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Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011

The sTudenT newspaper of wesT Texas a&M universiTy

Partly Cloudy 52°F | 30°F

Volume 94, Issue XI theprairiewt


WTAMU volleyball team wins LSC Championship 6th straight LSC title win

Photo by Melissa Bauer-Herzog Girls volleyball team poses for a picture after winning the LSC championship.

Volleyball story on p. 4

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Penn State scandal opens questions around WTAMU MeLissa Bauer-herzog sTaff wriTer


college scandal that rocked the nation over the last week was brought even more into focus by the behavior of its students after the news that their football coach had been removed from his position. After a week of widespread speculation on what Penn State officials would do with head coach Joe Paterno when it was revealed that he knew about sex abuse allegations involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, the scandal was rocked with more news. It was first announced by Paterno he would be retiring from coaching at the end of the season. However, vicechairman John Surma of the Penn State Board announced in a press conference on Nov. 9 that Paterno and university President Graham Spanier had been fired, effective immediately. Within minutes of the news, students gathered in support of the legendary head coach. But the gathering quickly

turned into a riot with supporters throwing rocks, turning over at least one TV news van, and shouting support for the ousted coach. But some people around the country wondered if the riot was going a little too far in support of Paterno. “I feel it’s almost like they are putting aside what [Joe Paterno] has done just because of his status and success. It’s almost like they’re excusing [his behavior] by rioting,” Environmental Science junior Morgen Ayers said. The movement also had people questioning how much sway college sports had on Penn State’s students and fans, especially with more focus on the football coach than the victims involved. “I feel that a sport being put in front of the victims is wrong,” Public Relations junior Shannon Gray said. “It’s a child and it will affect the rest of his life whether people think he is a tough kid and he can move on or whatever. The fact that people are focusing on the fact the football team doesn’t have a coach rather than what this has done to the families isn’t right.”

Nursing program no longer on conditional status sTephanie wiLLiaMs

MCoM 3309 news ediTing & reporTing


n April 2011, the Board of Nursing placed WTAMU’s Nursing program on a conditional status due to a drop in passing rates. Although the majority of students were passing the NCLEX, the exam to become a nurse after receiving a degree, at a percentage of ninety-seven percent, a few students had to retake the test a second time. Because of this the passing rate dropped to around seventy


percent. However, this past October the program was reevaluated and has become fully accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education with a first time passing rate of ninety-five percent. “I am pleased and proud that for 2011, WT nursing baccalaureate graduates achieved a 95.18 percent first-time pass rate on the NCLEX,” said Dr. Dirk Nelson, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “The program’s status change is due to the persistence, professionalism and outstanding work of the faculty and staff, as well as our



Football team beats TAMUC on final game.

Meningitis shots are required to live in the WTAMU dorms.

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students in the Department of Nursing. The Board’s decision is not a destination, rather one step in our journey of excellence.” The conditional status, which put a hold on the nursing program accepting new students, was lifted and has been the main celebratory gain from the status change. “I think what I am most proud of is the fact that we have improved,” said Dr. Helen Reyes, Nursing Department chair. “Last April we were in the bottom half of first time pass rates for the NCLEX. But along with the yearly checks on our

Rebecca Hayes and Brittany Busch are the winner of this week’s game competition. Page 7

scores we also get six-month scores and we gradually increased in ranks every six months. This past September’s reviews put us at the top compared to other schools.” From there, the program began to make changes to help the students pass the test. The program changed from six semesters long to four, making the students take an exit examination before graduation and increasing the admissions requirements into the program as a whole.

Nursing story continued on p. 5

CaMpus Life:


Residence Hall Association hosts annual Skip-A-Meal.

Street signs, plaques and memorials honor the military.

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Feature Prairie Young Frankenstein the musical comes to Amarillo 2

November 15, 2011

Ashlee hendrick stAff Writer


he Broadway spotlight is back in the Panhandle as Mel Brooks’ musical comedy “Young Frankenstein: The Musical” hits the Amarillo Civic Center stage Nov. 16. “Young Frankenstein: The Musical” is the Civic Center’s first Broadway show of a four-show season, coming to Amarillo through Celebrity Attractions in Tulsa, Okla. “This is the start of a very, very good four-show season for us,” Michael Thero, marketing administrator of the Amarillo Civic Center, said. From the writer of comedy classics such as Blazing Saddles and The Producers, Mel Brooks brings the story of Frankenstein to a comedic level. It

follows the work of a young scientist, Dr. Frankenstein, and his attempts to bring a corpse back to life. However, after his assistant Igor chooses the wrong brain for the corpse, Dr. Frankenstein’s success does not come without frightening and comedic consequences, according to Randy Cole, marketing director for Celebrity Attractions. “When they give the monster a brain he becomes a little wild,” Cole said. “Comic mayhem ensues.” The musical is an onstage adaption of Brooks’ original classic film “Young Frankenstein.” It follows the same plot as the original movie, but this time, set to songs that Mel Brooks wrote himself. “You can expect really goofy songs,” Cole said. “‘The Happiest Town in Town’ is a song that’s almost so lame it’s funny. It’s just a parody of Broadway musicals.” Despite comedic songs and plot twists, preparations for the show is an

entirely separate story as time for set up is balanced between set ups for the Rodeo and the Farm and Ranch shows, which are also taking place at the Civic Center. “The Frankenstein production is going to fit right in between there because both of those bookending events are all fighting for the same space,” Thero said. It might be a tight squeeze, but piecing together multiple events at once is a normal occurrence for employees at the Civic Center, and a skill they have down pat. “It makes things interesting, but we won’t miss a beat,” Thero said. Though “Young Frankenstein” is the Civic Center’s first show of the season, they are confident it will start the Broadway Spotlight Series off right. “It’s high energy and fun,” Sherman Bass, manager of the Civic Center, said. “Traditional folks will like it because it’s

a full scale musical and non-traditional folks will like it because of Mel Brooks.”

together. President of the WT chapter of SIFE, Marco Jimenez said if students participate in the business plan competition they will learn how to form a business plan and develop the skills to start their own business. “This competition is giving students the opportunity to learn first because we are giving sessions on how to start a business plan and how to work on the financial and economic issues so it’s a class we are providing to give you your own opportunities,” he said. SIFE Project Leader Jesse Tijerina said the purpose of the business plan is to show you have done the research neces-

sary. “The purpose of this plan is to present it to the banks or to an investor for the purpose of getting funding secured. If you’re wanting to do something like this you’re going to have to put together a plan of action for your business plan, then you’re going to have to present it to a banker or a loan officer then they’re going to make the decision of whether or not they’re going to provide that funding,” Jimenez said. Executive Director of the West Texas A&M University Enterprise Center David Terry, sums up the competition as an opportunity for students to learn the fundamentals of starting a business in a

real world setting. “The real essence of this competition is for students to construct a well thought out business plan. The business plan is merely a communication tool of the roadmap of an entrepreneur’s journey,” he said. “It communicates the business strategy, how the business makes money, and the resources that are needed to launch and grow the business and the timeframe of which it will take to make it all possible.” The competition is open to all WT students and students must submit their business plan by 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22 in the office of the Dean of the College of Business.

Photo courtesy of Randy Cole A.J. Holmes as Fredrick Frankenstein and Rory Donovan as The Monster in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankstein the Musical.

WTAMU learn about professional business plans colton Wedeking

McoM 3309 neWs editing & reporting


or the past 17 years the West Texas A&M Enterprise Center has hosted a business plan competition called the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge. The Enterprise Center has partnered with the West Texas A&M College of Business, SIFE, and Harold Moses, a WT alumnus who donated $1,000 to award to the winner of the competition. The competition gives students the opportunity to learn how to put together a proper business plan and have the experience to put one the


Staff 2011-2012

Reporter- Jes Roskens Editor- Maria Molina Reporter- Melissa Bauer-Herzog Assistant Editor- Krystina Martinez Reporter- Ryan Schaap Web Editor - Georgia Romig Reporter- Matt Watkins Layout- Kati Watson Reporter- Lisa Hellier Ad Manager- Bryan Samuel Reporter- Jordan Fry Faculty Adviser- Butler Cain

Reporter- Daniela Fierro Reporter - Brittany Castillo Public Relations- Aurora Ortiz Photographer- Alex Montoya

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 reflect 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 reflect the board’s views. Advertising rates are available upon request at (806) 3372090 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 Campus follows Texas meningitis vaccination law 3

November 15, 2011

Cases of the illness have not been found on WTAMU so far Yadira Garcia McOM 3309 News editiNG & repOrtiNG


meningitis. Student Medical Services, which is a division of the office of Student Affairs, has followed through with this new state-wide law. “This disease is at higher risk within people who live in close living quarters, such as the dorms here on campus, and I would suggest every student to seek medical attention as soon as possible if symptoms appear” said LuAnne Rickwartz, R.N. at the Student Medical Services.

acterial Meningitis is a serious illness that has been around for hundreds of years. WTAMU is following the law that was passed and signed by Governor Rick Perry that requires that every incoming college student be vaccinated against bacterial

iStock photo

Meningitis is an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, so taking a vaccine to prevent this among college students is a great prevention method to improve the health amongst the college campus, and Student Medical Services is making it easy for every student to have access to these immunizations. “The vaccine costs $110.00 for every student. The student is given the option of placing that amount on their student tuition bill,” said Rickwartz. Jose Garcia, resident advisor for Jarrett Hall said some students have been asking about Meningitis. “A few of the students have asked me if they are in danger of getting meningitis,” he said. “In reality, WT has not had a case on campus. Some other schools in Texas have had a few cases or outbreaks, but with our preventions, WT has been very lucky in not

having bacterial meningitis on campus,” said Rickwartz. Each student is required to show proof of having had this vaccine and will not be allowed to move into their dorm room without it. “I wasn’t planning on living on campus my first year here, but since I was a freshman, I had to show proof that I had had the vaccine just in case I decided to live in the dorms,” said Jesus Lopez, a freshman WT student. “I saw a flyer about it, and it’s crazy to know that the common flu has similar symptoms to it,” said Garcia. While the cold days are approaching and flu season is here, it is safe to know that this campus is Bacterial Meningitis free. “We’re here if the students would like more information, and just remember to always wash your hands,” said Rickwartz.

Determining financial needs takes time and effort cOltON Harada McOM 3309 News editiNG & repOrtiNG


espite the fact that the government’s financial aid program has helped fund the college careers of numerous people, one thing that remains mysterious to some is exactly how a person’s “need” is determined. WT’s Associate Director of Student Financial Services, Marian Giesecke, helped explain the financial aid equation: • Step One: First, they take your cost of attendance. This cost is a combination of your tuition and fees, books, room and board, transportation, and personal costs. The tuition is based on 15-hour enrollment, and the room and board is an average of the three major residence halls’ costs.

• Step Two: Next, they subtract your estimated family contribution (EFC). When you file your FAFSA each year, the government determines a certain amount of money that your family is expected to be able to contribute to your college costs. • Step Three: Then, they subtract any other form of financial aid besides unsubsidized loan. This includes scholarships, grants, and subsidized loans. Finally, the remainder equals your financial need. However, this equation has its faults, which has left some students with things not adding up. Marco Gillezeau, a sophomore at WT, is one of those students. After receiving scholarships and accepting the student loans offered to him, Gillezeau still had some costs not paid for. “My scholarships and FASFA student loans did not cover everything,” Gillezeau said. Because of this, his parents

had to cover the remaining costs out of pocket, but this was not done without complication or sacrifice on their part. “There was one month where my parents didn’t pay their credit card bills because they paid my tuition,” Gillezeau said. This situation is not uncommon. Often students are offered smaller loans due to their high EFC number, but this calculation is not always accurate. As Giesecke explained, there are some components that aren’t factored into this number. “They don’t take into account bills, and that’s the biggest complaint,” she said. “Yeah, they say I can do this, but they don’t say ‘Ok, I pay for a house, I pay for cars, and I pay for food’ and that’s true.” While it may seem that none of the everyday costs of life (like paying for housing, food, and transportation) are factored into the EFC

calculation, there is a certain level at which they are included. “Somewhere in their calculations there’s so much allowed for food and housing… so it’s not totally omitted,” Giesecke said. “It may seem that way, but it’s not.” For students who face this problem of remaining costs after loans and scholarships, there are still options. Financial Aid Specialist Terri Faver said

there are other alternatives than just paying out of pocket. “Students can apply for a Parent Plus Loan, in which the parent is the borrower,” Faver said. “If for any reason the parents are denied a loan, we automatically offer the student other additional loans.” She also said that some students may choose to take out a personal loan through a bank.


SportS Prairie WT Buffs shutout TAMUC Lions in season finale 4

Matthew watkins staff writer


he WTAMU Buffalo football team hosted the Texas A&M-Commerce Lions on Nov. 12. WT’s seniors largely contributed to the 49-0 victory on their final game. The Buffs took advantage of two interceptions by senior Caleb Randolph to take a 21-0 lead after the first quarter.

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After Randolph’s first pick, sophomores Dustin Vaughn and Lance Ratliff hooked up for an 82 yard touchdown to give WT a 7-0 lead with 9:13 remaining in the quarter. The Buffs took advantage of Randolph’s second interception when Vaughn hit Ratliff again, this time for a 19 yard score that put WT up 21-0 with 1:48 left in the first. “They had a couple tendencies. [Randolph] watched some film and exploited them for two picks,”

said defensive coordinator Colby Carthel. Senior Brittan Golden would take over the game in the second. Backup quarterback Luke Halpin found Golden for an 11 yard touchdown to give the Buffs a 28-0 with 10:01 to go before the half. Halpin connected with Golden again for a 43 yard score to give WT a 35-0 lead they would take to the locker room. After sophomore Curtis Slater intercepted the Lions’

Ryan Lusby on the first play of the third, Halpin hit Golden for the third time, this time from 24 yards, to take the Buffs’ score to 42-0 just 55 seconds in. WT’s offense would become stagnant until the 3:56 mark in the fourth quarter when freshman fourth-string quarterback David Lehockey hit sophomore Sidney Parker for a 32 yard strike to give the Buffs the 49-0 win. Vaughn went six of 13 passing for 184 yards and two

touchdowns, while Halpin finished 12 for 21 with 187 yards and three scores. Senior Tommy Hampton led the rushing attack with five carries for 48 yards. Ratliff finished the day with three catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns and Golden had four receptions for 138 yards and three scores. WT finished the year with a 7-3 overall record and a 6-2 mark in the Lone Star Conference.

Women’s basketball falls in exciting season opener Melissa Bauer-horzog staff writer


he Lady Buffs started their season on the road in Weatherford, Okla on Nov. 12 against Northwestern Oklahoma State in a neutral court game. The Lady Buffs jumped out to a fourpoint lead early in the first half, but the lead was quickly cut down by NWOSU with both teams leading by one to two points through the rest of the half. The teams went into halftime tied at 35-35.

Volleyball story from p. 1 Matthew watkins staff writer


he No. 13 WTAMU Lady Buffs volleyball team won their sixth consecutive Lone Star Conference championship with three wins in The Box on Nov. 10-12. The Lady Buffs swept Texas A&M-Kingsville, Tarleton State, and the No. 18 Angelo State Rambelles over the weekend to claim the conference crown. WT swept the Javelinas in the first round on Nov. 10 25-17, 25-16 and 2514. With a 15-14 score in set one, the Lady Buffs went on a 9-1 run to take a 24-15 lead and eventually win the set. In game three, WT had an 18-13 advantage when they went on a 7-1 run to advance to the semifinals. WT defeated the Tarleton State TexAnns 25-22, 25-20 and 25-15 in

The second half saw NWOSU rattle off five consecutive points before WTAMU’s Devin Griffin broke the streak with a lay-up to bring WT within three points of their opposition. However, they couldn’t stop the Lady Rangers, who went on a 9-2 streak, leading 50-39 with 14:27 left in the game. Ashley Leven would attempt to stop NWOSU with a free throw then a jumper to make the score 50-42 but WT would then see themselves lose six points with just over three minutes left in the game. The Lady Buffs would try to make a comeback as Casey Land first scored on

a free throw and then a three-pointer to make the tally 78-75 with 29 seconds left on the clock. The last seconds of the game would be full of excitement as WT fouled and NWOSU used both free throws to spread the points lead to five. After NWOSU scored one more time, Lacee Logan pulled off a three-pointer as the buzzer went off to make the final score 81-78. “We just have to do a better job of handling our first game jitters,” Head Coach Krista Gerlich said. “I thought we did a decent job of executing things that need to get executed, except executing

things means finishing the job and they didn’t finish that by making the basket.” Devin Griffin led the WT scorers with 16 points and Joni Unruh made a big splash in her first game since a seasonending injury last year with 15 points. Chontiquah White and Casey Land also made the highlights with 14 points and 11 rebounds for White and five assists and five steals for Land. The Lady Buffs continue their season on the road with a Nov. 19 game in Colorado Springs, Colo. against UC-Colorado Springs at 5 p.m. CDT.

front of an inspired crowd on Nov. 11 in the semifinals. The Lady Buffs trailed 10-13 in game one when a 9-2 run gave

them a 19-15 lead they would not lose. WT had a 14-11 lead in the third set and extended it to 21-12 with a 7-1 run that

all but clinched their spot in the finals. The crowd provided the Lady Buffs with a boost during the match. “[The crowd] was really into it at the beginning and the end [of the match],” Head Coach Jason Skoch said. WT handed the Rambelles of Angelo State their first sweep of the year in the Nov. 12 finals by a score of 25-21, 25-15 and 25-22. The win gave the Lady Buffs their sixth straight conference title, and thirteenth overall. WT also earned their nineteenth appearance in the NCAA tournament by winning the conference’s automatic bid. Three Lady Buffs were named to the All-Tournament team: juniors Lauren Beville and Lacy Hayes, as well as sophomore Ashley Davis. Davis was also named tournament MVP. “It’s a great honor, but I couldn’t do it without my team,” said Davis.

Photo by Melissa Bauer-Horzog The volleyball team celebrates after their sweep of the conference tournament.




Campus Life

NBS helps during Panhandle Aid Support Organization annual show Photos by Alex MontoyA

NBS members who helped during the show.

NBS member Brandon Newburg recorded the show.

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Nursing continued from p. 5 To help the students while in the program tutoring became available to all students. Facilities set up a mentoring program and have set up assistance for students who have test anxiety. “ I feel that all of the new things are probably working. It makes me feel better about being accepted into the program here and then passing after graduation,” said junior Nursing major Krystal Linn. Although the changes have helped the program achieve their goal and change the conditional status of the program, Reyes had a different idea of what truly made it happen. “It was all the students. None of this could have happened without their hard work and dedication to this program. I also feel that it was the support of the school and the fact that the administration never stopped believing in us.”

RHA encourages WT to Skip-A-Meal Rubi Valencia Staff WRiteR

Hope Chasco working on posters for backstage before Seph Stiles helps get the stage ready before the the show. PASO event.

Eric Brown and Brandon Newburg working on the stage.

WT CORE brings tour to campus Daniela fieRRo Staff WRiteR


n Nov. 14, CORE office presented the Mind Equals Blown Tour at the JBK commons. The tour line-up consisted of The Paper Melody, Culprit, and Happy Body Slow Brain. The tour was well received from WT students. Jill Kila, vocalist and bass player for The Paper Melody, said she’s never been in Canyon before. “It’s really nice,” Kila said. “The campus is real nice and I’m loving the buildings.”

The Paper Melody performed songs from their EPs, which were enjoyed by WT students. According to Kila, they have two music videos coming up from their new album, more touring and will also be going into the studio in January. Matt Fazzi of the band Happy Body Slow Brain said he has been performing since the sixth grade and has been touring for ten years now. However, his current band has only been together for one year. He is the vocalist, keyboardist, and guitarist for Happy Body Slow Brain. “One of my hopes for the band is to make quality records,” said

Fazzi. “Playing for people who love the music and as well as making music that the band and I love doing.” Fazzi describes the band’s style of music as rock and R&B. “Lots of groove ad booty shaking,” he said, laughing. Mass Communication major Garrett Eggleston said it was a nice surprise when he walked into the JBK and found good bands playing. “I liked the randomness of it,” Eggleston said. “I just walked into the JBK and [the Culprit] were playing. I wasn’t expecting it really but they are really good.”


he Residence Hall Association is encouraging WTAMU students to participate in the annual Skip-A-Meal event. Any student at WT may volunteer to donate a meal to the less fortunate. The only requirement for students is to have their Buff Gold card number. “There are sign-up sheets in the halls of WT for students to sign their name and their Buff Gold card number if they want to donate their food,” RHA Vice President of Internal Affairs Brianna Moore, said. “It’s a meal that will be donated for the homeless at Faith City Mission in Amarillo and all students have to do is swipe their card.” Faith City Ministry is a small building at 22 E. 4th Street in Amarillo. Faith City provides chapel services, Faith City Family Lighthouse, women’s ministries, children’s ministries,

clothing outreach, and the Hope Programs for men and women. “We can only allow three hundred meals in total to be donated,” Nicole Moore, president of RHA, said. “We usually run out of the meals really quick and people want to donate more.” Skip-A-Meal will take place on Nov. 16 in the Dining Hall from 5 p.m. until closing time. Once all three hundred meals are donated, RHA will take the meals to the Faith City Ministry that night. “I’m in charge of making sure everyone is getting involved and getting the word out,” Kiya Brooks, national communications coordinator of RHA, said. “I’m looking forward to seeing people fed and seeing smiley faces.” Students who would like to donate their meals may sign up at the Residence Hall office, Cafeteria or JBK before Nov. 14.


Campus Life Prairie Department of Communication screens Fast Talk 6

daniEla FiErrO staFF writEr


n Nov. 8, the WTAMU Department of Communication screened “Fast Talk,” a documentary, at the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Recital Hall. After the movie screening, a discussion panel followed, consisting of Charles Mallard, an Amarillo-area attorney; Bethany Beck, a Communication graduate student; Tyler Sweeney, a senior Broadcasting major and Dr. Trudy Hanson, head of the Department of Communication.

November 15, 2011

Dr. Leigh Browning, associate professor of Mass Communication, moderated the panel. “Fast Talk” director and producer Debra Tolchinsky also participated in the discussion panel. It was her first time visiting Texas and WT. “It’s been fun, I’ve had a great time here,” said Tolchinsky. Tolchinsky has had her film exhibited internationally and has earned multiple awards. “Going around the world and feeling the aspect of making takes you to another world,” said Tolchinsky. “It’s great and I feel honored to meet great new people.”

The inspiration behind this film was the fact that Tolchinsky has a fear of public speaking. “I knew Northwestern University had a great debate team,” Tolchinsky said. “And I knew the coach was an interesting person.” Tolchinsky said she thought that the students seemed engaged and Dr. Browning agreed. “I think they did enjoy it,” said Browning. “I think they understood and appreciated it. I believe they can really relate to it.” Browning said Tolchinsky’s film had a great balance between filmmaking and

debate. “She had a great perspective on the debating team,” Browning said. “I had known that the film was in post-production and had been following it ever since. The debate world is connected and I had been anticipating its release.” Patrick Scheuchzer, an Ad Management major and Swiss native, enjoyed the film and liked how he could see the difference between the people here and from Switzerland. “It’s impressive to see how people are,” he said. “You could see how they really wanted to win the awards [that the speech team competed for.]

Golden Taylor Award. “He has continued to revise this paper, which I feel is ready for submission to top-tier peer reviewed journals.” said Dr. Alex Hunt, O’Brien’s mentor. “[O’Brien’s] paper won the J. Golden Taylor Award for best graduate student paper at the Western American Literature conference, though he was technically still an undergrad at this time.” “I think this work is valuable,” said O’Brien, “because it deals with the ways in which peoples of the Southwest relate their perspectives to a larger audience, who may not understand or be sympathetic with these particular worldviews if they were expressed in a straightfor-

ward manner.” Along with conducting his own research, O’Brien has had the opportunity to intern with the Remnant Trust. “It has been a lot of fun to work with the documents in the Remnant Trust,” said O’Brien. “I know I have learned a great deal about these texts and hope I’ve been able to share my knowledge and excitement with the students and members of the community who have visited the archives.” For the opportunity to handle centuries-old documents, available through the Remnant Trust, call the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum and schedule an appointment.

president. Some speakers focus on service opportunities available in the area, since there are many organizations on campus interested in service. November’s guest speaker was a representative from the High Plains Food Bank in Amarillo. The CORE Office makes a point to present ideas for leadership skills for those present at the meeting. In addition, new campus organizations are

recognized by Dr. Albrecht, vice president for Student Affairs. The CORE Roundtable is currently meeting in the mirror room in the Virgil Henson Activity Center.

Grad student studies magical realism in writers Erin Marvin MCOM 3309 nEws Editing &rEpOrting


n aspect every graduate student at WT must endure is research. However, an individual’s particular discipline shapes the type of research they conduct. “Research at WT touches every aspect of the human condition,” said Cheree Burleson, graduate admissions coordinator. “Oftentimes research has very real, tangible benefits … [or it is the] study of how we interpret our lives and

the reflection of [who] we are and who we want to be.” Joshuah O’Brien, an English graduate student interning with the Remnant Trust, has focused his research on “magical realism,” or as O’Brien explains it, a “tool for conveying modes of thought not generally subscribed to Western thinkers.” This past summer, O’Brien received a research grant from WT to spend the summer studying the use of magical realism by Latin American writers in the 1950s and 60s. He had the opportunity to present his research at various national conferences, where he won numerous awards, in particular the J.

WT’s CORE creates opportunity to stay connected abby walkEr MCOM 3309 nEws Editing &rEpOrting


n the first Thursday of every month, the CORE Office at WTAMU hosts the Core Roundtable. This meeting, which takes place over the lunch hour, offers student organizations an opportunity to stay connected with on-campus happenings. “It’s our opportunity as a CORE Office to let organizations know what’s coming up,” said Edward Akinyemi, CORE consultant. The CORE Office presents their upcoming activities and events, and allows other organizations to do the same. Organizations can give flyers about their

own events to CORE before Roundtable and have them put into the packets distributed to all the representatives present. Roundtable is one of the easiest ways for organizations to let others on campus know what they are doing. “For a school and its organizations to be successful there has to be unity and connection so that we can support each other and succeed together,” said Brittany Reichman, who represents Circle K International and Tribeta at the Roundtable. All student organizations are required to send at least one representative to Roundtable, but it is open to everyone on campus. The agenda includes an icebreaker and usually a guest speaker. “Usually the guest speaker tells us about leadership opportunities in the area,” said Brandy Roberts, student body





November 15, 2011

Last week’s answers

Rebecca Hayes is one of the winners of this week’s game competition.

Congratulations to Rebecca Hayes & Brittany Busch, the winners of this week’s game competition. Be on the lookout for more Prairie games competitions.


Campus Life Prairie WTAMU Theatre Department performs Urinetown 8

Ryan Schaap Staff WRiteR


he WTAMU Department of Theater will journey into a world where water is so scarce that you have to “pay to pee.” The unusual concept is this year’s musical, Urinetown. In the story, the government controls the supply of water because of a twentyyear drought. It’s illegal to use a private bathroom and the people must pay a fee to use public amenities. The main characters are Bobby Strong, a poor bathroom attendant that leads the revolution, and Hope Cladwell, the daughter of the CEO of Urine Good Company. The musical was originally created by Mark Holmann and Greg Kotis, which was their first successful comedy that was performed in New York in 2001. Kotis got the idea for the story after being in Europe where he had to pay to

November 15, 2011

use the restroom. “Aristophanes, a Greek dramatist, tells us that every comedy should have a happy idea,” said Royal Brantley, director of Urinetown. “There’s this ridiculous notion at the heart of a comedy. Bobby sees things differently and brings a revolution to Urinetown with the inspiration of Hope.” Chris Ratliff, a sophomore Musical Theater major who plays the role of Bobby Strong said Bobby leads the revolution. “As I read through the lines, I thought, ‘how can a janitor who is frightened every day because of his job overcome his situation?’” he said. “When everything changes, there is no more fear for Bobby and he has to get the people to follow him.” Brantley said he directs the performers to sing in character. “It’s my job to make sure they perform the character well,” said Brantley. Ratliff said he enjoyed the show.

“Our department has so many talented people and it’s so much fun to get to work with them,” he said. “At the beginning of working on the play, we worked individually on dancing, then singing, then acting, to bring it all together. It’s tough at first, but once you get it, it pops.” Jared Roberts, a senior Technical Theater major who worked on the scenic design for the show said Brantley gave him key concepts he wanted him to work with to start the scene.

Photo by Shawn Irish Officer Lockstock explains Urinetown to Little Sally.

Photo by Shawn Irish The rebels hold Hope Cladwell hostage in their secret hideout.

“I help with all the preparation, design and painting,” he said. “I started off as an actor, but decided to go into technical theater because there was this whole other side of acting that I didn’t know about. The whole design of theater lets me work with my creative side. The Urinetown cast began working on the play in late September. Performances started on Nov. 10-12 and continue Nov. 16-19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Branding Iron Theater.

Photo by Shawn Irish Bobby Strong and Hope Cladwell sing “Follow your Heart.”

Photo by Shawn Irish Company performs “Look at the Sky.”

WT’s Recreational Sports hosts Turkey Fun Run BRittany caStillo Staff WRiteR


n Nov. 17, WTAMU students will gather behind the Virgil Henson Activities Center for the Turkey Fun Run. “The Turkey Fun Run will begin at 5 o’clock, and registration will be out behind the Activity Center right before,”

said Director of Recreational Sports Bill Craddock. Students will meet behind the Activity Center and run east along Russell Long Blvd., turn right on 4th Ave and finally make another right on Hospital Road, returning to the AC. “It’s a great opportunity for students to relieve a little stress before the Thanksgiving holiday, and have a good

time,” said Craddock. Rookies and veterans of the race look forward to the annual fall jog and its many benefits. “I think it’s going to be fun, and a good way to get some exercise,” Tobie Browder, a freshman Pre-Physical Therapy major, said. “Exercise can help people focus better in class, make better grades, have more energy, and feel better

all around.” Junior Advertising/Public Relations major Daniel Zewde also believes the Turkey Fun Run has positive benefits. “It gets you active, you meet new people, and on top of that, it’s a lot of fun!” said Zewde. Director Bill Craddock encourages everyone to celebrate the end of the semester and join in the run Nov. 17.




November 15, 2011

Ten candidates vie for Republican nomination in 2012 Krystina Martinez assistant editor


Part II

lection season has kicked off strong with ten Republican candidates seeking the GOP nomination against President Barack Obama, who will be running for re-election. Last week, The Prairie profiled half of the Republican hopefuls. We finish up where we left off last week by looking at these five politicians and their positions on the issues: Michele Bachmann U.S. Representative from Minnesota ECONOMY Bachmann opposes the debt ceiling increase. In return, she wants to cut spending, limit government, and decrease government salaries. She also wants to increase U.S. exports to other parts of the world and she supports offshore oil drilling. HEALTHCARE Bachmann supports block grants for Medicare and wants to “empower doctors to make the right decisions about the shape and form of your health care insurance.”

FOREIGN POLICY Bachmann is an outspoken critic against Barack Obama, accusing him of “bending to dictators and babying radical Islamists.” Bachmann pledges to fully secure U.S. borders, win the terror war, and focus on Iran. Ron Paul U.S. Representative from Texas ECONOMY Paul proclaims “End the Fed” on his campaign website. He proposes that the U.S. should audit and eliminate the Federal Reserve System. He also wants to increase offshore drilling, provide tax credits for the use and production of natural gas vehicles, and abolish highway motor fuel taxes. Other taxes he wants to eliminate include the income, capital gains and death taxes. HEALTHCARE Paul believes that healthcare reform should “do no harm,” which he feels is something that Obamacare has failed at. Paul supports providing tax credits and deductions for all medical expenses and

Photo Courtesy of iStock

giving payroll deductions to workers who are primary caregivers for someone with a terminal illness. He also wants to prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to fund a national database of personal health information and reduce the burden of malpractice litigation on the healthcare system, FOREIGN POLICY Paul promises to make border security a top priority. He also wants to stop what he calls “unconstitutional power grabs” by the Patriot Act. Other initiatives he supports include abolishing the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), ensuring benefits for military veterans and ending nation-building in other countries. Rick Santorum Former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania ECONOMY Santorum supports decreased government spending and repealing the death tax. HEALTHCARE According to the New York Times, Santorum wants to completely reform social security FOREIGN POLICY Santorum supports Israel and believes that Iran is a country of concern. He also

supports the Patriot Act.

Rick Perry Governor of Texas ECONOMY Perry plans to reduce non-discretionary spending by $100 billion. He also wants a full audit of every regulation passed since 2008. For taxes, Perry proposes a flat income tax rate of 20 percent and a reduced corporate income tax rate of 20 percent. Unlike some of his fellow GOP candidates, Perry opposes a federal sales tax. He also wants to eliminate the capital gains tax, the death tax and taxes on social security benefits. HEALTHCARE Perry opposes Obama’s healthcare plan. He wants to return Medicaid responsibility to the states, allow state employees to opt out of Social Security, and allow younger workers to invest in Personal Retirement Accounts. FOREIGN POLICY Perry wants to focus on rebuilding the nation first, but he still wants to maintain strong relationships with allies. He promises to secure U.S. borders as well. He wants increased fencing along the borders and deploying national Guardsmen to protect weak areas until more border patrol agents can be hired and trained.

Gary E. Johnson Former Governor of New Mexico ECONOMY Johnson wants to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana - something that he lobbied in his time as the governor of New Mexico. Johnson also wants to stop spending on fiscal stimulus, transportation, energy, and other items that he calls “special interests.” Like Ron Paul, Johnson wants to audit the Federal Reserve.

HEALTHCARE Along with repealing Obama’s healthcare plan, Johnson wants to give block grant funds to the states for Medicare and Medicaid, nix the Medicare prescription benefit and adjust Social Security to be based on inflation rather than earned wages. FOREIGN POLICY Johnson wants the U.S. to “lead be example.” He argues that America must repair itself at home before tackling foreign issues. Johnson wants to reevaluate deployments in the former Soviet Union and pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. He also opposes torture as a means of interrogation against terrorist suspects.


Campus Life Prairie WT street signs, plaques, memorials honor military 10

November 15, 2011

Lisa HeLLier staff Writer


n Nov. 11, 2011 veteran Colonel Don Watson sat in the JBK recalling his years at WTAMU and when he first went off to fight in the Vietnam War. He remembers the friends he made and the ones he lost. In 1973, WT honored students who had died fighting in the war. The first eleven names found were honored with street signs. The street signs were named after the following: Sergeant Larry May, Captain Ronald Blair, 1st Lieutenant Jimmy Bean, Captain Jimmy Brasher, Lieutenant Carlos Pedrosa, Private First Class Stephen Geurin, Sergeant Keith Rowell, Lieutenant Ron Smithee, Captain James Hansard, Sergeant Cal Johnson and Captain Russell Slough. “When I see the street signs… they are faces to me because they are my classmates,”

the military and protested, WT Watson said. stood in support. Watson appreciated the “That was really exciting for idea but was concerned with us to know of WT’s support how it might insult those families whose child did not get of its veterans and former a street sign. “We wanted equal honor for all of those, and how do you do that because you are going to leave somebody out?” Watson asked. A plaque at the Virgil Henson Activities Center lists the names of all of the students who died in the Vietnam War, including those who did not get a street sign named in honor of them. Watson knew every man on that list, including his old roommate and a drill team buddy. “Coming from a Photo by Lisa Hellier university which had such Texas Panhandle War Memorial in Amarillo honors WT good support for its former students and faculty who fought for the U.S. students meant a lot to us students,” said Watson. “In the and it still does,” Watson said. service when I got on active According to Watson, WT duty, I talked to a lot of the has always been a supporter of officers whose schools weren’t the military and their students. supportive at all.” Even when other places and Watson had to deal people were not supportive of

with many situations in which soldiers were disrespected. As a result, he has been especially appreciative of WT’s support. “You don’t necessarily have to support the war, but you really need to support the personnel,” he said. For Veteran’s Day, Student Government sponsored an event with guest speaker Sergeant Robert West of Cannon Air Force Base. Each year, WT holds some form of an event to honor veterans. “The veterans are the ones who keep you free,” Fred Rangel, president of the Texas Panhandle War Memorial, said. “It’s not the politicians. It’s the veterans. It’s the people on the grounds.” Watson decided it was important that WT faculty and students were honored at the Texas Panhandle War Memorial in Amarillo and worked to come up with a list of names to be engraved

onto a monument. The Texas Panhandle War Memorial members agreed and it was financially supported by WT. Watson found as many names as he could from World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War and the Korean War. “It is very important that people come out and support the troops,” Rangel said. According to WT Librarian Sidnye Johnson, the street signs on campus were changed occasionally and have been taken down and moved around because of different construction. According to Watson, not all 11 street signs still remain up today, but he can still sense the support WT offers the military. He hopes that he can help get a monument put up on the WT campus. “There’s a lot of separate organizations that are very interested [in the monument] and perhaps we can bring those together and make things happen,” Watson said.

RA events for end of semester WTAMU students help aL W with Drive-by Fooding MCOM 3309 isa


NeWs eDitiNG & rePOrtiNG


ith Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, classes and campus activities start to lighten as the weather gets colder. However the Resident Assistants still continue to host a variety of programs. “We have various programs, from video games to kick boxing,” said Turok Tarango, an RA at Guenther Hall.,” “There are also frequent games of football at ‘O’Brian Island,’ named for President O’Brien.” The “island” is the strip of grass in between Buff Hall and Guenther Hall. “The name O’Brien Island was actually used out of spite because it was his decision to have it there,” said Tarango. For Shirley Hall there is a “Dear Mom and Dad program” Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. where the residents write a letter to their parents

telling them how much they appreciate them, love them, miss them, and mail it right before Christmas. “Forget the Stress, Make a Mess” will take place Nov. 29 where residents get to have a stress relieving pillow fight with one another and learn about stress management. “I am having a ‘Some More S’mores’ program, where we just hang out and enjoy microwaveable s’mores. We like our programs to be both fun and educational and of course as much food as possible,” said Lindsay Shoot, an RA at Shirley. The s’mores program will be later on in the month. Following their “Sexy Leg” contest, Jones Hall is hosting a “No Shave November” where the rules are simple. “Guys aren’t allowed to shave for the whole month of November. Whoever has the best beard wins,” said Matthew Martin, a freshman resident at Jones Hall. First and second place will receive a gift card.

Photos by Alex Montoya

Sophomore Brianna Moore and Skip Chisum, director of student activites, participate in the drive in front of United Supermarket in Canyon.

Alexa Leija and Christy Herrington donate cans for the High Plains Food Bank.




November 15, 2011

WTAMU appeals to more international graduate students Jordan Fry Staff Writer

Part one of a three part series Veronica Guo Henan, China Communication Studies

Veronica Guo wanted to come to America to know more about the world and learn English. “America has the best educational resources,” she said. “The best universities are here.” Guo feels that the U.S. is a “mixed country” that has knowledgeable people and high quality educational institutions. “It is the economic and political center,” she said. “It has all the qualifications to be the place to come for studying.” An American degree appealed to Guo because it is accepted almost anywhere. “People in my country take a U.S. Master’s degree more seriously than others.” She first learned of WT after some friends told her parents about the University. The reasonable tuition and the scholarship she received propelled her to come to WT. After studying at WT, Guo said she likes the American learning style. She explained that the students in Chinese graduate school are much more relaxed than the graduate students in America. “In the U.S., graduate school is easy to get in and hard to get out. You may really need to spend a lot of time learning,” she said. “In China, graduate school is hard to get in, but easy to get out of.” Guo loves the professors in her department and said most of the students here are very nice and friendly. She said she has met some great friends here. After she graduates with her Master’s degree, Guo may apply for a second Master’s degree in another place. “I want to know more about America and travel more places,” she said.

Rachel Le Vietnam Finance and Economics

Rachel Le wanted to go to graduate school in Texas because she has an uncle who is living in Dallas. She began searching for Texas graduate schools through agencies and websites when she stumbled upon WTAMU in a Google search. “I chose WT because it has reasonable tuitions and fees,” she said. “I also got a scholarship.” Le said graduate school in Vietnam is similar to graduate school in the United States and several classes there are taught in English. However, Le feels her education at WT has some advantages over her education in Vietnam. One of the biggest reasons Le likes WT is its small campus and class sizes. “In Vietnam, college classes are usually big. I was in a class of around 200 students,” she said. “The professors barely remember the students.” Le likes that she is able to get to know other students, both American and international. She said although WT is not a wellknown school, it “offers the best services at a reasonable price” and a Master’s degree from the U.S. will get her a better career. After she graduates with her Master’s degree, Le is going to apply for a job in the U.S. “I don’t know if it will work,” she said. “But as an international student, I have just three months of unemployment status.” If she is unable to find a job within three months, she will have to return to Vietnam, but she remains hopeful.

Chisom Ukpaka Nigeria Finance and Economics

After receiving her Bachelor’s degree, Chisom Ukpaka decided not to go to grad school in Nigeria because she “wanted the experience of an advanced country’s economy” and America’s “academic standard is highly recommended.” She discovered WT through a Google search and chose the University for several reasons. “West Texas A&M is one of the few schools that offers a combination of Finance and Economics in the U.S.,” she said. She said the program goals were aligned with her set objectives. “If you want to be a finance analyst, you have to think on your feet, professionally communicate your findings, understand the business environment you are studying and be able to use quantitative and analytical tools to solve economic problems,” she said. Another appeal of the University is its affordability. Ukpaka said her experience at WT has been wonderful and she couldn’t have asked for a better school. “The professors and students are great,” she said. “Right now I’m taking three courses: Investments with Dr. Macy, Corporate Governance with Dr. Owens, and Advanced Microeconomics with Dr. Meredith and they have contributed a lot to my knowledge.” Ukpaka is unsure of her immediate future after she graduates, but she plans to eventually fulfill her passion to be a finance analyst. “I can’t really think so far ahead,” she said. “I’m the kind of person that takes one step at a time. But I will definitely do my optional practical training in America to get real life experience on the job.”

Jen Rowsell Ontario, Canada Biology

Jen Rowsell’s discovery of WT was purely a fluke. She has had a lifelong fascination with spiders and wanted to study camel spiders. She began searching for someone else who wanted to study camel spiders and eventually found Dr. Sissom at WT. “I jumped two feet in, sink or swim,” she said. “And sinking wasn’t an option.” Shortly after she came to WT, Rowsell applied for a graduate teaching assistantship, and much to her surprise she was selected for the position. “I teach first year biology labs and my students are great,” she said. Rowsell feels that her GTA is a bonus. “I’ve wanted to teach for years,” she said. “This has reassured me that it’s what I want to do.” Rowsell said she’s only been at WT for three months, but it already feels like home. “I’m from a small town, so it’s nice to have the small town feel,” she said. “It’s nice to not just be another number.” Rowsell likes that the people at WT are very friendly and welcoming. “I don’t think it’s possible for a friendlier campus or student body to exist,” she said. She said she feels like a “busted record” when talking about the WT, but she has no complaints about the University at all. “My experience here so far has been an adventure,” she said. Her adventure will continue after she graduates with her Master’s degree. She is contemplating a Ph.D and eventually wants to teach biology at a college or university level. “I’m not sure where, it could be anywhere in the world,” she said. “It remains to be seen.”

The Prairie, Vol. 94, No.11  

The Prairie is the campus newspaper of West Texas A&M University

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