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thebattalion ● friday,





january 31, 2014


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William Guerra — THE BATTALION

A&M has a financial Super Bowl stake Tussle regarding 12th Man usage pads Aggie coffers Homer Segovia The Battalion


hile fans across the nation’s living rooms are concerning themselves with the score of the game or the bowl of guacamole on Super Bowl Sunday, marketing officials for the original 12th Man will be keeping a close eye on the nation’s other 12th

Man — the Seattle Seahawks. On the Seattle Seahawks official website, at the foot of every page, reads: “The term 12th MAN is a trademark of Texas A&M University and its use is pursuant to a license agreement with the university.” This means that only with the permission of Texas A&M and under certain guidelines may the NFL team use the 12th Man mark. A 2006 lawsuit between Texas A&M and the Seattle Seahawks overuse of the


Regents approve tuition hike

Handful of students voice concerns Lindsey Gawlik The Battalion


he Texas A&M Board of Regents approved a guaranteed tuition and fees plan that will go into effect Fall 2014 at Thursday’s general meeting in Galveston. Associate vice president for external affairs, Chad Wooten, said the guaranteed tuition and fees plan was drafted to comply with state statutes of House Bill 29 and to clarify fees and expenses for students. Since House Bill 29 requires public universities in Texas have a guaranteed tuition rate for a student’s first four years of enrollment in the institution, the new tuition and fees plan will consolidate more than 7,000 fees and instead make them into predictable course or program fees, said provost Karan Watson. Depending on class year at the time the plan goes into effect, Watson said the plan will increase A&M student tuition up to 3.3 percent. Students’ overall tuition and fees also will depend on what college the student is enrolled, Watson said. “Because we have differential tuitions by colleges and because of how we are converting the course fees, the guarantee we will give is different for different colleges,” Watson said. Watson said the seniors will see the lowest increase at a rate below one percent.

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Clay Koepke: How much is your school pride worth?

Watson said this is because only three — not four — years of inflation were considered in setting the rates. Incoming freshmen will see the largest increase, which Watson said is to battle projected inflation and to avoid depleting financial aid funds. Watson said the guaranteed tuition plan does not cover expenses for outside options such as studying abroad and textbook costs. Watson also said the plan gives students a break in the summer by allowing students to take courses at a reduced price. Cary Cheshire, Student Senate finance chair and senior political science major, attended the meeting to explain the reasons he opposed the tuition increases. Cheshire said the way the proposal was shared was rushed and not transparent enough. Cheshire said the fact that the meeting was being held in Galveston rather than College Station suggested the Board of Regents attempting to deter resistance from students. “I just feel the way this was presented to the students was rather rushed and rather contrived,” Cheshire said. “I attended the meeting on Dec. 4 in the middle of dead week right before finals. I can tell you that there were only six students in attendance, you have three before you today 150 miles away. I just feel [this proposal] was a really important thing to know [about].” See Tuition on page 2

See Seahawks on page 4


ith the 48th edition of the Super Bowl looming, it’s hard to pay attention to anything in the sporting world minus the incredibly unprecedented sound bites of the Seattle Seahawks cornerback, Richard Sherman. Disregarding Sherman’s highly idiosyncratic style of answering interview questions, the Seahawks defense — along with Broncos offense — have become the focal point of this year’s Super Bowl,

and rightfully so. Both units lead the league in their respective categories. Over the last two seasons, the See 12th Man on page 3


Event tackles religious taboos I

n her interactive dialogue “Islamophobia — Exploring the boundaries of American tolerance,” Emily Sutcliffe, assistant director of the Toll Public Interest Center at University of Pennsylvania Law School, shared her experiences as an Islam convert and posed the question of whether or not tolerance of other people should be the goal of society. Though Sutcliffe said the term Islamaphobia tends to put an emphasis on the idea of Islam being a point of focus for fear and hatred, the focus of the discussion should be on negativity directed toward Muslims as individuals. “In actuality though, the focus should be on people and I think what we’re seeing in post 9/11 America is a fear or a dislike of Muslim people,” Sutcliffe said. Islamophobia has different connotations today, she said, than it did centuries ago when Islamaphobia was more widespread and manifested itself in different ways. “If we look way way back in the past to the errors of the Reconquista

Shelby Knowles — THE BATTALION

Emily Sutcliffe (podium) talks about her experiences as an Islam convert at the “Islamophobia” dialogue Thursday. in Spain, the Crusades, that was a time when governments and religious bodies had formal problems with the religion of Islam, with the Quran, with people converting to Islam, practicing Islam,” Sutcliffe said. “So that is a time I would say Islamophobia existed. I would say the phenomena that we’re talking about

mostly when we use the term Islamophobia in post 9/11 America is actually something that I would call anti-muslimism.” Homer Segovia, staff reporter For the full story, go to

w. basketball

A&M trounces Auburn, 71-54 Tyler Stafford

Michaels Thomas, a 44-year-old former University landscaper who was charged with terroristic threat for the campus bomb threat on Feb. 20, 2013, was sentenced to two years in prison this week after pleading no contest.

The Battalion


ehind senior center Karla Gilbert’s 16 points and eight rebounds, No. 17 Texas A&M (17-5, 7-1 SEC) defeated Auburn (11-10, 2-6 SEC) 71-54 on Thursday in Auburn, Ala. Gilbert, who added three blocks before fouling out of the game, moved into seventh place all-time for single season blocked shots at A&M with 42. She now has 128 blocks for her career. Auburn scored the first basket of the game, before A&M went on a 14-0 run. The Aggies trailed for just 59 seconds in the game. A&M took a 32-16 lead into halftime, holding Auburn to just 21.7 percent shooting (5-23) from the field. In five out of eight SEC games, the Aggies have held opponents to under 20 points in the first half. Sophomore guard Jordan Jones had a career-high six steals as well as six assists See Auburn on page 4

Bomb threatener gets 2 years

inside music | 2 February albums


A&M head coach Gary Blair helms a team that has won seven of eight SEC games.

Students anticipate February album releases from artists such as The Fray and Schoolboy Q.

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page 2 friday 1.31.2014





Broken Bells





Glitch Mob

Schoolboy Q

The Fray


“After the Disco”

“Love Death Immortality”



“Morning Phase”

“Broken Bells hasn’t released a new album in three or four years. I think this new one will be more promising because of the band realizing what works for them in order to put them on the map.”

“I expect the Glitch Mob’s new album to be more fast-paced than the last one, which was kind of slow. I want it to be a little quicker and flashier.”

“I’m excited for Schoolboy Q’s album because he collaborates with a lot of artists that I really like and I’m interested in seeing who he will work with in his new songs.”

“I’m expecting a newer style from The Fray, even more pop than before. Recently their music has been less direct, which will be geared toward a broader audience than what they used to have.”

“I think it’s interesting that Beck’s sound is always progressing. His performing is always changing, it’s cool that he’s always willing to try out new things. I hope his new album is more of the same.”

— Erin Hoelscher, sophomore telecommunications media studies major

— Keith White, water management and hydrological sciences graduate student

— Claire Adkison, sophomore bioenvironmental science major

— Matthew Igbinigie, junior kinesiology major

— Alice Fuller, sophomore agriculture, leadership and development major

David Cohen and William Guerra — THE BATTALION

Tuition Continued from page 1

Fernando Sosa, junior political science major, said there was a lack of transparency and of student opinion in the making of the guaranteed tuition and fee plan. “There hasn’t been any opinion from student government on this,” Sosa said. “The last time we met to discuss this issue was early last semester and all we were told was that administration had to come up with a plan that offered guaranteed tuition as an option for students and we didn’t find out until recently, I believe until this agenda that was published, that this was going to become mandatory for all students.” Phil Adams, chairman of the Board of Regents, said the meeting was called in Galveston at a time when this issue wasn’t being factored into the meeting place. As a sign of respect, a Board of Regents meeting is held on a branch campus each year. “Please know we didn’t call this meeting in Galveston because we were going to be taking this [matter] up,” Adams said. “I made the decision in the fall that we were going to have this meeting away from the A&M [College Station] campus. Of course we didn’t plan the meeting somewhere else because we knew we were going to be dealing with this issue.” Austin Luce, senior political science major, said as a student who pays for his own school, this increase will make it more difficult for students like him who take out loans or work to pay for their education at A&M. Finance chair of the Board of Regents, Charles Schwartz, said the board is aware of the hardships on students and that it worked to comply with

House Bill 29 and avoid overly burdening students. “We are very aware of the pressures and vice of tuition increases and their effect on those who are actually called upon to pay it,” Schwartz said. “I’m the finance chair and I’ve given this a lot of thought. I have thought long and hard about this very issue.” Cheshire said he knows under House Bill 29 that the option for a guaranteed tuition rate across four years must be offered, but he doesn’t think that has to be the only mandated option. Schwartz said since national and academic inflation is unpredictable, allowing options would also not be viable because the variable cost may be more than the guaranteed price for some years rather than less, as was the voiced assumption. Regent Jim Schwertner said offering two different payment plans and letting students opt in for which one they want would be highly unpredictable and the funds coming into the University would be near impossible to calculate. “It’s our job to make sure we have enough money to run this institution,” Schwertner said. “Predictability. It’s either got to be one way or the other, and the state says we must offer a guaranteed four-year plan.” Regent Anthony Buzbee said the University is simply trying to comply with state law and having options is not sensible. “We are between a rock and a hard place,” Buzbee said. “The vote that matters has already happened. We’ve been told [by the state] this must be done. We can’t make it optional because then we don’t know who will choose guaranteed and who will not and we frankly cannot run the numbers that way. We can’t operate that way.” Cheshire said he worries that with this plan being required of all students, Texas A&M might follow in the steps of The University of Texas at Dallas, which after enacting a guaranteed tuition

and fee plan is now one of the more expensive universities in the state. Vice chairman of the Board of Regents, Cliff Thomas, said the Board of Regents is the A&M students’ safeguard against that possibility and they try to financially protect students as best as they can. Cheshire said he worried that because Texas A&M is putting the consolidated fees into tuition rather than the University Advancement Fee that only 80 percent of the money will now go back into Texas A&M rather than 100 percent, since 20 percent of tuition fees are set aside for the Texas B-On-Time loan, a loan that goes out to students in financial need across a multitude of universities in Texas. Chancellor John Sharp said all the money has benefitted Texas A&M even if through the Texas B-On-Time loan. “Texas A&M has never gotten back less than 100 percent of what they have put in because our graduates tend to graduate on time and so we have not lost a penny, at least not in the last six years that that has been in effect,” Sharp said. In response to the voiced concerns, Buzbee said this issue was not taken lightly and that the board thinks this plan is best because it allows students to know how much their education will cost in their four years at Texas A&M. “You don’t know how long we’ve wrangled over this,” Buzbee said. “There have been board members here that have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours thinking about this. Understand the position we are in. We have to consolidate 7,200 fees into one fee essentially or back into tuition. Now why not tuition, because that gives the schools and the colleges more flexibility to use that money where they see fit to educate.”

corrections In an article published Thursday, The Battalion misstated the title of Andrew Card, former Chief of Staff for President George W. Bush. Card is no longer acting dean of the Bush School. 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

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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 of the Division of Student Affairs. Newsroom phone: 979-845-3315; E-mail:; website: 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 979-845-0569. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Email: 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.





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page 3 friday 1.31.2014


Regents approve $16m Bright facelift

12th Man Continued from page 1

Osa Okundaye — THE BATTALION

Seahawks have posted an impressive 15-1 home record with their rabid fan base — also known as the 12th Man — at their backs. This year’s road to the Super Bowl went through Seattle in the NFC, proving the importance and increasing the media attention of the Seahawks’ 12th Man. According to the licensing agreement between Texas A&M and the Seattle Seahawks organization, the Seahawks agreed to pay a lump sum of $100,000 — paid in two installments of $50,000 apiece — as well as a $5,000 annual royalty over five years in exchange for the rights to use the 12th Man brand. The agreement, which was initially signed in 2006, was renewed for an additional five years in 2011, and has since been renewed for an additional five years, which are scheduled to expire in 2016. There are many nooks and crannies to the agreement (which can be found online in full), but essentially, the University sold one of it’s long-standing and most recognizable traditions for minimal compensation. My question is why? It obviously wasn’t for the financial compensation, as the initial five-year profit for A&M was a mere $125,000. According to A&M officials, the licensing agreement was never about the money, rather about the


Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION

Seahawks organization acknowledging that we, Texas A&M, are the owners of the 12th Man mark. And if A&M were to fight it in court and the decision was made that the brand was generic, then Aggies would lose the ability to forbid others from using the brand. However, considering we are the owners, did we not reserve the right to deny Seattle’s request to use the slogan and remain the sole owner of the mark? If so, why didn’t we? Why were the students left out of the decision? I hear the argument that the publicity and attention is good for the University, but it’s not good publicity if people don’t know where it all started back on Jan. 22, 1922, when E. King Gill accepted the call to stand behind his team, just as our student body does to this day. At the beginning of Seahawks games when the “12” flag is raised (the agreement prohibits the flag from reading “12th Man”) and the 67,000-strong at Century Link Field lose their minds, the untrained eye sees the Seahawks 12th

Man, not the original. At the bottom of the Seahawks official website you can find a statement that reads: “The term 12th MAN is a trademark of Texas A&M University and its use is pursuant to a license agreement with the university” in fine print. But is a fine print statement sufficient credit? Not for me — not for this. I can’t speak for others, but I look at the nutritional facts on the back of my water bottle more than I read fine print. So how many nonAggies really know where the 12th Man comes from? I come from a long line of Aggies, and if there is one thing I know about this University, it is the commitment and passion for our traditions — traditions that set us apart and make us the unique institution that we are today. These traditions — including the 12th Man — are a representation of our student body, vowing to stand behind our team through thick and thin, and that’s something that cannot, and should not, have been sold.

exas A&M announced Thursday that it will add $16 million in renovations to the Bright Football Complex after the plan was approved by the Board of Regents at Thursday’s meeting in Galveston. The Aggies’ locker room, athletic training facilities, meeting rooms and coaches’ offices will all be upgraded. According to Texas A&M Athletics, the renovation will be funded entirely through gift funds from the 12th Man Foundation. Encompassing 48,600 gross square feet, the project includes new finishes, graphics, office space, furniture and the latest technology throughout the facility. A&M Athletics said construction is expected to begin as soon as possible, with an anticipated first-floor completion date of Fall 2014. The third floor, which primarily includes the coaches’ offices, is scheduled to be complete by Summer 2015. The Bright Complex renovations come in addition to the ongoing $450 million Kyle Field construction project. “The sincere commitment to excellence from everyone associated with Texas A&M is apparent,” said A&M director of athletics Eric Hyman in a statement. “This project will continue to help us recruit outstanding student-athletes, as well as provide a first-class experience for our current student-athletes and coaches.” Tyler Stafford, sports reporter



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friday 1.31.2014

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Seahawks Continued from page 1

12th Man mark resulted in a settlement and a licensing agreement that required the Seattle Seahawks pay both a lump sum of $100,000 to Texas A&M and an annual payment of $5,000 for each year the agreement is in effect. The agreement first expired in 2011 and was renewed for another five years, now set to expire in 2016. The licensing agreement states that the Seattle Seahawks cannot sell merchandise bearing the term 12th Man, use 12th Man in conjunction with the color maroon or any color of red derivatives or endorse any organization with 12th Man in its name. The Seahawks are not allowed to raise flags bearing the term 12th Man, but may continue raising flags with the number 12 and make other promotional uses of flags bearing a 12. Both parties are engaged in talks over renewing the contract in 2016. Senior associate athletics director for external affairs, Jason Cook, said the strength of the licensing agreement comes not from the money received, but from the ownership that was established. “Our licensing agreement has never been about the money,” Cook said. “The 12th Man mark is priceless to us and it’s also priceless to the


Seahawks as well. Texas A&M is the owner of the 12th Man mark, it is where the tradition originated and by licensing that mark from us, Seattle is saying, ‘Yes, Texas A&M is the owner of the 12th Man.’” While the Seahawks’ 12th Man continues to benefit from Super Bowl media coverage, interim vice president of marketing and communications, Shane Hinckley, said there is a marketing plan in place to ensure that the 12th Man is always identified with Texas A&M. “Part of that is with our SEC contract and our ability to reach 12 million viewers or more on an annual basis on the SEC and TV,” Hinckley said. “Promoting our brand when we broadcast our games is part of that strategy and it’s worked pretty well so far. We’ve been able to increase our national footprint.” Social media plays a part in this nationwide promotion, illustrated by the creation of the hashtag #12thMan during the transition to the SEC. The licensing agreement was used to establish that this hashtag may be used by Seattle Seahawks players, but not by coaches or other staff. “They cannot use that from an official organizational standpoint, so you won’t see Pete Carroll or any of the official Seahawks social media channels using #12thMan because social media is outside the geographic boundaries

Auburn Continued from page 1

before leaving the game after receiving a technical foul for arguing. Sophomore forward Courtney Williams is averaging 15.3 points per game. Williams’ 17 points led both teams and marks the fifth straight game she has scored 13 points or more. For the seventh game in a row, sophomore guard Courtney Walker reached double fig-

of our licensing agreement,” Cook said. Junior management information systems major, Jorge Aguero, said he does not have a problem with the Seahawks being allowed to use “12th Man,” but the mark should not become a common feature of NFL teams. “Being an A&M student, I think it’s very dear to us,” Aguero said. “It’s good that we keep ownership of it and if we’re getting paid for it, but we don’t want to just let anybody use it. I just hope that people don’t lose sight of what’s important — that it’s our name and that no amount of money can take it away from us.” As talks to extend the agreement with the Seahawks continue, Hinckley said Texas A&M will continue working to make sure the 12th Man mark will always belong to the University. “The 12th Man brand is invaluable to Texas A&M,” Hinckley said. “Our focus is not to lose ownership of the mark under our watch and our goal is to protect it forever and we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that happens. Sometimes that strategy will be to enter into licensing agreements and other times that strategy will be to take legal action against people, so each situation will be looked at and weighed upon its value to protecting the brand.”

ures, scoring 13 points. A&M outscored Auburn 46-26 in the paint, helped by Achiri Ade’s team-leading 10 rebounds. Overall, the Aggies pulled down 41 boards. The Aggies have won all four of their SEC games on the road and remain in first place in the conference. A&M travels to take on No. 16 Vanderbilt (16-4, 5-2 SEC) at 1 p.m. Sunday in Nashville, Tenn.

1/30/14 9:41 PM

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