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Optimist the

Vol. 98, No. 7

Diversified dinner

PAGE 3 1 section, 8 pages

Friday, September 11, 2009


Schedule revised for student convenience Sondra Rodriguez Managing Editor Summit attendees will be “On the Mountain With God” at the 103rd annual Summit, previously known as Lectureship, on Sept. 20-23. Students,

faculty, staff and alumni will be brought together “in the name of Jesus,” according to the event’s brochure. The complete Summit theme is “On the Mountain With God: Exodus Expedition,” and it is di-

rected by Brady Bryce, director of ministry events. He also directed Summit last year. Bryce said attendees will hear messages from one of the most challenging books in the Bible. “It’s not a safe look at

Exodus,” he said. Scheduling changes are intended to make it easier for students to attend every lecture they want during the four-day event. “In previous years, the timing of each daily schedule didn’t line up

with the student or university schedule,” Bryce said. This year, there are three class options available Monday and Wednesday: 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday’s classes will take place at 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Bryce said

he is confident incoming guests will adjust to the changes, and students will have the opportunity to attend more lectures than in previous years. Dr. Glenn Pemberton, see SUMMIT page 4



NEED FOR SPEED The mobile learning initiative put a kink in Networking Services’ four-year WiFi plan. Two towers and several antennaes later, the Zellner-based crew is maintaining a 3G network. Chelsea Hackney Copy Editor Gigahertz. Metrics. Throughput. These words might not mean much to most students, or faculty and staff, for that matter. However, this highly technical jargon is integral to the way the ACU wireless network functions and will continue to function in the future. ACU Networking Services started rolling out its wireless data network plan in 2006. The program focused on bringing wireless Internet to the residence halls as quickly as possible, and created a four-year deployment plan to blanket the entire campus. Everything was going according to plan, said Arthur Brant, director of Networking Services, until February 2008, w h e n the uni-

versity unveiled its Mobile Learning Initiative. “What we recognized was that if we were going to use converged mobile devices in the classroom, we were ill-prepared to handle that with the current deployment plan,” Brant said. The new deployment plan required Brant and his team to install 330 access points in 24 weeks, he said. “It doubled the number of access points required to support the entire campus.” Networking Services refocused during the summer of 2008 to concentrate on areas where freshmen would most likely congregate, such as Hart Auditorium. “While it looks good on paper, the reality is when you put 300 iPhone-toting freshmen in a 6400-square-foot auditorium, it doesn’t work,” Brant said. “Paper didn’t translate to workable solutions.”

A fully functional wireless network is essential to the success of the Mobile Learning Initiative. Brant said his team worked closely with professors who wanted to start using converged learning methods in their classes on a regular basis, like Dr. Mark Phillips, assistant professor of management sciences. “Instead of using it once a month, we’re using it three times a week,” Philips said. “The issue is that you have 70 students in that room all trying to connect to the network at once.” To overcome the problem, Network Services installed several more access points, locating them precisely so they would not interfere with each other. They even sent a technician to Phillip’s first class to monitor the network and see WIFI page 4

Studio opens central location Liz Spano Arts Editor Dance Discovery Studios is launching a new contemporary dance program for experienced dancers wanting to learn new skills and improve their technique. ACU student Amanda Sampson teaches the program. The dance studio, located at South 2nd and Willis Street, has been offering a wide variety of dancing classes to the Abilene community for 25 years. Classes range from hip-hop to ballet to tap-dancing. The studio, owned by dance instructor Teri Wilkerson, is the home of the Abilene Ruff Riders dance team, the Lady Ruff Riders. Dance Discovery has also organized numerous dancing performances in downtown Abilene. Wilkerson, also a theatre professor at ACU, is the choreographer for Freshman Follies, Sing Song and the Homvecoming Musical. “My mission is to teach dance correctly, to spread

JOZIE SANDS Chief Photographer

A 3G tower, one of two in Abilene, rises from Cottonwood Street between Ben E Keith Beers and Rick and Carolyn’s Burgers and Fries.

see DANCE page 4


Dallas marathon promotes community, wellness Kelsi Williamson Staff Photographer The Students’ Association hopes to inspire deeper fellowship on campus by encourage participation in an event off campus. SA is pushing members of the ACU community to take part in the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December. The goal of the project, entitled “SA Leads the Way to White Rock,” is to “train mind, body and spirit through an experi-

ence of a lifetime, in turn providing a chance to experience the distinctive community of ACU.” SA Treasurer Luke Cochran and Chief Financial Officer Derek Zimmerman have been working on the event since they ran the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon together last February. While there, they found out Oklahoma Christian University had sponsored its students and faculty in the race.


“We thought that would be really cool if ACU did that,” said Cochran. The ACU program is a result of cooperation between SA officers and several groups on campus. “SA Leads the Way to White Rock” also has the support of the Dallas White Rock Marathon officials. “It’s not just SA putting this on,” Cochran said. “It’s really a crosscampus collaborative effort including Admissions, the Alumni Association and the ACU

marketing department as well.” ACU students who register through SA for either the half marathon or full marathon can subtract $20 from their registration fee. All runners associated with ACU, including students, faculty, staff and alumni will also receive a free high-performance running shirt to wear on race day and are invited to a free pasta dinner see RACE page 4








80° 65°

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ABILENE’S DRIVE-IN movie theatre takes its audience on a trip through time, back to the days of sock hops, checkered floors and a night at the movies in your car. Page 5

Photo courtesy of LULU RODRIGUEZ

Runners take off for the finish line from the American Airlines Center during last year’s Dallas White Rock Marathon.

Online WILDCAT FOOTBALL will play at the Cotton Bowl for the first time on Saturday. Get pregame analysis of their clash with Texas A&M-Commerce. Page 8




Are you planning to attend Summit? Chris Thomsen Show

Visit to see what the ACU community is saying.

Chapel Forum


Campus Day Wednesday, September 9, 2009




College Day at the West Texas Fair and Rodeo Ranking Day Last day for a 60 percent refund 5 p.m. ACU soccer vs. Incarnate Word





West Texas Fair and Rodeo

West Texas Fair and Rodeo

10:30 a.m. Downtown Dayz

9 p.m. Nine o’Clock will take place at University Church of Christ.

5 p.m. ACU Football vs. Texas A&M Commerce 7:30 p.m. Son of Rambow will be presented at the Paramount Theatre.


Local bands perform at Monks Beki Hamilton

Contributing Reporter Monks Coffee Shop will present its first show of the semester Friday with a performance by local bands, Words in Windows and Blinded by Bears. The Red Airplanes will also make an appearance. Words in Windows and Blinded by Bears have performed at Monks in the past, but this will be The Red Airplanes’ first time in Abilene, a band hailing from Beaumont. The group played at the Spirit West Coast Tour last summer, along with several big names in Christian music, such as Mercy Me, The David Crowder Band and BarlowGirl. The band played with

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

Announcements College Day will take place Friday at the West Texas Fair and Rodeo from 8-11 a.m. at the Taylor County Expo Center. The event will feature exhibitions, food vendors and a carnival.

is $5. The film will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Downtown Dayz will take place Saturday. The event will begin at 7 a.m. at a Farmer’s Market Words in the Win- on Mesquite Street, dows will release a and continue at the new CD at Monks Texas Star Trading Coffee Shop on Company. AttendFriday. The Red ees will receive 25 Airplanes will also percent off selected perform at the event. store items. The Doors open at 7 event will conclude p.m. at First Central Presbyterian Church with The Paramount a free concert feais showing Son of turing Alive and Well: Rambow on FriAn Evening With day and Saturday. David Bailey. Student admission

Chapel Checkup Credited Chapels to date: Photo courtesy of MySpace

Words in Windows in a past tour and this connection brought them to Abilene, said Acosta “Words in Windows would describe their style as indie worship,” said Silas Acosta, booking agent at Monks. “It’s subtle worship; not

It’s subtle worship; not mainstream and not a youth rally. SILAS ACOSTA Booking agent at Monks Coffee Shop

mainstream and not a youth rally.” The band’s MySpace page describes its new album as “a mix of sonic textures that bring depth without compromising the space in which their music thrives.” Monks also hosts an Open Mic Night every Thursday from 9:30 p.m. until midnight and welcomes all students to perform. Acosta said Open Mic Night has picked up since school started, bringing college students back to town. The show will double as a CD release party for Words in Windows, featuring

their new album, Balloons, now available on iTunes. Doors open at 7 p.m., and a $5 cover will be charged. Bands will start playing at 8 p.m. “The great thing about shows at Monks is that you don’t have to go to a bar to hear good music, and you are supporting the downtown scene,” Acosta said. “You don’t even feel like you’re in Abilene.”

contact Hamilton at

Credited Chapels remaining:

15 56

Volunteer Opportunities Christian Service Center needs volunteers to fill requests for clothing, bedding, kitchen utensils, etc. from the donation center. Volunteers may work Friday or Saturday from 12-4 p.m. Contact Jim Clark at 673-7531 for more information. Breakfast On Beech Street serves breakfast to the homeless and lower income people of Abilene, and is in need of volunteers to serve and prepare breakfast. Breakfast is served at the First Christian Church on 3rd and Beech Street from 6:30-7:15 a.m.

Volunteers must arrive at 5:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and Tuesdays at 5 a.m. If interested visit the First Christian Church’s website at html. Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteers to deliver hot meals to seniors and adults with disabilities each week. Volunteers may work once a week Monday through Friday, between the hours of 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Contact Elisabeth Rodgers at 672-5050 for more information.

Campus News

September 11, 2009

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Weekly meal welcomes ACU internationals Sondra Rodriguez Managing Editor Susan and Art Green opened their home to 159 international students for the first International Student Dinner of the fall semester Aug. 28. It might have been the first time for some students, but not for the Greens. This year marks their eighth as hosts. The weekly dinner, established by the Lao family over 10 years ago, is specifically for international students. The Greens prepare dishes from the students’ home countries, as well as the United States. Friends Bob and Doris Frazier were the previous hosts, but after the couple moved, the Greens assumed responsibility. Green said before she and her husband decided to take on the role, she had many doubts. “At first I thought, ‘I can’t do this. It’s an amazing amount of new food,’” she said. The following Sunday morning, the Greens were at church and heard the words of a song: “Yes, Lord, to your will and to your way. When the Spirit speaks to me, I will answer and obey.” They made the decision right then. “I thought, ‘I have to do this,’ and my husband felt the same conviction,” Green said. That conviction is still driving them eight years later. Friday evenings begin with a ride to the Green home from Laura Blake, a staff member in the International Student Ser-

HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer

Ronnie Rama, associate professor of art and design, leads a group of international students in singing at the International Student Dinner on Friday. vices office. In addition to providing transportation, Blake said she helps as needed in the kitchen and enjoys interacting with attendees. “It’s the most fun time I get to have with students,” she said. “I get to know them in a way that’s different than in the office, and it’s fun to watch them connect with each other.” Green said in the past an average of 100 students came each week. She was thrilled with this year’s turnout. “It was fantastic. We had 50 new international students,” she said. “God always seems to

provide enough food; I didn’t expect more than 130.” Blake said students enjoy the meal and the atmosphere. “I’ve had several students say it’s the highlight of their time here, and it’s the best food they get to eat,” she said. “I think it’s really important to students to get to be in a home and in a family’s backyard. It’s crazy and chaotic, but it’s fun.” After the meal, students took part in a devotional led by Ronnie Rama, professor of art and design. The dinner usually lasts from 6-8 p.m., but Green said

students tend to stay and converse, play ping pong or play the piano. Green said the mission is clear every week. “We want to let people know about the love of Christ,” she said. She said students come to know the Greens’ home as a place to meet students from other countries, appreciate the differences that come with each new face and see God at work. “It’s really a walk in faith, because I’m always provided helpers, and it’s really amazing to see what God does,” she said.

“The whole thing, I can attribute to Him. The way it started and continues to go is amazing.” Blake said she has seen transformations in students who attend the dinner. “I’ve seen students who are really shy interact and come out of their shells,” she said. “You see people who came here and were lonely making connections.” Green said food donations are always welcome. She hopes students will pray for this ministry and under-

stand the opportunity they have at ACU to get to know international students. “I think sometimes students don’t recognize what a blessing it is to go to school with so many people from so many countries,” she said. “They don’t get that a lot of schools.”

contact Rodriguez at

From Front

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September 11, 2009



Summit: Rocketboys to perform Dance: New studio Continued from page 1 theme speaker and associate professor and chair of the Department of Bible, Missions and Ministry, said student participation is better now than it has ever been, and the scheduling changes will be positive. He hopes students realize the opportunities Summit provides. “The lineup of speakers and sessions is at such a high quality that it would be too bad if students did not recognize and take advantage of it,” he said. “It would be a shame to have such speakers come to campus and students not see this as an opportunity to be engaged in these conversations and hear these folks speak.”

In addition to renowned speakers, Bryce said Summit will feature five musical groups, including the Rocketboys; Christian comedian Bob Smiley; an art exhibit featuring two contemporary Jewish artists, Ben Zion and Marc Chagal, in the Shore Art Gallery; and “Entra La Plaza” to honor the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month on Sept. 15. “Music, comedy and art communicates that this is more than just listening to people talk,” Bryce said. “This is an experience that involves a lot.” The diversity of this year’s featured speakers – Carlos Sepulveda, president and CEO of Interstate Battery System International Inc.; Kathleen Norris, award-

winning poet, writer and speaker; and Donald Miller, bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz and well-known speaker – will reflect as a “mark of excellence on the program,” Bryce said. Topics for the event were largely chosen based on students’ feedback from Summit last year, he said, and he hopes they will appeal to all students. Topics and speakers suggested by students are identified by a yellow dot to the left of the session title in the Summit brochure. “I think what’s different is when you look through the brochure and say, ‘What am I interested in?’ you can find things from all different disciplines,” Bryce said. As one of seven Theme

Speakers, Pemberton will lecture on “God’s Words of Pointing,” with a focus on Exodus 20. “I speak for a lot of folks who are honored to be on the program and have been thinking, praying and working on presentations for a long time,” Pemberton said. “I am looking forward to it.” Students can earn 23 Chapel credits during Summit, but Bryce said he has encouraged faculty to use Summit classes as something more – a teaching tool. “Don’t see Summit as a hindrance to classes,” he said. “Use it as a bridge toward learning.”

contact Rodriguez at


Marathon: Runners begin training Continued from page 1 the night before the races. Zimmerman, who has already completed five full marathons, said he wants to see ACU more involved in the running community. “This potentially could have a much greater effect than just the dinner and the run,” Zimmerman said. “When you go out to one of those runs, there are thousands of people there to encourage, and they make all the difference. To feel

the need for people to surround you and push you along the way is powerful.” Assistant Director of Residence Life Kelly Sargent already has started training with a few friends for the half marathon. “I’m overly intimidated because the farthest I’ve ever run is four miles, but I think I can do it,” Sargent said. Cochran and Zimmerman said they expect ACU students involved in “SA Leads the Way” to train together

This potentially could have a much greater effect than just the dinner and run. DEREK ZIMMERMAN Students’ Association Chief Financial Officer and senior environmental science major from Round Rock

before the race, and they said they want to have four or five students leading weekly pace groups. “Through training and commitment, I know that staying true to difficult situations is going to be worth it in the end,” Cochran said. The registration link

for “SA Leads the Way to White Rock” can be found at More details will be available next week, Cochran said.

contact Williamson at

Continued from page 1 the blessing of movement, to have students have a stronger appreciation for their own talents and the possibilities they can use them for,” Wilkerson said. Amanda Sampson, senior English major from Austin, has been dancing and teaching classes at Dance Discovery since her freshman year. She will be directing new program geared toward dancers with contemporary experience. Classes are scheduled to begin after auditions this month. “It’s going to be very highlevel choreography,” said Sampson. “The class is open to anybody who does contemporary dance. They are welcome to just come and try it out.” Sampson said those who audition should be prepared to showcase their technique and pick up on choreography quickly. She said dancers will have to be able to adapt to the dance style and show an understanding of how music and

dance can convey meaning together. “It’s definitely very emotional,” said Sampson. “To really dance successfully, you have to put more than technique into routine; it has to come from deep place in your heart.” Wilkerson said Sampson’s passion for dance is contagious, and she is qualified to instruct the new contemporary dance class. In fact, Wilkerson organized the new company specifically for Sampson because of her experience in the field, as well as her involvement and success in the studio. “It was my desire for her to start this company,” Wilkerson said. “She’s one of the best dancers and contemporary teachers I’ve ever had.” Auditions for the class will take place Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. The class welcomes students of any age, but is directed in particular at those with contemporary dance experience. contact Spano at


WiFi: 3G towers Continued from page 1

make sure it functioned properly. Phillips said now he rarely has problems getting on, except at the beginning of class when everyone tries to access the network at the exact same time. “My guess is by the end of the semester, we’ll have this thing running really smoothly,” he said. Less than two years

later, the university is able to provide wireless access almost everywhere on campus, including “green spaces” like the mall and the Larry Sanders Intramural Fields, Brant said. “This is something we needed to do,” he said. “If we didn’t, students would – with their Linksys routers. Wireless is an expected service now.” contact Hackney at

September 11, 2009


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KELSI WILLIAMSON Staff Photographer

A roll of tickets awaits moviegoers at Lacoste’s ticket booth at the Town and Country Twin Drive-In Movie Theatre.

Abilene’s Last Picture Show Drive-in offers nostalgic, classic experience for moviegoers

Lizzy Spano Arts Editor


here’s nothing like spending an evening curled up with a blanket under the open sky at the drive-in movie theatre. At least, there is nothing else like it in Abilene. The Town and Country Twin Drive-In Movie Theatre, located at Vogel Street and Mockingbird Lane, is the only one of its kind left in Abilene and one of only 385 drive-in theatres remaining in the United States. Established in 1956, the Town and Country is still inviting students and families to enjoy a movie under the stars almost sixty years later, and it plans to do so as long as the Abilene community welcomes it. The drive-in has a long history of providing classic family entertainment in a unique venue, creating a fun experience for movielovers across the country. The first drive-in opened in Camden, N.J., in 1933, but Texas soon followed, opening its first outdoor theatre in Galveston in 1934. By 1958, 4,000 drive-ins had sprung up around the country. Now, digital cinema is taking over, technology is changing and with Monday Night Football on TV, drive-in locations have dwindled over the years. The Town and Country DriveIn Theatre closed in the late ’90s, along with seven other local driveins, when businesses began buying up the open land around the theatres for building projects. Ray Andress came to town in 2000 with a lifetime of experience in the movie theatre business and intentions of reopening and renovating the last standing drive-in theatre in Abilene.

KELSI WILLIAMSON Staff Photographer

Andress serves his own homemade barbecue at the diner-themed concession stand. “When word first spread that a drive-in was reopening in Abilene, we got lots of phone calls and people coming out to see,” Andress said, owner of the Town and Country. “People just couldn’t believe it. They had no idea that this isn’t something new and original; this has been around.” Now, the Town and Country is a hidden gem among Abilene’s movie theatre venues. Andress’ theatre offers a classic pasttime at an affordable price year-round, with two screens that play double features every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night and room for 700 cars in each lot. “There is so much nostalgia with the drive-in,” Andress said. Those who share this reminiscent love of drive-in theatres should come to the Town and Country, if only to have a conversation with the manager and ticket-booth vendor, Bruce Lacoste. Lacoste proudly claims

to be a “drive-in fanatic” with a boundless knowledge of drivein trivia and a vast collection of outdoor theatre memorabilia. “I like to say he must have been dropped once at a drive-in,” Andress said with a laugh. Lacoste, who also has an extensive history with movie theatres, says drive-ins are his passion, and it’s hard to stop talking about it. “The drive-in is for everyone,” Lacoste said. “You can bring your mom, dad, kids, cats and dogs.” To emphasize that everyone is welcome, Lacoste is prepared at his ticket-booth with a box of pet treats every weekend. Andress and Lacoste said many things affect the drive-in business, including weather and the seasons, students leaving after the school year and its location. “The problem with Abilene is that we aren’t in the best of locations, being in this part of town,” Andress said. He said since the

drive-in is tucked away in a corner of Abilene, many people are unaware it is even there or are wary of the neighborhood. “There are a lot of people just afraid to come over here,” he said. “but we don’t have problems over here at all.” Of course, football has a large effect on business as well – only because it’s Texas, he said. “There’s a time of the year when people become hermits,” Andress said. He said business drops considerably during football season and doesn’t pick up until it ends. To compensate, Andress is offering a different Texas favorite: barbecue. “We’re also just trying to do something that’s kind of Texas,” Andress said. “And that’s barbecue.” Andress said he smokes his own meat for chopped beef sandwiches and serves them in his diner-themed concession stand,

along with other entrees, candy and refreshments. “I want to put out some good products, and barbecue is my best.” Admission only covers the cost for the theatre to purchase rights to a movie, so the concession stand is necessary to make a profit. For that reason, Andress said he likes to provide snacks his visitors will enjoy. “We want to bring economical entertainment and food, and I don’t mean junk food, either,” he said. Andress offers a $10 “movie and dinner” special every weekend, which includes a double feature ticket and barbecue dinner, all for one reasonable price. Andress is also planning student specials this semester to draw the college crowd, including date nights and discounted movie offers. “We try to stay open,” Andress said. “Sometimes it is a struggle, but we want to be here. We feel like we’re a good economical means of entertainment. ” Andress said he is looking forward to the fall semester as a time for students and families to take advantage of the weather. “We’re getting into some weather that’s going to be really nice drive-in weather,” he said. “Not that cold; it will get dark early, we can get started early and get home early.” Admission for the Town and Country Drive-In is $7 for adults and $3 for children. Andress said he is looking forward to a good year and hopes college students will take advantage of the theatre’s presence in Abilene. “Abilene loves their drive-in,” Andress said. “They just haven’t discovered it yet.” contact Spano at

KELSI WILLIAMSON Staff Photographer

The theatre’s sign was replaced when Andress renovated the grounds after wind damage. It now leads visitors down a winding path to the theatre.


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September 11, 2009

Curfew elimination promotes safety and vote. All of those freedoms are debatable, of course, but the point is freshman can and should be given more responsibility than a high school student. Not only will elimination of curfew allow a deserved – but wisely limited – freedom, it will show students that ACU considers them adults that should be treated with respect. In return, student should show greater respect for the university and their resident assistants. Curfew on weekdays does more than give new students time to study and sleep while getting accustomed to college life. It also offers students a chance to form a

day. Changes to visitation rules are also under consideration. Residence Life made the decision, reasoning that freshmen are adults and should be treated as such. Curfew has ensured freshmen are in their rooms at a decent hour on weekends for as long as anyone can remember. People have petitioned, complained and disagreed about curfew times for just as long, but elimination of weekend curfew is a brand new step in the right direction for the university. It always comes back to the age-old argument: if 18 year olds are old enough to be drafted, they’re old enough to drink, smoke, own a gun

Walk the halls in Gardner Hall on a Friday night, and you will probably see a lot of empty rooms. Try Mabee or Nelson, and you might notice fewer freshmen there, too. Fewer, that is, than would have been there last year or the year before – or 50 years before, for that matter. Freshman curfew is a thing of the past, and freshmen are out celebrating their newfound freedom. As of this semester, freshmen are no longer bound by curfew Friday and Saturday nights. Freshmen are no longer required to “pull” their cards or sign out for the weekend, although curfew will still be enforced Sunday through Thurs-

community within their dorms, socializing with other students on their floor instead of romping around Abilene all night. Elimination of weekend curfew, however, is beneficial to students for two reasons: it shows the university trusts its students, and it also promotes safety for freshmen. If a student makes plans to be out for the weekend and those plans fall through, they no longer face a locked door and a disgruntled desk worker pointing to a threatening sign-in sheet. Instead of calling random acquaintances and sleeping on a floor off-campus, students can consider their dorm as a safe and welcoming alternative. By Jordan Blakey



Freshman students living in the dorm do not have a weekend curfew.


Elimination of weekend curfew shows the students the University trusts them, and it promotes safety.

The decision will inevitably draw criticism from those who have considered curfew essential to college life at a Church of Christ school, but it shows that Residence Life is putting thought into meeting the interests of our students. Although a few upperclassmen wish Residence Life came to this realization a few years sooner, the uni-

versity deserves a pat on the back for making the decision at all. From a freshman’s perspective, they deserve a hug and a plate of cookies, but we’ll let the freshmen do that.

Email the Optimist at:


Time crunch no reason to panic Sondra, Not Sandra Sondra Rodriguez


Students should stay open-minded Conscientious Conjecture Laura Acuff Certain lines in worship services should not be crossed. Worship leaders should not reserve distracting solos, leaving the rest of us wondering what, if anyAcuff thing, we are supposed to sing. All chanting and group readings of scripture should be left to cults. Praise Day worship orders should consist strictly of happy songs people already know to maximize potential participation. And Chapel should never start early. Ever. These are my worship service hang-ups. I also believe in taking speed bumps as slowly as possible, so slowly I periodically roll backwards. The daughter of a food

microbiologist, I pick up raw meat at the grocery store using an inside out plastic bag from the produce section, inverting it around the meat to keep my fingers from ever actually touching the package – or anything in the meats section of the store, for that matter. At favorite restaurants, I stick to what I know; ordering the same thing week after week, because I know only disappointment can result from deviation. In a lot of ways, I am not a reasonable person. But it’s not just me. Humans, in general, are not reasonable. We’re not made to be reasonable. We long to stand out from the crowd – if not to the world, at least to a few. We celebrate individual talents and characteristics. In our careers, we seek to be unique, acquiring new skills, new ideas. Even peaceful Christianity calls us to live radically differently from the “social norm.” Socrates once said, “The reasonable man adapts

himself to the world. The unreasonable man tries to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Yet during worship service, these “unreasonable” tendencies urging us to stand out sometimes encourage us to squelch the creative offerings of our fellow worshipers. We fight for what we believe works best for us. Churches of Christ, especially, have a reputation for loyalty to system and method. We believe we have found the right way, and we stick to it. Sometimes, that is valid; the core values of our faith are immovable. But sometimes, our inability to adapt, to let others worship in a way that best suits them, prevents our brothers and sisters in Christ from offering God their best. In our prejudice, we sometimes resist alterations to worship styles we find personally edifying. Some lines in worship truly should not be

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:

crossed. But often, when I find myself protesting a worship practice, I eventually realize I am overreacting and need a dose of tolerance. Every semester, Chapel coordinators endeavor to offer a spiritually edifying experience. I do not always enjoy the result. Yet, my goal this semester is to approach new Chapel experiences with an open mind. Objections will likely still arise. But I hope never to hinder someone else’s connection with God because I couldn’t handle singing a new song. We have an opportunity – first as individuals, then as a campus – to create a truly supportive Chapel atmosphere this year. That will require singing to a different tune than many of us are used to, and I hope I won’t be singing solo.

contact Acuff at

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Colleges have been fooling students for years. We think w e ’ r e c h a l lenged by difficult course m a t e rial, late Rodriguez nights in the Brown Library or long papers. Really, we are challenged less by what is due and more by when it is due. We are challenged to create time. Papers, presentations and tests are not fun, but they are doable. How easy would it be to study for a test that you could take whenever you were ready? What if you could create a pocket of time, perhaps a 25th hour, to complete an assignment? After three years, “time creation” seems to be the unspoken assignment no one warned me about and that I can never complete. Imagine receiving a syllabus, skimming over the assignments and hearing the professor say, “Take all the time you need to complete these.” Would college be such a challenge? We’d still face tough assignments, but we wouldn’t have to face deadlines inching closer with every passing moment. We could complete assignments when we’d caught up on our sleep, when we felt at peace with the drama in our lives, when we felt inspired to

push our academic limits and when we’d run out of ways to procrastinate. Unfortunately, college doesn’t work like this, because real life doesn’t work like this. Professors advise us to “find time” to complete these assignments, as if time sprouted legs and ran toward the better life we’re all hoping college will lead to. How can we find the time to do something if we are convinced we never had it in the first place? It all comes down to time management. The

Professors advise us to “find time” to complete these assignments, as if time sprouted legs and ran toward the better life we’re all hoping college will lead to. time is there; we just haven’t discovered how to make the most of it. Stop trying to find time to get an assignment done. You never will. We have to stop stressing for a moment and learn to use what’s in front of us. Maybe if we start thinking of time as something we’ve had all along, it will be easier to take advantage of. Maybe we’ll even get some homework done in the process. contact Rodriguez at

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From Sports

September 11, 2009

Page 7


Cotton: Cats play at historic Cotton Bowl Continued from page 8

with Randy White in Super Bowl XII. But the Classic is not just about honoring a great football player. It is about getting a chance to play where college football greats have played for years. Many illustrious college players have played at the Cotton Bowl, including 11 Heisman Trophy winners. The Red River Rivalry between the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma has been played at the Cotton Bowl since 1932. In recent history, these games have been some of the biggest in NCAA history. Even the Dallas

Cowboys played in the Cotton Bowl for 10 years before moving to Irving. All that history makes the Cotton Bowl a special place for students to play, especially students who grew up watching football, like quarterback Zach Stewart. “It is going to be an awesome game,” he said. “There is a lot of history in the Cotton Bowl.” Fans are encouraged to support the Wildcats in Dallas, and ACU is taking two charter buses to the game for students in need of transportation.

KEVIN BROWN State Fair of Texas contact Cantrell at

ABOVE: The historic Cotton Bowl in Dallas. BELOW: Fans celebrate at the annual Red River Rivalry game between the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners.


Wildcats take on A&M-Commerce Ryan Cantrell

Assistant Sports Editor The Wildcats will play Texas A&M-Commerce in Dallas on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Lions enter the game hoping for their first win of the season. A win for the Wildcats would be their third this season, continuing their unbroken streak. The Lions have struggled this season, losing

two games so far. In their first game they lost to the Angelo State Rams 21-7. The Lions’ second game against Southeastern Louisiana University was not even close, ending in a 41-7 loss. In spite of their losses, the Lions’ defensive line is decent and should be a good test for the Wildcats this week, said Quarterback Zach Stewart, who will need to drive the of-


LSC: Wildcats picked to win Continued from page 8 looking forward to Commerce, and that’s it.” After a shaky season start against Northwest Missouri State, ACU found its groove against Fort Lewis College. The Wildcats need to stay in that groove if they want to beat other top LSC teams. “We had a great training camp,” Thomsen said. “In the last two weeks, we have shown improvements in all phases of our game. We are ready and prepared.” ACU is one of four LSC teams still undefeated this season. The other three are Kingsville, Tarleton State

and Midwestern State. West Texas A&M lost its first two games in the biggest surprise of the season, and the Buffaloes’ record could fall further after their game against No. 6 Central Washington this weekend. A 0-3 start would be the worst start for West Texas since 2004. The Wildcats will take on Commerce at 5 p.m. at the historic Cotton Bowl Saturday night in the second annual Harvey Martin Classic.

contact Gwin at

fense and get rid of the ball quickly on the pass rush. “They have a real good defensive line,” Stewart said. “They have some big guys, so we got to be prepared for every look that they show.” The Wildcat defense just needs to do what it has been doing. In two games, the defense has given up an average of only 12 points per game. This, combined with an average

of 38.5 points scored per game, has led the Wildcats to a 2-0 record. The Wildcats are still trying to figure out who will emerge as the starting quarterback. Stewart and Clark Harrell have been sharing snaps for two games. Last game, Mitchell Gale played also and threw a perfect pass down the field for a 56-yard touchdown. A&M-Commerce faces a similar problem.

“They have a great defense that is very active,” head football coach Chris Thomsen said. “Their offense is like us, trying to find their way playing a couple different quarterbacks. I expect this to be a close, hard-fought game.”

contact Cantrell at

Page 8

Standings FOOTBALL Ovrl. Div.


MSU Central Okla. ENMU ACU Tarleton St. TAMU-K Angelo St SE Okla. East Central NE State SW Okla. TAMU-C WTAMU

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

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

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

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

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

WOMEN’S SOCCER Ovrl. Team Div. MSU WTAMU TAMU-C ACU Angelo St. East Central NE State TX Woman’s Central Okla. ENMU Central Okla.

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



Cotton Bowl bound Ryan Cantrell

Assistant Sports Editor The Wildcats will play Texas A&M-Commerce in the second annual Harvey Martin Classic at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Saturday at 5 p.m. Where this game is played is almost as significant as how the Wildcats play it. Playing in the Cotton Bowl will be an exciting experience for the team, said Athletic Director Jared Mosley. “It is a great opportunity for the student athletes to be able to play at a facility such as the Cotton Bowl that has so much history,” Mosley said. “We always tried to

KEVIN BROWN State Fair of Texas The Wildcats will travel to the Cotton Bowl for the first time in ACU history. find an opponent that we can play in the Dallas-Fort Worth area because of all of the connections in the area. The opportunity to play a game this year at the Cotton Bowl is great.” The opportunity arose after the Commerce ath-

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

letic director contacted Mosley, and they decided the Harvey Martin Classic was scheduled early enough in the year to play at the Cotton Bowl. Harvey Martin was one of the best defensive players in the history of

LSC South

2008 LSC Champions, 11-1 Overall, 6-0 Conference

Scores FRIDAY Volleyball ACU 3, Western State 1 ACU 3, Pittsburg State 1

West Texas A&M 2008: 11-2 Overall, 5-1 Conference

Soccer ACU vs. SW Baptist (Canceled)

SATURDAY Volleyball ACU 3, Western New Mexico 0 ACU 3, Incarnate Word 0

Football ACU 58, Fort Lewis College 10


KELSI WILLIAMSON Staff Photographer Bree Craig defends the ball against Fort Rollins.


Toughest test yet Jeff Craig

Soccer ACU 0, Rollins 1

Upcoming FRIDAY Volleyball ACU vs. Southwest Baptist, 11 a.m. ACU vs. Arkansas-Monticello, 3 p.m.

Soccer ACU vs. Incarnate Word, 5 p.m.

SATURDAY Volleyball ACU vs. Southern Arkansas, 3 p.m. ACU at Dallas Baptist, 7 p.m.

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


Charles Coody West Texas Intercollegiate HOME GAMES LISTED IN ITALICS

Briefs n Tony Harp, who missed the Fort Lewis game because of an ankle injury, will be back in his normal free safety position Saturday. Harp is the only three-year starter on the team and the unquestioned leader of the Wildcat defense.

September 11, 2009

Sports Writer The Wildcat soccer team will take on No. 5 Incarnate Word in its hardest test of the season Friday evening. The Wildcats’ record stands at 2-1, with a win over nationally ranked Central Missouri already under their belt. Incarnate Word has compiled a 4-0-1 record and is coming off a victory over Texas Women’s. The Cardinals possess a potent offense, netting 16 goals in their first five games. The ACU defense has allowed only one goal this season, but ACU assistant coach Thomas Pertuit expects the Cardinals to stretch them. “They just moved up in the poll to No. 5,” Pertuit said. “We lost to them 1-0 last year, and we expect them to come out and be solid all the way around.” ACU’s success to this point is a result of the team’s ability to play well against nationally ranked teams, as well as a tremendous effort by goalkeeper Crissy Lawson. “Hopefully, our defense prevails,” Pertuit

said. “We can stop anybody in the country. People score on us when we break down mentally.” Friday’s matchup will be the only meeting between ACU and UIW this season. However, the teams should get used to each other, because UIW will join the Lone Star Conference in 2010. Incarnate Word has been pressing for inclusion in the conference since 2005 and will make its debut next year. The game Friday is the first of a four-game stint at home for the Wildcats. The team will take on crosstown rival Hardin-Simmons on Tuesday and battle the Dallas Baptist Patriots Thursday. The home games conclude with a match against TexasPermian Basin Sept. 21. “We’ll use these games to see where we are at home and build some momentum heading into our first conference game against Angelo State,” Pertuit said.

contact Craig at

Tarleton 2008: 8-3 Overall, 3-3 Conference

Texas A&M Kingsville 2008: 7-4 Overall, 3-3 Conference

Midwestern State 2008: 6-4 Overall, 3-3 Conference

Angelo State 2008: 3-8 Overall, 1-5 Conference

Eastern New Mexico 2008: 2-9 Overall, 0-6 Conference

Commerce and the Lone Star Conference. He was named as LSC Defensive Player of the Decade in the 1970s. He went on to be drafted by the Cowboys in the third round. His success continued in the NFL where he was a


Lone Star Conference preview Austin Gwin

Assistant Sports Editor The Wildcats face fierce competition from the Lone Star Conference South Division as they prepare for their first conference game against Texas A&M-Commerce on Saturday. ACU was picked to win the LSC regular-season title for the second year in a row before the season began. Out of 20 ballots, the Wildcats received all but four firstplace votes. Three of those four votes were for West Texas A&M, and the fourth was for Midwestern State. “That just means we have a target on our backs,” said head football coach Chris Thomsen. “People will be gunning for us.” The Wildcats will open conference play at the Cotton Bowl this weekend ranked second in Division II by the American Football Coaches Association. Three other LSC teams are ranked among the top 25 in the nation – Texas A&M-Kingsville (11), Tarleton State (22) and Central Oklahoma (24) – making the LSC one of the country’s most competitive conferences. ACU has never been higher than No. 2; last year, the Wildcats sat at No. 2 for the last four weeks of the season. Grand Valley is currently No. 1, but all it would take is an ACU win and a Grand Valley loss to propel the Wildcats to first in the nation. ACU is slated to play Kingsville and Tarleton State this season, since both are in the South Division. Those games, along with the game against rival West Texas A&M, will be arguably the three biggest regular-season games for ACU. They take place on three consecutive weekends, two on the road. “We don’t know a lot about other teams since it’s so early in the season, but we expect there to be some very good teams that we play,” Thomsen said. “Right now, we are totally see LSC page 7

four-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time all-Pro selection. He also made the NFL all-Decade team in the 1970s; was the Defensive Player of the Year in 1977; and was co-MVP see COTTON page 7

LSC North

Central Oklahoma 2008: 7-4 Overall, 6-3 Conference

Southeastern Oklahoma 2008: 6-5 Overall, 4-1 Conference

Texas A&M Commerce 2008: 5-5 Overall, 3-2 Conference

East Central 2008: 3-8 Overall, 2-3 Conference

Southwestern Oklahoma 2008: 3-8 Overall, 1-4 Conference

Northeastern State 2008: 1-10 Overall, 0-5 Conference

The Optimist - Sept. 11, 2009  
The Optimist - Sept. 11, 2009  

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