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Monday, March 29, 2020

The Independent Student Newspaper of Sam Houston State University

Students Dedicated to Professional Journalism Volume 108 | Issue 2





Houstonian women changing the world, starting in the newsroom

Photo courtesy of Leila De la Cruz

The Houstonian | Houstoniannews.com | Monday, March 29, 2021

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Interviewing female leadership throughout campus BY JOVANNA AGUILAR, KIA SEASTRUNK AND MYA CALEB Contributing Reporter

Important females elect who influence both student body and community through acts of leadership. These women hold their positions firmly against all odds and expectations. We recognize their roles for Women’s History Month. WHAT DOES WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH MEAN TO YOU?



“Gratitude. As a nationally, federally recognized acknowledgment, Women’s History Month is an affirmation of the daily appreciation I have for women in my life who’ve encouraged, inspired, and taken the time to teach me.”

“Sober acknowledgment of our individual gifts and aptitudes is an aspect of humility, not arrogance. If you know how talented you are at something, then you know how you’re wired to bless the world. Don’t deny the world the gift of your true beauty.”

“That we become more comfortable with going through pain together, rather than doing everything we can to deny it. Hard things happen in life, even when we’ve done our best, and sometimes the fastest way to the other side of that pain is to go straight through.”




“I’ve been part of SGA since my sophomore year and I was Chief-of-Staff my junior year. After that, I decided I wanted to run for president halfway through my junior year. I set my mind to it and worked really hard to get elected.”

“I feel like we have a lot of great women leaders, student leaders especially. It feels good knowing that the student body chose me to be their leader. It feels good that they trusted me to be student body president.”

“Acknowledging great things that women have done and understanding how far we still have to go. How far we have come and how far we still need to push forward is big and having women know that they can rely on each other.”




“Leadership is really about the opportunity to help support and motivate others to do better. It’s about empowering people to see what’s possible and giving them the tools and the direction to make a difference in that sort of way.”

“The fact that Sam Houston is majority female student body and ensuring that we have people in those role model positions that our students and future generations can look up to and can learn from and can be mentored by, that is a really important.”

“It shapes who we are and how we’ve gotten here. But also what the future holds for females and for women at Sam Houston and in society in general. So, it’s really the opportunity to celebrate the past, present and perhaps most especially the future.”




The Houstonian | Houstoniannews.com | Monday, March 29, 2021

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History is HER-Story: Why Women’s History Month is important BY GABRIEL BENTON Contributing Reporter Throughout history, women have left a mark on the world and even with all the accomplishments made, Women’s History Month is still sometimes forgotten. For a long time, women were often written out of history or left out. This left a social disparity in textbooks in schools where women and women of color are excluded. Women represent half our worlds’ population, yet in schools, students learn mostly about men. In 2017, data was shared by the Smithsonian showing a disproportionate number of how women are included in historical textbooks compared to men. About one woman for every three men is mentioned in learning materials, according to the Smithsonian magazine.

Illustration courtesy of Lizeth Gonzalez

Because women were left out of our history books, the importance of a Women’s History Month stands firmly. The portrayal of a woman should not be by how men see them, but by how women and girls see themselves. A recent study displaying how gender bias in textbooks stunted the development of girls in grade school stated that gender bias, “undermines girls’ motivation, participation, and achievement in school,” according to the U.S. News & World Report. By honoring the history of women, girls can take more pride in their past. For girls to learn about themselves shows that they matter, and a lack of women historical figures shows that their history does not matter. Women’s History Month is a celebration. A time to never take for granted what women have done in society. Whether people seem to acknowledge it or not, HER-story is all around us.

Illustration courtesy of Lizeth Gonzalez

I honor the women in my life by listening to their struggles BY JOHN JAMES Contributing Reporter The nation has honored women in March that have paved the way for today’s generation. Life can be a little challenging to navigate through as a woman. Witnessing my mother and sister’s struggles through society and how they overcome obstacles that stand in their way. My mom has a lot on her plate and still manages to be a full-time mother and a full-time realtor. She struggles with men who do not take her seriously because she is a woman and as a businesswoman, she goes through the trials of being disrespected and overlooked. Nevertheless, she challenges herself to become better every step of the way. On the other hand, my sister is an inspiring R&B singer who can sing like an angel. She is driven by her passion, constantly putting a large amount of

work to achieve goals in her field. Some of my sister’s struggles in the music industry also come from the stigma of not being taken seriously. When she comes home from the studio, she constantly tells me how the producers overlook her notes on how she wanted her music to sound. The producers that she works with are all men. At times she feels uncomfortable being alone with them in the studio. Despite the struggles and lack of communication, she strives to make her music her own and succeed no matter the obstacles in her way. They go through these societal conflicts, but they do not let them hinder their passion for reaching their goals. By listening to women and their struggles, we develop insight into why and how we should celebrate the women in our lives. As a son and brother, I will stand by them and support them through it all. In the end, they both stand tall with pride because they know they will succeed despite the challenges.

The Houstonian | Houstoniannews.com | Monday, March 29, 2021

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City council members for Women’s History Month BY ELIZABETH MACHUCA Contributing Reporter Women’s History Month is celebrated this month by acknowledging women who have earned their placement in

powerful positions of government in Huntsvile, TX. At the end of 2020, the rise of women in government shot up as we withnessed the first female vice president, 26.4% of seats in congress get occupied by women, eight states being led by fe-

male governors and 378 female mayors govern high populated towns. Huntsville’s city government followed this increase in female leadership in the 2020 city elections. Pat Graham and Vicki McKenzie were among the new additions to the city council, followed by

Dee Howard Mullins and Daiquiri Beebe keeping their seats. Serving on board and raising families, the women of Huntsville city council took the time to tell us about their positions and influence over their community as women.

Photos courtesy of Walker County Staff Directory





“We make up half of the population, so we should be half the local government, as far as I am concerned. We have a different perspective from men, we raise kids, we take care of bills, we have jobs and then we take care of our husbands.” In 2021, Beebe led the city council agenda with the location proposal of a new skate park for Huntsville. Additionally, Beebe took part in opposing House Bill 749 and Senate Bill 234 that would end the use of public funding for lobbyists.

“Women bring a different perspective, women just by their nature see things. I think from a holistic perspective and see things that men do not normally see and I think it is just our natural gift.” Huntsville native Howard Mullins grew up attending Huntsville High School and Sam Houston State University. Howard Mullins ran for a seat on the city council in 2018 and won the election. In 2021, Howard Mullins led the agenda surrounding the placement of a Masonic Cornerstone at the Huntsville police department.

“It was my time to serve and now it is my turn to give back.” As a mother, McKenzie spent her time on multiple school committees and worked with different boards across Huntsville. With a need to give back to community and her experience through different school committees, that McKenzie decided to run for city council. In 2020, she ran unopposed for position 3 and now hopes to give back to the community through her time on the city council.

“I just had the urge to give back and I think if we do not step forward then we are doing ourselves and everyone else an injustice so that is my story.” Before being elected to the council in 2020, Graham served as a court administrator for Huntsville for 24 years. She raised three children and now has 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. As a city councilmember, she hopes to create a beautiful and safe community for Huntsville residents to raise their kids.


Addison Miller: A READ ON PAGE 7







The Houstonian | Houstoniannews.com | Monday, March 29, 2021


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New satirical comedy based off Bon Appétit scandal BY ADRIANNE REECE Arts & Entertainment Editor In 2020, “Bon Appétit Test Kitchen” transformed into a space of scrutiny due to a scandal involving employees of color that described a racist environment at the publication. Now, HBO Max is drawing inspiration from the downfall and the food media industry’s toxic culture in a new comedy series titled, “Enjoy Your Meal.” The half-hour series will focus on a cohort of young assistants of color who rise to tear their cookie-cutter corporate culture apart, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This synopsis perfectly details the explosive controversy surrounding the food site, which sparked several discussions on social media. Last summer, distasteful images of then Editor-in-Chief, Adam Rapoport, and his wife mocking Puerto Rican culture and sporting brown face resurfaced online. Soon after, a heap of allegations concerning racial discrimination brought behind-the-scenes treatment to the forefront. Staff, mainly people of color, expressed their discomfort and disdain with

Rapoport’s racially insensitive behavior in different testimonies. Former assistant culinary editor, Sohla El-Waylly, noted that Bon Appétit failed to compensate their employees of color for video appearances. Though multiple employees were involved in the popular series, members such as Claire Saffitz and Brad Leone became the face of the rising concept. With El-Waylly serving as an integral part of the ensemble, many Bon Appétit viewers and employees were shocked to find out she was never paid for her work. “The Test Kitchen is really fun as long as you play your role, and I didn’t like the role I was put in,” said El-Waylly in an interview with Vulture. “It became increasingly frustrating to become a sidekick to people with significantly less experience than me.” Another former Bon Appétit employee, Ryan Walker-Hartshorn, fell in the same circle of diminished compensation. Hartshorn, who served as Rapoport’s assistant and the only black woman on staff, expressed that she quit her position because she felt extremely undervalued. In an interview with Business Insider, she revealed that she was paid $35,300 with

Photo courtesy of Today.com

no increases for about three years. When she brought her concerns to Rapoport and asked for a raise, he shut down the conversation by telling Hartshorn that her job position was not right for her. Now, Hartshorn will use her real-life mistreatment from the company to serve

as a consultant for “Enjoy Your Meal.” More behind-the-scenes players of this satirical comedy will be “Insecure” writer and executive producer Amy Aniobi, record producer Drew Dixon, producer Galt Niederhoffer and “The Kids Are All Right” actress Monica Villarreal.

Demi Lovato dances with devil in Youtube docuseries BY CHELSEY DAVIS Contributing Reporter Pop singer, Demi Lovato, has a new YouTube documentary series titled, “Dancing with the Devil,” which adopts the same emotional format as the previous series done by her. The series explores the singer’s discomforting relationship with her mental health, eating disorders, alcoholism, drug addiction and her publicized overdose in 2018. In the trailer, she unveils that for several years she’s been both filtering her experiences and keeping quiet about cer-

tain scenarios to maintain her outer shell. Though still guarded in this series, Lovato slightly strips the exterior and confronts the darkest points in her life. Lovato was not the only person in her family to face drug addiction. She reveals that both her parents had addictions, which contributed to her toxic relationship with them. She also began doing beauty pageants at a young age and the emphasis on perfection greatly affected her self-esteem. “I remember actually making a pact with myself saying ‘If I don’t win this pageant, I will never eat again,” Lovato said in the documentary. Eventually, the

grueling pressure to look a certain way as a female entertainer consumed her, and she relapsed into her eating disorder and began drinking. Though we’ve seen many female entertainers speak on this topic, it can be heartbreaking to listen to Lovato explain how desperately she strived to be the perfect role model for her fans. In 2018, Lovato suffered three strokes, a heart attack, pneumonia via asphyxiation, multiple organ failure and brain damage, which left her unable to drive due to blind spots in her vision. Upon waking up in the hospital blind, she could not see her sister Madison who

had come to visit her. Lovato found poetic irony in this situation being that her reason for becoming sober, to begin with, was because her parents would tell her she would not be able to see Madison if her drug habits continued. It’s undeniable that Lovato is armored with incredible strength after all the obstacles she’s faced and is now on the road to healing as she embarks on her growth journey. The first two episodes of the docuseries are available to stream now. The third episode will be available on Tuesday, March 30, and the fourth episode on April 6.

The Houstonian | Houstoniannews.com | Monday, March 29, 2021

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SPORTS WOMEN OF SAM HOUSTON SPORTS Administration Chris Thompson: Senior Associate Athletic Director - Student Services Dr. Emily Roper: Faculty Athletics Representative Desiree’ Chambers: Van WagnerMarketing Coordinator Jessica Payne: Assistant Athletic Director- Student Services Jennifer Davis: Office Supervisor Shelly Bush: Athletic Assistant Shelly Davenport: Athletic Assistant Pam Stelly: Athletic Assistant Baseball Heather Self: Academics Coordinator; Senior Academic Advisor Football Meghan Peacock: Athletic Trainer Susana Whiteman: Director of Sports Nutrition Leah Draper: Administrative Assistant Track And Field Paetyn Revell: Assistant Coach; Jumps Basketball Ravon Justice: Head Coach Brittany Mason: Assistant Coach Brittany Bigott: Assistant Coach Amy Van Horn: Assistant Athletic Trainer Bowling Lynne Fishler: Graduate Assistant Soccer Jorden Smith: Assistant Coach Katelyn Dewalt: Athletic Trainer Softball Tori Rivera: Assistant Coach Tess Soefje: Assistant Coach Taylor Pesina: Manager Tennis Robin Hubbard: Assistant Coach Mary Ridings: Volunteer Assistant Volleyball Brenda Gray: Head Coach Tayler Gray: Assistant Coach Taylor Cunningham: Assistant Coach Addison Miller: Volunteer Assistant Coach Spirit Sarah Garcia: Spirit Program Coach Meagan Hulet: Assistant Coach

Graphic courtesy of Lizeth Gonzalez

Bearkat tennis red hot in conference BY TREY BURNETT Contributing Reporter The Sam Houston Bearkats are off to one of their best starts in years with a 7-0 conference record after this weekend’s 6-1 win over Northwestern State University. The Bearkats have been led all year by senior Constandena Nicolaou (12-0 overall) and junior Sahaja Yamalapalli (13-0 overall). To start Southland Conference action, Sam Houston defeated Nicholls State University 6-1. Yamalapalli started the day off with a 6-1, 6-0 singles victory and the Bearkats never looked back from there. Next up in the schedule, Sam Houston swept the University of the Incarnate Word 7-0 behind a dominating single’s performance from junior Karla De La

Luz Montalvo, who beat Lauren Fulgenzi 6-1, 6-1, as well as Yamalapalli and sophomore Isidora Zivkovic notching wins of their own. Abilene Christian University fell to Sam Houston 5-2, but next up was Lamar University. Freshman Sahithi Vutukuru clinched the Bearkat victory with a 7-5 win. This moved them to 3-0 on the year with the 6-1 victory. Next up was the University of New Orleans, Sam Houston’s stiffest competition yet as both teams were unbeaten in conference play. The Bearkats pulled away to win 4-3 behind Yamalapalli defeating Ank Vullings 6-1, 6-0, one of the league’s top singles players. The University of Central Arkansas followed as they traveled to Huntsville to take on the Bearkats. Sam Houston came away with a 5-2 home victory, staying in conference play. Yamalapalli

continued her hot start moving to 12-0 in dual match play. Most recently, the Bearkats defeated Northwestern State in another convincing win with a 6-1 final score. Sam Houston swept the doubles matches and finished 5-1 in singles matches. With this win, the Bearkats go on the road for the rest of the season. They will open up their final road trip in Nacogdoches against Stephen F. Austin State University on April 3.

Photo courtesy of Jacob Hodges

The Houstonian | Houstoniannews.com| Monday, March 29, 2021

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Addison Miller: A players journey to coaching BY CARLOS ZIMMERMANN Contributing Reporter Growing up around three older brothers, volleyball was never much of a thought around the Miller house. But for Addison Miller, volleyball was the choice for her. THE START OF THE JOURNEY Volleyball did not come about for Addison, or Addie as many of her friends and family call her, until the age of 14. Her journey began playing volleyball at the YMCA, and that slowly evolved from playing in middle school to playing at Prosper High School. Miller also became a multisport athlete, adding softball, track and cheer into the mix. It did not take long before a choice had to be made on what worked out the best for her future. “I was thinking ahead to college,” Miller said. “Would I rather go to college and cheer and be a normal student, or is there a chance I can get my college paid for and play the sport that I love?” THE CHOICE WAS VOLLEYBALL Miller graduated from Prosper High School in 2016 and chose Sam Houston State University. Bearkat volleyball was coming off a 14-18 season overall under veteran head coach Brenda Gray. “The minute I got here, I just instantly fell in love with coach,” Miller said. “She made it very easy to speak with her and she’s a crazy lady… and I like it.” Through her first year, Miller found some time on the court, but most other times, she would be holding the clipboard on the sideline helping the team that way. She helped the Bearkats in her freshman and sophomore years to a 10-6 Southland Conference record and backto-back appearances in the SLC tournament. Both seasons, ending at the hands of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

THE UPS AND DOWNS OF JUNIOR YEAR In 2018, with a supporting cast of senior middle blocker Taylor Cunningham and sophomore setter Madilyn Miles, the Bearkats went on a tear through the Southland, posting a 12-1 record in the conference with three games remaining. The first game of the three was a matchup with rival Stephen F. Austin State University. For Miller, it was not her night on the court as the Bearkats fell to the Ladyjacks 3-1. Not only that, a service error from the hands of Miller stuck with her for a year after the game. “They (the Ladyjack crowd) were loud,” Miller said. “It got in my head and that game stuck with me.” Miller’s senior year rolled around and when the schedule was announced, it showed that the Bearkats would meet the Ladyjacks in Nacogdoches on Halloween night. Coach Gray knew that Miller was seeking revenge in Nacogdoches, not just for her benefit, but for the whole team. “She’s got to do what she needs to do to help push the team forward,” Gray said regarding Miller’s role on the team as a senior. One year removed from one of her worst nights on the court, Miller turned around and came away with a 40-dig outing, becoming the fourth player in program history to reach that mark.

Photo courtesy of Leila De La Cruz

NOT THE END She closed her chapter as a player after going 1-1 in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship Tournament.

However, this was not the end of Miller’s journey at Sam Houston. Following graduation in spring 2019, Miller assumed the role of volunteer assistant coach with the same team she played with for four years. “The respect has grown between us,” Gray said. The question was if that same chemistry she had with her teammates would translate over when she assumed a coaching role. For Miles, who is now a senior setter for the Bearkats, nothing changed. “When I rotate out of my rotation, she’ll grab me aside and say, this is what you need to fix,” Miles said. “It honestly makes me respect her more. She’s able to tell me what I’m doing well and what I need to work on.”

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE This will be the only year that Miller is a part of the coaching staff with Bearkat volleyball as she will pursue a career in physical therapy. Miller has also been accepted into the University of St. Augustine for health sciences in Austin and will start there on May 10 of this year. “I had a lot of injuries in my back my junior year,” Miller said. “That effect rehab had on me… I wanted to give that to others.” Miller on the court was the same off the court. She has shown love and kindness to her teammates and everyone around her, lifting them when they are down. “She’s just such a personable person,” Miles said. “She is one of the people that want the best for you, no matter what.”

Photo courtesy of Grace-Anne Matocha

Photo courtesy of Leila De La Cruz

Photo courtesy of Jacob Hodges

The Houstonian | Houstoniannews.com | Monday, March 29, 2021

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Editor-in-Chief Assistant Editor-in-Chief Arts & Entertainment Editor Sports Editor Opinions Editor Community News Editor Campus News Editor

Lizeth Gonzalez Ariole Jones Adrianne Reece Scott Morris Jacob Courtney Amanda Raaska Justin Hardcastle

2. What is the name of Sam Houston’s wife? _______________________________



1. Who is the current president of Sam Houston State University? _____________________________

3. What former president recently had their name placed on the side of the fine arts building? _______________________________


Finish this puzzle, take a picture and tag us on social media @HoustonianNews for a chance to win a Houstonian shirt!

Today’s Sudoku Puzzle WOMEN AT SAM QUIZ

5. Who is the longest tenured coach at Sam Houston? _______________________________

Run Sheet Manager Faculty Advisor

4. Who is the current Student Government Association president? ____________________________________

6. Who are the EIC’s of The Houstonian? (Hint: Look right below this quiz) _____________________________________

Kia Seastrunk Debbi Hatton

Digital Director Multimedia Editor Photographers

Jordan Smith Leila De la Cruz Elizabeth Machuca Sara Cox

The Houstonian is the independent student newspaper of Sam Houston State University. Serving the campus and community since 1913, The Houstonian prides itself on upholding professional journalistic standards while providing students from a diverse array of backgrounds opportunities to learn and grow. Completely student-run, The Houstonian welcomes staffers and submissions from any SHSU student regardless of major. All opinions published reflect only the thoughts of the author unless otherwise stated, and do not necessarily align with the views of the publication. A voice for the campus of SHSU, The Houstonian is an award-winning addition to the Mass Communication department, housed in the Dan Rather Communications Building room 210. Please contact The Houstonian office with any corrections if we publish something in error. We strive to maintain the highest journalistic values, and we welcome critiques in hopes of continuing to better the publication at large. Please send emails to our Editor-in-Chief, Lizeth Gonzalez, at eic@houstoniannews.com, call our office phone at 936-294-1505 or stop by our office during the week. Please submit any letters to the editor to eic@houstoniannews.com, or drop them in the box on our office door. Every letter will be reviewed for publication and subject to grammar and AP style edits. Anyone interested in paid employment with The Houstonian can keep an eye on Handshake or stop by the office to inquire. The Houstonian prints every other Monday during the school year, and continually updates its multimedia content. Print dates for the Spring 2021 semester are April 12, April 26 and May 10.

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