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this day in

thebattalion

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history Feb. 4, 1861 Apache Chief Chochise was arrested in Arizona by the U.S. Army for raiding a ranch. Chochise then escaped and declared war, beginning the period known as the Apache Wars, which lasted 25 years.

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Sports podcasts debut The Noble men of Kyle and Red Ass Radio discuss Aggie sports happenings in-depth and talk about major events in the rest of the sports world.

● thursday,

february 4, 2010

● serving

texas a&m since 1893

● first paper free – additional copies $1 ● © 2010 student media

Aggies land solid class

“I think people believe ‘it will never happen to me.’ I am proof that they are wrong.”

■ Despite losing two big recruits on signing day, Rivals still ranks A&M in top 15

- Mark Sterner Campuspeak official

Brad Cox

The Battalion A quartet of offensive linemen headlined Texas A&M’s 23-man 2010 football signing class Wednesday. The group of Texas natives includes Luke Joeckel of Arlington, Shep Klinke of Katy, Jake Matthews of Missouri City and Cedric Ogbuehi of Allen. A&M Head Coach Mike Sherman said some of the linemen would play immediately. Joeckel and his twin brother Matt, a three-star quarterback who signed with Luke, graduated early to start A&M classes in January and will participate in spring practice and the annual Maroon and White game. “[Luke] is very smart. He’s a very athletic guy,” Sherman

coming friday Brain damage

A column looking at the major ongoing problem of brain damage in the sport of football, its potential effects on the sport and some possible solutions to help alleviate the issue.

See Signing on page 2

inside

b!

trends | 3

Movie review “Lovely Bones” loses the “lovely” but retains some intriguing qualities in the film adaptation of the novel.

voices | 7

21 and up Lowering the drinking age may be popular with students, but the statistics prove the lower drinking age saves countless lives. Keeping the status quo keeps students safe.

Alcohol abuse wrecks lives Story by Brandi Tevebaugh

M

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Photos by Nicholas Badger

ort Kothmann, class of 1961 and Texas A&M ecosystem science and management professor, rides his bicycle to campus regularly, pumping the pedals with feet he’s lucky to have. He’s lucky to walk. He’s lucky to be alive.

sports | 5

Mauled Mizzou The Aggie men’s basketball team traveled to Columbia, MO, and defeated the Tigers. Road wins are hard to come by in the Big 12, find out how the team did it inside.

|

The Battalion

“I didn’t expect to survive,” Kothmann said. “I told God he was going to have to explain that, if I lived.” In July 1997, Kothmann, his wife Kathy, his mother-in-law and four of his grandchildren were on their way home from a family reunion in Arkansas when they were hit by a drunk driver about four miles outside of Buffalo, Texas. “When I topped the little See Alcohol abuse on page 8

Editor’s Note “Alcohol abuse wrecks lives” is the first of a three-part series in which The Battalion examines the consequences of and recovery from inappropriate consumption of alcohol.

“... every day for over a year, I did something I could not do the day before.” - Mort Kothmann A&M professor and class of ‘61

WAVERING: An open letter to Oklahoma recruit Corey Nelson who decided to jilt A&M after months of being “committed.” sports| 5

Looking through time ■ New exhibit is a pictoral view of AfricanAmerican political progress Ann Littman

The Battalion In conjunction with the national and campuswide celebration of Black History Month, the Memorial Student Center Visual Arts Committee is presenting a new exhibit: “Walking with Presidents.” This exhibit documents the history of African-American political leaders through images collected from the different presidential libraries. The growing African-American presence and influence on the American presidencies is shown in black and white photographs ranging from the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush. “African-Americans have played such a crucial role in the See Exhibit on page 8

Fish Council presents annual Fish Fest Katy Ralson

The Battalion For freshmen Aggies, tonight promises to be a time of games, food and fun at the annual freshman class event Fish Fest. The class of 2013 Fish Fest will be from 7-10 p.m. at the Zone at Kyle Field. Started in 2005, Fish Fest is the first class event for the freshmen, meant to unify the newest class of Aggies on campus. The theme for this year’s Fish Fest is Fightin’ Texas Aggie Ninja Fest, a throwback to the 1990s hit TV show “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Fish Fest co-directors Bradley Matthews

Pg. 1-2.4.10(2).indd 1

and Kayla Lawrence said the theme was chosen by Fish Council as a tribute to the 1990s, the decade in which most of the freshman class was born. “[Fish Fest] is getting you all ready and pumped up for all the bigger events that happen like Pull Out day and E-Walk,” said Matthews, a freshman business major. At Fish Fest, free is the name of the game. Free food, free games, free prizes, free face painting, free entertainment and even free makeovers will be offered. Keeping with the 90s theme, the contests include a bean bag toss, double-dutch jump roping and hopscotch with plenty of

classic 90s games on hand such as Skip-its. Gumby’s and Slovacek’s sausage will be providing free food and drinks for the class of 2013. Attendees can expect more than free food and games at the event, however. Other forms of entertainment scheduled include performances by the Aggie Wranglers, Apotheosis and Fade to Black. The band Kimberly Sue Garcia and the Southern Selects will bring back some of the classic 90s tunes, and the Aggie yell See Fish Fest on page 4

File Photo — THE BATTALION

Sophomore construction science major Nathan Hill and junior international studies major Winston Manley race in the Bungee Run at Fish Fest 2008, at The Zone at Kyle Field.

2/3/10 10:35 PM


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Students encouraged to wear red for American Heart Month

Taming of the Tigers

President Barack Obama proclaimed February to be American Heart Month on Monday. “During American Heart Month, we rededicate ourselves to fighting this disease by improving our own hearthealthy habits and by raising awareness in our homes and our communities,” Obama said. Junior wildlife and fisheries science major Sarah Davis is the daughter of a heart attack survivor. She said American Heart Month is about making healthy lifestyle changes. “It is very important that people are aware of how to treat your body correctly, especially your heart because it is such a vital organ,” Davis said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eating foods with low saturated fat and cholesterol, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising at least 30 minutes a day several days per week, not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption all help prevent heart attacks. Davis said her family made similar adjustments after her father’s heart attack. “We had a household reevaluation and completely changed our lifestyles. It became important to eat healthy, exercise three to four times per week and just keep your body ‘up with you,’” Davis said. As part of American Heart Month, Friday is National Wear Red Day. The day is set aside to support women’s heart disease awareness.

Nicholas Badger — THE BATTALION

Senior guard and forward Tanisha Smith goes for a layup against Mizzou forward Amanda Hanneman Wednesday night at Reed Arena. The Aggies defeated the Tigers 65-55. For coverage of Wednesday’s game visit thebatt.com.

Signing

Week 4

The week of February 7 - February 11

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corrections

If you are interested in writing or contributing content in The Battalion apply at thebatt.com, or call 845-3313.

The Battalion welcomes readers’ comments about published information that may require correction. We will pursue your concern to determine whether a correction needs to be published. Please e-mail at editor@thebatt.com.

The Battalion welcomes any Texas A&M student interested in writing for the arts, campus, metro or sports staffs to try out. We particularly encourage freshmen and sophomores to apply, but students may try out regardless of semester standing or major. No previous journalism experience is necessary.

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“There are a number of times they can be a 3-star player that we see as a 5-star player, or some people may see a 5-star player that we see as a three,” Sherman said. “So we really don’t pay a whole lot of attention to that stuff. The bottom line to me is how do they play the game of football.” Defensive end Damontre Moore of Rowlett was one of the three-star recruits Sherman signed Wednesday. Moore committed on April 4, 2009. Moore, who was an Associated Press 5A All-State Honorable Mention selection in 2009, only received offers from two other schools. “I really believe that he, as well as some other players that we have in that category, that may not be premier Parade all-American type players, that we feel here at A&M if we do 5-star coaching, they can be 5-star players,” Sherman said. Rivals ranked A&M’s class No. 15 nationally, making it the fourth highest school without a 5-star recruit. Spring practice starts March 23, and the Maroon and White game is April 17.

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states: Nelson, No. 23 in Texas, and Fobbs, No. 9 in LA. “We looked at a bunch of guys yesterContinued from page 1 day in anticipation of that, and almost made the move, but I said, ‘no,’” Sherman said. said. “We have a lot of expectations for him, and I think we’ll meet those expecta- “I wanted to go after guys that I’ve really tions sooner, because he has been here and researched, that have been on our campus, that know what we’re about and we know will have been here this spring.” what they are about.” Joeckel was ranked No. 5 nationally Though the Aggies plan on changing among offensive tackles by Rivals, and was their defense to a 3-4 scheme with the an All-American selection by Under Arhiring of Defensive Coordinator Tim Demour, SuperPrep and Rivals after his seRuyter, Sherman signed only one linebacknior season. er in his third class. “I’m looking forward to getting bigger Sherman said the team has several opand stronger, and to competing,” Joeckel tions at the position and that they are not said. “I’m going into spring ball with the deficient in linebackers. He said some demindset that I’m competing for a starting fensive ends might be converted to the pospot.” sition as well. Joeckel chose A&M over offers from “We have numbers at the linebacker poAlabama, Arkansas, LSU, Nebraska, Oklasition, and we have quality at the linebacker homa, Texas Tech and UCLA. position,” Sherman said. “I think this sysThe four linemen, each a four-star recruit, helped take the attention away from tem is going to allow those guys to advance a pair of commitments that changed schools even faster.” Rounding out the nine four-star recruits at the last minute. in the class were three running backs and Linebacker Corey Nelson signed with two defensive tackles. All but one of the reOklahoma and athlete Jarrett Fobbs signed maining 14 members of the class were rated with LSU. Each player was a four-star rethree-star recruits. cruit and was ranked in the top of their

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Tufts University professor of psychology Robert Sternberg will be speaking at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center Sternberg’s lecture “Creativity is a Decision” will focus on everyone’s ability to be creative.

pagetwo

Robert Carpenter, staff writer

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thebattalion 02.04.2010 For daily updates go to thebatt.com ● Facebook ● Twitter@thebattonline

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Subscriptions: A part of the Student Services Fee entitles each T exas A&M student to pick up a single copy of The Battalion. First copy free, additional copies $1. Mail subscriptions are $125 per school year . T o charge by Visa, MasterCard, Discover , or American Express, call 979-845-2613.

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MSC Forsyth student opening

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The Paul Dresher Ensemble

The Forsyth Art Gallery will celebrate its student grand opening from 6-9 tonight at its temporary location in downtown Bryan. There will be appetizers and live music along with the exhibition The American West: Then and Now, running through Feb. 20.

The Paul Dresher Ensemble, a contemporary performance ensemble, will be performing at 7:30 tonight in Rudder Theater. Admission is $5 for students and $10 for general admission.

3

First Thursday

First Thursday begins at 8 p.m. the first Thursday of every month at Northgate Vintage. They have live music, free beer for 21 and up and free hot chocolate. Some of the live acts include Tyler Kern, Charlie Gore, Brian Cox, Danny Tano, Whitley Gillis and J.R. Ewing.

4

Art Step

Art Step includes live music, artist demonstrations and carriage rides. Friday’s Art Step, will be in held all day in downtown Bryan and will feature artwork from Blinn College and Texas A&M students as well as performances by local musicians.

5

Don Quixote Exhibit

The Don Quixote Four Million Volume Exhibit is featured in the Cushing Memorial Library displaying the University Libraries’ 4 millionth volume, a rare edition of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote de La Mancha, Parts I and II until Feb. 19.

b! thebattalion 02.04.2010 page3

scene

The Lovely Bones B

is bittersweet

ased on the 2002 novel written by Alice Sebold, Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” takes the audience on a journey of suspense, heartbreak and redemption with the story of a murdered girl who tries to communicate with her family from beyond the grave to find her killer as she travels in the “in between” of heaven and earth. The movie opens with the prominent statement, “My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was 14 when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.” The audience is then taken back to when Susie (Saoirse Ronan) was playing with her father as a child before her little sister and brother came along. Then, in a whirlwind of time, the audience sees the 14-year-old Susie with her family including her father, Jack Salmon (Mark Wahlberg) and mother, Abigail Salmon (Rachel Weisz). Director Peter Jackson presents the typical American teenage life in a beautiful and innocent light, showing Susie in the social awkwardness of high school and first love, contrasted with her zeal for photographic creativity. But a dark cloud has descended upon the Salmons in the form of their neighbor, George Harvey (Stanley Tucci), who will eventually kill Susie in a cornfield in an underground shaft he had built for that very purpose. The news of Susie’s death devastates the Salmon family. Grap-

Courtesy photo

Susie Salmon, played by Saoirse Ronar, the protagonist in “The Lovely Bones” is caught in the “in between” which resembles her own personal heaven after she is murdered as a child.

Lorelei Willett

pling with the intense emotional feelings of his loss, Jack throws himself into discovering the identity of his daughter’s murderer, I do not make it a habit to give away the ending checking facts and calling detectives with new information. of movies but I will say that the ending of “The Abigail on the other hand becomes more and more Lovely Bones” is very bittersweet and you withdrawn from her family and her eccentric, boozing will probably have a feeling of both openThe Lovely Bones is mother Lynn (Susan Sarandon) steps in to help the endedness and closure (and yes, that is possible uniquely told with family cope in her own colorful way. stunning cinematography though completely contradictory). The audience is then taken with Susie to what The story of both the book and the movie but still falls short of the is known only as the “in between.” This “in-beis unique in that it describes a life, death and novel. tween” is simply a personal heaven that the dead can afterlife, with the protagonist narrating it all make as beautiful or as ugly as they want it to be. from her little patch of heaven. Though the images and scenes that Jackson creates for Movie adaptations of popular books rarely live up the “in between” are quite stunning, there have been mixed to the reader’s expectations, but “The Lovely Bones” was emotions about the portrayal of this celestial space. Of course captivating and well-made with intriguing characters and fine actwhen one reads the novel before seeing the film, there is no way ing. Its greatest flaw was simply that the book did it better. that any amount of cinematography can create the “in between” as seen in the reader’s mind, nor can any amount of directing represent the intensity of emotion that goes along with such a space. Lorelei Willett is a senior history major.

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Cameron film ‘Avatar’ rules with $68.3M, tops $1B worldwide LOS ANGELES — James Cameron’s “Avatar” has sailed past his blockbuster “Titanic” to become No. 1 on the all-time domestic boxoffice chart. “Avatar” climbed to $601.1 million domestically on Tuesday, putting it a fraction ahead of the $600.8 million haul for “Titanic.” With more than $2 billion worldwide, Cameron’s sci-fi sensation shattered the global boxoffice record of $1.84 billion held by “Titanic” last week. “When some said to us, ‘How is it going to feel to knock off ‘Titanic’? I think our response was, ‘It’s about time those guys got knocked off their perch,’” said Cameron’s producing partner Jon Landau on Tuesday, after “Avatar” tied for the lead at the Academy Awards with nine nominations, including best picture. “Lightning is not supposed to strike twice. And it has. And it’s a pinch-me moment when you sit there and you hear that we’re going to break another record. It’s beyond anything that we could have imagined,” he said.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

“Avatar” was nominated Tuesday for an Oscar for best picture. The 82nd Academy Awards will be presented on March 7. Landau said he, Cameron and their collaborators have discussed sequel prospects but that nothing definite has been decided. Just before the release of “Avatar” in December, writer-director Cameron said he had the “broad strokes for two more films.” “This is set up to be a potential franchise,” Cameron said. Associated Press

Fish Fest

fectly and everyone has fun,” Matthews said. Julia Quintana, freshman biology Continued from page 1 major, said she is planning on attending Fish Fest after she heard about it leaders will be on site to lead yell through an e-mail and a flier. practice along with an appearance “I am definitely planning on atby Reveille. Matthews and Lawrence said Fish tending because it sounds like a lot of fun,” Quintana said. “I just couldn’t Council is expecting around 800 pass up free food and live music. Plus, freshmen out of the 8,600 in the it’s a great way to meet other fish.” class to attend. However, they said Fish Fest is put on by Fish Countheir definition of success does not depend on numbers, as long as fresh- cil, which is a part of the larger man can meet new people and enjoy organization Class Council. Class Council is responsible for other class the time with their class. “I hope it all comes together per- events such as Pull-Out Day, Junior E-Walk and Elephant Walk.

Fish Fest Time: 7 - 10 p.m. Date: Today Place: The Zone at Kyle Field What: A night of free food, fun and games. There willl be performances by Apotheosis, the Aggie Wranglers and Fade to Black.

Dear Fellow Texans: I have filed for re-election to the Texas Senate, and I am asking for your vote in the Republican Primary on March 2, 2010. Since 1997, I have had the privilege of serving as State Senator. For the last six years, I have served as the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. We have passed balanced and responsible budgets that have kept Texas’ tax burden low. Each of our budgets had significant challenges, but the will to resist spending every last dollar positioned our state in an enviable economic position. Today, the recession combined with an unsustainable federal deficit and the cost of federal mandates will put significant pressure on our state’s finances. Producing another balanced and fiscally responsible budget for Texas will require skill, experience, and sound judgment. I believe I possess these qualities. No area or district in Texas has a greater stake in state government than ours. This is our home. It is worth preserving, protecting, and defending. If you send me back to Austin, I will get the job done right.

Sincerely,

Stephen E. Ogden

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2/3/10 10:48 PM


Go to thebatt.com for recaps of the men’s golf and women’s basketball teams’ events.

sports thebattalion 2.4.2010 page5

Mashing Mizzou Aggies tame Tigers 77-74 in Columbia T.D. Durham

The Battalion The second longest active home game winning-streak in NCAA basketball came to an end Wednesday night when the Texas A&M men’s basketball team defeated Missouri at its home court in Columbia. After trailing by 10 points with 16:09 remaining in the second half, the Aggies went on a blazing comeback to defeat the Tigers, 77-74. Two days before the game, A&M Head Coach Mark Turgeon said the first seven or eight minutes of the game would be crucial in the final decision, and his Aggies responded to his coaching. The Aggies started on a 7-0 run after tipoff, which included a 3-pointer from junior guard B.J. Holmes, who has struggled from behind the arc recently. Holmes finished the game with nine points, including two-of-four from 3-point range. A&M led the Tigers nearly the entire first half until two free throws from Missouri’s Steve Moore put his team ahead, 37-36, a score that would carry into half time. With one of the stingiest defenses in the nation when it comes to turnovers, Missouri forced the Aggies to turn the ball over 11 times in

Pg. 5-2.4.10.indd 1

the first half. The Aggies would open the second half on a good note, as sophomore forward David Loubeau drew a foul and made one of his five free throws of the game. Loubeau finished with 17 points, all of which were in the second half, and eight rebounds. But A&M’s lead would not last, as the Tigers then went on an 11-1 run that would stretch Missouri’s lead to 10 points at 49-39. Sophomore guard Kim English made a vital jump shot in the run that helped to build the lead. English finished with a team-high 15 points for the Tigers. But the Aggies found some momentum with just more than 10 minutes remaining in the game that was inspired by offensive rebounding. Loubeau and senior forward Bryan Davis were in foul trouble, each with three fouls a piece during Missouri’s offensive stretch. After being put back in the game, the two forwards led A&M on its comeback. With 6:11 left, the Aggies took the lead after a pair of made free throws from Loubeau. The lead was the first File photo — THE BATTALION since Loubeau was fouled Junior forward Nathan Walkup scored 3 points in the just 25 seconds into the secAggies’ 77-74 win on Wednesday at Mizzou Arena. The win ond half. snapped Missouri’s 32-game home winning streak. See Tigers on page 6

A letter to Corey Nelson from Aggieland

D

ear Corey Nelson, Let me speak for my fellow Aggies in saying “thank you.” Thank you for leading us on now for months. I mean, we knew all along that you were just playing hard to get with your one true love, Bob Stoops and Oklahoma. We all really appreciate you showering us with comments such as “I’m Mr. Aggie” and “I’m through with recruiting and will remain at A&M” all the way up to the 11th hour before jilting us at the altar. I promise you; it made us feel wanted and all warm inside. We’re sincerely grateful that you allowed us to rekindle thoughts and memories of the old Wrecking Crew and the linebacker greats who previously wore maroon before you gave us a collective kick to the groin. Granted, it stung for a while, but the trip down memory lane more than made up for the pain. I’ve got to give you credit, kid. Your ability to fabricate the truth is almost more impressive than your ability on the field. Seriously, Corey, you looked Coach Mike Sherman, a straight-shooting guy, in the eye for months and months and still managed to stab him in the back. Impressive, impressive stuff, I must say. And … now I’m going to stop being cynical. After being pampered like a newborn child for the last year of your life, I

David Harris think it’s time for you to hear the cold-hard truth. Commitment, by definition, Corey, means “an obligation or promise.” Hmm, “promise.” “Obligation.” Apparently, that means nothing to you, does it? For the last few months, Sherman and staff allowed you to go on visits to schools around the country because you were “committed” to them. You just wanted the experience of seeing the country, right? To make matters worse, you decided to wait until the last minute to announce your decision so that you could get a little media attention; hence A&M didn’t have time to fill your scholarship spot. Instead of going out and selling the program to other linebackers, the staff sat back and actually took you and your commitment seriously. Instead of addressing a major position of need, the team believed you when you continued to steadfastly assure them that you were, in fact, coming to Aggieland. And, with your decision, you left them with one lineSee Nelson on page 6

2/3/10 11:57 PM


sports

page 6 thursday 2.4.2010

thebattalion

Tigers

Middleton scored 16 points in the game, including two shots from behind the arc. Continued from page 5 A&M widened its lead to nine points with 1:39 remaining in the bout Freshman forward Ray Turner, after freshman forward Khris Middlewho has seen limited playing time, ton sank a 3-pointer. gave A&M a huge momentum swing But Missouri was not to give up immediately after. After stealing the so easily at its home court, as English ball from the Tigers’ Lawrence Bowers, Turner ran the full court and deliv- drained a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left ered a monstrous slam dunk, drawing a to bring the game to a one-point margin. However, after two free throws foul in the process. The slam makes for two of Turner’s from Holmes, the Aggies pulled its lead to three and time expired. eight points this season. The win, A&M’s first road win in Fellow freshman forward Khris

Notable players in Aggies’ 2010 class: Jake Matthews-OL Luke Joeckel-OL Ben Malena-RB Ivan Robinson-DT

Continued from page 5

backer in the 2010 class as they are in the midst of transitioning to a 3-4 defense, which, surprise, hinges on solid linebacker play. Sherman was honest and respectful with you through the entire process because that’s the kind of guy he is. You responded by showing him and this University zero respect. It truly is pathetic. Now, you get to be the 2010 poster boy for all that is wrong with college football recruiting. A flawed process involving spoiled, indecisive

PLACE

AN AD Phone 845-0569 or Fax 845-2678 The Grove, Bldg. #8901 Texas A&M University

ANNOUNCEMENTS Getting Married or Planning an Event? Make plans to attend the Spring Bridal Show and Benefit. Sunday, February 21 from 11am-4pm at Brazos Valley Expo. Over 100 booths! Grand prize: $1000 shopping spree. Proceeds benefit Brazos Valley Hospice. Tickets are $15 online at www.ido-ido.org or $20 at the door.

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18-year-olds. Congrats. Ya know, on second thought, maybe “Zero U” is the perfect place for you, Corey. It seems like the perfect summation of the amount of class and character you’ve shown yourself to possess. So, good riddance and thanks for nothing. We’ll see you at Kyle Field come November. Sincerely, Texas A&M University

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David Harris is a junior economics major and sports editor.

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Nelson

conference play, brings the Aggies to 16-6 overall record, including 5-3 in Big 12 conference play. Mike Anderson remains winless against the Aggies, 0-4, in his tenure as Missouri head coach. Also on the Tigers’ bench was former Aggie Head Coach, Melvin Watkins who coached at A&M for six seasons The Aggies take on the No. 24 Baylor Bears at 3 p.m. this Saturday at Reed Arena. A&M lost to Baylor 7268 in the teams’ last meeting on Feb. 14 in Waco.

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FOR SALE Bestop Sunrider Black Denim, brand new soft top for Jeep Wrangler 97-2002. Does not include doors. $500. (979)450-3131.

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The Callaway House, a private student housing residence hall, is accepting applications for P/T night desk. Apply in person at: 301 George Bush Drive West. EOE.

The Corner Bar &Grill now hiring. Apply in person at 9pm monday thru wednesday. All positions available.

Various duties from watering plants to driving tractor at our country home. Thursday or Friday and Saturday or Sunday. Minimum 4-6 hrs/wk, $8/hr. Respond to llgstar@aol.com put your name and number in subject line.

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STUDIES IN PROGRESS ACNE STUDY Volunteers between the ages of 12 and 45, with facial acne are needed to participate in a 12-week clinical research study with an investigational topical medication. All eligible volunteers will receive at no cost: • Study related acne evaluations by a dermatologist • Study related medication • Reimbursement up to $250.00 for time and effort For more information please contact:

RED DRY SCALY PATCHES OF SKIN ATOPIC DERMATITIS STUDY (ECZEMA) www.AggieNetwork.com

Volunteers ages 18 - 64 needed to participate in up to 12 week long clinical research study with an investigational topical medication for atopic dermatitis (RED, DRY, SCALY PATCHES OF SKIN). Eligible volunteers will receive at no cost: • Study related medication • Physical Examination • Dermatological Assessments • Compensation up to $675.00 for time and travel For more information please contact:

ATHLETE’S FOOT STUDY Volunteers ages 17 and older are needed to participate in a 6 week clinical research study with an investigational topical medication for the treatment of Athlete’s foot. Eligible volunteers will need to make 3 office visits and receive at no cost: • Study related medication • Medical examinations relating to their athlete’s foot • Compensation up to $120 for time and effort For more information please contact:

J&S Studies, Inc. 979-774-5933 1710 Crescent Pointe Parkway, College Station, TX 77845 www.js-studies.com

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2/4/10 12:01 AM


EDITOR’SNOTE The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants in this paper do not necessarily reflect those of Texas A&M University, The Battalion or its staff.

MAILCALL GUESTCOLUMNS Make your opinion known by submitting Mail Call or guest columns to The Battalion. Mail

call must be fewer than 200 words and include the author’s name, classification, major and phone number. Staff and faculty must include title. Guest columns must be fewer than 700 words. All submissions should focus on issues not personalities, become property of The Battalion and are subject to editing for style, clarity and space concerns. Anonymous letters

will be read, but not printed. The Battalion will print only one letter per author per month. No mail call will appear in The Battalion’s print or online editions before it is verified. Direct all correspondence to: Editor in chief of The Battalion (979) 845-3315 | mailcall@thebatt.com

voices

thebattalion 02.04.2010

Preventing a new drunken age

I

t’s easy as a college student to be in favor of a lowered drinking age. Not only do many students drink, but many perceive a fallacy in the justice system. If students are considered adults once we reach 18, why can’t we legally consume alcohol? But the facts about underage drinking favor our current system.

page7

Osazuwa Okundaye — THE BATTALION

For most countries, the legal drinking age is 18. America could follow Europe’s example, and help youths become more responsible drinkers earlier. But while many of my peers, if not a vast majority of them, are in favor of a lowered national drinking age, as John Adams wisely stated, “facts are stubborn things,” and the data supporting the current legal drinking age cannot be ignored. From statistical to biological, the evidence against a lowered drinking age makes a formidable stance. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, alcohol is the “drug of choice among youth,” which is no surprise considering how prevalent underage drinking is, not only on college campuses nationwide, but in the media as well. In fact, underage drinking is even glorified in popular movies such as “Superbad” and “American Pie.” Most of these movies fail to show the negative impacts of drinking, such as the effects binge drinking has on the teenage brain. When we reach 18, we are legally adults in the United States. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, our brains

Camaryn Bolton have another seven years to go. “Early and protracted alcohol use by teens can have both short and long term health affects,” said Sandra Brown, Ph.D. and professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. “Our brains go through important transformations during adolescence.” Alcohol affects our brains differently and if abused, can have “important ramifications for an individual’s medical health, mental health and cognitive functioning.” The earlier a person starts drinking, the more likely he or she is to become dependent in the long run. It’s well-known that the drinking age in European countries is lower than that of our

own. Some may think such an early drinklaws “have prevented more than 21,000 ing age teaches European youth to be more traffic deaths” between 1976 and 2002. In responsible drinkers. However, according to the mid-1970s, alcohol was a factor in more the U.S. Department of Education, there is than 60 percent of traffic fatalities in the U.S. “no evidence that European youth are more with nearly two-thirds of these traffic deaths responsible about alcohol consumption.” involving people between the ages of 16 and In fact, evidence suggests 20. Since 1980 (after the implementaotherwise. In an article Alcohol abuse tion of a national drinking age of 21), published in March 2009, alcohol-related traffic deaths have and accidents journalist Jenny Hope cites been reduced by 50 percent, with are too common a European survey that the greatest proportional decrease in in young reveals chronic drinking people from 16-20 years old. adults without as a problem in 15 and I realize my words may fail to lowering the 16-year-olds, and that such prevent anyone from drinking before drinking age. problems are in an upward the age of 21, in spite of the evidence trend. This trend, according to Professor Martin Plant from the University of West England, is “both serious and chronic.” In countries with lowered drinking ages, such as France and Italy, the per capita consumption of alcohol and cirrhosis death rates are significantly higher. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a legal drinking age of 21 “saves 700 to 1,000 lives annually.” NHTSA goes on to state that these

Swindled by swine flu scare

W

e heard the warnings last fall about the newest threat for Americans. A plague was predicted to descend on us all as if we had told Moses where his people could stick it. But the H1N1 virus, better known as swine flu, did not bring about widespread death and panic. And as the dust settles from the media fueled panic, the true facts about this supposed pandemic start to emerge.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the H1N1 virus is a type of influenza virus. Its symptoms are virtually identical to that of the seasonal flu, with the exception of certain respiratory complications which infrequently occur. Both of the viruses are contagious personto-person in similar ways. In fact, the reason why this type of flu virus has the nickname “swine flu” is that the H1N1 virus is genetically similar to the type of flu that occurs in pigs in North America. Humans, as hapless incubator tubes, are left with a disease that looks like the flu, spreads like the flu and is easily

Pg. 7-2.4.10.indd 1

is just that — hype. Remember when bird flu, aspartame and drinking from reused water bottles brought humanity to a grinding halt? Neither do I. This is another example of what some people call a “slow news day,” when the media Richard Creecy powers that be grab something innocuous and cram it down our collective throats, whipping treatable, like the flu. everyone into a panic. But are students, or any other The result of all this media Americans really at risk from this attention is evident in our society, up and coming pestilence? Let’s as disinfectant sprays start boosting look at the statistics. There have the H1N1 killing power and been 405,140 confirmed cases relatively untested vaccines start of the H1N1 virus in the U.S. getting handed out like candy. to date, with 4,545 fatal cases. According to the Centers, 800,000 That does not sound too scary units of the vaccine designed for considering there are infants ages 6-35 months have 304,059,724 people been recalled. The recall living in America, Despite the was due to instability which means media’s panic issues with the batches. that this disease over H1N1, The vaccine may also be has affected .13 there wasn’t linked to Guillain-Barre percent of all a threat to Syndrome, an extremely Americans. Of America from a rare auto-immune the .13 percent pig-like plague. disorder that normally of Americans affects roughly one or two in who caught the 100,000 Americans. disease only 1 percent The H1N1 flu campaign has ended in death. To put those seemingly caused more trouble numbers into perspective, you than the actual disease. With have the same statistical percentage schools closing and fearful parents chance of dying from H1N1 than inoculating their children with a you do from being crushed or vaccine that might cause a worse eaten by a non-venomous reptile disease, it would seem that fear in the continental United States. caused as much damage as the So unless you wrangle pythons disease. The next time you hear or alligators at a zoo, it seems as about the new super bug or other though most people are relatively sinister threat descending upon safe from catching the H1N1 flu. America remember this: what does Now I am not marginalizing not kill you, makes you stronger. the people that have been affected by this disease, or the families of Richard Creecy is a senior classics the people who have died. What major and special to the Battalion. I am saying is the hype around the “deadly new” H1N1 disease

presented. But lowering the drinking age would present the opportunity for more accidents and abuse. All I can hope for is that my peers will try to drink more responsibly, in moderation, and make wise decisions regarding alcohol consumption.

Camaryn Bolton is a sophomore performance studies major and is special to The Battalion.

EDITORIALBOARD The Battalion’s editorial opinion is determined by its Board of Opinion, with the editor in chief having final responsibility. Editor in Chief Amanda Casanova editor@thebatt.com

Managing Editor Jill Beathard battcopy@thebatt.com

Opinion Editor Ian McPhail opinion@thebatt.com

EDITORIAL

Know the dangers, designate a driver It’s Thursday, and like every week here in Aggieland, that means the start of the much-needed, much-anticipated weekend. The dance halls and bars will be alive with neon lights, cheerful conversation and chilling drinks. Northgate will be flooded with students looking to unwind and enjoy the evening, and for some, the weekend will have started well. But it doesn’t always stay that way. Sometimes people make mistakes and After you’ve had a few drinks, those lapses in judgment, those danmake the safe gerous decisions lead to injuries and decision and death. But we already know this. We leave the car at have seen the posters warning us about the bar. drinking and driving. We know the statistics. We know the slogans. We just need to know our limits. Unfortunately, we are not the best multi-taskers to begin with. Adding impaired judgment to navigating dark streets is much tougher than simply texting your best friend while battling off sleepy eyes and listening to a professor. In 2009, the number of drunk driving deaths in the U.S. topped 11,000, according to Alcohol Alert. That’s the entire freshmen class at A&M plus another 2,000 students. If you decide to drink, Ags, designate a driver. Last week, CARPOOL resumed its driving services; take advantage of this resource if you are going to enjoy a few drinks. You are sharing the road not only with College Station residents and A&M faculty and staff, but also other Aggies just like you. With reading assignments and quizzes and to-do lists and jobs, we are all working for the weekend. But remember to stay safe this weekend and every weekend, Ags.

2/3/10 7:36 PM


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page 8 thursday 2.4.2010

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www.villagefoods.com We make it easy to eat better We make it easy to... lators after their chests filled with fluid. Kothmann began to get better, but Kathyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Continued from page 1 mother went downhill after getting pneumonia. The hill, he was about 200 feet antibiotics for the pneumonia away,â&#x20AC;? Kothmann said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had Â&#x2018;Â&#x2122;Â&#x2019;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2039;Â&#x2026;Â&#x2021;Â&#x2022;Â&#x2018;Â?Â&#x2018;Â&#x2014;Â&#x201D;huge assortment Â&#x2018;Â&#x2C6;Â?Â&#x192;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2014;Â&#x201D;Â&#x192;Â&#x17D;Â&#x192;Â?Â&#x2020; caused her kidneys to fail. organic Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2018;Â&#x2018;Â&#x2020;Â&#x2022;ǤČ&#x2039;On green shelves in every aisleǤČ&#x152; the cruise control set on 70 â&#x20AC;&#x153;My mother died on day [mph] so we would close that 200 feet in less than a second. 13,â&#x20AC;? Kathy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So the last thing I remember is just her It happened.â&#x20AC;? moaning across the hall.â&#x20AC;? The Buick Regal hit Kothmannâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s minivan on the Recovering front left fender. The impact to restart was so strong that the other car was pushed to the middle www. villagefoods .com www.villagefoods.com Kothmann was moved of We the road, the entire front of to a hospital in Temple, and We make it easy to... make it easy to... their car was gone, the steerKathy was sent home. She ing wheel was on top of the attended her motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funeral windshield and the engine without her husband. Kothwas in the front seat. mann could not leave the After the impact, Kothhospital until he could use his mann noticed his right foot upper body strength to move lying on the emergency himself from his wheelchair brake between the captainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to sliding boards. Five days chairs. His left foot was after returning home Kothjammed under the seat by mann was readmitted to the the crushed floorboard. The hospital for 10 days after proimpact knocked a piece of longed adrenaline and pain bone halfway down his leg, stopped the blood supply to resulting in an open comhis gallbladder, killing it. pound fracture. After Kothmann came When Kothmann tried home from Temple in Septo check on everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s safety, tember, the couple had two only the oldest grandson, hospital beds in their living who was 8, responded. Kathy, room until the end of Octowho had been riding in the ber. The recovery process was backseat next to her grandslow. He had lost 30 pounds  MSC TOWN HALLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S 2009 BATTLE OF THE daughters, had sustained head since the accident and began  BANDS WINNERS â&#x20AC;&#x153;WE CAN, WE WILLâ&#x20AC;? injuries and was unconscious. therapy in October.  ARE LOOKING FOR A NEW SINGER AND â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was not seatbelted in â&#x20AC;&#x153;The first time she said, GUITARISTS  NEW )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))  the split second before the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lift your legs.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; I said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t    wreck. The 2-year-old had  lift my legs.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; So thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where dropped her to-go cup from we started,â&#x20AC;? Kothmann said.

     supper, so I had unbuckled â&#x20AC;&#x153;My goal was to be able to    to put the cup back in its get on a walker so I could get    %   holder,â&#x20AC;? Kathy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I pushed about three steps and back. I    the captainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chair that was made it by November.â&#x20AC;? in front of me over on top of     Kothmann was able to the grandson that was in it, walk without crutches after *  & ' and I hit the floor.â&#x20AC;? " ! 18 months. $ &(### Kothmann, Kathy and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Starting when I came off Kathyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother were lifethe ventilator in Tyler, every flighted to a medical center day for over a year, I did in Tyler. By 10 p.m., Kothsomething I could not do the mann was in his first of eight day before,â&#x20AC;? Kothmann said. surgeries following the acciThings will never be the dent. Kothmann had broken same for the Kothmanns. his left ankle, stripping it to Not only do Mort and Kathy Daiquiris to Go the nerve. both carry physical scars from A few days later Kathy, the wreck, Kathyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother is Flavors Include: who had broken ribs, a no longer with them, and the cracked hip and 24 staples in couple have found a pasStrawberry â&#x20AC;˘ Blue Hawaiian her head, was able to move sion in prison ministry. The Pina Colada â&#x20AC;˘ Kiwi Strawberry to intermediate care on the Kothmanns share their story Margaritas â&#x20AC;˘ 40 other Ă&#x2026;avors to choose from floor below Kothmann and and participate in a program her mother. called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bridges to Lifeâ&#x20AC;? deConvenient Quick Drive Thru â&#x20AC;&#x153;The doctors told me signed to show prisoners the that both Mort and Mother impacts choices. Check out our specials online at at that point were 50/50,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We kind of had to rewww.daiquiribarn.com Kathy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They just didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t start,â&#x20AC;? Kathy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like life know.â&#x20AC;? before and after this wreck.â&#x20AC;? Kothmann and his mothThe Kothmanns had a 4501 Wellborn Rd., 1 mile north of Kyle Field er-in-law were put on ventimediation with their offender, so they could tell him they forgave him. The couple said that they never hated him but were more focused THIS VALENTINEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S DAY, on survival. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It has changed a negative situation into a positive one,â&#x20AC;? Kothmann said.

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Designating the wrong driver Unlike the Kothmanns, Mark Sterner was not the victim. He was the intoxicated driver in a different accident that also resulted in

Exhibit Continued from page 1

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shaping of our country,â&#x20AC;? said Amy Gulliksen, a freshman education major. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Especially now since the leader of our great country is of African descent, I think it is essential to understand the history and significance of the African-American population.â&#x20AC;? Sophomore mechanical engineering major Kevin Havis said he believes the exhibit is

I S L A N D S T Y L E A PA R T M E N T L I V I N G

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Mort Kothmann is an ecosystems science and management professor at Texas A&M. On his way home from a family reunion, a drunk driver in a Buick Regal collided with the Kothmann minivan. He sustained severe injuries and his mother-in-law died 13 days after the crash.

death. He was just a few months from college graduation when he and four of his fraternity brothers went on Spring Break. After that trip, his life was never the same. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think people believe â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;it will never happen to me,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Sterner said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am proof that they are wrong. It can happen, and it happens when you least expect it.â&#x20AC;? Each night of the trip one person was the designated driver, but the last night the group decided to let the least drunk among them drive home. Sterner was given the keys to the car. After the single vehicle crash that night, three of Markâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s friends were dead, and Mark was critically injured, facing three felony counts of manslaughter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I spent three years in a Florida prison,â&#x20AC;? Sterner said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The biggest punishment though was losing my friends. Every day I live with the fact that my actions killed my friends. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t change; it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go away, and it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get easier.â&#x20AC;? Sterner works for Campuspeak, an organization that sponsors keynote speakers on higher education campuses. Sterner tells his story at more than 100 colleges and high schools each year, including Texas A&M last fall. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do it so that no one else has to live with what I live with,â&#x20AC;? Sterner said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do it so that no one else has to live with the guilt of killing one of their friends.â&#x20AC;?

Choosing safety Sterner said he wants to educate students about the dangers of drinking and driving. Some A&M students think they are responsible when consuming alcohol, and they have a plan for the drive â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or ride â&#x20AC;&#x201D; home. Programs like CARPOOL provide an alternative to getting behind the wheel intoxicated. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we are blessed at A&M. I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s less of a problem here than other

an important aid in studying the history of America. Havis said this aspect of American politics should not be studied just because Obama is in office. â&#x20AC;&#x153;African-American politics is not any more important now than it would have been before Obama was elected,â&#x20AC;? Havis said. Several students said they think this is an important exhibit to be housed at Texas A&M, especially as a way to challenge expectations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an attempt to break the stereotypical conservative nature of Texas A&M,â&#x20AC;? Havis said. Gulliksen has been told A&M is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;white university,â&#x20AC;? but she said that this exhibit displays how diverse A&M truly is. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think our campus is very open to all types of ethnicities and cultures and this exhibit exemplifies that perfectly,â&#x20AC;? Gulliksen said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Walking with Presidents will also give students a chance to learn of a time that may be vague to them.â&#x20AC;? Myiesha Gordon, MSC programs coordinator and adviser to the MSC Visual Arts Committee said she believes studying the past can aid in molding the future. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think it speaks to the importance of a diverse and evolving American culture and just the importance and the influence of all Americans and the collaboration of various indi-

places, but at the same time thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definitely room for improvement,â&#x20AC;? said Sam Houston, a senior communication major. College towns have a reputation for being hazardous due to drunk drivers. Alcohol-related accidents comprised 3.26 percent of all accidents in College Station in 2009. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think in a college town itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably more prevalent,â&#x20AC;? said Jackie Dumais, senior history major. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We do have a campus that acknowledges it.â&#x20AC;? Houston is an employee of the Corner Bar on Northgate and has noticed that the student population seems to plan ahead for a night out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve actually been surprised at the amount of designated drivers there are,â&#x20AC;? Houston said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We do everything we can to promote it, but thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s already a sense of responsibility when they come into the bar.â&#x20AC;? Businesses promote safe drinking practices to keep College Station safer, but students need to encourage each other to be responsible. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We do everything we can; we are more than willing to arrange a ride for them, and we ask them if we can,â&#x20AC;? Houston said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The more you encourage your friends to be responsible and the more you are responsible the safer everyone is.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The biggest punishment though was losing my friends. Every day I live with the fact that my actions killed my friends.â&#x20AC;? - Mark Sterner

viduals and how it affects our future,â&#x20AC;? Gordon said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our past shapes where our future is going.â&#x20AC;? Walking with Presidents was originally established in the 1990s, Gordon said. It was re-exhibited in 2006, and the committee decided to display the exhibit once more after the election of President Obama. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s based on the premise of African-American involvement and influence,â&#x20AC;? said Gordon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We thought it would be a nice addition to include the new president and show the historical significance of his election.â&#x20AC;? This exhibit does not only celebrate the achievements of African-Americans in politics, but also the American spirit, Gordon said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Walking with Presidents documents progress and just how we as Americans work together for a better nation for everyone,â&#x20AC;? Gordon said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The pictures document several years before our parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; time. They reflect upon their struggle, not just African-Americans, but all Americans and their struggle for equality.â&#x20AC;? Gulliksen said he is excited to see the exhibit, especially since it is made up of pictures. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is much easier to understand the frustrations and emotions of a time period when looking at pictures rather than simply reading about it in a book,â&#x20AC;? Gulliksen said.

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Feb 4 2010 The Battalion Print