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Shirts for Service Coffee Queen A day in the life of a barista Arts & Life | Page 4

Mean Green apparel sales go to charity News | Page 2

Thursday, September 27, 2012

News 1, 2 Arts & Life 3, 4 Sports 5, 6 Views 7 Classifieds 8 Games 8

Volume 100 | Issue 14

The Student Newspaper of the University of North Texas

Study: Campus debit cards pose dangers JASON YANG

Senior Staff Writer

Students should be wary of university-affiliated debit cards, which can come with high fees, insufficient consumer protections and few options, according to a recent report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The report, “The Campus Debit Card Trap,” found that many banks use partnerships with universities to gain special access to students by linking checking accounts to student IDs. Students with low-income backgrounds who are reliant on financial aid are often the most negatively impacted . “Students think they are getting fair and unbiased advice when they see the college logo,” said Rich Williams, U.S. Public Interest Research Group higher education advocate. “But many times, schools are getting financial perks for their endorsement while students are stuck with high bank fees.” Wells Fargo, a financial card partner with UNT, offers an “Enhanced Mean Green Card” that functions as a university ID card and a student’s checking account. UNT also offers a UNT Debit

Card, managed by Higher One, that disburses financial aid refunds and disbursements to students, according to the Eagle Student Services Center’s website. The “Campus Debit Card Trap” report found that UNT is one of the largest public universities in the country with a financial card partner. UNT Student Accounting and Cashier Services declined to comment. Williams said students think a campus-affiliated card provides exclusive benefits, when in reality, students can be hit with high fees for overdrafts, using different banks’ ATMS, inactivity charges and other service costs. U.S. student debt is more than $1 trillion, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Higher One, which helps colleges, including UNT, with the management of student refunds, got 80 percent of its $176.3 million revenue from campusaffiliated disbursement cards in 2011, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Hammer Time


Hammer thrower John Garrish, a kinesiology master’s student, poses Wednesday in the equipment room at Fouts Field. “I would never have guessed I would be here, doing hammer throws,” said Garrish, who began throwing two years ago after suffering several concussions playing football over the years. For full story see page 6

See DEBIT on page 2

Mentors help students stay on academic track

According to the Texas Cancer Registry, 469 Denton County residents will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012.


Intern UNT’s four-year graduation rate was 19 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics. To help raise graduation rates and keep students enrolled, UNT has come up with a variety of new initiatives. The Advocates Creating Conversations that Engage and Support Students, or ACCESS, Mentoring Program was created to foster more dialogue between faculty, staff and students. ACCESS offers resources such as Dinner Dialogues, which gives students a new way to interact with mentors over a meal. Faculty mentors are given free meal passes and then choose a place to meet with a group of students to mentor at least once a month. The Out to Lunch Program is similar but provides a student with the pass. The student then takes the mentor out to eat for a more intimate, one-on-one discussion. “Advising and mentoring is one of the variety of things counselors do to retain students,” said Sean Ryan, senior academic counselor for the Honors College. “It enables a student to be encouraged in their interests and choice of career, along with establishing a plan to successful.” The personalized mentoring is an enormous benefit to students, said Candi Harris, the program coordinator for Undergraduate Studies. “One of the major bonuses of mentoring is accountability,” Harris said. “UNT is very large, and there is plenty of information out there that can make it overwhelming. With mentoring, there is somebody sitting across from you who cares about your


Denton races for cure A SHLEY GRANT


Various departments on campus offer mentor programs for students. The Multicultural Center Buddy System Program offered a way for freshman Sahara Ale, education junior Briana Crowe and sophomore Danika Adams to get connected. success. Some people do not have this at home, so in this way we act like a surrogate.” The drastic changes of college can be overwhelming for many students, Harris said. Mentoring not only helps students get started but leads them to ask questions about their future, making the student more likely to seek answers and stay enrolled in school. “My foren sics prog ra m director not only helped me start my degree plan, but he has also

helped me figure out a plan of action after I finish my degree,” pre-biology sophomore Elise Raley said. “I think mentoring is so important because not everyone has is privileged to have parents to guide them through college, so we have mentors to set up this foundation.” The Honors College hopes to grow and expand its programs with the combined efforts of students and mentors.

Senior Staff Writer Denton is going pink this Saturday at South Lakes Park for Susan G. Komen North Texas’ yearly Race for the Cure, an event dedicated to raising awareness and money for breast cancer research and education. “[The race] is based on hope, and it’s a time for lots of people to get together to celebrate t hose who have been fighting breast c a n ce r a nd t ho s e who have passed on because of it,” said Hannah Beaty, marketing and communications specialist for the North Texas affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which formed in 1982 and is the la rgest a nd most wel lknown breast cancer organization in the U.S. Registration prices range from $10 to $30, and those i nte r e ste d c a n r eg i ste r online or anytime after 6 a.m. the day of the race. Beaty said the organization is expecting to see about 2,500 participants at South Lakes Park at 556 Hobson Ln. in Denton. Last

year, 2,200 people took part in the Race for the Cure. Because there is no on-site parking at South Lakes Park, participants are being asked to park at Golden Triangle Mall and hop on one of 10 charter buses donated by Durham Charter Services, she said. “They were kind enough to donate the buses, as well as their time, to help participants get to the park,” Beaty said. Denton’s Race for the Cure will feature a competitive 5-km race, a casual 5K run and walk, and a one-mile family fun run and walk. It will also include a 50-yard dash for children 12 years old and younger, she said. The race celebrates survivors of breast cancer and pays t ribute to those who have died from the disease while raising money for community outreach, education and breast cancer screening and treatment. Most of the event’s revenue comes from donations collected by participants in the race. “Our goal through participant funds is $100,000, but our overall goal is to raise $200,000,” said Jim Rainbolt,

business development manager for Komen North Texas. Aside f rom sk i n ca ncer, breast ca ncer is t he most frequently diagnosed form of cancer among women, said Joy Donovan Brandon, commun icat ion s ma nager for the American Cancer Society. “T h e r e ’s a n e s t i m at e d 226,870 new cases expected to occur in women across the nation this year alone. In men, the number is 210,190,” she said. The Texas Cancer Registry estimates that about 469 new cases of breast cancer will be documented in Denton County in 2012. Brandon said some factors that increase the risk of breast cancer are smoking, physical inactivity and family history. Komen North Texas pools the money it raises through events such as the Race for the Cure and applies it, in the form of grants, to programs dealing with breast health, education and screening in the eight counties it services: Collin, Cook, Denton, Grayson, Fannin, Hunt and Montague. For more information, visit

Inside SGA appoints senators News | Page 2

Blocks provide intimidation for volleyball team Sports | Page 6

Paddle fight is just plain weird Views | Page 7


Page 2 Alex Macon and Holly Harvey, News Editors


Fatal accident on I-35E

Continued from Page 1 “St udents a re already victims of financial crisis, unemployment, high tuition and book costs,” said Rohit Chopra, private student loan ombudsman with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “These banks are hurting the students more financially with their hidden agendas.” Federal regulations have limited how banks are able to advertise credit cards on college campuses, but debit cards, particularly campusaffiliated cards, often face fewer restrictions, Chopra said. The report also found that many universities are paid for partnerships with banks and other private financial firms. According to the study, Huntington Bank paid $25 million to co-brand and link their checking accounts with Ohio State University student IDs. Ot her u n iversit ies a lso receive substantial payouts and revenue-sharing deals,

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Public relations sophomore Mackenzie Thompson uses the Bank of America ATM in the Union to withdraw money. Wit h t hese pa r t nersh ips, financial institutions become t he pr i ma r y recipient of billions in federal financial aid to distribute to students, according to the report. “The banks aren’t breaking any law, but they’re using the laws against the students,” Chopra said. Williams said to avoid the debit card trap, students need to know they are in control. He advises students to not give into peer pressure, to look at all options and to thoroughly research financial decisions.

The UNT Money Ma n agement Center a lso provides free financial advice for students who are in debt or have questions about their budget. Director Paul Goebel said the center can provide students with a weekly, monthly, or semester budget adapted to fit a student’s financial reality. Undecided freshman Holly Speel hoffer, who ow n s a campus-affiliated debit card, had other advice for students. “Always read the fine print,” she said.


Battalion Chief Tom Nations observes the aftermath of a fatal motorcycle accident north of the Teasley Lane exit ramp on Interstate 35-E at noon Wednesday, standing near decaying flowers left behind for a separate fatal accident. A helicopter took the unidentified male driver to Plano Medical Center, where he was declared dead on arrival, said Ryan Grelle, public information officer for the Denton Police Department. Senior staff writer Jason Yang contributed to this brief.

After heated debate, SGA appoints senators DANIEL BISSELL

Editorial Staff Editor-in-chief ...............................................Chelsea Stratso Managing Editor .............................................Alex Macon Assigning Editor ............................................Holly Harvey Arts and Life Editor ........................................Brittni Barnett Sports Editor ...................................................Joshua Friemel Views Editor .................................................James Rambin Visuals Editor ....................................................James Coreas Multimedia Manager ....................................Daisy Silos Copy Chief ....................................................Jessica Davis Design Editor ..............................................Therese Mendez

Senior Staff Writers Ryne Gannoe, Ashley Grant, Marlene Gonzalez, Nadia Hill, Tyler Owens, Jason Yang

Senior Staff Photographers Michelle Heath, Zac Switzer

Staff Writer The Student Government Association Senate met Thursday evening to discuss legislation and appoint new senators. Four new senators were appointed at the weekly meeting. Pre-international studies senior Christopher Matos and business junior Aaron Presley were both voted in unanimously to represent the Honors College and the College of Business, respectively. The appointment of David Schuler, organizational behavior and human resource management senior, was met with some deliberation. Schuler, who had previously resigned from SGA because of scheduling conflicts, resubmitted his candidacy to represent the College of Business in the senate. “I resigned last spring because of my position with the Union Master Plan Committee,” Schuler said. “I have time now in the fall and would like to come back to the senate.” After some deliberation

Advertising Designer ................................................Josue Garcia Ad Reps ....................................Taylon Chandler, Elisa Dibble

GAB Room 117 Phone: (940) 565-2353 Fax: (940) 565-3573

regarding his ability to re-commit to the Senate, Schuler was voted in by the majority of senators. Sophomore Hanna Bagheri submitted her candidacy to represent the College of Music. Bagheri, who is a biology major, was initially questioned about

her ability to effectively represent the college. “I acquired sig natures informing everyone that I was not a member of the College of Music,” Bagheri said as she addressed the senate. “I decided to run to represent them because I realized, at the

Shirts sales raise money for Big Event WHITNEY ROGERS

Contributing Writer

Advertising Staff

PHOTO BY TYLER CLEVELAND/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER “We will be misrepresented,” said music sophomore Troy Elliot, senator to the College of Music, about the appointment of biology sophomore Hanna Bagheri as senator to the same college, while Anthony Base gives two thumbs up during the SGA meeting Wednesday in Sage Hall.

time I was running for senate, that the College of Music did not have any representation.” After some heated discussion, Bagheri was also inducted as a senator representing the College of Music. Quarrelsome debate at the meeting lasted almost two hours. Speaker of the House Adam Hasley, a College of Arts and Sciences senator, felt the contentious deliberation regarding the new senators was effective. “Overall, we’re here to disagree with each other,” Hasley said. “If we all agreed, there would be no point to debate, so I’m glad we had the discussion.” SGA President Rudy Reynoso expressed satisfaction with the meeting. He said debates about the new senators were rigorous but a necessary part of the SGA process. “[The meeting] was a bit more intense than usual,” Reynoso said. “Even though there were disagreements, we got highly qualified new senators, and we’ll go from here.”

UNT students can help raise money for the upcoming Big Event, a nationally recognized community service event at UNT, by purchasing a brand-new “Mean Green Pride We’re All In” shirt. “We’re All In” merchandise is now available at the UNT Bookstore, Apogee Stadium and “All funds raised from the

shirt sales will help support The Big Event,” said Rolando Rivas, UNT director of Graphic Brand Management. “The money will go toward purchasing materials, paint, nails and whatever else we need.” Rivas said UNT has never done a fundraiser quite like this one before: buying a $16 shirt will help others serve the Denton community. “It’s a good idea,” said Karla

Search for the NT DAILY in the app store.

Simundson, who works at the UNT Bookstore. “Everyone wears UNT stuff, even my friend that’s an alumnus is still interested in UNT gear.” The Big Event, scheduled for April 6, works with local nonprofit organizations to serve the Denton community. “Students, faculty and alumni will work in nursing homes, elementary schools, repairing houses, whatever the community needs,” said Amy Simon, director of the Center for Leadership and Service. This year UNT had about 2,000 students, faculty and alumni participate in The Big Event.

Organizers expect to significantly top that number next time around. “It’s a great way to connect the university with the community,” Simon said. “We’re working together and leaving an impact.” All volunteers for The Big Event must sign up at by the beginning of March, so each person or group can be assigned to a nonprofit organization. UNT students can really make a difference if everybody pitches in, even if it’s only buying a shirt at the campus bookstore, Rivas said. “Putting our pride to work, we can do some really impactful things within our community,” he said.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 Brittni Barnett, Arts & Life Editor

Arts & Life

Page 3

Nammi truck arrives at UNT JAVIER LOPEZ Intern

PHOTO BY TYLER CLEVELAND/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pre-mechanical engineering junior Minh Williams puts sauce on his báhn mì sandwich from Vietnamese food truck Nammi last Tuesday.

Students craving something new for lunch can check out UNT’s latest dining edition, Nammi, a food truck offering Vietnamese fusion dishes. The truck, which rolled onto campus last Tuesday, is located on Avenue A, east of the Language Building. It serves up classic Vietnamese dishes, including spring rolls, Vietnamese tacos and the popular báhn mì, every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The báhn mì is a Vietnamese

sandwich that consists of a person’s choice of meat, cilantro, sweet pickled carrots, daikon radishes, thinly sliced cucumbers, jalapeños and mayonnaise, according to the truck’s website. Pre-mechanical engineering junior Minh Williams skipped class for the sandwich. “It’s the combination of sweet and savory, Vietnamese and French,” he said. “[It’s] this messy deliciousness.” The truck is one of two based out of Dallas. It has been featured at events such as 35 Denton and the Hot Wet Mess.

“I’m a fan of Vietnamese food, and the bahń mì sandwich is delicious.”

-Payton Green Spanish senior

“I’m a fan of Vietnamese food,” Spanish senior Payton Green said. “And the bahń mì sandwich is delicious.” The truck averages about 100 customers every Tuesday and Thursday, owner Gary Torres said, and he hopes the number will increase. Torres, who has been making

sandwiches since he was little, said the truck will customize every order to a customer’s liking. “The sandwich is easy, with lots of flavor that can make it complex,” he said. For more information on Nammi, visit Staff Photographer Tyler Cleveland contributed to this story.

E.D.G.E. program helps prepare student leaders K ELSEY C HIPPEAUX Intern

T h e E a g l e E . D. G . E . (Education, Diversity, Growth and Effectiveness) program is a free class provided by the university designed to aid students in improving their leadership skills and preparing them for jobs on campus and beyond. The program recently came under the care of the Career Center after several years under the Division of Student Affairs. “Under the Career Center there is a lot more networking for them, and they can more easily get those paid leadership positions on campus,” said Blake Rexroat, an assistant director for Student Affairs and former Eagle E.D.G.E instructor. Lessons include topics such as generation gaps, communication and how to identify risky behavior in others. There are two classes each semester on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The class run for nine weeks. Each class i ncludes a n activity as well as one guest speaker from across campus who speaks to the students on their specialty, Rexroat said. “It ’s b a sic a l ly t u r n i ng these students into really well-rounded individuals,” said Damian Torres, a higher education master’s student and current instructor for Eagle E.D.G.E. “So by the time they

leave here next year they’ll have a better chance of getting an on-campus job, and it is actually highly transferable to post-graduation when you are actually going out and looking for a real, well-paying job. They can use these same skills that they’re learning now.” T h e r e i s n o p ay m e nt required for taking the class, but there is no credit given out for it either, Torres said. “The best part is that the students are excited to be here,” he said. “It’s on a volunteer basis, so they’re really engaged, they have questions, they introduce great discussion topics. That’s been the most interesting part, for sure.” P re -biolog y sophomore Tiffanie Fleming is a current student in the class. “It’s very enjoyable and open,” Fleming said. “There’s no ‘Oh, you’re wrong,’ and the instructors were very involved around campus so they have the experience to bring this to life. And meeting new people and kind of breaking out of my bubble has been great.” Torres said the program is different from other leadership classes on campus. “This class is tailored more for students who are trying to get in on on-campus jobs,” he said. “When they leave from here, the heads of the recruitment for [resident assistants,] Orientation Leaders, Eagle Ambassadors know about the program, and it gives them a

PHOTO BY MICHELLE HEATH/SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Higher education master’s student Damian Torres, graduate assistant for the E.D.G.E course, lectures the class about time management at home and in the workplace. The certification program includes nine weeks of courses for students seeking leadership positions on campus. leg up on the competition.” Students find this to be an appealing incentive. “I decided to join so that I could broaden my leadership skills some more,” Fleming said. “I plan on getting a job on campus and starting an organization, so I knew this would help a lot. ” For more information about the program, contact the Career Center in Chestnut Hall, Suite 103.

Denton welcomes first-ever Green Fest TRENT JOHNSON Intern

For the first time ever, the Greenbelt Alliance of Denton County will host Green Fest, a n event t h at encou rages people to step away from the tech nolog y of today, head outside and enjoy the view of the North Texas Greenbelt. The event will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday at 5900 Farm to Market Rd. 455 East, Denton. Green Fest is an event for all ages. The cost to attend is $5 with pre-registration and $7 on the day of the event. Pets on leashes wi ll be allowed, but alcohol is prohibited. The event first came up when the Greenbelt Alliance of Denton County, a volunteer organization that fosters awareness of the Greenbelt, wanted to plan an event for the area. I n stead of t he t y pic a l, eve r yday f u nd ra i s e r, t he g roup de c ided to pla n a full-on festival complete with food, music and activities. “It’s a fun fest ival with lots of activities to get people engaged in the outdoors,” Greenbelt Alliance Chairman Richard Rogers said. “Some of the activities are kayaking, pony rides and the birds of prey actually flying, plus a

reptile exhibit.” Wit h act iv it ies suc h a s archery, kayaking, pony rides, wall climbing and inflatable games, planners are hoping people enjoy the event while a lso t a k i ng not ice of t he Greenbelt, a wilderness area near Lake Roberts with about 10 miles of multi-use trails and waterways. “I pla n ned the event i n t he g ra nd open i ng,” sa id Katherine Barnett, sustainabilit y and special project administrator for the city of Denton. “This Greenbelt recreation piece was very important. Creating the linear trail with the hike and bike plus the equestrian trail provided a great recreational resource for the entire region.” Proceeds from the event will benefit the refurbishing of the North Texas Greenbelt, which has suffered wear and tear since its inception. “It is important to restore the equestrian trail,” Barnett said. “The event is meant to promote the Greenbelt, but most importantly, get people to have a good time while helping this important area in our region.” Proceeds will also help restore st ruct ures such as bathrooms. “We w a n t t o s e e t h e Greenbelt preserved in its

natural state and promote it and take care of it with the full support of the city,” Rogers said. The event will also include live music from bands such as Big Gus and Swampadelic, Dustin Perkins and headliner Bleu Edmondson. Fuzzy’s Tacos will be a featured vendor. “T he mu sic fe at u r e s a few country music artists,” Barnett said. “We have some great artists coming out and hope that will be really fun for the families.” Even though this is the first Green Fest, organizers are hoping for visitors from all across the North Texas area. “With this being an inaug u ra l eve nt, it ’s h a rd to tell how many people will attend,” Barnett said. “It’s definitely not only a Denton thing. We’re just going to roll with it and hope for the best.” UN T st udent s a re a l so taking notice of the Green Fest. “The flier caught my eye,” i nt e r d i s c ipl i n a r y s t ud ie s junior Sean Garza said. “The event seems like a great time, with music and archer y. I mean, how many times can you do archery?” For more in formation or to register visit

Page 4 Brittni Barnett, Arts & Life Editor

Arts & Life

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A day in the life... of a Jupiter House barista SUZY TOWNSEND Intern

While many people dread wa k i n g up e a rly, S a r a h Vaughn welcomes 5:30 a.m. Vaug h n i s a f u l l-t i m e barista at Jupiter House and works 40 hours a week. She opens the coffee shop alone most days. “I sta r t off by brew i ng coffee, taking down chairs and prepping food,” Vaughn sa id. “We a l so ju st st a r t juicing things like carrots and oranges, so I have to check the machine and make sure it’s ready to go.” Mor n i ngs a re Vaug h n’s favorite time to work because that is where all the action is at, she said. “We have regulars every day,” Vaughn said. “Even a group of old men that come and like to sit on the patio and talk about their ex-wives. I love the community here.” Fa sh ion me r c h a nd i si ng junior Angelica Bohorquez visits Jupiter House often to grab a coffee and study. “I believe Jupiter House is

PHOTO BY MICHELLE HEATH/SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jupiter House barista Sarah Vaughn makes a latte on her shift. Vaughn has been a barista at Jupiter House since July 2010. a staple of Denton,” she said. “If I had a friend from out of town, I would take them there to grab a coffee.” Vaughn has been a barista

since she was 19. She started at Eurotazza in Fort Worth and then later moved on to a small shop in Denton called Café Du Luxe.

She has been with Jupiter House since 2010. Although there a re t wo Jupiter House locations, one on the Square and one off

of University Drive, Vaughn prefers her location. “The action is here on the Square,” she said. “The other Jupiter House is great, but

it’s a totally different atmosphere.” After working alone from 5:30 to 8 a.m., Vaughn’s relief comes in, and she gets to relax a bit and have some fun with her co-workers. “The best part of working here is the customers, who you work for and who you work with,” Vaugh n said. “It’s like working with family every day.” One of the drinks Vaughn herself can be found sipping on is called the Cubano Latte. The Cubano Latte consists of raw sugar pulled through the espresso shot making it subtly sweet, Vaughn said. Employees at Jupiter House wear casual attire as long as it doesn’t violate health code, Vaughn said. Vaugh n and many other worke r s a r e of te n fou nd wearing Rangers shirts or Jupiter House T-shirts that are sold in the shop. “There really aren’t any cons to my job,” Vaughn said. “It’s fun and easy, and I plan on doing it for a while.”

Wild Beast Feast to take place this weekend H. DREW BLACKBURN Staff Writer

The smell of barbecue and the sound of sizzling meat will fill the North Texas Fairgrounds this weekend. The 6th annual Wild Beast Feast will be held this Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. The event will include a cookoff competition between 16 local Denton businesses, an auction, live music and a host of other activities.

Each year, the Greater Denton Arts Council puts the Wild Beast Feast together to raise funds for the art council. It is one of the biggest fundraisers the council puts together, said Caroline Holley, an administrative assistant for the Greater Denton Arts Council. “The purpose is to raise money for the art council and to get everybody involved and to understand what the GDAC

does,” Holley said. “It’s a very important cause in Denton.” Suzanne Schneider, a chef at The Chestnut Tree in Denton, said they will serve Columbian lamb tacos. “It’s a good cause, and it helps promote busi ness,” Schneider said. Other local businesses will also be cooking up unusual cuisine. Love Shack will offer rabbit and rattlesnake sausage, Denton

Sports and Physical Therapy Center will cook venison chili, and James Wood Auto Park will serve deer and oryx, an antelope species. “We also have hot dogs for kids,” Holley said. “A lot of people in Denton don’t like to eat that kind of stuff.” Some of the auction items include a basket of wine, a basket of whiskey, artwork and more. “Frenchy’s Lawn [and Tree

Service] has given us 72 hours of ‘write whatever you want on the van,’ and that always gets a lot,” Holley said. Last year the Wild Beast Feast was held at Apogee Stadium, but patrons had difficulty entering the stadium, Holley said. So this year the event is returning to the North Texas Fairgrounds. “We don’t talk about last year,” Holley said.

Tickets can be purchased at the Greater Denton Arts Council or at the event itself. They are $20 for adults and $5 for kids. “It’s not your average gettoget her,” com mu n icat ion design senior Greg Kiefer said. “I like the business recognition, and the dishes are conversation pieces in a way. I’m interested in what the wild game tastes like, but I’m interested in what my friend would think too.”

PHOTO BY JAMES COREAS/SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jacob Harris, Amber Lilley, Sarah Baston, C.J. Newman, Kristen Sharp and Jake McCready rehearse for “Cinderella: A Play For Young People”on Wednesday night. The cast performed a dress rehearsal in preparation for a sold-out opening performance Thursday.

Fall season opens with classic tale, “Cinderella” MORGAN G ENTRY Intern

The UNT Department of Dance and Theatre will open its fall season with the classic tale “Cinderella.” The family-friendly production has sold out all five of its performances, which will run today through Sunday. Per for ma nces w i l l t a ke place at 10 a.m. today, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Per for ma nces w i l l t a ke place in the Studio Theatre in the Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building. “Our target audience is a younger crowd,” said theater arts junior Sarah Baston, who plays Cinderella. “But audiences of all ages will be entertained by it. They would be interested because ‘Cinderella’ is a classic tale that many people can, on some level, connect to.” Appealing to a variety of crowds, including children, is

one of the department’s goals, said Lorenzo Garcia, chair of the Department of Dance and Theatre and the play’s director. “As a state institution I see that as part of our responsibility to our surrounding communities,” Garcia said. “By virtue, a great majority of our students are a nontraditional population. We have faculty, staff and students on campus that have children, who are then considered a part of our UNT community as well.” Auditions for the play took place last spring. Rehearsals a nd product ion bega n i n August. The play is set in the 17th century. However, instead of the traditional stepmother and stepsisters, UNT’s version has Cinderella living with her real mother and sisters. Though Cinderella and her fairytale ending with prince charming remain the same, a few characters around her have a different background story, such as the fairy godmother.

With Garcia’s twist, this fairy godmother embodies a Greek goddess. “We drew from Athena and Artemis, encompassing their attributes, and then upped the glamour,” said Marcus May, theater arts senior and makeup artist and wig designer for the play. Th is fair y godmother reflects inner beauty along with that inner conscious voice she is known for, Garcia said. “You can’t use psychological realism to explain that, but you can explain it in a theatrical voice to manifest that,” Garcia said. “It was a conscious effort to confirm that you listen to your inner beauty and inner voice to make your decisions in life.” For more information on the play visit “This cast is fabulous,” Garcia said. “Children deserve our very best. So I’m very proud to say our very best folks are in this show.”


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Page 5

Arts & Life

Joshua Friemel, Sports Editor

UNT running back series part one: Brandin Byrd Thursday, December 2, 2010 Katie Grivna Arts & Life Editor Football

Page 5

Seniors to debut their dance works Friday


Senior Staff Writer

Four weeks into the 2012 season, the Mean Green is 1-3, but running game has been BYthe TARYN WALKER earned the 2010 University Dance nine dancers accompanied by something the offense can rely Intern Educator of the Year from the focused lighting to make it heavily on during the games. seem as if they are each in their Months of hard work all come National Dance Association. I n t a ndem w it h sen ior “They have to create a product, own motel room. Each dancer down to one night. Jeremy Brown and redshirt Senior dance students will which the public is invited to see, is isolated from the others and freshman Antoinne display their original works on and in this process they have to dances with minimalistic moveJimmerson, junior starting Friday for the first time at the solve all of the problems they are ment for a strong impact. The running back Brandin Byrd New Choreographers Concert. given in order to create this work themes include love, loss, isolahas lit up opponents’ defense tion and insomnia, which are The concert will start at 8 p.m. of art,â€? she said. week after week. In the class, students learn overlaid by the glow of a telein the University Theatre in Of the trio, Byrd is the hard-Life Editor Jesse Sidlauskas, the Radio, Television,Arts Film& and about dynamics, unity, variety, vision. nosed back who prefers to run “It’s a good program. We have content, form and theme, Performing Arts Building. straight at the defense rather some amazing faculty that have General admission is $5 and Cushman said. than showing finesse by trying From the 10 choreographed really pushed us far,â€? Wert said. tickets can be purchased at the to run around an opponent. All 56 dancers were chosen box office, over the phone, at the works at the concert, two dance “I make the one cut and pieces were chosen to represent from the dance department door and in advance. get downhill as fast as I can,â€? Students enrolled in dance UNT at the American College by advanced choreography Byrd said. “I don’t like to waste PHOTO BY TARYN WALKER/INTERN Dance Festival, including Amelia students. Some choreographers Dprofessor AISY SILOSShelley Cushman’s the camera, rather than in offered him a small role in a movement if I can run full hands-on experience. Dance students perform “The Itch,â€? choreographed by dance senior Anna Olvera, at a rehearsal for the New Choreograsenior projects class are required Wert’s “The Television is Watching also decided to dance. Cushman Staff Writer the film. “I tried working in Austin, front. speed. I do a good job with to choreograph or perform in the Me Againâ€? and Cassie Farzan allowed students to perform if phers Concert. “It’s a small part, but he was “I thought to myself, I love Though radio, telev ision that and just finishing with but it was just so big I couldn’t concert. They also can complete a Panah’s “Gravity of Deception.â€? they were up for the challenge. andpads.â€? film graduate Stephen rea lly ga in a ny t hing from movies so much that I wanted nice enough to offer me the my Rachel Caldwell choreo- ence of being blind by wearing harmonies. “I set out with this image of a research study in fieldwork. feeling of dance with touch and Young S o p can’t h o m say o r ehe’soheadlined f f e n s i v e their film department,â€? he to know how they were made,â€? part,â€? he said. “It was a great “Their work is a culmination to motel. I was interested in doing graphed “Certain Uncertaintyâ€? blindfolds. In 28 rehearsals, the Caldwell said her piece is about sound rather than with sight,â€? has the lmajor i n e m films, a n Mhe aso n made Y’B a rb o said. “Transferring to North he said. “I figured I’d do that experience and I learned a lot demonstrate the knowledge they something different,â€? Wert said. and is also performing in “Guess four dancers adapted to their blindness as an experience, not Caldwell said. from him and the other actors big screen. attested to Byrd’s grittiness have acquired through the course “I thought about the idea of why Who’s Not Coming to Dinner,â€? hearing and touching senses to a handicap. The concert will also be held at in the movie.â€? as Young, well. who plays a small people would want to stay at a choreog raphed by A n na help them through the modern of their study,â€? Cushman said. “I was in my modern class last 8 p.m. Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. UN T busi ness a lu m nus role in the film “Like Crazy,â€? “Even though he can juke Cushman, the artistic director motel and wondered what they Womack. piece. Caldwell also worked with semester and we would lie on Sunday in the University Theatre. Russell Petty said he’s known which opened on Halloween, you and make you miss, when In Caldwell’s choreography, music student Ryan Pivovar to the ground and shut our eyes. For more information, visit www. of the concert, is known for felt.â€? Young since seventh grade had previously up a it comes down to racked it he’d rather Wert’s modern piece includes dancers explore the experi- compose a song of looped cello I wondered if I could capture her background in dance. She BY ZAC SWITZER/SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER and said he thinks this is just series of TV credits shows run straight at you,inand we Junior running back Brandin Byrd, runs the ball during the Mean Green’s 17-7 lossthe against TroyofonYoung’s Saturday. career. Since former running back Lance Dunbar’s departure, Byrd has played a key role in the Mean start such as “Murder by the love him for that,â€? heBook,â€? said. “When it came to drama, and “Homicide Hunter: Joe Green’s rushing attack. “[Byrd] is not going toLt. back he always seemed to steal the Kenda.â€? down from anybody.â€? of the philosophy sive line that is critical for his sure because —Victoria Armstrong “I always kindhow of lived my running game to be successful. the team instills in its players. show in whatever he was in,â€? Aside from he in plays Theater sophomore imagination and playing and produces onliked the field in “We operate u nder t he he said. “I always thought he “He’s one of my b e st different he said. friends,â€? Y’Barbo said. “We’ve ‘next man in’ philosophy,â€? had the drive and ability to games, it characters,â€? is theGdedication BY M ARLENE ONZALEZ he wife, Leslie Kregel, thought little more visibility and have the Creative Art STUDIO, one of “Movies were always my big been together since we got Grant said. “I want them to make it.â€? brings to the program every Intern it would be great to increase public more aware of art culture the businesses that has been Pett y has seen Young in as an then TexasI and escape.â€? time he steps on the field that here. asundergraduate long as they and can, as love working blocking for for ntTV him. go awareness of the communi- in Denton that isn’t always a part of First Friday since it On Friday, the shops off the go toas anthey acting definitely gave me isthe expe- hard Yo u n g , stand w h o out. i n i t i a l l y The makes him can conservatory and not leave action during their college running game a strong started. ty’s artistic talent and culture, recognized,â€? Kregel said. Denton Square will stay open or go intoin sketch andbecause improv years together and has even riencefor that needed.â€? attended thehave Universit of point “We don’t a guy ythat the tank us,Ibut it’s [the offen- anything Huttash said her main goal Merchants join with artists Kregel said. later than usual. comedy.â€? W hen heresponsibility. ca me to UNT, Texas atharder Austin, or saidhas he transworks more sive next guy in is just as good.â€? seen some of the work he’s line’s] If the Drawe contacted sources to help promote art and busi- is providing music for the event Denton will have its monthly Afterhundred-thirty graduating fromsix UNT Young was we to ferred to UNT becauseByrd,â€? of the we character than Brandin One of done at Groundlings. don’tsaid takehis caregoal of what and created the website first- nesses. For example, an artist each month. First Friday on the Square and V ic t or i a A r m s t r on g , a in 1998,278 Young said he both worked learntothe and outs behind opporcoach tunit yDan to ga in more have head McCarney yards and of do,ins [the running backs] Byrd’s On Friday, Alex Riegelman, to establish looking for a place to display Industrial Street area. for KDAF in Dallasthis as a camera said. “He’s all in. He loves can’t do their job.â€? his touchdowns season t he ater s ophomore, s a id his or her work could contact a local guitarist and blues the event. Live music, sculptures, stained operator it, he cares, he wants to be in a and 34-7graphics win overartist. Texas k now ing t hat people who Though Byrd has started came “First Friday has no boss, no a coffee shop owner willing to singer, will play in A Creative glass, appetizers and art will be I n 20 0in 0,the hehome move d to were in her shoes before are different [‌] he wants to be all four games this season, he Southern opener. Art STUDIO. president. I’m just in charge of host the artist, Kregel said. available until 9 p.m. instead of enrolled into The having some success motia part of this turnaround so said he feels no added pressure L.A. Onand Saturday against Florida Keri Zimlich, a journalism Heath Robinson, a pharmacy the website and building it into the regular 6 p.m. vates her for the future. Groundlings theater school, that they’ll be talking about from the role, despite knowing Atlantic, Byrd will be W looking PHOTO BY TARYN ALKER/INTERN something because I started it,â€? junior, thinks the event will junior, said she thinks the event For First Friday, art galleries “Even if it’s a small part a prestigious improv us for a long time instead of that run straight at theschool Owl his starting role is not a to bring attention to the creativity is a great opportunity to have and businesses stay open longer Robin Huttash, owner of A Creative Arts STUDIO, will participate in First Friday Drawe said. where stars such as Kristen [being] easily forgotten, and secured position for the rest defense that has allowed 1,050 like his, it’s a big movie that’s fun. Kregel’s business, Cimarrona, the community has to offer. to give shoppers an opportunity Denton. The studio will stay open until 9 p.m. on Friday. Wiig andyards Will already Ferrell have he comes to practice every day of the season. rushing this gotten g reat rev iews,â€? she “It’s not just one shop, but “I think it’s a good way to sells hats, scarves and warm to admire and buy art. said. “There isn’t such thing gone. that way.â€? Running backs coach Mike season. getting together Several communities and month, which is where the idea pher and UNT alumnus, said he clothing recycled from old increase the exposure of the arts all the Pshops HOTO COURTESY OF STEPHEN YOUNG It was while he was there as a sma ll pa rt as long as Byrd has also developed a Grant said that Byrd is correct to rekindle that love ofinart,â€? in Denton,â€? Robinson said. countries have their own First came from. helped start Denton’s First Friday clothes. 1998 radio, television and fi lm graduate Stephen Young has played parts TV you ga in some ex perience Young met “Like Crazyâ€? relationship with the offen- in not feeling any added pres- thatPart two of series will be in Robin Huttash ow ns A Zimlich said. “What we hope is [to gain] a Friday or First Thursday each Shannon Drawe, a photogra- in in February 2010. He and his shows such as “Murder by the Bookâ€? and “Homicide Hunter.â€? from it.â€? directornext Drake Doremus, who Thursday’s paper.

Arts & Life

Page 4

Thursday, November 17, 2011

UNT graduate lands role on the big screen “There isn’t such thing as a small part as long as you gain some experience from it.�

Monthly event promotes artApurchases in Denton Quick Run Through: Byrd Coach Mike GrantĘźs NFL comparison to Byrd: Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams Style of play: Bruiser - He would rather run through defenders than around Carries on the year: 71 Total yards in season: 278 yards Average: 3.7 yards per carry Touchdowns: 2 Longest run: 20 yards Average yards per game: 65.8 yards


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Page 6 Joshua Friemel, Sports Editor

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mean Green volleyball team uses blocks to win Volleyball TIM CATO Staff Writer

Junior middle blocker Courtney Windham is a friendly and charismatic person. She jokes around with a big smile, whether it is with her teammate with whom she spends multiple hours every day, or someone she just met. Step onto a volleyball court, though, and that all changes instantly. Standing 6 feet 3 inches for the UNT volleyball team (16-5, 2-0), the only word to describe her is intimidating. Despite leading the team in kills, the most glamorous stat in the world of volleyball, her favorite play is not smashing the ball over the net for a Mean Green point. Windham would much rather get a block, denying an opponent the chance to get a kill of their own. “It feels great when it goes straight down or hits someone in the face,” Windham admits, as if she were not daunting enough. “I’m a middle blocker, so I take that very personally. I think of hitting

PHOTO BY ZAC SWITZER/SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Junior middle blocker Karissa Flack jumps to contest a kill by Louisiana-Lafayette. The volleyball team’s success largely stems from the ability to block opponent’s shots and intimidation from the players on the front line. as the thing I do second. Blocking is what I’m supposed to be good at. That’s my job.” Windham’s love of the block has caught on among her teammates. The Mean Green commands a

dominating lead in the Sun Belt Conference in that category with 194 total blocks. The next closest team, Middle Tennessee (3-14, 0-2), has just 140. Windham is responsible for

more than half of the team total and leads the Sun Belt individually with 101 blocks. Among players with a minimum of 50 sets played, she averages the 12th most blocks per set in the entire nation.

The scariest part about her blocking is that it is not even something she pays much attention to – it just comes naturally. “I don’t think that we even focus on blocking,” Windham

says. “I just think that I’m really big and I know what I’m doing, so I come into my element when I’m playing my position.” Head coach Ken Murczek also says the team doesn’t spend much time working on the block, but the personnel on the roster has helped with how good the team is at that aspect of the game. “We’ve upgraded the athlete of the gym, a direct correlation of having a little more physical kid,” he said. “They’re over the net a little bit more.” Junior middle blocker Karissa Flack is second on the team with 56 blocks on the season. While her numbers may not be as gaudy as Windham’s, she takes the same aggressive approach. “I block for a point,” she said. “I don’t block just to keep the ball on that side.” Not even the best volleyball squads can block every shot, but they can convince the other team to think they have the ability to do so. Between Windham, Flack and the rest of the team, they are using the block and its intimidating qualities to the best of their abilities.

Garrish overcomes adversity to compete Track

But before he could sign, the university switched from the Big 12 Conference to the S out hea ster n Con ference, leaving Garrish’s athletic eligibility in shambles. The SEC doesn’t allow fifth-year transfers to immediately compete in athletics. That’s when Garrish knew he had to find another sports home.


Contributing Writer For f i f t h-yea r g raduate student and track athlete John Garrish, all that stood between him and the Universit y of Missouri-Columbia was the ink on a dotted line. The acceptance letter alone made him feel “ecstatic.”

“At that point, I decided that competing was still important to me,” he said. “Eventually, I found UNT, which allowed me to play right away.” He’s now working on a graduate degree at UNT and will try to make his mark in track and field. The 22-year-old enrolled at UNT in August to study sports psychology and has a graduate

assistant position. He will also compete in the hammer throw and shot put for the track and field team this fall. Garrish is no stranger to college sports. Before his move to UNT, he played football for Air Force Academy and Wagner College, a small liberal arts school in New York. While at Wagner, he sustained a career-ending concussion.

He fulfilled his scholarship requirements by filming football assignments and spending time watching his friends play football. “I missed football so much, and it really got me down,” he said. “I finally made a life choice that I was not going to let this define who I am or affect the rest of my life. After much thought, I chose track.” Garrish was in his fifth year of college due to his “redshirt” status for sitting out a year due to injuries. G a r r i s h’s f at h e r, Jo h n Garrish Sr., admires his son’s ability to handle strife and turn positive. DIV:it 7into a SIZE: 7.45 X11 “From the knee injury at DATE: 9-27-12 Air Force to the concussion at Wag ner to the news at Missouri, it broke our hearts that he conti nued to face adversity,” MKTS: Garrish Sr. said. “The thing is though, if he NTD let any of it get him down, he didn’t show it. He always looked adversity in the eye and stared it down.” Garrish believes he got his work ethic and maturity, in large part, from his father and his mother, Anna Garrish.. “My dad wa s a h a rdworking landscaper for 16

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years of my life, and despite working tirelessly, he never seized time from me, my sister and my family,” Garrish said. “My mom helped me out with school and every aspect of my life. And no matter good or bad, I could go to her because her first intention was understanding.” Garrish is entering UNT at a time where the track and field team is on the rise. Head coach Carl Sheffield is coming off of 2012 Coach of the Year honors for women’s indoor and outdoor track and field. “So far, I love the academic prog ra m a nd coac h [ Jo e “Pete”] Abbey makes me feel very comfortable,” Garrish said. “UNT has that Southern campus feel, where it’s not so big that I get lost but not so small that there’s room to grow here.” Abb ey, who h a s mor e than 15 years of experience coach i ng t rack a nd f ield, believes that Garrish’s hard work will pay off. “He’s a very mature young man and a tremendous worker, and his desire to be successful will rub off on others,” Abbey said. “His potential is limitless.”

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PHOTO BY TYLER CLEVELAND/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Graduate student John Garrish practices the hammer throw at Fouts Field. Garrish began throwing the 16-pound metal ball two years ago after suffering several concussions playing football over the years.


Thursday, September 27, 2012 James Rambin, Views Editor

Page 7

Campus Chat Texas school paddles their reputation Staff Editorial

What are you most excited about for this year’s Texas State Fair?

“The fried jambalaya. Apparently it’s a new item this year. That, and the car shows; lots of trucks.”

Dylan Hayes

Pre-communication freshman

“It sounds so awful, but the fried food, it’s so good.”

Iris Pham

Pre-engineering freshman

@ntdaily David Lucio @Lehia Webmaster

I’m excited about all the free concerts :))

@Bbolin5510 All of the interesting fried foods.

@Dear_Raee I’m most excited about the state fairs’s Chinese Lantern festival

@treyyates Fried food. Rides and games can just jump off the planet, as long as those glorious fried monstrosities stay.

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The Editorial Board and submission policies: Chelsea Stratso, Alex Macon, Holly Harvey, Brittni Barnett, Joshua Friemel, James Rambin, Jessica Davis, James Coreas, Therese Mendez, Daisy Silos. 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 reflect the beliefs of the NT Daily. To inquire about column ideas, submit columns or letters to the editor, send an e-mail to

Unless you’ve pledged at one of UNT’s many fine fraternities, you probably aren’t intimately familiar with the threat of a paddling. The word itself sounds old-fashioned, and the concept of paddling as a form of corporal punishment in secondary education feels as far removed from the modern high school student’s everyday life as milking cows and hitching up a horse and buggy. But one Texas high school is taking a bold stand on this throwback of a disciplinary strategy. Springtown High School belongs to one of the 75 percent of Texas school districts that use corporal punishment, or “paddling,” as a method of controlling unruly kids. You might find this

odd enough, but this week, controversy over the school’s use of paddling took a turn for the weird. Two teenage girls, complaining of bruises after receiving one of these paddlings from a male assistant principal, motivated some parents to take a closer look at the school’s policy. But these parents weren’t upset about the paddling – instead, their concern stemmed from a standing school district policy that students must receive these punishments from individuals of the same sex. It seems reasonable enough, once you accept the basic fact that 19 states, including Texas, approve of spanking as a perfectly viable form of school

punishment. But rather than apologize to the students and parents involved, or possibly even change their policies, Springtown High School’s district voted Monday night to double down on their policy violation. The school board’s elegant retort was to allow administrators to now paddle students of either sex, ostensibly due to a shortage of female administrators on site. Although the practice might not be quite as shady as it sounds – students receiving a paddling are only swatted once – the fact remains that under this rule, a male principal can spank a 16-year-old girl and enjoy the full protection under district policy.

We can all agree that the Springtown school board is a collection of brave souls. But once you wade through the initial absurd humor of their decision, you might begin to realize that this sort of cavalier posturing paints an extremely negative picture of Texas’ educational system to the outside observer. There may still be a debate raging among America’s parents about the pros and cons of spanking children, and the lovely folks at the Springtown ISD don’t even have to take a side – it just might send a better message if the district phased out this policy entirely and allowed the uncomfortable details of family discipline to stay at home where they belong.


Union speakers blocking rational opinions It’s that time again. Time for religious debates and debacles held in front of the Union. By now, most UNT students and faculty have walked past the crowd of people gathered to listen to the big man with the little amplifier. Sure, he has every right to be there – we too could put on these one-man shows with a little preparation and paperwork. Who doesn’t love a little damnation with lunch, or some Bible-thumping to pass the time between classes? The poor guy is just standing in front of the masses trying to help us understand why we’re wrong and why we’re damned, that’s all. We can’t get mad at a guy for doing what he thinks is right, can we? Today he brought a microphone for students to walk up and ask questions into. He encouraged any student to step up and question his wisdom. Just don’t expect to finish a full sentence before you’re interrupted. We berated him with unfair questions on homosexual relationships, women’s rights, Catholicism and every other aspect dealing with religion. But he always had the answer. We couldn’t stump the able, trained Master – his Bible knowledge trumps ours every time, so we should just give up. When he told a Catholic girl that she wasn’t, in fact, a Christian, and was headed towards hell and had the Bible verse to back it up, we as a crowd yelled and spurred. When he called out all the homosexuals and told them that their very life is a sin and had the verse to back

it up, we as a crowd yelled and spurred. We as a crowd need to get our act together. We need to see the logic in his reasoning, and the fault in our own ideas. Only when we alter ourselves to fit his mold will we feel complete and worthy of God’s love. It’s such an easy fix: no more doing right for others – especially those less fortunate than us – because we want to. Instead, we’ll do it because the Bible says so. No more accepting friends and strangers regardless of their religious background – you must convert them, show them they are wrong and then make them admit it. Only then can you accept those people for who they are – or were. Students should join me in rejoicing the lack of a Bible Belt Code of Ethics and embrace the changes that we all must make to become “good people” in his eyes.

Emilio Williamson is an English senior. He can be reached at

Debates should take aim at innovation and education The first presidential debate is coming up the first week in October. The economy is the No. 1 issue on voters’ minds, but moderators and citizens alike should ask candidates to explain the connection between jobs, education and American competitiveness. President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney will have a chance to address this issue when they participate this week at NBC’s “Education Nation” summit - but this important question deserves even more - it deserves a primetime slot. We’ve reported many stories about American businesses that are concerned as to whether the United States has enough qualified workers to stay on the cutting edge. There is good reason to worry: a recent Harvard University study found test scores for high school students in eight regions, including Hong Kong, are improving at twice the rate of our students’ scores. Furthermore, the United States still only graduates 73 percent of its high schoolers. While our national unemployment rate is 8.1 percent, there are still companies struggling to fill certain jobs. U.S. manufacturers have an especially hard time finding qualified workers. According to the Manufacturing Institute’s 2011 Skills Gap Report, 67 percent of respondents reported a moderate to severe shortage of qualified workers. If we don’t act soon, the situation could worsen. Technology is one area where we

still lead the world. But, if we look at U.S. math and science scores, that advantage could soon vanish. U.S. students currently rank 23rd in the world in science and 30th in math. We must bring these rankings up or risk losing control of the one sector we still dominate. As a journalist, reading and writing scores are just as troubling. The United States is tied for 15th internationally in reading and, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s latest results, only 27 percent of 12th graders are proficient in writing. The November elections are less than 50 days away, and the economy is at the forefront of the political dialogue. But as important as these current economic discussions are today, we as a nation must look ahead. The future will be shaped by our young people - they are in the midst of building their personal and professional futures. However, while they go about their individual pursuits, there is a collective benefit that the nation will derive from a real commitment to improving the overall quality of education and our competitive standing in an ever-sh rin king world. Surely, a robust discussion of these topics is essential when drawing the economic blueprints for the decades ahead.

This column originally appeared in the McClatchy-Tribune on Friday, September 21.

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