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Reflector The




Veterinary student found dead Saturday

MSU’s EcoCar2 finalists confident among tough expectations

BY KRISTEN SPINK Managing Editor

Second-year Mississippi State University veterinary medicine student John Matthew Stark was found dead in his apartment Saturday. Police said they responded to a welfare concern call from the Links apartments Saturday evening and found the 27-year-old student deceased. Police said the investigation is ongoing, but no foul play is suspected. Family and friends could not be reached, and funeral arrangements have not been finalized at this time.

EcoCar2 finals take place May 13-23 BY KYLIE DENNIS

MyCourses change requires adaption MSU graduates find success KAITLIN MULLINS | THE REFLECTOR

Established two months ago and named “Best Coffee House,” 929 Coffee Bar is owned by MSU graduates.

Blackboard becomes the new operating system for online classes starting May 9 BY JAMIE ALLEN Staff Writer

On May 9, Mississippi State University will implement a new software called BlackBoard for students and faculty of MSU to keep up with classes and post information. According to Linda Morse, director for the Center for Teaching and Learning, myCourses is the label MSU gave to its learning or course management system. “Its the software that allows a faculty member to post information about courses, give tests and so forth. Most students have had experience with it, and instructors use it at different levels,” Morse said. The software currently in use is powered by Campus Edition Vista and will be discontinued this year. After almost a year and a half of research and field test, the decision was made to switch to BlackBoard. According to Morse, BlackBoard has been used at all the junior and community colleges in the state, as well as all the universities besides MSU.

in local entrepreneurship BY HILLARY LAPLATNEY Staff Writer

Mississippi State University boasts a number of successful graduates from best-selling authors to professional sports players to Supreme Court justices. MSU’s May 2013 graduates who prepare to leave college and enter the workforce can take with them the advice of some successful MSU alumni. Brothers and MSU alumni, Neil and Joe Couvillion, own 929 Coffee Bar in Starkville. Open for less than two months, 929 has already been a huge success in the city. The business was voted “The Best Coffee House” by the annual readership poll in the Starkville Daily News and won the “Best Drink” award at the 2013 Cotton District Arts Festival for its cold brew. Neil’s wife Havilah and Joe’s wife Carrie co-own 929 Coffee Bar with their husbands.

Havilah said the coffee bar has been a beautiful collaboration of knowledge and craftsmanship between the four owners. “Neil and Joe own a design build firm here; Joe is a general contractor,” she said. “It was perfect for their background because they know every plumber and electrician (in Starkville) and all the business codes. I ran and owned a coffee shop in Birmingham for six months. So when I moved here, I was pushing for us to start a coffee shop.” Neil’s degree from MSU was in landscape architecture, while Joe’s was in real estate and mortgage finance. Together, the brothers also own Couvillion Design Build, LLC, but Havilah said 929 Coffee Bar is the Couvillions’ “heart and passion.” “We wanted to create a place where you can come and fellowship and study, but you can also come and have a beer late at night,” Havilah said. “Our

passion is to create a place where people can not only gather and have great coffee and great food, but to really have an outlet for avenues like art and music. I think there’s a need for that in this area.” Havilah said her advice for MSU’s May 2013 graduates is to avoid fearing the future and embrace life’s journey. “If you’re zealous and passionate about something, do not be inhibited to pursue it,” Havilah said. “Life is too short to do something that you don’t love. Be willing to step out and do something you enjoy. If you have ambition, pursue it. Don’t settle.” MSU alumna Hannah Becker now owns and operates Mississippi Lawns, a landscape business based out of Starkville. Becker said the business started as a school project of her husband’s, but together they made the project into a reality. SEE GRADUATES, 3



Buren Blankenship, pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Starkville, Miss., recently asked a group in his youth Sunday school class, “What does a person have to do to earn God’s love?” Someone replied, “Be born.” In the history of Mississippi, a majority of citizens attended fundamentalist churches that joined in on debates of “teaching of evolution, public prayer in schools, abortion and homosexuality,” according to Mississippi Historical Society. As a part of the Bible Belt, 58 percent of Mississippians claim to be very religious and attend church weekly, according to a nationwide poll done by John Marszaleck III, professor at Walden University and a researcher of LGBTQ issues, said he understood gay couples in Mississippi left churches that did not welcome or affirm them, but he found other gay couples have gained acceptance in churches around Mississippi. “A few couples from across (the

Religious institutions include LGBTQ community; opinions on same-sex marriage shift

state) have described feeling affirmed at the Episcopal church in their towns. One is a Unitarian church in Jackson,” he said. Blankenship opens his church’s doors to the LGBTQ community in Starkville with the belief that God decided a long time ago that his heart would be open to all people. “God’s redemptive efforts are focused on reconciling all persons to God,” he said. In regards to preachers and religious institutions that preach against homosexuality, Blankenship said that type of preaching hurts and disheartens members of the LGBTQ community. “It does not enable anyone to change who they are or bring them to God,” he said. “This message is driving people away from the church, including many heterosexuals who hear it as hateful, even when hate is not intended.” Kay Brocato, associate professor of leadership and foundations, helped bring guest speakers to Trinity Presbyterian Church as a part of the EDGE program that garnered discussion on LGBTQ issues. SEE RELIGION, 2


BAD DAWGS..............................2 OPINION ...............................4 CONTACT INFO.......................4 BULLETIN BOARD...................5

CROSSWORD .................. ... 5 CLASSIFIEDS...........................5 LIFE.....................................6 SPORTS...................................8


Trinity Presbyterian Church participates in the discussion of gay marriage.




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Staff Writer

Mississippi State University’s EcoCar2 team gears up for final evaluations in Yuma, Ariz., and locations throughout San Diego May 13-23. The team is continuing its participation in the General Motors and Department of Energy “EcoCar2: Plugging into the Future” competition. This event will mark the conclusion of the competition’s year two phase, in which each competing university is responsible for the construction of a fully-functioning hybrid vehicle following their proposed design process finalized in year one of the competition. Matthew Doude, staff adviser for the EcoCar2 team, said — in addition to the scrutiny MSU’s EcoCar2 team members will face as they represent the communications, business and technical aspects of the project — the final competition will include a series of rigorous tests set to challenge every aspect of the vehicle’s innovative design. “It’s brutal,” Doude said. “We’ll do things like zero to 60 acceleration and 60 to zero breaking. The Environmental Protection Agency will be there to do the official emission measurements and its gas mileage,” he said. The competition will also test the vehicle’s gradeability, energy consumption and performance in extreme temperatures. Claire Faccini, senior communication major and communication manager for the EcoCar2 team, said she is confident the competition’s evaluation of MSU’s EcoCar2 will reflect the talent and dedication of the team over the last two years. “We always want to win, and we always do well,” Faccini said. “We’re hoping the EcoCar2 will live up to these tests and surpass expectations.” Faccini also said although the team welcomes the addition of honors to their growing list of awards, helping to establish MSU’s success on an international level and promoting a better connotation of academics and environmental consciousness in Mississippi takes precedence. “It’s always fun to win those awards,” Faccini said. “But really the end prize is that we are a part of the reason Mississippi State has such credibility.” Doude said a win in year two of the competition would largely reflect the continued support of students and the university, a factor which originally encouraged the team to pursue the most complex and efficient hybrid design yet. “When we go to these competitions, we feel the bulldog nation behind us,” he said. “This gives us something to be proud of. It shows that Mississippians can compete with the top engineers in the rest of the world.” Jonathan Moore, electrical and controls group leader for the EcoCar2 team and graduate student studying electrical engineering, said the team continues to improve in quality, efficiency and vehicle design throughout its participation in advanced vehicle technology competitions. SEE ECOCAR, 3


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TUESDAY , APRIL 23 , 2013


Tuesday, April 16 • 12:58 a.m. An Aramark employee was arrested for fleeing law enforcement. • 12:44 p.m. A student reported his backpack stolen from Dorman Hall. • 5:47 p.m. A student reported her bicycle stolen from Griffis Hall.

Thursday, April 18 • 8:00 p.m. An Aramark employee was arrested on Blackjack Road for two counts of driving with a suspended driver’s license and two counts of contempt of court.

Friday, April 19 • 12:16 a.m. A student was arrested on Russell Street for driving under the influence and careless driving.

Saturday, April 20 • 12:56 a.m. A student was transported to OCH from the Sigma Phi Epsilon house for medical assistance. • 1:30 a.m. A student was arrested at the Delta Gamma house for public drunkenness. • 1:43 a.m. A student was transported to OCH from the Sigma Phi Epsilon house for medical assistance. • 1:45 a.m. A student was transported to OCH from the Sigma Phi Epsilon house for medical assistance. • 7:12 p.m. A student caused damage to the landscape on Bully Boulevard while trying to get his vehicle out of the ditch.

Sunday, April 21 • 3:39 a.m. A student was issued a student referral for discharging a fire extinguisher inside the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house.



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She said Starkville needs a place where questioning ideologies, life choices and Christianity is acceptable. “I think the LGBT community is another community that needs embracing,” she said. “It brings great things to a congregation of a church that is wonderful for raising children or for inquiring about your own relationship.” She said churches have progressed in terms of accepting the LGBTQ community into their congregation. “I think it’s a hard sell because people fear what they

don’t know,” she said. “A lot of churches are coming to grips with their ability to just say that, ‘We accept gay people into our church.’” Ravi Perry, associate professor of political science, said people in the South are taught to be welcoming and neighborly, and because of religious influences, people fear discussion of sexuality. “We have a religious population that interprets the Christian faith in a way that allows them to believe that homosexuality is a sin,” Perry said. “There are a lot of voices

that would like LGBTQ issues to be quiet or hushed. It’s viewed despairingly. He said pockets of positive influences, such as Trinity Presbyterian Church, exist throughout the state. Despite a study showing religious affiliation affects public opinion on same-sex marriage and other related issues, Perry said surveys of religious life express agreement with same-sex marriage. On one side of the same-sex marriage debate, president of the National Organization for Marriage said same-sex mar-

riage would disconnect marriage from its “natural roots.” On the other side, organizations like the Human Rights Campaign said same-sex couples should receive the same benefits of heterosexual couples. Perry said America has had the largest shift in thinking nationwide in such a short period of time for any social issue. “Ten years ago, the majority of the country did not think LGBT issues or marriage equality was something they supported,” he said. “Now, the majority of the country does.”

Denim Day returns, increases sexual assault awareness BY QUENTIN SMITH Staff Writer

Mississippi State University’s Department of Health Education and Wellness will host Denim Day this Wednesday as part of the annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Denim Day is a sexual violence prevention and education campaign that educates people about sexual assault and helps them become informed about existing problems. During the event, participants are asked to donate a pair of jeans to help raise awareness. The first 150 people who donate a pair of jeans will receive a free T-shirt. Kayla Roden, graduate assistant for the

CORRECTION: In the April 19 edition of The Reflector ector, there was a factual error. An article titled, “Starkville murderer seeks new trial for 1992 deaths” said an article published Jan. 27, 1995 was one month after the murder of Steckler and Miller, but it should have said the article was about two separate murders that occured after the murders of Steckler and Miller . The Reflector regrets this error.


The Reflector Call 325-7907

Department of Health Education and Wellness, said people should attend Denim Day to gain insight on sexual assault. “People should come support this event because it gives answers on sexual assault and gives people a chance to understand and relate to a story about sexual assault,” Roden said. Bowen Lancaster, graduate assistant for the Department of Health Education and Wellness, said one way to cut down and prevent sexual violence is to inform people about it. “One of the biggest things is knowing about it,” Lancaster said. “Information is the key. By knowing about sexual violence, you better yourself and help reduce the amount of sexual assaults.” Lancaster also added he expects Denim Day to be a big success for MSU. Lancaster also added he ex-

pects Denim Day to be a big success for MSU. “We hope to have a good turnout. We’re hoping for this to be one of our biggest events of the year,” Lancaster said. “The more the merrier. The more people that come out, the more people we can educate about sexual violence.” The event will start at 10 a.m and last until 2 p.m and will take place in front of the State Fountain Bakery. Leah Pylate, assistant director of Health Education and Wellness and Assault, said the one message she wants people to take away from the event is that everyone needs to become aware of sexual violence and know the behavior not acceptable. “Everyone needs to know that each person can make a difference in educating one another about sexual violence, and collectively we can all unite together to make a difference,” Plyate said.



@reflect opinion


Statistics 

Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. Nearly 1 in 5 (18.3%) women and 1 in 71 (1.4%) men reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives. According to the U.S. Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Surveythere is an average of 207,754 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year.

RAINN: Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. (2009). National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention

Effects of Sexual Assault 

Victims of sexual assault are:     

3 times more likely to suffer from depression. 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol. 26 times more likely to abuse drugs. 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

RAINN: Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. (2009).

The Department of Health Education & Wellness "This project was supported by Grant No. 2010-WA-AX-0002 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the D epartment of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women."




CHANGES She compared the switch to changing email systems, and said navigation may be a challenge at first, but with use, students will become more comfortable with the new system. She said there are a couple of different steps students can take if they have questions about BlackBoard, such as review materials within BlackBoard that will teach students about new features or call the help desk. Before making the decision to switch to BlackBoard, a committee of fac-



TAME THE BEAST | Cage The Elephant performed at the Amphitheater on Saturday of Super Bulldog Weekend where the lead singer, Matt Shultz, crowd surfed in front of the large turnout.


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“My husband and I felt like there was a big need in Starkville,” Becker said. “The current (lawn care) companies don’t offer vacant property packages, and so many of the properties here are student owned. Many students are gone all summer, so we felt like that would be a niche.” Despite a seemingly non-related degree in animal and dairy science, Becker said she learned leadership and business skills during her time at MSU. Becker said her advice for

graduates is to stand by their ideas, no matter what anyone else thinks. “As a college graduate, you may lack experience and knowledge that an older and more mature person might have, but you’re very smart,” Becker said. “People didn’t believe in our idea for Mississippi Lawn, and our first month’s revenue proved that wrong. When you have the results — and you will if you stick with it — you’re kind of the one laughing in the end.”

“Compared to EcoCar, EcoCar2 has been a change for the positive,” he said. “All of the experience I’ve gained in the competition and in working with the people who were on the team has helped me tremendously in trying to make things better in this car than they were on the last one. It’s all been kind of building on itself. It just keeps getting better.” Blake Brown, EcoCar2 team leader and graduate student studying mechanical engineering, said ultimately he hopes that the final competition yields positive results for MSU’s EcoCar2, and he is proud of the team’s accomplishments in light of the weighty task assigned to them. “We’ve built a hybrid car. We’ve seen our undergraduate and graduate students come together and build this,” he said. We have a very good team, and I’m



continued from 1 ulty and staff did a great deal of research about this new software. This past semester, there was a group of 30 faculty members and about 2,000 students who participated in a field test. Students have also expressed their excitement about the switch to BlackBoard. Kayla McKissack, junior elementary education major, said she looks forward to the change and believes BlackBoard will be easier to use, as well as more efficient than

myCourses currently is. “I used BlackBoard in high school in one of my classes and just thought that it was really easy to use, and I liked the features, and I am just really excited to see how it improves upon myCourses right now,” McKissack said. Shelby Steede, junior agribusiness major, recently transferred to MSU from Jones County Junior College where BlackBoard is currently in use. She said the switch from BlackBoard to myCourses was fairly simple

and sees many similarities between the two. “I am excited to switch back to BlackBoard because that’s what we used at JCJC, and I think it will be easy to transition back to using it again,” Steede said. Morse said students need to be aware of the change and the difference in look of the website. She also wanted to remind students that after May 9, anyone taking courses will use BlackBoard. BlackBoard will also come with new features and will look a little different.

continued from 1 proud of all of them.” While MSU’s EcoCar2 team celebrates how far they have progressed as a team and as a competitor in the final days leading up to competition, the organization continues to seek out more active interest from current and incoming students at MSU in the team’s future endeavors. Doude said he encourages students of MSU to learn more about the EcoCar2’s mission and look for opportunities to get involved. “The heart of our team is student volunteers. We can always use more students. There’s not a waiting list, a membership fee or a major requirement. Any student of any major who has the passion to put in the time and do something really amazing is welcome,” he said. The team’s success can be followed on Twitter @ MSStateEcoCAR2 or visit



MSU’s EcoCar2 team prepares its hybrid car for June’s competition.





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TUESDAY, AP RIL 2 3 , 2 013 | 4



the voice of MSU students

Poetry in music: two sides of the same coin War & Peace



f poetry is dead and the hey- up inanimate plastic bags links day and importance of po- the demise of American ideals, etry has indeed passed, then the freedom our red, white and the music of the 21st century blue flag stands for and growing stands proudly and confidently materialism. Josh Ritter’s “Thin Blue in place of the verses laying in freshly-filled graves. For a case Flame,” from his 2006 album study, look no further than Wil- “The Animal Years,” is another co’s “Ashes of American Flags” set of lyrics that encapsulates from its 2002 album “Yankee America’s political climate in the Hotel Foxtrot.” The song is rife first decade of the 21st century. with brief snatches of imagery Ritter repeats the song’s titular that come together to paint a refrain throughout the song’s bleak, yet uncompromised pic- 88 line length, beginning with ture of post-9/11 America. In its first couplet: “I became a the first verse, singer and lyr- thin blue flame / polished on a icist Jeff Tweedy describes an mountain range” Ritter sings, all-too-familiar ATM machine: establishing a fascination with “the cash machine / is blue and heaven represented by the horigreen / for a hundred in twenties zon line. The song shifts from / and a small service fee.” Wilco’s peace to war, delicately rewordAmerica is a place of cold auto- ing the phrase to illustrate the mation. Tweedy describes his narrator’s changing view of the ability to buy “Diet Coca-Co- world. The second verse begins: la and unlit cigarettes” for the “I became a thin blue wire / price of three dollars and a half, that held the world above the lamenting the bleak, cheap ma- fire /and so it was I saw behind terialism that defines the song’s /heaven’s just a thin blue line.” worldview. Ritter Poetry’s ghost is In the poem’s twists his own final moments, words, illusalive in the shell of after laying the 21st century music.” trating painful disout widespread 21st century paranoia (“I’m illusionment that characterizes down on my hands and knees / the world around him. Vicious Every time the doorbell rings”), scenes of war, paranoia and unTweedy’s final verse joins two certainty fill the song’s trajectory, bleak images of lost nationalism: gaining momentum. The dark“I would like to salute / the ness of a world plagued by war ashes of American flags / and renders the hopeful blue skies all the fallen leaves / filling up of heaven a false construction, shopping bags” The disturbing as Ritter’s character describes image of burnt American flags the world he sees around him. coupled with dead leaves filling Snatches of imagery paint a pic-



DANIEL HART Daniel Hart is the life editor of The Reflector. He can be contacted at life@ ture far different from the thin blue flame of the first verse: “now the wolves are hoing at our door / singing bout vengeance like it’s the joy of the Lord / bringing justice to the enemies not the other way round / they’re guilty when killed and they’re killed where they’re found.” As Tom Ricks writes in the special edition “The Animal Years” liner notes, “I think a historian seeking a century or two from now to understand the United States in 2006 would do well to start by listening to this.” That’s exactly where this article attempts to land. If poetry is dead, then perhaps its ghost is alive in the shell of 21st century music. These musicians are vivaciously alive: they’re not only scribbling phrases onto notepads, but they float these words into crowds night after night. Historians may not know these stanzas were set to music, but they merely find these words printed on a page and think they’ve found poetry.

f you sit in any course taught by evoke –— the welling up in your a true English intellectual, you throat almost forcing tears to flow will discover within yourself a from your eyes –— seem to find its new-found insatiable hunger for muse in a new form. Those tears no poetry. Reading William Blake and longer fall reading the newly released pondering life’s meaning in a beauti- ‘Norton Anthology of Modern Poetful sunrise will replace the time you ry’ on the shelves of a local Barnes & once spent perusing the internet for Noble. The tears fall from hearing an old Stefan videos on SNL’s catalog, artist sing out his soul. or viewing the latest YouTube sen“An older man stands in a buffet sation. line, He is smiling and holding out As a friend once told me, “You are his plate, And the further he looks what you eat.” This is to say if you back into his timeline, His server spend enough time reading Blake, asks him, Have you figured out yet, you then move on to Hopkins, Ten- what it is you want? I want a little nyson, Frost, Cummings, Yeats and bit of everything, The biscuits and the rest. Essentially you turn yourself the beans, Whatever helps me to forinto a mini Robin Williams, waltz- get about. The things that brought ing around campus me to my knees, recruiting your Music is essentially, So pile on those friends to revolupotaa new medium for an mashed tionize their free toes, And an extra old message.” time by forming a chicken wing, I’m Dead Poet’s Society having a little bit of in the underground tunnels (If this everything.” is you, please do not force anyone to Dawes’s “A Little Bit of Everyrefer to you as “oh captain, my cap- thing” pulls metaphors, life experitain.”) ences and rhyme to illustrate the ills As a generation, we still read the of daily life in a single stanza. Dawes poets of centuries past with rever- effortlessly sums up the grand theme ence and respect. But where are our of this man’s life in his mundane engeneration’s poets? tree decision. I picture years down Earlier this year, The Washington the road, a class of students sitting in Post published an article entitled “Is hover craft desks on Wall-E’s spacePoetry Dead?” ship reading Dawes and a professor Post writer Alexandra Petri ex- guiding his class through an interplained, “All literature used to be po- pretation of 21st century life. etry. But then fiction splintered off. A moment spent reading Yeats’s Then the sort of tale you sung could “A Dialogue of Self and Soul,” I be recorded and the words did not couldn’t help but hear a small fly, by have to spend any time outside the the name of Scott Avett, buzzing in company of their music if they did my ear singing “ The Ballad of Love not want to.” and Hate.” The allusions transcendThe emotions poetry used to ing across the years to illustrate the

ALIE DALEE Alie Dalee is the opinion editor of The Reflector. She can be contacted at opinion@reflector. point poetry is not dead. Poetry has merely inhabited a new medium. Petri said of our generation’s inclination to tell stories through music, “If it is complete on the page, it makes a shoddy lyric. But there is still wonderful music to be found in those words. If we really want to read it, it is everywhere. Poetry, taken back to its roots, is just the process of making — and making you listen.” When our generation is gone, I propose it will be more than poetry that lives on. The music will tell our stories. Just as Bob Dylan’s lyrics stand as a time capsule for the Civil Rights movement of the ‘60s, the artists of the 21st century will position themselves as MP3 statues of a generation gone by. Poetry is not dead, in the same way books are not dead. Poetry, like books, has a new comrade to share its audience. Poetry shares an audience with lyrics, the same way books divide their market with e-readers. Poetry and music have the innate ability to co-exist, as they are derived from the same origin –— the written word. Music is essentially, a new medium for an old message.


Teacher evaluations need revitalization, online viewing capability


or the past two years, I have covered the Student Association and the programs its members have attempted to implement. As a news writer, it didn’t matter what my opinion was — I was presenting the facts as accurately as possible and from as many sides as possible. Now, as I’m basically retired, I am compelled to bring this university issue to your attention: teacher evaluations. Currently, as it stands at Mississippi State University, students fill out evaluations for each class. As you probably experienced this past week, a student or proctor hands out the paper evaluations for the instructor and the students voluntarily choose to fill them out and return them. When I spoke to former SA President Shelby Balius (who has been working with moving the teacher evaluation process online for several years), she said the process of answering evaluations online would be piloted this semester, and new SA President Michael Hogan said in our last interview he plans to continue working with teacher evaluations once those results come back.

Moving evaluations online — like many programs in the SEC have done, including Ole Miss — should save money and could hopefully increase response rates. So kudos to the SA and everyone at MSU who has worked to make this change, including the Teaching Evaluations Committee. There is another important issue to look at, however, as the university continues to improve: who can see the results. According to Academic Operating Policy and Procedure 13.15, “All procedures and processes for statistical reporting shall be developed and reviewed by the Teaching Evaluation Committee. The Teaching Evaluation Committee will consult with the Student Association. The faculty member shall receive a copy of the statistical report and all comments for every evaluated class and section the individual teaches. Department heads, deans or directors and the provost shall be provided only with statistical results.” Basically, students can’t see the statistical results of our instructors’ teaching performances, and only faculty members receive the



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Letters to the editor should be sent to the Meyer Student Media Center or mailed to The Reflector, PO Box 5407, Mississippi State, MS. Letters may also be emailed to Letters must include name and telephone number for verification purposes. The editor reserves the right to edit or refuse to publish a letter.

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EDITORIAL POLICY The Reflector is the official student newspaper of Mississippi State University. Content is determined solely by the student editorial staff. The contents of The Reflector have not been approved by Mississippi State University.

The Reflector staff strives to maintain the integrity of this paper through accurate and honest reporting. If we publish an error we will correct it. To report an error, call 325-7905.

comments. In this, we differ from other universities who do allow for students to view at least part of part of the evaluation results. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, states, “Teaching evaluations are subject to the ‘Tennessee Open Records Law,’ which says records of state agencies are open to inspection by any citizen of the state. … Also, departments may not hold up the request to view evaluations though they do have the right to charge individuals for copies and are allowed to make those copies within a reasonable time period.” Students should have the right to see what type of teacher they

will have when choosing classes. In many ways, we are customers who deserve to know what we’re paying to experience. (That being said, I have yet to have a professor who has not been great.) If the university is confident in their teachers, why would they not want to show the students how happy other students are with specific courses? Students can already get information similar to this through websites such as Rate My Teacher. But releasing evaluations would have the collective benefit of a large statistical sample, rather than a few people who felt passionately about one teacher. The honors college, at one

point, had special evaluations that were released to the public. I was unable to find them this year, and after speaking with honors council member Peter Crank, he told me that a former student named Mason Hall worked to get those evaluations online. He said he would like to find out what happened and work with the university to revive and revamp it. In the past, I had used that program to decide on taking honors courses, and it was personally beneficial. Although this school year will end soon, I urge the SA, the Teaching Evaluations Committee, The Reflector (through solid reporting) and the general student

HANNAH ROGERS Hannah Rogers is a senior majoring in English and communication. She can be contacted at opinion@ body to look at the issue and work to see if releasing teaching evaluation results would be feasible. Transparency can only benefit the greater good of the university as a whole.


Same-sex debate unfairness rests within LGBTQ community This is a rebuttal to an article written by Ben Hester, titled “Same-sex debate unfair, dishonest” published April 16. ’ve been told I’m good at putting myself in other people’s shoes, so here we go. Let me slip on a pair of conservative, religious shoes and lace them up. With my nifty new shoes, I’ll take a walk on the political path. Former Secretary of State, Colin Powell supported equal rights for the LGBTQ community by saying, “I know a lot of friends who are gay in partnerships with loved ones, and they are as stable a family as my family is. I don’t see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married.” Well said, Mr. Powell, well said. Oh, look, I’ve encountered another Republican who is in support. Dick Cheney, former vice president, said we should progress the country by allowing same-sex couples to live together under the protection of law. That’s very nice of you, Mr. Cheney. According to United Methodist pastor for almost 30 years, Jimmy Creech, references in the Bible in regards to same-gender sexual behavior do not condemn the nature of the behavior, but the passages condemn the “violence, idolatry and exploitation related to the behavior.” Wait, there’s more. I’m not done wearing these shoes. Mark Osler, professor of law at the University of St. Thomas and Christian, said what he sees in the Bible’s accounts of Jesus and his followers is an insistence that we don’t have the moral authority to deny others of the institutions like marriage. “It is not our place, it seems, to sort out who should be denied a bond with God and the Holy Spirit of the kind that we find through baptism, communion and marriage,” he said.


Alright, time for me to take off to gain equal rights under the law these shoes now. They were a little are shaped as some evil plot to take tight and overly polished. down America. It’s easy to sit there “But no!” you say. These are when you have every single right “natural laws” like the author ref- of an American to not understand erences. How could this be? It’s what it feels like to be treated as a not natural to be homosexual! second-class citizen. Now that I think about it, weren’t Having rights is so unfair, right? there eugenics scientists who be- I’ll tell you what’s unfair. lieved white superiority was natEven with the Fair Housing ural? Act, same-sex couples are still disIn the discuscriminated against and What’s unfair is have to pay more taxes sion of same-sex marriage, the institutionalized when they buy or sell a author brings home, and if one partintolerance.” up the idea of ner dies, the other could looking at how find herself of himself same-sex marriage affects com- without a home. munities. Since we live in a time It’s unfair that 18 states do where people refuse to research not have laws stating that crimes and look up and data and figures, against the LGBTQ community they might not know that studies are not hate crimes. have been done that show the sexEleven states do not allow joint ual orientation of a parent has no adoptions, so that lesbian couple harm on how well children “fare that wants to give a child a good in school, on cognitive tests and home, you’re out of luck. Sorry, in terms of their emotional devel- move along. opment,” according to The Washington Post. It’s cool to have an opinion. I get that. But when your opinion marginalizes a group of people and dehumanizes the struggle found in the LGBTQ community, of course people are going to be angry. Of course you’re going to be called a bigot. On the terms of this fabled “homosexual agenda” the author refers to, the efforts of queer Americans and their allies seeking

ZACK ORSBORN Zack Orsborn is the multimedia editor of The Reflector. He can be contacted at opinion@reflector.msstate. It’s unfair that laws had to be created to rid of healthcare discrimination against sexual and gender identity because a partner couldn’t visit their dying life-long love. LGBTQ youth are dying, kicked out of homes and committing suicide at higher rates than heterosexual youth. What’s unfair is institutionalized intolerance. That’s what I would say is really unfair.

TUESDAY , APRIL 23 , 2013 | 5




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Sanctions Received for Student Honor Code Violations: 2012-2013 The University values academic honesty in the classroom. In order to successfully promote academic honesty, the campus community must be vigilant in discovering and reporting alleged violations of the Student Honor Code. The purpose of this document is to deter academic dishonesty by publishing the sanctions that students received for violating the Student Honor Code this academic year. We intend to periodically publish this information to the campus community.

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6 | tuesday , april 23 , 2013


Life & Entertainment

Mo dern D a y Wordsworth

English professor writes novels, inspires students, finishes last semester as full-time faculty By Alie DAlee

Opinion Editor

By CAtie MArie MArtin Staff Writer

courtesy photo | marion morrow

A series of Smithsonian Institution posters designed by Marian Morrow will hang in the exhibition.

Feast Your Eyes: Senior graphic design students serve ‘Design Stew’ By DAniel HArt Life Editor

With the tagline “Come See What’s Cookin’,” one might expect the Bachelor of Fine Arts Graphic Design Thesis Exhibition to be a somewhat gustatory experience. Tuesday’s opening reception begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Department of Art Gallery in McComas Hall and continues in the Visual Arts Center for the evening’s remainder. There may be food at the event, but the students crafting the exhibition have been whipping up graphic design stew, as they call it, rather than beef stew. The galleries will display walls of calendars, posters and T-shirt designs rather than tables of crème brûlée and beignets. Twenty-one seniors will display printed design work created during their time as Mississippi State University graphic design concentration students, from

Smithsonian Institute posters and Annie Leibovitz magazine pages, to wine bottle packaging they have created both in and outside of structured design studio classes. Jamie Mixon, professor of art and graphic design emphasis coordinator, teaches this year’s senior graphic design portfolio course, ART 4640 Advanced Portfolio, and said she has for many years. Mixon and Jamie Runnels, associate professor of art, are handling the spring 2013 class due to the large number of students enrolled this semester. Mixon said each of the students will display a book of their final body of work at the exhibition, but the select projects hanging on the show’s walls are left almost entirely to the students’ discretion. “Students are free to include a variety of work as long as it measures up to their strongest work created in the design studio,”

she said. “Students often display work created in an internship, or work created for a client, or created just for the sake of pursuing something in the design arena

The ART 4640 students created printed promotional material and final portfolio courtesy photo | sweta desai books to display in the exhi- Sweta Desai’s May 2014 calendar design. bition as well as a portfolio to touch and feel a design after website. Though the work is finalized behind a glass screen, hovering over a computer for Mixon said the designs are creat- hours is just so rewarding,” she ed to be printed, physical objects. said. Sweta Desai, senior art major, “Many pieces that are included in their final portfolio/body of said in an email she will display work are printed pieces — post- projects that come from various ers, editorial designs, etc.,” she inspirations and perform multisaid. “They are best shown as ple functions, including a 2014 calendar, an exhibition poster for print material.” The exhibition allows patrons the street artist, Banksy, and a to view the students’ work out- T-shirt design to raise money to side of their portfolio website, study abroad in Italy. Desai said the projects, though in their intended print form. Marion Morrow, senior fine arts multifarious, clearly came togethmajor, said her printed designs er to create an exhibit representprovide a tactile experience and ing each individual student as a sense of satisfaction wholly unlike graphic designer and even gave the glow of a computer monitor. her a fresh perspective on her own “Seeing something on screen work. versus actually holding it in your “While setting up the exhibihands is so different. Being able tion and looking around at the other students’ work, I realized that everyone had their own distinct style, and I believe it was that moment when I saw my own,” she said. The exhibit’s promotional posters illustrate pots full of design stew rather than beef stew, but the exhibition features work full of as much heart and soul as a home cooked meal, according to the students. As Desai said, the catalyst for her interest in art was her parents’ constant arts and crafts projects when she was young. This enthusiasm eventually grew into her passion for graphic design, even as a student at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. “I feel as though designing had always been a passion of mine and that graphic design had captured both sides of my life,” she said.

MSU COLLEGIATE RECOVERY that COMMUNITY they are passionate about.”

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Literature professor Patrick Creevy conducts his classroom in a manner worthy of comparison to Robin Williams in his award-winning film, “Dead Poets Society.” He reveals his passion for poetry in the classroom, and this passion is contagious, igniting the same zeal in his students. Creevey said he enjoys teaching English literature to English majors as well as non-English majors taking his literature survey classes for other majors. “I love teaching just basic English lit. I love teaching undergraduates. One of the things I really like is facing a class of students … of non-majors,” Creevy said. “Many of them are made uneasy by, or possibly dislike, literature, and you can kind of change their minds, and that’s a very fun thing.” Creevy bears impressive credentials from both College of the Holy Cross in Worchester, which was labeled a Catholic Ivy University by Time magazine, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Creevy’s love for literature sparked in college, as he said he immersed himself deeply in literature he mostly ignored in previous years. “I really loved books, but I just didn’t give them much time (in high school). So when I went to college, I just went nuts. I got really into reading literature. I kind of knew from the get-go what I wanted to do,” Creevy said. Creevy conducts his classroom with humility, allowing him to relate to his students on a personal level. With three novels under his belt and a third work of nonfiction circulating publishing houses, Creevy is no stranger to literary success. Creevy’s latest work of fiction, “Ryan’s Woods: A South Side Boyhood Fifty Years Ago,” reminisces on his childhood in Chicago. While he says the novel is not autobiographical, there are many aspects of it that play off experiences in his own life, particularly the loss of a dear friend at a young age. Creevy said the friends depicted in the novel are mirror portrayals of his own childhood companions. They reflect attributes of his Catholic schoolmates but still maintain individuality as characters. One of these fictional adaptations is loosely based on George Wendt, who later went on to star as Norm Peterson in the television show Cheers.

Though the characters are based on childhood friends, Creevy said the process of crafting a written story is exciting from the first words on the page. “The writing process becomes an adventure the second you write the first sentence. Language creates opportunities. You never pass up a good opportunity,” Creevy said. “Ryan’s Woods” was released on March 28 by Amika Press, a Chicago publishing house, thus enabling the novel to grow from its original roots. Creevy said while “Ryan’s Woods” takes place in the 1960s, it still deals with modern-day topics. “It’s about bullies and how to stand up to them. It’s about sports, baseball and football particularly. And it’s about saying goodbye,” Creevy said. Creevy and his wife, Susie, are snowbirds that migrated to Mississippi upon Creevy’s offer to teach at Mississippi State University in 1976. “I came down and found out it was an incredible department, outstanding colleagues, great students and a great place to live and raise kids,” Creevy said. Creevy said Susie was soon swept away by the MSU architecture program, and Creevy supported her dreams by also taking teaching jobs at Loyola University Chicago and Jackson State University during her formative years in architecture. Susie’s dreams of architectural success found the Creevy clan back in Chicago, where Creevy spent 20 years commuting from there to Starkville, solidifying him as a true migrant. This semester marks Creevy’s last semester as a full-time professor. He will spend his autumn days in the snow-laden streets of Chicago, pen and paper in hand, and continue to journey south for the Mississippi springs and summers. He said he hopes this newfound leisure time will help to promote more writing and more frequent book publications. “The best you can do when you’re teaching is revising. Hopefully, this way I’ll be able to produce books faster than I have in the past,” Creevy said. “You brood over a topic for a long time. I probably thought about the subject matter of the books that I’ve written for … oh, five to 10 years.” An MSU John Grisham Faculty Excellence award winner, Creevy promises to continue promoting great expectations in his students and carry on his legacy as a Wordsworth enthusiast, immortalizing the great poets in a technology-driven society.


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Maroon outlasts White, takes annual spring scrimmage


Jeremy Chappelle collected 114 yards receiving on Saturday. BY JOHN GALATAS Sports Editor

Despite an early first quarter deficit, the Maroon team surged in the second half to defeat the White team 38-28 in Mississippi State University’s annual spring game. Quarterback Tyler Russell led team White to an early 14-3 lead. Russell connected with tight end Brandon Hill on back-to-back touchdown passes to give the White team some early momentum. Russell finished the game 13-of-24 with 179 yards and two touchdowns. Russell and most of the starters only played in the first half of the scrimmage. For team Maroon, Brandon Holloway led the team in rushing with 128 yards, and newcomer Jeremy Chappellle finished the game with 114 yards receiving. Holloway ran for 116 yards in the second half, including a 13-yard touchdown run to put the Maroon team in control, 31-21. Former Bulldog and current

San Francisco 49ers running back Anthony Dixon made a special appearance for team White. Dixon snuck into a White jersey and scurried onto the 10-yard line, passed the Maroon defense and scored on a 65-yard touchdown pass to bring the team within a score in the fourth quarter. Holloway added an 8-yard touchdown run with minutes remaining to set the 38-28 final. MSU coach Dan Mullen said the entire team has been working hard this spring. “We’ve had a really good spring and it was great to end it with this great crowd here. Good for the Maroon Team to get the win,” he said. The game drew an attendance of 21,000 Maroon and White faithful. Capacity was limited due to ongoing stadium expansion and renovations at Davis Wade Stadium. MSU will kickoff the regular season Aug. 31 against Oklahoma State in Houston, Texas as part of the 2013 Texas Kickoff Classic.

TUESDAY , APRIL 23, 2013

BY KRISTEN SPINK Managing Editor

The Mississippi State men’s golf team won its first ever tournament hosted by MSU. The team placed fifth in at the SEC Tournament, and head coach Clay Homan, who played golf at MSU from 1991-1995, is in his 10th season as head coach. Q: How did it feel to protect your home course in your first ever hosted tournament? A: I think it’s harder to win at home because expectation levels are a little higher. Even though you feel like you should win, it’s one of those you kind of have everything to lose and not as much to gain because everyone expects you to win, especially us having the year we’re having, and we were the highest ranked team, so we were the favorite, but sometimes being the favorite is a little tougher. Q: Do you feel like this team is where you have always wanted a team to be? A: When you recruit these kids, you know what their potential level is, but you don’t know whether or not they’re

going to reach that potential. Last year we had pretty much all the same guys on the team, except Joe (Sakulpolphaisan), and we didn’t have a very good year last year. We missed regionals by a little bit and had a poor showing at the SEC Championship. But the potential was still there. And just a few key things were number one we were able to sign Joe, who was the number one junior college player in the country, so he has come in and done what we expected him to do if not more. He has been super consistent; he works hard, and he’s a good team guy, so he is one of the key components of this team. The other two key components are the level of play from Axel Boasson and Robi Calvesbert because they were both on the team last year, but Robi only traveled a time or two, and Axel only traveled five or six times. Those two guys really have improved the most of anybody from last year to this year. And of course Chad Ramey was an All-SEC performer, and he just continued to get better.

Q: Can you talk more about Ramey and his leadership on the team. A: Chad is just a steady player. He goes to practice everyday, does what he needs to do. He leads by example. He’s not a very vocal leader, but he leads by example. He stays on top of his game. He’s very humble, sometimes too humble, so he’s the kind of role model we need for this team to show the other players this is what you have to do … Golf comes first for him, and it shows Q: How does Mississippi Sate golf compare now to when you played here? A: When I was playing SEC golf was still very good, but it was not as competitive as what you see now … All the programs now have made a commitment to golf. They’ve built facilities; they’ve built practice areas. Being in the southeast, these programs have no problem recruiting the best players in the country and internationally, as well. It’s super competitive — the SEC. Q: Do you still play a good bit of golf?

A: I haven’t played much this year at all. I was able to win the State Amateur the last two years. I love to compete whether I’m coaching or playing, so I have to compete a little bit to fuel that energy there. But the older I get and the more obligations I have with my family and young children, the less time I spend playing on my own. I certainly get satisfaction from playing well just like I do with these guys playing well and me coaching them, but my golf is certainly tapering off over the last few years. Q: What is the update on the new golf facility? A: We’ve made a lot of progress in raising money for a golf team-only building with hitting bays and locker rooms and coaches offices and meeting rooms, so we can have a place to meet as a team and have a place to call home. That’s something that most good programs have and we’ve been lacking for a long time, so now we’re going to have that. It will become a reality hopefully within another year.


2013 NFL first round mock draft

1. Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, OT 2. Jaguars – Dion Jordan, DE 3. Raiders – Sharrif Floyd, DT 4. Eagles – Geno Smith, QB 5. Lions – Ezekiel Ansah, DE 6. Browns – Dee Milliner, CB 7. Cardinals – Eric Fisher, OT 8. Bills – Chance Warmack, OG 9. Jets – Jarvis Jones, OLB 10. Titans – Sheldon Richardson, DT 11. Chargers - Lane Johnson, OT 12. Dolphins – DJ Fluker, OT 13. Jets – Tavon Austin, WR 14. Panthers – Star Lotulelei, DT 15. Saints – Kenny Vaccaro, S 16. Rams – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR

17. Steelers – Berkevious Mingo, OLB 18. Cowboys – Jonathan Cooper, OG 19. Giants – Bjoern Werner, DE 20. Bears – Alec Ogeltree, MLB 21. Bengals –Menelik Watson, OT 22. Rams – Jonathan Cyprien, S 23. Vikings – Xavier Rhodes, CB 24. Colts – Justin Pugh, OG 25. Vikings – Manti T’eo, MLB 26. Packers – Eddie Lacy, RB 27. Texans – DeAndre Hopkins, WR 28. Broncos – Sylvester Williams, DT 29. Patriots – Jamar Taylor, CB 30. Falcons – Desmond Trufant, CB 31. 49ers – Margus Hunt, DE 32. Ravens – Terron Armstead, OT

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tuesday , april 23 , 2013


stat of the day:

mississippi state men’s golf posted a score of 866 over the weekend in the sec tournament. the fifth place finish was the dogs’ best tournament finish since 2008.

on the diamond baseball

msu at memphis autoZone park

tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

Bulldog standout improves performance through opportunity By John Galatas Sports Editor

Mississippi State University junior outfielder Hunter Renfroe is posting one of the best seasons in all of college baseball. Gaining national recognition for his performance on the diamond, Renfroe is among the top of almost every offensive category in the SEC. For Renfroe, though, his journey to MSU was not easy. “Out of high school I didn’t have very many people offer me at the major college level. I had a few junior colleges and State offer, but other than that, no Division 1 college offered me coming out of high school,” he said. “It was one of the best moments when I signed that paper to go to State. It’s always been my dream to come here and play for coach Cohen and play for the Bulldogs.” The Crystal Springs, Miss., native played high school baseball at Copiah Academy where he was a four-sport standout. The Boston Red Sox selected him in the 31st round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Even though the glamour of the MLB was tempting, he said he always knew he would take the college route. “(My family) thought about the future and playing in rookie ball, but it really wasn’t that much of a factor. I knew I wanted to come to State. I knew I wanted to play college baseball and experience that and get my education,” he said. “I wanted to come to college and get more mature in baseball.” In his first year at MSU, Renfroe developed a role as a utility player. Playing mostly catcher at Copiah Academy, Renfroe also pitched and played outfield. After his rookie season with the Maroon and White, he finished with a .154 batting average and a 9.64 ERA in less than five innings pitched. “It was a very difficult transition coming from the top everything in high school, multi-sport and talented in everything. Then you go to being a freshman in a huge college, and you don’t know anybody, and you’re on the lower end of the to-

barton dinkins | the reflector

Despite limited offers to play college baseball, Hunter Renfroe is leading the SEC in offense. tem pole,” he said. “You have to learn a lot of different stuff in a short amount of time.” Renfroe followed with his sophomore campaign and raised his average to .252 in 61 games played. He finished second on the team with 58 hits and set a school record with 10 outfield assists. Head coach John Cohen said he started to notice Renfroe’s performance spike in a series late in the 2012 season. “He only had 25 at-bats as a freshman, but I felt like he made some progress. At the end of last year, I thought he really started to take off, especially in the Florida series late in the year,” Cohen

said. “Then he went out and had a great summer with a wooden bat and really showed up as a very confident player this fall.” In the off-season, Renfroe played in the Cal Ripken League for the Bethesda Big Train in Bethesda, Md., and had the best summer a player could imagine. In 36 games played, Renfroe collected 49 hits, 11 doubles and hit .366. He also shattered league records in home runs (16), RBIs (53), runs scored (47) and slugging percentage (.866). By the end of the summer, Renfroe was named the league’s most valuable player and, before the last home game, he was honored by

having a part of his legacy left in Bethesda. “When we walked out on the field, I noticed that there was something on the wall covered up, but I didn’t think anything of it. At the start of the game, the first pitch was getting thrown, and they said they had a special ceremony. Our head coach was looking at me, and he pointed up and I looked around and saw my mom and dad. That’s when I knew something was up,” Renfroe said. “They started naming out my stats and then announced that my number was getting retired at the last home game.” Not only does Renfroe’s No. 11 jersey hang on the outfield wall of Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, another No. 11 sits atop a light pole in right field, to indicate the distance of the power hitter’s home runs. Now in his junior season, Renfroe leads the SEC with 13 home runs and a .815 slugging percentage. Before the season began, Renfroe’s roommate, Wes Rea, said he knew Renfroe’s power would be an asset to the season. “During batting practice I’m pretty sure all 39 guys just stood out there and just watched the balls go over the wall for about 15 minutes,” Rea said. “He has unbelievable power.” More recently, Renfroe was named SEC Player of the Week after MSU’s sweep over Texas A&M. He hit .571 with two doubles and homered in every game in the series. Renfroe also assisted the team on the base pads last weekend as he scored a pair of runs, helping his team take the series against Auburn. From having limited offers out of high school to having his jersey retired, Renfroe said the accolades have been a great experience, but his focus is on the College World Series. “We’re trying to work toward winning another SEC championship. We’re also working toward getting to a regional, super regional and then, at the end result, Omaha, and being the last one standing,” he said. “We definitely have to take one game at a time. We’re eager to get back and show them what our real team is and what we can do. We’re waiting for our opportunity.”

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