Page 1

Canvas Connotation University honors Women’s History Month with art gallery

vol. 100, no. 43

friday, march 9, 2012


Arts page 4

leslie lewis staff Photographer

Hollie Derrick, sophomore Ad/PR major from Monahans, enjoys the free candy bar in the McGlothlin Campus Center Wednesday. The booth was sponsored by this year’s In the Red fashion show, an event scheduled for March 31.


Victims file against manufacturer, dealer jozie sands opinion page editor A professor and his wife injured in the Nov. 4 bus accident have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the bus involved in the Nov 4 accident, which carried them and 14 other students and faculty members. Emmett Miller, assistant professor of agriculture and environmental sciences, and his wife, Pat Miller, filed suit against the bus manufacturers, Thor Industries Inc. of Jackson Center, Ohio, and ElDorado National of Salina, Kan., and the dealer, Lasseter Bus Company Inc. of Lewisville. Houstonbased Ammons Law Firm is representing the Millers. The Millers would not discuss the lawsuit, but court documents lay out their claims against the companies.

“Emmett Miller was present at the scene of the accident and directly experienced, witnessed and perceived the injuries and suffering of his wife,” according to the lawsuit. “Witnessing such severe pain and trauma caused Plaintiff Emmett Miller severe mental anguish, trauma, shock and distress, both physical and emotional, past and future.” ACU bought the bus involved in the accident from Lasseter in 2008 for $52,683. It was equipped to carry 24 passengers and a driver. According to the lawsuit, none of Thor, ElDorado or Lasseter warned ACU of the uncrashworthy nature of the bus. The group of 12 students three faculty and one faculty spouse were traveling to Medina Children’s Home on a Friday afternoon when the bus drifted

off the highway and into the right-hand ditch. The bus collided with a concrete culvert, flipped end over end and landed facing south on its wheels with the body nearly removed from the frame, leaving the passenger compartment exposed, said Trooper Shawn Baxter, an officer at the scene of the accident. According to the lawsuit, the bus was defective and dangerous as designed, manufactured, assembled and sold in that it was accompanied by insufficient warnings and notices about its defective nature. “Bus rollovers are survivable and catastrophic injuries avoidable if the bus structure remains intact and the occupants are provided appropriate protection and injury prevention within the vehicle structure,” said the lawsuit. “The subject bus, however,

optimist photo by daniel gomez

The mangled front end of the bus carrying 16 ACU Department of Agriculture and Environmental Science students and faculty members lies on the side of the road after careening into a culvert. did not offer appropriate occupant protection and injury prevention.” Emmett was released from the hospital after the accident with minor injuries, but Pat remained at San Angelo’s Shannon Memorial

Hospital in critical condition. She entered a coma and was moved to Abilene’s Hendrick Medical Center in midNovember for hospice care. The day Pat was scheduled to be removed from life support, Emmett posted on

Facebook that she had woken up from the coma and she was talking and asking questions about people. contact sands at


Abilene man faces college as sentence for crime

table by Dunn and his lawyer. “An argument was being made that the individual had undergone a change of attitude and living circumjoe burkett stances since the incident,” Taylor county assistant he said, “and that without a district attorney felony conviction he would have a legitimate opportuis some kind of book,” said nity to attend college.” Unlike normal probaBurkett. “There are a lot of variations to be taken into tion, deferred adjudication probation does not involve account.” Burkett could not re- a conviction unless probalease many details about tion is broken. Dunn has the case but said that this the opportunity to keep the option was brought to the second degree felony con-

viction off of his record. “A felony conviction can have a huge impact on somebody’s path in life,” said Burkett, who realizes the weight of a felony conviction and sees probation as “an opportunity to do better and correct their behavior.” Along with a bachelor’s degree, Dunn is required to perform 240 hours of community service and pay a $2,000 fine along with court fees. He will also serve eight years of probation that includes drug and

alcohol tests. According to the Abilene Reporter News, Dunn intends to study ministry and then pursue a law degree and a career as a criminal attorney. “It is a very good chance,” said Burkett. “Do all individuals take advantage of these? Not necessarily. But the court is giving him an opportunity that they don’t have to.”





Men’s golf takes fourth in tournament Tuesday

Creative sentencing offers a chance for redemption

Take a look at what went on this week

SA looks forward to upcoming elections

david singer arts editor A routine criminal case at the Taylor Country Courthouse last week ended with a plea agreement that included a fine, community service and one unusual stipulation. As part of the pending agreement, Abilene 21 year-old resident, John Joseph Dunn, 21, is required to graduate college by September 2018. Dunn, who pleaded

guilty to the 2009 burglary charges, must maintain a 2.0 grade point average and earn a bachelor’s degree or he is subject to a maximum of 20 years in prison. Joe Burkett, Taylor County assistant district attorney, said that although this type of sentencing is not customary, probation is not unusual for someone with no prior convictions and plea agreements are often subject to case by case options. “People assume that with a plea agreement there

People assume that with a plea agreement there is some kind of book.”

contact singer at


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Abilene Christian University

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Friday 03.09.12

09 Friday


All day - Indoor Track NCAA Championship @ Manakato



10 a.m. ACU Tennis vs. St. Edwards @ ACU


1 p.m. ACU Softball vs. TWU @ ACU

11 a.m. Praise day @ Moody



8 a.m Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup @ Nolan County Coliseum


All day - Spring break All day - ACU Tennis @ Kansas City, MO

5 p.m. ACU Softball vs. TWU @ ACU

Chapel checkup

Announcements The Agriculture and Environmental Sciences department is conducting the Anabel Reid Run for Water on March 2324. It will be a 24 hour fundraiser. For more information, contact the A&E department at 674-2401 or Many Scudder at ACU is participating in Recycle Mania in order to become an environmental friendly campus. Cans, paper, plastic and cardboard will be collected in dumpsters located in front of the Teague building until Mar. 31.

The ACU Upward Bound Program is now hiring for Summer 2012. Call 325-674-2713 or e-mail for more information. Submit your application at the Brown Library, first floor. Application deadline is March 16. Register by March 16 for an early- bird discount to IMPACT 2012: Christian Leadership for the Global Marketplace. This one day conference will take place on April 12 in Arlington. Online registration is available at

The Women for ACU is currently accepting scholarship applications for the 2012-2013 school year. Scholarships up to $2,000 per semester will be awarded. Deadline for applications is March 23. Both men Registration for the National and women who are sophoWomen in Ministry Confer- more and junior standings and ence for the Churches of maintain a 3.0 GPA minimum Christ begins on March 15. are eligible. Visit www.acu. The conference’s theme will edu/wacu for more informabe Partnering for Good and tion. will take place on June 29 through July 1 in the Kansas Beginning Fall 2012, the DeCity area. For more informa- partment of Art and Design is tion visit www.womenminis- now offering a Minor in Interior Design. For more information The ACU Student-Athelete Advisory Committee is hosting the 2nd Annual Run for Wishes on May 5 from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. Registration costs $15.

34 49 @acuoptimist The Optimist

Police Police Log Log

Weekly Stats for Feb. 21 - Mar. 06 2012

02/28/12 2:45 p.m. BURGLARY: An ACU student reported the burglary of her McDonald Hall dorm room. 02/28/12 9:15 p.m. NOISE VIOLATION: ACUPD was advised of a noise violation in the 700 block of EN 14th Street. Tenants were advised to get the noise under control. 02/28/12 9:17 p.m. CRIMINAL TRESPASS & EVADING ARREST: APD and ACUPD were notified of people prowling apartments at the ACU Sherrod Park Apartments. Officers and a canine pursued two ACU students who eventually surrendered. 03/01/12 9:19 p.m. SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY: ACUPD was notified of a residence with an open door; residents were located and reported having continuing problems securing the door. 03/02/12 7:10 p.m. CRIMINAL TRESPASS: A faculty member notified ACUPD that five ACU students were sitting atop the Fire House Theater in the 500 block of EN 19th. The students were watching the sunset and celebrating Texas Independence Day. Police Tip of the Week: The ACUPD encourages everyone to travel safely over Spring Break. Check your tires, belts, hoses and fluids before hitting the road. Get plenty of rest and take frequent breaks while driving.

Accident 1 Alcohol Incident 2 Administrative Activity 13 Alarm 2 Assist 7 Barricades 1 Building Lock/Unlock 8 Burglary (Residence) 1 Check Building 108 Disturbance 1 Escort 1 Found Property 3 Investigation Follow Up 9 Lost Property 3 Maintenance: University Assets 1 Medical Emergency 3 Monitor Facility/Lot 10 Motorist Assist: Inflate Tire 2 Motorist Assist: Jump Start 2

Motorist Assist: Other 3 Motorist Assist: Unlock 8 Other 4 Parking Lot Patrol 3 Parking Violation 5 Patrol Vehicle: Maintenance 2 Patrol Vehicle: Refuel 4 Prowler 1 Report Writing 1 Smoke 1 Special Assignment 2 Suspicious Activity 5 Theft 2 Traffic Stop 8 Trespasser 2 Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle 1 Welfare Check 1 Total Events: 232

Volunteer Opp0rtunities The Abilene Zoo is looking for volunteers to help with general labor such as grounds cleanup and painting any weekday at any time between noon and 4 p.m. The Zoo is located at 2070 Zoo Ln. Contact Joy Harsh at 325-676-6487 for more information. ACU’s Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department needs volunteers to help with the Anabel Reid Run for Water fundraiser on March 23 and 24. Many volunteers are needed a variety of ways during the event. Contact Mandy Scudder at 325-674-2401 or e-mail Abilene Hope Haven Inc. needs volunteers to provide childcare while parents are in class, any evening Monday-Thursday from 6:45 - 8:15 p.m. Abilene Hope Haven is located at 801 S. Treadaway Blvd. For more information contact Kathy Reppart at 325-677-4673 or visit www.abilenehopehaven. com/volunteer. Volunteers are needed to enjoy a free lunch with students at Bonham Elementary School on a weekly basis. This would be sometime between 10:00 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., and would involve spending lunch time with students and having a positive impact on their lives. Contact Jason Shaw at 325-639-3745 or e-mail Meals on Wheels Plus needs volunteer drivers to deliver afternoon meals to seniors and adults with disabilities Monday-Friday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Drivers must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. Training is provided. A Chapel exemption is available if delivery time conflicts with Chapel. Contact Jessica Stewart at 325-672-5050 or email

New Life Alliance is looking for volunteers to help with their after school program on Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. You will help with snacks, homework, crafts, games and other activities in addition to mentoring and building relationships with youth. Contact Ashley Kee at 325-672-1636 or e-mail The House That Kerry Built is looking for volunteers to assist in the day care of medically fragile children any day Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Contact Dave Kraly at 325-676-3104 or e-mail for more information. Rescue The Animals is looking for volunteers anytime between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. They need help around the adoption center with general cleaning, socialization of the animals, helping potential adopters and other tasks. Contact Mindi Qualls at 325-698-7722 or email The center is located at 5933 S. 1st St. Young Life Ministries needs volunteers Mondays, Tuesdays and weekends from 6-9 p.m. Volunteers will hang out with kids, experience leadership roles, serve others and introduce students to Christ. Young Life is located at 1917 S. 6th St. For more information contact Chuck Rodgers at 325-676-1211 or email The Betty Hardwick Center needs volunteers to participate in Special Olympics by helping mentally/physically challenged people play games such as basketball, track, and/or bowling Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Center is located at 801 Cypress St. Contact Angel Seca at 325-690-5235 for more information.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters program is looking for volunteers to participate in Lunch Buddies. Bigs and Littles will enjoy lunch together at the child’s school once a week. Students can earn Chapel credit for each visit. Big Brothers Big Sisters is also looking for volunteers for its Community Based program. Bigs are matched with Littles in a one-on-one relationship and spend four to six hours per month together in the community. To sign up or learn more visit www. or call 325-674-3113.

HERO, Hendrick Equine Rehabilitation Opportunities, is looking for volunteers to help with their spring program by assisting their clients as they ride horses for therapy. No experience with horses is necessary. Help is needed Tuesdays and Thursdays from Mar. 20 to May 3. Volunteers can help anywhere from one to six hours per week for the duration of the program. Volunteers must attend training on either Mar. 6 or 8. Contact Beth Byerly at 325-660-3465 or e-mail

The Minter Lane Church of Christ is looking for volunteers Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m. Volunteers will eat with children from kindergarten to 12th grade and help during class time. Contact youth minister Joshua Alkire at 325-201-5342 or e-mail

Disability Resources, Inc. is looking for volunteers to assist developmentally disabled residence. Help is needed with activities, art projects, reading books, exercise activities, assisting with vocational training needs and other interactions Monday through Friday from 9 a.m-4 p.m. For more information contact Becky Moody at

325-677-6815 or e-mail Volunteers are needed to read to Taylor Elementary School students Monday through Thursday afternoons at UCC from 3:15-4:30 p.m. Enter through the south entrance. Contact C.G. Grey 325-668-2842. Da’ Cipher 360, a program for at risk children, is looking for volunteers on Monday evenings from 5-8 p.m. at the Rose Park Activity Center, 2625 S. 7th St. Volunteers can help in a variety of ways including helping with set up, learning activities for kindergarten-3rd graders, tutoring 4th-8th graders, and assisting with clean up. Contact Alvina Scott at 847-333-7026 or e-mail The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers for a variety of needs including sorting and pricing items in the thrift store, helping in the kitchen and/or doing yard work. Times are flexible. Volunteers are needed throughout the week Monday-Saturday. The Salvation Army is located at 1726 Butternut St. For more information contact J.D. Alonzo at 325-677-1408 or visit Access Learning Center is looking for volunteers to help elementary school kids with homework, reading, computers and games. The center is located at 2102 Ambler Ave. For more information contact Bret Hines at 325-670-9727. Call ahead to schedule a time to volunteer. Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers to help with various construction tasks including carpentry, painting, cleaning up, installing cabinets and other tasks. Volunteers are needed any day Monday-Saturday between 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Contact Steven Legget at 325-670-0489 or e-mail The Food Bank of West Central Texas needs volunteers to help sort and stock food and other items any weekday Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. The Food Bank is located at 5505 N. 1st St. For more information contact Janice Serrault at 325-695-6311 or The Abilene Boys and Girls Club needs help any weekday between 3:30 - 6 p.m. helping children of all ages with games, art, gym time, reading and computer skills. Locations are 4610 N. 10th St. or 1902 Shelton St. Contact Mark Denman at 325-672-1712 for more information. For additional volunteer opportunities visit: www.


campus news

friday 03.09.12


Scholarship applications due soon pus, participate in service work in the community and student reporter be active in a local church. Applicants must include The Women for ACU orga- two letters of recommendanization is accepting schol- tion with their application, arship applications for the with one letter coming from 2012-2013 school year – men an ACU faculty member and the other coming from and women are eligible. Applications are due a member of the applicant’s local church or community. March 23. “We have 60-70 applicants Thirty women founded the WACU in 1969 as an every year,” said Donna Garopportunity for women rett, WACU national board graduates, faculty, staff and vice president for funding others wanting to advance and projects. “We can only ACU. Throughout the years, choose about 10 recipients they have remained ac- because we only have so tive by funding a variety of much in our endowment to campus enhancements and give away. It is such a hard decision because there are so scholarships for students. “The goal of the Women many excellent candidates.” Scholarships up to $2,000 for ACU organization was to raise money for the universi- per fall and spring semester ty. They are known for having will be awarded, and may a pie table every year at Sum- be renewed for the 2013-14 mit,” said Misty Spainhower, school year if the student remains in good standing alumni relations officer. Applicants must be of and maintains a 3.0 GPA. “The national board sophomore or junior standing with a 3.0 GPA. They has an endowment from must also be active on cam- Women for ACU and we

elizabeth weiss

Matthew sewell Staff Photographer

Preston Watkins, senior advertising and public relations major from Manassas, Virg., performs in the Band and Orchestra Concert Tuesday.

It is such a hard decision because there are so many excellent candidates.”

donna garrett WACU national board vice president for funding and projects

use that money to fund the scholarship,” Garrett said. “The scholarship has been around ever since Women for ACU was founded, 30 years ago. We wanted to be able to help students continue their education here at ACU. We raised the amount three years ago because the tuition was rising.” Applications can be found on the ACU website by going to a l u m n i / WA C U / WA C U _ Scholarship_App.html Contact with any questions. contact weiss at

students’ association

SA discusses business, elections marissa jones page 2 editor The Students’ Association gave out information concerning upcoming executive office elections and met with Anthony Williams, chief business services officer, at Wednesday’s meeting to discuss current and future changes around campus. Several SA officers asked questions regarding the closing of Java City. Williams said as of right now, there are no plans for the coffee shop located in Barrett Hall. Williams also discussed business services future developments of on-campus

food services. Two surveys have been sent to students, one online and one handout. The surveys are intended to gather students’ input about improving campus food services. Business services discussed is the possible introduction of a sushi concept. SA executive president Connor Best inquired about the possibility of college students receiving discounts at local movie theaters. Williams said there had been conversations about that. “We actually have talked about that, “ Williams said. “I think it would be kind of cool, not just for movies, but for other opportunities to get a discount which is cus-

tomary in a college town.” Best also brought up the likelihood of Bean Bucks being available for use at off campus sites. “They’re have been conversations about that the past two or three years,” Williams said. “Of course that model has a lot of complexities, so we’ll probably have some more conversations about that. At this time there have been no plans to do that.” Foster Science representative Bo Braddock asked Williams about the Bean serving lunch earlier to help diminish the crowding caused by Chapel. Williams informed SA that he had received that com-

plaint, and the Bean is now open for lunch at 11 a.m. SA members also posed questions regarding ACU’s future salon. Williams spelled out what ACU wanted to achieve by creating the salon. “Business services’ charge is to create revenue for the university, so we’ve had the philosophy if we can identify disposable income being spent off campus,” Williams said. “If we can have an opportunity to transform that into university revenue then we’re going to do that.” Several surveys had been conducted concerning hair salons in Abilene, and it was surmised that a salon would

24-hour run to honor Anabel Reid staff reporter ACU alum Alex Wann and students from the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Science will sponsor a fun run to honor ACU bus accident victim Anabel Reid. Anabel had a deep love for the Lord, and a fiery passion for making an impact in the lives of those who are in need of clean drinking water and thirst for Christ, Wann said. The mission statement behind The Anabel Reid Run for Water is “To glorify God, to celebrate Anabel’s life, to help people heal, and to make an impact through clean drinking water ministry.” With this goal in mind, the money raised will go toward Water4 Anabel Reid Memorial Fund. This money will benefit those in oth-

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Cameron Bearden Diamond Cobb Richard Elmore Raoul Garcia Josh Gil Chad Kelley Colton McCoy Amy Morris Emily O’Rear J.P. Ralston Christopher Sisk Victoria Tyson Christina Wise

contact jones at



nikki wilson

be a profitable business for ACU to acquire. The ACU salon is expected to provide a full service salon, nail technicians, massages and other services. William said, “As my son would say, we’re going to bring it.” It was also announced that executive officer elections will be held on April 11 and 12. Students interested in running for office need to begin talking to current executive officers to receive information about what is involved.

Several representatives did not attend the meeting Wednesday. The names are as follows:

It’s almost like we can hear her cheering us on.” mandy scudder administrative assistant in the Ag department

er countries without clean drinking water, and build wells in areas of need. The fundraiser consists of a 24-hour run/walk at Elmer Gray Stadium March 23-24. From 6 p.m.-6 p.m., participants are encouraged to recruit sponsorship to every mile they run in order to raise the money. A way for non-runners to get involved is to volunteer. There are several other positions that need to be met, and information about the fundraiser can be found on runforanabel. As the event draws near, the excitement is building

for those involved. Anna Ciufo, freshman pre-veterinarian major from The Woodlands, plans to attend the event and is happy to see people all over campus coming together for this event. She said, “I’m so excited about it and think it’s really cool. Anabel made such a difference in our lives and I like that people are wanting to carry on her goals. I feel everyone is really coming together for this.” Mandy Scudder, administrative assistant in the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, is an important hand in the development of this fundraiser. She said that this entire event is a time to honor those in the bus accident, but more importantly honor God in their efforts to help others. “We get to honor Anabel with this event, and fresh drinking water will be

taken to those who need it. Its almost like we can hear her cheering us on,” said Scudder. With positive response from the student body and the Abilene community, Scudder was encouraged by the desire of so many people to get involved. “The response from campus has been nothing but positive. I am not surprised on how the community has come together; God has been present in so many ways,” she said. Scudder said, after all is said and done, she hopes people really take heart to what the run was about. “Living this life is not about you or me, its about an openness and willingness to what God has for your life and that’s exactly who Anabel was,” she said. contact wilson at

FOR RENT: VERY NICE & VERY LARGE HOME Also 1 bedroom apartment Both ½ block from campus Available June 1, 2012 -- May 31, 2013 Call 672-9633 or 370-5122


friday 03.09.12



CANVAS McMurry exhibition empowers women to make art, tell story David singer arts editor As part of their most recent exhibition, McMurry University will display artwork from a group of people who are connected not by their profession, age, or skill level, but because they are women. In honor of Women’s History Month, 100 Women, 100 Words features small, square canvases created by a group of women from Abilene, some as young as 15. “The conversation about doing something for Women’s History Month came out of discussions between myself and Mary Buzan,” said Dr. Christina Wilson, Dean of the School of Arts and Letters. “Out of that came the idea to challenge women to make art and write as a way to talk about their perceptions on being

It is a way to provide a vehicle for expression that they may not have considered.”

Dr. Christina wilson dean, school of arts and letters mcmurry university

women and the women around them.” Wilson and Buzan, division chair for the School of Arts and Letters, began to approach women they knew to try and find participants. It wasn’t long before word got and women were getting in touch with them.

“We had women coming forward and asking if we needed more names,” said Wilson. “We ended up with people calling us and asking if they could participate.” Eventually, the exhibition grew to more than 100 canvases created by a range of women. Of those who participated, McMurry University and all four Abilene high school are represented and most are not artists by profession. Each was given a blank 6” by 6” canvas and instructions asking them to supplement their art with 100 words. The diversity of participants helped create an exhibition that serves as a look into the vast experiences of women. “You will see a wide variety of interpretations on canvas,” said Wilson. “If you put that together with the words there are some very powerful statements on being a woman and the legacy of the women around them.” Along with helping plan the exhibition, Buzan also served as a participant. “I was the one who proposed the idea of doing some activity for Women’s History Month, said Buzan, “so [Christina Wilson] felt it was my obligation to also participate.” As an organizer, Buzan was excited for the exhibition but as an artist, the project brought different emotions. “I’m not an artist,” she said, “so it was really scary. I looked forward to trying something new but at the same time I hated for my first effort to be public. Luckily, I had people to help me with technique. I am really glad I did it, and I can see from the exhibit



Manduy Lambright Chief Photographer

These represent just a few images compiled in the 100 Women, 100 Words exhibition. Participants used a variety of techniques which included paint, drawing, collage, charcoal and mixed media. as a whole and the interaction of the canvases that it is very meaningful.” Wilson plans to compile all the works into and book and, although no plans are in place, she is optimistic that this will become a continuing exhibition. 100 Women, 100 Words opened Monday and is showing through March 31 in the Amy Graves Ryan Fine Arts Building.

“Just One of Those Things”

“I think it is a challenge and it can be intimidating,” said Wilson, “but it is a way to provide a vehicle for expression that they may not have considered. And that is what we wanted it to be.”

contact Singer at

9 10

Abilene Community Theatre

Classic Film: The Alamo

Paramount Theatre

Sweetwater Rattlesnake Round-Up Nolan Co. Colliseum

Eternal Threads Open House

Eternal Threads Warehouse



Friday 03.09.12


Higher education beats incarceration A recent criminal court case in Abilene resulted in an interesting plea agreement for the young man who pled guilty to steal a television from a residence. As part of his probation, John Joseph Dunn is required to graduate from an accredited Abilene college before September 2013. Joe Burkett, assistant district attorney, said the case drew far more attention than he expected. While the specific details of Dunn’s case do not deserve public scrutiny, this form of probation, often called “creative sentencing,” deserves much more attention and use in today’s justice system, es-

pecially in case’s involving young adults. Like Dunn’s, most creative sentencing agreements are part of deferred adjudication probation. Unlike normal forms of probation, this allows a conviction to be avoided if there is no violation. A felony conviction will follow an individual through employment, loan or university applications and also bars them from voting, running for office and sometimes from traveling to another country. For young adults especially, being a convicted felon means not being able to live a normal life. The goal of creative

sentencing, whether it be education or volunteer hours, is rehabilitation over imprisonment. For a teenager or young adult who has made a mistake, an attempted transformation of lifestyles has a much more possibility for change compared to years in a federal prison. Even if the crime was their first crime, an impressionable young prisoner is unlikely return to society as a contributing member after spending years in a prison surrounded by drug and gang culture. Along with avoiding the effects of prison on an individual, a system which focuses on reha-

bilitation for young offenders has the potential to reduce government expenditures and lower the strain on taxpayers. According the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2001 the annual operating cost per inmate for state prisons was $22,650 and slightly higher for federal prisons. These expenses could easily be transitioned to pay for a rehabilitation program or, in Dunn’s case, enrollment at a public university or community college (although, as part of Dunn’s agreement, he will fund his own education). Creative sentencing is not an answer for ev-

Oh Dear, Christian College

the issue Young felons are left in a position where crime seems like their best option after prison.

our take Creative sentencing allows them to receive an education and hopefully a better life.

ery case. Sadly, prison is the only answer for many criminal offenders. However, for young adults whose ability for a normal life can be taken away by a felony conviction, creative sentencing can offer a breath of opportunity. According to Burkett, evidence showed that Dunn “ had undergone a change of attitude and liv-

Ben miller

ing circumstances since the incident.” Those, like Dunn, who display true regret, a transformation of attitudes and a strong intention to change should be given a chance to do so.

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Homework in the Grass: A Metaphor for College WHOA! IS ME



Dancing doesn’t always precede sex well, this is awkward

mark smith

Dancing leads to sex. At least that’s what some people have always said at ACU whenever dancing is mentioned. But now that the Board of Trustees approved a revision to the dance policy last month that will allow social dancing in sponsored events, things are different. The Students’ Association and Campus Activities Board are planning a dance party in Hunter Welcome Center after spring break. As the argument has always gone, dancing leads to lustful thoughts, which lead to lowering moral standards, which lead to sex. That’s how I’ve come to understand it, at least. Now, I was raised in Southern Baptist churches, not Churches of Christ. Baptists don’t necessar-

ily encourage dancing, but we don’t outright ban it. So never in my life have I ever heard anyone making such a fuss about dancing. Except myself. For essentially the opposite reason.

For me, dancing doesn’t lead to sex. It’s like the opposite. I don’t have two left feet, I have no feet when it comes to dancing. A social dance is a recipe for making me look even more awkward than I already am.”

For me, dancing doesn’t lead to lust, moral decline and sex. Rather it leads to awkwardness, confusion and pain. I don’t have two left feet, I have no feet when it comes to dancing. A social dance is the recipe for making me look even more awkward than I already am, not the recipe for ... you know. I know I’m not the only one. I know there are others like me who want no part in dancing because it will just make us look dumb. Even if I don’t really look that stupid, I feel like I do, which is just as bad. I feel out of my element, unsure if what I just did was just bad or really bad. I get how if you’re really good at dancing, it can lead to the decline. But not everyone is like that and therefore this rule that banned all dancing was actually a comfort in disguise. Most non-dancers wouldn’t admit this, but the absence of dancing is actually a reassuring relief from fear of peer pressure

to embarrass one’s self. Let me clarify; I am not advocating premarital sex or complaining about limitations dancing or antidancing policies contain. I’m simply offering my perspective that a policy that restricts dancing does more than limit the sexual activity of those who are well-skilled on the dance floor; it takes pressure off those who worry that dancing will lead to embarrassment. With regards to the recent revision itself, I think it’s good news. In fact, it was a really good news story and very well written. Here’s the link if you’re reading this online: http: //www.acuoptimist. com/2012/02/student-lifeloosens-dancing-restrictions. I know that the majority of the student body wanted this, so this is a good thing from a utilitarian point of view. Now I just have to work on my excontact smith at

With springtime upon us, the number of fresh-faced freshman writing papers and reading history books in on the beautifully manicured university grounds has seen a recent sprout. Whether pop culture is to blame for this pastime being explicitly associated with collegiate students we will never know. But what I have learned is that this fair weather activity serves as a near perfect metaphor for our four (or more) years in school. Behold: The Idea It’s such a wonderful plan: Do your homework in the grass. You’re done with class and it is beautiful outside. Might as well enjoy the sun while you work. And deciding to go to college is just as easy. It is the next logical step in your educational life and to be honest, it looks like a blast. Besides, you might kill yourself if you have to spend another second in this town/white-walled dorm room. The Benefits Both have such a long list of potential advantages. The professors will be fun. Laying in the grass will be relaxing. You get to study what you want. Being in nature will energize you, making that poetry explication much easier. And both of these will definitely improve your chances of getting a job/ looking like a college student. There is no reason not to. The Honeymoon Period Oh, the wind in your face and the sunshine in your eyes! What a glorious decision this was. You’ve met so many new people and you love your classes. You are more so-

hashtagACU 12:05 p.m. Mar. 7 10:42 p.m. Mar. 7

Setting off the detector in the library everytime I leave is one of my biggest fears #ACU


Dear couple making out in Chapel I sure hope it was the Holy Spirit leading you to suck face because if not that’s just wrong.


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.

Is it weird to wave to the car next to you if its the same model and year as yours?? Hope not... #xterrathing #wearefamily


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Address letters to: ACU Box 27892 Abilene, TX 79609 E-mail letters to:

Oh, the wind in your face and the sunshine in your eyes! What a glorious decision this was. You’ve met so many new people and you love your classes.”

You’ve been laying in the grass and staring at the clouds for fifteen minutes. And whats worse, you realize you haven’t really been paying attention in class for the last three years. You have wasted your time and what do you have to show for it besides the parties and the friends and the itchy legs. The only thing you can do now is stumble towards graduation/back into your room. The Aftermath So it looks like you ended up doing nothing with your afternoon/four years in school and now you’re entering the real world. The only physical manifestation of your wasted hours/years are the student loans/grass stains on your shorts. And it will take a lot more than Tide-to-Go to pay off that debt. contacT singer at

1:10 p.m. Mar. 8 12:40 p.m. Mar. 8

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

cial than you have been in years. You feel like you’ve gained so much freedom from when you lived inside/with your parents. The Realization And all of a sudden you wake up.

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Howling winds, 37 degrees and rainy? Why yes, that sounds like a great way to spend the day before spring break. Thank you, Abilene weather!

12:02 p.m. Mar. 7

“So you’re skipping class to study for the class you’re skipping?” logical things overheard in the library. @overheardACU


11:08 a.m. Mar. 8

Getting groupon emails is kinda like Christmas every day for me.



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Wildcats place fourth in tourney flags were laying flat on the ground.” sports editor After a final round score of 11-over-par-299, The No. 7 ranked Wildcats the ‘Cats came back the fiplaced fourth Tuesday at nal day of the tournament. the St. Edwards Invita- Jumping No. 5 Chico State and tional, finishing in the top (293-309-307-909) seven of the tournament No. 13 Colorado Springs, ACU for the 26th consecutive (293-314-317-924) time despite windy condi- took fourth place. “We were able to just tions in Austin. “It was really windy, pass the top ranked team and that was definitely a in the nation, Chico factor,” Junior All-Amer- State,” Carpenter said. ican Alex Carpenter said. “That will really help us “At one point all of the out in the rankings.”

natalie goin

On Tuesday, Abilene Christian’s final score was the second lowest of the day, just above No. 6 Nova Southeastern, the tournament champions. “The entire team played really solid this week,” Carpenter said. “Everyone finished in the top 25 percent, and that’s a huge accomplishment. Carpenter was the top finisher for the Wildcats with a final score of par 216 with rounds of 72-72-72. Following Carpenter

were freshman Corbin Renner, finishing in 15th place at 229, (77-77-75) and sophomore Trey Sullivan tied for 16th at 230. (77-77-76) Junior Kyle Dickerson and freshman Luke Carpenter tied at 21st with 231. “I had to work pretty hard to play even every day so I was really happy with that,” Carpenter said. “Both of our freshman played really solid, and Trey stepped up too.” Nova Southeastern


sports reporter

sports editor The road to playing collegiate baseball has been an uphill battle for junior infielder Travis Schuetze,. However, it is a path he is now conquering. Schuetze was a successful all-district and academic all-state middle infielder for his high school team. He also made four appearances as a pitcher. After high school, Schuetze was recruited by the Wildcats as an infielder. He redshirted his freshman year and expected to compete the next season as a fielder. “I came out the next


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Mack Lankford was voted to the Daktronics all-South Central Region team on Wednesday. She was voted to the first team, joining four other players. Lankford will now be placed on the NCAA DII allAmerica ballot. Austin Palmer (1-0) was named the Lone Star Conference Co-Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday. On Sunday versus the Texans, Palmer worked through 8.0 innings giving up three hits and striking out five in the Wildcats 6-1 win. Six of ACU’s spring sports teams are nationally ranked. Men’s and women’s tennis are both sixth and golf is seventh. Men’s track and field is 11th and women’s is 16th. Softball sits at 19th.

Player Profile Junior southpaw Austin Palmer (1-0) has been an anchor for the starting rotation the past two weeks. In Matt sewell staff Photographer his last two outings, Senior catcher Erin Gilliland races to first after making contact with the ball. Gilliland is batting .220 this seaPalmer has thrown son in 17 games. She has driven in six runs on nine hits. The Wildcats are currently 14-3. 13.0 innings allowed, two earned runs and ing the most potent offense than three runs in all but four or five players really series against the Pioneers fanned eight batters. four games this season, hit well and continue to Saturday afternoon at 1:00 He was named the they’ve seen. Lead by Kimberley and their consistent offen- generate offense this week- p.m. at Poly Wells field. LSC Co-Pitcher of Briggs and Madison Buck- sive play has put them in a end,” Reeves said. the week after his last The Wildcats will play ley, the Wildcat offense position to win nearly evperfomance versus has posted impressive to- ery game they have played a double header tonight Tarleton State. Palmer contact sloan at starting at 5:00 p.m. tals this season. Abilene this year. is from Folsom, ACU will finish up their “Hopefully we can have Christian has scored more Calif. He pitched at Cosumnes River College in 2010 and 2011 before transfering to ACU.

Schuetze overcomes uphill battle edward isaacs


Junior pitcher Caitlyn Crain was selected by the LSC as the Co-Pitcher of the Week. She is the third Wildcat to receive this accomplishment this season. Against Incarnate Word she went 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA and three strikeouts.

Matthew sloan



ASU WTAMU won the tournament, fin- TAMU-K ishing 19-over-par 883. Cameron Barry followed in second ACU at 888 (297-292-299), and TSU St. Edwards came in third ENMU at 900. (296-304-301) The golf team will re- UIW turn to action Sunday, as they travel to Fort Worth softball for the UST Mamiya Texas Team Intercollegiate. ASU TWU TSU ACU contact goin at MSU UIW ENMU WTAMU Cameron TAMU-K

‘Cats face hot TWU team The Abilene Christian softball team will be taking on the Texas Women’s University Pioneers in a three game series at Poly Wells field this weekend with the intention of building on their 2-1 start to conference play. The Wildcats are coming off of a series on the road against Incarnate Word, where they won two out of the three contests in San Antonio to start off conference play. Now ACU will face off against an even tougher test when they square off against the TWU Pioneers. “We are going up against a tough opponent this weekend, just like every team in the LoneStar Conference,” Head Coach Bobby Reeves said. “There are three phases to this game, and we are going to have to be good at all of them to win.” Texas Women’s University is entering Abilene on an eight game winning streak, including three dominating performances against Texas-A&M Kingsville last weekend as they opened up conference play at home in Denton. The Pioneers are dominant at the plate, where they are hitting over .345 and have scored over 120 runs in their first 21 games of the season. Leading the charge for the Texas Women’s offense is Bailey Vrazel, who has an on base percentage of over .500 and has also stolen 32 bases without being thrown out once. However, the Wildcats may have just what it takes to slow down the Pioneer offense with their trio of outstanding pitchers: Caitlyn Crain, Shelby Hall, and Peyton Mosley. These three ladies have combined to pitch every game for the Wildcats, and have posted a microscopic team ERA of 2.31 in the early going. “We have some of the best pitchers in the LoneStar Conference hands down,” sophomore Kara Stutesman said. But, the Wildcat bats are also a force to be reckoned with, and the Pioneer pitching staff could be fac-


year expecting to play the infield, but was moved to pitcher,” Schuetze said. Head coach Britt Bonneau said he liked Schuetze’s arm. “The first time we brought him out as an infielder however, it didn’t work out,” Bonneau said. “We decided to use him as a pitcher because he had such a good arm.” In his first year of eligibility, Schuetze did not see much playing time as a pitcher. He struggled to get batters out and was eventually cut from the position. “I was fairly new to being in the bullpen,” Schuetze said. “It’s a major jump from throwing in high school.”

He returned last season trying to earn another spot on the team as a pitcher. This time Schuetze was able to work more innings and appeared in 10 games out of the bullpen. Unfortunately, he faced the same problems as before and through 11.2 innings had an ERA of over 16.00. He allowed 21 earned runs and opposing batters hit .429 against him. Schuetze was cut a second time and told the coaches he no longer knew what to do. “We gave him the option to choose,” Bonneau said. “He told us he’d like to go back to being an infielder.” Schuetze was also told

15 new guys would be trying out for the 2012 team. “I told Bonneau that was fine and I had every intention to come back,” Schuetze said. Schuetze was determined to prove himself. He attended a summer ball season in Austin and in Corpus Christi. When 2012 rolled around Bonneau knew something was different. “He came back stronger and bigger,” Bonneau said. The extra work resulted with Schuetze earning a starting spot in the infield and in all 18 games so far this season. He’s batting .286 with 13 runs and eight RBI. Last weekend, Schuetze was given an opportunity

to tackle his old nemesis, the pitching mound. He struck out the side in 1.0 inning of work. “He has persevered through a lot of things,” Bonneau said. “If you really want to do something you have to go out there and take it,” Schuetze said. “You always have to believe in yourself.” Schuetze and the Wildcats travel to Cleveland, Miss., to take on No. 7 Delta State University. The doubleheader on Saturday and the finale on Sunday each begin at 1 p.m. contact isaacs at

Upcoming Softball plays LSC foe Texas Women’s at Poly Wells Field on Friday and Saturday. The series begins at 5 p.m. The baseball team will travel to Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss for a two-game series on Saturday and Sunday. Both games start at 1 p.m. Golf will travel to Hawks Creeks Golf Course in Fort Worth for the UST Mamiya Texas Intercollegiate on Sunday and Monday.

The Optimist - 03.09.12  

A product of the NMC Network of student media at Abilene Christian University

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