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thebattalion ● monday,

may 10, 2010

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s meant a h M & me at A es. The Class a g e g e l s chang he col resident p laying t setbacks and y t i s r nive und s, victorie as seen three U ake a turn aro rs h pus. T steps the senio m of 2010 a c n o e ruction and follow th heir diplomas. t s n o c d t and oly boar ey cash in for p o t t a B h t the n before e k a t e v ha

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Student Senate wants input

Graduates pursue wide range of paths

■ Senators

Katy Ralston

Evan Andrews and Jill Beathard — THE BATTALION

debate in-state tuition for illegal immigrants Melissa Appel The Battalion The question of offering preferential tuition to students who are not legal residents of the U.S. has emerged as a topic of student opinion with the “In-State Tuition Bill” before the Texas A&M Student Senate. If passed, the bill would state that it is the official opinion of the Texas A&M student body that a student who is not a legal resident of the country should not be allowed to qualify for instate tuition. “I don’t think it’s fair that illegal immigrants are receiving in-state tuition, but those that live legally in the U.S. but live outside the state are paying $15,000 more to come to Texas A&M each year,” said Justin Pulliam, senator from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and sophomore animal See Bill on page 2

this day in

rld wohistory

May 10, 2005 Cuban activists delivered more than 11,000 signatures to the National Assembly demanding a referendum on broad changes in the socialist system, an unprecedented challenge to Fidel Castro’s 43-year rule.

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Jeremy Northum — THE BATTALION

The quadruplets remained close throughout college.

Aggie quadruplets to graduate Friday Megan Ryan The Battalion Four Aggie rings. Four caps. Four gowns. Four members of the Texas A&M Class of 2010. Four people born as quadruplets on Dec. 14, 1987, became best friends by the time they had taken the final semester of college courses. Agricultural economics major Daniel, communications major Kayla, agricultural leadership and development major Patrick and agricultural economics major Reagan Thompson came to Texas A&M four years ago, and all four of them will graduate Friday. Each quadruplet has a plan after graduation, and though

Daniel will be moving to another state, the siblings plan to keep in touch. “I will be calling them, and I get some vacation time, so I’ll definitely be flying to see them,” Daniel said. “It will definitely be harder, but I’m planning on seeing them.” Daniel and Reagan majored in agricultural economics. The two saved money by sharing books and studied together when they shared classes. “We had a lot of the same classes so it was definitely nice to have a brother that was smarter than me and in the same major,” Reagan said. See Quadruplets on page 8

The Battalion In a few short days, A&M will celebrate the graduation of seniors, marking the end of one chapter, and the beginning of another. Armed with a large variety of degrees and diplomas, the graduating class will be embarking on differing paths. One path many Aggies have chosen to take is that of continued education. For senior biomedical engineering major Karl Hahn, graduate school is a road that leads to working with people who share an enthusiasm for understanding. Hahn received a fellowship to study mechanical engineering at Stanford University. Before attending Stanford in August, Hahn will be working in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory this summer. Hahn said his goal is to become a professor. “I chose grad school because I like to understand things, and to me, the opportunity to go do research, obtain my doctorate, go into an academic setting, and continue the research while at the same time teaching was a very appealing route for me to take if I wanted to continue to try to understand things.” Even though he has not had any formal experience with teaching, Hahn said he has found a love for teaching through his personal experiences.

Jonny Green — THE BATTALION

Mikey Burbridge, senior spatial science major, is enlisting in the Peace Corps after graduation. “I’ve seen in me that I really enjoy helping people to understand things. I enjoy explaining things to people. It’s come out in tutoring friends or even just helping my sister with math,” Hahn said. “I just, I have a passion for understanding, and I enjoy sharing that with other people to help them understand things.” Hahn said participating in the Honors Research Fellows Program and the opportunities from his professor he has been working with throughout his undergraduate career have been a great introduction to graduate school. “I’ve been around the block once now, so I sort of I understand what’s going on,” Hahn said. “That single experience has been the most valuable of anything.” See Jobs on page 8

inside

b!

scene | 3

sports | 5

voices | 9

Black robe behavior

A final farewell

Saying goodbye

Taking a look back on the past four years in Aggie sports which included national titles, the era of Fran and Acie Law IV.

Editor-in-Chief Amanda Casanova reflects on the year, reminding students their readership is as important to The Battalion.

Find out what the proper etiquette and attire are for graduation.

5/9/10 9:46 PM


thebattalion THE INDEPENDENT STUDENT VOICE OF TEXAS A&M SINCE 1893

Amanda Casanova, Editor in Chief Jill Beathard, Managing Editor Matt Woolbright, Asst. Mng. Editor Vicky Flores, City Editor Ian McPhail, Opinion Editor Megan Keyho, Features Editor David Harris, Sports Editor Evan Andrews, Graphics Chief Megan Ryan, 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 ofďŹ ces are in The Grove, Bldg. 8901. Newsroom phone: 979-845-3313; Fax: 979-845-2647; E-mail: metro@thebatt.com; website: http://www.thebatt.com. 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 classiďŹ ed advertising, call 979-845-0569. Advertising ofďŹ ces are in The Grove, Bldg. 8901, and ofďŹ ce hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Fax: 979845-2678. Subscriptions: A part of the Student Services Fee entitles each Texas 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. To charge by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express, call 979-845-2613.

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Supporters of the bill argue it is not fair Get involved for students and families who are not legally ◗ Students can access the Student in the country to reap the benefits of resiContinued from page 1 Senate website, http://senate.tamu. dency. Many others, however, find fault in edu, for bill information or for contact this logic. science major. information for their senators. “This bill seeks to charge Aggies that are Texas allows illegal immigrants to qualify undocumented out-of-state tuition. This on for in-state tuition rates based on residency ◗ Both sides of the debate also have qualifications in the Texas Senate Bill 1528, face value, might seem like a reasonable idea, Facebook pages for discussion. which said that students must have gradu- but when you consider the arguments they ated from a Texas high school or received don’t hold up,� said Off-Campus Sen. Mark contrary to fairness and equality and would a GED from the state of Texas and resided Womack, junior history major. “All taxes limit diversity and excellence. “Pushing this demographic away from in the state for at least three years prior to collected by the state of Texas are based off Texas A&M will reduce the quality of Texas this. Students must sign an affidavit stating of sales or property, so no matter your legal A&M students, theoretically reduce the perstatus you pay the same amount in taxes that they intend to file for legal residency at the formance of the top 1 percent and decrease supports Texas higher education.� earliest possible date. Texas residents contribute with taxes, but, Texas A&M’s much sought after diversity,� With this state policy in place, many Aggies question why there is a push for a according to bill sponsors, not all will contrib- said Taylor Barron, senator from the College of Engineering and freshman mechanical enute equally to the state after their education. change in action. gineering www. major.villagefoods “Education is the only solu.com “The purpose of a state education is to villagefoods .com www. “Why should we as Aggies take this away tion to poverty and removing any ability to We make it easy to eat these better workforce to the when the state has granted hard workers provide a more educated We make it easy to... the opportunity to attend college?� said Jose state, but illegal immigrants don’t work attain higher education destroys any expected Luis, senior education major and president in the U.S., so it doesn’t make sense to long term progress from this demographic.� After considerable debate on the bill at of the Honduran Student Aggie Association. pay to educate people who can’t work,� the final meeting, the Student Senate voted “In many cases these students were brought Pulliam said. Bill authors spent considerable time and to send the bill back to the External Affairs to the U.S. hours, weeks and months after effort collecting student opinion from con- Committee for further research and for exthey were born. It is not their fault they are stituents, which was mostly in support of tensive gathering of student opinion. The bill here. They deserve an opportunity.� This bill, however, runs contrary to fed- the In-State Tuition Bill. The senators said can be passed out of committee with a vote, eral policy. U.S. Code Section 16,838 states students expressed that the policy is not fair and can be considered again on the floor in that an illegal immigrant of the country is to out-of-state Aggies who are legal resi- the fall. “I, as a senator, look forward to hearing not eligible for any “postsecondary educa- dents but must pay more for tuition. Opponents to the Student Senate bill, from as many students as I can on this imtion benefit� based on state residency, unless though, said this measure would not level portant measure,� Johnson said. it is equally available to any U.S. resident. “The best way to get involved is to get “Right now, Texas state law is actually in the field for Aggies or improve the situation informed,� Barron said. “This bill represents for out-of-state students. contradiction to federal law,� said Off-Cam.com a lotvillagefoods of forces at play; I enwww.villagefoods www. villagefoods .com “All that .com would happen if this policy the balance ofwww. pus Sen. Jacob Johnson, sophomore political We make it easy to eat better We make it easy to eat better courage students to read over both the bill WeAggies makewould it easy to... science major and bill sponsor. “There’s talk were adopted would be that and the refutations of the bill. There will be pay more in tuition,� Womack said. “[The] of changing federal law where it’s similar to opportunities to express opinions about the claims of fairness ring hollow because this Texas law. Because it’s a hot button topic right now, we decided to get this out there will not lower anyone’s tuition. I have bill in the upcoming year — trust me, this just so Texas A&M students can get their heard from many out-of-state students that will not go silently off into the night before it’s voted on.� voice heard in advance of any action that do not support this bill.� In the eyes of bill opponents, the bill has might occur.�

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5 before you go things you should know

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Summer housing

Today is the final day to cancel housing for summer session I. To cancel housing go to the Housing Assignments office by 5 p.m. or visit the website at http:// reslife.tamu.edu/how/ summer/sschool for more information.

Last beer of the year

2

Enjoy the last beer of the year with Granger Smith who will perform Wednesday at The Texas Hall of Fame with special guest Josh Langston. Doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets are $8.

3

The Next Tradition

The Next Tradition welcomes graduating students into The Association of Former Students. Bring friends and family to enjoy cold drinks and door prizes from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday or 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center.

4

Last words

The Commencement Convocation will kick off with speaker Gen. David H. Petraeus, U.S. commander in the war against terrorism in the Middle East and Central Asia at 5:30 p.m.Thursday in Reed Arena. Tickets are free and can be picked up at the MSC Box Office.

Celebrate on campus

5

Celebrate graduation at the The University Club from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday on the 11 floor of Rudder Tower. Visit their website at http:// universityclub.tamu.edu/ Reservations.html to make reservations.

b! thebattalion 05.10.2010

page3

scene

Codes of

cou rtesy because of the hazards of those shoes, but there is no rule that prohibits it. Graduating senior Elizabeth Trobaugh, an This weekend thousands of students will accounting major, is aiming to give her outfit walk across the stage in Reed Arena to accept more pizzazz by decorating her cap with a their diplomas. After four (and maybe a vicunique theme. tory lap or two) years of hard work, early “I’m going to decorate my cap to classes and late nights at the library, give my outfit more bling and stand students will be walking across the out in a crowd of hundreds of stage and into the real world. At an event students students,” she said. “I’m going But what is the appropriate atand parents will to decorate it with white and tire for such an occasion? remember forever, it blue rhinestones in honor of Members of the U.S. military is important that all being an Air Force wife.” (with exception of doctoral guests adhere to the Carter said the major candidates who will wear the etiquette issue isn’t with proper graduation appropriate academic regalia) may dress code — it’s the actions etiquette. wear military dress uniforms. Evof the students and guests of the eryone else will wear the appropriate ceremony. He said while names of academic regalia: a cap and gown. students are being called, people should Registrar Donald D. Carter said to use com- avoid yelling and loud applause so parents can mon sense when picking out the clothing to hear the name of the student graduating. wear underneath your gown. “No bells, horns or loud whistles can be “Just wear decent clothing,” Carter said. brought in because that is very distracting and “It’s not a beer buster — this is a formal Unithe noise carries over from behind,” he said. versity ceremony. There will be 12 to 13,000 Carter said the ceremony will be two hours, people in the arena seeing the student’s graduand asks that people refrain from leaving early. ate so we just as that they dress properly.” “We ask that the guests and students remain Carter said he advises students to refrain the auditorium until all the diplomas are handed from wearing slip-on shoes such as flip-flops

Megan Keyho The Battalion

Pg. 3-05.10.10.indd 1

out,” he said. “That is a major etiquette issue right there — it’s just not fair for a kid beginning who is getting May 19. his name called As first to get up far as and leave when seating the person who arrangements, it has his name is first come, first called last has serve for the guests. to be there the The graduates must arrive whole time.” at least 30 minutes prior to Graduates who the beginning of the cerleave the arena Gail Hernandez — THE BATTALION emony so they can line up early will have in the proper order. to leave their There will be an official University photogdiploma with an usher at the exit doors. If the rapher taking pictures of each degree candidate graduate does not return to the ceremony, the di- crossing the stage. Students will be contacted ploma will have to be picked up at the registrar’s by the photographer at a later date for an opoffice beginning the Wednesday following comportunity to purchase the photographs. mencement. The diplomas will not be mailed. Degree candidates can view grades and However, if a graduate cannot attend the graduation status through the Howdy portal at ceremony they can request the diploma to be 10 p.m. Thursday. mailed or pick up it in the degree audit office

5/9/10 6:03 PM


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Nov. 18, 2009 marked the 10 year anniversary of the Bonfire collapse and gave students a chance to reflect. www.villagefoods.com

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10 years of remembrance Melissa Appel

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Aggie Ring Day: September 17, 2010

The Battalion The faces that pass through the hallways and corridors of Texas A&M University have changed since 10 years ago. Throughout this time, though, the faces engraved on the 12 portals at the Bonfire Memorial have stood, reminding Aggies of the gift of the Aggie family. It is for that reason that every year, Aggies come together to remember the 12 members of the Aggie family who were lost in the early morning of Nov. 18, 1999. This past fall, Texas A&M marked 10 years that have passed since the collapse with a special Bonfire Remembrance Week. Traditions Council has put on a memorial week every year since the collapse of Bonfire, but in light of the date, placed certain emphasis on the events during the 10-year anniversary week. “Ever since I became chair[woman], Bonfire remembrance and the 10th Anniversary of the Bonfire collapse has always been on my mind, and most of my fall was dedicated to meeting with fellow student leaders and with our committee to make sure that we remembered Bonfire and the fallen 12 in the most meaningful and appropriate way possible,� said Marissa Sibal, chairwoman of Traditions Council and senior finance major. As in previous years, the week included a Bonfire remembrance exhibit and a candlelight vigil at the Bonfire Memorial at 2:42 a.m. Nov. 18 to mark the time of the collapse. This year also included a Bonfire remembrance ceremony and program on Nov. 17, where speakers reminded students of the feelings of the campus 10 years ago and the strength of the Aggie Spirit. “The message about Bonfire Remem-

brance Week is education,� Sibal said. “It is to let students know, that even though Bonfire is not on campus, the tradition, the spirit that built Bonfire is still burning inside each Aggie.� More emphasis was placed this year on promoting the meaning of the week and student participation. Traditions Council incorporated the aid of multiple other student organizations, including the Memorial Student Center organizations, Residence Hall Association and the Corps of Cadets. “That was the beautiful part of the entire thing,� Sibal said. “Though Traditions Council did a lot of tangible work such as collecting candles or manning the tables throughout the week, none of it would have been possible without the student leaders from the other organizations collaborating together to spread awareness and support the endeavors of the primary committee of students who helped put it together.� MSC Hospitality and the members are the official tour guides of the Bonfire Memorial, scheduling tours of the memorial throughout the year for various groups. “It is important for all of us to remember what happened on that tragic day and also understand the meaning behind each and every aspect of the memorial,� said Ryan Dudley MSC Hospitality chairman and senior finance major. Although Bonfire Remembrance Week may have been in the forefront of students’ minds this year, Dudley stressed that it is an important occasion each year, with different significance to each member of the Aggie family. “It is very difficult to put into words what Bonfire or Bonfire Remembrance Week means,� Dudley said. “Everyone places their own significant meaning on Bonfire

and the remembrance week that occurs every year. Throughout my four years here at A&M, I have realized how unique Texas A&M really is.� When reflecting back on the 2009-2010 school year, the reflection on Bonfire and its poignant reminder of the power of the spirit instilled in the Aggie family is one that is highlighted for many students. “I participated in Bonfire Remembrance Week because when Bonfire fell, it affected all Aggies — past, present and even future Aggies,� said junior economics major Greg McDuffie. “Bonfire Remembrance Week brought a sense of closure to a feeling that has been a part of the Aggie family since long before I ever joined it. Bonfire remembrance was the epitome of the Aggie family.� Others said bonfire remembrance, again brought together the Aggie family. “The week of Bonfire Remembrance was so meaningful,� Sibal said. “It brought together the Aggie family, like I had never seen before. The culmination of it all — the Bonfire remembrance program and the 2:42 Ceremony — will probably always be some of my best memories of my college years. It was truly a time to remember and honor the fallen 12 and their families.� Whether students are graduating in May or will be present in November for the next Bonfire Remembrance Week, no current or future Aggie can forget what was lost that day 10 years ago, Dudley said. “Although many current students were not here on that day 10 years ago, we all know what it means to be an Aggie,� Dudley said. “We all know how tight the Aggie bond is. We are more than a University; we are a family. We will never forget. We will always remember.�

Board of Regents to decide tuition

HOW TO GET YOUR AGGIE RING ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2010: If you meet the requirements after Spring '10: 1. Submit an Aggie Ring audit online at www.AggieNetwork.com/Ring beginning May 10, 2010. 2. Check the status of your Aggie Ring audit online at www.AggieNetwork.com/Ring once your audit has been reviewed. ĂŠ ĂŠĂŠ UĂŠÂ˜ĂŠi“>ˆÂ?ĂŠĂœÂˆÂ?Â?ĂŠLiĂŠĂƒiÂ˜ĂŒĂŠĂŒÂœĂŠĂžÂœĂ•ĂŠÂœÂ˜ViĂŠĂžÂœĂ•Ă€ĂŠĂ€iĂ›ÂˆiĂœĂŠÂˆĂƒĂŠVÂœÂ“ÂŤÂ?iĂŒi°Ê ĂŠ ĂŠĂŠ UĂŠvĂŠĂžÂœĂ•ĂŠ`ÂœĂŠÂ˜ÂœĂŒĂŠĂ€iViÂˆĂ›iĂŠ>Â˜ĂŠi“>ˆÂ?]ĂŠĂžÂœĂ•ĂŠĂœÂˆÂ?Â?ĂŠÂ˜ii`ĂŠĂŒÂœĂŠVÂ…iVÂŽĂŠĂžÂœĂ•Ă€ĂŠ>Ă•`ÂˆĂŒĂŠ status online no later than June 21, 2010. ĂŠ ĂŠĂŠ UĂŠvʾÕ>Â?ˆvˆi`]ĂŠĂžÂœĂ•ĂŠĂœÂˆÂ?Â?ĂŠLiĂŠ>ĂƒĂƒÂˆ}˜i`ĂŠ`>ĂŒiĂƒĂŠĂŒÂœĂŠÂœĂ€`iĂ€ĂŠĂžÂœĂ•Ă€ĂŠ}}ˆiĂŠ,ˆ˜}° 3. Order your Aggie Ring during the assigned dates. ĂŠ ĂŠĂŠ UĂŠFull payment is due at time of order. Pricing is available online. ĂŠ ĂŠĂŠ UĂŠRing loans are available to qualified, currently enrolled students at the Short Term Loan Office. Submit your application online at http://financialaid.tamu.edu or call 845-3955 for further details. Please complete your Ring audit before applying for a Ring loan. ĂŠ ĂŠĂŠ UĂŠIf you will be gone for the summer or unable to order in person during your assigned dates: You may visit the Aggie Ring Program prior to leaving town to select your Aggie Ring. Payment will not be processed until your Ring audit has been approved. You may also choose to order in person on another day prior to the order deadline, June 22, 2010, or complete an order form found at http://www.aggienetwork.com/ring/cs_ringform.pdf - Mail or fax orders must be received by the Aggie Ring Program by June 22, 2010. - Please contact the Aggie Ring Program at (979) 845-1050 to confirm we have received your order. UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT REQUIREMENTS: 1. 90 cumulative completed undergraduate credit hours.

â– Increase in mandatory student fees could raise overall costs for 2010-2011 by $104.70 Robert Carpenter The Battalion The Board of Regents will determine tuition for the coming academic year between the spring and first summer term. At the May 27-28 meetings, Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin will present several tuition possibilities with increases ranging from zero to 3.95 percent. This represents a maximum increase of $4.81 per semester credit hour along with a $32.55 increase in mandatory student fees. Because A&M practices flatrate tuition, all full-time undergraduate students pay for 15 credit hours each semester. This brings the total increase in tuition and fees to $104.70 per semester for these students.

Hunter Bollman, a senior finance major and student regent to the Board of Regents, confirmed tuition will be on the agenda for the May meeting. “We will be deciding tuition and fees in May,� Bollman said. “I think [Texas A&M University] has requested a 3.95 percent [increase].� Jason Cook, chief communications officer for The Texas A&M University System, said tuition is usually discussed by the Board of Regents in March but was delayed this year. “Typically these hearings are heard during the month of March,� Cook said, “but given that we were in the middle of 5 percent budget reductions during that time, the regents elected to hold the meeting in May, which is their next sched-

uled meeting.� Cook said a request is made by the Texas Legislative Budget Board requiring state agencies to identify savings opportunities totaling 5 percent of general revenue for the coming biennium. For the University, this amounts to $28 million over two years. The request was made Jan. 15 and had a deadline of Feb. 15. The Texas Tech University System and the University of Texas System also faced the 5 percent expenditure reduction request. Less than a month after the deadline, UT’s Board of Regents decided on a 3.95 percent tuition increase, and Tech’s Board announced a 9.95 percent increase ceiling one month later. The A&M Board of Regents elected not to discuss tuition at the March 25-26 meeting. Both Cook and Bollman said this was not unprecedented. “By waiting until the May meeting, we now have a full

understanding of the 5 percent budget reduction ‌ and its implications for each of the A&M System campuses,â€? said Cook. Mike Wettergren, a sophomore international studies major, said the board should have invited student input by addressing this issue earlier in the year. “I think they should be doing it closer to when all the students are on campus,â€? Wettergren said. “[So we] can actually put a say into the tuition increase.â€? If the board does approve a tuition increase, it will be following a precedent set by university systems around the nation. In addition to Tech and UT, university systems such as those of Maryland, North Carolina, California, Washington State and Tennessee have elected to raise tuition for the coming academic year. The increments range from 3 to 32 percent and have incited student protests at several campuses.

2. 45 undergraduate resident credit hours completed at TAMU. 3. 2.0 cumulative GPR at Texas A&M University. 4. Must not be on academic probation, suspension, dismissal, expulsion, or on honor violation probation from the university. GRADUATE STUDENT REQUIREMENTS: Master’s Thesis Option 1. Defended Thesis Due to ordering deadlines, you may order at the beginning of the semester you will graduate. Your Aggie Ring will be delivered on Aggie Ring Day if you have defended your thesis prior to the deadline set by the Office of Graduate Studies. If you do not defend your thesis prior to this date, your Aggie Ring will be held until the qualification is met. 2. Must not be on academic probation, suspension, dismissal, expulsion, or on honor violation probation from the university. Master’s Non-Thesis Option 1. 75% of coursework completed for degree program at TAMU. 2. Must not be on academic probation, suspension, dismissal, expulsion, or on honor violation probation from the university. Ph.D. Students 1. Accepted as a Ph.D. candidate at TAMU 2. Must not be on academic probation, suspension, dismissal, expulsion, or on honor violation probation from the university.

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5/9/10 8:44 PM


thebatt.com Join Steve Brock and Zach Papas for their podcast “Redass Radio” as they ramble about the sporting world.

sports thebattalion 5.10.2010 page5

Four year farewell A first-person account of Aggie sports’ happenings from 2006-2010 Editor’s note Several Aggie athletes have done spectacular things in the last four years. In the interest of space and giving every team credit, some deserving athletes are not mentioned in this article. t was a difficult proposition: squeeze four years of Aggie sports into a few inches of print. To use a tired cliché, Aggie sports was a roller coaster from 2006-2010, with several seasons yet to be finished today. Dennis Franchione was 16-10 in his final two seasons, sending the Aggies to two bowl games and beating the hated Texas Longhorns in both 2006 and 2007. However his inability to beat Texas Tech, a series of brutal losses in 2007 and a newsletter scandal sent the coach packing. Following Franchione’s resigning after the 2007 Texas game, Athletic Director Bill Byrne announced a nationwide search for a replacement. Three days later, Byrne found his coach 90 miles away. Mike Sherman, then the offensive coordinator for the NFL’s Houston Texans, had a short and easy ride for the announcement press conference. But his first two seasons at the helm were anything but easy. Sherman dropped the first game of his collegiate head coaching career, losing to lowly Arkansas State and setting the tone for a rough season. The Aggies finished 4-8 and the Aggie fans were getting restless. The offense exploded in 2009, leading the Aggies to

I

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Brad Cox the bowl-required six wins. But a weak offensive line and a shaky defense countered the wins with a series of devastating losses, ending the season with a 6-7 record and a 44-20 bowl loss to Georgia. Meanwhile, across Wellborn Road, the soccer team was continuing a tradition of excellent play. Amassing a 68-22-7 record in the past four years, the Aggies advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament in three of those years. At G. Rollie White Coliseum rumors circulated about the future of volleyball and Head Coach Laurie Corbelli. In spite of a losing season in 2006 and a 16-14 record in 2008, Corbelli led the Aggies to 20-win seasons in both 2007 and 2009. In 2009, their first season at Reed Arena, the Aggies rallied to get into the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies’ run was stopped in the third round, where they lost to rival Texas. The lack of success in football and a sudden explosion of talent in men’s basketball bred a rabid fan base that filled Reed Arena throughout the last four years. Recording 20-win seasons in each of the past four years, the Aggies proved their 2004-2005 performance under then first-

year Head Coach Billy Gillispie was no fluke. Gillispie led the Aggies to two consecutive tournament appearances, including a Sweet-16 appearance against Memphis. But Aggie fans were devastated on the morning of April 6, 2007, when Gillispie was announced as the new head coach at Kentucky, seven days after he agreed to a contract extension at A&M. Mark Turgeon, his replacement, picked up where Gillispie left off, continuing the new tradition of Aggie basketball excellence. Turgeon is 48-20 in his first two seasons, leading the Aggies to two more NCAA tournament appearances. On the women’s side of Reed Arena, Gary Blair has kept pace with his coaching counterparts, leading the women’s basketball team to five consecutive NCAA appearances. With a 105-31 record in the past four seasons, the women’s basketball team went from being a non-factor in the Big 12 to a dominating performer on the national stage. Along with winning the Big 12 tournament title twice, the Aggies had their best season in 2008 when they lost to Candace Parker and Tennessee in the Elite Eight. Across the street from Reed Arena, Jo Evans was continuing the tradition of Aggie softball. The long-time coach led the Aggies to back-to-back Women’s College World Series appearances in 2007 and 2008, reaching the title game in latter season. Aggie fans were suspicious of

new head coach Rob Childress in 2007. He was 25-30-1 in his first season at the helm, then replacing long-time coach Mark Johnson, a fan favorite. Childress dispelled his critics in 2007 and 2008, leading the Aggies to 40-win seasons and reaching Super Regionals. Next door at the track complex, Head Coach Pat Henry was training A&M’s next national championship teams. With mixed results in the previous years, the Aggies finally broke through at the outdoor championships in 2009, taking both the men’s and women’s national championships. Almost a month earlier, the men’s golf team delivered Texas A&M its first NCAA national title since 1987. The Aggies weren’t the favorites going into the national championship round, but a 125-yard gap wedge that put the ball within inches of the 18th hole by Bronson Burgoon suddenly thrust A&M golf into the national spotlight. The women’s golf team took the Big 12 title in 2007 and finished in second in 2008. But their season ended early in the NCAA tournament in 2009, falling in the west regional. The swimming and diving teams established themselves as a national threat with the men taking 12th place and the women taking 6th at the NCAA championship in 2010. Julia Wilkinson and Alia Atkinson stole the show, winning gold medals in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard breaststroke, respectively. Brad Cox is a senior agricultural communication and journalism major.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Top: Acie Law IV led the Aggie basketball team to a Sweet 16 during his senior season and garnered AllAmerican honors. Middle: Bronson Burgoon hit a wedgeshot to within inches to give the men’s golf team the 2009 national title. Bottom: Dennis Franchione went 16-10 in his final two seasons as head football coach.

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thebattalion

Quadruplets Continued from page 1

The three men said although they lived together throughout college, but they made sure there was plenty of time to hang out with their sister, Kayla, especially during special Aggie events. “We went to fish camp and impact camp together, football games, tailgates, muster and even all had a class together freshmen year,” Kayla said. “We are not the kind of siblings that are connected at the hip though. People are surprised at how different we are. It has been so fun joining different organizations and getting involved on campus and becoming individuals, while remaining close.” Though they have found individuality, Patrick said they have grown stronger as siblings and as friends. “I think coming into college we relied upon our parents a lot for different things — major decisions,” Patrick said.

Jobs Continued from page 1

Another path some chose to pursue is service. Senior marketing major and communication minor Stefanie Avilez is following this road with the Teach for America program. Teach for America corps members dedicate two years after graduation to teaching in public schools in low-income communities in an effort to eliminate the achievement gap in education. Avilez said one reason she joined Teach for America is her firsthand experience she had in her early schooling. Her obstacles came from attending elementary at a Title 1 school in a low-income community, including less funding per student and lower expectations for students relative to students in higher income communities. Avilez said knowing people

“We’ve matured individually as a quadruple unit. We’ve definitely become closer throughout all our college experience. Their opinions definitely weigh more. They are the first three people I go to.” The Thompsons expressed appreciation for the bond that comes along with being a quadruplet, but Kayla said there is something extra special about having three siblings her same age. “We get to experience things together, unlike having an older sibling’s footsteps to follow in,” she said. “So every big moment we get to share, from getting our drivers license, to getting our Aggie rings.” The siblings said they enjoyed spending time at A&M with each other, but they each mentioned one particular experience they said they will never forget. “The most special night was the night Reagan got elected as senior yell leader,” Patrick said. “We all huddled up together, talking to one another, pumping Reagan up. I think that

who joined the organization planted the seed of her decision to pursue this path. “Their experiences gave me a really great perspective of the organization. It wasn’t me reading a website or an article, it was first-person experience,” Avilez said. “The more and more I thought about it and encountered people who were participating, I started to fall more in love with the idea of it and realized how great a fit it was with my personality, my skills and my goals.” After intensive training starting in June, Avliez will be teaching pre-kindergarten at a Houston school in August. “I wanted to join because I feel one of my strengths is a developer, and I really love working with people in the sense of where I get to help make them a better person,” Avilez said. “I’m really excited to see the growth in my

Jonny Green — THE BATTALION

The siblings are graduating into different career fields but say they will always remain close and in contact. kind of symbolized a part of that college experience together and how we grew as individuals and as a family.” Patrick said seeing his brother named yell leader was one of many great experiences he shared with his siblings. “Who else can say they got to share the college experience with three other siblings?” he said. “This is a real special time for us. Experiencing such a vital point in our lives together, and

growing as a person and having such influences as brothers and sisters is pretty incredible.” Reagan said getting to spend his time at A&M with his three siblings was rewarding. “Having the opportunity, getting to go to college with my siblings was a blessing in itself,” he said. “We’re best friends, and that made it so much better. I think every day and everything we got to do together was just awesome.”

students and knowing that I had something to do with it.” One road less traveled by graduating seniors is international service. Senior spatial science major Mikey Burbidge has chosen this path by enlisting in the Peace Corps to serve through environmental education. “I always knew I wanted to work outdoors, either protecting the environment or developing it, bringing it back from its degraded state. And I wanted to travel and meet people — those are three big things I wanted to do, and I think I get to do all of them through the Peace Corps,” Burbidge said. Burbidge has an interview two days after walking across the stage, and then begins the five-month wait process of matching the volunteer to their specific community before going abroad. Many of the people he looks up to — including his father and three of the four professors

who have made a great impact on his life — have served in the Peace Corps, and the Corps seemed like a perfect fit for him too, Burbidge said. “I love being immersed in a new environment, I like testing my capabilities as a human, and I like taking ideas and making them a reality,” Burbidge said. Burbidge looks forward to being immersed in an environment and being exposed to a different culture — one he can’t read about, but one he will experience. Sometimes the feeling cannot be explained, he said. “I think about all the possibilities I have, like where I could be waking up a year from now, where I’d be sleeping, what kind of food I’d be eating, and I don’t even think I have the correct vocabulary word for it, it’s really interesting.” Burbidge plans to use all of his experience as an international natural resource manager.

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5/9/10 8:45 PM


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

I

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

A fond farewell to

n the weeks leading up to the last issue this semester, we dubbed this piece my “goodbye column.” I’m supposed to say my farewells here. I’m supposed to tell my staff how much I am going to miss them and how incredibly talented they all are. I’m supposed to let my friends, family and the people who stood beside me know that I am so thankful for them.

But first to you, the freshmen about to take a chemistry final, to you the student athlete waiting at the bus stop, to you the professor who is taking a break from grading papers, to you, Battalion readers: thank you. You told us when we got it right and when we were wrong. I received the letters, the emails and the calls. You made us better. Thank you for disagreeing with us. Thank you for making this the student voice of A&M. This has been, and will always be, your paper. I’ve written this on an off-day for the newsroom. It’s quiet, and I still haven’t figured out the correct light combination to get them all on at the same time, so it’s also slightly dark. The post-it notes on my desk, reminders, the signs on my desk, mementos. If I stand and peer over my monitor, I can see the entire newsroom. And I remember. I remember the first time I had to run back here at 1 a.m. to resend a page to the printer. I remember breaking news and budget meetings. From our production of an issue that remembered the 100-year anniversary of Bonfire to President Barack Obama’s visit to our closing issues, we did our best. I am a journalism junkie. I love the news business. I also love A&M. Thus, working at the Battalion was a marriage of these two passions, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to serve. Every night I’d step out of the newsroom and the clock tower’s chime would remind me the work day was ending or, in some cases, a new day had begun, and then I would see our product in your hands. As for the hard-working and creative minds behind those 10 pages, I could not have asked for a better group to lead. The staff of this paper are students who are just trying to immortalize the

page9

The Battalion

Amanda Casanova helps senior English major Tracey Wallace design the front page for today’s paper.

Amanda Casanova spirit of A&M five days a week while balancing school, friends and outside activities. They pushed me and frustrated me. They called me all the time. They made me laugh and made me think, and I hate to leave them. I graduate in four days. I am taking my Aggie

A disrespectful demonstration M

arching on the Quadrangle isn’t anything new, but the kind that took place there Tuesday should never happen again. As my buddies and I stood alongside our freshmen, doing physical training with them for the final time, we were interrupted by an unruly mob. A colonel stood closely by to monitor the situation. He urged us, “Stay calm. Keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t even look at them.” A group of about 75 students made their way down the Quadrangle, chanting “Rape, pillage and burn!” Part of me felt angry as they hammered on the doors to Duncan. However, that anger eventually gave way to an acute sadness about the state of our University and the challenges all Aggies face moving forward. Nathan Alsbrooks I looked down at the fish next to me, and silently counted the ones who will one day University and the Corps of Cadets. serve our country as officers in the military. We are all Aggies, and each and every one The others who do not aspire to serve will of us is an heir to the spirit of Harrell. Those enter the private sector, ready to become leadthat wear the Corps uniform assume the role of ers in the workforce and in their communia Keeper of the Spirit and a Guardian of Tradities. I have seen each and every one of them tion. That does not mean that we stand alone display tremendous fortitude throughout the in this obligation. We should stand together as course of this year, enduring several hardships Aggies to honor the spirit of those who have and challenges. They are heirs to an incredgone before us. Aggies are fighting in the sands ible tradition, one that has been in existence for of Afghanistan and Iraq, but even more are generations. The heroism of Medal of Honor serving in their churches, helping those in need, recipient William G. Harrell and the leadership responding to disasters across the globe and of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates can serve answering the call to be fathers and mothers to inspire every Aggie, regardless of their who will instill in the next generation membership in the Corps of Cadets. Last week, an values, discipline and courage. My Harrell, who was severely woundcommanding officer will move angry mob ed to the point of losing both hands to Virginia after his graduation disrespected while defending his position on Iwo to serve in the marines, and I the Corps and Jima from the Japanese, would have, am saddened that during his last A&M with their no doubt, found the demonstration days in the Corps, he has been unruly march. offensive. Of those that watched the forced to observe a heartless, disdemonstration that took place Tuesday respectful and unwarranted demonon the Quadrangle, many will commisstration aimed at attacking the Corps he sion and serve our country. They all place holds so dear. their lives at risk, and ironically, they do so to I charge and challenge each member of this protect the freedom of those that disrespectfully student body to assume responsibility for carmarched down the Quadrangle that day. rying on the spirit of Texas A&M. We are all I know where these men and women came Aggies, and we all must remember the values from, largely in part to their Facebook statuses that make us the greatest student body in the laced with profanity about the Corps, but it world. We have the power to strengthen the doesn’t matter. I ask myself, “Do such demAggie family in the future, to move beyond onstrations do justice to the men and women trivial hatred and cynicism. I am reminded of that wear the uniform?” I ask myself, “What words I heard frequently during my fish year. if every student took the same oath a cadet “With great power, comes great responsibility takes?” In the wake of provocation, the Corps faithfully kept its oath, to conduct itself in a Nathan Alsbrooks is a junior political manner that will reflect great credit upon the science major.

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thebattalion 05.10.2010

Ring, my stack of Battalion copies and my spirit to another city. So this is where I’m supposed to say goodbye. For the past four years, this has been my home. I napped in the Memorial Student Center. I studied in Studio 12. I trekked from my apartment to Kyle Field. I waited impatiently for the train to pass at Wellborn. I met my best friend in a residents hall on the southside of campus. I prayed in All Faith’s and shot many a Gig ‘Em to Sully. I witnessed the tenacity of the Aggie family every day I walked into the newsroom. Seniors, we saw it too — when on our first day at

A&M, someone said “howdy” and pointed us in the right direction, when we had conversations in the darkness with neighbors we had never met during the spring blackout, when we finally got the right to Whoop and first slipped on our Aggie Ring, and Friday and Saturday, when we will walk across the stage and graduate from this University. I have been telling A&M-related stories for three years now. And so now, with a reluctant goodbye, I thank you A&M — for telling mine.

Amanda Casanova is a senior English major and editor in chief of The Battalion.

GUESTCOLUMN

Equalizing Georgia

T

he Texas A&M Women’s Equestrian Team made history at the 2010 Varsity Equestrian National Championships April 15-17.

Tara Christiansen

The Aggies wrapped up a successful regular In the previous three years, the Bulldogs had season with an 11-5 record. In the post season, been crowned the overall national champions they claimed second at the Big 12 Equestrian and the Aggies the reserve national champions. championships. The Aggies were out for a win. For the second consecutive year, the Aggies The rulebooks were consulted, and it was entered the championships with the No.1determined that each school would choose the ranked western team and the No. 1 horsemantop rider from each of the four disciplines, and ship and reining riders. This year Texas A&M the riders would face off in the first-ever “sudalso boasted the No. 2 horsemanship rider. den death” play-off. April 17 was the night when the Aggies Sophomore Elizabeth Solch, equitation would write history. Texas A&M horsemanon the flat, and senior Lindsay Smith, equitaship riders senior Caroline Gunn and freshtion over fences, faced off against the Georgia man Carey Nowacek were pitted against one hunter seat individual champion riders. another for the individual rider title, meaning The tumultuous weather Saturday night in that A&M would walk away with a guaranteed Waco perfectly reflected the showdown that national and reserve national championship. was about to take place between the hunter seat Nowacek was the first to ride and scored an and western powerhouse schools. impressive 149.5. Gunn, who had won the title Texas A&M would win the two western in the previous two years, entered the ring and rides and Georgia would win the two hunter also performed a flawless pattern. The crowd seat rides. The decision came down to raw knew that the ride would be close, but no one score, which hurt the Aggies. Due to the would have guessed that Gunn would potential for a large point spread on the also mark a 149.5. hunter seat side, wins by the western Because a tie like this was A&M’s equestrian riders would have little effect on unprecedented, the officials were team won the A&M’s overall win, and the Agunsure how to proceed. It was national title, two gie hunter seat riders needed to determined that the two would have won a single ride in order to individual titles compete in a ride off. In the be guaranteed the overall win. and a reserve end, Gunn would take the crown Despite the reserve finish overindividual title. as the horsemanship individual all, the Texas A&M equestrian team champion. is proud to bring back to Aggieland After the Aggies had swept the Kansas their eighth team national championship, two State Wildcats 4-0 in horsemanship, it was up individual titles and a reserve individual title. to the reining team to grab at least one win to Not to mention, the Aggies will go down earn Texas A&M the western national crown. in the record books for two history making Wins by sophomores Courtney Dawe and events, both of which happened in one day. Abigail Grabein in the reining clenched the The women’s equestrian team will say western national championship for the Aggies. goodbye to the winningest class in school hisSenior Maggie Gratny may have lost her tory. Seniors include Tyler Bryson, Amanda team ride for the Aggies, but she would win the Cushman, Brittney Dodson, Maggie Gratny, reining individual title. Caroline Gunn, Stephanie Harmon, Christina By this point, the Aggies were in a deadlock Heine, Morgan Lucas, Jenna Pine, Lindsay with the University of Georgia for the overall Smith and Ashley Snoey. national championship. Texas A&M had finished fourth in the hunter seat, as had Georgia Tara Christiansen is a junior agricultural in the western. Like A&M, the Georgia also communication and journalism major and a had a national title, theirs in hunter seat. member of the women’s equestrian team.

5/9/10 9:30 PM

The Battalion: May 10, 2010  
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