Page 1

Women’s basketball


Photos from the women’s return to campus are on Page 8 and on The Battalion Facebook page.

● thursday,

march 31, 2011

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Fighting to survive

Courtesy photos

Aggie detained in Syria Matt Woolbright

The Battalion Muhammad Radwan, class of 2001, snapped a couple photos of a Syrian protest at the wrong time. Demonstrations sparked across North Africa and the Middle East, and Muhammad hasn’t been far from the action. His recent act of citizen journalism, however, landed him in Syrian custody and his life in jeopardy. Muhammad was leaving a mosque after praying, stumbled into a protest and pulled out his camera. As he was taking pictures, police arrested Muhammad and took him away. The protests in Syria, which have

been largely overshadowed by the conflict in Libya, have been going on for weeks as citizens clamor for reform. As of Wednesday, humanitarian reports estimate Syrian security forces have killed 73 people and detained hundreds more. Syria’s Emergency Law has been in effect since 1963 because of the ongoing conflict with Israel. The Emergency Law eliminates most constitutional protections for Syrians, according to the U.S. Department of State. Since his arrest, three main allegations have been presented against Muhammad. The claims include that

Top: Muhammad Radwan, class of 2001 is shown after returning from interior ministry in January. Left: Protesters in Egypt pray in the midst of armed police forces. Radwan took photos of the Egyptian protests while in Cairo and participating.

Muhammad is an Israeli spy who took a secret trip to Israel, that he sold photographs from inside Syria to a Columbian woman and that he was covering the protests. Muhammad’s family and friends, however, say the allegations are false — despite a confession that the Syrian state-run TV station aired. “He was no more an activist in Syria than any other citizen journalist interested in potentially historic events that are happening around him,” said Tarek Radwan, Muhammad’s brother. “It’s not unusual that See Muhammad on page 7

Tsunami waves can travel upwards of 600 miles per hour, the speed of a Boeing 747. The waves slow down significantly as the water becomes more shallow.

Aggies petition for clean water to thirsty countries

Sendai coast

Subduction Zone Stress Point

North American Plate

Pacific Plate

Uppermost Mantle



Japan tsunami A&M professor explains what happens underneath the surface Trevor Stevens

Special to The Battalion Deep in the ocean floor, a trench marks the division between two tectonic plates: the Pacific and the North American. Friction between these plates caused a buildup of energy at the epicenter that, when released, triggered a series of cataclysmic events in the water and sparked a massive, underwater earthquake. The March 11 quake and subsequent tsunami led to flood-induced damage to the Japanese mainland. One severe effect of the tsunami was

Pg. 1-03.31.11.indd 1

the disturbance of safeguards that protected the surrounding environment from nuclear exposure from the coastal power plants. The origin of the recent earthquake off the coast of Japan is a subduction zone, or fault line, which buckled under the pressure of friction and released the energy that propelled the tsunami. Robert Weiss, assistant professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, said an earthquake deforms the seafloor, and in response, the water above is displaced by

the dislocation and energy is transferred upward. The energy then ripples outward in waves from the epicenter, the center source of disturbance, and moves throughout the ocean toward land. “This disturbance of the ocean water propagates outward … generating a tsunami. In the deep sea, a tsunami is hardly noticeable. When it approaches shallow coastal waters, friction by the sea floor slows the bottom of the waves, causing the waves to See Tsunami on page 4

The Battalion Every day 4,100 children die from a disease that could have been prevented with clean water and sanitation. Living in the U.S., we don’t think twice about getting a cup of tap water, while 1 billion people across the world live without access to safe water. TAMU-UNICEF is promoting the World for Water Act, which will work toward providing clean water around the world. “The goal of the Act is to provide 100 million people who are less fortunate with access to clean drinking water and safe sanitation,” said Joyce Go, a senior English major and president of TAMU-UNICEF. It will take multiple steps to provide clean water to areas in need. The bill will establish a senior adviser for water, who will instigate solutions that are country-specific. As a result of the bill, a coordinator will also be appointed within the state department to coordinate the diplomatic policy of the U.S. and to match global freshwater problems. In addition, it will give programs to countries that are in greatest need of aid. Funding the bill will amount to $315 million in order for 1 million people to have access to safe drinking water by 2015. “This may seem to be ‘too grand’ in scale because of the international emphasis of the act, but what we as students can do is a sign a letter [or] petition and get them sent to our state Rep. Bill Flores,” said Jerry de la Garza, a sophomore international studies major and chairman for the advocacy committee. TAMU-UNICEF locations around campus provided students the opportunity to sign petitions that were lobbying for The World for Water Act to pass. The goal of the organization is to have 2,000 petitions signed; results of the campaign are pending. “The petitions, signed by the students of Texas A&M who wish to show support, will be sent to our representative in the House


Joanna Raines

Interested? TAMU-UNICEF meets at 9 p.m. Mondays in Zachary 104A. to show that this is a bill the people support and our representatives to re-introduce and vote in favor for. Our goal is that by getting hundreds, if not thousands of signatures, that our representative will re-introduce the bill, vote in favor and encourage other representatives to support the bill as well,” said Alexander Constantine, a sophomore molecular and cell biology major and secretary of TAMU-UNICEF. “It is important to get involved in causes like the Water for the World Act because it helps us to become aware of the discrepancies between populations throughout the world. Students tend to become so caught up in their education and their personal goals that we forget that there are people dying in on account of preventable causes like dehydration because of drinking dirty water while we are here buying bottled water because we prefer it over tap water,” Go said.

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Matt Woolbright, Editor in Chief Megan Ryan, Managing Editor Gayle Gabriel, City Editor Jill Beathard, Enterprise Editor Rebecca Bennett, Lifestyles Editor David Harris, Sports Editor Evan Andrews, Graphics Chief Tyler Hosea, Video/Photo Chief THE BATTALION (ISSN #1055-4726) is published daily, Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters and Monday through Thursday during the summer session (except University holidays and exam periods) at Texas A&M University. Periodicals Postage Paid at College Station, TX 77840. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Battalion, Texas A&M University, 1111 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-1111. News: The Battalion news department is managed by students at Texas A&M University in Student Media, a unit of the Division of Student Affairs. News offices are in The Grove, Bldg. 8901. Newsroom phone: 979-845-3313; Fax: 979-845-2647; E-mail:; website:

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Advertising: Publication of advertising does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by The Battalion. For campus, local, and national display advertising, call 979-845-2696. For classified advertising, call 979-845-0569. Advertising offices are in The Grove, Bldg. 8901, and office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Fax: 979845-2678.

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texas Health care advocates protest cuts at Capitol AUSTIN, Texas — Teresa Little needs Texas Medicaid services if she doesn’t want to lose her granddaughter to a devastating degenerative disease she says is lethal combination of muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis and cancer all rolled into one. But a state House budget slated for a vote within days would severely cut health care funding for the state’s poorest citizens, including children. Little, who has permanent custody of her grandchildren, spoke to hundreds of health care advocates rallying at the Capitol Wednesday and warned that cuts of such magnitude will have disastrous consequences for the state’s children. “Each day, we see another piece of her die,” Little said, standing by her granddaughter, who sat in a wheelchair. “I was literally sickened when I heard about the proposed health care cuts. We won’t have any health care options left. ”

nation&world Medicare to pay for $93,000 cancer drug

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WASHINGTON — Medicare officials said Wednesday that the program will pay the $93,000 cost of prostate cancer drug Provenge, an innovative therapy that typically gives men suffering from the disease an extra four months to live. The decision ensures that millions of men would be able to afford the drug through the government-backed health care coverage. With government reimbursement, analysts estimate Provenge could rack up $1 billion in sales next year. The decision, which will be finalized by June 30, is important for Dendreon because most prostate cancer patients are 65 or older.

Photo illustration by Stephanie Leichtle— THE BATTALION

Juniors Courtnie Allen, marketing major, and Mallory Cavenee, finance major, use cardboard cars to promote using Carpool for a Marketing 322 project. Allen had to use guerilla marketing, which is out of the box advertising, in order to create and advertise a campaign.

insidethebattalion jillbeathard enterprise editor Hometown: Argyle, Texas Career track: English major, plans to work in journalism Internships: I was a copy editor in Dublin, Ireland, last summer, editing copy for The Irish Independent. Something people don’t know about me: When I was in third grade, I wanted to be a writer, so I kept a journal just like “Amelia’s Notebook.” If you knew me in third grade, you’re in there. Why I am working for The Battalion: I love that The Battalion is a college newspaper. We have so much interesting stuff going on on this campus, from the history of our traditions to the innovative research, and I love being a major part of the exchange of ideas that happens here. The most memorable moment I have had as a student journalist: Interviewing Mark Holtzapple, a chemical engineering professor who’s developing a process to turn garbage into fuel. To me that project meant A&M is working on technology that makes an impact, and it was cool to meet someone that passionate about their work. Also, interviewing Bart Crow; he kept saying everything was “groovy.” If I had two spare hours, I would: Read a book of my choice.

Associated Press



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

The Battalion welcomes readers’ comments about published information The Battalion welcomes any Texas A&M student interested in writing for the that may require correction. We will pursue your concern to determine whether arts, campus, metro or sports staffs to try out. We particularly encourage freshmen and sophomores to apply, but students may try out regardless of a correction needs to be published. Please semester standing or major. No previous journalism experience is necessary. e-mail at

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GOLDEN KEY INTERNATIONAL HONOUR SOCIETY MEETING! Howdy Golden Key members! This Thursday, March 31st, we will be conducting our very first meeting to discuss officer positions, scholarships, and to get to know one another! The meeting will be held in Rudder Tower, room 701 at 6:30pm.

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Aggie Japan Project

Students interested in getting involved in providing relief to Japan following the devastating earthquake can attend the Aggie Japan Project informational meeting from 10 to 11 p.m. today in the Tradition theater room off campus.


Outdoor movie

Mic Check will present a movie at 9 p.m. today on the outdoor patio at Revolution Café in downtown Bryan for $2.



Texas Film Festival

Aggie Relay for Life

The Texas Film Festival will be from 6:30 p.m. Friday to 10:30 p.m. Sunday in Rudder Theater. Each evening will include a segment of short films followed by director Q&As and a feature film. Visit http:// for a detailed schedule.


Aggie Relay for Life will have its sixth annual relay to benefit the American Cancer Society, beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at Penberthy Fields. Several student groups, including the Aggie Wranglers, Apotheosis and Percussion Studio, will perform.


Theatre in Bryan

StageCenter Theatre in Downtown Bryan will present Mauritius, a play about two estranged half-sisters who discover a book of rare stamps after their mother’s death and the drama that ensues. Performances start 7:30 p.m. today.

b! thebattalion 03.31.2011 page3


Finding your Passion Courtesy photo

Three-day Christian conference inspires college students across the globe Participants listen to music at the Passion conference in Georgia.

Joe Terrell

The Battalion Every year, tens of thousands of young adults from across the U.S. pour into arena-like concert halls to take part in a one-of-a-kind experience. Since its beginning in 1997, Passion has become the Super Bowl of Christian conferences for college students. The conference earlier this year in Atlanta, Ga., had more than 22,000 attendees, heralding from all over the nation and several countries from all parts of the globe. In the wake of this unprecedented event, Passion is also putting on a conference in Fort Worth this weekend. “Passion is a three day gathering of university students,” said Brad Jones, class of 2004. “It’s about inspiring college students to live for what matters most.” Jones graduated from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M with a degree in finance. He is the relational coordinator and navigator for Passion founder Louie Giglio. After he graduated, Jones became a youth pastor, and in 2008, he was approached by members of Passion staff asking if he would like to accompany the team on the 2008 Passion World Tour, which made stops in 17 cities across the world, including Tokyo, Kiev, Cape Town and Paris. “It really was a defining point in my life,” he said. Since then, Jones has committed to Passion full-time, assisting Giglio with business deci-

sions, public relations activities and travel plans. Giglio, a former college minister at Baylor, established Passion in 1997 with the intent of inspiring what he calls a 268 Generation. “The 268 Generation is a reference to Isaiah 26:8,” Jones said, “which says ‘Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.’” More than 10,000 college students are registered for Passion Fort Worth, with Texas A&M being the most represented university. “We decided to have two conferences when we were getting wind that the Atlanta conference would sell out, which it did,” Jones said. “We think the Fort Worth location is perfect for students in the Midwest and South.” The Passion Conference commences Friday with a large worship service held in the Fort Worth Convention Center Arena. After that, students are broken into groups of about 100 called “community groups,” which are led by a speaker. From there, the groups are broken down into ”family groups,” which are comprised of about eight students. “It’s a great system we use so that the students are able to easily digest the messages and find ways to personally apply what they learn to their lives,” Jones said. The mission arm of Passion Conferences is Do Something Now, a campaign aimed at alleviating suffering throughout the world. At the Atlanta Conference, students raised more than

John Tee: InterMEDIA

$1.2 million to fund causes such as building homes in Haiti, rescuing girls from sex trafficking in the Philippines, digging water wells in India, funding surgeries in Uganda and feeding children in South Africa. “$1.2 million. College students did that,” he said. “We exceeded every goal we presented to the attendees at the Atlanta conference, and we expect nothing less from those who are attending the Fort Worth conference.” The goal for the Fort Worth Conference has been specified and is focused on one cause: translating the entire Bible into the language of the Koso people in West Africa. Do Something Now is partnering with One Verse, an organization dedicated to bringing translated versions of the Bible to unreached people groups. One Verse estimates that it will cost approximately $242,000 to fund the translation process. “I have no doubt that the students at the Fort Worth conference will meet and exceed this goal,” Jones said. Those who attend Passion Fort Worth are also instructed to bring a new towel and pair of socks. “We interviewed a lot of the homeless shelters in the area and the things they said they need most are towels and socks,” Jones said. “We want this city to feel our impact.” “Passion 2011 was a life changing event for me,” said Zachary Bacon, a senior management information systems major who attended the Atlanta conference in January. “It was amazing to

Defying standards

2011 wows with out-ofDespite these traditional ways of thinking, InterMEDIA Performance this-world art 2011 did quite an excellent job of do-


hen most people think of art, they usually think of it in single genres like painting, film or music. Art is not usually thought of as something with multiple genres.

see what God can do through college students.” Passion is also known for its spectacular worship concerts. The live album from the Atlanta conference, Here for You , released earlier this month, debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts. The Fort Worth conference will include live performances from popular contemporary Christian artists such as Chris Tomlin, The David Crowder Band, Matt Redman, Kristian Stanfill and Christy Nockels. “It’s some of the most well-known and anointed worship leaders on the planet,” Jones said. “It’s a one-of-a-kind worship experience. Most of their music has been birthed out of the Passion movement.” Speakers for conference include Passion director Giglio; John Piper, author of Desiring God and Francis Chan, author of the New York Times bestseller Crazy Love. “These aren’t just big name speakers that we found and asked to come give a sermon,” Jones said. “These are people who have been deeply connected with Passion Movement.” Ultimately, Passion isn’t about grand arena rock concerts or top-billed speakers delivering epic messages. It’s about the students. “We want to see a generation of students rise up and live for the glory of the Lord,” Jones said. “We want them to be missionaries, businessmen, school teachers or whatever God has gifted them to do. This generation has the potential to change the world.”

ing away with this notion by combining multiple art genres in some of the most mind-bending ways possible. The result was a truly original, genrebending and compelling performance. This was not any ordinary concert, seeing as none of the performances were what the general public might call traditional music. Rather, the multiple performances took different genres of art, like music mixed with film or drawing, and created original, never-before-seen works.

“It’s basically students from A&M who integrate technology with music. It’s a new genre that most people aren’t familiar with,” said Brian Kusumoto, a sophomore general studies major. Indeed, these performances were all very technology-heavy. For example, most of the performances relied on sound software from MacBook computers. One notable act involved drawing with a Wii Remote. When an art performance has someone using a Wii Remote of all objects, it is clear that a lot of brainstorming and imagination went into the creation of the show. Performances ranged from some-

what traditional acts like “The Journey,” which was a narrative of a naïve child losing his innocence, to the mind-blowing, including the notable “Black Hole” and “SOCCERMOM.” The former combined visuals that could have doubled as a really cool screen saver with audio that can only be described as out-of-thisworld. “SOCCERMOM” combined live performances with loud, unsettling noises that came in unpredictable spurts, which made the experience all the more intense. See Art on page 4


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Special to The Battalion The 2010 census found that more than half of the U.S. population increase during the past decade is due to the migration of Hispanics. There are now 50 million Hispanics living in the U.S., and the need to strengthen ties in the Latino community is more urgent than ever. “Latinos in Politics� is this year’s theme for the 23rd Student Conference on Latino Affairs, or SCOLA. This conference will take place Friday and Saturday at Texas A&M University. “We wanted to cover all areas such as the role of the media, policies, as well as the empowerment of Latinos to get involved,� said Teresita Zarate, a senior animal science major and director of SCOLA. The conference is open to all students interested in learning about affairs affecting the Latino community. “Last year’s conference was really informative. It opened my eyes to the whole system of Latino affairs,� said Abelardo Bocanegra, a senior biological and agricultural engineering major. This year Bocanegra said he is expecting to see dialogue

that will increase insight into political issues facing the Latino community at A&M. “It’s diverse here. We do have all kinds of people who appreciate the Hispanic culture. There have been some instances where we have been segregated, but I hope to see a more positive environment,� he said. SCOLA has lined up a group of influential scholars to speak at this year’s conference. Speakers include Commandant of the Corps of Cadets, Brigadier General Joe E. Ramirez, Jr, Alberto Moreiras, head of Hispanic Studies, and Sylvia Rivera Manzona, professor in the Department of Political Science. Ramirez will speak on the significance of leadership in politics and several others will speak on the importance of dialogue in promoting better relationships with those outside the Hispanic community. “For a long time the Latino community was the silent minority, but this is rapidly changing,� Zarate said. “I personally would love to see more Latinos involved in politics, economics and education. The most significant issue is having the Latino voice heard. Latinos are the largest growing minority, and I feel

that throughout all that, their voices are getting lost in all the hustle and bustle of politics.� Additionally, SCOLA aims to instill in students a sense of what they will be expected to face after graduation. A career fair will be on the first day of the conference and various networking opportunities will be available for students throughout the conference. “As the census is showing, we are growing,� said Melanie Weiser, the SCOLA program adviser. “We contribute a lot of diversity to the communities in which we live. We have seen so many changes in the past couple of years. We are going to continue to grow. Conferences like this help us to foster dialogue among the Latino community and enable students to become stronger leaders.� Zarate commented on the importance of appreciation, not only for the Hispanic cultures but for others as well. “A healthy appreciation is necessary for all cultures, not only the Hispanic culture,� Zarate said. “Appreciation leads to the bridging of gaps long left unattended, which will help build a brighter future and more successful nation.�

nation&world Ex gang leader gets 8 life sentences in murders LOS ANGELES — A judge guaranteed the founder of the Asian Boyz gang will spend the rest of his life in prison, slamming him Wednesday with eight consecutive life sentences for a mid-1990s crime spree that included eight murders in a quest to make his gang the most feared in Los Angeles. Superior

Court Judge Robert J. Perry called 37-year-old Marvin Mercado a clear danger to society and said only two of his victims were rival gang members while the rest were law-abiding citizens. “He deserves the greatest sentence this court can impose,� Perry said. “The amount of pain and senseless hurt this

defendant and his associates have caused is enormous and incalculable.� The bespectacled Mercado, who did not address the court, was stone-faced as Perry sentenced him to the life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murders. Associated Press



Continued from page 3

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A good majority of the audience were students fulfilling music class assignments, but they all had some personal interest in the show. “My teacher told me about it, and we have to do concert reports for Music 201 and it sounded really interesting,� said Erin Duffey, a freshman education major. Most importantly, InterMEDIA 2011 was a refreshing new way for the students involved to explore the arts. Through performances, they were able to be creative in original ways as well as express themselves. “Me and my teammates were creative in a way I’ve never approached before. Art can be interactive,� said Travis Cagle, a senior mechanical engineering major. Overall, InterMEDIA 2011 demonstrated that art is something that doesn’t really stay the same. It constantly changes into new and unprecedented forms that require a lot of imagination and consequent innovation. It is no surprise that Texas A&M students produced it.

pile up and inundate the shoreline in walls of water,� said Ben Duan, an assistant professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics. Until the waves released energy across the ocean or collided with land, they travelled approximately 200 to 300 meters per second — the speed of a Boeing 747 jet airplane. When the tsunami reached shallow water, forcing the volume upward, the wall of water built to heights of up to 30 feet. Though the Hollywood-generated perception of 100-foot tidal waves is unlikely, there is still data to be evaluated. “[They are] unlikely, but not impossible. It is impossible to generate this kind of wave with earthquakes, but with meteorite impacts, it is possible under certain conditions,� Weiss said. Officials speculate that flooding from the tsunami caused the electric generators at the nuclear power plants to fail. These generators regulate the interior atmosphere of the power plants by cooling the reactors with water. Without electrical power to cool a nuclear reaction, the pressure produces an explosion and the release of radioactivity. “Earthquakes and tsunamis are natural phenomena. We cannot prevent them, but we can be better prepared to mitigate their damages by scientific research and better engineering practice,� Duan said.


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women’s tennis

Acclimated to Aggieland Potgieter adjusts to new life Ben Crook

The Battalion

Photos by April Baltensperger — THE BATTALION

Freshman Christi Potgieter is enjoying success as she has compiled a 7-3 record in doubles play.

If you talk to anyone within the Texas A&M women’s tennis team about freshman Christi Potgieter, one topic is bound to come up. “From the first time she came to campus and started out, it was amazing how well she blended in with everybody,” said Head Coach Bobby Kleinecke. “She’s transferred into the team so well, so quickly, and the girls love her,” said Elzé Potgieter, student assistant coach for the women and Christi’s older sister. Perhaps that last quote gives a clue as to why Christi has been able to come to College Station from nearly 9,000 miles away in South Africa and fit in so well with the team. Christi, like many Aggies, has had the help of family to soften the dramatic change from high school to college. “[Having Elzé around] is the best thing in the world,” Christi said. “She helps me with everything, and she knows everything.” Elzé made the same transition from South Africa to Texas that Christi is making not too long ago, having just capped off a great career for the Aggies. Christi certainly hopes to follow her sister’s footsteps in that regard, but there’s no rush for her to replicate that success. “When you come in the middle of the year, I know it’s going to sound crazy, but I don’t have any expectations for her,” Kleinecke said. “We just play it day by day and let her progress as she can.” Having someone you are so close with next to you during a match could add some pressure for some, but Christi prefers to have big sister in her corner. “She talks to me in Afrikaans when she’s in my court, she talks

to me as a sister,” Christi said. “I think that relaxes me more and that helps me a lot.” That familiarity has helped Christi make the transition from junior tennis, where she enjoyed much success, into collegiate tennis. Christi twice represented South Africa in the Fed Cup, the premier team competition in women’s tennis, and competed in the junior portion of the 2009 Australian Open. Potgieter admits there are some noticeable differences. “This tennis is a lot different than junior tennis, so you also have to adjust to this style of tennis and this type of team environment,” she said. But the coaching staff is confident that those skills will translate well into the college game. “It’s hard to say that it’s going to translate right this second,” Kleinecke said. “But as time goes on, she’s going to be playing her best tennis.” That’s not to say that she hasn’t made an impact on the court already. Christi has been playing both doubles and singles, and her record in doubles (7-3) has been a contribution to the team. Her immediate impact is all the more special considering what she has gone through the past year. An illness prevented her from playing tennis for four months before coming to College Station, and she’s fought through an ankle injury for part of the season. But neither the adversity nor the success can put pressure on Christi, with the help of her team and her family. Expectations don’t get the best of her, her goals read like any other Aggie’s. “I just want to be the best I can,” she said. “I want to beat the Longhorns. I want my Aggie ring.”

women’s basketball

David Harris: A

special night for Blair


e held the Dallas nylon in his left hand. With his right, the time-honored “Gig ‘Em” was shown. And on his face, he wore a look of composure, of stoicism, of a coach who has been there before. But behind the cool demeanor, it was obvious that this — a 58-46 Elite Eight victory over arch-nemesis Baylor — meant more to Head Coach Gary Blair. “This was just a very special game,” Blair noted. Special because Texas A&M is going to the first Final Four in program history. Special because when Blair

took over merely eight years ago, A&M was a program in shambles; one that was the Big 12’s bottomfeeder; one that hadn’t experienced a winning season in seven years. Special because after nearly 38 years in the business, Blair’s toughest challenge — turning A&M into a national power — is complete. But it was all the more special because they finally did it. They



Pg. 5-03.31.11.indd 1

finally overcame the six-foot-eightinch hurdle of Brittney Griner. They finally ended an eight-game losing streak against their Brazos Valley brethren. Finally, they beat Baylor. “This team expected to win, but we expected to win the other three games against Baylor, too,” Blair said. “We played very hard in all three of them. Baylor was just better all three times. But tonight it was Texas A&M.” Revenge is often an overused term in the world of sport. Coaches and players love to find motivation in the doubters, in prior results. One loss to a certain team certainly spells doom for the opponent the next go-round. “They’re disrespecting us.” “I guarantee a victory this time.” “This is for all the doubters.” And the exhausted sayings could go on and on. But for Blair and A&M, no word could be more fitting. This was about enacting revenge; on Kim Mulkey who had compiled eight consecutive wins — all by single digits — over the future

Hall-of-Famer; and on Baylor — a program that was the Big 12’s shining star and the only school in the conference to hoist a national championship trophy. The game started out just like the prior three. A&M jumped on the Lady Bears swiftly and built up a first-half lead. But unlike the prior three, the team’s ambivalence didn’t rear its ugly head. Granted, A&M went on a cold streak late, inviting Baylor back into the game. However, defense — the team’s staple, its identity — stopped the Lady Bears dead in their tracks. “We didn’t choke this time,” Blair said. “We made the plays.” The team returned to College Station Wednesday and was welcomed by a throng of proud Aggies. There, Blair stood on the podium and shined that bright smile. The pride, the gratification, was unmistakable. Sure, it’s trite to say that everything worked out the way it should. But in this case, there’s no better way to describe it. “I know Coach Blair is prob-

ably more excited than anybody,” said All-American Danielle Adams. “We did this through him …Tonight, we gave it our all and played our hearts out.” Blair walked onto this campus in 2003 and took over a downtrodden embarrassment of a program. In eight seasons, embarrassment has become elite. For a man who began his coaching career at South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, life came full circle. Blair has a saying he and his teams live by: “Do not get off this bus unless you expect to win.” The bus is headed to Indianapolis for A&M’s inaugural Final Four appearance. But Tuesday, that bus stopped in Dallas. It was there that all of Blair’s hard work, his struggles against Baylor, his decision to come to A&M was vindicated. And, as he said, it was truly special. David Harris, senior economics major and sports editor.


3/30/11 6:11 PM


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puzzle answers can be found online at







Clues: 1. Plural of 3-letter scrabble word starting with Q 2. A fit of shaking and shivering 3. The British word for the underground train service within the city 4. A person with unusual powers of foresight

Surakshith Sampath — THE BATTALION

Pg. 6-03-31-11.indd 1

3/30/11 1:44:01 PM


page 7 thursday 3.31.2011


classifieds Organization strives to teach Aggie see ads at


Classifieds Continued from Page 6

HELP WANTED Burger King is now hiring cashiers, food handlers, and shift managers, EOE. Call 979-574-1799 to apply. Camp For All is looking for creative and energetic staff who are interested in working with children and adults w/challenging illnesses and special needs. These paid positions will be trained to lead activities for our campers in the summer. Please contact Jessicah or visit our website at City of College Station, LIFEGUARDS NEEDED, $8.70/hr, apply online @ or call 979-764-3540, EOE. Cleaning commercial buildings at night, M-F. Call 979-823-5031 for appointment. Executive office looking for part-time receptionist. Decorum necessary. Please send cover letter, resume, availability, and references to F/T Maintenance Position, must have reliable truck and clean driving record with proof of insurance for maintenance calls, must have own hand tools, apply in person at 1507 South College Ave, Bryan 979-775-2291. Hallmark Cleaners hiring delivery driver. Apply in person 3611 S.College Ave. Household cleaning, ironing, organizing help needed. Min 6-8hrs/wk $10/hr between 8-5 weekdays. Heavy detailed cleaning-inside and out, year-round commitment necessary, begin work ASAP. Fax bio/work/reference info to 979-690-8075. HS Band Instructor/coordinator To supervise, teach marching/concert percussion section. Contact Zane Taylor, Bryan HS Band, for details.


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budget,” said Bethany Barnes, chairwoman of MSC LEAF. Besides the keynote speakers, there will be a panel of other professional women from around the Bryan-College Station area who will discuss different elements of their lives and careers; how they achieve financial, physical, mental and emotional well-being. After the speakers, the delegates will break up into groups for sessions and activities. One includes a fitness portion headed by Fowler. “It’s casual because people have one area where there’s a fitness break-out session where they can go and get their exercise on, so jeans are fine,” Barnes said. Fowler, class of 2006, graduated with a degree in sports management and is a certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist and level III peak Pilates. Registration is open un-

til the day of the conference on Friday, as the executives would like to see more students participate. “I would definitely like to see more. There is a definite need for organizational leadership orientated and specifically for empowering women,” Fischer said. MSC LEAF was started because of the lack of leadership groups for women. Other than the annual conferences the organization discusses women’s issues on campus and around the world. Their largest component is their relationship with the former Aggie women’s network that acts as mentors to the members and discusses career topics. “I think it’s a great thing; I think it gives the women on campus the opportunity to say ‘OK, there are opportunities for me to be more involved and places for me to help other women,’” Barnes said.

Courtesy photos

Top: Protesters in Egypt look on as an explosion disrupts the demonstration. Muhammad Radwan took many photos while peacefully participating in the Egyptian protests. Left: Christians hold hands while surrounding a group of Muslims during their prayer time to ensure their safety in the middle of the Egyptian protests.

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Pg. 7-03-31-11.indd 1

Aguilar. “She is a great speaker who’ll be able to relate to the women. She has come so far in her personal issues; she confronted them and became a healthy happy person.” Winner of NBC’s sixth season of The Biggest Loser , Aguilar had to cope with both the emotional stress of reconciling with her mother and her addiction to food. According to her website, she now takes part in tours, appears on talk shows and is involved in various charities. This conference focuses on how the female students at A&M can learn how to juggle daily lives in a healthy and stress-free manner. “Participants said, ‘Oh we’d really like to see something health-geared.’ I think there’s a strong emphasis on being healthy, and that’s not just physically, but emotional[ly], financially – if you’re graduating, you need to know that you have to

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Part-time summer help. Apply in person. Conlee-Garrett Moving and Storage. 600 South Bryan Ave, Bryan.

The Battalion A women’s leadership organization on campus strives to inform Aggie women about the important relationship between health and leadership. Friday, MSC LEAF, Leadership and Empowerment of Aggie Females, will have the women’s leadership conference, and this year’s theme is wellness. Wellness is the process of informed choices that leads one to a healthy lifestyle; a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. This year’s keynote speakers are Britny Fowler, personal trainer on the TV show Heavy, and Michelle Aguilar, a past winner of The Biggest Loser. These women have first-hand experience in balancing health within their daily lives. “I’m very excited to see her come,” said director of development of MSCLEAF Lizzy Fischer, about Michelle


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Rebecca Hutchinson

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women how to balance health, success

Muhammad Continued from page 1

he would take photos of that, but he would never sell these photos — he would give them away for free.” In the interview, Muhammad is introduced as a foreigner who was arrested for contracting to send footage of Syrian unrest and receiving financial compensation in return. Muhammad described a trip to Israel and outlined a sequence of events setting up the footage for cash trade. “It sounds like it’s coerced. Just looking at him he seems pretty shaken and very unnerved,” Tarek said. “I cannot conclusively deny that any of this happened, but this is just completely atypical of him.” Syrian officials are trying to frame the unrest in the country as the product of foreign instigation, and they are trying to make Muhammad the scapegoat for that, Tarek said. Melisa Valle, a close friend of Muhammad, said the tone of voice and body language he used during the interview did not indicate he meant what he was saying. “The clip on CNN did not show the Muhammad that we know. That’s not him in any way,” said Valle, class of 2002. “We believe there was a certain situation that made him say the things he said. There is a long history of torture in Syria.” The Israeli spy allegations include that Muhammad requested his American passport not be stamped upon entering and leaving Israel. As an American in Syria, there is no law against Muhammad going to Israel — it is just taboo, Tarek said. In any case, Muhammad has never been to Israel, Tarek and Valle said. It is not unlikely that his brother gave photos away to help someone else or advance information, but that is also not a crime, Tarek said.

this.” Tarek has been communicating with ◗ People can participate in peaceful every international contact he knows demonstrations, connect to the and has a meeting scheduled with Syrian Facebook page, http://www. ambassadors Friday., to “Just imagining what my brother must be going through … it’s easy for stay informed, spread the word and us to worry on the outside while we still write to their congressmen asking have … mechanisms to work through for action, Valle said. There will be a for his release,” Tarek said. “I just really peaceful demonstration noon Friday hope he’s OK, that he’s not being misin front of the Syrian Consulate in treated or tortured.” Houston; for more information check Tarek added that the televised interthe Facebook page. view showed no signs of mistreatment, and because Muhammad is a known figValle spoke with Muhammad the day ure, it is unlikely he will be harmed. A before his arrest, and said he did not talk Syrian official told his mother that Muabout the events going on in Syria. hammad would be released if he were “He was just observing. He went to found innocent, Valle said. Syria mainly to help his father with his “We all hope this will end soon,” Valcompany. He worked 12 hours a day; le said. “The longer it takes, the more that’s where he spent most of his time,” risks there are and the more complex it Valle said. “It’s very possible he went to gets.” the mosque to pray, then left and saw Muhammad’s father is staying in Syria a demonstration so he took a picture until his son is released, and his mother is and was tweeting about it. I don’t think staying in Cairo with family. [covering the demonstration] was some“It’s heart-warming to see the numthing he planned in any way.” ber of supporters calling for MuhamTarek said the family was distraught, mad’s freedom,” Tarek said, “or at the and they work to arrange his release. very least, his safety.” “He’s my best friend in the entire Valle said the U.S. and Egyptian emworld; I’m obviously devastated,” Tarek bassies have been supportive in pursuing said. “Every day, every minute that he avenues for Muhammad’s release. spends in Syrian custody is nerve-rack“I have faith the U.S. and Egyptian ing.” Protests outside Syrian embassies oc- officials will be able to help provide the humanitarian rights that Muhammad decurred around the world in places such serves,” Valle said, “and I have hope that as Cairo, London, Beirut and soon to we will be able to spread the word, bebe Houston and Washington, D.C. A cause it will take every single person we Facebook group was created for Muknow to let people know he’s detained.” hammad’s freedom. The main concern Valle and the team working for Muof the family is Muhammad’s condition, hammad’s freedom are not relying only as Syrian officials have not allowed anyon the authorities to expedite his release, one to see him because they are calling however. it a matter of national security. “We have to be the voice for Mu“We do not know if he’s alive,” Valle hammad because he has no voice at this said. “We grew up in the Middle East moment,” Valle said. “We have to be and we have this deep love and understanding for its people. For me it’s harder aware of his situation and how this imto ask [how this makes me feel] because pacts the entire world. He’s not the only one in this position.” I know what happens in situations like

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3/30/11 9:17 PM


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Adrian Calcaneo — THE BATTALION

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