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Volume 125/ Issue 27
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Parking ticket appeals double JAY R. JORDAN Editor-in-Chief Sam Houston State University’s on-campus parking ticket appeals are on the rise, parking data obtained by the Houstonian shows. With already more than double the number of appeals than last year, even though there’s still four months’ worth of data to collect, 1,019 tickets have been appealed to SHSU’s Parking and Transportation Department. Matt McDaniel, assistant director of Parking and Transportation, said the reason the number is so high is that more and more of the alleged violators are appealing their citation via email. “We’ve made the first step of the appeals process easier,” McDaniel said. “I think it has made it easier and encouraged more students to attempt to appeal.” McDaniel said the reason people get tickets the most is for parking improperly, which includes parking in the wrong lot or outside the designated lines. “The fact that they didn’t know or that there’s not enough parking are usually common [reasons] that we get,” McDaniel said. “We do
not consider those valid reasons for a citation to be dismissed.” The Parking and Transportation Department records their statistics within the academic year, which ranges from Aug. 16 to Aug. 15 the next year. Since this year’s data was collected April 26, it doesn’t reflect the entire academic year. However, that didn’t stop this year’s number of warnings to already be higher than the total number of warnings for 20112012 and 2012-2013 combined. So far, 604 warnings have been given in lieu of actual citations. McDaniel said officers are now giving out more warnings on the first and second offense rather than issuing citations. “This is just for proper behavior modification, if you will,” McDaniel said. “We understand, yes, you did commit a violation, and it can go without a fine this time and hopes that it corrects your behavior in the future.” While warnings and voided tickets are the same thing in theory in that they both don’t foist fines, McDaniel said, tickets are voided significantly more often than warnings are given. During the 2011-2012 school year, 29.4 percent of tickets issued were voided. In the 2012-2013 school year, 29.9 percent of tickets were
voided, and so far in the 20132014 school year, 23.4 percent were voided. When it comes to warnings issued, only .4 percent were warnings in the 2011-2012 school year, 1 percent were warnings in the 2012-2013 school year, and so far this year, 2.5 percent of tickets issued were warnings. The highest ticketed spots on campus were given in the Newton Gresham Library faculty parking lot, Bowers Stadium lot, the lots behind South Paw and the Chemistry and Forensic Science Building, the lot between the Rec Sports Center and White Hall, and the administration parking lot behind the Estill Building. Most of the violations in the administration lot were given for “no permits” with 1,294 tickets, although faculty and staff were ticketed 1,270 times in that same lot. As for the nature and timeframe in which citations are given most often, McDaniel admitted there was a “void in enforcement” during the evening hours on campus. Student workers employed by the Parking and Transportation are on duty from as early as 7 a.m. until as late as sundown. “Pretty much, as long as the sun’s up, students have the opportunity
to work,” McDaniel said. “There is this lingering rumor that after 5 p.m. parking is free and you can park wherever you want to, and that’s just not the case. As far as our parking enforcement goes, depending on how we schedule students, we might have a void of enforcement during that time where it’s not as heavy as it might be during peak hours of the school day, so after 5 p.m., we might not have anybody scheduled other than the police officers that are on-duty.”
McDaniel said University Police Department’s patrol can still issue tickets even though the Parking and Transportation’s employees are off-duty. However, McDaniel said it is up to the discretion of the officer whether or not to go looking for violations. “Yes, we still do enforce permits 24 hours a day, and we still expect everybody to park according to their permit assignment.”
Appeals vs. Voids
8427 7947 6358
764 08/16/11 - 08/15/12
08/16/12 - 08/15/13
1019 08/16/13 - 04/21/14
Lillie Muyskens | The Houstonian
CAMPUS PUPPY LOVE. Freshman psychology major Alex Coggins pets a dog in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area on Wednesday. The dogs and puppies were brought into the Mall Area by the Counseling Center to help relieve the stress caused by studying and finals. According to Executive Director of Counseling and Health Services, studies show that petting dogs and cats help relieve unneeded stress. Jay R. Jordan The Houstonian
SHSU searching for medical director CONNOR HYDE Editor-in-Chief With the new Student Health and Counseling Center expecting to open its doors in the fall, the search for the newly created director of medical services position has commenced. Sam Houston State University hasn’t employed a director of medical services in the past due to space limitations. However, with the new health center adding additional space, Executive
Director of Counseling and Health Services Drew Miller said filling the position is a need. “Now because we have a new facility opening up, and more space to have additional practitioners, we finally have time for somebody who will see students but also spend 30 to 40 percent of their time with administrative duties,” Miller said. Miller is joined by Sarah Hanel, director of the Health Center, Leah Mulligan, Ph.D., executive director of Campus Activities and Leadership Initiatives, Lynn
Clopton, director of Student Services Finance and Budget and Alice Stenstadvold, charge registered nurse on the search committee to determine the new director. In the past Dr. Tom Hill has served as the acting director of medical services, according to Hanel. Of the responsibilities involved with the position, including accreditation, quality improvement, infection control, risk management and governing body, the director will also see students for medical issues.
According to Hanel, the new position will help alleviate the workload involving administrative duties and focus on improving the clinic. “I think it’s an awesome opportunity because to have a provider on our staff that does administration, because I’m not a [practitioner], to be able to have that input from somebody that actually practices medicine and sees the trends and all that, we’ll actually be able to make our standard even higher,” Hanel said. Although the number and
names of applicants remain undisclosed, those who have applied are external applicants outside the university, Miller said. Miller said applicants will need to have administrative experience in a medical setting as well as experience as a general practitioner. “The hope was to have the position filled so they can join us when we move into the new building,” Miller said. “And that’s what it’s looking like.”
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Thursday, May 1, 2014 houstonianonline.com/news
SHSU leads senior to law school HANNAH ZEDAKER Senior Reporter Reese Witherspoon made law school look almost effortless. However, how difficult is it really? Sam Houston State University graduating senior Alex Rangel, a sociology major and legal studies minor, is about to find out after he was recently accepted into Loyola University’s School of Law in Chicago, Ill., for fall 2014. Upon graduating with his bachelor’s degree May 10, Rangel will continue building his educational résumé in pursuit of a dual-degree, a Juris Doctorate and Master’s in Public Policy through the ChildLaw program. He will focus on laws, policies and practices that affect children and their families. “I am thrilled to be moving to Chicago,” Rangel said. “I came to Sam Houston because of the value and the comfort of being so close to my family, but I’ve always been drawn to big cities. I’m fortunate to have found the perfect program at an amazing school in such a vibrant city.” Although some people begin following their dreams from a young age, Rangel didn’t realize his calling until 2012. In fact, he was on track to graduate in the spring, but pushed his graduation plans back an entire year in order to give him time to prepare for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). “My department adviser, Dr. Douglas Constance, helped me realize that the life of an academic wasn’t what I really wanted and that I was much more interested in using my academic background to try and create change,” Rangel said. Director of undergraduate studies for the sociology department, Constance said he worked with Rangel to help him cultivate his education goals. “Many of our students have their own social justice agendas in which they want to change parts of the world in which they think are unequal, and that especially applies to Alex, who is a very bright student and wanted to know what he could do to help,” Constance said. Last year Rangel got the opportunity to intern with State Rep. Naomi Gonzalez of District 76 in El Paso, Texas. During his internship, Rangel said he learned the structure of laws and the various groups that were interested in changing them. “I conducted policy research and learned how to find and analyze past attempts to change the law,” Rangel said. “I was captivated by the process, and it validated the decision I’d made to pursue a career in public policy.” During his five-year-long career at SHSU, Rangel was incredibly involved on campus where he served as a peer minister at the Catholic Student Center, a founding member, public relations and
Jay R. Jordan | The Houstonian
CHICAGO BOUND. Senior sociology major Alex Rangel spent most of his college days in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building. Rangel spoke of his love for sociology, because unlike his previous mathematics major, he can see it in every aspect of his life.
president of Gamma Sigma Kappa (or GayStraight Kats), co-president of Bearkats Openly Discussing Sexuality (or BODS) and a senator for the Student Government Association (or SGA). In addition, Rangel was also involved in the Secular Student Alliance. “SHSU prepared me for the future by helping to foster my own identity,” Rangel said. “Our inclusive policies, the degree of access to faculty and administrators, and the responsiveness of the university community to my needs and ideas made me feel valued and respected. This atmosphere produced the courage of my convictions that is absolutely necessary for the work that I want to do.” Rangel said that although he will be sad to leave the small town of Huntsville, he is excited for the bright future that lies ahead of him and hopes it will do his soon-to-be alma mater justice. “It’s bittersweet, to be perfectly honest,” he said. “I’ve made Huntsville my home, and it’s going to be rough leaving behind the family that I’ve found here. The opportunities that lay before me are a direct result of the support that I have received from this community, and I hope to show my gratitude by making the most of those opportunities.”
It seems that Reese Witherspoon is not the only law student who believes Aristotle was wrong in saying “the law is reason free from passion.” “The best advice I can give is to figure out what you want to know, what you want to be an expert in, and then study it,” Rangel said. “If you study something you’re passionate about, you’ll find ways to integrate that into whatever job you find, even if it’s not directly related.” Despite the challenges that Rangel has already overcome, and has yet to face, he
said nothing will stand in the way of his determination to change the world. “My ultimate goal in life is to leave the world better than it was when I arrived,” he said. “I believe the best way to do that is by changing public policy to make the system better for everyone. Sam Houston said, ‘A leader is someone who helps improve the lives of other people or improve the system they live under.’ That’s exactly what I want to be.”
KARAH RUCKER Staff Reporter
A recent study from Ball State University reported only 29 percent of students surveyed owned a tablet, challenging the idea that tablets are the way of the future. Michael Hanley, advertising professor and director of Ball State’s Institute for Mobile Media Research, suggests students don’t use tablets due to the excess of ads and faster battery drainage rates compared to other devices. “Tablets don’t have the keyboard accessibility and power as compared to laptops and PCs,” Hanley said. “However, many students plan on getting a tablet when they graduate in order to watch movies, play games or access social media.” Several students at Sam Houston State University are in an agreement with the results of Hanley’s study. Sophomore Kaitlin Springer got a tablet as a gift but said her use is rare. “I only use my tablet when on social media,” Springer said. “I keep it at home simply because I don’t use it a lot and I never use it for academic purposes.” Hanley’s study shows social media is the fastest growing segment for mobile content. From 2009 to 2014, social media jumped from 29 percent to 93 percent usage. “The good thing about tablets is their mobility and they have a large variety of apps,” freshman interdisciplinary agriculture major David Porter said. In 2013, the Texas Department of Information Resources conducted a study to determine the effectiveness of tablet use versus personal computers by
higher education institutions. Of the findings, workers used tablets as an “add-on productivity tool,” versus a primary computer. However, in the study, industry experts predicted that by 2015 “a majority of laptops will have touchscreen capability,” to compete with tablets. Although tablets can be a useful product to own, Springer said a drawback that keeps her from taking her tablet to school is the lack of a reliable Wi-Fi. “The negative side of tablets is most [of them] depend on Wi-Fi,” Springer said. “This is an inefficiency in the product as I can’t use it to log into social media anywhere.” Wi-Fi connection is not the only issue according to Porter. He said the cost could be a drawback, as well as small keyboard space and small screen. “Tablets are very fragile considering their size,” Porter said. “If it [were] dropped, it would shatter and be an expensive fix. Even the insurance policies some companies offer won’t cover all expenses.” Hanley has conducted surveys on the use of mobile devices since 2004. The most popular tablet is the iPad with only 14.2 percent of students surveyed own the product. “[Tablets] are probably being unused due to the competition of other similar products,” Porter said. “I prefer the keypad of a laptop and I have an iPhone for all the apps I need. I think it just depends on the public’s personal preference.”
Study shows students don’t utilize tablets
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Thursday, May 1, 2014
Smoke ban has no teeth COLIN HARRIS Viewpoints Editor Cigarette butts are gross. The compact cylinder of thousands of intertwined cellulose fibers turns from white to yellow by the time a smoker finishes his cigarette. The change in color is a visible indication of the millions harmful particles which are only partially screened from a smoker’s lungs by the filter. You’ve seen them on the ground in nearly every outdoor public place. They’re eyesores, and if you get close enough, they smell awful. The malodor is similar, but worse, than how your clothes might smell after a long night at a bar that allows indoor smoking. Get ready to see a lot more of them littering the Sam Houston State University campus, because the university is placing stickers to cover up cigarette receptacles that top public garbage cans. As far as anti-tobacco initiatives are concerned, this response is measured. If cigarettes are already ostensibly proscribed throughout campus, then retaining their disposal units would seem antiquated to outside observers. In reality this isn’t the case though. People smoke on campus. From faculty
to staff to visitors to students (myself included), no matter the building you visit the most, you’ll see people smoking outside, some more hidden than others. Without implicating anyone other than myself, those of us who smoke outside the Dan Rather Building use these cigarette butt containers with varying frequency. I use them, but based on the butts scattered around the outdoor benches, my sense of collective responsibility isn’t shared by all. If and when the disposal bins are blocked, I’ll still put my cigarette out and throw the remnant in the larger wastebasket, but I doubt every other smoker will follow my lead. Litter will inevitably increase. Anti-smoking zealots will argue that smoking is banned anyway, so making the disposal of cigarette byproducts easier on tobacco users runs contrary to the spirit of the prohibition. This approach lies outside reality, confined to the utopian fever dreams of selfanointed philosopher kings who believe official proclamations greatly affect the behaviors of the subject class. People don’t follow rules unless they’re incentivized to do so, whether through reward or punishment. If the university truly wants to make open-air smoking into a relic, they should start by rewriting the current tobacco policy to include an actual enforcement mechanism, rather than adding passive-aggressive window dressing in the form of anti-smoking signage littering entryways and covering up butt receptacles. As it’s currently constituted, the university tobacco policy outsources enforcement to you, “the observer” and whoever the offending smoker’s superior
might be. The policy reads: “If the violator refuses to adhere to this policy, the observer should report the violation to the appropriate management official which may include persons such as supervisors, program coordinators, directors, vice presidents, professors, department chairs, deans, residence hall directors, building liaisons, or university police.” It’s unclear what the building liaison or professor or program coordinator is expected to do after being made aware of a nearby smoker. Ask him to put it out? Lecture him on the dangers of smoking? Applaud in approbation at the offender’s outward rebellion of the status quo? Further, punishment is even more ambiguous. The policy states, “It is expected that all individuals will voluntarily comply with the spirit and intent of the policy.” Students who live in on-campus housing can be subject to a $100 fine from Residence Life if caught smoking, but what of everyone else? Without any official consequence in place, smoking will continue throughout campus. As it stands, the university’s toothless tobacco policy is more of a suggestion to appease insurance adjusters than anything else. A “smoke-free workplace” in policy reduces the health insurance burden for full-time university employees, whether or not their workplace is actually free of smoke. Actions like blocking cigarette butt receptacles do little to reduce smoking on campus, though they bolster the façade of a smoke-free campus. The goal of a smokeless campus can only be attained by enforcing and punishing noncompliance.
Word on the Street: What’s your most memorable finals experience?
“One time I woke up with strep throat when I had a performance final for music. It was like 1,000 degrees in the room where I had to play and I was completely drenched in sweat.” -Morgan Gentry Music Education Junior
Make executions public “ STATE
“Last semester, some friends and I, ‘the squad,’ were studying in the third floor of the library. It was 2 a.m. and still crowded, so I said that we should play the penis game. Basically you take turns saying ‘penis’ and keep getting louder and louder. A bunch of people got pissed off, but it helped us get through the night.” -Ricardo Vargas Nutrition Sophomore
Execution of violent criminals and the incidentally innocent has become one of Texas’ favorite pastimes over the years. Despite protests and studies declaring the process of ending lives to be inhumane, the state continues to flip off activists and weaker states, such as New York, which hasn’t executed a prisoner since 1963, alike. The gradual evolution of state mandated executions in Texas has been a road that many people, especially the citizens of Huntsville, have become proud of and more than willing to share with the world. Flaunting a museum of antique murder machines, such as the lovingly named Ole’ Sparky, has developed into just one more way the great state can teach the smaller states how to grow up to be big and strong. Yet, among the pride exhibited by Texas, there is also fear. Fear that the federal government may be on its way to put a stop to the inner workings of the Walls Unit. With each botched execution or
on the front steps of execution central, we should make televised events of offing fellow humans. So if we are going to keep on killing people, why not at least take advantage of the fun we could have with it? Why not turn what some consider a horrid tragedy into a massive profitable sporting event? Similar to MMA and beating each other senseless, the state could recoup any money wasted on a prisoner by selling tickets to their demise. It could be a family-sporting event held in the Toyota Center. Venders could sell beer while an executioner lays down a tarp. Once everyone has taken their seats, the national anthem will be blasted over the loud speakers, followed by the last words of the condemned. That way no one would have to publicize it the next day. After the person’s final words the crowd could vote on their preferred method of death and the show could begin. We could even bring back the guillotine and raffle off the chance to pull the cord. It’s the perfect deterrent. Instead of creating tiny fan boy collectives for killers and idolizing the ways they gained notoriety, the state could turn executions into major failures on the part of the prisoner. It would be like losing a major sporting event. Instead of a dark chapter in the country’s past, the executed would be viewed as the Cubs in every season since 1902. No one wants to be the Cubs, and no one will want to be on death row.
KASSIDY TURNPAUGH Assistant News Editor
mistaken identity, loved ones of the deceased grow more enraged with the way other states have handled their federally sanctioned murder sprees. Recently a prisoner in Oklahoma has become a not-so-living example of how to botch an execution. Clayton Lockett, 38, was injected with a newly approved secret drug cocktail before he started to struggle, groan and writhe around in pain. Lockett died of a heart attack soon after, but in the meantime managed to show viewers that dying isn’t all that pleasant. In addition to the errors in execution there have been increased concerns in the number of innocent persons being sent to the execution chambers. A new study estimates that one in 25 prisoners on death row in the United States is innocent. While this is terrible news for them, what is even worse is that were wasting an estimated $1.2 million on people who aren’t even worth that much. But still Texas is faced with a decision more difficult than putting a 19-year-old to death: Admitting it was wrong. Texas’ inability to admit defeat stems from the fact that when correctly personified, Texas happens to be more stubborn than a pack of mules duct taped to Rick Perry. With that in mind it is all but guaranteed that Texas will be executing people until the end of time. Can we really be blamed for it though? Texas is just taking advantage of the public’s distaste for baby eaters. In fact Texas should be more effectively making examples of said baby eaters. Instead of sitting idly by while protestors throw fits
“My sophomore year some guy brought Burger King into the classroom for our final. I smelled hamburgers the whole time, but still passed. Anytime I have a hard test now, I just think about burgers and I’ll be all right.” -Omasha Brantley Kinesiology Senior
The Houstonian Editorial
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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)..............................Karah Rucker, Kyle Kelly, Brynn Castro, Raveen Johnson and Alex Broussard
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‘Star Wars’ cast announced SEAN SMITH Contributing Reporter A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away is where half of J.J. Abrams’ cast for “Star Wars Episode VII” will come from. The cast members of the original “Star Wars” trilogy have returned to reprise their roles in the next installment to the sci-fi epic. Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Harrison Ford (Han Solo) are back. Other original cast members are returning to their roles as well, such as Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Kenny Baker as R2-D2, and Peter Mayhew as the famed Chewbacca. While the “Star Wars” fan base had speculated that the original cast was most likely to make a return, the announcement made Tuesday on the saga’s official website confirmed the rumor. The reveal also introduced newer faces from the acting community that will join the original cast in the making of the seventh episode. Newcomers to the “Star Wars” cast include Andy Serkis, who is best known for his role as Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings,” Adam Driver from HBO’s hit series “Girls,” and even the eldest Weasley brother from the “Harry Potter” series, Domhnall Gleeson. Other fresh faces include John Boyega from “Attack the Block” and Daisy Ridley from “Blue Season.” Senior film major Blayne Saldana says the original casts performances will be interesting to watch given the ages of the actors. “I’m kind of curious about how they are going to play their roles, because I know Harrison Ford is past 70,” he said. “I heard Mark Hamill has dropped copious amounts of weight to be Luke Skywalker again so I think I’m more curious to see it than excited.” Abrams said in a statement that he hopes bringing this ensemble together will please “Star Wars” extremely devoted fans. “It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life once again,” he said. “We start shooting in a couple of weeks and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.” Abrams directed the two most recent “Star Trek” films and was also co-creator of the hit television series “Lost.” He teamed up with “Empire Strikes Back” writer Lawrence Kasdan to co-write Episode VII, according to nydailynews.com
The Associated Press
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU. Mark Hamill (left) who played Luke Skywalker in the George Lucas ‘Star Wars’ saga poses with C 3 PO figure before the screening of ‘Star Wars V-The Empire Strikes Back,’ at the Jules Verne Festival. Hamil will appear as Skywalker in the newest Star Wars.
Saldana says he is not sure of the direction Abrams could take the film. “I like that he has his own style of filmmaking, but if there’s a lot of lens flares in it like the new ‘Star Trek’ movies I’ll just be emotionally severed from the movie,” Saldana said. Another familiar face returning to the “Star Wars” credits is John Williams. The composer scored the first six “Star Wars” films as well as “Indiana Jones,” “Jurassic Park,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” and the first three “Harry Potter” films. Notable snubs from the lineup include Billy Dee Williams, known for his performance as Lando Calrission and Warwick Davis as the lovable Ewok, Wicket. The “Star Wars” community was given a shock when Lucasfilm, the production company owned by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, was sold to Disney for $4 billion in 2012. The move caught many of “Star Wars’” loyal supporters off guard, including Saldana.
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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Volunteer NEED ITEMS? Anytime! Stop by the huge garage sale on
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HELP US TO HELP THEM!
“I liked the prequels for what they were... but let’s be real, Star Wars is going to make money for just the title,” he said. “They could literally put anything in it, so that why I think Disney is doing it, just for the money.” Disney owns and operates ABC, ESPN and the A+E Network, and it owns Marvel Comics as well. While the announcement of the cast has revealed more specifics about the film, little is known about the plot of the upcoming movie other than it’s setting 30 years after
“Return of the Jedi,” the sixth episode in the series, according to thewrap.com Die-hard fans and casual moviegoers alike will have to wait more than a year and a half to see what is to come of the newest “Star Wars” film. Episode VII is set to be released December 18, 2015. The new cast, plot and direction the “Star Wars” universe is heading in may make some fans utter “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” but others feel that the force is strong with the cast. Only time will tell if the new film will live up to its predecessors.
Thursday, May 1, 2014 houstonianonline.com/sports
TRACK AND FIELD
Track star a reigning force MORGAN JENKINS Contributing Reporter
Joe Amburn | SHSU Sports
THE FINAL STRETCH. Senior distance runner Alyssa Dooley rounds a turn at an indoor meet. Dooley has established herself as a strong weapon for the Bearkats during her career.
It may be senior distance runner Alyssa Dooley’s last season in a Bearkats uniform, but it won’t be the last time to hear her name at Sam Houston State. Dooley has established herself as dominant force to be reckoned with in the Southland Conference during her career as a Bearkat. In just a matter of weeks after finishing the Southland Conference indoor season, Dooley dominated the 800-meter run at the Islander Dash Meet in early April placing first with a time of 2:14.22. However, distance running is her calling. “I like the 1500 meters,” Dooley said. “I’m just better at it. I’m more of a long distance runner but I enjoy both of them.” Texas Relays is arguably one of the most popular annual races in the nation, hosting big schools from across the country. Dooley played a hand in breaking the 1600 sprint medley relay squad at the Texas Relays with teammates Elizabeth Ene, Sunday Foster and Lygia Foreman. The effort also led the Bearkats to finishing ninth in the event, one place higher than host University of Texas’ squad. Alongside the record in the 1600 spring medley, it didn’t come as a surprise to Dooley when she went to the Texas Relays in March and won the 1500 meter run with a time of 4:28.81, breaking her own school record. And her run didn’t stop there. This season Dooley has not only broken the school record in the 1500 meter run. She’s done it twice. Dooley was one out of the 147 other athletes to run at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays and placed 22nd overall with a personal best of 4:26.06, breaking the SHSU record for the second time this season. “It was really encouraging going out there and running against some of the top runners in the country, placing in the top half even,”
she said. “My time was not as fast as I wanted it to be, but it was definitely encouraging and keeps me wanting to lower my time for the season.” Even though she feels she could have had a better time, SHSU Assistant Coach Jesse Parker saw the experience for Dooley as a stepping stool to becoming a stronger athlete. “From where she started to running at Mt. SAC, that was the natural progression that we expected for her going into the year,” Parker said. Dooley has had to run alongside as many as 30 other women all trying to be in front of each other sharing at the most two lanes in the 1500: one for running and the other for passing up an another athlete. “There’s a lot of strategy involved in the 1500,” Dooley said. “I typically like to get out faster because there are a lot of girls running in the race, and I like to get in front to avoid any confrontation. I think ‘get to the finish line as fast as I can mainly.’” Dooley looks at running as something you can’t overthink, she said. When she mentally prepares for the race, she tries not to think about the race as much as she can and stay relaxed which has helped her get very far. Just as the rest of the team, Parker has high hopes for Dooley in the last few weeks of the outdoor season. “She’s so consistent and such a gamer,” Parker said. “I have a 100 percent confidence that on the big stage she’s going to show up and perform. She’s such a competitor.” Dooley is trying to finish the last stretch of her career leading by example and push her teammates that run middle distance as well. As for after SHSU, Dooley plans to be a recreational runner and hopefully compete in a few road races or marathons leaving her mark behind. “I can’t say I enjoy or love running long distance because it hurts,” Dooley said. “But I think about the success I’ve had. That is what makes me love it.”
PENNANT HUNT. Senior outfielder Cecilia Castillo leads Sam Houston State softball on offense with a .343 batting average on the season. Castillo has 12 doubles and three homers on the season.
Kats eyeing top SLC seed MARISSA HILL Sports Reporter With the final weekend of the regular season approaching, Sam Houston State softball has already clinched a berth in the Southland Conference tournament. This weekend’s series against Stephen F. Austin State will determine their seed in the tournament. The Lumberjacks are coming into Huntsville with a 12-10 record - currently tied for third place in the SLC with Northwestern State - while the Bearkats hold a 14-9 league mark. If SFA were to sweep SHSU this weekend, that would pull them into second place, with a 15-10 record, one game over the Bearkats. If SHSU wins their series this weekend, they can hold their spot in the conference and also pick up a high seed for the tournament. According to sophomore outfielder Jennie Kieval, the Bearkats know what stands in front of them. “We know we need to win these games,” she said. “I think we are really confident in each other.” The Bearkats are coming off a series loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi while the Lumberjacks completed the sweep over Lamar University last weekend. SHSU will have to face SFA’s top pitcher Carlie Thomas who has appeared in 81 games for the Lumberjacks in her past three seasons. During her junior campaign, she
struck out a career-high 117 batters while only giving up 45 walks for the season. Her best contest came against Creighton University, where she struck out 15 batters in a 4-3 win last season. Lamar struggled against SFA last weekend as they were shutout in their doubleheader 8-0 and 5-0 Saturday, respectively. The Cardinals were in close scoring quarters with the Lumberjacks in the series finale, but they couldn’t hold them off. The Bearkats also hold a strong ace pitcher in their arsenal. Shelby Lancaster has been steely for the Bearkats in the circle during her career, as she’s come into her senior season with 26 wins and 113 strikeouts. She earned All-Tournament Southland honors in 2013 as the winning pitcher in three of SHSU’s five wins en route to the conference finals. She threw a complete-game shutout against the Cardinals at the end of March and held her opponents to a .220 batting average. Despite some of the struggles the Bearkats have had through the season, the team has taken a lesson from last weekend’s loss, Kieval said. “We can’t take any team lightly,” she said. “Every team in our conference is a high competitor.” The first pitch of Saturday’s doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. at Bearkat Softball Complex.
Jay R. Jordan | The Houstonian
WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY. Mass Communication majors Cody Lewis (left) and Alexis Bloomer (right) stand in front of the Lowman Student Center to honor fallen reporters.
Fallen reporters honored HANNAH ZEDAKER Senior Reporter
Ninety-nine journalists around the world were killed in 2013 in their pursuit for the truth to educate society of issues and conflicts, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. To commemorate the loss of these journalists, students in the Global Center for Journalism Democracy workshop at Sam Houston State University celebrated World Press Freedom Day Wednesday. Although World Press Freedom Day isn’t until Saturday, junior mass communication major Cody Lewis said the global fight for the freedom of the press is an issue students often forget about. “I don’t think students would know that 99 were killed last year and that some are still missing or in prisons,” Lewis said. “They take for granted that we live in one of the only countries where we are allowed to do this.” The event, which took place in the mall area in front of the Lowman Student Center, lasted four hours and included both an informational booth with biographies of six journalists killed, injured or kidnapped while in the field. In addition, an enlarged poster with all 99 of the late journalists’ names printed on it was displayed in the mall area while several students wore tape with “x’s” marked on them over their mouths with
various signs to advertise their cause. “The thing is journalists serve as watchdogs to society so we serve people and if we can’t get out truth of corruption and if we can’t speak up for people who can’t speak for themselves, who’s going to do it?” GCJD Coordinator Megan Ellsworth said. “So whenever someone threatens a journalist, in many ways it hinders society from progress, it disables society.” Although the World Press Freedom Day was established more than 20 years ago in 1993 by the UN General Assembly, this is only the second year SHSU has celebrated it. Junior mass communication major Alexis Bloomer, who was working the booth, said many people only see the glamorous side of journalism and not the dangerous side of the profession. “It’s just really sad that this happens around the world and people don’t really think about it because they just think of journalists as people who talk on TV when in reality, they’re being crucified, killed and even beaten and raped just for doing their job,” Bloomer said. Bloomer said that as a first amendment right, freedom of the press needs to be both preserved and enforced. “Journalists are on the frontline too; don’t silence us because this is our job,” Bloomer said.
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