thebattalion january 30, 2014
texas a&m since 1893
YEAR OF THE HORSE
Photos by David Cohen — THE BATTALION
Members of the Shaolin Kung Fu Academy perform a traditional lion dance Wednesday night outside of Sbisa.
Students experience Asian culture in Lunar New Year celebration Allison Rubenak
The Battalion tudents, volunteers and residents of the Bryan-College Station community meandered around a feast of Chinese food, various tables showcasing traditional New Year activities and gazed upon the Kung Fu, Tai Chi and lion dance performances set up in and around Sbisa Dining Hall on Wednesday. “Tonight is just another example of how much we value our cultural diversity and unique customs and traditions of the many cultures that are represented in our student body here at Texas A&M,” said Brig. Gen. Joe Ramirez, commandant of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, in a welcoming announcement before a performance at the eight-annual Lunar New Year Celebration, hosted by the Confucius Institute. For some students, the celebration was a representation of something they would have regularly Shane Robinson, junior human resources development major, awaits his hand-written See Lunar New Year on page 3 calligraphy at Sbisa.
Capitol Hill visitors offer insight into debt
ith former President George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, among the audience members in a full auditorium, former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, and former Sen. Alan K. Simpson shared their insights Wednesday night on what it will take to solve the national debt. Bowles and Simpson were both awarded the Mosbacher Good Governance Award for their nonpartisan attempts to tackle the nation’s debt and each gave individual presentations before having a discussion moderated by the Bush School’s acting dean, Andrew Card. As co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Bowles said he and Simpson quickly saw the seriousness of conquering the national debt. “When [Simpson] and I said we would co-chair this commission, we thought we were doing it for our grandkids,” Bowles said. “The more we looked at the numbers, the more we got familiar with the country’s current fiscal condition, it became clearer we weren’t do-
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Primary voting registration to close Monday
William Guerra — THE BATTALION
The Battalion onday is the last day to register to vote for the March 4 primary elections, where voters will select candidates to represent their respective parties in the November general election. The race for Democratic and Republican candidates for Texas governor and U.S. senator will be included on the ballot. Kristeen Roe, Brazos County voter registrar, said the easiest way for students to register is to pick up or print a registration card and postmark it before Monday. Roe said voter registration cards can also be hand delivered to the Brazos County Voter Registration office in Bryan. Voter registration cards are available at public libraries and post offices and will be available at the Memorial Student Center on Friday. Applications are also available online at brazosvotes. org or votetexas.gov. Postage is paid for on voter registration
Gamecocks wallop Aggies, 80-52 Conner Darland The Battalion
Roger Zhang — THE BATTALION
Alan K. Simpson, left, and Erskine B. Bowles, right, answer questions from Andrew Card about the debt crisis. ing it for our grandkids, we weren’t even doing it for our kids — we were doing it for us. That’s how dire the situation is.” Through Bowles and Simpson’s “Fix the Debt” campaign, Bowles said there have been mistakes and accomplishments, but there is still a long way to go. “I want you to stop and think about what the country has done since [Simpson] and I came out
with our report, over three years ago now,” Bowles said. “We’ve done the easy stuff, we’ve done the stupid stuff, but we’ve avoided meeting any of the big challenges that face the country today.” Kadie McDougald, staff writer For the full story, go online at thebatt.com
he Texas A&M men’s basketball team suffered a 8052 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks Wednesday night in Columbia, S.C. A&M trailed the entire first half, allowing South Carolina to start the game on a 10-2 run. At the 9:13 mark in the first half, freshman guard Shawn Smith hit two free throws to close the gap to six points, but the momentum quickly shifted back to the Gamecocks as they closed the first half on a 41-21 run. Texas A&M opened the second half on a 13-5 run to close the gap to 34-46, but that was as close as the Aggies would get. South Carolina stayed consistent on offense, outscoring the Aggies 36-18 to close the game. The South Carolina zone defense kept all A&M players from
The Battalion group of women on campus is hoping to bring a message to the forefront for Black History Month — inner beauty is empowering. Taking this idea to heart, nine students will be featured in the 27th Miss Black & Gold Scholarship Pageant, an annual event put on by the Texas A&M chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity to
scoring double-digits. The Aggies shot 35.6 percent from the floor on 16-of-45 shooting. The Aggies were unable to take care of the ball, resulting in 18 turnovers. Junior guard Jamal Jones and freshman forward Davonte Fitzgerald, the Texas A&M leading scorers, were held to a combined 15 points on 4-of-15 shooting. The Aggies allowed four Gamecocks to have double-digit point performances. Freshman guard Duane Notice had a career night against the Aggies, scoring 19 points and grabbing four rebounds. The result marks the Aggies fourth loss in a row and the first ever loss against the Gamecocks. A&M next hits the hardwood against the No. 3 Florida Gators at 3 p.m. Saturday in Gainesville, Fla.
On-campus pageant to showcase inner beauty Competition offers platform for women
cards and all registration cards postmarked before Monday are valid. Roe said students who registered in their hometown but wish to vote in Brazos County must make changes to their registration by the Monday deadline. Students can make these changes by filling out another registration card and sending it to the registrar’s office. Early voting for primary elections begins Feb. 18. Anyone registered in Brazos County is eligible to vote in the MSC polling location during early voting. On Election Day, voters must vote at the polling location in their specific precinct. The most recent Brazos County voter registrations cards are orange and white, Roe said. If a Brazos County resident does not have an orange and white card, they should contact the county to update their card and contact information.
showcase women on campus. “I think beauty is empowering, not just on the outside but on the inside,” said Ashley Burk, participant and freshman biology major. “You have to be a strong person to be in a beauty pageant and if others see you being strong, they want to be strong as well.” With the multitude of images portrayed daily about women, Alpha Phi Alpha Chapter President, Daunte’ Cauley, said the organization wanted to counteract possible negative ideas by allowing a platform for intelligent and talented
Danielle Sanders, junior health major was last year’s
See Black & Gold on page 2 pageant winner.
Tuition increase on Regents’ docket The Texas A&M Board of Regents will discuss a proposed increase in tuition at a meeting Thursday at Texas A&M– Galveston. The proposal, announced Dec. 4 at a public hearing, intends to appease House Bill 29, requiring public universities in Texas to have a guaranteed tuition rate for a student’s first four years of enrollment in the institution. To comply with the bill, Texas A&M would raise tuition two percent per class starting at six percent for the incoming freshman class, four percent for sophomores and two percent for upperclassmen, said Provost Karan Watson at the public hearing that addressed the issue in December.
1/29/14 11:16 PM
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page 2 thursday 1.30.2014
women’s and gender studies
Department organizes film screening to battle stereotypes
Sundance winner ‘In a World’ to be shown Thursday
sions that women in the public eye make, I feel that the media chooses to focus on the negative behaviors of a woman rather than her character and accomplishments,” Preece said. “It can push people to think a certain way and to develop stereotypes.” Humphrey said “In a World” is about a young professional woman working as a dialect and vocal coach in Hollywood helping actors with their accents for movie roles. She also wants to create voice overs for movies, trailers and television commercials. One of the challenges the protagonist faces is that most voice-over jobs go to men. “Of course, as anyone who watches television or goes to the movies knows, most of those voice over jobs go to males who are thought, in our culture, to have a voice of authority, unlike women, who, in our sexist society, are thought to lack real authority,” Humphrey said. Humphrey said there are, of course, exceptions. “Women get jobs doing voice over work for feminine hygiene commercials or commercials for household cleaning products, but that’s hardly equality,” Humphrey said. Michael Gonzales, senior English and women’s and gender studies major, said he has already seen the film and will also
Victoria Rivas The Battalion
n a world of inequalities and stereotypes, the women’s and gender studies department is working not only to deconstruct and understand the prejudices of modern society, but also to engage students in these pursuits in inviting and interactive ways. As part of its biannual movie night event, the department will hold a free screening Thursday of “In a World,” a Sundance Film Festival award-winning film. Daniel Humphrey, assistant professor of film studies and women’s and gender studies, said the department shows films that are fun to watch yet illustrate problematic stereotypes about gender. “We then try to talk about those problems as a way of initiating conversations about representation in the cultural arena,” Humphrey said. Bethany Preece, senior special education major, said she sees many misrepresentations of gender in the media. “While I don’t support the bad deci-
attend the screening. “I tend to have a greater appreciation for a film when I’m part of an audience because my reactions and emotional responses play off of those around me,” Gonzales said. “There is a communal aspect missed when a film is watched on a laptop.” Gonzales said the women’s and gender studies department has much to offer Texas A&M students. “The women’s and gender studies department educates one to see the injustices and oppressions experienced by people of color, women and LGBTQ-identified individuals,” Gonzales said. Gonzales said he hopes the film can help educate others as to the importance of giving all people a voice regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Humphrey said all Aggies are welcome to view the movie. “Hopefully students in Aggieland care about issues of gender equality like young people do throughout the rest of the country in 2014,” Humphrey said. “Based on my interaction with students during the five years I’ve been here, I think they do.” The screening will be from 7-9 p.m. in Room 209 of the Harrington Education Center.
Contestants from last year’s Miss Black & Gold Pageant. really important for me to do while I’m in college,” Stevenson said. “So that’s why I ended up joining the pageant, to meet new people and I guess to just get involved.” For Chastity Smith, senior bioenvironmental sciences major, participating in the Miss Black & Gold pageant has been a goal since she saw the pageant her freshman year. Regardless of whether or not she wins, Smith said extensive preparation and planning for the competition has forced her to go beyond her preconceived limits. Fortuna Abebe, senior community health major, said participating in the Miss Black & Gold pageant was in part to prove to herself that she can do anything she puts her mind to and a way to serve as an example. “It was something challenging and it has helped me with improve my confidence,” Abebe said. Abebe said she plans to perform a traditional Ethiopian dance that members of her family perform at weddings and other ceremonies for the talent portion of the pageant. The event brings participants together, she said, bringing their talents, personalities and backgrounds to the table. Abebe said the influence of the event extends beyond the performance night.
Continued from page 1
thebattalion THE INDEPENDENT STUDENT VOICE OF TEXAS A&M SINCE 1893
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THE BATTALION is published daily, Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters and Tuesday and Thursday during the summer session (except University holidays and exam periods) at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843. Offices are in Suite L400 of the Memorial Student Center. News: The Battalion news department is managed by students at Texas A&M University in Student Media, a unit within the Division of Student Affairs. Newsroom phone: 979-845-3315; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.thebatt.com. Advertising: Publication of advertising does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by The Battalion. For campus, local, and national display advertising, call 979-845-2687. For classified advertising, call 979-8450569. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Email: email@example.com. Subscriptions: A part of the Student Services Fee entitles each Texas A&M student to pick up a single copy of The Battalion. First copy free, additional copies $1.
women. “[The event is] to showcase the talents of the young women,” Cauley said. “There are a lot of great young women in this community and we want to just show the true value of a woman.” Burks said the message to women on campus is simple — beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. “I wanted to show all the girls that you don’t have to be a certain skin color or a certain size to be in a pageant.” Burks said. Alpha Phi Alpha has collected $2,000 in scholarship funds to be awarded to the 2014 winner, but participants said it’s not about the money. Participant and junior sociology major, Ashley Stevenson, who applied to be a participant to get involved with African-American groups on campus, said candidates arrived on Jan. 3 and began practicing from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Despite the long hours and competitive nature of pageants, Stevenson said the process has yielded friendship and personal development. “I haven’t really explored those organizations on campus and it’s something
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clarification To clarify the article “Pedal Fees” published Tuesday, although recommendations from a bicycle committee in 2008 mentioned a fee for mandatory bike registration, Transportation Services is now gathering feedback about implementing required bike registration, but without a registration fee. The Battalion welcomes readers’ comments about published information that may require correction. We will pursue your concern to determine whether a correction needs to be published. Please contact us at editor@ thebatt.com.
Kristen Womac Management Andrew Wood Psychology Benjamin Wood Meteorology Dorothy Wood English Amber Woodin Biomedical Sciences
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“It’s like being a leader you can look up to,” Abebe said. “Because once the pageant is done the queen usually has an impact on different organizations around campus and around the community.” The event will take place Friday in the Bethancourt ballroom in the MSC. Presale tickets are sold through Alpha Phi Alpha and tickets will also be available at the door.
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page 3 thursday 1.30.2014
The Shaolin Kung Fu Academy performs Wednesday at the Lunar New Year celebration near Sbisa Dining Hall.
Campus meets the cosmos for star party on Simpson Drill Field
David Cohen — THE BATTALION
Lunar New Year Continued from page 1
John Benson — THE BATTALION
Joanna Schiefelbein, senior aerospace engineering major, operates a telescope Wednesday at a star party, events that are conducted several times per year by the Texas A&M University Astronomy Group.
celebrated at home. Tiffany Tai, freshman political science major, said she appreciated being able to see her culture represented. “It’s really similar to this,” Tai said. “We would go out to eat, we would go to the temple, we would spend time with family.” Midway through the celebration, students and other onlookers transitioned outdoors to watch the Shaolin Kung Fu Academy perform traditional Kung Fu and Lion dances. Tai said the dances are a traditional part of a typical celebration consisting of people dressed up in costumes of lucky dragons and lions. “It’s a really artistic dance and it’s just a great way to ring in the new year,” Tai said. Ying Zheng, a volunteer at the event and veterinary medical technician, said it was the year of the horse, which represented economic prosperity. Wilson Ding, freshman electrical engineering major, said he and his family would celebrate the holiday as he grew up in a Chinese household. He said his family would exchange red envelopes, a common tradition where family members slide money into envelopes to often give to the younger family members. “I just had that growing up,” Ding said. “Coming to college — this is my first year, and this is my first year being away from my parents, unable to celebrate this holiday, so
I decided to come here instead. So it’s just a continuation of my every-year tradition.” Ding said because A&M has such a large and diverse student body, it was important to become more aware of traditions and cultures on campus. “I feel like this is a really good step towardsthat,” Ding said. “And it brings some things to do on campus so it’s pretty nice.” Shuyang Wu, junior economics major and Chinese international student, said her favorite part about the New Year was seeing family members gather together and compared it to Christmas in western countries. Wu was sad she would not be able to share the holiday with her family in China, she said. Wu was assisting at the calligraphy table, which she said was another common activity her family would do in China. She said by posting certain symbols of calligraphy on the wall, they expressed hope for the new year and brought luck to their house. “‘Fu,’ it means ‘luck’ in China, and we put it upside down and then paste it on the wall,” Zheng said. “So every year, we buy it in the market or make it ourself.” As an international student, Wu said it was meaningful to her to have this event on campus. “I’m representative of China and everyone is interested in Chinese culture, so I’m really proud to tell them about my culture,” Wu said.
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1/29/14 10:47 PM
page 4 thursday 1.30.2014
Auburn stands in way of A&M road streak Patrick Crank
Special to The Battalion he No. 17 Texas A&M women’s basketball team will travel to Auburn, Ala., to take on the Auburn Tigers at 5 p.m. Thursday night in Auburn Arena. A&M (16-5, 6-1 SEC) is the only team that has yet to lose on the road in SEC play this season. Sophomore guard Courtney Walker is coming off back-to-back 20-point performances against Missouri and Tennessee and is averaging 13.9 points per game for the season. Walker, who was named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List and was a Preseason First Team All-SEC selection, has made 89.6 percent of her free throws while going 43-of-48 behind the line. Walker is the only player on the team to receive SEC Player of the Week honors this season. The Tigers (11-9, 2-5 SEC) are on a three-game skid, but Walker said she realizes the pressure of playing on the road in a league like the SEC. “The SEC is top to bottom,” Walker said. “You have to compete every single night and there are no breaks. [Auburn has] upset a few people this year and played a few teams very well, so going in there we’re going to have to
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2013-2014 Texas A&M Campus Directory Convenient listings of departments, administrators, faculty, staff, and other information about A&M.
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Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION
Sophomore guard Courtney Walker has two straight 20-point games going into Thursday’s contest. have the same type of focus.” The Tigers are led by a tandem of sister forwards in Tyrese and Tra’Cee Tanner from Birmingham, Ala. Tyrese is the team’s leading scorer and defensive rebounder, averaging 16.2 points and four defensive rebounds per game. Tra’Cee leads the Tigers with three offensive rebounds per game and has added 10.4 points per game. “Auburn is very athletic,” said Gary Blair, Texas A&M head coach. “They just lost three in a row, [but] they have played very well. This last game is the only game all year that they’ve gotten blown
out.” In addition to improving their road conference record to 4-0, the Aggies hope to remain tied for first in the SEC with a win against Auburn. “If we take care of Auburn, we’re going to go in there with a lot of confidence knowing we have [won] four out of four road games,” Blair said. After Thursday’s game, the Aggies travel to Memorial Gym in Nashville, Tenn., where they will tip off against the No. 16 Vanderbilt Commodores at 1 p.m. Sunday on Fox Sports Southwest.
Sprinter earns SEC honor
Equestrian kicks off
Texas A&M junior Deon Lendore was awarded the SEC Men’s Runner of Week honor after sprinting his way to a world-leading time of 45.74 seconds in the 400 meter during Saturday’s Texas A&M Triangular. Lendore currently holds the Aggie record at 45.15 and has recorded four of the top five performances on the A&M all-time list. In addition to his individual records, Lendore anchored the Aggie 4x400 relay to a worldleading time of 3:05.43.
The No. 9 Texas A&M equestrian team (2-4, 1-2 SEC) will open spring competition when it hosts the No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs (6-2, 2-1) at 10 a.m. Saturday inside the Brazos County Expo Complex. Saturday’s competition will be the final SEC home event of the year for the Aggies. The first 200 fans in attendance will receive a free 12th Man towel.
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