thebattalion ● wednesday,
october 19, 2011
texas a&m since 1893
● first paper free – additional copies $1 ● © 2011 student media
Blocking traffic lands tickets Roland Ruiz The Battalion The intersection between Olsen Boulevard and George Bush Drive presents a problem for people who drive through it to leave campus. On weekdays around 5 p.m., traffic starts to emerge and police officers patrol the area, issuing tickets to multiple drivers who block the intersection. Eric Schulte, a research assistant at the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program at Texas A&M, said he has lived in College Station since 1978 but received his first ticket about a week ago for blocking the intersection at Olsen Boulevard while turning left onto George Bush Drive. “I have worked for the University for more than 25 years in the TAMU Research Park and have never seen and experienced what is going on at Olsen Boulevard and George Bush Drive,” Schulte said. “There is such a bottleneck that the College Station police have now placed a motorcycle officer at the left turn light to continually hand out tickets to motorists who get stuck in the middle of the intersection.” Schulte was going through the intersection at approximately 5 p.m. when he was pulled over by a motorcycle officer and received a citation for stopping in the intersection. See Roads on page 6
Josh McKenna — THE BATTALION
Nearly Nobel A&M astrophysicist’s research leads to Nobel Prize Jessica Orwig The Battalion For this year’s Nobel Prize in physics, three were recognized, but many were involved with the research. One prominent contributor was a Texas A&M professor of astrophysics, Nicholas Suntzeff. Suntzeff co-founded a team known as the High-Z Team in 1994 with fellow astrophysicist Brian Schmidt of Australian National University. The team worked to measure how fast the universe is expanding and ultimately concluded that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. This discovery, which was published in 1998, led to the 2011 Nobel recognition. However, because a maximum of three scientists can receive the award, most of the team could not be named Nobel laureates.
Prior to the High-Z team’s conclusions, the general consensus was that the universe should be expanding at a decreasing rate due to the gravitational attraction between galaxies. “Gravity always sucks, and it is always attractive. No matter what you do things are going to slow down in gravity,” Suntzeff said. But the universe’s expansion was not slowing down, which meant there must be something counteracting gravity’s tug. Scientists know little about this material — called dark energy — which is now understood to constitute close to 75 percent of the mass in the universe. “It’s cool to say you’re one of the people who helped discover three-quarters of the universe,” Suntzeff said.
Much to Suntzeff’s surprise, when the team published their results the astrophysical community accepted the findings with little objection. A University of California — Berkeley team published a paper at the same time as the High-Z Team with similar results, which Suntzeff thinks helped with overall acceptance. “We thought people would just immediately challenge us, but instead it was like ‘Geez, that’s weird, but yeah that makes sense,’” Suntzeff said. “I thought I would go to conferences and people would pummel me with ‘You can’t say that!’ And that did happen a few times, but not very often.” Samuel Gooding, a physics graduate student who studied under Suntzeff, said this discovery changed astronomers’ unSee Suntzeff on page 2
Pay up or be arrested Warrant amnesty period continues through Oct. 28 Emily Davis The Battalion In an effort to clear thousands of outstanding warrants worth millions of dollars in College Station and Brazos County, a warrant amnesty period is scheduled through Oct. 28. From now until Oct. 28, the $50 case warrant fee will be waived for anyone who pays their fine in full. Once the amnesty period is over, local law enforcement officials will conduct a “warrant roundup,” from Oct. 31 to Nov. 11, according to a release by the College Station Municipal Court. City marshals, police officers, reserve police officers and constables will arrest citizens who failed to pay their fines during the designated amnesty period. Edward Spillane, presiding judge See Warrants on page 6
inside religion | 3 Pancakes and the gospel The Baptist Student Ministry, located on Northgate, continues a unique ministry to engage Northgaters.
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Events mark alcohol awareness week Kevin Smith The Battalion Alcohol and Drug Education Programs at Texas A&M is throwing a party with alcoholrelated fun on campus, but students shouldn’t expect the B.A.C. levels to rise as a result. This week is National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (NCAAW) at A&M and on college campuses across the nation. Student volunteers have planned interactive games and events as a way to educate others on the subject of partying, and raise awareness for dangers related to irresponsible use of Alcohol. Events range from discussion panels to tricycle races with beer goggles. Karina Ogunlana, senior sociology major and a volunteer event planner for NCAAW, said the week is important because people don’t realize
how many “drinks” of alcohol they are consuming when they go out. “As a student, I have heard a lot of scary stories of people who have passed out in ridiculous places from too much alcohol consumption as well as drinking so much that it affects their bodies’ ability to break down the alcohol,” Ogunlana said. “Thankfully, I haven’t lost anybody to too much alcohol yet, and I hope that never happens.” The number of alcohol-related arrests oncampus has increased during the past three years, according to the yearly University Police Department report. From 2008 to 2010 the number jumped 36 arrests, making the total 124 arrests just on campus. Erica Burns, a senior university studies maSee Alcohol on page 4
Josh McKenna — THE BATTALION
The liquor stash is a staple for many college students.
10/18/11 11:38 PM