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Behind the scenes of UNT’s summer orientation leaders


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VOL. 113 No. 4

UNT Natural Hair Club lets loose for fall

Back to the arcades

By Kenya Menjivar @kenya_menjivar The topic of natural hair has been a trending topic throughout social media and is a very important subject in UNT sophomore Nyah’s Buckrham’s life — so much so that she reinstated the Natural Hair Club at UNT. The Natural Hair Club was active for a couple of years until the previous president graduated with her degree. Buckrham, the new president, has made it her mission to restore the club and make it a positive environment for all who are interested. “I [said to myself] I needed to create a space where people are like, ‘I wanna go natural — they’re allnatural,’” Buckrham said. “[It’s] just [for] everyone [to] love what they were given.” When Buckrham arrived Nyah at UNT, she realized all the Buckrham girls she deemed “pretty” were girls with weaves and fake hair. She realized she didn’t want to assimilate to that style again, but instead wanted to exemplify the beauty of people wearing their hair natural. Since her freshman year in high school, Buckrham has kept her hair natural. Her journey started by cutting off all her hair. The feedback from people on Twitter has been positive, and many have already pledged to join in the fall. “Everyone was so excited,” Buckrham said. “There’s a lot of people that are seniors now that are so excited, [and] I’ve received many tweets.” Buckrham wants this organization to be a safe environment and for all to be welcomed. She would like to spread positivity among all girls — and even guys who have embraced their natural hair. The organization will be all-inclusive. Buckrham said one of the first things members will do is share their different hair techniques. Because every person has different hair, there are many different ways to take care of it. Before she can start doing that, she has to get people excited about the organization. Since Buckrham won’t be able to table at orientations until Mean Green Fling in late August, she will be doing a lot of giveaways on Twitter this summer. These will include hair products,


Denton’s new arcade hits road bump in opening By Shane Monaco @ShaneMonaco1

Top: UNT alumna Lyndi Wade plays one of the many pinball games at the front of Free Play Denton. She likes the social element that the games provide. Bottom: Beta test days are designed so that players can inform Free Play personel of any of the games’ hardware or software malfunctions. This allows games like this pinball machine to be repaired as necessary. Photos by Josh Jamison

The opening of Denton’s new retro arcade, Free Play, has run into a delay in opening because of a six-month wait in getting its liquor license, according to a statement posted on its Facebook. The bar and arcade mix was supposed to open Wednesday, which would have made it Free Play’s third location after opening stores in Richardson and Arlington. “We are told we should have the problem sorted out by the end of the week, keeping fingers crossed,” Chief Operating Officer Richard Tregilgas said. “And with the game repairs, we hope that we can get that figured out this week and open Monday of next week.”

The arcade hosted three beta tests at its Denton location earlier in the week, with two of them open to the general public. Tregilgas said the purpose of these tests was to catch any problems with the arcade cabinets that might arise due to age or transport which may not be caught with a test that usually only lasts a few minutes. “They are not the most stable things in general,” Tregilgas said. “We do put a massive amount of time and energy into keeping these games running in their original form, and that is the most important thing for us.” Free Play boasts a large collection of old and rare games such as “King & Balloon” — which there are only seven of according to the last arcade census,


Storytelling takes stage in form of opera Oak Gateway Plan intends to By Emily Olkkola @EmilyOlkkola One joint trip to Germany, one book and one visit to an all-female concentration camp led classical vocalists Bethany Mamola, 29, and Agostina Migoni, 26, to create Das Blümelein Project. Pronounced “Das Bloom-uhline,” Das Blümelein is German for “a small blossom about to bloom.” But

for Mamola and Migoni, it means a way to keep humanity’s stories alive through traditional classical music in untraditional settings. “We decided we wanted to make classical music and make vocal music that was either a response or an answer,” Mamola said. “At the end of the day, we all need to connect with something, and we all need to connect with other humans because that’s the purpose of

Founders of the Das Blümelein Project, Bethany Grace Mamola, left, and Agostina Migoni, right, at Houndstooth Coffee in Dallas on Monday June 18. Emily Olkkola

North Texas Daily @ntdaily @ntdaily


music, and that’s the purpose of art. I think if we can find a way to keep stories alive, I think that’s going to help bridge a gap that we’re facing in society.” Two stories have been told so far: the Berlin Project, a story about a woman’s journey in finding love and starting a family, and the Paris Project, an ode to Paris through the eyes and experiences of Mamola and Migoni. Das Blümelein Project started small with just Mamola and Migoni but has expanded to give artists more opportunities by combining creators of textiles, photographers, videographers, dancers, choreographers and musicians to help tell these stories. “[We] wanted to take our training and build something with it,” Migoni said. “Also, there are so few opportunities for classical vocalists in the United States right now.” Foreign affairs Before Das Blümelein project was conceived, Mamola and Migoni met at the Cleveland Institute of Music. “We actually bonded over our love [for] fashion and our love [for] jazz music and jazz vocal music, which is not really what we were studying at all,” Mamola said. “We used to talk – years and years ago – about how much we loved traveling



Student creates website that lets students look at past grades for classes pg 2 TAMS student Jeffery Wang created untgrades. com as a way for students to see the grade distribution of specific classes before they enroll.

end problems with parking By Devin Rardin @DevinRardin A steering committee focusing on the areas surrounding UNT is looking to present a strategy to the Denton City Council by the end of the year to mitigate parking and transportation challenges. The Oak Gateway plan hopes to improve UNT’s surroundings which

Undergraduate adviser and senior lecturer Patrice Lyke believes it is important to improve the development around the UNT campus. Josh Jamison

hold 18 percent of Denton’s population and is seeing constant development. “We hope to have a plan soon so we can start implementing actions to improve the area,” said Ron Menguita, the project manager who facilitates the drafting of the plan. In 2016, the Fry Street small area plan was expanded to address development issues in a larger area. The study area increased from 97 acres to 1,200 acres. The study area is bounded by Panhandle Street, Fort Worth Drive/ Carroll Boulevard, Bonnie Brae Street and Interstate 35 East. The steering committee was created in November 2017 and includes 24 stakeholders. Residents, property owners, UNT administration staff, UNT students, local builders and other stakeholders participate in the committee. Denton City Councilman Paul Meltzer was the chair but resigned after winning the City Council place 6 spot. Patrice Lyke, an academic adviser for the English department at UNT, took his spot as committee chair. The committee, whose job is to address parking, mobility and building




Meet DJ Natural Light, an Andy’s Bar resident summer musician pg 5 Integrative studies student Blake Montgomery fuses global influences, like West African music, to produce unique sounds.

When looking for a pet, make the ethical choice pg 8 When it comes to getting a new pet, adopting one from a shelter is cheaper and more ethical than buying from breeders.

NEWS Page 2

North Texas Daily Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief Alec Spicer @spicer_alec News Editor Parker Ward @parkerdfw Arts & Life Editor Kaitlin Pennell @k_itlinn Opinion Editor Rachel Herzer @coolrachdoritos Visuals Editor Kelsey Shoemaker @kelesmis

Production Team Design Editor Kelly Fox @kellythefox1 Designer/Copy Editor Kiera Geils @KieraGeils Designer/Copy Editor Parisa Nasiripour @risanasiri Senior Staff Illustrator Austin Banzon @Austinbanzon99

Business Director Adam Reese 940-565-4265

Faculty Adviser Randy Loftis 940-565-3495

To pitch a story or contact the Editor-in-Chief, please email

Trending on Twitter Fargo

President Trump held a rally Wednesday in Fargo, North Dakota. People were reportedly being turned away at Scheels Arena because there were not enough seats for the more than 5000 attendees.

Minor Despite their woes this season, Rangers pitcher Mike Minor had a perfect game going into the 7th inning. Minor only allowed a single to Eric Hosmer as he helped the Rangers beat the San Diego Padres 5-2.

Vamos Korea

South Korea beat Germany Wednesday in Group F of the World Cup, eliminating Germany. Germany won the World Cup in 2014 and has not been kicked out this early since 1938.



As immigration policy gets stricter, students tell their personal stories By Rebecca Najera @RebeccaNajera42 Luis Avila immigrated to the U.S. when he was 4 years old in August 2001, just weeks before the Sept. 11 terror attacks. He obtained his visa when he was 15 years old and became a U.S. citizen in 2015. “The whole time you’re there, they don’t actually label you by name,” said Avila, a converged broadcast media senior and former undocumented citizen. “They label you by number, which is a very dehumanizing process.” During the process of getting his visa, Avila stayed in Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican border town that has been ranked in the top 50 most dangerous cities in the world according to Business Insider. The city is also the location of a U.S. consulate. Immigration became a key talking point this year when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced April 6 that the United States would be implementing a zero tolerance policy for those illegally attempting to enter the country. “If we build the wall, if we pass legislation to end the lawlessness, we won’t face these terrible choices,” Sessions said, according to CBS News. “We will have a system where those who need to apply for asylum can do so and those who want to come to this country will apply to enter lawfully.” On June 12, a photo began to circulate the internet showing a 2-year-old Honduran child in distress witnessing her mother being pat down by U.S. officials, which resulted in backlash from people around the country and became the face of the immigration crisis. It was later announced that the girl and her family were not separated at the border. Less than a week later, it was being reported that durning the months of April and May, nearly 2,000 minors had been detained and separated from their legal guardian at the southern border. Avila experienced a wave of emotions upon hearing this announcement. “The first thought that you have isn’t really shock,” Avila said. “For me, at least, you kind of just double down on this anxious sadness that you’ve kind of accumulated over the years. At first, you don’t really have time to analyze what’s going on. You’re just sad for a while, and you never really stop being sad.” On June 20, President Trump signed an executive order that put an end to the separation of families, although he said that his administration was still going to be enforcing the zero tolerance policy he enacted in April. “We are keeping a very powerful border, and it continues to be a zero tolerance,” Trump said, according to the New York Times. “We have zero tolerance for people that enter our

Converged broadcast media senior Luis Avila immigrated to the U.S. when he was 4 years old. Jessika Hardy country illegally.” While some celebrated this news, others feel that the conflict is far from over. “I think the idea of not separating children and not taking families away from each other is a basic human right, and I don’t think you have to be a complete leftist or a democrat to believe in that,” Avila said. “Giving people the ability to live shouldn’t be a political stance, it should just be a thing that happens.” Unlike Avila, political science seniors Victor Martinez and Claire Cadena were both born in the United States though their feelings about immigration are similar to Avila’s. “People want to act surprised when they see these incidents of small children being separated from their families, but even in a historical context it’s kinda not a new thing. It just surfaced and revealed itself,” Martinez said. Cadena’s mother immigrated when she was six months pregnant with Cadena, who said she believes that the current immigration system needs serious reform. “I don’t know how to put into the words the anger I feel just seeing those children being separated,” Cadena said. “The American political system just has a way of making policies and disguising them under these bureaucratic words, and once people [understand] it’s a game of pointing the blame.” Though the executive order was signed, Martinez does not believe it will change anything happening at the border.

“People say it’s a good thing, but in reality, it’s kind of like, ‘Yeah, we’re not separating you anymore, but we’re still going to keep you in these horrible living conditions,’ which, in my opinion, isn’t even right to begin with,” Martinez said. While he’s happy that children are able to stay with their parents, Avila believes the path ahead is still filled with obstacles. “Obviously, nothing is worse than separating children from the families, but the end game is going to be much worse,” Avila said. “We live in this stage that even people who are liberal are celebrating the fact that children aren’t being taken away from their families. [It seems] we have to settle [and think] at least children aren’t being separated, but now they can be put in concentration camps with their families. It’s just this weird, doubleedged ethical sword we just don’t know how to break out of.” Cadena feels that there needs to be a complete systematic change in order for multiple issues to be resolved. “I don’t think this is an issue that has one type of solution,” she said. “Issues that are happening right now like racial inequality in general and sexism in the workplace, I think everything touches each other. I think everything is interlinked, and it just has to do with the fact that the system we have is just not working.” Although uncertain on where to begin, Avila believes extreme efforts are going to be needed to break out of this current system of separating families. “I really want to believe in this

system of going out and voting, challenging your local representatives or senators to kind of defend you and create a whole different world,” Avila said. “However, history and politics show us that that’s not really what it takes. I think it’s going to take some kind of complete overhaul of the government system. Even if concentration camps were to be gone by tomorrow, things like ICE and the Department of Homeland Security and all these different organizations will still exist.” Avila feels that abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a crucial step. “The dialogue and the rhetoric coming from these organizations is super frightening,” he said. “Time and time again, we see people on TV say the words, ‘We are just following orders,’ which is a huge red flag.” Martinez also feels this is an important step to take in helping communities that might need some protection. “To me, [ICE is] just an organization that terrorizes a lot of communities,” Martinez said. As far as spreading awareness about these issues, Avila feels that UNT has helped make people feel welcome, but there is room to grow. “I think our [university’s] president has done a pretty good job of making this environment feel as safe as possible, [however] I do think there needs to be less silence,” Avila said. “I think being as transparent as possible is very important in opening a dialogue.”

Committee hopes to mitigate development issues PLAN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 issues in the designated area, has met eight times since their creation. The first three meetings involved introducing the committee’s structure and selecting its name, chair and vice chair. The other meetings involved research on the area, looking for public input and performing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of the area. There was also a community workshop that saw 125 people in attendance. The committee used to meet once a month, but their meeting schedule recently moved up to once a week. This is meant to make discussions easier to continue and remember between sessions.

“Meeting once a month wasn’t cutting it for some people because we have a deep bench on the committee,” Lyke said. The committee divided the area plan into three subareas due to the diversity of communities within the area. The committee has toured the subareas and are drafting vision statements for each one. Mayor Chris Watts took issue with how big the area is saying there are a lot of different needs and developmental issues within the area map. “This thing has ballooned, and I think that is a part of the struggle,” Watts said. The steering committee hopes the three subareas will address this issue. “[The areas] surrounding the university share a common problem, but they are significantly

different as far as areas, which is why we broke them up into three subareas,” Menguita said. The process has seen some challenges, such as a lack of attendance from committee members. Some original committee members are not attending due to a range of reasons from lack of interest to moving away. Menquita said they are reaching out to members who have limited attendance to see if they are still interested. If they are not, then new stakeholders will be enlisted. Going forward, the committee hopes to have vision statements for each subarea so a plan can be put in action. “It is important to get this right and to have people involved who truly care about this area and have a stake in it,” Watts said.

NEWS AROUND THE US US Supreme Court rules against fees for non-members The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday government workers who choose to not join unions may not have to pay for collective bargaining, according to The New York Times. The vote was 5-4 with the conservative justices in the majority, who based their ruling on the 1st Amendment saying non-union members should not be forced to pay for political messages that do not align with their beliefs.

Federal Judge calls to stop family separation The New York Times reported a federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction to stop the Trump administration from separating families at the border. Judge Dana M. Sabraw also said separated children must be reunited with their families within 30 days and that children under 5 must be reunited within 14 days. He included that all children must be able to talk to parents within 10 days.

By Devin Rardin

Teams search for lost football Search teams are trying to rescue 12 teenage soccer players and their coach in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand, according to BBC News. There has been no contact with the group since Saturday. Rainfall has made the entrance impassable, which has made efforts from more than 100 rescue workers difficult. On Tuesday, Navy divers saw footprints in the cave, which raised hopes for the groups rescue.

Oklahoma residents approve medical marijuana

Supreme Court Justice Kennedy retiring

Oklahoma residents voted Tuesday in favor of State Question 788, which supports the legalization of medical marijuana, according to The Associated Press. The vote overcame a late push from a group called SQ788 is not Medical who launched a $500,000 media campaign which painted the proposal as a plan to legalize recreational marijuana. If passed, residents would be able to possess at most eight ounces of marijuana.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring from his position, according to ABC News. This gives President Donald Trump and Republicans the opportunity to create a conservative court. Kennedy will step down July 31 and has been the swing vote for issues such as abortion, affirmative action and gay rights. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (RKY) announced the senate would not vote on a new justice until the fall.


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Student creates grades database By Devin Rardin @DevinRardin

UNT students Elaine Rios (left) and Grayson Nolette (right) play a Simpsons game on the back end of Free Play Denton. This game allows four players at once. Josh Jamison

New school arcade brings old school charm to Denton ARCADE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 two of which belong to Free Play. Day manager and head technician James Pipes explained that while their games do require more frequent, slight fixes, the more major problems are few and far between and are dealt with as they come up. While Free Play always wanted to open a location in Denton once they had gotten off the ground according to Tregilgas, when it was time to open up a second store, there were thoughts that another company was going to open a similar establishment in Denton, so Free Play put Denton plans on hold. It was only once that store opened and was not what the people at Free Play thought was the idea to come back to Denton once again put on the table. “We always really wanted to do something up here in Denton,” Tregilgas said. “Once we had already gone and opened our second location in the Arlington area — which we thought was a great balance between Dallas and Fort Worth — we thought it was pretty safe to come up here and do something in the Denton area.” While the arcade in Denton will be smaller than Free Play’s other locations, the arcade will still feature more than 55 classic arcade games and between eight and 10 pinball games — all of which span from 1976 into the late ‘90s — that will

occasionally be rotated out. The unique part of the Denton location is the ability to purchase a growler of beer from Free Play’s beer menu. Most of those in attendance at the beta tests were members of Free Play’s Facebook group and were frequent visitors of the arcade’s other two locations. Some visitors, like Jason Palmer, are both long time fans of arcades and adamant supporters of Free Play. “There is an Iron Maiden pinball machine, and I am refusing to go to any place that has it until Free Play has it,” Palmer said. “They just have a certain je ne sais quoi.” Since the arcade allows unlimited play all day, this gives fans of these classic arcade games with stories the ability to progress all the way to the end without breaking the bank. “I guarantee you if I was paying, I would probably never make it through this whole game,” said Lyndi Wade, a frequent visitor of Free Play’s other locations and UNT alumnae. “We died a lot — more than I could afford.” The cost of a Free Play wrist band, which allows customers to leave and come back all day, is $5. The Denton location will have similar hours to the other two locations, but the hours have not yet been released.

At the end of every semester, students choose their next course load and plan the next step in their college career. For many students, rate my professor is a substantial tool that goes into the decision. The professor’s overall quality score, level of difficulty and even hotness contribute to the decision. Now, a previous Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science student created another tool to help students choose their classes — a grade distribution website. Jeffrey Wang — who is looking to study computer science and business at University of Texas at Austin — created a website to let students see all the letter grades a professor gave out for a particular class. “Grade distributions are a great way for picking good classes to take,” Wang said. “You can gauge the difficulty of the class and the effectiveness of the professor.” Wang said other Universities such as UT and Texas A&M University offer grade distributions online for free. These are usually revealed through the registrar or a student organization. A website called Profpicker gave out grade distribution information, but Wang said it cost money to access. The data in Profpicker is also outdated. Grade distribution information is public and should be available for people, Wang said. “It was really unfair to me that I had to pay a dollar when other students at UT or A&M could get all this data for free,” Wang said. Wang and some friends requested data from the UNT registrar office through a

Former TAMS student Jeffrey Wang created a website that shows grade distributions for UNT professors. Courtesy Facebook Texas Public Information Act. The registrar gathered the data and sent it to Wang. Wang and a group of friends organized the data and put it on their website. Wang also emphasized the data was not personal and nothing about it is private or sensitive. The website was up on June 1 and all the data was put in by June 5. “[It will be extremely helpful] because some professors are better at teaching than others, and it would be nice to see how other students actually did,” human resource management senior Ryan Portor said. The TAMS alum hopes the website can help students make smart decisions when choosing their classes. He says using multiple resources — such as rate my professor and his own website — will help students be successful. “Unlike rate my professor, this tool gives objective data,” Wang said. “Rate my professor is just subjective reviews by students, and they can be pretty skewed based on how the student viewed the professor.”

Quan Guo, a music doctoral student, agreed the website will be a useful tool for college students. “As a student that studies here, you want to get a better GPA, so I think it’s a good idea,” Guo said. Wang did say his website does not give a full picture. There are a variety of scenarios that can lead to a professor giving out all A’s. All of the students could have studied well, the professor might have been easy or the professor might have been hard but thought well. To keep the website going Wang has to pay $69.16 a semester to cover the cost of receiving the grade distribution data. He is asking for donations and says 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the website. Information on how to donate can be found on the Reddit post where the website launch was announced. “Even though I am leaving UNT, I feel like this is a pretty cool thing to do, so I am more than happy to keep doing it,” Wang said.

Webinar teaches how UNT department awarded to work through stress $2 million grant to develop By Cory Allen @AlmightyCBoogie UNT partnered with the Alliance Work Partners to help provide students with beneficial tactics on how to deal with change and turn it into something positive. Using an online webinar led by Alliance Work Partners corporate trainer Lisa Helbig Tuesday, 16 participants were able to explore different topics of change including the importance of flexibility, resilience and conquering change. “I found a huge passion for teaching topics related to work life balance and helping other people thrive at their goals because I’ve been there,” Helbig said. “It’s a matter of really actively engaging with yourself and reframing your mindset”. According to Alliance Work Partners, 30 percent of students viewed change as negative, 20 percent viewed it as positive and the rest viewed it as neutral. Throughout the webinar, many participants spoke on relatable reactions toward change like panicking, feeling overwhelmed or gaining more stress before figuring out a solution. These are parts of the normal responses in the stages of change process. This stage consists of resistance, uncertainty, assimilation, transference and integration. “I always viewed change from a pessimistic view, but I learned that it brings greater opportunities for growth, more knowledge and developing skills,” psychology sohpomore Rose Cox said. Helbig said that change was temporary and external and sometimes a different direction will lead you towards a more positive outcome in your journey. Managing change is what keeps someone motivated to keep pushing forward like realizing the rewards or personal satisfaction that will come from it. She provided a brainstorming sheet that consisted of coping strategies including reevaluations, identifying

our continuities and what potential opportunities could soon come out of change. Understanding what you lost can help someone move on and make it easier to accept the new reality that change will bring. “The greatest change came from me stepping out of my comfort zone and accepting my transition into my next phase in life,” said Ryan Meyer, former UNT graduate and insurance field worker. “I realized my values and priorities were always going to overthrow the minor changes in my life”. The webinar provided five basic characteristics of resilience, — adapted from “Managing at the Speed of Change” by Daryl R. Conner — explaining how each would benefit your growth through change. The five characteristics are positivity, focus, flexibility, being organized and being proactive, and these are meant to help structure learning from change, Conner said. Each characteristic comes with multiple explanations and guidance on how they benefit change. This led to the change action plan, a selfhelp sheet that identifies coping mechanisms. Taking control of the many options that would best help participants utilize their resources is the main reason this sheet was created — use support services, learn from past crisis, weigh the pros and cons and realize what consequences come from them. Alliance Work Partners also provided a sheet with 77 ideas for selfnurturing activities. These activities consist of exercising, meditation, good nutrition, special workshops and more beneficial activities that help with the struggles of change which can build confidence toward goals. “As someone who experiences a great amount of stress, a whole process behind today’s training is that it takes small steps and approaches,” Helbig said. “In time it will become easier and will later become a habit.”

biodegradable heart stent By Rebecca Najera @RebeccaNajera42 UNT’s biomedical engineering department received a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a biodegradable medical stent. A medical stent is a small tube that is inserted into the arteries to help treat weak and/or narrow veins to improve the flow of blood in the body. This is often used to prevent arteries from bursting, which can help prevent heart attacks and strokes. “All the external contracts and grants contribute significantly to the research activity,” associate biomedical engineering professor Don Zhu said. “This grant will largely help our department to create more research positions.” UNT moved up from a R2 to a R1 Doctoral University in 2016 and is just one of 115 universities nationwide classified as such. Universities classified as R1 rank highest in levels of research activity. Other elite schools classified as R1 include Stanford University, Boston College and Duke University. “It’s really exciting research because it’s essentially a new area,”research assistant and Ph.D. candidate Irsalan Cockerill said. “In terms of what it could mean to the university, [this research] could bring a lot of attention to the department.” Traditional medical stents are typically made of metal and are permanently kept in the body. “One typical drawback [of metal stents] is the later on stage, restenosis,” Zhu said. “Some of the muscle and other vascular tissues are going to overgrow past the stent to cause the renarrowing, so normally after two years, you’re going to have a blocked vessel again.” Restenosis occurs after corrective surgery. It closes off or narrows the arteries, meaning the patient that received the stent would have to receive additional corrective surgery to open

their arteries again, resulting in more money spent only a year or two after the initial procedure. “This type of stent [we are developing] is different from traditional ones,” Zhu said. “It will only stay in the vasculature for a limited time. Within one year or two, it is going to disappear, but at the same time, the stent is going to help with the regeneration and remodeling of the vascular.” The goal is to design this new stent in a way that eliminates the possibility of restenosis. “There was a biodegradable stent approved by the FDA a couple of years ago, but they stopped it because of the side effects discovered recently, so the product was retracted from the market,” Zhu said. “[A biodegradable stent] is still a blank in the US market.” Patients that have medical stents in place have to take antiplatelet medications for the rest of their lives to prevent clotting and other reactions from the stent being in their body. “It will definitely be cheaper because it eliminates the need for secondary surgery as well as putting patients on a lifelong medication,” Cockerill said. Like any other medication, there are more potential side effects that can come

from taking antiplatelet drugs, including indigestion, increased bleeding and bruising under the skin. “The introduction of a biodegradable polymer used for medical purposes is pretty interesting,” medical laboratory sciences junior Kevin Seeber said. “The fact that it is biodegradable [makes there] seem to be no complications that can arise from that. If you make your stent organically, it just works better for the whole process.” Medical stents can also be made of plastic, so Seeber feels that the introduction a biodegradable stent has environmental benefits as well. “We have quite a far array of polymers [for plastics] we use,” Seeber said. “Some of them are used in medical science, some of them are used as everyday plastics like to-go cups, but that is a problem. A lot of these polymers can’t be degraded in the environment.” Excited for his role in the research, Cockerill sees nothing but positivity and the benefits that could arise from it all. “It’s exciting for a lot of different reasons,” Cockerill said. “I’m honored to be working on it [and to] potentially help a lot of people. It has true potential to make an impact on people’s lives.”

The biomedical engineering department received a grant to develop a biodegradable stent. File

ARTS & LIFE Page 4



Orientation leaders give freshmen a crash course on college life By Niki Johnson-Bolden @nikinikxo Cars with license plates from different cities and states roam around the UNT Coliseum searching for parking spots, and teens who graduated from high school less than a month ago roll their luggage up to Gate B to take the first steps in their college journey: orientation. Some of them appear self-assured and prepared for what the next three days will bring, while others enter with a parent by their side who shares the same look of confusion they have. No matter which mindset a student is in, the orientation leaders who are awaiting their arrival inside make it their mission for them to leave excited to come back in the fall. Orientation leaders guide new batches of freshmen through activities, information sessions and several small group meetings during each of the 12 freshman summer orientations. They are responsible for giving the students crucial information, but they deliver it in a way that is relatable and fun. As they walk their assigned groups around campus, they play songs they know the students will love and want to sing along to, like current popular songs or songs from old Disney movies. Each of the leaders makes themselves seen not as superior, but as a mentor and a friend. Second-year leader Chelsea Sumpon knew she wanted to apply for the position after finishing her own freshman year orientation. “My orientation leader Lauren was a little bit of my inspiration,” Sumpon said. “I just really had a good experience in general, so that’s why I wanted to be an [orientation leader].” For her first orientation session, Sumpon was aware of the weight of her role and was determined to be a good leader. “I was super nervous,” Sumpon said. “I wanted to make sure that I was doing my job right, that students were getting the right things out [of it] and that I was telling them great things about the university. I think that nervousness went down after I made sure they were reciprocating and listening to me.” Over the past few summers, Sumpon has figured out the key to communicating with and relating to her students and has grown to enjoy the experience even more. “You just have to be confident, and as sessions have gone on, I’ve been very confident,” Sumpon said. “I can see a big difference between this year and last year, and I definitely know answers that I can tell them. It’s been a whirlwind, [and] I love this job. [For] anyone [who]

wants to get the chance to be part of the university, this is the job to start [with].” Eleanor Jackson, another returning leader, aims to give new students advice and comfort. “I wanted to come back and be an orientation leader because I just wanted to tell those students, ‘I know you’re anxious, I know you’re nervous, but trust me this is going to be the best four years of your life if you want to make it that way,’” Jackson said. Jackson wants people at orientation to know that they belong here and that UNT is a place for everyone. “Making sure they know that whoever they are, they can definitely express that here at UNT [is important],” Jackson said. “Whatever they’re looking for, like maybe a friend group or even the resources we have, like counseling or joining a fun [organization], they can definitely get that here — they just have to put their mind to it.” The peace of mind of the new students is a significant part of orientation that also extends to the leaders who all look out for one another. “Orientation takes a lot out of you because you are doing all these sessions back-to-back,” Jackson said. “It’s a lot of pressure. We just make sure that we’re always a family and when someone has a down day, we know exactly how to pick them up.” In addition to orientation leaders, there are student coordinators, who have one to two years of experience as orientation leaders. The student coordinators are a little less hands-on with students because their job is to help organize orientations, but they are still able to make a difference in the students’ days. Student coordinator Tai Tran finds ways throughout the day to speak to students and be involved in their transition to college. “My position is more behind the scenes — I don’t really get to interact as much or have a small group that I can talk to, but I’m actually able to talk to students still,” Tran said. “I come up to random groups or during dinner time or lunch time during playfair. I just love the interaction I have with students because that interaction allows them to see what UNT is all about. It makes them comfortable.” Tran initially wanted to be an orientation leader because of the changes he sees occur in students during orientation. “It’s really because of the students and parents,” Tran said. “Seeing them from the very beginning of orientation — nervous, scared, unsure — and then seeing them basically transform and see them be themselves and being able to see them grow in the three days or two days that they are here.” The connections that orientation leaders make with

Juniors Caitlyn Polloni (left) and Charlotte Loewes (right) dance and sing between checking in students. Orientation leaders believe it’s important to create a welcoming environment to incoming freshmen. Josh Jamison incoming freshmen doesn’t end when the session does. The leaders want to see the students in their group thrive during the semester too. “I think my favorite thing is coming back in the fall and seeing my students doing their own thing and seeing the outcome after orientation, and seeing what organizations they are involved in — anything like that,” Sumpon said. “I like to hear what they have done after I impact them.” Although performing the duties of an orientation leader is something they all enjoy, it can be a very demanding job. “It gets hectic, but I love it, “Sumpon said. “Sometimes I get no sleep. You have to go on the grind and you have to do it for the students and parents.” The leaders make sure to take advantage of their time off in order to recharge as well as reconnect with one another. “We usually just have one day to unwind [between sessions], so we take that day for ourselves or maybe go out to eat because during orientation we’re not allowed to go off campus,” Jackson said. “So [we will] maybe go off campus, go back home if [we] live close. Some of us love to play volleyball or sit in Clark [Hall] and watch movies all day — it’s really great.” After an orientation leader decides to apply for this position, there is a long road to them actually becoming one. Applicants go through several interviews, and after being chosen, weeks of training that continue throughout the summer.

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Orientation and Eagle Camp coordinator Emily Harris works behind the scenes to make sure everything is in order for the program, which includes the hiring of the orientation leaders. “I think a really important component is having student leaders like our orientation leader staff.” Harris said. “We have 34 of them, plus a staff of student coordinators who help make the process run really smoothly and they’re really the ones who keep the students engaged.” Harris believes the leaders are a key component to the experience. “We have a three-day and two-day session so it can be a lot and very overwhelming for these students,” Harris said. “I think a lot of it really comes down to students and orientation leaders really working together to help the students stay engaged and stay excited about transitioning to UNT.” Ultimately, orientation leaders hope that with a little help from their welcoming smiles and affinity for singing and dancing their way across campus, new students will feel at like they’ve found a home. “College is a new experience and it’s not about where you come from, but it’s about finding different backgrounds and understanding them because it’s very different from high school,” Sumpon said. “It is OK to be shy, but it’s also really great to have this time to be open-minded and just get out there because it is going to be a rollercoaster ride.”

Embracing the curl: Natural Hair Club makes comeback HAIR CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 weaves, wigs and more. However, because the Natural Hair Club isn’t official yet, the organization does not have funding for it. This is why Buckrham said she is very active on Twitter and pushing for a different way to interact with the UNT community. In order to be a recognized group, Buckrham will need to have two executive members, eight members and a written constitution. Her group will be under the Black Student Union umbrella, which she hopes will help grab the interest of people. Buckrham wants to wait until fall to vote for an executive board because she wants to give incoming freshmen the opportunity to have leadership positions. She said she wanted to do this because other organizations usually do not allow that opportunity. Though the club won’t be officially restored and active until Sept. 7, Buckrham is very excited to grab the people’s interest and is willing to pay for the giveaway prizes out of her own pocket. Through Buckrham’s social media presence and promotion of the club, students Makenzi Hardrick and Maya Brown both found out about the club via on Buckrham’s Twitter that was created for the club. Hardrick said she thinks it is “really awesome” that the club has been restored. “Sometimes I don’t feel like natural hair is glorified,” Hardrick said. “I just enjoy the fact that I can just go to a place where I can learn more on how to wear my natural hair.” Brown is a big advocate for natural hair. Brown started school in fall 2016 and remembers seeing the booth of the Natural Hair Club before its restoration. She said she enjoys her natural hair when she can, even though she does wear wigs and a weave from time to time. “It’s just based on your personal journey,” Brown said. “Our natural hair journey is different.” Hardrick said it can be a tedious thing to manage one’s natural hair. “Especially being a black woman, it can be difficult finding the right products,” Hardrick said. Hardrick said she is delighted she will get to be surrounded by a community of people who have the same interest as she. Her expectations from the club are to receive opinions and stories from other people and to use that information to aid in her daily routine. Brown said she expects the Natural Hair Club to give members a unique platform to share different ideas that could be vital on her natural hair journey. “Everyone has a natural state that their hair grows in that they can respect, that they can love and cherish,” Brown said. “It opens up the door to so many different people because black people [are not the only ones] who have kinks, coils and curls.” Buckrham said she wants to welcome anyone to join and knows that everyone, regardless of race, can face hair issues. “Having that sense of community — even if it’s not inside of the black community — [is important] because everyone needs a sense of community,” Brown said. “It would just connect us more on a cultural level and a social level with other organizations. When you embrace your hair in its natural form, there is a big part of self-love that comes with it.” Buckrham has plans to conduct open forums at meetings about various issues and to extend the topics to skincare. The end goal for Buckrham is to have the organization survive even after she graduates — she doesn’t want there to be another restoration of the club. Buckrham said she just wants it to keep growing and be able to see the process of self-love people obtain in their journeys. For more information from the newly reinstated organization, follow @NaturalHairUnt


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DJ Natural Light shines bright at Andy’s Bar By Claire Lin @claire_grace On a rainy Wednesday night in the basement of Andy’s Bar, DJ Natural Light served groovy tunes to an enthusiastically hungry crowd. With fog and wildly colorful strobe lights, the small basement room was the perfect place to escape reality. DJ Natural Light is the stage name for Blake Montgomery, a 25-year-old student at UNT. He will be graduating this summer with a bachelor’s degree in integrative studies with a focus in music, philosophy and business. It is an interesting combination at first glance, but it begins to make more sense with a closer look into Montgomery’s life — like few fortunate people, his passions may one day lead to a full career. “I’ve always been drawn to music,” Montgomery said. “My parents noticed this when I was little and encouraged me to take piano lessons as a preschooler.” He then progressed to the guitar at 9 years old, drums at 12 and has been playing ever since. His love for electronic and dance music, however, did not come about until the release of the hit song “One More Time” by Daft Punk. “It sort of changed my whole perspective,” Montgomery said. “I realized that dance music could have some substantial emotional depth and it wasn’t all kitschy or something.” Then in 2010, Montgomery experienced what electronic music had to offer in a live setting by attending an LCD Soundsystem concert with some friends. “I went without ever really having heard them before,” Montgomery said. “I remember how the repetitive, continuous

pulse of their music inspired me to dance in a way that was genuine and natural, and I had never really experienced that in a concert setting. By the end of the show, I was drenched in sweat, and my shirt was completely unbuttoned. After that, I really started to delve into house, techno and disco.” Given Montgomery’s first enamoring experiences with electronic and techno music, he invites his own fans to experience the same. He often encourages audience members to dance and let loose so his shows are energetic and fun. Everyone starts somewhere Montgomery’s DJ career started with the purchase of the cheapest USB turntable controller he could find. “I began searching for tracks on YouTube that I would rip from and experiment mixing together,” Montgomery said. Now, his DJ sets have developed into a mix of ambient hip-hop, funk and disco. Montgomery’s first time deejaying was more than a year ago at a friend’s birthday party at local house venue the Bean Cave. He kept the dance floor going until 3 a.m. Since then, he has continued to play at the Bean Cave for parties and has also played around town at Andy’s Bar, Dan’s Silverleaf, Tom’s Daiquiri and other house venues, like the Rabbit Hole and Space Station. Montgomery also currently plays drums in the bands Dead Sullivan and Crisman. “The fact that I can share music that inspires me [and can in return] inspire others to move and dance is very rewarding,” Montgomery said. But perhaps it is more than just the music that inspires people to move:

Visual Art is projected over DJ Natural Light creating a unique ambience in the basement of Andy’s Bar. Will Baldwin Montgomery’s passion for his own craft. Montgomery often performs with his good friend, Ryan Hearne, 28, whom he has known for a little more than three years. He agrees that Montgomery has a special touch as a DJ. “He’s living proof that empathy is transferable to others,” Hearne said. “When he plays, people suddenly lose it to music they never knew would move them. It’s inspiring.” Worldly Influence Montgomery also gave credit to UNT for some of his current musical influences and philosophies. “I took the African drum ensemble class with Gideon Alorwoyie a couple of times, and it was really eye-opening,” Montgomery said. “West African music is

an ancient tradition that has been passed down aurally, beginning long before music notation came about, and has influenced many later genres of ‘world’ dance music. It continues to influence a lot of the more contemporary music that I listen to. Taking this class helped me to realize that it’s all kind of a part of the same thing.” The African influence was evident at one point in his performance. Audience member Brennan Dufrene, 21, took note of this. “The African influence was really cool,” Dufrene said. “He also had a lot of femaleheavy songs that he mixed, and I thought those were really good.” Looking toward a bright future Montgomery said he is not jaded by the allure of money and fame. For him, it is

solely about the music and where it can take the listener. “Playing music is fun, but what I’m really drawn to is the emotional and intellectual content that can be communicated through it, and the sort of out-of-body yet hyperawareness in the moment that playing or listening to music can bring,” Montgomery said. As for his goals and aspirations, Montgomery said he’d be happy with a few different outcomes. “I would like to see the bands that I’m in take off, and I would also be happy running sound at a venue, working in a studio or working in broadcasting doing live mixing,” Montgomery said. As of now, however, he follows the opportunities that present themselves to him.

Das Blümelein Project tells stories through opera in unique spaces MUSIC CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 and wanted to live in Europe someday.” That dream would later become a reality for the two musicians. After they finished school, Mamola and Migoni separately decided to pursue opera singing in Germany. Migoni said opera singers in Germany get a monthly income, health insurance and other benefits that do not exist for all opera singers in America. “We figured if we were going to [pursue our musicrelated endeavors], this would be our best bet of actually making a living doing it,” Migoni said. “Instead of just constantly being freelance – constantly getting a little bit of money here, a little bit of money there – it was a way for us to try and even that out.” In addition to the better benefits of the field, the vocalists said opera is also seen as a key part in Germany’s culture.

“It’s just that [Germany respects opera], I feel, a lot more,” Migoni said. “Kids go, teenagers go. It’s very affordable.” Once the musicians returned to the United States, they went back to university as graduate students. Migoni received a master’s of music in voice performance from UNT, and Mamola is currently working toward completing her doctorate at UNT. An eye-opening moment While in Germany, Mamola and Migoni made it a point to explore Germany’s culture together. Mamola bought a book called “Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly, which was about Ravensbrück, a female concentration camp. Mamola said she read it in two days and then passed it on to Migoni, who read it in two days. “We were really moved by the book and these

stories because it had to do with real people’s memoirs,” Migoni said. “[Ravensbrück] ended up being an hour and a half from our apartment, so we took [a trip there]. We were the only people really there, other than the woman handing out the audio sets. It was really moving, it was really intense and it was very difficult. I think it was a really eye-opening experience for us because when we got out, we were just questioning [what our purpose is].” Mamola and Migoni said the concentration camp left them initially distraught, then later on those feelings of distraught transformed into inspiration. “When you’re faced with something so horrendous, so unspeakable and so horrible, it’s really difficult to continue about your day and continue about your life without questioning why you do what you do,” Mamola said. Since then, the two have been on a journey – both

spiritually and career-wise – to make an impact. Because Das Blümelein Project has grown to include other artists and types of art besides opera singing, Migoni said she believes the impact has grown as well. “I think the reason why we like working with these artists is because we feel that the people who either watch the video [online] or come to the live shows [find] an easier way to connect,” Migoni said. “Sometimes connecting with classical vocal music – especially because it is not in English – is very difficult. By adding dancers and these different stimulants, I think an audience has an easier chance to connect with it, to take something out of it and to find the narrative.” Das Blümelein Project is currently striving to become an official nonprofit organization. All donations to Das Blümelein Project go completely to paying artists for participating.

Will Parker pairs learning, music at Emily Fowler Public Library By Shane Monaco @ShaneMonaco1 While libraries are portrayed as being silent and solely a bastion for reading and studying, this was not the case at Denton’s Emily Fowler Public Library on June 25. In the library’s upper floor, music and laughs poured out into the otherwise quiet library as a result of a special event that hosted children’s singer and songwriter Will Parker. Parker, 28, is a Texas native born in Abilene and now lives and works in San Antonio. Parker has a bachelor’s degree in theater and a master’s degree in teaching from Trinity University. While he said he has always had an interest in music, it was only eight years ago that he started writing music and six years since he started performing for children. “In college after writing a song called ‘Toy Dinosaurs’ — which I did not intend to be for kids — I realized it would be great for kids,” Parker said. “Then I realized that some of the other songs I had written would be good for kids, too.” Parker originally started performing for kids during the summer when he wasn’t teaching theater at a San Antonio high school but quit last fall after four years of teaching to pursue music. This transition was sparked when Parker figured out he could make music full-time and by his intuition. Parker learned to play guitar at age 12, but he said it was never something he thought he would later pursue as a career. He instead focused on helping kids through teaching.

“My guess is that I will continue to teach in some capacity, but it probably won’t be full-time,” Parker said. “I know that music for kids is a very important part of my overall mission in life.” Since he has started singing and entertaining kids with his music, Parker has been able to travel all across the south-central portion of the United States, with shows mainly in Texas and Oklahoma. During these tours across the region, Parker cuts down his travel costs by couch-surfing through a website. As Parker looks toward the future, he still intends to tour in the same region, but starting this fall he is moving to Connecticut to start graduate school for theology. While his tours will bring him back to the south for the summer, Parker plans to perform during the school year up north, viewing this move as an expansion to his brand rather than a reset on his career. The future for Parker after graduate school — while not set in stone — is clear for him: Parker said he is contemplating a return to teaching in schools as a chaplain rather than a theater teacher. Or, if his dreams do come true, starting a show for kids, drawing on his love and respect for his hero Mr. Rogers. “In the long term, I would like to be as much like Mr. Rogers as possible,” Parker said. “Fred Rogers is one of my all-time heroes and my icon, and I would love to eventually create some sort of children’s show.” The success that Parker has had, which has allowed these dreams to come to fruition, can be partially attributed to his successful performance at a performer showcase two years ago. These showcases allow libraries and other organizations to see a wide variety of performers back-to-back so they can see who they

are interested in inviting to their events. “In 2017, because of that showcase, I was able to book about 45 shows,” Parker said. “I didn’t do the showcase this year, but I already had a lot of connections, I already knew where I was going and a lot of people wanted to have me back.” Kerol Harrod, a children’s librarian at the Emily Fowler Public Library, said it is these shows and the subsequent referrals that helps form the event lineup for the library. While the library does not always have performers like Parker, there are other events aimed for people of all ages. “We design these things so kids are learning all the time,” Harrod said. “They may not know it, the parents may not exactly know it, but what we are doing in there is incorporating what we have learned in our education so by the time that they reach kindergarten, they have all the tools they need to learn to read.” The goal of Harrod and the Emily Fowler Public Library as a whole is to aid people of all ages in reading and engaging in the community. In this effort, the library expands into the community with events for

businesses and attractions, such as attending a literacy day at a local business or having a story time at the local water park. “My kids love all the library events,” said Natasha Red, a local parent from neighboring city Krum. “Every season that the calendar comes out, I’ll be sure to take one and put it in my calendar right away.” The main thing Harrod wishes more people knew is how much money the library could save them with all of its services, ranging from e-books to the ability to stream movies and shows from their website. Though the library has adapted to having many online sources, Harrod still stands by the idea that if one really wanted to know their community, they would visit their local library. “I think libraries are a super important social service,” Parker said. “Often one of the first steps for a kid reading a book is checking out a book, and if we can have these shows that draw people in, it is more likely that they will check out some books before they leave.”





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Will Parker takes the children into a rock-and-roll environment as he jumps up and down with the audience. Jessika Hardy

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‘Incredibles 2’ is a sequel well worth the long wait My Rating: 4.5/5 Fourteen years ago, Disney Pixar crafted one of its finest films to date with “Incredibles,” a family of superheroes who try to navigate their lives as heroes all the while struggling to figure out how to be a quiet, regular suburban family. Not only is it still one of Pixar’s best efforts, but it is also one of the best, By Spencer Kain most assured superhero movies to @spencer_kain date. After an agonizing 14 year wait, “Incredibles 2” has finally arrived into theaters to continue the story of the Parr family and all their super endeavors. This time around the film begins mere moments after the finish of the first film: a Parrvillan Underminer battle after a track meet. Without getting to much into the whole plot, Helen, also known as Elastigirl, is tasked with saving the world while Bob, or Mr. Incredible, is tasked with staying at home and taking care of the kids.  While it may seem like the story leaves much to be desired in a film so hot with anticipation, I can wholeheartedly say “Incredibles 2” is certainly worth the wait we all had to endure. In a time when superhero movies seem to have a requirement of being brooding and overwrought, getting one which seemingly relies on fun and joy is a very nice alternative to have once again. The film is nothing but pure entertainment value wrapped up in a cast of wonderful characters, fun action set pieces and wonderful dialogue. What else could is there to ask for in a movie? All those elements wrapped up together make for one of the most seamlessly entertaining and wholesomely fun movies I have had the pleasure of watching this year so far. I will not lie, I had my doubts about the film going in just because of the massive gap of time between the first film and this one but my doubts were unnecessary. Pixar is one of the most reliable film

studios when it comes to putting out quality films and “Incredibles 2” is another film they can add onto their incredibly impressive roster of quality films. I feared a rehash would be in store, but it is nothing of the sort here. Just like the first film, this one effortlessly blends timely societal commentary with more than enough laughs to keep adults and kids laughing along with it all while examining what it is like to be different in a world where not everyone accepts you for who you are. It even sprinkles in a little commentary of the ups and downs of the married life. The film touches on all of these aspects with such tender care and maturity there is no wonder why audience members can see a bit of each of themselves in these wonderfully developed characters. Speaking of the characters, all of your favorite characters from the first film are back and even better than when we last saw them. Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Dash, Violet, Edna Mode and the little baby Jack-Jack are all back and crazy enough, seeing them all onscreen again made it seem like we had never really left them all those years ago when the first film came out. They are so real and so well developed, it was like they were never really gone in the first place. Edna Mode is once again one of the standouts of the cast of characters — she is absolutely hilarious and steals every scene she is in. But, the real scene stealer this time was baby Jack-Jack who is starting to realize the many powers he has in him. There is a scene involving him and a raccoon which is probably one of the very best scenes in a movie overrun with too many great scenes already. My only real complaint about the film is the weak villain. I will not get too in depth on who the villain exactly is to avoid spoilers, but I was let down by it. In a movie with such great characters, you need a villain just as great as them, and unfortunately this one was just not it. “Incredibles 2” is an absolutely entertaining, fun and hilarious film every member of the family will most likely love as much as the first film. I will say I believe the first one is still a bit better than this one, but considering how great this film was, my complaints are very few and far between. This lived up to the momentous hype coming before it, and I can say without any hesitation this is truly an incredible film.

Image Courtesy “Incredibles” Facebook

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ is the messiest and most ludicrous in the ‘Jurassic World’ franchise yet

By Zack Helms @ntdailyZack My Rating: 1.75/5

Image Courtesy “Jurassic World: Fallen World” Facebook

Lots of clever shots. That’s the biggest compliment I can give “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” Director J. A. Bayona’s follow up to 2015’s “Jurassic World” is quite the impressive visual spectacle, but the film lacks the basic logic to its characters’ decisions, nuance to the activist-tropey story or any semblance of fun to it. “Fallen Kingdom” follows Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) as they are deceived into rescuing the remaining dinosaurs from Isla Nublar (the island that has housed both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, and its Jurassic inhabitants). After learning that the creatures are meant to be sold to the black market, the two set out to stop Mills (Rafe Spall) from unleashing dangerous creatures and prototype monsters into the world. If it sounds outrageous, it’s because it definitely is. Friends of mine know how cartoonish and goofy I thought “Jurassic World” was when it came out in 2015. While it featured some great chemistry between Howard and Pratt, its pretentious lecture

on genetic development and its campy man-made monster diminished its aloof credibility on the subject. While there have always been huge inaccuracies in the franchise, it’s stayed relatively grounded (save for when the T-rex took San Diego in “The Lost World”). I had hopes then that a change in director and an emphasis on suspense would return the franchise to its more child-like-wonder roots. Unfortunately, the film suffers heavily from some inconsistent CGI, weirdly mismanaged score and a script that’s so insane, if I spoiled it you wouldn’t believe me. The theme song to “Jurassic Park” is iconic. Its hopeful trumpets, long, drawn-out violin cords and the great cinematography that accompanies it has always left a mark on the importance of good music to accompany a film. Here, “Fallen Kingdom” accomplishes this feat for about half of the movie before ditching the iconic and familiar tone for a more stressful and over-the-top score that feels like it belongs in a much scarier film. These cues are extremely prevalent when Bayona decides to linger on a shot of one of its terrifying creatures — or so he would like you to think. In reality, the amount of things the big baddie can accomplish is either comical, or it’s been done before, removing any sense of wonder as someone who’s seen all the movies’ scores. Nevertheless, the film is chalked full of powerful shots, calling upon our more sympathetic sides, in hopes of garnering our mercy toward the abused animals. Unfortunately, any momentum captured is ruined in the last 30 minutes, in which so many ludicrous things occur that the message is sloppily abandoned and then brought up again as if it were important

New Music Mondays: Ty Segall and White Fence Though it has been six years since we were last graced with their partnership, we can finally find “Joy” in the return of psychedelic rock collaborators Ty Segall and White Fence (Tim Presley). For now, all we have is the first taste of their second joint album (“Joy” is out next month) with “Good Boy,” a By Alec Spicer track easily reminiscent of @Spicer_Alec a deepcut pulled from the 1960s. After their last joint venture, 2012’s “Hair,” it seemed as though the two could do no wrong — and if “Good Boy” is any indication of what listeners can expect for the rest of their forthcoming album, history is sure to repeat itself. Clocking in at barely two minutes, “Good Boy” is layered with

instrumentals that are dynamic enough to carry the song without vocals, but would surely be remiss without the almost perfectlypaired, cooing harmonies of Segall and Presley. Anyone who was a fan of “Freedom’s Goblin” — Segall’s latest album released just earlier this year — should find it easy to appreciate the experimental sound “Good Boy” quietly radiates. And with a nosedive guitar solo to close out lyrics like, “We see oceans baby blue,” it would be otherwise difficult to ignore the track to begin with. Given the track and its accompanying album’s artwork of Segall with his dog and Presley with his cat, it would be nothing less than fitting to call it the work of two Good Boys. “Joy” comes out July 20, but for now, listeners can visit https:// to pre-order the album, preview the 15-track list, and hear “Good Boy” in its entierety. Who will like this: Beatles fans

Image Courtesy Drag City Records Twitter

at all. Furthermore, the film is topped off with what has to be one of the dumbest plot twists I’ve ever seen in a movie. It comes out of nowhere and only serves to artificially add a layer of empathy to the tortured monsters and to indirectly redeem a character cheaply. The last 30 minutes feel as though you’re watching a “Scooby-Doo” episode, as the monster un-cleverly stalks the two protagonists in and out of a mansion. In this sequence, every character does the stupidest thing possible and it is painfully obvious that it’s to cause suspense within the audience, sacrificing basic human logic in these scenarios. It is painfully transparent, and it actually took away from a lot of the suspense. Along with it comes every action trope imaginable. An action-packed dino fight follows Pratt conveniently as he runs for his life, highlighting how aware I am that he’s on a green screen. Pratt rolls and slides to his gun when it’s not remotely necessary and a velociraptor jumps out of an exploding room ‘80s action herostyle. It’s all trying so hard. If you came to see some dinos out and about, you’ll be at least a bit satisfied. There are many cool scenes and shots that focus on the creatures, and I wish that it had been the main focus. Instead, this installment takes things to ludicrous heights and makes “Jurassic Park 3” look like a classic. I’m not sure where the hell they will take the next entry, but “Fallen Kingdom” is so ridiculous, I don’t know if I’ll be around for it when it hits theatres in 2021.



Page 7


The study abroad process and expense are worth it

By Maritza Ramos @maritzarara

Illustration by Allison Shuckman

Immigration crisis: an alarming step in the wrong direction

By Nicholas Stiltner @N3ONick President Trump’s zero tolerance policy on immigration has elevated the problem at the border from an immigration crisis to a humanitarian one. Children of all ages — some barely even toddlers — are being separated from their families at the Texas-Mexico border and placed into “detention” camps. Does this remind you of another leader from the past? The logic behind the separation of these families is that the parents broke the law in crossing the border illegally, which is true — just as stealing bread when you are hungry is also breaking the law; just as it was illegal to hide Jewish people in your house in Nazioccupied countries during WWII. Mexican immigrants crossing the border illegally are not criminals and rapists like Trump would like you to believe. Most are ordinary people just trying to give their families and their

children the opportunity for a better life, and they are being ripped from each other at the border. Isn’t the American dream one of hope for a better future, and isn’t that exactly what these people are chasing in coming here? Trump also wants to skip constitutionally required due process and immediately deport any immigrants crossing the border illegally. Why is our president doing everything in his power to dehumanize them? This adds to an already steaming political climate with acts of racism like Gov. Mike Huckabee criticizing Nancy Pelosi on Twitter and using the first image that’s prompted by a Google image search of “Mexican gangs.” Trump also brought families of victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants to the white house, a tactic also used by Hitler to demonize Jewish people. I think it is apparent where Trump is drawing inspiration from. He even signed pictures of the victims the families brought. Perhaps the most alarming part of the detention camps and dehumanization of the immigrants is that these are both stages on Gregory Stanton’s “10 Stages of Genocide.” And they aren’t at the beginning of the process, either — these are steps 5 and 6. The next step is preparation the creation of a plan to eliminate the discriminated peoples by higher party

authorities. Seeing these similarities doesn’t necessarily indicate that there will be any killings, but it is the closest America has been to genocide since the Japanese internment camps during WWII, and that is alarming. These camps aren’t safe, especially for children. The Huffington Post reported one child’s punishment as being “strapped to a chair with a bag over the head” for acting out and even solitary confinement. Accounts of selfharm and suicide attempts by children were reported. About 2,000 children are separated from their parents, and there is no plan to reunite them. How can we be complacent while this is happening? There are many organizations you can support and donate to, such as the Texas-based group RAICES which provides inexpensive legal defense to immigrant families. Al Otro Lado is a group in Tijuana, Mexico that provides legal services to immigrants and deportees. Another way to help is by contacting your local representative — or even the federal government — to make them aware of your opposition toward these inhumane camps and the way immigration is being handled. Something must be done, because it seems like we are heading down a dark path.

Despite college being one of the most expensive and hectic experiences a person can have, it warrants some space for travel — specifically, studying abroad. Not that going abroad at this critical point in life is for everyone, or that it should be for everyone, but it should be an option available to everyone. The experiences study abroad brings go so far beyond the fun and exhilaration of it all. Study abroad reframes your way of thinking, behaving and existing. It flips the way you view the world and human interaction, making you rethink the way you’ve always done things and the reasons why. I know this because two weeks into my London study abroad experience, I’ve already learned and changed so much. Yeah yeah, call me cliche or whatever, but I believe it to be true. I grew up crossing the border into Mexico with my family almost twice a year — a completely different world only a couple of miles from the border. But being abroad over an ocean and in a land where customs and interaction are its own secret language, I’ve learned so much about myself and where I come from. Going to Mexico, I had cultural knowhow and my own little Mexico at home

from which to reference. Coming to London, I’ve had to start from scratch. And it’s been terrifying. The culture shock has made me appreciate the people who raised me, the land my feet have walked over for most of my life and the culture of my homeland. At the same time, it’s broadened my understanding of the people I thought could be nothing like me. Study abroad should be more readily accessible so every student has the opportunity to have these valuable, lifechanging experiences. The study abroad process is months long and often disorganized. It’s complicated and lengthy because of the inefficiency of communication networks between most of the school departments. The system is rife with mistakes, causing the student to devote extra effort to ensuring the system and staff are doing their parts correctly to get everything settled for this momentous and expensive chapter of the student’s life. Study abroad requires information from the study abroad office, the financial aid office, the registrar, department advisers and more. This is a lot of back and forth and a lot to stay on top of. Some might ask why a student wouldn’t want to avoid all the rigmarole and just travel to that country instead of having to take classes while there. With hopefully more than a few scholarships, grants and loans, study abroad is the only opportunity for a student to visit and learn in a new country for longer than a few days. Traveling through the study abroad program provides students financial aid options to make the trip possible. Study abroad should be available to every student hoping to learn a few lessons from life and travel.

Illustration by Elizabeth Rhoden

Trump’s behavior at the G7 Summit further legitimizes climate change denial

By Nicholas Stiltner @N3ONick As UNT students, we pride ourselves on being one of the most environmentally green campuses in Texas and in the entire nation. Due to this, I believe it is essential for us to stay informed on the fight to combat climate change at the international level. This leads us to the G7 summit, which occurred June 8-9. The G7 conference is an assemblage of leaders from some of the most industrialized nations in the world, including the United States, Japan, Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy. The conference was held in Canada this year and the host of the event, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, had many plans to discuss — including some on climate change.

This is where President Trump’s troubling actions begin. Instead of making time to be at the conference for its entire duration like the rest of the leaders had, Trump arrived late on June 8 and left before the rest of the leaders the next day, completely disregarding the schedules of the others. He even took to Twitter on the last day of the summit after trade negotiations and called Justin Trudeau’s actions “meek and mild,” a direct insult to one of our closest allies. A U.S. president running to Twitter and embarrassing the country in such a childish way is painful to watch. Where is the professionalism and thoughtfulness leaders are supposed to have? Why is he insulting one of our closest allies on Twitter of all places? To top all of this off, Trump didn’t even attend the climate change portion of the talks and instead sent an aide to take notes. This presents America on the world stage as backwards, ignorant and unwilling to answer to the consequences of our gigantic carbon footprint and its effects on the environment. Trump’s absence during this extremely important portion of the summit will legitimize climate change deniers’ claims of it being “hoax” and not something to worry about. The “if the president doesn’t care about it, why should I?” argument now has more weight because of Trump’s actions. This allows the American people to

Illustration by Austin Banzon

keep turning our noses up at the problems the world faces and ignore them, despite all the warning signs flashing in our faces. This mindset of avoiding the problem also disconnects us from our allies, such as France and Canada, countries that have already acted against climate change and continue to do so in powerful and progressive ways. America is on the wrong side of history, and we will be remembered as the superpower who chose to deny the environmental consequences of our actions. We will continue destroying the world instead of preserving it for future generations. Now, this isn’t the end of the fight, but only one step back. We, as students, control the future of this country and should do everything in our power to make sure a competent leader is at the helm. The best way to do this

is to vote in the upcoming midterm elections on Nov. 6! We must advocate for candidates that approach climate change as an issue to be addressed and not one to be ignored. Spreading information to friends and family who might not be up to date on climate change politics is also extremely important and can lead to a larger voter turnout — the more people who understand and want to address climate change, the better. UNT students can also become involved in organizations such as the Society for Ecological Restoration and the We Mean Green Fund to become further educated. Hopefully, we will begin to create a better future for ourselves and the following generations, despite the urging in the opposite direction from our president.


Page 8


When looking for a pet, make the ethical choice

By Spencer Kain @spencer_kain To preface this article, I will say something first and foremost about owning a pet. Whether you adopt them or purchase them, having a pet is one of the best things you can do, for yourself and for the animal. I believe it’s obvious there is a clear and better alternative to how you obtain a pet, but I do not intend to shame anyone who obtained their pet from a breeder instead of a shelter. I will say however, if you are looking to add a new furry member to your family, adopting

one from a shelter is the better method. One thing I know we can all agree on is how enriching it is to own a pet. They will love you unconditionally, they are always there when you feel down and their loyalty is more than enough to compensate for any challenges presented with being a pet owner. Pets are basically the backbone to keeping the human race together, and you can go ahead and quote me on that. One of the main issues concerning this debate is the irreversible damage to breeds caused by forced breeding. This issue affects certain breeds more horrifically than others, and it needs to be more directly addressed. For example, pug breeders specifically breed the dogs with the f lattest faces because this trait is desirable to buyers. This results in worse and worse health conditions for future generations of pugs — and the worst part is humans created

these problems for them. When animals are born with health problems caused by forced breeding, they are then relegated to shelters because the breeder can no longer make a profit from it. My sister and her boyfriend rescued a bulldog who was a product of breeding. She turned out to have a severe body deformity which causes her to be in pain most of the time. This poor dog now must live with severe health issues and pain everyday because of her breeder’s lack of consideration for animal well being. On a lighter note however, both of my dogs were actually adopted from the shelter, and I could not love them anymore if I tried. Knowing I saved them from the shelter after they were abandoned makes me so happy, and knowing I was able to save them when I did to prevent their euthanasia makes me even more glad to know I have them as my own.

Illustration by Austin Banzon It is so satisfying and heartwarming to know you’ve saved an animal from a shelter instead of forking thousands of dollars over to someone

churning out puppies for money. Bringing home an adopted pet and seeing the joyful, loving emotion radiating off them is more than enough to fill my

heart for the rest of my life. Adopting a pet is one of the best things I’ve ever done, and if you haven’t already, I recommend you all do the same.

Should Democrats swipe left on far right for White House interns? By The Editorial Board @ntdaily As humans, we all embrace certain labels that help us construct our identity and better communicate it to the world

around us. Identifiers like gay, vegan or Republican allow us to describe ourselves somewhat succinctly. In the artsy, urban community of Washington, D.C., millennial staffers who work for the Trump administration

Illustration by Samuel Wiggins

have found that “Trump staffer” is one label that often earns insults and profanities, especially on dating apps. “Trump supporters swipe left” is an extremely common dating profile disclaimer. Ruling out entire groups of people when looking for a mate is not a productive way to find one, especially when hasty generalizations are in play. Just because a person works for the White House — whether it be as an intern, appointed staff member or janitor — does not mean he or she supports the president’s agenda, let alone has a say in it. Judging someone’s worth as a partner based on a vague job description may eliminate worthy contenders. There is some merit to using selfproclaimed identities to gage whether or not you may get along with someone. However, it can be helpful to piece together a person’s overall identity, but it is neither the final answer nor the big picture of who a person wholly is. These identities and distinctions

we have are important for the sake of brevity and for identifying groups of people with similarities. But we should not live as if these boxes we fall into have real walls. There is nothing physical stopping us from making connections with others in seemingly conf licting circles, so we should not let misguided social trends stop us either. While there are reasonable arguments encouraging people to socialize with and date like-minded partners, a learning opportunity may be missed when two partners are too closely linked. After all, diversifying the people you choose to surround yourself with will always lead to some form of good. Learning new things, seeing from new perspectives and meeting even more varied individuals are some of the many benefits that prove it is better to commingle than to separate. What matters most in every kind of relationship is connection — finding common threads like shared pastimes and similar senses of humor. These communal human traits and social


functions — not intricate politics — are how we should select who we spend our time with. Online, where our politics, passions, opinions and job titles are often more visible than in real life, it is easy to be much more critical of others than we are in person. Seeing one identifier in a bio, such as “K-Pop fan,” may turn you off from a potential love interest on Twitter. But if you had met in real life, maybe all you would have seen was a cute stranger, and you very well may have hit it off, fallen in love and lived happily ever after. This is not to advocate for dating your local racist, or for befriending someone who does not want you to have equal rights as them. Cling to your beliefs and don’t sacrifice what is important to you — if you just can’t seem to find level ground with someone, it’s perfectly fine to deny a personal relationship with them. This is simply a reminder not to let labels automatically do the deciding for you.








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North Texas Daily 6/28/2018  
North Texas Daily 6/28/2018