october 3, 2013
texas a&m since 1893
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thebattalion Silent reminder Silhouettes showcase victims for domestic violence awareness Lindsey Gawlik The Battalion
Bryan Johnson — THE BATTALION
en silent witnesses stand poised in the entrance of West Campus Library. Each red silhouette has one thing in common — they represent local victims of domestic violence. These silhouettes are a part of the Silent Witness Project, an exhibit at Texas A&M University that strives to increase awareness and education about violent relationships. Each silhouette has a golden shield that tells the stories of victims. Nine of these victims were women killed by former partners and the remaining victim was a man who died trying to protect his sister who was also murdered. The Silent Witness Project is presented by the Texas A&M Women’s Resource Center and is a part of the Silent Witness National Initiative. The goal of the initiative and of the project is to eliminate domestic
The silhouettes of the Silent Witness project stand throughout the lobby of West Campus Library on Wednesday afternoon.
See Silent witness on page 5
I really hope that [the project] raises awareness about the reality that relationship violence is prevalent in some relationships of our college students and that it helps people in violent relationships realize where relationships like this will go.” — Heather Wheeler, program coordinator of the Women’s Resource Center
Sound and rhythm of Hispanic heritage
Shelby Knowles — THE BATTALION
Jade Bedell — THE BATTALION
Poet Mayda del Valle recites her poems for Hispanic Heritage Month in the MSC on Wednesday night.
Jennifer Reiley The Battalion
ispanic Heritage Month is halfway over, but energy was high at Wednesday’s Hispanic Heritage Month poetry event. The event was hosted by the MSC Committee for the Awareness of Mexican-American Culture (CAMAC) and featured headliner Mayda Del Valle, a poet from Chicago, and local poet James Church. Del Valle’s performance to an almost full house in the Gates Ballroom
included both poems and personal stories from her childhood in Chicago and her life in recent years. To open the show, Del Valle said she encouraged reactions from the audience. “There’s no fourth wall here,” De Valle said in her opening speech. “Participation is not only requested and appreciated, it’s required. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it and laugh sometimes. If not, that’s okay because I still get a check.”
(From left) Junior psychology major Reena Kankaria, freshman Blinn Team student Mark Westfall and freshman international studies major W. Lander of the Student Government Association listen for their names to be called so the session can commence Wednesday.
n Wednesday night’s general meeting, Student Senate passed two bills, including the annual allocation bill. A majority voted to keep $5,000 of the $50,000 SGA budget reserved for emergency projects during the year. The Big Event committee received the largest allocation, totaling $11,357. The “Let the 12th Man Eat Bill,” which requests the ability to use dining dollars at Kyle Field concessions was also passed. Travis Walters, senior biomedical sciences major and bill author, said the use of dining dollars in the stadium is a reasonable request as it could bring higher profits to concessions. A bill that advocated for an American flag
Alexandra Slaughter, lifestyles writer, sits down with mathematics professor Rosanna Pearlstein THE BATTALION: What was your first day like in U.S.? Pearlstein: When I arrived at the airport at Boston, I got on the bus and at first I thought I was in the wrong place. There were no big buildings in Amherst [College] like what was on TV. I was expecting something different, but in a good way. I was amazed by the colors in the fall and the snow. [I grew up] in Southern Italy, which isn’t as hot as here, but you only see snow far away on the mountains.
For the full story, go online at thebatt.com
Q&A: Every time I walked outside, I remembered I was in Texas. I think that people are friendlier here. I also like the fact that I can go for a walk outside and not always have to put overcoats on.
opinion | 3 Miley’s got nerve
THE BATTALION: What was the biggest cultural shock?
Pearlstein: I wouldn’t say cultural shock. One thing that I am curious about is the fences in front of all the houses. In Michigan and other places I have lived, they haven’t had fences. Sometimes it gives me a THE BATTALION: What was it like hard time to distinguish where when you first got to Texas? I am.” Pearlstein: I spent all of August in survival mode with the heat.
Annabelle Hutchinson, city writer
See Poetry on page 4
PROFESSOR SUMS IT UP Mathematician shares stories of travel and family
to be placed in every campus classroom for the recital of the pledge of allegiance during the first class period of the day was introduced and sent to committee to be voted on at a later meeting. A bill to keep Evan’s Library open until 2 a.m. on Monday through Thursday nights and a bill that would enable SGA to purchase and place scantron vending machines in the Wehner and Harrington buildings were also introduced. The “Maintaining Traditions Resolution,” which stands against the creation of a separate wildcat for graduate students, was postponed for a vote until the next meeting.
Mackenzie Mullis reflects on Miley Cyrus’ latest antics and public persona as her new album releases on Friday.
lgbt | 2 A month of celebration Jonathan Sheen — THE BATTALION
Rosanna Pearlstein is a mathematics professor at See Pearlstein on page 2 A&M and is originally from Italy.
Campus GLBT community gears up for Coming Out Week and LGBT History Month.
10/2/13 10:41 PM
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page 2 thursday 10.3.2013
lgbt history month
Gay history commemoration begins
Remembrance of past struggles can galvanize present, organizers say Bradley D’Sousa The Battalion
ctober marks the start of LGBT History Month, an appreciation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history as well as the history behind the gay rights movement. In observance of LGBT History Month, the Texas A&M GLBT Resource Center and other organizations are hosting various events as part of Coming Out Week, which starts Oct. 10. Jude Magaro, vice president of Shades of Queer, said the importance of LGBT History Month lies in remembering the struggles of those who came before. “Like any other history month, LGBT history month serves to remind us where we come from,” Magaro said. “The LGBT movement is an equal rights movement. There are still areas in society where we are fighting for our equality and equal treatment. It’s important for future generations to remember just how far we’ve come and why this movement
It’s important for future generations to remember just how far we’ve come and why this movement looks the way it does.” — Jude Magaro, Shades of Queer vice president looks today the way it does.” Among the events, “The Coming Out Monologues” will he held Oct. 11 on Coming Out Day, which is dedicated to encouraging honest living in regards to gender identity and sexual orientation. “The Coming Out Monologues,” which is held in the ILSB Auditorium, will feature experiences of A&M students and faculty who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Sidney Gardner, program coordinator of the GLBT Resource Center, said Coming Out Day is meant to inspire people to be comfortable with their identity. “It’s a day to celebrate LGBT people and encourage people to come out on
whatever level feels right,” Gardner said. Nick Harris said the importance of Coming Out Day lies in understanding the difficult process of coming to terms with one’s identity. “The important thing is awareness,” Harris said. “The coming out process is different for everyone. There is a great change that people who are coming out are going through.” Magaro said campus support is key to achieving the goal of Coming Out Week. “I would like to give an invitation to everyone, especially our allies in the community campus-wide to our coming out week event,” Magaro said. “We need support from everyone. Come out and show your support, at the same time you might learn something as well. Kye Allums, the first openly transgender person to play NCAA Division I athletics, will stop in Oct. 10 at the ILSB Auditorium on his “Transition Tour.” The tour and his speech will revolve around educating faculty, students and studentathletes about transgender identity issues, with the ultimate goal of forming a more positive campus climate for all.
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Jonathon Sheen — THE BATTALION
week-in-reviews, quizzes or tests. The rest of the day I spend with my family.
Continued from page 1
THE BATTALION: Where did you meet your husband?
THE BATTALION: What is your favorite part of A&M? pearlstein: I think teaching. I guess I am always happy when I am trying to explain something difficult to a student and breaking it down so they can understand it. THE BATTALION: Where was your favorite place to live? pearlstein: When all is said and done, Italy. It was great. Compared to the United States, it is a little more laid back. My favorite parts were the family gettogethers and the big family dinners. THE BATTALION: What is one thing you want students to know? pearlstein: I would say that I just like teaching and their success. To some extent, their success is my success. As far as academics, I tell them do as many homework problems as you can. THE BATTALION: Where else have you lived? pearlstein: Besides Texas and Italy — Massachusetts, California, New Jersey, North Carolina and Michigan. All for teaching.
thebattalion The IndependenT STudenT VoIce of TexaS a&M SInce 1893
Jake Walker, Editor in Chief 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: 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 979-845-0569. 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.
THE BATTALION: How would your daughters describe you? pearlstein: Sometimes they describe me as extremely annoying, especially when they are watching TV and I tell them they should be doing their homework. I think they both have a rebellious streak. I don’t predict they will follow since both their parents are mathematicians.
pearlstein: University of Massachusetts. I remember one time I was trying to send emails to friends and professors in Italy. The computer was betraying me, the email wouldn’t work. I had written long letters and put my heart into them and the email would lose them. One day, he came in the computer room and saw me having trouble and he told me, “Why don’t you save your letters in a folder?” THE BATTALION: Why did you want to attend college in America? pearlstein: I was 22, I had the whole idea of the American dream. It was a little bit of an infatuation with the United States. THE BATTALION: Did you have any problems with communication? pearlstein: One thing that happened to me was when I went to the secretary in the mathematics department. I guess my English was really broken. I wanted to ask where my mailbox was so I told her and my name. She looked at me like I was scared and asked me if I was sure about my name. THE BATTALION: Do you have any embarrassing stories? pearlstein: One day I went home after work. I was talking to my daughter. She was in about fourth or fifth grade. I was teaching an algebra class at the time and I was telling my daughter about “reminders.” I kept saying it and my daughter told me, “Mom, don’t you realize what you are doing?” I meant “remainder,” not reminder. She still reminds me of this to this day.
THE BATTALION: What is a typical day for you? pearlstein: It is a lot of time spent taking care of my classes. Whether it is answering students’ questions,
10/2/13 10:19 PM
She’s not a (total) wreck Mackenzie Mullis: Miley Cyrus demands attention, and we give it to her
iley Cyrus is releasing her new album “Bangerz” on Friday and I can’t help but wonder, are people going to listen to her songs because of all the ridiculous antics or because there is genuine interest and excitement for her music?
William Guerra — THE BATTALION
People are all over the board when it comes to Miley. Love her or hate her — you can’t deny she is everywhere. She has been famous since she first started on “Hannah Montana” and that fame only continues to grow. Remember when her shows were sold out by millions of little girls all screaming their lungs out while their poor parents stood angrily by, ears bleeding as they were forced to listen to and watch “Throwdown” performed? After her stunt on the VMAs — met with shock and awe and some disgust — she skyrocketed into a new realm of fame. Now, a different crowd is gathering and parents are sliding their hands over their children’s eyes, shielding them from the Miley “freak show.” Many critics claim she is crying for attention, screaming out that she is now a grow-up and an adult, because everyone knows that adulthood is comprised of naked rides on construction equipment. The truth is, Miley knows exactly what she is doing. The VMA performance was not spur of the moment performance, but one that was calculated and planned for some time. Just like Lady Gaga, Miley knows that the more absurd and outrageous her presentation, the more attention she will gain. Fame is the goal when you are a young pop singer, even if that fame brings more people laughing behind your back than fans. What frustrates me about Miley is that she actually is a talented singer. You can still catch glimpses of her country drawl and her unique, raspy voice. Mind you, I am not one to listen to pop music, but you can find videos of her singing on YouTube that are surprisingly good. Really, check them out — she does a decent cover of Dolly Par-
ton’s “Jolene.” Unfortunately, her talent is masked by her need for the spotlight. Granted, if she didn’t act out in the way she has, would she be talked about in homes all across the globe? Doubtful. And her voice would probably be lost in a sea of singers, if we’re being honest. All that crazy isn’t so crazy — it’s just a part of her strategy. So what does all this say about stardom and celebrity? In order to be famous, do people have to throw dignity out the window, shave their heads and stick out their remarkably long tongues? Seriously, her tongue is so long. It’s like a chameleon. Her transformation for “Bangerz” shows her desperation to strip off the layers of Hannah and Disney and emerge as something edgy and sexy. Through the process, she is stirring up controversy, losing old fans and acquiring some new ones. The album definitely doesn’t sound like any of her old stuff, but maybe that’s what the people are demanding. The funny thing about all of this is she isn’t original. Everyone is talking about her public persona like this is something new and innovative, but all celebrities know that if they want some instant fame, they only need to act like a crazy person. This doesn’t mean they’ll be taken seriously or treated like a real artist. I don’t know what to think about Miley. On one hand, I am sad to see someone change so much to be famous when maybe her singing talent could get her there. On the other hand, if I talk about how depressing it is to see her transformation into trashy, then I would have to say that about a lot of other teenagers growing up. Unfortunately for her, her childhood has been lived in front of everyone. I bet if we looked into homes across the world, we would probably find a lot of Miley Cyruses.
Mackenzie Mullis is a senior English major and lifestyles editor for The Battalion
What is your reaction to Miley Cyrus and her upcoming album?
“I don’t think she’s a good role model, but she’s doing business.” Mariangelly Martinez, sophomore allied health major
“I think she is fantastic. I know everyone picks on her. But she is crazy and I like it. She doesn’t care what people think.” Julia Brewer, freshman business administration major
“I’m glad she did it because now Liam [Hemsworth] is available for me.” Melanie Garza, sophomore agriculture leadership and development major Shelby Knowles — THE BATTALION
10/2/13 8:41 PM
page 4 thursday 10.3.2013
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Mayda Del Valle, a poet from Chicago, headlined a poetry reading Wednesday as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.
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Del Valle’s poems covered subjects such as falling in and out of love, funny stories about the debate of Mexican Spanish and Puerto Rican Spanish and watching her mom cook. Each poem was accompanied by a story — many of them lighthearted, some serious. Del Valle ended her 45-minute reading by performing the same poem that she delivered at the White House in 2009. Del Valle said her poems meant more than just the words themselves. One about her grandmother, she said, was an acknowledgement to all the women who had made sacrifices to make life on Earth possible. “It’s not just a poem to me,” Del Valle said. “I’m calling something to fill these empty seats. We do not walk alone.” After her poems, there was a question-andanswer session in which people in the audience asked Del Valle questions about her poems and her life. Members of CAMAC said several factors made the event exciting. Barbara Mora, chair of CAMAC, said the event was a fresh and unique opportunity for CAMAC and for the Hispanic Heritage
Month at Texas A&M. “It’s not something that’s really been done before for Hispanic Heritage Month,” Mora said. “I’m excited about it because it’s so unique.” In addition to Del Valle’s presence being a positive for Hispanic Heritage Month and CAMAC, Church said the presence of Del Valle, a world famous poet, on campus speaks to a new attitude at the University. “It shows that A&M is open to getting quality writers to share their works with the student body,” Church said. “And it’s about time.” Magda Ortiz, head of CAMAC Cultural Programs, introduced Del Valle and mentioned some of the poet’s accomplishments. Del Valle appeared on six episodes of the HBO “Def Poetry Jam” and was a contributing writer and original cast member of the Tony Award-winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. She was one of the top-20 women on Oprah Winfrey’s 2013 “O Power List.” Mora said the event, featuring poetry and the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, appealed to a wide audience. “Mayda has performed for the president which shows she has a high standard,” Mora said. “We can spread the word of Hispanic Heritage Month even better this way.”
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Jade Bedell — THE BATTALION
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page 5 thursday 10.3.2013
CARPOOL brings Halloween early
Monster Mash fundraiser to strengthen community ties, group says Homer Segovia The Battalion
alloween will make an early appearance Sunday when CARPOOL hosts its annual fall fundraiser, “DRIVEN: Monster Mash 5K and Fun Run.” The event will take place at 11 a.m. at Kleburg Plaza, and attendees are encouraged to dress up, bring their pets, get their faces painted and trick or treat at CARPOOL’s largest fall fundraiser. The fun run will also feature a 1K route for younger kids. Jake Ingle, director of fundraising for CARPOOL, said people join the costumed 5K because it is a fun event and it raises money to support the organization that serves students with free rides home every weekend. “CARPOOL is a service here at Texas A&M that relies almost entirely on donations from Texas A&M, local businesses, alumni, SGA, MSC and also money we make through fundraisers such as this,” Ingle said. “By coming out and supporting CARPOOL by running, you are helping to ensure that current students, future students and anybody else that chooses to utilize CARPOOL will have this service available to them.” Ingle said he expects to see the ties Texas
A&M and CARPOOL have with Bryan-College Station strengthened at this fun run designed for families and students. “This is a community event, and as such we expect to see a large number of students interacting with members of the community, thus strengthening Texas A&M and CARPOOL’s ties to College Station and Bryan,” Ingle said. Senior biomedical sciences major and CARPOOL member, Kathryn Ganter, said because the fun run is held in early October, it gives people a reason to start getting excited about costumes and trick or treating in a fun way. “Last year we had people dressed up like Braveheart, a lady with a hotdog outfit for her dachshund and a guy that ran the whole thing in a gorilla suit,” Ganter said. Senior mathematics major Adrian Heredia said he joined CARPOOL both for the fun it provides and because of friends who died in alcohol related accidents. Heredia said he looks forward to garnering support for CARPOOL in a lighthearted way. “The real reason we’re here is to promote awareness so we can prevent accidents from occurring,” Heredia said.
Bryan Johnson — THE BATTALION
Junior biomedical science majors Lorenda Mendez (right) and Elizabeth Bierman read the inscription on a silhouette Wednesday in the Silent Witness exhibit in West Campus Library.
Silent witness Continued from page 1
murders in the United States by the year 2020. Heather Wheeler, program coordinator of the Women’s Resource Center, said four of the silhouettes were Aggies who were killed after 2002. “[The project] got started at A&M in 2004 when the Women’s Resource Center and another local Women’s Resource Center really felt the need to have this type of traveling memorial to remind students of the dangers of being in an unhealthy relationship,” Wheeler said. Wheeler said she hopes the project will raise awareness around the campus and empower students. “I really hope that [the project] raises awareness about the reality that relationship violence is prevalent in some relationships of our college students and that it helps people in violent relationships realize where relationships like this will go,” Wheeler said. “Also, students that know people in such a relationship will hopefully be empowered to try and help their friends.” Students who were looking at the silhouettes said they found it startling. “I was completely shocked,” said Lindsey Dodgen, junior agriculture economics major. “I didn’t expect [domestic violence happened] to kids at such a young age. People always have that attitude of ‘Oh it won’t happen to me, it doesn’t happen here,’ but [the project] opens your eyes that it can.” Senior accounting major Alex Gutierrez said he was also surprised by the project. “It was really shocking.” Guiterrez said. “It made you realize things like [domestic violence] don’t just happen in movies, it happens in real life. It can happen in our University, in our area, in our city.”
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