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WHAT’S INSIDE? Last month stressful for graduating seniors ‘Dog Sees God’ transforms ‘Peanuts’ future Baseball looking to rebound against ORU

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Volume 125/ Issue 21

Thursday, April 3, 2014

CAMPUS

Faculty evaluations hard to find online JAY R. JORDAN Associate Editor End-of-semester teacher evaluations, which by law must be published on Sam Houston State University’s website, are difficult to locate, students find. On SHSU’s homepage is a link called “HB 2504 compliance” located on the footer of the webpage that is home to the university’s cost of attendance, course syllabi, faculty vitae and student evaluations. Texas House Bill 2504, put into law in June 2009, mandates all this information be published on each university’s website.

While the university said it’s in compliance with law, some students have found it difficult to locate on the website. The legislation states the information must be “accessible from the institution’s Internet website home page by use of not more than three links” and “searchable by keywords and phrases.” The Houstonian conducted a survey in which four students attempted to locate their professor’s evaluations from fall 2013 and current course syllabi. All four were unable to locate the evaluations via the “HB 2054 compliance” link on the home page and had to resort to using the website’s search engine. Then,

only two of them found the link. Freshman English major Sarah Daniel entered “teacher evaluation” in the website search engine, but that turned up void. After looking in the ‘Open Records’ link, ‘Faculty & Staff ’ link and ‘Getting Started’ link, she gave up her search. “Nobody knows what ‘HB 2504’ means,” Daniel said. “It doesn’t make sense.” Director of Online Program Development and Communication Elisa Crossland said the website is in compliance with the law and nobody has complained about the difficulty of finding the information. “There’s a link in the footer of

every page on the website, pretty much,” Crossland said. “No one has ever asked us to [change the name of the link] before, but it’s certainly a possibility.” Universities within the Texas State University System, as well as all universities or institutions of higher education in the state of Texas, are subject to the same law. However, only Texas State University’s website was up to SHSU’s standard. Every other university in TSUS had issues in finding the information, from missing evaluations to information being more than three clicks from the home page. While two students, junior kinesiology major Candace

Hackett and senior kinesiology major Will Lester, eventually found the evaluations after using the search engine, they still said it should be easier to find the teacher evaluations. “I don’t think people really see [the link] because it’s way down there, and people don’t know what it’s labeled as,” Hackett said. “If it maybe said ‘student-teacher evaluations’ maybe then students would know what it is.” While Hackett and Lester were able to find the evaluations and syllabi via the website’s search engine, Daniel and sophomore pre-nursing major Corey McNutt —

ONLINE, page 6

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SGA hosts President charges tabled, more to come candidate town hall JAY R. JORDAN Associate Editor

HOUSTONIAN STAFF Students can talk directly with the SGA executive board candidates Monday at 6:30 p.m. after the Student Government Association student affairs committee called for an open forum. There are two tickets with two students running independently. The BIG Bearkat ticket include presidential candidate Emmanuel Omegbele, vice presidential candidate Brooke Hunter, treasurer candidate Victor Ihezukwu, chief of staff candidate Tyler Patek and secretary candidate JoAnna Moore. The New SGA includes presidential candidate Spencer Copeland, vice presidential candidate Drew Carson, treasurer candidate Samuel Iredia, chief of staff candidate Robert Ferguson and secretary candidate Tyler Livezey. Running independently are vice presidential candidate Jonathan Rodriguez and chief of staff candidate Isaac Ruiz. Moderators will be Houstonian Associate Editor Jay R. Jordan and Miss Sam Houston Briarley Dellinger. As of press time, all candidates but those on the BIG Bearkat ticket have confirmed attendance. The event will be in the Bud and Joan Haney Auditorium, room 186 in the Smith-Hudson Building.

The student body president’s impeachment was tabled indefinitely, yet according to Rules and Regulations Chief Steven Perry, more charges are already in the works. Graduate student Heath Scott represented Student Body President Ramiro Jaime, Jr. during Tuesday’s meeting in which Jaime’s impeachment was to take place. Scott and Jaime successfully argued that multiple invalid signatures on the impeachment document would bring the number of senators who signed the form down to below the 10-signature threshold required. The impeachment forms were signed by Daniel Hough, Jacob Ratliff, Stephen Farrand, Matthew Maddox, Sara Barrow, Alex Rangel, Zecharias Embaye, Matthew Baughman, Lesly Garcia, Steven Perry, Tempest Brooks, Heidi Wieser and Hop Luu. All but Ratliff are senators in SGA. Ratliff ’s signature was ruled invalid since he’s not a senator in Student Government Association. According to the SGA Rules and Regulations, only senators can sign an impeachment form. Farrand and Luu withdrew their signatures from their impeachment forms, saying they didn’t fully know what they were signing. “I didn’t read [it] when I signed what I signed,” Farrand said. “[If I have to] I will resign my position for dereliction of my duty.” However, Embaye questioned Farrand about his knowledge not of the contents of the impeachment, but the gravity of his signature.

Brynn Castro | The Houstonian

DODGED. Graduate student Heath Scott (left) listens to Student Body President Ramiro Jaime, Jr. defend his position against his own impeachment during Tuesday’s Student Government Association meeting. Jaime was impeached for the second time of his term after failing to appoint members to the election commission.

“You are aware that by signing just about any other legal document, whether you read it or not, is binding, correct?” Embaye said. Farrand said while he understood what his signature meant, he raised questions about the overall integrity of the impeachment since he and other senators wanted to back out of their commitment. Jaime claimed Farrand told him he was blackmailed by other senators for not completing office hours. Farrand denied he

was ever threatened but knew he “wasn’t the best” at completing his required office hours, which is an impeachable offense. “It was never insinuated,” Farrand said. “I believe, like myself, other individuals of the Senate signed the document hesitant and not checking their facts.” Luu agreed and said he also signed the document without thoroughly checking it. “Yes, it is my fault for not reading, clarifying or even asking for what the petition was about,”

Luu said. “[But] since I had no information about it, I still had to withdraw my signature.” Ratliff ’s invalidation, coupled with Farrand and Luu’s withdraw, put the number at the required 10 signatures for impeachment. Scott said he had more senators who would withdraw their signatures, but the impeachment was tabled before they could speak up. After multiple attempts throughout the past week to interview Jaime about the impeachment charges, he refused to comment after the meeting.

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Student’s missing truck found in Conroe CONNOR HYDE Editor-in-Chief A Sam Houston State University student’s truck was stolen March

24 from the New Gresham Library parking lot, according to the University Police Department’s daily crime log. According to UPD Lt. Chris Standerfer, UPD received a call

from a male student around 11:08 p.m. reporting his maroon 2003 F-250 stolen from the parking lot behind the library. UPD then posted the missing vehicle’s information in a national database

for stolen articles. The truck was found 30 minutes later in Conroe by the Department of Public Safety with the owner of the truck notified, Standerfer said. No arrests have been made.

Conroe DPS was contacted, but staff could not find the person who filed the report by press time.

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Page 3

Viewpoints

Thursday, April 3, 2014

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Letter: Support SGA outsiders EMMANUEL OMOEGBELE BROOKE HUNTER VICTOR IHEZUKWU JOANNA MOORE TYLER PATEK

The Student Body of Sam Houston State deserves a diverse ticket that can bring new ideas to Student Government. Our ticket has absolutely no affiliation with SGA, which in a way is a positive thing. If you keep SGA hidden from the students and keep appointing the same people

in leadership positions, then you deprive the student body of an effective Student Government. The opposing ticket currently serves under the very controversial incumbent administration, and nothing gets done effectively. The B.I.G. Bearkat ticket has leadership experience through multiple

accredited organizations at Sam Houston State University. This election will and should not be based off of popularity, but ability. The B.I.G. Bearkat ticket is constantly studying the Constitution and Rules and Regulations of the Student Government Association. On April

SOCIAL MEDIA

Firefox CEO unfairly criticized NATALIE PETAIA Contributing Reporter Early last week Mozilla, the nonprofit best known for web browser Firefox, appointed Brendan Eich as its new CEO. Eich, one of Mozilla’s co-founders and the inventor of the programming language JavaScript, had served as chief technology officer of the Mozilla Foundation since its establishment in 2005. No big deal, right? Wrong. Since the appointment, three of the company’s five board members resigned, and several current employees have spoken out against Eich, taking to Twitter to call for the new CEO’s resignation. The most public attack has come from online dating site OkCupid. Why all this hostility? Well, back in 2008 Eich donated $1,000 in support of California’s Proposition 8. For those who don’t remember, Prop 8

was created by opponents of same-sex marriage as a ballot initiative limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. In the latest stand against Eich, OkCupid asked their users to avoid Mozilla Firefox in protest against Eich...in a very public fashion. Instead of simply releasing a statement, OkCupid redirected Firefox browsers accessing the site from the login page to a letter written by OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder. The letter stated that Eich is an opponent of equal rights, and the dating site “would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.” Eich has since posted on his blog his support and commitment to Mozilla’s existing anti-discrimination policies, their community participation guidelines and inclusive health benefits. Eich also said it is his, “personal commitment to work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalized in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult.” Despite all the harassment, Eich hasn’t mentioned resigning and stands by his life decisions. When did exercising your freedom of speech make it ok for you to lose your job? I thought part of the liberty of living in the US was the ability to

express your opinions freely without fear of judgment or repercussions. Of course people have the right to disagree with Eich’s opinions, but that shouldn’t lead to banishing him from any important position for which he’s otherwise qualified. I could understand the backlash if Eich’s actions were directly affecting his ability to fairly operate the company or led to discrimination against LGBT people. Frankly I don’t see any prejudice in his actions so far, and I highly doubt such a prevalent company would appoint someone they thought would be unable to do justice to the position. Furthermore, the donation was made six years ago. If everybody was held to every life decision they made then I think we’d find most companies asking their CEOs to step down. In his 2008 campaign, President Barack Obama told an audience at a candidate forum that he believes “marriage is between a man and a woman.” Nobody’s calling for the president’s impeachment over a position he held half a decade ago. Regardless of whether you agree with Eich’s stance on same-sex marriage, it shouldn’t affect his ability to lead Mozilla. How can you ask for people’s acceptance when you aren’t willing to show them a little of the same?

9 and 10, do not deprive yourselves again and basically elect the same administration. Sincerely, The BIG Bearkat Ticket

Word on the Street:

What do freshman, who are required by the university to purchase meal plans as a condition of their enrollment, think about the mold and insects reported at Old Main Market, one of the only two places on campus to accept university-allotted meals? “People said it was an April Fools joke, so I went that day and later my stomach started to hurt. I’m not going there anymore. “ -Kennedy Howard Freshman Pre-Dental

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Final month is busy time for grads

STEPHEN GREEN Web Editor New semester, old hat. The first day of the last semester might be one of the most exciting and gruesome days ever. The rest of the semester goes by on a Red Bull and Ramen high until it all abruptly ends. The first stage everyone goes through is the excitement of “the last first day.” You promise yourself that you’re going to go out with a bang by making all A’s and actually going to class. Or you might have the goal in mind to work at schoolwork as hard as Paris Hilton did to earn her lot in life. Any smart and able senior will have already taken the most difficult classes, which leaves them with tough classes

like “Philosophy of Flatulence,” “The Walking Dead: TV or Prophecy?” and a personal favorite “Anchorman.” Okay so the last one is a movie, but we seniors watch a lot of Netflix when we aren’t pacing around the apartment rethinking life. Other seniors waited until the last semester to take their hardest classes, which makes hepatologists especially happy. About halfway through the semester you wake up with the realization that you’ll be out in about seven weeks. As you step across the tiny bedroom you somehow manage to pay for, you traverse mountains of free school t-shirts, used Scantrons and those two – or 12 – textbooks you never really got around to reading. Then, on top of the part-time job, paying bills, taking care of a dog you probably shouldn’t have gotten, classwork and somehow having a social life, you figure out that graduation is impending and there’s still stuff to do. These include getting your cap and gown, graduation photos, invitations, class ring, planning the graduation party, and to top it all off, actually applying to graduate. The end is neigh when May rolls

around. By this point any efforts to be a good student have long since fallen by the way side, along with the thought put into daily attire. You’ve applied for approximately 50,000 jobs you’ll never get and about 10 “backups,” a.k.a. what you’ll actually do. Stress levels are maxed out along with mom’s credit card. But walking across the stage is like a snail’s-paced version of NASCAR, each student completing a marathon of running in circles and finally crossing the finish line. For many, it will be a moment a long time coming. The time it takes for the average college student to graduate can be described many different ways: 48 months, 624 weeks, 227,760 days and 5,466,240 hours. That’s enough time to take a trip to Mars and back twice, have five kids and drink 29,815,854 beers back-to-back. (Note: The latter sounds like an awesome Spring Break, but we don’t suggest you raise five kids and drink that many beers at the same time – although it would make a trip to Mars much shorter.) Every second is worth it. Look forward yearning. Look back with pride.

“I’m definitely going to be more skeptical about what I eat there, if I even go there at all.” -Briana McCall Freshman Nursing

“The bugs and mold at Old Main are really gross, they just need to clean better I guess.” -Jocelyn Volkmar Freshman Theater Tech

The Houstonian Editorial

The Houstonian was named in the top 100 college newspapers for journalism students by JournalismDegree.org. Members of Associated Collegiate Press and Texas Intercolligiate Press Association.

EDITOR’S NOTE Articles, letters and cartoons by Houstonian staff members or others in this paper are their own and not the opinion of the Houstonian, unless it is noted as such. Submissions and letters to the editor are welcome. Please send submissions to viewpoints@houstonianonline.com. Articles may be edited for grammar and spelling at discretion of editor. Unsolicited oppinions should be 150 words or under. Please contact us if you wish to submit anything longer. Deadline for submission is by 5 p.m. on Mondays or Wednesdays.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Connor Hyde ........................................................................................................................................936-294-1505 FACULTY ADVISER Robin Johnson..................................................................................................................................936-294-1499 STAFF Jay R. Jordan .................................................................................................................................Associate Editor Colin Harris...................................................................................................................................Viewpoints Editor Jeremy Villanueva..................................................................................................................................Sports Editor Kizzie Frank.............................................................................................................................Entertainment Editor Stephen Green...........................................................................................................................................Web Editor Kassidy Turnpaugh.............................................................................................................. Assistant News Editor Dharmesh Patel.........................................................................................................Assistant Entertainment Editor Marissa Hill........................................................................................................................................Sports Reporter Hannah Zedeker.................................................................................................................................Senior Reporter Steven Snook.............................................................................................................................Multimedia Reporter Samantha Zambrano.............................................................................................................................Layout Editor Lillie Muyskens..............................................................................................................................Graphic Designer Staff Reporter(s)..................................................................................................... Kaleigh Treiber, Alex Broussard

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Page 4

Arts&Entertainment

Thursday, April 3, 2014 houstonianonline.com/a-e

CAMPUS

Drag Show to celebrate pride KIZZIE FRANK A&E Editor RuPaul’s blonde wigs have nothing on these guys. Six Sam Houston State University’s students will participate in Gamma Kappa Sigma’s drag show as a part of Pride Week in the Lowman Student Center Thursday. For the past few years GSK has been putting on competitive drag shows, first to empower men and women to be themselves, GSK Secretary Robert Aguilar said. Emcee and SHSU student Christopher Preslar will host the show as alter-ego Emerald Van Cartier. Preslar, Grant Howarth, Stevie Smith, Christopher Keel, Marina Miller and Raul Pardo are among the six confirmed contestants. “Drag for me has always been about stepping out of one’s comfort zone and challenging the norms society has set for us,” Preslar said. “Drag allows us to step out of our insecurities, or rather confront them, and transcend to a beautiful place of art and discovery,” Preslar said. There will be three sections to the show. It will begin with the drag show and will close out with a talent portion, with a fashion show between as intermission. Preslar will not be alone on state as the Van Cartier Family from Austin will accompany him on stage as performers and hosts. Like any other drag show, anything goes. All the best eyeliners, hip pads, and short dresses will serve every pair of eyes in the crowd. Despite the fact that there are no female contestants so far, there will be queens duking it out for the crown. According Aguilar, the show is not just for show. The winner will claim the prize of a gift cards for the drag, singing, and dancing categories. “We’re not sure how much or from where the gift card will come from, but there will definitely be a prize,” said Aguilar. Junior theater major Cynamon Symon said she will stop by and see what the event is about. “We’re all so busy and it’s hard to go to shows, but since it’s something you don’t see often and it’s on campus, I want to make time to go,” she said. Another student is well aware of the show beforehand and is excited for the event. Dance major, Otis Berry said the contestants will “definitely werk” the stage. The Drag Show will be free of charge for everyone with doors opening at 6 p.m.

Courtesy Christopher Preslar| Facebook

SERVING. Christopher Preslar, also known as, Emerald Van Cartier will host Gamma Sigma Kappa’s Drag Show on Thursday. Two of his drag family members will also join him on stage. Come to find how which contestant take home the crown.

CAMPUS

HUNTSVILLE

‘Peanuts’ future to come out on stage DHARMESH PATEL A&E Assistant Editor

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“You’re a homo, Charlie Brown!” If the sexual tension between Charlie Brown and Schroeder wasn’t apparent before, then Bert V. Royal’s play “Dog Sees God” will surely turn some heads. Sam Houston State University Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre debuted their take on the controversial play last night to a sold out show. Audience members were eager to find out what all the buzz surrounding the play is about as they stood in line waiting for the doors to open. “It deals with a lot of social issues like school, sexuality, gender and different rolls but also about death of an animal and stuff like that. I’m excited. [I] live it,” Christopher King, freshman SHSU theater major said while waiting in line. “Dog Sees God” is a look into the futures of the characters of Charles M. Shulz’s beloved children’s comic strip “Peanuts.” Parody versions of the original cast make an appearance, including Snoopy and Woodstock, although they’re future is short lived. It’s implied in the beginning of the play that Snoopy contracted rabies, causing him to kill Woodstock and in turn being put down. The rest is downhill as the characters, now sexually active and with violent tendencies, interact with each other in a drug haze. First time director and SHSU senior musical theater major Tyler Martin was both nervous and excited for the debut night. “I feel great about it. I think the cast is ready, the crew is ready and we have been working on it for several weeks now and they are ready for an audience,” Martin said. There has been a huge buzz building around this play at SHSU, as many people were left without tickets after being placed on a two-page long waiting list. “I heard about it last year and never knew what it was about until this week,”

sophomore theater major Chelsea Womack said. “One of my friends is in it and I wanted to come support them. This show sold out faster than usual, and I’m just here waiting.” Patrons need to be warned that this interpretation of “Charlie Brown” is in no way related to the original from which it is very loosely based. “I think you need to be open minded when you come see this play because it’s pretty real and I also just know that real life happens,” said stage manager and sophomore theater major Grant Joseph Schwenke in reference to the heavy drug use and sexual content of the pseudo “Peanuts” characters. “Dog Sees God” is sold out for all three nights, but those wanting a chance to watch a showing can still add their name to the waiting list. Tickets are $10 for general admission and there will be two more showings on April 4 and 5 at 8 p.m. in the Showcase Theater.

Come celebrate our most beloved citizen. Adult (13-up) $5 Child (4-12) $3 Under 3 Free Call 936-294-1832

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Page 5

Sports

Thursday, April 3, 2014 houstonianonline.com/sports

SHSU at work on gridiron FOOTBALL

MARISSA HILL Sports Reporter

Springtime may bring fair weather and longer days, but for Sam Houston State it brings back the pigskin. The Bearkats touched back down on the gridiron in midMarch, officially beginning their spring football practices. SHSU has 51 lettermen returning from last year’s team that battled their way into a third consecutive NCAA Football Championship Subdivision postseason appearance. Despite losing a powerful corps of 12 seniors from last season, those who were in backup roles now have an opportunity to shine. With newly hired head coach K.C. Keeler steering the reigns, players will be battling for the number one slot on the depth chart. As graduating senior and NFL running back hopeful Timothy Flanders leaves his legacy in the record books, sophomore Steven Hicks is hopeful for new opportunities in 2014. “[Keeler’s] giving everybody a fresh start this next season,” he said. Younger players were able to showcase their skill set during the Bearkats’ first spring scrimmage Saturday. On an 80-yard touchdown drive, freshman Yedidiah Louis split the seam over the middle from quarterback Don King III. Louis managed to muster 12 yards on the reception to maintain momentum downfield. On the next play, freshman Ragan Henderson snatched down another King pass and broke three

Alex Broussard | The Houstonian

SPRINGING FORWARD. Sam Houston State football is halfway through spring workouts and have seen key progressions from their younger players. After a solid spring scrimmage, the Bearkats are eager to continue to develop leading up to the Orange and White game and the fall season.

tackles before being brought down in the red zone. Following the scrimmage, Keeler said he was pleased with the effort and progress he’s seen in his ball club. “The players have bought in to what we as a staff are doing quicker than I ever imagined,” Keeler said. “They want to win.” The SHSU coaching staff will use their spring session as an evaluation tool that will allow them to address their needs at different positions and improve upon the foundation they already

have, Keeler added. Among those needs is finding a starting quarterback. Redshirt freshmen Jared Johnson and King both saw field action last season under former head coach Willie Fritz behind four-year starter Brian Bell. Johnson entered spring workouts on the injured list but has recently been cleared to take limited reps with the team. “We have four quarterbacks in spring ball who are doing a great job of learning the offense,” offensive coordinator Phil Longo said. “[King] has pro g re s s e d the quickest with learning

the system, and he is currently repping with our first team.” However, Longo said spring ball will not solidify starting positions. “We will not be naming a starting quarterback after spring ball,” he said. “That decision will be made in August.” The overall goal for the offense is about timing and playing by instincts, Longo added. “We will reach a point where our players can execute without thinking [and] just solely on instinct.” SHSU will also be looking to address their needs on the defensive side of the ball with the main priority of getting healthy. “With only seven healthy defensive linemen, we knew

the defense would be at a disadvantage,” Keeler said. Aside from the injury situation, co-defensive coordinator Mike Collins said he wants to correct and polish the players’ habits. “From stance, alignment to tackling, we’re really coaching the fundamentals and little things as hard as we can coach them,” Collines said. “We’re trying to develop good habits this spring with these guys.” SHSU practices every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and will continue into the second week of April. The annual Orange and White game will conclude the Bearkats’ spring workouts on April 11 at 7 p.m.

BASEBALL

Alex Broussard | The Houstonian

REGROUPING. Infielder Ryan Farney takes a crack at a pitch during Sam Houston State baseball’s game against Texas Christian University during the Bearkats’ hot streak in midFebruary. Since that game, SHSU has been 10-9 after starting the season 9-1.

Kats look to rebound JEREMY VILLANUEVA Sports Editor After beginning Southland Conference play with a sweep over the University of New Orleans in mid-March, Sam Houston State baseball has plummeted in SLC standings after two consecutive series losses. In a campaign to rejuvenate momentum, the Bearkats head to Oklahoma for a three-game series with Oral Roberts this weekend. “[We’re] trying to get back on track and start playing our brand of baseball again by getting better in all phases of the game,” outfielder Colt Atwood said. ORU sits right below SHSU in the SLC standings at 3-6 against the Bearkats’ 4-5 record in conference, although a standings comparison means nothing as SHSU was projected to win the SLC for the third year in a row. However, SHSU is sitting three games back from conference leader Nicholls State. SHSU hopes to find their offensive production that lacked last weekend against the Demons. Although SHSU garnered seven hits in their closing contest to Northwestern, the Bearkats were only able to bring one runner home off a Hayden Simerly RBI.

Atwood leads the Bearkats with a .387 batting average on the season. After going 3-5 at the plate in SHSU’s lone win against Northwestern, Atwood slipped to 0-4 Sunday. Although there were a lack of hits and runs to close the series, the Bearkats look to fix the holes on all sides of the ball that have hinged them in recent games, Atwood said. “We are losing as a team,” he said. “Every single person on the team can and is continuing to get better and we are going to better as a team in all phases of the game.” ORU heads into this weekend’s contest recovering from a 2-1 loss to end their series with Nicholls State. The Golden Eagles were ousted by Colonels’ ace pitcher Gavin Glanz, who only gave up four hits to ORU. Last season when SHSU and ORU faced each other, the teams split the four-game series at two games apiece at Don Sanders Stadium. According to Atwood, the Bearkats are looking to shrug off the past two weeks and regain momentum. “We are not worried about any one part of the game,” Atwood said. “[We’re] just working to win every game we play.” First pitch in the series is slated for 6:30 p.m. in Tulsa, Okla.


Page 6

News

Thursday, April 3, 2014 houstonianonline.com/news

Appeals court comes to SHSU CAMPUS

KASSIDY TURNPAUGH Assistant News Editor

For the third time in three years, Sam Houston State University hosted Texas’s Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mike Yawn, Ph.D., of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and student fellows welcomed the court Wednesday in the George J. Beto Court Room in the Criminal Justice Building. Since first coming to SHSU in 2012, the court has become renowned for traveling the state of Texas to educate the public. One case that stood before the justices was that of former SHSU student and Airkat Bearkat Alexias Bell. In 2008 Bell was on a four-wheeler at a tailgate when the driver struck the opposing team’s coach. The coach, Kurt Nichols of Blinn College, then punched Bell resulting in her falling from the four-wheeler and being injured. The subsequent case has come full circle returning to SHSU for its most recent appeal. The court came to session before a packed audience of both judges and students as Chief Justice Tom Gray addressed the court. The court was scheduled to hear

Brynn Castro | The Houstonian

JUSTICE. Aaron Pool (right) listens to conversations along with each justice the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals deliberated Wednesday. Among the cases heard was one involving a pair Sam Houston State University alumni.

the appeals of four separate civil cases that had failed to come to a resolution in trial court. Other cases heard were about a car accident resulting in a $294,000 settlement, a dispute between American Alternative Insurance Corp. and a client, and a suit filed

against the city of Madisonville on behalf of two business owners. According to Gray, the justices “carefully selected the batch of cases” to demonstrate the different processes and aspects of the appeals court. While one case may relate

more to the laws and policies surrounding insurance, another case would apply more to the procedural parts of personal injury. Each of the cases began with an explanation and introduction to the workings of the court. The event also brought back

two SHSU alumni acting in a professional capacity. Both the acting chief justice and attorney for the appellee in one case, Kevin Knight, were returning to SHSU as alumni. For Knight, it was a moment he never would have expected when he was a student at SHSU. “I never would have guessed that I would be back here when I was a student at Sam,” Knight said. The arguments and discussions presented in yesterday’s court are intended to be an educational tool for the large number of criminal justice students that SHSU possesses. According to junior criminal justice major Brandon Dotson, the experience was good but a tad confusing when it came down to the semantics and previously established situations. “Our session was short,” Dotson said. “I feel like they could’ve explained the cases in greater detail.” Nonetheless, Dotson found the overall experience to be a good one and interesting to say the least. “I think it was a great way to see what we’ll be dealing with in the future,” Dotson said. “Especially for those going into law practice.”

CAMPUS

Pride Week celebrates LGBT community JENNIFER JACKSON Contributing Reporter The fourth annual Pride Week is being held this week to bring together people of all sexual identities in a fun, safe and educational environment, according to hosts Gamma Sigma Kappa, Sam Houston State University’s LGBT student group. The organization’s President Cody Brannan said Pride Week was created to bring into action the mission of Gamma Sigma Kappa, which is to create and promote an accepting and tolerant environment on campus.

A movie night kicked off the week with a feature presentation of “Too Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar,” about the adventures of three drag performers on a road trip at the Wesley Memorial Church. There was also a beauty station to allow participants to get in the spirit of drag. “The fact that we were able to host this event at the church shows the progress that has been made and the incredible acceptance that can be found in Huntsville,” Brannan said. To pay homage to members of the LGBT community who have been lost from violence and

bullying, a candlelight vigil was held Tuesday night at the Austin Hall Pit. According to Brannon, the vigil is the most emotional event of the week. There will be a talent show with performances by drag queens from the surrounding area Thursday. For those in the LGBT community who experienced prejudice while attending their high school prom or did not even attend, they will have another chance at the

masquerade-themed Pride Prom on Friday in the LSC Ballroom. To finish off the week, there will be a picnic on Saturday with a scavenger hunt and various other games. “The week will be a unifying

experience for not just the LGBT community but everyone,” GSK’s historian Kayla Stallings said. “It will be a time where people can learn about each other in a safe environment and really come together as a community.”

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CITY

Citizen sues city council HANNAH ZEDAKER Senior Reporter

A Huntsville resident declared at Tuesday’s city council meeting that he will be suing the city on behalf of himself and four others for their failure to pay compensation owed to local business owners for an easement. City officials approached several landowners last year to sign more than 1,000 square feet of land for a waterline project on Highway 190 launched in 2010. Jerry Dewitt, a resident on the east side of Huntsville for the last 25 years and owner of Jerry’s Appliances, was one of those landowners. While the city convinced Dewitt to temporarily sign over his land for next-tonothing, roughly $1, Dewitt later found out the city had paid $3,000 to four other citizens for the same land acquisition, totaling $12,000 according to city records. The council claimed to have presented Dewitt and the other land owners with the Tax Payers Bill of Rights upon acquiring it. However, according to Dewitt, the council didn’t present the documents, which he said led him to believe that the easement contract is void. In addition, Dewitt said the waterline was already on his property before the easement even went through. “They told me that since they had my signature, they didn’t owe me anything,” Dewitt said. “They don’t care about anybody but themselves. They’ve ticked off a lot of

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people, treated me like garbage and lied straight to my face.” In the city’s determination to acquire land for the same project, they even had to go through eminent domain litigation to reach an agreement between two other landowners, Randy Gardner and John Cooper. This negotiation process drove up the cost of the project $389,100, according to Yellambalsi Ramachandra, a city engineer. Dewitt said he has approached Huntsville City Council seven times this year to state his grievances, and in compliance, Mayor Mac Woodward has called two executive sessions regarding the complaints. Both executive sessions called did not end in Dewitt’s favor. Despite assertions made by Dewitt that the city did not follow legal procedure, Huntsville’s city attorney Leonard Schneider begged to differ. “Mr. Dewitt certainly has the right to express his thoughts and beliefs,” Schneider said. “When Mr. Dewitt filed a claim with the city, I did call for an investigation, and the results of that investigation showed that we did send a letter to Mr. Dewitt about the land acquisition and that we followed procedure.” Dewitt hired a lawyer Wednesday and said that as soon as his lawyer gets through the paperwork, the litigation process will begin. “I’ve tried to be nice about it and be a good citizen, but now I’m suing you,” Dewitt said. “You think it’s right to cheat your people on the east side of town? We’re going to find out. We’ll see how much I can drive up the cost on your project when we sue you.”

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used the search engine but weren’t able to find what they were looking for. This is due to the search engine turning up the correct results when users search “faculty evaluations” but not “faculty evaluation,” as Daniel and McNutt chose the latter. Each student said they would utilize this service when choosing professors and that it’s a valuable alternative to Rate My Professor. “You don’t even need Rate My Professor,”

McNutt said. “This is even better.” Crossland said the university would be open to changing the name of the link in order to have students or prospective students more easily find their professors evaluations and syllabi. “If someone were to bring it to our attention, we can certainly propose it to the various people that need to approve that,” Crossland said. “Anything that we can do to make information more available to students is certainly something we’re willing to look at.”

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