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thebattalion ● tuesday,

june 9, 2009

● serving

texas a&m since 1893

● first paper free – additional copies $1 ● © 2009 student media

Department launches search for new chief Police chief Ikner’s resignation leaves position unfilled Matt Nance

Stephen Fogg — THE BATTALION

The year will be Round Up coordinator Toby Lepley’s last, after 11 years of service to 4-H.

Rounding up young talent Event offers opportunity for students to showcase work Round Up Texas 4-H Round Up will be in Rudder Theatre and the MSC. Some of the contests include dairy and cattle judging, fashion, public speaking and meat judging. It starts at 7 a.m. today and ends Friday.

Megan Clark The Battalion

T

exas 4-H, an educational organization for third- through 12th-graders, will have its 63rd annual State Round Up at Texas A&M.

“[Round Up] is our highlight event of the year and this is such a great opportunity for our students to show off their knowledge and skills of what they have learned throughout the year,” said Texas 4-H Youth and Development Program Director Chris Boleman. “They get to show off their leadership, citizenship and life skills, and show who it is that they represent.” Round Up is a state competition in which students ages 14 to 18

Company donates $1 million to A&M

demonstrate their skills and knowledge in 39 different areas such as public speaking, decision making, leadership and community service. Livestock judging and other judging contests require decisionmaking skills, and Share-the-Fun, a talent contest, allows the contestants to demonstrate their singing and acting abilities. The four “H’s” of 4-H are head, heart, hands and health and stand for qualities 4-Hers have.

Where on campus?

Patrique Ludan

See Donation on page 6

Pg. 1-06.09.09.indd 1

Stephen Fogg — THE BATTALION

Think you know every nook and cranny of Texas A&M? Test your campus know-how by e-mailing The Battalion and telling us where you think this photo was taken. The first people to get the answers correct will have their names published. Send your response with your name, class and major to photo@thebatt.com.

Monday’s answer: Congressional Medal of Honor on display in the MSC

Correct response: John Banowsky, senior applied mathematical sciences major Stephen Henley, class of 2001, computer science major

Michael Ikner Michael Ikner received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Dallas Baptist University, master’s degree in criminal justice and criminology from UT Arlington, and graduated from the FBI’s National Academy. Ikner served as Arlington Police Department for 23 years, retiring as assistant police chief before coming to College Station. City of College Station

See Ikner on page 4

See Roundup on page 6

Crews recover tail section from plane crash ■ Vertical stabilizer is key to discovering cause of crash

■ ConocoPhillips’ contribution helps to fund scholarships The Battalion ConocoPhillips, the third largest integrated energy company, donated $1 million to Texas A&M University May 1. A&M is one of eight schools in the U.S. to receive such a contribution. ConocoPhillips has been giving to Texas A&M for decades, Texas A&M Foundation marketing communications specialist Mary Vinnedge said. “This is a typical gift from ConocoPhillips,” she said. “They have given to other programs in differing amounts, however. They are a longtime Texas A&M supporter.” The Department of Scholarships and Financial Aid received approximately $400,000 from the donation. Part of the department and one of the main recipients of the funds is the SPIRIT Scholars Program. The SPIRIT Scholars Program, which operates at seven other universities, began at A&M in 2003 and provides “academic scholarships, additional financial support for enrichment programs and activities, mentor-

“This is our last big hoorah of the year and when the senior 4-Hers come to Round Up, they can see their future in it,” said Texas 4-H Council President Michael Edwards. “I’m excited about that because they’ll experience what Texas 4-H is all about.” Round Up is the largest 4-H competition in the world. “The competitions provide great learning experiences and are very career building,” Edwards said. “I am now studying agricultural economics because of what I learned in 4-H.” Contests and activities will be scattered throughout 17 locations on campus but will be centered

Special to The Battalion Police Chief Michael “Ike” Ikner will resign June 30, but his replacement has not been found, said assistant city manager Kathy Merrill. “We hate to see him leave, he’s a great chief. We wish he could stay,” Merrill said. An interim chief must be found to replace Ikner at the end of the month. “We do not know who will be the interIkner im chief yet, we will be making those decisions in the next few weeks,” Merrill said. The interim police chief will assume all of Ikner’s duties until a permanent police chief is found. “The interim police chief typically comes from within the department but can be brought in from an outside source,” assistant chief over administrative services Scott McCollum said. The city manager’s office makes the final decision on who the new chief will be. “There is a sense of disappointment with him leaving. Chief Ikner was a great leader, he came with some great ideas and a vision,” assistant police chief Jeff Capps said. Chief Ikner implemented a differ-

BRAZIL— Search crews recovered the vertical stabilizer from the tail section of an Air France jetliner that went down in the Atlantic, Brazil’s air force said Monday — a key item in finding the cause of the crash. Eight more bodies also were found, bringing the total recovered to 24 since Air France Flight 447 disappeared with 228 people on board, according to Air Force Col. Henry Munhoz. The discoveries of debris and the bodies are all helping searchers narrow their search for the jet’s black boxes, perhaps investigators’ best hope of learning what happened to the flight. Brazilian military officials have refused to detail the large pieces of the plane they have found. But a video on the Brazilian air force Web site entitled “Vertical Stabilizer Found” shows video of the piece being located and tethered to a ship. The part had Air France’s blue-and-red stripes, was still in its original triangular shape and was not visibly burned. The wreckage was found about 45 miles from where the jet was last heard from on May 31. Associated Press

Osazuwa Okundaye — THE BATTALION

FDA approves cancer treatment for dogs ■ Texas A&M oncologists give opinion of canine drug Kalee Bumguardner The Battalion The Food and Drug Administration approved the first cancer treatment for dogs. Until now, cancer drugs used in veterinary medicine were developed for human usage and weren’t approved for animals. Federal law allows veterinarians to administer cancer medicines and other human treatments under controlled circumstances. However, reports of the drug have come too soon and misled pet owners, said Claudia Barton, who is an oncologist at the Texas A&M University Small Animal Sciences Department of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Medication The cancer-fighting drug Palladia is produced by Pfizer Animal Health Inc. and treats mast cell tumors in dogs. The drug works by inhibiting the ability of the cells to proliferate and cutting off blood supply to the tumor. The drug will be released in 2010. “I think it’s wonderful that a company developed a drug just for dogs,” Barton said. “The problem is, there is very little data that has been presented yet. It’s got a lot of limitations, and the media is probably premature.” The drug, Palladia, manufactured by Pfizer Animal Health Inc., has been approved to treat a type of cancer that accounts for about See Cancer on page 6

6/8/09 11:59 PM


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Cory Hollier trues the wheel of a bicycle Monday at Cycles Etc. on North Gate. Hollier, a senior economics major, has been an employee at the bike shop for a year.

Study-related medical assessments, diagnostic tests and investigational medication and/or placebo (inactive substance) are provided to qualified participants at no charge.

For a look at what goes on behind the scenes of The Battalion’s newsroom, check out Editor in Chief Kalee Bumguardner’s blog.

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Kalee Bumguardner, Editor in 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: 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 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: 979-845-2678. 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.

San Quentin prison in jeopardy SAN QUENTIN, Calif. — It’s some of the most prized waterfront land in the country, a large piece of rich and beautiful property sitting right on San Francisco Bay, and the owner has proposed selling it to raise needed cash. But many of the current residents don’t want to leave, and uprooting them would be costly. The property in question is San Quentin State Prison, a maximum-security penitentiary where some of the state’s toughest inmates have access to a variety of programs such as tennis and drama, thanks to the many prison volunteers who live in the Bay Area. “Some places you go for punishment,” said inmate John Taylor, a catcher for the prison baseball team, the San Quentin Giants. “Here, it’s more rehabilitation. I just don’t know why the governor would want to shut us down.” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed selling the 432-acre prison and several other state-owned properties and using the proceeds to help ease the state’s $24.3 billion budget deficit. It is widely assumed that any buyer would be interested primarily in the land. Developers might tear down all or some of the prison to make way for condos or other projects. Taylor, who is 35 and serving up to life for murder, had

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Worker housing is shown in the foreground at San Quentin prison in San Quentin, Calif. May 20. The fortress-like complex, built in 1852, occupies some of the most prized waterfront land in the country. Every few years, someone proposes shutting down the prison and selling off the land. Most recently, it was Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. done nearly 10 years in three other state prisons before he asked for a transfer to San Quentin two years ago. The prison is a collection of buildings constructed during the Gold Rush, including some with fanciful, fortress-like touches such as the crenellations normally seen on medieval castles. There are also more modern, square buildings. Taylor’s duties include fight-

ing weeds in the courtyard. “This is the first place visitors see when they come in,” he said. “We want it to look good.” Prison volunteers come from around the Bay Area and include professional artists, graduate students and professors at nearby universities, including the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State University. Others are

retirees. Most are experienced teachers in their field. San Quentin currently has 5,300 inmates and holds California’s death row, a unit that has expanded beyond 600 occupants since a federal judge deemed the cramped gas chamber unacceptable and halted all executions. Associated Press

White House defends stimulus plan WASHINGTON — The White House is defending the overly optimistic economic models it used to justify the historic stimulus plan. Four months after the stimulus was passed, unemployment is far higher than expected and

continuing to rise. It is even higher than the White House predicted it would have been without the stimulus. Vice President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser, Jared Bernstein, says that when the forecast was issued, figures were

not yet complete on how bad the economy was during the last three months of 2008. But Bernstein says that doesn’t question the model that Obama is using to promise the creation or saving of 3.5 million jobs. Associated Press

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Colbert reports from Iraq: The “Colbert Report” will air from Iraq all week as Stephen Colbert entertains and visits with troops on a USO sponsored trip. The show airs 10:30 p.m. CST on Comedy Central.

thebattalion

6.9.2009 page3

Take me to the movies!

Megan Clark

Summer brings better movies to the theaters, attracting movie goers and high box office sales. WARNER BROS. PICTURES

Stu, played by Ed Helms, wakes up on the floor of his hotel room with no idea how he got there, or why there’s a chicken in his room, in The Hangover.

The Hangover leaves audiences drunk with laughter Logan West

Film’s success result of good writing, casting and directing.

M

y first impressions from the trailer of The Hangover were hilarious, fun and the kind of time I would like to have in Vegas. Then I thought about how this plot may go awry, thanks to Dude, Where’s My Car being one of the most recent “what happened last night” films. However, with a cast including Zach Galifianakis (Out Cold), Bradley Cooper (Wedding Crashers), Ed Helms (The Office) and director Todd Phillips (Old School), I had high hopes they could salvage this style of film out of the ash tray Sean William Scott and Ashton Kutcher left their joint in. Thankfully, my hope glass was filled, spilled over the top and got the dog drunk too. This

movie is the most hilarious comedy of the year with superb writing, directing and acting. First off, a salute to writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore whose quips uttered by all of the characters, like the bride’s father Sid, played by Jeffrey Tambor, take the movie to a laugh-out-loud factor that is off the charts. Not only do they provide witty one-liners that will inevitably be quoted for the rest of the year, but they also gave the actors dialogue that is believable based on the relationships between the characters as buddies and a future brother-in-law that does not feel forced. If you have seen the film already and you laughed until your diaphragm begged for mercy, I encourage you to see it again in order to catch the lines that occur following many of the one-liners that are even funnier than the preceding line. This is something that is rarely achieved by writers because the following lines can take a joke too far, but The Hangover writers have joined the ranks of Superbad in their ability to carry the joke just far enough. After giving us Old School, Starsky and Hutch and Road Trip, Todd Phillips has proven he can take a variety of ac-

tors, whether it be Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Tom Green, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell or Luke Wilson, to deliver films that provide strong attachments to characters that feel real to the audience. He also has shown that the characters in his movies resonate with us all, and let us hope he continues this trend. I tip my hat to the actors involved in The Hangover. Without the right mix of guys or stripper wife, this film could not be successful. Galifianakis truly steps out of a supporting role and shows he can play an eccentric yet loveable guy who finds acceptance in a “wolf pack.” Cooper took the spotlight and proved his potential to be a leading actor in movies he may do in the future. Lastly, Helms is verifying that The Office is not the only outlet his acting can be plugged into. Overall, this film had the right mix of teams on the screen and behind the scenes to catapult it to comedic blockbusting potential. It will not leave you hung over the toilet in disgust, but it will leave you drunk with the happiness of winning thousands of dollars in Vegas. Logan West is a seniorr political science major.

Land of the Lost gets lost in itself ■ Poor comedic writing and acting by Ferrell weaken movie

I

do not know if Will Ferrell grew up wanting to be part of some of his favorite TV shows as a kid, but when he takes films from the small screen to feature films including Bewitched and the recent Land of the Lost, he fails. It could be the fault of writers, but since it has been reported that many scenes are adlibbed in his movies, I am placing some blame on Ferrell for Land of the Lost. It doesn’t help Ferrell that he plays an unlikable and even detestable protagonist who is arrogant, crude and selfabsorbed, which is the only character he’s been playing since he left Saturday Night Live — other than in Stranger Than Fiction. Ferrell’s character, Dr. Rick Marshall, is ultimately after the truth and achieves his goal of moving around time and

space and accidentally ends up in the “Land of the Lost.” Marshall is helped by an admirer, Holly Cantrell, played by Anna Friel, who gives the best performance in the film. From here on out, the performances of Anna Friel and Danny McBride, as Will Stanton, carry the film. Once in the Land of the Lost, they save a creature named Cha-Ka who unexplainably can be understood and translated by Holly. After this, Cha-Ka becomes more of a prop than a character with the ability to be whatever is needed for the scene including a guide and even a singer. Once the rag-tag group of people and semi-chimp come together, they go through some ups and downs in order to find the machine that will helpget them home. The viewer is left wondering who or what the antagonist is in this film. The answer is a series of lesser antagonists ranging from the T-Rex named Grumpy and Dr. Rick Marshall’s

I

t’s the end of the school year and students rejoice at the end of another semester. There are so many things to look forward to, like summer vacations, spending extra time with friends and family and summer blockbusters. The quality of films seems to increase dramatically over the summer. It seems as if Hollywood waits all year with the best ideas just to reveal them all in one swish during the three months of summer. Six of the 10 highest grossing movies for 2008 were released in the summer, including The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and WALL-E, according to The Numbers, a box office data Web site. The school year contains a select few hits that one must wait for and anticipate. We count down the days on Facebook and buy advance tickets to midnight showings while settling for the latest romantic comedy or action film that no one will remember in six months. But the summer holds something different. Summer movies offer constant diversity of genre from the latest super hero flick to the best cast romantic comedies. We are bombarded by intriguing plot lines and actors that we can’t help but want to see. “Summer movies are light-hearted or action

packed. Most movies during the school year are horror or sci-fi,” said Stephanie White, class of 2009. “Summer movies offer more than just exciting story lines, they offer an escape from our days in the sun and they draw us into airconditioned theatres far more frequently than our busy schedules allow during the regular school year. Movies released in the summer are revealed on different days of the week, whereas during the school year, one must wait until Friday night to go catch the latest flick. “I think they release more movies in the summer partially because there will be more chances for people to see them,” said Kelsey Thompson, a sophomore general studies major. While the summer heat draws some to the beach, it will keep others in the theatres with the thrills of the big screen. Most of the frequented theatres offer ice cream, which allows for the movies to be the perfect escape from the summer heat. “During the summer, you have a lot more down time and less hours spent for school,” White said. “You can go see more movies for less money and really enjoy them without worrying about three tests and a project.” Being a movie buff myself, I know all of the movies that are on my must-see summer list. So pass me the popcorn and silence your cell phones because it’s time to hit the theater.

Megan Clark is a sophomore English major

attitude to other obstacles the group overcomes. All of these lead up to a twist-ending larger antagonist, but they are all weak and underdeveloped characters. This makes the film boring because the viewer has no motivation to root for Dr. Rick Marshall. Actors can only do so much with what is written in the script, and in the movie Ferrell and McBride were severely limited in their comedic performance by the PG-13 rating. This rating, and the fact that the film is an homage to a TV show, restricted Ferrell and McBride from doing what they do best: rambling, cursing and delivering quotable lines from their films. Without the material to do that, the film tries too hard to make jokes, especially sexual ones, and ends up falling flat on its face except for the beginning and ending scenes. Logan West is a senior political science major.

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Available 8/09. Bryan historic district, large 5-2 on large 1.3 acre lot, secluded, includes 2 bay metal garage with workshop, ideal for students with projects, pet friendly, handicap accessible, W/D connections, energy efficient. 806 E.29th $1900/mo. 979-255-5461. www.picketfenceproperties.net

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Healthcare technology firm MEMdata now hiring. Local, just minutes from campus. Part-time openings (20 hrs/wk minimum), M-F 8 to 5. Flexible Hours. Good Verbal Communication and Computer Skills a Must. $8/hr plus bonus. E-mail resumes to careers@memdata.com or fax to 979-695-1954.

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2. “Up,” Disney

6. “Terminator Salvation,” Warner Bros.

3. “Land of the Lost,” Universal

7. “Drag Me to Hell,” Universal

4. “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” Fox

8. “Angels & Demons,” Sony

5. “Star Trek,” Paramount

10. “Dance Flick,” Paramount

9. “My Life in Ruins,” Fox

The top 10 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday as compiled Monday by Hollywood.com

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TUTORS Private Math Tutor, Precalculus Math Physics Degree, $25/hr, 979-209-9466.

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Top 10 movies over the weekend

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Bret Michaels, right, and C.C. DeVille of the band Poison perform Sunday with the cast of “Rock of Ages” at the 63rd Annual Tony Awards in New York.

Bret Michaels suffers nose fracture at Tonys NEW YORK — Bret Michaels performed at the Tony Awards, and all he got was a nose fracture — and a busted lip. According to Michaels’ spokeswoman, the rock singer had Xrays taken after getting clocked in the head by a descending set piece at Sunday’s Tony Awards. Publicist Joann Mignano said Michaels, who performed with his 1980s hair-metal band Poison, fractured his nose and had to get three stitches in his lip. She said he received a CAT scan Monday as a precaution. Although he’s “pretty bruised up,” Mignano said, Michaels was in good spirits. He wiped off blood with a towel and laughed backstage when Neil Patrick Harris joked that the singer “gave head banging a whole new meaning.” Michaels took to the stage with Poison during the telecast’s opening production number, featuring

performances from the season’s Broadway musicals. They performed “Nothin’ But a Good Time” with the cast of “Rock of Ages,” and as Michaels exited the stage, he smacked into a piece of scenery and was knocked to the ground upon impact. Footage of the accident soon landed online, where Michaels’ pratfall seemed to score as much attention as the prestigious ceremony itself. Michaels had a “great time performing for the Broadway audience,” Mignano said. The star of VH1’s “Rock of Love” reality series also took photos backstage with theater legends Liza Minnelli and Angela Lansbury. Michaels, who has gone solo, is touring with his namesake band. Later this month, he’ll take Poison on the road for a joint tour with Def Leppard and Cheap Trick. Associated Press

puzzle answers can be found online at www.thebatt.com

Ikner Continued from page 1

ent way of policing, called the geographic accountability model. “Once Chief Ikner came we split the city up into eight beats. We basically assign a sergeant to each of those eight beats and they are responsible for that beat 24/7,” Capps said. “What that does is it gives the community a contact person that they know. If there is an issue in the area they have a contact person that can help. Through this model, officers can track crime more effectively.” The geographic accountability model is a five-year plan and will carry over to whoever assumes the chief of police position. “I think a new police chief will see the merits of the vision,” McCollum said. College Station went without a permanent police chief for seven months while searching for Ikner. The city manager’s office used the Waters consulting firm, an executive search firm, to find Ikner, and may use them again. “If we go to a search, we would consider them because they guarantee their candidate will stay,” said Merrill. “If they leave within a year they will do a complete search for free, and if they leave within two years they will give the city a 50 percent discount.”

Note on TP not protected speech HOUSTON — A vulgar note written on a piece of toilet paper by a Texas inmate and sent to a prosecutor is not constitutionally protected free speech, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, upholding a lower court, said Texas prison administrators were within their authority when they docked George Morgan 15 days of good time credits for sending the note to an assistant Texas attorney general. The credits could advance the parole eligibility date for Morgan, a 41-yearold convicted East Texas drug dealer.

Dog plays fetch with live grenade BERLIN — A dog playing fetch in Germany has found and delivered to its owner a U.S. hand grenade from World War II. Police in the western town of Erkrath said Monday they were called by the dog’s 40-yearold owner who stopped walking her pooch when she recognized the “rusty” object it was carrying was a weapon. Police summoned a munitions expert Sunday to identify and defuse the grenade. Grenades and bombs left over from World War II are still often found in Germany. Sometimes whole streets in neighborhoods are evacuated so that such devices can be safely defused.

Entry iPhone drops to $99 SAN FRANCISCO — Apple Inc. slashed the entry price for an iPhone in half and rolled out laptops for $300 less than previous models Monday, the company’s first dramatic price cuts since the recession began a year and a half ago. Apple unveiled a new model of the iPhone — the 3G S — that looks the same but will sport a faster processor, longer battery life and sought-after features like an internal compass, a video camera and a photo camera with better resolution. Associated Press

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6/9/09 12:25 AM


voices

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.

thebattalion

6.9.2009 page5

Everybody on the bandwagon Democracy took a hit along with GM: it’s time to wake up, America.

Ramya Prakash — THE BATTALION

Tracey Wallace

M

ay 29, when word finally surfaced about the sketchy stepping down of Rick Wagoner, General Motors Corporation CEO for the previous 8 years, saying that the government had asked him to essentially — given it was governmentally issued — abandon post, heads around this democratic country of ours, well, traditionally, just didn’t quite notice the implication. Naturally. I’m not the first to say it and I certainly won’t be the last, but facts are facts and here’s one to chew on: Americans are bandwagon fanatics. It all started from the beginning with the whole notion of democracy. Everyone was on board, even amidst the almost assured death penalty punishment that their European overseer would enforce were they to be caught. But

Sure, Obama’s hand in General Motors may help the company, but it’s been a long road for America to keep private and public separate. Presidents from all backgrounds, more accurately the white male background save one, have for centuries tried to combine the two either through religion, oppression or economic strife. Yet, Americans have held fast to the very original bandwagon and have stood the ground and have let their voices be heard. We will not lose our democracy. We will not lay down to the easy solutions and compromise our national identity, especially the one that makes us a nation to be proud of. Democracy may be going out of style in the 21st century. If America doesn’t bring it back full force, who will? Governmental gain of our private sector will ruin what our ancestors have built. Perhaps a General Motors acquisition won’t be the end of the world, or the world as we know it, but it’s better to stop things where they start, and stick up for the bandwagons we believe in. Democracy is one bandwagon I hope no American ever plans to forgo. Tracey Wallace is a senior English major.

TOSUBMIT

Murano goes too far

MAILCALL GUESTCOLUMNS

President Murano thinks her job is to support faculty and students and make education accessible. Where did she get that idea? admit that I was concerned when Elsa A. Murano became president of Texas A&M University. Her latest performance evaluation shows that my concerns were justified. Some of her performance issues and problems clearly stand out. Murano does not understand the role of the president of Texas A&M University. Somehow she seems to believe that the University president should support and assist faculty efforts to educate University

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bandwagon of manifest destiny proportions has taken over the states, one citizen at a time: Obama-ism. It started with his swanky speech, his perfect smile, his novelty. Our televisions radiated raves of near Nazi-German-sized obsession. We watched, we listened, we fell in love and then we voted. My friends, we all jumped on to the bandwagon. Alas, it’s time to jump off. The line separating democratic and totalitarian is thin at best, near nonexistent at worst. If we continue to go down the rallying-around-Obama road that bestows the notion of, “He can do us no wrong,” we will end up in Iraq trying to boost personal, not national, economic benefit through oil and calling it “war.” There is this cringing feeling in my gut telling me that we are having the wool pulled over our eyes, much like what happened in 2001. Granted, the economic times are different, and believe me, they are tough, but with a powerful position comes powerful authority. And with authority on that scale, we are about one sly move away from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”

GUESTCOLUMN

Jim Callaway

I

that thought was put on the back burner because as Americans, we crave freedom, we crave the exploration of the unknown and we crave attention. So, thus, we join bandwagons, not because of its near anonymity within a powerful force, but because of the power those forces have when in compliance. All for one and one for all, as they say. Of course, all bandwagons have drawbacks. For example, who really won independence when the treaty of Paris was signed? Not I, for one. Yet, again and again Americans fall into this luring black hole of a trap, if you will, and we lose all sense, all guidance, all logical thought. It happened in World War II with the decision to not join the war. It happened in the ’60s with the governmental testing of drugs. It happened recently with the ignorance of facts and the constant emphasis of being emotionally satisfied through reparations of 9/11. In each of these cases, the bandwagon we created backfired: Pearl Harbor, Charles Manson, President George W. Bush and a war we all hate. But it hasn’t been until now that a

students and conduct research. Although I truly believe she meant well, Murano implemented misguided policies and programs, making an education at Texas A&M available to Texas students of less fortunate economic circumstances. Doesn’t she realize that this will result in even more student admission based on academic qualifications instead of parents’ income and past support of the University? Just what does she think that A&M is? A public school? Murano seems to think that the president, and the University, should engage in meaningful dialogue with its students — some sort of diabolical two-way communication that could blend the best perspectives of our youth and their mentors. This concept threatens the University’s ever-important status quo. Murano dares to point out that the University loaned $16 million to the Athletic Department. Even worse, she revealed that this loan has not been repaid. Texas A&M University is a public university, a division of the state of Texas. Its revenues are public funds. What does she expect the University to do with public revenues? Something frivolous I’m sure,

like slowing the steady increase in student tuition and fees. Traditions are important at A&M. The University has a long-standing tradition of institutional arrogance and indifference toward its “paying customer,” students. Clearly, she is plotting to improve Texas A&M to the benefit of those students without regard to that tradition. That is just so wrong on so many levels. If she is not stopped, and stopped soon, Texas A&M may begin a progression along the slippery pathway to excellence. Murano, you are responsible for large sums of public funds. You will not succeed as president of Texas A&M if you continue to buck the system and squander public funds on students, faculty, critical facilities, education and research. Highway 6 runs both ways, Elsa. Better get with the program, and soon. It’s not too late. You, too, can become a good-ol’-boy of great self-importance. Jim Callaway is a guest columnist and lives in Sugarland, where he is executive director for community development. He is Class of 1975.

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

Mail call must be fewer than 200 words and include the author’s name, classification, major and phone number. Staff and faculty must include title. Guest columns must be fewer than 700 words. All submissions should focus on issues not personalities, become property of The Battalion and are subject to editing for style, clarity and space concerns. Anonymous letters will be read, but not printed. The Battalion will print only one letter per author per month. No mail call will appear in The Battalion’s print or online editions before it is verified. Direct all correspondence to: Editor in chief of The Battalion (979) 845-3315 | mailcall@thebatt.com You can also submit by posting comments online at thebatt.com

6/9/09 12:01 AM


news

page 6 tuesday 6.9.2009

thebattalion

Donation

Look out below

Continued from page 1

Jon Eilts — THE BATTALION

Robert White, 16 years old, does a 180 Monday off steps in Rudder Plaza. White is a member of a group that goes around campus performing tricks on or off various objects.

Cancer Continued from page 1

one in five cases of canine skin tumors. “[The drug’s] principal benefit is for a mast cell tumor, a malignant skin tumor that’s very common,” Barton said. Palladia is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that kills tumor cells and cuts off blood supply to the tumor. Common side effects include diarrhea, decrease or loss of appetite, weight loss and lameness. The drug is not completely reliable, said associate dean for professional programs at the college of veterinary medicine Kenita Rogers, which is true of most kinds of chemotherapy. A complete response to the drug is when the tumors are not detectable, and a partial response is when the tumors have shrunk at least 50 percent. Only about 40 percent to 45 percent of the mast cell tumors responded to the treatment at all, which means that more

than half had no change, Rogers said. The drug had sporadic success with other kinds of tumors, including a rare gastrointestinal stromal tumor. “A lot of these people are going to be spending a lot of money to find out that their dogs didn’t respond,” Barton said. “That’s why we’re a little hesitant.” The cost of Palladia has not been released, but expectations are that it is going to be more expensive than current treatments, Barton said. “It’s going to be very expensive,” Barton said. “What we’re waiting to see is will this be a drug that they’re going to sell at a price that people can afford it?” If it is affordable, Barton said, then people will buy it. Barton said she would buy it for her dogs. Animals play big roles in pet owners’ lives, and would likely be given necessary treatment, said senior history major Catherine Palmer.

“A lot of these people are going to be spending a lot of money to find out that their dogs didn’t respond.” — Claudia Barton Texas A&M oncologist at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

“Many people feel that dogs are an extended member of the family, so I think they would go to such lengths,” Palmer said. Palmer said she wouldn’t be able to afford the drug. She said it would be tough for her to know her dog had cancer and there was a drug out there that would help, but she couldn’t afford it. “I feel like it could be a burden on some people,” Palmer said. “I would feel helpless. I think it is something to be excited about, though, and once the drug becomes more mainstream it will hopefully be more affordable.”

ing opportunities with ConocoPhillips professionals and opportunities to interview for internships and full-time employment at ConocoPhillips,” according to a press release by the Texas A&M Foundation. “[The SPIRIT Scholarship] not only provides [recipients] with their money for schooling, but also the scholarship requires them to participate in enrichment activities each month,” said Texas A&M SPIRIT Scholarship coordinator Judi Haas. “A different activity, that is cultural, community or leadership related, that each month a student will need to fulfill.” Activities that scholars participated in ranged from attending a show hosted by OPAS in March to volunteering at the Brazos River Valley Food Bank in December, Haas said. Aggies participating in the SPIRIT Program must maintain a 3.25 grade-point average in order to keep their $5,000 per year scholarship with the possibility of an additional $1,000 if the student completes a successful internship with ConocoPhillips. “At ConocoPhillips we recognize the importance of learning and leadership opportunities,” said ConocoPhillips non-conventional resources general manager David Barrington. “By providing exceptional students with these opportunities, we are helping to develop the leaders of tomorrow.” Along with the SPIRIT Scholarship, other academic units such as the Mays Business School, Dwight Look College of Engineering

and the College of Geosciences receive a portion of the donation. One hundred fifty thousand dollars was sent to the Mays Business School supporting various professional programs for both undergraduate and graduate students, said the Mays Business School director of development David Hicks. The donation from ConocoPhillips is given to three departments within the Dwight Look College of Engineering school: petroleum, chemical, and mechanical. The Petroleum Engineering department is seeking to gain funding from this donation for its increasing amount of undergraduate students, said the Dwight Look College of Engineering director of development Brady Bullard. “I’ve been working on a lab reinvestment initiative to get new equipment for the Petroleum Engineering facilities,” Bullard said. “The department is having to serve more and they’re in a pretty dire need to upgrade to handle the student loads.” Graduate fellowships within the Petroleum and Chemical Engineering departments received a portion of the endowment. The College of Geosciences received a portion of the donation, but could not be reached Monday. Since ConocoPhillips began donating money to Texas A&M, its main objective has been to prepare students for success in the modern business world and to recruit outstanding students, according to the ConocoPhillips website. “ConocoPhillips’ goal is to support higher education,” Bullard said. “From what I can see … they want to help students get a great education and produce graduates that will be assets in the workforce.”

Round up Continued from page 1

around the Rudder Theatre complex. The size of the event makes A&M the perfect place to hold Round Up, said Round Up coordinator Toby Lepley. Two million dollars in scholarships will be awarded at the Round Up scholarship ceremony Friday, Lepley said. The first scholarship presented 50 years ago was $100 at the Livestock Show and Rodeo. “We will award scholarships to 225 and a large percent of those are future Aggies,” Lepley said. “It’s safe to say more than 25 percent of the students will be Aggies.” Round Up educates, but also offers tremendous opportunities, Edwards said. “As a participant, we like to emphasize the presence Texas 4-H has in scholarships,” Edwards said. Round Up expects more students than last year but the swine flu has had an effect on their total numbers, Edwards said. “Council first met three months ago to start planning,” Edwards said. “I’m on a council with 31 other wonderful individuals. The stuff we put on wouldn’t be possible without such a great group.”

Jon Eilts — THE BATTALION

4-H member Emily Wisher and her mom Cindy look at winning photographs of the 4-H Roundup Monday in the MSC Flagroom.

As part of AgriLife Extension program, Round Up has taken place at A&M since it started more than 50 years ago, Lepley said. “We are actually celebrating our 101st anniversary in Texas and 50th anniversary to present 4-H scholarships,” Lepley said. For more information visit www.texas4-h. tamu.edu/events/roundup/index.html.

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The Battalion: June 09, 2009