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Optimist the

The Civil Wars, page 5

Friday, March 11, 2011

Vol. 99, No. 43

1 section, 8 pages


Survey reveals opinions on dancing, ad kiosk The survey found most students would like to see dancing Find a complete breakdown Managing Editor of all SA survey results on as an option at campus events our website: and dance classes as an exercise Nearly 90 percent of ACU students see dancing as an “optional, but ap- science option, said SA Vice propriate activity for students,” ac- dent Jared Elk, senior political related to advertising on camcording to a Students’ Association science major from Savoy. Elk said the survey also re- pus. Only 44 percent of students survey in which more than 1,000 flected a strong opinion on issues agree or strongly agree that the students participated last month.

Jeff Craig

university has enough advertising opportunities for students, and 61 percent said they never look at the advertising kiosk near the Campus Center. Elk said many of the personal comments pertaining to advertising suggested allowing students to use sidewalk chalk to advertise

campus events. Only 14 percent of students said they knew how to post information in the kiosk. The survey also asked questions about class attendance. Just 36 percent of those surveyed believe it is fair to lower a stusee SURVEY page 4


Tuition increase raises concerns Linda Bailey Editor in Chief

As tuition rises, so do some related faculty concerns. The Board of Trustees voted to raise tuition nearly 10 percent for the coming school year, and some faculty members say they are concerned it could outprice some prospective students, including children of faculty, and leave other students with mounds of debt. Tuition for the 2011-12 academic year has been set at $787 per credit hour, meaning a student taking 15 hours will pay a minimum of $11,805, not including fees, housing or food. “We see our students leave with lots of debt and worry about how they’ll pay for that debt,” said Kim Pamplin, chair of the Faculty Senate. The financial strain also can impact children of ACU employees, said Pamplin, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “One of the things Faculty Senate has been thinking about is the affordability of ACU for our own employees,” Pamplin said. “If our cost to send one of our dependents to ACU is rising faster than our salaries are rising, then I think that means ACU is

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

Erin Mangold, junior journalism and Ad/PR major from Lockney, plants flowers at New Horizons’ Audrey Grace House.

Broadening Horizons

Free enterprise club partners with local non-profit to build relationships Jeff Craig

Managing Editor

Members of Students in Free Enterprise have made it their mission to give back to the local community. SIFE has begun a partnership with New Horizons, a local non-profit that ministers to abused children and gives them a place to live. The students planted f lowers and worked in the gardens and New Horizons’ Audrey Grace House on Saturday – but students said this is

just the beginning of their partnership. “We want to build that relationship with those kids and be a part of the community with those kids,” said SIFE project manager Jon Pratt. “We’re going to start going every Thursday to spend time with kids and tutor. It’s a sustainable project so we plan on working with them for years to come.” Pratt, senior accounting major from Kerrville, said the group was awarded a $1,200 grant from Lowes Home Improvement and decided to work with New Horizons at the

suggestion of their adviser Dr. Darryl Jinkerson, associate professor of management. “It’s outstanding. New Horizons exists to put kids first and do what’s best for the kids,” Jinkerson said. “It can be a very, very long relationship.” Pratt said he was looking forward to developing a long-term relationship with New Horizons. “Our SIFE team is all about getting involved in the community,” Pratt said. “As see MINISTRY page 4

see RISE page 4


Congress to purchase sound system Linda Bailey Editor in Chief

The Students’ Association Congress passed a bill Wednesday allocating $1,500 toward purchasing a sound system for various student group use. After granting student groups a combined total of $3,630 in the past two se-

mesters for sound equipment for events, members of SA decided it would be more cost effective to buy one sound system for student groups to share. Sikes Residence Hall Representative Rebecca Dial, junior political science major from Lexington, S.C., presented the bill and said SA is talking

reserved for the system would take up half of the Congressional budget, but he said it would be a worthwhile investment. Congress also heard from three committees as part of Wednesday’s meeting. The Advertising Committee updated Congress see COMMITTEE page 4


inside news Students have different reactions to the nearly 10 percent tuition increase effective for the 2011-2012 school year. page 4

to Student Life and Student Productions to determine the best method for a check-out system. Also, she said they still were researching sound systems before spending the allocated funds. SA President Samuel Palomares, senior communication major from Elsa, said the money now

sports Former Wildcat football players will participate in the ACU Pro Day to prepare for the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft. page 8

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

Students’ Association officers listens to suggestions, questions and bill proposals from Congress during its weekly meeting on Wednesday.

weather video Nikki’s Swirl Shoppe is open for business and serving the sweet treat to frozen yogurt fans of all ages.

Abilene Christian University




79° 36°

67° 40°

66° 38°


Campus Friday, March 11, 2011



calendar & events Friday

11 a.m. Praise Day with Byron Martin 4 p.m. Softball at Eastern New Mexico University



12 p.m. Softball at Eastern New Mexico



2 a.m. Daylight Saving Time



Spring break begins

2 p.m. Baseball vs. Angelo State 2 p.m. Softball at Eastern New Mexico

7 p.m. Baseball vs. Angelo State University NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships for track and field in Albuquerque, N.M.

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

ACU Police Tip of the Week Always lock your house when you are not home or while sleeping. Daytime and nighttime burglaries of off-campus residences in the immediate ACU area have increased during the last two weeks.

Police Log Edited for space

Saturday, March 5 12:45 a.m. ACU Police officers received a report of a loud noise coming from a large party at a residence in the 2400 block of Campus Court. The resident was issued a Municipal A Department’s daily activitiesCourt willcitation for a Violation of Noise Ordinance. Tuesday, March 1 be printed on this page of 7 p.m. ACU Police officers the Optimist. The Sunday, March 6 received a report of afirst bur- Police Log glary willofappear Friday. an ARAMARK em- 10:05 p.m. Residence ployee vehicle in the Hunter Life staff discovered apWelcome Center parking proximately 6 grams of lot. A purse also was stolen marijuana in a residence but recovered in the park- hall room in Edwards Hall. Charges are pending. ing lot soon after. Saturday, Feb. 26 1:24 a.m. ACU Police officers received a report of a loud noise coming from a large party at 1349 Campus Court. Officers issued a warning, and logtheofparty thedisbanded. ACU Police

Thursday, March 3 10 a.m. ACU Police officers found an intoxicated student sleeping in a vehicle in the loading dock area of Teague Special Events Center. 7:25 p.m. The ACU Police Department and the Abilene Police Department arrested a subject inside the ACU Firehouse Theater storage building on EN 19th Street and Avenue D.

volunteer opportunities 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 conf licts with Chapel. Contact Samantha Barker at 672-5050. 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 south-of-the-border fare. To sign up, contact Sheila Cory at 673-1110 or scory@ 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@

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 JurykaOwen at 675-5643 ext. 16 to make an appointment. For more information on the International Rescue Committee, visit 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 Windcrest Alzheimer’s Care Center needs volunteers to clean out and organize closets any day Sunday-Friday at any time during the day. Contact Chris Stephenson to arrange a time at 6921533 or clstephenson@ 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@

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 sheri. Betty Hardwick Center Volunteers are needed in several departments at the Betty Hardwick Center, specializing in mental health. Students can help mentally and physically challenged people play games, run track and go bowling. Students can volunteer from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Monday-Friday. Contact Angel Seca at 690-5235 for more information. 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

Monday, March 7 4:05 p.m. ACU Police officers received a report of cash stolen from an office in the Biblical Studies Building. Report all suspicious activity to the ACU Police Department at 674-2305.

Weekly Stats 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 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. 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 MondaySaturday. Contact J.D. Alonzo at 677-1408, or visit www. for more information on the program.

The Ben Richey Boys Ranch is seeking volunteers for its upcoming Annual Clay Shoot on April 30th. Volunteers will be pullers at stations, help with registration or coordinate the selling of raffle tickets. Training will be given for both shifts at 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. or 11:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Tshirts and free dinner are included for volunteers. Contact Patty Dunn at 665-4058 for more information. 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

Just People, Inc. Volunteers are needed to tutor adult GED students. Volunteer times are flexible. Contact Justina or Alana at 6722118 for more information, or e-mail

March 1-8 1 911 Call 1 Fire 1 Accident 1 Foot Patrol 9 Administrative 1 Found Property Activity 1 Hazard 5 Alarm 1 Intoxicated 6 Assist Person 1 Barricades 8 Investigation 14 Building Lock/ Follow Up Unlock 2 Lost Property 1 Burglary 3 Monitor Facility/ (Residence) Lot 1 Burglary 1 Motorist Assist: (Motor Vehicle) Inflate Tire 25 Check Building 2 Motorist Assist: 2 Criminal Mischief Jumpstart 1 Drug Activity/ 12 Motorist Assist: Offense Unlock

1 Monitor Traffic 1 Motorist Assist: Other 1 Noise Violation 3 Parking Violation 6 Patrol Vehicle: Maintenance 7 Patrol Vehicle: Refuel 3 Public 2 Report Writing 6 Suspicious Activity 2 Theft (Non Vehicle) 6 Traffic Stop 3 Welfare Check

Chapel Checkup 39 34

Credited Chapels to date

Credited Chapels remaining

announcements Horse Marriage Workshop The Equine Assisted Learning Program is hosting a free staff-andfaculty-only workshop for married couples entitled “The Herd at Home” from 2-4 p.m. on March 26 at Rhoden Farm. For more information, contact Steve Eller or the University Counseling Center at 674-2626. Directions and further information will be given upon registration. ACUltimate The university’s ultimate frisbee club meets at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact Kyle Thaxton at 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 www.acu. edu/summeronline. 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 campuswide effort to attend Chapel every Monday.

FilmFest The entry deadline without a late fee is March 11. Entry forms can be found in McKinzie Hall, Room 122, at filmfest or acufilmfest. 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, 1,800-mile guided bus tour will visit significant sites of the American Civil Rights Movement. Registration now is open. For more information, contact Dr. Richard Beck at, Dr. Jennifer Dillman at jennifer., Dr. David Dillman at dillmand@acu. edu 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. Friends of the ACU Library is hosting its annual spring banquet and membership meeting, featuring Dr. Abraham J. Malherbe, founder of Restoration Quarterly, at 6:30 p.m. on March 24 in the Hunter Welcome Center.


March 11, 2011

Page 3


Campus readies for Relay for Life fundraiser Laura Gasvoda Staff Reporter

The American Cancer Society will conduct Abilene’s 17th annual Relay for Life from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m on April 29-30, at Elmer Gray Stadium . Maria Whittemore, chair of the event, said she is excited about the participation this year and enjoys seeing everything come together. “Last year was my first year as chair,” Whittemore said, “and seeing the whole event come together was very rewarding. This year, the number of teams we have signing up is very exciting. Participation is going to be good.” Teams are encouraged to have at least one mem-

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ber walk or run the track all night, but members may walk in whatever increments and for however long they choose. All members are encouraged to stay for the entire activity-packed evening. Relay for Life is the largest non-profit fundraiser of its kind in the world, said Tiffany Lamb, ACS community manager of development. “We are on track to have more teams than ever before, partly because ACU is helping out this year,” Lamb said. “We currently have 61 teams registered. Teams can organize however they want. For instance, if you have 12 members, one can walk for each hour.”

We are on track to have more teams than ever before, partly because ACU is helping out this year. TIFFANY LAMB // American Cancer Society Community Manager of Development

Last year, one relay participant ran a total of 105 laps, the equivalent of a marathon. Members can run, walk or simply come to participate in the events and cheer on others. Volunteers also are needed to help with children’s games and activities. The purpose of the allnight event is to honor a cancer patient’s journey and the long vigil through chemo-

therapy treatments. For those not looking to run a marathon, a full-schedule of activities takes place off the track. The schedule includes a 7 p.m. survivor’s lap; the 9 p.m. Luminaria Ceremony, commemorating those lost as participants line the track with candlelit, white bags; the 10 p.m. Fight Back Ceremony, an energypacked event designed to build momentum for the


Clubs prepare campus event Marissa Ferguson Staff Reporter

Social clubs are partnering with the Students’ Association to create a campus-wide fun fair. Set for the week of April 4, plans are in the works for Fun Fest, an event designed to provide students with activities to alleviate spring fever. Trojan’s President Justin Prince, president of men’s social club Trojans, said the event is an opportunity for fusion and unity among various student groups on campus. Duties for making the event happen have been distributed among clubs and other student organi-

zations, which each will tap into their own unique resources to promote the event, said Prince, senior Bible missions major from San Antonio. “Everyone has been partnering up in each of these different tasks, whether they be financial, advertising, working with SA or working with other student organizations,” Prince said. “We’ve all been trying to pick up these different tasks to work towards a common goal.” SA Treasurer Chris Shim said as of now, SA is seeking possible funding opportunities for the individual activities. “Last fall, the Congress granted funds for this

event,” said Shim, senior finance major from Atlanta. “It’s just going to be a chance for students to come be laid back in the spring.” Although no events have been set in stone, Prince said the project continues to move forward. The final product will resemble Backyard Bash-style events that social clubs have conducted in the past, but it will serve all of campus, he said. “On top of that, they’re looking at having a concert and then maybe having someone coming in to speak,” Prince said. “The possibilities they’re still working on are pretty broad, but it will be similar

to what campus has done in the past with Backyard Bash and JamFest.” To get involved, students and others may help by participating on the planning committee. “They’re working with anyone and everyone who is willing to help,” Prince said. “They are dealing with organizing more of the high-end side. For example, they’re looking at who they’re going to bring in, and then from that they’re trying to get other groups involved because the more that are involved, the better the event will be.” contact Ferguson at

rest of the night; the midnight Miss Relay contest and pizza; a 3 a.m. chocolate buffet; and finally, an early morning breakfast with breakfast burritos and an awards ceremony celebrating the night. Although the Luminaria Ceremony is a somber time of remembrance for lost loved ones, most of the night will focus on building momentum and hope for the future. Participation requires payment of a $10 registration/commitment fee, per person. After that, any additional funds can be raised individually, as a team or online. Participants who register by March 28 and raise $100 or more will receive a Re-

lay for Life T-shirt. General registration is open until and through the event. Of the funds raised, 80 percent go directly to research, education, advocacy and services for patients and their families. Services the ACS provides include, but are not limited to, gas cards, lodging, wigs and breast prostheses. Abilene is part of the West Texas region, which extends as far as El Paso and includes many patients who travel to Abilene for treatment at the Texas OncologyAbilene and Hendrick Medical Center. contact Gasvoda at

Visiting Artist

MEAGAN HERNANDEZ // Staff Photographer

Indie folk artist William Fitzsimmons records an interview for KACU’s The Appetizer at Flyboy Studios in Clyde on March 4. Fitzsimmons also performed at the Paramount Theatre.


Page 4

March 11, 2011


Students respond to university tuition increase Christina Burch Page 2 Ediitor

Students received with mixed reviews ACU administration’s decision to raise the cost per credit hour an extra $70 for the academic year of 2011-2012. Dr. Phil Schubert informed students of the near 10 percent increase in a school-wide e-mail sent March 3. Jaclyn Butterworth, junior speech pathology major from Weatherford, is in her second semester at

ACU and said she is frustrated by the new figure. “My younger brother just visited ACU, but we don’t know if we can afford him coming to a Christian college like this because my parents don’t have enough money to support both of us,” Butterworth said. Butterworth said that she understands the school’s need to cover the costs of new services like the Royce and Pam Money Recreation and Wellness Center. However, expecting to enjoy the facilities for only one year before

graduating fails to alleviate her frustrations, she said. “It seems very unfair to charge us for services that we have not participated in or benefited from yet,” Butterworth said. Other students remain neutral on the subject. Jon Schleyer, sophomore theater major from Boerne, said he does not mind the price hike because he already is receiving financial aid through ACUfunded scholarships. “It just doesn’t bother me,” Schleyer said. “I know

early learning development. She said that she believes the tuition increase is necessary to support the same theory for college students. “I feel we’re incredibly blessed to have the innovation ACU has given us,” Herndon said. “I’m a supporter of any kind of Apple learning initiative. As an education major, this is teaching me how to incorporate technology into my future classroom.”

$787 from $717 per credit hour will help ACU achieve these goals. Shayla Herndon, sophomore English education major from Troy, said she agrees with the increase, as long as it is used to improve the quality of an ACU education. “ACU is equipping us to be more qualified in our future occupations,” Herndon said. Herndon said that in her educational psychology class, students are exploring the benefits of incorporating technology into a child’s

how cheap we are, compared to other private universities, and I’m still paying a pretty good price for the education I’m getting.” In the e-mail, Schubert outlined ACU’s push toward technological integration and implementing high-quality services into student life. “Our goal is to continue providing exceptional facilities, world-class faculty and a strong Christ-centered environment,” Schubert said in the release. He said the increase to

contact Burch at


Survey: Students unfamiliar with SA officers Continued from page 1

dent’s grade based on attendance. More than 80 percent of students agree or strongly agree that learning is the individual student’s responsibility, in that respect. The 52-question Zoomerang survey asked questions about 10 topic areas, including personal spiritual evaluations and a performance assessment of SA. While Elk said he had hoped to have 700 stu-

dents take the survey, the 1,026 participants came as a surprise. “It was a definite success,” said Elk, senior political science major from Savoy. “The response was way better than I could have expected.” Elk said the questions pertaining to students’ spiritual life and relationship with God were included at the request of Student Life. More than 90 percent of those surveyed said they strongly agreed or agreed that they

were a person who sought God. Less than two percent said they agreed or strongly disagreed. “It was about what I expected,” Elk said. “I didn’t expect many people to strongly disagree, so I wasn’t surprised with the response.” Students also had an opportunity to evaluate SA’s performance. Forty-five percent of students said they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that SA is “valuable in advocating for stu-


dents.” Forty percent said they were neutral in regard to the statement. Nearly 50 percent said they were familiar with SA’s purpose, but only 25 percent reported being aware of who their SA representatives are. Only 23 percent said they agree or strongly agree that they are aware of recent SA activity on campus. “We do a lot of things that affect students,” Elk said. “We need to do a better job of letting students know who we are and what we do.

quick facts The survey sent out by SA in February asked questions pertaining to 10 key areas • Spiritual Relationship • Recycling • Attendance Policy • Meal Plans • Dance Policy SA Chief Development Officer Connor Best said SA now will move forward to address concerns expressed by the students. “We’ll look to address the needs of students,” Best said. “We now have

• Advertising Policy • Volunteer Service • Social Clubs • Students’ Association • Intramural sports a frame of reference for things students care about The results of the survey are available online at contact Craig at


Rise: Faculty react to hike Ministry: Students to help local charity for children Continued from page 1

becoming less affordable for our own people, and I don’t know if we want that trend to continue.” Dr. Barry Packer, board chair, said the board understands the difficulty of a tuition increase, but he said the increase of revenue will allow ACU to provide a higher quality education. “I think it’s important to at least say that we really struggle with and understand that the cost of providing a quality education is very, very difficult in today’s economy,” Packer said. “We know it’s a struggle and a strain for families to send their children here, and so the decision for the tuition increase is really due to the

commitment we have to increasing the quality of the academic experience for all the students.” Although Pamplin understands some students financially motivated desire, to supplement an ACU education with less expensive courses from more affordable institutions, he hopes the quality of the ACU experience justifies the price increase. “I think we all feel like ACU offers an excellent product, and we’d like to think that our product is worth the price that we’re charging,” Pamplin said. “Certainly, when we compare ourselves to other universities around the nation, ACU seems to compare favorably as far as the quality students are

receiving compared to the cost they are paying.” Dr. Charles Mattis, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said faculty is concerned by the increase but understands the university’s commitment to become a quality institution. He also said investment in quality already is paying off through initiatives such as mobile learning, the Core curriculum and the new AT&T Learning Studio. “Students have an innovative opportunity now for collaboration and creative projects, which the market is looking for,” Mattis said. Packer said the increase in tuition was the only major decision made during the February meeting. However, the board did schedule discussions with the committee to explore and examine whether ACU is best suited to continue functioning as a Division 2 NCA A institution or to move to Division 1. He said they also discussed accreditation renewal. contact Bailey at

READ THE OPTIMIST WHEREVER YOU GO. For the iPhone and iPod, visit and add the Optimist to your home screen. Download the iPad app from Apple’s App Store.

iPad . iPhone . iPod

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a team we’ve never had a non-profit that we’ve been completely focused on. We are focusing on being able to help organizations like new horizons long term.” Pratt said SIFE, an organization based in the College of Business Administration, is not exclusively for COBA students. SIFE is in COBA but it’s not just for COBA students,” Pratt said. “We have history majors and PR majors. It’s a great opportunity to work and build leadership skills working with places like New Horizons.” Ashley Cherry, senior finance major from Hallsville, organized the Saturday’s workday at New Horizons. She said the group was searching for a local project through which they could make a big difference.

It’s an oasis for those kids. It’s beautiful.

ASHLEY CHERRY // senior finance major from Hallsville

“When I first heard about New Horizons, I was expecting just terrible children running around, and I didn’t expect it to be what it is,” Cherry said. “It’s an oasis for those kids. It’s beautiful. They are normal kids. There is nothing wrong with them. They just have hard pasts.” Cherry said she believed the group has a responsibility to help those less fortunate. “We take for granted what we have,” Cherry said. “Not everyone is able to live a privileged life, so it’s important to get in touch with reality and give time and resources.” Cherry said in the

future, SIFE wants to develop a rapport with the children at New Horizons. She said students in the group plan to spend time with the kids, doing things from playing basketball to helping with homework. She said the group also plans to do more physical work around the facility, including working with a pond in which the children like to swim. More information about New Horizons and its mission can be found on its website, contact Craig at


Committee: SA proposes dancing policy changes Continued from page 1

on its plan to petition administration to reinstate the chalk policy. They plan suggest students use water-

soluble chalk, easily removed by rain, restricted to grounds or concrete sidewalks easily reached by rain. The Advertising Committee also is discussing keep-

ing chalk in the SA office for student use. The Dance Committee also presented its plan to try to bring more dance opportunities to ACU. SA Vice President Jared Elk, senior political science major from Savoy, said the committee has talked to the exercise science department about potentially offering dance courses in order to better understand the university’s general outline of the policy and how to move it forward. The Finance Committee reported it no longer will take conference requests because it already granted funds to 13 student groups that requested money. contact Bailey at


March 11, 2011

Page 5



Free Movie: The Social Network

CIVIL WARS ‘Barton Hollow’ provides personal soundtrack Walk to class, or play in any park or other place with grass and people when spring and summer are conducting their politest “you,” “no you,” “no you, I insist” routine, and you will – of course – see some young romantic, sitting and playing his guitar over his knobby knee. This is obnoxious, but it’s also primal. Instinctual. Because we don’t have caves or wooly mammoth battles to paint on our walls, we have to find some other way of expressing our identity and our worth. Singers like Joy Williams and John Paul White (a visual cross between Johnny Depp and Jack White – no relation, sadly), the two main pieces of indie act The Civil Wars, instill a sense of creativity and motivation with their first full-length studio album, Barton Hollow. They have a lovely instrumental/vocal style that isn’t overwhelming technically someone playing consistently for a year or two would be able to cover, and cover well, all of these songs. This doesn’t, of course, account for the incredible knack for natural and flowing songwriting that these two performers display, but when someone with musical aspirations hears something that is both simple and successful, it’s encouraging – a good word to describe both the emotional/ lyrical content of this album, as well as its more subtle and indirect effects on its listeners.

ALBUM REVIEW David McMichael I think one of the reasons this album has been so successful is its overwhelming soundtracking potential. Everything plays poignantly, like it’s topping off a series of scenes in some gently standard indie fare (think Zach Braff/Natalie Portman/lifechanging Shins). “I’ve Got This Friend” comes with shaking, handdrawn block letters flashing over quick, playful shots of sunrise cities and lovers dancing on rooftops with prancy feet. “C’est la Mort,” reminiscent of deVotchka’s Little Miss Sunshine hit, is the song over the riding-in-the-car montage, windows down and sun flares shining through streaming hair and expensive sunglasses. “Falling” is the breakup and returning to respective cities, where both subjects will sit on their respective beds and eventually

see a broken guitar string or kinetic typography art piece that will drive them back to a fervent embrace. Listeners can grab this relatability and overlay it atop their own experiences. What car ride isn’t better with a soundtrack? What midnight walk or coffeeshop coffee isn’t made more complete by the addition of tonal contributions? For better or worse, our experiences must be more than real, and The Civil Wars realize that. The lyrics and instrumentals are interesting and well crafted while not taking on any sort of experimental quality that would challenge the complete sense of oneness you can feel with these songs. Their calling card, “Poison and Wine,” for example, mourns “I don’t love you but I always will.” Almost anyone who hears this song will know a boy or girl who can almost flawlessly fit in between these lyrics. This album falls skillfully and pleasantly into the trend of hi-fi/lo-fi, sort-of-indie artists we’ve seen in the past few

PERFORMANCES The Civil Wars performed to a sold out crowd Thursday night at Monks Coffee Shop. Next week, the duo will play at the South By Southwest music festival.

years, like Iron and Wine, Regina Spektor and Ingrid Michaelson. Simple instrumentals, often with sparse percussion, high focus on vocals and low focus on production. You don’t have the fuzz or the bird sounds you get with someone like Tallest Man on Earth, but you also don’t have the huge, drumschoral-brassy-legionofguitars sounds of big bands like – still indie-ish – Mumford and Sons or, you know, Coldplay. Essentially, the album is a series of anthems. The opening track, “20 Years,” is an anthem celebrating cultivated musical simplicity – as most of the album does – and the quick-but-slow slipping of time. “In the meantime I’ll be waiting for twenty years or more,” sings White. The hyperbolizing here keeps it lyrically rooted in common ground. “Barton Hollow,” the title track, is a significant stylistic departure from the rest of the album. Percussion throughout and thick strumming brings it almost into the realm of yowly trucker anthems. Think that H-E-B song from the Super Bowl, mixed with something that’s not a deathly, corpulent, oozing, ruinous plague. On the whole, Williams and White blend splendidly for a solid, anthemic album, and their harmonies and sentiments run deep.

Mar. 24 8 p.m. Cullen Auditorium

Abilene Events FRIDAY Born Yesterday 7:30 p.m. Abilene Community Theatre

FRIDAY Art Et Fleurs 6:30 p.m. The Center for Contemporary Arts

SATURDAY Classic Film Series: Dinner At Eight 7:30 p.m. Historic Paramount Theatre

App of the Week Road Trip Fun Games


Road Trip Fun is a useful app for anyone hitting the road for spring break. This app provides a list of classic road trip games for friends and family to play. Each game can be played in a car without any accessories and is accompanied by easy instructions. All the information about the games can be accessed without internet, making this app iTouch friendly. Keep in mind that no actual games can be played on this app. Road Trip Fun costs 99 cents and is both iPhone and iPod Touch compatible.

New Releases IN THEATERS Red Riding Hood Mar. 11

(Warner Bros.)

Jane Eyre

Mar. 11

(Focus Features)

Mars Needs Moms (Walt Disney Pictures)

Mar. 11

Battle: Los Angeles (Columbia Pictures)

Mar. 11

Limitless Mar. 18

(Relativity Media)

The Lincoln Lawyer (Lionsgate)

Mar. 18

Paul Mar. 18


DVD The Fighter

Mar. 15

(Paramount) contact McMichael at

Hereafter Mar. 15

(Warner Bros.)

The Parking Lot Movie Mar. 15

(Redhouse Productions)

The Switch

Mar. 15



Mar. 22


The Tourist Mar. 22

(Sony Pictures)

How Do You Know (Sony Pictures)

Mar. 22

MUSIC Travis Barker Mar. 15

Give The Drummer Some

The Boom Bang Mar. 15

World War Fun

Caitlin Rose Mar. 15

Own Side Now

Death Set Mar. 15

Michel Poiccard

Eleventh Dream Day Mar. 15

Riot Now!

Noah And The Whale Last Night On Earth

Mar. 15

Rise Against Endgame

Mar. 15

Robotanists Plans In Progress

Mar. 15

Oh Land Oh Land

Mar. 15

Nick Lowe Labour Of Lust

Mar. 15

Mamiffer Mare Decendrii COURTESY OF // Tec Petaja

Mar. 15


Page 6

March 11, 2011


Moral stands require preemptive PR Rel ig iou sl y-a f f i l iate d schools and their policies have found themselves in the media spotlight in recent months. While it may be their policies that initially draw the attention of the broader public, how those policies are carried out and communicated to the general public can be crucial to avoiding misconceptions and a damaged reputation. Last week, Harding University found itself embroiled in a controversy after a group of GLBTQ – gay, lesbian, bisexual, transexual or queer – students, who used to attend Harding, published an online magazine describing their experiences on campus.

The online publication was promoted to various news outlets, describing Harding as “an explicitly conservative, religious, anti-gay institution” and was quickly picked up by the New Yorker Blog, Jezebel and The Huffington Post, among many others. Harding initially responded by blocking the website and then provided a statement in the university’s chapel the next day. After Harding was approached by The Arkansas Times – not the other way around – Harding administration released a brief twoparagraph explanation for blocking the website. Private institutions, especially those with a

religious affiliation, have every right to construct policies regarding Internet use and to outline what behaviors are not in line with the universities’ overall mission. The regrettable aspect of Harding’s situation was the universities’ slow response to the issue, which was mostly reactionary and allowed the discussion of Harding, its policies and the larger Christian college community, to be dictated by the publishers of the online magazine. The school’s blocking of the site with little explanation to the outside public only gave credence to the picture that was being

painted of Harding as bigoted, ignorant and anti-homosexual. The general public does not have to agree with the decisions or the policy, but the lack of public relations work by Harding allowed those outside the university to absorb a onesided view. This not only taints Harding’s reputation, but also the reputation of the larger Christian college community at large. Brigham-Young University also found itself defending its policies regarding student conduct after its star basketball player, Brandon Davies, admitted to having a sexual relationship with his girlfriend – a violation of the school’s honor code. By Morgan Davis

The Funny Funnies

the issue

Media outlets jumped to judgement on controversial events at Harding and Bringam-Young universities.

our take

Private, Christian institutions have the right to uphold their moral codes but should offer explanations for the secular world. The school admirably stuck to its policy, even though it meant the dismissal of the team’s thirdleading scorer, who would have greatly assisted the team in a bid for the NCAA tournament. The policy may seem old fashioned to outsiders, but the Mormonaffiliated school decided the morals of its students were more important than its basketball season. Rel ig iously-a f f i l iated schools must realize that their policies may some-

times seem backwards to outsiders and should be prepared to clarify them when these counter-cultural policies conflict with societal norms. By engaging the discussion on their policies rather than merely responding to attack, these institutions can ensure that the outside world better understands their values and beliefs, even if the world doesn’t always agree. contact the Optimist at


Safety requires planning ahead Homeskool Validictorian

lege students do dumb things, especially guys. A study from the University of Michigan found that 29 percent of men plan on getting drunk over spring break, and 18 percent of women have the same ambitions. The study also reported that students who went on spring break trips were fourtimes as likely to engage in binge drinking. Although, I wouldn’t think spring break campaigns would fall under the same “spring break trip” category. Freshmen are even worse. The survey of 651 students found that 31 percent of first-year students admitted to binge drinking.

By Jeff Craig


Statistics fail to control happiness Your Average Jo By Jozie Sands

Gallup Organization, a company that conducts polls and analyzes social, political and economic trends, released the description of who the happiest American should be, statistically. He is a Sands “tall, AsianAmerican, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children, lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year.” Don’t worry, I didn’t make the cut either, but Alvin Wong did. The New York Times tracked him

down and dubbed him the happiest person in America. He is 5’ 10” and 69 years-old, lives in Honolulu with his wife Trudy where he runs his own health care management business, lives as a Kosher-obser ving Jew and earns more than $120,000 a year. And he has kids. Not only does he fit the demographic, he agrees that he is happy. Creepy, I know. In the video posted by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Wong said happiness will not come to a person who works only for money and that life will be very hard on anyone who cannot laugh at himself. That philosophy is what makes Mr. Wong the

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:

Height does not give you the ability to learn from mistakes, owning a business cannot guarantee success and money in the bank will not provide the ability to laugh at your mistakes. happiest person in America. Height does not give you the ability to learn from mistakes, owning a business cannot guarantee success and money in the bank will not provide the ability to laugh at your mistakes. Gallup is wrong and will be wrong as long as it tries to put a face on happiness. It is one of many things that can’t be proven using statistics. I know people who live on the street,

nearly penniless, who easily have a much happier outlook on life than the wealthiest person I know. Comparing ourselves to the statistics or trying to mold our lives to fit the demographic is the worst way to find happiness. Mr. Wong was right, the best way to be happy is to love what you do and take every chance to laugh.

Optimist the

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I’ve always liked the idea of spring break. However, in middle school and high school, I endured the same monotonous s p r i n g break activity every year – the national Craig h o m e school basketball championships in sunny, tropical Oklahoma City. Granted, I always had fun, but OKC in March is infinitely more unpleasThere is a stark and ant than any other time of startling reality about the year. It’s spring break – college cold, it’s rainy students do dumb and it’s windy. On top of all things, especially guys. that, I was really a sub-par The study also found basketball player. On the rare occasion that women are more likely I was put into the game, my to plan ahead to avoid top priority was to not screw risky behavior. So here’s the deal: We up. Unfortunately, that rarely happened. In eighth have a responsibility to grade, I was awarded the hold each other accountChristian Character award. able. This doesn’t mean My mom said it meant I students who are of lehad a good attitude. What gal age shouldn’t drink. it really meant was I was the It just means we should encourage one another worst player on my team. So this year, I decided to to be responsible. Looking out for each have a real spring break. I’m afraid of sharks and other may seem cliché and drug cartels, so Cancun has paternal, but the study renever really appealed to ported that those who make me. I twist my ankle walk- plans to be safe and discuss ing on flat pavement, and I them in advance are less get cold easily, so skiing was likely to do dumb things. So whether you’re doout of the question. So this year, my room- ing something awesome, mates and I are going to see like going to the beach or the Texas Rangers’ spring mountains, or something training in Surprise, Ariz. It’s lame, like going to Oklahoma, have fun and be smart. the perfect spring break. Unfortunately, there is a stark and startling reality contact Craig at about spring break –

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March 11, 2011

Page 7


Tough opposition awaits ACU during holiday Mark Smith

Sports Reporter

The day after the men’s doubleheader on Thursday, the Lady ‘Cats travel to San Antonio to match up against the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners. Both the men’s and women’s teams will play Incarnate Word University and St. Edward’s University in regional action on Saturday and Sunday. “We’ll see Incarnate Word at least one more time, maybe twice,” said Head Coach Hutton Jones. “We’ll play them in the

‘‘ ’’

conference tournament and, probably, again in regionals. We need to establish ourselves in these matches, and learn more about our opponent for next time.” This weekend is just part of a busy spring break for the tennis teams. ACU will head to Nevada for the Las Vegas Invitational next week, then end the break with a match against Midwestern State University on March 20. “My goals are to be competitive, be a good doubles partner and have fun,” said sophomore Julia Mongin of the busy upcoming sched-

Regardless of opponent, this is high-level college tennis... These will be slug fests. HUTTON JONES // Head Coach of ACU tennis

ule. “I think this is great, traveling with the whole team over spring break and playing the sport I love. We will have fun, for sure.” The ladies’ team is riding a 9-game win streak. “We rolled through last weekend. We were supposed to win,” said Jones. At the tournament in Las Vegas, all of the Wild-

cats’ matches will be against Division II schools who are ranked higher, nationally, than ACU. “Regardless of the opponent, this is high-level college tennis, and all matches are tough,” Jones said. “These will be slug fests.”

FILE PHOTO // Heather Leiphart

contact Smith at

Head Coach Hutton Jones instructs his tennis team.



Preview: Wildcat bats heat up Tragedy: Fennville Bankston played significant roles in the offensive turnaround for the Wildcats. Both players are averaging better than .440 at the plate, good for fourth and fifth, respectively, in batting average in the conference. ACU is 12-4 in the regular season against Angelo State since 2007 and 4-2 in the LSC Conference Championships. The series will kick off Friday with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch time. The Wildcats and Rams will finish DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer off the weekend on SatKris Carlson throws a pitch for the Wildcats. ACU will play Angelo State University this weekend. urday in a double header. Continued from page 8 was in the bottom third of top third, offensively, in The first game will begin at 2:05 p.m., with the secteams in batting average, just a few weeks. ond game beginning at “We are starting to figruns, on-base percentage Fortunately for the Wildcats, ACU has quietly and slugging percentage. ure things out,” said Head 4:05 p.m. All three games become one of the best The Wildcats now rank at Coach Britt Bonneau. “It will be free for fans. hitting teams in the con- least fourth in all of those was something we can ference. After its first categories, moving from build off of.” contact Tripp at Will Calhoun and weekend of play, ACU the bottom third to the


Play: ’Cats ready for Zias Continued from page 8

‘‘ ’’

over .300 as a team, with a slugging percentage at .425. ACU also has hit 17 home runs as a team, including five by third baseman Valentina Nabayan. ACU’s pitching has been improving all season, but the Wildcats still have a high team ERA at 4.53. Senior Brittany Rexroat leads the Wildcats with a 7-2 win-loss record and a 3.50 ERA. The Zias have struggled this season, only hitting .200 as a team. While their pitching has not been any better, ENMU has a team ERA of 6.49, as opponents are averaging a .354 batting average.

We need to go out and play like we are supposed to play every weekend. BOBBY REEVES // Head Coach of ACU softball

Despite the low team batting average, the Zias are led by Taylor Howard offensively, who has started every game for Eastern New Mexico and currently is batting .389 on the season. The Wildcats originally were picked to finish sixth in the LSC South out of eight teams. ACU is looking to exceed expectations in conference play, starting this weekend. “Our goal is to make the conference tournament. We are going to do every-

thing we can to get in the top four,” Reeves said. “We need to go out and play like we are supposed to play every weekend, and hopefully we will finish in the top four.” The first pitch between the two teams is set for 4 p.m. Friday. ACU and ENMU will play a double header on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. All games will be played at Eastern New Mexico. contact Cantrell at


Gates: Receiver to make all-black outfit change Continued from page 8

and take the Wonderlic test first before registering physical measurements such as height and weight, after which they will run the 40-yard dash, 5-10-5 shuttle, “L” shuttle, vertical jump, broad jump and rep out on the bench press, set at 225 pounds. Head Football Coach Chris Thomsen said he is thrilled for the opportunity to show off some of the talent he’s had on his team over the years and is equally excited for the opportunity and platform his players have in the Pro Day. “This is great for the guys who didn’t get to go

to the Combine,” Thomsen said. “For the rest of those guys, this is basically their combine and could potentially result in a career.” ACU began receiving more attention from NFL scouts five years ago, when highly touted defensive back Danieal Manning ran at ACU’s Pro Day in front of roughly 30 scouts at ACU’s practice field. Abilene Christian received even more attention when wide receiver Johnny Knox and running back Bernard Scott, both currently on NFL rosters, performed at Pro Day. Gates will post numbers for both shuttle drills, the broad jump, as well as

run routes for the scouts. Reserve Green Bay Packers quarterback Clark Harrell is in town and will throw passes to Gates. “I feel very humbled to be in the position that I’m in,” Gates said. “This will be fun for me, and I can’t wait for March 21 to get here. I’m glad it’s here because it adds a sense of comfort for everyone.” As for his apparel choice? “I’m going to change it up and wear all black this time,” he said. “I want to spice things up a little bit and keep everyone on their toes.” contact Shake at

plays despite loss Continued from page 8

offered to give up homecourt advantage, to play the game at nearby Hope College, a gym that could accommodate far more than 3,000 people. Sure enough, the game was a sellout. The contest stayed close throughout, but a late run by the Blackhawks sealed the win. After the game, handshakes were forgotten, as the teams instead hugged each other on the court. Fennville played again on Wednesday night against rival Bangor High School, and again, Fennville emerged victorious despite the loss of the Blackhawk’s best player. They will play in the Class C district final against Covert High. The game will again be played in a large venue, DeVos Field-

house in Holland, Mich. on Friday evening. Wes was a larger-thanlife student and athlete. His funeral on Tuesday was broken up into quarters and even split by a halftime. Hundreds attended. The fact that this small school continues to play basketball at a high level, despite such a tragedy, is nothing short of inspirational. They continue to win games in memory of Wes. In sports today, we hear too much of millionaires whining and not enough heartwarming tales. Wes’s life obviously has had a major impact on the lives of people around him, and I can only hope my life has and will do the same. contact Gwin at

Page 8

Standings BASEBALL Team


Tarleton St. 10-2 WTAMU 7-2 Cameron 9-3 UIW 9-3 SW OK St. 10-5 TAMU-K 7-5 ACU 5-4 SE OK St. 5-4

Ovrl. 14-3 16-3 10-3 10-5 14-5 10-7 12-5 7-8



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

Ovrl. 20-1 17-1 11-6 11-7 10-7-1 13-10 14-13 3-15



March 11, 2011

Angelo State comes to Crutcher Scott Brandon Tripp Sports Director

The Wildcats will be looking to complete a perfect 9-0 home stand this weekend, when Lone Star Conference rival Angelo State University comes to Crutcher Scott Field. “In the four years I have been here, there has been no love there,” said senior outfielder Cameron Bankston, who was honored by


‘‘ ’’

the LSC as the Player of the Week. “We know they will give us their best game, and we have to be ready.” The Wildcats, who began the season as the No. 6 team in the country, have seen their ranking slip all the way down to No. 30 since the beginning of the season. Both Tarleton State University and West Texas A&M University have been ranked higher than the Wildcats in the

This weekend however, those bats will need We know they will give us to come alive for ACU in their best game, and we its effort to make it nine have to be ready. straight wins. CAMERON BANKSTON // senior Angelo State approachoutfielder for the ACU Wildcats es the weekend with the The Wildcats proved top-ranked pitching staff early part of the season. The Angelo State Rams are they can put together a in the LSC in terms of ERA. looking to extend their own complete game with bat- The Rams have six pitchers winning streak. ASU has won ting and pitching after with an ERA of under 2.50 its last four, three of those winning all six of their and just four pitchers with wins against the pre-season games in four days last an ERA over five. No. 2 team in the LSC: South- weekend, never allowing more than five runs. eastern Oklahoma State. see PREVIEW page 7

Briefs n Mack Lankford was

named to the Daktronics second-team allRegion roster Wednesday. Lankford was the Lone Star Conference’s second leading scorer, averaging more than 19 points per game. She also led the LSC South in steals, averaging 2.5 per game. n Cameron Bankston

was named the Lone Star Conference Hitter of the Week on Wednesday for his efforts last week for the Wildcats. The senior helped ACU to a 6-1 record last week. Bankston swung a hot stick, as he hit .577 with three doubles, one triple and five RBI’s. Bankston, an outfielder, had a .645 on-base percentage over the weekend.

Player Profile Will Calhoun, senior outfielder and pitcher from Duncanville, picked up his fourth win of the early season Monday Calhoun after his outing against College of the Southwest. Calhoun threw six strong innings of five hit baseball, allowing only two runs while striking out two in his third start of the season. Calhoun’s versatility has been on display already, as he went 4-5, scoring two runs for the Wildcats against Texas A&MInternational last Sunday. Calhoun, a transfer from Howard College, is hitting .458 and has recorded 16 RBI’s this season.

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

Edmond Gates celebrates after making a catch against Midwestern State University October 9 at Shotwell Stadium. He led the ’Cats in receiving this season, accumulating 1182 yards and 13 touchdowns. Gates will be one of eight ACU seniors who will work out in front of NFL scouts March 21 at ACU’s annual Pro Day.

Pro day highlights stars Bryson Shake

Assistant Sports Editor

Over the past two weeks, NFL coaches, scouts and fans have been raving about former ACU wide receiver Edmond Gates, the Division II standout who blew onlookers away at the NFL Combine two weeks ago with his blazing 4.37-second 40-yard dash and allwhite attire. NFL scouts now will have the opportu-

nity to solidify and reiterate those initial impressions when ACU hosts its annual Pro-Day on March 21. Gates will be one of eight ACU senior football players who will test and complete drills for the NFL scouts present. There will be approximately 12-15 NFL teams represented at the Pro Day, according to long-time ACU Strength and Conditioning Coach David Hess.

“This is a great opportunity for our seniors to come out and perform for the best of the best in a place in which they are familiar and comfortable. It’s a huge day for our seniors,” Hess said. Along with Gates, offensive tackle Trevis Turner, linebacker Courtney Lane, wide receiver Raymond Radway, running back Kendrick Johnson, defensive lineman Bry-

n The

baseball team will play against Angelo State on Friday at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday, starting at 2 p.m.

n Softball

will play the Eastern New Mexico University Zias on Friday at 4 p.m.

n The track and field

team will compete at the Division II National Indoor Meet Thursday-Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M.

Danieal (Manning) and Johnny (Knox) brought big crowds, but we’ve had steady showings every year. This year is unique because we have so much quality talent working out.” The Pro Day format will be modeled after that of the NFL Combine and will contain many of the same drills for the players. The players will arrive Monday see GATES page 7



Fallen star still inspires team The Sports Jedi Austin Gwin

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer


son Lewis, defensive back Drew Cuffee and defensive lineman Fred Thompson will be among the athletes showing off their skills for the NFL scouts. Hess has coached strength and conditioning at ACU for 12 years, and this marks the twelfth time that he has been a part of a Pro Day. “This is one of the bigger ones I’ve been a part of,” Hess said. “Obviously,

Freshman pitcher Peyton Mosely winds up a pitch in a game against Midwestern State University. Mosely and the Wildcats will take on Eastern New Mexico University this weekend.

’Cats sparked by offense to 14-13 overall. The Wildcats will take on a strugSports Multimedia Editor gling ENMU team with a The Wildcats will travel to 3-15 record this season. Portales, New Mexico to The Zias have lost six in a take on the Zias of Eastern row as they enter conferNew Mexico University. ence play. The ‘Cats, on the The three-game weekend other hand, have won 6 of series this weekend will their last 8 games. “This is the kind of series start the conference seathat gives a coach nightson for ACU. After going 3-2 last mares,” said Head Coach weekend, ACU improved Bobby Reeves. “We need to

Ryan Cantrell

win all three games, and if you want to make the post season, these are the series you have to win all three games. Ultimately, I am just looking for us to go up there and take care of business, and hopefully, we will get three wins.” ACU has been led by its offense this season, batting see PLAY page 7

Mere seconds remained when star guard Wes Leonard grabbed the ball at the top of the key. The overtime score: 55-55. The Fe n n v i l l e High School Blackhawks were 19-0 and on the brink of a Gwin perfect season, but they needed a basket. As the star of not only the basketball team, but also the quarterback of the football team, Leonard knew the crucial shot fell to him. Without any hesitation, he drove right, found an open lane and easily scooped the ball over the front of the rim. The last seconds ticked off the clock, and Fennville was perfect. Leonard’s

teammates hoisted him up in celebration as fans rushed the court. Then tragedy struck, as the Blackhawks’ star guard, quarterback and hero collapsed on the court. And an hour later, Wes Leonard was dead, his fate determined by an enlarged heart, doctors said. The story instantly hit national news. Affiliates around the globe showed the Blackhawks’ head coach, Ryan Klinger, and Leonard’s teammates sobbing during a press conference held at the school. Despite the grief, the basketball season continued, as Fennville was scheduled to play Lawrence High School in the district tournament on Monday. Realizing the magnitude of the situation, Lawrence school officials see TRAGEDY page 7

The Optimist Print Edition: 03.11.11  
The Optimist Print Edition: 03.11.11  

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