Page 1

Optimist the

a product of the JMC


Pg. 7 Rope a Wildcat: See a photospread profiling the ACU Rodeo

Thursday, April 9, 2009 :: Vol. 97, No. 48 :: 1 section, 10 pages ::

Inside This Issue:

Pg. 3

Pg. 4

Hail to the Chief: Navajo president visits alma mater Monday

Pg. 8

Student artwork to be on display Downtown

French athlete makes ACU history at Texas Relays

Design, construction plans cause ad kiosk delays By Sondra Rodriguez

they have not forgotten their promise to provide a place where students can advertise campus events. Nearly five months have passed since the university announced its plan to build

Page 2 Editor

An ad kiosk between the Campus Center and the Brown Library is coming soon – and university administrators say

an ad kiosk after enforcing a policy prohibiting students from advertising on campus. Design and construction plans caused the delay, said Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson, Vice President and Dean for Stu-

dent Life. He confirmed Monday that parts were ordered for the kiosk, and he said he hopes to break ground in the next couple weeks. In response to the ad policy, SA Congress passed a resolu-

tion in March stating students should be allowed to advertise on campus. Thompson said alternative means of advertising were offered during the meeting, all of which SA Congress candidates have utilized for

campaigning. These include venues such as myACU and the screens in Chapel. Daniel Burgner, junior political science major from See

Kiosk page 8

Gaines gains SA Presidency

Challenge deadline postponed for Easter By Laura Acuff Opinion Page Editor

The registration deadline for this year’s SpringBoard Ideas Challenge has been postponed to Monday. This delay gives entrants additional time to register in light of this weekend’s Easter holiday, said Jim Porter, Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the College of Business Administration. The competition first took place last year, and is meant to encourage local entrepreneurship. It requires participants to submit a 10-page mini-business plan detailing an idea for a new business. Porter said the goal of the competition is to provide an outlet for and reward local creativity and innovation. “It’s a way to encourage students to formulate their ideas and to give strong consideration to taking their ideas and building businesses from them,” Porter said. See

SpringBoard page 8

Disc golf course gliding soon to ACU campus

Zak Zeinert :: chief photographer Newly elected Students’ Association President-elect Charles Gaines, junior criminal justice major from Cedar Hill, delivers his campaign speech in Moody Coliseum on Wednesday. In his speech, Gaines promised the focus of his administration would be to make SA a “Christ-centered” organization.

Godfrey wins VP race, Cochran new treasurer

By Katie Gager Student Reporter

By Michael Freeman

The Department of Exercise Science and Health will celebrate the grand opening of the ACU Wildcat Disc Golf Course at 3 p.m. on April 28 at the Sherrod Park property. The course will be the third disc golf course located in the Abilene area. The other courses in town are at Cal Young and Will Hair parks. Project director and manager Deonna Shake, instructor of exercise science and health, began work on the project in August 2008. For the last eight months, she has strived to raise funds and bring the community together to build the course. “It takes a village to make a park, and there have been a lot of people that have helped,” Shake said. “People have provided different sources of encouragement, whether it’s prayer, See

Presidential Race

Vice Presidential Race


Managing Editor

This year’s Students’ Association executive officers election, which featured the least voter participation in the past few years, also turned into one of the closest elections in recent history. Charles Gaines, junior criminal justice major from Cedar Hill, was elected as next year’s SA president Wednesday. He defeated Daniel Burgner, junior political science major from Yorba Linda, Calif., by a mere 11 votes. A total of 813 ballots were cast, which is 61 fewer votes than were cast last year. Gaines earned 411 votes, while Burgner

Course page 8


Elections page 8

Charles Gaines


Daniel Burgner


Luke Cochran

Scott Adrian

Tony Godfrey



475 See a video of students describing why and who they voted for in the SA election

Students rope awards, good time at annual school-wide rodeo By Tanner Anderson Page Designer

Tyler Allen might have resembled a rodeo veteran with his work gloves and dusty boots, but he actually

was a rodeo rookie. Allen, sophomore chemistry major from San Antonio, played the cowboy role with numerous other students Tuesday at the ACU Rodeo. For many students the annu-

al ACU Rodeo is an opportunity to shed the city slicker image, put on a pair of torn wranglers and cowboy boots and get in touch with their southern roots. The event also serves as a fundraiser for the Department of

Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, allowing students from the department to attend service trips, conventions and competitions. “This is our one fundraiser for the year,” said Cason McIn-

turff, junior animal science major from Franklin, Tenn. “This is what allows us to do all of our [activities] and gives us a chance to promote our club See

Visit our Web site to see a slideshow and video profiling the ACU Rodeo

Rodeo page 8


Online Poll :

a. Longer library hours. b. Openess with the student body. c. Christ-centered leadership. d. Nothing is going to happen.





High: 86 Low: 46

High: 72 Low: 45

High: Xx Low: Xx

Videos :: Podcasts :: Slideshows Department of Journalism and Mass Communication ::

Abilene Christian University

What campaign promise do you want to see come to fruition? ::

Serving the ACU community since 1912


Campus Day Thursday, April 9, 2009


5:30-8:30 p.m. ArtWalk will take place downtown. For more information about the free event, call 677-8389. 5:30 p.m. Retrospect, an exhibit featuring ACU senior artists, will take place in the ACU Cockerell Art Gallery.



Good Friday, no classes 7:30-8:30 p.m. Man on a Wire, the 2008 Sundance Film Fest winner, will be presented at the Paramount Theatre. The event costs $5 for students. For more information, call 676-9620.



10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Central Texas Gem and Mineral Show will take place at the Civic Center. Tickets cost $3. For more information, call 692-4642. 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Poetry is Not a Four-Letter Word, will take place in the Buffalo Gap Historic Village. The event costs $7. For more information, call 572-3365.



Easter Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Central Texas Gem and Mineral Show will take place at the Civic Center. Tickets cost $3. For more information, call 692-4642.

The first Undergraduate Research Festival will provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to present research projects and be recognized and awarded for outstanding research achievements in their college career, on April 13-15. The festival will be part of ACU’s annual Honors Week and will allow students from any department to submit demonstrations, posters and other presentations that highlight their undergraduate research on a variety of topics. The Honors College organized the event, and the 21st Century Vision budget funded it. Dr. Chris Willerton, dean of the Honors College and professor of English,

said the festival will help students build their résumés and professional track records, as well as develop professional expertise to use later in their careers. “There are things you learn by doing research that you don’t learn any other way,” Willerton said. The program will begin Monday at 11:30 a.m. with an informal luncheon honoring student researchers and mentors. It will feature guest speaker Dr. James O’Brien from Missouri State University. Research presentations, which are open to students, faculty and friends, will take place at 2-5 p.m. on Monday in the Adams Center of Teaching and Learning, Living Room of the Campus Center and Brown Library Atrium.

Announcements The Gamma Sigma Phi Benefit Softball games will take place April 23-26. The deadline to register teams is April 17. For more information, e-mail Hutton Harris at FilmFest 2010 production team applications are available until Sunday. Interested students should e-mail

An art and craft fair will take place in the Campus Center Living Room on April 17 from 7-10 p.m. The event will feature free baked goods and live music from Jody Seabody and the Whirls, Jennifer Fuentes and Virgil Cane and the Stonewall Calvary. For more information, e-mail

Seventy-five students from physics, agriculture, biology, English, music and other departments will be given a time slot to explain or demonstrate their research projects. Presentations will continue Tuesday from 1-5 p.m. and Wednesday from 1-4 p.m. in addition to other Honors Week events. Honors College faculty will judge students on the ‘extraordinary’ qualities of their undergraduate research based on a range of criteria, and the top 12 students chosen by the judges will receive prizes ranging from $50 to $250. Willerton said the challenge in judging will be to fairly judge between the subject fields and forms of presentations. The Undergraduate Research Festival is an event the Honors

College will continue to organize every spring, and Willerton said he hopes more students from other departments will be involved next year. Scott Stewart, who will present his project, “The Neutron Induced Fission Fragment Tracking Experiment,” agrees the festival is beneficial to students. “I think it’s a good thing to highlight all the different research that’s going on at this university,” Stewart said. “It’s always nice to get more practice presenting information on things you research.”

Communities in Schools at Fannin Elementary School needs volunteers for one to two hours beginning at 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Volunteers will give extra help to students in an after-school tutoring class. For more information, call Joe Cunningham at 675-7008.

Edited for space

12:13 a.m. The ACU Police issued a traffic stop on Campus Court because a driver disregarded a stop sign. 1:12 p.m. The ACU Police assisted Animal Control with a dog bite on Avenue D. 2:51 p.m. Someone reported a male taking photos of a topless female at the ACU pond. The female was fully clothed when the ACU Police arrived, and both subjects were advised. 10:01 p.m. A subject requested that the ACU Police unlock Moody Coliseum, but the subject was not authorized so the ACU Police denied the request.

5:29 p.m. Someone reported a traffic stop in Dallas, and the ACU Police handled the issue by telephone. 10 p.m. The ACU Police secured the lawn mower storage area at the Crutcher Scott Field.

Wednesday, Apr. 1 1:30 p.m. The ACU Police booted a vehicle in the Brown Library parking lot because it had multiple citations. The owner was not located. 1:50 p.m. The ACU Police removed the boot from the vehicle in the Brown Library parking lot. 2:25 p.m. The ACU Police issued a traffic stop on Campus Court because a driver was speeding. 7:43 p.m. The ACU Police blocked traffic on Ambler Avenue because a vehicle’s load spilled.

Thursday, Apr. 2 7:33 a.m. Someone reported a tree down at Smith Adams Hall, and the ACU Police contacted the City of Abilene Street Department.

9:22 a.m. The ACU Police fingerprinted a student at the Station. 9:57 a.m. The ACU Police booted a vehicle on ACU Drive for numerous citations. The owner was not located.

Friday, Apr. 3 5:30 p.m. The ACU Police called a wrecker to assist with a disabled vehicle in the Nelson Hall parking lot. 10:30 p.m. Someone reported suspicious subjects on Campus Court, but the ACU Police was unable to locate anyone. 10:50 p.m. Someone reported a suspicious subject on Washington Boulevard, but the ACU Police contacted the subject, and everything was OK. 11:48 p.m. Someone reported a loud party on Washington Boulevard; the ACU Police contacted the tenant, and the party ended.

Saturday, Apr. 4 2:05 a.m. The ACU Police assisted the Abilene Police with a noise violation near campus, and citations were issued for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Sunday, Apr. 5 12:03 a.m. Someone reported a prowler on Campus Court, and the ACU Police contacted several students in a vehicle wearing masks. The subjects were playing a prank and apologized. 2:11 a.m. Someone reported a noise violation on Avenue F, but the ACU Police was unable to locate the source. Always report suspicious activity to ACUPD at 674-2305 or 674-2911.

E-mail Spano at:

Volunteer Opportunities The Center for Contemporary Arts needs volunteers to give free art lessons to kids, while providing the opportunity to learn about art through the ArtReach program. Volunteers do not have to be artists, and are needed Monday through Friday from 1-5 p.m. For more information, call Katherine Trotter at 677-8389 or e-mail katherine@

Police Log

Tuesday, Mar. 31

First undergrad festival highlights research By Lizzy Spano Student Reporter

If you plan to travel over the Easter weekend, get plenty of rest and have your vehicle’s tires, fluids, belts and hoses checked prior to departure.

Monday, Mar. 30

Calendar and Events


ACU Police Tip of the Week

Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteers to deliver meals to some of the homebound members of the community. The commitment is once a week. Volunteers will pick up the meals from the Meals on Wheel’s building and deliver them to people around Abilene. It takes one hour each week. Call Mitzi McAndrew at 672-5050 to volunteer. Find out volunteer opportunities by visiting the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center’s Web site at and clicking on Volunteer Opportunities. For more information or to sign up to help, contact the Volunteer and ServiceLearning Center in the Bean Sprout.

Chapel Checkup Credited Chapels to date:


Credited Chapels remaining:


SA Update News from Wednesday’s meeting: Recycling bin efforts approved The SA Congress received the approval from Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson and Dr. Jeff Arrington to purchase and place 36 recycling bins in Nelson Hall and the Mabee Business Building. The cost of the bins was $1,922.59. Two 20-foot-long cityowned recycling bins also will be installed in the parking lot a block from Barret Hall. “This is our signature project that we’ve been working on all year,” SA President Sarah Pulis said. “We’re so excited.” All bins should be installed by the end of next week. Administrative officer positions available Students will be able to pick up applications for the positions of Secretary, Chief Development Officer/Parliamentarian, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Communication Officer for next year’s Congress. Any student can apply. Applications will be available in the SA Congress office Thursday. Congress investigates adding to student group section in The Campus Store Chief Financial Officer Luke Cochran plans to meet with Anthony Williams, director of retail and The Campus Store manager, to discuss placing a section in The Campus Store for student groups, such as Wishing Well, to sell their merchandise. Advertising survey to be distributed to students McDonald Hall Rep. Keri Gray passed out surveys to all of the residence hall representatives for them to distribute to students. The survey will ask questions on what students think about the administration’s policy on banning advertisements across campus.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Page 3

Conference to focus on Christian growth in Zimbabwe By Chelsea Hackney Student Reporter

Seventy mission team members from eight states and three countries met Friday and Saturday in the Hunter Welcome Center to discuss the future of the church in Zimbabwe. Hillcrest Church of Christ sponsored the Zimbabwe Missions Forum, which was the first such event focused entirely on the southern African country. The purpose of the conference was to “coordinate efforts towards Christian growth in Zimbabwe,” according to the program flier. Guiding these efforts were keynote speakers from Tennessee to Canada, some with more than 50 years of experience in Zimbabwe.

“The only way we can go forward is to think about the past,” said Dr. Neal Coates, associate professor of political science and member of the Hillcrest mission team. He said this means discussing both successes and failures in order to implement better short and long-term projects. Zimbabwe is host to nearly 350 churches, but two projects remained in the spotlight during the forum. Nowhe Mission encompasses a school, hospital and self-sustaining farm. The hospital alone treats more than 5,000 patients a month for everything from AIDS to childbirth. The Mutare School of Preaching, supported primarily by Hill-

crest for 45 years, provides training and support to Zimbabweans in their efforts to spread the Gospel. In spite of struggles, both spiritual and financial, the tone of the conference was one of hope and confidence in the strength of the church in Zimbabwe. “Before missionaries came to Zimbabwe, work started and grew because preachers were there,” said Washington Mhlanga, an elder from the Avondale Church of Christ in Harare, Zimbabwe, and a member of the Nowhe board of directors. “Although some didn’t even go to Bible school, those men preached out of conviction. The Gospel is too important to be centered

Photo courtesy of Dr. Neal Coates

Fortune Mhlanga, a member of the missions team at Hillcrest Church of Christ, stands with his brother Washington Mhlanga, elder at Avondale Church in Zimbabwe, at the Hunter Welcome Center on Friday. around dollars and cents.” Although few students were present at the forum, the message for them was clear. There is work to be done and

ACU students especially have many opportunities to do it, Coates said. “Students need to be aware as they think about the world

and being active in it,” he said. “We are not simply tourists.”

E-mail Hackney at:

Navajo leader speaks on equality Equipped students tackle taxes By Daniel Johnson-Kim

By Linda Bailey

Editor in Chief

Student Reporter

Dr. Joe Shirley Jr., president of the Navajo Nation and a 1973 graduate of ACU, shared a lesson his grandmother taught him to a room full of more than 400 people. While standing on the stage in the McCaleb Conference Center during a Chapel forum Monday, Shirley told the crowd of students, faculty and staff how the woman who raised him explained to him the universal truth of acceptance. “We all have five fingers and we are all intelligent — that makes us family,” Shirley said. “We should not be warring with each other…we must make war against the real monsters — thirst, hunger, greed, jealousy, apathy, ignorance — these are the things that prey on all mankind.” Shirley told his audience his faith in God’s power, his devotion to service and the quality education and spiritual guidance he received at ACU helped him succeed in life and be chosen as the leader of the Navajo Nation. The Native American leader, members of his staff and First Lady Vikki Shirley visited campus Monday and capped off the evening with the Chapel forum. Shirley came to campus after he was invited by the Office of Multicultural Enrichment to speak at ACU, a school he attended more than three decades ago. During his speech, Shirley frequently quoted the Bible, citing Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” as proof that faith in God will produce the fruits of success. He praised ACU for its devotion to educating students with a Christian focus. He also described to his audience his vision for the Navajo Nation to become an independent people, not reliant on governmental support. The

A deadline students will not want to miss is April 17. Income taxes must be filed by this date, but faculty and students do not think the process will be difficult to complete. The IRS Web site includes many programs that guide people through the process. Bill Fowler, chair of the Department of Accounting and Finance, said if students have their W-2 forms, documents from an employer telling how much was paid and how much was withheld, and a copy of last year’s tax forms, the process should not take more than 15-20 minutes. “Most people can do it online with a software program that will walk you through the questions and answers without you being burdened with having to know the tax forms,” he said.

Zak Zeinert :: chief photographer

Dr. Joe Shirley Jr., president of the Navajo Nation and 1973 ACU graduate, speaks on equality at the McCaleb Conference Center during a Chapel forum Monday. Navajo Nation contains more than 27,000 miles of land that extends into Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. With a population of more than 250,000, the Navajo nation is the largest of the 562 federally recognized tribes of Native Americans in the country. “We’re starting to put a dent in that, and give us another 20 or 30 years, and we’ll be back to where we were: independent and proud,” Shirley said on stage. Dr. Chris Willerton, professor of English and dean of the Honors College, and his wife Sharon Willerton (’64) heard Shirley’s message at the Chapel forum. Willerton said he and his wife learned about the Navajo Nation’s rich history and culture, and they were excited when they found out Shirley was coming to campus. He said he was struck by Shirley’s calm stage presence and message, and it was important for the ACU community to hear speakers like Shirley, who come from cultures that one may never experience in West Texas. George Pendergrass, direc- Go online to listen to Dr. Joe Shirley Jr., president of the Navajo Nation, speak on equality.

tor of the Office of Multicultural Enrichment, was pleased with the message Shirley delivered and said it was an opportunity to experience another culture. Will Reid, sophomore art major from Abilene, said he knew little about the Navajo people before hearing Shirley speak. After the speech, he thanked Shirley for sharing his message and was pleased to have spoken with a man from another culture. “I think this is extremely beneficial,” Reid said of speakers from different cultures coming to campus. “I feel like a lot of times people get locked up in their own culture.”

E-mail Johnson-Kim at:

These Web sites allow a person to e-file by submitting the form directly online. It also provides the option of depositing the refund into a bank account instead of sending a check in the mail. Fowler said refunds are received in seven to 10 days using efiling, instead of the four to six weeks it would take if the forms are mailed. Some students already have successfully submitted the appropriate paperwork. Jon Pratt, sophomore finance and accounting major from Kerrville, said this was his second year to file his taxes alone. His parents taught him; now he uses the free online program TurboTax to get the job done. He said because he had all of his information together, he was able to complete the paperwork in about 25 minutes. “I had all of my information together, so it was more

time efficient because I didn’t have to get out of my chair and look for something and go back,” he said. Not all students complete the process alone. Some students let their parents or professionals take care of it. Zen Morgan, junior exercise science major from Keller, said he has done his taxes in the past, but this year his father completed them. He said he preferred to turn in forms right away because he liked getting refunded fast. He also said the process was quick, especially for the college-aged population. Fowler said it was possible for students to hire someone to file their taxes or have their parents help, but he suggested students do it themselves. “For most people, especially students, it isn’t that complicated,” he said. E-mail Bailey at:

Page 4


April 9, 2009

ACU Orchestra provides students opportunity to perform By Linda Bailey Student Reporter

Orchestra concert student soloists Adrienne Linge and Andrew Graham were chosen last semester to perform a concerto, a solo accompanied by an orchestra, Tuesday evening. Dr. Steven Ward, director of bands and conductor of ACU Orchestra, said the concerto soloists were selected after they auditioned for the parts in November. The contest happens every other year, and it is open to all ACU students. This year, 16 students auditioned for vocal and instrumental solos. “They perform a piece, memorized, and then the winners get to perform their piece with the orchestra,” Ward said. Ward said the concerto

provides valuable experience for students. “It is a great opportunity for our music students to perform and prepare a piece of music at a very high level,” Ward said. Linge, senior vocal music education major from San Antonio, was chosen to sing an opera-aria, a large solo from a opera. She said it was not her first time to perform the piece, but this time was different. “I’ve already sung this song for my senior recital but I’ve never performed it with a full orchestra,” Linge said. She said the piece is a dramatic song from an opera about a young woman in love with a man who is going to die. In the song, the woman prays to God asking why he is punishing her. Graham, senior music edu-

cation major from San Angelo, performed The Arutunian Trumpet Concerto. He said he has played the trumpet for 12 years, and winning the contest was an honor. “There is no scholarship or award to it; it’s just a big honor to play with the orchestra,” Graham said. The concert was comprised of 40 students and some ACU faculty. This was their only concert of the semester, but Ward said the orchestra is a special group on campus. “The ACU Orchestra is in its second year, and I’m very proud of the students and how hard they have worked,” Ward said. “I’m also very proud of the fact that we sit side-by-side, students and faculty.”

E-mail Bailey at:

Heather Leiphart :: staff photographer Adrienne Linge, senior vocal music education major from San Antonio, performs an aria as part of Monday’s ACU Orchestra concert.

Downtown ArtWalk to celebrate Earth Day, diversity By Heather Leiphart Student Reporter

Downtown Abilene comes alive with art, music and crafts the second Thursday of each month, but this Thursday “Earth Day” ArtWalk will feature ACU social justice organizations and artwork with an international theme. The event begins at 5 p.m. and will wrap up at 8:30 p.m. “Our purpose is to increase awareness of the many different cultures represented in Abilene, but at the same time, it also involves social

justice clubs,” said Joni Lee, senior nutrition major from Malaysia. “We want to show the culture but also the social conditions and how to make a difference, so integrating both of those with the ArtWalk is making it a more meaningful event.” ACU organizations involved include Eternal Threads, Sanctuary Homes, Wishing Well, International Justice Mission, TOMS shoes, ACU for Fair Trade, ACU Model UN, ACU for the IRC, 25cloth and Handbags for Hope. “For someone like me without international ties, it’s

pretty cool to see all of these groups and realize we can be internationally minded and look to help the world from where we’re sitting as Americans,” said Wishing Well codirector Ben Fulfer, junior sociology major from Cordova, Tenn. “That’s what we want to show the community, and that’s why it’s cool to have those groups at an international ArtWalk.” Lee encourages those attending to participate in the international theme by wearing their traditional clothing or dressing multiculturally.

Attendees can enjoy chair massages, Henna tattoos, custom calligraphy, wood whittling demonstrations, a belly-dancing performance and a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Soy candles, art prints, hand-sketched portraits, handmade jewelry and various ACU social justice club paraphernalia will be sold along the sidewalks. Restaurants along Pine and Cypress streets boast dinner specials, art and music inside their doors, while local businesses and museums offer extended hours and free or discounted admission to multiple

internationally themed galleries. The ACU Cockerell Art Gallery will present the Student Senior Cameo Art Show from ACU’s Department of Art and Design during the Earth Day ArtWalk as well. In addition to the art, more than a dozen ACU music groups will perform in Minter and Everman parks as part of the annual Jam for Justice. Musicians include Robby Brown/Andrew Duge, Dear Winter, Sweet Fall, Jeremy Robinson, Jennifer Fuentes, Thus Far, Luke Powell, Stephen Powell, Bradley Steele, Casen MacInturf, ACU Jazz

Combo, ACU Trombone Ensemble, Ian Smith, Swing the Lead and Fair Forms. “For a normal ArtWalk, there are usually 600 to 800 people coming and going in nice weather, so hopefully we’ll get an even bigger crowd this time,” Fulfer said. “We’re trying to convince people to stay in town to hear good concerts and see some really cool stuff. The music will be 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., but we might be jamming until 9 p.m.”

E-mail Leiphart at:

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Page 5


Page 6

April 9, 2009

Student body must hold newly elected SA officers accountable


he Students’ Association elections are over, the results are in and candidates finally can put away their megaphones, Snuggie YouTube videos and “bridge the gap” buttons. But while winning candidates can take a break from campaigning, their work is far from complete. Congratulations to you: President Charles Gaines, Vice President Tony Godfrey and Treasurer Luke Cochran. You, the new executive officers of SA Congress, have been elected by us, the student body; now work hard to make this opportunity count. You are our voices, our leaders, our representatives to the administration. Do not let campaign promises become empty talk. Fulfill your obligations to us, and we will support you. With more than 4,000 students behind you, your bills and reso-

lutions will not pass as a mere whisper to the administration, they will be a cohesive shout. President-elect Charles Gaines, you promised to work with the administration to have better meal plan options and longer library hours. You said you want to increase awareness about other religions through forums and discussions and find every scholarship opportunity you can and post them on a weekly basis. You also stressed accountability to students, the Optimist and other members of Congress and promised to never close an SA Congress meeting. To rebuild relationships, you said you will create monthly updates in the Optimist and an eat-lunch-withthe-president program. But most importantly, you said your vision is to develop a Christ-centered organization that leads by example.

If you ignore your promises and commitments, you are ignoring the mandate we gave you. We, the student body, will hold you accountable. We voted for you based on your promises, platforms and character, so stay true to these attributes. Do not fail us. Vice President-elect Tony Godfrey, you said your No. 1 goal would be to create a longlasting and close relationship built upon care, community and mutual respect between Congress and the student body. You promised to listen and meet our needs. You also highlighted student concerns you would address next year, including creating monthly forums, discovering the whereabouts of our unused meal plans, working to have no differentiation between Bean Bucks and Campus Cash, bringing meal plans back to Java City and opening dialogue

between students and the administration about the rising cost of tuition. We, the student body, will hold you accountable. Do not fail us. Treasurer-elect Luke Cochran, you said you would work to build lasting relationships with student groups and the administration. You promised to proactively use the SA budget to ensure every student receives benefits, and you said you would create an environment where students feel comfortable providing suggestions for that budget. You said you would limit the spending on office supplies so more funds can go to student groups and you would work with those student groups to seek alternative means of support like fundraising. You promised to empower student groups and enable them to grow as Congress moves for-


rebel army immediately begin viciously killing those who do not belong to their group. Men, women, children, even the elderly — anyone who does not come from the same place as the rebels now deserves to die. Moments after hearing the news about the president, you hear gunshots, and the sounds of trucks carrying blood-hungry rebels fill the streets. Your neighbor goes outside to confront the soldiers. You hide behind your front door. The soldier decapitates the guy you usually shoot dirty looks because he does not clean up after his dog. People abandon their homes to flee the violence. Victims take refuge in churches, hoping their holy ground will offer shelter. The churches soon become the scenes of horrible massacres. The refugees turn to the international community and our country’s allies for help. They ignore our pleas and categorize the violence as a Civil War. They do not want to fix

Editorial and letter policy Unsigned editorials are the opinions of the Optimist and may not necessarily reflect the views of the university or its administration. Signed columns, cartoons and letters are the opinions of their creators and may not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Optimist or the university. The Optimist encourages reader response through letters to the editor but reserves the right to limit frequent contributors or to refuse to print letters containing personal attacks, obscenity, defamation, erroneous

information or invasion of privacy. Please limit letters to 350 words or fewer. A name and phone number must be included for verification purposes. Phone numbers will not be published. Address letters to: ACU Box 27892 Abilene, TX 79699 E-mail letters to:

the problems of another nation’s infighting. Journalists, doctors and educators who sympathize with the rebels give up contact information of the rebel army’s targets. They broadcast on radio stations where to find those who are not members of the tribe. Neighbors are forced to kill each other. People murder their own family. If they do not comply, they face death themselves. The skeletons of innocent Americans begin to pile up. In less than 100 days, more than 10 percent of this country’s population is exterminated. Sound ridiculous? Tell that to the people of Rwanda. The series of horrific events just described is a simplified story of the Rwandan genocide in the mid-1990s. The killing began with tribal Hutu militia members shot down a plane carrying thenPresident Juvenal Habyarimana on April 6, 1994. The Hutu-

led army immediately began murdering the Tutsi, the minority of the two main ethnic groups, and in less than 100 days, more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by their countrymen. Monday marked the 15th anniversary of a tragedy one ACU student athlete, Serge Gasore, will never forget. In this newspaper, a feature story written by former editor Jared Fields (08) profiled the Rwandan native’s tale of the murder he witnessed during the Rwandan genocide. The story placed nationally in a Society of Professional Journalists writing competition, but Gasore’s story is not what was so amazing. It was his worldview. “Everything beside genocide is easy,” Gasore’s was quoted as saying in the story. Life’s little annoyances don’t bother Gasore. If his life is not in danger, then he has everything to be thankful for. Americans can learn much from men like Gasore. Rather than submit to our impulse to scream an exaggeration and declare how horrible our lives are, let’s stop and remember. “Everything beside genocide is easy.”

E-mail Johnson-Kim at:

Optimist the

Published by the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication

Newsroom: (325) 674-2439

Sports desk: (325) 674-2499

Our view:

Newly elected officers must strive to uphold campaign promises.

The solution:

The Optimist pledges to join with the student body in holding the newly elected SA officers accountable in the upcoming year. ward with its goals. We, the student body, will hold you accountable. Do not fail us. And we, the Optimist, will hold you accountable. As the media, we play a vital role by covering Congress meetings. We keep you responsible to the student body by reporting your actions and use of funds. Do not close your meetings to the public. Do not hide yourselves from us. Each of you has spoken of transparency, honesty and openness. Fulfill these commitments. Do

The laws of science contend a perpetual motion machine cannot possibly exist because it would eventually lose energy and break down. Apparently, science has never been to Chapel. Every year, ACU’s Chapel program trudges on, The Power of offering stuthe Prattle dents the same routine By Michael songs to sing, Freeman speakers who could put an insomniac to sleep in seconds and the constant anxiety of trying to earn all 55 required credits. Many students respond by disrespectfully chatting with their friends, playing games on their cell phones or laptops and “sliding-and-gliding,” the act of skipping Chapel after sliding their ID cards to receive credit for attending. It’s a never-ending cycle that needs to stop. Administrators have tried tirelessly to revamp the program to better appeal to students, but one option they have not attempted is to make Chapel voluntary. Dropping the daily attendence requirement would open multiple doors for the entire ACU community. Students who genuinely want to worship would be able to do so without the distractions from noisy students, who could benefit by having more time to grab lunch before a noon class, finish their homework or hang out with friends. Administrators would have the chance to take new and more intimate routes for enhancing the students’ spirituality. Without the constraints of needing to award students with credits, Chapel services could be scheduled to be longer than the usual 30-minute format, which would allow more active participation. Last week, during a Chapel service in Cullen Auditorium, a clip from Milk, a movie about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, was played in front of a few hundred students. The speakers allowed students to respond to the clip afterwards, but most of the remarks sounded like they came straight from the Westboro Baptist Church’s handbook. It’s fine to think Christians should

Americans undervalue domestic stability We don’t think twice about exaggerating our suffering over the little things because we live in an environment where the big things — sustenance, shelter and safety — are taken care of.

Voters elected a new team of leaders to head the SA Congress.

not let the 2009-10 SA Congress be defined as a lame duck student government that conducts itself in secrecy. We need representatives with character, passion and drive. We need an Executive Cabinet that will earn respect from the administration and its constituents. We need committed, Christ-like leaders who will strive to improve this campus for all students. Be these leaders, be our voice. Do not fail us. E-mail the Optimist at:

Voluntary attendance would enhance Chapel

By Alex York

Most Americans often speak in exaggerations. If we have not eaten all day, we are “starving.” If we fail a test, lose our keys or get fired, we have the “worst day ever.” If we get dumped by our significant others, “our lives In Case You are over.” Wondered It is not our fault. By Daniel Thanks to Johnson-Kim the wealth of our nation, the strength of our legal system and the modern technology we take for granted, the majority of people in this country enjoy lives of comfort, protection and lethargy. We don’t think twice about exaggerating our suffering over the little things because we live in an environment where the big things — sustenance, shelter and safety — are taken care of. But imagine if this truth disappeared. Imagine several news sources report President Barack Obama is assassinated when a rebel army shot down Air Force One and began viciously attacking all people who were not part of their political tribe. With the current leader out of the way, followers of the

The issue:

not follow or even listen to homosexuals who hold public office, but other students should at least have the opportunity to debate such an opinion if they so choose. The current 30-minute format does not accomodate ample opportunities to respond to others’ comments and create a dialogue that would introduce other viewpoints and encourage further exploration of Scripture. Other schools in Abilene offer chances for spiritual growth while avoiding the feeling that Chapel is a chore. Hardin-Simmons University requires its students to earn Chapel credits, but instead of meeting every day, students meet once a week and only have to accrue 80 credits at the end of four years rather than gain 55 in one semester. McMurry University offers voluntary Chapel once a week. Mark Waters, assistant professor of servant leadership and director of the Servant Leadership Center at McMurry, said about 200 students regularly attend, and although that represents less than 10 percent of the student body, the quality of worship is excellent. And in my humble opinion, the quality of time with God is better than the quantity of people in the pews. To its defense, Chapel provides students with the opportunity to commune and worship God. So, the frequency of Chapel should not be reduced, but the format should be changed to better serve the student body. If I were in charge of Chapel, the schedule would look a little something like this: n Monday: Chapel in Moody Coliseum, but the program would promote student announcements and events. n Tuesday: Small group Chapel services. n Wednesday: No Chapel today. You’re going to church tonight anyway. n Thursday: Chapel will consist of small group lunches and dinners to build community over a nice meal. n Friday: Praise Day Chapel. What better way to end the week by singing Highways and By-ways? However, I will never have the chance to implement such a plan after I am convicted of heresy for writing this article and subsequently suspended from school. E-mail Freeman at:

Editorial and Management Board Cody Veteto

Kenneth Pybus

Laura Acuff

Grant Abston

Editor in Chief

Opinion Page Editor

Sports Editor

Chief Videographer


Michael Freeman

DeLaina Parker

Cade White

Daniel Johnson-Kim

Zak Zeinert

Lydia Melby

Managing Editor

Chief Photographer

Arts Editor

Sommerly Simser

Colter Hettich

Kelline Linton

Mult. Managing Editor

Photo department: (325) 674-2499

Features Editor

Advertising office: (325) 674-2463

Chief Copy Editor

Multimedia desk: (325) 674-2463

Broadcast Manager


Molly Byrd

Christi Stark

Page 2 Editor

Subscriptions ($40/academic year): (325) 674-2296

Advertising Manager


April 9, 2009


Seven-year-old Hunter Barnes and Dean Smith, freshman agribusiness major from Midland, watch the festivities.

Students prepare for “goat milking.� In the female-only event, contestants race to remove a sticker from the goat’s underside.

Rough Riders The ACU Rodeo gave students a chance to pull up their boots and stir up the dust.

Grant Abston, senior journalism major from Rockwall, and Sterling Hilliard, junior marketing major from Midland, struggle to bring down a steer.

Photos by: Dick Schissler, staff photographer

Jeff Muszynski, senior marketing major from Gilbert, Ariz., talks with Bryce Williams, freshman exercise science major from Midland; Justin Smith, junior marketing major from Austin; and Devin Calhoun, senior composite interdisciplinary major from Mansfield.

Kimberly Svien, senior exercise science major from Stephenville, leans over the rail and pets the horse of Jon Campbell, junior agribusiness major from Gunnison, Colo.

Meggan Hill, junior integrated marketing and communication major from Sugar Land, ropes a goat around the neck before flipping it and tying its feet.

Preston Hamilton, sophomore marketing major from Decatur, wrestles a steer to the ground.

Jon Campbell, junior agribusiness major from Gunnison, Colo., carries the American flag during the national anthem.

Page 7


Page 8

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Elections: Voter turnout continues decline for SA elections Continued from page 1 received 400 votes “When I was talking to some people and just encouraging them to vote, I was like, ‘Guys, it could come down to like 10 people,’ not realizing how close that statement really was,” Gaines said. “I knew it was going to be super close. There was no doubt about that. Daniel had some really great ideas.” Tony Godfrey, junior English major from Burleson, won the vice presidential position, beating Scott Adrian, sophomore political science major

from Glendale, Calif. Godfrey collected 475 votes, and Adrian received 325. “The first thing I want to say is ‘thank you’ to the student body for voting for me,” Godfrey said. “The biggest thing they can expect from me is a huge paradigm shift from SA. No longer are we going to be saying, ‘Come down to our office and talk to us.’ We’re going to be getting out and talking to them.” Luke Cochran, junior finance major from Round Rock, was elected to SA treasurer position for the 2009-10 school year. He ran unopposed

and received 790 votes. “I’m excited about the future of the Students’ Association,” Cochran said. “I’m also very excited about the vision Charles has for the Students’ Association and about some of the specific goals that Tony has and just tangible things he wants to do to increase the transparency in communication with the student body.” After polls closed at 5 p.m. Wednesday, SA President Sarah Pulis, elections co-chair Blake Penfield and several other elections committee members counted the votes twice with a Scan-

tron machine. “I expected the presidential race to be close,” Pulis said. “Both candidates performed well in the debates; they both had very good Chapel speeches. I was in suspense until the very last minute.” The participation in SA elections has been low for the past two years; 874 votes were cast last year, compared to 1,307 in 2007 and 1,310 in 2006. “I think we expected a few more people, but it was still a good turnout,” Pulis said. Pulis called each candidate after the votes were tallied to

let them know the results. “We ran a good campaign and we had some fun along the way,” Burgner said. “A lot of people showed a lot of support. We did the best that we could do, and the students chose.” Both Burgner and Adrian said they look forward to next year’s Congress and plan to participate in it. “I’m now focusing on running for junior senator and then possibly run next year for an executive office,” Adrian said. “I would like to thank everyone who helped with the campaign and wish good luck to next

year’s executive officers.” The winners of the elections now will focus on selecting their administrative officers. Applications will be available in the SA Congress office Thursday. “It starts now,” Gaines said. “This isn’t a time for us to be separate. We all go to ACU and we need to move together as students in the direction we want to move in.” Michael Freeman, Tanner Anderson, Colter Hettich and Sondra Rodriguez contributed to this report. E-mail the staff at:

Course: Disc golf champions to design field Rodeo: Steer injures student Continued from page 1 a pat on the back or a word of encouragement.” The course will include nine holes with room to expand, as well as the longest hole at least 650 feet long. It will be open to both the ACU community and the Abilene community. ACU will become one of seven universities in Texas that includes a disc golf course. Jay and Des Reading, world champion disc golf professionals, will be arriving on campus Monday to de-

sign and plan the course. The Reading’s, while playing disc golf in the professional PDGA league, also help run a nonprofit organization called Education Disc Golf Experience (EDGE) that provides “educators and youth organization leaders the tools for teaching a fun, easy-to-learn lifetime sport to young people,” according to its Web site. “Our goal is to create a course geared to the college student that is both very beginner and recreation friendly and has some par four and fives

that will challenge the more advanced players,” Jay said. The Reading’s also will be back on campus for the grand opening April 28 to teach a beginners clinic, sign discs and participate in the official ribbon cutting. “It’s going to be a nice thing for ACU as far as campus recruitment,” Jay said. “Disc golf has been around for quite a long time, but we are just getting to the point of main stream exposure where a lot more folks have heard of the game.”

More than 30 local businesses, as well as individual donors, sponsored the course. Shake said she was overwhelmed by the generosity of the community. “Things have been amazing how they have fallen into place,” Shake said. “I am excited about the quality of the course and how great it’s going to be.”

E-mail Gager at:

Kiosk: Thompson apologizes for lack of options Continued from page 1 Yorba Linda, Calif., and SA Congress presidential candidate, used such venues for his campaign. “It’s really restricted – nowhere outdoors or any doors that open to the outside,” Burgner said. “But we’ve been doing lots of online advertising, Facebook, YouTube and myACU ads.”

Thompson offered his apologies for the delay and said he understood student organizations’ frustrations. “The university has had to be careful with its construction projects to make sure we’re financially OK,” Thompson said. “But this is a project we’re committed to, and it’s going to come; there’s no doubt about it.” The kiosk will be a large

structure of concrete and brick. “There have been problems securing materials,” said Mauri Westbrook, coordinator of student activities and organizations. “But it’s definitely still on.” In addition to the ad kiosk, the university plans to advertise on the multiple flat screens in the “World Famous Bean.” Until these venues can

be utilized, Thompson said the university is doing all it can to get the ad kiosk project up and running as soon as possible. “Take my word for it: when students see the scope, size and ascetic, they’ll appreciate it,” he said. “It’s user friendly but nice, and that takes time to design.”

during cow mugging event Continued from page 1

and department. We also want to give students an opportunity to do something they usually don’t get to do.” The crammed stands exploded with applause, laughter and gasps, while students participated in events like goat dressing, goat milking and steer branding (which involved a non-heated brand). Jonathan Garner, sophomore management major from Plano, sustained an injury in the cow mugging competition as he tried to force a steer down to the ground with another partner. After the event was over, Garner walked away from the steer with a nose injury and a missing fingernail, and the staff directed him to the EMT employee who was present throughout the evening. “They took me to the hospital, and the bull fractured my nasal passage,” Garner said. “Other than that it wasn’t that big of a deal; I was only [at the

hospital] for a couple of hours and I was released at 11 p.m.” Garner said although he does not compete in these events often he has had previous experience and was not surprised by his injuries. “I would like to commend the rodeo staff and the EMT for being prepared and ready,” he said. The Queen award was presented to Kate Norris, senior exercise science major from Kilgore, and the Ruffie award to Ben Reeves, senior marketing major from Abilene. After the competition, students who were once rodeo rookies were looking forward for another opportunity to saddle up and compete in next year’s rodeo. “It’s definitely worth the rope burn,” Allen said. “I’m for sure doing it next year.”

E-mail Anderson at:

E-mail Rodriguez at:

SpringBoard: $40K to be awarded Continued from page 1 As last year’s student winner, Ryan Stephens, senior finance major from Houston, won $7,500. Now, Stephens serves as the ‘student face’ of this year’s competition, helping to plan the annual event. “The idea is: let’s get a bunch of people to really think, look at some ways we can create businesses here in Abilene or on a global scale, however you want to do it,” Stephens said. While in the past only ACU students and faculty have been eligible to participate, this year’s competition welcomes Abilene community members as well. However, only the first 150 entrants will be allowed to compete, Stephens said. “This year, we opened it up to the community because we really want Abilene to be thinking entrepreneurially,” Stephens said. “We want people to be innovating, creating businesses here in Abilene.” According to the SpringBoard Web site,, the competition “fosters business

growth at university and community levels by giving participants a chance to organize, direct and present a business idea to a panel of judges.” Yet Stephens encouraged even non-business majors and owners to participate, emphasizing a lack of business expertise could be overcome because of the competition’s structure. “We set up the business plan judging so that it’s more the idea that matters, the idea and the fact that you understand how to monetize on that idea,” Stephens said. “It’s definitely not just for business majors. Everyone comes in on an equal playing field.” Following registration, the competition has sponsored ‘Boot Camps’ each Monday from 5-6 p.m. in the AT&T Theater in the Hunter Welcome Center to assist those unsure of how to proceed in the competition. One such questionand-answer session will take place Monday. Registration costs $10 and may be completed online at the SpringBoard Web site, where entrants can find specific guide-

lines and instructions. Contest winners will be announced at the Finalists Presentations and Awards Dinner, where Camden partner Christopher Kersey will speak on the subject of “What they don’t teach you at Harvard about entrepreneurship.” Individuals not registered in the competition must pay a $15 entrance fee to the dinner, but Stephens said he believes hearing the speaker’s message will be worth the expense. Kersey was the first person admitted into the Harvard business, law and medical programs at the same time, and so should have valuable insight for audiences, Stephens said. In addition to an experienced keynote speaker, Porter said the competition brings welcome creativity to the ACU campus. “It’s very exciting to see how many students get involved in this sort of thing,” Porter said. “We have a lot of very innovative and imaginative students here at ACU.” E-mail Acuff at:


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Page 9

Football: Skill position battles highlight spring practices after key losses Continued from page 10 strides, and I thought Clark Harrell had a really good spring.” With the departure of quarterback Billy Malone, the LSC all-time leader in passing yards, redshirt freshman Zach Stewart, sophomore Clark Harrell and redshirt freshman Mitchell Gale will all be competing for the starting position. Stewart will likely enter two-a-days as the starter after leading ACU to two wins last season when Malone was out with a broken thumb. In his two starts, Stewart threw for 547 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. However, Stewart was kept out of spring drills

following off-season shoulder surgery on his throwing shoulder and is expected to be back for two-a-days. With Stewart out, Harrell and Gale led ACU’s offense throughout the spring, each quarterbacking the offense in the spring scrimmage and getting a chance to prove themselves. Harrell completed 7 of 15 passes with one interception, while Gale finished 10 of 22 for 124 yards and two touchdowns. “It will be good competition in training camp in that spot,” Thomsen said. “Those two guys, Zach and Clark, have both worked really hard, and Mitchell has worked really hard. The competition at that position is really strong going into camp.”

Harlon Hill winner Bernard Scott and wide receiver Johnny Knox left ACU as two of the top skill position players in ACU history, leaving the door wide open for competition at those positions. Patrick Washington is the only returning running back on the roster and will be joined by a number of transfers competing for the starting position. Kyle Fox, a transfer from Angelo State who was LSC South first-team offense and Freshman of the Year in 2005, participated in spring drills after sitting out the last three seasons. Reggie Brown from Blinn College led the Southwest Junior College Conference in rushing in 2008, averaging more than 7.5 yards

per carry; he also will be in the mix for the starting position. At wide receiver, Edmund Gates, a LSC South first-team selection in 2008, will lead an inexperienced group of receivers. J.T. Aspra and Colby Freytag caught touchdown passes during the final spring scrimmage and will be joined by a number of returning receivers, including Chance McCoy, Doug Pierce and R.J. Long. One of the strong points throughout the spring was the offensive line that returns three starters. Tackle Tony Washington, the reigning LSC Offensive Lineman of the Year and all-LSC South Division first team, will be joined by all-LSC South Division second team selections Trevis

Turner and Royland Tubbs. Matt Webber will look to take over at center, while Levi Wolfe has emerged as the front runner at the right guard position. “Guys have kind of emerged at those positions, and we still need to continue to get better,” Thomsen said. “[The offensive line] is the most experienced group on offense.” Defensively, the Wildcats return a core group of veteran players that includes eight starters. Linebackers Fred Thompson and Bryson Lewis, cornerbacks Drew Cuffee and Alex Harbison and defensive lineman Nick Jones and Aston Whiteside will look to improve a defense that ranked No. 2 in scoring defense in

the LSC last season. ACU’s roster will be bolstered by 22 high school signees and a group of transfer players for next season, and Thomsen said they still are looking to add three or four transfers. With 14 total starters returning (eight defense, six offense), the Wildcats will rely on different players to step up entering twoa-day workouts. “I’m most excited that we have a good core of returning players with experience and we are adding some good players into that mix,” Thomsen said. “I think the LSC is wide open, and a lot of teams could win it, so it will be very competitive.” E-mail Abston at:

Baseball: Schmitt sets home run, RBI marks Track: Brivule sets Continued from page 10 said. “And with the way Rutherford was throwing this weekend, we just need to get him the lead. He was the difference maker for us this weekend.” The Wildcats scored three runs in the tenth inning to break a 5-5 tie and give Rutherford his sixth win of the season Friday. ACU took the lead in the 10th after Schmitt scored on an error, and Latz extended the lead with a two-run double on the next at-bat. Rutherford pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on one hit to earn the win, while Page led the team with three hits and Latz had a game-high 3 RBI. In game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, ACU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning after a two-run home run from Schmitt, making him

ACU’s all-time leader in home runs with 28. The Rams scored three in the second before ACU answered with one run in the third to tie the game at three; however, the Rams’ offense exploded for 20 runs over the next three innings to win 23-6. Despite ACU outhitting the Rams 14-12, Angelo State took advantage of five Wildcat errors to score 11 unearned runs to hand the Wildcats their worst loss of the season. The Wildcats bounced back in the second half of Saturday’s doubleheader behind strong pitching performances from starter Cameron Aspaas and Rutherford. After both teams scored one run in the second and two in the fourth, third baseman Cameron Watten doubled home Latz to break the tie in the sixth; two batters later, Bumpass singled home Watten

to give ACU 5-3 lead. Rutherford, who was named LSC Pitcher of the Week, entered in the bottom of the sixth and shut out the Rams in the final two innings, allowing no runs on no hits, while striking out four to earn his seventh save of the season. Aspaas improved to 6-1 after going five innings, allowing three runs on six hits, while Latz went 3-4 and Watten went 2-3 to lead ACU’s offense. “We got a good pitching performance from Aspaas and put pressure on them,” Bonneau said. “I thought winning the night game was the key game of the weekend.” Over the weekend Schmitt became the LSC and ACU allteam leader in RBI after a tworun single in game one. The two RBI gave him 192, breaking

the record of 191 set by former ACU player Ryan Barker. Schmitt also became ACU’s alltime leader in home runs after hitting career No. 28 in game two of the series. ACU returns home this weekend for a four-game series with Northeastern State. The RiverHawks are 16-24-1 overall and 11-20-1 and in 10th place in the LSC. The series will begin with a doubleheader Friday at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and will conclude Saturday with a doubleheader at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. “Obviously we want to sweep this weekend but we want to carry the momentum from last series and treat the Northeastern series like Angelo and not let up and let them take a game or two from us,” Schmitt said.

faced No. 23 North Alabama. ACU dropped two of the three doubles matches, going down for the third time in two days heading into singles play. But once the men reached singles, it was their show. ACU swept North Alabama 6-0 in singles play, allowing just two matches to make it to a third set. The men will get the weekend off before they play crucial conference and regional matches next weekend. The women began their tough weekend in El Paso against the hosting Miners, who came into the match 13-6 on the season. UTEP had its way with the Wildcats, taking a 6-1 victory. The Miners jumped out to a 1-0 lead, taking two of the three doubles matches, winning at the No. 1 and No. 2 matchups. Sarah Drummond and Lauren White managed to take down UTEP’s Carolina DeLuca and Vicky Michaud 8-5, but the doubles point already was lost. In singles play, the Wildcats faired no better, losing five of six matches to the Min-

ers. In four of the five losses, ACU lost in straight sets. Irene Squillaci took the first set in the No. 1 singles match 6-3, but lost the next two sets 3-6 and 0-6. The only win for the Wildcats in singles play came at the No. 2 spot, when Sarah Drummond defeated Martina Trieweiler in the first set 7-6, winning the tie-breaker point 8-6. Drummond won the match when Trieweiler retired after the first set, deciding not to aggravate a lingering injury. “Anytime you play a Division I team, it is a tough match, but that’s what makes you better,” Jones said. The Wildcats had a chance to come home from the trip with at least one win as they faced the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which came into the match at 5-7. ACU dominated UAB, taking a 6-1 victory in its second match of the weekend. UAB came out of the gate strong, taking two of the three doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead in the overall match.

The women turned it around in singles play, winning five of the six matches and taking the final match by virtue of a default. Four of the five played matches were won in straight sets. The No. 1 singles match was the only match that made it to three sets. Squillaci lost the first set in the match 6-7 but took the next two sets with ease, winning 6-1 in the second set and 10-2 in the final tiebreaker set. The one win and one loss moved the Wildcats to 20-3 on the season. The loss to UTEP ended an 11-game winning streak by the Wildcats and was the first time the women had lost since March 2, when they took a 0-7 trouncing at the hands of another Division I opponent, the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The women play Friday against another Division I opponent, North Texas University, at 4 p.m. in Denton. North Texas is currently 14-5 on the season.

NCAA mark in javelin Continued from page 10 NCAA Division II history of 184-6. “It was the best conditions she has thrown under, and it was her first opportunity with good competition, and conditions combined to make something happen,” Hood said. “She is also in much better shape than she was at this time last year. She has worked really hard to get to where she is with her strength levels and fitness levels, and her mindset is strong.” Also victorious at the Texas Relays were Nick Jones in

the men’s shot put universitycollege section B and Stephen Toler in the university-college pole vault section B. Hood also was pleased with the performances of Desmond Jackson, who finished second in the 100-meter, and Andrew McDowell who finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles. Three multi-athletes competed in the David Noble Angelo State Multis on Tuesday and Wednesday. Hood said the team would split Thursday, as some will travel to San Angelo and others to Lubbock for the Texas Tech Invitational. E-mail Tripp at:

E-mail Abston at:

Softball: Tarleton State Tennis: Women travel to Denton on Friday next up for Wildcats Continued from page 10 the No. 6 singles match, where freshman John Strahl took down Valdosta State’s Michael Kuech in three sets 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. ACU eventually lost the match 7-2. In the Wildcats’ second match of the day, another top 10 opponent lurked in West Florida. The Wildcats fell behind early for the second time, losing all three of the doubles matches, putting the men down 3-0. ACU again competed well in singles play, taking three of the four losses to three sets, but could not pull off the comeback. Luke Hawk scored a win for the Wildcats at the No. 3 match in straight sets, beating out Patrick Bateman 6-4, 6-1. ACU did manage to score another point at the No. 5 singles, but it was not near enough as the Wildcats dropped the match 7-2. In their final match of the weekend, the Wildcats looked to walk away from the tournament with at least one win when they

E-mail Tripp at:

Continued from page 10 as the Rambelles scored five runs in the second inning. After the Wildcats made a comeback cutting the score to 7-5, ASU added four more runs and gave Partin her first loss in LSC play. In the second game, the Wildcats started off strong, scoring three runs in the top of the first. ASU quickly answered with a three-run home run by Macy Baker, tying the game in the bottom of the first. ASU would add two runs in the second and one run in the third to go ahead 6-3. The Wildcats would rally back, scoring three runs in the fourth inning. Both teams were kept scoreless through the seventh, forcing extra innings. In the eighth, ASU got a leadoff double from first baseman Sandy James, who eventually scored the winning run after second baseman Alix Dean singled her home. Dean was the leader for the Rambelles on Saturday with eight RBIs on the day, five in

the first game and three in the second game. The series allowed Angelo State to improve its record to 33-5, while the Wildcats fell to 31-11. “I learned that I respect our team even more after this weekend,” Willson said. “This is one of the most competitive teams I have ever coached, and I feel that we proved we can beat anyone and compete with any team we face.” The Wildcats will look to rebound this weekend against Tarleton State. They will have a three-game series in Abilene, beginning with a doubleheader Friday at 5 p.m. followed by a second game at 7 p.m. They will conclude the series at noon Saturday. It will be a pivotal series for both teams as the Wildcats are tied for first at 9-3, and Tarleton State is third in conference at 7-5. The team is now ranked No. 15 in the nation and No. 3 in the region. E-mail Cantrell at:


Page 10


Vandendriessche, Brivule set records at Texas Relays


By Chandler Harris

Div. 24-8 23-9 20-12 20-12 15-16-1 ENMU 15-17 Central Okla. 15-17 SE Okla. 14-18 TAMU-K 13-19 NE State 11-20-1 WTAMU 11-21 East Central 10-22 ACU Cameron SW Okla. Angelo St. Tarleton St.

Overall 31-11 32-10 26-14 27-15 18-21-1 20-21 19-22 17-19 17-24 16-24-1 18-24 11-29

Softball Team

Div. 9-3 9-3 7-5 7-8 7-8 TX Woman’s 4-8 ENMU 2-10 Angelo St. ACU Tarleton St. WTAMU TAMU-K

Track & Field

Assistant Sports Editor

Baseball Team

Heather Leiphart :: staff photographer Camille Vandendriessche practices in the pole vault on March 17. Vandendriessche placed first in the decathlon at the Texas Relays.

Overall 33-7 31-11 24-16 28-17 25-17 22-21 19-17

Camille Vandendriessche and Linda Brivule became a part of school history over the weekend at the Texas Relays in Austin. Vandendriessche became the first ACU decathlete to win the Texas Relays decathlon, and Brivule set school and NCAA Division II records with her performance in the javelin throw. “Camille and Linda were the highlights of the meet,” Don Hood, ACU head track and field coach, said. “As we talked about on the way back, for both of them to do what has never

been done at ACU before is pretty cool.” Vandendriessche won the decathlon with 7,531 points, just 28 behind his personal best of 7,559 from last year’s Texas Relays where he finished fifth overall. Vandendriessche trailed after day one but scored 3,719 on day two including 895 points in the pole vault by clearing 16 feet, 2.75 inches. He then extended his lead to 726 points after a throw of 194-3 in the javelin. The event was delayed five hours because of high winds.

Still On Top

Softball Baseball ACU 8, Angelo State 5

Saturday Softball Angelo State 11, ACU 5 Angelo State 7, ACU 6

Baseball Angelo State 23, ACU 6 ACU 5, Angelo State 3

Sunday Baseball ACU 8, Angelo State 6

Upcoming Thursday Track & Field ASU David Noble Relays, 10 a.m. Texas Tech Twilight, 3 p.m.

Baseball ACU vs. Northeastern St., 4 p.m. ACU vs. Northeastern St., 7 p.m.

Softball ACU vs. Tarleton State, 5 p.m. ACU vs. Tarleton State, 7 p.m.

Saturday Softball ACU vs. Tarleton State, noon

Women’s Tennis ACU at Northeastern St., 3 p.m.

Baseball ACU vs. Northeastern St., 2 p.m. ACU vs. Northeastern St., 5 p.m. :: Home games listed in italics

Briefs n Catcher Jordan Schmitt became ACU’s all-time leader in home runs after hitting No. 28 in game one of ACU’s doubleheader against Angelo State on Saturday. Schmitt also broke the LSC and ACU all-time record for career RBI after a two-run single in ACU’s 8-5 win over Angelo State on Friday. The two RBI gave Schmitt 192, breaking former ACU player Ryan Barker’s record of 191. n Pitcher Brad Rutherford was named LSC Pitcher of the Week after picking up two wins and a save in three games against Angelo State. Rutherford held ASU batters to a .095 batting average, allowing no earned runs. n The golf team finished eighth at the Cenral Oklahoma KickingBird Classic. Hilton Funk finished 11th individually to lead the Wildcats with a composite score of 219. Cyril Bouniol finished one stroke back with a 220.

Track page 9

Sports Writer

ACU 7, Angelo State 3

Women’s Tennis


By Ryan Cantrell


ACU at North Texas, 4 p.m.

“The weather was bad on Thursday and it is critical to keep your balance when the wind is blowing 40 mph; he handled it pretty well,” Hood said. This performance automatically qualified Vandendriessche for the NCAA Division II outdoor championships in May. He also provisionally qualified in the pole vault and javelin with his performance. “Basically he can just train from here on out and get ready to compete,” Hood said. Brivule won the javelin throw with an all-time best throw in

ACU takes one of three from Rams



April 9, 2009

Heather Leiphart :: staff photographer Short stop Willie Uechi finishes his swing in ACU’s game against Southeastern Oklahoma on March 21. ACU is 31-11 overall and 24-8 and in first place in the LSC.

Wildcats take three of four to remain atop the LSC By Grant Abston


Sports Editor

Down four runs entering the eighth inning and facing a series split, ACU rallied for six runs in the final three innings in Sunday’s finale against Angelo State to win three of four and remain atop the Lone Star Conference standings. ACU (31-11, 24-8) holds a one-game lead atop the LSC in front of Cameron University, while Angelo State (27-15, 20-12) fell one spot behind Southwestern Oklahoma for fourth place. The Wildcats also jumped one spot in Collegiate Baseball’s Division II Poll to No. 9, while Angelo St. fell eight spots to No. 25.

“It was a huge series for us,” head coach Britt Bonneau said. “Playing on the road versus Angelo State, a team that will be a contender, and winning three of four is huge for us.” After scoring one run in the third and fourth innings and two more in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead, the Rams extended their lead to 6-2 after a sacrifice fly by first baseman Chris Adamson and an RBI double by right fielder Clay Puckett in the bottom of the seventh. However, the Wildcats responded in the top of the eighth after center fielder Thomas Bumpass and second baseman Chris Hall recorded back-to-back RBI

singles to pull ACU within two. Closer Brad Rutherford entered the game in the eighth in relief for pitcher Kevin Justice and shut down the Rams in order to keep the score at 6-4. Right fielder Travis Latz reached on an error to start the ninth before short stop Willie Uechi singled up the middle to put runners on first and second with no outs. After a strikeout by third baseman Cameron Watten, pinch hitter Corey Kelly singled to left field, scoring Latz and cutting the lead to one; first baseman Bret Bochsler tied the game on the next at bat with an RBI groundout to second base before Bumpass grounded out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, Rutherford once again shut down the Rams in order to force extra innings. After a single by Hall to start the 10th, left fielder Davis Page tried to bunt Hall to second but grounded into a fielder’s choice, and Hall was thrown out at second for the first out. But on the next at bat, Schmitt hit his second home run of the series to give ACU an 8-6 lead and Rutherford pitched his third scoreless inning to close out the game in the bottom of the tenth and earn his seventh win of the season. “Schmitt came up with a huge home run and has been clutch for us all year,” Bonneau See

Baseball page 9

The Wildcats went 1-2 against the top-ranked Rambelles of Angelo State last weekend. Taking one of the three keeps the Wildcats tied at the top with Angelo State in conference with a 9-3 conference record. “I felt like we played three good games,” head softball coach Chantiel Wilson said. “We won the first Wilson one, which was great beating the No. 1 team in the nation. The second one we competed in, but we had too many errors and you just cannot do that against good teams. The third one we forced extra innings, just didn’t pull it out.” ACU won the first game Friday evening, defeating ASU 7-3. The victory was the first time ACU defeated a No. 1 ranked team in school history. The Wildcats were trailing 3-1 going into the fifth, before exploding for six runs to give them the lead and enough runs support to pull out the victory 7-3. Jacque Gregoire was great again as she finished the game only giving up six hits and striking out five. She also retired the final 12 batters in order. The Rambelles bounced back, sweeping a doubleheader against the Wildcats on Saturday. They won the first game 11-5 and won the rubber match in the series finale 7-6 in extra innings. The Wildcats hurt themselves in the first game with errors. Partin surrendered seven runs, but only four runs were earned. The Wildcats committed four errors in the bottom of the second See

Softball page 9

Tennis teams compete Spring game brings optimism on road versus top teams By Grant Abston Sports Editor

By Brandon Tripp


Broadcast Assistant

The men and women’s teams were out of town this past weekend, playing road matches against top-flight teams. The men made the long trek to Montgomery, Ala., without their No. 1 player Juan Nuñez to face off against a slew of Division II powerhouses. The Wildcats walked away from the weekend 1-2 after facing the No. 2 Valdosta State, No. 10 West Florida and No. 23 North Alabama . In the first match against Valdosta State, the men fell behind early going down 2-1 after doubles play. The Wildcats

struggled in the No. 1 doubles match, dropping it 8-3; then in the No. 3 doubles match, Eldad Campbell and Quenton Peterson-Paul got shut out 8-0 by the VSU team of Florian Halb and Otto Lenhart. Despite the rough showing in doubles, the men competed well in singles taking four of the five losses to three sets. At the No. 2 singles spot, senior Ryan Hudson struggled to close out on Halb. Hudson had six match points in the second and third sets but could not shut the door on the feisty Halb. ACU did win See

Tennis page 9

The departure of one of the greatest offensive trios in ACU history left ACU with an unfamiliar look entering the spring. But after wrapping up workouts with a scrimmage Saturday, the Wildcats moved one step closer to finding replacements to defend their 2008 Lone Star Conference championship. “The thing that stands out about the spring to me is that I think we made improvement in every phase of what we are doing,” said head coach Chris Thomsen. “The quarterbacks stand out to me. They made some real See

Football page 9

Zak Zeinert :: chief photographer Running back Mitch Odom is tackled during a scrimmage Saturday.

The Optimist - April 9, 2009  

The student newspaper produced by the JMC Network at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Tex.