The Student Newspaper of UTD
Vol. XXXI, No. 4
Tennis team gets into the swing of things Page 11
UTD hosts nat’l debate tourney Nada Alasami
More than 500 students from across the nation will be coming to UTD for the National Debate Competition, which UTD will host from March 24-28. Members of UTD’s debate team, some of the highest ranked in the country, will be participating in the event. “The competition is considered the Super Bowl of college debate,” said Christopher Burk, director of debate. UTD’s debate team cur-
rently ranks 12th in the nation based on votes by college debate coaches, Burk said. Two UTD debaters, Collin Roark and Andrew Baker, have been invited to the competition. Baker said the competition is like a combination of sports even and a very long test. “We wake up at 7, have one hour to prepare for debates and do that at a minimum of two to three times a day,” he said.
see DEBATE page 3
As temperatures rise, SU mall comes to life Page 6
February 28, 2011
Mother, daughter bond at UTD Page 7
‘Tier One’ gets defined What this status means for students Anwesha Bhattacharje Contributor firstname.lastname@example.org
The words “Tier One” have likely been heard by every student, but what the phrase means may not be clear. It entails more than a brand name, and as the university expands under this initiative, students are likely to see changes through upcoming years in aspects
see TIER ONE page 4
C R O W D
photo by Akshay Harshe
Sophomore Daniela Hagenasr works with Carbon Nano Strands. Tier One status would promote more research such as Hagenasr’s at UTD.
C O N T R O L
Fee could result in bigger SU
Plan aims to expand Comet Café
Managing Editor email@example.com
The first wave of complaints came during the summer of 2010: there’s nowhere to sit. A year ago, students began complaining to Darrelene Rachavong, vice president for Student Affairs that the Comet Café’s dining area was often crowded or at full capacity during busy times. Student Government leaders began approaching Rachavong suggesting that opening the Comet Lounge to diners might relieve the buildup students were then complaining to their offices about. UTD deans were even reporting dining space was a common issue discussed at their Dining with the Deans event, at which point Rachavong made up her mind —
President David Daniel’s 2010 annual report, student enrollment should reach 20,000 by 2015. “If we’re at 17,000 and it looks like this now, how is it going to look when we’re at 20 to 25,000?” she said. The first step in answer-
For students who frequent the crowded Comet Café, the Comet Lounge might provide additional space to eat and mingle. Daniela Huerta, a political science sophomore, and her friend Nazish Taj, a speech language pathology sophomore, are both commuters. They go to the Comet Café to hang out but seldom buy the food there. “We meet here every Thursday with another friend,” Huerta said. “I usually bring my own lunch.” The convenient locations of the dining places can make them a hot spot on campus for students who want to meet between classes. Azim Sookoor, a business marketing junior, comes regularly to the Student Union to see his friends. “If I want food I’ll eat at
see SU page 4
see CAFE page 4
photos by Brandon Higgins
Students crowd into the Comet Café to meet, eat and study. Plans are in place to provide more space to the popular locale. perhaps UTD needs a larger Student Union. Currently the SU’s pool and table tennis tables are all used, there’s not enough dining space for students and study areas are minimal, Rachavong said. The problem could get worse in coming years. According to UTD
Mid-East conflict felt at UTD Nada Alasmi
courtesy of Sarah Berriche
Sarah Berriche, a spring 2010 UTD graduate, reflects on her experiences in Tunisia, where her family felt the effects of January’s political protests.
The Middle East is changing. From the souks of Morocco to the streets of Iran, citizens have been protesting for democracy and an end to corruption. In the midst of this change, two UTD students, one from Tunisia, the other from Egypt, reflect on their countries and the changes that have recently fallen upon them. Salsabeal Hassanin is
biology senior from Egypt, where protests against poverty, unemployment, and government corruption took place in January. Hassanin said there are two words that describe Egyptian people, and those words are “funny” and “courteous”. “We are light hearted and fun to be around,” she said. “People cannot sit with us and not laugh, even when we are being serious.” But Hassanin said some Egyptian people in the country were losing their
charm. They were evolving into a frustrated people who sometimes fought with each other in the streets. Two reasons for the change, she said, were increasing poverty and unemployment, things she knows because she visits Egypt every summer and because her mother and two sisters live in the country. “My mom says that (the price of) books, papers, pencils and especially medicines, have all skyrocketed,” she said. “A loaf of bread is so expensive to some people to
the point that bakers make two different types of bread, one for the poor and one for the rich (people).” Not only were many Egyptians poor and unemployed, she said, but they also were unable to express their opinions without fear of persecution. “(My people) were oppressed politically, not religiously,” she said. “There was no freedom of speech and people lived in fear for
see PROTESTS page 5
February 28, 2011
UTD Police scanner The following is a breakdown of key topics raised at the Feb. 15 Student Government, or SG, meeting. Full minutes of meetings can be found at www. sg.utdallas.edu. Darrelene Rachavong, vice president for Student Affairs, visited senate and presented the details of a proposal calling for the expansion of the Student Union building. Based on the calculations performed by a contracted architect, with the guidance of a student committee, either a $22.5 or $45 million plan was recommended. Senate voted in favor of the $45 million plan. (Note: For more on the Student Union expansion, please refer to Page 1.) Joseph Micheli, Sustainability Sub-committee chair and physics sophomore, announced that a referendum asking students to pay a sustainability fee, also known as the green fee, is planned for addition to the upcoming Student Government elections ballot, as well. Micheli said the approval of the $5 fee would help support and improve the sustainability efforts on campus. Grace Bielawski, SG president and political science senior, announced that starting March 15 the Comet Cruiser will make stops to Walmart on Fridays and two daily stops to the Waterview
Science and Technology Center, also known as West Tech. An increasingly larger amount of student parking related complaints have traveled through Bielawski’s office, she said. Bielawski said she, along with Dina Shahrokhi, SG vice president and political science senior, will meet with UTD parking administrators to address the issue. Bielawski reported she will meet with UTD President David Daniel to discuss the recent decision to charge a fee for official transcript requests. Bielawski said she will keep students updated with the final results of the fee. She also noted unofficial transcript requests will still carry no charge. Lewis Chang, Academic Affairs Committee chair and neuroscience senior, said he would like feedback concerning student interest in offering a film minor and business oriented foreign language courses at UTD. Lastly, Chang said the McDermott Library operating hours are being evaluated and he would like student feedback on that issue, as well. The Wellness, Academic Calendar, Academic Integrity and Education Policy university committees are seeking any students interested in filling recent vacancies within their committees, Shahrokhi said.
Feb. 4 • Police dispatched to University Village Apartments in reference to a fire alarm • Police dispatched to a reported assault in Phase VIII Feb. 7 • Student arrested for possession illegal substances and drug paraphernalia after he consented to a search of his vehicle and apartment • Student arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, a student and another person were issued citations for Minor in Consumption Feb. 8 • Person arrested for driving while intoxicated after a traffic stop in Phase IV • Two students arrested pursuant to an active arrest warrant • Student reported the theft
of jewelry • Student reported theft of his laptop Feb. 12 • Person received a Richardson City violation for possession of an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle after a traffic stop • Unknown suspect broke the front drivers side window of a car with a beer bottle in Phase VI • Student was taken to Richardson Methodist Hospital Feb. 15 • Student reported a delayed assault by contact Feb. 16 • Student arrested for evading detention and driving while intoxicated after a traffic stop • Student arrested during a traffic stop Feb. 17 • Person arrested for driving
with a suspended license and outstanding warrants after a traffic stop • Student arrested during a traffic stop • Student issued a citation for consumption of alcohol by a minor Feb. 18 • Person arrested for driving while intoxicated after a traffic stop • Police received report of a theft • Person reported a minor accident involving an unattended vehicle Feb. 19 • Police issued two citations for possession of alcohol by a minor • Student reported her cell phone was stolen • Person arrested for driving while intoxicated • Person issued a Richardson City citation for possession drug paraphernalia and possession of alcohol in a
vehicle Student issued a Richardson City citation of consumption of alcohol by a minor • Person arrested for public intoxication and consumption of alcohol by a minor • Student arrested for possession of marijuana and cited for possession of drug paraphernalia Feb. 20 • Police dispatched to a noise complaint where an affiliated person was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia • Person arrested for driving while intoxicated • Police initiated an investigation to University Village apartments based on the odor of burnt marijuana coming from an apartment Feb. 21 • Person arrested for multiple traffic warrants •
News briefs Fraternity seeks out UTD A new fraternity has its sights set on UTD and plans to begin gaining support for a chapter as early as fall 2011. Pi Kappa Phi is a social male fraternity and would be the fifth organization sitting on
UTD’s Interfraternity Council, or IFC, following the spring 2010 addition of the FIJI fraternity. Zach Shirley, assistant director of Fraternity & Sorority Life, said Pi Kappa Phi’s arrival would strengthen IFC and allow more points of view to be heard in meetings. The fraternity will also introduce a charitable
organization to campus, known as Push America. The group hosts numerous events every year that aim to serve individuals with disabilities. “The thing about Push America is that Pi Kappa Phi created that philanthropy themselves. Whereas there are some fraternities and sorities that partner with (other
organizations), Pi Kappa Phi created their (own) organization,” Shirley said. More Greek organizations might continue to consider joining UTD, and at the moment they will all be welcome, Shirley said. “We definitely would like Greek life to grow to being an extremely large presence on campus,” Shirley said.
the Mercury www.utdmercury.com
February 28, 2011
Senate seats are filled, some not fulfilled Jessica Melton
Through the past two years as a staff member at The Mercury, and therefore an invested observer of Student Government, I’ve seen senate take hours to discuss what might seem to some like trivial matters. I’ve witnessed SG take hours to come to an agreement on the perfect ratio of pink bras to T-shirts for Breast Cancer Awareness Day. I’ve watched patiently as they took nearly half an hour pontificating whether they should invest in hoodies or sweatshirts for their senators, taking care to weigh the positive and negative attributes for each. I’ve even seen them take more time to discuss the correct form of discussion than the actual content of the meeting. But on Feb. 15 when it came time to vote on a recommendation for a $45 million Student Union expansion project, it took less than five minutes, only one round of
votes and no debate to pass the motion with not a single ‘nay’ uttered. I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely is something that caught my attention. When discussion for the SU expansion began, I had mentally prepared myself to camp out for a while to hear points from senators in favor of the proposed $22 million plan as well the $45 million plan. Instead, the vote happened so quickly, at first I wasn’t sure if I missed a change of topic. When I asked a senator about the limited discussion, I was told an SU expansion committee was created and they brought forward the recommendation only after it was researched in detail. Some people on the committee have been proposing ideas for long enough to know the questions that will come up, and addressed them in the first presentation of a project. Now, I believe this. This year’s senate has a strong, experienced core, but the other senators seem to rely on them to make the decisions.
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For those of us who attend senate meetings and don’t view the behind the scenes action, such quick agreements may seem lacking, especially when there are senators who only speak up for roll call at meetings. While this method can get results, what’s important to remember about SG is that each one of these senators was chosen to represent our student body. So instead of having more than 17,000 people discuss the way student fee money is allocated, we have around 40 people to decide what would be best for the university as a whole. If these senators, who represent the student body, are going to remain silent during discussion of changes that so widely impact all students, it effectively silences 17,000 voices. With seniors at the helm of SG this year and elections coming up at the end of March, I wonder who will step up to fill the main roles. From the outside I see SG leaders work hard to get the most for students. But the rest of senate should follow their example and step up on bigger issues than just those concerning T-shirts and outerwear.
by Laura-Jane Cunningham
hat are your plans for spring break? “I’ll be celebrating my birthday, which is the first day of spring break.”
Tanner Kelly Engineering junior
“Working — my workplace schedules my hours when I’m off school.”
continued from page 1 “Exhaustion is prevalent and stress is high. “ Still, he said, the team hopes to do well in the tournament. “As a team that has experience in crucial debates, we are on our game very well,” he said. “We are hoping for a big push.” Just like chess at UTD, debate attracts competitors from across the nation and is a full-time commitment. Debaters can spend from two to six hours each day preparing for debate, Roark said. “I debated through high school and I got used to balancing school with debate,” he said. The team travels about once every two weeks to participate in debate competitions, said Wesley Dwyer, another member of the debate team. “It is very stressful,” he said. “There was one time in January where we had four tournaments back to back, one every week.” Because of other time commitments, Dwyer said he sometimes wonders if he places too high of a priority on debate. “A lot of us will ques-
Chelsea Bokman Criminology sophomore “Hanging out with friends.”
Ahmed Mianoor Psychology senior “I’m going to India to meet my family after two years.”
Anshul Singh Business graduate student “Studying — I need to catch up on my work.”
Rebekah Spencer Psychology sophomore
courtesy of Karah Hosek
For the first time UTD’s debate team will host a national tournament. Currently ranked 12th in the nation, two UTD debate team members were automatically invited to compete. tion whether it is worth it at times, that maybe if we should spend more time developing relationships with people,” he said.
But Dwyer, who has been debating since 8th grade, said he is happy to have found debate. “I like its competitive
the Mercury Editor-in-Chief Jessica Melton
Graphics Editor Laura-Jane Cunningham
Web Editor Dhamodaran Subramanian
Managing Editor Shane Damico
Photo Editor Albert Ramirez
Media Adviser Chad Thomas
Advertising Manager Josh Moncrieff
Sports Editor Bobby Karalla
Photographers Ben Hawkins Brandon Higgins
aspect,” he said. “It is really a good feeling when you beat a school like Harvard.”
Contributors Nada Alasmi Anwesha Bhattacharje Paul Dang Rebecca DeButts Akshay Harshe John D. McCrary Michelle Nguyen Christopher Wang
“I’m going to California to meet my sister.”
Thanneermalai Narayanan Management graduate student
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February 28, 2011
continued from page 1 of student life. A Tier One ranked university will have faculty who change the world, whose students also change the world, said Hobson Wildenthal, executive vice president and provost. Susan Rogers, vice president for communications, said Tier One means students will have more and better of everything. “It means students would have more choices academically,” Rogers said. “We’ve added more than 33 new academic programs in the past five years. It means having more choices, more faculty, having a larger student body.” Rogers said students who are enrolled in the next few
continued from page 1 The Pub, but I usually hang out at the Comet Café,” Sookoor said. “The atmosphere is better and there’s a greater chance of seeing people you know. All my friends tend to hang out there.” With students convening in addition to the students eating, the Comet Café and The Pub can get congested during busy hours. University officials have acknowledged the need for more space, and plans to
years may not see much of a difference while they’re at UTD, but as alumni the value of their degree will increase if the brand and the accomplishments of the university are better. She said UTD already admits highly qualified students with some of the best SAT scores among public schools in Texas. Wildenthal said UTD has a reputation for rigorous education and quality students. Good students and great alumni help towards recruiting great faculty, he said. Rogers said among things like funding and research expenditures that need to be increased to become a Tier One university, student housing on campus needs to improve and the new Residence Halls are a step in that direction. Both Rogers and Wildenthal
agree there are many definitions of being a Tier One university. UTD was ranked as a Tier One university by U.S. News & World Report for the first time in 2010. The admission into the American Association of Universities is another goal under the Tier One initiative, but universities must be invited to this association. One thing universities can do to help the process, Rogers said, is aim to become a better by increasing research production and student success after grauation. Wildenthal said most of the well known universities that are currently ranked Tier One have built their reputation over hundreds of years and are financially well endowed and larger in size. “Reputation, expenditure per student, expected graduation rate versus realized
graduation rate, alumni giving are the criteria for a Tier One ranking,” Wildenthal said. Rogers said in addition to U.S. News & World Report rankings, a Tier One university may be defined in many ways including as a major national research university known worldwide. Each way of ranking a university as Tier One has its own criteria that need to be met. UTD’s Tier One initiative originally grew from bill enacted by the Texas Legislature that set up the National Research University Fund, or NRUF, Rogers said. The NRUF has been established by the Texas Legislature to provide research funding for emerging research universities, she said. Seven universities in Texas have been named as emerging universities and UTD is one of them,
Rogers said. UTD has to meet the criteria stated by the NRUF in order to gain access to the funds, she said. Wildenthal described the NRUF as a positive step. He said while UTD’s research per faculty is much more than any of the other six universities, the amount spent on research at UTD is small, compared to the other universities which are larger than UTD. To have access to the funds, the universities need to show $45 million spent on restricted research annually and currently UTD falls short by a few million, Wildenthal said. But that’s not the only criteria to be called a Tier One university, Wildenthal added. To truly become a Tier One university UTD needs to increase the amount it spends on research each
year, Rogers said. “We’re not where we need to be to be ranked Tier One, but we’ve made a lot of impressive progress,” Wildenthal said. Nevertheless, Wildenthal said the budget cuts may make progress tougher. “It’s much easier to grow fast and grow well when you have money,” he said. “We won’t have as much money as we want or need. So the cuts are not going to speed it up. We’re not going to go backwards, but it’s going to be tougher and it’s going to be slower.” Wildenthal said the Tier One initiative has been a very positive influence on the university. “People like to have a vision, a cheer. Students like it, faculty like it. We like that race, that competition,” he said.
reconstruct the Comet Lounge have been made. “Students have basically said that they need more space,” said Mary Walters, the Student Union director overseeing the project. “It gets pretty packed during peak hours. It’s open to students walking by, so they sit down and socialize. It’s also fast and cheap so a lot of students eat there.” The current Comet Lounge, which doesn’t allow food, serves as a study lounge. “We want to open up the Comet Lounge,” Walters said.
“It was meant to be a sort of library type setting for students who wanted a quiet area to study in the Student Union, but that’s just not conducive anymore.” Walters said the plan would involve tearing down the walls of the lounge and rearranging furniture to allot more seating capacity. Walters noted that renovating the Comet Lounge will precede the expansion of the Student Union, but dates have not been set for when the rebuilding of the Comet Lounge will take place.
structing a theater for SU events, adding more meeting rooms and creating a retail space intended for a convenience store or another designated purpose. Senate chose this plan over a $22.5 million proposal that featured a more modest expansion. SG’s vote means Rachavong has begun drafting a referendum that will be added to this semester’s SG elections. The referendum will ask students if they would be willing to increase their student fees by $70, for a total of $130, effective fall 2014 when it is estimated the SU construction would begin. Rachavong said adding the referendum to the ballot will put a unique twist on the upcoming elections. “If the referendum at the
end of March does not pass, then it’s dead. It will not go forward,” she said. If students vote in favor of the fee increase it will travel to Austin and be assessed by the Texas Legislature, which won’t meet again until 2013. If the fee is approved by the legislature, then UTD would add it onto the next fiscal cycle fall 2014. Rachavong said it’s too early to forecast the SU’s future for sure, the plan is composed of suggestions only and will be subject to change, dependent on student desires when the design is made. “I can’t predict how it will go. I really can’t,” she said. “I think Student Government is going to educate (students) and ask them to come out and vote.”
continued from page 1 ing Rachavong’s question was made Feb. 15 when Student Government voted in favor of supporting a $45 million dollar plan to expand the Student Union. The expansion plan contains a multitude of suggestions made by a student committee, including a large multifunction room. The room would possibly have televisions, pool tables, lounge chairs, gaming systems, study areas and consist of a high ceiling and large glass windows, Rachavong said. The area could be used to casually study, take a social break between classes or eat lunch. Other suggestions included expanding The Pub, con-
February 28, 2011
illustration by Michelle Nguyen
The above map of the Middle East illustrates the varying types and locations of conflicts in each country including Egypt and Tunisia.
continued from page 1 quite a bit of time.” When protests took place in January, Hassanin said she was both happy that her people were fighting for their rights and also proud of them for conducting a relatively peaceful protest. “Even at the hard times their mannerisms during the protests were great,” she said. “Muslims stood and guarded the (Christians) during their mass and the (Christians) guarded the Muslims as the prayed.” She said three of her friends participated in the rallies, which were conducted by young, educated Egyptians. “One of my friends is in medical school, one is studying engineering and the third is in high school,” she said. “They were sick and tired of the way they were growing up.” Hassanin said protests in Egypt were greatly inspired by those in Tunisia. Protests in the Middle East first began in Tunisia on Dec.7. Sarah Berriche, a Tunisian Spring 2010 aluma, said before the protests, people did not know what Tunisia was. “Whenever I would tell people I was from there I would draw blank stares,” she said in an email to the Mercury. “I think I am just really excited about the fact that now people know where Tunisia is on a map.” Berriche said she was surprised that the protests took place because many Tunisians are well off financially. “There are people who live lavish lifestyles and those who are really poor, but there are average people as well who have internet access, cell phones and just enjoy life as we do here,” she said. She also said her people were generally free from government suppression. “People were very free to dress how they wanted, mingle with each other and do what they wanted,” she said. “People work side by side, there are churches, mosques and we even have a synagogue which many Jews come to do pilgrimage. It’s a great example of how people should be in the Middle East.” But life in Tunisia is not so excellent for all, Berriche said. There are many Tunisians who live (economically) on a dayto-day basis and cannot find jobs. In addition, she said Tunisians lacked many political freedoms, such as the
freedom of speech. “Most of the complaints I hear is that there was dissatisfaction that people could not speak their minds,” Berriche said. “People always lived in fear of (protesting), the thought was always that the government would put anyone into jail who did something like that.” Berriche said Tunisians are excited to see what happens next. “It was about time that the country took the next step forward into becoming a more developed country,” she said. “I don’t think the protesters were a minority, I think they are representative of what everyone was wanting to do.” According to the National Journal website, protests have spread to at least 9 Middle Eastern countries thus far. Protests in Iran began on Feb. 14 and while many may speculate that nothing will change in the country, Dr. Meryl Nason, Senior Lecturer in the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences, said it is possible for the regime to fall. “If Iran is foolish enough to kill opposition leaders, something it said it might do, that might trigger protests and the downfall (of the Iranian Regime),” said Nason. As of Feb. 23, protests in Libya have been the most violent, according to the Guardian website. Muammar Al Gaddafi, 40-year autocrat, said he would exterminate the greasy rats, the protestors, and that he would only leave Libya as a martyr, according to The Sun website. So far 640 Libyans have been confirmed dead, according to the Arab Times Online. Reginald Shaw, Political Science senior whose Jewish name is Betzalel Chanak, studies the Middle East both in his classes and on his own. He said he is deeply connected to the region, especially to Egypt, which he said he may one day want to visit. “Even though I’m not Egyptian, I also identify with Egypt (as) many Jewish tribes of lived there,” he said. He said if the Middle East as a whole were to become democratic, the result would be a better world. “We would operate in a way that would break down borders and open trade,” said Shaw. “There would be (more of) an interconnected world, an international community.” He said what the future holds for the region, however, will only come to show.
Q&A with Fulbright scholar Samia Hossain The Mercury reporter Nada Alasmi caught up with Fulbright scholar Samia Hossain through e-mail. Hossain graduated from UTD fall 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in International Political Economy. In May 2010, she received a nine-month Fulbright award to study Arabic in the American University of Cairo. Q. Where were you when the protest began? Where are you now? A. I happened to be in touring Morocco with a friend with whom I studied in Jordan. We were there for a week visiting different sites and cities. The grant I am studying under in Egypt (sent) a mandatory order of evacuation after the protests became heated in early February. Due to the evacuation order, I came up to Spain. Q. Will you return to Cairo? A. We will receive further instruction on March 1, including whether or not our grants will continue. I am hopeful to go back shortly after March 1 (and) will be resuming my Arabic studies when I return.
Q. Did you have any idea that the protests were going to take place? A. After Tunisia ousted (its president) Ben-Ali (in January), the air was palpable. It felt that gears were shifting, and something was finally going to give. I had a conversation with my landlord’s assistant,
Waleed, that morning. (He) told me it was Egypt’s turn, now or never, and we both agreed that something big was about to take place. The next day, a man set himself on fire in front of Parliament. The following day, two more. And the rest is history. Q. What do the Egyptians you know feel about Mobarak leaving? A. Egyptians I know are elated and still in disbelief. To be born under such a regime and have lived your whole life under it and wake up to this, it’s just unbelievable. Q. What is a typical day for you like in Cairo? A. I spend a lot of my time in Arabic class and doing Arabic homework, but on my free time I like to hang out at cafes with friends, grab some fresh juice and a taamiya (Egyptian falafel) to go, visit old mosques, and walk through the winding alleys around Al-Azhar (University). Q. What has surprised you the most about being there? Hossain A. What has most surprised me is, within the chaos and government corruption, there is such a care for human relationships in Egypt. Cabbies, competing with one another for fares and traffic space, address one another with endearing terms like “Basha” (from the Turkish “pasha”), “Captain,” and “Prince.” Siblings walk arm in arm, shopkeepers remember your name...it’s really beautiful
SSB goes platinum, receives sustainability cred UTD is the first university in the UT System to receive the highest rating of sustainability offered by the U.S. Green Building Council, or USGBC. The Student Services Building, or SSB, was awarded the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, or LEED, platinum rating for sustainability from the USGBC. The SSB is constructed from environmentally friendly materials, senses the amount of ambient lighting and adjusts energy usage accordingly and office lighting is motion activated to prevent energy waste, said Richard Dempsey, associate vice president for Business Affairs. Dempsey said sustainability is a significant value and desire to UTD’s student body, and the SSB reflects this value set.
photo by Aksheay Harshe
February 28, 2011
Architect hopes to inspire social change Rebecca DeButts
Before his assassination in the early 90’s, drug lord Pablo Escobar overran Colombia with the spread of drugs and crime. Since his death in 1993, the focus for the Colombian town of Medellín has been the establishment of community programs, an infrastructure and civil planning. Colombian architect Giancarlo Mazzanti has been an integral part of Medellín’s transformation. UTD was the second of two collegiate stops for Mazzanti who lectured on his previous work and his philosophy on architecture Feb. 22. Mazzanti also spoke at Colombia University in New York in Feb. 14. After an open, anonymous competition, Mazzanti was awarded the commission to design the library, Parque Biblioteca España, a project in conjunction with the civil planning initiative in Medellín. Mazzanti spoke about this project and other civil projects he participated in. Throughout the lecture, Mazzanti stressed the idea of using architecture as a vehicle for social change. The idea of producing social inclusiveness through architecture was important in the project for the library, and Mazzanti’s other projects. These designs were made specifically for places like
Colombia that experience a great presence of poverty and violence, Mazzanti said. “(I like to) think about architecture as a way to produce social inclusiveness in a specific context such as Colombia with a great presence of violence and poverty,” Mazzanti said, through his translator, Victor Pineres. “(These) are projects developed for the depressed areas of the city and places with a lot of poverty and violence.” Mazzanti described his work as variable. The design of each building discussed in his lecture, specifically the library in Medellín has the ability to expand and change according to the needs of the community. The ability of this building to be variable to what the space is needed for is useful in assuring that the library acts as a community center and place for public use. Discussed a great deal in his lecture, was the idea of developing buildings to be iconic. Mazzanti said that if this is achieved the community is able to develop a sense of pride and ownership in their community. The library itself is built over an area that Escobar and other drug-trafficers used to inhabit, a site that held a stigma to the members of the community. “It was a city that had a lot of violence and so our goal was to develop a
photo by Christopher Wang
Jennifer Holmes (left), Giancarlo Mazzanti and Sheila Pineres after attending Mazzanti’s lecture on architecture Feb. 22. Mazzanti spoke about his experiences creating buildings for developing countries. project that would change the perception, the image of that area and would become the symbol of that city’s transformation.” Mazzanti said. Mazzanti also discussed at great length the need for architecture to relate to the geography of its site. The library in Medellín was designed to stand in a valley surrounded by mountains. He wanted the building to become a part of the landscape and based his
design on his assessment of the topography of the location, said Mazzanti. “More than a building we wanted to present a landscape based on these geographic conditions.” Mazzanti said. “The project is born out of the mountain.” When designing, Mazzanti said he frequently uses diagrams to clarify the project and ensure that the project is left with the potential to be added to.
Many of his designs act like tessellations. Mazzanti stressed the idea of leaving a building looking unfinished so it can be added to if the community needs. To draw inspiration, Mazzanti said he reads a lot of philosophy and sociology and tries to understand what is going on the world presently in terms of human behavior. When looking into architectural movements of the
past for research and inspiration, Mazzanti said he is most interested in what the architects of the past were able to produce. “I’m very interested in what has been taught in the past but more from the standpoint of what they were able to produce, rather than forms and shapes.” Mazzanti said. “How they were able to impact human behavior more so than the style and design and shape of a building.”
February 28, 2011
Different strokes ATEC student, mom shows off art skills with help from neuroscience student, daughter Paul Dang
Lisa and Ashley Cardenas defy the old adage that says the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. While Lisa is exploring the realm of creativity as an Arts & Technology graduate student at UTD, Ashley studies the inner workings of the mind as a neuroscience sophomore. “We’re opposites basi-
cally,” Lisa said. Despite their opposite paths in life they are still supportive of each other’s choices. Ashley helped her mom prepare for her first solo art exhibition at the Eisemann Center, entitled “Metaphoric Landscapes: Then and Now.” Large multicolored paintings hung from the walls of Lisa’s studio in the Arts & Humanities classroom, a hint of what was to be expected at the Eisemann
Center. “I’m an abstract painter,” Lisa said. “I use oils and acrylics. Physically, I like moving around and expressing myself through paint. It’s about using my emotions. It could be dreams, it could be a just a feeling — it could be a scent.” Lisa believes she always had a knack for art, but didn’t commit to it until later in life.
see ART page 8
photo by Brandon Higgins
Lisa (left) and Ashley Cardenas at the opening of Lisa’s first art exhibit in the Eisemann Center, on display until March 7. Lisa is an ATEC graduate student and mother of Ashley, a neuroscience sophomore.
Like hipsters only more hip Show takes aim at recent culture with hilarious results John D. McCrary
absurd and the lives of the residents end up a lot more like the characters dreamt up in the Many of us here at sketches of Saturday the UTD have at least Night Live, which some sense of Texas Armisen has a penchant culture, so most people for. are aware of the camA good example of paign to “Keep Austin this is the couple that Weird.” is insistently Well while organic. Commentary Austin has They interto work at it, rogate their Fred Armisen waitress of SNL fame and go and indiefrom asking rocker Carrie what their Brownstein chicken ate, of Sleaterto looking Kinney think at its file that Portland (his name is just plain was Colin), weird, and to actually for the folks in Oregon going to the organic apparently weird comes farm outside the city easy. and end up joining the With their six-part polygamist compound IFC Original short- (led by SNL costar Jason based comedy series Sudeikis) for five years “Portlandia,” Armisen before returning to the and Brownstein take restaurant to ultimately all that’s strange about order the salmon. Portland and pack it into They take this formula dozens of hilarious char- of progressively more acters and skits. ludicrous circumstances They both play the and personalities and centerpieces of every implement it to the othsketch but manage to erwise mundane. make all their characters The brilliance of the unique and fully inhab- show lies in its ability ited. to draw out the ridicuThe show has a feel lous in so many situamuch like “The Office,” tions that have become with more naturalistic almost ordinary. acting and everything With the show seemingly normal at Brownstein and Armisen first glance, but things quickly spiral into the see HIPSTERS page 9 Contributor firstname.lastname@example.org
photo illustration by Brandon Higgins
Computer engineering freshman Joel Valesquez plans to spend the next few months creating each structure on UTD’s campus in the computer game Minecraft.
Freshman decides to create a 1-to-1 scale of UTD in video game Shane Damico
Managing Editor email@example.com
UTD is quite in tune with its digital side. Virtual on-campus events have been hosted in Second Life, course lectures have taken place in World of Warcraft and now one stu-
dent has decided to recreate UTD’s entire campus in Minecraft. Minecraft, a unique downloadable computer game, tosses players into a neverending landscape where everything is made of cubes. There are few rules to the game and players aren’t given any kind of instructions, but
the goal quickly becomes clear — mine and craft. “It’s like a virtual Lego land,” said Joel Velasquez, a computer engineering freshman who began minecrafting the UTD campus early February. “My roommate and I were discussing how it reminded us of Legos when we were kids, but (Minecraft)
has more freedom.” Players manipulate the game-world’s surface with pickaxes, shovels and other tools and then collect the hidden resources they find as they dig deeper into the world. An almost infinite amount of structures can
see MINECRAFT page 8
Indie flick ‘Brotherhood’ is exhilirhating, exhausting John D. McCrary
The darling of this year’s SXSW film festival, “Brotherhood” is an indie flick loaded with plenty of dumb adolescent testosterone. For most who decide to pursue Greek life the idea of joining a fraternity has a sense of prestige. The community, the tradition, the parties. Few agree to the grueling pro-
cess of hazing thinking they might be putting their lives in danger, because every so often initiation does lead to tragedy. “Brotherhood” explores the dark side of pledging with unwavering clarity and brutal honesty. In the opening scene, a red van flies through empty streets and behind a grungy gas station, with three pledges and the head of their fraternity sweating anxiously in the back. Once stopped, the older
student turns to the first pledge and hands him a gun, insisting that if he wants into the exclusive “sigma zeta chi,” he has to steal $19.10 from the clerk. The mask goes on and the young man lunges out of the car, only to return a few minutes later with a sack of cash in hand. Trick is that another member of the fraternity was waiting for him out-
see BROTHERS page 9
courtesy of indiemoviesonline.com
Fraternity pledge (left), is shot, but instead of having a doctor treat him a med student is called on to keep hazing situation under wraps.
February 28, 2011
continued from page 7 “I didn’t really get into it until seven years ago,” she said. For Ashley, her mother’s passion for painting never rubbed off on her. “I’m actually not artistic at all,” she laughed. Her mother said she was being too modest. “She’s a good photographer and doesn’t know it,” Lisa said. Ashley’s main focus in the analytical field of neuroscience diverges from her mother’s emotional connection with painting. Her mother appreciates this contrast. Lisa’s free-spirited demeanor gives Ashley all the independence a college student could ask for from a parent. “I think it’s great that she’s choosing what she wants to do,” Lisa said. “I don’t push anything. I give her space. I just let her be.” In addition to working in the Visual Arts Building and setting up artwork there, Ashley also helps her mother set up her paintings. Lisa appreciates her daughter’s involvement in her art. “It’s just exciting to know that she looks at me and she admires my stuff,” said her mother. “I didn’t know
that till recently. Ashley’s knowledge of psychology gives her mother additional insight into her abstract paintings. “She reads psychology textbooks,” Ashley said about her mom. “And a lot of her art is based on interpretations of dreams. It’s related in a way.” Lisa recalled a specific dream she had that inspired a serene blue painting she hung in her studio. “I saw water through a window and it was engulfing me, and there were these big fish,” she said. “I was on these black sofas and I looked around and there were these people and they were so calm. I just felt at peace.” Ashley relates this to her neuroscience studies. “It’s the subconscious coming out,” she said. Lisa said painting is oftentimes an escape from the outside world. She covers the windows on her studio door and blares techno music as she works, absorbed and undistracted. “I see the speed and I’m trying to find some kind of calmness,” she said. “I’m trying to balance how we live in such a fast paced chaotic world and trying to have a space of calm.” Family is an anchor for
photo by Christopher Wang
Lisa Cardenas’ paintings from her first professional exhibit went on display this month at the Eisemann Center. Cardenas has more than 20 pieces of art featured. Lisa, and she emphasized the role it plays in her art. Married for 26 years with three daughters, Lisa is the lone artist of the family. Her husband, an engineer, builds the frames for her
paintings while her daughters manage and promote her artwork. “I would not have anything to do with art if they were not supportive,” she said. “Everybody’s busy, but
Fraternity remembers a prohibition era legend
photo by Albert Ramirez
Feb. 24 fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon honored the death of their brother, Paddy Murphy, a prohibition era bootlegger. An annual tradition, the fraternity reenacts the funeral procession through campus.
we help each other out.” Her family was at her side for the opening of the exhibition, which was a major chapter in Lisa’s career as an artist because it showcased 26 of her paintings.
continued from page 7 be crafted using the game’s building blocks, but Velasquez wants to create UTD’s campus. Velasquez said after seeing other player creations online, such as the Enterprise from Star Trek and the Hogwarts campus from the Harry Potter film series, he felt inspired to create something of his own. His strategy was to begin on the outside and build inward. He started by creating the perimeter of the UTD campus, outlining his creation using Google Maps to measure the real lengths of each side of the campus. Because every block in Minecraft is equivalent to one meter cubed, Velasquez placed an ingame marker for every 10 meters, or 10 blocks, of land he cleared, to make sure the dimensions were perfect. “There’s one side
“It’s exciting,” Lisa said. “It’s probably my first step going in the professional direction.” Lisa’s abstract and surreal paintings will be open to interpretation by the public
that’s 1,600 meters. So I literally had to do that 160 times,” he said. While structural accuracy is the goal, some objects won’t be perfect. Doors on campus can’t be easily created using cubed meters, Velasquez said. He’ll only be able to make the dimensions as close as he can. Five days of work wasn’t enough to even finish creating the perimeter of campus, and Valasquez said at the rate he’s going, it will take him months to finish the entire project. But with a little help, he might be able to reach his goal sooner. “I was thinking about asking for more help soon because I obviously don’t know the campus too well because I’m a freshman,” he said. When he finally finishes the project, Velasquez said he plans to share his UTD game world online with the Minecraft community.
February 28, 2011
sis after the next carries the audience along like a candy binge, not quite side the store with money ever allowing the crash in hand. His commitment to happen until the very was tested with no harm end. done. The characters are simBut when the last ple, two dimensional frat pledge makes his plunge guys. into the unknown, with The central of which no brother to reveal the are played pitch perfectly punch line of the prank, by Jon Foster and Trevor he attempts Morgan. to rob the The pair Commentary store with manage to an unloaded capture the gun. feel of a From there desperately the film spibewildered rals out of average colcontrol, with lege student each new but that problem met ultimately with this same amounts to kind of piglittle more headed planthan everyning one might expect one yelling at one anothfrom a frat guy. er. The film, directed by That being said the Arlington native Will sometimes shrill acting is Canon, is an experiment in the film’s favor as it in stupidity within a per- manages to capture the fect storm of disaster. moment authentically. The film manages to This cautionary tale is capture all the electric- ultimately just as affectity, stress and frustration ing as it is exhausting. one could expect to find The ending packs a in the middle of all the powerful punch. accumulating catastroAs soon as it’s over all phes as they build on the horrors that flew past each other. at dizzyingly high speed This movie is frenetic begin to make sense leavand infuriating as the ing the audience with a boys attempt to avoid potent feeling of disgust having their traditional at the cocky and risky initiation ritual discov- nature of frat life. ered by the authorities By the time you’re done and make one bad deci- you might feel you’ve just sion after the next. been hazed yourself. “Brotherhood” may be furious but to its credit it is also fast at 70 minutes. “Brotherhood” So the somewhat unbelievable punch of one cricontinued from page 7
courtesy of Spinner.com
The pair of Carrie Brownstein (left) and Fred Armisen take IFC television show “Portlandia” to seemingly usual places with usual appliances. As part of the show this duo dresses up for skits to show sometimes forgotten items, such as dumpsters, in a new light of humor.
some perceptive humor in the preposterous nature of technology. Their most heavy handed satire is at the expense of hipster culture and the various fads coming and going throughout it.
thing from tattoos to clowning to double-decker continued from page 7 bikes. They go on to explore take aim primarily at hipart festivals, adult hide and ster culture and modern seek leagues and dumpster technology and do so divers, but some of their with astute insight that best characters are the makes all feminist that’s crazy bookand weird store At the end of the day it’s a couple a b o u t owners of hipsters making fun of their own Portland and the kind...but there is still plenty of surprisingly interior relatable. designfunny to go around. Whether ers who — John D. McCrary specialit’s installing Mindize in Fi, trying to “bird choose a cell phone plan The opening sequence art.” or composing a theme of the series is a song But while many cases song over voicemails the called “The Dream of the are simply the now cusduo manages to bring out Nineties” glorifying every- tomarily odd taken to the
extreme, some of their weirder subjects take them into the outlandish and somewhat uncomfortable. A lot of the characters seem like little more than an opportunity for Armisen to cross dress. So the show isn’t always for the traditional or faint of heart. At the end of the day, it’s a couple of hipsters making fun of their own kind and will probably be appreciated most by the hip, but for everyone else there is still plenty of funny to go around.
February 28, 2011
Baseball team tees off for 2011 season Comets baseball back home, 5-2 Bobby Karalla
Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
UTD’s baseball team returned from the Arizona Desert Classic with a 2-2 record against some of the top-ranked teams in the country. UTD beat Whitman College 11-1 behind a solid start from pitcher Marvin Prestridge and nationallyranked Pacific Lutheran 15-14. Outfielder Chase Brown had 10 total hits in the four games. The Comets (5-2) fell to nationally-ranked Linfield College and also George Fox University before returning home. Since the tournament, the Comets have also won against Texas Wesleyan and Arlington Baptist. Although they went 2-2 in Arizona, victories over ranked opponents in a tournament environment can help bring credibility to
the program and also build momentum amongst the players, said Head Coach Shane Shewmake. “Hopefully it just builds confidence and we just keep rolling, knowing that we can beat some of the best teams out there,” Shewmake said. The Arizona tournament ran from Feb. 10-13. In the weeks leading up to the tournament, the Richardson area saw ice and snow, which restricted the Comets to practicing inside. They could not fully practice at home, but were finally able to run normal practices once the team reached Arizona, Shewmake said. The win against Pacific Lutheran did not come easy, though. The Comets led 15-8 heading into the 9th inning, but No. 27 Pacific Lutheran scored six runs — including four off a grand slam — before finally
see BASEBALL page 11
photo by Albert Ramirez
Jake Wyand beats out a throw to first base against Bates College on Feb. 23. The Comets won the game in extra innings and started the season 2-0 at home after returning from a national tournament in Arizona.
In elite company Men win 20 games, ASC East title
Lady Comets win 20 games Scott, Smith lead women in historically successful season
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The UTD men’s basketball team is part of an exclusive club this year. The 2010-11 Comets were one of just 33 teams nationwide to finish the regular season with 20 or more wins. There are more than 300 schools with Division III basketball programs. “Twenty wins is just a great marker for our basketball program when you think about a 25-game season,” said head coach Terry Butterfield. “I think it puts us in really good company with some of the other teams around the nation. More than that, I’m really pleased for our guys because they’ve worked so hard to get to this point.” The Comets (20-5), won the ASC East, posting a 16-4 conference record. They have won the division for the second consecutive season and for the third time in program history. UTD also hosted the ASC Tournament Feb. 25-27. (For results, check www. utdmercury.com)
Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
photo by Ben Hawkins
Curtis Davis attempts a shot while LeTourneau forward Kendrae Carter attempts a steal Feb. 19 at the Activity Center. The Comets won the Senior Day game 83-47 in Davis’ final regular season home game. The team’s final four regular season games all came over an eight-day stretch, after the game against Mississippi College was rescheduled due to the weather. Butterfield called it a “pro-like schedule,” but admitted every team was thrown for a
Final Men’s ASC East Basketball Sandings
loop because of the unexpected storm. The first game of the tough stretch came against Louisiana College, a game the Comets won easily, 92-67. The team’s 92 point output was the highest total since Jan. 6 when UTD torched Concordia
University 101-74. “If we’re not dog tired by next Saturday, then we haven’t played very hard, because I expect three dogfights coming down the stretch here,” Butterfield said after the Louisiana
see MEN page 11
The Lady Comets won 20 games this season for the second time in the program’s history. Their 16 conference wins tied for the second-best finish in history as well, adding to head coach Polly Thomason’s quickly-established basketball program. The Lady Comets have now posted four consecutive winning seasons. Before the 2007-08 season, the team had never finished with a winning record. UTD also qualified for the ASC Tournament for the fifth consecutive season. Overall, the Lady Comets won 10 of their last 12 games in the regular season and clinched second place in the ASC East behind nationally-ranked Louisiana College. Louisiana handed the Lady Comets their first and only home loss of the season Feb. 12. Their only blemish on an otherwise stellar home court performance gave them a 12-1 record at home, improving on last year’s 10-2 mark.
While Louisiana defeated the Lady Comets 71-43, Thomason said the team was ready to move on to a crucial matchup with thirdplace Mississippi College Feb. 14. “After a loss like Saturday, this game is a character test for you. How are you going to handle that adverse situation?” Thomason said. “We didn’t have time to dwell on it and throw a pity party for ourselves. We had to get ready for Mississippi.” The Lady Comets overcame Tarneisha Scott’s foul trouble and Ashley George’s ankle injury to defeat the Mississippi College Lady Choctaws in a solid performance, winning 75-68. Lyndsey Smith picked up the scoring slack with 29 points, hitting five three-pointers. “Lyndsey is Lyndsey. It’s nice to see her really find her rhythm,” Thomason said after the game. “I could tell this was going to be her game. You just can see it when she’s focused.” That gave the Lady Comets their second victory over the Lady Choctaws this season,
see WOMEN page 11
Final Women’s ASC East ASC Rec. Basketball Standings
East Texas Baptist Univ.
Univ. of the Ozarks
Univ. of the Ozarks
East Texas Baptist Univ.
February 28, 2011
continued from page 10
continued from page 10
completing a sweep of one of their toughest division opponents. Louisiana College and University of the Ozarks were the only East teams to beat the Lady Comets this season. Scott continued her historic season against the UT Tyler Lady Patriots, padding her reputation as a great scorer by hitting a layup off a pass from Nikki Kosary with under seven seconds left in the game to give the Lady Comets a 67-66 victory. Just before Scott’s gamewinner, she missed two free throws that could have given them the lead. Thomason went right back at her, though. “That’s what you do with a good player. You just go right back at them and give them another opportunity,” Thomason said after the game. Scott and the Lady Comets made the most of that opportunity, clinching second place in the division. “We’re trying to build up some momentum and steam, so when we get to the tournament we’re ready to play,” Thomason said. “This was a great contest for us. We learned a lot about ourselves and learned how to win in a situation like this.” On Senior Day, the Lady Comets honored Scott and guard Tawni Ichimura. They represent the first class of women to leave UTD with a winning record each of their
game. He was right. The Comets’ next two games were decided by a combined four points as they took down the Mississippi College Choctaws and UT Tyler. The final few seconds of the game against the Choctaws were perhaps the most exciting and nerveracking moments of the season. Up 54-51 with 8.9 seconds left, leading scorer Chris Barnes missed two foul shots. The Comets missed four of six free throws over a 45-second stretch. Mississippi College then immediately hit a threepointer to tie the game. Brandon Greene tried a long lob pass down the court with five seconds left, and the Choctaws stole the pass. However, just like Chris Webber did for Michigan in the 1993 National Championship, the Choctaws called a timeout that they did not have and were given a technical foul. “Certainly that was a gift put in our lap, but Curtis Davis still had to step up and shoot the free throws and knock the free throws down,” Butterfield said after the game. Davis, third in the ASC in free throw percentage (84.5 percent), knocked down both free throws and Mississippi went on to miss a desperation shot as the Comets escaped with a
photo by Ben Hawkins
Senior Tawni Ichimura sprints down the court against LeTourneau University Feb. 19 at the Activity Center. The Lady Comets won 56-41 in Ichimura’s and Tarneisha Scott’s final game at home. The Lady Comets ended the season going 10-2 over their final 12 games. four seasons on the team. The game didn’t start off in an honorable way, as the Lady Comets committed 18 first half turnovers against LeTourneau, the worst team in the ASC East. However, they led 21-17 at halftime and pulled away in the second half, playing much more efficient basketball as they cruised to a 56-41 victory.
Thomason glowed when describing Scott and Ichimura. “There’s so much to say about them. They’re just two special women,” Thomason said. “I would love for them to stick around and play longer or be a part of our program. These two, you want more time with them, because they’re that special.”
I’ve seen (Tarneisha Scott and Tawni Ichimura) grow up from being little freshmen and quiet and shy, to being the leaders. They’ve done so many good things for the program. They’ve raised our bar of competitiveness. It’ll be sad to lose them but I’m glad they’ve had the senior year they’ve had. It’s exciting to see that. — Polly Thomason on women’s basketball seniors
gritty 56-54 win. “At this point in the year, you try to survive it and move on. That was as ugly as ugly can get,” Butterfield said. Mississippi was the only ASC East team to defeat UTD all season, as the Comets finished with an 11-1 record in-division. The next game was not as dramatic as it was terrifying for UTD. The Comets led the UT Tyler Patriots 75-63 with 2:15 left in the game, before the Patriots unloaded 11 straight points in 2:09 to bring the game to 75-74. Brandon Greene knocked down a free throw before Tyler missed a last-second shot and the Comets again came away victorious. “You want to go in to the tournament feeling confident, and feeling you’ve got some momentum,” Butterfield said. “When you go to war and you’re in a tussle like that, it can only help you. It can’t hurt you.” Butterfield was not pleased with the secondhalf defense though, as the Comets gave up 52 points over the final 20 minutes of the game. “How do you play such a great half defensively and then turn around and give them 52?” Butterfield said. “That doesn’t jive with me and I’m not happy about it, but I am happy that we won.” Immediately after the Tyler game, the Comets played LeTourneau University on
Senior Day, where seniors Greene, Davis and Wells Adams were honored. They could not have ended the season on a better, swifter note than they did against LeTourneau, winning in blowout fashion, 83-47. Barnes scored 30 points in 23 minutes, and shot 11-of-13 from the field in an extremely efficient performance. Barnes’ 84.6 percent shooting was good for the third-best single-game shooting percentage in UTD history. He led the ASC East in scoring (18.1 PPG) and was third overall in the ASC. Notes: Barnes’ 18.1 PPG is the third-best single-season scoring average in UTD history… Davis has made 87 free throws, tied for sixthmost in a single season in UTD history. He made 88 last season, fifth-most all time… This year’s team has the second-highest points per game average (75.2) of any team in UTD history.
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Wells (Adams) has been just a tremendous team person and fun to work with. He’s got very high character and he’s a yes-sir no-sir kind of guy. Brandon (Greene) and I have been together for five years. We didn’t recruit him. He recruited himself to UTD and I’m sure glad he did. It didn’t take me long to figure out he was pretty good. Curtis (Davis) came as a transfer from McMurry. He was looking for a new opportunity. I didn’t know much about Curtis either. I’m just ecstatic that he came here. I’m so glad he did. I don’t know where we’d be without him. —Terry Butterfield on men’s basketball seniors
continued from page 10 grounding into a gameending double play. While Shewmake said they survived a nail-biter in a game that should not have been that close, the experience can help the team hold onto leads in the future. “You like to go ahead and shut people down, but it shows that you just keep playing, and even if they’re scoring runs, just make good pitches and make routine plays and normally you’ll get out of a jam like that,” Shewmake said. Another issue the Comets faced was a hamstring injury to third baseman Joseph Killgore that kept him out of the last two games. He has not played since, but both Killgore and Shewmake said he should be ready by March. “We’re wanting to make sure we have him ready for conference, so we’re not going to rush him back,” Shewmake said. Killgore tweaked one hamstring before the season started, recovered and then immediately hurt the other in Arizona. Shewmake siad once Killgore returns, he will hit clean-up. But the Comets have been fine without him in the last two games. Prestridge had another
strong outing against Texas Wesleyan in a 4-3 Comets victory, improving to 2-0 on the season. Through his first two starts, Prestridge has thrown 12 innings, given up just three earned runs and struck out 17 batters. It was Derek Dallas’ turn to pitch Feb. 17 against Arlington Baptist. Dallas threw eight strong, quick innings, gave up one unearned run and fanned seven batters. The Comets stepped up the offense, scoring 14 in their 2011 home debut and walked away with a 14-1 victory. The first four Comet runs came on Kyle Guest’s first inning grand slam, which came on a full count. Guest saw the pitch and drilled it over the fence in left field to give the Comets a 4-0 lead, and they never looked back, adding four more runs over the next three innings. Shewmake said the slam was a great way to start the game. “Sometimes that’s what you need. Momentum carries you a long way, and that was huge,” Shewmake said. The Comets then won in extra innings against Bates on Feb. 23. With a 5-3 lead in the top of the 9th inning, Max Willard took the mound
and gave up two runs. The Comets could not score in their half of the 9th, so the game went to extra innings. In the top of the 10th, Willard gave up just one hit and got three quick outs. Grant Friddell led off the bottom of the 10th with a walk, then was moved to second base by Clint Dunham’s sacrifice bunt. Friddell immediately scored off Guest’s gamewinning single. It was Friddell’s third run of the game. He also had three RBI, two coming on a double in the first inning. Friddell finished the game 2-3. Dunham and Jacob Starnes both had two hits, and Guest’s walkoff was his first hit of the afternoon. Willard gave up two runs in two innings and picked up the win. Cameron Brown got the start for the Comets. He threw five innings and gave up one unearned run. The Comets improved to 5-2 on the season after the victory and improved to 2-0 at home. They opened up conference play Feb. 25 against McMurry, and played a double-header Feb. 26. Note: The Comets’ stats and record are as of Feb. 25 before the three-game series against McMurry.
Tennis season underway
photos by Ben Hawkins
UTD tennis began its 2011 campaign at home Feb 12. against Louisiana College with a 9-0 victory, then fell 6-3 to Mississippi College on Feb. 19.
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February 28, 2011
The Distant Future
by Jake Corona
The First Candy
Story of My Life
February 28, 2011
by Laura-Jane Cunningham
If you want to submit comics to The Mercury, email graphics@utdmercury. com to get instructions and deadlines for each issue. Or send us a file of the comic you want printed. Itâ€™s that easy.
Vertically Challenged by Michelle Ngyuen
College Food Pyramid
by Brandon Higgins
February 28, 2011
SU Mall comes to life
photos by Ben Hawkins
International Chess Grand Master Julio Sadorra plays blindfolded against several challengers during ChessFest on Feb. 22 in the SU mall.
photos by Akshay Hershe
A student practices parkour around campus. Parkour is the discipline of traversing a path and overcoming any obstacle by adapting oneâ€™s movement to the environment.
Students place red dots on posts with events they identify with, during the UTD chapterâ€™s of the InterVarsity C h r i s t i a n Fellowship. The group spoke to students about difficult issues and events pertaining to young college students.
photos by Albert Ramirez
photos by Akshay Hershe
Daniel Young, a computer science senior, shows off some of his Hackey Sack skills in the SU mall.