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THE DAILY TEXAN Friday, May 1, 2009
Serving the University of Texas at Austin community since 1900
Debunking the albino squirrel
Research give first insights into swine flu
Dan Epstein, a spoke the World Health O tion. “What matters it’s going. That’s the b swered question.” The global orga sparked alarm whe clared a swine flu p ic “imminent” this w a pandemic refers to graphical extent of a not its severity, Epst Technically, many reg and colds are alrea demics because they a What is swine flu and spread across sever where did it come from? nents, he said. “They can go straigh Scientists are only beginning to nail down the origins full-scale pandemic], w of swine flu. Recent research, sure they will,” said reported by The Associated Sage, UT vice provost Press, indicates that two dif- affairs. “But that says ferent viruses infected the about whether the dis same pig, ran into one another you or is only a mild i and shuffled their genetic material. This produced a strain How dangerous is sw different enough to transfer not just from pig to pig, but flu? Initial reports from pig to human. The first known outbreak ens of deaths amon occurred early this month wise healthy adults in Mexico, and the disease is co alarmed the worl now suspected to have killed the virus has since s dozens and infected thou- at least 10 other coun sands in that country. But un- apparent death toll certainty remains about exact- greatly diluted. “It’s spread arou ly where the virus originated and how it spread to oth- people haven’t got sick, so that’s a goo er countries. “It doesn’t matter that FLU continues on p much where it started,” said
By Hudson Lockett & Avi Selk Daily Texan Staff Since it was first reported late last week, swine flu’s creep across counties, countries and continents has prompted a rash of alarming headlines and declarations from public officials. But amid the dire news, questions remain about the disease — including what and how dangerous it really is.
Caleb Miller | Daily Texan Staff
The “albino” squirrels on campus, according to integrative biology professor David Hillis, have low levels of the pigment eumelanin, giving them a lighter hue. True albino squirrels are completely white and have pink eyes.
Lack of white, pink-eyed critters on campus may disprove superstition By Hudson Lockett Daily Texan Staff Campus lore suggests that seeing an albino squirrel on the way to your next test will guarantee you an A, but students may be less lucky than the legend implies. “The squirrels — at least the ones I’ve seen on campus — are not true albinos,” wrote integrative biology professor David Hillis in an e-mail. Hillis said real albinos are
completely white with pink eyes, a mold that UT’s squirrels don’t fit. “I have actually seen several color variants of squirrels on campus with light-colored hair but all with normally pigmented eyes,” Hillis wrote. Mammals only produce two pigments in different combinations for hair color: black and white. “There are squirrels that lack or have reduced production of
eumelanin, or black pigment, which are known as amelanistic squirrels,” he wrote. Anthropology lecturer Martha Norkunas said college campuses are ideal for sustaining folklore and legends like that of the albino squirrel. “People think we’re such a written culture, but we’re really very oral still,” Norkunas said. “It goes through generations of kids. These stories can
last for decades.” Norkunas said the squirrel may have associations with everything from race and ethnicity to a preoccupation with grades. “Students have a lot of anxieties [and] concerns about how they’re doing in school, so they look for lucky charms or talismans or some kind of symbol they can look to [for] good luck,” Norkunas said.
ON THE WEB: More about the folklore and video of albino squirrels @ dailytexanonline.com
More students looking to nonprofit sector for work Shrinking job markets for graduating seniors contribute to increase By Mohini Madgavkar Daily Texan Staff Unlike some of his classmates, Travis Christal isn’t interested in a large income or working for a corporation. The accounting senior has something else in mind. Christal hopes to work for an environmentally conscious nonprofit that buys land to prevent development. Christal told students and faculty at the Working for SoLara Haase | Daily Texan Staff cial Justice career forum WednesAfter a social justice discussion Wednesday, Cait McCann, a Latin day that an accounting major American studies junior, asks Cristina Tzintzún, director of the Workers and a social justice career were compatible. Defense Project, about ways she can get involved.
“I think accounting is the least understood major,” he said. “There’s a stigma with business degrees that you have to want to make a lot of money, but to understand the accounting process is to understand how to control an organization, how to achieve a goal.” In a time when reports of a shrinking job market bombard graduating seniors at every turn, many are turning to the public sector or nonprofit work for employment, whether out of moral or fiscal motives. Nonprofit organizations like Teach For America are becoming more popular. The organization received 42 percent more
WORK continues on page 2
Activist: Diplomacy key to US-Iran relations By Matt Stephens Daily Texan Staff Shirin Ebadi believes the biggest problem between the U.S. and Iran has little to do with Iran’s nuclear program and everything to do with the two nations’ differences in foreign policy. “If they can find an answer to [foreign policy], the nuclear problem should follow,” Ebadi said at a panel discussion with UT professors to address U.S.-Iranian relations. Ebadi, a 2003 Nobel Prize winner and human rights activist from Iran, said the U.S. providing aid and selling arms to non-democratic countries embolden Iranian
want Iran to be the hero, then the U.S. has to change its foreign policy in the Middle East,” Ebadi said. “It needs to stop aiding non-democratic foreign governments. At least, it will prevent others from being heroes by saying something negative about America.” The panel discussion, held Thursday at the LBJ Library, also addressed ways to improve relations between the two nations. “They need to pay respect to the government of Iran,” said Faegheh Shirazi, a Middle Eastern studies associate professor. “Stop calling them a regime, and start calling them a government.”
Jacqueline Gilles | Daily Texan Staff
Courtesy of UT researchers Lauren Meyers, Sebastian Goll and Ne
A computer model helps UT researchers understand ho flu might spread across Texas. The size of the circles indi populations. The thickness of the lines represents traffi
UT SG president and V among Big 12’s highest p Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series on pay for student leaders. By Amy Bingham Daily Texan Staff With each provided a $5,200 scholarship and $6,480 stipend per year, UT’s Student Government president and vice president are some of the highest-paid student executives in the Big 12 Conference. Iowa State and Texas Tech universities are the only Big 12 schools whose student government compensation surpasses UT’s. Iowa State pays its president and financial director for room and board and the full cost of tuition — a package totaling more than $16,000 — while the Texas Tech student body president receives $12,000 per year, slightly more than UT’s. “The compensation is to
have to work anoth pay for school,” said Iowa State’s stude president. “It’s not lik presidents are livin gle apartments and l it up or anything. It modest sum.” Texas A&M Univ the only Big 12 sch does not directly pa dent body leaders. presidents receive a phone, free parking dry cleaning during t in office. The perks to than $1,000, but th from term to term. “If a student needs tra assistance, I feel l would be people to with that, whether it’ ministration, former or their network,” sa Gold, A&M’s outgo dent body president.
SG: UT president received $5,600 raise with 2007 b
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in which the top two student executives earn the same amount. At the University of Kansas, both executives receive $8,160. Solomon said vice presidents deserve equal pay because they do the same amount of work as the president. “The president and vice president do put in the same amount of hours,” Solomon said. “The VP tends to be more internal and works closely within the assembly and vice president of student affairs, while the president has a more external role.” Rajagopalan said the higher executive pay at UT may be attributable to a higher cost of living in Austin and higher tuition rates at UT. “When you look at all the Big 12 schools and the cities they are situated in compared to Austin,
Colorado Kansas at Boulder
Kansas Missouri State
we are the only major metropolitan city in the conference,” Rajagopalan said. The University of Colorado at Boulder is the only school in the Big 12 that pays its SG senators and representatives. All 23 elected students receive $50 per week. Solomon said he does not think UT should pay SG representatives. “As a representative, it’s not a full-time job like it is with an executive member,” Solomon said. “I generally wouldn’t think it’s a good idea.” The UT SG executive board’s five members, who are appointed by the SG president, received $3,420 stipends during the 20082009 academic year. They do not receive tuition assistance. Of SG’s $132,000 operating
VP senate chair
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Texas A&M University amount based on cost of cell phone, dry cleaning and parking bills. No data available for the University of Oklahoma.
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Student executives’ pay in tuition and stipends per year at public Big 12 universities
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Student government executive compensation
a paycheck standpoint, it’s not worth it, but the lessons we learn having this opportunity … far surpass any amount of money that they could pay me.” Student government compensation has been hotly debated at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for more than 20 years. In 1982, the student body voted against using student fees for student-executives salaries. Nebraska’s student body president receives a $1,078 scholarship to cover six hours of tuition, and the vice president receives a scholarship of $539 to cover three hours — neither of which is paid by student fees. Last year, the university reinstated an additional $40-per-month reimbursement that can only be used to compensate the president and two vice presidents for a portion of the costs of their cell phone, parking and dining bills. “There is no reason they should pay for me to be doing this,” said Megan Collins, president of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “The job we do is one of service to students, and this isn’t so much a salary or a benefit but something that enables us to do our jobs better.” UT has only recently moved to the upper end of the compensation ranks. Before 2007, the SG president’s annual compensation was $5,600 less than today, providing a $4,800 stipend and $1,600 in tuition assistance. In 2007, Grant Stanis, a business representative at the time, proposed a resolution to the SG
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assembly that would increase the executives’ yearly stipends by about $2,000 and their scholarships by about $3,600. The bill passed unanimously. “When you’re SG president, you can’t have other jobs,” Stanis said. “As a result, we didn’t want it to be a hindrance for those students who said, ‘I can’t be SG president because I cant afford it.’ That wouldn’t be fair. The other reason is because they work their ass off.” The pay increase would have gone into effect during SG President Andrew Solomon’s administration in the 2007-2008 academic year, but due to budget constraints, Solomon and his vice president, Nicole Trinh, accepted the additional scholarship but declined stipend increases. “We weren’t quite sure where the funding would come from,” Solomon said. “We did not have the funds to take it.” Former SG President Keshav Rajagopalan, elected in 2008, was the first president to receive the increased sum in September after the Student Services Budget Committee allocated more student-fee money to SG. This student source of the presidents’ salaries increases SG accountability to students, he said. “Still, I’m in the hole, so to speak,” Rajagopalan said. “It is to offset expenses and cushion other expenses for travel, parking at Capitol and City Hall and meals that you have to pick up here or there that you would normally have at home.” Stanis’ resolution also evened the president and vice president’s pay for the first time. UT is one of two schools in the Big 12
Two vice presidents
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President and financial director
Volume 109, Number 139 25 cents
THE DAILY TEXAN
Okla. Neb State
budget, 31 percent goes tive compensation. The located to projects and penses. Before 2008, UT’s S dents received free pa the 27th Street and Braz es. Now, they have to p a $110 “C” permit, whic upgraded to a 27th Stree permit, saving them abo 2004-2005 SG Preside Chaney said he would been able to perform his out the parking permit. “There’s nothing Chaney said about his p tial perks. “People think like, free football tick there’s not. The bigg for most students is t ing pass. With the Legis session, it was a must to and forth from the Capi
FLU: Early conclusions of disease severity hard to make; UT prepared for wo From page 1 said Robert Krug, an infectiousdisease expert in the College of Natural Sciences. Krug pointed out that regular flu kills about 36,000 Americans and infects 30 million people worldwide every year. By comparison, the World Health Organization had confirmed 257 cases of swine flu around the world by press time, with eight deaths among them. The confirmed number of infections is almost certainly low — the disease is suspected to have infected thousands and killed about 150 in Mexico alone — but even the unconfirmed figures indicate a less deadly disease than the first reports out of Mexico. Experts have speculated that poor health facilities may have increased the death toll in Mexico, and thousands of milder cases of swine flu may have never been reported,
inflating the fatality rate. Officials and health experts say public concern over the disease is justified, warning against both panic and complacency as it spreads. “Everyone should take this very seriously,” Sage said. “These are exactly the sorts of things we’ll have to consider if we get an avian flu strain with a high mortality rate.” It is simply too early to draw conclusions about an emerging disease — a lesson The Daily Texan learned almost a century ago. “Spanish Influenza Not Dangerous — Just Plain Grippe,” read the Courtesy of researchers Lauren Meyers, Sebastian Goll and Ned Dimitrov paper’s front-page headline during the early stages of a pandemic A simulated map tracks possible flu-outbreak routes. Large circles outbreak in 1918. The Spanish Flu show areas that may be heavily affected, and lines show disease flow. ultimately killed tens of millions of people around the world. ease, other researchers are feeding international consortium of redata into computers and studying searchers modeling swine flu. What’s being done about swine simulations of the disease spread- Meyers’ team uses supercoming across population centers. puters and mathematical algoflu? Lauren Meyers, an associ- rithms to find out whether pubAs epidemiologists and virolo- ate biology professor at UT, di- lic health responses — like closgists fill in the blanks about the dis- rects a small lab that is part of an ing schools or telling sick people
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to stay indoors — are effective at controlling an outbreak. Linda Chambers, a clinical instructor at the School of Nursing, has been participating for more than a year in county-level meetings to plan for a flu pandemic, as have health and disaster workers across Texas. Those plans are now being put into place. Clinics and hospitals are currently testing patients with flu symptoms like fevers, coughs, muscle aches or diarrhea for the virus — with the vast majority testing negative, officials say. Those who have been confirmed to have swine flu — 109 in the United States by press time — usually exhibit only mild symptoms and are given antiviral medication and told to stay home. There is no vaccine against swine flu, but common medications like Tamiflu seem to be effective against it. Texas has enough antiviral medication on hand to
treat about 840,000 peo can request up to 3.4 mill courses from the federal ment — enough for 14 of its population, Gov. R has said. UT officials have con plans to close the campus graduation ceremonies bu would only make those de swine flu arrives on camp If swine flu begins sp rapidly through the pop experts say Texas migh “social distancing” tactics Mexican government is c using to slow its outbreak Sage said that while Te ably has the power to ta extreme measures — forced quarantines or co off infected towns — it w very unlikely to do so. “Authoritarian practice effective,” he said. “You re cordon people off — wha do is try to educate them.
WORK: Students look to make social justice a prior Smith. Smith speculated that the percentage of UT applicants inapplications this year than in creased from years past. 2007, including applications “The unfavorable job market from 3.7 percent of UT’s graduat- has given many graduating seing class, said UT recruiter Ryan niors the opportunity to pursue more meaningful careers that they may not have considered previously,” he said. Even students on the business Name: House Ads; Width: track are looking to make social 11p0; Depth: 5 in; Color: justice part of their careers, said Black, House Ads; Ad NumJulie Butler, a career adviser in the ber: 00035553 McCombs School of Business. “I do have a lot of students that are interested in working nonprofits,” Butler said. “Some of them, who are really into the environment, are liking ecofriendly-type firms. ... We obviously know that a lot of companies, typical private-sector companies, are laying off and reducing hours.” Butler said that while business students seeking public-sector careers are still in the minority, advisers are noticing a significant rise in students interested in social justice work. “That’s a route that a lot of traditional business students wouldn’t necessarily consider,” she said.
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“Volunteer at an organization that does community organizing, whether you want t a lawyer, have a boring office job. Whatever end up doing, I think you can and should le community organizing first.”
— Cristina Tzint UT alu “We’re encouraging them to keep their options open.” Liberal arts career adviser Bill Carpluk said that in the modern career market, nonprofit work seems like a more viable option for students. “In this day and age, there’s a lot more flexibility bouncing around from the public sector to the private sector,” Carpluk said. “It’s not as constraining as it once was.” Business stalwarts like The Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Co. are taking a marked interest in social service, encouraging associates to spend their third years at the company working with nonprofits and taking on nonprofit cases at reduced prices, company representatives said. But UT alumna Cristina Tzintzún’s career goal has always been social justice. Tzintzún came to Austin with no prospects for em-
Project, she was eventua and worked her way u ganization’s ranks. She rects the local immigra organization. “There aren’t that ma nizations doing [comm ganizing] work,” Tzintz “Most people won’t h if you have no experie there’s no way to go to s that.” Tzintzún said stud terested in social jus reers have to create th opportunities. “Volunteer at an orga that does community or whether you want to be have a boring office job. er you end up doing, I t can and should learn com organizing first,” Tzintz “Find some organizat say, ‘I want to volunteer That might mean taking job on the side, but once derstand community or
ay 1, 2009
Wire Editor: Austen Sofhauser www.dailytexanonline.com
T HE DAILY T EXAN
Rebels identify suspected ‘human shields’ as family
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The Tamil Tigers said Thursday they would never surrender to the advancing Sri Lankan forces and appealed to the international community to work harder for a cease-fire in the country’s bloody civil war. Sri Lanka has refused growing diplomatic pressure to stop its offensive against the rebel group’s last stronghold in the northeast to safeguard the estimated 50,000 civilians trapped in the area. The government and international rights groups have braska accused the rebels of holding tens of thousands of ethnic Tamil civilians as human shields to slow the governto execu-ment offensive. rest is al- Rebel political chief Balasoffice ex-ingam Nadesan denied the accusation, calling it government SG presi-propaganda. arking in “We all are family. How zos garag-could anyone hold his or her family as a ‘human shield?’ purchase Nadesan told The Associatch is then ed Press in an e-mail interview et Garagefrom the war zone. out $600. He also denied reports that ent Brentthe rebels’ top leaders had fled not havethe country, saying they “are s job with-still in our homeland and leading the freedom struggle.”
flashy,” presidenk there’s,UN group renames flu kets, butafter Egypt slaughters pigs gest perk GENEVA — The World the park-Health Organization anslature innounced it will would stop uso go backing the term “swine flu” to itol.” avoid confusion over the dan-
ger posed by pigs. The policy shift came a day after Egypt began slaughtering thousands of pigs in a misguided effort to prevent swine flu. WHO spokesman Dick Thompson said the agriculture industry and the U.N. food ople andagency had expressed conlion morecerns that the term “swine flu” l govern-was misleading consumers 4 percentand needlessly causing countries to ban pork products and Rick Perry order the slaughter of pigs. “Rather than calling this ntingencyswine flu ... we’re going to s or cancelstick with the technical scienut say theytific name H1N1 influenza A,” ecisions ifThompson said. pus. In the current outbreak, preadingWHO says the virus is being pulation,spread from human-to-huht adoptman, not from contact with ins that thefected pigs.
currently Compiled from Associated Press reports k. exas probake more such as ordoning would be
Man kills 5 in attempt on Dutch royal fami Unidentified driver detained after speeding into crowds at parade By Cynthia Boll The Associated Press APELDOORN, Netherlands — A Dutch driver careened through police barriers and plowed into a crowd of merrymakers cheering their popular queen Thursday in a premeditated assault on the royal family that killed five bystanders and injured 12, authorities said. The speeding car, already dented apparently from catapulting bystanders into the air, passed within a few yards of the opentopped bus carrying Queen Beatrix and her family down a parade route, then smashed into a stone monument. Prosecutors said the driver, badly injured and still in his crumpled car, acknowledged targeting the queen and her family. “The man said that his action was aimed at the royal family,” said prosecutor Ludo Goossens.
Saudi girl, 8, granted divorce from 50-year-old husband
es are not eally can’t at you can .”
By Hadeel Al-Shalchi The Associated Press CAIRO — An 8-year-old Saudi girl has divorced her middleaged husband after her father forced her to marry him last year in exchange for about $13,000, her lawyer said Thursday. Saudi Arabia has come under increasing criticism at home and s abroad for permitting child marto be riages. The United States, a close r you ally of the conservative Muslim has called child marearn kingdom, riage a “clear and unacceptable” violation of human rights. The girl was allowed to ditzún, vorce the 50-year-old man who umna she married in August after an out-of-court settlement had been reached in the case, said ally hiredher lawyer, Abdulla al-Jeteli. up the or-The exact date of the divorce e now di-was not immediately known. ant-rights A court in the central Oneiza region previously rejected a reany orga-quest by the girl’s mother for a munity or-divorce and ruled that the girl zún said.would have to wait until she hire youreached puberty to file a petience, andtion then. school for There are no laws in Saudi Arabia defining the minidents in-mum age for marriage. Though stice ca-a woman’s consent is legally reheir ownquired, some marriage officials don’t seek it. anization But there has been a push by rganizing,Saudi human rights groups to a lawyer,define the age of marriage and . Whatev-end the practice of marrying think yougirls without their consent. ommunity One Saudi human rights aczún said.tivist, Sohaila Zain al-Abdeen, tion andwas optimistic that the girl’s dir for you.’vorce would help efforts to get g a shittya law passed enforcing a minie you un-mum marriage age of 18. rganizing, “Unfortunately, some fathers
Merlin Daleman | Asso
A police officer checks the condition of an injured person moments after a car slammed into a monument in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. A speeding car raced toward an ope carrying Queen Beatrix and her family during celebrations for the national Queen’s Day holiday, plowing through spectators.
are weak people who are sometimes in need of money and forget their roles as parents.” It was not clear if the man received money for the divorce settlement. The man had given the girl’s father 50,000 riyals, or about $13,350, as a marriage gift in return for his daughter, the lawyer said. The 8-year-old girl’s marriage was not the only one in the kingdom to receive attention in recent months. Saudi newspapers have highlighted several cases in which young girls were married off to much older men or young boys including a 15-year-old girl whose father, a death-row inmate, married her off to a cell mate. Saudi Arabia’s conservative Muslim clergy have opposed the drive to end child marriages. In January, the kingdom’s most senior cleric said it was permissible for 10-year-old girls to marry and those who believe they are too young are doing the girls an injustice. But some in the government appear to support the movement to set a minimum age for marriage. The kingdom’s new justice minister was quoted in mid-April as saying the government was doing a study on underage marriage that would include regulations. There are no statistics to show how many marriages involving children are performed in Saudi Arabia every year. Activists say the girls are given away in return for hefty marriage gifts or as a result of long-standing custom in which a father promises his infant daughters and sons to cousins out of a belief that mar-
The driver, whose name was not released, “is formally suspected of ... an attack on members of the royal house and manslaughter or murder,” Goossens said, and he could face life in prison. “I think that it has become clear that this happened with premeditation,” Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said. The motive for the attack was unclear. Dutch media, citing neighbors, said the assailant recently was fired from his job and was to be evicted from his home. Police identified him as a 38-yearold Dutch man with no history of mental illness or police record, but they would not release his name. Officials in Apeldoorn said the driver had a map of the queen’s route. Celebrations were canceled for Queen’s Day, the national holiday that was to draw millions of people to street dances, picnics and outdoor parties under sunny skies around the country. Flags were lowered to half-staff. The Dutch Embassy in Washington canceled a scheduled reception.
A shaken Queen Beatrix extended her sympathies to the victims in a brief nationally televised address. “What began as a great day has ended in a terrible tragedy that has shocked us all deeply,” she said. The driver apparently acted alone and was not linked to any terrorist or ideological group. No explosives were found in his car or in his home, Goossens said. “From initial contact with police before the suspect was removed from the car ... we have reason to believe it was a deliberate action,” Goossens told reporters. The driver apparently tried to intercept the bus as it turned a corner to a road leading to the gates of the Het Loo palace a few hundred yards from the intersection in this eastern Dutch town. Though the sequence of events was still murky, he apparently crashed his small black car through two sets of police barriers, smashing his windscreen and damaging the front of the vehicle even before slamming into the monument. The final few seconds were
captured on video and film by news teams following the royal family in a press bus. Reporters saw people thrown high in the air from the impact or tumbling down the street, their broken limbs askew. First aid crews and police officers ran to the victims and applied revival techniques. The driver, bleeding from the head and nose, was slumped against the seat when police lifted him out and put him into an ambulance. Earlier, Apeldoorn Mayor Fred de Graaf said eight of the 13 injured were in serious condition, with two men and two women killed. Later, a third man died of his injuries, said Apeldoorn municipality spokesman Toon Schuiling. Two teenagers and a 9-yearold girl were among the severely injured. “We are speechless that something so terrible could have happened,” the queen said in a rare televised appearance. “My family — and I think everybody in the country — sympathize with the victims, their families and friends
and all who have been hi by this accident.” Dutch television showed Crown Prince Alexander and his wife, Maxima, standing at thei the bus’s high open platf watching in astonishme ma held her hand over h in apparent horror. The bus was not hit one in the queen’s entou injured. Journalist Peter von told RTL television that dent was like watching a movie. “It was a really nice d you hear a bang. Everyo up and you see people flying through the air. T be a joke or a strange pra suddenly panic, and yo that something really ter happened,” he said. Hundreds of thousand ple flocked to the mai cities on Wednesday n Thursday to celebrate th al holiday, originally int celebrate the birthday of mother, Queen Juliana.
Republican clarifies ‘poor choice of wor
Nell Redmond | Associated Press
Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., who is under fire for calling claims that Matthew Shepard was killed because he was gay a “hoax,” says she should have selected her words more carefully.
By Estes Thompson The Associated Press RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina congresswoman said Thursday she chose her words poorly when she called claims that a Wyoming college student was murdered because he was gay a “hoax.” Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx said during debate in the House that Matthew Shepard’s 1998 death wasn’t a hate crime and shouldn’t be invoked by supporters of a bill to expand the definition of such crimes to include violence motivated by sexual orientation. “We know that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay,” Foxx said during debate. “The bill was named for him, the hate-crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.” Shepard died several days after he was found tied to a
remote fence in Wyoming, severely beaten and robbed of $20. Prosecutors said he was lured from a bar by two men, including one whose defense attorney said he reacted violently after Shepard made a sexual advance. The House approved the bill Wednesday despite Foxx’s comments. On Thursday, after Foxx drew heated reaction from several gay rights groups and others upset by her comments, she said her words didn’t convey what she meant to say. “The term ‘hoax’ was a poor choice of words used in the discussion of the hate crimes bill,” Foxx said in a statement. “Mr. Shepard’s death was nothing less than a tragedy, and those responsible for his death certainly deserved the punishment they received.” Still, it wasn’t enough to quell the firestorm. “I haven’t ever heard anyone say before that Matthew
Shepard’s death wasn crime,” said Becky federal legislative dir the National Gay and Task Force. She said her orga was surprised by t ments and noted th version of the bill even reference Shepa The Senate bill carrie rd’s name. Foxx spokesman Groen said the congr an relied on articles later realized were fa especially regrets ups Shepard family. He declined further comm “Calls to her off been mostly from North Carolina,” Gr “We’ve gotten our death threats and the that’s to be expected an emotional issue.” The University of W student’s slaying beca lying point for the g movement.
4 Friday, May 1, 2009
T HE DAILY T EXAN
Editor in Chief: Leah Finnegan Phone: (512) 232-2212 E-mail: editor@dailytexanonline Associate Editors: Audrey Campbell Josh Haney Jillian Sheridan Abby Terrell Mary Tuma
The Republican follies In the drawn-out battle between Democrat Al Franken and incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman for a Minnesota Senate seat, a new development has arisen that may change Republican politics. In an effort to secure a sixth term, Sen. Arlen Specter switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic on Tuesday in a seemingly ungrateful yet shrewd political move. In a recent Associated Press article, Specter confessed he was not prepared to have his 29-year record in the U.S. Senate decided by the Pennsylvania Republican primary. Specter’s cross of party lines would be nothing more than another incident to incense Republicans if it weren’t for the number of Democrats in the Senate before Specter’s flip. The veteran legislator’s switch tipped the scale to 59 seats — one seat away from a filibuster-proof majority. And that single vote, which would cast the Democrats’ priorities to the forefront, could very well come from Franken, whose political fate now lies in the hands of the Minnesota Supreme Court. The controversy surrounding Franken’s seat began after election night with a statewide recount and court challenge that put the Democrat in a 312-vote lead over Coleman, who appealed the results. A special three-judge panel rejected many of Coleman’s claims, and he appealed to the state Supreme Court, arguing that more than 4,000 absentee ballots were wrongly rejected. The hearing is scheduled for June 1. One of the longest election battles in U.S. Senate history and the longest in Minnesota history, it is likely the fight will only intensify in the wake of Specter’s switch. The anti-Coleman sentiment in Minnesota is strong. A recent Minneapolis Star-Tribune poll reported that 64 percent of respondents think Coleman should accept the trial ruling, naming Franken the winner, and only 28 percent agree with Coleman’s appeal to the state Supreme Court, evidence indicating majority support for the satirist turned politician. But despite the tides against him, including a campaign that has raised $58,500 called “One Dollar a Day to Make Norm Coleman Go Away,” Coleman won’t give up. Our very own Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has advocated in support of Coleman, insisting the Republican try the case in federal court no matter how long it takes — even if Minnesota is left with one senator. Minnesota stands to be denied equal representation in the Senate until June at the earliest. With almost 60,000 employed and 9,000 who’ve lost homes since November’s election in the state, Coleman’s appeals delay the vital work needed to repair the lives of the constituents he claims to care about. We understand the notion that a Democratic majority rests with a comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member may appear to be an instance of political theater at its finest. Yet, upon second glance, Franken’s dedication to his constituency, middleclass economic relief proposals and progressive policies solidify him as a formidable and serious opponent — an observation perhaps even more ironic than his position on the political scale. While the battle for the Minnesota Senate seat drags on, Cornyn should take a tip from Franken, who has proposed a new tax credit that will provide up to $5,000 per student each year for up to four years of college. But we don’t think that’s likely, considering that a mere two weeks ago, Cornyn called Specter a key Republican who could help in “denying Harry Reid and the Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate.” Spoken like a true Republican — too soon. — Mary Tuma for the editorial board
THE FIRING LINE YCT chair responds to accusations I’d like to address some accusations made against Young Conservatives of Texas and against conservatives in general as a result of our “OBAMA-Nation” rally on the West Mall on Tuesday. First, let me emphasize that the part of our rally focused on illegal immigration was a protest of the policies of this administration and of the federal government in the past, not the people themselves. We made multiple attempts to explain that our position is that the laws of this country are not being enforced, and attempts to award blanket amnesty and healthcare benefits to those people here illegally are detrimental to America. What people opposed to us lose sight of is that we fully support legal immigration to the United States and even advocate for the expedition of the naturalization process. Unfortunately, many who came out to protest on Tuesday were not willing to hear our side of the argument. All they wanted was to throw out vitriolic remarks against us, calling us racists, rapists, supporters of
genocide and hate-mongers. So because we didn’t have many opportunities to explain our proposal on Tuesday, I’d like to list them here: 1. Repair all weak points in the current border fence and utilize high-tech surveillance techniques to patrol the border. 2. Reinforce the Border Patrol with the National Guard or military. 3. Punish businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants with heavy fines and possible imprisonment of their executives. 4. Offer an expedited naturalization process for people who willingly leave the U.S. and deport all those found to be here illegally. Those who commit felonies shall be imprisoned and then deported with no opportunity for expedited naturalization. I invite everyone who would like to continue this discussion or who would like to learn more about YCT’s positions to visit us at www. yct.org/utexas or find our Facebook group “Young Conservatives of Texas-UT Chapter.”
Dustin Matocha Management and government sophomore Young Conservatives of Texas chairman
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Haiti needs US support for democracy By Ansel Herz Daily Texan Guest Columnist Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood on the floor of a textile factory in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, earlier this month and talked about America’s commitment to the island nation. “I pledge we will do more to create more good jobs for the people of Haiti,” she told an audience of textile workers. Sounds good, right? But when Clinton finished her speech with a smile, the applause was muted. Many of the workers could not understand her speech because it was not translated into Kreyol, the language spoken by the vast majority of Haitians. Clinton’s obliviousness is typical of policy [makers who ignore a deeply flawed democratic process in Haiti, while pushing anti-poverty schemes against Haiti from afar. Clinton, along with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, is touting a plan devised by Oxford economist Paul Collier to expand tariff-free export zones around Haiti. The plan calls for Haiti to lift urban slum-dwellers out of poverty through jobs in textile factories, like the Inter-American Garment Factory at which Clinton spoke. There is little popular demand in Haiti for this maquiladora-style development. Workers at the factory assembling clothes for American companies like Levi’s are paid twice Haiti’s minimum wage, but they have complained to Al Jazeera English, the English version of the Arabic-language news network, that the wages are still so low that the workers cannot escape poverty. The former president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, whose Lavalas party has enjoyed overwhelming support among Haitians in many elections, tried during the 1990s to triple the minimum wage. But under pressure from U.S. officials and people like Andy Apaid, a Haitian who owns numerous sweatshops and the garment factory that hosted Clinton, Aristide was forced to drastically scale back the wage increase. In 2004, Apaid and other members of the tiny Haitian elite successfully conspired to overthrow Aristide with the help of the U.S. government. Aristide was flown out of the country on a U.S. jet surrounded by Marines and dumped in Central African Repub-
lic. Aristide says he was kidnapped and still has not ret Haiti. Aristide and Lavalas represent a grassroots threat to th ries-old status quo in Haiti and international interests that ploited it. Aristide raised taxes on the rich, launched high tive literacy and anti-AIDS programs and built schools an tals across the country during his two presidential terms, short by U.S.-backed coups. The Lavalas party has tried to carry on amid continuin sion. A heavily armed U.N. peacekeeping force has re shelled and occupied Cite Soleil, a slum outside the capital of Lavalas’ strongest bases of support. Many of the party’ were imprisoned on bogus charges by the post-coup reg without Aristide the party is less united than it once was. Lavalas was banned from last week’s Haitian Senate ele the government’s Provisional Electoral Council because o nical problem with the list of candidates it submitted. A ju ruled that the council’s decision was illegal was promptly of his post by the Haitian government. Like the rebel force of slaves that defeated Napoleon’ and founded Haiti, however, Lavalas and its agenda of s lift have not been easily marginalized. The organization ca boycott of the Senate elections from which it was banned, tians heeded the call — voter turnout on April 19 was esti less than 10 percent. Popular Haitian demands include revitalization of loca economies, debt cancellation, temporary protected status f grants in the United States and the return of Aristide. Th administration has already pledged $20 million to pay o Haiti’s illegitimate debt to the World Bank. That’s a start. The mentality that the “international community” kno is best for Haiti’s poor has been discredited by decades ening poverty. Strong support from the Obama administr democracy in Haiti, including the participation of Lavala represent change Haitians can believe in and so desperate Herz is a journalism senior.
Finding a way to talk faith By Merrit Martin Daily Texan Columnist
On Tuesday evening, I attended “Was Darwin Wrong?,” a debate sponsored by the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Outside, some people handed out pocket copies of the New Testament. Others were pushing “Stand up for Science” stickers. One person held a sign reading “What’s to Debate?” Unfortunately, that sign summarized the night’s proceedings. I’d hoped that the debate would be an exploration of evidence for and against a scientific theory, but it turned out to be more about the validity of biblical creationism. There was relatively little scientific discussion. Emotions were running high in both camps. One speaker mocked the creationists’ “nonsense,” while at another point someone cried out with an impassioned declaration of faith from the audience. In such a hostile and emotionally charged environment, neither side could listen to the other. The message was clear: What’s to debate? This event has come on the heels of Jon Meacham’s April 13 Newsweek piece on “the end of Christian America.” He noted that the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans has doubled since 1990. He argued that faith is becoming less important in American politics, though not in Americans’ lives. A 2005 Gallup poll showed that 83 percent of Americans said religion is “very important” or “somewhat important” in their lives. According to a Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey, about 40 percent of religiously unaffiliated Americans even say that “religion is at least somewhat important in their lives,” and roughly a third report that they “just have not found the right religion yet.” Also, the Pew Forum survey found that most people who change religious affiliations first do so before age 24, so this issue is of particular importance to college students. Clearly, many Americans think faith is important and that it’s something worth discussing. Interfaith dialogue has always been important where different religious traditions coexist. It is no less essential in today’s America, where diversity of belief and unbelief flourishes and where
the kind of society in which freedom of religion can mea ly function. Communication is important for easing the that inevitably arise between faith groups (for the sake ty, I will use the term “faith” to refer to both theistic and istic worldviews). And it also serves an important intro function within faith communities and within individua But we should remember that dialogue is conversation, r both speaking and listening. The most important thing w is to make a concerted effort to hear each other. This is not to say that the dialogue should degenerate rum for some all-encompassing, generalized spirituality al code — though that should certainly have a place in th sion. The purpose of these conversations shouldn’t be one’s faith, and neither should it be to condemn it. A true interfaith dialogue should generate an attitude ine respect for others’ beliefs, which doesn’t entail gloss the differences between their beliefs and one’s own. Ra alogue should help people understand what others va in their lives and allow people to carefully consider wha they most value themselves. So why isn’t there more real, honest discussion of faith the reason is not that people are certain their faith system plete — or that others’ systems are patently ridiculous — cause they are afraid of facing the parts of their faith t don’t understand, agree with or believe in. Ambiguity is uncomfortable. Both sides of Tuesday’s certainly seemed to be uncomfortable with it. But the des incontrovertibly right creates conflict where there need be turns what are gray areas into black-and-white zones fo eryone to take a side. It polarizes, kills dialogue and pre from really listening. Austin is already home to many open forums on faith t up an honest dialogue. The University Interfaith Counc stance, allows campus religious leaders to meet and di sues pertinent to their ministries. The Institute of Interfait holds lectures and discussions with representatives from local faith communities. Just this month it hosted one f the financial crisis and another on meditation. The next step is to extend a hand to non-believers. Ho logue can help make American society a place where reli versity is respected and faith exploration is possible.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Research centers to study energy alternatives By Priscilla Totiyapungprasert Daily Texan Staff The U.S. Department of Energy has granted $30.5 million to two Energy Frontier Research Centers at UT for research and development in energy efficiency. President Barack Obamaâ€™s stimulus package will fund the $15 million awarded to the research center led by Paul Barbara, director of the Center for Nano and Molecular Science and Technology. The research center, which includes a team of 18 faculty members from the College of Natural Sciences and Cockrell School of Engineering, will study solar energy on a molecular level as they look for a way to turn solar energy into a more efficient power source. â€œFor so long, people thought
of oil as a harmless, over-infinite and cheap resource,â€? Barbara said on national energy consumption. â€œWe have the opportunity to take advantage of natural resources.â€? Barbara said the main reason why current solar devices are ineffective is due to high manufacturing costs of materials such as silicon. Silicon manufacturing also emits greenhouse gases, he said. Jennifer Lyon, the associate director for the nanotechnology center, said they are exploring organic materials to use in solar cells, which can then be used to make large-area solar panels. Organic materials are more environmentally friendly and less expensive than silicon, Lyon said. Keith Stevenson, a chemistry professor on the research team,
said batteries are an important aspect of energy efficiency because they are the primary devices for energy storage. Using organic materials has the potential to be three to five times cheaper than using silicon, Stevenson said. A one- to four-megawatt battery the size of a small truck would be able to power a house and other high-power applications, he added. â€œThatâ€™s equivalent to the energy generated by a coal-fired power plant,â€? Stevenson said. The Department of Energy granted $15.5 million to the Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, directed by Gary Pope. The center hopes to develop a long-term solution for national energy security by developing a method to contain by-products
of oil, compared to Great Britain with 3,894.6 and Japan with 4,135.3. Other developed countries with high per-person consumption include Canada and the Netherlands. Consumption rates are rising, however, among developing countries, according to reports by the institute. As developing countries continue to use more advanced technology, they will need an enormous amount of sustainable energy, Lyon said. â€œPersonally, I think people are more aware than ever before about the need to reverse over-consumption,â€? Lyon said. â€œObama has been great in recognizing the importance of science and energy studies and their potential for creating jobs to help the economy.â€?
Organization aims to inform about suicide prevention By Molly Triece Daily Texan Staff â€œGet help or be helpâ€? was the mantra at last nightâ€™s suicideprevention event where students wrote the word â€œloveâ€? on each othersâ€™ arms. Jamie Tworkowski, founder of the nonprofit To Write Love on Her Arms, walked onstage to tell the audience about the organizationâ€™s mission of raising awareness about treatment for those suffering from depression. â€œItâ€™s a privilege to be handed a microphone and talk about things that people donâ€™t normally talk about,â€? Tworkowski said. He recounted his personal experiences with friends who committed suicide or came close and what he learned through their journeys. â€œMaybe donâ€™t just love other people, but ask, â€˜What does it mean to love me?â€™â€? Tworkowski said. The event was directed to reach students from junior high through college battling suicidal thoughts and suffering from
Jamie Tworkowski of To Write Love on Her Arms speaks to an audience of supporters on the Main Mall on Friday. The nonprofit movement is designed to provide support for turned tothose suffering he centu-from t have ex-depression, hly effec-addiction nd hospi-and suicide.
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ng represepeatedly l and one â€™s leaders gime, and . ections byMaxx Scholten of a tech-Daily Texan Staff udge who y stripped
â€™s armies social upalled for a and Haiimated atUniversity names two faculty
members as vice provosts
al peasant Government professor Gretchfor immi-en Ritter and engineering prohe Obamafessor Janet Ellzey have been off part ofnamed vice provosts by the Uni-
versity to serve under Provost ows whatSteven Leslie. of wors- â€œI have truly enjoyed building ration forprograms for the Cockrell School as, wouldof Engineering and look forward ely need. to working with the entire University community to provide new and exciting international opportunities for our students and faculty,â€? Ellzey said. The new vice provosts will take their positions this summer and will help replace Terri Givens, a current vice provost who will be working for the Migration Policy aningful-Institute on a fellowship in Washe tensionsington, D.C. of brevi- Ellzey will focus on internanon-the-tional studies and will pursue reospectivelationships with schools in other alsâ€™ lives.countries. requiring â€œIn particular, I want to increase we can doparticipation in our semester exchange programs with foreign uniinto a fo-versities,â€? she said. â€œIn addition, I y or mor-would like to develop internationhe discus-al community service opportunito diluteties for our students.â€? The vice provost serves the provost in administrative duties and of genupursues varying academic intersing overests to assist the University. Ritter ather, di-will focus on gender equity studalue mosties and faculty relations. at exactly â€œUsually, the provost gives a certain set of duties, like a
h? Part of m is comâ€” but bethat they
portfolio, to the vice provost,â€? said Sheldon Ekland-Olson, a former UT provost and current professor of sociology. Ritter was away on sabbatical and could not be reached for comments. She begins her tenure as vice provost June 1. Ellzey will join her in the position July 16.
â€” Jonathan Babin
National Academy of Sciences adds member from UT faculty The National Academy of Sciences elected engineering professor Thomas Hughes as one of its 72 new members this week. Members of the academy advise the federal government and public about critical scientific and technological issues. The academy has 2,150 members, and Hughes is the second UT faculty member who has been elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering. The other is geological sciences professor Robert Dickinson. Hughes conducts research in computational mechanics. He recently developed a cardiovascular model and disease simulation that predicts medical outcomes. The process allows doctors to make medical interventions and decisions based on the predictions. â€œItâ€™s an extraordinary event for the academy to elect [Hughes] and really recognize him as an international leader,â€? said J. Tinsley Oden, vice president for research and a long-time colleague of Hughes.
that open cil, for iniscuss isth Dialog different forum on
depression, addiction or self-destructive behavior. Since the nonprofitâ€˜s inception three years ago, the groupâ€™s members have raised about $500,000 for treatment of the mentally depressed across the country. â€œItâ€™s about realizing youâ€™re not crazy or weak when you reach out for help,â€? said nursing senior Pamelagrace Okeke. â€œItâ€™s more than just suicide. Itâ€™s about mental health issues that lead to suicide because people donâ€™t care.â€? With more than 40,000 students vying for the limited amount of resources UT offers, Okeke said students often get lost in the crowd. â€œEveryone here is trying to get somewhere, and sometimes we lose sight of people to our left and to our right,â€? she said. Okeke said the workload and stress from challenging classes that some students endure can also affect mental well-being. â€œYou get people burnt out, really mad, thinking theyâ€™re
not good enough,â€? Okeke said. â€œMany students use drinking as their escape from school and that can lead to alcohol abuse.â€? The Counseling and Mental Health Center gave out information at the event on the resources it offers, showing students paths they could follow to begin lifting themselves out of depression or self-destructive behavior. Martin Coffman, an English and business freshman, said that with a social environment as daunting as UTâ€™s, counseling outlets need to be made readily available. â€œThere are many people who havenâ€™t talked to anyone today,â€? Coffman said. â€œItâ€™s a lot easier to not seek out and love those people.â€? Psychology junior Ashley White said she and her friends are in the process of starting a UT chapter of the organization. â€œIt would be a group of your peers, so people donâ€™t feel like they have no one to talk to,â€? she said.
From page 1
Associate history sor Denise Spellb she hopes Presiden Obama will keep his of pursuing direct d with Iran. â€œHe has been talk about a mutual inte a mutual respect,â€? S said. Ebadi attributed m flicts between the tw to U.S. embargoes a tions of Iranian good she said solve noth di was personally af American sanctions when she struggled her novel, â€œIran A ing: A Memoir of Re and Hope,â€? publish states. â€œPolitical sanction not cover cultural iss said. â€œBy not publis book, youâ€™re censo people of America.â€? Ebadi also mentio dia censorship when ing American miscon about Iran. â€œA lot of the medi swallowed up by la porations,â€? she sai move you in the d they want you to mo Ebadi said the A media have been u their portrayal of I said the coverage f 9/11 depicted Iran ative light but never images of â€œIranian lighting candles in th Spellberg agre American education changed to dispel m tions about Iran and dle East. She criticize sities for requiring st take American or Tex ry but not world hist She also said th blew the post-9/11 scare out of propor ating a panic that ou the danger of the situ â€œHow many peo ally died of anthrax asked.
Hughes and Oden have collaborated on many projects through the decades and are now each working on computer models for medical diseases. â€” Priscilla Totiyapungprasert
Obama administration names UT professor to advisory council William Press, professor of computer and natural sciences, has been named to President Barack Obamaâ€™s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. â€œIâ€™m not sure why he picked me, but itâ€™s probably because Iâ€™ve worked in such a wide breadth of sciences,â€? Press said. According to his Web site, Press has published more than 150 papers in biology, astrophysics, cosmology and computational algorithms. He was also a senior fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1998 to 2004 and is a founding member of the National Academy of Sciencesâ€™ computer and information sciences section. Press said he was contacted about a month ago for the position on the council but was unaware of who else would serve until all names were announced on Monday. He said he is looking forward to working with the other 19 members of the council. â€œIâ€™m very excited, but itâ€™s going to be a lot of work,â€? Press said. He said he still plans to teach at UT while researching for the council and attending meetings every month or two in Washington, D.C. â€” Matt Stephens
SATURDAY, JUNE 20
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of energy consumption, such as carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The research team will partner with the Sandia National Laboratory to study the movement of greenhouse gases and stability of geological systems. â€œMost people can agree energy is the biggest crisis in America and most of the 21st-century world,â€? Lyon said. â€œIâ€™m glad both centers received money. Itâ€™s not going to take just one solution. We need to look at multiple approaches.â€? The United States has the highest total energy consumption rate in the world followed by China, according to the World Resources Institute. The institute also reported that in 2005, the average American consumed 7,885.9 kilograms
US media un speaker sa POLICY:
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Friday, May 1, 2009
Life&Arts Editor: Ana McKenzie E-mail: lifeandarts@dailytexanon Phone: (512) 232-2209 www.dailytexanonline.com
T HE DAILY T EXAN
THE BROWN NOTE
To Creed or not to Creed: That is the question By Robert Rich Daily Texan Staff Ladies and gentlemen, I’m at a crossroads. On one hand, I know Creed sucks. Trust me, I do. On the other hand, I have a very special place in my heart for Scott Stapp and his gang of pseudoChristian modern rockers. My sister picked me up from middle school one day and had the group’s debut album, My Own Prison, playing. The song was “What’s This Life For,” and I thought it was the bee’s knees — yes, I used phrases like “bee’s knees” in my younger days.
A couple of years later, I borrowed Human Clay from her and had my mind blown again. From tracks like “What If” and “Beautiful” to more balladesque tunes like “Wash Away Those Years” and the ultra-popular “With Arms Wide Open,” the album made me trek to the local music store in my East Texas hometown and special-order the songbook for the album so I could play it on the brand-spankin’ new Yamaha acoustic guitar I received for Christmas that year. Once it came in, I beat and banged away on that Yamaha, trying to recreate those
wonderful palm-muted power chords that I heard Mark Tremonti jam every time I put the disc in my stereo. Needless to say, I was unable to properly play the tunes, and the book was tossed in a pile of junk, never to be used again. So with the announcement earlier this week of a reunion tour and new album from the band, what am I to do? One part of me wants to spend the remainder of this column bashing Stapp and Co. for all their musical mischief. The other half? Well, he wants to snatch up tickets to all three of the Texas shows on
the tour (Dallas, Houston and San Antonio) and relive the joy of my middle school days. Besides, I’d say I’ve got a pretty good grunge-mimicking voice (I’m a Creed karaoke beast), so this would be the only concert I could go to where my singing along wouldn’t make the person next to me want to bash my face in. You know what? I’m doing it, dammit. Creed Roadtrip 2009. Are you in? Let me know on Twitter (@robertrich) or my Facebook fan page — no, this isn’t shameless self-promotion — and we’ll Stapp it up. And we’ll do so with arms wide open.
Courtesy of A
Built By Snow members Matt Murray, JP Pfertner, Brandon S Ben Bauer worked together for a while before realizing thei
Built By Snow’s ner charm makes its fun music unforgettable Serendipitous accident creates one of Austin’s most-watched bands
Paul Chouy | Daily Texan Staff
What does it take to be a UT Pom Girl? Those who auditioned say it takes “smiles,” “enthusiasm” and “school spirit.”
Confessions of a would-be Pom Girl By Rachel Meador Daily Texan Staff Last Friday, I took out my belly button ring, did my best to camouflage my tattoo and reluctantly shaved off two weeks of pit hair that I had been working on for Eeyore’s Birthday Party — all to better my chances of making the UT Pom Squad. For the past three years, I have danced nearly every day with a local professional ballet company, but my classmates encouraged me to try out anyway. Theatre and dance senior Melissa Jensen has several friends on the squad and told me not to worry. Decisions are 10 percent dance ability, 90 percent looks, she said. Unsure whether this was a dis to my dance skills or a
compliment to my appearance, I decided to go for it. I walked into the Denton A. Cooley Pavilion fewer than five minutes late to find that I had completely misused my preparation time. I quickly took my hair out of the ponytail and tried — without a mirror — to style it in some way that could compete with the poofy and curly half-updos of the other tryouts. “I have never seen so many poofs in my life,” said geography freshman Morgan Cotter about the predominant hairstyle choice. “I didn’t believe that hair could be poofed so high. I saw the double poof today. I didn’t even know that existed.” We filed into the practice basketball room for a little
pep talk from spirit programs director Jeff Dieta, who asked, “What do you think we’re looking for in a Pom Girl?” “Smiles,” “enthusiasm,” “school spirit” and “smart” were the most common answers. “We’re looking for entertainers,” Dieta said. “When people watch the pom squad, they don’t watch the group as a whole. They look at individuals, and if one doesn’t entertain them, they move to the next girl. We want you to entertain us.” Then we learned the routine to the UT fight song, a saucy jazz dance to Britney Spears’ “Mannequin” and a hip-hop routine to Keri Hilson’s “Get Your Money Up.” I even heard “Stop, now let
me see ya booty drop,” frequently, which is an appropriate name for the ass-shaking routine. “They taught the dances way too fast,” said Rangerette Leanne Bilnoski, an incoming junior from Kilgore Junior College. “So I’m just going to drop my booty like the songs says.” Nearly 90 applicants took the floor in groups of four to perform these routines. After the last booty dropped, the judges, composed of past and present pom squad captains and directors, left the room to choose girls for round two where actual dance skills would be evaluated. “This has become a goal
POM continues on page 7
By Mary Lingwall Daily Texan Staff Since the January release of Built By Snow’s debut LP Mega, the local band’s steady ascent to prominence in the Austin music scene has been defined by its infectious brand of indie rock, as well as a love for all things nerdy. Built By Snow’s sound is pervaded by a thematic undercurrent of boyish appreciation for retro video games, robots, science and astronaut humor, juxtaposed with a mature understanding of the trials and tribulations of love. The playful details, danceable backbeats and focused arrangements of Mega speak of a band that wastes no potential. But only three years ago, Built By Snow’s future band members were nothing more than co-workers, unaware of one another’s musical interests and talents. It all started when JP Pfertner (now lead vocalist and guitarist) hesitantly asked a few of his friends from work to pose as bandmates for a Web site. Pfertner had been working on a demo and wanted to promote his music, but he had a bit of a problem: He had no actual band. Luckily for Pfertner, he happened to draft help from guys who were also closet musicians. “I was kind of shy,” Pfertner said with a slight grin. “And I needed to look like I had a band so I could put some band pictures on a Web site. So I was like, ‘OK, we’ll pretend you play bass and you play keyboard,’ and then I realized they really did play those instruments and that it was just stupid that we weren’t already playing together.” After finding a friend of his to play drums, Pfertner thought they could begin making
original music and shows. But when the d found out that she was p band practice went on burner and Pfertner r to searching for a way make his band dreams h “And then we figured another guy we work Brandon, had been playin forever,” he said. Brandon Stein quipp about the tough require joining the band. “Yeah, and I wasn’t p Stein said. From then on, Pfertne work recruits — Matt M keyboard and guitar, B on bass and Stein on d began writing music tog had played in bands be none had seriously co the prospect of becomin fide performing and rec ing act. But this quirky ensem made it far. Since the ba live performance on equipment, Built By S matured into a group w itive onstage charisma a tinctive sound. Despite constant com to The Cars and Weezer, has avoided the pitfall o ing either retro or pass it definitely espouses t cal aesthetic of its infam sical predecessors, the g fers something undenia inal by combining dig odies reminiscent of A video games with vicio riffs, youthful keyboard clapping. The foursome of tech who appear meek, nerdy offstage take an almost thusiasm when they ge their instruments. Pfertn boyish face still gets him despite being well over ers a bold voice that giv to his often sweet lyrics er and Murray dance poppy riffs on their guit grounds the sound in stu beats. Stein’s drumming listeners that even tho music is heavy in hand c electric details, it is defin soft tween pop: It’s rock. In the whirlwind of b encircled Built By Sn Mega’s release, the band featured as one of the “9 Watch in ’09” in Austin magazine and was invite both South by Southw North by Northeast mu vals. But the hype hasn’t the band, which has alr gun to transition into pla cording new material by of the summer. “Things are still ha with this album,” Stein sa it’s fun for an unsigned us to get to be a part of th And he’s right. Before settles back into the stud summer, Built By Snow shows left for the spring. “There’s a lot of selfto keep getting better an more,” Bauer said.
WHAT: Built By Snow
WHERE: Old Pecan S Festival WHEN: Saturday
WHAT: Built By Snow The Boxing Lesson an Kisses Cause Crashes WHERE: The Parish
Friday, May 1, 2009
The Parlor Mob rocks on through the recessio
POM: UT elite
determined by head bops, booty drops
Guitarist dismisses swine flu, Lil Wayneâ€™s rock â€™nâ€™ roll record By Robert Rich Daily Texan Staff The last time New Jersey hard rock quintet The Parlor Mob was in Austin, The Daily Texan spoke with lead singer Mark Melicia about his approach to rock â€™nâ€™ roll and how he handles the pressure of being compared to legendary artists like Robert Plant because of the groupâ€™s ballsy retro-rock tunes. So whatâ€™s there to talk about this time around? Swine flu, of course. Guitarist Paul Ritchie spoke with the Texan during the bandâ€™s trek from Los Angeles to Arizona about the aforementioned malady, as well as their inclusion in the lineup of the upcoming Austin City Limits Music Festival and his unbridled hatred for Lil Wayne. The Daily Texan: What have you guys been up to since we last saw you in Austin? Paul Ritchie: Weâ€™ve just mainly been touring and writing. Probably nine out of the last 12 months weâ€™ve been on the road, so weâ€™re just working and trying to progress and move forward within the band. The new stuff weâ€™ve been writing is really cool. Itâ€™s very dramatic and epic, kind of like â€œWhen I Was An Orphanâ€? [from the bandâ€™s debut album, And You Were a Crow]. DT: What songs have been your favorite to play lately? Are they different from what they used to be? PR: Iâ€™m really digging â€œReal Hard Headed.â€? Playing that one on the road has been awesome.
From page 6
for me since I got accepted to the school,â€? said incoming freshman Jaci Brooks, sporting the aforementioned double poof that she spent an hour sculpting. â€œI love to dance, and this will allow me to continue pursuing my passion.â€? About 15 minutes later, the Alison Narro candidates were led outside the Stein and building. Only the girls who ir talents. made the cut for the second day would be allowed back inside. Standing outside in the midevening, I was relieved the day was over and decided that even if I made the cut, I wasnâ€™t coming back the next day. This just wasnâ€™t for me. â€œIâ€™ve been starving myself for three weeks for this,â€? I heard one girl say while we waited to see the list. I wasnâ€™t on it, and neither was she. As all 88 made their way to the list, a somber quiet fell over playingthe group. The chosen minoridrummerty filed back inside, doing their pregnant,best to hide their excitement in the backfront of their rejected friends, returnedand the rest of us were left on he couldthe outside looking in. Somewhere between the first happen. d out thathead bop and booty drop, I beked with,came incredibly, unbelievably ng drumsmotivated and sure about how I use my body to entertain. The ped backnext day, I joined my friends ements offor a beautiful day at Eeyoreâ€™s Birthday Party. pregnant,â€? The most disappointing part of the weekend? The unneceser and hissary departure of the pit hair. Murray on day, month day, 2008 Ben Bauer drums â€” gether. All efore, but onsidered UNS AD IRNE FOR ng a bonaONL cord-sell-
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THE DAILY TEXAN
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really great show or a b The places where you itâ€™d be the worst, mor keep coming out to th The places where it se the economy is bad a ple are struggling, th to come out and have a firm believer in the when times are hard want to be entertained DT: Another news item: What are your tho Lil Wayne making a rock PR: Heâ€™s probably ju an asshole. I fucking ca that guy or anything Heâ€™s got no business a rock record, and his cord blew. Donâ€™t get m I love rap and hip-h heâ€™s awful. Right up th Kanye West. DT: Continuing w newsworthy items: Wh take on swine flu? PR: I heard about it fo time [Tuesday] because out of touch. Just trave playing, I donâ€™t get to w My mom sent me a text thereâ€™s this flu going wash your hands. It sou ty ridiculous, though. DT: What would yo anyone interested in so to do Friday night or fo may have heard of yo Courtesy of the Parlor Mob but arenâ€™t sure if they The Parlor Mob continues their tour, noticing that hard economic times bring more people to shows. â€œIâ€™m a come to the show? firm believer in the fact that when times are hard, people want to be entertained more,â€? said Paul Ritchie. PR: Come out and good time. Weâ€™ll put o We have an intro we tacked on stumped here. Thatâ€™s a good constantly trying to bring each show. Weâ€™re gonna ja to it, and itâ€™s actually our set- question. We have Mark play- other up and see what we can some songs that the opener. I always enjoy playing ing keys now, and Iâ€™m jumping do differently. havenâ€™t heard. Plus, â€œTide of Tears,â€? because we just between acoustic and electric DT: One thing thatâ€™s been in drinking some beers, t jam on it and really rock out. guitar. Weâ€™re just trying to keep the news a lot lately is the curways fun. DT: Would you say your live each other on our toes at all rent economic crisis. Have you WHAT: The Parlor M show has changed in any way time. We try to improvise at all seen its effects on the road or 1 since the last time you were times, if possible. After playing within the band? WHERE: Stubbâ€™s indo here in Austin? these songs so many times, itâ€™s PR: Itâ€™s hard for me to say. On WHEN: Tonight at 10 PR: Fuck, youâ€™ve got me still not boring because weâ€™re any given night, you can have a
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Edited by Will Shortz 49 â€œMagnificat anima ___ Dominumâ€? 50 Itâ€™s not really 34 Certain sex mink, for scandal, in slang example 37 Their beans 52 Bit of the were used as Bahamas currency by the 53 Chefâ€™s cry Aztecs 55 Finger food at a 38 Connecticut Japanese town attacked by restaurant the British in the 57 DiamondWar of 1812 shaping choice 39 Instrument 58 Prodded 40 Wassailing 59 One way to die choice 60 Fleet activities 41 Not quite mashed Down 45 Sitcom character discussed in the 1 Worker who sets things down 2003 biography 2 Doesnâ€™t take â€œBall of Fireâ€? advantage of 46 Quaint aviation 3 Game accessory 4 ArĂ´me detector 48 Former Yankee 5 Smooth to a Martinez fault 6 Discouraging TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE 7 Grid marking G O L E M E L A L 8 Transforming Tonka toys A S O N E N O M E L L O Y D T W I G 9 â€œThe Book of Hoursâ€? poet T L E M A D N E S S 10 Natural I E R S L E N treatment T O D E A D S E A 11 Start of a textI N T H E S P R I N G message H A M E X O N afterthought O L E S O M E E R E 12 Enter like a D O N A L A R M S storm trooper I A T U C K S 13 Crawl with N F O R T H E K I N G 14 Guest at a E M O T E O D O R synagogue R I V E T U L N A 21 â€œCool your jets!â€? S T E R E T E E M 24 One or two
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ay 1, 2009 Friday, May 1, 2009
focus on races, wo run relay From page
Ramona Flume | Daily Texan Staff
The Texas rowing team heads to Kansas City, Kan., this weekend to compete in the first ever Big 12 championships. The race had been known as the Big 12 Invitational due to the low number of teams with rowing programs. Oklahoma added a rowing team for the 2008-09 season, making the championship race a reality.
Rowers head to first-ever Big 12 title race
By Austin Ries Daily Texan Staff As far as coach Carrie Graves and the Longhorn Rowing team are concerned, OU does not suck — in fact, the Horns could not be any happier to have them around. The Sooners’ addition of a varsity rowing team means that Texas gets to compete this Saturday in the first ever Big 12 rowing championship in Kansas City, Kan. After seven years of competing in the previously named Big 12 Invitational, the Longhorns, along with Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma, can up the competition
and bragging rights with the first official championship. “I am really surprised at how excited I am,” Graves said. “This ups the ante and definitely ramps everyone up for competition. We finally get to retire the Invitational Cup.” This will be the second trip to Kansas this spring for Texas. The Longhorns competed against the Jayhawks a month ago, posting four victories out of six races. Texas took first place in the first and second in both varsity and novice eight boats. “You can’t take anything for granted,” Graves said. “We’ve
raced against them before, but teams get faster, rowers could have been hurt and you are always competing against an environment you can’t control.” Since 1998, the three original Big 12 teams did not have a championship. With the addition of Oklahoma for the 2008-2009 season, the conference has added its name to the league championship. Unlike strong rowing conferences like the Big 10 and Pac 10, rowing is still immature in the Big 12 Conference. “This is a benchmark for us, and these girls deserve a championship for all their hard work,”
Graves said. “Competition creates competitiveness, and that creates excellence.” After a disappointing performance two weeks ago at the Lake Natoma Invitational, Graves is confident that the team knows that in order to be great, it has to row above and beyond what it is capable of doing. “This is a great group of girls, and they really want to be great and to be fast,” Graves said. “They have to own it and hopefully row at a level where they leave nothing untouched and no place in their mind unexamined.” The competition will begin at
10:30 a.m. with five races: first varsity eight, second varsity eight, varsity four, first novice eight and second novice eight. Points will be awarded according to a designated point scale for first, second and third place in each race. For now, the Longhorns remain excited for the competition while Graves sees the lesson behind the situation. “Rowing is a great metaphor for life,” Graves said. “You put them in this boat, shove them off and stand on the sideline. You just hope that when they come by they are in the lead.”
SWEEP: Horns take first game
in extras, cruise in game two From page 10 who threw a complete eightinning game, held UTSA to six hits and two runs and slammed in a home run in the fourth to give the Longhorns a two-run lead in game one. UTSA evened the score in the sixth and forced extra innings. Freshman shortstop Lexy Bennett hit the game winner in the bottom of the eighth. “I just wanted a base hit, nothing big or anything to the right side of the field,” Bennett said. “Just a long fly ball to score the runner. I tried to keep it simple and still get the job done.” Junior second baseman Loryn Johnson definitely got the job done for her team in game two. She hit another three-run homer almost immediately after Savony and broke the record for most RBIs in a single season. Johnson has
38 RBIs and a .409 batting average. She said she tried not to focus on the record during the game. “I knew that I was getting close because my mom had told me,” Johnson said. “But I was just trying to get out there and help my team out the best I can.” Clark said the team was able to get on a roll offensively, something it hadn’t been doing since the end of its eight game winning streak last month. “I think we’re coming full circle now,” Clark said. “We’re building up to finishing up this segment of our season where we thought we were a month ago. That’s what we need to do heading into the post season.” The Longhorns will carry the momentum into Saturday’s home matchup with Texas A&M. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN at 6 p.m.
Jacqueline Gilles | Daily Texan Staff
Sophomore Raygan Feight pinch runs for Alexis Bennett in the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader with UTSA. Feight and other Texas reserves saw much playing time in the Longhorns’ 6-1 win.
BASEBALL: Hot-hitting Lusson building confidence From page 10 a three-game series tonight to relieve some of the logjam at the top. “In the conference standings, we know everybody is really close,” said third baseman Kevin Lusson. “A couple games could change the rankings dramatically.” The Longhorns have two conference series left before the Big 12 championships in three weeks. But if history repeats itself, the Longhorns should be in good shape heading into the weekend against Baylor. The first time Texas played Rice this season was in early March.
their attitude around just in time for the midweek game against Dallas Baptist, which they won 3-0. From that point on, Texas kept up its momentum by winning series, sweeping series and raking up the scoreboard on every midweek opponent. Life was good — until last week when the Longhorns lost to Rice again and followed suit by losing their weekend series against Kansas State. But they rebounded to win their midweek game Tuesday against Texas State 12-2. “[Head coach Augie Garrido] uses the phrase, ‘Dump the garbage out,’” said center fielder Connor Rowe. “Our garbage can
“Now, we want to keep the momentum going. It’s getting toward the end of the season, so everybody is excited and ready to do their best.” — Kevin Lusson, Texas third baseman huge start for us coming up with this weekend.” Throughout the season, the Longhorns have maintained the conference’s highest ERA with a 2.44. Baylor is ranked No. 5 in the Big 12 in hitting, but Texas has confidence in its pitching staff. “[Baylor] has good pitching and
give them a run for their money and see who comes out with the victory. I think our pitching staff will keep their runs low, so we just got to score runs.” And if the Longhorns play like they did Tuesday night, runs won’t be a problem at all. Texas scored more than it has all sea-
led by Lusson who had five runs and went 4-for-4. “I’ve built confidence in myself,” Lusson said. “Now, we want to keep the momentum going. It’s getting toward the end of the season, so everybody is excited and ready to do their best and do everything they can to help the team get through the rest of the season.” Texas will face Baylor at home tonight at UFCU Disch-Falk Field at 8 p.m., and the game will be televised on ESPNU. But for the rest of the series, the Bears get home field advantage at Baylor Ballpark. Game two will be Saturday night at 6:30 p.m., and
outdoor season breaking into th at No. 7 this wee “We are really to gel,” Kearney While it may h en all of the ind son and most of door season, the finally starting its stride. With the team is com freshmen who h er competed in or NCAA outdo pionship, this is timing. This weekend will also be the t nal meet at Mik ers Stadium. Th wider than norm (120 meters in 100) and short aways have m track the team’s “I’m a lot mo fortable with thi said freshman Stacey-Ann Smit Smith, along wi er Horns, has po best marks at the s
SATURDAY: T Invitational
WHERE: Mike Myers Stadium
WHEN: All da
ONLINE: Texa com
Sweeney’s catch Rangers of come
ARLINGTON — Sweeney retreated and stuck his glov the eight-foot wal saved a much-nee tory for the ailing Athletics. Sweeney’s incre catch in straightaw ter robbed Ian Kin a three-run homer eighth inning and A’s held on, winn over the Texas Ran Thursday. “It’s phenomen said Dallas Braden pitched five scorel nings to get the w “It was pretty m ing,” Sweeney sai jumped, got lucky caught it. ... He hi center. I think if h have pulled it a lit might have gone.” Braden (3-2) all five hits and walk but managed to w of trouble. The lef er struck out six, e bases-loaded jams two innings with Before Matt Ho homered in the ni land got runs on t fice flies and a bas ed walk issued by Guardado. Andruw Jones h for Texas in the nin after Michael Youn thrown out trying f on a ball hit off the wall. Michael Wuer ing with Brad Zieg sick, still got his firs
Nebraska’s Ande declares for NBA
LINCOLN, Neb braska guard Rya son has declared h eligible for the NB Anderson is a 6 senior guard from who would be a s eligibility next sea averaged 7.1 poin 3.8 rebounds per g season. The draft is Jun but an underclass withdraw his nam consideration by J he doesn’t hire an Nebraska coach dler told the Linco nal Star on Thursd Anderson doesn’t sign with an agen that he expected h back with the Cor next season.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Sports Editor: David R. Hen E-mail: sports@dailytexanon Phone: (512) 232-2210 www.dailytexanonline.com
T HE DAILY T EXAN
Game 1: Texas 3, UTSA 2; Game 2: Texas 6, UTSA 1
Timely hitting leads Texas to doubleheader sweep By Lena Price Daily Texan Staff After securing a solid five-run lead in game two of a doubleheader against UTSA on Thursday, Texas cleared its bench and every player made it onto the field. Sophomore pitch hitter Shelby Savony, who doesn’t normally see much playing time, was one of the major reasons why the Longhorns went on
to win the game 6-1. Savony hit a three-score home run on her first at bat in the fourth, kick-starting the offense for Texas. “I usually get about one at bat a game,” Savony said. “So I was just trying to get some runs on the board for the team. That was my good pitch so I was going for it.” Texas (27-16, 11-6 Big 12) also defeated UTSA (26-26) in extra innings during
the first game of the series. Texas coach Connie Clark said the team settled into both games offensively. “I don’t think we started great on either pitcher,” Clark said. “But we made offensive adjustments a little more quickly in the second game than in the first game.” Sophomore pitcher Brittany Barnhill,
SWEEP continues on page 9
Jacqueline Gilles | Daily
Desiree Williams, Kelly Melone and their teammates celebrate Texas’ 6-1 victory i second game of a doubleheader against UTSA. The Longhorns won the first gam
Horns, Bears vie for tops in Big 12
Longhorns u last home rac as final tuneu
By Chris Tavarez Daily Texan Staff Consider the Texas Invitational a dress re That’s more or less what the event will b women’s track team on Saturday. It’s important because it’s a last run-thr fore the bright lights of the Big 12 and NC door meets. The Longhorns want to make erything is perfect, but they definitely don’ give their best performance before it really The Big 12 and NCAA meets are what has been working toward all indoor and seasons. Texas coach Beverly Kearney knows ho proach this final prelude to the big meets. “It’s a tune-up meet,” Kearney said. “It for us to really tweak a few things individ With all the focus on individual races, won’t even be running any of its relays. T don’t really need much tweaking, conside Longhorns rank 12th in the 4x100-meter ond nationally in the 4x400. The team will run under its highest ran
TRACK continues on page 9
Max Scholten | Daily Texan Staff
Freshman third baseman Kevin Lusson had four hits and two RBI in the Longhorns’ 12-2 win over Texas State on Tuesday. Texas hopes its hot bats show up for a three-game series with Baylor this weekend.
Texas hopes momentum carries from midweek win into annual split series By Laken Litman Daily Texan Staff Like Texas, Baylor is trying to pull itself together. Both the Longhorns and the Bears suffered disappointing weekends but were redeemed by midweek wins. Last weekend, No. 8 Texas (3011-1, 12-8-1 Big 12) lost two and
A Texas pole vaulter tries to clear the bar at the Texas Twilight invitational on April 18. The Longhorns will compete against a bevy of Olympians on Saturday at the Texas Invitational.
tied one against No. 16 Kansas State. No. 17 Baylor (26-17, 10-10 Big 12) experienced its first conference sweep of the season courtesy of No. 9 Oklahoma. Ironically enough, earlier in the season, the Longhorns swept the Sooners when they came to Austin, and the Bears won their series against the Wildcats.
This is further proof that as the regular season winds down, it is really anyone’s game in the Big 12. Right now, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Baylor and Missouri have very similar records, averaging at about 10-10. The Longhorns and Bears start
BASEBALL continues on page 9
WEEKEND: No. 8 Texas (3011-1) vs. No. 17 Baylor (26-17) WHERE: UFCU Disch-Falk Field (today); Baylor Ballpark (Saturday, Sunday.) WHEN: 8 p.m., today; 6:30 p.m., Saturday; 1:30, Sunday ON AIR: TV- ESPNU (today); Radio-AM 1300 The Zone
Paul Chouy | Daily
Freshman Stacey-Ann Smith prepares to han the baton at the Texas Twilight invitational on
Former world champ, Olympians headline m By Jordan Godwin Daily Texan Staff The rain may have been earlier this week, but a storm of talent will hit Austin on Saturday for the Texas Invitational. Former world champion Tyson Gay will compete at Mike A. Myers Stadium on Saturday. Gay signed up to run the 400 meters, so he won’t be showcasing his blazing 100-meter dash speed, but he’ll have plenty of competition. Fellow U.S. Olympian Wallace Spearmon, who finished with third in the 200 dash in Beijing before being disqualified for stepping out of his lane, will run the 400. Darold Williamson, an Olympic gold medalist in the 4x400 relay at the 2004 Athens games, will also compete, along with his teammate from that relay, Kelly Willie. “They’ve got the U.S. Championships around the corner, and they’re trying to get ready,” said Bubba Thornton, Texas’ head coach who also commanded the U.S. track and field team last summer. But don’t head home once that race is over. Less than an hour after the one-
“Here in Austin, the Olympian presence will elevate so of our guys’ performances, no doubt.”
— Bubba Thorn Texas head track co
four collegians competing alongside another Olympian, you’d better bring your popcorn. Texas’ Tevan Everett and Jacob Hernandez will play host to a fierce pool of competitors. Chris Gowell of Baylor leads the pack of NCAA runners out to beat the two-time national champion Hernandez. The Olympian in that race will be Sudanese-born American Lopez Lomong. Seen on TV carrying the American flag at the 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony, Lomong specializes in the 1,500 but also placed fifth at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 800 run. Hernandez placed ninth at the trials.
will compete in California ford’s Cardinal Invitational. K er, Logan Gonzalez and Patri will compete in the 1,500. Jak and Rob Wetzel will run the 3, plechase, and Victor Gras wil 5,000. “Those guys need to get thei al qualifying times, and it’s a go because the conditions are alway Thornton said. “But here in Au Olympian presence will elevate our guys’ performances, no do
SATURDAY: Texas Invitation
WHERE: Mike A. Myers Stad