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Murano resigns President says A&M’s best interest in mind Kalee Bumguardner The Battalion Texas A&M President Elsa A. Murano, the first female and first Hispanic president of the University, announced her resignation Sunday afternoon, effective Monday and subject to approval by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. Morris Foster, chairman of the board, Jan. 3, 2008 Elsa Murano was officially named the president of Texas A&M.


Sept. 2008 Murano integrates Sea Aggies when Hurricane Ike devastates Galveston.

called a special meeting Friday, for 9 a.m. Monday. Murano’s resignation, and the plans for her transition back into the faculty will be addressed at the meeting. “Murano has served the University with distinction over the course of her ca-

Sept. 26, 2008 Murano announces the Aggie Assurance Program.

reer,” Foster said. “I want to thank her for her service and commitment to the betterment of the University, its faculty, and its students.” In an e-mail sent by Murano’s representative and attorney, Darryl Carter of Glickman, Carter & Bachynsky, LLP in Houston, Murano said that her deep and abiding passion for Texas A&M reinforces

Oct. 8, 2008 Murano announces a change in Vision 2020 to the student senate.

Feb. 17, 2009 Murano confirms that the Memorial Student Center will close for three years for renovations.

her duty to do what is best for the University, and that is why she will be resigning as president. Murano’s resignation is the latest in a string of events that began when Texas A&M University System Chancellor Mike McKinney gave Murano a poor perfor-


See Murano on page 2


March 10, 2009 Murano responds to low marks given by Chancellor Mike McKinney on her performance.

June 14, 2009 Murano announces her resignation as president of the University, effective Monday.

Hear students’ statuses in reaction to the resignation. city | 2

Board of Regents should include students in search process for president. opinion | 2

Compiled by Mattie Williamson

H1N1 virus suspected on campus ■ Two students in the College of Architecture sick with flu Julie Rambin

Stephen Fogg — THE BATTALION

The National Champion Men’s and Women’s Track teams were greeted with fanfare upon their return to College Station Sunday night. Several hundred fans gathered with Yell Leaders and Athletic Department staff to welcome the athletes home.

On the


The Battalion Two students within the Department of Visualization in the College of Architecture have suspected cases of H1N1 influenza, university officials said Thursday. “This is a group of students that are very close to each other,” said College of Architecture dean Jorge Vanegas. “Some of them had been sick normally, like everyone else.” On the same day, the World Health Organization announced the first global flu outbreak for more than 40 years, raising the warning level to phase 6 — the highest alert. The father of one of the A&M students, who is a virologist, tested the students for H1N1. “Immediately upon being alerted by the father of this student, we put in place all the protocols of the University,” Vanegas said. “University officials and Brazos County health officials were immediately notified.” The classes that the students were enrolled in were canceled for a week, said University Risk and Compliance associate vice president Charley Clark. “We also notified custodial services to wipe down or disinfect the two rooms that were involved,” Clark said. “We’ve taken the protective measures.” The cases will be considered suspected until conclusive results are received from the state lab in Austin, Clark said. “We took very strict action. We followed all protocols,” Vanegas said. “I think we have all taken the immediate, expedient and necessary precautions.” The Department of Visualization has been working closely with University administration, Vanegas said. “[Visualization department Head] Tim McLaughlin has acted in an exemplary fashion,” Vanegas said. “He has been very proactive for the wellbeing of all our students, faculty, staff and visitors.” See Virus on page 4

Track teams celebrate two national championships

Brett Sebastian The Battalion


he national champion Texas A&M men’s and women’s track teams returned home to College Station Sunday night to find a celebration of their accomplishments waiting for them in the parking lot at Olsen Field. Nearly 300 well-wishers turned out at 10 p.m. to welcome home the twin No. 1 teams. The Twelfth Man bus was on hand, along with the Yell Leaders. Hundreds of fans of all ages came

*Pg. 1-06.15.09.indd 1

out to experience history being made as A&M brought home two more national championships to cap off the sports year. “Three in three weeks,” said senior Head Yell Leader Casey Schaefer. “Hopefully we can get more programs to follow suit, but this definitely puts us on the map and gives us much-deserved recognition. The team has done something that hasn’t been done in 20 years, and it probably won’t happen for a while unless we do it again next year.” “It’s a great accomplishment for the University, said junior Yell Leader Travis Kennedy. “This is history right here.” People chatted while waiting for the bus carrying the team. Despite the news of President Elsa Murano’s resignation at the University earlier in the day, Aggies and the community came together.

“This is a great turnout with a lot of people here,” Schaefer said. “Obviously this means a lot to a lot of people and this is what we need to focus on as a university. We need to show these great athletes gratitude as a whole.” The bus from Fayetteville arrived to applause and congratulations from the crowd. The national championship teams came out, enjoying the celebration and hugging friends and family while chanting celebratory team yells. “It is fantastic to see so many people supporting our school and our team,” said sophomore general studies major Gerald Phiri. “It is great to know that our accomplishments brought people together and for the first time began following our sport. As soon See Champions on page 3

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Students give opinions of Murano

Letter from Elsa A. Murano

The minds of students, Aggies and even Aggie opponents have been stirring since the news of President Elsa Murano’s resignation was released. Comments from articles in The Houston Chronicle and The Eagle indicate that most people are not surprised, but blame has been pointed to different people and issues. A list of input compiled from Facebook and Twitter reveals what many people think about Murano’s situation: an accomplished, intelligent latina cannot last even one year before she’s shoved out the door. proud day for a&m, indeed. Murano resigned..... FML! No doubt that the crooked board of regents was going to oust her anyway, she saved face... that slime-ball rick perry is behind it.. i know it!

Doug Klembara — THE BATTALION

Chancellor Mike McKinney embraces President Elsa Murano on Sept. 27, 2008, at the Academic Convocation and Investiture.

murano is gone. sad day. hah. jk. happy day. its actually not her fault. They should fire mckinney, the head of the board of regents, not her. Many former ags are furious about this, and are threatening to withdraw large donations.

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Murano resigns. Sometimes I really hate this university. You get a moderately attractive president and she’s gone in a year. Looks like murano resigned....if mckinney is taking over this place is going to hell Elsa Murano resigns as A&M president, McKinney & Gov. Perry continue to embarass and destroy Texas A&M. This needs to stop. Oh yeah... They screwed Murano over big time. I guarantee Gates wouldn’t touch the job w/ a 10ft. pole. They want to combine jobs. Props to Dr. Murano for handling this with class and grace that haven’t been displayed by others in the TAMUS admin.


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Guess the Board of Retards and the Chancellor won this round-Murano resgined as President of A&M. Sad day in Aggieland. Conspiracy theory: Murano pushed out, Perry doesn’t run for TXGOV, takes appointment at end of the year. I am bored today. Reported and compiled by Clay Harley and Megan Ryan

Murano Continued from page 1

mance evaluation Feb. 9 for her first year on the job, despite having recommended her for the position in 2007. Murano vehemently rejected the results of the evaluation and presented evidence as to why it was undeserved in a 10-page letter to McKinney and the Board of Regents March 10. In late May, McKinney suggested merging the positions of Texas A&M president and system chancellor as one of many options to save money. This suggestion met with much opposition from faculty and students. Murano compiled these arguments and sent them to the regents. Her subsequent resignation prompted a flurry of comments from A&M students and faculty, some in support of her, and others who were glad to see her go. “I admire and commend Dr. Murano for her year and a half of service,” said Student Body President Eric Beckham, senior petroleum engineering major. “I’m sad to see her go in this fashion, but will look to the student body to rally around whoever’s going to be the next president,” he said. Former student body president, senior biomedical sciences major Mark Gold, who is the only SBP to serve his full tenure with Murano as president, said he was surprised to hear of her resignation. “I did not expect a resignation from President Murano because of the short period of time she served and I believe she had just gotten her team together to execute her plans and achieve her vision for Texas A&M University,” Gold said. Faculty senate speaker Robert Bednarz said Murano’s resignation was unfortunate for several reasons. “It will almost certainly introduce instability at the University just as it was emerging from a two-year period during which almost every senior administrator at Texas A&M was replaced,” Bednarz said. “In addition, the short tenure of the president and the manner in which her presidency began and ended will make it more difficult to attract the most highly qualified individuals to apply for the position.” Different theories as to why Murano resigned have emerged. Speaker for the student senate and

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“I admire and commend Dr. Murano for her year and a half of service. I’m sad to see her go in this fashion, but will look to the student body to rally around whoever’s going to be the next president.” — Student Body President Eric Beckham, senior petroleum engineering major

senior mechanical engineering major Kolin Loveless said while he didn’t know for certain why she resigned, he suspects that it is because of all the articles regarding Murano and the chancellor that have been in the news. “She’s been under a lot of fire lately, and maybe she thought she’d be on the chopping block anyway,” Loveless said. Some said that by resigning before the regents’ meeting, when they planned to discuss the employment, evaluation or dismissal of A&M system administration officers, including the president, Murano saved face. “I think it was a wise decision on her part to resign due to her recent barrage of criticism,” said senior history major Bryant McCombs. “It would have been a bad choice for her to continue because it would have tarnished her legacy, however short it was.” The executive committee for the Council of Principal Investigators have asked students and faculty to meet near the Rudder Tower fountains at 8:30 a.m. Monday in a show of support for shared governance and the future of Texas A&M. “Although it may appear that the decisions have already been made, it may still be possible to influence the outcome,” said Deborah Bell-Pedersen, a professor in the biology department, on behalf of the CPI executive committee. “Hence, it is essential for the students, faculty, and staff to make their opinions known.” In a March 2009 meeting, the regents eliminated the requirement for a search committee in the hiring of a University president.

“The events of recent weeks have been very taxing for the entire Aggie family. The faculty, students and staff have demonstrated incredible loyalty to this institution, upholding our Aggie values during these exceedingly trying times. I am truly grateful for the countless expressions of support that I have received from our faculty, staff, current and former students, and friends of Texas A&M. I cannot adequately express how much I have appreciated your many letters, phone calls, e-mails, and especially your prayers. They have been truly uplifting and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. “My husband Peter and I fell in love with Texas A&M the moment we set foot in Aggieland back in 1995. This deep and abiding passion for what the university represents, and for the people of the Aggie family, reinforces my duty to do what is best for Texas A&M. For this reason, I will be resigning as President of our beloved university, effective tomorrow, June 15, 2009, to return to the faculty, subject to approval by the Board of Regents. “Our university is strong and I know that we will weather this storm. I sincerely hope and pray that we will intensify our efforts to protect and enhance Texas A&M’s reputation. I trust that the important issues raised in recent weeks will be addressed in the Aggie way – with integrity, selfless service and indomitable spirit. God bless you all, and gig ‘em!”

Logan West and Lorelei Willett contributed to this report.


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:; website: 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.

6/15/09 12:17 AM

sports thebattalion 6.15.2009 page3

Photos by Errol Anderson

Christmas in June

Left: Yasmine Regis, Allison George, Sandy Wooten, Ashika Charan, Gabby Mayo and Dominique Duncan celebrate their first women’s national championship. Above: De’Lon Isom, Chris Dykes, Zuheir Sharif, Tran Howell and Kyle Dykhuizen celebrate their first men’s national championship.

Two for the road Track teams capture their first national championships Patrick Hayslip

Brett Sebastian

A&M’s own Santa Claus delivers an early Christmas.


had a realization Saturday afternoon, after the track teams scored their first national championships; Athletic Director Bill Byrne is the A&M equivalent of Santa Claus. Instead of a bag of toys, though, he has a bag of championships. Three national championships in three weeks, two consecutive Lone Star Showdown victories over the big bad wolf in Austin, and more individual athletic successes than College Station has known in a while. These national championships are the reward for years of hard work and being good little boys and girls. They are also much more enjoyable than the years of coal Reveille had been receiving in her stocking. What is scary to think about, though, is just how much room to grow there is left. We are, after all, only in year six of the Bill Byrne show and there are still several programs that have lots of room for improvement. But even those programs have new facilities and support waiting under the Aggie tree for them. So, congratulations to the track teams and the athletic department as a whole. We have enjoyed our early Christmas presents and eagerly await to see what gifts we might receive come the actual holiday. Brett Sebastian is a senior geography major.

The Battalion Texas A&M men’s and women’s track and field teams won NCAA Outdoor Championships at John McDonnell Field Saturday. The men’s victory was thanks to a second place finish in the men’s final race where the Aggies edged Oregon, Florida and Florida State by only two points. Senior environmental studies major Justin Oliver anchored the men’s 4 x 400 relay to eight points, which gave A&M 48 total team points and its first national title. “We’re the national champions,” Oliver said. “Texas A&M, no one else. That’s all I could say when I finished the race. We did it! We did it!” A&M fought off Oregon, who had already claimed the indoor and cross-country titles earlier this year. “You don’t run for third place, you run for the victory,” Oliver said. “The position the rest of the relay put me in, I was second and I wanted to maintain that position. The Aggies were projected for

Champions Continued from page 1

as we entered town and we got police escorts the bus went crazy. “It feels really good to be a champion and to be appreciated. Knowing that we represented A&M and helped the community enjoy being on top as national champions feels good as well.” The team gathered around head coach Pat Henry. The 29-time championship coach thanked the team’s coaches, assistants and family members, then highlighted his team’s athletes, their accomplishments and finally the seniors. The graduating class is the first class Henry recruited to A&M upon his arrival in 2005. “First off they tell me that the Aggies are loyal to their school

a third-place win, but Oliver ran a split of 44.20 as the anchor leg. The Aggie women did their damage by racking up 50 points, 13 of which came in the final day, putting them ahead of secondplace Oregon. Arizona State, Florida State, and Texas ounded out the top five. Junior Porscha Lucas won the 200 (22.81) and sophomore Jessica Beard took second in the 400 with a school record of 50.56. Senior Yasmine Regis earned second-place in the triple jump (45-4.25/13.82) along with a fourth place finish in the 100 meter hurdles (13.21). “I knew I was the last event to go on,” Regis said, who was in sixth place going into the final three rounds. “I was trying to rack up the most points I could for my teammates. It started off pretty rocky, but I dug deep and I pulled out what I needed to do.” Earlier in the day, four Aggie men scored in the triple jump out of a total 12 jumpers. Sophomore Julian Reid took second place. Junior Zuheir Sharif placed fourth with sophomore Tyron Stewart and their programs,” Henry said. “To be here at 10 at night, you all have proven that.” The Yell Leaders led a yell practice and the War Hymn before wrapping up organized festivities. “This is great,” said senior environmental studies major Justin Oliver. “It is 10:30 at night, people have work and school tomorrow and still so many showed up. It feels really good to know that so many people are behind us back home. It is amazing to be here right now.” “The team’s accomplishments are a credit to Bill Byrne and the athletic department,” Schaefer said. “He has been bringing great coaches to A&M and this accomplishment will bring recognition to our great programs. Hopefully more will follow suit.”

claiming sixth, and sophomore Melvin Echard placing seventh. “We had our team meeting this morning with Coach Henry and I’ve never heard such consistency and confidence in his voice when he told us both teams could win,” Sharif said. “I think with that it just set the momentum in order for us to know that no matter the circumstances we had to be in that triple jump final. “When we got into that final, from that point on it was just maintaining and building the momentum we had. It’s all about the endurance. But it was nervewracking watching the outcome of the 4 x 400. I’m at a loss for words, I can’t believe what we jumped today, I can’t believe we are national champions.” The Aggies captured 18 points with the second, fourth, sixth and seventh places after none of the same four Aggie triple jumpers reached the final round the previous year. Texas A&M is the first school to win the men’s and women’s title in the same year since LSU in 1990, who had previously achieved that

feat with current A&M head coach Pat Henry. This is the 13th women’s outdoor NCAA championship for Henry, who claimed the previous 12 along with his fourth men’s NCAA championship, the previous titles coming while he was at LSU. “This is a special championship for us,” noted Aggie head coach Pat Henry, who is in his fifth season at Texas A&M. “This is our first graduating class. We’re extremely pleased, my staff worked very hard and this is a very gratifying pair of championships for this team.” Henry capped his 28th and 29th national championships on the Division level while helping Texas A&M earn its first two. This marks the second and third NCAA championship for A&M this year, with the Aggie golf team claiming a title earlier this year. This is the fourth overall sports championship for A&M, with the Aggie equestrian team also winning a title; however, they are not recognized in the NCAA.

Finalists 20 Aggies participated in finals for their respected events. Men Gerald Phiri 100M - #3 - 10.18 200M - #4 - 20.83 4x100 - DQ - N/A Chris Dykes 200M - #6 - 21.05 4x100 - DQ - N/A Bryan Miller 400M - #8 - 45.91 4x400 - #2 - 3:00:91 Tran Howell 4x100 - DQ - N/A 4x400 - #2 - 3:00:91 Justin Oliver 4x100 - DQ - N/A 4x400 - #2 - 3:00:91 Kyle Dykhuizen 4x400 - #2 - 3:00:91 Tyron Stewart L. Jump - #10 - 7.71m T. Jump - #6 - 16.27m Julian Reid L. Jump - #4 - 7.96m T. Jump - #2 - 17.10m Zuheir Sharif T. Jump - #4 - 16.76m Melvin Echard T. Jump - #7 - 16.07m Trinity Otto Decathalon - #7


Stephen Fogg — THE BATTALION

The Aggie Yell Leaders lead a yell practice in the parking lot at Olsen Field. The celebration was attended by several hundred fans in honor of the track team’s national championships.

Gabby Mayo 100M - #5 - 11.35 100H - #4 - 13.26 4x100 - #1 - 42.36 Porscha Lucas 100M - #4 - 11.31 200M - #1 - 22.81 4x100 - #1 - 42.36 Jessica Beard 400M - #2 - 50.56 Christina Munoz 10,000M - #19 - 35:33:39 Vashti Thomas 100H - DNF Khrystal Carter 4x100 - #1 - 42.36 Dominique Duncan 4x100 - #1 - 42.36 Yasmine Regis T. Jump - #2 - 13.82m Laura Asimakis Javelin - #12 - 48.16m

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Texas Music Festival Monday, June 15, 7:30 p.m. Timothy Hester, Brian Suits, piano Matthew Dane, Rita Porfiris, viola Lucie Robert, Sophia Silivos, Jun Zuo, violin Greg Sauer, cello • Frank BridgePhantasy Quartet in F-sharp Minor for Piano and Strings (1910) • Bohuslav Martinu Madrigals for Violin and Viola (1947) • Wieniawski Polonaise Brilliante in D for Violin and Piano • Elgar Salut d’amour for Violin and Piano • Johannes Brahms Quintet in F Minor for Piano and Strings

All performances will take place at the Presidential Conference Center, Texas A&M University. For more information, please visit Tickets may be purchased through the MSC Box Office at (979) 845-1234. This program is made possible in part through Hotel Tax Revenue funded from the City of College Station.

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Bike to campus, available August 1st. 2/1 C.S. duplex, fenced backyard, w/d connections, pets allowed. E-walk shuttle route. $575. 979-218-2995. Bryan huge 4-2 clean and quiet, historic area, large trees, w/d connections, fenced yard, students welcome. 701 Banks. $1300. 979-255-5461. C.S. & Bryan, several nice 3&4 bedroom homes, W/D included, pet friendly, $950-$1795. Laurie Stone, Broker, The Oldham Goodwin Group, 979-777-5777. Duplex near campus. 2bed/2bath. W/D. No backyard. 307 Spruce. $650/month. Call 254-760-8242. Fully Furnished 3 Bed 3.5 Bath Townhome. No more hassles with trying to find a hotel. This townhome has eveything ou need furniture, dishes, linens, appliances, cale and internet, televicion, washer and dryer and fenced bak yard. Great for Parents for game season!!!!! You can rent by the month or long term. Just need it for the weekend? Call for rate. $1800.00 per month $1000.00 deposit. Call for Tour 979-485-0300 or 979-255-3280. Email: Web: Great 4bd/2ba house in popular area400 Pronghorn Loop. Comes w/ W/D, Ref, ethernet in each room, large fenced bkyrd, pets o.k. w/ deposit, 2-car garage. Available in July or August. Call Joey at 979-218-4091. Duplex for rent, 2/1. No deposit. $675/ month rent. Limited time only $999.00! 3bd/2.5ba in College Station, Built in 2000, serene country setting, minutes from campus, fully loaded, Full size W/D and kitchen appl., Free lawn care, fenced backyards. Pets (including large dogs) welcome. Must see! Call for tour. 979-485-0300 or 979-255-3280. Web: Need 2-people to take over 12-month lease August 2009. 2bd/bth at Woodlands. E-mail if interested Newly remodeled 4/2 house. Walking distance to campus, tile &wood floors, great location, nice big deck &yard. 776-6079, Nice 2/2 Duplex- On TAMU bus route! All appliances, NO PETS. $800/mo. Call 832-215-1801 or 832-338-5397. One room available in 3/2 on 3-acres, just four miles from campus. Horse property. $470/mo. Cable/Internet provided. 858-442-4918. Open House, for lease, 3/2 townhouse, 203 Navarro, 1278 sqft, built in entertainment center, high ceilings, dedicated parking space, 3 blocks from shuttle, ceramic tile, microwave, w/d, stove, side by side refrigerator, $1200/mo. 979-268-3200. Pre-leasing for August. 3b/1.5b, carport, on shuttle, pets ok, fenced, $750/month. 979-776-8984.

PT/FT lawncare crewleader/driver. Valid Texas DL, good record. $8+/hr start. 979-324-0692. STUDENTPAYOUTS.COM Paid survey takers needed in College Station. 100% free to join. Click on surveys.

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PETS Teacup puppies: Maltese, Shorkies, Maltipoos, Yorkies &Poodles. $500 &up. 979-324-2866,

ROOMMATES $300/month, +1/3utilities, 3bd/2ba, all appliances, includes cable/internet, close to campus. 979-885-9993. 1-Male needed in 3bd/2ba with W/D, $400/month, +1/3utilities, on shuttle route. 979-236-3911. 1-roommate needed Fall, & Spring. 4/2 house. 2505 Antietam. $400/mo +1/4 utilities. Clara, 361-463-1727. 2 male roommates needed. 4bd/4ba townhome. $425+utilities, cable+internet incl. 512-565-6503. 2-male, non-smoking roommates needed. 4bdrm/2.5bath at Longmire and Baron, C.S. $488-$538/month. Call Jessica 979-220-3454. 2-Roomates needed for 09-10 year, 3/2 house on bus route with backyard, $400/mo +1/3 utilities, Lindsey 512-557-5592. Male roommate for summer, $350/month, bills included. Autumn Circle. 979-324-3834 Male roommate wanted for the 09-10 schoolyear. 4bd/2ba house at 3203 Callie Circle, in nice neighborhood near shuttle stop. $400/month +1/4bills. Move-in August, 12-month lease, email Greg. Room for rent, share house and yard, no pets. $350/month, 2-blocks to campus. 979-530-5014. Roommate needed, female non-smoker. Fully furnished, all bills paid. $550/mo, C.S. 979-690-7394.

TUTORS Private Chinese tutor, prefer non-student or spouse. Two 1-hour sessions per week. Private Math Tutor, Precalculus Math Physics Degree, $25/hr, 979-209-9466.

read the fine print.

HELP WANTED A student worker is needed to assist in a variety of research activities in USDA Cotton Genomics Laboratory on campus. Training and/or experience in molecular genetics, biochemistry, and/or bioinformatics is preferred. Applicants should email resume, transcript, and references to and call 260-9237 for information.

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.

Athletic men for calendars, books, etc. $100-$200/hr, up to $1000/day. No experience. 512-684-8296, Child Care- FT & PT shifts available. Some nights & Saturdays required. Apply in person at 3609 E. 29th St. Bryan.

Callaway Villas. Need to sublease. Fall-2009. 4/2.5, W/D. $615/mo. 936-348-1561.

Cleaning commercial buildings at night, M-F. Call 979-823-5031 for appointment.

Aggies discover how bacteria takes over viruses Vicky Flores The Battalion By studying several proteins, chemical engineering professor Thomas Wood and postdoctoral chemical engineering research assistants Xiaoxue Wang and Younghoon Kim, have discovered that certain bacterium learn to take control of the genes of viruses. Viruses are made mostly of protein and DNA and only live to inject their DNA, integrate into the chromosome, and then take over the cells functions and make the cell start working solely for the invading virus, Wood said. As the cell continues to make hundreds of copies of its DNA it will very quickly wipe out the bacteria that it has invaded, Wood said. E.coli has recently been sequenced and now its DNA is readable by scientists. Because E. coli has been sequenced, researchers are able to examine nine or 10 remnants of viruses that no longer function as a virus. Usually a bacterium will lose genes that it no longer needs, but in this case the bacterium did not lose these leftover virus fossils, said Wood. “If you look more closely we find out that the bacterium kept it because they have kept these tools that allow the cell to grow better,” Woods said. “It holds onto these tools from its enemy.” These tools allow the cell to kill itself, Wood said. The purpose of this is to escape and protect itself. “All of the [bacterium] are connected to each other by a polymer, DNA, sucrose or protein,” Wood said, “and so in order for them to pack up and leave when conditions change, some of them have to die.” Another reason found for the bacterium to utilize virus DNA in order to kill itself is so when a virus attacks that particular cell it can kill itself off

Virus Continued from page 1


battalion Classifieds

Call 845-0569 To Place Your Ad puzzle answers can be found online at

The department’s response is compatible with what is known about the H1N1 virus and the suspected cases, Vanegas said. “There’s not really a huge spike of cases,” Vanegas said. “We’re not looking at hundreds of people getting sick.” Students should not avoid

before the virus kills it. “If it kills itself first then the virus won’t make a hundred children to go kill a hundred more cells,” Wood said. Between a virus and a cell, constant mutating to attack and prevent attacks takes place. From this research, Wood and his colleagues discovered that biofilm is related to bacterium by the ability to retain the DNA from viruses. A biofilm is bacterium that has formed together in a structure that is stronger in the number of bacteria cells. “The prophage (CP4-57) helps host to attach to the surface to form a biofilm, and also helps to generate diversity inside the biofilm community,” Wang said. Wang said she was drawn to this type of research because she is interested in finding out about nature and the changes that take place that we cannot see on the surface. Biofilm research is pertinent to further discovery, Kim said. “Biofilm formation is one of the new virulence factors for pathogenic bacteria. Therefore, this research will be associated with discovering the new target for inhibiting virulence produced by a number of pathogens,” Kim said. The discovery that the deletion of prophagerelated genes seemed to induce biofilm was immediately recognized as a significant one by Wood, Kim said. The process of a bacteria cell killing itself, using the virus fossils that it has retained, allows bacterium to build a biofilm in another place due to environment or temperature change. In the future, Wood said he hopes to be able to use this research to help cure infections caused by these biofilms and to help clean the environment by a similar manipulation of the biofilms.

going to class due to fear of H1N1, Clark said. “It appears to be localized in the College of Architecture,” Clark said. “We’ve asked people who are ill not to come to school.” He said students who are not ill should take precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though the H1N1 virus is treatable, students should protect themselves and others against it, said Student Health Services health educator Lauren Dorsett. “Wash your hands frequently with soap and water,” Dorsett said. “Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and if you are feeling sick, you want to stay home until you’re feeling

better.” Phase 6 means a global flu pandemic has begun, including community-level outbreaks in at least two world regions. The World Health Organization declared Phase 6 on Thursday after increased infections in Europe, Australia, Chile and elsewhere. This does not mean the virus is as yet as deadly as the Hong Kong flu, which killed 1 million in 1968, but that it is spreading in at least two regions of the world. WHO director-general Dr. Margaret Chan said: “It is now unstoppable — and there is sure to be a second wave.” She forecast winter would see more deaths on top of the 141 already, from 27,737 cases in 74 countries.

STUDIES IN PROGRESS ATHLETE’S FOOT STUDY Volunteers ages 12 and older are needed to participate in a clinical research study with an investigational topical medication for the treatment of Athlete’s foot. Study participation will be a maximum of 8 weeks. Eligible volunteers will receive at no cost: • Study related medication • Medical examinations relating to their athlete’s foot • Compensation of $50 per visit for maximum of $250 For more information please contact:

RED DRY SCALY PATCHES OF SKIN ATOPIC DERMATITIS STUDY (ECZEMA) Volunteers ages 18 and older needed to participate in a 6-week clinical research study with an investigational topical medication for atopic dermatitis (RED, DRY, SCALY PATCHES OF SKIN). Eligible volunteers will receive at no cost: • Study related ointment for 4 weeks • Physical Examination • Dermatological Assessments • Compensation up to $300 for time and effort For more information please contact:

J&S Studies, Inc. 979-774-5933 1710 Crescent Pointe Parkway, College Station, TX 77845

Pg. 4-06.15.09.indd 1

6/14/09 11:53 PM

voices The Chancellor Menace thebattalion 6.15.2009 page5

EDITORIALBOARD The Battalion’s editorial opinion is determined by its Board of Opinion, with the editor in chief having final responsibility. Editor in Chief Kalee Bumguardner Managing Editor Mattie Williamson Opinion Editor Jason Staggs


Board must consult students


e regret that President Murano thought it necessary to resign in advance of the Board of Regents’ special meeting. Although she was controversial, she was our president. Current and former students of Texas A&M University-College Station should take note of the fact that her resignation is the product not of the concentrated efforts of students, faculty and staff, or their representatives, but rather the maneuverings of individuals who at this date have refused to speak on this matter publicly. There were legitimate complaints, of course, many of which were raised on the opinion page of this paper, but the process that culminated in what would apparently have been her termination should have included statements by the principal actors involved, and should have been made available for discussion by the students and our representatives. Now that the enlightened government of this University has removed the opportunity for the student body and faculty to contribute meaningfully to its administration, we implore the Board of Regents not to extend the disrespect by refusing us the opportunity to have a say in the selection of our next president. Whatever they decide today, they would serve A&M well by not repeating the farce of 2007. For most of that year, the Board of Regents allowed faculty and students to believe they were participating in the search for a new president, only to ignore all three finalists and spring Murano on the University. If they aim to run this show without our input, they should spare us all the show, and announce the hiring of whomever they had in mind this past spring, when they voted not to subject the hiring process to the interference of a committee. Finally, we urge the Board of Regents not to merge the presidencies of the A&M System and Texas A&M University. If it was too much work for one person to handle in 1977, it most certainly is too much for an individual to handle today. Furthermore, a merger of the type proposed would mimic the same error of which McKinney accused Murano in the famous performance review: concentrating administrative power in the hands of friends with whom one is (or nine are) comfortable. If Chancellor McKinney’s role in this series of events is reflective of his management style and any plans he might have for a combined presidency, we do not need him, and he will not be welcome.

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.

Gail Hernandez — THE BATTALION

Steve Humeniuk

Proposed merger presents threat to interests of Texas A&M University and all its students.


ho is Mike McKinney, M.D.? Up until last week I’m not certain if many people around Aggieland could answer that question. Today we know him as a former practicing medical doctor turned state representative turned medical lobbyist executive turned Governor Rick Perry’s Chief of Staff turned University of Texas System Administrator turned Texas A&M Chancellor. “Chancellor” is still his official title, but recently conversation has sprouted about the possibility that his illustrious career might once again take a step up, by the merger of his current position with that of the presidency of our hallowed University. All in the name of cost effectiveness, of course. So who is Mike McKinney, M.D.? Apparently he’s the boss. Not only does Murano report directly to him, but so does every other president within the Texas A&M System. McKinney’s recent comments to the media


I know the System is this grand super institution with 109,000 students and 27,000 faculty within 17 member institutions, but that’s not what I applied to. I applied to the flagship, which accounts for almost half of the System’s total student enrollment. And I think we can all agree that the A&M System is nothing without this campus that we all love and adore. Is it strange that Murano should have chosen to make decisions for the good of this campus, not bearing in mind the wellbeing of the System as a whole? I say no. Strangely, I find Murano’s squabble with her boss to be mildly reassuring, the more I learn about McKinney. Murano’s steadfast dedication to this institution should be applauded. In response to McKinney’s coloring book-worthy review of her, Murano sent a typed 10-page letter in her own defense. Within the professionally typed document Murano pointed out her improvement in research initiatives, commitment to academic excellence and dedication to making student involvement a priority among other highlights of her many accomplishments within her short time here. It’s a shame that Murano should ever have had to think twice about making plans for the improvement of this academic institution. McKinney’s System-first attitude held her back, if anything, and that means that we as students paid for it, in more ways than one. Something about McKinney just doesn’t fit here in Aggieland. Though he has put two sons through

Kat Drinkwater

Although she was controversial, she moved the University in the right direction. 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.

this school and into the NFL, and has a third enrolled, I question if McKinney bleeds maroon. It seems to me that McKinney can be bought by the highest bidder, and right now that’s the A&M system. He’s had a bullseye on Murano and her office, and the man needs to give this issue some space and divert some of his attention to the other 16 entities that make up the other half of the A&M system. I think we were doing fine here in Aggieland with Murano. She was a loyalist dedicated to academia, not dollar signs, System cooperation or whatever else McKinney was dissatisfied with her about. As students, we owe Murano our thanks for standing up and taking the heat on behalf of service to us. It’s terrible that she was criticized for doing that. Maybe if she had decided to play nice she wouldn’t have been put in this position, but then again neither would the rest of us. Because Murano decided to focus on what is best for this school and not the System, we can proudly stay poised where we are as one of the premiere public institutions in the country. The day that the leadership of this University loses focus on that goal, I think I will want to transfer to a school that has the independence and freedom to make decisions on its own without having to answer to some over-glorified politico with alternative agendas.

Steve Humeniuk is a senior political science major.

Murano steered A&M into future

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

Direct all correspondence to: Editor in chief of The Battalion (979) 845-3315 |

Pg. 5-06.15.09.indd 1

show his unyielding dedication to his position. He has told the Bryan College Station Eagle that he doesn’t need to consult committees in order to do his job. He claims that’s why he was chosen as Chancellor — so that he could make all the big decisions. As administrator of the A&M System, one of his perks, in addition to his reported salary of $533,000, is his ability to evaluate our president — which he did this February. The scores that he gave President Elsa Murano have been widely reported largely due to the poor performance he credits to her. The document is astonishingly childish in appearance with check boxes and illegible, handwritten scribble — hardly the type of report that one would expect to depict the performance of an individual of such vast importance as the president of the A&M System’s flagship university. Doug Slack, associate department head of wildlife and fisheries science, and former speaker of the faculty senate agrees, “I was disappointed with the nature of the review by Chancellor McKinney. It appeared to be rushed and hurried. “I feel that the President of Texas A&M deserves to be evaluated professionally and appropriately, and I was disappointed by the nature of the review.” After reading the review, or at least trying really, really hard to understand what was written in the review, at least one thing is clear to me: Chancellor McKinney doesn’t like how Murano wouldn’t bow down to his bidding. Well, I say, good for her.


s our president, Elsa A. Murano has had her fair share of ups and downs. From the shady appointment of Gen. Joe Weber to the both hailed and hated Aggie Assurance plan, it’s been nothing if not an interesting 18 months. Through it all, she has consistently confused “enlightened governance” with tattling via e-mail to the Board of Regents, or even the entire campus, when she feels someone has wronged her. I dislike Murano as much as most Aggies do, but I can’t say I’m thrilled to see her go. While I won’t miss watching her little soap operas play out in my inbox, I think that her influence pushed A&M in a new direction, one we

needed and still need to explore. With the Board of Regents watching her every move and the often overwhelming disdain of the student body keeping her in check, it isn’t like Murano ever had a leash long enough to do whatever she pleased, which is good because I think what she wanted for A&M was wildly different from what Aggies do. Still, she pushed and prodded and finagled and sometimes dealt under the table to get us to try something new. The times they are a changin’; A&M welcomes a new ‘largest freshman class in history’ every fall. We can no longer be just a quaint, rural university, a novelty in a state that the rest of the country already finds hard to take seriously. We have to keep our traditions and what makes A&M itself, but we also have to try new things and make campus welcoming to students from all backgrounds, all faiths and all walks of life. Unless even the “damn Yankees” feel, perhaps out of their comfort zone, but inexplicably at home at A&M, we will not only fail to attract the students necessary to be a top university, but the students who do graduate will find themselves unacceptable to the outside world and their

employment options will be limited. There are, I’m sure, plenty of people who want to say “good riddance” to Murano’s goals of being a serious competitor nationally and cultivate a homogenous student body of good ol’ boys in jeans and cowboy boots. Maybe not too many people would admit to it, but there are a lot who think it. If we go that route, we may have our traditions, but A&M won’t be able to call itself a top-tier university for long. Yes, Murano has been at times less than honest, a drama queen and a petulant child, but apparently that’s what it took to make us look into the future realistically, dragging our feet all the way. We’ve won for now, whether or not that’s a good thing remains to be seen. I hope A&M officials consider what Murano was trying to get us to see as they search for a new president and a new direction for our University, if not we will only find ourselves here again and the last two years will be wasted.

Kat Drinkwater is a senior University Studies-Honors: psychology and neuroscience major.

6/15/09 12:22 AM


page 6 monday 6.15.2009


Country music group Jason Boland and The Stragglers performs Saturday night at Wolf Pen Amphitheater as part of the final show in this year’s Starlight Music Series. Photos by Stephen Fogg — THE BATTALION

First-timers enjoy Starlight concert Lorelei Willet Special to The Battalion Texas country music stars lit up the stage of Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater Saturday as the 2009 Starlight Music Series wrapped up for the summer. Paula Nelson, followed by the Band of Heathens, opened the concert, featuring Jason Boland and the Stragglers. “This is my first time out here but it just shows how cool College Station is for doing something like this,” said junior construction science major Josh Fluker, transfer student from Texas Tech. The Austin-based band played hits including “Cornbread” and “Jackson Station.” The main attraction for most, though, was Boland and The Stragglers from Oklahoma. “I love Jason Boland,” said senior industrial science major Jason Sample, as he sang along to one of his favorite songs by the band. Boland and the Stragglers opened with “Tennessee Whiskey” and kept an upbeat pace for most of the show. Boland and the Stragglers dedicated a song to military men and women. The band drew the crowd in by having them sing along, and covered tunes from Merle Haggard. Boland and the Stragglers performed old favorites including “Pearl Snaps,” “Somewhere Down in Texas” and a

song that got many shocked faces and laughs, “When I’m Stoned.” They also performed songs from the new album, including the title song “Comal County Blue.” Toward the end they slowed it down with “Telephone Romeo,” which inspired couples to get up and do a slow two-step. The music series are free outdoor summer concerts sponsored by College Station since 2004. Attendees can sit in the blankets-only area closer to the stage or bring lawn chairs and sit on the hill. “I’ve never been out here before. It’s a really laid-back atmosphere and a fun place to socialize,” said Marcie Hennig, a senior interdisciplinary studies major. “People are a lot more likely to go if it’s free and it’s a good place to talk and listen to good music. It’s a really good family atmosphere.” There were some events for children such as face painting and soccer. Attendees were allowed to bring coolers with no glass containers, but vendors from the city also came out to sell food. “That kettle corn looks really good. I might go broke from buying food here,” said Jenna Gedraitis, a junior accounting major. Concert-goers were expected to keep the park clean, but Hennig didn’t mind. “I like that they gave us a trash bag for

The 2009 Starlight Music Series had six free shows at Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater. recycling in an effort to keep it clean,” she said. Sponsors and promoters gave a little extra to the crowd, with a raffle to win a four-day, four-night vacation with the Mexican Parade Cruise Line. Another first-timer, junior biology major Sam Edwards, heard about the concert from an ad on television. “It’s a good

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place to relax. I’ll come back.” Then, with the lyrics of their closing song, “The Party’s Not Over,” Boland and the Stragglers reminded the parting crowds that although the Starlight Music Series is over for this season, “Don’t be disappointed, it’ll come back around.”

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6/14/09 10:30 PM

The Battalion: June 15, 2009  
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