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Volume 96 | Issue 41
Sunny 64° / 37° The Student Newspaper of the University of North Texas
Council gives station to UNT Denton public access channel takes new direction
BY ERIC JOHNSON
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY STEPHANIE CHAN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Michael Connors, the primary physician for the clinic and a physical therapy faculty member, uses the Anti-Gravity Treadmill to help patients regain mobility.
Device helps people walk on air BY STEPHANIE CHAN Contributing Writer
A treadmill whirs to life as the positive air pressure lifts the operator slightly off the tracks. With the machine’s quiet humming, rehabilitation patients are able to walk or run without the pain and pressure of their injuries. The Patient Care Center at UNT’s Health Science Center has Tarrant County’s first Alter-G Anti-Gravity Treadmill, which is designed to simulate water buoyancy. “It has a little bit ... broader of an application than aquatic therapy does,” said Michael Connors, the primary physician for the clinic and physical therapy faculty member. For the center’s new physical therapy clinic, this advanced modality provides a controlled environment.
Compared to a pool, the AntiGravity Treadmill is more sanitary and takes up less space, Connors said. The treadmill uses air pressure to lift the user off his or her weight and was originally designed with astronauts in mind. It serves a wide range of patients from 4-feet4-inch tall, 60 pound children to adults who weigh 350 pounds. From athletes to people with Parkinson’s disease, Connors said, the treadmill is able to accommodate and adjust to the needs of the population. “It’s the neatest thing,” Les Patterson said. Nearly one year ago, an all-terrain vehicle crushed Patterson, ripping his skin and muscle and causing him to lose four inches of his tibia. He lay in a coma for two months and afterward was restricted to a wheelchair for nine
months. The confinement led to limited blood flow and weight gain. “To walk on it with full weight on my foot, my ankle, my leg, it hurts tremendously,” Patterson said. “What this does is release the pain by taking my weight off
“What this does is release the pain by taking my weight off.”
—Les Patterson Rehabilitation patient
me so I can walk at a regular gait, which helps the swelling.” Patterson walks using a cane. He said his lack of cardio exercise makes walking 300 feet tiring.
“I’m almost out of breath,” he said. Patterson is able to walk with as much as 70 percent of his weight for as long as 20 minutes. The treadmill increases the blood flow in his swollen left leg and breaks up scar tissue without straining his muscles. His wife, Rita Patterson, is a doctor of osteopathic medicine and professor at UNTHSC. The therapy has helped with his healing, she said. The sessions have increased the range of motion in his ankle and allowed him to move more naturally, she said. Rita Patterson said she hopes this new modality will teach him to use compensatory motion, which requires patients to use other muscles to function instead of the damaged muscle or ligament.
Editor-in-Chief Denton’s public access channel will have a new home: UNT. The Denton City Council approved the change as part of its consent agenda in a unanimous vote Tuesday. The Mayborn School of Journalism will run the station. “We are not going to be stagnant,” said Nann Goplerud, interim chairwoman of the news department. “We are going to move this channel forward. This channel gives our students [the opportunity] to put into practice what they learn in class every day and will remain a place where residents can share their voice with the community.” The Mayborn proposal was one of two the City Council considered. Texas Filmmakers submitted the other and voiced concerns about turning the channel over to the university. “The university’s No. 1 job is to educate students,” group president Joshua Butler said. “It’s going to be a UNT thing, content created by the students. I’m not sure there will be an incentive to increase community input.” Texas Filmmakers is made up of Denton residents and several graduates of UNT’s radio, television and film department. The group will present the fourth annual Thin Line Film Fest, Texas’ only documentary film festival, in February in downtown Denton. Butler said it has been assisting the residents who produce content for the public
a c c e s s channel since Texas Filmmakers was created in 2004. T h a t experience NANN could have GOPLERUD helped residents, Butler said. But he feels UNT is capable of running the channel. “There is no animosity,” Butler said. “We know we can always count on them being there now. They will be accountable and I’m sure
“We are going to move this channel forward.”
—Nann Goplerud News department chairwoman
there will be some cool things produced. I’m just disappointed we weren’t given the opportunity.” Because of previous partnerships with the Mayborn, the city felt confident in turning the channel over, said Billy Matthews, the city’s cable TV supervisor. “We were looking for the most viable solution to provide long-term success,” Matthews said. “It’s incumbent on them to run it now. We’ll be looking in and paying attention and keeping our ears open, but they have the faculty who has the talent and experience to handle the situation.” Goplerud said the channel would be repackaged as Denton Community Television. The move will be effective Jan. 1, and a studio will be built in the Daily office.
SGA supports Center gets physical therapy program weapons ban BY STEPHANIE CHAN
BY ISAAC WRIGHT Senior Staff Writer
The Student Government Association unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday in favor of the state’s ban of concealed weapons on college campuses. There is a bill on the floor of the Texas Legislature that would change the ban, which the SGA said was unneccesary. “I feel the campus police, having 46 officers 24/7 on campus, is adequate for the safety of the students,” said Matthew Florez, senator for the Honors College. This legislation is a response to violence like the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007. More recently, a gunman committed suicide in September in a campus library at the University of Texas with an AK-47. Some college campuses in Texas have written legislation supporting the change, said Kevin Sanders, SGA president. Joel Arredondo, SGA speaker and member of the organization who introduced the proposal, rejected the notion that lifting the ban would make people safer. “[The police] don’t necessarily have a description of the
s h o o t e r ,” Arredondo said. “They are immediately going to start looking for someone with a JOEL weapon.” ARREDONDO The SGA also passed a resolution to tear down the bulletin board outside of the University Union after a call for support from Union director Zane Reif. “I’d like to get rid of the kiosk because I think it’s an eyesore,” Reif said. The post should be removed, Reif said, because the layers of fliers produce litter when the paper is blown off by the wind or taken down by students. Many SGA members felt it is ineffective in communicating with students. The Union and the SGA are coming up with ideas for what will replace the boards, and those wishing to post information on the replacement will have to go through the SGA. “The only reason it would go through us is so that we can monitor it,” Kevin Sanders said. “There’s still stuff from 2002 up there right now.”
Contributing Writer FORT WORTH — UNT’s Health Science Center started seeing its first patients last month in a new physical therapy program. Michael Connors, the primary clinician for the physical therapy clinic and a physical therapy faculty member, oversees the gym-like facility. “We have the potential to meet the needs of a diverse group of patients,” Connors said. With the Higher Education Assistance Fund, the clinic was able to open without increasing UNTHSC students’ tuition. The clinic offers rehabilitative care. Among all the treadmills, weights and exercise balls, a Nintendo Wii sits beneath a clear flat-screen TV. He uses it as a reward that gets the patients active. “For adults, it’s about challenging balance, encouraging activities,” Connors said. “For kids it’s just about getting them to do something.”
Physical Therapy Degree
PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DO
The UNT Health Science Center has its first class of physical therapy majors. The group will graduate in 2013. normally by prescribing crutches, canes or other devices. Modalities include devices ranging from magnets to pelvic belts to sophisticated equipment, such as iontophoresis devices, which send medicine or other chemicals through the skin electronically without injections. “Physical therapy treatments are not an overnight cure,” Liu said. Muscles take longer to heal than internal organs. “Instead of giving you a drug to fix it, they actually spend time and show you how to heal, walk this way, stretch this,” said Matt Walden, president of the Physical Therapy Student Association.
Physical therapy deals with muscle repair and mobility. When patients have surgery, they can lose the ability to walk normally. Physical therapy faculty member Howe Liu said as physical therapists, they have to use modality to reduce the painful areas and increase the ability to walk The first year
Physical therapy is one of the top-10 fastest growing occupations, according to the Department of Labor. With more than 60 million baby boomers ready to retire, the demand for physical therapists is rising, Connors said. A special part of the curricu lum is t he Rura l Track Program. The program brings students to the rural areas of Texas that lack physicians or physical therapists and aligns with the mission of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. “You have to t h i n k of somebody who might have limited mobility and limited resources, not being able to
access a physician because of geography,” Connors said. T he prog ra m is i n t he accreditation process, and if the program doesn’t succeed, st udent s w i l l be pl ac e d in other programs such as at t he Universit y of Texas Southwestern, Connors said. “I’m really excited to be a part of the inaugural, or first, class because we get to have a say of what happens next,” said Emily Blalack, secretary of the association . “I really hope that it grows and that it gets a good reputation and that we get the reputation and report that other schools have so that when we go out, people know who we are.”