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Diwali in the Valley Hindu Festival of Lights celebrated in RGV Page 4-5

Volume 69, No. 10

A ‘Safe Haven’

New dome in case of weather emergencies Page 2

Extra Money New incentive plans for full-time students Page 3

2012 General Election Results Page 3

panamericanonline.com

A Better Bun How to execute the latest hair craze at UTPA: the Sock Bun

one November 8, 2012

Page 7

point

away


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November 8, 2012 Francisco Rodriguez / The Pan American

A ‘safe haven’ by Daniella Diaz

UTPA to get dome in case of weather emergencies

Classrooms Offices

Unusable Space

Location:

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. We cannot publish anonymous letters or submissions containing hate speech or gratuitous personal attacks. Please send all letters to:

thepanamerican @gmail.com

Upcoming Meetings Student Affairs Advisory Meeting

to allocate student fees Monday, Nov. 12 at 2:30 p.m. UC-Cenizo Room call (956)665-2260 for more information

Student Government Association Meeting Friday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. Education 1.102

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Vol. 69, No. 10

The Pan American

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Editor-in-Chief:

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News Editor:

Daniella Diaz

Sports Editor:

Norma Gonzalez

Arts & Life Editor:

Lea Victoria Juarez

Photography Editor: Adrian Castillo

Design Editor:

Erick Gonzalez

Multimedia Editor: Schunior

Dimitra Hernandez

Adviser:

St

Dr. Greg Selber

Administrative Associate:

Anita Reyes t evarez S

2Floornd

MORE SPACE When the weather is fair, the University will use the dome for classroom space and the permanent offices for the Department of Health and Safety officials. “Number one and foremost, this will a safe house for Valley residents,” Costello said. “However, this is also a mutually beneficial agreement. We are in need of classroom space on campus, so when there is not a potential weather disaster, the University can use that space.” The University currently does not have enough classroom space

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Floor

to host more than 60 people, but the 19 large rooms in the dome are aimed to help. “There are a lot of big classes where students get crammed into small rooms,” said Ariana Mata, a 26-year-old communications major from Mission. “Getting classroom space will fix that problem.” In the past, the University has taken campus residents to the refuge in San Antonio for protection from a storm because it is nearest to the Valley. However, now the students will be able to use the dome for refuge. In total, Bronc Village apartments and Unity, Heritage and Troxel dorms have 800 beds. Although the University will have control of the dome in instances of safe weather, the Red Cross will operate the dome in the case that dangerous weather passes through the Valley. Costello believes that this shelter is something the Valley has needed for a long time. “I’m happy. This will keep many more people safe,” he said. “This dome will be safe harborage, a safe haven.”

chemistry, believes the dome will be a good addition to the Valley but it’s inconvenient for her because she commutes from Donna. “I’m sure people would take advantage of it because if a hurricane were to come, they probably wouldn’t evacuate the Valley and some houses wouldn’t be able to withstand the storms,” the 22 year old said. “I probably wouldn’t take advantage if I were home because I’d have to drive to Edinburg.”

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By the end of next year, as many as 1,000 Valley residents should be able to take refuge at UTPA when the next dangerous hurricane passes through. The University received a $1.8 million grant earlier this year from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build a dome that would act as a “safe room” on campus. The dome is a “safe room” and not a shelter because the Valley community will only be able to take refuge there for 24 hours in the case of a hurricane, and two hours in the case of a tornado. This structure would be the first of its kind at any university in Texas, according to Richard Costello, director of Environmental Health and Safety at the University. “(FEMA) realized that a lot of the people in the Valley aren’t going to leave if there’s a weather emergency,” Costello said. “They decided to fund some domes in this area because it will help keep people here safe. Every year there’s a hurricane, we’re inundated with people who think we have a place for shelter.” The grant from FEMA accounts for 75 percent of the total budget for the project leaving UTPA to pay the remaining $600,000 out of the University budget. Construction will begin in two to three months and finish by the end of 2013, Costello said. It will be located at the corner of Van Week and Second Street, north of the Education Building. The dome will hold 800 to 1,000 people depending on the staff’s discretion. Space will be allocated on a first-come basis, with priority given to people who are physically disabled. The dome and its specially designed windows should be able to withstand winds of 200 mph, or a Category Five hurricane. Loren Solis, a senior studying

Letters

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Social Media Editor: 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.

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UTPA Day care

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November 8, 2012

incentive program TO give

money back to students By Charles Vale The Pan American Students may soon be getting paid for taking classes, and awarded for walking the graduation stage after four years. Starting in the spring semester, undergraduate students will have a chance to receive up to $500 from the University as part of the new 15 Hour Cash Back incentive program. As a requirement, students must have taken and passed at least 15 hours this fall, and must sign up for 15 hours next spring when the program starts. Eligible students must also maintain a 2.5 grade-point average. The cash will go toward a student’s pending balance, but if they have already paid for their tuition then it will be issued out as a dis-

bursement. “This program is designed to help those students that aren’t receiving the big grants and scholarships,” said Jael Garcia, associate director of Student Financial Services. “It helps the students that are paying on their own, those whose parents are helping them or are utilizing student loans.” Programs like 15 Hour Cash Back are part of an initiative put forth by schools in the University of Texas system. The push to get students to graduate on time coincides with projections by the Texas Workforce Commission of a growing gap in the educated workforce. “These initiatives are trying to

SOURCE: UTPA FACTBOOK

change the Valley from being such a low-income area,” Garcia said. “To improve growth in the Valley and the state of Texas, we need for more people to obtain degrees.”

“The idea behind it is if a student has to repeat a class, then they aren’t actually progressing toward graduation,” Garcia said. Although the program will be

Last year about 9,100 students at UTPA received student loans to help them pay for college, according to Garcia. In 2011, 15.6 percent had graduated after being in school for four years, 31.9 percent graduated after five years, and 41.9 percent after six. Students whose tuition fees and books are paid for completely by scholarships and grants are also not eligible for the cash back program. However, if the scholarship or grant only covers a part of tuition and not a full ride, leaving a gap in the costs that they themselves have to pay, the student is once again eligible. For example, if someone has part of their bill not covered and they meet the requirements, they are eligible to receive payment. However, they will only receive enough to cover the balance, not the full $500. Another issue that will completely ruin someone’s eligibility is if they are repeating a course, regardless if it totals up to 15 hours.

processed by the financial aid department, it is not a financial aid program. This means that a student does not have to be on financial aid in order to qualify for the cash back. There is no having to fill out a FAFSA or having to qualify for financial aid. All students have to do is meet the requirements. This fall semester, tuition increased by 2.4 percent, the total cost of 15 hours for undergraduate students rising from $3,055 to $3,128. “A portion of the recent increase in tuition is being used to support the program,” said Elaine Rivera, executive director of Student Financial Services. “That is the justification the University used for the small tuition increase, to encourage students to graduate on time.” Also in conjunction with the plan to get students to move forward was UTPAchieve, a financial aid program started this fall. It covers the gap between free aid - meaning grants and scholar-

ships, and tuition fees - including $500 dollars in textbooks. Much like the 15 Hour Cash Back incentive, UTPAchieve also requires 15 hours of enrollment and a GPA of 2.5. However, it is a financial aid program, requiring students to fill out a FAFSA and have financial need. Need based students are determined by the cost of attendance minus the estimated family contribution, which is determined when filling out a FAFSA. Some of what is looked at in determining family contribution is the number of children in the family going to college, age of parents and assets the family holds. It’s not just based on the income level of the family and student. In total there are 15,247 students attending UTPA that receive some kind of needbased aid, or 72 percent of the student population. If a student qualifies for both the 15 Hour Cash Back and UTPAchieve, then he/she will only be awarded the UTPAchieve as it covers the full gap, be it $500 or $1,000.

SOURCE: FIN. AID. DEPT

IN

2012 General Election Results

WINNER

3

MORE HELP ON WAY During the summer session there are plans to introduce another program designed to get students to graduate on time, called Summer Boost. The Summer Boost is also a financial aid program, so like UTPAchieve, it will require that a FAFSA be filled out and a student have financial need. Under Summer Boost, if a student has passed 24 hours worth of credit in the fall and spring semester, they qualify to receive $500 for the enrollment of one summer class, and $1,000 for two. This is meant to help them gain the final credits that would transition them into the next classification. UTPAchieve and 15 Hour Cash Back are only for the fall and spring semesters. Hopes are that these opportunities will get students to push for graduation, and get them out into the working world without spending extra unnecessary time in school. “It was last year when the idea for the program came about,” Garcia said. “Unless funding becomes an issue, the plan so far is for it to be a continuous program.”

LOSER

President: Barack Obama (D) Ted Cruz (R)

electoral votes

303 popular votes

4,456,599

Rubén Hinojosa (D) Bobby Guerra (D)

89,143 popular votes

50.4%

20,941

popular votes

U.S. Senator: 40.5% 56.6% U.S. Representative, District 15: 60.9%

36.8% State Representative, District 41: 61.7%

206

48.1%

38.3%

popular votes popular votes

Mitt Romney (R)

electoral votes

3,183,314

Paul Sadler (D)

53,892

Dale Brueggemann (R)

12,976 popular votes

Miriam Martinez (R)


Page 4

Diya (oil-lamp)

THE PAN AMERICAN

November 8, 2012

November 8, 2012

three more, all placed For most, it is known in a row. The blackness as the celebration of Every year, over is overcome, expelling light (Good) winning 250 families in negative forces that over the dark (Evil). The Indian Associathe Valley of the may have lurked before. Also known as tion of the Rio Grande Hindu faith, along Deepavali, Diwali is a Valley (IARGV) will with those who live in India, light up five-day holiday that host its annual Diwali their houses and usually comes around festival Saturday from come together to celebrate Diwali [di-VAH-lee]. “All friends go to their neighbors’ houses and people meet and celebrate,” said Panditji Kalyana Kumar, high priest of the Shiv Shakti Temple. (Panditji is Hin- Hari Nambootiri di for priest). “We President, Indian Association of the RGV are all one family so we give gifts -- It’s the fall season be- 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at about friendship.” A wick burns in the tween October and the Edinburg Confernight at the South Ed- November. It typi- ence Center at Renaisinburg temple, the soft cally marks the begin- sance on 118 Paseo glow of an oil lamp ning of the end of the Del Prado, Edinburg. emanates, pushing the yearly Hindu calendar. It is open to the public darkness aside. An- The original definition and tickets start at $20 other Diya (oil-lamp) in Sanskrit, ‘dipavali,’ and $10 for students; is lit, then two more, means a row of lights. they will be available at Namaste Grocers, Universal Market and Taste of India. The festival will offer authentic Indian cuisine, live music, local talent, a performance by the School of Rhythm Houston group and a chance for the public to learn more about Indian culture and the Hindu religion. The University’s Indian Culture AsOm symbol sociation will take part

We’re not in India, and everyone celebrates according to their region. We invite everybody to enjoy the food, enjoy the culture and education.

in the IARGV’s 2012 Diwali celebration Nov. 10. The members will perform a popular Indian dance. The actual holiday begins Nov. 13 around the world. The date changes each year with the lunar Hindu calendar, as opposed to the Christian-Gregorian calendar based on the sun. “We set up lights... wear new clothes and light fireworks,” said Raveena Chandra, a 18-year-old freshman pre-med biology major. “Everyone goes to the temple to pray-it’s soothing.” Most often the holiday is represented with diya, placed in rows around the home to fend off negative forces. “It is like our New Years. Everyone cleans their houses and has new clothes. It is something that India does as a country,” said 19-year-old Sunena Chandra, the president of the ICA at UTPA . The IARGV is a non-profit cultural organization that promotes awareness and the understanding of the Indian culture. Through activities, they also help other Indians cope and

transition into their cause the U.S. does surrounding environ- not celebrate Diwali, most Indians and Hinment in the Valley. dus can find it rather Diwali in the Valley difficult to cope. Some Diwali is the prime will adjust and make festival of India and the changes needed commemorate represents love, loy- to their holidays. alty and peace, said “Holidays are usuIARGV President Hari ally held to fit into our Nambootiri. “We’re not in In- schedules, so we usudia, and everyone ally hold a celebration celebrates according on the weekend,” Sunto their region. We ena Chandra said. Kimberly Basedo, invite everybody to a Hindu-Christian, enjoy the food, enjoy the culture and will also be taking education,” Nam- part in the festivities bootiri said. “It’s a this weekend. Since her grandmother is fun environment.” The streets of In- Hindu and her pardia, with a population ents are Christian, she of more than 1.2 bil- adopts both. “My grandmother lion people, will remain lit throughout is from India and celthe festival’s duration ebrates, so this year as fireworks pop, peo- I have decided to ple feast on sweets take part and get to and pray for good know my culture,” the fortune, wealth and a 19-year-old said. “I am proud to be Indian happy new year. “In India, they will and I will continue to set up lights outside, embrace it.” but in the U.S. we just light up the whole house inside. Since the holiday can conflict with our schedules, we celebrate when we can,��� Raveena Chandra explained. According to the U.S. census, there were 69.8 percent more Indians in the country in 2010 com- Traditional dress decoration pared to 2000. Be-

Page 5

According to Panditji Kumar, the celebration varies depending on region, but on the first day most celebrate Dhan teras, meaning wealth. This is when most of India’s residents go to the market to purchase gold, and celebrate money and wealth. Baths will be taken and new clothes will be worn each day to begin the holiday.

Festival of Lights celebrates Indian culture

By Xander Graff-Spektor The Pan-American

THE PAN AMERICAN

The second day is known as Haniman Puja, also Narak Chaturdashi, which is when most of the praying takes place. It mainly celebrates the defeat of the evil Narakasura by Lord Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu. “Krishna gives freedom to the people. We celebrate with fireworks because of this freedom (to give blessings to our gods),” Kumar explained.

Shiva deity statue (above), elephant deity Ganesh (top right), six-armed statue of Goddess Durga Maa (right), traditional Indian attire artwork (bottom right).

We set up lights...wear new clothes and light fireworks. Everyone goes to the temple to pray--it’s soothing. - Raveena Chandra

Freshman pre-med major

The third day is the most important day of Diwali to some, because even more diya (oil-lamps) are lit and people draw beautiful rangoli, or folk art, in front of their homes. Lakshmi Puja, the goddess of wealth, and Ganesh, the god of new beginnings, are worshipped and prayed to this day. They pray for good health and wealth for the coming new year. The fourth day marks the begin-

ning of the new year and commemorates the story of the evil of egoism as experienced by Demon-King Bali. Bali, considered to be a good demon, once ruled the physical world, but the gods feared that he would take over all three worlds: Earth, Sky, and patala, the netherworld. Another incarnation of Vishnu was born, Vamana the dwarf, who placed one foot on the earth and another on the sky. Bali then gets his head stepped on by Vamana, sending Bali to patala. Gifts are given to family and friends to remember this day.

The fifth and final day, known

Design by Karen Villarreal Photos by Adrian Castillo

as Bhai Dooj or Yamadwitheya, is mostly considered to be a day where sisters and brothers remember Lord Yama’s visit to his sister Yamuna. Brothers give gifts to their sister and eat breakfast with them.


Page 4

Diya (oil-lamp)

THE PAN AMERICAN

November 8, 2012

November 8, 2012

three more, all placed For most, it is known in a row. The blackness as the celebration of Every year, over is overcome, expelling light (Good) winning 250 families in negative forces that over the dark (Evil). The Indian Associathe Valley of the may have lurked before. Also known as tion of the Rio Grande Hindu faith, along Deepavali, Diwali is a Valley (IARGV) will with those who live in India, light up five-day holiday that host its annual Diwali their houses and usually comes around festival Saturday from come together to celebrate Diwali [di-VAH-lee]. “All friends go to their neighbors’ houses and people meet and celebrate,” said Panditji Kalyana Kumar, high priest of the Shiv Shakti Temple. (Panditji is Hin- Hari Nambootiri di for priest). “We President, Indian Association of the RGV are all one family so we give gifts -- It’s the fall season be- 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at about friendship.” A wick burns in the tween October and the Edinburg Confernight at the South Ed- November. It typi- ence Center at Renaisinburg temple, the soft cally marks the begin- sance on 118 Paseo glow of an oil lamp ning of the end of the Del Prado, Edinburg. emanates, pushing the yearly Hindu calendar. It is open to the public darkness aside. An- The original definition and tickets start at $20 other Diya (oil-lamp) in Sanskrit, ‘dipavali,’ and $10 for students; is lit, then two more, means a row of lights. they will be available at Namaste Grocers, Universal Market and Taste of India. The festival will offer authentic Indian cuisine, live music, local talent, a performance by the School of Rhythm Houston group and a chance for the public to learn more about Indian culture and the Hindu religion. The University’s Indian Culture AsOm symbol sociation will take part

We’re not in India, and everyone celebrates according to their region. We invite everybody to enjoy the food, enjoy the culture and education.

in the IARGV’s 2012 Diwali celebration Nov. 10. The members will perform a popular Indian dance. The actual holiday begins Nov. 13 around the world. The date changes each year with the lunar Hindu calendar, as opposed to the Christian-Gregorian calendar based on the sun. “We set up lights... wear new clothes and light fireworks,” said Raveena Chandra, a 18-year-old freshman pre-med biology major. “Everyone goes to the temple to pray-it’s soothing.” Most often the holiday is represented with diya, placed in rows around the home to fend off negative forces. “It is like our New Years. Everyone cleans their houses and has new clothes. It is something that India does as a country,” said 19-year-old Sunena Chandra, the president of the ICA at UTPA . The IARGV is a non-profit cultural organization that promotes awareness and the understanding of the Indian culture. Through activities, they also help other Indians cope and

transition into their cause the U.S. does surrounding environ- not celebrate Diwali, most Indians and Hinment in the Valley. dus can find it rather Diwali in the Valley difficult to cope. Some Diwali is the prime will adjust and make festival of India and the changes needed commemorate represents love, loy- to their holidays. alty and peace, said “Holidays are usuIARGV President Hari ally held to fit into our Nambootiri. “We’re not in In- schedules, so we usudia, and everyone ally hold a celebration celebrates according on the weekend,” Sunto their region. We ena Chandra said. Kimberly Basedo, invite everybody to a Hindu-Christian, enjoy the food, enjoy the culture and will also be taking education,” Nam- part in the festivities bootiri said. “It’s a this weekend. Since her grandmother is fun environment.” The streets of In- Hindu and her pardia, with a population ents are Christian, she of more than 1.2 bil- adopts both. “My grandmother lion people, will remain lit throughout is from India and celthe festival’s duration ebrates, so this year as fireworks pop, peo- I have decided to ple feast on sweets take part and get to and pray for good know my culture,” the fortune, wealth and a 19-year-old said. “I am proud to be Indian happy new year. “In India, they will and I will continue to set up lights outside, embrace it.” but in the U.S. we just light up the whole house inside. Since the holiday can conflict with our schedules, we celebrate when we can,” Raveena Chandra explained. According to the U.S. census, there were 69.8 percent more Indians in the country in 2010 com- Traditional dress decoration pared to 2000. Be-

Page 5

According to Panditji Kumar, the celebration varies depending on region, but on the first day most celebrate Dhan teras, meaning wealth. This is when most of India’s residents go to the market to purchase gold, and celebrate money and wealth. Baths will be taken and new clothes will be worn each day to begin the holiday.

Festival of Lights celebrates Indian culture

By Xander Graff-Spektor The Pan-American

THE PAN AMERICAN

The second day is known as Haniman Puja, also Narak Chaturdashi, which is when most of the praying takes place. It mainly celebrates the defeat of the evil Narakasura by Lord Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu. “Krishna gives freedom to the people. We celebrate with fireworks because of this freedom (to give blessings to our gods),” Kumar explained.

Shiva deity statue (above), elephant deity Ganesh (top right), six-armed statue of Goddess Durga Maa (right), traditional Indian attire artwork (bottom right).

We set up lights...wear new clothes and light fireworks. Everyone goes to the temple to pray--it’s soothing. - Raveena Chandra

Freshman pre-med major

The third day is the most important day of Diwali to some, because even more diya (oil-lamps) are lit and people draw beautiful rangoli, or folk art, in front of their homes. Lakshmi Puja, the goddess of wealth, and Ganesh, the god of new beginnings, are worshipped and prayed to this day. They pray for good health and wealth for the coming new year. The fourth day marks the begin-

ning of the new year and commemorates the story of the evil of egoism as experienced by Demon-King Bali. Bali, considered to be a good demon, once ruled the physical world, but the gods feared that he would take over all three worlds: Earth, Sky, and patala, the netherworld. Another incarnation of Vishnu was born, Vamana the dwarf, who placed one foot on the earth and another on the sky. Bali then gets his head stepped on by Vamana, sending Bali to patala. Gifts are given to family and friends to remember this day.

The fifth and final day, known

Design by Karen Villarreal Photos by Adrian Castillo

as Bhai Dooj or Yamadwitheya, is mostly considered to be a day where sisters and brothers remember Lord Yama’s visit to his sister Yamuna. Brothers give gifts to their sister and eat breakfast with them.


6

arts & life

November 8, 2012

Express Lab employee takes pride in helping students Story and photos by Karen Antonacci The Pan American Elizabeth “Lizzie” Dayarmin does everything fast. Her small oxford-clad feet scuttle between computers as she helps Express Lab visitors navigate the murky waters of applying for, paying for and graduating from college. Dayarmin speaks quickly, pulling freely from English, Spanish and Tex-Mex to get her point across. Her words are supplemented by her hands, which never stop moving.

that UTPA needed someone to help out in the financial aid department. The woman that usually did the job was going on maternity leave. “They told me they would only need someone for six to eight months. They just needed someone to answer the phone, sort the mail, and pos, just be there,” Dayarmin explained. “So I said ‘Why not?’” That was nine years ago. Her supervisors liked the way she worked and transferred her to financial aid verification. “I had my little case and I

- Elizabeth Dayarmin “Pos then, porque ya estamos in October, mijo, you need to do the, este, the application already,” comes the answer to a question about the Excellence Scholarship, every word given it’s own personal exclamation mark by the 52-year-old’s active hands. Dayarmin gives the sense that she is uncomfortable being still, perhaps a habit learned from doing many jobs over the years. Dayarmin started at age 13 doing housekeeping and laundry for a nursing home. Then, the McAllen native went to work for The Monitor her senior year of high school, operating the switchboard, doing bookkeeping and taking complaints from the circulation department. She moved to Nebraska in 1989 and worked as a short-order cook for her motherin-law’s nightclub. “But I didn’t serve them alcohol! I said if they wanted a beer, then someone else could give it to them,” she said about the gig. She also did a six-month stint fixing flats at a gas station and then worked 15 years at a meat processing plant. “That’s manual labor,” Dayarmin exclaimed. “Not mental. Manual, hard on your hands.” Upon moving back to the Valley in 2004, she thought she would take a year off work, but her husband heard from a buddy

would go all over campus,” she said. “Spend some hours in the Library doing verification and some in the, este, Academic Services. And then they said, ‘Mira, just stay in the Express Lab and help students,’ and I said, ‘Well OK! Cool!’” The Express Lab is now a room next to the Registrar’s Office in the Student Services Building. Dayarmin leads her student employees in helping visitors navigate paperwork associated with the college experience, from applying to graduating. When she first got there, however, the Lab was a far cry from its current state. At that time, more and more of the financial aid process began to shift online. Dayarmin said she remembered times when there was a line of students out the door taking care of loan promissory notes, applying for TEXAS grants or doing summer notification. “I saw! I saw all of these things getting automated more and more,” she said, eyes wide. “And I saw and I said, ‘This is good! This will help the students.’ It got to where you could even make payments online tambien, so we became kind of a one-stop shop.” Dayarmin pulls up a spreadsheet on her computer and shows off the Express Lab’s increasing numbers. Since 2004, the number of visits to the Lab has more than quadrupled to 28,294 last year.

“I started going to the graduations in 2009 because that was the first time when I could see my students, the ones I helped as freshmen, get their degree,” she said. Dayarmin always refers to the people that come to the Express Lab for help as her students. “Now I go every time - fall, spring and summer.” Dayarmin can tell indebted graduates when their loans are due, expectant sophomores when they’ll get their disbursements or confused college applicants the FAFSA necessities. But there’s another quality that makes her the person students go to for help. It’s midway through the workday. A pre-med senior comes in flustered and makes a beeline for Dayarmin’s desk. He’s stressed, he says. He’s taking 16 hours and has an unpaid balance to the University and his washer at home just broke and he has a little baby boy to take care of and he was supposed to get work study but doesn’t have the time and might have to take out a loan, but his wife has enough debt for the two of them and gas is getting so expensive nowadays. Dayarmin nods and listens, nods and listens. She looks up his student ID, and finds the problem. The state thinks he is getting

Dayarmin said this situation happens multiple times a day. It’s not just the financial aid knowledge she needs for this job. She has to be part camp counselor, too. “Sometimes the staff, when students come and they have all these problems, we are just sitting there and kind of going, ‘OK, but what is it you need?’” Dayarmin illustrated impatience by tapping her hands frantically on her desk. “But you have to be patient and listen to all of that so the student gets comfortable and will tell you what’s really wrong.” Dayarmin pulls from her other jobs to do this one. She said that she sees the students as the University’s customer base, the foundation of the institution. And if she can get their mind off of paying for college, maybe they can go on to do great things. “I try to guide them,” she said. “If we can get their financial aid worked out, and they aren’t worried about it, they can concentrate on their classes and hopefully do well.” Dayarmin may be filling out her own financial aid applications soon; she hopes to enroll this summer and eventually obtain her first degree from UTPA - a bachelor’s in finance, of course. “It may be kind of weird for

- Elizabeth Dayarmin money from a work-study job, but he never went and applied for a job, deciding to take time for his classwork instead. “A ver mijo, it’s because you accepted the aid. You need to decline so you can get your disbursement, see?” They both lean forward and look at the computer screen. “Oh! Thank you, miss. OK, I’ll do that. Yeah, they were telling me something over there,” he gestures in the direction of the Registrar’s Office. “But I remembered you really know a lot and I said, ‘Let me go ask her, she will know what to do.’”

my students to see me in class with them,” she said. “But hey, you know, maybe it will be to their benefit like if they don’t understand something, I’m going to raise my hand and say, ‘Mira, I’m an old-timer and it went right over me. Dimelo again?’ and then they can hear it repeated too.” Until she enrolls, though, Dayarmin can be found in her Express Lab, helping students, nine hours a day, five days a week. “I’ve always said, ‘A job doesn’t define a person. The person defines a job.’ I have to serve people, it’s what I was put here to do. I have a grace for it.”


November 8, 2012

one point away

Story and Photo By Norma Gonzalez The Pan American Bianca Torre doesn’t know how many points she’s racked up in her past three seasons at UTPA, nor does she really care, but tomorrow night the University’s women’s basketball season tips-off and, with

it, a new record will most likely be made. Eight months ago, as the women’s basketball season was coming close to an end, Bronc basketball fans packed the Field House to see history in the making. Then-junior guard Torre started the game 16 points behind the all-time leading scorer record.

All Torre wanted to accomplish that February night was to beat Utah Valley, who had proceeded to talk smack about the Broncs since they last beat the Broncs 66-51 on the road. After forcing the game into overtime and coming within one point of breaking the 9-yearold record, it seemed the audience would get their wish. Just as Torre stole the ball from UVU and exploded across the court to complete a routine jump shot, she crashed to the floor. Although her teammates secured a win against the Wolverines (71-70 in overtime), Torre was unable to return to the game and had to sit out the rest of the season. “My hamstring had been bugging me and I remember (Coach Downing) called a timeout and I didn’t even go to the huddle, I went to the trainer, and they stretched me out,” Torre explains. “I went back in and, a couple of seconds later, that’s when I got the steal and I was dribbling down and just did a jump shot and it gave out. Something just didn’t feel right.” Although Torre ended the season three games earlier than

planned, and one point shy, due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament, ACL, she has undergone surgery and extensive therapy and is determined to leave it all out on the court her senior season. The Broncs start the season on the road to play UTSA, and should be the game where Torre shatters the record. The Harlingen native, who has been playing basketball since the second grade, remembers watching her brothers Michael and Albert play hoops with his friends across the street and wanted to join in, but they would brush her off. “I always wanted to play (with them), but they always told me that I was a girl and couldn’t play,” Torre recalls. “So I wanted to prove them wrong.” The Bronc guard took it upon herself to seek help. A family friend, Frank Hernandez, who played basketball in high school and lived across the street from Torre, agreed to coach the 7 year old so she could play with the boys. Torre would get up early in the morning and wake up Hernandez so they could practice and after school they’d go back at it, attacking the court. Once in middle school and high school, Torre participated in other sports, like softball, volleyball and track, but basketball was still her passion. Even though Torre’s moth-

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er never played any sports and money was tight at times, she registered Torre at The Boys and Girls Club and both her parents made sure to attend as many games as they could. “Basketball was always different. I had a different feel for it,” Torre explains. “It just made me feel complete. I’m alive playing, nothing matters.” Torre’s skills on the court drew the attention of South Alabama University, but something about living in the Valley always made her want to go to UTPA. After being rudely told by other high school coaches that the Univer-

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sity’s basketball program wasn’t up to par, she decided she wanted to once again prove the naysayers wrong. And that she has. Besides her assault on the record books, the program is on their winningest stretch of three years. “I just want to be an inspiration, help people out. Especially, being from the Valley, they probably think that they can’t do things,” said the 5-foot-5 guard. “Like sports-wise too, because of their height or something. I just want to be an example that, whatever you want to be, you can achieve it.”


November 8, 2012

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November 8, 2012