thebattalion ● friday,
september 10, 2010
Texas A&M since 1893
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Aggieland to honor Sept. 11 heroes Honoring The military and ﬁrst responders will be recognized on the ﬁeld during the pre-game ceremonies Saturday at Kyle Field.
Rebecca Bennett The Battalion The excitement of Saturday’s football game against Louisiana Tech will be juxtaposed with the solemn remembrance of those who were lost nine years ago in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. At a University where the sacrifices of the military are deeply entrenched in a shared history and culture, Aggies are especially aware of the honor due to the men and women of the United States’ armed forces who gave their lives in the aftermath of the tragedy. Fittingly, the official dedication of the renovated Military Walk will happen at 9 a.m. Saturday, a date intentionally chosen for its significance. Special guests include Gov. Rick Perry, class of 1972 and former member of the Corps
of Cadets, and Don A. Hughes, the 1951 A&M graduate who donated $4 million to the restoration project. “As you travel along this walk, may you follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before with honor and optimism — and with the intent to pave the way for future generations of Aggies who will take their own bold steps, walking this way with integrity, dedication to excellence and commitment to selfless service,” Hughes said, as quoted in the program for Saturday’s formal ribbon-cutting ceremony. With a number of Aggies serving on the frontlines in the Middle East, it is appropriate that the Military Walk should serve as a symbol for those who have determinedly marched forth
Dan Hughes, Texas A&M Foundation director of development Diane Barron and Texas A&M University president R. Bowen Loftin admire the plaque describing Military Walk.
See 9/11 on page 3
Courtesy of the Texas A&M Foundation
world suicide prevention day
Talk about it without fear
hen someone dies, there is grief. There is pain. There is a sense of loss. And all those things come in different shapes and sizes. But when someone commits suicide, those who survive suffer from anger, guilt, regret and other confusing feelings. I know this because I lost my dad to suicide.
Photo illustration by Matt Young — THE BATTALION
I know many of you know this because you, too, knew and loved someone who did the same horrible thing. Suicide is something we are afraid to talk about. I know I am. In fact, I debated over and over in my head whether or not to write this column. But if I am going to tell the students at A&M to talk about suicide, then I need to talk about it too. Surveys show that one in 10 college students has suicidal thoughts. That means that in our lecture classes of 100 students, 10 students are thinking about ending their lives. Those students are someone’s son or daughter, best friend or brother or sister. Those thoughts they have can be conquered if people give them hope. You should take time to learn the signs of a possible suicide. On our campus, close to 50,000 people would be qualified to help save someone’s life. And saving one person’s life will undoubtedly save those close to them from suffering heartache for the rest of their lives. I say this, because I wish I could have given my dad some hope. I wish I could have spared my brothers that horrible feeling the night we got the call. I wish I would have known what to do when I saw the signs, because now I ask myself “what ifs” every day. What if I had called him more?
What if I had gone to see him more often? What if I had done something to give him that right amount of Megan Ryan hope to keep senior English him going one major and more day? I managing editor don’t want anyone else to wonder those things or wish they would have known. Let’s take some initiative and help those who feel they cannot help themselves. For those of you who have considered taking your life, reconsider. Though you might think you don’t have any other options, you’re wrong. Suicide is sometimes romanticized in novels and plays, but there is nothing romantic or heroic about it in real life. Frankly, if you take a step to end your life, many people will be devastated. I know if my dad could have seen the number of people who showed up to his funeral, he might have thought twice before pulling that trigger. So, I’m begging you: think twice. Suicide doesn’t just affect the person who committed it. Have some faith that things will get better for the sake of those who love you.
Counselors stress being informed, recognizing signs Megan Ryan The Battalion One out of every 10 college students has suicidal thoughts, said Kerry Hope, a personal counselor for Texas A&M’s student counseling services. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and there are steps to take to prevent that 10 percent of students from doing something permanently heartbreaking to others. “We can’t prevent all suicides, but most suicides are preventable,” Hope said. “It is the taboo that surrounds the whole issue of
suicide that makes people afraid to talk, and the silence about suicide is a problem.” Hope provides Question, Persuade and Refer Gate Keeper Training Classes for students, staff and faculty on the A&M campus. “The training teaches what the signs and symptoms are, not only obvious signs but subtle ones as well,” she said. “Obviously someone who talks about their own death or seems obsessed with death or talks about suicide in a joking manner is at risk. It could also be someone who feels isolated, ostracized
or changes from the normal way they are. It may be someone who is usually very social and suddenly withdraws.” Hope said that while depression is the number one cause of suicide, other things like unanticipated loss or financial turmoil are triggers as well. “What you get when you talk to someone who is suicidal is that they feel hopeless,” Hope said. “They feel there is no way they can get around it. People who are suicidal don’t want to be dead; they just can’t figure
Crime can happen any place, any time Melissa Appel The Battalion With the beginning of classes and the return to the normal hustle and bustle of a large university campus, students often find the large crowds of the Twelfth Man to be a reassurance of community, a representation of the unity of the Aggie spirit and a reminder of the core values that Aggies share.
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These sensations can simultaneously entice a feeling of security and trust within a community founded on the Aggie Honor Code. However, law officials stress that even the Aggieland campus is not a completely danger-free zone. “Students should always be conscious of their personal safety and never let their guard down,” said Sgt. Allan Baron of the Uni-
versity Police Department Crime Prevention Unit. “Crime can happen any place, any time, and the college campus is no exception.” Across a large and widespread campus, students often find themselves walking lengthy distances both during the day for classes and at night for organizational meetings. Walking alone can be one See Safety on page 7
out a way to go on living with the emotional or physical pain they are experiencing.” Hope said the main point of her presentations was to teach people how to recognize suicidal people, connect with them and offer them hope to help them get through the immediate crisis and get themselves help. The student helpline on campus is also a service meant to help Aggies. While the helpline welcomes all callers with all types of questions, they do get calls from students conSee Prevention on page 2
Phone app puts A&M in students’ pockets Texas A&M announced an update for its mobile apps Thursday. The application caters to the way students want to receive information. “The use of smart phones is projected to increase by more than 50 percent this year alone, so we need to make Texas A&M’s online content available in a format that is easy-to-use and ﬁts today’s mobile lifestyle,” said Jason Cook, vice president for marketing and communications. Originally released in June 2009, TAMUmobile apps came for the iPhone and Blackberry. In the latest edition, there are ﬁve new sub-
applications — Library, Dining, Images, Get Help and Bus Routes. The library sub-application can, in one tap, give you instant connection to a campus librarian in the “Ask a Librarian” feature. The dining and bus routes sub-applications give the students locations of their services, as well as hours of operation. Students can search University images with the images sub-application. If a student needs to call to the University Police or student counseling, the Get Help sub-application has the numbers. Kyle Cunningham, staff writer
9/9/10 8:34 PM
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Stay safe on campus
Campus Safety Awareness Week continues at 11 a.m. today in the Academic Plaza. The event helps students, faculty and staff to learn about emergency preparedness.
A dedication for the newly constructed Military Walk will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday. The Corps of Cadets will once again march toward Sbisa after the ceremony.
Today is the last day to apply for all degrees to be awarded in December. For more information, contact the ofďŹ ce of the registrar at http://admissions.tamu.edu/ registrar/.
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thebattalion 09.10.2010 For daily updates go to thebatt.com â—? Facebook â—? Twitter@thebattonline
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sidering taking their own life. â€œWe provide support, information, referrals and crisis intervention,â€? said Susan Vavra, the HelpLine coordinator. â€œWe take a wide variety of phone calls â€” anything from inquiring information about a football
Special to The Battalion The third of five open forums this month happened Thursday to discuss facility improvement on campus. Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin opened the meeting noting that in the past A&M has not been able to put resources into building structures. â€œBecause of that,â€? Loftin said, â€œwe have tried to put forward a process to enable us to.â€? The design process encourages public input to understand student and community needs. This utilization of this process has allowed A&M to near completion on a new engineering building and to begin construction on a new humanities building, Loftin said. A&M is home to the sixth largest student body in the country with a population exceeding 49,000. Because the number of students is steadily increasing each year, improvement in facilities is a main concern for guaranteeing each student the opti-
game to a conversation that starts out with a person telling us they are suicidal. We are user friendly, so they can ask us anything.â€? Katie Greiner, a lecturer for the English Language Institute, has been to two of the training sessions Hope teaches. â€œThey were really honest about situations,â€? Greiner said. â€œSome of it is hard to hear but itâ€™s realistic. It helped me with how I interact with students. I found that [the information] was extremely useful, and
mum college experience. Lallah Howard, executive associate vice president for the Division of Operations, said facility services include custodial assistance, landscaping and maintenance services. A great challenge is presented specifically with maintenance, she said. To ensure facility improvements, a deferred maintenance plan is under development. There is a need for prioritization of maintenance funding to ensure facility projects are completed in a timely manner, said Russell Cross, the interim head for the Department of Animal Sciences and chair for the Deferred Maintenance Task Force. A&M officials are working diligently to ensure that these improvements are based on student needs. Other issues discussed Thursday included shortage of campus classrooms, the need for better campus recycling, negative effects of custodial staff decrease and the demolition of three Northside dorms for fall 2012.
I would recommend it to teachers, students and everybody.â€? A group within the Student Counseling Services called Survivors of Suicide helps those who have lost someone to suicide. â€œWe need the eyes and ears of people to recognize and refer them to the help that can save their life,â€? Hope said. â€œThe counseling center here is one of the best in the nation and if they can get to us we are almost guaranteed to save their life.â€?
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