Page 1

Sustainability Charge Additional student fee for greener university proposed

Pages 6-7

April 25, 2013

Volume 69, No. 26

ONLINE CONTENT

panamericanonline.com

Pregame

On the diamond before the first pitch Photo essay

Sea Speaker

Marine biologist swims with whale sharks

Beach-N-Bike

SPI festival roars to a start

Pasta, Poetry, Vino

‘Why me?’

UTPA kidnapping victim speaks out about the experience Adrian Castillo /The Pan American By Lea Victoria Juarez The Pan American

2nd annual event unites art, music and poetry

It happened in a matter of seconds, she said. According to Ana Elizondo, she reached to open her car door in a UTPA parking lot Sept. 25, 2012 and was taken. Snatched from behind, with a hand gripping her mouth tightly, Elizondo initially struggled to break free from the stranger’s clutch, she told The Pan American. It wasn’t until she heard men’s voices threatening to harm her that she reverted to a calm state - her body going limp as she

was dragged into her abductors’ vehicle in what was then Lot T2, at approximately 7:15 p.m. They watched her for days, the alleged captors told her, targeting her at school because there were no cameras, according to an April 4 article in The Monitor. A witness called in a report to UTPA Police Department stating they saw a female forced into a vehicle in Lot T2, now named K2, with one of two suspects covering her mouth. Elizondo was released by her captors unharmed the morning

of Sept. 27. Seven months later, she decided to speak to the public about her ordeal for the Social Justice & Peace Conference 2013 April 22. The conference, sponsored by the UTPA Department of Criminal Justice, focused on multiple forms of kidnapping. The event featured the documentary Kidnappings: Expect the Unexpected, safety tips sessions and presentations from victims. “As I speak to more people...I start to realize it’s very common and that’s the only reason I decid-

ed to go public because there’s no point in hiding if everybody is in danger,” the psychology graduate student told The Pan American. “I want to speak out about it. I want to talk about the whole experience because I think it’s a good story to tell.” The accused kidnappers were identified as 20-yearold Milton Treviño, 28-yearold Onan Herrera-Sanchez, 35-year-old Miguel Angel Cruz Navarro and his 36-year-old

wife Elva Mendoza Navarro. Sanchez and Treviño are facing aggravated kidnapping for ransom charges and a federal criminal complaint accusing them of hostage-taking, according to The Monitor. The Navarro couple was also indicted by the state grand jury on the firstdegree felony charge in January. Elizondo will not give certain details about the events due to the pending case, she said.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 3


2

opinion

April 25, 2013

#UTPA

Tweet at and follow us @ThePanAmerican

Seems like everyone is dropping classes! #hugeline #utpa -@alanismike10 Im so glad that the bookstore is located inside the Library now. :) #utpa #collegelife #simpler -@brandilarissa It takes me 45 minutes minutes to find a vacant computer in this establishment. For 3800 a semester, buy some more computers #FU #UTPA -@shlavannah #ThingsISayInSchoolTheMost “I don’t want to go to my next class” #UTPA

leaving home Daniella Diaz

Co-Editor-In-chief I found my place in The Pan American newsroom. When I first started at Pan Am, I was a biology major. I took the classes, didn’t enjoy them and realized I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do all along. So after two semesters, I changed my major to mass communication and

-@ayyMaria 5h

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

thepanamerican @gmail.com

Vol. 69, No. 26

The Pan American

thepanamerican@gmail.com 1201 West University, ARHU 170 Edinburg, Texas 78539 Phone: (956) 665-2541 Fax: (956) 316-7122

Editors-in-Chief:

Karen Antonacci Daniella Diaz

News Editor:

Charles Vale

Sports Editor:

Norma Gonzalez

Arts & Life Editor:

Lea Victoria Juarez

Photography Editor: Adrian Castillo

Design Editor:

Karen Villarreal

Karen Antonacci

Co-Editor-In-Chief There is, technically speaking, no such thing as a UTPA journalism degree. There is mass communication, print and broadcast track, but you can’t major in journalism. Three years ago, as an entering freshman, I signed up to be a mass comm. major because I liked reading but didn’t feel like studying only literature. “Whatever,” I thought. “I’ll see where this goes. I can always change it later if I don’t like it.”

joined The Pan American as a news reporter August 2011. And I’ve been here since. The Pan American newsroom is a home to many students on campus. It’s a place where a student reporter can learn about the real world of journalism - the experience offers much more than a classroom ever could. The editors get together every Wednesday night, produce a paper, sometimes stay in the newsroom until 5 a.m. to finish it, all so that we have a quality product ready for our readership Thursday at noon. The Pan American is the first publication I was ever published in and the experience there opened the

door for my first internship at The Monitor. Now, I am about to embark to San Antonio this summer to intern for The San Antonio Express-News, and I will bring with me everything I’ve gained from working at The Pan American. It was in the newsroom where I learned so many life lessons that I plan to take with me everywhere. It was here where I learned to never give up, even when it felt sometimes as if there was no light at the end of the tunnel. It was here where I improved my leadership skills and started dabbling in other trades, such as design, photography and videography. It was here where I met people I plan to

keep as lifelong friends. It was there where I met Greg Selber, who in my opinion is one of the best professors on campus and has been an amazing mentor to me during my time here. I am thankful for everything The Pan American has offered me. But now it’s time to say goodbye to my home. We work endlessly to provide the college newspapers you pick up and read weekly. We believe in reporting not only what you want to know about the University, but what you need to know about the University. We are always trying to provide all of the facts about any subject, even if it doesn’t always ap-

As I entered school and met my mentor, Gregory Selber, I complained about the student newspaper. It was boring and uninspired, I said, unaware that he was also the adviser of said newspaper. Selber, in his infinite kookiness, didn’t throw me out of his office, but told me to come write for The Pan American. I did, and now I’m leaving after a semester as CoEditor-in-Chief, two as Editor-inChief, three as News Editor and two as a news reporter. I’m leaving because I have my own opportunities to tend to, afforded to me by The Pan American. And I’m leaving because I’ve done my best every week to turn out content that a skeptical, uninformed 18-year-old me would pick up. Now it’s time to make way for someone else to declare it

boring and rework it. But it’s difficult to leave because TPA is my home, and I have literally spent

our worst - bleary-eyed at 4 a.m. with a test in the morning, unable, suddenly, to speak coherently.

more time in that charmingly cluttered newsroom than my various dorms and apartments. And the people that make up the student newspaper feel like my family. We have seen each other at our best - turning out work that goes beyond the call of duty - and at

Winning entry by @menaman09.

Congratulations! You win a $30 Pizza Hut gift card. Comments from our photography editor:

“This photo is the most visually appealing out of the 128 entries we received. The angle was well thought out. Instead of taking the photo standing, menaman09 took us down to the swimmer’s point of view. It’s vibrant and symmetrical so overall it’s a welltaken photo.”

The Pan American Instagram competition has come to an end after 128 entries. These winners were selected and critiqued by our photography editor, Adrian Castillo. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Social Media Editor: Ismael Melendez

Administrative Associate:

Anita Reyes

Advertising Manager:

16 pages, to 12, to eight. They taught me so many lessons about journalism, including design, photography, videography and yes, writing. They also taught me about friendship, professionalism and leadership. And now I’m leaving home to do a summer internship at The Portland Press Herald in Maine and it is as every bit as terrifying and exciting as it was to leave Houston to come to the Rio Grande Valley three years ago. And in a year, I hope to walk across the stage in cap and gown. My degree will say mass communication, but I know running the gauntlet of managing a student newspaper will have truly awarded me a UTPA journalism degree. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

During my time at The Pan American, I have worked with, and for, amazingly talented people. They have built an online presence, including YouTube, panamericanonline.com and various social media sites. They adapted as we went from

#thepanamerican

Elizabeth Espinosa

Dr. Greg Selber

pear as though we do, because the University community deserves it. Reporting news is what I plan to do for the rest of my life and working at The Pan American helped me realize this. The newsroom is a place for student reporters to develop, make mistakes, learn and grow, and it’s a place for anyone and everyone interested in the craft of journalism. If you’re interested in having this experience as well, stop by Room 170 in the Arts and Humanities Building and fill out an application. It’s worth it. And as always, we appreciate your readership.

During my time at The Pan American, I have worked with, and for, amazingly talented people.

Multimedia Editor:

Adviser:

It was in the newsroom where I learned so many life lessons that I plan to take with me everywhere.

- @blurryninja

- @valerie_anyssa

Second Place

“With the help of Instagram filters, you made an ordinary photo look great. Personally, I don’t like filters, but this is an exception.”

cOMIC Hey sexy lady, go to the movies with me? I have two tickets to Nyaaaan-cats III.

Well, you’re pretty creepy, but on the other hand, it’s been a horrific week. Yeah, why not, I could use the distraction.

Elva Ramirez

Webmaster:

Jose Villarreal

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.

Third Place

“What more could we ask for? You captured the spirit of PanAm. Good job.”

The Pan American hopes

you have a safe summer. We’ll continue posting online content at

panamericanonline.com Francisco Rodriguez /The Pan American


April 31, 25, 2013 2013 January

BLACKOUT By Susan Gonzalez The Pan American Daniel Arredondo didn’t use the Internet the whole day and deactivated all his social media accounts April 22 in protest of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing Protection Act. CISPA passed through the House of Representatives April 18 and now awaits a vote in the U.S. Senate. CISPA would allow private companies, such as Facebook and Google, to voluntarily share

information with the government in the event of a cyber attack. For example, if the government suspected one might take down Facebook, they could notify the social media site. Conversely, Facebook, and other private sites, could inform the government if its representatives see suspicious activity suggesting a cyber attack. THE OPPOSITION Those who oppose CISPA, like Arredondo, believe the law

would allow companies to easily hand over private information to the government without repercussion. Essentially, CISPA would override other laws, including privacy laws, in times of crisis. In addition, the private companies would not have to notify the user if his or her private information had been released. As long as it was done in “good faith” the company that shared the information would not be held liable for releasing the information.

Shedding light on cispa Passed by the U.S. House of Representatives April 18 288-127 Allows websites and the government to share information FOR: Could prevent cyber attack

AGAINST: Could violate users’ privacy

3

Anonymous calls for blackout in protest of CISPA, mixed reactions from students Anonymous, a “hacktivist” group known for using computers and technology to promote a political agenda, called for an Internet blackout April 22 in protest. The group encouraged website owners to take down their normal home pages and replace them with a black page that explains the issue and opposes CISPA. In addition, Anonymous members encouraged Internet users to boycott the act by not using the Web for the entire day, which is what Arredondo did. “I understand they’re trying to have good intentions with this law but at the same time it does violate the privacy of people,” said Arredondo, a junior biology major. “Who are they to say they won’t abuse this newfound right? Basically our sense of security would start to dissipate.” A similar blackout took place Jan. 18, 2012 to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, a pair of controversial anti-piracy bills. These proposed bills aimed to crack down on copyright infringement by restricting access to sites that had pirated content available for viewing or downloading. For example, SOPA

would have been able to order search engines, like Google, to modify search results to exclude foreign websites that host illegally copied material. Opponents to the bills believed SOPA and PIPA promoted censorship. Both bills were postponed indefinitely after Internet users and major websites, such as Wikipedia and Reddit, the link-sharing site and online community, protested with the blackout and petitions. “The government didn’t learn with SOPA and PIPA,” Arredondo said. “If you try and mess with the Internet, it’s going to just cause an uproar.”

said. “If you’re in that state of panicking, you’re not going to remember anything. I don’t really remember much when I was panicking, but when I was calm that’s when I remembered more.” Rich Roth, an expert in the area of threat and risk assessment who also spoke at the event, said the best way to

something that’s a lifesaver, that’s really a lifesaver.” Many of the audience members blamed the University police for Elizondo’s abduction. However, Elizabeth Wills, a 20-year-old junior, was sitting in the front row during Elizondo’s speech didn’t feel like much could have been done to prevent it. “When you look at safe, you’re never really safe. It doesn’t matter where you go, there’s always something that could happen,” the Edinburg native said. “Just because there’s cameras doesn’t mean it stops anything from happening. Do I feel safe? No, but I don’t feel safe anywhere. Not just on campus.” Elizondo said she doesn’t hold a grudge against campus police. The McAllen native admitted it was difficult trying to get back into the swing of things. Elizondo became jumpy at the sound of footsteps behind her, looking over her shoulder to keep an eye out for anything coming her way. Although she explained the severity of her

like CISPA. “I think it would be a double-edged sword,” said Miguel Barrera, a junior political science major. “On one hand, it would be beneficial for national security, but on the other hand I don’t think our private information should be issued out to any government agency just because someone gives a red flag.”

THE OTHER SIDE Those who support CISPA think it would be beneficial on an international level, preventing cyber attacks from China, Russia or Iran, which have increased in recent years. In the event of a cyber attack, a site can be hacked and valuable data stolen. This law could potentially prevent events like this. Some students can see both good and bad aspects to laws

continued from Page 1 THE ABDUCTION While blindfolded, Elizondo was moved from location to location until the alleged abductors finally arrived at their destination. She awoke the next day, still blindfolded, on the ground outside. She said she had to remind herself to stay calm. “I cried when I was alone because I didn’t want to show them that I was weak,” she said in an interview with The Pan American. “I wanted to show them I was strong and that they weren’t affecting me in any way. I didn’t want to show them that side of me so I held in a lot of emotions.” She treated them respectfully, she said, asking them questions about themselves, some of which they didn’t answer, according to the abductee. “I was very nice to them,” Elizondo said. “I cracked jokes with them to kind of get out of the situation mentally. I guess he saw me as a good person, and I think that’s why I wasn’t physically harmed.” Elizondo was initially held for $160,000 ransom,

which her father found out from a phone call 15 minutes after a UTPA police officer was dispatched to the crime Sept. 25, according to The Monitor. Ultimately, she said it was her attitude that helped set her free. Treviño let her go upon hearing his cohorts were planning to kill her, according to The Monitor. The kidnappers called the father again the morning of Sept. 27, and soon after, he picked her up at the alleged abductor’s home in Las Milpas where she was being held. SPEAKING OUT Elizondo never wanted to publicly tell her story for safety reasons, but April 22 she stood at the podium in the UTPA Ballroom, recounting some events of her abduction and taking questions. Elizondo explained during her presentation that since her kidnapping, she hasn’t seen much of a difference in safety precautions on campus. However, Director of

University Relations Sandra Quintanilla explained that lights were installed in the lot where the incident took place and cameras, which were ordered prior to the incident, were installed in lots F, C and G. Both will continue to be installed throughout campus. In addition, campus police patrols have increased.

I cried when I was alone because I didn’t want to show them that I was weak. - Ana Elizondo

Alleged kidnapping victim Elizondo offered tips to the audience at the conference in case anyone were to find themselves in the same situation. She said it’s important to pick up on clues such as tattoos or scars on the attackers. “Try and remain calm because if you’re calm, you can remember more,” Elizondo

help in these situations is for people to be alert and aware. “One of the biggest things that came out of this was the fact that there was a witness, someone that reported it and knew where to report it,” said Roth, the executive director and chief operating officer for Counter Technology Inc. “If you want to to talk about

jitters have lessened, minor things such as a flashlight beam still haunt her. “A lot of kidnappings are happening more and more, I’ve been reading up on that. It just reminds me so it’s something I can’t really let go of,” Elizondo said. According to Carlos Campbell, a presenter at the conference, each year over 45,000 cases of kidnappings are reported, but that number represents 15 percent of abductions that happen in the United States yearly. The day after Elizondo was released, she returned to school and was ready to get back into her regular routine. Even though she was a victim of kidnapping, she works to push forward in life and hopes to graduate in August 2013. “I’m just trying to live my life. I’m very friendly and outgoing even to this day,” she said. “I’ll talk to a random person. People tell me, ‘You never learn. That’s why you get kidnapped.’ But I’m sorry, I’m not going to change who I am.”


Page 4

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April 25, 2013

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Page 6

THE PAN AMERICAN

April 25, 2013

April 25, 2013

Page 7

UTPA senior aims to establish the green fee By Jaime Leal The Pan American

A sustainable university? Graphic by Francisco Rodriguez Design by Karen Villarreal

What is the green fee? The green fee is a charge that could be added to student fees to fund sustainability projects on campus such as recycling bins, water conservation and fluorescent bulbs.

How much will it be? The green fee could be $5 added to the other student fees charged at the beginning of the semester. Based on 2011 enrollment, the green fee could garner approximately $95,000 for sustainable projects.

What’s the status? Still in the referendum stage, the green fee is likely to be voted on next semester. If it receives a majority approval by the student body, it would continue up the chain of command until eventually reaching President Nelsen and the UT System Board of Regents. It likely won’t be instituted until 2015, if it is approved.

Raul Aldape wants to help create a university where resources will be more sustainable and efficient. In order to achieve this, he is advocating the green fee. The fee, a $5 payment, would be grouped with other fees, such as the one students currently pay to exercise at the Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex. According to the McAllen resident, UTPA will not be the first school to introduce this kind of funding for sustainability projects. Others, such as the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Texas at Austin, have already implemented their own green fee. The fee, which is in the referendum stage, could garner about $95,000 if instituted during the 2015-2016 school year. The fee is scheduled to be voted on next semester and must gain a majority of approval from the student body before it proceeds up the chain of command. According to Aldape, he will need to meet some criteria, such as taking it to town hall, and be given a considerable amount of promotion before the vote. The finance and management major said the charge could fund sustainability projects, such as replacing lightemitting diodes, or LED lights, with fluorescent lights and conserving other resources, like energy, by enabling sensors that will shut off classroom lights when no one is in attendance. Aldape was inspired to pursue the fee when he worked as a senator last semester for the Student Government Association. According to him, the SGA adviser met with members regarding the fee, telling them the University wanted opinions on it. “They said (the University) would like your feedback on this and it’s going to go to this (project),” Aldape said. “People had opinions. Senators had opinions. I had one. I said we should work with the Office for Sustainability.” Possessing a passion for the environment, Aldape decided to take the initiative and approach

the Office for Sustainability. He believed the office had answers to the questions many senators had. According to Aldape, Assistant Dean of Students Rebecca Gadson and then-SGA President Matthew Garcia told him that a referendum would need to be made for the green fee. THE REFERENDUM The first step was creating a petition that needed 194 signatures. Starting in midFebruary, and with the aid of the Environmental Awareness Club, Aldape was able to produce 197 verified signatures by March 12. The referendum stage will yield to a vote by University students. However, Aldape said the event must be announced to students 20 class days before voting. Gadson said Aldape approached her with the fee during the fall semester. “Any time students make a determination that they value something and want to put that forward, and that will make a positive impact on the University,

has passed, the fee will be taken to the Dean of Students Mari Fuentes. After passing through the chain of command, such as being approved by Martha Cantu, the vice president of student affairs, the fee will be transferred to UTPA President Robert Nelsen. However, the decision will not be finalized by Nelsen. Once approved by him, the fee will then be passed onto the members on the Board of Regents. At this point, Aldape believes the fee will hit a snag. According to Aldape, the members stated that they don’t want any other fees added to what students are currently paying, which is an average of $6,124 per semester, according to the UTPA fee table. Karen Adler, spokeswoman for the UT System, said in an email that increases in student fees have made higher education in Texas less affordable. Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and the Board are focused on keeping down the cost of higher education across the UT System, Adler wrote.

If students want it and if it is done through a democratic process, then we should have (a green fee). It’s our money. - Raul Aldape

Senior, finance & management major

I want to help advocate that,” Gadson said. “I want to help them obtain their goal.” According to Gadson, the Texas Legislature changed the education code in 2009, giving institutions of higher education the ability to determine on their own through a referendum process, the implementation of fees. Gadson said Chapter 54 of the Texas Education Code outlines what universities and other institutions of higher education can charge via various fees. The code has a specific section that governs how a university can enact an environmental service fee. PUSHING IT FORWARD Once the referendum stage

Even though the members might decline the charge, Aldape said that he will continue to push for the fee. “It is our job, the community and students, to show them that if the majority (of students) approves, we want this,” Aldape said. “If students want it and if it is done through a democratic process, then we should have one. It’s our money.” After polling with an 84 percent approval rating for the fee last semester, Aldape is looking forward to seeing the windfall help create projects and enact proposals to make the University a sustainable school. “It’s going to take a campuswide application but there is a bright future for this fee,” he said.

IS LOOKING FOR

A NEW

APP L TOD Y AY!

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF For more information contact us at 665-2541 or come by ARHU 170

WE ARE NOW HIRING!

    Apply@ARHU 170


Page 6

THE PAN AMERICAN

April 25, 2013

April 25, 2013

Page 7

UTPA senior aims to establish the green fee By Jaime Leal The Pan American

A sustainable university? Graphic by Francisco Rodriguez Design by Karen Villarreal

What is the green fee? The green fee is a charge that could be added to student fees to fund sustainability projects on campus such as recycling bins, water conservation and fluorescent bulbs.

How much will it be? The green fee could be $5 added to the other student fees charged at the beginning of the semester. Based on 2011 enrollment, the green fee could garner approximately $95,000 for sustainable projects.

What’s the status? Still in the referendum stage, the green fee is likely to be voted on next semester. If it receives a majority approval by the student body, it would continue up the chain of command until eventually reaching President Nelsen and the UT System Board of Regents. It likely won’t be instituted until 2015, if it is approved.

Raul Aldape wants to help create a university where resources will be more sustainable and efficient. In order to achieve this, he is advocating the green fee. The fee, a $5 payment, would be grouped with other fees, such as the one students currently pay to exercise at the Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex. According to the McAllen resident, UTPA will not be the first school to introduce this kind of funding for sustainability projects. Others, such as the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Texas at Austin, have already implemented their own green fee. The fee, which is in the referendum stage, could garner about $95,000 if instituted during the 2015-2016 school year. The fee is scheduled to be voted on next semester and must gain a majority of approval from the student body before it proceeds up the chain of command. According to Aldape, he will need to meet some criteria, such as taking it to town hall, and be given a considerable amount of promotion before the vote. The finance and management major said the charge could fund sustainability projects, such as replacing lightemitting diodes, or LED lights, with fluorescent lights and conserving other resources, like energy, by enabling sensors that will shut off classroom lights when no one is in attendance. Aldape was inspired to pursue the fee when he worked as a senator last semester for the Student Government Association. According to him, the SGA adviser met with members regarding the fee, telling them the University wanted opinions on it. “They said (the University) would like your feedback on this and it’s going to go to this (project),” Aldape said. “People had opinions. Senators had opinions. I had one. I said we should work with the Office for Sustainability.” Possessing a passion for the environment, Aldape decided to take the initiative and approach

the Office for Sustainability. He believed the office had answers to the questions many senators had. According to Aldape, Assistant Dean of Students Rebecca Gadson and then-SGA President Matthew Garcia told him that a referendum would need to be made for the green fee. THE REFERENDUM The first step was creating a petition that needed 194 signatures. Starting in midFebruary, and with the aid of the Environmental Awareness Club, Aldape was able to produce 197 verified signatures by March 12. The referendum stage will yield to a vote by University students. However, Aldape said the event must be announced to students 20 class days before voting. Gadson said Aldape approached her with the fee during the fall semester. “Any time students make a determination that they value something and want to put that forward, and that will make a positive impact on the University,

has passed, the fee will be taken to the Dean of Students Mari Fuentes. After passing through the chain of command, such as being approved by Martha Cantu, the vice president of student affairs, the fee will be transferred to UTPA President Robert Nelsen. However, the decision will not be finalized by Nelsen. Once approved by him, the fee will then be passed onto the members on the Board of Regents. At this point, Aldape believes the fee will hit a snag. According to Aldape, the members stated that they don’t want any other fees added to what students are currently paying, which is an average of $6,124 per semester, according to the UTPA fee table. Karen Adler, spokeswoman for the UT System, said in an email that increases in student fees have made higher education in Texas less affordable. Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and the Board are focused on keeping down the cost of higher education across the UT System, Adler wrote.

If students want it and if it is done through a democratic process, then we should have (a green fee). It’s our money. - Raul Aldape

Senior, finance & management major

I want to help advocate that,” Gadson said. “I want to help them obtain their goal.” According to Gadson, the Texas Legislature changed the education code in 2009, giving institutions of higher education the ability to determine on their own through a referendum process, the implementation of fees. Gadson said Chapter 54 of the Texas Education Code outlines what universities and other institutions of higher education can charge via various fees. The code has a specific section that governs how a university can enact an environmental service fee. PUSHING IT FORWARD Once the referendum stage

Even though the members might decline the charge, Aldape said that he will continue to push for the fee. “It is our job, the community and students, to show them that if the majority (of students) approves, we want this,” Aldape said. “If students want it and if it is done through a democratic process, then we should have one. It’s our money.” After polling with an 84 percent approval rating for the fee last semester, Aldape is looking forward to seeing the windfall help create projects and enact proposals to make the University a sustainable school. “It’s going to take a campuswide application but there is a bright future for this fee,” he said.

IS LOOKING FOR

A NEW

APP L TOD Y AY!

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF For more information contact us at 665-2541 or come by ARHU 170

WE ARE NOW HIRING!

    Apply@ARHU 170


Page 8

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April 25, 2013


arts & life

April 25, 2013

Good hack, not an attack

Hackathon provides students opportunities for fun, profit By Jose S. De Leon III The Pan American A Windows Surface tablet, Xbox 360 system and PC games are just a few of the grand prizes available at UTPA’s first ‘Windows Hackathon’, a weekend-long competition where as many as 30 people are expected to participate and create apps for the Windows 8 system. The apps will be for Windows mobile and computer devices and must be made under a 48-hour deadline. Competitors will use Windows Vista 2012, a software operating system that allows users to develop applications for software supported by Microsoft Windows, to create the apps.

The Hackathon is is hosted by the Association for Computing Machinery, a national organization that promotes computer science. Miguel Garcia is the leader of the UTPA student chapter. “Everyone can participate in the Hackathon,” the 23-yearold Tamaulipas, Mexico native said. “The only requirement is that you need to know some basic computer science.” For some participants, such as senior Mark Lagunas, the Hackathon is the first time in a computer competition of this sort. Lagunas sees it as a way to advance his computer science degree. “A representative from Windows (Ryan Joy, a developer at Microsoft Corp.) is coming down,”

the Dallas native said. “They’ll bring several career opportunities for us. It’s pretty exciting.” ACM adviser David Egle, a computer science professor who has been teaching at UTPA for 30 years, looks forward to seeing what his students come up with. “This is a great opportunity for students to use what they’ve learned in class in an applied setting,” the Texas A&M graduate said. “It also gives them ideas (for) what they want to do for their senior project.” Even though this will be the first Hackathon held at UTPA, this isn’t the first competition for the ACM. Members of the student chapter previously competed at

a Windows Hackathon in Austin in November 2012. Garcia said he believes their performance there was what caused Microsoft Corp. to come to UTPA. “I think we impressed the judges and Microsoft with what we did,” he said. “I don’t think they expected a lot from us, but we definitely surprised them.” The Hackathon is from April 27 at 10 a.m. to April 28 at 4 p.m. in ASB room 1.104. Students have the option of staying there for the entire duration of the competition, or leaving for breaks. Registration can register at acmutpa.com, the ACM website.

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Calendar of Events

Parting ways

April 25 - May 29

UTPA Dance Ensemble Edinburg H.S. Performing Arts Center

McAllen VFW to change location By Osmar Alanis The Pan American The James “Nikki” Rowe Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2369 has two very different identities. One is a weathered place where veterans of foreign wars come together, the other is a place packed to the brim with the Valley’s youthful music scene. This specific location, on Business 83 in McAllen, chartered in 1932, is covered in a delicate layer of cigarette scent and is beginning to see decay. The VFW is going through a change of location that could see a separation between the young and old due to the new venue’s smaller size. There are also city regulations that need to be met, such as capacity and venue permits. Still, the time spent together has allowed people from both seemingly disparate groups to build an impression of each other. According to John West, a 63-year-old Vietnam War veteran and the post’s white-haired quarter master, the move to a new post will happen in two to three months, to a building that is yet to be constructed. The veterans often mentor youth groups, organize and volunteer in blood drives and help in community kitchens for the needy. Apart from this, the VFW often rents its facility to post-hardcore music promoters; post-hardcore is a music genre that originated from hardcore punk in the mid-1980s and is generally faster and heavier than regular punk. On days when shows aren’t being organized, the VFW sees about 30 veterans get together to listen to conjunto music, which originated in Texas and is usually

associated with Norteño and Tejano styles. On successful concert nights, the VFW hosts anywhere from 100 to 200 post-hardcore music enthusiasts. West works with the promoters and cares for the post during concerts. “We’ve had shows since around 2005, and we were closed for a couple of years somewhere in there,” West said, from behind thick-lensed glasses sitting low on his nose. According to the veteran, the post receives a rental fee of $350 from the promoters who make their money from door sales. While the music is not something West is fond of, he doesn’t mind the musicians and their fans hanging out at the venue. “It don’t bother me none, it’s just noise,” West said. “They all behave and everything, so there’s no problems. And I’m the only one that stays, all the other guys blow right out of here.” THE SCENE The VFW’s music scene has changed throughout the years. According to John Morales, a 20-year-old UTPA anthropology major and bassist for the band The Final Burial, the scene has gone through generations, from punk to the current post-hardcore scene. Numerous current fans have been a part of the VFW’s different phases, but not many have experienced what it’s like to be both a member of the VFW and a show enthusiast. However, Dustin Sanchez is an exception. Sanchez, co-owner of Pendulum of Life Productions, a concert promotion company, knows what the veterans think

April 25-27 7:30 p.m.

of the shows and sees how they have benefitted from them. “My understanding is that they like it because it was helping them stay in business and it was helping them pay for the venue,” said the 26-year-old Iraq war veteran. “I know they don’t like the music.” Apart from the economic help the veterans and the post receive from the shows, Sanchez recognizes that being able to use the venue and fill it with a young crowd is beneficial to many of the show-goers. “A lot of the kids that come to our shows are, I guess, outcasts,” Sanchez said. “Shows give them somewhere to go to hang out with their other friends and not be doing stupid stuff like drugs and getting in trouble.” MEMORIES According to Javier Rivera Jr., a 24-year-old Brownsville native and Pendulum of Life Productions co-owner, as the VFW’s move nears, the posthardcore scene has taken an interest in hosting shows at Fallback Records, a venue and record store in Mcallen. “Fallback Records have been booking for a while now and that place is getting wellknown,” Rivera said. “We, as a company, have a pretty decent following so as long as the scene continues to support us, we’ll keep supporting shows.” As time and countless shows would have it, the VFW has been witness to plenty of events worthy of memories. While the bad recollections are as blunt as an empty show, the good seem to be the only ones worth noting to both sides of the VFW crowd. “My favorite memory is when I was in a band called Cry

9

Edinburg Arbor Day Edinburg World Birding Center

April 27

9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Roller Derby Rematch De Leon Sports Complex, McAllen

April 27

6:30 p.m. Mariachi Girl Albert L. Jeffers Theatre, ARHU

May 2-3: 7 p.m. May 4-5: 2 p.m.

Symphony in the Park Victoria Flores /The Pan American

Ashes of Alaska guitarist Jason Whitney sings his part in “You Had This Coming” from their recent EP at the McAllen VFW April 19. The VFW is changing to a smaller location, leaving bands and singers unsure of where they will perform. for Anesthesia and we actually had our EP release show here and there was close to 250 people,” Rivera said. Cry for Anesthesia formed in 2010, but Rivera parted ways with them soon after the EP release due to personal differences with the rest of the band. While post-hardcore memories involve the love of music and the atmosphere surrounding the live performances, one veteran was impressed by another kind of show. “You want to know what’s the best memory I’ve had out of all these concerts?” West said. “It would be this little stripper

showed me her (breasts). That’s my memory, there’s no song that sticks out.” According to West, only time will tell if the new post will host concerts. Seeing how shows usually have over 100 show-goers and permits would prohibit such attendance in small spaces, it’s difficult to tell when the two groups will be together again.

Washington Park, Brownsville

May 4 6 p.m.

Poetry for a New Latina Horizon Pharr West Club

May 8

6:30 p.m. Mother’s Day Concert Edinburg City Auditorium

May 12

4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. A Night of Poetry Pharr Community Theatre

May 15

6:30 p.m.


Page 10

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April 25, 2013


April 25, 2013

Finish line draws near for senior runner By Norma Gonzalez The Pan American Five years ago as a walk-on freshman on the cross country and track and field teams, Andy Lopez thought he may not survive the season. Now, after numerous top 10 finishes, an 800-meter run Great West Conference Championship (1:55.15) and the UTPA Athlete of the Year award April 14, Lopez prepares to finish his final track and field season. “I’ve become a lot more competitive, I think,” Lopez said of his transition from running in high school to competing at the D1 level. “I don’t see it as just fun. I want to go out there and win. I want to compete at my best and hit the times.” The 6-foot-1 redshirt senior hails from McAllen’s Nikki Rowe High School, where he graduated as a four-year letterman in both track and field and cross country. According to Lopez, he applied to other universities, but decided to stay close to home. “I like representing the community,” he said. “It’s cool being from the Valley and running for the Valley, staying here in the Valley and being able to do it all here.” When Lopez first started at the University, he found help in

Adrian Castillo/The Pan American

Gilroy Martinez, a former high school teammate who helped him get on the roster. Martinez and Lopez ran together for two years at Rowe before reuniting at UTPA in 2008. “He was the captain in high school and here he introduced me to the coaches,” Lopez said of Martinez, who graduated in December 2011. “He kept me motivated because the whole first season I was kind of on the verge of getting...cut. He kept me pushing to be better.” Unlike the volleyball or baseball athletes whose seasons only take up a semester, Lopez competes all year. The fall semester is dedicated to cross country while the spring semester is divided into the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons. Although Lopez is only enrolled for six hours this semester, at some points he has taken as many as 18 hours in a semester. He also has worked part time at the Boys and Girls Club in McAllen since high school. “The hardest thing is continuing the training - being motivated during the summer, being motivated through the winter when we’re not competing,” Lopez explained. “It’s so hard to go out there and do your run without a team, just doing it by yourself,

but I think I did a good job the past five years I’ve been here.” The Athletic Department honored student athletes at their annual award banquet April 14 and Lopez was one of those awarded. Besides his male Athlete of the Year award, he was part of the Performance of the Year. Track and Field took the honor for its effort at the 86thAnnual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin March 28-29 when the team of Lopez, Ramon Neilly, Joshua Rosalez and Martin Casse broke the program record in the distance medley relay, winning third place with a time of 9:54.29. The senior has two more meets before his final GWC Championships in Houston May 4. The fifth-year senior plans on graduating in May and, although he is unsure of what he will be doing in the future, he feels he has a back-up plan in coaching. The accolades he has received may help him pursue that avenue. “It was really nice. It was an honor, I mean that’s what it was,” Lopez said of winning Athlete of the Year. “All these other athletes are just as deserving.”

weekly updates baseball Won the series against Houston Baptist University 3-1 April 19-21 in Houston Lost to the University of Texas at San Antonio 2-1 April 23 at the Edinburg Baseball Stadium Next home game April 26 at 7 p.m. against New Jersey Institute of Technology

women’s golf

Currently competition at the Great West Conference Championships in San Antonio to conclude April 26

men’s golf Lost 7-0 to Texas A&M- Corpus Christi April 20 in Corpus

track and field Completed the 55th Annual Mt. SAC Relays April 19 in California Completed the Beach Invitational April 19-20 in California Martin Casse won the Men’s 1,500-meter run (3:44.76), a new Great West Conference record and event record time

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Martin Casse


April 25, 2013

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Page 12

April 25, 2013  

Volume 69 Number 26

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