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Secession Fever

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Record Breaker

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Students voice opinion on the online petition urging the Running back rushes his way into the Obama administration to allow Texas to secede from record books. the union.


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December 5, 2012

your campus/ your news

Effectiveness of prof evaluations debated ruth fitzgerald-black staff writer

As the semester comes to a close, student evaluations of instructors are in full-swing and some instructors and students alike have mixed feelings about their importance. Course evaluations are reviewed at the end of each semester and university chairs and deans look for response trends. While some instructors strongly profess that student responses have and will make an impact on their instructing methods, some are shaking their heads. According to Lynn Little, dean of the College of Science and

Mathematics, it is extremely important students give feedback on their instructors so they will know how well they are doing. “It is not always obvious to an instructor how well he or she is teaching,” Little said. “So feedback from the students can be very helpful in pointing, both what the instructor is doing right, and what he or she is doing wrong, in the judgment of students.” Such evaluations also help the department chairs and the dean monitor the quality of teaching in the college, he said. Many students might also wonder if their evaluations carry

any weight within a respective department should they give an instructor a poor review. Little said in a rare event that a majority of students in a class would give a professor a scathing evaluation, he expected the chair of the department to address the matter with the instructor and work with him or her to resolve the issue. “Everyone wants to succeed, and this includes instructors who are not viewed by their students as succeeding,” Little said. “I would expect the instructor to work to overcome whatever is keeping him or her from succeeding in the classroom.”

In addition, Little said scathing student evaluations, over successive semesters, would likely lead to the instructor leaving the institution. Little said he dealt with a similar instance at a previous institution. “After several semesters without improvement, the instructor was given a terminal contract and left the institution,” he said. While poor evaluations might encourage an instructor to develop more successful teaching methods, when an instructor receives an outstanding evaluation by the majority of his or her students, this mark of success

becomes part of the instructor’s employment record and is considered in his or her progress towards tenure and promotion, Little emphasized. Little said he reads each student evaluation response and looks for how well the instructor is teaching. Some common praises he has seen are students saying an instructor presents material in a way that he or she can easily understand. On the other hand, students also complain particular instructors do not have an interesting presentation style. Little said he tries to personally

praise instructors when he passes them in the hallway for receiving outstanding student evaluations. “If there are problems, I bring the matter up with the instructor’s chairperson when I meet with him or her,” he said. “It is important that I let individual chairpersons deal directly with any problems that their faculty members may be having, including low student evaluations.” According to David Rankin, chair of the English department, every single change he has made in his career as an instructor has

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looking for a fight

Martial arts club discovers challenges with insurance Ruby arriaga STAFF WRITER

Grunting sounds can be heard from downstairs at the Falls Town Fighters’ Club. Upstairs, half the room has eight punching bags hanging from the ceiling while red mats cover the other half. A small hallway leads to the grunting sounds of two people sparring in a boxing ring. The Martial Arts Club, a group of students who practices martial arts for the love of it. Skills cannot represent MSU in any tournaments they participate in though because of one condition: insurance. “The real problem we had making this group was the insurance,” said Blake Muse, president. “It limits us on what we want to do.” Muse, a boxer in the group, pushed to make the Martial Arts Club after having a conversation with a friend about it. Muse said he is passionate about boxing and wanted to find

other students who like practicing some kind of martial arts. He said the offers different fighting techniques that the members can learn, including boxing, kickboxing, Tae kwon do, Judo, and Jujutsu. There is at least one person who knows the art and can teach the techniques to members. “It helps give the members an opportunity to learn from their peers, and have fun while doing it,” Muse said. During the club’s meetings, he said the members aren’t required to do a certain workout. It lasts about two hours and members can choose what they want to do whether it’s sparring, learning a different technique or challenging someone. “By accepting challenges, it helps members practice their form against a real opponent,” Muse said. A challenge will start once the fighters tap their gloves. As they are fighting, members of the club give advice along the way saying when to kick or what

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Sean Swarthout blocking a hit from Blake Muse. Photo by HANWOOL LEE

Hindu festival showcases dance, culture CODY PARISH STAFF WRITER

One of the most celebrated and well-known Hindu festival made its way to campus on Friday. With plenty of dancing, singing and cultural flare, the Midwestern Indian Students Association (MISA) presented their annual Diwali Dhamaka festival event on Nov. 30 in Akin Auditorium. According to Dipika Nayak, vice president of MISA, Diwali Dhamaka is an annual Indian festival that takes place in either Oct. or Nov.. The purpose of MISA’s celebra-

tions of Diwali Dhamaka in Akin were to allow students to experience another culture present on MSU’s campus. “We want students to get to know Indian culture,” Nayak said. “Every time we have a cultural event we try to show them [students] our attire, the different colors that we use, and food, and different kinds of dance forms we have.” In the days leading up to the event, MISA raised money for Diwali by selling henna tattoos, jewelry and food to students in the Clark Student Center.

$50,000 scholarship award to Grad school BRITTNEY COTTINGHAM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Akanksha Bist performs a traditional Indian dance made famous by Madhuri Dixit, a famous Bollywood actress. Photo by HANWOOL LEE

DIWALI pg. 5

Due to the economic climate, financial support is limited for students for their undergraduate career, but the amount of support lessens for those wanting to pursue a master’s degree. This week, Donna Schenk and her husband Danny helped with that cause by providing $50,000 worth of scholarships to the Graduate School. “Danny and I wanted to do something for MSU for a long time and when I inquired I found out that the grad student had very few scholarships and these are people who can really use extra help,” Schenk said. Julie Owen, interim dean for the Graduate School, said addi-

tional support is beneficial to all students, but graduate students have needs not present at the undergraduate level. The Graduate School, which offers 26 master’s degrees, offers only two scholarships specially for graduate students. “While the Graduate School supplies a number of Competitive Merit Scholarships to the various graduate programs each year, it seems that the demand always exceeds the supply,” Owen said. “Generous donations such as the Schenk gift allow additional students to be awarded. With such limited resources, Owen said a donation like this one can sometimes make the difference between a student behind able to complete a master’s

degree and having to group out of the program. “There are expenses for research as well as travel expenses to present the research at conferences,” she said. “Scholarships such as this one will allow us to recruit the top students into our master’s program.” Schenk said her family have a strong relationship with Midwestern with her children’s grandfather being a former chairman of the Board of Regents and her husband attending the university as well. “Midwestern is a very important part of Wichita Falls and the surrounding area,” Schenk said. “We need to support these students anyway we can. They are our future.”

Campus Voice


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Wednesday — December 5, 2012 — your campus / your news

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Are teacher evaluations effective? our View Evaluations are a great way for students to contribute in the success of this institution. Each semester the university basically asks students, “How are we doing?” This is a perfect opportunity for individuals to speak what is on their minds, yet students are seriously lacking in participation. Instead they are doing the bare minimum. Department deans and chairs have spoken openly and explained evaluations are tools used to gauge how well individual professors are doing in the classroom. Something the faculty takes seriously. The Wichitan thinks the concept of evaluations is a great idea in theory, unfortunately due to a lack of students taking the process seriously, classroom quality remains stagnant in many situations. We are curious why students aren’t taking the evaluation process seriously. It might be how the evaluations are presented to them in class. At most big university’s their course/professor evaluations are all online.

When we took a closer look at the student evaluation itself, we noticed the lengthy statement of intent, which we are sure no students read. It states – in all caps – “It is your responsibility to contribute to the improvement of this university by taking time now to think seriously about this evaluation and to give a clearly reasoned analysis of your instructor’s teaching.” It also states that the evaluation’s purpose is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of instructors and to help improve their teaching skills. All of this sounds all good and dandy, yet when it comes down to it, how many students actually read the 20 statements, in which they rank the instructor from poor to excellent? We bet not many. What professors probably do get the most out of is the comment section on the back which asks what went well in the class and how could the course be improved. Students have to physically write a reply to these questions and no matter the length, at least professors are getting some form of participation and critical thinking. If the university really wanted to

analyze a professor’s teaching skills, administrators would alter how we do professor and course evaluations. First, can we discuss why the university is still shelling out money for these paper evaluations? It is no secret that this university is suffering from being years behind technology wise from its competition and this is a perfect example. This student evaluation should be administered online. Apparently years ago this was how the university did evaluations. They were all online, but they stopped doing that and went back to the paper form because student’s weren’t filling them out. So instead of thinking ahead, the university took the step back into the 80s. We have a suggestion – make students want to fill out the evaluations. Make students feel like they matter! Why? Because they have found a way to make it profitable to them. We suggest the university make filling out the evaluations a requirement. With the new student portal system being released next semester, this shouldn’t be hard to do. There should also be a conse-

quence if students do not fill out the form. Say if the evaluations are done via Webworld – if students do not fill out the course evaluations they won’t be able to sign up for classes the following semester or will not receive their grades for the current semester if it isn’t complete. Another suggestion would be for the online evaluation itself, don’t have ranking questions. Lets be honest, students aren’t going to take that seriously. If college deans really want feedback, they should suggest every question on the student evaluation result in open-ended short answer responses. Only then will they know how a professor is really translating to his or her students. In this economic climate and during the university’s current budget woes, we don’t understand why administrators aren’t looking at any and every reason to cut spending, even if it is by a few hundred or thousand dollars. So MSU lets step into 2013. If Midwestern wants to compete with larger university, it needs to start improving and upgrading how they operate.

3410 Taft Blvd. Box 14 Wichita Falls, Texas 76308 News Desk: (940) 397-4704 Ads: (940) 397-4705 Fax (940) 397-4025 e-mail

editorial board EditorS-in-Chief: Brittney Cottingham, Hannah Hofmann Op-Ed Editor: Sarah Long A&E Editor: Orlando Flores Jr. Sports Editor: Damian Atamenwan Photo Editor: Meghan Myracle PRINT Advertising manager: Rachel Bingham ONLINE ADVERTISING MANAGER: Brandi Stroud COPY EDITORS: Kelly Calame, Kristina Davidson, Mallory Gruszynski, Icis Morton contributors: Tolu Agunbiade, Nicole Barron, Ruth Fitzgerald-Black, Johnny Blevins, Kirsten Caskey, Kerri Carter, Ashley Darby, Shelby Davis, Shanice Glover, Makayla Kinney, Hanwool Lee, Icis Morton, Cody Parish, Madison Stanfill, Bekah Timm, Novelle Williams, Akeem Wilson, Erin Wrinkle DELIVERY: Stefan Atanassov adviser: Bradley Wilson Copyright © 2012. The Wichitan is a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. The Wichitan reserves the right to edit any material submitted for publication. Opinions expressed in the Wichitan do not necessarily reflect those of the students, staff, faculty, administration or Board of Regents of Midwestern State University. The Wichitan welcomes letters of opinion from students, faculty and staff submitted by the Friday before intended publication. Letters should be brief (350 words or less) and without abusive language or personal attacks. Letters must be typed and signed by the writer and include a telephone number and address. The editor retains the right to edit letters.

‘Text to Hillary:’ Run for president in 2016 brittney cottingham editor-in-chief

Political junkies are scratching their heads trying to figure out what Hillary Clinton will do when she steps down as President Obama’s secretary of state. While New York City major Michael Bloomberg has stated how he would love for Hillary, a former New York senator, to consider taking his job when he leaves office next year, fans of Hill’s are dying to hear five words come out of her mouth – I am running for president. Since announcing that she will be leaving her position of secretary of state next month, Hillary hasn’t given concrete plans for her future. Even if VP Joe Biden decides to run, which is unlikely since he

just turned 70 this month, she is slowly becoming the front-runner for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. So despite the fact that she has said she will not run again, her aids and supporters are already planning her presidential campaign. Her husband, 42nd president Bill Clinton, has said publicly that he believes his wife would make a great leader, but he has “no earthly idea” what her future plans are. Bill knows. Clinton’s are smart. They are plotting. Like any candidate, Hillary has pros and cons to her candidacy that might hinder her. First, lets face it – Hillary is likeable. According to White House of-

ficials, her approval rating is 70 percent – her highest in her 20 year political career. While being secretary of state, she has been embraced by foreign leaders, which many thought was unlikely due to her gender, and has a strong global following. Demographically, surprise, surprise, Hillary has a strong female following. Both working women and stay-at-home mothers respect her. Hillary has the ability to relate to both voters because she has lived two very different lives. On one hand she can identify with the “housewife” voter because she embodied that persona as First Lady. Most importantly to those maybe conservative women, she knows how to stand by her man. When Monicagate broke in

Reassessing final exams SARAH MUSCHIOL staff writer

It shouts from every corner on campus. It haunts students like a nightmare and keeps them from sleeping, before they have even begun – finals. They keep coming back every semester like sticky gum under your shoe, you know it’s there anywhere you make a step, but the best thing is to just pretend its non-existent. It would be nice, if it was just as easy with the most dreaded time of the semester. Finals mean for every student stress, sleepless nights of studying and vulnerability to all the sicknesses floating around, which no one can afford to catch before the big “F”-day. Every semester it seems like a new surprise that every professor asks for a ten-page essay and a comprehensive two-hour exam worth 50 percent of your final grade. This raises the question, why do students have to carry all the pressure to condense a semester’s worth of work into just a two-hour period? The pressure is there and the snowball-effect begins rolling after too much caffeine and deprived sleep: the last exam ends in an unwinnable war with your heavy eyelids and the only thing to remember the next morning

is: please let me never have to go through so much stress again, and a promise to oneself that next semester will be different. Every semester starts out with a positive attitude of acing your classes, keeping up with your reading and homework, studying before your tests, so the hump of failing or passing a class does not have to be made at final judgment day. But suddenly it hits one all out of the blue, the stress, the stacked cups of cheap instant coffee spilling over your desk and hidden five-hour energy bottles under every seat and pillow. So why do we not change the procedure? Why do finals have to be so important and always end in a big mess every semester? The most ironic thing of all, professors and staff despise the last week of the semester just as much as any student. For professors it means to read and grade all these exams and final papers and in the end wishing, they only would have demanded eight pages from each student. But even if every professor would have decided to teach less material and require a shorter research paper, it would have not changed the outcome. Finals week will always be stressful, and if it were only classes that

were taught instead of testing and grading, who would remain on campus? Probably nobody would still attend classes, if it wasn’t for final grades, which can change the final outcome of all grades. For the eager and zealous students on campus, who were working hard all semester, a bad day at the end of the semester can make the difference in between an A or a B. For students who struggle through college, a final exam means earning a passing or failing grade, but how much does this system really contribute to a successful learning environment? All semester long students fight through every test, quiz, exam and homework to maintain a good grade. The argument is, students who had been doing well during the semester, will also do fine on the final, while students who have been struggling receive a last chance to improve their grade. So optimistically spoken finals week is not about stress and frustration, but only a significant opportunity to improve yourself. That said, we can be proud of the most attentive and ritualistic tradition of colleges in the country and the so often repeated phrase, “Good luck on your finals!” I am sure we all need it.

1998, the country assumed that the moment her husband lied to the American people by saying “I did not have sexual relations with that women,” that she would take her daughter Chelsea and leave him for good. Yet, she didn’t. She pulled “The Good Wife” and stood by his side during the entire scandal and his impeachment. When she was running for president back in 2008, it seem that their marriage was stronger than ever. Women who vote primarily on family values will sure vote for a woman who is a survivor. Hillary was able to pick herself up again after Bill’s affair while still keeping her marriage in tact. Then there are the working women who compete daily in a male-dominated world. Clinton has been ridiculed and mocked by the right-winged media over the last few years about everything she does and say, from her array of colorful pantsuits to her acting like a “bitch.” Well, Tina Fey on the SNL stage in 2008 said it best – “bitches get stuff done.” And Hillary has gotten a lot done since being First Lady. Working women will also identify with Hillary as well young females will view her as a role model. Simply put, like Obama’s landslide victory with the black vote during the 2008 and 2012 election, women and feminist alike will be standing in line for a chance to make history to vote for the first female president in 2016. If Hillary decides to run, in the next few years expect Hillary to speak up more on current issues and slowly reveal her political platform. This week, MSNBC reported Hillary would be coming out in favor of gay marriage when she

leaves Obama’s cabinet next month. It’s all strategy people. In 2008 during the primary’s, Hillary lost the young voters to Obama so by 2015 don’t be surprised if Hillary starts opening up more on social issues that are important to young people. Politically, Hillary is liberal, but she is very bipartisan. Her foreign policy resume is top notch. Unlike in 2008, she hasn’t stepped foot in Congress in years so she has a fresh outlook and what might be the best way to handle congressional problems that the Obama administration has been facing. Speaking of the Obama administration, they have a lot to do with whether Hillary will run in 2016 or not. Mrs. Clinton is a smart lady. She doesn’t lose – not again. So, if she does announce she is running for president it is pretty much a guarantee that it is because she strongly believes that she can win. It is Politics 101 that if Obama doesn’t pull the economy out from under that voters will question if voting for another Democrat is a good idea. (See the 2008 election: after George W. Bush’s eight years of president, the last thing voters wanted was another republican). If Obama doesn’t win over more Americans during his second term, it won’t matter if Hillary is the best-qualified. She won’t run because she knows the likelihood of her running is slim. When it comes to the cons on why Hillary might not run for president or her list of reasons why she might not win the election, the top reason resolves around one man, her husband. Obama’s motto during his reelection was obviously, “where there’s a Bill, there’s a way.” Many say that it was Bill Clinton’s speech at the 2012 Demo-

The Wichitan now offers free online classified ads. Placing them is so easy, even Snooki could do it.

cratic National Convention that persuaded independent voters. It is no secret that President Clinton is one of the best and most importantly most liked president in history. With that said, his likability and questions about their marriage could help Hillary in the long run. The relationship between Bill and Hillary have been plastered on news broadcasts and magazines since the 90’s and one can only think what influence the former president will have on her campaign. During her 2008 campaign, some were worried that Bill’s influence would be too overwhelming and that we would have “copresident.” This is still the mind set of many republicans and if they spread this view to the independents Hillary will have an uphill battle. Despite what some republicans might want to believe, supporters of Hillary know that Bill will be as far from her campaign as possible. She has proved that she doesn’t need to use her husband as a political crunch. Hillary has her own political wits and experience to reply on. Plus Bill will be too busy planning his life as American’s First Gentlemen? Man? Hubby? Whether she selects retirement to play wifey and grandmother or go back to being a senator, lets just hope she continues to let photographers take pictures of her holding a cell phone for some more “Texts From Hillary” meme-goodness. Either way, whatever she decides she will remain one of the most powerful and influential women in the world.


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3 — your campus / your news

Wednesday — December 5, 2012

Course and testing fees to increase next Spring Makayla Kinney Staff Writer

Next semester, students will be seeing a slight increase in testing feeds, but it might not affect their checkbooks. Career Management Center and testing services director Dirk Welch explained testing fees increase due to an increase in the cost of providing testing services. These changes are a direct result in costs increasing to administer the exams. “It could be a response to increased postage costs to mail back paper or pencil tests or increased test booklet costs to give the exam or increased licensing fees to offer the test or increased costs to have the test scored,” Welch said. One test seeing an increase of $10 is the Score It Now exam. This test is a Graduate Record Examination analytic writing

practice exam taken by students for graduate admittance. This test is taken as a preparation tool for the GRE writing section. This testing fee is increasing due to increased costs in test administration. “While Score It Now is often used as a preparation tool for the GRE Analytic Writing Section, the West College of Education allows graduate applicants, who score below the required admittance level on the GRE Analytic Writing Section, to take the Score It Now as an alternative to retaking the entire GRE,” Welch said. Not all universities allow graduate applicants to take the Score It Now in place of retaking the entire GRE. “Individuals applying to MSU’s West College of Education programs are getting a price break option,” Welch said. The cost to take the GRE each

time is $205. “If the only area that needs to be improved upon is the Analytic Writing Section, the Score It Now option only costs $30.00,” Welch said. Another exam seeing an increase in testing fees is the Correspondence exam. This test is either a paper-based, distance learning or web-based exam proctored at the testing center. These exams are course specific. “Testers are taking an exam requiring official proctoring for a course registered though MSU or for a course taken through another institution,” Welch said. Welch said these fees may not affect students at all. If students never have to take the Score It Now or a correspondence exam, fees will never be encountered because they are not mandatory charges that affect

all enrolled students. According to Welch, last year approximately eight percent of student population took either the Score it Now or a correspondence exam. “The testing fee increase was modest and in line with or below what other testing center operations charge,” Welch said. According to Welch, Vernon College charges $15 for correspondence exams which is the same price MSU offers. Welch said other universities charge a minimum of $30 per correspondence exam or charge an hourly fee. Another increasing fee is the instruction enhancement fee. This fee is identical to the course fees students pay for classes. Provost and vice president for academic affairs Betty Stewart said it provides any necessary

funds needed to support the teaching of courses. “The administration decided to switch from course fees to instructional enhancement fees because the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board limits the way course fees can be used to support courses. The instructional enhancement fee does not have these same limitations,” Stewart said. This fee applies to all students taking courses at MSU. The total of course fee budget for all colleges is $1.2 million. The College of Health and Sciences has the highest course fee budget, $507,836. Some courses in individual colleges may increase while others decrease. Course fees could raise as high as $55 for the College of Health Sciences and Human Services. “The net revenue for the uni-

versity will not change from the collected as course fees,” Stewart said. University Vice President Keith Lamb explained the increase in testing fees will not affect the majority of the student population. From 2011 through 2012, 15 students took the Score It Now exam and 500 took correspondence exams. “The vast major of our students never take the Score It Now exam, or have an exam proctored in the testing center,” Lamb said. “It is important to note the increases are modest, in-line with other centers and have not been increased in a number of years. These services are available to non-MSU students as well.

How to save money on tests, books and course fees while in College


Be prepared - Students often have to retake a course or a test, because they did not prepare well. Put in those extra hours studying to save some cash.

2. 3.

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Shop/Rent online - Students can save stacks of green by buying or renting textbooks online. While it might not be as convenient as simply going to the bookstore, it will definitely pay off later on.







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Sponsors: Career Management Center, Clark Student Center, Counseling Center, Dining Services, Housing & Residence Life, RHA, Student Development & Orientation, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Kappa Epsilon and University Programming Board (UPB).



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Wednesday — December 5, 2012 — your campus / your news

Texas petition to secede rises to 117,934 signatures MAKAYLA KINNEY staff writer

Texas attempted to secede from the United States in 1869 but lost to the Supreme Court decision of Texas v. White. Now, 143 years later, Texas is attempting again with an online petition. “There is a misnomer that the original treaty with the United States would allow Texas to secede, but this was repealed several years after joining the union,” Richard Hardcastle, Texas state representative district 68, said. An online petition urging the Obama administration to allow Texas to secede from the union has gathered 117,934 signatures since it was created Nov. 9. An unidentified person, “Micah H.,” from Arlington, Texas, formed the petition on the White House website pleading for the Obama administration to “peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own

new government.” Petitions must receive 25,000 signatures before being formally recognized by the president. All 50 states have petitioned to secede from the union. Zach Zoet, a senior in biology, said he believes the whole idea of separating ourselves from the union is not viable. “There would be a vast expenditure of tax payer money to form a new government and they would have to set up international trade. It’s a lot of people rebelling with no conducive or articulated point,” Zoet said. With the passing presidential election, Zoet said this is the aftermath of the election not resulting in the presidency of their preferred candidate. Like the Tea Party and other rebellious organizations, Zoet said he believes this is history repeating itself and the peoples’ way of revolting against the government. “It’s flawed in numerous ways.

Every verifiable metric shows we’re growing and improving,” Zoet said. Chair of the Political Science department Steve Garrison said Texas could not leave the United States without a fight. Since Texas does not have its own form of military, the battle would be over quickly. “It’s going to take a war for Texas to leave the United States. I don’t think Texas could defeat the United States in a war without a military or industrial capacity,” Garrison said. Military bases placed in Texas would be removed seeing as they are federally funded. This would not only affect Texas as a whole but also Wichita Falls specifically. Sheppard Air Force Base employs 46 percent of the population in this area. Garrison also explained interstates, port capacities, health care and education would be greatly affected without the federal mon-

ey flow. Without federal loans, many college students would not have the money to obtain a higher education. “I don’t know how Texas would be able to provide services as an independent country. Everybody thinks it’s this idea that Texas gets to walk away and keep all the federal property. The federal government isn’t going to do that,” Garrison said. With all 50 states petitioning to secede, there has been skepticism over the turnout of the election. Garrison said he believes the petitions are a gimmick to draw attention to the states and the federal government is not concerned with the requests. “There’s always people upset with whoever the president is or whatever the laws are. The bigger question is whether or not what they’re doing is considered sedition under federal laws. It may send a signal that the federal government may start prosecut-

huge waste of time for everyone involved. “Social scientific research surrounding course evaluations are unanimous,” he said. “They don’t provide any useful information for the instructor being evaluated, and they don’t really tell us anything. Very rarely will you get a nuanced, thoughtful response.” Jun said one of the only things they might affect is an instructor’s ability to receive tenure in the future. At the same time, he questions the students’ credibility in evaluating a professor, mainly because they have no idea what specific duties are required of a particular professor. “Why assume that students are in a position to evaluate us?” he continued. “They might have assumptions, but, for the most part, they have no idea what my job entails.” Jun said a couple of years ago MSU tried implementing online student evaluations, which would make the data transfer to an instructor’s website much easier while at the same time saving money and time. However, due to a lack of student response, the evaluations were returned back to the paper format. “At some point, we will have to get the results online,” he said. Getting students to take their own personal time to actually fill-out an online evaluation will be the trick, he said. “The university might try to use incentives in order to encourage students to complete their online evaluations, but the burden should not rest solely on the instructor,” Jun explained. Jun said he truly believes student evaluations are simply giant popularity contests based on whether or not students “like” an instructor and do not include anything specifically objective about that person’s teaching methods. “Student evaluations really do make an impact on instructors,” Little said. “Faculty members go into teaching because of their love for their subject matter, and they want to share both the subject matter and their love for the subject matter with their students. When they find out, through student evaluations, that they are not doing that as well as they would like, that is a real downer for them. They take it very seriously, and they respond by trying hard to improve their teaching.”

In regards to the economy in Texas if it actually seceded, Hardcastle said the state could not afford to lose federal funding. Without this assistance, state schools would lose all capital provided from the government. “State school would lose all federal money which is only minimal at present. As of now, Texas itself is the 12th or 13th largest economy in the world, but financially we still could not afford to lose the federal assistance,” Hardcastle said. Even with Texas having high ranking economy on a worldwide basis and being the second largest state in the country, Texas would not be able to become its own nation. According to Hardcastle, the original treaty signed by the United States has been repealed stripping Texas of the right to secede from the union.

FIGHT from pg. 1

PROFS from pg. 1 been directly correlated with student comments and suggestions. “Is my class boring? I’ll change that too,” he said. “If they more lectures, a change of books, or anything else, I do my best to make those changes so that my students are receiving the best of my ability as an instructor.” Rankin said he also reads every comment from students about their instructors. He mainly looks for patterns of consistency, he said. “I wish there were some way to get students more serious about evaluations,” he said. When Rankin receives a less-than-stellar review of an instructor in his department, he immediately informs him or her of the changes they need to make. In fact, at Winthrop University, a state school in South Carolina, where Rankin served twice as chair of his department, students gave poor reviews of a teacher saying her attitude was too negative in the classroom. “She had an extremely thick Eastern European accent which was initially intimidating to students,” he said. “Her teaching methods were comparable to how one might teach in the Soviet Union—the teacher is the boss, and they are very demanding.” According to Rankin, such behavior is never in the students’ best interest, so he dealt with the individual accordingly to better assimilate her into teaching in the American method. “Pattern is the key word— with concerns or praise,” he continued. “These are the things I will put in their reports.” The system is far from perfect, however. Rankin pointed out in some cases, he can tell when students have given glowing reviews of their professors simply because the class was easy. He said he came to that conclusion in seeing that a majority of the students have received A’s when the course load should have been much more challenging. “In those instances,” Rankin said, “The comment sections will read something like ‘he is great fun,’ but offer no other substance about the instructor.” According to both Rankin and Little, evaluations at their previous institutions were essentially identical to those conducted at MSU. Nathan Jun, philosophy professor and four-year-member of the Faculty Senate, had a different view of student evaluations in that, essentially, they are a

ing people before it turns into a situation where there is war,” Garrison said. Texas State Representative for district 69 James Frank, said he does not support the efforts to secede from the union. “While I appreciate the sentiment of those who think the federal government has overreached its powers, I in no way support any efforts to secede from the union. I am not sure speculating on the impact of secession is beneficial, as I don’t believe the effort has any merit,” Frank said. Texas State Representative for district 68 Richard Hardcastle said he also opposes the petition to secede. Hardcastle said the plea to withdraw from the union is a “feel-good deal” for the people. “It’s just a feel-good deal for the people circulating the petition in letting the federal government know how they feel about what is going on with our government,” Hardcastle said.

to do next time. The fight stops whenever a member gets tired or whenever someone taps out. The safety coordinator makes sure everyone is practicing the fighting techniques safely and cannot leave whenever there is a challenge. After three weeks of the groups’ existence, 18 members stayed officially in the club. “It’s great that in just three weeks we get so many members that are interested in martial arts,” Muse said. “I tell any new members that this club is whatever they want to make of it whether it’s to find friends or to learn more about martial arts.” Although the group is growing, there is one issue that can stump the growth. Every Tuesday and Friday, the Martial Arts Club practices, but downtown at the Falls Town Fighters’ Club. Thomas Williamson, vice president, said dues at the beginning of the club were $15, but increased it by $5 to pay for the space the group is renting. Since $200 of the dues will go for paying rent, the club has to do more fundraisers. He said even though the fighter’s club has everything the Martial Arts Club, including headgear, a boxing ring and thick mats, it does not let them represent MSU. Muse said he wanted the Martial Arts Club to compete in tournaments and fight under MSU’s name, but without the insurance it is not possible. If the Martial Arts Club decides to have a tournament, without the insurance, the group will be representing the Falls Town Fighters’ Club – not MSU. The $200 members pay is not only for rent, but makes the club officially members and belongs to the Falls Town Fighters’ Club. Muse said sometimes even nonstudents want to join the club because they don’t know that it is an MSU organization. “Getting insurance can be costly and I didn’t want to scare the new members without insurance with this commitment,” Muse said. “The club talked about getting insurance briefly, but it does not seem like an option financially for most of us.” Kevin Bazner, assistant director for student development and

orientation, said the Martial Arts Club was an existing group back in 1977 and a constitution was already written. The group was created once it had at least four members. He said the Martial Arts Club wanted to be a club sport, but for a group to be considered a club sport, they would have to compete. To compete under MSU’s name though, he said all the individuals would have to have insurance. “The biggest things that we want an organization to do is practice, be respectful, and have insurance to keep them safe,” Bazner said. He said the insurance could be from MSU or another provider, but if the organization does not have insurance, it cannot be a club sport. Tiffany Kosse, medical office manager at Vinson Health Center, said most students can get insurance through MSU which is

from Blue Cross Blue Shield. This medical plan covers a participant on campus, during vacation, and at home for a full 12-month period. She said insurance for a domestic student for a year, Aug. 1 through July 31, would approximately be $972. Even though MSU offer insurance for students Henderson said the insurance did prevent people from joining the team. The Martial Arts Club wasn’t the only organization that was affected with this condition. Although it is a club sport now, Bryce Henderson, president of the Ultimate club, said it started off as a group of people who had an interest in pursuing a more competitive form of ultimate than the weekly play in the Quad. As more people became interested, the team was officially chartered as a part of the MSU Ultimate Club in 2010. As a club sport, everyone who travels with the team to com-

pete in tournaments must have a medical release, liability waiver, and proof of insurance form completed. As long as they have medical insurance, a student can try out for and become a part of the team. For now, the Martial Arts Club will continue practicing at the Falls Town Fighters’ Club as a special interest group. Muse said even though he wanted the group initially to be a club sport, he said by making it a special interest group for the first year, it will help the group grow. “I want the club to be at MSU and represent it,” Muse said, “but that will happen when we get enough money to pay for some insurance and that is not until a long time from now.”

Tolu Agunbiade on top of Sean Swarthout in dominant grappling position called a crucifix. Photo by HANWOOL LEE


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5 — your campus / your news

Wednesday — December 5, 2012

B all that jazz B Orlando Flores Jr. A&E Editor

The MSU Jazz Ensemble performed their annual fall concert on Thursday, Nov. 29 in Akin Auditorium.

Associate music professor Alan Black directed the ensemble through their hour-long set. While no student compositions were played, the ensemble performed pieces from big band leg-

ends like Count Basie and Duke Ellington, as well as modern jazz pieces. “There’s still a lot of jazz being written today,” Black said. “One of the guys that we play a lot of

Junior Andrew Checki and sophomore Wes Killion performed their trumpet solos during the fall concert in Akin Auditorium.

their material is Gordon Goodwin, who’s one of the biggest big band leaders playing today out of Los Angeles.” The ensemble played Goodwin’s “Get in Line” and “Count

Bubba,” as well as Texas native Kris Berg’s “Rule the Roost” as their modern pieces. Black said that he and the ensemble were very pleased with the attendance for the concert.

“The turnout was very good,” Black said. “And we were very pleased with the audience. The band is young this semester, but they did an excellent job.”

Sophomore Trevor Cornwell plays the baritone saxophone player for the Jazz Ensemble. According to Black, there are no “chairs” in the ensemble like there are in other music groups, but each person has their own part to play. “The students all worked really hard to get their parts ready for the concert,” Black said.



Senior Max Salazar plays “The Residual Fire Dance.” This is Salazar’s second semester playing with the Jazz Ensemble. Photo by KERRI CARTER

DIWALI from pg. 1 “The money we made went toward the food,” Nayak said. “We bought it from an Indian restaurant in Dallas and picked it up today.”

Nayak explained food for each MISA event is ordered from this restaurant. “For every event, we try to make changes in the food so we





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don’t serve the same food every time,” Nayak said. For the Diwali show, MISA and participating students performed several traditional Indian dances, including a garba and dandiya dance with sticks, Bollywood and regional folk dances, and even some country two-stepping and swing. “Frankly speaking, all of the performances were done in just two days,” said Hrishi Pathak,

MISA treasurer. Nayak admitted some dances were even practiced for just a few hours. “It’s in our blood,” he said. “We dance to any music, any tune, any time.” For the various dances, students wore colorful, traditional Indian attire that were decorated with sequins, beads and jewelry. The clothes were already owned by the students in MISA.

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“We [Indian students] usually have them,” Nayak said. “All Indians have a set of cultural attire, and this is the attire that we usually wear.” Nick Rainey, a junior health sciences major, came to the Diwali event after he was invited by one of the dancers. He said that he liked the show. “I thought it was very entertaining and something that a lot more people should come out to see,” he said. Sophomore Jaymina Patel, who is from Guharat, India, said she came out to support all of the Indian students and MISA. She said she also enjoyed the performances, especially Pathak’s energetic dance with another male MISA student that featuring Pathak doing the iconic moonwalk. “I think the guy’s dance was very good,” Patel said. “They took the whole show.” Michael Shipley, faculty advisor and biology professor, also said the students were excellent. Following the show, MISA members like Nayak and Pathak were happy with Diwali’s success in turnout and performance, especially considering the time they used to organize and publicize

the show. “Yes, we are really happy about the turnout of so many people in just one week,” Pathak said. For the first time, this group of students was made up of not only Indian students, but Caribbean and American students as well. Pathak said having students from other cultures participate in the Diwali show was the highlight of the evening. “My favorite part of being in the event was actually being a part of an event which is now multicultural,” Pathak said. “Initially, when we started this organization it was just Indian students. Now we have students from all over campus.” Nayak agreed with Pathak, citing making the event multicultural as her most enjoyable part of this experience. “Initially, when we had such an event it was just the Indian students who would participate,” Nayak said. “But this time we had the Caribbean students who deliberately took part. We had the American students, and so for me, it’s that the event is multicultural.”

arts & entertainment


Wednesday — December 5, 2012

e thwichitan — your campus / your news

Lamar’s debut album tops year-end list A look back at the top 10 albums of the year Orlando Flores Jr. A&E Editor

10. SpaceGhostPurrp: Mysterious Phonk: The Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp SpaceGhostPurrp took his lo-fi, haze-filled hip-hop reminiscent of 90’s groups like Three 6 Mafia to a new level this year, releasing Mysterious Phonk: The Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp on the London-based 4AD Records (home to indie acts such as Deerhunter and St. Vincent). The 22-year old collection of mixtape tracks was reworked and re-mastered to give his fans studio-quality versions of standout tracks like “Mystikal Maze,” “Osiris of the East” and “Get Yah Head Bust” that demonstrate just how brilliant of a producer he is when given proper tools. While sample clearance was not given for the Mortal Kombat and Godzilla samples he used on his mixtapes, each track is still enjoyable without them, and they show signs of a bright future for “Tha Black God” if he can secure a long-term record contract.

9. Nick Waterhouse: Time’s All Gone Nick Waterhouse’s Time’s All Gone is definitely an album out of time and place on this list, but it’s a testament to the album’s quality that it is. Waterhouse took the Amy Winehouse approach to his music, using his strong voice and

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nostalgic look (he’s always seen performing in Brooks Brothers suits that looked like they’re from the 50’s) to find success. The only difference is where Winehouse took old-school doo-wop and R&B sounds and modernized them thanks to production from Mark Ronson, Waterhouse plays it by the back, leading his own band by playing lead guitar and sticking to classic R&B conventions, resulting in an idea of what Fats Domino or Charles Brown would sound like if they recorded music today. Lead single “Say I Wanna Know” has already been used in a car commercial, and it’s been the primary way Waterhouse has garnered his fame. Be sure to check out other highlights like “Some Place,” “I Can Only Give You Everything” and the two part “Time’s All Gone.”

8. Flying Lotus: Until the Quiet Comes Los Angeles electronic producer Steve Ellison, a.k.a. Flying Lotus, continues to push the boundaries of not only electronic music, but hip-hop as well. His latest effort, Until the Quiet Comes fuses his unique, bassheavy sound with his jazz roots (he’s the godson of John and Alice Coltrane) to create a futuristic hip-hop soundscape. Ellison effectively manipulates time throughout the album – from the fast-paced, skittering “Putty Boy Strut” to the slow, crawling “Electric Candyman” that boasts a feature from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. Ellison made the most logic move for his career by melding the two sounds he’s worked with in the past into one cohesive, dream-like album. Tracks such as “Getting There,” “Heave(N)” and “Sultan’s Request” represent of the electro-hip-hop style of music from earlier albums, 1985 and


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7. Daughn Gibson: All Hell Gibson’s time on the road as a truck driver led to the creation of All Hell, an impressive debut album that straddles the line between alt-rock, alt-country and electronic music, and sounds about as desolate and lonely as the open roads he once traveled. Gibson’s greatest strength is his effective use of great spacing in his songs to let each track build, as well as letting the soundscape dominate most tracks. Much of Gibson’s debut deals with loneliness with most of it relating to lost love. Lead single “Tiffany Lou” demonstrates Gibson’s storytelling ability as he tells the tale of a young girl remembering the tragic death of her father, while standout track “Rain on a Highway” has Gibson recounting his own tale of lost love. Gibson’s deep, distraught croon adds a deeper effect to the isolated vibe of the album, as well, making tracks like “In the Beginning”, where he attempts to convince a former lover that he’s changed, more relatable.

6. Fiona Apple: The Idler Wheel… While The Idler Wheel… may not be the same Fiona Apple the

music world was introduced to on Tidal or When the Pawn…, it’s clear that this is the first time Apple has successfully stood out on her own. In the past, talking about a Fiona Apple album was just as much commenting on the production of Jon Brion. On her second album without Brion, Apple has finally perfected a sound that still lends itself to her earlier albums, but is still all her own. The Idler Wheel… may not be as angst-ridden and angry as Apple’s previous work, but the maturity she’s gained in the seven years she’s taken off from recording music proved to work in her favor when constructing this album. 5. Death Grips: The Money Store/No Love Deep Web The duo of MC Ride and Zach

Hill are the real definition of rock stars, doing what they want when they want, and answering to no one. Releasing two albums in a six-month span that eventually got them let go from their major label, The Money Store and No Love Deep Web proved to be an enjoyable assault on the ears, giving the music world some of the most adrenaline-fueled, riotous music released in years. The vibe of both albums is aided by the aggressive nature of MC Ride’s delivery, yelling to the point that he nearly loses his voice in nearly every track. From the creative sample sources (including old Sega games, 90’s hip-hop, YouTube clips and Serena Williams’ tennis grunts) in The Money Store to the bass-heavy synth-hop of No Love Deep Web, Death Grips have proven to be game changers in the world of hip-hop, and music in general. 4. Chromatics: Kill for Love This Portland, Oregon band

took a big step forward this year

with the release of Kill for Love, an ambitious, cinematic-like exploration of the band’s signature electro-pop sound known as “Italo-disco” that owes as much to the sounds of 1970s disco as it does to bands like Joy Division and New Order. The simplicity and dreamy textures and tones make this album and enjoyable experience from start to finish. Hit after hit flows from this album all while sounding like one cohesive effort than just a collection of songs, starting with the captivating “Into the Black” and flowing right into lead single and title track “Kill for Love,” to the EDM meets disco infused “Lady” and “These Streets Will Never Look the Same”. As bold as it is to say that Chromatics may have crafted a modern day classic in Kill for Love, it’s hard to not shake the thoughts from your head. Do yourself a favor; buy this album as soon as you can. 3. Beach House: Bloom Bloom finds Beach House going forwards in ways I never

could have imagined after the release of Teen Dream, though. The band has cultivated a fuller sound and has learned how to pace out their tracks and leave them open for dramatic effect, as seen in standout tracks like “Myth,” “Wild,” “Lazuli” and “Other People”. This is aided by full use of live drums rather than programed beats they used in the past. All in all, Bloom showed

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that there was still improvements a very good band could make on their way to becoming a very great band. With that feat now accomplished, it’s only a matter of time before Beach House is able to bust through the indie rock glass ceiling and into the mainstream. 2. Frank Ocean: Channel Orange Deciding between two and

three was a real hard decision. While Frank Ocean and Beach House both delivered impressive albums, I believe Channel Orange was the better album from start to finish. Ocean’s soulful voice, excellent songwriting ability and ear for production has him at the top of today’s young artists, and will hopefully elevate him to superstar status with his next release. 1. Kendrick Lamar: good kid, m.A.A.d. city There’s really not much that

can be said about good kid, m.A.A.d. city that wasn’t already said in my previous review. Kendrick Lamar created a conceptual masterpiece that’s unparalleled by any album released this year. It’s a rare feat when an artist can paint a perfect picture of a coming-of-age story the way Lamar did about his transformation from K-Dot to Kendrick across an entire album.



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e thwichitan — your campus / your news


Wednesday — December 5, 2012

Basketball concussions on the rise SAMANTHA FORESTER STAFF WRITER

Basketball is a constantly evolving contact sport. Concussions in basketball put players at high risk for short and long-term head trauma effects. “There is a greater risk once you have had one concussion,” university physician, Keith Williamson said. “Look at Muhammad Ali for example, how much was boxing to blame?” Boxing, football and soccer allow more contact than basketball. In the last few decades however, the game and players are changing, which is contributing to the dangers of concussions. Contrary to the degree of contact seen in men’s basketball, there is equal number if not more, in women’s basketball. According to a study by the National Athletic Trainers Association of all divisions of the NCAA sports, there is an increase of head and facial injuries in basketball by an annual average of 6.2 percent. Of all the injuries reported 3.6 percent were concussion related. The study also showed women basketball players were three times more likely to get a concussion than men. “Any contact sport puts you at risk for a concussion,” Williamson said. “Sports are inherently at risk activity, you recognize it and accept it. We are now seeing more contact in women’s sports.” The women’s basketball team has had its own share of concussion experience with players. Skyler Warrick, a junior in mass com-

munication, plays forward for the Mustangs and is no stranger to concussions herself. “With the first one I thought I was having an off day, and it just kept getting worse,” Warrick said. “My first concussion was my freshman year in the second week of workouts during a block out drill.” Warrick has sustained four concussions in her college basketball career and is familiar with the rigorous testing that is required before a player is cleared. Typically, for a concussion to be diagnosed, the player is asked a series of questions and then put through a series of balance exercises. “After a player concusses, there should be a side-line evaluation,” Williamson said. “If you concuss in a game you should not go back in the game.” A balance test would include standing on one leg with eyes open then closed or lifting both arms. Some of the exercises are similar to a sobriety test and ironically the symptoms of a concussion are similar to inebriation. “There are several signs and symptoms; disorientation, physical skill, nausea, ability to articulate and the content of speech,” Williamson said. “The obvious would be unconsciousness but also visual accuracy and amnesia are other signs as well.” Warrick has experienced symptoms such as these however her first few concussions neglected proper diagnoses right away. Her first concussion she was elbowed in the face, immediately follow-

ing this her head hit the floor, then the player who elbowed her fell on top of Warrick’s head. “The day after my first concussion I ran all of practice, by the end of the day I couldn’t walk straight,” Warrick said. Later in practice Warrick ran into a wall and fell. The coach approached her to scold her for falling, and then she realized something was wrong. “I did not do well in any of the balance test,” Warrick said. “At practice when running my head felt like it was going to explode.” This was only the beginning to multiple concussions, Warrick would sustain in her first three years of college basketball. Warrick is no longer allowed to play unless she is wearing a protective helmet, which has become her signature as a Mustang. “I am not as self-conscious of my head hitting anything, now I can play without worrying about it,” Warrick said. “A downside of the helmet is it is hard to hear because the helmet has small holes and it is hot.” Other college teams are also taking preventative measures with their players who have sustained concussions. The University of Louisville men’s basketball team uses helmets during practice. The team’s trainer, Fred Hina, made the decision for the team as a precaution. We are just trying to be proactive and keep our multiple concussions down to a minimum, limit our risk Hina said. It may be overkill, but I really think you

Head coach Vanera FloresStafford said, “It was hard. These kids were expected to play and play significantly. It affects them, the team as a whole.” Because of all the injuries, nearly half the girls were out at one point, causing practice issues because the rotation was always changing and players were miss-

ing. At one point, the coaches had to practice with the girls because there were not enough players on the court. “Injuries happen, and it was unfortunate. They affect rotations, line up and game strategy because you’re playing without people in your mind that you

Skyler Warrick, who has suffered from a concussion during block out drill, scored four points against Incarnate Word and eight points against Texas A&M Kingsville Saturday night. File photo by Hanwool Lee

are going to see it more and more with the focus being on head injuries he said in an interview with The Associated Press. These helmets are not mandatory for the whole team but Hina is smart in taking such preventative measures.

Warrick is the only player for the women’s basketball team that is required to wear a helmet while playing, however, she does see a positive side to it all. “I call it my crown because I am the queen of concussions,” Warrick said. “When I walk in

the gym with it on, all eyes are on me and I like the attention because people think who is this girl in the helmet?”

Volleyball injuries hinder season Skye hera STAFF WRITER

The volleyball team struggled this season with seven out of 14 eligible players injured at one point or another, leaving the team with an overall average of seven wins and 23 losses among other things like mental and physical pain.

counted on,” Stafford said. The lineups anticipated for the season, did not make it on the court because of the way these injuries affected the team. For instance, one of the players went down with a knee injury right before the conference tournament. After this, the Mustangs had a six-game losing streak. Coach Stafford had not experienced this since last year when she had a starter out from the beginning of the season until the end. This is Stafford’s 14th year coaching. Before this year, she only had one player’s blown knee on her record. This season however, there were five major injuries that affected the team, including a pulled oblique muscle, torn cartilage, a knee injury, shoulder injury and a back issue. Some of the injuries stemmed from previous surgeries. However, there is no way the coaches can screen the girls for these because Stafford said before they sign people, they do not conduct physicals. “It’s hard to deal with. Lineups that you put out there aren’t the lineups that you want for the season,” Stafford said. This made the teams efforts more difficult in the regard of reaching most of the volleyball fans’ expectations for the season. “It definitely wasn’t a season that we envisioned for ourselves, but it will make them stronger and fight. I think everything happens for a reason. To have to go through this adversity, it will make us stronger for next year,” Stafford said. She anticipates doing more recruiting for next season to help with the goal of making the team stronger. “I’ll probably have tons of kids on the sidelines. We will recruit more people because as a division two school, we have eight full scholarships,” Stafford said. As a coach of a division two school, she said she has to split up the money, find the right group of

kids and hope they stay healthy. “If a kid gets injured, I can’t take away their money. That wouldn’t be fair. It’s like you don’t mean for a car accident to happen, it just happens because it’s an accident,” Stafford said. This season, 12 of the 14 players had athletic scholarships. However, Stafford said, the cost for treatment of the injuries was minimal because the players have their insurance cover it, and whatever else is left is taken care of by the school’s insurance. “I don’t think these injuries could have been prevented, they just happen by a weird turn or awkward move,” Stafford said. However, the players still coped with sitting on the sidelines, and supporting each other throughout the season. “Nobody likes to be on the sideline,” Stafford said. She said athletes at this level know the importance of their health, so they go to Tatum Carroll, the trainer as soon as they feel pain they cannot take. Then, they go to rehab if the pain is persistent. One of the players, Scout Wonsang, a freshman majoring in psychology and minoring in biology, did not get a chance to play in any games during this season because she was hurt right before pre-season. “I got to play in the first scrimmage, but then I noticed I couldn’t move anymore. My leg was hurting whenever I played,” Wonsang said. The injury was from a previous torn meniscus surgery on her left knee where her knee was completely scoped out, so she barely had any cartilage left. As she squatted more and more weight, part of her knee cap chipped off. The effects grew progressively got worse, chipping away whatever cartilage was left. “The doctor did a very good job on the previous surgery, but what killed it was the heavy lifting. I was working out three times a day and squatting 350 pounds,”

Wonsang said. However, she did not realize what was happening to her knee. “I thought being an athlete, you’re always going to hurt or be in pain,” Wonsang said. During the season, the girls did not have the best mind-set about their struggles. The assistant volleyball coach, Natalie Rawson, said she agrees it was a tough season for the Mustangs, but also thinks the team benefitted from the season. “Record-wise it was a terrible season, but I feel like we almost accomplished more than a regular season,” Rawson said. When the team was always down a starter, they had a different kind of fight going into practice. Despite this, she said all of the seniors said, “Although it was the worst season, it was the best season yet.” However, Rawson also said, these kinds of seasons force the girls to appreciate the sport more and the opportunity to play at this level. But, girls on the team started to doubt themselves over the course of their repeated losses. “Losing seasons is hard in a more mentally and emotionally exhausting way. The hardest thing is to continue to convince them to believe in the future of where the program is going and believe in what they’re doing,” Rawson said. To improve the team’s outwardly confidence, she and Coach Stafford are trying to find recruits that fit the right pieces inside their puzzle. “The girls this season are amazing. That’s why wins or losses, I would not trade one girl on this team for anyone else. I never for one-second felt like they weren’t capable,” Rawson said. In regard to the girls being back on the court, they will start training heavily in strength conditioning the second week back from Christmas break.



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Wednesday — December 5 2012 — your campus / your news

A run-down with Keidrick Jackson Photo by KIRSTEN CASKEY

Junior finds his spot in MSU history ORLANDO FLORES, JR. A&E EDITOR

The football team has seen their fair share of great running backs. However, it’s not every day that MSU, or any collegiate team for that matter, has a running back whose season is so special that he takes over the record books. But that’s exactly what junior running back Keidrick Jackson did this season. “My goal this year was to do better in every aspect,” Jackson said. “I wanted to have more carries, more yards, more touchdowns…everything. I know that it takes work to do that, so I worked hard the entire summer and spring to accomplish what I did this season.” During the season, Jackson rushed his way into the record books, running for 1,354 yards off of 195 carries. He chalked up 21 touchdowns, the most an MSU running back has scored in one season, scoring four in one game against Texas A&M-Kingsville (the 2nd most in school history for touchdowns in a game). Jackson averaged 123.1 yardsper-game, the second most in MSU history behind former NFL running back Dominic Rhodes’ 126.1 yards-per-game season in 2000, and he also now holds the number seven (197 yards against Abilene Christian) and number

nine (193 yards against West Alabama) spots for most yards in a game. All this resulted in Jackson being named to the All-Super Region 4 1st Team at the end of the season. Most impressive is that in his three-year career, Jackson holds the number two spot for yards in a career (2827 yards off of 416 carries), and he now holds the record for the most touchdowns in a career with 46. Even more impressive is the fact that he’ll be returning next season as senior, potentially shattering the career rushing record and adding even more touchdowns to his current count. Throughout all this, Jackson remains humble, and says that more important than any of the numbers and accolades is the success of the MSU football program. “It does mean a lot to me to be named one of the best rushers in MSU history,” he said. “But when it all comes down to it, it’s all just numbers. I’m more focused on winning. I always look to win our conference and eventually a national championship. [The records] show that I’ve worked hard to get to where all those numbers are, but it just makes me want to do more. I just really want to go out and play football and enjoy doing it – that’s it.” Road To Record Jackson’s road to his recordsetting season was not that of a typical stud running back. “I started playing football

when I was 10 years old,” he said. “I played peewee football, but I didn’t play in middle school. That’s when I realized that I really wanted to play football, so when I got to high school, I played throughout the whole time I was there.” Jackson played at Arlington Bowie High School, and led the Volunteers to a deep playoff run his senior year, but it was not as a running back. “In high school I was a defensive tackle,” he said. “I was about 250 pounds, and that’s how much I weighed my entire high school career.” Jackson found his true calling as a running back during his freshman red-shirt season at MSU, due to a lack of running backs on the team. He worked out all through the 2009 season to drop to the 210 pounds he currently weighs. “At the time I didn’t know what I was going to play,” he said. “I was on defense most of the time, mixing it up at defensive tackle and linebacker, and I liked hitting people, but at the same time I wanted to run the ball.” Trying Out When Jackson heard that Coach Maskill was asking for volunteers to play at the running back position, he knew this was his chance to prove himself and jumped at the opportunity. “When coach asked if anyone wanted to try out for running back, I knew it was something I could do,” he said. “So I took

the opportunity and ran with it. Since then, I’ve always played on the offensive side of the ball, and I’ve gotten better and better at it each season.” At the time of his red-shirt season, Jackson wasn’t quite sure why he was red-shirted, but he said that over time he’s realized that it helped prepare him better for the jump from high school football to playing on the collegiate level. “For the most part, the speed level is way different,” he said. “That’s different in every sport, but in football you have bigger, smarter and more disciplined players that you’re going up against. It took a while to adjust to it, and at first I didn’t understand why I was red-shirted, but I understood that it was to better prepare me for the level of play and I eventually got the hang of it.” Strong Work Ethic Since that freshman season, Jackson has maintained a strong work ethic that’s translated to big numbers on the football field. Every season he’s played has seen drastic improvements in his carries, rushing yards and touchdowns. “I’ve always wanted to do better than what I did the previous season every year,” he said. “Most of the time I workout with the team doing drills that the coaches set up for us to do. If coach doesn’t set anything for us to do on a particular day, I’ll find my own workout. It’s a constant thing.”

Jackson claims the speed and agility he possess stems from countless sprints and numerous agility and cutting drills. Over time, he’s adapted his style of play from that of a power back to more of a speed back. “I try to score every time,” he said. “I like the contact, because I used to be a bigger back, but when I dropped all the weight and became more agile and quicker, all I wanted to do was make the big play every time I got the ball. I think that’s what motivates me to run so hard and with the determination that I do.” Season Ends Unexpectedly Despite Jackson’s record-setting season, it did not end according to the plan he had in mind. After a 52-48 comeback victory over West Texas to become the fourth seed in the NCAA D-II playoffs, the Mustangs fell 3114 to the fifth seed Indianapolis (team name) to end their season. “We were a good team,” Jackson said. “I think we could have done better as far as our last playoff game. I think we kind of fell apart when it came to the end.” Jackson looks to make the most of his last season as a Mustang, however, but knows that it’s going to take more of the hard work he’s used to putting in, as well as a better team morale. “First off, we need to be a team,” he said. “We need to be more of a brotherhood and a family. Everything has to come into place for us to get to where we want to be.” Jackson also said that he does

Keidrick Jackson playing against West Georgia at Midwestern State University’s last home game of the season. File photo by KERRI CARTER

feel that he now holds a bigger responsibility as a leader on the team being a senior aside from being one of the core players of their offense. “It’s not just on me,” he said. “Every senior and anyone else considered a leader on this team will have a bigger responsibility next season. If I can do my part to help lead the team, though, I think we’ll turn out just fine.” Jackson knows that this may be his last chance to play football at the competitive level, and hopes to gain enough attention to attract pro scouts in his last year like other former Mustangs have. The most recent examples are Amini Silatolu, who was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in this past year’s NFL Draft and is currently one of their starting offensive guards, and David Little, who made it on to the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad during training camp. “I’m looking at the option of pro football, and hopefully I get the opportunity to play for a pro team,” he said. “But if that doesn’t work out, I graduate the December after the season ends.” As a senior majoring criminal justice, Jackson believes that if his pro football aspirations don’t pan out, he’ll still be able to do something that he loves for a living when he no longer has to put on the pads and helmet. “I would like to either be a police officer or a criminal investigator,” he said. “Anything in that field, really.”

December 5, 2012