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Optimist the

Vol. 98, No. 41

The Big Idea

PAGE 5 1 section, 8 pages

Friday, February 26, 2010


Cornutt joins six board members in departure Colter Hettich

Cornutt’s five-year term does not expire until FebEditor in Chief ruary 2012, but he said C. E. “Doc” Cornutt stepped his early resignation is in down this month as chair the best interest of the of the Board of Trust- university and the board. ees after three years as He reiterated his excitechair and 21 years as a ment regarding the future of the university and the trustee.



Illness takes life of former student

selection of Dr. Phil Schubert as president. “I just felt it was time to move on with this next generation that’s going to make ACU what it is,” Cornutt said. “Sometimes it’s just time to pass the baton.”

Six other board members – the largest turnover since bylaws and policies were modified in 2007 – stepped down this month after reaching their 15year term limits. Resigning members include Charles Ezzell, Randy Nicholson,

Dr. Guy “Mojo” Lewis, Danny Phillips, Doug Smith and Melinda Worley. Dr. Slade Sullivan, who serves as secretary of the board, said none of the six sought to step down but did so to help the board reach its goal of no more

than 35 members by February 2011. The timing of Cornutt’s resignation is not uncharacteristic of past board chairs. H. Lynn Packer resigned as board see BOARD page 3

Snow Day-jà Vu

Sondra Rodriguez Managing Editor Jenny Bizaillion, 31-yearold mother, wife, sister and daughter, passed away Monday afternoon at Baylor Grapevine Hospital. Bizaillion, a former Ko Jo Kai member, was admitted to the hospital Feb. 4 with what was thought to be the flu but was diagnosed as pneumonia. This developed into sepsis, or an infection in the bloodstream, according to the Gregg Pearson Foundation Web site. She fought the infection until her death at 3:38 p.m. Monday afternoon, according to the CarePages Web site. Mark Lewis, director of Spiritual Life, said Bizaillion and her husband were involved in a Wednesday night Bible study at the Lewis’ home during their time at school – Bizaillion attended ACU from 19961999 – and Lewis witnessed their work as volunteers with the Highland Church of Christ middle school ministry. “Jenny was just a very gentle person with a peaceful presence,” Lewis said.

ZAK ZEINERT Staff Photographer

Kenny Bindel, junior marketing major from Arlington, prepares to throw a snowball at Stephen Muñoz, senior business major from Escondido, Calif.

Staff Report

ZAK ZEINERT Staff Photographer

Many students chose to spend their day off outdoors. The hills behind Smith-Adams Hall were a popular sledding spot.

see SERVICE page 4



Christianna Lewis

Scott Jennings

An additional four inches of snow were recorded at Abilene Regional Airport Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service in San Angelo. This winter’s total snowfall of 12.5 inches, including Tuesday’s numbers, makes it Abilene’s seventh snowiest winter on record. Meteorologist Seth Nagle said another cold front will move through the area Sunday night, bringing with it a chance of precipitation. Nagle said there was a slight

View photo galleries of our photographers’ best shots of students enjoying the snow. chance of snow with the system, but the chances for winter weather are slim. Don’t put away the scarves just yet, though. The NWS reports snowfall has been seen as late as April in Abilene. contact Optimist staff at

Minority students Construction increases combat prejudice Powell membership ethnic group that faces extreme prejudice in Europe, Contributing Reporter despite their wide dispersal Although many consider across the continent. Roma higher education to be a students are currently overnoble pursuit, for minority coming bias and educationstudents like Elroy Johnson, al redlining in Hungarian it is a struggle – a struggle universities, and Dr. Jason he shares with students Morris, assistant professor of higher education, examthousands of miles away. The Roma people, somesee ROMA page 4 times called Gypsies, are an

Forecast Fri

50° 31°

Contributing Reporter While the Gibson Health and P.E. Center is under construction, Powell Fitness Center is saving students from putting on pounds. Some members of what used to be the Gibson’s North and South Exercise rooms have transferred to Powell as the construction of the Student Recreation

and Wellness Center continues. Dr. David Dillman, professor of political science, used to work out in the South Exercise Room, but he said he does not feel at all inconvenienced by this situation. Faculty and students who lost their gym now can work out in Powell at no extra cost. “All the machines I used were

Inside Sat

58° 39°


52° 34°

ZAK ZEINERT Staff Photographer

see POWELL page 4


IN ‘HALLOWED HALLS,’ the third installment of our four-part series, we take a look at Moody Coliseum, ACU’s multipurpose basketball arena. Page 8

DRUNK DRIVING caused more than 11,700 deaths in the U.S. in 2008. These senseless deaths are preventable. One device could make a difference. Page 6



How did you spend your snow days? a. Catching up on homework. b. Sleep and laziness. c. Snowball fights. Snow-Covered Campus

Visit to join the discussion.


Campus Day

About This Page The Optimist maintains this calendar for the ACU community to keep track of local social, academic and service opportunities. Groups may send announcements directly to optimist@jmcnetwork. com.

Friday, February 26, 2010

To ensure an item will appear on time, the announcement should be sent at least 10 days before. The Optimist may edit items for space and style.




11 a.m. Praise Day

7 p.m. The Abilene Interfaith Council will host the Interfaith Amigos, a group of three clergymen of different faiths, for a discussion in the Mabee Room at McMurry University.



8 a.m.-2 p.m. A garage sale for Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society will take place at 4073 Richmond St. 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Gary Saurage, the star of CMT’s reality show Gator 911, will present live Gator Country shows at the Abilene Civic Center. The event costs $10. For more information, go to


Tim Wise, a nationally known anti-racism author and activist, will speak at 7 p.m. March 2 in Moody Coliseum. Wise will address racism and other topics, which students can find at The Honors College will present a murder mystery dinner at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the atrium of the Williams Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 individually or $15 for a couple. Formal dress is suggested. The Upward Bound Program is in need of students to serve as summer advisers. The program is looking for encouraging, energetic and responsible students to assist in preparing high school students for college. For more information, call 674-2529 or 674-2514. Artist Talk will take place at 9 a.m. Friday in the Shore Art Gallery. Join Nathan Spoon and Darren Le Gallo as they talk about life as artists in Los Angeles. Gray Matter, the senior art show, will take place at


11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. A Mexican Stack Lunch will take place at the First Assembly of God Church of Haskell. All proceeds will go toward insurance premiums for the church.

Chapel Checkup

9 p.m. Nine O’clock, the weekly praise service, will take place at University Church of Christ at 9 p.m. Free drinks and snacks follow the service in the Family Room.

Announcements Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is now available to staff, faculty and students through the Counseling Center. For more information, call 674-2626.

Corrections and clarifications of published news articles will be printed in this space in a timely manner.

March 5. The cost is $75 per team, and games will begin March 22. For more information, contact Susan Hardcastle at 674-2555, or e-mail her at susan.hardcastle@

The Noah Project needs volunteers to cover the domestic violence crisis hotline between 6 and 10 p.m. Monday-Friday. For more information, call Yvonne Myers at 676-7107.

Pre-law advisers from ACU, Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University are administering a practice LSAT test at 7 p.m. March 4. The test costs $10 and will be given in Room 210 in the Hardin Administration Building. Contact Dr. Mel Hailey for more information.

Freshman Devo begins at 10 p.m. March 4 in the Beauchamp Amphitheater. Randy Harris will speak at the event.

Love and Care Ministries needs help with its clothing ministry and street feeds at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. or 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. To schedule a time, call Terry Davis at 670-0246.

A FilmFest 2010 interest meeting will take place after Chapel on Friday in the McGlothlin Campus Center. Justice Week, sponsored by the International Justice Mission, will take place March 1-6. ACU’s Black History Production will take place March 5 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. in Cullen Auditorium as a part of Justice Week. Admission is free. ACU’s Wind Ensemble will perform a concert at 8 p.m. March 8 in Cullen Auditorium. Admission is free. The deadline to sign up for intramural volleyball is

Credited Chapels remaining:

34 39

Volunteer Opportunities

6 p.m. Friday in the Shore Art Gallery. The show will feature work from Jackie Brunk, Katie Palmer, Gentry Griffin, Casey Rogers, Rebecca Shumacher and James Vokes.

The Shinnery has extended its deadline for submissions until March 5.

Credited Chapels to date:

The Kirk House Band and David Dunn will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. March 3 in Moody Coliseum. For more information, call 668-4019. A Chapel forum, sponsored by the Broom Colloquium, will take place at 7 p.m. March 5 in the Biblical Studies Building. The forum costs $5, and interested students can sign up in the Center for Christian Service and Leadership in the lower level of the McGlothlin Campus Center. Registration for online summer classes is now open. For more information, contact your academic adviser. The Pete Brewer Quartet will perform at 8 p.m. March 25 in the Williams Performing Arts Center as part of the Guest Artist series. Admission is free.

The Abilene Cultural Affairs Council needs volunteers for Gator Country, an animal preserve and rescue operation from Beaumont, on Saturday at the Abilene Civic Center. Volunteers will prepare breakfast, assist with two performances, serve as ushers and direct visitors through the Nature Trail. For more information, contact Angie Cook at 7944426, or e-mail angie.cook@ Volunteers must sign up by Monday. The City of Abilene’s Adaptive Recreation Services needs volunteers to help mentally and physically challenged adults with activities between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Activities can include arts and crafts, exercise, ceramics, bowling, field trips, etc. For more information, contact Barbara Liggett at

676-6575, or e-mail barbara.

Web site at www.fccabilene. org/outreach.html.

Abilene Nursing and Rehabilitation Center needs volunteers at 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday to assist residents with Bingo and other activities. Volunteers will stay one to two hours. For more information, contact Rita Raymond at 673-0568, or e-mail cameron.grad@

Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteers to deliver hot meals to seniors and adults with disabilities each week. Volunteers may work once a week between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday-Friday. For more information, contact Elisabeth Rodgers at 6725050.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church needs volunteers to help with its baby room. Tasks include sorting, hanging clothing and cleaning. Volunteers are welcome from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays. For more information, contact Peggy Valentine at 829-3425, or email pegleeval123@yahoo. com. The International Rescue Committee needs volunteers to set up apartments before refugees arrive. This includes shopping for household supplies, assembling furniture and putting away kitchen and food items. All volunteers are required to attend an IRC volunteer orientation and must be available during weekday afternoons. Breakfast On Beech Street serves breakfast to Abilene’s homeless community and is in need of volunteers. Breakfast is served from 6:30-7:15 a.m. at the First Christian Church at 3rd and Beech Street. Volunteers must arrive at 5:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 5 a.m. Tuesdays. For more information, visit the First Christian Church’s

Abilene Hope Haven needs volunteers anytime between 3 and 11 p.m. Monday through Friday. Volunteers will answer phones, enter data into a database and handle other receptionist duties. For more information, contact Colleen Rud at 677-4673. The Alzheimer’s Association needs volunteers any time 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Volunteers must be present for at least one hour and will perform various office duties. For more information, contact Libby Connally at 672-2907. The American Heart Association needs volunteers any time 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Volunteers will help with general office tasks and assist with mailings. For more information, contact Kay Alexander at 627-0070. The Christian Service Center needs volunteers to fill requests for clothing, bedding, kitchen utensils, etc., from the donation center. Volunteers may work from noon-4 p.m. Friday or Saturday. For more information, call Jim Clark at 673-7531.

Campus News/From Front

February 26, 2010

Page 3


Starr appointed as Baylor’s 14th president Chelsea Hackney Copy Editor After five presidents in 15 years, Baylor University has hired the dean of Pepperdine University School of Law, Kenneth Starr, to fill the ofttumultuous presidential office. For ACU faculty, staff and students familiar with Starr, his move is good news for Baylor and for ACU. “I’m thrilled that Kenneth Starr has been selected to be the next president at Baylor University,” said Dr. Royce Money, ACU president. “I know Judge Starr and have very high regard for his ability as a

Christian leader. I believe that the Baylor community will benefit from his expertise and dedication.” For many who have been watching Baylor develop during the past decade, Starr’s hiring was somewhat of a surprise, especially because of his strong ties to the Church of Christ. “We didn’t even know he was applying,” said Dr. Neal Coates, associate professor of political science. Presidential hires at Baylor in the past few years have been decidedly controversial, but many of the staff at Baylor seems to be pleased with the selection of Starr.

“I believe that he is the right person for the right job at the right time for Baylor,” said Carl Flynn, director of marketing and communications for information technology and university libraries at Baylor. “I look forward to the positive impact he will have upon Baylor University as it strives to be among the leading Christian institutions of higher education.” Universities frequently hire new staff and faculty, and usually, it has a minimal effect on universities across the state. In this case, however, a new president for Baylor could

strongly impact ACU and Christian higher education in general, in part because Baylor poses competition as a Christian liberal arts program. It is also working to become a premier academic institution, just as ACU is, according to www.baylor. edu/about/vision/. Baylor’s Vision 2012, with goals such as attracting a top-tier student body and building outstanding academic facilities, is in many ways similar to ACU’s 21st Century Vision, and Baylor is in many ways facing similar struggles. Historically, religious universities have had dif-

ficulty balancing academic excellence and a commitment to their faith heritage – look at Harvard and Yale. Baylor is feeling many of these growing pains, and one of Starr’s most important tasks will be to guide Baylor toward its vision while maintaining strong ties to its Baptist roots. For ACU students, having a university with strong graduate programs like Baylor following the same path could be beneficial, especially for students interested in pursuing law school. Pepperdine and Baylor set aside one scholarship each year for ACU students apply-

ing to law school, and Starr personally visited several times to meet with prospective students. Coates said Starr’s move should not adversely affect ACU’s relationship with either university. ACU had a solid relationship with Pepperdine before Starr became dean, he said, although Starr certainly influenced the law school’s climb in the national rankings. “It’s a win-win for ACU students who want to go to law school,” Coates said. contact Hackney at



Donors celebrated at dinner Board: Resignations part of Kelsi Williamson Chief Photographer ACU’s strongest donors were honored at one of the university’s premier events, the annual President’s Circle dinner, on Saturday. “This is the top dinner on campus each year,” said Barbara Hejl, ACU director of stewardship. Held in the Teague Special Events Center, the event included an opening reception, dinner and a concluding program with a video showing the benefits of the ACU endowment to students. Almost 600 individuals attended the dinner

this year, Hejl said. 1,157 invitations were sent to donors who have given at least $1,000 to the university during the past fiscal year. “We feel good about the attendance,” Hejl said. “We would like to see the dinner grow even more.” Created in 1969, the President’s Circle was “established to bring together those who are the strongest financial supporters of ACU,” according to the ACU Office of Development Web site. Hejl said many of the President’s Circle members are ACU alumni. Hejl begins planning for the dinner in September every year in order to

make it top notch. “My goal is to make every donor feel and realize that they are important regardless of the size of their gift,” Hejl said. Twelve student ambassadors attended the event Mark Foster, senior information technology major from Abilene, was one of the ambassadors. This was Foster’s first President’s Circle dinner, although he has helped with the Heritage Society dinner in the past. “It’s a good time for them to be thanked,” Foster said.

contact Williamson at

four-year restructuring plan Continued from page 1 sity selected Dr. Royce Money as president of the university in 1991. Cornutt’s predecessor, Don Crisp, was an advocate of taking regular surveys of the board, and for the first time, in 2007, members indicated they thought the board was too large to function effectively. Crisp assembled a committee to overhaul the board. The committee’s plan included the dissolution of the senior board, an increase

Under his leadership, we have really seen the board become more engaged. DR. SLADE SULLIVAN Secretary of the Board and General Counsel for the University

from two to four annual meetings, three-year term limits for trustees and five-year limits for board chairs. “Over the past three years, we have really seen the board become more engaged,” Sullivan said. “The board has really improved its governance model in significant ways under his leadership.”

Four trustees will resign this August and four more in February 2011. But the university also selected two new members in February 2009 and will continue to add members in small numbers to ensure an unbroken cycle in the future. contact Hettich at

From Front

Page 4


February 26, 2010


Service: Alumna mourned Roma: Studying globally Continued from page 1

“She was very approachable to anybody that she came to know and a very loving, kind person.” Lewis said Bizaillion also participated in an internship with children at Highland. “More evidence of her abilities with young people,” he said. “Just a really neat person.” Lanna Armstrong, senior accounting major from Dallas and president of Ko Jo Kai, said although club members did not have contact with Bizaillion during her illness and hospitalization, members’ mothers who pledged were friends with Bizaillion, attended church with her and remember her coming to club breakfasts. “Even if someone isn’t in club the same time you are, they did the same thing you did; they did Sing Song, and they were where you are,” Armstrong said. “She was so young, some of the girls here knew her, and it touched our hearts to have this group where we can support her even though she’s not here any-

more.” KJK support included donations at the club’s Sing Song breakfast, a gift basket to Bizaillion’s daughter, cards to her family, T-shirts in honor of Bizaillion, an upcoming bake sale with Sigma Theta Chi and an all-club social. The $10 potluck-style social will take place March 7 in the Hunter Welcome Center, and all donations from these events will go to Bizaillion’s church and toward her medical bills, Armstrong said. “Our goal by May is to have a big donation and try to raise money until their medical bills are paid off,” she said. The rest of the ACU community also reached out to Bizaillion in prayer and donations. The winners of Sing Song, in particular, donated all prize money to the Bizallion family after the winners were announced Saturday evening. “It was kind of nice that Sing Song was pushing for a goal this year,” Armstrong said. “Yeah, we didn’t win, but in the end it turned out good because that gave us motivation to

fight for something instead of Sing Song. Now we were fighting for a cause, and I think that really touched our hearts.” A “Praying for Jenny Bizaillion” Facebook page was created where members could donate to the Gregg Pearson Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to “help individuals directly that struggle with cancer and its indelible effects on themselves and their families” and “directly support other organizations that share in our same mission and desires.” Bizaillion’s viewing took place Wednesday and her memorial service took place at 1 p.m. Thursday at Richland Hills Church of Christ in Fort Worth. The service was streamed live at rhchurch. The Bizaillion family asks donations be made through the Gregg Pearson Foundation by visiting the Web site,, clicking “Donate” and entering “GPF Benevolence” in the memo line. contact Rodriguez at

Continued from page 1 ined the sources of their motivation and strength last spring. According to Morris’ report, Roma immigrants throughout Europe have finally entered the “Decade of Roma Inclusion,” after centuries of oppression, poverty and discrimination. Now that a few Roma students are beginning to enter universities, Morris traveled to Hungary to research how Roma students have been progressing and what experiences, behaviors and factors have contributed to their achievements. With the aid of Hungarian educators, Morris put together a survey examining students’ backgrounds and experiences in the education system. About 15 Roma students participating in a support program called Romaversitas told their stories through essay answers, Morris said. Their stories highlighted the stereotyping they often faced from the majority and the conflicting pressures they felt from

their families. “I had to convince my classmates that I am not like other gypsy kids,” one Roma student wrote. The Roma endure the stigma of dishonesty and stupidity, and many Roma children are assumed to be mentally disabled and placed in special education schools, Morris said. Many are ashamed to identify themselves as Roma, Morris said, and some Roma wrote they did not receive support from their families in pursuing education. But, despite these obstacles, Roma students from different backgrounds and philosophies are indeed working through college, Morris said. Morris said its real purpose was to tell the stories of Roma university students and foster hope in Roma communities. He plans to continue studying this question in the future. Johnson, junior marketing major from Frisco, has no experience with the particular Roma students involved in this study. But he and some students he knows have faced simi-

lar obstacles in pursuing higher education. He is a scholar in the McNair Scholars Program, which prepares low-income minority and first-generation college students for doctoral education by helping them conduct primary research in their fields of interest, according to trio/mcnair. Johnson said he believes community support is a key factor in the broader question of academic success, but even more vital, he said, is an inward passion that recognizes the value of education when others do not. “I know people who literally fight their family to go to college,” Johnson said. “It’s their passion to have better opportunities for their children or more rights for others.” This passion was reflected in some of the responses of Roma students. One said he joined a Roma support program to be able to do something for the Roma. contact Lewis at


Powell: Renovation results in membership increase Continued from page 1 moved to Powell,” Dillman said. David Hess, strength coach at ACU, said he is happy to see more activ-

ity and new machinery in Powell. “Now, we are more of a full-service gym,” Hess said. While the main gym is a bit crowded, room remains for non-athlete

students to work out. Powell is open to students, faculty and the public for a membership fee of $100 per semester. In 18 months, when the new recreational center opens, Hess will continue his

training services in Powell for those interested. The biggest change in Powell’s day-to-day operations after the opening of the Recreation and Wellness Center will be reflected in hours of operations,

Hess said. At this point, though, he is unsure what those hours will be. Students will wait three more semesters for the new recreation center to open. In the meantime, Powell Fitness Center

serves as the ACU community’s only on-campus option for indoor workouts open to everyone.

contact Jennings at

February 26, 2010


Page 5

anything but

gray HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer Lighbulbs symbolizing ideas hang from the ceiling of the Shore Art Gallery for the senior art show.

Lucas Wright Arts Editor

HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer Gentry Griffin and Jackie Brunk hang artwork in preparation for the show.

The clock ticks as six students from the Department of Art and Design showcase their talent at the senior art show. The show, entitled Gray Matter, will open in the Shore Art Gallery on Friday. Gray Matter is the part of the brain that routes stimuli from your senses in order to create a response. “We wanted something that would go with the brain and with thinking,” said Gentry Griffin, senior art major from Athens. “Creating art is a process both mental and physical. You come up with an idea and then in some form or fashion you display that idea.”

The gallery will open at 6 p.m. and will feature a compilation of the student’s artwork from throughout their time at ACU. There will be music, finger food and drinks for viewers as they browse. At 6:30 p.m., the artists will be introduced by a professor of their choice. Each artist will talk about their pieces and their progression through art. “It’s a time to finally get a look at what we’ve done,” said James Vokes, twodimensional design major from Atlanta, Ga. “You can see what our work has been about and where we’re going.” The gallery plans to host the seniors’ work until March 12. “It’s really going to be fun,” said Jackie Brunk, senior graphic design ma-

QUICK FACTS Six senior art students showcase their creations for the last time in the Shore Art Gallery. n Jackie Brunk, graphic design major from Jackson, Wyo. n Gentry Griffin, graphic design major from Athens n Katie Palmer, interior design major from Abilene n Casey Rogers, graphic design major from Abilene n Rebecca Schumacher, interior design major from Arlington n James Vokes, two dimentional design major from Stone Mountain, Ga.

jor from Jackson Hole, Wyo. “Getting this ready has been a lot of work, but it’s going to be worth it.” contact Wright at


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February 26, 2010

Campus should function as open forum skills. The broader experience we have in college, the better we’ll be able to contribute to society later. Unfortunately, while ACU does an excellent job of inviting a diverse group of speakers, the selection process seems, at times, haphazard and incomplete. Unlike many universities, ACU does not have a central office responsible for choosing guest speakers. This gives departments the freedom to choose their own speakers – the College of Business Administration is noteworthy in its selection of well-known and well-respected global business leaders – but it can also create confusion among students and fac-

Muslim scholar who converted to Christianity, and Tim Wise, an anti-racism author and speaker, are a couple of people who immediately come to mind. Even groups with far more controversial stances, such as the gay rights group, Soulforce, have also been welcomed to engage in dialogue with the ACU community. We salute the university for not only allowing, but encouraging students, faculty and staff to participate in meaningful discussion with those of different interests, faiths and political leanings. A liberal arts education is intended to develop a student’s ability to synthesize knowledge and experience in order to improve critical thinking

ACU prides itself on inviting top-notch speakers to campus, but more importantly, it emphasizes its role as an open forum for discourse – and justifiably so. During the past few years, ACU has invited authors, theologians, social activists and business leaders to speak at events of all kinds, from Summit to Lynay meetings. Students have gotten excited about big names like Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, and Lance Barrow, sports producer for CBS. Thankfully, ACU has taken the time to invite some lesser-known individuals who have equally valuable things to say. Sam Solomon, a former

ulty, who aren’t sure how or why certain speakers were chosen. More importantly, though, ACU’s lineup of speakers rarely includes A-list figures, at least as far as universities like Harvard or William & Mary are concerned. Instead, ACU tends to invite counter-cultural evangelicals – edgy Christians, if you will – but still Christians. They’re not edgy Muslims or Jews or atheists, and we hardly ever see famous politicians or athletes. Harding University has invited such noteworthy guests as George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice; even Lipscomb University invited Department of Commerce Secretary David Sampson in 2006, when it was half the size of ACU.

Mac-n- Tex

By Aaron Cavitt


Many schools, like ACU, function as an open forum for discussion among diverse groups and individuals.


ACU should follow the example of other universities and start inviting names outside evangelical circles. We’re not expecting to see Jon Stewart or Ban Ki-Moon at the next commencement speech. What we would like to see is a heightened interest on the part of the university in inviting speakers whose names are known outside evangelical circles – not because we’re tired of hearing from leaders in the faith or because we’re ungrateful, but because we think world leaders, even “sec-

ular” ones, have something valuable to offer. ACU is becoming a household name in education; we should act like it. If we can afford to give iPhones to every student, maybe we could afford to get Anderson Cooper or Oprah or Stephen Colbert on campus. We’re sure ACU would give them a warm Christian welcome. Email the Optimist at:


Car breathalyzer could avert death Bread with Tomato Colter Hettich


Stench ultimately prompts patience Sondra Not Sandra Sondra Rodriguez My house was skunked early Monday morning. The wretched smell woke my three roommates and I shortly a f t e r midnight, r i g h t around the time one of my roomm a t e s Rodriguez drug her sleepy self into my room mumbling: “it smells awful in here”. She climbed into bed with me as I shoved the corner of my comforter up my nostrils in an attempt to block my nasal passage from the vile smell, comparable to rotten eggs, burning rubber and garlic. According to her, I sat then up in a fit of rage and yelled obscenities at the smell and repulsive animal that was responsible. Did the skunk spray the house in passing?

Was it stuck in the wall? Under the house? Will it begin decaying? These questions floated around my head till the four of us finally got out of bed— angry monsters with pounding headaches who smelled like stale skunk. I woke up without time to shower and headed straight to work, where I kept catching whiffs of skunk and apologized profusely for stinking up my boss’ office. I made a few phone calls to our realtor and the city of Abilene and both replied with: “we don’t deal with things like that.” However, the city offered to put me on a wait list for a skunk trap I’d have to assemble myself. Not to worry, though, they’d send someone to collect the body. My roommates and I figured we were on our own. Two trips to Wal Mart, thousands of candles, oil lamps and two bottles of distilled vinegar later, the house still reeked. Wikipe-

dia told us spraying vinegar on every surface would break down the oil-based scent the skunk releases from two glands surrounding the anus. This description made the house smell even worse. After following Wiki-directions, our house smelled like an old, sour candle shop with a hint of skunk. We resorted to our next option; turn off the heater, open the windows and turn on every fan in the house the night before Abilene was slammed with 4.5 inches of snow. At this point, we may as well have raised the roof off our house, stolen a high-power fan from some local photo shoot and blasted it in every direction—the smell would still be there. Sure, it was a bit weaker, but by this point the smell had soaked into every fiber of the house and the oil began seeping into our skin. We were used to any remaining odor, numb to anything that smelled good and we were cold and grumpy.

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:

We realized all we could do was wait—something most of us have trouble doing. We were exhausted, out of money and we had to let it go. As pungent as the stench was and as much as we wished for a miracle spray to free us from anal-spray induced headaches, we just had to wait. The smell couldn’t last forever. Sometimes our situations are less than ideal but we have to realize when to give up and learn to laugh about our misfortunes. I apologize if I offended anyone on campus with my rank scent, but we didn’t ask the skunk to spray our house. We did, however, handle the situation wonderfully and I applaud my wonderful roommates for undergoing the struggle with me. Bear the smell, endure the struggle, suck it up and know that it’ll air out eventually. contact Rodriguez at

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Americans prize freedom. They keep their finger on the legal trigger in case anyone gets anywhere near their rights. But when individuals prize the right to inebriate themselves beyond coherency and Hettich then drive a motor vehicle through populated areas, something is wrong. More than 11,700 people were killed in alcoholrelated crashes in 2008, accounting for 32 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. That comes to one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 45 minutes. What will really brighten your day is how preventable those 11,773 deaths truly are. It’s called an ignition interlock device, or IID. IIDequipped vehicles require the driver to breathe into the device before starting. If it detects a blood alcohol concentration, BAC, above a set limit, you’re not going anywhere. Almost all IIDs in use are punishment for individuals convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. Repeat offense rates of those individuals are 73 percent lower than those without, according to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. So why does the law not require every car be equipped with an IID? It costs too much. Near-foolproof technology exists; it just costs too much. Early IIDs could be circumvented by hav-

ing someone else breathe or starting the engine and running it while the driver goes back inside to get that BAC nice and high. Some also complained about food or mouthwash triggering the device and leaving them stranded or in violation of their probation. Breathalyzer technology has advanced far beyond those concerns, but

What will really brighten your day is how preventable those 11,773 deaths truly are. reliable devices cost $800$1,200. The average IID in use today is a low-end models and costs a whopping $300. Patrolling officers alone are not enough. More than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2008, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. Sounds good – except 159 million U.S. drivers self-reported driving under the influence, according to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Alcohol is responsible for more than drivingrelated deaths, including shootings and drownings. Those issues are no less important, but their combined totals cannot compare to those of automotive vehicles. The consequences of alcohol abuse have proven too dire to be protected by “rights.” We cannot prevent all death at once, but we can start somewhere. contact Hettich at

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From Sports

February 26, 2010

Page 7


Moody: Arena hosts more than athletics Continued from page 8

Copeland also said the arena’s sheer size serves as a valuable recruiting tool, even if basketball crowds never come close to capacity. When Copeland took over the program, it had not reached the Lone Star Conference tournament in almost a decade. He described the victory against Texas A&M-Kingsville that propelled the ’Cats into postseason play in 2008 as one of his favorite Moody memories.



Moody Coliseum’s maximum capacity for athletic events. The arena can hold up to 5,500 for non-athletic events.

While Moody is home to ACU basketball and volleyball, the arena is about so much more than sports. Every weekday, thousands of ACU students make their pilgrimage to Moody for Chapel, and in February, Sing Song takes center stage. If a major indoor event is taking place on

the ACU campus, it likely takes place in Moody. Even with the construction of a new recreational center, Moody isn’t moving from its spot on campus or in ACU tradition anytime soon.

KELSI WILLIAMSON Chief Photographer

contact Craig at

Students fill the 4,600 theatre-style seats in Moody Coliseum during Chapel each week.



Playoffs: ’Cats blow past Zias, 75-59 Finale: ’Cats fall Continued from page 8

“Its been a very crazy ride getting to this point, we’ve had our ups and downs,” Head Coach Shawna Lavender said. ”But when we’ve had to come through in big games, we’ve done it. We’re excited to be there, but we’re going to the tournament with intentions to win.” ACU started the game with a 12-0 run, and maintained the lead from then on; the Zias never got within 10 points. ACU led by as much as 29 at one point and increased its winning streak against Eastern New Mexico to 17 games. “We came out focused and shot well as a team,” Lavender said. “I felt that the girls understood what we needed to do as a team, and we got a big win.” The Wildcats clinched

a top-four position with only one game remaining. They finish out their regular season in Canyon against West Texas A&M at 6 p.m. Saturday. Courtney Laing played a great game on Senior Night, recording a career-best 20 points along with seven rebounds. Forward Jamie Meyer chipped in another double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Cecilee Perez provided a late spark off the bench with 11 points and a perfect 3-3 on 3-point attempts. “This win really showed us what we are capable of and what we can do,” Laing said. “I still believe we have a lot of games left, and we have a lot of heart left in our team.” The LSC postseason tournament is scheduled for Mar. 4-7 in Bartlesville, Okla. The Wildcats’ first-round opponent has yet to be determined.

to 1-10 in LSC play Continued from page 8

KELSI WILLIAMSON Chief Photographer

Freshman Cecilee Perez dribbles around a defender during the Wildcats’ 75-59 win against ENMU. West Texas and Tarleton State have already clinched spots, with Texas A&M Kingsville and Angelo State in competition for the

final postseason spot. WTAMU has clinched the No. 1 seed. contact Cantrell at

it up with a layup by Dustin Heiman. But in keeping with the season’s trend, the ‘Cats could not close. “We really dug ourselves into a hole like we have done all season,” Copeland said. “It was good to see us tie it, but it wasn’t a victory by any means.” With only 57 ticks left on the clock, ENMU guard Reggie Nelson hit a 3-pointed that sealed the Greyhounds’ fourth conference win of the season. The Wildcats had good production from the bench; the two leading scorers came from the pine. Marcus Washington and Heiman had 13 points each, while Eddie Thompson, Dosh Simms and Kabba added nine apiece.

The Wildcats shot 44 percent from the field, including a dismal 27 percent from behind the 3-point line. The Greyhounds on the other hand shot 54 percent from the field. Shots from the free throw line may have made the difference in the game. The Greyhounds made 20 of 25 free throws, but the Wildcats could not make their freebies. ACU made only 11 of 23 from the charity stripe. The four seniors will play their final collegiate game against West Texas A&M on Saturday. Game time is set for 6 p.m.

contact Gwin at


Town: Cowboys, Rangers put Arlington back on the map Continued from page 8

of exciting things. Six Flags Over Texas has been the focal point of the city for decades, not to mention Hurricane Harbor across the highway. However, I have also seen a lot of hometown losses and failures as a fan of the Texas Rangers. All of the other Dallas teams, like the Mavericks and the Cowboys, are in different area codes, so the “Arlingtonites” are left with the Rangers.

When the team moved from Washington, D.C., to Arlington in 1972, it was nothing but high hopes and expectations for the city’s new team. Thirtyeight years later, Arlington residents have figured out that with one playoff win in the history of the franchise, our hometown team wasn’t all that great. The city of Arlington was just a baseball town with a bad team. But in 1991, in the midst of a 77-loss season for the Rangers, the city broke ground on

the new standard for sporting venues. The Ballpark in Arlington was one of the most pristine baseball stadiums ever built. And it gave Arlington something to be proud of. The city suddenly became a destination for people around the state and the region. And for the next few years, residents of Arlington ate up the attention. The unsuccessful seasons continued, but Arlington still had an awesome stadium; it just had an awesome sta-

dium with a bad team. Arlington was back off the map. I’m proud to say those days are far behind the city now. For years, the residents of Arlington have roughed it with the Rangers and gotten nothing out of it. But all the waiting and loyalty has finally paid off. The city is now a beacon of light in the sports world with the addition of Cowboys Stadium right down the street from the Ballpark. Cowboys Stadium has brought with

it not only America’s Team but a new sense of pride for the city – pride that comes only with a championship team like the Dallas Cowboys. Arlington has gone from a bad baseball town to a sports Mecca in a matter of years. Regardless of the unproductive seasons the Rangers have had, Arlington will always stick with its hometown team. And the people of Arlington will always keep a seat saved for Josh Hamilton and Mi-

chael Young at Cowboys Stadium when the MLB playoffs begin. contact Goggans at


Page 8

Standings MEN'S BASKETBALL Ovrl. Div. Team MSU Tarleton St. Angelo St. WTAMU ENMU TAMU-K ACU

10-2 9-2 7-4 5-6 4-7 3-8 1-10

25-2 21-5 16-10 14-12 9-16 13-13 8-18



10-1 8-3 6-5 6-5 5-6 2-9 2-10

26-2 20-5 18-6 15-9 11-12 7-17 8-17

February 26, 2010


Greyhounds edge Wildcats in home finale Austin Gwin Assistant Sports Editor The Abilene Christian men’s basketball team dropped its last home game of the season Tuesday night, which

also happened to be Senior Night. The Wildcats never held the lead against Eastern New Mexico, and with the loss, their record fell to 1-10 in conference play.


For the four seniors on the team – Kevin White, Riley Lambert, Abby Kabba and Kendrick Johnson – the game was the final one they would play in front of a Moody crowd. Head

Coach Jason Copeland has been with the seniors their entire time at ACU. “All four are great kids,” Copeland said. “ We have been blessed to have them on our team.

All four have fought back from injuries. They will represent ACU well in their future.” With 1:22 left to play, the Wildcats tied see FINALE page 7

Hallowed Halls

A four-part series on the venues of ACU Athletics


Angelo St. WTAMU Tarleton St. TWU ACU ENMU TAMU-K

0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0

13-2 11-5 5-4 6-5 5-6 5-11 3-8

BASEBALL Team Div. Ovrl. East Central ACU SW Okla. St. Cameron ENMU SE Okla. St. Angelo St. Northeastern TAMU-K Central Okla. Tarleton St. WTAMU

2-0 6-2 5-2 5-3 5-3 4-4 4-4 4-4 3-5 1-3 2-6 0-5

2-2 10-2 7-5 5-3 5-5 7-4 9-6 5-8 7-5 3-3 5-7 1-5 KELSI WILLIAMSON Chief Photographer

Scores TUESDAY Women's Basketball ACU 75, Midwestern St. 59

The view from the press box on the east side of Moody Coliseum. Moody has been the home of ACU basketball since 1968.

Home Court Advantage Moody Coliseum, the Wildcats’ versatile arena

Men's Basketball ACU 71, Midwestern St. 74

Jeff Craig Sports Editor

SUNDAY Baseball ACU 1, TAMU-K 4

Softball ACU 2, Henderson St. 1


Upcoming FRIDAY Women's Tennis ACU vs. Idaho St., TBA ACU vs. Metropolitan St., TBA

Moody Coliseum stands at the center of Abilene Christian University – literally and figuratively. Indoor athletics, Sing Song, Chapel and Summit all call the cavernous arena home. More than 40 years after its completion, Moody remains at the heart of all things ACU. The arena has undergone several makeovers during the years. Today, the arena seats about 4,600 people for basketball games, but temporary seating can raise capacity to more than 5,500 for Chapel, Sing Song or Summit. The current scoreboard was raised to the rafters in 2003, and the current gym floor was laid in 2006. The first basketball game ever played in Moody was Feb. 27,

1968, when the Wildcats topped Arkansas State 96-93 in overtime to win the Southland Conference title. During the past 43 seasons, the arena has played host to many other significant athletic events, ranging from regional basketball championships to volleyball tournaments. Jason Copeland is in his fifth year as the men’s head basketball coach and has seen some great moments in Moody. The Wildcats ended a 15-game losing streak there against Tarleton State in January of last year and nearly defeated a top-10 team, Midwestern State, in the same month. “It’s better than 80 to 90 percent of the places we play,” Copeland said. “We have a great floor and good seating.” KELSI WILLIAMSON Chief Photographer

see MOODY page 7

The north end of Moody was the stage for Sing Song.



Softball ACU at St. Mary's, 3 p.m. ACU at St. Mary's, 5 p.m.

Baseball ACU at WTAMU, 12 p.m. ACU at WTAMU, 3:30 p.m.

Women's Basketball ACU at WTAMU, 6 p.m.

Men's Basketball ACU at WTAMU, 8 p.m

SUNDAY Softball ACU at St. Edwards, noon ACU at St. Edwards, 2 p.m.



Wildcats clinch playoff spot Cowboys’ relocation created a sports town Ryan Cantrell

Assistant Sports Editor

The Wildcats are headed to the Lone Star Conference tournament after beating Eastern New Mexico 75-59 and getting some help from Midwestern State. The Wildcats needed to keep pace with Angelo State during the season final two games to make the postseason. The Wildcats took care of their business Tuesday, crushing ENMU. The Midwestern State Lady Mustangs aided

Cattywampus By Zane Goggans

KELSI WILLIAMSON Chief Photographer

Guard Shelby Shipley reaches for a pass against ENMU. the Wildcats' cause beating Angelo State Wednesday evening. MSU's loss clinched

a postseason spot for the Wildcats. see PLAYOFFS page 7

Cities across the United States have felt what it’s like to have a terrible h o m e team to root for. For example, I Goggans have a lot of sympathy for the people of Detroit. Even though the Lions have won the

NFL Championship game four times, the latest in 1957, they have never won a Super Bowl. The Charlotte Bobcats have never made it to the Finals, and the Phoenix Coyotes don’t have a Stanley Cup. My hometown has a team that for nearly 40 years has not produced only one playoff win As a native of Arlington, I have seen my fair share see TOWN page 7

The Optimist Print Edition: 02/26/2010  

The Optimist is a product of the JMC Network at Abilene Christian University.

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