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thebattalion l tuesday,

october 22, 2013

l serving

texas a&m since 1893

l first paper free – additional copies $1 l © 2013 student media


Armed robbery on University Dr. Police, FBI investigate aggravated robbery of armored truck Jennifer Reiley

The Battalion ollege Station Police Department responded to an aggravated robbery of an armored truck at 2:06 p.m. Monday in the parking lot outside the Bank of America located at the 100 Block of University Drive East according to a police report. Lt. Chuck Fleeger, public information officer for the CSPD, said the driver and passenger of the armored truck were approached and robbed by three masked suspects, at least one of whom was armed. “The suspects obtained an undetermined amount of money and fled in a white pick-up truck with a third suspect,” Fleeger said. “The truck was lat-


The suspects obtained an undetermined amount of money and fled in a white pick-up truck with a third suspect. The truck was later found in the 500 Block of Cooner Street. Police found the truck had been reported as stolen in Harris County.” — Lt. Chuck Fleeger, public information officer for the College Station Police Department

er found in the 500 Block of Cooner Street. Police found the truck had been reported as stolen in Harris County.” Although no students were involved, one unidentified student was a witness to the incident, Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION Fleeger said. Police create a perimeter around the Bank of America on University No injuries were reported and local police will be Drive after a reported armed robbery took place at 2:06 p.m. Monday. working with local FBI officers while investigating the case, according to the police report.

SPIRITUAL OASIS TO RISE Church expanding to meet growing Catholic population

Homer Segovia

The Battalion o match the growth that will come with the University’s 25 by 25 Initiative and Vision 2020, the St. Mary’s Catholic Center will expand its campus to include nine buildings on 12 acres. Construction will begin with a seven-


story parking garage by the end of summer 2014. Work on the second project, a ministry center, will start in 2015 followed by the construction of a new church in 2018, which will complete the first phase of expansion. Phase two details have yet to be planned See St. Mary’s on page 3

Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION



Former student to share his past through music

Chartwells responds to campus complaints Surveys to gauge opinion on current meal plans Bradley D’Souza The Battalion


n response to recent negative student opinion, Chartwells, the food service provider for Texas A&M, is administering surveys in an attempt to incorporate student opinion into dining options. The survey is being conducted by Chartwells representatives with mobile devices at campus dining locations and can also be found online at the University dining web page. Gina Capetanakis, Chartwells’ marketing manager, said student ideas will be considered in the creation of next year’s meal plan.

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Allison Rubenak

Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION

Senior communication major Alexcis Mendoza passes out electronic surveys from Chartwells to students Monday afternoon in the MSC food court. “We recognize the varying opinions regarding the current meal plan structure and are seeking student participation for future meal plan proposals,” Capetanakis said. “Chartwells’ goal is to collect input from students, conduct focus groups with several student groups and create a proposal that is presented to the University for the 2014-2015 academic year.” Kasey Kram, president of the Residence Hall Association, has been in contact with his constituents and Chartwells as the food service provider gathers information on student

opinion. Kram said he believes the data Chartwells receives from these questionnaires will play a crucial role in creating favorable dining options as long as it is used in the correct manner. “The survey got about 2,500 responses. They want more,” Kram said. “Obviously the more data they collect, the better they are able to make the decisions. I do think the information they are gaining from this survey is very vital, very critical.” Hannah Weger, chair of student See Chartwells on page 2

The Battalion ean Ferrell, singer and songwriter, has gained a broad perspective of life, from working the Northgate scene to traveling the world. Ferrell, Class of 1995, will perform at 10 p.m. Thursday at Wobbly Monkey, formerly Zapatos, on Northgate. A resident of Caldwell, Ferrell lives close enough that he still makes trips to College Station to perform. Ferrell said Zapatos was one of the first places he had performed on Northgate years ago. “I like the kind of beer-garden atmosphere,” Ferrell said. “People walking on the sidewalk can kind of stop and listen and maybe come in and they weren’t even intending to hear your music.” Ferrell said even though he


I did my writing for myself back then and then decided at one point I wanted people to hear it. If they were going to hear it, I knew I had to start playing it live.” — Dean Ferrell, Class of 1995 and singer-songwriter

began playing the guitar at the age of 12, he didn’t begin to seriously write songs until 15 years ago. “I did my writing for myself back then and then decided at one point I wanted people to hear it,” Ferrell said. “If they were going to hear it, I knew I had to start playing it live.” A wildlife and fisheries major, Ferrell took a break from A&M See Ferrell on page 2

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Dean Ferrell said he likes to perform original songs based on his experiences at A&M and working at the Dixie Chicken.

Continued from page 1

and began working at the Dixie Chicken. Ferrell said much of his music drew inspiration from his time working at the Chicken and hanging out on the back porch or playing dominoes with his friends. “I probably spent too much ‘wildlife’ on Northgate instead of nature wildlife classes,” Ferrell said. “I worked there in the late 80s. That’s kind of where I got turned on to Texas music. That was my first experience outside of mainstream.” Adam Phelps, Class of 2001 and fan of Ferrell’s music, worked with Ferrell in the ocean drilling program on West Campus. Phelps said he periodically travels from Houston to College Station on Wednesday nights to see Ferrell play. He said he likes how Ferrell writes his own songs and has a story line to follow. “I think it reflects that love for College Station and A&M too, because I think he has a lot of those emphasis in those songs,” Phelps said. “I just think it’s great he’s trying to keep College Station alive and going in references to places that really aren’t there anymore.” Ferrell said his music could

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be likened to the style of Robert Earl Keen and other locally known singers who he believes have a “quality” to their music. He said lately he describes his music style as “Texas country” or “Texas soul-blues.” “I have a whole lot of different experiences from all around the world,” Ferrell said. “I think it’s definitely influenced me and given me a lot of stories to tell.” After working a year at the Chicken, Ferrell joined the Air Force and spent time overseas in Japan, Thailand, Korea and the Philippines. He also spent time on a research ship. Ferrell said his songs recollect experiences like the time he was electro-

Chartwells Continued from page 1

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services committee for Student Senate, said the strong opinions about this year’s meal plans could have resulted from the transition from last year’s dining-dollar only plan to this year’s plan that also incorporates meal trades. Weger said students are upset because this shift put restrictions on when they can swipe their card. “Student reaction has been strong mainly because of the huge shift in plan,” Weger said. “Really students are just unhappy with all of these restrictions placed when they’re having to purchase the service.” Kram said the discontent with the plans boils down to a lack of freedom. Kram said the new plans only upset returning students at first, but even freshmen began to realize they were not satisfied with the plans as the semester progressed. “I believe the freshmen are starting to realize now that this meal plan system is something that a lot of people don’t like,” Kram said. “It limits students as to where and what they want to eat.” In an attempt to meet the demand among students, Chartwells has made alterations to the current meal plans. The number of meal trades allowed per day was increased from three to four and the roll-over rules on the Howdy Plan, the smallest on-campus meal plan, were altered. In the past, meals on the Howdy Plan would accumulate over the course of four weeks and unused meals would expire at the end of the period, but unused meals will now expire at the end of a semester. “Students have asked for changes in campus dining, and Chartwells has responded by providing a greater variety of food offerings and improvements to campus dining venues,” Capetanakis said.

cuted in Thailand or when he ate Filipino street food, “where they’ve got charcoal in a hub cap and [are] cooking chicken off a stick.” “The people you meet, there’s definitely some crazy characters out there,” Ferrell said. “Some of these stories I start telling people, they think I’m making it up, but it actually happened.” Ferrell said he preferred music that related to personal experiences rather than “the factory of music.” Ferrell said there were some songs in which the experiences were fictional, but he said there was truth behind all of his music. “You can’t let the truth get in the way of a good story,”

Weger said the recent failed health inspections of on-campus dining locations represented the final grievance that drove students to demand a change. “I think Chartwells is taking notice, especially with the whole facilities being shut down because of health concerns,” Weger said. “I think that was a big wakeup call, really the breaking point. That really disappointed students.” Kram said the closings opened the eyes of the student body and forced the University and Chartwells to make changes. “Students are becoming more conscious on where food is produced, how it is produced, the way it tastes,” Kram said. “I think before there was still that ‘We don’t like mandatory meal plans and we don’t like the food quality we’re receiving,’ but it was that safety inspection that set student drive to pull together.” While Chartwells has opened up to

Ferrell said. “If you can tell a story, a real story in just a few lines, write a novel in three verses. That’s what I like about it.” Thursday will mark Ferrell’s second performance at the Wobbly Monkey. Koby Petter, manager at the venue, said he contacted Ferrell because of Ferrell’s previous performances at Zapatos. “I like it when [singers] return to their roots [and] kind of have songs about where they start out, where they came from,” Petter said.

the input of students, Weger said Chartwells is under no obligation to listen to the opinions, with the security of University contracts. Weger said all students can do is work on the little things, citing the Student Senate legislation that is being considered the 66th session. The legislation includes the ROACHES bill that calls on Chartwells to issue a public apology and compensate students for four meal trades due to the reduced options resulting from the health department closures. “We realize that because of contracts with the University, there’s really only so much we can do,” Weger said. “We’re just trying to communicate with them, and get some things that we can get approved. Right now it’s just a matter of working on the small things and trying to make that better.”

Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION

Allysa Saenz, freshman aerospace engineering major, reads a flier from Chartwells on Monday asking for student feedback on new meal plans.

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thebattalion The IndependenT STudenT VoIce


TexaS a&M



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:; 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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St. Mary’s will expand to a ninebuilding campus over the course of more than a decade.

Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION

St. Mary’s Continued from page 1

and a third phase has not yet been decided on, but the current plan dictates the project will be completed within the next 15 years. David Konderla, director of campus ministry and pastor at St. Mary’s, said the expansion will accommodate St. Mary’s needs so the center may serve as an urban oasis for students amid an ever-growing city. “Our desire is to provide for the whole Northgate community a campus that is somewhat park-like, that has some beauty, some benches, some peace and quiet in the midst of what is becoming a very dense, retail-driven and commercialized neighborhood with a lot of residents,� Konderla said. Though a large project also means large expenditures, Konderla said the project funds will be found in the St. Mary’s community. “The way that we operate our ministry is through the philanthropic good will of all kinds of benefactors,� Konderla said. “Just as the University counts on the alumni to continue to fund many initiatives within the University, so do we.� A parish hall, residence halls, a coffee shop and a bookstore will be among the new buildings created in the expansion. However, the standout addition to the campus will be the new church. Konderla said the need for the new church is clear, with

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Mass attendance — sometimes totaling 1,400 people — is often greater than the current capacity of 850 people. Katherine Humphreyson, sophomore interdisciplinary studies major, said even though she does not hesitate to stay for Mass when the church is overflowing, the church needs to expand. “There is definitely a need,� Humphreyson said. “Especially on game weekends since so many families will come in and they will be leaving on Sunday, but they need to go to Mass and so they’ll typically come to one of the morning Masses here.� The problem will be addressed by the new church, which will seat up to 2,025 people. Konderla said the current campus will remain intact and will continue to be used when the expansion is complete. “We have Mass every day,� Konderla said. “Whereas on the weekend we have thousands coming to Mass, for the daily Mass we have about 200. We don’t need the whole 2,000-seat church for daily Mass, so we’ll still use this one for that kind of activity.� Carlos Martinez, sophomore meteorology major, said with people lining up along the walkways and squeezing in as many attendees as possible in the aisles during 10 a.m. Mass, the prospect of an expansion is an exciting one. “Having the expansion allows everyone in unison coming together for Mass times, which is really exciting even though we won’t be

there for it,� Martinez said. The architectural design of the project will be spearheaded by Jackson & Ryan Architects, which employs Aggie graduates under the direction of founder Christopher Duffel, Class of 1989. As part of the firm and the St. Mary’s community, Duffel is connected to the project in a special way. “It’s always great to return to town and see the new buildings going up and changes around campus,� Duffel said. “It is especially exciting and rewarding to get the opportunity to lay out the ambitions of St. Mary’s, an organization that was so central to my spiritual growth and formation, in architectural and urban terms.� Duffel said the designers will be faced with a number of unique questions due to the scale of the project and specifically the scale of the large church building. “How should a church situate itself in a city today?� Duffel said. “How should technology be implemented? And what should the church look like? If you think everyone has an opinion about politics, try asking them about what a church should look like today.� The St. Mary’s campus project may not be completed for more than a decade and many details have yet to be determined, but Humphreyson said the expansion would draw her back. “We’ll come back for it.� Humphreyson said. “We’ll come back.�


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thebattasks Q: Why do you think it’s important to show hospitality to opponents?

“We’re known for being the most courteous and the friendliest campus in the Unites States and we’ve got to keep that southern spirit.”

“People should be giving everyone the honor and respect they actually deserve. It’s cool to poke and play that we’re rivals, but we should all be sincere to each other.” Alex Wright, freshman biomedical sciences major

Caitlin Hamilton, freshman biology major

Photo feature by Dee Huggan — THE BATTALION


Letter to the editor:

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.

‘A rich and proud tradition’


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 |

2013 Aggieland yearbooks are here. If you did not order the 2013 Texas A&M university yearbook (the 2012-2013 school year), a limited number are available at the Student Media office, Suite L400 of the MSC. Hours: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Monday–friday. $85 plus tax. Cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, accepted. If you pre-ordered a 2013 Aggieland, it has been mailed to your billing address.

From Jeff & Mabel Jackson, Auburn Class of 1985 Thank you Aggies for your hospitality this past weekend while hosting the Auburn Tigers. My wife and I made our first visit to College Station and we were blown away by your students and alumni. Never have we met so many friendly fans who welcomed us to town, greeted us at every turn with a “Howdy,” and asked to help us when we looked lost. We were impressed by everything we saw — from the large group of engineering students at dinner who held hands and prayed before their meal Friday night, to the people that invited us to join their tailgate, to the staff at the Bush Library and Museum that gave us a paper to read while we waited for the doors to open. Texas A&M has a rich and proud tradition but I can attest you also have students and alumni of high character that truly care about others.



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