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Volume 65, No. 10

October 30, 2008

SINCE 1943

T ADMINISTRATION

President Cardenas under investigation By Brian Silva THE PAN AMERICAN The University of Texas System has launched an investigation into allegations of plagiarism in the 1974 dissertation of President Blandina “Bambi” Cardenas. The investigation came about after a packet from an anonymous sender was received by the UT System, as well as several media outlets, last

week. The packet included 100 examples of supposed citation misuse. “The University of Texas System has launched its own review of the passages called into question,” UT System Assistant Director of Public Affairs Matthew Flores said. “We’re moving expeditiously and hope to have the review completed as soon as is possible…but it will take some time.”

Flores said the received a doctorreview of the alle- “The University of Texas ate in educational gations will be System has launched its leadership. made public once own review of the passages University it’s completed. Relations and the called into question...” Cardenas, who UTPA Office of has been president the President of UTPA since Matthew Flores declined to com2004, wrote her UT System assistant director ment and referred dissertation at the of public affairs all questions to the University of UT System, as per Massachusetts at Amherst, where she request by UT System officials.

Flores confirmed that media outlets also received the packet, but that information included in the various packets was not all the same for each recipient. Multiple sources confirm the packet claims to have been authored by faculty from UTPA. “The executives of the UT System have been made aware of these allegations,” Flores said. “They and the

SEE CARDENAS || PAGE 5

T LOCAL POLITICS

Early voting rises, record anticipated By Ana Villaurrutia THE PAN AMERICAN

Roxy Solis/THE PAN AMERICAN

VOTER TURNOUT - Several campaigners, including Eddie Zamora (fourth from left), stand outside the Elections Administration Office in Edinburg Wednesday. The last day to vote early is Oct. 31.

T ACADEMICS

Danielle Valadez was upset at her voting area in the 2008 primaries held last March. Though she registered in time, long lines and miscommunications made it impossible for her to cast her ballot. Valadez however found early voting at The University of Texas-Pan American library a welcome alternative, because she only had to wait a minute to get to the booth. Early voting began Oct. 20 and will end Friday. “I wanted to make sure I was in the right place,” said the 25-year-old psychology major. “But they sent me to the wrong place and when we finally

got there it ended up turning into a four-hour wait.” In Texas, early voting provides 13.5 million registered voters two weeks to cast their ballots instead of having to do their thing under packed conditions Nov. 4. Early voting also allows people to vote in any precinct in the voter’s county. The UTPA library is just one of 27 polling locations in Hidalgo County and one of three in Edinburg that provides early voting. At the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court last Tuesday, Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade urged people to choose early.

SEE EARLY || PAGE 5

T ADMINISTRATION

University unveils Ph.D UTPA PD police chief Miller fired in Rehab Counseling By Brian Silva THE PAN AMERICAN

By J.R. Ortega THE PAN AMERICAN The University of Texas-Pan American will soon offer a Doctorate of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Counseling, the only one of its kind in the state. The decision came last Thursday after the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved what will be the university’s third doctoral program. The program, which is etched to

SPECIAL INDEX

begin fall 2009, was first proposed to the UT System in 2005 after nearly four years of discussion and deliberation. Rehabilitation Graduate Coordinator Irmo Marini, who will oversee the doctoral program once it takes flight, said the process has been lengthy but well worth the wait. “It has been a humbling experience,” Marini said. “It’s a unique opportunity that took so much to put

SEE REHAB || PAGE 5

NEWS

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University of Texas-Pan American Police Chief Howard Miller was fired as the police department’s top boss and officially left the position on Oct. 3. At the moment, Miller’s duties are being fulfilled by Acting Police Chief James Loya, who is the former assistant police chief of the department, according to Matthew Flores, the assistant director of public affairs for the UT System. Loya will fill the spot until a new police chief is hired. “The termination came after an

OPINION

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investigation into some allegations that were made against him,” Flores said. The outcome of the investigation resulted in his firing by the UT System. Due to the issue being a university personnel matter, details were not released about what kind of allegations were made against Miller. Flores said all UT System police chiefs are named at the UT System level, and are hired as a collaborative effort between the system and UTPA officials. The UTPA Police Department resides under the university’s Division

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

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of Business Affairs. Currently, the division is in the process of developing a committee that will search for the new police chief. The group will consist of staff, students and a member of the UT System. They will be charged with looking over applications and providing a recommendation for a police chief that fits UTPA’s needs. Flores said there is no timetable for the convening of the committee, but said a new police chief will be hired in a timely manner. Miller had been with the university for nearly 16 years.

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Dates to Know:

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Self-defense training for women

Election Day

Monday through Oct. 31. 8 a.m. 5 p.m. UTPA Library

Tuesday Various poll locations October 30, 2008

THE PAN AMERICAN

T CAMPUS

Political polls possess various success rates By J.R. Ortega THE PAN AMERICAN As Election Day creeps into the picture, numerous polls have begun to illustrate the flux between Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Republican John McCain. While scientific polls from Web sites like Pollster.com are pretty accurate with small margins of error, some say the decision is in the air, with nothing is set in stone until Nov. 4. But does the mixed race of candidate Obama enter into the mix? Jessica Lavariega-Monforti, assistant professor of political science, said it is a waiting game and that while some scientific polls are quite reliable, this election could be visited by the so-called Bradley Effect. This effect is named for the early 1980s black Los Angeles politician Tom Bradley, who seemed to be leading in the polls for an election until losing at the end. “The primary election polls were

pretty accurate but we don’t have a predecessor for this,” she explained about how the Bradley Effect may or may not alter one’s vote when it comes to the presidential election, since it has not been seen before with a presidential election. The Effect suggests many white voters tend to answer polls in a socially desirable way, to avoid possible criticism, only to pull the lever against a black candidate in the privacy of the voting booth. Lavariega-Monforti said that she and Robert Wrinkle, a professor of political science, are conducting a election exit poll to check for poll accuracy. “This is currently under way and will be completed on Nov. 4,” she explained. The exit poll will be counting all the voters in Hidalgo County and comparing it the 2004 presidential election. Political Science Professor Adam McGlynn teaches a public opinion and voting behavior course which covers

how voting habits for past elections. 1,500, and simple dishonesty (on He said there are many factors that go behalf of the voter) in polling. into these surveys. He added that students in his “I believe the Bradley Effect will course seem to always realize much come into play in this election,” he said. more after the completion of the work. “Despite polls showing Obama up by “Students always seem surprised by five to eight points, I think his margin of what they learn, especially when it victory will be smaller. However, the comes to how many ways there are to horrendous state of our economy may doctor poll results,” he commented. be limiting the “People really need impact of the “I believe the Bradley Effect to read the accomBradley Effect, as will come into play in this panying documensome people will tation for all polls care more about election.” which explain how their own pocketthe poll is conductbook than a candi- Adam McGlynn ed before they Assistant professor of date’s race.” place any confiMcGlynn said political science dence in it.” scientific polls, Hidalgo County which select a random group sample has achieved a much higher early votfrom the community, usually have a ing turnout than it had for the 2004 plus-or-minus three or four in terms presidential election. One of the comof margin of error. He added some pelling elements of the cycle is the factors that result in skewed results factor of young voters at the polls. include the fact that the majority of So far the voter turnout shows that polls sample only a group of 1,200 to Hidalgo County may break the record

from 2004 which had 55,634 on Election Day, according to the Hidalgo County Election office Web site. In spite of the possible Bradley Effect, students like Elizabeth Kennedy, a 20-year-old criminal justice major from Weslaco, said it is obvious it will be a tight race. “It’s a very close race because the candidates are very good. One is a sweet talker (Obama) and the other has good issues (McCain),” the junior said about her observations thus far. Kennedy added that she rarely looks at polls from the some media, like CNN and Fox, because she feels they are biased toward one candidate. “I do follow the polls and I try to check the news regularly,” she explained. “It depends on who you are looking at, I rely on the Drudge Report because CNN tends to be Democratic and as much as I like Fox News, it’s also very Republican. The Drudge Report concentrates on the facts.”

T ACADEMICS

Student newspaper marks 65-year milestone By Adriana Acosta THE PAN AMERICAN Last week, The Pan American celebrated its 65th year with a dinner celebration at the university’s Ballroom. Nearly 100 people attended the event, which featured a keynote speech by Linda Yanez, Senior justice of the 13th Court of Appeals, and remarks from university vice president John Edwards. Students at The University of Texas-Pan American have for six decades channeled their love of writing, photography and editing into producing a newspaper for the student body. The Pan American focuses on campus life, as well as community life around the Valley; issues concerning students that might impact their daily lives. J.R. Ortega, editor-in-chief, said he’s just doing what others have in the past, keeping the newspaper rolling. “It feels good to know there is a long line of editors that have managed the paper and have kept it going,” he said. Gregory Selber, associate professor of communication and The Pan American newspaper adviser since 2001, remembers his first year as being fun but crazy. “I inherited a program that was in disarray. We had four employees, the paper came out twice a week, and had a tiny budget and a terrible client for printing the paper,” he explained. “We

had to start from scratch and put together some long-term plans which started to come together a few years down the line.” By 2004, the budget for the newspaper had been increased, more people were hired, and a new bid to get a better printing company was accomplished. Today, The Pan American newspaper has over 25 paid staff members and numerous volunteers, and has regained the award-winning label it carried in past decades. Graphic designer editor Roy Bazan said he has learned much while working for the product. “My knowledge for designing has expanded tremendously,” he explained. “I like to take stories and make them visually appealing.” Creating a newspaper is a challenge in itself, and putting stories together and making sure everyone completes their tasks on time is a challenge Selber sees with every issue. “It is the weekly miracle, as opposed to the daily paper,” he said. “My challenge is to tweak the system and make sure we are consistent, correct, and diligent.” Through the years, the paper staff has gone from cutting and pasting layout with glue and scissors, typing articles on typewriters to now - using digital software applications to create the newspaper. Sports editor Ramiro Paez said producing The Pan American is

DONNA PAZDERA

THE OLD AND NEW - Former and current The Pan American staffers met Saturday in celebration of the student publication’s 65th anniversary. surely easier now. “Technology does make everything simple,” he noted. “If I was living in a time where we did not use computers, our work environment would be much different.” Now with technology on the tips of everyone’s fingers, The Pan American is working on bringing the newspaper online. “We are hoping to finally get on multimedia,” said Ortega. “It has been very difficult, but we should be up and running by this spring.”

Selber added that the group is currently working on adding video clips to the paper’s Web site and said The Pan American needs to get on board with new technology. “It will enable us to transcend the time lag a weekly paper has to labor under,” he commented. Ortega said the new Web site will be hosted by MTV network and updated daily. For now, the celebration and the party have come and gone, and this week another issue of the newspaper

has been created. Everyone will continue to go on assignment, write articles and craft a newspaper which staff members hope is acceptable to the university community. And Selber could not agree more with that, concluding, “To me, it is business as usual. Even though we planned a nice celebration, I tend to look forward and not backward…the work is our reward.” To read copies of this semester’s issues of The Pan American go to www.myspace.com/thepanamerican.


October 30, 2008

NEWS

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T LOCAL POLITICS

Female politicians aim to shorten gender gap By Abigail Muniz THE PAN AMERICAN Dori Contreras Garza remembers becoming a mother at the age of 21 while obtaining her business administration and accounting degree from the University of Texas at Austin. While maintaining a life as a politician and mother of three was difficult, she said it was not impossible. “It is truly something that can be

done,” Garza said. “It’s just a matter of finding a balance.” Garza is currently running for the 13th Court of Appeals, and like many other women, has had to wear multiple hats including that of mother and judge. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a record 68 million women were employed in the United States in 2007, 75 percent in full-time jobs. Linda Yañez, senior justice on the

court Garza is seeking to join, is vying for a place on the Texas Supreme Court, and said she has found herself in a similar position. As a mother, grandmother, judge and lawyer, Yañez said she had less time to spare because of her choice to become a public figure. She added that women have to sacrifice in order to get ahead, but they can’t be everywhere at once. “We can’t have it all,” Yañez said.

“Life is about choices.” Her position as an influential judge has also influenced her daughters’ careers, as they are both attorneys. “They’re following my footsteps without me pushing it on them,” Yañez said. “These are their own choices… but when we make these choices somebody has to sacrifice.” PREPARING THE WAY As a woman who became the first

Hispanic female to hold an appellate judgeship in Texas - and who hopes to become the first Latina to serve on the Texas Supreme Court - Yañez has observed that young Hispanic women still need to work more diligently to obtain the education needed to be in the competitive world of politics or the corporate world. “Women in the younger generation are not graduating from high school

SEE WOMEN || PAGE 6

T TECHNOLOGY

Digital age impacts election campaigns By Ana Villaurrutia THE PAN AMERICAN The television was the new tool in the 1960 presidential election. After John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon faced off in their televised debate, Kennedy’s fresh face forever changed how politics and politicians alike were viewed. Today’s political campaigns have evolved beyond the candidate’s television exposure in the Internet generation, as candidates have spent more money each cycle to try and reach a much larger demographic through a multiple media blitz. They use various means to raise awareness, and also money. University of Texas-Pan American Political Science Professor Edward Jackson said the most crucial element of fundraising for Presidential candidate Barack Obama was his Web site. “He (Obama) realizes how important the Internet can be, because he’s grown up with it,” Jackson said.

Obama’s Web site features price options to donate $15 or $50 and up to $2,300. Jackson said he believes periodic contributions of these small donations have added to Obama’s budget over time. He now boasts $800 million in fund raising, including a record $150 million in September. “I can get you to donate me an amount of money that seems realistic and literally raise millions of dollars,” said Jackson. “Campaign money is really sky rocketing, to run for an appellate judge in Texas is costing $200,000 plus…you have to have money to be a politician.” Researchers have always insisted that the Internet is a democratizing medium that offers the chance for grassroots activism. Jackson sees it as a way of equalizing the financial gap between wealthier candidates and candidates with less financial clout. “The Internet has created accessi-

SEE CAMPAIGN || PAGE 6

Ben Briones/THE PAN AMERICAN

DOOR TO DOOR - Retired teacher Tony Garza of McAllen listens to (from left) Rosalie Weisfeld, Celeste Cantu and Judith Benter as they go down Thunderbird Avenue in McAllen to re-elect State Rep. Veronica Gonzales.

T CAMPUS

Political organizations ‘elect’ for young voter turnout thing: getting people to vote no matter what their political standing may be. “Our main goal is to promote politWith only a few days left until ical involvement, political awareness Election Day, two organizations at and to increase voter turnout,” The University of Texas-Pan Martinez said. Similarly, Morgado notes that one American have been hard at work organizing and carrying out activities of the important issues the before the momentous day arrives. Republican organization has been focusing on is getting students and the The Young c o m m u n i t y Democrats at UTPA as well as “We’re looking for voting involved. He feels that the The Republicans at numbers to be record high group had tried to UTPA will contin- this time around.” take the “initiative ue their steadfast in saying ‘let’s eduduties until the day Tony Martinez cate, let’s promote before the election. Young Democrats president voting, let’s make it Despite conpart of our culture.’ trary ideological That’s what we’re trying to do, proviews, Isidroalex Morgado, president for The Republicans at UTPA and mote that,” Morgado said. And activities that each group has Tony Martinez, the Young Democrats sponsored is evidence for their at UTPA president, do agree on one

By Abigail Muniz THE PAN AMERICAN

claims. On Nov. 3, both will be hosting events to further their cause. The Democrat group will have Rock the Vote at Cine El Rey at 7 p.m. where local bands will headline. The Republican organization will host The Great Party Debate which will include representatives from the Student Government Association as well as various fraternities and sororities on campus. DIFFERING VIEWS The groups believe it’s important for the community to become educated and vote, and are both holding activities to increase party and voter awareness. But the similarities end there. Martinez said that this election is momentous for Democrats, signifying an opportunity for a shift in power.

“We’re pushing a straight ticket,” Martinez said. “Make it simple: vote for change.” Morgado on the other hand, feels that it has been important this year to clarify to students what Republicans really stand for. “I want to transmit our perspective to students,” Morgado said. “A lot of times students think that to be Republican you must be rich and White, and that’s not true… we want to get students to see what a conservative perspective is like.” Another thing the student activist organizations agree on is the fact that they have both seen the political movement on campus increase, including seeing more students vote. “Students right now are talking about it,” Morgado said. “It’s definitely something right now that students are passionate about.”

Similarly, Martinez remembers previous elections, saying that in the past, the university might not have been a hot spot for politics. “I was here ‘04 and ’06 and the excitement that is felt now, is there,” Martinez said. “There’s a lot more participation and there’s a lot more questions.” According to the Hidalgo County official Web site, there are 29 early voting locations throughout the county. As of Oct. 28, the UTPA library location had seen 2,682 votes cast there and was in ninth place for most votes. With a student body of over 17,000, Martinez feels that it is truly momentous to be up in the rankings with the rest of Hidalgo County voting stations. “We’re looking for voting numbers to be record high this time around,” he said.


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October 30, 2008


CARDENAS continued from Page 1

UT System take these allegations very seriously.” Flores said the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Academic Affairs for the UT System will convene a committee to look into the citation allegations. “There will be a thorough process for looking into these allegations,” Flores continued. He also commented that Cardenas will function in her regular capacity while the review is under way. No timetable was given as to when the review committee would convene or conclude its investigation.

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NEWS

October 30, 2008

John Sargent, UTPA associate professor of management, said he believes the allegations should be made public so he and other faculty can see for themselves the truth behind the citations. “There are whistleblower laws out there which protect these people providing the anonymous allegations,” Sargent said. “But, the information must be put out there for the public to view.” After viewing information and excerpts provided by several media outlets, Sargent said he doesn’t see anything that’s extremely damaging.

“You have to wonder about the ideas from other scholars, and the motivation for someone looking in rule generally states that any such detail at a dissertation from the original work used by a secondary 1970s,” he commented. “I don’t think author should include a footnote it’s an appropriate establishing standard.” “I’m sure she’ll handle this where the origiThe authors of the nal material packet allege that in well... she’s always been a came from. “It needs to be 100 examples, person of high integrity.” Cardenas violated the evaluated in the rule that stipulates a John Sargent broader context of the dissertation,” citation, or attribu- Assoc. prof. of management tion, for copying Sargent said. seven or more conSargent added secutive words by the original author. that Cardenas needs to act in an open A dissertation often employs and transparent way in handling the

review. “I’m sure she’ll handle this well… she’s always been a person of high integrity,” he said. During July 2007 Cardenas was under review by the UT System for supposed misuse of funds. The review concluded that Cardenas had misused $7,000 of university funds for various work projects done on her house. But an audit from the UT System concluded that Cardenas did not try to personally benefit from the use of university resources, but rather ran into billing/reimbursement confusion.

EARLY continued from Page 1 “This is a most important election,” Andrade said. “42,000 (people) have already cast their votes but you will be waiting in line if you don’t early-vote.” Andrade also mentioned that while early voting is supposed to be a more convenient option, some states are still experiencing voter machine glitches, including machine miscalculations and cast ballots being switched internally from one candidate to another. “Thank God Texas is good,” she said about the minimal amount of sna-

fus at early voting booths statewide. 50,000 early votes were counted, a 40 Despite the compercent increase puter glitches, recent from the previous early voting numbers “But they sent me to the primary election. have suggested a wrong place and when we This presidentrend. Of 300,000 finally got there it ended up tial election has registered Hidalgo turning into a four-hour already exceeded County voters, more the primaries. have started voting wait.” More than 56,000 before the general Danielle Valadez people have election date. voted, according Psychology major In the February to an unofficial early-voting activity, report from the

Hidalgo County Department. With a couple of days left in the election, more voters are early-voting in this presidential election than in 2004 according to an early voting comparison from the Hidalgo County Election Department. Danny Rios, 449th District Judge who is currently up for re-election, said at a Rock the Vote Rally at UTPA this Tuesday that the increase can be accounted for by a continuing rise in registered voters.

About 213 million Americans are registered to vote in the upcoming election according to a CNN report. “My understanding is in 2004 we had a huge increase in registered votes,” Rios said. More than half the country takes part in early voting and in the 2004 general elections, 60 percent of Americans voted. That number is expected to grow this year with the influx of new registered voters.

Nov. 4 Polling Locations Donna Boys & Girls Club 307 Miller Ave.

Mission Veterans Memorial High School 700 E. 2 Mile Line

Pharr North High School 500 E. Earling Road

Edinburg Fire Station 212 W. McIntyre St.

Alamo Franklin Elementary School 814 Bird St.

Hidalgo City Hall 704 E. Texano

McAllen Tax Office 311 N. 15th St.

Edinburg North High School 3101 North Closner

La Joya Housing Authority 945 S. Leo Ave.

REHAB continued from Page 1 together.” Marini said back in early 2000, former president Miguel Nevarez and provost Rodolfo Arevalo came to the department of rehabilitation with the idea to one day launch a doctoral program of some sort. In the past 15 years, the department has received roughly $10 million through externally funded grants such as the U.S. Department of Rehabilitation and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. These grants, Marini said, only pushed administration to have the department of rehabilitation to fight for a doctoral program. “This has laid a really good foundation for starting a Ph.D program (in this area),” he explained. Marini first came on board at UTPA in 1996 to help create the rehabilitation graduate program.

Now that the ground work has been laid, Marini said the next step, which will take several months, is to create the “infrastructure” of the program by preparing the application process, manuals and setting up coursework. “The basic foundation for running the program (has been laid), it’s not going to be difficult (to create the infrastructure) but it will be a lot of work,” he said. Rick Mireles, 2002 alumni of the master’s rehabilitation program, said he had long heard about the possibility for a doctorate program. “It’s been a long dream of mine to obtain my Ph.D,” he explained. “I’ve looked at schools in the U.S. but wanted to see what transpires here in the Valley.” Mireles, who has known Marini for seven years, said that the graduate coordinator’s determination has really

helped paid off. “He’s been adamant about the university approving this program and has gone above and beyond getting this Ph.D program,” he said. “We need people like that here in the Valley.” The program is a 66-hour course load with 12 hours of doctoral level research statistics, 12 hours of dissertation and 15 hours of electives. Marini said with 10 full-time tenure tracked professors, the rehabilitation counseling program is the 10th largest in the country and will do well once the program is fully under way. “It’s a strength having a strong faculty,” he said. In the past three years, the rehabilitation department has put out 33 journal articles, 17 book chapters and has held numerous rehabilitation counseling presentations on the state, national and international level. These accomplishments are what

ranked the UTPA rehabilitation counseling program No. 24 of America’s Best Graduate Schools in the “U.S. News and World Report 2009.” Bruce Reed, dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services, said the program would be of great asset to rehabilitation program. “This is not only a big celebration

for the department or college but for the university,” he said. Reed added that through the Ph.D program, graduates will be prepared to teach after receiving their degree. UTPA currently has two other doctoral programs, doctorate of education in educational leadership and doctorate of business.

Ph.D of Rehabilitation Counseling     

GRE Letters of reference Faculty interviews 3.25 GPA or higher Two years rehabilitation experience

**Applications will be ready in Spring 2009 Contact the Department of Rehabilitation (956) 316-7036


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NEWS

October 30, 2008

WOMEN continued from Page 3 and graduating from college and getting into professional schools at the level that is equal to our population,” she said. A U.S. Census report found that 2.9 percent of Hispanic women had advanced degrees. Yañez said she believes that Latina women still face challenges when it comes to gaining positions of power politics or the corporate world because of that lack of education. “We still are not reaching the educational levels that are parallel with our population,” Yanez said. “We still have a long way to go.” Veronica Gonzales, State Representative for District 41 and running for re-election from the Democrat ticket Nov. 4, advises

 TIDBIT

Of 100 seats in the U.S. Senate, only 16 are held by women.

young women with high expectations to avoid being discouraged. “Don’t think you’re not capable,” Gonzales stressed. “You’ve got to believe in yourself.” She feels now is the time for women politicians to start making their way to take higher positions in politics. “The issues that get brought to the forefront are issues dealing with women, such as healthcare for women,” Gonzales said. “The more women we elect, the more issues that concern them will be brought up front.” Yañez admits that over the years, she is slowly seeing more women obtain desirable positions whether it be in local politics or the corporate world. She credits that to eager women who want change and who overcame the obstacles that are still present. “We have to overcome poverty, we have to overcome domestic violence issues, we have to overcome sexual discrimination in the workplace…those are all still there, it’s just that now we have more aggressive women that are fighting those,” Yañez said.

Ben Briones/THE PAN AMERICAN

PROMOTING CHANGE - Linda Yañez, senior justice for the 13th Court of Appeals, takes time off the campaign trail to address students as the keynote speaker Saturday for The Pan American newspaper’s 65th anniversary dinner. Yañez is currently vying for a spot on the Texas Supreme Court.

CAMPAIGN continued from Page 3  CAMPAIGN FUNDRAISING Villalobos, Javier

Democrat Running for State Rep. District 41

Period Covered: 10/07/2008 - 10/27/2008 Total Political Contributions $8,165.00 Gonzales, Veronica

Democrat Running for State Rep. District 41

Period Covered: 09/26/2008 - 10/25/2008 Total Political Contributions $70,428.65

Rios, Daniel G.

Republican Running for 449th District Court Judge

Period Covered: 10/05/2008 - 10/27/2008 Total Political Contributions $6,625.00 Yanez, Linda R. Period Covered: 09/26/2008 - 10/25/2008 Total Political Contributions $77,138.00

Democrat Running for Texas Supreme Court Place 8 Information from ethics.state.tx.us

bility and it might create an era where you don’t have to be a multi-millionaire, you can actually be elected on your competence…you can have a Web site and raise the money,” he explained. Linda Yañez, senior justice of 13th Court of Appeals, agreed that the disparity of money between certain candidates is a drawback in campaigning. “Unfortunately money is the big engine that runs the campaign. People with money have an advantage,” Yanez said. So far, John McCain and Obama have each earned $2.4 billion in fundraising. CAMPAIGN ANNOYANCES Political efforts have also used

new technology to communicate and expose the candidate to the American voter through e-mails, texts, YouTube video ads, and Web sites. But with that good comes some bad. Messages have reached massive amounts of people, and as Election Day nears, some people feel inundated. Melanie Lerma, a 19-year-old junior biology major at UTPA, said she usually ignores campaign annoyances such as political ads on the Internet. “It’s more competitive,” the Sharyland native said. “I’m not really interested in it (campaign), I already know who I’m going to vote for.” Texas State Representative for District 41, Veronica Gonzales, said she agrees that campaigns have

become more aggressive, especially in terms of attack ads, which have been released at record speed and volume in 2008. “I think campaigns have gotten nastier, people can make an attack ad faster,” Gonzales said. “Technology has gotten so fast that within days you are receiving so many messages from the candidate through e-mail or text, it can get crazy.” Yañez agreed the Internet can be troublesome, especially when it comes to separating fact and rumor. “The Internet is not regulated for content, so people can say whatever they want, meaning that people have to be more intelligent in what we believe,” Yañez said. “Rumors fly, information is completely inaccurate.”

Brian Silva/THE PAN AMERICAN

ON CAMPUS CAMPAIGN - Sam Houston, vying for Place 7 on the Texas Supreme Court, visited UTPA during the Rock the Vote Rally held at the Chapel Lawn Tuesday. The event was held to allow students meet candidates on the ballot.


UTPA Generations: The Series Watch for Bronc history lessons intermittently throughout the semester Aug. 25 - Introduction Sept. 4 - ‘20s & ‘30s Sept. 25 - ‘40s & ‘50s

October 30, 2008

THE PAN AMERICAN

Oct. 16 - ‘60s & ‘70s Nov. 6 - ‘80s & ‘90s Dec. 3 - 2000 & Beyond

Page 7

T OPINION

Inability to vote brings horror, relief J.R. Ortega EDITOR IN CHIEF

The timing was perfect for Halloween. It gave me a fright and it wasn’t a ghost or something demonic, it was what happened when I went to vote; I wasn’t registered. I had signed up with a girl, I believe it was two or three days prior to the registration cut, but for some reason my registration never went through. Like that, the opportunity to vote for change was ripped away from me. I was sad, frustrated but then strangely felt a sense of relief, a relief that many probably wouldn’t understand. Granted I should have registered earlier, I had been in political tossup for quite a while, not sure if I’d even vote at all. However, I had finally flipped the coin and decided

I was going to vote Obama. Despite this real-life horror, I’ve begun to see the optimism in it (many probably won’t agree). Never do I have to have my hand on that button trying to make, what for many Americans, should be a difficult decision. Two men, both suit to fill in the shoes as the next president of the United States. I’ve never been good with decisions and now I don’t have to make one. Though it hurts knowing my friends and family have cast their votes, I know that I won’t have to deal with the pain of voting in a jackass or the joy of knowing I voted in a catalyst who has helped change the face of America; I’ll just be a ghost.

Oct. 30, 2008

V 65, No. 10

1201 West University, CAS 170 Edinburg, Texas 78539 Phone: (956) 381-2541 Fax: (956) 316-7122 EDITOR IN CHIEF J.R. Ortega / ortega.e.jr@gmail.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Abigail Muniz / abby.muniz@yahoo.com MANAGING EDITOR Brian Silva / brian.silva2@gmail.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Ana Villaurrutia / parker687@hotmail.com A&E EDITOR Laura Garcia / laurad500@hotmail.com ASSISTANT A&E EDITOR Isaac Garcia / izek_el@yahoo.com SPORTS EDITORS Ramiro Paez / ramiropaez@aol.com Gregorio Garza / the_nataku@yahoo.com PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Roxy Solis / roxysolis34@yahoo.com DESIGN EDITOR Roy Bazan / rbazanzz@yahoo.com COPY EDITOR Adriana Acosta / acostaa@hotmail.com

ADVISER

Dr. Greg Selber --- selberg@utpa.edu SECRETARY

Anita Reyes --- areyes18@utpa.edu ADVERTISING MANAGER Samantha Quintana --- spubs@utpa.edu

**Delivery** Thursday at noon The Pan American is the official student newspaper of The University of Texas-Pan American. Views presented are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the paper or university.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Pan American accepts letters of 300 words or less from students, staff and faculty regarding recent newspaper content, campus concerns or current events. The Pan American reserves the right to edit submissions for grammar and length. The Pan American cannot publish anonymous letters or submissions containing hate speech or gratuitous personal attacks. Please send all story ideas to thepanamerican@gmail.com. Individuals with disabilities wishing to acquire this publication in an alternative format or needing assistance to attend any event listed can contact The Pan American for more details.

Illustration - Anthony Salinas

T EDITORIAL

Border wall accountability With the General Election imminent and early voting continuing today and tomorrow, it’s important for Valley voters to remember the issues that are important to them. Chief among some of them is the longstanding battle over the border wall along the Rio Grande. Before casting their ballots, voters must make sure the candidate they’re choosing is held accountable for their views on the border wall. Voters must make sure the candidates reflect their views on the issue and can satisfy citizens with a solid plan of action. It is no secret that most Valley politicians are opposed to the wall. Leaders’ views are indeed a reflection of constituent opinions, which are largely against a wall that imposes potentially negative factors on Valley life. Voters must not become complacent or discouraged. They must be reassured that the candidates have real solutions to this fierce battle. With the upcoming wave of Democrats seeking to sweep into office, the tide may well turn, and a physical barrier will be a moveable issue. It is important for voters to remember their passion in this issue. The wall affects us all in the Valley. It is both a physical and invisible insult to the two sides of the river

that have a common history of shared commerce and culture. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a sign of partnership, and friendship, between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It propelled free trade between Mexico and the U.S. However, that freedom would be walled off by the presence of a barrier that is meant to keep people out of the world’s beacon of freedom and hope. It is that beacon of hope and freedom that draws immigrants across the border, risking death, to find a better life in America. As humans, we’re fundamentally all the same when it comes to survival. So, we must ask ourselves what kind of dire situation would cause people to take such a risk. Perhaps, this dire situation is reflected in a governmental problem with our neighbor to the South. If “homeland security” is the reason for the wall, then maybe we should make sure our candidates are held accountable in remedying this situation. Ask them if there’s a plan in place to aid our neighbor. A demand to solve the root cause of the problem is our right and our duty. Our way of life in the Valley can only suffer from the cultural division this wall imposes. It divides us from our neighbors south of the river and from neighbors in our own

towns. The Berlin Wall divided the people of one of the oldest cities in Europe. The families of Berlin were divided physically and culturally. The reason for such a thing was to keep refugees in East Berlin from seeking a better life in West Berlin. This parallel may seem harsh to some, but to the people of Granjeno there is no greater tragedy than to see the concrete cast a shaddow over the backyard of their walled off heritage. If not for the sake of heritage, then for the environment that encompasses our delicate river. The ecosystem of the mighty Rio Grande is not meant to be physically divided. When conservationist Jeff Corwin visited our campus last month he emphatically called the border wall an “absolutely terrible idea for wildlife.” Indeed, quite adverse for Valley life. Let it be known. There is power in numbers, and if each vote cast demands an answer from our leaders, then only progress can ensue.


October 30, 2008

OPINIONS

Page 8

voting Obiden...

Isaac Garcia A&E Assistant Editor

After the Democratic primaries and the selection of Joe Biden as running mate, I have chosen to support and vote for Barack Obama for president of the free world. Not to sound cliché, but it comes down to my belief that Obama is what we need to fix this broken country. It starts with a great leader and Obama has managed to do what no other presidential candidate has before, get young adults (18 to 30) interested and concerned about the state of the country. I believe they will come out in the largest numbers ever to vote for Obama. It’s his empowering speeches and eloquent demeanor that have inspired millions of people to stand up for change, including myself. So, why not John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin? I believe that they stand for a fractured country and system that has gotten us nowhere in the past eight years. Both are try-

ing to set back the free world 30 years with their opinions on civil rights and women’s rights. Whatever happened to “all men created equal”? Also, their plan to fix the economy doesn’t seem to be in the country’s best interest. It all starts with the galaxy-size amount of money we are spending in Iraq to protect a nation that wants nothing but for us to leave. It comes down to which candidate comes closest to my beliefs. Since Sept. 11 the Republican Party has launched many assaults on the Constitution and abused powers not meant to be tampered with. I think that Obama will nullify these infractions and do his best to ensure every American privacy. Also, I believe that he will be more likely to uphold individual rights. The war in Iraq isn’t unpopular just by chance. As a result, the worldview of our country has been severely damaged and it doesn’t take four more years of the same to fix this view. It takes stark change and bold leadership and that is present in Barack Obama.

Kristen Cabrera Reporter

Education is very important to me. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am right now only to come to a silly bump in the road; money for my higher education. Taking out student loans to compensate for my scholarship is killing me. With the economy acting all screwy, who knows if I’ll be able to get that money next year. This is why I believe Barack Obama is the candidate who will understand how to get us out of this financial crisis and give college students the best solution to this ever growing money problem. His American Opportunity Tax Credit plan of $4,000 for college students who give 100 hours of service a year back to their community is something that both makes sense and is practical to me. Who wouldn’t want $4,000 for 100 hours? That’s $40 an hour, a lot more than I get paid. With on campus clubs such as Rotaract or Greek Organizations community service would go by fast and be fun, you wouldn’t have to do it alone.

The economy’s predicament right now is something to be worried about. I feel though, that Obama’s plan to invest $15 billion in green technologies will create up to 5 million jobs a year stimulating the economy and help get us out of this economic rut, as well as progressively moving forward toward a greener environment. With John McCain voting with President Bush over 90 percent of the time who’s to say that he’ll change? Now, I’m going to disagree with some of my fellow Democrats here; I don’t believe everything is Bush’s fault. I mean he’s had a couple of very rough terms, going through the first devastating foreign attack on the American mainland, a gigantic natural disaster, a war on terrorism. Let’s face it though, Bush and those around him dropped the ball there. But over 90 percent? That leaves less than 10 percent difference, now how is that change? We need a different perspective in the White House. We need someone who will give the American people change. And that someone for me is Barack Obama.

Page 9

OPINIONS

October 30, 2008

voting McCalin... Abigail Muniz Assistant Editor

Through my quests on campus it seems that finding another Republican around here is like finding no needles in a haystack. As a young Hispanic Republican, and a female at that, I must say I feel at odds with my peers. What I have encountered are numerous claims of “A Need for Change” and “Yes We Can.” But do the Democrat young ‘uns really understand what they stand for, or has it become a popularity contest of sorts in which uninformed youth will soon make a pivotal move without really knowing why they are doing so? Are they being swayed toward a Democratic stance just because it has become the “cool thing” to do? Contrary to Obama’s all of 10 minutes… er, 4 years in office, McCain’s long political experience (over 25 years) is a strong asset. One things Democrats criticize McCain for is voting against minimum wage increases, but what of his vote to increase it in 2007? Many have benefited from this. I believe this shows that McCain will

not forget those in the working class. What would have become of the nation that is now stumbling and crumbling had McCain not helped in voting for this? McCain’s stance on abortion is unwavering. Although he does not address the issue frequently, it is apparent what his views are as evidenced by his vote for the PartialBirth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Yes, as a young woman I am a pro-lifer who is not ashamed to be called one. It’s so easy to be swept up by the current and accommodate my beliefs to those of my peers. But that’s the easy way out. McCain’s position on this issue as well as other social issues is dead-on with my belief system. What young Democrats, or rather the uninformed ones, should understand is that politics is not just a passing trend. Just because your friend parades around in a “Yes We Can” Obama shirt and his bumper is ridden with blue Obama/Biden stickers doesn’t mean yours has to be. Do the research, lest you find out after voting for Obama that his idea of spreading the wealth is not necessarily a great one.

Laura Garcia A&E Editor

With the most controversial, most talked about, history-making presidential election coming down to the wire, it’s time that I ruffle a few feathers myself. In the Rio Grande Valley I’m considered a minority, because, yes, I, a 23-year old, Hispanic college student am a proud Republican. Hold your fire and hear me out. I’ve never been one to discuss politics, I’ve always been told you don’t discuss religion or politics, in order to avoid an argument. Plus, I’m not very fond of the fact that most Democrats you try to “discuss” politics with don’t actually know all of the facts and they are merely repeating every other foolish comeback they’ve heard. I swear if I hear another, “Well even if McCain does win, he’ll probably die the next day” I’ll scream. Or a “You only like Sarah Palin because she’s a woman.” Yes, like I’m actually that superficial and shallow. I’m voting for McCain/Palin because I agree with

many of their views, the same reason Democrats will vote Obama/Biden. Do not try and change my mind, especially with your childish ways. Maybe it has something to do with being born on an election Tuesday that I am so passionate about this. One reason I will vote McCain/Palin on Tuesday is because I agree with the concept to spread opportunity when it comes to jobs, rather than spreading wealth. Every able American should hold a steady job and help eradicate the need for government assistance. Sen. Obama’s plan would only give people something to fall back on since he is progovernment giveaway. The list goes on in terms of reasons for my voting red; I just feel that with McCain’s many years of experience he is really the only way to go. So my fellow Americans, I leave you with food for thought. Obama supporters, go out and vote blue on Election Day, but remember this. The electoral college gets the last laugh, and really, what are the chances of Texas going blue?


October 30, 2008

OPINIONS

Page 8

voting Obiden...

Isaac Garcia A&E Assistant Editor

After the Democratic primaries and the selection of Joe Biden as running mate, I have chosen to support and vote for Barack Obama for president of the free world. Not to sound cliché, but it comes down to my belief that Obama is what we need to fix this broken country. It starts with a great leader and Obama has managed to do what no other presidential candidate has before, get young adults (18 to 30) interested and concerned about the state of the country. I believe they will come out in the largest numbers ever to vote for Obama. It’s his empowering speeches and eloquent demeanor that have inspired millions of people to stand up for change, including myself. So, why not John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin? I believe that they stand for a fractured country and system that has gotten us nowhere in the past eight years. Both are try-

ing to set back the free world 30 years with their opinions on civil rights and women’s rights. Whatever happened to “all men created equal”? Also, their plan to fix the economy doesn’t seem to be in the country’s best interest. It all starts with the galaxy-size amount of money we are spending in Iraq to protect a nation that wants nothing but for us to leave. It comes down to which candidate comes closest to my beliefs. Since Sept. 11 the Republican Party has launched many assaults on the Constitution and abused powers not meant to be tampered with. I think that Obama will nullify these infractions and do his best to ensure every American privacy. Also, I believe that he will be more likely to uphold individual rights. The war in Iraq isn’t unpopular just by chance. As a result, the worldview of our country has been severely damaged and it doesn’t take four more years of the same to fix this view. It takes stark change and bold leadership and that is present in Barack Obama.

Kristen Cabrera Reporter

Education is very important to me. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am right now only to come to a silly bump in the road; money for my higher education. Taking out student loans to compensate for my scholarship is killing me. With the economy acting all screwy, who knows if I’ll be able to get that money next year. This is why I believe Barack Obama is the candidate who will understand how to get us out of this financial crisis and give college students the best solution to this ever growing money problem. His American Opportunity Tax Credit plan of $4,000 for college students who give 100 hours of service a year back to their community is something that both makes sense and is practical to me. Who wouldn’t want $4,000 for 100 hours? That’s $40 an hour, a lot more than I get paid. With on campus clubs such as Rotaract or Greek Organizations community service would go by fast and be fun, you wouldn’t have to do it alone.

The economy’s predicament right now is something to be worried about. I feel though, that Obama’s plan to invest $15 billion in green technologies will create up to 5 million jobs a year stimulating the economy and help get us out of this economic rut, as well as progressively moving forward toward a greener environment. With John McCain voting with President Bush over 90 percent of the time who’s to say that he’ll change? Now, I’m going to disagree with some of my fellow Democrats here; I don’t believe everything is Bush’s fault. I mean he’s had a couple of very rough terms, going through the first devastating foreign attack on the American mainland, a gigantic natural disaster, a war on terrorism. Let’s face it though, Bush and those around him dropped the ball there. But over 90 percent? That leaves less than 10 percent difference, now how is that change? We need a different perspective in the White House. We need someone who will give the American people change. And that someone for me is Barack Obama.

Page 9

OPINIONS

October 30, 2008

voting McCalin... Abigail Muniz Assistant Editor

Through my quests on campus it seems that finding another Republican around here is like finding no needles in a haystack. As a young Hispanic Republican, and a female at that, I must say I feel at odds with my peers. What I have encountered are numerous claims of “A Need for Change” and “Yes We Can.” But do the Democrat young ‘uns really understand what they stand for, or has it become a popularity contest of sorts in which uninformed youth will soon make a pivotal move without really knowing why they are doing so? Are they being swayed toward a Democratic stance just because it has become the “cool thing” to do? Contrary to Obama’s all of 10 minutes… er, 4 years in office, McCain’s long political experience (over 25 years) is a strong asset. One things Democrats criticize McCain for is voting against minimum wage increases, but what of his vote to increase it in 2007? Many have benefited from this. I believe this shows that McCain will

not forget those in the working class. What would have become of the nation that is now stumbling and crumbling had McCain not helped in voting for this? McCain’s stance on abortion is unwavering. Although he does not address the issue frequently, it is apparent what his views are as evidenced by his vote for the PartialBirth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Yes, as a young woman I am a pro-lifer who is not ashamed to be called one. It’s so easy to be swept up by the current and accommodate my beliefs to those of my peers. But that’s the easy way out. McCain’s position on this issue as well as other social issues is dead-on with my belief system. What young Democrats, or rather the uninformed ones, should understand is that politics is not just a passing trend. Just because your friend parades around in a “Yes We Can” Obama shirt and his bumper is ridden with blue Obama/Biden stickers doesn’t mean yours has to be. Do the research, lest you find out after voting for Obama that his idea of spreading the wealth is not necessarily a great one.

Laura Garcia A&E Editor

With the most controversial, most talked about, history-making presidential election coming down to the wire, it’s time that I ruffle a few feathers myself. In the Rio Grande Valley I’m considered a minority, because, yes, I, a 23-year old, Hispanic college student am a proud Republican. Hold your fire and hear me out. I’ve never been one to discuss politics, I’ve always been told you don’t discuss religion or politics, in order to avoid an argument. Plus, I’m not very fond of the fact that most Democrats you try to “discuss” politics with don’t actually know all of the facts and they are merely repeating every other foolish comeback they’ve heard. I swear if I hear another, “Well even if McCain does win, he’ll probably die the next day” I’ll scream. Or a “You only like Sarah Palin because she’s a woman.” Yes, like I’m actually that superficial and shallow. I’m voting for McCain/Palin because I agree with

many of their views, the same reason Democrats will vote Obama/Biden. Do not try and change my mind, especially with your childish ways. Maybe it has something to do with being born on an election Tuesday that I am so passionate about this. One reason I will vote McCain/Palin on Tuesday is because I agree with the concept to spread opportunity when it comes to jobs, rather than spreading wealth. Every able American should hold a steady job and help eradicate the need for government assistance. Sen. Obama’s plan would only give people something to fall back on since he is progovernment giveaway. The list goes on in terms of reasons for my voting red; I just feel that with McCain’s many years of experience he is really the only way to go. So my fellow Americans, I leave you with food for thought. Obama supporters, go out and vote blue on Election Day, but remember this. The electoral college gets the last laugh, and really, what are the chances of Texas going blue?


Page 10

ADVERTISEMENTS

October 30, 2008


Dates to Know:

October 30, 2008

Change Unites Us concert

Author Rigoberto Gonzalez

Saturday 6 p.m. to midnight Cine El Rey

Monday 5:45 p.m. Student Union Page 11

THE PAN AMERICAN

T POP CULTURE

Satirical news blurs lines on political issues By Isaac Garcia THE PAN AMERICAN Political humor and satire have been staples in every American generation, but especially today, when the tradition thrives with shows like “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report” and “Saturday Night Live” broadcast to millions of viewers every week. The question that arises and whose answer remains elusive is, do these shows inform the public and help them form ideologies on issues and candidates, or do they focus on fun, games, and humor at the expense of real learning? SNL has been a large part of the satirical and comedic world since its first broadcast in October 1975. Though it has risen and fallen in popularity through the seasons, recently the show saw its highest ratings in 14 years on Oct. 18, as Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took the stage with her comedic doppelganger (and SNL alum) Tina Fey (“Mean Girls,” “30 Rock”). Palin’s appearance on the show came after a bad week of interviews with Charles Gibson and Katie Couric, which led to Fey’s portrayal on SNL, which turned awkward into hilarious and thus created a frenzy of scrutiny for the Alaska governor. And now people are looking further into the relationship between comedy-style news and actual news. The University of Texas-Pan American political science professor Jerry Polinard, who is certain of the outcome of the presidential election, was asked who he was going to vote for Nov 4. He said, “I would tell you, but

I’d have to kill you,” however, he was more than delighted to share his view on SNL and other infotainment shows. “Mark Twain and Bob Hope are two great political humorists of the 19th and 20th centuries, and they were making people laugh and bringing up issues way back then,” Polinard explained. “The question is to what extent did their humor reach into the minds of audiences?” Polinard said that comedic satire has played a large role in this year’s elections. “It’s hard to tell how viewership translates into votes, but clearly when you have something that has caught on so quickly with Tina Fey imitating Sarah Palin that probably has a greater impact than any recent thing SNL has done,” he said. “SNL has done this before with Will Ferrell impersonating President George W. Bush, but it never drew as much attention as it is now.” Palin’s national approval rating, which has steadily fallen since she was chosen as vice presidential nominee on Aug. 30, helped shine a light on what many perceive to be her lack of experience and quirky personality, possibly due to the SNL spoof. “She’s a very popular governor in Alaska,” Polinard said. “What has happened is that shortly after McCain picked her, the polls showed that a strong majority of people had a favorable opinion of her, but over the past few weeks because of interviews with Charles Gibson and Katie Couric and in part because of SNL, that’s flip-flopped. “Now a majority of the public have a negative view of her candida-

cy, but what has remained is the support and the approval from the Republican base.” Some UTPA students claim that Fey’s portrayal of the candidate was spot-on and informative. Cristina Pena, a 19-year-old sophomore English major from Rio Grande City, said she laughs at every skit Fey does with imitations of Palin. “I actually don’t know anything about Sarah Palin, but I do watch SNL and clips of her on Youtube, they have a lot of clips of her saying stupid things,” Pena said. “She honestly doesn’t look like she knows much.” SNL is not the only show leading the charge. In a 2007 Pew Research poll, Americans chose comedian Jon Stewart No. 4 on their list of most admired journalists, even though Stewart publicly admits that he is a comedian and not a journalist. In that same study, “The Daily Show” averaged the same ratings (1.8 million viewers) as its actual news counterparts on CNN and Fox News. Research showed that “The Daily Show’s” news agenda varied slightly from network cable news, covering U.S. foreign affairs and elections the most. The difference is that Stewart at times bends the facts for political satire and comedy, focusing mainly on critique of the Republican Party. Jerrome Warden, a 22-year-old junior and theatre major from Mission, watches the show sparsely. “I watch it when I’m short for time and need a condensed version of the news,” he said. “I would never replace it with actual news though, and I would check the facts to verify

if what they are saying is accurate. But I can see why so many people prefer it over real news. It’s funny, quick and light hearted; news these days can be so depressing.” In 2007 a report from the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy polled 600 young adults 18-30 and found the following: 45 percent hardly read newspapers; 24 percent hardly watched national news; 20 percent hardly watched local news; 40 per-

cent hardly listened to radio news; and 45 percent hardly used the Internet for news. Polinard stressed that although shows like SNL can be informative; they should never become a fill-in for actual news. “It should not be the substitute for reading newspapers or going online to look at editorial comments from various respected news sources that follow the issues, but I don’t think it’s a negative source,” he said.

*unscientific poll conducted by The Pan American

T MUSICIANS GATHER

Concert unites artists, youth for civic duty By Laura Garcia THE PAN AMERICAN In the recent past young adults have carried the stigma of being apathetic and indifferent when it comes to political issues. As a result, campaigns are specially designed to gain the interest of 18-to-24 year olds and from MySpace to Facebook pages, the candidates are using these tactics to generate enough buzz to gain the young vote. Monday night, Leyenda Productions, in conjunction with Cine El Rey, will host a Change Unites Us concert/rally giving musicians a chance to voice their views alongside the area’s highest ranking leaders, in Austin and Washington D.C. Among

the leaders will be former Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia and Hidalgo County Democratic Party chairwoman Dolly Elizondo. Bands in the lineup include A Day of Ashes, Stillborne, The Jericho Machine, Mario Aleman, Driving the Nails, and Incohero as well as several others. The concert at Cine El Rey in McAllen will be held from 6 p.m. to midnight and is free to the public. Brandon Garcia, co-founder of Leyenda Productions, says the decision to organize the event actually happened nine months ago when he and several other bands decided they would back Sen. Barack Obama. He figured an event like this would present proof that change isn’t impossible.

“Our vote is our greatest weapon,” Garcia said. “Our second is music, it’s our battle cry, our war song. That eight of our most pre-eminent representatives in government are spending this big night listening to us and our music shows how powerful that weapon can be.” After the 2004 presidential election, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 47 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds voted in the race between Bush and Kerry election, nine percent less than the 25-34 age group and significantly behind those 65 years and older, of which 71 percent pulled the lever. Over and over it is drilled in citizen’s heads that our vote counts, and that our voice really does matter. The

bands involved in the rally are joining forces to get young people from the RGV to go out there and go to the voting polls on Nov. 4. “Many people wouldn’t get the message to vote if it comes from irrelevant sources such as rich, old people on TV,” Isaac Rojas, 23, said. “They will listen to common people in the same environment and status, they will listen to real people like all the people and bands making this show possible.” Rojas, a kinesiology major, is the drummer for the heavy alternative rock band Stillborne, which has its roots in Edinburg. The combination of music and politics isn’t new, but it seems to be most effective in getting the message out to

young adults. “This is our first time doing something like this, it is very important, especially in this election, and it’s a mature stance for local musicians, to show that musicians care more about than just rock and roll,” added Rick Phoenix 27, of A Day of Ashes, a Weslaco/Mercedes band who exudes a melodic hard-rock sound. In five days, Americans will once again be able to exercise their freedom and battle supporters from all other parties at the polls. Whether America goes red or blue on Tuesday, change is inevitable, but one must remember the old adage that you don’t have a right to complain about the government if you didn’t go out and vote.


Page 12

October 30, 2008

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

T CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT

T SILVER SCREEN

Rock the Vote rally helps voters

“W.” film shows prez in different light

By Russen Vela THE PAN AMERICAN What is a political rally? Is it simply a big party where people can mingle with candidates who are looking for a vote? A rally is a form of a demonstration, activism taking the form of a public gathering of people at a town hall, or maybe on a march. During the 1800s, most notably in England and the United States, such rallies were constructed to urge people to vote for elected officials. Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, was a political hostess for the Whig party in early 18th-century England, and she held political rallies urging males to vote by simply offering them a kiss on the lips. Of course, times have changed kisses for votes especially - and women are now allowed the vote. With a historic election on the horizon, the Student Union at UTPA will hosted a political rally Tuesday with the help of Delma D. Olivarez. Olivarez, who has been an associate director for the Student Union for five years, was enthusiastic about the upcoming event. The rally started at 11:30 a.m. and lasted until 1:30 p.m. A DJ was hired to pump up the crowds of spectators to encourage them to vote. The whole idea behind the political rally was to afford a look at what Rock the Vote means. The nonprofit organization was founded in Los Angeles in 1990 by Jeff Ayeroff, with the sole purpose of engaging youths in the political process by incorporating the entertainment community and youth culture into its activities. “The Student Union wanted to give students an opportunity to ask questions about the voting process,” Olivarez said excitedly. “Additionally, we felt that inviting candidates would give students an opportunity to ask one-on-one questions in a casual environment.” The candidates to whom Olivarez

refers are Democratic and Republican Party chairs who are running for office and who have also extended the invitation to other candidates on the Nov. 4 local election ballot. Gilbert Enriquez, who is running for the Edinburg School Board, and Veronica Gonzalez, who is looking to get re-elected as State Representative in District 41 were among the attendees at the rally. “The Rock the Vote Rally is aimed at increasing voter participation,” Olivarez said. “We have early voting for Hidalgo County in the library so we hope students will take advantage on the vote on-campus.” Rose Alaniz, a junior electrical engineer major, has worked for the Student Union for two years and was delighted about the rally. “We are getting everyone excited to vote,” Alaniz said. “Everyone who has been helping has the information for those who need it to understand how the voting works.” When asked who her favorite candidate for the presidential election was, Alaniz gushed and said Barack Obama. “Obama to me seems like the good candidate out of the two,” Alaniz said. The rally on Tuesday was not the first rally to be held at UTPA. Olivarez stated that she and the Student Union held a Voter Registration Drive in the Commons and a Voter Registration Rally on the Chapel Lawn. “We had a very good turnout for both the drive and the rally,” Olivarez said. “We registered 166 students to vote before the October 6 deadline and provided assistance to over 100 students who had questions.” One of the most frequently asked questions was about the voter registration card. Some people tend to either lose their card, or simply forget to register for one, but Olivarez explained that, “You can use the voter registration card or any other form of identification to vote.” Aaron Molina, a freshman biology

major, was thankful for the information about the voter registration card. “I honestly thought you had to have one in order to vote,” the Edinburg native said. Molina and many others were unsure if they would be able to vote without a voter registration card. But helpers at the rally assured them that

as long as they had their ID and were registered, they could vote for the candidate of their choice. The rally lasted two hours, with free drinks and pizza offered to attendees. “This is a critical election year, everyone should exercise their right to vote and get informed about the candidates,” Olivarez said.

Brian Silva/THE PAN AMERICAN

THE YOUNG AND THE ROCKIN’ - Edna Zambrano, Student Union Director, checks students’ voter status Thursday in the Chapel lawn.

T ELECTION FUN

Masks may predict political future By Victor Ituarte THE PAN AMERICAN Round objects can tell the future, first crystal balls, then magic eight balls, and now human heads? Try again later. That is only the case with masks of the contestants for the Oval Office. In the past three elections, nationwide sales of U.S. presidential candidate masks by Spirit Halloween helped reveal the winner days before general election results were in, according to a press release by the national chain. Spirit Halloween is a costume and decorations store with over 625 locations all over the country, one of which is located at 1402 E. Jackson Road in McAllen. The latest numbers show Obama’s

masks are leading with 62 percent while McCain is trailing with 38 percent. At J.J.’s Party House in McAllen on Friday, favorites of the past and present Bush administration that were still available: Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, and Laura Bush. From the Clinton Era were Bill and Hillary, Monica Lewinsky (complete with home-wrecking smile and pink French hat), and Al Gore. However, Bush and Obama were nowhere in sight. Of the current and last election, John Kerry and John McCain were the only candidates found on the racks. Perhaps it’s a bias against people named John that is keeping their masks on the shelf, but Alexis Carranza, a 21year old graphic design major from Edinburg, thinks it has to do with the

attractiveness of the candidates. “I’d rather be George Bush than John Kerry because John Kerry’s face weirds me out. I think he lost because he wasn’t pleasant to look at,” Carranza joked. Carranza bought a Hillary mask for an early Halloween party. “I’m a big Hillary supporter, but I didn’t get it because of that,” she explained. “It’s not like the store had a vast selection.” Carranza added that since she wanted to be a female, her choices were narrowed down to Hillary Clinton or Laura Bush, but what she really wanted was a Sarah Palin mask. “I thought it would be hilarious,” Carranza said. “If I got a Sarah Palin mask I would have totally gotten my

dad’s fake rifle to go with it.” Despite the fact that sales have correctly predicted the last three elections, William Turk, an associate professor in the political science department at UTPA, disagrees. He thought the idea was interesting and entertaining, but he suggested going to a scientific poll instead of an offbeat source. “It’s indirect correlation,” Turk explained. “It’s like connecting the amount of rainfall in some African country to the rise and fall of the Dow Jones.” Carranza also thinks it’s not all that accurate. “I would think people bought masks of the person they wouldn’t want to win,” Carranza said. “That would be scarier, wouldn’t it?”

By Andrielle Figueroa THE PAN AMERICAN The political film, “W.,” directed by Oliver Stone, hit theatres Oct. 17, just a few weeks shy of the 2008 election. Whether this film was created to tear away or uplift current president George W. Bush, is hard to figure from Stone’s message. Opening up the film was Bush, played by Josh Brolin, standing in center field with an announcer stating his claim to the position of 43rd president. Slowly, as the camera backs away to the roaring of fans, the audience is able to see that the stadium is empty. No support for our Texas hero. The motion picture showed different situations in Bush’s life; from a hazing ceremony in his college days, to his difficulty in public speaking during his run for president. Stone, winner of three Oscars, is not new to productions with a political flare, as he was responsible for pictures such as “Nixon” (1995) and “JFK” (1991). For this one, he was expected to step on toes with a movie about a president still in the White House. Alongside Stone was writer Stanley Weiser, who also took part in “Nixon,” as well as “Wall Street” in 1987. The team obviously struck a chord, but not one that viewers would expect. The movie, although showing the president’s past dependency on alcohol and sometimes arrogant stagger, suggested that Bush is not all that bad. Living in the shadow of his father, George H. W. Bush (played by James Cromwell) and brother Jeb Bush (Jason Ritter), the gleam of determination in Bush’s eye portrayed in the film could build new respect for him. With symbolism just under the surface, it suggested that Bush believes he had been sent to earth for the greater good of the people. In one scene Bush stated his belief that he had received a message from God to run for president. Religion pieced together the troubled young Bush and the film made that idea very clear. Brolin was able to represent the weakness, faith, and confidence of the president. While Stone could easily be confused for a Bush supporter, in a Chicago Sun Times article Stone stated, “I don’t take political sides. I’m a dramatist, and this is the movie I’ve made.” Critics and audience members may have been expecting to see an attack on the president, especially given the number of unflattering films in recent years about government, war and the CIA. Though folks may have anticipated a satirical or dramatic view of his reign over the country, instead they were possibly given a feeling of compassion, not for a political figure, but a real person.


October 30, 2008

ELECTION COVERAGE

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T Q&A

Question 1. What do you think the outcome of the presidential election will be? “I still have faith in McCain, its more morals (for me) right now and Obama is too liberal.” Fidel Castaneda Sophomore Political science major

“I think Obama’s going to win because I hear a lot of people talk about Obama more than of McCain. Plus with how everything’s going and what Bush did, it reflected badly on the Republican Party.” Audra McGee Freshman Broadcast journalism major

Question 2. What is your main source for news? “Yahoo News I am constantly online so its easy access. I’m doing it while I’m doing other things.” David G. Loyola Junior Social work major

“Mostly from Yahoo and the internet. If I have time I look at the news, NBC or at night on the local channels. Occasionally I pick up the Pan American.” Bryceidee Lopez Junior English major

Out of 100 students randomly sampled from the campus of The University of Texas-Pan American, 70 answered that they have voted or will vote in the upcoming election, 30 answered that they have not or will not. *This unscientific poll was conducted by The Pan American student newspaper.


Dates to Know:

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Volleyball

Men’s Tennis

Texas Southern Friday, 3 p.m. UTPA Field House

UT Austin Invite Friday-Sunday Austin October 30, 2008

THE PAN AMERICAN

T FEATURE

Graduate student wins with strength of body, mind By Ramiro Paez THE PAN AMERICAN

FRANK RODRIGUEZ

MAXED OUT - UTPA’s Frank Rodriguez set the pound-for-pound ratio record at 228.5 during the second-annual WRSC bench press competition.

We’ve all heard the expression, “Size matters,” and in some instances, it does. But for University of Texas-Pan American graduate student Frank Rodriguez, size doesn’t always come out on top. Rodriguez, a criminal justice major, competed in the second-annual Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex Bench Press Competition Oct. 16, capturing first place in the 161-to-185-pound weight division after lifting 340 pounds with a 228.5 pound-for-pound ratio. The 228.5 ratio set the record in the competition’s two years. The 5-foot-5-inch Edinburg/Donna native, who weighed in at 163 pounds at the competition, says although he felt underestimated by some of his opponents, he knew he could triumph if he became oblivious to the odds and focused on training roots. Rodriguez edged out Leeroy Saenz, who lifted 365 pounds, the most in the competition, but finished with a 219 pound-for-pound ratio. “To me, it felt like a real-long marathon because from when I found out that I was going to go ahead and compete, I started training and it was

T TENNIS

tough,” Rodriguez said. “I just had to prepare myself and preparing is the hardest. The day of the event was easy because I knew what I could do.” Rodriguez works as a student research assistant for the criminal justice department at the Social and Behavioral Sciences Building, where he first heard FRANK RODRIGUEZ of the competition from co-workers about a month before. Noticing he was a fitness activist, his colleagues encouraged him to participate in the event. He then began changing his eating habits and started a serious exercise regimen in preparation for the contest. Rodriguez focused on bench press three times a week for two hours each day. “It was very strenuous because you need to know how to eat and you have to know you’re body,” Rodriguez said of his workouts and nutrition plan. “I would make myself a

shake every day and I would get tired of making it after two or three weeks but I said, ‘I need to do this.’ It’s like a marathon, you need to continue every day and prepare.” Even though he had to refrain from fried foods and endure demanding workouts, the end result paid off. And now Rodriguez hopes he can overcome the same adversity with his education. He began his master’s program a year ago and once he concludes his degree in December, he plans to take the Graduate Record Examination so he can apply for a Ph. D. program in criminology or social deviance. His competitive, positive nature has not only allowed him to conquer physical fitness phases but educational objectives as well. “I hope I can do the same thing with my studies,” he said. “My studies are a marathon but at the end of the race, when I graduate, I hope it will pay off. I don’t like to say that I’m competitive, I like to show that I am.” The winner was determined based on the Schwartz Malone Formula, to give each contestant a fair shot at the trophy. The formula included multiplying the weight a person lifted by the standard coefficient of the person’s weight, resulting in the poundfor-pound ratio.

T MEN’S GOLF

UTPA challenged by Monterrey Tech Broncs conclude fall season, By Sara Hernandez THE PAN AMERICAN The University of Texas-Pan American men and women’s tennis programs hosted the UTPA Invite against Monterrey Tech last weekend at the Orville Cox Tennis Center. The men had an outstanding doubles performance and individual highlights by Aswin Vijayaragavan, Brett Bernstein and Malin Andersen framed the two-day event. The doubles team formed by India natives Vijayaragavan and Nirvick Mohinta led with scores of 9-7 and 8-2 in their two matches. Bernstein and Marcus Dornauf contributed with two wins, beating the De La Pena/Fernandez and Meza/De Mucha couples 8-5 and 9-8, respectively. The third duo, which consisted of sophomore Andrew Irving and freshman Beau Bernstein, defeated its first opponents 9-8 but lost the second match 8-1. “The doubles teams are doing exceptionally well,” men’s and women’s head coach Rob Hubbard said. “The teams are working well.” In the singles, players were divided in

Willerding had the only victory of two flights; the green pertained to the top three players of each team leaving num- the two matches played by each in the bers four, five and six in the orange flight. green flight. Her teammates Bedeau of Vijayaragavan and Brett Bernstein fin- Canada and Cantu of Tamaulipas weren’t able to pick ished two rounds a win. with an equal one“We did better this week- up Andersen, from win, one-loss result, while Dornauf lost end than we did two weeks Sweden, defeated his two matches in ago. Hopefully we will her two rivals in the the green flight. look better this upcoming orange flight while Burton and Raty In the orange finished with two flight, junior Mo- weekend.” setbacks each. hinta and Beau The Lady Bernstein each won Rob Hubbard Broncs will have a one of three Tennis head coach week off before matches. Finland competing in the native Shashank Vij Texas State Play Day at San Marcos was defeated in his three matches. “I felt pretty good, it was a good Nov. 8, and the men’s tennis program weekend,” said Vijayaragavan, a soph- will travel to Austin to play in the UT Invite this weekend. omore on the team. Hubbard said that the best players in On the women’s side, the Lady Broncs opened the weekend with three the state of Texas will be present at the doubles losses. Juniors Stephanie UT Invite, which will make it a chalWillerding and Luisa Cantu were de- lenge for the Broncs. “We did better this weekend than feated 9-8 and both the Megan Bedeau/Malin Andersen and Sarah we did two weeks ago,” Hubbard Burton/Reeta Raty couples lost 8-6 to said. “Hopefully we will look better this upcoming weekend.” the Mexican visitors.

finish 13th place overall

place with a 237 score. “We didn’t play that well but it gave us a reality check that we have The University of Texas-Pan to work harder to do better,” said OfeAmerican men’s golf team wrapped lia Lopez, the men’s and women’s up the fall season, struggling at the golf director. 2008 Sam Hall Intercollegiate hosted She noted that although the team by Southern Mississippi in Hatties- was not very successful in this tourburg, Miss. The two-day tournament nament, it concluded the fall season consisted of three rounds and at the with a 299.3 stroke average, which end, the Broncs ranked 13th out of 14 met the goal of staying under 300. teams. Lopez said that after a week off, Junior Armen Kirakossian finished the team will go back to practice to tied for 22nd out of 76 players with a focus on polishing small details and score of 223, followed by Edcouch working on the mental side to get the native A.J. Gonzalez, players ready for the Women’s Golf who completed the three spring season. Golf acrounds in 53rd place UAB Fall Beach Blast tivity will resume Feb. with 228 strokes. 16 when the men travel Gulf Shores, Ala. Five places behind in to San Antonio to particNov. 3 the rankings came junior ipate in the Schreiner High Wongchindawest, Spring Classic. who totaled 229 strokes, only one “I expect them to come back and ahead of senior Shane Pearce, who be more confident,” Lopez said. “We placed 63rd. Sophomore Tim Acaster have a great team and we want things closed the UTPA participation in 71st very badly, so we’re still going.” By Sara Hernandez THE PAN AMERICAN


October 30, 2008

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SPORTS

T SPORTS ELECTION COVERAGE

Athletes tackle political issues, politicians “I think this is the most important decision in my lifetime because of the uncertainty that the country is in right now, with all the finacial headaches that everyone is going through; the leadership, looking back, wasn’t the right choice eight years ago.” Raul Betancourt Assistant athletic director for business operations “Both candidates are going to be in a bind because of the national debt.” J.J. Hernandez Senior Cross-country “I don’t feel like either one of them is the best candidate or the greatest candidate. I feel Obama is very young and obviously I’m young in a position of leadership, but it’s scary when it’s our nation. And McCain, I’m not necessarily sure about him either.” Angela Hubbard Volleyball head coach

By Pedro Perez IV THE PAN AMERICAN When most people think of a coach or an athlete the first thing that probably comes to mind is success, or how they won a contest against a rival school. But coaches and athletes have a voice on other fronts, and with the decision of electing the 44th president of the United States less than a week away, the Broncs are ready to be heard. The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs and Lady Broncs are no different than the rest of the student body. They know the facts, they’ve been following the debates and now they are ready to let the candidates know how they feel by casting a vote. One of the issues that has been under a microscope this election year is the economy. With the Dow Jones Index rising and dropping every day, Americans are listening to what Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain have to say on how to get the economy back on track. Fourth-year tennis head coach Rob Hubbard said he is ready to vote and will push toward whoever is going to help the country best in reference to the money situation. Hubbard believes that once the economy is intact the candidates might discuss other topics like Roe V. Wade or civil rights. “I swing for whoever is going to be best for the country’s economy,” said Hubbard. “If the economy is going well, people are happy and then you’re able to address other issues like abortion or civil rights.” Another issue that Americans are being faced with is the infamous border wall. One Bronc baseball player, junior Esequiel Garza of La Joya, is in favor the barrier and is going to vote for Obama. Garza also feels Obama can help the Rio Grande Valley which, in his opinion, is going through some hard times. “We’re down and we’re struggling right now,” said Garza, who was moved by Obama’s speech on campus last semester. “I like Obama because he wants to help out the people, especially here in the Rio Grande Valley where we’re struggling.” Garza, who has never been to Mexico, doesn’t feel like he’d be safe

if he were to go; thus, he feels the bor- Bronc basketball players Epiphany der wall will help curtail the problem Smith and Brittany Demery vote in of immigrants and smugglers crossing Arkansas and Oklahoma. They have the Rio Grande into the United States. not made arrangements to transfer their “I’ve never been to Mexico myself voting eligibility to Texas but both because I’ve heard so many stories and have a definite favorite in the race. “I would have voted for Obama,” I just don’t trust it,” the pitcher said. said Smith who “I’m more than sure they (immigrants “I swing for whoever is will play point this season. and smugglers) can going to be best for the guard “John McCain and get over here but I rather have them put country’s economy. If the Sarah Palin, I just that wall up because economy is going well, don’t think they’re you never know people are happy and the right team to put into office right what can happen.” you’re able to now. I believe we In the 2008 elec- then tion cycle, much has address other issues like need a Democrat in office because been made of unde- abortion or civil rights.” obviously we’ve cided voters, along had a Republican with the millions of in office for eight young people who Rob Hubbard years and the econwill vote for the first Tennis head coach omy has gone time. Members of the latter group were not yet 18 during down and we’re going to war for the the 2004 campaign, like freshman ten- wrong reasons.” As the United States prepares to nis player and Sugarland native Beau Bernstein, who is not only excited elect a new leader in the upcoming about voting but thinks it’s a good year week, the eyes of the world will be on America to see how the 2008 election to be casting a ballot for the first time. “I’m pretty excited to have a say in goes down in the history books. The same is said for Shashank Vij, what is going to happen for the first time,” said Bernstein, who is going to a junior tennis athlete from originally from Finland. Vij believes that most vote for Obama. He said his aunt had a benefit for Europeans believe George W. Bush Obama in Houston and he made an hasn’t been the most effective presiappearance along with other Texas dent the United States has ever had, but he doesn’t share their views. and national politicians. “Well a lot of Europeans think that “My aunt is a big supporter for Obama and she a benefit dinner for this former president hasn’t done the him and he showed up,” Bernstein best job and maybe that’s why people said. “They (aunt and uncle) told me think the economy has gone in a bad about some of the things he was talk- direction here,” Vij said. “I don’t necing about and that he was a good guy.” essarily think that. I believe Obama Unfortunately for some of the ath- would make a difference, McCain letes from UTPA, voting will be diffi- would be a good president also, but it cult due to the fact that they are regis- would be similar to Bush’s views so it tered in other states. Freshmen Lady wouldn’t be a big difference.”

Athletics and Politics Professional athletes have donated to presidential campaigns in the past. This is a short list of some athletes or people in the professional sports world that donated. OBAMA DONORS Lebron James - Cavaliers forward Terry Porter - New Suns coach Phil Jackson - Lakers coach Roy Williams - Cowboys safety Emmitt Smith - ex-Cowboys back

MCCAIN DONORS Roger Goodall - NFL Commish Robert Sarver - Suns owner Robert Kraft - Patriots owner Jerry Jones - Cowboys owner Curt Schilling - Red Sox pitcher The Washington Post

“With so much at stake in this election, I feel both parties could have put more thought into selecting a running mate.” Bernie Saenz Assistant athletic director of media relations “I believe in what he [Obama] says. Maybe it won’t be a d r a s t i c change, but it must be different. He’s willing to help out college students. As far as taxes, he’s willing to cut taxes for the middle class.” Isabel Saldana Athletic department secretary I “Well, I didn’t like all the negativity rather than the positive press for the candidates. It seems like each candidate is bashing the other one more so than trying to pump up themselves. ” Tom Schuberth Men’s basketball head coach


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October 30, 2008

THE PAN AMERICAN

T FEATURE

By Adriana Acosta THE PAN AMERICAN

N

ot one to sit on the sidelines, Congressman Rubén Hinojosa has shown that dedicating oneself to accomplishing goals in life is easy, with a little hard work. Hinojosa comes from a family dedicated to its business, H&H Foods, and he’s dedicated himself to helping those in need. But before his successful career in business and politics and an office in Washington, D.C. he was a small-town boy wanting to succeed in life. Hinojosa was born Aug. 20, 1942 in Edcouch, and was raised in nearby Mercedes. He, like everyone else with a love of sport, began his football career at age 11, when he was in the sixth grade. Along with his seven brothers, he enjoyed playing a variety of sports, including baseball, basketball and football. “My mother always encouraged us and one of our prerequisites was to get good grades,” he explained. EARLY DAYS Hinojosa became quarterback of the football team when he attended Mercedes Junior High School in 1953. That year, the team won the AllValley Championship by beating the undefeated, untied 8-AAA Edinburg Gridders at Tiger Stadium by a final score of 18-6. “We were undefeated that year and we were champions that year,” Hinojosa said. During his senior year in high school at Mercedes High, Hinojosa, a split back/receiver

SportShorts

and linebacker on defense, was selected to be part UT in 1962. In 1980, after having worked for the of the 1957 National All-American Prep Football family business for nearly 20 years, he decided to attend The University of Texas-Pan American and team, along with four teammates. “It was an honor to be part of that group. Five out obtain a master’s in business. “I attended school twice a week at night and of 11 of us were selected from Mercedes,” he said. Alongside Hinojosa were his younger brother worked full-time,” he said. He and eight other students comprised the first Oscar, plus big Jim Norris, who went on to play pro football for the Oakland Raiders. The Tigers MBA class at UTPA in May 1980. Sports were important throughout his life and won the district title in 1957, going three-deep in now it’s the same for his children, son Ruben Jr., the state playoffs. Hinojosa is currently serving his sixth term as and four daughters, Laura, Iliana, Kaitlin and the representative of the 15th District of Texas, Karen. “I encourage my children to the area that stretches from the Rio Grande Valley to Goliad “My heart was set in edu- play sports because it helps them healthy and strong,” he said. count and the Coastal Bend cation and obtaining a stay “I want them to have a wellregion. He said one of his fond memories is advancing to the degree from the College rounded education in academics, Class 2A state quarterfinals in of Business was my goal.” sports and performing arts.” The congressman’s love of ’57. football continues to this day. “We lost 7 to 6, but we had He enjoys watching his alma 12 wins and one loss that year. Ruben Hinojosa mater, the Texas Longhorns Because of that, we were able U.S. Congressman play every season. to go to West Colombia, Texas 15th District of Texas “The best moment for me and compete in the quarters.” After graduation from high school in 1958, was when I was able to go to the Rose Bowl and Hinojosa attended Texas A&I University on a watch UT win the National Championship in football scholarship. He played linebacker on 2006,” he recalled, as that year, the Longhorns defense and split end on offense, transferring to played against the Southern California Trojans and beat them 41-38. UT-Austin after one year. Hinojosa believes playing sports throughout “My heart was set in education and obtaining a degree from the College of Business was my his life has helped him with the career he has now as congressman, saying, “It has taught me to be a goal,” he explained. “But I never thought about trying out for the team player, to be a winner and to be tenacious Longhorn football team,” he said jokingly. “The and never quit.” The quality that he gained throughout his sports players were much bigger and I was only 165 career, he said, has given him the tools needed to pounds,” he said. Hinojosa obtained his have served 12 years in the U.S. Congress. Hinojosa bachelor’s degree in busi- added he hopes for another “quarter” in his political ness administration from career by being re-elected for a seventh term Nov. 4.

VOLLEYBALL All The University of Texas-Pan American’s volleyball team had in mind heading into the final stretch of its 2008 campaign was revenge. But unfortunately for the Lady Broncs, payback was not sweet against Utah Valley University Friday. Instead, the Lady Wolverines took another stab at the Green and Orange as they dropped UTPA 24-26, 13-25, 22-25 at the Shurian Activity Center in Orem, Utah. With the loss, the women dropped to 4-13 with five games remaining in the regular season before the National Independent Tournament Nov. 21-22 back in Utah. The Lady Broncs will host their final home game of the season tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the Field House. Against UVU, senior outside hitter Kellie Phillips recorded 11 of the team’s 32 kills and added five digs with two blocks. Sophomore Marci Logan churned out an eight-kill performance, while senior middle blocker Deanna Schneyer posted seven kills. CROSS COUNTRY Don’t ask the UTPA men’s and women’s cross-country teams if they’re ready: they know they are. After three outstanding performances, the Broncs and Lady Broncs are on the road to Orem, Utah, for the Great West Championships Saturday, the first programs to compete for a Great West Conference title since the university was admitted in July.

Editor’s Picks  HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

PSJA North @ Raiders

Harlingen Cardinals

Friday 7:30 p.m.

 COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Texas Longhorns

@ Texas Tech Red Raiders

Saturday 7 p.m. (ABC)

 NFL

RUBEN HINOJOSA PERSONAL ARCHIVES

DESIGNED BY GREGORIO GARZA

Pittsburgh @ Washington Steelers Redskins Monday 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)


October 30, 2008