TEEN HIT GOES VIRAL: Thirteen-year-old Rebecca Black creates nationwide hype and ridicule with her bubblegum pop song “Friday.”
DON’T BE A POSER: Local skate shop owner says he isn’t sweating a corporate giant encroaching on his turf.
Wednesday n March 30, 2011
your university n your voice
Board approves 4 percent tuition, fee increase Brittany Norman Editor in Chief
To offset projected state funding cuts, the MSU Board of Regents voted unanimously to increase tuition and fees by 4 percent for the upcoming fall semester. In a special meeting Monday morning, the board approved a
$4.35 per semester credit hour increase in University Designated Tuition and $1 per semester credit hour increases to the Energy Surcharge Fee, Library Fee and Intercollegiate Athletics Fee. Students taking 15 hours will pay, on average, $141.06 more in the fall than they did this semester.
MSU President Dr. Jesse Rogers said the tuition and fee hike, paired with budget cuts and other sources of revenue, will help the university stay afloat despite bleak projections from the legislature regarding state appropriations. Texas House of Representative’s draft budget for 2012-2013 (HB1) would cut approximately
$6.4 million from MSU’s state appropriations. Budget cuts alone would cost MSU $5.4 million. Rogers said the university could also lose an additional $437,000 in matching fringe benefits and as much as $832,000 in incentive funding. Rogers explained that incentive funding is based on the number of students MSU grad-
uates and how those students are ‘weighted’ under state guidelines. The university receives more money for graduating high-risk students and those in STEM (science, technology, math and engineering) fields, for example. HB1 would eliminate all incentive funding. The true depth of state-level cuts at MSU is still uncertain,
n a e b b i r a C
but tuition and fee rates had to be decided in time for early registration, which begins April 4. Rogers said he believes a 4 percent increase will allow the university to ease the strain of budget cuts without being unfair to students. “I think this will allow us to put a budget together (so that)
See BUDGET on page 4
Going Greek to raise funds Brittany Norman Editor in Chief
The Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU (WFMA) is going Greek to raise funds for renovations and improvements while demonstrating the art and culture of an ancient society. Jane Spears, chair of the WFMA advisory board, hopes the two-week Greek Fortnight fundraising event will bring in enough money to fund several crucial projects. Spears said community support is necessary to get the museum into peak condition, since it is not fully funded by the state. Planning for the Greek Fortnight began about two years ago when MSU President Dr. Jesse Rogers asked Spears to move the Fortnight series from her gallery, Galerie Pavilion, after it closed. “I decided to continue (the Fortnight series) at
s s n n o o i i s s s s e e r r p p eexx
See GREEK on page 3
Opera course to showcase vocal talent Chris Collins Managing Editor
Students showcase drama, fashion, dance and culture of Caribbean life Brittney Cottingham Features editor
The Caribeean Student Organization, with 300 members, displayed their individual talents from their specific West Indies island to bridge the gap between Caribbean and American culture. (Photos by Hannah Hofmann)
Rhythmic, pulsating music, gyrating hips, the sound of the conch shell and the love for thumping rhythms. These “Caribbean Expressions” were showcased through dance, drama, fashion and culture in Akin auditorium Saturday night.
Renewal, recovery, and restoration were the themes the Caribbean Student Organization (CSO) created in hopes to foster a closer understanding between Caribbean and American cultures. “Most people tend to see our culture as reveling but it is not that at all,” said Colette Lewis, chair of CSO. “We are an openly expres-
See CARIBBEAN on page 4
Vocal music students will showcase their talents Sunday, April 3 in an opera performance at Akin Auditorium. The show, titled ‘An Afternoon of Operatic Arias and Ensembles,’ will be the culmination of a semester-long course directed by Music Chair Dr. Don Maxwell. The one credit hour course, named Opera Workshop, is open to any student, vocal performance major or not. “It’s a teaching course, really. That’s the whole aim here – to teach them something,” Maxwell said. Maxwell has taught the course for about 40 years. Except for one, all of the pieces in the show will be opera, he said. Students need to have a good voice and a good range to perform the pieces. Some of the selections are in Italian and French, others are English translations from the original languages. “But as far as I’m concerned, the language we’re
See OPERA on page 3
‘Batman’ producer transforms icon from zero to real hero Chris Collins Managing Editor
For Michael Uslan, creator of the first college-accredited course on comic books and executive producer of The Dark Knight, keeping a job is easy. He has carved out a lucrative career from of his first love – comic books – but it didn’t just fall into his lap. He detailed his life’s work to an audience in Akin Auditorium Monday night as part of the Artist Lecture Series. “Every day, I report to work and play in the sandbox with my toys,” the sprightly, 60-year-old said.
Though the auditorium was only half-full, the audience made up in enthusiasm what it lacked in numbers. The room buzzed with anticipation from comic book fanboys and fangirls before Uslan took the stage. “My whole life has been about trying to take something I was passionate about – comic books – and figuring out a way to make that into my work,” Uslan said. In his one-hour talk, Uslan did not come off as a shut-in comic book nerd without social skills. Rather, he was receptive, personable and engaging. Loud splatters of applause regularly punctuated the lecture. When Uslan was 8 years old,
his dream was to write Batman comics, he told audience members. “Batman won my heart when I was a kid. He was so much better than Superman or SpiderMan or The Hulk because he had no superpowers. His only superpower was his humanity and I could always identify with that.” When Uslan was a kid, he said, he was sure he could someday be Batman. “I was the total comic book fanboy, the ultimate geek.” By the time he graduated from high school in New Jersey, Uslan had amassed a comic book collection 30,000 deep.
Uslan said he was both intrigued and horrified when ABC premiered the first Batman TV series in 1966. He remembers the event vividly. “I was thrilled because someone spent a lot of money on this – it was in color. But I knew that the whole world was laughing at Batman. And that killed me.” The character was not portrayed as young Uslan thought he should be – a serious, brooding crime fighter. Instead, he was a blunderer. The show bordered on slapstick comedy. Bruce Wayne, the character who serves as the public face of
See USLAN on page 3
Michael Uslan, executive producer of The Dark Knight, spoke at Akin Audotorium Monday evening. (Photo by Hannah Hofmann)
2 n The Wichitan
Listen and Learn
In the last year, MSU students have been treated to myriad highly-respected speakers, including politicians, artists, musicians and industry pros. We’ve been given the opportunity to observe some remarkable people without ever having to leave the comfort of our quaint North Texas community – and that’s nothing to sneeze at. You could say we’re getting a little bit spoiled. Political commentator Glenn Greenwald, diplomat Condoleeza Rice, presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich and ex-terrorist Mosab Hassan Yousef have all graced the hallowed halls of Midwestern State in the last year, to name a few. They came all the way from their disparate corners of the country just to speak to little old us. Don’t you feel special? You should.
MSU admins, faculty and staff have obviously been going out of their way to bring some astonishingly talented folks all the way to this (relatively) small university. And in many cases, that takes lots and lots of moolah. But that’s okay –– we at The Wichitan think they have a reason for bringing such a variety of speakers to our campus: they’re trying to teach us something! Imagine that. Now don’t you think, given the time and effort it takes to reel these super talented individuals in, we should attend their lectures, concerts, and exhibitions? We sure do. That’s why we were – for lack of a better word – peeved when we noticed that half of Akin Auditorium was empty for Michael Uslan’s talk Mon-
March 30, 2011
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day night. Yeah, yeah. The auditorium was also half full. But we’re newspaper people. Which means we’re pessimists. And this is the executive producer of The Dark Knight, for gosh sake. Like, who didn’t watch that movie? We know there’s been some critcism surrounding a few speakers as of late, especially Yousef and Rice. But at least they showed up! And maybe that means you should, too. When you finally graduate and enter that magical place called “the real world,” you’ll be grateful you were given a chance to attend talks by real life pros doing real life stuff – even if what they talked about wasn’t your cup of tea. You thank us someday. We promise. And then you’ll be able to tell your kids, “Yeah, I heard them speak once.” Embellish as you wish.
nEditor in Chief: Brittany Norman nManaging Editor: Chris Collins n FEATURES/ A&E Editor: Brittney Cottingham nOp-Ed Editor: Cameron Shaffer nSports Editor: Andre Gonzales nPhoto Editor: Hannah Hofmann nAdvertising manager: Rachel Bingham nadviser: Randy Pruitt nReporters: Orlando Flores nPhotographers: Kassie Bruton, Damian Atamenwan
Copyright © 2011. 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 for verification purposes. The editor retains the right to edit letters.
Doctrine and dogma murder science, silence dissent
Last year famed Harvard biologist and evolutionary theorist E.O. Wilson came to Midwestern State University to speak. Most people will remember him for a long time simply because of the amount of prestige and intellectual rigor he brought to our campus, if only for a night. Dr. Wilson should also be talked about on campus for another reason; he is currently embroiled in a debate with one of the world’s premier defenders of atheism, Richard Dawkins. The debate revolves around Dr. Wilson’s particular area of expertise – ants. Darwinistic evolution was based around the idea that evolution is based on the survival of the fittest, and not individuals evolving to protect and care for some other individual. In 1963 W.D. Hamilton proposed his rule, which stated that genetic relationship and the benefits of that relationship could outweigh of evolving on behalf of another individual. What does this have to do with ants? Well, the queen ant is the only ant that can reproduce and is tended for by worker ants that do all her work, live short and dangerous lives, and are sterile. An evolutionary explanation was needed to explain why some individuals (the worker ants) would sacrifice themselves for another individual (the queen ant). Richard Dawkins pounced upon Hamilton’s rule in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene where he argued that evolution is about making certain genes successful and not individuals. So workers ants are being successfully evolutionary by taking care of the queen rather than themselves. This understanding of kin selection has been the dominant view in evolutionary science ever since. Well, Dr. Wilson, the world’s foremost evolutionary biologist, and several other Ph.ds in the field of biology wrote a detailed paper last year that demonstrated that Hamilton’s rule almost never holds. Richard Dawkins and several other scientists with vested interests in preserving the rule did not take kindly to this
Cameron Shaffer Opinion Editor analysis. Dr. Dawkins has ranted against Dr. Wilson’s understanding of kin selection, and other scientists have also insulted the research and Dr. Wilson – without actually engaging the study or analysis. This has become all too common in the scientific community. The dominant theory, the dogma of the community is threatened by dissent and scientific theory, and the bearers of the dogma scream and howl, labeling the dissenters as heretics. In 2004 a small scientific journal on biology, which is founded by the Smithsonian Institute, published a paper that had withstood the rigorous peer-review system, but soon took flak for the paper. A firestorm really. Why? The paper discussed Intelligent Design in a positive light. It had been peer-reviewed by scientists who did not agree with Intelligent Design and been called “meritorious” and “worthy of publication” by the same reviewers. Intelligent Design is dissent from the dogma of the scientific community and scientists that depend on the theory of evolution cannot stand dissent. The outrage expressed from Smithsonian Institute against the editor of the scientific journal was so fierce that the U.S. Congress held several inquiries into the abuse of the editor’s rights by the scientific community. Dr. Judith Curry is a premier scientist and department chair at the Georgia Institute of Tech-
nology with brilliance in Climate Research. She has been awarded multiple times by NASA, and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union to name a few of her recognitions. Through 2009 she had doubts about the validity of the mainstream scientific claims regarding global warming, but did not speak out against it using the reasoning that “don’t trust what one scientists says, trust what thousands of scientists say.” In late 2009 climategate broke out with the disclosure of emails from the University East Anglia that demonstrated a lack of credibility in global warming claims. Dr. Curry began investigating the claims more closely and has since become an avid global warming/climate change critic. This had led the Scientific American journal the label her a heretic. Despite her qualifications, her research, and the demonstrable lack of strength climate change actually has, her dissent from scientific dogma has gotten Dr. Curry labeled a heretic. Whether or not Dr. Wilson, peer-reviewed article that support Intelligent Design, or Dr. Curry are right or wrong is no longer relevant. What has become clear is that to differ from scientific doctrines is not something that will get you a pat on the head. Scientific inquiry is based around questioning, and doubting, checking, and testing. If the data falsifies particular theories, then those theories need to be more closely examined or tossed. The scientists should not be treated as intellectual lepers. The manner in which the scientific community treats dissent is a reminder of the way the Scopes monkey trial was handled. History has revealed the lack of tolerance for differing views there to be shortsighted. Hopefully the scientific community will recall the lesson. To talk over dissent and discourage inquiries into mainstream and hard and fast believed scientific positions is to kill the very nature of what science is. And that is a real shame.
The right to be ridiculous Cameron Shaffer Opinion Editor
“The right to be ridiculous is something I hold dear” – U2, Crazy Tonight April Fools Day is in two days, and pranks and general tomfoolery are sure to run wild on campus. There’s something particularly awesome about having a day when normal social restraints on dignity are removed (Halloween also does this quite nicely) and people can act like idiots on purpose without being looked at too oddly. College students are under a lot of pressure. Most of us have to balance being a fulltime student with work in order to deal with thousands of dollars in student loans. We’re also in classes all week trying to keep up with topics like economics, calculus, and clinicals. 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old adults going out and purchas-
ing the newest Pokemon game, or dressing up like Frodo Baggins for International Hobbit Day (and still going to class), or celebrating the Princess of the Month in Killingsworth are demonstrations of ridiculousness in the adult world that is not normally seen, but add value to the college experience. College life is about academics and intellectual precision and that should never be lost on students. Sometimes grades suffer unjustly when the focus gets placed on the wrong and most ludicrous things (World of Warcraft addicts are nice examples of this). But students still need that outlet. We tend to be a bit creative in the ridiculousness we can come up with. And sometimes that is a distinct advantage when it comes to good causes. Last week there were students on campus trying to raise money for their good cause. They both had on shirts that
read “Help Me Shower.” Until one of them raised $500 neither of them could shower. And sometimes being goofy is just plain, good old-fashioned fun. Humans versus Zombies was a game that ran on campus last month that had students that played humans (a fairly easy acting job) wearing bandanas to identify themselves to other students that played zombies. The zombies tried to eat the humans by catching them out in the open, and the humans threw socks at the zombies to keep them away (this probably worked best if these were the same students who didn’t shower). How fun is that? It’s easy to get lost in the seriousness of college and grades, resumes, scholarship applications, and part-time jobs. Sometimes it’s best to relax, prank a friend, and act absolutely silly. Take advantage of April Fools Day.
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March 30, 2011
The Wichitan n 3
Greek.................................................................................................................................................continued from page 1 the museum as an annual fundraiser,” Spears said. She hopes the money raised will allow renovations at the museum to continue where they left off. Some of the projects already completed include repair and renovation of gallery space and improved lighting. Originally, Spears said she had hoped to raise as much as $10 million to finish interior renovations and fund a brand new façade for the WFMA. “We have scaled down the event due to the economy,” Spears said. Now, she hopes to raise enough money to relocate and redesign the museum entrance, improve parking, and make improvements to the restrooms, which are currently not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible. She said the space that formerly housed the planetarium will also become an auditorium-style classroom space. “It is my desire to incorporate the students. This museum belongs to them,” Spears said. She hopes to someday open a café at the museum that would hopefully draw students to the WFMA at lunchtime for sandwiches, soup and salads. Spears began preparing for the Fortnight by visiting Greece last summer to collect ideas and inspiration for the event. The Greek Fortnight will kick off Saturday at 7 p.m. with a black tie fundraiser called “Party at the Parthenon.” For $125 a ticket, guests can enjoy folk dancing performances, entertainment by “Zorba the Greek,” and a silent auction where attendees can bid on Greek-themed art and jewelry. Throughout the next two weeks, individuals can take Greekthemed art classes for all ages, learn how to prepare Greek cuisine, and sit in on lectures about the art and culture of ancient Greek society. Interested parties should contact the museum at 397-8900 to make reservations. Art and cooking classes cost between $20 and $46. The lectures, presented by MSU faculty members, cost between $20 and $25 for the public, and refreshments will be provided. MSU students can attend the lectures for free if they call and register ahead of time. Spears hopes students will take advantage of the opportunity to learn a little bit about ancient Greece. “We would love to see students participate in the lecture series,” Spears said. “It would be a shame for them to miss out.” She hopes the Fortnight will draw in the local community, as well, so that they can become aware of what the WFMA has to offer.
Schedule of Activities for Greek Fortnight: Monday, April 4 Mary Helen Maskill and Jane Spears Light Up Your Life the Greek Way: Ages 10 and up will create a glass mosaic votive, learn about Greek mosaics in the museums of Greece and sample some Greek goodies. $20 Dr. Lynn Hoggard NOT POSSIBLE! The First Epic Poet - a Feminist!: The Iliad and The Odyssey admires, respect, and even reveres women, without whom no man’s success is possible. $25 Tuesday, April 5 Mary Helen Maskill and Jane Spears Under-age Greek Fun: Ages 5 - 9 will explore how to mkae a Greek mosaic, write their names in Greek and understand the olive, which involves eating! $20 Wednesday, April 6 Dr. Stuart McClintock Greek I: Moussaka Madness and Greek Appetizers: Aristotle himself would be impressed with the Moussaka and Greek appetizers that Dr. Stuart McClintock will have you create. $45 Dr. Nathan Jun Philosophy and the Liberal Arts Ideal: For Greeks, philosophy was in many ways the heart and soul of paideia, stressing as it does the process of seeking rather than the act of finding. $20 Thursday, April 7 Jane Spears The Divine Spark Within:
Learn in this workshop how to overcome the limiting beliefs, fears, and guilt that inhibit the creative process. $40 Dr. Dick King The People of Ancient Greece: Writers, Politicians, Philosophers and Historians: The presentation will survey Greek society from the early Archaic Age (c. 800 B.C.) through the time of the Classical Age. $20 Friday, April 8 Dr. Ruth Morrow It’s Greek to Them, Too: Composers of the Renaissance and Baroque attempted to emulat the music of the ancient Greeks, though they actually knew very little about it. $20 Monday, April 11 Mary Helen Maskill and Jane Spears Gouaching Like the Greeks: Ages 14 and up will design and paint with gouache a 2 dimensional Greek vessel from educational material shown at the museum. $20 Tuesday, April 12 Dr. Stuart McClintock Greek II: Shrimp with Greek Appetizers: This second Greek culinary tour will have you tasting and creating Grecian shrimp dish and another group of Greek appetizers along with appropriate Greek wine. $45 Dr. Nancy Steele-Hamme A Most Peculiar Beauty - Greek Art from Archaic to Late Classical Periods: The canon of beauty the Greeks cre-
campus briefs n tuesday: 10th Annual Speak Up Speak Out! Conference: Clark Student Center from 7:30 am. to 5 p.m. ated was very peculiar, much more peculiar than later admirers realized. $20 Wednesday, April 13 Rachel Liles Gods and Mortals: Spend a relaxed evening painting our live models dressed in costume while enjoying Greek wine and hors d’oeuvres. $45 each/$80 a couple. Thursday, April 14 Professor James Hoggard Why Greek Tragedies Make Me Happy: Reflections on the most popular art form of classical Greece. $20 Jane Spears Painting...Myth, Muse or Metaphor: Continuing with the process of creative unblocking, this workshop will explore different art mediums while learning how to get in touch with your own creativity. $40 Friday, April 15 Dr. Ron Fiscli The Idea of Tragedy: Then and Now: The presentation will explore the idea of tragedy as it emerged through the playwriting of Aeschylus, Sophocls and Euripides, and the philosophy of Aristotle. $20
USLAN..........................................................................................................................................................................................................continued from page 1 Batman, was orphaned as a youngster when his parents were gunned down in front of him. “And on this concrete altar of blood, over the bodies of his parents, Bruce Wayne sacrificed his childhood and made a commitment: that some way, somehow, he was going to get the guy who did this. He was going to get all the bad guys, even if it meant he had to go through hell in order to do it,” Uslan said. And when he saw Adam West’s and ABC’s ridiculous portrayal of Batman that night, Uslan made a Batman-like commitment. “I swore that somehow, some way, I would remove those three little words from the consciousness of the world culture: ‘Pow!’ ‘Zap!’ and ‘Wham!’” he said. Uslan knew that he needed to transport Batman from the comics to the cinema – and this time it needed to be done right. But he faced three huge obstacles: he didn’t live in Hollywood, he didn’t know anyone who lived in Hollywood, and he was relatively poor. Fast forward to 1971 at Indiana University, where Uslan was pursuing an undergraduate degree in history. The university had just launched an ‘Experimental Curriculum’ department, where graduate students were invited to pitch ideas for new classes. “It was a time of great experimentation on college campuses – that’s all I’m allowed to say,” he joked. If a panel of deans and professors
liked a student’s pitch, he would be given the opportunity to teach his own ‘experimental’ class. Uslan’s idea was to create a class dedicated to teaching the mythology of comic books. “I couldn’t resist,” he said. “I saw an opportunity here and I devised the world’s first college-accredited course on comic books.” Uslan told the audience that he argued the sociological and mythological tenants of comic books to the faculty panel, desperately trying to convince them of the potential course’s merits. “After all, comic books are a legitimate American art form,” he said. “Comic books, sociologically, have been a mirror of our society since 1934. For better or worse, they reflect out morals, our slang, our fads, and unfortunately, our biases and our prejudices.” He said he also argued that comic books are “contemporary American folklore.” “They are our modern-day mythology. The gods of Greece, Rome and Egypt still exist today – except they wear spandex and capes.” The Greeks called him Hermes. The Romans, Mercury. Comic book readers: The Flash. The Greeks called him Poseidon. The Romans, Neptune. Comic book readers: Aquaman. He said appearing before the panel to argue a case for his new class was like “walking into the secret sanctum of the Justice League of America.” When the panel seemed unconvinced that there was any correlation between
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comic books and common themes in world folklore, he asked the head dean to describe the story of Moses from The Bible. Then he asked him to describe the story of Superman. Minutes later, Uslan had a new class to teach. Word of his course spread fast – people all across the country were very interested about the connection between comic books and society. “I was invited on every radio show you could think of. I never taught one class where we didn’t have television cameras in the room,” he said. Uslan recalled one class where reporters from four different magazines lined the front row. They represented Parade, Family Weekly, Playboy and Penthouse. “This course appealed to everybody,” he said. He was even congratulated for teaching the course by Stan Lee, legendary co-creator of The X-Men, Spider-Man and The Hulk, among others. Soon after, he was offered a job by an exec at DC Comics. It wasn’t long before he was asked to write a storyline for a comic about superhero The Shadow. “It’s all about getting your foot in the door any way you can do it,” Uslan said. After writing his first successful comic book storyline, higher-ups at DC gave Uslan a chance to write a Batman storyline. Dream number one: achieved. “I go back to school at Indiana and all my friends are going back to their dorms to study. I’m writing Batman,” he
said. “I was in heaven.” He then turned to his second dream, to transform the 1960s Batman from an American laughingstock to a mature, brooding character. “I am going to show the world the dark, serious Batman,” he told himself. Bringing this dream to fruition, however, would take much more time, energy and perseverance than he had ever imagined. “That became a trip that would turn into a mammoth, lifetime human endurance contest,” he recollected. Uslan said he got into the movie business by obtaining a law degree from Indiana University. He sold 20,000, twothirds, of his comic books to pay his way through law school. With the degree, he provided legal advice on the set of the first two Rocky films, Apocalypse Now, and Raging Bull. “What great training that was,” he said. “It gave me credibility.” In 1979, Uslan bought the rights to Batman from DC Comics, even though many people advised him it was a waste of money. “Little did I know I would be rejected by every single studio in Hollywood,” he said. After years of having doors slammed in his face, Uslan said he felt tired and dejected. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel. In 1989 he was approached by now-legendary director Tim Burton, who wanted to direct the first Batman movie. Once Jack Nicholson was on board as The Joker, Uslan
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was off to the races. “I was on top of the world,” he said. The movie has a hit, winning an Oscar for production design and receiving worldwide acclaim. In 2008, Uslan said he was also honored by having Christopher Nolan direct The Dark Knight, the most recent edition in the Batman movie series. “What he has done is raise the bar for all comic book-genre films,” he said. “When you walk out of Dark Knight, you no longer have to say, ‘That was a great comic book movie.’ You can say, ‘That was a great film.’” He promised audience members that doors would slam shut in their faces – just like they did for him. He said that you have to persevere to be successful in the “real” world. “When that happens to you, you only have two choices: you can go home and cry about it or you can pick yourself up and knock or those doors again and again,” he said. “You wanna talk about luck – that’s how you make luck. You wanna talk about timing – that’s how you make great timing. Those serious Batman movies came about on my bleeding knuckles. Pure and simple.” Uslan finished his discussion with a stanza from Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken:’ “I would be telling this with a sigh/ Somewhere ages and ages hence/ Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–/ I took the one less traveled by/ And that has made all the difference.”
OPERA..............................continued from page 1 after is the music itself,” Maxwell said. “The beauty of the voice is what I’m after. That’s what sells it. If it’s sung well, the human voice creates the emotion.” Maxwell said he selected the music after he knew which students he would be working with. Many of the class attendees are working to obtain degrees in music education. “I’ve got beginners, those who have never sang opera on stage before, all the way up to advanced students,” he said. “I’ve got a good bunch of kids and I expect it to be a good performance.” He said he expects every student to get something different out of the course, based on his or her experience and participa-
tion. “They’re all going to learn something different, and I can’t dictate that,” he said. Throughout the years, Maxwell has directed the performance with orchestras and actors. This semester, however, only opera singers will be on stage. Most of the pieces are vocal ensembles and they all will be accompanied by piano. “The students love it,” he said. “The students feel like they are making beautiful music together.” Maxwell said he is also excited about the Opera Breve Vocal Intensive in July, presented by MSU alumnus Lenora Eve.
4 n The Wichitan
March 30, 2011
MSU students share fondest teacher memories Can you remember your best teacher? Was it an instructor in elementary school or was it a professor you’ve had while attending MSU? For Aaron Glover, an outreach specialist for the Texas education Agency (TEA), that’s a hard decision to make. He and a documentary team visited MSU
Monday to help students recall their fondest memories of teachers. “For me, the problem was ‘which one?’” Glover said. “I hope that everyone has had at least one teacher that inspired them.” The documentary program, titled ‘The Best Teach in Texas,’ started as a response to negative publicity surrounding the profession of teaching. “The TEA put this tour out
there to get people thinking positively about the teaching profession again,” he said. “We want college people to actually think about their teachers.” Glover, who set up shop with his team in the Clark Student Center Atrium this week, has already spoken to hundreds of students across Texas. The six-week tour, which began in early March, will span universities in 30 cities, including Brownsville, Corpus Christi,
Lubbock, El Paso and Abilene. It will end in mid-April. “It’s been really successful,” he said. “It’s been inspiring. They all have something positive to say about a teacher in their lives.” The group started wrangling students into confessional-type discussions about instructors at about 10 a.m. By 11:30 a.m., they had already spoken to 23 students. After the tour ends, the TEA will choose 5 interviews to place on its blog, www.thebest-
teachintexas.com. Carmen Terry, an education major, participated in the event. She said one of her high school teachers was a huge influence in her life. “She inspired me to finish high school and go onto college to become a teacher,” she said. Crystal Lynch, a junior psychology major, said her drama teacher was her best teacher. “There was always something fun and interesting to do,” she
said. “One type of assignment could teach you two or three different things.” Cara Mullinax, a freshman social work major, said her second grade teacher taught her patience and balance. “She was one of the most balanced teachers,” she said. “She was fair but able to get things done and she rewarded us for doing things right.”
we can continue to operate the university well for the next few years,” Rogers said. Currently, MSU’s designated tuition is lower than the state average, and Rogers doesn’t believe the planned increase is out of line with the actions of other Texas universities. According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, MSU currently receives $5,305 in total state funding per full-time student (15 hours per semester) each year. “That’s $5,305 for 30 hours of work,” Rogers said. “That number, compared to 36 other institutions in Texas, puts us sixth from the bottom in state general revenue appropriations – money that comes through the formula and from special items or special appropriations to the institution.”
Some institutions receive as much as $14,500 each year per full-time student in state appropriations. Rogers said this discrepancy stems from a buildup of special item funding approved by the legislature for individual institutions. “Midwestern has a history of not receiving much in the way of special items,” Rogers said. Rogers said MSU has to make up the difference through tuition and fees as well as funding from its endowments and trusts. Students won’t be expected to bridge the gaps created by budget cuts alone. Rogers said three budget committees have worked to put together a tentative plan to scale back spending across the entire university. “It will be necessary for us to find ways to continue to oper-
ate more efficiently, to find new sources of income, and certainly to cut from our operations,” Rogers said. Rogers said they plan to budget $150,000 of anticipated reductions in personnel costs. “We will do our best to hold positions open as long as we dare without hurting the university, which saves money,” Rogers said. Additionally, Rogers said they plan to save more than $1 million in faculty and staff reductions through hiring restrictions. “We have also cut maintenance and operations (M&O) and travel by $800,000,” he said. Rogers said they are temporarily cutting gifted summer programs at the university, but that MSU will continue offering a full summer schedule for MSU students.
In total, Rogers said these proposed budget reductions would save $4.28 million for the next biennium. MSU will also attempt to offset cuts in state appropriations by bringing in new revenue. Tuition and fee increases will bring the university an estimated $1.5 million or more for each of the next two years. “We are also going to increase (the cost) of student parking modestly and we are going to propose a parking fee for staff, faculty and administrators,” Rogers said. The draft of budget recommendations estimates that increasing parking fees and fines could bring in more than $120,000 each year. Rogers said he hopes to draw more funding from MSU’s trusts and endowments for the next biennium.
“The stock market has come back up, and consequently our endowments look a lot better than they did when we put our last budget together,” he said. “Our plans are to prevail on the boards of the trusts – the MSU Foundation as well as the committee that invests our endowment – to pull a little bit more out of our endowments than we have in the past.” In total, the new income that would be generated by these tentative plans would amount to $1.9 million. Rogers said the university is anticipating a few new costs, as well. “We feel like we need one more policeman on this campus,” he said. “We also need some police equipment – cars and so forth.” He also plans to return money to the university’s reserves.
“We need to reduce our use of funds enough to return money to our reserves,” Rogers said. “We can’t continue to (live on our reserves). The future is too uncertain for higher education. We’re planning on returning about $700,000 to our reserves.” Additionally, the university must start paying debt service on phase two of the coliseum renovations, a new cost of approximately $120,000 per year. While none of these plans can be finalized until legislators decide on an official budget for the next biennium, Rogers believes that MSU has a solid game plan to handle even a worst-case scenario.
sive people. We enjoy music and dance without inhibitions.” The Caribbean, otherwise known as the West Indies, exhibits a society full of cultural expressions, which has been shaped by the hardships they
endure. The organization, with 300 members, used “Caribbean Expression” as a vehicle to showcase individual talent and highlight culture practices within each island. “Culture and awareness create
opportunities within the community to share various aspects of our Caribbean culture,” Lewis said. For fashion they modeled various headwraps of the market woman, the cane cutter and the
fisherman. “Our people being of African descent, the spirit of dance punctuates our very being, so much that it was said to have led to capture and enslavement of our ancestors,” Lewis said.
“The Masquerade” dance with its carnival jubilance lit up the stage. The dance comes from the twin island federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. The organization is now
planning the CSO Olympics, a sporting even with track and field events popularized in the Caribbean culture. The activities include such events as a threadthe-needle and wheelbarrow race.
Chris Collins Managing Editor
BUDGET........................................................................................................................................................................................................continued from page 1
CARIBBEAN.................................................................................................................................................................................................continued from page 1
2011 Honors Symposium
A SpEciAl oFFEr For
MidwEStErn StAtE UnivErSity StUdEntS
Hannah Hofmann Photo Editor
Honors students gathered Saturday in Dilliard for the annual Honors Program Symposium. Dr. Michael Vandehey opened the event with his keynote address about propaganda. Several students prepared presentations. Tiffany Barthelmy talked about foreign policies; Kamila Bell discussed the role of Fidel Castro in the deterioration of U.S.-Cuban relations in the 1960s; Arrey-Njock Takang Orock followed with his presentation on the reunification of Cameroon. After a short break, Nikita Jack and Linda Watkins reopened the session with a talk about Aztec mythology and astronomy. Shelby Willeby spoke about the evolution of the Olympics from their Greek origin to today’s current events. Precious Goje discussed a more serious topic – the development and causes of congenital diaphragmatic hernia and possible treatment options. After another short break, Kyle Christian presented a lecture comparing Odysseus to James Bond. Rachel Terrell closed Top: Kyle Christian speaking about similarities between greek hero Odysseus and the symposium with her presentation on gargoyles. All special agent James Bond. (Photo by Han- attending honors students were invited to join for a buffet-style lunch afterward. nah Hofmann)
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March 30, 2011
The Wichitan n 5
its Friday, Friday. Gotta get down on Friday YouTube sensation Rebecca Black’s fifteen minutes of fame advances despite criticism Jeremy Olson MCT Look elsewhere for opinions on 13-year-old Rebecca Black’s autotuned, viral music video “Friday.” It’s not that hard. More than 64 million people (and counting) have seen the official YouTube version, which was funded by her parents and produced by Ark Factory. And 1,064,611 people (and counting) have posted their comments on that version of the song. (That doesn’t include comments on blogs and reposts, etc.) What interests me is the criticism over the decision by the
Black family itself to even put the song out for the world to see. It was a successful decision by a couple measures -- including “Friday” entering the Billboard Hot 100 at #72, the 13-year-old Black to an awful lot of sharp and even hateful criticism. A Forbes blogger draws parallels between the Blacks’ decision and other parents’ substantial investments of time and money to promote their children through traveling sports. A New York Times parenting blogger had the additional perspective of knowing parents whose child went through a similar viral music hit saga. The Times blogger noted that parents who don’t
want the critical feedback should consider eliminating the comment sections from their teens’ YouTube productions. Colleen Gengler, a University of Minnesota expert in teen parenting, said the Rebecca Black saga isn’t necessarily a warning against teens posting performances or presentations on YouTube. It is a reminder that parents need to work hard to understand what their teens are doing and thinking (both in real life and social media) and how they might respond to criticism. While teens might not experience the crushing criticism of a viral video, they might experience teasing from mistakes in
sports or a school production. And while criticism on social media is often anonymous, it can still have an impact on impressionable teens. “It does matter,” Gengler said. “It is hurtful, but I think parents are in the position to help your child say, ‘OK, where is this coming from? Does it really affect me? No, I can’t please everyone.’” “It goes back to that parentteen relationship,” Gengler stressed. “What do parents know about their teen’s life?” 13-year-old Rebecca Black in “Friday” music video. (Photo Courtesy)
‘Dreadfully’ yours, Jane Austen fans Author of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” continues with franchise Tish Wells MCT The further they get from Jane Austen, the better the zombie mash-up books become. Enter “Dreadfully Ever After” by Steve Hockensmith, book three in a zombie trilogy that started with “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” which was a combination of Jane Austen’s classic novel of manners set in the early 1800s and contemporary zombie movie mania. The first in the series was “Dawn of the Dreadfuls” by Hockensmith. Here the five Bennet sisters became trained in the ninja arts to protect England from brain-chomping zombie hordes known as “dreadful.” “Pride and Prejudice and Zom-
bies” follows and is more directly based on the Jane Austen novel. Here, not only do the sisters do battle but they try to find husbands. Elizabeth Bennet meets Lord Darcy — a scion of a notable zombiebattling clan — they fall in love and marry. “Dreadfully Ever After” is more a sequel to “Dawn” than to “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” Also written by Hockensmith, “Dreadfully” covers what happens next. Since Jane Austen did not write a sequel to her classic novel, Hockensmith has a free hand to do what he wants with the characters from the original. And what he does is entertaining. Taking up the story four years after Elizabeth Bennet has married Lord Darcy, we find the relationship having its rough spots. Darcy worries
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that his wife is dissatisfied with him; she is reluctant to admit that she’s not interested in having children and wants to go back to fighting. All this is forgotten by the end of the first chapter when Darcy is bitten by a zombie, thereby dooming him to hunger for bloody flesh and oozing brains as he slowly rots away. Is there a cure? Told that there might be one, Elizabeth and her sisters — since it quickly becomes a family affair — go to London to find the antidote. In the meantime, Darcy goes back to his home where his aunt, the fearsome zombie killer Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and her daughter Anne will keep him as human as they can until Elizabeth returns with a miracle. Nothing is as it seems in either place. Toss in a royal coronation, a
partitioned London with zombiefilled and zombie-free zones, various crazed aristocrats, a “Man in a Box” who has a history with the Bennets, and a huge rabbit called Brummell, and you have a romp of a Regency romance laced with graphic descriptions of meals unfit for human consumption. As for the happy ending? That depends on your point of view. Chomp! WHERE TO BUY: Books-A-Million: $12.95 Hastings: $12.95 Barnes & Noble: $12.95 Amazon.com: $7.77
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The comic duo of Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro return as the eager to please son-in-law and an overbearing father-in-law in Little Fockers. Greg Focker (Stiller) has finally earn the respect of his ex-CIA agent father-in-law, Jack Bynes (De Niro). Now the test is will Greg prove to be the family’s new leader or will the “circle of trust” be broken for good? This hysterical family affair brings back Owen Wilson, Teri Polo, Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand. The DVD includes: - Alternate Opening: Wedding Dream and Morning Wakeup - Alternate Ending: Treehouse - Gag Reel - The Making of A Godfocker: Behind the Scenes of Little Fockers - The Focker Foot Locker
DVD released: April, 5 2011 Genres: Comedy Starring: Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro Rating: PG-13 for mature sexual humor throughout, language and some drug content Running Time: 1 hour 38 minutes
Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller in “Little Fockers.” (Photo Courtesy)
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March 30, 2011
Jake Gyllenhaal hits a home run with new action thriller
Oscar nominee proves he is more than just a movie hunk in one of his best performances since ‘Brokeback Mountain’ John Anderson MCT Alfred Hitchcock had a celebrated recipe for suspense: a time bomb planted under a table, people sitting at the table and only the audience being aware that something is ticking. It’s a formula for tension that’s more or less thrown out the train window by “Source Code,” the psychological thriller opening Friday and starring Jake Gyllenhaal: The movie has about eight explosions. Characters and audience know they’re coming. And you can still cut the tension with a knife. But “Source Code” — the name given a highly experimental military project by which an Army helicopter pilot is sent back through time to investigate a commuter-train bombing in Chicago — takes its own novel tack toward creating suspense. Colter Stevens (Gyllenhaal) has been severely wounded (this is not a spoiler). The military’s Source Code researchers, led by the ruthless Rutledge ( Jeffrey Wright), have found that in the last eight minutes of someone’s life. He or she can access a parallel reality, thus providing the opportunity for someone to get on that train and find out what happened — not change the past, just discover what happened. One of the problems is that Colter has to figure out where he is and what’s going on before he can actually investigate, and he only has eight minutes and — BOOM! — the train’s blown up. So he goes back again. And back again. Just as Colter is under pressure, so were the filmmakers, who had to avoid the traps of a “Groundhog Day” setup. It didn’t bother Gyllenhaal. “No,” he said, “it attracted me. It attracted me because it was an opportunity to play a character who was experiencing things at
the same time as the audience is experiencing things. So, in a way, I could be asking the same questions the audience would be asking, just as I was asking them.” The Oscar-nominated actor (“Brokeback Mountain”) said that the most critical — and most frequent — direction he got from Duncan Jones was “make it weirder.” “We knew beforehand that the only way this was going to be engaging and intriguing and fun to watch was through variation,” Gyllenhaal said. “How Duncan staged a scene, how I responded, how I gathered information, how much I was aware of what was going, and how much I wasn’t aware. So it felt like a real tightrope walk for me. And as soon as I stopped thinking about all those cliched responses you might expect from an actor in a thriller, as soon as it became a real psychological exploration, it became fascinating to me.” Gyllenhaal has become one of the more respected Hollywood actors of his generation, largely through roles that seem, if not anti-Hollywood, then certainly unconventional. “Brokeback” came with builtin risks. “Donnie Darko” may have made his career, but it’s a strange entity nonetheless. “I have a relatively strange mind,” Gyllenhaal says. “Some strange things are going to come from it.” While there has been the occasional payday, like “Prince of Persia” (“Even there I tried to throw in a little bit of something,” he countered), he’s also done “The Good Girl,” “Lovely & Amazing,” the grossly underappreciated “Zodiac” and, more recently, “Brothers,” the Jim Sheridan’s adaptation of the Susanne Bier’s Danish film. “I loved that story and I loved that character,” he said. “In fact, I loved that character maybe more than any I’ve played; I’d like to bring him back in some kind of
incarnation again ‘cause I just loved what he was struggling with. “But yeah,” he added. “I think things work the best when I listen to my own instincts.” Those instincts led him to recruit Jones (the son of David Bowie) to direct “Source Code.” “He was the one who suggested I read the script,” said the director, whose sci-fi “Moon” had caught Gyllenhaal’s attention. “The first time I read it, I found it incredibly exciting. The second time I read it was as a director, and I really scratched my head: How do we get through all the repetition? How do we get through all the claustrophobic environments? How do you break out of those and make the film feel bigger and not make the audience feel like they’re seeing the same thing again and again? To be honest, part of the draw was the puzzlesolving aspect of it.” One solution was variation; another was the love story that develops — in eight–minute increments — between Gyllenhaal and co-star Michelle Monaghan. One thing the filmmakers couldn’t have foreseen was that the country would be in another military engagement just as Gyllenhaal was playing yet another serviceman (a Marine in “Jarhead” being his most notable). And a wounded one at that. “I always feel a sense of responsibility,” the actor said of playing soldiers. “There’s the whole argument about whether movies have an influence, and from my experience, yes: I have people coming up and saying, ‘My brother enlisted because he saw “Jarhead” and he loved that movie so much.’ Or, you know, ‘”Brokeback Mountain” changed my life; I was always ashamed of the way that I felt, and I saw that movie and it made me feel this way or that way.’ “You know,” he added, “there are so many responses to mov-
Orlando Flores, Jr For the Wichitan
The month of March ends with a bang. This week, The Feed showcases albums by some of the most powerful performers in music.
ies, sometimes I think, with this movie, ‘Well, there could be a 12-year-old kid who’s going to see this movie, who’s going to be
one of the most brilliant scientists in the world, and who says, “You know, that source code’s a brilliant idea; maybe we can
Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan “makes every second count” in their latest film, ‘Source Code’ that releases Friday. (Photo Courtesy)
Director Duncan Jones second film, ‘Source Code’ already has critics calling it one of the best film released so far this year. (Photo Courtesy)
Britney Spears Femme Fatale
Katy B On a Mission
Britney is back and doing what she does best, creating catchy pop songs blended with the trendy electronic dance beats.
Across the pond, Katy B is doing the same dubstep mixed with pop that Ms. Spears is attempting on her album, but with better precision.
The Verdict: 2.5/4 - For Die Hard Fans Only
Bibio Mind Bokeh
The Verdict: 3.5/4 - Don’t Sleep on This One
Wiz Khalifa Rolling Papers
Anoter great electronic musician from Adult Swim’s crop of producers releases a great album full of soulful melodies and intricate beats.
Snoop Dogg Doggumentary
Khalifa’s biggest problem with his major label debut isn’t meeting high expectations, but deciding if he’s a rapper or a pop artist.
The Verdict: 3/4 - Deserves a Listen
make that happen.’” It may be too outlandish and hopeful, but I believe in the power of movies.”
Snoop’s newest album finds the O.G. attempting to resurrect his former self while still working with today’s hottest producers.
The Verdict: 2/4 - Questionable
The Verdict: 2.5/4 - For Die Hard Fans Only
LOCAL THEATRE EVENTS:
n THE “ 25TH PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE - BACKDOOR THEATRE: “The Bee” was extended for another two dates: April 1st and 2nd. Six adolescent outsides star in this hilarious musical about the spelling championship. They learn that winning isn’t everything and losing doesn’t make you a loser. Tickets are on sale at www.backdoortheatre.org/ n THE SOUND OF MUSIC - The Wichita Theatre: Starting Friday, April 1, The Von Trap family comes to Wichita Falls in the Tony Award winning musical. With memorable musical numbers such as, “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” and “The Sound of Music,” the tickets are now on sale at the box office on 10th & Indiana. V er y C l ose to S A F
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March 30, 2011
On Deck This Week n
friday: april. 1 softball: lsc crossover @ san angelo
vs. angelo state
12:30 p.m. vs. abilene 4:30 p.m.
2 p.m. n
Saturday: april. 2 softball: lsc crossover @ san angelo
vs. texas a&m-kingsville
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tennis: men’s and women’s vs. st. mary’s
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vs. tarleton state
The Wichitan n 7
Mustangs cycle minor problems in Waco Loren Eggenschwiler For the Wichitan
21:39. The men’s A category had two teams. Short, Wichterich, Hamre and The MSU cycling team earned a Sean Brown came in 2nd with 20:02 variety of honors this past weekend. and Carter, Martinez, Baca and RobThe team began racing Saturday ertson came in 3rd with 20:42. morning with the road race. Sundays temperatures dropped in Men’s A category started the races the low 50s as the team hit the criteoff at 9 a.m. rium course. During the 60 mile race, there was The course was a four corner, .74a crash that took four MSU men out, mile loop, which crossed over the one needing stitches, but Danny Rob- Brazos River on one end and back ertson, Francis Hamre and Josh Cart- across at the other end. er were able to bridge Jason Short The winds were pretty strong that back to the pack. day as well. Short was able to take 2nd thanks Women’s B started the day for to the help of his teammates. MSU, where Hess took 4th again. Alexi Martinez and Sebastian Men’s B and Women’s A raced toWichterich followed in for 3rd and gether again. Klemko took 1st, fol4th. lowed by Eggenschwiler and RoutThe Women’s A raced with the ledge for 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Men’s B again, after a quick scare of a The men’s B took 2nd, Ricky Randall separation. and 3rd, Fidel Goytia. Natalie Klemko stayed at the front The men’s A finished the day of with the men, taking 1st for the racing. women. There was a lot of action going on Loren Eggenschwiler was able to as individuals took off on the front take 2nd after riding with two racers and were slowly brought back by opfrom Tulane for more than half of the ponents. 45 miles. Carter took the sprint for 1st folThe women’s B racers did a fantas- lowed by A&M’s Cody Foster. Short, tic job. Brown, Baca and Martinez came in Ashley Weaver came in 1st and 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. teammate Bailey Hess took 4th. It was an overall good weekend for During the lunch break, Robertson MSU. received stitches after getting cut by MSU will be hosting this weeka rock. end’s races. Everyone had lunch and headed Saturday morning will be the Road back in the Waco heat for the Team race out on Hatton Rd. starting at Time Trial. 7:20 a.m. with more racing later at The temperatures reached in the 4:30 p.m. at the same location. mid 90’s as the races began. Sunday is the on campus CriteriWomen’s B, Weaver and Hess um, starting with high school at 8:20 started the TTT for MSU were they a.m. took 4th place. Races will continue through 1 p.m. Women’s A, Klemko, Routledge For more information you can The men’s cycling team cross the bridge during last weekend’s and Eggenschwiler took 1st with check out MSUcyclingteam.com. race in Waco. (Photo by Loren Eggenschwiler) 24:29. Men’s B took 1st as well, with
MSU rugby faces defeat in scrimmage against TCU
Junior flanker Sammerr Al-badani fights to break from the grip of two Horned-Frog defenders. Midwestern State lost to Texas Christian, 40-25. Next, the Mustangs play their last game of the season on the homefield. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday. (Photo by Damian Atamenwan)
‘Qdoba’ and ‘Qdoba Mexican Grill’ are registered trademarksof the Qdoba Restaurant Corporation ©2010.
Damian Atamenwan For the Wichitan MSU suffered an away loss in a scrimmage against Texas Christian University. The Mustangs hadn’t played any games since the championship and were ready to get back in rugby shape. MSU kicked-off to TCU who held possession and scored within two minutes of play.
Center Zach Apperson cancelled out the Horned-frogs’ points but they slotted more tries as they dominated the first half. The second half started well for MSU as they had greater ball possession and desire to maintain it. Team captain Mo Aboukar and prop Soopy Musaruwa scored more and gave MSU a
hope for victory. MSU played harder, eyeing an opportunity to win but Apperson’s second try wasn’t enough to make a comeback. The contest ended in TCU’s favor, 40-25. MSU will play the last game of the season at home against the University of Dallas this Saturday.
March 30, 2011
Deviance Skate Supply employee “Jobot” expresses his thoughts regarding the upcoming Zumiez skate shop set to arrive in Wichita Falls later this year. (Photo by Hannah Hofmann)
Local skate shop doesn’t fear corporate bigwig Andre Gonzalez Sports Editor
In the Fall of 2005, Jeff Marion came to Wichita Falls with high prospects of bringing skateboarding to the community. He started out skateboarding in 1988, started selling skateboards in 1995, and then opened his own skate shop in Montgomery, Ala. in 1998. Marion’s s h o p was unfortunately Marion closed in 2002, so he later came back to his hometown of Wichita Falls to open Deviance Skate Supply/Digital Deviance, part skate shop, part screenprinting shop. The business has been successful and is going on its five-year mark, according to Marion. However, a new enemy lies in Deviance’s sights. Zumiez, a corporate, mall-
based skate shop, will open its doors in Sikes Senter mall and to the Wichita Falls community later this year. In 2008, they generated a revenue of more than 408 million dollars and will open 43 other stores this year, including in Canada. Large and expansive stores, like Zumiez, hold no core values, putting shops like Deviance out of business, according to Marion. “It defeats the whole principle of skateboarding,” Marion said. “For one, skateboarding was never meant for the masses. Shops like Zumiez are bad for the industry, their making it hard for shops like this (Deviance) to exist.” Marion claimed that shops like his, serve the community better than what a corporate store ever will. “As far as contributions go, we help out with FallsFest every year,” Marion said. “We set up a free skate exhibit for people that do pay to get in, they can come in and skate on our dime.” In the Summer of 2008, a skate park was opened in Wichita Falls.
Marion and his company did the majority of the work to get the skate park for the community. “That was all us, that wasn’t Zumiez or any other corporate group,” he said. “It was all local, I don’t remember seeing them at any meetings.” Deviance has run a long campaign against corporate companies like Zumiez, trying to keep them out of the community. But location may dissuade the locally owned skate shop from their clientele, since Deviance is in the downtown area, and Zumiez will be in a convenient spot. “There will be some kids that go to the mall just because their mom doesn’t want to bring them downtown because they think downtown’s dangerous or that it’s too far,” Marion said. “It’s sad, but that’s the state of everything now, people don’t have core values anymore” As far as losing customers, Marion predicted the business’s biggest loss will be the military sales from airmen at Sheppard Air Force Base. “The city pretty much buses
them to the mall, they have no choice, that’s the hub,” he said. “That’s probably where we’ll get affected the most.” With Zumiez opening drawing near, Marion planned not to advertise extra in order to get the word out about his shop. If the shop sales become affected, Marion said downsizing could be an option. Though Deviance offers lower prices than what Zumiez can bring to the community “Most kids don’t want to go to the mall and pay $70 for a board when they can come here and pay $56,” he said. Deviance also offers their own brand of clothing and skateboard equipment at even lower prices. “That’s what we sell the most of anyway,” Marion said. “People can come get our boards for $35, so customers will save a whole bunch there, they won’t be able to find that deal at Zumiez.” As far as competition, Marion believed it was healthy. “Definitely not thrilled about it, but this is America,” he said. “I don’t fear it.”
Softball takes 1st in MSU tournament Andre Gonzalez Sports Editor The MSU softball team took control this past weekend to claim the championship title of the second MSU Invitational tournament, beating out four other teams. “I thought there were good teams coming in, but of course everyone’s good at the college level,” head softball coach Brady Tigert said. Friday, the Mustangs took a split. They lost to Central Missouri, but bouncing back with a victory against St. Mary’s. Central Missouri took a 3-1 win over MSU. Lead by Jamin Landreth who improved 4-1 on the season. Landreth limited the Mustangs to one unearned run on six hits while walking two and striking out two. Heading off into the third in-
ning, short stop McKenzie Sickler took a leadoff double into the right field gap and high-tailed herself to third base. Sickler allowed MSU to have a 1-0 lead after making a turn at third and getting past Central Missouri’s third basemen Katie Groves. MSU kept the lead into the fifth inning before Central Missouri striked a two-run hit completed by Jaydee Young, following a bunt single by Ashlea Bengston. In the sixth inning, pitcher Kristina Gutierrez was bumped into her first loss of the season after Central Missouri gained an unearned run on a sacrifice fly. Later in the day, the Mustangs redeemed themselves with a victory against St. Mary’s, 2-1. Outfielder Elena Bennett reached an infield single, stole second base, and scored on leftfielder Nicki Duff ’s infield single, giving MSU an 1-0 lead in the first inning.
During the top of the fourth inning, St. Mary’s tied the game as Katie Nichols slammed a home run, but she was the only Rattler to give St. Mary’s a leg up. Pitcher Brittney Tanner permitted only one walk and clocked in 11 strikeouts. Sunday afternoon, the Mustangs continued to do damage, this time against Delta State and St. Edward’s. Delta State fell victim to MSU’s wrath, 10-0. “We exploded on Sunday and got back on track,” Tigert said. In the first inning, Bennett was granted a walk, proceeded to steal second base, and scored on Duff ’s RBI single. Second basemen Carey Campbell and right fielder Amanda Potysman both hit homeruns in the fourth inning to advance the Mustangs to a 5-0 lead. Potysman also hit another run on a single through the right side of the infield during the fifth
In the sixth inning, MSU rolled out consecutive singles by Bennett and Duff. Gutierrez then notched a three-hit shutout with seven strikeouts and one walk, improving 12-1 on the season. In the second game of the day, MSU dropped St. Edward’s 7-0. Jerrick made the Hilltoppers eat her dust after taking a 2-0 offering from St. Edward’s Diana Cezeaux for a two-runner as part of a three-runner in the first inning. Jerrick then pumped a 2-2 offering from St. Edwards’s Paige Sandahl, giving MSU a 5-0 lead. Then to close out the scoring, MSU put on two more runs in the fifth. Next, the Mustangs compete in the Lone Star Conference Crossover this weekend in San Angelo.
Freshman catcher Kim Jerrick goes up to bat during the second MSU Invitational. (Photo by Hannah Hofmann)