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Optimist the

Vol. 98, No. 8

A Fair-Weather Fan

PAGE 5 1 section, 8 pages

Wednesday, September 16, 2009



Committees restructured to increase efficiency Chelsea Hackney Copy Editor Students’ Association redesigned congressional committees to reflect its new image of honesty, efficiency and flexibility, said SA Vice President Tony Godfrey. Instead of form-

ing five or six committees as it has done in the past, the Congress will be divided into only three groups: finance, internal affairs and external affairs. The purpose is to increase the Congress’ ability to deal with any situation, said Godfrey, junior political

science and English major from Burleson. “Whether we meet opportunities or obstacles, we want to be prepared to interact as fluidly as possible,” he said. To do that, each committee will be given the authority to create task

forces – Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson, vice president and dean for Student Life, is responsible for the name – if and when issues that need special attention arise. The three committees are larger this year than in the past, with 14-16 members. This

makes it easier to carve them up into the smaller task forces. For example, SA Treasurer Luke Cochran, senior finance major from Round Rock, has already set up two different task forces in the finance committee to deal with appro-


priations and conference requests, respectively. In fact, the system for hearing conference requests has been overhauled entirely. Student organizations often request funding for trips to see SA page 4



Follies draws friends, family

Physical Resources is preparing for what could be a five-year overhaul of the university’s aged heating and cooling system. For now, students can relax: the current system should be able to bear the load of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Colter Hettich Editor in Chief The 40-year-old closedloop system that heats and cools most of the campus’ air has reached maximum capacity, and Physical Resources and the Board of Trustees are working with a national engineering firm to replace it. Don McLeod, central plant manager for Physical Resources, has participated in several meetings and said firm representatives have spent a lot of time on campus. “It has gone past a couple of approval stages, and we have the basic design [for the new system],” McLeod said. “We can cool what we have right now, but if there is any growth, we’re maxed out.” That growth does JOZIE SANDS Chief Photographer not include the Student Recreation and Well- Don McLeod, central plant manager, checks on Physical Resources’ newest chiller, which helps maintain a proper water temperature. ness Center. Physical Resources used utility management soft- are used for both heating and cooling, ware to estimate the demand the Recre- making it impossible to heat one buildation Center would place on the system. ing and cool another at the same time. Scott Colley, director of Physical Re- New pipes will be added to the current sources, said energy-saving construction loop, although in an attempt to avoid methods will allow the system to support buildings, they will not follow the old the facility as-is, according to computer loop exactly. Colley estimated laying the pipe would calculations. The current underground system cir- take nine months, with up to five crews culates 95,000 gallons of water per day working independently. Replacing asto cool campus, and 75,000 gallons in phalt is less expensive than repairing JOZIE SANDS Chief Photographer the fall and winter to heat it. Four 12A giant fan on the cooling tower helps chill water inch pipes and countless smaller ones see LOOP page 4 before it reenters the underground loop.

Casey Oliver Student Reporter Freshman Follies is a weekend of good memories for many students. Part of the fun is the challenge to create clever lyrics in line with the theme; this year’s freshman class will have to think retro for the 2009 theme, “Peace, Love and Follies.” This psychedelic throwback came after a lot of planning and discussion between the Student Production Office and Tom Craig, director of student productions. The committee has been meeting together to look for a trendy and relevant concept for the show since last April. “We wanted something fun that the students could relate to,” Craig said. For some students, Follies is not just a fun way to bond with roommates and neighbors; it’s a family tradition. “I have been really excited to be a part of Freshman Follies since I saw the show when my older sister was in it,” said Julie Tarter, freshsee FOLLIES page 4


New office, philosophy for undergraduate research Linda Bailey Opinion Page Editor Research can be the bane of a student’s existence, but the Office of Undergraduate Research, directed by Dr. Greg Powell, M.E. Pruitt Professor of chemistry, is trying to improve its reputation. This year marks the first for the department, formed

ing but actually learning by doing ... It’s not just textbook or classroom learning, something,” Powbut learning by doing something. ell said. “The ViDR. GREG POWELL sion Leadership M.E. Pruitt professor of chemistry Team saw this as an opportunity to as part of ACU’s 21st an area of emphasis, make ACU a place where because it provides stu- people know academics Century Vision. “It was the Vision dents with experiential is taken seriously.” Many students are inLeadership Team that learning, so that it’s decided undergradu- not just textbook learn- volved in research projate research would be ing or classroom learn- ects in the spring and






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EDITORIAL The fear and panic associated with Swine Flu prompted our editorial board to weigh in on responsibilities of individuals and administrative Page 6

fall semesters, but Powell said he wants research to be a year-round activity. To that end, the office supported seven students in research projects last summer. ACU also had its first Undergraduate Research Festival, a three-day event, in April, although it was conducted by the Honors College, the Ad-

ams Center for Teaching and Learning, the McNair Scholars Program and the Brown Library, not the Office of Undergraduate Research. Powell said planning is underway for a second festival next semester. “Last year’s festival generated excitement see RESEARCH page 4

Online WILDCAT SOCCER suffered a dramatic overtime loss against local Hardin Simmons University Thursday. Find out what went wrong for the Wildcats. Page 8




Will hand sanitizer dispensers help stop the spread of disease? Chris Thomsen Show

Visit to see what the ACU community is saying.

Wildcat Soccer vs. HSU


Campus Day

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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009








8 a.m. Silent auction benefit at the Taylor County Courthouse

8 a.m. West Texas Fair & Rodeo at the Taylor County Expo Center

8 a.m. Silent auction benefit at Taylor County Courthouse

West Texas Fair & Rodeo at the Taylor County Expo Center

9 a.m. Immunizations in the Haskell Memorial Hospital Education Building

9 a.m. West Texas Fair & Rodeo at the Taylor County Expo Center

11 a.m. Study Abroad Fair in the McGlothlin Campus Center 5 p.m. “Careers in Sports” question and answer session, featuring Lance Barrow ACU in Germany - Spring 2010 informational meeting in the Bean

7 p.m. Parents Weekend

4 p.m. ACU Soccer vs. Dallas Baptist

11 a.m. Parents of the Year presentation in Moody Coliseum

7 p.m. ACU Volleyball vs. West Texas A&M

8 p.m. Freshman Follies

“Cover-to-Cover Book Club” in the Abilene Public Library Main Branch Auditorium


Study Abroad Fair draws crowd Kelsi Williamson Staff Photographer

The ACU Study Abroad Fair gives students an opportunity to learn more about semester and summer programs in Oxford, England; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Leipzig, Germany The fair began Monday and runs through Friday from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Campus Center. “Usually, it’s a pretty good turnout, and people are here all throughout the day,” said Study Abroad Coordinator Rachel Brown. Students can put their names on an e-mail list, see flyers with important dates and fact sheets about the three destinations and pick up registration packets at the booth. Tina Tamez, Study Abroad student worker and senior Spanish major from Stockdale, said the fair is one of the program’s biggest and best methods of advertisement. “We’ve actually had students apply just because of the Study Abroad Fair,” Tamez said. “We get a lot of people on the interest list.” Many Study Abroad alumni volunteer to work the booth. Stacy Brown, junior man-

agement major from Wimberley, studied in Oxford during the Spring 2009 semester and helped answer questions at the fair Monday. “I really enjoyed my experience in Oxford and want to encourage everyone who is interested to go,” Brown said. For students unable to make it to the fair, Brown said most of the information will also be available in the Study Abroad office located on the first floor of the Administration Building.

contact Williamson at

Chapel Checkup Credited Chapels to date: Credited Chapels remaining:

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Announcements Calvary Baptist Church will conduct a churchwide garage sale to benefit its parking lot beautification project Friday and Saturday beginning at 7:30 a.m. at 1024 Richland Drive. The Peddler Show – “A Perfect Street of Shops” will take place at the Abilene Civic Center from 3-8 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Personalized gifts and jewelry will be on sale. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and free for children 12 and younger. The West Texas Fair & Rodeo will be open Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. at the Taylor County Expo Center. There will be exhibitions, a carnival and food vendors. A silent auction will begin Monday at the

Taylor County Expo Center. Bidding will be open daily until Sept. 25 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and all proceeds will go to the American Heart Association. The Texas Department of State Health Services will sponsor an immunization clinic providing free or reduced flu shots Thursday from 1011:30 a.m. and from 1-3:30 p.m. at the Haskell Hospital Education Building. Freshman Follies tickets will be on sale in the Campus Center from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Friday. Tickets are $5 for students with a valid ID, $10 without. European Boutique Sale will offer second-hand clothes from 8 a.m. to sell out on Saturday at 2635 Madison Ave.

Volunteer Opportunities Love and Care Ministries needs help with its clothing ministry and street feeds Monday-Friday at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. or 5 p.m. To schedule a time, contact Terry Davis at 670-0246. The Center for Contemporary Arts is looking for people to greet patrons, answer phones and help with gallery shows. Volunteers are needed Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. and 5- 8 p.m. Contact Saybra Giles at 677-8389 for more information. The Salvation Army needs help sorting and pricing items. Help is also needed in the kitchen and lobby, and yardwork

may be involved. Volunteers are welcome Monday-Saturday at 1726 Butternut St. Contact Cecilia Barahona at 677-1408, or visit for more information. The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature needs volunteers to assist with art activities, greet visitors, give tours, sell books and create a welcoming environment TuesdaySaturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 1-3 p.m. Contact Debby Lillick at 673-4586 for more information.

Campus News

September 16, 2009

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Book, music festival highlights written word Lizzy Spano Arts Editor Featured Texas authors and musicians will present their work and celebrate their art with the Abilene community at the ninth annual West Texas Book and Music Festival next week. The festival is the secondlargest yearly book festival in Texas. The festival, sponsored by the Abilene Public Library and the Abilene Reporter-News, will take place at various locations around Abilene on Sept. 21-26. The event will give visitors an opportunity to attend book-signings,

presentations and concerts at little to no cost. “It has several purposes,” said Glenn Dromgolle, festival cochair. “One is to call attention to literacy, [for people] to read more books by Texas writers and listen to more music by Texas singers and songwriters.” The event will also raise money for the Abilene Public Library. Library members hope the event will raise awareness of library programs and the Friends of the Library organization, which helped promote and sponsor the event, said Ricki Brown, city librar-

ian and festival steering committee member. For those interested in writing books, numerous children’s authors will present their books and speak about their experiences of writing and being published, Brown said. Several distinguished Texas authors will be present at the festival, including Bryan Burrough, best-selling author of The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes; Newbery Honor Book author Kathi Appelt, author of The Underneath and other children’s books; and retired general James U.

Cross, author of Around the World with LBJ. “Many people don’t know about Texas authors,” Dromgolle said. “Most schools don’t offer courses in Texas literature, and a lot of them are not as well known as they should be. Texas has a lot of good writers.” The festival will also feature two-time Grammy award-winning group Brave Combo of Denton and the Texas Swing Kings from Austin, as well as other local bands, including Happy Fat and Slim Chance. “The Brave Combo plays a variety of music,” Dromgolle said. “It

appeals to people across age groups; young people like them, middle age people like them, your grandparents like them. They are really an interesting mix of music styles.” The band, which describes itself as “nuclear polka” with a dash of rock-and-roll, has appeared in an episode of The Simpsons and composed the theme song for Bakersfield P.D., a FOX Television series. The Brave Combo and Texas Swing Kings will play at the Paramount Theatre on Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $15 at the theatre and the library’s

main branch on N. 2nd Street. Other concerts and a Gospel Hymn-Fest will take place free of charge in Minter Park. “It’s a good time for people who like the written word to get together and celebrate,” Dromgolle said. “We would just encourage people to come out and enjoy this. This is a pretty big thing for Abilene, and we would love to have more people participate.”

contact Spano at


Bicentennial communion celebrates reformation Sondra Rodriguez Managing Editor Thomas Campbell, one of the men responsible for the Campbell-Stone reformation movement, gave his famous Declaration and Address in 1809. In it he said, “The church of Christ upon earth is essentially, intentionally, and constitutionally one; consisting of all those in every place that profess their faith in Christ and obedience to him in all things according to the scriptures.” Since then, Christians have striven to break down barriers between churches that distract from the message and mission of Christ. In that spirit, thousands of Christians will gather in a Great Communion to commemorate the bicentennial of Campbell’s Declaration in Moody Coliseum on Oct. 4 at 3 p.m. The first Great Communion took place 100 years ago in Pittsburgh when churches gathered to honor the centennial anniversary of the piece and more importantly, the movement it sparked. The Disciples of Christ Historical Society is coordinating the second Great Communion “to promote the celebration of our heritage,” according to the society’s Web site. Churches in Australia, Africa, New Zealand, India, South America and cities in at least 23 states in North America, includ-

It’s a communion service for people who love Christ and want to manifest this unity in one small way. DOUGLAS FOSTER Professor of church history, director of The Center for Restoration Studies and member of the Stone-Campbell dialogue and the Disciples of Christ Historic Society

ing Abilene, will sponsor a Great Communion, said Douglas Foster, professor of church history, director of The Center for Restoration Studies and member of the Stone-Campbell dialogue and the Disciples of Christ Historic Society. Foster said he began talking to leaders from the three church streams – the Disciples of Christ, the Church of Christ and the Christian Church – in Abilene in December about participating in the Great Communion in October. “We had a meeting that was really a prayer and fasting meeting to come together, pray about this and see what we might discern God wants us to do,” he said. After the meeting, the Bicentennial Task Force was created, and Foster was named chair. The task force decided to conduct the event in Moody Coliseum, no small feat. Foster said he is amazed at the hard work being done for the unification of Christians. “It’s a communion service to bring people who love Christ and want to manifest this unity in one small way,” he said.

“Now we’re saying, let’s come together.” Foster said he hopes students will attend the Sunday afternoon event and show support for combating sectarianism and attitudes of exclusiveness. “Even though we don’t agree on every single thing, and even though sometimes we’ve had differences that have kept us apart, this is a visible manifestation of our unity in Christ, and we really want everyone who thinks that’s important to be a part of it,” he said. “It can be a piece of a very healthy understanding of the nature of Christ’s church and one way of showing the world what it means to be united in Christ.” Foster said the event will be about an hour and 15 minutes long and will include singing, a brief sermon by Foster and the Lord’s Supper. More information is available at www.greatcommunion. org, and a Chapel forum about the event will take place Oct. 1.

contact Rodriguez at

HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer Marsha Smith, R.N., prepares a flu vaccination in the Medical Clinic on Tuesday.

From Front

Page 4



Research: Outside the box Continued from page 1

JOZIE SANDS Chief Photographer

Andrew Morrison, freshman finance major from Argyle, dances to Michael Jackson’s Bad with the men of Edwards during a rehearsal Thursday night.

Follies: ’60s theme a hit with participants, patrons Continued from page 1 man undeclared major from Shallowater. “My family really enjoyed getting to see her having fun with her new friends, and now I’m excited to get to show my family what I’ve been working on.” The show’s peaceand-love atmosphere has been planned down to the last light. Craig said some tie-dyed props might be making an appearance on stage. Every student in the show has been hard at work, and even students

September 16, 2009

not involved in the production can see it. “I’m not in Freshman Follies, but I can definitely appreciate all of the work that kids are putting in to their acts,” said Charlie Holt, freshman biochemistry major from Idalou. “The guys on my hall are really trying to make their act stand out.” Craig said the response to “Peace, Love and Follies” has been positive. “People have been buying tickets online and e-mailing our office tons of questions,” he said.

Students, faculty, staff and parents have four chances to catch Freshman Follies in Cullen Auditorium: Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.

on campus,” he said. “It was really nice to see how many students were enthusiastic about sharing their search results. I think now there is some momentum building as a result of that.” Powell says he hopes to use that momentum to expand programs that have typically remained squarely in the science departments. He encourages all students and faculty to get involved in research, and he said his office is working to bring in other subjects and majors by demonstrating what a valuable learning experience research can be. “Classroom knowledge is reinforced, but you are given an opportunity to apply that knowledge to a particular research project or problem you are trying to solve,” he said. Opportunities such as these are only possible with the full support and participation of faculty members acting as mentors to students. “A big part of the ACU

difference is the faculty’s willingness to spend time with students in the first place,” Powell said. “Establishing a relationship with a faculty mentor is a big advantage of undergraduate participation in research, because you get to see that faculty member in action tackling a particular problem, helping you with the investigation.” Sarah Boyd, senior graphic design major from Abilene participated in a research project this summer with Robert Green, professor of art and design. Boyd researched maps during the summer for a series of five paintings of famous historical journeys Green was creating. Boyd spent close to 80 hours searching for maps and old books and learning about frames and canvases. It was Green’s first experience with undergraduate research, and he said he would like to do it again. “It was very beneficial for me,” Green said. “It is the kind of thing that happens more frequently

in other departments – because they are involved with hard science, and they have graduate students who are ready to handle it – but hasn’t typically been available to people in our department.” Boyd said the work she did was interesting, and although she is unsure of her plans after college, she thinks the research will help her whether she attends graduate school or decides to join the workforce. “It gives you an experience to learn about a trade you are studying outside the classroom,” Boyd said. Both Powell and Green said undergraduate research is important for students applying to graduate school and could be a good recruiting tool. “Research is very important in some fields for acceptance into graduate school,” Powell said. “It gives you advantages over some applicants if you have one or two years of research experience.”

contact Bailey at


SA: hierarchy restructured Continued from page 1

contact Oliver at

ences, and in the past, those requests were put before Congress as a whole. However, the number of requests began to overwhelm Congress – meetings became nothing more than a string of presentations by student groups, Godfrey said. As a result, the decision was made to hand over all conference requests to the new finance committee. “For the first couple of weeks, we anticipate short, empty meetings,” Godfrey said, speaking of Congress. “But once they see that emptiness, they’ll fill it with more productive legislation.” SA’s by-laws give the power to create committees to the president, in

this case, Charles Gaines, senior criminal justice major from Cedar Hill. He then selects students to place on each committee. However, most of the plans for restructuring were made by Godfrey, so Gaines turned the project over to him. He said he did not want to get in the way of his staff. Instead, Gaines will chair the external affairs committee, along with cochair Kara DuBose, chief communication officer. “My committee would be working with the other universities, understanding how their students’ associations work,” Gaines said. “We don’t have this down perfect. We take the good and bad and mix it all together to try to come with the best Students’ Association we

can have.” Jared Elk, SA chief developmental officer, knows the by-laws backward and forward, and was responsible for making sure SA followed the rules in the creation of these new committees. He said he supports the decision. “Those are groups of people that [the executive officers] can have at their disposal to help get projects done,” said Elk, a junior political science major from Savoy. “I think it’ll take a little bit of getting used to, but it’ll help committees focus on seeing projects through from start to finish.”

contact Hackney at


Loop: Plans to replace Continued from page 1

controls with direct digital controls, an improvement that would landscaping, so the new reduce wasteful energy loop will follow side- consumption. New equipment will walks and parking lots help, but Physical Rewhenever possible. McLeod said one of sources also wants to his first goals is to re- improve the energy effiplace all pneumatic ciency of existing struc-

tures, as they did in Sikes Residence Hall. Colley and McLeod expect the project to take five years from start to finish.

contact Hettich at

September 16, 2009


Page 5

Fair play West Texas Fair and Rodeo brings big time to the Big Country

LEFT: The West Texas Fair and Rodeo ferris wheel serves as a traditional fair attraction. This year’s fair will be in Abilene from Sept. 11-19. BELOW: ACU alum Mark Powell sings with the band Lariat to the Friday-night fair crowd. Other fair entertainment includes exhibits and a petting zoo.

KELSI WILLIAMSON Staff Photographer

JOZIE SANDS Chief Photographer

KELSI WILLIAMSON Staff Photographer

Fair-goers enjoy colorful diversions at the West Texas Fair and Rodeo on Monday.

KELSI WILLIAMSON Staff Photographer

Colorful rides illuminate the night sky as part of the annual fair festivities.


Page 6


September 16, 2009

Flu prevention students’ responsibilty ter frequently, particularly after sneezing or coughing. Hand sanitizer is great on the go, but it is not a substitute for good, old-fashioned hot water. Also, when you sneeze and cough, use a tissue; if one is unavailable, sneeze or cough into the inside of your arm, never in your hands. Avoid sharing drinks or food, even if you’re sure you and your friends do not have the flu. These habits will help stop the spread of germs. Know the symptoms of the flu. To learn the signs, visit www.acu.

While we commend ACU Administrators for providing students with free and easily accessible hand sanitizer, ultimately, it is up to students to protect themselves and others from all flu strains. Dr. Ellen Little, physician and director of the Medical Clinic, sent all students an e-mail outlining specific guidelines for flu prevention. It also mentioned ways to protect others if you catch the bug. Students should remember to wash their hands with soap and wa-

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is getting ready for an early flu season this year. The flu always hits schools hard with so many bodies packed together, but to make matters worse, we have to protect ourselves against the dreaded swine flu. If you have been on campus at all in the last week, most likely you have noticed the hand sanitizer dispensers mounted on walls and stairways, especially in high-traffic areas such as the Campus Center and Moody Coliseum.


ACU administrators placed hand sanitizer dispensers around campus in an effort to prevent the spread of germs.


While we appreciate the free hand sanitizer, we think students are ultimately responsible for their health during the flu season. edu/flu. If you have flulike symptoms, see your doctor. If you have a fever, don’t go to highly trafficked areas and risk infecting other people. Flu shots are another option for prevention. The ACU Medical Clinic is administering By Jordan Blakey


shots for $15. While this method might not be right for everyone, it is recommended for those at higher risk of catching the flu. The flu is impossible to avoid entirely without locking yourself in a sterile room for two

months, but when students make a conscious effort at prevention, they increase everyone’s chances for health.

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West’s antics result of abuse Bread with Tomato Colter Hettich


Missing wallet causes identity crisis Hacked Off Chelsea Hackney Losing my wallet could be quite possibly the worst experience of my college career, if not my entire life – it’s in the runni n g with the kinderHackney garten musical and seventh grade volleyball tryouts. I’d like to say I lost it in my rush to escape a burning building or rescue a drowning child. I’d even be OK with armed robbery. Actually, I put it on the back of my car while I pumped gas and just forgot to pick it up before I drove away. I don’t know how long it held on, but eventually, my poor wallet flew off the car and into the street, never to be seen again. Not a complete idiot, I realized it was missing when I got to work. I immediately called to see if someone had seen my blunder, pitied me and turned my wal-

let in to the gas station attendant. They hadn’t. I should get research credit for the past week. I’ll call my experiment “Life as a (really) poor college student.” After calling my bank, all three credit unions, the Social Security Administration, both police departments and my mother, I had successfully canceled any and all documents that might identify me as a real person. I thought my checkbook and shiny new $15 student ID would hold me over until my debit card and driver’s license arrived. My mistake. It turns out you need government-issued identification to do, well, anything. You can try to buy cold medicine and bread with a check at Walmart. However, without a driver’s license or a Social Security card and photo ID, the poor cashier has to shake her head sadly and wait while you decide whether you want clear sinuses or a sandwich. That’s why I got excited when the Abilene

However, without a driver’s license or a Social Security card and photo ID, the poor cashier has to shake her head sadly and wait while you decide whether you want clear sinuses or a sandwich. Police Department called this morning to tell me my wallet had been found. I visualized walking into the office. My wallet would be there, shiny and fat, and my identity would be restored. What I found was a mangled and muddy black wad of leather and metal, the result of run-ins with thousands of tires and three days of rain. The found property clerk smiled as she handed it back to me. I walked to my car disappointed – and hungry. OK, the government is trying to protect my identity. I appreciate that. But for a college student away from home and Mom’s filing cabinet full of personal documents, living without a wallet is

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:

tough. It probably saved me some money in the long run, and my driver’s license number is now printed indelibly on my brain, but I still could have done without the lesson. After a week, my new debit card has yet to arrive, and I’m still on the lookout for my Social Security card. So, if you happen to meet a Venezuelan drug lord named Chelsea, let me know. I’d like my identity back.

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When Kanye West took the microphone from Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards Friday, I heard, “I’m happy for you Taylor, I’m Hettich gonna let you finish, but I want everyone to see what an idiot I am.” Of course, what West interrupted the “best female video award” winner to say was how much he liked Beyonce’s nominated video. Unless you were as hammered as he was when he shattered Swift’s moment, you could smell the alcohol on his breath through the screen — even in standard definition. Apparently, I am not the only one impressed with his refined skills as a tool. During some pre-interview chatter with CNBC’s John Harwood, cameras reportedly caught President Barack Obama’s thoughts on the incident. When an unidentified voice asked why West would do that, Mr. Obama replied succinctly, “He’s a jackass,” according to Associated Press. But this incident was not isolated. In 2006, West jumped onto the stage at the MTV Europe Music awards after his “Touch the Sky” video lost to Simian’s “We Are Your Friends.” Amid a flood of expletives, which seems to come all too natural to West, he declared that he should have won because it “cost a million dollars, Pamela Anderson was in it … I was jumping across

canyons … If I don’t win, the awards show loses credibility.” If West had any credibility, the loss would have been his. Other than being glorious displays of ignorance, West’s interruptions had one dangerous thing in common: alcohol abuse. He was spotted on the red carpet before the awards show began, touting a bottle cognac. Some reports said event officials had to ask him to leave the bottle behind. So what? He hurt a girl’s feelings and hopefully embarrassed himself, but no one was hurt, right?

Unless you were as hammered as he was, you could smell the alcohol on his breath through the screen — even in standard definition.

Thankfully, yes, no one was harmed, but I fear we are being conditioned to the effects of alcohol abuse. From David Hasselhoff’s drunken attempt to eat a cheeseburger to the late Edward Kennedy’s fatal drive that cost a young woman her life, the evidence is raw and plentiful. Alcohol is not evil, but for the evil in us knows how to abuse it. If you drink, take it seriously — for your sake, but also for the sake of bystanders like Taylor Swift. contact Hettich at

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From Sports

September 16, 2009

Page 7


Overtime: Soggy victory for Wildcats Continued from page 8

The Wildcats defeated Texas A&M-Commerce 20-14 in overtime at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday. Drew Cuffee intercepted the ball and returned it 81 yards for a touchdown to win the game. “It was an exciting game,” quarterback Zach Stewart said. “Obviously, you have to give a lot of credit to the defense. They played huge and picked the offense up at the end of the game to seal the win.” The game was a sloppy battle to the finish. The Wildcats’ offense was able to move the ball, but they were plagued by three turnovers. Overall, they had 371 total yards compared to the Lions’ 182. The Wildcats improved to 3-0 for the season and 1-0 in conference, while the Lions fell to 0-3 for the season and 0-2 in conference. The game was a field position battle in the first half. The rain was steady throughout the half, putting a damper on the teams’ performance. They were still

tied at zero at halftime. In the third quarter, quarterback Zach Stewart rushed 31 yards, setting up the second drive of the half that put the Wildcats on the board. The drive went 58 yards and was capped with a five-yard touchdown run by Daryl Richardson, which gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead. The play for the extra point added some drama to the game. ACU initially failed to earn the extra point because of a bad snap, but got another attempt, because one of the Commerce players was offside. This one point became pivotal when the game ended up tied at the end of regulation. Stewart threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 early in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats then ran the ball 62 yards to score on a Richardson rush and take a 14-7 lead with 6 minutes, 19 seconds left in the game. It looked like ACU was going to win in regulation, but a scoreless Commerce offense

JOZIE SANDS Chief Photographer Nick Jones pushes through the A&M Commerce defense Saturday at the Cotton Bowl. drove down and tied the game with 32 seconds left. A 20-yard touchdown pass to receiver Taylor Fore brought the score to 14-13 with less than a minute left in the game. Fans wanted Guy Morrison to go for the win, but he elected to kick the extra point and play into overtime.

ACU won the coin toss in overtime and chose to play defense first. Drew Cuffee made an incredible interception off his hip in the first play of overtime before returning the ball 81 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Head coach Chris Thomsen was proud of his team’s performance

in the face of such terrible weather conditions. “The weather was a downpour, and we haven’t played in something like that in a really long time,” Thomsen said. “There were some things we had to adjust to as a team. I thought our guys did a good job of feeling the situation out and making


Heartbreaker: Abilene showdown Continued from page 8

bar. The game went into overtime, and both teams had chances to score, but neither was able to find the net. “I think our girls got a little tired,” Wilson said. “I also think the mud was definitely a factor on both teams.” The Wildcats came

into the game with an even 2-2 record, but it fell to 2-3 with this loss. HSU is now 3-1. In spite of the loss, Wilson praised the team for outshooting the Cowgirls by a margin of 27-25. “We created more opportunities for ourselves,” he said. “That’s something we can build on, and a positive we can take away from this.”

Schilling: On the outside the competition at the ACU Classic with a .317 hitting percentage and 15 service aces, proving she belongs there. “This year, getting her on the outside, it just feels like a real achievement for her and for us as coaches to get her where she belongs and to see her really excel,” Mock said. Schilling said she had to make some adjust-

utes, and Lawson held HSU to a single goal, leading ACU to victory. The Wildcats have struggled on offense this season, scoring only two goals in their first four games. Their success will depend on Lawson’s performance between the pipes. It will be her job to keep ACU in the game until the offense can score consistently. The Wildcats’ next game

is against Dallas Baptist University. The Patriots are 2-3-1 entering Friday’s game. The Wildcats played excellent defense when they faced DBU last season, but were unable to produce any offense and lost 1-0. ACU will meet DBU at home on Friday at 5 p.m.

contact Gwin at



Continued from page 8

The Cowgirls finished last season with their sixth straight American Southwest Conference Championship win. Hardin-Simmons has played in the Division III NCAA tournament eight times in the last ten years. The Wildcats beat the Cowgirls 3-1 when they met last year. In that game, the Wildcats scored two goals in the first five min-

ments to her game, but has made progress. “Just being able to prove myself in my position was really rewarding for me,” Schilling said. “For me, to show everybody I can actually do it, and I will be successful – I just hope I continue that through the season.”

contact Knauth at

Streak: Winning continues for Wildcats in Dallas Continued from page 8

list after a superb start to the season – a total of 307 blocks. “I was so excited,” “Everyone should come out to see Ij play,” Mock Hines said about reachsaid. “She can do some ing the milestone. “I don’t know if I can get there, but amazing things.” Shawna Hines, ju- I’m gunning for No. 1.” Abilene Christian nior middle blocker, was impressive with 11 opens conference play kills and six blocks in against three-time dethe two matches. She fending LSC champions also received LSC rec- West Texas A&M in Canognition as the Defen- yon at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Wildcats are fosive Player of the Week and is in fifth place on cused on winning the title the ACU all-time block this year and making it to

the regional tournament after losing to West Texas in the finals of last year’s conference tournament. “We’re expecting to take conference and go to regional,” Hines said. “We’ve been saying since last year – whenever we lost in conference by four points – that this was the year we are taking conference back.”

contact Knauth at

adjustments and doing what they had to do to win the game.”

contact Cantrell at


Hamilton: Admirable struggle Continued from page 8 what make Hamilton a hero, anyway. His resiliency and determination to win his fight are what should make him an inspiration. His struggle will prove to be far more difficult to face than any major league fastball, yet a victory will be far sweeter than any home run.

contact Craig at


Page 8

September 16, 2009



Hamilton: Atypical hero



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

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

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

The Last Word By Jeff Craig

VOLLEYBALL Team Div. Ovrl. WTAMU 0-0 Cameron 0-0 TAMU-C 0-0 ACU 0-0 TAMU-K 0-0 SE Okla. 0-0 Angelo State. 0-0 East Central 0-0 TX Woman’s 0-0 Central Okla. 0-0 ENMU 0-0 SW Okla. 0-0 MSU 0-0

11-2 10-2 11-3 9-3 8-3 9-4 8-5 8-5 7-7 5-7 3-9 3-11 2-11

WOMEN’S SOCCER Ovrl. Team Div. WTAMU MSU TAMU-C SE Okla. ACU East Central NE State Central Okla. SW Okla. TX Women’s ENMU

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

5-0-1 3-0-1 5-1 9-4 2-2 1-1-1 2-2 2-3-1 2-3-1 2-3 2-4


JIMMIE JACKSON Staff Videographer

Cornerback Drew Cuffee intercepts the ball during overtime and returns it for a touchdown to secure the win.


Wildcats weather the storm Cuffee interception propels ACU to win in overtime Ryan Cantrell Assistant Sports Editor The Wildcats defeated Texas A&M-Commerce 20-14 in overtime at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday. Drew Cuffee intercepted the ball and returned it 81 yards for a touchdown to win the game. “It was an exciting game,” quarterback Zach Stewart said. “Obviously, you have to give a lot of credit to the defense. They played huge and picked the offense up at the end of the game to seal the win.” The game was a sloppy battle to the finish. The Wildcats’ offense was able to move the

ball, but they were plagued by three turnovers. Overall, they had 371 total yards compared to the Lions’ 182. The Wildcats improved to 3-0 for the season and 1-0 in conference, while the Lions fell to 0-3 for the season and 0-2 in conference. The game was a field position battle in the first half. The rain was steady throughout the half, putting a damper on the teams’ performance. They were still tied at zero at halftime. In the third quarter, quarterback Zach Stewart rushed 31 yards, setting up the second drive of the half that put the Wildcats on the board. The drive went 58 yards and was capped with a five-yard touchdown run by Daryl Richardson, which gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead. LAURA ACUFF Features Editor

see OVERTIME page 7

Fans get creative to deal with the rain.

Volleyball ACU 3, Southwest Baptist 1 ACU 3, Arkansas-Monticello 1


Wildcats lose in double OT

Soccer ACU 0 vs. Incarnate Word 3

SATURDAY Volleyball ACU 3, Southern Arkansas 0 ACU 3, Dallas Baptist 0

Austin Gwin

Football ACU 20, TAMU-Commerce 14

TUESDAY Soccer ACU 0 vs. Hardin-Simmons 3

Upcoming THURSDAY Volleyball ACU at West Texas A&M, 7 p.m.

HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer

Freshman Julie Coppedge dribbles down the sideline.


we are going to have to want it as much or more Assistant Sports Editor as the other team.” Midfielder Carlyn The Wildcat defense Powers scored with a played 108 minutes of great soccer, but it wasn’t header off a penalty enough to pull out a win kick to finish the Wildagainst Hardin-Simmons cats. The ball soared University. The Cowgirls just outside of ACU scored in double over- goalie Crissy Lawson’s outstretched hands. time for a 2-1 victory. Hardin-Simmons tried “We played hard, but I feel that Hardin-Simmons to take advantage of a played a little harder great scoring opportuthan us today,” said head nity in the final two mincoach Casey Wilson. “If utes of regulation time, we are going to start winsee HEARTBREAKER page 7 ning ball games this year,

ACU vs. Dallas Baptist, 5 p.m.

FRIDAY Tennis ACU vs. Racket Club Invitational ACU vs. Islander Invitational

SATURDAY Cross-Country

at Missouri Southern Stampede

Volleyball ACU at Eastern New Mexico, 3 p.m.

Football ACU at Eastern New Mexico, 3 p.m. HOME GAMES LISTED IN ITALICS

Briefs n CBS Sports producer Lance Barrow and Wildcat football announcer Grant Boone will be at ACU today speaking at the Hunter Welcome center to all those who are interested in a career in sports broadcasting.



Cats extend streak Schilling Shines Tanner Knauth Sports Editor The ACU volleyball team extended their winning streak to eight straight matches with a perfect 4-0 at the Dallas Baptist Lady Patriot Invitational at the Burg Center Friday and Saturday. The win improved ACU’s record to 9-3 for the season. Senior Michelle Bacon had a huge weekend that included 18 kills against host team Dallas Baptist. “Michelle Bacon played great,” said head coach Kellen Mock. “She

really carried us through the weekend.” Recently named the Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Week and ACU Classic Tournament Most Valuable Player, junior Jordan Schilling continued to shine, leading the team with 131 kills. Junior setter Ijeoma Moronu has an astounding 291 assists for the season. She scored 131 assists this weekend alone, once again proving her worth after earning LSC Setter of see STREAK page 7

Tanner Knauth Sports Editor Jordan Schilling is off to a sizzling start this season. She already has earned recognition as the Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Week, as well as being named the ACU Classic Most Valuable Player. Schilling, a junior, currently leads the Cats in points and kills and leads the LSC in service aces with an impressive average of .56 per set. Even more impressive, this is the first time

Schilling has played the outside hitter position. “We’ve known for a long time she would be an excellent outside, but because of injury we’ve never been able to play her there,” said ACU head coach Kellen Mock. Schilling said she wanted to play outside, but because she had always played middle, she was apprehensive about making the switch. It did not take long for her to hit her stride, though. She dominated

American society is starved for heroes. We immortalize individuals in the spotlight, placing overwhelming expectations on them. Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton’s ongoing struggle with substance abuse captivated the nation while he was at the height of his career in 2008. Just one year later, though, America’s infatuation with Hamilton seems to be waning. Hamilton captured the imagination of the nation putting up MVP-like statistics in 2008. He hit 32 home runs and drove in 130 runs while compiling a .302 batting average. The pinnacle of Hamilton’s season came in July when he wowed the crowd at old Yankee Stadium with a home run derby that would have made Mickey Mantle proud. Hamilton’s story was particularly inspiring in light of his welldocumented battle with substance abuse. From the No. 1 draft pick in 1999, Hamilton fell to such a low point that he was out of baseball for three seasons. But, Americans love the underdog and soaked up the legend of Josh Hamilton, cheering for him on and off the field. Over the last year, things have changed. While the Rangers have improved since last year, Hamilton has not. The Rangers have compiled their best overall record in ten years, but Hamilton has struggled at the plate. He has only ten home runs, and has had several stints on the disabled list, causing him to miss 56 games this season. To make matters worse, photos showing a shirtless Hamilton, intoxicated, and posing with scantily clad women at an Arizona bar surfaced this summer. At first glance, Hamilton’s legacy may appear tarnished, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Hamilton handled the controversy with a resolve far more impressive than his baseball comeback. He owned up to his mistake. He admitted he had fallen off the wagon. Baseball’s Superman had acknowledged his humanity. All too often, professional athletes and celebrities refuse to acknowledge their mistakes. Hamilton’s actions showed a level of maturity that is rarely imitated. Josh Hamilton may never overcome his addictions; he is human after all. He may never be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. He may never capture our attention like he did at the home run derby that summer night in New York. These accomplishments aren’t

see SCHILLING page 7 see HAMILTON page 7

The Optimist - Sept. 16, 2009  

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

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