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Snowpocalypse Weather provides winter playground for students

Page 2 Tuesday, February 8, 2011

News 1, 2 Arts & Life 3 Sports 6 Views 4 Classifieds 5 Games 5

Volume 97 | Issue 10

Sunny 54° / 36°

ntdaily.com

The Student Newspaper of the University of North Texas

Traditions Hall flood leaves students out to dry BY ISAAC WRIGHT Senior Staff Writer

ARTS & LIFE: Student known as world’s best Astrojax performer Page 3

SPORTS: Weather cancels Lubbock track and field tournament Page 6

Freezing temperatures caused a sprinkler head to burst in the upper floors of Traditions Hall Saturday morning, flooding dorm rooms and hallways and causing significant water damage to parts of the building. Just after 9 a.m., the fire alarm sounded in Traditions and residents were evacuated after a frozen pipe caused a sprinkler head in the attic to burst. The ensuing cascade of water affected the three floors of the building’s north wing. Thirty-six rooms in the dorm received serious damage from the water. The 37 residents of those rooms met with university officials to find alternate housing. Tom Rufer, associate vice president of auxiliary services, said some of the students who live nearby decided to go home rather than seek other housing on campus. Rufer said the university worked with those who decided to stay and has housed them all in residence halls where there were vacancies. “We met with them individually and tried to come up with a situation that was best for them,” Rufer said. “By [Sunday] afternoon, everyone that was impacted was taken care of.” Power and water were both shut off at Traditions after the pipe broke, Rufer said. He said the south wing of the building was found to have not sustained any damage from the broken pipe and utilities were restored to it later Saturday afternoon. Around 6 p.m., unaffected

PHOTO BY BRIAN MASCHINO/INTERN

A frozen fire alarm sprinkler broke Saturday, flooding the north wing of Traditions Hall. Thirty-six rooms were seriously damaged by water, causing 37 residents to find another place to stay. residents were a llowed to return to their rooms. Rufer said the university hired an outside restoration company, Restoration Specialists, to assess and repair the damaged areas of the hall. Repairs are expected to take about a week, he said, but costs are not yet known. “We hope to have a pretty good idea by the end of the day,” Rufer said. “We’ve not put a cost to it at this point. We

probably won’t have a dollar value on this until the majority of things are taken care of.” Residents in Traditions were first evacuated outside after the fire alarm went off and were soon moved into Santa Fe Square next door. Many residents were confused. “The last time we had a fire drill, they told us it was a drill and that next time, it would be real,” said Dewayne Smith, a hospitality management sophomore. “I

thought it was an actual fire.” Smith said his room was not affected by water. However, he said the work going on to repair the hall can be seen in the lobby. “There’s a ton of work,” Smith said. “They have fans in there, chunks of the ceiling are gone. The paneling on the wall is damaged, too.” John Ramirez, a kinesiology freshman, was also at Traditions early Saturday morning but said

he left shortly after residents were evacuated. He said his room was not affected by the water, but Traditions Hall resident assistants told him that many students had to be relocated because their rooms were full of water. Ramirez said the high water damaged any belongings left on the floor at the time of the flooding.

To read the full story visit ntdaily.com

TAMS budget could lose $850K Dean requests UNT ‘back us up’

VIEWS: Students need to look at the labels in the grocery store Page 4

ONLINE: Visit ntdaily.com to read more about Saturday’s flood in Traditions Hall

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BY DREW GAINES Senior Staff Writer

PHOTO BY DREW GAINES/SENIOR STAFF WRITER

People slid across Fry Street early Thursday morning. Another four inches of snow is expected to blanket Denton Wednesday.

School closures likely as snow moves through BY M ATTHEW CARDENAS Staff Writer

Just as students begin to thaw from their icy break last week, it looks like the winter weather isn’t over yet. The forecasters predict another snowstorm to hit the North Texas area late Tuesday night that will continue through Wednesday afternoon. “We are expecting ice,” meteorologist Jennifer Dunn said. “We are expecting a widespread travel impact, si m i la r to la st week .” Last week, two snowstorms hit the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. The first storm was on Monday night, bringing the North Texas area four or five inches of snow and coating area roads in ice, Dunn said. The second storm hit Friday morning, dumping an additional two to four inches. An arctic cold front will hit

North Texas early Wednesday mor ning. The Nat iona l Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch. Dunn said the highs on Wednesday will be in the mid 20s, and the temperature will decrease throughout the day. The lows will be in the teens, with a wind chill below zero. Denton could receive up to four inches of sleet and snow, Dunn said. The storms may cause more school closures, which comes as a mixed blessing for some. “I liked missing class,” criminal justice sophomore Jamal Freeman said about last week’s weather. “But I don’t look forward to missing more classes.” By the weekend, the sun will be shining. Temperatures will start in the mid-40s on Friday and get up to the mid-60s by Sunday, Dunn said.

Two weeks ago, President Barack Obama hammered the nation about the importance of math and science education during his annual State of the Union Address. Today, Richard Sinclair, t he dean of Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at UNT, is unsettled about t he f uture of UNT’s prem ier resea rch prog ra m as it faces its biggest budget cut yet. TAMS is a two-year program that allows high school sophomores to conduct research in the science, engineering and mathematics fields at UNT while attending college classes and living on campus. T he n at ion a l l y ac c re dited institution is facing an $850,000 budget cut beginning Fall 2012. The cuts, which will remove about 17 percent of TAMS’ budget, come as Texas leg islators slash educat ion spending in an attempt to dig up the estimated $27 billion needed to balance the state’s mounting budget deficit. “These are scary numbers,” Si ncla i r sa id, refer r i ng to the record-setting shortfall. “There is no intention to hurt TAMS. We are just part of that $31 billion everyone is trying to find.” TAMS’ operation relies on two forms of state funding: special items, which are funds a llocated to t he universit y by state officials for special prog ra ms, a nd for mu la

funding, which is money given to a school based on its enrollment, credit hours and demographic needs. Specia l-item f unding for Texas schools may be cut by as much as 25 percent beginning next year, Sinclair said. That means a loss of $300,000 for the TAMS program. Formula

keep TAMS students at full strength.” Si ncla i r a lso considered upping tuition for students next year. The proposed cost would be $8,200 a semester. However, he is leery of such price increases because he sa id it cou ld d i sr upt t he desired diversity and demo-

“I’m afraid [the cuts] will affect the future of TAMS and strain the incoming class.”

—Avia Weinstein TAMS student and Students Council member

funding, which provides the major it y of TA MS budget, i s ex pe c te d to be c ut by 13.5 percent for a l l Tex a s schools. T he pr og r a m w i l l a l s o receive less money from the university next year, as UNT imposed a 5 percent budget cut. Sinclair also cites 2012’s rise in tuition price as a factor that will cost TAMS money. “I’m afraid [the cuts] will affect the future of TAMS and strain the incoming class,” said Avia Weinstein, a TAMS student and Student Council member. T here a re 378 st udent s cur rent ly attending TA MS. The program’s faculty considered dwindling down 2012’s entering class enrollment after news of the cuts, but Sinclair says cutting the enrollment just isn’t possible. “The way it looks right now, TAMS is at full enrollment, or it will be cut,” Sinclair said. “The only answer really is to

graphics of the program. “TAMS offers a smaller environment with more opportunities to be involved. It’s a way to get a head w it h classes,” Weinstein said. Many of the TAMS students go on to elite universities after graduating from the program. Some have gone on to w in prestigious scholarships and work for agencies like NASA. The students’ contribution to science research is a key reason to keep the program at UNT, Sincla ir sa id. The ot her reason is t he money the program gives back to the university. “If TAMS left today, UNT would lose $7 million,” Sinclair said. He based the figure off of UNT housing costs for TAMS students and their extreme number of credit hours that the state compensates for. “I feel very confident UNT sees t he va lue of TA MS,” Sincla ir sa id. “My pitch is going to be, ‘back us up.’”


Page 2 Josh Pherigo & Laura Zamora, News Editors

News

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 ntdailynews@gmail.com

PHOTO BY JAMES COREAS/SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The Jody’s Fountain froze over Wednesday Feb. 2, the second of five snow days.

PHOTO BY JAMES COREAS/SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Adam Nicely, a radio, television and film junior, uses a laundry lid as a makeshift sled to slide down the hill by the UNT Coliseum.

Cat and student brave the weather as they walk across campus.

PHOTO BY JAMES COREAS/SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

PHOTO BY JAMES COREAS/SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The Denton Courthouse was illuminated Wednesday night by the reflection of lights off the white snow.

PHOTO BY JAMES COREAS/SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

PHOTO BY DREW GAINES/SENIOR STAFF WRITER

Left: students enjoy the snow by having a snowball fight Friday, the fourth of five snow days. Right: people were caught in the snow on Fry Street early Thursday morning, two days after a winter storm dropped three inches of snow and ice on the region, prompting road, school and business closures that lasted for days.

PHOTO BY DREW GAINES/SENIOR STAFF WRITER

PHOTO BY DREW GAINES/SENIOR STAFF WRITER

A pedestrian slips on the ice on West Hickory St. as snow poured down on Denton Thursday morning. Graphics courtesy of MCT.

People were caught in the snow on Fry Street early Thursday morning, two days after a winter storm dropped three inches of snow and ice on the region, prompting road, school and business closures that lasted for days.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011 Christina Mlynski, Arts & Life Editor

Arts & Life

Page 3 cmlynski@ntdaily.com

World’s greatest attends UNT English student is an Astrojax ‘rock star’ BY A SHLEY-CRYSTAL FIRSTLEY Staff Writer

Wit h a f lick of his w rist, C h r i s M a r s h a l l m a n i p ulates three balls the size of whole walnuts, connected to a string. Marshall, an English junior, has played with a toy called Astrojax for nearly 10 years. The toy’s purpose is similar to that of a yo-yo: mastering a series of tricks. Marshall is sponsored by Jim Ma r iel li, a representative of the toy company Active People. The company recognizes Marshall as the world’s greatest performer. “I jokingly refer to him as our ‘rock star,’” Marielli said. “It just comes natural. It’s not something that he’s trying to do or forcing. He really gets into it like he’s play ing a ir guitar.” Active People is based in Switzerland. Marshall is a part of the U.S. team located in Ohio. Invented by a phy sicist named Larry Shaw, Marshall became attracted to the toy on a commercial he saw in 2002. It wasn’t until a year later stores such as Target began c a r r y i ng it for a l i m ite d time. More than just a toy Ma rsha ll, a lso k now n as ChrisMANIC to the relatively small Active People community, said he obtained sponsorship after emailing Marielli a 20-minute video of the skills he developed from the toy.

“He really gets into it like he’s playing air guitar.”

—Jim Marielli Acitive People representative

“The physics of the toy make it do things that you wouldn’t otherwise expect it to do with just a random f lick of your wrist,” he said. Marshall said his style of speed a nd tech n ique ha s not only coined him as the “world’s greatest performer,” but also awarded him opportunities to travel to New York to represent the company at the Toy Fair Convention and National Yo-Yo Competition. “If you’re good at Astrojax, then other people, particularly young people, are going to look up to you,” Marielli sa id. “A nd we rea lly tr y to find people that are positive in their behavior.” The U.S. branch sponsors more than 10 people, Marielli said. T he la st per for ma nce Marshall did was a broadcast video to Switzerland when the Active People club launched their new website, Marshall said.

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Chris Marshall performs tricks with his Astrojax outside of the University Union. Also known as ChrisMANIC, Marshall has played with the yo-to-like toy since he was in the 7th grade. Support system Marsha ll said his family sends him cameras to help capture his moves so they can be a part of his hobby. “I don’t really care about getting money for it,” Marshall said. “It’s just about making people see and be like, ‘hey, there’s something there, that kid has talent, whatever he’s doing.’” Lauren Cater, a radio, tele-

vision and film senior and Astrojax player, said she has played for six years and sticks to old school tricks that involve more body movement. Cater sa id she recent ly found out Marshall attends UNT. “He’s really good at giving tips on how to give tricks,” Cater said. “He has a bunch of r e a l l y g o o d f r e e s t y le videos.”

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Views

Page 4 Abigail Allen, Views Editor

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 ntdailyviews@gmail.com

Student: Check the food labels

Administration handled snow well Editorial Snow days can cause confusion, but UNT worked hard to make sure communication was clear. In Dallas, students and professors had to stay up late to see if they would have to brave the frigid temperatures and icy roads to get to Southern Methodist University the next morning, but the UNT community knew by late afternoon Feb. 1 through Friday that the university would be closed the next day. That’s how a university should communicate. The Editorial Board commends UNT President V. Lane Rawlins and the other administrators for using the Eagle Alert system, the university’s website, and the official e-mail to contact students, faculty and staff. UNT also used social media, including its Facebook and Twitter accounts, to get the word out well. When it comes to knowing whether there will be an official snow day, over-communication beats guessing. When the roads and parking lots are covered in a layer of ice that has a layer of snow over it for a five-day period, that information becomes crucial. Besides notices from the university, Rawlins impressed the Board with his willingness to test the roads and the sidewalks at UNT himself and his openness with his reasoning about the continued closures. He showed that he took the situation seriously and wanted to make an informed decision. Although in past years the Eagle Alert system has been used to contact students through phone calls and text messages about weather delays and closures, students were not given as much information about the administrators’ reasoning. By taking the time to personally inspect the situation and talk to the UNT community, Rawlins has shown his attitude and concern for the members of the institution he leads. In the e-mail he sent Wednesday, the message had a sincere and genuine tone that continues the sentiments Rawlins has conveyed since he took over as UNT president in May 2010. He advised students to stay away from campus while it was closed to including “Stay safe!” at the end of his message. The communication didn’t stop with the Wednesday e-mail, either. When he decided to keep the university closed through Saturday, Rawlins sent a message letting everyone know there would be information about having school Monday, and the administration followed through on Sunday. With the potential for more wintry weather looming, the Editorial Board thanks the administration for its attempt to keep UNT safe and hopes future incidents will be handled with as much organization and consideration as last week.

Campus Chat

Going grocery shopping with my friends is an adventure for me and an ordeal for them (po-tay-to, po-tah-to, I say). All too often a simple errand takes extra time to accommodate my health-nut habit of reading product nutrition labels. The last time I skipped reading a label, I freaked out when I later saw that it included high fructose corn syrup. I thought I could trust canned tomatoes, but clearly I was wrong. At first I felt self-conscious, but then I realized that most people are too busy rushing through their own errands to notice. And therein lies another problem: People are too busy or unconcerned to learn the details about what they plan to consume. When it comes to food information, the motto of the day is “See no evil, hear no evil.” The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 set forth standards for nutrition facts labeling on packages, which appeared in the current

format in 1994, according to the United States Department of Agriculture website. Ideally, consumers would take full advantage of the panels to make informed decisions about what to buy. However, a study in the September 2008 issue of Amber Waves, the Economic Research Service’s magazine, showed that label use for food shopping by American adults decreased from 65 percent in 1995 to 62 percent in 2005. Of those surveyed, the 20-29-yearold adults showed a greater decline, from 62 percent in 1995 to 52 percent in 2005. The Editorial Board has encouraged students to take control and improve their diets. I second that. The current obesity crisis has a vast number of factors behind it, one of which is the need for consumer empowerment. I think of nutrition and ingredient labeling as a counterbalance to the colorful points picked out by marketers to go on the front of food packaging. If you look at the patterns, it’s

kind of funny what they choose to highlight. Sugary candies like peppermints proudly proclaim that they are fat free, which of course must mean that they’re wonderful for the waistline. Kids’ cereals practically scream that they’re made with whole grains. They’re a bit quieter about their sugar content, though. Tossing in some cool vitamins doesn’t ma ke t hem hea lt h food, either. To be labeled a “good source of” some nutrient, an item only has to have 10-19 percent of the daily recommended value of the reference a mou nt customa r i ly consumed, according to a 2007 labeling guideline report from the USDA. T he r u le s for pack a ge label i ng a re su r pr isi ng ly loose, and it’s all too easy to fool yourself about the quality of certain foods to the detriment of people’s health. The 2010 Ph i lips Index repor t on hea lt h a nd wel l-being

found that only 39 percent of Americans think they’re overweight — a far cry from the oft-touted 67 percent. Throug hout our col lege careers, we are encouraged to take advantage of the extra resources we have available. W hy not take advantage of the informational resources from food labeling? You might be sur prised by what you learn. And whatever you do, don’t trust canned tomatoes.

Carolyn Brown is a journalism senior. She can be reached at carolynbrown@my.unt.edu.

People should think before speaking As I reapply my lip balm for the billionth time on a blustery February day, inevitably some helpful acquaintance will warn me against the dangers of the stuff. “You’ll get addicted, you know,” she’ll croon. “It’s so bad for you.” Says who? The worst that happens — at least according to the authors of the book “Can I Get Addicted to Lip Balm?” — is that the moisture balance of your lips is thrown off and not given enough time to fix itself in between applications. It’s no nicotine-laced gateway product, and it’s definitely not an invitation for a lecture by someone I hardly know. Helpful advice from people who k now not h i ng about eit her t he topic t hey a re lecturing about or me makes

me want to knock them off of their soapboxes. No, cracking my knuckles won’t give me arthritis, but thanks for your helpful input, lady at the bus stop in a kitty sweater. The habit can cause injury to the ligaments because of the stress, according to the Johns Hopkins website, but I’m sure that you didn’t look into that at all before you passed on your superstition as fact. It’s likely no one does. We live in an era of information, yet we surround ourselves (and those around us, willing or not) with misinformation and ignorance. It does not even take going to the library anymore. Any idiot can Google “am I as dumb as I am about to sound?” The answer is typically a resounding “YES!” It’s not that I’m close-minded or rude (well, maybe a little rude). I just wish that before people

passed on advice that they listened to themselves for half a second. If something sounds dumb, look it up before you pass it on instead of walking around like a talking chain e-mail. The forward stops here. It is unlikely that my flicking a lighter as I wait for a show to start will cause me to suddenly experience nighttime incontinence, but that does not stop a stranger from warning me that if I play with fire, I will wet the bed. I do not think I will throw salt into the hair or face of the people at the table behind me for luck, and I have no intention of banging on a table to ensure that my life will continue to bring me joy. These suggestions are relics of the past, but it’s not just an older generation perpetuating

them. College students spread the same old wives’ tales and random “facts” that one would expect to hear on a shuffleboard court in Florida. Superstitions are fine, but sharing them is not. So please, think before you speak.

Jessika Curry is a journalism senior. She can be reached at jc0407@unt.edu.

How did you think the university handled the school closures?

{ { {

“I personally found out about it on Twitter before I got the Eagle Alert, but as the week went on, they did a good job.”

Lauren Moore

Journalism senior

“Superb. They did a great job.”

Okoye Milledge

Kinesiology sophomore

“I think it is the earliest they’ve ever done it. I liked how it was on Facebook.”

Amy Panduro

NT Daily Editorial Board The Editorial Board includes: Katie Grivna, Abigail Allen, Josh Pherigo, Laura Zamora, Christina Mlynski, Sean Gorman, Nicole Landry, Brianne Tolj, Berenice Quirino, David Williams and Will Sheets.

Spanish junior

Want to be heard? The NT Daily is proud to present a variety of ideas and opinions from readers in its Views section. As such, we would like to hear from as many UNT readers as possible. We invite readers of all creeds and backgrounds to write about whichever issue excites them, whether concerning politics, local issues, ethical

questions, philosophy, sports and, of course, anything exciting or controversial. Take this opportunity to make your voice heard in a widely read publication. To inquire about column ideas, submit columns or letters to the editor, send an e-mail to ntdailyviews@gmail.com.

Note to Our Readers

The NT Daily does not necessarily endorse, promote or agree with the viewpoints of the columnists on this page. The content of the columns is strictly the opinion of the writers and in no way reflects the belief of the NT Daily.


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Page 6 Sean Gorman, Sports Editor

Sports

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 sgorman@ntdaily.com

Track and Field cancels Lewis’ Last Call: The weekend trip to Lubbock problem with Signing Day Brief

Weather prevents team’s travel BY TAYLOR JACKSON

Staff Writer The UNT track and field team decided not to head out to Lubbock for the Texas Tech

Invitational after the weather kept them from practicing. UNT faced five days of campus closures last week because of the icy conditions, and on Friday, head coach Rick Watkins made the decision to skip the meet due to the inclement weather. The Texas Tech Invitational would have been the third meet of the season for the Mean Green. It was scheduled for last Saturday.

The team was in College Station for the Texas A&M Conference Challenge on Jan. 15 and in Norman, Okla. for the Oklahoma Invitational on Jan. 22. In the Texas A&M Conference Challenge, UNT and the Sun Belt Conference finished third in both men’s and women’s competition, behind the Big 12 and the Southland Conference. In the Oklahoma Invitational, the Mean Green had nine runners with top five finishes. Senior runners Alysha Adams and Reggie Hayter led the way for UNT. Adams topped the rest of the competition to finish first in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.40 seconds. Hayter grabbed a first place finish as well, his first of the season. Hayter finished first in the 600-yard run in 1:12.88, almost a second faster than the second-place runner. The Mean Green will be back in action Friday and Saturday, when it head to Ames, Iowa for the Iowa State Classic.

would assume it’s an extremely proud day for players and their families. I could barely contain myself when I found out I was accepted into a university, even though I knew I would be paying dearly for it years after I graduated. I can only imagine what it’s like to know you’re in for free.

Opinion B Y BOBBY LEWIS

Senior Staff Writer

I cannot stand National Signing Day. This train wreck of an event usually comes around t he f i rst Wed nesday of February and it is the first day high school seniors can sign a National Letter of Intent to go to a college or university and play sports. On the surface, it seems like it should not be that big of a deal on a national level, but a proud day for players and their families. Don’t get me wrong. I

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“For those more highly recruited, we get to see them hold outlandish press conferences to announce where they’re going to play a sport.� Somewhere along the way, Nationa l Signing Day has devolved into a complete and utter circus that should be Exhibit A in the case of “Why so many of today’s professional athletes are so ignorant and self-entitled.� I’m not referring to lesserknown recruits. There wasn’t any huge commotion last week when UNT signed 22 players to a National Letter of Intent, which currently has UNT’s recruiting class ranked sixth out of nine Sun Belt Conference teams. W hy? It’s simple: UNT’s recruits are not nearly as highly sought after as, say, Alabama’s, which has the No. 1 overall football recruiting class this year. For t hose more h ig h ly recruited, we get to see them hold outlandish press conferences to a nnounce where

they’re going to play a sport. It’s sickening just to type that. Each press conference will almost always find its way onto the national airwaves and give all of these kids attention they neither need nor deserve. Let me reiterate: these are high school kids. Yes, I understand some of them are 18 years old, but as long as they are in high school and live at home with their parents or guardians, they’re kids. I’m not trying to diminish their talents. Most of them are athletically gifted and will become great college athletes. Some will even be lucky enough to become a professiona l athlete. But does that potential warrant all the unnecessary media attention they get before they even suit up for their school of choice? I have the potential to become the President of the United States, but I don’t have cameras following me around. Part of it is the media’s fault. High school games are now broadcast on national TV at a ridiculous rate. National media show up to the press conferences. The national media give the kids the platform, and to a degree, it’s human nature to embrace it and tell the rest of the world how great they are. That’s not an excuse, just a contributing factor. I understand that we all want our 15 minutes in the sun, but maybe it’s best if we hold off on that until we actually accomplish something worthy of it.

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Edition 2-8-11