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Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Isolated Storms 82°F | 56°F

Volume 94, Issue XXIV theprairiewt


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WTAMU organizations will host Earth Day events JORDAN FRY STAFF WRITER


he Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences is partnering with other campus organizations, such as the Geology Society and Beta Beta Beta, to host an Earth Day event on April 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event, coordinated by Juan Gil-Donato, Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences research assistant, and Morgen Ayers, a senior Environmental Science major, will consist of information tables in the JBK featuring special speakers who will discuss different environmental projects

and issues. There will also be hands-on activities outside the JBK. Gil-Donato explained that when the Earth Day event started in 2008, it covered basic things like recycling, water conservation and other things people can implement in their daily lives. However, this year the information is more complex. “We’re making it bigger and better,” he said. “We want to show people that Earth Day isn’t just about recycling and conserving water. It’s more complex than that.” Ayers said there will be a diverse group of speakers consisting of some graduate students and some outside organizations, and the presentations will cover a broad range of topics.

Some of the various topics the speakers will present include wastewater treatment, algae blooms in bodies of water in Texas, the BP oil spill, climate change and pollution. Gil-Donato will also be presenting his project which is working to reestablish and improve environmental compliance and improvements in small to mediumsized enterprises in Argentina. Gil-Donato would like to see the presentations expand environmental awareness. “Recycling and conserving water is important, but we want to show that there are things that go beyond this,” he said. Ayers said she hopes the event sparks the interest of students and that they

will take something away from it. “Many people have a preconceived idea of [Earth Day], but we can’t appreciate something we don’t think about very often,” she said. “Earth Day is about celebrating the Earth.” Gil-Donato hopes the Earth Day event is an opportunity for people to become aware that “we are part of a complex system with multiple interactions” and there are consequences for “misuse of our resources.” “Any change we make in the system has consequences and we need to realize that what we do has an impact,” he said. “It’s about �inding equilibrium for what is best for future generations.”

Iceland’s Tindastoll signs two former soccer Buffs MELISSA BAUER-HERZOG STAFF WRITER


his summer, Iceland and WTAMU will have more in common than most people would expect. Last year, Tindastoll - a professional soccer team in Iceland - signed and played former Buff Theo Furness during their summer league. WT announced last week that this year, Tindastoll will be �ielding two more players in addition to Furness. Former Buff Ben Everson played at WT for four years before

graduating in 2010. Everson has been attending Texas-Permian Basin for graduate school since graduating. While playing for the Buffs, Everson was a two-time Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Year in addition to being a letter-winner during his time with the Buffs. Theo Furness’ older brother Sebastian Furness will join Furness and Everson in Iceland as well. Sebastian played as goaltender for WT from 2008-2011 and is WT’s all-time career leader in saves with 209 during his four years in net. Sebastian will be returning to WT after the summer season to continue

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his schooling. However, since his sports’ eligibility is over, he will not be returning as an active player on the WT pitch. “[Iceland’s] the best chance I have to play professional because they don’t have many restrictions on visas for international players while the U.S. has a lot here, which was kind of restricting me from playing professional,” Sebastian said. “The biggest attraction for me to go to Iceland was the chance to play in Europe and build some experience over there.”

Iceland continued on p. 12

PHOTO BY MELISSA BAUER-HERZOG Sebastian Furness during the 2011 season at WTAMU.






Lady Buffs softball triumphs over Incarnate Word.

Traditional and social media explode over Trayvon Martin case.

WT not registered for TAMUS software licensing agreement.

Students to assist professors in death penalty study.

Check online for additional reporting throughout the week.

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FEATURE Prairie WT not registered for TAMU licensing agreement 2

April 10, 2012

Program would allow students to save money on software LISA HELLIER



exas A&M University has a licensing agreement that offers students the opportunity to purchase software programs such as Microsoft Of�ice at affordable prices. WTAMU has not taken the steps to register their university and students in this program. According to James Webb, WT chief information technology of�icer, the university would have to pay an additional annual fee of $125,000 to $150,000 to participate in the program, which would require an increase in fees and approval by the president and board of regents. The current Microsoft agreement is $70,000. “Like most things, there is a cost associated with adding this service, which would involve increasing the technology fee,” the


Webb said. “There is certainly a balance there, and I’ve been sensitive to the increased costs of tuition and fees that students pay these days.” Webb said the current Microsoft agreement in place includes computers used in the open access lab and remote labs around campus, as well as those used by faculty and staff and on servers required for applications such as WTClass, logon systems and �ile servers. According to Webb, the licensing agreement would require students to have a Universal Identi�ication Number (UIN), which is a part of the student identi�ier at TAMU. “This would be a larger discussion that would need to include departments such as enrollment management and the business and �inance divisions,” Webb said. “I think that this is certainly doable, it will require a change to systems and processes currently in place today.”

Staff 2011-2012

Editor- Maria Molina Assistant Editor- Krystina Martinez Web Editor - Georgia Romig Layout- Kati Watson Ad Manager- Sheri Gibbs Faculty Adviser- Butler Cain

Pierce Cantrell, TAMU chief information of�icer, said TAMU students supported the licensing agreement, and an incidental fee was added to their school costs. Cantrell said the major bene�it it offers students is the chance to save money. According to a TAMU IT annual student saving report provided by Cantrell, students pay $160 for two Microsoft products compared to the $270 retail price. The students pay $40 for media costs for the two Microsoft products and $120 in the course of four years, for the software licenses. “If a student purchases one piece of Microsoft software while they’re at the university, their total cost would be similar to purchasing the software at a retail store with an education discount,” Allison Oslund, TAMU information technology communication manager, said. “However, if they buy any additional software they are coming out ahead and saving

Reporter- Ashley Hendrick Reporter- Melissa Bauer-Herzog Reporter- Ryan Schaap Reporter- Matt Watkins Reporter- Lisa Hellier Reporter- Brittany Castillo Reporter- Chyna Tinney

money.” The IT report also stated that Prairie View, College Station, Galveston and Qatar branches of the A&M system have all enrolled students in the license agreement. Some of the software programs included in the license agreement are Adobe Suites, Windows and Endnote. “I do think that it would be bene�icial for students to have the ability to purchase software at discounted rates and I think that this should be a continued

Reporter- Jordan Fry Reporter- Daniela Fierro Reporter- Jessica Chandos Reporter- Jessica Bartel Reporter- Sarah Floyd Reporter- Jacob Cain Photographer- Alex Montoya

discussion to pursue,” Webb said. Webb is also working on a concept that includes the creation of an open access lab which would let students to use their own devices in residence halls or at home to securely connect to the network and run a virtual image of applications through a remote desktop. “We haven’t worked through all of the components and costs yet and are still looking into a solution,” Webb said.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. - First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The Prairie is a student-operated publication at West Texas A&M University. It functions to inform, educate, and entertain readers accurately and responsibly. It does not necessarily re�lect the opinions of the administration, faculty or students. The editorials that appear on these pages represent the opinion of the Prairie editorial board. The views expressed by other columinsts are the writers’ opinions and do not necessarily re�lect the board’s views. Advertising rates are available upon request at (806) 337- 2090 or at WTAMU Box 60754, Canyon, Texas 79016. The Prairie is distributed on Tuesdays during the semester and has a circulation of 1,500. It is printed by The Amarillo Globe-News.


NEWS Prairie Student services and extracurriculars take a cut 3

April 10, 2012



he �inal recommendations for Student Service fee allocations for the 2012-2013 school year have been approved. Most student services and academic extracurriculars received a cut in funding. “There was $76,000 less to allocate,” Dr. Don Albrecht, WTAMU vice president of Student Affairs, said. “All of the fees were less, what we had available to spend was less.” There were only eight out of the 58 programs that received any increase in funding for the 2012-2013 school year. Those programs were: Career Services,

Nationally Competitive Scholarships, Student Counseling Services, Student Disability Services, Study Abroad, Tutoring Assistance, Veterans Resource Center and CORE Center Administration. Albrecht said that there were no sizable decreases to any one program. “Everyone on campus has to understand that we have to do more with less,” he said. “Everything has a cost to somebody.” Some areas on campus are already feeling the constrains of next year’s cuts. “Due to budget cuts, we had to cut one show for next season,” Eric Harrison, a sophomore Theatre Performance major, said. Harrison said the theatre department cut the children’s show out of their performing schedule. The children’s

show is performed for area schools and there is one showing that is open to the public. Money from ticket sales is then donated to charity. Hunter Hadley, a sophomore Biology and Biochemistry major, said that he understood some of the expenses, but he feels that some programs are worth the extra expense. “I’m pleased [the committee was] not just giving money out to anyone who’s asked for it,” he said. “I understand cutting, but if it gives [programs] a chance to excel, give them more money. This campus is known as an agricultural and mechanic [university], but we have really gone into a mass media and music, they’re exploding. Give them more money to excel and take it to that next level, to the agricultural

department level.” However, Albrecht pointed out that all improvements have a monetary cost to them. “When enrollment goes up, maybe we’ll have more money,” Albrecht said. “Do you want fees to go up? I don’t think students want it to go up. The [student advisory] committee didn’t even discuss raising the fee, but maybe later we’ll have to.” In the meantime, programs such as the Branding Iron Theatre will have to make their budgets stretch. Harrison is hopeful that things will be business as usual. “It’ll still be a good season,” he said. The list of approved allocations is posted outside the Student Affairs of�ice in the JBK.

Traditional media explodes over Trayvon Martin KRYSTINA MARTINEZ ASSISTANT EDITOR


he Feb. 26 shooting of 17-year-old Florida teen Trayvon Martin has captured national attention. He was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watchman. The controversy comes from the motives behind the killing, in which Zimmerman maintains that he acted in self-defense. According to ABC News and other media outlets, Martin was unarmed, only having a pack of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea on him. Since the shooting, media attention has exploded. Social media users are calling for justice. Stars such as Will Smith and P. Diddy have tweeted about the issue, and even President Barack Obama commented that if he had had a son, he would look like Martin.

“Social media allows for voices to be heard at a constant rate until the media listen,” Dr. Leigh Browning, associate professor of Mass Communication, said. “If it were not for social media, this case would have regional play, at best.” People on all sides are weighing in on the case. Fox News Host Geraldo Rivera generated controversy when he suggested that Martin’s black hoodie caused him to be shot. Others are suggesting that Zimmerman’s action was racially motivated. “Under Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law, it states you can stand your ground when being threatened by imminent danger or lethal force or severe bodily injury,” Stephen Starkey, a loss prevention and internal investigation of�icer with Neiman Marcus, said. “That can vary from person to person but judging by the pictures

I’ve seen of Martin, his �ist is not a lethal force compared to Zimmerman’s size.” Starkey declined to comment whether he thought the crime was racially motivated. However, he said that as a Concealed Handgun License owner, he believes that Zimmerman was an irresponsible gun owner. “Guns are not toys,” he said. “They do not make us police and a CHL permit is not a license to kill, nor is it a protection under the law for when you discharge your �irearm.” As the investigation continues and new facts emerge, some people are criticizing the role of social media in the Martin case. “In the American justice system, we are innocent until proven guilty,” JD Newman, a senior Communication Studies major, said in a Facebook post. “Let the detectives and a jury

of peers determine if Trayvon Martin [was] murdered without cause, not social media.” However, Dr. Browning said courts have ways to circumvent the in�luence of social media on investigations. “Our legal system has six remedies in place for jury trials that are legal ways to �ight the in�luence of media,” she said. “Some are change of venue, sequestration of the jury, admonition to the jury [and]

voir dire.” As the case continues to unfold, social media will also re�lect the public’s opinion. “Social media is a culmination of the ‘�irst blush’ response that we all have to events,” Dr. Browning said. “We all develop opinions pretty quickly. Social media drives that, but also asks us to question it when more evidence comes out.”


SPORTS Prairie One and done Women’s softball triumphs over IWU 4




irst of all, congratulations to the Kentucky Wildcats for winning the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. There is something that can be said for a team that best navigates the 69-team tournament over the course of three weeks. It is certainly no small accomplishment. This Kentucky team is different than the traditional national champion squad. This team was coached by John Calipari, who is notorious for recruiting players who are “one-and-done,” or players that will only play one year in college before leaving for the NBA. This Kentucky team was comprised with three one and done players: Marcus Teague, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis. Now, keep in mind that as of right now, none of these three players have of�icially declared for the NBA draft, but it is expected they will. This situation raises the age-old question of who bene�its from the one-and-done rule. As it stands, players in the NBA must be at least 19 years-old before they can be drafted. The one-and-done hurts college basketball fans. Yes, a large number of college basketball players stay in school for an education, but a large number of star players do not. It hurts college fans by way of consistency. Fans will always remember the big baskets, the runs late in games and the best victories, including national championships. But when new players rotate in and out of a program in just one year, the fans may not always remember the players that made those moments happen. The worst part about this (and it seems to �it perfectly with last week’s column) is that winning with big time one-and-done talent proves that it can be done and makes it OK for coaches to recruit to that end. When coaches try to recruit heavily to oneand-done, it is what players will come to expect. When the NCAA hits this level, then the game of basketball will become more of an assembly line of basketball talent for the next level rather than a game focused on building a program through consistency and the sanctity of team. The above example is obviously an exaggerated case, but it is one that I think could very well happen. The NCAA and the basketball and football sports have become a purely made-for-TV event and the one-and-done rule only helps this.

April 10, 2012



n an important series for the No. 24 Lady Buffs, they took on Incarnate Word for a three-game series at home last weekend. WTAMU dominated the Cardinals in the �irst game. The Lady Buffs recorded their �irst run in the bottom of the third off an Allie Cran�ill blast. The team got two more runs in the �ifth and had �ive runs to end the game in the sixth inning. The team ended with a shutout against IWU 8-0 with Marci Womack picking up the win with just three hits. The second game would again be the Cran�ill show as she recorded her ninth homerun of the season to bring Lacy Seidl and Alyssa Lemos home in the second for a 3-0 lead. The Lady Buffs got a �ive-run lead before the Cardinals got their �irst run to take the score to 5-1 in the top of the fourth. However, the Lady Buffs used the seven innings to take the game

7-4. Womack would get her 13th win of the season, only giving up seven hits and two walks.

PHOTO BY MELISSA BAUER-HERZOG Lacey Seidl swings at a pitch.

The Lady Buffs attempted to shut out Incarnate Word on Saturday, but the game didn’t go as planned. The Cardinals started the scoring in the third and scored in the next two innings to take the lead to 3-0. The sixth inning had no scoring, but IWU put three more runs on the board in the top of the seventh. The Lady Buffs made a tremendous comeback at the bottom of the seventh when Renee Erwin plated Whitney Midkiff for their �irst run of

the game. Two batters later, Lacey Seidl sent one to center �ield to score two more runs. However, the Lady Buffs fell short in the last game of the series, ending with a score of 6-3. Amber Spencer picked up the loss in the circle, allowing 11 hits. “This was a very important weekend,” Out�ielder Lacey Seidl said. “We had the same record coming in [as IWU] and I think we played very well. Marci pitched both games very well but then again, we strung hits together and we played as a team.” The series took the softball team’s record to 25-15 overall and 9-9 in the Lone Star Conference. They return to the �ield on April 10 against Eastern New Mexico in Portales, N.M. at 3 p.m. “These last few weekends are going to be crucial, especially this coming up week,” Seidl said. “We’re on the road and as our record shows, we’ve been struggling on the road so it’s important we come out and play like we can play.”

Baseball ties series with ACU Wildcats MATT WATKINS STAFF WRITER


he No. 20 WTAMU Buffalo baseball team voyaged to Abilene to take on the Abilene Christian Wildcats on April 5-7 for a four-game series. The Buffs won both games of a doubleheader on April 6 to earn the weekend split. WT had taken a 5-4 lead after �ive innings when ACU scored three runs in the sixth and three more in the eighth to get a 10-7 win to open the series. Sophomore Steven Diaz (1-3) got the loss, pitching 1.1 innings and giving up three runs on four hits. Senior Jess Cooper came to play going 4 for 4 at the plate with a double, a homer and three RBIs on the night. A �irst inning two-run homerun

from senior Kendall Boone would be all the Buffs needed to win the early game on April 6 by a 2-1 score. Junior Ryan Houston (3-2) got the win pitching all seven innings and giving up one run on four hits with �ive strikeouts. WT would also win the late game with a run in the �irst, �ive in the fourth and another two in the seventh for an 8-0 win. Junior Billy Gonzalez (5-0) also threw all seven innings giving up no runs on only one hit. Gonzalez had a no-hitter going into the seventh when the Wildcats �inally broke through with a hit. “Billy [Gonzalez] pitched great and he was just three outs away from one of the hardest feats in baseball,” Head Coach Matt Vander-

burg said. The Buffs would not get such great pitching in the series �inale. ACU put up �ive runs in the second, two in the third and seven more in the fourth on their way to a 14-4 rout of WT. Senior Irving Camacho (3-3) got the loss pitching 2.2 innings and giving up six hits and seven runs, �ive of which were earned runs. The Buffs are now 24-10 overall and 11-5 in the Lone Star Conference. WT will continue its conference schedule with a four-game series against Texas A&M Kingsville beginning on April 13 at 7 p.m. at Wilder Park.

For softball pictures, see pg. 12


CAMPUS LIFE Prairie WT Ag students chat about issues facing industry 5



group of students called the WTagchat meet to discuss agriculture and informational topics as they become more popular. This forum is open to all students, even those that are not based in agriculture. The group was created by Reba Underwood, a junior studying Agriculture Media Communications. “I wanted a forum where Ag students and non-Ag students can come together and �igure ways to engage consumers as well as producers and those who have a farm background,” Underwood said. Haley Sprague, a junior Agriculture Communications major, attended the lunch group which takes place every Thursday at noon in various locations.

April 10, 2012

“We talked about how to get producers involved and getting the younger producers involved, which would be a good thing because they are more willing to talk about it,” Sprague said. “I love coming to these meetings because I learn something new every time I come. Talking about Ag issues one-on-one with my fellow peers is the way I learn best.” Tanner Robertson, an assistant professor of Agricultural Sciences and Media Communications adviser, helps guide the students and ensures they understand topics during discussions. “The idea behind WTagchat is to create a forum where we can openly discuss agriculture and informational topics as they trend and as they become more popular,” Robertson said. One of the topics discussed was the issue of a product produced labeled pink

slime which is a lean, �inely textured beef. BPI is a big producer of this product, which is produced as a �iller that mechanically separates the beef from the fat to make the meat 98 percent lean. “Many school programs use this product, but have had concerns about it,” Underwood said. “It’s very healthy at 98 percent lean and has 10 essential nutrients that regular beef has.” Media can misinterpret information which is another issue that WTagchat addresses. “This information can be interpreted wrongly by different peer groups, which is why agriculture communications is always changing and how they address these changes,” said Robertson. WTagchat also discussed getting the producer more involved with the issues with pink slime and informing to the

public. “One thing we recognize is that government, policy regulation and organizations are under attack, not necessarily the producers and ranchers,” Robertson said. “With that standpoint, we talked about getting the ranchers and producers more involved to help out with the issue.” The WTagchat has a Facebook page which is welcomed to anyone who wants to join the brainstorming sessions. The group - which started with two people having coffee - is growing and is now has a dozen people joining the conversation. “We want to encourage people from all different backgrounds to join us,” Underwood said. “We are really trying to break out, not just have Agriculture students but non-Agriculture students as well.”


CAMPUS LIFE Prairie WTAMU movie screening: “An Ordinary Family” 6

April 10, 2012



he independent �ilm “An Ordinary Family” was screened on April 4 in the WTAMU Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex Recital Hall. “An Ordinary Family” is the story of a family’s vacation and the craziness that occurs when one of the brothers arrives with a boyfriend in tow. The drama contained equal parts humor and seriousness with many real-life applications. During the question-andanswer session that took place after the �ilm, main actor

We st

Chad Miller explained that the �ilm was mostly impromptu. Though the director and actors had a general idea of where they wanted the �ilm to end up, it was mostly unscripted. “We shot so many improv shots we didn’t actually know how it would be,” said Miller. But it turned out great!” Members of the questionand-answer panel included WT Professor of Social Work Dr. Mo Cuevas, senior Broadcasting-Electronic Media major Tyler Sweeney and WT Wesley Foundation Director and WT alum Mikey Littau. The panel was hosted by Assistant Professor of Mass

Communication Butler Cain. Miller said that the purpose of the movie was just to encourage people to keep talking. “You don’t have to agree,” he said. “We just want people to sit down and start conversations.” Topics discussed in the Q&A session varied. Miller brought his personal knowledge of the movie, Dr. Cuevas brought her knowledge of the social implications of the �ilm, Sweeney brought his perspective as an awardwinning documentary producer, and Littau brought his understanding of how

religious families and gay couples co-exist. All panel members agreed that the �ilm was very real to life. Dr. Cuevas expanded on the importance of communication in all relationships, not just between homosexuals and their families. “I think it was a wonderful portrayal of how families handle these situations,” said Cuevas. “What struck me about the movie is that they were all talking. They all kept talking.” Littau also agreed that communication is key in keeping families together. “We have to �ind a way to have conversations with people

without passing judgment,” he said. The screening of “An Ordinary Family” was made possible by the WT Event Planning class. Event Coordinator Katherine Wilson explained that the class had been given three weeks to put the event together, which they accomplished by splitting up into groups and dividing responsibilities. The class agreed that the biggest challenge was in advertising the event. “It was a diverse group [that attended] and a full house,” Wilson said.

ty i s r e Texas A M UWe v i n now accept Buff CASH! & 6 Taco Villa Bean Burritos

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ENTERTAINMENT Last week’s answers

where’s your bin?

Look for the winning card in your copy of The Prairie on April 10 and April 17 to receive a $10 iTunes gift card.

April 10, 2012





April 10, 2012

Top pop, country singles and albums as of April 9 Top 10 Albums

Top 10 Pop Singles

Top 10 Hot Country Singles

1. Soundtrack new entry “The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond”

1. Fun feat. Janelle Monae No. 1 “We Are Young”

1. Jake Owen No. 2 “Alone With You”

2. Adele No. 2 “21”

3. The Shins new entry “Port of Morrow” 4. One Direction No. 1 “Up All Night”

5. Odd Future new entry “The OF Tape Vol. 2” 6. Bruce Springsteen No. 4 “Wrecking Ball” 7. Melanie Fiona new entry “The MF Life” 8. Various Artists No. 8 “NOW 41”

9. Whitney Houston No. 6 “Whitney: The Greatest Hits” 10. Esperanza Spalding new entry “Radio Music

2. Kelly Clarkson No. 2 “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”

2. Taylor Swift No. 1 “Ours” 3. Lee Brice No. 5 “A Woman Like You”

3. The Wanted No. 3 “Glad You Came”

4. Blake Shelton No. 6 “Drink On It”

5. Nicki Minaj No. 6 “Starships”

6. George Strait No. 3 “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright”

7. Flo Rida feat. Sia No. 9 “Wild Ones”

8. Montgomery Gentry No. 8 “Where I Come From”

9. Drake feat. Rihanna No. 8 “Take Care”

10. Dierks Bentley No. 4 “Home”

4. Gotye feat. Kimbra No. 5 “Somebody That I Used To Know”

5. Lady Antebellum No. 7 “Dancin’ Away With My Heart”

6. Adele No. 4 “Set Fire to the Rain”

7. Rascal Flatts No. 9 “Banjo”

8. Katy Perry No. 10 “Part of Me”

9. Miranda Lambert No. 10 “Over You”

10. David Guetta feat Nicki Minaj No. 7 “Turn Me On”

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.


CAMPUS LIFE Prairie Students help professors in death penalty study 9

April 10, 2012

Research will focus on death-qualified juries in Texas ASHLEY HENDRICK STAFF WRITER

as we can,” Price said. “Even though we’re using students as witnesses, the rest of the folks are professional.” The student jurors will be split into 20 different juries. Ten student juries handful of professors at will consist of 12 death-quali�ied jurors WTAMU are teaming up to research and the other 10 will include some how death-quali�ied juries in Texas students whose beliefs don’t allow them affect the outcome of capital murder to impose the death penalty. cases and students are weighing in on “I expect our �inding will replicate the study. those of other studies,” “We want to “... does that produce Director of Criminal examine this idea of Justice and Attorney at a jury that’s more prone death quali�ication,” Dr. Keith Price, to finding someone guilty Law Dr. Susan Coleman associate professor because they lean more said. “That there’s predisposition to convict of Criminal Justice toward the prosecutor’s from death quali�ied and Sociology at WT, side?” Price asked. “Is juries.” said. There is some there bias in that?” In Texas, citizens speculation as to how chosen to participate accurate the study will be. in a capital murder trial must be deathThough, theoretically a student quali�ied jurors, meaning they must be between 18 and 21 can be legally willing to choose between life without selected as a death-quali�ied juror, parole or death in a capital murder case. most of the time that is not the case, Anyone whose personal or religious said Price. The fact that students and beliefs do not allow them to give the not members of the Randall county death penalty to someone is excluded community are being tested could put a from the capital jury. damper on the �indings. “Well if that’s the case, does that “Most capital juries are not going produce a jury that’s more prone to to be �illed with 18 to 21 year old �inding someone guilty because they students,” Price said. “That will weaken lean more toward the prosecutor’s the strength of our �indings.” side?” Price asked. “Is there bias in But Coleman said she believes using that?” students could be better than using 240 students will be chosen from Randall county citizens. various general education courses on “In some ways this is better because campus to serve on a mock jury for a you’ve got students not just from the speci�ic capital murder case chosen panhandle, but throughout the state of from the Death Penalty Information Texas and neighboring states,” Coleman Center. said. “This is a broader perspective Student jurors will watch a mock perhaps than what we would have just video of the trial whose witnesses received from a Randall county jury.” will be portrayed by other students. The jury selection process may A detective from the University be one of legality, but this study will Police Department will play the mainly focus on the social psychological role of the police of�icer and actual aspects of the jury’s decision making defense attorneys will give the closing process. arguments. “From my perspective in psychology, “We’re trying to make it as realistic


it’s more an issue of how do these cognitive predispositions impact how you then see data,” Dr. Timothy Atchison, associate professor of Psychology, said. “People see what they want to see and there’s some truth in that.” Atchison said the concept of predisposition toward a defendant or plaintiff is something that he will focus on during the study. “There’s a lot of different issues on how people view others as reputable and how they listen to somebodies

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testimony,” Atchison said. “In other words, do they have a predisposition to believe somebody or do they have a predisposition to dis-believe somebody?” Professors are in the middle of producing the mock trial video and plan on conducting the study with student jurors during the fall 2012 semester. Price said they hope to have the study published and present it to Criminal Defense Attorneys Association in Texas and the Prosecutors Association.

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CAMPUS LIFE Prairie International students will present about culture 10



tudents from both the English as a Second Language International (ESLI) program and the English as a Second Language (ESL) methods course mingled at WTAMU on April 5. “We have had a project linking ESL education students and international students in the ESL language program,” Catherine Wedding, an ESL instructor, said. “We’ve met three times during the semester.” The ESLI students’ latest focus is on an elementary school presentation in the Amarillo School District. “Our international students are presenting speeches that they will give

April 10, 2012

next week at Margaret Wills Elementary School in Amarillo,” Wedding said. “The children have studied the countries [the ESLI students] represent, [and] then they sit down for discussion time.” Margaret Tate, the ESLI Program Director, said the ESLI students have intensely prepared to present. “They study reading, writing, grammar, speaking and listening,” Tate said. “And [they’re in] a class we call ‘intensive skills,’ which includes vocabulary, pronunciation and online computer programs.” Education Instructor Elsa DiegoMedrano said in addition to learning a new culture, embracing diversity is important. “I’ve found we have a lot of diversity

here in Amarillo and in Canyon, but yet our students don’t realize it,” Diego-Medrano said. “When they see someone different, they have some assumptions. I want to dispel those assumptions.” Wedding said witnessing students maintain friendships fuels her passion for the program. “[Students involved] PHOTO BY BRITTANY CASTILLO Phuripan Jangthongsiri shares her country with fellow students. have a lot of social those groups together and think ‘this chances to be together is education, this is why I became a and a lot of them [keep in touch] after teacher.’” meeting,” Wedding said. “You look at

“Design Tomorrow, Today” camp opens for registration JACOB CAIN STAFF WRITER


he WTAMU Engineering and Computer Science department opened registration for its high school summer camp, “Designing Tomorrow, Today,” for area high school students. The camp will run from June 10-15 on the WT campus and is open for any high school student ages 14 and up. “The camp gives student an idea of what they’ll actually be doing as engineers and gives them an idea of how the campus here works,” Rhonda Dittfurth, outreach coordinator for the Engineering and Computer Science department, said. Students that enroll in the camp will participate in engineering and computer science projects. In previous years, students have mixed chemicals to make snake �ireworks and modi�ied

a golf cart to run off of solar panels, building rockets and bridges. “The WT camp allows students to get hands-on with the department with projects, and know what it takes to be an engineer,” Matthew Odom, junior Mechanical Engineering major said, “Some freshman come in and get burned out because they don’t know what it takes.” The camp teaches high school students about more than just handson projects. “(The camp) showed us what we do as engineers and the kind of ideals that we have, such as, not trying to reinvent the world, but trying to improve the world,” Jordan Reed, a sophomore PreEngineering major who attended the camp four years ago, said. For more information on the camp contact Rhonda Dittfurth at 806-6512510, or by email at rdittfurth@wtamu. edu.


CAMPUS LIFE Prairie “Kony 2012” becomes a new social media trend 11



he viral video “Kony 2012” became a trend across social media during the past month with 86,723,160 views on YouTube and 17,800,000 on Vimeo as of April 3. According to Pew Research there were nearly �ive million tweets about the video a week after it was published on March 5. Dr. Nick Gerlich, department head of Management, Marketing and Business at WTAMU, said despite the latest criticism about the campaign, which ranges from sketchy �inances to simplifying the issue, the marketing strategy of the video shows the effectiveness of social media. “Jason Russell [co-founder of Invisible Children and director of the “Kony 2012” video] has done everything right even though what he is doing may be wrong,” he said. “He has leveraged social media so well it is almost a textbook example of how to do it.” The half-hour documentary raises awareness of Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda and nearby countries. “He kidnaps children in the middle of the night and he forces the boys to become soldiers and the girls to become sex slaves,” Allie Jones, co-organizer of the Kony 2012 event in Canyon, said. Jones started the group with the help of Bethany Johnson, a freshman Musical Theater major. Jones said the purpose of the group and the “Kony 2012” video is to raise awareness about Joseph Kony and make

April 10, 2012

him famous. “We don’t want him to be famous like a celebrity, like people idolize him, but famous so people know who he is,” she said. Another component of this campaign is to place posters around the Canyon and Amarillo area. Although the event will occur on April 20 at night across the country, posters will be placed in Canyon and Amarillo the following morning. “We just want people to be aware and we want to do it in a peaceful way,” Jones said. The “Kony 2012” video advocates using force to capture Kony and try him before the International Criminal Court for war crimes. Gerlich said the video is a subtle and slick marketing campaign. “He [Russell] uses 25 minutes of this video to tell you about how bad things are in Uganda, small children who wish they were dead, the tragedy of kidnapping children and giving them guns and having them go out there and kill people,” he said. “Then he turns the corner and he starts to talk about how he is mobilizing people, trying to in�luence Washington, the President, senators, congress people and so forth.” Gerlich said the video leads the audience to the point of convincing them of buying the product. “And then he says ‘but you too can play a role,’” he said. “Jason Russell has done a great job of putting together an emotional appeal to get people swept up into this movement.” Research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project reveals people between

the ages of 18-29 were more likely to have heard about the “Kony 2012” video and to have learned about it through social media than older adults. Researchers conducted a national phone survey in the days following the release of the video. It shows 58 percent of young adults said they heard about the video. This compares with 20 percent of people ages 30-49 who heard about it, 18 percent of those between 50-64 and 19 percent of those 65 or older. According to the research, 27 percent of young adults �irst heard about it through social media such as Facebook or Twitter. Another eight percent learned about it via other internet sources. “The Internet was more than three times more important as a news-learning platform for young adults than traditional media such as television, newspapers, and radio.” Despite people’s initial positive comments about the video, skepticism soon arose through social media. “The �irst two days after the video was online, when attention on Twitter was relatively modest, 77 percent of the Twitter conversation was supportive compared with only seven percent that was skeptical or negative. Since March 7, when the response picked up dramatically, the percentage of tweets re�lecting skepticism or criticism rose to 17 percent,” according to the research. One of the most popular critics of the viral video is a Tumblr blog called Visible Children. The blog, written by Grant Oyston, a political science and sociology student at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova

Scotia, Canada, became a hit after being one of the �irst critics of the “Kony 2012” video. “I wrote about the Kony 2012 campaign because at the time, little attention was being given to the critical responses that Invisible Children has generated, and I felt that these voices needed to be heard,” he said in an interview with Reply Magazine. “Nothing quali�ies me to write about central African con�lict other than a keen interest, which is why my blog is primarily a cited discussion of quali�ied people’s opinions.” One of the criticisms Oyston’s blog shows is the �inances of the Invisible Children organization. As a non-pro�it organization, Invisible Children’s �inances are public and show that only 32 percent ($8,676,614) is spent on direct services. All the rest goes to staff salaries, travel and �ilm production. Another common criticism is the simpli�ication and exaggerations of the video. On Nov. 15, Foreign Affairs Magazine reported about the LRA and said organizations like Invisible Children have misinterpreted information. “In their campaigns, such organizations have manipulat-

ed facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony” as an “embodiment of evil,” according to Foreign Affairs. Similarly, a blog posted by Michael Wilkerson, former Foreign Policy intern and grad student at Oxford who has reported and lived in Uganda, said Kony is not even living in Uganda anymore. “But let’s get two things straight,” he wrote. “Joseph Kony is not in Uganda and hasn’t been for six years. The LRA now numbers at most in the hundreds, and while it is still causing immense suffering, it is unclear how millions of well-meaning but misinformed people are going to help deal with the more complicated reality.” Gerlich said although “Kony 2012” can be factually questioned, it is a marketing success thanks to its use of social media. “[Russell] has utilized social media to his advantage so while I am critical of it from the fact that he is just selling stuff, he has done a great job doing it,” Gerlich said.




Iceland continued from p. 1

All three players are from Middlesbrough, England and have been on the same teams on both sides of the ocean. “Ben was the one that got us playing at WT and now Ben and I are going back out together and it’s through my younger brother,” Sebastian said. “It’s awesome that we’re doing it together and I’m excited to be with Ben again.” Tindastoll started their soccer team in 1912 and was promoted to Iceland’s �irst division last year. Their roster has a lot of younger players so one of the attractions to signing Furness and Everson was their experience on the �ield.

April 10, 2012

“We are hoping they can be one of our key players for the coming season,” Tindastoll representative Stefan Arnar Omarsson said. “We have a lot of players at our roster, but we are hoping they can add more strength and quality to our squad. We believe Seb and Ben are the right players for us. We are also looking for strong characters who can cope with the challenges ahead in very good league. We want players who are good role models for our young kids.” Both players have signed one-year contracts with Tindastoll. The team’s season starts May 12 and both players look to be at the pitch for the opening game.


“Fill the Field” collected WT softball winsM series B items to donate to charity ELISSA


Softball story on p. 4


SIFE co-sponsored “Fill the Field” and donated items.

5,034 lbs of food collected 1,312 articles of clothing collected 4 cleaning products collected 22,986 hygiene products collected 86 paper goods collected 158 household items collected

Herdsmen (L-R): Matthew Cuvelier (Junior), Chris Martin (Freshman), Ty Whipple (Freshman) and Richard Mitchell (Sophmore) attended “Fill the Field.”



Amber Spencer pitches during Friday’s game.

Allie Cranfill had a big weekend both offensively and defensively.

The Prairie Issue 24  

Student Newspaper of West Texas A&M University