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Vol. XXXIV, Issue 1, August 16, 2011



HOT ENOUGH FOR YOU? Richland athletes brave the heat Page 7


In-N-Out Burger:

Harmful or helpful to teens, young adults? Page 3

Is it worth the price? Page 11

Class of 2014

MEET Franco

.BKPS: Music Education )JHI4DIPPM: Irving High School, Irving, Texas 8IZ*$IPTF".$PNNFSDF: It’s a relatively small school, and has a fantastic music program. 'BWPSJUF$MBTT*)BWF5BLFO: Piano 8IBU*UT"CPVU: Piano applies to real life. It teaches hand-eye coordination as well as how to think outside the box. This applies to my career as well because it teaches me how to read score, something I’ll need to know as a band director. #FTU1SPGFTTPS4P'BS: Dr. Goranson. He motivates me to do well in everything I do. He will help you achieve your goals, as long as you are willing to try. $PPM4UVGG*%JEBU".$PNNFSDF: I attend concerts and plays on campus. I also play the saxophone in the band. I want to join the Catholic Student Organization because they help you achieve your goals spiritually, and will not turn their back on anyone. 8IBUT/FYU: I plan to continue pursuing music education, minor in computer science, and hopefully go to graduate school.

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-&"3/.03& about Franco and how Texas A&M University-Commerce can change your future by visiting:

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Is Facebook bad for you?


Can Facebook be harmful to teens and young adults? Can it be helpful to teens and young adults? ADRIEN MERLISS Web Editor

Dr. Larry D. Rosen, a noted psychology professor from California State University, recently sat down with ABC News for a talk titled “Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both Help and Harm Our Kids.” He discussed the pros-and-cons of Facebook usage by teens and young adults. On the positive side, he mentioned that the use of Facebook has allowed teens and young adults to work on “virtual empathy.” “They are able to show empathy with someone else online, and, better yet, that seems to be predicting that they get better doing it in the real world, too … providing emotions and content and feelings behind the screen allows teenagers and young adults to do it with much more ease, rather than having to do it face-to-face, which is, you know, growing up as a teenager is very difficult.” However, on the negative side, Rosen identified narcissism as a major problem. “What we found was that those kids that spent more time on Facebook tended to show more signs of narcissism … we don’t know whether it’s

that narcissists are flocking to Facebook because it’s a way to promote “me, me, me” or that the platform of Facebook, where you’re encouraged to talk a lot about yourself, can make you appear to have signs of narcissism.” Richland student Rachel Legaspi, 20, says of Facebook that it “has its good and bad. I get to connect to my family and friends abroad. As for the bad, I see my sister spending more time on social networks than I used to at her age. She’s 13.” So, while Facebook (and other social media outlets for that matter) may have a downside, they also have an upside. While it may seem like too much time at a computer to some, others may be interacting with family and friends far away. Still, some people may not be getting enough physical interaction with people while other are getting to know new people of different cultures. So, you decide. Is Facebook bad for you? Go online to and vote in the poll.

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I am easily distracted by Facebook, email and Twitter while studying (even though I just checked them five minutes ago). I know I am not alone. I have lots of friends who are constantly on their phone, even when they are out doing something. With the smartphones the way they are now, we can do pretty much anything at the touch of a button, or app in most cases. Email, Facebook, Twitter and even bank statements can be found from a phone, but it’s not always necessary to check them. CNN reported that checks typically last less than 30 seconds and are often within 10 minutes of each other. Our society has developed what are called “checking habits.” Roy Prumley, a Richland pre-pharmacy major, said that he will “check his cell phone when he is expecting a call or email.” While we used to have to wait until we had access to a computer, we can now stay connected even while we’re in class. Cellphone distractions have become so bad

that the Richland Collegiate High School office has a sign on the door reading, “Please turn off your cell phones.” Senior Administrative Assistant Mary Savage, who works in the office, explained that people were “trying to do more than one thing at once.” . . . We ask people to turn off their phones so we can have their undivided attention.” A neurologist, Dr. Adam Gazzaley, recently interviewed by CNN, reported that cellphone users “really pay a price because it can become a way to not interact with people or avoid doing the things you need to be doing.” Richland alumni Geoffrey Hill said that “I’m glad I’m done with school because I know I would be distracted by it. When I was in school we didn’t have all the applications and distractions that we do now.” While much of society has become addicted to cellphones, not everyone has. Richland student Jennifer Mathwig hardly uses her phone at all. “When I get to school I put my cell in my purse and don’t take it out until I get home,”she said. “I don’t like talking on the phone or texting; I’m really bad at returning missed calls, too.” • August 16, 2011

Networking addictions in the palm of our hands

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‘Benefits’ not beneficial to students


Courtney Chipman • August 16, 2011

Staff Writer



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“Friends with Benefits� hit movie screens the weekend of July 22 with a weekend gross of over $18,622,150. Although it’s still going strong over three weeks later, reviews on campus are mixed. “Although I personally liked the movie, it was a lot like ‘No Strings Attached’ which just came out not too long ago,� business major Keitha Munday said. “If they are going to make movies with similar story lines they should at least spread them apart.� Romantic-comedies send a mixed signal to society because not all of our relationships are going to end as beautifully as Hollywood portrays them. That’s the problem that biology major Malinda Bise had with the movie. I am all for happy endings but not every relationship in real life ends that way,� she said. “It’s encouraging girls to be ‘friends with benefits’ with guys with hopes of it ending in true love.� Hollywood does not portray reality, but isn’t that the point? We live our lives every day and movies are a way to escape and live a fantasy; even if it is only for an hour and a half.


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Top 3 ways to stay cool during the rest of summer: 1. Go ice skating at the Galleria It’s nice and cold and for only $9 admission and $3 skate rental you can have a cool time. 2. Go to the movies It’s always freezing at the movies, so go see a thrilling movie and soak up some frigid air. If money is low, try a local dollar theater, especially on 75-cent Tuesdays. 3. Go swimming It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Although it may be hot outside, a cool dip may be just the thing to bring down the temp. If outside pools are too hot, there are public indoor alternatives in the area.

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Financial aid expands extension date CARLA DAVIS Staff Writer

In a recent interview with the Richland Chronicle, Rick Renshaw, the centralized director of financial aid for the Dallas County Community College District said, “Yes, I do anticipate that the district will be able to meet the new extension date of Aug. 16 for award letters to be posted to student accounts or e-connect.� Instead of allowing classes to be dropped if they are not paid by the due date, which is standard procedure, the DCCCD Financial Aid department decided to grant an extension to protect classes from being dropped. By July 31, the first extension-protection date, 11,000 applications had been received and by the second extension-protection date of Aug. 8, that had increased to 16,000 applications. The DCCCD is once again experiencing record financial aid application numbers. As of July 29, 2010, the total number of applications received was 42,000. By July 29, 2011, that number had risen to 48,000. Renshaw said many of these students have al-

ready registered and he expects many more when award letters are received. For students who did not qualify for financial aid, notices have already been sent out in order to give them enough time to pay for their classes. According to a notice on the DCCCD home page, the extension is due to the implementation of new federal rules and guidelines regarding the reorganization procedures undertaken to improve service. Renshaw said that 13,000 Pell Grant awards were to be released on Aug. 11, earlier than the anticipated date of Aug. 16. The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant, Texas Grants and the Texas Public Education Grant awards are not expected to be ready to go out by the anticipated date of Aug. 16. On Aug. 15, the financial aid staff was scheduled to review where they are and, if necessary, an extension will be granted to protect the classes until all award letters are processed. One of the major complaints students had in previous years was not being able to talk to a live person when they called the Financial Aid department. This year, the district retained the services

of Global Financial Aid Services to help with the verification process and the processing of financial aid applications. At the summer DCCCD chancellor’s luncheon, held in July, Dr. Wright Lassiter, chancellor, said that the total cost of the project amounted to $550,000 a year for the verification services and an additional $1.2 million for the construction and staffing of the call center. There have also been problems with dropped calls and delays. Renshaw said that the problem is due to one of the trunk lines being down, putting 48 phone lines out of commission. He expects the repairs to be completed soon.

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Brazos Gallery Presents ‘Precious Cargo’ PATRICIA VILLACIN

created by physical well-being,” Richards said. By remodeling the crate, the artists said that they aim to create a product that presents “risk as renewal while recognizing challenges that thwart permanence and force creative adaptation.” “The cube is essentially a bizarre form of shelter that was inspired by the idea of people navigating through the world – you’re either closed up in a cube or you open yourself up to others,” Richards said. “We’re just going to use all of the crate’s components and see what happens.” Richards said that the piece’s installation is a vital part of the artistic process. The transformation is being documented on video and has been made public for passers-by to see. “We wanted people to see the transformation of the piece instead of just the finished product,” Richards said. The “Precious Cargo” exhibition opened Aug. 4 and will be available for public viewing until the closing reception on Aug. 31. • August 16, 2011

Staff Writer


The initial Brazos Gallery fall exhibit shines the spotlight on the first collaborative effort of the artistic duo, TBA. Since July 5, the pair has taken an 8-inch crate filled with components from previous works and transformed it into an interesting structure as a “response to the uncertainties of nature,” said artists John Frost and Ryder Richards. TBA, which typically stands for To Be Announced, is comprised of Frost, who is a Dallas-based artist, and Richards, Brazos Gallery coordinator. The artists said that the piece dubbed “Precious Cargo” is a response to the themes of “protection, adaptation and artificial stasis.” “[The piece] is related to the needs of humans to create shelter, adapt to their environment or other pressures. Social, psychological and artificial stasis can be seen as a false sense of security, often

Images credit - Ryder Richards


Athletes warned of summer heat

Griselda Rios Patricia Villacin Staff Writers

With this near-record-breaking summer heat wave, athletes and coaches alike fight to keep safe and hydrated under the summer sun as they train for the fall semester’s competition. The heat-related deaths of several high school athletes and coaches across the state have been a cause for concern for many teams practicing during the summer. Over a month’s worth of triple-digit temperatures has increased caution and awareness about potential health-related issues. “We take good precautions – that’s why we train at 7:30 in the morning,” Women’s Soccer Coach Scott Toups said. “It’s a sacrifice for these kids to get up and come here this early, but it’s part of what we need to do to keep safe.” Although Richland coaches are taking many precautions for their athletes, they also cannot ignore the fact that they need to train them to get used to competition in the mid-day heat. “Once school begins, [the athletes] have classes,” Toups said. “Since we can’t train in the morning, we’ll go in the afternoons at 2. It’s hot, but it’s also when our games are, [so] we need them to be acclimated to the heat.”

However, since most of the athletes are not taking classes at the moment, Toups and other coaches have taken advantage of this time to stay clear of the heat by holding early morning training sessions. Some of the common dangers of staying in the sun are heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration. To prevent people from becoming susceptible to the extreme heat conditions, Richland Nurse Susan Pilukaitis stresses the importance of hydration and eating right. “The best way to stay safe is to remain indoors,” Pilukaitis said. “If you’re active outdoors, it’s important to drink lots of water – not juice or soda – and to wear light clothing. You should at least have a 20-minute break every hour to make sure you don’t suffer from heat exhaustion.” Pilukaitis and Toups agree that exercising indoors or during the coolest parts of the day, which is early morning and early evening, is the safest way for people to train and stay fit with minimum health risks. They both said that drinking water is one of the easiest but most effective ways to stay safe. “If you’re going to be active and out playing, you need to drink water, and that starts long before you actually get out in the sun,” Toups said. “We’re talking about drinking lots of water the day before and having several glasses when you wake up.”

Sophmore Krystal Paul currently studies physical therapy. • August 16, 2011

Images credit - Sean Dunbar


Phi Theta Kappa members benefit from conference


Patricia Villacin • August 16, 2011 +

Staff Writer


Members of Richland College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, Alpha Alpha Xi, attended the Texas Regional Honors Institute, where they heard from notable guest speakers, participated in group seminars, attended workshops and networked with members from other Phi Theta Kappa chapters. The conference was held at Schreiner University in Kerrville, from July 29-31. Approximately 260 other students from 43 different Phi Theta Kappa chapters across the state were present at the event. “I attended the conference because I wanted to meet some new people and gather inspiration to bring back to Richland,” said Tabeth Nkangoh, Alpha Alpha Xi leadership co-chair. “The group seminars allowed you to bond with a select group of people from different chapters. Other [members] had very interesting ideas on fundraising and how to run their chapters.” Phi Theta Kappa is an international honors society with chapters in many countries outside of the United States. The Texas Regional Honors Institute is just one of various student events and educational conferences on state, national and even international levels that members of the organization have the opportunity to attend. According to Alpha Alpha Xi adviser Jon Ewing, Richland’s chapter does its best to cover most, if not all, of the travel and conference expenses. Aside from traveling opportunities, being a Phi Theta Kappa member has many other benefits. Members are part of an elite organization, with only about 1 to 2 percent of all Richland students being inducted every semester. The organization is based on four hallmarks: scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship. The scholarship hallmark calls for members to delve into research on important issues raised by the organization’s honors study topic and share their findings with their community. The leadership hallmark gives members the opportunity to assume leadership positions while the service hallmark encourages them to give back to the community through service projects. Lastly, the fellowship hallmark helps foster friendships within the chapter through both social and

scholarly events. “Phi Theta Kappa’s four hallmarks help to promote socially responsible intellectual and community leaders,” Ewing said. “Some of the ways membership in our society benefits students are through [the] availability of scholarships at fouryear universities [and the] promotion of camaraderie and networking among students nationally and internationally.” Alpha Alpha Xi is one of the largest Phi Theta Kappa chapters in the state of Texas, with 200-300 inductees every semester. Advisers send out invitations for membership to all students with a GPA of at least 3.5 in a minimum of 12 hours of coursework. Only 10 to 15 percent of these new inductees, however, will be listed as “very active members”

who attend the chapter’s bi-monthly meetings and participate in campus activities and service work. According to Ewing, active participation is essential to getting the full, unique Phi Theta Kappa experience. “Many members develop life-long friendships by attending our chapter activities and participating in service projects,” Ewing said. “Another way that students benefit is via the contacts they make with members of the community outside of Phi Theta Kappa. Through such interaction, student members are able to hone their particular leadership and communication skills to better prepare themselves for entering the field of higher academia as well as the workplace.”

STUDENT MEDIA LEADERS Richland Chronicle Editor-in-Chief KDUX Web Radio Station Manager Chronicle-TV Station Manager Chronicle-Online Editor Guest Managing Editor Asst. Managing Editor News Editor Radio News Director Sports Editor Photo Editor Viewpoints Editor Copy Editor Radio Sport Director Layout Editor Media Illustrator

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Duck Camp educates Thunder ducklings


DEnnis Q. Ly

Richland Collegiate High School Duck Camp, a full-day orientation for incoming students, was held Aug. 12 on campus, with approximately 260 students in attendance. Duck Camp included an opening ceremony, a rotation of five student groups through five different sessions and a final rally. The rotation sessions included a campus tour and group bonding activities. “RCHS is excited about the upcoming Duck Camp,” assistant principal Heather Albuquerque said before the event. “The RCHS senior mentors have spent three months preparing for this year’s Duck Camp. Their intent is to make the 2011 Duck Camp better than the prior year’s camp.” Laura Barker, 17, double major in psychology and business, is a mentor at Duck Camp. Mentors tour the students around the campus, get their IDs taken and instruct them on how to use eCampus and eConnect. They also equip them with tips on preparing for college success, learning styles and college transitioning. According to Barker, Duck Camp is similar to the program that first-time college students go through at Richland, though RCHS students also have unique experiences geared toward the high school aspect. “In my opinion, Duck Camp is an excellent opportunity for new students to get to know the campus, as well as the staff that will be supporting them throughout their education at Richland,” said Barker. One of the incoming students, Bailee Cole, 16, was homeschooled prior to attending the orientation. She met new people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds and is excited about her first year at Richland. “I’m looking forward to service learning the most this year,” Cole said. “It’s not something I’m familiar with, so it will be one of my many new experiences.” Other incoming students are nervous about their new environment but excited that Richland is offering them a different atmosphere than traditional high school. “I’ve learned in Duck Camp that this program is quite serious and does not tolerate immaturity and irresponsibility as compared to public and private high schools,” Kevin Charles, 16, a computer science major, said. “This program seems to require dedication and determination.” Duck Camp aims to make incoming students feel more comfortable on campus before class is in session. It also makes them familiar with the campus layout so the first day of school will not be as difficult. “Duck Camp has greeted me with energy that I have come to love in just two hours,” Charles said.

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Staff Writer



Song lyrics provide eerie parallel to singer’s life

JOE STUMPO Staff Writer • August 16, 2011 +



The moment the news broke July 23 that British singer Amy Winehouse died tragically in London at age 27, the first thing many fans and non-fans recalled was her 2007 Grammy award-winning hit, “Rehab.” I know I did. I still can’t stop uttering the first line of the lyrics: “They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said no, no, no.” Being a rebel in my own quiet way, I saw her lyrics as a categorical rejection of those who think they know what’s best for an addict. It’s no secret that as a result of Winehouse’s well-publicized battles with substance abuse, which landed her in and out of rehab centers and court appearances over the past decade, the entertainment media had her obituary prepared long before the end came. The singer’s mother, Janis Winehouse, was quoted July 24 in the Sunday Mirror saying her daughter’s death was “only a matter of time.” I find her untimely passing not at all surprising and can only assume it was a drug overdose, though toxicology results will not be known for several weeks. Still, I never once looked deeper into the lyrics of “Rehab” in search of their true meaning despite the fact the song mirrored Winehouse’s personal problems. I just found it to be a catchy tune. Now that the tattooed singer with the Marge Simpson beehive hairdo is gone, however, I won’t be surprised if people look back on those lyrics and her too-short list of other hit singles from her 2006 Grammy Award-winning album “Back to Black” for ironic parallels, as opposed to just enjoying her music.

The YouTube video of “Back to Black” I watched recently shows her attending the funeral service of an assumed boyfriend. She looked as though she was preparing for her own eventual farewell. The song, as well as the album, was supposedlly inspired by her boyfriend, Blake Fielder-Civil, whom she married in 2007 and later divorced in 2009, according to Time. When she cut short her European concert tour in June as a result of a disastrous performance in Belgrade, Serbia, staggering around on stage and barely able to get through any of her songs, I am certain disappointed fans hoped this was not the beginning of the end. Up until her passing, I never heard of the morbid group called The 27 Club, which Winehouse is now a member of in death. The club includes the following deceased musicians who went before their time at age 27 as a result of either substance abuse or suicide: Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, to name a few. There have been times I have found myself appreciating the talents of a singer or actor only after they have passed on. I watched a few of Winehouse’s music videos on YouTube recently where the hit numbers on several of her works are now in the millions. I especially liked her hit song, “Back to Black.” I don’t know if I will download the rest of her work, though. The day after her death, her 2006 album went to No. 1 on iTunes. Unlike Michael Jackson, who had already recorded several songs before his death in June 2009, which were released months later, the only completed track Winehouse finished was a duet with singer Tony Bennett on the Johnny Greene song “Body and Soul” in March this year. The song will be part of Bennett’s upcoming 17-track album, “Duets II,” due in stores Sept. 20, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” and now “Back to Black” will be a part of my personal list of several hit singles I have enjoyed listening to over the years. Other female vocalists on that list include Sara Bareilles, Natasha Bedingfield, Sheryl Crow, Enya, Sarah McLachlan and even Britney Spears. I’ll have Winehouse’s two hits playing on my iPod, if I ever get it set up, that is.

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change up from our beloved Subway. The real question on everyone’s mind is if it is really worth going. There’s no way I can justify Editor-in-Chief the mile-long waits and camping overnight for a burger but I do think it’s worth going, as long as If I had to sum up this summer in simplest you order correctly. terms it would be the In-N-Out Burger craze and If you didn’t know, In-N-Out has an extended that “Party Rock Anthem” song that’s always on secret menu that isn’t so secret. In fact, it can the radio. LMFAO’s chart-topping song aside, the In-N-Out be found on the company’s website, so I highly suggest visiting that site before you go. One of the Burger chain made an impact on Texas with its most popular choices is the Double-Double, which grand opening at the beginning of the summer. is simply double the meat and double the cheese. California natives and those familiar with the InN- Out chain could have probably guessed that the Alone, it’s a good choice and you’ll get a taste of the In-N-Out culture. However, Texas grand opening would draw ordering it Animal Style, which more than a couple of hungry is adding on the house’s secret stomachs. But I don’t think we sauce, gives the burger a whole quite knew what was coming. new taste and one that is unique There were lines to get into to the chain. lines, people camped out overThe closest thing I can night and cars parked wherever compare In-N-Out to, at least they could find a spot. Police hype wise, would be Sonic. Here, were called to control the lines Sonics are everywhere, like In-Nof cars, which stretched for miles Outs are in California. Although during the lunch rush. you could go and get a hot dog The hype doesn’t seem to be and slush at the gas station, it’s dying down at the Allen location, more fun to get them at Sonic which I visited for the first time and that’s how it is with burgers recently. Although there was Image courtesy at In-N-Out. Sure, you can go to barely a line when I visited, McDonalds and get a Big Mac, which was on a weekday around noon, customer traffic was steady and the staff was but the atmosphere at In-N-Out is different, and a fun change of pace. From what I’ve heard from always moving. friends up North, Sonics are a huge deal and the Two new locations just opened last week, one pandemonium over one opening is extreme. off of LBJ Freeway and Coit Road in Dallas and Is In-N-Out overrated? Probably. But an Inanother in Fort Worth. The Dallas location is about N-Out burger is worth the price. For about four six miles from school and I encourage you to go bucks, you get a burger that is a comparable size if you haven’t paid the burger chain a visit yet. to one you’d get at a restaurant chain. There’s no Although I advise you not to go if you’re in a time crunch. When there is a rush, it can take a while to way it could be confused for a run-of-the-mill fastfood burger, or even a Big Mac. Be prepared for get your order and getting a seat might be imposgreasy goodness and fatty flavor that sends your sible. So plan your time wisely. It would make taste buds on a journey. for a fun trip after a hectic school day and a good • August 16, 2011

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Vol. XXXIV, Issue 1, August 16, 2011