First Copy Free
March 28, 2011
Volume 13, Issue 10
Students give to cancer patients pg. 5 Read about crimes on campus pg. 7
Discover our SXSW Rewind issue inside Meet ACC’s rock star professor Pg. 10
News → Crime and Safety
Legislature takes aim at arming students Concealed carry campus bills
Dana Manickavasagam•Lead Photographer
STANDING ROOM ONLY — A group of students wait for their turn to testify for or against Senate Bill 354 concerning concealed handguns on campus. SB 354
was heard by The Criminal Justice Committee on March 22 at the Capitol. UT students passed a petition around the room for people to sign in opposition to the bill.
Students, community testify at legislative hearings for, against bills allowing concealed carry on campus Karissa Rodriguez
Despite an abundance of testimonies from the public opposing guns on college campuses including Austin Community College students, Texas state senators appeared poised on March 22 to approve a controversial bill that would permit students to carry concealed handguns on college campuses. Five “yes” votes were not present at the Senate Criminal Justice Committee hearing, so a final vote was not taken and Senate Bill 354 remains in pending status. Previously, a similar measure, House Bill 750, was approved with a 5-3 vote split on March 16 by the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee and is headed for a vote in the full House. ACC student, Cody Jarmon, a Student Government Association (SGA) Senator testified at both the House and
Senate committee hearings on his own behalf. Jamon drew a lot of attention from committee members and the audience when he pulled out a cardboard gun at the beginning of his testimony to illustrate his opposition to concealed carry on campus bills. “My point was that how many people could I have shot if that had been a real gun? Just because you have a weapon on you doesn’t make you any safer,” said Jarmon. “I still could have killed as many people as I wanted to until someone finally acted. The amount of people I could have killed is one too many. So CHL or not, you’re not safe with guns on campus,” said Jarmon. Jarmon opposes SB 354, HB 750, and other similar legislation, because he feels that having guns on college campuses do not make them a safer environment. “I believe it would be unsafe voting more guns on campus whether it be for a cause of good
Under current law, concealed handguns are prohibited in Texas college and university buildings. However, several legislative bills have been introduced in the Texas Legislature to allow college students who are Concealed Handgun License owners the right to carry concealed handguns on college and university campuses. One of the bills, Senate Bill 354, “is an effort to aid students, faculty, and visitors on college campuses in protecting themselves not only from mass shootings like those that occurred on Virginia Tech University and Northern Illinois University campuses, but from other lifethreatening situations, such as the recent firearm discharge at The University of Texas,” according to the bill analysis from the Senate Research Center. All of the bills are similar except for House Bill 1167 which would specifically allow concealed carry on public junior colleges. The following bills would legalize concealed carry on campus: House Bill 750 Passed 5-3 on March 16 by a committee, to be voted on in the House House Bill 1167 Left pending in committee
Dana Manickavasagam•Lead Photographer
FOR SB 354 — Texas Legislative Director for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, Scott
Lewis, testifies for the right to carry concealed handguns on college campuses. Lewis was one of many speakers for and against the bill to testify at the hearing on March 22 at the Capitol.
or not. Its just escalation,” said Jarmon. Fellow ACC student Scott Lewis testified at the hearings as well and supports concealed carry on campus laws. “The point of concealed carry is not being able to protect
ourselves in places where danger is likely imminent. It’s to be able to protect ourselves in case danger finds us in places where we didn’t expect it,” said Lewis. Lewis, who is the Texas legislative director for Students
for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC), believes that college campuses are a perfect example of that. “While [college campuses] are typically safe, they do play
House Bill 86 Left pending in committee House Bill 1356 Left pending in committee House Bill 2178 Referred to committee Senate Bill 354 Left pending in committee
See Guns, pg. 4
News → Student Government Association
SGA president, Student Life address policy concerns
Policies and procedures that were implemented at the beginning of the fall 2010 semester have caused the Student Government Association (SGA) to experience “speed bumps” when organizing events, according to SGA President Sophia Downing. Proposed by the Office Student Life last fall, the new guidelines follow a system aimed to make clubs and organizations more efficient. However, according to Downing, the guidelines are acting as roadblocks to SGA carrying out its duties to serve the students of ACC. “How things are laid out right now is really not fitting into the expeditious tasks
we have,” she said. “The procedural and policy changes have put SGA to a halt because we need to be able to respond immediately to the students’ needs regarding different issues, and it’s all being hung up with paperwork and rules.” Downing said one of the biggest preventative measures of the new system includes the event proposals they must fill out months beforehand – a rule that, according to her, is wasteful. “We have a $16,000 budget that takes an arm and a leg to access,” Downing said. Due to the delay in accessing their budget, SGA has had to have senators use money out of their pockets for events. “Right now we have senators who are purchasing food for board forums and meetings, with the money coming out
of their pockets because of the time frame involved to fill out an event request or food budget request.” Before holding an event, SGA – and all other clubs and organizations – must fill out a food budget request, which is done via a “grocery list” that includes everything from plastic forks to potato chips. SGA members are required to fill out the quantity of each item needed, and then an appropriate Student Life employee goes shopping at one store to pick up the needed items. The problem with such a list, Downing said, is anticipating which items – and how many – will be needed for an event scheduled for the future. “If I say that for all my meetings I’m going to provide
food for 50 people, but 50 people don’t show up at the meeting, I just wasted the students’ money. How am I supposed to know the outcome of the number of people who are going to show up to events?” But Cheryl Richard, director of Student Life, claims the grocery list is a more effective way to plan because the Student Life employee will be able to shop at the same store for other organizations and other events. “We wanted to create something that wouldn’t cause the [employee] to always be out shopping,” said Richard. “We were trying to consolidate a bit.” Richard said the new system, which Student Life began working on last May, was not implemented simply because they “like rules.”
“We’ve created a system that shows how an activity develops, from the time a student proposes an event all the way to the end, when the evaluations are done. It’s all the way through. We’re trying to be more efficient while also taking care of the money, students, business, and learning opportunities at the same time. It’s kind of a tricky road, but we’re really trying hard to do a good job at it.” Richard said backlash from clubs and organizations was expected, but Student Life is doing its best to make changes and improvements to the evolving system. “We know there are bugs. There were huge ones in the first semester, and we fixed them as much as we knew how. Now we’re in the second semester and people are
observing the things that are working for us and the things that aren’t,” said Richard. “This summer, we will upgrade again to make it even better. We’re trying our best to make sure that we are upgrading it each semester so that, eventually, we’ll have a great product.” Despite Student Life’s efficiency-focused intentions in implementing the system, Downing said she firmly believes the process “simply isn’t working.” However, one thing both sides can agree on is the importance of catering to the students. “It’s important for us to work together,” said Downing. “It’s nothing intentional from either side. It’s just a procedure-related frustration about how we are going to represent the students.”
Forum → Columns
March 28, 2011
RUN! Keep guns off college campuses WALK! Forum → Editorial
RAWK?! JAMIE ESTRADA-CARPENTER
Of land and lakes April marks one year that I have been running, and to celebrate, I am doing something new and different: participating in my first running and swimming race. Fortunately for me, I have the upper body of a fish and the lower body of a track star, so I will be all set! Or not. I am very nervous and scared. I have the same exact jitters I had when I did my first race, and that I have at almost all races- will I be able to finish? From a logical and reasonable standpoint, I do not know why I have this question in my mind every time. I have raced for over a year, almost one race a month and have never not finished a race. In my training runs I have quit one time. Once. In a year. But for some reason, there I sit ( or in this next race, swim and run) wondering if I can
finish what I started. Lest you be sitting there worried about how you will get through your next upcoming test, project, semester or personal issue, ask yourself: have I succeeded in the past? If not, why? If so, how? It is true that just because you have been successful in the past, does not mean you will be successful when you do it or try something different, but it is also true that if you have done something once, there is a good chance you can do it again. That test may be hard, but surely you have conquered worse! This semester might be bad, but what about that one where you lost your liver, gave birth, endured a divorce and saved Spain?! Remember those times, because you are either going to sink or swim. But hopefully not sink, because you do have to run afterwards.
Forum → Reader Letters
Letter from SGA
Hello Fellow Students, The Student Government Association (SGA) has been closely watching the actions of the Legislature and Congress in an effort to make you more aware of the changes to come. These changes will directly affect the student body at Austin Community College (ACC) as well as other institution of higher education. We have been surveying the student population to get opinions on these issues. Now is the perfect time to get involved with SGA. We need your help collecting information and passing information about the issues at hand. Currently, we are collecting information about guns on campus. Should we or should we not allow guns on campus? Senate Bill 354 is about to go to the Senate floor for debate. According to the news, a student of Austin Community College, the Legislative Director for Student Concealed Carry on Campus, has stated that he supports the guns on campus bill and is advocating changing state laws to allow licensed handguns on campus. SGA has passed a resolution stating that we do not support guns on campus, and have collected a number of signatures to support this resolution. We are also surveying the body about financial aid cuts. Should the Pell Grant be cut or eliminated? Currently there has been talk about Pell Grant not being available for the summer months, however, keeping the Pell Grant at the current rate of $5550 for full time students. As an alternate, the legislature is considering decreasing the Pell Grant by $819, back to the 2008 levels. One may think that there is nothing we as students can do about these changes, when in all actuality there is a lot we can do. Considering the students attending ACC, if 15% of the student body
went to the polls and voted or called their State and Federal Representative and Senators to voice their opinions, we can guarantee our voice be heard and stop these changes from happening. Being silent in the past is hurting our future. ACC combined with other community colleges and four year institutions in the Centex area totals more than 210,000 students, a number greater than votes received by representatives and senators to be elected into office. In future elections if every student voted, we could make or break any candidate on the ballot. We need to hear your voice. SGA works hard to advocate for you, but in cases brought up at the legislative level, individual petitions and phone calls carry so much more weight. Students alone can make a difference by taking a more proactive approach before the bill becomes a law by stopping the bill on the floor. In regard to current issues within ACC, SGA is currently reviewing the topic of tuition increases and add/drop rules. In regards to tuition increases, it is possible that in as early as the summer months, the first tuition increase level may increase by $5 per credit hour, $5 fall semester, with the final increase, $5 in the spring semester for a total of $15 increase per credit hour over the three (3) semesters. SGA has presented a resolution to the board of trustees stating that we support no more than a .03% increase in tuition. Considering the potential financial aid lost, it is the recommendation of SGA that increases not take place over the summer as it is the time when aid is at its minimal amount awarded. It has been explained that overall, the reason for a tuition increase is to compensate for loss of state revenue the college previously received, with a small amount allocated to salary increases. In the opinion of SGA, if the faculty salary does increase, so should the services provided by the faculty. Now is the time for you to share your thoughts and opinions. You may do so by sending a confidential email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We strive to represent all 45,000 plus students of Austin Community College to the best of our ability. Your voice, your letters and most important your opinion can make the difference. Respectfully, Sophia C Downing SGA President
Illustration by Chris Scott • Web Editor
Texas Legislature should not legalize concealed carry on campus bill Staff Editorial Guns do not belong on college campuses, but if Republicans in the Texas Legislature have their way, it will become a reality. Several bills are being voted on currently in both Senate and House committees, and the House itself that would allow students with a concealed handgun licence to carry concealed guns on campus. The Legislature should not pass these bills because by doing so they will be ignoring the opinions of college and university students and their school’s presidents who have come to a consensus that they do not approve of concealed carry on campus. Austin Community College President Stephen Kinslow has publicly stated that on behalf of ACC, he opposes all legislation that would make concealed carry on campus law. Also, the Texas Community College Teacher’s Association (TCCTA) conducted a survey earlier this year among Texas’ 50 community colleges and found that 80 percent of TCCTA members surveyed voted they would not favor a law to allow guns on campus.
Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) President Bill Holda agrees with the TCCTA stance that the bills should not be made into law. Guns simply do not belong on college campuses because a college’s primary goal is education. Colleges are suppose to offer students a safe and hospitable learning environment. The idea of students carrying concealed guns does nothing positive for the learning environment because it adds increased fear, anxiety and stress among the student body, staff and faculty. Instead of arming students, we should be proactive through education and prevention against violent behavior. Students need to be educated on what to do if there is a shooter on campus, not told to have free range and start shooting at the suspect. That’s what police authorities are for. We need to leave the policing to the people who have been trained to handle those type of situations. Supporters of these bills argue that it is everyone’s Second Amendment right to bear arms, and this should not be infringed upon. We agree, but there are certain places where guns do not belong like churches, airports, courthouses and other premises like college campuses.
Many legislators like Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) have stated that they are in favor of concealed carry on campus laws because of the Virginia Tech massacre. They believe that if a potential shooter is aware that college students with CHLs are carrying their guns on campus that it will actually deter them from following through with their actions. That’s not true. Suicide accounts for the second highest reason for deaths among college students. If a shooter is suicidal, what is going to stop him or her from walking on to a college campus then? Relating the Virginia Tech massacre to concealed carry on campus bills is nothing more than a fear mongering tactic that Republican senators and house representatives are driving at the public. Proponents of concealed carry on campus certainly have the right to have their opinions heard, but after watching Senate and Committee hearings on the bills it is clear that opponents of the bill outweigh those who are for it. All signs point to concealed carry on campus becoming a law only because Republicans have more votes in both the Senate and the House. These bills will pass because we, their constituents, are not being listened to.
Speak up, be heard The Accent loves to hear feedback from its readers. Here is a letter to the editor we received in March: I recently visited the beautiful new campus at Round Rock. As a nursing student I will utilize the campus as much as possible. I have a suggestion: The 12,000 students leaving the campus have no stop light on 1431. Eventually there will be an accident at that intersection. Hopefully just a fender bender but with the speed of traffic on 1431 it likely would be a personal injury accident or fatality.
Visit us at theaccent.org and give us your comments.
Please, lets not wait until a student is killed to do something to enhance safety. Thanks, Sterling Hartman March 8, 2011
Want your comments and opinions published? Leave a comment on our website theaccent.org, like us on Facebook. com/AccentNewspaper and follow us on Twitter @theaccent or better yet, email us a letter at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be more than happy to publish your thoughts.
Want free SXSW swag? Photograph yourself reading our newspaper and then upload your photo on Facebook and tag The Accent Newspaper by 3 p.m. on April 14. We will be giving away a bag filled with goodies that Accent editors collected during SXSW to a random reader at the Rio Grande Campus before our next story meeting.
RRC, 4400 College Park Drive, Room 2107 Round Rock, TX 78665 Editor-in-Chief....................................................................................... Karissa Rodriguez Assistant Editor..................................................................................... Sarah Vasquez Photo Editor........................................................................................... Joey Gidseg Web Editor............................................................................................... Chris Scott Layout Editor.......................................................................................... Elizabeth Brown News Editor ............................................................................................ Hilary Shepherd Campus Editor....................................................................................... Natalee Blanchat Accent Adviser....................................................................................... Matthew Connolly Student Life Director.......................................................................... Cheryl Richard Student Life Communications Coordinator............................ Lori Blewett Staff Reporters Era Sundar Lead Photographers Dana Manickavasagam, Edgar Rodriguez Staff Designers Olga Race Writers Jason Witmer, Juliette Moak, Nick De Cesare, Jamie Carpenter-Estrada, Danielle Wellborn, Tyler Brackenbury, Jessica Blair, Bianca Flores, Ryan Janik, Sarah Grover Photographers Erica Bean, Rufus Barr, Saul Hernandez, Dustyn Cope, Walter Challapa, Ty Hardin, Pete Perrault Staff Artists Odin Amador, Megan McKay ACC President Dr. Stephen B. Kinslow Board of Trustees Dr. Barbara P. Mink—Chair; Allen H. Kaplan—Vice Chair; John Michael V. Cortez—Secretary, Tim Mahoney, Nan McRaven, Jeffrey Richard, Dr. Victor H. P. Villarreal, Guadalupe Q. Sosa, Dr. James W. McGufee All rights reserved. All content is the property of Accent and may not be reproduced, published or retransmitted in any form without written permission from the Office of Student Life. Accent is the student newspaper of Austin Community College and is printed by the Austin American-Statesman. Accent is published biweekly. ACC students may submit articles for publication in Accent to RRC’s Student Publication Office, Room 2107; e-mail articles to email@example.com or fax submissions to 223-0904. ACC does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation or disability. Accent offers ACC’s faculty, staff, students and surrounding community a complete source of information about student life. Accent welcomes your input, as well as information about errors. If you notice any information that warrants a correction please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Individual views, columns, letters to the editor and other opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Accent.
March 28, 2011
Community car show to be hosted at RVS
News → Education
DREAM Act spurs discussion
The Automotive Technology department in conjunction with the Latino/Latin American Studies Center will host the second annual car show at ACC’s Riverside campus, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 2. The all-ages event, which is open to students and community members, will feature classic hot rods from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. In addition to kid-friendly entertainment, food, and an iPod raffle, the event will feature live music by local artists DJ Lil Mondo and Trampia. “The purpose of the show is to raise money for scholarships for ACC students,” said Dr. Mariano Díaz-Miranda, director of the Latino/Latin American Studies Center. “This year, we have scholarship funds being raised for two different areas: high school students from Del Valle who will be attending ACC, and students in the automotive department.” Each scholarship will cover one year of tuition, or roughly $1,000, according to Díaz-Miranda. The funds will come from admission fees, which are $5 for adult spectators (12 and under are free), and $30 for car owners who wish to show off their vehicles and take part in the contest. The event is slated to take place the first Saturday of every April. Registration can be completed online or at the door.
Summer registration start dates updated ACC has announced an update to the upcoming summer 2011 registration calendar. While the start date for new students to register will remain unchanged, a credit-specific system has been put in place to give current and former students priority. Open registration for current and former students will run from April 7 to May 18, and students with the highest amount of credit hours will be eligible to register the earliest. Students with more than 60 credit hours, registration will begin April 7, whereas new students won’t be eligible to register until May 2. For students with 1-14 credits, registration will begin on April 23. Summer classes for all students will begin on Monday, May 23. Registration will not be available on April 30 and May 1. Students can register via phone, or in person at any of the advising centers on each campus. To see the complete registration calendar, visit austincc.edu/register.
Community invited to forum discussing cancer The Behavioral Sciences Department and Honors Human Growth and Development course will be sponsoring “Moving Beyond Cancer,” a forum featuring professionals from various health care backgrounds, April 1 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the Rio Grande Campus theater. According to psychology professor, MariaLi Ramos-Cancel, who organized the event forum, the purpose is to have it open to the community, and to provide information to those with cancer. Ramos-Cancel, a cancer survivor herself said“Yes, we can move on, said Ramos-Cancel. “We are more than cancer.” For information, contact Ramos-Cancel at email@example.com.
Blood drive to be hosted at Round Rock, Northridge campuses The Office of Student Life at the Round Rock Campus will partner with the Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas for a blood drive April 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Northridge and Round Rock campuses. Christopher Stevenson, community service director of the Student Activity Advisory Board, approached the non-profit organization to put on the drive. “I heard about it a couple semesters ago, and since I’m in the position to do something, I figured I would organize it,” said Stevenson. “This cause is important because it gives us a chance to give back.” Stevenson said he hopes to see at least 18 students give blood, because that’s the amount of students required for the mobile blood drive to appear on campus. Sponsors from the organization will provide treats from nearby restaurants like Steak ‘n Shake and Freebirds to qualified students who give blood. To get the word out further, Stevenson said he plans to post fliers at both campuses, as well as post details about the event on the student life website.
Activity board to host first 5K Riverbat Run The Student Activity Advisory Board (SAAB) will host the first Riverbat 5K Run on April 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Round Rock campus . “All are welcome: students, faculty, staff, friends and relatives,” said Christopher Stevenson, community service director of SAAB. Stevenson said the ultimate goal is to hold the event every year at a different campus. Participants can register online at runtex. com. More details on the event will available in April on the ACC homepage at austincc.edu.
Presidential finalists to attend college forums A series of forums featuring the finalists for the position of college president/CEO will take place at the Eastview Campus and Highland Business Center April 4-6. External forums will be held for the community as well as internal forums for the faculty, staff and students. Light refreshments will be provided at each forum. The three finalists are Dr. Donald Doucette of Indianapolis, Indiana; Dr. Katherine Persson of The Woodlands, Texas; and Dr. Richard Rhodes of El Paso, Texas. The board of trustees is expected to announce the final decision in May and current president, Dr. Stephen Kinslow, will remain in office until the new president begins.
Pete Perreault•Staff Photographer
FROM THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN — ACC student Marcos J. Larios and University of Texas students Daniel Olvera and
Prithvi Shahi relate their experiences as immigrant students at the conference on immigration at the Highland Business Center on March 4.
Students fight to re-introduce bill that would make it legal for undocumented citizens born or raised in the United States to obtain jobs after completing higher education Era Sundar Staff Reporter
Students spoke up and discussed in support of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2009 (DREAM Act) at the fourth annual Immigration, Education and Our Future Conference, sponsored by Austin Community College and St. Edward’s University on March 4. ACC student, Marcos Larios, participated in a panel discussion in support of the DREAM Act by sharing his personal story along with other student panelists. Larios traveled to Washington D.C. last year to lobby for the DREAM Act with fellow panelists Daniel Olvera and Prithvi Shahi who are both University of Texas (UT) students. Larios is a U.S. citizen and a first generation MexicanAmerican. He attended the congressional vote in D.C. to support a Student Government Association resolution in favor of the DREAM Act. “It was a privilege to meet senators and see how accessible my government is. I wish that could happen around the world,” Larios said. He urges voters to get to
know both sides of the issue so that they can make an informed decision. Larios’ fellow panelist Olvera, was brought to Texas by his mother at age 11 and is undocumented. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Olvera describes himself as an American at heart. Olvera said he wants to give back to his community by teaching high school social studies, completing law school and ultimately going into public service. “I love this country,” Olvera stated. Because of Texas law passed in 2001, undocumented students like Olvera are able to attend higher education. The law allows undocumented students who meet certain criteria to qualify for in-state tuition rates at local colleges and universities. However, without a path to citizenship, which the DREAM Act would provide, students like Olvera will be unable to find employment after graduation. Shahi, who also spoke on the panel, was brought to the U.S. from Nepal at age seven. He dreams of becoming a cardiologist. Like many other undocumented students,
he did not discover his undocumented status until he tried to get a driver’s license in high school. Speaking publicly about being undocumented can be risky, but hearing the stories from other students who were willing to risk deportation to support the DREAM Act gave him courage, said Shahi. An estimated 1.9 million undocumented children and young adults may be eligible for legal status under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2009 (DREAM Act), according to a Migration Policy Institute(MPI) report. Out of the 1.9 million people reported, approximately 238 thousand undocumented children and young adults live in Texas, according in the MPI report. The conference featured a panel of immigration and legislative experts, documented and undocumented student activists and Austin Police Chief Arturo Acevedo who spoke after the student panel. Acevedo is the first Hispanic to lead Austin’s police force and said that immigration issues should be approached from an intellectual standpoint rather than an emotional one. “As soon as the economy
turns around, the debate ends,” said Acevedo. “Other than being undocumented, most undocumented aliens are law-abiding citizens.” Acevedo explained that using local law enforcement to handle immigration issues, as proposed in recent Arizona legislation, takes resources away from more pressing crimes. “People are not concerned with the guy outside Home Depot you pick up to dig a ditch in your yard, or the nanny who watches the kids. They are concerned with crime,” said Acevedo. In December of 2010, the DREAM Act passed in the House, but failed in the Senate by a vote of 55-41, just five votes short of victory. “I thought that the movement would break down, but we came together and became stronger,” said Olvera. “We will fight for our future.”
More information on the DREAM Act, available resources and upcoming actions may be found at
News → Education
Council to discuss registration policies Mike Midgley explains possible policy changes concering late registration dates, reason behind them Hilary Shepherd
The ability to register for classes after the semester has begun could no longer be an option for some students. This topic will be discussed at an upcoming meeting for the Academic and Campus Affairs Council (ACAC) on April 1 at Highland Business Center. Currently, ACAC along with the Student Services Council and several other student support-focused groups and shared governance channels are in the process of reviewing a proposal that would eliminate late registration but keep a two day add/drop period during the first week of class. The reason for the possible change, according to Vice President of Instruction Mike Midgley, is because of recent studies conducted at various colleges that showed lower success rates from students who registered late.
One of the studies, administered by San Jacinto College in Houston in the fall of 2008, showed that, out of the 1,300 students who register for classes late, nearly half of them either failed or dropped out. Because of this recurring trend, the college has banned late registration. But the San Jacinto study was just one of many. “There is a lot of extensive research that shows that students who enroll for the first time after classes have already begun tend to not do as well as students who enroll in classes before they start,” said Midgley. The proposal was first introduced in October 2009 as part of the college’s Student Success Initiative (SSI), an institution-wide program aimed to dramatically increase student success rates. “Initially, the proposal stated that there wouldn’t be any add/ drops, and all registration would end at the same time,” said
Midgley. “Now, the SSI steering committee has proposed the idea of registration for new students stopping prior to classes beginning, instead of extending into the first week.” Midgley said the first two days of the semester would still be add/drop days. But although the goal of removing late registration is geared toward increasing student success, some worry that such a notion would limit access for some students. “I think some folks hesitate because they see it as a potential restriction. They see it as a barrier because it does limit access to some students. And that is a probable outcome, at least initially, until students get used to the new schedule and become accustomed to it.” Midgley said students who miss the registration deadline will still be able to register for 12-week courses. However, he noted that the assortment of classes offered during that time is often very limited. Another objection could be a short-term budget implication, which Midgley said has happened at colleges who have adopted a similar resolution. “I don’t think it will have a dramatically significant impact [on the budget], but I think
in the long run, if it is indeed implemented, students would become accustomed to the new cut-off dates,” he said. On Friday, April 1, the ACAC will hold another meeting in which they will discuss the proposal further. Should the initiative pass, the last step will be getting President Kinslow to sign it. Midgley said he hopes the proposal is close to being finalized. “We have traditionally been an open-access institution, and we still are. We want everyone to enroll and do well, but for the last couple of years, we’ve been putting a lot more emphasis on helping students succeed and finding ways to do that, and we think this is one of those ways.” Previously, the proposal was on the agenda at the past two ACAC meetings. However, the Feb. 4 meeting was canceled due to inclement weather and the March 4 meeting was canceled because not enough members were in attendance to conduct a quorum. To read more about late registration and add/drop dates visit theaccent.org
page 4 | News
March 28, 2011
News → Events
Fighting world hunger with speech Public speaking class provides educational information, helps poverty cause at CROP walk Natalee Blanchat Campus Editor
Assistant Professor Theresa Glenn’s Public Speaking class (SPCH 1315) is one Austin Community College speech course that integrates service learning with course curriculum. Students in Glenn’s class volunteered to raise money and awareness at the 33rd annual Community Reaching Out to People (CROP) Hunger walk on March 5-6 at Walter E. Long Park Metro Park and Lake. The CROP Hunger walk is intended to raise money to support local and international hunger relief and refugee support efforts in poverty ridden countries. Glenn incorporates in her class’ course requirements that students are required to participate in a service learning project for the CROP walk through the service learning program at ACC. According to Glenn, the service learning program has shown an increase in student retention rates as they become more connected to the community through the material they’re learning, receiving a type of kinesthetic learning experience. “Its beneficial to the community because the students are sharing lots of educational material with them, they’re actually using the skill sets we taught in class about public speaking out here in the real world,” said Glenn. “It
brings alive what the textbook can’t do in the classroom.” 48 students enrolled in Glenn’s class participated at the CROP Hunger walk by preparing a six-minute symposium presented in the classroom based on their research that touched on assigned topics-from lack of education, disease, natural disaster reliefs, and clean food sources-sticking to the theme for causes of global hunger. Students then went on-site to the park in order to provide a one-minute summary of their presentations for walkers at stations along the trail. “Students are learning about each other, interacting and having fun and then they go back to the classroom and take that experience with them knowing that they’re changing over 400 walkers opinions on different issues of global hunger,” said Glenn. Stephan Sheftall, a criminal justice major, did his presentation on the lack of clean drinking water in African countries such as Nigeria by showing walkers a diagram of children who are five to six years of age and cannot attend school because they have to spend their days looking for clean drinking sources for their families. “Its been interesting showing people the different activities we have, like demonstrating how hard it is for other parts of the world to get clean drinking water,” said Sheftall. “Its good to show
Michael Samaripa•Staff Photographer
PATH OF PURPOSE — Participants in the Austin CROP Hunger Walk pass by various national flags that represent the walk’s sponsored countries as part of this year’s annual walk held March 5 and 6 at Walter E. Long Park. people that we have it pretty easy here in the United States compared with the rest of the planet.” Another student in Glenn’s class, graphic design major Jordan Stubbs, facilitated a game of “live or die” in which walkers toss a bean bag through a hole, fictionally ending world hunger, at the natural relief station. The station gave information on natural disaster relief programs including the American Red Cross and 27 other organizations that provided food, water, and clothing during the Haiti earthquake. “We’re trying to make people aware of things that are
going on in the world. There are a lot of things that people don’t really think about or consider,” said Stubbs. “My teacher, my classmates, and I, we’re just trying to spread the word.” This is the second year that Glenn has incorporated service learning as part of her curriculum. She believes should be incorporated in every public speaking classroom. “There’s no reason to give a speech unless it has meaning so the students,” said Glenn. “When students participate in service learning they actually what they take what they are learning in the classroom and bringing it out to help the community,” said Glenn.
Michael Samaripa•Staff Photographer
THAILAND — Miniature flags adorn a table at the Austin CROP walk. Participants were given a choice of which country they wished to support.
March meetings inform about current budgets cuts Various campuses provide students data forums concerning school cuts Sarah Grover Staff Writer
Higher education budget cuts are looming over Austin Community College (ACC) and the college has been making sure that students are well aware of the impact the cuts will have on the college through a series of budget forum meetings throughout the month of
March. Four more meetings on March 28-30 remain out of a total of 10 meetings , held at various campuses, that present students, staff, and faculty with information about ACC’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Planning Assumptions and Directives. Neil Vickers, ACC associate vice president of finance and budget, is in charge of
conducting the meetings. 13 faculty and staff members attended the March 22 forum at Rio Grande Campus where Vickers discussed why the forums are being hosted. “The reason that these forums were started was to start sharing information that was going on outside of ACC, and how it will impact the college,” said Vickers.” [These forums] share with you what we are seeing in the economy, the state, the nation, wherever it may be, and how these were impacting the college’s budget.” In addition to relaying what will affect the college’s budget, the forums will also discuss what
will happen to the faculty, staff, and students directly. The state is currently facing a reduction in existing funding levels of 15 billion dollars, according to information provided during the meeting. Due to growth in service needs, this is actually a 27 billion dollar shortfall in order to maintain the same service levels that the state was able to provide in previous years. According to Vickers, 60 percent of the state budget is allotted for education. 45 percent of the education budget is for public education and 15 percent is for higher education. Because so much
Gun bill 750 heads to House continued from pg. 1
Dana Manickavasagam•Lead Photographer
REMEMBERING THE PAST — ”It’s like reliving these things when you talk about it,” said Jim Bryce speaking about surviving the UT shooting of 1966. Bryce spoke at a hearing against SB 354 concerning concealed handguns on post secondary campus’ at the Capitol on March 22.
host to every type of violent crime found through the rest of society,” said Lewis. “I think its important that people hear from [SCCC] what this issue is really about because our opponents try to portray some sort of ideological battle or as being kind of a knee jerk reaction to instances like Virginia Tech, which its not” said Lewis. “Its about ensuring that people are not denied the means to protect themselves without just cause.” University of Texas student John Woods is a Virginia Tech University survivor and the director of Students for Gun Free Schools. He testified at both hearings opposing concealed carry on campus laws. “I’d like [legislators] ideally to back off of this issue, and I hope they will vote against the bill in committee. I hope the Legislature will not pass this legislation,” said Woods. Woods notes that SB 354 and other similar bills do not take into account how the law will be implemented if passed. “I think that this bill was written without taking into consideration the very legitimate issue that colleges face,” said Woods. “For example, what happens if you have to discipline a student? What happens if you have to fire an employee? Are those really meetings where it’s a good idea for the subject of the meeting to come in armed?” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo also warned both committees in his testimony that introducing weapons into the sometimes emotionally charged social atmospheres at colleges could expand the potential for violence. SB 354 is authored by Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) who is also a board member for ACC’s Center for Public Policy and Political Studies. Wentworth authored the bill because he believes that allowing concealed guns on campus would provide a safer environment. “I want to put an element of doubt in a potential shooter’s mind. And, if some deranged person does open fire in a Texas college classroom or dormitory, I want to give faculty, staff, and students the ability to defend themselves,” wrote Wentworth in a press release. Both SB 354 and HB 750 would only allow CHL owners to carry concealed weapons on college campuses. However, there are exceptions to the state law: members or former members of the military need only be 18, and an ongoing Texas lawsuit, supported by the National Rifle Association, seeks to reduce the license age minimum to 18. If passed into law, SB 354 and/or HB 750 would be effective on Sept. 1, 2011.
money is allotted for education, a logical deduction can be made that, where the bulk of the money is, the same is where the cuts will be, according to Vickers. ACC’s Board of Trustees have proposed many options in order to counteract the state budget shortfall. One of the proposed bills is House Bill 1 which proposes that because of the lack of state funding, ACC will suffer a $12.1 billion dollar reduction. This budget reduction will affect students and faculty alike, according to information provided at the forum. Students will experience
a tuition increase and faculty will witness a reduction in their retirement and insurance plans. Other bills have been proposed, but they all have similar results for faculty and students. Students, staff and faculty are invited to attend future meetings to help come up with the best decisions to make in order to make up the budget deficit. “ACC will be able to reconstruct its funding model becoming less dependent on the state and therefore having a stronger more stable budget going forward,” said Vickers. “ACC does not have a budget problem, but the state does.”
News → Events
Funds raised by donations at garage sale, silent auction Sarah Grover Staff Writer
Students and community members are invited to donate their old belongings to Austin Community College’s Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) organization which will be hosting their 6th annual garage sale and silent auction at the Eastview Campus on March 31. Donated items will be available for purchase at the garage sale beginning at 9 a.m. and also start bidding in the silent auction at 11 a.m. Both events will run until 3 p.m.. All of the proceeds from the sales will go toward benefiting the TACHE scholarship fund for ACC students. Shari Rodriquez, an ACC business analyst, has been the garage sales coordinator for the past five years and said that anyone can donate their items for the sale, which works like a typical garage sale. “Items will be priced and categorized and put into their perspective areas,” said Rodriquez. “People will then take the items they chose to a checkout point near the door and can purchase the items using cash, check, or credit card via PayPal.” Items collected from previous garage sales included
computer, electronics, household goods, kitchen ware, books, athletic equipment, clothing, toys and furniture. “We are accepting all gently used items,” said Rodriquez. “The goal is to have all items received the Sunday before the sale, so that a sufficient amount of time will be given for organizing the donated goods.” Typically in the past five years any items that were not sold during the garage sale were donated to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, however, Rodriquez said that this year she would like to propose that volunteers who participate in the garage sale chose a local non-profit organization, that way once the sale is over, items that were left over can be donated to their charity of choice. “I would like to keep the donations as close to home as possible,” said Rodriquez. According to Rodriquez, Eastview Campus Manager Juanita Mendez added new donation times for the convenience of those who would like to donate to the garage sale. Donations will be accepted during regular campus hours leading up to the event. Anyone who would like to donate to the garage sale is advised to contact Mendez’s office for further instructions.
CAMPUS LIFE Page 5
March 28, 2011
Campus Life → Riverside Campus
Students comfort cancer patients
Students decorate stuffed animals to give to oncology patients as part of Phi Theta Kappa project Sarah Grover Staff Writer
Various students tapped into their creative side to give back to the community by decorating stuffed animals that will be given to oncology patients around Austin hospitals. The project, titled “Mary Bears” held on March 7 at the Riverside campus, was started in the fall semester by the chapters of the international community college honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, as a tribute to the Texas Regional Coordinator of Phi Theta Kappa, Mary Hood, who is currently undergoing a battle with leukemia. The event was supplied with teddy bears, pieces of cloth, buttons, ribbons and glue guns. Many students stopped in between classes to make outfits for the bears, dress them, and give them names. According to Riverside Vice President for Phi Theta Kappa, Christina Olvera, the event produced around 100 stuff animals last semester. Olvera said she hopes to make that number higher every semester, giving the projected goal for this semester to be around 150 bears. When that goal is met,
the bears will be delivered to two Austin Texas Oncology locations, dropped off at the on-site coordinator who will disperse the bears to the different patients. “Last semester we were really geared up, and this semester we just wanted to do it again,” said Olvera. “A lot of students really enjoy coming and playing with the bears.” Olvera, who has also been personally affected by knowing a loved-one with cancer, said that this is a way for her to reach out and help others deal with those hard-pressed emotions. “I’ve dealt with cancer in my family, so it’s important to me to try to uplift the spirit’s of people who have to deal with it,” said Olvera. Once the Mary Bears project is completed, Olvera said that she, along with the many other contributors, will have the satisfaction of knowing they “brightened someone’s day.” “Its a great feeling to know that you gave back to others and help someone’s day get better,” said Olvera. One member of Phi Theta Kappa, a two-year international business major, Andres Rivera, said that the event really struck
Dana Manickavasagam•Lead Photographer
NEVER TOO YOUNG — Elyse Olvera-Escobar helps out Phi Theta Kappa by decorating a rabbit for cancer patients. OlveraEscobar was at Riverside Campus with her mother for the Mary H Bears decorating event. home for him because he has dealt with the disease himself and can relate to the struggle cancer patients face. “I felt a connection [with the patients], because I’ve been sick, and sometimes you feel like no one is there to talk to you,” said Rivera. “When we give [the patients] a bear, every time they look at it, they will remember that someone made
it just for them.” Rivera not only helped work the event, but he also participated in making a bear because he hopes that it will “bring a bit of happiness to the patients” and ultimately help them get better. “I think it will help the patients with their recovery,” said Rivera. “It will remind them that they are not alone.”
Finished bears start to pile up as members from Phi Theta Kappa decorate them. Phi Theta Kappa is hoping to donate over a hundred bears this semester to area chemotherapy patients. Dana Manickavasagam•Staff Photographer
Campus Life → Riverside campus
SGA senator wins Miss Congeniality title Sabrina Holland competes in state-wide pageant Dana Manickavasagam
Plus size pageant contestant Sabrina Holland, an SGA senator at Riverside Campus, was crowned first runner-up and moved on to compete at the state pageant on March 18 and 19 in Richardson, Texas. At the state pageant, Holland earned the title “Miss Congeniality.” Holland competed in the interview, elegant pants wear, evening gown, and responsibility categories at the Texas State Plus America Pageant for the title of Ms. Capitol of Texas Plus America on Feb. 25. After performing a short choreographed number at the Texas State Plus America
Pageant, the contestants were asked to present their platforms. Holland’s goal is to connect the hearing with the deaf and hardof-hearing community. “I did the whole introduction in sign language,” said Holland. She first became interested in sign language when she was unable to understand a co-worker of her mother’s who tried to communicate with her. When introductions were over, contestants ran backstage to get ready for the elegant pants wear competition. Being the first one on stage, Holland was unprepared for the fast pace that went on backstage. “I didn’t know what to expect, just that it would be fun. I didn’t think it would be chaotic, but it was when we went back to get dressed,” said Holland. “They had a lot people who weren’t in the pageant who were there helping us, helping us put on our dresses or our shoes. We even had a lady who did our make-up.” Following the evening gown category of the competition, the contestants were interviewed and were asked questions such as “Why they should be Queen
of Queens?” “If they were givers or takers?” and “Who they thought was the most important person in the world?” After everything was done, the winners were announced. “I got first runner-up. I had some family and friends that were in the audience, and they were yelling ‘Sabrina’ and I cried,” said Holland. Holland feels lucky to share this experience with her daughter Shamika Lewis, who is also a student at ACC. Lewis came in as third runner up, and also competed in the Miss Capitol of Texas Plus America again with Holland at the state level. “I would encourage all mothers to do this if their daughters are interested in pageants,” said Holland. Holland plans to graduate at the end of this semester, and has already been offered a full scholarship to University of Texas at Arlington, but she doesn’t think she will go there because they don’t offer sign language classes. “My passion is sign language and I’m going to follow my passion and follow my dreams,” said Holland.
Dana Manickavasagam•Lead Photographer
MISS CONGENIALITY — Sabrina Holland poses wearing the crown and sash she won at the Miss Capitol of Texas Plus pageant on Feb 25. Holland won Miss Congeniality on March 18-19 at the State Pageant held in Richardson, TX.
Multiple Legislative bills were recently introduced that would require all new and transfering college students to receive bacterial meningitis vaccines before enrolling at a college or university. Do you think the Legislature should require students to receive the vaccine?
Ulysses Canales, 20 Pre-med, Possibly transferring “I think it would be right to make it a requirement. Bacterial meningitis is quite severe, and if a student were to be infected and it could have been prevented, and there was the choice to have it be a requirement and it doesn’t get passed then who would be at fault? There is a slight financial issue, some may not be able to afford it unless it’s paid for by the school. Last time I checked, it was $150 for the shot.”
Chloe Evans, 24 Psychology, transferring to grad school “I think it’s a good idea as long as they pay for it. It would be my only reservation. I just don’t see why not. Vaccines for the most part, in terms of safety, scientifically and logically it makes sense. There really shouldn’t be an argument against it. There’s horror stories of people dying from vaccines, but it’s rare and illogical to assume that this would be a bad idea.”
Gaby Alvarez, 18 Chemistry, Planning on transferring “I think it’s both a good and bad idea. Good, because prevention of diseases is essential. I think they should make it wider known, and possibly have a forum to inform not only new, but current students. If passed, I am curious if the schools will pay for it considering they’re going to be requiring it. Because, not everyone has the means or ways to pay for that after paying increased tuition and books.” All interviews and photos by Dustyn Cope
page 6 | Campus Life
Learned What I’ve
March 28, 2011
Ty Tyner Sarah Vasquez
Dana Manickavasagam•Staff Photographer
COLOR ME TALENTED — Comic book colorist Ty Tyner at STAPLE!, an Independent Media Expo. Tyner had a booth where he had some of his art work on display.
Ty Tyner was the guy in his high school class doodling in his notebook instead of taking notes. Now he gets paid to be a graphic designer and a comic book colorist. Tyner currently works on EPIC comic about a teenager who gets superpowers. However, once he’s around girls, he loses his cool and his superpowers. “When I heard the pitch, I was like that’s great. I want to be involved in this project. I ended up being the colorist for that book,” said Tyner. Tyner moved to Austin with his friends and looked at the programs of the different colleges in the area. He chose Austin Community College because of what they offered. “At the time, I wanted to study 3D animation, and ACC had a better program than [University of Texas in Austin (UT)]. So that’s why I ended up at ACC, because I liked their art program a little better than UT. UT’s was a little more traditional at the time,” said Tyner. He graduated with an associate degree in visual communication design in 2000 and started looking for a job. Because of his classes at ACC, he already had a portfolio he could present at his interviews. “I did a bunch of interviews and stuff, and I landed my first gig,” said Tyner. “Pretty much, my whole portfolio was from ACC at that point. But it’s funny, the job I ended up landing didn’t even look at my portfolio at all. OK, we’ll take your word for it.” Tyner feels that the education he received at ACC is still helping him with his job working with comic books. “It definitely taught me a good bit about design and had a good program as far as design goes,” said Tyner. “I think I grew as an artist definitely when I was there. I did some life drawing classes.
At the time, I didn’t think I needed them because I was like I’m a computer designer, but now that I’m doing the comic thing, I’m actually doing more painting. It actually does come back into play.” That comic thing he’s referring to is a recent development. Tyner was always interested in comic books and knew he wanted to get in the business somehow. “That started about maybe two and a half years ago. I always read comics, and I wanted to be involved in the comic industry somehow. I never really thought about coloring or maybe doing lettering or something like that. I couldn’t draw well enough to be a Marvel DC artist,” said Tyner. But, he was inspired to become a colorist by a podcast. “I heard a podcast somewhere. This guy was a colorist and he was talking about the process and how it worked. I started looking into it and realized I was actually pretty good at it. My graphic design and Photoshop background really helped me have a leg up on anybody else, because you have to know these programs to do it. But once you get in that foundation, it made it easier for me to transition into this. And, I’ve been doing this for about two years now, doing independent work and different books,” said Tyner. Now with EPIC Comic issue #0 released and issue #1 on the way, Tyner is now riding the comic convention circuit visiting cities around the country. Recently, he showcased his art at STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo on March 5 and 6. Tyner likes attending these conventions because it gives him the opportunities to meet fellow artists and art fans. “It’s great. I did New York Comic Con this last year and Baltimore as well. It’s great to actually get out there and experience all these different cities and same kind of subcultures, but in a different town. You meet different people from all over the world. It’s pretty awesome,” said Tyner.
March 28, 2011
Sources: ACC Police Department, UT Police Department, Austin Police Department, ACC Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Accountability, UT Office of Information Management and Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce 2010 Census
Campus Life | Page 7
Graphic by Elizabeth Brown, Layout Editor
March 28, 2011
Ready, set, get active Tyler Brackenbury Staff Writer
Saul Hernandez•Staff Photographer
THREE, TWO, ONE DODGEBALL! — Dodgeball team members of ACC Intramural’s Co-ed Dodgeball League, based out of Round Rock, position themselves along the central dividing line, before the opening rush. The teams meet over at the Austin Sports Arena.
Students shoot, kick, throw balls at Intramural Sports and Recreation events hosted by Office of Student Life With spring break over and classes back in session, students involved in Student Life’s Intramural Sports and Recreation program met on March 21 to compete in a wide variety of sports. Students participated at two different locations: the Austin Sports Arena for co-ed ﬂoorball, soccer, and dodgeball and at South Austin SoccerZone for women’s basketball and men’s soccer games. Women’s soccer started the night off with a close game between the Gunners and FC Austin with FC Austin squeezing out a close win at 6-5. The next game saw teams Sting and Phoenix play just as close as FC Austin and the Gunners did. It was a back and forth game, but team Sting edged out the Phoenix 7-6. After women’s soccer, women’s basketball began. Teams Storm and Sparks battled it out and ﬂew by quickly. Storm came out with an impressive 59-41 win over the Sparks. Game two of the evening took place between Storm and
the Silver Stars. Storm stayed hot and ended the night without losing, defeating the Silver Stars 75-61. Men’s soccer ended the evening for the intramural sports and recreation games. In the ﬁrst of four games RevUnited and the Football Players went on a scoring rampage. The Football Players came out on top, winning 12-9 in a back and forth thriller. The scoring stayed hot and the Gold Nuggets defeated the Gray Goalies 17-15 in the next game. With a full night of soccer still to go, the next game saw The Primos and the Black Bombers duel it out with the Black Bombers coming out victorious, winning 14-13 in the closest game of the evening. The ﬁnal game of the night was a match between Green Machines and the Red Raiders. The Red Raiders barely escaped with a 13-12 victory over the Green Machines. More sports and intramural games are scheduled and the season will end with elimination style tournaments for women’s volleyball on April 2 and men’s basketball on April 9.
Pete Perreault•Staff Photographer
▲ UP IN ARMS — Catalina Mancera (left) attempts to block Dallas Diaz (right) in the first women’s ACC intramural basketball game of the season.
▶ READY, AIM, KICK!—
Cindy Lunsford drives the ball toward the goal during a scrimmage at Soccer Zone on March 21.
Pete Perreault•Staff Photographer
Intramural Sports & Recreation Calendar of Events accstudentlife.info Women’s Soccer Co-ed Floorball Co-ed Soccer Co-ed Dodgeball Women’s Basketball Men’s Soccer Men’s Soccer Thursday, March 31 Men’s Basketball Women’s Volleyball Saturday, April 2 Women’s Volleyball Tournament Monday, April 4 Women’s Soccer Co-ed Floorball Co-ed Soccer Co-ed Dodgeball Women’s Basketball Men’s Soccer
Saul Hernandez•Staff Photographer
▲ DODGE THE BALL, NOT THE BOOKS — ACC student(s) can come out to Austin Sports Arena to play Co-ed Dodgeball with other dodgeball enthusiasts.
Thursday, April 7 Men’s Basketball Women’s Volleyball
� DODGE THIS — A student keeps his Saul Hernandez•Staff Photographer
opponent in his sights, ready to eliminate him. ACC Intramural’s hold their dodgeball games inside of the Austin Sports Arena.
LIFE & ARTS March 28, 2011
Page 9 Arts → Music
Arts → Music
Christian musician performs for faith
The Nouns not just a play on words Garage band struggled with band name, genre before settling on The Nouns moniker Sarah Vasquez
The name The Nouns may sound like a declaration of love for a part of speech, but in actuality, it’s a play on the common theme of some current band names. “We were walking home from a Black Keys show,” said Nick Stout, drummer for the Nouns. “I said have you noticed there’s a lot of bands called the white nouns or the black nouns or the colored nouns? [Travis Beall] said how about just The Nouns? That would be cool because that is like every band ever. The Stones. The Who.” But before that conversation, the guys didn’t know what they were going to call the band. “We were the American Rabbit Breeders Association at the time. We thought about the Centaur Cowboys, but we felt like that would be misconstrued as cowboys that were riding on centaurs,” said Beall, vocalist/ guitarist. “When we really wanted centaurs who were cowboys,” said Stout, who is also an English major at Austin Community College. Stout and Beall have been playing in a band together since they were 13 years old. They first met at a rock band camp with the Austin School of Music. “We were in this really crappy emo band,” said Stout. After that emo band and Beall’s screamo band Goonies Never Say Die, they ran across a DVD that inspired a new sound for the band. “We found a DVD of The Who Live at the Isle of Wight in my closet in my old house, and we watched that. We were like oh, this a genre where you can be aggressive yet melodic at the same time, because we were looking for that. It is a genre that everyone likes, but you can still have anger in it,” said Stout. Bassist Chris Rodriguez
recently joined after he met Beall and Stout at a party in August, and talked about similar music. “Travis asked him if he could play bass. And he was like yeah, I know how to play a little bit of the bass. I’m not very good. We’re like that’s exactly what we’re looking for. Because most of the times when you find a bassist per say, it’s such a niche thing that they’re really into,” said Stout. “So he fit perfectly in the band.” That conversation sparked the guys to invite Rodriguez to a practice with the band. “We originally talked about playing harmonica, but that didn’t work out too well. A guitar, drums, and a harmonica was the plan,” said Rodriguez. “I was two hours late to our first practice.” While the songs do have actual titles, the band has their own way of naming the songs between them. They classify themselves with genres such as surf songs, country songs, and indie songs. “Before [Chris was] in the band, back when we used to play metal, we had a song in our metal band called Indie Song that wasn’t even indie at all. It was just a metal song. But for some reason, it was called Indie Song which never made sense to me still to this day, but... yeah, we’ve been doing that forever,” said Stout. But the actual song titles themselves have back stories of their own. The song they call the country song is actually called “The Amazing Tale of Mr. Herbert and His Fabulous Alpine Cowboys Baseball Club.” “Which is a title of a book Nick’s father wrote,” said Rodriguez. “It’s about a small West Texas baseball team that my grandpa was on,” said Stout. Because the band plays intensely live, it’s becoming a common thing for The Nouns at
Edgar Rodriguez•Lead Photographer
SMILE — Eric Merino smiles for a picture. Merino is an adminstrative assistant and also raps to spread the word of God.
Eric Merino finds passion through rapping messages Ryan Janik Staff Writer
Erica Bean•Staff Photographer
THE NOUNS — Lead Singer Travis Beall, guitarist Chris Rodriguez, and drummer Nick Stout plays to a crowd of music lovers and students alike at a house in UT Campus.
their live shows. There is a photo on The Noun’s Facebook page of Stout’s blistered and bleeding hands from drumming. Beall has also made himself bleed at shows as well. “Travis bled at the New Year’s show on the bridge,” said Rodriguez. “I’ve hurt myself in some way at every show we’ve ever played,” said Beall. “The hurting myself isn’t on purpose.”
“When you rip the strings off your guitar, that always seems to do it,” said Stout. Even though the band isn’t a year old, they’ve already recorded a three-song EP, named Warehouse Sessions. They used a borrowed portable recorder and recorded their songs at Texas Coffee Traders in East Austin. “They came out a lot better than we thought they would,” said Beall.
“We were like wow. We recorded 10 tracks. Those came out the best,” said Rodriguez. Now, the band is thinking about the next album. While they don’t have any set plans, they have a few ideas of how to record it. “We want to record to tape like magnetic tape for sure... but we’re just weighing our options,” said Beall. “We want it to be really good,” said Stout.
Arts → Music
East Cameron Folkcore rises from ashes
New album presents final recordings, songs from former band member Sarah Vasquez
East Cameron Folkcore will present a two-night album release show for their upcoming album Sound and Fury: Songs in the Key of Love and Death on April 8 and 9 at Blue Theatre. The theatre only seats 85 people, however, the choice of venue was intentional. “We basically had the idea of wanting to do it in a theater setting because it’s going to be a theatrical show. We’re playing the whole album from the start of the album. It was written as a concept album, based on a Greek Tragedy, based on our story basically,” said vocalist/ guitarist Jesse Moore. The music on Sound and Fury is a reflection of dealing with the lost of a friend. In October 2009, Jesse Moore’s Bankrupt and the Borrowers band mate Jon Pettis died in a house fire which also left the survivors with no home and only the clothes on their backs. Afterwards, Moore used previous material he had written with Pettis and wrote newer songs that became the upcoming album Sound and Fury.
“Immediately after the fire, Jesse locked himself in his room for a month to do this album before he left to go to Connecticut and shaped a lot of what this album is now. We used at least half those songs on there,” said Blake Berstein, trombone player for East Cameron Folkcore. “And that brings out how much Jon’s on the record that directly contributed to several of those songs,” said Allen Dennard, back up vocalist. Pettis can also be heard on the album. Several of the songs were recorded with Moore as he contributed with the song writing. However, there are some songs such as the first single “Start Over” that people assume was written after the fire. “That was actually the last song that I wrote before Bankrupt and the Borrowers started,” said Moore. “It just became prolific in some way of how everything happened, of what happened and... what we all had to do. Basically start over from scratch and figure out what we’re gonna do after losing Jon and going through all that.” “I was going through all these tracks… and I saw a track
Pete Perreault•Staff Photographer
ALL IN HARMONY — Members of East Cameron Folkcore combine their vocals and instruments for a joyous sound at Emo’s on March 4. that said ‘Start Over with Jon,’” said Eric Lopez, bassist. “It’s [Moore and Pettis] sitting down playing, which really turned my face white, because I had no idea that this song had existed. I just assumed it was written in the context that most people see it as a new song about starting over when in fact, it was an older song.” The collective of musicians, from various bands such as Van Buren Boys, Clyde and Clem’s Whiskey Business, and Hobomouth, first formed as a side project for Moore. “In the beginning, Jon and
I got together on my birthday a couple of years ago, recorded ‘Doctor’s Orders’ and just having everybody living in the same neighborhood, everyone just came over and recorded parts on it. Folkcore just started as a side thing,” said Moore. The same neighborhood is along East Cameron road - south of 51st Street in East Austin. As the bands realized they were playing in the same venues and lived in close proximity of each other, they eventually started hanging out more at shows and in the neighborhood.
“We just got together and started playing a bunch of folkier songs that I had that didn’t really fit into Bankrupt. It was kind of a side thing, and then after the fire, just became our main project to work on,” said Moore. “It’s the only safe place for me to make music at all anymore. I didn’t think I was going to make music, and I probably wouldn’t if it weren’t for this band. I’ve stopped all the other [bands]. Well I got one more band to quit, but it won’t be this one,” said Dennard.
Eric Merino has worked at ACC for over ten years, and is currently an administrative assistant for the Dean of Health Science. When he’s not working, he performs Christian rap as part of his ministry. Merino has been performing Christian rap since 2001. Things didn’t start there however. “I never studied music, we used to just freestyle... at clubs, wherever. We were rhymin’ all the time. If I could find a beat, I’d get on it,” said Merino. However, before he was saved, Merino used to party and live a wild life. Though he was raised in the Christian faith it was never a major concern. Then in 1999, everything changed. “I lived for drugs, women, and money,” said Merino. “My mom was saved and really got into the church. She was constantly trying to get me to join her, but I didn’t want any part of it.” Then one night, Merino came home from a party and saw a bible on his night stand. He picked it up and read “If you’re God, then show me something, show me you’re there.” He tossed the bible on the bed and took a shower. When he returned, the bible was open to Romans 10:9: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” “It was right there. I got down on my knees and asked God to be my God,” said Merino. Since renewing his faith, Merino strives to spread the message of Christ though his music, but not without troubles. “The trouble comes (when visiting new churches with his music) with people only knowing secular rap which uses profane language and talk mostly about money, clothes, and hoes. Most people in the church push it away...until they listen to the positive message,” said Merino. Eric’s music conveys his life story and how his faith changed his life. These days, he records from life performances with house bands using drums, piano, guitar and bass. He uses his music in his own ministry and as a motivation tool at youth rallies. “When I was young, I had questions that weren’t dealt with in church. If I had those questions at such a young age, then how many other young people do? I do this mostly to help the younger people.” He uses his lyrics to help understand how bible teachings can be integrated into a realistic lifestyle. He even brings his faith into the workplace. “The thing about our faith is that it spills over into what we do. My job at ACC, I love. I can help people without just ministry speak. I get to help people become medical professionals. These people are always coming back to thank me for all my help, and that’s really what’s all about: making a difference in people’s lives,” said Merino.
March 28, 2011
Life & Arts | Page 10
Arts → Music
Journalism professor rocks out off campus
STARFCKR – Reptilians
A name change is on the way. The new album is just as dance inducing as the first two.
The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar
The first full-length album is a formidable force of good music. Containing elements of indie and heavier rock tones, the group delivers more than enough memorable songs.
R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now
The wait is over. Get ready to rock out to the best R.E.M. since their 2008 release.
Saul Hernandez•Staff Photographer
CURLS, SPUNK, AND A KAZOO — Torrisi is the front woman for the Austin band Jessie Torrisi and The Please, Please Me. The band was one of many that performed at this year’s SXSW. Jessie has played drums for 12 different bands.
Trap Them - Darker Handcraft
Heavy bass, speedy riffs, and the must-needed yelling-styled vocals, this is crazy face-to-face metal at its best. Trap Them has evolved into what heavy metal should be.
Jessie Torrisi and The Please, Please Me switch instruments during live show to create lively carnival-style vibe Bianca Flores
By day, she is an Austin Community College journalism professor, but at night, she is a rock star. Jessie Torrisi is the lead singer in Jessie Torrisi and the Please, Please Me. She has played in about a dozen bands since her college days. Now that South by Southwest Music Festival is over, her band will start recording a follow-up to the previous album Brûler Brûler. It was recorded in 2009. “It’ll be both more rocking and more indie than the last album. I’m using my own band which’ll give it a cohesive sound, more like a band and less like a singer-songwriter. Also, I’ll be
playing the drums,” said Torrisi. Torrisi started playing the drums at 14. She played other instruments, but drums were her calling. While in New York for school, she played in dozens of bands. After the end of these bands, she decided to move from her comfort zone behind the drums, to leading the band and writing the songs. “Sometimes I’d write it three times before I’m like this is it, this is it,” said Torrisi. “You just somehow know and sometimes, you get to this point, and you realize this is going to make people feel something.” The band name Please, Please Me get a big kick from Torrisi’s publicist who was into another band with a name that rhymed. “I was totally smitten with
the fact that it rhymed. So, I started messing around with what would rhyme. Please, Please Me beamed into my head. I felt like it fit, because all our songs are about the chase, they’re about the desire, they’re about going for it,” said Torrisi. At the beginning of 2009, she left New Orleans to head to Austin. She realized at a past SXSW that she liked Austin. “This is a town where things are really accessible, and people can do amazing things. It’s sunny, and it’s friendly,” said Torrisi. Jessie Torrisi and the Please, Please Me is a four piece band, and can easily be described as a “carnival band” with a very nontraditional style. On stage, the members are move to different instruments: cellos, guitar,
trumpet, and keyboards. “The experience about going to a live show should be an experience. We pull the audience on stage. We switch places. I hand out kazoos. I sing a song while sitting on a table in the middle of the club. We try really to make it more of an experience and something different than you could even imagine by listening to the album, a little bit like a carnival playhouse,” said Torrisi. Torrisi even beatboxes, a skill she learned through online videos. “I typed in to YouTube ‘How to beatbox,’ and then you start watching the videos. I am a drummer, so I do understand the beats,” said Torrisi. “It’s given me some street cred with my little brother.”
Arts → Games and Tech
Students relax with video games
Arts → Food
Food for thought:Riverside Jessica Blair
Figuring out what to eat between classes is an important decision for any college student. Most campuses have some form of a Simon’s Cafe. However, stepping away from the campus provides other choices to fill those tummies. Accent will feature several restaurants around the different campuses. In this issue, we feature Riverside.
Adrienne Sparks•Staff Photographer
QUAKE BREAK — ACC student, Kris Adams, takes a break from studying computer engineering to relieve some stress by playing online first-person shooter, Quake.
Scale: $ = 15 dollars and under an entree $$ = 15 to 20 dollars an entree $$$ = 20 to 25 dollars an entree
Student lounges, libraries abound with gamers Jason Witmer
Alonzo Tacos 901 Montopolis
Alonzo Tacos 907 Montopolis Drive
This particular restaurant is a true hole in the wall. If people are not looking for it, they will miss it, because there are a lot of other buildings near it. This place is well worth trying to find. They have many specials. One of them is the crispy taco plate. This dish comes with two tacos, rice, and refried beans. The owners offer students a free drink to those that present their school ID at the register. Honestly, the people that work here are very friendly, fast, and hospitable. They bring a new meaning to the word fast food, being that the wait time is less than 10 minutes. Their hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. For students that use the ACC Green Pass, the location of this restaurant is on the 350 bus route. If students want a quick bite and don’t have a lot of money, this is a place to go. $
Saul Hernandez•Staff Photographer
Tin Cup Grill 1020 Grove St.
The Tin Cup 1020 Grove St
This is a great place to eat. They are on the Riverside campus so it’s easy to find. This is a typical sports bar with a TV, beer signs everywhere, and a fun atmosphere. They have many specials, but one of them is the chicken basket. This dish comes with three chicken strips, lots of fries, two pieces of toast, and a cup of gravy. However, a drink is not included. The staff is very nice and efficient at what they do. Customers might have to wait for food when there is a big game going on, but it is well worth it. Their hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but are not open on Sunday. If students crave a sports bar, then this is the place to go. $
Saul Hernandez•Staff Photographer
Gaming is all around Austin Community College. Students range from the play-to-passthe-time gamers all the way to obsessive-lifestyle gamers. It’s no surprise to find students in the student lounge talking about that new game, or overhearing that they are going to go stand in line for hours for the hot new console. “I like to consider myself as a casual gamer. I like to pass the time with games because I like to exercise my fingers while I watch my screen,” said Kyle Czarnecki, an engineering major at ACC. ACC Office of Student Life offers consoles such as Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, and Sony Playstation 360 for students to check out and play during their downtime in between classes. “The original concept is that people will have a place. If they have a couple of hours between classes, they can come in here,” said Dot Dearinger, Round Rock Campus student life assistant. Other clubs and organizations such as Student Government Association (SGA) and Men of Distinction (MOD) host events that give students opportunities for gaming. Last semester, MOD held a video game tournament with the Madden NFL 2010. In February 2010, SGA held the social event Blackout, which provided students with Nintendo Wii’s, Xbox 360’s, Alienware PC’s furnished by Dell, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo 64. On any campus, students will be sure to find some students playing together on their laptops in the student lounge. Across the campus in the library, students are getting
in a game of Bejeweled or Farmville before their next class starts, and just outside on the bus stop, someone is playing Angry Birds on their iPhone. ACC students have more options than ever to be play games whenever and wherever they want. While there is no time limit on checking out video game systems from Student Life, they don’t allow students to skip classes. “If we find out that they were gaming and not going to class, then they wouldn’t be allowed to game anymore,” said Dearinger. “Most likely, we would not allowed them to play anymore or make them show me their class schedule of when they’re supposed to be in class.” While some people tend to play just in their downtime, others tend to make time just to get their game on. For Czarnecki, gaming is just another extension of his schedule. “I play video games pretty much every day, whether it’s at home or on the bus on my way to work,” said Czarnecki. The excitement of gaming derive from the experiences they have from playing a game they love for 10 hours in their room, playing against their friends in the arcades, or being hooked to the Nintendo DS. Gamers attach to these memories which keeps them coming back. “I remember this one time -it was when Gears of War made its debut, said Czarnecki. “We took our gear to a local LAN center, hooked it up, and played it right there. We drew quite the crowd since Gears of War [was] a newly released game. We did a two vs. two, and the last kill I got, I tagged a grenade on the butt of my friend. Needless to say, many laughs were had,” said Czarnecki.