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February 11, 2014 • Vol. 96, No. 18

Career Services hosts Summer Camp Fair Alyssa Bonner Reporter


areer Services hosted their Summer Camp Fair on Monday, Feb. 10. Many camps from around Texas and surrounding states came in to visit with students who are interested in working at a summer camp. “The Summer Camp Fair is an exceptional opportunity for students,” Jana Nixon, Student Employment Services Coordinator, said. “The fair enables students to connect with employers who are seeking summer staff at camps across Texas and beyond. In short, the jobs are coming to them.” Twenty-three camps participated in the fair on Monday. A few camps that were in attendance include Ceta Canyon


Camp and Retreat Center, Glorieta Camp and Rocky River Ranch. Wonderland Park, the Don Harrington Discovery Center and Upward Bound were also there seeking employees for summer programs. Students who attended the fair are encouraged to follow up with camps they spoke with. “I followed up with Panfork Baptist Encampment and got an interview, so I was really excited to get the job,” Jessica Morrow, senior Theatre Performance major, said. Morrow attended the Summer Camp Fair in 2012. Contrary to popular belief, summer camps are not just for Education majors and the like. Students majoring in Sports and Exercise Science, Music, Theatre, Nursing, Social Work


WTAMU brands its classrooms after donors.

Buffs Basketball splits with Rams and Javelinas.



and more can gain relevant work experience that will enhance their skill set, ultimately helping to prepare them for their future careers after graduation. “It taught me extremely valuable lessons about work ethic. All the staff lived together, so we really had to work on maintaining good working relationships,” Morrow said. “I think those experiences will be really valuable for the future.” Summer camps are also a good way for students to earn money while having fun over the summer.



BJ BRITTAIN/ ASSISTANT EDITOR Camp Glorieta is seeking counselors for this summer.



The need to address the Megan Moore takes a look at An inside look at grad The Walking Dead’s return. students and TAs at WTAMU. winter commuter situation.



PAGE 11 @The_Prairie



Nursing Program offers free health screenings with United Supermarkets


est Texas A&M’s Nursing Department has partnered with United Supermarkets, LLC to offer free health screenings through the month of February and the first week of March. The assessments will be from 10 am – 2 pm any Tuesday or Wednesday during this time frame. The screenings will only be offered at two of the United locations in Amarillo, 45th& Bell and the Amigos location at I-40 and Grand. The health screenings include height and weight measurements, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index. Nursing students will also over health issues such as type 2 diabetes, heart health, strokes and other topics will guests who participate. Senior-level nursing students enrolled at WTAMU will be providing the screenings. For more information or to see a complete schedule contact


EDITORS Tyler Anderson

Turrubiates, lead instructor for the course, at 806-651-2639 or visit the WT website.

Freshmen selected Readership Trip



leven freshmen students have been selected as winners for this year’s Readership WT essay contest. The selected students will travel to Uganda where they will help the author of Wine to Water, this year’s Readership book, and his team with his ongoing water projects. Author Doc Hendley founded the organization Water to Wine to help provide clean water all over the world. Hendley tells about his start as a bartender and his journey to the founding of the organization in his book. In connection to the organization’s idea to send campus chapters and groups on service trips, Readership WT found this opportunity to be one for the essay contest winners since they have experience in international travels. The trip to Uganda will be the

AD MANAGER Connor Woods


Megan Moore

Kati Watson



B.J. Brittain

Buff News Briefs

Dr. Butler Cain

seventh international trip that Readership WT has provided students. Each trip connects to the Readership WT book selection provided to freshman students. This year’s group of students will leave March 6, and arrive in Uganda on March 7 and return March 17.

Texas Tribune hosts Sen. Seliger and Reps. Smithee and Price


en. Kel Seliger and Reps. John Smithee and Four Price were honored Friday, Feb. 7, in JBK Legacy Hall as a part of the Texas Tribune event series. The lunchtime conversation was centered on the 83rd legislative session. Seliger, Smithee and Price were each presented with a token of appreciation from University President Dr. J. Patrick O’Brien and Tommy Williams, vice chancellor for federal and state relations with the Texas A&M University system, for their devotion to higher education and their commitment to the


Cheyenne Black Alyssa Bonner Kyle Coulter Jacob Helker Jessica Malacara Laci McGee Brooke Self Preston Thomas

February 11, 2014 |

state of Texas.

Cornette Library hosts fifth session of the Muslim Journeys series


he Let’s Talk About It: Muslims Journeys series will begin its fifth session Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Southwest Branch of the Amarillo Public Library. The session, hosted by Cornette Library of West Texas A&M University, will discuss Maria Rosa Menocal’s The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain. Cornette Library is a part of 125 libraries and state humanities councils to participate in this project across the country. The goal of the project is to familiarize the public with Muslim culture in the United States, but also from around the world. The free series will have eight different reading, viewing and discussion session. For more information about

SPORTS REPORTERS Wyatt Miller Jose Robledo Tanner Sims David Lewis

COLUMNIST Nathan Slaughter

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Christopher Brockman

the Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys series, contact Mary Jarvis at 806-651-2225 or at All information was taken from the WT website and Rana McDonald.

WANTS YOUR PRESS RELEASES! Send them via email to: or Come on by

The Prairie Newsroom:

at Fine Arts Complex, Room 268. WEB ASSISTANT Georgia Romig


PHOTOGRAPHERS Natalia Molina Jasmin Ruiz Thomas Koenig

The Prairie is a student-operated newspaper 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 staff. The Prairie verifies the legitimacy of the advertising appearing in The Prairie, but cannot be held liable for any advertising claim made in this publication. The Prairie has a circulation of 1,500 and is printed by the Amarillo Globe-News. 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.

February 11, 2014 |


“Many camps pay quite well and provide room and board,” Nixon said. “Students have the potential of realizing significant earnings in a relatively short period of time.” For students who are interested in working at a summer camp but were unable to attend the Fair, Career Servic-

good fit for me this summer if working at a camp is what I choose to do.” Alongside the valuable work experience and gaining new skills, summer camps also give students the opportunity to meet new people, get paid to have fun and make long-lasting memories. “I made some lasting friendships, had some great experiences and learned some amazing skills,” Morrow said. “It was a summer I’ll never forget!”

BJ BRITTAIN/ THE PRAIRIE Team Members of Rio Vista and Sierra Vista Camps look for summer staff.

es has a list of participating camps and their websites available in suite 113 of the Classroom Center. “I’ll get the list because I would like to check the camps out on their websites,” Madison Parkey, senior Elementary Education major, said. “I am just looking to see if there is an option that would be a

BJ BRITTAIN/ THE PRAIRIE Forest Glen Camps recruited on campus






February 11, 2014 |

WTAMU brands university classrooms Cheyenne Black Reporter


fter five years of campaigning the university has managed to raise $35 million for the students of WT. The campaign has raised money for countless scholarships and opened new teaching positions within WT. It has also built an outdoor sports complex, which is the largest synthetic field in North America, a top of the line athletic center for a Division II college, and state of the art endowed classrooms. “Many companies have elected to name classrooms as a way to create brand awareness within our student population,” Tim Bynum, Certified Fundraising Executive and Director of Development, said. A third of the campaign is “Buff Branding” or branding campus classrooms with the name of the donors. There are different levels of gifts, meaning the price depends on the square footage of the room, the construction involved, and the designed use of the space. A

recent gift in the size of $20,000 to $60,000 would be enough to construct and outfit a classroom or lab in the college of the donor’s choice. Spaces like athletic fields, the pedestrian mall, or actual buildings have gone for considerably more than the average $20,000- $60,000. For new construction, the donors must put up 60-70% of the total construction cost for the naming rights.

“In the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering you have spaces like the Schaeffer Agriculture Education Building and the Bell Helicopter Classroom,” Carly R. du Menil, Senior Development Officer, said. Each donor has not only provided funding at different levels to upgrade these spaces but have also created endowment funds to ensure that each classroom is

CHEYENNE BLACK/THE PRAIRIE Plack of a Buff Branded classroom in the Fine Arts Complex.

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maintained. All classrooms are kept in respectable condition to reflect well on both the donors and the university. There are opportunities to name labs and classrooms in every college on campus. When a donor gives a gift for an endowment, such as a classroom, the donor is allowed to customize the room in a way they believe will help the students learn to their best ability. The process to formulate classrooms and upgrades may take numerous months. Upgrades can include new paint, floors, molding, chairs, desks, tables, lighting and electrical

equipment and technology. This is a way for individuals or businesses to have the opportunity to make their longlasting mark on campus. “Every time a classroom is endowed it must be approved by the A&M board of Regents and then that name is on that space in perpetuity,” du Menil said. The $35 million dollar campaign also included endowed and non-endowed scholarships distributed throughout the campus and endowed chairs and professorships that support the faculty in that specific college.

February 11, 2014 |

Discovery After Dark

Laci McGee Reporter


n Feb. 8, Don Harrington Discovery Center hosted the Discovery After Dark Event for adults only. This event was Ale-ology: Ye Old Science on Tap. The Ale-ology event activities included ale-inspired cuisine that is prepared by Chef Bud Anderson. The Penny Traveler provided live music. The event also included several activities such as a Beer Goggle challenge, a Wheel of Medieval Myth and Mirth. There were also Home Brewing Demonstrations. “Our adults-only events are designed for attendees to relax and have a great time with good food and music, plus we always incorporate science into the party so everyone has learned something or been exposed to something unique,” Amy Juba, Director of Development and Marketing at Don Harrington Discovery Center, said. Discovery After Dark events

raise money to provide funding for educational exhibits and programs. These events began in 2010 with the Science of Chocolate and the Science of Cooking events. Since then, there have been three events a year in the Discovery After Dark series. Each year since 2011 has included a Beerology themed event. This tends to be a favorite of Discovery After Dark attendies. “The Discovery Center’s mission is to spark curiosity, inspire passion for lifelong learning, and bring families and communities closer together,” Juba said. We want the whole community to feel like the Discovery Center is a place they can learn and have fun, from toddlers to grandparents. Ale-ology is the first of the three events in 2014. The next event will be on June 20 and it is themed Pirateology: Swashbuckling Science. “Beerology has been our most popular event annually, which is why we include this theme or a

variation of the theme, like this year’s Ale-ology, each year,” Juba said. “The great people at Budweiser are terrific about donating beverages for our events, and we couldn’t put on our adult parties without their support.” This event was also sponcered by Cat-man-du along with Budweiser. The amount of money that was raised by Saturday’s event for the Don Harrington Discovery Center is not known yet. The DHDC did sell many more memberships for the next year and more than 250 people ultimatly attended the sold out event. This event and others like it help to fund the Don Harrington Discovery Center itself. The funds raised also help the Discovery Center to bring in traveling exhibits and other such things like the Family Science Night. Also, events like this help to fund scholarships to the Discovery Center summer camps for children.

On Feb. 17 an ambient rock group by the name of Lehnen will perform at 9:00 p.m. in The 806 coffee lounge in Amarillo. A folk/indie musician, Glenn Martin, will also play at the 806 on Feb. 18 and will also start at 9:00 p.m. The WT Choir Concert will be held on Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Northen Recital Hall. This will be both an entertaining show and a good way to show support for the School of Music. The next night, Feb. 21, the Coltrane Combo will be performing at Palace Coffee in Canyon and Southern Rock group Buggaboo

will perform in the 806. Both of these performances will begin at 9:00 p.m. On Feb. 22, a Progressive Rock group called Autonomics will perform at the 806 at 9:00 p.m. This will round out the upcoming shows at local coffee shops. Also on Feb. 22, the Symphonic and Concert band concerts will be held at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively. Both of these concerts will be held in the NRH. These ensembles perform a concert every semester and always put on a good show for their audience. The NRH will also host



Want to have that warm and fuzzy feeling? Wrap yourself up in this beautiful quilt and help out a good cause!

The Cornette Library and WTAMU Veterans Network Relay For Life team, Books ‘N Boots, is raffling off this hand-made WTAMU T-shirt quilt! Tickets are $5 each or 6 for $25. Tickets are available at Pippa’s Coffee Shop and the Cornette Library Circulation Desk. The quilt will be on display at the Cornette Library Circulation Desk. The drawing will be held on Friday, March 7th at 10 am in the atrium of the Cornette Library. Participants need not be present to win. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society and Relay For Life. Questions? Contact Beth Vizzini at or 806-651-2220.

Upcoming events for Choir and Music

Preston Thomas Reporter


usically inclined students at WTAMU have a variety of options at their disposal when looking for live music events, both on and off campus. The Department of Music hosts a large number of events composed of student recitals, faculty recitals and guest musicians in Northen Hall and the Fine Arts Center throughout the year, and other local venues host musicians featuring a variety of styles.

the Brock McGuire Band on Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. The Showcase of Music, featuring WT students, will be held on Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. at the Amarillo Globe News Center. Many music students at the university spend countless hours every year to prepare for this show, and they never fail to impress the audience. The WT Composition Recital is one of the most interesting shows on campus, as it features pieces composed and performed by students in the School of Music. It is a great way for these students to show their multiple

talents and skills. This show will be held on March 6 in the NRH and will begin at 7:30 p.m. Finishing up the upcoming concerts is the Harrington String Quartet, a premier ensemble in the area. Their show will be on March 7 beginning at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in Westminster Presbyterian Church in Amarillo. These various shows and concerts are a good way for students to broaden their musical and cultural horizons. There are plenty of options when it comes to local shows and these groups never disappoint.



February 11, 2014 |

Slaughter’s Sports Talk Prairie Sports Columnist Nathan Slaughter weighs in on any and everything sports each week.


hether you are an avid reader of The Prairie or this is your first time picking up an edition, I would like to introduce myself. As the new kid on the block, I will provide sports commentary that will bring you inside the mind of an athlete. That may or may not be to your liking but I ask you bear with me. I am Nathan Slaughter, former WTAMU football player. It seems a little odd adding “former” in my title as I just wrapped up my senior season months ago. Nonetheless, I have been tasked to share my comments on the beloved sports world. Commonly, athletes read material with praises or criticisms of themselves and teammates. The comments usually stem from individuals with no experience on the field of play. Typically, that is not an issue when the reporter is devoted to the profession. Yet there still is disconnect from time to time. Thus lays my passion and aspirations to be involved in the sports communication profession. With the introductory statements out of the way, let’s dive into what’s been brewing

on my mind for the past week, the Super Bowl. Personally, I wanted the Seattle Seahawks to come out on top, but my gut instinct told me to not count out Peyton and his record breaking offense. As I watched the game, I wondered where that instinct came from. If you look at the numbers, Peyton did what he normally doesn’t do, turn the ball over. During the regular season, in sixteen games Manning only threw a total of ten interceptions. During the Super Bowl, Peyton threw two interceptions along with a fumble on the first play of the game. It is that performance that has people questioning if the game hurt his legacy. My reaction to the question, however is that Peyton’s Super Bowl performance validates his legacy. Now before you put the paper down, call me mean names and question my reasoning, take a look at the numbers. Throughout Manning’s career he has been a staple of the

term “franchise quarterback.” But after taking a closer look, Manning should be a primary example of the term “regular season franchise quarterback.” The comparisons of his career regular and postseason numbers support my reasoning. Manning has a winning percentage of 69.5 during the regular season compared to 33 percent in the playoffs. A quarterback rating of 97.2 compared to 89.3 and dropoffs in every statistic that is categorized. Manning, a quarterback who is known for taking care of the ball, turns it over more commonly in the playoffs, with 24 postseason interceptions in 23 games. Now nobody can doubt Peyton Manning’s abilities, as well as him going down as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. In terms of his legacy, however, there will be many debates. One thing I can add to the argument is “Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t lie.”

Be on sure to check in every week to see what Slaughter’s Sports Talk has to say.

wants YOU! Who we are looking for this semester: Reporters Sports Reporters Multimedia Layout Designers Photographers For more information, email or come by the Fine Arts Complex, Room 268.

Come join an organization that has been serving the WT community since 1919.

February 11, 2014 |

Lady Buffs roll onward Tanner Sims Sport Reporter


he No. 5 West Texas A&M Lady Buffs continued their 2013-14 season by defeating Angelo State 95-56 and Texas A&M Kingsville 8170 on Feb. 5 and Feb. 8, respectively. On Feb. 5, the Lady Buffs cruised against the Rambelles at the First United Bank Center in Canyon. WTAMU came out strong, scoring the first 11 points of the game and at one point, led by 18. WT stayed consistent and dominated the paint, outrebounding ASU 29-17 going into halftime up 38-22. The Lady Buffs shot 31 of 66 from the field and leading scorers were senior guard Casey Land with 17 and senior guard Sally Higgins with 14. WT scored 10 three-pointers and went an impressive 23 of 28 from the free throw line. WT had 24 assists and only 11 turnovers in the game.

On Feb. 8 against the Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas, the Lady Buffs found themselves down early but were able to rally back for the win. The Lady Buffs shot 49 percent while Texas A&M Kingsville shot 38 percent. WT was 11 of 23 from three-point range and TAMU-K were 5 of 19. WT outrebounded Texas A&M-Kingsville 48-25. For WT, Land scored 20 points, senior forward Devin Griffin had 15, and junior guard Lacee Logan added 14. Leading scorers for TAMU-K were Lauren Jay and Ashley Viera with 14 each. In the first half, the Lady Buffs struggled by committing 13 turnovers. The Javelinas were able to go up early, outscoring WT 27-17 off turnovers. At one point, TAMU-K went up by 9, which is the biggest lead an opponent has had on the Lady Buffs since Dec. 21, when WT took on Seattle Pacific. WT was able to get back into the game by playing aggressive

defensively and rebounding. In the second half, WT went on a 22-6 run to gain the lead and close out the game. WT improved to 19-1 overall and 10-0 in Lone Star Conference play. This is the best start for the Lady Buffs basketball team since the 1996-97 season. With 12 straight wins by the Lady Buffs, they broke a winning streak that was set in the 2009-10 season. WT has also scored more than 80 points in eight consecutive games. Angelo State fell to 11-9 and 5-5 in league play while the Javelinas tumbled to 8-12 overall and 3-7 in Lone Star Conference play. WT continues the second leg of its road trip on Feb. 12 as they battle the Midwestern State Mustangs for a part of the Highway 287 Challenge at 5:30 p.m. The next home game for the Lady Buffs on Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. against Aggies of Cameron University in the First United Bank Center.

shot to open the game, as the Buffs led 8-7 at the first media timeout with 15:48 remaining in the first half of play. Angelo State kept it close, tying the game 13-13 with 11:56 left. The Buffs trailed 23-22 at the final media timeout of the half, but the Rams would come out of the timeout with a 7-0 run to lead 31-28 at the break. The Buffs kept it close for the opening minutes of the first half, and only to trail 48-38 with 12:16 to play. The Buffs then fell apart, committing the better half of their 20 turnovers in the second half. A 6:07 drought and

a 6-0 run by the Rams would close out the game, resulting in an Angelo State victory. On Feb. 8, the Javelinas jumped to an early lead before yielding seven points to the Buffs, cutting the lead to 11-9 with 12:00 to play in the first half. The Buffalo defense held the Javelinas scoreless for the final six minutes of the half. WT started the second half strong and quickly took a 28-24 lead with 16:59 remaining. The second half was very close, but the Javelinas couldn’t hold off the Buffs, and WT came out on top 58-51.



Upcoming Home Events FEB 11

Baseball vs. Southwestern Oklahoma State 2 p.m. at Wilder Park

FEB 14

Softball vs. Adams State 1 p.m. at Schaeffer Park Softball vs. Metro State 5 p.m. at Schaeffer Park

FEB 15

Women’s Basketball vs. Cameron 2 p.m. at First United Bank Center Softball vs. Colorado Mesa 3 p.m. at 5 p.m. at Schaeffer Park Men’s Basketball vs. Cameron 4 p.m. at First United Bank Center Softball vs. Fort Lewis 5 p.m. at Schaeffer Park

Buffs Basketball splits with LSC rivals Wyatt Miller Sports Reporter


n Feb. 5, turnovers were the West Texas A&M Buffaloes’ Achilles heel as they fell to the Angelo State Rams 69-47 at the First United Bank Center in Canyon, before earning their tenth win of the season on Feb. 8 as they defeated the Javelinas of Texas A&M-Kingsville 58-51 at Kingsville. The Buffs started strong, as senior guard Drimir Ferguson tossed the ball to senior guard David Gibbs for a three-point

Junior forward Antjuan Ball led the Buffs in their win against A&M Kingsville with a game high 14 points, 2 blocks and a steal. Junior forward David Duncan scored 12 points, and junior guard Tez Dumars had 10. The Buffs shot 2252 from the floor and were 5-12 from the three point line. Rashad Basey led the Javelinas with 20 points. Javelinas were also led by Warren Daymon who had 15. The Javelinas shot 22-55 from the floor and 2-15 from three. The Buffs remain steady at an overall mark of 10-11 (2-7,

LSC) while the Rams improve to 16-5 overall (6-5, LSC) with wins over the Buffs and on Feb. 8 against Eastern New Mexico, as the Javelinas fell to 7-14 (27, LSC). WT will face an uphill battle as they take on the Mustangs of Midwestern State, who are currently second in the LSC. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the D.L. Ligon Coliseum in Wichita Falls on Feb. 12. The Buffs will return to the First United Bank Center against the Cameron Aggies on Feb. 15 with the tipoff scheduled at 4 p.m.



The Walking Dead has returned to TV Megan Moore Co-Editor


he Walking Dead returned from its mid-season intermission Sunday night. We last saw our favorite fearless zombie fighters waged in war with a rival survivor group led by the Governor. We saw the death of Hershel and the most likely death of baby Judith. We saw the crew split up. We saw Rick and Carl make it to the woods, and that’s where our journey picked up. As we follow Carl through the episode, we see how anger and pain fuels his want to be considered a grown up and able to fend for himself. He has a strong desire to be independent and it only strengthens after the projected loss of his sister where he finds fault in his father’s ability to protect their family and the other survivors he has come to love. His growing pains leave him fighting for his life on his independent journey to forage for food with no one to save him but himself. Carl’s cocky attitude leaves him in a couple different sticky situations, one involving pudding. His pudding scene was the perfect showcase of his struggle between childhood and adulthood. In this moment, he is so content in his childhood pleasure of pudding, while turning his back to the danger of the death that reaches for him just a few feet away.

Carl has put on the brave face many times before, and as his father lies on the couch comatose from all the injuries from the battle with the Governor, he is fearful his last remaining parent has turned. Hand raised with gun, Carl can’t take his father’s life like he did his mother’s. After his father mumbles out his name, he realizes Rick is still alive. Carl knows that he can’t survive alone. Along with the father-son drama, the audience also gained insight into Michonne’s life and character emotionally. Her hard warrior exterior was broken when we see her confront the memories of her son and lover. Michonne has always been portrayed as a loner and on rare occasions has displayed connections with other characters. The amount of loss that she has experienced defaults her to survival mode and soon finds herself walking with her zombie pets in a herd with a zombie that could pass as her twin. She knows what life would look like if she chose death and in an instance chooses life and slays the entire herd of 23 zombies. Soon after her, she finds clues of other life and stumbles upon Rick and Carl where we finally have hope of character reconnection. With no signs of the rest of the zombie fighting crew, audience members anxiously await next week’s episode.

Starting this week online, our vlog & podcast series! Get the latest in entertainment news and gossip in the weekly video series, Hollywood Social!

Level up on your Need to know what’s going knowledge of gaming, tech on in the world of sports? and geek culture in the Check out The Prairie weekly +int podcast! Sports Roundtable!

For more information visit us at

February 11, 2014 |


February 11, 2014 |

Can YOU finish first? We are giving away $10 iTunes gift cards. Finish the three puzzles with the correct answers and turn it in at FAC room 103.

Last Week’s Answers



February 11, 2014 |

Graduate and teaching assistants at WT Laci McGee Reporter

I would love to teach this kind of stuff,” said Izaak Chavez, a graduate student in Communication and graduate assistant to the department for all professors who require assistance in teaching the class or grading papers. To be a graduate assistant, one must be accepted into graduate school and the position must tie into the area of study. The number of positions available in each department is based on whether that department has the funding to hire a GA.

Some grad students can be Graduate Research Assistants; these students would be hired by the professor based on funding from their research grants. However, not all departments have the funding to hire those in their graduate program as graduate or teaching assistants. This does have an impact on students. “Instead of working in the professional field, I just take whatever job I can to pay the rent, and none of them look impressive on a resume,” Brett Strobel, a graduate student in the English department, said. “The reason I am not a TA is because the English

department has not gotten funding for new TA’s since before last semester.” Graduate and teaching assistants receive compensation for their work in different ways. Some are paid bi-weekly while others are compensated in the form of a scholarship so that they do not have to pay for graduate school out of pocket. Some, as mentioned above, help with multiple classes for multiple professors while others help only one specific professor. “It is fun for sure,” Chavez said. “If you know that you want to teach, it is a great way to get ahead of everyone else.”

Working as a graduate or teaching assistant may be a great way to get ahead in the teaching field, but it is hard work. Chavez said his GA job takes up as much time as his class work and that he is on the clock all the time. “They should still try for it, but they should make sure to have a backup plan for a job if they do not get the position, because they cannot know for sure if they will get it until the budget is confirmed,” Strobel said, when asked what advice he would give to those undergraduate students who hoped to be teaching assistants while in graduate school.

The job description for graduate and teaching assistants differs based upon the department that they are offered through. Normally, open positions for graduate and teaching assistant positions are not posted anywhere and students must express interest to their professors. Graduate students can also be GA’s for other places on campus and not just through their school. One grad student works in the Student Success Center. “Be diligent and do not be afraid to ask,” Rafeea Almas, who is working on her MBA, said. “Be familiar with your field.”


February 11, 2014 |

Weather can be harmful for commuters


rom Feb. 5 through Feb. 6, winter weather struck the Texas Panhandle. It was a reminder that despite our mild Januarys, this is indeed winter - a season notorious for terrible driving conditions derived from snow and ice. While most people joke that the Amarillo and Canyon area doesn’t harbor the best drivers in the most superb driving conditions, the situation deteriorates substantially when the weather takes a nosedive.

However, despite the dangerous weather, West Texas A&M University did not cancel classes. For example, we know of a student who had attempted to come to a class on the morning of Feb. 5, only to hit the ice going 20 miles per hour on Interstate 27, narrowly missing a semi-truck and ending up going backwards into a nearby ditch. Would that be the school’s fault for asking this individual to come to class in these ad-

verse conditions? Could the school be sued for damages if the individual’s vehicle had been damaged or totaled? Could the individual’s family sue the university had the individual been severely injured or killed? That would make a large mess out of things. That situation would certainly cause a gigantic black eye for the university itself. The university should be more sensitive to the situation

for students who commute from the likes of Amarillo, Hereford or the middle of Randall or Potter counties to venture into Canyon with its hills and turns coming into the small city. It may not make sense to cancel outright with all of the students who live on campus, but there must be some leeway for those who have to travel to attend classes, especially when some faculty members see attendance as part of a student’s grade or see that it is the stu-

dent’s responsibility to keep track of what is going on in that respective class. No matter how many residential buildings are built on campus and no matter how many resources the university has, unless living at these residential halls are dirt cheap and accommodate single parents or families who are attending West Texas A&M University, WTAMU has been, currently is and will always be a commuter school. But perhaps a compromise can be reached. We at The Prairie just hope the university and the administration are ready for this proposition. In not so great weather situations, such as what happened this past week, it would be more than fair to let commuters know that they do not have to attend classes in these situations. What about setting up a five mile perimeter around campus and also around the Amarillo Center while letting students and faculty close by know that if they are less than five minutes away from these locations during optimal situations, that they are asked to lead or attend their classes or meetings? Would that be able to work? As much as we apologize to those who live on campus or live close-by, proposals do need to have some middle ground for them to pass through. The main issue here is student, staff and faculty safety. The utmost priority of this university should not only be the advancement of the institution itself, but to take care of those who attend and work here at West Texas A&M University.



February 11, 2014 |

Winter snow blankets the WT Campus Jasmin Ruiz Photographer

The snow last week made for a solitary walk across campus.

In some places, up to five inches of snow fell.

Pathways on campus remained clear during the winter snow.

Snow covered trees across campus.


The Prairie Vol. 96, No. 18  

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

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