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A close-up look at East Austin Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Heisman Race 2009

Serving the University of Texas at Austin community since 1900

First response urgently cares

Tamir Kalifa | Daily Texan Staff

EMS paramedic Chebon Tiger carries a patient out of an ambulance and into St. David’s Hospital on Saturday night. “Picking people up all the time, moving people around, it can be dangerous,” Tiger said. “It’s a lot of responsibility.”

A paramedic’s chance arrives when ‘time is of the essence’ ALONG FOR THE RIDE By Bobby Longoria When seconds determine the difference between life and death, AustinTravis County Emergency Medical Services paramedics respond with urgency in providing pre-hospital care to patients, while keeping cool, level heads. As trained medical-care professionals, EMS paramedics serve as an initial emergency response when time is of the essence and when emergencyroom care is not readily available. They tread on to ensure public health and safety, sometimes working through whole days without rest.

Amid the growing excitement and anxiety surrounding the UT football game Saturday night, EMS paramedics Chebon Tiger and Rebekah Moden stood alert downtown, waiting for a call. “We are paid for availability ... We have to do so many different things,” Tiger said. “We are there with the training. If we don’t help [the patients], nobody is going to help them. We have to separate ourselves emotionally from it long enough to do our job.” Within five minutes of beginning their first 12-hour shift together at 7 p.m., Tiger and Moden were dispatched to the Frank Erwin Center, where a man had passed out during a graduation ceremony. The center’s in-house EMS unit provided initial care for the man, and Tiger and Moden continued it upon their arrival by checking his vital signs, in-

cluding blood sugar, blood pressure and blood-cell carbon dioxide levels. While transporting the man to the hospital, Tiger drove the ambulance while Moden remained with the patient in the back, keeping track of his vitals and comforting him during the journey. After transferring the man to the hospital’s ER, Tiger and Moden walked back to the ambulance with a stretcher and paperwork in hand as the man waved goodbye. “We are going to show [our patients] that we care. We are going to go out of our way to do whatever we can to help them out,” Moden said. “We are not there just doing a job — we care about them.” Austin-Travis County EMS has approximately 400 paramedics spread more than 38 available ambulances

Éric Ou | Daily Texan Staff

Richard Flores, an associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts, is one of the members of an advising committee that must help Dean Randy Diehl decide where budget cuts will be made. tation with department chairs, trimmed $5 million off the college’s budget. Those changes will take effect Sept. 1, 2010. “For ‘10 to ‘11, [the $5 million] will definitely result in fewer lecturers and graduate students,” said Jamie Southerland, assistant dean of business affairs, of the first round of cuts.





Budget cuts not to derail construction By Lena Price Daily Texan Staff Plans to construct the new $100 million Liberal Arts building are on track, despite a flat University budget and reallocations that could lead to lecturer cuts within the college. The college will have to reallocate a total of $3.8 million in recurring funds to partially finance the building. Individual departments will have the final say on where the money comes from, but the reallocations will likely result in the elimination of some lecturer and assistant instructor positions, as well as changes to foreign language requirements. The 200,0000-square-foot building will contain 23 classrooms, offices and a study space for the college’s 14,000 students. If the UT Board of Regents approves the project in May, construction will begin in the spring of 2011 and should be completed by the summer of 2013. Steindam Hall, located near the East Mall, will be torn down to create a space for the building. Dan Slesnick, associate dean of Research, Facilities and Information Technology, said now is the optimal time to move construction plans forward because the college has used all of its available space. “Trying to find space for offices, graduate students and class-

rooms is almost all that I do,” Slesnick said.

Budget Issues Discussion about the new building began under the college’s previous administration, and current dean Randy Diehl has identified the project as one of his top priorities. Anthropology chair Samuel Wilson, who has served on liberal arts building committees since the mid-1990s, said the college predicted it would run out of space almost 20 years ago. “It’s a hard time to do this, but we don’t have very many options,” Wilson said. “It would be impossible to start and then start again later. We don’t have any kind of budget leeway.” In addition to the money needed to fund the building, the college will have to find $7 million to fund targeted faculty merit pay increases and 49 new faculty positions, goals set by University President William Powers. “The building always gets thrown in with discussions of the budget reallocations,” Slesnick said. “The reality is that we would be having these discussions regardless of whether or not the building was an issue.”

BUILDING continues on page 2

AMBULANCE continues on page 2

Liberal Arts to trim budget again By Hudson Lockett Daily Texan Staff After completing a first wave of budget reallocations this fall that included layoffs to non-tenured faculty and changes to foreign language curriculums, a committee of 10 faculty members appointed by Liberal Arts Dean Randy Diehl is taking the lead in deciding the next round of cuts. The cuts will be made over the span of three to five years, starting with the 2011-2012 academic year, said Richard Flores, associate dean for academic affairs at the college. Final approval of the Academic Planning Advisory Committee’s recommendations, which will be released late next semester, will rest with Diehl. With fewer donor contributions, a flat state budget and fewer endowment funds being given to the University, officials in the College of Liberal Arts are looking at how to cut $8 million from their budget to pay for University priorities like faculty and staff merit pay. The first round of cuts, which were decided by Diehl in consul-


The advisory committee will recommend to Diehl late this spring how and where to make the additional $8 million in budget cuts over the next five years. Flores, who sits on the committee but does not have a vote, declined to say which areas within the college the panel was currently looking at. The group

will not make any recommendations until it has reviewed every area of the college completely, he said. “What’s inevitable is that cuts will be made,” Flores said. “Where, we don’t know.” Rhetoric and writing professor Davida Charney, a member of the committee, said that since the start of the semester, the group has met weekly to learn about staffing and budgeting at the college and departmental levels. She said the group is reviewing information including how many credit hours students earn in each department, the faculty and staff who teach them and how each department manages its graduate programs. The committee will begin meeting with departments and other units in the college as it gets closer to making recommendations in the spring, but its main function is not to be a conduit of information for the college, Charney said. The other members of the

BUDGET continues on page 2

Jordy Wagoner | Daily Texan Staff

Human development and family sciences freshman Maria Patino and grants and contracts specialist Meghan Thomson work in close quarters in the Population Research Center.

Tuition increase adds to available student aid By Viviana Aldous Daily Texan Staff One week after a University committee recommended a nearly 4-percent tuition increase per year over the next two years, it is still unclear how need-based financial aid would be affected if the increase were implemented. The Tuition Policy Advisory Committee, which is composed of four student leaders, five faculty members and three non-voting advisory members, recommended tuition be increased by 3.95 percent per year over the next two years. Though an increase would raise the cost of attendance, it would also increase the amount of money available for aid, said Tom Me-

lecki, director of student financial services. About 20 percent of each resident student’s tuition is set aside for funding financial aid, as the Texas Education Code mandates. More than $2 million would be added to available aid if an increase were implemented, he said. Including a $65 per-semester fee for the construction of the new Student Activity Center, the increase translates to about $240 more in tuition each semester next year for each undergraduate. He said it is difficult to know how financial aid will be affected if tuition is increased. The

AID continues on page 2


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AmbulAnce: Quick

dispatches increase effective responses From page 1 dispatched from 20 stations. According to its 2008 annual report, Austin-Travis County EMS dispatched units to 116,897 medical emergencies, special events and rescue and tactical operations. On average, ambulances were dispatched within 65 seconds of a call, and the time elapsed between the moment an incident occurs and the point when a patient arrives at the hospital was, on average, 36 minutes and 13 seconds. “You are never really off duty. You are just not at work,” said Millie Zapata, the commander of field operations, who checks in with paramedics across the county during her 24-hour shift. “Being a paramedic is not for everybody. It’s not a controlled environment — you never know what you are going to get into.” Around 10:30 p.m., a call was made from Shiner’s Saloon downtown, where a woman had fallen over a ledge and cut her head. Tiger and Moden quickly jumped into the ambulance, sounded their sirens and were inside the crowded bar attending to the woman within minutes. In the hysteria of the last second of the UT game, Tiger and Moden led the woman to the ambulance, where they cleaned her head wound and assessed her other injuries, including a potentially broken wrist, which was swelling and showed signs of internal bleeding. Tiger and Moden said they often face the obstacle of bystanders who can inadvertently hinder patient care. They said the biggest danger they face are highspeed vehicles that pass by only feet away from them as they re-

spond to highway accidents. Tiger said he has encountered a number of deaths and the variety of emotions caused by them while on the job. But Tiger said that in any situation, paramedics persevere, such as during an incident last month in which a 2-year-old boy showed no pulse for up to 14 minutes after drowning. Tiger and assisting paramedics were able to the revive the boy, who lived, even though his heart had stopped six times. Between calls, Tiger and Moden wait at the station, filling out paperwork from calls, watching TV and talking with each other. Three sheetless bunk beds are housed in the station for quick naps, Moden said. She said the most stressful aspect of the job is not necessarily the type of calls received, but rather the pressure that it places on her personal life. After working days on end, she returns home to her fiance, but often her personal time is disrupted by the need to sleep for another day on the job. Tiger said TV shows have a tendency to romanticize the details of the job and typically pack a career’s worth of events into just 30 minutes. He said EMS units respond to everything from minor events such as a person stubbing their toe to emergency situations with multiple lives at stake. The stress of the job has made him wary of his children’s safety, Tiger said, resulting in his overprotectiveness. “It’s a tough world out there. A lot of people are insulated from the emergencies that happen,” Tiger said. “You are thankful for the ones you can save, pray for the ones you can’t and try to learn something from everybody — every one of them.”

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

building: College saves project start-up costs From page 1 The construction of the Liberal Arts building is considered the second phase of the Student Activity Center, which is already under construction and should open in the spring of 2011. By grouping the Liberal Arts Building with the Student Activity Center, the college avoids paying a separate set of start-up costs that would come with a new project. Susan Floyd, an administrative assistant in the French and Italian department, said she opposes cuts to lecturer teaching funds in order to finance the building. “It seems like the building is coming from the overall desire for the University to raise its ranking,” Floyd said. “I think it’s at the expense of the faculty, staff and undergraduate education in the college.”

Space Crunch The Population Research

Center, a sociology unit split between Burdine Hall and six floors of the Main Building, would be one of the primary departments impacted by the new building. Robert Hummer, former director of the center, said the program has outgrown its current space and that the cramped facilities can be detrimental to the caliber of work that the research and graduate students produce. “The quality of our faculty does not match the quality of our facilities,” Hummer said. The average liberal arts faculty member has about 140 square feet of space. In the Asian studies department, each faculty member has approximately 80 square feet of space. “We’ve become the poster child to illustrate the space crunch,” said Asian studies chairman Joel Brereton. “It is true that all of our offices are occupied, and some of them are

Aid: Funding still falls short, according to students From page 1 ability to provide aid is determined by both the cost of attending the University and by the resources families can contribute to paying those costs. “If the economy picks up and families are better to offer somewhat larger family contributions, that’s part of the equation, too,” Melecki said. “It’s not just the cost of attending, but it’s also what families can produce. We’ll know more about where families are at in April after families have filed FAFSA forms.” The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, takes salaries, children, assets and other factors into account when calculating an Expected Family Contribution, or the amount the government thinks a family is able to contribute toward a college education. The amount of aid available also depends on how much the state and federal governments are

willing to provide for grants, including the TEXAS Grant and the Federal Pell Grant, Melecki said. “Given what’s going on in the economy now, I would strongly recommend every student file one of those FAFSA forms so we can see what a family can kick in toward college cost,” he said. About 53 percent of undergraduate students and about 40 percent of graduate students receive need-based financial aid, Melecki said. But some students, including social work senior Elizabeth Ender, say they have not received enough need-based financial aid, even though they filed a FAFSA. Ender works two jobs, as an on-campus resident assistant and as a psychology lab research assistant, to help pay for her tuition. She said her jobs are affecting her grades. “It’s a tough situation,” said Ender. “Obviously, it would suck if they raised tuition, but it sounds like if they don’t, educa-

From page 1 panel are professors Thomas Tweed in religious studies, Brian Roberts in government, James Garrison in English, Jacqueline Jones in history, Wilson Geisler in psychology, Johnny Butler in sociology, Nora England in linguistics, J. P. Olivelle in Asian studies

and John Kappelman Jr. in the department of anthropology. Geography professor William Doolittle said the makeup of the committee is fair and includes three faculty members that he would have recommended. Doolittle was interim chair for the department during the summer and said the com-

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tion will be affected in the long run. I’m on the fence, but either way, it sucks.” Without a tuition increase, the University would face budget shortfalls of more than $17 million during the 2010-11 school year and more than $14 million the following year, according to the committee’s recommendations. The committee does not make decisions or recommendations about how the budget, aside from tuition, should be handled. But cutting the budget by more than $17 million could result in reductions in course availability, staff, equipment and academic and student-support services, said Kevin Hegarty, the committee’s co-chair and UT’s vice president and chief financial officer. “Obviously, there’s never enough financial aid to go around to everybody,” Hegarty said. “But we would hope to protect the people in greatest need from the effect of the tuition increase.”

Volume 110, Number 129 25 cents

CONTACT US Main Telephone: (512) 471-4591 Editor: Jillian Sheridan (512) 232-2212 Managing Editor: Stephen Keller (512) 232-2217 managingeditor@ News Office: (512) 232-2207 Web Office: (512) 471-8616 Sports Office: (512) 232-2210 Life & Arts Office: (512) 232-2209 Photo Office: (512) 471-8618 Retail Advertising: (512) 471-1865 Classified Advertising: (512) 471-5244 The Texan strives to present all information fairly, accurately and completely. If we have made an error, let us know about it. Call (512) 232-2217 or e-mail

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budget: Regents have to approve salary changes



little more than closet-sized.” The department is currently housed in the Will C. Hogg building, but its instructors and teaching assistants are spread out across the campus. History graduate student Robert Whitaker shares his Burdine office with four other teaching assistants. He said sharing a space isn’t usually a problem because not everyone is in the office at the same time. Rob Kohn, Germanic studies assistant instructor, said the office he shares with four other people can feel cramped, especially when he needs to hold office hours. “It’s difficult to speak with students while other instructors are in the same room researching,” Kohn said. “It’s hard to avoid disrupting someone. But I don’t think it makes sense to construct a new building if there won’t be enough graduate students to fill it.”

The Daily Texan

Right now, PPD is looking for men and women for a post-surgical pain relief research study. The surgery is performed by a board-certified oral surgeon, and managed through Austin Oral Surgery Associates by James R. Fricke, Jr. DDS, MSD. Financial compensation is provided upon study completion and the surgery is performed at no cost. For information, call




mittee faced the “almost impossible task” of finding enough places to make the necessary cuts when most of the liberal arts budget goes to faculty salaries. The salaries cannot be changed without approval from the Board of Regents. “It’s not big enough to represent every single unit, but I would say it’s representative of the faculty,” Charney said of the makeup of the committee.



The real world’s gonna eat you alive. Thank you Stephen.


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Director of Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jalah Goette Retail Advertising Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Brad Corbett Account Executive/Broadcast Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carter Goss Campus/National Sales Consultant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joan Bowerman Assistant to Advertising Director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C.J. Salgado Student Advertising Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kathryn Abbas Student Advertising Manager. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ryan Ford Acct. Execs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lauren Aldana, Anupama Kulkarni, Ashley Walker, Natasha Moonka . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Taylor Blair, Tommy Daniels, Jordan Gentry, Meagan Gribbin, Darius Meher-Homji Classified Clerks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Teresa Lai Special Editions, Editorial Adviser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Elena Watts Web Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Danny Grover Special Editions, Student Editors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kira Taniguchi Graphic Designer Interns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Thomas, Lisa Hartwig Senior Graphic Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Felimon Hernandez The Daily Texan (USPS 146-440), a student newspaper at The University of Texas at Austin, is published by Texas Student Media, 2500 Whitis Ave., Austin, TX 78705. The Daily Texan is published daily except Saturday, Sunday, federal holidays and exam periods, plus the last Saturday in July. Periodical Postage Paid at Austin, TX 78710. News contributions will be accepted by telephone (471-4591) or at the editorial office (Texas Student Media Building 2.122). For local and national display advertising, call 471-1865. For classified display and national classified display advertising, call 471-1865. For classified word advertising, call 471-5244. Entire contents copyright 2009 Texas Student Media.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

T he Daily Texan

Chinese school stampede kills eight in stairway

Tony Dejak | Associated Press

The hearse carrying the body of inmate Kenneth Biros leaves the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility after his execution Tuesday in Lucasville, Ohio. He was executed with the first U.S. lethal injection using a single drug, a longer but supposedly less painful method than previous executions.

Ohio starts one-drug executions By Andrew Welsh-Huggins The Associated Press LUCASVILLE, Ohio — Ohio executed a killer Tuesday by performing the nation’s first lethal injection using a single drug, a supposedly less painful method than previous executions that require three drugs. Kenneth Biros was pronounced dead at 11:47 a.m. Tuesday, about 10 minutes after one dose of thiopental sodium began flowing into his veins at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. The U.S. Supreme Court had rejected his final appeal two hours earlier. Experts predicted the thiopen-

tal sodium would take longer to kill the 51-year-old Biros than the conventional three-drug cocktail, but the 10 minutes it apparently took him to die was about the usual length of time, even under the method previously used by Ohio and still used by most other death penalty states. Biros killed 22-year-old Tami Engstrom near Warren, Ohio in 1991 after offering to drive her home from a bar, then scattered her body parts in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Before dying Tuesday, he apologized for his crime and thanked his friends and relatives for supporting him.

The victim’s mother, sister and brother applauded as the warden announced the time of death. “Rock on,” Debi Heiss, Tami’s sister, said as the curtains were drawn for the coroner to check on Biros. “That was too easy.” The execution team tried for several minutes to find usable veins, including inserting needles several times in both arms, before eventually completing the process on his left arm after about 30 minutes. After the chemical was injected at 11:37 a.m., Biros’ chest heaved up and down several times, and he moved his head a couple of times over about two minutes before his

body stopped moving. Prisons director Terry Collins said the team took as much time as needed, and he considered the process problem-free. Ohio overhauled its procedure after a failed attempt to execute Romell Broom, a procedure halted by Gov. Ted Strickland in September. Executioners tried for two hours to find a suitable vein for injection, hitting bone and muscle in as many as 18 needle sticks that Broom, 53, said were very painful.

By Christopher Bodeen The Associated Press BEIJING — It was raining hard, and the hundreds of children leaving their evening classes raced down the narrow stairway closest to their dormitory. Somehow, someone stumbled — and the ensuing crush of bodies left eight children dead and eight others seriously wounded. Television footage showed a small pool of blood on one of the landings of the five-story building shortly after Monday night’s stampede, which raised new concerns about safety in China’s education system. One student told state media that the tangle of people reached as high as the third floor. By Tuesday morning, students again were using the stairs again as classes resumed after a moment of silence, China Central Television reported. The stampede in Xiangxiang city, Hunan province, once again exposed how China’s schools are packed with too many students but are built with little thought or concern for their safety. The private Yucai Middle School had been considered one of the city’s best. More than 400 students were rushing out of Monday’s evening study session when some lost their footing in the 4-footwide stairwell, CCTV said. Xinhua said the building had four exits, but most students were

taking the closest stairway to their living quarters because of the heavy rain. Seven boys and one girl, aged 11 to 14, were killed. Eight had serious injuries. One student told the staterun Xinhua News Agency that two boys had intentionally blocked students near the bottom of the stairwell. “Someone shouted at them, and they let us through, but they played the trick again at the staircase leading to the first floor, and someone stumbled,” the report quoted the unidentified student as saying. The stampede was among the deadliest crushes in a school since 2002, when 21 middle school students in northern China died after a railing collapsed as hundreds of students funneled down a darkened staircase after evening classes. Evening sessions are considered essential if a student wants to advance in China’s competitive education system, where it is necessary to pass a test to enter high school. The local government in Xiangxiang, 720 miles south of Beijing, said the city education bureau chief had been fired over his “leadership responsibility” for Monday’s accident, while the school’s principal and chairman were detained as part of an investigation. Phone calls to the school’s administrative offices Tuesday were not answered or returned.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009



Our holiday wish list: what we want

From the Texas Legislature • We would really love to get this fantastic university education without having to worry about budget cuts and tuition increases. We know giving money sometimes seems a bit impersonal for the holiday season, but truth be told, increased funding for the University would be perfect for the occasion. It’s been a while since we’ve seen adequate funding, and we’ve had to make up for it by cutting resources and paying more. Setting aside some money for future tier-one colleges is promising, but allocating more funds to the campuses you’ve been forgetting is a big item on our list. • While you’re at it, you can help universities help themselves by allowing public universities in the state to grant domestic partner benefits. The provisions in the Texas Family Code hinder universities from offering domestic partner benefits to attract and maintain world-class professors. Without these benefits, public Texas universities are at a disadvantage and losing potential professors to private universities and public universities in other states. Since you’ve already heard public university administrations express their desire to offer these benefits, you know this is on everybody’s wish list. It’s time to make it happen.

From the University Administrators • Since the Gender Equity Report came out last year, you’ve done a good job working to close the gap between male and female professors. But there’s so much more to the report than the number of male and female professors and the difference in their wages. Among some of the concerns female professors have, sexual harassment, underrepresentation in departmental leadership and reluctancy to focus on family for fear of not attaining tenure status. These problems need more than a female hiring increase to be solved. Working with female professors to address these inequities, along with the female faculty and pay equity you’re nobly pursuing, will create a more welcoming environment. The quality of education is sure to improve with it. • The emphasis you’re putting on research and graduate student recruitment is certainly beneficial to improving the University’s ranking in publications that put so much stress on those categories, but many of us undergraduates can’t help feeling left out in the process. We know the economy is down, but so far, you’ve targeted an overwhelming number of undergraduate-intensive areas as the first to go to the chopping block. Foreign languages, liberal arts, adjunct professors and teachers in undergraduate business courses have all been cut while you attempt to attract graduate students with financial incentives and give bonuses to certain research-heavy fields. We know those things are important, but the 38,000 promising undergraduates at this University are important, too. Telling us to bear the tough times while you give targeted raises is disheartening. We hope you take our concerns as seriously as we do.

A wise choice for commencement speaker the entertainment world but also was revolutionary in raising awareness By Anna Russo of HIV/AIDS. Daily Texan Columnist Harden’s career has been filled with productions that involve a healthy amount of social commentary. Even The announcement of the 2010 grad- the lackluster political satire “Ameriuation commencement speaker is caus- can Dreamz,” in which she played the ing more criticism than the University probably anticipated. Several people I have talked to are disappointed that Marcia Gay Harden will speak at the May graduation ceremony. Harden was the first UT alum to be awarded Harden may not an Oscar and recently received a Tony have led a country for best actress in “God of Carnage.” Critics claim that, although she has or outlawed achieved a lot in the world of enterdiscrimination tainment, graduates would benefit more from a speech by a more promagainst women, inent person involved in improvbut she has worked ing the world outside of entertainment — that Harden’s wisdom is not to change the valuable enough. world in her First of all, Harden is working to improve the world outside the world own way. of entertainment. Most recently, she served as the Godmother of the Carnival Dream Ship, a ship that raises money and awareness for St. Jude’s children hospital. She also is an avid volunteer for First Lady, raised questions about relithe Red Cross and participates as gious tolerance and discrimination in a spokesperson in their advocacy our current system of government. The criticism that her wisdom is not campaigns. Furthermore, critics are underesti- valuable enough is the most naive. mating the impact entertainment can Many men and women of excellence have on the outside world. Case in have graduated from the University, point, Harden acted in Tony Kush- each one of them with wisdom in their ner’s original production of “Angels in own field: political wisdom, business America,” a play that not only rocked wisdom, science wisdom, engineering

• We know plenty of students are getting ready to run for leadership positions during the spring semester, especially in Student Government. We can only hope for an election season free of scandals, closed-door endorsements and secret networks. To those of you who are planning to run in or manage the election: Don’t let us down again. Last year’s election had one of the highest levels of student participation our campus has seen, with an unprecedented number of candidates and impressive voter turnout. It should have been a democratic victory, but it was tainted by secret, unscrupulous campaigning. This year, give the student body an equally energetic campaign season, but without the puppet strings. • Above all, we wish for all our fellow students to have happy and successful careers while at the University. We hope you will stay informed about all of these topics and develop opinions that will help you participate in discussion about what matters in our tight-knit University community. We hope to hear students talking about these issues in the Union, classrooms and administration offices all around campus. After all, understanding the issues is the first step to improving conditions at the University and ultimately enhancing your experience here. — Happy holidays from the editorial board

UT needs to eat right — in every sense of the word The way we approach food — what we eat and how we eat it — is a reflection of our culture and of ourselves as participants in that culture. As Americans, and more directly as members of the UT community, the time has come to critique our current method, because it is failing in both moral and physical terms. The go-to destination to eat on campus, the food court at the Texas Union, should positively reflect our values and traditions. The facts are clear: It doesn’t. Walk into the Union like the thousands of UT students who do each day, and you’ll find what has become the norm in America, fast food chains adjacent to fast food chains. This fast food society is an ephemeral flare in human history. We’ve never had such immediate access to the last step of the food process before. We’ve never purchased food so cheaply and carelessly. And given the ecologically exploitive manner in which the process unfolds, we’ll never have it this way again. The college student, strapped for cash and seeking out the best deal, is trapped into going along for the ride. The United States subsidizes agricultural products in the name of price stabilization. Although that declared purpose has remained the same since the Great Depression, the actual policies have shifted dramatically over time. Now, the subsidies are used to help the U.S. flood international markets and to line the pockets of a few agribusiness conglomerates like Cargill and Monsanto who domestically dominate, in a monopolistic fashion, the food industry. The shocking figures demonstrate a failure of

our governing system. Small cabals of producers lobby (bribe) lawmakers to subsidize particular crops that will benefit their agendas. Four crops — corn, wheat, cotton and soybeans — account for 90 percent of all federal subsidies to agriculture. Corn, which is used for feed in concentrated animal feeding operations and for producing an array of processed products like highfructose corn syrup, has become the backbone of our fast food society. Between 1995 and 2006, corn growers were rewarded $56.2 billion in federal subsidies. This preferential treatment explains the dollar menu and how a burger can cost less than a salad. But the price on the menu board is counterfeit. Taxpayers are paying for the subsidies outright and, perhaps most importantly, the negative externalities of the food system are not being taken into account. According to a study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, medical spending for obesity has increased 87 percent in the past decade, reaching $147 billion in 2008. Just because 127 million American adults are eating enough to be overweight does not mean that they are receiving proper nutrition. Type II diabetes amongst youths is reaching epidemic proportions, and our healthcare system is structurally incapable of addressing the source of the problem because it is centered upon treatment and not prevention. The environmental costs of our fast food process are disregarded entirely. Corn harvests require ever-increasing amounts of pesticides and fertilizers that eventually seep into waterways, degrading aquifers and creating large dead zones

wisdom, performing arts wisdom. None of these types of wisdom are alone in contributing to our culture and society today — all of them have something to add. So why is wisdom from a person who has attained excellence in the performing arts any less important than other forms of wisdom? While a Supreme Court justice, a global leader or a president might be a more prominent person for giving a commencement speech, it is important to not confuse name recognition and political status with the amount of wisdom a person can provide. Harden may not have led a country or outlawed discrimination against women, but she has worked to change the world in her own way. Through her work with the Red Cross and Carnival, she encourages people to help others. Through her theatrical work, she has helped to raise awareness of societal issues. Harden will also be easy for the majority of the graduating class to relate to. She is a woman from humble beginnings who has forged a successful career while married with three kids. Harden is a great choice for a commencement speaker. She is a realistic role model for graduates, showing them that you can achieve excellence in your life with a degree from UT and that, no matter what field you end up in, you can work to change the world in your own way. Russo is a government and women’s and gender studies senior.

Be a Texan columnist


From the student body

By Calvin Sloan Daily Texan Columnist

Editor in Chief: Jillian Sheridan Phone: (512) 232-2212 E-mail: Associate Editors: Jeremy Burchard David Muto Dan Treadway Lauren Winchester

in oceans like the 8,543 square-mile giant off the Gulf. Corn is also a thirsty crop, demanding a large amount of water in a world where water tables are falling. The long-term, or even short to mid-term viability of these prolific harvests is in serious question. Furthermore, the moral repercussions of a fast food culture, with its malicious treatment of manual laborers and animals alike, has broader impacts upon our society as a whole. In the documentary “Food Inc.,” one of the leading protagonists of the film, an organic farmer who raises chickens, pigs and cattle in a humane manner, says, “A culture that views a pig as a pile of protoplasmic inanimate structure to be manipulated by whatever creative design the human can foist on that critter will probably view individuals within its community and other cultures in the community of nations with the same type of disdain, disrespect, and controlling-type mentality.” If the University wishes to maintain the truth behind its slogan — if what starts here is going to keep changing the world — its students are going to have to be prepared, both mentally and physically. The food court stands as an impediment to both of these goals. The physical side effects of eating fast food are well-known. The mental effects are less noticeable yet should not be overlooked. Is stuffing an already full trashcan with a plastic Taco Bell bag that contains three extra sauce packages and some leftover Styrofoam packaging productive to a progressive learning environment? The answer is clearly no. We can, and must, do better. Sloan is a government senior.

Have someting to say? Say it in print — and to the entire campus. The Daily Texan Editorial Board will begin accepting applications for columnists and cartoonists on Jan. 18. We’re looking for talented writers and artists to provide as much diversity of opinion as possible. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to apply. Writing for the Texan is a great way to get your voice heard. Our columnists’ and reporters’ work is often syndicated nationwide, and every issue of the Texan is a historical document archived at the Center for American History. Barack Obama may not be a frequent reader, but a copy of the Texan runs across UT President William Powers’ desk each day, and the opinions on this page have great potential to affect University policy. It’s no rare occurence for Texan staff members to recieve feedback from local or state officials or to be contacted by a reader whose life was changed by an article. In such instances, the power of writing for the Texan becomes real, motivating our staffers to provide the best public service possible. If interested, please come to the Texan office at 25th and Whitis streets to complete an application form and sign up for an interview time. If you have any additional questions, please contact Jillian Sheridan at (512) 232-2212 or You can be a Daily Texan columnist or cartoonist.

SUBMIT A COLUMN The Daily Texan Editorial Board welcomes guest columns. Columns must be between 500 and 700 words. Send columns to editor@ The Texan reserves the right to edit all columns for clarity and liability if chosen for publication.

RECYCLE! Please recycle this copy of The Daily Texan. Place the paper in one of the recycling bins on campus or back in the burnt-orange news stand where you found it.

FIRING LINES E-mail your Firing Lines to Letters must be more than 100 and fewer than 300 words. The Texan reserves the right to edit all submissions for brevity, clarity and liability.

LEGALESE Opinions expressed in The Daily Texan are those of the editor or the writer. They are not necessarily those of the UT administration, the Board of Regents or the Texas Student Media Board of Operating Trustees.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009



Jordan and Kelsey Walton, 8 and 10, usher congregation members into the New Hope Baptist Church at the start of a Sunday sermon. The Church is the spiritual center of the community.

photos by Tamir Kalifa

CROSSROADS quotes compiled by Tamir Kalifa & Erika Rich Al Mak, owner of the Shopper Stop Food Store, tends to customers while employee Thera “Dolphus” Williams answers his cell phone. Mak has managed the convenience store for 10 years and knows most of his customers personally.

Barbara Massington sits on her front porch overlooking the Cedar Avenue she has known for 55 years. She remembers when groundhogs crawled out of the dirt roads in front of her house and when more miles were traveled on foot than by car. The intersection of 14th Street and Cedar Avenue in East Austin has changed significantly since Massington’s childhood in the 1950s and has become another image of transition in American suburbs. The roads are paved. The Austin Metal Authority has replaced the local gas station. A convenience store opened where an arcade once stood. Pre and post-war houses were razed to build newer, modern developments. The displacement of individuals as a result of a higher cost of central living has affected the neighborhood and altered the predominantly African American community. For some, change is welcome. For others, it is devastating. Some reluctantly oblige, others try to fight it. The neighborhood that surrounds the intersection, the crossroads of the community, is struggling to find balance. But, even in the face of enormous change, the community remains strong and accepting of members both new and old. These eight photographs represent the warmth of the residents of the neighborhood. They are images of relationships, families and community that transcend race.

The intersection of East 14th Street and Cedar Avenue. in East Austin is the crossroads for the community around it. A convenience store, a welding shop, the Free Angola Capoeira Society, and a network of other businesses unify new and old members of the community outside of their homes.

Above left, Congregation members socialize in the parking lot of the New Hope Baptist Church following Sunday services. Above right, Sarah Cheatham holds her son Django at the Austin Metal Authority’s open house during the East Austin studio tour in November. “More development, that’s the biggest change,” said Brady Foster, a blacksmith at the shop. “More newer houses and more businesses have opened up and I do think it will continue to change and it will continue to change quicker.”

Bottom left, Celester Fowl and the congregation of the New Hope Baptist Church wait for the collection basket as they listen to Pastor Roy F. Jones II during Sunday morning services. Throughout the service, Jones and a chorus of singers led the church in songs that brought congregation members to their feet. Bottom center, Barbara Massington has lived in her house on Cedar Avenue since she was born 1954. “Born and raised here, I’d like to do some traveling but I’m just like Dorothy,” Massington said. “I click my heels and say ‘there is no place like home.’” Bottom right, Adam Calloway and Jason Rittman moved into their Cedar Avenue home in May 2009. “I think this is a great neighborhood,” Calloway said. “All these people have been here forever and once you get to know them they are really nice, but at first it’s kind of weird.”




Wednesday, December 9 , 2009

Charities provide warm shelters

By Molly Triece Daily Texan Staff On winter nights when temperatures drop below freezing, men and women in Austin with no place to sleep are offered services by the Cold Weather Shelter Program. Front Steps, the organization that manages the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, collaborates with The Salvation Army, the city of Austin, Capital Metro and the American Red Cross to help run the Cold Weather Shelter Program, which provides increased shelter for homeless persons in Austin on freezing nights. More than 10 locations across the city, including many local churches and the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, participate in the program. The Austin Recreation Center is also participating. Although hundreds more homeless people are served because of these efforts, long lines and a lack of availability still prevent some from receiving aid. “The city looks at it like this: You sleep outside unless it’s freezing,” said Cassidy Majestic, who said he has been homeless since childhood. “We’re used to going to abandoned buildings when it’s snowing.” Majestic said that many homeless people attempt to get arrested on freezing nights because they prefer jail over most shelters. According to a 2008 Continuum of Care report submitted by Austin’s homeless service providers, approximately 3,451 men and women in Austin are homeless and the Cold Weather Shelter Program serves hundreds of them. When students leave campus for the winter, many of the homeless do, too, looking for better spots to find enough spare change to get through the day, he said. Majestic said he wanted to see certain programs come to Austin, such as Los Angeles’ access-card program, which homeless residents enroll in to gain increased access to food, shelter and job-search services.

Michael Baldon | Daily Texan Staff

Dueo holds his dog, Lady, as he and friends relax in West Campus. Dueo has been traveling since he was 17 and recently received his GED. Once he finds somewhere safe for Lady, he wants to go to school to study commercial art. Wayne Williams, who said he has been homeless since he was 15, said finding a place to sleep was easier before the city passed an ordinance against camping on sidewalks. He said homeless people can barely sit or stand anywhere without being told to move along by the police. “They brought this ordinance up, and I went to town-hall and public-input meetings. I was very involved,” Williams said. Both he and Majestic said that even churches that once allowed the homeless to stay on their property now display “No trespassing” signs put up by the police. Amber Fogarty, a spokeswoman for Front Steps, said that the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless building operates at full capacity year-round to serve the demand

as homeless people are turned away from other shelters. “People sleep in our conference rooms, our dining rooms. We use every inch of our building,” Fogarty said. She said that even though Austin has relatively warm winters, the center always sees an influx of patrons during the city’s cold months. “It can be good for organizations such as Front Steps because we can increase awareness about what we need to help the homeless,” Fogarty said. “And this is a time of year when people are very generous to us.” Although roughing the winter months might be harder in other parts of the country, Fogarty said that isn’t an excuse to be less sympathetic to the struggle that homeless people face.

“To people who say it’s better to be homeless in Austin, I say it’s better not to be homeless at all,” Fogarty said. The First Presbyterian Church is one of Austin’s participating churches in the program. Volunteer coordinator Mary Murray said they work with Central Presbyterian Church and Shepherd of the Hills in providing shelter for women as part of the Cold Weather Shelter Program. Murray said the idea was originally implemented more than 15 years ago by various members of the Austin Interfaith organization and has grown steadily over the years. “When the weather first begins to turn cold, we’ll have a smaller group,” Murray said. “As it gets progressively colder, the crowds get larger.”

Budget report timing affects college choices By Andrew Kreighbaum Daily Texan Staff Faculty and staff on campus have heard a mix of facts and rumors about layoffs and other cuts since the summer, when it became clear to UT administrators that significant budget challenges lay ahead. Rather than a series of announcements from the top about which programs would suffer, faculty and staff on campus learned about changes within their colleges with varying degrees of speed and transparency. The variations in communication from college to college and department to department reflected a decentralized approach to decisions on the budget. The process allowed the deans of each college to decide what operations to trim in order to accommodate President William Powers’ priorities of merit pay for faculty and staff and funds to pay for new faculty hires. Employees in each college often only heard about the cost-saving measures after a decision had already been reached. Dean Randy Diehl of the College of Liberal Arts sent a memo on Aug. 20 to department chairs outlining layoffs of lecturers and teaching assistant positions and a revamped foreign language curriculum. Some chairs made great efforts to keep their employees in the loop, but many staff members did not learn about the memo’s contents until subsequent reports by The Daily Texan. Several staffers and faculty members interviewed by the Texan expressed frustration with communication about the budget. Classics professor Tom Palaima, who has a history of taking critical stances against the UT administration, was not one of them.

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“I think the administration did probably as good a job as could have been done,” Palaima said. “It wasn’t as if there was at any one point a huge infusion of exact data [about the budget] for them to work with.” UT administrators said the importance of re-allocating funds in the budget became clear as information came in from multiple sources of funding. In May, the University found out that state appropriations from the legislature would see only a slight increase. Meanwhile, the value of UT endowments was decreasing at an alarming rate, meaning smaller payouts to the campus for years to come. Palaima said he doubts the University will have the funds to hire star professors away from struggling rivals and does not think the new Liberal Arts building, planned for construction in 2010, should be a priority for the college. But he said it was impossible to make blanket statements about administrators’ handling of the cuts. “If you have a categorical answer that it’s terrible, it’s good or it’s right, or it’s wrong, you don’t know what you’re talking about,” Palaima said. James Rubarth-Lay, an ITS employee whose position was eliminated this fall, said there is significant disagreement with priorities, like new faculty hires and the new Liberal Arts building. “The University has not been forthcoming about how these budget cuts are going to affect the University overall,” he said. “We’re finding out about the cutbacks in places like the McCombs School of Business and College of Communications, not in big-picture announcements by the administration.” Rubarth-Lay, a member of the Texas State Employee Union, said that a decentralized approach to budget cuts was the best process but that staff members have been left in the dark by many deans and program directors. “So many employees I’ve talked to are afraid more cuts are coming and unsure who will be affected,” he said. “They’re keeping their heads down. They are afraid to say anything for fear that they’re next.” Staff Council vice-chairwoman Jacqueline Dana, an academic advisor in the sociology department, said the council would like to see additional communication more frequently from the administration about decisions that could impact staff jobs. “It would be nice to be part of that conversation instead of being told, ‘Guess what, this is what we decided,’” she said. Even if staff leaders and administrators arrived at the same plan that would have otherwise been used, they would feel more included in the process, she said. Months after a July e-mail that laid out the budgetary challenges facing the University this year, Powers appeared at a Staff Council meeting to answer questions, a move Dana said members found helpful. “In all the communications, we try to keep people as appraised as we can, given the information that we have,” Powers said. The deans were consulted on a regular basis, and in the end, they were the ones to make recommendations on budget cuts, he said. In each of those cases, Powers said, the process was consultative and included a range of stakeholders. In the Department of Information Technology Services, administrators took nearly six months to consult with employees before making a round of layoffs. The priorities laid out by the administration should not have been a surprise for anyone at UT, he said. The President’s Policy Advisory Council met throughout 2007 and 2008 before making its recommendations: improving faculty salaries and support as well as research leave, raising staff salaries, stipends for graduate students and scholarships for undergraduates. Powers said he and members of the administration will continue to meet with faculty and staff leaders as necessary to address concerns. “Institutions like this work a lot better if we talk to each other, and I think that’s been done, but we can always continue to do more of that,” he said.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sports Editor: Austin Talbert E-mail: Phone: (512) 232-2210


Heisman Race


No. 20 Butler 65 No. 13 Georgetown 72 No. 24 Vanderbilt 68 Illinois 79

Colt McCoy

Quarterback Texas

If McCoy wins the Heisman Trophy this weekend, he will become the first Longhorn quarterback to receive the award. Stephen Keller Daily Texan file photo


Ndamukong Suh Defensive Tackle Nebraska

Tim Tebow Quarterback Florida

AP photo

AP photo

Toby Gerhart Running Back Stanford

Mark Ingram Running Back Alabama

AP photo

AP photo

Minnesota 88 Toronto 94 Denver 95 Charlotte 107 Milwuakee 89 Boston 98 Sacramento 94 New Orleans 96 New Jersey 103 Chicago 101 Cleveland 109 Memphis 111 Phoenix 101 Dallas 102 Orlando 97 LA Clippers 86


McCoy will make his second appearance at the Heisman ceremony on Saturday By Michael Sherfield Daily Texan Staff While spending most of Saturday night lying on the turf of Cowboys Stadium or running for his life, Colt McCoy didn’t have too many “Heis-

man moments” of his own, although he is sure to make an appearance in another contender’s highlight package. The Texas quarterback seemed to be in the lead for college football’s most prestigious award


Horns to face familiar foes in NCAA tourney By Jordan Godwin Daily Texan Staff For Texas, it couldn’t get much easier — just repeat and advance. The Longhorns play in the NCAA Omaha Regional this weekend for a maximum of just two matches, and they can’t possibly face a team they haven’t already beaten this season. So simply repeating what they’ve done all season will earn the Longhorns a trip to the Final Four in Florida next weekend. Easy, right? “I don’t think the NCAA Tournament is ever easy or stress-free,” said head coach Jerritt Elliott. “If you get caught up in all the hype, that’s where you get in trouble.” The second-ranked Longhorns are 26-1 this season, with the only loss in the Big 12 conference play against Iowa State. For the first match in Omaha, the Longhrons will face a rival they’re very familiar with — Texas A&M. Twice this season, the Longhorns easily swept past the Aggies, but after each match, Elliott praised A&M as a challenging opponent. “A&M is tough because they have a lot of weapons in a fast offense that keeps you off-balance,” Elliott said. “We need to dig to transition a little better with our left side hitters, and that will really help us out a lot.” That came after the sweeping the Aggies in College Station on Oct. 29. This time, they’ll face Texas A&M on a neutral site in Omaha, and Elliott thinks his team has what it takes to advance. “Do we have the talent to be there? Absolutely. Do we have

a good chance? I think so,” Elliott said. “But it’s going to be decided on the court. Everybody has seen upsets.” If Texas gets past Texas A&M, they’ll face other Big 12 opponents like Nebraska or Iowa State. Nebraska will be playing just an hour from home and will undoubtedly have the home-court advantage. Cornhusker fans pack their gym with greater 10,000 attendees, and they’ll definitely make the quick trip to Omaha to root against a team wearing burnt orange. Especially after last weekend, don’t be surprised if Bo Pelini himself shows up to tell Elliott he doesn’t deserve to go to the Final Four if the Longhorns advance. But a more likely scenario is that the Longhorns will face Iowa State in the regional final. The Cyclones beat Nebraska in a close match, 3-2, but two weeks later, the Cornhuskers swept Iowa State. Both losses came by the home team, so the Longhorns aren’t anticipating an opponent just yet. Besides, they have their own wars to wage. When Elliott said that everybody has seen upsets, he might’ve been referring to the match that could’ve sent his team to the national championship last season. The Longhorns were up 2-0 over Stanford before they lost, and some of the upperclassmen still play with chips on their shoulders. “I think it’s definitely a motivation to get back,” said junior Juliann Faucette. “But it’s hard to look ahead when you just think about the road that we have to take to get there.”

Curt Youngblood | Daily Texan Staff

Sophomore middle blocker Rachael Adams jumps up to block for the Longhorns in a home game earlier this season.

heading into the Big 12 championship game, but Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh might have wrecked those hopes. The defensive tackle registered 4.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss, while coming within a second

of destroying an even bigger goal during the Longhorns 1312 win: Texas’ undefeated season and a spot in the national championship game. McCoy’s biggest mark on the game was an incompletion that

sailed out of bounds as time expired, only to have his blushes saved by a review that determined that one second remained for a winning field goal.

HEISMAN continues on page 2B

NY Islanders 2 Philadelphia 6 Montreal 4 Ottawa 1 Vancouver 2 Nashville 4 Dallas 3 Anaheim 4 F/OT


Winning streak gives Longhorns an edge, still have much to improve on By Laken Litman Daily Texan Staff To the naked eye, the No. 2 Longhorns seem perfect. With a 7-0 start, why wouldn’t anyone think that? Behind closed doors, however, lie a coach and team who understand they have a long way to go before reaching their ultimate goal in Indianapolis in March 2010. Depth has been the story of the Longhorns thus far. From the getgo, head coach Rick Barnes has said that the flow of the game can only increase as he goes 10 or 11 players deep into his bench. In their last game against Long Beach State on Monday night, Barnes played his entire 14-man roster, and the bench accounted for 61 of Texas’ total 107 points in 106 minutes on the court. In the final 11 minutes of the first half, the team’s reserves scored 20 of 31 points. “We want to continue to attack, and we want to make fatigue a factor in games,” Barnes said. “We want to try to get into people’s benches, and so it’s important that we play hard with everybody.”

Sophomore center Alexis Wangmene looks to score against Long Beach State. Wangmene has been a force off the bench for the Longhorns.

Now that they are seven games into the season, Barnes feels comfortable using all of his players — even the inexperienced. “I guarantee every one of those [younger] guys will tell you that they’re learning things that they’ve never even thought about — what goes into being a team and doing your job and being a good teammate, and the game is faster,” Barnes said. “It’s a faster game than they’ve ever played.” Throughout these first five weeks, Barnes has stressed the importance of defense, and the stats show it. Texas has limited every one of its opponents to less than 40 percent in field goal shooting. In their win against Long Beach State on Monday, Texas faced a different type of team. The 49ers, a fast-paced running team, averaging 74 points per game before facing the Longhorns. Though Texas dominated in size, every aspect of their game was tested for the first time this year.

Anne-Marie Huff Daily Texan Staff

BALBAY continues on page 4B


Texas, Alabama to collide in BCS National Title Game By Blake Hurtik Daily Texan Staff Although it took until the final second for his team to scrape by Nebraska to claim the Big 12 title, Texas coach Mack Brown wasted no time in declaring exactly what the Longhorns had accomplished. On a podium dusted with burnt orange and white confetti midfield of Cowboys Stadium on Saturday, Brown grabbed the microphone. “We’ll see you in Pasadena,” Brown said before the crowd erupted into cheers. “I’m really proud of the guys and excited about playing Alabama for the national championship.” He wanted to leave no doubt. The Longhorns’ undefeated record this season, their tradition and, most importantly, their conference affiliation ensured a spot in the BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 7, no matter how ugly the win over Nebraska. For all the talk about having a non-BCS school like TCU or Boise State make it to the title game, fans will get to see a matchup steeped in tradition when Texas and topranked Alabama collide.

You’d be hard-pressed to find two more storied programs than the Horns and the Tide. Texas has Darrell K Royal, Earl Campbell, Vince Young, four national championships and 845 alltime wins (second in history). Alabama has Bear Bryant, Lee Roy Jordan and Joe Namath, 12 national championships and 812 all-time wins (sixth). “I know that I was excited when I got to the University of Texas to go back and study the years that Coach Royal and Coach Bryant played each other and the unbelievable game for guys my age at the Orange Bowl, where Joe Namath had the quarterback sneak and [Texas’] Tommy Nobis knocked him out on the goal line,” Brown said of Texas’ 21-17 win over Alabama in 1964. “So I don’t think there could be a better matchup than Texas and Alabama.” But unlike in 1964 — when Alabama was still named national champion despite the loss to Texas — the winner this time will be guaranteed to lift the Coaches’ Trophy. Even though Texas is a threepoint underdog and is coming off

a far-less impressive win than Alabama’s 32-13 victory over Florida for the SEC title, history is on the Longhorns’ side. The teams have met up four times in bowl games, with Texas winning three and the other ending in a tie. Texas has never lost to Alabama, going 7-01 in the all-time series. If the Longhorns want to keep that streak alive, they’ll need to fix their offense. Quickly. The Huskers’ talented defensive front seven exposed Texas’ weak offensive line, sacking quarterback Colt McCoy a season-high nine times. McCoy’s fellow Heisman Trophy finalist Ndamukong Suh, a defensive tackle, looked more worthy of the award with 4.5 sacks than the quarterback. “It was one of those nights,” McCoy said. “Those guys played really tough defense all night long.” Unfortunately for Texas, Alabama has a similarly talented defense. The Tide is ranked second in the nation in total defense (241.7 yards per game) — Nebraska is ninth — and held previously topranked Florida to 13 points and 335 yards. Alabama has held nine opponents to 15 points or less.

But unlike Nebraska, the Tide actually has an offense. The Longhorns’ defense dominated the Huskers, limiting them to 106 yards and just five first downs. It will be tough to replicate those numbers against Alabama. The Tide has one of the top rushing attacks in the country, led by Heisman finalist Mark Ingram (249 carries, 1,542 yards, 15 touchdowns). Ingram, who had an abysmal game in Alabama’s close win over Auburn two weeks ago, rebounded in a big way against the Gators with 189 total yards and three touchdowns. Texas will also have to worry about quarterback Greg McElroy, who outplayed Florida’s Tim Tebow in the SEC title game. The focus for the Longhorns over the next month will be to finally put together a complete game, something Brown says Texas hasn’t done. “It’s the exciting thing to sit here at 13-0 and be disappointed in some phases each week,” Brown said. “We still haven’t put that together, and we’ll have to in that game, because Alabama’s such a great team.”




Wednesday, December 9, 2009


heisman: McCoy prefers to Raven’s quickness, speed call trophy a ‘team award’ make immediate impact Women’S BaSketBall

From page 1B

But that play, which exhibited either great awareness or great luck on McCoy’s part depending on who you ask, might have been enough to save McCoy’s chances and Texas’ season. Despite throwing three interceptions and gaining just 184 yards while suffering nine sacks, McCoy led his team on the winning drive, connecting with Jordan Shipley on a 19-yard pass that put Texas in field-goal range. Added to 30 total touch downs, 3,860 yards, the alltime wins record for a quarterback with 45 and an undefeated

team, McCoy’s chances at the trophy that eluded him last year remain strong. Both Suh and McCoy, who are joined by Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, Alabama running back Mark Ingram and Stanford running back Toby Gerhart as finalists, deflected any potential Heisman talk. McCoy refers to the trophy as a “team award� to avoid any potential distractions. “Colt is not interested in talking about [the Heisman],� said Texas head coach Mack Brown. “That’s not who he is.� Meanwhile, Suh reinvigorated his campaign, becoming the first

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defensive player since Charles Woodson to receive an invitation to New York as a finalist. “It is good to see that the Heisman voters have recognized the true impact a dominant defensive lineman like Suh can have on a football game,� said Nebraska coach Bo Pelini. McCoy recognized it too. “We’re best friends,� joked McCoy about Suh’s constant hits on him. “The guy’s a playmaker. I’m glad I’m sitting up here, because I’m not getting hit. It was that kind of game.� McCoy will get another chance to face off against another Heisman favorite next month after the trophy has been awarded. Texas will play Alabama and Ingram, who has 1,542 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on the season, for the national title on January 7th. Ingram got the better of his Heisman matchup against Tebow and the Gators before McCoy and Suh had their battle. Ingram scored three touchdowns, went more than 100 rushing yards and added a 69-yard reception as Alabama trounced No. 1 Florida 32-13. Despite its football program’s iconic status, Alabama has never had a Heisman Trophy winner. Tebow threw for 247 yards against the Tide but had a crucial interception in the end zone that all but ended the game. Stanford’s Toby Gerhart is the dark horse for the award. Statistically, he might be the most deserving, leading the nation in rushing yards (1,736) and touchdowns (26). But he did not play last weekend since the Pac-10 does not have a conference championship, and Stanford finished with a mediocre 8-4 record. The award will be announced Saturday night.

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Senior able to play her game despite not being in the starting line up By Dan Hurwitz Daily Texan Staff Coming off the bench has not stopped Brittainey Raven from being an emotional leader on the court. Whether it is chasing down an opponent on a fast break or taking a charge, Raven always gives her best effort to help her team. And if things go her way, she shows her enthusiasm. “I just do my thing and get excited and get our team going,� Raven said. Most recently, Raven showed her enthusiasm on Dec. 1 against Oral Roberts. Both teams appeared frustrated from the officiating with calls constantly benefitting the opponent in key situations. When the Longhorns drove to the basket, traveling was called. When Oral Roberts fought for the rebound, a jump ball was called. Both teams had multiple attempts to draw a charge, but for the majority of the game, neither team received the call. Then, Raven finally made sure to get her feet set and drew the foul as the Golden Eagles’ Savannah Buck went at her at full speed to the basket. The excitement of the play caused an ecstatic scream from Raven, who lay on the ground and pounded her chest with both fists. The Longhorns had already pulled away from the unranked team, and there were only five minutes remaining in the game. “I can tell at certain points in the game when we need energy, so any little thing, I just try to get us going, and I know

Senior guard Brittainey Raven has shown that she can be a major factor in the game even though she is not in the starting line up.

Lauren Gerson Daily Texan Staff

a charge is a big deal for us,� Raven said. Accustomed to starting nearly every game in her first three years as a Longhorn, Raven has begun each game of her senior year on the bench thus far as a punishment for sleeping through class earlier in the semester. Sitting on the bench, however, has not affected her game, as she is leading the Longhorns in scoring, averaging 14.8 points per game. “When I get in, I just play my game, and if I score four straight, that’s fine, and I get back on defense and do my thing on defense and just go with the flow of the game,� Raven said. Head coach Gail Goestenkors has been extremely pleased with Raven’s performance this season coming off the bench.

“Brittainey’s done a great job at using her athleticism and her quickness,� Goestenkors said. “She gets out on the break, and we’ve been able to find her.� But sometimes, Raven goes a little too fast. In Sunday’s loss to Tennessee, Raven had a fast break off a volunteer missed jump shot midway through the first half. Following a long outlet pass to Raven, her quickness caused her to force a layup too hard off the backboard, which Tennessee was able to quickly counter with a fast break and easy layup of their own. “When we go out there, we’re going to have to play at our tempo, at our level and keep the intensity level at what we’ve been playing,� Raven said. The Longhorns look to rebound from their 20-point loss against Mississippi on Dec. 16. FREE PARKING IN THE DOBIE GARAGE /ZZAV]ea$EWbV1]ZZSUS72 eeeZO\R[O`YbVSOb`SaQ][



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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Keller bids farewell to four years at the Texan threats, bank robberies, fraternity hazing, courts, Hurricane Ike, traffic accidents and everything in between. Where else would a college student get to interview President Barack Obama on the campaign trail, quiz former President Bill Clinton on the bailout, sit down with senators, personally criticize Academy Award winners and step on field at the Big 12 Championship game — not as a fan, but as a working professional? If anyone reading this has any thoughts of trying out for the paper, do it. Go to the office as soon as you get on campus next semester and talk with an editor. Even if you don’t make it, who knows? You might just rise to the top three years later. Though I’ll defect to the “dark side” next semester — the Austin American-Statesman — I will always cheer on the place I owe so much to. With that said, I have some words for many of you: The staff of yesteryear: Ramon: You helped me get into this place, and you saw potential where others didn’t. You ripped my reviews apart but made me a better writer. I owe you. Emily: You put me on senior staff, but one thing remains for certain — Vans will always be better than Chucks. Robert and my other news editors: Thanks for polishing my writing style. Priscilla: You introduced me to video journalism; hope all is well in the “family business.” Vikram: You set me on this path. Current staffers: Ana: You’re taking the helm in

By Stephen Keller Daily Texan Managing Editor Editor’s Note: This article is a Daily Texan -30- column. In the typewritten days of the newspaper industry, “-30-” denoted the end of a story. A -30- column gives graduating seniors an opportunity to reflect and speak their minds. Three and a half years ago, I took a deep breath and started down the dark, eerie stairs to the basement of the Texas Student Media building, my heart beating faster with every step. Nervously, I walked into the Life & Arts office to turn in music reviews as my tryout for The Daily Texan. The editor, unimpressed, ripped them apart and said she’d be in touch. I never got the call. Fast forward to the present — I’m no longer that nervous freshman with zero experience. I’m now a seasoned collegiate reporter with nearly four years of writing under my belt. After serving as the leader of this paper for two semesters, I will be the first to admit that the Texan isn’t perfect and never will be. We’re students, we make mistakes. But therein lies the beauty of the paper — it gives you a place to screw up, take risks, succeed and fail. I owe everything to the Texan. Through it, I have sharpened my day, month day, 2008 entertainskills in news reporting, ment writing, photography and videography. I’ve covered fires, student deaths, politics, terroristic The Daily TexanISE ERT ENT Managing DVEditor, A StephenRKeller, STUD ION! OU photos Ytook ZAT NI12 GABig at ORthe Championship game this past weekend at Cowboys Stadium.

Lauren Gerson Daily Texan Staff

uns ad irne for onl ad s

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Stephen Keller | Daily Texan Staff

Daily Texan Photo Editor May-Ying Lam sits in a shower of leftover burnt orange and white confetti following the Big XII Championship game in Dallas on Saturday. Editor’s Note: This article is a Daily Texan -30- column. In the typewritten days of the newspaper industry, “-30” denoted the end of a story. A -30- column gives departing seniors an opportunity to reflect and speak their minds. It feels appropriate that my final assignment is one of my


I will be sorry to leave but will carry all the things I learned, the experiences I had and the people I met with me whenever I shoot. May-Ying Lam has been a staff photographer, senior photographer, associate photo editor and photo editor.

balbay: Horns play the running game

Stephen Keller is a journalism senior and has worked as a senior entertainment writer, From page 1B LASSIFIEDS senior news reporter, associate news editor, associate managing editor and managing Barnes said that it’s imporeditor, while also contributing to the photo tant to play teams like Long and online video departments. Beach State at this point in the



most memorable. I am still amazed at how much past photo editors and staff passed on to me and truly helped me grow as a photographer and a person. I only hope that somewhere along the way, I passed along a grain of that knowledge to someone else.


season, especially with powerhouses like No. 11 North Carolina and No. 12 Michigan State looming in the next two weeks. “What’s really good about our schedule is that teams like Long Beach State and Texas State are up-tempo teams,” Barnes said. “I can assure you that North Carolina and Michigan State will get up and down the floor as quick or quicker than these guys. So the fact that these games are coming right here are really going to help us in terms of transition defense and getting back and matched up.” Junior guard Dogus Balbay is a big fan of the basketball running game. Monday night Balbay was quick to bring the ball up on offense and he totaled 11

assists with zero turnovers. “Dogus will tell you that a year ago, he wanted to run a whole lot more than we ran,” Barnes said. “He likes the fact that we’re really running. He’ll beat everybody down the court. He really likes it, and so the more high-paced the game is, the more comfortable he feels.” Balbay explained that he grew accustomed to the running game by playing for Turkey’s National Team. “That’s kind of my style,” Balbay said. “When I was playing in Turkey, my team was always running, and I always tried to push them to run. And that’s what we’re trying to get right now with this team, and we’re doing a much better job. I always tell the younger guys to run and get to the corner, and they are getting better at it.” The backcourt will get more help on Dec. 15, when junior

guard Jai Lucas becomes eligible. Lucas transferred from the University of Florida after his fall 2008 semester and enrolled in classes at UT last spring. He will get to play in his first game as a Longhorn against Texas Pan-American on Dec. 15. “We’ve got a great guard in Jai Lucas coming up,” said senior forward Damion James. “Things happen for a reason. He’s going to be great. He’s a great shooter, a great point guard, and he gives everybody the ball, so he’s going to do what he has to do to help us win. It’ll be fun having him out there.” As winter break nears, the Longhorns will continue to work and provide entertainment. The biggest test of the season will come in two weeks when they play North Carolina at Cowboys Stadium and Michigan State a few days later at the Frank Erwin Center.


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a tough time, but you’ll do great. David: Good luck wherever you go, but please pull your pants up. My summer and fall department heads: The odds were stacked against us, but we did it. I could always depend on you to get the job done. Caleb: See you in Pasadena. Jillian: Keep fighting and never back down to the board. Sean, Andrew: Both of you will be famous reporters one day. Erik: It’s up to you to make sure this new Web site doesn’t tank. Olivia, Thu: What would I do without y’all? Leigh: You didn’t cry on your last day. Pierre: Wait, you’ll get your chance. Erin: We still have to go to Cleary’s. Mary: I’m looking forward to more Korean lessons. Tamir, Peyton, Lauren: You’re all badasses and will be editors one day. Tavarez: Try not to wake up in any more parks. Blair and the news department: I better see some more investigative pieces in the news section. Bryant: I still want to hear another story. Copy desk (Robert, Nausheen, Matt, Christina): It was a pleasure editing until 2 a.m. four nights a week with all of you. Richard: Good luck in retirement, but stay away from the rotten shrimp.

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

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760 Misc. Services

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791 Nanny Wanted

DRIVING TO/FROM SCHOOL Help homework, dinner.


Good driving history. Reference require. Call 512-739-1101 pjak7@aol. com


$15/hr to go to lunch, movies, the mall, and play guitar hero with a 13 year old girl during the holiday break. References required. e-mail

NANNIES NEEDED We are looking for fun, active, academically focused students to be NANNIES! M-F, 3-6:00pm, starting in Jan. We also have other PT, FT, and Live-In positions available! Apply at


you saw it in the Texan

791 Nanny Wanted

PT LIVE-IN NANNY needed to work Tu/Th 11:15a-5:15p in exchange for live-in apt and expenses. Must have childcare references. Email resume to 512-646-1041

800 General Help Wanted

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870 Medical

DENTAL ASSISTANT for general dentist. Prefer pre-dental student. Tue, Wed, Thur 8:15 am - 5:30 pm. Will train 512467-0555

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Sell Misc.


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930 Business Opportunities

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

APD makes drug arrests with â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;reverse stingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; busts By Bobby Longoria Daily Texan Staff The use of crack cocaine broke out in Austin neighborhoods around 1987 and has since become more prevalent and dangerous because of its low cost and highly addictive nature, according to Austin Police Department officials. In an effort to quell the influence of illegal drugs, APD has been using â&#x20AC;&#x153;reversalâ&#x20AC;? sting operations that place officers in the guise of dealers waiting for those seeking their next fix. Drug-policy researchers have called the program illegal and say it does not address the underlying issues that contribute to drug use. More questionable, the researchers said, is APDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production of crack cocaine in its own labs for operational and training use in the mid-1990s. In November, officers targeted the Georgian neighborhood in North Austin. In a single night, officers made eight drug-possession arrests of individuals who bought crack cocaine from undercover APD officers. Each transaction was recorded using a hidden camera and several microphones.


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Since 2005, APD has arrested 15,968 individuals for delivery or possession of a controlled substance. This year alone, APD has arrested 2,959 individuals, resulting in 2,402 possession of a controlled substance charges and 821 delivery of a controlled substance charges. Controlled substances include not only crack cocaine but also methamphetamine, cocaine and other narcotics. Between 2008 and 2009, charges for possession jumped by nearly 1,000 cases, whereas charges for delivery dropped by more than 1,000 cases. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As a police officer, I know arrests and removing people from that particular crime is always a great deterrent,â&#x20AC;? said APD Lt. Norris McKenzie, a member of the organized-crime division. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You have other drugs that come and go, but crack just seems to be one of those that hangs around.â&#x20AC;? A shortage of crack cocaine from street seizures in 1995 led the APD chemistry lab to produce 1.78 kilograms of crack cocaine from 2 kilograms of powder cocaine in the same year, said forensic chemistry

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supervisor Gloria Rodriguez. Rodriguez said the lab follows the same method street dealers use to produce the crack from cocaine powder. But, the crack cocaine produced by APDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chemistry lab had a purity of more than 90 percent in comparison to street purity, which ranges between 50 and 90 percent. All of the crack cocaine used in an operation that results in an arrest becomes evidence for each particular case and cannot be recycled back into the departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supply of drugs for operations. Of the original batch produced in 1995, only 50 grams remain, Rodriguez said. Rodriguez said the crack cocaine produced by the department has also been used as a training aid for dogs and police officers. The last time APD used the drug produced in the lab for a reversal operation was in 2005. Since then, the operations have used crack cocaine seized from other criminal cases. The reversal operations are a form of entrapment, and producing the crack in the chemistry laboratory is borderline unconstitutional, said Avelardo Valdez, director of the Center for Drug and So-

Peyton McGee | Daily Texan Staff file photo

A suspect is questioned by a police officer at the corner of Georgian Drive and Powell Lane in North Austin after being suspected of tipping potential drug buyers off about the drug sting on Nov. 12. cial Policy Research at the University of Houston. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The police should be looking at alternatives like community outreach with social workers,â&#x20AC;? Valdez said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Once users get arrested, it just augments the problem. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a cycle they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get out of. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost a death sentence in terms of integrating yourself back into conventional society.â&#x20AC;?

Judge Joel Bennett of Travis Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Adult Drug Diversion Court said APDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reversal operations are not a form of entrapment because they do not entice innocent people. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t particularly like the process, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tool that [APD uses],â&#x20AC;? Bennett said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am more interested in treatment.â&#x20AC;? Bennett said the penitentiary sys-

tem should incorporate a treatment program because addiction tends to grow during imprisonment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t there yet, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where we should be going. That should be the goal,â&#x20AC;? Bennett said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Until we come to terms with that concept, we are kind of spinning our wheels. Without treatment, it gets stronger and has a stronger hold on you.â&#x20AC;?

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Jan. 19 - feb. 3

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A look back from the copy desk Long hours, miniscule pay, low profile of department outweighed by chance to watch history unfold

Fall 2009 Copy Desk Chief Robert Green looks back in his time at the Texan and what makes working at a newspaper worthwhile.

By Robert Green Daily Texan Copy Desk Chief Editor’s Note: The article on this page is a Daily Texan -30- column. In the typewritten days of the newspaper industry, “-30-” denoted the end of a story. A -30- column gives graduating seniors an opportunity to reflect and speak their minds. When I started working for The Daily Texan copy desk in the summer of 2008, it was on the stipulation that I would only work one night a week. I had walked in to the Texan’s offices hoping to get a job as a reporter, but once I realized that a reporter ’s time commitment wouldn’t work with the job I needed to pay the bills, I settled for one of the only positions that could fit into my schedule: copy editing. The job had none of reporting’s glamour — we copy minions work late hours, fact-checking and proofreading stories and writing headlines for next to zero pay and none of the bylines that other departments get. Since that summer, I moved up the totem pole and finally became copy desk chief for the fall 2009 semester — my last here at UT. My onenight-a-week agreement seems laughable now that the Texan has soaked up literally every moment I can spare: Some weeks, I find myself in the office every night, and the Texan is never far from my mind. This past semester has given me some perspective, though, on exactly why we Texan staffers — particularly on the copy desk — let the paper monopolize our lives the way we do. Copy editors have been known to clock up to 10 hours a night at a job that can be agonizingly tedious, all for the equivalent of about $1.50 an hour, virtually no recognition and job experience in a dying industry. What do we get from it? Why do we keep coming back? Underneath all the hoary clichés about news people being firsthand witnesses to history is a simple truth: When it is your job to read the paper two or three times a night, it is hard to not become the sort of informed, engaged student that we aim to make our readers into. Particularly on the copy desk, we are doing more than reading the paper. We are picking it apart, looking for its weaknesses and trying to make it better. After we have been trained to look at a newspaper page with a criti-

Stephen Keller Daily Texan Staff

cal eye, it is easy to turn the same critical regard to the world around us, taking an unvarnished look at the forces — political, economic and cultural — that shape our lives and university experiences. Such a critical perspective could not be more in demand at a university where blacks and Hispanics make up 69 percent of the service staff but only 8 percent of the tenured professors or in a state that doesn’t see fit to invest in building any top-tier universities south of San Antonio, even though the Texas-Mexico border region lays claim to some of its fastest population growth in the nation. We might not always succeed in giving a full account of those forces to our read-

ers, but it is truly intoxicating to be a part of the effort. Of course, what success we have enjoyed wouldn’t be possible without a dedicated staff of intrepid copy editors who have taken on the thankless, practically unpaid work that I once did while I have moved up the ladder to more recognition and higher pay. To today’s copy minions: Working with you has been a pleasure, and I can’t thank you enough for making me look good this semester. I hope that The Daily Texan pulls you in, just like it did me. Robert Green recently graduated with English and journalism degrees and has worked as copy editor, associate copy desk chief and copy desk chief.




Wednesday, December 9, 2009




“Elf” Quote-Along at Alamo Ritz

‘Elf ’ quote-along boosts holiday cheer for all ages Drafthouse holiday event draws audiences who like to smile, throw snowballs By Katherine Kloc Daily Texan Staff As audience members throughout the years have learned from “Elf,” the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. This Christmas season, however, the Alamo Ritz offers an even more effective method of spreading Christmas spirit with its “Elf” Quote-Along, hosted by The Action Pack. “Elf,” arguably the best holiday movie to come out within the last decade, follows the adventures of Buddy (Will Ferrell), a human who was raised by elves at the North Pole. Thirty years after sneaking into Santa’s bag at an orphanage, Buddy realizes that the differences between himself and his three-feet-shorter peers are not merely coincidental. Buddy sets off on a journey to New York City to reunite with his father (James Caan) during the Christmas season. Santa prepares Buddy for life in the human world — including telling Buddy that his father is on Santa’s naughty list. Yet, upon his arrival to the city, Buddy is far too cheery and adorably naïve to successfully blend into the fast-paced and impersonal New York City lifestyle. The “Elf” Quote-Along began last year as an event only available for private parties, but Action Pack member Henri Mazza felt that it “didn’t feel very Christmasy of us to not share it with everyone.” “Elf” is currently the only holiday quotealong movie offered at Alamo Drafthouse, as it is one of the only classic

Christmas movies that can entertain audiences of all ages. “‘Elf’ is one of the only holiday movies that recaptures the magical spirit of Christmas,” said The Action Pack member Greg MacLennan. “It almost makes me believe in Santa Claus again.” On Dec. 3, avid fans of Buddy the Elf filled the packed theater at the Alamo Ritz decked in their holiday sweaters, Santa hats and, my personal favorite, a Buddy the Elf costume to ring in the Christmas season. Before the movie began, Mazza and MacLennan hosted a threepart Buddy-inspired competition, in which the three contestants were first required to eat a bowl of spaghetti with an ample coating of maple syrup, then chug an entire bottle of Coke. The competition ended with a belching contest. After the competition, MacLennan enthused audience members with a toast. “I feel like we should alter one of the elf laws. We should all say: ‘the best way to spread Christmas cheer is quoting aloud for all to hear,” MacLennan said. In addition to quoting along with the characters, audience members were provided with a set of props, including a white balloon and jingle bells, to enhance their viewing experience. During the snowball-fight scene, viewers were instructed to blow up their balloons and throw them across the theater, instigating the closest thing to a snowball fight Austinites will experience this winter.

At the end of the movie, Christmas cheer was not only spread throughout Central Park, but also amoung Austin viewers, all of whom left with smiles on their faces and a reinvigorated Christmas spirit. Buddy’s infallible belief in the magic of Christmas is infectious, and his enthusiasm for the mundane and overlooked aspects of human life reminds viewers to have more positive outlooks on their own lives. Now that’s what I call Christmas. For those of you who were too busy singing Christmas carols or decorating gingerbread cookies to come to the Dec. 3 showing, the event will be open to the public again Dec. 17.

Bruno Morlan | Daily Texan Staff

This Christmas season the Alamo Ritz offers an even more effective method of spreading Christmas spirit with its “Elf” Quote-Along, hosted by The Action Pack.




Break: Winter activities

include music, theater From page 8B as “the savior of traditional country music” and dissed by others as being nothing more than a stubborn music outsider. Regardless, the prolific musician (he’s produced roughly one album a year since 1995) has found welcoming listeners in his Texas audiences.

evolving since the early ‘90s, as Callahan’s style has transformed from experimental and clumsy lo-fi rock to minimalist yet articulate instrumentals. The church acoustics at St. David’s should lend themselves nicely to accenting Callahan’s critically acclaimed music at this afternoon show.

Tuesday, 12/15: Air Hockey at Dirty Dog Bar (505 E. Sixth St.), 9:30 p.m., $5 entry fee Three words: Air. Hockey. Tournament. Wednesday, 12/16: “The Color Purple” and Kelly Fearing art exhibit at Bass Concert Hall, 8 p.m., $20-$64 The latest Broadway production to make its way to UT’s Bass Concert Hall, “The Color Purple” is the stage adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Before you see the play, browse through artist Kelly Fearing’s amazing retrospective exhibit, which is currently on display on the hall’s fifth floor through Jan. 14. Thursday, 12/17: Yoga in the Galleries at the Blanton, 5:30-9:00 p.m., free Get your yoga on at this month’s installment of the Blanton Art Museum’s “Third Thursday” event series. Post yoga, the museum will offer appetizers and wine tastings in conjunction with its Paolo Veronese exhibit. Namaste! Friday, 12/18: Keep Austin Bizarre Bazaar at Fiesta Gardens (2101 Bergman Ave.), 11 a.m.midnight, free The third annual event will host a plethora of local venders bartering their handmade, oneof-a-kind trinkets. It’s the perfect place to finish (or, in our case, begin) your Christmas shopping. Saturday, 12/19: Rooney at Emo’s outside (603 Red River St.), 9 p.m., $15 Remember Rooney? Maybe we’re having an intense “The OC” throwback, but listening to the West-coast pop crooners is just what we’re craving. Sunday, 12/20: Bill Callahan at St. David’s Episcopal Church (304 E. Seventh St.), 4:30 p.m., $12 The music of singer-songwriter Bill Callahan has been

Bring a Bib, It’s Gonna Get Messy




SOUTH LAMAR Austin 512-476-1320





Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Life&Arts Editor: Leigh Patterson E-mail: Phone: (512) 232-2209

T he Daily Texan

Austin offers full lineup of activities over break By The Life & Arts Staff The month-long hiatus between fall and spring semesters is hands down the best part of the year. With holiday festivities and minimal expectations of productivity, now is the time to do all those things you always said you would do in Austin “if only you had the time.” Fortunately, the next couple weeks hold promise for any Austinite wanting to explore what the city has to offer. Here is one event per day to get you through the next

Friday, 12/11: Balmorhea at the Mohawk (912 Red River St.), 9 p.m., $8 Local quintet Balmorhea has been busy. After returning from a monthlong European tour, the band is now gearing up for the February release of its third LP in three years. It will headline Friday’s show at the Mohawk with Ola Podrida and Brazos’ Martin Crane opening.

two weeks:

Thursday, 12/10: “Elf” Quote-Along at the Alamo Drafthouse (320 E. Sixth St.), 7 p.m., $6.75 with student ID Complete with spaghetti/syrup combo eating contests and mandatory tickle fighting, this event lets us show our love for “Elf” by quoting the entire movie. In theory, this sounds like the most annoying combination of events ever, but leave it to the Saturday, 12/12: Frank WarDrafthouse to make this quote- ren at BookPeople (603 N. Laalong hilarious fun, as usual. mar), 3 p.m., free Frank Warren, creator of the acclaimed “PostSecret” blog phenomenon, will speak at BookPeople about his newest postcard compilation, “Confessions on Life, Death and God.”

Courtesy of Rooney

Rooney will be playing at Emo’s on December 19 at 9 p.m.

Inspirational Photo Results are not typical and will vary

Sunday, 12/13: “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Paramount Theatre (713 Congress Ave.), 4:30 p.m., $9 What better to way to spend a chilly December afternoon than by relaxing at the historic downtown Paramount Theatre, knowing exactly what’s going to happen at the end of the movie’s “what would the world be like if I hadn’t ever been born” plot and loving every minute? Monday, 12/14: Dale Watson and the Lone Stars at the Continental Club (1315 S Congress Ave.), 10 p.m., $5 Alt-country singer Dale Watson has been heralded by some Courtesy of Paramount Theatre

BREAK continues on page 7B

“It’s a Wonderful Life” will be playing at the Paramount Theatre on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

2010 promises excitement, fun events look forward to for the first half By John Ross Harden of 2010: Daily Texan Staff From a wet and muddy ACL WHAT: 2010 Citi BCS to Leslie’s almost-tragic accident National Championship (thank God he’s alright), this city Game has seen its fair share of excitement over the past year. WHERE: Rose Bowl But, as classes begin to let out Statdium, Pasadena, CA and we wish our Austin friends WHEN: January 7 a temporary goodbye, The Daily Texan will close on a great WHY: Is this a miraculous 2009. Here’s what Austin has to joke?


an Austin event, I highly recommend that your January 7 plans revolve solely around this game. Hook ‘Em!

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512 Neches 512.478.8358

108 E. North Loop Blvd. 512.453.8090

WHERE: Zilker Park

WHAT: Austin Marathon

WHEN: March 7

WHERE: 26.2-mile loop through Austin

TICKETS/ON AIR: Well, let’s be honest — kites are incredible!

WHEN: February 14 WHY: The marathon, which has been known to draw more than 10,000 participants each year, is sure to be one to remember.

motiv Forbidden Fruit

WHAT: Zilker Park Kite Festival

On January 7, 2010, our mighty Texas Longhorns will go to Pasadena to face the Alabama CrimThe race will occur on Valenson Tide. The Longhorns look tines Day. Is there any better opto maintain their perfect record portunity to give your body and against the Tide. Though it’s not love life a tuning?


A stimulus or influence tending to move one to action

South Texas College of Law welcomes qualified students of all ages and life experiences who are motivated, mature and determined to be serious law students and contribute to their profession. The professional and scholarly faculty is dedicated to teaching and mentoring students in a rigorous but supportive environment, preparing them to become immediate contributors to the practice of law or in their chosen fields. Full and part-time applications for Fall, 2010 and full-time applications for Spring, 2011 are now being accepted. For information regarding enrollment call the Office of Admissions 713.646.1810 or visit the website at

Zilker Park is hosting the 82nd annual event for kite fliers of all types to experience the best kite festival in Texas. Also, if getting to Zilker is an issue for the kite enthusiast, the park will offer two shuttle buses. WHAT: South by Soutwest (SXSW) WHERE: Downtown Austin WHEN: March 17-21 WHY: If you haven’t gone — go! This is the peanut butter to ACL’s jelly — a weekend of live music featuring some of the newest (and most popular) bands on the scene. But, unlike ACL, SXSW expands over 80 stages at various bars and clubs all over Austin. WHAT: Austin Reggae Fest WHERE: Auditorium Shores WHEN: April 24 WHY: Austin Reggae Fest — or Marley Fest — has long gathered a huge draw for a weekend of steeldrums and red, green and yellow flags strewn through the sky. Marley Fest offers great music, delicious Jamaican food and an especially friendly environment. Also, bring your canned greens to help raise food the Capital Area Food Bank. WHAT: Eeyore’s Birthday WHERE: Pease Park


WHEN: April 24 WHY: When I moved to Austin, the first event I heard about was Eeyore’s Birthday. Yes, that is Eeyore — as in Winnie the Pooh’s Eeyore. However strange the name, Eeyore’s Birthday invites Austinites to get their “hippie” on in a safe environment. No matter the weather, Pease Park will certainly be crowded with tie-dye and drum circles.

The Daily Texan December 09, 2009 Issue  
The Daily Texan December 09, 2009 Issue  

The Daily Texan December 09, 2009 Issue