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Optimist the

Vol. 98, No. 4

Who is Charles Gaines? PAGE 5 1 section, 8 pages

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

acuoptimist.com

BREAKING NEWS, VIDEOS, PHOTOS, DISCUSSION AND EXCLUSIVE CONTENT STUDENT GOVERNMENT

SA set to distribute $90K to student groups Liz Spano

await the results of SA’s decision, which will be Arts Editor made this weekend. The groups together Student groups submitted budget requests for requested about $127,000 the fall semester to the in funding. The amount Students’ Association on any group is approved Friday. Thirty-nine groups to receive will be used

for events and supplies throughout the year. The Students’ Association has $90,000 to disperse among student groups this year, as opposed to $100,000 available the previous year.

The difference reflects the university-wide budget cuts that were made in an effort to conserve during the nation’s economic crisis, said Luke Cochran, SA treasurer and senior financial

management major from sure we’re cutting back in areas that are not going Round Rock. “Obviously, there will directly to students.” The process of approhave to be some cuts and everyone will not get the priating budgets began full amount they request- after students turned in ed,” Cochran said. “Our biggest focus is to make see FUNDS page 4

WEATHER

FOOTBALL

Severe storm tears through campus, city Mary Garvin Page 2 Editor

LAURA ACUFF Features Editor

Jared Mosley, athletic director and compliance coordinator, expressed the university’s dissatisfaction with the NCAA’s ruling Tuesday.

MOVING FORWARD The NCAA upheld its ruling against the ACU football program Tuesday, but head football coach Chris Thomsen and athletic director Jared Mosley say ACU athletics is looking ahead.

Jeff Craig Contributing Reporter The NCAA rejected the university’s appeal of sanctions placed on the 2007 football team, ending a two-year investigation of the athletic program. The ruling, announced Tuesday, forces ACU to vacate all 10 wins, and erase two players’ statistics from the books for the 2007 season. The NCAA’s report did not name the two players, and the university also has denied to release the names. The football program will be required to vacate its first playoff victory since moving to Di-

Watch video of Tuesday’s press conference, including comments from head football coach Chris Thomsen.

acuoptimist.com vision II. The ruling will not affect ACU’s perfect 2008 regular season. Jared Mosley, athletic director and compliance coordinator, expressed his dissatisfaction with the ruling but made it clear the university will move on. “I guess we were holding out a little bit of hope for a different outcome,” Mosley said. “We are going to move forward and continue to

build on what we are working on.” In February, the NCAA placed sanctions on the track and field program and the 2007 football team, after the university self-reported the violations. Later that month, school officials appeared before the NCAA Division II Infractions Appeal Subcommittee, claiming the football sanctions were excessive. Mosley stated that although he was disappointed with the nullification of 10 wins, he felt worse that the unnamed players would lose their statistics. Head football coach Chris Thomsen echoed Mosley’s sentiments. see RULING page 7

The storm that hit Abilene on Thursday did more than delay the opening football game and thoroughly soak Wildcat fans. It toppled trees, destroyed landscaping and damaged buildings all over campus. The Physical Resources Department is still working to restore the campus to its original state. Doug Barron, chemicals manager of physical resources, said he was not expecting the level of damage that occurred. “There were winds exceeding 50 miles an hour reported last Thursday, and they blew over a lot of trees on campus,” Barron said. “It took all of Friday and eight or 10 people to correct the damage.” The weather station at Dyess Air Force Base reported winds up to 63 mph Thursday evening. The intensity of the wind uprooted multiple trees, including a 15foot tree that fell in the parking lot between the Biblical Studies Building and the tennis courts. The tree did not damage any cars in the lot. “The storm moved into the Big Country from the northwest,” said Terry

Huber, a senior forecaster at the National Weather Service. “I suspected that the storms would start dissipating around sunset. However, they were isolated storms, meaning that they could hit or miss anywhere, at any time.”

QUICK FACTS Thursday night’s storm only lasted 15 minutes, but it left its mark on ACU campus. 50-60 mph winds Marble-sized hail n Extensive damage to landscaping n A 15-foot tree between the Biblical Studies Building and the tennis courts was uprooted. n Branches, up to 8 feet in length, fell across the Lunsford Walking Trail. n n

While branches fell on campus, bleachers were tossed onto the field at Shotwell Stadium minutes before the Wildcats’ first football game of the season. After a few minutes of the storm, most fans evacuated the field. “It was terrifying,” said Felicia Cano, a freshman nursing major from Stockdale. “The wind was blowing hardcore. We left the game, and on our way back to the dorms, we passed a light, and the see STORM page 4

STUDENT LIFE

Students offered chance to sample social clubs Linda Bailey

Chelsea Brunts, Alpha Kai Omega rush chair, said a lot Opinion Page Editor of women attending rushes Fall rushes began this are unsure about pledging, week, and students who and the rushes help them want to pledge must start make that decision. “Rushing is a chance to choosing a social club. Over the next two weeks, get to know girls in other social clubs will conduct clubs and to figure out various activities to intro- what you want from each duce potential pledges to club,” said Brunts, senior different aspects of club life. elementary education ma-

Forecast Wed

97° 71°

jor from San Antonio. A lot of stereotypes get thrown around ... Ryan Camand rushes are a chance for clarification. eron, Gamma JEFF MORRIS Sigma Phi sibJunior biochemistry major from Richmond ling father, said he expecteach rush shows a differed rushes to attract good fun, not awkward. Each club plans several ent side of the Trojans. prospective members. “We are definitely a mulCameron, senior math events for the two-week major from Houston, said period. Jeff Morris, Tro- tifaceted club and very dirushes are supposed to be jan vice president, said verse,” said Morris, junior

Inside Thu

97° 71°

Fri

93° 70°

WILDCAT SOCCER defeated Central Missouri Sunday, earning their first victory against a nationally ranked opponent. Get match highlights and analysis. Page 8

biochemistry major from Richmond. “It is important for students to come out to as many rushes as they can, because they will get a good picture of what we are about.” Rushes also give club leaders the chance to explain what their club see RUSHES page 4

Online MINIMUM WAGE in the state of Texas was raised to $7.25 per hour this summer. Find out how local businesses and campus jobs were affected. Page 3

VIDEO

LOUDandCLEAR

PHOTOS

Did the NCAA rule justly on Tuesday? NCAA Press Conference

Visit acuoptimist.com to see what the ACU community is saying.

This Week in Photos


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Page 2

Campus Information

September 2, 2009

About This Page

Campus Day

The Optimist maintains this calendar for the ACU community to keep track of local social, academic and service opportunities. Groups may send announcements directly to jmcnetwork@acu.edu. To ensure that an item will appear on time, the announcement should be sent at least 10 days before. The Optimist may edit items for space and style. Corrections and clarifications of published news articles will be printed in this space in a timely manner.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CALENDAR AND EVENTS

2

WEDNESDAY

11 a.m. Dr. Bob Strader will speak in Chapel as a part of Mission Week.

3

THURSDAY

11 a.m. Donna Stone will speak in Chapel as a part of Mission Week.

4

FRIDAY

11 a.m. Nino Elliott will lead Praise Day in Chapel.

7-8 p.m. A Chapel forum featuring Donna Stone will take place in the Biblical Studies Building, Room 114.

Volunteer Opportunities Service Action Leadership Team applications are available in the Volunteer & Service-Learning Center located in the lower level of the Campus Center. Applications are due Friday at 5 p.m. The American Red Cross is offering “Sheltering Boot Camp� Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Attendees will receive specialized training that teaches new volunteers how to effectively work in shelters. For more infor-

mation or to register for training, contact Allison Coggins at 677-2622, or e-mail cogginsa@usa. redcross.org. The ACU Ministry Events office needs volunteers to help with various parts of Summit Sept. 20-24. Volunteers will help with shuttle, receptionist and dispatcher duties; technology; registration; and childcare. Help is needed each day between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Chapel Checkup

Credited Chapels to date: Credited Chapels remaining:

08 63

Announcements A Service Expo will take place in the mall outside the Campus Center on Friday.

An interest meeting and ice cream social for Treadaway Kids and Wildcat Kids will take place in the Campus Center Living Room on Monday at 7 p.m.

Freshman Follies will take place Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. in Cullen Auditorium. For more information or to buy tickets Monday is Labor Day. in advance, go to www.acu. Classes and offices will edu/follies. remain open.


Campus News

September 2, 2009

Page 3

SOCIAL CLUBS

Men of Galaxy celebrate 50 years of club Sondra Rodriguez Managing Editor The men of Galaxy are celebrating the club’s 50th anniversary by sponsoring the construction of Galaxy Park, a stopping point on the Lunsford Walking Trail that overlooks the pond. The park is not completed, but for now, students can see a concrete marker in front of the

construction site with the club’s name and date of establishment. Galaxy president Kason Hart, senior electronic media major from Houston, said he hopes to see the park completed by Homecoming. The social club began collecting money for the project about six years ago, said Galaxy member Preston Woolfolk,

senior political science and business major from San Antonio. Woolfolk said the club originally raised money to build a pier and bridge that would span the pond. After the pond was completed, members learned the foundation would not support such a structure, and the park was chosen as an alternative. The completed park

SPIRITUALITY

will consist of stone benches, similar to those at Jacob’s Dream. Woolfolk said he liked the original plan but knows club members are satisfied with the park. “I’m glad we have something on campus we can call our own,” he said. KELSI WILLIMSON Staff Photographer contact Rodriguez at

sar06g@acu.edu

Construction of Galaxy Park continues outside the Hunter Welcome Center.

STATE

Mission week at ACU Texas wages increase Kelsi Williamson

“One of the largest benefits is that you get Staff Photographer to see people that are The new Center for Chris- living out what it means tian Service and Leader- to be a mission keeper,” ship began one of its first said Jen Rogers, director initiatives, Mission Week, of Student Ministries. in Chapel on Monday. The “They do it in such a vagoal of Mission Week is to riety of ways.” The speakers’ disdrive students to think about who they are and cussions will be based on the development of who they will become. Dr. Jan Meyer, direc- faith in stages. The idea tor of the CCSL and as- of faith stages comes sistant dean of Lead- from the writings of ership Development, Henri Nouwen. Rogers said the CCSL spearheaded much of wants to challenge stuthe week’s planning. “ACU Mission Week is dents to pursue quality not about missions; it’s over quantity. “Solitude to ministry about being a mission is biblical,” she said. “We keeper,” Meyer said. Five speakers will want to get students to speak in Chapel this week start here...to start in a about what it means to be time of solitude, to have a mission keeper. They their identity shaped by will educate students God, then to celebrate on reconciling their aca- and fellowship with othdemic and spiritual en- ers and then move out deavors in order to fulfill to ministry.” It is this kind of thinkGod’s calling.

ing that Meyer said will help students become mission keepers. “The idea is, you need to know who you are in God first,” Meyer said. Ben Word, junior political science and missions major from Dallas, agrees that developing one’s Christian mission is a necessity during college. “It’s hard to be in this setting and not do any type of ministry and then expect that to come later in life,” Word said. In addition to regularly scheduled Chapels, Mission Week includes a Chapel forum Thursday at 7 p.m. with Donna Stone in Room 114 of the Biblical Studies Building. For more information, go to http://www.acu.edu/ campusoffices/ccsl.

contact Williamson at

kkw07a@acu.edu

Chelsea Hackney Copy Editor A 10 percent increase in the minimum wage was a pleasant surprise for many student workers returning to jobs on campus this fall. “I think my wage went up,” said Noemi Palomares, a cashier in The Campus Store. “But I’m not sure. I wasn’t here all summer, and I haven’t gotten a paycheck yet.” Until this summer, the state minimum wage was $6.55, but a federal law raised the federal minimum wage to $7.25, effective July 24. For Texas employers, higher wages means fewer funds available to hire workers. “Most campus jobs are minimum wage, especially after the hike,” said Tim Johnston, exexecutive director of the Career Center. “But, in-

flation is pretty low, so for the most part, these are gains for people.” Student workers are eager to reap those gains, even if the departments employing them are feeling the crunch. “Demand at August Passport for on-campus jobs was very high,” Johnston said. “Every penny counts and having the opportunity to work up to 20 hours a week in a convenient location is great.” The wage hike might make on-campus jobs more attractive, but for students like Palomares, who has worked in the Campus Store since last September, the money is not important. “It’s a good place to work,” said Palomares, sophomore Biblical text major from Elsa. “I don’t have to drive anywhere. Oh, and I get a discount,

so that’s good.” Employers such as the Campus Store have worked hard to create incentives besides higher wages for good employees, an effective strategy now and previously when minimum wage sat far below $7. Students usually work between 10 and 20 hours a week, but employees who demonstrate responsibility get more hours – and more money as a result, said Scott Harsh, assistant Campus Store director. “We have very little turnover,” Harsh said. “I hope it’s because people like working here. We try to treat them well.”

contact Hackney at

ceh05c@acu.edu


From Front

Page 4

WEATHER

September 2, 2009

STUDENT LIFE

Storm: Rushes: Fall activities Property continue from spring damage Continued from page 1

Continued from page 1 pole was shaking. I thought a tornado was coming.” Some students, including Cano, parked their cars under bridges and covered drive-through lanes to avoid hail damage. Although a few buildings were harmed, the majority of the damage on campus was done to landscaping.

contact Garvin at

mkg09a@acu.edu

stands for. Morris said rushes are a chance for students to get firsthand information. “A lot of stereotypes and rumors get thrown around about different clubs, and rushes are a chance for clarification,” Morris said. Glenn Geib, junior exercise science and health promotions major from Holland, Penn., said he looks forward to attending rushes this semester. He said

he plans to attend several rushes and keep an open mind. “I expect to meet people and be able to decide which one I want to pledge based upon the connection I feel towards the group,” Geib said. “I’m so far away from home, and I think it will be good for me to meet people and have a network in Abilene.” Clubs began rushing for this year’s pledges at the end of last spring. Vanessa Hart, Big Sig for Sigma Theta Chi and senior education major

from Austin, said rushes offer the chance to match names with the faces of women they met in the spring. She said rushes are a brief but fun time to meet new women. For a complete list of rushing events, visit the Student Events calendar on myACU, or go to www.acu.edu/socialclubs and click the rushing calendar link.

HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer contact Bailey at

ljb07a@acu.edu

Members of Trojans grilled hamburgers Monday night during their rush on College Drive.

STUDENT GOVERNMENT

SA: Congress to review petitions Continued from page 1

JOZIE SANDS Chief Photographer

A group of girls feed a cookie to a giraffe at the Abilene Zoo on Monday as part of ACU’s Family Fall Event for faculty and staff.

their proposals Friday. SA will discuss each budget request and decide how much to allocate to each student group. The board will consider how each group used their funds last year, as well as how they plan to use them this year; the proposed budgets will then be presented to the Congress for approval, Cochran said. “I think it’s really a good thing, because it takes the decision out of the hands of two people and puts it to a group of 40 to 50 people,” Cochran said. This ensures that all views are taken into consideration and the decision is made fairly, he said.

Wishing Well, a new group that raises money to build wells in impoverished areas around the world, depends on the finances allocated by SA, as well as fundraisers and donations to accomplish their mission. “We’re thankful for whatever we get,” said Steven Powell, Wishing Well co-director and senior finance major from Abilene. “I trust that whatever we get is the amount we need, and an amount we will be able to work with and turn into more money to help other people.”

contact Spano at

eas07a@acu.edu


September 2, 2009

Focus

Page 5

Just another FACE in the CROWD

JOZIE SANDS Chief Photographer

SA President Charles Gaines, senior criminal justice major from Cedar Hill, observes Chapel proceedings from the floor of Moody Coliseum on Tuesday morning.

New SA president strives for collective success Christina Johnson Features Writer

Charles Gaines spent a crucial evening last spring dining at Oscar’s Mexican Restaurant, waiting on a call that had the potential to drastically change his senior year. When the call came, he learned his would be one of several new faces among the Students’ Association officers – a group he would lead as its president. “Are you kidding me?” said the newly elected president, a senior criminal justice major from Cedar Hill, upon receiving the call. In a close race, Gaines had defeated Daniel Burgner, junior political sicence major from Yorba Linda, Calif., by only 11 votes. Following a congratulatory call from Burgner, Gaines dialed his parents’ cell phone number. “Understand, not everyone voted for you,” said Gaines’ mother, Rhonda Gaines. “That means you’ve got to get the other side on board. OK, we love you. Get to work.” Gaines’ presidency comes after a controversial year involving the impeachment of former SA president Daniel Paul Watkins. Gaines says he wants to reestab-

lish SA as an organization known for its campus contributions, instead of its miscommunications and disagreements. This year’s cabinet plans to change the image of SA by creating a Christ-centered atmosphere of strong character and integrity, he says. One strategy for transforming SA is Gaines’ “transparency initiative.” Gaines aims to be open and honest, allowing faith to guide his actions. “If you vote for me, that’s what you’re going to get,” Gaines says. “From my personal experience, there’s no doing this without Christ.” Comparisons between Gaines and Watkins may be unavoidable, and Gaines knows it. The back-to-back black presidents each entered the office as a senior political science major with aspirations to law and politics. But armed with a new strategy, Gaines hopes to approach his position from behind the scenes, he says. Like his comic book heroes, Gaines wants SA to be seen as a symbol that inspires trust. Rather than depending on the student body president as an individual, he wants students to depend on the integrity of the organization as a whole. “This is not about us and definitely not

HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer

Former SA President Sarah Pulis, senior political science major from Longview, hands a gavel to SA President Charles Gaines at the traditional Changing of the Guard Ceremony.

about me,” Gaines says. “Batman, Superman, Spiderman – people don’t know the person, but the symbol. That’s exactly how I want SA to be. I do not want them to say, ‘Charles Gaines is doing this.’” And like a superhero taking off his mask, Gaines anticipates SA becoming more vulnerable this year. Showing his personal committment to the goal and taking his initiative one step further, Gaines shares his office with Vice President Tony Godfrey, junior English major from Burleson. Gaines’ computer faces Godfrey’s, adding accountability. “I’d really like for SA to strive to be more transparent,” Gaines says. “It’s not an exclusive club. Everyone is a part of SA, and I don’t like the idea of turning students away.” Despite Gaines’ resolve, big changes take time, he says, and he hopes his constituents will not lose patience. He compares the task of reinventing SA’s image to fixing an automobile. “We are not trying to fix a mirror or fix a scratch. We want to change the engine. We need to look on the inside and make sure it’s running smoothly,” Gaines says. As part of Gaines’ efforts to improve SA, Godfrey plans to lead monthly forums in an effort to avoid miscommunication and mend relationships between students and their government. In addition, oneon-one meetings between students and SA officers will allow students to voice their concerns. Treasurer Luke Cochran, senior finance major from Round Rock, is working to get the budgets of student organizations approved earlier than in past years. Finally, the congressional meetings conducted Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. will be broadcast live on the SA web site, www.acustudents.com. On top of many other meetings, Gaines sets aside time each week to seek guidance from one of his mentors. At 7:07 a.m. every Thursday, he and Dr. John Willis, professor of Old Testament, discuss ways Gaines can foster good character traits. In addition, Dr. Mark Tucker, professor of library science and dean of library and information resources, and his wife, Barbara, have influenced Gaines,

adopting him into their family. Gaines believes he benefits greatly from others’ instruction, not only as president, but also as a person. “Anything I can do to better myself and make wise decisions – it would be foolish of me not to take advantage of it,” Gaines says. “I am who I am today because I listen. I apply what I hear.” Gaines says he also looks to ACU as a for clues on how to live. The university’s willingness to say, “We’re not there yet,” is his favorite part of ACU. He supports ACU’s constant efforts to improve and tries to model that in his own life. “They’re never satisfied with the status quo,” Gaines says. “It makes you feel like you’ve been a part of something that’s pretty neat.” Despite the success he has already achieved, Gaines says devotion to selfimprovement keeps him motivated. “I never want to say, ‘I’m there,’ because there are things in my life I want to improve on,” Gaines said. “The key is to keep fighting and to keep pushing forward. Even if I’m president of the United States, I hope to never answer ‘yes’ to that question.” After completing his undergraduate work, Gaines plans to complete a master’s degree and apply to law school. He believes politics could be his calling, but he intends to put his relationship with Jesus first. “If you think about it, he made a great sacrifice, and I take it personally,” Gaines says. “I don’t love Christ out of tradition, but because he means something to me. It’s a very personal relationship.” For now, Gaines looks forward to a productive, though challenging, year serving the ACU student body. “It’s like running a marathon,” Gaines said. “But when you have 4,000 students encouraging you along, it makes that race easier to run.”

contact Johnson at

jmcnetwork@acu.edu


Opinion

Page 6

EDITORIAL

September 2, 2009

Advertising promotes school spirit “We really want to create a lot of energy,” Groves said. “It’s not just about sports. It’s about community being together, having fun, rallying behind something and getting students, alumni and professors in one place having a good time together.” The most recent ACU football game was the first big push of the campaign. Marketing interns played a large role in raising funds and engaging the community in the game. Flags on Judge Ely Boulevard, table-toppers in numerous Abilene restaurants and game day T-shirts were funded almost en-

being used for a worthy purpose. It is easy, when unaware of what goes on behind the scenes, to develop a negative or bitter attitude concerning the university’s marketing decisions. However, consider for a moment what our university would be without an effort to reward students for their skill, commitment and success in their sport. Jason Groves, associate vice president of marketing, said the focus of the new athletic marketing campaign is to promote all sports, not only to ACU students, but also to alumni, faculty, staff and the Abilene community.

Purple shirts and tattered hats representing Wildcat sports are common on campus. Toy footballs and T-shirts fired into a crowd of football fans emphasize ACU’s support for its athletic department, and more importantly, our common identity as students and faculty cheering for the purple and white. But there is something about seeing our quarterback’s face looking down from a two-story poster that leads a few of us to wonder, “Is ACU being a little excessive?” It is reasonable to wonder as students whether our money is

tirely by local businesses, Groves said. “We are really thinking through some grassroots and community marketing approaches that will give us more leverage – without increase in dollars,” Groves said. By involving the community and finding creative ways to raise money, Groves said the university will be able to do more with their funding. This results in increased awareness of and participation in athletic events, he said. The university’s promotion efforts are admirable. There should be more enthusiasm and spirit when it comes to By Jordan Blakey

Ataraxia

THE ISSUE Football advertising and promotion around campus can seem excessive.

OUR TAKE

Promotion of ACU athletics creates school spirit, and that is a good thing. supporting our fellow Wildcats. School pride is something that unites students and shows others we are proud of our university. Pregame parties and free T-shirts are part of the college culture and something students should appreciate, even if they do not actively participate. The day we see holograms of

Bernard Scott high-fiving students on their way to class is the day we can worry, but until then, give a high-five yourself, catch a football game and let ACU catch a break.

Email the Optimist at:

jmcnetwork@acu.edu

COLUMN

Trail requires compromise Sondra, not Sandra Sondra Rodriguez

COLUMN

Religious bill should include more texts Chelsea Now

Chelsea Hackney “Good morning, class. Please take out your Bibles. Today we’ll be studying Deuteronomy 27. Now, can anyone tell me where Mt. Ebal is located?” No, it’s not a scene from AdHackney ventures in Odyssey. It’s a conversation that could be taking place right now in public schools across the state, thanks to H.B. 1287. The bill is an amendment to the Texas Education Code that requires public school districts to include elective courses on “religious literature, including the Hebrew Scriptures — the Old Testament — and New Testament, and its impact on history and literature.” The bill was signed into law by Governor Perry in 2007, but the parts applicable to school dis-

tricts – the sections requiring the courses – did not take effect until the 2009-10 school year. Obviously, the bill specifically says teachers must teach the class in a way that is religiously neutral and in line with the First Amendment ban on the establishment of religion. Teachers assigned to teach the class must attend training on the proper way to teach a Bible course. But, like so many state and federal laws, the government doesn’t provide the materials or funding to make sure teachers receive the training. This has led many schools to unintentionally – to give them the benefit of the doubt – employ teachers who take advantage of the situation and try to proselytize their captive audience right there in their blue plastic chairs. As a clear-headed, forward-thinking Christian college student, my concern is not that the Bible is being taught in schools. The Texas legis-

lature’s rationale for it is spot-on. A good portion of the literature, art, music and history taught in public schools across the country references the Bible in some way or another. Imagine trying to read Paradise Lost with no knowledge of the biblical myth of Satan’s fall from heaven. Even Stephen Colbert makes references to the Judeo-Christian tradition. I agree: an understanding of the Bible as literature helps round out a student’s education. The bone I’d like to pick is the choice of the Bible as the official elective literature topic. Supporters would argue that the bill allows schools to offer “an elective course based on the books of a religion other than Christianity,” but unlike the Bible, those religious books are not required by law. What gives, Texas? The Qu’ran, although not as influential in the American tradition, has arguably had as significant an impact on world history and literature as

Editorial and Letter Policy

Unsigned editorials are the opinions of the Optimist and may not necessarily reflect the views of the university or its administration. Signed columns, cartoons and letters are the opinions of their creators and may not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Optimist or the university. The Optimist encourages reader response through letters to the editor but reserves the right to limit frequent contributors or to refuse to print letters

containing personal attacks, obscenity, defamation, erroneous information or invasion of privacy. Please limit letters to 350 words or fewer. A name and phone number must be included for verification purposes. Phone numbers will not be published. Address letters to: ACU Box 27892 Abilene, TX 79699 E-mail letters to: optimist@acu.edu

the Bible, and is becoming increasingly more important as the U.S. attempts to strengthen its ties with the Middle East. Followers of other major world religions could say the same of their sacred texts. So, where are they in this picture? Because of its controversial nature, this law will most likely end up in front of the Supreme Court. Until then, parents and students of all faiths have to deal with it. The bill has the potential to cause irreparable damage to the relationship between Christians and people of other faiths, but it certainly doesn’t have to be that way. A law like this gives Christians the power and the responsibility to use this as an opportunity for civil dialogue among people of all faiths, even in the face of extreme criticism. Just remember, dialogue goes both ways.

contact Hackney at

ceh05c@acu.edu

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Sports Desk (325) 674-2684

Try going for a jog around the Lunsford Trail on a weeknight. Instead of your anticipated workout, you’ll find yourself dodging walkers, talkers and stragglers who Rodriguez think it’s OK to take up the entire sidewalk walking side by side. Freshmen are the worst when it comes to Lunsford Trail etiquette, but at least they have an excuse. They are still in the “honeymoon” stage and not paying much attention to their surroundings. Stress hasn’t set in, the college experience is still new and exciting and they still know the name, major and two truths and a lie about everyone in their U100 group. It’s great to see them using the trail to walk together; however, “too many freshmen” is still a constant refrain on the Lunsford Trail. After some brainstorming, I came up with a few solutions to this unfortunate problem. Obviously, freshmen are not the only ones at fault. Seniors and freshman alike are guilty of breaking Lunsford Trail protocol. So, when using the trail, keep in mind the following guidelines: n Two’s a crowd. Walking arm-in-arm may make conversation easier, but you need to take it to the grass. It’s hard to run through walls of people.

n Avoid huddles. Gathering in groups on the trail complicates the flow of traffic and forces everyone else to dodge your posse. n Clean up after your pets. This does not mean moving waste to the grass, since many runners are forced to run in the grass to avoid joint pain. Pick it up and put those trash cans to use. n Be courteous. Remember the rules of the road. If you’re on a bike,

Freshmen are the worst when it comes to Lunsford Trail etiquette, but at least they have an excuse. They are still in the “honeymoon” stage and not paying much attention to their surroundings. signal your next turn. If you’re running, try not to zigzag and make it impossible for someone to pass you. If you’re walking, keep an eye out for people you may be blocking. Simply stated, pay attention. Most importantly, remember you are rarely the only one on the trail. Perhaps, if everyone makes a point to be attentive and considerate on the trail, daily workouts won’t be as hazardous to your health.

contact Rodriguez at

sar06g@acu.edu

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From Sports

September 2, 2009

Page 7

FOOTBALL

Ruling: Sanctions won’t affect season Continued from page 1

“The thing I feel worst about is for the players,” Thomsen said. “They did nothing wrong. They were just following our lead. Thomsen acknowledged that the violations took place; however, he and Mosley contend that the infractions were not intentional as the NCAA ruled, declaring the penalties “excessive.” During the appeal

process, university attorneys pointed to similar cases in which the NCAA ruled in favor of the university in question, but to no avail. An unnamed coach involved in the infractions was never interviewed by the committee. Coach Thomsen also noted that he was never questioned about the academic violations. The school is already enforcing self-imposed sanctions that aim to prevent any future violations.

Scott’s confidence in ACU coaches was reiterated The thing I feel worst about is for the players. They by Mosley. Mosley and the did nothing wrong. They were just following our lead. athletic department have CHRIS THOMSEN put their support behind ACU Head Football Coach the football program, with hopes for success in 2009. “We have full confidence “We’ve been enforcing gals prospect Bernard Scott complete confidence in the in our football staff,” Mosthese since Day One. The played an integral part on ACU football program. “I had no idea that any ley said. “They have our only thing we held back the 2007 team, whose 10 on was vacating the wins,” wins will be erased from the of this was going on when full support moving forMosley said. “We are in a record books. Scott, who it first came out,” Scott ward. better place having been was selected in the sixth said. “I think the program round of this year’s NFL will get over it. ACU has a through this.” Former ACU standout draft, was surprised by the lot of great coaches and is contact Craig at jrc07d@acu.edu and current Cincinnati Ben- NCAA’s decision, but has a great school.”

FOOTBALL

Mistakes plague season opener, defense holds Continued from page 8

HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer

Center Matt Webber, sophomore management major from Paradise, calls the blocking scheme for the offense.

COLUMN

Offense has room to grow Continued from page 8 defense. Stewart was 10-14 passing, and Harrell had a great touchdown pass to Ben Gibbs that made the difference in the game. The Wildcats have a strong running game led by three running backs, Daryl Richardson, Justin Johnson and Reggie Brown. Brown was the leading rusher, with 17 carries for 59 yards. The

best thing about the offense is that no one is graduating this year; Johnson, Stewart and Richardson are sophomores, and Harrell, Brown and Gates are juniors. The problem is fans have been spoiled watching the ACU offense the past few years. They can’t expect this year’s offense to score 52 points per game. This year’s team is different.

It will be up to the defense to step up, force turnovers and keep teams off the board. Week One was probably ACU’s biggest test, and the defense passed with flying colors. The defense scored on a fumble return and only gave up one touchdown. If ACU wins a game this season, it will look like it did Thursday. No more high-scoring shootouts, such as 93-68. Those

days are over. ACU is going to have to grind out its games and be OK with ugly wins. This year’s team is still good. They have a chance for a great season, maybe even another perfect season. It is just going to look different from last season. That is the hard sports truth. contact Cantrell at

jrc07f@acu.edu

CROSS-COUNTRY

Running: Cats open season in Alaska Continued from page 8 “Somehow, we will take all of the pieces to form a masterpiece and make something great.” Schofield echoed Burrough’s sentiments, saying this year’s team should be strong enough to contend for a title. “Overall, I think our team will be better than last year’s team,” Schofield said. “Our transfers from Eu-

rope are really strong and fast. Our top three should be awesome with Cleophas, Amos and Daniel.” The men’s and women’s teams will kick off the 2009 season in a 5K in Anchorage, Alaska, at the Great Alaska Stampede Sept. 5. Burroughs said the match presents his teams with a rare opportunity. “I’m excited because this may be many of the runners’ only chance to

visit Alaska,” Burroughs said. “It will be a good way for the team to kick off the season, because the weather will be very cold, which will hopefully better prepare us for the National Championship.” The Wildcats will race in Abilene twice; one race will be hosted by ACU, the other by McMurry University. The teams will also race in Evansville, Ind., and Joplin, Mo., rounding out

the team’s regular-season schedule. The 2009 LSC Championship will take place at West Texas A&M Oct. 24, and the NCAA Regional will be in Abilene Nov. 7. The Wildcats ultimately have their sights set on the NCAA National Cross-Country Championships in Evansville, Ind., Nov. 14. contact Craig at

jrc07d@acu.edu

star Aston Whiteside, backup linebacker Arthur Johnson returned the ball 42 yards for a touchdown. ACU was suddenly ahead 9-0 without scoring an offensive point. The only other Wildcat touchdown resulted from another play by a backup. With the Bearcats poised to make a run, backup linebacker Casey Carr intercepted a pass and returned it 37 yards. The return set up a connection from Harrell to Gibbs, putting the Wildcats up 16-0 going into halftime.

The defense remained staunch in the second half, and the offense did just enough to keep the ball out of the Bearcats’ paws, including completing a field goal late in the game, giving the Wildcats some breathing room. The Wildcats held on for a nail-biting win and started their bid for a championship. Saturday’s game against Fort Lewis College will start at 6 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium.

contact Gwin at

agg07a@acu.edu


Sports

Page 8

Standings FOOTBALL Ovrl. Div. 1-0

Team

ACU MSU Angelo St. SE Okla. TAMU-K ENMU Central Okla. WTAMU TAMU-C

Team

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

1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 0-1 0-1 0-1 0-1

VOLLEYBALL Ovrl. Div.

WTAMU Angelo St. Cameron TAMU-K TAMU-C Central Okla. East Central SE Okla. ACU TX Woman’s ENMU MSU SW Okla. Tarleton St.

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

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

September 2, 2009

SOCCER

Wildcats enjoy winning weekend Tanner Knauth Sports Editor

The Wildcat soccer team upset the 14th-ranked Central Missouri Jennies in their season-opener Friday. The win marked the first time in their brief history the women’s soccer team has defeated a nationally ranked opponent. Julie Coppedge scored the lone goal that propelled ACU to victory. Goalie Crissy Lawson had seven saves, shutting out the Jennies. Lawson is well on her

way to reclaiming her title of LSC Goalie of the Year. The Wildcats failed to get a shot off in the first period, but they turned up the heat in the second period, taking three of the first five shots. The goal by Coppedge put ACU up for good, despite three shot attempts by the Jennies late in the game. ACU continued their winning weekend Sunday afternoon, defeating St. Mary’s University 1-0. Senior Jordan Reese scored the winning goal just eight

minutes into the game. The Wildcats had nine shots on goal, and Lawson tallied three saves for ACU. Lawson has 10 saves and has not given up a goal in two games. The Wildcats will be tested again this weekend as they face the Southwest Baptist Bearcats Friday at 5 p.m. in Abilene. ACU will then face a tough Rollins Tars team travelling to Abilene from Florida. KELSI WILLIAMSON Staff Photographer contact Knauth at

txk07a@acu.edu

Lyndsey Womack makes a stop in a big win against Central Missouri.

Shouts from the Stands What Wildcat fans were saying after the football game Thursday:

WOMEN’S SOCCER Ovrl. Team Div. 2-0

ACU MSU TAMU-C WTAMU East Central NE St. TX Woman’s Angelo St. Central Okla. ENMU SW Okla.

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

2-0 2-0 2-0 1-0 1-0 1-1 0-2 0-2 0-2 0-2

Scores FRIDAY Volleyball ACU 1, Truman State 3 ACU 0, Nebraska-Omaha 3

Soccer ACU 1, Central Missouri 0

SATURDAY Volleyball ACU 3, North Alabama 1 ACU 1, Minnesota-Mankato 3

SUNDAY Soccer ACU 1, St. Mary’s 3

Upcoming FRIDAY Volleyball ACU vs. Western State, 3 p.m. ACU vs. Pittsburg State, 7 p.m.

Soccer ACU vs. Southwest Baptist, 5 p.m.

I am glad that we won, but I really felt it wasn’t a wellearned victory.

The storm pumped the crowd up a little bit. Standing under the bleachers, everybody was getting riled up.

The opposing team gave us good competition, but the top team came through in the end.

It was pretty sloppily played. We need to move the ball better on offense.

It was crazy. It rained a lot and it was fun to watch.

KIPP SWINNEY Sophomore Bible major from Austin

CONNER HALSTEAD Senior Bible and family ministries major from Odessa

SHERIDAN FORTE Senior psychology major from Hutchings

COLLIN WALTER Junior math major from Oglesby

SARAH BEARDSLEY Sophomore speech pathology major from Merkel

FOOTBALL

COLUMN

Finding a way to win Different kind Wildcats win despite poor offensive outing Austin Gwin

Assistant Sports Editor ACU lost to the Bearcats at Shotwell Stadium on Thursday – by the stat sheet, at least. Luckily for the Wildcats, the numbers do not always tell the story, and ACU was able to eke out a win in a close game that spotlighted the talent of several backup players. Northwest Missouri State actually beat ACU in yardage, 230 to 174. Wildcat quarterbacks Zach Stewart and Clark

Harrell together passed for only 89 yards, 47 of those to tight end Ben Gibbs. The three running backs did not do much better, racking up only 85 yards between them. Capitalizing on Bearcat mistakes was crucial for the Wildcats. With that in mind, ACU took advantage of several turnovers. Both ACU touchdowns resulted from Bearcat turnovers, and the safety was delivered to the Wildcats on a silver platter. On that safety, the ball floated above the NWMSU punter’s outstretched fingers and into the end zone to give the Wildcats an early 2-0 lead.

The first of two touchdowns set the tone for the Wildcat defense. After a forced fumble by defensive star

QUICK STATS The stats were not as outrageous as years past, but it was enough for the win. The offensive leaders from the game were: QB Zach Stewart 10-14 for 65 yds n QB Clark Harrel 1-2 for 24 yds and 1 TD n RB Reggie Brown 17 rushes for 59 yds n RB Daryl Richardson 9 rushes for 31 yds n RB Justin Johnson 6 rushes for 24 yds n TE Ben Gibbs 3 receptions for 47 yds and 1 TD n

see NUMBERS page 7

of Wildcat Hard Sports Truth

and doing well. Knox is with the Bears and alBy Ryan Cantrell ready returning kicks for Thursday night was any- them. Malone has picked thing but pretty, but a up a clipboard and is helping to coach the win is a win. Wildcats. Thier success Not only a is the team’s loss as the win, but a Wildcat offense was left win against to start over. the second This year’s offense -ranked Cantrell has a lot of young talent, team in the nation. Yet, fans left the starting with the quargame with an uneasy feel- terbacks. Stewart and ing. It was not what every- Harrell shared snaps and even one expected. It was not Thursday, though they both lost a what they were used to. The truth is, this sea- fumble, they still looked son is going to be differ- good against a tough ent. Last year’s terrific Northwest Missouri State trio has moved on. Scott is playing for the Bengals see DIFFERENT page 7

SATURDAY Men’s Cross Country Great Alaska Stampede, 10 a.m.

CROSS-COUNTRY

ACU vs. Western New Mexico, 9 a.m. ACU vs. Incarnate Word, 2 p.m.

Running toward another title

Football

Jeff Craig

Volleyball

ACU vs. Ft. Lewis College, 6 p.m.

SUNDAY Soccer ACU vs. Rollins (Fla.), 11 a.m. HOME GAMES LISTED IN ITALICS

recorded the #1 song in America. All signs point Sports Writer to the 2009 team conThe last time the ACU tinuing that tradition. Both the men’s and men’s cross-country team failed to win the LSC title, women’s teams put on a the majority of this year’s strong showing in 2008, freshman class wasn’t capturing numerous team even born yet, the first and individual awards, George Bush was presi- although neither team dent, and Bryan Adams was able to capture a na-

Briefs n Former ACU RB Bernard Scott had 8 carries for 54 yards for the Bengals in a preseason loss. The Cincinnatti Enquirer beat writer says that Scott has moved to No. 2 on the depth chart behind starter Cedric Benson. HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer

Caitlin Hanisco, freshman undeclared major from Memphis, keeps pace during the relay meet Thursday at Nelson Park.

tional title. Most notably, the men’s team captured its 18th Lone Star Conference title en route to a fourth place finish at the NCAA Championship in Slippery Rock, Pa. The women’s team captured fifth place at the LSC Championship, although failing to qualify for the championship race. The Wildcats also won impressive individual titles in 2008. The men’s team had five runners named to the all-LSC team, more than any other team. Junior Daniel Maina was named the top men’s runner in the conference, while freshman phenomenon Charles White was named Rookie of the Year.

Perhaps most notably, Julius Nyango was named the conference’s top academic runner, highlighting ACU’s demand for academic excellence among its athletes. The women’s team also garnered some great awards. Winrose Karunde was named the LSC women’s Runner of the Year, and was joined on the all-LSC team by teammate Loice Cheboi. Karunde also joined Julius Nyango in being named women’s Academic Runner of the Year. First-year head coach Sam Burroughs was named the LSC Coach of the Year and the NCAA South Region Coach of the Year in 2008. A

season removed from a coaching position at Division I cross-country powerhouse Iona College in New York, Burroughs has high expectations for the Wildcats. “The men’s team should be better than it was last year,” Burroughs said. “We lost some key players, but on paper we are stronger. The question now is can we run better in colder conditions for nationals in Indiana.” “I’m looking forward to working with this diverse team. I mean, we have talent from Texas, New York, France, Africa, England and other places,” Burroughs said. see RUNNING page 7


The Optimist - Sept. 2, 2009