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growing on? ON PAGE 5 Leach Teaching Gardens to open on June 15

Provided by Walt Disney Pictures

The Incredibles 2 review | Page 2

Aggie MLB Draft picks | Page 3

Student fathers | Page 4


to todays puzzles

Taylor Fennell, Editor in Chief THE BATTALION is published every other Tuesday during the summer session (except University holidays and exam periods) at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843. Offices are in Suite L400 of the Memorial Student Center. Newsroom phone: 979-845-3315; E-mail: editor@; website: http://www.thebatt. com. For campus, local, and national display advertising call 979-845-2687. For classified advertising, call 979-845-0569. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Email:


The Battalion | 6.12.18

“Incredibles 2” is a worthy follow-up Long-awaited sequel is quality, characterdriven film, despite a few flaws By Keagan Miller @KeaganMlr


’ve been looking forward to the release of “Incredibles 2” since the Underminer first appeared on screen at the end of the original back in 2004. I was more excited about the release of this movie than I was about “Infinity War.” You could say I went into the theater with high expectations. And while the movie didn’t live up to every single thing I was hoping for, it also didn’t let me down. When the movie ended, my first thoughts were

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relieved. The original “Incredibles” has long been one of my favorite movies, and I was very glad that the sequel didn’t taint the near perfection of the classic. As I reflected on the film a bit more however, I discovered there were ways in which it disappointed me. One of the things that made the original such a hit was its retro atmosphere and nostalgia. From the art deco style of houses, cars, and even newspapers, the first film did a remarkable job of emulating the comic-book style of the golden age of superheroes. This style is something that “Incredibles 2” tries to replicate but doesn’t quite manage. The style is thrown off by several things, including the choice to introduce new minor supers, most of which had cartoonish appearances and intentionally silly powers. The introduction of Screech, an owl-man, and Brick, a she-hulk that somehow reminded me of Wreck-It Ralph, took away from the slick, retro appearances of the other characters. My other gripe with the film was its primary villain. Screenslaver, the super-hating master of hypnosis and technology, seemed like little more than an ideological rip-off of Syndrome with added magic mind control abilities. I found the villain’s tragic backstory to be less than compelling, and mind control via hypnosis seemed like something of a cop-out to me. Overall, I found Syndrome to be a much better bad guy than either the Underminer or Screenslaver. Bad bits out of the way, the rest of the film was quite enjoyable. The plot was a little predictable but still engaging, the returning ensemble voice cast delivered solid performances most of the time (special shout out to writer-director Brad Bird who did a phenomenal job as Edna Mode), and I really enjoyed all the world building and callbacks that took place onscreen. Cameos by Gazerbeam and Fironic practically made me squeal in my seat, and it was great to see a bit more of the fantastical world created in the original film. Pixar’s animation was unbelievable as usual, and the absolutely stunning visuals and beautifully intricate action scenes made me very happy. The Parr family was a joy to watch, and it was delightful to see the individual characters come into their own as they developed beyond the events of the first film. It was hilarious to see Violet struggle with her first relationship and Dash struggle with academics, and it was especially heartwarming to see Bob forgo sleep and hero work to be a better father. Most entertaining, however, were Jack-Jack’s escapades as he adorably began to discover his many powers. From rocket sneezes to laser eyes, the super-baby’s abilities not only helped save the day, but made for some side-splittingly funny moments as well. His innocent giggle and baby smile melted me every time he was onscreen, and his interactions with the characters around him were a nonstop source of humor. This movie made me realize how underused he was in the original. Jack-Jack truly is the star of the film. Overall, “Incredibles 2” isn’t quite as perfect as the original. Its style was just a little off, the villain could’ve been better, and the story was just a tad predictable. However, the Parr family made up for all of that with their loveable and eccentric nature. The film was a pleasure to watch, and a worthy follow-up to its legendary predecessor.

SPORTS The Battalion | 6.12.18


Moving to the major league HOW TO GET YOUR AGGIE RING ON SEPTEMBER 21, 2018:

LAST CALL FOR ORDERS Check Ring Eligibility: June 12 - June 14 Order Dates: June 12 - June 15 Aggie Ring Day: September 21

If you meet the requirements after Spring 2018: 1. Log in to by June 14 to check your Ring eligibility. (You will need to create an account on this website.)

• Your records will be reviewed and your eligibility status will be displayed online instantly. 2. If eligible, schedule an appointment online to order your Aggie Ring at the Aggie Ring Office. Meredith Seaver — THE BATTALION

Junior pitcher Nolan Hoffman pitched a season high of four innings in the season ending loss against Indiana.

Five Aggies, four signees taken in MLB Draft By Alex Miller @AlexMill20 Five current Aggies and four A&M signees were taken in this year’s MLB Draft. Pitcher Mitchell Kilkenny was A&M’s top pick, taken in round 2 at No. 76 overall by the Colorado Rockies on the first day. Kilkenny started in every weekend series for the Aggies in 2018, posting an 8-5 record with a 3.34 ERA. “Obviously this is a dream for any player,” Kilkenny told reporters on June 6. “I’m just trying to put all the pieces together and see what the next step is.” Relievers Nolan Hoffman and Cason Sherrod were drafted on the second day. Hoffman was a fifth-round pick by the Seattle Mariners, while Sherrod was taken in the seventh round by the Miami Marlins. Sherrod improved his draft stock after being taken in Round 13 by the

Kansas City Royals last season. “I was very excited, very pumped up,” Sherrod told reporters. “Honestly, I was expecting to go that high, but things worked out and I got a shot.” On the final day, second baseman Michael Helman and pitcher Stephen Kolek were taken in the 11th round. Helman, who led the team in batting with a .369 average, was taken No. 334 overall by the Minnesota Twins. Kolek was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers No. 344 overall. While none of the players have officially announced their intentions of leaving, the four who still have eligibility – Kilkenny, Hoffman, Helman and Kolek – are likely to sign with their major league clubs, forgoing their senior seasons. Four A&M signees were also taken in the draft. Two were taken in the first round as pitcher Grayson Rodriguez was picked No. 11 overall by the Baltimore Orioles, while short stop Noah Naylor was selected No. 29 overall by the Cleveland Indians. The Texas Rangers took RHP Mason Englert in the fourth round. None are likely to enroll this

coming fall. Furthermore, Brandon Birdsell was taken by the Houston Astros in the 39th round, but announced on Twitter after being drafted that he will attend A&M. One player who notably went undrafted was pitcher Kaylor Chafin, who was taken in the 32nd round by the New York Mets, but elected to stay for his senior season. Chafin struggled at times this season, ending his career with his lone loss in 2018 after allowing six runs in just 0.1 innings in A&M’s season-ending defeat to Indiana last Sunday. Despite potentially dealing with attrition, returning starters are optimistic about what the Aggies will return with in 2019. “I speak for the young guys, the freshmen, we feel really confident,” centerfielder Zach DeLoach — who started in 61 of A&M’s 62 games this season — said after the Aggies’ loss to Indiana. “We got a lot of freshman experience, and I thank Coach Childress for believing in us this year and [for giving] us opportunities which will get us more prepared for next year.”

• Select from available order dates between June 12 - 15. • If you are unable to order in person, submit an order to the Aggie Ring Program prior to the deadline. 3. On your appointment day, visit the Aggie Ring Office to find your Ring size (with official Aggie Ring sizers) and pay for your Ring. • FULL PAYMENT IS DUE AT TIME OF ORDER. • Pricing will be available online. • Ring Loans are available to qualified, currently enrolled students at the Short Term Loan Office. Visit for full details.

Visit for information on eligibility requirements for ordering an Aggie Ring.

The Association of Former Students is HERE for Aggies during their days as students and former students, THERE for Aggies as they make their way around the world and EVERYWHERE that the Aggie Network needs us to be. SUPPORTING PROGRAMS PROVIDING RESOURCES CULTIVATING EXPERIENCES

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The Battalion | 6.12.18

Future-focused fathers Aggie fathers discuss the balancing act of toddlers and textbooks By Asha Fuller @asha_fuller13

Victoria Fluellen — THE BATTALION

University studies junior Justin Garcia said he is motivated by his daughter Ryann to complete his Bachelor’s degree and commission as an officer.

Being a student father is no easy feat. In the spirit of Father’s Day, Aggies around campus are reflecting on how fatherhood has impacted their student life and educational goals. University studies senior Jay Krcmar took a semester off from school when he was 21 years old to get his insurance and financial services licenses. One semester quickly turned into 14 years. Recently, Krcmar decided to finish school and earn his Aggie Ring. Now a father of three, Krcmar said being a student father is not without its challenges. “By far the greatest challenge is time,” Krcmar said. “I live over an hour away, so taking a few days a week and driving to campus has been difficult. I didn’t want my school work to interfere with the time I had with them, so I always wait until after they go to bed to study or write papers. This leads to late nights while still having the 6:00 a.m. wakeups to get them ready for school and daycare.” Despite these challenges, Krcmar said balancing his responsibilities as a student and father is helping him set a good example for his children. “I believe [fatherhood] has pushed me to finish [school],” Krcmar said. “My degree will not help me further my career, but I wanted [my kids] to see me finish. I wanted them to know that it can be done… I think them seeing me in college is so much more powerful than me telling them about it.” University studies junior Justin Garcia said fatherhood has had a significant impact on his life. An active duty staff sergeant in the Marine Corps, Garcia is participating in a program which will allow him to finish his degree and commission as an officer once he graduates. Both he and his wife are playing the roles of college students and parents to their 1-year-old daughter, Ryann. “Being a father does affect me as a student because I have a family to support on top of attending school,” Garcia said. “Also, I find myself having to plan around my child’s schedule which can be difficult at times. I have learned to be very flexible with my time because as a father, my schedule changes daily.” Garcia said that while being a student father is difficult and time management can be

challenging, ultimately he knows that what he is doing is making a positive impact on his family’s future. “I know my daughter will appreciate that both my wife and I went to college to make sure she has a chance for a better future,” Garcia said. “We want to make sure we stress the importance of education and the opportunities that come from it. My wife and I are both first generation college students and pride ourselves in knowing that we are pushing each other to better ourselves.” Garcia said being a father has also helped him realize his educational goals. “I have always wanted to better myself to make sure I could provide for my family,” Garcia said. “Now that I have a daughter, I want to make sure that I also set a good example for her. She gives me motivation to work harder and to make sure that I am always trying my best. Now I know that I do not want to stop at my bachelor’s degree and I hope to receive my master’s degree in the future.” Graduate student Tye Thompson is currently expecting his first child. Although he has not had to make too many changes to his schedule yet, Thompson said he anticipates time management to be one of the biggest challenges of fatherhood. “I’ve had to cut down a little on research time,” Thompson said. “Time management, what with making sure me and my wife’s schedules work with daycare and just getting sleep and stuff like that. That’s going be the biggest thing.” Thompson offered his advice to other expecting fathers. “Try and support the mother as much as you can because it can be very challenging for her,” Thompson said. “You’re going to be tired, but your wives are going to be more tired. Do what you can to help out.” Garcia said he would advise student fathers to start planning ahead and developing effective time management strategies. “You do not realize how little time you actually have to do things once you have a child,” Garcia said. “Get a planner and make sure you set goals and deadlines for tasks throughout the [week, month and semester.]” Krcmar said it’s important to cherish the time you have with your children while you can. “Place your time with your kids before school work,” Krcmar said. “The days are long but the years are short. In the blink of an eye, your newborn will be nine.”



Can you dig it? Leach Teaching Gardens to provide student and community growth By Chad Anderson @Chad_Anderson24 After years of planning and construction, The Gardens at Texas A&M University will become a reality as phase one of the project, The Leach Teaching Gardens, is set to open Friday, June 15. The Gardens is a 27-acre collection of garden facilities which will display the history and heritage of horticulture while highlighting the disciplines and essentials of gardening. The project is part of a master plan that will cover the area behind the AgriLife Complex on West Campus and extend all the way to George Bush Library. Phase one of the project is The Leach Teaching Gardens, a seven-acre space which will serve as an outdoor classroom

where faculty can teach the concepts of food production, landscape beauty and other horticulture practices. The Gardens are a public space and can be reserved for events such as weddings, fundraisers and party gatherings. Joseph Johnson, Class of 1988 and manager of The Gardens, said the project was intended to have multiple functions. “We wanted to have something we could show off, but also have something we could use for teaching, research and learning the essentials of gardening. With this, you have just that,” Johnson said. Johnson said he would have loved to have the gardens on campus when he was a horticulture student. “This is something that we had talked about that was a need even when I was a student,” Johnson said. “I always envied other universities and colleges that had gardens on campus. Now finally having that and being a part of it makes it special.” The Leach Teaching Gardens are made up of 30 different sections that each highlight a specific theme, ranging from vineyards to cul-

tural heritage gardens. The site also includes an overlook of White Creek and features bridges which will allow easy access for students living in White Creek Apartments. Several advancements in agriculture are showcased throughout the gardens, including designs with water-wise irrigation techniques and a fully functioning scale-to-size center pivot irrigation system. Johnson said the variety of functions and facilities provided by the gardens create a sense of community. “Having this to utilize is essential because it brings and connects so many at the university together, from organizations like Howdy Farm who can come volunteer, to the horticulture department teaching their students, to even hosting a wedding on the weekends,” Johnson said. “We look to make use of this area in so many different concepts and ways.” One of the most prominent features of The Leach Teaching Gardens is its 1,600 square foot pavilion. The pavilion is set to hold groups of around 100 people, depending on the type of event being hosted. Inspired by 19th-cen-

tury German architecture, the pavilion is equipped with Wi-Fi, a catering kitchen and sliding doors and windows to increase airflow throughout the summer months. The plan for the rest of The Gardens will include the restoration of White Creek and the design of the rest of the area. The plan was developed by Texas A&M architecture graduate students and revised by Rhotenberry Wellen Architects and the White Oak Studio. Mark A. Hussey, former dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, helped approve and put the project together. “The future of the gardens is always expanding,” Hussey said. “We want this space to be a place that the local community can enjoy and where are students can get a hands-on experience as well as showcase the products of our research.” The grand opening event, which will take place Friday, June 15 at 9:30 a.m., is free and open to the public and will feature refreshments. Weekly walking tours are available without reservation on Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:30 a.m. starting this fall. Asha Fuller — THE BATTALION

The Leach Teaching Gardens are not only a place for learning, but also a public area that can be used for events and private functions.



The Battalion | 6.12.18

Aggie with a message Former student running for U.S. Senate as Texas Libertarian party candidate By Asha Fuller @asha_fuller13

Meredith Seaver — THE BATTALION

Running in his first political campaign, Libertarian nominee Neal Dikeman said he hopes to make a positive change for his children.

In April, Neal Dikeman, Class of 1998, was named Texas’ Libertarian candidate for the United States Senate. Dikeman will be facing Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke in the November 6th election. Dikeman was born and raised in Houston. A third generation Aggie, he double majored in history and economics and graduated a year early. He said he was the first person in the Class of 1998 to receive his Aggie ring. Dikeman was a part of Lechner Hall and was one of the original 15 members of the Nerd Frisbee group on campus. He was also part of the MSC Wiley Lecture Series and was the programs director of the MSC L.T. Jordan Institute. Dikeman said he still keeps in touch with several of his professors and that Texas A&M played a major role in influencing his political aspirations. “You know when you talk about a topic like immigration, my first understanding that immigration policy was a thing came from my very first economics professor here,” Dikeman said. “This is a tremendous school… You have a chance here to get active, get involved. You learn that life is a participatory sport, and you also get a grounding in the underlying language of

the policies.” After graduating, Dikeman went into investment banking for oil and gas before he moved to California and got involved in tech. He ran business development for the parent company of and then helped start a firm and co-founded half a dozen tech companies. A venture capitalist and entrepreneur, this will be Dikeman’s first political campaign. Dikeman said the main reason he is running for Senate is because he wants to make a change for his two daughters. “I’ve got a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old,” Dikeman said. “They are the reason I’m running… This is about sending a message and making [Congress] listen. That’s why I did it. Somebody’s got to… You don’t want to wake up when you’re 60-years-old and your daughter asks why things aren’t better and not have an answer. You might as well get in the game.” Dikeman describes his political views as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. He said he knows running not only against high-profile candidates, but also as a Libertarian in Texas means he will face many hurdles. “I’m running as a third-party for a couple of reasons,” Dikeman said. “People need a choice. Everyone talks about not liking choices in politics, but if we want [to change that] someone actually has to do something about it, so I’m very happy to be that choice. We’re here to make an impact… Our message resonates with people because the middle matters.”


Beto O’Rourke

On Banning Assault Weapons

On Banning Assault Weapons

“Texans do not want Washington politicians disarming law-abiding citizens.”

“There is no reason that weapons of war should be sold to people in this country.”

On Health Care Legislation

On Health Care Legislation

“The Senate will be the battleground on Obamacare, and I intend to lead the fight to repeal every word of it.”

“With true universal health care in the U.S., we would have a national standard of care that applies to everyone in every state, and states wouldn’t have the ability to opt out of providing coverage for their residents.”

Republican Nominee

Democratic Nominee

Information compiled by Taylor Fennell


The Battalion | 6.12.18

Dr. Shonda Gibson looks to work with leadership from other universities once in office.

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‘Driven for Excellence’ New associate vice chancellor for academic affairs emphasizes core values By Mckenna Bush @BushKenna Shonda Gibson, current associate provost for institutional effectiveness and research at Texas A&M University-Commerce, is set to serve as the A&M System’s associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. Gibson said she is excited to be in a position with opportunities to make a positive impact. “It’s all about continuous improvement… changing and adapting to what the future looks like,” Gibson said. “This position affords me the privilege to transform the lives of millions of people. I am excited to look to the future and see how we need to proceed.” A statement provided by the A&M System said Gibson will lead efforts associated with EmpowerU initiative. “This initiative looks for ways to provide long term improvement and growth for the university,” Gibson said. “We will work with the leadership from other universities, discuss the challenges and success of each university and find ways to work together.” Gibson identifies strongly with Texas A&M’s core values, especially excellence, which she said she tries to live out daily and push others to emanate. “We can be excellent in all that we do… we just have to look for ways to be innovative, future focused and driven for excellence,” Gibson said. The incoming vice chancellor offered advice for current students, reminding them that while being excellent in their studies, it’s important to take time to relax. “Don’t take yourself so seriously, learn who you are and where you need to contribute,” Gibson said. “It’s not all about your career and your job, and by focusing solely on those aspects of your life you close a lot of doors for yourself. Enjoy yourself and relax, your career will start when it’s ready to start.”

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The Battalion: June 12, 2018  
The Battalion: June 12, 2018