The East Texan: Spring 2021-03.10.21

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March 10,2021

Winter Storm Rocks Commerce

Brianna Patt

M anaging Editor

Texas A&M UniversityCommerce has been subject to power outages and water system loss in light of the massive winter storms that hit the state. The storm originally caused A&M-Commerce to shut down Feb. 12 as a result of the inclement weather. By Sunday, Commerce had received over four inches of snow. The school closure was extended through the week with classes set to resume Feb. 22. Commerce ISD originally announced it would be closed

The Garvin Lake fountains were frozen during the storm

Feb. 10. District officials eventually reported that they return to business as

usual Feb. 22 as well. This storm has not just affected Commerce

Photo | John Parsons

education. Public radio station KETR reported Feb. 17 that the water

system was down across Commerce. Citizens were advised to boil

their water prior to drinking it to remove damaging bacteria after it comes back on. The City of Commerce began sending water into town Feb. 18 at 7 a.m. As of Feb. 18, city staff had still been working on water services, according to KETR. Hunt County had 11 power outages as of Feb. 19, according to Oncor. Click the link below to check power outages by county: https://stormcenter. default.html/ reports/8a3a024866cb-4e05-b7d8649e570562d5.

Student Service Fee funding meetings to be held From the Office of the VP for Student Success & Dean of Students:

Ferguson Hall

Photo | John Parsons

Please be advised that the Texas A&M UniversityCommerce Student Service Fee Advisory

Committee will hold meetings to review and discuss FY2022 Student Service Fee requests. All meetings and presentations are open to the public. SSF funding decisions will be made in the context of the Texas A&M

System definition of Student Services Fees (Education Code; Sec. 54.503). Presentations are currently scheduled for March 29-31, 2021, with Committee Meetings to follow. Final Schedules will be posted on the

Dean of Students site at: http://www.tamuc. edu/CampusLife/ DeanOfStudents/ Funding%20 Opportunities%20 in%20CLSD/default. aspx.

BSU offers a variety of events to the university Aliyah Sabir Staff Reporter The Black Student Union is a cultural organization at Texas A&M UniversityCommerce that serves Black and African American students and faculty. Primarily, their goal is to enhance educational opportunities for Black students and to raise awareness of political and cultural issues faced by the demographic. “BSU is a great org bringing awareness to things that are going on around the world dealing with Black excellence or the problems that can be solved,” Derrick Sneed, junior, said. “I heard about BSU at ManeStreet. I liked the

variety of events they offered for interacting with students.” The first Black Student Union was founded in 1966 at San Francisco State University, a primarily white institution. According to JaKyra Givens, junior, it was a safe place for the Black community to gather after segregation. She also heard about BSU at ManeStreet in 2019. “I like the community that it builds. It brings Black students closer to one another,” Givens said. Black Student Union is open to all students, though, regardless of race. “We have general body meetings every other week on Thursdays at 5:30 in

Traditions at the Student Center,” Givens said. But the BSU extends beyond the Black community and the Commerce campus, reaching out to other organizations, raising awareness of global issues and doing community service. Cultural organizations play a large role on campuses, surrounding students with similar individuals and exposing them to other groups as well. “I feel like diversity isn’t taught that much in the classroom, so that’s where the organizations pick up the slack. They aren’t closed off to one specific culture so all of the students here have the opportunity to experience different cultures,” Givens added.

Agang Tac shoots for two during the LSC quarterfinal game

Photo | John Parsons



MARCH 10, 2021

Covid-19 has created a Black history icons you may not know about new “normal”

Jocyln Ventura Co-Editor in Chief

Almost a year after Covid-19’s first outbreak in March 2020, there appears to finally be some hope. There was a widespread panic around the world; grocery store shelves were empty, restaurants were closing down and all fun and exciting things were at a sudden halt. It almost felt like all hope was lost as more and more cases were accumulating each day and everywhere people were dying. By mid-summer however, Moderna and Pfizer were establishing themselves for the “race” to develop, create and distribute a vaccine. By mid-December, both companies received immediate authorization for emergency use from the U.S Food and Drug Administration. Three months later the process into Phase 1B has started. Toward the end of February, the Texas Department of State Health Services had released a statement

Brianna Patt Managing Editor

saying that over 600,000 more vaccines were on the way. Which for some counties and cities meant so much as there were waitlists up to hundreds or thousands of people, just waiting to receive the vaccine. You can see the list of top states with the highest number of cases and the total number of deaths and other Covid-related data on the CDC website. As of now, Texas is second to California for the highest number of cases and total deaths. When the vaccine started its distribution in Phase 1A, I called my primary care doctor and asked the one question on everyone’s mind: “Should I get it?” As a 22-year-old college student with serious health conditions I wanted to know; was it something I desperately needed and was it even safe to get? She told me that someone with my health issues would benefit greatly from it. Although at the end of the day it probably could not 100% guarantee me

to be Covid free, it will ensure that my chances of dying from it would decrease. She also mentioned that with my conditions, I was eligible and qualified under the Phase 1B category. Naturally I trust my doctor and so I registered everywhere for it. I am now fully vaccinated, which means so much more to me now than before. It was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. And now my parents just received their first doses. With more vaccines being received and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being released within the next few weeks, the hope is for case numbers to decrease and the nation itself to get back to “normal.” But not everyone is fortunate enough to receive the vaccine early on and not everyone listens to the CDC guidelines, so how are we ever going to be able to get to “normal”?

In light of black history month, here are a few important , underrated figures and their contributions. Phil Wilson is an African American HIV/AIDS activist who founded the Black AIDS Institute in 1999. The group was created after both he and his partner Chris Brownlie were diagnosed with HIV. The HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s notoriously had a disproportionate effect on Black and Brown LGBTQ+ communities. “When you look at much of the information directed at gay men, much of the language and imagery is focused on white men, and my experience as a Black man is if I’m not explicitly included I’m tactily excluded,” Wilson said. Marsha P. Johnson, 1945-1992, was a Black trans woman and activist. She co-founded S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) with her friend Sylvia Rivera during the early 1970s The group

is dedicated to helping homeless trans youth. She participated in the Stonewall Riots in 1969. She was a part of Hot Peaches Review, a drag theatre company based in New York City that was active from the 1970s-1990s. Her cause of death was ruled “undetermined.” Alice Walker, 1944, is a writer and activist. Her exposure to education began early on when she was enrolled in the first grade at four years old to keep her from doing field work. When Walker was eight, she was accidentally blinded in one eye after she was shot with a BB gun. As a result of a scar from the incident, she became withdrawn. After graduating as valedictorian of her highschool, she attended Spelman College, then transferred to Sarah Lawrence College, graduating in 1965. Along with being the author of the well-known novel “The Color Purple,” she also wrote “Revolutionary Petunias and Other Poems” and “In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Woman.” She participated in the 1963 Washington

March along with helping to register Black voters in Georgia and Mississippi. Ron Stallworth was working as an undercover police officer in 1978 when he decided to respond to an ad placed by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). He received a call back two weeks later and gave a description of a white colleague in the narcotics department when asked about how he looked. Most of their interactions took place over the phone with local organizer Ken Odell. He eventually communicated with KKK grand wizard David Duke. In fact, during the investigation they developed such a close friendship that Duke stated he would personally process Stallworth’s membership application. For his ceremony, the real Stallworth was assigned to protect Duke while another officer pretended to be him. Though Stallworth was ordered to burn all evidence of the case after Odell nominated him as chapter leader, Stallworth kept his KKK membership card.

Winter Wonderland at TAMUC Photos | tyler MCdonoUgh

Looking on from Highway 24 sits the Performing Arts Center overlooking a frozen Garvin Lake. The KETR van provides a bright spot of color in the snow. The Lion guarding Waters Library remained covered in snow the whole week.

A snowy Lucky the Lion guards the Rayburn Student Center.

A new look for Memorial Stadium!

A snow covered Rayburn Student Center remains operational despite the winter weather.

Yours truly remains operational during the winter storm. Just off Monroe Street sits beautiful campus. A cold and snowy Sam Rayburn stands tall in front of his building during the winter storm.

The East Texan, official student newspaper of Texas A&M UniversityCommerce, is published three times per semester during the Fall and Spring by students in reporting and editing classes. Content is solely the responsibility of the student editors and writers. The comments and views expressed in The East Texan do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of other students, staff, faculty, administration, or the Board of Trustees. The East Texan is located inside the Journalism building on the east side of campus in room 113. Single copies are available in Journalism 113 for an additional 25 cents. Letters to the editor are welcome and should be limited to 250 words. They will not be edited for spelling, grammar and libelous or malicious statements. We reserve the right to refuse publication. Letters should be typed or e-mailed and must include a signature, legal name, classification (grade level) and telephone number. Mailing address is The East Texan, P.O. Box 4104 Commerce, Texas 75428.

A snowy Memorial Stadium from the west entrance.

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MARCH 10, 2021



Commerce Tigers baseball team resumes season

DJ Spencer Sports Editor

After last season ended earlier than expected due to Covid-19,

the Commerce High School Tigers baseball team resumed games Feb.

22, playing the Blue Ridge Tigers. When asked about how excited

he was to resume games this season, head coach Britt Melton stated that he is grateful for the opportunity to compete again after not playing for nearly a year. “Our excitement for this season has been noticeable in practice, and I hope we can translate that same energy during games,” Melton said.

This season, the Tigers will compete in District 12 of the University Interscholastic League’s 3A Conference which includes Edgewood, Emory Rains, Grand Saline, Lone Oak, Paris Chisum and Pattonville Prairiland. Melton stated that the team also has certain values that they strive for every day, such as

putting the team before individuals. “Our biggest goal is to play in May, which means make it to the playoffs and win a playoff series,” Melton said. Before starting the regular season, the Tigers competed in scrimmage games against Quinlan and Blue Ridge.

Trout Bout Fishing In Greenville Photo | @TigersCommerce

Tylar Brown Entertainment Editor

Greenville Parks and Recreation Center had their Trout Bout Fishing Event Feb. 27 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The recreation center planned several events for kids this month, but the winter storm created a setback. To replace the Valentine’s Day event, they decided to hold their third annual Trout Bout Derby fishing event, sponsored by Academy Sports and Outdoors. “The fishing event is something we’ve done since 2019. This event

DJ Spencer Sports Editor

allows the kids to not just have fun with each other at the park but expand their knowledge on fishing! Unfortunately, due to Covid we were not able to do it last year and this year we were unsure. But with help from the Greenville Fire Department, we made it happen,” J’Kia George, program director, Boys and Girls Club, said. The community was very involved with this event. The fire department provided lunch and gave the students insight on

what it’s like being a firefighter each day. “The goal for this event is to teach kids how to fish and expose them to nature. We are always trapped into playing video games or technology type games and to get a chance to learn different survival skills was a learning lesson not only for the children but faculty and staff as well,” George said. Greenville Parks and Recreation Center and the Boys and Girls Club are always looking for ways to improve and

create more experiences like the fishing event to help children in the community experience life engaging things. “We make sure we hire staff that have a passion for working around kids because there are ups and downs being a role model and having people look up to you. Therefore, we are really strict during the hiring processes because we want to make sure that no child is left behind” George said. Parks and recreation worked jointly with the Boys and Girls Club to

provide management of all operations such as Parks Maintenance, Recreation, Athletics, Golf Course and Cemetery Operations. The recreation center’s goal is to use partnerships to provide further attraction for community events to increase the participation from the community and attract out-of-town guests. “Our mission is to empower Greenville citizens through education and to take responsibility

for enhancing our community environment,” Pam Vierus, recreation service manager, said. There will be more upcoming events throughout the school year. For more information visit the website https://greenvilletx. fun/9/ABOUT-US or contact through email parksdept@

Commerce Lady Tigers softball to resume play

After last season ended prematurely due to Covid-19, the Commerce High School Lady Tigers softball team is set to resume action. The Lady Tigers will be looking to return to the playoffs this season, as they haven’t made them since the 2016 season. When assessing the team’s

roster, head coach Baylea Higgs noted the youth of this year’s team. “As a team, we are pretty young overall,” Higgs said. “Bella Stacy, a transfer student, is our only senior. However, we have four juniors, Jaylene Balderrama, Honesty Bridges, Jenna Buchannan and Meme Wilson, who have played for me ever since I

became the head coach in 2019.” This year, the Lady Tigers will play in a new district, which includes Edgewood, Emory Rains, Grand Saline, Lone Oak, Paris Chisum and Pattonville Prairiland. The Lady Tigers recently played scrimmage games against Cooper, Wolfe City and Kaufman.

Photo | KETR

CISD Stays on Track Regardless of Setbacks Alexi Guerrero Staff Reporter

After the unprecedented series of events, that not only Commerce Independent School District (CISD) but others around the state have suffered, the district was finally able to open operations with the hopes to stay on track. On top of COVID, people within the community were subjected to even more hardships after

a historic winter storm put operations on pause. People had to go multiple days without running water, sporadic power outages, food scarcity in local stores, among other things and CISD was also a victim to this. As a result of these actions, CISD was forced to shut down all its campuses, and it wasn’t until recently that the district opened up

again. This was due to Superintendent Charlie Alderman issuing a statement regarding the current state of the district. In a statement, he instructed that the district finally be able to continue operations, after securing a sufficient amount of food for its staff and students along with also receiving an influx of water bottles to be

distributed among campuses. This winter storm served as yet another obstacle in this already difficult school year, yet the district continues to stay firm and doesn’t plan on seeing any sort of regressions. As difficult as this year has been, one department that has managed to stay engaged and has even excelled is the Commerce

High School Band. Last week the CHS Symphonic Band performed at Canton High School for their annual UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest. The results could not have been any better, as the band received superior ratings across the entire board to be able to bring some hardware back to the school. Achieving perfect ratings is such

a difficult task, which makes this feat even more impressive. Ultimately, this school year has been an odd one, to say the least and even with abnormal events such as a historic winter storm, the CISD has been able to stay on track and even excel in certain aspects, as seen by the flawless performance by the CHS Band at their UIL competition.

CAMPUS IEL Offering Strengths for Social Justice workshop PAGE 4

MARCH 10, 2021

Brianna Patt Managing Editor

The intercultural engagement and leadership department will be hosting Strengths for Social Justice March 5 to teach students how to use their own strengths to best address important social issues. According to Katy Williams, assistant director of leadership engagement and

development, the idea for the event came from both her own experience as a strength coach and the events of the past summer. It left her considering that not everyone fights causes in the same way and what would be the best way to utilize individual strengths for causes. “How can we kind of talk about this in context of our students to help our students

understand activism and advocacy in a way that’s unique to them,” Williams said.

Williams is a certified strengths coach and has hosted other workshops on campus. Clifton’s strengthbased model utilizes an assessment to determine the top five natural talent themes for each person. The workshop is not designed to offer a deep dive into

the topic, but more to cover the basics to help participants understand their biggest strengths and how to use them. ”We give you a lens to help you understand ‘these are where my strengths are, maybe I can use these to have a stronger impact,’” Williams said. To her, these conversations are valuable to start, to help learn through social justice movements.

This event offers participants a way to do that without it being intimidating of discovering where they can start and where they can go in their efforts. According to Williams, the event has pulled interest from students. “When I do workshops I rarely get emails about workshops. I’ve gotten emails from people saying, ‘I’m not on campus, can

you make it virtual, I’m really interested in this,’” she said. The event is a cocollaboration in the department with Cynthia Rios, who is well-versed in social justice. The event is going to have limited registration and will be virtual. If registration closes, students are encouraged to contact IEL and sign up. Registration ends March 1.

A Brrry Cold Morning in Commerce

John Parsons Co-Editor in Chief Texas A&M University-Commerce woke to a strange white substance on the ground with temperatures in the teens. The 9:30 a.m. temperature was 18 degrees with a wind chill of 3 degrees. The white stuff is being called “light snow fog/mist” by the National Weather Service. Today’s forecast calls for a high temperature of 21 degrees so be prepared for the bitter cold if you venture outside. The snow and sleet are not expected to accumulate

more than .5 inches. “Snow likely, possibly mixed with sleet, becoming all snow after 10am. Cloudy and cold, with a temperature falling to around 16 by 5pm. Wind chill values between 2 and 8,” according to NWS. Tonight’s forecast calls for more snow, mainly after midnight, with a low temperature around 6 degrees and a wind chill between -9 and 1 degree. New snow accumulation is expected to be between 2 and 4 inches. Monday night will probably bring the coldest temperatures

with a low of -1 degree and a wind chill between -7 and -12.

Tuesday is expected to bring a high temperature all the way up to 24 degrees. Snow is possible until noon Thursday. The campus is currently closed until 8 a.m. Wednesday except

Chumbox: Stories From The Web

Tylar Brown Entertainment Editor

The Theatre department will be holding a virtual play called “Chumbox: Stories from the Web,” March 16 through 21 at 7:30 p.m. “Chumbox: Stories from the Web,” written by Austin Roberts, a student at Texas A&M UniversityCommerce, is a play about the internet and the way it has shaped societies’ modern political conversation. “I think the internet is a wonderful tool, possibly the best invention in human history, but the way we use it allows misinformation and radical hate to spread like wildfire. Which inspired me to write a play about it,” Austin Roberts said. Austin Roberts, a theatre major, is a playwright at TAMUC. He has been a part of the program since he was a freshman but always had a passion for theatre. “In high school, I realized theatre provided an important creative

outlet in my life, and playing characters helped me understand my own complex emotions which made everything fun,” Austin said. The Theatre department has implemented a new program called the New Play Development series which gives playwrights the chance to work with actors and brings scripts to life. “I think this is an excellent program that solves two problems in the theatre community right now, it gives groups like our own TAMUC Theatre Department programming to fill this difficult time. I’m grateful to be a part of this series and proud of the department for supporting,” Austin said. The subject matter of this play was inspired by a podcast that deals with the role of social media, viral disinformation and conspiracy theories in modern political conversation. “The main message

I want people to get from my play is: we all have to use the internet more responsibly. We need to be more careful about our news resources, media literacy, and data security online, because without those things we’re vulnerable to misinformation, cyber attacks and spreading lies even when we don’t mean to,” Austin said. “Chumbox: Stories of the Web” will be streamed online to allow both audience and actors to keep socially distanced due to Covid restrictions. The Theatre Department wants to ensure everyone is safe. Tickets are $5 each. There will be livestreams and post-show talkbacks with Austin and the designers after performances. For more information about “Chumbox: Stories of the Web,” contact Austin Roberts at a.roberts.

for specified services. Remember your three Ps: pets, plants and pipes. Agrilifetoday.tamu. edu advises: “It’s important to remember pets like cats and dogs, even if they are acclimated to the outdoors, need access to shelter to protect them from

cool temperatures and winds, and an unfrozen water source. Outdoor pets may also need additional caloric intake to help them maintain their body heat. Shelters should be insulated, include clean, dry blankets or straw for bedding, and protect from north winds.” “Plants in containers are more susceptible to freezing temperatures because they lack the insulation the earth naturally provides. Move container plants inside the home or garage,

or to any area where temperatures will stay above freezing. If they can’t be moved indoors, put them on the south side of the house, water them well and pile on mulch, leaves and hay to protect the roots and/or cover them with a frost blanket.” “Water pipes can freeze and burst when the outside temperature reaches 20 degrees or below.” “Outdoor water systems should be drained and covered or allowed to drip slowly to help protect from damage.”

culture. ASA carries the same intent and purpose into each of our meetings and other encounters with students,” Jackson said. “BLACKtalk” focused on shedding light on Black history, by providing a space to engage and educate through conversation about significant leaders as well as enlighten those who are interested in or who study African American history. “For me, BHM was always a month that I looked forward to. It was a time where African Americans can be glorified and appreciated without outside criticism,” Nani Sabr, secretary, ASA, said. ASA’s main focus for “BLACKtalk” was to educate its audience about the inherent differences that Black people face every day and for everyone to share their story as either a member or ally to the

Black community. “ASA has helped me blossom into a leader and a businesswoman while capitalizing on my qualities as a social butterfly. It taught me more about my African culture and allowed me to create bonds and friendships that I will remember for the rest of my life,” Sabr said. Jackson not only serves as an ASA officer but also serves many other roles in other organizations. She also serves as vice president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Sabr serves as community service committee chair member of Woman of G.O.L.D. Follow ASA on twitter @ ASA_TAMUC or contact Nani Sabr at nsabr@ or Shardae Jackson at sjackson56@leomail. for more information.

ASA hosts “BLACKtalk” Tylar Brown Entertainment Editor

The Texas A&M University-Commerce African Student Association hosted the virtual event “BLACktalk” Feb. 17 for Black History Month. African Student Association is a campus organization that strives to create a culturallyenlightened community by promoting collaboration between African students and student bodies. Black History Month is dedicated to acknowledging and empowering Black culture. Shardae Jackson, vice president, ASA, is a junior majoring in communication studies, who wanted to celebrate the accomplishments and accolades of their icons and educate not only students but faculty and staff about their history. “BHM is a month dedicated to addressing and educating Black

MARCH 10, 2021



Conan Comes To Commerce: A Dive Into Social Issues

Brianna Patt Managing Editor

Conan Comes To Commerce offered an academic dive into the work of Robert E. Howard, author and creator of the wellknown comic book character Conan The Barbarian. This event was organized by Dr. Tracy Henley, department head, psychology, counseling and special education; Dr. Raymond Green, dean, Honors College;

and Dr. Hunter Hayes, department head, literature and languages. Henley stated that he wanted to include people that could contribute more than just a review of Howard’s work. “I tried to find people that I thought were doing things that were not so much just literary analysis but that

would connect with a broader audience that had social implications that had psychological implications,” Henley said. A valuable aspect of the event to Henley is the connection between HP Lovecraft, Howard and the social issues discussed in their writing. ”They were kind of giving you

Broadway in Greenville Laicey Dees Staff Reporter

If you are looking for a night out on the town, check out some of the options offerred at the Texan Theater. Barbara Horan purchased the Texan Theater, formally known as the King Opera House, in 2010 and renovated the building into her dream theater. The vintage Texas atmosphere comes from preserved posters, terrazzo flooring and catwalks. Throughout, it is designed with recycled materials from the renovation. Although vintage, this eco-friendly theater uses solar panels to recycle electricity, creating a

Photo | Texan Theater Greenville

a window into how a lot of people felt about a lot of social issues albeit a somewhat interesting window given that they’re fantasy writers,” Henley said. A product of Lovecraft’s worldbuilding is the novel and show Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. Henley stated that he feels the show has given viewers a way to look at certain

issues. “The show had certainly been a vehicle for looking at matters of race relations, the treatment of women, and just the progression of a whole lot of issues in the United States from the period prior to the second world war into the fifties.” The event panel included academics such

as Dr. Benjamin Garstard, classics professor, MacEwan University; Jason Carney, professor, Christopher Newport University; and David Frank, assistant professor, psychology and special education, Texas A&M UniversityCommerce.

Women’s History Month kicks off with HERstory exhibit

Jocyln Ventura Co-Editor in Chief

Texas A&M University-Commerce will kick start Women’s History Month with the HERstory exhibit on March 5. Women’s live music, movie History Month was screenings, theater first introduced in productions and pri1981 when Congress vate functions when passed Public Law 97becoming a VIP club 28, giving the nation member at the Texan “Women’s History Theater. Purchase a Week” starting March ticket today at texan- 7, 1982. Eventually, Congress changed it and make your way (March) to Women’s to downtown History Month. Greenville for a All around the Broadway experience. world, museums, libraries, art galleries, etc. remember and encourage the study and celebration of the important role of

safe environment for its audience and the planet. There is no need to worry about Covid-19 in this spacious auditorium as the theater holds 76 occupants with spaced seats throughout. The theater is located at 2712 Lee St, close to the Dairy Manor Bed and Breakfast. Zone out of your everyday life with

women in history. Hosted by the intercultural engagement and leadership department, the HERstory art showcase will feature paintings, photography, poetry, digital art, graphic design and more. “The HERstory art exhibit is to empower and uplift our women artists across our campus. It will give space to showcase over 10 different artists. The goal is to showcase the women of TAMUC’s art with our campus community,” Amanda Almanza, graduate assistant,

Recipe of Life to be performed

said. The exhibit is open to all students, faculty, staff and community members looking to showcase their art. The showcase will be held virtually due to the recent winter storm, sharing each artist and the submitted pieces through a virtual magazine. It will be available to the public on March 5. More events will follow through the rest of March. For more information, be sure to check out their Twitter or Instagram at @TAMUC_EIL. Photo | TAMUC Playhouse

Jocyln Ventura Co-Editor in Chief

The theatre program at Texas A&M University-Commerce will have it’s fifth virtual production of the season on Feb. 23. Most theatre, including Broadway, has been shut down since mid-March due to Covid-19. Productions everywhere had to put a hold on performances since there was no traditional way to work while still incorporating CDC guidelines and safety protocols. Almost a year later, theatre programs have found

a simple solution: virtual productions. At TAMUC, the 20202021 season has been filled with these virtual performances. The newest production, Recipe of Life, follows the journey of Reese’s family and friends through their eyes and screens. The relationships between each character are revealed through their shared experiences throughout their lives. The love, arguments, joys and heartbreaks. Moments in time that are always with them. It was directed and

written by graduate student Jaylan Fennell, who was originally supposed to direct another play. “I was supposed to direct a different show, but due to Covid, we are doing virtual productions. The playwright of the other script did not want their script used in virtual productions, so I offered a solution. I proposed my own work to the faculty and they approved it. I had done directorial work on the other script so moving forward with a new script was

daunting, but directing my own work gave me the opportunity to not have to ‘build the plane as I was flying it’ because I knew the script,” Fennell said. Recipe of Life holds a touching meaning to the director, its cast and the entire theatre program. A dedication has been made to former TAMUC professor Jim Anderson, who passed away late 2019. Anderson taught many classes including Intro to Playwriting, where Fennell was his student and the journey to

writing the play began. “He was one of the kindest people and the most encouraging professors. He made me a more confident writer and artist. When he passed last year I knew he needed to be recognized as an ingredient in my recipe of life,” Fennell said. There will be a second production later in the semester, written by another graduate student, Austin Roberts. Both

productions will have their performances over Zoom. For ticketing information you can contact Rebecca Worley at rebecca.worley@ or follow the TAMUC University Playhouse on Facebook.



MARCH 10, 2021

Lion basketball teams resume competition after weather causes cancellations DJ Spencer

Sports Edi-

After the recent Texas winter storm caused the cancellation of four men’s games and five women’s games, the Texas A&M University-Commerce basketball teams resumed competition Feb. 21 and Feb. 22, respectively. The men’s team was originally scheduled to take on the Texas A&MKingsville Javelinas Feb. 12-13, the Lubbock Christian University Chaparrals Feb. 15, and the Oklahoma Christian University Eagles Feb. 18 before the storm hit. They resumed play Feb. 21, where they

defeated OCU 80-78 at Edmond, Oklahoma. Two days later, the men’s team took on the Angelo State University Rams, where they lost 70-56. After the loss, head coach Jaret Von Rosenberg stated that while neither team played particularly well, Angelo State ultimately played better. “They were prepared and did a really nice job on us defensively,” Von Rosenberg said. “It was a very physical matchup, as it always is with Angelo State.” After the results of both games, the

Lions now have an overall record of 6-6, placing them second in the LSC North Division, behind Dallas Baptist University. The women’s team was originally scheduled to play the Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas Feb. 12-13, the Lubbock Christian University Lady Chaps Feb. 15 and the OCU Eagles Feb. 18 and 20 before the bad weather hit. They resumed play Feb. 22, when they took on the Midwestern State University Mustangs. In what would be their final regular season game

before the Lone Star Conference (LSC) Tournament, the women defeated the Mustangs 110-81. The win set program records for points scored against a Division II team and points scored in a Lone Star Conference game with 110 points, which is the fourth-most in program history against any opposition, and the win improved their record to 11-2 on the season. When reflecting on the win, head coach Jason Burton stated that this was the first game where the defense provided

a spark for the team, creating turnovers and giving off team energy for them. “I believe that the effort, the energy, and the attention to detail we had is something that we can continue to do,” Burton said. “We’re excited to host a playoff game for the first time in a long time.” The women’s 11-2 record places them atop the LSC North Division. The men’s team played their last regular season game Feb. 27, when they took on the

Cameron University Aggies, while the LSC Women’s Basketball Championship began March 2.

Photos | John Parsons

Women’s basketball team defeats OCU in LSC quarterfinal DJ Spencer Sport Editor

The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team defeated the Oklahoma Christian University Eagles 77-63 in the quarterfinal round of the Lone Star Conference Tournament March 2.

This was the first and only time that the teams played each other this season, as the two games they were originally scheduled to play Feb. 18 and 20 were cancelled due to a Texas winter storm. The Lions shot 2566 (37.9%) from the floor. They took advantage of free throw opportunities going 23-31 (74.2%) from the line. The Lions also had a 51-32 rebounding edge, which included 16 offensive boards. Dyani Robinson led all Lions in points with 17 while also contributing eight assists. Chania Wright was second in points with 16. Two Lions recorded a double-double, which is when a player records 10 or more in any two of these categories:

Juliana Louis shoots for two Photo | John Parsons

points, steals, assists, rebounds or blocks. Juliana Louis scored 15 points and snagged 10 rebounds while DesiRay Kernal scored 10 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. The Lions had an edge for the majority of the game, leading 20-13 after the first quarter and then 39-21 after the second quarter. This advantage would stick with the Lions as they led 56-42 after three quarters and won 77-63. This win improved their season record to 12-2. The Lions will now focus their attention on their LSC semifinal game where they will take on the West Texas A&M Lady Buffs March 5 at 6:45 p.m. at the Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock. This will also be the Lions’ first game against WTAMU this season.

Lion softball wins three games in invitational DJ Spencer

Sports Edi-

The Texas A&M University-Commerce Lion softball team started their season by competing in the 2021 Lion Invitational on Feb. 5 and 6, where they won three out of four games. On Feb. 5, the Lions defeated the Arkansas Tech University Golden Suns 5-3, followed by defeating the Texas A&M International University Dustdevils 13-0. When looking back on how the team played against TAMIU, head coach Richie Bruister stated that winning the first game gave the team confidence for the

second game. “They figured out a way to win the first game, which allowed us to relax and play our style of softball in the second game,” Bruister said. The following day, the Lions would defeat the Dustdevils 6-0, but would lose to the Golden Suns 4-1. When reflecting on why the team lost the second game, Bruister stated that the team’s mental approach is what cost them the game. “We were checked out mentally,” Bruister said. “Some things didn’t go our way and we let those things affect us.” The team’s next

games were scheduled Feb. 12 and 13 for the 2021 Irwin Classic at the John Cain Family Softball Complex. These games have been rescheduled for Feb. 26 and 27 due to the severe winter storm Texas experienced.

Emily Otto pitches during the season opener against Arkansas Tech Photo | John Parsons

Lion track teams compete in Lone Star Conference Indoor Championships DJ Spencer

Sports Edi The Texas A&M University-Commerce track teams competed in the Lone Star Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 20 and 21. The men’s team finished second overall, behind West Texas A&M, while the women’s team finished third overall, behind Angelo State and West Texas A&M. Head coach George Pincock stated that he

Photo | Lion Athletics

was proud of both teams’ finishes, and how hard they worked to achieve those placements. “The men’s 4x400 relay team helped to secure second place on that side, which was great,” Pincock said. “The women were able to secure third place with great performances from the pole vaulters and the 4x400 relay team. We also had great individual performances throughout the day.” During the first day of the meet, Ushan Perera set a new school record in the high jump event, clearing 2.25 meters. That record also set a new Sri Lanken national record, and is the sixth highest bar cleared in Division II indoor history.

Mickey Ferdinand placed second in the high jump and fourth in the pole vault. Trayveon Franklin won the silver medal in the long jump, while Hank Lemons finished third. This distance medley relay team, consisting of Cooper Miller, Axel Paolucci, Nicodemus Rotich and Joshua Schutter, finished third. Rotich also took fifth place in the 5,000-meter run. Monta Davis finished fifth in the high jump and Steven Sanchez finished sixth in the weight throw. The men’s team had five podium finishes when the meet concluded on the second day. The 4x400 relay team, consisting of Lamarion

Arnold, Ian Colbert, Gage Marshall and Conner Stockeri won the gold medal with a time of 3:16:16, giving the men their fifth 4x400 relay title in the last eight LSC Indoor meets the Lions have competed in. Arnold won the silver medal in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.02 seconds, setting a new school record for the event. The previous record was set by Rashard Clark at the 2019 LSC Indoor Championships. Trayveon Franklin won the silver medal in the triple jump while Rotich finished second in the mile run. Dorian Andrews won the bronze medal in the 60-meter hurdles. On the women’s side, during the first day,

Imani Taylor finished fourth in the long jump. Keeley Norris finished right behind her in fifth place. Iniuto Ukpong finished fifth in the weight throw. The distance medley relay team consisting of Evelyn Brown, Mallory Morgan, Brianda RosalesRamirez and Dajanee Washington finished in seventh place. During the second day, Minna Svaerd won two individual gold medals in the 400-meter dash and pole vault events. Svaerd earned another gold medal as a member of the 4x400 relay team along with Atiana Alexander, Danielle Nicholson and Dajanee Washington. Svaerd’s pole vault finish marked her fourth consecutive win in that event.

Svaerd has now won nine LSC indoor gold medals, which is the most in the event’s nine-year history. The track teams will now focus on the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships which will run March 11-13 at the Birmingham Crossplex in Birmingham, Ala. Pincock stated that both teams will be regrouping in the weeks leading up to National Championships. “We need to get everyone on the same page, share love, share support and also share expectations,” Pincock said. “I believe we’re taking a good team to Birmingham.”