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Making Waves Page 10


11-1 start brings national attention to Broncs

Volume 68, No. 22

Trans-Atlantic Spring Break in Morocco

March 22, 2012


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Road Trip

Broncs push through six road matches in seven days

Page 11

Fix It

Physical Plant asks students to report needed repairs Page 5

SGA Interview


Matthew Garcia talks about winning the presidency

Texas refuses federal money for health care, plans to fund state program itself Page 4



March 22, 2012

Photo of the week


America first Pamela Morales Multimedia Editor

I’m sure by now everyone knows what KONY 2012 is, or at least knows something about it. If you don’t know or you’re still a little confused, here’s a quick overview: Jason Russell, an activist, believes Joseph Kony, a Ugandan war lord who kidnaps children to be his sex slaves and soldiers, should be arrested and imprisoned for his crimes. In order to tell the world, Russell posted a video, KONY 2012, on YouTube and shared in almost every social network, including Facebook and Twitter. A week before Spring Break, the video became an Internet sensation. My Facebook feed had almost 20 shares of the same video, so I became curious and decided to investigate. The first 10 minutes was definitely emotional. I cried when the little boy talked about

losing his brother and the ordeal of being part of Kony’s army. He explained he wasn’t free and would rather die than be part of something evil. Then the video explained that hundreds of girls have been forced into becoming slaves, children were forced to kill their parents, and that there is a lack of manpower in Uganda to overthrow Kony. What an emotional ride. However, after I finished the video, I still did not feel the need to share or advocate for this campaign. I sound heartless because at this very moment, Ugandan children are being abducted to become sex slaves and killing machines, but what about the children in the United States? Russell explained in the video that about 30,000 children have been affected by Kony’s inhumane acts. I cannot begin to comprehend what it would be like to be a victim of such heinous acts, but then again, I cannot help but wonder about the children in the United States.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, in a oneyear period 797,500 children have been reported missing in the United States. One of the most famous missing children was Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped at age 11 and found 18 years later. Within that time, she was raped and gave birth to two daughters, both of whom were fathered by the abductor, Philip Garrido. Luckily, she was found and returned to her family. You may scoff at my idea of comparing her to the hundreds of kids in Uganda who are not being saved, but like the filmmaker mentioned, sometimes we don’t know about something because no one spreads the word. So the question for me is, is Jaycee Dugard the only child to be abducted and forced to have sex in the United States? How do we know there aren’t others like her? How do we know children aren’t being kidnapped to become sex slaves? How does anyone know, really?

Another point, donations to TRI went to rebuild schools in Uganda. According to the American Association of School Administrators, during the years 2010 and 2011, there was a projected 11 percent of public primary and secondary schools that either closed or consolidated in the United States. Most of the closures and consolidations resulted from budget cuts. Yet, here is Russell asking Congress to help with the Ugandan situation. Why ask politicians to help Uganda when they can’t even allocate money to fund education here? As much as I pity and pray for those children in Uganda, I refuse to financially support the campaign. By all means, if you want to advocate and donate your money, then do it. But personally, I’ve seen the effects of the struggling economy on Americans. How are we supposed to help others when we cannot help ourselves?

Norma Gonzalez/The Pan American Senior first baseman Roger Bernal catches a ball from Angel Ibañez in mid-air to get the out during Tuesday’s game against TAMUCC. Bernal tagged the runner, giving the Islanders their first out of the second inning. The men’s baseball team ended up sweeping the Islanders during their double header. The Broncs now sit at 11-1 for the entire season, this includes a win over top 10 ranked Texas A&M.

Like The Pan American Facebook page to view the “UTPA Frame of the Day.”

Vol. 68, No. 22


The Pan American


You’re not going to issue me a course catalog ahead of time, but I’m supposed to come up with a list of classes I want to take? @UTPA

1201 West University, CAS 170 Edinburg, Texas 78539 Phone: (956) 665-2541 Fax: (956) 316-7122


Reynaldo Leal Nadia Tamez-Robledo


News Editor:

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Letters to the Editor

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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

Erick Gonzalez Pamela Morales George Terrazas /The Pan American

n o i t duc o r P otes N week 8 When I joined the Pan American at the beginning of this semester, I never thought I’d be sent to my first music festival.

As a future music journalist, I was determined to cover this year’s Never Say Never Music and Arts Festival, even if I had to fight to the death for it. I was unsure of what to expect from the festival. I assumed there would be a lot of scene and hipster teenagers and was surprised when I saw more of an older crowd. I also didn’t know most of the artists playing, but I became a fan of many of them. I had no idea they would

be so accessible and willing to talk to fans. I came to find most of them are just as excited to be there as the attendees and consider playing at NSN a privilege. Even though I was covered in dirt, had an uneven tan from standing in the sun all day, had aching feet from walking from stage to stage, and had no strength in my arms after holding cameras, I didn’t want it to end. NSN lives up to its

name and proves anything is possible. I never thought that at my first music festival I would have media access and be the closest I’ve ever been to a stage. Both days of the festival were long and tiring but worth it. The experience was life changing and confirmed that concerts are where I want to be. - Marcela Peña Multimedia reporter


Dr. Greg Selber

Administrative Associate:

Anita Reyes

Advertising Manager:

Mariel Cantu


Jose Villarreal Selvino Padilla

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.


Thursday at noon

March 22, 2012

the pan american

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March 22, 2012

newsbriefs The priority deadline for the FAFSA at UTPA is April 1. Registration for the Summer and Fall 2012 semesters begins April 2 through ASSIST. Guest speaker Dalinda Gonzalez-Alcantar spoke on Tuesday about how her company, eJucomm, recieved the $10,000 McAllen Innovation Grant for their smartphone app. The app allows educators to communicate information about their school to students. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t even matter what you’ve been through, the reality is that if you really want to do something, no barriers matter. I’m hoping that I was able to invoke that spirit, so that was my purpose.” eJucomm is looking for students who are interested in contributing to the company. Please email at Gonzalez-Alcantar at for more information. The Residence Life office has RA openings for the 2012-2013 school year. Applications can be picked up at the office in the University Center, Unity Hall front desk, Heritage hall front desk, or online at There is an opening for the Faculty Director position for Office of International Programs in the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning. Candidates must have a doctorate and be a tenured faculty member at UTPA. They are responsible for programs and initiatives related to the administration and development of the office. For more information, please email There is a new software program at UTPA called DegreeWorks that allows students to view what classes they need to take, their grades, their GPAs, and information on their advisement. It is now available on ASSIST through the student records link. There is a new charging station for mobile electronics devices at the Academic Services Building in Room 1.102. It has 12 different charging jacks that support most cell phones and mobile devices. This service is provided by IT student fees.

Texas refuses federal money for women, plans to fund care itself By Nadia Tamez-Robledo and Susan Gonzalez The Pan American UTPA senior Julisa McCoy is one of 130,000 Texas women who are at risk of losing their access to health care because of a showdown over funding for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. As a student, McCoy was able to afford preventative health care from Planned Parenthood under the Texas Medicaid Women’s Health Program (WHP). “I’ve been going for the last four years just to make sure I’m good and healthy,” McCoy said. The sociology major receives routine checkups that include screenings for cancer, heart conditions and diabetes. Gov. Rick Perry enacted a law earlier this month that disqualified Planned Parenthood from participating in WHP because some of its clinics provide abortions, although Texas law already prohibits taxpayer money going to organizations that perform the operation. The new law will cut off funding to clinics that have any affiliation to an abortion provider, whether it is a shared name, employee or board member. As a result of the law, the federal government withdrew $40 million that would have funded the program, saying the Texas law violates Medicaid regulations that allow women to choose their health care provider. The $40 million hole will leave the program, which serves 15,000 women in Hidalgo and Starr counties, without 90 percent of its operating funds, according to Planned Parenthood official Kathryn Hearn. “There’s no other group, probably, that this will affect more than UT Pan Am women,” said Hearn, who is the Community Service Director for the counties. “They come to Planned Parenthood, they are uninsured, they are maybe


Starting with Raghuveer Puttagunta’s term three years ago and building up to Stephanie Corte’s current presidency, bills and resolutions passed by the Student Government Association highlight the personality and priorities of each administration. Matthew Garcia received sixty percent of the votes in the run-

working only a part-time job and cannot afford health insurance or their employer does not offer parttime employee health benefits, and this is really their only access to care.” Before McCoy was going to Planned Parenthood and in the WHP, she said she wouldn’t have been able to afford basic health care services. “Everywhere I went, it was $200, $300 minimum just to get a checkup,” said McCoy, who has been a Planned Parenthood patient for four years. “I live on my own, so I can’t afford to dip into my rent funds or my grocery funds.”

staff and shut down four of its eight facilities. For McCoy, finding money for women’s health now when it was already reduced last year doesn’t make much sense. “(Perry’s) response was, ‘Well, we’ll find the money somewhere.’ Again, just insanity,” she said. “Why, when you just enacted a fiscal decision that stands counter to your new position of trying to fund the Texas Women’s Health Program? It makes you wonder, do they realize what they’re talking about?” Jerry Joule, campus minister at the Baptist Student Ministry, views the governor’s invocation of a watershed issue like abortion as an appeal to religious constituents, but it’s one that he’s not buying into. “Texas is a very evangelical conservative state, and any move that supports an abortion clinic goes very badly for Republicans

as adviser for the Republicans at UTPA, doesn’t want Perry’s political affiliation to reflect badly on other Texas Republicans. “Look, Rick Perry made a mistake and, please, I don’t want anyone to look at Rick Perry and say he is indicative of Republican thinking, because he’s not,” said Jackson, adding that only a few Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas provide abortions. “The guy made a tremendous blunder. What’s the point of leaving them out of any support you’re going to get for women’s health?”

WHAT NOW? Texas Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, said the governor’s actions were pure politics and asked people that disagree with Perry to speak out. “It’s really amazing to me that we TESTING have public officials who want to please the minority by taking CONTRACEPTION AND TREATMENT their views and pushing those views and ideology,” Hinojosa said. “The majority needs to start fighting back and pushing OTHER back.” WOMAN’S CANCER OTHER SCREENING AND HEALTH Hearn said Planned Parenthood ABORTIONS SERVICES PREVENTION is pushing back. They collected 95,000 emails and letters in favor of the program which they plan to deliver to the Capitol in the next two weeks. They’re also continuing to raise awareness about the lack of funding. “Men have a vested interest in this as well. The more people who can speak out about this and let the governor know the wishes and the will of the people of Texas, the more likely it is that Planned Parenthood will still be included in this program,” she said. For the time being, McCoy, who has spoken at rallies supporting the program in McAllen and Austin, is Sources: Planned Parenthood hoping that Texans become aware other causes, including autism and that this issue exists and voice their on the national stage,” Joule said. early childhood programs. opinions to lawmakers. “I think he was making a political When state cuts to family “I’m optimistic yet pessimistic at move rather than a move in the best planning took effect, the Hidalgo the same time, but I think a lot of interest of the state.” County network lost a $3.1 million Political science professor people still just don’t know about it contract, was forced to lay off half its Edward Jackson, who serves or don’t really comprehend the risks SECOND TIME AROUND The dispute and loss of funding came on top of a major cut to family planning by the Texas legislature last year, when it was slashed by twothirds. The money was diverted to

Planned Parenthood Services

off elections ending on March 8. The new term begins on April 15, and one of Garcia’s first moves as president is to start updating the SGA website and making it more resourceful for students. “It’s been sitting there pretty much this entire year,” said Garcia, “People would go on, but there’s nothing really saying, ‘Oh, this is your SGA, these are your senators; these are your senator reps.’” Garcia’s ideas for the next year include cooperating with various representatives of student organizations at the University to try and work with student population as possible.

that are involved...” the 23-yearold said. “There are just so many consequences to this aside from the obvious, that women’s lives and livelihoods are being threatened and put at risk. It’s just unbelievable the effects this will have.” Karen Antoacci contributed to this report.


Raghuveer Puttagunta 2009-2010 Resolutions passed Requested professors and lecturers to have reserve textbooks for students Extended open appreciation to all UTPA custodians

Bills passed: 10

Alejandro Rodriguez 2010-2011 Resolutions passed Requested changes to the Handbook of Operating Procedures to increase student awareness of the activities of campus councils and committees

Sources: Planned Parenthood, U.S. Census, Texas Health and Human Services

Stephanie Corte 2011-2012 Resolutions passed Recommended the increase of visibiliy at the intersection of N. Sugar Rd and W. McIntye St Supported designated smoking areas on campus.

Supported the DREAM Act

Bills passed: 2

Bills passed: 2


March 22, 2012 Amanda Vela, 20, is a junior biology major who usually visits the library twice a week to study. She believes that the study rooms should be updated and more accessible. “I wish Pan Am had more study rooms, and if they could take the chalk boards out of some of them and replace with whiteboards, that would be awesome,” Vela said.

wear and tear

UTPA students urged to report important repairs to Physical Plant

Mac Peña/The Pan American

clogged and broken - A water fountain on the first floor of the COAS building is often clogged, and all the fountains in the building operate under low water pressure. By Daniella Diaz The Pan American In a university of 19,000 students, the necessity of many small repairs may go unreported to the Physical Plant. But these troubles affect the day-to-day routine of students, staff, and faculty, such as a slow sliding door or a leaky water fountain. Tori Velasquez, 18, takes the stairs instead of the elevator now after noticing an expired inspection sticker in a lift earlier in the semester. The sophomore finance major believes that several things on campus need fixing. “I can’t ask too much of the

University because they are just minor repairs,” she said. “But if students are finding them to be an issue, something should be done.” The UTPA Physical Plant handles development and improvement projects on campus. Oscar Villarreal, the director, is a Rio Grande City native and UTPA alum who has been working at the University for 22 years. According to him, a Physical Plant employee went around campus inspecting the elevators two weeks ago. The expired stickers, however, are still up, and worry Velasquez. “I would be concerned if the

inspections weren’t up to date,” Villarreal said. “But in this case we can assure you that the elevators have been inspected by the state and what happens is that it usually takes a couple of weeks for us to get the certification from the state.” The elevators aren’t the only campus concern for UTPA students, though. “The hooks on the bathroom doors are all broken,” Velasquez said. “I hate putting my purse and bag on the floor. Also, in the first floor bathroom of the COAS, one of the stalls has a door that is too long and doesn’t close at all.”

‘PANAMexicanos’ By Jose S. De Leon III The Pan American The meetings for PANAMexicanos are moving from Facebook to the Engineering Building. This new organization started online and its members have one goal in mind: to bond students together, whether they’re Mexican or not. “This organization will be open to anyone who has any interest in knowing about Mexican culture,” said 21-yearold rehabilitation major and co-founder of the club Daniel Frias. “One of our goals is to maintain a sense of Mexican customs between student circles.” PANAMexicanos started as a Facebook page last fall, and is now becoming a student organization after months of work by Frias and two co-founders, Mauricio Lomeli and Jorge Vivanco. There are more than 300 members now. The founders know that they are not a minority at UTPA. According to the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness, 89 percent of UTPA

students are Hispanic and they hope that that large number will create an interest in their organization. “When we first saw how large the group was, and we saw how the group as a community was helping each other, we thought, `wouldn’t this be something cool to do?’” Frias said. Frias, Lomeli and Vivanco then set their plan in motion to start PANAMexicanos. They submitted an application to start the organization in October 2011, then got Richard Trevino, executive director of the Learning Assistance Center, to serve as adviser. Members are currently drafting a constitution to be submitted to SGA. “We want to create an experience for students who have never been to Mexico for them get an idea of what the Republic of Mexico is like,” said Lomeli, a 21-year-old actuarial science studies major. “It’s as if by them being a part of this organization, they can at least get an idea of what their heritage is like.” The co-founders said they

Other problems that UTPA students Cameron Chalk and Jose Patino observed include leaky urinals in male restrooms and slow sliding doors in buildings. Villarreal said students should call in their complaints to Physical Plant. “We do depend on the public, on our student community and our faculty and our staff, to make those calls because we have limited eyes that are out there on campus,” Villarreal said. “So any help that we can get from our community to report those things, especially when they’re emergencies or a potential hazard, is critical to us.”

CAMPUS IMPROVEMENTS Villarreal knows that students always have suggestions for improving the campus. However, Physical Plant needs funding and permission to fix and change the University. “Those kinds of requests have to go through administration,” Villarreal said. “Once it’s justified, then those requests are submitted to us with funding so that we can create new spaces or convert existing spaces for different uses.” Physical Plant has funds for the building maintenance on campus but other repairs that are outside of the budget get funded through special accounts by campus administration. Recently, the plant has been managing campus construction, including the addition of two new food shops, as well as Student Union renovations planned to be complete by fall 2012. According to Villarreal, these projects do not affect the way Physical Plant handles repairs on campus. “We just recently, this past September, took a big hit on employee reduction. Some of the positions, although they’re not eliminated, were frozen, so


Complaints from around campus Slow clocks Slow sliding doors Low-pressure drinking fountains

Bathroom issues - Clogged sinks - Broken/missing hooks - Broken stall doors

we’ve had to slowly work our way back to creating the proper staffing levels for those crews,” Villarreal said. “So it’s not that we’re not wanting to fix, or can’t fix, it’s just that it’s taking a little bit of time to be able to get to those items.” Physical Plant originally had 220 employees, but lost 30 with the hiring freeze. According to Villarreal, they are currently working with the campus administration to replace some positions to allow the department to run more efficiently. Velasquez understands that the University cannot repair everything, but she feels that there is a way of handling these matters after they surface. “The only things that I think should be fixed immediately are things that deal with safety like the elevator inspection,” she said. “Otherwise, I think UTPA should repair things that are complained about the most to meet the students’ needs.”

The Pan American

Social network group becomes reality

want to celebrate real Mexican holidays, traditions and food. “I feel like sometimes people from here see Mexico as what they see when they cross the border. It’s not about burritos.” Vivanco said. “Or sombreros or burros,” Lomeli finished. Lomeli also notes that within the group, there is a regional diversity even though the three main members are from the same country. “I’m from Queretaro, Mexico, Vivanco is a native

Co-founder Vivanco, a 20-year-old management major, agrees. “Our group is not just for Mexican students,” he said. “We have something substantial to give students whether they’re Mexican or not, and that’s a chance to bond with other students. We’re planning on creating social circles within the group to help students interact.” Aside from creating bonding activities for students, like

We want to create an experience for students who have never been to Mexico for them get an idea of what the Republic of Mexico is like. -Mauricio Lomeli

Co-founder of PANAMexicanos

of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, and Frias is from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon,” he said. “We all may have different experiences of Mexico and we can use that as a way to help bring the students together.”

watching movies, PANAMexicanos will provide something unique to members of the organization, a branch composed of senators. Under this branch, one student, called a senator, repre-

senting his or her university college in PANAMexicanos will be in charge of gathering information about that college and delivering it to targeted members of the club. “This will serve as representation of the college in the organization,” Frias said. “The senator will coordinate the people in that college and help us with organizing our members.” As for the turnout for the first meeting on Friday, the group is optimistic. “We have over 300 members in our Facebook group,” Lomeli said. “Even if a small fraction of that showed up, we’d still be satisfied.” The first meeting will be held in the Engineering Building on Friday, March 23 at 1 p.m. Officers are planning to discuss the mission as an organization and talk about what executive positions (treasurer and secretary) and officer positions (public relations, historian, Webmaster, photographer, events coordinator) are open.

Police Beat Monday, March 19 Two students were arrested on Schunior for marijuana possession after being stopped for a traffic violation. Tuesday, March 20 A staff member reported damage to a vehicle in parking lot T-2. A student reported the theft of a bicycle from the Unity Hall dorms. A staff member at the Wellness & Recreational Center reported an incident of credit card abuse. An unauthorized transaction of $2,900 was attempted at an off-campus location using the staff member’s personal credit card account number. Wednesday, March 21 UT Police and EMS responded to a call for medical assistance for a person who is not a student at the Health Sciences East building. They were transported by EMS to Edinburg Regional Hospital.

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March 22, 2012



March 22, 2012

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David Alvarado/The Pan American

t s e w h t u o South by S

Thousands rushed to Austin for their Spring Break vacation to experience South by Southwest. SXSW is known as one of the biggest festivals featuring film, interactive and music showcases. Several performers can be seen on street corners, in record shops and bars. Downtown Austin was packed until 3 a.m., and late-night shows attracted throngs of people. Other than the many showcases SXSW offered, the festival was a great opportunity for small businesses to sell and Austinites to show off their talents. Campaigns to raise awareness about various issues also ran through 6th Street. One was The Naked Cowboy, who led a group of campaigners in nude suits to speak about HIV/ AIDS. Music performances included artists DEV, Of Verona, Saint Motel and many others. This nineday festival did not disappoint, as it was an arts paradise for many people. Natalia Rocafuerte/The Pan American

Faith Aguilar/The Pan American

Natalia Rocafuerte/The Pan American

Faith Aguilar/The Pan American

Natalia Rocafuerte/The Pan American

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March 22, 2012



March 22, 2012

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David Alvarado/The Pan American

t s e w h t u o South by S

Thousands rushed to Austin for their Spring Break vacation to experience South by Southwest. SXSW is known as one of the biggest festivals featuring film, interactive and music showcases. Several performers can be seen on street corners, in record shops and bars. Downtown Austin was packed until 3 a.m., and late-night shows attracted throngs of people. Other than the many showcases SXSW offered, the festival was a great opportunity for small businesses to sell and Austinites to show off their talents. Campaigns to raise awareness about various issues also ran through 6th Street. One was The Naked Cowboy, who led a group of campaigners in nude suits to speak about HIV/ AIDS. Music performances included artists DEV, Of Verona, Saint Motel and many others. This nineday festival did not disappoint, as it was an arts paradise for many people. Natalia Rocafuerte/The Pan American

Faith Aguilar/The Pan American

Natalia Rocafuerte/The Pan American

Faith Aguilar/The Pan American

Natalia Rocafuerte/The Pan American


arts & life

March 22, 2012

FESTIBA returns to UTPA By Lea Victoria Juarez The Pan American UTPA was set to host the first Festival of International Books and Arts (FESTIBA), a weeklong event promoting education and reading to the South Texas community, in 2006. It begins Friday and runs through March 31. “The festival was organized to celebrate and appreciate the arts and humanities,” organizer Dr. Dahlia Guerra, dean of College of Arts and Humanities, said. “Also to promote the importance of family literacy and to encourage the awareness of reading and the crucial skills for lifelong learning.” The reason behind this year’s FESTIBA theme, “Literacy and Justice for All,” is to reference the election year, but also to address literacy problems among Hispanics. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the Hispanic literacy rate has decreased in the past decade. Guerra explained that the Valley has a rate of 52 percent. “This is a drive to make the community aware that this is a really important issue of reading to their children and stressing the importance of literacy,” she said. “Read to your child because this is going to impact their learning capacity for the rest of their lives.” FESTIBA will offer a number of educational and cultural events throughout the week. Three fine arts exhibits will be open all week and various outreach programs are scheduled, such as book festivals and tours of the campus. On Friday, the community is invited to attend FESTIBA at Jardin de Arte at Edinburg City Hall. This event will be featuring musical groups, authors and book signings and a theater production of James and the Giant Peach. An all-day mariachi competition will be held at the UTPA Fine Arts Auditorium on Saturday, March 31. “(It’s) mostly to highlight the fact that literacy is what frees and enables a person to achieve their fullest potential,” Guerra explained. “It’s about liberty. It’s about education. It’s about reading as a pathway to finding freedom and justice.”

Across the Atlantic Reporter chronicles Spring Break backpacking trip through Morocco

By Norma Gonzalez The Pan American Once settled, we step out into the city’s square and I am taken aback by what there is to see. Vendors and entertainers swarm the grounds, backpackcarrying tourists try capturing the scene with their cameras, and everyone is moving along so fast they resemble ants scurrying around an ant hill. I was travelling last week with Nadia Tamez-Robledo, co-editor-in-chief of The Pan American, and we were aware of the long hours to be endured while traveling to North Africa. Somehow, we still made it to Morocco in one piece.


We walked through the maze-like medina (marketplace) for hours, fighting off hands as locals tried pulling us into their shops, screaming: “salaam,” “hello,” and “hola” as they tried to

guess where we were from. There was a sense of aggression mixed with desperation as every single person wanted us to go to their store to shop. Coming from a place where people courteously ask you if you need help, it was alarming how to see how badly these people fought for my attention to try to sell something. We bartered, getting them to lower prices. The next day proved to be a good one, with a sunny, clear sky and the ruins of Badi Palace available to us. Reading the signs with descriptions of the rooms’ uses, our imagination took over as we saw empty rooms rise off the rubblelaced floor and come alive. We climbed over broken walls and stumbled on broken walkways. As if we were archeologists, we searched through underground tunnels. Our inner kids emerged,

R a bat

wanting to explore more, go further down, climb higher walls. My head grazed the top of a tunnel as I squeezed myself through a hole, wanting to see what was in the next room. I peeked through holes the size of my fist at other tourists taking the safe route around the castle. My mom would have looked at me disapprovingly if she saw me then, crawling through dirt, banging my knees, jumping off walls and getting rocks stuck in my hair.

Never Say Never 2012 For coverage of the NSN festival, check out


The medina in Rabat was much calmer than the one at Marrakesh, but that didn’t stop people from trying to catch our attention. We were interested in a scarf stand, and the vendor came up to us, asking if we spoke English or Spanish. I replied that I could speak both and a smile broke across his face. He started talking to me in Spanish, almost as if to test how well I knew the language, and when I kept up with the conversation he began to sing my praises. He explained he was originally from Spain and had moved to Morocco years ago and had never come across an American who spoke Spanish so well - something I was happy to tell my mother since she always criticizes the way I do it. Instead of aggressively trying to make a sale, he acted more like someone who just reconnected with a friend. He offered us a friend’s price, saying we were


r ra

ke s

almost like family. At the time I didn’t have enough money to buy anything from him, but told him I would be back the following day to buy something for my mother and grandmother. The following afternoon he called us over, calling us “las mexicanas,” and greeted us with open arms, as if we were friends for years. He helped me pick out my family’s presents while keeping up a friendly conversation. I felt almost sad as I left him because he was the one person I found that I could relate to and communicate with, while everyone else blocked me with the language barrier.


The trains to and in Casablanca proved to be an interesting trip. Traveling from Rabat to Casablanca, we were scared to fall asleep because we were worried we would miss our stop and have to find our way back. Across the aisle, two teenage girls just kept staring our way, one more than the other. I felt like a caged animal and she was on the other side of the glass looking in. When time came to leave we


had to take a train to the airport and Nadia and I silently freaked out as we realized we would have to make a connecting train. The people getting on and off at each station were a blur. I didn’t have time to pay attention to them. My eyes were peeled to the window, scanning for the right station. We had only a limited amount of time to make it to the airport to check in and pass through customs. Once we stopped at the correct station we remained on the platform, waiting for our next train. Unsure if we were getting on the right one, I looked for an employee and asked if it was the one to take us to the airport. Once we were sure it was right, we boarded and let out a huge sigh. But just as we were getting comfortable a swarm of people boarded, filling up the compartment.

March 22, 2012

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the pan american

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March 22, 2012

Dark Horse


Broncs create buzz after fast start By Michael Saenz The Pan American Broncs coach Manny Mantrana believes that his baseball team can beat anyone, anywhere. On March 14, the Broncs (11-1) backed up their coach’s talk with a 5-2 victory over eighth-ranked Texas A&M at Olsen Field at Blue Bank Park in College Station. “When you go up against a good team like the Aggies, it feels great to pull off the victory,” said Mantrana, whose team won nine of its first ten games. “I’m real happy for the community, the alumni and players. We hadn’t beat them in 10 years, so it feels good.” UTPA had two shots at the highly rated Aggies, but fell short in the

Roger Bernal



Bernal leads nation in batting average

first game March 13, 10-4. In the victorious effort, the Broncs were led by a strong pitching outing by junior Colby McCasland, who went 4.2 innings and allowed three hits to one run in his first start of the season. Jonathan Sa (1-0) came in during the fifth inning to finish off the Aggies, striking out four in the process of picking up the win. Sa was also honored as by the Great West as conference co-pitcher of the week for his performance against the Aggies. “It feels really good,” Sa said regarding his recognition. “But you know it is really about the team. We beat Texas A&M and the attention was brought a little towards me, but I give that award to the team." Even though Mantrana’s club just knocked off a highly touted team, he claims that it was just another game and that there is not much to make from it other than they just won. The Broncs are now scheduled for a six game road trip starting Friday in Las Cruces, New Mexico with a four game series against New Mexico State. “It’s one game and the opponent really doesn’t matter,” he explained. “We want to play our type of baseball no matter who we’re up against. It could be against the New York Yankees, but we still are going to play hard and the score will take care of itself.” The Great West recently released its projected conference winners and even though the Broncs were picked to finish sixth, the fast start has UTPA atop the standings with 11 total non-conference wins. Perhaps the biggest difference in the Broncs this year from years prior is improved pitching. UTPA’s hitting has been there in the past, but now with a 3.03 earned run average so far in 2012 the Bronc arms are finally up to par with their bats. “In baseball, if you get good

3.03 80 Runs allowed per game

Colby McCasland


pitching, you will be in every ball game,” the fourth-year coach said. “Our pitching has been very good but there is still room for improvement.” Starting pitchers Bryan Maxwell and McCasland are 2-0, while long relief pitchers Zack

11-1 Best start since 1979

8.3 Broncs runs per game

.343 Team batting average ranks 4th in the nation


Mercy-rule wins this season Zouzalik and Sa are 3-1 and 1-0 respectively to lead the improved pitching staff in wins. On the hitting side, the Broncs have six bats who are averaging a .350 batting average or above with at least 10 plate appearances, 13 different players who have at least one RBI, and 16 have recorded at least one run on the season. The Broncs are averaging 8.33 runs per game while hitting a solid .343. Specifically, senior infielder Roger Bernal leads the nation while hitting a team leading .500 on the year after going 6-for-9 with two doubles, one triple,

six RBIs and four runs scored in Tuesday’s doubleheader against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. In a stat that calculates how difficult a batter is to strike out, junior Angel Ibanez ranks first in the nation as well. “It’s nice but the thing I am most proud of is winning," Bernal said on leading the nation in batting average. “As long as its helping my team win, I’m all for it. Our hard work is paying off because we are practicing hard and it’s showing you know. We haven’t slacked one bit.” But Mantrana still credits his teams recent arrival to work ethic and the quality of players that he and his recruiting team has been able to amass. “I think the group that we’ve assembled this year are good character guys,” he said. “The reason we’re able to win all comes back to our very good work ethic.” Another spot where Mantrana can attribute much of the teams success this year is the collective production, both offensively and defensively, from many different players throughout the first part of the season. In addition to the offensive load being carried by many different players on a nightly basis, Mantrana has also seen dependable pitching from multiple sources. Seniors Michael Zouzalik and Sa, along with junior Maxwell, have pitched 10plus innings this season and have posted ERA’s of 3.27, 1.42 and 1.12 respectively. “Everyone has been contributing, and we’re not just leaning on one player,” Mantrana said of his team's philosophy. “Pitching has been pretty consistent and we are receiving timely hitting from different guys every game. Guys are stepping up in different moments, which is an advantage to have rather than having to lean on one or two players for 50-plus games. We’re spreading the wealth.”


Home Runs allowed Wally Barrera


March 22, 2012

Broncs pass difficult test

Broncs to host spring volleyball tournament By Julianne Pantoja The Pan American

Men’s tennis goes 4-2 on road trip By Dana Nazarova The Pan American

University of New Orleans was rained out and not rescheduled. It’s not common for “It was the longest road professional teams to play trip of my college career,” more than three games on Bernstein said. “I have never consecutive days. Much less a played over four matches in college team. But that’s exactly a single road trip so it was certainly something new, but our training had us more than prepared.” UTPA opened the long trip with a 4-0 win over Alcorn State University on March 8. The Broncs were led by senior Beau Bernstein who defeated Ernest Santillan 6-4, 6-2. Ricardo Hopker followed the senior’s win by defeating the Braves’ Winfried Weinbeer 6-1, 6-0. In the second match, the Broncs played against #57 University of LouisianaLafayette, resulting in a 6-0 loss to the Ragin’ Cajuns, Broncs top player, Bernstein, fell to Yanick Mandl in straight sets (7-5, 6-3). The third match kept the Broncs in Louisiana, but this time managed to bounce back with a victory over the Jackson State University Tigers 6-0, which gave UTPA its fifth win of the season. After the win against the Tigers, the Broncs fell to #69 Florida A&M University 5-0 on March 11 in New Orleans. The sixth match in the grueling schedule would feature a Southland Adrian Castillo/The Pan American Conference matchup against Forehand - Sophomore Ricardo Hopker awaits the Nicholls State University. Even though the Broncs lost ball during a rally. Hopker is 6-5 in his singles match- the doubles point, strong es this season. singles game helped them

how the schedule fell for the UTPA Broncs men’s tennis team during spring break. The Broncs (7-5) managed to squeak out four wins in the six matches that were played. The scheduled match on March 12 against the

Adrian Castillo/The Pan American

back at you - Sophomore Sebastien Job sends back a serve with a backhanded swing. The Broncs will host UMBC tomorrow at 1 p.m. to win the key conference matchup 4-3. After the important win over Nicholls state, the Broncs played their last match of the seven-match series against Prairie View A&M. The Broncs got the doubles points, winning all three matches 8-2 and controlled the singles matches to earn them a 6-1 team win. “It is tough to play seven matches in a row, and the guys held up well,” head coach Paul Goode said. “We had

couple easier matches at the beginning. We had a tough match against Nicholls state. It went to 3-3, and then Rolf Niederstrasser brought won an important point in his three hour long match to get us the win.” The Broncs are two games over .500 heading into tomorrow’s match against the University of Maryland Baltimore County to open the home portion of the schedule.

Broncs (1-0 GWC, 2-7 overall) will return home to play their last match of the season at home against the University of Maryland Baltimore County tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Villarreal finished third in the women’s 200-meter dash at 25.91 seconds trailing the lead mark by 1.19 seconds. On the men’s side, Andrew Lopez came in second in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:59.26, half a second off the lead. Colton Bosler finished 11th in that same event with a time of 4:10.09. In the 5,000-meter run, Mathew Kotut clocked a time of 15:41.03 good enough for third, while Luis Serrano finished right behind him in fourth place with a time of 15:50.81. The Broncs return to action this weekend at the Victor Lopez Classic hosted by Rice University.

Sports Briefs MEN’s BASKETBALL


The UTPA men’s basketball team saw its season end on March 9 in Chicago in the semifinals of the Great West Conference against North Dakota 63-59. The Broncs facilitated a 22-0 run from the end of the first half through the first few minutes of the second, but in the end UND countered with a 25-5 run in the second half to overcome a 16-point deficit and ultimately secure the victory. The Broncs ended the season with an overall record of 11-21 and a conference record of 5-5, which are both coach Ryan Marks best in his three years at UTPA.

Like the men’s team, the women’s squad saw its season end only a few hours later on March 9. The Broncs fell in the semifinals 88-48 to North Dakota ending their season with a 13-17 overall record and a 5-5 conference mark. The season ended with junior guard Bianca Torre one point away from the all-time record in UTPA history in points scored after an untimely injury sustained by the Harlingennative. WOMEN’S TENNIS The UTPA women’s tennis team competed in a

two-day road trip on March 16 through 17. In the first match against Sam Houston State University the Broncs only managed one point against the Bearkats that resulted in a 6-1 loss. Malin Anderson scored the lone point for UTPA by winning her singles match (4-6, 6-3, 10-4) against Imke Jagau. 24 hours later the Broncs were back at it, this time against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Even though the location was different the result would prove to be the same for the Broncs. It was a 6-0 loss that saw the Broncs default in the No. 5 and No. 6 positions, while no doubles matches were played. The


TRACK & FIELD Brittany Talamantez and Jamsine Davison headlined the UTPA Track and Field Team on March 17 at the IBC Cactus Cup by finishing first and second respectively in the women’s hammer throw. Sylvia Alboniga finished second place with a time of 1:05.25 in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, Deandra Barroso finished 2.7 seconds behind placing seventh. Samantha

The UTPA women’s volleyball team is set to host its first tournament of the spring offseason March 24 starting at 10 a.m. at the UTPA Field House. The Broncs ended their 2011 season with an overall record of 7-24, and officially began offseason preparation and training for Fall 2012 in January. Head coach Brian Yale believes that this is only the first step and hopes that this offseason will usher in a nice jump going forward. According to NCAA rules, the team is allowed a total of four opportunities to compete in the spring. NCAA also states that students can’t miss out on their academics during these competitions. “The kids aren’t allowed to miss class in the spring, and with the budgets we have, we had to keep our opponents within a couple hours drive so no class is missed and not much traveling has to be done,” Yale said. Teams taking part in the tournament with the Broncs include the University of Texas at Brownsville Scorpions, the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Islanders, the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelinas, the Texas A&MInternational University Dustdevils and Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon. “This tournament is very informal,” Yale said. “They are not official matches. The kids don’t have to wear their uniforms. It’s basically getting out there and getting in some playing time.” The first matches of the day will be between UTPA and rivals UTB Scorpions while the TAMCC Islanders take on the TAMUK Javelinas. The tournament matches will be played on both courts at the Field House. Each team will play four matches of two games to 25 points. “The kids are working hard,” Yale said. “We got a couple of new freshmen we are working with now, so it’s good. The program is definitely growing and moving forward in the right direction.” The Fall 2012 season will be Yale’s second year as the Bronc head coach. The Broncs return all starters from last year’s team.

Page 12

the pan american

March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012  

Vol. 68 No. 22

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