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POP! Art Show, page 5

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vol. 99, No. 29

1 section, 8 pages


Faculty, staff to attend Monday Chapel earlier this week expressing the expectation that facEditor in Chief ulty and staff will regularly Think twice before show- attend Monday Chapel ing up late for Monday throughout the semester. The e-mail expresses the Chapel, because it could significance of faculty and get crowded. Dr. Schubert sent an staff attendance at Chapel e-mail to faculty and staff and announces a plan to

Linda Bailey

‘‘ ’’

make, “a new commitment It acknowledges busyness to worship in Chapel as while also acknowledging one body at the beginning an important aspect of who of each week.” we are as a university.” Mark Lewis, assistant MARK LEWIS // assistant dean for dean for Spiritual Life and Spiritual Life and Chapel programs Chapel programs, said they encourage faculty and staff but also will reserve 340 tions L and A for faculty on to sit among the students, floor-level seats in sec- Monday only. Also only on

Monday, 360 seats will be set up on the floor, 60 more than normal, and the lower half of sections O and S will be available to help provide more seating for everyone attending Chapel. see CHAPEL page 3


Interest shown for new center Marissa Ferguson Staff Reporter

About 50 faculty members attended an interest meeting to discuss the possible creation of a peace and social justice center on campus Monday. Dr. Caron Gentry, associate professor of political science, submitted the proposal and said feedback for the center was positive. Unlike a club, the center would be a resource for both students and staff and would focus on the university’s research, education and engagement of peace and social justice. Internship opportunities also would become available. “We’re currently still in the early stages,” Gentry said. “It will look at Christians in higher education, and how might we use our lives to investigate peace and social justice.” Gentry said the facility would complement the peace and social justice minor, which became available to students last year. “The minor would possibly be housed in the center, and we’d possibly look at expanding it as a major,” she said. “We’ve been dreaming, and we’ve been dreaming big.” Dr. David Dillman, Jack Pope Fellows program director and professor of political science, said the newly developed minor would serve as an umbrella for the center. Principally, the minor examines how humans

Above: Kaitlin Huelle, a volunteer in training at the Forge Community Kitchen, prepares a simple sandwich for a customer. Right: MaryAnne Monteith, owner of the Forge Community Kitchen, stands in front of the “Remembrance Wall.”


Abilene restaurant owner forgoes profit to provide hope to Abilene residents “Life is not about making money, it’s about something more,” she said. Managing Editor Located on South First Street, MonFor owner MaryAnne Monteith, teith’s restaurant only suggests prices transforming lives is far more im- for its fare, and the prices are kept inportant than turning a profit in the tentionally low. She hires employees who need help getting back on their restaurant industry. Monteith, 63, founded and opened feet, regardless of their background. The Forge, a local community kitchen, last summer. see FORGE page 4

Jeff Craig

photos by DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

see JUSTICE page 4


Online graduate program ranked third in nation Dr. Donnie Snider, chair of the Department of GradStaff Photographer uate Studies in Education, ACU Online’s graduate pro- attributes the success of gram has been ranked third the program to its faithin the nation by Guide to based curriculum. “We try to keep a spirituOnline Schools for the secal tie. Students really enjoy ond year in a row.

Meagan Hernandez

lieves a faith-based perspective is important. “I think we work really hard to have interactive courses. Also, we have a great faculty that makes it much more than an online course,” Williams said. “[The


inside sports The 2011 football schedule was released, notifying fans the Wildcats would be playing at Cowboys Stadium. page 8

the professional training, but the spiritual training is like a bonus,” Snider said. Carol Williams, associate provost for Distance Education, said the program’s success comes from its faculty and students. She also be-

news Dr. Gregory Straughn was named assistant provost of general education, continuing implementation of the core curriculum.

program] calls students to a high standard with a faithbased perspective.” ACU Online’s graduate program has seen massive growth since its creation in the fall of 2006. Starting with only about 5 students,

Snider said the program now boasts more than 400 students worldwide. “Despite the time delay, we also have international students. This program see WEB page 3

weather news story The country music group, Diamond Rio will perform at the West Texas Rehabilitation Center’s Telethon at the Abilene Civic Center on Saturday at 7 p.m.

page 3

Abilene Christian University




54° 31°

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Campus Friday, January 21, 2011


calendar & events



11 a.m. Praise Day 4 p.m. Spring pledging registration closes 7 - 9 p.m. POP! Senior art show at the Shore Art Gallery



2 p.m. Home women’s basketball game against Texas A&M-Kingsville



3 p.m. Jazz Jam at McMurry Univeristy


4 p.m. Home men’s basketball game against Texas A&M-Kingsville


2 - 3 p.m. Chapel forum with Dr. Mark Yarhouse in Cullen Auditorium Last day to register for classes

7 p.m. - midnight West Texas Rehab Center Telethon at the Abilene Civic Center

Last day to drop a class with a 100% refund

ACU Police Tip of the Week Help ACU Police prevent car burglaries: Hide your things, lock your car and take your keys with you.

Police Log Edited for space

Wednesday, Jan. 12 7:49 a.m. Someone reported an intoxicated woman knocking on doors in the 600 block of EN 18th. ACU Police officers located the intoxicated woman and released her to her husband. 11:04 p.m. Abilene Police requested ACU Police assistance on a noise disturbance at the Grove Apartments. ACU Police officers made contact with the tenant and requested they keep it quiet. The tenant complied with the request. Friday, Jan. 14 11:45 a.m. An ACU employee reported a disturbance in COBA. ACU Police officers located the subject and asked the subject to leave campus. The subject complied with the request.

Spring Pledging Mens’s Social clubs Sub T-16, Frater Sodalis and Pi Kappa will conduct pledging in the spring semester. Interested students should contact the clubs directly by email and also register to pledge by Jan. 21 at www. Service Expo Students can meet with representatives from local agencies to discuss volunteer opportunities. The expo will take place from 10 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 26 and Thursday, Jan. 27 in the Campus Center.

Images of Aging Photo Contest ACU students may enter their photographs into any of five categories. The deadline for entries is Jan. 31. For more information, visit

reviews and mock interviews. Professional attire is required.

Career Expo Current students and alumni have the opportunity to meet with employers from a variety of industries about potential full-time positions and internship opportunities from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Abilene Civic Center. The event offers resume

Summer Youth Ministry Internships Students interested in summer internships can meet with more than 50 churches at the Hunter Welcome Center all day on Feb. 1.

FCA The ACU chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes meets at 9 p.m. every Thursday in the Living Room of the Campus Center.

ACUltimate The university’s ultimate frisbee club meets at 6 p.m.

Tuesdays and Thursdays. Interested students can contact Kyle Thaxton at Summit Art Contest ACU students can submit original artwork in the form of photography, drawings, paintings or other creations to visually communicate the theme of next fall’s Summit. Entries must be submitted digitally to by Feb. 15. The winner will receive $100 and his or her artwork will be used during Summit. For more information, contact the Ministry Events Office at 674-3750.

Monday, Jan. 17 7:02 p.m. Someone reported a woman going door-todoor asking for money in the 1600 block of Morrow Lane. Officers checked the area but were unable to locate the woman. Report all suspicious activity to the ACU Police Department at 674-2305.

Weekly Stats

follow us on Twitter: @acuoptimist // become a fan on Facebook: The Optimist


Sunday, Jan. 16 10 a.m. An ACU employee reported a person they did not recognize walking through University Church of Christ. An officer contacted, identified and released the subject. 11:20 p.m. The Barret Hall Residence Director reported a resident in possession of beer. The student was identified, questioned and referred to Judicial Affairs.

Jan. 11-17

1 1 1 1 1 14

911 Call Alarm Call Animal Call Assist Call Attempt to Locate Building Lock/ Unlocks 25 Check Buildings

1 Domestic Disturbance 1 Escort 1 Found Property 1 Intoxicated Person 4 Investigation Followups 4 Motorist Assist: Jumpstart

1 Disturbance 8 Motorist Assist: Unlock 1 Noise Violation 3 Parking Violations 1 Random Patrol 2 Suspicious Activity 9 Traffic Stops

Chapel Checkup 04 69

Credited Chapels to date

Credited Chapels remaining


January 21, 2011

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Straughn takes position as assistant provost Linda Bailey Editor in Chief

Dr. Gregory Straughn has moved into a new roll as assistant provost for general education, Provost Dr. Jeanine Varner said. Last semester, Straughn served as dean of the ACU Honors College and director of core curriculum. “We had a strong sense that as we rolled out the new core curriculum, it would require significant administrative oversight,” Varner said. “The time demands of that position forced us into a situation

where we had to make a decision.” Varner said one person could not effectively serve in both roles because each one requires a large commitment. After discussing which role was more attractive to Straughn as well as what was most important for the university, Varner said they agreed it would be best for Straughn to move into the newly created position of assistant provost of general education because of its emphasis on working with the new core curriculum.


“He is the person who is most familiar with not just the details of the core curriculum and it’s implementation, but also with the grand vision of what the core curriculum can be,” Varner said. “This role with the core really requires both the vision and the detail orientation.” Straughn said he has worked with the core for the last five years in various roles, a factor leading to his decision to move to general education. “I’ve had a long connection with the development of the core, and I’ve felt

very strongly that at this point in the process, we need to make sure we have someone ready to go as the semester begins rather than getting someone new in and having to learn the ins and outs of how we got here,” Straughn said. In his new role, Straughn will focus on implementing the new core curriculum as well as administrative core details such as making sure classes have teachers, collecting evaluations and feedback in order to improve classes and creating opportunities for guest speakers.

“I want the core to be an experience that is engaging to students while they are here – something that’s thought provoking while they are here,” Straughn said. While a search begins for a new dean of the Honors College, Dr. Joe Stephenson, assistant dean of the Honors College and assistant professor of English, will step in as interim. “Dr. Stephenson has been the associate dean for a good long while, and I know that he can continue to serve the college

effectively while we conduct this national search,” Varner said. The goal of the search is for a new appointment to begin in fall 2011, and Varner said it has already generated several applicants. She said she will assemble a search committee soon to help make an appointment for a new dean of the Honors College. “I look forward to handing over a thriving Honors College to a new dean once summer comes,” Stephenson said. contact Bailey at


Chapel: Faculty Web: Grad school builds reputation urged to attend Continued from page 1

Continued from page 1

“I greatly appreciate the president’s call for faculty and staff to come one day a week,” Lewis said. “It acknowledges busyness while also acknowledging an important aspect of who we are as a university.” The university always has been interested in effectively involving faculty and staff in Chapel, but it can be a challenge, Thompson said. However, he believes the the decision to encourage Chapel attendance on Monday makes it as convenient as possible for faculty and staff to attend. Thompson said they expect that the majority

of faculty and staff will be in Chapel on Mondays to participate in praising and worshiping and listening to speakers. He also said the arrangement could facilitate discussion of topics between faculty, staff and students. “I hope that our faculty and staff have an additional way to interact with students, and I hope our students will be open and receptive to critical mass of faculty and staff joining us in that space, and that they will be respectful of that and engage.” contact Bailey at

is fulfilling the university’s mission all over the world,” Snider said. “Lots of growth in the program has happened through word of mouth, students to other students.” The program now offers three different Master’s programs and two graduate certificates, all revolving around education and conflict resolution. Williams said the programs are designed for working professionals. “We have tried to structure the delivery of these courses,” Williams said. “Adult learners prefer short courses. These degrees and certificates can be completed in two years.” ACU Online’s graduate program already is working on future plans to maintain its innovative reputation.

“We are looking to add hybrid programs, partially online and residential. We have a group on campus looking at what we ought to do with graduate programs,” Williams said. While this is not the most prestigious honor the program has received, Williams stresses that it never hurts to get any kind of recognition. Guide to Online Schools, located at, was formed by SR Education Group, a database of guides to all types of educational institutions, such as art schools, computer training institutes and culinary schools. The group’s website states that it serves as a place to help students enhance their educational endeavors and careers. The guide used a precise methodology to com-

prise the national rankings by a number of factors, such as cost, accreditation, graduation and retention rates and student feedback. These statistics were borrowed from The National Center for Educational Statistics.

For more information on ACU Online’s graduate programs, contact David Pittman, the university’s graduate admissions counselor at, 674-2810. contact Hernandez at

Page 4


January 21, 2011


Forge: Abilenian serves ministry through food Continued from page 1

it into something beautiful. That’s what The Forge To Monteith, every in- is about, changing broken dividual has intrinsic lives,” Monteith said. “We’re wealth and beauty, no here on drug and prostitute matter how broken and row, everybody has a story.” battered they appear. “When you take a worth- Meals and Ministry less piece of metal out of A 17-year-old walked into the ground and take it to The Forge looking for work a blacksmith, they mold it on Wednesday. His jeans and melt it. They hammer were ripped, and his shoes

were oversized. He sat across the table from Monteith, and she began to ask him questions. He never spoke; he would only nod. “Have you ever been hurt,” she asked. “Have bad things happened to you?” She never asked him about his experience, his history or why he needed work. She didn’t need to;

she already knew. Monteith reached out and grabbed his hands to pray with him. His eyes were wideopen for the first half of the prayer, but he closed them tight for the second half. She hired him on the spot. “God takes people places for a reason,” she told him. “We draw people in here, telling them we’re going to feed them, but what we really want is to tell them about Jesus.” At the next table, Jack Shannon, a homeless man, is waiting to see if he can do anything to help Monteith. He said she has helped him, and now he wants to help her. “I’m a stone-hard alcoholic. I live on the streets,” Shannon said. “This is a place where if you are cold, you can come in and sit down. If you need love, just come in and sit down.”

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

A patron places a payment in the metal box on the counter at The Forge. Customers pay whatever they can afford.

property was quickly approaching, and Monteith was short on funds to make the closing payment. However, while things looked bleak, Monteith said she never lost faith. She met with the owners of the property and told them her story. They agreed to extend the time The Place The Forge is divided into she had to make the paytwo main spaces: a pastel ment and told her to just yellow dining room and an pay whatever she can. “It was a crisis averted beentrance area featuring a scuffed, black baby grand cause of God. He intervened piano. Next to the piano, at and showed me favor.” the linoleum-topped counter, patrons place their or- A Higher Calling ders. A paper sign above the Monteith said she believed her doorway tells The Forge’s decision to begin The Forge intended purpose: “When was God-ordained. She said God closes one door, He she always has had a heart for missions and was praying for opens another.” Monteith said she God to point her in the next wants food at The Forge direction she should go. “When the Lord began to be affordable and tasty. A cheesecake beneath a to speak and tell me to do glass-domed cake stand this, I was on my porch on the counter is just one praying and listening, but of many homemade treats I didn’t have an answer,” she makes each day. Her Monteith said. “He said a goal is to minister to every- non-profit restaurant. It one though delicious food. was the last thing I imagEarlier this month, it ined I’d be doing.” Monteith said her goal is seemed like The Forge might not survive. The to minister and to pray for deadline for closing on the whoever comes into her res-

taurant and help them with whatever struggles they may be experiencing. She said she also hopes the ministry eventually will spread beyond the walls of the restaurant. “If you walk in here and don’t feel the Holy Spirit, I’d be surprised,” Monteith said. “A lot of people off the street come in here beaten and bruised. This place can be the start of a lifetime of growth.” The Future Monteith has yet to miss a payment on her bills or her taxes, but the restaurant still needs help. She said college students could help by just coming in to purchase food and eat. She also said the restaurant always is in need of volunteers, including college students. “Students can come in and eat, and I’d be delighted,” Monteith said. “But I could really use some help with fundraising. I’m really bad at that.” The Forge is located at 2801 South First St. in the former Hot Dog Castle building. contact Craig at


Justice: New center would support minor Continued from page 1

‘‘ ’’

resolve conflict to achieve peace and justice. “The director of the center would be the adviser for the minor because it is interdisciplinary,” he said. “No department owns the minor because it draws from seven different departments and three different colleges.” Jonathan Holmes, junior social work major from Los Angeles, said although the center is still in an exploration phase, he believes it would be effective in preparing the ACU community for the future.

No department owns the minor because it draws from seven different departments and three different colleges. DR. DAVID DILLMAN // professor of political science

“It’s important for us college students to be aware of the issues because our mission as Christians is caring for people who are being abused and who are less fortunate,” he said. “It could help us learn how to think and not just think what we’re taught to believe.” Although the center

currently is just a working proposal, those in charge presently are contemplating means of funding, in order to bring the center closer to reality in the future.

contact Ferguson at


January 21, 2011

Page 5

Abilene Events FRIDAY Artist Talk & Brown Bag With Mary McCleary 12 p.m. Grace Museum

THURSDAY Movie Night - Food Inc. 6:45 p.m. Center for Contemporary Arts

ACU Events SATURDAY Omega Dance Company Auditions 10 a.m. Campus Center Living Room

SATURDAY Faculty Recital Featuring Kari Hatfield & Laura Logan 6 p.m. Williams Performing Arts Center

App of the Week

Seniors set up for art show

RunPee Utilities


This is a must-have app for any frequent moviegoer. RunPee lets users know at which points in a movie they can leave and go to the restroom without missing any important plot points. It even lets users know how much time they have to do their business. There is an alert option to remind users when it is time to go and a time option, so they can see how many minutes they have to make it back to their seat. Once they are back, users can view a summary of what they missed. With this app, users also can view movie trailers and use the built in Twitter app. RunPee supports all movies currently in theaters and contains an archive of movies out of theaters. It is available for iPhone, iTouch, iPad and Android platforms for free.

New Releases Sandra Amstutz, Arts Editor Five seniors have been hard at work from the moment they arrived back in Abilene. But their work really began the moment they set foot on campus four years ago. Sara Morris, Will Reid, Annika Ringle, Katherine Seibert and Bonni Wattigney will be showcasing the art they have created over the course of their time at ACU in their senior art show, entitled POP!, on Friday from 7-9 p.m. The show will take place in the Shore Art Gallery, and ACU art professors will introduce each senior. In addition to viewing the pieces displayed, the first 100 guests each will receive a unique piece of artwork made by one of the five seniors. The event’s dynamic title resulted from an art history lesson on artist Man Ray, who the seniors studied last semester. “He gave viewers an interactive role,” said Ringle, art major from Springdale, Ark. “They would go around the room and pop balloons to reveal his artwork inside. We

IN THEATERS The Green Hornet Jan. 14


The Dilemma Jan. 14


Ong Bak 3 Jan. 14

(Magnet Releasing)

Barney’s Version (Sony Pictures Classic) SANDRA AMSTUTZ // Arts Editor

Bonni Wattigney, senior graphic design major from Keller, hangs her photo on the gallery wall.

Jan. 14

The Way Back Jan. 21

(New Market Films)

No Strings Attached were inspired by that.” Each artist will be displaying anywhere from 6 to 10 pieces. “I’ve had to go over a lot of old work and get it matted and framed,” said Bonni Wattigney, senior graphic design major from Keller. In order to prepare for the show, the seniors also have been working hard to get the gallery ready. “It was more involved than I thought it would be,” said Morris, English and art major from Abilene. “We have to create the

entire environment. It has to be a cohesive show for five people.” Creating the environment has included painting the gallery, arranging the pieces, advertising the show and even preparing food for the big night. “I’m getting really excited about it,” said Seibert, art major from Grapevine. “It’s been a lot of hard work.” Despite all of the work entailed, Reid, art major from Abilene, said getting ready for the show was a

lot more fun than he expected. “We’ve got a really good group,” he said. “We are all flexible and willing to work with each other’s ideas.” He expects the show to be a success but does not view it as his career finale. “I’m looking beyond it,” Reid said. All of the artwork will be available for viewing until Feb. 4.

(Paramount Pictures)

The Company Men (The Weinstein Company)

Jan. 21

The Housemaid Jan. 21

(IFC Films)

DVD The Switch Jan. 17


Buried Jan. 18

(Lionsgate) contact Amstutz at

Jan. 21

Jack Goes Boating Jan. 18

(Overture Films)

Paper Man Jan. 18


Stone Jan. 18

(Overture Films)

Secretariat (Walt Disney Pictures)

Jan. 25

Saw 3D Jan. 25


MUSIC Iron & Wine Kiss Each Other Clean

Jan. 25

The Get Up Kids There Are Rules

Jan. 25

Gang of Four Content

Jan. 25

Fujiya & Miyagi Ventriloquizzing

Jan. 25

The Ex Catch My Shoe

Jan. 25

Destroyer Kaputt


Sara Morris, senior English and art major from Abilene, looks at a graphic design piece created by Katherine Seibert.


Will Reid, senior art major from Abilene, puts the finishing touches on the frame of his painting.

Jan. 25

Deerhoof Deerhoof Vs. Evil

Jan. 25


Page 6

January 21, 2011


Tucson tragedy must unite politicians The shooting of a United States Congresswoman along with 18 other American citizens calls for an examination of the circumstances leading up to the Jan. 8 tragedy. Yet the tragedy itself should not be used as a stepping stone for politicians to fulfill their own agendas. To do so would be a disservice to the men, women and child who fell victim to the assassination attempt. Already we see pointed fingers and sharp tongues eager to create a scapegoat. On Jan. 12, President Obama refused to lay blame on any one reason to explain why this tragic incident occurred. Instead, he focused on the outcome,

stepping away from the political game and showing a spark of human emotion. We commend him for that. This is a tragedy we hope never will be repeated. Work and research need to be done to root out the cause and provide preventative measures. However, the manner in which work and research is conducted is crucial. After Sept. 11, 2001, the nation stood together to find out who was responsible for the heinous act. But this case is different. Authorities already have the shooter in custody and can delve straight into how a mind could conceive such an act. But instead of cooperating in the search for understanding, the coun-

try is becoming further divided as Left blames Right and Right blames Left. Outbreaks of blame point toward the Second Amendment, the hate speech of politicians and the lack of mental health services in the nation that some say are continuing to widen the very divisions many say were the potential trigger that sparked Jared Lee Loughner to open fire. In the months leading up to the shooting, a cloud of hate has pervaded Congress and all political climes. Mud slinging has been taken to a new level Columns, editorials, blogs, conversations and personal e-mails all have incorporated language that is hurtful, accusatory and hateful.

Many Americans believe the increasing tension between the political parties is directly to blame for the shooting. CBS News released a survey stating that 32 percent of those asked said they believed the shooting was a result of the negative tone that American politics currently are taking. Vision Critical released a similar survey revealing that 37 percent of Americans share that view. One-third of Americans think that the current attitudes of politics are directly to blame for the shooting of 19 people. We can only imagine how many more believe the current climate is hurtful, if not murderous.

By Morgan Davis

The Funny Funnies

the issue

Politicians are manipulating the Tucson shooting to further their own gain and flare divisive and unproductive speech.

our take

It is a time to mourn the victims and work together to prevent future attacks, not place blame. Whatever the real reason Loughner attempted to assassinate a Congresswoman, if it was in fact because of the political strife we all are witnessing, the continued vehemence we spit at each other can only create more gunmen. At the very least, we must temporarily suspend our differences while we search for answers. Discourse and debate are possible, and even necessary, without the dissention

that divides us on a personal level. Obama called us as a nation to remember the dead and wounded, applaud the heroes who helped stop the shooting and, most of all, to remember them when we go back to our everyday lives. And for once, out of respect for the wounded and dead, we must stand together behind our president. contact the Optimist at


Bipartisanship remains unattainable pipe dream Homeskool Validictorian By Jeff Craig

The buzzword for 2011, at least so far, seems to be bipartisanship, with America’s “reds” and “blues” both promising coo p e ra t i o n and civility. H o w e v e r, history dictates that this histoy Craig of compromise won’t last. Responses from Congress and President Obama to the tragic shootings in Tucson, Ariz., earlier this month were commendable. The assassination attempt on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was met with condemnation and sympathy from members on both sides of the aisle. Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor delayed all House business following the incident, and President Obama urged

Congress to unite in response to the event. At Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Republicans and Democrats will cross the proverbial aisle and sit together, as opposed to past speeches, which have seen the parties sit on opposite sides of the chamber. Here’s the problem: Republicans and Democrats don’t get along. Never have. Probably never will. The two sides are diametrically opposed on almost every issue. Unfortunately, in our current political climate, bipartisanship is a Utopian myth. Politicians run for office on a platform of bipartisanship, but it’s a big lie. During his campaign, Obama said he wanted to end partisan bickering in Washington. However, an MSNBC report in February 2008 showed Obama voted with the Democrats more than 90 percent of the time. Bipartisanship is a sexy word that makes Americans feel all warm and fuzzy inside. We envision our

elected officials standing in a circle, holding hands and singing “Kumbaya.” Bipartisanship makes us feel good in response to tragedies and disasters. After Sept. 11, 2001, United We Stood. Two years later, divided we fell. Bipartisanship is a good thing, no doubt, but just don’t get too excited. There probably will be a moment of silence at the State of the Union, and Speaker of the House John Boehner probably will cry. But when the House Republicans try to de-fund health care shortly thereafter, the love bubble is likely to pop. Sorry to be cynical, but what fun would politics be if Republicans and Democrats got along anyway? Bill O’ Reilly and Keith Olbermann would be among America’s unemployed, and imagine how many laws Congress could pass if they got along. It’s terrifying. Thank goodness bipartisanship really is just a buzzword. contact Craig at

Bumper car failures wreck boyhood dreams Barbarossa

By Matthew Woodrow When I was younger, I really liked cars. I even had a bed frame that looked like a racecar. Preparing for the day, I would get to drive at high speeds, I would race around the house pellmell, never Woodrow looking where I was going. Being the awkward, gangly boy I was, I often ran into things. My mom would yell at me, telling me to be careful. But my abundant energy could

not be contained for long, and I soon would be running around again. And soon enough, I would be in trouble once again. Now, imagine the joy of a five-year-old boy who has found a way to combine both his love of cars and tendency to crash into things without getting in trouble. There I was, five years old, stretching in new boots to barely hit the 42-inch mark that would allow me to drive solo in the bumper cars for the first time. This was a special day: the bumper cars were the first step in speeding my way down the highway in massive freeway police chases, leaving 40-car pile-

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:

ups in my wake. (This was the first step in my active imagination, at least.) The line was long, so I diligently scouted out all the bumper cars, looking for one that would be fast enough to leave all others behind and allow me to slam into my brother and drive away unscathed. Being the genius I was, I soon spotted a car in the corner. Undriven, untouched by human hands. That was my car. Unspoiled by previous drivers, resting up, conserving its energy for the time when a worthy driver happened to come along. For three whole turns it sat there, no one ven-

turing near. It was as if fate had set it aside. When my turn came, I ran for the car, jumping in, ready to barrel into the first unfortunate bystander who happened to enter my path of death. The bell started, and my car zoomed about half the length of the course before my older brother broadsided me into a wall. Laughing, I quickly prepared to wreak revenge on the evil tyranny lorded over me, especially this new outrage. I revved my engine. Nothing happened. I didn’t move. I pushed all the pedals. Nothing happened.

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Desperate, I looked to the people waiting in line, hoping some nice person would help me in my time of need. One guy noticed my dilemma and started shouting instructions. Soon, half the people in line were shouting. “Push the right pedal!” I did, and nothing happened So I stomped down on the right pedal with all my five year old strength. Vroom! I was off with unimaginable speed. No other car could compete. The only problem: I was going backward. Bam! I slammed into the back wall. The pain was extraordinary. I exited the car with whiplash, a bruised back

back and, more painful, a damaged ego. It took me almost another five years to drive a bumper car again, always remembering that day. But when I finally boarded another bumper car, it was great, and now I regret those years when fear kept me from doing something I enjoy. If we spend too much time looking back at our lives, memories can hold us back. Whether good or bad, sometimes the best thing to do is take what lessons we can from our experiences and then strive forward. contact Woodrow at

editorial & management board Linda Bailey

Matthew Woodrow Christina Burch

Laura Acuff

Kenneth Pybus

Editor in Chief

Opinions Page Editor

Page 2 Editor

Copy Editor

Faculty Adviser

Jeff Craig

Brandon Tripp

Hannah Barnes

Bailey Griffith

Cade White

Managing Editor Sports Media Director

Features Editor

Copy Editor

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Jozie Sands Sandra Amstutz

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January 21, 2011


Page 7


Jones: Stars are absent Awards: Turner, Gates await chance at NFL Continued from page 8

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Jones has never thrown better than he did last weekend, just the first week of the season, throwing exactly 57 feet – by far, good enough for the win. Automatic qualification for the NCAA Indoor National Championship is 58 feet 8 inches. Jones’ mark provisionally qualifies him, but he would like to improve that and get the automatic bid as quickly as possible. Jones already is a twotime National Champion in the discus for the Wildcats, but he said he would love to get another ring in the shot-put. In 2009, Jones won the Lone Star

I feel like we have our best chance to win a National Championship since 2008. NICK JONES // junior shot-put and discus thrower from Amarillo

Conference title in both shot-put and discus. The only other provisional qualifier in last weekend’s meet for the ’Cats was Kevin Johnson, who finished sixth in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.7 seconds. All of the track and field Wildcats will get another chance to qualify for the indoor championships this weekend when they travel back to Lubbock for the Texas Tech Invitational.

“I feel like we have our best chance this year to win a National Championship since 2008,” Jones said. “We have a great core of guys with Ramon Sparks, Desmond Jackson, Tyler Fleet and Amos Sang.” ACU holds 30 NCAA National Championships in track and field including 18 outdoor championships and 12 indoor championships. contact Gwin at

Continued from page 8

and the American Football Coaches Association all-America team. Five other Wildcats were named to the second all-region team. Senior linebacker Kevin Washington, senior defensive end Fred Thompson and senior defensive tackle Marvin Jones represented a defense that allowed just over 18 points per game in the regular season. Sophomore quarterback and Harlon Hill Finalist Mitchell Gale was named to the second of-

fensive team and finished the season with 38 touchdown passes, the most in a season by any ACU quarterback. Joining Gale on the second team is junior tight end Ben Gibbs. Gibbs snagged 20 receptions for the season, five of those going for touchdowns. “It’s great to see a lot of our guys have success as far as awards,” said Head Coach Chris Thomsen. “It’s also great recognition for our program to be able to get on the national stage.” Aside from the allRegion team, two seniors have been invited to post-


Loss: First-half woes continue

‘‘ ’’ We still have a lot of season left to play, and we got to get back to playing well. JASON COPELAND // men’s basketball head coach

get back on track against Texas A&M Kingsville this Zach Williams came off the Saturday at 4 p.m. “We have some kids bench to score 11 for ACU. After shooting just more that are injured, and we than 17 percent in the first are looking to get them half, ACU finished at 30.2 back,” Copeland said. “We still have a lot of season percent for the game. After a huge win against left to play, and we got to DBU on Jan. 3, ACU has lost get back to playing well.” It is important for ACU three in a row. The team lost at home to Tarleton to win on Saturday. The State, and they faced two Javelinas also are 0-3 in LSC of the conference’s best play so far this season. teams on the road, leading the Wildcats to an 0–3 concontact Cantrell at ference start. ACU looks to Continued from page 8

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

Desmond Woodberry puts up a shot against Dallas Christian earlier this year. The Wildcats are off to an 0-3 LSC start.


2011: ’Cats set schedule Continued from page 8

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Sept. 24 features a matchup with the Wildcats’ closest rival, Angelo State at Shotwell Stadium – the Wildcats’ first home game of the season. ACU has beaten Angelo State in each of the last four seasons dating back to the 2006 season. The Wildcats will make a second straight trip to Portales, N.M., to face the Greyhounds’ vaunted runand-gun offense. After the game against Eastern New Mexico on Oct. 8, the Wildcats begin a stretch of four games against teams that made postseason appearances in 2010, beginning with West Texas A&M. The Wildcats beat the Buffs in Canyon

I think it’s great to get this opportunity, and to do it at Cowboys Stadium. JARED MOSLEY // ACU Director of Athletics

to clinch the LSC title last season. This time around, West Texas A&M will be traveling to Shotwell for a homecoming showdown with Coach Thomsen and the Wildcats on Oct. 15. After Homecoming weekend, ACU will travel to Wichita Falls for a game against Kanza Bowl-participant Midwestern State, then back home to play Texas A&M-Commerce. Then the Wildcats make a second trip down south to Kingsville for a showdown with the Jav-

elinas, a team ACU has beaten in seven of the last 10 meetings after losing 20 straight to the Javelinas from 1984-2004. ACU wraps up the season against the newest LSC school, Incarnate Word, at Shotwell on Nov. 12. The Wildcats have two open dates on Sept. 3 and Oct. 1, but Mosley hopes to have at least one of those dates filled to give the Wildcats an 11-game schedule. contact Tripp at

season bowl games to showcase their talent for NFL scouts. Offensive lineman Trevis Turner participated in the 2011 Cactus Bowl showcasing Division II players. Turner helped his team to a 28-6 victory and was named the Offensive Lineman of the Game. Wide receiver Edmund Gates has accepted an invitation to the National Football League Players Association All-Star Challenge in February. contact Tripp at


Page 8



January 21, 2011

MEN’S BASKETBALL Team Div. Ovrl. UIW 2-0 Tarleton St. 2-0 ENMU 2-0 MSU 1-1 Angelo St. 1-1 WTAMU 0-2 ACU 0-2 TAMU-K 0-2

13-1 11-3 7-7 13-3 5-9 13-2 8-6 5-9

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Team Div. Ovrl. Tarleton St. 2-0 WTAMU 2-0 Angelo St. 1-1 UIW 1-1 ACU 1-1 ENMU 1-1 MSU 0-2 TAMU-K 0-2

12-2 9-6 8-6 5-9 4-10 3-11 4-10 4-10

Briefs n The

women's basketball team lost to West Texas A&M Wednesday night 7864 in Canyon. Mack Lankford led ACU scorers with 15 points. The loss sends their record to 4-11 for the season.

n The

men’s basketball team went 5-4 while, the women’s team was 3-5 over the Christmas break. Both teams will continue Lone Star Conference play into February.

n Look in next week’s Optimist for an update on Rex Fleming, and find out how you can support the Fleming family in their time of need.

Player Profile n Nick Jones, a junior from Amarillo, provisionally qualified for nationals with a personal record throw of 57 feet in the shotput. He is a two-time Jones national champion discus thrower and will turn his attention to the shot-put as well this year. A former defensive lineman, Jones played football for two years and is a graduate of Amarillo Tascosa High School.


COURTESY OF // Ralph Cole Photography

The new Cowboys Stadium, built in 2009, lights up the Arlington sky. Neighboring Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the gigantic stadium is the biggest in the National Football League. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones paid over a billion dollars to construct the luxurious facility.

Bound for Jerry World Wildcats to play North Alabama at Cowboys Stadium

ACU will be participating in the first-ever Lone Star Conference Football Festival in the upcoming season. The Wildcats are part of a three-game, oneBrandon Tripp day event, featuring five Sports Director LSC teams and ACU’s opA month after being elimi- ponent, three-time Divinated from the 2010 NCAA sion II National Champion, Playoffs, the Wildcats have North Alabama from the started to look ahead to the Gulf South Conference. “We have always had 2011 season, releasing their schedule for an upcoming a desire to at least play a season that includes a trip game in the metroplex,” said Athletic Director Jared to Cowboys Stadium.

against North Alabama marks the fourth straight season the Wildcats have began by facing a Division II powerhouse. “Strength of schedule is really the second criteria they use to select playoff participants,” said Head Coach Chris Thomsen. “I believe you have to go find the North Alabamas of the world to help boost your strength of schedule. But also, those are the kind of teams you face in the playoffs.”


Apart from the seemingly annual game against a marquee non-conference opponent, the Wildcats begin with a pair of LSC rivals in their first three games. First up, ACU will travel to Stephenville for a showdown with long-time rival Tarleton State on Sept. 10. The Texans will be looking to avenge a 65-3 thrashing at the hands of the Wildcats in 2010. see 2011 page 7


Senior awards pile up Brandon Tripp Sports Director

‘‘ ’’

The Wildcat football team has ended its season, but during the past month, the awards for its record setting 2010 season have continued to pour in. Ten Wildcats were named to the Don Hanson NCAA Division II Super Region Four football team. Five players were named to the first team; four of them were offensive players. Seniors Edmund Gates, Emery Dudensing, and Trevis Turner and junior Matt Webber all were voted first

It is an honor for them to recognize me even though my stats weren’t as big this year. ASTON WHITESIDE // senior defensive end

team all-region for the first time, while junior defensive end Aston Whiteside made a repeat appearance on the first team, following up on his 2009 selection. Whiteside was the LSC South Pre-season Defensive Player of the Year and the LSC South Defensive Lineman of the year for the second time in as many years.

“It’s an honor for them to recognize me even though my stats weren’t as big this year,” Whiteside said. Gates also was named to two different all-America teams for his outstanding season in 2010. The senior from Vernon was named to the Daktronics all-America second team see AWARDS page 7

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

Ben Wharton goes up for a lay up in a game earlier this year.

Wildcats fall Shot of victory for ’Cats to 0-3 in LSC


Austin Gwin Sports Editor

n The

track and field team will compete at the Texas Tech Invitational meet Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21-22, in Lubbock.

n The men’s basketball team will host Texas A&M-Kingsville at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22. n The women’s basketball team will host Texas A&M-Kingsville at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22.

Ex-Factor Knox, Danieal Manning and the Chicago Bears will host the Packers Sunday at 2 p.m. in the NFC Conference Championship Game.

Mosley. “I think it’s great to get this opportunity and to do it at Cowboys Stadium. I think it also has a great impact in recruiting students from the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area, and it’s a great opportunity for our student athletes to play in a venue like this.” The Lions finished last season at 9-4 under former Clemson Head Coach Terry Bowden and reached the playoffs for the sixth straight season. The game

n Johnny


Junior Nick Jones throws a discus during track practice. Jones is a two-time NCAA National Champion in the discus. This year he has a win under his belt in the shot-put.

With none of the big names in track and field competing for ACU in the Texas Tech Open last weekend, Nick Jones’ first place finish in shot-put served as the highlight for the Wildcats. Instead of being on ACU’s football team last fall as he had been in years past, Jones spent the offseason training for the shot-put in hopes that the extra work would improve his distance. “When you play football, you tear your body down week after week,” Jones said. “This year, I went through the full track offseason and built my body up instead of tearing it down, and the difference has shown.” see JONES page 7

Ryan Cantrell

Sports Multimedia Editor

A poor offensive first half doomed the Wildcats against West Texas A&M. ACU scored only 12 points in the first half, resulting in an 71–54 fall to the Buffaloes. ACU hit three field goals on 17 attempts in the first half as they struggled to score points. The Wildcats would trail 30-12 at halftime. “I thought we defended really well in the first half, but we were very lethargic on offense and trying to score,” Coach Jason Copeland said. “In the second half we played like a team that belonged, but in the first half, we looked like a team that is trying to find their way. And you can’t

have that at this point in the season.” ACU picked things up in the second half as they went on a 12-2 run to get within 12 with over 15 minutes in the game. However, the deficit was too much, as the Wildcats never fully reengaged the game. “Scoring 12 points in the first half is disappointing. We have been coming out slow and digging ourselves into holes,” junior forward Ben Warton said. “We need to work on setting screens and getting guys open, so we can get better looks offensively.” The Wildcats dropped their third game in a row, falling to 8-7 overall 0-3 in conference. Preston Davis led ACU with 13 points, while see LOSS page 7

The Optimist Print Edition: 01.21.11  

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