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February 11, 2021

Wednesdays at Waters teaches students how to utilize libra r y resources Brianna Patt Managing Editor Waters library will be hosting a workshop Feb. 3 to teach students how to pick their sources. “I Just Googled It” is one of many upcoming events in a series taking place as part of a weekly event, Wednesdays at Waters, which will occur at 2 p.m. The idea for the program stemmed from noticing that students would come to the librarians looking for certain information that was not available in the library database according to Meaghan Farrell, research and learning librarian. “They would need something like census

information or government details and they would not know how to do research and use our general academic resources. But not all of that you can necessarily find in academic journals,” Farrell said. This workshop was designed to show students the reliability of the sources they use and how to know which are worth the time and effort to study. According to her, freshmen tend to be the ones who are not familiar with research, but it could be anyone who has not had to write a research paper before. She stated that while the information may

be available on the web but that does not make it a good resource or site. “It could just be somebody who hasn’t had to write a research paper before and it could very well be a junior or something like that depending on what they’re studying or whatever the case may be.” Farrell said. As for what the workshop will cover, the next planned one is going to discuss general reference databases and how to navigate them. She stated that at the moment they are trying to make them inclusive.

“We are trying to have them be as widereaching as possible so that anybody does benefit from them,” she said. “I Just Googled It: How To Use The Web For Your Web Research” will be held virtually Feb. 3. “Get The Dictionary: Navigating General Reference Databases” will be held virtually Feb. 10.

Lion statue at Velma K. Waters Library Photo Courtesy | Texas A&M University-Commerce

Clery Act Opens Records On Campus Crime Elvis Corona Staff Reporter

The 1986 murder of Jeanne Clery, a 19-yearold Lehigh University freshman, in her own dormitory room led to passage of the Clery Act in 1990. That legislation aimed to provide communities with full clarity when it comes to crimes on university campuses. The Clery Act, for those who don’t know, is a federal law that

requires colleges and universities to disclose information about crimes on and around their campuses. Thanks to this act, communities can easily access any records of up to three years. These records are collected by campus police, published, and distributed throughout the community in an Annual Security Report. This information is

important because it maintains trust and safety with both current and prospective students, employees and local citizens living around the campus. The importance of the Clery Act is obvious, but how can the community here at Texas A&M University-Commerce find his information? Simply go to www. tamuc.edu/upd for all the

details on the university police department. There you can find the activity log and a collection of recorded crimes in the area, which the department updates daily. Crimes that happen here on campus are met with the utmost seriousness. It is the police department’s goal to ensure the safety and protection

of this university. The department does not only enforce the law. It also intends to inspire students, faculty, and local citizens alike. Sgt. Ray Dittrich was a guest speaker at a presentation hosted by the Latino-American Mentorship Program. Though Sgt. Dittrich was not obligated to speak, he came and shared wisdom with

students half his age. Therefore, Sgt. Dittrich demonstrated “unselfish service to others,” which is a quote from the department’s mission statement. This shows that Sgt. Dittrich wears the badge to uplift and encourage those around him. Hopefully spreading a similar message for other officers to follow.

Anxiety tool kit workshop Jocyln Ventura Co-Editor The

Photo Courtesy | Texas A&M University-Commerce

anxiety tool kit is an educational workshop led and run by the Texas A&M University-Commerce Counseling Center to aid students in understanding and coping with their stress and anxiety. This workshop is broken up into three 30-minute segments over a span of three weeks. Attendees are able to really assess their anxiety levels, make some realizations on how they may have been handling anxiety and learn some helpful tricks to reduce it. Mindful techniques are taught so that attendees can identify what their anxiety is and what triggers them. “Anxiety is inevitable, it is hard coded in our DNA as a survival response. However, it is often triggered in situations that are not lifethreatening. We address the fight/flight/ freeze response of the sympathetic nervous system and learn how to activate its opposite,

the parasympathetic nervous system, to calm down,” staff counselor Dean Mattox said. Although attendees are not required to participate in the sharing portion of these sessions, they are still encouraged to listen and welcomed to learn. And although 30 minutes does not seem like enough time to discuss everything, it is enough to share information on other sources provided on campus that they are more than welcome to try or look into. “The goal of the workshop is to help attendees understand their anxiety, recognize how it is affecting their body, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, learn some tools to manage their responses, and ultimately create their own personalized Anxiety Management Plan,” Mattox said. “With the right tools, many mental health issues are manageable. At the Counseling Center, I believe our role is to do more than just provide counseling sessions, we want to provide tools to help students be healthy,

happy and successful.” A Student Mental Health Survey was conducted in September 2020 during the pandemic. Active Minds found that of more than 2,000 high school and college students 75% believed their mental health worsened during the global pandemic caused by Covid-19. 87% reported they were dealing with anxiety and 77% reported social isolation/loneliness with similar numbers in depression. The TAMUC Counseling Center focuses on five main concepts to guide them as well as students on campus: student mental health & wellness, outreach & prevention, training & education, consultation and diversity & inclusion. The current workshop runs Jan. 28 to Feb. 11 at 2:30 p.m. over Zoom. The next series will be on Feb. 25, March 4 and March 11. For more information about attending an event contact the Counseling Center or check out their twitter, @TAMUCCounCtr.


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Dating In The st 21 Century

Why Is It So Hard To Find Love In The Digital Age?

Jocyln Ventura Co-Editor Meeting a dating partner online has become an increasingly common thing in the 21st century with apps like Tinder, Bumble and Match.com having more than two million users. In a world where meeting someone is as simple as swiping right, why is it still so hard to date? According to the Pew Research Center, around 47% of Americans say it’s “harder” to date now. Compared to 10 years ago, dating is now a virtual connection you make with a complete stranger that might eventually lead to a first date. So why in 2021 is it so hard to make that connection? Is it that the new societal standard is to snapchat consistently, until you eventually get the maybe okay-ish first date? Or is it simply because the idea of “romance” is a dying notion? Or is it because some people are more in love with the notion of romance than using it towards making that connection? Romance, a concept I

OPINION

Covid & Student Government

What has SGA been like under COVID?

Photo | Medical Xpress

fantasized about so much about because of romance movies and rom-coms. You know the feel-good movies where the guy shows his affection to an emotionally unavailable girl and they lived happily ever after. For me these movies were La La Land, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Dirty Dancing and the Moulin Rouge. All which gave me such an unrealistic idea that love happens when you least expect it. This theory has led me to believing that I will wake up one morning and my charming and wellrespected guy will just show up. And we will sing and dance and he will be completely silly and I will fall hopelessly in love. Well, what a load of crock. This is a day where if I put myself out there the “old fashioned” way I won’t find someone. Yet if I go and apply myself to the online dating world, I will get nothing but people just looking for hookups. What ever happened to the concept of going steady or just going to dinner at a nice restaurant? Am I simply outdated or are my notions

FEB. 11, 2021

outdated? So how do I get there, on the other side of single, how do I put myself out there in the dating world? We are less than a week away from Valentine’s day and all I have planned for it is buying myself a heart-shaped pizza, eating all the chocolate I can find and watching a LOT of romance movies. It honestly sounds like a perfect night – if I was not spending it alone. “Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on February 14 and is widely considered the most romantic holiday of the year. In today’s world, it is a celebration of love: both romantic love between partners, and platonic love between friends and family,” according to Statista Research Department. In a world with roughly 7.7 billion people, where is my person and when will he come? That question that may never be answered but here is to hoping.

Brianna Patt Managing Editor What has the Student Government Association been up to and what are their plans for the year? According to SGA President Jasmine Williams, Covid-19 has not halted events. They have been maintaining their meetings. Though they were initially held virtually, recently the option for in-person meetings has been added. “I know a lot of administrators didn’t feel comfortable coming up to the building due to Covid and a lot of students as well. So that is how we do our general body meetings right now, virtual and face to face,” Williams said. According to her, when Covid-19 first appeared on-

Photo | Student Government Association

campus, Dr. Mark Rudin, president, Texas A&M University- Commerce ensured that there was some plan at play by the student government. During this time, an Instruction Communication Improvement Bill was written Nov. 4, 2020 by Academic Senator Amy Hays. The legislation was born out of concern that considering Covid, there are a lot of student-teacher communication issues. It offers methods to improve student-teacher interactions including workshops and tutorials about how to use Brightspace (D2L). “Dr. Rudin was very good at having some kind of plan for students and administrators to get used to the programming,” Hays said. She stated that for those looking to take part in student government, it should be

remembered how serious taking on this task is. “If you’re not looking for a position that is going to pursue providing somebody sources, providing somebody services and providing [those] that lack of communication between student and staff and even administration then student government is not for you,” she said. One positive that has come out of the pandemic to her is the time spent with family. “You’re stuck in a house with your family, but you also get to have that experience with them. You have more family time,” she said. SGA will be working with Fraternities and Sorority Life (FSL) to hold an event during midterms in the nursing building at night. Food will be provided by Sodexo.

E-sports Added To Intramural Games

E-Sports are making their way to Commerce

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.

Photo | Forbes

Madi Zick Staff Reporter Morris Recreation Center has been hosting intramural games for more than 10 years. They have hosted basketball, volleyball, foosball and around 40 other sports to accommodate the students of Texas A&M University-Commerce. With Covid-19, there have been some changes as to how the games can function. While sports have been able to continue normally with face coverings and limited team members, the recreation center has come up with a new idea for students to be able to participate in sports other ways. ESports has been growing in

The E ast Tex an Established 1915

JOCYLN VENTURA | JOHN PARSONS

CO-EDITORS BRIANNA PATT MANAGING EDITOR DJ SPENCER SPORTS EDITOR

LINDSEY WILEY SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR TYLAR BROWN ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

TONY DEMARS FACULTY ADVISER

Tony.DeMars@tamuc.edu

popularity over the past few years, and A&M-Commerce is joining the fun. The recreation center started the ESports league on Jan. 25 and games will go through March 8. They started with NBA 2K21 and Fortnite. The competition will finish with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and League of Legends. But how do ESports work with the intramural referees? Tehillah Ndhlovu is a sophomore at A&M-Commerce and has been working at the recreation center for around five months. Ndhlovu is an intramural referee and explained the process. For normal sports, the referees would first have a training week where they inform the teams of the rules of

the sport they are participating in. The next week, they would go straight into the competition and allow the teams to battle for the title of champion. Ndhlovu is “excited to officiate the rules of ESports and try something different!” She believes this will be a fun and new way for the recreation center to add some diversity to the sports world. Along with ESports, the recreation center will continue with other leagues and tournaments. For more information and the schedule for intramural games, visit the TAMUC website, click on Campus Life & Student Success and then Intramural Sports.

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FEB. 11, 2021

COMMUNITY

commerce council resumes meetings

Jocyln Ventura Co-Editor

The City of Commerce held its first public in-person city council meeting for the new year Jan. 19. The global pandemic struck many cities, states and countries bringing them to a sudden halt. But with all the uncertainty of the virus, city council members still managed to meet virtually over Zoom during this time. While this was the first time meeting in person, all members, as well as public guests who attended, stayed safe and maintained social distancing. Howdy Lisenbee, city manager, was just one of the city’s staff in attendance. Many of the guests on the agenda were unable to make the meeting. The meetings can be seen online for those

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tractor supply

company is coming to commerce

Photo | City of Commerce The Commerce City Council in Front of City Hall

unable to attend in person. “Meetings can be viewed on our website, under the video tabs. And, as we conduct more meetings we will start populating that and we’ll try to see if we can upload our recorded Zoom meetings at some point to our YouTube Channel,” Lisenbee said. While Covid-19 is putting a stop to many things, subjects such as creating a local dog park, gifting two streets to Texas A&M University-Commerce and the 2021 general elections were discussed at the meeting. Logistics and money seemed to table quite a few items on the agenda,

while others did not get approved. The gifting of W. Neal St., located near Whitley Hall, was approved. As for the SH 24 frontage road, that issue will still need some time. There was also a motion to open and fill places two and four on the council during the May general elections. “The city is open for business and we are committed to providing a high level of service,” Lisenbee said. “We recognize the reality of Covid, but we cannot let it shut us down,” For more information on when the next city council meeting is or inquires on the May general election visit CommerceTx.org.

John Parsons Co-Editor

A Tractor Supply Company retail store will be opening in Commerce early 2022 on Live Oak west of SH 24 according to Howdy Lisenbee, city manager for Commerce, and confirmed by Abby Brown, TSC spokesperson. A typical store runs about 15,000 square feet and employs around 15 people, both full time and part time, Brown said. Tractor Supply Company bills itself as “the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States,” according to its website.

Photo | Tractor Supply Company

It claims to be “a onestop shop for recreational farmers, ranchers and all those who enjoy living the rural lifestyle.” “Tractor Supply offers an extensive mix of products necessary to care for home, land, pets and animals with a focus on product localization” to address the needs of the “Out Here” lifestyle, according to its website. The company “has more than 1,900 stores nationwide,” according to Brown, and has more than 42,000 team members.

The stores have both physical and online presences and are expected to provide everyday products for customers such as animal feed, pet food and supplies, propane, fencing, garden supplies, home supplies and more. Tractor Supply will provide information on hiring and wages closer to the store’s grand opening.

varsity girls show character in loss to rains John Parsons Co-Editor

The Commerce Lady Tigers, coached by Tony Henry, demonstrated their strength of character in a 77-48 loss to the Rains Lady Cats by never quitting on the game, their teammates or themselves. Jaida Harris led the

Lady Tigers with a doubledouble. She scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while shooting 6 for 8 on free throws. Cadye Shaw added 11 points, three assists, two steals and led the team with a 58% total shooting rating. Keke Reynolds led both teams with

30 minutes of game time. Commerce was behind 49-17 at the half but a strong 17-9 fourth period showing saw them gain a little ground before the final buzzer of their last game of the regular season. Photos | John Parsons

Jaylene Balderama shoots a free throw

Mural in Tiger Gym

Jaida Harris shoots for three

commerce city manager seeks to build trust with the community John Parsons Co-Editor

Howdy Lisenbee, city manager of Commerce, seeks to “build and preserve trust” between the city and the members of the community. Lisenbee has 20 years of experience with Texas city governments, starting with Anson. He has also worked in Abilene and Pecos. He hopes to do another 20 years in Commerce. He has a degree in finance plus an MBA from Abilene. Lisenbee brought of his wife 19 years to Commerce along with their eldest daughter and her children. His father was a ranch hand. Lisenbee grew up working cattle and participating in cattle drives. These experiences taught him to value hard work. Lisenbee says the best way the city and Texas A&M University-Commerce can work together is to have conversations about mutual goals and partner in collaborations. This will allow both groups to understand each other’s future and “avoid sibling rivalry,” which breeds discontent. “Our futures are

tied together,” he said. Lisenbee wants to create “a lot of synergy” between the city and the university. He recognizes that Commerce is a poor community without a lot of resources. He wants to improve staff efficiency. Operate lean, “smart but effective,” he said. Lisenbee has been in contact with Lacey Henderson, director, career development of the university, about creating a vibrant internship program that will provide students with real-world experience with minimal cost to the city. These internships will include paid and unpaid positions. Some positions will last a full semester, some will be for specific projects and others can be part of a student’s coursework. He sees Commerce supporting the university’s development goals and has had several positive meetings with Dr. Mark Rudin, university president. Some ways to do so include transferring W. Neal St. beside Whitley Hall to the university, working together on dual-purpose streets, a recycling program and supporting both water and wastewater infrastructures.

A&M-Commerce has its own water program but the two groups need to work together for maintenance and improvements. Lisenbee committed to supporting “the mission and goals of the university.” He wants to “keep seeing us work together.” Open communications between the city and its residents are crucial as “what people don’t know, they make up,” Lisenbee said. He expects to develop trust in himself and city government by being transparent and consistent. He participates in a radio program on Tuesday mornings with Dr. John Mark Dempsey, professor, mass media journalism. Commerce should see an increase in jobs by Huaru Pipe, Inc. coming to town. The company is leasing existing space in town and has committed to having 50 employees. Lisenbee did not know how many would be local hires versus personnel brought in by the company. Huaru received a 10-year city tax abatement that will start at 100% and then decrease 10% each year. The Commerce Economic Development Corporation provided $408,000 to

Huaru and will add an additional $125,000 for reaching the goal of having 50 employees. Lisenbee expects Huaru’s presence to have a positive economic impact with new jobs being the biggest benefit. Commerce will also be receiving a new retail store as Tractor Supply Company will be building on Live Oak street west of SH 24. The Biden administration has announced a $25 billion relief program called the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The money will be funneled through the states to cities and counties that have a rental assistance program. Commerce does not currently have one but Lisenbee committed to looking into the program which is intended to help renters and property owners by paying up to 12 months of overdue rent or the next three pending payments. The Commerce city council recently held its first in-person meeting of the year. Future meetings will be broadcast on the city’s YouTube channel which can be accessed from the homepage. The meetings will also be archived for

people unable to watch them live. Lisenbee will work on a way to take phone calls during the meetings. “Trust is the single most powerful thing to do our job,” Lisenbee said. “My

job is to improve it.” He committed to building and preserving trust and said that local government’s job is to serve the public. “We’re here to serve,” Lisenbee said.

Commerce City Manager Howdy Lisenbee Photo | John Parsons


CAMPUS

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Kisses from the K’s

Daryl Brown Staff Reporter

The Epsilon Sigma chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority is having a Valentine’s Day event called Kisses from the K’s at Texas A&M University-Commerce. It is an event where you have a choice to purchase a candygram sent to a recipient of your choice or a message and photo to be posted on their social media. There is also an option to purchase both. The candygram will be delivered Feb. 12 by noon while the

photo and message post will be all day on Feb. 14. The price for the candygram or the photo and message is $2.50 but the price to purchase both is $5. The proceeds from this event will be donated to the Black Heart Association, an organization with a purpose to research prevention, treatment and education on heart disease in the Black community. Sorority president Beamer Murphy expressed the importance of the event

CHSSA Call to Artists DJ Spencer Sports Editor

The College of Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts is holding a call to artists mural project contest. The contest is open to all undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled and majoring in a CHSSA program. The goal of the mural is to provide a piece of public art to the community and visitors that tells the story of CHSSA’s influence. The winning mural will be placed on display in the reception area of the CHSSA dean’s office suite. When asked about the main reason to hold this contest, Dr. David Scott, associate dean, said that the CHSSA office suite was reconfigured during the summer of 2020, which created a big, blank wall in plain sight of the suite’s main entrance. “The dean, as

FEB. 11, 2021

well as the rest of staff, thought that a mural would be a wonderful way to welcome visitors to our space,” Scott said. “It will also emphasize the presence and importance of arts within our college.” The mural will be approximately 13 feet by eight feet. The mural will be featured on a wall of textured sheetrock, finished with a flat acrylic paint. The mural artist application requires a project narrative and design illustrating the concept. Applicants must include supplemental information such as mediums, a completion timeline, an itemized budget and three to five images of previous work. All components must be in a digital format. There is not an application fee. Artists will receive a $500 stipend. The initial

payment, which is 50% of the stipend, will be paid within two weeks of a signed agreement. The other half is given out upon completion of the mural. Artists may also receive up to $800 in material reimbursements, which is subject to a signed letter of agreement and proof of receipts. The deadline for mural proposals is 5 p.m. Feb. 19. Artists can submit their work to CHSSA@ tamuc.edu. The finalists of the contest will be announced March 12. All work must be completed prior to April 30. “The expectation is that the mural will be completed late in the spring semester, but certainly no later than early in the summer,” according to Scott.

stating, “We all need knowledge of heart disease, it is common for people suffering from heart disease in communities”. Murphy believes this event will help bring awareness by informing the student population on the dangers of heart disease and its effect on society. She also says this is a great start for the sorority chapter to be more involved on campus and that there is a lot more in store from the sorority. A&M-Commerce students, faculty and

staff can purchase an item of their choosing using the cash app provided by the sorority at $ESIG1970 and then direct messaging the sorority twitter page at TAMUC_AKAs. Those interested in supporting the organization have until Feb. 11 to make a purchase of their choice and follow the social media page for more information on what’s next.

Women of G.O.L.D aim to make an impact on young women Tylar Brown Entertainment Editor

The Texas A&M UniversityCommerce Women of G.O.L.D will be hosting a women’s mixer 7 p.m. Feb. 3 in Rayburn Student Center Innovations A and B. Women of G.O.L.D is an organization founded by GerMia Malone in September 2020 with the help of six other women with the goal of enabling young women to gain self-love, life skills and knowledge, as well as creating a lasting positive impact. The organization’s goal is to help young women through their college journey. “Our purpose/goal is to guide young women through an uplifting organization through their collegiate years,” Ariana Williams, W.O.G

President and junior, said. “We plan to give back to our community as much as we can.” The upcoming mixer will allow women from all over campus to come out and connect with each other. After the event, Valentine’s Day cards will be made to hand out to different nursing homes around Commerce. Memunatu Jalloh, vice president, joined to have those with a similar mindset around her. “I joined W.O.G to be amongst women who wanted the same thing as me. Such as more friends, advice, somewhere I could feel comfortablewhich is a room filled with positivity,” Jalloh said. W.O.G is open to any young lady on

the A&M-Commerce campus. To Williams, female empowerment is about working towards positivity and unity. “Women empowerment means embracing all women and positively inspiring change for other girls around the world,” Williams said. For more information follow Women of G.O.L.D on twitter @WOGtamuc or email Ariana Williams at arianawilliams46@yahoo. com

A&M-Commerce Band Program Amid the Pandemic Kirsten Griffin Staff Reporter

Covid-19 has affected the performing arts center in various ways. Having activities that are meant to be done in person, the performing arts program has adapted and persevered in activities through this pandemic so far, while also following Covid-19 protocols. Bandmates are put under unusual circumstances this year. Having to be apart from an ensemble of musicians that are usually together, it’s fairly difficult to maintain or keep relationships the same. Isaiah Scott, a trumpet player in the Texas A&M University-Commerce band shared what the band is going through during these times. “With the cancellation of the in-person marching band, we were not able to meet the section/studio like we usually do. Making new friends has been especially tough,” Scott said. Practicing seems to have been forced to be more on the backburner. Since They are not able to have face-

to-face classes, teachers tend to move faster in providing a decent amount of schoolwork. In turn, that means less time for band members to practice their music and enhance their skills. “My personal practice has become more focused and intentional due to the increase in homework provided by professors. The more homework, the less time I have to devote to my instrument and major,” Scott said. Since there are so many members in the band and social distancing must be enforced, the university has taken the precaution of not having concerts at this time. “There are no in-person shows or concerts taking place for our university. However, the department will be posting video recordings of the ensemble performing pieces from the fall semester,” Scott said. During concert ensembles, the bandmates prepare earlier than usual to assure everything runs smoothly.

Usually, this is a fairly quick process to be on and off the stage, but there’s too much risk involved. There’s also a wait time after reversing a [stage] set up to prevent groups from passing each other. “The ensembles have pushed the call times earlier due to the requirement of more time in advance to set up equipment,” Scott said. During these times, meeting with band members in a safe manner is top priority. The band has adapted to unusual practices, but they make it work. “Masks are expected to be on when not playing those same wind instruments at that moment. We are only allowed to rehearse for 30-minute segments and are required to switch rooms,” Scott said. It’s tough to switch to online meetings when it comes to music because it must be heard in person if more than one person is involved, so the band is forced to meet physically

throughout the week to practice as much as they can while also being as safe as possible. “Our concert ensembles meet two to three times a week depending on which band you are placed in,” Scott said. Scott’s motivation remains strong during these times. Although he can’t play music with his band members very often, he can practice a lot on his own to be prepared for when he actually meets up with them. “My motivation to be ready for every session has only heightened. Individual preparation has to be much higher and better so that time is not wasted,” Scott said.


FEATURES

FEB. 11, 2021

The Black Student Union Has Goals

Aliyah Sabir Staff Reporter

Black Student Union is a cultural organization at Texas A&M University-Commerce 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. Cultural clubs and organizations have been a part of university life for many years as a growing number of minorities are pursuing higher education. “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,” junior Derrick Sneed said. Black Student Union made its way to A&M-Commerce in

Photo | John Parsons Students at the recent Unity March this year

early 2017. “I heard about BSU at ManeStreet,” junior Daryl Brown said. “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, known as a predominately white institution. It was “a safe place for the black community to gather after segregation,” BSU Secretary JaKyra Givens said. She heard about the union 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, regardless of race. “We have general body meetings every other week on Thursdays in Traditions at the

Student Center,” Givens said. The meetings start at 4:30 pm. But BSU extends past 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.

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Chic-Fil-A Opens On Campus

Mark Herrera Staff Reporter

The Commerce community received a new fast-food restaurant this month. Chick-Fil-A opened at the Texas A&M CommerceUniversity student center and is not just for faculty and students but also available to the public. Sodexo owns this particular restaurant and said they were “very excited to introduce the restaurant to the community”. Opening during a pandemic may have seemed difficult but with the popularity of this particular fast-food franchise is having no trouble at all. A worker described the flow of business as “very busy moments, and consistent throughout the day.” The restaurant is also following local and state Covid-19 guidelines and is currently only doing carry-

out while their dining room is closed. All employees must wear masks while entering and working in the building and customers also must wear masks while ordering. Some students described the new Chick-Fil-A coming to campus as a great choice. Nicholas Kerslake said “I am pretty happy that we have one [Chick-Fil-A] now. I don’t have to always drive to Greenville now.” One worker described her experience working for the franchise thus far as great. “I really enjoy it. It’s going really well and just a great opportunity for me since I still have school.” The restaurant is currently hiring and would be a great opportunity for any students that are seeking employment. A manager said, “It would be a great job for any student since we also work with

Photo |LSU Reveille A New Business Has Opened Up On Campus

students’ schedules.” Commerce residents seem thrilled about getting a ChickFil-A. Local resident Jerome Lunsford said “It’s pretty cool we got it. I am mostly in Greenville anyways but I have relatives that go to Commerce [Texas A&M University- Commerce].” Safe to say, this Chick-Fil-A will be successful.

Daddy-Daughter dance at Northeast Texas Children’s Museum Tylar Brown Entertainment Editor

The Northeast Texas Children’s Museum hosted their 12th annual Daddy-Daughter dances Feb. 6. The museum held its first Daddy-Daughter dance in 2009 with popular themes like Frozen and unicorns. This year’s theme will be “Fairies and Trolls.” Due to covid restrictions, there were two sessions, both on the same day. “There will be several changes from our traditional event. We hope these changes will increase the safety of those attending,” Sharline Freeman, executive director of the Children’s Museum, said. Decorations will be surrounded around the Troll movie that came out last summer. A variety of crafts will be sponsored by local business and individuals under the leadership of Lonnie Plunkett. A local dad said, “This is my daughter and I second year attending the dance, which has been a great experience because we just moved to this small town and we don’t know much about what’s going on

in town. I enjoyed it more as a father to have the opportunity to take my daughter to a dance and see how happy she looks when we are there.” There were cards available to make, food, drinks and a photo booth. The photos were available to purchase at the event. Tickets were $40 per couple with $10 for an additional daughter. The Northeast Texas Children’s Museum started in 2002. In 2019, they purchased their new building on Maple street on seven acres of land. The NETXM not only serves children in the community but children all across the United States by providing a creative and enriching learning experience through the museum’s many exhibits. “We are thankful for our many friends and supporters. With the help from generous contributions from families, companies and individuals, we are able to increase our programming,” Freeman said. The Northeast Texas Children’s Museum provides opportunities for a playful and

creative learning experience. The museum uses hands-on exhibits to match classroom curriculum.

Photos |Northeast Texas Childrens Museum

Fathers with their daughters at the 12th annual Daddy-Daughter dance


SPORTS

PAGE 6

Photo | John Parsons

Riley Davidson goes low for one of her 20 digs.

Lion volleyball team wins season opener against DBU John Parsons Co-Editor

The Texas A&M UniversityCommerce volleyball team won their season opener 3-2 against Dallas Baptist University in the Field House after a pause in play that lasted more than 400 days. Set scores were 25-27, 25-16, 27-29, 25-15, and 15-5. The team is now 1-0 overall and 1-0 in Lone Star Conference play.

The Lions hit .150 with 59 kills in the match. Sydney Andersen led the team with 16 kills and shared the lead for digs with 20. Maiya Dickie completed a career high 15 kills and participated in seven blocks. Natalie Sarbeck had a doubledouble with 29 assists and 14 digs. The Lions dominated the net with 13 blocks compared to DBU’s seven.

FEB. 11, 2021

Riley Davidson made her debut as the libero. She wears a different color jersey and can enter and exit the back row anytime she wants but can only be replaced by the player she stepped in for. The libero is a defensive player who gets recognized for her consistency of play. She leads the defense and covers - the act of placing players around

the hitter as she attacks the ball. The most important role of a libero is considered to be receiving the serve and passing the ball to a teammate. A libero entering or exiting the game does not count against a coach’s maximum of 15 substitutions per set. Davidson shared the team lead with 20 digs.

Carius Key slams one home after a steal.

Photo | John Parsons

Lions defeat Patriots 78-74 while establishing a new school record John Parsons Co-Editor

The Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions men’s basketball team broke a school record while defeating the University of Texas at Tyler Patriots in the Field House. The Lions shot 16 for 16 from the free throw line to break the 50-year-old record which had been 14 for 14 since a Feb. 16, 1970 loss to Sul Ross State. This marks the third time

the team has been perfect from the line. The game featured 11 tie scores and 17 lead changes. Neither team established a double-digit lead. Augustine Ene led the Lions with 21 points and tied for the most rebounds with six. A game highlight was a Carius Key steal and breakaway dunk to put the

Lions in the lead for the first time during the first half. The next game will be Jan. 29 at Angelo State while the next home game will be Feb. 4 when the Lions host Dallas Baptist University.

Lion Track Teams Resume Competition in 2021 DJ Spencer Sports Editor

After last season was abruptly ended due to Covid-19, the Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s and women’s track teams resumed competition in January. When preparing for the season, head coach George Pincock said the 10 months between the premature end of last season and the start of this season was a really long wait. “Leaving Alabama in March when the pandemic started was tough,” Pincock said. “All our group wants this year is the opportunity to compete.” Both teams have competed in two meets, the

Crimson and Gold Invitational and the Washburn Open. Neither team posted a team score in the Crimson and Gold Invitational, but both teams posted team scores at the Washburn Open, which saw the men’s team finish tied for second place while the women’s team finished 14th. Notable men’s results from the Washburn Open in the track events included Dorian Andrews finishing second in the 60-meter hurdles, Cameron Maken finishing fifth in the 60-meter hurdles, Lamarion Arnold winning the 200-meter dash, Delan Edwin finishing

sixth in the 60-meter dash and seventh in the 200, Nicodemus Rotich finishing sixth in the 3,000 meter run and fifth in the 5,000 meter and the men’s 4x400 relay team finishing fourth. Notable men’s field results included Mickey Ferdinand and Dakari Hill tying for second in the high jump, Ferdinand finishing seventh in the pole vault, Trayveon Franklin finishing third in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump, and Ryan Amador finishing seventh in the shot put. Notable women’s results from the Washburn

Open include Atiana Alexander finishing sixth in the 400, Iniuto Ukpong finishing third in the shot put, and Candesha Scott finishing fifth in the shot put. The men’s team was recently ranked seventh nationally in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association ratings index. This season, the Lions Track teams will only compete in four meets prior to the Lone Star Conference championships. George Pincock said that he would have liked to compete in a few more meets but will take what he can get.

“I am fortunate to have a staff that truly understands the sport and our teams will be ready to compete in the championship meets,” Pincock said. Both teams’ next meets are scheduled for Feb. 12 and 13 when they will compete at the 6th Annual Gorilla Classic and the Ichabod Invitational. When strategizing which athletes will compete at which meets, assistant coach Trent Phelps noted that the tracks at Pittsburg State and Washburn University are made up differently. “Pittsburg State has

a 300-meter indoor track and Washburn has a 200-meter banked track,” Phelps said. “We will have distance runners run at Pittsburg State and sprinters running at Washburn while the jumpers and throwers will compete at both meets.” The 6th Annual Gorilla Classic will take place at the Robert W. Plaster Center in Pittsburg, Kan. The Ichabod Invitational will be held at the Washburn Indoor Athletic Facility in Topeka, Kan.

Strong defensive action leads Lion women’s basketball team to win Agang Tac jumps high for a two-pointer.

Photo | John Parsons

John Parsons Co-Editor

The tenth ranked Texas A&M UniversityCommerce Lion women’s basketball team used a strong defensive effort Feb. 4 to win 77-54 over the Texas Woman’s University Pioneers. The Lions finished the first period at 18-4 and increased their lead to 43-21 at the half. The team tied the program record for fewest points allowed in a quarter by giving up only four points in the first 10 minutes of action. This win gives the team at 9-1 overall record with a 9-0 record in Lone Star Conference play. The Lions shot 50% from the field in the

first half and 42.6% (29of-68) for the game. DesiRay Kernal led the Lions with a double-double. She had 18 points – including a personal five point run in the fourth period – and 10 rebounds. Juliana Louis scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Dyani Robinson and Ravae Payne each scored 10 points and added two assists. The Lion reserves took the court for the final two minutes of the game. Cyliest Smith scored two threepointers while Ashley Shipley added a goal.

Dyani Robinson goes high to get over the Pioneer defense. Photo | John Parsons

Profile for The East Texan

Spring 21- 2.11.21  

Spring 21- 2.11.21  

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