thebattalion l tuesday,
october 15, 2013
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National champion adventure racers advocate for sport Mackenzie Mullis The Battalion
hirty hours of intensive running, mountain biking and canoeing through the wilderness with only a topographical map and a compass as a guide — this is what the newly formed Texas A&M adventure racing team lives for. Started this August, the organization already has a national championship to its name. Jason Fenton, senior rangeland ecology and management major and captain of the adventure racing team, led his team of three to victory on Oct. 5 in the collegiate heat of the United States Adventure Racing Association national championship in Nashville, Ind., competing against 55 teams. “The national championship race was 30 hours,” Fenton said. “They give you the easting and the northing points for 36 points. Then you have this topographic map, this massive See Adventure racing on page 2
Jenna Rabel — THE BATTALION
I mean, the race is tough, and it is not even necessarily that fun because it is so difficult, but it is just that grueling aspect and that love of adventure and perseverance and hard work in competition that I like.”
Jason Fenton (from left), Scott Bixler and James Meersman form the Texas A&M adventure racing team.
— Scott Bixler, senior biomedical engineering major
Floods put Blocker, YMCA classrooms out of commission Samantha Latta The Battalion
he aftermath of Sunday’s powerful storm left its mark with water damage that has put several classrooms out of commission. The YMCA and Blocker Building each took a hit from the flooding, leading to the cancellation of classes. Due to the architectural structure of these buildings and the amount of rain that hit Bryan-College Station over the weekend, flooding damage was nearly inevitable. “We have had several issues over the last couple of years,” said Andy Armstrong, director of advising for the College of Liberal Arts. “The way the building is angled, the north side of Blocker gets hit the worst, and the YMCA [Building] has a ramp leading to the bottom that has caused a lot of water build up.” In the YMCA Building, Armstrong said the flood affected three classrooms and one computer lab, and efforts are currently being made in order to recuperate from the storm’s damage. “The YMCA Building is expected to be out of commission throughout Tuesday,” Armstrong said. “They have several fans going on in each room and are using de-humidifiers to try to get rid of the musty smell.” Armstrong said SERVPRO, the company working on the restoration in Blocker, has asked for full access to the first floor all day on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Due to these requests, classes in the first floor of the building will be cancelled Tuesday and potentially Wednesday. Blocker is expected to be reopened Thursday. Custodial supervisor Francisca Martinez said much of the car-
pet in the Blocker building classrooms was damaged, and the elevators were also damaged by the water. “Since I’ve been here, this is the worst rain damage I’ve ever seen [on campus],” Martinez said. Rachel Kaplan, freshman general studies major, said while she will enjoy the break from her political science class in Blocker, the heavy catching up her class will have to do when it resumes will be an inconvenience. “With the way my schedule conflicts with the cancellations in Blocker, I’ll only be attending class once this week,” Kaplan said. “I didn’t realize how badly the storm affected our campus.”
Photos by Jenna Rabel — THE BATTALION
Many classes are cancelled after the flooding in the Blocker Building due to the weekend storm. Drying tubes and fans have been set up through the hallways and classrooms in order to dry the interior.
Churchill’s granddaughter to come to A&M Jennifer Reiley The Battalion
ir Winston Churchill — soldier, historian, writer, politician — is considered by many to be one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century. His granddaughter, Celia Sandys, will visit A&M on Oct. 25 to share her story of life with her grandfather. Sandys has published five books on the former British prime minister’s life and leadership in the 20th century. The event will be held at 10:30 a.m. in Rudder Auditorium and sponsored by the Texas A&M University Press. Charles Backus, press director for the Texas A&M University Press, said the event is coming to A&M because University Press is reprinting paperback editions of two of Sandys’ books that have been out of print. See Churchill on page 5
Celia Sandys, who is featured in the above photo next to her grandfather Winston Churchill, will speak at A&M about life with the former prime minister.
50 years of inclusion
Bonnie Bishop, daughter of A&M icon, to perform Grammy winner to hold concert Thursday Allison Rubenak
n 1963, women gained admittance to Texas A&M. In honor of the 50 years of inclusion, the Women’s Former Student Network will hold a leadership conference on Thursday, which will conclude with a concert at 8 p.m. in Rudder Theatre. The performance will feature Grammy win-
ner Bonnie Bishop and her band, “The Modern Day Prophets.” Bishop is the stepdaughter of Jackie Sherrill, former A&M athletic director and head football coach. Bishop said because she spent time at the University and connected with some of the football players when she was younger, she has always loved Texas A&M football and the University itself. “I’m all about empowering women to do their best,” Bishop said. “I think being a part of an event where we are celebrating the woman’s journey to be a part of education and be a part
of a great university like A&M just sounded like something I really wanted to be a part of.” After touring with her band from 2002 to 2008 throughout Texas, Bishop took a solo break and took a music-writing gig in Nashville, Tenn. Bishop said she began to get back with the band after she released her most recent album in the spring. “That’s what I love to do more than anything — play with the band,” Bishop said. “I’m pumped that we are getting to do this around See Bishop on page 5
Student injured in motorcycle accident Sophomore University Studies major Caleb Tate suffered incapacitating injuries after a collision at Texas Ave and SW Parkway E that stopped traffic Monday afternoon. According to a College Station police report, the collision occurred between a southbound Chrysler Sebring convertible with two passengers on board and Tate who was northbound on motorcycle. According to the same report, witnesses said the Sebring turned directly in front of the motorcycle, causing the motorcycle to hit the Sebring and throwing Tate from the motorcycle.
inside music | 4 A cappella offscreen An all-female a capella group, discuss the way popular culture have launched their popularity on campus.
music | 6 Battle of the Bands Five bands made partly of A&M students will compete Friday in the Battle of the Bands.
opinion | 3 Drowned dignity In true college student fashion, Jessica Smarr makes bad life choices and dunks her ring.
10/14/13 10:52 PM
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to todays puzzles “I always ask myself, ‘Should I study harder or just stick to what I’ve been doing?’ But from what I’ve seen I’m like, ‘Yeah, Tabatha, give a little more push to it so that I can get to the level I want.’”
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“I just need to manage my time a little better. But I didn’t do too badly. I’ve been doing this for three years now, so I kind of know what I’m doing.”
“I need to prioritize and study more ahead instead of waiting until a few days before. I’m also trying different ways to study. Flashcards are super helpful.”
David Hersh, senior chemistry major
Chandler Due, sophomore allied health major
“I started changing my study habits by going to populated places like the MSC instead of staying in my dorm where I would tend to procrastinate.”
“I will probably pretty much keep doing what I’m doing. Some of my classes that are history-based could use some more work.” Marissa Swenk, sophomore Blinn Team student
“That’s just reading the textbooks, reading the notes, looking through everything before the tests and making sure I have a good night’s sleep.” Trevor Geisler, senior computer science major
Marisa Fuentes, freshman general studies major
Photo feature by Bryan Johnson — THE BATTALION
Adventure racing Continued from page 1
thing, and we’ll plot all these points — hopefully they’re right because after you plot them you have to go find them.” The three members didn’t prepare much for nationals because it was a spurof-the-moment decision, said Scott Bixler, senior biomedical engineering major and adventure racer. “We had just gotten off of a backpacking trip together in Colorado,” Bixler said. “On our trip to Colorado, we used a topographical map, so that was pretty good training and built the teamwork and communication skills necessary [for the race].” Along with the topographic map, learning coordinates and how to read a compass is vital for navigating an adventure racing course. “The way we go about it now, basically for outdoor training, the biggest thing is the compass,” said James Meersman, accounting graduate student. “It is kind of similar to the physical training, that’s the most important part.” Each section of the course is categorized, Fenton said. Every race consists of a mountain biking section, a canoeing section and a trail run or hike. “The three things you do are mountain biking, and then hiking on foot or trail running — whatever you want to do — and then canoeing,” Fenton said. “You have to be with your team, you can’t just go do your own thing and then meet back up.” The race requires stamina, endurance and a love of adventure that Fenton, Bix-
ler and Meersman said they all possess. “I have always been an outdoor enthusiast and an adventure junkie, so to speak,” Bixler said. “The same thing with Jason [Fenton] and James [Meersman]. James [Meersman] does Ironmans and triathlons and Jason [Fenton] is also kind of into that stuff.” For nationals, each participant had to bring his or her own gear — mountain bikes, food and water — in order to compete. Theoretically, if every point plotted on the map is reached, the race is 100 miles of backwoods trekking. With no sleep, the racers were working against the elements and the clock. “Whoever has the most points wins,” Fenton said. “For every minute you finish over the 30-hour cutoff, they remove a point. Obviously, if you get lost or you are in the dark, it takes longer. If you are slow but you get all your points it is better than if you are fast and get burnt out. It is more of an endurance kind of thing.” The mentality required for an adventure racer meshes a love of competition and adventure, Bixler said. “I have done a lot of extensive backpacking and wilderness trips in the United States and so we found out about this opportunity and happened to have a really good contact, so they wanted us to come race to promote the sport more and spread it into the college realm,” Bixler said. After winning their division, the team members said they were exhausted but excited about their success. “There were teams that didn’t even finish, so we felt really good about being able to get up there,” Fenton said. “It
was our first time at nationals and no one died.” Fenton said he is trying to gain attention on campus by promoting adventure racing. “We are not a club, because it takes two years to become a club, but we are an official organization gearing up toward being a club,” Fenton said. The United States Adventure Racing Association is based in Austin, but Fenton said it is still under the radar, especially in College Station. “No one really knows about adventure racing in Texas,” Fenton said. “We want more people to get involved for next year.” Meersman said the most challenging aspect of self-promotion the team has faced is competing with multiple clubs that focus on triathletes and trail runners. The organization is open to anyone interested in outdoor sports and the team hopes to gain men and women interested in competing. Although the race and the competition are important, Bixler said what he loves most about adventure racing is being out in nature, pushed to his limits. “My favorite part is mixing the aspect of nature and getting down to the natural element and meshing that with pure perseverance and that dig-deep kind of mentality you have to have,” Bixler said. “I mean, the race is tough, and it is not even necessarily that fun because it is so difficult, but it is just that grueling aspect and that love of adventure and perseverance and hard work in competition that I like.”
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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.
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thebattalion 10.15.2013 page3
Drowned Dignity Jessica Smarr: The beer’s gone, but the pitcher is full of shame
here are, at the very least, two incredibly stupid people in the world.
The first one is that guy who looked around at his buddies after receiving his Aggie ring and said, “You know what I want to do with this symbol of academic achievement? I want to put it in a giant pitcher of beer, chug it and vomit all over a smelly ol’ bathroom stall.” Do you know what I said to that? I said, “Oh, that sounds like a lovely idea! How charming! How delightful!” Which makes me the second stupid person. To be fair to the first nameless idiot, I’m probably the dumbest member of this pair. There’s a rumor floating around that ring dunks actually originated when soldiers would dunk their medals in beer, a tradition that would transition well to a campus with a strong military and alcohol presence. I can bet you most of these soldiers probably weighed more than 115 pounds and could reach the top shelf of their kitchen cabinets without having to stand on their tiptoes. Chugging five beers may be a big deal for a strapping young lad, but it’s a guaranteed puke fest for a girl who sometimes has a hard time getting automatic doors to
register her presence. As I was spewing my dignity into the thick grass between gulps of beer, I had a miserable, undignified realization. Even after I have had an adequate amount of time to process my actions, it still stands true — I am a disappointment to my parents. Some will say I did it all for the love of tradition, but it’s time for me to come clean about that. I’ve already told you how much I weigh, so I’m going to let you in on another secret — if there was a club for twopercenters, I would be president. That is, of course, if I actually cared enough to show up to meetings. I have never put a penny on Sully and I feel like a dirty hippie fraud every time I try to start one of those extra peppy emails with “Howdy!” I have accepted that I will never be able to get “Chig-gar-roo-gar-rem” out correctly. I honestly don’t even remember the last time I sang the War Hymn. So why did I decide the one tradition worth upholding was the one that involved upchucking? In case you haven’t gathered, I threw up quite a bit. And if you think it had to be the peer
Thanks to the Corps!
On behalf of the Texas A&M soccer team, we would like to give a special thank you to all the members of the Corps of Cadets that were an integral part in our victory against Arkansas last Friday night. Thank y’all so very much, especially for staying to the very end and showing what it truly means to be the Home of the 12th Man. It is Aggies like these who make playing in Aggieland on a Friday night one of a kind. Again, thank you.
EDITOR’SNOTE The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants in this paper do not necessarily reflect those of Texas A&M University, The Battalion or its staff.
Make your opinion known by submitting Mail Call or guest columns to The Battalion. Mail call must be fewer than 200 words and include the author’s name, classification, major and phone number. Staff and faculty must include title. Guest columns must be fewer than 500 words. All submissions should focus on issues not personalities, become property of The Battalion and are subject to editing for style, clarity and space concerns. Anonymous letters will be read, but not printed. The Battalion will print only one letter per author per month. No mail call will appear in The Battalion’s print or online editions before it is verified. Direct all correspondence to: Editor in chief of The Battalion (979) 845-3315 | firstname.lastname@example.org
pressure that set me guzzling and gagging, you can just stop right there. I am physically incapable of jumping on bandwagons. I think it is because I am so uncoordinated. According to the University’s Alcohol and Drug Education Program, if someone of my size would have kept that alcohol down, their coordination and judgment would have been somewhere between “very impaired” and “extremely impaired.” This is not okay, considering my natural sober state lies somewhere between “plain old regular impaired” and “that’s right, she fell down both flights of stairs.” Put a pitcher of beer in me and I’m lying somewhere above the “newly hatched turtle who is missing a leg and a half” line. I purposely risked discomfort and alcohol poisoning and awkward Monday-morning eye contact. Why? Does the tradition really have a hold on me, or I have truly become
one of those after-school special tragedies? What possessed me to make that fateful decision, I’ll never know. Of course, maybe my life choices weren’t the problem. It could just be the execution I’m truly ashamed of. After all, it took me a solid 12 minutes of pain and agony to finish that pitcher of beer. It’s one thing to be ashamed of doing something stupid. It’s another thing entirely to do that stupid thing poorly. I just hope I can live with myself. Jessica Smarr is a senior psychology major and copy chief.
Letter to the editor: From Rachel Lenz, Shea Groom, Meghan Streight — A&M soccer captains
William Guerra — THE BATTALION
Guest Column: Grad students want a wildcat too
he question has come up recently about changing traditions on campus. Traditions are near and dear to the identity of Texas A&M, and found in the heart of every Aggie.
As the University has included non-regs, blacks and women and has grown from a small agricultural and mechanical school to a campus of 53,000 students, our traditions have morphed to keep pace with the growth of the University. One example is the development of yells and wildcats. Many believe that the class wildcats were created in the same period that the yell leader tradition came into being. However, distinct wildcats for each class are relatively new — no more than 50 years old. As can be seen in historical photos at Cushing Memorial Library and as corroborated by former yell leader Hayes Stripling ’46, every student, regardless of academic classification, performed the same wildcat, similar to today’s freshman wildcat, until at
least the early 1960s. Perhaps most shocking to current students is the fact, corroborated by yell leader Ted Lowe ’58, that the whoop did not enter the official Aggie lexicon until the 1960s. Without a “whoop,” you simply cannot have the junior and senior wildcats of today. In fact, separate wildcats did not evolve until the 1980s, but the graduate student population was perhaps not large enough, or involved enough, to warrant a separate wildcat. However, times have changed at Texas A&M. Today, our graduate population is a full 20 percent of the student body, equal in size to every other class. If each class earns the privilege of using a new wildcat as they advance in academic status, why should the graduate students be kept in a perpetual state of
senior year? Why wouldn’t they also be afforded the acknowledgement of taking the next step in their education? A singular wildcat for all graduate and professional students is the logical outcome. As we celebrate 50 years of inclusion of other races and women, we as graduate students also wish to be included. Some 40 years ago we were still fighting a battle to include non-regs and women in the yell tradition, sometimes with violent and rude results. Why not learn from the past and work to include all Aggies in participation in our traditions in a productive manner? The Graduate Student Council passed a resolution to create a distinct wildcat to join with the undergrads in the proud tradition of expressing class pride. We are
not attempting to fracture the student body by creating a separate wildcat for every affinity group, as some have suggested. Instead, we are instilling a sense of Aggie pride and identity in members of an academic classification that is equal in size to the other four. Perhaps one of our greatest traditions is that we adapt and move forward. Former yell leader Ted Lowe ’58, when asked if he felt less connected to Aggies today because we now whoop and he didn’t, replied, “Here’s a phrase that you young ones need to know and remember: Change or die. The world is changing and we have to hold on to our traditions, but make changes with it. What’s important is, does it support the Aggie team?” Brittany Bounds is a history graduate student and president of the Graduate Student Council
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Members of Femmatas, an all-female campus a capella group, practice during a group meeting.
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y now the picture is recognizable to many â€” a small group of people stand on a stage under a spotlight and make music with no instruments whatsoever. This is the modern interpretation of a capella. Media portrayals on shows like ABCâ€™s â€œGlee,â€? NBCâ€™s â€œThe Sing Off,â€? and movies such as 2012â€™s â€œPitch Perfect,â€? have changed the a capella landscape for at least one campus group. Texas A&Mâ€™s Femmatas, an all-female a capella group, believes the increased interest in a capella music stems from the way a capella groups offer unadulterated talent mixed with familiar songs. â€œWith the media you have now, you get to hear someoneâ€™s raw voice and you know it hasnâ€™t been completely altered, and I think people are craving that kind of raw talent,â€? said Mary Milius, junior sociology major and Femmatas musical director. â€œAnd a capella brings that. Itâ€™s stripped down to everyoneâ€™s voices, and I think thatâ€™s what people want to hear.â€? Sabrina Vogel, senior English major and group performance manager, said popular a capella has existed in many forms across the years, but since the days of barbershop quartets the discipline has faded a little, and the revival trend has taken some people by surprise. She said audiences sometimes do not expect the
sound that comes across when the Femmatas remix popular songs with only their voices. â€œ[Older audiences are] not always quite as in tune with the modern a capella thatâ€™s happening,â€? Vogel said. â€œItâ€™s fun to watch their faces just light up.â€? The Femmatas said depictions of a capella in the media are often true to life. â€œWe went to see â€˜Pitch Perfectâ€™ together, and a lot of the personalities and things that they say are very accurate,â€? said Melina Sitaras, junior allied health major and Femmatas president. â€œExaggerated, of course, but pretty accurate.â€? However, producing the music takes more work than is sometimes shown in the movies. â€œWe do have a lot of fun singing, and thatâ€™s the biggest part of a capella,â€? Milius said. â€œEveryone can see how fun it is. We do beat box, and we do arrange everything ourselves. But you know that scene in â€˜Pitch Perfectâ€™ where they make it up on the spot? That is not something that we do.â€? Sitaras said arranging pieces can take hours of work. â€œEvery show makes it seem like they make it up, and itâ€™s a lot more than that,â€? Sitaras said. Arranging music is a skill the girls generally learn over their time in the group. Many members join without knowing how to break music down into different vocal parts. â€œIf you had told me when you joined that I would be ar-
ranging music, I would have told you that you were nuts,â€? Milius said. â€œNot all of our girls have a lot of background in music theory. Obviously all of our girls can pick up notes and harmony and everything, but sometimes you donâ€™t have that perfect choir style, where everyone can sight read on solfege on one foot.â€? Although this sort of work is a learned skill, it can often be hard to teach to new members, who must work hard to develop the skill in their own style. Although they cannot produce music in a momentâ€™s time, the group is constantly ready to perform. â€œThe most spontaneous thing weâ€™ve done is probably sing in restaurants,â€? said Jenn Potter, senior agricultural economics major and Femmatas public relations officer. â€œWe like to take field trips to Naked Fish, and every time weâ€™re there the owner knows [us] so heâ€™ll ask us to sing happy birthday to someone.â€? With the advent of all the new media attention on a capella, the group has found increased appreciation for its music locally. â€œI think itâ€™s fun because I joined before â€˜Pitch Perfectâ€™ came out,â€? said Tierney Rose, senior communication major and Femmatas treasurer. â€œI knew I liked to sing, but a capella was kind of foreign to me. But when â€˜Pitch Perfectâ€™ came out, everyone was like, â€˜That is so cool.â€™ I think itâ€™s fun because itâ€™s really starting to make this come back.â€?
10/14/13 8:32 PM
page 5 tuesday 10.15.2013
Churchill Continued from page 1
Bonnie Bishop and the “Modern Day Prophets” will perform a concert Thursday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the admission of women to A&M.
Continued from page 1
the show.” Lynn Hagan, Class of 1993 and awards and events coordinator for the Women’s Former Student Network, said she has been a long time fan of Bishop’s music. “Given her recent awards and prominence with the media, we thought it would be a great opportunity to bring her to this,” Hagan said. Sherrill said he would be in attendance Thursday evening. He said he was looking forward to the concert and further seeing how his daughter has progressed from small gigs to completely sold out concerts. “Having an opportunity to watch my daughter perform — naturally as a parent you’re awful proud, because it’s not an easy profession,” Sherrill said. “It’s a very tough profession to be in.” Hagan said she thinks Bishop’s strong Texas roots and connections to A&M made Bishop a “natural fit” for the closing performance. She said the music was full of personal stories that Bishop had written herself. “All of her music draws from her personal experience,” Hagan said. “I think that her music resonates with other women. It’s just so personal. That’s what I have found to be so drawing to her.” Bishop described her music genre as rock
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and soulful with a “southern tinge.” She said although her music was “rockin” and something people would be able to enjoy and dance around to, her messages were deep and relatable. “My song writing really takes people on my own journey and shows places I’ve been vulnerable and lessons I’ve learned,” Bishop said. “I’m trying to use those lessons to shed some light for other people on their own hearts and on their own journey.” Hagan said she thought the conference would allow women to reflect on how enrollment was closed to women at Texas A&M for many years. “I think it’s really important that we recognize the fact that woman weren’t allowed here and now we make up well over 50 percent of the University,” Hagan said. Hagan said the entire day would be marked with presentations from Aggie women who have “achieved a great deal” in their lives after student life. She described Bishop’s concert as the culmination of the entire event. “This is just kind of the crown on top of everything,” Hagan said.
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Sandys said she started writing about Churchill 20 years ago. She had not planned on it, but she found the idea to be irresistible. “I went to a cousin’s house for tea and there was a box on the table with letters from my grandfather’s childhood,” Sandys said. “I said someone should do something with them. My cousin said, ‘You do it.’” Sandys said she plans to speak about her memories with Churchill and his inspiring leadership when she visits the campus. She was 21 when Churchill died, and Sandys said she has many memories of her grandfather and his inspiring traits. “Two things that inspired me about my grandfather were his courage and communication,” Sandys said. “He had the moral courage to carry on when others denied that his ideas were right. And if you can’t communicate, you can’t do anything.” R.J.Q. Adams, A&M history professor, said Churchill interests many people because of his long career and involvement in many events that affected the world in the 20th century. “My guess is she’s going to talk not just about Churchill’s career, but also the endurance of the Churchill legend,” Adams said. “We’re all interested in Churchill. Even if he had not lived as long as he did, he would have had a fantastic career.” Adams said he encouraged people to attend the event. He has spoken to his own students about the event, reminding them of the novelty of Sandys’ presentation due to her close relationship with Churchill. “Grandparents have a special relationship with their grandkids, which makes Sandys’ books even more interesting,” Adams said. “The things she is going to talk about is the stuff that’s not dealt with
in history books.” David Vaught, head of the Department of History at A&M, also said chances to attend an event like this do not come often. “My message for students: How many chances will you get to hear someone who knew Churchill — a historical figure of immense stature — so very well for much of her life?” Vaught said. “Do not pass up this opportunity.” Students are already expressing interest in the event. Brian Johnson, sophomore history major, said he is excited for the event due to the history associated with Churchill. “Churchill is undoubtedly one of the more prominent, and most recognized, figures of the 20th century,” Johnson said. “The special view of him that a family member can give is a special thing.” The event is open to the public and free, and Adams said he hopes more people than just A&M students and staff will attend. He said the uniqueness of this event is one example of why A&M is a great University. “We’re not just great at academics and sports,” Adams said. “We are also able to play host to people of this kind. It’s a wonderful opportunity for undergraduate students and for the community.” Backus said Sandys will speak twice while at A&M, once at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center as well as the Oct. 25 event in Rudder Auditorium that is open to the public. After her speeches, Backus said Sandys will attend the football game against Vanderbilt and will be honored on the reviewing stand for the Corps of Cadets march-in. Sandys said she is excited for her visit to Texas and the U.S., which she said Churchill called “his other country,” because his mother was American. “I am very happy to be coming to Texas,” Sandys said. “I enjoy Texas and have always received warm welcomes.”
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puzzle answers can be found on page 2
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10/14/13 9:44 PM
page 6 tuesday 10.15.2013
Cameron Schaefer (second from right) and the rest of “Bad Cat” will be one of five bands performing in Battle of the Bands at 6 p.m. Friday in Rudder Plaza.
BATTLE BEGINS Student musicians prepare for Battle of the Bands competition
Special to The Battalion
When & where
SC Town Hall will host Battle of the Bands at 6 p.m. Friday in Rudder Plaza. The annual fall event will feature five bands chosen by a subcommittee of MSC Town Hall, combining different genres of music to produce an entertaining and competitive experience. Ian Kettelkamp, junior nutritional sciences major and special events executive for Battle of Bands, managed the band entry applications and coordinated and planned the event. The main requirement for selection, Kettelkamp said, was for at least one member of each band to be an active student at Texas A&M. Kettelkamp chose bands based on their ability to follow instructions, the quality of their demos and diversity among competitors. “Performances will be based on staying within the allotted time, smoothness of performance, stage presence, judge opinions on the sound and the crowd appeal,” Kettelkamp said. “[Battle of the Bands] is important because it gets recognition, it gets some attention, it gets [the band’s] name on campus. More attention becomes more opportunities.” “Abby and the Philharmonics,” “Bad Cat,” “The Lounge,” “Should’ve Been Cowboys” and “King and Nation” are the five bands chosen for the show. “Bad Cat,” a blend of reggae, funk, hip-hop and punk rock played last year at the Battle of the Bands, snagging second place. Cameron Schaefer, “Bad Cat” guitarist and senior biomedical engineering major, said their sound is unique and infuses different instruments. “‘Bad Cat’ originally started out as a reggae band but kind of progressed into something a
Battle of the Bands will be held at 6 p.m. Friday in Rudder plaza. Admission is free.
little bit more,” Schaefer said. “It encompasses some other musical adaptations as well with a very versatile sound. Our horn section — it adds another color to the sound that you won’t see with your standard guitar band.” Cole Breining, senior industrial distribution major and guitarist and lead vocalist of “The Lounge,” said his band offers a blend of indie rock, classic rock, reggae, jazz and R&B. “We have a really diverse set, I think it’s something new,” Breining said. “I don’t think people have heard it before. [The music] is slightly against the grain. It’s something that will stand out.” “King and Nation” will bring to the stage an acoustic set that band members said is
[Battle of the Bands] is important because it gets recognition, it gets some attention, it gets [the band’s] name on campus. More attention becomes more opportunities.”
slightly different from normal rock. “We like to make sure our audience has a good time, to make sure that people are watching us on stage,” said Frank Miller, guitarist and junior English major. Two years ago, “Abby and The Philharmonics” members Abby Siezerling, senior international studies and Spanish major, and Bryant Taylor, senior marketing major, won Battle of the Bands with their former group, “The Jeremiahs.” Battle of the Bands will be the first live performance for “Abby and the Philharmonics.” Schaefer said he thinks his band has a good chance of winning. “I’m kind of biased because we were the runners-up last year so I think our chances are pretty good,” Shaefer said. “But I haven’t heard any other bands perform, though, so it’s anyone’s game.” Most of the artists were simply excited to hear other local bands performing on campus. “I’m just really looking forward to seeing all the other bands play because I’m sure they’re all good, so it should be a lot of fun,” Miller said. At the end of the day, the bands really just wanted an opportunity to play their music and get their name out to students on campus. “I don’t really care [who wins],” said Brenton Kim, senior political science major and member of “Should’ve Been Cowboys.” “The money’s really nice, but actually it’s for publicity. It would be nice for other students to be like, ‘Oh wow, it’s totally not just country here.’” Admission is free for anyone interested in witnessing the live performances.
— Ian Kettelkamp, special events executive for Battle of the Bands
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10/14/13 8:35 PM
Published on Oct 14, 2013