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Karina Beaty play fast-paced tunes on piano during a student-featured concert.

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Changes to FAFSA hope to make process more fair and accurate

Staffers argue whether Texas lottery is beneficial, needed at all

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Volume 123 / Issue 28

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Two Bearkats signed on NFL draft day CODY LEWIS/CONNOR HYDE Sports Editor and Sports Reporter Although undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft, two Sam Houston State seniors will continue their careers in the NFL. Graduating wide receiver Trey Diller became the newest member of the Carolina Panthers as teammate Dax Swanson signed his contract with the Indianapolis Colts Saturday. Diller and Swanson were signed as undrafted free agents. Swanson impressed scouts in the fall becoming the new SHSU leader in interceptions, including picking off the 2013 Heisman recipient Johnny Manziel in College Station. The graduating cornerback received an invite to the 2013 NFL Combine in February, and despite an injured hamstring, recorded a 4.56 40yard dash and a 33 inch vertical jump. “It was already hurt before coming to the combine but I was 50/50 about it before it pulled,” Swanson said about his hamstring. “I wanted to give it a shot but unfortunately I re-tweaked it.” Swanson improved his NFL chances in March at SHSU’s ProDay, running a 4.44 40-yard dash and recording a 33.5 inch vertical jump. According to Swanson, 13 NFL teams including the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins contacted him or his

Jessica Gomez | The Houstonian, SBNation.com

ON TO THE NEXT LEVEL. Trey Diller (left) signed as the new member for the 2013 Carolina Panthers the same evening teammate Dax Swanson (right) signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Both were signed as un-drafted free agents.

agent after the last round of the draft concluded. Swanson said the Colts are the right choice for him to develop as a player and as a teammate. “They’ve been struggling with the secondary for a while so I saw it as an opportunity to come in,” Swanson said. “It’s a great organization for me to be a part of.” Swanson received praise from fans on Twitter after announcing his decision to sign with the Colts. According to NBC Sports,

Swanson’s small stature holds potential as a successful secondary player but he is expected to work a career in special teams. Swanson thinks otherwise. “I feel like I can get into the rotation this year and they’re underestimating what I can do and they’ll see when I get there,” Swanson said. Diller faces the same criticism signing with Carolina. “I’m going to use my size and speed to my advantage,” Diller said. “I think that’s what a lot of

Destination graduation:

Student lives behind the scenes dream at first job

SOPHIE NELSON Senior Reporter

The audience always sees the smooth interactions between the set, the props and the actors, without ever thinking about what goes into making the scene come to life. Backstage shows a different, more hectic scene, one full of people racing to do their jobs in the right place and at the right time. Everyone knows where to go and what to do at exactly the perfect moment though, because of their stage manager. After acting as stage manager for several shows in her years at Sam Houston State University, and receiving a degree in theatre with an emphasis in stage managing, Kelsey Sapp feels fully prepared to take her first job as a stage manager for Millbrook Playhouse, a summer stock theater in Mill Hall, Pa. “Anything that you see when you go see a production that’s on the stage, including the actors, is something I play a part in,” Sapp said. “I call the lights, I tell sound when to go during a performance. I’m the person in charge to make sure everything comes together, and to make sure that you will see the same show every night.” She was offered the job with Millbrook after a series of interviews via Skype, an experience Sapp felt was interesting. “I had a series of interviews on Skype while we were in different parts of the country,” Sapp said. “Most of the time, people get dressed up and go to interviews. In my case, I’m sitting at home and the person who’s hiring me is at her home or office, and we’re interviewing at totally different times for us. I think it’s better because you’re more comfortable in your own environment. It can be difficult because you don’t get

Photo by Sam Sanchez

coaches liked about me. I also have a good knowledge of the playbook.” Despite receiving calls from the Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers, Diller’s decision to sign with the Panthers stems from his attendance at Wofford College-the site of the Panthers training camp. Diller lettered as a freshman on Wofford College’s special teams squad in 2008 before transferring to SHSU in 2009. Diller said he attributes his success with his time

Professor’s research studies gang activity on web, social media HANNAH ZEDAKER Staff Reporter

that initial contact, but overall is easier than in person I think.” Sapp said her time at SHSU has made her fully prepared to work at Millbrook. “I have stage managed lots of shows, including several big musicals here,” Sapp said. “In addition to all of that, we have a faculty who has pushed my boundaries and my limits, and really helped me excel.” In particular, Sapp felt that the department chair for theatre, Penny Hasekoester, helped develop her collegiate career. “I’ve done three shows with [Hasekoester] as a director, and just getting to work with her as a director, the department chair and as a professor has taught me so much,” Sapp said. “She’s let me make my own discoveries in a safe environment, and I really appreciate the effort she’s put into

me.” Hasekoester said Sapp was a great student who understands the important aspects of stage managing. “She’s intelligent, practical, imaginative and a real problem solver,” Hasekoester said. “She understands how to work with a large cross section of people, deals with conflict well, is calm and above all has a wonderful sense of humor. She is truly outstanding” Sapp said that she has wanted to stage manage since her time in high school theater productions. “It’s not a movie or a film set, it happens as it goes,” Sapp said. “It’s something I love to do and now I get to do it for my job. It couldn’t get better than that.”

as a Bearkat. “I was recognized because of Sam Houston and because of the team getting as far as they did in the playoffs,” Diller said. He finished the 2012 season with 927 yards and four touchdowns. With big names like Cam Newton and DeAngelo Hall on the Carolina roster, Diller said NFL veteran Steve Smith is the player he’s looking forward to working with the most. “He’s the guy I want to get in with,” Diller said. “I’m going to try and soak up as much information as I can from that guy.” Smith has played in the NFL for 12 years, all in a Panther uniform. Diller will head to Charlotte May 8 for mini-camp. After three days of training with the Panthers, he’ll return home before returning for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) May 19th. OTAs will last two weeks before training camp starts for the 2013 NFL season. For Swanson, he’s home in Waco training with his high school coach before leaving for Indianapolis May 9 for rookie camp and training camp with the Colts. To thank his family for their support, Diller said he plans to buy his dad a motorcycle and his mom a Dodge Challenger with his first NFL paycheck. The 2013 NFL season will kickoff Sept. 5. Carolina will face-off against the Seattle Seahawks Sept. 8 and Indianapolis will play the Oakland Raiders.

Sam Houston State University criminal justice professor David Pyrooz, Ph.D., recently published research he coauthored about gang activity on the Internet. The study “Criminal and Routine Activities in Online Settings: Gangs, Offenders, and the Internet,” is funded by Google Ideas. According to the study, gang members are not recruiting members or committing any serious crimes via the so-called “information highway,” they are manipulating it as a means for self-promotion, as well as the exploitation of other gangs. “What they are doing online is typically what they are doing on the street,” Pyrooz said. “For the most part, gang members are using the Internet for selfpromotion and braggadocio, but that also involves some forms of criminal and deviant behaviors.” Based on interviews conducted by the authors—Pyrooz, Scott Decker, Ph.D., and doctoral student Richard Moule (both of Arizona State University)—the study included a sample size of 585 young people in the cities of Cleveland, Ohio; Fresno, Calif.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and St. Louis, Mo. “We had heard from a number of gang members throughout the years about the use of social media,” Decker said. “There is also the contention by some groups in law enforcement that gang members are sophisticated users of the internet.” The study revealed internet activity of gang members is quite similar to that of nongang members in the same age

group—usage of social media sites, such as Facebook and YouTube, are common factors binding the two groups. “Gang members mostly do what their non-gang peers do on the Internet: they view music and movies, YouTube videos, buy music and goods and interact on social media,” Decker said. “Indeed, there isn’t a lot that distinguishes gang member use of the Internet from non-gang members. The distinguishing characteristics have to do with the posting of threats and YouTube videos about fights and threats.” The research showed that gang members are 70 percent more likely to commit crimes online than their non-gang member counterparts. The type of crimes they commit do not demand the need for a complex understanding of the Internet, like identity theft or hacking into commercial enterprises. Instead, it is used to coordinate assaults, drug deals and robberies. In addition, 25 percent of the participants admitted to using the Internet to research other gangs and more than 50 percent said they watched gang fights and videos online. “Many respondents were simply interested in gang related fights and threats in general, finding them as entertaining as a boxing or UFC match,” Pyrooz said. Pyrooz said gang members are aware that law enforcement can monitor their behavior on the Internet and for that reason limit what they do and do not do via the Internet. He also said law enforcement should continue to censor gang related paraphernalia on the Internet, and by doing so, end the cause of the issues.


Page 2

News

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 houstonianonline.com/news

Local

Boston bomber may have limited appeal to court before a judge rather than being held indefinitely. Domino also said the act might apply in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the lone surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15. “The Supreme Court ruled that there can be limits on the number of habeas writs filed,” Domino said. “If the Boston bomber is not labeled an enemy combatant and is tried in the civil courts he will be limited in his ability to file appeals.” A writ of habeas is a form of appeal that allows the accused to petition the state to be released because the accused feels he or she is being wrongfully held. Tsarnaev also was not immediately read his Miranda Rights, which has stirred controversy in legal and political circles. According to the FBI, the reading of Miranda Rights can be postponed if officers’ preliminary questions are geared toward the concern of public safety, such as Tsarnaev being questioned about additional attack plans or immediate threats to Watertown, Mass., the town in which he was captured. “The Court has recognized a public safety exception to Miranda, so I don’t see a problem,” Domino said. “The lingering

JAY R JORDAN Senior Reporter

The 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City, Okla., devastated the city and killed nearly 170 people in the process, a terrorist attack so deadly that it’s rivaled only by the 9/11 attacks. The federal law limiting the number of appeals in these kinds of cases created in the wake of the bombing could affect the outcome of the surviving suspect of the Boston Marathon Bombing’s case. Timothy McVeigh used a homemade fertilizer bomb that he made with his accomplice Terry Nichols. He placed them in such a way inside the rental truck that it would cause maximum destruction to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and have little effect on nearby civilian locations, according to court documents. The attack prompted U.S. lawmakers to pass the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. The act changed some of the rules of habeas corpus by limiting the number of appeals for terrorism crimes, according to SHSU political science professor John Domino. Habeas corpus is a legal action that brings a person under arrest

AP Photo | Bob Leonard

SUSPECTS. Bombing suspects Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, center right in black hat, and his brother, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, center left in white hat, about 10-20 minutes before the blasts near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

problem is the distinction between terrorism and regular violent crime. The more crimes that are classified as terrorism, the more the government can suspend rights in the name of public safety.”

Local

Domino said every time the government limits due process when terrorist attacks occur, the terrorists win. “He changes our society and the amount of freedom that law-

abiding people have,” Domino said. “But this may be too subtle a point when we are angry. That is why we must stay committed to due process even in the face of monstrous crimes.”

State

LSCS wants to increase security FASFA to be modernized measures with bond referendum STEPHEN GREEN Editor-in-Chief

MOLLY WADDELL News Editor Security could be increased within the Lone Star College System, along with other upgrades, if the more than $497.7 million bond referendum gets passed. The bond referendum will be put up for vote on May 11 elections. The security measures that will be changed will include: • More video surveillance capabilities installed inside campus buildings and exterior locations. • Enhance lighting, emergency call boxes and sirens. • Enhance public address systems. • Automate door locking systems with implementation of new electronic badge access. • Expand alert system to fully integrate automated, simultaneous deployment of emergency announcements and personal messaging. Richard Carpenter, Ph.D., LSCS chancellor, told the Cypress Creek Mirror that these safety measures are not related to the recent attacks at Lone Star-CyFair. “The safety of our students,

AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Johnny Hanson

CRITICAL. Life Flight personnel rush a victim wounded in a stabbing attack on the Lone Star community college system’s Cypress, Texas campus into Memorial Hermann Hospital Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Houston.

faculty and staff has always been a top priority and these proposed projects are not new they were outlined well in advance of the recent incident at LSC-CyFair,” Carpenter said. “Attention to the details is at an all-time high, the bond referendum underscores the multitude of needs associated with our unprecedented student enrollment growth.” Fourteen people were injured at Lone Star-Cy Fair when a student started stabbing other students on campus on April 9. Three people were injured when a gun fight broke out at the Lone Star- North

Harris campus earlier in the year. Carpenter said the security systems that LSCS has in place work “as intended” but with the large growth of students, improvements need to be made. Members of the LSCS board of trustees voted unanimously to put the bond referendum in front of Harris County, Montgomery County and San Jacinto County voters. According to a LSCS press release, the 2013 bond referendum “expands capacity to meet unprecedented student population growth.”

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Students could soon see changes to the federal financial aid application that would help accurately determine student need, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The changes that are being discussed for the 2014-2015 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) would add new options for students to select regarding their parents’ marital status. The first change would add an “unmarried and both parents living together” option for students to select. Currently, the only options on the application are “married” or “divorced or “separated.” The form would also change gender-specific terms like mother or father to terms like “Parent 1 (father/mother/stepparent)” where appropriate. Lisa Tatom, director of financial aid for Sam Houston State University, said the old system is antiquated. “Currently the FAFSA allows two choices: parents are ‘married’ or ‘divorced or separated,’” Tatom said. “That’s very old-fashioned and not a true representation of today’s society.” Tatom said household size, income and number of dependents in college are major factors in determining financial need. In the new system, some students would have to include the income of parents they didn’t have to include

before. The change could reduce the likelihood of receiving financial aid for certain students. “If you have a household where two parents (are unmarried and living together) make $40,000 each, including that other person makes it more fair and an accurate representation of financial need,” Tatom said. On the other-side of the coin, Tatom said, the new options could increase their need because it would increase the household size without increasing income. “There are a lot of people out there who have one member of the family who is disabled or retired, or who can’t or don’t work,” Tatom said. “To exclude that person because they aren’t married isn’t fair either.” Although the university doesn’t keep statistics of students from parents who are unmarried and living together, Tatom said most students won’t be affected. “It ensures those who are entitled to it receive financial assistance,” Tatom said. “If you have a family made up of same-sex parents in Texas where they can’t get married, it accurately reflects the family income because you can’t include both parents.” Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, said the aim is to make sure taxpayer dollars are being used where they are needed. “All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics,” Duncan said.

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Page 3

Viewpoints

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 houstonianonline.com/viewpoints

Students scratch off arguments over lottery Kassidy Turnpaugh says revenue Richard McKinney gambles that does not outweigh social harms lottery does more good than harm

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ad luck seems to f o l l o w lottery winners all over the nation. It is no surprise that dozens of lotto winners are now currently bankrupt due to a lack of financial but KASSIDY TURNPAUGH planning, bankruptcy isn’t Staff Reporter the only shadow looming over the heads of lotto winners. The lottery curse has led to bankruptcy, depression, suicide and, in rare cases, murder. The pressures that come along with winning such a massive amount of money tend to weigh down on the winners more than anyone expects. Of course there are the scores of new “friends” who want to borrow money and spend time with you in your new mansion. Then there are the new “friends” who, once they are done swimming in your new pool, decide to drown you and steal all of your money. What they don’t realize is that when you win the lottery they don’t hand you sacks of cash; it’s all digital. Then there are the ever-present taxes. If you win in Texas, you’re lucky enough that you don’t have to pay state taxes but there is still a matter of federal taxes. Once you win $1 million you automatically jump into the highest possible tax

bracket. So in addition to paying out an initial $54,547 to the government, you have to also pay an additional $.45 per dollar you have. In simpler terms, if someone wins a million dollars they are effectively paying $423,547 in taxes on their winnings alone. Most people don’t consider this when they win, and instead just cash their giant check and buy every four-wheeler in the country. So their bankruptcy is inevitable. Finally, what most people don’t consider is how depressing the entire situation can be. Not only do you face the reality of bankruptcy but you find out who your real friends are. According to an interview from totalbankruptcy. com, Lisa Acrand, a single mother and $1 million lottery winner, “winning the lottery is not all it’s cracked up to be. Actually, it’ very depressing.” After a brief four years, Acrand faced financial turmoil and bankruptcy. In the end, she wound up in a poorer financial state than she started in. As many people can assume, if you are playing the lottery, you typically don’t have a plethora of cash to begin with. So when every penny you won runs out and you end up worse off than when you started the depression is practically inevitable. All in all the lottery has proved to be dangerous and disheartening to almost every winner it has graced and provides nothing more than financial turmoil.

T

he only certainties in life are death and taxes. We hear this time and time again. As begrudging as it is to pay taxes – they are used to support a communal good; roads, schools, secret service prostitutes. Taxes take different forms along the way and many people have a dispute over the Texas lottery. The lottery was established in 1992 as a campaign to help raise money for Texas public education. Many states have a lottery and people become riveted as the amount of the prize continues to rise ever higher. The rush of the millions becomes overwhelming as ticket sales increase. Personally, I see nothing wrong with the lottery – aside from having to stand in line at a gas station an extra 10 minutes because the person in front of you has to nit-pick every lottery ticket until they find the right $2 ticket for them. What harm does the lottery actually do? Well, in the grand scheme of things, not much. Sure, this puts a tax on those people who don’t really understand the probability behind “winning big.” Spending an extra couple bucks here and there to win 10 every now and then isn’t bad though. Not to mention some of the lottery proceeds go to the Texas Foundation School Fund. According to the Texas lottery website, the lottery has contributed more than $15 billion dollars to the fund, $1.099 billion in 2012 alone. There are certainly other places the money goes – the most going to paid prizes. A relatively miniscule portion goes to pay retailer commission, lottery administration and other state programs, according to the Texas lottery website. Recently, people have become more aware of

their chance of winning or that they don’t have the same money they used to – purchasing lottery tickets has gone down. According to statesman.com, sales were at 70 percent in 1994 and dropped to 40 percent by 2004. The problem some people see with the RICHARD MCKINNEY lottery is that it’s Staff Reporter not actually adding any money into the Foundation School Fund that wouldn’t already come from somewhere. It works kind of like this – your mom promises that you will get a $30 allowance every week. One week, though, your neighbor asks you to mow their lawn, in exchange you get paid $15. Instead of you getting $45 dollars ($15 from lawn, $30 from your mom) your mom only gives you $15 because, combined with what you made from mowing, you would have $30. In this example, your allowance would be the general fund, and mowing the lawn would be the lottery. Now, the problem with this argument is that the state of Texas is not quite like the child in the example. See, the lottery allows funds that were previously for schools from the general fund to now be used elsewhere. It’s basically a win/win, education is funded and the state has more money to use on a growing list of areas in need. It makes sense to have a lottery. I mean, if we’re going to pay to fund things, might as well make it a fun scratch off! That reminds me – I need to drop by and grab a Lucky Gems Bingo!

McDonald’s suggests innovations to help Americans become fatter easier Colin Harris believes delivery, all day breakfast will intensify our obesity problem

COLIN HARRIS

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which should make every American feel like a sucker. For decades, we’ve wasted precious time and energy walking to and from our cars and driving to and from McDonald’s when we could have been watching reality TV or perusing famous people’s Instagram accounts. I don’t even want to think about how many episodes of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” I could have live-tweeted, when instead, I had to make a trip to McDonald’s. Ugh. Even worse yet, sometimes we’ve skipped our daily McDonald’s and been forced to order pizza or Chinese when a real good Real Housewives marathon was on Bravo. Maybe I’m being overly cynical here, and those who frequently eat fast food will have a sudden epiphany and make smarter choices when dining out. I doubt it, but ultimately the decision lies with the consumer. McDonald’s is a business, a vastly successful one at that, and

the potential changes are their way of remaining competitive by meeting evolving customer demands. Nobody’s forced or even coerced into consistently eating unhealthy fast food, so McDonald’s shouldn’t be held accountable for selling a product that people want in new, more convenient ways. T h e future is now and for

Student loans may be damaging our economy MORGAN MEARS

Staff Reporter

I

f you’re like most college students, you have already accrued a considerable amount of debt from student loans. College is expensive and without student loans, many would simply be unable to obtain a college education. Student loans have been causing problems not only for their borrowers, but in recent times, the economy. According to the New York Fed, the number of 25 year olds with student loan debt has increased from 25 percent in 2003 to 43 percent in 2012. The number of students having to take out loans to start or finish their college education has increased throughout the years,

causing our economy to bear the weight of their debt. With so many students taking out loans to earn a college education, many are worried that these young people are not going to be willing to take on any further debt, such as a home loan or car loans. Businesses that solely rely on providing loans are feeling the pressure from student loans as the number of student borrowers is steadily decreasing; these businesses feel as if college students already have loans to pay off, that they will try to avoid borrowing more, the Huffington Post reported. While some may argue that in the past it was ‘easy’ to graduate with no debt, they fail to recognize that with the ever rising tuition fees at most colleges, it’s becoming nearly

impossible to do so. After trying my hardest not to have to take out a student loan, my second year here at SHSU, I’ve had to take out a couple simply because I could not pay for the remainder of the year’s bill out-of-pocket and I had exhausted every other outlet that I could. Having taken on a couple of loans to finish my college education, I can say that it will be a while before I take on another type of loan, be it home or car, I am not going to take on more debt until I have my student debt paid off. Many also worry that not only are those businesses that rely on loans are being hurt, but our housing market is also feeling the pain as well. Students coming out of college are burdened with more debt than they have traditionally been in the past

and they are entering into an economy that is already plagued with debt and unemployment, making it hard for them to even think about buying a house. According to Bloomberg.com, Roshell Schenck, a pharmacist from Pennsylvania, earned her Ph.D and earns $125,000 a year, yet she still can’t qualify for a mortgage on a house. Schenck explains that she would “love to buy and afford to buy,” a house, but that it’s “almost impossible” for her to get a loan because her student debt “is crushing her chances of purchasing a home.” In a day and age where it is nearly impossible to graduate college without acquiring some type of student debt, it’s clear to see that college students and our economy are both in for a rather long and bumpy ride.

Editorial Staff Robin Johnson Faculty Adviser

936-294-1499

Stephen Green

Molly Waddell

News Editor mwaddell@houstonianonline.com

Cody Lewis

Editor-in-Chief

Sports Editor clewis@houstonianonline.com

sgreen@houstonianonline.com

Matt Frazier

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George Mattingly

A&E Editor gmattingly@houstonianonline.com

Misti Jones

Viewpoints Editor mjones@houstonianonline.com

Online News Developer mfrazier@houstonianonline.com

Ashley Baker

Online News Director abaker@houstonianonline.com

Connor Hyde

Sports Reporter chyde@houstonianonline.com

McDonald’s customers that future includes never having to leave the house to eat incredibly unhealthy food and the ability to get processed breakfast food all day, every day. With these innovations, America is quickly becoming a utopia. I, for one, can’t wait.

Misti Jones | The Houstonian

Staff Reporter ave you heard the good news? Don Thompson, the CEO of McDonald’s, is considering some changes. The fast food behemoth might be adding more organic options and buying locally-grown produce for select restaurants. Ha, just kidding, it’s McDonald’s, not some frou-frou metropolitan food cart. The actual changes Thompson suggested during an interview with CNBC include offering breakfast all day and providing a delivery service. Well hell’s bells, it’s about time the country’s most infamous paragon of American obesity caught up with the Jack-in-the-Boxes of the industry by offering breakfast all day, because sometimes you just can’t wait six to eight hours for a hockey puck of egg-like product and a patty of some form of quasi-edible

pig parts sandwiched in between two uninspiring English muffins. It’s only four in the afternoon and already I’m salivating in Pavlovian instinct, earnestly anticipating the change. My mother and every other mother always said, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Looks like Thompson, too, had a mother, because by offering it all day, breakfast is set to potentially become the most important three, four or five meals of each day for McDonald’s frequent customers. As if any of us needed another excuse ingest any more McDonald’s, with delivery service coming in the near future, you might not even have to go to McDonald’s at all to gorge on a half dozen Hot n’ Spicy sandwiches, a couple of McDoubles and a giant chocolate shake. Actually McDonald’s has been delivering from international locations such as Hong Kong for a few years now,

Letter to the Editor

To the Houstonian Staff, SHSU’s Musical Theater production of “The Pirates of Penzance” was nothing short of brilliant, entertainment at its finest. Each and every member of the dynamic cast poured her/his talents and seemingly boundless energy into a memorable stage production. As first time members of the audience, my wife and I agreed that this performance could easily have commanded the stage at Houston’s Hobby Center. Wonderfully gifted, Julia Green (Mabel), Brandon Whitley (Frederic) and the incomparable James Smith (Major General), delivered flawlessly. The supporting cast’s singing, dancing, and acting could not have been more sparkling. The comedic element was strengthened by the performers’ fine sense of timing. For many of the cast members the future is glaringly obvious: Broadway beckons. A friend assures us that this is the caliber of performance one can expect from SHSU theater productions in general. And so, besotted, we will happily become avid supporters. Dr. Frank (MD) and Melinda Adams Willis, Texas 936-856-7106

Business Staff Monty Sloan Copy Editor

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Page 4

Arts&Entertainment

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 houstonianonline.com/a-e

Concerts highlight student piano collaborations Studio classes perform memorable tunes, composers GEORGE MATTINGLY Arts & Entertainment Editor Piano students at Sam Houston State University will perform a variety of colorful works as they end the semester with a series of four concerts this week. Undergraduate and graduate students from studio classes taught by assistant professor of piano Ilonka Rus and associate professor of piano Sergio Ruiz will perform a range of popular piano music from Mozart to 20 th century “Libertango” by Piazzolla. The first concert kicked off the week Monday night in the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall with solo performances from many musical styles from Mozart’s “Sonata in F major, K. 332” to Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2,” which has been used in several cartoons. “We try to pick music from a variety of different music, styles and composers,” Rus said. “In these concerts, we have everything from dances, to sonatas to tango to make it more fun for the audience.” The series of concerts will continue at 5 p.m. on Tuesday as Ruiz’s students perform an array of 18th and 19th century works from Franz Joseph Haydn, Beethoven and Fredric Chopin. On Wednesday, several of Rus’ students will collaborate on stage

George Mattingly | The Houstonian

HIGH NOTE. Student Sam Lee glides his bow across the viola (above) while Karina Beaty play fast paced tunes on piano (right) the first studio concert.

for a traditional piano recital at 4 p.m. The Piano Collaborative Recital will feature two or more students playing a single piano. According to Rus, this concert will be unique for students and the audience because many of the works call for four and eight hands playing on the same pianos. The program includes works by Aaron Copland and Astor Pizzolla’s “Libertango” as well as pieces from several Russian composers. Rus said the recital represents a culmination of the skills learned in her “Keyboard Techniques” studio class. “In that class they learn how

to collaborate with partners, sometimes with two or four people,” she said. “They learn how to play together to match [each other’s] articulation, dynamics and movements, which is not easy to do.” In addition to working with a partner, students must also master the style of the music and composers, which varies over different time periods and countries. Rus hopes the concerts will be a fun experience for the audience. “I think the audience will remember the tunes and I hope they will be able to relate to them because they’re all so wellknown and have been played for

so long,” Rus said. “If anything the music might open their taste to new music they’ve never heard before.” Lastly, that evening at 7:30 p.m., the string chamber music class will perform works by Dimitri Shostakovich and Beethoven

among others, which includes string quartets and piano trios and duos. Admission to all the concerts is free. For more information, call the School of Music at 936-2941360.

Dance blows audiences away with tribute performances The Sam Houston State University Dance Department blew audiences away in their sold out dance Spectrum “Departures” on Friday night, honoring the memory of the late Jonathan Charles Smith and the 20 years of service by Cindy Gratz, Ph.D. The dances featured a colorful combination of modern, tap, contemporary, interpretive and others styles of dance. An anxious crowd was left at the edge of their seats as they gave much praise to all the dancers and their hard work throughout the night, filling the dance theater

with positive clamor, laughter and cheers. While some dances were performed by soloists, the main attraction was the group dancing, which showcased a combination of steps in structured synchronization. The harmony presented in the gracefulness of the dances drew audiences eager for more. Mother of prospective student, Amelia Anderson from Dallas, wanted to see the potential of the SHSU dance department and by the end of the show, described it in one word: “Fabulous.” The piece “Shift” made audience members gasp with a breathtaking performance.

Dancers took the dance to the South Central Region Gala in next level with their sudden 1999. “Red Socks” was one of movements, unique backgrounds the most powerful numbers of and use of props. the night. This number was out of the ordinary We clean it, we dance it, we Participants with the bright lights get out and stamina is up. tapped in and contemporary It’s a job, but I think it’s the this energetic sounds fading away greatest job in the world. piece with as the dancers went loud shouts into character and -Travis Prokop, graduate and outfits performed engulfed student giving life in their motions and to the 1930s. surroundings. Dancers Although “Shift” was ended the show with an energetic impressive, it was “Red Socks” tap number that brought which was the most celebrated. audiences to a standing ovation. This dance by the late Jonathan Freshman and nursing major Charles was selected for the Alicia Rice said “Red Socks”, a American College Dance Festival tribute tap number to Charles, as

RUTH OVIEDO Contributing Reporter

the most enjoyable performance of the night. “I loved it! It was great, it had different variety [of moves],” she said. Graduate student in Fine Arts and Dance Travis Prokop was one of the many performers in “Departures”, having participated in two of the group performances of the night he emphasized the importance of practice and commitment for a successful piece. “You rehearse every single day, it’s a big commitment. We clean it, we dance it, we get out and stamina is up, it’s a process, it’s a job, but I think it’s the greatest job in the world,” Prokop said.

Summer 2013: Tips to getting the most out of music festivals COLIN HARRIS Contributing Reporter If there’s one thing every college student should add to their bucket list, it’s going to a big music festival. Believe it or not, I actually lucked into popping my music festival cherry in 2006, completely by accident. You see, my friend had bought tickets for him and his girlfriend to go to Austin City Limits that September. Due to schoolwork and a general apathy to the whole experience, she had to bail at the last minute and I caught the windfall, living in Austin at the time. My most vivid memory is seeing Ben Kweller stop performing midway through his set, his nose gushing with blood. A resourceful audience member, most likely an Eagle

Scout, threw a tampon onstage, so he temporarily plugged the leak and played a couple more songs before he finally had to stop. Ever since that weekend, I’ve tried to go to as many festivals as I could afford without traveling too far. This summer, I’ll be hitting up Free Press Summer Fest in Houston for the first time, though I have no doubt it’ll be another memorable weekend through and through. If you’re going to a festival for the first time though, it can seem intimidating. With a little preparation and planning, you can maximize the experience and avoid some common pitfalls. First, make sure everyone you’re going with actually wants to be at the festival. There’s nothing worse than missing some quality shows because you

brought a sourpuss with you who won’t stop moaning about the heat. Two or more 12 hour days of music can be exhausting, so you’ll want to be with people who are enthusiastic about the event. In 2007, I stupidly brought a (now ex) girlfriend to ACL and not only did I miss almost all of Queens of the Stone Age, because it was “too noisy” (no shit, it’s a music festival, honey), but I also had to skip all of Bjork’s Friday night closing set because the girlfriend petered out after the Killers and wanted to go home. Normally I’m Mr. Brightside, but that weekend marked the beginning of the end of our relationship. Do research on the lineup. Unless you’re deep into the music scene, you probably won’t recognize a lot of the bands besides the headliners. Just for fun, I decided to see who I missed at ACL 2007, since I don’t have a lot of fantastic memories from that weekend. Evidently I skipped Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, LCD Soundsystem and

The National (bands I definitely wouldn’t have skipped, knowing what I know now) because I was a love-struck moron, not in touch with indie rock at the time, who didn’t do proper research. Learn from my error. Unless you can use astral projection to be at two or more stages at once, it’s impossible to see every band on the card, so find out who you like and plan to be at their stage at least 20 minutes ahead of schedule to avoid getting crowded out. Prepare for the weather. The festival is happening rain or shine, so if there’s rain in the forecast, bring an umbrella. I bailed early on Tom Petty at ACL 2006, because it started pouring at the beginning of his Sunday night closing set and I didn’t have an umbrella. This was after a hot, sunny weekend, so you just never know. Typically it’ll be hotter than hell all day long, without much, if any shade, so bring plenty of sunscreen, too. Finally, look into what you are and aren’t allowed bring

inside the gate. Food and drinks are terribly expensive at the concession stands, so if you’re allowed bring unopened bottled water or any snacks, do it. A lot of times, you can bring in empty bottles to fill at water fountains. Do that too. Blankets you aren’t afraid to throw away at the end of the weekend are also a necessity and you can bring those to any festival. The last thing you’ll want to bring is plenty of cash, just in case you need it for any unexpected purchases inside the gates. Be on the lookout for giveaways as well. You can also score free concessions if you keep your eyes peeled for promoters handing out products. Music festivals provide a weekend’s worth of excellent entertainment for a reasonable price, if you consider how much it would cost to see each band on their own. In order to get the most bang for your buck though, it’s important to lay the proper groundwork for a memorable weekend.

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Sports

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Bearkats sweep Demons on road CONNOR HYDE Sports Reporter Sam Houston State baseball reclaimed a spot in the top echelon of the Southland Conference rankings after sweeping Northwestern State in three games this weekend in Natchitoches, La. The Bearkats improved their SLC record to 12-6 and extend to a five-game winning streak to sit behind Lamar University in the second spot of SLC rankings after polishing their pitching rotation for three strong outings against the Demons. Andrew Godail headed SHSU’s defensive attack tossing six complete innings in game one to hold NSU for a 4-3 Bearkat victory in extra innings. Relievers Logan Boyd and Jason Simms combined for four scoreless innings and allowed the Bearkat lineup to get the win in the tenth inning. Centerfielder Colt Atwood singled up the middle and advanced to third after stealing second and advancing on an error. Catcher Anthony Azar connected for a single into center to score Atwood and break the tie and clench the win. The Bearkats carried their late game momentum into game two for an 11-2 victory to take the series, with all of their run production in the final four

Alex Broussard | The Houstonian

OUT!: Third baseman Keving Miller makes a play to prevent a Demon base hit. Miller also had a strong presense at the plate.

innings. Demon starting pitcher Cody Butler held SHSU to four scoreless innings until Azar homered to left center to ignite a landslide of 11 runs between the sixth through ninth innings. Romeo Cortina continued the Bearkats run production in the seventh with a single into center followed by a series of singles from the top three and heart of the

lineup to tally three more runs in the seventh. SHSU pieced together five runs in the top of the ninth, starting with a double to left from Atwood. Azar sparked another five-run inning to fuel the Bearkats 11-3 in game three for the sweep. The junior catcher doubled into left followed by a walk and a hit-bypitch to score and put Hayden Simerly and Luke Plucheck on

base. First baseman Jessie Plumlee singled in both runners to close the fourth with a 7-0 lead. SHSU supplemented their lead with runs in the fifth, eighth, and three runs in the ninth. Azar and third baseman Kevin Miller continued the rally with a single followed by a triple. Starter Caleb Smith tossed six complete innings allowing one hit and an unearned run. Alan Scott,

Simms and Michael Burchett circulated through the final three innings to close the series. The Bearkats (27-17, 12-6 SLC) will continue their road trip to face off against University of Texas at San Antonio Tuesday at 6 p.m. Tuesday’s matchup will conclude SHSU’s midweek season before closing the conference season.

Softball clenches series against McNeese Senior Tori Benavidez slapped four hits with a walk-off RBI to clench a three game weekend series against first place McNeese State 4-3 in Huntsville. SHSU went on to win games two and three 9-3 and 4-3 in extra innings after being run-ruled 10-0

in the series opener. Shortstop Tiffany Castillo connected for her eighth homerun of the season in the bottom of the first in game two to set the stage for a Bearkat rally. SHSU would remain strong at the plate into the sixth inning, accounting for eight runs between the third and sixth. In recognition of Senior Day, all four seniors finished their Bearkat

home season with hits. Benavidez swung 4-5 in game three while Kim Damien, Ashley Isbell and Shelbi Tucker accounted for a hit each. “All season long we’ve played very well on Sunday and today was no exception,” head coach Bob Brock said. “Each senior contributed today. What a good recruiting class we had four years

ago. The four have plenty of softball left ahead with the last week of the season and the tournament.” The Cowgirls regained ground in the sixth to narrow SHSU’s lead 3-1 and went on to even the board in the seventh with two runs. Isbell lead off the bottom of the eighth reaching first on a hitby-pitch followed by singles from Tucker and Alyssa Coggins.

Benavidez connected for a single to bring in the winning run and close the series. Meme Quinn was in the circle and picked up the win for the Bearkats. SHSU will cap off their regular season schedule on the road against conference opponent Northwestern State. Game one is at 1 p.m.

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April 30, 2013