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Celebrating Ladies

UTPA honors Women’s History Month

Pages 4-5

March 27, 2014

Volume 70, No. 24

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By Andrew Vera The Pan American As UTPA theater performance major Jesus Salaiz took a drag of his cigarette, he reminisced about the two times he attempted to quit smoking in recent years. Salaiz, a smoker for seven years, said he always ends up smoking again and worries he may never be able to kick the habit. “One time I quit for a month,” the 24-year-old said. “The second time was a bet, and it was supposed to last for a year, but I quit (trying) after two months.” According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 18 percent of Americans smoked cigarettes in 2012, accounting for 42 million people. While nearly 70 percent of those people admitted they wanted to quit smoking, more than 42 percent had made unsuccessful attempts in the past. The CDC states that most people who attempt to quit use a plethora of methods to help their smoking cessation, including nicotine patches, prescription medi-

cation, therapy and counseling. Salaiz, a pack-a-day smoker, said he turned to a juicing diet to help him quit. “Juicing,” according to Juice Nashville, is the process of extracting the natural vitamins, liquids and minerals from fruits and vegetables to help boost the body’s natural detoxification properties. While Salaiz said this worked for a little while, his cravings for nicotine soon became too strong to ignore, and he, like 42 percent of smokers in the U.S., was unsuccessful in his efforts and returned to smoking. “(Juicing) helped me and then I stopped...and I was cold turkey for a while, but I still needed that nicotine,” Salaiz said. “If I were to try to quit cold turkey, without preparation, I get agitated. I get a little frustrated.” While smokers occupy the outside areas of buildings on campus, a different type of nicotine craver is getting a fix inside the building — the electronic cigarette user. Rather than staying 25 feet away from building

entrances, as the current rule for all UTPA buildings demands, these smokers have the luxury of smoking in any setting. Electronic cigarettes, also known as “e-cigarettes,” have grown in popularity over recent years with nearly 3 percent of Americans using them in lieu of smoking traditional cigarettes, according to USA Today. The battery-operated device is filled with liquid nicotine that is converted into vapor that serves as another option to the carbon monoxide smoke produced by cigarettes. Although they serve as a healthy alternative to smoking, e-cigs still feed a person’s nicotine craving, even in the case of someone who was not a cigarette smoker before trying e-cigarettes. Therefore, a person without their e-cigarette may find themselves smoking a roll of tobacco, a habit they never intended to acquire. Bradley Williams, a computer science major, found himself in this exact predicament. “I started on e-cigarettes be-

cause there is just something pleasing about the act of smoking, and I thought, ‘Well, it’s vapor,’ so I could do it in my own house,” the 20-year-old said. “At one point, I did start smoking cigarettes when I wasn’t (smoking the e-cig) and I definitely feel like I do have a bit of a dependence (on nicotine).” In 2012 a group called The Tobacco on Campus Task Force was created at UTPA to make recommendations to University President Robert Nelsen about the harms of smoking on campus. The University of Texas at El Paso officially became a smokefree campus in February and joined more than 20 Texas colleges and universities that already have a ban of this kind, according to The El Paso Times. Other campuses with smoke-free policies include the University of Texas at Brownsville and the University of Texas at Austin. UTPA could potentially be one of the next campuses to become smoke-free, something that would earn the University

more research funding, according to a 2012 article in The Pan American. A ban like this, Salaiz said, could hinder student life. “I smoke after every class, so (a ban) is a little scary,” he said. “Having it off campus completely, that’s too much.” While the CDC stated that there are more former smokers than current smokers, nearly half of all smokers are ages 18-24, the common age window on college campuses. UTPA provides smoking cessation programs to help reduce the number of students, faculty and staff who smoke by getting to the psychological root of the problem. As for Salaiz, he is wary of attempting to quit smoking again and hopes that UTPA considers his rights and those of the many other student smokers when deciding whether to make campus a smoke-free zone. “I would want to (quit smoking),” Salaiz said. “But it just seems too hard.”


2

opinion

March 27, 2014

What is the problem here?

#UTPA I don’t know what makes me feel older...seeing “#UTPA 2017!” or the fact that I make groaning noises when I bend over to tie my shoes. -@DAVID_LEE_GARZA

Tweet at and follow us @ThePanAmerican Bored at the library! #UTPA #onemoreclass -@Saldana24 is it too late to #6thFan #UTPA -@ralphc27

Marco Torres

Shit the only person that parks better than zone 3 at #UTPA Is my brother. Damn pharmacy coop people practically park INSIDE the building -@TheDamaso

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 atacks. Please send all letters to:

thepanamerican@gmail.com

Vol. 70, No. 24

The Pan American

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

Editor-in-Chief:

Being a gay athlete doesn’t affect winning

Sports Editor Former National Football League Head Coach and player Herm Edwards once said, “Players play to win the game.” If that saying rings true, then what is the problem with a teammate who is gay? If they show the work ethic that is necessary to win, would you treat them any differently? Speaking as an athlete who competes in different leagues, and continues to play various sports, winning should be the only thing that matters. At the end of every season, athletes tend to care more about the win/ lose column, striving for wins to outweigh the losses, and that the team at least had a chance to be called champions. Throughout time people and sports have evolved. In 1946, Kenny Washington became one of the first African American professional football players, 26 years after the NFL was formed. Though a handful of blacks had played in the early days, this marked the first time in modern NFL history that an African

American was paid to compete for a professional team, the Los Angeles Rams. As time passed he was able to change people’s perspective of “colored” athletes. Now in 2014, Michael Sam Jr. made history by announcing his sexual preference Feb. 9, just three months before the NFL

...what is the problem with a teammate who is gay? If they show the work ethic that is necessary to win, would you treat them any differently? Draft. When ESPN featured Sam and his breaking news, it quickly went to his University of Missouri teammates to ask about Sam’s “coming out.” Most of them talked about him being a great person, a workhorse on and off the field, and a person who came in and took care of

COMIC I don’t know how to control my cravings...

business. As a teammate, all you can ask for is a fellow player who is serious when it’s game time, a person not going to lollygag, someone who wants to be there - not just to play, but to win. Athletes of all types should be judged on work ethic and how they per-

form in the game. The choices we make are our own and how we choose to handle the situation of a gay athlete varies from person to person. We have learned not to judge a man by the color of his skin, why can’t we do the same for athletes, regardless of sexual orientation?

Understandably, gay athletes must be aware of the media attention waiting when they make it known that they are openly gay. Some teammates may get annoyed or distracted by the media attention, but over time if every person on that team shows the media and everyone else that they are there to compete and win, then the day that these athletes admitted to the world that they are “gay and proud” will be a distant memory. Times have changed, but the end result has stayed the same, athletes want to be successful and have a chance at winning the championship. So does it really matter if your teammate is gay or straight? Is it going to change the way you prepare for a game? If the team goal is to win the game or get to the championship, then you’re not going to worry about who your teammate likes. The worry is to take care of business on the playing field, and to win.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Well, do what I do! Just drink a lot of water and you won’t have room to eat!

Susan Gonzalez

News Editor:

Andrew Vera

Sports Editor:

Marco Torres

Arts & Life Editor: May Ortega

Photography Editor: Jon Nutt

Design Editor:

Francisco Rodriguez

Multimedia Editor: Michael Aguilar

Social Media Editor: Jose S. DeLeon III

Copy Editor:

Whaf are you talffing abou’?

Victoria Valdez

Adviser:

Dr. Greg Selber

Administrative Associate: Anita Reyes

Advertising Manager: Elva Ramirez

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.

Jon Nutt/ The Pan American

Itzel Lopez/ The Pan American

Alberto Morales fouls the ball during a Western Athletic Conference game March 23. UTPA played the conference opener against New Mexico State University and lost the series 2-1.


news

March 27, 2014

Shutting down

By Melinda Garza The Pan American Michael Rangel made a trip to the UTPA Student Union March 19 to speak with students about the services Planned Parenthood provides and discussed how the closing of the McAllen clinic has impacted the community. Rangel, a community educator for McAllen’s Planned Parenthood, continues his outreach to universities and the Rio Grande Valley, despite the last abortion clinic in the Valley closing its doors March 6. “It’s rather depressing, especially considering that it’s the last one in the Valley,” Rangel said. “I mean, we lost Harlingen, we just lost McAllen, so the nearest clinic is currently in Corpus Christi, but considering how the legislation is going, God only knows how long Corpus Christi is going to last before everyone is going to have to start going to San Antonio or take the risk and go to Mexico or finding illegal drugs in the flea markets here.” After nearly 10 years of being the only abortion provider in the McAllen community, Whole Woman’s Health of McAllen closed down as a result of new medical guidelines passed in the Texas Legislature during the 2013 session. House Bill 2, the anti-abortion law signed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry last July, bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, four weeks earlier than what was set by Roe v. Wade. In 1973, Roe v. Wade determined that no state could impede an abortion during the first three months, or trimester, of a pregnancy. Additionally, HB 2 restricts the way doctors can administer abor-

tions with medication. Jesus Garza, a freshman philosophy major, thinks that no longer having the clinic open will encourage families to discuss and analyze the different options available to pregnant women. “I think people might feel uneasy about this change in legislation, but I want to reassure women and remind them that they are not alone,” Garza said. “This opens up the possibility for women to choose life, which could potentially lead to the birth of the next future scientist who may find the cure for cancer.” Since the legislature began passing new restrictions on pregnancy termination in 2011, the number of Texas abortion clinics dropped from 44 in 2011 to 20 after the recent closing of the McAllen and Beaumont clinics. The law requires all clinics to become ambulatory surgical centers, which means abortion providers must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. It also requires facilities to administer the abortion-inducing medication, RU-486, in person as opposed to letting women take it home. “I think this law advocates for women’s safety and their general well being,” Garza said. “I think it will help women choose life and it will help them reconsider other options, such as adoption or parenting, with the help of a number of resources available to them in the Valley.” Whole Woman’s Health, which currently runs four abortion clinics and one ambulatory surgical center in Texas, provides women with cancer screenings, birth control, women’s health and abortion services for lowincome women, according to

ABC affiliate KVUE. The Beaumont center was the only abortion provider between Houston and the Louisiana border, according to The Huffington Post. Anti-abortion lawmakers said the legislation is needed to protect women’s health, but Irish Bautista, a senior nursing major, believes otherwise. “I think it will impact the health and safety of women in general,” the 25-year-old said. “If this bill is thinking about the health and safety of an unborn child, (then) why couldn’t they consider the safety of the woman who is carrying the child too?” The clinic in Corpus Christi, which is about 150 miles from McAllen, has until September to comply with the law. If it fails to adhere to new regulations, Valley residents who want an abortion will have to travel almost 300 miles to San Antonio for their procedure. Women in Beaumont will not have to travel as far, but will have to make multiple trips, according to The American Prospect, a Washington D.C. based political magazine. Under Texas law, women who want an abortion must first get a sonogram from the physician who will be performing the procedure at least 24 hours beforehand. If a woman lives more than 100 miles from the abortion clinic, the patient is exempt from the law. The women in Beaumont live about 90 miles from the nearest abortion center in Houston. Rangel, a UTPA graduate, believes shutting down the clinics will only make women take measures into their own hands. “Women are still going to want an abortion, they just

House Bill closes the last abortion clinic in RGV made it impossible for them to get a safe one. So (anti-abortion lawmakers) just put women at risk and their family at risk,” Rangel said. “I just really hope that after these election cycles are over that the people we have in the Senate, the House and the governor will hopefully realize the problem they’ve created and try and fix it.” The Rio Grande Valley has one of the highest rates of selfinduced abortion in the U.S., according to The American Prospect. A survey from 2012 found that 12 percent of women living in close proximity to the Mexican border said they had tried to terminate their own pregnancy before asking for professional help. “Since there are no abortion

clinics in the Valley, I really think women are going to start going to Mexico for services,” Bautista said. “They’ll also start buying those pills for abortions. That’s kind of a scary thought. They don’t know what kind of side effects that will get. Who’s advocating for these women? Not Rick Perry, clearly.” Based on a 2013 analysis by Politifact, Texas provides more than 70,000 abortions each year. When the ambulatory surgical center requirement takes effect in September, clinics in major urban areas, including San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Fort Worth and Dallas, will begin to serve the patients from closed clinics. According to KSAT 12 News, Planned Parenthood

3

plans to open a $5 million abortion clinic in San Antonio that will comply with HB 2. The new clinic will be the only Planned Parenthood facility in San Antonio that will also be a surgical center. “I just think the government should focus more on issues that affect the entire population,” Bautista said. “Why are they so focused on cutting off power from women to have a choice? I think the government should be focusing more on preventative measures (like) education, proper family planning, birth control and things like that. The more educated we become, the better we can take care of ourselves and hopefully prevent unplanned or unwanted pregnancies.”

Jon Nutt/The Pan American Front view of the recently shut down Whole Woman’s Health Clinic in downtown McAllen. The clinic was the last remaining abortion clinic in the Rio Grande Valley and was forced to close its doors March 6 after 10 years of service.

UTPA students, faculty discuss the cleanup of contaminated area By Claudia Lemus The Pan American In an effort to inform residents about the hazardous contaminated plume found under approximately 33 acres of McAllen by the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ), several UTPA students and faculty have began reaching out to the community about the issue. A groundwater plume, based on the definition provided by the Environmental Engineering Dictionary, is a volume of contaminated groundwater that extends downward and outward from a specific source.

The students held their first community gathering, the Plume Round Table, March 22 to inform residents about the situation. The meeting was organized by Sarah Chavez, a senior history and anthropology major. She has also organized other events, including canvassing the area of the plume every Friday to inform residents and holding campus meetings to raise awareness among UTPA students. Chavez planned the round table meeting with the help of other fellow students, including Sam Denny, Alexis Bay and Anna Hernandez. According to Chavez, they

first learned about the issue in professor Lynn Vincentnathan’s Anthropological Method and Theory course in fall 2013. “It started out as a class project to restore the historical case and trial documents that were getting destroyed for the UTPA Border Studies Archives,” said Chavez, a member of Battleground Texas and the Environmental Awareness Club. “But the more I found out and read about the issue, especially about the suffering of the people, the more I felt something had to be done to clean up the mess.” The acres of groundwater plume pollution is one of the

largest areas of contamination in the U.S., according to an investigation conducted by KRGV Channel 5 News in 2011, as well as a court case first opened in 1992. The affected zone lies below 23rd Street and Business 83. Although state agencies had known about the plume for at least 16 years, based on KRGV’s report, the first lawsuit was filed in 1992 by attorney and UTPA alum Scott McLain. “I was hired by a client who could not obtain a permit to open an adult day care facility for a building over the plume because of concern that vapors could enter the building and af-

fect the health of the elderly folks at the facility,” McLain said. When researching the case further, McLain discovered the plume. But, according to the attorney, the TCEQ had knowledge of the problem several years before. “The TCEQ had known about the contamination in the neighborhood since approximately 1990,” he said. “They first learned of it because of the failure of tank tightness tests at several gas stations in the area.” According to McLain, while

the TCEQ believed only one small plume emanated from a gas station next to his client’s property, research showed otherwise. “Our testing revealed that there were in fact two plumes, the relatively small plume caused by a gas station next door to my original client’s property, and another much larger plume to the north,” McLain said. “The northern plume was over 10 times larger than the southern plume.”

CONTINUED ON PAGE 7


Page 4

By Jaelyn McClenahan and May Ortega The Pan American Mabel Cortina-Matos, UTPA program coordinator, made it her mission earlier in the semester to contact all University colleges to find out if any faculty or students were doing anything to promote Women’s History Month. When multiple ideas came trickling in, Matos thought to bring them all together to create one week to celebrate the month, consisting of six events, which started March 18 and ended Wednesday. “Our school is an educational institution, which is why we found it necessary to pay tribute to one of history’s most significant time periods,” said Matos, who graduated from UTPA in 2008 with a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology, Communication and Sociology. “We want our

Joan of Arc (1412-1431)

THE PAN AMERICAN

students, our community, to be aware of the events in history that shaped America to what it is today.” For nearly 10 years, UTPA has promoted and celebrated Women’s History Month. The University Program Board and the Gender and Women Studies Program, along with seven other organizations, came together to celebrate Women’s History Month. “We all decided it would be a good idea to collaborate together because nine brains are brighter than one, right? Also, in doing so, we were able to pick out the best ideas to make this event a really strong one,” said Matos, an Arizona native. “It wasn’t easy because there were numerous great ideas, but in the end we were able to narrow it down to the six best.” The first event of the week, titled “Women’s Empower-

A French heroine and a Roman Catholic saint. She supported Charles VII in the recovery of France from English domination late in the Hundred Years’ War.

Source: teacher.scholastic.com

ment,” took place March 18 and March 20. UTPA sorority Kappa Delta Chi teamed up with the University’s Panhellenic Council to encourage women to be positive role models for other women and young girls. Matos stated that this event was important because it motivated ladies to uphold the character, courage and perseverance shown by women in history, such as former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and civil rights activist Rosa Parks. A panel on gender and women’s studies was held March 20, where Caroline Miles, an instructor at the University who started the Women’s Literature and Gender Studies class in 2010, presented some of her and her students’ research on gender and women-related issues, such as equality in the workplace and sexual abuse.

Sacagawea (1788-1812)

March 27, 2014

The Student Union played host to the week’s third and fourth events Monday. In the evening, a private motherand-daughter reception was held in the Union’s commons where attendees were free to eat and converse. Generation Sex was then performed by the ladies of Teatro Luna, which was open to the public. Teatro Luna, a Chicagobased theater group with an all-Latina cast, included burlesque, poetry and several other elements in their act, which centered on technology and how it impacts people’s sex lives today. On Wednesday, an audience was informed about several topics surrounding women’s health during a Student Health Services Open House in UTPA’s Student Health Services Building, located next to the Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex.

Harriet Tubman (1822-1913)

Items discussed included recognizing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, as well as of Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. At the end of the session, audience members were able to ask one-onone questions and schedule personal appointments with a health services representative. The last event of the week, a panel on women in leadership, also took place Wednesday in the University Center lobby, where a select handful of women from across the Rio Grande Valley were recognized and celebrated for their success in their field of work. These women were asked to speak to the audience about their perseverance and commitment in achieving their goals in hopes of stirring up inspiration. They also provided tips and pointers for becoming a more wellrounded person.

Marie Curie (1867-1934)

A Polish and naturalizedFrench physicist and chemist. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in physics in 1903.

March 27, 2014

According to Matos, there was an estimated 1,500 attendees for the entire week, with an average of about 250 people at each event. “Women’s History Month is a tribute to all of the generations of women, past and present, whose commitments and contributions have been invaluable to our society,” Matos said. “It’s a month to praise the long, hard road women have walked along to get our status to where it is today.” BACK TO THE PAST According to Ann-Marie Imbornoni, author of Women’s Rights Movements in the U.S., a laundry list of events occurred that slowly empowered women over time. Eleanor Roosevelt was appointed as first chairwoman of the Presidential Commision on the Status of Women by former President John F. Ken-

THE PAN AMERICAN

nedy in 1961, and the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than a man for the same job. According to the National Women’s History Project, after decades of commitment and pushing for their rights, women’s efforts were recognized and celebrated. In February 1980, former President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 2-8 as National Women’s History Week. The National Women’s History Project said that state departments of education encouraged schools across the country to celebrate Women’s History Week as an attempt to achieve equality goals within classrooms. To address this situation, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commis-

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)

sion on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration for 1978. The following year, California began the annual “Real Women” essay contest and other special events, such as presentations and tributes. States such as Texas, Pennsylvania and Maryland developed and distributed similar curriculum materials enforcing women’s historic achievements. Within a few years, thousands of schools and communities were celebrating women’s history and how females worked in order to obtain their equality. By 1986, 14 states had declared March Women’s History Month. In 1982, Congress authorized and requested President Ronald Reagan to proclaim the week of March 7 as “Women’s History Week.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed resolutions

Page 5

requesting and authorizing Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton to make March of each year Women’s History Month. Since 1995, U.S. presidents have issued annual proclamations designating the month of March as Women’s History Month. WOMEN AT UTPA TODAY Despite these facts, it was not until spring 2013 that UTPA’s Feminist Club was formed. The organization has participated in several events, such as the Clothesline Project, where both victims of violence and their supporters paint messages on white Tshirts to display on campus. Since Miles became the director of the University’s Gender and Women’s Studies Program in 2010, she has worked to spread knowledge of it. For almost two years now, UTPA has offered Gender and Wom-

en’s Studies as a minor. According to Matos, UTPA has carried on the legacy of celebrating Women’s History Month as a way to respect and pay tribute to America’s history as well as praise the women of the past and present for having the courage to stick to their guns and fight for what they believe is right. Matos said it is important to celebrate Women’s History Month because of how large a role women’s equality played in society’s history. “Our main goal is to hit our students and community with knowledge and appreciation for all aspects of our nation’s history,” she said. “We definitely intend on continuing celebrating Women’s History Month for years to come.”

Billie Jean King (1943-present)

Rosa Parks Audrey Hepburn (1913-2005) (1929-1993)

A former professional American tennis player and an advocate for gender equality. King won the Battle of the Sexes tennis match in 1973 and founded the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation.


Page 4

By Jaelyn McClenahan and May Ortega The Pan American Mabel Cortina-Matos, UTPA program coordinator, made it her mission earlier in the semester to contact all University colleges to find out if any faculty or students were doing anything to promote Women’s History Month. When multiple ideas came trickling in, Matos thought to bring them all together to create one week to celebrate the month, consisting of six events, which started March 18 and ended Wednesday. “Our school is an educational institution, which is why we found it necessary to pay tribute to one of history’s most significant time periods,” said Matos, who graduated from UTPA in 2008 with a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology, Communication and Sociology. “We want our

Joan of Arc (1412-1431)

THE PAN AMERICAN

students, our community, to be aware of the events in history that shaped America to what it is today.” For nearly 10 years, UTPA has promoted and celebrated Women’s History Month. The University Program Board and the Gender and Women Studies Program, along with seven other organizations, came together to celebrate Women’s History Month. “We all decided it would be a good idea to collaborate together because nine brains are brighter than one, right? Also, in doing so, we were able to pick out the best ideas to make this event a really strong one,” said Matos, an Arizona native. “It wasn’t easy because there were numerous great ideas, but in the end we were able to narrow it down to the six best.” The first event of the week, titled “Women’s Empower-

A French heroine and a Roman Catholic saint. She supported Charles VII in the recovery of France from English domination late in the Hundred Years’ War.

Source: teacher.scholastic.com

ment,” took place March 18 and March 20. UTPA sorority Kappa Delta Chi teamed up with the University’s Panhellenic Council to encourage women to be positive role models for other women and young girls. Matos stated that this event was important because it motivated ladies to uphold the character, courage and perseverance shown by women in history, such as former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and civil rights activist Rosa Parks. A panel on gender and women’s studies was held March 20, where Caroline Miles, an instructor at the University who started the Women’s Literature and Gender Studies class in 2010, presented some of her and her students’ research on gender and women-related issues, such as equality in the workplace and sexual abuse.

Sacagawea (1788-1812)

March 27, 2014

The Student Union played host to the week’s third and fourth events Monday. In the evening, a private motherand-daughter reception was held in the Union’s commons where attendees were free to eat and converse. Generation Sex was then performed by the ladies of Teatro Luna, which was open to the public. Teatro Luna, a Chicagobased theater group with an all-Latina cast, included burlesque, poetry and several other elements in their act, which centered on technology and how it impacts people’s sex lives today. On Wednesday, an audience was informed about several topics surrounding women’s health during a Student Health Services Open House in UTPA’s Student Health Services Building, located next to the Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex.

Harriet Tubman (1822-1913)

Items discussed included recognizing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, as well as of Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. At the end of the session, audience members were able to ask one-onone questions and schedule personal appointments with a health services representative. The last event of the week, a panel on women in leadership, also took place Wednesday in the University Center lobby, where a select handful of women from across the Rio Grande Valley were recognized and celebrated for their success in their field of work. These women were asked to speak to the audience about their perseverance and commitment in achieving their goals in hopes of stirring up inspiration. They also provided tips and pointers for becoming a more wellrounded person.

Marie Curie (1867-1934)

A Polish and naturalizedFrench physicist and chemist. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in physics in 1903.

March 27, 2014

According to Matos, there was an estimated 1,500 attendees for the entire week, with an average of about 250 people at each event. “Women’s History Month is a tribute to all of the generations of women, past and present, whose commitments and contributions have been invaluable to our society,” Matos said. “It’s a month to praise the long, hard road women have walked along to get our status to where it is today.” BACK TO THE PAST According to Ann-Marie Imbornoni, author of Women’s Rights Movements in the U.S., a laundry list of events occurred that slowly empowered women over time. Eleanor Roosevelt was appointed as first chairwoman of the Presidential Commision on the Status of Women by former President John F. Ken-

THE PAN AMERICAN

nedy in 1961, and the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than a man for the same job. According to the National Women’s History Project, after decades of commitment and pushing for their rights, women’s efforts were recognized and celebrated. In February 1980, former President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 2-8 as National Women’s History Week. The National Women’s History Project said that state departments of education encouraged schools across the country to celebrate Women’s History Week as an attempt to achieve equality goals within classrooms. To address this situation, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commis-

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)

sion on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration for 1978. The following year, California began the annual “Real Women” essay contest and other special events, such as presentations and tributes. States such as Texas, Pennsylvania and Maryland developed and distributed similar curriculum materials enforcing women’s historic achievements. Within a few years, thousands of schools and communities were celebrating women’s history and how females worked in order to obtain their equality. By 1986, 14 states had declared March Women’s History Month. In 1982, Congress authorized and requested President Ronald Reagan to proclaim the week of March 7 as “Women’s History Week.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed resolutions

Page 5

requesting and authorizing Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton to make March of each year Women’s History Month. Since 1995, U.S. presidents have issued annual proclamations designating the month of March as Women’s History Month. WOMEN AT UTPA TODAY Despite these facts, it was not until spring 2013 that UTPA’s Feminist Club was formed. The organization has participated in several events, such as the Clothesline Project, where both victims of violence and their supporters paint messages on white Tshirts to display on campus. Since Miles became the director of the University’s Gender and Women’s Studies Program in 2010, she has worked to spread knowledge of it. For almost two years now, UTPA has offered Gender and Wom-

en’s Studies as a minor. According to Matos, UTPA has carried on the legacy of celebrating Women’s History Month as a way to respect and pay tribute to America’s history as well as praise the women of the past and present for having the courage to stick to their guns and fight for what they believe is right. Matos said it is important to celebrate Women’s History Month because of how large a role women’s equality played in society’s history. “Our main goal is to hit our students and community with knowledge and appreciation for all aspects of our nation’s history,” she said. “We definitely intend on continuing celebrating Women’s History Month for years to come.”

Billie Jean King (1943-present)

Rosa Parks Audrey Hepburn (1913-2005) (1929-1993)

A former professional American tennis player and an advocate for gender equality. King won the Battle of the Sexes tennis match in 1973 and founded the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation.


Page 6

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March 27, 2014

The University of Texas-Pan American

An Evening with

BILL NYE

Scientist, Inventor, and Host of Bill Nye the Science Guy®

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 UTPA Fieldhouse, 7:30 p.m. Bill Nye had always been fascinated with how things work. After getting a mechanical engineering degree at Cornell University and working as an engineer at Boeing, he combined his love of science with his flair for comedy… and The Science Guy was born. Nye currently hosts three TV shows: The 100 Greatest Discoveries on the Science Channel, The Eyes of Nye on PBS, and Stuff Happens on Planet Green. Nye is also an inventor, with two patents on educational products. There’s no limit to what he can do. Doors will open at 7 p.m. for UTPA students, faculty and staff with a valid UTPA ID, and at 7:20 p.m. for the general public. FREE ADMISSION. SEATING IS LIMITED. View the program live at www.utpa.edu/live. For more information or if special accommodations are needed, call (956) 665-7989.


news

March 27, 2014

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 posed to benzene by breathing contaminated air from gasoline fumes, automobile exhaust, emissions from factories and water waste from industries. People residing in the contaminated area in McAllen, an estimated 200 families, developed cancers and died, accord-

ra, Mexico, caused numerous explosions in 1992 that was traced to the sewer systems, which contained benzene. The explosions killed 252, injured 500 and left 15,000 residents homeless. With such a flammable contaminant lurking beneath, UTPA organizer Chavez cannot

For the people of south McAllen, nothing should be more relevant than getting (the plume) cleaned up. Sarah Chavez -UTPA student

ing to the attorney. “We had one client who grew up living over the plume (and) developed leukemia as a college student,” McLain said. “Another client had a child who grew up living over the plume who sadly died of leukemia.” For the residents of McAllen, however, the flammability of the contaminant could pose a serious threat. Similar to the McAllen plume, one in the downtown district of Analco in Guadalaja-

help but fear the worse. “There are a lot of kids that go out and play with matches,” Chavez said. “It’s an immediate danger, but even if it doesn’t go off, the fumes are still killing people.” Bay, a senior political science major and McAllen resident, said the issue is all too real. “The plume is huge. It moves. It’s toxic. I want every person living here to be safe because all families have a right to live without worry,” she said.

CLEANUP Although people believe cleanup efforts were decided when the case closed in 2011, according to McLain, such actions did not occur and to this day, little work has been started. “After the Channel 5 news story ran in 2011, the TCEQ started doing some work...I don’t think much was done,” the attorney said. “The TCEQ promised to keep me in the loop on the work that was done, but I haven’t heard from them in several years.” As a result, the group of students hope to restart the cleanup that never happened in the coming weeks through various community and campus meetings, as well as this initial Plume Round Table. “For the people of South McAllen, nothing should be more relevant than getting (the plume) cleaned up,” Chavez said. Regarding the delay of action by TCEQ, Bay believes work should have been undertaken sooner. “This is something the government should have taken care of a long time ago,” she said. According to Chavez, the danger faced by residents cur-

rently living in the exposed area is one of the reasons she wants to inform the public and get the TCEQ to finish cleaning up the contaminated area. Despite the fact that Chavez does not live near the 33 acres of contamination under 23rd Street and Business 83, she feels people deserve to know about it. “I am an outsider in the community affected, but I am concerned,” Chavez said. “I want people in the neighborhood to know what lies beneath their homes.” As far as getting the community involved, and ult i -

mately the TCEQ to take charge, Chavez admits it is necessary but it won’t be easy. “It’s not going to be the most popular thing to share,” she said. “But if there are any elders or children, they need to know. They are the first ones affected. The way I see it, every mother deserves to know.”

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RISKING CANCER Subsequent testing revealed not only the existence of multiple plumes, but also the presence of benzene, a well-known cancer-causing pollutant, in the groundwater. “There was an abundant presence of benzene,” McLain said. “After extensive fingerprinting of the product by the geochemists we hired, we came to the conclusion that the bulk of the product in the plume is natural gas condensate, not refined gasoline.” As a result, McLain believes the benzene contamination came from natural gas activity. “We believe (benzene) came from natural gas wells and pipelines,” he said. “So we sued all of the companies that had ever owned or operated the wells and associated pipelines in the area.” According to the American Cancer Society, benzene is a colorless flammable liquid that evaporates and is a part of crude oil and gasoline. Studies conducted on lab animals and humans show that the link between benzene and cancer has been linked to leukemia and cancers of other blood cells. Based on information provided by the American Cancer Society, people are most often ex-

Learn to Swim

&

MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH in Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE in Public Health (fall 2016)

srph.tamhsc.edu

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Classes begin April 21, 2014

Questions? Cyndi Torres Beltran (956) 668-6308 Torres-Beltran@tamhsc.edu

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SPORTS

Page 8

Story by Kristela Garza Photos by Jon Nutt The Pan American The Broncs baseball team faced off against the New Mexico State University Aggies at the Edinburg Baseball Stadium March 21-23. The Broncs played three games against the Aggies to start their career in the Western Athletic Conference, winning only one game. Alex Henson, starting pitcher in game two of the series, knows all too well how a team such as the Aggies can benefit when the opposing team struggles. This is what helped them take two out of the three games. “They are pretty good,” said Henson, a junior from Evansville, Ind. “You can’t go in there throwing balls and walking people because good teams are going to capitalize on that and that’s what they did.” This series of games was the first WAC action for the University. Currently, the Broncs stand at 11-15 overall and started the league season on a high note, beating the Aggies 9-4 March 21. Although it was a win, it started slowly. In the first three innings, the Broncs did not get a single hit versus starting pitcher Christopher Bradley. However, the pace quickened as UTPA sophomore Bryan Ramirez and freshman Victor Garcia Jr. hit back-to-back doubles in the fourth. Later, infielder Jesus Garcia hit a grounder to put the Broncs 2-0. The Broncs took the win and outfielder Alex Howe attributed the result to the team’s drive. “Our defense all year has been

really solid,” said Howe, a senior from Australia. “We’ve missed plays, but that’s okay. The guys played hard the whole time and even when we were down, we came back.” The team continued the pace against New Mexico State in the fifth inning, once again turning the tables on the Aggies as freshman Blake Thomas grounded out, allowing senior Alberto Morales to run in for a score. While running in, Morales knocked the ball out of the catcher’s mitt, and senior Dillon Engelhart also scored. Shortly after the surprise run by Engelhart, junior Evan Mason and Howe provided hits as the score inflated to 9-4. This was not repeated in game two of the series. Despite a powerful showing from Howe, who hit two doubles and drove in three runs, the Broncs took a 7-4 loss March 22. “This was a tough loss tonight,” said Howe, who is hitting .349 for the season with 18 RBI. “They got ahead and we weren’t able to get back. (We were) scratching and clawing to get that back but then, unfortunately, gave it up again. That’s baseball. It happens.” The Broncs could not stop the Aggies from loading the bases in the second inning, leading to a two-run frame and a 4-0 lead for the visitor. The Broncs then fought back as third baseman Morales hit his second home run of the season, making the score 4-1. Finally, the Broncs picked up momentum in the fourth, scoring three runs. Despite the comeback, the Broncs could not maintain the

tie and lost as the Aggies fought back in the sixth, scoring three times. With one loss on their mind, the Broncs walked into their final try against the Aggies March 23. For the last game of their first WAC series, the Broncs were out to impress. In the first inning they scored after Morales plated a run with a grounder. The teams were at a stalemate that did not break until the sixth inning. Just then, Thomas scored a run after Ramirez and Garcia singled, but the Aggies woke in the seventh inning, scoring three runs and pushing past UTPA for the final win of 3-2. Shortly after their final loss against the Aggies, the Broncs took a loss to Texas Christian University March 24 with a score of 11-0. After their loss the Broncs were rained out against TCU March 25, that game will not be made up but scratched from the schedule. Next, they are off to the Northwest to play against Seattle University March 28-30. The team will be on the road for two weeks and Howe knows all too well what they have in store. “It’s pretty tough playing on the road,” he said. “We haven’t won too many games on the road yet, hopefully we can turn that around next week.” After their trip, the Broncs return to Edinburg Stadium to play against Texas A&M Corpus Christi for a non-conference game April 2 at 6 p.m.

By Marco Torres The Pan American After a three-day event ending March 23, the Broncs secured a 13th place finish at the Plantation Inn Invitational in Crystal River, Fla. Junior Alexandria Martinez stood in seventh place after having a two-over par 74 performance, two strokes behind North Dakota State’s Sarah Storandt, who shot an even par in the first round. “The course gave me a bit of a challenge because it was a shorter layout. I was forced to reevaluate my game and change my game plan,” said Martinez, from Pflugerville, Texas. “I liked that it was challenging.”

Freshman and Corpus Christi native Kelsey Canales posted an 81 in the first round and, as a team, the Broncs shot a total of 322 strokes, putting them at 12th place-19 strokes behind early leader Lynn University. According to Head Coach Ofelia Lopez, it was the first time that Martinez and Canales played this course. “Four of my returners have played the golf course before, so it should have been no shock to them,” Lopez said. “They played the practice round well, shooting 3, 4 over, so I figured we were going to play well.” The Broncs continued the next day with an 8:30 a.m. start and stayed in the range with a 325

tally. After two rounds, they were 13th at 647, 49 strokes behind Lynn. Martinez again led the Broncs with a second-round score of 78, which tied her for 13th. Her total through two rounds was 152. Junior Blake Peterson and Canales tied for 59th place at the end of day two, as they both shot 83. Jacksonville’s Jessica Welcha and Storandt were tied for first with a two-round score of 145 strokes. “I feel like I matured as a player, I feel like my mental game and my hard work showed this tournament,” Martinez said. “I am very proud that I was able to step up and show everyone my true potential.”

March 27, 2014

Evan Mason

Blake English

The Broncs continued the following day as Martinez shot a team-best 74, two over par. Martinez finished the invitational in a tie for 12th with a three-round total of 226 (74, 78 and 74). Peterson, a native of Rancho Cordova, Cal., was in 53rd place as she shot a final round 76, which brought her total score to 240 (83, 81 and 76). Senior Elena Arroyo shot a final round of 79 and finished in a tie for 64th with a three-round total of 247 (85, 83 and 79). Jacksonville’s Welch would take the individual title with a three-round score of 211 after a final round score of 66, six strokes under. Her three-round score was 15 strokes better than

Martinez’s effort. As a team, the Broncs were able to perform their best on the final day of competition, shooting 317, which was good enough to earn them 13th place with a threeround score of 964 (322, 325 and 317). Jacksonville took the team title with a three-round score of 887. “I feel that we are not playing to our full potential. We have so much talent on this team but they get scared to go out and play well,” Lopez said. “I feel that our mental game is weak right now and we have to stop making big numbers and three-putting. I am not too happy with how we are playing because we are a much better team than how we have

been playing this season.” The Broncs will return to the course March 31 when they travel for the Husky Invitational, hosted by Houston Baptist University, in Missouri City, Texas. Lopez and her team have been to the venue before, most recently in April 2013, and she suspects that they will be ready for the upcoming event. “We have played this golf course several times already and, again, it’s going to be a placement golf course, so we need to stick to our game plan and we need to stay out of trouble,” she said. “The greens are going to be fast so we are going to have to adjust quickly.”


March 27, 2014