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inside The Noble Men Out of Kyle return after a two-week hiatus to describe their experiences with the tailgating, fans, environment and more in Waco. Page 4

thebattalion ● monday,

november 15, 2010

● serving

texas a&m since 1893

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

Photos by J.D. Swiger — THE BATTALION

Senior inside linebacker Michael Hodges, junior inside linebacker Garrick Williams and junior nose tackle Jonathan Mathis wrap up a Baylor player. The Aggie defense allowed zero points in the second half.

A&M 42, Baylor 30

Stephen Olmon — THE BATTALION

Junior wide receiver Jeff Fuller’s one-handed catch on third down preserves A&M’s fourth touchdown drive.

Above, left: Junior cornerback Lionel Smith’s hit jars the ball from Baylor receiver Tevin Reese on third down in the third quarter, forcing the Bears to punt. Above: Junior running back Cyrus Gray runs for one of his four touchdowns. Gray finished with 137 yards rushing.

No. 19 Aggies just keep fighting

R

esiliency is a mindset; a blend of maturation and toughness. Some teams have it, but often times, they don’t. Never was it more evident than Saturday night, in a come-from-behind 42-30 victory over a resurgent Baylor team, that this 2010 Texas A&M football team is equipped with the ability to overcome worlds of adversity.

It’s an attribute that has A&M in the discussion for a Big 12 Championship and on the verge of reclaiming national relevancy. In the fourth-straight victory, the Aggies overcame a 16-point first-half deficit with 28 unanswered points to send the maroon-clad third of Floyd Casey David Harris Stadium — or rather, Kyle Field North — senior economics into a frenzy. “We had the will to win and never major, sports editor gave up,” said junior quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is 3-0 as a starter. Such has been the case all season long. Whether it be overcoming a fourth-quarter deficit to Florida

Acceptance is better, says Islamic Contributions to Civilization panel Katie White The Battalion Count back 800 years ago to the European Dark Ages. While people in the western world suffered from a stunt of knowledge and a plethora of diseases, in the east science and mathematics were flourishing in an Islamic society. MSC L.T. Jordan Institute of International Awareness teamed up with the Muslim Student Association and the Department of Multicultural Services Wednesday night to bring campus a panel on Islamic Contributions to Civilization. Five panelists in the fields of history, mathematics and science emphasized the importance of acceptance of other cultures in a time of globalization. Gul Russell acted as moderator for the panel. She began the night by saying cultures were invisible walls keeping people from accepting other people. “We are constantly confronted by globalization,” Russell said. “However, we are all imprisoned by invisible walls enforced by our own cultures. The barrier is between ‘us’ and ‘them;’ perhaps tonight some of those barriers will be eroded.” Russell said medieval Islamic society created a

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cosmopolitan entity that accepted people of all faiths and ethnicities. Her speech and the panelists’ presentations aimed to show the positive contributions Islamic society has made to current civilization. Russell said Arabic became the language of science and mathematics during the Dark Ages. The numerals predominantly used by the world are Arabic. The second speaker, Basheer Ahmed, said Greek and Roman scholarly texts were translated into Arabic and saved from extinction during the European Dark Ages, which stopped scientific, medical and scholarly work because it was seen as oppositions to religious dogma. The third speaker, astronomy professor Kevin Krisciunas, said most of the stars visible to the naked eye have Arabic names. “For many centuries, it did not matter what religion you were,” Krisciunas said. “It mattered that you were a good mathematician and scientist. People of different faiths got along well together researching in science.” The overarching message was a plea to the audience to appreciate other faiths and to accept them.

International or three-straight midseason losses that had all of the Aggie nation — including me — in panic mode, this team continues to lay it all on the field. It continues to stay centered, never too high or too low. Need more examples? Look to Saturday’s performance. Lose your starting running back for the season to a broken leg? Junior Cyrus Gray just steps in and accounts for a careerhigh four touchdowns in an inspired, gritty performance. Down 10 points in the first couple minutes in a hostile environment? Junior Coryell Judie runs back his second kickoff for a touchdown in as many weeks — the first time it’s been done in the history of Aggie football. Have three touchdowns called back due to penalty and See Resilience on page 2

Jihad Watch director discusses the ‘religion of peace’ argument Meagan O’Toole-Pitts The Battalion American liberty is in danger, said Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch and author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam.” “The freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the principle of the equality of rights of all people before the law are under attack today by Islamic supremacists,” Spencer said. “Free people, Muslim and non-Muslim, must stand together against that attack.” Spencer was invited by the Texas Aggie Conservatives to speak Thursday in a lecture and question and answer session called “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?” “The question before us tonight is ‘Is Islam a religion of peace?’ which is obviously not just an abstract theological or religious question but a question of pressing political moment, and everyone has an opinion on it,” Spencer said. “I don’t, actually. I think that the best way to answer the question is to go to the sources themselves and not to rely on what various spokesmen will tell you, but go

straight to Quran, the Islamic holy book, and to the teachings and example of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, and see what they say.” Reading from the Quran, Spencer discussed parts that evoked tolerance and parts that demand followers to “slay the pagan.” “How is one going to understand balance between, like Chapter 109 which enjoins tolerance and a chapter like nine, verse 29, which enjoins warfare and subjugation?” Spencer said. “Once again, I would say we need to go to Islamic authorities to answer that question.” Spencer did not offer an answer to the question “Is Islam a religion of peace?” said Meigan Goff, TAC event planning officer and freshman general studies major. “He made a clear point that you can’t decide whether Islam is peaceful or not. There’s different definitions of peace for everyone and so you can’t just ask that question,” Goff said. “There’s many things that go into that question — it all depends on where you come See Spencer on page 5

11/14/10 8:45 PM


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1 y l l fu ed p p i u q e

Study abroad

2

An informational by the Study Abroad Programs OfďŹ ce will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. today in the Quiet Room of Sbisa Dining Hall.

Today 20% chance of rain High: 65 | Low: 48 courtesy of NOAA

Remember BonďŹ re

Thursday, students will be remembering the students that were tragically killed or injured by the collapse of the Aggie BonďŹ re of 1999.

3

Registration

Preregistration for the 2011 spring semester begins Thursday. Register at howdy.tamu.edu under the “MyRecord� tab.

Tuesday mostly sunny high: 67 low: 45 Wednesday sunny high: 72 low: 44 Thursday sunny high: 64 low: 40

pagetwo

thebattalion 11.15.2010 For daily updates go to thebatt.com â—? Facebook â—? Twitter@thebattonline

Hey Ags! - Get your complimentary CD copy of the greatest song ever written.

Finding warmth among the books

"Mamas don't let your Babies grow up to be teasips"

Justine Johnson, senior sociology major, enjoys the warmth and light of Evans Library while studying during cold afternoon Sunday.

Go to: www.mcaggies.com and go to "Help Support Students" then click to get your order form.

Need to have your wisdom teeth removed? Don’t get all wound up. We have a research study. Right now, PPD is looking for men and women for a post-surgical pain relief research study of an investigational medication. Surgery for qualiďŹ ed study participants will be performed by a board certiďŹ ed oral surgeon. Financial compensation is provided upon study completion and the surgery is performed at no cost.

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David Gardner hides ring for students to find Haley Lawson

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The Battalion Getting engaged in college is expensive. Rings are thousands of dollars and with extra money going toward education, buying an engagement ring can be intimidating and can delay an engagement. However, David Gardner’s Jeweler created a fun game for couples to find a $15,000 RITANI diamond ring hidden somewhere in College Station. Couples signed up and received clues to the whereabouts of the ring on their cell phones on Saturday. “David Gardner’s is the first Jeweler in Texas to develop a locationbased game for couples to access via mobile phone,� said Matt Kiernan, media spokesperson for David Gardner’s. “By following the clues sent to their cell phones, couples can search for the treasure they’ve been looking for: a $15,000 RITANI diamond ring hidden somewhere in College Station.� Many couples sent in their love stories to tell David Gardner’s why they should be chosen to participate. There were a variety of stories from high school sweethearts to the sorority girl/ and cadet couple, and all wanted the chance to work together and win the ring of their dreams. “Nick and I are high school sweethearts,� said Ashley Moreno of College Station. “We want to get engaged but can’t afford it anytime soon. Getting the opportunity to search for this ring together would be a once in a lifetime experience.� One couple met in fifth grade and have been best friends ever since. They graduated high school sweethearts and are in college and still in love and want to start their life together. “My boyfriend and I have had an unlikely but fairytale relationship,� said Lorin Pereira, a junior health and kinesiology major. “We first met at our fifth grade dance, became best friends until eighth

grade, and graduated as high school sweethearts. We are currently juniors in college and still madly in love.â€? Another couple will be graduating from Texas A&M and want to begin life together. “My girlfriend and I have been together for a little over three years,â€? said Caleb Nesbitt, a junior fire science technology major. “We’re both going to be done with school this year and would love to begin planning our life together. She deserves the best of everything — but especially the best engagement ring. I think this would be a great story to be able to tell our friends and family — how we worked together to try and win this amazing ring.â€? Some couples are Corps guys who don’t have time to have a job outside of college and the corps of cadets. With this couple, the girlfriend wants to classic Aggie proposal under the century tree. “My girlfriend and I are high school sweethearts going on college sweethearts, and the typical clichĂŠ sorority girl corps guy couple,â€? said Mitch Thomas, a junior industrial distribution major. “And ever since we started dating she has been in love with the classic Aggie proposal with a saber arch under the century tree. I want to do everything I can to make this the most special day of her life, but since the Corps is my full time job I haven’t been able to make enough money to get her the ring of her dreams.â€? Even though only one couple can win, most of the couples enjoyed working as a team with their partner. “My favorite part of the game was completing the challenges with my partner and future husband,â€? Pereira said. “Seeing how great we worked together as a team made me realize even more how blessed I am. It was so amazing for David Gardner and his wife to give hopeful couples like us the chance to win a ring and finally have the chance to become engaged.â€?

IN CONCERT THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18

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Stephen Olmon — THE BATTALION

Junior running back Cyrus Gray escapes a tackle with one of his career-high 28 carries. Gray has rushed for 100 yards in all three games since sophomore Christine Michael’s season ended with a broken leg against Texas Tech and four straight overall. another assured touchdown marked out at the oneyard line in the first half alone? Respond by coming out in the second half and playing near-flawless football for 30 minutes. “We came in at halftime and I said: ‘This is not a time to panic, let’s just get done what needs to be done,’� said A&M Head Coach Mike Sherman who has the first four-game winning streak of his tenure. Sherman and Defensive Coordinator Tim DeRuyter made all the right halftime adjustments and the team bought in. After giving up nearly 400 yards in the first half, the A&M defense came out in the second half with a renewed sense of passion and discipline in shutting down Robert Griffin III and company to the tune of 136 yards, two fourth-down stops and zero points. The Aggie offense, behind a stellar 280-yard performance from Tannehill, was seemingly unfazed and drove the ball down Baylor’s throats on the ground and through the air. With two starting freshmen offensive tackles, the Aggie offensive line allowed zero sacks against an onslaught of Bear blitzes. “We lost to a team that I thought we should not have lost to,� said Baylor Head Coach Art Briles. Just four weeks ago, the pundits had thrown A&M to the curb. The pundits were wrong. For that matter, so too was Briles. “We have fighters on this team [who] will do anything to win,� Tannehill said. They’ve repeatedly been knocked down. They’ve been counted out. But they’ve reached down and found that extra something, that incalculable attribute, and are in the closing rounds of something special.

THE INDEPENDENT STUDENT VOICE OF TEXAS A&M SINCE 1893

Matt Woolbright, Editor in Chief

Think about us for Graduation Open for lunch on Saturdays in December

Series sponsored by Ashford Square Realty, Sterling Auto Group and St. Joseph Express

STUDENT TICKETS AS LOW AS $20! MSC Box OďŹƒce 979.845-1234 www.MSCOPAS.org

Continued from page 1

thebattalion

ŊĨżŢŠ  COFFEE BREAK! Students are invited to hang out with Time for Three right after the concert. Enjoy the complimentary coee bar while chatting up the guys. You must present your concert ticket to access the coee bar.

Resilience

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: 979-845-2678.

5FYBT"WFOVF4PVUI $PMMFHF4UBUJPOt

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.

11/14/10 8:45 PM


things you should know

5 before you go 1

PowerPoint Skills

There will be a workshop from 10 to 11 a.m. today at the Pavillion Snack Bar. It will cover presentation skills training to improve communication and PowerPoint formatting. Register online at http://ďŹ naid.tamu.edu/ workshops.

Essential Film Series

2

The Department of Visualization Essential Film Series will present City Lights, a 1931 American silent romantic comedy starring, written and directed by Charlie Chaplin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Langford Architecture Center.

3

International Film Series

The International Film Series will present the second ďŹ lm in the Millennium Series, The Girl Who Played With Fire, at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in Koldus room 227.

4

Internship Orientation

AggiExternship will hold an informational from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday in Rudder Tower room 510. Learn about this hands-on experience where you can visit a company in your ďŹ eld of study and see what professionals in your major do on a daily basis.

5

b!

Thanksgiving Dinner

  

Sbisa Dining Hall will have a Thanksgiving dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday. You can use your meal plan, dining dollars, or pay with cash and credit cards.

thebattalion 11.15.2010 page3

scene

The best form of flattery Music festival lets bands emulate the music that inspired them Taylor also pointed out that they have the freedom to add their own style into the covThe Battalion ers to give it more of a personal touch. As the football team was taking the field in Waco Ruiz said that playing another band’s songs last Saturday, another group of talented Aggies were allowed their group some more freedom taking the stage at Schotzi’s Bar in College Station in performance. “It leaves you a little more for an all-night celebration of the bands that had room to cut loose. When we’re playing their influenced their musical development. stuff we can go crazy.� Despite a drop in the temperature outside and Sweet Lu and the Low Fives, formed an important football game just down the road, of members of the Christian organization Coverfest still managed to pull a strong crowd. The Young Life, donate all their earnings from event, organized by Mohammad“Mojo� Hashin, performances back to that organization to senior recreation, parks and tourism sciences major, help send kids to Young Life summer camps. featured 13 acts playing a set as a different band. They will be playing in the Battle of the From Kayne West to Dave Matthews Band, there Bands Championship this Friday at Rudder was something for everyone. Theatre. The other members of the band “I thought it would be a fun concept for a show,� are Haden Roberts, Robby Mitchell and Hashin said. “College kids love cover songs.� Stephen Wilson. Judging by the spontaneous outbreaks of singing An interesting aspect of Coverfest was the and dancing in the crowd, it appears that Hashin had strong sense of community that was present Tiffany Cornelius— THE BATTALION it spot on. among audience members and bands alike. A The event started off with Aaron Stephens cover- Saturday night’s Coverfest, which featured College Station artists playing songs common bond of music allowed for strangfrom the bands that inspired their own musical career, drew a large crowd at ing John Mayer then followed up with Taz & Gian ers to connect and forge new relationships. Schotzi’s Bar. playing as reggae group Rebelution. There was not a feeling that anyone had to “We chose Rebelution because it’s a lesser known pretend to be someone that they were not. band and we wanted to expose people in College Throughout the course of the night, audience Hunter pulled off a convincing impression of Death Cab for Station to music that they don’t typically hear,� said Justin members would start singing along or dancing to the music Cutie front man Ben Gibbert. Further, bassist Jacob Massey Montgomery, a sophomore mechanical engineering major and soon a whole group would join in with them. danced around the stage facing the drum set in the characterwho played bass and bongos with Taz & Gian. “The people that came out really made it very successistic manner of Death Cab bassist Nick Harmer. Later on in the night, Bottle Cap Alley performed a set as ful,� said Montgomery. “We were able to interact with them One of the highlights of the night was Sweet Lu and the The Fray. throughout the set ... It [was] really fun because there was a Low Fives’ high energy performance as Jonathan Tyler & the “Our lead singer is a big fan [of The Fray] and the songs lot of camaraderie between the different musicians.� Northern Lights. are pretty fun,� said Aaron Williams, sophomore general studAt Coverfest, audience members were able to sample the “Jonathan Tyler is a pretty huge influence on what we ies major. Williams, who plays drums for Bottle Cap Alley, play,� said Luis Ruiz, lead singer and senior recreational parks wide range of talent in the College Station area while still said that the group just loves playing music and always enjoys hearing songs with which they were familiar. and tourism sciences major. “His music feels more than any playing shows. “I got to hear songs I knew and discover talent I didn’t other artist; he puts all his emotions in a song. It’s something In addition to playing sets as the musicians, some bands know about,� said Silvia Ruiz, sophomore geophysics major. we aim for [in Sweet Lu and the Low Fives songs].� even chose to emulate the dress of the group they were “I’ll go check out their own work and hopefully find things Guitarist Wes Taylor, a sophomore agriculture commucovering. Bottle Cap Alley’s blazer and scarf attire matched I like.� nication and journalism major, said there is a difference in with the casually sophisticated look that The Fray can be usu- approach to preparing for a set when playing another’s songs. Coverfest was an exciting event that proved an effective ally seen in. Sporting thick rimmed glasses and a plaid button “We get together and everything’s right there. All we have to showcase for the bands who participated in it and provided a down, lead singer Collin Brewer of The Heart is a Lonely treat to all those in attendance. do is reenact something that they’re doing.�

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11/14/10 8:15 PM


thebattalion 11.15.2010 page4

This is the fourth

in a six-part series of in-depth explorations of the cities and venues the 2010 Fightin’ Texas Aggie football team will visit away from the friendly confines of Kyle Field. Senior football writer Kyle Cunningham and sophomore sports desk assistant Beau Holder are set to travel across Texas and the Big 12 landscape following the team throughout the fall 2010 season. The pair will recount their adventures tailgating with opposing fans, exploring rowdy stadiums and entrenching upon the greatest eats other college towns have to offer.

Photos by Beau Holder and Matt Woolbright — THE BATTALION Graphic by Josh McKenna — THE BATTALION

Where we learn how to take the bad with the good Baylor University | Waco, Texas

T

his entire space could be dedicated to singing the praises of my top hat, which the Aggies are now 3-0 with me wearing at games. As part of my Halloween costume, it helped beat Tech and became a superstition thereafter. The way most Baylor fans act gives me satisfaction in dashing their hopes on the football field. Beau Holder But Aggies should know there are good Baylor fans, sophomore sociology major and they were very enjoyable to be around.

W

hen I realized we’d be going to Baylor at the beginning of the year, I thought “Great, now I’m going to Texas Tech, but with a Dr. Pepper fetish.” But, all in all, Baylor fans weren’t as terrible as I thought. Sure, the bad parts were still pretty bad, but they were in the definite minority. I’m not going to Kyle Cunningham live in Waco any time soon, but it wasn’t the nightsenior sport mare I envisioned in August. management major

the Tailgates

the Trip

Pretty good, even with the fratdaddies. The scene stretches around the stadium, with grilling and games everywhere. These guys below were playing our second favorite tailgating game (behind bean bag toss, of course). On the right is our tailgating vehicle of the week. The owners painted it green and gold, cleared the whole thing out, placed benches, cabinets and a TV in it and even put in a little bathroom. The whole thing can be hitched to a truck and pulled to the spot where we found it, complete with overhang. Some tailgaters were friendly, others not. A lot were actually mixed with maroon and green and gold. On a pure tailgating scene basis, it was the best we’ve seen this year, or at least tied with Kansas. But then there were exchanges like the one we had with a group who asked how we were doing, only to hurl insults at us when we responded. We decided to just walk away. As we did, a woman in the group made fun of The Hat — a big no-no — and called Beau a pejorative term for wearing it. Cue sheep jokes and “I hate the Aggies!”

The ride to Waco is a simple shot up Highway 6. Highlights for us included passing the famed Aggie barn — or, as Mike Sherman would say, the “Eggie barn.” Nah, we won’t make fun of Sherm or his accent. He’s bulletproof right now. It’s a short enough trip that the only other thing of note is passing through Calvert and Hearne, two towns that time left far, far behind long ago. We’re still debating if this is charming or off-putting. We’re thinking both.

the Stadium Floyd Casey Stadium, also known as “The Case” — or “Kyle Field North” — is a stadium that leads to mixed reactions from us. The outside of the stadium, particularly the parking lot, left us thinking there was much to be desired. But like a geode, the positive parts were on the inside. The press box was a little cramped but nice overall (with iPads!), and the field surface is something called Real Grass Matrix ... which isn’t real grass or a matrix. In all seriousness, the surface is the same type used in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, so that’s pretty cool.

the Campus We loved the cathedral-esque look of every building and that the architecture of the different buildings matched. The dorms were so nice that a round of jokes about never wanting to go off campus were made. This group of fellow Aggies on the right played football with us on the campus rugby fields.

the Pageantry The tradition we enjoyed most was the “Sic ’Em Bears” hand motion — usually the most ridiculous thing in the Big 12 — to the Imperial March from Star Wars and yelling “Kill!” to it. If they had more than 15 students doing it it would have been intimidating. There’s also the Baylor Line, the equivalent of our Senior Boot Line, but not really. It’s a group of freshmen in yellow mesh jerseys, some who line up for the team and others who run around the field chaotically.

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the Eats the Fans

the Town

The stadium was two-thirds filled with gold and green. And yet, as we walked around the field in the second half, it was obvious A&M’s three or four sections — plus the various Aggies scattered in the rest of the stadium — were the more noisy, passionate bunch. The only time Baylor voices were really heard was on third downs and when Sean Porter went down and the crowd booed. That wasn’t the only time they booed an Aggie injury, actually. You stay classy.

Waco is not as bad as we remembered from going to the A&M-Baylor basketball game last spring. Maybe it’s because we spent most of our time on that occasion at the Ferrell Center. We warmed up at Starbucks just after noon and had a pleasant experience. Beau bemoaned having to wait to use the bathroom, which was funny a few minutes later when the guy who walked out of it was Lyle Lovett. Wow, how much did his boots cost? There were a few parts of Waco we didn’t feel too safe in, and the roads need some work, but there were pretty areas.

We didn’t get to eat there this time around but we have to mention George’s. It’s been the place to go in Waco for 75 years, known for its chicken-fried steak and an 18- ounce draft beer called the Big O. There’s a barrestaurant in the downtown-ish section of Waco called Cricket’s where we relaxed with some staffers from the Baylor Lariat and Roundup after the game. It seemed to be a popular postgame hangout; the chocolate cake dessert was awesome. Common Grounds is a homely coffee shop near campus where students love to get their caffeine on and study — if there’s room. We entered, looked around and left because we couldn’t see the end of the line. That probably says something good about the quality though.

11/14/10 8:38 PM


news

page 5 monday 11.15.2010

thebattalion

Big 12

Spencer Continued from page 1

A&M welcomes attendants to annual diversity conference

Stephanie Leichtle— THE BATTALION

Sophomore architecture major Melissa Lewis receives a henna tattoo at the Brazos Valley Worldfest, a community-wide festival at Wolf Pen Creek on Saturday. The festival celebrated international diversity through cultural displays, performances, crafts and international food.

J.D. Swiger — THE BATTALION

During the weekend, Texas A&M invited chief diversity officers from the Big 12 universities to College Station for the annual diversity conference. This is the first time the event has taken place at A&M.

Worldfest focuses on bringing diverse cultures together Sarah Smith

Connie Thompson The Battalion Diversity is the condition of having or being composed of differing elements, especially the inclusion of different types of people, according to Merriam Webster. This past weekend, Texas A&M welcomed chief diversity officers from the Big 12 universities to the annual diversity conference. This is the first time the event has taken place at A&M. “This annual meeting is an opportunity for A&M and other Big 12 universities’ chief diversity officers to meet, discuss and share empirical evidence to inform diversity initiatives, circulating exemplary practices and informing national and local policies,” said Christine Stanley, vice president and associate provost for diversity and conference coordinator. The Big 12 universities chief diversity officers are members of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. This organization acts as the voice for these officers and leads them into collaborations concerning issues of access, inclusion and campus climate.

The association was formed in a response to the increasing need for institutions of higher learning to maximize investments concerning diversity initiatives and to provide opportunities for institutions to exchange and influence ideas and develop professional standards among diversity workers. William Harvey, the event’s keynote speaker, shared examples of successful initiatives and best practices and methods for collaboration on strategies that support institution-wide diversity agendas. Harvey is the interim provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at Rosemont College and former vice president for diversity and equity at the University of Virginia. “The meeting also includes idea-sharing, progress reports and overviews of relevant national projects, including the Difficult Dialogues initiative, which Texas A&M will be launching in Spring 2010,” Stanley said. Stanley said she believes hosting the event at A&M will help bring the University attention regarding diversity initiatives. Last year’s conference was held at the University of Kansas.

The Battalion A quick quiz for the culturally savvy Aggie: What do camel petting, gyro tasting and salsa dancing have in common? All can be done at the Brazos Valley Worldfest. Initiated by the Office of International Outreach at Texas A&M, Brazos Valley Worldfest began in 2005. With the assistance of Festival Coordinator Kim Fox, class of 1997, the turnout and participation has grown over the years for the event, held at Wolf Pen Creek. “The University wanted to create a more welcoming environment for our international faculty, scholars and students and connect them with the community,” Fox said. The day began with the 5k Run For the World race. The funds from the race go to the International Justice Mission, a Christian Human Rights organization with headquarters in Washington, D.C. The International Justice Mission at A&M strives educate others about the severity of human trafficking and raises funds to help those affected. “There are 27 million slaves in the world,” said Caitlin Red, officer. “It’s really gratifying to know that people can come together and raise awareness about this issue.” The International Studies Degree Program represented all countries and cultures at Worldfest. Laura Stratta, international studies academic adviser, was particularly excited to see all of the guests and couldn’t wait to see all the cultures of the world. “I’m just fascinated by all the diversity here at Worldfest,” Stratta said. “It’s amaz-

ing to see so many cultures interacting with one another.” Michael Greenwald, director of international studies, was also at the international studies booth, educating others about the international studies degree plan and partaking in the day’s events. “Many people are surprised to find we have an international studies major,” Greenwald said. “But there is, in fact, a full degree here at A&M, specifically focused on this globalization.” Activities such as cultural dance displays, henna tattoos and Chinese calligraphy gave the guests a chance to expand their cultural horizons. But from kielbasa and bratwurst to quesadillas and corn dogs, the food was a favorite aspect among all Worldfest attendees. “I couldn’t resist the wonderful smell of food,” said Patrick Simmons, a senior biomedical engineering major. “It’s neat to get to experience so many different things at Worldfest.” More than 9,000 people turned out to the fourth annual Worldfest. With 400 volunteers and 56 cultural displays, the guests traveled around the booths with their Worldfest passport in tow, getting stamps from each country represented. Senior political science major Neal Spencer, who has studied abroad in Tunisia, assisted with the Arabic booths, putting his education to good use. “Tunisia is sometimes overlooked on the map,” Spencer said. “But it’s one of the most beautiful and interesting places in the world and I love being able to share my experiences with others.”

from, what your beliefs are; it’s your viewpoint, really. It’s not a right or wrong answer.” TAC is conducting activities throughout November to raise awareness of Fundamentalist Islam and Shariah Law. “[We hope that] students will better understand the threats we face from fundamentalist Islam and be able to combat it through the ballot box or their future careers,” said TAC President Justin Pulliam. “These religious arguments are not brought to light in either academia or the media, so Spencer revealed truths that are not well-known in the Western world because of political correctness. Once we understand Islam, we can help reform the violent aspects to ensure peace and protect human rights.” The initiative started with passing out fliers on campus, titled “Islam: Oppression of Women” and “Fundamental Islam: Deceiving the Infidel.” “The quotations [in the TAC fliers] were accurate,” Spencer said. “Let the [Muslim Student Association] show the quotes to be inaccurate, and then they might have a case against these messages. Otherwise, they do not. They are just covering up inconvenient truths.” TAC invited the Muslim Student Association to participate in a debate with Spencer, but the offer was declined. “They will not debate me or get a speaker to debate me because they know that I’m right and that what I’m saying about Islamic supremacism and jihad is true, and don’t want that fact to become obvious,” Spencer said. Though controversy has surrounded the TAC’s initiative and many students disagree with Spencer’s message, Spencer is not to blame for Islam’s bad publicity, Goff said. “A lot of people pointed fingers at him, but he made it clear that he’s not the reason, or people like him that speak out against Islam, for the way Islam is looked at. It’s not him. It’s the terrorists that do the bad things; they are the reason for the bad outlook on Islam.”

HAPPY FEAST Muslim Students’ Association congratulates Muslim Aggies on the occasion of the Feast of Sacrifice (Eid-Aladha) Eid prayer will be Tuesday Nov. 16th - 8:45AM at the Brazos County Expo Complex

Muslims celebrate this day in remembrance of the sacrifice of Prophet Abraham and his son Ismail

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news

page 6 monday 11.15.2010

thebattalion

Charity ball raises funds for youth of Texas Sarah Smith The Battalion The Bryan-College Station area is continually growing and changing. While many new additions have been made to revamp the community, many still lack necessity and direction within the city limits. There are many organizations throughout the area, but one in particular stands completely devoted to bettering the lives of the others in the area. Through leadership, volunteering and education, the Ladies of the Junior League take on service in Bryan-College Station with style. The Junior League of Bryan-College Station began in 1982 with 108 members. Today, the Junior League has grown to include over 400 women actively participating in volunteer service across the Brazos Valley. Trudy Bennett, president and long-

time member, came to the Junior League with a big heart, matched with big ideas. “What first drew me to the Junior League was helping the children” Bennett said. “I’m currently in my eighth year and have loved every moment since.” The Charity Ball is the Junior League’s biggest fundraiser of the season. Saturday, the guests traveled back in time to the Roaring ’20s, donning their black ties and vintage dresses. Complete with music provided by the Lone Star Swing Syndicate, flip book booths, silent auction and raffle, the Charity Ball will attract attendants from across Texas. Darby Johnson, public relations chairwoman was especially excited to see the turnout for Saturday evening. “It isn’t very often that we have black tie events in our community,” Johnson said. “This is a great opportunity to get dressed up and support the children and

youth of Bryan-College Station.” The money raised from the Charity Ball goes to “Stuff the Bus,” a program assisting children in need get school supplies each year. “Many parents are unable to purchase school supplies for their children,” Bennett said. “On the first day of school, we make sure that these kids have everything they need and more for a great education.” To be admitted into the Junior League, one must be 25 years of age and be a resident of Bryan-College Station. Until then, the Junior League is always looking for people to help out with their many volunteer-based projects through the Boys and Girls Club and the Brazos Valley Food Bank. “There are so many opportunities for anyone to assist with the Junior League,” Bennett said. “We can always use an extra hand.”

Stephanie Leichtle — THE BATTALION

The Junior League of Bryan-College Station put on the Charity Ball, the biggest fundraiser of the season. The money raised from the Ball goes to “Stuff the Bus,” a program assisting children in need get school supplies each year.

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

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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 veriďŹ ed. Direct all correspondence to: Editor in chief of The Battalion (979) 845-3315 | mailcall@thebatt.com

voices thebattalion 11.15.2010

Driving while texting

Osazuwa Okundaye — THE BATTALION

S

ociety lives faster than the speed of a click. The technology we have can exchange messages more rapidly than Alexander Graham Bell ever imagined. Unfortunately, we have the tendency to get carried away with some types of communication, especially when it comes to texting while driving. I’m sure you can smell the statistics about the horrors of texting while driving coming from a mile away, but don’t move on to the Sudoku puzzle just yet. One rarely mentioned problem with texting behind the wheel is the guaranteed inevitably incoherent text message. You might attempt to send a friend something as simple as “What are you doing?� but the message they receive is

something like “Whaz aard tyuo ding?� It’s puzzling how this happens when so much attention is given to texting while on the road. A study by the Caleb Wilson Virginia Tech Transjunior history portation Institute major found that for every six seconds a driver spends sending or receiving a text, 4.6 of those seconds are spent with their eyes off the road. We’ve all heard that texting while driving is considered more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. It’s only matter of time before messages sent while driving become less intelligible than drexts, drunken text messages. Deciphering driver seat text messages is becoming an increasingly difficult task. Texting behind the wheel wouldn’t be a big issue if miserable spelling and grammar was the

only problem, but sadly it’s not. A study by text. If there’s no shotgun texter available, the University of North Texas Health Science you should holster your cellular firearm. Center found that texting while driving acWe should also stop texting behind the counted for 16,141 deaths between 2002 wheel because it’s becoming increasingly and 2007. illegal. Thirty states have text messaging bans I don’t mean to guilt trip you into throwfor drivers. Eleven of those states have ing your iPhone away, but there’s no enacted laws in 2010. In Texas, we’re doubt car accidents abound due already prohibited from using cell Texting to distracted drivers texting. phones in school zones. It won’t It’s easy to think “that will be long before DWT, driving while driving never happen to me,� but while texting, is accounted for it can. One A&M student banned everywhere. 16,141 deaths was involved in a deadly car The dangers of texting in between 2002 wreck this year because of the driver’s seat are too great to and 2007 texting while driving. ignore. More than one dead horse Drivers should never have has been beaten about this issue, one hand on the wheel and the but that doesn’t make it any less imother on their BlackBerry. Instead, portant. Cell phones have made it possible they should utilize the “shotgun text� whento stay connected 24/7 but next time a friend ever possible. Simply dictate the message to a sends you a hilarious message, remember this. passenger for them to send. Of course, there’s It won’t kill them to wait for your “LMAO� not always someone riding shotgun in your reply, but texting it while driving could kill car, but don’t let those times be an excuse to you.

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