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2014 Orientation Issue

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Friendly tips for all new fish JEREMY VILLANUEVA Sports Editor No one really tells you about how not to make a fool out of yourself when making the transition from the juvenile detention that is high school to the prison of college. This happens to many a freshman: You’re sitting in your 11 a.m. 1301 history class with your palms starting to sweat as you try to avoid any reference to water. You raise your hand and ask the professor if you can go to the restroom, and the professor says, “What the hell do I care what you do?”

Sophomores snicker and face palm, and that weird senior who is in the 1000 level class rolls her eyes. Back in juvie you would go up to the teacher and ask if you could use the pass then go take care of business. My advice to you about excusing yourself from class for this and other reasons. Just go. One of the best things about college is you’re treated like an adult. The professor doesn’t hold your hand like a high school teacher. A thing as simple as going to relieve your bladder doesn’t need permission. You’re in college now, and college students have bladders to relieve, roommates who

text them about an emergency they need to take care of, frat naps to take, calls from a boss about scheduling, and supplies they need for the very class they are in. Professors know this and would rather you quietly duck out than interrupt the class. However, just because you’re now going to start really being treated like an adult doesn’t mean you do whatever the hell you want. Respectfulness is key. If your professor announces at the beginning of the semester to not have your phone out during lecture then don’t have your phone out during lecture. If your professor announces at the

beginning of the semester when she says “jump” you say “how high?” then drop the course or switch professors. Have some respect for the class. If that call you have to answer comes, make sure you are the only one who hears it and you are outside the class before answering it. The last thing you want to do is piss off your professor. Listen to how your professor runs the class and be mindful of what you do. Don’t be distracting and you will avoid embarrassing yourself and getting the symbolic prison beat down that is the sophomore face palm.

Freshmen

• Reviewing Financial Aid Package • Budgeting Financial Aid Refunds • Planning for potential move off campus

Sophmores

• Establishing Credit • Saving for Senior Class Ring

Student Money Management Center Estill Building, Suite 228 936-294-2600 smmc@shsu.edu

Juniors

• Planning on Budgeting for graduation • Planning on Budgeting for expenses and professional wardrobe

Seniors

• Planning on Student Loan Repayment • Planning on Budgeting for potential move


2014 Orientation Issue

Note from the Editor-in-Chief

CONNOR HYDE Editor-in-Chief

The Houstonian was named in the top 100 list of college newspapers for journalism students in the nation by JournalismDegree.org. We’re also members of ACP and TIPA. Be a part of our ever growing staff!

Editorial Staff Robin Johnson Faculty Adviser

936-294-1499

Connor Hyde

There’s a war within the creased pages of traditional print and the digital spectrum many veteran journalists are apprehensive of combating. As I enter my fourth year at Sam Houston State University, sixth year in college, I’ve heard the monotone regurgitation from most of my mass communication professors “we’re in a transition from print to digital.” It’s a lie. The transition has happened. And the Houstonian is both a newspaper and website that offers video news, podcasts, audio slideshows, and multimedia interactive stories. As the Editor-in-Chief of The Houstonian, the independent student newspaper of SHSU, I instill the theory

Jay R. Jordan

Associate Editor jjordan@houstonianonline.com

Jeremy Villanueva

Dharmesh Patel

Assistant A&E Editor

Hannah Zedaker

Senior Reporter hzedaker@houstonianonline.com

Editor-in-Chief 936-294-1505

Sports Editor jvillanueva@houstonianonline.com

chyde@houstonianonline.com

Marissa Hill

Steven Snook

Kizzie Frank

Sports Reporter mhill@houstonianonline.com

Stephen Green

Kassidy Turnpaugh

A&E Editor kfrank@houstonianonline.com

Colin Harris

Viewpoints Editor charris@houstonianonline.com

Web Editor sgreen@houstonianonline.com

Samantha Zambrano Layout Editor

Multimedia Reporter ssnook@houstonianonline.com

that we’re an alternative classroom and a newsroom. I learned as the sports reporter in 2012 the different roles media play in society. And as I climbed the ladder into the boss’ desk, my transition into the digital era happened. When I knocked on the padlocked door of the newsroom in 2011, I was greeted by my predecessor, Stephen Green. As my first year came to a close, the edits on my first story – a 1,500-word literary analysis – had more red ink than black. As the red bled onto the next five articles, it clicked: This is how to be a journalist. The Houstonian on face value is a twiceweekly publication dedicated to the news of SHSU. Yet, scratch away the freshly imprinted ink, there’s a group of students dedicated to the credibility of the paper and furthering their careers. And it’s not a room packed with seniors. The Houstonian thrives on the work and sacrifice of freshmen seeking to have their identity found in their career path. For the incoming freshmen that are reading this issue, I encourage you to find yourself as a writer, broadcast reporter and photographer with the Houstonian. Our imprint is felt on a local, state, national and international levels, and that imprint grows with each semester. We are always hunting for new writers, with or without experience, to help us

Staff Reporters

Karah Rucker Kyle Kelly Brynn Castro Raveen Johnson Alex Broussard Sean Smith Jennifer Jackson

Assistant News Editor kturnpaugh@houstonianonline.

Lillie Muyskens

Production Manager & Graphic Designer

become better as editors and reporters and as a news organization. The Houstonian is the place where students are supposed to make mistakes and learn. I personally encourage upcoming mass communication students, regardless of your track, to become involved with The Houstonian early. We want writers, broadcast news reporters, photographers, podcasters, and videographers. The environment at the Houstonian is creative, fun and professional. Each editor, regardless of their classification, is expected to uphold a standard of professionalism and respect for each colleague. We’ve managed to produce award-winning content and blossom life-long friendships in our environment. The work you produce at the Houstonian serves as experience and a staple in building your resume. Journalism is a field where employers demand incoming prospects to have experience before getting experience, i.e. internships. Many of our staff members have reeled in internships that have stemmed from the content produced at the Houstonian. For more information, feel free to contact me at chyde@houstonianonline. com or call the newsroom at 936-2941505.

Business Staff Paty Mason

Business Manager 936-294-1500

pmason@houstonianonline.com

Stacy Hood

Advertising Manager shood@houstonianonline.com

Holland Behn

Account Executive

Alesandra Morgan

Account Executive

Guellermo Lopez Sanchez

Delivery Manager cmolina@houstonianonline.com

Ad Deadlines Tuesday’s Issue Friday at 5 p.m. Thursday’s Issue

Tuesday at 2 p.m.


2014 Orientation Issue

Nine things to cook with your coffee pot SAMANTHA ZAMBRANO Layout Editor Living in a dorm comes with a lot of restrictions. No hot plates, no candles, no personal microwave, no toaster, no little grills, no flamethrowers. Fair enough, as long as I have access to a coffee maker. To survive in your jail cell and maintain the little nutrition you have allotted yourself, you need a little creativity and a coffee pot. Coffee pots are not just for brewing liquid fuel. You can use it to make food that can get you through those late night cram sessions. Here are nine staples every college prisoner can make using a coffee maker. 9) Ramen, the college food staple There are two ways to make ramen

with a coffee maker. If cup noodles is your jam, then heat up your water and pour it straight into the foam cup. Let it steep until the noodles are tender and violἁ. If the packaged noodles are your favorite (and you have a little courage), put your noodles in the decanter and run water through the coffee maker, let them sit until cooked. 8) Instant Oatmeal. This one has the same directions as Ramen noodles. If you are feeling adventurous, you can put a tea bag in the filter part of your coffee maker before you run the water through to add different flavors to your oats. 7) Boiled Hot Dogs Grab your fully cooked hot dogs. Put them in the coffee pot. Run hot water through. Wait 8-10 minutes. 6)Steamed Veggies

If you are trying to be healthy, then you can steam veggies in the filter part of your coffee maker. Run hot water through until your veggies are as mushy as you like them. 5) Rice Same instructions as ramen and oatmeal. Just leave in the pot until cooked. While you are waiting think of all the things you could add to your rice, those steamed vegetables from earlier, cut up hot dogs, beans, or other flavors to your liking. 4) Boiled or fried eggs This is for the daring ones out there. Isn’t that what college is all about? For this one you can place your eggs in the pot, run hot water and let them sit. For fried eggs take the pot off and use a miniature frying pans or carefully use folded foil, and then use the burner as a mini hot plate. 3) Chocolate Fondue

Feeling fancy? Throw a little party in your dorm complete with your version of a chocolate fountain. Heat cream in the pot of your coffee maker for 10-15 minutes then add little pieces of chocolate, stir and dip all the things in there. 2) Grilled Cheese Put what you want in between two slices of bread and use the heating plate to warm up your sandwich. 1) Bacon Make a little jacket for those precious strips out of foil and place on the warming plate until you hear the popping. (Make sure you used fully cooked bacon). Coffee pots are not the only thing you can use to cook: iron cooking, thermos cooking and communal microwaves. Always watch your food, use common sense and be creative. Have fun not starving!

Is Philosophy for me? First, a person exhibits a genuine philosophical attitude when they are deeply curious about the fundamental questions raised by particular areas of human experience ranging from physics, criminal law, and religious mysticism to music, medicine, sports, and beyond. Second, while trying to answer these questions, the philosophically inclined person wants answers that make sense, that have good reasons to support them. Third, the philosophical person will be open-minded and realize that those with whom we disagree often can teach us more than those who agree with us, provided we listen carefully to what they say. Fourth, the person has the courage to challenge whatever passes for conventional wisdom. Finally, the person who has a philosophical attitude wants beliefs that fit together and that are as coherent and free of contradiction as possible.

Bachelor of arts in philosophy Department of Psychology and Philosophy Sam Houston State University Box 2447 Huntsville, TX 77341-2447 1-866-BEARKAT or 936-294-1509 psy_fkf@shsu.edu

shsu.edu/see/philosophy

“When I chose Philosophy as my major, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. Philosophy classes are some of the hardest classes that I have ever taken. However, they have taught me so much. Being a Philosophy major has prepared me for any class. I am capable of reading the most difficult text, and I am able to consider things from multiple outlooks. Majoring in Philosophy has been one of my best decisions.” - Ayeisha Bell, Philosophy major


2014 Orientation Issue

PROBATION

Surviving in the hole

How to combat academic probation KASSIDY TURNPAUGH Assistant News Editor Listen up, punks. I know what I’m talking about because I’ve been there. College is nothing like high school. College, whether you wanted to be at Sam Houston State University or not, is hard. It is really hard. Harder than those inmates on Lockup: San Quentin. College is not for the faint of heart. College will not coddle you and stroke your hair lovingly like high school did. College stabs you in the face with a shiv, takes your money and then makes you its bitch at every turn. Whether you like it or not, college is hardcore. If you are not prepared for the rigorous task of autonomy when you get to college, then you will be one of the seemingly few who end up on academic probation. Academic probation is what happens when you don’t pay college enough attention, and college decides to punch you in your face. The lovely, amazing world of college where the parties are hard and the sex even harder that Hollywood has shown you does exist. Hold on to that boner though because it is also the most detrimental place in which to hang out. That is the number one way to land yourself on academic probation, you bunch of sorry delinquents. According to the SHSU Student Hand Guide of 20132016, you can be put on probation for letting your GPA slip below a 2.0, cheating or dropping too many courses. At the beginning of the semester after you’re placed on probation, you have to meet with your probation officer—err, academic counselor. Depending upon how bad your GPA is you may be required to have regular meetings with this person. Try to be pathetic. The counselors tend to pity you if you are really pathetic. Go on, try it. This is where they ask you how you managed to land in the hot seat. Maybe you partied too hard, maybe you are constantly sick, maybe you need to work on your study skills, or maybe you’re just an idiot. Regardless, these counselors will recommend you come in X times a week and attend X number of study sessions and that you get all of these damn documents signed by your professors.

Once you are done dealing with your parole officer, you have to take on the even heavier task of ruining your own life. Metaphorically toss out any distractions. Put on your big boy pants and own up to your failings. You have had your fun, and now it is time to suffer through the next four years. Stop fucking crying. College may be difficult, but it just prepares you for the even more difficult reality of life as an adult. It takes a lot of slacking to dig a hole big enough to fit your dumb ass in, and it takes even more work to climb out and fill it in. Luckily you have probably already started crying, since you found out about being on probation and can swim high enough to reach the edge of the well. In the next few months on academic probation you will learn to master the art of bending over backwards and kissing ass. You will learn to like the taste of it, or you will die. Pick one. Pity will get you everywhere in life but work is what opens the door. If you work your ass your professors will like you regardless of your history. If you decide not to listen, then prepare for even more problems. Academic probation doesn’t just ruin all of your fun. It rips fun from your arms, shoves fun into a blender and chugs fun right in front of you. Probation also ruins your financial aid, makes your parents ashamed of you, dismisses you from your oncampus job, smashes your self-confidence, distances friends, and will probably make you pee your pants. If you do listen to this truth I’m spittin’, though, not only will you have survived probation, but you will have also learned quite a bit. You will learn that despite what science says, you can survive on nothing but rice for six months. You’ll learn that when you are desperate enough that you can and will talk to anything. You’ll learn that 8 a.m. is not that early. Most importantly you will learn the value of study-life balance. College will not hold your precious baby hand and tell you it is going to be okay. It is a fight to survive, and if you can’t maintain a balance between school and fun, then you should learn how to flip a burger because a soul-degrading job in fast food is your calling. I’m done with you.

2014 Orientation Issue


2014 Orientation Issue

INTAKE

Keeping your parents in the loop CONNOR HYDE Editor-in-Chief So long are the days where the threeweek progress report was forcefully stuffed into your backpack as you shuffled home with three C’s and three B’s with 48 hours to scratch together a 10-page book report. Court Justices mom and dad would proceed with one of three things: probation, which for you meant grounded with leniency, a prison sentence banishing you to your room without dinner or kicking the case back to a lower court by not giving a damn. In any event, your parents knew how

you were doing in the classroom since kindergarten. But your college grades are out of their jurisdiction. Now, I’m not here to encourage lying to your parents – half of you already do it. I’m here to stress your freedom. You may not be entirely free, just out on parole. Yet with freedom comes the heightened pace at which professors assign work with due dates that inch into your sleep at 3 a.m. So for those who have a slight issue with checking a syllabus, bringing paper to class to jot down notes or even adding a reminder in the smart phone you’re glued to, the helicopter mom is gone until December. Time to grow up or you will be facing five or six years of parole.

In college, mom and dad assume the role of parole officers, and your professors are the judge and jury. Progress reports don’t exist. Six-week report cards are no more. Reporting to your parents is like a parole meeting. Tell them the truth, but go light on details. If it’s week five and you’re in an academic hole, don’t obsess. You have 10 more weeks. That 40 can, in reality, turn into an 85 within five more weeks, with five more to spare. But there are penalties if you don’t step up to the challenge and turn it around. As the judge and jury, professors can either uphold the academic standards of the university or implement their own justice. As the student you have to abide by

their decisions. Personal experience has taught me the endearing phrase “As long as you do your best, we’ll be proud,” is a pile of regurgitated BS that has been fed to you since birth. Your parents know as well as you do your academic performance will reflect the career opportunities you’ll have four years from now – some of us take five years. Your “best” will become imprinted on your resumes – your new rap sheet. If you want to keep your parole officers off your back, the best thing to do is to go legit through honest, hard work in school. Well, you could try to cheat and conceal, but you may find yourself in another of Huntsville’s fine institutions.

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2014 Orientation Issue

INTAKE

Tips for college: time management STEPHEN GREEN Web Editor Prisoners don’t have that much to do, or much choice over what they do for that matter. Three walls and iron bars can leave them with a lot of time to think. Students on the other hand do have a choice over how to spend their time – and they should care about it. If there’s one long-standing truth of college, it’s that there aren’t enough hours in the day. After four years in college and stretching myself to the breaking point, I amassed a list of things to do and things to avoid if you want to have good time management

skills. Now before you keep reading, this list is really only going to help the Type A personality people like me who only have graduation and doing well in school on their mind. While I see the party-focused lifestyle college as valid, what you can do for time management is pretty clear. (Pro tip: It’s not partying.) You must not work too hard though. I’m not arguing that you fill your calendar with paper writing and work. Although college is about work, it’s also an experience that everyone should have. You will make some of your best friends while in college. Now prepare for a list of the most obvious time management tips ever assembled. This time we actually have to pay attention

to them. 1) Keep a schedule When you have a part-time job, a class schedule, apartment hunting, an essay to write by 5 p.m., two tests to study for and need time to spend with the significant other, it can be daunting. Make a daily schedule with times of what to do when. Go through and check off the things you have completed. Do. Not. Skip. Things. On. The. List. 2) Don’t procrastinate People with the Full Schedule Disorder often can diagnose their condition by high levels of stress and the tendency to take naps. What differs from other nap-takers is the guilt associated with said nap. Putting off work is the worst thing you can do

because your schedule will only be full the next day as well. The work doesn’t stop. I don’t exercise but I’ve been told that once you do, you feel better. Same thing with completing classwork. If you just push through it and get it out of the way, you’ll feel better and maybe even have a half hour to…wait for it…do nothing! 3) Have fun You have to schedule some fun some time. But you have to actually schedule it. This is a bummer, but unexpected trips to Buccees can put you behind for days. I regret not doing more “college student things” before I graduate, so I suggest that everyone make sure to step away from the work every once in a while.


2014 Orientation Issue

PRISON LIFE

Devolution of your uniform CONNOR HYDE Editor-in-Chief In the hit Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” the female prisoners all have to wear uniforms, but each prisoner glams it up to individuate themselves from the other inmates. The only people who can’t dress up (or down) their uniforms are the prison guards. College students, it seems, follow this process too. We all show up on the first day of classes dressed as the best versions of

who we are. But then something happens – a devolutionary process that would have had Darwin stroking his long and lovely white beard in contemplation. For both men and women the change is distinct: the embellished freshman in their first month of college turn into seniors wearing just enough to get by, strutting into class 15 minutes late. The first weeks of fall and spring semesters students emerge from their homes with new trappings to attract attention. With the coming of winter we see the young freshmen bundle proudly

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in their Sam Houston State sweaters and scarfs as the seniors emerge from their apartments with unwashed jeans and hoodies or sweat pants and jackets. Although the freshmen remain proud of their new school, the seniors and upperclassmen dress only to survive. But come finals week all students’ clothing choices devolve. For men, we see them in basketball shorts with no underwear, a torn, stained t-shirt and Crocs or flip flops. And of course, they sport the ubiquitous baseball cap to hide their bed head hair.

Many women decide to revert to the universally accepted yoga tights with a large t-shirt. But in many cases, the stress of finals hit the weak harder and sightings of Spanx and UGGs appear, accessorized with large sun glasses to cover naked faces and a bun or pony tail to tame the hair. If given the option, every student would devolve to a state where they would gladly accept and wear a freshly washed prison uniform in lieu of doing laundry.


2014 Orientation Issue

INTAKE

Reality of living in your new cell HANNAH ZEDAKER Senior Reporter Although graduating high school and moving out of the house may seem like getting released from prison, living in residence halls on campus also means following the rules and regulations enforced by residence life, making it feel a bit more like being issued a prison cell or a room in a halfway house. At Sam Houston State University, all first year students—both freshmen and transfer students—are required to live in one of SHSU’s on-campus resident halls as well as participate in the meal plan program for the duration of their first year. Between 26 different residence halls, the university currently houses approximately 3,500 students with a ratio of roughly one resident advisor (or RA) per every 40 students. But what is it really like to live in a dorm? After speaking with several RAs as well as after consulting my own memories of freshman year, it’s like being the new inmate thrown into the prison. One of the first hit-or-miss obstacles freshmen have to overcome is choosing what cell block you want to live in. If you want any sense of privacy, your best bet is Sam Houston Village or Lonestar Hall. However, if you’re okay with sharing one bathroom among four people, having virtually no privacy and living in the same room as people who were in college during the Kennedy administration, maybe Jackson Shaver is a better fit for you. The next bone to pick, and probably the most defining one, is what cell mate you’re paired with before thrown into your room. Odds are you came to SHSU knowing only

a handful of people here, if that. For the first few weeks of class, before you begin making new friends, your roommate, for better or for worse, will be joined at your hip exploring campus and taking trips to the dining halls. In short, your cellmate will either become your long-time best friend or find a way to hit every single one of your pet peeves, and possibly develop new ones you didn’t even know you had. Another component of living in the dorms that many fail to think of is having to share the laundry room. From my own experience, the washers smell like mildew, the dryers never seem to work and the same people always leave their laundry in the machines for hours at a time, forcing others to move their loads around for them. Clearly, the ability to do laundry is not a requirement for admissions. Some strategy is needed here, because laundry rooms turn into the prison yard. To combat students straight up taking your clothes out of the machine before the cycle is done (it happens), plan your laundry day around when most students are not up. If you don’t want to guard your machine full time, time the cycles and arrive back with a couple of minutes to spare. My last issue to point out with dorm life has to do with the rules and regulations students must follow while living on campus. Some of them I can understand, but others, I feel are just plain stupid and unwarranted. No candles I can understand, as open flames are a 911 call waiting to happen. But no plug-in air fresheners? Excuse me while I just use an entire can of Febreeze in one day in attempt to erase the rotting fish smell that escapes the air vents when I turn on the heater. —

DORM, page 10


2014 Orientation Issue

DORM, page 9

Also, beware that Christmas lights are considered an extension cord and will cost you $100 per strand in fines—although they aren’t explicitly prohibited (I blame the war on Christmas. Someone call Fox News). Oh, and no toaster? Say goodbye to toaster strudel, bagels and frozen waffles. At least they let you have a coffee pot because it will soon become your new best friend—that is, if your roommate doesn’t. If living in a dorm is like being under house arrest, then your RAs are your parole officers. Although you may only see them at floor meetings and when they come around once a month to check the smoke detectors, they too, are students just like you and me, and believe you me, they have their share of stories from the inside as well.

The various RAs I got to speak with— whom shall collectively remain unknown, told me stories of having residents with not only hide illegal substances like alcohol and tobacco, but also pets. Living things! In addition, residents have also found pleasure from filling up their bathtubs and sinks with bubbles, as well as relieving themselves in the lobby. Again, it is clear that maturity isn’t a consideration when it comes to admittance into SHSU. All in all, your sentence will be shortlived, and although I do recommend that you move off-campus as soon as you can, who knows, you could find a home away from home. SHSU

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2014 Orientation Issue

CELL MATES

Lessons in being a good roommate KIZZIE FRANK A&E Editor When you finally arrive at your dorm, apartment, or house (lucky), at Sam Houston State University, most likely you will encounter the common beast: the roommate. Once that front door shuts, you become imprisoned and shackled to your new prison wife. It can be a beautiful thing but it can also make your sentence as a college student detrimental. Jumping into a roomateship can be a miserable part of your life, but don’t

get me wrong, there are ways to make it easier. The only way for it to work is to know the key to being a good roommate, no matter what planet the other party flew in from. Cohabiting one space is a union. Congratulations freshman, you are now someone’s jail bitch. The horror stories of the roommates from hell are very real. My first roommate and I immediately clicked and we communicate to this day. However, the next few souls had the slightest idea on common roommate courtesy. As a freshman, I knew it would be the best year of my life. My parents finally released me on academic bail. Living in a

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dorm was going to be the best experience in my life. For the most part, I was right. This is a rare phenomenon that occurs, however, it is very possible. For most of you, enduring a bad roommate is simply in the cards for you. It is unavoidable, and you better prep your shanks and over the shoulder mirrors. For others, you may be the bad roommate. I thank my former roommates for teaching me what I am about to share with you all. For one to understand what it takes to be an effective roommate, you must first speak with the person you are moving with beforehand about your likes and dislikes. Of my five years in college – yes five,

you’ll probably stay that long as well – I have found that it is nearly impossible to mention everything that bothers you in a living situation. Why? Because most the time, you don’t know you don’t like something until it happens to you. Specifically, establish whether or not the house will share food. I advise you to under no circumstances give people you don’t know full access to your corner of the fridge. This may sound selfish, but keeping it real is bound to go wrong when you reach financial status “I love Ramen noodles and crackers.” Ladies, divas and men do not snatch — ROOMMATE, page 15


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2014 Orientation Issue

ROOMMATE, page 13

When you finally arrive at your dorm, apartment, or house (lucky), at Sam Houston State University, most likely you will encounter the common beast: the roommate. Once that front door shuts, you become imprisoned and shackled to your new prison wife. It can be a beautiful thing but it can also make your sentence as a college student detrimental. Jumping into a roomateship can be a miserable part of your life, but don’t get me wrong, there are ways to make it easier. The only way for it to work is to know the key to being a good roommate, no matter what planet the other party flew in from. Cohabiting one space is a union. Congratulations freshman, you are now someone’s jail bitch. The horror stories of the roommates from

hell are very real. My first roommate and I immediately clicked and we communicate to this day. However, the next few souls had the slightest idea on common roommate courtesy. As a freshman, I knew it would be the best year of my life. My parents finally released me on academic bail. Living in a dorm was going to be the best experience in my life. For the most part, I was right. This is a rare phenomenon that occurs, however, it is very possible. For most of you, enduring a bad roommate is simply in the cards for you. It is unavoidable, and you better prep your shanks and over the shoulder mirrors. For others, you may be the bad roommate. I thank my former roommates for teaching me what I am about to share with you all. For one to understand what it takes to be an effective roommate, you must first speak with the person you are moving with

beforehand about your likes and dislikes. you, they will do so. Of my five years in college – yes five, In order to be a good roommate, you you’ll probably stay that long as well – I need to realize that you are living with have found that it is nearly impossible others who are your roommates, not your to mention everything that bothers maids. Your mommy and daddy are not you in a living situation. Why? Because around so I need you to be an adult and most the time, you don’t know you don’t pick up after yourself. like something until it happens to you. Second, you must respect one another’s Specifically, establish whether or not the space. By that I mean you must be aware house will share food. I advise you to that just because your roommates live next under no circumstances give people you to you, does not give you permission to don’t know full access to your corner of the raid your neighbor’s closet. No you may fridge. This may sound selfish, but keeping not let your friends from back home sleep it real is bound to go wrong when you reach in your roommate’s room when they aren’t financial status “I love Ramen noodles and there. crackers.” Let your roommates know if you are Ladies, divas and men do not snatch going to have someone over. Unfamiliar your roommate’s hair products. Feminine silhouettes may be subject to a frying products are not cheap so hands off. Do pan to the back of the head. College is a not run the battery dead on the expensive time where you may meet your future hairs clippers. In most cases, please just ask if you need help. If someone wants to help — ROOMMATE, page 17


2014 Orientation Issue

ROOMMATE, page 15

husband or wife. Relationships happen and sex happens. Your dorm, apartment, house, whatever, turns into the bone yard at night. When it does, let your roommate know that it’s about to go down so they don’t have to suffer ear trauma; more importantly, invest in noise cancelling headphones. If you want a dog, cat, parrot, snake, for the love of all that is good and holy, take care of it. An animal is like a child, treat it as such. When you were a kid and happened to destroy something in the grocery store, the parent coughs up the dough. Guess what? If your dog chews up a shoe, laptop charger, headphones, or defecates the house into oblivion, you are responsible for paying for it. Wash your pet and keep him/her in your room. It is not a household pet, it is yours. Failure to comply with pet responsibilities

can result in fines, or eviction. One of my roommates have been fined behind 1. Smothering her dog’s poo into the floor and leaving it to turn into molded carpet. 2. Leaving the dog in its kennel so long it chewed through the plastics and carpet. Don’t get fined behind your pet. Ultimately, if you don’t have time for a pet, you need to give him/her up. I know that’s your “baby”, but you’re being selfish. Granted, some roommates become friends and this is where roommate guidelines turn into what I like to call guide side winder—lines. It gets tricky. Will friendship comes further responsibility and a higher demand for respecting one another. If you know there is a different dynamic about your household, “dormhold”, or what have you, you need to cherish that. Once friendship strikes, it is easy to feel that you and your roommate must be attached at

the hip. Spending time away from your roommate/friend is healthy, and will assist you in not ripping the other’s head off. No one really likes talking about their feelings, but since you are essentially married to your roommate, communication is a necessity. If issues remain bottled up, petty issues will turn into world war three. The habits of your roommates are most likely strum at your last nerve one when friendship attacks. Under no circumstances will you write a note. Notes are childish, passive aggressive, and flat out cowardly. You probably see your roommate every day. Push your ego to the side and talk to your peer. Tell them this: “Derpina, I would appreciate if we could come to common grounds about the noise levels at night. I have trouble studying.” Or “Derp, I know you like to cook, but you gotta clean up man. It looks bad.”

Avoid this: “Derpina, you’re disgusting and obnoxious. I hate you!” or “Derp, you’re a douche. I hate you.” Spitting out insults is ineffective and figurative shots will be fired. If you do get stuck in a dorm and you can’t talk to your roommate, no worries, you have an RA, or Resident Advisor. They are there for support because they too, have suffered roommates. Apartments near campus typically understand the roommate struggles as well. Reach out to them and see what you get. Learning how to be a good roommate equates learning how to be a good husband or wife. Unless you score a one bedroom cell apartment and manage to not let people crash on your couch, you cannot escape roommates. Bad roommates are EVERY where.


2014 Orientation Issue

CELL LIFE

Work the yard: how to properly tailgate STACY HOOD Advertising Manager Tailgating is not an art, but a science. Not the kind of science that makes you want to pull your hair out because you can’t remember how to titrate properly, but one that involves knowing the right formula to get the best experience and the most free supplies. The first thing you need to know about tailgating is to plan ahead. Before you even head out to Bearkat Alley checking the weather is a necessity; you don’t want to show up wearing pants when you’re only going to become a pool of sweat 20 minutes in. Let your stomach growl, because why

waste a meal swipe that you will need later in the week when you can stuff your face for FREE? In accordance with planning ahead with your wardrobe and your lack of lunch you should note to wear a pair of comfortable shoes, as you will be walking around for a while. Properly tailgating not only requires planning ahead but having a strategy when you get to the party, always bring a bag of some sort to obtain all of the goods you’re undouble going to acquire. Arrive fairly early, so if tailgating starts at 5 p.m., get there ten minutes later to ensure you get the good stuff before it is taken with smaller lines. At a typical tailgate there are going to be tents upon tents harboring t-shirts,

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sunglasses, coosies food and games that will not cost you anything! You’re only cost is making your way up to the booth and filling out whatever they ask you to, or just waiting in a line. Move onto the booths with prize wheels, finally towards the booths that require skill to win (which generally have the best rewards), once you have loaded up on their giveaways move onto the food. You’re food options are practically limitless! While you may feel like you have to stick to the tent of your college or student activities you can go to any tent to get whatever your nose sniffs out! Getting food from people does require talking to them, but it also provides you with the opportunity to meet new people which is a plus when tailgating the next

time, because you can share and exchange goods in half the time. Finishing up this experiment, you must time yourself correctly. If you plan on attending the game, which you should, make one last trip around. Pay close attention to who is putting their tents away, which is where you are going to find the most beverages with no line. The experience can be overwhelming at first, yet once you get it down your room will be filled with sunglasses, cozies, phone chargers, cups and t-shirts to last you the rest of your time in college. If you wind up breaking, or loosing some items a long the way it is going to be fine, because there is always another tailgate around the corner.

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2014 Orientation Issue

PRISON LIFE

Getting around without a car

KASSIDY TURNPAUGH Assistant News Editor Small towns like Huntsville can be both a blessing and curse if you are not properly

equipped to handle your surroundings. The great thing about small towns is that they are quiet. Unfortunately you have chosen to live in a small college town. Try not to get the to confused in the

future. Huntsville does not sport the quiet, haunting peace of smaller communities, thanks to its booming number one export: Noisy, drunk college students, who are probably also on Adderall, which means

they are highly focused on making noise. Another big inconvenience of this small town is the not-so-pedestrian-friendly everything. —

WALKING, page 22


2014 Orientation Issue

WALKING, page 21

This problem won’t affect a good chunk of students attending Sam Houston State University due simply to the fact that someone loved most of them enough to teach them to drive. Sadly for the forced pedestrians, no one loved you that much, or if they did and you just don’t have a car, then congratulations you have just been mocked by your own pain and lack of mobility. Thanks to the location of the university, the amount of land available for businesses in Huntsville is horrifyingly small. So businesses like Target, PetCo, Ross and Academy have resorted to expanding on the other side of I-45. In Huntsville pedestrian terms that’s like the journey to Mount Doom. Since you are not driving the only time you will be seeing those businesses is in your dreams. Sorry to say that is where many decent businesses are located. If you want decent trail mix, a shiny new goldfish, a fashionable garment or a Shake Weight, then you’re just going to have to walk three miles, beg someone to drive you, or ride your bike. Of course all of these options have an upside and downside. The quickest and least aggravating solution to this problem is to walk everywhere and never have decent trail mix ever again. It is completely possible to survive in Huntsville and only walk places. Many people do it. Some of those people will tell you that it is a great way to stay in shape and that there isn’t anything on the other side of the highway that they need.

Google Maps

ON THE ROAD AGAIN. The map above shows the route from the University Club Apartments to the Criminal Justic Building on campus. Walking around Huntsville can be a way to lose weight.

These people have also never enjoyed the magic of perfect trail mix and have completely forgotten March when they literally froze a ball off. They had to carry it in their pocket on their walk to the hospital, which is two miles away on the other side of the highway. Those same people also forget to mention that a car hits someone at least every week around here. Usually it doesn’t kill them. Usually. Not to mention that you better never have a big project due. Another option many people seem to forget about is riding a bike everywhere. As any bicycle enthusiast will tell you (and they will tell you), biking is a great mode of transportation. You can carry more stuff

than if you were walking, it is quicker, and you still get those insanely toned calf muscles. While bikes are fairly speedy and will outpace everyone shy of Usain Bolt, they still restrict a lot of things you can do. In addition, while you can definitely carry way more trail mix in your saddlebag, that art project you spent a month on still isn’t going anywhere. Bikes are also pretty expensive, just like their accessories. And theft is pretty high when you’re surrounded by a bunch of youthful hoodlums. Bikes also provide little to no protection. Let’s be honest. No one is wearing those lame-ass helmets except Mormons, virgins and my four-year-old sister. And there is no shielding that unpredictable Texas weather

where it gets so hot in the summer than each pedal exerts one gallon of sweat or the wind chill in winter actually turns your nipples into diamonds. You also have the choice of bumming rides off of friends, which is okay every once in a while. You can go buy trail mixes with your buddies and do fun things, but really it isn’t actually a viable long-term solution. Unless you are losing a limb there is absolutely no way to rely on another person to remember to pick you up from school. Ride bumming leads to undisclosed resentment. Everyone pretends they don’t want to punch you in the face for taking forever at the store or dragging them all around town time after time. They are too nice to tell you, so I will do it for them. You are a bum. Paying gas money is expected, and if you don’t you’re a douche too. Every time you ask them for a ride and they begrudgingly agree, that is time they could be looking at wieners on Game of Thrones. Really the solutions for a person unable to drive in Huntsville are miserable. The best things you can hope for are finding a million dollars on the sidewalk and buying a car or not going to the pharmacy because you can’t get to one, going without your meds and die. That’ll show everyone you imagined secretly hated you or didn’t give you his or her car.

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2014 Orientation Issue

Living options after your freshman year Jay R. Jordan Associate Editor After spending 18 years in a house arrest-esque quasi-prison with one or two wardens barking orders about getting a job or maintaining grades, you’re finally free. Your parole signed by Sammy Bearkat gives you more — but not all — freedom, but you can’t be totally let out of the “system” until after your freshman year. So where do you go from there? (Translated: Where do you live after your freshman year?) You have a couple of choices. The university allows any student to stay in the dorms after their first year. However, there are many different options off-campus, such as a multitude of apartments and houses for rent. Option A: You choose to make things way less complicated and you re-sign your dorm contract for another year. PRO: You don’t have to worry about paying rent each month. You’d be surprised, but this is actually the best pro I could think of. Paying rent is tedious, let alone worrisome for those of us who aren’t necessarily the most frugal. Living in the dorms is convenient in that you don’t have to worry about monthly payments to the university since your room and board is paid up front. CON: You’re living in a dorm after your freshman year. Congrats, you decided to take the road less traveled and continue your underclassman dorm experience. For whatever reason, you’re able to tolerate your newly-christened freshman neighbors (hey, no offense). More power to you. Just be sure you’re okay with never having a candle in your room for another year. Option B: You move into one of the totally rad apartment complexes in Huntsville. PRO: You’re with your fellow college

students and get a better college-life experience. Pool parties, keggers, late nights, game rooms, basketball courts, sand volleyball – all in one place. Most of the apartments that cater to college students throw parties for their tenants, and you and your new roommates will have a good time living with your fellow students. CON: You could wind up with a horrible roommate and horrible neighbors. The chances of you being able to find two or three roommates that you like, or actually liking every one of the roommates you’re placed with, are very slim. You could have a messy, inconsiderate, sloppy, or even smelly roommate, and you know what? There’s nothing you can do about it. When you live in apartments, they offer services that place roommates together if you don’t have someone to move in with already. Option C: You find a quiet rent house in the Avenues. (My personal favorite) PRO: They can be cheaper and closer to campus than most other places. Most of the rent houses in the Avenues average less than $1,000 per month. With just two roommates, that’s already over $100 less than most apartments are per month. Not only is the rent good, but the atmosphere of Huntsville’s Avenues neighborhood is quaint and GREAT for studying and getting work done. CON: Responsibility, responsibility, responsibility Imagine owning your own house, minus the ownership. Living in a house is great, but its upkeep is daunting. You have to mow the lawn, keep up with your garbage and recycling bins, and deal with landlords. Utilities aren’t incorporated into rent, so be prepared to handle a real-life bill situation. Houses are also extremely hard to find since they are rented out in an instant due to high demand.


2014 Orientation Issue

PRISON LIFE

Hollywood lies about sweet college life COLIN HARRIS Viewpoints Editor You’ve waited 18 years for this moment, and there has been no shortage of movies about the subject to help you prepare. The moment your parents dump you off at your dorm is the exact moment that you are finally rid of them and can start making decisions on your own. Unfortunately this isn’t “Old School,” so if you go streaking down Sam Houston Avenue, you’re likely to end up in the Walker County Jail. The media would like to fool us is into thinking that college is one big party – all play and no work. Let me just warn you that if you actually believe this then you should just drop out now and save the headache of

student loans and imminent failure. In movies, the 30-year-olds constantly party and never seem to go to class. In fact, they are not even on campus for a majority of the time. Their lives are enriched by other “extracurricular” activities. Look at Van Wilder, for example, Ryan Reynolds’s man-child character has been at the same school for seven years and nobody seems to care except Van’s dad and the generic administrator played by Jeremy Piven. Again, this is a trap. College is actually hard work and you should only party on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and the occasional Tuesday. After all that partying – I mean studying – you come to the end of the semester and somehow you are failing your classes.

What will you do? The endless barrage of “Animal House” toga parties don’t seem so valuable after all. Imagine if instead of partying, you’d gone to the library once or twice and made some minimal effort to stay caught up in your classes. Not only would your GPA remain respectable, but you also wouldn’t suffer the bi-annual freak out of cramming for finals you’ll never be prepared for. The independence of young adulthood is all about balance and priorities. Thousands, maybe millions, of American young adults have had the time of their lives during college and still got that degree. If you never study and barely show up to class, don’t expect to make the walk in Johnson Coliseum to get your diploma. Partying is okay as long as you only stick

to the aforementioned days and don’t let it control your life. After all, you are here to learn something from time to time so focus a little on your academics. Follow these general guidelines and remember that college as portrayed in movies is not what you’ll experience in real life. Now I’m not saying that you won’t get into unfortunate and hilarious situations that you will have to Scooby Doo your way out of so just enjoy your time and step outside of your comfort zone every now and then. Most importantly, don’t forget to spend a little time hitting the books. You’ll thank yourself later.

Look for these signs on show days!

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre shsu.edu/see/theatre

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre shsu.edu/see/musicaltheatre

Visit shsu.edu/see/shows for the season production schedule.

The University Theatre Center (UTC) is located between the Library and the Gaertner Performing Arts Center (GPAC).


2014 Orientation Issue

CELL LIFE

Don’t be that person in college

KASSIDY TURNPAUGH Assistant News Editor

No matter where you go in life, there will always be those people who annoy the heck out of absolutely everyone. You know that in every group of friends you have had since the beginning of your social development, there has always been that one person who everyone constantly and secretly wanted to punch in the face. If you don’t know what I am talking about then that person is probably you. Luckily you have stumbled upon an article that tells you exactly how to not be your stupid, annoying self when you get to college.

1) The Brown Noser

The Brown Noser is probably a person you have seen many times before. This person was that kid in middle school who would helpfully remind your teachers of the homework you had been assigned the day before. In high school, he attempted to get on a first name basis with your teachers or stayed after class bugging them until the teacher was forced to physically flee the building. Now that this person has gotten through life doing all of these things so well, the same is attempted on college professors. Brown Nosers constantly agree with everything the professor says. “The sky is purple?” “Yes, I concur!” Thankfully

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this time around restraining orders are an option. 2) The One Upper Ever since time began there has always been friendly competition, or something like that. In the One Upper’s favorite form of competition, there is a constant struggle between the truth and a wealth of extravagant fabricated myth. When something occurs in your life the one upper must immediately top everything you have told them of, at any costs. One Uppers’ worlds tend to quickly fall apart once they have collided and reveal the sad truth that they have never in fact been to Siberia to hunt the down the last Saber Tooth Tiger along side Vladimir Putin. They were

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lately awarded the medal of the rapid bear, Russia’s highest secret honor. In addition to the endless tales of mystic wonder and, dare I say, unbelievable adventures the One Upper is a bookshelf of sad tales. If your dog dies One Uppers once forced to eat their dog after training for a sled race, when they became trapped in an icy cavern for three days. They say it tastes like deep fried Cambodian tarantulas, which I’m sure you’ve never had. Surprisingly, no one ever reported on any incident they tell you of and where they come from, there is no news media.

TYPES, page 26

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Wednesday Bible Study Service, and Dinner:

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Sunday Dinner and Fellowship:

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2014 Orientation Issue

TYPES, page 25

3) The Moocher

The Moocher is the person you know as the frequent ride bummer. Moochers are everywhere in high school, and sadly for those of you with cars there is no relief. They are overly abundant in college, and no they still won’t be paying you back anytime soon. When Moochers arrive at college they immediately play the catch-up game and will at least once a week, borrow your notes. They are the pencil borrower who never returns the pencil. They are the only people who will arrive at a final without a scantron. If you are ever forsaken with the task of covering the moocher’s tab at the bar or even sparing the Moocher the change for coffee, you have forever doomed yourself. So for the sake of your wallet and being a pansy when it comes to your possessions, start practicing the word “no” now. 4) The Woo Girl While this breed does have two very distinct genders, the Woo Girl and the Drunk Douche, the main problem with the Woo Girl is you never know if your talking to one until it’s too late. This is the girl that could be the quiet little angel in class, but as soon as she starts drinking you know you have erred beyond all salvation. You’ll take this girl to a party as your date and as soon as you give her alcohol, a slippery slope coated in vomit will emerge beneath you. This is just her first form though. After a few more glitter will start rubbing off of her as if it came straight from her pours, which for all we know it does. In her final form the Woo Girl is a lesser version of what you would expect to find after a librarian gets hooked on crack for

a couple of months. The remnants of what she use to be lie scattered throughout her Facebook and tell the sad tale of a student misguided. Nothing in moderation for this girl, she will gain the ability to out drink most men. In the end the Woo Girl develops a mating call that attracts her sexual counter part, the aforementioned Drunk Douche. What is that mating call? “Wooooooooooooooooo!” 5) The Know It All You know exactly who I talking about here. The Know It All is that person who seems to either be incapable of understanding rhetorical questions or is just eager to ruin everyone’s fun. Know It Alls hook onto the most minute or bizarre of hobbies and topics. They will constantly grant you the grace of their knowledge with “Random Factoids” just so they can be sure that you feel like they are more intelligent than you. Know It Alls hinge their world on the disillusioned idea that they are brilliant and everyone around is a moron. Whenever they are proven wrong, they tend to lose grip on this non-reality and will freak out at the slightest provocation. This only makes matters so much worse when they attempts to openly argue with the professors in the middle of class over the most obviously incorrect ideas. The Know It All in reality is just a smaller, weaker version of the Compensator, clearly trying to make up for something lacking in his life. 6) The In-Class Muncher These characters are the ones that will frequently behave in a manner that would cause you to think that they were socially inept, mentally handicapped or just simply the rudest people on Earth. Every time

you see In-Class Munchers they have something in their mouth. Sadly you will rarely be graced by chewing gum and instead will become familiar with several peculiar odors that emanates. Whether it is a granola bar or a full fledged sandwich with peanut butter and jalapenos, In-Class Munchers have no concern for the nostrils surrounding them, the professor lecturing or the person who sits in their desk in the next class. God forbid they curb their appetite outside of classes or not walk across the room to dispose of their garbage in the middle of a lecture. They will walk right in front of the professor. The In-Class Muncher may be and most likely is either diabetic, obese, anemic or quite possibly the biggest tool you have ever met. You will never be spared the constant disgust and annoyance that is derived from In-Class Munchers smacking their food without remorse. For any misophonia sufferers, they are the bane of your existence, yet they are almost unavoidable. When you are unlucky enough to sustain the wrath of their jelly tuna bagel feel free to flee the room at a hasty pace so you may vomit in private. 7) The Slob The Slob is a close relative of the Muncher. Luckily the only ones to typically suffer at Slobs’ hands are their roommates. Their lack of organization is apparent the moment you meet them. Slobs are the people with a shirt that has what they think may have been spaghetti sauce at one point. If you ask them what kind of stain it is, they will not hesitate to sniff or lick it to find out. Stumbling into their dorm or apartment grants the same feeling that the creators of the nuclear bomb felt at its first detonation.

Thankfully in most cases they are able to contain their public mess in a two-foot radius around their desk. The same cannot be said for anyone forced to room with this pig. If you are unfortunate enough to be trapped with the Slob, prepare for an array of unidentifiable stains on your couch and quite possibly your bed, as well as the mountain of dishes that will eventually become sentient and try to eat you while you sleep. The one recommendation for these fearful and disturbed roommates is to lock your toothbrush up for safekeeping and learn how to unclog every type of drain imaginable. 8) Saliva Swappers Most students have seen Saliva Swappers before in high school. They were the couple waiting outside of the library after lunch for a little mid-hallway mackin’. What no one told you about that couple is, that when they got to college no assistant principles are going to demand their heads for all of their PDA. College is where these two will thrive at their practice. They will clutter the hallways, while you try to get to calculus before being late again, do things you didn’t think could happen with your clothes still on and are pretty sure is illegal in this state. You can here them through the walls of your dorm room, not the sex noises, just the smacking of another sloppy make out session. While walking past this couple will make feel like you need to wash every inch of yourself in bleach, they show no bit of shame for the absurd display that would cause their parents to hurl on sight. Later on in life you wont be surprised to find out that one of them is in counseling for sex addiction and the other has 12 and half kids.


2014 Orientation Issue

Sneak a smoke past the guards CONTRABAND

COLIN HARRIS Viewpoints Editor

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice banned tobacco in Texas prisons in 1994. If you were under the impression that the prohibition entirely stopped inmates from burning down cigarettes, you’re wrong. The incarcerated still enjoy tobacco products throughout correctional facilities, they just have to do it with discretion, avoiding the unblinking eyes of prison guards and rats alike. The same is true of smoking squares on campus at Sam Houston State University. Though the university made ours a tobacco-free campus in 2012, you can still light up your Camel or Marlboro blend of

choice, as long as you do so carefully. First things first, who should you avoid smoking near? I wouldn’t worry about the upstanding officers of the University Police Department, because they’re too busy solving real crimes like theft and sexual assault to worry about enforcing the smoking proscription. Same too of faculty and staff. Though there may be professors in various departments who’ll readily give you the stink eye for smoking near a campus building, they also have better things to be doing with their time than enforcing campus protocol. Truthfully, based on smokers I’ve chatted up around campus, the only people you really need to evade are the resident advisers. I doubt even every RA

is chomping at the bit to fine you for a tobacco relaxation break, but some of them are, so watch out. Like inmates who rationally avoid smoking in areas where guards often patrol, you, the cautious freshman, need to resist the urge to light up where you might run into an RA. Anywhere outside the dorms is obviously a no-go. Furthermore, lighting one up near the campus dining halls is also not the best idea. Finally, I would shy away from smoking in areas with heavy foot traffic, just out of consideration for your peers. Knowing places to stay away from during your nicotine siesta is only half the battle though. What about good places to smoke, where you’ll be safe from scowls of disapproval from passersby and can put to

rest the latent paranoia of an RA possibly citing you for violating university policy? Another area where smokers tend to congregate is directly behind the SmithHutson Business Building. Despite the fact that this particular smoking sanctuary is close to the bustle of a frequently-used academic building, people don’t seem to mind the second-hand smoke. I’ll chalk it up to the laissez faire philosophy of business majors, many of whom prefer limited regulations (like smoking bans). Safe spots for smoking on campus certainly aren’t limited to these three areas. The point is to be considerate and use your head. Most prison inmates aren’t so stupid as to light up a cigarette directly in front of a guard, so don’t be an idiot and light one up right in front of your RA.


2014 Orientation Issue

CELL LIFE

Making your cell stand out Different options to decorate your dorm

JAY R. JORDAN Associate Editor Transforming your cell into a home of your own is as simple as sneaking a fullsized futon pass you’re the prison guard that is your resident advisor. Zach Giddens, a junior criminal justice major (and my very best friend since high school/current roommate), spent his first year at Sam Houston State University in Four West, the soon-to-be-demolished ex-athletic dorms located behind Pritchett Field. This group of dorms is the most underappreciated university-provided housing, but it shouldn’t be because of its obvious creative capacity. Giddens and his brother turned their boring, run-of-the-mill dorm room into a dream den by installing extra lighting, curtains, a 5.1 Dolby Digital surround system complemented by a 32 inch 1080p television, and yes, a full-sized futon. It all starts with better lighting, Giddens said. The lights installed in the dorms are hideous florescent lights, and unless you’re a fan of feeling like you’re in a hospital,

these lights can be a tad bit annoying. Giddens found a way around this. By installing paper lanterns with warm lights in them, he was able to provide a more “homey” atmosphere. “Florescent lighting sucks, because the key of relaxing – Zen – is lighting,” Giddens, who’s a huge Lebowski fan, said. “My brother [and roommate] put up paper lanterns with lights in them. We used, basically, lamps and stuff. Basically anything to avoid the main lighting in the rooms.” The Houstonian urges students to read all 36 pages of the Residence Life Handbook before making any changes to their dorm. There are particular rules about what to use to hang posters or frames, how to rearrange furniture and what kind of furniture you can bring. The most dramatic change to Giddens’ two-person dorm was practically installing a home theater. With more than 60 feet of 10-gauge copper wire, two Pioneer rear speakers, two Pioneer tower speakers, a 10inch subwoofer and a Sony center channel, all placed strategically and calibrated by a two-channel Pioneer receiver, he never spent any money at the cinema.

“The furniture being immovable created problems space-wise with the acoustics,” Giddens said. “It made it difficult to have a good sound space without bothering people around you. I could never get the bass right.” He placed the bulk of his setup on top of his dresser. Starting on the top of the dresser and working his way up, Giddens placed his receiver and Blu-ray player under his TV with his Xbox to the side. He called it risky placement but also said it was totally worth it. When it came to Giddens relaxing at his dorm, he felt the beds and chairs weren’t comfy enough for him. Seeing the opportunity, he bought a futon off Craigslist by a seller in Brenham. He said the trip was well worth it. “Futons are important,” Giddens said. “Couches, you can’t carry them up stairs and they’re not inconspicuous. With futons, you can put them together and bring them up piece by piece and they’re easier. Plus it adds an extra bed. Maximum seating with minimum space.” Installing a home theatre equipped with extra seating isn’t (obviously) the only technique to making a more comfortable

dorm experience. Gritty floors can be a total downer when it comes to having friends over or even coming home after a long day of school, so Giddens decided to purchase a rug. He recommends bunking beds for more activities but to make sure whoever gets the top bunk installs styrofoam pipe insulators on the wooden steps to protect your feet from hurting on the climb up. Giddens also took out his desk drawer to make for more leg room. “The chairs that they give you, they’re too tall for the desk,” Giddens said. “You can’t put your legs under it. You unscrew the drawer and stuff it under the bed. That gives you better storage and more leg room.” He suggested buying renter’s insurance. Rates start at $40 a year for up to $10,000 in coverage. Because in reality, you can never know what can happen in the dorms. “Things happen in dorms,” Giddens said. “They can flood, and stuff can happen. When you’re talking about a lot of equipment you have in there, even if you have just a laptop, $40 is worth it. It’s kind of a no brainer if you’re willing to go through the process in doing it.”


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MESS HALL

Chow down: choosing dining options MISTI JONES Contributing Reporter

As an incoming freshman at Sam Houston State University, you’re required by the school to have a meal plan. This means you have access to meals at Paw Print, South Paw and Old Main almost every day of the week. But what no one ever tells freshmen is where to eat, when to eat there, what to get and what not to get. My friends and I have this theory about Old Main Market: if lunch was good, dinner will probably not be so good. If lunch was awful, dinner will most likely be good. If you follow this rule, then you can maximize your chances of hitting Old Main when it is good.. Old Main can be pretty delicious at times when they aren’t running out of things to serve us. On several occasions, they try to throw things together such as a hot dog in a taco shell and hot dog buns as breadsticks. Bearkat Bucks allows you to eat at ChickFil-A, Subway, Burger King, Grille Works,

Tortilla Fresca, Quiznos, Einstein Bros and Subway. These places are good about getting you in and out in a timely manner, but they are not open past 4 p.m. on Friday and are not open on the weekends. This can be a real inconvenience for someone who does not always want to eat at the dining hall and for someone on-the-go. Save up some money to go out to eat on the weekends or to get a quick bite around the city. Don’t settle for chain restaurants that you’re already comfortable with. Instead, branch out and go treat yourself to a restaurant exclusive to the Huntsville area. Try the Farmhouse Cafe, Potato Shack, Five Loaves Deli, City Hall Cafe, Humphrey’s, Los Pericos, Asian Star Hibachi & Sushi, Bandera Grill and China House. Each one of these restaurants has something great to offer. If you want great chicken fried steak, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, fried okra and chicken parmesan, go to Farmhouse. If you want almost any crazy delicious combination of toppings on a giant baked potato, go to Potato Shack. If you want yummy deli sandwiches,

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try Five Loaves (but they aren’t open on the weekends). If you want a hearty breakfast, try City Hall Cafe. If you want a delicious hamburger or fried pickles, go to Humphrey’s. They also have amazing alcoholic beverages, but you’re not old enough for that - wink, wink. If you want to always be satisfied with your selection and experience great hospitality, go to Pita Pit. It’s a chain but they’ve always got some deals going on to save you money. If you want cheap tacos, amazing nachos and warm, chunky salsa, try Los Pericos. If you want a wide range of foods, go to Bandera Grill because they’ve got it all. If you want hibachi or sushi, try Asian Star. If you want great hospitality, food cooked with love and more food for your buck, eat at China House. Also, when you eventually move off campus, you’ll think to yourself, “Now I can buy groceries and cook every night instead of eating with a meal plan.” However, this statement is false. Moving out into an apartment or off-campus townhouse will not motivate you to cook more often. Instead, you’ll wish you could be swiped in

at Old Main because they cook the entire meal for you. Your food will most likely go to waste because, let’s face it, you’ll be too exhausted to cook every night. After a long school day you don’t feel like cooking. You think you’re going to but you really don’t. Instead, you’ll resort to some sort of fast food chain because you don’t have a meal plan and you’ll most likely cook once a week - maybe even once a month. Yes, it seems forced upon you to have a meal plan but if you’re going to live offcampus somehow, you might want to at least get 50-100 meals a semester that comes with Bearkat Bucks. You won’t want to eat on campus all the time, so when you come to school, have some spending money. Go out with friends and socialize on the weekends. Have that spending money for when you want to eat somewhere different and delicious that isn’t your normal fast food or restaurants chains and isn’t sometimes disappointing.


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2014 Orientation Issue

PRISON LIFE

How to succeed serving your time STEPHEN GREEN Web Editor

Anyone who enters a correctional facility innocent has one thing on his or her mind: play the game if you want to get out alive. It is the same for what students go through. College, like any good strategy-based game, can be won or lost. Winning means getting your diploma at the end with solid job prospects. Losing means dropping or flunking out without really knowing how it all happened. Use this as your strategy guide to succeed in college, potentially graduating early, and getting good grades (even if sometimes you don’t really deserve it). No this isn’t a guide to how to cheat on that American history midterm, nor do anything that violates school policy. Playing the game takes good ol’ fashioned people skills. The first and best way to succeed in college is to actually read, study and do well on exams. Unfortunately, it can all become overwhelming, and you need an easy way out, but you should really try this first. Your degree won’t mean much if you didn’t take any knowledge away with it. Start with your professors. Get to know them and let them get to know you. This doesn’t mean being a condescending brown-noser because professors hate that too. But take time to read over their vita, which is like their resume. You might find something that they know a lot about or particularly enjoy that can come in handy. Like when you don’t know the answer, but you know what your professor knows about and wants to hear. It also allows you to have some talking points for times you need to go into their office. This seems like trying to suck up, but if you are both genuinely interested in something then it can be a fruitful conversation. In addition, professors can actually be *GASP* your friends that you go out and

have a drink with. When you graduate (especially if you’ve got graduate school in mind) your professors will be your peers. They know the guys with the jobs you want. I have made several friendships with professors, and they have helped me more than many others have. Even while you’re in college, professors can be of use to you. Failed that midterm? You might score extra points (literally) by helping with a research project, or cleaning out an old office. Befriending, not brown-nosing, is the key. If you are lucky enough to already know what you want to do when you graduate and where you want to go, begin networking with the people at the university who can help you get there. It may be professors, students, staff or administration, but don’t be afraid of going after what you want. Unlike high school, which was mostly filled with students who don’t want to be there, college (for the most part) is a place where ambition is respected by your peers. The most successful students aren’t necessarily the ones with the highest GPAs, although that is nice. They’re the ones who are respected and know what they’re doing in their field. They’re doing stuff. Get involved with a group related to your major. This isn’t just about networking, it’s about getting practical, hands-on experience you can stuff your portfolio with once you’re out of this prison we call college. My time working at the Houstonian and with the radio and TV stations on campus have taught me more than anything I’ve learned in the classroom. And in addition to that, I’ll walk out with several hundred online projects and videos that I can show editors and producers. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for anyone else. Student groups and academic organizations are screaming for students to join their ranks. Go to all of the events your department puts on, and meet all the professionals in

the field who come to speak. Odds are you’ll only be one of a handful of students depending which major you’re in. This gives you the opportunity to not only meet distinguished people in the field, but get respect from your professors for attending. Especially at events with a lack of attendance, professors who attend will notice you at some point. If a professor asks you to help work on a project or invites you to a dinner, don’t say you don’t have money or that you have work. Take time off! These are oncein-a-lifetime opportunities that you’ll be experiencing. Find a way to make it happen. Do your own research or projects. Maybe you haven’t gotten on the inside track quite yet, but these will help. In practical majors especially, figure out how to work equipment and programs on your own time. The university computers all have the ability to run many industry standard programs from anywhere on campus. The more you know going into a class, you’ll not only get a better grade, but it will help you refine your own ability. Some of the skills that are being required of you or being taught to you aren’t easy, and sure you’ll probably make a bad grade at some point in college. Don’t panic. It may be taboo to say that GPA doesn’t matter but...GPA doesn’t matter in the long run. It’s the degree and what you know that counts. So focus on what does matter: your major specific classes. Have two finals but only enough time to study for one? Pick the one that matters more. It may hurt your GPA temporarily, but even if an employer cares about your GPA, odds are they’ll look at the major specific one. Who cares you made a C in Applied Mathematics besides mom and dad? Take your difficult classes first. As a student, I knew going in that I would get lazier as I went through college so I made sure to leave the easy or fun classes until my last few semesters so my grades and

attention span wouldn’t be hit so hard. My first semester I took classes I knew would be hard for me because I knew I would work hard because I was at a new school. You can do the same. Getting through college is easy, but doing so, maintaining a high GPA, actually learning what matters, networking, and preparing for the work place in a few years is not. Follow my advice and make your own list. It sure beats not trying anything. Apathy is the enemy of an education, and it is the worst strategy to apply to the game.


2014 Orientation Issue

PRISON LIFE

Jailhouse tats: be smart with your first ink CONNOR HYDE Editor-in-Chief Tattoos in prisons scratch the details of an inmate’s crime, beliefs or memories. Within the United States and internationally, prison tattoos can also depict the hierarchy of gang life and prisoner status within different cell blocks. Where perplexing arrangement of various symbols and numbers are etched across the scarred skin of hard time inmates, the butterfly tramp stamps or the

tribal drawing you penned drunk at your inaugural college party doesn’t particularly represent the expressionism and “being different” ambience you thought you were paying for. In college, your tattoos are statements. Statements of individuality, symbols of friendship and strength, but more importantly it’s a record of your human experience. However, in most instances that I’ve personally seen – and laughed at – college students choose a permanently detrimental avenue of cost over quality. Now, to remain honest with myself, I’m not one to condemn

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hypocritically. My first tattoo in college was scratched into my right arm in the back of a trailer in Arkansas from a toothless artist with a name I can’t recall. Probably Jimbo or Bubba. Nonetheless, I’m already looking for a design to cover the $50 bastardized tattoo. There are a plethora of tattoo joints to choose from in Huntsville and each have talented artists who can produce award winning tattoos. However, they don’t come cheap. Yet, when the time comes, either at a drunken rager with your bros or after a harrowing breakup from a relationship, quality tattoos don’t come cheap. The majority of tattoo parlors are concrete in hourly prices; most commonly $100 an hour. However, some artists negotiate prices to cater to customers’ needs

or wallet size. Although an attractive aspect for students on a budget, some artists use prices as leverage when dedicating effort into their artwork. Portraits and traditional style designs lose their wow value, with tattoo icon Bert Grimm rolling in his grave, as prices drop. To prevent a needle scratch tattoo permanently ingrained on your skin, opt to multiple sessions. To best explain it, it’s like taking a lay-a-way out on an item. You’ll pay for each session, based on session prices, which will permit and encourage quality artwork from your artist. Patience is most valuable with this option because it could be weeks or months before your piece is complete. Despite the lag between —

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2014 Orientation Issue —

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sessions, the final product is worth the time and monetary investment. A common mistake college students make when seeking out their first tattoo is body placement. Tattoos hurt and most students don’t know their pain tolerance. Granted rib tattoos, foot tattoos and chest tattoos are aesthetically pleasing, it hurts. Design and spellchecking are mistakes that are innately embarrassing and can even find their way on the internet. “No ragrets” am I right? Your tattoo artist may not be literate enough to spell “regrets” however it is up to the client to double check the artist. Extravagant designs, with the right artist, usually is a testament to a veteran tattoo enthusiast. College students make the mistake of choosing an elaborate design to segue into succeeding tattoos. As with most things, there is a cyclical relationship. With an extravagant design comes an

PRISON LIFE extravagant price. If you’re looking for quality with only $100 in your checking account, think again. That may cover half of the outlining but it’s a far shot from the final product. Finally, and this is from my personal experience with 10 tattoos, shop around. There are thousands of talented artists across the nation that create and produce original artwork. Although Huntsville has a diverse pool of artists, College Station and Houston are crawling with renowned artists that have made their imprint. Of course prices vary, but with tattoos the aim is to ink yourself with artwork, not doodles. College students and prisoners serve a sentence under similar terms. Either outlined by law or a student handbook, both prisoners and students are confined to a code. However, despite the code, students are able to define their individuality through various avenues, including tattoos. Be selective. Be smart.

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TATTED UP. A tattoo artist fnishes a design for a customer. Many college students make many mistakes when shopping for their first tattoo. Of the many mistakes, looking for the best price instead of quality leads to many failed tattoos and embarassing photographs.


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2014 Orientation Issue