Page 1

Optimist the

Almost a Stunner, page 8

Friday, March 4, 2011

Vol. 99, No. 41

1 section, 8 pages


Tuition to increase nearly 10 percent setting tuition is about creating a balance between Editor In Chief cutting costs without shortTuition will rise almost changing students. “We’re always trying 10 percent in the fall, putting the cost of a credit to reach the right balance between investing and enhour at $787. Dr. Phil Schubert, presi- suring our students get the dent of the university, said education experience that

Linda Bailey

they need to be prepared in the world and attempting to trim and cut our costs,” Schubert said. Many factors lead to higher tuition, including an overall increase in faculty medical benefits and utility costs as well as supporting a

healthy measure of financial aid for students. “We’re in an industry that is pretty heavily focused on bodies in the classroom and a lot of heavy capital infrastructure, buildings and facilities – and people tend to be pretty expensive things,

in terms of a business model,” Schubert said. Despite the increase, Schubert said ACU still is priced in the lowest 25 percent of private schools across the country while providing an education in the top 25 percent in quality. And

Schubert said the nature of an open market says some level of correlation exists between price and quality. “That doesn’t mean that it’s easy or cheap, it just means that we want to see RISE page 4


Students report vehicle burglary Christina Burch Page 2 Editor

A recent wave of vehicle burglary hit the parking lot of Smith and Adams Halls last week, robbing three residents of various items. ACU Chief of Police Jimmy Ellison received the three reports of vehicle burglary on Feb. 21. He said the window of occurrence was between 12 p.m. on Feb. 20 and 8 a.m. on Feb. 21, based on when the victims parked their vehicles and when they found them burglarized. “Three thefts in one night is three too many, but it’s not unheard of,” Ellison said. “We may go months without a car burglary and then get half a dozen. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the reality we have to deal with.” The ransacked vehicles included a Ford Explorer and a Ford Bronco, both parked on the Smith Hall end of the parking lot, and a Honda Civic, parked in a more central location of the lot. Samantha Pettit, sophomore special education major from Vancouver, Wash., was in class when a friend alerted her that her Honda Civic had been broken into. “I was just angry because it’s very violating,” Pettit said. Pettit said she was relieved that her stereo wasn’t

JOZIE SANDS // Online Editor

Gas prices rise above $3 at the Shell station on Judge Ely Boulevard.

Pain at the Pump As turmoil in the Middle East increases, students feel effects of soaring gas prices Laura Gasvoda Staff Reporter

As gas prices continue to soar above $3 per gallon, many students are struggling to balance the limits of life as a pedestrian with the need to drive. Lauren Johnson, senior international studies major from Newport Beach, Calif., drives a small, efficient Volkswagen Beetle and said she does not feel the effects of soaring prices as much as fellow ACU student Makenzie Brown, freshman business marketing major from Lubbock, who drives a Chevrolet Tahoe. Johnson reports an average of 30 mpg and stated that she only fills up every other week, on average. “I have a real small car,” Johnson said.

“I don’t feel the effects of higher gas prices much unless I go out of town.” Brown, however, reports only 20 mpg, on average, and a recent fill-up cost of about $60. Although she definitely prefers to keep driving, she said she works to try to make fewer trips around town. Brown and Johnson both anticipate a continued increase in the price of gas. Dr. John Hill, associate professor of economics at Hardin-Simmons University, said turmoil in the Middle East has a direct economic effect on gas prices. “Part of the high prices is all the unrest in the Middle East. With the turmoil in Libya, the prices have gone up just with the cost of getting the crude oil out of the country,” Hill said. “And

the other leaders over there have noticed it as well. It’s not only actual price but speculative price on what else they might expect to happen. People might see a chance to overthrow unstable regimes, and the leaders over there have to take that into consideration.” Hill said he is not sure how high the prices will go. “I have no idea on how high the prices will rise, but markets have an uncanny way of dampening themselves out,” Hill said. “Once prices are over $100 a barrel, people start paying attention, and markets respond. People will stop buying if it gets high enough.” contact Gasvoda at

see CARS page 4


Global revolutions create world-wide impact derson, mission coordinator for Asia within the Halbert Senior Reporter Institute for Missions and Larry Henderson made a adjunct professor of Bible, short visit to Egypt some- missions and ministry. The Egyptian people time in the ‘90s. Thinking back to what he saw in the began protesting against country then, the news of the oppressive and corrupt the Egyptians’ political re- regime of President Hosni Mubarak in late January. volt did not surprise him. “I saw the people living Their biggest demand, that under pressure,” said Hen- the president step down from

Christianna Lewis


inside news Texas Legislatures work to pass a bill allowing students and faculty to bring concealed firearms onto college campuses page 3

arts “Outlaws and Legends,” a live, country music festival, brings 17 artists and nine sets to the big country on Saturday. page 5

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power, was met on Feb. 11. In the meantime, the military has stepped in to provide a temporary government, while the Egyptian people organize free elections. Since Egypt’s political revolution, nations in and around the Middle East have seen their people begin to speak out for individual rights, democracy and jus-

Here, in the safety of Abilene and the comfort of our campus, our responsibility is to pray on their behalf. LARRY HENDERSON // mission coordinator for Asia within the Halbert Institute for Missions and adjunct professor of Bible, missions and ministry

tice. Tunisia, Libya, Yemeni, Bahrain, Iraq and Iran all have seen protests by their citizens to bring about new

governments, with varying degrees of success. Neal Coates, chair of the Department of Politi-

cal Science, said technology is allowing protesters to see the freedoms enjoyed in other countries, and now they are standing up to their governments to demand the same. While some countries may see their old governments survive, others will be able see PROTESTS page 4


video Find video of the AT&T Learning Studio ribboncutting ceremony and grand opening on our website,

Abilene Christian University




78° 42°

63° 35°

69° 45°


Campus Friday, March 4, 2011


ACU Police Tip of the Week


When exercising or jogging at night, avoid going alone, always use a lighted area, such as the Lunsford Trail, and be alert and aware of surroundings.

Police Log Edited for space

calendar & events Friday

11 a.m. Praise Day Chapel in Moody Coliseum 3 p.m. Softball at Midwestern State University 7 p.m. Baseball vs. Texas A&M International University 7 p.m. FilmFest host and hostess auditions at The World Famous Bean



8 a.m. Abilene Teachers’ Music Association Piano Contest at the Williams Performing Arts Center Recital Hall



1 p.m. Baseball vs. Texas A&M International 1 p.m. Softball at Fort Hays State University

1 p.m. Softball at Arkansas Technical University

3 p.m. Softball at St. Edward’s University

2:30 p.m. Baseball vs. Texas A&M International

7 p.m. Baseball vs. University of the Southwest



Tuesday, Feb. 22 8:41 a.m. ACU Police officers received several reports of a possible trespasser in the Sherrod Residential Park apartment complex. Officers checked the area but could not locate a trespasser.

a large party at 900 Avenue F. Officers issued a warning, and the party disbanded. 1:24 a.m. ACU Police officers received a complaint of loud noises coming from a large party at 1300 Cedar Crest Drive. Officers issued a warning, Deand the party disbanded.

on her door. ACU Police checked the premises and found them to be clear. 5:33 p.m. The ACU Police Department and the Abilene Police Department responded to a fight involving four individuals unaffiliated with ACU. The fight occurred on EN 16th Street and Campus Court, behind the Women for ACU Museum. The investigation continues, and charges are pending.

Abilene Police Department with a burglary-inprogress in the 1200 block of Houston Street. Officers secured the house.

Saturday, Feb. 26 12:18 a.m. ACU Police officers received a complaint of loud noises coming from

Report all suspicious activity to the ACU Police Department at 674-2305.

A log of the ACU Police partment’s daily will Wednesday, Feb.activities 23 be printed on this page of 3 a.m. A resident of the 600 Sunday, Feb. 27 the Optimist. The first 1:40 a.m. The ACU Police block of EN 18th Street re- Police Log ported will appear Friday. Department assisted the someone knocking

2 p.m. Teach English in Italy information session with Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational in the Campus Center Living Room 2:30 p.m. Baseball vs. University of Southwest

3 p.m. Softball at University of the Incarnate Word

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

volunteer opportunities Abilene Hope Haven is seeking volunteers for childcare any night, Monday-Thursday, from 6:45-8:15 p.m. For more information, contact Kathy Reppart at 677-4673. Center for Contemporary Arts needs a gallery assistant to help with exhibit setup and preparation. The work can be done anytime from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday. Call 677-8389 or e-mail info@ Mexican Dinner fundraiser Volunteers are needed to work from 2-9 p.m. on March 26 at the West Cafeteria at Abilene High School. Volunteers will help prepare and serve meals. To sign up, contact Sheila Cory at 673-1110 or scory@

National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Students can assist with art activities, sell books and welcome visitors from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. or 1-3 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays. For more information, contact Debby Lillick at 673-4586, or visit Meals on Wheels Volunteers are needed to deliver meals to seniors and adults with disabilities. Routes are available 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Monday-Friday. Volunteers must be at least 18, with a valid driver’s license, auto insurance and a desire to serve. Training is provided. Students may be exempted from one Chapel per week if delivery time conflicts with Chapel. Contact Samantha Barker at 672-5050.

The Salvation Army Volunteers are needed at the 1726 Butternut St. Salvation Army to sort and price items and help with kitchen or yard work. Volunteers are welcome any time Monday-Saturday. Contact J.D. Alonzo at 6771408, or visit www.satruck. com for more information on the program. The Madison Middle School is looking for male volunteers to participate in a weekly “Boys2Men” lunchtime program for eighth grade boys. Speakers will be addressing different aspects of growing up. Contact Jeff Womack at 692-5661 or Mesa Spring Healthcare Center needs volunteers from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. any day of the week to help with fun activities for the residents, including playing instruments, calling bingo and sitting and talking. All help is appreciated. Contact Laura Reynolds at 692-8080 or lgreynolds@ Aimee’s Art Studio is seeking volunteers from 9-10 a.m. or 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, to assist with homeschool fine arts classes. No formal art skills or training is required. The studio is a five-minute walk from ACU’s campus. For more information, contact Aimee Williams at 672-9633.

Monday, Feb. 28 12:39 p.m. ACU Police officers received a call of a fire at the University Park apartment complex. The fire was started by smoldering cigarettes and damaged the exterior wall of building eight.

Weekly Stats The Dyess Youth Center needs help with a Ping Pong Exhibition from 4-6 p.m. every Friday. Volunteers will preside over tournaments and help with an exhibition for the students. Transportation will not be provided, and volunteers cannot have any sexual assault charges or charges pending. For more information, contact Sheri Frisby at 696-4797, or e-mail International Rescue Committee Students can work with refugees who recently moved to the United States, teaching English, helping with homework and mentoring. Volunteer times are flexible. Call Daina Juryka-Owen at 675-5643 ext. 16 to make an appointment. For more information on the International Rescue Committee, visit HERO Hendrick Equine Rehabilitation Opportunities needs volunteers from March 22-May 5 to help with its horse therapy program. Volunteers will walk or jog alongside horses and provide safety for clients as they ride. No horse experience is necessary. Volunteers must attend one of two training sessions offered prior to the beginning of the program. Contact Beth Byerly at 660-3465, or e-mail

Feb. 15-22 1 911 Call 7 Administrative Activity 3 Alarm 1 Assault 6 Assist 1 Barricades 1 Bicycle/ Skateboard Call 2 Boot/Unboot Vehicle 12 Building Lock/ Unlock 1 Burglary (Residence) 15 Check Building 2 Criminal Trespass Warning

1 Disorderly Conduct 1 Fire 1 Foot Patrol 6 Found Property 1 Harassment 1 Intoxicated Person 7 Investigation Follow Up 5 Medical Emergency 2 Monitor Traffic 1 Motorist Assist: Inflate Tire 2 Motorist Assist: Jumpstart 5 Report Writing

9 Motorist Assist: Unlock 1 Noise Violation 6 Parking Violation 6 Patrol Vehicle: Maintenance 4 Patrol Vehicle: Refuel 1 Special Assignment 1 Stolen Vehicle 5 Suspicious Activity 2 Theft (Non Vehicle) 6 Traffic Stop 1 Trespasser 3 Welfare Check

Chapel Checkup 34 39

Credited Chapels remaining

Credited Chapels to date


announcements All-school Chapel The Chapel Office encourages students to participate in “Bring Your Professor to Chapel Day” and invite their professors to Chapel as a part of the campus-wide effort to attend Chapel every Monday. Online Summer Courses Registration for online summer courses now is open. Students can choose from 15 courses, and each course is three weeks long. For more information, visit D!SCOVERY The Career Center is sponsoring a five-week workshop to help students decide, confirm or narrow their major and career choices. Contact the Career Center at 674-2473 or visit www.

Springboard Ideas Challenge The mini-business plan competition offers students the opportunity to get their business up and running and the chance to win cash prizes. Students must register at www.acu. edu/springboard by Friday to compete. Civil Rights Tour Students can receive academic credit for Summer Session I by joining the ACU Freedom Ride on May 15-21. The seven-day, 1,800mile guided bus tour will visit significant sites of the American Civil Rights Movement. Registration is now open. For more information, contact Dr. Richard Beck at, Dr. Jennifer Dillman at jennifer., Dr. David Dillman at or an academic adviser.

Swing Cats The Swing Cats meet every week 7-9 p.m. on Sundays in Cullen Auditorium. No partners or experience are required. Service Saturdays Students have the opportunity to serve the Abilene community on Service Saturdays, starting Feb.5. Students can sign up during lunch hours in the Campus Center. ACUltimate The university’s ultimate frisbee club meets at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact Kyle Thaxton at FCA The ACU chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes meets at 9 p.m. every Thursday in the Campus Center Living Room.


March 4, 2011

Page 3


Locavores, Lynay tend community garden Linda Bailey Editor in Chief

MEAGAN HERNANDEZ // Staff Photographer

Anthony Smith, sophomore accounting major from Lancaster, works in a community garden on Cypress Street. Lynay and the Locavore Club planted 100 potatoes on Saturday. The Locavore Club plans to build an on-campus garden in the future.

Members of the Locavore Club and Lynay joined forces Saturday morning to organically plant 100 potatoes in a community garden on Cypress Street. “It was cool because other kids, who aren’t necessarily interested in the Locavore group, came out and not only got their service hours but learned about healthy eating and how it can benefit a community,” said Locavore Vice President Evelyn Henshaw, senior communications major from San Diego. The garden, started by Grace Fellowship about a year ago, is divided into a front lot of personal boxes for community members and a back lot for larger crops like the potatoes, said Locavore

president Matthew Hale, senior communications major from Uvalde. Hale said after he heard about the garden, he asked if the Locavore Club could volunteer to help. The owners agreed, and Hale joined the planning committee for the garden and suggested planting potatoes organically, without using chemicals or genetically modified potato seeds to resist those chemicals. As a result, the students ditched the RoundUp and picked up newspapers. To create the organic potato patch, the students covered two long rows of mounded dirt three-newspapers thick and cut holes in the newspapers about every foot. Potatoes were placed into the holes, and students covered the newspapers with mulch.

The point of having a community garden is to teach people how to garden and grow their own food, Hale said. Planting potatoes organically is cheaper and easier than other methods, and teaches people how to produce nutritious food on their own, he said. “People don’t always have access to real, good nutritious food, but they can do this in their own yard,” Hale said. “There is no point in teaching them to grow what they can buy in the stores.” The Locavore Club also has plans to create a community garden on ACU’s campus. Hale said after finishing a sketch of the garden, the club will propose it to the head of Physical Resources, who will present it to the Board of Trustees. Hopeful-

ly, Hale said, it will come to campus by mid-semester. “It’s going to bring awareness to our campus of the benefits of eating locally and peak interest,” Hale said. The campus garden would be a a pilot garden, so it can’t be used by the Bean, but Hale said it’s part of a bigger process to get where the Locavore Club wants ACU to be as a campus. “We want to be a sustainable campus, where we grow our own food, eat our own food, know where it comes from and know that it’s safe,” Hale said. “If we’re sustainable, we do it ourselves. That’s the whole premise of what ACU wants to do, being exceptional, innovative and real.” contact Bailey at


Students strive to help area homeless youth Eyrah Quashie

Contributing Reporter

A group of students are giving the campus a chance to lend a hand to the 836 homeless youth who live in Abilene. The Student Social Work Association will be collecting toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant to help the youth. Krystal Underwood, senior social work major from Bakersfield, Calif., said the 836 Project is named in honor of the growing number of Abilene’s homeless youth. “We focus a lot on international,” Underwood said.

‘‘ ’’

“But I want us to look at what’s in our own backyard.” Collection bins will be located in the Campus Center, residence halls and social work office for the next two weeks. Individuals also can make cash donations in the Campus Center. SSWA will be creating care packages for area schools in conjunction with Communities in Schools, an organization that operates in six schools in the Abilene Independent School District, Underwood said. A donation of $3 will provide one care package and $5 provides two packages.

I think it’s really important, because it deals with the people right here among us. GILLIAN HESTER // junior social work major from Abilene

Gillian Hester, junior social work major from Abilene, said this is a chance for students to give back to the community in which they live. “I think it’s really important, because it deals with the people right here among us,” Hester said. Amanda Wallender, junior social work major from Coppell, said the

goal of SSWA is to raise awareness of the homeless youth located here in Abilene. She said the 836 Project is one of a couple of SSWA projects meant to do so, and the group will be selling T-shirts to that end later this year. contact Quashie at

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Reporter

The Student Social Work Association collects deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes in the Campus Center to donate to the 836 homeless youth of Abilene.


Legislature considers on-campus firearms Samantha Sutherland Contributing Reporter


The Texas Legislature soon may legalize the possession of concealed handguns on college campuses. Two different bills are being processed. One bill would allow private universities to make their own rules about allowing guns on campus, but the other bill would not allow the private institutions to opt out. By state law, it is illegal for anyone, license holder or not, to bring a gun into a campus building or sporting venue. ACU’s policy regarding weapons is even more restrictive than state law: It prohibits students, faculty and staff from having any guns on campus at all. That includes residence halls, University Park apartments, office buildings and parking lots. When news of the proposed bills became public, some students, faculty and staff across the state began to panic, assuming there soon would be guns in every classroom, said Jimmy Ellison, chief of police for the ACU Police Department. “I understand their concern, but the reality of it is that, statistically speaking, at a campus the size of ACU, there would most likely be very few people that would go through the licensing process and who would choose to carry a gun onto campus,” Ellison said. Roughly 5,000 students attend ACU. The law requires individuals to be more than 21 years of

It is not correct to assume that because we are a private institution that we’re necessarily any safer than a public institution...


JIMMY ELLISON // chief of the ACU Police Department

age to carry a gun, which makes about half of ACU’s student population ineligible to obtain a concealed-carry license. Of those 2,500 remaining, a little more than half are female. Statistically, females pursue concealed handgun licenses at a lower rate than males, which shrinks the pool even more. Overall, a very limited number of individuals would be interested in carrying a gun onto campus, Ellison said. “I don’t have any great fear that you would have any irresponsible display or any irresponsible actions with a handgun from a concealed handgun license holder,” Ellison said. Christopher Sisk, junior accounting major from San Antonio, was a member of Students For Concealed Carry and has looked into getting a concealed handgun license for himself. “They have strict organized tests which you have to go through that are very challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally,” Sisk said. “If you fail any part of it, you fail the test, and you can’t attempt to take it again for another 9 months.”

Concealed carry on campus attempts to give students the ability to defend themselves against an assailant, Sisk said. And private status cannot guarantee a safer college campus, Ellison said. “It is not correct to assume that because we are a private institution that we’re necessarily any safer than a public institution or less exposed to risk or danger,” Ellison said, “because there are troubled students and troubled individuals in public settings and in private settings.” If the bill passes that allows private universities to decide on their own policies, Ellison said he believes the ACU administration would consult with faculty, staff and students to determine the general consensus, proceeding to make a decision in the best interest of the university. However, he said he would not expect any great changes to the current policy pertaining to the possession of handguns on campus if either of the bills pass the legislature.

contact Sutherland at

contact Bailey at


Page 4

March 4, 2011


Protests: Campus reacts to Middle East unrest Continued from page 1

ships and develop nuclear weapons, these countries to choose new govern- will need to keep up their ments for themselves, guards, he said. Despite the potential Coates said. surrounding The biggest danger for dangers these nations in politi- these revolutions, Coates cal transition comes from said this was a watershed outside their boarders, moment for the world. “This is the last region Coates said. “Iran is asserting itself, of the world to move towhich is a real danger to ward embracing democthe region,” Coates said. racy,” Coates said. The people of the world “This is a real opportunity for Iran, seeing that Egypt who have lived under the most monarchs, who have has been weakened.” Egypt and other coun- seen several decades of corruption, tries have resisted Iran’s repression, push to define Islam and discrimination and ecohow it is practiced, Coates nomic stalemates now are said. Now that Iran has standing together to take continued to move its war- their destinies into their

own hands, Coates said. However, the greatest global impact of these revolutions at this point has been the price of oil, Coates said. Despite all the recent advances in alternative energy, oil still is the most important form of fuel. The political revolutions also will impact Christians and missionaries, said Bradley Schultz, junior political science major from Nashville, Tenn. He is working on a research project with Coates about Christians in the Middle East. Schultz and Coates will present their project, “Do Christians Count?,” at Summit next semester.


Christians living in the Middle East have only recently begun voicing complaints about restrictions on worship and political access, Schultz said. “Imagine America in the 1960s with the African Americans,” Schultz said. “That’s how it is for the Christians there.” Christians in and around Egypt have experienced discrimination in the workplace and political hurdles in building Christian schools and churches, Schultz said. The new governments may change this, he said. “The ongoing reason for the revolution is

the desire for freedom,” Schultz said. “My hope is that the people who come in and take over the government will be more tolerant.” Schultz believes ministry still will be difficult in the Middle East, but a change in government may make countries more accessible to missionaries. Henderson said the people’s desire for change and individual choice makes the region fertile soil for the Gospel. Though it is too soon to know whether it will be safer for missionaries to enter these countries, Henderson said the risk

for missionaries probably is decreasing, while the reward is increasing. All Christians, missionaries or not, should spiritually stand with the Christian protesters, Henderson said. “I’ve witnessed the persecuted church in my years, and the two things they ask for are Bibles and prayers,” Henderson said. “Here, in the safety of Abilene and the comfort of our campus, our responsibility is to pray on their behalf.”

contact Lewis at


Rise: Tuition costs stay Cars: Police report thefts below national average Continued from page 1

Continued from page 1

exercise our commitment to be focused on a quality experience at an appropriate price level,” Schubert said. “I’d like to think that for the price we’re charging, relative to where it’s positioning ACU in the market, our students are getting a great value when we compare the price we’re charging to what the rest of the market is charging and quality that our students are receiving.” ACU is not unusual in its increase. Most universities are increasing tuition faster than the

rate of inf lation. In the last ten years, “tuition and fees at public fouryear colleges and universities increased at an average rate of 5.6% per year beyond the rate of general inf lation,” according to http://trends. Kevin Campbell, acting chief enrollment officer, said he doesn’t think the increase will affect new student enrollment because his office has made efforts to increase scholarship and financial aid offerings. Campbell said financial aid covers about 3032 percent of overall tuition and fees.

Schubert notified students of the increase in an e-mail Thursday night. Students’ Association president Sam Palomares, senior communications major from Elsa, said he wished administration would better explain the increase to students. Palomares also said while nobody likes a tuition increase, it could create a bigger pool for resources to help students. However, it potentially puts additional strains on finding more scholarships and other forms of aid, he said. contact Bailey at

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taken or anything else of serious importance, however. Between the three vehicles, the stolen items included a wallet, a navigation system, a gas card, a video game, an assortment of CDs, Converse tennis shoes and a map of Dallas. Ellison said although the ACU Police Department cannot identify any potential suspects, it is confident that a non-affiliated campus individual committed the three crimes. “In an incident like this, there might have been four or five other vehicle burglaries in town in the same night,” Ellison said. “This indicates that it’s not a student but a person who is

We’re on duty 24/7, and we would love the public’s assistance. JIMMY ELLISON // chief of the ACU Police Department

targeting other parts of the city, as well.” Weekly offense data from the Abilene Police Department suggests that burglary of motor vehicles is a growing problem. Ellison said it is imperative that students do three things: lock their vehicles, hide their valuables and report any suspicious activity. “We’re on duty 24/7, and we would love the public’s assistance,” Ellison said. “That’s why we have a police department; let us check it out, and if it turns out to be

nothing, no harm, no foul.” Ellison said students have a tendency to be overtrusting of potentially suspicious individuals and are reluctant to report them. “Students may not see the potential criminal element in certain activities they witness,” Ellison said. “But when we get a call and respond to it, that one piece of information may have been just what we were looking for.” contact Burch at


March 4, 2011

& MUSIC Outlaws,

Legends Festival to feature country music icons Matthew Woodrow Opinions Page Editor

The first Outlaws and Legends Music Fest starts Saturday at Joe Allen’s Lytle Bend Ranch. The 17 artists, playing 9 sets, will start performing at 10 a.m., playing until 1 a.m. Mark Powell, director of Outlaws and Legends, originally planned the event to be a venue just for him and his friends to perform, but then he asked himself why it couldn’t be bigger. “My brother and I have been playing music since we were in high school back in ’95. We met a lot of artists along the way and thought this would be a fun way to perform,” Powell said. “Originally, it was just going to be an unplugged deal to bring some fun to Abilene, but now we have a bunch of big names and help put Abilene on the map.” Powell chose the name Outlaws and Legends to help usher in a resurgence of outlaw music, a subgenre of country music, as well as to try to present the new legends of country music. “Outlaws and Legends will showcase outlaws like David Allan Coe and legends like Stoney LaRue,” Powell said. “It’s a resurgence of the Wille-and-Waylon outlaw movement. It’s kind of like we’re recycling that and bringing their kind back.” Powell said this festival is unique because multiple artists will perform on the stage at the same time.

“The idea is to integrate artists up onstage to create multi-artist sets,” Powell said. “We are getting musicians to work with other musicians. This gives fans the rare opportunity to see different combinations.” The last hour of the festival features a grand finale with all the artists performing on stage together. Tickets to the event cost $35 in advance and $50 at the door. A college and military discount, for both active and inactive members, will lower ticket prices to $30. Group prices also are available in groups of 15 for $450. The last chance to buy $35 tickets will be Saturday at 7 p.m., when the gates of the festival open for an informal acoustic show. Powell, along with fellow festival musicians Larry Joe Taylor, Matt Martindale, Bleu Edmondson and Jerrod Medulla, will perform for KBCY 99’s West Texas Friday night program. Outlaws and Legends already has sold 5,000 tickets and is completely sold out of RV and tailgating parking spots. Powell expects for around 2,000 more tickets to be sold. “It’s been received really well outside of Abilene,” Powell said. “We have a lot of tourists coming in from California, Florida, Tennessee and Arizona.” A part of the proceeds will support Disability Resources Incorporated, a group that provides residential care and vocational training to disabled individuals. Powell said DRI will not lose any money on this event and that he is hoping

to be able to cut a check to the organization for $50,000 at the end of the concert. Several ACU social clubs will be helping out at the event to earn service hours. The Women’s clubs of Ko Jo Kai and Sigma Theta Chi both are volunteering to help, as well as the men’s clubs Sub T-16 and Galaxy. Jeremy Winkler, senior accounting major from North Richland Hills and president of Sub T-16, said many in his club plan to attend not only for the service hours but also to hear the music. “Mark came and spoke to us at a club meeting, and 15 or so of us decided to go and volunteer, “Winkler said. “It sounded like a fun way to get hours and hear good music. It was a win-win for everyone.” Club members will be helping out with parking, security and some even are helping out onstage. DJ Dallas Wayne and comedian Clinton Pickens will host Outlaws and Legends. The 15-hour music marathon also will be the third major music event broadcast on Outlaw Radio on Sirius XM radio. “This has been a long work in progress, and I’m really excited about the results so far,” Powell said. “I know that whoever comes will get their money’s worth. We got a lot of things unique to this event that you can’t get at another music festival.” contact Woodrow at

Page 5

Abilene Events SATURDAY William Fitzsimmons 7:30 p.m. Historic Paramount Theatre

THURSDAY The Civil Wars 8 p.m. Monks Coffee Shop

ACU Events FRIDAY Murder Mystery Dinner 6 p.m. Williams Performing Arts Center

FRIDAY Blank Slate - Senior Art Show 6:30 p.m. Shore Art Gallery

SATURDAY Abilene Music Teachers Association Piano Contest 8 a.m. Williams Performing Arts Center

App of the Week MovieCat Games


MovieCat is a game that tests users’ knowledge of movie trivia. Users start each game with nine lives and must try to complete five rounds of trivia questions. The game requires users to recognize actors, directors, costumes, lines of dialogue and DVD chapter titles. MovieCat features three difficulty levels and 14 different puzzle categories. The app can connect to Facebook, so users can share their high scores with friends. With hundreds of unique questions, users can expect to play this game for hours. MovieCat is available for $1.99 on both the iPhone and iPod Touch.

New Releases IN THEATERS happythankyoumoreplease Mar. 4

(Anchor Bay Films)

Take Me Home Tonight

Mar. 4

(Relativity Media)

The Adjustment Bureau Mar. 4


Rango Mar. 4


Beastly Mar. 4

(CBS Films)

DVD 127 Hours

(Fox Searchlight)

Love And Other Drugs Mar. 1


Every Day (Image Entertainment)

Jackass 3D (Paramount)

Inside Job

(Sony Pictures Classic)

Mar. 8 Mar. 8 Mar. 8

Four Lions (Drafthouse Films)

Morning Glory COURTESY OF // Outlaws and Legends Music Fest

Mar. 1


Mar. 8 Mar. 8

The Next Three Days Mar. 8


MUSIC Avril Lavigne Goodbye Lullaby

Mar. 8

Carol Bui Red Ship

Mar. 8

Bruce Cockburn Small Source Of Comfort

Mar. 8

The Color Morale My Devil In Your Eyes

Mar. 8

Sara Evans Stronger

Dam Mantle First Wave

Mar. 8 Mar. 8

Dinosaur Bones My Divider

Mar. 8

Lupe Fiasco Lasers

Mar. 8

Raekwon David Allan Coe will perform at 10:30 p.m.

Sonny Burgess will perform at 12:00 a.m.

Gary P. Nunn will perform at 5:30 p.m.

Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang

Mar. 8

R.E.M. Collapse Into Now

Mar. 8


Page 6

March 4, 2011


Legislature must not pass gun law The thought of guns on college campuses should concern students and faculty – and a potential bill in the Texas Legislature may make it reality. A pair of bills in the Texas House would allow students and faculty who have a concealed handgun license to carry firearms onto college campuses. This bill constitutes an unnecessary response to a tragic, but isolated, instance of terror. A deranged gunman almost four years ago opened fire on the campus of Virginia Tech University and shed the blood of 32 inno-

cent people. Today, lawmakers are trying to make sure a similar massacre never takes place in Texas. Advocates of the bill hope a potential gunman would be thwarted by the possibility that intended victims also could posses a concealed weapon. Utah has allowed guns in the classroom since 2006, and concealed carry advocates point to the Beehive State’s lack of incident as proof that a gunfriendly campus can work. But while Utah has not witnessed rampant shootings as a result of its guntoting students, its law

undoubtedly has changed classroom dynamics. The Utah law – and either Texas bill, if passed – hangs a pale of uncertainty between students and professors, as they wonder whether an academic disagreement may turn violent. We believe unavoidable anxiety hampers learning. No evidence supports the idea that an armed student body would prevent tragedies such as the Virginia Tech massacre, and it could compound the problem in a crisis when police arrive as they try to differentiate hostile from vigilante.

A study by the National Institute of Health found the part of the human brain that governs risky behavior only reaches full development at age 25. Combining an underdeveloped brain with concealed handguns on campus could concoct a recipe for disaster. A professor engaged in heated discussions with a student about grades on projects might wonder if the individual with whom they are arguing is armed. Fortunately for ACU students and faculty, one of the bills under consideration would allow private univer-

By Morgan Davis

The Funny Funnies

the issue

The Texas Legislature is considering a bill which would allow students to carry concealed handguns on campus.

our take

Guns on campus provide no guarantee that attacks will be prevented but do promise to complicate matters if one does. sities like ACU to maintain a firearms ban. We encourage students to contact their elected officials and fight this bill. However, if it does pass, we encourage students to voice their concerns to ACU administrators to ensure the mandate does not apply on campus. Texas already bans concealed handguns in public places like courthouses and

post offices. Let’s keep college campuses the same. Contact information for members of the Texas House of Representative can be found at Contact information for state senators can be found at contact the Optimist at


BYU upholds school morals Rounding the bases By Brandon Tripp


Solitary adventure eases trip Conscientious Conjecture By Laura Acuff

Last weekend, I visited Washington, D.C. I rode the Metro, took a taxi and wandered Capitol Hill for one glorious morning. Meandering through Eastern Market, I paused for a pastry and coffee, Acuff observing people pampering their lapdogs to breakfast on the patio seats next to them. I lingered in Capitol Hill books, a wonderland of literary treasures, blissfully scanning the mountains of books for ancient jewels. And just before I caught my flight back to Abilene, I paused in the National Art Gallery – maybe my favorite feature of our nation’s capital – to wonder at the Dutch Masters, standing mere inches

away from paintings by Degas, Upon embarking on a journey, plans fall Renoir, Monet through, tempers flair and Murphy’s Law and Van Gogh. And I did it inevitably brings the unexpected hurtling all alone. into our carefully crafted schemes. Anticipating the weekend, Vacations are like each minor bump on the I wondered if the trip would be lonely. With a Christmas – in the worst Metro ride. I only felt regraduate school inter- possible sense. They take sponsible for my own atview bringing me to the people out of their natu- titude and happiness. My D.C. jaunt was evarea, it’s not like I could ral element, cram them bring friends or family. in with others and add a erything I’d hoped. It But then, I wasn’t sure I heaping dose of stress. lasted only a couple days, And then we’re crushed it rained, I constantly felt would have anyway. For several years, I’d when our comrades fail to just a little lost and I only thought, the best vaca- suspend their inborn na- had about 15 minutes to tion would be one expe- tures as the holiday col- absorb the brilliance of rienced on my own. But lapses under the weight my beloved Dutch Massometimes, the best part of cranky individuals and ters by the time I found the National Art Gallery. of a trip is looking for- unfulfilled expectations. But I wandered the Solo vacations paint ward to it. Upon embarking the scene a little different- sidewalks of D.C., beamon a journey, plans fall ly. So a plan falls through? ing with an unperturbed through, tempers flair and So it rains? So you ride the smile even in my more Murphy’s Law inevitably Metro in the wrong direc- befuddled moments. It was my weekend, it was brings the unexpected tion for six stops? A normal vacation my trip and, for just a hurtling into our carefully crafted schemes. If we can adds all these variables couple days, D.C. was my pick ourselves up enough to cramped space and city to take. to limp back home, we of- multiple tempers. But ten declare the holiday a on this trip, my plans contact Acuff at serenely adjusted to success by default.

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:

Optimist the

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he really has no one to blame but himself. The university had the guts to make this decision, despite the effect it might have on the Cougars’ bid for a national title in men’s basketball. Davies, at the time he was dismissed from the team, was the third leading scorer behind player-ofthe-year candidate Jimmer Fredette. He also was the leading rebounder for the No. 3 Cougars and the only real dominant size on a team composed primarily of smaller players. BYU now will have to face the challenge of the NCAA tournament without one of its best players – a move that could mean

Brandon Davies no longer is a member of the Brigham Young University basketball team, as of M o n d a y, university officials said. His removal is attributable to a violation of Tripp the school’s honor code – reportedly, his admission to having pre-marital sex with his girlfriend, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. The BYU Honor Code Statement includes exhortations for students such as, be honest; live a chaste and virDespite all of these tuous life; obey compelling reasons the law and all to overlook what campus policies; use clean some consider a language; reminor indiscretion, spect others; the administration abstain from alcoholic bevdid not compromise erages, tobacits principles. co, tea, coffee and substance abuse; participate regu- losing national exposure larly in church services; and thousands, if not milobserve the dress and lions, of dollars in revenue grooming standards and for making a deep run. Despite all these comencourage others in their commitment to comply pelling reasons to overlook what some consider with the honor code. While these rules may a minor indiscretion, the seem a bit far-fetched to administration did not those outside the BYU compromise its princicommunity, the fact of ples, which is more than the matter is that these can be said for some of are religious rules, based the other college athletic on the Mormon faith. The programs in the country. Even though the rules administration at BYU should be admired and may seem a bit overzealapplauded for sticking to ous, we need more college this code, despite the fact programs in this country that it might be contrary – and in sports, in general – to follow the example set to popular opinion. Davies should have forth by BYU: We must hold been, and likely was, well- players and others associinformed of the honor ated with athletics responcode when he signed his sible for their actions. letter of intent to BYU. And, regardless of the contact Tripp at criminality of his offense,

editorial & management board Linda Bailey

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Page 7

March 4, 2011


Women sweep three, men split on road trips Ryan Cantrell

Sports Multimedia Editor

The men’s tennis team went 3-2 in matches on the road last weekend, while the women’s team swept three matches in Oklahoma. The men’s team started a long road trip off right Thursday, sweeping Colorado State UniversityPueblo 9-0. With the win on Thursday, ACU remained hot, sweeping Metro State in Colorado Springs 9-0. In both of theses matches, ACU only dropped one set. Bruno Hurtado won the first set for CSUP before Hans

Hach came back and won the next two 6-1 and 6-2 in the No. 1 singles match. “It was a good tournament last weekend, we played three Division I opponents and two Division II opponents. We showed our dominance against the Division II opponents, not dropping a match,” Senior Bryan Joiner said. “We played well against the Division I opponents, knocking off Northern Arizona and playing our closest match of the season against Air Force.” In the final match Friday, the Wildcats dropped

a 5-2 decision to Air Force University. ACU got wins from No. 2 Eldad Campbell and No. 4 Jake Hendrie in singles matches. Air Force would win everything else though, including two of three doubles matches to earn the doubles point. After three matches in Colorado, ACU traveled to Albuquerque, N.M., for a pair of matches. The Wildcats split a pair of matches against two Div. I opponents. ACU played No. 60 New Mexico University closely in every game, but the Lobos swept ACU 7-0. ACU would then rebound by knocking off its

second Div. I opponent this season, defeating Northern Arizona 6-1. The Wildcats dropped the doubles portion of the match, but would answer by sweeping all six singles matches. The victory improved the 13th ranked Wildcats to 5-4 overall this season. “The intent of the weekend was to face a high level of competition and put the team under some adversity,” Coach Hutton Jones said. “Overall, it was a great weekend, and we got a lot accomplished.” The Women’s team had a busy travel schedule as well,

as ACU swept two Lone Star Conference matches Saturday in Oklahoma. ACU defeated Southeastern Oklahoma State University and East Central University 9-0. ACU was not finished though, as the team traveled to Edmond, Okla., to take on the University of Central Oklahoma on Sunday. The Wildcats swept the Bronchos 9-0 to improve to 5-3 on the season. The women’s team finished its road trip in Tulsa, Okla., as ACU defeated Northeastern State University 8-1. ACU will enter this weekend’s matches at 6-3.

“I think we did pretty well, we won the first three 9-0, and then the last match we won 8-1. I think the matches went great overall,” said freshman Micah Hermsdorf. “We are playing well right now, so I expect us to play hard and do our best this weekend, and hopefully, the score will work out for us.” Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams will host the ACU March Invite this weekend at the Eager Tennis Center. contact Cantrell at



Smith: Post dominates boards Baby: 15-point rally seals game Continued from page 8

the ball over by dribbling it off her foot, and the Wildcats lost their third straight conference playoff game. The star of the game for the Wildcats was Kelsey Smith, who had one of her best games in her inaugural season at ACU. Smith had 16 points and 15 boards to pace the Wildcats. Lankford finished with 18 points in the game, but the foul trouble limited her defensively in the second half and hindered her ability to drive to the basket. In Whitaker’s last game in a purple and white uniform, the senior posted seven points, had four steals, and dished out six assists. ACU finished the year with an 11-16 overall record but an impressive 8-6 in con-

Continued from page 8

COURTESY OF // Jeremy Enlow

Autumn Whitaker snags a rebound in the Wildcats’ 65-59 loss on Wednesday. ference play to push them into the playoffs. The 2011-12 Wildcats only will have to replace Whitaker, a guard who filled up the stat sheets in her

“All we can do now is four years playing for Head Coach Shawna Lavender. start preparing for next Every other piece of the puz- year,” Lankford said. zle will be back as the Wildcats will make another push contact Gwin at for an LSC Championship.


Streak: Team grabs third place Continued from page 8

‘‘ ’’

Played at an Arnold Palmer signature course, the tournament presented many challenges and unique conditions in which to play for the competing golfers, said junior Cyril Bouniol. “It was a great course and was designed very well,” Bouniol said. “The conditions – the wind, in particular – made it that much more challenging to us. But I think that played to our advantage because of being from West Texas, where the wind is always prevalent.” Carpenter double bogeyed hole No. 1 but eagled the par 5 third. He then birdied four of the next five holes. After birdies on the par 5 15th, Carpenter would knock in an

The conditions – the wind, in particular – made it much more challenging to us.

Alex Carpenter’s 2011 Tournament Victories

CYRIL BOUNIOL // senior golfer for the ACU Wildcats

eagle to get to 7 under for the round and 13 under for the tournament. Bouniol had six birdies and shot a three under on Tuesday to finish even par for the tournament. He ended up shooting a 69 (-3), good for a top-15 finish. “I felt really good about this tournament. It is a great atmosphere and was a great experience,” he said. “Our team played great, and this was the right way to start the spring season. I feel like we’re building lots of team

chemistry, and we’re playing for the team’s purpose and not our own.” Tyler Sheppard and Adam Carpenter supplied solid showings as well. Carpenter improved upon his back-to-back 76’s and shot even par the final day. Sheppard earned a top-30 finish, shooting +4 for the tournament. The Wildcats will return to action Monday in Austin at the St. Edward’s Invitational. contact Shake at

• Division II National Preview Tournament, Muscle Shoals, Ala. – Oct. 18-19, 2010 Carpenter

• Bruce Williams Memorial, San Antonio – Oct. 25-26, 2010 • Queens University of Charlotte Invitational, Ponte Verde Beach, Fla. – Nov. 1-2, 2010 • Golfweek Spring Invitational, Orlando, Fla. – Feb. 27-March 1, 2011


Loss: ’Cats lack focus Continued from page 8

‘‘ ’’

three straight batters to reach base on walks before being pulled. “Our focus as a team in late innings needs to be disciplined,” said senior Will Calhoun. “We have a bunch of very good athletes but we can’t bring it together because of a lack of focus.” The Wildcats were unable to mount a comeback in the ninth inning and fell to the Rattlers 12-5. Calhoun was hit with the loss, moving his record to 3-1 on the season with a 7.45 earned run average. Duncan Blades was a bright spot in the Wildcats’ line up, Blades brought in

Our focus as a team in late innings needs to be discipline. WILL CALHOUN // senior outfielder for the ACU Wildcats

three of the five runs for ACU. Aaron Oliver and JR Roland recorded multi-hit games for the Wildcats. The Wildcats will take their 6-5 record into the weekend match-up with Division II opponent Texas A&M-International University. The Dust Devils are unranked coming into the weekend and are in the midst of a five-game winning streak. “Our hitting has been pretty good, but it’s our

pitching that needs to improve,” said Calhoun. TAMIU currently sits third in the Heartland Conference, just two games behind the conference leader – and the team that just beat ACU – St. Mary’s. Four games are scheduled at Crutcher Scott Field for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

contact Tripp at

• Cameron University Invitational, Lawton, Okla. – Sept. 27-28, 2010

Within a mere three hours of finishing the Roby game, the 34-year-old Branson was in labor at Abilene Regional Medical Center, where she gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 10:18 p.m. Leslie Telese Branson entered the world, weighing eight pounds, seven ounces, to Amber and Les Branson. Leslie is the couple’s third child; her siblings include sister Taylor, six years old, and brother Tate, seven years old. Despite the physical trauma of giving birth, Branson occupied her usual courtside chair – second from the end, the first occupied by her two oldest kids – in her team’s game on Saturday at 2 p.m. That’s right, not 15 hours after giving birth, Branson was back on the court, poised and ready to lead her team to Austin. Now, I’m no expert, but I can assure you, most women would not even think about working that soon after giving birth. “Amber is the only person I know that would do that. She’s a one-of-a-kind coach and one special person. I couldn’t imagine doing what she did. That’s a true testimony to the type of coach and person she

is,” said Shawna Lavender, ACU women’s basketball head coach and Branson’s longtime friend. Trailing 39-24 with 6:23 to play, the Lady Indians’ fate seemed grim. But in a matter of minutes, the roof of Moody Coliseum came down on the Newcastle Lady Cats, and a shift in momentum was about to occur. Lipan went on an incredible 21-2 run to end the game, securing a ticket to Austin with a 45-41 comeback win. Branson’s team was playing with a purpose, with a type of commitment rarely displayed in today’s society, one that puts the good of others before your own. “Amber has always been a winner – she’s a great coach, mother and role model,” said her former coach Deonna Shake. As the team celebrated at Moody’s half court after the game, a teary-eyed Branson was swarmed with an outpouring of love and support from teammates and fans alike. The whole time, a mixture of joyous tears and hugs greeted the now mom of three, and her smile never left her face. And rightfully so: Commitment like that is definitely something to smile about. contact Shake at


Page 8

Standings BASEBALL Team



Cameron 8-1 WTAMU 5-1 SE. O.K. 5-1 Tarleton St. 7-2 UIW 7-2 SW OK St. 8-4 ACU 5-4 TAMU-K 4-5

9-1 13-2 7-5 10-2 8-4 10-4 6-4 6-6




0-0 ASU WTAMU 0-0 UIW 0-0 0-0 TWU Tarleton St. 0-0 TAMU-K 0-0 ACU 0-0 ENMU 0-0

17-0 12-1 8-4 8-5 8-5-1 9-10 9-11 3-11

Briefs n The

Lone Star Conference announced a three-year agreement with the city of Allen Wednesday, allowing the city to host the LSC men’s and women’s basketball championship tournaments for three consecutive years, beginning in 2012.

n Three

women’s basketball players were honored Tuesday night at the LSC awards banquet in Bartlesville, Okla. Freshman guard Mack Lankford was named Freshman of the Year and to the first-team all-conference team. Senior Autumn Whitaker earned second team all-conference honors, as she led the LSC in assists. Sophomore post Kelsey Smith was named Newcomer of the year after her first season with the ’Cats. Smith, a transfer from Missouri State, averaged 12 points and eight rebounds per game.

n Former

ACU wide receiver Edmund Gates appeared on ESPN First Take Wednesday morning after posting the fastest time in the 40yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine last weekend. His 4.37-second time has garnered him much attention from NFL coaches and media outlets alike. the first game of Thursday afternoon’s doubleheader against Southeastern Oklahoma State University, the WIldcat softball team beat the Savage Storm 8-0. Megan Brigance hit a solo home run and had 2 RBIs as the ’Cats moved to 10-11 on the season.


Alex Carpenter continues winning ways Bryson Shake

Assistant Sports Editor

Alex Carpenter is a firm believer in the old saying, “It’s not where you start; it’s where you finish.” Sitting in a tie for second going into the final round of the Golf Week’s Spring Invitational at Reunion Resort and Arnold

‘‘ ’’

Palmer’s Legacy Course, the sophomore from Little Rock, Ark., got out to a slow start on the tournament’s final day but persevered and shot a (-7) 65, enough to take first place at the first tournament of the 2011 spring season for the golf team. “Well, playing in this tournament was definite-


The team played very well overall too. I was glad that I was just looking to play all of my hard work paid a solid round of golf ... off, and it feels good to and I feel like I did that. help the team.” ALEX CARPENTER // sophomore The win marks Carpengolfer for the ACU Wildcats ter’s fifth consecutive firstly a little rough at first for ing to play a solid round place finish and gives him all of us because it was of golf Tuesday and do all nine tournament wins in our first tournament since that I can to put the team his young collegiate career. the long break,” Carpen- in a favorable position, ter said. “I was just look- and I feel like I did that. see STREAK page 7

Almost a Stunner

Wildcats lose what would have been an unthinkable upset Austin Gwin Sports Editor

Mack Lankford, Kelsey Smith and the rest of the Wildcats almost engineered one of the greatest upsets in Lone Star Conference tournament history on Wednesday night, losing in the final minute 65-59. “After the game, the feeling was of disappointment,” said freshman guard Mack Lankford. “I’m surprised we lost.” ACU, the team with the worst record in the tournament, had to play Northeastern State, not only the one seed from the LSC North division but also the number one team in the region. As a mighty underdog, the Wildcats played “good but not great” in the first half and went into the break down six to the No. 9 in the nation Riverhawks. The main story in the first half was that LSC Freshman of the Year Mackenzie Lankford had only two points while spending time on the bench with three fouls. The second half was a completely different story for the Wildcats, as they opened the half on an 11-3 run to take a 41-39 lead. The Wildcats led most

COURTESY OF // Jeremy Enlow

Sophomore guard Shelby Shipley fights for a loose ball during the Wildcats’ 65-59 loss to the Northeastern State Riverhawks. An ACU win would have been a major upset as the ’Hawks are ranked ninth nationally and first in the region. of the second half, with Lankford scoring 16 second-half points and Kelsey Smith grabbing rebounds to propel the Wildcats. Just when the upset looked like it actually might happen, the Wildcats’ achilles heel flared

up. With around a minute to play, both Autumn Whitaker and Smith fouled out of the game. “It’s tough without our two biggest players,” Lankford said. “We never let up. All three of us were in foul trouble all night, but we


host Texas A&M International Friday at 7:05 p.m. The team then will play them in a doubleheader Saturday, with first pitch at 2:35 p.m. n The

men’s and women’s tennis teams will host the ACU March Invite Tournament on Friday and Saturday.

extend the game. The Wildcats did have one chance to tie, with 25 seconds left on the clock, down three points. The offense tried to get the ball to Lankford, but the freshman turned see SMITH page 7

Coach delivers, then steals win Shakin’ It Up Bryson Shake

STACY ACTON // Staff Photographer

The Wildcat infield huddle on the pitchers’ mound in a game earlier this year.

Wildcats fall to Rattlers Brandon Tripp Sports Director

n The baseball team will

handled it well throughout the game.” From the moment the Wildcat senior and post presence walked off the court, the ‘Cats didn’t score any more points and had to resort to fouling the Riverhawks in an attempt to


n In


March 4, 2011

After winning five straight in the early part of the season, the No. 30 Wildcats now have dropped three of four with a loss to the No. 18 St. Mary’s Rattlers on Tuesday 12-5. “I think we’re putting ourselves in good position,” said Head Coach Britt Bouneau. “We’re not far from where we want to be.” The Wildcats fell behind

5-0 after just two innings, allowing a four-run first inning and one more in the second, before finally getting on the board in the third. Coach Bonneau’s team hung four runs on pitcher Skye Severns, but none of them were earned as the Rattlers committed two errors in the inning. After giving up five runs in the first two innings, starter Will Calhoun was replaced by reliever Brent Bray, who didn’t fair much

better. Bray gave up three more runs in the third, as the Rattlers ran their lead from one run to four. Pitchers Kevin Justice and Brady Rodriguez combined to throw three scoreless innings. But in the eighth, St. Mary’s struck again on pitcher Kris Carlson, who did not record an out and was responsible for all four St. Mary’s runs in the eighth. Carlson allowed see LOSS page 7

There’s nothing better than witnessing someone’s true happiness manifested in the flashing of their pearly w h i t e s. Smiles communicate the joy of Shake the bearer and are one of my favorite forms of communication. That being said, I was in hog heaven Saturday afternoon in Moody Coliseum. I had the role of being a security guard for most of the high school basketball playoff games that were played in Moody over the weekend, and I had the privilege of observing something truly remarkable. The Lipan Lady Indians, under the direction of fourth-year Head Coach Amber Branson, entered the Region II-1A Division II tournament

on a mission: hoping to punch their team’s ticket to a state tournament berth in Austin this weekend. But bigger things were on the horizon than just basketball. Branson, a 1999 ACU graduate and all-conference basketball player in 1998-99, led the Lady Indians (27-9) to a convincing victory over perennial powerhouse Roby on Friday in the regional semifinal game. She then focused on her team’s next game against Newcastle on Saturday at 2 p.m, one that would solidify a state tournament berth for the Lady Indians. But that focus quickly shifted when she began experiencing contractions on Friday morning before the game. At nine months pregnant, Branson entered the tournament with only a week before her March 5 due date. see BABY page 7

The Optimist Print Edition: 03.04.11  

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

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