Page 1

Volume 66, No. 11


November 12, 2009

Nelson finalized as eighth university president By Brian Silva The newly appointed President-designate of the university, Robert Nelsen, will be introduced to the campus next Wednesday in a series of University of Texas System-sponsored events. Nelsen was confirmed yesterday by the System’s Board of Regents in a unanimous vote. The university’s eighth president will start his new role Jan. 1. Interim President Charles “Chuck” Sorber has said before that he

will stay till about mid to late January, serving as Nelsen’s transition adviser. The President-designate currently serves as vice president for academic affairs at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. His wife, Jody, heads up the division of finance and administration for the same university. She will continue to serve in that role, according to previous statements by Nelsen. Before next Wednesday’s ceremonies, Nelsen will meet privately tomorrow with several university executives, as well as with representatives from the

Student Government Association. After the vote Wednesday, several System officials reacted to his appointment in a statement released by System. Regents Chairman James Huffines said Nelsen has the right skill-set for the job. “Dr. Nelsen possesses the administrative skills and experience necessary for this position and we are confident he will advance excellence at this important institution,” Huffines said.

Previous attempts to contact Huffines for comment on Nelsen’s sole finalist candidacy were unsuccessful. But System Chancellor Fransisco Cigarroa explained in the statement the importance of Nelsen’s appointment. “UTPA plays a critical role in providing higher education opportunities and economic vitality to the Rio Grande Valley,” Cigarroa said. “I am confident that Dr. Nelsen has the strong

leadership skills necessary to make this institution an even more vibrant resource for the region and state.” THE NEW BOSS SPEAKS Saying he was humbled and honored to have been chosen to serve the UTPA community, Nelsen reiterated the university’s importance. “UT Pan American has become and will continue to be a leading force for growth, economic development and progress in the Valley,” Nelsen said in


Student fights tuition rise in town hall meeting By Rebecca Ward


POWER TO THE PEOPLE - Jeannette Zallar made and presented a homemade petition containing 230 signatures of students who don’t agree and can’t afford the cost of tuition increase at Wednesday’s town hall meeting.

It almost seemed as if only 36 people on the UTPA campus care that tuition and fees are increasing—16 of them students. But Jeannette Zallar went to the open forum meeting in the education building Wednesday night with a petition in hand signed by 230 students. Student Government Association President Raghuveer Puttagunta addressed the public on Monday, Tuesday, and finally, Wednesday in town hall-style meetings. The SGA definitely anticipated more attendees. The auditorium’s frigid temperature made that obvious. Vice President for Business Affairs James R. Langabeer was in attendance. He noted the lack of number and the cold temperature, saying, “You would think they were anticipating hundreds of people, as cold as it was in there.”

But hundreds did not come. On Monday, only 36 dotted the bright red seats of the theater. Tuesday, even fewer came: 26, and only six of them appeared to be students. How then did 230 student signature end up before Puttagunta and the Cost of Education Committee at the last minute? One word: Zallar. Zallar, originally from Lyford and a senior studying sociology at UTPA, said her concern was that student opinion be taken into consideration. Why do students seem not to care? Do they not realize that within the next two fiscal years tuition will finally break the $3,000 mark? Furthermore, do they not intuit that these types of meetings are opportunities to voice their opinions and play a part in the process of tuition reform? Perhaps not. However, Zallar said that the meet-


Expansion for Student Union gets rolling with finalists interviews By Roxann Garcia The expansion project for the Student Union at UTPA began with the first interview for an architecture firm on Tuesday, Nov. 3 and will continue through Friday. Although the names of the companies could not be released, the interviewing committee narrowed the search to five finalists, and it is known that final decision on which firm

Page 2 - Where has Thanksgiving gone in this modern day?

will move ahead with plans to renovate the Union is due at the end of November. The interviews are part of an expansion study meant to explain what needs to be done to the Union. Interviews will inform the interviewing committee of what each firm’s vision is. The study itself will begin during the spring semester. Soon after plans and designs will be drawn up as construction won’t begin for another two years. The study could cost the Union up to $75,000 but

Page 3 - Campus hosts annual International Week, focusing on global health and welfare

the price is still being negotiated. The purchasing department is in charge of the figures. “We began soliciting proposals for companies to conduct an expansion study on the university in late August,” said Director of the Student Union Edna Zambrano. “Each of the companies specializes in student union architecture. Either they or someone on their team understand student union design.” The interviewing committee consists of Zambrano, Union staff mem-

Page 8&9 - See and compare the sexual health of UTPA to other colleges

bers, and Physical Plant members who will oversee the construction. Ten representatives from student organizations such as University Program Board, Student Government Association and the Student Leadership Academy are also involved with the committee. “We reviewed resumes stating how many years within the business, what past projects they had, and where were they from,” noted the director. “All the companies we’ve selected are from different areas like Dallas, Chicago, New

Page 16 - Men’s basketball opens season with first home game Saturday

York, San Antonio and Austin. The companies also bring along sub-consultants who specialize in landscaping and food services. Food services are a big one. We’re not interested in one who conducts business with hospitals. We want one that specializes in student unions.” There is also concern on how information will flow between the university and the company because the firms looking to win the contract are


- Heather Arevalo sits down with new Athletic Director Chris King and talks about his first 30 days in office

November 12, 2009



Vol 66, No. 11 November 12, 2009 1201 West University, CAS 170 Edinburg, Texas 78539 Phone: (956) 381-2541 Fax: (956) 316-7122 EDITOR IN CHIEF Brian Silva ASSISTANT EDITOR Ana Villaurrutia ONLINE EDITOR Kristen Cabrera ASSISTANT VIDEO EDITOR Victor Ituarte A&L EDITOR Isaac Garcia ASSISTANT A&L EDITOR Andrielle Figueroa SPORTS EDITOR Kevin Stich ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR Sara Hernandez DESIGN EDITOR Gregorio Garza SENIOR DESIGNER Roy Bazan PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Alma Hernandez Assistant PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Daniel Flores ADVISER Dr. Greg Selber

Anthony Salinas/ The Pan American


Santa overpowers the almighty turkey


Kristen Cabrera Online Editor

WEBMASTER Jose Villarreal

**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@ 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.

What Happened to Thanksgiving? Halloween is over; Initiate Christmas Mode! The second Halloween is over a bombardment of Christmas decorations, Christmas sales and Christmas cheer engulfs corporate America. Walking in to Wal-Mart before Oct. 31 you can feel the Halloween spirit, with the costumes, decorations and candy. But by midnight Nov. 1, its Christmas time! Wait…isn’t there something missing? Its not that there’s a problem with Christmas making its way into our hearts and homes in November, its just, what about Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is the redheaded stepchild of the holidays. This might be explained if we look at our current economic situation. Consumer spending for the holidays is predicted to go down according to The NPD Group Inc. (formerly National Purchase Diary), which conducts consumer and retail market research. The annual holiday survey notes that 30 percent of consumers plan to spend less than they did last year, increased four percent from 2008. To deal with this lack of spending, businesses hope to get people out and buying as soon as possible. This mean pushing aside Turkey Day, in order to get the big money from Christmas spending according to Mark Bergen, a retail expert at the University of Minnesota. But Thanksgiving isn’t just a “food holiday” it is a holiday where nothing else matters but being together. It’s not jaded by the latest greatest video game, Barbie doll or new car (wishful thinking). There’s not a mini-moment of togetherness but a nice long weekend of

food, family and football. At least that’s how I’ve always seen it. When my cousins come down from Brenham, Texas for that one time a year, every year, that’s Thanksgiving to me. The times when we would take walks around the soccer field across my Mama’s (my grandma) house to let our food digest and then play football with the uncles in the front yard, those are memories I’ll always keep. Or the childhood stories passed around the table of my mom and her six other brothers and sisters sitting around the Thanksgiving table that my Mama would painstakingly prepare (like she still does to this day). My favorite story is the one where my mom stabbed—not too hard of course—my uncle David’s hand with a fork, preventing him from taking food from her plate. Family is such a core aspect of the holidays, but from what I’ve seen lately this century-old message seems to be getting lost among big businesses vying for your buck. Now don’t get me wrong, gifts are a

big part of the holidays. Black Friday, the ultimate shopping marathon basically, is known for sales and discounts that entice people out of their Turkey comas into stores. This year though NPD Group Inc. predicts that, most consumers will start their shopping in early December, rather than on Black Friday. If this is true, that most consumers won’t even start shopping until the Christmas month, why is the joy of Christmas being jammed down our throats two months in advance? Why must Thanksgiving be skipped just because it is not a money market holiday? All I know is this: January is New Year’s, February is Valentine’s, March is St. Patrick’s, April is Easter, May is ‘School’s Out,’ June is start of summer, July is the Fourth, August/September is ‘School Starts’, October is Halloween, November is Thanksgiving, and December is Christmas. Period. Didn’t these corporate big-shots grow up with a proper calendar?

3 Travel the globe as university goes International November 12, 2009

BY LUPE F LORES Given the current conundrum regarding health-care reform in the United States, it was natural for The Office of International Programs at The University of Texas-Pan American to select Global Health and Welfare as its theme for International Week 2009. According to Director Dr. Yvonne T. Quintanilla, the OIP has produced a

weeklong event with panel discussions on topics ranging from “Diabetes Prevention in the Texas Borderlands,” and “Bi-national Solutions and Health Issues on the U.S.-Mexico Border,” to “Health, Security and Globalization in the Middle East.” Of the nearly 60 presentations set for the week of Nov. 16-20, some will lend concern to cross-cultural medical/ health care systems, and global health disparities, as well cultural practices

and norms. “This is a big theme around the world, especially with [President Obama’s administration] and health care,” said Quintanilla, also a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology. The OIP predicts as many as 6,000 participants will walk through the halls of the various colleges at UTPA for the duration of the event. Since the second Distinguished

Speakers Series of the year will coincide with International Week, Quintanilla hopes Distinguished Speaker Dr. Alfred Quinones-Hinojosa of Johns Hopkins University attracts a crowd. “We look forward to hearing what he has to say and offer our community down here,” Quintanilla said. Quinones-Hinojosa is an associate professor of neurosurgery and oncology at JHU as well as the director for the brain tumor stem cell laboratory at his

Flooding closes parts of COE building

university. He will present “Beyond the Border of the Mind,” Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium. In addition to multiple panels dealing with health and welfare concerns around the globe, Quintanilla said UTPA itself is rich in multiculturalism, making it a perfect venue for such a celebration. One need not look too far for interaction with an individual from a foreign country on campus.


Exam to count for language courses By Ana Villaurrutia

Kristen Cabrera/THE PAN AMERICAN

TAKING ON WATER - Four inches of water from a waterline leak Monday night forced the campus to close the new section of the Education Building. By Kristen Cabrera Kristenmichellecabrera The Education Building is open and students are allowed in to classrooms that were not affected by the flooding from Monday night. Classes that had been held on the first floor that had carpeting inside have been relocated to available rooms around campus. Oscar Villarreal, director of facilities maintenance and operation, said that a major waterline break Monday in the foundation of the Education Complex is to blame; a team is working on assessing what exactly caused the line break. “I’m sure we’ve isolated the problem right now, we believe it’s a waterline break and we are trying to find out where that line is located,” Villarreal said. “We know it’s somewhere in the building under the foundation, and we

carpet and the bottom part of the sheet are scouting it out right now.” The leak was first reported at 6 rock were saturated with water, so that p.m. Monday night to Physical Plant. needs to be replaced.” Villarreal said it took four to five Four inches of water covered the enhours to remove tire first floor water from the of the building, “ We hired a company concrete surfacdamaging both es in the hallway carpet and sheet immediately to extract the using everything rock on the walls. from water pumps Rainbow Interwater. The carpet and the to squeegees. national Restobottom part of the sheet Costello says he ration and Cleanhopes the replaceing Co. came in rock were saturated with ment of carpet to remove wawater, so that needs to be and sheetrock will ter from the comtake from six to plex’s concrete replaced. ” eight weeks, but hallways, elevator he is still not cershafts and carpetEfren Salinas tain on the timing. ed offices. Media specialist At 3 a.m. “We hired a Tuesday morncompany immeing, a Bronc Alert diately to extract the water,” said Richard Costello, envi- message was sent out to all those who ronmental health safety director. “The signed up for the emergency notifica-

tion system; it warned readers that the building was flooded and classes were canceled. A notification e-mail was also sent out by the College of Education to all department professors so that they could begin to reschedule their classes. First semester Music Appreciation professor Catherine Ragland was not on that list to reschedule her class, and so was frustrated by being left out of the loop for the second time in the semester. “The first time there was a HESTEC event going on but they didn’t let me or the students know about it,” Ragland said. “We quickly got something else in the music department but I lost a lot of students. And now I have to reschedule a test and talk to our music department facilities to try to arrange something. Ragland had tried to resolve the lack of communication issue after her classes during HESTEC were rescheduled.


Several forces at The University of Texas-Pan American have combined to help create a new substitute to the recently axed three-hour modern language requirement by next September. Following a 2005 Texas legislative mandate of trimming hours off degree plans to 120 hours, and a few recommendations from faculty, the curriculum committee decided to drop modern languages and kinesiology from the core class hours. “One of the places we needed to cut was the core,” said Modern Language chair Glenn Martinez. “The result was eliminating the foreign language (requirement) from the core.” Chair of the curriculum committee for three years, Francis Brewerton said that though kinesiology was dropped— students have an option of replacing that credit with computer literacy—a compromise between the modern languages department and the committee was to have students prove their proficiency in a language. “This was a proposal made by the Modern Language Department early last year that proficiency in a language should be tested,” Brewerton said. Currently students can either use the College Level Examination Program, AP Placement Test, or the International Baccalaureate Program to fulfill their proficiency but the Modern Language Department proposed having another test called Computer Adaptive Placement Exam (CAPE) a standardized test that can measure a students’ proficiency in a certain language. Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Ana Rodriguez said that since the Modern Languages Department, the Undergraduate Studies Department, and Testing Services and


Page 4


November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009


Page 5

Page 6



the statement. On Wednesday, Cigarroa along with several Regents and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs David Prior will introduce Nelsen first to the UTPA community and then later to the broader community. The first welcome event will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the Student Union Theater, and the second at 5:30 p.m. in the ITT building. Nelsen will also return for further visits Nov. 19 and 20, and will likely meet with more of the university’s staff and administration, groups who reportedly are already preparing to brief the incoming president. Before Nelsen came to TAMUCC a year ago, he worked at the University of Texas at Dallas where he served for about a year as that university’s vice provost. Before that, he was an English teacher for 18 years at the UTD. Nelsen holds a masters degree in political science from Brigham Young University, and a doctorate from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He will succeed Blandina “Bambi” Cardenas, who retired from the university’s top post on Jan. 30. Since then Sorber has served as the interim leader.

ings were not scheduled conveniently. “A lot of the students I spoke to worked or had class. I myself had class but I skipped to be at the meeting,” she said. At the end of the forum on Monday, a hand shot up in the back row. Leticia Walborg, a senior at UTPA and Texas military veteran had a concern: why does it seem that students care? As a Hazelwood tuition waiver recipient, Walborg says that even though she does not have to pay tuition, she is concerned for future students. “There isn’t an attitude of, ‘I need to get involved’…I’ll be honest with you, I’m really disgusted,” she said. Puttagunta admitted his disappointment in the paltry turnout at the meetings. “It was disappointing to see the (lack of) students there,” he said. “We’ve done more advertising than we’ve done before, [and student] feedback is tremendously appreciated.” But then who are those 20 obligatory crowd members showing up at these town hall meetings? Members of the COEC. The COEC has a responsibility to the student body to discuss budget issues and collaborate on what can be done to lessen negative impact on the university and students individually. They also have an obligation to keep students informed. However, the lack of attendance by UTPA students to open forums would suggest a resistance

continued from Page 1

REACTIONS Though many were shocked when Nelsen was appointed sole finalist for the position Oct. 12, several people now look forward to the continuity of leadership. One of those is SGA President Raghuveer “Raghu” Puttagunta, who will be meeting with Nelsen tomorrow. “It’s nice to finally end the search process and to begin anew,” he said. The junior biology major added he’s happy with the appointment, noting that now the university can be assured stability as it plots a course for the future. “Now we can begin the next chapter,” he said. Carol Rausch, who has served as assistant to the president for both former leaders Miguel Nevarez and Cardenas, expressed her excitement over the appointment. “I’m looking forward to his arrival and learning his leadership style,” she said. “I think he’ll do great things for the university.”

November 12, 2009


continued from Page 1


continued from Page 1 not from the area. The committee is also interested in how the companies intend to incorporate school spirit into construction. The Union currently has blue walls but would prefer to use orange and green, Zambrano noted. “The interview process is also intended to feel them out personally. They could be geniuses at what they do, but how do they interact with our students,” she said. “And are our students going to be receptive? Will they feel comfortable enough to voice their opinions?” Reportedly the first of the five groups

to information. Puttagunta explained in his presentation to the small group on Monday that the need for a tuition increase stems from four basic institutional maintenance issues, not the least of which is the need for more faculty members and the dwindling state reserve funds for financial aid dispensations. Also, the recession and rising inflation have raised the cost of keeping up with new technology and increasing salaries for faculty members. Perhaps the largest of the four concerns is that of state appropriated funds being unable to keep up with institutional demands. While the budget has increased steadily over the past 20 years, state appropriations have remained virtually the same each year, increasing from just over $40,000 annually to now just under $50,0000. Langabeer explained that for UTPA as an institution, when it comes to tuition waivers for students whose family income is less than $30,000 annually, the state mandates that UTPA provide the tuition waivers. But what ends up happening is “we have to eat it,” Langabeer said. “Or maybe I should put it this way,” he added, looking at the students in the audience. “You have to eat it.” Zallar and her band of 230 see their petition as a cry for help, a sign that they are paying attention and do not want to be overlooked in the tuitionsetting process. She challenged, “If administration does what they say they will do by listening and if SGA truly represented the

students, they would acknowledge this as a student plea.” Neither the state nor the UT System has an obligation to reimburse UTPA for tuition and fees waived for underprivileged students. That burden lands squarely in the laps of students—like those who do not show up to open forums; like those 230 who do care and make it a point to sign a petition to freeze the tuition increase. Currently, tuition for a student who is not residing on campus is set to remain at $2,764.03 until fall 2010. But by 2011, students enrolled in 15 credit hours will see an increase of 5.06 percent on their bill, bringing the total to $2,904.01 for the fiscal year. And in 2012, 4.86 percent of that total will be added to the bill, breaching the $3,000 mark and bringing the total to $3,043.96 for that FY. However, all this will only happen if the increases are ultimately approved by the UT Board of Regents. For the next nine months, students currently enrolled or just beginning classes at UTPA will not feel the affects of the proposed tuition increase. Next year once the proposal has passed from the hands of students and the COEC to the president’s desk and up through the vice president and deans of the individual colleges can it be handed back to the president and then ultimately to the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs in the UT system. Then the final stop is the Board of Regents. Puttagunta informed those students in attendance that things are close to being approved before the beginning of FY 2010, but that now is the time for

students to let their opinion be heard on the proposed increases in tuition. The COEC takes students recommendations to UTPA’s president. The purpose of the forums this week was for students to make amendments to the proposed increases and budget issues. The low turnout was not due to a lack of information. The forums were announced on the school Web site, flyers were posted around walkways and hallways on campus, and e-mails were sent to students announcing the opportunity to discuss the tuition increases. Zallar said that she understands the rising costs in tuition and fees. “I understand they must go up. Everything is rising and we must meet that demand, but I truly believe that administration is not taking student voices into consideration,” she said of the attempts to dialogue with students. “When it became an issue of survival or education for most of us as students, I felt like I had to take action.” And Puttagunta admitted that he understands where she and the 230 are coming from. “We know exactly the rationale behind the students signing the petition,” he said. “They were concerned about financial aid; mostly how they weren’t going to be able to afford college,” Students are still encouraged to provide feedback to the COEC regarding the increases, as well as view the PowerPoint presentation online. It can be downloaded by visiting www.utpa. edu/coec/ and clicking on the Public Forums link.

commented on the visibility of the Union. Their key concept was to make it more appealing to students; reps want a student passing by to be able to see inside the Union, spot friends, and then walk in to join them, noted Zambrano. The second company was interviewed Nov. 10 and commented on the location of the Student Union. “So far the companies commented on the structure of the Union, expressing praise in that the union has good ‘bones’ to start off with and is ideal for further development,” said the director. “After speaking with both companies, I have to say I agree in that the building does have visibility issues. We just have to work on making it appeal to students.” During the interview process com-

panies will also present a market analysis, addressing plans for added retail within the Union. As of right now, she continued, there is no set budget for the Union. Negotiations with the company and university still have to be made once a finalist is chosen. If students are interested in moving the bookstore here, building a post office or adding a coffee shop, it will help with the expansion to generate revenue for the Union as they will be charging rent to each of the suggested retails.

enough eating and hangout space for our student body, which is at 18,000. They are looking to add more food options with more seating areas. The union is also in need of more meeting rooms, noted the director. Currently the Union has four study rooms, a theater and four conference rooms. Ideally they would like to triple the space by making it larger. Another major concern for the union is to have multi-use areas. Students who finish with classes early or have long breaks in between need an area to comfortably converse, noted Zambrano. Therefore the Union is looking to have a food court or cafeteria that will bleed into a lounge area.

REMODELING The Union has several modifications on their wish list, including expanding and modifying the eating area. That is the biggest concern, said Zambrano. Currently there is not

November 12, 2009



International Week Highlights

much enjoying my time here.” Stories like Ciric’s are what Quintanilla and other multicultural advocates continued from Page 3 at the OIP strive to highlight through events like International Week and the “I never know who is going to walk perennially active Study Abroad proin that door, and I love that,” Quintanil- gram. “The idea here is to celebrate our inla said of the activity around the OIP. “This university is so blessed in the dividualism through internationalism,” sense that we have so many wonder- she said. “We hope this [Internationful opportunities to connect with oth- al Week] brings everybody together to help understand er folk from other each other’s culparts of the world through the OIP.” “The idea here is to ture, respect each other’s culture, Nina Ciric, 22, celebrate our individualism and look at life an exchange stuthrough a differdent from Serthrough internationalism. ent set of eyes.” bia who is on the We hope this [International Micah BatUTPA women’s sell, a 28-year-old tennis team, says Week] brings everybody graduate student the three years together to help in the Global Sespent way from curities Studies her home country understand each otherʼs Program, studied have been very abroad in Morocenjoyable. culture and look at life co last summer. Before transthrough a different set of He applauded ferring to UTUTPA for its efPA from Texeyes. ” forts in cultural as A&M-Corpus awareness. Christi in 2006, Nina Ciric “This univerthe marketing ma- Exchange student from Serbia sity brings an eljor noted how, deement of diverspite initial cultural misconceptions, it is always good sity to the Valley that many take for to stop and appreciate a culture for its granted,” Batsell said. “It’s always a good idea for people from different values and beliefs. “I’ve never seen a state have so backgrounds to come together to exmuch pride in who they are,” Ciric plore each other’s cultures. Ideally, an said about the Lone Star attitude. “It’s event like this can facilitate cultural exa funny thing how a culture can have a change, mutual understanding, and mucertain view of another. But I am very tual respect.”

Monday Nursing Seminar: Advancing Healthcare through Global Nursing Opening Remarks: Rep. Eddie Lucio, III, Texas House Representative Welcome: Dr. Bruce Reed, Dean, COHCHS 9 a.m. UTPA Ballroom Panel Discussion: “Diabetes Prevention in the Texas Borderlands” Tuesday Distinguished Speaker Series presents Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa in “Beyond the Borders of the Mind” 7:30 p.m. Fine Arts Auditorium Wednesday Medical Seminar: “Doctors without Borders” Opening Remarks: Congressman Ruben Hinojosa, U.S. Congress and Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. Texas State 9 a.m. International Room, ITT Building Panel Discussion: Health Security and Globalization in the Middle East” Students, Dept. of Political Science and Dept. of History and Philosophy Provost Awards for International Studies (by invitation only) Master of Ceremony: Dina Herrera-Garza of News Channel 5, KRGV-TV 6 p.m. UTPA Ballroom Thursday Panel Discussion: “Why Study Abroad” Dr. Peter Kranz, Dept. of Educational Psychology Study Abroad Fair University-Wide Study Abroad Programs. 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Friday Health and Welfare: A Linguistic Perspective Community Health and Wellness Day Free check-ups, health sessions, workshops on stress management, nutrition and diet, Yoga, Zumba and more 11 a.m - 3 p.m.

Page 7

LEAK continued from Page 3 She talked to administration in the Education department by asking them to put her on the list of notification emails, but somehow she is still out of the loop. “I’ve talked to them about it before after the first time, but I’m obviously still not on the list,” she said. “And I just feel bad that students are the ones informing me about what’s going on, I think the university should be a little bit embarrassed about that.” Even though the building was supposed to be closed Tuesday morning, many students were able to get inside using the second floor eastside entrance, which was not blocked or closed off. And professors with keys to

LANGUAGE continued from Page 3 Office of the Registrar, have been incorporating the test to the university. The test is being given at over 170 universities and costs $10, which Martinez said is significantly less than the CLEP. “We didn’t want it to be a costly test like the CLEP,” added Rodriguez. Martinez is working closely with implementation of CAPE and said that the test will be a good thing for an area

the building were entering their offices. Flor Cavasos entered the building at about 8:30 a.m. with the intention of completing some work before her class at 9:10. “I was going to use the lab this morning to finish up some work. And I didn’t see any signs saying not to go in,” said the 24-year-old bilingual education major. “I just think they should’ve done a better of job letting students know what was going on. I come all the way from San Juan…it would’ve been nice to know I didn’t have to go in today.” At around 9 a.m. it became apparent that people weren’t getting the gravity of the situation and UTPA police officers, along with Costello, went around wrapping the building in yellow caution tape to keep others out, while Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies Jaime Curts answered questions from staff and students.

where most students grow up in a duallanguage home. “Our students come from a family setting where people speak more than one language,” said Martinez. “This will affirm what people know.” The CAPE exam will go through one final approval from the provost before the test is fully implemented. Rodriguez added that learning another language would be beneficial for students in the future. “We need people that speak more than one language in a growing global workforce.”


Page 8

Story By: Andrielle Figueroa

November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009

Sex will never fail to be one of the more interesting topics on the minds of the college populous. While some students choose to abstain from having it, others like to indulge in what they consider the fruits of life. Although many will attest to the horizontal tango being a fun experience, there is a whole other side to the act, including steps students can take to understand the life-threatening side of not practicing safe sex. Trojan Sexual Health Report Card is in its fourth year of conducting studies and sending crunched numbers out to the 141 universities that are a part of this project. On the 2009 report card The University of Texas Pan-American came in at 94th when it comes to sexual health resources and information. Researchers at Sperling’s BestPlaces created this ranking system through opinion polls over 13 categories and analyzing data from


each campus’ health centers. Some of the categories covered contraceptive availability and cost, web site usability and functionality, and health center hours of operation. UTPA is set with a brand new health facility solely for enlightening and assisting students with all of their health needs. Director of Student Health Services Rick Gray explained that students can go in during business hours and have their questions answered. The American College Health Association (ACHA) has taken facts from UTPA and compared them to national numbers. With 17,000 people attending UTPA in 2007, 65.5 percent of students went to Student Health Services for assistance while ACHA averaged 71.2 percent out of 17,307 students used health services nationwide. When visits were calculated by gender, 30.2 percent of them were from males while 69.8 percent

were from females on the UTPA campus. When it comes down to a specific testing, for instance for Chlamydia, 23 percent of males tested positive against 13 percent of females. Why is it that males seem to refrain from getting tested? Gray explained his assumptions on why females tend to have more frequent visits. “I guess more than anything it is the social evolution of the male versus female,” Gray said. “Guys think they are bulletproof so they don’t come in unless something is really wrong with them.”

Page 9

(price varies), but this cost is much lower than off campus solutions.

Whether it is due to lingering touches of macho, money issues, or even embarrassment, students should not worry, all visits are confidential. Gray added another confidential source of upkeep on sexual health is the Valley Aids Council, which assists Student Health Services building every other week in testing students for HIV, STD’s, and Hepatitis, among other conditions. Gray says that with the new building and the help from groups like Bacchus and Gamma, a group that gives students knowledge on health and wellness issues, students RESOURCES are learning more about where to Moving to the bigger question bereceive aid. yond gender, why aren’t more people “Our annual overall volume is getting the help they need? The Texas growing from six to seven percent Department of Insurance has found that 76 percent of students on campus every semester,” Gray said. “That do not have insurance. Student Health is why we built this new facility so Services does not charge for visits, we could have space to take care only for procedures and medications of them.”

10 La Pulga: local market still going strong November 12, 2009

‘Lopez Tonight’ premiered on TBS Monday, becoming an instant hit.

The world is going to end this Friday. ‘2012’ promises some pretty sweet special effects.

Veronica Gonzalez/THE PAN AMERICAN

SELL ME YOUR EARS - Flea market attendees don’t just visit for one specific reason. Food, music, and discounted products can all be found there. By Veronica Gonzalez

Aussie band Snow Patrol releases ‘Up To Now’ featuring past hits, B-sides, and live tracks on Tuesday.

BROWNSVILLE - The cloudy afternoon made it a perfect day for walking around aisles of tables and vendors. Purses and clothing hung from the rafters. The smell of spiropapas, tortas, elote and tacos filled the air. A Mexican, snackcraving paradise. Traffic within the five rows of aluminum canopied walkways that line Highway 77 in Brownsville, otherwise known as the 77 Flea Market or La Pulga, was in full swing mid Saturday afternoon. Hordes of people made their way around produce, clothing and other used items. David Herrera, food vendor for Dos Hermanas #4, has been working the weekends for five years now. The Matamoros native makes his way over

the border, along with many of the other vendors, to sell what they can for a little extra pocket money. “We’ve sold a good amount today, but Sundays are the busiest,” he said, in Spanish. It seemed like every other vendor sold food, but that didn’t stop the flow of business. The tanned middleaged man sold cups and cups of icecold fruit water that day. It’s a nice change from the maquiladora job he holds across the border. Herrera isn’t the only one who makes weekend vending a side job. Many flea marketers make their living in Matamoros. “A lot of us work together in the maquiladores,” he said with a toothy smile. “But this is our job, too.” Shouts welcoming visitors to eat filled the air. A warped Spanish voice recording coming from the El Az

del Elote van was off in the distance somewhere, calling people to come taste the Mexican-style corn on the cob complete with mayo, cheese and chili. Parents sat and ate on nearby benches holding fruit cups and long sticks with a whole potato winding around it, appropriately named spiropapas, dripping with ketchup, lemon and lemon pepper. A kid zoomed by on a scooter as more children ran off to the Fun Haus (not to be confused with house). It seemed more like something out of “Grease” where Olivia Newton John and John Travolta shimmy back and forth on the crazy carnival contraption. Stephanie DuPraw, 26-year-old Michigan native, got her first dose of Valley culture when she visited the Flea Market last year. “I loved it when I first came. The food is so good,” she said. “I feel

like I’m in Mexico.” DuPraw isn’t the only northern native attracted to the cultural hideaway. Among the sea of brown skin and brown hair, wide-eyed Winter Texans make their way through aisles, looking for bargains and/or a souvenir. Of course, they’re not the only ones seeking a sale. Most attendees are Valley natives interested in finding half-priced items. From plants, tires, paint, car parts, bikes and tools to books and vinyl records, one can imagine the eclectic collection many leave with. For the Valley native, the Flea Market is more like the outdoor weekend mall. For visitors, it’s a cultural experience. But no matter who they are or where they come from, all leave with full stomachs, satisfied cravings and bargains worth haggling for—until next weekend.

Ochoa’s Flea Market N. Conway Ave Mission

The Flea Market 2400 S. 23rd Street McAllen

Dusty’s Flea Market The heated rivalry continues between the Patriots and the Colts Sunday as both vie for homefield advantage in the playoffs.

1313 Charlene St Edinburg

The Farmers Market 3109 E. Bus Hwy 83 Donna

Don-Wes Flea Market Victoria Rd Hwy 83 Donna

November 12, 2009


Page 11

Students discuss proposed Latino museum

By Nadia Tamez-Robledo

from over 20 countries of origin across three continents, the committee will not likely have a shortage of possibilities to Celebrities like actress Eva choose from. Longoria Parker and producer Emilio Still, students like 22-year-old art Estefan joined the Washington, D.C. major Beatriz Guzman have a hard ranks including Secretary of the time seeing themselves reflected in Interior Ken the image of the Salazar and Latino portrayed Secretary of in mainstream Labor Hilda media today. “Everybody has their Solis as members The heart of the of the National individual story, their museum decision Museum of the is identity: and individual history, and we how people see American Latino Commission last themselves and are canʼt be clumped up into month. The task perceived. was planning Now living in the giant Latino community, a museum Edinburg, Guzman because Latinos in the grew up in Reynosa dedicated to documenting the while her brother United States have had their and father lived exploits of Latino culture. and worked in history, they grew up here.” Since the Oct. Texas; she and her 13 announcement mother focusing that the team their attention on of 23 would getting paperwork compile research JOSE J. CANALES in order to move to on the logistics English major the United Sates. of the project, She prefers not to the question of subscribe to any what will be ethnic labels. included in the “People don’t museum arises. National Museum treat you the same as a Mexican even of the American Latino Community though you were born over there, or if Commission Act was signed into law you were born over here, they don’t treat on May 8, 2008 giving the committee you the same as an American,” she said. two years and $3.2 million to complete “They see you as an outsider. You never their research. have a feel of belonging to a community With numbers from a 2008 study because you’re always crossing [the by the Census Bureau showing that border].” Hispanics make up 15.4 percent of the Going between countries, Guzman population, a group that boasts members said she was constantly worried about

being allowed to return home to either side when at the checkpoint, something not everyone who has grown up in the Valley can relate to. “They’ve never [experienced] the fear of the Border Patrol not letting you in or out,” she said. “Yeah, there’s that fear that the Border Patrol is going to come after them, but it’s not that fear of crossing all the time.” As for the portrayals and representation of culture in mainstream media, Guzman is skeptical. Guzman said that there is a lack of Latino art at the galleries she has visited, including the Latino-inspired exhibit “America Americas” at the University of Texas at Austin. The National Museum of the American Latino could change that. “I would like to see a true representation of [Latino] art,” she said. “Not only small drawings but a big collection. They should let them portray themselves.” OTHER VOICES If Guzman represents the Latino who moves between two separate but connected worlds, 23-year-old Michael Lopez stands on the other side of the spectrum. The Edinburg native and broadcast journalism major at UTPA prefers to identify himself as American. Lopez studied the Chicano Rights Movement in his Mexican-American Language, Literature and Culture class and feels that Latino leaders such as Cesar Chavez were ultimately not able to bring the issues of the Hispanic community to the forefront the way black leaders like Martin Luther King

Jr. and Malcolm X did. “Even in California, there’s only been a little bit of progress,” he said, citing issues such as racism, the border wall and controversial road signs apparently depicting a family of illegal immigrants crossing over. “If you want to talk about Cesar Chavez, yeah, you could, but if you wanted to give him a grade over all, it’s like a D.” On the whole, Lopez said that not even residents of the Rio Grande Valley are knowledgeable about the contributions of their own, such as those of esteemed Chicana writer Gloria Anzaldua. A Hargill native and UTPA graduate, her works on mestiza identity and queer theory are studied worldwide. “If you ask a lot of people, no one’s going to know about her,” he said. “That’s kind of depressing because her book is actually very huge. For no one to know [about her] where she’s from, and no one really knows that she’s dead already, that’s pretty sad.” As for his take on the National Museum of the American Latino, one thing Lopez would like to see is a telling of history from a Latino point of view. “They don’t really tell us the full story of the Alamo. They should talk about why [Mexican soldiers] went in,” he said of the Texas Rebellion. “That’s why Santa Ana tried to reclaim it back. Explain the whole story of the Alamo, not just Davy Crockett.” MANY DIFFERENT METHODS Modern accomplishments including literature, writing, poetry and other art should be highlighted, said English major Jose Julian Canales.

“It’s sort of glossed over I think. We hear a lot about it because of FESTIBA. We celebrate our culture and the writing and achievements [of Latinos], but in the mainstream, it’s sort of ignored,” the 24-year-old Alton resident said. “It’s a culture of the now and, ‘Who cares where they came from? This is what’s happening,’ especially the mainstream media.” Canales and his family moved to Alton from Reynosa when he was six years old and, like Guzman, his mix of backgrounds isn’t necessarily part of the basic image of Latinos those outside the Valley think of. To Canales, the struggles of many Latinos are not necessarily automatically his due to race. “Everybody has their individual story, their individual history, and we can’t be clumped up into the giant Latino community, because Latinos in the United States have had their history, they grew up here,” he said. “Especially the younger generation, they might not have been discriminated against like their parents or their grandparents who came from [another country]. I can’t identify with that sort of Latino history. I haven’t experienced any discrimination or anything.” The accomplishments of people like astronaut Jose Hernandez, who spoke on campus about his experiences at HESTEC last month, do not get the attention of people nationally. “In the region, we celebrate it,” Canales said. “The country as a whole wants to be representative of everything instead of the minority individual who does something, and I think there needs to be a venue for that sort of thing on the national stage, not just the regional.”

Page 12


November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009


Page 13

November 12, 2009


My faith in Mr. King

No barriers for Hispanic Lady Broncs

By Kevin Stitch

By Sara Hernandez

As the Broncs’ exhibition game against St. Edward’s University wrapped up and the crowd filed out, I perfunctorily began formulating post-game questions to ask head basketball coach Ryan Marks. I packed up my things, and quietly slipped off to the locker rooms for the interview. While I leaned up against the white-tiled wall, camera bag in one hand, notepad and recorder in the other, who should stroll in but rookie athletic director Chris King, still donning a suit and tie after working long hours. My previous meetings with King – although never unpleasant – left me with some natural skepticism as to how serious a character he really was. It was probably just residue from his predecessor, whom I had many more questions about, but nonetheless the nihilist (there’s a 10-cent word) in me had some lingering doubt. Several questions heckled my eagerness to give the guy a chance. Was he the guy to get this program to where it needs to be? He casually walked in, politely greeted myself and another reporter covering the game, and engaged in what would become a conversation that would bring me significantly closer to being fully convinced. I say that meaning: until I can see the end product of the 90-day plan, it is my journalistic duty to retain some percentage of skepticism. After his first 30 days in office (which were all about listening and learning) he told me that it was time to start acting. He has recently held meetings with staff to start planning some of the much-needed changes within the department. The guy then pulled out a laundry list of things that he wrote down in the first 10 minutes of arriving at the Field House. Marked items as simple as not playing the song “Hit the Road Jack” when an opposing player fouls out, to reorganizing the way spectators enter the gym, as well as paying attention to more complicated issues such as improving fan attendance via promotional strategies, and researching enhanced seating in the Field House. The latter idea could be especially interesting if King can work enough magic to get approval to expand the Field House and rearrange the seating so that the crowd plays more of a factor in games. He even wants to start a yell section to get people pumped up. Put simply, I like what he’s doing so far. He’s given the department a heading, and those not on board should probably get off the ship.

Freshman Bianca Torre has begun to experience the dream of a lifetime. On Oct. 29, she started and played 22 minutes of her first game as a member of the University of Texas-Pan American women’s basketball team. Basketball has been part of Torre’s life since she attended Sam Houston Elementary in Harlingen and later as she averaged 25 points per game at Harlingen South High School and was a twotime All-Valley MVP. Now Torre joins Marah Guzman and Andrea Garza, as Valley kids who were stars in high school and then joined the ranks of the local university. After scoring 1,000 points in her last season at Edinburg High School and helping the Lady Bobcats to the Sweet 16 Tournament, the highest accomplishment in school history, Guzman was recruited by West Texas Junior College, where she spent two years before transferring to UTPA. She’s now a senior guard for the Lady Broncs. Sophomore Garza, a McAllen High School ex, was a 2007-2008 State AllStar and 30-5A MVP; after leading the Lady Bulldogs to regionals for the first time in 25 years the school retired her jersey after her senior campaign. Truth is, stories like these are not that common. Guzman, Garza and Torre are part of the 1.3 percent of Division I NCAA women’s basketball


VALLEY BORN AND RAISED - Bianca Torre came to UTPA as a Valley native who hopes to bring prestige to local high school players. players that are Hispanic, according to the 2007-2008 NCAA Student-Athlete Ethnicity Report. African Americans are the most predominant race in NCAA Division I women’s basketball with 50.1 percent, followed by Whites, who make up 42.6 percent. Only 2.4 percent of all female and 2.8 percent of male student-athletes are Hispanic. Still, Guzman said that those of Spanish-speaking extraction should not be discouraged by the numbers, and instead should strive to practice the discipline that made them successes at the high school level.

“There’s a couple of times I got discouraged, but you just have to push through it,” she said. “I fought through it; people always told me, ‘you’re 5-foot-1, nothing’s gonna happen’… but I just keep pushing. I’ve just found ways to maneuver around tall people.” TRANSITION GAME The players mentioned that the change from studying and playing at a Valley high school - where 90 percent of the students are Hispanic - to being part of a more culturally diverse team is a learning process that includes not only being challenged in a more com-

petitive athletic environment, but also being exposed to folks of different races. In addition, Garza mentioned that being part of a small percentage of Latino basketball players in the NCAA makes her feel proud of her heritage. “I feel very honored and privileged to represent Hispanics and to play in this level, it is different but it is also a way to get to know different cultures… it’s a positive experience,” she said. Although these Lady Broncs expressed that being different from other players (at least from a racial standpoint) was intimidating at first, they’ve learned to cope with this disparity because as they note, on the hardwood stereotypes don’t apply. “You have your height, your strength, your speed, but if you have heart you pretty much can go anywhere you want to,” Garza said. Although the 5-5 Torre’s journey as a college student-athlete has just started, the rookie assured that having the opportunity to play at an NCAA Division I school reiterates that success is not measured in dimensions or colors, but in the force within the individual. That will determine how far he or she will go. “Your height or your race shouldn’t stop you from doing something that you love or what you want to do, as long as you believe in it,” she concluded.

Soccer club finishes second after harsh campaign By Alvaro Balderas Simply put it, it was an off year for the University of Texas-Pan American Bronc soccer club. Having advanced to the regional tournament every year since their establishment in 2005, the Broncs’ disappointing season can be attributed not to a lack of talent, but to a failure in organization. They got a late start with a team full of newcomers and never really got into a groove, but still managed to come close to honors. The Broncs had trouble deciding if there would be a season because there was no president, coach or enough players to begin with. Bronc goalkeeper Miguel Garza, a member since the club’s origins, got the ball rolling volunteering to be the president and was instrumental in convincing Marcelo Schmidt into coming back to coach them again. In a season that by team consensus was not supposed to happen, the Broncs placed second (3-5, 3-2 conference) in the Lone Star South Conference. But with the help of two forfeits the Broncs season came down to the last game Oct. 24 against first-place Lamar

University, which looked to avenge a 4-2 beatdown the Broncs handed them last year in Beaumont. A win or a tie for UTPA meant a fifth consecutive trip to regionals while the loss would end the year. What ensued was a 2-1 loss off of a penalty kick. Team captain Garza said the season was not decided in that game but instead throughout the course of the fall by a lack of commitment and focus. “Last year we beat them at their house so going into the final game at home we were expecting to win. Stuff happens on the field and we didn’t answer the call,” the first-year rehabilitations graduate student said. “We had high hopes because last year we had made it to the regional tournament.” Most of last year’s veteran squad graduated, leaving the Broncs to start from scratch. The team included eight newcomers – half the 16-man roster. The majority of players did not know if the season would take place until mere days before the actual game. In less than a week they had tryouts and practice with a limited squad. Garza admits this season’s team was different than in past years especially in regard to chemistry. “We just didn’t understand how each

of us played,” he explained. “The forward’s didn’t understand the midfielders. It was just a mess at times. When we started playing well, it wasn’t until the end but by then it was too late.” Schmidt expressed the concern he felt about fielding a team without preparation. “The first time the whole team met all together was actually on the field against Texas State on our first game. It was a loss 4-1,” Schmidt said. “I had initially told the team I wasn’t going to be with them for personal reasons but they insisted on me coming back. They

kind of rallied me up so I accepted. We played well at times showing stretches of motivation.” But even with a forgettable season, Garza admits there are no regrets. Instead he looks at a more positive picture that gives him and the team hope for the future. “It wasn’t the best season but we had lots of fun together. I guess that’s what kept us going,” said the PSJA Memorial High School graduate. “Next season we’re going to learn from this year’s mistakes and prepare the season ahead of time.”

Lone Star South Overall

Conference Non-Conference

Team name Win•Loss•Tie Win•Loss•Tie Lamar 6 1 1 3 1 1 UTPA 3 5 3 2 Sam Houston 3 2 2 2 1 2 Texas 2 3 3 1 2 2 St. Edward’s 1 6 1 3 TAMU5 1 2 1 Kingsville

Win•Loss•Tie 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 3 3 -

November 12, 2009

Page 15


Name of the Game: intramural basketball season under way By Benny Salinas It’s a quarter after 5 a.m. and Diego Olague is already on his feet, getting ready for the early shift at the UTPA Wellness Center. He’s groggy. His insomnia kept him up last night past three, and the two hours of sleep he got will have to get him through the end of the shift at 10, classes until five in the afternoon, and will also have to him alert through responsibilities as captain of an intramural basketball team. Olague would easily be forgiven for being cranky. Yet, his demeanor is upbeat, friendly and optimistic. His humor is especially evident in his team’s name: Vicious and Delicious. “None of us is particularly vicious or delicious, but we all try to live up to that standard,” Olague said, the smile audible in his voice between chuckles. This isn’t the first comical name the team has given themselves. Two years ago they were the Jalapeno Hotties, and before that they called themselves Nickolicious, after one of their players, who had not attended the university for a year, returned. When the team played dodge ball they were Norfolkin-chance (read aloud quickly for full comic effect). “We all have a pretty good sense of humor,” said Olague, a kinesiology major who graduated from Edinburg North in 2004. “There are a lot of teams

with kind of generic sounding names and we’re just trying to separate ourselves and be original.” The team has a reason for wanting to sound unique. For the last five years, they have been UTPA’s top intramural basketball team, winning tournaments around the area, including the Valley Bowl, a tournament played between the top teams from the four colleges in the Valley, multiple times. “We joke around a lot, but we don’t take our games lightly,” Olague said. “The other teams know that we’ll buckle down and win a game.” SET TO COMPETE Olague knows that this kind of seriousness is necessary, especially this season, when close to 30 teams have signed up. The high number of teams has pushed the intramural directors into dividing the teams into Tuesday and Wednesday leagues. Play begins Nov. 11. “There’s a lot of interest this year,” Intramural Assistant Art Cabrera said. “A lot of these guys are fresh out of high school and still have that competitive edge. A lot of them played high school basketball and for one reason or another aren’t playing on the Broncs basketball team.” Olague, who joined the team when he was freshman and has been a member for the last five years, is fully aware of the talent present on other units.

“I can’t say for sure that we’ll come out on top this year,” he said. “I’ve seen some of the other guys and I know they’re good.” For the last three years, the team No Love, composed of former EHS basketball player have played against

Olague’s team in the championship game. His optimism, however, still shines through as his team enters its first game of the season on Nov.11. “Although we don’t have size on our team, we have a lot of hustle. There’s a lot of runners and shooters on our side,”

Olague said. “We’ve been playing together for a long time. We know each other well, and even though we don’t really practice, we know what we need to do.”

INTRAMURAL BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Nov. 10 Flint Tropics Free Agents FlightGotGame Kappa Sigma Rocket

Nov. 11

Ballin' Outta Control Skull Knights Michigan Tropics Ed City Monsters PHIRE The Purple Hippos Pookins Experience The Tropics Vicious and Delicious Victorious Secret

80-63 v 71-58 v v v v v v v v v v v v

Hoop32 Look at My Hooves First Class No Love Valleys Finest Average Joe's Prestige Hurricanes Screwed Up Click B.O.S.S. Team Elite Genesis The Hitmen Pick and Rollers The Spartans

November 12, 2009


Countdown to tip-off GET IT STARTED - Nick Weiermiller tries to slash past a St. Edward’s defender Nov. 7 at the UTPA Field House.

Random Fact: This year the team wears an American flag on the back of it’s jerseys to show patriotism.


After losing to St. Edward’s 84-72 in exhibition play and defeating TAMUI 64-54, the men look to get the regular season started on a high note Saturday By Kevin Stich The Broncs and head coach Ryan Marks are feeling a bit anxious to get off the starting blocks as they prepare for a Saturday afternoon matchup against Louisiana Tech. It will mark the official start to the 20092010 season, after the club dropped the exhibition opener against Marks’ former squad St. Edward’s University Saturday, then chalked up a win against Texas A&M-International Monday. It’s a safe bet to say that Marks might lose a bit of sleep come Friday night. “You’re always anxious as a coach going into a game,” he said in reference to his nocturnal habits before a game. “Some people say, ‘Are you nervous?’ I guess I can’t speak for every coach, but I think anxious and excited are the words.” In UTPA’s case, it will be a significant mental advantage to have played its first three games at home, giving the men a chance to scrape up some confidence before facing Lamar (Nov. 16) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Nov. 19) on the road. “It’s always a big advantage and I think it’s because our fans that have been coming out are vocal and into

the game and helped us in some key situations,” Marks said. “It’s really more important for an inexperienced team. You know, when you have a more veteran group and staff that’s been around a little bit longer, you’re maybe a little bit more equipped to start on the road.”

to the opponent’s offensive and defensive schemes. Saturday morning pregame will be all review, according to Marks, as the team looks to an afternoon tip-off at 1 p.m. So what can the Green and Orange expect from La Tech? The Tigers beat down Lincoln 91-54 in an

from the field, including 38.1 percent from behind the arc, as well as reaching the charity stripe 32 times, converting 71.9 percent. “Their personnel is very good. Certainly we have a lot of good teams on our schedule, and you need to throw their name into the mix

Breaking Down the Numbers OPPONENT





20-47 (42.6%)

4-14 (28.6%)

28-42 (66.7%)






21-44 (47.7%)

6-18 (33.3%)

16-28 (57.1%)




41-91 (45.0%)

10-32 (31.3%)

44-70 (62.9%)


After a day of rest Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s practices were focused on improvement of team fundamentals, while Friday will be spent locking in adjustments

exhibition game Nov. 7, and have both outside and inside threats offensively, including 6-foot-5-inch guard Kyle Gibson, who put up 23 points in the opener. They shot 45.5 percent

when your talking about the better teams we’re going to be facing,” Marks said. UTPA will have to rely on balanced production from veteran

forwards Luis Valera and Nathan Hawkins, as well as guard Nick Weiermiller who had a big three-pointer with under eight minutes to go in Monday’s game that proved to be the momentum shifter in a 10-point win. “We have to lead. We have more experience from last year and the year before,” Valera said. “We have to lead the new guys. Some of them, it’s their first time playing on a Division I team, and it’s another level… There’s a lot of pressure on Nate and myself. We are the biggest ones on a small team.” The 6-foot-7 Valera leads UTPA with 28 points and eight rebounds after two showings. Against the Dustdevils, the Broncs had four players (Valera, Weiermiller, Hawkins and Julius Hearn) in double-digit scoring – production they will need this weekend to have a chance at victory. Defensively, Marks iterated the importance of improving “help defense.” The team had issues with rotations in the man-to-man, sometimes failing to get guys come off their man to assist a teammate on his. Marks said that against International, he saw his team exhibit more purpose running the offense – a good sign for the team’s scoring effort down the road.

November 12, 2009  

Vol. 66 No. 11