the opinion that religion is more of a personal right, less a national right. Constitution Day emerged
as a vehicle to allow both further comprehension of how the application of laws is a purely interpretive matter, and how important it is to be educated and to enjoy the freedom the Constitution ensures. “To solve world problems, whether it’s religious wars between Shiites and Sunnis, or Protestants and Catholics... people have to learn to argue things principally and respect others’ opinions,” Perry said. At the conclusion, every group was handed the microphone and announced the results of their debate. Most groups split into two factions:
one for a more limited interpretation of the Constitution where people’s personal rights are less implied, and the other where personal freedoms were of a higher priority. ACC Anthropology student, Patrick Dew, said, “It engaged everyone. No one sat around. Everyone had to be involved. Everyone talked. Everyone had an opinion. It was awesome. Even if I didn’t agree with it, it was still an opinion and that’s good because that’s what people need. If you don’t have an opinion, you’re just letting someone else tell you what to do.”