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campus events March 27 Business Etiquette Dinner 6-8 pm in the Dining Hall March 28 Excellence In Teaching 2014 8:30-4:30 in Dick Smith Library March 29 Catfish Crawl 9 am at Bosque River Stage April 3 Choir Concert with the Cross Timbers Civic Chorale Clyde J. Wells Fine Art Complex April 5 Texan Tour Campus Preview Day April 7 Employment and Benefits Library Training Center April 8 Alpha Gamma Rho 4th Annual Crawfish Boil City Hall May Fete Hunewell Bandstand Special Kids Rodeo Tarleton Equine Center April 9 Teacher Job Fair TSC Ballrooms SGA Picnic with the President Heritage Park April 10 Silver Taps Ceremony Hunewell Bandstand April 11 Breaking the Silence April 12 Top-Out Climbing Competition Rec Center
regional events March 29 - 30 Barrel Horse Race, NBHA Glen Rose March 30 Clark Gardens Spring Festival Weatherford April 3 - 5 Plauxy River Spring Bluegrass Festival Glen Rose April 5 Light Up The Blues Granbury April 12 Rip’s Rib Cook Off Eastland April 22 -26 Larry Joe Taylor Texas Music Festival
Vol. 2, No. 2
Meet the next student body president | Page 4
a product of the texan news service
March 26, 2014
Student athletes receive larger scholarships than nonathletes BY ALYSSA URBANEK Special to Texan News
According to interviews and research, athletes receive from the university more than twice the amount of scholarship money that other students receive, based on the most recent completed records of 2012-2013. The Texan Fact Book reports about 10,000 students attended Tarleton during the 2012-2013 academic year. Out of that number of students, about 2,388, or just under 24 percent, of these students received scholarship money from university accounts, said Shawndi Wilson, director of the scholarships office. This does not include private scholarships from outside donors or
“I believe academically honored students and athletes both should receive the sholarships that they deserve.” ~ Dalton Billings scholarships funded by grants. Scholarships can be based on athletics, academics, performance or financial need. Even though there are over 500 different accounts at Tarleton, Wilson said there are three main divisions—athletic awards,
scholarships gifted from the university or through endowments with the university, and scholarships funded by the TSU Foundation, Inc. endowments and gift accounts. Athletic awards amounted to $1,370,287.16 in the 2012-2013 award year. According to Wilson, 307 athletes, cheerleaders and sports medicine students received a portion of this money. That works out to an average of $4,463.48 per person. The remaining two account divisions—scholarships gifted from the university and the TSU Foundation—are combined, then given to students based on academics, performance and financial need, Wilson explained. Together, these two divisions contained $4,014,571.53 for the 2012-2013 award year. Even though this number is larger than athletic awards, this money was distributed to about 2,081 students, according to institutional research. That works out to $1,929.15 per student—or less than half the average award to an athlete. Tarleton students are divided on whether athletes should receive more scholarship money than non-athletes. “I believe academically honored students and athletes both should
The graph above reflects the data provided by the Tarleton State University scholarship office showing that there are more nonathletic recipients of smaller awards and a smaller number of athletes who receive larger awards. receive the scholarships that they deserve,” said Dalton Billings, a 19-year-old sophomore from Ennis. “So maybe athletes received more money as a whole because they were more recognized individuals.” Caroline Spencer, a 21-year-old senior from Gilmer, also sees nothing wrong with athletes receiving
BY MADISON STOUT Special to Texan News
BY RACHEL PEOPLES Editor
See Wage on page 3
See Scholarships on page 3
City Limits celebrates 20 years
A minimum wage hike threatens student jobs President Obama’s recent decision to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 per hour could have significant impact on Tarleton State University if applied to minimum wage student workers across the board. Vice President of Student Life Rusty Jergins says though he’s unsure how this new agenda will affect the university in the next few years, he believes compensation for employees should be a priority. However, he adds, the issue has to be handled carefully. “Compensation is always a priority and should be,” he said. “But you have to balance that with other needs. When you do raise the minimum wage, it has impacts on other funds and other sources.” Angie Brown, assistant vice president of employee services, was more specific in her estimation of the agenda’s possible consequences. She said that if the minimum wage is indeed raised across the board, university budgets would be affected dramatically. According to Brown, Tarleton employs about 900 student workers across all campuses. “If you think about paying each student an additional $2.85 per hour for a typical 15 hour work is
more aid than non-athletes. “I believe athletes work just as hard as academically honored students to become the athlete that they are,” Spencer said. “Therefore, I believe that students are given schol-
is really meant to improve what we do for our students.” According to Weissenburger, the renovation project involves creating space for the registrar’s office, the administration offices for enrollment management and the undergraduate admissions office and moving them to the Tarleton Center from the Administration Building. The Military Veterans Services Center will return to the Tarleton Center from its temporary home in the Thompson Student Center as well. This change will also have other offices moving into the spaces in the Administration Building from where the offices were previously located. These renovations include an information desk that would provide students with guidance as to which office they need to speak to within the building. An ATM and a cafe will be available in the Tarleton Center by the fall. In addition, the renovations
City Limits and The Agave Bar and Grill celebrate 20 years in business this year. Owners V.W. and Cynthia Stephens run an operation that is unique and sprawling, but hangs on to its small-town feel. “We are a restaurant club and banquet facility that caters to all ages — family owned and family operated with customer service as our primary focus,” Cynthia said. “We are in the business of making memories.” The owners decided that Stephenville needed a bar and dancehall, so in 1994 they opened one. Over the years they added to the original City Limits — The Agave Bar and Grill, The Cabo, the City Hall Banquet Facility, The Erath Grape and Modern GraphX. City Limits and The Agave have gone through some changes as well. The owners have switched over to nonsmoking facilities and are in the process of adding more modern technology to the establishment. The Agave offers daily lunch specials such as stacked enchiladas, catfish, popcorn shrimp or the popular “heart attack burger”– it’s topped with fried ham, bacon, Swiss cheese, onions and mushrooms. Nightly specials draw in many customers as well. Tuesday is
See Financial Aid on page 5
See City Limits on page 6
Rachel Peoples, Texan News Service Caution tape marks renovations at the Tarleton Center.
Changes coming to financial aid This story was written by Danielle Bean with additional reporting by Katie Gibbs. The Tarleton Center is undergoing renovations that would make it a one-stop shop for all registration and housing needs. The building currently houses the offices for Scholarships, Financial Aid, Residential Living and Learning, and Texan card services, along with several offices within other departments.
“I hope to bring to Tarleton students a place where they feel welcome and can get answers to their financial aid questions in a timely and comprehensive manner.” ~ Donna Hartmann-Turner Dr. David Weissenburger, associate vice president of enrollment management, said that the new renovations feature “some really cool initiatives,” and that “all this
Letter from the editor BY BETHANY KYLE Managing Editor Now is the time of year that Tarleton’s campus is overrun with high school seniors touring, deciding if this is the school where they will spend the next four years of their life. Choosing a school (or deciding if they will even go to school) is just one of the big decisions they will be making; there is still the question of the career path they want to follow. When undecided 18 year olds are attempting to make this decision, the same piece of advice is given to them over and over. “Do what you love.” This is problematic. I have been watching my younger sister, currently a high school senior, go through this struggle for the past several months. She has picked her school, Tarleton of course, but choosing a major that encompasses all of her hopes, dreams, and passions has proved impossible, and I am willing to argue, unnecessary. More often than not, young adults do not know what it is they are passionate about, and telling them that the only answer to their future is figuring it out is putting a lot of pressure on them. Then, of course, when they have found something they love to do, we are quick to tell them that it is impossible to make an actual living doing it, and they must choose something more practical. A second issue with this is that it implies that every job that is not loved is not worth doing. When you tell a young adult to do only what he or she loves, you are saying that anything other than that is not of value. People doing a job and doing it well is necessary for society to function. This includes all jobs, from retail to fast food,
March 26, 2014
Hundreds of Grassburrs left to collect dust each year BY JASMINE SULLIVAN Special to Texan News
not just the ones that seem the most pleasant or dream fulfilling. Finally, success does not need to be measured by your ability to earn money. Are you enjoying what you’re doing? If yes, then you’re doing it correctly. If you can’t make money doing it, then you make money doing something else, and save what you love for a hobby. Just because you enjoy it does not mean it needs to pay the bills. Yes, there will be the lucky few that have the opportunity to make something that they are passionate about into a lucrative career, but let’s not make it accepted that those people are the only ones living life correctly. So if we aren’t telling people to only do what they love to do, what should we be telling them instead? How about, “Do what you can do well,” and “Do what needs to be done.” Don’t let the idea of only doing what you are passionate about replace the importance of encouraging young adults to be contributing members of society.
Scan here to read the article that inspired this column.
Rachel Peoples, Texan News Service Offices being moved to different buildings can be found on the new campus map.
Financial Aid Continued from page 1 include a floor plan that would make communication between these offices simpler and would give students more ease of access. Existing offices will be affected by the renovations as well with new carpeting and paint being applied. The new director of the Financial Aid department, Donna Hartmann-Turner, said she is excited about the new renovations and the possibilities they open up for her department. “I am looking forward to help make our one-stop shop a success in providing timely and accurate financial aid information to those we serve,” she said. “I hope to bring to Tarleton students a place where they feel welcome and can get answers to their financial aid questions in a timely and comprehensive manner. I want Tarleton students to leave our financial aid office knowing that their questions have been addressed and that they felt valued in the process.” Current estimates call for construction to be completed by the end of April. The offices will begin to move in after graduation this semester.
The Grassburr is one of Tarleton’s many long-standing traditions and has been in existence for nearly 100 years. But records show that, even though each student pays $25 for a copy each spring in his or her tuition, less than half pick up that copy, leaving hundreds of books to collect dust and thousands of dollars flying out the window. Records released under the Texas Public Information Act show that in 2012 there were 4,200 copies of the Grassburr printed with 2,720 being distributed as of Nov. 7, 2013. For the 2013 Grassburr, there were 3,000 books printed with 2,275 copies being distributed as of Nov. 7, 2013. The total cost to print the 2012 yearbook was $102,000, $14,403.62 of which was paid to the student staff to create the yearbook. In 2013, the total cost to print was $85,800, with $23,506.40 being paid to the student staff. Chrissie LeBlanc, a 21-year old computer information systems major, said she thinks students should be able to decide whether to pay for it. “I think the yearbook should be voluntary, and that we should be able to choose if we want to buy it or not,” she said. Caleb Chapman, director of Student Publications, said, “To distribute to 45 percent of the student body, in my opinion, is phenomenal. In reality, we are never going to reach 100 percent.” Chapman is basing his 45 percent distribution rate off of the spring 2012 Stephenville undergraduate numbers. Chapman said Student Publications tries to hit every possible communication channel, but there will still “be people who don’t get the message.” “We send an email out about the books, and try to blast on social media as much as possible, but that only reaches a specific audience,” he said. Kati George, a 19-year old nursing major, said she thinks there isn’t enough advertising about the publication. “They need to really advertise the fact that the yearbook is already paid for in advance,” she said. “I think it would also help that if each person living in a dorm could get their yearbook directly delivered to their room.” “I still think colleges should have a yearbook,” Chapman said. “The 45 percent distribution rate shows that people still want that tangible piece of memory. It is also the university’s only print publication, and without that, we are totally depen-
Photo by Sarah Farwell Though all students pay a yearly fee for their yearbook, only 45 percent ever pick them up. dent on the Internet servers, and all of that could essentially be lost.” So what happens to all those left over Grassburrs? Some stay in the Student Publication Office while others are recycled. For the 2012 edition, 616 copies remain in the Student Publication office, and 864 of them were recycled. As for the 2013 book, there are 575 copies left. The Grassburr is available to pick up all year-round, starting around the time of Homecoming Week. It is still possible for students to pick up their yearbooks from last year if they have not already. Chapman said the fee structure is changing for the Fiscal Year 2015 and Lisa Lewis, a senior manager in student account services, said a fee hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, March 26.
Internship with U.S. representative prepares students for future goals BY KATY TONKIN Texan News Service One Tarleton alumna and two current Tarleton students say they’ve obtained an insider’s view of how Washington works by interning with U.S. Representative John Carter. Haley Abrahamson, a 22-year-old kinesiology major from Georgetown, Holly Noles, a 25-year-old alumna from Dublin, and Shelbie Bradley, a 20-year-old political science major from Alvarado, each have worked for the congressman. “More than anything, I learned about myself and my aspirations and my ability to make the necessary connections to do what I want to do,” said Abrahamson. “For me, it was more of a makingconnections internship than trying to go work up there.” Abrahamson said she did a lot of computer work, sorted mail, gave tours, attended committee meetings and responded to letters from constituents – an experience she said few congressional interns get. She learned about the internship through an email that was sent to the student body. “It caught my eye and I started thinking about it,” she said. “I saw D.C. and it jumped at me. It made sense.” She had wanted to study political science abroad in Scotland but wound up applying for the internship. She said she believes
the internship will help her achieve her goal of working with public policies. “Eventually I want to work with P.E. and nutrition policies in public schools,” she explained. “I think that seeing the legal side, seeing how everything works and how changes are implemented really gave me an idea on what it will take to do what I want to do.” Noles, who has a master’s in business, says she’s learned to deal with people from all walks of life working for Carter. “You learn how to work in a professional environment and how to do deal with very high profile people,” she said. “It’s basically like customer service. You learn how to deal with your constituents.”
She said there’s some politics in the job, but “you learn what’s really important in life.” She’s now working as the congressman’s executive assistant in charge of his schedule and planning what he’s going to do each day. “I filter through requests and decide who he’s going to meet with,” Noles said, “and then I also handle foreign affairs.” Noles added she has to follow legislation in the works that affects her constituents. The opportunity to become an intern, she said, came through a former Tarleton student, Casey Hogan, who is an assistant athletic director for Tarleton “Thankfully, I was at the right time and right place,” Noles said. Two days before
Photo courtesy of Haley Abrahamson Haley Abrahamson used her internship to prepare for her goals of improving physical education in schools.
she was to return home from D.C., Hogan told her that Carter wanted to keep her on as his executive assistant. “Sometimes life leads you places, to things that you didn’t even know existed,” Noles says. She didn’t plan on working for the congressman, but so far it has opened doors for her. Bradley hopes her internship wil help her one day become an attorney. She said she has learned how government works through this internship and that it will help her later in life. “I learned about how Congress really works and how politics work,” she explained “My favorite job was giving tours of the United States Capitol. I got to read and respond to constituents, which most interns don’t get to do.” The opportunity to become an intern came from an email that Dr. Dean Minix, professor of social sciences, had sent out. “Once I became an upperclassman, I applied,” she said. At the time when she was applying, everything in Bradley’s life was going well. However, after she had found out that she got the position, she also had a very difficult family emergency to deal with. Her mother had a brain aneurysm. This meant Bradley had a decision to make, whether to go to D.C. or stay home. “It was a tough decision,”
See Intern on page 5
March 26, 2014
A Product Of the Texan News Service
Tarleton Instructor ‘runs the run’ inside, outside the classroom BY ASHLEY HUSBANDS Texan News Service It is all a balancing act for Tarleton State University instructor Amy McKay to teach class and stay active while maintaining a positive attitude. She has been teaching since 1994, the same year she also completed her first marathon. McKay believes it is important to truly “walk the walk” and “run the run” as a kinesiology professor. “My favorite thing about my job is moments in my office with students, oneon-one counseling, really learning about individuals and what makes people tick. I like to help to teach them to be better people and be the go to person for people to talk to,” she said. Since her first year of run-
ning, she has completed what she estimates to be 75 half-marathons. She has competed in numerous full marathons during her running career, including the New York Marathon, which she qualified for and ran last year. McKay said she began running for the social aspect as a good way to spend time with her friends before she would teach her morning classes. “For me it’s about a journey in to really realizing who I am and how I can help other people. I love that through running that I can see people who think that they cannot even run a mile to eventually run a full marathon. I think it helps people develop a great self-worth, helps with self-esteem and helps
them work harder than they thought they could. We all need people in our lives to encourage us, support us and teach us that we are stronger than we ever believed we were. I feel like I have been able to do that through teaching, coaching and mentoring, and that is such a blessing.” She said she has met many people and developed strong relationships through running, but her time alone has also been beneficial. “Time that you are alone when training is time for personal growth,” she said. “It helps us keep things in perspective and work out our problems.” She said running and teaching have always been with her through the happy and sad times in her life. “Whether I am with my friends or by myself, it has gotten to where I have pride
Photo courtesy of Tarleton State University McKay ran in the New York marathon last year. knowing that I am really enhancing my life and health,” she said. Although she has received two different Excellence in Teaching awards while she has taught at Tarleton and qualified for both the Boston and New York marathon, she says those have just been “icing on the cake” in comparison to the part she really loves about her job, her time with students.
Wage Continued from page 1 week,” she says. By her computations, the $2.85 per hour increase for a typical 15 hour work week times 900 employees totals $38,475. “The possible financial impact to the university is $1.3 million,” she said in an email interview. “Students typically work 36 weeks an academic year so $38,475 times 36 weeks equals $1,385,100. “The result is fewer student worker jobs or fewer hours per job because departmental budgets can’t afford to hire the same number of student workers when they have to pay more per student,” Brown said. Brown went on to say that if the minimum wage is raised across the board, the government will probably do so incrementally to allow institutions to adapt. “The university leadership works to find a good balance each year between keeping tuition costs as low as possi-
ble without jeopardizing the quality of the academic and student programs,” she said. “It is very expensive to raise student wages.” Jergins said he is not sure where the funds to pay the increases would come from. “There’s not one source that those increases would come from,” he said. “It’s going to depend on how the particular area is funded—whether it be through designated tuition, state-appropriated dollars from the general revenue fund or whether it be auxiliary or fee money. It’ll come from a combination of places and that’s just the way we’re financed here at the university.” The new wage increase will take effect Jan. 1, 2015.
Scan here to read Obama’s executive order about minimum wage.
Why do you feel that the Grove receives the most police complaints?
Umm, I mean it sucks, but it’s off campus so it kinda makes sense. Phillip Jeppson Sophomore, Geology
Photo by Megan Peterson The Grove received over 40 complaints from Jan. 1 to Oct. 3, 2013.
The Grove leads in noise complaints BY BRANIQUE TOMPKINS Special to Texan News
Around campus, The Grove is party central. Stephenville police responded to 22 calls about loud parties and 20 more complaints for disorderly conduct between Jan. 1, 2013 and Oct. 3, 2013 according to records obtained under the Texas Public Information Act. By comparison, Texan Village and Bosque Crossing have no complaints for loud parties or disorderly conduct, records show. For The Grove, the numbers work out to a police response to one party every two weeks. Cori Middleton, a 22-year-old psychology major and a RL at The Grove last fall, said he was surprised
Scholarships Continued from page 1
arships that they deserve regardless of what they do.” Hannah Harrison, a 20-year-old junior from Katy, said her classmates in high school who were not athletes had to compete harder for scarce
there weren’t more calls about parties. “I think there would be more reported parties at The Grove, so 22 is actually a good thing since January,” Middleton said. He said RLs try to set a good example, but only have so much control over their residents. “As RLs, we are not police. We build relationships with residents and try to be great role models for them,” he said in an interview. “They know the rules and they make their own choices. We are just working to hopefully help people make the right choice now and throughout their life.” Tori Taylor, a 19-yearold early education major
who lived at The Grove, said the numbers shocked her. “I knew there were parties but I had no clue how many,” she said. “I guess knowing about them just depends on what building you’re in and who you socialize with.” There has been speculation among Grove residents that Tarleton plans to drop The Grove as an option for “on-campus” living. But Janice Horak, Tarleton’s vice president of external relations, put that rumor to rest. “Tarleton State University is committed to completing the academic year lease with The Grove and has an option for renewal for another year,” she said.
scholarship money than the athletes did. “In my high school, most scholarships were given to athletes and very few were given to the non-athletes,” she said. “Any scholarships I received I really had to work for.” Other than the scholarships funded by Tarleton, there are two more types of scholarships that provide money to Tar-
leton students—private scholarships and grants. Private scholarships are financed by people and organizations outside of the Tarleton system. They are most commonly given to incoming freshmen, but any student can receive these types of scholarships if they apply. There were 1,141 private scholarships provided $2,416,689.53 to various students for the
Probably because it started with a reputation, and with that reputation, people start going over there to be a part of it. Paige Woodard Freshman, Psychology
Because it’s off campus also so it’s easier to get away with parties. Harley Mayfield Senior, Biomedical Science
Do you have or know of any experiences? I’m the Designated Driver for my friends when they attend parties at the Grove pretty frequently. Madison Webb Freshman, Nursing
I mean, I’ve never been busted there.
Patrick Labarbera Freshman, Wildlife Management Interviews conducted by Harley Brown
Horses promote healing at Tarleton program BY JESSICA PARTON Special to Texan News
Photo courtesy of Dr. David Snyder A rider shoots basketball hoops with the program’s Clydesdale, Brady, during a session.
2012-2013 academic year, Wilson said. Scholarships funded by grants are another type of financial assistance available to Tarleton students. This money generally comes from the government instead of the college or other private donors. More than $228,488 was given to Tarleton students through 208 grants in 2012-2013, Wilson said.
At the Tarleton Equine Center on Mondays around 3 p.m., horses stand still, tied up, and a neatly plowed arena waits. A half hour later, the quiet scene has erupted into action. The saddled equines’ ties get pulled loose and excited children laugh and exclaim, “I’m going to ride a horse today!” The Tarleton Equine Assisted Therapeutic Riding program, or TREAT, has been a success since its establishment in 1995 with the help of Dr. David Snyder in Tarleton State University’s Animal Science Department. The program was created to use horseback riding as a form of physical, mental and emotional therapy. Snyder estimated about 60 to 70 riders a week – some of them duplicates because they ride on both Mondays and Wednesdays – participate in the TREAT program. The riders include children from the Foster’s Home in Stephenville and people with mental, physical and emotional handicaps.
“The program is not meant for only the disabled, but also for people with emotional needs,” Snyder explained. Though many riders come voluntarily, Snyder noted one case in which a child was sent from his physical therapists to participate in the TREAT program because the boy’s therapists had learned of the benefits that can come with therapeutic riding. Adults also have been part of the program. For example, during a reporter’s visit, a 30-year-old paraplegic man who had suffered brain damage arrived for his weekly ride on a big draft horse. The man had to be lifted from his wheelchair, swung over the horse and then placed in the saddle with Snyder behind him to help secure him for the ride. The man “has been coming here for 15 years and is slowly regaining his speech through interaction with those that assist him during his ride,” Snyder said.
See Horses on page 6
March 26, 2014
Johnson, Byrd focus campaign on SGA transparency, interaction, representation BY AZIA BRANSON Special to Texan News
It’s that time of year again when students can’t walk from one side of campus to the other without someone telling them to vote for them in the student government elections. With the implementation of more senator seats this year, campaigning will be full of even more students running. Running for next year’s student body president and vice president are running mates, Jay Johnson and Alyssa Byrd. Johnson will be graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in political science and will return to Tarleton in the fall pursuing his master’s degree in management and leadership. Johnson is president of Tarleton Alternative
Transportation and a member of Kappa Delta Rho. He has been involved with SGA all four of his years, beginning in the Freshman Representative Council, SWAT House Representative, COLFA senator and more recently as the vice president of Academic Affairs and Chief Justice. This will be Johnson’s third time to run for student body president. Byrd is a junior biology major and has been a Residential Leader for the past two years as well as a member of Alpha Gamma Delta. She has been involved with SGA all three years of her Tarleton career going from FRC, House member, vice president of unity and currently she serves as the vice president of FRC. In an interview with Johnson and Byrd they
discussed that the focus of their platform would be transparency, interaction and better representation. This pair of running mates’ biggest push is to make SGA more visible to students on campus. They want students to know what’s going on within SGA so they can come to SGA with their issues on campus, which will allow SGA to be able to work on those issues. They want more communication with the student body whether it is face-to-face or through social media. The issues they listed that might be of interest for them to work on next year would be trying to initiate a library trial run for longer hours, better recycling on campus and making the interaction between SGA and the student body stronger.
Although they are the only pair running for president and vice president this year, they will still be campaigning alongside the senators from March 24 to April 7. They will still speak to campus organizations but rather than a persuasive approach to their platform, it will be more informative of their plan of action for the next year. SGA has added a few more senator spots this upcoming year, making three seats for each college, three athletic seats, three Greek seats and three graduate seats. When asked what they thought about the new senator seats, Johnson said,“I think it’s a great idea.” They are very excited to see how the new arrangement of senators will help reaching out to their constituents a lot
Courtesy photo by Dexter Vaughn Johnson and Byrd are running unopposed for student body president and vice president.
easier and more efficient. Students will vote for president and vice president, their college’s senators, and their Greek senators, if they are a part of a Greek organization. Voting begins April 7 and will end April 9 at 4 p.m.
Also on the ballot will be Mr. and Ms. TSU. Students will vote on OrgSync.com using their student credentials and finding the SGA elections page. Voting can be done on any device, on or off campus.
Tarleton baseball season off to a strong beginning BY TODD COLEY Sports Editor
Map data © 2014 Google The Wolfe Nusery and Washington intersection is surrounded by popular shopping favorites, like Walmart.
Stephenville’s busiest intersection also most dangerous This story was written by Ryan Cox and Azia Branson with additional reporting done by Savannah Trantham, Autumn Owens, Sharon Trimble, Julie Gutierrez, Katie Gibbs, Dawelo Sears and Isaac Foster
Since 2011, the intersection of Wolfe Nursery Road and West Washington Street has produced the highest total number of traffic accidents reported to the Stephenville police department. With businesses booming in the area and the town of Stephenville continuing to grow with the vast enrollment of Tarleton State University, this heavily congested intersection is becoming a concern for those who travel the route. According to documents obtained from the Stephenville police department by the Texan News Service last fall, the Wolfe Nursery and Washington intersection has tallied 64 accidents since 2011. “The city is aware of the situation,” Stephenville chief of police Patrick Bridges said. “Looking back at two years of data for reportable crashes, the most significant factor is driver inattention. Driver inattention refers to anything that diverts a driver’s attention from operating
[their] vehicle. It could be using a mobile device; it could be eating or drinking or another person or animal distracting the driver.” The intersection is surrounded by popular shopping centers like Walmart and Staples, dining favorites like Chili’s, as well as a school zone for Henderson Junior High and housing developments for Tarleton students at The Grove. Having such a cluster of major attractions in a small town creates a swarming intersection at the busiest hours of the day. Although Washington Street runs through the heart of Stephenville, Mayor Kenny Weldon was quick to point out that the street is actually U.S. Hwy 377, which is controlled by the Texas Department of Transportation. “TXDOT would be responsible for any engineering changes to the intersection,” Bridges said. TXDOT did not respond to multiple attempts to make contact. With this intersection
not falling under the control of the city of Stephenville, the information was not brought to the attention of two city councilmen. “I wasn’t aware that the intersection was dangerous,” City Councilman Brady Pendleton said, the added the city was willing to help find answers to resolve the matter. One of the biggest traffic concerns was recently resolved when a traffic light was placed at the intersection of Washington and Ollie next to the Sonic restaurant. Scott Evans, a Stephenville City Councilman, was not aware of the situation either. “The intersection of Wolfe Nursery and Washington has not been brought up to the council yet, the biggest topic has been the intersection by the Sonic that just got a light,” Evans said. Local businesses can be affected when these intersections have accidents that bring traffic to a halt. Staples Sales Associate Sam Burnett gets a frontrow view of the intersection from work and he
Scan here to view the interactive map of accidents at intersections around Stephenville.
sees firsthand why these accidents occur. “These are two of the busiest parking lots; there’s a Walmart and a school zone and a lot of people are in a hurry,” Burnett said. The records indicate this intersection is the busiest, but Stephenville City Administrator Mark Kaiser disputes the label of “most dangerous” just based on the numbers. Kaiser believes the area being highly commercial in a controlled intersection and the roads having passing and turning lanes help contribute to the numbers reported. Bridges advised many accidents can be avoided by focusing on the road in front of you. “If drivers are paying full attention to driving and nothing else, they should be able to avoid most collisions,” he said. Disclosure Statement: Sam Burnett is a guest contributor for Texan News.
The Tarleton baseball team has been playing great baseball this season and now that the basketball season is over, the spotlight has shifted onto them as they wrap up the second half of the season. The Texans opened the season with a 16-3 win over Winona State Feb. 3 at the Houston Winter Invitational at Minute Maid Park. The Texans lost a close one in their second game against Arkansas Tech but when they got back to Stephenville, they were able to put together a run. The Texans hosted Regis for a four game series and were able to win all four. They swept a two game series with Texas Permian Basin and then, after dropping a single game to Colorado School of Mines, the team won a series against Arlington Baptist to carry their momentum into conference play. The guys started their conference games off by playing at home against Eastern New Mexico University for four games, winning three of them. Since entereing conference play, the team won that series, dropped a series to Angelo State, swept a two game series with Cameron and had a hard fought four game series against West Texas A&M where the Texans were only able to get one win. The second game of the series was a pitchers’ duel, that went on for 15 innings and ended with Tarleton dropping the game 1-2. The Texans currently sit third in the conference and are poised to make a run at West Texas A&M for first place in the conference. The team feels good coming out of the series, however. After winning the last game of the series and playing West Texas close all weekend, the guys have gained confidence. “It is going to be us consistently doing what we have the ability to do,” said Head Coach Bryan Conger. “If we’ve had one flaw this year, it is that we have been consistently inconsistent.” He said “things didn’t really go our way this weekend, but they were all close ball games.” The Texans currently find themselves sitting at 1610 with just 22 games left and the group is focused and feels the chemistry is really coming together down the stretch. Senior catcher Jared Musgrove said, “I think we struggled a little bit in the beginning but like I said, I think that this past weekend we really found ourselves and have taken a really good look in the mirror at ourselves, and knowing that it is just a confidence thing and that we need to have confidence in ourselves and each other and we’ll be just fine.” As far as evaluating the season at the midway point,
See Baseball on page 5
March 26, 2014
Baseball Continued from page 4 Conger said, “I’d give us a high B minus. There are things that we can be better at but I think we’re in the process of getting better at them. Quite honestly, our defense is better than it was a year ago, our pitching is real close which is a little bit surprising and offensively we have been better most of the year.” The Texans’ own Rustin Thomas won hitter of the week for one week this year but Conger also gives credit to Jared Musgrove,
A product Of the texan news service Luke Slentz, Noel Nevarez and Kevin Meredith for the way they’ve been hitting the ball and getting on base. For motivation as a group down the stretch, Conger said, “The message is the same as it pretty much has always been which is to do the best that we can at playing one pitch at a time and really focus on controlling what we have the ability to control. As this group has gone on, I don’t think we necessarily understood that at the beginning of the season but I think we’re starting to get there. You know, like we tell
them before every game to go hard and have fun.” The Texans head out on a road that will span two weeks as they will visit Texas A&M Kingsville and Eastern New Mexico and end it with one game in Arlington against Arlington Baptist. The Texans will return April 11 to host Angelo State for a three game series. Tarleton will be hosting a tailgating event that includes Brandon Rhyder performing for fans. Fans need to get out soon because after this series, the Texans will only have two home series remaining. They are hosting Cameron the weekend of
April 18 and then A&M Kingsville comes to town the first weekend of May for Tarleton’s final home stand.
Photo courtesy of Tarleton Sports Jacob French is a junior pitching for Tarleton State University, according to Tarleton Sports.
Intern Continued from page 2 Bradley said. However, while she was trying to make her decision, her mom was coming out of her coma. Even though she was still weak she told her daughter to take the internship and go to Washington. “Shelbie,” her mother said, “I want you to go to D.C.” Bradley calls her mother a “living miracle.” As tough as her decision was, Bradley made the choice to take the internship and work for the congressman in D.C. “I have a better understanding on how government works,” Bradley said, “I feel like this intern-
ship has prepared me for my future goals.” Minix, a political scientist and former dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, said congressional interns learn the inner workings of government, the dynamics of a congressional office, the dance of the legislative process, as well as develop interpersonal relationships with lawmakers and their staff. “Congressional internships offer an outstanding opportunity to merge the classroom with the hearing room,” Minix said.
Students not sold on OrgSync BY SAM BURNETT Special to Texan News
It has been two years since OrgSync was introduced to the students of Tarleton and the system is still underutilized by most of the campus. OrgSync, a web-hosted platform designed to help develop and connect campus organizations and communities, has been accessible to Tarleton students for almost two years. Despite its many features, the program has had a rough time getting incorporated into the daily routines of students. Freshmen are now introduced to OrgSync by their Tarleton transition mentor during Transition Week. Dylan Lee, a freshman nursing major from Flower Mound, said, “At first, it seemed more complicated that it is. After about 20 minutes, it was fairly easy and similar to Facebook.” Jasmine Owens, a sophomore animal science major from Tyler, said she used OrgSync to vote for a campus event this semester and it seemed user-friendly, but that she has not used it beyond that. “I guess since I am not in any organizations, I am indifferent towards it,” Owens said. Tarleton Alternative Transportation Small Events and Promotions
Chair C.G. Cruz recalled first being introduced to OrgSync as an organizing tool for students. “They were still getting the kinks out and it had a different password than NTNET,” he said. “We had a bad taste in our mouths with it after that.” The university has addressed the complications of students keeping up with multiple usernames and passwords this past January. Most programs used by the campus, including OrgSync, are now logged into by using a UID and password. “The fact the campus was streamlined to use one password made it very good,” Cruz said. “We wish there wasn’t a whole separate page for it, though.” Marty Stinson, president of the Tarleton chapter of Kappa Delta Rho, said that although KDR does use the OrgSync program occasionally for such things as roster updates and event promotion, the organization relies on their other, more traditional venues of communication as well. “It should be properly introduced,” Stinson says. Darrell Brown, executive director for Student Engagement, said he recognized that OrgSync is having a slow time catching on. He said he knows that effort has been made in the past to get the word
about OrgSync out there and that the school wants to be technologically driven. “What OrgSync can really do would blow your mind,” Brown said. “I am not going to put this on the students and student orgs. We have got to do our job and step up to make sure you know how to do it,” he added. “The university purchased this to help the students. I really believe from what I have learned that it would be an asset.” According to Brown, Tarleton will set up a series of training sessions in the fall. The goal of these sessions is to talk about OrgSync, how to use it and what it can do. “I know we have to do a better job in making it a top priority in students’ minds as the network communication tool it is set up to be,” Brown said. “If you are not living on campus, you probably really are out there in the dark. You need to be engaged and connected with your campus.”
Bethany Kyle, Texan News Service Students are still learning to navigate the network.
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Faculty grades administrators BY BETHANY KYLE tive comments and ratings Managing Editor that stayed around the middle mark, the bad hinging on President F. Dominic Dot- lack of communication and tavio and his executive vice transparency. president of academic affairs In Dottavio’s case, for exare being praised and criti- ample, 21 percent of those cized in the faculty senate’s surveyed said he was doing recently released faculty sur- an excellent job, while 16 vey. percent said his performance Faculty Senate President was unsatisfactory. Mark Shipman said, to his Dottavio’s highest mark knowledge, this is the first was in “appropriate vision such survey in the history of for this university.” One facTarleton. In the survey, the ulty member said Dottavio president, vice president and is “proactive in the support deans are rated on their job of university learning” and performances. The survey “supports university activiincludes anonymous com- ties.” ments from faculty about His lowest score was in how the officials are doing in the promotion of the “role their jobs. of faculty in academic govShipman said the survey is ernance.” This was also a not the result of a specific is- theme throughout the comsue, but instead is a response ments, with many complaints to “an undercurrent in the focusing on poor communifaculty that the senators were cation with faculty. picking up regarding morale Comments included: “We issues and some policy is- are incrementally losing our sues.” focus on teaching due to the He said he hopes the survey policies of our administrawill help the senate be a bet- tors,” and “Faculty morale is ter “liaison between faculty now deficient.” and administration.” Texan News requested “You can do a better job if comments about the survey you know more, “ he said. from Dottavio, Murray and Dottavio and Vice President university spokeswoman Karen Murray each received Janice Horak. None responda mix of positive and nega- ed by deadline Monday.
Murray received her best score for completing tasks in a “timely and efficient manner” and was praised for being “consistent and reliable.” The lowest score Murray received was for not having an “appropriate faculty compensation, merit, equity and bonus model.” The negative comments mirrored those about Dottavio’s relationship with faculty. “Murray has the same problems as the rest of the administration, which is lack of respect for the faculty,” said one faculty member. Murray was rated excellent by 18 percent; 10 percent rated her unsatisfactory. Dr. Don Cawthon, dean of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, received the lowest ratings, and mostly negative comments, with his lowest rating in maintaining faculty morale. Cawthon’s excellent rating was 13 percent; his unsatisfactory was 25 percent. Cawthon did not respond to email or phone calls requesting comments on the survey. Many of the comments about Cawthon’s leadership were about lack of communication, low visibility in the college and not being “an ad-
TREAT in fact, that it Continued from page 3 much, needs a bigger facility. The increased number of horses used in therapy Although a majority of has created problems in the helpers are students “attending class,” many scheduling riding sessions and housing the horsare volunteers who enjoy es. TREAT is currently seeing what progress a raising funds from private horse can bring to a perdonations to build a new son Two part-time staff members and two gradu$500,000 riding facility. ate assistants help as well. Several possible sites are available at Tarleton’s Altogether, this group Agriculture Center for a of people makes TREAT building with an indoor possible every Monday and Wednesday from 3 to arena, an outdoor riding 6 p.m. While the program arena, an outdoor sensory is highly regarded in the trail and safe housing and feed storage for TREAT Stephenville community, horses. Snyder feels it could be For the TREAT program successful anywhere. “There is an enormous to even be made possible, amount of the population Tarleton finances the feed for the horses and furthat is still underserved,” nishes the facility. Snyder he said. maintained he has “never Demand for TREAT’s services has grown so had to buy a horse in the
20 years that I have been with this program.” He explained that he “doesn’t take any horse out of the pasture.” The horses involved in the TREAT program must be sound in more ways than one. In order for a person to be able to use the movement of a horse’s shoulders to learn, or relearn, to walk, the horse cannot have any lameness or the person will be thrown off balance, he explained. The program would not be possible without the help of volunteers and private donors. Each semester, at least two fundraisers, known as the “Special Kids Rodeo,” are held. TREAT rides cost $10 for a half-hour session. Scholarships are available.
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Scan here to read the results of the faculty survey. vocate for all faculty.” The deans of four other colleges received fairly high ratings and positive comments, with few critiques. Dr. Jill Burk, Dean of the College of Education, received only positive comments. She earned the highest ranking. In the survey, 72 percent gave her an excellent rating and 0 percent unsatisfactory. College of Liberal and Fine Arts Dean Kelli Styron was ranked excellent by 57 percent and unsatisfactory by 1 percent. College of Business Administration Dean Steve Steed was rated excellent by 33 percent with 0 percent rating him unsatisfactory. College of Science and Technology James Pierce was also rated excellent by 33 percent with 1 percent saying his performance was unsatisfactory.
Photo by Megan Peterson City Limits has been Tarleton students’ go-to for a good time for the last 20 years.
City Limits Continued from page 1 specials, half-price appetizers and Texas country music; Wednesday is Whiskey & Wine night with specials on whiskey and wine, open mic night in The Agave and pong in Cabo; and Thursday features beer specials and a live DJ spinning music. “V.W. loves working, loves building and loves City Limits,” Cynthia said. “We believe in what we do. We believe in supporting our community, schools and employees. Why has our business survived? V.W. enjoys his customers!” The customers also seem to enjoy him. At 68, the lively
and personable V.W. shows no signs of slowing down. He greets his customers and makes them feel welcome from the moment they walk in the door. Across town at Tarleton State University, many students also give the place rave reviews. College students head to City Limits for the bands, the specials and the unique sense of place. They also said they like the atmosphere, how friendly everyone is and the sense of belonging. As Tarleton student Benton Witt put it, “After a crazy week at school, it is a great place to go and have fun with your group of friends and other fellow Texans.”
Studying abroad for full semester ‘a challenge’ BY SALINA MICHAEL Special to Texan News
Two to four students per year study abroad for an entire semester from Tarleton State University, according to Dr. Marilyn Robitaille, director of Study Abroad at Tarleton State University. This is a fairly low number compared to neighboring universities. There are many factors contributing to this low number. “It’s a long time to be away from home. It’s a challenge,” Robitaille said. “It’s a fear of going somewhere for a whole semester and you don’t even know if you will like it,” said Sean Guinyard, a sophomore kinesiology major. To increase the number of students going abroad per year, a global engagement board is being set up by faculty. The global engagement board will consist mostly of college-level representatives who have gone abroad and will provide information to freshmen about
studying abroad. “Information will be available to every major as to where to go study abroad and when so that it fits in their degree plan,” said Robitaille. This program will roll out in fall 2014. Many students cite financial cost as a reason why they don’t study abroad for longer than a month. Many outside scholarships for students exist and students who choose a university with an exchange agreement with Tarleton pay TSU tuition and fees. Not working also plays into why many students opt out of study abroad for a semester. Many students at TSU work to support themselves in college and most won’t have that opportunity if they go abroad for a semester, Robitaille said. Elizabeth Wallace, an assessment specialist in student life studies, said, “I think they have preconceived notions about it costing too much and that it won’t apply to them.” A number of students
Photo courtesy of Tarleton State University Study Abroad Office Morganne Jones studied abroad in South Africa last year.
did enjoy their time studying abroad and many think it is a valuable asset to their college career. Guinyard went to the Dominican Republic in the summer because “studying abroad would look good on my resume.” Wallace said that study abroad, “pushes them out of their comfort zone.” Although only two to four students go abroad for a full semester every year, the program has a come a long way. In 2009, only two study abroad programs existed.
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